Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Weigh In #4

My husband has started something really brave, a public chronicle of his weight loss.  We're both really wanting to get into shape, and we're looking for other out there that are in the same situation.  If you're looking for some accountability and support, feel free to join his meme Monday Weigh In.

Weight loss for the weak!
Eek!  This is the really hard part.  You don't have to put your weight in if you're not comfortable with it, but I feel like I'd be cheating if I didn't.  So here it goes.  Current weight: 235.

Ahhhhhh!  I can't believe I just did that!

Struggles and victories of the weak!
Well, I'm not sure what to count this as, but my weight has been pretty steady for a while.  I guess it's a struggle because it hasn't gone down, but a victory because it hasn't gone up.

I'm trying to look at the number objectively and not as the end-all-be-all of this struggle.  I'm really starting to get turned on to the tenants of HAES movement (Healthy at every size), so I know that I need to look at my body as a whole to really gauge my health.

We did indulge in some fast food this week, which wasn't very good. I tried to listen to my bodies signals about fullness, and I did stop earlier on the pizza than I would have normally.  I felt pretty good about that.  Now I just need to focus on figuring out why I crave chocolate when I do, etc.  You know, get at the real reason why I'm eating.

I've completely fallen off the exercise wagon.  I was starting to do pretty well, but this week has been kinda ehh emotionally, so it's hard for me to get motivated to move at all, much less exercise.  We did go for a really long walk yesterday, and I didn't get tired at all.  I'm trying to count that as a victory and not let the nagging voice take it away from me.

How can I improve?
Exercise. Or at least get some kind of movement into my day.

I also need to start eating breakfast again.  I was doing really well with it, then we skipped the grocery shopping for a bit.  I can really tell a difference in my hunger levels and how I feel in general when I skip breakfast, and it's a bad habit I really need to break.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The hazards of having a dog and cream carpet

I love my dogs, I really do.  Look at how cute they are:
But when I find little "presents" that the little one leaves me, it makes it hard to acknowledge the cuteness.  So when you find an "accident" (aren't the euphemisms pet owner's use crazy?) and are out of whatever really expensive enzyme cleaner you usually use, try this inexpensive and very effective method.

Supplies needed:
  • Two spray bottles
  • One filled with water and about a tablespoon of dish soap
  • One filled with 1/2 and 1/2 white vinegar and water, with about two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Paper towels
Dab up any liquid you can (or pick up solids, whatever your mess is).  Spray generously with the vinegar mixture.  Rub in lightly then soak up with towels.  Then spray with soapy water, rub vigorously, then dab up.  Allow to dry.

We have cream carpet all through the house (I still don't understand why rentals do that), and before we started this method, we had a terrible time getting up any stains.  There are still some lingering randomly.  But since we started this method, you can't tell.  Works like a charm and is much cheaper than what you could buy at the store, and you also have less chemicals to worry about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When the beast comes calling (or a quick chocolatey snack)

So I know that I have just started this whole Pura Vida thing, and so some people are going to call foul on this.  But I know my body and tastes and I've learned a few things from the times I've tried to "diet."

1. I still have cravings for chocolate.
2. They get bigger the more I ignore them.
3. I WILL give in to them.
4. When I do, I'll overindulge and blow my morale and any advances I've made.

So today (after a day tainted with some really bad emotions), I really wanted some chocolate.  But I wanted something small.  After searching the internet for a bit, I came across the following recipe for the Improved 5-Minute Chocolate Cake.  I played around with it a little and ended up with this:

In a large, microwavable coffee mug, mix:
  • 5 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Mix thoroughly, then add

  • 5 tbs milk
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
 Microwave for about a minute (will still be some liquid-y batter, if you don't like this, cook for 20-30 seconds more).  Add a small spoonful of peanut butter on the top.

It was the perfect amount to satisfy my sweet tooth.  It's certainly not healthy, but it's better than the kind of splurge I have usually.

What small (healthyish) snacks do you use as your standby?

So the other night, I went to make this, only to find out we had no milk.  But we had heavy whipping cream...which made this 10 million times better. Seriously.  You might need to add a little water, because it makes the batter super thick.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting back on the wagon

Based in part on my recent trip to Costa Rica and learning about the motto "Pura Vida" (pure life) and reading my friend Casey's fully honest and hilarious blog about his struggle with weight, the husband and I have decided to get back on the wagon of healthy living.

Once upon a time, I wrote a post about called Easing into Shape about the Couch to 5k program.  Well, living in the south the whole jogging outside thing would only work from 3am to 5am.  And as much as I want to be healthy, I don't think I could make myself do that.  It would be a job and something I resented as opposed to enjoyed.

So while the hubby is making himself job in the afternoons, this delicate southern blossom can't handle that yet.  (Maybe by the time next summer rolls around my heat tolerance will be higher).  So instead I'm doing the dreaded work out video at home.

Luckily, I've found one that's actually pretty fun, so I thought I'd share it with you.

10 Minute Solution is a series of DVDs that include ten minute workouts.  Now, I 'm not stupid enough to think that ten minutes a day is going to change my life; I know it takes more than that.

One of the things that I really like about the series is that each DVD has several workouts and that you can then select which ones you like the best and build your own routine.

Currently, I'm using Dance Off Fat Fast: a collection of basic dance/aerobics. 

The dances are pretty easy to follow, even for someone as dance-handicapped as myself.  And they're actually enjoyable.  And I know that if I was doing the routines in a roomful of women, I wouldn't enjoy myself nearly as much.  Self-consciousness would keep me from rolling my hips or shaking my butt too much.

The workouts also range from medium to high intensity (and of course are as intense as you want to make them), so it's good for big girls like me that are just getting started.

The series is enjoyable (and inexpensive enough) that I plan on getting several other DVDs in the series.  It's nice to have an alternative when the weather doesn't cooperate with a walk.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birthday Pie--Take One

So if you follow my other blog, you know that yesterday was my birthday.  The husband and I did a very low-key evening at home, and for my guilt free desert (because you can eat anything guilt free on your birthday), I made a chocolate pie.  It turned out good enough to post, but I'm going to make some changes in the recipe for you guys.  Hope you enjoy!

The first draft of the pie.  Yours will look different.

  • Oreo pie crust
  • One cup milk chocolate chips
  • One package neufchatal cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Walnuts to garnish
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.  Add a splash of milk to thin.  Spread over bottom of Oreo pie crust.  Allow to cool. 
  2. Mix the neufchatal, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the cocoa and milk, mix until thoroughly combined.  Spread over chocolate layer. 
  4. Garnish with walnuts.
  5. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (Best the next day)

I changed the layering because the chocolate becomes so hard that when you cut the pie, the soft layer just oozed out.  You could also do a thinner layer of chocolate, but that's just no fun. Is it?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No-Bake P.C.O.-The perfect size snack

If you're anything like me, you have cravings for something sweet in the middle of the night.  My problem is if I have something store bought, I eat it right away.  There's no such thing as an unopened box of Oreos in my house.

So lately I've taken to making my own desserts.  I've tried Coconut Cream pie, and a chocolate cream pie (I can eat the filling all by itself).  The problem is that it makes too much.

Portion control is the only way I have any self control.  So while browsing through my recipes the other day I found this great, easy, and small recipe for No-Bake P.C.O. cookies (Peanut butter, chocolate, and oatmeal).

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 3/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and cocoa.  Add the milk and butter.
  2. Over medium heat bring to a boil and cook for one minute.
  3. Remove from heat. Add the peanut butter and stir until melted.  Add oatmeal, stir.
  4. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper.  Let stand until set.
The original recipe said it makes three dozen.  Ha!  I made a dozen healthy size cookies. It's the perfect size to share with a person, solve your craving, and still not feel really guilty about!

Hope you enjoy!

PS--You could probably make this a healthier recipe if you wanted, but really, what's the point?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Marie Callender's Made Me Do It

So a couple of weeks ago, we had to drive to the north side of town three times in one week.  Every time we passed by Marie Callender's restaurant the sign would blink "Coconut Cream Pie." I'm usually all about chocolate, but when you add coconut to the mix, I really can't resist. 

Then the next week when I opened up my IGoogle homepage, there was a recipe for "Classic Toasted Coconut Cream Pie."  I'm pretty sure it was a sign from God.  So I tried out the recipe and here's what I got (or what's left of it):

Not the prettiest pie in the world, but it tasted really good.  I got the recipe from Epicurious, but I made a couple of very minor tweaks.  Here's my version:


Crust--Frozen one from the store.  If Paula Dean says making pie crust is too much hassle and the frozen is just as good, the guilt is off my shoulders.

  • 2 1/4 cup canned coconut milk (stir well)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbs all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
Whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 2 tbs powdered sugar
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
Putting it together:
  1. Turn on your broiler, put the coconut on a cookie sheet and toast until light to medium brown (watch carefully, it can burn really easy) and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat your coconut milk in a to a very light boil in a medium sauce pan. Then take off of the heat and put a lid on the pan to retain the warmth.
  3. Beat the sugar and the egg yolks in a bowl with your mixer on high.  Mix until pale yellow and they've roughly doubled in volume.
  4. Turn down mixer and add flour, cornstarch, and salt.  After incorporated slowly add the warm coconut milk.
  5. Pour everything back into your saucepan and cook until boiling. Make sure to whisk constantly. Boil for about a minute, or until the mixture thickens.
  6. Remove the pan from heat, add the butter and stir until melted.  Add the toasted coconut and vanilla.
  7. Put the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.  Stir about every 30 minutes to keep a film from forming.  After cooled, cover the surface with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.  (The recipe says for at least 2 hours, but I kept mine overnight).
  8. Bake your pie crust according to the directions.  Fill the crust and set aside.
  9. Beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar on high until you reach stiff peaks.  Add the vanilla and incorporate.
  10. Top pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut (I think chocolate shavings would be really good, too).

After making whipped cream for the first time, I have to say, I don't think I'm ever buying it again.  It was SO good, I could have eaten a pie of just it.

Hope you try this out and enjoy!