Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sugar Free Baked Blueberry Oatmeal. And a weigh-in day!

Weigh in.  Ran into the clinic and acted like I owned the place now that I know how to use their scale.  I'm down another four pounds.  I could get used to this!   My goal was a loss of five pounds before the end of maternity leave, but as long as I lose a half pound in the coming week, I will be down ten.  Could we see a total of fifteen before August 20?  That would be awesome.

Moving forward.

So, I've been searching for a hand-held, baked, oatmeal breakfast thing.

I've been searching for a couple of years.

I decided to try another one that would fit a couple of needs: as I mentioned, I need to be able to carry it. I also want copious oatmeal in it; anything else defeats purpose. It needs to taste good, and it must be enough to serve as the main staple for any breakfast. 

Oatmeal can get a little sponge-y when baked with too much moisture.  One thing to watch out for.

So I found a recipe.  I made substitutions based on diet.  It is a decent start. I imagine the original is pretty good as is. I love rhubarb.  I don't feel one can go wrong with that tarty goodness. You can find the original on over here.

So, my version contains blueberries, as you can see. I hit our grocery store and alas, rhubarb in neither a fresh nor frozen state was available.  I also used Splenda, instead of honey, as called for by the original recipe.  Let's digress for a second...

Generally speaking, I am not supportive of using sugar substitutes - particularly in baking. Some have a detectable and particular taste, others may have an aftertaste, and many are not widely appreciated by moms because of their chemical composition. My biggest argument against using a substitute is the outcome of your recipe.

Baking is more of a science. Heat, applied to certain materials, results in particular chemical reactions. The ingredients we use impact these reactions, as well. A substitution like Splenda (for sugar, for example) can make a baked item more brittle and dry.

I used the Splenda because I wanted to use up the giant box that lives in our pantry without feeding to the wee ones.  I bought it to make a dessert for my dad (diabetic) a while ago.  I hate throwing stuff out.  So I thought, "Hmm.  Probably can reduce the WW points in this with that box of yellow."  There you go.

I also omitted the almonds by accident. This lowered the calorie content, but seriously think about using almonds.  

Finally, if you're planning to use blueberries as I did, I would zest a lemon and add that - and also roll your berries in sweetener/sugar before throwing them in the pan.

Anyway, I cut this recipe into eight servings.  That's three points a piece.  Not too shabby. And an added bonus is that oat is a galactagogue, so while losing weight, I continue to support lactation in other ways through my diet.  And oats can help me lower my cholesterol.  So many bonuses.

In all, I'm going to keep working on this one.  I want to do the original with rhubarb. I don't even care about the strawberries.  Rhubarb without strawberries is equally fantastic.  I love rhubarb pie - not strawberry rhubarb. It is an undersung produce item.   I want the final product to be dry and crumbly, so I've got to work on that.  I want it to be awesome and we aren't there yet.  

If you find what I'm looking for, please share it!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

I wouldn't eat it

The other day, while pondering what we could eat for dinner that would fit within my plan and also feed the mister, I discovered a half pound of ground turkey in the freezer.

Now, normally, I buy turkey and ground beef simultaneously and then combine in recipes to reduce my intake of red meat. 

I should have stuck with this plan.

Instead, I made a WW recipe, Southwestern Turkey Burgers. 

Ground turkey
Baked tortilla chips crumbled into the mixture
Other ingredients that don't help

What a horrible idea. What I can say that was good about the recipe: the portion size of the patty was generous and filling. 

What I can say otherwise:  not funny, self. Not funny, at all.  No matter what, turkey is pretty dry. The recipe suggests that one add a quarter cup of salsa to the pound of turkey before forming patties to add moisture. I assure you, the moisture cooks out. Completely.

And, the burger patty by itself had absolutely no flavor. Not very satisfying for someone losing weight when every bite is being counted.

In the end, what made these salvageable was to add a quarter cup of canned, fat-free, refried black beans to the sandwich.  Give yourself a tablespoon of shredded cheese on there. Blacken a poblano pepper and add half of that. If you are feeling like you can afford it, throw a few crumbled and salty tortilla chips on there.  In salvaging the burgers, we simply masked anything else in there with this new stuff.  

Dinner saved. Whew!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week One

Week one of Me, Revamped complete. 

I've eaten a lot of dairy. And plant matter.  I even squeezed in fast food - and it was delicious - and didn't violate the principles of my plan.

I'd love to do some fad diet that would help me consistently lose 6-8 pounds each week, but first and foremost, I am currently the sole source of nutrition for 2.0, and she comes first. Terribly rapid weight loss would tank my supply.  I also firmly believe that, for me, gradual weight loss of no greater than an average of 1-3 pounds in a week will have lasting results and help me to change my eating habits long term.

Did I ever mention that my mom is a dietitian?  

Or that I was actually put on a statin back in 2007 because my cholesterol peaked at 360? Crazy. (The cholesterol. Not my mom.) I don't ever want to be there again.

Our scale is wonky at home. I actually have to drive to my doctor's office to weigh myself!! I've lost 4.6 pounds this week. Go, me.

Today is a designated 'clean up day', meaning, I'm not letting myself start a new project until the house is picked up. And new projects are like carrots that are constantly dangling in front of me.

There's the 1x8x8 ruler growth chart. And the coat rack the Mister FINALLY agreed to let me hang. Only five years after we moved here.  And do not get me started on how I could peruse cookbooks for hours. Dangerous.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Picture wall.

This will be a photo tutorial comprised of crummy iPhone pictures! (Yay!!)

So, I wanted to redo the photo wall along our stairs.  Without breaking the bank.  I got all of my photos ready/printed and counted them by size - ex: three 4x6, one 8x10, etc.

Enter Goodwill. I hit three separate Goodwill locations around town, and purchased frames there.  I only bought frames that already had unbroken glass.

I assembled my tools:
Photos, frames, needle nose pliers, super glue (I like this Scotch brand kind)
Sawtooth hangers
sawtooth picture hangers
toothpaste (I promise), thumbtacks or push pins, scratch paper, a writing utensil, scissors, a hammer, small nails, and adhesive foam mounting squares:

I assembled all frames and photos. The needle nose pliers were particularly handy when it came to removing the "easel foot" (no idea what that's really called).
Your basic easel foot.

I then super glued sawtooth hangers to each frame.  These are so much easier to hang than the little metal loop/ hanger that sometimes appears on the back of frames. 
Your useless hanger thing.

While the glue is setting, I traced all frames on paper and cut these out.  I wrote a brief description on the paper of what appears in that photo/frame -example: "babies in pink".

Then I began to arrange the frames on the floor to determine the pseudo-layout.

Next, I tacked my paper cutouts to the wall, in a manner similar to the floor layout:

Next, I interrupted my project to do a bit of tummy time with V2.0:

Then, I began hanging frames.  

Here is where your toothpaste becomes handy.  On each sawtooth hanger, place a teeny dot of toothpaste, dead center.  
Now, hold that frame exactly where you want it and push gently in the vicinity of the hanger to ensure the toothpaste makes contact with the wall.

Pull the frame away from the wall, and voila! You know exactly where to place your nail!! 

I hammered the nails in exactly in the middle of the toothpaste or just below it. 

Hang away!

The foam squares will come in handy if you find the frames shift when the house shakes.

The wall turned out beautifully, with pictures of our minis, our furry love, places we love, us, and special items like our wedding invitation and the minis' birth announcements.  I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that my stairwell smells a bit minty, as well!!

Friday night dinner

These are good - really good (in the words of the great Nacho Libre).   Even the Mister will eat it.

I calculated the WW momentum points without a bun -  You're looking at 4-5 points per serving.  So go ahead and eat that pickle, bun, and side salad.

Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes - adapted from Cooking Light.  Makes six servings.
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces ground sirloin 
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (I used bagged, matchstick carrots, because, heck - no one was watching.) 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium red beans, rinsed, drained, and divided               


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, begin browning ground sirloin.  After a couple of minutes, add onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, to pan; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble beef.
  2. Add carrot, chili powder, sugar, oregano, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until thickened and carrot is tender, stirring occasionally.
Before the tomatoes

  1. Partially mash 1 cup beans with a fork or potato masher (OR wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and mash up the beans in your hands, taking out any aggression that may have built up today). Add mashed beans and remaining whole beans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. 

After a delicious bite!!

Uh, so, it has been a while.

But, I'm back.  We will see how long this lasts.

Lots of projects happening around our house.

Our original wee one will be two in - GASP - two weeks.

Our freshest wee one will be two months on Sunday.

There's a birthday party in the works- Monsters, duh.

A picture wall over the stairs coming shortly.

A cardigan in the works for 1.0.

A cardigan in the works for 2.0.

Fabric purchased for more dresses for both 1.0 and 2.0.

Cabinets that need cleaning out.

Garage that needs cleaning out.

Can't wait for Bulky Garbage pickup! (for a variety of reasons. this is a post in and of itself.)

A daddy who tells me that I need to reel in the spending this month.  (I know I overspent, and it is even more difficult to not do so when home on maternity leave.)

 A nursing mama who is bound and determined to not only continue nursing this time, but also to drop some baby weight.

A hungry mama.  On weight watchers. 

A mama who is finally re-entering her kitchen after what feels like a three year hiatus.

A mama who isn't experiencing extreme postpartum depression this time.

Where the heck have I been????

I am going to be posting what we are eating and my weight loss story here, too - this is in no way a food or fitness blog, but just need a place to put it.  You gotta start somewhere.