Monday, November 30, 2009

Exhaustion leaves no room for creativity

My contacts are sticking to my eyeballs, and I’m tired from doing god knows what, so my post title sucks donkey teat.  Meh.  I’m currently at my grandmother’s house…she needed some help Christmasing, and I’m always glad to help in that department.    Tomorrow I’ll be doing some light crafting, putting up her tree, and doing a little shopping – which I haven’t even STARTED yet.  Oy vey.

Over the past few days, I made a pretty awesome frittata


(eggs + egg whites + ricotta cheese + onions, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, bell pepper + salt + too much pepper)

…earned a new weight-loss reward (down 30lbs!!)…


(Sewing basket.  I’m a nerd.)

…got a Christmas tree (and a skin pigment-ectomy, apparently.  Orange is wicked unflattering in that light)…


…and put ‘er up.


I left for my grandmother’s before we got a chance to put the lights and ornaments up, so it’ll have to stand naked until Wednesday.  Poor thing.

I feel so bad for my grandmother, because it seems like every time I come to see her, I have a different set of dietary preferences.  Last time it was meat-free, now it’s carb-free.  At least it gives me an excuse to cook for her!  She JUST got back from a weeklong beach trip with my aunt and uncle, my cousin and her husband and kids (the reason we were on our own for Thanksgiving), so she didn’t have many groceries on hand.  For lunch I made us scrambled eggs and steamed broccoli.  I was ravenous and didn’t take time to take a picture.  It sounds like the most random meal, but it was perfect! 

We ran out to the store to re-stock her kitchen, and I got hungry again, so I had one of my diet shakes when I got home, mixed with coffee (whoopeee).

Dinner was more interesting though!  I made a chicken and veggie stir-fry (I made some rice for my grandmother’s, but mine was plain).


Chicken + canola oil + garlic powder + teriyaki  + soy sauce + bag o’frozen veggies = stir fry.  It was pretty good!  One lesson that really sucks to learn is that I don’t need something sweet after every meal.  I enjoyed having a piece of dark chocolate after each meal to cleanse my palate, and sugarless gum just doesn’t cut it.  I’m very thankful for the weight loss I’m seeing, but I’m also thankful for the opportunity to step back and re-evaluate what I was doing right and wrong.  I still am craving sweets, so I’m hoping that goes away fast…

Back to randomosity, Mam-ma and I were sitting here watching a Good Eats Christmas special, “Twas the Night Before Good Eats,” when I almost let out an expletive.  One of the dudes on the show went to high school with me!!  Good Eats crew often appear in front of the camera as characters and personalities, so I did some investigation and found out he was/is a production assistant – I think that’s SO COOL!!! 

I’m gonna go PTFO.  Night, y’all!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lesson learned

(Warning: picture-heavy post!)

Hey guys!  I hope everyone (US-wise) had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!  We had our big dinner yesterday evening, and though I thought I didn’t eat too much, I was soooo miserable last night a few hours afterward.  I’m making a note of how much food I ate and how it was too much, even though I thought initially it was ok.  I’ll get to that in a sec.

Wednesday morning I went for my checkup, and by her records, I’m down 9.5lbs.  According to the body fat analysis thingy, that’s about half water, so it’s not as great as it sounds.  But 5 pounds of fat off in a week?  I’ll take it!  She said I can expect to lose about 2.5lbs a week from now on, which frustrates me a tad – isn’t that a “normal” rate?  Though yes, I wasn’t achieving that rate on my own, so it’s nothing to sneeze at.  I’m also cleared for light exercise, so I’m going to start walking and doing some light strength exercises.  This will be the hardest part for me…making dietary changes is relatively easy because I was already used to eating.    Starting a new habit – especially an exercise habit – on the other hand, is really difficult.  Hence my inability to ever do it.

Wednesday afternoon, I went dress-shopping with Catherine and another bridesmaid, Justine.  First we looked for bridesmaid dresses, and while I was surprised to see sample sizes in “FAT,” I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror in them.  I know that by the time the wedding rolls around, I’ll look better, but I couldn’t form an opinion about the dresses because they all looked terrible on me.  Not fishing for sympathy or reassurance, it’s just a fact.  We picked out a dress that will probably be *the one* for us, but I was doing it based on how it looked on Justine (it looked good!).  Here’s the dress swiped from the website:


I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to cry at the store, partially because I was sick and felt like crap, but also because I thought it was a little silly.  However, when Catherine came out in her first dress (which was her favorite overall) and the attendant put a veil on her, I cried.  I’m such a pussy.  We’ve been best friends since we were 9 – I should’ve known better. 

Funny sidenote – the attendant who was helping us brought Catherine a dress (not one that any of us liked) that, when she put it on, I screamed out “THAT’S PAM’S DRESS!!”  The attendant said, “oh, did one of your friends get married in this one?” and I said “no, Pam on The Office,” appalled she even had to ASK!


Mrs. Halpert shopped at David’s Bridal 


Yesterday was my first day on my new plan.  Instead of 5 shakes a day, Now I do 2 shakes and 2 meals.  It’s high-protein, low-carb, low calorie.  Boring, but at least I get to eat real food now!  Yesterday for lunch, I made some garlic rosemary chicken, and while it was baking, I had a salad…


It was the most boring salad in all of salad-dom (lettuce + celery + that creepy No Calorie dressing which doesn’t taste too bad actually), so I added some cherry tomatoes for color, and I HATE tomatoes.  Every so often I think, “oh, I’ll give them another try,” and every single time, I end up spitting them out and scraping the rest onto someone else’s plate.  My family always makes fun of me and says that I was probably adopted, that I’m not a true Southerner, etc. because I hate tomatoes.  What-evs.  They’re gross.

We had our lunch on these awesome autumn paper plates I got at Hobby Lobby a month or so ago:


So my lunch was baked garlic + rosemary chicken with steamed broccoli.


And because I’m a big girl, I cut it up all by myself and dotted it with ketchup :


…and I shared some with Mr. Brookser while we watched Barefoot Contessa:


We broke out the good china for dinner, and Mom and I had some tea while stuff was cooking:


My good friend Kaycee sells Southern Living at Home, and we’ve bought some stuff from her over the past year but haven’t really gotten to use it (with our real kitchen still being torn up and all…plus, we don’t entertain   I do, though!  Can’t wait to move out!!).  We decided that last night was a good time to bust some of it out!  I tried out a new recipe, mashed cauliflower, which turned out really really good.  Served in my Gallery Pacific Lidded Serving Bowl


I de-flowered (hehehe) a head of cauliflower and steamed it in the microwave.  Then a big spoonful-ish at a time I blended it in the blender (just to mash it a bit, not puree it! And make sure the little hole at the top is cracked to let hot air escape, lest ye wind up with cauliflowered walls) with  a pat of ICBINB and ~1-2Tbls skim milk.  Then I spooned it out into a dish and added a handful-ish of shredded mozzarella, mixed it all up, and topped it with parmesan.  It wasn’t 100% on-plan, but it was closer than mashed potatoes.


I took oodles of pics of our spread, because 1) we actually ate in the dining room (Dad didn’t, but poo on him), and 2) all of our Southern Living stuff really made a pretty presentation!


My stuff is the light blue – I love it!!

Here’s my boring-ass salad, spritzed with spray ranch dressing:


I love my mom’s china!  And she found these accent salad plates for it a couple years ago…I luuuurve it!
A shot of our Southern Living stuff from my vantage point (sorry, I just love this stuff!)


Finally, my plate:


We had a smoked turkey breast from Heavenly Ham? Honeybaked Ham?  Can’t remember.  Mom gets them through her hospital each year.  I had hoped she’d be into buying a local-ish, farm-raised turkey, but she didn’t pass up the good deal.    I made oven-roasted squash, onions, and mushrooms; we had sautĂ©ed green beans (my favorite way to prep them!); a pea-and-asparagus casserole (Dad’s only request, and the only thing that was really off-plan for me!), and my mashed cauliflower (which surprisingly, Dad raved about and had seconds of).  I had another bite of the casserole and split another piece of turkey with Mom.  At the time I felt ok, not too full, but my stomach is obviously not used to food, let alone this much, because over the next couple hours I got the worst tummy ache.  This is my lesson learned.  I need to think back to last week when I only got a small spoonful of each thing and was happy and satisfied and not miserable.  It’s trial and error, and my trial last night totally errored.

We kept having uninvited guests pop in from time to time. (The iPod playing Josh Groban’s Noel was there to drown out the Godfather marathon going on in the other room – ugh)


My children don’t know how to behave themselves.

I really missed the casseroles we usually have at Thanksgiving, especially since most of the stuff we had last night, we eat all the time.  I know I ate “right” and was better off than if we’d made the stuff I’m not supposed to have yet, but I still missed it.  And Mom’s pumpkin cheesecake – that’s one of those things I have once a year and look forward to for months, and I missed it so much!  I think she’s making one at Christmas, though, so I’ll have a taste then. 

Oh and wine.  I really missed wine.

I got over this hurdle relatively successfully, but Christmas is another story entirely.  We’ll be with our big family at our lakehouse, and I always use that as an excuse to overeat.  I know I’ll have to have tastes of several things (because of that once-a-year mentality), but I’m hoping I can remember what I’ve learned the past couple weeks and only have teensy bits.

How did you do this Thanksgiving?  How do you tackle larger family get-togethers where food is the best tradition?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An award and some rambling

So this week has been boring, food-wise (save for my little Thanksgiving feast on Friday), so the blog has been a little neglected.  That’s why I pumped her up with a new theme and domain name!     The old Blogspot RSS feed should still work since the blog still lives there for now.

I’m headed in for my 1-week checkup tomorrow to go over my lab results and get weighed (I’ve been weighing at home, and those are the numbers on my little tracker to the right; the scale at the office weighed me 5lbs heavier, so I’m sticking with the one here!).  I’m also FRIGGIN’ STOKED to bump myself up to the next tier of plans, which means I’ll get to eat REAL FOOD!!  FOR THANKSGIVING!!!  WITH MY TEETH!!!!  These shakes taste alright, better than they did before, but this week has been pretty depressing.  I dunno if it’s good or bad that it’s a mark of how uneventful my week has been based on my lack of food.  All’s I know is, I’m ready to cook and try out new recipes!

After my appointment tomorrow, I’m planning on going by the library to see if they have any low-carb cookbooks since that’s kinda what this plan is.  That’s such a fad, short-term diet, I don’t see the sense in dropping money on a book of my own.  Then after that, I’m going dress-shopping with Catherine and another bridesmaid!  I keep arguing with Catherine that they probably won’t have many sample dresses in sizes that will fit me, but I hope I’m wrong.  Even though I won’t feel pretty or want to be looked at in a strapless dress, it sucks even worse to feel left out and have to watch everyone else get to play dress-up without me.

Tonight, Mom and I helped prep some bags of fruit for a local community outreach center’s Thanksgiving meal.  I need to do stuff like this more often, but I’m such a chicken when it comes to that kind of thing.  If I had someone to go with me, I’d be more likely to volunteer my time.  That sounds terrible, and I just need to get my ass out there and stop being such a baby.

Wow, this has turned into more of a journal post than a blog post…

Oooh, some of my clothes are already fitting differently, and yesterday I traipsed around the house in a minidress that used to be too small on me and now it’s too big.  I’ve graduated from my ginormous pair of PJ pants to some that were always too snug for comfortable lounging (though I just checked and they’re the same size…Old Navy is the LEAST consistent with sizes!!).  And tonight when we were at the church listening to instructions, I put my hand on the small of my back and gasped a little.  “Mom!!  Look at my butt!!” I showed my mom how my fingers didn’t follow the giant jutting-out angle my ass used to occupy.  It’s a gentler slope now.     My tummy pooch seems smaller, too! 

I’ve taken a whole slew of “before” pictures – most which will not see the cold, cruel light of Teh Interwebs, and I can’t wait to compare them with some “afters.”  Which reminds me, none of them are really SFW.  I should take some more before I lose too much so I can have something to show the blogosphere. 

Superior Scribbler Award

The lovely Candace from Believing in C-C has bestowed upon me the Superior Scribbler Award!


The Rules & Regulations are as follows:
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass the award on to five most deserving bloggers
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom s/he has received the award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog, and link to The Scholastic Scribe, which explains the award.
Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this
post and add his/her name to the Mr Linky List. That way, they'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor.
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Here are my 5 peeps:

Love y’all!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dinner party aftermath

Hey gang! As you’ll remember from yesterday’s post, I had a dinner party last night! It was really fun, and I’m not beating myself up (too much) today. I went in with a plan and kinda stuck to it. Stepping back to look at how it went, I did amazingly. So much better than I ever would have if I wasn’t on this plan. However, eating ANYTHING at the dinner party was not a part of said plan. [That sounds super-restrictive and disordered, but I’m on a specialized, physician-monitored diet and am getting everything I need from the stuff I’m supposed to consume ]

So let’s start from the beginning – my contribution was a flower arrangement, some boozy holiday beverage, and chocolate salty balls. I got a little glass dish from the dollar store and wrapped some ribbon around it…


…then stuck an assload of flowers in it…


…then decided it didn’t look good enough so I added some random twigs


…it would’ve been a lot easier with some of that floral foam, but I couldn’t find our stash, so they were all precariously perched in that shallow little dish. Catherine liked it, so that’s all that mattered.

My chocolate salty balls were a big hit – everyone was stuffed with dinner, so only a few were consumed, so hopefully Catherine and Scotty were able to take the rest home for themselves.


Chocolatey sea salty goodness


I know, I know, I’ve got a bajillion pictures just like this on my blog already.

When I first got to Scotty’s mom’s house, it was just me and the chef of the evening, Max. I helped where I could, but since he was the brains of the operation, I mostly stayed out of his way and tried to keep him company. I had a small cup of my spiked apple cider (others drank wine and beer through the evening, but I had my tiny amount of spiked cider, then stuck with water!)…


I heated up some apple cider with a few cinnamon sticks and a tea infuser ball full of cloves and put it in a giant thermos for the journey over there. I also had a bottle of DeKuyper’s Hot Damn! Burst liqueur on the side that people could spike it with (I was going to pre-mix, but I didn’t know if everyone would want liquor, and I’m really paranoid about driving with open booze in the car, even if it’s not in its original container. I’m a goody-two-shoes at heart.) [Side note: I’ve made this for a tailgate before – premixed with a really high alcohol:cider ratio of course – and used Goldschläger. I think it’s better that way because this DeKuyper’s is more “red hots” than “cinnamon,” but budget wouldn’t allow for the gold stuff]

On to the food…


This isn’t the best picture of the whole spread, mainly because this isn’t everything. The food was AMAZING and a-plenty. Here’s my widdle itty-bitty plate:


I had a taste of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, stuffing, green beans, and sweet potato casserole. Everything was SO. GOOD. Seriously, maybe the best I’ve ever eaten. I’ve only ever had Thanksgiving meals with my big family, and we sometimes favor volume over quality. Our meals are always really good, but Max really loves cooking, doesn’t cut corners, and does an amazing job at it – it really shows.

I went back for a teeny bit more turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy, and stuffing, though I had even smaller portions the 2nd time around. It was funny – this (seemingly) insanely tiny amount of food completely satisfied me, when usually at an event like this, I’d pile up and excuse it away based on the occasion. Last night, I wasn’t uncomfortably full like everyone else, or even full at all, and I certainly wasn’t hungry. I kicked myself because even this amount of food is more than I wanted to eat, but I’m kind of ok with it. I even had a few bites of dessert


Max and I split a brownie bar (and I only had half of my half), I had a chocolate ball (planned on only eating half, but the bastard jumped back in my mouth all on its own), and I had a little spoonful of Catherine’s HOLYSHITAMAZING pumpkin turtle pie.


I also had a tiny bite off of Max’s plate of his homemade coconut cake. And by homemade, I mean he scraped out coconuts with his bare hands (well, he probably used a spoon). Shit you not. The guy is amazing.

Going into this dinner party with the “I probably shouldn’t eat anything, but I won't be hard on myself if I have a taste of a few things” mentality REALLY did me a favor. Although I ate more than I wanted to, under normal circumstances this would’ve been a perfect amount. Everyone else’s plates were FULL. As in, you couldn’t see the color of the plate because they had giant amounts of food piled up. They all had chips and dips before dinner, got huge amounts of food at dinner, then were miserable afterward. I felt great with that small amount I had. I shouldn’t have gone back for seconds no matter how small they were, but I couldn’t help myself – it was too good.

So there you have it. I always know that I’m going to overdo things, so I bargained low so I’d have some wiggle room. This is a skill I’ve got to keep practicing! When I got home and weighed myself (not a good idea), I was up a few pounds, but this morning I weighed and was even lower than yesterday. I’m pleased.

I leave you with this ridiculous dog, Taco, in Catherine’s lap.


He’s an overweight long-haired chihuahua and is so funny to watch. I feel so bad for the dog because he’s overfed, and he waddles like a tiny hippo. Here he’s in a trance because Catherine’s scratching his belly. Oh and he gobbles up raw vegetables like they were filet mignon. You say “carrot” and the dog goes apeshit. So funny!!

Oooh! Almost forgot to mention how I dealt with explaining my eating habits! We had planned for like 18 people, and I was worrying about how to explain my diet based on that number. We only had 7, and those people were closer friends who know me, so I was able to say “I’m on a diet” and get away with it. Plus, I was able to say “gotta look good for the wedding next year!” and they understood.