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Christmas Cookies??

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I notice that Spark's Recipe of the Day each day so far in December has been cookies. The serving sizes are one or at most two cookies.

ONE OR TWO COOKIES??? What world are they living in??? If I could eat one cookie, I'd never have gained weight. The only time I can eat one is if it's the last one and I brush my teeth immediately afterward, and the only time I'm there for the last cookie is if I've eaten the ones before it and the attitude is "what the heck might as well eat it".

Cookies, even homemade "lower calorie" cookies are finger food: no plate or cutlery necessary, only requires one hand. Very dangerous for me. Christmas is the toughest season for me because of the cookies my family expects. I make them the day before Christmas and send the leftovers home with everyone else. I'll let THEM deal with the sugar. I have decades of experience in not being able to control them, I'm not going to find the "secret" now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/12/2011 10:47AM

    Yeah, this site really isn't set up for helping people cope with food abstinence.

Is it any wonder so few manage to maintain their weight around here?

I ignore the "official" recipes here. I know what works for me, and I stick with it. I don't need the starches and sugars and fats they sometimes push at us in the guise of "healthy" alternatives.

P.S. A friend in my neighborhood has been baking cookies to send in tins as Christmas presents and posting photos on Facebook. A bunch of people asked him to make up tins for them. I did too.

I asked him to put ONE of each of the 12 kinds in the freezer and subscribe me to a "cookie of the month" club. As in, I get one cookie per month for the next year. He said he will even deliver them. LOL

That is the only way I can have just one - if someone else is rationing them and there IS only one! hahaha

Ron was one of my original walking buddies when I was just starting out with losing the weight, and he fights diabetes, so he "gets" it.

The other people on Facebook? No way. They think I'm crazy. I don't care.

Comment edited on: 12/12/2011 11:02:33 AM

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BITTYGIRL51 12/8/2011 4:30PM

    I would have to say that I don't have as big of an issue with cookies as I do with cake (and it's not really finger food) but doesn't matter, because once already sliced cake is "hidden" in the freezer it becomes finger food!! emoticon

Funny how timely your blog is, because I just made buttermilk fudge and thumbprint cookies with lemon curd this morning. I only ate two small cookies, but the fudge - well, almost a whole "row"...

December is a VERY BAD month for me. Lost my dad on Christmas eve 15 years ago. The only way I survive severe depression is to BAKE! It's been a Christmas tradition for my entire life and I have tried to give it up, and just CAN'T! Baking is therapy for me, especially with my 91 yr. old bedfast MIL under my full-time care here in my home this year.

I make up goodie trsys with most of the cookies etc; for gifts etc but there is some collateral damage that goes along with it. I've tried very hard to change it, but in my opinion it's better than taking anti-depressants or relying on other meds to get through the month. I also exercise feverishly to run damage control. Exercise is a great mood elevator, too. It's the best I can do....but I fully agree with what you are saying. Sugar and fat combined????? DUH, = TRIGGER FOOD! emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/7/2011 10:35PM

    I guess we all can identify with this blog. lol.

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BRATS4 12/7/2011 5:45PM

    me too.maybe one batch or two,not one or two cookies

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DARLENEK04 12/7/2011 3:03PM

  Nell I am right there with you. If I take the first
darn cookie, I am done for...

I don't bake any more for that reason.


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MEADSBAY 12/7/2011 12:26PM

    Me, too!
Cookies are sooooooooooo dangerous and 'tis the season!

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JEANNE229 12/7/2011 11:10AM

    Yes, I am the exact same! Anything baked (fresh from the oven and warm) is an endangered species in my house. Can't have them in my reach at all.

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CHIEF_GEEK 12/7/2011 11:02AM

    Totally agree with you!!!!

There is no way I can eat only one or two of my wife's cookies, flat out no way. She loves to bake, so there is my problems. Even those cookies going into the freezer does not slow down the eating process that much.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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67CAMARO_SS 12/7/2011 10:50AM

    Funny & true Nell! You sound the like voice for so many of us!!! LOL
June :)

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SIMPLY-EVA 12/7/2011 10:34AM

  I love this! Its so true that cookies are finger food! So portable and they stay fresh for days. I make sure that if Im going to have a cookie its a decent sized one and that it really is my favorite flavor so that the calories are actually worth it. Right now, its oatmeal cranberry walnut which I get at Subway. I dont go there often and if I get a 6 inch sandwich I dont feel so bad about eating the cookie. :)

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Enjoy Trigger Foods?????

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One of Spark's news articles today was about how you shouldn't "deny" yourself trigger foods. Problem is, by definition if they are "trigger foods" they will pull the trigger on a full on binge. I had to find out what those triggers were and avoid them entirely. I have a couple: Reeses, Cheetos and Chex Mix. I cannot have even one or I will finish whatever is in sight, and crave more. Then I have to deal with that overwhelming craving. Not something I can "just be strong" about. And why? There is no essential nutrient found in only those foods (if only there were!), just the instant gratification found only in that wonderful combination of fat, salt and crunch, or fat and sugar. Only when I decided not to eat those things One Day At A Time was I able to leave that awful craving behind as a residual memory. It's a memory that can be resurrected in one bite, though. It may be hard to turn my back, walk away, but it's a lot easier than dealing with that craving. We are talking about a few seconds of NO rather than weeks of denial.

I am eternally grateful that I lost weight back when we had to cut out a lot of food rather than allow ourselves "just a taste every now and then". I had to learn to find the closest substitute for me: crunchy salad, salty olives, sweet fruit, rearranged into the infinite possibilities that are available. I don't need to pull that trigger.

Sometimes what seems like unreasonable denial can be the key to moving on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JITZUROE 12/25/2011 8:15PM

    Hiya, I saw the title and had to read this. I also am like you and CANNOT be trusted around those dreaded Reece's cups and a few other items as well. I was reading the Four Day Win, and one if the chapters was telling me to have all of my trigger foods around me and to eat some of them- but just some, not all.
Needless to say, I bombed. I am just not one of those people who can do that yet. Maybe one day, but not today.

Merry Christmas

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OOLALA53 12/25/2011 1:03PM

    I do think some people are more susceptible to certain kinds of triggers, but just as most people are not overweight because of a glandular problem, most of them are capable of eating moderately of all foods. MOST, I said. I can't speak for those who have been morbidly obese. Obviously, their bodies can be different because most bodies will not induce the individual to desire the amount of food that allows them to get so big. Personally, I feel I was handicapped by the notion that I could not control my intake of certain foods. Yes, it's true that some foods can induce strong urges to overeat, but the urges don't make me eat. I have found that many foods that used to feel impossible to resist are not a problem anymore. The science shows that you either have to abstain forever OR realize that when you restrict for a period of time and then have the food, the brain will send out signals to overeat that food. That is what makes people feel they can't have a bite. If you do actually overeat it, you will make the urge even stronger later. But if you don't, if you resist in the face of the urge (just as you resist the urge to overeat in general), and do this repeatedly, over time, the urge to overeat it will subside. I admit that doing that process can be very scary and if I had been heavier to start or had a health condition that contraindicated taking any chances, I might have decided to forego those foods forever, but I didn't want to. I feel it has worked out well for me. Despite the fact that I do have them a few times a week, and sometimes even more than I am comfortable with, the pull is getting weaker. I can imagine a time when I have them rarely just because I just am more satisfied and content without them. But I totally understand the choice to abstain.

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    Doritos....keep the bag AWAY from me. The Nacho Cheesier they are...that first bite will do me in. I cannot moderate some for me to avoid them entirely.

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DARLENEK04 11/30/2011 5:35PM

  For me, the first bite of whatever the bad food is, and I
am sunk.
I can have a pint of strawberry ice cream in the freezer
til it is too old to eat, and I am fine with that, but take
that first bite and it is gone.

The foods that are bad for me, salty/sweet, whatever, I just
have to leave totally out of my food plan.


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FISHINGLADY66 11/30/2011 5:16PM

    I know where you are coming from Nell. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/30/2011 2:27PM

    If you read that column closely you'll see that she doesn't even do this herself. She SUBSTITUTES one food for another. Chocolate instead of cookies, for example.

Which is a valid strategy, but it is NOT what the heading says it is.

I think building up an expectation that all of us will one day be able to "eat normally" or "intuitively" or "enjoy trigger foods in moderation" is horse pucky and unfair. It's like saying those of us who choose to abstain aren't truly "healed" or are somehow defective.

You know what? I LIKE this size, and I've worked dang hard to get here. I work dang hard to stay here, too. I don't appreciate being labeled as 'obsessive' for wanting to stick with what works. I do not label the "moderation" folks as "lazy" or "undisciplined," although I could.

Especially when I see the typical results in blog posts a few months later when they say, "Gee, I guess I need to get back to basics on this weight management thing." Ignore the scale and stop tracking - what did they expect to happen? Magic fairy dust? I've personally tried that experiment over and over and for me it DOES NOT WORK. It is an exercise in futility. Why would I want to do that to myself?

So thank you, Nell, for speaking with your years of experience on this and reassuring the rest of us that it is OK to continue to think and behave like a recovering overeater. Because that is exactly what I am.

Comment edited on: 11/30/2011 2:42:46 PM

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BITTYGIRL51 11/30/2011 12:56PM

    And I come from the other side of the fence from the MISSG180...I agree with you, there are certain foods that I have to AVOID at all costs! I cannot eat one bite of CAKE with ICING. Or even one small piece for that matter. I am the one wanting the corner piece with all the icing and will be scraping up all the extra icing when no one is looking. I am the one that will have 4 or 5 desserts at church potlucks - there's just so much to choose from that it's literally impossible to eat just one.

I'm the one that if bread and butter is on the table - I will eat it! More butter than bread!! But, as long as it is nowhere in sight I don't care anything about it. I do good with out of sight out of mind, except when it comes to CAKE! If it's been put in the freezer, it will still call my name, everytime i walk past the freezer! I cannot have it in the house!

So, what in the world was SP trying to say in that article? That denial of any shape or form is bad? I don't agree. In fact, I am reading a really good book called, Made to Crave that talks about this very issue. To deny ourselves is scriptural! We need to get our flesh under subjection and to do that we often must deny ourselves the very thing we crave! We are doing a book study on the Be Your Best team right now on this very subject. Feel free to jump in. emoticon

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MISSG180 11/30/2011 12:07PM

    I think that people are all different. When it was all about forbidden foods and never having things again, I couldn't diet with a gun to my head. I do much better with the intuitive eating and moderation model. But I'm certainly not everyone!

I think it's great that there are lots of different resources and people can find what works for them.

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Words of Wisdom from Alton Brown

Thursday, November 03, 2011

My father was a chemist, and some of my best memories of growing up were after dinner, when we'd push the dishes aside and he'd start explaining something and writing equations all over the napkins. An hour would disappear into his stories. Alton Brown picked up with food chemistry, but with puppets and models rather than equations. I read Shirley Corriher's book "Cookwise" (which, I think, was his model) when it first came out, and I was thrilled to see someone else who was as entranced by her approach to cooking as I was.

From Alton's "Final Thoughts" at the end of his last book:

"I do know that we have some pretty big problems in this country, and I think that at least a few of them could be solved if we concentrated as much on cooking as we do on eating. Food is fabulous stuff, to be sure, but cooking can also be its own reward. Cooking is an action, and it's time for more action and a little less consumption."

Truer words were never said. In our land of plenty, with microwaves and frozen and packaged food, consumption has been separated from creation. No wonder we are in such thrall to the food marketers! When we prepare our own meals, we have TWO joys: creation as well as consumption.

Alton ends with "And it wouldn't hurt us to be a little thankful every now and then."

I am far more aware of the bounty of today when I assemble my own meal than if I just stopped by the drive-in window. And awareness leads to gratitude.

All 3 of Alton Brown's books are fun and informative, and I only wish my father could have lived to enjoy them. And the food that resulted.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 12/3/2011 4:24PM

    I, too, love Alton Brown and his scientific mind in the kitchen (also love Bill Nye, the Science Guy).
And, I LOVE to cook- never buy take-out and rarely eat out any more- I can cook better than them, often.

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FISHINGLADY66 11/24/2011 8:07AM


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DEBBYFROMMT 11/9/2011 10:55AM

    I LOVE Alton Brown! I will look for his books. It's amazing when one cooks from scratch how much healthier it is! I've found I use a lot of fresh vegetables (in season) what I can find, and it tastes so much better. Thanks for the blog! emoticon emoticon

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BRATS4 11/3/2011 9:36PM


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CYNDERROSE 11/3/2011 6:01PM

    Thats awesome! I love Alton Brown.

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DEMETERSCO 11/3/2011 3:08PM

    Thanks for sharing this author. I will look into his books.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/3/2011 2:59PM

    "creation as well as consumption"

I like it!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 11/3/2011 2:27PM

    Thanks for a great blog entry and a wonderful quotation from Brown. I love the days when I am not too busy at work and I can relax and think mindfully and wisely about food and cooking well.

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I'm a Grandma again!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Azad Ahuluwalia Gohn was born by caesarian section last night at 2:30: He was 7lbs 11oz, 20 3/4 inches long. He has his mother's black hair and we can't yet tell his eye color, but they aren't his father's blue eyes.

He's beautiful! My fifth grand!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARLENEK04 10/24/2011 2:18PM

  Congratulations Nell and family...........

What a beautiful baby...


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GATORJOY 10/24/2011 5:40AM


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BRATS4 10/23/2011 7:49PM

    how wonderful.give him a kiss for me.

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KENTUCKYWOMAN 10/23/2011 4:09AM

    Nell, that is totally awesome. Congrats on being Grandma again.


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TIMOTHYNOHE 10/22/2011 11:43PM

    Lucky You! My kids have not yet blessed us.

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MIRAGE727 10/22/2011 9:48PM

    Awww! It's the best to be Pops to Gianna. You have another little Spark to live for. All my best to you and your family!

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SARAHL817 10/22/2011 8:38PM

    He's adorable! Congrats!

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LORILEEPAGE 10/22/2011 8:32PM

    Congrats! I had my fifth in April. Aren't the grans great?!

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BARBIE042 10/22/2011 8:32PM


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Eating Less Does Not Lead to Gaining Weight

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last December my husband had what turned out on the MRI to be his second stroke. Three days I sat in the hospital with him dealing with doctors and tests. Then 3 weeks after his stroke he fell and broke his leg. Three more days in the hospital, and three days in a rehab before bringing him home. Three weeks later, surgery, and another day in the hospital, followed by an infection, yet another surgery, and a month of home antibiotic IV. During all that time, taking care of myself took a back seat, and I ate very little. I wasn't hungry, was terrified, and the weight fell off to the point where my own doctor told me to gain some weight.

I tell this story because I hear so often from people trying to lose weight and failing, that they must be eating TOO LITTLE. That eating too little will cause weight gain. It sounds preposterous on its face, but those fighting the terrible battle of overweight will cling to any idea, no matter how absurd, to think they don't really need to do what they don't want to do. That bigger portions and more snacks will give them the results they want.

Which would mean that the starving people of the world must actually be eating too much. It's a myth started by a fact: severe calorie restriction can cause metabolism to slow in the body's attempt to conserve life sustaining energy. It's a phenomenon that actually extends lifespans in some creatures (never proven but assumed for humans), but it doesn't mean that more french fries lead to weight loss, no matter how enticing the idea may be.

Eat less, either from circumstance or hard work, and weight will go down. I've lived both sides now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZUCCHINIQUEEN 11/13/2011 5:21AM

    I've always thought that teaching was a bunch of hooey! So glad there are some who also think this is a ridiculous teaching!
I enjoy your comments wherever I come across them, Nell.
Hope your husband is doing better now. What a terrible streak of bad luck!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/3/2011 2:40PM

    Yeah, right? That "starvation mode" concept seems to crop up everywhere on this site. And it's kind of annoying, actually, as well as ludicrous.

Yes, metabolism slows down. But you will still lose weight, maybe slower.

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DARLENEK04 10/16/2011 9:33PM

  Take care of yourself Nell, so you can care for your husband.
When mine was in the hospital, I wasn't hungry either.


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DALEJR_FAN_TINA 10/16/2011 5:30PM

    First off I pray your husband is doing better and you are following the dr's orders and gaining a little weight.

About 12 years ago I too lost weight by not eating. I will not go into the reason as to why I was under so much stress. I would eat what I wanted and never past 6 pm. A normal day I would eat one hot pocket or a tv dinner. I had a job and was busting my butt every day. I had days where I didn't eat at all. I did always have my coffee with milk. The bad thing is once I started cooking and eating, still only one meal a day, I did put the weight back on. I had ALWAYS been the tiny one of the family and getting fat was so hard on me. But yet again I kept it on and when I quit smoking I gained another 20 or so pounds. By the time I found SP I was at my highest weight EVER at 171. When you are only 5'1" that is HUGE! I got to my goal weight AGAIN and now I'm trying to get there AGAIN! I'm still learning that I have to stick to the SP plans and GET OFF MY BUTT AND EXERCISE or the weight comes back on faster and a heck of a lot easier than it is to take it off.

I guess what I'm trying to say is be careful. I don't want you doing the same thing I've done twice now.

Moral of the story, Watch what you eat and MOVE your feet!

Good luck and GOD BLESS

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JEANNE229 10/16/2011 1:57PM

    Stress is an awful way to lose weight! Not eating for that reason is pretty scary, as you said, and I hope you are now "gaining a little weight" for your health.

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JENNYD97 10/16/2011 12:42PM

    I hope your husband is feeling better now. Your weight loss probably had a lot to do with stress as well as the lower calories. So for some people eating too few calories may be adding weight everyone is different.

I hope your family is all doing well now :)

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NWCOUNTRYDANCER 10/16/2011 12:14PM

    Hugs and prayers to you.

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