Sunday, October 31, 2010

pumpkin eater

Despite the fact that almost all my experiences with eating pumpkin have been of the "not even a little bit healthy" type, I know pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse, with lots of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, fiber) and nearly none of the bad stuff (calories, fat). Maybe it's time I get to know pumpkin's healthy side...

Pumpkin is a fruit of the plant of the same name and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family that also includes gourds. It is quite similar to gourd in its appearance and is believed to have originated in North America. However, there is no fixed shape of pumpkins and they usually vary from being oblate to oblong. The rind is smooth, lightly ribbed and usually, orange or yellow in color. With a high nutritional value, pumpkins are associated with a lot of health benefits. Apart from the flesh, even the seeds of pumpkins boast of a large number of nutrition benefits. Read on to know more about the nutritious pumpkin.

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 1 cup Pumpkin (cooked, boiled and drained): 
  • Calcium - 37 mg
  • Carbohydrate - 12 gm
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 gm
  • Folate - 21 mcg
  • Iron - 1.4 mg
  • Magnesium - 22 mg
  • Niacin - 1 mg
  • Potassium - 564 mg
  • Protein - 2 grams
  • Selenium - 0.50 mg
  • Vitamin A - 2650 IU
  • Vitamin C - 12 mg
  • Vitamin E - 3 mg
  • Zinc - 1 mg
  • Calories - 49 

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Pumpkin 
  • Pumpkin is very rich in carotenoids, which is known for keeping the immune system of an individual strong and healthy.
  • Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, is a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps prevent build up of cholesterol on the arterial walls, thus reducing chances of strokes.
  • Being rich in alpha-carotene, pumpkin is believed to slow the process of aging and also prevent cataract formation.
  • Pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.
  • The high amount of fiber, present in a pumpkin, is good for the bowel health of an individual.
  • Being loaded with potassium, pumpkin is associated with lowering the risk of hypertension.
  • The presence of zinc in pumpkins boosts the immune system and also improves the bone density. 

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds 
  • They promote overall prostate health, apart from alleviating the problem of difficult urination that is associated with an enlarged prostate.
  • They comprise of L-tryptophan, a compound that has been found to be effective against depression.
  • They are believed to serve as a natural protector against osteoporosis.
  • They have been known to reduce inflammation, without causing the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Studies have revealed that they help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
  • Being rich in phytosterols, they have been associated with reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Me, Myself, and I

Lonely in Blogland

Tonight I am cooking. So far I know we are having purple hull peas, cornbread, butternut "fries", and lord of the onion rings 2.0. Boneless, skinless chicken breast are thawing. Now I need a tasty, simple, and apparently-but-not-really rich recipe for the chicken. Hmmmm. I've used light Italian dressing as a marinade/cooking sauce. ah-ha! I think I remember a bottle of real marinade I bought on a coupon that is still in the cabinet. back in a minute. yes! Mrs. Dash Lemon Herb Peppercorn marinade. ta da!
off to assist on the jeep project. later. Luna

Friday, October 29, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010 from Luna

Tonight I will be trying a new recipe call Baked Italian Salmon from the Calorie Count website. It's simple, needless to say. EVOO, seasonings, lemon juice, and salmon. Right now I'm wondering what to serve with it. I have a new product to try: Uncle Ben's Whole Grain White Rice. (Let's see if it charms Mr. Brown, who prefers white rice.) The facts aren't bad for this product with 5g of fiber, 5g of protein, 2g of fat(but none of the bad kind), and 200 calories in a 1 cup serving. Then some steamed veggies should sum it up and slap it on the table. See 2 reviews of this meal in tomorrow's blog post. No film at 11. Short one today pals, see you tomorrow. Luna

Friday, October 22, 2010

Power Cookies Recipe

Susan, As requested recipe follows as found online at My comments and revisions follow that.

Power Cookies By: Healthy
"These are high fiber, high protein, low in fat and absolutely delicious cookies that make a terrific snack. You won't believe how good they are! Any dried fruit or nuts are recommended as additions to this recipe."

View Prep Time: 15 MinCook Time:
15 MinReady In: 30 Min
Original Recipe Yield 18 cookies

4 cups rolled oats
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Grind the oats in a blender until resembling coarse flour.
2.In a medium bowl, mash beans to a smooth paste. Stir in the white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended. Combine the ground oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; blend into the bean mixture. Stir in the dates, coconut, raisins and walnuts. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3.Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 147 | Total Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 0mg

I assume that the recipe is missing one ingredient because I had to add liquid to form a dough. I used what I had, which was water (3/4 cup), but next time I will use apple cider or apple sauce. When I got to the fruit and nuts, again I used what I had, which was raisins, dried cherries, and almonds. I don't think changing the fruit and nuts explains the need for liquid. One more change I made: I replaced the white sugar with Kroger Apriva no calorie sweetener, which contains maltodextrin and sucralose. I left the brown sugar in because I think it probably contributes to the taste, not just the sweetness - maybe could use honey or molasses or sorghum, but I don't know how that would affect calories or taste. I baked a dozen cookies in my toaster oven at 325F as suggested. I baked longer, about 20 minutes. Next time I'll add more liquid so the dough will spread out some when baked. Maybe could increase temp to 350F. I put the rest of the dough in a container in the fridge. It should keep for longer than it will last at our house. Since I will use this recipe again, I will rearrange it into the form I prefer and save in my recipe folder in favorites. If you like, I'll email it to you in that format when it is done.

(Steve was unaware that the recipe contains beans. He likes the cookies. He also likes the granola nut clusters, which I think need improvement.) (I wonder if Shaw, being from California, has ever heard of sorghum. Isn't that a Southern thing?)

Okay, rambled long enough. Love and sweet treats, Luna

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Baccccckkkkk!

Okay, yes. I was going to start blogging again on Tuesday, but the habit has left me and I have to start over. But, I'm here now and intend to blog every day!!! It doesn't have to take long, Marsha.
Susan, your blog about vitamin D is very interesting. Steve's D tested very low last January and Dr. T recommended daily D capsules. Steve is taking 5,000 units per day. I was surprised about Steve's D being low. He eats dairy products and other good sources, and certainly get lots of sunshine. When I researched online for causes, one I found was related to cancer, so naturally I wanted to talk to Dr. T about that. He said that was not a concern for Steve. (Lack of other signs, etc.) I had read that 15 minutes of sunshine per day is sufficient to get the D you need, but that isn't working for Steve, who gets way more than that. I want to know more about D research being done. Do trans fat and high fructose and hydrogenated oils interfere with the bodies ability to use the D we get? Is anyone trying to find out? Shouldn't someone hire David Jeremy for big bucks to spend time finding out what's what? (Pardon the nepotism.)
The cereal thing is SO on target! I quit eating Raisen Bran because I wanted three to six small bowls full. (I like to eat small bowls of crunchy, milky cereal rather than large bowls of mushy cereal.) M and I are eating cereal every day as granola, but your idea sounds yummy. I'll see if I can treat Steve to a bowl without telling him it is good for him.
Tuesday I made a first attempt at homemade granola nut clusters. Okay, but not great. Needs work. Last night I tried a recipe for Power Cookies (made with oatmeal and canellini beans!). I think they left out an ingredient though, because I had to add liquid to form a dough. They were tasty and really as "good for you" as the granola, fruit, and nuts we are eating for breakfast, and MUCH better than my clusters. So, once we eat up these batches, I'm going to try again. Also, with the cooler weather and open windows, my urge to bake is on the rise. Came across my recipe for Breakfast Bread yesterday. Thought about how to improve the nutrition of my recipe for pumpkin bread. Carbs, carbs, carbs!!!! Last night's skillet dinner turned out good - pork loin chops with sweet potato, acorn squash, and apple in a pineapple sauce. No leftovers is a good sign of success.
That's all for now. Blog on!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brought To You By The Letter "D"!

My doctor did a blood test to determine my Vitamin D level. He's been testing every patient whenever he does a blood panel for about 8 months now, and has found that about 85% of his patients are deficient in this vitamin. 

Turns out, I'm no exception. Optimal levels are 50-80 ng/ml. Mine is 13 ng/ml, the lowest he's ever seen.

So what are the effects of Vitamin D deficiency? Read on (from

  • Fatigue: "It can be a quite severe fatigue," Dr. Dowd says. In fact, those diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome may also suffer from lack of vitamin D, he says.
  • Body aches: "Bone pain, muscle pain, joint pain [are all signs]," he says. "[The pain] typically moves around—one day it's your back that bothers you, a week later it's your shoulders and the next day it is your feet and hands."
  • Difficulty controlling weight: Vitamin D plays a role in regulating weight, and Dr. Dowd says a deficiency may make it difficult to keep your weight in check. 

Raise your hand if that sounds like you! (My hand is up.) 

What can you do about it? Start by getting tested. If you're deficient - and you probably are - your doctor will likely prescribe supplements, in MUCH higher doses than you can get over the counter, unless you're willing to take 10 or so pills at a time. I'm taking 50,000 i.u. 1x a week for 3 months, then 1x per month for 3 months, then we'll see. 

You can also try the more natural routes - Vitamin D rich foods, and sunshine.


Want more info? Here ya go: 

I'm off to swallow a pill.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

cereal fix!

So it's no secret I love carbs. Sweet carbs, savory carbs, salty carbs. Crunchy carbs. Warm carbs. Cold carbs. If it's made with a grain or a potato I like it. Scratch that - LOVE it.

Cold cereal is one of my all-time favorites, especially for dinner, or bedtime snack. But I don't want just a measly little 3/4 cup serving, ever, thank you very much. Seriously, why bother?

Cereal can be a calorie-laden, sugary mess, but it doesn't have to be. I have discovered 2 magic ingredients that changed everything: 

  • flavored soy milk
  • fat free liquid coffee creamers
Here's the deal -

Buy a bag/box each  of 3 varieties of unsweetened whole grain flakes, puffs, and "o"s ... (rice puffs, shredded wheat, corn puffs, etc) and mix it all up in a big airtight container. 

When you're ready to have a cereal chowdown, fill your bowl up with those styrofoam/cardboard flavored  delights. THEN work the magic... 

Pour on lite vanilla soy milk...and then (get ready, because this is the truly dee-lish part) add 1-2 tablespoons lite/fat-free flavored coffee creamer. Stir it around a little, and take a bite.  I KNOW, right? AMAZING!

For just a few calories, you just turned a bowl of healthy-but-horrid grains into a delicious-and-healthy meal. Caramel, chocolate,vanilla, hazelnut, ANY flavor of creamer will do the trick. Works a treat in oatmeal, too.

Trust. You will like.

Let me know when you try it. :)


Oh, P.S. - I stir in a few tablespoons of flax seed for good measure. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Luna Log - Saturday, 09/25/2010

Today I made my second batch of granola. This time I did not put in the nuts or dried fruit. We can add fresh or dried fruit, and nuts, "as we go". I made other changes as well. I did not put in the brown sugar, or replace it, although I think I could have put in Splenda. So, this batch has less sugar, ergo less calories. Of course, it still contains the honey. Middle Sister said it smelled like I was baking oatmeal cookies. I love oatmeal cookies. Hmmm. I think I'll look for a recipe for oatmeal cookies and modify it.

Maybe tomorrow I will try to use some of my granola to make granola nut clusters like the Nature Valley oh-my-god-expensive and oh-my-god-not-healthy granola nut clusters. I think I can use a small amount of honey for "glue", mixed with the granola, an almond, and 1 or 2 dried cherries for each cluster, then roll it in Splenda to finish and make not-sticky on the outside. If this works, eating granola on the go will be much easier. The process will probably involve very sticky fingers. Maybe I can enlist someone to help and form an assembly line. Volunteers are allowed to sample. Any volunteers?

The corncakes (corn pancakes) are good reheated in the microwave for 10 seconds.

I've looked at some sweet potato recipes, but haven't found a main dish that sounds interesting, doesn't involve lots of ingredients, and would be something we would likely eat. Any one?

Luna Test

I changed settings to see if I start getting emails again when one of us posts. So, this is a test post.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Luna day

Yesterday I did not blog. I kept putting it off, thinking I would have a little more to tell you, if I spent a little more time on Calorie Count site. I did learn some more. I also took wrong turns, which wasted my time and gave me a bad night of sleep, aches and pains that did not stretch out, and a healthy dose of frustration.

On the knowledge side of the equation, I learned that CC (Calorie Count) is a part of I scanned a list of staff experts, including a nutritionist, a nurse, a weight loss consultant, and a wide range of others. I browsed the recipe section and found a low fat, LF (low fat), LC (low cal) recipe for corn muffins that I used last night. (more about that below) I also input my recipe for Veggie Mex, which took a while, and then somehow lost it! I don't know if it has gone out to limbo land or into a time-space continuum, but I can not find it on Calorie Count.

"!huD" (The reverse of "Duh!" When I learn the proper procedure I will reclaim my "!huD". Possibly I've found a new curse word.)

So, on to the corn muffins. RCUU could not detect that I used no sugar. LC! Also, I used a combination of 2% milk and LF yogurt. (I did not have skim milk on hand.) The batter seemed extremely thin, unlike my Family Cornbread. (Maybe, Mother was right, you have to use the magic spoon.) Instead of baking in a muffin tin, I sprayed my skillet with butter flavored canola oil and made corn pancakes, corncakes? Really fast, no baking for 25-30 minutes, and though I cooked all of the batter, it was so thin I probably could have refridgerated and used later (Hmm. Might have to add more baking powder later.) RCUU loved them. I found I did not need butter. I did try cupping one into a "taco" to dip into honey for dessert. YMMMMM.

I won't include the recipe below. It is on file at Calorie Count.

I enjoy finding a new recipe that meets my need, trying it out, and modifying to suit. Sense of accomplishment is happiness. (That and chocolate.)

Happy eating healthy, everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Luna looks for iHelp

For about 3 days, I have been following false leads on the internet. I started by googling "free recipe analysis". I want to enter a recipe and click to calculate nutrition information.

Yesterday I stumbled on a site called Calorie Count which may do what I want. I signed up, got my basic information entered. Today I logged my breakfast consumption into my Food Log, which then calculated my nutrition/calorie intake, and allowed me to access my reports. This looks good. There is a section for logging your activity, too. Also, I spotted a recipe search section where you can also enter your recipes. I intend to investigate further. The site obviously can look up and accumulate nutrition info, so I'm hopeful.

Of course, you can join groups on the site for discussion, etc. But I have my compatriots on Eye, which I like better.

Word of warning. From Calorie Count, I clicked on a "cartoon" about losing belly fat. It is an advertisement for Acai Berry Max Cleanse. I read the article about the journalist's personal test of the product and decided to check out the free trial offer (just pay $3.87 shipping). I went to that site, filled in my name, address, email, etc. When it asked for enough info to charge my card, I paused long enough to google the site. ShoNuf - a long list of complaints about being charged $87+, and getting a monthly charge on card. and unable to contact anyone at contact information on web site. FRAUD!!! Thank goodness I listened to that little suspicious, intuitive voice in my head. (I'm currently reading The Gift of Fear about trusting your survival intuition. Easy read. I want to pass the book around to everyone I know.)

Please pass along recipes you like that are high in fiber, low in fat and sugar. I really like our Veggie Mex, but we need varity.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So, despite having been on and off the wagon in equal measures (that's an exaggeration, I've been on most of the time) I am happy and surprised to report the loss of yet another pound. That brings my total to 6, which has me pretty much right on schedule for "one pound a week." Hurray! xox, Susan

In other news, wifey has lost 8 lbs by frickin' osmosis. She eats what I buy, so she's pretty much got her personal Jenny Craig consultant doing the meal-planning, shopping, and cooking.

I'm jealous. Does it show much?

xox, Susan

p.s. Elder Sister, you've lost TWELVE POUNDS?! That's incredible!!

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Who, besides me, is still blogging?
What happened to getting email every time one of us blogged?
When did this become a problem?
Where do we go from here?
Why don't I know what I'm talking about?

Main question, Is any one out there????

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Luna Returns

Congratulations to not-ES on having lost 9 pounds already! Wow! I'm glad to hear you are having a tough time keeping your pants on at work - and I mean that in the nicest way. You'll be flashing your students soon if you don't spend time with the sewing machine. You are my inspiration to get back to the plan.

I haven't been blogging in a while. Time for me to get back on the straight and narrow. Straight from what I eat to narrow(er) in the hips, belly, butt, torso, thighs, bust, face, fingers, upper arms, all my "jiggly bits", as Briget Jones would say.
Fell off the wagon at Cotter, have had a tough time climbing back on. Amazing how quickly a few sweet, fat grams of delicious taste and texture can ruin a perfectly good plan! I must say though, that SSS has me beat for one day off the wagon. I laughed out loud at your list of transgressions.
I climbed out of the muck in the road and back onto the tried and true wagon yesterday. I still have muck all over my body, but I'm working to slough it off. I'm weighing naked in the mornings. Recording on the Healthy Day Checklist. Searching for recipes high in fiber, low in fat, and reasonable in calories. Tonight I am making a new dish - Black Bean and Corn Pie - one kind of pie that will fit in the plan. I found the recipe at, recipe follows. The site did not provide nutrition information, not even portion size. I've calculated Weight Watchers points and best-guess servings for HDChecklist and re-arranged recipe into "my" recipe style. I'll report tomorrow on how it is received by three guinea pigs - wait, don't use the word pigs - we can be experimental subjects.

Black Bean and Corn Pie
Preheat oven to 350 F. (I will use my toaster-oven with convection heat)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat
1 T. olive oil
Add finely chopped
1 medium onion
1 medium red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
4 garlic cloves (I am using minced garlic from a jar)
Cook until softened, 6-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in
1 (16oz) can unsweetened tomato sauce
1 (16oz) can black beans (I will drain and rinse well)
1 (16oz) can corn (I will use whole kernel)
2 t. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
Stir and mash the beans some to make a thicker consistency.
Pour into an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.
Sprinkle on top of mixture a layer of
mozzarella cheese (I will use about 1 cup)
In a large saucepan, boil
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. dijon mustard
1/2 t. fine sea salt
Stir until mixed. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Spread the cooked cornmeal over the bean mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
(I will cut into 9 squares because it is an 8x8 baking dish, but I think two squares should be a serving.)

Here's what I "reckon" the numbers to be.
WeightWatchers points 4 per square, so 8 per serving.
veggie servings, 3 per square, so 6 per serving.
protein, 4g per square, so 8 per serving.
I did not try to calculate calories, but reasonable for a meal I think.

I am totally guessing on how to calculate protein from a combination of beans and grains. I took the protein amount from the beans and from the corn, added that together and used that to figure out amount per square, then added the protein from the cheese per square to get 4g. Do either of you know how to actually calculate protein created by combining beans and grains?
I hope this is one we can add to a list of good meal choices. Tomorrow I hope not-ES will comment. (By the way, did not-ES choose another moniker yet?)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Amazing Before & After!

Peter Jackson, the disheveled, portly director and creative genius behind The Lord of The Rings films, before:

And here he is, now, after losing 70 lbs in 2004-2005, and keeping it off:

His trousers are still too long, but damn! He's a handsome fellow!

How he did it: By following a strict diet of yogurt, muesli, and soup, plus exercise at a home gym.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Luna Log 09/04/2010

Yesterday I did good on eating and drinking water, but no heart-rate-increasing exercise. Neck knot; enought said.

I was really proud of myself for not indulging after RCUU and I made pear preserves. RCUU has been longing for home-made-like-Madelyn-made pear preserves for several years. The recipe requires those hard, green pears with bad skin that never soften. He found a loaded tree in his cousin Linda's backyard! No one wanted them; many were rotting on the ground, so he brought home 2 stuffed Walmart bags full. I doubled the recipe and we used about a third of the stash. I did NOT find a low-calorie recipe on the internet. Maybe sometime today I can search HungryGirl for some pear recipes. (We're experiencing Fall-like weather, which has me in the mood to bake.)

Anyway. . . RCUU also brought home a bag of Linda's homemade yeast rolls. (She's famous in southeast Arkansas for those rolls, among other favorites from her catering company.) Just smell it in your imagination. Hot yeast roll, melting butter, and fresh, still warm pear preserves. Ahhhh. I wish I could believe that my imagination is just as good as the taste, the texture, the warmth, the satisfying slide down my throat. The sip of hot tea - a perfect complement. Okay, enough rapturous description of food I'm NOT going to eat.

On another subject, I forgot to weigh this morning until I was pulling on my work shorts. How much difference could that make? I weighed. Oh, no! I took the shorts off and weighed again. Whew! My work shorts weigh 1.6 pounds! I never would have guessed. In reality my weight is flucuating a little every day. Although I am weighing every day, I'm only going to record weekly, except on my Healthy Day Checklist.

ES says she is not using the Checklist. How about SSS?

Friday, September 3, 2010

DIY 100-Calorie Packs! (Hungry Girl Exclusive!)

Directly (as in copied/pasted directly therefore I get NO credit) from Hungry Girl:

Guilt-free, portion-controlled snacks ROCK... but they can be pricey. Save cash -- DO IT YOURSELF! Here's the 411 on exactly how many/how much of some of our favorite treats are equal to 100 calories, plus a few fantastic 100-cal combos!

DIY 100-Calorie Packs!

14 almonds
PER SERVING (about 14 whole unsalted nuts): 100 calories, 9g fat, 0mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 3.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

25 pistachios
PER SERVING (about 25 dry-roasted unsalted nuts): 100 calories, 8g fat, 0mg sodium, 5g carbs, 1.75g fiber, 1g sugars, 3.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

16 Popchips
PER SERVING (about 16 chips, average of all flavors): 100 calories, 3.25g fat, 235mg sodium, 16g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 1g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

15 Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips
PER SERVING (about 15 chips, average of all flavors): 100 calories, 2g fat, 156mg sodium, 17.5g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 0g sugars, 1.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

12 hard pretzel sticks (not rods)
PER SERVING (about 12 small plain sticks, average): 100 calories, 0g fat, 460mg sodium, 23g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 2g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

19 hard pretzel twists
PER SERVING (about 19 mini twists, average): 100 calories, <0.5g fat, 400mg sodium, 20.5g carbs, <1g fiber, <0.5g sugars, 1.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

5 cups 94% fat-free microwave popcorn
PER SERVING (about 5 cups popped corn, average): 100 calories, 0.5g fat, 204mg sodium, 22g carbs, 4g fiber, 0g sugars, 2.5g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

13 Quaker Quakes Rice Snacks
PER SERVING (about 13 mini cakes, average of all flavors): 100 calories, 2g fat, 223mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 3.5g sugars, 1.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

4 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses
PER SERVING (about 4 pieces): 100 calories, 5.5g fat, 15mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 9g sugars, 1g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

4 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
PER SERVING (about 4 tsp., average): 100 calories, 5.25g fat, 5mg sodium, 12g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 10.5g sugars, 1g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

27 Reese's Pieces
PER SERVING (about 27 pieces): 100 calories, 4.75g fat, 38mg sodium, 12g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 10g sugars, 2g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

45 mini marshmallows
PER SERVING (about 45 mini marshmallows, average): 100 calories, 0g fat, 25mg sodium, 25.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 18g sugars, 0.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
PER SERVING (about 1/4 cup, average): 100 calories, <0.5g fat, 1mg sodium, 26.5g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 21.5g sugars, 0g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

25 jelly beans (like Jelly Belly)
PER SERVING (about 25 small jelly beans, average): 100 calories, 0g fat, 14mg sodium, 25g carbs, 0g fiber, 20g sugars, 0g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

HG's Super 100-Cal Snack Mixes!

Using your newfound knowledge, make your own mixes! Or try out ours...

Jelly Bean 'Stach Snack
PER SERVING (10 small jelly beans + 15 pistachios): 100 calories, 4.75g fat, 7mg sodium, 13g carbs, 1g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 2g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

Candy 'Mallow Popcorn
PER SERVING (9 Reese's Pieces + 8 mini marshmallows + 2 1/2 cups 94% fat-free microwave popped corn): 100 calories, 1.5g fat, 120mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 2g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

Chocolatey Caramel Crunch Mix
PER SERVING (2 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips + 6 Quaker Caramel Corn Quakes): 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 130mg sodium, 17g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 1g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

Berry Nutty Twist Mix
PER SERVING (1 1/2 tbsp. sweetened dried cranberries + 5 almonds + 5 mini pretzel twists): 100 calories, 3g fat, 105mg sodium, 16g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 8g sugars, 1.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.

yum! - xox, Susan

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Luna Log 09/02/2010

I did pretty good today. I ate my "breakfast" at 11:30am. I simply got busy and didn't feel hungry. I also managed to drink my quota of water. AND I rode my bike for 10 minutes, plus I sweated like a cold soda on a hot day for (2) 30-minute periods while acquiring, loading, and unloading 80 new Steralite plastic tubs with lids! Whew. I'm counting that as exercise.

I had my daily diet coke along with 1 serving of FF Pringles this afternoon. Then for dinner a big salad, 1/2 avocado as "dressing", leftover steak, and Activia Blueberry Cheesecake dessert yogurt.

I've started weighing every morning again because there is a blank to fill in on the Healthy Day Checklist. On Tuesday, the first day I used the checklist, I was at 142.8, on Wednesday 142.0, and this morning 141.0, but I'm not counting any of that as official because weight fluctuates during the day, day to day, etc. But I am hopeful.

This evening, ES showed me how baggy her slacks are. Oh, how I love it when a plan comes together.

Luna Log 09/01/2010

I'd better write fast, or it won't still be 09/01.

I did pretty good today. I treated myself to a sweet this afternoon with a cuppa. I remember Susan telling me once that I could make a cookie last longer than anyone. Yeah. At the time, as I recall, we(ES,SSS,me)were spreading butter on vanilla wafers and sprinkling on cinnamon sugar. My first time with that yummy treat, but not the last time. Today it was a pecan sandie with dark chocolate chips. I made it last for 30 minutes. Ahhh. The package is hidden out of my sight so I did not scarf down the entire bag.

Tonight I tried out a new concoction on ES while RCUU is out of town. ES will eat almost anything I can come up with. I'm not completely happy with the ratios, but here's what I did. Sweet onions and sweet bell peppers (yellow, orange, red) sauted in olive oil, plus 2 cans rinsed and drained red kidney beans, and 2 cans diced Italian style tomatos drained, served on whole wheat rotini. I thought it either needed fewer beans or more tomatos. ES said definitely NOT fewer beans, so more tomatos. It was pretty good! Dinner for two tonight, plus lunch for two tomorrow.
Probably something more prosaic for dinner tomorrow.

I'm still learning on the Healthy Day Checklist and the Pyramid Tool. In some ways it seems very limited. The idea that you spend the same amount of calories per category by adjusting portions is odd. I don't know yet if I like it better than the Weight Watcher point system. I'm keeping an open mind.

I did manage to get all my water servings today. I like to drink unsweetened iced tea without the ice with dinner. By using decaf tea, which I use for RCUU anyway, I can count it as water. My hot tea is decaf, too. On WW, unsweetened juice counts as water as well, but probably not on the Checklist - I'll look.

Well, SWEET dreams my sisters. Blog you tomorrow. Luna

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big Pretty

Sisters - I think perhaps we're not trying hard enough to fully embrace our luscious curviness (while at the same time trying to get rid of it...)

I believe we can, and SHOULD, do both.


Though we travel the world over
 to find the beautiful, 
we must carry it with us
 or we find it not.
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

True Lemon/Lime/Orange

I used the last of the TrueLime this afternoon sprinkled on the avocados I added to the salads I built for dinner tonight. Inside the package was a recipe that has WAY too many calories and fat grams to use, but also a go-to for a $1.00 coupon. Since I just wrote TrueLime on next week's grocery list, I went to website. Coupon request did not work from my computer for some reason, but I did request free samples. So I'm passing this along. Go to for $1 coupon, free samples, and recipes. Mmmmmm.

Luna Log 08/31/2010

So far, so good today. No binging. I am using the Healthy Day Checklist today. I realize that, had I been using the checklist yesterday, I would not have needed to confess 24 oz. of ice cream. I could of checked 6 servings of protein/dairy instead. Hmmm. Probably a good example of bad information to have.

Today I had my usual breakfast: LFgranola, blackberries, FF yogurt in blackberry, almonds, hot tea. On the checklist that records as 1 fruit, 1 carb, 1 protein/dairy, 1 fat(the almonds), 1 water(because my tea is decaf). That looks pretty good.

For lunch I had German-style slaw, 2 servings of mixed fruit salad, 2 slices of cheddar cheese, which I recorded as 1 veggie, 2 fruits, 1 protein/dairy.

Still need to drink more water. And I haven't done ANY exercise. But I also haven't had any sweet for today. I bought Activia dessert yogurt in blueberry cheesecake, so after dinner. . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Luna Log 08/30/2010

Such a bad day, first binging, then having to confess. Confessing is what is suppose to keep me honest, but it did not keeping me from binging. Mostly I thought about how to avoid confessing. Not confessing would be easier if I could "not confess" to strangers. Good thing I have 2 best chicks in my corner, on my team, got my back, etc.

Breakfast and Lunch: 24oz. of ice cream for shame, for shame

Afternoon pick-me-up: diet coke w/lime

Dinner: 1/2 of 1 trout, boiled red potatoes, slaw (German style, no mayo), 1/2 corn on cob, tomato, watermelon

After dinner: hot tea (no cookies)

I printed Healthy Day Checklist and Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid tool from links posted by SSS. Thanks again. Tomorrow is a new day. RCUU and I both have a goal of fitting into our dress clothes in time for Aaron Caldwell's (John and Diana's oldest son) wedding on October 1. It CAN be done! Of course, my dress is a short-sleeve, pale blue, obviously summer dress, so I may have to buy a different dress to wear anyway, but hey I'd love to buy one two sizes smaller than I am now - like the blue dress.

Tomorrow is a new day. I can start fresh every day. Just because I failed today does not mean I have to give up or fail again tomorrow.

Unrelated but new to me quote:
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.”
Albert Einstein

Healthy Day Checklist (1200 calories)

This is the checklist I use to track my daily food intake, as well as sleep, water intake, and exercise. Because I'm not keeping a food log, but just checking boxes instead, it's easy to keep up with. An added benefit is that it serves to remind me what I haven't eaten each day, not just what I have eaten.  A quick glance at today's checklist tells me I've only eaten 2 of the recommended fruit servings (I also see that I've had 2 EXTRA servings of carbs, so I'll be steering clear of the graham crackers when I want a snack later, and reaching for an apple instead!) With portion sizes listed at the bottom, it's easy to remember what a "serving" really is. 1200 calories is what you both should be eating each day, too, Elder Sister & Luna. 

You can download  a printable, week-at-a-glance checklist here, and a 4 page food list with portion sizes here.

Healthy Day Checklist
(1200 calories)

Date 8/30/2010

Sleep 7 hrs Weight 211 lbs
Veggies (4 or more)
Fruit (3 or more)   
Carbs (4)        
Protein/Dairy (3)   
Fats (3)
Sweets (75 cals) Sugar in coffee
Water (per 8 oz)  
Exercise (Type)__________( Duration) _____
Notes: 2 extra servings carbs (puffed cereal w/ sugar/not and soymilk)


Portion Sizes: 
Veggies (25 cals per serving): 1 c broccoli, 1 med carrot, 2 c leafy greens, 1 med tomato, ¼ c marinara sauce
Fruit (60 cals per serving): 1 small apple, ¾ c berries
Carbs (70 cals per serving) : ½ c pasta or cereal, 1/3 c rice, ½ ww bagel, 1 slice ww bread, 30 pretzel sticks, 1 biscuit shredded wheat, 1 c soup
Protein/Dairy (110 cals per serving): ½ c lowfat shredded cheese, 1 c 2%  milk, 1 c lite yogurt, 2/3 c lf cottage cheese, 3 oz fish, 1 30z veg patty, ½ c beans, 1 egg, ½ c tofu, 3 oz or ½ c tuna
Fats (45 cals per serving): 1 ½ t pb, 3 T ff sour cream, 1 t canola or olive oil, 1 t butter, 4 T ff mayo,
Sweets (75 cals per serving): 1 ½ T Jam or fruit spread, 1 T honey, 1/3 c sorbet
Plan healthy meals and snacks using recommended food servings. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Spread out the food servings throughout the day. Include at least one serving from most food groups at each meal.
Stay flexible and adjust your food serving goals as necessary. If, for example, you don't reach your fruits goal on Monday, add extra servings of fruit to Tuesday's menu.
Include physical activity in your day. If time is limited, exercise in brief periods throughout the day — for example, three 10-minute sessions rather than one 30-minute session.