Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kitty Salad

For Christmas, Auntie Shirl got my kittens their very own Chia cat grass planter. After giving it a few weeks to sprout, I was able to give it to them today. If you need inspiration to eat healthy, take a look at this!

Pita loves him some salad!

Mmmmm! Barty loves him some salad too!

Even Lisa risked incurring the wrath of Pita to get herself some salad!

But alas, NummyMuffinCoocolButter is more like his mom. Salad? Pfui!

Ok, we all try to raise our kids right. I guess I am lucky that 3 out of 5 of mine take after the healthier eating habits of their dad instead of me :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

David had a hankering for Chili this week. I've never made it from scratch before, but I figured, how hard can it be? So off I went to the grocery store to get some chili type ingredients. Right as I walked in the door, there was a big display of canned tomatoes on sale buy one, get one free. Totally cool. I picked up one of the cans and read the label. Now, keep in mind, this was just diced tomatoes -- not sauce or anything -- just chopped tomatoes -- and the ingredients list included High Fructose Corn Syrup as the third or forth ingredient. Huh?

Now, as stated in the FAQ, I am not a health food nut, I eat more than my share of junk. But the thing is, when I buy junk, I expect it to be made of junk. If I am in the mood for a Snickers bar, they could put arsenic as the first ingredient, and I would still eat it.

But when I am buying chopped tomatoes, I want chopped tomatoes, not tomatoes covered in cheap syrup that serves as a filler. I wound up buying organic canned tomatoes because they were the only ones in the store that did not contain HFCS. Yes, they were more expensive, but cost is more than just about money.

So, I spent a very long time in the store, reading every label, and eventually came home to make my baby chili. But it was very cold out, and I was whining about the weather. David said that where I was so miserable, we could call what I was making "Warmi" instead of chili. So, without further ado, here is my recipe:

Dee's Warmi

  • Browned Ground beef (I used about 2.5 pounds -- better for lap band, but adjust to suit your taste)
  • 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 can organic red kidney beans (For non-lap band peope I would suggest 2 cans of beans and less ground beef)
  • Spices - I used cayanne, black and white pepper. This came out a little bland. David added salt, cilatro and more cayanne to the left overs, and it tasted better. You can also buy chili spice blends at the store, though I've never tried them.
  • (Optional) Some uncooked elbow macaroni
Dump everything into a crock pot for 6-8 hours. If you choose to add the macaroni, dump it in to the crock pot (uncooked) about an hour before you want the chili to be done.

Update: It tastes even better with some wheat crackers, especially if a loved one breaks up the crackers and makes a smiley face out of them cause he knows you are grumpy due to the insanely cold weather :-)

Comments from previous blog:

(Anonymous) at 2010-01-06 15:38 (UTC) (Link)
I do read your blog!

I check your blog often--it's just that I am a lurker. I read but don't comment. And I relate so much to much of what you say. Wish I was close enough to do some of the activities with you. But not sure I would be able to. I am riding my stationary bike most days. And your blog has encouraged me to get up and move!!! And the only way I get through the boredom of riding a bike in the living room is by listening to my IPOD to songs I can sing every word with!
You are an encouragement to me and I am so glad you are a part of our family. By the way, I just copied the bread recipe and plan to make it today-- or have Amy make it :-) She has spoiled me. I seldom cook anymore. Love you, Kathy

Monday, January 4, 2010

When Addiction Rears It's Ugly Head

Back in high school, I took a took Psychology 101. When we studied addiction issues, I remembered the teacher said that some things, like cigarettes or heroin are physically addictive, but ANY thing can become psychologically addictive, you can convince yourself need pretty much anything (the example he used was talcum powder, but I got the point.)

Years ago, way back before I was contemplating having weight loss surgery, a friend who had the surgery mentioned that she had read an article that stated that people who have the surgery frequently develop problems with new addictions. She mentioned that she herself had started working more after the surgery -- lots more. She started taking on extra projects, doing other people's work, basically becoming a "work-a-holic." I remember thinking at the time that doesn't seem like a horrible thing, it seemed more productive than eating.

A little while later we had a work event at which I met someone who sang the praises of his recent weight loss surgery. He was so happy that he had lost over 100 pounds. By the time I was ready to have my surgery (a year or so later) this person was out of work being treated for drug abuse. Now, I don't know anything about the guy, maybe his eating had been taking the place of a prior drug problem, but I do know it kind of raised a red flag in my head.

Having been way too close to people with drug and alcohol problems, I had seen first hand the damage they do and it terrified me; so I really wasn't too concerned about becoming a drug addict or alcoholic. But, when I went for the first lap band meeting, I asked about the addiction issue. I don't remember exactly how the lap band salesperson answered my question, but I do remember that my concerns were pretty much just glossed over. But still, I had faith in myself that I wasn't going to start using drugs or drinking, so I just forged ahead with my plans to have the surgery.

So, I got home from the surgery and blogged about it! I had about a week off of work for the surgery and spent most of it checking email, blogging, instant messaging everyone on the planet, reading, updating my personal web site... you get the idea.

I started back to work, thinking everything was just fine. I kept thinking that up until a few months ago... That was when I embarked upon a project to try to pull together all my writings over my life. I had a bunch of paper journals including stories, poetry, songs I'd written over the years. Then, I thought, well, I've done a lot of stuff online too, so I should include that as well. This is when things started to get a little scary...

Working on both my PC (my work computer) and my Mac (my personal computer) I pulled all my personal instant message chat logs and emails. I also pulled all my blog posts, from LiveJournal, my personal web site, Facebook, Twitter... Almost everything was time stamped -- when I began to compile everything chronologically was when I started to think there might be a problem. For almost every day, there were chats, emails, blog posts -- some timestamped with in seconds of each other -- all day long. And this was on top of reading other people's blogs and Fark and LolCats, and oh yeah, doing my actual job too.

I don't just blame the problem on the surgery. Clearly, the makings of an internet addiction were there for a while. It got bad when I started working from home full time. Even before the surgery I used the internet to distract me from eating -- "I'll just read this one news story, I'll just update Facebook/MySpace" -- then I can have a snack.

I realize that an internet addiction doesn't really sound like a bad thing. I mean, it's not like I'm spending money on gambling or porn sites, or online shopping. I'm basically just chatting, emailing, blogging, reading stuff. How can that have repercussions? Well, here's just a few:
  • Time: How can you have time to chat, read, blog, email and work all at the same time? Easy! Never leave the computer! This of course means letting other things go, but hey, who needs to clean, exercise, cook (anything other than microwave junk) etc.
  • Isolation: It amazes me that being on the internet for literally 20 hours a day can leave me feeling so completely isolated. But, I instant messaged so many people today! How can that be isolating? I mean, other than the fact that I am almost never physically in the same room as another actual, living, breathing human being...
Ok, so that's the issue. What is the solution? Well, I've tried to make a few changes over the last few months:
  • I realize the irony, but I started this web site and blog. Trying to reach out to other people in the same or similar circumstances. A big part of that is the events page. Even if no one else shows up, I am still going out and doing them. Hopefully other people will start attending, but even if they don't, it's a few hours a week that I am off my butt and not on the computer.
  • This was a big one: Just this weekend, I separated my work computer from my play computer. My play computer is no longer in my nice comfy office with the cats. It is in the cold, dark guest room. I love my Mac, and I can still go visit it at any time. I just have to walk to get there, and it's cold in there, and the chair isn't comfy, and the cats aren't allowed in the guest room, so it's much harder to stay there for hours.
  • Make it a goal to work during work hours, and play during play hours. This is still one that needs work. Because I work from home, work and play tend to run together. I think separating the computers will help with this issue. It certainly makes me more conscious of when I'm working versus when I'm playing.
It's funny, but in the eating disorder group therapy I attended, one of the things we talked about was "conscious" eating -- paying attention to what I eat, why I eat, etc. It didn't occur to me till just now as I write this that there are probably a lot of things I do unconsciously.

I think it's time to wake up...