Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear "The Biggest Loser,"

You have the uncanny, ironic ability to both motivate me to lose weight, and at the same time, to make me wish I weighed enough to get on your show.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recipe Success! (But Diet Fail)

This is a total half-win, half-lose post. On one hand, I whipped up an awesome lasagna. On the other hand, the lasagna is NOT skinny. :) Ah well. The way to MY man's heart is through his stomach, fortunately (unfortunately?). And I'm sure I'll be over this cooking phase at some point :) It is just a phase, right? right?!?!

*This picture is slightly misleading. Because although I did put more salad on my plate than lasagna, I sure didn't go back for seconds on the salad. Just sayin'.
Anyway, this was pretty easy. To my Italian/French stepdad's horror, we used a jar of tomato basil Classico sauce, added canned tomatoes/tomato paste, minced garlic, green peppers, oregano, and salt and pepper for the sauce. Threw in some ground beef and Italian sausage for good measure:)

The cheese mixture was 15 oz ricotta (some people use cottage cheese, but isn't that a sin? kinda like killing a mockingbird, ain't it, Atticus?) :)
1 1/2 c. mozzarella
2 beaten eggs
pepper (not to taste, silly. Just till you see the black dots. Tasting can give you salmonella, you see)
a handful of shredded parm.

Boiled the noodles, because no-boil just seems wrong. Al-dente.

Then threw it together:
Cheese mixture
Cheese mixture....


Until it's gone.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and one handful of parm. and throw it back in for ten minutes. Top with parsley and oregano.

Then make your husband drool for 20 minutes while it sets. Now would be an opportune time to go for a run, or do tae-bo. Of course, I opted to bake peanut butter cookies instead.

Then eat, and send a picture to your mother. You know, so she believes you did it all by yourself. Come to think of it, couldn't hurt to send a picture to your mother-in-law as well.

While you're patting yourself on the back, be sure to portion enough for tomorrow, and then send the leftovers to your husband's bachelor friends and family. Because really, only two people live here, and if it sits around too long.....well I'd end up eating the whole pan. :)

It's that good.



Monday, September 13, 2010

Helper, Help Thyself

Eek. Today began with my husband smashing the snooze button several times. Pure exhaustion. I was late, and had to move my first appointment (a supervision meeting) back 30 minutes. Yuck, I hate being late. She wasn't upset though, and gladly gave me the extra 30 minutes to help me out.

So then the day dragged along, and I went to pick up a client at 4:00, and got a flat tire. I am so thankful I had just gotten off the interstate! My fab coworker drove 20 minutes to rescue me.

Then I had to work late, until about 8pm. My husband did the laundry, made some supper, and washed the dishes.

All this helping was great. However, I don't like to ask for help. Hate it actually.

I am woman, hear me roar, and I hate roaring for help!

The lateness was okay, because this is my co-worker/friend and sometimes she has things too. So, that help seemed okay for me to accept. But the tire--I mean, this is 2010. I am a country girl. I know how to change a tire, and I wanted to do it for myself. But. The lug nuts were bolted on so tight, I couldn't budge them. I even stood on the lever-thing and JUMPED. No budge. I had to call for reinforcements. I didn't like that feeling at all!

The last time my best friend's battery died, I googled "How to Jump Start a Car," PUSHED her car out of its spot, and then jumped the damn thing. That was such a proud moment! :)

I'm a counselor. I am much more comfortable being a helper than a helpee. I bitch, moan, and complain that everyone comes to me for everything. However, I really do like to be needed, often to the detriment of my own needs and wants. I'm working on this, learning how to strike a balance between helping others, helping myself, and asking for help when I need it.

I'm trying to recognize that its much better to ask before I'm drowning, rather than when I'm completely overwhelmed, in over my head, and at the breaking point.

It's a process!

And now, I am helping myself to some "breakfast for dinner." :)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Supper

We have been lazing around the house all day. The husband had a stuffed up nose (poor poor dear), so he couch surfed and watched the game. In solidarity, I didn't shower until 6pm, and napped all afternoon on this chilly, rainy Sunday. :)

I did, however, attempt soup. It actually turned out okay! It's just a simple lentil soup, but healthy too.

Lentil Soup
1/2 small bag of lentils (about one half a pound)
3 carrots, peeled and chunked
minced garlic, about 2 cloves
1 videlia onion, minced (or if you're like me, chop up until you start crying, and then get frustrated and throw it in the pot like it is)
3 little potatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 packet Sazon (if you aren't Latina, and have no clue what this is, it's a spice blend made by Goya)
Whatever else you have in your kitchen that's about to go bad and needs using up (ham, celery, etc.)

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. I throw in some butter for good measure, because really, why not?

Add the carrots, potatoes, and bay leaves. Stir it around. When these get a little soft, throw in everything else. Bring the pot to a boil, and add more water if it gets too thick. Simmer for about an hour. Taste it. Add salt. Taste it again. Add a little more salt.

Ends up looking kinda like this:

Though not exactly, because I couldn't figure out how to reset my phone settings to send the real picture. You get the idea, though. You know what a bowl of brown soup looks like :)
We eat this with white rice, because that's how we roll, but brown rice would be healthier. Also, then your meal would be so virtuous, you could probably finish it off by eating Nutella straight out of the jar. At least, that's what I'd do.

Friday, September 10, 2010


My grandmother, "Maw Maw," was the biggest hypochondriac I've ever met in person. She thought every ache was something terrible.......so I think I totally inherited this from her. Mom would even tell me, "Stop being Maw Maw," while I fretted that a freckle was cancer, or thought my headache meant a tumor, etc. etc.

But. Now there is Web MD. There are also numerous TV shows that have the power to send hypochondriac worry warts into a psychotic frenzy. I'm now aware of diseases, ailments, and parasites that I had no idea existed before.

Exhibit A:

I Didn't Know I was Pregnant. Honestly, this show terrifies me into believing that I should take a pregnancy test every day. "I couldn't be pregnant," these ladies all said. Period came? Well, it could really be "spotting," and not a period at all. No baby bump? Some women don't gain more than a few pounds, and babies can be tucked back against your ribcage. Took birth control every single day? Well, it's 99.3 percent effective, but somebody's gotta be that .7 percent, sweetie. I once saw a woman on this show deliver TWINS on her toilet seat. Terrifying.

Exhibit B:

Mystery Diagnosis. WTF. This show totally introduces the concept that something may indeed, be horribly and insanely wrong with you, but you may have to go through 10 doctors who say, "It's nothing," or "It's all in your head," before you find the one, genius saving-grace who remembered reading about this disease that only 3 people in history have ever had. Pure torture.

Exhibit C:

Dr. G, Medical Examiner. Now, I know what you're thinking. This lady cuts open dead people to find out why they died. EXACTLY. So there is the possibility that you can DIE from something you didn't even realize you had. Oh that indigestion grandpa felt before bed? That wasn't heartburn dear, that was a heart attack. You felt a twinge in your leg after your flight? Killer blood clot that traveled straight to the brain. And now you're dead, which is totally too late to do anything about it.

Exhibit D:
Monsters Inside Me. Animal Planet couldn't leave all the craziness to TLC and Discovery, oh no. It had to come up with its own brand of terrifying madness. Namely, to demonstrate that we can be riddled with crazy parasites, worms, and bugs that nest in our bodies. And I thought catching lice in 3rd grade was disgusting. Now I have to hear about clips like "Maggots in my Head." Oh. My. God.

Now, I have a husband and a dog to worry after. Those poor, poor creatures. :)

Love, Steph

Monday, September 6, 2010

Post-Wedding Diet

Seems a little wrong writing this right after downing homemade Strawberry Shortcake f0r dinner, but I'm keeping it real. (In my head there's the phrase, "when keeping it real goes wrong," like on Dave Chappelle) :)

For some, the acronym PWD stands for Post-Wedding-Depression. Not for me, thank goodness. I didn't sob into my wedding gown when the day was over...it just felt like the end of a really satisfying party. I actually have the opposite problem. I have gained, what I call the happy-pounds, like when you've been hanging out with your boyfriend, cuddling on the couch, munching chips, etc.

So, happy pounds or not, I have gained 11 pounds since the wedding. That does not make me happy! It's enough of a weight gain that my jeans are uncomfortable and I want to put on yoga pants every morning--can't though, damn job! :)

Fortunately for me, mid-September always feels like a fresh start...actually more so than January, because all I wanna do then is hibernate. This does not mean that I'm turning this into a diet-blog. It just means that every so often I'll be using this to track my progress and my attempt to get back to my wedding weight (if not 2-3 pounds lower).

Since we are also on a post-wedding tight budget, I can't just throw out the junk in my cupboards and fill it all with apples and cottage cheese, but I'm going to make a valiant effort to cook healthy meals (my husband has the post wedding happy pounds as well...), and conquer one of my biggest hurdles....getting off the couch and getting to the gym.

Hopefully those happy pounds will melt away to reveal my happy weight!


Friday, September 3, 2010

City Dog vs Country Opossum!

Yesterday, I was awakened at 3am to an insane barking noise, and frantic screaming in an odd Spanglish-type configuration. Then I noticed that neither my dog, nor my husband are in the bed. Shit. I stumbled to the back door in my sleep-fog. Husband was standing on the stoop, and dog was freaking OUT at a large overgrown tree-shrub-bush in our yard (we've hacked that thing down twice, and it can't be killed!).

Apparently, the dog had chased a hissing, snarling Opossum into the tree-bush, and was fiercely trying to get it!

Did I mention this was 3am? My old-lady-nosey-nelly next door turned her lights on to see what was going on. At this point, yelling and screaming at the dog to cease and desist was not working. I yelled at husband, go get some water! He headed for the hose, which was taking far too long. I ran inside, grabbed a water bottle, and poured it on the dog. She ran away from the tree and I got her inside, all without a scratch from the hissing, scary, rat-beast rodent.

It was at this point, under full view of the neighbor's peepers, that I realized:

I was totally in my underwear.

She must have been pretty surprised :)

Hope your day was eventful!

Love, Steph