Finding RUDY

I lost another pound. Now, I am at 15 lbs. down!

Of course, 10 of those pounds were Christmas cookies and Graeter’s ice cream. I did have a couple days when I REALLY wanted to go to Graeter’s again this past week. But somehow, I didn’t go! I know I talk about the problems of driving by a Graeter’s ice cream A LOT, but it is a problem that doesn’t seem to go away. Sometimes the urge or cravings are harder than other times! Everyone has a weakness, they always manifest in us in similar ways! (Heavy sigh)

I know I sound like a broken record with this whole diet but I am dumbfounded that a diet said, “We will change the way you look at food,” and it actually has! How did that happen? I am not the kind of gal that is so easily swayed. I am a stubborn German/French woman who is…stubborn!

But I must share because I am shocked. Wheat. Wheat is in everything! It is in my BBQ sauce, in my favorite can of Campbell’s tomato soup, it is in my flippin’ soy sauce. Someone please tell me why it needs to be there? Wow, the wheat industry has us all by the short and curlies!

Sugar…I was looking for a story on 60 Minutes and came across a plethora of stories about Sugar the Devil. It was considered a toxin and it was considered to be more addictive than cocaine. Oh yes, you did read that correctly. So, this morning when I went to eat my Granny Smith apple and my hard boiled egg, I was torn between the egg and the peanut butter for my protein and I bet it was the sugar in the peanut butter that was secretly seducing me. I had to break the stronghold the sugar can have on me and I chose the egg, but I so wanted the peanut butter.

During the week, a friend told me he didn’t understand why people have weight problems because you just make yourself stop eating. He said this to me. I was enraged. If it was that easy, the diet industry wouldn’t be what it is and I would not be on a diet. I have been on so many diets since I was 8 that even I can’t count that high and it is not JUST BECAUSE I am mathematically challenged.

Back to the wheat. The lack of wheat and sugar has certainly been a game changer for me. I can’t list all the changes because that would be inappropriate but there are several! I keep noticing differences.

Now, I am noting my sodium intake. It is kind of like wheat and sugar, if it processed or comes in a jar, bottle, can, or a box the amount of sodium in any given product is absurd. I looked up how much I should be ingesting in any given day and it is 2300 mg, which sounds SO much better than a 60 Minutes piece where a doctor proclaimed that any given person should not consume more sugar than what is contained in a single can of Coke! That was discouraging, nearly impossible to do. I can stay in the limits of sodium intake if I stick to the veggies, fruits and proteins, but if I eat anything else. I really have to watch it. I don’t, but I should. I watch it, but I don’t beat myself up for it like I do the sugar and wheat intake.

It all takes me back to where I should have started and I went this long road to China to get to here. It is all about balance. Balance your diet and that is what matters, but since I am incapable of two spoonfuls of Graeter’s ice cream and three bites of a flourless chocolate cake. I am going to stick to my latest diet. And you all if you choose can ride the wave with me. I like the company!

When there has been a forecast of bad weather and everyone races to the store to buy milk, eggs and bread. I have gone to the vegetable section. If I am going to be stranded at home and need foods to snack on, it needs to be the foods I can eat.

I keep making the eggplant chips. I tell you I need to watch my salt but the combo of the eggplant, olive oil, salt and the crispness of that slice is addictive. Better than a potato chip, health wise. Taste wise of course not, but it is still good.

I started roasting leeks again. The aroma from those little rings, the taste is actually truly satisfying.

The cauliflower cooked to almost brown in bacon grease is like eating a bowl of hash browns. I am not kidding!

My newest addition is the sweet potato fries. I slice them to strips. They are far from even cuts, or for that matter pretty. I throw them in a big mixing bowl and throw in salt, pepper and olive oil and stir and then spread them on a cookie sheet and cook 10 minutes on one side and then flip them and another ten on another side. They are sweet, delicious and tasty. AND healthy!

Salt, yes, I put salt on a lot of food, but here is the scary fact. The salt I put, that I can control, on food is still substantially less than what the producers may put in a can. Not sure how it works but that is the facts.

Another startling surprise that I discovered a few days ago. Water chestnuts. My mom had bought two cans over the holidays for a recipe and never used them. I have been randomly adding them to various dishes and they take on that flavor and add a crunch to my food. I love the crunch. I miss the crunch. My diet does not have lot of crunch!

So, one day, I made my friend Beth’s beau David’s scrambled eggs and probably added a lot more than David. I tossed into the pan the following: water chestnuts, capers, olives, banana peppers, onion, garlic, and cooked that up. Then added the scrambled eggs, feta, tomatoes and avocado. I couldn’t taste the water chestnuts but it added a crunch to those eggs and I really liked it.

Last night, I did the cauliflower in bacon grease and added the water chestnuts to it and again. The crunch.

I love the crunch! I have heard others say they miss the crunch in their diets. Viola…water chestnuts! Who knew!

I have been on this diet for over 2 months. I have been pretty true to it. However, I have made errors, and made minute cheats, but I made a big one the other night but I calculated for it. I love chicken wings. I think the best wings are at a place called Gabby’s. I was meeting my Aunt Barbara there for dinner. So, I ate fruit and veggies all day and saved myself 700+ calories so I could eat wings with bleu cheese dressing. I know it sounds nutty. I know there was wheat in those wings, but I really wanted them, and I really didn’t want to disrupt my diet. I sure think and hope it worked. According to my Fitbit, it did. I enjoyed the wings but not how the wheat made me feel later. I probably won’t do that again for a while.

I feel conditioned to drink hot chocolate on snowy days. Look at the snow….

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I remember learning that BIG snowflakes mean a lot of snow is coming….

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For two weeks or maybe more, I have been craving hot chocolate. I was convinced there was a way to make it without a lot of calories. I think I did it.

I simmered a ½ c. of organic milk on the stove. While it simmered, I took four squares of Baker’s bittersweet dark chocolate unsweetened and blended them in my Cuisinart with 2 figs and 2 dates. Then I added that to the milk along with cinnamon and vanilla and I had a really yummy low calorie HEALTHY hot chocolate. Of course, it has made me crave one ever since, but so far I have not gone back to that dark side that really is not so dark!

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Hey, my mom sent me this link. Some clever ideas here from the kitchen hack. Had to share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6-Tsu-x8Rc

 

I have been looking for the perfect home for my favorite mobile. I found it. Right over my bed. I can lie in bed and watch it spin around. What do you think?

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I found this touching. The man I am not allowed to mention in my blog and I went to lunch. He pulled out a card with a before and after picture of a child with a cleft palette. He said instead of giving money to my high school this year, I wanted to do something to give a child a gift that would make a difference. I was truly touched by the gesture.

That same night I watched a movie titled RUDY about a kid with a dream, who gets rejected repeatedly and only a few really believed in him, but he never gives up! Some days I feel like RUDY. Everyone should have a little Rudy in them. It is what makes the world so interesting! So, worthwhile.

So, a few days later I did something odd, but very worthwhile and satisfying and maybe silly but I am going to share it with you.

We were supposed to get SLAMMED with snow. At 11pm, I decided to go to the grocery store and get food from my snack food aisle also known as the vegetable section. It was pouring outside. Dulce and I went to the market. I ran inside and got SOAKED and I saw that there were two women that were SINGLE handedly gathering the carts and the men were watching them. It looked like a sorority or fraternity initiation. I was greatly perturbed because it was coming down like cats and dogs outside. The women were drenched and looked tired, sad and frustrated.

I purchased my veggies and these bedraggled women were still pushing the carts inside and the men were still watching them as if they were scared to go outside for fear of melting. I thought if they all went out there and helped them. They could all get home faster. I rolled my cart to the car and emptied it and left it next to my car in a lane and plopped into the car and sat there soaked. I started to drive off and came back and parked the car and gathered a bunch of carts (including mine) and loaded one into the other creating a long line of them. The lazy ass man in next car was watching me like I was a deranged individual. I thought it is called paying forward get your lazy ass out of your car and help me and these women. Of course, he didn’t. I gathered a lot of carts. NO ONE beside lazy man saw me and I left. I was really soaked and really happy to do a little part that may have helped.

You gotta love RUDY!

People always ask me how I can live in a building with an older population. Why do you live there? Why don’t you move? You need to be with younger people. I always say, but why should I move if I love it here and the people in here! Age is a number. I have wonderful friends in this building. And where else does this happen…

Last week, I took the dog out. Coming back in I ran into my friend Sam and he was trying to download pictures to his computer from his new camera. Couldn’t figure it out. I told him I could. I went to help him and we talked for an hour. I learned a lot about Sam. He goes to a prison and talks to prisoners and helps them cope.

Next day, again coming in with Dulce and I ran into my friend Shirley. I told her I was heading up for coffee and did she want to join me. She did.

Day after, I ran into my friend Judy S. she is getting ready for a trip to Sanibel and wondered if I could come over and give her directions and ideas of where to go, eat, and what to see and I did. I told her she hit the jackpot with a former Sanibel Chamber employee.

How can one be bored living in a place like this? Always so many interesting people around…

The other night, I went to some friends for cocktails (which I had none) and food, which I had a lot of…and we talked because they have rented a home in the fall in Venice, Italy for a MONTH!

So, before you judge someone on the people they surround themselves with…meet those people. They may pleasantly surprise you.

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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