Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lessons I Learned This Week . . . and A Week of Workouts.

This week I learned some valuable lessons . . .

1.  Keep expectations low and others will be pleasantly surprised. 

When I went in to the preschool to pick up the Tiny Princess on Thursday, I received no less than five compliments between the front door and her classroom.  I'll be honest:  my head was spinning by the time I got to my daughter's room.

I have no misconceptions though.  The compliments had less to do with what I was wearing than the fact that I was wearing something other than workout clothes.

In fact, my hair was still wet and was twisted into a bun.  But, nobody even noticed.

The fact that I was wearing something other than lycra and running shoes was a miracle to be applauded.

2.  Never spend money on a cat.

The cat that I spent $102 on on Wednesday because he had a hole in his side disappeared on Friday night.

It's probably too early to say that he will never be seen or heard from again, but . . . based on my previous experience with cats at our house and the sheer fact that he was cat #16 in five years . . . I have already gone into mourning.  And, this is the way that it always works.  As soon as I invest any money in a cat, they are gone.

I assure you that I am not laughing on the inside right now.

3.  If you make plans for Saturday night, one of your kids will throw up on Friday night.  

It's a parenting fact of life. And, so is this:

I love this kid.  Clearly.
4.  Never say never.

Remember when I said on Wednesday that I was going to stay out of the new cupcake store?

If we want to split hairs here, I have held true to my word.  But, what is a girl to do when the cupcake store comes to you?   Is it a test of willpower?   No.  It's divine intervention.  It's the stars aligning to tell you that you should have a cupcake . . . goals be damned.

So, when Jessie brought cupcakes to our book club meeting on Thursday night, I ate half of a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing.  It was wonderful.

I also had half of a strawberry cupcake with cream cheese icing.  And, it was amazing.  And, so I had another whole chocolate/peanut butter . . . but this one had butterfinger on top.  Enough said.

800 or maybe even 1000 calories later . . . I was fat and happy.

I'm still saying that I'm going to stay out of that place.  It's vital that I do so . . . especially now that I've sampled their sugar crack.

5.  Going to the movies is asinine.  

I took the Tiny Princess to see Nemo in 3D.  It cost us $21.50 to get in the door.  And, even with our Carmike bucket, popcorn and a drink to share were another $11.  That is crazy stupid.   I don't know how people can even afford to take their whole families to the movie anymore . . . which is why I am officially boycotting the movie theater . . . until Breaking Dawn Part II comes out in November.

And, then I. WILL. BE. THERE.   But, I won't be taking my family with me.  Though, I may take a date.

But only if he changes me first.

And, apparently, I may have to sell a car or a child to finance it.

Below are my workouts for the week.  A big shout out to Bryson, who probably doesn't read the blog but does such a good job creating and/or finding easy sounding workouts that regularly lay me flat out on the floor in a pool of what I hope is my sweat (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, this week).

He also does a great job keeping Emily and I in line when we try to turn our class into a circus.

I hope you are having a great weekend and doing something more exciting than blogging on a Saturday night.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Recipe, a Skanky Cat, and a Confession

Last weekend, I celebrated my nephew's baptism by ordering the best side of brussel sprouts EVER. 

We were at Blackbird's Gastropub in Norman.  The sprouts were served with apples and bacon in a creamy Gorgonzola sauce.  It was the best $4 ever spent. 

They were off the rails in every sense since they were excruciatingly fattening and all the more delicious for it.

I ate half of the side (with a full-size salad) and boxed up the rest to take home.  I was going to finish them for dinner, but I ran off and left them in my brother-in-law's refrigerator.  Remembering things is not my strong suit.

I'm betting that they didn't eat them, which is a real shame.


Tonight, I set out to make a faux version of those sprouts.  My sprouts didn't turn out exactly the same.  But, I didn't expect them to because mine are low fat and low calorie.   They were a hit though even though I forgot the apples. 

And, by "a hit", I mean that I liked them.  I was the only one who tried them.  I have been repeatedly told that I like weird foods and have low standards so who knows if you will like them.  Even so, I'm sharing the recipe.  Boy, there's a ringing endorsement.

Laughing Cow Brussel Sprouts

  1 bag of frozen sprouts
  3 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese
  1/2 cup unsweetened Silk almond milk
  2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  1/2 tsp butter extract
  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  6 slices of Oscar Mayer Smoked Turkey Breast
On the stove, par-boil the frozen brussel sprouts until they are just getting soft.  In a second pan, heat the almond milk, laughing cow, nutritional yeast, butter extract, and garlic powder over low heat.  Whisk frequently to prevent scorching.  In a frying pan, brown the turkey using Pam or Crisco cooking spray (or olive oil).

Once the turkey is browned, the sprouts are soft, and the sauce is creamy and without lumps, you are ready for step two.  Dump the sprouts into a baking dish.  I used a large loaf pan and it worked perfectly.  Pour the sauce over the sprouts and then sprinkle the turkey over the top.  Bake in the oven just for a few minutes.  My oven as already cooking fish sticks so I baked it at 425 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.

Then eat. 

I think the whole dish was probably three servings.  I ate two and made it my whole meal.  Here are the stats for one serving:

The sprouts are the only pictures that I have of my food yesterday . . . because I was extremely busy lazy and I ate the same things I always eat. 

But, for your reading pleasure, here is my food log.


Confession Time:  I broke my code of ethics and had a Diet Dr. Pepper.  A BIG one.  I've been doing that a lot lately actually.  Maybe, I have no code of ethics. 

I had just picked up my skanky, infested cat from the vet's office (he has a huge hole in his side that is big enough for me to stick my pinky in up to the first knuckle . . . um, yeah, I may have tried), and I looked over and saw the new Rockford Roadhouse across the street. 

Now, I love when a new business opens up in our small town.  In fact, I can't believe that it has taken me this long to get over there.  Add that to the fact that it is a DRIVE through beer barn and convenience store, and I'm almost giddy.  Plus, since 2-4 p.m. is happy hour, this bad boy only cost me $.89 or something.

I'm totally taking my kids there tomorrow after school.  They are going to love driving through a building to get an Icee. 

And, yes that is my skanky cat in the seat next to me.  He was trying to use his opposable thumbs to open up the latch and crawl out and skank up my whole car.  Of course, maybe I should have let him . . .  he might have caught the mouse.

Has any one tried the new Cupcake shop that opened downtown? 
   -Elizabeth did and said that it is money.  I'm staying out of there until after Halloween.  Goals.
Do you frequently leave your boxed leftovers on the table at the restaurant?
   -Nine times out of ten.
Does anyone else have a problem spelling "restaurant"?
   - Ten times out of ten.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Unpleasant Discovery

Here's a Friday tangent for you. 

Yesterday, the Great and Powerful Oz needed a lift and so I played chauffer.  While on the 3-4 mile trip across town, he discovered a box of Nilla Wafers that Easy-E had left in the car on Tuesday.

As he dug into it, I said, "Don't do it.  Those Nilla Wafers will not bring you happiness and personal satisfaction."   He rolled his eyes at me and said, "Yes.  Yes, they will."  He pulled out a handful and ate them. 

Back at the house, I looked at the box of Nilla Wafers and realized that something was amiss. 

Our following conversation:
Me:  Look at this box. 
Oz:  Yeah, Ethan really tore into it.
Me:  It doesn't look like he tore into it.  Those look like teeth marks.
Oz:  Hmmm.  Yeah, it kind of does.
This got me to thinking about something I saw in my car . . . a long while back . . . and ignored.  

At the time, I thought, 'Surely not.  No, can't be.  Where's the dust buster?'

Then, a few weeks later, I noticed it again. 

And, I thought, 'No way.  It has to be dirt.  Skanky kids.'  Remember my problem with denial?

But, with this new evidence before me, I can't ignore it any longer. 

There is a mouse in my Mercedes.

And, the mouse likes cookies.  Oz shared a box with her..  I wonder if the cookies delivered the same happiness and personal satisfaction to the mouse.

Now, what to do about this problem?  Why do I seem to have a constant problem with rodents

These are not rhetorical questions . . .

Have a great Friday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mistaken for a Hooker and My Food Log

I have lots of good friends.  But, do you know who was not my friend yesterday?   This guy.

The number has been sneaking up on me for the past couple of months. I have largely ignored it because Lindsey Lohan has nothing on me in the denial department . . .

. . . and because my pants still zip. . . 

While the scale is just a number, it's still an indicator.  And, yesterday morning, the indicator gave me some sticker shock.

I know what the culprit is. I stick to my guns and eat very cleanly all week but then blow it out on the weekends.  I also have cut down on cardio due to the back thing.

Since I don't celebrate mediocrity, I started today with renewed sense of purpose. I'm going to lose these few extra pounds that have snuck on me . . . by Halloween. And, then I'm going to steal all of my kids' Reese's PB cups and eat them until I puke.

Just kidding.  Sort of.

For me, weight management begins with food logging. I told you last week about my love affair with My Fitness Pal (a.k.a. "the pal").  I had planned on writing a whole post about how/why I log my food but writing it put me to sleep.  


Even though I know a few of you use my blog to put yourselves to sleep at night (ahem, Emily O.), that's not my first objective.  

Besides, what I have to tell you about food logging, a NASA monkey could figure out.

It's not rocket science.  It goes like this: 

I'm reinventing the wheel here, right?  So, instead of describing how I came up with my daily caloric goal, I'm just going to show you what yesterday looked like. 

Yesterday started with a workout.  It was a good, sweaty, all-body workout, and I logged 350 calories burned. 

Truthfully, when it comes to logging exercise, I don't really pay that much attention to accuracy because I typically don't eat back those calories anyway.  (It's an age thing.  I found that I could eat back my burned calories until I turned 37.  After 37, it didn't work like that any more.)

When I got home, I choked down this Metabolism boosting drink concocted by the Tone It Up! Girls.  

The Great and Powerful Oz took one look at the floating debris in my glass and said, "There is something wrong with that.  Make a new one."  But, that's the way its supposed to look, I think . . . although the mixture does make an interesting slime that you have to slurp down at the end. 

With my metabolism boosted, I ate breakfast.

After breakfast, I headed to Dallas for work.  I had a Groupon that was about to expire.  So, on my way to the office, I stopped in Denton for a spray tan.   The good news is that I came out of there looking like I lost five pounds. 

The bad news is that I look like what happens when you cross a member of the Jackson Five with an Oompa Loompa.

Due to my orangish pigmentation, I opted not to attend the lunch that my office was hosting for our clients.  Instead, I hid in my office all morning and then picked up a rather small and un-sensational salad at Snappy Salads, which I ate on the road:

While I was filling up my car at the gas station, I received confirmation that I still have it

That's right.  A sixty-ish year old man with a big belly, but a ridiculously fantastic Mercedes convertible told me, "You have beautiful hair . . . I mean, really beautiful hair."  I stared at his car for a minute and thought that he might be my ticket out of here.

But, then I remembered what my wise friend told me:

Those who marry money earn every penny.

Plus, I figured that due to my new coloring and our proximity to Harry Hines Boulevard at the time, the man probably just thought I was a hooker and didn't really have a permanent position in mind. 


Oh, yeah, and there is also the fact that I'm happily married. 

My unsatisfying salad only got me as far as Denton.  So, I stopped for a snack.  

While I was in Target buying my ZonePerfect bar, my car also scored a parking lot pick-up.

She is so coy.

Dinner was a quick and easy salad topped with a veggie burger patty.

For dessert, I had a chocolate rice cake topped with a tablespoon of cashew butter. 

Did you see what else I snuck in there?  Shame on me. 

If you want to be my friend on My Fitness Pal, you can find me here.  If that doesn't work, my user name is jennimoen. Look me up.

And, finally, here are my ten commandments of food logging:

1. Eat it, log it.  It all counts.  If I am loggiing a meal, then I log all of it.  Lying to myself will get me no where  . . .  Cheaters never win.

2. Measure food and stick to serving sizes.  The best thing about food logging is that it forces me to monitor my portion sizes.  If I don't want to log cop to eating three servings of refried beans, then I shouldn't eat three servings of refried beans. I'll eat just one.  My family will thank me, anyway.

3. Not all calories were created equal.  Quality is as important as quantity. If all I ate in a day was a sonic burger and a Twinkie, then I would probably still come in under my caloric goal.  But, I'd still get fat.  Fact.

4. Calories aren't the only things that count. The Pal makes it easy for me to see if I am eating the right proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  So, if I've used up my protein allotment for the day, then I know that my snack needs to be a piece of fruit or some nuts. 

5. Log food as I'm dishing it on my plate.  I am more likely to stick to the proper portions and avoid a second helping if I log my meal before I eat it. 

6. Bring some friends along.  The Pal makes food logging a social environment.  I am more likely to make a good food decision if I think someone else is watching.  Some times.

7. Don't be a jackass about it.  I try not to talk about my food log to people who don't care.  If I am eating out with friends that are not on the Pal with me, they will probably think that I am rude, stupid, or crazy if I log my food at the table.
8.  Don't take it too seriously.  If I decide to have a blowout meal, I just let it go.  I don't log it unless I want to brag to my friends about the deliciousness that I just ate.  No remorse or self hatred allowed.  The next meal is a fresh start.
9.  Don't let  the kids in on the game.  I learned this the hard way when my nine year old son asked how many calories were in his baked chicken.  While I want my kids to learn to make healthy food choices, I don't want them to have screwy self images just because momma was an obsessive, compulsive loon.
10.  Take a break.  Ever so often, I find it necessary to step away from the Pal for a couple of weeks.  Otherwise, it will make me crazy.  Last year, I took off the two week period around Christmas. That was carefully orchestrated so that I could enjoy all the holiday cookies people were delivering to my house.
I try to stick to my rules.  But, I'm not perfect.  Shocker.

Do you log your food?  If so, how do you keep it from making you nutty?  Have you ever been mistaken for a hooker?

A big thank you to Emily for answering my questions last week.  Apparently, blogger lets some people leave comments and denies others. 

Have a great Wednesday!