Sugar and Slides

Sundays are our family days.  No matter how busy we are during the week, we set aside Sundays to do things fun as a family that do not require work or school as part of the day.  🙂  Today we went to a park fairly near our house.  It was our first visit there and it was pretty awesome.  They built a slide into a hillside, resembling a small water slide, but without the water.  You are supposed to bring a piece of cardboard and you sit on it to go down the slide.  There is also a playground there.  The kids had a blast!  And I loved that something so simple was entertaining to them.  Free outdoor fun is always a good thing!  The only snag, which irked Mommy and Daddy more than the kids, was when a grandpa didn’t want to share the box that we brought.  Long silly story that I do not want to go into, but it was interesting that all the kids could share with each other and the grandpa was unaware of how that process worked.  Alas, another life lesson for the kids.  That was about 30 seconds of the whole time we were there, so it was a successful, happy and fun day!

Something interesting that I have been doing….I did a 10 day no sugar experiment.  I could eat natural sugar…meaning fruit, but nothing processed.  I gave myself a 10 day limit so I could see the end of the tunnel and therefore have more success.  Today is day 11, so I am pigging out a bit, but I am going back into another 10 day no sugar beginning tomorrow.  Being without sugar made my body much healthier. I could feel it.   I have had quite of bit of sugar today (in different forms)  and my body noticed right away.  But I do not want my body to forget how to process any of those foods quite yet.  Interestingly, I had a diet soda and it tasted horrible!  Which actually made me happy…because I know diet ingredients are really awful for your body.  And if I lose my temptation for them, all the better.  Baked goods however did not taste terrible, however if I get in a habit of only eating them every so often, I am not too concerned.  I did lose a little bit of weight…I will gain a fraction of that back today.  For me, the best part of no sugar is how quickly my belly slimmed.  My belly is not my biggest problem area, but wow! any slight improvement is ok with me.  I am sure after today there will be a little bulge, but it will also go away.  🙂

And that is the light weekend update!

Speaking of sugar…

So the last 2 days with making and eating my mom’s birthday desserts were not fun in terms of sugar…sugar makes my body feel horrible and also makes me gain weight at insane speed.  It was fun, however, to eat the yummy treats…here they are:

Banana Split Cheesecake complete with homemade chocolate and strawberry sauces:

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • Toppings:
  • 1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/3 cup strawberry sundae syrup
  • 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 16 maraschino cherries, drained

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare filling, beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.
  4. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry.

picture is without pecans, I added them right before serving:

 

 

Black Forest Cake

(This was the first time I made black forest cake and it was fun! :))

Ingredients

  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.
  5. Combine whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs; set aside. Reserve 1 1/2 cups Frosting for decorating cake; set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake. Spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake.

 

Weekly Update

Another boring weekly update…

Stats pretty much the same as last week.

I am not friends with my scale anymore.  However, I know that since I am eating less (a little) and eating better (most of the time) that the numbers on the scale reflect more muscle.  I am the same size. same weight, a little less body fat.  I really wish you could lost weight just in one area, because my caboose is the collecting zone for all my fat.  blah!

I have been experimenting with sugar and may have found that sugar doesn’t like me too much.  When I go without and then have some (like the sampling of my mom’s birthday desserts…ugh!)…my body is not happy.  I may have to be more diligent about avoiding foods with refined sugar.

I also have discovered Brittany Tacy’s workout and diet plan which I have been trying to stick to this week.  I cannot lift as much weight as she can, but I did amp my weights up slightly.  I like that she is toned but doesn’t look manly.  I know that my troubles are more food oriented than workout oriented.  I just need discipline!  😉

As always, here’s hoping for some downward scale progress by this time next week.

🙂

Day 34

So I failed and ate bread today, which led me to crave more sugar, which led me to an utter failure in my calories intake and being sugar free.  I found out some interesting things though…

1.  I am not throwing in the towel BUT I am not starting my 30 days over either.  Today can go away and tomorrow will once again be day 9.

2.  My weigh in day was supposed to be Monday, but I did it today…before cheating…and…no change.  I was pretty bummed, but actually not too surprised since my clothes haven’t changed in how they fit.  By Day 34 I was hoping to be almost done with this weight loss and I am still at the same weight as when I started.

3.  Eating no added or unnatural sugars and living on lots of fruits, veggies and nuts must have shrunk my stomach a bit, because it was not ready for the sugar gorging that took place.  My stomach also doesn’t feel so well right now, so maybe that will help me to get immediately back on track tomorrow.

4.  My body fat percentage is happily set in the athletic category and has gone down a touch, so despite my weight staying the same, my body fat is going down.

5.  I can not eat just one of anything I have been denying my body…hence the downfall.

That’s all for today…am workout was 4 miles on elliptical and pm workout was weight training.

day 27

AM workout: weights…back, biceps, triceps

Food/calories: day 2 of limited sugar, calories near 1800

Water: water intake has been great with the elimination of diet drinks

PM workout: Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs

It is amazing how quickly a body can change.  I have always had a 6 pack, well for as long as I remember thinking about it, of course aside from being pregnant, and not necessarily rock hard, but there.  Anyway, enough of the run on sentence.  Many times I have to work really hard to see my six pack…sucking in just so.  But after just 1 day of limited sugar it is far more noticeable.  I love that it is coming out of hiding.  I truly truly truly know that it really matters little if I have a six pack or not.  I truly truly truly know my inner being is more important.  But it is kind of fun to see it come out of hiding.  😉

Oh I also was unable to eat my salsa yesterday because there is sugar in it…really?  ugh!  My homemade salsa does not, so I may have to make some more soon.  And…because I want to be less and less dependent on sugar, I am going to avoid buying dark chocolate at the grocery store next time…way too tempting.  The little sugar in the cottage cheese and greek yogurt is more than enough.

Decisions

So there are some decisions on my horizon…minor ones.  Lifestyle decisions, not life or death decisions.

I looked in the mirror today and was not pleased…I weighed myself today and was even more greatly displeased!  I have been playing around with the Primal/Paleo way of eating for awhile now.  Every time I start, I miss my sugars too much and then I fail…badly.  I am a fan of carbs…fruits, potatoes, breads, DESSERTS.  It is tough for me to cut them out all together…or even a little bit.  But sugar is pretty much the one thing all the “experts” can agree on as being horrible for you.  You can find studies for or against red meat, for or against whole grains, for or against salt, even for or against fruit…but sugar never passes the test.  Why does it have to taste so good?

Being realistic I know that I cannot go cold turkey in cutting out sugars completely.  I am thinking of trying to do so 6 days a week to start.  I am hoping to get my family on board as well, because it is hard to have the stuff you can’t eat in the house.  My husband wants to be healthy, too, we just both realize it is a BIG change.  It will be difficult for the kids, but how great to teach them to be healthy while they are young so they don’t have to struggle with breaking bad habits when they are older!  The Primal/Paleo lifestyle also incorporates fitness and that will give us some nice family time…make it fun and keep moving being the key…not timing or forcing or treating them like army recruits.

I want to be careful not to make fitness and health more important than our time in prayer and Bible study.  Being healthy is important…yes!  Being spiritually healthy and doing our best to follow Jesus is most important!

Another decision I will have to make is how important running is to me.  In training I have found that my body was not built for running.  My knee issues are manageable…the arthritis and the runner’s knee are common and only pose a problem with a flare up.  The foot is another story.  It continues to swell every time I run.  The tendonitis will go away, but never completely, becasue the bone issue is a contributor to the tendonitis and the plantar fascia.  I hope I spelled that right.  😉  There is another half in October that I would like to run…training would start in July…I have a bit of time to make the decision.  I wouldn’t mind replacing running with some other activity like judo or spinning or even boxing…all those sound high energy and lots of fun!

So these are the silly and small decisions that I will be making soon…they are surely better to debate than the serious decisions that I won’t be blogging about. ..at least not yet.

🙂