Archive for April, 2011

This Post is About Food

Guess what? I have lots of food photos and thoughts to share this week! I think I’m due for a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday update.


My favorite breakfast.

Total calories: 335 (two slices of whole wheat toast, 1/2 T butter, 1 egg w/ feta, spinach, 2 pieces of bacon)

Two oatmeal cookie balls (my own recipe, no photo): 140 calories

Dinner: my usual mexican fajita shared with Josh: about 899 calories

Exercise: insanity workout

Total calories: 1,275


Breakfast was four oatmeal cookie balls (my recipe, no photo yet): 280 calories

Lunch: spinach meat loaf sandwich with fresh fried potatoes (ate out with a friend). I ate about five chips, all of the meatloaf and left some of the bread. About 450 calories

Dinner: spaghetti with meatballs:

1 serving whole wheat pasta, sherry sauce, 3 meatballs (plus 2 more), Parmesan cheese, bread with butter, spinach salad with vinaigrette dressing. 700 calories

Exercise: Insanity


Breakfast and lunch were the same. Egg sandwich with spinach and butter.

290 calories each. two slices of bread: 120 calories, butter 100 calories, egg 70 calories, spinach is zero.

Dinner was frozen pizza night for us. We both wanted pizza, but didn’t want to order out for a pizza with a ton of calories and too many slices. So we opted for a frozen pizza. While Josh was out at the store I put together some chickpeas and a salad to make the meal more filling.

I had two slices of pizza (I actually only at 1/4 of a large pizza- a first for me!!) with avocado slices on top. A half serving of Trader Joe’s Indian spiced chickpeas. A salad with tomatoes and vinaigrette dressing.

Total calories: 550

Dessert! I made a pan of brownies with white whole wheat flour and evaporated cane juice. More on this in a minute. One brownie: 143 calories + strawberries about 15 calories. Total: 158

Total calories for the day: 1,288

No exercise!

I have a few thoughts about making this small dessert. One of them is that I believe technically using sucanat (evaporated cane juice) is breaking my no-sugar rule. I am not in some state of denial believing that this isn’t sugar. I’ve done a lot of research on the product and the only difference is that it hasn’t been refined or bleached. It still has a lot of vitamins and minerals. But, sugar is essentially sugar.

My goal has always been this: to control my habits towards sugar. I overeat sugar. I used to find ways to eat dessert, obsess over eating more, and even secretly eat sugar. I don’t do this anymore. I don’t know if I’m experiencing a placebo with sucunat, but I just don’t binge on the items I make with it.

I ate this brownie and it was delicious. Anyone would think it was. There is little difference. It is a high calorie treat, but I was done with my one slice. I wasn’t obsessed with eating another one. I’m not even obsessed with eating one now as I write this. This has never happened to me in my life of baking. Ever.

I counted the calories, I didn’t feel guilty about it and I don’t feel any need to hide this from any one who reads my blog.

What has changed from not eating “real sugar”? When I’m out to eat, I’m never tempted to order dessert. When I’m offered a baked good, I decline. I don’t think “ice cream would be good right now” after I eat a hearty meal. I’m not obsessed or consumed with getting a quick fix in the kitchen with the sugar and butter I have on hand. It’s easier to say no because the decision has already been made for me.

If my sucanat treats become too much to control, I will stop baking them. For now, I see nothing wrong with moderation. I love baking, something I’ve sorely missed since I’ve started my no-sugar rule. And this allows me to get in my kitchen again, guilt-free. And maybe that’s the point. I always had guilt over the sugar of my past, but now it’s gone. It’s totally possible that the elimination of guilt has been the real change, rather than the switch in sugar products.

I don’t think most people take my no-sugar rule seriously, because I bend the rules myself. And that’s okay. Looking for natural sugars and not overeating is fine with me.  I’m still offered peanut butter Easter eggs, cupcakes, cake, and ice cream all by people who read my blog. But the truth is, the last time I had a real dessert was on my birthday. And again will be my anniversary. I already know I want a nice dessert at a nice restaurant. I don’t want to gorge.

But my biggest hope through this year is that I learn to get by on less. That I don’t need to eat the pan of brownies in the kitchen. I don’t need dessert everyday. I don’t need sugar to survive.

And this isn’t just with sugar. You see those egg sandwiches up above? They are delicious. I could eat three of them. I wouldn’t feel good, and I don’t need to, but I could. Right after I eat I instantly want more. My brain is triggered. More more more. And I am learning to sit with it. I sit with my empty plate and dig into that feeling of more. As soon as I’m aware, it goes away. I’m not fighting it, I’m not talking myself out of it. I don’t feel bad about it. I just sit with the feeling. I trust the feeling, and it goes away.

I’m realizing that this is why dieting in America doesn’t work. I’ve tried so many diets that tell me not to have one small brownie,  one serving of frozen pizza, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, a sprinkling of feta, a drizzle of olive oil. All of them valid in some way or another, I’m sure, but here’s the thing: it doesn’t work because it never goes away. I can avoid certain foods because they make me feel bad, but to eliminate them totally just won’t work for me. It never has. So I’m convinced where I wasn’t before, that counting calories, in a way, let’s me have my cake and eat it too.

I eat anywhere between 1,200-1,500 calories a day sometimes more. And I’m okay with that amount of food. I’m slowly teaching myself that it’s enough food. I’m never hungry and guess what? I’m losing weight!

Companies are spending billions of dollars on campaigns to sell their food. Food that isn’t good for us, so the way I deal is to either make it myself or eat small amounts. Josh mentioned that he was tempted to get a package of Jimmie Dean breakfast biscuits. I told him I was glad he didn’t because I would make him some and freeze them for breakfast. It’s not about never eating a sausage biscuit, but about finding a way to make it better. I will use local sausage and whole ingredients for the biscuits. I will count the calories in them, enjoy them and move on.

I’ve talked too much for one day! Happy weekend!

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Thoughts on Twitter

This week flew by! I kept up with taking food photos, but had a hard time coming here to make an actual post. This week successful in a few ways: I tracked all of my food, I lost seven pounds, I exercised, I got a lot of work done. And then not so successful because I just felt bad about myself all week. I know it is most likely hormone related depression, but it’s awful to feel bad emotionally.

I go in and out of clarity and that feel good feeling that suddenly, without warning goes away. All I can do is just ride it out. I have very mellow dramatic thoughts in days like this so I know it’s better for me to just stay away from most forms of social communication where all I want to do is whine and be passive aggressive. Social media can be lonely especially when you feel ignored or that your life is summed up in  140 characters.

I really want to get out of social media as my main means of keeping up with people. On the other hand I enjoy sharing projects,  blog and stuff I’m working on. I just sometimes feel like when I’m away from twitter, I lose touch. And it shouldn’t be that way, I didn’t even know what twitter was until recently- and now it’s my main source of communication with far too many people. There isn’t a lot that feels good about twitter and I haven’t read much that contributes positively to my life.

I have a friend who doesn’t use social media in any way. She has two businesses that run on word of mouth and when we want to catch up? We meet for lunch, email or call. We do this about once a week, and it’s refreshing not to have our relationship hanging in the balance of tweets. Call it old fashioned, but it’s a way less complicated friendship. We aren’t annoyed by the tweets of each other, or judging what the other has said, or reading into every menial thought or complaint the other has shared. I’m never worried that I didn’t congratulate her or acknowledge her in her latest tweets because I missed it. And I’m never sore with her because she never tweets me back, or interacts with me. We just have real communication, and it feels healthier.

I’m not saying twitter/facebook isn’t helpful, but I often feel left out of the swing of things. I don’t have a boring job and I’m not wishing the days away until the weekend (omg! TGIF!!!)  with my thoughts on twitter. Most days I have nothing witty, funny or smart to say. I don’t want my interaction on twitter to be my only interaction with friends. When I tweet it’s usually about an interesting article I’ve read, or that I’ve updated my blog, or that I have jewelry to sell, or that I exercised. Everything else is just noise to me.

Because I don’t share every detail of my life online (I know that’s hard to believe) I get that feeling that people are suspicious of me. That they feel they don’t know the real me. And it’s true. This isn’t the whole of me, I don’t share every single project I’m working on, every single thing my husband or cats do, every time I leave the house, every thing I’m involved in- because really…who cares? I would bore myself with it all and I suspect others would be too. And when I do share something I’m excited about…no one does care. And that’s okay. Because there comes a point when we all start thinking things about each other that we normally wouldn’t think in a real relationship: okay,  we get it, you’re awesome. everything you touch turns to gold. you’re a goddess and totally rocking life. we all want to be like you.

Celebration on twitter often feels like bragging. And then I realize that sometimes my self-worth, my likability hangs in 140 character. And that is  not acceptable.

I feel like twitter has become a place tell anyone all of the random thoughts we have throughout the day. You’re sick again, your knee hurts, you hate your job/co-workers/boss, there is a spider on your desk, you hated some movie or tv show, you are having a shitty day, but wait, it’s awesome again(!). It just feels like uncontrolled mind noise, not moving forward, but backwards. I say all of this to say, that I am backing away from using social media as a way to keep up with people. I like email, I sometimes don’t mind a call or even a text, and planning for the next time we see each other.

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Long Easter Weekend

Easter weekend travel went smoothly. My worst day of eating was Saturday, I just ate way too much and felt physically bad by the time I went to bed. Too many Terra chips and Mexican food. Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday have all been successful days. We even made a point to exercise in our hotel pool.

I made a special carrot cake for Easter using evaporated cane juice and agave nector for sweeteners. As well as natural whole wheat white flour and lots of crushed pineapples. It was delicious. Aside from the not-too-sweet icing, I couldn’t tell a difference between my cake and a sugar filled carrot cake.

I also brought asparagus and a salad to dinner. I think asparagus takes some time to get used to, but it’s a delicious and over looked vegetable. I’ve found that vegetables that I thought I didn’t like were ones that were just cooked poorly. The first time I had asparagus was in my college cafeteria, on the blue plate special. Never judge a vegetable that is on the blue plate special. Chances are they are from a can and have been cooked to slime.

Friday on our way to West Virginia we stopped at the Wal-Marts to get the oil changed and tires rotated. The only restaurant in walking distance was the Texas Roadhouse. We shared a roll and some peanuts. I had a grilled chicken salad for lunch.

I used the fork in the dressing method instead of pouring it all over the salad. I ended up only using about half of this container of dressing. I’m not gonna lie, I love this kind of salad with ranch dressing. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but way better than a hamburger and fries from one of these places.

That evening we had dinner with my parents as Taste of Asia.

There they are! I had one crab ragoon and half of an egg roll.

For dinner I shared maki rolls (california, spicy tuna and avacado) with josh. We each had a piece of salmon sushi.

My fortune:

Saturday morning I had breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my mom.

I had the one egg, one sausage breakfast.

For lunch I had Terra chips and dinner with Jasmine and Josh at the Mexican restaurant where I proceeded to eat way too much food!

Sunday morning I had breakfast at Suzie’s with Jasmine. A huge sausage and egg biscuit with unsweet tea.

Lunch/dinner was Easter dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, asparagus, green beans, salad and carrot cake.

Monday morning we had breakfast at the Vietnamese place in South Charleston. My favorite meal ever.

My cute husband:

Made a stop at the local coffee shop for un-sweet tea (me) and coffee (josh).

Once we made it home we were both starving, so we headed out for our final restaurant meal in a long time.

10 tortilla chips and we shared the chicken fajita dinner.

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