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Kitchen Sink

I Probably STILL Have Candy Corn Lodged in My Colon

January 25th, 2010

Back when I was thinner and concerned about things like double chins and large butts, I used to mentally calculate the calorie count of everything I ate. In my mid-20s, I even went through a “candy corn dinner” phase, where I’d eat handfuls of the stuff because it was fat-free. No meat and potatoes, just Brach’s candy corn (anything else was sacrilege). Annoyingly and weirdly, I also wrote the total calories of something on a Post-It note and affixed it to the food. So like for Girl Scout cookies, I added up how much I’d consume if I ate the whole box (a regular occurrence) and wrote it down and stuck it on the package. For months after cookie season, I’d find little scraps on paper with “1,200,” or 1,450″ scrawled on them, which I collected to use for next time.

 

Needs medication who?

 

I had the biggest sweet tooth in those days, a predilection that disappeared entirely after my second pregnancy, after which I, a mostly vegetarian, couldn’t shove enough beef kabobs down my gullet.

 

What I’m trying to say is, I used to think it was OK to eat crap, as long as that crap didn’t add up to more than 1,500 calories in a 12-hour period. Good thing I was young, because if I did that now I’d be in a diabetic coma or a pillar of sugar.

 

Now, I try try try to eat healthy. In fact, as I blogged a year or so ago, I even gave up white sugar, white flour, dairy, etc. for a good period of time. THAT went by the wayside last October, when before a flight to NYC, I ate everything in sight because I thought I was going to die. After my trip, I just never fully returned to my healthy eating regimen (have you had the pizza in New York? It makes a good girl baaadddddd.) But now, as I glide spazzily into my early 40’s, I realize I’ve got to up the ante on eating better. Truth is, I wake up most mornings and even my newly-sprouted nose hair hurts, so I’m thinking putting good-for-me substances into my body might help postpone the aging decay.

 

My point is this: What do you people eat? Can you share some healthy stuff with me? Maybe a recipe? A lunch idea? My new thing is Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup, which is packed with protein and 900,000 grams of sodium, so healthy on one end, a death trap on the other. Also, do you pack healthy things in your kids’ lunches? I try to, but I’m out of ideas.

 

I feel dirty about it, but I suppose I’m using you for nutritional data. On the other hand, I respect your brain. And I will give you something…

 

How about a Corner Bakery $25 gift card? It’d help if you lived close to a Corner Bakery of course. I’m totally into CB because they post the calorie counts of their deliciousness (old habits die HARD) and have these low-fat lunch thingbobbies sans the 900,000 grams of sodium. So, if you would allow me to suck your brain for meal ideas, I will give you something in return! I like this win-win stuff.

 

I’ll figure out how I’m going to award the card later. Maybe I’ll let my husband pick.* He is the unwitting recipient of so many of my food experiments and needs a little love.

 

Thank you in advance for your commitment to shrinking my butt.

 

*Will award card by Thursday. Jan. 28.

 

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On January 25th, 2010, Colleen Lanin at Travel Mamas said:

Wow – I live in San Diego too and I had never even heard of Corner Bakery. It sounds yummy and I’m all for bakeries and low-fat lunch thingbobbies! I’m a big fan of Lean Cuisines & Pepsi One, both of which I know are not truly the healthiest choices in the world. I’ve recently become a Trader Joe’s convert (after months of pressure from my Trader-Joe’s-Loving neighbor). They have some delicious, healthy, easy just-stick-em-in-the-oven dinner options that you might want to check out. That’s all I got.

On January 25th, 2010, Ali @PickleSugarPlum said:

My go-to lunch is a very simple and yummy wrap!

You can pick your faves and create your own, but I love using deli shredded/VERY THIN SLICED oven roasted chicken, provolone or havarti cheese, romaine lettuce, roma tomato slices, spicy brown mustard or hummus as a spread….spread, layer, wrap, and enjoy!

With all of the options available for wrap shells, now, you can really mix it up, and try a new flavor each time…or find one you like and change up one or two of your yummy “inside” ingredients!

Hope you get TONS of great suggestions, I will be stalking your blog to see what other ideas are posted!

http://www.therehanfamily.com

On January 25th, 2010, Ginger said:

I’m certainly not the most creative, and I did win the America’s Worst Cook contest (seriously, look it up) but here’s our family’s go-to snacks.

Green/Red Pepper strips w/ low-cal dressing, dried berries, baked snacks from Trader Joe’s, home-made black bean & corn quesadillas, cut up fruit mixed w/ yogurt & granola, edamame, bobali pizza crust spread w/ cream cheese & sliced carrots/tomatoes/green peppers, and for my kids – anything I put on a toothpick they think is fun to eat or anything they can “dip”.

Good luck!

On January 25th, 2010, The Frugal Hostess said:

Not that I always do this, but….
1. Meatless Monday with Morning Star black bean and garden veggie patties.
2. Dried fruit for when you are craving candy. Calories are still there, but better nutrition.
3. Always eat meals seated at a table. Slows you down, makes it more enjoyable, etc.
4. Smoothies with half fat-free yogurt/half skim milk (plus honey, pureed fruit, wheat germ, etc.) – shake rather than blend to make it easier – great snack or breakfast.
Good luck!

On January 25th, 2010, MissM said:

Luckily, my daughter’s school requires that the kids have a healthy lunch, or we get a note sent home about how they need a healthy lunch to have a productive school day. I am scared of that note. So she gets a healthy lunch every single day. They don’t serve lunch at her school either, and they want the kids to pack their own lunches as a learning tool and so that they know what to expect when they open them at lunchtime. It doesn’t always make for an easy morning, but she can usually do it herself at this point… 4 years into it! Honestly though, if there were a choice, I can’t say it would always be the healthy option. She begs for “not another sandwich!”

We don’t buy any junk food, and if someone gives it to us, we throw it away. I always felt like it was wasting, but read somewhere that putting it into our bodies is wasting as well because we don’t need junk. I remind myself that whenever I feel bad for throwing away someone’s food gift that I would eat in one sitting if left in my house. The easiest way to not eat it is to not have it around, and to know what not to buy by reading about ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and processed foods etc. I read a few books by Michael Pollan that were really informative (but also not very “fun” reads) that helped a lot.
We do lots of plain lowfat greek yogurt with honey and nuts, or make smoothies out of it with frozen berries or mangoes etc… We also make a lot of fish with veggies and roasted potatoes (super easy!).

I am eternally bored with food choices, and completely feel your pain!

On January 25th, 2010, Kizz said:

My big winner when I was on Weight Watchers was to eat a little bit but basically all day long. I was a slave to the schedule. I lost weight 200 lame-o calories at a time.

As for foods that did it for me, I’ll eat pretty much any vegetable roasted. I lived for roasted carrots and brussels sprouts. I’d also roast broccoli, cauliflower, beets – pretty much anything I could stomach. If I made enough I could just add some protein (baked salmon, crock potted chicken, tuna salad) and it would be lunch or dinner.

Have you checked out Hungry Girl (.com)? She’s full of good info.

On January 25th, 2010, Laurie Ann said:

I’m of no use to you because the Brach’s Candy Corn diet sounds awesome to me. A co-worker found out that Candy Corn is my favorite candy ever and kept bringing me bags and bags of it. I was eating candy corn at Christmas. yum!

However, in full disclosure, I am currently doing Weight Watchers (again) and I find it useful to eat little meals all day. I am big on the oatmeal breakfast, yogurt at 10:30ish, lunch, fruit in the afternoon and those tiny pretzel sticks as a munchie snack because you can have 48 of them for 2points.

On January 25th, 2010, LaJollaJennifer said:

I am right there with you! Just found out that I have high blood pressure (thanks Dad!) and even though I don’t add salt to anything, I now have to actively try to subtract it from what I do consume. That being said, when I allow myself to eat what I crave, I tend to naturally gravitate towards a vegetarian diet. I like tofu quite a bit (weird, I know) and will often eat a soy chicken patty or burger with a smear of hummus or light laughing cow cheese on top. The problem with this is that soy can be a no-no too. Also, I am pretty sure these products, while better than the original meat-infused versions, are still full of sodium so… let me know what you learn. ;-)

On January 25th, 2010, Mo said:

Are kabobs what I would call kebabs? I don’t really know if I can help you. I mean, I’d like to help, but I’m a man who just eats what he can. My wife cooks healthy things for us, lots of veggie soups and things. Does that help? Veggie soup?

On January 25th, 2010, Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said:

I’ll be no help. Even off of sugar, dairy, and glutens (yes, again), I still ate myself into a tortilla chips and broccoli salad coma over the weekend (no sugar, glutens or dairy in tortilla chips or broccoli salad!). But I will still take that gift card off of your hands because I am also heavy into decluttering my house right now (yes, again), and I have the room now for a gift card.

XO

On January 25th, 2010, MommyTime said:

I’m all about packing the healthy lunches for my kids, and I get them into it too. They are 3 1/2 and 6, and we talk about protein and veggies and fruits. The 6 yr old can read sugar grams on labels of things and consequently makes his own (very good) decisions about what is too sugary to pack. (We don’t look at calories, and I’ve never mentioned them because this is not about weight; it’s about eating a healthy balance of foods.) With all of this information — and I try to tuck in more details every chance I get — they are pretty good at making healthy choices on their own already. Sample lunches: (1) thermos of tomato soup, 3 mini pita breads, a cheese stick, and a cup of strawberries; (2) cracker sandwiches made with soy butter (no peanut butter allowed in school); apple slices, milk; (3) cream cheese and jelly sandwich, baby carrots w/ranch dressing, pretzel nubs; (4) homemade mac&cheese in thermos, cucumber chunks and cherry tomatoes, milk, applesauce (I always buy the “no sugar added” kinds). Other good things I work in: keifer, edamame, berry flavored rice cakes, cheddar goldfish, grapes, trader joe’s fruit and whole grain bars, mini bagels with cheese, dinner leftovers, heated very hot and packed into the thermos. The deal is, there has to be protein, a fruit or veg, and some dairy in every lunch. I occasionally pack treats (“goodies” my son calls them), but rarely. I included a home made doughnut today, for example, since we had a family doughnut making project yesterday. He only ate half of it. Hope this helps with the inspiration.

On January 25th, 2010, MommyTime said:

Oh yes, also: yogurts (we always buy the no HFCS, no modifies corn starch kinds), home-made muffins (which often contain shredded veggies and handfuls of whole grains, flax seed, etc), and chunks of weird strong cheese.

On January 25th, 2010, Kari C said:

I feel your pain!! I saw a picture of myself from my 40th birthday and cried a lot inside. I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue, so cutting out carbs was easy, except I really miss a good PB&J-and sourdough bread. A gluten free diet will drop the pounds pretty quickly. Thirty pounds in two’ish years.

I was given Skinny Bitch for Christmas last year and that really changed the rest of my eating habits but I refuse to give up chocolate. I’ve just started hitting the gym again, which I love, and I bought a juicer. I drink a fruit based juice when I get up, then a vegetable based juice in the afternoon. I LOVE it!! I feel better and feel less “toxic”. Now I just need to work on my sleep issues.

Good luck, you will find what will work best for you. I believe timing is the most important factor!!

On January 26th, 2010, Laurie said:

I do the calorie counting thing actually, because I’m working to slowly lose 30 pounds or so. I use a site called SparkPeople to track my calories and activity – love it! My fave healthy snack/breakfast is a Peanut Butter Smoothie, calories vary depending on your yogurt choice but close to 200. 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, lots of ice. You can add in honey or splenda if you need it sweeter – it’s two servings and my kids adore it!

As for kids lunches, we also are “required” to send a healthy lunch, my kids are happy with boring for now. They take bologna sandwiches (not that bologna is that healthy, the teachers don’t complain about it though!), yogurt, granola bars and crackers most days. They sometimes take soup, mac ‘n cheese, grapes or oranges. Most of their fruit is eaten at home though, we have a plate of fruit with dinner every night.

On January 26th, 2010, Jennifer said:

I have cut most processed foods out of our home. I bake my own chips from tortilla’s or even egg roll wrappers. When I cook a meal I make enough for lunches then I got a whole bunch of single serving ziplock containers and put a lunch portion in each one after the meal. Often times I actually put those in BEFORE I even serve the meal, this way we aren’t tempted to eat more than necessary.

For the few processed items we do get (healthy crackers, corn tortilla chip, etc…) When I get home from the store I IMMEDIATLY sit down and spilt the box into serving sizes in small ziplock bags, then I just put those baggies right back in the box. (I’m also on Weigh Watchers so I also write the number of points per serving on the baggie as well).

I don’t even buy frozen french fries anymore, it takes a fraction of amount longer to just chop a real potato into frie shapes and lay them out on a tray and bake them at 400. Toss them with a bit of olive oil or spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

I also put all the fruit (bags of apples and oranges, etc…) in the FRONT of the refrigerator so when I am looking for a snack, the first thing I see are the apples and so I grab that instead of the stuff behind it.

In the freezer, I put a bunch of grapes in FRONT of the ice cream, if I REALLY want the ice cream I’ll reach around, but often times it’s not about the ice cream so much as the snacking.

I also make ahead some things for breakfast. On Saturday I make a whole bunch of bacon/sausage and then put that in the refrigerator. It’s real easy, as I’m getting the things into lunch boxes, to crack an egg into the pan and fry it and then flip it. Breakfast is a MUST!!!

Have healthy things ready at the go so that it doesn’t take time to prepare. You’ll be much more likely to grab the fruits and veggies that way.

Hope that helped some?

On January 26th, 2010, Jillian said:

You are crazy. Eat pizza, just don’t eat A pizza. And have a glass of wine while you are at it!

Love, Your Sister-in-law

P.S. I had an everything bagel this morning :)

On January 27th, 2010, Green Girl in Wisconsin said:

I’m like you without paying attention to the calories–sweet tooth all the way! But I swear by Kashi Go Lean Crunch for breakfast–it’s sweet and full of protein and not bad for you. I’m full until lunch when I have it for breakfast.
And when I want more sweet crunch, I eat baby carrots and adult apples. What works for me is that whole “Strive for Five” model–if I eat 5 servings of fruit/veg every day it fills me up so I don’t pack in too much crap.
Clementines, they’re like candy, too!

On January 28th, 2010, Stephanie said:

Tomato sauce pastas are good b/c you get a lot of veggies w/ relatively low sugars (from pasta).

One of our favorite dishes is actually quite low in fat & sugars: shepherd’s pie. My recipe is basically Rachael Ray’s with some volume adjustments.

I also agree with the “eat what you want but eat less” advice. You’re not deprived, your body gets the variety of food it needs, and your brain gets the noms it wants.

I also agree w/ Jillian’s red wine advice. Can’t hurt ;)

On January 28th, 2010, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Healthy? I Like to Think So. said:

[…] healthy eating post went well! I’m happy to report that I’ve followed many of your suggestions in the last […]

On January 28th, 2010, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Houston, We Have a Winner! said:

[…] Ali at Pickle Sugar Plum won the Corner Bakery card! […]

On September 27th, 2010, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Healthy Lunch Ideas for Your Kids & More (With a Giveaway) said:

[…] now you got me, crazy pudding head and all, following up on this post EIGHT MONTHS […]

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