Monthly Archives: December 2012

I’ll Have Two Number Ones, Please

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Chick-Fil-A fried chicken sandwich with waffle fries (plus two packets of Honey Roasted BBQ sauce) and a DP…Pizza Garden’s pepperoni pizza (to go)…Dan’s Hamburger’s hickory burger with curly fries…two bean & cheese tacos and a beef fajita taco from Taco Cabana…Golden Chick’s #1 (4 tenders, fries and a hot, buttery yeast roll) and sweet tea…SLURP: my former fast food favorites.

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One of the toughest things for me has been changing the way I eat when I’m not home. At home, I feel more in control of my portion sizes and I know exactly what goes into what I’m eating. I can weigh the food and calculate points and generally feel confident that I’m not eating hidden calories. Away from home is a different story.

We had a potluck after worship today, and those are always danger zones for me. (My brother is highly suspicious of potluck food, too, but his fear is less about calories and more about food poisoning.) 😉  Typically everyone makes their favorite dish with two sticks of butter and a hearty dose of cheese on top…and then there is the smorgasbord of Paula Deen’s orange brownies and my mother-in-law’s banana pudding just begging to be eaten.

SO, I’ve had to make some changes. We don’t eat much fast food anymore. If I’m out, I like to get a Grilled Chicken Caesar salad from La Madeleine (dressing on the side, and take home the leftover dressing!) Mama Fu’s and similar places will make accommodations for you and cook without oil. Sandwich places are better than hamburger places – even though there are still carbs in the bread. Panera Bread has vegetable and chicken broth soups (cream soups are usually high in calories/points) and a lot of good choices. Italian restaurants are difficult, but a simple spaghetti & meat sauce isn’t a terrible choice, especially if you only eat half and take the rest home. And Chick-Fil-A has a great Southwest grilled chicken salad – it has lots of crunch and color and flavor!

As for potlucks….well, you might just have to bring your own food. 🙂

I’m interested in knowing what YOU GUYS have done to change the way you eat away from home. Any tips?

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No Regrets

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While digging through cabinets looking for our missing Christmas DVD’s, John discovered our old video camera and some tapes. They contained footage of old Christmases, Jacob’s *stellar* performance as Daddy Warbucks in his 8th grade musical, and Jordan’s summertime 7 on 7 football games.

Plenty of laughs. There were Jordan and Jacob in 1998, with their arms around each other, standing on the hearth singing “Joy to the World, ‘cuz Barney’s dead…they barbecued his head…” (Wow, really? Where did they come up with such violence??) Micah’s statically-electrified bedhead hair flying around on Christmas morning as he pushed his new Fisher Price Toddler Trike around the living room. John and me, both at least 50 pounds heavier, which didn’t exactly make us laugh but DID give us extra incentive to head to the gym tonight. 🙂 And there was my Dad at one of Jordan’s middle school basketball games, with considerably more hair on his head.

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I found myself swallowing tears too, and wondering why. It’s just so bittersweet. At the time, you might not think much about your little boys throwing their arms around you with unrestrained happiness and unfeigned love. It’s easy to take little things like that for granted.

But I got to thinking about how much more “sweet” we have than “bitter” – and how thankful I am that God gave us a handbook to guide our steps. Thankful for a husband who led our home spiritually and emotionally – and in every way. Thankful that our memories are a blessing and not a curse. And thankful that we don’t have serious regrets about our boys.

Food log….been kinda iffy on that for the last week or so, for obvious reasons. I think I’m going to start posting a screen shot of my Weight Watchers log instead of re-typing it here. Starting tomorrow. Because I’m regretting the food choices of the last week. 🙂

The FINE Art of Sandwich Making

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While many of you are crafting creative and complicated Christmas cookies, Micah and I thought we would share this simple, yet tasty recipe called “Ham Sandwich”. Guaranteed to satisfy the 10:00 p.m. pains of even the hungriest of 14 year old boys, all of the ingredients are likely already in your cabinet and refrigerator (because unlike Martha Stewart, we don’t keep arugula or chopped pickled jalapeno chiles laying around our house.)

First, gather your ingredients:

Oroweat Oat Nut bread (or any bread); Boar’s Head Bavarian ham (or any ham), thinly sliced; cheddar cheese; spreadable butter (not recommended if you’re counting calories…); Best Maid hamburger pickle slices; Kraft Mayo (also not recommended…); French’s Spicy Brown mustard; Julio’s salsa; and baby spinach.

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Next, spread butter on the INside of your sandwich. A logical person (meaning – ME) would say that the butter goes on the OUTside of your sandwich, but apparently 14-year-olds like for the butter to melt on the inside.

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Then add your cheddar cheese. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can cut star shapes out of your cheese. Micah was just feeling hungry, so he went for the uneven slice look.

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Ham goes on the opposite side.

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Next, you drizzle some spicy brown mustard over the cheese. Micah usually writes “I love  Mommy” with the mustard. Not really. 🙂

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A delicate sprinkling of baby (not adult!) spinach adds some vitamins and nutrients.

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Then, it heads to the toaster. Pay no attention to the crumb buildup beneath the sandwich and don’t judge.

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After the toasting, add pickles. You don’t add them BEFORE toasting, Micah says, because you want your pickles to be cold.

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Add a dollop of Julio’s salsa to your plate for dipping…

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and DIG IN.
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And to make your mama happy, CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF!

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My food log today: 2 oz ham and a small handful of almonds for breakfast; lunch at my mother’s: chicken casserole, green beans, salad w/ 1 tsp Creamy Italian dressing, and a roll. And 2 spice cookies and some chocolate candy thing Mom made. 😦 Supper was a cup of soup and some pita chips & hummus.

OBSESSED

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A few years ago, I saw an episode of an A&E television show called “Obsessed” that gave a glimpse into the lives of people with different anxiety disorders. One man was obsessed with working out. He would get up extra early in the morning to go to the gym before work, and he would work out during breaks at the company gym, and then would stop at the gym AGAIN on his way home.

At the time, I was a complete couch potato and could not fathom ANYONE being willing to subject himself to such torture not just once, but THREE or FOUR times daily! But now…now that I’m a long-distance-runner-hurdler-professional-weight-lifter-and-all-around-athlete 😉 I can relate a bit more. Well…actually I guess I should say that since I now go to the gym (usually) three times a week (except in December) I can relate a bit more.

It is hard not to be a bit obsessive when you’re trying to get rid of extra weight. The grocery store feels like a battle zone with sugar IEDs lurking on every aisle. The “Grilled Chicken Bowtie Festival” winks at you from Carino’s menu, luring you in with the words “grilled chicken” and then slapping you with the sneaky asiago cream sauce. And it’s scary to fall off the workout wagon – because once you’re off, it’s so hard to get back on again!

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Here’s what I’m still learning. It’s okay to have some Bowtie Festival every once in a while, and even then you don’t have to eat the whole plate full. If you have a 14 year old boy, you can count on him to be happy to finish anything you can’t. You can also have some Raspberry M&M’s, if you can make the bag last for a couple of months (yes, months!) And it’s not the end of the world if you go a week without working out. Just get back on the wagon and keep going.

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Food log today: Egg McMuffin from McDonalds. Chicken tortilla soup and some Garcias chips for lunch. Buffalo pretzel chips for snack. And maybe a Ghirardelli peppermint chocolate square. Four slices of lean brisket and a spinach salad for supper.

Don’t Forget Your Pants

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Jordan recently received his senior ring in a ceremony commemorating his upcoming graduation (that he says can’t come soon enough) from Texas State University.

[Picture my proud mama beam here.]

The seniors who chose to participate walked single file through Strahan Coliseum, shook hands with official-looking people and dipped their hands in San Marcos River water while posing for pictures. I’m pretty sure Jordan was a reluctant participant. 🙂

Hang on, I’m getting to my point.

These young men and women were asked to wear “business attire.” For some, that meant nice blue jeans and boots. Quite a few of the men had on suits, and many of the women wore dresses. But one young woman in particular caught my eye (and quite a few others, I’m sure) because I think she forgot the bottom half of her pants suit. No kidding. She wore a buttoned suit coat and I’m not sure what else. Sorry for the mental picture, guys.

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While I’m sorry to say that my first reaction was one of distaste, I then began to wonder why this young woman chose to wear something like that. Was this (in her judgment) typical business attire? I wondered if her father was there, and if he wanted to run down the steps and throw a blanket around her. I wondered if there was someone in the audience that she was trying to impress with her beauty. I wondered if no one had ever explained to her that she was worth so much more than the skin beneath her coat.

I’ve noticed that as my size has gone down, so has the average neckline at the department stores. But not the hemline! It tends to be higher! Hmmm…I wonder why.

Here’s what I wish.

I wish girls of all ages would honestly, clearly, prayerfully, carefully, Biblically and humbly consider if the clothing they choose to wear reflects godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10.)

I wish that our standards came from God and not fashion magazines or celebrities or best friends.

I wish that our girls would be so filled with God’s love and so content with pleasing Him that they would not want so badly to be physically admired and desired.

As far as my own attitudes are concerned – I wish that I were gentler and more patient in my attitudes towards those who are still learning and growing.

I wish that I did a better job exhibiting the amazing love of God towards ALL people, especially those who have no knowledge of Him.

Maybe some of you would agree that we all have some work to do?

Food log: Ham and one Kerbey Lane pancake for breakfast.  1 1/3 slice of grilled chicken pizza from Pizza Garden (YUM); some of Erin’s evil drizzled chocolate popcorn as a mid-afternoon snack; and soup & ½ piece of corn casserole/cornbread and one piece of dill bread at Anita’s Christmas party. And 1 little pecan pie tart and a 1X2 piece of coffee cake. NOT A GREAT EATING DAY. L

Near to the Brokenhearted

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Today’s tragedy reinforces what is truly important. I do not take for granted that all of my loved ones are safe today. My heart is broken for those parents whose arms are empty tonight.

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“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Come, oh children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” Psalm 34

Trying to Stay Un-Hefty

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Isn’t “un-hefty” a word? If it isn’t, it should be!

We’ve had a few people ask us “how we did it” (losing weight), and the following is part of an email between me and a friend. I have to say that we still are fighting to lose the last bit and are fully aware that it’ll be a fight to keep it off. I don’t have any illusions that we’ve got it all figured out! I just thought some of you might be interested in a few of the things that worked best for John and me.

By the way, this is one of the photos that I saw of myself that was kind of “the last straw.” I keep it on my refrigerator for motivation. And because I love Gretchen. 🙂

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“Weight Watchers really does work because it teaches you to make better choices and it’s a lifestyle change, not a fad.

As far as my advice – I would say, don’t be in a big hurry because you need to be in it for the long haul. Don’t say “I’ve got to do it in six months” because that can set you up for failure. Also, don’t set unrealistic goals because you may get discouraged.

Track your food / points EVERY MEAL, EVERY DAY! (John didn’t track, he just followed me…but I had to or I’d forget what I’d eaten.) If you don’t have time to record it before you eat it, take a picture of your plate with your phone camera and then you can take time later to track your points.

Set a goal for losing ten pounds, and then go from there. Losing really is motivating, and it’s easier to lose in the beginning but don’t get discouraged if it slows down a little. The less you weigh, the less you need to eat, so your points will go down. Sometimes that’s a little depressing because you already think you don’t get to eat enough…but it’s worth it!

Discover new foods that you like and that satisfy you. The things that helped me the most are good Boars Head deli meats (smoked turkey, Bavarian ham) for breakfast or lunch (I don’t even need bread) – lots of protein and no carbs and fat (but be careful of sodium content)….also Laughing Cow cheese. The light ones are two for one point – great on pretzel chips and on baked potatoes. Also, we love spinach salads with grilled chicken – lots of grocery stores carry frozen pre-grilled chicken breasts so it’s easy to make a salad. There are lots of good light salad dressings, but I prefer the real stuff, I just don’t use much of it. Progresso light soups are filling and tasty.

Find the things that are high in protein (so they are filling and satisfying) and not just empty sugar calories. Most cereals are just sugar, so it was hard in the beginning, because I like cereal – but I hardly eat any now.

Find a good salsa and use that instead of cheese on eggs or baked potatoes, etc….I love Julios.

Give up ANY kind of sugar drink and switch to diet. (A lot of people say the diet sodas aren’t good for you and I’m sure they’re not but it has been pretty crucial for my weight loss to be able to have a diet soda.) I don’t even miss the regular ones any more. At all. And it didn’t take long – maybe a week or two for me to not miss it. I love Diet DP, DP Ten, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi with cherry….almost all of them are great! Red Diamond splenda sweetened tea is good.

I’ll eat a little teaspoon of peanut butter when I’m feeling munchy – it’s semi-high in points but tastes good and is filling.

Most of this will all depend on your tastes. That’s what I mean when I say – find what works for you. Stick with it every day – don’t have a “cheat day” (unless that works for you) because to me, it would ruin my whole week.

One of the biggest things I guess is – when you’re eating something, ask yourself “am I really enjoying this?” If your answer is not whole heartedly YES, throw it away. Don’t waste calories on it. Save that for things you really enjoy.

If you have a big piece of cake in front of you and you’re feeling guilty – eat a bite or two and then pour your drink on top of it.  That really works for me, because it takes the temptation away and you won’t keep nibbling it.”

We wish you the best!