Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beef and Broccoli and Oh So Hungry

Are you trying to tell me it's the last day of March already!?! How did THAT happen?

I'm starving right now. I ate dinner and two hours later, I'm starving. Guess what I had. Chinese food - bingo! Beef and broccoli, of the homemade variety, in case you were wondering.

I tried to replicate the beef and broccoli we get at our favourite Chinese restaurant, King's Fortune. OK, granted, it's the only Chinese restaurant anywhere near us, but it IS good, or we wouldn't bother with it, regardless.

Anyway, my homemade version was fine. I over cooked the broccoli, just a bit. It wasn't as good as King's Fortune but it was edible.

Now, it's 7:45 p.m., I'm ravenous and I have a scant 4 Weight Watchers points to see me through to morning. sigh. If you eat your own leg, does that count for any points? It should be a net loss really, when you think about it.

I did my weekly 5K, this afternoon. It continues to get easier. I REALLY need to put a more effective play list on my iPod, however. Slow, sad, angst-filled alternative music from the '90s isn't the most motivating thing to listen to when I'm trying to run up the hill, back to the house.

Living at the top of a hill affords good views and hard workouts. The worst part of the run comes right at the end, when I have to (one way or another) heave my busted, tired butt back up to the house. So far, I've been successful. When I eventually can't make it back up, that will be the sign that it's time to move. I don't anticipate that day coming for some time.

Anyway, I must dash. Easter prep begins tonight and continues through to Sunday. Busy. Busy.

If anyone out there has had great success recreating their favourite take-out dish, I'd love to hear about it. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weight Watchers is a Good Stabilizer

Yesterday, I spent the day playing by the rules and followed the Weight Watchers online program, like a good little girl. It was such a relief to have the stability of a formal program to follow.

I stuck to my points and I wasn't too hungry by the end of the day. I got through a tough workout too. I was pretty proud of myself yesterday and sure enough, today I stepped on the scale and I was down. Ta Da!

Obviously, one day doesn't make much difference if I don't stick with it, but it's a start and seeing some immediate success is certainly motivating.

I tried hard today too. I had some candy at the movies, but I think I kept it within reason. I may have gone over my points slightly, but today's workout was probably enough to compensate.

We went to the movies as a family. It was our son's very first time seeing a movie in the theatre - and it was in 3D no less. We saw 'How to Train Your Dragon' and he LOVED it. My husband and I liked it too. So it gets our recommendation. Three thumbs up! If you've got a little one, you should totally go see it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Weigh In

Have you hopped on the scale yet today? I did, just now. I'm down 1 lb this week. It's a bit of a bummer, but better than nothing.

I think I need a little extra help, so I'm going to log onto Weight Watchers online today and start following the program properly again.

I tried to go it alone, and I might be able to maintain that way, but I don't seem to be able to lose much weight by myself. It's time to call in the cavalry.

How did everybody else do? Let's hear it, the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jamie Oliver Blows Up the Blogosphere

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution blew up the blogosphere after its premier Friday night. I'm excited to see how engaged people are by it.

I've read through a number of blog posts, on the subject, over the past couple of days. A few bloggers seemed shocked by the test Jamie did with a group of school children, where in, he quizzed the group on their ability to identify fresh vegetables.

It would have been pointless to televise the test if the children had done well so, obviously, they did poorly. According to Jamie, the problem was rectified in two one-hour sessions. They showed the children vegetables, told them their names, taught the kids about them and voila, educated kids.

Personally, I'd be more interested in seeing some parents take the quiz.

Let's face it, for the most part; we've grown up in a society that is disconnected from its food. Very few of us keep a vegetable garden. Even fewer of us actually farm, or hunt, or gather our own food.

We simply turn up at a store and buy the things we like. It's all readily available and, with very few exceptions, it 's already partially processed for us. The lettuce has been washed, the pasta is neatly tucked inside a box, and the meat has been butchered into steaks, fillets, or wings. Even the shrimp have been deveined, in shell.

Anything icky or unsightly, or inconvenient has been taken care of for us, and I'm not complaining.. I do not want to have to start making my own cheese. But, it's not a far leap to go from these fresh, lightly processed foods to the frozen, packaged, completely processed ones. Convenience is convenient, after all, and if you've got a coupon you can feed your family really inexpensively.

Have you ever seen a coupon for fresh oranges? I haven't.

Story Time...

When I was in my teens, I worked in the snack bar of a bingo - job - ever. It was a REALLY shabby, smoky bingo hall with a REALLY shabby, fly and ant riddled snack bar.

Coffee was the only thing this snack bar did well. The beans were freshly ground for each pot, just before it was brewed. The staff and bingo players agreed it was really decent coffee. At least we agreed on something.

One evening, I was working behind the counter, serving drinks and snacks to the crowd before the early session started. I pressed the button to grind beans for a fresh pot of coffee and a woman in line exclaimed, "Ewww! Is THAT the coffee?"

I looked up at her, a little surprised, a little annoyed (I was often annoyed with the players) and answered, "Yes".

Had this woman never encountered coffee that wasn't already in a cup? How do you make it to her age (her age to me, at the time, seemed VERY advanced, though she was probably only in her forties) without knowing that coffee comes from beans?

It's little wonder; there are kids who can't tell celery from a beat.

This whole subject has me thinking about my veggie garden and the plans I haven’t made, yet.

I'm so glad my little guy knows, at least a little, about vegetables. He's been snacking on fresh peas in the garden and gathering wild strawberries, since he was a one year old, toddling behind me through the yard.

There is such a sense of accomplishment in serving my family a dinner that includes fresh, home-grown foods. Not to mention the noticeable difference in the taste and quality of food that has been harvested just moments before cooking. It’s so good. I can't wait. I need to get planning.

A quick reminder that tomorrow is Monday and that means weigh-in; be there or be square.