Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The hidden Fat-Free options

When I first started this journey I thought I was going to have to shop only in the diet section and spend a ton of money. I completely by-passed the regular foods and anything that didn't have fat-free or low fat clearly printed on the label.

I'll tell you how I discovered the hidden fat-free options in the grocery store.

My son and I love eating food wrapped up in a tortilla. It's usually cheaper and more convenient to turn a sandwich into a wrap. Usually its healthier too. the first time I went shopping while on the Uber Low-Fat diet I bought the $4.00 - 97% fat free tortillas... you only get 10 soft taco sized tortillas and they still had 2 grams of fat per serving... by my calculations I would have only 4 more grams to add to any meals where I used these tortillas.  There's a lot I can do with 4 grams of fat... but there is even more I can do with 5 grams.

On my second trip to the grocery store I had to restock my son's tortillas... by sheer habit I flipped over the store brand tortillas and what to my shocked little eyes did I see but 1 gram of fat per serving... a serving being 1 tortilla. This was HALF of what the 97% fat free ones had.... and it was a 1/4 of the price!!!!

so I began to wonder... what else am I passing up because I am not turning the package around and checking for my self.... turns out a lot!

Everything from soup to shrimp!

Most of the "heart healthy" and "light" soups that I looked at were still carrying around a ton of fat. Most people don't see 9 grams per serving as a ton but when you are limited to 6 grams per MEAL... well you get the idea. Also these so called "light" soups were mostly limited to chicken flavors and let me tell you something; after 3 weeks of "Chicken and whatever" it gets real old. I wanted MEAT!

After the incident with the tortillas I started turning around everything... and guess what I found!

There are a MILLION options!

Don't be afraid of regular food! Spend a few extra seconds and turn everything around... The Total Fat is always listed.

Happy Counting Folks!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Firday Recipe Returns!

I thought it would be a good thing if I got back into posting my recipes. I have been cooking still. And I have been finding quite a few yummy recipes. This weeks recipe I have made twice. It is really really yummy and the spice level can be ramped up or down depending on your taste. I like it hot so when I made it the second time I amped up the spice. Please read my notes at the bottom.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Stolen from Here
estimated fat content: about 3-5 grams per serving
this makes about 6 servings

  • 1 lb large shrimp, frozen, peeled, deveined, tail-on
  • 2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c instant brown rice
  • 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

To thaw the shrimp, run under cold water in a colander until thawed. Drain well and move to a cutting board. Remove the tails, and cut each shrimp in half. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of brown rice in 2 cups of chicken broth. Cook according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with oil. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and green pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add in the Cajun seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Add in the shrimp, and stir to combine and heat through, about 1 minute.

Stir in the rice, heat through for 1 minute, and garnish with fresh parsley.

For the shrimp I found a bag of shrimp that were precooked and tail off (because I hate taking the tails off) that was completely fat free! Also I am not a fan of brown rice so I use jasmine rice instead. and rather than using an entire tablespoon of olive oil I use my handy dandy Misto and spray a few seconds worth... the veggies will produce their own juice which help to keep them from sticking to the pan and they will saute correctly. and like I said earlier in the sconde batch I made I added about double the Cajun spice and the chili powder. Also I hate parsley as a garnish so I did not even bother to buy any.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Company Lunches

The new company does this thing they call "First Friday". All the employees come to the main office on the first Friday of each month and are treated to a catered lunch paid for by the company. It is very very cool. I have never worked for a company that is so damned employee oriented... They want you to be happy!

I attended my first one this past friday... Turns out they had the lunch catered by a slider truck.. burgers and fries... I miss burgers and fries.

I felt like a complete tool walking up to a fucking slider truck and asking them if they had a low fat option. COME ON!!! its a damned slider struck!!! everything is supposed to be dripping in grease and yummly fat...

Its really disheartening to watch everyone smilingly put down handfuls of fries. Its torture to watch them absentmindedly lap up the grease that is slowly sliding down their hands and forearms. Its a complete nightmare to hear them ALL to the last baby child say, "MMMM, that was the best damn slider I have ever had."

fuck you people

Really I am not mad at them. Really I am mad at my seriously dysfunctional gallbladder and the terrible healthcare system in America that makes a simple outpatient procedure so damned expensive that I have to jump through more hoops than a Barnum and Bailey Tiger just to find out if I can even have it done.

When I asked for a low fat option I could see the sneer behind the ladies eyes.... the look that says "well good for you fatty for finally making a choice to slim down" I know it well. I see it often. Its another one of the reasons I hate going out to eat. I want so much to shout "I AM NOT ON A DIET YOU FUCKING IDIOT. I am forced to eat like this because my gallbladder is fucked six ways to Sunday and there isn't anything I can do about. I LIKE BEING FAT!!!"


So I was given some chicken thing... all I heard was spicy and chicken.... It came to me in a little Styrofoam container. I moseyed on over to my seat opened up my container and what did my eyes behold... two tiny itty bitty little buns over flowing with lettuce, a few tiny pieces of chicken, a drizzle of hot sauce, and a few gallons of some cream sauce. My gallbladder actually cramped when I saw all that cream sauce... And to top it all off its not like it was just spread on the bun... no... it looks more like the top of the dispenser bottle for this sauce fell off and my little chicken sandwiches went swimming in it. There was absolutely no way to just scrape it off.

I teared up. I had to take a few minutes to compose myself. The very last thing I want is 80 people to get the first impression that food makes the fat girl cry. I bowed my head and closed my eyes and started chanting in my head "do not cry" I am sure it just looked like I was praying... fine let them think that I am some sort of uber faithful person.

Then I steeled my reserve and I ate the damn things. My Boss who is not fooled by my being pious and was sitting right next to me. Asked me if I was going to be ok... I told her, "Well in 15-20 minutes I'll either be begging you to take me to the hospital or I'll be shitting my brains out. Either way the rest of today is going to suck."

Turns out I didn't go to the hospital. I did however require a few doses of extra strength Tylenol and many many many trips to the restroom.

I fucking hate my life right now

Friday, December 21, 2012

Surviving the Holidays

The company buy out happened and we are now all officially employees of the new company.  It is a WAAAAAY better company to be working for... the shitty part is going to be waiting 6 months (which is actually closer to 10 months after all the company policies are adhered to) for my insurance...

I did get approved for the county social services health program and I have my first appointment with my new doctor on the 11th of January... don't ask me who it is or how good this person may be because I have no idea.... and I won't know until I get there...

I went to the new company's Christmas party.... I was not surprised at all there was nothing I could eat on the dinner buffet... except for some scrumptious strawberries, which The Best Boy Friend in the World!! kept me well stocked with. My boss kept asking if there was anything like maybe a vegetarian dish. The previously mentioned awesome Boyfriend was a real prince. He took it upon himself to answer all the questions. He knows how hard it is getting for me and he does an amazing job of taking the heat off when he can.

At least it was an open bar... unfortunately I think the bartenders were watering down the drinks.... I was shooting for at least happily drunk and didn't even get annoying buzzed. Bah Hum Bug....

We had another pot luck for our clients and I made a dish that I could eat... but it was untested and wasn't as flavorful as I would have liked.... Of course my friend made her damn near sinful thai curry... and with the coconut milk it I couldn't have any... *sigh* I got to watch everyone else gorge on pizza, and crab dip and curry... I had three rather bland chicken sandwiches...I did splurge a bit at the end of the evening.... I had 2 cherry cordials... only 3.5 grams of fat... almost a whole meals worth... LOL

Of course everyone kept asking me if I had tried this or that... or was I going to have any cake.. or had I eaten any of those divine chocolate covered cookies.  Would I like one of these sandwiches.. they're very good. I should try this dip its amazing. I just retreated from the food area and concentrated on making sure there was enough coffee. I began to avoid the room full of food like it was full of angry, hungry zombies. I could feel the vacant smile on my face when everyone started talking about how full they were and what a wonderful spread there was. I'm finding it very hard not to yell at people... "SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! EVERYONE PLEASE JUST EAT THE GODDAMNED FOOD AND STOP TALKING ABOUT IT LIKE IT WAS SENT DOWN FROM MOUNT MOTHER-FUCKING OLYMPUS!!!!"


I look like this every day
I lead a very sad culinary life these days... its no wonder I'm depressed half the time.

I am surrounded by Christmas cheer and half the time I just can't muster up the holiday joy to smile. I've been trying my best at the holiday parties but honestly its no fun to sit around nibbling on a fucking carrot stick when everyone else is enjoying red velvet cake.

On the up side however I discovered that my local grocery store carries a fat free imitation crab... I've been gorging on it. I'm ridiculously emotionally attached to it... if I don't have at least a little every day I get sad. I seriously need to get this damn surgery done.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Its Tough

My Anniversary with The Best Boyfriend in the World!! is this weekend. He has big plans which include him cooking a nice uber low fat meal for us.

This makes me so happy and thrilled. He loves me. He loves me enough to do the research to create a nice meal that we can both enjoy.

But deep down inside there is a little part of me (the same part of me that is still hurt that when I was 9 Santa forgot to bring me the Barbie '57 Chevy even though that was the only thing on my list) that is terribly sad that we can't go out to eat at a nice restaurant. As a matter of fact in the days B.G.B.D. (Before GB-Day) I had planned on taking him to a restaurant that I have always wanted to go to. Its been repeatedly voted as the Most Romantic Restaurant in Vegas... but of course this is soooo no longer possible. It turns out that romantic food is FULL of fat.

Heh... Romance is Fattening

I also got news that this new company taking over isn't going to be offering any benefits to anyone until after a 6 month probationary period. meh..... its just another one of those things

Life has this seriously awful habit of kicking me off the ledge. Every time I scramble back up from the bottom, I get my fingers on the ledge and am just ready to pull myself up and then BAM! back down I go....

I finally got my "lady issues" taken care of and then BAM! Gallbladder goes kaplooey
I finally get a light at the end of my tunnel and BAM!! someone comes along and says "NO! you may not see it!"

I still have the open possibility of using the social services health care assistance... my only problem is this: Even if I do get on the program and then go through all the doctor's visits and other completely redundant things that doctors do to prep for scheduling my surgery... then we schedule it.... what happens if it is scheduled for after my 6 month probationary period and then I have company insurance? Will social services refuse to pay? Will the new insurance company require me to go back to square one and get diagnosed by one of their doctors before I can have the surgery? Will I end up in this strange state of flux were social services refuses to pay because I have company insurance and the company insurance denies the claim because it is an "elective" surgery?

and now... of all things....

I think that I am either suffering from depression pretty bad or my hormone levels are off...

no way to tell for sure because:
  1. I can not afford the tests needed to rule out the hormones
  2. I can not afford to see a licensed psychologist to get head meds if I need them
I cry all the time now... I try to cry alone but its pretty hard to do when the littlest things will make you cry. (ps totally tearing up while I write this because everything makes me sad). I am swinging pretty hard between being normal and being an emotional blubbering idiot.
Sad Kitty understands me
I wish I could be happier about the up coming holidays, but I just can't muster up the verve.