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I survived my holiday baking

Monday, December 14, 2009

I used to be the person to bring in desserts. I'd start baking cookies in the summer, freeze them, and then bring in a huge tin to work, and send another huge tin in with my husband. It was my thing. I don't do that any more.

However, when I asked my husband if he'd like some cookies to bring in for work, he said sure. I started off with some raw cookies. Raw cookies are so easy, and so good! And he likes them. Wonders of wonders. Plus he has a co-worker with celiac disease (no gluten). I have no trouble just eating one or two raw cookies at most, so they're no problem to have around.

I have several leftover batches of cookies in the freezer (uncooked -- that way I can always have warm cookies when the urge hits, but the urge hadn't hit in a long time), so I baked up most of those yesterday -- a few chocolate chip and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Didn't even feel the urge to eat them, because I already knew how they tasted.

I made up some chocolate covered peanut butter balls on Saturday, and froze them. They got me in a little bit of trouble because I had more filling than cookie dough. I got into a little bit, but not too bad. You'd think I'd learn by now that sugar on an empty stomach gives me a headache, but no. The call of peanut butter (especially peanut butter with sugar & chocolate chips) is apparently still too strong. I did, however, have a very healthy eating day and was actually pretty low on points (by design), so I'm not particularly worried about it.

I made up some chocolate chocolate chip spice cookies yesterday, baked them, baked the peanut butter chocolate balls, and had one of each -- by plan. Sooooooo good. I had planned to make some brownies, too, but decided I was too tired and he had enough to bring, anyway.

All the cookies are vegan. I want to show people that vegan baking can be awesome! That was the main reason I wanted to make the brownies. But it doesn't mean that vegan baking is always healthy, either. The chocolate chocolate chip spice cookies were pretty healthy, but those peanut butter chocolate balls definitely weren't!

I will send all the cookies off with DH today, and he has strict orders not to bring any home. He assures me it won't be a problem.

We might go to my parents this weekend, if I can convince him. They will be leaving for CA at the end of the month. They spend the winter there. All he does these days is rant about how little time he has. He has been a real bear to live with, frankly, and I can't say I'm really looking forward to having him home for the week between Christmas and New Year's at this point.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEKSUNSHINE 12/14/2009 11:54AM

    Sounds like the co-workers are in for some great treats. I wish you the best with hubby being home for a week. Mine can drive me mad when he's home on vacation.

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KEAKMAN 12/14/2009 9:03AM

    Mom has already informed me that I will be helping to bake cookies when I arrive - hopefully they are all nut-free so that Scott can eat his share AND mine!

Hope you get to go visit your folks! (says the gal who is going across the country to visit her Mommy for 2 weeks)

And I hear you about cranky hubbies....not sure what I am going to do with mine for 2 weeks back east. No computer. No guys in the house for him to talk to.....at least she has cable! I might be ready to kill him once that gets boring!

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ME2448 12/14/2009 6:38AM

    I made some of the chocolate PB balls too. I have a husband and 3 boys so they won't be around long. Good Thing because I love them.

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Finding a healthy eating style

Friday, December 11, 2009

It isn't easy. At least not for me. I'm the type who can't follow an eating plan to save my soul -- it's not that I can't eat healthy, it's that I have to come up with my own plan. Because food is important to me. As I wrote on a spark buddy's blog, it should be both fuel AND pleasure, but not comfort or pain killer.

I pull from many sources. I'm a wannabe vegetarian (except for sushi) who has to cook for a carnivore. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy meat, and I actually don't think it's wrong to eat animals despite my deep love of animals. But I do believe that the way most meat is raised in this country is absolutely shameful. I also believe that you are what you eat, and who wants to consume something that never gets to feel the sun or wind, and can barely move?

So I eat a lot of vegetarian food. Sometimes vegan. Lately I've been dabbling in more raw, too. It's funny, because I feed my animals raw food. And I advised a spark buddy against going all raw due to its high level of fat.

I very much doubt that I'd ever become completely raw (there's DH, for one thing, and it's time consuming, for another). I'm still a bit on the fence whether all those seeds and nuts are truly healthy -- I know they're healthy in moderation, but there seems to be an awful lot in most raw foods. Plus I'd miss holding a steaming bowl of oatmeal on these frigid mornings, or consuming a warming bowl of soup after shoveling the driveway.

As I've blogged earlier, I dabbled a bit in prepared raw food from farmer's markets and Whole Foods when I lived in Austin. And it was always delicious. I hadn't found a raw cookbook I really like; most involved a lot of dehydration, and the few dehydrated raw foods I tried I didn't like. But lately I've found more that don't rely so heavily on dehydration, and I've been experimenting.

Yesterday I made a live gardenburger. Basically, it's vegetable pate, but boy, it was soooooooo good. I went to my WW meeting, then to the mall, and had brought the gardenburger with me (on a whole wheat bun, which I suppose negates the whole raw thing, but there ya go). I ate half before shopping. It was easy to resist the pretzel stores again, and frankly, it tided me over easily til I got home much later than I normally eat lunch -- when I consumed the other half with an apple.

Or maybe it was just the fact that TOM started. My appetite spikes seriously about a week before TOM, then drops like a rock during. Thank God! But I don't really enjoy that roller coaster ride of hormones.

Now here's a raw recipe that's yummy (DH has been eating a lot of these -- that says a lot), and so easy. If you like chocolate, and can control yourself to one of two, you must try these: chocolatecoveredkatie.com/chocolate-
covered-recipes/fudge-baby-mania
. So far I've just tried the fudge babies (there's only cocoa in them, no real chocolate, altho I threw in a few chocolate chips. I'm not so sure they really added much to it, altho my husband thinks they did).

And I wanted to share a few pictures before I go.

Here's what Chester does when I go out and he's left with DH.



Yup, he just lays on top of the couch (where he's normally not allowed, it's cat territory) and watches out the window for my return.

And here's how Simba likes to spend his mornings, altho you can replace my husband with me usually.



If he had his druthers, he'd just camp out there all day long. Right now he's behind my butt as I type. He never used to do this, but now that the weather is so cold, he's become a real heat seeking missile. And being a big boy, he makes it difficult to get stuff done sometimes!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDYTHALIA 12/13/2009 5:05PM

    Simba and Chester are so cute!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/13/2009 11:02AM

    Very sweet photos. And I am on similar page with eating. Lots of veggies, and occasional (very occasional) meat. I relate to a lot of what you are saying here. Have a wonderful day.

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NOMI_822 12/13/2009 3:52AM

    Thanks for the link I love trying new foods and new recipes all the time. Hubby loves to eat so we make a perfect couple, LOL. emoticon

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DDHEART 12/12/2009 7:42PM

    Thank you for the link....I'm gonna make some tomorrow! Now I wish I weren't allergic to cats....that is one appealing picture of a nap companion...when we had some cats who due to my allergies, resided on the deck in their own little cat house...we often observed the reverse of your first pic....the cats would sit looking through the window until I got home and they heard the door to the attached garage open into the house....funny how they are almost as attached to us as we are to them!

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KEAKMAN 12/11/2009 6:50PM

    Currently I am looking for a food plan, too. I will follow your efforts with interest (as always). I am beginning to think that "clean" is the way I am going to have to go. It will be difficult because DH is a big eating out fan (so much for MY cooking abilities!) and clean and restaurants don't go hand in hand.

Love the pics - it's nice to know you are loved and missed. Can I borrow Simba? I am FREEZING right now - and a big fluffy cuddler would be great!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/11/2009 8:00AM

    Aw, such cute pics :) Those heat seeking missiles are great when it's chilly in the house but you are right it is hard to get anything done when they attach themselves - lol.

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/11/2009 7:28AM

    I think it is great that you like to mix it up with different types of food and your hubby doesn't mind. I could do that but I'd have to fix about 10 meals a day and I gave up restaurant work years ago. emoticon

You cat does the same thing all three of mine would do if I had a big enough chest, but then they would fight over who got which side!

Have a great weekend. Love the pics.

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JLPNURSE 12/11/2009 7:07AM

    Good luck with your journey and love the pix too!

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FITKAT2010 12/11/2009 6:24AM

    Love the pics!

I went all raw one time too. They don't tell you up front that you should go to a fasting farm for a months stay first. And the colonics, ewww.

Are you using the Nutrition Tracker here on Spark? Hope so. It opens your eyes!

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Sometimes even gaining is winning

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last night was my husband's office holiday party. Even tho we got somewhere around 5-6 inches of snow that morning, and DH stayed home from work, we still went. Luckily most of the food wasn't terribly exciting. I had raw veggies for appetizers, with just a few small shrimp.

We weren't told there was dinner, but there was. They had meatballs with ziti. I took a couple of meatballs, some ziti, and filled the rest of my plate with veggies. So lots & lots of veggies.

As we were sitting chatting after dinner, I noticed a line forming on the other side of the room. Eventually my husband noticed my stare -- I thought it might be dessert, and sure enough it was. Apparently I can laser in on dessert from just about anywhere in the room. They had cheesecakes, cream pies, and a chocolate layer cake. I took one small slice of the layer cake, which was good, and left a few bites on my plate.

I was fairly pleased with how I ate. I totally ignored the eggrolls and the bacon wrapped scallops and the cheeses.

I'd also used my treadmill in the morning, being unsure if I'd be able to get the dogs out for a walk (we did get out for a short one in the afternoon). I did a 5 minute walking warmup, then ran for 40 minutes at 4.1 mph (see, I told you I'm slow!), and walked for another 10 minutes, then cooled down.

I can actually run faster, but I can't sustain it for that long, and once a week I like to try and do a "long" run. It also looks like my first outdoor run will also be my last one for quite some time. No one told mother nature that winter hasn't started yet.

They had a white elephant at the party. My husband decided to participate, and wanted to know if we had any wrapping paper about an hour before we left. Nothing like advance notice. Luckily I was able to come up with something. We ended up with a gift bag of Godiva chocolates (personally I wanted the giftcards to local bookstores, but apparently it wasn't in the cards. Get it?).

And then everyone got a gift bag of a bottle of wine (I don't drink -- sorry, wish I could send it thru the computer to those who do!), summer sausage (I won't touch it, but DH loves it), cheese, crackers, and yup, more chocolate!

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to handle all the chocolate without a problem. It isn't really all that much. I gave DH the chocolate covered raisins to take in to work. We'll split the truffles. Then there's hot chocolate & a dark chocolate covered pretzel (that one's mine!), and none of them are that bad.

Last week was my big experiment eating normally before my WI. And remember I gained 1.2 lbs. And I continued with the experiment this week, altho I did go back to my normal WI jeans. I gained .2 pounds, altho I'm fairly sure that's due to clothes. Last week was unseasonable warm so I could dress lighter, but today is cold and I was wearing a turtleneck & a cardigan. Plus TOM started.

So as long as I keep focused this week, I'm really hoping to go back down next week. Which won't break my plateau, but at least it will get me in the right direction again. I'd love to just steadily lose. If I did, I'd be done a long time ago. But one of the most important things to me on this journey is to develop a balanced relationship with food -- at least most of the time! -- and I felt that was beginning to slip away from me.

I had more to say today, but I think this is getting long enough so I'll save it for tomorrow, especially since I haven't been getting a whole lot of blog topic ideas lately.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/10/2009 9:35PM

    Wow you did great at the Christmas party - good for you! :) And the jogging, you did great with that too - way to go :)

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DDHEART 12/10/2009 4:19PM

    Here I thought you were going to tell us that your hubby put something of yours in the white elephant! Now I'm sitting here imagining all sorts of things! I think you did great in terms of food.....I love that there were veggies for you to choose....at times, I planned on hitting the veggies and had the unhappy discovery that there weren't any healthy choices. Hate when that happens.

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/10/2009 3:54PM

    Sounds like you did well on your food choices at the party. I would give the wine to a neighbor, we don't drink. Those chocolates are going to last all year, right?

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KARBIE18 12/10/2009 2:27PM

    Good job making such wise choices at the party. I would have been all over that cheesecake. Yum! I'm sure your gain is due to all the things you mentioned, and I just know you'll be down next week. Sounds to me like you've already got a balanced relationship with food, though I know some days are better than others. You and I are in the same boat - we're close enough to our goals that losing is tough. It's hard to be quite that patient, but it will be worth it!

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What do you deserve?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I've been thinking about this one a lot lately. What do I deserve? Do I deserve a body that's tired all the time? That won't fit into the clothes I own? Do I deserve thighs that rub together?

Do I deserve a cookie because I've run? Do I deserve some chocolate because I want it? Do I deserve comfort foods because it's cold and snowy outside, even tho the calendar says it's still fall?

I know sometimes I feel like I deserve food; like I've earned it. Or maybe I just want it. The truth is I can't eat whatever I like, whenever or I gain weight. I've got a big appetite for a little girl! Boy, you should have seen my plate yesterday -- it was even one of the big dinner plates, because I needed it to hold all that food! But it was a healthy dinner: vegan stuffed shells, roasted cauliflower, and roasted butternut squash. Actually, that was a pretty healthy meal, after a healthy day of eating, and I don't regret it.

Nor do I regret not getting a pretzel at the mall. I did think about it. I'd already eaten before going (thank God -- never shop on an empty stomach, even if you're not going food shopping -- there's always too much temptation everywhere!) -- but that pretzel was still calling my name. Only I believe that I deserve to get to my goal weight. And right now, that pretzel won't help me get there.

So next time you reach for that cookie, those chips, or whatever your drug of choice may be, think hard about what you deserve.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/9/2009 7:29PM

    Very good advice. Thanks :)

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JANNIEWANNIE 12/9/2009 5:19PM

    I think I deserve a healthier me. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of what is really important. Take care. Hugs from Janet in chilly central Illinois.

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/9/2009 5:04PM

    Great advice!

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FRANCA1P 12/9/2009 4:59PM

    excellent post!
we all deserve to be healthy and feel great on all levels.
i deserve to work out after work tonight instead of getting right into the bathroom cleaning!
thank you for this!
fran

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ASHERAH38 12/9/2009 9:17AM

    What a great question. The past few months have been a struggle to make healthy food choices. I reach for comfort food when I am feeling down and tell myself I deserve it because I am feeling so bad. But I fail to ask myself do I deserve to gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose? Do I deserve the guilt that will no doubt follow? I need to remember this.

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KEAKMAN 12/9/2009 8:40AM

    Once again, GREAT BLOG!

"I deserve it" is my battle cry - for all the wrong things! I will have to really focus on what I truly deserve today! THANKS!

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What do winners have in common?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A belief that they can, of course! Our thoughts are so powerful -- believe that you can, and you will. That doesn't mean you don't have to put in the work, but if you don't believe in yourself, I promise you, it won't happen.

I've blogged about this before. Recently I read one of Jayne Williams' books, on the recommendation of a spark buddy. And she mentioned something that never even occurred to me -- using affirmations for your chosen form of exercise. I sort of knew this, I blogged a long time ago about using a mantra. Mantra, affirmation -- sort of the same thing.

But Williams recommended using them specifically for training for an event. Well, light bulb moment!

I just recently started writing affirmations every morning. I've been working with these:

I have a happy, slender body
I have the perfect living space
My home is a peaceful haven

I also started visiting www.louisehay.com/affirmations/index
.php
, and leaving that tab open, looking at it several times a day.

When I googled "running affirmations", I came up with lots of sites! I definitely enjoyed some of the affirmations on this page: www.trifuel.com/triathlon/run/affirm
ations-for-running-000938.php
.

For now, I've simply added "I enjoy running" to my morning affirmations. It's okay if you feel silly writing these or saying them out loud. The truth is, you don't even have to really believe. Just practicing affirmations over and over has a way of sinking them into your subconscious, and before you know it, you're changing.

What affirmation are you going to start using?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/8/2009 8:10PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I'll have to think on the affirmations but I will - I forgot all about them, they really helped me on my journey. :)

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DDHEART 12/8/2009 7:03PM

    Great....and with apologies to the Beatles "We can win with a little help from our friends"
Thanks for the food for thought. BTW...thanks for the goodie too!

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KEAKMAN 12/8/2009 9:49AM

    I like the (Adidas?) "Impossible is Nothing" - not quite an affirmation, but it is a good reminder to read every morning when I wake up and think "I cannot...."

My daily-read-out-loud-to-myself-affir
mations include: I can say "no" to food not on my plan. I love to run (duh!). I can find other ways to exercise. I am happy.

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MARLENE2995 12/8/2009 6:17AM

    I've tried this from time to time and it is just like my exercising. I am faithful for a period and am really enjoying the results and something happens to break the routine. Starting back up is always difficult. You would think once I got going I wouldn't want to start over again. I think my affirmation will be "Working out feels great!".

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