Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cravings, Sabotaging, and Diet Changes

I've been falling off the diet wagon more times than I'm totally comfortable with lately. I don't know if it is the underlying stress of trying to figure out Kid's schooling situation (although I think this is very likely) or what. But let's say a week that included eating an ENTIRE bucket of animal crackers followed up closely behind with a Cinnabon is not exactly representative of the kind of diet I'd like to be following.

One of the things that comes into play for me is just busy mom syndrome. I meet the kids' needs first...ALWAYS... and so sometimes that means I'm starving and I know I should make a sandwich but I grab a handful of animal crackers and then say "oh what the heck I'll just eat 3 servings of these and call it lunch". The thing is I do this ALL the time. ALL the time. I thoughtfully make balanced meals for the kids and then grab a coffee and some more empty ready-to-eat sweet carbs of one sort or another and think "I'll eat an apple later...".

So the time has come for me to start to take responsibility for the food I put in my mouth throughout the day. How am I going to do that? Well I think I'm going to have to extend my meal planning to include my lunch and snacks. I've had a couple of different ideas. I eat six times a day. Outside of breakfast and dinner (which are already planned) I eat four 200-300 calorie mini-meals. One idea included writing out several mini meals onto index cards and drawing one out for each meal. What I like about this idea is that there would a lot of choices and it takes into account that I might have different cravings for different meals. Don't want hummus & pretzels? How about apples & peanut butter? It would help me to come up with a healthy meal suggestion even when I'm feeling to busy and frazzled to think of one. The problem is it doesn't take into account what we have in the house on that particular day. I mean how many mini-meals can I have stocked up every week?

I think the reality is that I just don't want to meal plan all my meals. It seems daunting and tedious and a bit rigid. But the truth is I eat the same types of thing day in and day out... it is not like I'm eating at a buffet everyday. And there are days where I just eat what I see on the counter because that is what is easiest and not because what I really wanted for lunch was half a gnawed on banana and Kid's bread crusts. So I'm sucking it up. I really admire the way Eurydice eats... and guess what? She plans out her entire day so I am going to do it too. Of course there will be days when I really don't want a turkey sandwich or whatever I had picked out and that's life and that's fine. I think in the big picture this will help me make better choices more consistently. And yes I still plan to eat at least one dark chocolate caramel a day!

You can read my daily meal plan over on the sidebar. Want to know if I kept to it? Well maybe I'll let you know...

Friday, March 14, 2008

I've Got A Question...

Kids and money.... how do you handle it?

As I spend more time looking into finances I am very aware of how little I really know about the financial world. I do not want that to be the case for my girls. I know there are tons of books out there on the topic but I would like to know what you have done.

Do you give your kids allowances?

When did you start and how much do you give?

Is it chore related or purely for the sake of learning about money?

How have your kids responded to your method?

If you've got a good kids & money book recommendation lay it on me.

And if you don't have kids yet... what did your parents do for you? And did it actually help you to learn financial responsibility or not?

The Love Story: Chapter Two

So when we left off Mr F and I had just met in dog training class.

Mr F and I continued to take class together, but seeing as Mr F was not actually single, I didn't waste too much time or thought on him. I began dating someone else (or maybe two) and wasted a fair amount of time being faux pursued on Now let me take this opportunity to say that in my experience (although it was awhile ago) the best thing to do when you are picking up the pieces of a failed relationship is to start internet dating. Things may have changed but during my free trial period I would come home to a good 40 or 60 emails and PLEASE nothing could make you feel more confident than knowing somebody somewhere would like to date you. And even though I didn't actually meet anyone I was talking to online it did give me the confidence to get back out there.

***Let me take this opportunity to say to Mr Paraplegic: "I totally understand why you felt you needed to pretend you weren't actually paralyzed by posting a photo from before your accident. I also can see why it is hard to tell someone you are interested in that you are paralyzed... but at some point it crosses a line and you crossed it." ***

Okay back to the love story...

About 6 weeks after we first met I noticed Mr F and his dog at the dog park. He was standing up on a hill letting his dog run on a long lead. He was wearing a GIGANTIC Red Sox jersey over some overalls (and yeah that is painful to write... and noteworthy only because these are some of the first things I eliminated from his daily wardrobe once we were married). I thought to myself... "hmm maybe he's an architect"... I don't really know why but that is what I thought and what I've always remembered about that day. Meanwhile I was chatting with the gay couple with the miniature schnauzer and a man whose wife was a cashmere buyer (they had a standard poodle) they were part of my dog park crew since Canine is a bit of an elitist.

At a certain point that evening Mr F came down the hill. The schnauzer had left and I was chatting about how the cashmere they use at Land's End is the same exact cashmere that TSE Cashmere uses (true my friends... it is 100% true, Land's End sells the highest quality cashmere... keep it in mind). Mr F joined us because he wanted to know if we had dog training that night or not. We started talking about what a complete freak our dog trainer was and how we both weren't even sure if we were going to finish the series of classes we had paid for. For some reason (and I'm assuming at this point he no longer thinks I'm a teenager... but I don't know that for sure) Mr F said he was debating moving in with his girlfriend.
It went like this:

Me "Well, how long have you guys been together?"

Mr F "four years"

Me "If you are still debating whether or not you want to live with someone after four years then it seems to me that you don't want to."

Hey are you at all surprised? I have always been a tell-it-like-it-is type of person.

To Be Continued...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Witching Hour

Cookie Monster

"Could you take these upstairs?" Mrs F asks Kid

"Sure" Kid dutifully replies

"And put them straight into the trash?" Mrs F continues

"Why?" Kid asks noticably intrigued by the suggestion

"Because if you don't I'm going to eat them all." Mrs F concludes

Dinner Is Served

I've posted this recipe before but it bears repeating. Tilapia is a slightly sweet firm white fish, it is very versatile and reasonably priced. This is an easy, fast, and surprisingly delicious (and extremely kid friendly) recipe. This can literally go from the fridge to the table in 15 minutes... seriously. With 2 minutes more prep you can turn out an extra batch for the freezer... it reheats beautifully.

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

*Spice Rub (adapted from Rachael 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 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 palmful), coarse kosher salt

Mrs Furious Food TV... You can watch me make it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

This is ME in this suit 3 months ago. I thought I would look much heavier in today's pics. Outside of maybe a little extra tummy weight (you may notice the suit top doesn't exactly meet the bottom) I think I might actually be thinner. Rejoice! Maybe my weight increase is muscle after all. I cannot even tell you how happy I am that I will finally feel comfortable in my bathing suit this summer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Debtors Anonymous

Whether good or bad, planned or unplanned, I can confidently say there are very few amongst us who do not have a relationship with debt. We've got it, our parents have it, and before you know our kids will too. Debt and discussions of debt are everywhere... on Oprah, and NPR, in the newspapers, and on the news. People are making good money and yet they just aren't making it. They are losing their homes at record rates. It's a scary world out there... financially speaking.

We've got our own debt story but ours is maybe a bit unusual, as it was completely preventable, had pride and wishful thinking not gotten in the way. Mr F has a good heart but poor time management and possibly even worse financial management skills. We learned this the hard way. Had there been an open dialogue about money in our relationship it would never have needed to get to the point it did. Three years later we are (outside of our mortgage) completely debt free. That's saying something.

While we aren't sinking in a pool of debt we aren't exactly saving any money either. In fact with the housing market the way it is here in Michigan what should have been our biggest asset has lost over $100,000 in value in the last few years. If the market doesn't change soon we may find ourselves owing more on our house than it is worth! And until we start spending less than we earn... or earning more than we spend... we can't ensure that we'll stay debt free for long.

I'm going to be spending the next few months trying to reorganize our spending and find ways to take more control over our finances. Like many of you I feel very overwhelmed and completely uninformed about money. I'm hoping to post weekly about our progress and what I've been learning along the way. Please feel free to share your debt story (post anonymously if you'd like) and tips... your triumphs and your short comings in the comments as we go along. You are surely not alone and we can all learn from one another's mistakes and successes.

Sorry Guys...

But apparently the time change is like crack cocaine for babies!

I'll post as soon as I can.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Three Months Till Bathing Suit Season

This Week The Plan

Last week I actually did a really good job of staying on top of my schedule. Not scheduling workout days did remove some pressure and I ended up getting 4 really good workouts in so I feel good about that. In fact still looking for ways to really amp up my output I actually did running intervals and ran for a 1/3rd of the time (which is pretty good for a non-runner I'm thinking). I am really sore in my ankles today though!?! On reader recommendation I'll be using my new Mom Plan-It™ for my weekly meal plan and shopping lists... stay tuned next week for a review of that one. And for all of you who are bored to death with my typical meal plan, fear not, Spring is coming and my menu will start to change (plus I've finally emptied the freezer).
Okay onto this week...


Monday - Spaghetti & Meatballs w/ steamed broccoli & carrots

Tuesday - Cornflake Crusted Tilapia w/ asparagus

Wednesday - Kid & Mr F date night

Thursday - Brown Sugar & Ginger Salmon w/ Asian veggie stir fry & spring rolls

Friday - take out

Saturday - Sauteed Chicken Breasts w/ Cesar Salad & Homemade Bread

Sunday - Meatball Soup

Diet & Exercise:

I'm just going to keep on keepin' on. I'm going to continue food journaling and calorie counting over at my food diary site. I'm going to get in as many workouts as I can. I actually really enjoyed doing the running intervals and as long as I don't start to feel it in my knees I'm going to keep it up... it was a fun change of pace.

Chores & Errands

Monday - Laundry, pay bills (play date)

Tuesday - call school district ed specialist, grocery shop (preschool)

Wednesday - vacuum, fold laundry (preschool)

Thursday - WRITE THANK YOU NOTES (preschool)

Friday - wash floors (dance)

Saturday - homeschool curriculum fair (swimming)

Sunday - clean out cubby o'shame... for real this time, laundry

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

House?!?! I got freaking House?!

Okay maybe I shouldn't have said my ideal man was "grizzled and experienced". Taking that out I've now got...
What the hell? Is it because I said I needed my TV man to "fight for me"?! (don't ask)

Thanks to Mommy Time for the Sunday diversion.

At The Tone The Time Will Be...

That's right, folks, this morning at 2 AM the time officially changed to 3 AM (for most of us). Change your clocks accordingly.
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