Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine

11 Apr

This recipe combines two of mom’s favorite treats: peanut butter cups and pretzels (or as my brother used to say as a tot: prentzels). I don’t know what a Terrine is, but I loosely translate it as “ice cream treat.”

original recipe here

2014-04-05 20.25.16

Ingredients:

Three pints of vanilla ice cream*

*Have you ever noticed that recipes never include the cookware you’ll need to make it? It’s like they assume everyone has a fully stocked gourmet kitchen. That was one thing I loved about these two American Girl Cookbooks I had–they always listed the cookware with the ingredients. I mean, is there anything more annoying that starting a recipe, only to find out you don’t own the required materials? (Dammit, I need a lemon zester?!)

A bag of pretzels

Reese’s cups (or D-Tree brand, no judgement), any size

wax paper and a loaf pan* (the original called for parchment paper, but you really can live without it, or at the very least use cheaper wax paper since it’s not going in the oven)

*You can tell this is a Real Snobby Simple recipe by the fact that it’s measured in pints: as you know, all the FANCY SCHMANCY ice cream comes in pints. I used not even quite one plain jane carton. 

Step 1:

Pull the ice cream out of the freezer to soften.

Step 2:

I recommend pretzels that are on the thin side. Mash up some of the pretzels (I didn’t even use half the bag), using whatever method you prefer.

I prefer the toddler stomping method.

I prefer the toddler stomping method.

Or you could be civilized and use a rolling pin. Either way, be sure to put your pretzels in a thick freezer bag to prevent holes and spillage.

Step 3:

Chop the peanut butter cups. I had a 12-pack of standard-size Reese’s, plus maybe four extras leftover from the Sweet Sixty Jar. You could do more or less, according to your taste.

Try not to eat them all.

Try not to eat them all.

Step 4:

Press half the ice cream into the loaf pan. Sprinkle on some of each of the peanut butter cup and pretzel pieces.

2014-04-04 22.57.40

 

 

2014-04-04 23.00.04

Step 5:

Press the other half of the ice cream on top

Tip for softening ice cream: if you happen to be making something in the oven beforehand, set the ice cream carton on top of the stove. The heat from the oven melts it to the perfect consistency (soft but not a puddle). But learn from my mistakes: put a paper towel under it. #HowNotTo

Tip for softening ice cream: if you happen to be making something in the oven beforehand, set the ice cream carton on top of the stove. The heat from the oven melts it to the perfect consistency (soft but not a puddle). But learn from my mistakes: put a paper towel under it. #HowNotTo

Step 6:

Sprinkle on the rest of the peanut butter cups and pretzels

Step 7:

Freeze anywhere from one hour to two days (to make it slice-able).

2014-04-04 23.04.15

In the end, I recommend not using a foil pan like this. Although it meant that I didn’t need parchment or wax paper, when I went to slice around the terrine to pull it out, the knife went right through the pan.

It didn't slice as well as I'd hoped...but...Look at this deliciousness!

It didn’t slice as well as I’d hoped…but…top notch deliciousness!

DIY Memory Banner Tutorial

10 Apr

Hey, nobody ever said I was good at decorating. Or photography. But I promise, this will be a big hit!

We ended up with TONS of contributions for the jar project, more than double the 60 we needed. I didn’t want to exclude anybody’s memories–they were all so wonderful! By combining several memories that were similar or related, I was able to curate them down to 120–exactly sixty times two! Magic! So I decided to make this supplemental craft. It’s super easy, even for the lazy and disorganized (imagine how easy it would be if you aren’t!).

How to make a Memory Banner

a spin off of this tutorial

You will need:

old greeting cards (or new ones I guess, whatever, I’m cheap)

ribbon

more labels or a nice pen if you are having a good-handwriting day

Step 1:

If you are interested in upcycling, this is a great use for old greeting cards. I went through a period where I saved ALL of them. I’ve been throwing all but the most special away lately in an attempt to get more organized…I thought more than one box like this was too much. But as you can see, I still had a lot of..er..material to work with.

I can’t be the only person with a box like this hanging around.

Step 2:

Pick folded cards that are blank on one side of the inside. You’ll be writing or labeling the blank side, and this way you can still save any special notes written in the card (that’s the most important part of cards anyway, right?). Those little thank-you notes that people are always writing on pretty notecards are great for this, and if you’re like me, you probably have one or five cards in there from people and events you don’t even quite remember (or care to remember). Try not to be like me and start reading all the cards or you’ll be at this for hours. Just pick what will look pretty hanging up in a banner, and maybe not too seasonal (unless this project is for a specific holiday). I used about 45 cards to get 60 squares.

Step 3:

Cut a bunch of quadrilaterals out of the cards. The original tutorial used beautiful, even squares, but I didn’t worry too much about the size or shape as long as it was big enough to fit the label (variety is the spice of life). If you’re going to handwrite, you don’t have to worry about even that.

My stack of cut cards

It took exactly one episode of Snapped On-Demand to cut the greeting cards and affix the labels to them and the candy. It would have taken even less time had I been organized with the labels and not have to keep counting to sixty.

Step 4:

Apply the memory labels (leftover from the Sweet Sixty Jar, or if you’re doing only this project you’ll want to make them first) or write your memories on the back of the cards.

Step 5:

Punch holes in the top two corners of each card.

2014-04-03 20.59.36

The cards were all different colors and designs. I didn’t want the banner to be too discordant looking, so after the punching was done I sorted the card pieces, just very generally and vaguely, into a spectrum based on color.

Wreath o’ Cards

Step 6:

Trim a ribbon or string to size, depending on how close or far apart you want the cards. With as many as sixty, you could do a double banner. I ended up doing this on accident because my first spool of ribbon wasn’t long enough.

Craftin’ at rehearsal #likeWHOA

Step 7:

Thread the ribbon or string through the holes. I had two kinds of ribbon: a thin sparkly grosgrain and a wider, satiny ribbon. Just FYI, the thin ribbon was much easier to thread. The wide one kept getting corkscrewed, causing the cards to twist awkwardly instead of hang straight. It took some finessing to get those soldiers back in line. (Again, #HowNotTo)

The thinner ribbon fit perfectly through the punched holes.

 

TADA AGAIN

2014-04-04 23.29.46

 

Seems like nothing special, but it makes a great keepsake!

Once, Twice, Sixty Times a Lady

8 Apr

Have your parents turned sixty yet? My dad’s sixtieth is next year, and my mom’s was on Saturday.

I wanted to do something special for her, something requiring forethought, planning, and maybe even some elbow grease. I thought about rigging up one of those personalized, town-wide scavenger hunts, but that sounds like more work than I — and frankly she — are up to (you know I had to get the #lazy from somewhere). I also thought about trying to gift her some kind of experience…sky diving came up (HA)…but nothing suitable came to mind. I mean, we’ve already been to paint-and-drank like four times.

3photo

I love my mom so much, I would actually attempt arts & crafts for her.

The problem is that mom and I, although a lot alike personality-wise, don’t really like to do the same kind of things. I mean, she likes to hike to waterfalls and caves and stuff, while I’d rather get brunch and a pedicure. She likes to go to concerts, while Music Midtown made me kind of nauseous. You get the idea.

So eventually, my brother and I put our heads together and came up with an idea that is pure mom: rocks. Lots of people’s mothers garden, but I’m pretty sure mine is the only one who gets home every day, grabs a beer, and arranges rocks in the backyard till sundown. So we pooled our money to take her to the landscape outlet and let her pick out the half-ton of her dreams.

 

Hmmm...a two ton boulder, perhaps?

Hmmm…a two ton boulder, perhaps?

2014-04-05 12.24.46

Sixty is the new forty, right mom?

2014-04-05 12.21.58

“I love rocks. I love rocks. I love rocks.” – Baby T.

 

And we have a winner! This Tennessee flagstone with the pink marbling is super cool.

And we have a winner! This Tennessee flagstone with the pink marbling is super-cool.

But I still think it’s nice to have something fun to open and something sugary to eat on your birthday. So I want to share what I all I did with you, complete with tutorials. I feel like these are toeing the line of a how-not-to, but just in case some other unartistic person needs some inspiration and motivation, I just want to show it can be done!

Hooray! It’s Sixty “things we love about mom” presented on chocolate, because, well, chocolate (that’s at least one thing mom and I agree on).

2014-04-04 20.23.50

I dubbed it the Sweet Sixty Jar. I also made a memory garland and a poor man’s ice cream cake, along with a little gag snack.

That doesn’t sound right.

Here are links to the tutorials (will be posted throughout this week):

Sweet Sixty Jar

Memory Garland

Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine

Apple Dentures

2014-04-05 15.58.11

Happy 60th to the best mom around!

Apple Dentures

8 Apr

I couldn’t resist adding this bit of goofballiness to mom’s birthday spread. I couldn’t track down the source of the original Pin, but I still wanted to share a quick break down of how it’s done.

2014-04-05 00.19.32

You will need:

Red apples in accordance with how large a party you are serving (the above was made from one gala apple)

Peanut Butter

Mini Marshmallows

Lemon juice

utensils: chef’s knife, pastry brush

Step 1:

Core and chop the apples into rather thin wedges.

This was P's contribution. He's a chopper extraordinaire.

This was P’s contribution. He’s a chopper extraordinaire.

Step 2:

Brush wedges with lemon juice to slow browning.

Shh..don't tell: I used a regular paint brush (brand new, stop judging.)

Shh..don’t tell: I used a regular paint brush (brand new, stop judging.)

Step 3:

Spread peanut butter on a wedge.

2014-04-05 00.00.18

This is a messier recipe than you might think. Pretty sure I ate like ten fingerfuls of PB. But I was just serving these to my mom. If you’re making these for a party, maybe keep some paper towels handy for swiping instead.

 

Step 4:

Line up mini marshmallows across the widest part of the wedge for the “teeth.”

2014-04-05 00.00.59Step 5:

Spread peanut butter on one side of another wedge, and place on top of the marshmallows.

Peel side out of course.

Peel side out of course.

 

Tee hee! Snort Snort Chuckle!

2014-04-05 00.19.22

Luckily my mom has a great sense of humor. And these are quite delicious too. I don’t even care for marshmallows much, but it’s a pretty good combo.

 

Sweet Sixty Jar: Step by Step Tutorial

8 Apr

2014-04-04 22.08.18

My brother and I could have come up with sixty “things we love about mom” between us easily, but I thought it would be more special if her whole family contributed. So we put out a call to the clan for memories. We tried to keep it light because we didn’t want mom to feel like she was witnessing her own funeral (but at the same time…who doesn’t secretly sort of want to do that?).

I’m really upset because I took pictures at every step of the way, and like half of them disappeared into the no man’s land of my phone. So you’ll have to use your imagination.

Sweet Sixty Jar: Step by Step Tutorial

You will need:

sixty candies

a glass container large enough to hold sixty candies

etching cream

letter stickers, stencils, or a really steady hand

duck or masking tape

paint brush or palette knife

self-stick address labels (and a computer and printer, do I really have to say that?)

ribbon and a small note card

 

The stuff you need, plus some other stuff (I call it cozy clutter).

Step 1:

Start by cleaning your glass jar. I just Windex-ed it down but if there are stubborn stickers or other assorted gunk you might want to dab on some Goo Gone. A note about the jar: I think something with flat sides is preferable to something round, because it’s easier to make the stickers totally flush. You’ll see.

Step 2:

Arrange your stickers on your jar. You can spell out whatever you want: the person’s name or monogram, “Mom,” “Happy Birthday,” whatever. Just be sure your letters are the appropriate size. I spent a really long time in Michael’s scrapbook aisle measuring letters. In the end I picked LOVE because it’s a jar of love, right? The letters I picked were slightly raised–I was worried about that, but it was fine. However, you do want to make sure that you press down really firmly. You do NOT want the etching cream to seep under.

Step 3:

Apply a slice of tape to the jar on either side of your letters, in order to make a sort of column around the word. Again, make sure it’s really stuck down good on the edge. I so wish I had the picture of this step, but you can see it illustrated in the original tutorial here.

Step 4:

Generously blob the etching cream over the letters with a paint brush or palette knife. Me and T used a heavy hand. You don’t want it to seep under the letters or the tape.

Be sure to have someone shake the bottle reeel good.

Step 5:

Wait twenty minutes. The bottle says to wait for one minute, but reviews advised longer. Note: the etching cream won’t dry, so don’t be looking for that.

Step 6:

Rinse off the etching cream in the sink. You can use your hand to scrub it a bit, but I wouldn’t like, buff it or anything.

Step 7:

Peel up the tape and letters. Finally, a picture!

IMG_20140330_122301

If you look closely you can see the rough edges. That’s from seepage.

Yay! All done with the crafty part!

If you’re very artistic or have a lot of time, you can use stencils or make your own to etch patterns/designs. In theory you can also do this free hand with paint brushes and the etching cream, but it’s all way too ambitious for me. I did plan to use these pretty bird and branch stencils, but it turned out they were silk screens–will not work. (Again, How Not to Do Things).

All Done!

Now it’s time to get your list of memories and thoughts together.

Step 1B:

Get the memories onto the labels. I compiled everyone’s contributions into an excel file and then did a mail merge, but if you aren’t friends with the Office Suite you can always type them directly onto the label template. I used Avery 5160, which is a pretty standard size. You can use whatever size label fits your candy (or choose whatever size candy fits your labels). It might take a little playing with font size and type to make the text fit the way you want it.

Step 2B:

Print the labels out and stick one on each piece of candy. I got a giant bag of fun size chocolate bars on Amazon for–get this–.44 cents! I had a bunch of gift cards from Crowdtap and a free trial of Prime. But the joke’s on me, because the package arrived on the warmest day of the year so far and sat on the stoop for two hours. I think you can imagine what happened.

But even misshapen, it still tastes fine.

candy

My sixty candies just BARELY fit! Whew!

2014-04-03 17.26.11

Step 3B:

If you want, you can slip a background behind the etched part. I used a slice of scrapbook paper. The contrast make the etching more visible.

Secure the scrapbook paper (wrapping paper also works) with a couple of pieces of tape. It doesn't have to live there forever.

Secure the scrapbook paper (wrapping paper also works) with a couple of pieces of tape. It doesn’t have to live there forever.

Tie a ribbon, twine, raffia, or whatever around the top for cuteness, and attach the card. The ribbon is store-bought brand new but I cut this little tag out of some blank stationary I had hanging around.

TADA BOOYA

TADA! BOOYA

I wrote this poem my own self (Hallmark, call me).

I'll let you steal my poem if you send cheese dip.

I’ll let you steal my poem if you send cheese dip.

Lazy Girl Fitness — Progress?

3 Apr

You may have noted earlier that I’ve actually been at this since late February. And I’m here to tell you there’s been a lot of road blocks.

On evenings and weekends, the time-suck that is rehearsing a show was compounded by social obligations like spending time with a good friend moving across the country and planning for my mom’s 60th birthday (really good things of course! Which is why I chose to do them instead of exercise). Then, a goodly portion of my precious lunch breaks were taken up by assorted crap: errands that couldn’t be avoided, work hours that had to be made up, lunch meetings…. Also, first me and then T were down with strep throat for a week, and then I had to go to the chiropractor twice a week for three weeks to treat a hairography injury (getting old sucks). And in case you were wondering, my plan to do mini workouts during downtime at rehearsals has happened approximately never.

But on most weeks I’ve been able to fit in about three or four workouts. So, not the ideal 5 or 6 times a week, but it’s a decided improvement over the once or twice (or none) a week of yore. Am I ready for a bikini? [Hell] no. But a few days ago, someone mentioned they can’t believe I had a baby, a compliment I haven’t heard in more than a year. Guys, seriously–I was weirdly slim n’ trim from about months 9 to 18 after T was born. Trimmer than I’d been on my wedding day.

546779_10100534798870803_192716607_n

Circa Labor Day 2012. Thank you, nursing and choreographing two back-to-back shows.

That’s really what I’d like to get down to again, but I’m giving myself until September (the date of my friend’s wedding) to reach that goal. One step at a time!

As for now, the difference really is only noticeable to me (P says he can see a difference, but I think he’s just being really supportive. He’s always loved an athletic lady–have you seen his island?).

OK. So, I keep screaming that I hate scales, and I really do. But even though I think the fit of your clothes is a more accurate benchmark than weight (and speaks more to my specific goal), I still need to see if anything is happening in that direction. So I have in fact weighed in a total of three times so far. The second time, and definitely the most depressing, was when I went to the doc for strep (why they need your weight for that in the first place: boggled). Not only had I been working out for a while at that point, but I had barely eaten or drunk in like 60 hours, due to throat fire. And I was still 120* lbs, same as when I started.

Although I’m not focusing on losing weight per se, I estimate my weight (again, thanks to a doctor visit around that time) to be about 109 lbs in the picture above, so clearly some weight droppage, measured or no, is in order.

Flash forward to last week, and the needle has budged downward exactly *drumroll* ….. one and a half pounds *insert kazoo sound*. But nonetheless, I am reaping some benefits. I don’t feel quite as vaguely gross now, and I have noticed increased energy. (Translation: on days when I’m tired I’m still able to function). Here’s a progress shot taken on that day last week.

And as a free bonus, #nomakeup #WHAT

And as a free bonus, #nomakeup #WHAT

Still have quite a ways to go of course. I haven’t noticed any pants falling off yet. (I got excited for five seconds when a size 26 jeans at GAP fit loosely–until I read a review online that they run large. WOMP WOMP).

I also seem to have a pesky deflated baby belly problem.

Oh, T. Good thing you were worth it.

Oh, T. Good thing you were worth it.

I’m not sure that I’m any stronger yet ….I attempted this and almost died.

Seriously, I had to skip 4 the second time around.

I had to skip 4 the second time around.

But I do hope to get a  few more muskles eventually. According to 8th grade health class, muscles are denser but more compact than fat, plus they burn calories even when you’re sitting around writing blog posts. Which fits right in with my smaller dress/ignore the weight rhetoric. So this month I am attempting both of these daily plans simultaneously, even on days when I don’t do anything else workout-wise. I mean, if I can’t manage six tricep dips a day I might as well get off the pot.

*Editor’s Note: 120 lbs has always been some kind of weird line in the sand. The last time I hit that number I was a sophomore in high school, and careened off into a/b land shortly thereafter. Obviously I plan to avoid that now. But still, seeing that number on the scale again fifteen years later started all this. Wouldn’t you avoid scales too?

P.S. I’m the editor. 

Coming up next…

More on my favorite subject: food. And the results of the Eat Pretty Quiz.

Lazy Girl Fitness — Plan of Inaction

1 Apr

I was cast in 9 to 5 The Musical around the time that all this was going on. The rehearsal period for a show is a terrible time to start a diet and exercise regimen. Time and energy are in short supply, and for whatever reason, people feel the compulsion to feed actors like so many pigeons in Central Park. (Seriously–since the show started, there’ve been goo goo clusters, Girl Scout cookies, sub sandwiches, flavored popcorn, and like five birthdays complete with cupcakes). Plus, I’m occasionally tempted to see my family instead of bust butt at the gym. But if I was to make my return-to-sender dreams a reality, I had to go ahead and start.

The 3-part Plan

Exercise

Gym workout three days a week

This is the crux of my plan in terms of exercise. I have an hour lunch break. I like to go home and hang out with the hubs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when he’s off work. But if I went to the little gym in the student residence hall every other weekday, that would be three hour-long workouts on top of what I normally do (believe it or not, I did exercise before). I would make at least one of those workouts resistance training.

Hmmm…how do these work again?

source

The problem with exercise is that I hate it. Like toddlers prefer vegetables disguised in a lasagna, it works better if I do something less fitness, more fun. Which brings me to item #2.

Dance sometimes

Since there are bouts of heavy dancing in the show, I could count at least some rehearsals as a workout. The closer you get to showtime though, the more you’re just running things with a lot of hanging around in between. My weekday workouts would pick up some of the slack, but to help push things along further I try to go to an intermediate dance class on Wednesdays, our day off from rehearsals. I have time to hang out with T a bit before I go, and still be home for bedtime

Sunday Funday

Saturdays are usually a total loss, other than a 30 minute Mommy & Me creative movement class I do with T first thing in the morning. I try to bust the heck out the freeze dance, but still. So I aim to do something expansive on Sundays. Examples from the past are a 1 1/2 hour advanced level dance class (or two regular classes in a row, or one class and 45 minutes of Just Dance on the Wii…you get the idea). Some Sundays we have a five-hour moderately intense rehearsal. This one time I even climbed Kennesaw Mountain with T strapped to my back.

Total Sacajawea.

Total Sacajawea.

Wiggle

Have you guys been seeing all this research popping up recently on organic movement? That’s the new-fangled term for non-exercise physical activity, aka the traditional take-the-stairs-and-park-far-away advice. Secretary Spread has been creeping up on me since real life started after college. Now we are learning that an overall sedentary lifestyle can not only make you fat, but also kill you, even if you exercise an hour a day every day.

 

Geez, point taken.

See the whole infographic here

Now that my commute is five minutes instead of an hour plus, I’m not sitting nearly as much. But I still have a desk job, so I throw in what I can where I can. Squats when standing around at rehearsal, a yoga pose or two when chatting, etc. If I were really ambitious, I’d get a Jawbone or a Fitbit to track every little movement, but, #lazy. (Also #forgetful #broke #doesn’treallygowiththeseshoes). So I just try to stand up when possible and fidget a lot when sitting (I also sometimes sit on a yoga ball at my desk, but I always feel like a douche when I do so that doesn’t happen too often).

Eating

I’m not even going to use the word diet, because I just can’t. First of all, for someone with my mental health history, spending too much time thinking about and controlling food is a dangerous rabbit hole. Second, it just doesn’t work.

The more people I talk to, the more I find that every body responds to different things. For me personally, exercise is the key. Even if I could stick to a diet plan, without a whole lot of activity to go with it nothing will happen. That said, eating with no forethought whatsoever could totally sabotage my efforts, so I guess I have to kind of think about it. But it had better be easy and require no math skills (weighing, counting…no). So here are a few tenets I put in place.

It seems like a lot, but don’t worry–all are based on the core principle of laziness.

Mindfulness

This basically consists of sitting down to eat, chewing a lot, putting the fork down between bites, and not eating stuff that’s not that good. (You may be thinking #DUH on that last one, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve chomped something because it’s in front of me, even if it’s overcooked/undercooked/too salty/kind of gross.

Small plates

Small plates equals small portions.

Unless of course you consume multiple small plates (re: below). Mmm….delicious tapas.

source

Watch out after dark

Everybody has their own virtues and vices. I’m not a big snacker. I will go all day eating only at designated meals with no problem. BUT. But but but. Eating after dinner is a real hot spot, especially during a show. Even if I do practically nothing during a rehearsal, just being awake and sort of active past 9:00 PM makes me think it’s time to eat again. This is true even if I have a filling dinner. Even when I don’t have rehearsal, watching movies or TV turns me into chomp monster. One huge nighttime pitfall for me, that I suspect was a big contributor to this whole ballooning thing, has been tortilla chips and dip, specifically guac and salsa.

Cryptonite

source

Guacamole is not that bad if made without mayo or sour cream, and salsa is actually a healthy vegetable–but not if they’re accompanied by 452 chips. Also, it has not been unheard of for me to come home and polish off the leftovers from the dinner I just ate three hours ago. My simple weapons: a glass of water and a toothbrush. Any hunger I still feel after clean teeth and a bunch of water I figure is legit.

Add some produce

Try to eat fruit and vegetables at every meal. How can that be a bad idea?

Water

I kind of hate drinking water, but I’m making myself do it anyway. This is the one willpower element to my entire plan (and surprise, it’s the one I’m failing at the hardest).

No BLT*s

This is my favorite piece of advice from my favorite post-partum exercise guru, Lindsay Brin. BLTs in this case stands for Bites, Licks, and Tastes. As in, don’t be eating your child’s food. When I was pregnant, my mom told me that she gained like 17 pounds eating the crusts of my PB&Js when I was little. See, she tried to warn me. But I still find myself nosing over to T’s plate, which he invariably leaves half full. I justify that it’s just a shortcut to seconds, which I was going to get anyway (my plate is small! It was really only half a portion!). But what if you’ve already had seconds, or get some after that anyway? Shortcut to 300 extra calories a day maybe.

Are you gonna eat that? 

source (actually a really good, if slightly unrelated, article)

Even if you don’t have a child, I feel like this can still apply to significant others and friends, and also to the dreaded OFFICE DUMPING GROUND. You know what I’m talking about. That break room counter that’s full of potluck leftovers, baked goods that skinny bitches love to make but not eat, and candy from whatever holiday just passed.

*Actual BLTs are apparently one of the better choices you can make on a pub-type menu. How ’bout them apples?

Know the enemy

Lots of research recently has confirmed what I always felt was true: fat doesn’t make you fat. Anything “real” is probably OK for you. I don’t worry about fat at all, I don’t even think about it (unless it’s sitting attached to a piece of meat, because gross).  Along the same vein, there’s a lot of hooliganry these days about fish (farmed? fresh? did you hear they feed them chicken scat?) but even the worst fish is healthier than a cheeseburger*, and I like it, so I eat it frequently. But I try to keep an eye on sugar and salt (and not necessarily fattening but definitely bad for you things like nitrates, antibiotics, and hormones). Again, not to the point of obsessing over food labels, but just a quick eyeball when choosing spaghetti sauce at the grocery store can cut down on those bad boys big time. And eating more fruits and vegetables automatically means less salt and sugar. Circling back right there.

*om nom nom nom 

 source (Happy April Fools)

Eating Out

Have you noticed that so many menus now include calorie info? I’ve found that really helpful (delicious steak and bleu cheese salad, you are not a health food). Just because you’re eating out doesn’t mean you have to choose something bad, right?  That’s the pitfall for some people *cough*P*cough*–they figure if they’re going to a restaurant, they may as well eat fried chicken with fried fries and fried ketchup on the side. Resisting the temptation to throw in the towel (and yes, not doing going out too often) is my trick to less-guilt restaurant dining. I get the cheeseburger, but with a vegetable or a fruit side. Or I get the potato salad and just say screw it (fun fact: there’s room in a healthy lifestyle to swing up or down by 600 calories daily. The trick is that sometimes you have to swing down).

Resist what you can

I think I’ve talked about this before somewhere. The idea is for any treat that doesn’t get your heart racing, just cut it out completely. The only way to get this to work without getting all deprivation and diet-y is to pick something you really, truly, don’t care about. Some personal examples for me are potato chips, dipping sauces, and almost everything fried, including potatoes. I know, freak of nature. If I start eating them, I’ll keep going, but they’re not even my favorite thing (that would be cheese). So I just don’t eat them at all.

Sleep

Lack of sleep makes you fat. So they say, anyway. All I know is that when I exercise, I sleep better, and when I sleep better, I’m not as hangry. Look at that! An un-vicious cycle! (Beneficial cycle? Good cycle? Popsicle?)

Coming up next….

Status report: a no-holds barred look at point A, point B, and all points between. Plus, my results on the Eat Pretty Quiz!

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 753 other followers