Monday, November 29, 2010

Carbs make me sleepy part 2

I seem to be getting A LOT of hits on the Carbs Make Me Sleepy post.  Apparently I'm not the only one affected by such problems.  Most heavy starches send me into an almost comatose state.  Sugar, potatoes, pasta, and breads are the worst culprits.  Thanksgiving dinner is probably the most notoriously obvious example I can think of.  Please note that though turkey contains trytophan it is not the turkey that knocks you out. It's all the carb laden side dishes who are the wolves in sheep's clothing.  It's the combination of the two that deliver the knock out punch on Thanksgiving day.

Your diet affects your mood.  Mood- Food Relations

Your diet affects your insulin levels.  Lower your carb intake and lower your insulin levels.

BUT.  You can  Take control of carb cravings.   by exchanging bad carbs for good carbs as shown on this list of good and bad carbs

To make a long story short.  Carbs affect the levels of seratonin in your body. Seratonin is a feel good/relax hormone.  Carbs also affect insulin levels in everyone, but, especially in people who are Insulin Resistant.  If you have a high intake of carbs then you're going to become sleepy.  I hate the feeling of not being in control of my body because of the foods I eat.  I refuse to eat a lot of bad carbs.  I have turned down some of the yummiest looking breads and deserts in favor of remaining alert/awake and in control. 

At one time I lived in the Tellico Grainery indulging myself their delicious pastries(brownies and carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting, or the HUGE cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting or sugar), sandwiches(the best rueben to ever cross your lips!), and breads (OMG! Fogacia!)

Now they're a once in a blue moon treat.  I cringe at the thought of bread beyond Pepperidge Farm's 15 grain bread.  I was actually nauseated at the sight of Thanksgiving dinner being slapped on peoples plates on some new report last week.  I loved shrimp fettucine, but now, ummm, no thanks.  Pass the salads with dressing on the side. Or the sushi. Or the closest veggie plates that aren't laden in grease, butter, salt, or cheese.  That pretty much eliminates Cracker Barrel huh?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner and just one spoonful

It all adds up.  Calories, that is. And salt intake.  For the most part, I behaved myself,sticking mainly with turkey and vegetables.  However, my veggie shoices were actually poor for the most part and unfortunately the best veggie (the one I liked the most) was pickled green tomatoes rinsed and fried with pickled okra.  Salt central! 

I took an exhaustion related nap after eating 2 slices of turkey breast (no seasonings used), no dressing, 1 small spoonful of mashed taters, fresh turnip greens (unsalted), cheesy mixed veggies (tons of salt again), northen beans (canned therefore SALTY), fried okra/tomatoes. I didn't even touch the rolls and I love brown and serve rolls, but I didn't touch them.  I was a good girl,for the most part..  I also had 2 deviled eggs and a slice of Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake (made with tofu) with 1 spoonful of low fat less sugar Breyer's Vanilla bean icecream.  Sweet tea to round it off.

So what happened while I was sleeping?  My body is so unaccustomed to salt and sugar that I swelled up like a big balloon.  My kidneys have been working overtime trying to filter all those toxins I put in my body today.  I feel bad and very thirsty.  The swelling is starting to go down finally.  My hands were so swollen that they were difficult to use.

One thing I did notice while napping, I slept on my back without waking up gasping for air for the first time in years.  I woke up slightly when my son was in my face saying "hey mom, did you know...."  And the second time he was tucking me in on the sofa because my feet were freezing (he's a sweet young man who loves and takes care of his mom).

I'm drinking a lot of water to try and flush the ick out of my system.

I think I would really love to have a slice of that apple pie still sitting in my kitchen, but the more I think of it the less appealing it is.  Perhaps the appeal is the fact that it's sitting in there going to waste and the mom in me says don't waste food.  It needs to just waste.  Maybe one of my kids will eat it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spark people

When I first signed up on Spark People I was put off by the number of whiny people who needed permission to even breathe.  I was put off by a number of things, but the 'permission to' crowd drove me insane.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand there are those out there who don't know how or where to begin losing weight, I certainly didn't, but I also didn't go on a blog site asking how much salt to put on my mashed potatoes or when to eat or how much to eat.  I'm a firm believer that you eat what you want, in moderation, until you're satisfied.  Not stuffed to the gills. We all (I hope) have enough common sense to know when something we're eating may not be the best for us.

I'm a sushi addict.  It's not bad for you in its un sauce'ified' state.(I make up words to suit my needs, in case you haven't noticed)  Sushi Faq  How did I get onto sushi?  I was supposed to be talking turkey...

Spark People sent me an email, probably one of the better emails I've gotten from them as someone has  FINALLY used some common sense!  8 Ways to Trim The Thanksgiving Calories    You know what?  I dont' think I'll ever look at eggnogg quite the same way.  I love the stuff, with a splash of kahlua or baileys, but what CALORIES!

My advice: Exercise caution laced with a bit of food adventure and a lot of common sense when it comes to holiday feasts. 
My permission: Taste what you want. Indulge what you like. There's no rule that says you have to stuff yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey. Just go easy on the salty, overly sweet, gravied, and sauc'ified' foods and you'll do well.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Weekend.  I'll be at work.....

Side note: Be nice to the cashiers and sales floor people who are getting up before the cold butt crack of dawn, leaving our families to be able to provide you with 3 a.m. customer service in our stores.  We are just as tired and overstuffed as you are.  We would rather be at home in bed too.  Play nice, be patient, better yet, order online...faster, simpler, no lines....

I also have noticed I have some new readers. Hi and welcome to what is fast becoming my OCD lifestyle blog. To leave me a note just click comment at the bottom of the post. I love just getting a 'howdy!" sometimes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Stuff

fresh food perspectives    I stumbled across this neat blog today while searching for healthier bread recipes.  Enjoy.

I must not continue eating the way I have been the last two days.  I think I'm eating out of boredom and I'm eating really bad stuff (except the sushi).  Tonight I ate a huge amount of blackberry cobbler.  My stomach is protesting so I probably won't do that again anytime soon. It's not that I'm gaining weight, it's that I'm not really doing anything constructive to help counter weight gain.  My stability ball is sitting beside me taunting my every breath.  How's that for guilt?

I have my order ready for a 3 month supply from Swanson Vitamins and believe me it won't get here soon enough.

Swanson Vitamins

My internet usage has probably more than doubled in the past few weeks.  Boredom.  Cold weather setting in.  Lack of sunlight,  You name it.  Just any excuse to not exercise or eat better and here I am in my 'No Excuses Zone' lol!

Perhaps I should just go to bed and get some sleep instead of staying up all night?

G'night all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan CheeseCake Recipe

This is one of a few instances where I actually use raw sugar instead of agave or  honey


1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 14 oz silky tofu drained and patted dry set aside on paper towels while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Combine pecans and 1/4 cup brown sugar; cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Beat tofu at high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar; beat well. Add cornstarch.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pumpkin and spices. Pour mixture into crust.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle pecan mixture over pie. Bake for 5 additional minutes, or until butter or margarine and sugar melt. Cool on a wire rack. Cover, and chill for at least 4 hours.

Side note: You can cheat this recipe by using 1 cup pumpkin butter in place of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices.  Just be sure you use Pumpkin Butter that is sweetened with juice instead of sugar to cut down on all the sugar in this recipe.

Updates and a Cheesecake Recipe

My Current Measurments

September   Weight  208         October  Weight 205  November  Weight 203
Neck 15.5                                15                              15               

Biceps 14                                 14                              13(fat loss)

Wrist 6                                     6                                6.5 (go figure)
Bust 40                                    36                               34.5

Waist 36                                  36                               36 (what gives?  obviously not my waistline grrrr)

Hips 47                                   45.5                             45
Thigh 27                                  24                                24
Calf 17                                   17                                16

Hmpf.  3 inches lost in 5 weeks time. Bad Melissa!  Too many sodas. (waves goodbye to the caffeine crutch) However 12 inches off  and 5lb off since September isn't so bad.  I need to get back on a regular exercise routine and steady diet.  I'm not even going to use holiday eating and schedule for an excuse.  This is the No Excuses Zone.  Just because it's the Holiday season doesnt' mean you can't eat right or better.  I have to pay attention to what I'm doing, to what's going into my mouth, so do you.

It's cold outside so it's time to tune in to good exercise videos. Suzanne Deason's Pilates Conditioning for Weight loss is a very good, easy, slow paced introduction to Pilates.  Just remember it isn't quantity but quality when it comes to exercise videos.  If you can't keep up dont' stress yourself out to catch up.

Mari Winsor has 2 easy exercise videos I use:  The first is body sculpting using resistance bands ($9 for the bands at WalMart or KMart)  The other is Mari Winsor's Basics. Easy Easy Easy, very slow step by step instruction for even the most overweight of beginners.  If your tummy and butt is in the way, attempt the exercise anyway.  That stomach has to go!

There is no cardio workout involved in the above Pilates videos.  I reccommend walking.  Get up and move yo' ass in the fresh air and sunshine, even if it is freezing.  It'll get your blood circulating.  there's no one to keep up with.  No video taped instructor who looks too freaking happy while she's telling you you can do it!

Download some rockin upbeat tunes to your mp3 player and  hit the trail.  Cleveland has some great walking trails.  Tellico has so many off the beaten path trails it isn't funny. Safety note: know something about the trail before you tackle it.  Take a friend with you who won't try to sabotage your attempts to feel better about yourself, even if it is unconscious.  Take your dog with you. Dogs love to go on adventures.  Big Dawg  has been known to drag me onto paths unknown (read, he made his own trail) and I'm still alive lol!  Sometimes he sabotages me by having to stop at every.single.tree. I guess I get my exercise in by firmly planting my feet and  forcing him away from every.single.tree. Do you KNOW how many trees are on the walking trail in Tellico?  DO YOU?  Eeesh.

Simple Tofu Cheesecake Recipe
Warning: If  you haven't cooked with tofu before, then this is not a recipe to try for a holiday.  It took a long time for me to get it right simply because of the soggy nature of tofu

2 lg. eggs

1 lb., 6 oz.  extra firm tofu drained and patted dry

2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup honey or agave (experiment with this til you find the right 'sweet' for you)
1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp. fresh-grated lemon peel

2 tbsp. butter

3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

(1/2 c. preserves or fruit for topping - optional)

Blend 1 egg and 1/2 the tofu and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into bowl. Blend other egg and rest of tofu and lemon juice. (Needs to be smooth and creamy - use a blender). Stir in honey or agave, vanilla , cornstarch, and lemon peel. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter and stir in crumbs. press into bottom and up sides of 9 inch pie plate. Fill with tofu mixture. Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool. Chill 3 hours or longer.

So there we have my belated updates. time to finish up the dishes nd laundry before hubby and kids get back from Atlanta.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Melissa's Favorite Things This week!

Plus how to navigate this blog because I'm directionally challenged even here lol!

I have new readers! YAY!  My before and in progress pictures were posted in the first week of August so go all the way back there if you're interested.  Recipes, menues, shopping lists, and play lists are scattered throughout.

My new favorite of the week is SUSHI! Anyone surprised at that?  Thought not.  As reminded by a friend, sushi is good for you until you start adding the sauces to it.  Go easy on the soy suace...sodium central.  Use the low sodium version.  Better yet, mix a bit of wasabi paste into your low sodium soy sauce...put a kick in your mouth for sure...also her suggestion.  Besides, hot peppers ARE good for you.  Scroll down to find the post on hot pepper benefits.

In other news:
I've had the house to myself since yesterday morning.  It's a bit quiet and just a little spooky to me.  Good thing big dawg is house broken. No one, and I mean no one will try to get past him if they're smart. 

My hands are cold.  I'd love to have a big bowl of oatmeal with agave and cinnamon even if it is after midnight.  I've done a bit of housework in between working at KMart and going to the funeral home and out for sushi. See there it is again lol!  Sushi!  I may need intervention if this keeps up =)

Anyway, time for this ol' girl to go to bed. Another girl's day out tomorrow. We're getting our hair done and grabbing a quick bite to eat then I'm going to visit my mom at the nursing home then my grandmother at her home.  'Nother busy day.  Oh well.

Stability Ball Routine

You have all seen me posting about being on the ball and falling from the ball but I bet most of you have n no idea exactly what I meant.  The following models are not me in any way shape or form, especially the man lol!

My disclaimer: I dont' own these pictures.  I am not a fitness expert.  These are justa few of the exercises that I do on a bi-nightly basis to find my waistline and get my female curves to turn back in the right direction.  This particular exercsie can and will hurt you if  you'r enot careful.  If you're uncertain about a move, talk to your doctor first, because, guess what?  I'm not a doctor either!

Stabilty Ball Routine part one!

Pilates version of a crunch.  Pull your navel in like you're sucking in your gut.  Here the model is adding a slight twist to her move which helps tone the obliques

Stabilty ball version of a Pilates Swan.  I love this move.  You can feel between your shoulders and all the way down your back as it strengthens your back.  Hold your gut in during the upward motion of this exercise. Feel the BURN!

This position lands me in the floor every time I try it.  You have to concentrate really hard on controlling your back and stomach muscles to be able to hold the position.  to make it even harder you can lift one hand  or one leg  challenging your balance even further.  I haven't gotten that far yet.

Stability ball version of a Plank.  I cna barely do a plank without the ball and usually wind up in the floor whenthe ball rolls away as I don't have enough control of my back and abdominal muscles yet. 

Stability Ball version of a curl up.  I love this move too.  It burns!  Suck your gut in as you move and use your abdominal muscles to control your body as you lower yourself back down.

Another stability ball version of a Pilates Bridge.  Pull your gut in here as well.  Burn burn burn!

This version of a bridge also lands me on the floor.  Gotta work more on the control doggone it!

Hips, thighs, back, glutes, abs. This takes a lot of control and deep concentration  so that your back doesn't arch off the floor.  Talk about feeling a burn.  Tap feet with ball side to side to challenge yourself.
Stability ball routine part 2: Add 2 pound soft weights to the exercises where your hands are free for more strength and sculpting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waxing Nostalgic

I lost a friend this past week.  I had just found him, rather he found me, on Facebook a month or so ago and now he's gone on to heaven.  I avoided the last highschool reunion becuase I was ashamed of how muchweight I'd gained.  There.  I said it.  I hid myself from the people who know and love me best outside of my family.  No one should have to live like that.

It was sooo good to see and talk to people I haven't seen in years, my fault for hiding.  I'm not hiding anymore.

I miss my friends and family.  We're not getting any younger, let's stop being strangers.

Something else I miss is my still AWOL measuring tape.  What gives?

okay.okay.  It's a weightloss/lifestyle change blog so I'll switch gears, even though I do want to go on and on about how much I miss everyone just to make sure I drive home just how much I've missed everyone and drive you all away lol!

I'm having a terrible time with healthier versions of Thanksgiving favorites.  I've found better solutions to some things, pecan pie is not one of them.  I've been turned off to artificial sweeteners in cakes and breads.  In fact I gagged on a delicious looking piece of pumpkin bread and banana bread in the past 24 hours simply because it was 'sweetened' with splenda.  Holy smokes are you trying to kill everyone in the store!?!?!?

Don't  not use sugar, use less of it, lower the amount of oil in the recipe, use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil.  Use agave or honey in place of sugar, use egg substitute if you're worried about cholesterol.  You should be worried about using ARTIFICIAL read FAKE sugar in your foods.  They cause all kinds of harmful side effects from cancer to insatiable hunger to migraines.  You're putting CHEMICALS in your body.  They arent' natural.  They're BAD for you..

Sorry, digressing...

so far Thanksgiving dinner line up is a s follows

Baked turkey

Couscous/apple/walnut dressing

Mashed cauliflower (instead of taters)

Savory (Herbed) Vegetable broth gravy

Shells n cheese (for the kids)

Pumpkin Pecan cheesecake (hah! it's made with tofu!)
Chocolate Cake (Unbleached whole grain flour,tofu, wheat bran wheat germ and ground flaxseed!)
Sweet tater casserole (sweetened with applesauce, bananas, raisins, pineapples, and agave)
Turnip Greens
Soup Beans
Baked Acorn Squash
Fried Okra (For the rest of the family)

Seems turkey has been given the bum wrap of late. It isn't the culprit in post Thanksgiving dinner nappiness, it's the heavy carb laden sides that are the guilty party.  CARBS MAKE YOU SLEEPY!

The avergae person will consume a staggering 4500, that is four thousand five hundred calories on Thanksgiving Day.  My stomach  protested when I saw that number.  it said "No way! Nuh uh!  you're not eating that much!"  and I probably won't.

I look forward to the holidays.  I love the sights, smells, and sounds. All the hustle and bustle.  I love to bake and give homemade goodies away.  This year is bitterweet because my mom is in the nursing home. Again.  Trying to recover from a broken leg.  I think we'll either figure out a way to kidnap her from the nursing home or smuggle a Thanksgiving feast in to her room. Cue the Mission Impossible theme music......


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lack of Update

It's hard to do your measurments when your measuring tape has gone AWOL. 

WalMart has a yummy fresh veggie line called Marketside. I'm in love with their fresh salsa in hot, medium, and mild.  20 Calories of 2 Tbsp!  Very little sodium or sugar and it tastes really really good.

I mixed 2 tbsp into plain brown rice and it was quite tasty/filling.  Saltaholics might want more salt, but I'm good with it as is.

Working days is seriously tearing into my exercise and diet regimen.  I need a YMCA membership so I can go work out on lunch break instead of eating.  oooooooooooooooohhh or a tanning bed membership!  Decisions decisions!  Both?  meh.  I can't afford to do that.

I need a new hobby too. find that infernal measuring tape!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When your last name is Murphy

Murphy's law applies ten fold.  The rotten past week is now spilling over into this week and I want to know what gives?  We just keep on taking hit after hit, get right back up and keep going, but I'm beginning to wonder how much more we can possibly take?  Two cars of three are down.  We have no money, and when I say NO MONEY I mean NO MONEY. Tuition is due.  Doctor and dentist bills are due. Mortgage is due.  We broke out a credit card to rent a car because our 2 cars couldn't break down AND be repaired while I was on vacation.  Nooooo, too simple. 

If your'e a guy reading this, you're about to cross over into the too much information zone.  This is your one second warning.




And to top it all off, Caleb informed me I look like I'm gaining my weight back.  GASP! ARGHHHH! NOOOOO!!!

But he's right.  This last menstrual cycle put the entire household through hell.  I went on a hellacious chocolate and soda binge. I was mean spirited during the day and wore my husband the last 2 nights before 'mother nature' arrived..  I've not done that in a long long long time.  Probably a good thing I was on vacation I would have gotten fired with my bad attitude and short fuse. And I mean short fuse.  Everyone pretty much stayed out of my way. Even our pets.

The scale says three pounds heavier and I have a monster bloat going on that would make Oprah look thin. I'm out of my vitamins and will have to wait until we get paid again before refilling my evening primrose supplies.

Ladies, evening primrose oil, 1300 mg is a GOD SEND when it comes to controlling mood swings and hormones.  I'm of the unprofessional opinion that it also helps curb cravings and bloat as well.

I've discovered 2 new online hobbies. couponing and survey taking for points to redeem for rewards, mostly gift cards, but hey, I'm short on cash and Christmas is coming up fast!.  I'm thinking this new obsession with couponing is contributing to my erratic almost OCD behavior and general gloominess.  I must not get on the computer so much, but there are so many surveys and coupons to find! And there is no warm sunshine with its siren's call drawing me away from the computer in favor of soaking up it's rays.  Sure, there's sun out there, but damn it's cold!

And therein lies my moodiness.  Lack of sun.  It encourages the release of feel good hormones. Natural Vitamin D contributes to those feel good hormones.  Vitamin D deficiency contributes to the juggly fat under your skin, that gross stuff that hangs over your waistband.  I read an article just this week where a doctor suggested that obese, note OBESE, not fat for those who think that needing to lose just 5 pounds qualifies them as obese, Obese women should consume as much as 10,000 IU of Vitamin D per day.  Almost all OBESE women are 80% or more deficient in Vitamin D.

Now, when I first read that article I mulled it over.  When did I start losing weight?  When I started supplementing my diet with Anne Louise Gittleman's peri-zappers and a multi that contained Vitamin D and I started laying out in the sun frequently.  Vitmain D central.  The weight started falling off.  I wasn't even exercising then. Just eating better. So, this is the way I think it works:  Vitamin D up to 10k IU, lots of veggies and fruits with a little meat/cheese/protein  on the side and you are well on your way to weight loss  that is not all that hard.That's what I did. Then add in a bit of exercise, just 15-20 minutes per day or even every other day and you'll  begin to see some results within 2 weeks. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It has to have curb appeal

I take my lunch to work, sometimes I even carry breakfast with me to work as well.  First I get "Let's see what Melissa has today' crowd as I enter the lounge area who look my lunch over with the expertise of experienced foodies.  They say one of two things "I don't see how you eat that" or "Do you really eat like that all the time?"  My choice.  My food. And 9 times of 10, yes I do eat like this all the time.

The floor crew later in the day get to experience my entree choices in all its colorful glory.  I get the following statements in one form or another "I can't eat like that."  Why not?  and "Wow!  That's a pretty lunch!"

Pretty?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and presentation is everything when it comes to food.  It's something akin to selling a home.  If it has curb appeal it will sell. The same for food: If it appeals to your tastebuds then the food is sold. 

Your basic fried chicken dinner.  Smells good doesn't it?  It doesn't have a great deal of curb appeal, not a great deal of color under it or around it, unless you want to count that sea of white plate covered in gravy with matching white bowl.  You'll probably still eat it, but wish it wasn't so boring.

 Watermelon Feta Salad presented in a red bowl with a sea of green under it accented with black white and red ingredients.  That's how you create curb appeal for food.

If you're not sure how to create curb appeal for your food start with your dishes.  Really, not many people pay attention to what the food is on but how it is presented, but if you start out with something colorful and still serve boring food, the color is there.  If you're stuck with a plain white plate (because they go with everything right? ) then it's time to learn curb appeal and fast!

Green perks everything up in a heart beat.  Either put the food on a bed of baby spinach, or add a big sprig of parsely on the side.  Orange slices under the sprig of parsley or lemon wedges along side it amp up the color.

Need more color?

Try serving multi colored pasta instead of plain old elbow noodles. Purple potatoes instead of plain white potatoes.  The taste is the same, they're just a funny color. Brown and wild rice instead of plain old white rice. See where I'm going here? Variety is the spice of life and when food gets boring it's time to liven things up a bit!

Dress up a plain salad with whole or sliced radishes, baby carrots, and pitted black olives toss some herbed feta cheese over it, serve your dressing on the side because dressing covers up the pretty salad. Toss some unsalted sunflower seeds on the salad for a little extra crunch.

Multi colored sweet pepper rounds dress up sliced meat, chicken breasts, and salads.

Having traditional southern fare of  fried taters, pinto beans, greens and cornbread or poor man's dinner as I call it, (best dinner on earth as far as I'm concerned!)  Carmelize thinly sliced onions and spoon generously over the greens.  Add some diced sweet red peppers and drained black beans into the cornbread mix then cook it. Mix sweet potato fries with your white potatoes and bake them instead of frying them sprinkle with course ground pepper and sea salt.  Add drained black beans and drained white beans to your red pintos.  There you have a more eye appealing palate of food.

A coloful snack in our home consists of  roasted red pepper hummus (orangey red in color) and green sugar snap peas or garlic hummus (pale white) and baby carrots.

Even cereal and milk can be made more appealing by adding blueberries  or strawberries or rasperries. Not bananas they're not colorful, good for you, but not colorful.

Experiment.  Look at food magazines and websites.  Attend cooking shows.  Learn to make your food more appealing.  You won't have as many left overs and you'll find yourself buying more colorful  fruits and vegetables just to make your foods more appealing/pretty.  There's nothing more satsifying than hearing someone excalim "WOW! Your food is always so pretty and colorful!" 

Then watch it disappear. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Shopping List

Not that kind of shopping list =)
Holiday Cooking

I love to cook for the Holidays.  Calories, Salt, Sugar, of course, are some of the biggest problems with all the fun get togethers going on now through January 2nd.  I can't tell you how to avoid the pitfalls of someone else's cooking other than you know the more sugary, crunchy, or creamy it is the more calories it has in it.  Same for alcoholic beverages the more syrupy and creamy they are the more calories packed into them.  So think about what you're putting in your mouth rather than blindly consuming any of it.  I'm not saying don't eat it, just think about it first.  The addage a moment across the lips an eternity on the hips applies tenfold here.  Use your head not your tastebuds.

These are your Holiday Cooking Must Haves:
-Ground Turkey or Chicken
-Whole Chicken, skinned (you can't buy them skinned you can either ask the person at the meat counter, who will look at you like you've lost your mind or just use your kitchen scissors at home to make short work of it)
-Whole Turkey, skinned (this you will have to do at  home after the turkey has defrosted)
-Black Olives
-Herbed Feta Cheese
-Baby Spinach leaves
-Black Beans
-Whole Flaxseed
-Ground Flaxseed
-Finely milled Wheat Germ
-Organic Cinnamon
-Organic Fresh Ginger (peeled as needed)
-Organic Thyme
-Organic Whole Rosemary
-Organic Orange Zest
-Organic Parsley
-Organic High Lignan Flaxseed Oil
-Organic Coconut Oil
-Sugar Free Hard Peppermint candies
-Organic Semi-sweet chocolate
-Old Fashioned Oats (not the quick cook variety)
-Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
- Eggs.  I buy a very particular brand of eggs that are brown cage free hormone free omega 3 rich.  I find t hem at Bi-lo and every once and a while at Wal Mart

Why must your chicken or Turkey be skinned?  Skin and fat is where bacteria live and rapidly multiply in raw poultry.  Make sure you rinse the abdominal cavity out very well.  For those of you who don' t know, make sure you remove the packaged organ meats and gravies inside the cavity of your poulty. Also when rinsing out the abdominal cavity of your poultry, please ,please, please don't use soap.  That taste will not go away.

The other reason not to keep the skin on your poultry: to reduce your tendency to stuff flavorings (which are FULL OF SALT) under the skin.  you also won't be Stuffing the skin full of boutter either to 'make the meat more tender'.  More like make everything taste like butter which is full of fat and salt as well.

Here's how to cook your holiday bird:

Skin removed and bird rinsed thoroughly, patted dry.   Using 1/2 cup grapeola dip a basting brush in grapeola and generously brush over your bird. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of the following Rosemary, Sea Salt and parsley, rub into your bird inside and out.  If you have a large bird then use what you need accordingly.  Put your bird in its pan.  Add 1 inch of water in bottom of pan.  cover pan tighly with foil even if it has a lid and cook accordingly.

OH NO! NO STUFFING!  No, no stuffing in the bird, one of the top three causes of food poisoning during the holidays is stuffing cooked inside poulty.  the bird might be done but the juice dripping into the stuffing inside the bird is full of bacteria from the raw meat will make you sick if it isn't cooked or if it's left to sit for a while before serving.

Your alternatives: You can go ahead and ignore me and have your precious in the bird stuffing (which is full of salt and other nasty preservatives AND bacteria) or you can have wild rice pilaf or fancy couscous (recipes later as I dont' have them directly in front of me) or even a homemade stuffing cooked in a seperate pan from the bird.

I was asked recently why I had such a huge long shopping list.  Technically, for me, it isn't huge long anymore.  For people just starting out it is.

I suggest buying a few of the items at a time not all at once to keep from busting your bank account

Ground Flaxseed
Eggs (cage free, hormone free)
SoBe Life Water
Herbed Feta Cheese
Baby Spinach

That's our must have list.  Everything else is bonus/icing on the cake/whatever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's been a crappy week so far.  Probably the best thing that happened is that my mom is out of the hospital and in rehab at the nursing home...again.  She had total knee replacement about 2 months ago, was doing well, then her femur just under the knee replacement decided to break.  Back to the hospital, back into surgery and back to the nursing home for her.  I told her no more hopscotch or tap dancing for a while.

I made chili for supper tonight.  Rinsed all the beans, drained the meat, but my stomach feels like it's a ticking time bomb, burning and belchy tummy night for me.  Silly me had a cranberry vodka on top of that so I guess I get what I deserve.  It'll be a yogurt only day for me tomorrow.

I've abandoned 30 day Pilates challenge again.  however, I'm still doing my workouts on the stability ball. I'm sure I look graceful and beauteous while working on it lol!  (yes that's sarcasm) But I'm envious of the bodies I've seen others get who were much heavier than I am. Envy is a powerful motivator. I fully intend to have a rockin bikini body by my 42nd birthday. 42 is a scary number further away from safe child bearing years and too freakin close to menopause for my comfort, but as I've said before.  I can't do anything about age by I can do something about fat.  It's only 50 pounds away and I lost more than 50 in the last year.  It's do-able.

Ever try to do a roll up or a plank while your belly is still dragging the ground?  Talk about humiliating.  Better yet, you're  not supposed to have an arch in your back while doing roll ups/crunches, but your butt is so big it lifts your lower back off the ground while your droopy boobs have pooled under your back also forcing your  back  to arch even .  OUCH! No wonder people give up on exercising.  There's no real instruction for the truly obese on how to do the exercises correctly.  The only advice I've seen is to get a personal trainer like everyone can afford those types of services.

I'm wondering what is wrong that I can't seem to take a good picture of late?  Is it the hair that is making me look far too pale? The lack of sun bathing as it's a bit too cool outside so I no longer have a healthy sun kissed glow?  My hair won't do a darned thing. My make up is all wrong.  I feel like a stranger in my own body.  I still startle myself when I look in the mirror, whoa!  who's that? Oh it's me!  I look old and worn out.  Eesh!  Ever had that experience?  If not and you're over 40, it's coming soon to a mirror near you!