Posts Tagged ‘food’

A Black Friday Weigh-In

First of all, the results of my post-Thanksgiving weigh-in…

Oh yeah! Down 0.8 from Wednesday! And that was WITH a traditional Thanksgiving meal! It just goes to show (me) that if I eat moderately, enjoy myself, and don’t go overboard, I CAN enjoy the holidays and stay on plan.

November 25, 2011
Weight: 376.2
Change from Last week: -2.6 pounds
Change from highest: -26.6 pounds

I do realize that this may not be typical and I may have to give some back next week. But regardless, I didn’t put on tons of weight. I didn’t gorge myself. And I even had a small slice of pecan pie last night that was every bit as good as the three slices I would have had in years past.

Thanksgiving: 0
Jeremy: 1

And on to the shopping…

I’m truthfully NOT a Black Friday shopper. I go, but I’m not one of those who ever camps out or even waits in line. In fact, when I found out that Target shoppers were going to be lined up past the front door to Lowe’s, I suggested we hit Wal-Mart first.

I go to Black Friday sales for ONE reason.

Cheap DVDs. And I knew Wal-Mart and Target were both going to have some cheap DVDs and Blu-Rays that I wanted to attempt to get my hands on.

The plus side of having such a short shopping list? If I don’t get it, no big deal.

First stop… Wal-Mart

Our first stop was Wal-Mart. Our town has two Wal-Marts, and we always go to the one that is on the other side of town because it tends to be less crowded. Even on Black Friday, it was less crowded. I’ve seen our Wal-Mart with a bigger crowd than this on regular shopping days.

We picked out four Blu-Rays, and although Tina had her heart set on getting a $38 Shark Floor Steam Cleaner, we couldn’t even find the displays.

After getting in line, (thanks to some very nice people who let us cut since we didn’t have a cart and literally had only a few things), Tina saw the Shark sitting, unattended, by the register. After asking everybody around if it was theirs, no one claimed it, so we ended up getting the cleaner, too. Win!

Second stop… Target…

Our town only has one Target. Dear Jesus, this place was packed.

After making our way around the store and asking a few Good Samaritans where the DVDs were, we finally found the movies. I had my heart set on the $7.99 Psych TVonDVD sets. Alas, the first DVD stations we found only had movies. Fortunately, yet another Samaritan pointed us to the back of the store, and we were able to get EVERY DVD box set we had on our wish list, including the entire series of Heroes for only $7.99 per season. Super win!

But then… we had to get in line.

Super suck.

The problem was that four lines were feeding into one mega line. The truth of the matter is, they needed a line referee because people kept cutting. After we had been in line for forty-five minutes, someone ahead of us was complaining because it had already taken them fifteen minutes to make it that far.

However, we reminded ourselves that we had everything we came for, and if we had to wait for a while because some people chose to screw up their karma by cutting line, then we were still going to get everything they needed. And they were going to have slashed tires in the parking lot. Win win.

But yeah, the line sucked. And continued. It took us about an hour to FINALLY check out, and we semi-bonded with the people in front of us, so all in all, a successful trip.

And yes, we got WAY more DVDs than we needed, so we’re counting this the rest of our Christmas shopping for each other, and except for a few relatives, we are now DONE Christmas shopping.

It’s Christmas!

I love Christmas! We’ve had our tree up for a week. I plan a blog post already to detail some of our ornaments, including a few that are fitness and weight loss related.

I’ll be back on Friday with a geeked-out Power Rangers post, because I haven’t done one of those in a long time.

To my American readers, please continue to have a wonderful holiday weekend. And to my non-American readers, please have a wonderful weekend!

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Thanksgiving, Middle of the Trifecta

It wasn’t until Tina and I started going to each others’ family functions that we discovered how different families from the same region of the country can be. The Thanksgiving meal we share is, I think, one big example.

At my parents’ house, Thanksgiving meal will consist of a turkey, homemade stuffing (although not actually stuffed in the bird), gravy, rolls, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, macaroni and cheese, roasted sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. And for dessert, some type of pie that is definitely not pumpkin. My mother, who was the cook when I was growing up, hates pumpkin, so I was literally an adult before I first tried a pumpkin pie.

Tina’s family has a very different menu. Turkey, ham, green beans, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, some type of sweet potato casserole, and rolls with pumpkin pie for dessert. One year I think there were even deviled eggs. To me, this feels more like a July 4th meal. I’ve got to be honest – while I’m happy to go enjoy this meal with Tina’s family, it just does not feel like Thanksgiving to me. And I’m quite sure that my family meal doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving to her.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and being with people you care about. Food is just that – food. It doesn’t make or break the day. (Even though I hate baked beans. Yuck.)

So, we’re heading into the middle meal of the Holiday Trifecta that tends to ruin people’s diets.

I have NEVER understood that. Thanksgiving is just NOT a scary meal for me.

I do Weight Watchers at the moment, so this is what my Thanksgiving meal at my parents house will look like with estimated points.

Turkey, 6
Small amount of gravy, 3
Mashed potatoes with peas, 8
Roll, 4
Macaroni & cheese, 8
Sweet potato, 4
Cranberry sauce, 3

These are high estimates, and yes, this is a VERY generous plate of food. It comes out to 36 points. Yeah, that’s a buttload of food. But you know what? I have 71 daily points. I have 49 weekly points that I’ve barely touched because I’m saving them for the Thanksgiving eat-o-rama. Even if I add a slice of pie at 10 points, I’m still doing okay.

And best yet – for the most part, these are all real foods. My mother is a southern cook. She cooks with real food, not fake ingredients.

I’ve clearly been struggling with my weight lately. I weigh more now than I did in January. I’m not going to sit here and say “I’ve made great choices and I just don’t know why I’m gaining weight!” I know exactly why I’m gaining weight. I’ve eaten too much and not moved enough lately. The end. But the me of a few years ago would say, “Ah screw it. I’ll start over on January 1st.” After all, I’ve got Thanksgiving, multiple Christmas parties, and a freaking trip to Vegas before January 1st to contend with. But I am NOT hitting the reset button on 1-1-12. I’m taking charge now.

If I make that choice to wait, I’ll start January 1st weighing 400 pounds. That is NOT happening. Instead, I’ll splurge occasionally throughout the holidays, relying on my daily points and weekly points (I still think of them as flex points) to get me through. I’ll exercise.

And besides, when I eat real food and exercise, I feel good. Why shouldn’t I want to feel good now?

So who is with me? Anyone else planned out their Thanksgiving meal?

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Stellar Review: Betty Crocker Molasses Cookies & Giveaway

In the interest of full disclosure, “The product, information, and prize pack has been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.”

I was recently contacted by MyBlogSpark about trying out the new Betty Crocker Molasses. In the past, my experience with MyBlogSpark has always been positive, because in addition to trying out some new food, I usually get some type of new kitchen gadget or gizmo, too. This time, in addition to the cookie mix, I received a mixing spoon/paddle, a cookie sheet, and an apron. Woo hoo!

I didn’t think I had ever tried Molasses Cookies before, but I was certainly intrigued. When I was given the chance to try this product out, I jumped at it. After all, who doesn’t like a good cookie?

Yes, this is a healthy living and weight loss blog, but I am a firm believer that anything is allowed in moderation. These cookies contained only 90 calories (for two, if you use the same size as called for in the directions) each. For those of you following Weight Watchers Points Plus (like me), they come out to 4 points for two cookies. I consider that an affordable indulgence.

In the interest of further disclosure, I must admit… I didn’t make these cookies. My lovely wife Tina did.

She said they were remarkably easy to make. Now we didn’t follow the directions exactly. Rather than make 36 cookies, we made 18 larger cookies. You’ll notice 15 fit on the cookie sheet. The other three were made in a different batch.

Tina placed them on the cookie sheet, stamped them with a fork, and baked them. How did they turn out?

Oh my gosh. I could not BELIEVE how amazingly soft these cookies were. Melt in your mouth good. They were soft, chewy, and they have a wonderful spice cookie flavor that makes them one of my very favorite cookies now. (White chocolate chip macadamia nut is still my absolute favorite, though.) They seriously taste like autumn.

I had one fresh out of the oven and figured they wouldn’t be nearly as good the next day.

Wrong. Just as good, still as soft. This is definitely a mix that we will be buying again.

In addition, anyone who would like a 75 cent off coupon for these cookies can go here (!

And… one lucky reader will win the same prize pack I won! You’ll get the cookie mix, a mixing spoon, a cool apron, and the baking sheet! (Winner must live in the U.S. Sorry non-US readers!)

You have several ways to enter below! For each entry, please leave a separate comment. (If you do everything but post it in one comment, I’m afraid that counts as only one entry.)

1. Leave me a comment here, answering the question, “What is your favorite occasion to bake spice cookies for?”
2. Like the Betty Crocker page on Facebook here (
3. Like Stellar Path on Facebook.
4. Follow me on twitter!
5. Tweet this… uhm, tweet. “@stellarpath is giving away a @bettycrocker prize pack #myblogspark #giveaway”

This giveaway will run until September 21, 2011 at midnight, so hurry and get your entries in! The winner will be selected via random number generator at and announced next Thursday, September 22nd.

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Food Planning, Journaling, and Weight Loss Rewards

No nostalgia today, but I do have a bit of nostalgia news. Every episode of Power Rangers was released to Netflix streaming today! For a geek like myself, this is major good news. The other three episodes I blogged about were watched on YouTube. Hopefully, I’ll be able to capture some higher quality photos for my posts now. I’m very excited about it.

I didn’t weigh in this morning. I have an extremely “bad” right knee. I can only say “bad” because I don’t know what is wrong with it. I’m sure my weight affects it, but I don’t believe it is 100% weight, because my left knee NEVER hurts. I’m not making an excuse about my weight, because I’m sure it’ll improve when I am lighter.

On days when it rains or is threatening rain (such as today, when we have the threat of major storms looming over our head), my knee sometimes swells. Ridiculously so. It swells to the point that the excess fluid on it does cause me to weigh sometimes three to four pounds more than I would normally. It is very stiff, painful, and just awkward. It makes me feel like an old man and not a 33 year old.

I am in the midst of exploring my mental health relationships with food now, as always. At the moment, Tina and I are trying out hands again at eating intuitively. She is doing fantastically with it. I, not surprisingly, am struggling.

What I am about to do to help with my mental issues associated with eating is to fully plan out my day of meals. That is about as far from intuitive eating as one can get. However, it is just one step on the process that will hopefully take me to intuitive eating.

I am going to plan my meals, especially when I am at work, when it is much tougher, so that I have a full arsenal of healthy foods to eat. There is a vending machine just two floors down from my office. In that vending machine, they have brownies for seventy-five cents. It even has a little yellow flag beside it that says “Big Deal!”

I am not saying I will never eat another brownie. Aside from the fact that I know that is utterly ridiculous and unrealistic, I don’t want to. I like brownies. I want to eat one again for a treat. However, it needs to be that. A treat. An occasional indulgence. Not my 2 p.m. fix every day.

This is what I have planned for tomorrow. Yes, it is a lot of food, but the servings are relatively small and I am also at work ‘til about 6 p.m.

Breakfast (before I leave for work) – scrambled egg with green onions, spinach, ham, and cheddar on a spinach wrap
Mid-morning – egg salad (2 hard boiled eggs with a teaspoon of mayo and some mustard and spices)
Lunch – I’m going to a lunch meeting tomorrow, and I hope I can find something healthy there. If I can’t, I’ll skip eating (this is a particular meeting where it would be okay for me to not eat) and eat a healthy backup lunch when I’m done. It will be whole wheat linguini with a little pesto and ground turkey, ¼ cup of trail mix (which consists of raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut, and raisins)
Mid-afternoon #1 – Frozen berries and plain yogurt
Mid-afternoon #2 – baked potato with salsa, banana
Dinner – Homemade vegetable beef stew (all good, real ingredients)
Post-workout snack – Banana smoothie (banana, milk, one tablespoon of coffee creamer for flavor, ice)

I am hoping that by having my meals thoroughly planned, I’ll be much more likely to stick to healthy foods. These are all real foods that should give me energy, not suck energy out of me (like the brownie would).

I probably won’t plan my meals on here every day (unless people like that sort of thing, and if you do, let me know!). However, I am going to using my journal for more food tracking. I plan to track my mood and hunger level before I eat. I have such a screwed up view of food, I know it’s going to take some hardcore work on my part to get better. This is just step one.

I’m also a big fan of weight loss rewards. I haven’t gotten any in a LONG time. I’m going to change that starting now. Every time I reach a ten pound weight loss mark, I’m going to reward myself with something that is not food related.

I don’t have the entire list planned out by any means, but I do have two things in mind.

The first is what I’m going to reward myself with when I get to 360. At 360 pounds, I am going to buy myself an authentic, antique map. You can actually find some from hundreds of years ago on eBay for under ten bucks.

I’m fascinated by things that are old. My keychain is a shoe buckle that was found in the grounds around a German castle (I think – my memory is a little foggy. I’ve had it for about thirteen years now). It was dated to the 1500s. So I have a keychain over 500 years old. To me, that’s cool. Who knows – some part of me may be hoping that I’ll buy some ancient artifact that will give me super powers or something. You can’t prove it won’t happen, right?

Despite my love for old things, my ultimate goal weight reward is not old. It’s definitely geeky, though.

I’m buying an actual Blue Ranger helmet.

Not one of the strap-on or cheap plastic Halloween masks. A for-real Blue Ranger helmet.

It won’t be a cheap purchase; with shipping, today, it will cost me $300. There is a guy on eBay who sells them regularly. (His auction is where I got the above pic.) Hopefully, in the next few years when I reach goal weight, it won’t be much more expensive. I’m not saying I plan to ever get into cos-play. I just think this would look amazingly cool sitting on my book shelf. I’ll reward myself with the other Power Rangers helmets as I maintain my weight loss. Six months at goal and I get the Pink Ranger helmet.

And so on and so on until I have all six. (Yep, I’m a super-mega-major geek. Fortunately, Tina loves geeks, even if she doesn’t always share my geeky interests.)

At some point during this weight loss reward journey, I also plan to buy a Freddy Krueger glove, also for display. (No murdering, I promise.) I may get that when I get below 300.

I also like to collect movie and television show memorabilia, so those will show up in my rewards as well. I already have some. Back in 1997, I purchased a set of four face masks that were actually hanging on the juice bar set on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Those are still hanging in my bedroom at my parent’s house. Next time I visit, I’m bringing them to hang in my office at home. When I do, I’ll write a post about them.

Anyway, that’s my plan. I’m going to put a heavy emphasis on planning my food and eating real foods, and I’m going to reward myself with various geeky/old/memorabilia-like items as I lose weight.

What are your thoughts on weight loss rewards?

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I’m a Rambling Man

I’ve been pretty incommunicado lately.

Let me go ahead and warn you that this is going to be a very ramble-y blog post. I’ve got a lot to say and no coherent way to tie it all up, so this may be a James Joyce-ian stream of consciousness blog post. It will be far shorter than Ulysses, however.

"James Joyce is much tougher than Seuss..."

"James Joyce is much tougher than Seuss..."

Nothing bad has happened. I have been EXTREMELY busy for the past few weeks, but nothing bad is going on in my life at all.

Quite the contrary.

I still have an amazing job.

My job gives me six free hours of tuition every semester. I have decided to start my second Master’s degree, a Master’s of Science in Library Media and Educational Technology. I am currently taking a May-term class. If you don’t know what that means, imagine a regular semester-long graduate class crammed into three weeks.

Lots of homework. Lots of late night reading. Lots and lots and lots of writing and typing out various reports.

I love it. Every second of it. But I won’t deny that it’s taking up a lot of my time.

Oh, and I’m doing another three-week class in June as soon as this one ends.

In other job news, I thought things might slow down a bit when the regular Spring semester ended. After all, campus is almost completely dead now. There can’t be that much to do, right?

Wrong. Somehow, I’m finding myself even busier at work than when campus had 15,000 people on it.

I’m okay with that. I LOVE MY JOB! If I wanted another tattoo, I would get one that said something to that effect. (Given that I have wanted to remove the small tattoo I currently possess and have wanted it gone for about four years now, it really wouldn’t make that much sense to get another one when I can just show my job-love here on my blog.)

"I went to get I Heart WKU...  Got talked into this instead...  This... this wasn't a good idea."

"I went to get I Heart WKU... Got talked into this instead... This... this wasn't a good idea."

Part of my job-love is because I came from utter HELL before I landed here.

"I wasn't really set on fire at my last job... but I did have to pull several dozen knives out of my back daily."

"I wasn't really set on fire at my last job... but I did have to pull several dozen knives out of my back daily."

Part of my job-love is that I absolutely adore WKU. This is my alma mater. To paraphrase my boss in referring to her alma mater, I love every single brick of this place. Sometime this fall, when campus is beautiful and I can take an afternoon off, I’ll take my camera and do a virtual tour here.

I’ve also had some joyous celebration, because my wife has just graduated! She walked the line about a week ago and is the proud recipient of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology.

I’m not sure if other campus do this or allow it, but at WKU, many graduates decorate their mortar board. Tina’s was one of the best. And I’m not just being biased because she’s my wife. When the graduation was aired on WKU’s news channel, the camera crew selected her mortar board as the one to talk about live and on the air.

That is our mascot, Big Red.  She doesn't have Grimace on her hat.

That is our mascot, Big Red. She doesn't have Grimace on her hat.

Of course, she made it with glitter, and glitter is the herpes of the craft world. In other words, once you get glitter, even if you think you’re clear, you really aren’t. Even our cat had glitter on him at one point during this craft process.

So that took up a little time.

There have been a lot of celebrations.

There has been a lot of laziness.

I went to the gym on Monday morning before work.

Yeah, that was pretty much the last time I went.

My weight has crept up.

Sometimes when I gain weight, I truly have to shrug and say, “I have no idea what happened!”

I can’t do that this time. I know EXACTLY why my weight has crept up. I’ve been eating too much and not moving enough.

Tina and I are about to start a little detox. We’re going to cut WAY back on processed foods for the next few days, and then, starting on Tuesday, we’re going to go a week without processed foods. Not forever, just for a while. Just to jump start our motivation.

Babies are in our future. We want to start our family. I don’t want to be a fat dad. Tina doesn’t want to be one of those women who could be fat or could be pregnant. She wants to clearly be pregnant with no ambiguity. The good side of this is that Tina is very close to goal weight. She isn’t far off at all. In fact, I expect Tina to be at goal weight before we go run from Zombies on October 22nd. I won’t be, but I plan to be on my way.

So… that’s kinda why I haven’t had a weigh-in lately. I truly believe that if someone doesn’t weigh in at least two weeks in a row, it’s because they’ve gained weight.


Stay tuned. I want to turn this train around. I don’t want to merely say, “I’ve got this,” over and over and never do.

Actions speaker louder than words. Right?

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1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)