Monday, December 04, 2006

Time for Holiday Baking

I thank Vickie for her reply to my previous post recommending I start taking containers of my own food along to restaurants, meals out, etc. In the past I have in fact taken low calorie dressing along to a restaurant that I know doesn't carry any (since then I've started requesting salsa for my salads, which most restaurants carry nowadays), but I'm not sure if I'd have the balls to bring actual food. My need to not stick out is pretty strong.

I have pondered in the past, "Wouldn't it be cool to get hypnotized to be convinced that I was fatally allergic to trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, white bread and pasta (amongst other things) so I wouldn't eat them?" Then it wouldn't be so hard to turn away from them.

But truth be told, Saturday night I had every chance to not overeat; I've eaten with these friends at this very restaurant before and steered clear of all the fatty, carb-laden foods; ordered a salad or baked fish and survived without incident. But as I've learned, some days I've got the strength to fight the good fight, and other days I get weak and succumb to peer pressure.

(I can hear the Diet Blog Mother scolding me, "If your friends ate shards of glass would you do that, too?" I'd sigh and whine, "But, Maaaa, you just don't understand!")

Anyway, Sunday I had no "I was in bad company" excuses for my behavior, and I still did crappy. Oh, breakfast and lunch were fine -- hubby even made me his version of Skinny Soup for lunch before he and my daughter left for the afternoon to go Christmas shopping for me. During the afternoon I packed boxes and made good progress on the moving project. Then I started to eat.

I'm one of those people who can check off almost every box in the eating disorder questionnaire: Do you eat too much when you're with friends? Check. Do you eat too much when you're alone? Check. Do you eat too much when you're happy? Check. Do you eat too much when you're under stress? Check. Do you eat when you're bored? You get the picture.

At first I tried my best to fight the urge. I drank a big glass of water and forced myself to keep packing for another hour. I told myself if I was still hungry after that, I would eat. Well, I managed to do all right for another couple hours, actually. Then supper time came. Hubby called to say they were getting a bite to eat before they came home and asked if I wanted them to bring me something. I declined, knowing they were most likely stopping at a fast food restaurant. But then I went and hit the freezer like a teen hitting the liquor cabinet while the parents are away.

I didn't eat until I was stuffed, or sick, but it was still too much, and the wrong things. (I know, the experts say you shouldn't label food as "good" or "bad", but we all know an individual chicken pot pie is NOT healthy eating. Have you looked at the nutritional information on those things?) It tasted good, but at the end of the evening I questioned if it was really worth it.

As for today? Again, I'm back to my weekday routines. My Weekend Game Plans don't seem to be working too well, although in my defense I've been making some progress with the healthy breakfast and lunch and exercise part of it. Hopefully in following weeks I'll be able to expand on that -- without expanding my waistline!

Of course, I'm now cankle-high into the Christmas season; at Sunday School the kids had Christmas cookies for snack, and at the bank this morning the homemade cookies and candy were out for the pickin'. I abstained, went back to the office and ate my planned snack and lunch.

As you can see from previous posts, it's after lunch that the usual problem arises. This morning I emailed my friend and said I probably wouldn't have time to make Christmas cookies this year. I am the keeper of the family cookie recipes; the Gingerbread Men and Sand Tarts recipes that my grandmother got from her mother, my mother's favorite rum balls, and the classic Peanut Butter Blossoms with the Hershey kisses on top. Of course there's my favorite underdog, the Toll House bars with pecans and butterscotch chips. These cookies tend to slide under the radar with all the fancier ones around, so I wind up getting plenty of my butter pecan fix.

This afternoon as I walked into the house, I had a brainstorm. I quickly grabbed my box of Fiber One Cereal and proceeded to whip up two recipes I recently found on Hungry Girl.

Hershey Bar Haystacks actually come from, which I finally browsed through last week, andI thought was a very nice website. But she had already won my heart with this recipe, which completely satisfies my chocolate/peanut butter addiction without making me gain 20 pounds:

(1 Stack - 71 calories, 4g fat, 12 carbs, 5g fiber, 2g protein - 1 WW point)
1 Cup Fiber One Cereal
1 (1.5 oz.) Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
1 Tbsp. reduced fat peanut butter, smooth or chunky
Directions:Melt bar and peanut butter in microwave until smooth, at 30-second intervals. Be careful not to burn or overcook. Stir chocolate and peanut butter mixture. Add cereal and gently toss till coated. Drop onto wax paper, making 6 stacks. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens (about 30 minutes). Serves 6.

Krispymallow Treats seems to be an HG originial, and the first recipe I ever made from this website. My 8 year old daughter loves them and begs me to take them in her lunchbox. I will tell you I started adding apple pie spice (mainly cinnamon) to them, which I think makes them even better:
(1 square: 47 calories, <1g fat, 32mg sodium, 11g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 3g sugars, <1g protein = 1/2 Point)
3 tbsp. Smart Balance 37% Light Buttery Spread
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups Fiber One cereal
5 cups Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs or puffed wheat cereal

Melt butter spread in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add both cereals. Stir until well coated. Using a spatula, press mixture evenly into a baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Allow to cool. Cut into 25 squares.

These treats taste great to me, and unlike the usual holiday fare, the fiber in them causes you to actually get satisfied from just eating one or two. There both no-bake recipes, so they're quick and easy to make and clean up after, and you aren't burning your fingers on the cookie sheets.

So now I can say I did my "holiday baking." If my husband decides to make a bunch of fattening, refined sugar and flour timebombs, I'll be able to resist without being deprived, grab one of my haystacks or krispymallow bars and still enjoy myself.


Vickie said...

If this bothers you - just delete it - forget it and I will know it was "too much".

I feel like I can ASK you this and you will answer me truthfully and NOT be offended or think I am doing anything other than asking you an analytical question. This has MUCH more to do with ME than you:

Do eating the healthier cookies REALLY solve the problem? - you truly can eat just a couple and NOT turn ON the WANTS and have the WANTS spill into the rest of your eating, later that day, the next day or even later in the week?

The reason that I ask is this:
I seem to be the ONLY one that can't substitute, can't "cross the line" - not even a little.

So, I read and wonder - do I just SEE that I can't substitute (without turning on the wants) because I eat so "structured" that it is obvious to me when I eat differently and then I SEE the WANTS?

or ,

do I really have a "bigger problem" that I can't substitute and everyone else can?

When I read - I can't figure out if you guys all really CAN - or if you just THINK you can and then when you (you all not you personally) have "food problems" later in the week it is cause and effect.

I wonder about this all the time.

It doesn't MATTER (with me) whether it is the real thing or the psuedo real thing - It would set off eating like you wouldn't believe - takes me weeks of hard effort to get it back under control.

And like Jonathon's recent post - this changes.

I could live with Cheerios in the pantry until my last "go around" - now they have to be on the top shelf where I can't see them. They may have to go in the trunk of my son's car eventually - and if that is where they have to be - then that is just where they have to be.

I can't do any nuts or prunes now - could for a while.

I can only have kids' lunch stuff in the house if it is the kind I really don't like and it is counted/labeled - for example - can NOT have regular potato chips any more - sour cream is fine - but not regular.

My family REALLY gets this - even my mother (who lived with my father for almost 20 years and NEVER got it with him until she listened to Dr Oz and started reading - with me), who now seems to really understand that it has NOTHING to do with willpower or education.

Lori said...

I can't have them in the house; otherwise I would eat them all up (healthier or non-healthy). BUT I can go to a party and eat a couple and that would be it. But if I'm not in a good place, it doesn't matter if it's at an open house or if it's at the grocery or a drive-thru. I'll get it if I want it bad enough.

I think you ought not to beat yourself up too much but assume you will eat more on the weekend and factor either more exercise or less food during the week or the days before.

I think if I have food problems after eating something, I probably would have anyway. I can't tell you that sugar/flour has an immediate or subtle effect later or not. I think when I'm in a mood or not being rational with food, it won't matter. I'll eat it.

Tonight is our bookstore open house; good sales and they'll have really good snacky foods. It's up on the 2nd floor. I'm not going up there. But it will be hard b/c I know it's good and I'll be hungry. But emotionally right now, I'm not in the mood for it so I'll be okay.

Vickie, you might be someone who is very visually oriented. You might see something and that triggers the eating/wanting. For me, it's emotional mostly and just bad habit the other 25% of the time. (Tonight would be a bad habit situation.)

Andrea, I really like the recipes. The one reminds of the no-bake choc-oatmeal things from 4-H.

As for peer pressure, I'm not sure if it was that or just you got tired of being hyper-vigilant about foods. It is a bore and no on wants to be different.