Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Fat Tuesday Volume XVI

I’m back to doing Fat Tuesday. I completely blew it off last week. I wasn’t functioning very well. This lingering cough I have has really caused some problems. And taking care of Mr. Darcy on top of it, has really worn me out. I have noticed that if he has a good day, then so do I. If he has a bad day… I really need to work on that.

Here is how the weight loss quest stands:
I had lost nine pounds, but now gained back two. Hopefully this is just a temporary fluctuation.

I have been measured twice since I started working with my trainer and my measurements have decreased each time.

I have not worked out since last Wednesday, due to breathing difficulties from this sickness. I will start again on my own today and back with the trainer on Friday.

I am starting the plain and boring lean meats and vegetables for dinner thing this week. But I still have trouble with what to eat for lunch and dinner. I really need to work on that, so I don’t make bad decisions.

How is everyone else doing? Have you lost some weight? Are you feeling stronger from exercising regularly?

PS Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments from a couple of weeks ago. That picture of me was taken from the best possible angle. I probably should have included the next one on the roll, which looked so different that you might have thought it was a different person. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fat Tuesday Volume XV: A List Of Excuses

What’s up? It’s after 2:00 on Tuesday and this is the first time I have logged into my blog this week. I am still fat and I know the reason why: FOOD! I will soon be starting a boring and bland routine of lean meats, vegetables and fruit. I am no longer able to fool myself into thinking I can eat moderate amounts of whatever I want and still lose weight as long as I exercise.

Here are my excuses for being an absentee blogger:
1. I went to Houston.

This sweetie had to be baptized.

This cutie was there, too. Don't be fooled by the sweet smile, she's two!

Sadly, this is the best picture I have taken in ages. (That's my mom in the background!)

2. I went to Austin to go wedding dress shopping with my sister. Except, she found a dress in Houston the day before. I know! Right?! I did have a great time with my mom and my sister. And we found a great suit for my mom to wear to the wedding.

3. My sick dog and my wimpy dog have been making it difficult to sleep through the night. Last night was the first night in over a week that I have been home and not awakened in the middle of the night by either sick dog or wimpy dog. Wimpy dog doesn’t like thunder storms. I’m hoping last night becomes the norm.

4. I’m cleaning my house like crazy because my friend is coming to visit! She told me not to, but I totally am anyway. It will be so pathetic if I don’t get done. But at least I will have the excuse that she told me not to. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A positive development:
My art is no longer being held hostage at Aaron Brothers!

They're ALL done!

If I’m brave enough, I’ll post before and afters of my closet tomorrow. That’s a big if. Although, the closet doesn’t look as bad as the bedroom. I definitely won’t post any pics of the bedroom. Total disaster area!

The Egg Fight

Yesterday, the husband made egg sandwiches for us. He does this quite often on Sundays. Even though I know the dangers of non-stick coating on pans, we own one. It was specifically bought by me, because he likes to make eggs. But every time he fills the pan with puddles of butter or oil. So what’s the point of owning non-stick?

Yesterday he made my egg without any butter or oil, but when he went to make his two eggs just moments later, they both stuck. This caused much ranting on his part as he scraped them into the garbage and began to fill the pan with massive amounts of butter. I was instructed to never tell him again not to use oil or butter in that pan. And blah, blah, blah. He was really quite worked up about it.

My contention is that the pan became too hot, and that he should have turned down the heat. I’ve been reading the brochure that came with a different pan, that indicates cooking on high heat can be bad for the pans and cause sticking even in the best of circumstances.

So… What do you think? Is he right? Am I right? Is this one of the stupidest fights you have ever heard of? Well, maybe not the stupidest. It can’t be worse than the suitcase battle. Can it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fat Tuesday Volume XII

A Training Update

This is my 5th week working with my personal trainer, but… I haven’t had three sessions a week for each of the previous four weeks. I missed a session due to illness, and I missed two while in Florida. So, I’ve had ten sessions so far including yesterday’s.

I think it’s going really well. I like my trainer, Lisa. I’m feeling better and stronger. I could really tell when I got back from Florida that I had missed. As far as results go, they are not stunning. I have seen a slight decrease in my measurements and a pretty slow and steady decrease in my body fat percentage. But the big weight loss still eludes me. I’m holding steady at six pounds lost since I began this twelve weeks ago.

I realize that this is due to me not being strict enough with myself on the food. So, I am contemplating doing something like weight watchers. But, the idea of attending meetings is enough to make me hide in a dark closet for days. Has anyone had any success using their online program? Or maybe another online program that tracks your food intake? I really have done very little recent research on this topic, but I’m sure when I talk to friends and start searching online, I will be overwhelmed with information.

Enough about me, me, me! How is diet and exercise going for you?

Fat Tuesday Volume X – The Despair Of Swimwear Edition

Due to some upcoming trips to warm climates, I made the mistake of ordering some new swimwear. It came yesterday. Yesterday was a bad, bad day. There’s nothing like seeing your thunder thighs sticking out of a bathing suit to depress the hell out of you. Helpful hint: once you’ve worn a Miracle Suit, you can never go back. You may think it doesn’t make a big difference, but you will find that it does. It really does.

Enough about me and my soul crushing time in front of the mirror. Happy actual Fat Tuesday! Are you going out? Will you celebrate before the somberness of Lent kicks in? I’m hoping that we can go out to dinner. Should I have dessert, since I’m giving up sweets? Or should I skip it? What I should probably have is my head examined for complaining about my thunder thighs in the same post as the contemplation of dessert. ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS Happy Birthday, Katie!!!

Fat Tuesday Volume IX (Mikey, Conan & The Rosary)

One week until the real Fat Tuesday! Do you know what you are giving up for Lent? What special things will you do?

I am going to give up sweets. This should aid me mightily in my quest to shed, and will also be very hard since I have a massive sweet tooth. I just need to figure out my parameters. Candy, pop, and dessert things like cookies and cake are obvious. What about juice? It’s like drinking calories. So, maybe juice will have to be included. This will also help in my goal of eating more fruit each day. I don’t have a big problem with salty junk food, so I’m not worried about that.

I also think we are going to try and say the Rosary together each night. This is certainly something we should already be doing, but it just hasn’t ever stuck as a habit. Here’s a funny story. I have a lovely friend who used to be quite ill (better now!). In an effort to help out, friends would bring meals and take the non school age children once in a while. Here is a conversation I had with Mikey in the car one day:
Mikey: Miss Nichole, why are you yawning so much?
Me: I guess I stayed up too late.
Mikey: Mommy and Daddy stayed up late, too. They were praying the Rosary. Is that what you were doing?
Me: Ummmmmm, no. I was watching TV.
Me thinking: I am a total loser!

Now, you would think that something like that would have spurred me into the Rosary habit. But that was three years ago, and nada. No habit. Only a lukewarm once every 4 to 6 weeks. So here’s to better habits, and to me not turning into a raving shrew without sugar!

Please leave a comment and say whether or not you observe Lent. And if so, what will be your Lenten sacrifice?

Fat Tuesday Volume VIII

Eight weeks into fat camp! The weight is very annoying, people! I haven’t lost any more and it has in fact, fluctuated. But my body fat percentage has been going down, so I’m going hold onto that positive development. I really need to learn how to better deprive myself at restaurants, etc… As I look at my calendar, Spring is full of travel and special occasions. If I tell myself, “Just this once” each time we travel or eat out, it will be every week and I’ll never make any more progress.

I’m sure this is a standard problem for everyone trying to get in shape. Wah, wah, poor me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ This past weekend proved that I still cannot have Coke in the house. I do think I’m finally past the headaches. So, now it’s just the temptation of all that sugar and instant energy. I’ve had lots of people tell me that if I go without it for long enough that it will actually start to taste bad to me. I’m still at they point where I think they may be smoking crack. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I still like my trainer. The workouts are hard and I’m doing my elliptical machine three days a week. So that’s one day of rest. Amen.

A quick update on Mr. Darcy. As of my writing this, I have no word from the vet on his blood work. He did keep his food down on Monday, took a short walk, and seems to be pleased with his new bed that finally arrived. Hopefully I will know more by the end of business today. Thanks for all of your kind thoughts and wishes.

The Great Coupon Caper

I did it! I clipped and printed out coupons. Only what I would use. Then on Monday morning and afternoon, I went to four different stores. I had four different lists and a set of coupons for each store. Here is the result:

I saved $57.65 in total, between coupons and in-store specials! Which is about 15% of what I spent. I did stock up on medicines and toiletries. Some of that stuff I won’t have to purchase again for months. I have enough food to pack the husband’s lunches all week and to make dinner. When I go again next week, I know I won’t save as much. But I won’t have as much to buy, either. The only store that I went to that is not usual for me is Walgreens. But you know what? They had some nice coupons and some great in-store specials. A couple of them were so good that they were already sold out by the time I got there at 10:30 AM Monday morning. So far, so good. I’m going to keep it up.

PS I can’t imagine doing the coupons and the four different stores with kids. Kudos to those of you who somehow pull that off. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of food – Here is my new favorite way to fix vegetables. I grill them on my Lodge grill pan.

Yes, there is a ton of alcohol in the background. There were some lushes at dinner known as the husband and the sister.

I stole this idea from my favorite Italian restaurant.

Fat Tuesday Volume V

I can’t believe another week has passed again! I am late doing this post, as it is after noon on Tuesday. We are having horrible weather for us, but I’m pretty sure that means most of the people reading this are having just as bad or worse weather.

Despite our current nasty weather situation, most of the last 7 days have been pretty darn nice. Which means I have been really good with the exercise, and walked many miles around my neighborhood. Both with and without the dogs. They look so pitiful when I leave without them! (I only do that after they have had their daily walk and I want to go further.)

Unfortunately, I really haven’t made much progress this month. I’m only down four pounds, and I haven’t felt a big increase in my energy level like I was hoping for. This is all on me. I’m not being hard core enough about my food and I’m definitely not sweating enough. I am seeing progress although slow with my self discipline about soda. I honestly think the lack of energy is a bigger obstacle. To help with the work out issue, I have contacted a place that provides personal trainers. I must admit that I feel like a bit of a failure in doing so, but I’m going to shrug that off. Also, I don’t even know yet if such a service will fit in our budget. I’ll keep you posted. Have you worked with a personal trainer? Did you feel it was worth it?

Kitchen Faves

Now that the busy holiday season is over, I’m trying to get excited about cooking again. I’ve finally figured out over the years that it’s not the actual cooking that I dislike. It’s the clean up after. And I’m not too fond of the grocery shopping either. ๐Ÿ™‚

To kick off the new year, I treated myself to a new stainless steel pan at Williams Sonoma. Please don’t judge! I got it on sale and even then, it is by far the most expensive pan I have ever bought.

The great thing about this pan is that it’s dishwasher safe and seems to cook stuff without the “stuck-on” problem I have had with other stainless pans. I know you are probably thinking, “Just get non-stick!”. But the truth is that I have non-stick and it has to be hand washed. I’m not going to say too much about this, since I feel like I’ve been a bit of a Debbie Downer lately: If you have non-stick cookware and the coating is flaking off, it’s time to throw it away. Heat + broken down chemicals = bad for you. I’ll leave the Googling to you!

After my Wooden Spoon freak out last Friday, I went through and evaluated all of mine and threw away 3. I replaced them with a bamboo 3-pack from Target that was $2.99. I think the brand was Chefmate, but I couldn’t find them online to link to. Beware of the Giada 2-pack that is more expensive and is getting awful reviews online. Apparently, they splinter immediately. Woops! The bamboo ones I got seem really sturdy and I always put them in the dishwasher. I am not hand washing wooden spoons!

Something else I use in the kitchen, and certain people have made fun of me for (you know who you are) is:

Plink!


These are used to clean your garbage disposal. I know you can use citrus peel. But if you don’t eat oranges every week, these are nice to have around. I usually buy mine at Bed Bath And Beyond, but Amazon has it as well.

Dishes! I love these bowls:

Latte Bowls from Anthropologie


They come in tons of different colors and even a smaller mini size. Mine are a kelly green color that they appear not to have anymore. You can shop for them here.

I recently bought:

Winter Calligraphy Plates from West Elm


I’m really digging all of West Elm’s new stuff. I haven’t gotten to use my plates yet, but they are on sale now.

Something else I’ve had in my kitchen forever are these:

Thanks, guys!


My Aunt Chris and Uncle Dan gave these to us along with some stainless utensils for a shower gift. We’ll be married 15 years in a couple months and they all look practically brand new. (A note to all smart asses: Yes, I have used them!) You can buy them here.

Last but not least, is my red Mario Batalli dutch oven from Crate and Barrel.

Mine is a slightly different shape, but they don't carry it anymore.


Even though I have to hand wash it, it’s red and I love it! It is a measure of my devotion and what a good job it does, that I use it all the time even with the extra clean up needed.

What are your favorite kitchen tools? Any new recipes you want to recommend? There’s a bean stew that I saw over at Smitten Kitchen that I want to try for tonight. We’ll see… Have a great weekend!

PS Check back on Sunday. I think I’m doing a giveaway, and I’ll be linking to a cool site run by a friend I’ve made through blogging.