Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookies

It's probably not a good sign that I've started to lose it before Christmas is even here. Pete's mom sent us home with a box of cookies a few weekends ago (or maybe it was only last week?) and I was fine for a while. Pete had them up in the office and I completely forgot about them.

Then I found them.

I both hate and love posting my food logs here. I hate it because it's embarrassing to lay it all out for you when I make bad choices. I love it because I remember how painful publishing that information is and it (generally) helps me to rein it in when I'm on, say, a midnight cookie rampage.

Wednesday was a bad day. I did well enough at work, with the food I'd packed. Then we had dinner and the carby flour tortilla must have set me off. I went to church to teach my Wednesday night class and we had a holiday cookie party for the kids. I took coffee with me because I was so damn tired and thought it would be my "treat" and make me feel better about not partaking in the cookies and juice. But when another teacher handed me a frosted soft cookie, I ate it. Then I came home and saw the box of cookies and could not get it off my mind. "It's the holidays," the cookies whispered, "you'd be a grinch not to eat us." So I feasted on the cookies like they were who-pudding and who roast beast and my heart waist grew three sizes that day.

Actually, last night wasn't so bad. I had two cookies after dinner, but then stopped. Where I lost it was the midnight oatmeal snack when my stomach was growling. I should have just gone to bed. I woke up this morning feeling gross about the last two nights. I made myself that "Fake Cream of Wheat" then tossed it down the disposal after a few bites (YECK! Too salty! Either I put in more than I thought I had or the reduced fat ricotta is saltier than I thought it'd be). Instead, I ate warmed/softened pears with ricotta and cinnamon for breakfast.



Then I took to the basement for some full-body strength training: arm curls, hammer curls, tricep extensions, those forehead crusher things, bench press, chest press, bent over row, standing calf raises, sumo squats, lunges, glute bridges, shoulder raises, lateral raises, a plank, plank with knee twists, bicycles, crunches, reverse crunches...then I ran up and down the stairs for 20 minutes. It felt great, and I realized something:

Stairs are freaking BORING. I didn't have any music with me, so it was just: go past Pete's railing, say hello to the Christmas tree, turn around, come up to visit Cosmo, repeat.




I did see one thing that amused me. It's a Christmas decoration my mom gave me. The first year I had it, we put it up in the house and Pete positioned the figures in a "non-traditional" way. I though it was funny (because I'm 12) so now every year we set them out in the same configuration. I hadn't given it a thought this year because Pete set it up, but today I had jamais vu and it made me laugh.



Alright. Without further adieu, my bad food logs. Let me be a cautionary tale. Those cookies add up.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Morning
1  Dannon Oikos - Fruit on the Bottom, Strawberry
3
2  cup(s) black coffee
0
3  tbsp Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer
3
Subtotal
6
Midday
Salad: 2  cup(s) mixed greens
0
Salad: 1/2 cup(s) canned chickpeas
3
Salad: 1/3 cup(s) strawberries
0
Salad: 2  tbsp Lily's Dressing
2
Tuna in rice cakes: 2  item(s) plain rice cake(s)
2
Tuna in rice cakes: 1/2 cup(s) water-packed tuna fish, drained
2
Tuna in rice cakes: 3  oz Chobani Yogurt
1
Subtotal
10
Afternoon
1  large banana(s)
0
1  medium tangerine(s)
0
Subtotal
0
Dinner – crockpot chicken salsa in a tortilla
1  medium flour tortilla(s)
2
3  oz cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast(s)
3
2  tbsp Newman's Own Salsa
0
1  serving(s) 1 oz reduced fat Colby jack
2
Subtotal
7
Evening cookie rampage

(took coffee to my class because I was so tired ) 2  cup(s) black coffee
0
3  tbsp Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer
3
1  cookie Lofthouse Delicious Cookies – frosted soft cookie at the cookie party for my class
5
Then at home…3 homemade thin mints
5
2 snickerdoodles
5
1 chocolate crinkle
3
Subtotal
21
Food PointsPlus values total used
44
Food PointsPlus values remaining
0
Activity
No entries for activity.

Activity PointsPlus values earned
0

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Morning
1  Dannon Oikos - Fruit on the bottom - Blueberry
3
2  cup(s) black coffee
0
3  tbsp Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer
3
Subtotal
6
Midday
2  cup(s) mixed greens
0
2 1/2 oz cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast(s)
3
2  tbsp Newman's Own Salsa
0
1/2 cup(s) canned chickpeas
3
1/2 cup(s) fresh cherry tomato(es)
0
2  tsp olive oil
2
Subtotal
8
Afternoon
2  small tangerine(s)
0
1  large banana(s)
0
1  Tbsp creamy peanut butter
3
Subtotal
3
Evening
2  item(s) fried egg(s)
5
2  tsp regular butter
2
2  slice(s) bread
4
choc. kiss peanut butter cookies - Quick-added food
7
Subtotal
18
Midnight snack

1/2 cup(s) uncooked oatmeal
4
3 1/2 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
4
1/4 cup(s) half-and-half cream
2
Subtotal
10
Food PointsPlus values total used
45
Food PointsPlus values remaining
0
Activity
40 min Running (5 mph [12 min/mile] or faster)
7
Activity PointsPlus values earned
7

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Link Up and DIY Home Improvement SMASH

So I had planned to post about my handsy handyman's most recent DIY home improvement project today, but I ALSO wanted to participate in the holiday linkup hosted by Sarah and Heather. So I'm SMASHING the two posts together. This might be bad blogger form, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

First, the link-up!


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What's your favorite holiday movie?
Lately I'm really liking "Christmas Vacation," and I watch "The Family Stone" every year.
Do you have any special traditions?
We always have a "Swedish Smorgasbord" on Christmas Eve, with Torsk and Swedish meatballs. And this year we're opening presents with my family on Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass. We'll be drinking adult beverages (Tom and Jerrys or Grasshoppers or something) and staying up very late.
What's your favorite ornament or decoration?
My Nana started a tradition of buying each kid in my family a certain kind of ornament every year. I got angels, my sister got bears, and my brother got rocking horses. I have a TON of angel ornaments. My favorite is one particular pair of "twin" angels.
Best gift you've ever received?
I'll go with the necklace Pete bought me when we first started dating. The wrapping was hilarious (tin foil and aluminum tape).


Worst gift you've ever received?
LOL! A plastic blow-up fish bowl from my sister with a fake fish in it. We were like 12. Yeah, Spenser's!
Favorite winter accessory?
My Norwegian hat. Oh yeah!

 
Real tree or fake?
I have fond memories of picking out a real tree as a kid (minus some cursing by my dad), but we do fake and I have no regrets!
When and how did you find out that Santa was not real?
This is embarrassing. I stubbornly held on to Santa far too long. One year, when I was probably 11 or 12, my mom casually referred to Santa being fake and I FLIPPED out. I was pissed that she was forcing me to acknowledge he didn't exist. Truthfully, I realized he was fake when I was five. We wrote letters to Santa at school and got letters back from his "elves". One of the second graders on the bus saw my letter and told me he'd written it.


Next, Pete's Railing Project!

I'm a tag-along diyer in that I don't really have many diy skillz. I like to pretend that Pete's projects are mine and contribute to the cause by taking a lot of pictures!


 
 
 
 
 
 
There was a moment when I had to be the unconscious bearer of bad news: "Oh, did you mean to make those three spindles different from the rest?" Pete looked closer and...
 
 
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
 
 
 
 
I just love the comparison between old and new!
 
Anyway, I feel like a DIY home improvement post should impart some helpful piece of advice (otherwise, it's just back-handed bragging), so I hit up Pete for some knowledge (because honestly, I try to learn as little as possible about his projects...the things I do for this blog). This project was just too big for a "how to" snippet, so instead I had Pete answer the question, "How do you even begin something like this?"
 
And here's his secret: Pete didn't know anything about making a railing before this project began. He'd seen all the railing wood pieces at Home Depot and one day picked some up, intending to finish them himself and pass the finished pieces off to a contractor friend to install. Then his plan changed to: "I'll take apart the old railing myself to save us some money and THEN have the contractor come in," but after seeing some Youtube videos on railing installation, he realized it was simpler than you'd think. Some googling, some youtubing, and some spying on railings at the homes of our friends and family helped him formulate a game plan.
 
One of the things he did differently from other railings out there was to avoid finishing nails. He used screws, which are much stronger, and brackets (hidden strategically inside the wood). So I guess the helpful takeaway is that, as Pete says, the alcoholic down the street with the nail gun is no genius--you can figure a project like this out if you're willing to invest the time. And for the record, I am not. But Pete is, so thank goodness, or we'd have those ugly railings until kingdom come! Which, according to the Mayans, is Friday. So yeah.
 
Oh! AND for your viewing pleasure, I got Pete to sound off on the project in a video. And then he edited it so it wouldn't be tedious. Nothing he could do about the janky iphone proportions, unfortunately. Next time I won't shoot an interview vertically. :-S
 
 
 
By the way, the spindles are in place, but Pete won't let me take a picture of the "finished product" because it's not quite finished to his satisfaction. So, uh, stand by. Ha! :)
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Pete Hates Mashed Fauxtatoes...And a Low-Carb Breakfast Recipe

Update: Look what happened today!


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I mentioned earlier that I'm trying to go no-carb low-carb this week. It's been a little interesting given that Pete and I never had time to do any proper grocery shopping over the weekend. We got some things while present shopping on Friday, but we were at a regular Target--the kind with the limited grocery department--so we didn't get much. Last night we went to Cub and remedied this situation.

BUT before that, we muddled through dinner. Highly processed, very salty already cooked "pork chops" (guh-ross), peas (for me), and mashed cauliflower fauxtatoes. This was Pete's first experience with them and I kind of sprang them on him. I hadn't had these in a long while, and I remembered them being delicious. I really wanted him to like them. 

Step 1: Add Greek yogurt to make them extra creamy
This might have been my downfall...they just tasted off.
Step 2: Clean all the fauxtato dishes while the microwave is running so Pete can't complain about the mess and hassle.

Step 3: Make sure to add buddah.
Step 4: Cover Pete's helping with an ass-load of cheese. Oh yes.

Pete tried to be nice, calling them "not too terrible" and saying only that the texture was "off," but the proof is in the pudding. At the end of dinner, his plate had a huge pile of fauxtatoes on it. He told me he was still picking at it. But about 5 seconds later, he reached for a piece of bread instead. Ha! Mission failed!





Yeah, OK, so I'll be sticking to sweet potatoes as my mashed substitute. But I do know a few tricks for this  low-carb game. I'm riding the spaghetti squash fad, I've enjoyed a piece or two of Ezekiel bread in my day, and hell, I've even dabbled with textured vegetable protein (TVP). It was for a fauxtmeal recipe that was only OK. Now, the following breakfast recipe? I loved it. 

I used to eat it a lot when I was on the "Idiot-Proof Diet," which is the diet that prompted me to take my "before" picture. It was an Atkins-esque diet and despite following it religiously, I netted a loss of 10 pounds and that's it. This is why I'd never recommend any diet based on ketosis to my ladies. 

Anyway. 

"Fake Cream of Wheat"

  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • cinnamon (pure, not the kind with sugar)
  • Splenda/Stevia/Agave Nector
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
In a bowl, mix the Ricotta with some water to thin it out (not too thin, but a little runny).
Add the egg and beat with a whisk.
Add cinnamon, sweetener, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix it all in.
Heat in a pan over medium heat. It will get grainy. That's the egg cooking. When it looks like oatmeal, put it in a bowl and eat up!

You can't taste the Ricotta or egg, so it's just like a cinnamon-y oatmeal! Mmm-mmmm!

Food Logs

Monday, December 17,2012
Morning
5 1/2 oz Chobani Yogurt
2
1  large banana(s)
0
2  tsp honey
1
coffee: half cream half milk
3
Subtotal
6
Midday
(salad) 2  cup(s) mixed greens
0
(salad) 1/2 medium uncooked baby carrots
0
(salad) 2  tbsp Lily's Dressing
2
(tuna on rice cakes) 2  item(s) plain rice cake(s)
2
(tuna on rice cakes) 1/2 cup(s) water-packed tuna fish, drained
2
(tuna on rice cakes) 1  Tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
0
Subtotal
6
Afternoon snack
1  medium fresh apple(s)
0
Subtotal
0
Evening
1/2 cup(s) scrambled egg(s)
5
2  oz Chobani Yogurt – adding sour cream to scrambled eggs makes them so rich and creamy. I used Greek yogurt instead.
1
1  oz low-fat cheddar or colby cheese
1
4  slice(s) cooked crisp turkey bacon
3
Subtotal
10
Evening snack
2  squares Ghirardelli Chocolate Chocolate Squares
4
Subtotal
4
Food PointsPlus values total used
26
Food PointsPlus values remaining
0
Activity
30 min Weight lifting, free weights (vigorous effort)
2
25 min Running (5 mph [12 min/mile] or faster)
4
Activity PointsPlus values earned
6

Tuesday, December 18,2012
Morning
5 1/2 oz Chobani Yogurt
2
1/2 cup(s) strawberries
0
2  tsp honey
1
coffee: half cream half milk
3
Subtotal
6
Midday
(salad) 2  cup(s) mixed greens
0
(salad) 1/2 medium uncooked baby carrots
0
(salad) 2/3 cup(s) canned chickpeas
5
(salad) 2  tbsp Lily's Dressing
2
Subtotal
7
Afternoon snack
1  large banana(s)
0
2  Tbsp creamy peanut butter
5
Subtotal
5
Evening
2  oz Hormel Smoked Pork Chops
2
1  cup(s) cooked cauliflower
0
2  tsp regular butter
2
1  serving(s) 1 oz reduced fat Colby jack
2
1/2 cup(s) cooked green peas
1
Subtotal
7
Food PointsPlus values total used
25
Food PointsPlus values remaining
1
Activity
34 min Running (5 mph [12 min/mile] or faster)
6
Activity PointsPlus values earned
6
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