Saturday, September 15, 2007

For A Limited Time Only....

I have opened up the Food Diary Blog. You can follow the link on the left side of the page if you are interested in checking it out. I will close it back up for Authors' eyes only in a couple of days. If you are interested in joining this blog let me know and I can send you an invite.

Also I am reposting the links to the girls' sites. They are in the Family Matters section to the left. After putting a stat counter over here I am fairly certain I've got a pretty consistent group of readers (mostly me... it seems...LOL) so I'm not too worried about bringing in unwanted traffic at their sites anymore. I know this also will make it easier for those of you who go back and forth. I am also back on top of updating their sites with a little more frequency. Enjoy! And remember you are not laughing at us... you are laughing with us... Right?

Yay or Nay?

Okay here is a sweater I ordered from It is $84.99 so I kind of think that is expensive. I would not normally wear a belted sweater... but I like it. It is a silk cashmere blend... but isn't very cashmere-y! Those are weird kind of fake layered sleeves. Matt thinks I look like an Elfen Archer... in a good way :)
So before I commit what does everyone think?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hold On To Your Hats Folks!

We are going to take a wild ride through my own special brand of craziness.

So because I spend a lot of time housebound with a sleeping kiddo I also have found myself spending a fair amount of time online. And as I have written before I spend a fair amount of time reading what the FlyLady emails me everyday and then not doing any of it... well the cleaning that is. I have been suckered into buying things from most of the FlyLady affiliates. Last week I actually bought a book written by her vet... kind of a country vet memoir.. why?... I don't really know. When you are in the FlyLady's domain you start to lose any shred dignity you had left.

Before you know it you find yourself subscribing to a crazy personal shopper called Missus Smarty Pants. Yes it is as bad as it sounds. For one thing you have no idea if this woman has good taste... or taste you would like... there are no photos available until you join. You also have no idea if she is 35 or 85 years old. I mean I already told you how cheesy the graphics are over at FlyLady so you can imagine this is just as bad...and if they think that their sites look *cool* joining this thing would be like the worst thing you could do... right? RIGHT? RIGHT!?! Well..... I did.

Not only did I join up for one season which is $9.95... mere pennies really... but I signed up for the ID Me ($10) so that Missus Smarty Pants herself could determine what body type I had. I am a "B" as it turns out... that is a B as in Bad Ass. Then you get a weekly newsletter geared toward your body type with photos (and links!... yes more time online!) of clothes you can purchase either online or at readily accessible retailers (read Target). The pitch is that you'll save money because you will no longer buy things that don't flatter you and you end up leaving on the floor (or is that just me?). As luck would have it my first weeks newsletter featured I quickly ordered 1 shirt, 3 sweaters, a dress, and a pair of pants. (What!?! I just lost 60 pounds!... Back Off!) Thankfully overstock has a $2.95 shipping fee so this didn't totally kill me. Unfortunately I now have 2 sweaters, a dress, and a pair of pants to return and the Post Office doesn't offer me that same shipping rate!

The funny/scary thing is after getting all this stuff I was a little worried that every week I was going to have this crazy shopping temptation in my inbox and instead of saving me money on clothes I didn't wear I was going to be spending 10 times as much on jewel toned wrap style tops (turns out I'm a winter!). But never fear once I got my membership I was able to look at the previous couple of weeks of clothes and SWEET JESUS the week was the only week that featured anything remotely *cool*. And I'm not speaking from on high since literally 98% of my clothes are from Target but the previous stores were Dress Barn and Metrostyle. Metrostyle?!? I'm not a weird 80s hooker! And yes people click on that link... that my friends is one of the tops she recommend I buy! You have got to be freaking kidding me!

Now my $29.95 hasn't all gone to waste... last week one of her tidbits was invaluable to me. So listen up my peeps... take your style cues from TV. Now this probably sounds like a no brainer... but I pretty much only watch Biggest Loser reruns these days so picking up style tips hasn't really been an option. But the new season has a new host Allison Sweeney (god I did love Caroline and her crazy style... not crazy in a good way though... crazy like I can't believe someone told you to wear that on national TV)... anyway back to Ms Sweeney... while I was watching the premiere over again while working out last night I was totally aware of her clothing. And she seems to be a "B" too and she is actually stylishly dressed. She was even wearing a wrap style dress... key piece for a "B" it seems. And tonight while watching the Closer I noted that Kyra Sedgwick is also a "B"... and what did she have on?... you guessed it... a wrap style dress! Now where can I find me a wrap style dress?

So it wasn't all for naught was it?
And never fear I'll let you know how the vet's memoir turns out ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don't Be A Hero

This is the big thing I want to get out there in terms of undertaking a weight loss effort... I did not do it all at once.
I did not start out calorie counting and working out.
I did not give up desserts or soda or even Mc Donalds when I first started.
I started with one thing... a food diary.

I know when I have tried to "diet" I would get all excited and geared up and buy all my "new" foods and boom within the first week or two I had fallen off the wagon. I would be starving on too low a calorie limit or eating foods that I didn't really like and before you knew it I was eating pizza feeling terrible about myself and no longer motivated to keep going. This is why calorie counting is your friend. If you are accounting for your calories you can ... really!... eat whatever you want and steadily lose weight.
I started by trying to figure out how much I was eating while not losing to establish a starting point. A very easy way to do this is to keep an open email on your desktop and just add to it through out the day (if you are work send it home when you leave and then add on from there). When you get a chance at the end of the day figure out your calories and send this email to yourself. Do this for one whole week and average out your calorie intake. If you are like me you eat a lot of the same stuff over and over and the looking up part quickly becomes faster and faster. I have always used this site to look calories up. It is also very easy to find the nutritional info for most chain restaurants online. (FYI do not ever eat at Macaroni Grill!) If you have the time to read this you have the time to do this :)
As soon as you know your average calorie intake deduct 500 calories from that and that should be your goal. This is key! You might be able to eat 2000 calories and still lose a pound a week... maybe even two. So why not eat 1500 and lose 2-3 pounds a week? you ask.... because you will be so hungry that you will end up sabotaging yourself and you won't lose as much in the long run that is why! Baby steps really do add up... believe me! It is absolutely worth taking the time to figure out how much you can eat and still lose.
When you have been doing this and consistently losing weight at a healthy rate for a month or two then add in a new habit. Or wait until you plateau, and sadly you will, then think about lowering your calories by just 50 or 100 calories or start working out or pick up the pace if you already were.

I know that many of you are resistant to keep a daily food diary. There are shortcuts out there... nutrisystem and jenny craig give you the food in the predetermined (and too low!) calorie allotments, Weight Watchers lets you use points instead of calories (I don't get why that is easier)... but when you are done "dieting" you have to eat real food and it is hard to know how many calories are in real food or even how many you can eat to maintain a healthy weight if you never had to figure this out. That spells disaster and a lot of money for these dieting companies as their clients will ultimately need continued help. I am not on a "diet". By taking things one step at a time I have been able to slowly and painlessly adjust my lifestyle. I believe that keeping a food diary is the most important thing you can do in trying to reach and maintain a *healthy* weight. It gives you the awareness you need to actually be mindful of what you are eating and that is the difference between gaining and losing! Good luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brace Yourselves!

I'm actually going to attempt to write a serious and meaningful post for a change.

Unfortunately Baby Furious the Wonder Baby just decided to start officially cruising... as in walking around furniture, etc... she is just over 7 months old.. this is ridiculous... so I may have to start and stop a bit as I monitor her constant hjinks. She has also just realized she can pull our tablecloth off which is potentially disastrous!

So today I stepped on the scale as I do everyday and lo and behold I weigh 118.8! I almost started crying. When I started on this journey I picked 118 as a *lofty* idealistic goal and here I am 7 months later and I did it! I have surpassed my pre-pregnancy weight by 8 pounds. I put on my size six jeans and no muffin top! They are actually shockingly a little too big! I have not been able to fit in my clothes and I kind of stopped trying them on so as not to feel disappointed every this was a very pleasant surprise.

And before you all start to hate me I'll through this shot in too.... Let's just say I did not inherent any collagen! Thankfully for all those who will never again wear a bikini there is a new little thing out there called the Tankini... God Bless the person who came up with that one!

So anyway here is the deal having kids pretty much *destroyed* my body. And I know some of you will say "you look great" well that is easy to say when it isn't your body. Somethings in life just aren't fair and this is one of those things. When you don't look like *yourself* it is very hard to have a positive self image. And it is very hard to think you will ever be able to do anything about that. I mean I spent a lot of time between children thinking... well this is as good as I'm ever going to get. And I know a lot of people feel the same way.. and it might not be your stretched out stomachs holding you back, but your thighs, or chin, man boobs... whatever! But I'm here as proof that you can feel better and you can look better. These albatrosses that we carry around are only as big as we let them be. My stomach will never look like it did before children and I could hold on to this fact and beat myself up about it all I want... I can't go back in time and have different parents conceive me and bestow me with more stretchable skin... this is it ..this is life...this is my skin. But for years I didn't really believe I could feel good enough about my body to make a commitment to getting in shape.
Now I've never had a weight problem but sweet jesus I have felt inadequate or badly about myself most of my life. When I gained 42 pounds with my first pregnancy I was shocked, when my stomach got stretched out I was devastated. It took me over a year to lose the weight and then I started training with a pilates instructor twice a week... but I never did cardio. This allowed me to slim down and get pretty strong and I told myself I was in shape... but I also told myself that the fatty deposit in my stomach was due to my skin issue and not a lack of exercise. I completely bought into that. I really believed this was as good as I could get and I would need a tummy tuck to look any better. That was until I started watching The Biggest Loser reruns this summer and saw people lose 100+ pounds and plenty of these people had stretchmarks like mine and when they came out at the finale they had washboard stomachs! Sure they had the little extra skin... but it was just skin. And that changed my whole perception of what was possible. I'm never going to be *perfect* but I can strive for something better and I can actually believe that I am capable of looking and feeling better.... and I do.
So PLEASE stop telling yourself you are too busy or stressed out to get in better shape. Stop telling yourself that there is no point... you'll always have cankles or heavy upper arms... there is a point. The point is you can feel better. You can actually look better too. And no it really isn't that hard to do it.. it is just hard to start doing it. It is hard to believe you will stick to something long enough to see results... it is hard to stop lying to yourself. Believe me you are not busier ...or more stressed out... or living on less sleep than I am. You can do this!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oh No He Didn't!

Did I just hear Bob Harper tell his new Blue Team to chew gum to stave off sweet cravings? Well where have I heard that before? Oh yeah I said that HERE! As if you needed any more proof that I am indeed a Bad Ass!

A little Taste Of Furious Lingo..

Mrs F "Why are your glasses off?"
Kid F "'cause I don't like wearing them... and sometimes Little Sissy takes them off my eyes"
Mrs F "Is that what happened or did you take them off because you were losing your mind a little bit?"(refering to recent flailing tantrum)
Kid F "I took them off 'cause I was losing my mind."
Mrs F "Okay put 'em back on"

And moments later...
"Rubes could you please just go to the bathroom" Kid Furious proceeds to walk and starts flailing around again and hits her head on the door jam.."Oh Jesus... Rubes are you okay?...See that's what happens when you are being a total freak"

I guess it is no surprise she called me a "Jack Ass Freak" last week... in this house that is a compliment ;)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Excuse Me While I Toot My Own Horn

Tonight for dinner I reheated up some frozen Cornflake Crusted Tilapia fish sticks (well nuggets really) and they were as good, if not quite possibly better, than when I first made them. I know I've talked these babies up before but I'm fairly certain none of you have broken down and lined up your pie plates as of yet. Well what are you waiting for... Get On It! These are so good I cannot even get over myself! If I had a restaurant these would be on the menu every goddamn night. These were so good, even reheated mind you!, that Mr F and I were fighting over the extra nuggets left in the pan.

Here it is one more time:

Cornflake Crusted Tilapia

1 lb Tilapia filets (4-6)
2.5 c cornflakes, crunched up
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c flour
2T spice rub*
2T oil

preheat oven to 400 baking time 10 mins

Coat the bottom of a large rimmed baking sheet with the oil, spread to coat evenly and set aside. Line up three pie pans or shallow bowls or plates. Place the flour and spice rub in one and whisk together. Beat one egg in the 2nd pie pan. Pour the crunched up Cornflakes in the third (I just crunch them with my hands). Dip each filet, one at a time, in the flour turning to coat evenly, the egg mixture and then the cornflakes. Place them on the oiled baking sheet. Bake for 5 mins, turn over and finish baking for an additional 5 minutes.

each filet is 200 calories

*Israeli Spice Rub (care of Racheal Ray)
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) dried oregano
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (medium to hot in spice level)
1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 palmful), coarse kosher salt

Note: I omitted the red pepper flakes for this recipe!

If you decide to do a double batch go ahead and cook them then transfer them to a cooling rack so they don't sog up on you. Once they are completely cool I just put the cooling rack in the freezer. Once the fish is frozen through pop the filets (or nuggets if you decided to go that route... and I suggest you do!) in a freezer bag. I freeze things this way so that I don't end up with a frozen clump of fish, cookie dough, what have you... trust me on this one! When reheating I just popped the frozen fish onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprayed the tops of the fish with oil and put them right into a hot (400) oven. I forgot to time them (sorry!) but they heated up pretty quick and I did flip them once half way through. Around 10-15 mins.... just don't burn them. The coating was even crunchier and if possible more delicious! Tonight I served it up with a creamy cocktail sauce. Yum!

And I'm not kidding around, the spice mix is key in this recipe. Take the time to do it right. I just make up a big batch and keep it around. In fact that's what I seasoned last weeks steak with and it was fantastic.

It's A Two For One! You Get "The Week ... In Review" And "This Week The Plan" All In One Nifty Post!

Well here we are Monday again.

Overall the meal planning has been a big success we have much less rotting food in the fridge that is for sure! But I must say the meal planning has not netted any financial savings... If anything we are spending about $20 more per week for groceries than we were. What is up with that? Maybe all the steak ;)

Speaking of steak this weeks sandwiches were not as good as last weeks. And why you ask? Well I got all healthy and decided to try and make the bread with whole wheat flour. I was getting nervous while I was stirring the dough together because the whole wheat flour was just sucking the moisture up and it was a completely different consistency. In the end it turned out fine... I mean perfectly good bread... but it lacked its fantasticness. Kid Furious immediately turned up her nose and said "Eew it's brown!" Yeah it is like every piece of bread you have ever eaten! But in the end she was right it really wasn't as good and I too was slightly disappointed. This made for a lack luster sandwich. The white version (made with bread flour!) had a much more inviting, chewy, glutenous texture. So that was a big freaking disappointment and now I have 2 loaves to eat. I will say that this bread stores better than the white and it did in fact make a (okay two!) perfectly good Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. If you decide to give the whole wheat version a try I started with 2 cups of whole wheat flour and then finished the dough with regular bread flour (mine took 2.75 cups). This sadly didn't really effect the calories since the dough was lighter.. damn!

Other disappointments this week include the fact that I was just not able to follow thru on the pilates workouts. I know it seems like I've got this whole diet and exercise thing down but this proves that it is always hard to change your routine. Whether that means getting off the couch or getting on the pilates reformer... whichever the case may be! I did manage to exceed my cardio goals but I really need to get it together and find away to get the strength training in. Especially as I have excepted the fact that my bat wings are in fact underdeveloped triceps ( I know I didn't want to believe that either!). I did do some triceps dips and push ups while playing with the kids on the floor (oooh doesn't that make me sound like a total bad ass?).... and maybe I need to come up with some type of routine that I can fit into my regular day like that. If I could find my free weights I'd be one step further along... I think I may have remembered seeing them holding open a door somewhere...
Obviously I have high expectations for myself. This week I am going to shoot for one pilates workout and see if I can fit that in and go from there.

Despite deciding I needed more veggies in my diet and going the distance and actually purchasing them with the intention of steaming them all up and having them ready to go for Kid's and my lunches... guess what... I didn't and they are still in the crisper drawer. The upside is I can put off grocery shopping for a few more days and use them up in combination with all of the stuff I put in the freezer a few weeks back.

So here is the menu:

Monday: Cornflake crusted tilapia fish sticks (Frozen Homemade) with Aspargus (leftover from lunches I never made!)

Tuesday: Meatballs (Frozen Homemade) with Spaghetti and Broccoli (can you guess why I still have this!)

Wednesday : Kid F and Mr F date night... I will most likely eat a delicious Kashi Go Lean Bar and cookie dough :)

Thursday: Salmon Noodle Casserole (never got around to this last week)

Friday: Tomato & Meatball Soup (Ikea style meatballs.... think spaghettios for grown ups) & breadsticks

Saturday: Take out

Sunday: Ruby's Chicken Noodle Soup

So in theory this should be a pretty easy cooking week, and cheap... I really only need my sparkling water, chocolate chips (for obvious reasons) and more of those fantastic Kashi Bars!

My number one goal for this week is to get to bed by 11:30 each night!
And despite my better judgment I am going to start letting Kid Furious pick out and *make* a dinner each week. I say against my better judgment because for some reason I have zero patience cooking with kids... it has something to do with my level of perfectionism I suspect.. but I will try and rise above for the sake of a little bonding time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Case For Cookie Dough

I've been thinking about why it is that the cookie dough has been such a weight loss revelation for me. Just the other day a friend was asking me about it and wondering if it is just the fat, or the sickening aspect, or what. Here is the deal, and tonight is a perfect example, I'm out of cookie dough balls but I need my dessert. Well what to have?... what to have?... I decide to have 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream, but because I don't really like ice cream I need to put something on it... I find some butterscotch chips and some chocolate chips and stir those in... mmm that'll be good... except it's not! Apparently when they make chocolate chip ice cream they use a different kind of chip that doesn't freeze into a hard tasteless nugget. But I eat it anyway. Well that was 240 completely unsatisfying calories and I want something else. This never happens with the cookie dough. Maybe for you cookie dough isn't the answer, but the point is having a treat on hand that is satisfying. And when I mean satisfying I mean you only need one or two and you are good. Two things fall in this category for me the cookie dough balls and dark chocolate caramels. Both are extremely rich and I really don't need to go overboard. The cookie dough is 105 calories each (now that I've switched to whole wheat flour)... not bad for something so rich... and the caramels are only 80 calories a piece. Upon occasion one is not enough of either of these but I have never had more than two. Find your "cookie dough". It needs to be something can't expect yourself to just eat one handful of something! It needs to be something extremely satisfying to your particular craving sensibilities. And you need to be fully knowledgeable of its calorie count... and it should be under 150 calories. If you don't know what this would be for you try the cookie dough... it is so fucking delicious... just be sure you measure them accurately so you don't sabotage yourself!
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