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Tag Archives | diet

Cheeseless, or How Much I Love My Mother

A confession: I love cheese. I’m almost Dutch that way – it’s not really a meal unless there’s a cheese product involved. I am happiest standing at the kitchen counter dipping pretzel sticks into flavored cream cheese. In fact, that’s what I had for lunch the other day.  I think about most food (outside of cookies) in terms of whether or not it can be considered a cheese-bearing vehicle.

I give you this information so that you’ll understand the magnitude of the bargain I made with my mother (from whom I learned my love of du fromage ). I’d been telling her that she should cut down on cheese because I’ve heard that cheese and dairy can contribute to inflammation and she’s got wicked arthritis, and because she’s been trying to lose weight. So damned if she didn’t call me on my challenge and say, basically, that she’d go cheese-free if I would.

Okay, it’s not quite Sophie’s choice, but still: love of cheese or love of mother?

Mom won. I tossed out the remains of the cream cheese this morning; my lunch was salsa and ham and Wasa (a combination that would’ve been vastly improved with a slab o’cheddar); I can’t even think about dinner.

I told the boys this morning about the bargain I’d made with grandma about going cheese-less and asked them who they thought would crack first. Without missing a beat, they both said “you, Mommy, no way you’re going to make it.”  Lovely, their faith in me, isn’t it?

So. An entire month without cheese. We’ll see.

I can always take solace in yogurt, I guess.  I agreed to cut out cheese, not dairy, after all. I mean, I love my mom, but I’m not crazy.

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Continue Reading · on November 1, 2012 in family, food, Kids, NaBloPoMo

Cereal as a cure for chaos? Maybe…

The school year is winding down and we’re getting ready to move. Each boy’s school has end-of-year celebrations and parties and exhibits; after-school classes are over; babysitters are away on vacation.  Add to that the pile of boxes in the middle of our apartment, waiting to be shipped to Abu Dhabi, and it’s like a double whammy of chaos around here.

With all the schedule changes, family dinners have pretty much fallen by the wayside and with all the parties and celebrations happening during the school day both boys are getting lots and lots of opportunities for snacks and sweets—so the lunch boxes are coming home almost untouched. So much for that well-balanced lunch I pack each morning, hmm?

And at night, after the boys are in bed, I’m doing my own fair share of snacking, looking for a little extra sugary energy to get me through another hour or two of sorting through ten years of files, piles, and boxes.

When I was asked to review the FiberPlus cereals with antioxidants from Kelloggs in the midst of all this chaos, I got almost too excited: maybe the boys would like these nutritious cereals and I could know that even if they ate cupcakes and pretzels all day, their day at least had a solid nutritional start.

The first one we tried, FiberPlus Yogurt Berry Crunch has 10g of fiber, which is almost 40% of the daily recommended amount.  With a ½ cup of skim milk, a cup of cereal is 210 calories. The boys liked this flavor but we all agreed that it’s almost too sweet to be a breakfast food. A few handfuls of Yogurt Berry Crunch, however, have become my night-time snack, and I feel much less guilty than I do when I settle down with a plate of ginger snaps.

The second flavor, FiberPlus Cinnamon Oat Crunch was our hands-down favorite. It’s cinnamony and crunchy and tastes as good by the handful as it does with milk. A single serving with a ½ cup of skim milk has only 150 calories and contains 35% of the daily recommended intake of fiber.  Given that regular exercise has also fallen by the wayside in these chaotic weeks, a low calorie, high fiber way to start my day is a bowlful of happy.
The drawback to these two tasty boxes of goodness is that the list of ingredients contains a few too many polysyllabic chemicals (but no high-fructose corn syrup). Generally I like to serve food that’s pretty minimally processed—although, of course, Caleb regularly has hot dogs for dinner and Liam loves chicken nuggets, so I’m not sure I can quibble with what’s written on the side of these cereal boxes. I think these cereals will become a regular part of our morning routine.  Now if Kelloggs could only do something about the rest of my packing…


Full disclosure:
This is a paid post sponsored by Kellogg’s. I received one box of Berry Yogurt Crunch and one box of Cinnamon Oat Crunch to facilitate the review. The opinions in this post are my own, not Kelloggs.

Continue Reading · on June 21, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, food, Products

in which i pull down the blinds and hop around

First I had to shut the blinds.  No, first I had to make sure the kids were asleep, then I had to shut the blinds.  I don’t want to be responsible for sending peeping toms into cardiac arrest.

Then it was just me and…it. Alone together.

Twenty minutes later, I was sweaty and sore, and harboring very nasty feelings towards the person responsible, who smiled and told me everything was going to be okay, if I would just commit to the process.

Yes. It’s true. Tonight was my first-ever shred, a word I’ve generally only used for cabbage, carrots, and old credit card statements. Now I see that shredding is a way of life and its high priestess is Jillian Michaels, who may be the fem-bot from those horrible Svedka vodka ads, except I don’t think the Svedka fem-bot has ankle tattoos.

Yes. That was me hopping around my living room tonight trying to keep up with Jillian and the other two rock-solid bitches in spiffy workout clothes. Twenty minutes, promises Jillian. Twenty minutes, five or six times a week of my “A game” (note to self: find A-Game) and she promises I will be ripped in 30. Personally,  I would settle for just being less squishy at 47, but why quibble?

I don’t watch “The Biggest Loser,” the show that made Jillian a star-in-a-sports-bra but a few bloggers whose work I like (try Motherhood Uncensored, for starters) did the “30-day shred” and swear by it, so I figured I’d give it a try.  I took my measurements and realized that all the gut-sucking in the world can’t hide the fact that I am, basically, square. A puffy, gently quilted square.  I’ve been genetically blessed with skinny legs and ankles but lately I’m looking a lot like a potato on toothpicks and as I move into a serious relationship with the big Five-Oh, I would like to leave behind my swags of back fat.  Wouldn’t it be nice to start my next decade with a waist?

I had to face it: a few days a week of Prana Power Yoga and fifteen minutes of sit-ups while watching “The Good Wife” on TiVo are no match for my evening cookie habit.

Thus, Jillian. Thus, new sneakers: black adidas, with shiny bits, and dark pink stripes. Husband pursed his lips, looked at the sneakers, said, “well, they’re really girly. And kind of horrifyingly ghetto, too.” I like them. They remind me of good-and-plenty candies, which apparently, says Jillian, I can’t eat any more.  Bitch.

Here’s what I learned from tonight’s little celebration of Jillian love: I need a new sports bra, I need lighter free weights, I hate to run, and despite all the walking I do every day, my cardio is for shit.  I learned also that I pretty much hate exercise videos. Why is she encouraging me and saying “great job!” Doesn’t she realize she can’t see me?  Is that her version of Romper Room’s Magic Mirror?

You know what else I learned? That when I run in place my belly slops over the waistband of my shorts and jiggles.  Blech.  So yeah, Jillian, I’m coming back tomorrow. I think my A-Game might be in the back of the closet behind the winter coats. Of course, it might also be in the cupboard where I keep the cookies.

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Continue Reading · on April 1, 2011 in exercise

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