Wednesday, September 02, 2009

But is it safe?

New Sensa sprinkles-- hmmm... might be worth a try!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sea Jogging

Today I was in Redington beach with my honey, just the two of us.

We took care of some business, then went swimming. I tell ya: sea jogging is killer, but only a few hours after you're done! While you are doing it, it is the most fun thing to do, and you don't even sweat while doing it.

If I lived near a beach, I doubt I would have any weight problems. It is too warm to overeat, and there are so many fun water activities.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today, while shopping for a 3-minute egg timer at Bed, Bath and Beyond (the little hourglass kind, to time Stefan's potty sitting-- whole other post) I found a display of the Fullbar.

Created by a bariatric surgeon, these bars are supposed to stretch the upper part of your stomach, tricking your brain into thinking you are full. They are to be eaten 30 minutes before meals, and are purported to make you eat less.

Since it was way after lunchtime and I was very hungry, I grabbed two to try: the peanut butter and the cocoa chip.

I ate the cocoa one in the car, then followed with a drink of water.

My first impression was that they were glorified
Rice Krispie treats. Kinda spongy, OK in flavor, but nothing to write home about. The bar did make me feel full, but then, so would anything that would soak up water and expand inside the stomach.

The Fullbar is a good idea, but has 30g of carbs, which I consider to be rather high - not worth it, given the so-so flavor factor.

Moreover, I suspect I could get the same results by eating a rice cake with some dark chocolate, (or peanut butter) and avoid ingesting the following ingredients: Brown Rice Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Anhydrous Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Soy Protein Concentrate, Honey, Gum Arabic, Glycerin, Agave Syrup, Canola Oil, (more) Salt, and (the mystery) Natural Flavors.

I actually intend to try that tomorrow. I could eat the rice cake and chocolate separately, therefore having more bites to take and more chewing to do.

Man. That sounds pathetic.
Or funny, depending on your perspective.

Not to mention that
the name of this thing cuts it really close to FUBAR.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

She wants to take over

Today was hard.

I had the shortest fuse in the universe, and would have given anything to escape and just go somewhere quiet, but I had things at home that absolutely had to get done.

You see, I am going through carb withdrawal. After a few weeks of eating absolutely anything I wanted, I have reached the point where, if I don't cease and desist immediately, all the hard work over the past year will have gone to, um, waist. As in, "I spelled it that way because I feel my inner Michelin Woman taking over."

Today my only carb fix was whatever was in a tiny portion of dark chocolate chips from Ghirardelli. I would have killed for some cookies. Or some caramel. But I held strong.

Oh, and I got in about 30 minutes of hooping, which I am happy to report, I enjoyed.

Need to focus on patting myself on the back for doing that half hour, rather than beat myself up because I didn't hoop for a full hour.

But you can bet I'll do the full hour tomorrow. Because Michelin Woman must be kept at bay.

PS-- Check out the photo Janet Jackson chose to place on her website. Interesting that she would choose this one, huh?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's intrinsic-- it really is

My long-awaited new hoop arrived moments ago, from
I already have the two-pounder, but it has been giving me problems, namely, too much pressure on my pelvic area. It just feels as if I am doing some sort of damage if I hoop for extended periods with it, so I ordered one that is one pound, only.

Excuses are no longer an option.

The hoop is here, my brother-in-law is downstairs picking up my niece and Stefan is resting (hopefully napping, soon) so all I have to do now is put on a show *I* want to watch, and go for it.

My Pilates teacher also called, twice, wanting to know if I intend to restart in the fall. The answer is: I don't know. I took a break because she had knee surgery, and, truthfully, because I needed a break, too. Not from the training, which is great, but from another thing I *have* to do, another place I *have* to be.

The biggest stress in my life is the tight schedule, that during the school year, is crazy, and not very flexible. So, I do not know what I want to do. Yeah, I do know what I want to do: keep my money and buy a Reformer, and work out when *I* want to. Problem is, more often than not, I do not want to.

Good grief, I think the greatest difficulty for people is overcoming their intrinsic laziness. Which I intend to do right after I click on "publish post."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Be careful what you do...with your lemons.

So, I have allowed myself enough time to be sad and wallow in my Michael Jackson funk.

Today, I think I'm done.

This is how I have dealt with sadness over the past 10 years or so. It works for me. I give myself a limited time to be bummed, after which, it's, "OK, that's enough, get over it already, let it go, and face the sunshine."

Unfortunately, Michael Jackson never did that. After weeks of reading up on him, I have come to the following conclusion:

Attitude killed Michael Jackson.

I challenge you to think of anyone, past or present, who has had a 100% perfect life. All of us are born with one deck or another stacked against us. It is what you choose to do with that deck that makes the difference. You can either wallow in your misfortune, or you grab those lemons and make, not only lemonade, but heck, a lemon drop martini!

Michael chose, instead, to let his lemons rot. In the end, they wound up looking like those you find in the corner of your refrigerator drawer-- you know the ones, with the greenish, fuzzy mold, the ones that that fall apart into a pile of stinky slime when you attempt to pick them up.

A shame, because along with those lemons, he was dealt a wealth of exotic, unique fruit. Yet he chose to focus on the lemons, lemons, lemons, until he self-destructed.

This light bulb went on in my head last night, when I found this 1993 footage of
Michael being honored by his sister, Janet, at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards. Part one shows how he managed to accomplish so very much, and how appreciated and admired he was for his works and charity. Part 1

In part two, however, after he accepts the award and makes a great joke about finally dispelling the myth that he and Janet are one and the same, instead of focusing on the wonderful fruits for which he was just honored, he turns right around and goes on and on about the lemons. Part2

At the risk of sounding devoid of compassion, I must admit that it was an eye-rolling moment for me. "Oh, get over it, already, " I muttered.

Michael lived his life lamenting what "was done to him." He did not take responsibility for the bad things; no, they were all done to him.

And at that moment, I was able to let go of my anguish and grief, realizing that no matter who you are, your life is what you choose to make of it.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

And now, in your honor, I head downstairs to make myself a thriller of a lemon drop martini.

No More Dancing Feet

Something is going on with me. What? I am not sure.
I wake up in a pool of sweat, often in the middle of the night, and during the day I have very little energy. It is as if someone pulled my plug, and I am running on low battery.

I know menopause has her bony toe in my door, attempting to begin pushing it open. That would explain the night sweats. But why didn't this happen a few months ago, when I was avoiding carb overload and doing such a great job controlling myself?

I eat healthfully in the morning, and by evening, the Carb Monster shows up, demanding to be fed, like the grotesque Little Shop of Horrors plant.

When it rumbles, "Feed me!" I go on autopilot.

And, no, I still have not brushed the dust off my hoop, nor done anything more with my me time than lie around, or sit here, watching Michael Jackson videos and reading biographies and magazines about him. At times I think I'm over his death, and a few hours later, here I am, crying over some rare little sun-breaks-through-clouds smile he gave during an award show or interview.


After over a month of feeling like a fool, I think I've finally figured out what's happening to me. I think somewhere deep inside, I am feeling as if Michael Jackson's death is the slow beginning of the end for me. A vibrant, talented person who was always somewhere out there during my entire lifetime is now gone, lying in a refrigerator at Forest Lawn Cemetery. His lightning-fast dancing feet have been stilled, his unmistakable voice, silenced.

He is not coming back. Ever.

I realize I am not only mourning and grieving for Michael Jackson.

Oh, no, it's so much more.

I am grieving for the younger me.

The one who's never coming back.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

BDD Demons

Ever since June 25, I have been more and more obsessed with Michael Jackson. I have been voraciously taking in, daily, anything and everything I can find on him. I have perused You Tube, watched countless interviews with him and with people who knew him, sat through footage of videos, older and newer, even the press coverage of the now infamous sex molestation trials.

Over the past month, I have obsessively searched for an answer to the question, "What happened?" His premature death is haunting me, and the more I read about him, the more perplexed and fascinated I become.

The last time I had really paid attention to Michael Jackson was when he came out with "Bad." After that, I got turned off by the constant plastic surgeries and reports of his increasingly strange behavior. He ceased to be an amazing artist and began to be a tabloid caricature, not worthy of more than a passing glance and a shake of the head.

But he was always there, someone who was part of everyday life, appearing now and then in the press as an eccentric has-been, who dangled his (suspiciously white) baby off a balcony and further distorted his already messed-up face every 6 months. I would read yet another weirdo Jackson story, roll my eyes, and pay zero attention to any and all music and work he released.

I was actually on Twitter the moment TMZ reported that he was being taken to the hospital, in cardiac arrest-- and I remember thinking it must be a mistake.

The man was, give a few years, my age, and way too young for heart failure.
An hour later, I sat there, unable to believe the words on the screen: "Michael Jackson has died."

Michael Jackson, dead? Impossible. People I've "known" since childhood who are my age can't die. They can't. Especially slender people with dancer's bodies, who get a lot of exercise and have personal chefs cooking up nutritious meals.

I had no idea, at the time, of his drug habit, his insane usage of anesthesia,
of all things, for sleep, nor of his anorexic tendencies. He restricted himself to one meal a day. He would go for days without eating, and, when he was working, sometimes his manager would feed him his usual once-a-day meal of broccoli and grilled chicken, as one would feed a child, because Michael would be so engrossed in what he was composing that he just would not take the time to eat.

The next few posts will be about Michael Jackson.

Why? What does this have to do with an exercise blog?

Ah, glad you asked. You see, Michael was suffering from a horrible thing called Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
In an interview I saw with Oprah, he admitted that he could not look in the mirror because he was never happy with what he saw. That when he was a teenager, his father had called him ugly and teased him about his face, making him so self-conscious that he cried, wanting to die.

Gee... sounds familiar.

I still hear my dad saying, "You are fat. " The last time he said it wasn't too long ago; it was when I was pregnant with my older son. I was so proud of myself, because I only gained 22 pounds over the course of the entire pregnancy, and yet at 5 months, when all I had was a teeny bump, he said, "Yeah, you've gained weight, but you will lose it, I'm sure, later. Oh, but your belly will be stretched. It's going to hang."

I was devastated. I truly expected, "You look wonderful and are doing so well, controlling the weight." But, no, as he had beginning when I was 13, he went on and on about me being fat and how I had to "Take weight off."

Parental tapes are so deeply embedded in the subconscious. Even after our parents stop criticizing us, the tapes play in our minds, over and over again, and they are very, very hard to tune out.

Some of us are lucky, and find a support system that keeps us from repeatedly listening to the tapes, and hopefully stops us from being self-destructive. Others, who are not so lucky, go about battling their demons alone, and end up irreparably damaged and full of self-loathing.

And some end up dead.

I stop here tonight, and am posting a picture published in Ebony in 1985. It is an artist's rendition of what Michael Jackson might look like when he turned 40. Of course, back then, all he had done was narrow his nose, making him absolutely adorable. He didn't need to do a thing more; he had a gorgeous facial structure, sexy lips, soulful eyes, and a smile to die for. Tragic, that he was unable to see just how beautiful he truly was. Even more tragic, that instead of looking like this when he turned 40, he ended looking like...well, like exactly what he tried so desperately to avoid.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I heart Resveratrol

Used to be that solo drinkers were considered closet alcoholics.

I remember back in the 90s when the wine mania began in the United States, hearing women say, "I am at home, enjoying a glass of wine," and thinking, "Drunk. Boozer. Dipsomaniac."

How could one drink alone? It was unthinkable.

Fast forward almost 20 years, and here I am, at 4 PM, BWD (Blogging while Drinking) and actually feeling pretty good about it, given the recent research on Resveratrol and the mounting evidence that one daily glass of wine can be beneficial.

Add to that another day of repeatedly interrupting screaming and crying fits, while trying to figure out which of the three needed to be reprimanded, and I am actually thinking I earned the darned thing.

I have my hoop ready to go, and am looking forward to a nice, core-tightening, back-loosening session.

But first, I intend to relish every drop of my Feteasca Neagra, my favorite wine in the whole, wide world. Not only is its lush, berry/plum bouquet inimitable, but Romanian wine never gives me heartburn and sulfite headaches, which, sadly, a nice
Ch√Ęteau Lafitte inevitably does.

The Slippery Slope or MMMMmmm Caramel...

It has been almost a year since I posted here.
How to encapsulate a whole year in a blog post?
Well, if I keep it about fitness, then it shouldn't be too hard.

I feel myself slipping again. For the longest while, I had control, and somewhere along the line I got lazy and lost focus.

Much easier to scarf down Starbucks coffee ice cream with Mrs. Richardson's butterscotch caramel topping and candied pecans mixed in. All on a wonderful Oreo cone. MMMM... caramel.

Yeah, I am still a caramel junkie. It seems to be my downfall. 5PM seems to be the time I usually stop being good and just go on autopilot, looking for sweets. It is also the time when I look forward to my niece being picked up, turning me back into a caretaker of only two, as opposed to three, children.

Oh, I could go on and on about the current childcare arrangement, which has been going on now for almost three years. In the beginning, it was easier, because when the nanny left, my niece would nap, and so would Stefan, so I was able to wind down and, yes, hoop.

Nowadays, not only has the schedule become much more demanding (her parents demanded that I stop the naps because she was still bouncing off the walls at 11PM) but so has she. The child is used to saying, "I WANT" and it being handed to her 99% of the time, with no demands that she employ a nicer way of requesting. And although that doesn't work with me, it works with the nanny, who often gets leave early because it is just easier to deal with the kids myself.

You see, you don't mess with Auntie Rose.

Recently, the phenomenon of tattling has begun, and the parents get "MAMA I WANTED A LOLLIPOP AND AUNTIE AND NANNY SAID NO!" right as they walk in, which, of course, will get her three lollipops. And my nanny will get a very dirty look.

Enough complaining, because it isn't nice. OK, one more thing and then I'll change the subject: the LOUD meltdowns and the drama fits are starting to really try my patience. If I am anywhere in sight, they don't occur. But if I am not around, such as get the picture.

So Auntie Rose stress eats. And stress eats more when third child is picked up late. This week it is happening a lot, because BIL is overseas, and SIL is rarely capable of being on time-- unless it's a concert or other fun event, in which case she is the first to be ready.

So, when the house is finally quiet and my boys are watching TV and chilling, my thoughts and footsteps turn to the freezer.

The pounds and flab are slowly creeping back, and if I am not careful, I will be in really big (literally) trouble.

Which is why, starting tomorrow, I am back on the hoop, baby.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Brass ring within reach

Recently, I met up with an online friend, who let me know that I have not posted since January. January! Holy cow!

So much has happened since January.

I have finally won, I think. I am talking about the war with my ham (what I affectionately called the stubborn roll around my waist.)

My main weapon was an adult hula hoop. I have so much to write here, but for now, I will just announce this:

This morning, I weighed myself and found, to my utter shock, that I have finally broken the number barrier.


One thirty nine.

I have not weighed less than 140 pounds in years and years.

The best part, though, is reaching a size 8, and having my size 8 pants become loose over the past week.

My goal of a size 6 is very, very close.

Oh, and my back and SI pain are gone, also courtesy of the hooping.

I can't tell you how wonderful I feel.

Well, OK, I will.

Very soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yet more ear infections -- but I think I've got it!!!

We just finished yet another round of antibiotics, this time, with Pediazole.

But Stefan has yet another ear infection, and Boom has fluid. I have been going insane trying to come up with an alternative to all these antibiotics-- because the definition of stupidity is, as we all know, repeating the same thing and expecting different results.

I think I've found two ways to kick this thing: one is Xylitol -- Xlear nose spray!

And the other is lymphatic massage.

I will try both tomorrow. I am also using horribly stinky Gaia ear drops, which smell like rotten garlic, until Tuesday. Hopefully, by then, this thing will have finally cleared up. And the Xlear will help prevent any more bugs from causing infections, well, that will simply make my entire year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

More ear infections

I had a suspicion that Boom has a sinus infection, but it turns out that both have ear bugs again.

I will not start the year pissed, I will not start the year pissed, I will not start the year pissed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Here's to a wonderful 2008.

My resolutions? There are only two.

1) Enjoy the present

2) Spend more time with, and lavish attention and affection on, my husband

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Very, very, very tired and frustrated with these colds.
Both boys are sick, yet again.
One of Boom's presents was a pair of very coveted football game tickets. He has 102 fever-- it doesn't look like a go at this point.
I was up most of the night because of his coughing.
I am hearing "Mama" every 10 seconds.
Have I mentioned that I am so frikkin' tired of staying in the house every weekend, taking care of sick people? I want to go out and do something, for pete's sake.
Please, please, Cold Fairy, go to someone else's house. You've overstayed your welcome here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There is so much going on here, especially in my head, that things are beginning to slide off my plate in large chunks.

The hours in the day seem short, and I keep reminding myself to stop and enjoy.

If only I could feel as if I've accomplished a lot at the end of each day, insted of falling farther and farther behind, I would feel fabulous. I feel as if I'm putting out small fires, while the large one rages on, right behind me, burning my butt cheeks once in a while. I turn, squirt some water at the flames, temporarily putting the heat at bay, knowing it will come to burn me in the ass in a matter of days-- or even hours.

It isn't helping that Thursday is the one year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death, and it doesn't help realizing that this will be the day before my husband's birthday, every single year of the remainder of our lives. Puts a sad shadow on his birthday, and Christmas, and New Year's, holidays which used to be full of joy and enjoyment for us.

I am working to think of a way to give all of it meaning, and not have it just be a day where the kids get a lot of toys.

Well, my older son is here whining, so I don't even have the luxury of blogging in peace. Gotta go.
Have I mentioned that lately, I have no peace?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Causes of Stress

You know what causes stress?
  • Too much to do, and not enough time in which to do it.
  • People hired to help, who do not do what they are supposed to, therefore adding to your load (which you thought you had paid to lighten.) Having to sit down and make detailed lists, describing what you need, or just muttering "fuck it" and doing it yourself, because it's quicker. Feeling as if you're pouring money, earned with sweat and tears, down the toilet. Looking for replacements, and not finding anyone.
  • Too much *stuff* cluttering your home. Piles of papers and catalogs that, if you turn your back, you can swear you hear multiplying.
  • Toys. Toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys. Especially the noise-making ones, and the ones with parts that get separated from the main toy, thereby rendering it unusable. Of course, you keep hoping you will get mother and satellite toy together at some point, so you don't throw out any of them.
  • Workmen in the home. Things that repeatedly break, making it necessary for said workmen to show up again and again. Workmen showing up late and staying all day, including during what is supposed to be the little ones' nap time. Ohhh, this one is a biggie for me.
  • Not being able to sleep...again. Waking up at 2AM in a cold sweat. Feeling threatened, and not knowing when, or if, the threat is really coming.
  • Having to go to New York on business for 3 days and worrying about everything at home that you've *just* managed to get balanced (including your kids' complicated diets, complete with herbal drops and different supplements, 3 times a day.) Wishing you could just stay home, because things will fall apart and your children will be sad. Feeling as if you're going away at their emotional and physical expense. Being pissed about not being excited and happy to go to Pre-Christmas in New York. Putting off packing because you're just too damned tired.
  • Feeling as if your problems are minor, that you have no right to be stressed over these things, thinking people would give a lot to have your problems instead of their own.

Well, at least the boys' ear infections are gone.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I ran full steam on 5 hours of sleep, and I am just too old to do that anymore.

Took both boys to Dr. Z. today. Boom and Stefan, he says, need to be adjusted 3 times a week to begin with. I have so many thoughts on this, just too tired to type them out right now.

I don't know if it was the exhaustion, the ear infections, all the school the boys are missing, or the thought that I should take these kids to be adjusted three times a week (*I* just got rid of the crazy three times a week regimen!) that made me sad, sad, sad today. I caught myself just looking at the sky and zoning out. If I hadn't convinced myself, some time ago, not to focus on the lows, and never again to be dragged into the pit of depression, this would have been a real get under the covers and don't talk to anyone kind of a day.

So, I kissed my kids a lot. Hugged them, smelled them, held their tiny hands, felt the tiny bones of their little wrists. And looked at them. My treasures. What am I going to do when they're grown, and they no longer need me?

Later, I dragged myself into the sunshine, purchased ingredients, and cooked. Dinner was 2 kinds of chicken -- herb butter and spicy Jamaican jerk, with extra spices, this corn pudding, grilled veggies, and leftover cheese flan and birthday cake. When my husband came home very late after his gruelling day today, I was able to produce a really nice plate to put in front of him.
This made my soul very happy. There is something very primal in the nurturing of your family. Feeding. It is so basic. And an instant ego booster, if there ever was one.

So, it all ended OK. I'm off to grab some really good sleep so I can be smiling self again tomorrow.

And tomorrow-- well, tomorrow I'm making chef Ramsay's lime panna cotta.

Monday, December 03, 2007

This morning we had our follow up, and the ear infections are still there in both boys. Not as bad, but definitely still there. Poor Boom is having some trouble hearing, if spoken to too quietly.

At this point, the doctor is pretty sure that it is Streptococcus pneumoniae, because the darned thing is so resistant to antibiotics. She wants me to keep the boys home for at least another 3 days, because she doesn't want then reinfected with anything else at this point, when they are both so weak.

We are on antibiotics for another 10 days. This in addition to 14 days for the first treatment, and 5 days for the second.

This. So. Sucks.

What doesn't suck:

Great Dr. Z. appointment today. I lifted 140 pounds! Tomorrow I take both boys to him. If adjustments will help, then so be it. I'm willing to try anything.

Also, I made a great dinner, inspired by the recipes in Gordon Ramsay's book. There is a wine sauce in there that works with pork very beautifully-- and it is ridiculously easy to make. That, and cheese flan for dessert, made it a very gourmet dinner :)

I'm loving cooking as never before. And, I have to admit, I'm also loving having the boys home.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Oh, goody. I found a website that will surely help with my birthday and Christmas shopping!

I am thinking of getting Boom Dance Dance Revolution. The child absolutely adores sports and any kind of physical activity-- he's old enough for this, I think! I just hope he doesn't want me to do it with him, LOL. All that jumping would give me a headache.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today was not a good day. It's late and I do not have the time or the energy to do any more typing, and my little one has a birthday coming up tomorrow.

Most of what I wanted to do today did not get done, and this caused me lots of stress. I looked and looked for a store at the mall, only to realize it was no longer there, replaced by a calendar store. I got turned around, and could not find my car, then figured out that I had parked at the completely opposite end of the darned place.

In the middle of the day, my husband called, and we agreed to meet for lunch, something we never do anymore. I picked a really great steakhouse, and was over the moon when I met up with him and walked in for an impromptu date.

Long story short: we waited almost an hour for appetizers, and the main courses were left on the counter (we saw them) so long that they got to us cold. When I sent them back to get warmed up, the meat came back burned, and the crab cake, which they insisted they redo, had cold spots. Good thing we were so happy to be together. I can imagine, though, that others may have had a super special occasion that got ruined.

Anyway-- that was not the most annoying point of the day. It was my visit to a "high-end" store where clients get treated like shit Gucci.

More on that when I have time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some bug got me, too

Today I feel like crap.
Sweating, sleepy, muscular weakness, swollen glands, fever of 100.
Oh, and I just finished Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl. Very entertaining. Made me want to go out to dinner, LOL.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Go away, ear infections!

Ugh. Took both kids to the pediatrician today. Not only are the ear infections still there, but they are even worse. On a scale of 1 to 10, Boom has a 7 and a 5, Stefan, 8 in both ears. In addition, the little one has lost 3 pounds, which is a lot, considering he weighed only 32.

We are on the Z-pack for 5 days, and checkup is on Monday. Both kids are home from school.

I'm thinking that, because I let them have milk whenever they asked, they used the milk to curb hunger pangs, at the expense of food. Even if the "inflammation of the gut" is not correct (and, of course, the pediatrician said it's not) the fact that they drank milk instead of eating food must have weakened them.
They keep asking for milk, and they are told no. So, they drink water or smoothies, and eat food. They both look tired and drawn, poor little guys. I hope they bounce back with the new regimen.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Today I baked all day. I made these killer buns, using rum and raisins. They were so incredibly good.
The interesting thing is, I used almond milk for the baking, and everything turned out perfect.
Must make more almond milk.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Of course it can't be

That easy, I mean. It never is, is it?

Note to self: when making abrupt dietary changes, do *not* inform the children. Just give them the new thing and cross your fingers. Boom is very resistant to the almond milk, drinking minute quantities, asking, cautiously, if this is "the new milk from downstairs." He needs fluids, but he is boycotting my efforts with the tenacity of, well, OK, his mother. Today, at my wits' end, I asked him if he would drink the Nido, if I gave it to him, and he nodded. I added one scoop of the powder to his almond milk.
"Does this still have the other stuff in it?"
"Just drink it. "
He drank some, but not all of it.

Stefan, on the other hand, who devours almonds to begin with, absolutely loves the new milk and joyously accepts it, saying, "MMMmmmMMMM, deee-lishus!"

I am thinking I am going to have to ease Boom into it. Hope it doesn't take too long.

Making nut milk also has a pain-in-the-ass factor. I have found that the nuts really should be blanched, the skins removed, otherwise, you get an ugly brown milk. It needs to be very, very well strained, and that all metal sieves are too big to catch the fine particles. If not strained properly, it maintains a gritty texture that tickles the back of the throat in a very unpleasant way.
So, I purchased a very, very finely-meshed bag, which I place on the last, and finest, strainer, pour the milk through without pushing down with anything, then leave it to settle for a while. When pouring, I'm using great care not to agitate the milk, because tiniest particles still settle on the bottom.

Also, it needs to be diluted to at least 4 parts water to 1 part milk. I have added a pinch of salt, too. I'm playing with flavors and textures. This morning I used it in my coffee (the coarse stuff from this morning, before I bought the mesh bag) and it was pretty good. I'm wondering if it needs a bit of sweetener. I guess the only way to perfect it is to compare real milk with this one, and fine tune it. Oh, and I have, soaking, raw cashews and raw pecans. We'll see which one wins.

The trick is going to be knowing what quantity to make so I will have a steady supply without going through all the steps (looks easy on the net, but you get lots of dirty dishes) every few hours.

As far as the kids are concerned, they are both very sick and have fevers. I am not tearing my hair out, but I am deeply disappointed. What was supposed to be a great, fun family long weekend has turned into bed rest, sleepless nights, and comforting miserable little boys. Boom is coughing so much that he is afraid he'll vomit.

I, too, am feeling tired and flushed. Napped with them this afternoon. Will I escape this, the third, cold without catching it?

Stay tuned.


OMG! Can it be this easy? Can it?

I think I've found a very healthy, perfect replacement for cow milk.

Homemade almond milk!

I got so stoked that I padded downstairs, ransacked the pantry, and now have some nuts soaking in water. Can't wait until morning! I'll let you know how it goes and if the kids accept it! I know I intend to drink it!

You know... with my current way of thinking, I do believe I will soon fit in in California. Next thing you know, I'll be knitting hemp socks.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Milk: it doesn't do a body good

Today was a relaxed visit with Dr. Z, because I was the only patient-- and it looks as if the whole building was shut down.

I got diathermy for the first time. I lifted my 130 pounds. And I discussed the non-stop colds my sons are getting.

Dr. Z is thinking that they are drinking too much milk, and that is the cause of the problem.

Before you laugh, here is the rationale:

  • we were not designed to drink milk beyond infancy, and no animals, calves included, drink milk after weaning

  • milk contains some proteins that trigger an allergic response in our immune systems, and the immune system is so busy fighting the effects of the milk, that it cannot deal with additional viral invasions, and therefore, it succumbs to them

I am going to add what I have long suspected: they drink so much milk that they don't eat enough solid, nutritious food, so their systems are weak and every virus that knocks, gains entry.

Here is more I found:

Nutritionists hold that milk has two elements -- lactose which is broken down by the body's enzyme, lactase; and casein split by the enzyme, renin. Between the ages of three and four, both these enzymes vanish from our system. Which means that in nature's original prescription, after age four, we should be off milk.

However, if we continue on the milky way, the unbroken casein, a coarse substance used in making wood-glues, gums up our delicate membranes with mucus. Which is why we've not been able to conquer the common cold and are vulnerable to asthma, bronchitis, headaches and subsequently to diabetes, heart problems and cancer.

On the mineral front, imbibing milk as a calcium source is like licking limestone! Being low in magnesium -- calcium's comrade -- milk grandly deposits the[calcium] in us and simultaneously hinders our bones from absorbing it! Whereas all foods grown in the ground suck the entire calcium-magnesium matrix from the soil, incorporates it in their infrastructure and...voila - present a mineral-rich meal on our plate!

Bones are as organically alive as muscles and respond to regular exercise. Brisk walking, jogging or bouncing combined with light-weight training alerts them where they seize and absorb the streaming calcium.

Read more here

We are going milk-free for 4 weeks, to see what happens.

It's going to be tough. My kids adore the stuff.

The research continues

I think's I'm on to something here.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stefan is sick again.

He spent Thanksgiving coughing, sneezing, and wanting to be picked up and cuddled. I spent the day cooking, but wishing I could just stay with my little one and comfort him.

I am getting very concerned; he has not even finished the antibiotic for the last cold's ear infection!
Why is his immune system so weak?
I searched this evening and found a really good naturopath. She does home visits! Hallelujah!
In the meantime, I am going to research the net and find out all I can about strengthening his little system.
And I am going to try
this milk for my kids, as a start.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

As I was shopping today for a cartful of groceries, I was surprised by how many people around me, doing the same thing, looked stressed, hurried, and even pissed to be doing this.

Since when did this stop being fun?

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a festivity. This means there should be joy involved. I sidestepped the angry woman yelling at her mother about tomatoes, and hummed and smiled as I pushed my chock-full cart through the crowded aisles, trying to ignore the man who rushed, full-speed, ahead of me, grumbling something, and the woman who called someone on her cell and asked, "Do you like mushrooms?" (pause) "Just answer the QUESTION!"

Why are they doing this, I wondered, if it brings so much stress? I swear, I would just take the day off, eat frozen pizza, and veg in front of the TV in my jammies on Thursday, if "doing" Thanksgiving gave me that much grief.

It is so easy to focus on the "have to" instead of the "want to" or "it gives me pleasure to."

We have food, we have bounty, we have wonderful homes, we have peace. Many of you who read my blog (and it gives me great pleasure knowing that you do!) have children, too. Huge blessings, all of those.

My wish for you is that you smile all day this Thursday. That you focus on all the things in your life that make you happy. That your meal is the best you've ever had. And that all that great food you gobble does not go to your thighs :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Planning for Turkey Day

Yesterday I lifted some serious weights in the basement, and today I am feeling it. I can't begin to describe how good it feel to finally be doing something again-- not much, but it sure does beat nothing.

Made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourginion from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and it turned out sinfully good. Finally, one version I was proud to serve. Too bad the kids barely touched it. They just don't do dinner. Sigh.
Do grab this book if you think you'd like to try your hand at French cuisine. Nowadays, it would be called French Cooking for Idiots in America. She really did have the clueless home cook in mind, and the book has foolproof instructions, with American measurements. I especially like that the ingredients are listed to the left, on an as-you-go basis. She even tells you what type and size of utensils to use (example, a 10-inch enamelled skillet.).

Thanksgiving presents several challenges, one being that I am making all new dishes, including a Turducken . :D Still deciding on the sides-- one is going to be oyster, leek and shiitake mushroom dressing, and one is going to be serrano ham and poblano corn pudding. Maybes include potato and celery root gratin with fontina cheese, and chocolate bread pudding with bourbon-pecan caramel sauce.

That last one sure sounds wonderful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Mixer Named Hobart

I have finally decided to get a third, smaller mixer -- another KitchenAid, to be precise.

In my search for the best deal on the color I wanted (which I found, on I stumbled upon this forum, where people are mixer-crazy, to the point of owning dozens of them, assigning them sexes and giving them names.

I had a blast reading the posts, and gleaned lots of good info, even some recipes I'll be trying.

Gotta love the Internet!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Like My Boys

You'd think I'd have it figured out by now: There is no silver bullet.

Maybe it's written somewhere else in this blog, I don't know. But the truth (that none of us really wants to hear) is that there is no easy or fast way to lose weight.
And yet, every day, I hear of this diet and that diet, some new, some really old, all promising to make us melt the fat away -- in weeks!

Know what? They all suck.

Why do they suck? Because we were designed to put on weight. The caveman who gorged himself the best and who put on the most weight was the one most likely to survive. Therefore, when we diet, the body goes into all-out "starvation alert" mode. After a few days/weeks/months of cabbage soup, grapefruit, carrots and celery, or other ridiculous diets, we go back to eating real food, go apenuts with it, and get even bigger than before.

I'm fat again. My belly flops around, and so do my chins. I can't look in the mirror, so I give myself only cursory glances, to make sure I don't go out with bedhead or stains on my clothes. But I don't check myself out. 'Cause, well, bleah.

Because I have not been able to exercise much, I haven't burned much of anything.
Lately, I have been "good" until about 4, and then starvation wallops me so hard that I can't stop eating. Then, I have a huge dinner. And then I sit.

I watch my kids. The older one eats about 1/2 to 1/4 what I put in front of him (and I offer tiny child portions, not what I've seen many other parents set in front of their kids.) He won't eat much bread, cheese, or baked goods. His Halloween candy is sitting in a bowl in the kitchen, in the open, untouched. He even said he wanted to throw it out (!) He drinks lots of milk (sometimes instead of a meal) and prefers OJ with seltzer as a beverage. He will eat fruit, but not bananas. He'll ask for ice cream and, out of a cone with a kid-sized scoop, he will eat half and abandon the rest, to melt.

My little one will eat 5 (I kid you not) eggs for breakfast, with or without bacon. He also will eat dried cherries and almonds, every single day. Mid morning, he eats a yogurt with a banana. As a snack, he asks for grapes. 9 times out of 10, he will refuse lunch.

Neither will eat more than a few bites of dinner, if that.
They are both muscular and very slim; you can see their little ribs.
They are proof that the only way to be slim is to never take in more than you can expend.

I need to eat like my boys.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Long, exhausting day today.
I have been sitting here for 10 minutes and my mind is just blank.
Good night :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gearing Up

Feeling much better today. Nothing is hurting, and I had a good appointment with Dr. Z.

Because I am getting fewer areas "muscle stimed," treatment is finally shorter. Plus, I am now going only twice a week.

I prepared this Mario Batali side dish for dinner, and we had spaghetti and meatballs as a main course. The broccoli rabe was on the bitter side, but I wanted fresh food that was not heavy, so I ate most of it. My stomach thanked me. I think I'll prepare the same thing again soon, but I will use bok choy or spinach instead of the rabe.

Gearing up for busy days. Preschool holiday recitals, three birthdays, holidays. Tomorrow, I have to bake something for a school Thanksgiving party, take Boom *back* at 2:30 for his singing recital, then arrange a little going away party for an employee who has been with us for 4 years.

Oh-- I just finished Julia Child's My Life in France, and was sorry when I got to the end of the book. So, I went to the library and managed to find video of all her old French Chef shows :) Starting tomorrow, I will watch them in the basement while I exercise.


That basement probably has cobwebs by now.