Quick Low(er) Calorie Trick or Treat ideas

Hey, everyone! If you’re one of those people who hesitates to buy Halloween candy for those adorable li’l trick or treaters who’ll be pounding at your door tonight, because you KNOW, you just KNOW, there won’t be as many as last year, and you’ll have to muster all your willpower to keep from scarfing them all down yourself — don’t panic! I’ve got some helpful hints for you. (Granted, it’s a little late in the day, but c’mon — it’s free! You get what you pay for, ya know.)

Anyway, the #1 best way to avoid being triggered by your treats is super easy: just buy stuff you HATE.

Me, I absolutely can’t stand even the basic concept behind Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (peanut butter and chocolate? Brrr – now THAT’S ghoulish!)

Tip #2 is, get stuff you like, but get GOOD stuff. Low calorie stuff. It’s out there, really! You just have to look beyond the “candy” aisle. Here’s what my Trick or Treat bowls look like:

Just two simple treats that you can indulge in (relatively) guilt-free:


Tootsie Roll Midgees, 5 for 120 calories. (25 calories each, if I did the math right.) Even if you scarf down 10 that’s STILL less than your standard candy bar – and mmm, are they good! (A bit chewy, though, so take out your dentures first, Gramps.)



Check it out – cute little boxes of raisins! Nature’s candy, y’all! I got the generic store brand, but Sunkist has ’em too, and at about 40 calories a box, they’ll satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

(Important: don’t cram the Tootsie Rolls AND the raisins together in your mouth at the same time. See, raisins get stuck in caramel, and… you know what? Just trust me on this.)

Thus endeth my Halloween tips for 2017! Hope you have a BOO-tiful evening!


It’s Bloggerin’ Time! Starring Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in!


Good morning, campers!
Rise and shine!
‘Cause once again
It’s Weekly Weigh-in Time!

Ready? Here we go!


Wow! So even with all my illicit road trip meals of KFC and restaurant mac ‘n cheese, I STILL managed to lose almost two pounds? Sweet!

It’s all about the calories, folks! Just keep countin’ ’em, every day, and let the laws of physics do their magic!


That’s it for today! Hope you have a great Monday!

(Oh, and happy birthday to my fellow dieter, hubby Steve! I stopped by an antique mall in Phoenix and got him some non-digital scales, for those times when the digitals seem to be going nuts. These are the kind where you can just turn the wheel a little bit to calibrate – and perhaps cheat a little, if you’re having a bad day. He loves it!)

hubby steve

Even though, being powder blue and obviously made for a giggling teenage girl, it may be a little too fluffy for his big manly feet!


Friday Five: 4 Food Ideas for your Hotel Fridge, and One to Avoid

Hey, everyone – this’ll be my first Friday Five written entirely on my smartphone, with my travel-weary thumbs, so yay for me! I assume you’ll forgive the occasional, inevitable tpyo.

Anyhoo, if you do any travelling, and you’re counting calories, you might want to stock up on these. Each has less than 100 calories, and are really good for when you don’t feel like putting $5 worth of change in the hotel vending machine for some salty chips that have 400 calories per bag and aren’t good for you anyway.

1. Buddig Deli Slices – prepackaged turkey, beef, ham, or chicken. 9 slices per package, 90 calories per bag. Sure, they’re frowned on by health & wellness gurus, but since I’m not one of those, who cares?

2. String cheese. Lots of different brands to choose from here, some better than others. My personal fave is Frigos Light CheeseHeads. They’re only 50 calories each, and they’re super stringy, which makes them load of fun to nosh on while reading a good book by the pool.

3. Next in line is good ol’ reliable Yoplait Light Yogurt. There are lots of good flavors to choose from, and grocery stores often give great discounts if you buy in bulk. My personal fave flavors are Cherry, Vanilla, and Key Lime, mmm! Nice for breakfast in the room when you don’t feel like trudging down to the flimsy hotel continental breakfast.

4. Diet soda. Oh yeah, it’s bad for you. Pure poison. Dieters beware, am I right? Well, tough turkeys. I know I’m going to want some at some point, and again, why pay extra at the vending machine which doesn’t even work half the time? Buy your own and savor the illicit fizz.

5. Here’s one thing I DON’T recommend you stock up on, or at least don’t buy more than one: frozen dinners, like this:

Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a few on hand just in case you don’t feel like leaving the room at all? (Because who doesn’t love staying in hotel rooms for days on end, right?) Here’s the problem: where do you PUT ’em? Check out the fridge in my room:

Notice anything missing? Yeah, that’s right: no freezer compartment. And the thing is, I’ve stayed at this particular hotel about a thousand million times over the last 20 years, and you just can’t predict whether a fridge will have a freezer or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It’s the luck of the draw.

And even when they do, it’s just that tiny little shelfie thing that you can’t fit more than one  frozen dinner into, and don’t even think about trying to shove any ice cream in there too. 

Let’s face it: Hotel fridges kinda suck. So take my advice, and stick to the little refrigerator-type snacks. They’ll keep better, and they’re better for you.

And the whole experience will just make you that much happier to get home, so it’s all good.

How about you? What are some of your favorite – or not-so-favorite – road foods?

(And today’s unused pingback is: Orange!)

Weekly Weigh-In, and I’m Off!

Rise and shine, campers! It’s Monday, and you know what that means!


That’s right! Grab your coffee, and gaze in awe at my Rhymin’ Monday Weigh-in! Ready? Here ’tis:

Yippee, honeybee!
Let’s raise a cacophony!*


Gotta love those WordPress prompts!

(*Hey, YOU try finding a rhyme for “223” – there’s not as many as you’d think.)

So what are you up to this week? Me, I’m gettin’ ready to hit the road and visit some family members. I think I’m ready. Hang on.

archer drinking

Just a little more!

Yeah – I’m ready! OK, folks, that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll post a little more often this week, too! Well – we’ll see.

we'll see

Aww, not always!

Have a great week, and remember: rhymes are a GOOD thing! Yes they are!


Stop looking at me like that!

Friday Five – More Pingback Fun!

Today’s Friday Five is basically just a bunch of random thoughts, in which I’ve subtly incorporated miscellaneous WordPress Daily Prompts from the past week or so, because why not?

  1. When your body releases weight, where exactly does it go? I assume a lot of it goes here:

    But as Rhoda on the old “Mary Tyler Moore Show” once speculated, maybe some of it just kind of floats around in the air, waiting for us to succumb to the allure of that giant chocolate donut.


  2. I can’t express how grateful I am that you’re reading this blog! Not that it takes much bravery to read a blog. I mean, basically you just have to bookmark it, and/or follow whatever prompt it was that led you here. So it’s not super-risky or anything. Basically, you’re just moving a finger or two. Still, at this time of the morning, even moving a finger can be difficult. It’s nice of you to do it, and your loyalty is much appreciated. Thanks!
    (All right, ENOUGH!! Someone’s gonna get hurt!)
  1. Hey, next week I’m going on a trip! Yes, I’m throwing some old clothes into my old clunker car and driving across the desert to beautiful, shopping-mall-infested Phoenix, Arizona! Should be fun, huh? Well, we’ll see. It’ll be my first opportunity to “road-test” my calorie-counting diet, so I’ll keep you posted if any interesting challenges pop up along the way.
    road trip
  2. The biggest challenge I had this past week wasn’t the diet, but the exercise. Every day, I planned to go out and do a walk, or lift some weights. And every day, I found an excuse to succumb (sorry!) to the allure of a good book and/or a comfy chair. Still, the nice thing about doing diet AND exercise is that if you slack off on one, you’ve still got the other, to keep you balanced.
  1. I’m debating whether to take the old Weight Watchers scales with me on my trip. Most hotels don’t put scales in their bathrooms (their insurance probably won’t cover the damage from enraged road-food munchers), so it’d make it a little easier for me to weigh myself daily, as I’ve been doing.Or I could just go rogue — wait till I get home, and do a one-off once-a-week-just-for-this-week-only weigh-in. I’ll probably make the decision at the last possible second, based solely on whether or not I remember to actually take the scales with me, or just drop them in the desert somewhere on the way.

That’s it – thanks, everyone! See you on the other side of the weekend!

Weekly Weigh-In, and Non-Scale Benchmarks

Good morning, loyal followers! I’m happy to report this week’s weigh-in is:


which means the ol’ Weight Loss Train is chuggin’ along nicely! Still not seeing the measurements budge, which is weird because I’m SEEING (and FEELING) some significant differences. For example:

  • Clothes that have been uncomfortably tight for a couple of years are suddenly loose and comfy again!
  • Going up and down the choir loft stairs at church no longer involves panting, wheezing, and inability to continue singing after Communion without sucking down half a bottle of water!
  • Rising from comfy armchairs is no longer a slow, well-choreographed ballet designed specifically to avoid damaging arms of chairs (or knees of me!)!
  • Underarm “wings” still there, but no longer seem quite as aerodynamically sound!

So, in spite of the maddening refusal of the tape measure to echo my optimism, things are still looking pretty good!

What are some non-scale type benchmarks YOU look for when you’re losing weight?

Friday Five: Books You’ve Gotta Read!

Hey, everyone – welcome once again to my Friday Five!

This week, I thought I’d do something a little different, and share with you five of my all-time favorite diet/weight-loss books.

These are books I’ve really, truly enjoyed reading, more than once – not just for “nuts and bolts” diet info, but for inspiration, laughs, and – well, fun! Because you need some fun, when you’re dieting. You also need to know you’re not in this alone.

So, without further ado, here’s my Friday Five Book Review:

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl by Shauna ReidDietgirl
    First published in 2008, this is a collection of Shauna’s posts from her original blog, in which she chronicled, in a charming Aussie accent, her attempts to lose weight (notated in stones rather than pounds), but oh, my friends, it’s so much more than that! It’s about family, friends, and finding true love when you least expect it. (AND weight loss – it’s in there too, trust me!)

    (Try to get a copy of the original edition, if you can (love those stones!), but even in its Americanized version, it retains its charms.)

    Shauna said goodbye to “Dietgirl” in 2014, and started a new blog, ShaunaReid.com. In a recent post there, Shauna says she no longer thinks of herself as “Dietgirl.” Hey, I get it! I called myself “Chrissy the Stooges Woman” for WAYYYY longer than I should have. At some point we all outgrow our Internet personas. But that’s cool. “Dietgirl” was there when I needed her – and her wonderful book is waiting for you, too!

  1. The No-S Diet by Reinhard Engels
    no s diet
    This is a really short, really simple concept developed by an engineer named Reinhard Engels. Here’s all it is:No Snacks
    No Sweets
    No Seconds
    Except (sometimes) on days that start with “S” (Saturdays, Sundays, and “special” days)

    Now, even though it’s such an easy concept you could recite it in your sleep (almost), the book is well worth reading, too. Although the weight loss is really, really slow, it’s a fantastic behavior modification tool, perfect for anyone who’s a nonstop snacker. Stick with it, and you’ll learn to love it.

    And I did love it – for about six months. However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, during this past summer, it got really, really hot, and I really, really wanted some “S’s” in the form of ice cream. Fortunately, one day, I stumbled across my next choice in my Kindle Unlimited recommendations:

  1. Then Just Stay Fat by Shannon Sorrels
    then just stay fatShannon Sorrels is a mysterious soul, cloaked in secrecy, seemingly without any sort of Internet presence at all. I’ve looked high and low, and she doesn’t seem to have a blog or a website*. So there’s no way to let her know how much her championing of basic, no-nonsense calorie counting has impressed me. I started tracking my calories, and it’s made a huge difference – as you can tell by my weight loss stats over there on the right.

    Shannon states the case for calorie counting very simply and forcefully. If you need a good kick in the pants, this is the one you want!

    (*I did find a Facebook page for the book. It hasn’t been updated since December 2016, but hey, it’s better than nothing!)

  1. Calorie Accounting by Mandy Levy
    calorie accountingThis is the EXACT same concept as “Then Just Stay Fat” – basic, no-nonsense calorie counting. The difference is Mandy Levy herself! She describes herself as “an Emmy-winning writer, comedian, and karaoke enthusiast,” and that’s quite a winning combination of talents.

    I recommend you get the oversized paperback, rather than the Kindle version, because Mandy’s book is just so bright and cheerful and colorful that it makes you smile just looking at it! She’s like the bouncy cheerleader big sister you never knew you needed. I love her attitude, her cheerfully nutty photos, and her love for totally fake foods.

    I don’t agree with all of them (the Zero Calorie Noodles are definitely an acquired taste!), but it’s nice to find someone else who shares my illicit love for I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter Spray!

  2.  A Walk In the Woods, by Bill Bryson
    bryson walkOkay, you got me – this is definitely NOT a diet or weight-loss book! However, it’s a wonderful, often funny, sometimes terrifying (bears, eek!) book about a couple of guys who decide to walk the Appalachian Trail, and have all sorts of wonderful, often funny, sometimes terrifying adventures before they pretty much give up. The movie version starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte is pretty awesome, too – plus it features the great Kristen Schaal in the small but hilarious role of Mary Ellen, who was apparently the most annoying woman on the planet.
    Anyway, the main reason I mention it here is that reading this and other books about ordinary schlubs heading out to the wilderness to walk for miles and miles and miles every day is, it motivates ME to get up out of my comfy recliner and go for a walk. Maybe just around the block, or down the street to the library. But hey – walking is good, so whatever it takes, right?
    exercise block

Let me know in the comments what some of YOUR favorite weight-loss books are. I’ve got a library card, so I’ll definitely (dare I say it??) check them out (yes, I dared!!)!

Weekly Weigh-in, and didja ever notice …

Weekly weigh-in:

Damn straight!*

(*Thought it’d be fun to start conveying my weights in rhyme. We’ll see how it goes.)

Anyway … since “60 Minutes” reruns don’t appear on Netflix or Hulu (as far as I know), the headline I chose is only going to make sense to those of my readers who are of, ahem, “a certain age.” Anyone else remember this guy?


That’s right, good ol’ loveable curmudgeon Andy Rooney! Remember how much fun it was when we’d gather around the ol’ Philco on a Sunday night, snuggled up with our hot cocoa and teddy bears, chuckling together, as a nation, at those pearls of wisdom that dropped from ol Andy’s eyebrows? It was a magical time, I tell ya!


Anyway, I was SURE I was going to have a weight GAIN this morning, and I was all set to do my best Andy Rooney imitation. (“Didja ever notice how we always seem to GAIN weight on Mondays? Wonder why that is?” [bites into leftover church doughnuts] “I think it’s a plot, myself.”)

But in spite of my slight indulgence of yesterday (sugar donuts, mmm!) I still managed to drop a couple of pounds (well, technically, less than two … let’s see, 228.1 minus 226.8, one minus eight equals 11 – 8, = 3, carry the one … ugh, math on Monday is the WORST!).


(Right, Joseph Nebus?)


So maybe it’s like that wonderful, anonymous genius over at aworkoutroutine.com posted last month – an occasional indulgence will NOT destroy your diet! As long as it’s just once in a while, and not every day, the OCCASIONAL sugar donut is probably okay.

So … I’m no longer going to worry about those dreaded “church donuts” again. And neither should you! I mean, within reason. Don’t eat the whole box. That’s just rude, and your fellow worshippers might be a bit miffed.


And frankly, I wouldn’t blame them one single bit!

That’s it for today, I believe! Hope you all have a wonderful Monday, and a great week!

Friday Five: It’s already October??

Hi, everyone! Time once again for my “Friday Five” – here we go!

1. If you haven’t already encountered it, do whatever you can to get access to any episodes you can find of the great Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas,” created by a comic genius named Brett Butt (yes, it’s his real name!). Specifically, look for an episode called “Blog River,” in which Brett’s best pal Hank starts a blog – and can’t get anyone to read it! I don’t know about you, but there are times when I TOTALLY identify with Hank! Ah, yes, blogging is a lonely life …


And by the way, you can still read Hank’s Blog, “Hank Talkin’,” here at WordPress!

2. Walking is great exercise. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s good for your joints, it’s mildly calorie-burning, and you can save gas by walking to the store instead of driving there. So why can’t I make myself go out and walk every day? Huh? Huh? You tell me.


3. It’s October 6. That means it’s LESS THAN THREE MONTHS TILL CHRISTMAS AAAAHHH!! And I haven’t even started to THINK about Christmas shopping. (Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve thought about OTHER people shopping for ME! nyuk nyuk!)


4. After weeks of complaining, my husband bought some new bathroom scales! They’re actually pretty nice. What I like about them is that the numbers are HUGE, they light up, and they STAY there on the screen long enough for me to step off, lean over, and read them, squinting. (I don’t always have my glasses on, first thing in the morning.) But I must admit, I feel a little sorry for the ol’ WW scales, leaning there against the wall, forlorn, forgotten … they did the best they could, poor things …


5. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? If not, you should seriously consider moving. They have these delicious, juicy Mahi Mahi burgers that are super-easy to prepare, yummy as all get-out, and only 110 calories each! Now, I personally hate the actual experience of SHOPPING there – not to mention parking! For some reason, they always seem to have the WORST parking lots.


However, my husband loves it, so I make sure he always has a nice long list. If you’ve got someone in your life you can con — er, I mean, convince! — to shop there for you, make sure those Mahi Mahi burgers are on your list!


That’s all, folks! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday for the Weekly Weigh-in!