Friday Five – Let the Holiday Food Fest(s) Begin!

  1. Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re looking forward to a perfectly scintillating First Weekend of October! At my little church, we’re looking forward to our annual Parish Family Festival, which basically means FOOD FOOD FOOD! Yours truly will be baking not one, not two, but THREE of her fantabulous Key Lime pies tomorrow, and they will NOT be “low calorie” or “healthy” – they will be DELICIOUS!!

    key lime

  2. And of course, that means it’s the start of the dreaded Holiday Food Season! As us dieters are only too well aware, there’s a HUGE wave of food temptations heading our way over the next three months.

    All Hallows Eve isn’t as big an issue for me as it used to be, thanks to a brainstorm I had a few years ago (when buying candy for trick or treaters, ONLY buy candy you absolutely HATE, so you won’t be tempted to scarf it all down yourself).

    Thanksgiving is a little more problematic due to the turkey, dressing, and of course, GRAVY (my ancient nemesis!) flowing like a river through the whole works.

    Then, of course, there’s the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ*, which translates into all sorts of delectable sweeties, for days and days and days and…

    holidays.jpg

    It’ll be tough, but hang in there – we’ll get through it together!

    (By the way, I know some of you may celebrate some other holidays – Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. – and that’s fine! This isn’t a religious blog. But I’m all about the Christmas stuff, so you’ll just have to put up with it. Sorry! Anyway, I understand from informed sources that those holidays have their own sets of food issues as well. Dieting is an ecumenical issue!)

  3. Is anyone else watching Seth MacFarlane’s witty sci-fi series, “The Orville”? Last night’s episode featured one of the alien characters, in a fit of depression, sitting in front of the TV watching “The Sound of Music” while scarfing down a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, which he’d obtained by asking the computer what people did when they were depressed. How about you? What’s your comfort food? Maybe in future posts, we’ll explore some lower-calorie options for those days when you just… can’t…

    orville

  4. Man, it’s hard to come up with five things, first thing in the morning. Of course, I haven’t had my coffee yet. I did get up early to let the cats out, let the cats back in, feed the cats, give the cats their morning treats, clean out the cats’ litter boxes, cats cats cats cats cats…

    cat food bowl

  5. Don’t tell anyone, but there aren’t any actual “Key Limes” in my Key Lime pie. They’re just plain ol’ limes. That’s because I zest them myself, and regular-size limes are a LOT easier to scrape than those tiny itsy bitsy ones. Yet I still call it “Key Lime Pie.” What’s wrong with me?

limes

Happy Monday! and an Exciting New Diet Breakfast Idea, patent pending!

First, and most importantly, my Weekly Weigh-in:

228.9

scales

I’m in my 20’s, y’all!

flapper

Yippity skippity!! I haven’t been in this decade for … well, for a decade!

When I got married in 2007 (late bloomer, long story), I weighed 220 pounds, which was definitely way too much.

mewedding

But the thing is – it was still WAY less than what I’ve weighed for the past few years.

So – nice way to start the week, doncha think?

Now, here’s a little Diet Wisdom Tip I came up with this morning, while debating what to have for breakfast.

In the not-so-distant past, I used to go out to breakfast every Monday morning with a gal pal. We’d go to diners, like Denny’s, Bob’s Big Boy, and others.

The one thing they all had in common? BIG BREAKFASTS.

big breakfast

Sigh … yeah, it wasn’t at all uncommon for me scarf down close to 1,000 calories at one sitting. French toast? Bring it on! Bacon? Yeah, baby! Fried eggs, sunny side up? You got it! Not to mention the accoutrements – butter, maple syrup, and of course, lots of strawberry jam for the toast (and more butter, of course!).

bacon meets egg

But I felt virtuous about it, ’cause I’d always order the WHOLE WHEAT toast. Yeah, that was healthier, right?

mary p

So, long story short, last fall, I’m sorry to say, I had falling out with this gal pal, so we stopped going out to breakfast every Monday morning. Which, looking back now, was probably the best possible thing that could have happened, primarily because I was so comfortable with those big giant Monday breakfasts that I had no problem whatsoever with trying to reenact them on my own, other days of the week.

And OK, I know this is getting a little longer than I’d planned, so let me just cut to the chase with my Big Dieter’s Breakfast Breakthrough Idea. Ready? Are you sure? ‘Cause I could build up to it a little more, and —

get on with it

OK, OK! Anyway, my big breakthrough idea this morning was – if you’ve decided to count calories, but are having trouble reconciling yourself to the idea of not being able to eat all that great stuff you were used to having for breakfast – why not have them all, BUT HAVE EACH ONE ON A SEPARATE DAY?

In other words, a week-long Big Breakfast, divided into five days!

Make a list of all the stuff you enjoy having for breakfast and know you’d really, really miss if you had to give it up completely. For example:

  1. Bacon
  2. Eggs
  3. French Toast
  4. Toast smeared with butter and jam
  5. Piping hot cinnamon roll

OK – now here’s the great news. YOU CAN STILL HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS! Just not all on the same day!

So let’s say it’s Monday (and what a coincidence – it is!). You’ve made your list of My Top 5 Favorite Breakfast Thingies That I’ve Always Enjoyed In One Big Meal (or MTFFBTTIAEIOBM, for those who like acronyms).

Now, just pick ONE THING from that list – and have it for breakfast, today. Yes, before you dot another “i,” Bob Cratchit!

scrooge

Tomorrow, pick another thing from your list – then Wednesday, another – and so forth and so on, etcetera etcetera – till you get to the end of the week. At which point, you will have had ALL the breakfast thingies you love so very, very much – and you can REALLY feel good and virtuous, because you haven’t had them all every day!

yay

Look at you, cutting out a whole bunch of calories every day without giving up the foods you love! Aren’t you wonderful? Yes, you are!

I mean, OK, you still need to check the calories on the stuff you’re having, and make sure you don’t feel so virtuous you overstuff yourself at lunchtime to make up for it. But still, if big breakfasts are a big problem for you, why not give it a try?

Who knows — MTFFBTTIAEIOBM may just become the new diet buzzword of the decade!

acronym

Or, maybe not!

Either way — hope you have a FANTASTIC Monday!

(Unused pingback of the day: Planet)

A few Friday quickies!

When I started this blog, I imagined writing long posts, maybe (in my incredible optimism) even one per day.

Well, rather than wait for inspiration to strike, today I’m going to emulate Amy Welborn’s weekly “7 Quick Takes” over at Charlotte was Both, and just do a post with a few short, pithy* observations, comments, and whatnot.

  1. Happy first day of Fall! Yes, the leaves have started turning gorgeous colors (even out here in Southern California); the temperatures have been dropping (57 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, brr!!); and most importantly, the Christmas decorations are showing up at the drugstores. So we know it’s coming, right? The dreaded Holiday Season (aaughh!!) which causes so much angst to so many (and not just us dieters!).

    holiday
    But be of good cheer – one of the advantages of getting older is that time seems to pass a lot more quickly. Before you know it, it’ll be Spring again (aaughh!!).

    swimsuit

  2. In Praise of Fake Foods: Again, I was gonna do a whole blog post on this, and in fact, maybe I will, in the future. But yesterday I had a couple of completely fake slices of “vegan cheese,” and I just have to say, they were actually not too bad. A little oily-tasting (engine, not vegetable), but there was enough of a hint of a taste of actual cheese in it to satisfy my Cheese Lust, for a few minutes, anyway. So yay fake cheese, I guess (but not for too much longer!).
    cheese|
  3. My husband is freaking out, on an almost daily basis, about the fact that our venerable old Weight Watchers digital scale (which, I’d like to point out, HE selected and purchased) is slightly inaccurate. Actually, it’s INCREDIBLY inaccurate. And not in a good way, like the even older analog scale which it replaced, which you could easily readjust (downwards) by sliding the little metal lever at the back just a li-t-t-l-e bit to the right. No, this one goes UP by two or three pounds, within a matter of seconds. I keep telling him to just do the weigh-yourself-every-day-and-only-count-the-average method, and he says he does, but he still freaks out. I sense some new scales in our future.

    scales2

  4. I’m doing pretty well with my exercise promises. This week, I did nice long walks (at least 30 minutes) on Tuesday and Thursday, and plan to do another one tomorrow (Saturday), for my bare minimum of three days a week. Now, I know a lot of fitness gurus out there say we should be doing this kind of thing every day. Well, I don’t know about you, but most of my “keeping commitments” energy is spent on remembering to brush and floss every day. So exercising three days a week isn’t too shabby, if you ask me!

    floss

  5. Right now, I’m cooking a really yummy-smelling lunch: no-egg-yolk pasta, topped with just a sprinkling of cheese (the real, non-crankcase kind!), tuna, frozen veggies, and lots and lots and LOTS of garlic and onion powder. Mmm! (And yeah, I’ll definitely be brushing and flossing afterwards!)

    garlic

OK, that’s it – my Friday Five! Hope your first day of Fall is a scintillating one. (Dare I say it might be a good time to turn over a new leaf? Hee hee!)

(*watch your pronunciation there!)

Weekly Weigh-in: I’m losing – but where is it going?

The good news is, I’ve lost again – this week’s weigh-in is:

231.7

scales

Which is great and glorious! I certainly don’t mean to sound churlish. It’s just that I’m a bit puzzled. See, I’m also checking my measurements – waist, hips, etc. – as well as the pounds. And none of those measurements has budged, even a fraction of an inch.

So … where are all those pounds disappearing FROM?

It’s a mystery, that’s for sure. Not as much of a mystery as what happened to Tony Soprano, or what the h-e-double-toothpicks was going on at the end of “Twin Peaks: The Return” (don’t worry, no spoilers!).

sopranos 2

And the funny thing is, even though the measurements haven’t budged, I’ve been able to get back into some of my “skinny clothes” (well, skinni-ER – from a 3X to a 1X in skirt size, for example).

Yet the tape measure shows everything’s the same. Weirdorama, huh?

Oh well, I’m sure they’ll turn up SOMEWHERE. Hopefully not in a landfill in New Jersey, like some of Tony’s “pals.” (Can you tell I’ve been binge-watching “The Sopranos” again?)

sopranos

Anyway, as long as the numbers on the scale are going down, I’m happy!

So how’s YOUR week been going? What challenges are you facing this week? Let me know in the comments!

sopranos 3

The First Temptation of Me!

It’s a thorny question amongst diet gurus: do you completely avoid fast food, or just try to keep it in moderation?

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no easy answer. And today, I had my first (but not last, I’m sure!) major food temptation since starting this calorie counting stuff.

See, there’s this wonderful oil change place wayyyyy out in Eagle Rock, California (45 minutes from my home, on a good day), who’s been doing my oil changes for about – wow, 20 years now, I guess. (They’re REALLY good, and no, I’m not telling you who they are, ’cause they’re MINE ALL MINE!)

Anyway, I only go there about once every 5,000 miles, or 6 months, whichever comes first. And last time I went there, I hadn’t started doing this calorie counting stuff.

But today – well, let’s just say that while I was sitting there, waiting for them to finish my oil change, I started thinking about … fried chicken.

drumstick

And not just ANY fried chicken – but the best fried chicken in the known universe:

church's

See, I used to go to Church’s ALL THE TIME when I lived in Altadena, many, many years ago. This particular location, in fact. And it was always sooo good – juicy, crunchy, mmm mmm. (And no, this isn’t an ad for Church’s Fried Chicken – I’ve had the same issues with KFC and Popeye’s. Just not recently, and definitely not today!)

Anyway, I sat there thinking about it – and thinking about it – and when my car was ready, and I got in, somehow the car TOOK OVER and insisted on driving into Pasadena, to that Church’s, and FORCED me to buy their Thursday 3-piece chicken special for $2.99! It was horrible, I tells ya!

Heh heh. Okay – of course, the car didn’t “force” me to do anything (other than shell out $35 for the oil change). And of course, I was in complete control at all time.

But the thing is, since I’m counting calories, I knew it was up to me. I have 1,500 calories per day to “spend” on whatever I want. So far, I’d used 300 calories on breakfast. So if I wanted to give in to my “food nostalgia,” and spend up to 800 calories on a gooey, juicy, crunchy fried chicken lunch, that was up to me.

Fortunately, there were a couple of mitigating factors, which I hadn’t been aware of the last time (times!) I’d been here:

  1. Church’s has calorie information right on their menus now (and on Google too), so I could get a better idea of exactly how many calories I was getting.
  2. Even if they didn’t, lots of folks at MyFitnessPal.com and other calorie counting apps have put that information out, even providing calories per drumstick, thigh, wing, etc.
  3. A very sensible person named Shannon Sorrels, whose book, “Then Just Stay Fat,” inspired me to do what I’m doing now, points out that just because you *buy* the food doesn’t mean you have to *eat* all of it. It’s OK to throw it away. What a concept, right? Throwing away food – almost sounds sinful!

    But she’s right – and after looking up the calorie info on the three pieces I’d bought, I kept the two drumsticks (which totaled about 300 calories) and tossed the big giant (yummy looking) breast without a second thought. (OK, without a third thought!!)

  4. And finally – there’s always EXERCISE! Even though I was reasonably sure I’d kept the calories down to a manageable level, I stopped on the way home at beautiful Griffith Park, and worked off about 100 calories on a leisurely stroll through Travel Town.

travel

So, it all worked out OK. But let me tell you, if that’s a preview of the kind of temptations I’m going to be dealing with, I’m either going to have to develop WAY better willpower – or find an oil change place closer to home!

blog-68-copy

Kate Curtis, “Clues to Life” (https://cluestolife.wordpress.com/)

 

A somber Weigh-In Day

I’m going to keep this a bit short, as I’m on my way to a 9/11 observance.

However, it’s a good number this morning – ready?

233.7

scales

Last week was 235.1, so that means I’m right on track for losing the sacred one to two pounds a week, as recommended by all the top legit scientists, dieticians, nutritionists, MyFitnessPal, fake would-be diet gurus, and of course, Richard Simmons (bless his heart).

richard

So it’s a good day!

Of course, it’s also 9/11 Remembrance Day, hence the “somber” part of my blog title.

And of course, as pretty much everyone over five years of age will for the rest of their lives, I do remember EXACTLY where I was and what I was doing on that fateful day.

However, I’ve decided this is the year to start looking forward, not backward. We live in a world of troubles, and there’s not much any one of us can do about it, except clear our own paths, and make the world a little better for the people around us.

So that’s what I’m gonna try to do today. How about you?

(Unused Pingback Word of the Day: Sympathy)

Breakfast of Champions

You’re SUPPOSED to have breakfast.

Right? You’ve heard it before, I’m sure. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” “dieters should NEVER skip breakfast,” etc., etc.

Yeah, we get it. Only what we HEAR, with our “fat ears” (TM Shannon Sorrels) is, “Go to Denny’s and have the Monster Slam! And don’t skimp on the French toast!”

Well, calm down! You’re on a calorie budget, remember? Don’t spend it all on breakfast, or you’ll be in Oliver Twist mode by suppertime!

Plus, come on – not everyone is a morning person, and not every stomach can deal with a whole bunch of food comin’ at it, first thing in the morning.

It’s OK to just have a teeny tiny breakfast! Really, it is! (pat pat, console console) Just have a little somethin’ somethin’ before you head out the door, and have a nice big lunch later on.

My husband can’t deal with anything more than a glass of water and a Trader Joe’s Organic Pop Tarts (200 calories), and that works for him.

Me, I like a little more bang for my caloric buck, so here’s my breakfast this morning:

Coffe with one tablespoon of whipping cream & artificial sweetener (50 calories)

String cheese (70 calories)

Mini box of raisins (45 calories)

Yoplait Light Blueberry (90 calories)

… for a grand total of 255 calories. Not as much as that Grand Artery Slam I used to have on a regular basis, but enough to get my tummy and my brain woken up and alert, so I can face the day ahead.

And since our kitty apparently had a little “accident” on our freshly washed sheets during the night – I’m gonna need all the alertness I can muster!

(p.s. unused pingback of the day: Anticipate)