Sunday, December 30, 2007
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
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
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 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
Saturday, December 22, 2007
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
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 drops...my oh my. I won't be leaving home tonight, I tell you!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
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
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
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
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
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
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
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
- The shot is not made with a live virus, so it doesn't give you the "flu". (comforting)
- What I call the flu is likely a cold. http://www.gettheflushot.ca/public/about_fluvaccine_facts.html
- 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 had...so, 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
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 cream...ah.....life 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
Fish Soup for four:
3 Cod Loins
3 cups of frozen shrimp
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
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
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
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.
- 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!
- Pour half a cup of olive oil into the little pusher cup with a hole in it, and process until it is all incorporated.
- 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 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 you....it 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
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!!!
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
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!
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
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 now...it 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 home...furniture 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
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
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!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
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
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
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
Thursday, October 11, 2007
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 fourteen....it must be lunchtime somewhere!
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 week...it 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
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
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
Friday, October 5, 2007
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 wide...you 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 man...now, 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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Monday, September 17, 2007
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!