Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All 'Eyes' on Halloween

Garlic chives make up the eyelashes on these Deviled Eggy Eyes.
Last Saturday night, I had a dilemma — bring a side dish to our homeowner's association traditional Halloween soirée that typically features a roast pig, pulled beef brisket, ribs and every kind of fattening pot luck side dish you can imagine from an expansive Halloween-themed cupcake display to dozens of salads, mac-and-cheese, baked beans, potato salads and au gratins.

I wanted to bring something I could eat that would be festive, so I decorated some Deviled Eggs with thin slices of pimento-stuffed olives and gave them eyelashes from the garlic chives growing in a pot on our back porch. Not exactly completely original to use the olives to make eyes, but I haven't seen anyone else do the chive eyelashes.

My most-used appliance — the Cuisinart egg cooker.
I hard-boiled a dozen plus eggs in my favorite appliance — the super-cute Cuisinart egg cooker (yes, it trumps my Cuisinart food processor, although it's a close race.) The reason I like my Cuisinart egg cooker, besides looking like it could be a Star Trek pod person, is because the eggs cook perfectly with none of that nasty gray exterior you get on overcooked yolks. The eggshells peel off easily, no matter how fresh your eggs are.

I mashed up the egg yolks in another bowl, mixed them with light mayonnaise to the right consistency, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, about a teaspoon of Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic seasoning and then made them smooth and creamy by hitting them with just a touch of an immersion blender. Then I folded in about three tablespoons of capers for some savory texture. 

Filling eggs with a quart-size plastic bag filled with the creamy caper and egg yolk mixture. Roll the sides of the plastic bag down to make it easier to fill, then squeeze the mixture down to a corner and cut it off.
I put my creamy egg yolk mixture in a quart-size plastic bag, cut off one of the corners and piped the yolks back into my egg yolk whites. I gave the eggs a light sprinkling of some smoked paprika, cut a pimento-stuffed green olive about 1/16-inch thick and my garlic chives. I arranged them so no matter how you approached the platter, they were looking at you.

They were flying off the buffet table and onto partygoers plates when we left to go watch the University of Oklahoma football team lose terribly to our long-time nemesis Notre Dame. Oh well — at least the eggs were good.

I'm in the middle of a diet "reboot," which seems to have gotten me moving downward on the scales again. For most weekday meals, I've been substituting protein shakes or drinks and snacking in between meals on a protein bar or snack. On weekends, I commute to meet my hubby who is working back in the States, and I let my sleeve limit my eating and just try to make good choices.

I'm down to 196, a 77-pound loss. Finally moving again. I'm looking forward to my first-of-the-month Measure Down Day on Thursday.

For Halloween, I plan to buy some puckery Skittles (or another candy I don't like) to give to my spooks and goblins, so I won't have any trouble staying away from it. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Editing My Life -- Buh-Bye Bread and other Resolutions

OK, confession time. 

I'd been playing with three or four pounds for several months now, flirting with Onederland (often in the 100s, but continuing to not be totally rid of the 200s which kept popping up on my scale.) It was discouraging to say the least. You don't go get half your stomach cut out not to keep losing weight and get to goal.

Blame it on traveling during the summer to a travel bloggers conference in Keystone, Colo., for about four days in June; 17 days in late June and July in Lagos, Nigeria, to help my husband repatriate (hooray he's back working in the States and really most of what there was to do there was just eat); Barcelona, Spain, for about 9-10 days in late July to visit darlin' daughter who was studying abroad — yes, more eating and drinking; and San Franscisco over the long Labor Day weekend  for hubby's and my fifth anniversary — loved the seafood and drinks in the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel. Fun times, but watch out — they'll kill you.

We ate too much (well, maybe not too much, but not the right things.) We drank too much, which is something we gastric sleevers must watch like the majestic red-tailed hawks that are so prevalent in Oklahoma and Texas. Gotta swoop down and especially purge that.

When I got back from San Franscisco, I decided something needed to change. On the advice of my weight-loss physician, I'd stopped strength training about 15 months ago. And I'd never done quite as much as the recommended cardio.

So I found a new personal trainer and started working out a few weeks ago. And instead of my weight going down, it's been creeping up and about a week ago was back up to 203.4 pounds, which was still 70 pounds lost, but down from 78 pounds lost at my lowest point. I know some is muscle, but this has gotta stop and now.

I decided about a week ago to examine where I could make improvements and here they are:

Cut out the alcohol, unless it's a really, really, REALLY special occasion. And then limit it and count it in my online tracker.

Portion control on everything. If I bite it, write it; if I drink it, ink it. That's not an original saying by the way, but unfortunately I don't know where it came from or I'd attribute it. Let me know if you know.

Buh-bye bread. I'd let bread and some other starches creep back up on my a little. Complex carbs have gotta go until I make goal.

Move more, whether it's 30 minutes of walking the dog (dog likes that!) to hitting the stationary bike at the gym. Today's it's an hour of yoga, and doing a whole bunch of gardening tonight (which will make me happy when I drive up.) And I'm resolved to find more ways to move more in ways that make me happy and feel good. Maybe next week I'll buy one of those old Schwinn bicycles and a bike rack I've been coveting.

I decided kitchen clutter and grime was a metaphor for sloppy eating. Looked up Flylady for inspiration and I scrubbed every inch of my kitchen this morning, throwing numerous out-of-date items out of the frig and washed all my frig shelves and crispers. I washed the fronts of cabinet doors and the tops of the countertops, relocating most of the clutter that had found it's way there. 

This morning, I edged back into Onederland thankfully. Now the goal is to hang onto it and keep making progress. I figure sometimes you just have to hit yourself in the head and say I'm not going back to the bad ol' days.

So that's it for now. I feel unstuck and moving again.

All encouragement is appreciated. You and I can do this and be healthier. 


P.S. Here's my new ticker, with my back to Onederland weight on it: