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21  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Loving food, but trying SOOO HARD to lose weight!!! on: October 07, 2005 12:36:27 PM
What I know is that I have no concept of portion control. I know that I eat healthy foods for the most part, but I eat too many and too much all at once.

isn't that the truth!!!  Undecided

i got some helpful advice from a  dietician. she told me that if you're eating good-quality foods, your body's nutritional requirements are met long before a person can start to feel full. it's because portion sizes are out of whack everywhere. a supersized this and that, a reastaurant meal that is in reality- enough to feed two people.

once i actually started to pay attention to this stuff- a standard bagel is on average 4-5 servings of bread, one serving of meat is the size of your palm, one serving of potato salad is the size of a small scoop of ice cream, 3 tbsp of peanut butter is the size of a golf ball, a large apple is actually 2 servings of fruit, etc, etc. i was shocked! she also advised that i drink at least one big glass of water with my meals, so i'm not feeling hungry and needing to over-eat. if i want some potato chips, fine, but measure a few out in a small bowl and when it's gone, it's gone.

i found these tips actually made me pay more attention to how and what i ate, and how it relates to my energy levels, how i feel during the day (sluggish or not, etc.)
22  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: "American and Asian but not Chinese cuisine for a picky fiance :( on: October 07, 2005 12:03:59 PM
you're a better woman than i- i'd be directing him to the nearest cereal box.

and that comment about it's not like his mom makes, or whatever- yiiiiiiiiii!!! this may be the time to remind him that he's marrying YOU and not his mother, otherwise it's going to be a very long "till-death-do-us-part".

seriously, though, why doesn't he take a cooking class? or both of you together? or  could google the recipes he wants to make and you two could cook together on the weekends. it would also be a nice opportunity to spend some quality time together   Wink
23  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Finally! Hotpatterns! on: October 06, 2005 12:17:06 PM
congratulations! your site is fantastic! and i really love the names that you've given your garments.
24  COOKING / Dessert / Re: I need a good carrot Cake Recipe on: October 06, 2005 10:03:51 AM
the secret to a good carrot cake is a simple sugar syrup. use any recipe. just make the cake a day or two ahead, to give the cake ample time to rest. the measurements i'm giving is for a standard 9x13 cake. you may need more or less, depending. this is by no means an exact science!

while the cake's  baking, bring 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 water to a boil. boil vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. set aside. when the cake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup evenly over the cake. let the cake cool, then cover the cake and refrigerate, and allow it to rest for a day so that the syrup is evenly soaked up. then ice the cake and serve as usual. what you get is an unbelievably moist, dense cake. heaven!

each cake recipe is different, so you'd have to experiment with how much syrup you actually use on the cake. too much and the cake is soggy, not enough and the cake is too dry. you also need that day for the cake to rest, otherwise it just isn't as good. hth!
25  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Favorite Recipe Websites? on: October 06, 2005 09:52:30 AM
a few of my favorites are:

epicurious.com
yumyum.com
cooks.com

even martha's site can give you some really good ideas about spices to pair with foods you wouldn't necessarily think of. hth!
26  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Loving food, but trying SOOO HARD to lose weight!!! on: October 06, 2005 09:50:34 AM
these are my own findings from my own trial and error:

try and limit your consumption of "white" stuff- white bread, rice, sugar, flour, etc.  there's more of this stuff is in food as fillers than most of us realize, and it has zero nutritional value.

try switching to whole grain bread, limit or cut out pasta. try eating meals that are a lean protein (chicken, salmon, etc) with a grain (brown rice, etc) and lots of veggies. if you want a snack, have fruit. if you're drinking whole milk and cream in your coffee, switch to 1 or 2%. sauces/dressings are generally not great, especially if they are loaded with oils, etc.

also, eat less but eat more often during the day, so you aren't ravenous and you keep your energy levels up. and don't deny yourself. i had an aunt that went on this crazy diet, and denied herself EVERYTHING. she got to the point where she would go on these crazy binges because she just broke down and went AWOL from the strictness of it all.  don't overhaul your diet so suddenly that you hate what you eat and can't stand it. you won't stick to it, and besides- eating is one of life's great pleasures. and if it's something good but not so healthy, a little bit or a taste won't hurt you.  a lot of it can, though. if you need to, measure out your portions. we eat a lot more than we think we do!

also- don't think of it as a diet so much, but as fuel. your body is an amazing machine- when you put in healthy "premium" fuel, you function like a race car. when you use the cheapest, most convenient fuel possible- well, you get the idea.

another thing that helps is meal planning. when you do your shopping, plan your meals for the week and leave the list out where it's accessible. that way you will likely be able to get things ready during the week as you go, rather than hastily throwing something together because you're in a  hurry to get supper on the table.

i did this a while back, not so much for weight's sake, but because i got really scared seeing the general bad health of everyone i work with. i made the decision that i wanted more balance and i didn't want my health to suffer because of my own decision to actively "ignore" what i did with my own health.  i found when i shifted my focus to my overall health, rather than just losing weight, i felt better, and weight maintenance was a pleasant side effect.

whew! sorry for the sermon! these are things that helped me so i hope this helps you out, too!
27  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Wanted : Quick simple idea for xmas on: October 05, 2005 10:24:34 AM
dude, record bowls and marble magnets. i made those for everyone last year and they thought i was amazing! easy and fast and about as cheap as it gets.
i also threw in chocolate dipped pretzels - also cheap, fast and easy.

i agree- people are crazy for marble magnets. and marble pushpins. i have some on my bulletin board at work and people are weirdly fanatical about them!

she could even take thrift store tumblers with straight sides and E-6000 glue some colored flat sided marbles on them for colored glass candle holders. or paint the tumblers with glass paint. or she could get cheap glasses at the dollar store and make them a set by using etch cream to make designs/words on them.

the suggestion about the fleece scarves is great, too. all she'd have to do it just cut them into shape- no sewing required!

and homemade truffles or cookies in a mug are always a nice gift!
28  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Halloween Hat/Costume : Star Wars on: October 05, 2005 09:31:33 AM
those pictures are  so unbelievably cute!
29  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Don't touch that squirrel's nuts! on: October 03, 2005 02:31:45 PM
this isn't along the posterboard vein, but looking at your illustration, could you make the body a tunic out of fabric gathered at the knees (like a bubble skirt or little pantaloons- you could even stuff the sides with batting or something), the shoulder part could be a crocheted/sewn/knitted capelet with only a neck hole, and the cap part could be some kind of hat? for the hat, one of those puffy golfer's caps with a stem thing attached would work.

hth
30  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: Don't know what to crochet next..suggestions please! on: September 29, 2005 02:53:13 PM
a nice looooong scarf made of some really nice yarn- treat yourself!
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