Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Skinny tacos?

Well, maybe I should call them ‘skinnier’ tacos. As in thinner than their all beef counter parts. So, here we are in the new year and everyone is all ‘I’m going to lose weight’ or “I’m going to duct tape my mouth shut’ or ‘I’m never eating anything cooked/fried/dead’.  Right. I’ll get right on it.

Forget all that nonsense I say! don’t make ridiculous statements that you can never live up to. Then you feel bad and dive head first into a pint of Blue Bell to soothe your guilt. Don’t set goals for yourself that are unattainable or over the top. If you truly do want to lose weight/diet/change your life, you have to start with the idea that you are changing your habits and life style. NOT diet. That is the word you have to eliminate from your vocabulary all together. Why? There are a couple of reasons that should be simple to remember: 1. ‘diet’ is a four-letter word. What did your mom tell you about saying those? and 2. The first three letters of the word are ‘d-i-e’. Now tell me, which of those sound like good vocabulary to use when you are trying to set and reach goals? Neither in my book. ‘Diet’ has a negative connotation to it and in my book = deprivation, no fun, eating rabbit food and cardboard. And, well, ‘die’, I think that one is self explanatory.

My suggestion? Hmm, I actually have many and if you’d like, we can work on some lifestyle changes together to achieve these goals. but first, my suggestion is to change the words you’re using initially. You don’t say or think ‘I’m going on a diet’. Who wants to set themselves up for failure? it’s a tough thing to stick to or live by. Here’s what you need to think/say, ‘I’m changing my habits and life style.’ That gives you much more flexibility in what you’re doing and people will be more willing to support you, I think. It sounds serious, like you’re in it for the long haul, which you need to be, if you want to make long-lasting change.

Am I a diet guru? Nope. A life-style expert? Nope, not that either. What I am, is more educated than the average bear and wiling to share what I know. Here’s my backstory: 1991, I”m 24 and get on the scale at the dr’s office. My eyes nearly explode out of my head when I see the numbers on there. I knew I’d put on a few lbs, but not that many! I hadn’t ever thought I’d hit that number unless I was preggo. And I knew for sure I was not preggo then. What did I do? I drastically altered my lifestyle. Notice I didn’t use the four letter word? I eliminated all of the processed/fried/fatty foods that were favorites of mine and instead went for fresh fruits and veggies, grilled/baked chicken, lean meats and proteins and I began to exercise on a regular basis. Granted, I had higher metabolism back then, but in the first month of my new lifestyle, I dropped 10lbs. That was all the inspiration I needed to keep it up. I ultimately lost more than 25lbs and have managed to keep it off for 20 yrs. Only in the past yr have I noticed my pants slowly getting tighter. yes, the holidays are difficult, which is inspiring me to get back into my good habits, i.e. eating better and exercising more and on a regular basis. And I have a friend to do it with who will keep me accountable, and I will do the same for her. Not make her feel bad if she slips, but to support her and help her get back if she does. And she’ll do that for me as well.

Today I had an idea. My kids wanted tacos for dinner. While they’re delicious, they may not necessarily be the healthiest thing ever. My kids won’t do chicken tacos, so it’s always ground beef. I had some browned ground beef in the freezer, probably only half of what the recipe called for. I took a can of black beans, drained them, heated them in the microwave and smashed them as best as I could, then added them to the ground beef. Yummy! It gave the ground beef a creamy texture, as well as giving us added fiber and protein, and it stretched my beef in a healthy way. And guess who was completely clueless about the addition that I snuck in? yep, they had no idea and chowed down!

Here it is again in short hand:

Skinnier beef tacos

1/2lb lean ground beef browned, and drained

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

taco toppings/shells/tortillas/etc that you prefer

1. After browning and draining the ground beef well, put it in a skillet and follow prep instructions on the packet of taco seasoning.

2. Place black beans in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1:30. Smash with a spoon as best you can and add to ground beef. Stir well.

3. Serve as you normally do and enjoy, knowing that you have increased your fiber intake and gotten one over on your family! Unless of course, your spouse sees it and asks ‘are there beans in the meat?’ like mine did. But he was totally ok with it, and said he liked it even better!

Enjoy! If you are interested in lifestyle info, please to let me know and I’ll gladly share my knowledge.

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I give up…

Yes, there. I said it. I give up. I wrote about my weight loss goal and how well I’d been doing early on, as in before our trip and spring break. I suppose I’m coming to the conclusion it’s just not going to happen. No matter what I do, how hard I work, or how little I eat (ha!) it’s just not happening. I think I like food too much. 

I’m not going to totally give up, though. I’m not going to just eat everything in sight. I will pay attention to what I’m eating and when. I’m still exercising regularly, and will continue trying to be balanced. So far this week, I’ve walked 5 miles and plan on walking at least 2 more today and do some other things to get more movement into my life. I would be thrilled if it just fell off and I didn’t even expect it to! Maybe I’ll go about it that way, just eat healthier and exercise more and then BAM! sort of like when I found my honey. I wasn’t looking for him, and WHAMMO! there he was.

So, there’s the end of my saga, my goal. When I do manage to shed it, I’ll share it with you. Thanks for playing.

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Wagon? What wagon? Where?

Where is this stupid wagon that I seem to have fallen off of and why can’t I get back on it?  I was so thrilled I’d been doing so well sticking to my eating plan. I’d lost about 3lbs. I know it was probably mostly water, but still, it’s nice to see on the scale.

And then, dun dun dunnnnn, we went away for the weekend and ate at all my favorite places. I think my eating plan got sucked out the window between here and there, b/c when we got back home, those 3lbs I’d managed to lose, they found me. Then last week I had some really weird stomach bug that gave me all sorts of strange symptoms. Normally, the whole stomach bug is an easy, albeit unpleasant, way to drop a couple. But I think once I was over it, I must’ve made up for the days I spent eating chicken soup, or nothing at all. 

This week is spring break. Our weather yesterday was horrible, not spring break-type weather at all. Cold, cloudy and damp. All I wanted to do was bake cookies. I didn’t do it, but I was perilously close! It seems I’ve picked up that bad habit again of grazing late in the day and not moving enough.

Ugh. Where is this wagon anyway? I’ve got to get back on it! this week will be tough, but I am going to do my best to eat well and stay away from the junk food and the late afternoon snacking and next Monday, I’m so on it! I will be feeling fine and have no kids home needing to be entertained.

Wish me luck! I think I can, I think I can…..

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The Best Way to Eat Ice Cream

I know this sounds silly, but I got it from my mother-in-law, whom I love and think she’s the greatest. She’s a fantastic cook and just all around terrific lady. I’m very fortunate to have married into a good family.

Anyway, so here’s the deal. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream right? But who’s really screaming after the ice cream is the zipper on my jeans! So, one day while my in-laws were visiting my mother-in-law shared her tip for eating ice cream without over-indulging. It’s very simple, you don’t even need pen and paper for this one: put it in a cone. There, you see, easy as, well, ice cream pie.

If you put it in a cone, waffle, cake, sugar, any one of them, it only holds a certain amount right? And you can use even less if you don’t put it down inside the cone first. I really hate getting an empty dry cone, it’s just such a let down. It’s so easy to go wild with it. I love it too and if I ate ice cream the way my husband does, I’d be as wide as I am tall in no time. His theory, if he can see any part of the bowl, there’s not enough. I scooped up bowls of ice cream for us one evening last summer and he looked at  me as if I had handed him an empty bowl! Mind you, I put three scoops in his bowl, but because it wasn’t towering over the sides, he didn’t think he had enough, so he marched himself into the kitchen to add more! Keep in mind, he’s 6’4″ and is on his feet all day, so it’s not like it’s going to his butt, like mine will.

Anyway, I read an article about ice cream and how your tongue works and how your brain works. when we eat ice cream with a spoon, how does it enter your mouth normally? If you’re like most people, spoon on bottom, ice cream on top, right? Where are your taste buds? On the bottom. You can eat less of it and still feel satisfied with the amount you’ve eaten if you put it in a cone and lick it, it’s all taste buds getting that wonderful sensation. Or, if you don’t like the cones, turn the spoon upside down when you put it in your mouth, so your tongue doesn’t get the cold metal, but rather the deliciocity of the ice cream.

After she made the suggestion, I bought cones the next time I was at the grocery. Of course, my kids love it better that way too, it’s funner. (Yes, in my house “funner’ is a word!) You know what? My mother-in-law is pure brilliance. I could eat one small scoop of ice cream on that cone and feel perfectly happy with my little treat and know that I wasn’t blowing my calories for the day completely out of the water.

Give it a try the next time you’re having ice cream, I promise you, it will work, especially if you’re trying to be good!

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