To A Thinner 2009

Christmas is over and it’s time to clean up some of the mess and start looking ahead to  2009. Unfortunately one of my goals for next year hasn’t changed a bit from last year and that is to get my weight back down. This year tho I am ready for big changes and how I approach this challenge will be different also.  I rather enjoyed Nana’s take on New Year’s resolutions and instead of doing them, she picks a magic word for the year. I have been thinking a lot about that since reading it and it’s very hard to come up with just one word. I think for me my word shall be “Organization”.

I have myself spread so thin across so many things I don’t really accomplish any. I feel like that “Jack of all trades, master of none”. I am going to spend this year “weeding out” the unnecessary clutter in my life. I am going to finish the projects I have hanging in the wind and finally put things away.  I will get anal about planning my time, etc. so that the things that are important get done as well as the mundane (but necessary).

While I thought this was going to be fairly easy, I have changed my “magic” word half a dozen times while writing this. LOL. I need a word that encumpases “quit procrastinating, focus, organization, and change” all into one.

Okay, so now it’s your turn. Let us know what your magic word for 2009 would be or is. You could post it on your blog and let us see what changes are coming to your house next year. If you would like to see another example, go on over to the Nana Diaries and see her post.

Weigh In A-Ok

It’s 6:00 at nite the second day after Christmas, and right before I started this post I decided at weigh myself and see what the damage was. Not only was there Christmas, but yesterday was my Birthday! I am glad to report I am no worse for the wear. In fact, with all the walking I’ve been doing I may not have only not gained weight for the holidays, but maybe lost a pound or two. I weigh exactly the same in all my winter sweats, at nite, as I did in my light summer clothes when it was so hot and I weighed myself in the morning. I consider that a good thing! LOL.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and good times were had by all. Looking back, between Christmas shopping and my oldest daughter being here and running my tail off all over town, I’ve probably had more exercise than I have in a while. Now I’m getting ready for the new year, a new plan (or the old one that works) and see if I can’t straighten my goofy life out. I really think my weight is just a by-product of the chaos in the rest of my life.  I wrote about taking back control of my life awhile ago. It’s time I put it into action!

Speaking of that, I have put up a page of links to all kinds of free gifts for all my friends here online. Please visit my “Merry Christmas and Happy My Birthday” page. There is all kinds of free stuff at these things, whether you are trying to live off the internet full time, blogging full time, or need a little help in the self improvement department.  There’s a lot of good stuff, some not so good, some you may not care about, but they’re fun to check out and can be very valuable.

I want to thank you all for the enjoyment I’ve received from reading your blogs if you have one, for the encouragement you give me to keep fighting and not give up, and for the friendship I feel even tho we haven’t met face to face “yet”.

Love, Me

Christmas Food Traditions

At our house we’re a pretty traditional type family, which meands we pretty much cook and serve the same things year after year. One reason for this is to keep the tradition, the other is because my mother usually has a fit when we change things. LOL. She very rarely likes what new thing we try, altho my sister has had better luck at this than I have. I guess being the oldest I’m the one who is supposed to carry the family traditions through. LOL.

One of the dishes that was a tradition growing up was a thing called Strawberry Delight. My mother had told us years ago she had lost the recipe, so I haven’t made it in quite awhile, and I’ve missed it. It’s just as light as can be and such a great taste. Yesterday morning I spent a couple of hours hunting down the recipe on the net, but to no avail. While I could remember what didn’t go in it, I could not remember what did.

When my mother woke up I started questioning her, trying to get some information on ingredients and she asked why I didn’t just go get the recipe out of her blue notebook. Ughhh. Of course I make substitutions now since I worry more about my weight than I did growing up, but it’s still a wonderful fruit “salad” to serve with dinner or an excellent dessert after a large meal.

Our version of “Strawberry Delight” (Can be lemon if you prefer)

This makes a 9×13 inch pan and serves 12

My mother used to make this on the holidays and it was so good, but light as air.

The nutritional calculator seems to be off. I don’t know if I edited too many times or what! LOL
30 Minutes to Prepare 

Ingredients

Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened, 2 packages, thawed
1 large package Strawberry Jello prepared with 21/4 cups boiling water,
1 cup sugar (4 Tbsp for crust)
2 cans chilled, evaporated skimmed milk
Graham Crackers, low fat, plain, 48 large rectangular piece
1 cup low fat margerine

Directions

Using an 9×13 inch pan it yields 12 servings.
Mix strawberry jello and sugar (save 4 tbsp. for grahm cracker crust) with boiling water. Let cool till syrupy, then whip. Whip chilled canned milk. Whip milk and syrupy jello together, add strawberries and whip them all together.
Roll the 48 graham crackers fine. Add 4 Tbsp. sugar and 1 cup melted butter or margarine. Pack 1/2 mix into pan for a crust. Pour in Strawberry mixture. Sprinkle balance of crumbs evenly on top. Set in refrigerator to harden.

I’ll be posting some XMAS gifts either later today or tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday, which ever one you celebrate!

Self Esteem and Weight

I just wrote a post on my other blog about self esteem issues when you’re living with a passive aggressive, and it occurred to me how much our weight and body image have to do with our self-esteem. So just for today, LOL, I’m going to take the lazy way out and just refer you over there. I hope you enjoy=)

Time For Soup, Soup, Soup

Ooooh, the cold weather is starting to roll in. I call this the “Time to stay comfy, cozy” weather. For us in Silicon Valley the days are still pretty nice (60-65) but the nights and early mornings are cooling down a lot. We may even have frost this week.

For me it’s  a time when I like to be all wrapped up in soft cuddly clothes and eat nice hot soups and pots of beans, usually with cornbread. I usually make the cornbread from a mix using my eggbeaters and shedd spread so it’s not too fat and calorie laden.

I think I’ll visit “A Year of Crockpotting” and see if she soaks her beans before she puts them in the crockpot, or if you can just put them in there with water. I usually use a big old pot, so I’m not sure how to do it in the crockpot, and I think I would like to do that more often this year. I came across what looks like a really good recipe for a lentil soup, but haven’t made it yet.

Here’s a recipe for a Ministone I got from a supermarket magazine. I just love it. The flavor is so good, it’s vegetarian (for my daughter) and it’s only 2 points for a whole cup, which is pretty filling.

Yummy Minestroni

Hearty Minestrone Soup

INGREDIENTS
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 (32-oz.) cans beef broth
1 (8.75-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and
drained
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup Nob Hill Trading Co. Burgundy Marinara
Sauce
2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
3/4 cup Sunny Select small shell pasta
Prepared basil pesto

DIRECTIONS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Nutrition Per Serving: 127 calories, 7 g protein, 3 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 775 mg sodium

Place all ingredients except pasta and pesto in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes longer. Spoon into large bowls and swirl a teaspoon of pesto into each.

Makes 8 servings.

We use regular Classico Spaghetti sauce instead of the Marinara, but I love it. Thank you Railey’s Nob Hill  for your great recipes!

Okay I’m Stress Eating Today

You know I never really considered myself an emotional eater. I found out today that I guess I am. I am always “stressed” to a certain extent, but today I am SUPER STRESSED, and I found that I not only want to eat more and eat more wrong things, but I am “willfully disobedient”. Willfully disobedient to me means that I have thought about the action, I have thought about the consequences,  and I do the action even tho I know better. That’s where I’m at. How do you fight it?

I’m serious. When you think about what you are about to eat, you check out the calories, fat, carbs involved, you tell yourself that you really shouldn’t do it, and then you do it anyway, how do you stop yourself?  This is what I do.

It started out early this morning. I desperately wanted cookies to go in my coffee. Not desperate enough to go get some. I started looking around the kitchen to see what I could have instead. Turned into 2 pieces of diet bread turned into toast with peanut butter and jelly. Didn’t do it. Later the feeling never subsided and I kept telling myself I really needed to eat something more substantial. That didn’t work out either. So I decided to bake a cake.

I took a chocolate cake mix, used eggbeaters for the eggs, added lite cherry pie filling and baked at 350 for 30 minutes according to the box directions. It’s wonderful. I had two “nibbles” not even equalling a whole piece and I’ve been happy ever since.

I didn’t:

go out and indulge myself in bakery goods or sweets where I had no control over the ingredients.

I only ate enough to obviously satisfy me, because I never went back for more.

I feel good because, while I indulged in emotional eating I was still able to control it and not just devestate my self esteem by feeling guilty after I ate.

How do you handle these moments? We all go through them and I am into suggestions. I’ve eaten out of boredom and I recognize that, but this one kind of threw me.

What Do We Know About Acai?

I have to admit I ‘ve been fascinated lately by the Acai berry. It’s supposed to have such super health benefits, plus the benefit of losing weight. The only “real” thing I’ve read is the pure stuff is more healthful and effective than the combinations. Reading up on everything all the ads will tell you how it was touted on Oprah. They don’t tell you it wasn’t their product. According to the good Dr. Oz (I think it was him) it needs to be pure and now they have an unsweetened pulp that is supposed to be the ultimate.  I’m going to check my health food store the next time I go in, or maybe Whole foods and see what they have. There are all kinds of stuff on the web, but if I’m going to do it I want the real thing.

The MonaVie juice is really popular, but it’s about $45 a botttle an it is not the pure stuff. It’s mixed with other juices etc. There’s bottles and bottles of this stuff on the internet, everyone offering a free sample, but I can’t find what’s in them. I’ll let you know what I find etc., when I find it. LOL.

Don’t forget to check out the free ebooks link on the right handd side. There are some unique Christmas books in there that would be great for children or grandchildren.

Holiday Cookies Are Not Diet Friendly!

homemade xmas cookies

homemade xmas cookies

I went to a cookie swap this morning. My first ever! It was a combination cookie swap and charity drive run by our “Neighborhood Association”. They use the Multi Use room at our elementary school here in the neighborhood and there were 4 charities they were collecting for. ‘Tis the season’ you know. They had one charity that collected jackets and coats, one shoes, one clothes of any use etc., and blankets and towels for the local animal shelter. I usually donate most my stuff to “Hope” but kept forgetting to call them for a pick up so this was perfect.

As far as the cookie swap, while I love to bake it seems since I’ve gotten older I don’t have a lot of patience for cookies. If I want to bake cookies I spread all the batter in the bottom of a pan, cook them all at once, and cut them into bars when they’re done. This making 15 trips back and forth to the oven to bake them a dozen at a time, while it may be a way of getting some more steps in, isn’t for me. I bought mine at the grocery store. I’m doing my share to boost the economy. The only problem is they definitely were not low calorie, low carb, or low fat. I’m sure none of the ones I traded for were either. Thank goodness my mother will eat a good portion of them even tho she doesn’t need them any more than I do. This is how it starts.

I’ve made up for the couple of pounds from Thanksgiving, but it’s all the little parties, cookie swaps, etc. that cause the extra pounds between now and New Year’s. I feel sorry for all you people who work in offices as the treats, potlucks, etc. are never ending. I feel sorry for me because working at home I’m not a part of it. LOL.

So I am offering these tips for holiday eating. I broke two of the rules at Thanksgiving already. I love eggnog, tho I do buy lowfat. It has to have some sort of alcohol. See how many of these you can follow. These are not tips we haven’t all heard before, so consider this a gentle reminder.

Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating
When the holidays arrive, many people forget all about their diets and healthy eating. Weight gains of 7 – 10 pounds are common between
Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays easier, these tips will help you with healthy eating through the season and not gaining weight.
1). Most traditional foods can be made low fat.
Turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy can be made without any fat. Potatoes that are served without butter can be very healthy. The beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it can be made into a fatty dessert with the adding of whipped cream.

2). Even though the holidays are in, don’t forget
about the exercise.
Keeping weight off during the holiday season is burning off the extra calories. You should plan a walk after meals,
park farther from stores when you shop, and take a few walks around the mall before you begin shopping.

3.)During holiday parties and at family dinners, feel free to sample foods although you shouldn’t splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party, eat a small snack to help curb your appetite.

4). If at all possible, avoid alcohol. Having too many drinks can cripple your will power, and also add excess calories to your diet. In the
place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water can help to limit your appetite and keep you from binging. Also make sure to avoid eggnog,
as each glass can have up to 300 calories.

5). Be flexible with your healthy eating, as one bad
meal won’t ruin your diet.
Try to balance your
calories over a few days and don’t just look at
one meal or day.

Almost to The End of Turkey Leftovers!

Ooooh, I’ve been gone so long and have so much catching up to do. I need to go visit everybody else on my blog list and get caught up with what’s been happening with everyone! First though, I’ll get everyone caught up with me. There’s so much going on.

Yep, almost to the end of the leftovers but what would “after Thanksgiving” be without some kind of Turkey Soup? I made the stock out of the carcass the day after so tonight I will add the veggies, maybe some pasta and dinner is ready to go. While I’m writing this, I’m thinking maybe I ought to put it in the crockpot and let it cook all day. I wouldn’t have to do anything tonite except eat it! LOL. The BF has been living on turkey sandwiches. He swears he never gets tired of them. He’s not very adventurous though. My Dad tought me to put on stuffing, turkey, and sometimes cranberry. Now that’s a turkey sandwich!

So I will confess right here and now, I gained 3 pounds over Thanksgiving. I don’t think it was really the food that did me in. More like the scotch and lowfat eggnog(s), or maybe the liverworst w/pistachio nuts, but it’s coming off and then some. I can’t afford to be packing any more weight on. I don’t have any clothes. LOL.

Okay, now for the drumroll please. Here are the “before” and “after” pics of our dining room. It was a push, but I got it done. Now we just need to keep it the “after” way (of course that’s what I said last year).

Ready for Thanksgiving

Ready for Thanksgiving

Before Thanksgiving

Before Thanksgiving

The BF Serving

The BF Serving

I did just what Lou said and had the CD player blasting and the coffee brewing all day long the day before, to get it done. Now things have settled down and it’s time to find a place in the livingroom for the Christmas Tree. You don’t want to see the livingroom. Heck I don’t want to see the livingroom. lol.
My middle daughter who pretty much lives out there left for Oklahoma this morning to be in her best friend’s wedding this Sat. The son has moved with his girlfriend and while he’s still around quite a bit, we’re without kids until Sunday. Now if I could just get them to take all their stuff with them.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you have time to leave a note, I would love to hear.

I’ve been decorating my website for Christmas already and am getting ready to add some free Christmas gifts. Now I just need to figure out how to string the lights. LOL.