October 3, 2012

A tofu experiment

I had a bit of an emotional morning. While Jerry and I were getting the kids ready for school, Eli was talking about an incident that happened yesterday while he was playing outside. I remembered him telling me a little about it before putting him to bed, but I was writing out checks to the school at the time (today was picture day, so I was filling out the forms and writing checks), so I admit, I wasn't fully paying attention yesterday.

Apparently, when the boys were playing in the back yard yesterday, a boy from our neighborhood threw a frisbee and knocked a squirrel out of a tree. The squirrel fell, and, according to Eli, both of its back legs were broken. Then the neighbor boy went in his garage and got out a BB gun. He shot the squirrel with it, and it was still alive, so he started stomping on it. Then he went and buried it in the woods.

This was so disturbing to me, on so many levels. First, I've told my boys a million times that if any of their friends ever brings out a gun, they are to come home and tell me immediately (and obviously they did not). I was also really disturbed because the neighbor boy was being extremely cruel to a poor squirrel, and I don't think that his behavior was "normal" boy behavior. I can only hope that maybe the boy was thinking he was putting the squirrel out of its misery because of the broken legs?

I could tell Eli was bothered by it too, because he brought it up twice, and he got a little emotional while talking about it. I told Jerry we should definitely tell the boy's mom, and he agreed. Noah and Eli both told me that this was the story, so I know they aren't making it up. I got really upset while listening to the story. So I had a talk with the boys about it before school, and I stressed the gun issue again.

Once the boys went to school, I had to get my run out of the way. I probably should have stuck with the treadmill, since it's easier on my knee, but I just really wanted to get outside in the fall weather to run. So I ran outside.

I was kind of scared to go through the neighborhoods where the unleashed dogs were, so I took a different route that was along a busy road, and I just ran on the shoulder. I was worried about knee pain, but I tried to really focus on my form. I actually made it all six miles without knee pain! I tried to keep a steady pace, and I did pretty good at that:
When I saw my heart rate chart, I was pretty irritated at my Garmin. The heart rate monitor strap of my new Garmin sucks. It feels like a razor blade under my boobs (chafing horribly), and sometimes, it just stops registering my heart rate:
You can see at the beginning where my heart rate just dropped off the radar, and then came back shortly after. It doesn't happen every time I run, but my old strap never had problems.


After lunch today, I had 600 calories worth of ice cream (15 PointsPlus)... and it was planned! I have a lot of weekly points left, and I don't want my body to get used to not eating them all, so I splurged today. It's nice to eat something like that and not have it be a binge. I enjoyed every bite of it--and I counted the PointsPlus for it :)

I read about caloric cycling in Pete's book, and while it wasn't a new concept to me, Pete said it was his "secret weapon". So I've been trying to have at least one high-Points day a week, so that my body doesn't get used to having the same amount every single day.


When I was grocery shopping earlier this week, I bought a bag of tofu shirataki noodles. I'd tried them before, years ago, and thought they were awful. But I decided I'd give them another try.

Since Jerry was having chili dogs with his coworkers, and my kids ate at my mom's house today, I was on my own for dinner. I followed the recipe on the bag (a Hungry Girl recipe), being careful to rinse very well and dry them really well, per the instructions. When they were done, they looked edible:
At first bite, I really didn't like them. They have a rubbery texture, and just a very strange flavor. I took two more bites, really hoping that I would like them (they're only 40 calories per bag); but after the third bite, I dumped the rest in the trash. Gross! It's kind of like eating fish-flavored rubber bands ;)



Rik and Ada from my Ragnar team (Rik is our team captain, Ada was on The Biggest Loser) were interviewed on a running podcast that became available today. You can find their episode here, if you'd like to listen to it. I think Rik was born to do radio--he has the best voice for it! ;)

36 comments:

  1. I just need to say the neighbor boy thing IS disturbing and terrifying.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love tofu and random weird healthy things BUT I did not like tofu shirataki noodles either. The calorie count made me try them out but I thought they tasted like fish! Gross! I want to try to do more spaghetti squash as pasta replacement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my god. I would never even let them go near the neighbor boy again; this type of violence against animals and lack of emotion is clearly linked to antisocial and aggressive behavior throughout adulthood. That is so horrible and sickening. I'm really sorry your son witnessed that--so traumatic. Maybe he could go feed some squirrels with you and build back some positive connections so he doesn't always have a bad link to yesterday's event?

    In other news..I just bought those same noodles (for the first time) yesterday! I'm going to try them in a curry so that they can take on more flavor. I'll let you know if it goes well...

    ReplyDelete
  4. That neighbor boy is scary!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The neighbor boy is Dexter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's kind of what I was thinking....

      Delete
  6. First of all, you have some very sweet, caring kids, Katie. You and your husband are obviously great parents. What that other kid was doing was definitely not normal. Sounded like he was taking a lot of anger out on that squirrel.
    As for the tofu noodles, I've never heard a BETTER description of them than yours. DITTO. Sometimes the calories just aren't worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to comment, but you said EXACTLY what I was going to say.

      Delete
  7. Oh wow I am so sick to my stomach over that poor squirrel! I can only hope it didn't suffer TOO terribly much. Wow, please update with how telling the parents went, I definitely think you should. If it were me, I think I would get the police involved, and have them talk to the boy also, that is just Horrible!! :( I feel so bad for your sons having to witness this. :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. You should let the kid's school know about the squirrel incident too. Animal abuse by children has a really high correlation with abusing women and hurting people - and the mom might want to protect her kid rather than protect everyone else from her kid. If the school knows they can keep their eye out for other sociopathic behavior and know that if it happens it is a patter of behavior - if it happens. Hopefully nothing ever happens again and this was a one time accident.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The story about the squirrel is disturbing to me, too, though I want to share that I've also learned living in Colorado that there are families out here who are WAY more comfortable than I would be (an urban east coast gal by birth) with their kids using guns or other weapons. And some people out here have WAY different beliefs about wild animals than I do- many people view squirrels and pigeons like I would a subway rat or mice-as vermin. I've even met families who view cats as they did their barn cats on the farm- as wild vermin they would never dream of naming or even feeding/caring for in any way. Animals that they wouldn't hesitate taking potshots at with a BB gun (cringe). It's all so foreign to me-a cat lover and animal lover in general, but I wonder if that is at all operating for this child- that it's more about how these animals are valued than it is about anti-social violence? Just a thought...

    ReplyDelete
  10. My mother and I are also both on WW and tried those noodles. We tried two different brands but i just cant get over the texture!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've found that the shiritake noodles taste good in a soup, sort of like Top Ramen. About.com has a good recipe: http://koreanfood.about.com/od/soupsandstews/r/Spicynoodlesoup.htm but I have to cut the chili pepper flakes and paste. I've tried the noodles 20 different ways and I agree, most are just gross. My family will actually eat them this way. I swear that it's worth trying them one more time this way.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do you rinse the noodles thoroughly prior to cooking? I always rinse them very well and then throw them into a teriyaki stir-fry and they are so delicious. Try rinsing maybe that will help.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh and I forgot to mention that neighbor boy is creepy. Keep your boys away from him. Yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my god. That thing about your neighbour is horrible. There is no need for violence like that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Weight Watchers Question... Do you get to bank the activity points you earn each day and add them to your weekly point allowance, or do you have to eat them that day? Do you find that most foods you eat are in the system? Like on sparkpeople there are always user shared foods and I never have to put anything in to create a new food. Okay that was two questions :) Thinking of changing things up thanks to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can bank them for that week - once your week is over you lose your extra weekly Pp and your activity PP

      Delete
    2. When you go over your daily PP, then you start pulling from your weekly PP. Once ALL of your weeklies are gone, then you start pulling from the Activity PP. The Activity PP you earn will be good for the whole week. When the week is up, the slate is wiped clean--you have 49 weekly points, and 0 activity points.

      About foods being in the system... it's not NEARLY as large of a database as SparkPeople. I've had to enter a few things because I couldn't find them. However, it's much faster and easier to enter a food on WW than it is on Spark (you only use 4 nutrients--carbs, fat, fiber, and protein). On Spark, you enter the entire nutrition label, so it's a little more time consuming.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your input! I have done WW on the old program, but I'm interested to see how it's changed. I swore I would lose weight for "free." That's where SP came in, but I've just been stuck for a while now and I really want to keep moving towards my goal. I'm sure you hear this alot, but you truly are an inspiration to your readers! Sometimes it's just nice to hear it again :)

      Delete
  16. I would definitely want to know if my child did something like that. It's really disturbing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You should tell the boys' teachers so that they know in case the boys become emotional over it while at school.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My mouth literally dropped open while reading the story about the neighbour. That cannot be normal "boy" behavior and I definitely think the parents should know. If I found out that my kid did this I would be disturbed and worries.

    I've tried those noodles before. I really wanted to like them because of their calorie count.. the first time I thought i liked them, but every time after that I ended up throwing my meal out.. they're gross lol

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really would not jump to conclusions about the neighbor boy - start alerting schools, labeling him a sociopath, etc. Definitely tell his mom.
    First, it sounds like the squirrel was accidentally injured (no one did that on purpose). Then he tried to do the humane thing - a thing my father (a hunter) and my husband (a non-hunter who hates guns) have both done for a injured wild animals. Then when the BB gun wasn't enough to kill it, he simply might have freaked out and just wanted the suffering to stop and, well, he's a kid and might not have known how to do that. My husband once hit a horribly injured squirrel - the squealing was horrifying :( - out of his misery by hitting it in the head with a shovel because it was the only thing available. The fact that this kid didn't hurt the squirrel on purpose and then buried it seems to say something to me.

    To me the big issue is the gun. A) is he allowed access to a BB gun?? How old is he? Do his parents know? and B) I'd be freaking out on my kids not running away from a kid with a gun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about not being quick to label him. From what Eli told me, it sounds like the squirrel was accidentally injured and the boy was trying to "put him down". It was the stomping part that worried me, but what you said makes sense--maybe he panicked. I think his mom definitely needed to know, because of the gun issue. She wasn't home at the time. They just moved here from a large acreage in the country, and I'm wondering if they shot BB guns for fun on their property. It's just not cool to do that in a neighborhood without adult supervision!

      Delete
    2. I would definitely start out by mentioning how uncomfortable you were by the gun part of the incident. I think this would be far less confrontational for the other parent. Then try to ease into the animal part. I agree that it could definitely be a situation where the kid was trying to stop the pain for the squirrel. Then watch that kid like a hawk to be sure lol. And either way, I would probably explain it to my kids that its cruel to let an animal suffer, and the kid was trying to help it, but that they should have told a grown up, so they could make sure the squirrel was put down and not still suffering. Plus that reinforces to your kids that they can come to you for your help even in a situation where they might normally think someone would have got in trouble.

      Delete
    3. Absolutely agree with you on the BB gun! Absolutely talk about the gun FOR SURE! And if he is around your kids' age and has free access to a BB gun? Yeah, I know kids do that in wide open spaces in the country, but in a neighborhood...yikes! I would mention the stomping on the squirrel, but my gut is panic not torture (since nothing about the squirrel getting injured was intentional)

      Delete
    4. I agree about not jumping to conclusions. "he simply might have freaked out and just wanted the suffering to stop and, well, he's a kid and might not have known how to do that" sounds like a plausible situation to me, too. Please, people, ALWAYS get more information before alerted authority figures other than parents. Jumping to conclusions and labeling children (and their parents) can unleash a legal mess that doesn't just go away if the problem turns out to be minor.

      Delete
  20. That is a sad issue with the squirrel. Not sure how I would handle something like that. I guess you need to go with your instincts, but approaching other parents about their child's behavior is never easy and I wish you luck with that. But the fact that the boy stomped on the squirrel is a little over the top I think. Perhaps we all over-react to this kind of behavior now, after reading how serial killers started out by killing animals.

    I don't like those tofu noodles much either. I really have to rinse them, that smell when you take them out of the bag is horrendous and it's hard to get that out of your mind and OFF the noodles. I have started boiling them like you would with spaghetti. But even then, I'm all about texture, that's why I don't consider spaghetti squash a good alternative to real pasta--it's just not the same. I haven't eaten the tofu noodles in a long time, but in trying to lose this 15 pounds I have gained, I decided it was time to give them a try again. They're in my fridge, awaiting preparation. I know nobody else will eat them, so I will have to fix an alternative for them. At least you got to try them when you were by yourself. Sorry they weren't so good. Hungry Girl swears by them. If it's any consolation, your picture made them look really tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Have you tried Miracle Noodles or Zero Noodles? I think they're amazing! Taste like nothing and fill me up for barely any points. I like them more than regular pasta. I don't have kids - never thought about having to tell them to not be around guns - guess it might be a boy thing?

    ReplyDelete
  22. You are right to want to talk to the boy's mom about the gun/squirrel situation. A one-time incident doesn't necessarily mean that he has issues, but it also could be a progressive pattern that the parents already know about. Plenty of people that grow up to do sick, sick things started by torturing innocent animals... so it's admirable that your boys recognized that it was wrong, told you about it, and that you are taking it seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That squirrel story is so disturbing! I have an 8 year old son and he would never do something like that, so I don't think that kid is normal. Creepy. My kids get upset if we accidentally step on a worm outside. lol I have seen those noodles at the store, and they look disgusting, so I haven't bought them. I really just can't eat certain things, even if they do save me calories. I find that if I do that and don't enjoy my meal, I want something else to eat and I end up eating something else.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've not heard of calorie cycling. As I tend to not do as well on weekends in controlling how much I eat, I definitely like the idea :)

    Bravo on talking to the boy's mom! That's not an easy thing to bring up. Kids playing with guns is high on my nightmare list. Even if it is a BB gun, it should not be where kids can easily get to it.
    As for the squirrel, it does sound like a disturbing situation, but I can also understand about wanting to put it out of its misery. If the parents know about it, they can keep an eye out for similar behavior in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I agree with you and everyone else who's said it...Very disturbing situation. I hope he was trying to do the right thing and went about it the wrong way. BB gun or not, I don't like the idea of a kid having access to a gun that he can use without responsible adult supervision. Yikes!!

    I'm with you on the noodles...YUCK!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've tried those noodles so many times since Hungry Girl swears by them, and I followed all her tips, but I could never make them edible. I'd rather have spaghetti squash, even though it's nothing like noodles really, than that nasty stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The squirrel story is disturbing. If I were a parent I would want to know.

    On the chaffing issue, I've had the same issue with my BodyBugg strap on my arm. It feels like it is digging in a little more with each minute. Try using Body Gluide anti-chaffing stick. It has worked great for me! Works on the feet, thighs, arms , etc.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)

Recent Posts