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A productive weekend

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It has been a really nice weekend of taking care of ourselves and doing enjoyable things. Yesterday we drove to Old Rag and walked on the fire road for almost 2 hours. We drove there via Sperryville and home via Culpeper, so it was a lovely drive both ways.

We were going to go outside walking today, but it's been raining, so I've spent time in the kitchen instead. I made the Red Velved Chocolate Squares I love so much: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
. These are less than 90 calories each, and are decadently rich! I also made a frittata for my breakfasts this week to use up left over spinach, and got my fruit/yogurt snacks and tomorrow's lunch portioned out and ready to go.

Hubby has been craving corn muffins, so I also made the recipe on the bag of Bob's Red Mill medium grind: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
. I think I'd prefer a finer grind meal next time, but these taste good - only 125 calories and 3 grams of fiber!!! each. I also entered the Oatmeal Pancakes recipe from Laurel's Kitchen into Sparky, since I'd like to make it sometime soon, and want to be ready to log it: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai

Whew - now it's gime to make another cup of tea and lay down for a bit. We plan to cook dinner at home, so that will involve chopping onions and cabbage, as well as peeling shrimp. Then we need to move small furniture into the garage to prepare for tomorrow's carpet cleaning. Whew!

9 PM Update - I did lay down - I needed that. And, I remembered one other kitchen thing I did today - I made almond butter in the food processor for the very first time! I used raw unsalted almonds, and was surprised at how long it took for it to get tho the butter consistency. The verdict is that it's good, but next time I should add a little salt to bring the flavor out. It will be fun to experiment with that. Now I'm off to have some on a cracker for my bed-time treat:).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 4/1/2014 8:31AM

    I didn't realize that you were in Virginia too. The Shenandoah Valley is beautiful. We can see our house in the distance from the top of "Sharp Top" off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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CELIAMINER 4/1/2013 9:24AM

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the weekend! I love looking for new recipes that are healthy and low in fat, calories, and sodium. We are so fortunate to have SparkPeople!

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BUSYGRANNY5 3/31/2013 3:50PM

    Your recipes sound great!!! Have a wonderful day!!!

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One piece of cake is always better than two ... today's NSV

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I can't take credit for that one - it's one of INDYGIRL's "indyisms" (thought the original may be about pizza:)). Well, today it worked for me.

Our customer brought in a big cake from Wegman's to celebrate someone's retirement, and after the big meeting, there was almost half a sheet left. So, I cut myself a reasonably sized piece and really enjoyed it. Of course, it was a side piece, and I scooped up some extra icing, too - after all, cake is really just an icing delivery vehicle, no?

The problem is that after the cake, I wanted to keep eating and eating and eating. Then there were leftover chips from Chipotle in the break room, so I had a few of those. I had that awful compulsive feeling, and just kept telling myself that "One piece is better than 2." Fortunately, the receptionist boxed up the rest of the left-over cake to take to our other building before I could get a second piece!

Then I went home and took a break, and after that tried a new Yoga class at the gym. That was followed by a Lean Cuisine dinner, a shower, and some computer time. I'm still feeling stressed, but don't feel like eating, which is a good thing.

Even though I didn't work as many hours going into this event as I have for previous ones, I noticed that my stress levels are about the same as if I had. I really think that I may be manufacturing my own stress unnecessarily - I'll have to ponder that some more and discover a way to stay more balanced - I thknk the Yoga will help on that front.

I have the day off tomorrow, and plan to do a bunch of errands. I was considering having lunch at a really good pizzeria where I'll be shopping, but decided to pack a lunch instead - eating pizza as the stress levels subside will only set me off like the cake did this afternoon. I do plan to treat myself to a Starbucks Tea Latte (skim, sugar free) tomorrow. That's a very comforting drink for me, and contains a lot of milk, so it's nutritions, too.

On the bright side, I got through the entire event week without having a sugar/carb binge, which is an improvement over last month. I also tracked my Wegman's cake and chips today - I don't know if it's accurate, but I at least tracked SOMETHING.

So, today's NSV is that I didn't let a piece of cake turn into a binge. A good night's sleep should reset my system so that I'm not having crazy cravings tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICKPEA23 3/22/2013 10:46PM

    Awesome attitude! I like how you decided to avoid the pizza place but still worked in a treat for yourself. Hope you had a great day off! :)

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CELIAMINER 3/22/2013 1:05AM

    Great analysis! I love how you are so tuned in to your body.

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PINKNFITCARLA 3/21/2013 11:11PM


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Brown Rice Triscuit - Part 2

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Well, I sent Nabisco an e-mail telling that we were disappointed with the product (see my previous blog entry for why), and got this response today (only 3 days later). This could tempt me to try them again (perhaps a different flavor, though). We'll see:

"Thank you for visiting our site.

I'm sorry for your experience with TRISCUIT BROWN RICE SEA SALT & BLACK PEPPER CRACKERS 9 OZ. The problem you described sounds like there was a possible mechanical failure at our facility. I am sending you reimbursement via first class mail, which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

We value the quality of the products that leave our facility. We give careful attention to each step of our manufacturing process. Samples from each production run are evaluated before we ship them, in an effort to prevent any unsatisfactory products from entering distribution.

Mistakes can sometimes occur on our production lines. We try to prevent this by stationing inspectors at various points along the production lines, and their duties include watching for malfunctions. Also, our quality control staff makes regular rounds throughout the production area during the day in order to ensure that production equipment is functioning properly.

I hope this information is helpful, and again, I apologize for this experience. Thank you for your loyalty and we hope that your next experience is a good one."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 3/19/2013 9:35PM

    it pays to let companies politley know what you think about products. some are really good about sending you a coupon or refund as a replacement.

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Food Review - Brown Rice Triscuit

Saturday, March 16, 2013

We saw these at the grocery store last night and decided to try them. Unfortunately, what's inside the box doesn't look as good as on the package.

We bought the Sea Salt & Black Pepper variety - there were several flavors to choose from, but I didn't see a plain option.

I took one cacker out of the box and ate it. It had a strange greasy sheen to it, which I could feel as well as taste. The salt and pepper seasoning was OK, but I really didn't care for the oiliness of the cracker. DH and I both expected these to be similar to regular triscuits (dry shredded wheat texture).

So, I don't plan to eat any more of these, and I don't think my husband plans to either; he also thought they felt and tasted greasy. So, we were both disappointed. The remainder of the box will likely end up being donated to the kitchen at one of our offices.

For info, 6 crackers has 130 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 130 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, and 2 g protein.

I wonder if the amount of fat per serving or ingredient list could have been a clue? The first ingredient is brown rice, and the second ingredient is oil. I'll have to compare this info with some other crackers to see if I can come up with a rule of thumb, as I've done for sugar: when looking at granola bars and the like, I know that one will likely be too sweet for my taste if it has more than 8 grams of sugar in it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELIAMINER 3/17/2013 10:41AM

    Thanks for the heads up. Think I'll pass.

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PINKNFITCARLA 3/16/2013 12:46PM

    Thanks for the review! Looks like something I'd stay away from!

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SFREY217 3/16/2013 9:06AM

    Thanks for the heads up !

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Bertucci's Cod al Forno

Friday, March 15, 2013

We went to Bertucci's tonight for dinner, and I wanted to have a lighter dinner, so I ordered the Cod al Forno, which means Baked Cod (literally from the oven) in Italian. The menu said that it was sprinkled with bread crumbs, and served over marinated tomatoes with roasted potatoes. The picture showed large chunks of tomato surrounding the fish.

I asked the waiter if they could go light on the bread crumbs, which they did. It was served in the baking dish nestled into a large bowl, because the baking dish was hot from the oven. There were cut up red potatoes on top of the fish, but I didn't see any tomatoes.

The food was so hot that I started moving it to my bread plate to cool off, and discovered that the bottom of the baking dish was full of oil. So, after getting some of the food out, I tipped the dish so the oil would go to one side, so I could remove the rest of the meal with less of the oil. It turned out the the tomatoes were more like a salsa in the bottom of the dish - I should have known that marinated might mean oily! The tomatoes disappointed me, because I was really expecting nice roasted tomatoes with my meal.

The fish was cooked nicely, but wasn't very exciting. I did enjoy the potatoes, but they weren't what I think of as roasted - shriveled crusty yummy skins. These potatoes seemed just plain baked.

Then I got home, hoping that someone had already entered the dish into Sparky. It indeed had been shared by another member, and was listed as 920 calories! My dish was probably a little less, since I didn't eat all of the oil and it was made with fewer breadcrumbs, but it's still a lot on my current calorie budget of 1450 - 1500 calories a day.

This meal put me about 400 calories over today, but I'm not going to sweat it. Why?
a. I enjoyed a lovely dinner time with my husband
b. Because I was having potatoes, I didn't eat any bread, which is quite an accomplishment for me - Bertucci's rolls are yummy (and about 150 calories each)!
c. One poor choice does not need to derail my life. I'm a bit wiser now and know one more thing I won't be ordering in the future:).

This just goes to show that sometimes what looks like a healthy or light option on a menu may not be that at all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 3/20/2013 10:14PM

    I'm with Celia on this one . . . usually I hedge on the lower side throughout the day so I can enjoy my meal. Used to go to Bertucci's but haven't been in quite a while.
I do a cod piccatta that I really like, and it's super simple and delish. Lightly dredge cod in Wondra flour, salt and papper. P;ace 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet, and heat until rippling over med-high heat. Place fish in skin side down in pan.. Cook over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Turn fish over, and cook another 2-3 minutes or until fish flakes easily and is opaque. Remove fish to platter to keep warm. Add 2 T butter and finely minced shallots to a small saucepan, 2 T lemon juice, 1/4 cup white wine, and 2 T capers. Pour over fish and serve.

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BOBINVA 3/16/2013 4:49PM

    Sounds like you had a nice dinner. Glad you enjoyed

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PINKNFITCARLA 3/16/2013 12:51PM

    Well, the dish sure sounded good when you first talked about it. One off choice certainly won't derail you. Keep up the good work!

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EFFIEANNIE 3/16/2013 6:25AM

    It is so nice when we learn that just because we ate over calorie one day that it is ok. We just get back on the plan the next day. It isn't the end of the world.

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CELIAMINER 3/16/2013 5:58AM

    Good on ya for checking the nutritional info. Too often I just don't want to know, so I stop tracking for the day and go back to it the next day.

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-THINQ- 3/16/2013 1:08AM

    Good for you, not letting it derail your enjoyment of the experience with your hubby!

i Do! wish that dishes pictured on menus would actually look the same when they arrive; i think that the pic you describe seemed like a much healthier version! Glad you enjoyed it some tho, and Very! proud of you for taking a healthier view of just one meal, one time! emoticon

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EWL978 3/15/2013 11:12PM

    That's when I kick myself for not asking more questions...not that the answer would have been enough for me to understand how it was prepared.

Sorry it didn't work out as you like, but it was a nice night out and, as you said, you won't be ordering that again, so at least you weren't left feeling badly that you didn't order it tonight!!

I would have loved to have a bowl of whipped cream instead of getting all those extra calories in something that didn't catch my fancy...what do you think??

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