Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Body and Mind Connection

I am firmly convinced that what goes on in your heart and mind eventually ends up on your lips and hips. I don't buy the message we constantly hear that "fat" equals misery. Our culture, to make up for the fact that we consume the most and contribute the least to the planet, has to pay for the good life, it seems, with guilt. So, rather than sitting back and counting our blessings, and actually sharing our joy, we berate ourselves for eating that Nanaimo bar at a bridal shower, or actually eating a potato chip or two. We block the flow with our own negativity. Out with that nonsense I say! I am going to bring in the new year with firm resolve to enjoy every morsel of food that I choose to put into my mouth! I can no longer afford to eat what someone else thinks I should. I insist on eating what I want, and what my body needs.

Whether you count calories, or points, you have to have a plan. Like any successful budget, you have to save to spend, and when you spend? Don't settle for second best! Let the chocolate be Belgian, the bread be fresh and full of whole grains, and the wine be only the very best I can afford! We were given wonderful senses, the best of which is common. Lets use it to fuel our bodies to live the best life we can.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Jack and Jill Shower

This was the best shower I have ever attended. The baby was adorable, the new parents radiant, and the most important thing of stupid shower games! Everyone had a good time visiting, and of course, there was a wonderful selection of food on the buffet. I use the "Forest Gump life is a box of chocolates" method to work through the buffet. I send the husband to gather, and then I pick and choose from his plate, taking a little bite of this, and all of that because I like it! We had a light supper of soup and crackers to allow for the extra calories, so it was a relatively guilt free evening. Actually, my hubby is very tolerant of my new eating habits, and readily accepts that he is my human garbage disposal. Everything from samples at Costco to actual boxed chocolates get my "nibble and leave the rest" approach. I like to taste different things, but I really don't want to commit to a whole sample, you know!

Back to the shower.....the highlight of the evening was seeing my son cradle his new neice to his chest and calm her with a few expert pats to the back. Within seconds, she was snuggled up and purring! Ah, my turn is coming. But I am awfully young to be a Gramma, so I am prepared to wait...maybe another month or so?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Food, wonderful food...

Did you know that you could have 35 Jelly Bellies for only 140 calories? That is quite the sugar rush! I guess that is what WW means when they say lifestyle change! Why deny yourself the little beggars when they weigh in so lightly, and pack such a great flavour punch! Of course, I am eating the black ones first, and plan on sending the rest home with the kid. It will make the miles pass quickly, to have something sweet to munch on. And best to get them out of the house while I am still able to resist their charms! Besides, the black ones will all be gone by Saturday!

Things are very quiet on the home front today. We had leftovers for supper, and a quick baked potato made the meal fresh. Sobey's carries bison now, and what a calorie and fat bargain that is! Much better than beef. I made meatballs out of ground bison a couple of days ago, and they just got better in the refrigerator! Lingonberries made a great accompaniment, with canned corn for the vegetable. The best part of all, is that hubby reheated everything, and "delivered" it to my chair. Ah, life is good.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I can hardly wait for the new year...

when everything returns to normal! There wasn't a parking spot to be had at the mall, and by some miracle, Costco was the quietest place to be today. So, off we went on a grocery shopping adventure.

I bought Jelly Belly Beans that are 35 for 140 calories, but will give me a shot of sugar in increments of five. And how much nicer they are than those tablets they sell at the drug store! There are some benefits to this disease, and Jelly Bellies are one of them! We found two bright polo shirts for Rick for the cruise in March, as well. Hmmmm....bread, eggs, polo shirts, Jelly Belly Beans.....what more could you ask for on the 26th of December? A PARKING SPOT WOULD BE NICE!!!!!

Yesterday, we straightened out the family room to squeeze in the old living room furniture, and to my surprise, it actually looks quite nice. Pete stopped by for a few minutes this morning to say hello. I think it is lonelier having him in town, and not with us than it is having him so far away. I extracted a promise from him to stay with us next time, as it will be our turn! You never really know what loneliness is, until you have a child and they have the nerve to grow up, marry and leave home! Life ceases to spin at that whirlwind pace, you have time to wash your own clothes first, do your nails and hair....oh my, have I come to this?

Ah well, one soldiers on. Tonight is going to be a mystery meal. It will be a mystery what it will be! Sticking with the meat, potatoes and a vegetable seems to be working for me, so I guess it will be something along those lines. I have a flat of Nanaimo Bars in the kitchen for a shower we are attending on Friday night, so it will be a struggle to keep the man's hot little fingers off of them. Ah well. Better them than me! Did I mention that for two old people we have far too much time on our hands?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

5:30 AM

And another day started with a sugar crisis. I am getting so tired of this! It seems I can't do a thing without encountering low blood sugars that lay me flat. Having to eat around a disease is such a pain in the neck. I don't see how I would eat any differently if I didn't do Weight Watchers as it is pretty much a habit now. But it is scary to wake up in a cold sweat and find out that your sugars are so low that the glucometer goes off like a fire alarm in a bathroom at a ZZ Top concert. What a pain.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A new year is around the corner - which makes this

the time to clean out files, tidy the office and purge old magazines. A lot of the magazines deal with "diet" tips, which I find quite useless. I know the tips. Have I not read them a million times? But still, I have been in a holding pattern for a long time now. Nothing is shifting. It is infuriating to say the least. But I am determined to stay the course, no matter what.

Perhaps shaking things up a bit will do the trick. Since bread is a killer for me, out it goes. Whether it is within points or not, it just doesn't seem to do this body good. So, more vegetables, less bread. And salt. Oh how I love salt. Say goodbye. Sigh.

This is not going according to the flow chart that I set up at the beginning of all of this!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Busy Day

Doing nothing in particular, and everything in general. We even had time for a nap this afternoon!

Our big outing was to Staples. I love stationery stores. Could spend hours in there ! But, this afternoon, for some reason, my sugars dropped like a stone while I was shopping. I grabbed a can of cookies, so I could have a quick snack in the car, but wouldn't you know it? They were sugar free! Now, those were no use at all considering the circumstances. It took me awhile to figure out why I wasn't feeling any better, but by that time I had eaten four of the useless things. A bit of gleaning in the car turned up a chocolate in the glove box, and that was enough to see me home, where I snacked on some nuts in the shell and a banana. Have no idea how many points the nuts had, as I have no idea what the nuts were called! Just regular mixed ones that come out this time of year. I really have to learn to carry something with me for emergencies that won't kill the points for the day. Any ideas about portable sugar boosters that won't throw me off the rails for the week? Ah well. It is a great life if you don't weaken! I will live to fight another day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday past...

in a flurry of relaxation! We had a leisurely breakfast, then ventured out to shop. We came home with a bottle of bitter lemon for my Tanguaray Ten and a "fizz keeper" cap for opened pop bottles. We are the wild ones!

Our mission was checking out the prices to have some paintings reframed. I was blown away by the cost of this. Out of curiosity, I checked the internet to see if the artist ever amounted to anything (to merit the hefty price for the reframing!) and WHOA NELLY! The man has done incredibly well. So, looks like the framer is getting our dough in February because these babies are definitely not duds! They say that you should buy paintings that you love, and this really was the case when we stumbled across Michael Zurowsky's work in Ottawa in 1981. We bought everything we could at the time, because it was impossible to choose which I loved the most. For years, they have languished in storage as they were watercolours that couldn't be hung in direct sunlight. I didn't want to risk losing one bit of their brightness and I blush to admit that they didn't "match" our decor. Since I have a policy to "use it" or "lose it" I thought it was high time to use these! With the expensive month we have had, I can't really spring to have them reframed now, but I will do it when the framer has a sale in February. There are four paintings, and a 30% savings will really help the shock when the bill is totalled! I think it will be worth waiting for!

Anyway, after checking out four framers, and finding out the best one is right in our backyard, we went to supper. Fish and chips. I couldn't stop myself. Sooooo good. We had scallops for an appetizer, a side salad and the biggest portion of fish and chips I have ever seen in my life. Three large pieces of halibut. My favourite fish. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and just enjoy the moment. I munched my way through half of it, and have half sitting in the frig to feed the hungry hubby for supper. I will be good and make myself a bit of chicken, and stay within my point levels to atone for blowing them out of the water yesterday!

I wonder if changing to the core plan would work? I am a little tired of all the counting, but I really can't feature living without bread, butter, or treats, as you must when doing core .....but I wonder...okay. Done. Can't do it! Just have to pull up my socks and behave!

Monday, December 17, 2007

How could I have forgotten...

that Rick has holidays this week? It is hard to tell because he is down working in his office...sure seems like a regular day to me! But we are planning on being footloose and fancy free this week. We will be able to eat all of our meals at home, and on program. Whoopee! The only major outing I expect in the next little while is our anniversary supper on the 29th...which, if I have my way, will be a lunch at the Keg! Love their steaks, but too rich for an evening meal for me. I need to walk it off after eating!

I am still stuck in this plateau...still working the program, but nothing is happening. I have been really active (for me!) lately, so activity levels are good...don't count the points though!

So, for awhile, I am considering going on the meat, veg and potato plan. That always does this body good, and it is easier to fill the old fella up on that menu too!

The kids will be here soon, and I am fighting the urge to bake up a storm...of course, that will change as the day draws closer. Glenda likes oatmeal raisin cookies, and Peter can be bought off with anything chocolate, so maybe just two things....

I love this nesting time of year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I love my new and improved chicken sandwiches...

I have learned to double the filling and halve the bread since starting this program - with six slices of smoked turkey and a tablespoon of light mayo on whole wheat bread, my total comes in at five points for a very pleasing taste bud experience. It is good to have a comforting food today, because I am in dire need of solace! We have a dying furnace. The tragedy. This came completely out of the blue. Who would have guessed that a twelve year old house would have the furnace die so soon? Seems to me that these energy efficient things wear out sooner than the old types, so is it really energy efficient to have to replace a frig, stove or furnace after a such a short life span? Hmmmm. But like Rick says. It isn't a problem if you can throw money at it and it goes away. This has been one expensive month, that is for sure, and we are developing great pitching arms from exercising our problem solving abilities!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Was our destination for lunch today. The music was far too loud, the service was below standard BUT the salad was pretty good! It was the 'house' feta and cranberry with balsamic dressing. There was a touch of basil in the dressing, and a tomato flavour of sorts, just enough to make it pink! I must say that when I had this salad in Ontario, it was twice the size. When we finally were served, two people asked "how is your salad" before the first forkful went into our mouths. Good grief. Next time I am going to say "terrible" just to see if they actually bother to listen to replies to their inane queries.

Talk about disappointing. To lift our spirits, we wandered over to Wal-mart to buy goodies. I picked up some Weight Watcher caramel clusters. Little hint here folks. Don't eat six of them. They rank right up there in digestive tract effects with sugar free York patties and licorice sugar free oh my. I won't be leaving home tonight, I tell you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thirty five years ago today...

We met. Where has the time gone? And wherever it went,why did it take our figures with it? I have been having a hard time lately - I am 18 points over "budget" for the week. That is roughly 900 calories. Not earth shaking, but I am sure it will keep me from losing again this week. Sigh. At this point, I am trying to "maintain" and will be content with that. The weather is so cold that all we want to do is hibernate!

We are in for a flurry of activity during the next couple of weeks. The new furniture is coming on Saturday, and hopefully all will be well. We were very disappointed in the green plushy set, as the colours on each piece were very different, and drove me crazy. The new outfit is leather, so the variations in colour are expected. In the store, I assumed the nap position on the couch and it was heavenly! It will be delivered on Saturday, and we will be able to use our living room once again. It is hard not having our own furniture in the living room, and not being able to sit down after dinner to enjoy our tea! I don't want to damage it in any way until it is returned to the store, so that means just walking by it, until Saturday.

We have a few little renovations to do in the house this year, that I have been putting off. It is time to bite the bullet and make the mess. I am not looking forward to it at all..... but hopefully, the end results will justify the mess. We have some drywalling in the living room to do, and both bathrooms need new fixtures. First, paint from top to bottom, and then new flooring and appliances. Oh joy. But it will never get done if we don't get started. I like to pay as we go, so obviously progress will be slow! On the other hand, the way to eat an elephant, is one bite at a time, and a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.... remind me of that, will you? I can see being certifiably insane in the midst of all the coming commotion!

Oh, whatever. I need a nap.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Let them eat cake...

Whether she said that or not, it is likely this sentiment that kept Marie Antoinette able to zip up those tiny dresses. When there are so many goodies around in the stores this time of year, it is hard to pass by the ladies handing out samples of tasty high calorie goodies - turning this little phrase around in my head has helped me pass by a lot of temptation! Let them eat it! LOL

The weather is bitterly cold, but they say it will be warmer in the coming days. Who in their right mind, except people on the prairies would think of - 3º as a heat wave? I find that my body is having trouble keeping warm these days. I have taken to wearing socks (in the house and out) and layers under my coats. The coats are miraculously large enough to accommodate the extra layers these days, although the numbers on the scale refuse to budge much. None the less, I am staying the course. It will come off eventually. Day, after one more day, will pass. I started with high hopes, and a spreadsheet that calculated where I would be at certain times, and of course, I haven't been able to keep a steady loss. I am wondering if I should delete the "goal" column, or leave it there to remind me that you can not predict the future! The thing is that I am working the program, and doing what I can, when I can. That is good enough for me. And it does look like I will need the full 104 weeks to reach goal...and if it takes another 104 weeks after that, so what? It isn't like I ever want to eat another way. This is a great way to live, and once you get used to the point system? It really isn't complicated! Just time consuming, having all this food to consume in one day!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baby Picture

My new baby is here! Love it, love it, love it.
December 3, 2007 4 PM
Weight: 1470 kg
Length: 4325 mm

Up Down Up Down

Sigh. Up this week. And my sugar levels are misbehaving. Time to go back to the drawing board and see what I can do. Yesterday was not a good day...drove all the way to Costco and had my sugar drop like a stone. So, 4.5 point bottle of orange juice to the rescue. After analyzing the day, it was because I had WW cereal in the early morning when I woke up to that unpleasantness of low blood sugar. It would be so easy to manage sugars if I wasn't trying to keep the calories down! But, this is life as I know it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Supper was....

a stir fry served over Basmati rice. M MMMM good. And best of all, easy on the points. Stir fry around here usually means "frig gleaning" with a saucy attitude. Amazing how a little of this and a little of that will provide supper with very little effort!

Tonight, a chicken breast made a reappearance from last night - crispy coating and all. When not so gently tossed in a hot pan with six quartered mushrooms and a few bites of cauliflower, it made a very filling supper. Of course, it was topped with some toasted almonds and chunks of pineapple. The sauce was easy too...chicken broth thickened with cornstarch and jazzed up with staple sauces from the refrigerator. A little Hoisin, a little Rooster sauce, and shot of soy sauce can make anything taste wonderful! I don't know why I don't make this more often, as it really tickled my taste buds.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My Northern Experience

We are home from the north. There is no one in their right mind, that will travel to Thompson without a winter coat in December. So I am officially an idiot. When we left Thompson on Friday, I was wearing the same thing I had come to town in. My baggy grey track suit, and my little quilted jacket that is sooo comfy to wear in the car. To add warmth to this totally inadequate outfit, I added my fluffy microfiber blanket that thankfully I had tossed in the car at last minute in case of emergency. To add to the comfort level of this ensemble were my lovely chunky boots worn with thick athletic sox purloined from my son. They deserve special mention as the extra amount of material in the toe folded into the boot and formed a pleasant wad of cotton that applied pressure to my big toe for the entire seven hour car trip home.

We stopped at Timmy's on the way out of town, and I am sure passerbys thought there was a big pile of laundry in the front seat of our car! LOL But we did make it home in good time on Friday, and the weather was noticably warmer in Ashern when we stopped for lunch. I could actually eat without my mittens on! Mind you, we were in the restaurant.... I thought I would never be warm again.

Now, my big news is, that I found a new car! A socially irresponsible SUV. At this age, I can handle the criticism much easier than I can road hazzards. Of course, I am not planning on doing any off-roading...the closest I get to roughing it is to venture into Transcona to go to Costco. By the way? They opened the new Costco on Waverly, but the crowds are ridiculous at this point. December is a bad month in the stores, but add to that madness the element of a "NEW" store, and you have mayhem. We couldn't even benefit from Rick's handicap status on Sunday....let the cripples walk a mile is Costco's new motto, either that or every cripple in town was there....come to think of it, I think I was behind a few of them judging by the speed of molasses that they moved at!

So, now. This is supposed to be all about the WW experience. After a month of traveling, and the stress of shopping for a new vehicle during every waking moment, I didn't do very well. But this is all about behaviour mod right? And I did make good choices...just a few too many of them! I tried to remember to eat at regular intervals, but I haven't been good with water intake, or the oil thing either. Two areas that I really must improve on.

I am now safe and sound in my own well-stocked kitchen. Time to really buckle down and get going, plan a few menus and actually stick around home to eat them. Rick is off to a conference of some sort, so I am on my own for the next three days. I have so much to catch up on in the house, that I am not forseeing any free time for awhile yet. There are six more loads of laundry to do, and as soon as I get some Pledge, the dusting will begin. Whoo hoo! A reason to leave the house today!

My goal is to get out of the house every day, to actually join the human race. I have a tendency to cocoon to the point of becoming a hermit in the winter. So, I have made the commitment to take the car out at least once a day, for an errand near or far. I park as far away from the store door as possible. Exercise. Seems to be the key to it all, as I have really stalled of late. I was too cold to do a thing last week in Thompson, and I don't think there are many activity points in TV watching. Anyway, I hope that the new vehicle will make it easier to do local errands by myself. I sit higher up, and the visibility is great. I can actually see the front end of the car, so parking isn't a guessing game like it was in the Impala. Hitting the recycling box in the garage was the sign to me that I was in the right position!

So, there you have an update. I hope you are all staying safe and warm!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

More car shopping

led us to stay out past our supper time. Perkins to the rescue. An event not unlike having a hungry grizzly carry you out of a forest fire..... I thoroughly enjoyed my supper of a club house sandwich, but of course I did have the help of my old fella. He enjoys his food, and has a bottomless pit for a stomach. That man must have a tape worm or something! He can always be counted on to eat his dinner, and finish mine off too. He definitely is the poster boy for the benefits of a raging male metabolism. I would weigh nine hundred pounds if I tried to get away with some of his tricks!

We are preparing to go to Thompson tomorrow, for a week. That leaves the car purchasing decision in limbo, I am happy to say! The features and stats for all the cars you look at just whirl around in your brain after awhile, and nothing seems to make much sense at all. But I do know that I fit into all of those small cars a lot easier these days! I would like to think it is because of the WW plan, but in reality, I think the manufacturers have realized that not everyone has a tiny bum and short little legs! A fact that I have been keenly aware of my entire life.

I also found time to buy a new duvet cover and shams for our bed today. I love good white cotton linens, and this set really exceeded my expectations. The cotton is so silky, and the embroidered border is simple, yet so pretty. A real Homesense find at half the original price! We picked out the duvet cover, paid for it and were on our way in about ten minutes. The bonus is that it will easily take at least twenty minutes to iron and that definitely counts as 'activity' time!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hanging at the same weight....

can drive a person balmy. But, I keep telling myself to work the program....I watch every bite, so there is no room for error there....sigh. Just one of those flat line times I guess. When I woke up this morning, I had a mandarin orange first thing, to give me enough sugar to hit the shower, and make it to the kitchen. Of course when I got there, the creativity was surging through my freshly scrubbed self, so, for breakfast this morning, I made half of a baked potato, cut up into cubes, browned in a Pam sprayed pan with a teaspoon of butter and a sprinkling of onion powder. When they were nice and crispy on one side, I flipped them over, and pushed them to the edges of the pan to make a circle. I broke an egg into the circle, and when the white was firm, just kinda squished the yolk to make sure it was warmed through, and spread around a bit. Washed it all down with a glass of skim milk, it made such a nice change!

I am hoping that cutting out bread will do the trick as eating anything made with flour has a tendency to really cause digestive issues and bloating - hmmmm. Guess that is what happens when you eat something you know you have an intolerance for, aye? LOL Between you and me, I can not feature life without flour, and until it makes me break out in huge painful welts, I can live with the digestive repercussions in order to savour the flavour!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Flu shot

Yesterday. Didn't even think about getting it, but went to see my Doc for the three month blood letting, electrode and drug store list - before I knew it, it was done. As usual, the research came later! I really hadn't considered myself "one of the elderly", and had managed just fine without it for all of these years so it wasn't even resident in my front brain.

  1. The shot is not made with a live virus, so it doesn't give you the "flu". (comforting)
  2. What I call the flu is likely a cold.
  3. I have had to admit that I am not dealing with a full deck regarding health or else I would have had to pay for it. Sigh.

This morning, I tried a Thomas' English Muffin that we bought while in the US a while back. SOOOO good! 100 calories, 1 gm of fat and 5 gms of fibre. I made a fried egg, and used Cheese Whiz to "butter" the muffing. Sooooo good! I left the egg just a little moist, and dipped it in ketchup...mmmmm good! Speaking of which, PC has changed their absolutely delish ketchup to this sugary mess - I am on our last bottle of the good stuff, and will have to find another brand, or doctor it up to suit. I hate a sweet ketchup but prefer the tang that PC, I guess Heinz with a little vinegar added will have to do. Why do they always have to mess with the good things in life?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PC Blue Menu Italian Meatballs

are fantastic. I made them for supper tonight. You put them in the oven for eight minutes on a cookie sheet, and they are done! I then placed them in an open casserole, topped them with a large can of diced tomatoes, mixed in some hot sauce, spices and ketchup to thicken the sauce a little. After baking till the sauce was bubbly, I sprinkled on a little shredded Italiano cheese. AMAZING! I have found a 'food in a box' that is edible!

Six of these little puppies are only 4 points - I made pasta and asparagus to go along with them, and it was a very quick, tasty meal in minutes. For some reason, I had a hard time using up my points for the day today, so I was able to have half a cup of the PC Maple Sugar Ice Cream...mmmm good! Little gritty bits of maple sugar in the creamiest ice is good! I still have three points to "spend", and for some reason, I am not hungry in the least today...could be that huge bowl of popcorn I demolished last night.

I woke up this morning a full five pounds heavier, and I KNOW it is just water retention from the vat of salt I inhaled. Orville is the devil. I have stuck to the program faithfully, so there is no need to panic when something like this happens. I will continue to munch my way through life, with a contented smile!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday sped by...

and with it, went every one of my Flex Points. Can't seem to leave those Doritos alone! But on the upside, I really enjoyed my supper....Fish Soup & French Bread, with Bananas Foster for dessert. What is not to love? Tastes rich but it is all a deception!

Fish Soup for four:
3 Cod Loins
3 cups of frozen shrimp
sliced onions
sliced carrots
sliced celery
Old Bay Seasoning
1 T butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups of 2 % milk ( this tastes like cream to me!)
2 cups of chicken broth

Layer vegetables in lightly oiled casserole. Cut each fish portion into six bite sized pieces. Place on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Make a roux, add milk, pour over all. Add chicken broth. Place in oven for 20 minutes,liquid should be bubbly - add frozen shrimp, and cook for 15 minutes more. It should be smooth and creamy when done. Eat with gusto...and a bit of French Bread!

Shortcut Bananas Foster (for four)
In a T-Fal skillet melt 4 tsp butter, 4 tbsp brown sugar together. Add bananas (quartered), toss to coat. Finish with a shot of Cointreau, stir, and serve over 1/3 cup of Maple Sugar Ice Cream. Full Fat, delicious PC premium ice cream!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Car shopping activity points?

There should be, out, in, out, in, out....not to mention the white knuckle endurance test hubby puts the poor things through! Came home empty handed but it was nice to open the door to the welcoming scent of an oven stew that was bubbling away all afternoon in a 300º oven.

If the cool weather inspires you to make "comfort food" here is the easiest stew on the planet to make, and it is guaranteed to turn out every time. I cooked mine from two till five this afternoon, and the doubled recipe turned out perfectly.

1 lb of lean beef, cut in good sized pieces
1/4 cup flour
1 little can of pizza sauce
1 cup of carrots, sliced
1 cup of rutabaga, cubed
1 cup of onion in large pieces
1 cup of celery
1 1/2 cups of beef broth

Layer ingredients in exact order, in oiled, lidded pot, or casserole. (I used an oval Le Crueset roaster), tossing the meat in the flour to nicely coat. Pour the pizza sauce over the meat. Layer the carrots, rutabaga, onion, celery and potatoes if you wish. Pour broth over all. Place covered dish in oven for approximately two to three hours, depending on the size of the beef piece. Try to leave the stew alone to "do its thing". There is no need to worry about burning, or over cooking with this method! It is amazing. Add salt and pepper at the table if you wish, but I really find that the stew is seasoned just right using the pizza sauce. I double this recipe to have leftovers. The doubled recipe yeilded 6 huge servings of 6 points each. (a shallow Corelle soup bowl full) I use the leanest beef imaginable, and leave it in large chunks. It is best to calculate the points based on exactly the meat you are using, and your choice of vegetables because it makes a big difference in the point values!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ground Turkey

I have two more packages of the stuff and don't know what to do with it. I tried making a meatloaf today, and it was awful. I tossed it, and made lasagne instead. The bad news was, I had to make supper twice, but the good news was the lasagne was terrific! I made it with spinach, thinly sliced turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, cottage cheese, and the Italiano blend of shredded cheese...too easy! I made it in a square pan, and "reduced" each one of the noodles by a couple of inches to fit...I used a canned sauce and "doctored it" up, and I mixed the cottage cheese, shredded cheese and romano together with an egg to give it body. If I do say so myself, it was good! I couldn't get over the fact that a nice generous piece was only five points! The problem was though, that I came in five points shy for the day, because I was stuffed, and couldn't eat another bite. A sided benefit was that I discovered that turkey pepperoni makes a good lunch! Very portable with a diet pop, too!

I can see how this can easily become a lifestyle, once you accept that you have the right to eat regularly, like the rest of the human race! Ah, life is good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Soooo stuffed...

I made one of those ten minute roasts tonight, that comes with its own gravy. On the side? Mashed potatoes , rutabagas...Caesar salad to start and baked apples to finish. I really should have taken a picture of the apples because they were so pretty!

I simply cored gala apples, and mixed butter with brown sugar (1 tsp per person butter, 2 tsp brown sugar per person brown sugar) and cinnamon, stuffed the mixture into the core, and sprinkled some more cinnamon over the top. When it came time to serve, I put one third of a container of orange yogurt on the top of each apple hot from the oven, and wow! Very good, and very low cal to boot. The mixing of the sugar and yogurt made a syrupy goodness on the bottom of the ramekin that was delish! The whole feast came to 12.5 points, and I am so happy with myself! Actually I consumed fewer points than that, because I couldn't finish all of my meat or potatoes. I definitely had no problem with the rutabaga though! Love the stuff! There is some left over for my lunch tomorrow, and I will eat it on its own, with a dab of butter, and a bit of salt, and be quite happy with myself! The Caesar salad was good, too. I made it a little differently, and the dressing works out to only one point for two teaspoons.

  1. In a food processor, place two cloves of garlic, a dash of red wine vinegar and an egg. Pulse till creamy. You can't overdo the processing on this one!
  2. Pour half a cup of olive oil into the little pusher cup with a hole in it, and process until it is all incorporated.
  3. Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

When you go to make the salad, put the dressing into a little bowl, and thin down with a bit of milk. M M good! You would never know that it wasn't a full fat version. There are so few points you can have it as often as you like! There were three of us, so I used two T of dressing for the whole salad. With the milk added, it coated one head of romaine very nicely. I sprinkled on some reserved grated cheese before serving, and for the 'non WW people', I passed croutons at the table. Ah, what a night! So, it is time to put a load of laundry in, and settle into my chair for an evening of mind numbing television! Now this is the life!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We have been home since Friday...

but I have been under the weather. I didn't realise that I hadn't posted since Tuesday! All of those meals out didn't end in disaster as I feared they would...I managed to chart a .8 pound loss this week to spite it all! Whoo hoo!

We managed to make the journey home, and go shopping at Costco on Friday night. This made it possible to eat very well over the last couple of days! To be in my kitchen again, surrounded by vegetables, and the proper means to prepare them? Priceless! Core foods are really filling and so good to your digestive system! On Saturday, I made 'pork chops a la Kate', or as the rest of the world says "shake & bake", but since Kate made them for supper that night, she gets the credit! The loin chops were ultra lean, and an inch think. Nummmmm. Garlic potatoes ( I crushed two cloves of garlic into some skim milk, and added three triangles of the low fat Laughing Cow Cheese as I mashed the potatoes) and sliced cooked carrots kissed with a bit of butter rounded out the meal.

Tonight, we are having chicken stir fry with a little of every vegetable in the house thrown into the mix. I haven't made a menu plan for the coming week, but if I use the meats I have in the freezer in rotation, it will be easy enough. I can not tell you how good it feels to be back in my very own kitchen! I guess I am basically a home body by nature. Because we are away so much, I have grown even more fond of my own home. Having a structured life for the next two weeks will be such a treat! For the last couple of months, I have only had time to blow into town to do the laundry, and clean the house. This time, we will be able to watch as the dust builds up, and do a load a day! The big thrill will be to rent Ratatouille and watch it in the comfort of our very own chairs!

Now, back to the weight loss.....Those indiscretions really did slow the loss, but I am resolved to welcome a loss of any size. Half a pound is a half a pound in my books, and I will never turn up my nose at any loss. Nor will I be upset with a bit of a gain. It happens. What is surprising me, is how much 'the points thing' becomes part of is almost automatic now, to calculate what I am eating. A few times, I have sat down at the end of the day to tally up the points, and found that instinctively I had stopped right on target. I love tracking online, although when we are travelling, I don't have access to a computer every minute of the day. I like to figure out how many points there are in a meal before I eat it, rather than after, so it will be good to have access every minute of every day in the coming two weeks!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Just in case you want to know...

it is physically impossible to eat 200 calories worth of shrimp. If anyone could eat that it would be time on holiday (all inclusive of course) I ordered a shrimp starter, a shrimp main course, with a side of shrimp, and you guessed it! Shrimp for dessert! The good news is that for 100 calories, you can stuff yourself to the eyeballs with the little beggars, and the cocktail sauce too! (2 teaspoons are absolutely free!) For you nay sayers out there, my cholesterol count has always been good, so I don't believe they are an evil food at all...other than the price of course.

I just finished my lunch, and it was truly one of my better "hotel fixin's"! I paired the shrimp with a serving of V8 juice, and for dessert? I had some premium plus crackers with antipasto. Another taste sensation for next to no calories. Have I told you how much I love this WW gig? I DO!!!

Just blew the points budget...

on a super sized hotel breakfast. Couldn't help myself. It was sooooooo good. By the time I came back to the computer to add up the points the damage was done. The challenge will be to live the rest of the day on the remaining points!

Confessing to eating two eggs, three pieces of bacon, two pieces of brown toast with butter, two portions of peanut butter, one of jam, a glass of orange juice and two cups of coffee with cream? Not difficult! Not only because it was so good, but because I have learned to not beat myself up for straying from the beaten path on occasion. Breakfast really is my weakness. I am always hungry then, and indulge my whims. That is such a contrast to the way I forced myself to live most of my life...eating supper only, and denying myself food any other time. Of course, trying to curb the calories this way is foolish. It took my weight to the great heights it eventually reached! Since I started eating more often, and a lot more? Life is calmer, and the weight is dropping. How long it will take? I don't know. But that is why I have given myself 104 weeks, and will be content with whatever is the end result. This is a lifestyle change, after all.

Back to today. Since tying on the feedbag this morning with such gusto, I will have to keep a close eye on my consumption for the rest of the day. I have "hotel food" plans for lunch. Precooked shrimp and cocktail sauce are thawing in the mini frig for lunch, there is an apple for dessert...antipasto with crackers for a snack. Supper will be steamed veggies and a chicken breast - a dish any restaurant can provide easily! Doesn't sound like hardship dieting does it? All on program, too.

Shrimp has got to be the most beautiful quick protein that I know of....easy to obtain wherever you may roam. The whole package of nummy goodness in the frig is 200 calories. I don't think even shrimp lover that I am, that I could eat the whole package! That is a lot of shrimp!

Protein keeps my sugars balanced, too, so it is a win win situation. Last night, we arrived at the hotel late, and supper just didn't interest either of us after the long drive. We ordered a couple of appetizers...Caesar salad, shrimp and bruschetta. Well, fussy me. I didn't like the bruschetta. The Caesar was good, but the shrimp? Amazing. Two shrimp for a small fortune. But they were HUGE! We had one each. I have never seen such beasts before in my life. And sooooooo tender.

I am really looking forward to going grocery shopping on Friday...we will be home for a full two weeks, so I will be able to make supper every night. Being in your own home, in your own kitchen is so much easier than trying to balance food while on the run. I am looking forward to making huge salads, and a soup or two to welcome the cool winter nights. There will be pictures then, folks, so stay tuned!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

This Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

To make serving shrimp easier to our company tonight, I made the shrimp in individual ramekins. Each ramekin held fourteen large raw shrimps, without their tails! I added Thai sauce mixed with minced garlic, and a teaspoon of butter to each portion. It took exactly seven minutes in a very hot oven to turn the shrimp pink, yet remain tender. The Thai saucebubbled away with the butter, and made the perfect topping for Basmati rice. We bought a large bottle of this tasty sauce some time ago at Costco, and for 30 calories a tablespoon, it gives a big punch for a small calorie count. Sweet and sour, and so very spicy!

Our cupboards are bare, and will not be filled until our return next weekend, so this was a "fusion" dinner completely out of necessity. Caesar salad preceded the shrimp and rice. I made a traditional style dressing, and really shouldn't have...everyone raved about it, and I doubt very much that I will ever get away with using a bottled dressing again! But for the time it took to whisk an egg, garlic, lemon and oil together with a bit of balsamic vinegar and Peccorino Romano cheese? It was well worth it!

Dessert was a simple white scratch cake topped it with a few tablespoons of melted strawberry jam. Eating dinner with three men has definite advantages. There is NO leftover cake to tempt me! The whole cake (9" square) was 48 points, and I was very careful to cut a '6 point' slice for myself, and make sure that the men cleaned up all the rest. There really is nothing better than eating at home, even if your cupboards are as bare as Mother Hubbard's!

Home again, home again...

And so glad to be here!

The laundry is still waiting for attention, but I just haven't had time today to bother with it. My main goal was to get back on real food...made in my real kitchen! I had every intention of cooking supper tonight....even had the food in the frig ready to pop into the oven, but we were waylaid by a car dealership and ended up at Kelsey's instead. Tomorrow we will have the food I prepared for today, so it will not go to waste!

After supper, I had absolutely no desire to shop for food, so after aimlessly wandering, groaning about how full I was, I picked up a bottle of vanilla (what for? I don't bake! Just may decide to start though....) a few loaves of bread, a jar of antipasto and a Costco sized bag of shrimp. Oh how I love shrimp! It was a rather short list this week, wouldn't you say? We decided to beg coffee from our dear friends on the way home, to round out the evening. All in all? It was a day well spent.

By the way? I seem to have mastered the "up" calorie days of the 'Wendy' plan, but the "down" calorie days seem to be evading me. For some bizarre reason, the scale is still showing a loss. Miracles will never cease.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Checking in from the wilds...

We were in North Battleford, in a hotel without internet access, and then on Sunday, travelled up north in Lac LaRonge. We are in Saskatoon now, in the comforting arms of Mr. Hilton. Guess I wouldn't have made a good pioneer, aye?

I must say, it was really beautiful in both spots. North Battleford is in a valley on the Saskatchewan River, and has rolling hills that make my heart sing. Our childhood home looked out over the prairies, and although I didn't know it at the time, the "blue haze" around town, was really hills in the distance. From our kitchen window, the view was unobstructed, and really gorgeous. I know why my mother did dishes three times a day must have been such a pleasure to look out over the valley as she went about her daily chores. Our house was on the last street in town - we looked across the coulee to a farm. Of course, since then, it has shrunk to being a tiny house (I remember it as being so much bigger!) crowded in by houses in the lots around it. Gone is the big tree and the vacant lot next door where ants would consume a sugar cube in the time it took you to eat your lunch, if you put it by their hill....Poetic justice has prevailed though, as the houses that were built on the coulee are having problems with their foundations. Teach them to obstruct that little house's view! The lady that lives there now thought she was being stalked as my sister and I gawked at the house and talked about how it used to be. It was very tempting to walk up to the door, and just beg for look at the inside, to see if the hardwood floors still gleamed, and if the "new" bathroom was still as pristine! I loved the smell of our polish, a little bleach and always something in the oven. Funny, I never cared much for homemade cookies, but I have always loved the smell in the house. I realize how spoiled I was, now that all of our baking comes from Costco!

So, moving on. The food situation has been interesting. My sister is a fabulous cook, so while we were there, we were treated to garden vegetables with our meat and potatoes for supper. One night we had a whole salmon, which was done to perfection. Then, the next night? Chicken smothered in mushrooms was a to live for! Just never thought of doing that before, but will in the future, that is certain! We also went to restaurants that offered great dishes...even a Thai restaurant. Well, there went the Flex points. But was it ever good! My sister can not have gluten, so she is very cautious about where and what she eats, and she has it down to an art form - knows exactly where the good stuff is! I tried to limit the intake, but it was very difficult when faced with a newly opened jar of homemade pickled veggies, not to eat half of it. Isn't a quart a two person serving? Very tart, very tasty. And after all, it was carrots, celery and peppers. How could that be bad? MMM! Soooo good! There is nothing more relaxing than having a diabetic cook for you, when you are a diabetic. I didn't have to question every mouthful, or wonder if there was something that would end up biting me back!

Now, looking forward. We have the weekend coming up at home, and then we are off to Thunder Bay for the week. I really have to figure out how to slow this man down. My role is that of luggage, basically. Well, demanding luggage that hollers "feed me" or "I am tired"! Where he, on the other hand, does all the driving, works all day, then does paper work at night while I read or snooze to the TV. The man has the constitution of an ox. But I really have to figure out how to slow him down a bit. He is at that delicate age, where he needs a smack with a 2x4 to get his attention. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted as to how to get this man to slow down a little. Our idea of a rest is to fall into the recliners on Saturday night and fall asleep to a rented movie...maybe we can fit that in in a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sugar free Twizzlers

are not to be consumed in multiples of six. Three points for six Twizzlers was just too tempting. And isn't there some sort of rule that says you have to eat the whole bag at once? Whatever they use to make these things as tasty as the originals will provide a lot of entertainment for your companion. It will also have you promising to provide pickled eggs and beer at a future date without complaint just to make ammends.

An aid to fine dining...

in a room with a microwave, is a lightweight plastic rice maker from Nordic Ware. I bought this little puppy yesterday, and I am absolutely thrilled with it!

This gadget consists of an inner basket, and an outer dish with a snap down vented top. Very simple, yet very effective. The vegetables go in the basket, a cup of water is added to the bottom of the casserole, and the lid snaps on. This is a strange microwave to judge the power on, so I can't tell you for sure how long it took, but I would think about six minutes on high, with an additional few minutes "resting". I made a concoction of small fingerling potatoes cut in quarters (blue, gold and red), baby carrots and a healthy serving of shredded cabbage. Just before serving, I added some shredded Swiss cheese and let it melt into gooey goodness! this was soooooo good served with cottage cheese! An onion would be a good addition, as would some celery. I can see this gizmo becoming indispensable.

On our menu for today:
Breakfast: egg, toast & Tim Horton's coffee, milk
Lunch: above mentioned recipe leftovers for lunch
Supper: Baked beans, rye bread toast; coleslaw made with apple & miracle whip (thinned with vinegar and milk) yogurt and Thinsations cookies
Snacks: apple, Rice Crispie bar or bran flakes with Splenda & milk

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday morning...

Whew. Arrived here last night and found that Superstore was still open at eight o'clock on a Sunday night. So, we were able to pick up a few necessities for today's meals. We have a nice little suite here, with good cooking facilities, so our menu for the day is:

Egg, toast, skim milk, butter, Cheez Whiz

Chicken and Miracle Whip Sandwich on rye, raw cauliflower & dip, yogurt

Taco Soup (brought our leftovers from home), microwaved fingerling potatoes (multi-coloured), cauliflower & baby carrots with butter, cottage cheese.

Snacks: Antipasto & Crackers, apples, choice of 2 point 'snackage packages' to make up points for the day - cookies, crackers, rice crispie bars, chocolate bars all travel well together in a Ziploc bag!

Just a little travel tip...

No matter how tempted you are to eat liver in a small town cafe, don't do it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


for the next ten days, I will be posting our "Travel Food" menus, and ideas.

It seems that I forget what we existed on during our travels, the minute we cross our own threshold. In our "food bag" we carry standard things. Tea, Tim Horton's coffee,coffee filters, sweeteners (packet and powder for cereal and fruit) packets of hot chocolate, small tins of fruit, soup, canned beans, and bran flakes in case we are can not get to a grocery store immediately, cutlery, can opener, toaster, electric fry pan, tea towel, dish cloth, soap, cutting board, flipper, paring knife, zip lock bags, garbage bags, paper toweling, bowls, plates, cups, disposable cutting boards. This all fits quite nicely into a 21" suitcase with room to spare. I am a Ziploc fanatic, and find that putting everything in these wonders of modern science keeps everything clean.

In a small cooler bag, we carry our "car food"- water, vegetable juice, individual packaged snacks, milk, vegetables and fruit that needs to be kept cool. Although it does seem like a lot of nuisance in this day of restaurants on every corner, I have to have small amounts of food exactly on schedule and often without warning, so there is often no room for even a fifteen minute delay. It is so much easier to snack on a V8 and a package of crackers than it is to find someplace that even offers such simple low point fare. Hubby is happy as long as there is food of any kind, and has adapted to this routine. He can make a pretty mean breakfast in a kitchenette, too!

There will be some new things to see this trip. One leg of the journey will be to LaRonge, Saskatchewan. It is supposed to be gorgeous up there. It is my belief that there is beauty in every place, and sometimes you just have to be a visitor to see it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So far behind, that I think I am ahead....

The house is cluttered with the 'shopping debris' from our little holiday! There is stuff everywhere, it seems, and what I seem to be doing, is wandering from room to room, holding up the swatch of material for my new sofa and chairs, stepping over boxes and bags in the process! It is a quirk, I know, that I have to do this. The colours have to "jive" or they scream at, I don't talk to little grey men in space suits, but I do need my colours to harmonize! So, I am content knowing that the lamp in the office coordinates with the sofa in the living room, and that the picture in my bathroom is the right green. Never know when you may want to shake things up and move them around! LOL The delivery date is set for November 18, and I am excited! It has been ages since we bought something new, and I am looking forward to sprucing up the joint! Wonder how many activity points you can get for decorating? This index finger of mine gets a real work out....

While we were away, I tried my best to stay on program, but you sure can't control the salt. I have "travel bloat"! Also, eating all those low fat chips with the tons of salt wasn't a good thing. So, I am sticking to my guns, and hoping that there will be a shift in my weight over the next few days to what it should be.....sigh. Here we go again.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Psssssst hey! You wanna hear something?

Lay's make a fat free chip, in the USA only, of course. Must be radioactive or something. Do I care? You couldn't tell them from the real thing. Sour Cream and Cheddar. Delish. I am in hog heaven spending one point for 15 chips. Who am I kidding. I had 30. Now apparently it blasts out your system, if you get my drift. I will be more than happy to give you too much information later! For now? I am basking in the afterglow!

My computer problems

will soon be solved by Dell...after the hard drive, keyboard and mouse were replaced just recently, the monitor just decided to quit! Thank goodness the warranty is not up until October 28. Now that is cutting it down to the wire! They have very good service, and they seem to need it by their track record so far! I should be good for another couple of years now. By the time we come back from our few days away, the monitor should be waiting for me. It is a hassle, although the timing seems to be perfect! I am seriously considering buying a laptop for the times we are away from home. But for now? Bigger fish to fry!

Speaking of food, I was an eating machine tonight. Big burger (yeah PC!), nice fluffy white bun with sesame seeds, sauteed onions...doesn't that sound healthier than fried? Either way, heated in a fry pan with a kiss of oil so it won't upset the system...and fries. Was doing okay until our friend brought Girl Guide Cookies. Now I know why I only lasted three weeks as a Brownie! Those little girls are the Devil's handmaidens. Chocolate covered chocolate wafers with icing? Who would have thought of something like that? An Oreo on steroids. OOOooooo and minty, too. Three of them jumped into my hand...after all, the serving size was for three....sigh. Well, may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, so off I went to the pantry for two bags of Doritos before my Sunday TV nap. Now, you have to realize that I wasn't even hungry. Just wanted to eat today. So, eat I did. I still have six points left for the remainder of the week. I will have to watch my step in the US. A little planning at the grocery store should do it. But I have decided to do the best I can for the three days, and not ruin my holiday by fussing. There are lots of alternatives in the US, and there are some real treats I love to have there. Cottage cheese for instance. Who would have thought it would taste so much better, but it does. With peaches or a baked potato it makes a great meal. Easily prepared in the microwave, too. Or purchase the potato from Wendy's. And I would like to try a selection of the WW food. Although I never like frozen meals - it does hurt to be so fussy! But a WW bagel intrigues me...I wish I were like my dear hubby whose only concern with this meal is the next one! Fruit is the original fast food, and a bag of apples or oranges and a bag of pretzels will keep me happy for a long time! Easy to transport, too! I was thinking that travelling would be much easier on core....but then? How can you live without bread and Doritos? So, best to keep FLEXing!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Suzy Domestic Strikes Again!

The house smells amazing! I found extra lean ground turkey at Costco, and after I realized what a good thing points wise it was, had to find a recipe for it! Voila! Turkey meatballs with honey chili sauce. These are not tiny meatballs, by any stretch of the imagination. Each one was made with a scoop that holds 1/6 of a cup. The recipe made 15 meatballs, but one mysteriously disappeared right after I took the picture... will be accounted for at supper time I assure you!
The entire recipe sauce and all came in at 30 points. So, each meatball complete with sauce for the rice, is two points. Three would make a good serving with Basmati rice. Four would make a better one! MMMM I can hardly wait for supper! It is winter and time for comfort food! Notice the casserole? When it cools down a little I can put the plastic lid on it, and store it in the refrigerator until time to heat up again for supper. Love it!
should you be inclined to try these!

The only difference

between a good hair cut and a bad one is two weeks....I am so hoping that is true! I have "helmet" hair...oh woe is me. Ah well. There are worse things in life! And better.
For supper tonight, I made a chicken breast with potato and asparagus all in the same ovenware dish. I am so impressed with these Temp-tation baking dishes! I have never had such nice results from a humble casserole! Who would have thought that one dish could be so different from any other? I should have paid closer attention to the sales pitch when these were featured on the shopping channel to see exactly why they do such a good job, because they are great. I just ordered them because I thought they looked like good serving pieces! Well, little did I know that pretty could work too!
I sprayed the dish with Pam, added the food, placed in a 375º oven, and in about 30 minutes - voila! A complete meal! There is such a difference between using Corningware and these! The chicken was juicy, and the potatoes were perfectly golden, evenly cooked and delicious. I added a few spears of asparagus over the meat and potatoes, and it cooked to crisp tender in the last ten minutes. I just coated the spears with a little oil (put the oil on my hands and rolled them around until they were just nicely coated. Didn't take much oil at all to give a nice glisten...just a few drops...of course fresh ground pepper and a good hit of Kosher salt, over all!) I have been meaning to take a picture of some of the things I have cooked in these dishes, but the food is so irresistable when it comes out of the oven, I just want to eat it! But here is a picture of them empty! A good way to get a full meal on the table quickly when you just don't feel like fussing. Sure tastes like you did though!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


So, when the cat is away, the mice turn into rats...and what a blast this rat is having! I slept till noon, and the closest thing to work I have done all day, is to unload the dishwasher and put away a basket of towels! What I have been doing, is pouring over decorating sites, getting fresh decorating ideas. On Tuesday, we bought a new sofa and two chairs. I have been looking for well over five years for replacement pieces, and finally found a solid simple style that I can live with....I hope!

This time, no neutrals for me. I am finally expressing my rather colourful interior! They say that you can tell who a person is by the art that they hang on their walls, and the colours they choose to use in their home. I am sure there are deep psychological reasons why I have chosen not to do this for years, but all of a sudden? I am literally craving colour in my surroundings. Not pastels. Not tasteful neutrals. But bright spring grass green, lilac purple, buttery yellow and all the colours of fire. There are small touches of that in the house now...and a lot of white that I intend to keep.

I am a practical person, so when investing in long term things such as good towels and linens, I want white! There is very little you can do to damage white cotton...that a little bleach won't fix, that is! I want colour on the walls! Hubby is eager to do the painting this time...he finds it boring to hit the walls with the same neutral from room to room....he is looking forward to using vibrant paint colours, so I hope he feels that way in a year or so when I tire of the colours and want them changed!

It is time to express the 'internal' at long last.

In the meantime, back at the ranch....I am having a chicken breast and cauliflower for supper to fuel all this frantic planning. Both will be roasted in the oven and towards the end, I will toss some cheese on the cauliflower for an instant cheese "sauce". When I am on my own, I find it very difficult to get all my points in for the day. I get involved with doing something, and completely forget about mealtimes. So easy to fall into old habits when you are only accountable to yourself - translation, when there is no "whining for food" to pry you away from the computer screen!

I read the other day that salad greens were mainly "recreational" nutritionally - I tend to agree with that, because as the weather becomes cooler, I would rather have a good soup for starters. Failing that? Good old campbells vegetable soup does it for me! Hmmmm. Maybe I should heat up a cup of that and call it lunch? After all, it is four must be lunchtime somewhere!


Was pretty uneventful. One of those lovely slow days! Supper was the highlight of the day! Anyone out there remember "hot chicken sandwiches"? I made a low cal version, complete with gravy and it rang the bell good and loud for comfort food! Snackage was antipasto and crackers..again! I am on a roll with that stuff, but for two points? You just can't beat it. I ate well all day, and still was a point short for the day.

I have learned that weighing in every day gives me a sense of security...I wish I could travel with my scale, but even I know that would be a bit "OCD"! Besides, it will be waiting for me at the end of the kitchen island. I don't even bother shoving it under the Island anymore. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is scoot into the kitchen to get on the scale, and then drink my ice cold first glass of water of the day. Sometimes the news is good, and sometimes it isn't. I have learned to take it all in stride. Eventually the low number that you hit, will be come the high number for the is all a case of waiting it out, and working the program. Keeping a spreadsheet of my daily weigh ins really keeps me focussed, and makes for interesting charting, too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 day!

It sure makes life easy when they give you the nutritional info! We enjoyed a double meat sub today, and all within points. MMM good. The reason we were out and about for two meals, was because it was finally decision time about buying living room furniture. We found a nice couch and two chairs at the LAZBOY store...very bright and modern. I don't often make snap decisions, and believe you me, that the way I operate? Two hours qualifies as "snap". After looking at every piece of material in the place more than once, mentally rearranging every piece of furniture in the house and envisioning numerous colour schemes, I opted for a happy "Meadow" green set with self covered pillows. I like the prospect of changing up the colours on a whim with accessories, so I thought it best to go with functional plain pillows, the same as the body of the furniture.

When you have been married for as long as we have, sometimes you need a fire to get you motivated to do something with your decor...every time I clean, it seems, I tell myself "ah it is still in such good shape! I really don't need to buy anything new because this is good enough!"

Well, don't we say that about the clothing we wear "until", or even about the bodies we have from the weight we put on and don't take off from eating the food that is "good enough"? Who says "good enough" is good enough? Where is it written that we have to settle? I didn't settle for a second rate man, so why do I cop out on these minor things? For a little cash, you can spruce up both your public image, and your surroundings! So, now the 'transformation mode' is spreading to the house. We are going to wait till the furniture is delivered to make the final call on the paint colours, and in the meantime, I am going bra shopping in the States next week! I am hoping that both experiences will deliver the uplift I have put off for too long, and so desperately need!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Today I tried on just about every garment in my closet. There were quite a few things that are just too big for me now, so there was a sizable "give away" pile. Shocking really, the difference a few pounds can make. Also a bit of a shame, because some outfits I had only worn two or three times last winter. The skirts are far too long now, though, and I felt like I was drowning in way too much fabric. At the largest point of my body the material should not drape six inches away! I don't want to keep anything that doesn't make me feel good, and when the shoulders hang and the skirt is too long? I sure don't feel great! I don't feel sorrow for the loss of these garments, but rather, I feel joy at seeing more hangers!

When I moved on to the front hall closet, I was relieved to see that my favourite winter coat was still "wearable" although very, very long. It will last one more year! I hope next year the styles will return to longer coats, so I can replace this one! So warm and toasty! All in all, it was a very busy day. I managed to stay within my daily points, a necessity since I had a "chip attack" earlier on in the week and burned up every Flex point for the week. Ah well. They will return on Wednesday!

We are planning a trip to the US next weekend, so I have a 'need to buy' list, that starts with two new bras, and ends with Ploughman's mustard. It is difficult to shop with a list, but hopefully I will be able to find enough garments to keep me going!

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Sandwiches. What a great thing they are! When out and about, they can really save the day. Our favourite these days is a turkey breast and ham sub...5-6 points depending on what extras we put on. They toast their subs now, so that makes them extra good. Yesterday we found ourselves out shopping and starving. How friendly that sign seemed after staring down a long line of Arby's, MacDonald's, A&W and Burger King. Once in awhile you need food fast, so Subway it is for us! An interesting thing happened while my hubby was picking up the sub. He ordered a 12" sub for us to share, and it came to 6.76...a woman came in and ordered the same style of sub, but ordered two 6"subs - her bill was 1.80 extra. Did she get more sub for her money? More importantly, do I get to deduct a point?

Friday, October 5, 2007


....and the start of another weekend. Wasn't it just Monday??? We have lots of plans for the weekend, as usual,so I woke up this morning and hit the ground running to prepare for it all. First stop today is the laundry room, then onward and upward to the kitchen! And then out the door to pick up some goodies.

Last night I wore one of my favourite outfits for the last time. Since I bought it at the end of the season last year, I had only worn it a couple of times, but now, it is time for it to go. The shoulders were too big, and hung, and the skirt is far too long and know how you get those extra folds of cloth that make "saddle bags" at the hip. So, I guess I am seeing some changes. One of the tips I have read dozens of times, is to check measurements, but I really haven't done that yet. I can safely say though, that if I were to buy things, I would definitely buy down a size. I guess that deserves a little whoop? Whooooooop!

So, after my thrilling romp with Tide and Bounce, it will be time to move on to some serious kitchen organizing before I hit the grocery store. We are fortunate enough to have our son's company for the weekend, so I need to make sure that I have some special things in the house for my baby boy! I remember watching his face when he was a child, and wondering how on earth he would look as a, I study the man, and see the face of the child I knew so very long ago. He is an interesting person that I enjoy being around.

Hmmmmm. Maybe a good feed of mussels....ah, now there is a plan! With a big Greek salad - although with all the friends and relatives he has to visit, I am wondering if he will even have more than a bowl of Cheerios at our table! So, I will leave the specifics of menu planning to the last minute. In the meantime? I have some serious activity points to earn!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wenesday is here...

And, it is exactly three months since I started the WW program. I had a loss of 4.2 pounds in September, so it looks like things are slowing down a bit, but still, it does average out to a loss of over five pounds a month. I lost one point when I redid the quiz this morning. A nice little pep talk followed saying I was losing at a good rate, and to be happy! I can eat very well on what I am allotted, so I am definitely not complaining! The way I look at things, time will pass if I do this or not, so why not do it and lose the weight? It is a hassle when travelling, to be sure - I think that is likely why the slower rate this month....too much sitting and reading, and too many unavoidable unknowns with food.

I have noticed that the best way to stay on program effortlessly, is to favour simple "meat, potatoes and vegetable" meals. They turn out to be the lowest in points, filling and easy on the system. When I was young, I would visit relatives on the farm, and there was always a big meal for lunch. My aunt would bring out the leftovers from the night before - sometimes warmed up, sometimes not. A bit of meat with home made pickles, and fresh tomatoes from the garden? Heaven! To a city kid, used to having a peanut butter sandwich and an apple, it was impressive! I think she was really on to something because she certainly kept her figure, and her large family did too! The trick to this, is to have leftovers in the frig. Apparently that happens when you make an effort to make at least one meal a day! LOL

I just finished a four point lunch using that "formula" and Monday's supper leftovers and I am very full! And in another three hours? Time to do it all again. I have tossed all the rice cakes and other "diet" goodies I tried the first month and that have been gathering dust under the kitchen island. I just don't like them. For one point, I can have four REAL crackers, so why would I want a Styrofoam rice cake? Antipasto is the balm with plain old Premium Plus crackers - that reminds me almost time to hit Costco and buy a new jar! All that goodness for 25 calories for two tablespoons full? A bargain! I measure with a regular teaspoon and count one heaping teaspoon as two tablespoons to make sure I don't go overboard with the stuff.

I do wish the loss would go a little faster though. I don't think I will believe I have done anything until I have gone shopping for new clothing, and that won't happen until spring. I am just going to keep wearing what I have through the winter, and save up for a really good splurge before the cruise in March. Until then? I am planning a perfect wardrobe with very few pieces and a few romantic sun dresses for visiting the islands! Until then, I will rejoice in my small NSV's (non scale victories) like being able to bend in the middle a little easier!

Tuesday's gone....

in a blur of soap and water! It was laundry day, so I spent the day washing and ironing. I absolutely love having freshly ironed sheets on the bed. The smell is wonderful, and the cotton becomes so silky....There is one load of blacks left to dry and iron in the morning, and I will be free once more!

Today's lunch was canned peaches and Doritos. Hey, that's what was in the laundry room pantry, and I was too lazy to go up and make something more complicated! I still had three FLEX points left over this week, so I am totally okay with my choices. This week I will likely lose a point...depends on what the quiz tells me. I have no opinion, and no questions. I work the program like an automaton. Who knew that not thinking could reap such rewards?

Monday, October 1, 2007

I have no idea how it happened...

but yesterday, I totally fell into old habits, and found that at 11:46, I was "short" 12 points for the day. We had a good supper, too, but the points just weren't high. So, I hit the frig for some antipasto, and the cupboard gave up four little packages of saltines. MM MM good. I am still 5.5 points short of my daily total, but I am stuffed! (I always use midnight as the cutoff time for the "days" points, so I can't use up the 5.5 points now - they are gone for good)

Incidentally, antipasto is my new favourite snack. I could eat that stuff by the bucket! And eight tablespoons are only 2 points. Can't beat that for a flavour bombshell! I can't for the life of me remember why I didn't eat lunch. Just completely forgot about it. Better turn on the alarms on my tester again.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Looking back....

it has been over three months since I began my journey, never thinking it would work, because how in the world could you eat like this and lose weight, when starving my whole life hadn't worked? But it does. At that time, I resolved to be patient (not one of my virtues) and be happy with a loss of five pounds a month, which, according to the WW examples, was not only possible, but the "average". The only thing I had to lose at the time was a weight gain. But, miracle of miracles? I began to lose. Presently? I have made my three month goal loss, and may even exceed it by the third of October - the official three month anniversary.

At first it was difficult to remember to eat so often during the day, and frankly, it seemed soooo wrong to eat before I went to sleep. But, I followed the rules faithfully. No calorie is too insignificant, no bite, no lick, not even a touch to the lips went unrecorded. I mean, really, I must have been eating to gain that weigh, right? So I must be doing it subconsciously or something. Nope. Always a faithful reader of labels, I found a few areas to "tweak" when it came to choices, but sometimes, I pick the "bad" choice. Cool Whip "light" is five calories less than regular! What the heck, I will blow the 40 calories and enjoy the dance with the devil!

One of many miracles is being able to eat a bowl of cereal again, after discovering Splenda. It has been years since I could enjoy a bowl of Bran Flakes because I couldn't tolerate the sugar! What a treat! Now, I am thinking porridge may be possible? I checked the Splenda "brown sugar" and it seems to be regular brown sugar mixed half and half with regular Splenda. I figure, I can do that by sprinkling on the Splenda for the sweet, and a tablespoon of brown sugar for the "look". First snow, I will let you know how it works.

I have never been much for sweets, but how I love my salt! There are so many low cal options for a salt "hit" available that this hasn't been a problem at all. My favourite snack was always a little bag of Doritos, and it still is! Sometimes two, because I have so many points to burn up in a day! I realize that this will not be the case as the pounds drop, but there are so many obvious things I could eliminate from my diet that I have added since starting the program...they weren't there before and just joined the list to use up points.

I have never used my activity points, though. But, who knows? Maybe when I am able to don a pink spandex outfit and change my name to Buffy, I just may try the exercise thing...

Until then, I am happy to be who I am, where I am, and working the program. A little less than 92 weeks to go. Whoo HOOO!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Home again, home again....

And so very thankful we made it back in one piece. People were complete idiots on the road yesterday. At one point, some lunatic came careening down our side of the highway in a U-Haul truck towing a car ....thank goodness the shoulder was paved, and we could get out of this maniac's way. Almost had a drastic instant weight loss.

A few towns later, a van pulled out of an intersection in front of us...I had my nose in my book so I just looked up in time to see the van as we swerved to avoid it. Must be the full moon, because these people were real "howlers"! We finally did make it safely home, although not in time to go to the grocery store. So, tuna casserole, Greek salad, with sides of green beans and baby carrots made our supper last night. Not bad for a 'throw together out of nothing'! And, all within points, too. I just had a bit of casserole, and loaded up on the salad and veggies. Thank goodness today is Saturday, and we will have the afternoon to catch up on things around the house...I am not sure if I want to go to Costco, though! I hate shopping in a crowd, but shopping at the end of the month guarantees shoulder to shoulder buggy traffic at the big C. Think I will sit this one out, unless the craving for apples drives me to it.....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tummy Ache

Should have known better than to go out for lunch yesterday. What is with restaurant meals that make me feel soooooo crappy? No pun intended, but well placed.

We shared a clubhouse sandwich, with side salad and a bowl of chicken noodle soup....we are one of those couples that are irritating to eat with, because we are constantly swapping plates! We find that sharing works out so much better for us. We each had half of the sandwich - I took ten fries, and used the "fork dip" method to eat my share of salad with Thousand Island dressing. As for the soup? He loves the noodles, and I love the broth. But something in all of that just didn't agree with me. Probably the salt content was a little too high....sure tasted good though!

We bought a couple of apples for our morning snack, and will just make a couple of turkey sandwiches for lunch, so we won't have to slow down to scavenge for food. Of course, there will be the mandatory bathroom breaks, but that takes a lot less time than standing in line for food.

I really wish all hotels were as convenient as this one. Nice little kitchenette, separate bedroom, and a little dressing room with "his" and "her" closet spaces, plus the living room. Excellent shower, too. We love having such a simple little "home", and always come away wondering why we even bother having a house! Maybe it is time to get a condo apartment, so we could just turn the key and not worry about yard or all of the stuff you need to concern yourself with when you have a house. I wonder what the other old people would say, though when I wanted to blast Led Zeppelin at four in the morning? We are so at sixes and sevens about what to do with ourselves. We have been in our house for over eleven years now...the longest either of us have lived in one place - a bit of a record, actually. One of these days, we will stumble onto a place, formulate a plan, and then it will be time to make a move.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Why do I wake up in the middle of the night? To eat, of course. The wonderful world of blood sugar management! I ignored the signs the other day, and had a horrible time of it for the rest of the day, so now, when I wake up with that "feeling" I ignore my desire to just "sleep through it". Now, filled with bran flakes and milk, I am rarin' to go! Only question is, at this hour? Where?

We have an early start home tomorrow morning. It is a long drive, so I will have time to plan the dinner for Friday night's company. If we get into the city by two, I will have time to run to Costco, then time to come home and clean the house and prepare the meal before five. Might have to stash the suitcases in the bedroom till bedtime though, as I doubt if I will have time to unpack. Hubby and I work as a team, so I know I can count on him for the basics, like vacuuming and general "honey do" tasks that come up! We always leave the house tidy, so it is just a question of changing the tablecloth, and then doing a bit of dusting and vacuuming, setting the table and preparing the food. I am looking forward to being home again. Although I like being with hubby every day, I do wish it could be in the comfort of our own home. But, it is part of his job to be away a lot, and at this stage of our lives, we are able to pick up and go together...there will come a time when we will sit by the fire and smile, but for now, we pack our cases and go!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Room Food

The PC ROAST BEEF that is 'ready in ten minutes' started tonight's dinner. Frozen baby veggies, and whole red potatoes accompanied the beef for a hearty homestyle dinner...all made in the microwave! The best part of all was that 1/4 of the roast and gravy was only six points. What a world we live in, where you can prepare a meal like this in minutes, compared to hours! I have tried the turkey breast and the pork loin roast as well, with equally good results. Not too salty, and sooooo tasty.

I wasn't able to weigh myself this week, but I am content to work the program and do the best I can, wherever I am. I will be home for ten days then off again to points west. That will be more of a challenge, as we are not sure of the "cooking" facilities in the hotel. Ah well. There is always "Subway"!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


A quiet day without access to a computer, so I tracked points manually. What a bore. I love the WW online tracker! Although I really enjoy travelling with hubby, I do miss the comforts of home.

One purchase I did make yesterday, was a set of tempered glass bowls, with storage lids. There is every size you could imagine, with duplicates of some sizes. I have a ton of Tupperware, but I really do prefer to use glass. Storage will be easy, as all of the bowls nest neatly, and I have just the spot for the storage lids!

My most recent taste treat is Wasa Fibre Rye - three of these tasty crispbreads are only 1 point, as they contain 90 calories and 7 grams of fibre. Truth be told, I think I really overdid the fibre today, though! But for three points, you can have three of these slathered with 2 T of Cheez Whiz. Num. I so enjoy the crunch, and when you have a good book, and a good snack? How can life get better?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another day in the car...

For some reason, traveling in a car signals my appetite to expand as much as the distance covered. Thank goodness for Flex points! They made it possible to enjoy Doritos, a Cadbury Thins bar and a Subway stop for lunch. Love the turkey & ham sub with lots of veggies and mustard. All that goodness for 6 points? Be still my heart.

Supper, once we had settled in, and managed a quick shopping trip, was deli chicken, tossed salad and Green Giant veggies in cheese sauce, with a nice fresh dinner roll. MMMMM room food! Amazing what you can scare up if you have a microwave and a little refrigerator!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

There is nothing...

better than a good book and a bowl of popcorn on a Saturday afternoon!

There are two large Rubbermaid containers full of winter clothing that are sitting neglected in my room. Instead of doing the seasonal clothing swap that is so desperately needed in my closet, I am contentedly sitting and reading the last few chapters of LONDON while my dear husband is enjoying his last fishing experience of the year! There are burgers thawing for supper.

Friday, September 21, 2007


And all is well.

Tonight's supper was pork tenderloin with a rhubarb chutney, Basmati rice and asparagus. I am not familiar with the growing pattern of rhubarb, but this year, we enjoyed two batches of the beautiful ruby red stuff. One batch went into a cake that was definitely not one of my better culinary efforts (won't ever use 100% Splenda in anything again) and the other batch made the chutney tonight. Move over, Martha. It's a good thing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday's Treat

Was coffee and an apple fritter from Tim's. How did we live without these shops on every corner? There is something so sociable about sharing a coffee and a donut...the only problem is, that at my age, it isn't the wisest thing to do after eight in the evening! Ah well. Well worth it! The bready, gooey, sugary freshness was well worth the six Flex points I had to forfeit! Other than that, today was totally uneventful...except for the almonds. I read somewhere that twelve almonds a day were very good for weight last night, while toasting some for the salad, I made some ahead for snacking today. Big mistake. So, right next to my breakfast points, were the points for 30 almonds! Don't try this at home, kids. They are addictive when toasted, and lightly sprinkled with Kosher salt!

Salt is my nemesis. My cravings are usually for salty things, sometimes for vinegary things, and once in awhile for chocolate. Although, I really think that is a "fat" craving, more than a sugar craving. We have a couple of boxes of the 100 calorie chocolate bars that have remained untouched for weeks in the pantry. But whatever the craving may be for, with Flex points, I can indulge, and ward off a major plunge into the pool of BINGE that is totally unavoidable when you deny cravings! This lifestyle thing is quite the concept, I must say.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


And thank goodness it is! I needed to refill the FLEX point pot! I was out this morning with my dear little example of WW's success at it's best - you may remember her from the Reuben Sandwich post? So, of course I accepted her generous offer to prepare lunch! While they were visiting Paris recently, they discovered a way to eat crudites that is more than cauliflower dipped in ranch dressing! They were served shredded beets, parsnips and carrots drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. What a nice way of getting that oil mm good! Double helpings of that one! It leaves you full and satisfied, for just the points for the oil. Sort of makes up for the huge hot chocolate I had at Robin's at coffee break time...four points, but that too, was a real treat!

Robin's Donuts don't have nutritional info on their site, but I just took the values from Tim Horton's as they seem very similar to me... I think Tim's is a bit sweeter though. Anyway, I wrote to Robin's and asked them to send me any information that they may have. I wonder if they will? At any rate, I am happy enough with using a general value, since I have all those lovely FLEX points to play with! By the way, I counted four points for a 10 oz cup of hot chocolate. Sound right to you?

*I received a reply saying they were working on it, and that it would be available on the site. Gee. How informative.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Smart Ones Spicy Szechuan Style Vegetables & Chicken

I have had this product in my freezer for a few weeks now...and today was the day to try it. It is rainy outside and cold in the house, so a nice spicy hot lunch seemed like the way to go. For four points, there is lots to eat - I am sure there was some chicken in there somewhere.....they wouldn't lie, would they? The nice thing was that the veggies had some bite left to them. Not the usual mush that I was expecting at all. For pasta lovers, I can see this working, but for me? It filled a hole, but meh....not exciting at all! I really enjoyed the multigrain roll from Extra Foods though...three points of chewy goodness! With the addition of a side salad, I could see this pinch hitting for supper on a night that I had to fly solo.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Last night we had a lovely dinner outside...I will miss being out on the deck so much. Who would have thought! I have never, ever been an outdoorsy type, but since we built the deck, it has been my greatest joy. The weather has turned lovely and warm, and the leaves here are still very green....who knows how long the warm spell will last? Fall is my favourite season. When we first moved here, I noticed the leaves turning, but within a few days, it seems, the wind came up and blew them all away! Pouf. Over. Dealt with in one gusty prairie day. So much for fall that year! I came to realize, it is like that pretty much every year. You have to get out for a good long walk when you see the leaves turning, because you may not have another chance. But isn't that the case with the events of every day?

Supper tonight will be an easy pot roast, so you can't get much easier than that! It is good to be back to a relatively normal routine, if only for a little while. Gradually I am going to sort through my closet once again. I need to pack away my summer things according to size, so when the spring comes, I won't have to waste time going through obviously too large items. Thank goodness my winter clothing includes a fair number of knits...they seem to be like the tide, capable of moving in and out daily! Bless you Nina Leonard wherever you are!

It is hard to tell what my weight has done over the last couple of weeks. I tried my best to stay on program while away, but I still haven't recovered from the nine hour car trip on Friday to feel confident enough to step on the scale! Sitting down is the worst possible thing for me. Don't get me wrong, I can sit with the best of 'em, but I do need frequent fifteen minute spurts of activity! Reading just doesn't seem to burn any calories, no matter how heavy the book!