Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It boils down to whether you view life in general as a cup half full, or a cup half empty.

It seems to me, that when we have so many foods that were created for our enjoyment, how can I ever feel deprived if I make an effort to explore this world full of tastes and textures? Falling into the rut of eating the same ol' same ol' is impossible if I allow myself to indulge while shopping the "edges" of the supermarket! What can be better than strawberries in February, corn on the cob in January?

You don't have to be a millionaire to be inventive with what is at hand. Take risks. Even if it doesn't turn out great, at least it will be a change! It feels so good to indulge myself by buying the 'good' stuff - in the long run, it isn't nearly as expensive as fast food meals, or the medical issues that follow eating poorly.

Here is my plan for the day!

Omelet, consisting of:
1 item egg
2 item egg white(s)
1/2 oz German Swiss Cheese
1 cup mushroom(s)

1 serving Safeway Stone Ground Thin Bread 2 slices
2/3 Tbsp butter
1 cup fat-free skim milk

8 oz plum(s)
Chicken Sandwich

green leafy salad, with Creamy Caesar dressing
3 oz Pork, tenderloin done on the barby - it looks like another scorcher here

1 cup of steamed potatoes

1/2 cup cooked carrots

barbecued zucchini sliced and sprinkled with
1 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Diet Jello, 2 T cool whip

total points use? 22

This is hardly deprivation in my books!

Monday, July 30, 2007

When things come together....

in a natural progression, it makes life so much easier, doesn't it?

I have been thinking about joining Curves, and this weekend, I stumbled into a lovely woman that told me all about it...first hand. She works for curves! This lady was not shy about saying she was sixty five, and man! Did she look good! She wasn't a skinny minny, but she was stylin'!

My fear of physical activity started when I was a child. I have two eyes that don't cooperate, so I found PT to be one painful experience after another. Baseball meant being repeatedly bashed in the face by the ball while my usually protective limbs were engaged in a futile attempt to catch it. To this day, when I hear a the hollow boinking of a dodge ball on pavement, I assume the fetal position. I don't want to even discuss "hop, skip and jump". As one specialist explained, I see well, but slowly! So, of course anything that requires my eyes to focus quickly results in the same predictable outcome ...pain.

Curves doesn't sound painful. Unless you count the walls I will inevitably walk into.

Now, moving forward. My adventures in food land this weekend included a trip to MacDonald's. We never go there, but for some reason, it was just the thing to do on Friday. Did you know that it is completely possible to have a Big Mac and Fries, and stay on program? Who knew. No wonder people love Weight Watchers! Before, I would have eaten the burger, and beaten myself up for days about it. This time? No guilt. And I still have Flex points left for emergencies before I lose them on Wednesday. Life is good.

I think there are two ways of approaching point counting. One, is to never take your Flex Points but be lenient with yourself when it comes to counting, or the other is to be miserly with your points, counting down to the last fraction. Well, I am a natural when it comes to bean counting, so I choose to track every morsel that goes into my mouth. How many points is that tiny tip of the pie wedge you steal from your husband? I mean tiny, not a fork full. 1 point. It had better be good for that, is all I have to say! Most of the time it isn't, but I still need to steal it!

Often I find myself dishing out my food, eating what I can, then passing it over to my husband to finish. He informed me this morning, that he has lost four pounds this week. Life is not fair.

There is definitely something to be said for eating every three hours. I am eating much the same kind food, but eating more of it, more often. It has never made sense to me, why Weight Watchers works. I found a couple of articles written about this, and apparently, your body does better with frequent feedings. I have found this great for my sugar levels, although it is a nuisance to be eating so often. Eventually, I will get used to it, I am sure. Tough job, but somebody has to do it! The upside is, that I am never hungry, and the down side is that I find myself working out food values for fractions of servings that I need to fill my point requirement for the day.

After almost one month on program, I am amazed that I am still so enthusiastic about this process, perhaps even more so than at first. It has not been difficult, but the progress is slow. It seems that this is just right, right now.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


It was one of those days. There I was, minding my own business, on my way to do grocery shopping at four thirty, when wham! A Big Mac attack.

For the first time in my life, I gave in gracefully and just enjoyed the splurge. Actually it really didn't taste as good as the craving led me believe it would, but you know cravings...they promise you the world, and never deliver...much like a handsome man with an IQ of 96. In hindsight, eating a Big Mac in a parking lot really isn't worthy of the cost - 23 points. Next time, I want candlelight and wine before I put out like that!

Now, before WW I would have totally berated myself for this splurge for days. But yesterday? Breakfast was 3 points, and lunch was also 3 points, so it was an absolutely guilt free indulgence! Before WW I would have eaten the same thing, but the mental attitude would have been so much different. I really wonder if following this program faithfully does something chemically to your brain, because it seems to me that I am eating much more than I ever did, and basically cooking the same things the same way. But, on the other hand, even if you make one small 'mistake' a day, the pounds can creep up and pounce! And I do notice that the level in the olive oil bottle has not gone down as much this month! There haven't been any notable sacrifices. Just small changes, barely noticeable.

So, today I started off "large" with a one egg + one white mushroom omelet. Lunch will be a smoked turkey sandwich, and tonight we have an invitation to dine with friends, so I have no idea what we will be eating, but my guess is "well"! After a month on program, I think I can manage "guesstimates" for one evening. I always overestimate to be on the safe side though, and when push comes to shove, having diabetes makes a reason for my idiosyncrasies at the table. So, my 'no thanks' to seconds is taken seriously the first time, and not eating my pie crust won't raise a single eyebrow! You have to make everything work for you in this life!

Friday, July 27, 2007


The trouble with doing the weekly food shopping, is that it isn't about food anymore. When you look down the aisles, there is a sea of products that are non-foods. My system has a low tolerance for things of this nature, it is always a disappointment when I try a convenience food or the newest "no-sugar, no-fat, no-flavour" item. Case in point? No Fat Mayo. Now, the last time I made Mayo, it was oil and egg. Pretty fat based! But they are now marketing what I presume to be an old fashioned boiled dressing. Which by the way, is very good. It is one of those "Depression" recipes that inventive women used when supplies were low, and appetites high. The following recipe has many faces, and all come in with more flavour and fewer calories than the stuff in the store, not to mention a huge savings dollar wise!

The basic recipe is as follow:

  • 1 T flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • speck of red pepper
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 T salad oil (corn oil for best flavour)
  • 1 Cup of water
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 T vinegar

Blend flour, sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, oil, and water in top of a double boiler. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Beat eggs slightly in a small bowl, then add vinegar gradually, so as to not to curdle. Slowly add half of the hot sauce to egg mixture, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler, stirring over hot water (not boiling) until mixture coats a spoon. Overcooking will cause eggs to curdle. Remove, and pour into a jar. When cool, cover and refrigerate.

For a Sandwich Spread, increase the flour to 2Tablespoons, and increase entire recipe by 25 calories.

Russian Dressing: to 1/4 cup of cooked dressing add 1 T ketchup 1 T 14 calories

Gourmet Dressing: add 1/2 tsp horseradish, dash of Worcestershire sauce added to Russian

Thousand Island Dressing: to 1/4 c cup of cooked dressing, add 2 T chili sauce, 2 T chopped green pepper and 1/2 cooked egg, finely chopped. 1 1/2 T = 20 calories.

Making the dressing is my task for today!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Menu Planning

I do so much better when I know what is in the house to eat! Before joining WW, I always made my weekly menu plan on "Desk Day" (usually Tuesday) so anything I needed for the following week could be purchased when out shopping on "Errand Day". This good habit fell by the wayside in the blur that was June. I love reading what my favourite bloggers out there are having for dinner, so I thought I would return the favour today! Now I ask you, does this look like I am going without?

2 Eggs, scrambled with Mrs. Dash
Whole Wheat Toast
(2 for 90 Cal - 1 point)
1/2 T Cheeze Whiz
1/2 T Peanut Butter
Skim Milk
Sliced Smoked Turkey, FF Swiss Cheese & Tomato Sandwich
with 1 T Hellman's Light Mayo
16 rice crackers
2 T of Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Chicken Stir Fry made with:
2 oz breast meat
Veggy mix from Costco
Stir fried in chicken broth, seasoned with Garlic, Ginger, Soya sauce and Hot Chili Sauce
(I toss the package stuff that comes with the veggies...mine is better, and POINT FREE!)
Ice Cream Bar
Snackage to use up the rest of the points for the day:
McDonald's Ice Cream Cone
Werther's Candy

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh joy!

Miracle of miracles, I am down 1.6 pounds. Yesterday should have been my weigh in day, but there wasn't even a slight shift to be seen. So, I am changing my weigh in day to Wednesday! Anything to get that darned line going downwards on the WW chart! So far? A total of 7.6 pounds. I love my lithium battery scale. Never lies to me. I still find myself taking the time to step on three times though. Just to be sure.

Food is the last thing I want to think about in this heat, but an obvious necessity for a chubby diabetic. So, the menu for today is super simple. All-Bran with milk for breakfast, Top Dog hot dogs and Wonder + buns for lunch. There are chicken breasts thawing in the frig for supper, to have with baked yams and a tossed salad. Can't get creative today, folks. Keeping it simple in the heat.

Working out menus to fit into the points value allotment isn't all that difficult. It has been three weeks plus a few days (started on July 3, 2007) so far, and after the first week of "awareness building" things got so much easier. Discovering that foods I have been avoiding were actually low in point value was such a bonus! Corn on the cob, for instance. I am not going to question WW on that one, believe me! One medium cob for a point? Whoo hoo!

After diligently measuring the amount of things like butter, Cheez Whiz and peanut butter I was surprised to find out that I was already pretty accurate in using the "prescribed" amounts. ( a teaspoon of butter per slice of toast, cob of corn or on a bowl of veggies - a tablespoon of PB or CW will do my two pieces of toast) I have changed the type of bread that I eat, from a rich Pro Biotic seedy number at 120 calories for one slice, to a thin whole wheat 'two for 90 calorie' cardboard special, makes a good enough vehicle for my breakfast spread favourites or lunch's smoked turkey. I don't butter my toast anymore either. (although, I am "cheap" with the butter, it still adds up!)

Cheese is another little saboteur, although I was surprised to find that I wasn't using more than an ounce on a shared omelette, or to sprinkle on steamed cauliflower. A little does go a long way. I think I will shred the block that is in the frig, so it won't go mouldy, and that way it will be easier to measure out, too. I am just not a fan of any of the fat free cheese products. Even the name makes me nervous! Ah well. I will just chalk it up to of the mysteries of modern science.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The weekend passed

in a hot blur. We have been sweltering here on the prairies. It would be nice to remember in the dead of winter when we are all complaining about the cold, but that never happens. We are a society of weather whiners.

We have been spoiling ourselves with all the fresh produce that is so readily available. After succumbing to the lure of a flat of tomatoes, and a super pack of zucchini, I have a couple of new signature dishes, perfected by repetition! My favourite is ripe tomatoes sliced on a pretty platter, then sprinkled with Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, a few drops of extra virgin olive oil , balsamic vinegar, then finished with crumbled Feta cheese and a chiffonade of basil. This makes a simple addition to a barbecued salmon fillet, chicken breast or chop. Friday night's lamb chops were brushed with pesto a few hours before grilling and wowed our dinner guests. I made stuffed zucchini boats, but far too fussy to do again. But they were tasty little devils, filled with Basmati rice , finely diced mushrooms, onion and topped with more Feta. So much easier to slice zucchini diagonally, then grill them with a bit of olive oil, and a sprinkle of cheese.

It never ceases to amaze me how well and how much you can eat when dieting. However, the amount of time spent in the kitchen increases, and I am left to wonder if the change in weight is due to dietary habits, or the fact that you are on your feet twenty-four seven shopping, cooking and cleaning up after cooking!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

For supper tonight....

I plan to grill some lamb chops with pesto, zucchini with parmesan, sliced tomatoes with basil. Berries and whipped cream (Cool Whip actually, but I take what I can get!) for dessert. All thanks to Costco's wonderful selection of fresh produce and meat. The only problem I have when shopping there, is recognizing when to stop! For two old people, who basically thrive on "roughage", Costco is hog heaven. I am sure we will be able to consume the flat of tomatoes we bought before they turn, as well as the huge quantity of cherries and grapes. Of course, I couldn't pass by the berries - they literally jumped into the cart. So, after cramming it all into our frig (not a small one, either) we have enough food to feed a small country. And next week? We will go back and do it again! Life is good.

A small miracle has happened at our house. I am known for my aversion to the outdoors. Any activity that could expose me to ultra violet light, temperatures above 23ยบ or contact with lower life forms (insects, bad men, nasty women) is completely out of the question. Or, at least it was. We have been dining outside for the past week, enjoying the luxury of watching the sun set, and then lighting candles so we can enjoy one more cup of tea... The bugs haven't been a problem...either that, or the glass of wine with supper really must take the edge off the hysteria.

Did I mention that I am scared stiff of bugs? Butterflies, too. Creepy crawlies or flying things. They have evil intent, as far as I can see. Just yesterday, while at my beloved Costco, I was attacked by a grasshopper. Feature this. Acres of pavement. Barely a tree in sight. I am minding my own business with the car window open to get rid of the hot air when this creature just hops in from nowhere and land on my thigh. Of course, my husband happened to be pulling out of the parking stall at the time, and I guess my gut wrenching, blood curdling scream must have alerted him to the danger. After he pried his nails out of the steering wheel, he helped me check the car from one end to the other for this threat to life that had evidently hopped out of the window trying to avoid the flailing and thrashing about that ensued after his discovery.

Rick has learned to not even try to explain away my fears. He just deals with them, much like a spray bottle full of water marked "nightmare repellent" soothes a three year old. He becomes MAN. The great white hunter. He can snatch any threat to WOMAN from the air with his bare hands, and dash it to pieces with one fell swoop of his hand. He can tackle killer moths after being aroused from a dead sleep without a murmur of complaint, and spiders are no match for this fearless man. Not bad for a guy that cries at chick flicks, eh?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Activity Points

So, this is how it works. I set the timer for ten minutes, do what I have to do around the house and get one more point added to my “account”. How sweet is that deal? When the cookies start calling, I can wash the paint off the walls, in ten minute increments. Each load of laundry could be washed and ironed twice, and mattress flipping just might qualify as an Olympic sport. Good thing the boy has left home, or he would be scrubbed raw under the general category of cleaning. Now, whoever put the Weight Watcher’s program into the universe must have had a great sense of humour. Not only do you gain goody points, but you also benefit by having a very clean environment. Of course, if you are the outdoorsy type, you would likely prefer being in the sunshine, letting your skin turn that nice leathery brown while speed walking to Sobey’s. Not me. This body came in a lily white wrapper, and it is best for everyone if it stays that way. Hell hath no fury like a woman burned.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


was a good day. I even managed to have a small bag of Ketchup chips while watching my favourite program last night. A short lived but pleasant treat! I found out that doing laundry for ten minutes counts as one "activity point". I am not sure how they came up with that, because I have automatic machines, not a rock to pound on by the river! But, if they say it is a point, I am taking it. One point barters for 5 No Sugar Added Werther's, a cup of cherries or a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. There are a lot of similarities between dieting, and prison.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Welcome to my universe...

For years now, people having been trying to shut me up. They do it nicely, of course, by telling me that I should write a book. Will a blog do?

There is nothing particularly special that I have to say, but I do feel the need to say it...often. This can lead to very animated conversations with myself that I am sure you will find entertaining, if not enlightening.

My latest interest is shallow. Only skin deep, in fact. I have joined Weight Watchers online. No more middle aged arched eyebrows if my body rebels and gains a pound. Nope. I am accountable to my Dell, and my Dell alone. But you are very welcome to take a peek into my little corner of the world, should you have the inclination.