Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A little bit of this and that

It's Sunday and my whole family is sick (except for me) with the flu. Poor Keithy can't breathe through his nose at all. Kristina has a sore throat, Anna has a cough, Tyler has congestion - what's a mama to do?

I am feeling improved day-by-day. Today I did some dishes and felt just fine (thankfully). I am about to fold some laundry and then after Tyler & Keith wake up from their naps we are going to have family home evening followed by a bowl of sugar-free banana pudding. It is going to take some training of my mind to realize that making high-fat chocolate chip cookies or brownies aren't the only "treats" out there and certainly not the healthiest, either. I am not 100% comfortable with sugar substitutes - but, for right now? I need to eat low calorie and if sugar-free banana pudding makes me feel like I've been treated, then so be it. What low calorie treats do you enjoy?

Our cat, Jasper, broke one of his front legs in two places last week. He is currently in a splint/cast thingy. He hates it. One of the orders from the VET is that Jasper cannot go outside. If only Jasper could understand that and not keep trying to dart outside at all times possible.

We got some pictures of our house from the owner - I am eager to see more! It's hard to visualize a house from a few pictures, ya know? Our landlord there has someone she hires to paint the house and we are going to hire her to paint it before we get there - which will be one less thing to do. :o)

Our house is a disaster. I can think of several reasons why it is messy - my surgery and recovery being 2 good reasons, but the real reason is because we are already packing up our home. Since we are doing it ourselves, we thought we'd get a headstart on it. However, it makes our house so unorganized. Strangely enough, it doesn't bother me the way I would imagine it to. Perhaps it's because I can't wait to move to my new house!


Sarah C said...

I am sorry your family is sick. I hope they all get feeling better soon. I am glad you are feeling better. Have a great week. Good luck packing.

Mary said...

My favorite low-calorie, low fat treat right now is meringues. They're just whipped egg whites, salt, sugar, and vanilla (optional). They're sugary and crunchy, like cookies, only they are much better for you. They're also super simple to make!

Lively Luckinbills said...

I've made a really yummy treat...and it is actually a weight watchers dessert. You just take any cake mix and a can of pumpkin (not pie filling), mix them together and bake. Super easy and delicious. Hope you all get to feeling better soon.

Shea said...

All whipped cream is low is sugar and carbs? Do you like pumpkin? Look at some of the atkins recipes out there and modify them to fit your diet. There are some really good ones I think you will like.

Carina said...

Aww, least you're not sick too, huh? I hope everyone gets well soon!

My favorite low-cal dessert...I actually quite like pudding. And strawberries with light cool whip. That's all I'm going to allow myself to think about right now.

I wish I could help you guys pack up...but good on you for starting already! I don't blame you for being so excited!

shannon said...

I love fruit smoothies! This recipe is one of my fav's for a refreshing treat.
-1 15 oz. can no sugar added mandarin oranjes
-2 frozen bananas
-2 c watermelon (seeded)
-1 to 2 C water and crushed ice
>Put everything in a blender on high till smooth---enjoy!

Diana said...

Good to see you up and blogging again!

Being diabetic, I've had to learn many of the same things about treats. I've also had to learn how to cook differently, particularly how to replace some of the high carb, high saturated fat options with more healthy ones. I use only olive oil or canola oil in cooking. I use Parkay spray butter instead of butter or margarine on most things (and yes, I dump it out out of the bottle and cook with it, too.)I also use butter flavored sprinkles like Butter Buds or Molly McButter.

I still make occasional treats such as chocolate chip cookies. But when I do, I make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I use regular oatmeal because it is higher in fiber and offers a much lower glycemic response. I also use about 2/3 whole wheat flour rather than all white for the same reason. I also use dark or semi-sweet chocolate rather than milk chocolate. I also substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil when I can. No matter what I'm making, I always use Splenda rather than sugar. I use mostly regular splenda as their brown sugar substitute is half sugar, half splenda. It does, however, which helps maintain the texture of baked goods while still decreases the actual sugar count.

As for quick treats, I like sugar free hot cocoa. Swiss Miss is my favorite brand. If you can find their "diet" line, it is quite good and has virtually no sugar and is basically a "diabetic free food." It's usually pretty spendy, though. Both Sam's Club and Costco carry the "no sugar added" stuff, though, which is also good. It actually tastes a little better than the true "diet" line and it is also sweetened with Splenda rather than NutraSweet (which is absolutely horrible for you!)

Because there are so few options, though, I occasionally do some sugar free pudding (but it's still got a high carb count for a diabetic) and set Jello. My all time favorite way to prepare jello is to mix 1 large box (or two small) with a large container of plain unsweetened yogurt. Stir it together in a large bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Stir well and pour into whatever dish or mold you want to set it in. Refrigerate for an hour or two and it's good to go.

What I really wish, though, is that most of the manufacturers of "sugar free" products would get with the program and start using alternatives to NutraSweet. The stuff is nothing shy of poison for your liver and I am so stinking sensitive to it (I have Fibromyalgia and aspartame triggers it something fierce.) I can only rarely eat the stuff without having big problems. I almost never drink diet soda or Crystal Light and only rarely use actual Jello for that reason. Aspartame, unfortunatley, also lurks in all the light yogurts as well.

As for alternative sweeteners, I hightly recommend agave and stevia. Walmart carries both of them now, but the stuff they carry isn't nearly as good as what you can get at health food stores. I am not a fan AT ALL of the individual packets of stevia. They have added maltodextrin and all have a wicked aftertaste. But I use the pure powder all the time and love it. Agave is awesome on pretty much anything and everything and can be used pretty universallly as a substitute for sugar or honey. YOu can also get it in different flavors at the health food stores.

Stupid Blogger...I hate it when they cut my comments short. 2 comments it is...

Diana said...

...I use stevia powder as much as possible in my cooking now. I still make set jello as I described above with the plain yogurt, except I use 2 packages of Knox unflavored gelatin initially prepared according to their directions and flavor it with 2 packages of unsweetened Koolaid mix and a SCANT, LEVELED 1/4 t. (about 2/3 of a measuring spoon full and leveled) of pure stevia powder per package. Just a warning...a little stevia goes a really long way. If you use too much, it tastes quite nasty. Less than 1/4 teaspoon of pure stevia powder is equal to a full cup of refined sugar.

As a side note, I use those same proportions when I'm just making "juice" to drink - 1 package unsweetened drink mix, scant leveled 1/4 t. stevia, and 2 quarts water.

They also make a lot of really good sugar free candies now, especially hard candies. The sugar free Wurthers aren't quite as creamy as the real thing, but they're pretty darn good! Lifesaver and Baskin Robbins also make some good ones. They do take care of the sweet fix pretty well...but dang it, most also have nutrasweet in them.

Hmmm...what else...oh yes. When shopping for any of your reduced fat and "light" items, read the labels carefully. Many of them replace the fat with junk fillers and stabilizers such as modified food starch, tapioca, vitamin A palimate, xanthan gum, and a whole bunch of other chemicals I can't pronounce or spell. They also bump up the flavor with extra sugar and sodium, which actually further incereases their overall carb count, glycemic index rating, and general unhealthiness of the product. Look for brands with as few added stabilizers as possible. The less additives, the more healty they are and will also keep you feeling full longer. If you have to pick between junk low fat and a more pure fat option, honestly, you're almost always better off going with the "regular" option, practicing moderation, and then cutting the fat and calories in other areas.