Sunday, May 13, 2012
I had stopped doing this, but I have to brag a little about yesterday's shopping score. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from a happy hour (!), which could have been a disaster since I'm discovering that alcohol and I are not friends-- I had about half a beer and it made me feel strange for 6 or 7 hours. But not only was there only one small impulse buy, I also got some serious bargains. I came home with:
--1 gallon skim milk
-- bag of 4 frozen Lightlife brand portobello veggie burger (new to me, but there was a coupon)
--2 pounds butter
--1 tub spreadable light butter
--can of light hot cocoa mix, 26 servings (I use it as a calcium supplement--it has 35% DRV for 20 cals)
--2 one-pound boxes shredded wheat cereal
--1 box generic Cheerios
--1 qt cottage cheese
--1 can crushed tomatoes
--1 pkg sugar-free gum (my impulse buy)
--3 one-pot size coffee samples
--3 large mangos
--2 boxes Nutrisse foam haircolor
And the grand total? Wait for it....
The haircolor was on a clearance shelf for $1.99 and I had 2 coupons for $2 each, so that was totally free. Usually that brand is around $8.99 a box. It's one shade lighter than I usually use, but I find that on my hair, anything lighter than medium brown turns out pretty much the same color. Then the cereal (store brand) was on sale for $1.98 and there was a coupon for $3 off of 3 boxes. The butter was on clearance for $1 a pound because it's getting close to its sell-by, but I'll freeze it and it'll be fine. The light butter is Smart Balance brand, and there was a $1 coupon in last Sunday's paper; I have 2 copies, and the catalina or carolina or whatever they call it at the checkout spit out another coupon that's good until August. If I like this brand, it'll be cheap for me until fall. So... all in all, a pretty good haul.
The other thing is that I'm on day 6 of the no-sugar streak, and it's doing me good! By day 3 the cravings were gone, and for the last 2 days I've been much less hungry overall. I'm not fanatical about it; I eat sugar-sweetened yogurt that I already bought, and I use regular jam (although part of the time I've been using some freezer jam that my mom made which has a lot more fruit than average and might have been made with Splenda.) I have some diet soda, too, which helps, but I haven't been drinking as much of it the past few days, either. Anyway, my calorie totals are looking good, and I think I've lost a little weight already, so I'm back to where I was before I overate on Easter. Still 4 or 5 pounds to go before I'm officially not overweight, and another 10 that I would really like to lose after that, but at least it's moving in the right direction!
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Two unrelated topics, actually!
I've been trying hard to start a "no refined sugar" streak, and failing because I keep telling myself, "Eh, I'll start tomorrow" (especially when someone offers me a free cookie sample!) Then I read someone else's blog about using the ticker for accountability. I wish I remembered whose it was, but it was just one of those, "Click, read, realize later that that was really inspiring" situations. Anyway, I went in and reset my ticker from weight (which I didn't keep updated anyway) to "days since," and it's already helping! I've finally made it to day 2.
I baked some of the sourdough bread that I made by making regular bread dough and leaving it out for a few days. It was pretty good, but not like San Francisco sourdough good. The local wild yeasties around here apparently just aren't that flavorful-- when I've tried to make my own starter in the past, it's always been kind of blah. Still, it's good to know that it works. Now I have the remaining dough in the fridge to bake one serving at a time in my 1/2 pint dutch oven.
Still no luck on the small covered pot search. I want a 2-qt cast iron dutch oven, but I want it for under $20, and no one has leapt forward to accommodate me on that.
There's one more place I plan to check in the next few days, and if they don't have one, I'll settle for a ceramic casserole I saw for about $15.
Monday, May 07, 2012
I found a tiny cast iron pot, made a single batch of dough, and took a portion out and kneaded in some chopped apples, dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg, and some dried tart cherries. Luckily it only made one roll, because if I had made a loaf, I probably would have ended up eating the whole thing!
Now I have to decide what to do with the rest of that batch of dough. I have left it in the bowl on the counter, and it's turning into natural sourdough. I'm still looking for an inexpensive small/medium covered pot or dish to bake it in, but I haven't seen anything the right size under $40 so far.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I made a loaf with three cups of regular whole wheat flour and one cup each of all-purpose, semolina, and rye. (At least, I think it was rye. It's in a canister and I didn't label it, one of my bad habits!) I also tossed in a little bit of some old "sourdough enhancer" that I found in the back of my cupboard. It's mostly malt, with a little citric acid.
It's fabulous! So far each loaf has been better than the one before. This one tastes very complex. It's still moist because of the semolina. Since semolina is the most expensive flour I used, I was glad to find that a cup is enough to preserve that texture.
Now I'm going out on my bicycle to get some exercise while looking for a smaller, inexpensive ovenproof covered pot to bake smaller loaves in. Even though it's healthy and relatively low in calories, I really don't need to be baking 3 pounds of bread at a time. (I'll freeze half of this loaf as soon as it's completely cool.)
If I find the right small baking dish, the next batch will be whole wheat with rosemary and sea salt!
Monday, April 23, 2012
The whole time I was losing weight, and on into the first two or three years of maintenance, I drank massive amounts of diet soda. When I changed job and money was tight, I couldn't see spending good money on fizzy brown water, so I quit... and started to gain back weight. Of course there are a gazillion other things that changed at the same time, so I can't really blame the diet soda. Then again, one of the gazillion other things that changed about that time was that I started nibbling while I cook dinner and in the evenings after dinner, and I'm pretty sure I don't do that if there's a bubbly cold drink available.
The grocery store across the street has its store brand soda on sale, 59 cents for a 2-liter bottle and $2 for a 12-pack of cans. I've decided to lay in about a 6-week supply and see what happens. I drank one can tonight, and you know... It kept me out of the kitchen. The raisins were calling to me, but they shut up when I took the diet pink grapefruit soda out of the freezer and I haven't heard them since.
We'll see. I really hope it helps, because I really want to get rid of at least 5 pounds in the next 12 weeks or so. At that point I'm probably either going to be interviewing for a job in California (and trying to sneak in a few extra days to go to Sequoia National Park) or heading to Big Bend National Park for 3 months as a volunteer, or possibly both. And I'm just about 5 pounds too heavy to be really comfortable hiking in rough terrain, or to look my best in my interview suit. You wouldn't think 5 pounds would make that much difference, but it does. If $10 worth of generic diet coke even just makes me think I'm doing better, it's worth it!
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