Sunday, June 6, 2010

Swing and a miss - strike one

My husband (bless his heart) is almost to the point of being OCD about this new lifestyle we're trying to adopt. James gets an idea in his head and just becomes obsessed with it. Obsession can be a good thing, don't get me wrong, but he doesn't factor in the quality of life with his diet, which is bad.

I am the opposite, I value quality of life over diet and that's why I'm fat. There, I said it. Some how we are going to have to meet in the middle to come up with a way to conquer the fatness and live our healthy lifestyle.

Since it's summer now (or it at least feels like it) and I've turned on my A/C (God bless central air) I'm using the baseball metaphor for my latest attempt at substituting good food for my usual fatty choices. Normally on the weekends when I'm making blueberry muffins, I'm buying the Dunkin Hines muffin mix with the can of real mini blueberries. Add a strudel topping that consists of butter, sugar and flour and you have an amazing muffin that almost brings you to your knees its so good. It's also bad for you, especially with a good size chunk of cold butter slowly melting on the top of it.

James talked me into some Fiber One blueberry muffin mix and I will admit I was skeptical, even though I am a huge fan of their cereal. But baked goods is tricky because if you don't have the right amounts of the ingredients, it just doesn't work. But I was willing to give them a try.

They started out OK. For the topping, I decided to grind up some oatmeal and used 6 Tbsp. ground oatmeal, 6 Tbsp. Splenda and 3 Tbsp. butter.

The topping tasted pretty good, although the Splenda had a wicked aftertaste. I know that there are a lot of Splenda Haters (Tonya) out there but I like it in some things. But, I gave it a try to see if it worked.

When they came out of the oven, they smelled GOOD! The topping didn't look like it normally did and I thought that maybe that was because I had too much butter in the topping. But they looked good and smelled great so we tried them.

Bummer. They weren't that great. A few observations - what makes the topping so great is that the sugar melts and caramelizes with the butter and flour and turns the topping crunch. Splenda doesn't melt and while it tasted OK, it just wasn't the same. Also, the weird little blueberry pellets just can't compete with the real deal and I missed the plump juiciness that real blueberries add to muffins.

The big question is how the did the actual muffins taste - Eh. They weren't the worst things I've ever eaten but I didn't bother saving them and threw them all away. They were bland, moist but with out much flavor. It was very disappointing. James and I talked about where these guys went bad and we decided a few things - I need to come up with my own muffin recipe using whole wheat flour, real blueberries are a must and the strudel topping must have sugar in it, but maybe cutting the recipe in half and using less topping.

I've also decided that since we only eat these occasionally, that indulging in a great blueberry muffin or two on the weekend isn't going to kill me. As long as I modify it to be healthier, cut out the butter (I will miss that) and only indulge occasionally, maybe once a month or so. This is something I can live with. I think it's part of my new healthy lifestyle.

These are the kind of changes that have to be made in order to keep living, enjoying food and being skinny!!!

I picked up an amazing magazine the other day and you MUST get it before it goes off sale. It's the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest magazine Heart Healthy Living. It has a bowl of peaches and blueberries on the front. It has some great articles in it and I will be sharing one each day this week if you can't get a copy of it. I read on their website that they weren't going to be publishing the magazine after this copy so I suggest you run, don't walk, and go get it!

My dear cousin Jeremy is only 33 and faced the possibility of open heart surgery! Yikes! Our family has a terrible history of heart disease and I am afraid I am continuing this legacy. My blood pressure is high and I am trying hard to lower it. This magazine is devoted to heart healthy options and it is a great resource. Their site is excellent as well and has some really good ideas for weight loss, recipes and all things good for your heart. Spend the $5.99 - I guarantee you will be better for it.

Another project this weekend has been douching out my house, starting with the upstairs. James and I decided to get rid of all the clothes that don't fit - too big and too small - so that when we get down where we need to, we won't have those old clothes to fall back on. As I was cleaning up the kitchen from last night, I noticed my pantry was looking pretty bad.

Uh, gross. Look at all that crap in there! Cheetos, Fritos, Yogos, granola bars, potato chips - not the pantry of someone trying to eat better right?



Still some goodies in there but the majority was thrown away! Good riddance to bad rubbish. It also gave me the chance to organize my pantry better. I keep my spices in there because I'm a bit of spice whore apparently and because Bob is my father, the whole top shelf was over flowing with spices. One thing that will no longer be in my pantry is Accent or better known as MSG. Evil. I only used it in once recipe but no more. It is bad for you on so many levels so goodbye MSG.


  1. Wahoo Brenda.. congrats on your achievements so far. You're inspiring me to be healthier and I appreciate that. Keep up the hard/good work - You can do it!