Something to chew on

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sick of "Dieting"

One of these days, I'll get to a healthy and happy weight and I'll learn to maintain it. All of this yo-yo dieting over the years has taught me that that is the weakest link in my dieting chain. I'm good at losing weight. I'm also good at gaining it back.

So yesterday -- I just felt like the time was right this week -- I had a consultation with a sweet lady named Tish at Jenny Craig. The thought of having to "diet" again makes my head hurt, but walking in those doors yesterday and walking out with a plan feels great!

I did Jenny Craig years ago and was very successful with it. The structure and plan are good for me. Today will be my first full day back on the plan (I did have a Jenny dinner last night) and I'm feeling motivated and ready. Now let's see how long that actually lasts!

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Giving Back

For several years now, Cole and I have been supporting the Capital Area Food Bank as our local charity of choice in a few small ways. I don't think I've missed an Empty Bowl Project in the last five years, we donate cash to them during City of Austin Shred Days, and I always buy at least one pre-priced bag of groceries when HEB is involved in a food drive.

Well this morning, we took that support one step further: We volunteered our time sorting donations at the food bank itself. I'm hoping we can make it a regular part of our schedule, volunteering a couple of Saturdays each month.

For three hours today, we sorted, inspected and cleaned 4,500 pounds of food that was donated through the recent Stamp Out Hunger drive. (One of the leaders we were working with gave us that number. We were curious, so we asked.)

As we were placing food on the conveyor belt that would take it to be sorted, weighed and soon distributed, I was imagining the family that might get the food at the end of the line. For some reason, I had a single mom with three kids in my mind all morning. And I'm proud to know that they'll be eating well when they get this food.

In my mind, they were having meals like pancakes with blueberry syrup and applesauce on the side for breakfast. For lunch, peanut butter and apple jelly sandwiches with some chicken and stars soup. For dinner, baked beans and freshly baked cornbread. Maybe after dinner the mom would make sugar cookies with the sugar and flour we saw.

If you've been considering supporting the CAFB with a couple of dollars or a few hours each month, I definitely encourage you to do so. It's a great feeling to have such a direct part in something that is going to make a huge difference to a local family's day.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Afternoon Snack

I had my very first vegan cupcake yesterday, and it came from Sugar Mama's Bakeshop in Austin. The only cupcake shop in Austin as far as I'm concerned.

I was a little skeptical. I usually like my cupcakes with full-blown eggs, butter, fat, calories and guilt. Would it be sweet? What would it feel like in my mouth? Would the icing even compare to the *real* thing?

Yes, it was sweet, actually a little sweeter than I was prepared for. The texture was no different at all, if anything, just a bit denser. And I could definitely eat this icing with a spoon and be just as happy as I would be eating her vanilla buttercream straight from the bowl. (Which if yet to get the chance to do.)

My conclusion: I'm ready to try her other vegan flavors (I thought this one was lemon-strawberry, but her menu says lemon-raspberry). Who wants to meet me there?

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Monday, July 06, 2009


So, last week we saw Food Inc. the day after receiving our first Food-to-Work basket of local fruits and veggies. And today, Cole and I signed up to start volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank. I think I feel a shift happening.

No doubt, I won't be perfect, but my plan is to simply try to eat better and more locally. Too bad I can't grow chocolate chip cookies in the backyard.

Small sugar-free vanilla latte
Low-fat yogurt
Two hard-boiled eggs
(organic, brown, cage-free)

Leftover brisket from Saturday
Leftover mustard-roasted potatoes
(made from locally grown potatoes and yellow onions)
Baked zucchini slices
(locally grown)

Goat cheese and asparagus pasta (photo above, recipe)
(Texas goat cheese)
Fresh watermelon and cantaloupe
(both grown locally)
100-calorie snack cakes

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Food Inc.

We saw a movie today. Not just any movie, but Food Inc. If you've considered -- even for a moment -- going to see it, you should.

It wasn't sensational or scary or preachy, just matter-of-fact. It's a very close look at what we're putting into our bodies and what certain big businesses are doing to make sure we do.

I won't say too much, other than give you my recommendation if you have any interest at all. But I will say this: It gives us options and actions to take.

So many times, Cole and I will be watching the news and hear story about the way something is, but they give us no tips or tools and steps for making a difference or fixing a problem. At the end of Food Inc., they spell out exactly what you can do if you choose to make a change in your own eating habits.

If you haven't seen a trailer or heard anything about it yet, here you go:

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