Category Archives: Food and drink

You are invited to my pity party!

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I think I am going to have a nervous breakdown.  Which would be cool, because they’d put me in a small room somewhere other than in my parent’s house, feed me, maybe no one would talk to me, maybe medicate me…. I really don’t see a downside to any of that.

I just feel like I am really really freaking out.  Nothing has changed – which is, of course, the problem.  I don’t know how long we can continue to live with my parents, and yet I see absolutely no end to this.  Well, okay, that’s not entirely true… I see that the end may quite possibly be a year or two down the line… cripes.  I thought, when we moved back, we’d have to stay with my parents for maybe 6 months, tops, while we got back on our feet.  It’s already been 9. 

Not that my parents haven’t been absolutely brilliant about the whole thing.  They haven’t complained, try to give us some space… they actually seem to enjoy having us around.  Weird, right?! I worry that one day the lid will blow and we’ll come to the house to find our few belongings tossed out on the lawn, though.  I mean, really; I’ve lived with my husband, my daughter, and… well… myself a long time now.  We can be pretty freakin’ annoying.

And this is a pathetic thing to admit, but I miss my stuff.  I really miss my stuff.  I went to the storage the other day just to visit it.  I am so not kidding.  Sure, I made a pretense of trying to find a few things, but really, I just wanted to look at it all.  To remind myself I had a normal life once.

My husband is getting really cranky.  I don’t blame him; he’s working one full time job (which is a sucky, hateful kind of job) while he also works trying to get the business off the ground.  I try to help, but I really can’t do much for either.  Of course, he gets mostly crabby with me even tho I am on his side.  Which is irritating.  Things are moving along, but at a snail’s pace.  I have no answers for that.

I am trying to – need to desperately – lose weight.  I have been losing about a pound a week since I started, and I’ve lost over 40 pounds… which is a good start, but I have miles to go.  And this week has been an absolute feeding frenzy for me!  The stress is just getting to me, and I can’t seem to resist the sweets when I am like this.  I even got a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s this week, and I can’t stand fast food!!  I am losing it here, people!!

Today I was supposed to bake cookies to send with Alan for some ‘going away’ thingie they are having for someone at work.  Which I totally spaced.  And he made me feel like I was this giant disappointment to him for not getting them made.  Geez.  I mean, he totally overreacted; it was so weird.

And I am upset because it’s the last week of school and Kiki is totally blowing it at the end.  She has had a 4.0 all year, and really wanted to keep it… and she’s blown 2 tests and I don’t think she can pull it up now.  Also, I have absolutely nothing for her to do all summer, and with Alan’s work schedule and mine, we haven’t got alot of time to take her here and there.  She auditioned for a play, and today she heard she was not selected.  Which I figured she wouldn’t be (she hasn’t much experience) but I had really held out hope, because she needs something.  Her friends and cousins all have something they do – mostly a sport of some sort, but some do musical stuff – so they all have games or recitals we all go to, and she feels like a loser who does nothing.  She’s not a sporty type of girl, and so it’s harder… it’s not like there are ‘theatre teams’ you can sign them up for!  Not to mention that whole “we are totally broke” deal… so we can’t get her music lessons, or theatre camp, or anything that costs money.  That’s why I was hoping she’d make the cut for the community theater thing, it would have only cost $10.00.  That I could swing.  But, of course not.  I feel like I am totally failing my kid by not getting her into something, but I’m at a loss.

Then there is the whole having friends over deal.  She always wants a friend over, and I dread it.  Because I already have absolutely no alone time, so thinking of pulling someone else in is horrid.  Plus, it’s not our house.  I mean, my parents don’t seem to mind, but I know that they do, a little at least.  And it’s driving me insane.  Quite literally.

Well, it’s time for me to head out to work now.  I guess making a few dollars, however measly, is better than shutting myself in the bathroom and crying, which is what I feel like doing….

Being “healthy” … I think my brain is going to explode!

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First let me say I made a really yum treat for Kiki and I this afternoon, when she got home from her ITBS testing.  (That would be the “Iowa Test of Basic Skills” which is sort of the nation-wide testing standard to see how students across the country measure up to their peers… yeah, the one she scored in the 95th percentile the year we didn’t do any school… which made me wonder – are they even teaching anything in public schools??!) 

 So, the treat – I bought some tahini and then was like “what the heck am I going to do with this stuff?”   Well, it’s the main ingredient in Halvah, which I love; that gave me the idea… so, I put some tahini in a pan with butter, xylitol, cocoa,

 chopped almonds

 and chunked Granny Smith apples,

 and basically sauteed it all.  OMiGosh!!  It was so stinkin’ good!  I told Kiki it was a middle-eastern treat before she tasted it because I knew that’d earn points with her… and she loved it!  Even my mom and dad liked it, so I guess that recipe is a keeper.  I didn’t take a picture of it because to be honest, it didn’t look that great… now, my dad thought it looked like beef and potatoes –  corned beef hash, maybe – but I thought of its appearance more along the lines of something the dog ate and then – uh – “unswallowed”, if you will.  Yeah.  Mmm.  But it tasted amazing.

To the point of this post though – I am so sick of all the conflicting theories about what to eat, and when to eat it, and how to eat it, and why… the list goes on and on but I think you get what I mean.  It’s annoying!  One group says “this” and another says “this” and then you have those friends who are “Oh, I’m doing the HCG diet” because she has that whopping 5 pounds to lose oh, the fat cow! – and somehow that seems like a bad idea to me anyway…. yeah, whatev

Because the …group… that I am currently going to for health issues is so over the edge in my opinion… for instance:  They think I should go have my dental fillings removed and replaced because they have heavy metals in them.  You know, the shiny silver fillings we old folks got before they started using the white stuff?  Yeah, so, I am not signing up for that particular event.  I don’t really enjoy the dentist that much, so when I happen to be in there and he tells me “these are cracked and we should replace them” then, fine, I will do it… but not before then.  Or how about your deodorant?  “They” say you should never use the kind with aluminum in it (which is pretty much all of them) because that will give you Alzheimer’s…. now, I haven’t got an issue with that – I can use the natural mineral salt stuff and I don’t stink, but my poor teenager!  She uses the ‘evil death deodorant’ or she’d stink to high heaven.  My sister (okay, and don’t even get me started on this girl because I’m about fed up) but she won’t even use regular toothpaste because the flouride will be the death of us all.  Well, ho-lee-crap.  I might as well just curl up and die right now, huh?!?! 

I am not afraid to be dead. I believe in Heaven, so I’m cool with going there.  However, the process of death can be rather uninviting. I have been thinking of the older people I know, and which ones are healthy and happy, and which ones ate heathy or not, and they don’t always match up.  So there is more to it all.

So, that is why my head hurts.  My normal reaction would be to go out and chomp down some cookies, but that wouldn’t help, now would it? 

I think I’ll go out drinking instead.

Better… for awhile

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I ate really good today… until everyone went to bed.  Yeah.  You’d think if I made it that long, I could have finished up the day.  But, no.  The depression screamed “FEED ME!!” and you just can’t argue with depression.  So I had some chips.  And a big ol’ pile of Honey Nut Cheeios.  Shoot.  If I am going to feel this guilty, I at least could have cheated with chocolate chip cookies or something.

Diet? What diet?

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Oh, yeah.  Milk chocolate with cornflakes.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

This is what I ate today.  Well, and a cereal bowl-full of potato chips. 

See, the day started out okay.  I made eggs and organic turkey bacon for breakfast, and some awesome smoothies for lunch.  Not a bad day… yet.

Organic milk, frozen strawberries, spinach, cocoa, and xylitol…. mega tasty, I swear!

Then Oma had to run out at the last minute for a grandchild’s concert, and she took Kiki with her.  That left me, Alan and Opa at home to fend for ourselves for dinner.  No big deal, as the husband is a pretty decent cook – however, tonight he decided to make super-spicy chili.  Now, chili is never a good meal for me; doesn’t work with the reflux.  Since this diet started, however, my reflux isn’t so bad… but, toss in that mega-spicy bit and I was a goner.  Not only did it burn all the way down no matter how much cheese and sour cream I added, or how much milk I drank…. but it burned coming back up as well.  I knew from the get-go that meal wouldn’t stay in my tummy!  I think, secretely, that the spouse must be trying to kill me….

Anyway, then I was hungry, and irritated.  Not to mention there had been non-food-related stressors earlier in the day… so that explains the chips and chocolate.  And I enjoyed it.

I want candy…

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Or maybe cookies.  Yeah.  Cookies Mmmm… chocolate chip. I am so tired of this stupid “healing diet”.  The stuff we eat isn’t so bad – in fact, my husband and my mom have found some pretty inventive ways to prepare meals, and we’ve had some pretty decent dinners.  The problem is what we can’t eat.  Dear Lord, please send me some manna!  I mean, that’s like, sweet crunchy stuff, right?  Okay, so I guess I can understand why the Israelites got so stinkin’ tired of that stuff… just because there wasn’t any variety.  That is the reason I am so dang tired of eggs!  No variety!  I like eggs; really, I do.  But, it’s about the only thing we can have for breakfast.  No toast, no cold cereal, no oatmeal…. urgh.  At this point I wouldn’t care if I never saw another egg for a very long time.  Lunch is generally apples, cheese, and almond butter.  Again, I like this food… but I am getting sick of this food.   But, mostly, to be totally honest, what I hate most about eating like this is the lack of goodies Sugar!!  I want sugar!

Okay… we’ve been cheating.  Yeah, I’ve had some sugar.  More than once.  A mocha and scone here, some frozen yogurt there… I can’t help myself.  I still think we are doing alright.  We are still eating way healthier than we’ve been in the past; we are more aware of what we are eating, all that rot.  But I feel guilty because people think we’re totally doing this thing… people like my family.  Well, extended family.  We little family of three are cheating together, lol.  I was never happy about everyone knowing about our ‘diet plan’ to begin with, because it has always been my experience that to let folks know about your dieting is asking for trouble!  Yeah, you either get people telling you “oh, go ahead, you can eat this!” or people that say “should you be eating that?” or…. the list goes on.   I hate having everyone think that my eating is their business, ya know?!  

Well, don’t tell anyone what I’ve been eating, okay?  My pants are getting loose, so I must not be doing all bad.

Monday Munchies ~ In honor of Valentines Day, even if I think it’s a dumb holiday

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I think Valentines Day is dumb.  Mostly because it’s a slap-in-the-face holiday to anyone who is… well, not in a relationship, or in a bad relationship, or in any other way shortchanged in the gooey love department.  Seriously, I think the merchandisers came up with this one simply to make money.   I didn’t mind it as a kid – being the crafty sort, I enjoyed taking construction paper and doilies and making pretty hearts out of them… but since that point, I haven’t enjoyed it much.  Even as a married woman, well, some of my most painful memories are V-Day related.. so I would just as soon skip this dumb day.  Yet, it keeps on coming, in all it’s flowery, chocolatey glory. 

I have tried to at least do a little ‘cutesy’ decorating for the sake of my daughter, because, as I mentioned, I don’t mind the kid-part of the holiday.  Funny, though… she just turned 13, and she is a very introspective kind of child – she says to me the other day “you know, mama, I think Valentines Day is kind of mean… because if you don’t have someone who loves you, it’s just a day to remind you that you don’t.”  Yeah.  That about sums it up. 

I made her day, though, because my gift to her today was a huge poster of the actor she has a crush on (and no, it’s not a Bieber or a vampire of any kind!)

All that being said, I still wanted to honor the day in some way so my family would know I love them, so I made pink, heart-shaped pancakes.  It would have been waaay easier if I could have made normal, real pancakes…. instead I had to use coconut oil, coconut flour and xylitol… and they bake up kind of strange… but they were enjoyed and apprecitated by my husband and my daughter. 

The dogs, however, were miffed at me.  Pancake lovers that they are, they could not believe I threw the 2 extras away rather than let them eat ’em…. but I’ve heard xylitol is poisonous to dogs, so I couldn’t risk it.  Try explaining that to the sad brown-eyes looking up at you! 

Pink pancake batter:

I swear I’ve had better luck at shaped pancakes before –

Oh!  The perfect heart!

Kiki sliced some strawberries –

I stacked mine up with butter, berries and xylitol –

Kiki added a touch of sour cream

Monday Munchies ~ What we’re eating

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First I have to say “sorry” that somehow I missed my Sunday Sweets post… yesterday just didn’t go the way it was supposed to!

Now, on to today… the above pic is of something we eat fairly often around here… Granny Smith apples, cheddar cheese, and raw almond butter.  Really yummy.  And crunchy, which seems quite important these days!

We’re eating a lot of eggs.  I mean a lot.  Which is okay because I really like eggs.  We are trying to come up with some different ways to make them, tho, because it can get kind of boring.  Here we have a puffy-unfolded-omelet type thing, and an egg with pesto (yum!).  Also some turkey sausage that doesn’t contain sugars of any kind (not real easy to find!)

This morning saw more eggs… another omelet, this time with onions, chicken and smoked gouda cheese…

I’ve been having a hard time making dessert-type stuff that actually tastes good; mostly I think because I despise stevia.  Tonight though, I finally hit on a keeper!  The key is this:  Xylitol made from birch trees.  This is way better than other xylitols, and a bajillion times better than stevia!  I made an almond meal crust with butter and xylitol, a chocolate topping from unsweetened chocolate, butter, xylitol and tahini, and then put raspberries on top…WOW!  Everyone in the family agreed that not only is it the best thing I’ve come up with so far, it is actually really yummy!  So that’s exciting.

My all time favorite treat at this point is a sugar-free chocolate I found at our health food store…. except that one stinkin’ bar costs over $3.00…. !!  Crap!  I can’t have those very often!

I hate stevia

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So you know I am doing this “healing diet” thing where we have tried to eliminate all sugars from our diet…. ‘real’ sugar, honey, agave, fruits, breads, starchy vegetables… the whole 9 yards.  We are supposed to do this for 3 months!  So, I really, really enjoy sweets, and baking, and this book we have contains some decent sounding recipes.  However, the only kinds of sweeteners we are allowed to use are stevia and xylitol.  Yuck, yuck, and yuck I cannot tell you how much I despise stevia.  Words will not suffice.  Tonight I tried yet another recipe – it would have been really yummy had I used sugar!  It was an almond crust, dark chocolate drizzle, strawberries and whipped cream.  Yeah.  I know. Sounds good, right?  Actually, Alan, Kiki, and Opa liked it.  Oma and I; not so much.  In fact, it’s been like 2 hours and I still have that yucky taste stuck in my tongue…. urgh!  Gross gross gross!

Does anyone have any suggestions?  Is there anything that works the same in the body that won’t make me want to puke?  I’d appreciate suggestions!

Tuesday Travelogue ~ Places I’ve gone

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Matt the cat does not enjoy traveling.  I wouldn’t take him under normal circumstances… but we were moving, so he kind of had to come for the ride.

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I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately; blogs written by people who seem to have far more exciting lives than I do.   You know the ones ~ they pack up their lives in Boringville, USA and move to France, or Africa, or the South Pacific…. interesting, cool places.  Or at least they get to travel to exotic places.  Me; not so much.  But then, I was thinking… I have moved across the country; I have lived in 5 states…. I have seen alot of the United States, even if a lot of it was only a view from a car!  

So… I was thinking – I enjoy seeing pictures from all over the country and around the world.  Maybe those pictures are just a place in your own back yard, so to speak, but they are probably somewhere I’ve never been, and I like seeing them.  So maybe there is one of you out there that might enjoy seeing some of the places I’ve been, even if they are in my own back yard!

 Today’s offering:  Multnomah Falls, Oregon.  This is one of our must-stops whenever we go “over the river and thru the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…”  This particular trip was in the winter, so the falls were all iced over… it was absolutely gorgeous!  We ate in the Lodge, which is old and really cool.  Plus they have really yummy food!  (I thought I had pics of the interior, but those must be on my old computer… darn new laptop….)  You can hike all the way to the top… but not when it’s icy, so I lucked out and didn’t have to.  🙂

Monday Munchies ~ What we’re eating

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I’m thinking that I will try to do a “Food Theme” on Mondays… because …. well, just because!  Maybe it will help me feel better about what we’re having to do, if I put it out there. I’ve said we’re doing this “healing diet” and that basically means all sugar – and anything that quickly turns to sugar, like most white things (white flour, white rice, potatoes, etc.) have to be cut out in the beginning.  Eventually I think we can add most things back in, within reason… and believe me, sugar was something I was eating beyond the scope of all reason previously! 

The down side ~ It’s boring.  I like sugar.  A lot.  And I am not a chef by any stretch of the imagination, so trying to create meals in an entirely new way is not fun for me.  Some might like the challenge.  I might like some ice cream.

The up side ~ In the week since we started this, my husband has lost 7 pounds, our daughter lost 6, and I lost 5.  (Of course, me being the one with the most to lose – by a long shot – lost the least.  But 5 lbs. in a week is nothing to sneeze at!)

I have to admit that the thing that made Kiki and I happiest was the chocolate chips we found!  Yay!!  Chocolate!!  They are sugar-free but with a type of sweetener that is an acceptable natural substitute, not a chemical additive.   So I made chocolate chip brownies.  They aren’t so amazingly delicious that I’d choose them over “real” brownies… but when you don’t really have that choice, they are a reasonable sweet substitute.   (Tonight, tho, I am making whipping cream to go with them.. that will up the yum factor.)