My Weight Loss Progress

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Guerilla Warfare

We laughed as we passed this sign along the freeway. Why would people in the heartland of North America name a city Montezuma?

He gets the last laugh, that old Montezuma. He gets his revenge. And I have not even been near the border! Any border!

It's hard to eat the BRAT diet when you can't have bananas or toast, you're tired of rice, and out of applesauce.

No, I did not resort to childhood 7-Up, but I did find some seltzer water and mixed it with a bit of orange juice (the real thing, not a premixed substitute) and had some gluten-free pancakes. That seems to have settled me down.  Take that, you bully!

Friday, December 30, 2011


I noticed that when I am driving a long distance, I eat more. It helps me stay awake, but I am pretty sure I tacked on quite a few extra calories yesterday. 4 handfuls of nuts, one apple, and a few crackers.  And then my husband shared an orange with me...and I think I had some tropical juice before I took over the wheel...

Ah well, I am home now.  Time to get reorganized, stock up on non-dairy milks and waffle mix, and get on with life. Right after a nap.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Twist on an Old Soda

At Christmas, one son brought a couple of bottles of soda to share.  One was 7-up, which I grew up thinking was the ultimate cure for an upset stomach.  Grandpa always had some on hand for his whiskey and he would share (the 7-up, not the whiskey!) if we didn't ask too often, so it's always been a favorite of mine.

Now that I know how bad for you it is, I have sworn off of it. Whether sugar or aspartame, no thank you.  Anyway, this soda is pale purple 7-up. I was highly amused at the label proudly declaring "anti-oxidant" all over it. Apparently the addition of the tiny amount of antioxidant added makes it healthy. Thanks anyway; I think I'll go eat some grapes.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Breakfast--breaking tradition

To anyone who reads this--I hope you had a wonderful and happy Christmas day.

Our family Christmas breakfast tradition is strawberry whipped cream waffles. Then my daughter-in-law entered the family, with a strawberry allergy, so we added the option of raspberries.  Still delicious!

Now comes Momm with all the crazy food limitations. What to do? My son hosted the breakfast this year, and he found blackberries on sale, wonderful sweet berries.

I went to Sunflower Farmer's Market in Murray, Utah, (why oh why doesn't my town have a great health food store like that one?) and picked up a package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free pancake and waffle mix and some Rice Dream rice milk.  This actually made delicious waffles! 

I didn't even try to replace the whipped cream; I just used real maple syrup and blackberries. This was wonderful!  I had asked the kids to pick up sugar-free applesauce, another good topping option, but they forgot.  Still, I had a yummy breakfast with only a small break in tradition. They made wassail without the cinnamon, which is still very good.

 I noticed I wasn't the only one to use the maple syrup--it was half gone, and my hosting son gladly claimed the rest of the bottle.  This is very good; it'll keep me from binging on the sweet stuff.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Food Fight!

We stopped at a Taco Bell in Rock Springs, Wyoming.  I figured I could get something with corn instead of wheat, but anything close to a salad, where you can get real food and leave off the cheese without it being dry, had a wheat flour base.

No problem, I thought. I asked for nacho chips instead of a flour tortilla shell.  You would think I was trying to rob the bank, judging by the resistance I got.

They finally gave in, but I am convinced there was flour in those chips, so I asked for an ingredients list.  The clerk kept saying. "She said it was corn."  After asking three times, I still could not get nutrition info beyond the "how many calories" chart.  It was maddening!  Isn't there a law about that?

Today I find this on the internet, from their own website:   *Nacho Chips do not contain wheat proteins; however, they are fried in the same oil with ingredients containing wheat proteins.

Now, why couldn't they just tell me that in the first place and save me all the grief? 
The fiesta salsa also has cilantro in it, another no-no for me, but I figured that out by looking at it and seeing the tiny green leaves.  It also has vinegar, though it doesn't specify which kind, and that usually means plain old cheap white vinegar, another one on my list.

Sadly, no more Taco Bell for me.  I can make an even better taco salad at home when I want it anyway; it's just this whole travel thing that makes it interesting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Continental Breakfast

I have always liked staying at hotels with free continental breakfast.  We spent two nights at Super 8, one in Lincoln Nebraska, one in Cheyenne Wyoming (not one I care to repeat) and both have reasonable rates and free breakfast.

The first morning I had orange juice and apple juice, two things I could eat out of a lovely array of rolls, toast, waffles, butter, milk, cereal, yogurt, bagels, etc.  My husband had a wonderful breakfast. So did I, after a stop at a great co-op natural foods store in Lincoln,  Open Harvest. They had the best hummus I have ever eaten!  I am going to experiment and see if I can figure out their secret.

The hotel in Cheyenne had a much smaller array, but I had come prepared. I brought a box of cereal, some rice milk, a bit of fruit, and some nuts.  After a wonderful, filling breakfast, we were ready to hit the road again, and off we went to our final destination.

We are now staying at In-Town Suites, a no frills weekly rental hotel.  No continental breakfast, but I am not worried.  I have my leftover box of cereal and milk, plenty of fruit, nuts, dates, etc, and a plan to stop at one of the great health food stores, either Whole Foods or Sunflower Market,  for whatever else I need. I brought my rice cooker, crockpot, and pots and pans so I can cook whole grains for breakfast and lunch.  Yum!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Maybe it wasn't the holiday meal....

or not entirely, at least.

I think it's an overall failure to take care of myself.  Baking cookies out of stuff I can't eat, helping with too many events at church, sleeping late and eating on the run, not having time to read scriptures, ponder, and pray...

I think I just learned a good lesson about taking care of my body and spirit first.  I hope to get some great rest over the holidays, spend some time in meditation while on a road trip, rethink life in general, and hopefully get motivated to do some fitness activities.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Maybe it wasn't such a good meal

The tension and pain set into my neck and shoulders last night, and moved through my whole body overnight. Fibro flare big time! 

Was it the little bit of parsley I ingested?  Was there butter in the green beans?  Maybe it was something on the "safe" cornish hen after all.  This makes me realize how important it is for me to follow the full diet plan, and find out what is in my food.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Party

Today was the annual faculty party for work.  They catered lunch, with our orders going in ahead of time. 

For appetizers there were several tasty choices that are on my okay foods list. Fresh cut up veggies, tender slices of perfectly cooked beef, in particular.  There was polenta which is probably okay but they put cheese on it.

The main choices were cornish hen or beef with mushrooms, so I chose the hen. It was safe and turned out to be delicious!  The vegetable was herbed green beans, and I'm pretty sure their idea of herbs was parsley, but it's low on my list so the few bites I took are probably okay.

The side dish was a choice of potatoes or wild rice. I had chosen rice, but you could see it swimming in parsley, so I ate the potatoes.  They were a little overdone but I was hungry.

They really didn't do dessert, except that for bonbons and truffles, so that wasn't a problem.  I saved my little bag of truffles for a stocking stuffer.

It was a lovely party!  It was so nice not to have to bring my own food this time.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I was making cookies today for a party, which is a dilemma, (I posted about that first) but I got to thinking about shortening.  I bought butter-flavor shortening, and when I read the ingredients I noticed that there is beta-carotene added for color.

This struck me as kind of ironic. Here we have lovely, trans-fat packed grease, plenty to stick to the arteries, but we color it with something "healthy" instead of plain old yellow-lake 5 or whatever the bad stuff is. 

I think the truth is that beta-carotene is fat-soluble, so it colors this pound of fat better than other coloring, but it still made me chuckle.  I think I'll stick to my natural yellow-colored olive oil, with the occasional saffron for frying.

Is it doing a service to make someone cookies?

Okay, here's the latest dilemma.

I was asked to make 50 sandwich cookies from a specific recipe for a special church activity for the teenage girls and families.

Is it a service to do this when I know the sugar and shortening are very bad for you? We wouldn't dream of serving alcohol to these kids, so why do we ply them with sugar?

If I don't do my share, I know the group president is going to do hers and mine both, so I feel guilty if I don't do it.

Besides all the ethical issues here, is it fair for her to ask me to make these when she knows I will not eat them, not only for the sugar but for the gluten?

The work of it is intense; this involves rolling and baking 100 nickel-size balls of greasy slimy cookie dough, making frosting, and sticking them together.  I really don't have time for this, with my student load picking up, a trip to pack for, bills to pay before I go, and a women's meeting to attend the evening before.  But I had already said yes, so I am doing it.

The ingredients were also quite expensive, as I don't ordinarily have cake mix, shortening, cream cheese, or powdered sugar on hand.

I would welcome any suggestions on how to handle this in the future; do I try to educate them, suggest alternative treats, just say no to making sweets, or what? Treats are a big part of American culture, but also of my church culture, so I really stand out. It's kind of like being a vegetarian at a barbecue. 

Home-Made Soda

Today's post is a takeoff on Trudy's latest! I love her blog, My Healthy Eating Challenge.

She wrote about soda, home-made vs. buying bottles of soda.  What are the benefits/costs involved?  Soda is soda, no matter where you get it, and pretty unhealthy stuff at that.

The one benefit she could see was that there is less packaging than there is in buying bottled soda.  There is even less packaging involved in drinking water--unless you drink bottled water.  I do that at work but at home we filter.  I should be more conscientious about using a refillable container and the big bottled water the school provides.  Hmmm...I think Santa might just bring me a large water container that is dishwasher safe this Christmas.  If there is such a thing.  I drank a lot more water when I carried around a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle with a no-spill straw. 

My own version of homemade soda is to take a can of frozen juice, 100% fruit juice of course, and use seltzer water instead of water.  Even that is a rare thing for me because I don't entirely trust the carbonation, and juice itself is not as healthy as eating the fruit.  It does make a festive occasion nice though.

I have quit drinking commercial soda entirely, even when I have a headache, which I am getting less and less now.  If I have a leaky gut, cola surely won't help. I didn't drink much soda besides the occasional cola for headache anyway because aspartame is scary stuff and sugar is out of the question for me. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

This One's for Trudy

My friend Trudy does not eat sweets, more power to her!  She does occasionally have a little maple syrup, so here's a recipe for maple-syrup sweetened whipped cream.

1 cup real whipping cream
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp rum flavoring, or 1 tsp. cinnamon.

Whip together until it holds stiff peaks.

Don't hate me, Trudy.  It is only for a special occasion!  There's so much fat in whipped cream. 

Incidentally, if you are not used to sweets, the cream is almost sweet enough by itself, so you could cut down the syrup or even leave it out.

This is one treat I can't eat right now; sorry, family, probably no strawberry waffles for Christmas this year.  I don't think whipped tofu would quite do it.  mmm...maybe I'll make GF waffles for me!

Saying No

Saying no to treats is so much easier now.  Most people take a simple "no, thank you" but some people push it, saying things like, "They're really good! Try one!"  I guess it hurts their feelings for anyone to say no.  Like, "I made this to share and you won't even taste it."

A secondary comment does the job, especially now that I have a new one.  People don't get "I don't eat sugar" as easily as "Sorry, I'm gluten intolerant."  Now it's not their problem, it's mine, and they say okay and move on.

I love the smell of chocolate. I opened a tube of m&m's for a little boy yesterday, held them to my nose for a long inhale, and said, "Those smell really good!"  He smiled a big smile as I handed them back.  There was no danger of snitching one because I got over that long ago, and there is dairy in milk chocolate;  besides who would snitch even a mini m&m from a 3-year-old? I wasn't born to be the Grinch.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Persimmon Pleasure

When I was a child, my aunt used to bring a few persimmons every year.  I was the only one that liked them, I think, and I would wait anxiously for them to get ripe, then spoon out the soft flesh and enjoy it.

Recently I spotted a persimmon in the grocery store. It was nice and orange, firm and unblemished, so I bought it.

Now, you can't just buy a persimmon and eat it.  The secret is in the waiting. If you eat it too soon it makes your mouth pucker, which may be why so many people don't like persimmons.

I put that persimmon on my kitchen window sill and watched it for days as it slowly turned red.  One side turned much more slowly than the other side, but finally it was entirely red.

At this point, the persimmon is squishy.  It shouldn't be wrinkled, just red and squishy, like it has jello inside.  When mine was perfect, I put it on a plate and cut into it.  I scooped out the jelly and ate it straight.  You don't have to make jelly out of a persimmon; it does it for you.

To persuade my husband to eat it, I put a bit of the jelly on a rice cracker.  The sesame flavor was a bit strong, so I put a bit on a piece of Rice Chex.  That was so good, I continued to eat my persimmon on Rice Chex.  A delicious treat!

I don't think husband liked it very well; he politely ate some and then disappeared to "something I have to do"  and agreed that I could enjoy the rest.

I finished off that persimmon today, taking pleasure in the jelly and the soft, papaya-textured center.  Another successful food adventure, entirely gluten-dairy-sugar free.

My only regret is that I didn't take a picture before I ate it.  If you don't know what a persimmon is, you can Google or Bing or Yahoo or however you like to search.