Saturday, July 31, 2010

Meet Romeo and Juliet

These guys serenaded each other all night long last night from the comfort of our swimming pool. When I got up this morning, I rescued them from drowning (toads only swim so well) and took them out to a nearby wash and turned them loose where they could hobnob with their own kind and let me get some damned SLEEP! Cheeky little bastards!!

Actually, they are kind of cool.  They spend the majority of their lives underground, like 10 months out of every year, only coming out during our torrential monsoon rains to breed. Their call is amazing!!  Very loud and when they are out and about its generally in great numbers so it can be quite the cacophony.  Oh, and they can get to the size of a dinner plate, really really big.  And they are toxic to other animals. 

When I was a child we played with them all the time.  One time, my mom had called us in to dinner and we had one with us when we came in.  It was the size of a saucer, big ol' portly thing.  My mom said "Put in the bathtub for now and wash up for dinner.  You can turn it loose later".  Well, after dinner we went to check on it and it had laid about 75,000 eggs in the bathtub.  Yes, that number is fairly accurate and I am not exaggerating.  My mother (yes the same one I had a love/hater relationship with) was all about us kids learning things so when we begged and pleaded to keep the eggs in the tub, she acquiesced.  So for the next few weeks, we watched the miracle of eggs turn to polliwogs, turn to tadpoles and the joy of releasing little baby toads in the wild.  It was very cool.  

This was the best kept batch of toad eggs that ever existed, I can assure you.  Because they are cannibalistic when food sources get scarce, which is beyond icky!, we fed them and they had their water refreshed regularly.  It was kind of like being born at the amphibian Ritz.

I like critters and the toads are no exception, except when they keep me up at night.  Little boogers.

These two are pretty small.  That's a mascara wand for perspective.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shrimp for Dinner

I am a seafoodaholic.  If that's not a word, it should be!!  I really like seafood on Friday night before Saturday Weigh In.  Even if I have a gain (which I probably will tomorrow) it won't be because of what I ate on Friday nite!!  I wanted a Shrimp Salad for dinner tonight and found this one and another.  This one really caught my eye and medium shrimp were $3.99 a pound.  Must have been an omen.  So here was whats for dinner tonight, with Weigh In looming over my head for tomorrow.  I will be brave!

Margarita Shrimp Salad

POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 4

1 pound(s) shrimp, medium shrimp, 50-60 count, peeled and deveined
2 oz tequila
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp table salt
1/4 cup(s) red onion(s), thinly slivered
4 serving(s) Creamy Lime-Chili Dressing (recipe follows)
4 cup(s) romaine lettuce
1 large head(s) endive (I used 3 small ones)
1 1/2 cup(s) orange sections (2 oranges?)
1 medium avocado (I forgot this and missed it!)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium lime(s), wedges


1. Toss shrimp, tequila, orange zest, lime zest and salt in a medium bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slice and place onion in a small bowl, cover with cold water and some ice; let stand for 10 minutes, or until ready to use.

2. Meanwhile, make Creamy Lime-Chile Dressing.

3. Toss romaine, endive, orange segments and the drained onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates. Toss avocados with lime juice and divide among the salads.

4. Drain the shrimp, reserving the marinade. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saut until pink and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide among the salads. Add the reserved marinade to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring; spoon over shrimp. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

As usual, I didn't really follow the directions so well.  But, it came out soooo good.  My advice is to follow the recipe unless you are confident in the kitchen, then let it all hang out and do it your way.  I will say, Don't forget the avocado!  My mouth really missed it when I realized I had forgotten it.  And try endive if you haven't ever (like me!).  Its good.  A little pricey at 3.99 @ lb, but hell, I don't eat it every nite, so once it a while I can throw a couple bucks away to try some (insert something new here).

Here's a picture of my plate.  I am proud of this one and Hubby thinks I am a  rock star (and I am so full!).  All is right with the world!

Edit:  I just realized I didn't post the Creamy Lime-Chili Dressing that goes on the lettuce mixture.  Here it is.

Creamy Lime Chile Dressing

POINTS® Value: 0
Servings: 8


6 Tbsp light sour cream
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp jalapeno pepper(s), minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp table salt


Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.  Add to lettuce/orange/avocado mix before adding shrimp.  I found this kind of bland on its own, but it worked well with the salad.  I bet with some work, I could jazz it up really good.

Hot Damn!!

Well, a dress I order a couple weeks ago showed up today.  I have to send it back cause IT'S TWO SIZES TOO BIG!! What a problem to have! I love it though and will definately reorder it in the correct size.  I might even be convinced to get a picture in it.  We'll see!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spanish Delight

Well, so far so good.  Last night we went to a Spanish restaurant called Bodega's.  I lived in Spain for 3 years and I miss the food which is so good.  This restaurant satisfied my cravings for Spanish food and wine in the best of ways and I was able to introduce several of my co-workers to some unique and tasty treats.  A good time was had by all and, other than the the Sangria, it wasn't too bad points wise. 

Tonite, assuming we decide we need anything else to eat (doubtful!), we will go for seafood.  One thing I love about major metropolitan areas like DC is the variety of restaurants and ethnic choices.  You just don't find it at home. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weigh in and Squeeking By

Ok, despite the food orgy on Thursday, I managed to not gain (or lose) an ounce.  I am thrilled!!  I should have posted a gain and somehow managed to miss it.  It seems to work that way sometimes.  I will not look this particular gift horse in the mouth, but have learned a valuable lesson.  I will pack lunches to these things.  People can think what they will. 

I am getting ready to leave tomorrow for DC for a few days.  I am looking forward to the trip.  All of it except the eating challenges.  I will probably eat alot of fish stuff and, once again, I will be subject to what the people who set up the conference consider food.  I will probably eat in the dining room because I doubt there will be any protein offered for breakfast and I absolutely will not eat sweet rolls to start the day.   Lunch will probably at least offer a salad, we will see.  Evening meals will be taken in some restaurant or another.  I am looking a menus for places close to the hotel (we will be on foot or using the metro).  If I can maintain next weigh in also I will consider it a victory.

For the flight and for in room snacking, I am taking jerky, pistachios and Quacker True Delight Snacks.  I love these True Delight treats.  They are 2 points per serving and are actually healthy and delicious.  A winning combination in my book.  If you haven't already, give these a try.  I think you will really like them. Note: only the granola bars I have shown here are 2 points, the others are higher I believe. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

All Day Meetings!

I hate all day meetings where you are a captive audience, sorta forced to eat what's catered in.  I am weak in these situations and they never  provide really good options when you are watching your weight.

Case in point, today!!  The breakfast offering was fruit (GREAT!) and sweet rolls (you're kidding, right?).  None of us need sweet rolls for breakfast.  It lame and inexcusable.  Order some protein folks!!  Even if its bacon its better than sweet rolls.  But eating half a watermelon wasn't an option either, so I did eat a sweet roll.  And a large one of course, because I have no self control!!

Then there was lunch!  There was salad; green (good) potato (not so good), two high fat dressings (bad) cold cuts, cheese, bread, and mayo and mustard.  A huge bowl of potato chips (my weakness!).  So I had a turkey and swiss sandwich on whole wheat with little bit of mayo, some green salad with a little Italian dressing,  and enough potato chips to choke a horse!! Again, the lack of self discipline.

And the 2:30 snack, cookies and cream cheese stuffed things that were rich and gooey and I ate 2 of them. 

And I wonder why I am having so many problems getting off this plateau?  Yeah, right!! 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weigh in and Yippee (Sorta)

Today's weigh in saw me officially achieve a 35 lb weight loss!  Wow, should have been ecstatic about that but I wasn't.  I barely squeaked into it by -.4 and kinda of feel like a fraud.  I have been struggling so hard with this the last few weeks and it was just sorta anticlimatic I guess.  I have been super emotional all morning, including weepy sniffles in the meeting, God Forbid.

Weepy sniffles is my classic reaction to anger, frustration, disappointment, any number of different emotions that most people react totally different to.  I cry.  I think I missed a life lesson somewhere along the way (I was probably in the buffet line!) that taught you how to properly deal with emotions other than stuffing them or stuffing me.  Either option is detrimental to me.  One makes me emotionally fragile, the other expands my waistline.

Today's meeting topic was Plateaus and could not have been more relevant to where I am and what has been going on in my life.  I learned to not be so hard on myself (I think) and to not let the scale be my sole metric on this journey.  So I came home and measured myself.  I have lost a total of 18.5 inches over the span of my membership with WW.  That is not a bad thing at all.  And I am justifiably proud. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Night Before Weigh In

I always try to eat light the day before Weigh In.  I don't like to get on the scale with a hamburger hang over and I know that beef takes so long to digest that a spot of roast beef will show up on the scale tomorrow.  So I generally go with fish or seafood with some side(s) and that gets me through.

Tonite it was tilapia and my only decision was how to cook it.  So, I did a Potato Crusted Tilapia using instant potatoes and eggbeater.  Man, it was soo good.  I haven't had fried fish in a long time.  Hell I haven't even SAID fried in a long time.  Here's a recipe and a picture of the results. 

Potato Crusted Tilapia
POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 6


1 1/2 pound(s) raw tilapia (6 fillets)
1 cup(s) dry potato flakes
1 cup(s) Egg Beaters Egg Beaters
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon pepper


Mix Potato Flakes with Lemon pepper in shallow dish large enough to hold at least one fillet.
Pour Egg Beaters into different shallow dish.
Heat frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil.
Put one 1 fillet into the Eggbeaters then dredge through potato flakes.
Add to hot frying pan. Fry about 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.
Add additional butter and oil, if needed when you flip fillets 3 and 4.  That should be plenty to finish all the fish.

Together with a cup of mixed veggies, this was a 6 point meal.  You don't get much better than that. 

Junkie Thinking

Today I posted a comment on  Debbies' Site about junkie thinking.  I didn't coin this phrase.  It is used commonly on a Quit Smoking message board I frequent and relates to the constant mental assault of our desire, and yes, I will say it, addictive minds to do what we know is incredibly bad for our bodies to satisfy that craving whether it is for cigarettes or potato chips. 

I smoked cigarettes for 37 years and was smoking almost 3 packs a day when I decided it was time to quit.  As I proceeded in my journey, the barrage of thoughts telling me it would be "Ok to just smoke one!" or "You're never gonna do this, just quitting kidding yourself and light up!" were constant and I will tell you now, quitting smoking was undoubtedly the most difficult thing I have ever done in my whole life and my own "junkie thinking" was probably my worst enemy!  We can be, and usually are, the only reason for our failures. You can stick a bowl of ice cream in front of me but unless you tie me, prop my jaw open and force feed it to me, you can not be held responsible for what I choose to do with that ice cream.  I am responsible for what I do with that ice cream, and ultimately, what that ice cream is going to do to me.

When you are feeling derailed, stop for a minute and think about the voices in your head. No you are not demented, you are probably like most overweight folks myself included, a food addict. Maybe not by medical definition, but by carefully analyzing your situation, I would bet you a donut that you experience that "junkie thinking" too, the voice that tells you tomorrow is soon enough to start and "What the hell, you can't win."  Quit listening to that voice.  If you ignore it long enough, it does go away eventually.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fruits and Veggies

In accordance with the topic of our meeting last Saturday, I have been cramming fruits and veggies and what I have discovered is they leave me starving at the end of the day.  Not that I don't like them or want them, but their bulk does not leave room for other things (lean meats and whole wheat stuff) and then, when that bulk has dissipated, I am so hungry I could gnaw my own arm.  I need to find a happy balance here. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Champagne Pear Vinaigrette

Like many of you, I follow TJ and am unbelievable grateful for her ability to find and turn us all on to the best food that will fit into our plans, especially those of us that count Points.  She seems to haunt all the best grocery stores and is able to ferret out cool things like Thomas's bagel thins and Trader Joe's Asian Style Spicy Peanut Sauce. 

But it appears she has missed something at Trader Joe's.  It could be when she saw the creamy texture of this dressing and the word "Gorgonzola" on the label, she figured there was no way that this was fitting into a low cal life style.  But, Girlfriend, do I have news for you!!  This is only 1 point for 2 tbls serving and it is divine!!  You could take a bath in this and not go over points (and you would be mighty tasty!)  You will find this along with the Spicy Peanut Sauce with the refrigerated dressings (look over the salad fixin's) at Trader Joe's.  If you like an occasional sweet dressing with a good balance of flavors, look no further.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weigh In and Blech!

Well, nothing to report really.  I was up .2. Not exactly a disaster, but not moving in the right direction, dammit!!  I am struggling right now.  Craving stupid stuff like candy and eating even when I am not hungry.  Its weird and I can't seem to get it under control.  I wish I knew what was causing it.  Why now when I wasn't struggling before? I am going to have to do a little introspection and see if I can't figure out what's eating me that's making me eat everything else!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sister Suzi Gave Me a Sugar Doll Award

How sweet is this?!  When I call her "Sister" its because we decided we were related sometime back due to our unerring affinity for adult beverages, particularly BEER!  The theory being only people closely related can think so much alike.  DNA testing is just around the corner. 

So in order to fulfill my requirements for this award I have to do the following:

•Thank the recipient...I AM EVER SO GRATEFUL! (Mostly cause I have you as a friend!)

•Link back to the giver...Done :)

•Reveal 10 things about me...Wow, I am pretty boring, so lets see what I can come up with.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was 16 years old.  (Thankfully, I didn't screw up my teeth!)

2. I love to sing and am decent at it. 

3. I speak almost fluent Spanish.

4. I have 12 grandchildren!

5. I love to horseback ride.  I haven't been in ages and doing so right now would probably kill me but when I was younger, I was the most horse crazy kid you ever met.

6.I would eat pretty much anything at least once.  I was raised to have a very adventurous pallet and have tried some strange things (baby eel anyone?)  The only thing I can ever remember even refusing to try was hogs ears that were served in some bars in Spain as tapas!

7. I am seriously afraid of heights!

8. When I was a kid, I had severe allergies.  In my teens I was tested to see what all I was allergic to.  I was allergic to 138 things out of 150 in the test. None of them were food.  Go Figure!

9. I have a tendency to be very bossy!  That's what happens when you are the big sister in charge of everyone else.  And it becomes pervasive in everything you do!

10.I love to camp, preferring remote locations with primitive facilities.   

And now, I have to gift this to others and once again, I am at a bit of a loss.  Give me a day or two and let me think on who I think is such a Sugar Doll.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman, Introducing...

My first beer butt chicken.  I don't know if you recall from my vacation post, I got to taste my first ever beer butt chicken in Mexico.  I know, I lead a sheltered life (also known as living under a rock!).
But I liked it and vowed to do it at home given the opportunity and that happened tonite.  Now, mind you, this is not exactly a Weight Watchers recommended protein.  Too much skin, fat, bones, etc.  But once in a blue moon isn't gonna kill anyone.

Now, I am not going to regal you with my Beer Butt Chicken prowess because, honestly, how the hell can you screw this up? However, what you can't see (or taste) is the most divine Peach Bourbon Glaze on that baby.  I am telling you that chicken got off that pedastal and dove into this glaze.  Its that good.   Not only that, but its so good, I am trying to figure out what's gonna get Peach Bourbon Glazed next!! 

And then the circus came to town!!

We are doomed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

We proudly fly our flag and have done so for many years.  We have used the standard house mount bracket that everyone uses to put their flagstaff in and that's ok.  A couple of years ago, I found a flag pole that you just stuck in the ground in your yard.  Nothing fancy, no concrete footings.  And it spins with the wind so your flag is never wrapped around the pole, just looking silly.  And I love it.  

Hubby put the flag out today and I have been out and about several times and each time I come home, I am struck by how wonderful that flag looks flying in my yard!!  I told him how much I like it.  We might just put it out all the time.

This is the flag flying in my yard.

If you are interested in this flagpole you can find it on QVC product number M17012 or follow this link:

How to NOT Screw Up the Plan

Ok, so we went out to eat tonight to a burger/steak/rib joint up the street.  Usually pretty good and good for lots of stuff  I have no business putting in my face under any circumstances.  

So we get there and order, him a burger and me the chicken fajitas.  And, as they were listed as an appetizer, an order of onion rings.  After bringing us our drinks, our waitress show up with this huge platter of onion rings.  They were a meal in themselves.  WTF? I was thinking 6 rings, not 26!!

Dinner took forever, was not warm when we got it, my fajitas were accompanied by a bowl that looked like the refried bean fairie had taken a serious dump in it.  Needless to say, I was less than impressed by our meal.

However, I didn't eat much of anything (except the uber marvelous onion rings {go figure}).  Probably still under points for the day.

Skinny Cow...let's talk.

Weigh In and Whoopee!!

Well, I got that stupid pound off again (actually 1.4 lbs) and I intend to keep it off now!!  I am within .4 lbs of having officially lost 35 lbs and only need to lose 1.8 to reach 175 a new low for me.  I haven't seen that over 15 years, just briefly, and prior to that it was 30+ years.  And I want it bad!!  Onward Soldiers!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Babies in the House

Starting tomorrow I will be fostering 5 kittens! I don't know if I have spoken of it before, but I love animals of all shapes and sizes and there are so many kittens that need homes and only so many pairs of hands to care for them, get their medical care, get them spayed and neuter, etc.  Sooo, I decided to take in a few of the little varmints.

This will be just hunky dory with my male pug who thinks cats were invented for him to play with.  My female will be a bitch, literally and figuratively, but she won't hurt them. 

The intent is to care for them until the sponsoring organization finds a home for them.  They will also cover medical costs.  I can afford to feed them and probably a dozen more so that's not a problem.  I also intend to keep two of them. 

My long suffering hubby, with deep sighs and crazy eye rolls, said I could.  After all these years, he knows its fruitless to say no.  And he knows I just make a pretense of asking him so he knows I love him even if I don't really need his permission.  I will post pics of the babies when I can.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome New Follower Blync!!

Everyone, I would like you to meet Blync.  If I am not mistaken she is an Arizona girl lost somewhere in the wild wild northwest where they don't sell her favorite tortillas!!  Yes, I offered to send her some.  Haven't heard back yet.  I want to see if I can keep this up.  Introducing followers as they join.  Unless I get a convention going all at once, I think this is doable.