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.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Review

Ok... So I posted the recipes I was going to make for Thanksgiving... I ended up not using all of them and I ended up making more adjustments than originally planned so I am going to review each recipe.. for the links to the original recipes please visit the Thanksgiving Blog Post

Roasted Boneless Skinless Turkey Boobs - I halved the recipe and only made one boob. Also when I rolled it up to tie it up I spread some chopped rosemary,thyme and sage into the middle so that it cooked with herbs inside ~ I gotta say that I freaking love this recipe and The Best Boyfriend in the Whole World!! has asked that I make this again.
Here it is... it looks all fancy! I am so proud of this!

Mashed Potatoes - I ended up just whipping these up with a bit of skim milk to make them creamy. I let everyone add their own toppings ~ also the left overs went so fast over the weekend that I ended up making an entire other batch and as of this morning I still only have a single serving left

Stuffing Muffins - I was not happy with how these came out.... they did not come out looking like muffins at all and they were waaaay too dry ~ I will be trying this recipe again but this time I am adding more chicken stock and egg beaters and instead of cooking as individual muffins I'll cook the whole damn bunch in a 13x9 pan
Not happy with this result
Roasted Carrots and Parsnips - I nixed these all together because the mirepoix from the roasted turkey boob looked like it was going to be more than enough roasted veggies

Sweet Potato Casserole - I made one other substitution. Instead of using the one cup of apple cider I used the juice from the can of pineapples ~ there are no leftovers. And I was told by many people that it was the best damn sweet potato casserole they had ever had. I making more tonight because The Best Boyfriend in the Whole World!! wants more and I am going to use it in my Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie (recipe to come on Friday)
You can't really see the ultimate tasty goodness but trust me... its there
Fat-Free Pie Crust & Fat Free Pumpkin Pie Filling  - I did not do either of these because although I said I would be handling it someone went ahead and brought three pies, none of which I could eat so instead I made up a cobbler-like Brandy Cherry Pie

Bonus Recipe Time!
Suzi Q's Uber Low Fat Brandy Cherry Pie Cobbler
guestimated fat grams per serving: not enough to bother your gallbladder or sensitivities
so eat the whole damn thing by yourself (but seriously like 1-2 grams)

  • 2 large cans of cherry pie filling (the kind with extra cherries)
  • 2-4 shots of Meyers Dark Rum (or more if you like it especially rummy)
  • half a box of low fat graham crackers (just get the plain ones no cinnamon!)
  • some brown sugar (amounts explained later)
  • some skim milk (amounts explained later)
Additional supplies:
  • Food processor
  • 8x8 baking dish or a pie pan
  • One small child
  • One grown adult
  • Open both cans of cherry pie filling... scrape as much of the "cherry jello" as you can off the top of the can and feed it to the young child. 
  • Pour both cans into a big-ish bowl and add the rum, mix it up and set it on the counter. (you're letting the pie filling marinate a bit while you make the crust
  • Preheat the oven to 325
  • Put half of the graham crackers in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add in a handful of brown sugar and turn that food processor on... let it spin a few seconds and begin slowly adding a bit more brown sugar until the mixture is kinda crumbly (sorta like what you would see on top of a dutch apple pie) then begin SLOWLY dribbling in some skim milk until it forms a very loose dough. You DO NOT want it to look like pie crust dough.
  • Pull that out and loosely pack it into the bottom of your selected baking dish. (if you pack it too tightly it becomes graham cracker cement and very hard to lick off later)
  • Pour in the marinated cherry pie filling and give the bowl and spoon to an adult to lick clean **WARNING** this mix is still VERY alcoholic so do not feed it to the child (unless you're THAT kind of parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/stranger)
  • put the other half of the graham crackers in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add in a hand full of brown sugar and turn that food processor on... let it spin a few seconds and begin slowly adding a bit more brown sugar until the mixture is kinda crumbly (sorta like what you would see on top of a dutch apple pie) *deja vu*
  • now sprinkle this mixture over the top of the pie
  • bake for 30 mins (to ensure that all the alcohol is baked out)
  • Serve Hot or Cold, in a bowl or right out of the baking dish, with or without low-fat frozen yogurt, with spoon or your dirty little fingers
  • make sure you lick every last yummly crumbly from the bottom of the dish....
Many thanks to The Best Boyfriend in the Whole World!! who took the pics and put up with me acting all crazy while I cooked and for dealing with the family drama that comes from kinda large gatherings of Irish people who have perhaps imbibed a bit tooo much.... 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Recipe of the week! - was yesterday!

I posted all of my Thanksgiving recipes yesterday so today is not going to be a recipe day... instead it is update day...

So a few months ago we found out that the three stations our little company operates were bought by a larger media firm. Everyone's warning lights have been going off ever since. Usually when a station gets sold they fire everyone change the format and carry on..

This time however is different. Our new owners have promised that initially nothing will change. We are fairly profitable for talk radio and they have never operated true talk radio before. They handle most of the ESPN channels here in the southwest (hint hint wink wink).

The official take over doesn't happen until December 1st. Since we have first heard about the ownership change we have been getting leaked info on what will happpen...

1. No one is getting fired or laid off. Some duties might change but everyone who is currently employed will stay that way
2. our sales force will increase. We have been woefully understaffed and will finally be fixing that
3. every employee who works 30+ hours a week is considered full time and will get a full benefits package, including health insurance and paid holidays...



The previous owners only considered salaried and commissioned employees as full time. so basically only the station manager and the sales people had health insurance (hence the current status of my not having health insurance).

Now.... I work 32 hours a week currently... and very shortly (actually by the time you read this) I will have been bumped up to 40. So when the official take over happens... I'll be a full-time employee and will gain immediate health coverage.

Do you know what this means????!!!!!
Happy Fucking Dance!!!!
 I will very shortly be getting my surgery done!

Just as soon as I figure out how to get the new insurance to pay for it. I don't know what the coverage is going to be like. There maybe hoops and red tape involved, but I am so damned close to going back to being normal and not being terrified of my food that I don't care. I will do anything to get this damned thing outta me! I am soooooooooooo tired of checking the back of everything. Trying to calculate the number of fat grams in each and every meal I ingest!

I will be sooo glad when this is all over. I will of course no longer be eating this stupid diet but realistically I know that I can't eat at the Heart Attack Grill anymore either. I figure that after my surgery I'll stay on my uber low fat diet for 6 weeks or so... give my innards time to heal and adjust.

Then I am just going to go on a regular low-fat diet. This usually means 10 grams of fat or less per meal, which is currently twice what I am eating now. I have heard that I can also partake in the occasional fatty meal but be prepared for the consequences. We shall see.

I will of course be continuing this journal of my journey... How can I not? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Today I am posting links to all of the dishes I plan on making.... if I made any adjustments I noted them after the link

Roasted Boneless Skinless Turkey Boobs - I am not going to use quite that much parsley... instead I'll make an herb sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley and sprinkle it lightly over the turkey boobs. Also, I will be adding sprigs of thyme, rosemary and sage to the mirepoix. I will serve the mirepoix as an extra side dish.

Mashed Potatoes - No changes... Except I am going to triple the recipe since we are anticipating a shit ton of people

Stuffing Muffins - I will not use the canola oil to saute the veggies and such... instead I will spray the pan lightly with my handy olive oil spray and then do a light spray on top of the veggies and such. and I make my own bread cubes using this method and my fave low fat whole wheat bread: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut bread slices into 1/2" cubes and place in two 13x9" baking pans. Toast bread cubes at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and cool slightly. - I plan on making these the night before and then just reheating them in the oven while I toast the marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips - I will not toss them with the oil... instead (as usual) I will spray them lightly with my olive oil spray and then toss them with the herbs

Sweet Potato Casserole - I will substitute the apples for canned pineapple chunks (drained) and at the end of the baking I will put mini marshmallows (naturally fat free) on top and bake again until they are brown and crispy on top.

Fat-Free Pie Crust

Fat Free Pumpkin Pie Filling - I'll be using this filling but the above mentioned crust

I will also be using the above crust to make make my Brandy Cherry pie which is a secret recipe that I will only give you upon my deathbed... or maybe next week... 

I will likely also make a ton of my fat free snacks to tide people over while they sniff my glorious cooking. 

I am the Queen of having everything done at the same time. I pride myself on being able to maximize my time and cooking arrangements so that everything comes out of the oven, off of the stove and hits the table top all at the same time. Nothing is getting cold by the time everyone sits down. Don't ask me how I do it. I honestly have no idea. Its an instinct I think.

I try very hard to do all my baking the day before... Baked items can be easily warmed up while you set the table. Except for the pies. They are prepped the day before and put in the fridge. My pies all start baking as soon I sit down to eat... by the time everyone is done and has let dinner settle the pies are out of the oven and have cooled to an eating temperature. While the pies are cooling I am mulling the apple cider for the kiddies and the wine for the non-kiddies. And there is ALWAYS a pot of coffee ready and available.

The Best Boyfriend in the Whole World! is going to be shooting pictures while I do everything so that I can post the pics of my dishes... and if he's quick he'll get a shot of the buffet before everyone digs in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trying to Explain it to People Part 3 - Co-Workers

I work in Radio.. I love love love love my job... I get the awesome privilege of working on all three sides of Radio.

1. Admin - I am the Executive Admin Assistant in the office and I handle the traffic (not like how the freeway is doing, but the air traffic... what commercials are we going to play and when)
2. Operations - I sit behind the sound board every morning from 9am to noon and I operate said sound board to ensure that each show runs smoothly. Some people call me a producer, some people call me the sound girl. I prefer Audio Engineer... I am most famous for finding the most obscure songs/sound effects to play for a show
3. Talent! - Every Sunday night from 7pm to 10pm I sit on the other side of the board with a pair of headphones and a mic. I am a radio talk show host. its a TON of fun.

Actually all of it is fun! Talk radio is making a BIG comeback (thank you podcasters!) and I am enjoying the ride.

We have some very serious traditions in the office. And they all involve food.... Once a month the boss buys everyone hot dogs. We have a Wienerschnitzel right down the street so she sends someone out to pick up a ton of hot dogs and we all sit around and make very bad wiener jokes while we eat mustard dogs and chilli dogs. :-( It was my favorite since I have about a thousand alternative names for a wiener....

Yes I do!
Sometimes the boss buys pizza and we all sit around and make fun of the guy who hates cheese but loves pizza.

Sometimes the boss buys bagels and we all stand in the kitchen and chit chat over the one two-slice toaster we have while waiting our turn to toast our bagel. The sales guy makes fun of me and the boss for liking lox.

All of these traditions are sacred and dear.... the first few times one of these happened the boss would come into my office and ask why I wasn't in the conference room making bad wiener jokes. After the second or third time of being polite and reminding her of my new dietary restrictions she began to remember.

Now they sneak the food in past my office (which is hard to do since both the front door and the conference room are directly across from my office) or they go sit in the boss's office to eat. She says its because she doesn't want to eat in front of me. I have repeatedly told her that it doesn't bother me... it would be like a Jew going to a Christmas Party and then getting upset when they serve ham.

Please note that we often make lots of bad Jew Jokes. This is because the boss is a jew and she starts it... always

So.... it wasn't hard to get the co-workers on the program. And of course now everyone enjoys watching me suffer through my daily soup. Monday through Friday at noon... I eat soup. Cries of "Soup's on!" and "It's another exciting episode of SOUP!" can be heard echoing the halls.

They get me... really they do!

But I do miss sitting around a greasy pie and talking smack about our competitor and the crazy talent.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prepping for Thanksgiving

Happy Damn-near Thanksgiving

Gobble Gobble

Generally speaking I cook the Thanksgiving meal every year. With the odd exception of when I was in the Army or when my mom or sister gets a wild hair up their butts. But even in the case of my mom or my sister I end up sitting at the dinning room table answering all their questions about how to do what and then eventually I get roped into cooking a vast majority of the sides and basting the turkey. so... You know... even though I don't take the credit for those years I still end up putting most of the sweat equity into the dinner.

This year My mom had planned on doing everything right up until GB-day and I put a halt to that. She is still going to be doing the meat. She wants to smoke a turkey, a chicken and a ham. God knows where all the people are going to come from to eat all that damn meat.... maybe we'll be feeding the homeless too.... I tried to talk her out of doing the turkey but she insisted.

Rule number one.... when a meat is smoked and is still juicy that's because all the fat from the outside of the meat is now INSIDE the meat.... smoked turkey is WAY higher in fat than roasted turkey. And turkey with the skin on it is a sure fire way to trigger a gallbladder attack.

Needless to say I am going to be making my own little turkey boob that I plan on sharing with NOONE. I get to be selfish.... Its my right!

The Evil Olive
Aside from the meat there are all the sides that must be dealt with. I told everyone that I will be handling all of the sides. No questions asked. I don't trust them. Sorry but I don't. Since we are going to be having Thanksgiving out at our ranch (where we grow cactus and pheasant) and the nearest hospital is over an hour away, I do not want to risk having an attack because some asshat forgot and used real butter or whole milk in something. So.... I am in charge of ALL the side dishes.

Except the relish tray... I put The World's Best Boyfriend Ever! in charge of the relish tray. I think I can trust him to keep the evil olives away from my glorious pickles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe of the Week

Reviews! First let me review some recipes I have posted before and the variations I have tried

My Sister came over for sappy movie night and I offered to make pizza (we used to order pizza but this is no longer possible). For all three of these pizzas I used the Fat-free pizza dough recipe from a couple of weeks ago
Cheese and Peperoni - According to the 7 year old and the 25 year old this was uber extra super yummy
Peperoni, onions, green peppers and cheese - again yummy (according to the those who can eat fat)
Uber Lean Ground Beef, Onions, Green Peppers and so much sauce it dripped - fucking yumm-o and it comes with the Gallbladder Seal of Approval. 

Crunchy Chickpeas
This week I tried making the Cinnamon Sugar variety... it left something to be desired... like maybe some cinnabon frosting. It was ultimately OK. but I still want to try chipotle lime and I want to see if I can make some fat-free faux Ranch Corn nuts and instead use the chick peas.... hmmmm I'll keep ya'll posted!

This week I am posting an original recipe. This is rare.... I usually just steal recipes. Not because I can't make something up but because it is much easier to let someone else spend all the money and time perfecting a yummy recipe. :-) I'm a lazy cook.

On my never ending quest to find snacks that will satisfy my chubby girl snacker gene I have tried a ton of recipes.

Roasted Chickpeas - Yummy!
Sweet Potato Chips - grrrrrr... I need a better mandolin

I love chips.... and I love dip. Salsa to be exact. Salsa requires a hardy chip, usually some sort of tortilla chip, and salsa is almost always fat free!

I recently found out that my store brand flour tortillas only have ONE gram of fat per tortilla.... if I want to pig out I can eat 4-5 of these stuffed full of non-fat fillers... So I began thinking.... what if I baked these bad boys into chips... I could practically eat a whole bag of chips and flavor them anyway I want.... MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

That's my evil snacker cackle...

So here goes
Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
  • 1 pkg flour tortillas with less than or equal to 1 gram of fat per tortilla
  • Spray on olive oil (store brand is fine)
  • Your fave seasonings (for these I prefer a bit of fine sea salt and garlic powder)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°f
  • Stack the tortillas 4 or 5 tall and cut them in half. Stack the halves on top of each other and cut these in half (now you have fourths). Now cut each stack in half again (now you have eighths). These are the perfect size for dipping into salsa or any of your other fave dipping sauces.
  • Lay them out in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. Spray lightly with the olive oil. sprinkle your flavoring on. Be liberal or conservative... its all about YOU!
  • Flip each triangle over and repeat (spray and sprinkle)
  • Put the cookie sheet in the oven and set the timer to 5 minutes
  • After 5 minutess flip the triangles and reset that timer to 5 minutes
  • That's it! pull them out and let them cool on a plate. 
  • Repeat all the above steps until you have done the whole package.
  • You can store these in a paper bag (I use a lunch sack) or in a large tupperware. They never last longer than a day or two in my house but I am assuming you can store them for up to a week.

I have tried seasoning salt but they got too salty before they got too seasony. I am going to try Chilli-Lime by dipping each triangle in lime juice and think sprinkling on chilli powder. I also want to try Ranch... You spray the oil and then sprinkle on a packet of Ranch seasoning from the dressing aisle. I'll give you all an update on other flavors as I try them... right now though the salt and garlic powder is perfect. hmmm... I wonder how I would do BBQ flavored.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trying to Explain it to People Part 2 - Family

Have you ever had that one relative who has always had the exact same affliction that you do? Lets say you broke your toe... "Oh I did that two years ago... let me tell you how to deal with it..." Well.... My mom is kinda like that. Admittedly she has had her fair share of medical problems but they have all been temporary and treatable. (lets not mention that a HUGE percentage of them were/are avoidable but she is too stubborn to make minor changes in her lifestyle and so she ignores doctor's orders and then is ALWAYS SHOCKED when she ends up in the hospital and/or very sick)


Back to the topic of conversation. My family has a condition known as "I know better than you". They are very concerned for my welfare and my health, but they just don't think that I know what I am talking about most of the time. I'm not sure why this is. But it is. They don't take into account the HOURS every day that I spend researching my disease. They seem to tune out when I tell them that I have called every surgery center in a 100 mile radius. And they especially disdain any intelligent information that I present them with.

Here are some conversations I have had:
Mom: Is there any normal food you can eat?
Me: Not really. I have to be very careful with the total amount of fat I ingest.
Mom: Well I had gallstones but they went away... You haven't had an attack for a while maybe yours went away! (PS. mom has NEVER had gallstones and on the date in question when she says she was diagnosed with gallstones I was at the hospital with her. She was diagnosed with an overdose of potassium and a DVT in her right leg and they found a lump on one of her ovaries, but no gallstones)
Me: I just don't want to risk another big attack like the one that put me in the ER. Everything I have read about it says that once you have gallstones you will always have them. They don't go away.
Mom: Well mine did
Me: ok Mom.


Dad: Well why don't you go to mexico and have it taken out?
Me: I don't have a passport
Dad: Well get one!
Me: Dad I can't afford to spend the money on the passport and then the trip to Mexico and then pay for the surgery. I can barely pay for groceries every week.
Dad: Well I just don't understand why you can't just take a pill to make it better
Me: They have not found one that works very well yet and I have only really found one research center dedicated to researching new treatments for gallbladder disease. Kinda hard to get new meds when no one is looking for them.
Dad: hmmm well you could just go back to eating regularly and take pain pills if the pain gets too bad. You can get some good pain meds in Mexico for really cheap.
Me: *face palm*


Mom: Why can't you eat red meat?
Me: Because its REALLY high in fat. I can eat ground beef if it starts out as 95/5 and I cook the living bejesus out of it and then also blot all the grease out. But even then I can really only have that like once or twice a month. besides its like $6 per pound...
Mom: What about Bison? isn't that really low in fat?
Me: Lower than regular ground beef, but not lower than the uber lean ground beef. and its still rather expensive
Mom: well I think Bison is lower in fat and its only $4 per pound.
*I got to my fave fat checking site and checked it out*
Me: cool... well let me check it out *tap tap tap* 95/5 Ground beef is 5 grams of fat per serving. Ground Bison is 8.6 grams of fat
Mom: *nothing she just walked away*


Sister: I don't understand why *local catholic hospital* won't help you out. They let me make payments when I had my abscess lanced. (said abscess was behind her ear and the procedure was done in an exam room)
Me: I called and I talked to their financial people. They flat out refused to even talk about a payment plan or a hardship plan for my surgery. They told me the same thing every other surgery center I have called has said. Either get insurance or pay for it up front.
Sister: That just doesn't seem right. Aren't they like mandated by god to help people?
Me: I have no clue, but I do know that aren't looking to help me
Sister: I think you should call again. maybe you spoke to the wrong person.
Me: hmm maybe.. but I was pretty sure that the director of financial aid at the hospital was the right person to talk to.


I hate sounding like a condescending asshat. And most of these conversations end up with *insert family member here* being mad at me for being a Know-it-all. So in the month or so since the gallbladder attack from hell I have learned to just smile and nod when they start throwing out their cockamamie ideas and saying things like "Sounds great I'll look into it" or "Cool thanks for the info, I'll check it out". They get to walk away smuggly thinking that they have done their good deed for the day and I don't have to look like a know-it-all asshat.
I should get this shirt

 Luckily for me The Boy is only 7. He got it. I explained it to him once and he didn't question it.
The Boy: Mommy, why did you go to the hospital?
Me: Because my gallbladder is sick and it made me very sick
The Boy: Will your golfbladder get better?
Me: *chuckling* no honey but I can take special care of it so it doesn't make me so sick anymore
The Boy: ok Mommy. Take care of your golfbladder.
a few weeks later
The Boy: Mommy why can't you eat the pizza at my birfday party?
Me: Remember my gallbladder is sick, there are a lot things I can't eat anymore
The Boy: oh right, your golfbladder is sick *pause for dramatic effect* can you eat my cake that you made me?
Me: No honey I can't
The Boy: *gives me a big hug* I'm sorry your golfbladder is so sick mommy... *looks up at me with big innocent eyes* Can I have your piece of cake?

It looked something like this
Thank god my son is around to keep me sane. I also thank god for my Boyfriend. Instead of arguing with me that my research is bunk and he knows better (which he could arguably do because he is the smartest guy I know) He is helping me with my research. He's handling the research for finding case studies that I qualify for. He's awesome. They both are and I am very very lucky to have them both.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eating Out - Fat Free Style!

I have researched all of my favorite restaurants. And I have been thoroughly disappointed that 99% of the time my only uber low fat option (anything less than 5 grams per serving) is a dry salad. It is because of this that I have opted out of going out to eat anymore.

However before GB-Day I promised my son that if he did not have any behavior issues at school (talking out of turn, being a pest, etc) for one whole month that I would take him to Cici's Pizza. They have more than just pizza on the buffet. They have salad and pasta as well...

Since pasta with red sauce is generally low-fat and since a dry salad with no animal products (cheese or egg) is non-fat I figured I would eat a big salad and a bowl or two of pasta. Once we got there though I remembered that they have a policy that if there isn't a pizza on the line that you want they will make it for you... and they are even willing to customize it. So I immediately got out my handy dandy white iPhone 4s in its protective CaseMate commuter case and pulled up the nutrition info for Cici's... I found out something fun.... They're Veggie pizza is only 2 grams of fat per slice... I did some quick calculations and by leaving off the cheese and the olives (all olives are super high in fat) I could probably cut that down to 1 gram or maybe even 0.5 grams... BOOYA!!!

So I went up to the manager who happened to be working the line and I asked... "can I order a veggie pizza but with no cheese and no olives?" He says, "How many slices would you like me to deliver to your table?"

I immediately did a little happy dance in my head (because a grown ass chubby girl doing the happy dance in public is a little weird). About 10 mins later I had 2 glorious slices of pizza delivered to my table. ahhhhhh

So a GREAT BIG shout out to Cici's Pizza for having some uber low-fat options and for being awesome enough to take weird requests from customers.

PS if you forget to pack your fat free dressing in your hand bag (or if you're a dude in your man-purse) the trick to making a dry salad tasty is pepperoncinis. One small slice with each bite of salad helps kick up the flavor. Add anything you want to your base of leaves but keep clear of the cheese, eggs, and olives... all of these are way too high in fat and you can tend to go over board when putting them on a salad. Oh and if you can get a bit of the pepperoncini juice to sprinkle over your salad its a huge bonus!
The Savior of Dry Salads everywhere

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Is Recipe Day!

First let me review a couple of recipes that I have tried this week... first the review of last week's Recipe 

Fat Free Pizza Dough
Stolen from Here
Ingredients: I already had everything except the yeast and even if you had to buy everything from the store you aren't going to spend much more than $10.00 for it all.
Toppings: I used leftovers.. I had some left over uber low-fat taco meat, half an onion and half a sweet red pepper... I gotta say it was FUCKING YUMM-O (yes I am sure that Rachel Ray says this at home). NO CHEESE!!! I did not put any cheese on at all and the pizza did not suffer because of it.
Materials used: I used store brand everything except the yeast. I find that Fleischmann's is the best yeast for everything... no need to get the special pizza dough yeast or bread dough yeast... plain ole active dry yeast works just fine! I used the store brand pizza sauce because surprisingly it had half the fat of the name brands.
Prep and cooking: I followed the directions exactly and it came out perfect! I only got this one shot of the pizza... It was so good that it went fast....

I estimate this slice of pizza at 2 grams of total fat its probably less though.
Baked Sweet Potato Chips
I don't want to talk about it.... let's just say that unless you have a really good mandolin so that you can cut the slices REALLY thin then you should not try this recipe....

And now... I present you with this week's recipe:
Crunchy Chickpeas
Stolen from Here - I am totally in love with this blogger because she has the yummiest snack recipes.. and being a fatty I LOVE SNACKS... now I can still snack and be kind to my gallbladder too!

  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Spray a baking sheet with canola oil and spread chickpeas out in a single layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crunchy, about 45-50 minutes.
  •  Cool completely before serving.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 72 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 180mg Sodium; 3g Fiber. 

 I followed this recipe exactly. I used Creole Seasoning and Lawry's seasoned salt (mmmmm spicy). I checked the doneness of the chickpeas at each stirring... they were still a bit "not crunchy" after 30 mins.... at the 45 min mark I took them out of the oven and let them cool on the pan on the counter. Some of them came out a little extra crispy and some came out not quite crunchy but most of them came out perfect. I blame this on my possessed oven. It changes its own temp randomly and without warning... I think next time I will lower the temp to 350 and still do the 15min intervals. 

You might think that this takes a LONG time to get a snack, and I thought so too... but when you break it up in 15min segments its not so bad. Next time I try this recipe I am going buy an industrial sized can of chickpeas and try a couple of batches and a couple of flavors. I really wanna try Cinnamon Sugar and Chipotle Lime.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trying to Explain it to People Part 1 - Social Gatherings

I hate walking around and talking about my medical problems... Mostly only my close friends (and now YOU) really know what is going on...

I have been avoiding social gatherings for this reason. You see you can't just show up to a party and expect the food being served to be appropriate for your diet. So if you are going to a party you have to bring your own food. Have you ever walked into a party carrying a lunch bag? its embarassing... and maybe the friend who invited me knows whats going on but all the other guests don't.

Strangely people get weirded out when you pull a bottle of fat free dressing out of your purse. They totally freak when you also pull out a snack pouch of tuna, a bag of salad, pretzels and a bottle of water. The questions begin hurling at you at lightening speed...
how I answer in my head
"Are you on a diet?"
"Don't you like my mom's cooking?"
"Are you some sort of health nut?"

I could answer all of these with  a simple "Yes" except that isn't true and I hate lying.

So I have tried to simplify it. "No, I have gallbladder disease and it restricts my diet"

The inevitable follow up is "oh.. Why don't you just have it removed?"

I take a deep breath and say "Unfortunately I do not have health insurance and I do not qualify for Medicaid. I have not yet found a surgeon or surgery center who will make payment arrangements with me so that I can have it done."

This inevitably leads to an hour long conversation about my disease and how I manage it and how much the health care system in America sucks great big hairy gallstones. I hate it. I love going to parties and I love having parties, but I hate that my gallbladder always becomes a topic of conversation.

I have tried to just avoid these social things but my friends keep dragging me out of my house by the hair on my head and threatening bodily harm if I don't show up. Also since most of these friends have kids usually these gatherings mean playtime for The Boy (my son). sigh... I can't really deny him anything.

I'm not sure if I am going to change my approach to it. I think the more I talk about it the more people will think about it. Maybe someone will talk to someone who will talk to someone who is a doctor. Then maybe that doctor will take pity on my chubby butt and offer to cover the cost of the surgery.

And maybe a unicorn will show up at my front door and fart rainbows.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Recipe of the Week!

OK... so from now on Friday is going to be recipe of the week day. I will post a recipe that I have either already tried or am planning on trying.

This week I am posting the recipe for a fat free pizza dough... I totally stole it from here. I am a HUGE pizza junky and the big thing I have been missing is a yummy pizza.... Most of the fat in a pizza is in the crust and cheese. I have not yet tried this recipe but its got a ton of great reviews. I am going to make it as listed in this recipe. you can make any substitutions you want... I'll give you my own review on it on Monday.

ok here goes:

  • 1/2-1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of the warm water with the yeast and the sugar. Stir it well to try to dissolve the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes or until it gets foamy.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Pulse for about 5 seconds.
  • When the yeast mixture is foamy add it to the flour and pulse for about 10 seconds.
  • Turn the machine on. Start adding the remaining water a little at a time until the dough forms a ball.
  • Once it forms a ball let it spin 25 times.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Put the ball of dough on top and cover it with a metal bowl you have sprayed with cooking spray. Let it sit there between 15 and 30 minutes depending on how much you want it to rise.
  • Heat the oven to 425. When the dough is done rising, pat it out on your cookie sheet into the shape you want for your pizza.
  • Take it out of the oven. You can top it immediately or let it sit depending on your need.
  • Once you have topped it, the pizza will need about 15-20 minutes to cook, or until brown.