Too Much Of A Good Thing

Cupcake Time Diet and Larry Craig's Wide StanceWe are ready to reveal our Cupcake Time Diet!  But before we do that, we need to have a very serious talk with you. So listen up.

This diet works! It’s loosely based on the Satan Diet because we wanted to keep it successful, simple, and sweet. You get a treat every day if you want one so you don’t have to cheat! But there is a drawback to this diet that we want you to be aware of right off the bat.  Well, first a little background.

We were merrily losing weight and eating cupcakes every morning. It was great to lose weight while also not feeling deprived. We talked about adding some exercise (you know, just to mix things up a bit) when suddenly our world went nuts.

We aren’t sure how or why but everything that can go wrong is going wrong in our lives!  OMG when is enough enough? We’ll have to get back to you on that because we are still too busy putting out large fires (not small fires, mind you) on a twice daily basis.  These crises have impacted most aspects of our lives and have kept us hopping (and often staring at ceiling tiles by the end of the day saying, “dah, dah, dah” and finally going to bed).  Take these past couple of days for example.

We headed to New York for Brooke’s birthday brunch and had a tire blow out on the freeway; which was surprising because the tires are quite new. Luckily, Jake and Emma were with us so we got the tire changed and were on our way pretty quickly. (Thank you to the very nice man on the motorcycle who stopped to see if we were all okay. We hope you read this and know who you are.) We stopped at the next town because Sherry didn’t want to be driving that far with that ugly baby spare tire on her car – it’s not super safe and very uncool. The tire company (after a few false starts and a few errors) discovered our poor car had a big big problem.  Our little car had what some Senators are still calling a Wide Stance. However, our car wasn’t forced out of office – the wide stance forced it to run on the inside of the tires so one had blown out and the other rear tire had steel belts coming through the tire on the inside rim. They advised us to purchase a second new tire (which we did) and to keep the car out of the men’s bathroom (if you get our drift). We promise, this solicitation was valid and legal. Haha

We got back on the road and realized it was too late for Emma to keep our brunch date as she had a date with her internship so we zipped her to work (which is actually funnier than our wide stance joke if you’ve ever tried to drive cross-town in New York rush hour) and headed to the Upper West Side for what would now be a belated lunch. Not to be so.

On 57th and 1st Ave the car died. It just died. Dead. No horn, no windows, no nothing.  Kind of like the foreseeable political career of Carlos Danger.  What? How can the battery be dead when it’s a new battery?!? What is going on?  No time to think about that as the entire city of New York was honking at us. No pressure whatsoever.  Jake is a strong guy! He pushed the car out of traffic and to the side of the street while a very nice police lady held the traffic for us.  Again, a nice man came to our aid but this time he had no motorcycle.  With the assistance of AAA, we had the car safely towed (dead alternator and battery and all) for the evening. Have you ever needed a car repair in Manhattan? If you do, let us know – we know the very best shop (and have every single credit card and piggy bank on hand because repairs aren’t inexpensive there).

Our well-planned and much anticipated brunch had become a late dinner. Thai food.  But still a day. Which leads to our warning.

When life keeps handing you lemons and you are sick to death of making lemonade and you are tired of throwing them at everybody, you might seek comfort and solace in food. We were making our own cupcakes – one batch was taking care of roughly a week of eating on the Cupcake Time Diet. So, when life get rough with you, you need to throw those cupcakes in the garbage and stop the diet immediately. Seek comfort in the arms of a loved one, a good book, impotent anger at the world, or That 70s Show but don’t wreck your success at weight loss!  Like. We. Did.    There you are warned.

The next time you hear from us (if we live through the night) it will be to present our newly developed diet plan with you!  We are so excited!!!  And the car? Our local mechanic says it is time to force that resignation after all – which has led to even more lemon stories if you can believe that!

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Drinking on the Job

The Green Drink

You know the Green Drink? We decided to try it out and tell you what we thought.  We were thinking that liking it would be a good thing because it’s full of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals and the ingredients were foods we would typically put in a salad – or whatever. A quick drink giving us all of our nutrients seemed like something we could get used to.  The promise is you will lose weight by drinking this drink and making no other changes in your diet.

Following the recipe, we mixed the drink in the blender.  If you decide to make this drink, mix the banana and orange in the mixer first and then add the greens. Dry greens don’t mix really well without any moisture and you’ll find yourself digging spinach greens out of your blender when they don’t do their thing.

The Green DrinkThe results will be a bright green mixture that looks exactly like the picture here. It looks healthy. But it smells kind of nasty.  It smells like crushed spinach with a high strawberry smell – as Brooke put it – “kinda like throw up, but not quite.”  Or kind of like old salad that you forgot to put in the fridge.  Slightly dreading the task at hand, we closed our eyes and took a drink.  Hmm.   It boasts a heavy spinach taste with a slightly citrus overtone enhanced by the flavor of strawberries.  With great effort we finished the drink and struggled to hold back the gag reflex the entire time.

We expected this extra boost of vitamins and minerals to keep us feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime. Unfortunately, we were hungry by 9:30. So it was good for about an hour. See, we were on our way to New York when the hunger hit and we don’t really eat while driving but we had many serious discussions about stopping for food along the way that day. Once we’d arrived at our destination, we tricked Emma and Jake into going to Toast for brunch, Westside Market for snacks because brunch left us still hungry, and then later for pizza.  Yes, we picked up cupcakes from Crumbs to continue our refining our cupcake diet.

In short, the Green Drink left us gagging, dissatisfied, and hungry. We made it one more time (masochists that we are) and added raw honey, cherry juice, cinnamon, and coconut oil to try to make it taste better. Well. That was a disaster.   Pouring it down the drain, was a gruesome task that left us thinking of, well, what the stomach flu can often look like.  Ew.  Never again for this drink. In the alternative, we would suggest a yummy Spinach and Strawberry Salad that has similar ingredients and would be a lot tastier.  It would be so much easier than trying to drink this glop.

The Wild Zombie

We know y’all are interested in nutritional drinks so we tried one more time. Sherry asked a dear friend, June,  for her health drink recipe and she was kind enough to lend it to us. June drinks it quite often so we were willing to give it a try.

To make this drink, you will need :

About ½ c of mixed berries (she uses Trader Joe’s  frozen berry mix because it contains cherries).
Two handfuls of your favorite greens (she uses spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, etc.)
1 T. Chia Seeds (you can also get these from Trader Joe’s in the cereal section)

To mix the drink:  blend the berries and add the chia seeds. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the chia seeds soften and expand. Add the greens and a little water (you control the thickness on this one) and blend well.

Wild ZombieThis drink was easier by far to make. It looked kind of like a deep blood red (not going to lie we were making a lot of vampire and zombie jokes – we have dubbed this drink the Wild Zombie as a result).  If you use your imagination (of which we have none) you could see it as a rich deep chocolate much like a red velvet cake (but blended – and  not cake-like—and better for you).  We skipped the spinach because of our hatred of the Green Drink as mentioned above. We used kale and cilantro in our drink just because we got to pick the greens and those were in the refrigerator.  This drink smelled a lot better – more like a fruit drink with deep veggie undertones.  Much more to our liking.  The taste was a lot like when you order a Jamba Juice and ask them to put lemon grass in it.  It is milder, fruitier, and very healthy for you.  Because you are using mixed fruits, expect to find some seeds but they confuse you a little because of the presence of the chia seeds.  Okay, we didn’t let the chia seeds soften because we have no patience. We just threw it all together and blended it. If we were to choose between the two drinks, this is the one we would make.  The Wild Zombie did not leave us hungry like the Green Drink – which made us happy.

Our Thoughts on Skinny Dipping

Dips add calories and weightHow many times have you (or someone you loved) made a healthy snack of fresh fruit and then proceeded to dip each and every piece in a high calorie, sugary sauce before eating them?  The dip keeps us from being skinny – so skinny dipping would truly follow the no dipping rule. Have you ever skinny dipped?  Brooke has but she says I’m not allowed to tell you about it.

Why do people even need to dip in the first place?

We were discussing this last night as we cleaned out our fridge.  You see, our city just changed garbage collection night from Tuesday night to Wednesday night. But they sent out myriad notifications a month before making the change. Glancing at the notices cluttering our doorstep and mailbox, we saw “Change in Your Garbage Collection Day” and assumed it was a timely notice. So we didn’t take the garbage out on Tuesday and kind of laughed at the people who persisted in hauling the trash to the curb on Tuesday night: only to be awakened to the sound of the garbage truck early the next morning.  What?!?  They sent the notices out early so – not reading the notice in full – we missed garbage day anyway. We keep perishable food in the fridge or freezer until garbage night to cut down on the nasty smells and then haul it all out to thaw and be carried away to the landfill.  Anyway – that’s what we were doing; removing 2 weeks of old perishable food from our fridge.

Sherry was never a big dipper and she never really provided opportunities for her children to dip. Steak sauces?  Nope. Ketchup with fries?  Only if it’s that strange concoction of mayonnaise, ketchup, and other secret ingredients that is rumored to have originated in Utah (so many of you might have never heard of it).  Barbeque sauce?  Never. We did not participate in dipping activities.  Indeed, we would glance at public dippers with a look of confusion and wonder what compelled them to dip.

Dipping makes you fat. Dips are loaded with sugar (or salt and MSG) that your heart just doesn’t need. Dipping increases your food costs because you have to buy all that dip. And yet people continue to dip. Are these just frustrated smokers trying to find something to keep their hands busy during dinnertime?  Or is there something else going on?

A friend explained his dipping by saying he dips to add variety to his diet. We think him wrong.  We suspect he is confused and he is actually trying to produce the exact opposite.  But that takes us back to our fridge cleaning activity.

As we cleaned, we developed a theory.  We were focusing on the foods we were tossing out – they weren’t really old but grapes, blackberries, apples, and grapefruit went into the trash nonetheless.  We bought the grapes because they looked good and, once we got them home, found them to be sour – unlike the last bunch of fabulously sweet grapes we’d purchased the week before. The blackberries were so bitter they left a nasty taste in our mouths. We used to gather blackberries in the Oregon wilds and they were so delicious they’d be gone before we could get home. But these berries were nasty. The apples tasted like storage apples – no crispness; just soggy and mushy- like.  Although we’d had fabulous luck with grapefruits most of this winter, these grapefruits were from a batch that were old and stringy.

That’s when it dawned on us: people dip to provide a consistent taste in food!  A bitter berry drenched in sauce is just as edible as a naked sweet berry. If you don’t like the taste of an apple, dip it caramel and you can silence the nasty.  See what we mean? Fruits and vegetables can be delicious or terrible – they are available year round but their quality, sweetness, and freshness varies.  Many of you would have eaten the fruit we discarded (using your ninja dipping tactics) and, because we aren’t dippers, we rejected it.

Should we become dippers?  We actually considered this but we are hoping to lose weight; not gain it. So no. But here’s the thing. When you have a bad day and you pick up something to eat you can’t afford to have it taste bad.  Fresh food is so inconsistent that just doesn’t work so everyone turns to ice cream or cookies because they provide a level of consistency that comforts us.  And we think (hence our theory) that the inconsistency of fresh produce is what has kept us far away from fruits and vegetables for years.

The solution? Hey, we have no idea! We just figured out the problem. And since we’re busy trying to fit cupcakes into your diet maybe you can work on this one for us.

Good Ghrelin, Where’s My Cupcake?

cupcake puppyYes. This is the cupcake diet but that doesn’t mean you eat cupcakes all day long. What were you thinking?  You’ll get a cupcake soon. Now stop your whining!

We’ve been doing some research and it seems our idea just might be on the right track. Science News published an 8 month study that actually added a sweet to breakfast for the experimental group but those people otherwise followed the same diet as the control group.  Guess what.  At month 4 all dieters had lost pretty much the same amount of weight (33 pounds each) but in the last 4 months of the diet, the control group people gained 22 of those pounds back while the people who ate dessert with breakfast lost another 15 pounds each!

Yup. That’s what we’re saying. Cupcakes rule!  And if you read up on how not to grow like a Sumo Wrestler, you’ll understand why you eat that cupcake for breakfast instead of later in the day.  Apparently eating the dessert for breakfast not only satisfies your craving for sweets (meaning you’ll be less likely to cheat later in the day) but it successfully regulates ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry.

Even as we work toward a great new diet for you, we’re fine tuning and perfecting it so that you can lose weight without suffering or having to welcome the pounds back as soon as you’re finished.

The diet plan we laid out yesterday? It’s no good. We aren’t going to tell you what we’re doing with this until we figure out how to eat more cupcakes. So please be patient.

This morning Brooke ate watermelon for breakfast.  She is anti-seed. Well, actually she seems to be a bit anti-watermelon. The seeds may just be the presenting problem. She’ll know better once she has a chance to eat it a second time. Hahahaha  She’s now protesting as she thought that was the end of all watermelons on this earth.  How can she love all forms of watermelon candy and hate the real thing?  So mysterious!

Bye for now. We need to go bake some cupcakes.

Sugar Babies

ImageIt’s hard to stick to Weight Watchers Points Plus when you’re sick. Brooke has been sick for the past two days and is afraid she has strep. She’s increased her use of vitamins and zinc in hopes of her illness really being a virus. We’ll see. But when you have points to track, how do you track cough syrup, throat lozenges, hot lemonade, and EmergenC? Granted she takes the EmergenC with Sprite because it’s just gross with water. We mix raspberry emergenC with about four fingers of Sprite; it’s not too nasty. We honestly swear by this stuff – not sure how it works but we are confident it works!

Anyway, back to points. If we want to eat out while on this diet, we head to Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone. This website is stuffed with the points of almost any meal in practically any restaurant. Check it out, you’ll love it, too! We’re still looking for a site that can give us points for make-at-home casseroles.  So far no luck.  But many people must abuse this diet with candy intake since the internet is rife with points for candy sites. We’re thinking everyone has taken the “eat what you want” concept too far. Judgy, we know. But at some point you have to stop eating 5 pounds of candy if you want to lose weight. OMG that sounds so bad coming from sugar babies like us! 

Here are some more Easter candy tips:

  1. Throw out the candy that isn’t your favorite.  Go ahead. Do it! The world will not end.
  2. Now throw out the candy that is your favorite. Less in your house, less on your butt.  This is harder than the candy you don’t like so we made you throw out the least favorite stuff first.
  3. Have a Happy Hour each day until the candy is gone. Each day, pick one hour in which you can eat candy if you wish. You can’t eat it at any other time in the day so pick a good hour. If you’re following WW Points Plus you still have to count the points and decide what you want to eat. But we found that having only marginally good candy around makes Happy Hour not quite so happy; which translates into a happier time on the scales the next day.
  4. Transform your Happy Hour. Start leaving grapes, bananas, raisins, etc. in strategic places during Happy Hour. See if you can at least upgrade your love of sugar to one that excludes a love of refined sugar. 

You see, it’s no mistake our 5 pound losses were illustrated by a 5 pound bag of sugar or flour the other day.  Cut out the refined sugar and you’ll probably lose 5 pounds easy. 

A Bunch of Hot Air

TwixDieting is more work that we thought. We can’t believe how much we have talked and thought about food this past month! But instead of discussing the next batch of oatmeal cookies (raisins or chocolate chips? Difficult decision.) or whether to split a Twix or a Snickers at the grocery store (which of course we can eat on the Weight Watchers Points Plus diet if we want to squander about 3.5 points apiece), we are cognizant of healthy foods and thinking about why we eat what we eat. We have even identified our scary times of day. We both crave something sugary sweet at 3:00 p.m. each day and then again at night if we don’t go to bed by 11:00.  We don’t know if this awkward thinking stage will last but we are hoping it does.

After reading of our adventures, Brooke’s grandma sent us a recipe for tilapia. That email caused much consternation and conversation around our home. We ate Cilantro Roasted Salmon – wasn’t that enough? Do we really have to try other fish?  Disgruntled and discouraged we wandered around the house muttering, “Fish are friends, not food” for a few days before Sherry just got over it already and went to the store for tilapia. The little helper guy assured her tilapia was not fishy tasting as he searched through the pile of fish searching for the smallest piece he could find. Sherry was skeptical. Brooke was unaware.  Fast forward to dinner time and Brooke quickly became distinctly aware of the attendant stench of baking fish. The recipe was a mustard/parmesan encrusted deal. Easy to make but not our favorite – see, we don’t really love mustard either.  But the tilapia was excellent! We were stunned. We actually scraped the coating off and ate the fish and are ashamed to say we quite enjoyed it.  Why ashamed? Because we are such big babies when it comes to trying new food.  We are frightened to death of eating a piece of fishy fish!

Anyway, the puppies have lived through their flu and are again romping through the house making small nuisances of themselves. Cici enjoys biting Maggie’s face and, for some mysterious reason, Maggie takes exception to that. We gave them baths to eliminate the last vestiges of flu smell. You know what they like? They like a blow dry after a bath. We’ve never had dogs actually want to be blown dry before now. Maggie, especially, will luxuriate under the stream of warm air.  Cici is crazier and will range an assault on the room, stopping only in the vicinity of the person holding the blow dryer. She’ll sit cautiously (yet still on high alert) under the stream of warm air while Maggie clumsily leaps on top of the toilet seat trying to get our attention and, thus, a changed direction on the air. Then Cici dashes away and runs some crazy doggy circles before she returns for more. Our dogs are cray cray.