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How to make ice cream in 30 seconds & break your mini food processor, too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Since people seem to enjoy reading about other people's kitchen disasters, I thought I'd share last night's! Usually such an event would be filled with expletives, but it was just so unexpected that all I could do was stand with my mouth hanging open in awe!

I made my raw soup & salad for lunch yesterday. Good thing I didn't tackle it the day before, took almost an hour of prep time! But it kept me full for hours, and yes, it WAS tasty. Altho not sure how you could go 100% raw in the winter without a dehydrator, which I might get someday if I get really serious, but am not planning on anytime soon.

Dinner was turkey burgers plus latkes (finally, per my friend feed, considering it was the last night of Hannukah). I'd had the food and plans of making latkes all week long, but not the energy. Last night I had the energy, too -- they're not really complicated, it just takes time because you can only fry up 4 at a time (and no, I don't deep fry them).

So after standing at a hot stove for about half an hour, I was actually hot. I decided that it was time to try the instant banana ice cream that has been floating around the blogosphere since this summer. You freeze a banana, and give it a whirl in the food processor. I bet you can already see where this is going.

I didn't want to use my Vitamix -- it has problems when you're just doing a little bit of food. So I used my mini Cuisinart food processor. Put in the frozen banana chunks, turned it on, and BOOM! Apparently I broke the blade, which busted right through the container. Frozen banana chunks on the floor, part of the blade and container there too. I had no inkling you couldn't put frozen food in there. Glad I didn't try it with my big food processor (which I've had for 25 years -- buy quality & it usually lasts).

Even Chester was so surprised that he didn't touch the banana (one of his faves) until I told him to. I love and use my little Cuisinart so much that I do have an extra bowl. Now I'll have to order another one. Or hope that Magic Bullet is still at Marshalls. Maybe it's another sign.

But I have no intention of venturing anywhere near a store this weekend. It will have to wait til Monday. If we don't get a blizzard today, tomorrow we're going down to see my parents before they take off for CA for the winter. We're actually not supposed to get much, if anything, but they might get almost a foot of snow. So we'll see.

Oh, and the banana "ice cream" really is that good. It really hit the spot. I was surprised, frankly. And yes, ended up doing it in the Vitamix anyway.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 12/21/2009 6:25AM

    Oh, I'd like to think I don't enjoy others' misery! emoticon

Sorry about your kitchen mishap. It sounds like your time in the kitchen was almost just as difficult as my shopping misadventure... almost, but I must say not quite. Your dinner and the banana treat sound absolutely delicious though!

I'm glad you didn't get hurt by the broken blade. SO happy that you didn't try to go shopping over the weekend. (Yeah, I will be bitter about shopping for quite awhile.)

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DDHEART 12/19/2009 10:40PM

    emoticon I guess I am soooooo lucky this has never happened to me as I have used my mini food processor often to make my frozen fruit "ice creams"......I am most impressed with your being able to refrain from the spate of expletives that I am sure I would have used in the same situation. I made some fudge babies yesterday....they seemed too dry at forst to form well so I added a little water to soften it up and make it more shapeable....well I guess it wasn't little enough as then it was really too soft.....sigh, not a rousing success....ok but not as good as I had hoped....not to be discouraged, I will try this again next week but will try to get the mix better. emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 12/19/2009 10:47AM

    well we learn from our mistakes, now I know to just use my vitamix

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/19/2009 9:27AM

    What fun! (smiling) Glad the flying blade did not cause injury. Have a wonderful day.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/19/2009 9:14AM

    OH MY that would have got the adrenaline pumping eh? Glad nobody got hit by the flying blade (or frozen bananas). Have a great Saturday! :)

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/19/2009 9:09AM

    Sorry about the processor, I like mine for small things, never thought you couldn't put frozen in them. I'm so jealous, I love latkes, but my family won't eat them. They are crazy!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/19/2009 8:51AM

    I didn't do latkes this year - what do you do if you don't fry them?

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JLITT62 12/19/2009 8:22AM

    It never even occurred to me I could've been hurt until others started to point that out!

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MBSKIT 12/19/2009 8:16AM

    WOW!! I wooldn't have known that either. I'm glad that you didn't get hurt when the pieces went flying!

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SANDRAFIVE 12/19/2009 8:11AM

    Thanks for the warning on the mini food processor. I'm glad that you didn't get hit by the flying parts.

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CARRIE1948 12/19/2009 7:12AM

    That sounds like something I would do.

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RENA1965 12/19/2009 6:49AM

    I don't use those mini food processor when processing frozen stuff they don't have the power or the strength of the larger models just be lucky the blade didn't hurt you.

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BIKERDIANE 12/19/2009 5:46AM

    I hate kitchen disasters. I had one myself two weeks ago with the garbage disposal. Long story, not getting into that one, but hope you get a new mini food processor soon!

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Looking for a little sweetness in your life? And which personal blender to buy?

Friday, December 18, 2009

I read this interesting blog post this morning -- www.choosingraw.com/january-cleanse-
-- and what really caught my eye was the line about "the most common reason for sweet cravings is a lack of sweetness in your lifeódefined broadly, that can cover everything from a romantic connection to friendship to an adequate support system in you life".

I have y'all, but in RL, I don't have much of a support system right now. I actually didn't have much of one in TX, either, but I had more of one there than I do here. I haven't really been looking for one, either.

This all might sound too new-agey for a lot of you. It resonates with me. And if you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I have a major sweet tooth. It is, at the very least, food for thought.

BTW, how do you know when a food plan is right for YOU? For me, it has to make sense. Raw food, which as you know I'm dabbling with right now, doesn't completely make sense to me -- it almost completely cuts out whole grains, especially when you don't have a dehydrator, and I'm not down with anything that cuts out whole food groups. But it does help you get in lots & lots of fruits & veggies, and that can't be bad.

I tend to take a little bit from this, a little bit from that. I dabbled in macrobiotics for a short time. I've dabbled a lot with both vegetarian and vegan food. There's the flat belly diet, which actually got me used to the idea that I could eat more of the good fats and not gain weight, which opened the door to more raw foods.

I also know that I'm still procrastinating with stuff in my life. I keep tackling it, but it seems like there's always more stuff I'm procrastinating with!

I had such a good food day planned yesterday. Unfortunately, if you read yesterday's blog, you know that the actual shopping for the food (and gifts) derailed that plan. I had further plans to make a raw soup & salad for dinner -- not exactly difficult or rocket science -- but when it came down to it, I wasn't up for it. I ended up having a smoothie (the last of the last batch I'd made a few days ago), a protein bar, and some popcorn when DH came home (much earlier than I expected). Which is not a bad dinner, actually, the protein bar had greens in it and I'd already had a lot of fruits & veggies for the day.

And speaking of shopping, one thing I saw while there was the Magic Bullet Platinum Pro. They only had two. They weren't a great deal, but it wasn't a bad deal. The Magic Bullet is something I've been considering for months. I love my Vitamix, and am so glad I bought it back when I was still earning money, but sometimes it's really just overkill. I have a small Cuisinart mini-processor, which I also love, but it's not always up to the job.

As it turns out, the sweater I bought for DH was not only too large (I really didn't think he was a L, but he said he was), it had a hole in it, too, so I have to return it.

The other personal size blender I've been considering is the Tribest Personal Blender. Both get good reviews, altho once in a while someone says that they work good a time or two, then start leaking or whatever, but the majority of reviews on both are good. One of the things I like about the Tribest blender is that you can attach small mason jars to it -- I like the idea of using glass rather than plastic.

I'll probably be going back soon, so I need to make up my mind soon. Of course, if they're gone, then my mind is made up for me. But I do find it interesting that I specifically went looking for these products in Marshalls this time, and there they were.

Obviously, I haven't been having many deep thoughts about food and healthy eating and weight loss lately. Thoughts, but no big aha! moments. I'm seriously considering starting some Vitamin D supplements. I just can't seem to function well in this little daylight. I never could, but boy, I forgot what it feels like after so many years of living in TX!

How do you deal with all the craziness in your life right now and so little energy? Or how do you stay energized?

I did, btw, get in all my steps yesterday. It's why I didn't make a "real" dinner -- I chose exercise over food prep.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 12/22/2009 8:33AM

    I love my Magic Bullet!
My still-favorite is to make green tea lattes with matcha green tea and almond milk. Very low cal and nutritious.

Comment edited on: 12/22/2009 8:35:04 AM

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DAYHIKER 12/21/2009 9:17AM

    Did you get a Magic Bullet yet? I got one at a garage sale nearly 2 years ago and use it almost every day. I have an ancient commercial Vita Mix but, as you said, it is overkill for one serving! I make all kinds of Wendy's Frosty type soft serve with frozen fruit and yogurt, kefir, or skim milk. Low fat kefir is my favorite, though. Tip on the banana...I learned quickly to cut it into smallish chunks...an inch or two. These are also good with 1/4 cup of Fiber One which I stumbled onto one day when I was running low on fiber. My current favorite is banana, strawberries, Fiber One, and Kefir. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/18/2009 7:47PM

    You are right, that is a pretty broad statement about sweetness. I crave both - but I think it's when my emotions are high. To me they are comfort food - dangerous comfort food. I am finding healthier comfort foods but sometimes those cravings come on hard. So I'm not sure if I'm missing sweetness from my life - unless you consider 'sweetness' as peace and tranquility - lol?

For me, I find it easier to keep up the energy if I ensure that I stay on my sleep schedule and then stay with a positive frame of mind - once that negativity comes in, the energy just drops.

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EOSTAR_45 12/18/2009 5:54PM

    You know what I can totally believe it--that craving sweets is longing for sweetness in our own lives. Other than SP friends, I find that I don't have many friends either. I used to but somehow with time and distance, my close friends faded away. And I miss my friends, I miss having RL friends--maybe that explains my craving for sweets.

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ME2448 12/18/2009 9:05AM

    I often choose to get my steps in over cooking. LOL.

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Reason #599 not to go too long between meals

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Funny, a spark buddy blogged just the other day about going too long without eating and the resultant crash.

Today was my WW meeting. I had a normal breakfast, and brought a snack and some water with me, as usual.Then I headed over to BJs. Then back almost to where I started to peruse Marshalls -- hoping to pick up a sweater for DH, which I did, and of course a couple for me, too. Darn Marshalls! I did at least have a $10 gift certificate.

Then over to Price Chopper to finish off my grocery shopping. More time consuming and costly with DH being off work next week. I left the house around 9:30 am; got back around 1:30 pm. Let the dogs out and stood around in the temps in the teens hoping for Lola to do something. Came back in, unpacked the perishables, and finally sat down to lunch at 2 pm, many, many hours after my breakfast at about 6 am -- but there was that small snack in between, thank goodness. And some water.

I had planned to actually make something for lunch, but obviously there just was no time. I also had a meal-sized protein bar with me, just in case, as I almost always do.

The biggest problem with these sorts of days is that you get over-hungry and then tend to eat the first thing you can grab. Luckily I had something ready for lunch at home that just took a couple of minutes, or who knows what I might have gotten into?

The other problem with this type of day is that I still need to get some ST in. I usually get it in before now, but again, there just wasn't time. And I was really disappointed to see that I only have about 6700 steps so far! I thought for sure I'd walked more than that. It sure FELT like I'd walked more than that.

DH is off to his other holiday party tonight. He manages to be away on the coldest day of the year so far. It's supposed to get into the 20s, but considering it's 3:30 pm now and we're still in the teens, I don't think so. And I've got to get the dogs out for another short walk. Unfortunately Lola had an accident in the house the other day for the first time since we moved. She came to us at 10 months with no housetraining whatsoever, and she does fine for months & months (8 in this case) and then out of the blue she'll have an accident. Which means I've got to be more vigilant about getting them out more often, which is very enticing with our current frigid temps.

I guess the moral of the story is to ALWAYS have some food with you. Always. So you don't end up making bad choices simply because you have no other choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/17/2009 8:50PM

    Good advice. I've been caught in that before too. Now I plan careful - take food or make sure that I'm back by meal times. Sounds like you did great though - good for you.

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FITKAT2010 12/17/2009 7:46PM

    I pack a soft sided cooler EVERYDAY. It is a much a part of my wardrobe as my shoes and pants.

This was my lesson #1.

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/17/2009 6:18PM

    Good advice, but sounds like you had yourself covered. emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/17/2009 4:49PM

    Well, you handled it just fine! But lesson learned - I've made that mistake before.

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LEONALIONESS 12/17/2009 4:08PM

    Aw man, I'm contagious!
;) Glad your situation wasn't as dire as mine.
That was awful and I'd never wish it on anyone. Heh.

Go you, eating healthy even when ravenous.
Good things to remember, too.

Comment edited on: 12/17/2009 4:09:04 PM

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ME2448 12/17/2009 3:46PM

    Good Idea

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Where's the beef?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That's my husband's question. He will be home next week, and I asked him what he wants for lunches, as I'll probably be going shopping on Thursday. At first he pretty much ignored the question, but when I pushed (he just hates to plan anything, I swear), here's his list:

Mac & cheese
Summer sausage (oh wait, we got that at the holiday party, and he got a second one because his employee doesn't eat meat)
Hot dogs
Grilled cheese
Soups (he likes clam chowder, and that the healthy varieties, either)

Do you see a pattern? Do you see ANY healthy food on that list?

So now it's up to me to try and find something he'll eat that's actually healthy. You can see what I'm up against!

Oh, and he had a going-away party for a coworker the other day, so he didn't eat the turkey burgers I made for dinner (I would've chosen something completely different for myself). Then he had leftovers at work yesterday, and when he told me what they were, they sure weren't healthy. Plus he has a holiday party tomorrow; I am not invited to this one. Which is kind of a relief, frankly, I'm planning to try a completely raw food day. Breakfast is the problem -- I really crave a warm breakfast at this time of year.

I have been working on this man's eating habits for 25 years, but you'd never know it! Any suggestions for fast, healthy foods that might appeal to this sort of eater?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 12/17/2009 4:19PM

    My SO is a very "meat and potatoes" guy. He just happens to be a vegetarian/near vegan meat and potatoes guy! I make us things like chili with bulgur or veggie ground round, chickpea tacos, seitan stroganoff, vegan swedish meatballs, vegan chik'n dumpling soup, seitan "pot roast" with roasted root veggies and potatoes (douse in non-fat, low cal Hain brown gravy and top with sweet peas, OMG), vegan tofu spinach lasagna, lemon pepper chik'n, pot pie ...

I also veganize my mom and his mom's recipes using seitan or Gardein brand chik'n in place of the meat. I've made just about everything I grew up eating and loving using vegan ingredients. I even make all my mum's holiday cookies vegan style with great success. :) I like being able to cook like my mom while also cooking healthier and to suit my ethics.

Tonight I'm making a creamy chik'n and rice casserole like my mum used to make. I'm using Imagine brand creamy portabello mushroom soup, Gardein chik'n fillets (so good, I doubt your DH would EVER be able to tell they weren't meat. Super convincing!), brown rice, spices and cooking it all together in a big casserole dish. The rice cooks in the soup and gets thick and creamy and the chik'n also takes in the flavors of the soup. My first time cooking it vegan style so I'm hoping it works out!

When it's just me, I tend to eat more whole food, veg heavy stuff. I do a lot of squashes, veggies, soups, beans and rice blends, etc. Some days I just eat vegetables for dinner with a small protein on the side. For him, though, I cook more typical omnivore fare with substitutions. He doesn't mind things like chickpea tacos, super hearty veggie soups, stuffed peppers, lentil loaf, etc. but he tends to REALLY like things like the stroganoff and swedish meatballs. Comfort food. I like it, too, and it's still very low calorie and not fattening since I don't tend to add oil and am careful with ingredients. So meh. I nom. :)

Oh, I also make sure we have 2-3 big servings of veggies with each meal. Tonight we're doing broccoli and roasted butternut squash with our casserole, for instance, and I eat tons of fruit and veg during the day. I've got him eating more produce by mentioning he should try eating more fruit. He tries to add some raw fruit or veg to each meal now. He loves broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, kale, bok choy, asparagus, mushrooms... so we eat a lot of those. I love them all too so it works well.

I'd say lighten up his favorites where you can and feed him the veg he likes. Even if he only will eat broccoli at least it's SOMETHING green.

Comment edited on: 12/17/2009 4:24:08 PM

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/16/2009 10:03AM

    All I can suggest it to through in lots of veggies. (smiling) Men, men, men!

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TANYA210 12/16/2009 8:55AM

    Mine is the same way. He delivers pizza part time and is always bringing it home and eating it everyday. I still have not changed his habits and he is overweight and had already suffered a minor heartattack. That still wasnnot enough to scare him.


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SEKSUNSHINE 12/16/2009 5:57AM

    Sorry, mine's the same way! He'd eat fried eggs and biscuits and gravy every morning if I'd make them. The worst part is the only vegetables he eats are corn and green beans. emoticon

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Busting out

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There is all sorts of advice for busting out of plateaus: calorie cycle, eat more, east less, exercise more, change what you eat, and on and on and on. I wonder, sometimes, if people would still have busted through their plateau at the same time if they'd just continued doing what they're doing.

I came to the realization yesterday that I'm pretty happy where I am. I could probably live with myself at this weight. Yes, I'm still heavy. Relatively. But clothes are easier to find, they look good, I don't cringe when I look in the mirror, I have more energy.

So why am I still determined to get to my GW?

1. I think it's a healthy weight. In fact, I think I'll still be overweight when I get to my GW, but I also think it's a weight I can maintain. I don't want to struggle forever. I know that it will probably always be something of a struggle, but I also already know what it's like to pick a too small GW & really struggle -- and that's not something I want to go thru again.

2. I want to stop paying for WW! I admit, this one is a biggie. I know that WW works for me, and I know that what really works about it is the meetings. I've learned thru the last 20 years that I need the meetings. Forever. For accountability. For support. For social networking. It's frustrating, because some weeks I'm only about 5 pounds away from not having to pay, and some weeks about 7 pounds away. So close, yet so far.

3. I also want to go back to work for WW!

4. Altho I have more energy, I still don't have the energy I think I should have. Maybe I never will, but I'm sure losing another 10 pounds will have boost my energy levels some more.

I am looking forward to next week for the simple reason that the days will start to get longer again. I know that it will take time for this to actually be felt, but daylight is important to me. I really just don't want to do anything after it gets dark. And it gets dark way too early these days. I think this is part of why DH has been such a beast lately. He doesn't like to get moving til about noon, and by then, there's only about 4 hours of daylight left. It's frustrating to me, of course, because I'm a morning person. And, of course, because I've been bearing the brunt of his anger.

On a totally different note, I finally inflated my stability ball this weekend. And I did one of the TurboJam DVDs that's a full body/cardio workout with the ball. And I'm feeling it. New muscles are sore. Well, old muscles, of course, but they're sure feeling like new ones at the moment. It's amazing that just moving around a stability ball can do that for you.

And even tho I've been doing well on my healthy habits challenge this month, somehow it's not quite as much in my thoughts. Like I got my guided meditations twice a week in, but only just last week (did them on the weekend). So this week I'm doing them after I shower, while I have my hair in a towel to dry. Takes about the perfect amount of time. I'm sure DH wonders why I'm laying on my bed with a towel on my head, and listening to my phone. But it works for me.

How are you doing this month? I know it's crazy-making time for so many of you. Have you remembered yourself at all? Not only should you be on your list, but you should be at the top of your list. Remember, you can't give someone a drink if your cup is dry.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EOSTAR_45 12/15/2009 12:28PM

    It has been getting dark so early. It will be nice to reach the shortest day so that days can start getting longer again.

Thanks for the reminder to keep our cups filled. Its so easy to run oneself ragged this time of year.


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KEAKMAN 12/15/2009 9:56AM

    Great reasons why you want to lose those last few pounds. I wish you all the best - being me, my goal is to lose weight between now and returning home from the east....my newest holiday challenge.

Wish we were going to be further north so I could see you....we really want to swing north the next time we are back east and it's NOT SNOWING!

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ZOLLINGERMOMOF3 12/15/2009 6:54AM

    Thanks for the post. I really relate to the last comment...You can't give someone a drink if your cup is dry! That's where I have been for weeks! So I am on a break...trying to get my joy back! Have a great week!

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/15/2009 5:53AM

    Well stated blog. I too am where you are about weight. I could live with it, but I really want that extra energy that the 5 or 10 lost pounds will give me. I'm going to try to keep my cup full! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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