Friday, August 29, 2008

Recipe Review: Wholewheat Buttermilk Biscuits

I finally baked up a batch of Weight Watcher's Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits to have with my homemade freezer jam. Don't they look tasty? Pictures can be deceiving though. While tasty enough when straight out of the oven and smothered in blueberry-lemon jam, they get drier and harder the longer they sit.

I made the recipe using buttermilk (strangely, the recipe first calls for yogurt then buttermilk as a substitute) and found that the amount given was too much; the dough was overly wet. I had to add extra flour to make it rollable. This likely added to the toughness of the finished product.

I also noticed that the recipe was lacking salt. Now I'm no Martha Stewart when it comes to baking, but even I had to raise an eyebrow at the omission. As every biscuit recipe I've ever tried has salt added to it, I decided to add about 1/2 a teaspoon. If I make these again, I'll play with the amount and perhaps add a tich of baking soda as well.

Recommended if you have extra whole wheat flour, time to kill, and don't mind hardtack.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review: Kellogg's All Bran Bars - Chocolate Chip

I've been hearing about this new flavour of Kellogg's All Bran Bars (Chocolate Chip), and finally had the opportunity to pick up a package. Having the same NI as the other bars (Calories: 130, Fat: 6g, Fibre: 4g), it has the added bonus of chocolate chips. It's literally like a good-for-you chocolate chip cookie. A dry, fiber-filled cookie, but hey, healthy sometimes has its tradeoffs.

Recommended with a glass of milk for dunking or a cup of hot tea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Organizing recipes

I've recently become a reader of Simple Mom, and stumbled across an excellent article on how to more effectively organize your recipe bookmarks. Essentially, you use the bookmarking website, Delicious, to create your own "cookbook" of recipe links. You can add tags to them as well as share out the link to friends and family. Read Simple Mom's article for more information and step-by-step instructions.

I haven't made one myself, but wanted to pass it along to my own readers because I'm really excited about it. Once I get back from vacation, I'll be making my own Delicious cookbook and will post a link.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Find: Wasa Fiber Rye

If you like crispbread (Mr. Trim calls it "cardboard")(Mr. Trim does not like crispbread), check out this new product from Wasa: Fiber Rye. It's extremely points friendly (Calories: 30, Fat: .5, Fibre: 2g) and great to have with soup, salad, or with your favourite topping.

If you're not a fan of crispbread (see Mr. Trim above as an example), you might find it dry and cardboard. Personally, I love it. My mom used to serve it to us topped with sprouts and deli meat; it was a great easy snack. I still do that (recent recall of Maple Leaf meats notwithstanding), and I also like to spread it with Laughing Cow cheese or almond butter.

All in all, a great cracker to turn to if you're low on points for the day. Just be careful, the points do round up the more you have.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On my way

In about seven hours, I'll be at the airport on my way to Disneyland! Normally this would mean a vacation for the blog, too. However, I have a TrimBot that will be posting articles every day at 7:00 a.m. PST. With the exception of Thursday's Thought, it's a food-themed week with product and recipe reviews as well as an online cookbook tool.

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next Saturday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eighty-first Weigh-in

I'm up .4 lbs this week. It would have been a loss I'm sure, if it weren't for the wedding the night before.

*shifty eyes*

Okay, so maaaaaaybe I had a bit too much smoked fish. Just a bit. Okay, a lot. But hey, it was worth it.

The meeting was about setting your ultimate goal and likening it to the athletes of the recently ended Olympics. It takes a lot of practice, hard work, and dedication for them to reach and compete in the Olympics. This is most eloquently explained by one of our Canadian Olympic athletes, Kyle Hamilton of the Men's 8 Rowing Team...

Gold medals are awarded in the summer, but they’re earned in the winter.”

Just like weight loss, practice makes perfect. And like athletes, we should also not let setbacks affect the outcome. During the Olympics, I was struck many times by stories of athletes who battled through personal injury and sickness, as well as deaths in their family. Despite all this, they battled through to the end. A fantastic example of dedication to the end goal. And inspiring, too!

If they can overcome the most crippling of obstacles, we too, can overcome the little ones. The ice cream at midnight, well-meaning food-pushers, emotional setbacks, and yes, even the sneaky buffet of smoked fish at weddings. If we have our sights set on the ultimate goal - whether weight- or health-related - we can overcome anything.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's business time

I think I might've killed Mr. Trim with baby making. This is to explain my absence for the last week or so. Poor guy. He's really quite tired, hehe.

In other news, I think I might've lost more weight this week despite not exercising at all. I've been feeling rundown and tired and generally like I've been fighting a bug. I gave myself the week off to try and get better. We'll see what the official scale brings on Saturday. I may need to add yet another point to my daily allowance.

Also, Weight Watchers called me about working for them. There were some positions that opened up that would've fit my availability. Unfortunately, I had to decline. Full baby-making hadn't started when I first applied. Now that it has, I didn't think it'd be fair to them to put me through training when it was possible I'd either have to quit or take a leave of absence.

I'm still very grateful and pleased they even gave me a chance! I was told that if things changed for me, to give them a call.

Lastly, I'll be going on vacation soon. The next two days are filled with weddings, Sunday I'll be packing, and Monday I'm going to Disneyland for five days! Whoohoo!

I'll still try to post my weigh-in on Saturday. I'll also try to get some posts pre-written for the auto TrimBot to post in my absence. That may or may not happen as it's gearing up for quite the busy weekend. Speaking of which...yoohooo, Mr. Trim, can I see you for a moment? *hubbahubba*

Thursday’s Thought

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eightieth Weigh-in

Despite the rough weeks I had, I'm down again this week by .8 lbs. Ironically, that's given me a goal that I initially had in mind when I first started Weight Watchers - to lose 75 lbs. I'll freely admit that the only reason why I had that goal in mind was so I could get the 75 lb charm. Yes, I'm a little superficial :)

Since I didn't think I'd be eligible to receive any more stickers or charms, it was quite the shock when my leader presented me with both this morning. You'd think I'd be over the moon with happiness. I am happy, yes. But in a reflective way. It's a nice thing to have but ultimately, it wasn't the big goal. The big goal has already been and gone and this is a sort of happy dénouement to my journey.

Even still, I'm proud to put it on my keychain and to affix what should be the last five pound star to my bookmark.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Free and clear!

Mr. Trim and I can start making babies now :)

I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday. It was with the replacement doctor as my regular doctor isn't back until September. She was still excellent, allayed my fears, and gave me the green light.

In particular, I was worried about my medication. As I suspected (but needed to confirm), the benefits of my medication far outweigh the minuscule risk to the baby. A happy healthy mom is the best thing for a happy healthy baby.

I was also sent for pre-screening blood tests. Usually they do them after you get pregnant, but it's also good to do it beforehand. Several vials of blood later, I was starting to whimper. Fortunately, the flobotomist stopped at seven. Even still, today my arm is still aching.

That's it in a nutshell. Mr. Trim and I will be starting right away. I might not be posting as much. I hope you understand ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

A weekend without friends

I spent the whole weekend without friends. It's amazing just how on plan I was. Normally I have a twilight zone that starts Saturday morning where all the food I eat mysteriously never makes it into my tracker. I do love my friends, but sometimes it's nice when they're out of town and I can get a "me time" weekend.

Saturday, I went to the farmer's market and bought pints of blueberries and strawberries to make more freezer jam. In the afternoon, I went for my long-distance training run. It was overcast and threatening to rain, but I did it anyways.

As I started running, I sorta wished it would rain...just a I could feel all hardcore and stuff. Well wouldn't you know it, it POURED. The heavens opened and dropped buckets of water. Every part of me was soaked by the time I got back to the car. I was also covered in trail dirt up to my bum. Wish granted. But with a bit more gusto than I expected.

At the end of the run I stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some milk. As I squelchily made my way up and down the aisles, I fervently hoped that people would notice and be impressed at how hardcore I looked. Though in retrospect I think I just looked wet, bedraggled, and dirty. And I suspect there might've been an employee following me around with a mop.

The rest of the afternoon was spent drying off, watching the Olympics, making a batch of whole-wheat butermilk biscuits, and making a training calendar sticker chart.

On Sunday, I made two batches of jam (new recipe: Balsamic Strawberry) and watched more Olympic coverage.

All-in-all a good on-plan weekend.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Seventy-ninth Weigh-in

I'm down 1.8 lbs this week. I also know what caused my gain last week: my period. It's been happening for over 22 years now, you'd think I'd be prepared for it by now. One of these months it's not going to sneak up on me.

The meeting today was about exercise and how it should be something you enjoy. I couldn't agree more. If I didn't like running or bootcamp or any of the other exercises I do, I'd still be on the couch.

We also discussed physical and mental obstacles to exercise. For me, the hardest part is getting out the door. I still have to trick myself; especially when I'm tired. I begin with the 10 minute rule: I have to go out for at least 10 minutes. If I'm not enjoying myself after the time is up, I give myself permission to stop. It's never gotten to that point of course. That's the trick. Once you're doing it, you're apt to keep going.

The other trick I use is gradually getting dressed. When I'm tired, getting dressed for exercise is a chore. I force myself to get dressed by focusing on one clothing piece at a time. After about 20 minutes of alternatively dressing and futzing around procrastinating, I'll finally be dressed. By this point I'll still be tired and cranky, but once I'm dressed, the prospect of undressing is more daunting than actually going out and exercising.

Hi, I'm TinyTrim, 34-year-old toddler.

But hey, whatever gets you out the door, right?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Preserving summer's freshness

BC Blueberries

I might go on and on about fall, but I must say that summer has a certain level of fondness in my heart. I just love all the fresh fruit, berries, and veggies at this time of year. I've been going to farmer's markets and buying locally produced food. It feels good to buy locally. The food hasn't travelled hundreds of miles, tastes fresher, lasts longer, and if that weren't enough, a local farmer gets income at the same time.

Freezer Jam
One of the things I've been doing with all the fresh food is making freezer jam. It's surprisingly very easy and the result is to die for. If you use freezer jam pectin, you don't need to put as much sugar into it. Points-wise, they're not too bad. Depending on the recipe, it can be as little as half a point for one tablespoon.

Here's some of the recipes I made recently:
The blueberry turned out the best. The the lemon flavour really comes through. Oh so yummy.

A batch of Blueberry Freezer Jam, cooling on the counter

And what's jam without a biscuit or scone to slather it on? I haven't tried these recipes from Weight Watchers yet, but plan to soon. They're low on points and look easy to make:
If you've never made freezer jam before, give it a try. It tastes extremely fresh; like summer in a bottle. They also freeze well up to a year.

Penningtons and Addition Elle Fall Previews

Penningtons and Addition Elle have fall previews out now. Click the links to be taken directly to the preview pages.

The eggplant colours featured in these previews are gorgeous. It's one of my favourite colours to wear. I also love embroidered pieces like this skirt. Embroidery adds such dimension and texture to fabric. Oh, who am I kidding. Taking fashion advice from me is like asking a fish how to fly, hehe. At any rate, you can't deny that I love looking at fall clothes!

If you missed it, the last two featured fall previews were from Sears and Eddie Bauer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

Obstacles can't stop you. Problems can't stop you. Most of all other people can't stop you. Only you can stop you.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Thin on the inside

Have you ever said something as an absolute fact only to realize later you were absolutely wrong? I'm cursed with foot-in-mouth disease and do it all the time. For example, not too long ago, I waxed poetic about being overweight on the inside. I opined that I was not a dyed-in-the-wool health nut.

I was wrong.

By saying that I would always be overweight on the inside, it was like saying that I'm permanently flawed. That I'll always have to fight. That's some pretty pessimistic thinking right there. If there's one thing I've learned along the way it's this: it's positive thinking that gets you places.

Consider what pessimistic thinking got me in the past. I firmly believe I became overweight because of thinking the worst of me. In my post, I'm thinner than I think I am, I even said as much.

I saw myself as large and unattractive. I wasn't really. But I believed it and I became it.”

My recent troubles with binging can be laid squarely on the shoulders of fatalistic thinking. Weekends might be the trigger, but this type of thinking is the gunpowder. I believed I was flawed. I became it. And I've been fighting the imaginary monster that I inadvertently created because of it.

That way of thinking is no more. I am a member of the naturally thin and healthy. If I have off-days, it doesn't mean I'm broken. Even naturally thin people have those days.

For anything to work long-term, you have to really enjoy it. I enjoy being thin and healthy. I enjoy thinking of myself in these terms inside and out. It's such a bright happy sparkly thought that it gives me focus and a "can do" attitude. Because I can do this. After all, the power of positive thinking means it's a foregone conclusion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Weekend triggers

I'm coming clean with this post. I've been binging. One recent afternoon, I methodically ate whatever packaged treat I could get my hands on. That was the worst day, but there have been others.

The weekends are the trigger for me. They're usually spent with friends who don't care what they eat. I'm always the odd duck out when it comes to healthy meals. I try to tactfully suggest certain places to eat, but I don't press it too hard if nobody is keen on it. Just because I'm choosing to eat healthier, doesn't mean everyone else should, too. Oftentimes, I'm thrown into situations where the choices are limited to yet another unappetizing salad.

What is it about friends and food that leads me astray? When I avoid gettogethers, I'm not a team player. When I order something healthy or abstain from someone's home cooked food, I'm the alien in the group. When I try and be a part of the group and take a nibble...the nibble leads down the path of no return.

It's been a year-long battle and I've just gotten tired of trying to adjust to all these social situations that keep getting thrown at me. Like the dripdripdrip of water on rock, it's wearing me down.

It's for this reason that I've been giving in a lot lately to the pressures of socializing. Unfortunately, it's led to the binging and a fatalistic attitude. "You've already muffed it, Tiny, might as well eat the whole cupboard."

At the very least, I've been crawling back onto the wagon every single time I go off course. By my teeth and finger nails, clinging on. Thank goodness for my mother who passed down the stubborness gene. I. Will. Not. Give. In.

At least not permanently.

All the ranting aside, social situations aren't going to go away. I just have to accept it and keep working on ways to handle it. Aside know...eating a box of cereal in one sitting.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Seventy-eighth Weigh-in

It's taken me awhile to post this one, but here it is. I was up 1.6 lbs this weigh-in. Which is funny because at the time, I felt like I had lost weight. I must've been feeling the loss of whatever weight it was that I had gained the week before.

As an old hand at the scale, I know that it's feedback and not failure. Nor any reason to beat oneself up about it. You make adjustments as necessary, and keep going.

Speaking of the need to make adjustments. I've been sliding into some old habits. That's another post though :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sears’ Top Picks for Fall

Just because I adore fall clothes shopping and can finally buy "permanent" clothes, I've been trolling the internet looking for new fall lineups. Last week was Eddie Bauer, this week it's Sears!

I'm embarrassed to say that I've been checking their website daily but didn't notice the words "for fall" tacked onto one of the banners until today. Advertisement fail.

Anyways, Sears has their fall clothes out for men and women in plus, regular, and petite. I really like the shirt pictured here. It comes in colours that I really love – teal, orange, and green. If I don't watch myself, I'll probably get all three.

I also like this jacket. It's got two things going for it: it's plaid and has a Mandarin collar. Okay, stop looking at me funny now. What can I say? I love plaid. Plaid is autumn. Why can't plaid come back in style? (Don't answer that.)