Saturday, October 30, 2010

"No Love For Cooking" Chronicles . . .

Salmon Cakes

I hate to cook.  I am not great at it, but watch so many cooking shows that I can make something in the spur of the moment.  I cook out of shear necessity and near poverty.  Today, I really wanted to go out to lunch, but there was no money for it (we are a cash only family).  So I made chicken sandwiches for the kids.  I decided to make Salmon cakes for me . . . and hubby too.

No Love Salmon Cakes:

2 packages of Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon
1/4 c. of a finely chopped onions
1 small, minced garlic clove
1 egg
3/4 c. bread crumbs (I made my own from left over pizza dough [like panko] that I baked and processed: kept in fridge)
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp of tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat skillet.  Add veggie oil or spray with non stick pan.  Combine all in bowl.  Form ball.  Kinda wet. Gently place in hot skillet.  Brown both sides for about 4-5 minutes each side until golden.

Serve.  Enjoy!

Do you like cooking?  If so, what do you keep in your pantry to make at the spur of the moment?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cut in half . . .

Strawberry Tops

Hubby and I went to a reception at work yesterday.  We had a babysitter for the evening.  We cut out of the event early to have dinner at Liliana's.  I had the best dinner.  I started off with bread. Yes, corn bread and then the spicy biscuit.  Sue me!  I then had mushroom soup . . . mmmm, creamy! And ate half of my entre.  I had the scallops with 4 dollops of wasabi mash potatoes with a cabbage-veggie salad in the center.  I cut it in half and boxed it for lunch the next day.  Yes, I ate half of my entre.  That is monumental!

I never cut my restaurant meals in half.  The old Rosa would have eaten every single thing in sight and asked for more.  I made sure to split it down the middle and push it aside.  Half of hubby's entre is in the fridge and will be Wedneday's lunch for me.  I am proud.  I am excited at my new frame of mind.  And yes, I had two cookies when I came home

Monday, October 25, 2010

A sweet treat . . .

Double Chocolate Chews--Weight Watcher's recipe

One of my goals in weight loss is allowing myself to eat a sweet treat . . . everyday.  I want to get to the point where I am not feeling like I am depriving myself of what I want.  I hope that I eventually get to a place where I can actually refuse dessert. 

Since joining Weight Watchers I've been baking cookies from their recipes.  It is nice to be able to bake with the kids.  It is nice to be able to give them a healthy, low calorie treat after dinner.  And it is nice to eat 2 cookies for 2 points without feeling immense guilt. 

After lunch yesterday, my daughter refused a chocolate chip cookie that I gave her for dessert.  She said she didn't want it.  Of course, that was fine.  That was great!  Heck, what is wrong with this child that she can so easily refuse it?  I figured it is because she knows she can have it whenever.  She doesn't deprive herself of anything.  She is not a restricter as Geneen Roth wrote in "Women, Food and God".  I am usually the restricter that goes back and forth between permitter and restricter. 

I want a happy medium.  I want to just exist in this life without having a list of "banned" foods.  Okay, I won't eat transfats.  But if I want a darn cookie, I am going to have it. 

Another thing I wish I could do is refuse the offer or temptation of a cookie.  After baking the above delectable delights, I had daughter offer one to her Papa.  He refused.  I heard him say, "no, thank you. I don't want it.  I'm not hungry."  WHAT?  ARE YOU SERIOUS?  IT IS A DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEW!  And I realized, I want to get to that point.  I want to be like him and my daughter:  I want to have it when I want it, and I want to refuse it when I am not hungry.

Could you resist trying a cookie when you are not hungry?Are you a Restricter or a Permitter?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portion Control . . .

December 1, 2008

One thing I've been really working hard at doing is to reduce my portions by prepacking my meals into my white Corelle cereal bowls.  They have plastic lids as covers.  I pack breakfast, which is usually oatmeal with cranberries, walnuts and almond milk.  For lunch, it is usually left overs from the night before.  I pack my lunch right after dinner.  Sometimes I have enough for a couple days of lunch.  Is it boring sometimes?  Yes.  However, I really just want to control the excess eating.

I've been measuring portions; especially of my grains and rice.  I sure love rice.  I've limited myself to 1/2 cup of white rice on the occassions that I make it.  If I want seconds (which I am resisting), I don't feel so guilty because I've not gone over 1 cup. 

My biggest weakness is snacking before dinner.  Well . . . binging.  That is the time when I feel the need to decompress from the day, from the stressors of family life, from the guilt of binging--I'm aware that doesn't make sense. 

My first weigh-in at Weight Watchers wasn't very successful.  I am still sick with this bronchial issue.  Coughing all night and day.  I am still stressed about my Mom.  My son is a handful too.   Life gets in the way.  But the great news, I didn't gain.  I lost .2 pounds.  That is fine by me.  I am working harder this week.

I've come to the realization this morning that one bowl of cereal with almond milk, cranberries, and walnuts is enough.  It is more than enough to fill me.  Anymore than that means I am trying to fill something else.  I just always have to think what that something else is.

How do you control portions?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

She drove me to eat . . .

Nana & Max

My mother has always been my biggest supporter and has been my biggest critic.  She was encouraged by pediatricians to put me on numerous diets throughout my life.  She hid food.  She restricted food.  She made me salads and ground burger meat (her Atkins diet before Atkins).  She would tell me in not-so-many words that if I didn't lose weight, I'd never have a boyfriend.  And despite all that angst she caused me, she was kinda right.  After losing weight in college, I got noticed.  I got asked out.  The same guys that knew me "fat" saw me differently when I was slender.  And then I met my future husband when I was 20; a few months after losing over 75 pounds.  She did it because she loves me.

And now she is driving me to eat.  I've been binging.  Even with Weight Watchers weigh-in looming this Thursday, I am eating.  My mom is turning 75, but her mind is turning 95.  She has been losing her memory.  I've been noticing it for the last 2 years since she visited me when I was due with my youngest.  The above picture I took during that time.  She sat down next to me around that time and asked me if it was 1968.  1968?  I wasn't born in 1968.  You didn't know my father in 1968.  I don't even think you were even in America in 1968.  I dismissed it as her being out of her element: away from her apartment in Massachusetts; away from her routine; away from her extended family, etc.

She called me sometime last week in a panic that she was losing her memory and is starting to become afraid.  Then I started to become afraid.  She assured me that she would go to a doctor about it.  Then a day later told me she wouldn't go to a doctor because there was nothing they could do--that she knew better than me because she had more experience with the elderly than I do.  She was a home health aide to the elderly and disabled.  She resurrected many clients from sickly, almost dying people and extended their lives for months and often, many years.  And now she needs someone to resurrect her from dementia.  It isn't possible to recover from that.  I just need her here with me.  With that knowledge, I am trying to figure out the resources in my community for my mother who lives on a very fixed income.

She had me when she was 39.  She raised me by herself.  She worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Imagine working 45 years for Social Security income and it only being $900 a month.  She didn't know about retirement planning: Roth IRAs, 401Ks, etc.  She has been paying $11 a month for almost 30 years for a life insurance policy of $10,000.  As a Spanish speaking immigrant, she had no one to teach her how to manage her economic life after retirement.  And I didn't have the tools to teach her until recently.   She plays the lottery weekly in hopes of hitting the big jackpot so she can make great things happen for her and for me, and for my kids.  She calls me and tells me to play the lottery.  And I sometimes do.  With a bit of hope that I win and make our lives better.

But mostly I worry.  And that worry turns to hunger.  And that hunger cannot be filled up by all the Chinese takeout, cookies, bowls of cereals that I shove down my throat.  I've tried to "stuff" that hunger and hope for it to be filled.

I am trying to do better for myself.  I am her only child.  I am my children's only mother.  I am my husband's wife.  I need to take care of myself so I can take care of them.  I will be working hard to stop myself from filling the void that can't be filled.  But it is hard to constantly remind myself that I am abusing myself when I don't deserve it and my mother only wants the best for me. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hunger Check . . .


If  this is not appealing, then you are not truly hungry; you may be thirsty, bored, sad--anything else by hungry.  

I am trying to really work on assessing my hunger.  I had a nice lunch that was very filling. I may have even been stuffed. I truly can't tell anymore. I am cooking dinner as I write this.  Usually, I'll be snacking while I cook.  But I am making such a conscious effort to not do that.

I joined Weight Watchers on Thursday of last week.  I won't write how much my starting weight is . . . just yet.  I need to get to my 5% loss in order to be truly satisfied with my efforts.  I enjoyed the support meeting.  I think that is mostly what I need.  I need to feel supported.  It isn't that I don't get that from home or from the blogging community.  It is just a different feeling.  I actually "hear" it instead of read about others struggles.  I get tips.  I get understanding.  

It is also nice to be able to be accountable to weigh in week after week after spending $12 to weigh in.  I hate losing money.  Really . . . hate . . . losing . . . money.  Really!

What kind of hunger check do you do when you want to reach for a little something of something? 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Arms, revisited!

Arms Before 3/11.10

I have this deep need to have really lean and buff arms.  I've written about that before.  Well, this weekend, in a fit of angst and fear, I started another arm project.  But this time.  It isn't a formal weight lifting session with heavy dumbbells.  I decided to use my resistance bands, attached to the door, and do this very weird series of arm movements.  The inspiration is Tracy Anderson.  Madonna's trainer.  Gwyneth's trainer.  I watched many videos this weekend.  She does this "hand slap" routine without weights.  But she also does a series with resistance bands that are attached high in the ceiling (which she uses a hooked bar to pull down).  I sort of combined this type of hand slaps and resistance band, and made a funky little upper body routine that I do in a series for 15 minutes.  Then I switch to 3 lb weights and do a bit of bicep curls, shoulder raises and tricep moves.

I did this on Saturday, and boy, my arms had that nice soreness that I love after a good workout on Sunday. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. this morning and did a 20 minute routine of the same.  My arms are still in a bit of that soreness.

I am desperately hoping to keep this routine up.  I want those bat wings gone.  And I think this routine is totally doable for me.  It is a cheap workout.  I only need a door and a resistance band.  I don't even need the dumbbells. And yes, I am totally realistic of the fact that years of self abuse by being obese may have rendered me with bat wings for life; however, I am holding out hope.

I am sidelined from cardio.  I've had this nasty chest cold that leaves me coughing all night.  Even with cough medicine, I am hacking up a lung.  I hate it.  5k is scheduled for October 30.  I am hoping to still run even with training being inconsistent. 

Looking forward to Weight Watchers on Thursday.  Kinda scared to commit.  But I'd be committing to good health, so why am I scared?  Scared to fail is probably the reason. 

Do you have issues with your arms?

Thursday, October 7, 2010



I went to a Weight Watchers meeting to observe the support provided.  I've been on Weight Watchers on and off over the years, but today I felt compelled to go.  I've been binging lately.  Overwhelmed.  I have this mentality that I can do it by myself.  I don't need support.  I just need "me" to get stronger and emotionally together to lose weight.  But I realized that no amount of exercise or writing on this blog will fully support me.  I need a group.  I need to express myself when a question is asked.  I need validation from a bunch of other people struggling . . . and succeeding.  I need to hear them.  I need to learn from them. 

I didn't join today.  I will join next week.  It will be every Thursday from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. I will walk to the meetings from work (a total of 2.36 miles); even in the dead of winter. I will weigh in.  I will participate. I will learn. And I will succeed.