Archive for February, 2011

Remnants of a child’s weekend lunch.

Sometimes I do have to wonder if she’s mine because I’d never walk away from Doritos.


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Food in mah belly

Today was my weekly Weight Watcher weigh-in. I wasn’t too optimistic about my chances of seeing a respectable loss. I stopped caring about big losses long ago, but this week it hit me that I’ve only lost three pounds since Christmas.  That shouldn’t bother me since I’m still technically a loser, but I’m getting so close to that huge triple digit sweetheart number of 100 pounds that I’m starting to get a little impatient.

And of course this mini plateau has nothing to do with the stuff I’m eating and not tracking. A Dorito here, a few almonds there. They don’t count, right?


So this week I decided to reign it in a little and not do the sneaky snack thing. I’m only hurting myself by not counting these surreptitious tastes and I did well for about a day. Then I decided to bake me some cookies.  And they weren’t just any cookies. They were Giadia De Laurentis’ Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

There’s something irresistible about cookie dough, and most of the time when I make cookies I consume about two or three cookies-worth of dough during the baking process. You know how it is. You only have one cookie sheet and the cookie dough just hangs out on the counter or in the fridge while you wait for your cookies to bake, begging you to to stick your finger in there to scoop out a chunky glob to pop in your mouth.

Which I did. Several times. And now you’re probably thinking you will never accept any baked goods from me.

The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, and when all was said and done I had 46 freshly-baked cookies sitting on the counter. So I ate two cookies that were never baked.  Ten points to be exact.

That was Sunday, and I did really well all week until I weighed myself at my parents’ house and saw that I wasn’t having a very bad week. It actually looked like I was having a pretty damn good week so last night I was a little free and easy with the Doritos.

You know I’d never buy them if Autumn didn’t love them so much.

So after the cookie dough and the Doritos, I did indeed see a spectacular loss this week. Just over five pounds, which puts me at 95 pounds lost since I started following the plain again in October of 2009. Since I was five pounds over my starting weight when I got my shit together, Weight Watchers has me at 90 pounds lost, which I happily celebrated today.

Needless to say, that put me in a very good mood and I decided to treat myself to a couple of Weight Watcher treats; their vanilla smoothie mix and some lemon mousse pie mini bars. I’d never seen the lemon bars before and asked the receptionist if they were any good. She said they had just gotten them in this week and she hadn’t had a chance to try them yet.

“Well, I will probably open them up when I get into the car,” I said, not thinking twice about admitting that I would rip open the package as soon as my seatbelt was clipped if not before. A person does not get up to 356 pounds without having a lot of experience eating in the car.

The receptionist asked me to give her a status report on the tastiness of said lemon bars next week and I quickly hoofed it out to the car to start my taste test.

They were AMAZING.

I love lemon-flavored things, so these were right up my alley, but the bars are tiny and as soon as one went down I felt compelled to chase it with another.

Then my internal alarms started going off and I sensed I was delving into that foggy, throw-all-sense-out-the-window territory that comes with baking cookies.

I was going to get myself into trouble with these lemon bars if I didn’t pull myself together.


The irony here is that this week’s meeting was all about re-vamping your kitchen pantry and removing those nasty trigger foods that have a way of making you go batshit crazy and here I was bringing a Weight Watchers endorsed box of batshit crazy into my house.

When I got home I practically forced Nathan to try once. “They’re FABULOUS!” I said, hoping he’d agree and come Tuesday I’d find them gone. He did like them, so maybe they won’t be sticking around for much longer.

Speaking of batshit crazy, I also made my favorite Creamy Crabmeat Soup for lunch.

Nathan and I fell in love with the recipe about a year ago. We found it in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook my mom gave us. The original recipe called for whole milk and half & half so we skinny’d it down by using fat free versions of both. We also substituted light butter for margarine and cut the quantity of butter down from 1/4 cup to 2 TBSP. Well, at least we have in the past. Today I made my soup with 1/4 cup of light butter. Whoops.

Here’s the recipe.

Creamy Crabmeat Soup

1 cube vegetable bullion
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup onion (we love onion and frequently double this amount)
2 TBSP light butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 cups fat-free milk
2 cups fat-free half & half
1 pound flaked crabmeat (we usually go cheap and use imitation crab)

Instructions: Dissolve bullion in water; set aside. Saute onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Gradually pour in milk, half & half and bullion mixture; stir until think enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add crabmeat; heat but do not boil.

One serving is 4 Points Plus.

Two servings is 9 Points Plus and totally worth it.

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I loved reading everybody’s comments, especially since each of the goals you accomplished were different. Graduating college, climbing mountains, getting out of debt-they’re all reasons to celebrate and brag a little bit.

You are all winners in my book, but unfortunately there is only one who will get the prize package. And that is…


Give me a buzz, girl, and we’ll make arrangements on delivery.

Thank you all for participating. I loved hearing about your accomplishments!

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I’m trying to get back into the groove of posting regularly, and by regularly I mean more than twice a month, so I figured I’d kick off the second post this week with some good news.

I have finally lost the baby weight.

Mind you not all the weight I gained was from the baby (who is now school age and technically not a baby), but I did gain a good bit during my pregnancy. Fifty-five pounds to be exact. I lost some after giving birth, as most moms do, but I never got back down below 300 until last year. I hovered just above that awful number until I stopped nursing, and once I stopped nursing, my body figured out I didn’t need all those extra calories anymore. Unfortunately I did not also realize the same.

Then there was the knee injury that was instrumental in getting me to my Highest Weight Ever. Thirty more pounds there.

Thankfully it is all gone. In December, on Christmas Eve no less, I finally found myself below the weight I was when I first discovered I was pregnant nearly six years ago.

At least I took it off before she reached high school.

This calls for a celebration so I decided to host a modest little giveaway. This is actually the giveaway I was supposed to do when I finally got below 300 pounds, but not being the most organized or driven person, I sort of…didn’t do it. I also had a little trouble figuring out what to give away because I don’t know what you people want.

So I figured I’d just give away things I like.

Like I said, this is a very modest giveaway package and it’s worth around $50. The package consists of three things and they’re all going to one reader so I don’t have to post prizes to three different addresses.

I’m lazy, unmotivated and cheap. But I’ve taken off that baby weight. That’s key here.

So do you want to know what’s up for bid?

Alrightly then.

Item number one is a $15 iTunes card.

I love iTunes gift cards. I don’t buy much music, but ever since getting an iPod touch, and then an iPhone, I’ve been spending a little too much time in the App Store. I’ve been very tempted to keep this for myself, but luckily for you I’m quite happy with my Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies for now.

Item number two is a delicious bag of Good Life Granola.

Folks? I LOVE this granola, and how I managed to acquire a bag to give away is kind of a funny story. Well, funny in a sad sort of way because it once again highlights my complete lack of motivation.

So Nathan and I were out at the Holland Farmer’s Market last May and Mike, the owner of Good Life Granola, had his table set up with his samples. I introduced myself as @oakhollowmom because we had conversed back and forth on Twitter, as much as two people can in 140 characters or less, and he wouldn’t have known me from Eve had I introduced myself by my real name.

Since I’m not very comfortable asking for freebies to give away on the blog, I figured I’d just buy a bag myself. Then Nathan told Mike I was going to give the granola away here and Mike very graciously offered me another bag to do just that. But when he asked me when I was going to do the giveaway, I told him it would be when I hit my next weight loss goal.  As it turned out, I didn’t hit that goal until the end of June and, as I mentioned earlier, failed to do the giveaway at that time.

So Mike, I owe you a HUGE apology for taking so long to introduce you to my readers.

Did I happen to mention how wonderful this granola is? If you’re not a raisin fan, you’ll be happy to know this granola contains all natural ingredients, none of which are raisins. Just oats, pecans, almonds, brown sugar, Michigan maple syrup, canola oil, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla. It’s a wonderful, wonderful mix of flavors.

And I’m sure Mike will be happy to know I won’t be passing on the bag he gave me last May. While I do still have that bag and have confirmed it’s still very tasty, I could not in good conscience give away a bag of granola that’s been sitting on my desk for eight months. The bag you will be getting was recently purchased at a local health food store.

And the final item is a gro-pak starter kit from Blue Avocado.

I was introduced to Blue Avocado a couple of years ago at BlogHer and could kick myself for not taking advantage of the generous discount they offered to conference attendees back then. I love their little pod bags and had no idea they actually turned into pods until I saw roommate Amy with some as she was packing up her swag.  I was all, “Oh, those bags do that?” and proceeded to scrunch and fold mine into a neat little pod shape. I also wish I would have followed Amy’s lead and gotten a couple more bags from the expo hall. Ah, well. You can learn from my mistake. If you room with a frugal blogger, don’t let her out of your sight because she has an amazing capacity to scope out freebies.

The starter pack consists of one pod bag, one pak carry-all bag and one veg produce bag. I need to add a disclaimer here because the set I picked up was not purchased directly through Blue Avocado. I acquired my set on the farm last summer when I was picking up my CSA share. It was only after I brought the bags home that I realized they were a little dirty after being displayed in the farm store.

But now I can tell you the bags wash really well.


And now you know why I don’t do giveaways that often.

If you’re at all interested in this package, you may earn a chance to win it by posting a comment below. The comment should include one goal you are very proud to have reached. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with weight loss. Have you run a marathon? Graduated college? Taught a monkey sign language? Tell me about it, but please don’t go crazy by barraging me with your awesomeness. Too much boasting in multiple comments will only cheapen your efforts.

In other words, one comment per person, please.

You can post your comments until 11:59 PM next Wednesday, February 16 (because Midnight would actually be Thursday, right?)

Thursday I will draw a winner and hopefully post the results shortly after.

If I remember to, that is.

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Chinese food mothers

Yesterday my mom and I took Autumn to see the Princess Diana exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. We were going to make an afternoon of it and my mother, who has tried every Chinese buffet in the greater West Michigan area, suggested we visit a buffet she’s been raving about for months.

“They have sushi, fruit and a salad bar there. You’ll be able to find something that fits into your diet,” she said.

I looked at her. “I’m not on a diet mom. This is the way I eat now,” and went on to tell her I’d rather go someplace with a more sensible menu.  Normally the word diet doesn’t chaff my khakis like it did when my mom said it, but there was something in her tone that told me I needed to set her straight about the way I’m living now.

My mother is only familiar with the old school Weight Watchers that had Socrates holding ketchup-making workshops at the Lyceum.  Back then they mandated the consumption of organ meats and killed your soul with a multitude of restrictions, and while my mother did reach goal on that plan, it was definitely a diet and not something that taught her how to live at a healthy weight and still enjoy Chinese buffets.

When my mom used the word diet, it implied that this whole thing I’m doing-the tracking, the eating well and the waking at ungodly hours to sweat my ass off on an elliptical-would end at some point and I’d go back to being on board the Panda Express indulging in fifty variations of breaded and sauced chicken.

My mom has every right to believe I won’t make it to goal. In the past twenty years she has seen my weight go up and down like a carnival ride and anyone else who has known me that long may also be wondering when I’ll finally dive headfirst into the nearest Costco cake.

Hell, I sometimes wonder the same thing, but about a year ago, after just a few months into this latest season of my own personal Biggest Loser, I realized the way I’m eating now is going to have to be the way I eat for the rest of my life.  The workouts are also going to have to continue for as long as I’m physically able to do them.

And you know what? That thought did not depress me at all. In the past it would have because food was so tightly entwined with my idea of quality of life that having to pass up things like Costco cake or a Chinese buffet (or Costco cake and a Chinese buffet) would have made me want to stick my head in the oven at the thought of all that deprivation.

Now that I am more mature (read: old) and have experienced the pain of being broken and brittle, I now know that quality of life has very little to do with food. Deprivation isn’t about keeping yourself from eating what you want as much as you want to eat it. Deprivation is being 350 pounds with two arthritic knees that keep you from having great sex or giving your child a piggy back ride.  Quality of life is about being healthy and vibrant and engaged in the world around you, not about eating whole bags of peanut butter cups or a mountain of pasta.

And what can feel better than hauling a 30-pound bag of dog food up the stairs and realizing you’ve lost three of those suckers because of all your hard work?

That being said, I have to confess I do regret not agreeing to the buffet.  We wound up eating at Wendy’s per my suggestion and the whole experience was disappointing. The service was bad, the sandwich wasn’t much better and holy crap has Wendy’s jacked up their prices.  After all was said and done, I didn’t pay much less for my meal and Autumn’s than I would have at the buffet. Food may not ensure quality of life, but sometimes it goes a way towards enhancing it, especially if there’s sushi involved.

And yes, I did tell my mom I should have listened to her. I may have eaten more than I should have if I had gone to the buffet, but another great thing I learned this year is to own my bad choices, forgive myself and move on.

You can recover from any misstep as long as you keep on walking.

Damn, I sound like Oprah now.

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