Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Weigh-In

OK, this challenge is not going well no my part.

I have officially gotten nowhere! Very disappointing. Sipping my coffee dejectedly.

How did you guys do?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little Pep Talk

I finally got a decent workout yesterday. I feel much better. Now to get another workout in today and tomorrow and get myself on track.

I see from the comments that we were off to a whiz-bang start and then we all started to fizzle out for one reason or another. But, this is a new week and hopefully we can make some headway.

We are not going to have anymore colds. We will feel great and have lots of energy and we will only crave healthy food.

And you will go to the gym because I said you have to. That's right, because I said so. Now go.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday Update

News Flash

I'm up half a pound. Oh well. I felt like crap most of the week. I had a really crummy cold. Better luck next week. How'd everybody else do?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Too Late


Just a quick reminder that it is not too late to join the September-October challenge. There are a few of you, I know, who have waited until the kids were back at school to start. That means this is your week one.

Jump on the wagon, before it rolls away! We will weigh in on Friday. Those who have already started are doing really, really well. I got an email update from someone who lost 4 lbs last week and everybody else is doing great work too. Keep it up!

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Friday Weigh In

I know, it's only been two days but we have to start sometime. So, if you're's first weigh in day. If you're not ready, then weigh in next week.

Good news for me. I've already lost 3.5 pounds. My husband is down 1.4kg - yes, he weighs himself in kilos, just to be annoying.

He also ran the whole 5km run for the first time in a long, long time. He's been working up to it and today he DID IT. Hooray!

I took our little guy to a cooking class today where we learned how to make homemade ketchup and then we used our ketchup to make cupcakes. Weird...yes...deffinately. It was a lot like a spice cake or a carrot cake and had a really nice cream cheese icing.

If anybody's interested, the recipe for homemade ketchup is:
1 small can of tomato paste
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1 pinch ground cloves
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 pinch allspice
Combine in a bowl, mix well. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

I took a chance at dinner tonight and prepared mussels for the very first time. We're not sick yet, so I'm going to chalk it up as a success. They were a little bland compared to the mussels we usually get in restaurants, but they weren't bad. We even got the three-year-old to eat a few.

So how'd you do? Did you weigh yourself this Friday or are you waiting until next week?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September-October Challenge DAY 1

It has begun.

I stepped on the scale this morning and recorded my starting weight for the challenge. Then, I gave myself a hug and told myself that we could fix it.

The number on the scale was a little disappointing, though not unexpected. While some of you hopped back on the health wagon in advance of the challenge, I spent the last couple of weeks saying goodbye to all my favourite foods. I had a proper wake for peanut butter cups.

So needless to say, the scale is a little higher than it should be but that's why we're here, right? We're going to fix this weight thing and we're going to do it together. Who's with me!?!

I'm logging onto Weight Watchers this morning (for the first time in a long time). I'm not sure what to do as a workout though. It's going to be really hot for the next couple of days, then it's due to cool off. I might have to phone in the workout for a couple of days. I'll do something though.

I hope lots of people jumped on the scale today to get their starting weight. Don't tell me what the scale said, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on your starting point. Were you relieved by what the scale said or were you a little disappointed?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Tomorrow is the first day of the September-October challenge. Are you ready? Are you excited?

I'm getting a great response on this. A number of people have expressed an interest in joining in this challenge, be it tomorrow or in the coming days. Feel free to join in whenever and however you want.

People are already starting to share elements of their weight loss strategy. I thought I'd throw some of my strategies out there too.

I'm going to use Weight Watchers Online. It's worked well for me in the past and I know it will work this time too. I am, however, going to tweak my approach, ever so slightly.

In the past, I've planned my day to ensure that I have enough 'points' to have a snack in the evening. I would skimp on my meals and reserve enough points for some baked chips, or a bit of chocolate. The snack was always junk, but it was a reward at the end of the day and I looked forward to it each evening.

It worked and I lost the weight. The problem came when I started to maintain my weight loss. I continued my ritual evening snack, but the chips weren't baked anymore, and the servings got larger and larger. Needless to say, the weight started to creep back on. I'm fairly convinced that my meals and snacks through the day are reasonable. My downfall is this evil after dinner snack.

Realising this, I am going to spend the September-October challenge, trying to reduce my dependence on the evening pig-out. I know I can loose the weight if I hunker down, but I want to maintain it this time.

Let's make this the LAST weight loss challenge we'll ever need!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Have a Plan...Yes Another One

OK folks, I've been itching to post my idea for a new weight loss challenge and I reckon I can watch TMZ and write this at the same time - so here we go.

I know, I know, it's getting to be a tired story. I have a plan to loose weight. I last a week, or less and you don't hear from me again until I'm ready to pitch the next weight loss challenge.

Well, this time it's different. Not really. But it could be. It could be different, if a bunch of people jump on board and we make this really fun.

The gist is: we start September 1 and finish October 31. The goal is to loose 15 to 20 lbs.

I think it helps if there are rewards so I think each person should choose a prize to reward themselves with upon completion. Choose anything you feel comfortable with. Personally, I'm setting aside $10 for every pound I loose. By the end of October I'll hopefully have $150-$200 to go on a shopping spree.

Anybody who wants in on this can take their starting weight on September 1st (keep it to yourself) and we'll start reporting our losses every Friday after that.

I really, really hope to get some other people in on this. It is soooo much easier to stay motivated when we're dropping weight in a pack. Join the brick-house wolf pack today.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Weigh-In

I weighed myself this morning.

I don't get it! I'm trying to be good, but it's not making any difference!

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh(that's me making a long exhale noise)

I think I need to get serious and start doing a journal of my food intake. That's what worked before.

Discipline! Discipline Foodzilla! Don't start going back to your old ways now. (that's an example of motivational self-talk)

I will start the week with good intentions and see how far I get. How's that for commitment ;-)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fizzy Skittles Tried to Kill My Family

We were travelling in the US, recently and encountered a daring re-imagining of a favourite confection - Fizzy Skittles.

Skittles, meet Pop Rocks...Pop Rocks, meet Skittles. What a sweet and effervescent delight.

Make that, what a stomach turning, acid reflux producing, vomit inducing mistake.

Never again.

Maybe it was the intense Virginia heatwave the upset our tummies - it certainly didn't help - but after an evening of munching our way through a bag of funky, fizzy Skittles my son fell asleep only to wake himself with vomiting.

Naturally, comforting him as he puked his way through the night, I eventually came unravelled myself. The next thing you know, my stomach had jettisoned its contents.

So gross! I can't even tell you the last time I puked. I will, however, be able to look back on July, 2010 and be able to say, 'that was the last time I ate Fizzy Skittles.'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Too Hot To Maintain Diginity

It was over 30° C by 9:00 a.m. today. So I said, "screw it! It's too hot to have dignity," and I flopped myself down in the little wadding pool, in the yard. I felt better...temporarily.

After my dip, I even considered a workout but, who was I kidding. I was hot again before I knew it and all hope for a workout was dashed.

I miss exercise. I'm sick of sitting around in dark rooms with the curtains drawn trying, with every fiber of my being, not to generate any heat.

We're going to the splash pad tomorrow. I wonder if I'll maintain my dignity there...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Progress Report

The two month challenge is going OK, so far.

I think my husband and I have both cheated on the diet a bit, though we're probably still eating better than we were.

We're keeping up with the exercise and we're seeing an improvement. That in itself is an achievement. It's been so hot lately, it would have been easy to cave and say, "I'll exercise tomorrow." For the most part, though, we've been keeping up with it. I'm even planning to do a little strength training tonight after the boy has gone to bed.

But first, I'm trying to flush dinner out of my system with copious amounts of water. I had a little pig-out on pizza. I said I had cheated on the food a bit. It's a holiday weekend. What do you want from me?

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Weigh In of the Two Month Challenge

I weighed myself this morning. The number was nothing to be proud of, but on the up side, it was no worse than I expected. I think that two months is a reasonable amount of time to get the job done.

I'm pretty sure my husband weighed himself this morning too...not sure what the result was. I'll have to ask him tonight.

You may wonder how I know he weighed himself, if he didn't tell me the result. Well, you see, I'm omniscient. Also, the scale had been switched over to kilograms and I had to flick it back over to pounds. My anally retentive husband conducts his life in metric whether the rest of the world wants to join him or not. He always weighs himself in kilos...I think he does it so I won't know what he really weighs.

Is anybody else in on this with us? If so, let us know how you are making out.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Renewed Commitment

Well hello you! Long time no see.

I'm writing this blog post in advance of the start of a new and exciting challenge, and this time I have my husband on board. That's right! I've got him on the health and fitness bandwagon - ha ha- I win!

My husband and I both need to lose a little weight and improve our fitness. Neither of us has a huge problem but we've both noticed a little extra weight creeping on and we want to nip it in the bud.

So what we have decided to do is embark on a two month health and fitness crusade. Starting tomorrow, we will spend the months of July and August in a full on commitment to shedding the extra pounds and improving our fitness levels.

Two months is not a huge commitment of time, but I feel confident that it's all either of us will need to whip ourselves into shape. It will also take us to September, when the cooler weather will make it easier to exercise and our son will start school which should allow the two of us time to go out and run or bike together for a change.

I feel really good about this and I'm excited to get started. Feel free to join us. We will start with the program tomorrow but our initial weigh in will be Friday.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big Picture

"Once you get the blanket thing, you can relax because everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are." I Heart Huckabees

It's time to look at health and fitness as part of the big picture.

Like all good bloggers, I cruise the blogosphere being nosey and seeing what everybody else is up to. I have to say, a lot of people aren't up to much.

However, I have recently stumbled upon a genre of blog that really interests me. A number of bloggers are writing their way through their experiences and experiments in deliberate living, minimalism and the simplicity movement.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, think Walden Pond. We're conjuring the spirit of Thoreau here.

Now some people seem to take these ideas and spin them into an experiment in self-deprivation, "let's see if I can survive with only 25 personal items." That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the idea that you can actively choose your life rather than letting life happen to you.

The idea is that you examine your values and goals and then direct your time, energy and money toward those things and direct your resources away from the pursuit of pointless material things and time sinks that have no value to you. You stop chasing after trends and 'keeping up with the Jones' and start paying attention to the things you'll care about when you're looking back on your life.

You rolled your eyes. Ya, I saw that. Just hang on for a second, before you write this off as a hippie movement (which, admittedly, in some cases it is) hear me out.

Nobody ever says, "if only I'd spent more time at the office," or, "that pair of red pumps would have changed everything for me."

But they might say, "I wish I'd spent more time with my kids when they were young," or, "we should have taken that trip while we had the chance."

Here's a health related example. If you value your health, you would choose to protect it. So, an hour of your time would be better spent exercising instead of watching TV and your money would be better spent on cooking lessons than on Quarter Pounders.

Yet how often we cave - myself included...I'm certainly no better.

I want to live my life deliberately. I think we all do and all try to, with varying degrees of success. I think it's something that takes a great deal of focus. There are a lot of tempting distractions out there.

A lot of proponents of deliberate living suggest making a 'life list' - & no those aren't sarcastic quotation marks. It's an individual list of values and goals that acts as a touchstone to return to when you need to refocus your priorities.

A lot of people seem to be hung up on having 100 bullets on their list. This seems problematic, however, because many people can't come up with 100 things and end up with stuff like, #42 match up all my socks, #78 finish my life list.

That's really lame. I think a list of values and priorities should be as long or as short as it needs to be AND I think it should be open to revision from time to time. Life isn't static and the list shouldn't be stagnant.

I'm going to work on my life list over the next few days and see what comes of it. I should have some time for soul searching while I'm camping this weekend. If anybody else is interested in completing this exercise, by all means feel free. It seems like a worthwhile first step toward constructing an extraordinary life.

P.S. as I mentioned, I'll be camping this weekend so there won't be a post on Friday. I'll check in with everybody on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul

We're sick.

First my husband caught it, then he gave it to our son and then somebody shared their germs with me. It's just a cold, but we're all feeling crummy.

What's the centuries old cure for crummy? Answer: Mom's homemade chicken noodle soup, of course.

I am the Mom in this scenario, so guess who got put on soup-making duty. That's OK, I was ready. A couple of years ago, I concocted a chicken noodle soup that is a comfort food extravaganza.

I love soup but I will confess that lunch at our house usually involves cranking open a can of Campbell's. But, commercially prepared soups are skimpy...can we all agree on that? When you make a soup from scratch, do you not always put in way more veggies than you'd ever get in a can? Not to mention more noodles, more chicken and more flavour. Homemade soup is a proper meal that can fill you up after a long day, as opposed to a brothy lunch that necessitates the eating of a snack two hours later.

As I said, my soup is just a concoction, it's not really a recipe and it can certainly be altered to taste. I usually just use what I have on hand, so even the quantities vary. Make it to suit you and your family.

I loaded the pot up with garlic, onion, carrots and celery. I like to add some sliced green onion just before serving but, on this occasion, my green onion had become self-aware and wouldn't let me put it in the pot.

You need chicken, of course. I use chicken breast cut into big rustic chunks. For noodles, I usually choose German egg noodles, since they go over well with everybody.

Now, here's the part that makes my soup different. Toward the end of the cooking I add a can of coconut milk, roughly half a cup of peanut butter and a good palm full of curry powder. I finish the soup with a healthy glug of Red Sweet and Spicy Thai sauce.

It's hearty, yummy, a little exotic and not particularly low calorie - so watch your serving size. With a soup like this we should be on the mend in no time.

P.S. Last night I had a dream that I was eating doughnuts. How sad am I?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Update

It's time to give a progress or regress report.

This week was a total waste, at my end. I couldn't get my act together. My motivation was down the toilet and I did very little of value. No exercise, little house work, very little writing and I ate like I just didn't care anymore.

You know what I think the problem is? I think I'm sick of it. I'm sick of dieting. I'm sick of having "workout 'til you feel like puking" on my to-do list every day. More than anything, I'm sick of shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, looking for fresh, healthy foods that never satisfy a single craving.

So I rebelled.

But, in juxtaposition to my rebellion, I am DESPIRATE to NEVER be fat again. I hate that I've gained back some of the weight I lost. I hate that I feel less elegant than I did a year ago. I hate that I'm currently stuffing myself into cloths that should fit properly.

I went for a run today. It didn't go well. I started out too aggressively and about two thirds of the way through I was defeated by the heat and had to walk home. Never-the-less, I feel better now than I would have if I'd done nothing...vanquished as I am.

I'm going to take it one day at a time this week and get my head back on straight. My inner foodzilla may have won the battle, but she will not win the war.

I hope you guys did better than me...I have a funny feeling you did.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dinner Club II

For a housewife, hosting a dinner party is the equivalent of an employee's performance appraisal or a student taking a final exam. A dinner party is the ultimate test of domesticity. The pressure is on and everything has to be perfect.

It's possible I was taking my role as hostess a little too seriously. Regardless, our most recent instalment of Dinner Club went off exactly as planned.

I felt it was important to establish a theme for the evening. Being a fan of the Surreal Gourmet, I decided to plan an evening of edible art and put my focus on the presentation of the food.

I decorated the table with a collage of famous works of art, torn from the pages of a cheap art history book I grabbed from the Bargain Books section of Chapters. It wasn't good for the health of the book but it was a conversation piece.

I didn't want to take the food too seriously, I'd have to be a better cook than I am to pull off anything sophisticated. I decided to shoot for a tongue-in-cheek menu of dishes I thought were fun and funny. After all, if I'm not entertaining myself, I'm not going to have much luck entertaining our guests.

We started with meatloaf cupcakes, frosted with mashed potatoes and decorated with chive sprinkles. I added some wild mushroom gravy as a savoury garnish. I thought they ended up looking pretty cool.

After our cupcakes, we cleansed our pallets with a little champagne gelatin. It was like fizzy Jello, and who doesn't love fizzy Jello.

Our champagne was accompanied by "chicken salad". This dish got a good laugh. Confession: I swiped the idea from Bob Blumer's website. He's THE surreal gourmet and I bow to his originality. I wish I'd taken a better picture but you work with what you've got.

When I was first searching for a theme for the party, I stumbled across this dessert idea and it ended up inspiring the direction of the entire dinner. Behold...candy sushi.

I had been worried that the presentations wouldn't come together properly so I was really relieved everything went as smoothly as it did. With the stress off my shoulders, I was free to enjoy my company.

It was an evening of good friends, good conversation and lots of laughs. It flew by and I can't wait to do it again.

Perhaps a random round of golf followed by Mexican food?..saaaaay Thursday?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dinner Club

The first rule of Dinner Club: Don't talk about Dinner Club (obviously)

The second rule of Dinner Club: Never SURRENDER!!!!! Roooooaaaarrrrrr!

Now, back to the preparations already in progress.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Victoria Day Picnic and Roll On Dinner Club

Here is a picture taken at our picnic supper on Victoria Day weekend. You probably can't see it very well, but my mother's hat makes the whole affair look much more gentile than it would have if everyone had been hat-less.

"Pass the iced tea and cucumber sandwiches darling."

I did my best to provide a, relatively, clean dinner. We made paninis over the campfire. The boys had ham and cheese and my Mom and I had tuna melts. Nothing beats a good tuna melt.

On the side we had, potatoes roasted in olive oil, grapes, pickles, and frozen watermelon. Frozen watermelon is ridiculously refreshing on a hot day. I highly recommend it.

For dessert, I whipped us up some campfire peaches. It's just a bit of butter, or margarine, a bit of brown sugar and a few peach slices, wrapped in foil and tossed on the fire for a few minutes. It's super easy and tastes - divine.

I'm a little nervous today because tomorrow it is our turn to host Dinner Club. BA ba baaaaa Marcie and Dave are a hard act to follow, but I'm going to try.

The food I'm planning is relatively simple. I'm shooting for a dinner that revolves around its presentation.

The theme I'm hoping to achieve is "Nothing is as it appears." But, I've never attempted any of these presentation techniques before, so the whole thing could be a miserable disaster. Only time will tell.

Oh! Incidentally, I think I'm going to change my weigh-in day to Friday. I read yesterday that people tend to weigh the least on Friday and so if you weigh yourself on that day you can cruise into the weekend inspired by your accomplishments and (hopefully) not derail yourself over the weekend. Let's give it a try.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 2-4

Happy Victoria Day everybody! What are your plans?

We're dining alfresco tonight. In fact, we're cooking alfresco too! We're settling in for a little campfire cookin'.

Everything tastes better infused with a little smoke, I find. So, we're making paninis and campfire peaches. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

But I like to provide my guests (Grandma and Grandpa, in this case) with dinner AND entertainment. May 2-4 weekend is synonymous with one type of spectacle in particular and it is of the pyrotechnic variety. To that end, I have purchased a large variety of fireworks, which we will detonate after our hearty meal. Good times.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clean Eating

Recap: I've been feeling like a big fatty since I got home from vacation, and there was a really ugly number on the scale a couple of days ago.

I mentioned, in the last post, that I have started researching the Eat Clean diet.

I don't know all the ins and outs yet but, from what I gather, clean eating is about choosing nutritious, whole foods, preparing them in healthy ways and cutting out processed food, as much as possible.

It sounds good.

It may be easier said than done, especially through the winter months, but I think I'm up to the challenge. My plan is to experiment with this lifestyle through the summer and see how things go from there.

Here are some of my fledgling attempts at clean eating.

Dinner the other night consisted of shrimp with cocktail sauce...

and toasted, whole grain baguette topped with homemade pico de gallo.

Dessert was a fresh fruit salad consisting of blue berries, strawberries and bananas, dressed in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.

I have to say, the cinnamon was a stroke of genius on my part and is destined to be repeated.

So far, so good. The food's been tasty. I'm not overly hungry. The only down side is the endless food prep. It takes quite a bit of time to prepare everything from scratch and I'm not sure how I'm going to overcome the lazy streak that is inevitably coming. I'm taking it one day at a time, right now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vacation's Over...Back to Reality

I have noticed, while I've been away on vacation, the distinct sound of crickets comming fromt the comments section of the Monday Weigh In. Can I take this to mean that others took a weight loss vacation too?

Well, I stepped on the scale this morning (in an unofficial way) and saw the ugly truth that has come from all my holiday eating. Put it this way, I have a lot of packets of crisps, fish and chips, pizzas and pasta to burn off.

While we were in England, I was on a crazed mission to try every unusual flavour of crisp I could find. I sampled such delicacies as, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Haggis, Teriyaki, Paella and my personal favourite crisp flavour, African Chutney. That's a lot of crisps when I look at it all written out like that and I know the odd other packet or two crept in there as well.

I spent our week in Italy in food heaven. The whole country is delicious. I wanted to eat it all and I tried. I ate pizza, spaghetti, ravioli, gnocchi, and a different gelato every night.

Mmmmm tiramisu at Ciao Toto

I have to face the consequences now, however. The scale is a heartless master and it's time to get to work.

I'm inspired by the fresh foods that are appearing in the grocery stores, just now and by the approach of the May 2-4 weekend which is the traditionally accepted start of the gardening season around here. I will be planting veggies this week, mark my words.

As a result of this surge of inspiration, I have decided to investigate the Eat Clean Diet. I don't know very much about it and i don't know if it's a good fit for my family, but it sounds like a good idea, so I'm going to check it out and see.

I have been trying to get back on the workout train for the past couple of days. I have definitely lost some of my athleticism over my three week hiatus. Activities that should have been easy weren't so easy at all. It'll take a week or two, but I'll bounce back. I'm not looking forward to strength training today. I have a feeling I'll be exposed as a weakling. At least there won't be anyone around to watch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday Weigh In

I'll be without internet tomorrow and for the next few days, infact. So, I thought I'd get a jump on the Monday weigh in.

Once again, I am without a scale. What a shame.

The food in Italy is WONDERFUL. I wish I had come to Rome for the sole purpose of eating, but I feel compelled to see the sights. As a result I have done a lot of eating AND a lot of walking.

What has everyone else been up to this week?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Weigh In

It's Monday Weigh In time again. I weigh 65 stone....whatever that means, lol. I haven't weighed myself, but I'm pretty sure I'm down about 12 lbs this week.

I had half a Galaxy cookie crumb bar for breakfast, yum.

Yesterday I ran the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run. I managed to actually RUN the whole thing...I've never run 10 km before and I didn't think I'd pull it off this time, so I was pretty proud of myself. I got a shirt and a medal out of it, and they were giving out FREE Powerade!!!
How did you do this week?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Weight In

Yes, it's Monday. No, I don't have access to a scale. No, I don't want to have access to a scale. I'm sitting eating a packet of Walkers English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding crisps.....Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Veggie Gardens and European Travel

A BIG Foodzilla congratulations goes out to my sister for winning the Health Unit raffle!

She won a veggie garden starter kit, so dinners at her house should to be REALLY healthy this year. I'll be over weekly and I expect to be fed well.

She's excited because she so rarely wins. It was a good day.

The garden kit was, actually, a really welcome prize, since she and her husband were planning a veggie garden this year anyway. Now they have all the bits and pieces to get it started.

No excuses. I expect fresh vegetables. Make it happen.

In other news, someone sacrificed a goat and appeased the volcano in Iceland. The airlines are scrambling to catch up on the backlog of passengers waiting to travel to and from Europe.

So far, things look promising for our flight tomorrow evening. My fingers are crossed and will continue to be crossed until we arrive at our destination.

If anybody else out there wants to cross there fingers as well, and maybe send us some good vibes, it would be appreciated.

With a little luck, things will be quiet at my end for a couple of days as we travel and acquire internet access again. I hope to keep you all posted on our mini adventures (adventurettes) as we go along.

But, I don't want to jinx anything, so I'll just leave you with the hope that everything goes smoothly over the next couple of days and that transport goes off without a hitch.

I hope to write to you next, from Europe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Day in Africa, in Toronto

I'm a pharoh-phile and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Everything about the art and architecture of ancient Egypt fascinates me.

Before I shuffle off this mortal coil I need to see the pyramids with my own two eyes. I'm not ready to die yet, though, so I'm holding off on the trip. But, the day I get the bad news diagnosis is the day I buy my ticket on Egypt Airways (or whatever airline will honour my aeroplan points).

So a week or two ago my husband, knowing my pharaonic fetish, secured two tickets to a huge exhibit of Egyptian antiquities at the art gallery in Toronto.

It was really busy and hectic, but it was worth negotiating the crowds to come face-to-face with Akhnaten and be inches away from some of the finest relics antiquity has to offer. The quality of the art and the intricacy of the details were amazing. It was humbling to think how long ago the objects were created.

There was no photography allowed, so I don't have any pictures...sorry.

After the exhibit, we went for dinner. We rarely have the opportunity to dine out together, just the two of us and we wanted to take the opportunity to be adventurous. We wanted to try something different. Something our three-year-old would have bawlked at.

At a friend's recommendation, we opted for an Ethiopian restaurant called Addis Ababa.

Yes Ethiopian food, I know, there's so many different jokes it's hard to pick just one. I'm not going to make any, so you can insert your own joke here ________. OK, are you done? Good.

Addis Ababa actually has an extensive and varied menu so you can consider your assumptions confounded.

We tried an Ethiopian beer. I'm not much a beer drinker, but this was really sweet and I liked it because it was almost like drinking a shandy (half ginger ale, half beer). My husband prefers his beer bitter, gross, and tasting like burnt Shreddies, so he wasn't as enamoured with the Ethiopian beer as I was.

Our food was served traditionally, all together on one plate. It was presented on a bed of flat bread, which you use as both a plate and a utensil.

Many of the dishes are very spicy and scared me off. I went for something on the mild side but found it a bit too bland. My husband ordered a sampling of spicier dishes. He was happy with his meal and found it very flavourful.

I can't remember what the dishes were called 'cause I don't speak Ethiopian. I apologise for my inadequacies.
For me, the highlight of the dinner came after the main meal. We shared dessert, which was fried bananas with ice cream and sesame seeds - yum. We also ordered coffee...

Coffee at Addis Ababa is an experience like nothing you'll get at Tim Horton's. It's not just grabbing a coffee, it's an event that engages all your senses.

They start by bringing freshly roasted beans to your table, so they can tease you with the heavenly aroma. Then they grind them and brew the coffee in a beautiful Ethiopian carafe.

A tray is brought to your table with demi tasse cups, the carafe of coffee and a dish of smoldering frankincense.

You need to decant the coffee, carefully, into the cups in an attempt to keep the grounds settled at the bottom of the carafe. That's the only word of warning. The coffee is strong and delicious.

The burning incese adds an exotic, quasi cerimonial, touch to the coffee ritual. I could have sat there huffing frankincense all night, that stuff smells amazing.

Addis Ababa was a really unique experience. The staff was friendly. The other patrons were friendly, for that matter. The food was good and certainly beat the pants off of a cardboard burger. We're glad we tried it and recommend it to one and all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Weigh In

It's time for our weekly progress update, or in my case, lack of progress update. I gained 1/2 a pound.

I had lots of good workouts and lots of bad food. There you go.

I don't really care this week, to be honest. I'm too hugely frustrated by an ash cloud, at the moment, to worry about the holding pattern my weight seems to be in. Global events have taken over the priority spots in my brain.

It will be interesting to see how the events of the next week unfold, and then it will be interesting to see how the events of the subsequent couple of weeks unfold.

How did you guys do?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stupid Volcano - Crampin' My Style

Well my blogging buddies, have I got a string of expletives for you.

#$*^^&@!!! volcano in Iceland!

For months, LITERALLY months, I have been looking forward to a family vacation in Britain and Italy. Now, here we are, just days away from take-off and the whole trip may get kyboshed...volcanoed out.

I was so looking forward to finally seeing Mt. Vesuvius. If a volcano in Iceland prevents me from seeing a volcano in Italy, I will finally know that there is a god and he is ironic.

Have you noticed that everyone is calling it 'the volcano in Iceland'? Nobody is calling it by its name. They call Mt. Vesuvius, 'Mt. Vesuvius'. When Mount St. Helen's erupted, they called it 'Mount St. Helens'. Do you know what this volcano's actually called? It's called, Eyjafjallajökull. Try pronouncing that sucker. Ya.

Anyway, I know this post doesn't have anything to do with food or exercise or weight loss, but I have volcanoes on the brain at the moment. It's so discouraging...all this not knowing. For now we're stuck in volcanic limbo. We'll just have to wait and see.

At least SNL is on tonight. That'll cheer me up! Andy Samburg's dreamy, there I said it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!

I finally got my Christmas present a couple of days ago! My gift from my husband was a pair of concert tickets, hidden in a Sham-Wow box. He is both sweet and practical...jealous ladies?

So Tuesday was concert night, at last. We went to see 'the troubadour' Gordon Lightfoot. Yup, I love Gordon Lightfoot. I'm THAT cool.
He's about 71 years old now and his voice is showing his age. He was a bit of a whistley geezer and kept repeating his own jokes but it was still good to see him. I was bound and bent to see him live, in concert, before he dies.

Lyrically, he's hard to top. He has more talent in his little finger than a lot of today's stars have in their whole bodies. I know, now I sound like a whistley geezer, "you know in my day..." But it's true, so suck it.

That's not to say there isn't some huge talent out there right now. I'm just saying, some big stars didn't make a name for themselves with their talent, if you know what I mean. But it was ever thus.

Anyway, Grandma and Grandpa came up for the evening and stayed over. They watched our son while we were out and then yesterday we all went to the mall.

That's where nutritional disaster struck. I gave into my carnal lusts and ate a Big Mac and fries. But I wasn't done! After lunch we went to Dairy Queen and I had a butter pecan sundae.

So that was about a week's worth of calories in one afternoon. Not to worry, I'll just jog that right off - ya right.

Oh well, I haven't been to McDonald's in months and I haven't been to DQ in about two years so I don't think this one transgression is going to be habit forming.

I did a little shopping today and bought a pair of jeans...size 10 (which is good for me - just in case there are any skinny size 0 people out there gasping 'that's huge!') I went to our new American Eagle and picked up a couple of cool t-shirts too. Oh, and a fedora...'cause everyone needs one of those ;-)

I'd dress up my pillow to show you, but I can't be bothered.

Oh My, it Must be Alphabe-Thursday...Letter M

Message to self - Must stop Munching.

From Morning ‘til Midnight, I Manger Myself sick. It Must stop!

My resolve is Mediocre. I aM certainly not a Monk.

More exercise! More control! That is what My body Mourns.

I Must persue My Mission. McDonald’s can send their Minions, I will not be beaten.

Starting Monday

For More information on these and other M words, please read Alphabe-Thursday ;-)