Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stress Dieting

Stress eating. Oh have I been guilty.

In my defense shame, it's not stress eating specifically. It's emotional eating, but I digress.

We all know that stress is harmful to the body. It makes you sick, and some would even put it this way. Stress kills. Scary.

I'm not into scary. I don't care for it one bit.

I'm also not into stress or the calories that tend to come with it. It's not healthy. It's harmful. Oh yea, I said that already. :P

You get the point.

Here's my concern. If stress is harmful with or without the accompanied binges, isn't it fair to say that stress is harmful even in dieting? Let me explain.

I have stressed about the number on the scale, ridiculously. I have weighed myself every day, a gazillion times a day, and that's just plain torture. Weight fluctuates, and it's supposed to. Hear my heart. Weighing in is not the problem. Weighing in can be a useful tool. But is the obsession and stress of the scale helpful? No, it's not.

Is counting calories helpful? Yes.
Is stressing over every calorie eaten helpful? No.

Despite my lack of eloquence, I think you get it. I hope you get it.

I don't know if stress kills, but I know stress sucks. So I am saying goodbye to stress dieting. I'm saying goodbye to the way of living that has the tendency of causing me undue stress at this moment in my life. After all, reducing stress is part of a healthy lifestyle, right?  It's not to say that I will never weigh myself, but right now I can't quite handle it without adding stress. Therefore, I refuse to do it...for now.

I won't call myself a vegetarian, but I will only eat meat on a very, very rare occasion. (no pun intended) I won't say that I am gluten free, but I will try to cut my intake of gluten little by little. More importantly, I just want to live healthier on many levels. That means reducing stress, eating healthier (not necessarily less), moving more, and getting more sleep. That also means growing in my relationship with Christ. It means somehow getting out of my shell of social awkwardness and working on developing the relationships with all of the wonderful people that I am surrounded by.
It means liking me, accepting me, for who I am.  It makes me smile to think that there has already been significant progress in all of these areas though some more than others.

God is indeed good.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Follow-up from Thanksgiving

Dishes made: Vegetarian stuffing, Sugar free lemon ricotta cake, Cabbage apple salad with cranberry balsamic dressing

The Vegetarian Stuffing was amazing! In order to save a few bucks, I cheated. *slaps my own hand* We bought Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, and I used veggie broth instead of chicken broth. Butter was used as normal, and I added just a bit of curry, sage, and thyme. My Hispanic pork eating family LOVED it. I didn't have the heart to tell all of them that it was vegetarian. Those that knew were shocked to hear it.

The (almost) Sugar-Free Lemon Ricotta Cake was.....deceptively delicious. Truthfully, it looked like cornbread gone wrong. The taste was remarkable though, and my mother who is a diabetic was thrilled. Honey drizzled on top was its only source of sugar. I topped my piece with cranberry sauce, and it was great!

The Cabbage Apple Salad was a HUGE disappointment though, and I mean HUGE. In the past I used a Spinach Salad dressing, but the problem is that I could not find a vegetarian version. All the Spinach Salad dressings that I found had bacon bits in it. I thought to use a cranberry balsamic dressing instead, and that turned out being a horrible idea. The cabbage wasn't cut thin enough, and the dressing was very tart. Maybe, just maybe, if I would have added sugar and spent more time cutting the cabbage to perfection, it would have been tasty. Oh well. Lesson learned.

All in all we had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. My family made a beautiful looking turkey and roasted pork (which I managed to painlessly avoid) along with all sorts of sides. The jewel was my brother's macaroni and cheese. WOW! Words don't do it justice.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I ate too much.
My vegetarian plate housed macaroni and cheese, vegetarian stuffing, roasted mushrooms, rice and peas, and green bean casserole. My belly was happy.

We made great memories this year though in my sister and brother-in-law's new home. I wouldn't have changed a thing...well, other than eating too much and destroying the cabbage apple salad. lol

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just for today.

Indulge in memories. Indulge in family. Indulge in love.
Enjoy food.

Happy Thanksgiving
from my family to yours

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making Thanksgiving Eating Easy

Lisa R. Young, Ph. D., R.D. wrote one of my favorite nutrition books, The Portion Teller. In it, Lisa explains just how super sized America has become. Common portions of chocolate bars, hamburgers, and potato chips have multiplied over the years and so have our waistlines. To mask the problem, our queen sized beds have become wider along with clothing sizes and stadium seats. 

I definitely don't want to be the Thanksgiving grinch, but I do want to share some portion sizing visuals developed by Lisa R. Young, Ph. D., R.D to help us enjoy all of the foods that we love without overdoing it. 

Meat or Poultry
3 oz = deck of cards

Salad Dressing
2 Tbl = shot glass

Butter or margarine
1 tsp = postal stamp

Rice or pasta, cooked
1/2c = 1/2 baseball

1 slice = CD case
Baked Potato or sweet potato
1 potato = computer mouse

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Think anyone will notice?

I will be making gravy to with my bread and celery stuffing, but I am a vegetarian. Vegetable gravy it is. Interestingly enough, I found this recipe at www.about.com. It was submitted by about.com guide, Jolinda Hackett.

Basic Vegetarian Gravy Recipe. Making a vegetarian gravy can be a bit more of an art than an exact science, as timing, stirring and heat are everything! So add more or less liquid as needed, but remember, your vegetarian gravy will thicken slightly as it cools.


  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)


Heat the margarine over medium heat in a large skillet and sautee the onion for 2 minutes. Add the flour and garlic salt and sautee for 5 more minutes.
Add the vegetable broth and cornstarch, stirring to mix the cornstarch well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently to make sure no clumps are formed.
Add the nutritional yeast and soy sauce and reduce heat. Cook for one more minute, stirring. Enjoy your vegetarian gravy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stuffing kinda scares me.

I have always loved stuffing, and my spanish background knows none of the homemade variety. True story. This year will be different though. I'm inspired to try to make a homemade recipe. Exciting yet scary as this will be my first vegetarian Thanksgiving. This is as "Thanksgiving-y" as my dinner is going to get. The following is a recipe submitted Carlota Chmielewski on www.allrecipes.com. The link for the recipe is here. The ratings for this recipe are ridiculous, and whenever  that happens you know you have found a good one. 

This one is definitely topping my list for recipes to try this year. 

Bread and Celery Stuffing


  • 1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. Let bread slices air dry for 1 to 2 hours, then cut into cubes.
  2. In a Dutch oven, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until soft. Season with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in bread cubes until evenly coated. Moisten with chicken broth; mix well.
  3. Chill, and use as a stuffing for turkey, or bake in a buttered casserole dish at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Pie crust is yet another item that is often unnecessarily store bought, so let's fix that. The following is a no frills yet adequate recipe for a flaky pie crust submitted by Stephanie on www.allrecipes.com. Click here to visit the link, read the raving reviews, and comment. This recipe is tried and true in our home. Here is the pic to prove it. The Mr. literally ate just about half the pie that night. 

For your convenience, I've cut and pasted the recipe for you. Don't forget to click on the link though. Right here. She has included nutritional info as well. 

Basic Flaky Pie Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water


  1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
  2. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  3. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.