Jun 30, 2010

Measuring Up

Today I officially started back on Weight Watchers. I can't just go around eating whatever I want any more than I can go around spending whatever I want. I have to keep track of my money and I am trying to think of food the same way. I'm thinking of it like a food budget. I am feeling very optimistic that this time I will see some success.

When I came back from Albuquerque I hopped on the scale and was horrified to see 325 staring back at me. Yikes! We have been walking around the block as a family every night, and I weighed in this morning at 320. Today I swam with the kids in addition to the evening walk.

Food blogging really keeps me honest, so I am going to go back to that. Today's breakfast was 3/4 cup of bran flakes, a banana, and 2/3 cup lowfat milk for a total of five points.

Lunch was one slice of whole wheat bread, one slice of light bologna, lettuce, tomato and a squirt of dijon mustard. Another five points.

Snack was a fat free pudding cup and a dollop of cool whip for 3 points.

For dinner I tried a recipe from my Weight Watchers Cookbook. I baked up four potatoes.

I let them cool, then cut them in half and scooped out the insides.

I steamed 3 cups of broccoli and mixed it with the potato insides, a cup of cheese, a squirt of dijon mustard, a few teaspoons of olive oil, and a third a cup of sour cream.

I stuffed it all back into the potatoes, and topped it with a little more cheese.

Then I baked them at 425 for 10 minutes.

Yum. I also made a box of veggie chik'n patties which I served on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomato and a little mustard.

The potatoes were 4 points each, plus I added a point for the extra cheese. Including the sandwich I am at 27 points so far for the day.

Best Meatloaf Ever

Years ago, the San Diego Union Tribune published the meatloaf recipe from a local restaurant, Rogers on Fifth, which has since closed it's doors. The meatloaf was one of their most popular dishes, and my husband asked me to make it. I did, and it was delicious. A decade later, he still asks for it. It's pretty involved and definitely not healthy, so I only make it for special occasions. This year, he requested it as his belated Father's Day dinner. Here's the recipe:

Meatloaf with Ancho Honey Glaze

the loaf:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup onions, finely diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 and 1/4 pounds ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
8-10 slices of bacon

the glaze:

3-4 dried ancho chiles ( or whatever big dried chiles you can find)
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 to 3 dashes worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

You should start about two hours before you want to eat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop and dice all your veggies and heat the oil in a saute pan. Add onions, garlic, carrots, bell pepper, and celery and saute until tender. Remove and cool.

Line a loaf pan with bacon. Lay the bacon pieces over the side, so you can wrap them over the top once you have your loaf ready.

In a big bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, bread crumbs, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, parsley, and cooled veggies. Add a little salt and pepper and mix until well combined. The best way to do this is to take off your rings and get in there the old-fashioned way, with your hands.

Add the meat mixture to the loaf pan, patting and pressing down as you go. When the loaf pan is totally full, fold over the bacon to encase. Add more bacon to cover any holes, or just because- you can never have too much bacon.

Put your chiles in a bowl of hot water to rehydrate them. They float, so I like to put a plate or a second bowl on top of them to weigh them down and keep them under water.

Now that your loaf is ready, put the loaf pan on top of a baking sheet and slide it into the oven for one hour and fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.

Go take a break. You earned it.

After they've had about a half hour to soak, drain your chiles. Pull off the stems, tear them open, and rinse out the seeds. Puree the chile flesh.

Scrape the chile flesh into a saucepan along with all the other glaze ingredients listed above.

Stir it all up and simmer over low heat for about 1o or 15 minutes. About this time your meatloaf should be ready. Take it out, and turn your oven to broil. Drain as much of the fat out of the loaf pan as you can.

Turn your loaf pan upside down into a larger baking pan so that the loaf slides out. You should now have this...

Brush your loaf generously with your glaze.

Reserve the extra glaze to serve on the side.

Put the glazed loaf in the oven on broil for 10 minutes.

Transfer to serving platter, slice and serve!

There! Now that that's out of the way I'm going back on a diet!

Jun 26, 2010


What happens to you within an hour of drinking a Coke....
  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.
I copied this from the Nutrition Research Center, but found it posted all over the Internet. Blisstree also has posts on what happens when you drink a Coke every day, and a scandalous expose on Diet Coke. I don't drink soda every day but when I do the only soda I ever drink is diet cola, so that one really hit home. These articles focus on Coke, but the information would of course apply to most any cola or soda out there. It really made us re-think soda, and even the husband is inspired to cut way back. Of course, he always knew it was bad for him, but there's something about seeing it spelled out step by step that is especially horrifying!

Jun 25, 2010


I'm sorting through my pictures and missing my niece already. These pictures are from just after our slip-n-slide adventures, when we settled down on the porch for a snack. Lily calls all her snacks "nana" and she seemed particularly fond of a box of crackers that I brought with me on the road trip. She reminded my sister and I so much of our other sister as she sat in her little chair, content with her crackers and company.

You can't tell here but her arm is all the way in that box.

Looking for more.

Slippery When Wet

A few afternoons while we were just relaxing in New Mexico my sister brought out a baby pool and a slip-n-slide for the kids to play with. Tucker refused to slide on it but he had a great time with it nonetheless.

Lily spent her time catching some rays poolside and contemplating the slip-n-slide.

Finally, we decided that it was our responsibility as adults to demonstrate the proper use of said Slip-N-Slide.

So. Much. Fun.

Jun 24, 2010

The Road Home

We are home from our road trip to Albuquerque. We had a wonderful time! Some of the pictures I took are on Richard's computer, and I am in the midst of housework and laundry and all that goes with a return home from vacation...but for now I do have scenes from the drive home. We drove there in one long day, but we decided to split the drive home into two, stopping for the night just past Tucson.

Jun 20, 2010

Sandia Peak

Yesterday we went on an Albuquerque adventure up the Sandia Peak Tram. It's the world's longest tramway, and it rises from the outskirts of Albuquerque up to an elevation of over 10,000 feet! About fifty people can fit in one tram, and you then ride about fifteen minutes up, up, up- suspended from cables and dangling over the mountain terrain below!

Here I am mid-air on the tram.

Once at the top, there is a restaurant, information center, ski lifts, horses and mountain bikes for rent, and all sorts of trails. We had a nice lunch at the restaurant and then went on a little nature walk with the kids- I'll post some pictures of that on their blogs.

Here's an example of the cable that holds the tram.

and here's a view of the tram cables looking down from the top.

It was quite an adventure! I must say, I had a little trouble with my fitness level and the altitude! I was feeling a little lightheaded a couple of times. We are definitely feeling motivated to get into better shape so we can enjoy more adventures!