Monday, August 31, 2009

Pizza and Weight Loss

I could never stick with a weight loss program that didn't allow me to eat pizza. Often. Just saying.

Now some might advise to steer clear of this food entirely--buck up and use some self control. But my own experience is that such deprivation will ultimately lead to binging and diet failure.

Pizza doesn't need to sabotage weight loss efforts, keeping these things in mind: better choices and portion control.

I've played around with various kinds of crusts--anything from homemade doughs to whole grain tortillas. Today I tried a new one that was pretty good. Kontos Multi-Grain Flatbread. The base of my pizza had 300 calories and 6 whopping grams of fiber. That was a pretty good choice. I topped that simply with some of my homemade sauce, and a measured 1 1/2 ounces of reduced fat mozzarella. Very satisfying. Not sure I needed the whole thing. Perhaps next time I'll eat half with some fresh vegetables. Maybe.

So with some better choices and portion control, no food really needs to be "off limits."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Even Lower Fat Dill Dip

I had posted a recipe for dill dip, and really wasn't happy with the nutritional values. I've been tweaking it. Here's what I made yesterday, and I think this is going to be the final version.

A quick, easy dip for veggies. (And cubes of rye bread, pretzels, or evil chips for a special treat.)


1 container (pound) fat free sour cream
1/3 cup Smart Balance Omega Plus Light Mayonnaise
4 tsp dill weed, dried
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serving size: about 2 tbsp.

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 27.6g, Calories 35, Calories from Fat 13, Total Fat 1.5g, Saturated Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 3mg, Sodium 106mg, Total Carbohydrates 4.1g, Sugars 1.6g, Protein 1.1g, Vitamin A 3%, Vitamin C 1%, Calcium 4%, Iron 1%

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

50 Things You've Never Been Asked

All right, already! Been tagged with this over a half dozen times. Why not? Although in my usual rebellion to the instructions, I'll put the answers on my blog and steadfastly refuse to tag anybody.

1. What color is your toothbrush?
pink. But the electric one is white

2. Name one person who made you smile today:
Elizabeth, my daughter. I think she made me smile. Hard to say. I had a root canal yesterday, and the jaw is a little sore.

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Hmmmm. I think I was moving stuff around on my farm in Farm Town. Figures.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?

5. What is your favorite candy bar?
Hmmm. Milky Way. No. Kit Kat. No. 100 Grand Bar. No. Peanut Butter Cups. Ack. I love them all. That's my problem.

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?
Something like, "I'm going upstairs to read."

8. What is your favorite ice cream?
chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?
water with a spritz of cranberry juice

10. Do you like your wallet?
LOL. I just got a new one a few weeks ago, and still haven't transferred everything over yet.

11. What was the last thing you ate?

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

13. The last sporting event you watched?
Probably a hockey game. Wow, that was a while ago.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
kettlecorn, followed by caramel corn.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to?

Might have been Tami, way back in December, trying to find her and Yvette at Disneyland. Not really into texting.

16. Ever go camping?
long time ago

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

19. Do you have a tan?

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
nope. Love pizza. That's another part of my problem.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?
not at home, no. But we call it pop, and I don't drink much of it anymore.

22. What did your last text message say?
Not a clue.

23. What are you doing tomorrow?
Hopefully email out my proposal, do some writing, a little housework, hit the treadmill.

24. Look to your left, what do you see?
a dusty television

26. What color is your watch?
I don't wear a watch

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia?
tie between kangaroos and Outback Steakhouse. But that's another part of my problem.

28. What is your favorite thing to do with the person you love?
Um, next?

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Don't really do much fast food anymore.

30. What is your favorite number?
I'm partial to 13. I know people say it is unlucky, but...

31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone?
My husband.

32. Any plans today?
Not much.

33. How many states have you lived in?

34. Biggest annoyance right now?
This fly that got into the house

35. Last song you listened to?
Hmmm. Not sure. I think there was something playing at the dentist's office, but I wasn't actively listening.

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Never tried, and not sufficiently motivated to.

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?
LOL. Only in my dreams.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
denim slip-ons

39. Are you jealous of anyone?
Yes. Cryptic aren't I? Not seriously seething jealousy. But there are a few writers that I'm a tad jealous of.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?
I've been told so.

41 Do you love anyone?

42. Do any of your friends have children?

43. What do you usually do during the day?
write, clean, cook, waste too much time on the internet

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
Not really hate. There are a few people that I don't want to see or have anything to do with. But I don't wish them ill, which is something I think is part of hatred.

45. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Probably not everyday. I do answer the phone with, "hello," but not sure I answer it everyday.

46. What color is your car?
silvery gray

47. Do you like cats?
yes, within reason

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
no, not really

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

50. How did you get your worst scar?
falling, repeatedly, on the same knee.

Well, I can see you've read the post with rapt attention, especially the part about the pink toothbrush. If so, leave a comment.

My question is, if nobody reads these things, how come everybody forwards them?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vegetable Barley Soup Recipe

A spicy blend of vegetables and grains. We like it this way, but those with a more gentle palette may need to reduce the pepper and hot sauce.


1/2 cup pearl barley
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup green peppers
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup grated carrots
6 cups water
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
14 1/2 oz petite diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree
15 1/2 oz kidney beans, drained and pureed
1 pound frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans, and lima beans)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)


Rinse barley and boil in a large amount of water over high heat for 30-40 minutes. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

In a soup pot, saute green peppers, celery, and carrots in olive oil for several minutes over medium heat. Slowly add water. Add bay leaf, salt, pepper, celery salt, paprika, and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree the kidney beans in a food processor or blender. (These will thicken the soup.) Add pureed beans, mixed veggies, tomatoes and tomato puree to soup, along with the remainder of the seasonings. Simmer for one hour on medium until flavors are mixed and veggies are tender.

Makes 15 servings.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size (1 cup) 228.3g, Calories 175, Total Fat 1.5g, Saturated Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 239mg, Total Carbohydrates 32.9g, Dietary Fiber 8.1g, Sugars 5.4g, Protein 8.9g, Vitamin A 59%, Vitamin C 25%, Calcium 5%, Iron 17%

And I have a picture for you, but apparently HughesNet, otherwise known as the worst internet provider in the world, has decided I no longer need to upload photos. The connection is interrupted every time I try. I'll upload the photos when I'm on a better connection.