June 30, 2011

How to eat a marshmallow (a pictorial)

Load the mallow on the stick

Make sure it's on well, so it doesn't fall off in the fire

Get close to the fire, but not too close

Stick the mallow into the flames until it burns (while showing your bra to the internets)

Check the outside to make sure it's crispy

Carefully peel off the carcinogenic outer layer

It should come off in one piece, looking like a shell of the mallow

And gently place the shell onto your tongue

Close your mouth and let the mallow dissolve into sugary bliss

Prepare to repeat the sequence with the rest of the mallow

Stick it in the fire. Close, but not too close.

Peel off the outer layer

It gets trickier as the mallow gets smaller

Eat the second shell of the mallow

Repeat until the mallow is too small to layer, and pull the whole thing off

Savor. Every. Second.

Lick your fingers

Peel off any goo that might remain on the stick

And eat that too
And repeat the entire sequence again... and again...

June 29, 2011

I did it!

After pussing out yesterday at the bike shop, I decided to go back today (thank you, Sarasael, for your comment--that pushed me into going back!)  I was still super nervous, but I went in and a super nice guy helped me out.

He asked what kind of riding I wanted to do, and I just told him that I'm a runner and I want to cross-train a couple of times a week. No racing or huge mileage or anything, and only on the road (no trails). He introduced me to some hybrid bikes, which (from what I read online) sounded like the way to go for me. He asked if I wanted to test ride a couple bikes, which I was nervous to do, but I figured I probably should before I drop hundreds of dollars on a bike.

I loved the first one I tried. It felt so much better than any other bike I've ever ridden--very smooth. He suggested a bike with a longer length, which I tried, but I still went back to the first one. And $487 later, it's now mine :) 

When I got it home, I was excited to ride it right away. I was thinking I'd do about 6-8 miles, but good LORD--my thighs were burning! I have a tempo run scheduled tomorrow, so I decided to call it quits after 3.5 miles. Hopefully I won't be TOO sore tomorrow. It was so much fun though--I felt like I was flying. Now, I know that 13 mph is on the slow side for biking, but that was my average speed (I took the Garmin, of course!)  I probably should get a helmet (and maybe not wear flip flops next time, lol).  I also have no clue what different gears are for. This has 21 gears, but I've no clue what to do with them. I'll have to read up on it.

The only thing that really sucks about owning a bike now is that I don't have a garage to put it in. So I'll have to keep it in the house. I also don't have a hitch for bikes on my Jeep, so I'll have to get one or I'll be sticking around my house to ride.  I felt kind of guilty spending so much money, but I justified it by telling myself that it's a present to myself for maintaining 100 pounds lost for an entire year.

Shortly after that, Jerry glanced out the window and went flying outside. I heard him yell, "Phoebe!" kind of sternly (Phoebe is one of my cats) and immediately I knew she had a bird or something in her mouth.

I ran outside and sure enough, she had a DUCKLING. It was alive and unhurt, thank God, but the poor thing's mother was nowhere to be found. I live right across from the woods, as you can see in the pictures, and there is some swamp there, so I'm guessing that's where she got it. But I looked and looked, and there was no sign of a duck or more ducklings.

See how tiny it is? Poor thing!
Jerry called the vet to see if they knew of someone that would take it in, and got the number to a guy who specializes in wildlife. He didn't answer the phone, so desperately, I told Jerry of this house that I pass on my runs who takes care of the wild ducks there.

They have a fence set up with shelter and everything, but it's open to where the ducks can come and go as they please. I told Jerry to bring the duck there, knock on the door, and ask if they know what to do with it. The guy actually took it in, and said that he cares for the abandoned ducks and other animals until he can let them go. What luck is that?!  So now the sweet little duckling has a home.

Oh, I seriously had the BEST breakfast today. I just chopped up a peach and dumped a packet of Emerald Breakfast On The Go on top. Then I nuked it for 1 minute in the microwave. The peaches got hot and melty, and the granola topping stuff was so yummy.

I picked out the yogurt-covered raisins (and ate them separately) because I didn't think they'd fit in with the peaches. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but sadly, I cannot trust myself to have ice cream in the house.  I've made this dozens of times with apples, but I never thought to use peaches! It was SO good. I'll definitely be making it again.  I'm sure it would be good with any kind of granola or crunchy cereal. I love a nut and dried fruit combo.

This was 222 calories.

Have you ever taken in a wild animal or just a stray animal? I seem to be doing it a lot lately! First Estelle, then Paolo (both cats), and today the duckling. Thank goodness we found someone else to take the duckling, otherwise I'd be nursing it here until it was big enough to go back in the wild.

June 29, 2011

Week of 6/22/11 recap

Had another good weigh-in today... 142, which means I lost 2.5 pounds this week (taking me 9 pounds away from goal now). I take my waist measurement every week too, and it dropped 3/4 of an inch this week.

My stomach skin feels even looser than usual, which means I can tell my waist is getting smaller. Yay! Also, my body fat percentage dropped 1.2%. All the working out I've been doing has been helping, I'm sure. If I get in 3 miles today and 3 miles tomorrow, I'll have accumulated 100 miles in June! I've only done that once before, and that was in October. However, I cannot wait to take a rest day on July 1st :)

I successfully counted calories all week, with the exception of my one day off (which I took on Saturday). My calories counts were as follows:

June 25th may have been a little higher, but I estimated pretty well I think. A pretty good week overall. Total calories were 10,772.

Mileage this week:
Wed- 3
Thu- 3
Fri- 2
Sat- 6  (run outside)
Sun- 3
Mon- 3  (run outside)
Tue- 3  (run outside)

Calorie deficit from food: 1128 (with 1700/day as a baseline)
Calorie deficit from exercise: 2690 (not counting strength training)
Calorie debt payoff for the week: 3818

Is anyone getting annoyed that I've been posting every single day? I hope not. One person commented that they liked the frequent posts, so hopefully it's a good thing.

June 28, 2011

Warm blueberries

When I checked my e-mail this morning, there was a Sparkpeople recipe for blueberry muffins. As soon as I read that, I got a big craving for warm blueberries. I KNEW I had to have some sort of blueberry-muffin-like breakfast. But since muffins are small and definitely not very filling, I decided to make oat bran and top it with warm blueberries. I added walnuts as an afterthought, and that breakfast totally hit the spot. Yum!

The only thing that would have made it better would be a shitload of brown sugar... but I settled for the natural sweetness of blueberries :)

While my kids were in their Safety City class, I decided to go to a local bike shop to possibly start looking for a bike to buy. I've been thinking about it ever since I started reading Lori's blog at Finding Radiance. She is the biking queen! I was super nervous walking into the shop, and when I got in there, I was so intimidated and freaked out that I just turned around and left, hopefully before anyone saw me.

This is going to sound weird, but I'll try and explain: I feel like I don't deserve to be in "athletic" shops (running, biking), because "I'm fat". And even though my BODY isn't fat anymore, my MIND still is, and I feel like everyone in the shop would look at me and think, "What is that fat girl doing in here? She can't be a runner (or biker, or whatever athlete)."

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous, but my mind is a little fucked up from the weight loss still. I even feel like this when I run races. I feel like a phony, trying to fit in with "real" runners. I feel the same way when I am shopping for clothes in the junior's section or even the misses section. I feel like I should be shopping in the plus size section, and I feel like everyone is staring at me thinking I'm delusional to be looking at small clothes like that.

Now, I'm not implying whatsoever that fat people shouldn't be allowed to shop in running or biking stores! I'm just trying to explain how I feel when I go in those stores.

Anyway, enough of the serious talk. When I got home, I started working on some weight loss comparison photos for a future blog post. July 7th will mark the day one year ago that I "officially" reached 100 pounds lost. I could have sworn it was June 30th, but I just double-checked and apparently it was July 7th. Either way, it is a special day, because I will have maintained 100+ pounds lost for a YEAR. The odds of doing that were very much against me, but I managed. Hopefully I can come up with an insightful post for the anniversary!

Went for a short 3-mile run today. It was hot--almost 80 degrees and very sunny, but it's also super windy, so it didn't feel too bad. I also had negative splits for the first time in a while...

Later, we went to the boys' t-ball game. I took a picture of my husband, and I realized that when I zoomed in, I could see my reflection in his sunglasses...

(I guess that shows just how exciting t-ball games are! lol)

Do you feel intimidated shopping at athletic stores? I hope to get past this someday. Sooner, rather than later, because I really want to buy a bike!

June 27, 2011

Fat girl on a little bike

Well, I guess I'm not a "fat girl" anymore, but I certainly felt like it today when I wound up on Noah's bike! Jerry and I walked up to the liquor store with the kids, so they could get an ice cream. Eli wanted to walk, but Noah chose to ride his bike. I guess we didn't think too far ahead on that one, because Noah couldn't eat his popsicle and ride his bike home at the same time, so guess who wound up riding the bike home?  Moi, of course.

I'm pretty sure the whole neighborhood got a look at my butt crack
Can you even imagine me doing that at 253 pounds? The tires would have popped for sure.  I must admit, I had fun. It makes me want a bike of my own. Bigger than this one, of course...

Today, I was really wanting to run outside, so I decided to do just that while the kids were in their Safety City class. It was miserably hot. I hate running in the heat! I'll take snow and ice any day over hot temps. I had mapped out 5.5 miles, but I ended up turning around after 1.5--to make an even 3 mile run at a 9:44/mi pace. It was just too damn hot and I wasn't enjoying it.

I was starving when I got home, and I made a really quick wrap for lunch that ended up tasting really good. I made it before, but forgot about the combo until I decided to make it today. I spread a whole grain tortilla with 2 Tbsp. almond butter (Barney Butter, because I have 3 jars to use up!), sprinkled with 1/2 a chopped carrot and a couple of tablespoons of raisins. It's also good with peanut butter. It's a strange combination, but it tastes really good!

Almond butter + carrots + raisins rolled in a tortilla
I spent all morning trying to pick a race to sign up for in the fall. I really would like to run another half-marathon, but the only options I have are extremely hilly courses. One of them (The Brooksie Way) is downhill for 6 miles, and then UPHILL for 6 miles. That terrifies me. The other looks super fun. Run Woodstock! is a trail run that is loaded with hills--up, down, up, down for the whole race. Again, terrified of the hills, but I love the Woodstock theme.  I wish I could do the Detroit Free Press half, but I'll be in Arizona for Sarah's wedding that weekend. Maybe I'll just forgo the half-marathon altogether. I'm registered for The Big House Big Heart 10k. I'm running that with a lot of my family in honor of my cousin who died (waaay too young) from cancer.

Oh, and I LOVED reading all your comments about the embarrassing clothes.  I was cracking up while reading them. I have to say that the most embarrassing award goes to Kari-Anne, with the shorts that say "Can't Touch This" along with hand prints on the butt!

Would you choose a race with one reeeeeally drawn out hill (6 miles long) or a trail run with a whole bunch of short hills? Someone make this decision for me!

June 26, 2011

Back to counting

My first thought when I woke up today was, "Dammit, I wish I didn't throw away the rest of those oatmeal cookies from last night."  I had sworn off cookies before I went to bed, thinking I'd never in a million years eat another one, and then I woke up with them on my mind.

Kind of like alcohol... you know how when you drink too much and get sick, you tell yourself that you're never drinking again? And then the following weekend, you're over it. And the pain of eating too much sugar and feeling sick is similar to childbirth in the sense that you completely forget how bad it was until you do it again, and you think, "WHY didn't I learn my lesson the first time?!" But the cookies were in the trash with coffee grinds on top of them, so they weren't salvageable. That's a good thing, because I totally would have pulled them out.

Well, I'm going to try to keep in mind how sick I felt last night, and hopefully I won't repeat the crappy eating again next week when I have a day "off" of counting calories. Today was back to counting, and I did fine with it. I had a pretty lazy day, actually. I read some blogs while I drank my morning coffee, then I sat outside and painted my toenails--they were looking really shabby!

I don't do nearly as good a job on the French pedi as they do in the salon, but I can't afford am not willing to pay someone to do what I can do for free. Besides, I HATE pedicures. Seriously, I can't stand the scrubby thing they use on the bottoms of my feet, and I'm super ticklish, and I usually end up kicking the poor girl in the face when all she is trying to do is make my feet look pretty.

I finished reading the book that I bought yesterday at a garage sale--I'm seriously the slowest reader on Earth, but I managed to finish this book in about 24 hours. It is called "The Butterfly Garden", a memoir by Chip St. Clair. I love memoirs, and this author was from Michigan, so I bought it on that alone. This book was amazing horrifying.

He was abused by his father for his entire childhood, and when he was an adult, he learned that his father had escaped from prison before he was born. His crime? Murdering a 3-year old boy (and possibly other kids, too).

I typically like memoirs because I know that everything turned out okay (the author is well enough to write the book, so I know that they didn't DIE or something). However... when the author described the murder of the 3-year old boy, I almost vomited.

Not from the horrendous amount of cookies I had eaten, but because of the sickening image this put into my mind. I wish more than anything I hadn't read it, because I'll never get the image from my mind now. I don't want to type all the details, but the boy was beaten to death while his 6-year old brother watched, and then the brother was stomped and beaten (almost) to death. He lived, thankfully, but his poor little brother did not. Knowing that this was a true story broke my heart.

Speaking of sick assholes, I discovered something disturbing on my blog recently. One of my favorite things to look at is my "stats" page, where it shows the phrases and keywords that people Google in order to arrive at my page. For example, someone may google "Ragnar Relay Minnesota" or "stray Himalayan cat" and wind up at my page because of posts that I've written that include those words.

It just doesn't fit in! Perv.

It doesn't tell me anything about WHO typed that--it just tells me the phrase that was typed. Anyway, I noticed that one of the phrases was "15 year old naked girls". I'm guessing that they arrived at my blog because I have an entry titled "Naked Pictures" and while I would never post naked pics of ANYONE on my blog, I talked about how, at a garage sale, someone was selling a cell phone with naked pics on it. This completely disturbed me that someone was typing that into Google. I know that there are thousands of perverts out there, but now I know at least one of them saw my blog. Gross.

My husband is off work tomorrow for the first time in (I think) 10 days. He works 12-hour shifts, so I have felt like a single parent lately. I'm SO HAPPY that he is off tomorrow! Hopefully the weather is as nice as it was today, and maybe we can go to the State Park or something. Well, I hope you all had a super fantastic weekend!

June 25, 2011

Spewing Cookies

Ugh, if I ever feel the need to change my blog name again, "Spewing Cookies While Running" would be appropriate. I feel so sick right now. Today was my day "off" of counting calories for the week, and I took it to the extreme. I had a large Reese Cup Flurry from the ice cream place, and later, I baked oatmeal cookies.

Of course I didn't eat just one. The batch made 12 large cookies, and I ate 6 (SIX!!!) of them. After that, I felt guilty for eating like a pig, so I decided to go run some of it off. BAD IDEA.

I felt really good for about a mile. Then I actually heard some sloshing sounds coming from my stomach. I figured it was the water I drank. Then I got really nauseous and my stomach started cramping.

I was running through a neighborhood at this point, and started panicking, thinking that I was going to puke in someone's yard. I wanted to stop and walk so badly, but I was afraid if I did, that I would throw up. So, I kept running, hoping it would go away.

I burped a few times (which is really unlike me--I'm not a burper, normally). And then (scroll down now if you don't like TMI)... I felt like I was going to shit my pants. My stomach was rumbling and the puking didn't sound so bad at this point.

I had planned on running 8 miles, but after 6 I called it quits. I stood over the toilet for a while, thinking I was going to puke, but I never did. I STILL feel nauseous. Let's hope that I learned a miserable lesson today!! As of right now, I hope I never see another cookie again as long as I live.

I went garage saleing with my parents again this morning. I've been finding a lot of good clothes now that I've lost weight and I can wear small things!

I scored a really cute pair of Lucky Brand jeans--she was asking $5 for them, but I offered $3 and she said sure. Brand new, their jeans are anywhere from $99-$250 a pair! My mom thought it was ridiculous that I would buy jeans with holes in them, lol.

My "Lucky" jeans :)
Unfortunately, they have to go in my "muffin top" pile for now :(  They are super low cut, and my belly just isn't ready for that low of a cut. I can button them, but it isn't pretty. Maybe about 10 more pounds and they'll be good.

I also found a super comfy-looking pair of sweatpants at the same sale. I didn't thoroughly check them out--just saw how worn and comfy they looked, so I bought them for 50 cents.

When I got home and put them on, I saw that there was "A.EAGLE" printed on the butt!  Remember how it was popular to have things printed on the butt of pants a few years ago? I never got into that trend, because I don't think there is a word long enough to stretch across my former 253-pound ass.

So I guess these sweats will be for lounging around at home, and nobody else will have to see them (except the entire internet right now). Have you ever tried taking pictures of your butt? It's really hard to do! I should have just taken the pants off to take the picture, but I'm feeling super crappy and I just feel like doing it the lazy way.

The front--see how cozy they look?

AND..... FAIL.
It reminds me of a time I bought a super cute pair of panties--they were pink with brown lace and two little bows on the sides. It wasn't until I got home that I realized "Biggest Diva" was printed across the butt. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing about it. Of course I couldn't return them, because that would be even more embarrassing!

What is the most embarrassing item of clothing you own? Mine has to be the "Biggest Diva" panties :)

June 24, 2011


Why am I always sitting in the most visible spot from my front door when the Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking?!

In "my" corner, blogging yesterday morning

This morning, I was sitting in my favorite spot on the couch about to start my blog post, and they came out of nowhere. And of course I didn't see them until after they probably noticed the TV on (and maybe the two cars in the driveway).

I can remember when I was a kid, once in a while completely randomly, my mom would yell to us, "Get down! Shut up!" (Or was that Lt. Dan on Forrest Gump?) Either way, she made us crouch down on the floor until after the Witnesses knocked (numerous times) and then left all their "literature" in the door. I never understood what the big deal was.

And then here I am, 20-something years later, and shushing my kids, telling them to go to their room and be quiet. Not that it helped, because I answered the damn door anyway. Thankfully, they didn't stay more than a minute, just long enough to give me a paper inviting me to a talk about eternal damnation and how we're all doomed unless we become a Witness, yada yada yada.

(By the way, this is not meant to offend any of my readers that may be a Witness. I have no problem with the Witnesses other than the fact that they try to convert everyone who doesn't want to be converted. A couple of years ago, I got a book about wine from the library, and tucked inside was a pamphlet from the Witnesses lecturing about how sinful it is to drink alcohol). Moving on...

I got my workout in first thing again this morning. I just did a short incline-walk on the dreadmill (2 miles) because I did strength training today also. I'm kind of enjoying the strength training I've been doing. I do a full-body workout every couple of days. Nothing spectacular--just basics. I'm not looking to get really defined muscles or anything; just get stronger for running and maybe increase my metabolism a little.

When I took the kids to their class today, my friend Courtney came in with a bouquet of cake pops(!) for my friend Jessica. Courtney and her friend started a business making these super cute "cakes on a stick". I had never tried one before, and Jessica kept pushing me to try one. I asked Courtney about how many calories are in them, and she said about 100-150. Yikes! But I ate one, just to try, and it was yummy!  I counted the calories for it.

After that, I took the kids for ice cream--and I didn't get anything. I was so tempted to get something, but I am really on a roll with the counting calories, and I had already eaten the cake pop. The cake pop left me wanting more sweets ALL DAY though. I could never make a batch of these things, because I would eat the whole batch, I'm sure.

I am SO glad it's the weekend. Normally, the days all blend together for me, because I'm a stay-at-home mom. But this week, I've been driving the kids back and fourth to their Safety City class. It doesn't sound like it would be draining, but I'm seriously exhausted (probably more mentally than physically). One more week of this and the class will be over. Tonight, I'm hoping to catch up on blog reading. I'm falling behind!

June 23, 2011

I love that feeling

I woke up feeling very thin today. Do you know those days, where you just feel thinner, even if your weight is the same? That inspired me to try on some jeans I bought a few days ago from the thrift store, and they fit very well. I was happy about that! When I tried them on at the store, I thought to myself, "I need to drop a few pounds to get rid of the muffin top before I wear these".  At this weight, a few pounds really makes a difference in the way my clothes fit. I bought the jeans with the intention of cutting them into shorts, but I kind of like them as-is. I have zero pairs of shorts right now.

"The" jeans
I hopped on the dreadmill before I even ate breakfast. I just wanted to get it done for the day. I walked 3 miles at 4.0, and increased the incline by 1% every minute--up to 12%, and then decreased every minute back down. Then I increased by 0.5% every minute. It was a tough workout! A 12% incline is serious business!

I made Asian style tuna burgers for lunch per Beth's recipe at Beth's Journey. Tuna burgers have never appealed to me, but after reading her post, I decided to give them a try.

They were REALLY good! My husband and I each had one for lunch, and he asked if he could take the leftovers to work because he really liked them too. Eli even liked it until I told him it was made with tuna ;) 

I had bell pepper strips and dip on the side, to get in my one veggie for the day (this week's challenge is to eat at least one veggie per day). I'm glad I tried this recipe. I am having a hard time coming up with lunch ideas. Breakfast and dinner are easy meals to come up with, but lunch is difficult for me.

My kids are taking a two-week Safety City class, and I swear we're going to go broke because of it. It's about 1/2 hour away, and the class is 2 hours (11:30-1:30). I drop them off and since there isn't really enough time to go home for a while, I just go shopping. I went to Wal-Mart and Goodwill on Monday, a wholesale place and Kroger on Tuesday, and today I went to a big we-sell-everything store (kind of like a Super Wal-Mart). I tell myself it's just to kill time, but I end up buying a bunch of shit that I probably don't need. I really should go for a run while they're in class, but it's so hot outside at that time of day.

Remember how I had two stacks of jeans in my closet--on the left were all the jeans that were too small, and on the right were the jeans I was comfortable wearing in public? Well, I tried on all my jeans today, and I got to move some from the left pile to the right pile!

Previous pile--from June 1st. The left are the muffin top jeans, right are wear-in-public jeans.
And today... Look at all my wearable jeans!
By the way, EVERY PAIR of jeans I own are a size 3 or 4. But they are all different brands, so they vary greatly in how they fit. Lame, right? I really wish that there was a universal sizing system. Whatever, I'm feeling GREAT today--just like I did when I was consistently losing weight for 16 months.

What was the highlight of your day today?  I know it's vain, but the highlight of my day was being able to fit into some of my old jeans again!

June 22, 2011

Great weigh-in today!

I was very happy to see the scale drop quite a bit this week. I weighed in a 144.5, which is down 3.5 pounds from last week. This is the lowest number I've seen since I got home from Indy at the beginning of May.

Calorie counts for the week:

6/17 was my day off from tracking--but I had about 4,000 calories. Yikes!
 Total:  11,832 calories

With the exception of Friday, my calories were pretty low. While I was losing weight before, I was eating probably about 1600 calories per day. This week, I just tried to stay in my calorie range given by Sparkpeople, which is 1200-1550. I figured since I had such a high calorie day on Friday, that eating at the low-end of the range the rest of the week was best. Daily average ended up being 1690.

Mileage this week:
Wed- 2.0
Thu- 3.5
Fri- 3.0
Sat- 2.0
Sun- 7.0
Mon- 3.0
Tue- 2.0

Calorie deficit from food: 68 (with 1700 as a baseline)
Calorie deficit from exercise: 2516 (not counting strength training)
Calorie debt payoff for the week:  2584

I feel like I'm getting my mojo back in full-swing. I'm really excited to get back to the 130's. I feel very uncomfortable in the 140's. And since I declared 133 my "official" goal weight, I'm psyched to see it on the scale again soon!

June 21, 2011

Yummy dessert!

I just ate the most delicious dessert, and I had to share! Normally, I don't count fruit as a dessert--because it's NOT :)  But when it involves chocolate and peanut butter, well, that changes the rules. I hesitate to even call this a "recipe", because it only has 3 ingredients. But I can see myself eating this daily--at least for a while.

Simply orgasmic
 Peel and slice a small banana into a bowl. Combine 2 Tbsp. of PB2 + 2 Tbsp. Hershey's Lite Syrup and stir until pretty smooth. Top the banana with the chocolate/PB mixture, and inhale savor your dessert.  (Stats: 187 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 40 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein).  I know that Hershey's Syrup isn't exactly healthy, but if it makes me lust after a banana, then it works for me!

So, Katie, how is your sugar-free Tuesday going?

Wait, what?

DAMMIT, I forgot again!!

I completely forgot about going sugar-free on Tuesdays until I typed "Hershey's" and then it hit me. Oops.  My whole day was kind of screwy today. I didn't eat a single bite of food until 2 PM! I woke up at 6, and before I ate, Eli started throwing up.

I was taking care of him, and then took him to the doctor, and took the kids to a class thing they had going on today--and long story short, I didn't get home until 2:00. I was starving. So I ate more calories than usual for lunch and dinner. And to complete my stressful day, I'm going to have a glass of wine (or two).

Tomorrow is my Wednesday weigh-in. I think I did pretty good this week. I counted calories for 6 out of 7 days (Jerry told me I could have one day off each week from our deal, woo hoo). I've worked out every single day in June so far. I wasn't planning on doing that, but now that I have this streak going, it's hard to stop.

I'll write more tomorrow after I weigh in.

What do you do to unwind after a stressful day? I love to relax in the corner of my couch (it's a sectional, and "my" spot is the corner) with a glass of dry red wine and a good TV show.

June 20, 2011

Barney Butter vs. Kettle almond butter

I mentioned a few days ago that I bought some Barney Butter in order to get free shipping from Amazon. I've tried it out the past couple of days, so I thought I'd post an opinion on it.

I love almond butter. I've tried a few different brands, but my current favorite is Kettle brand. I love that the only ingredients are almonds and salt. I don't think it's necessary to add oils, sugar (refined or natural), or any kind of preservatives. I like the consistency of the Kettle almond butter because it's thin and very easily spreadable right out of the refrigerator. If you like to "drizzle" nut butter over things, then the Kettle brand almond butter is great. And above all else, it tastes GREAT--like almonds :)

I've read on other blogs about Barney Butter and how great it is, so I was excited to give it a try. I didn't know much about it, except that it was supposed to be incredibly smooth and creamy. As soon as the package from Amazon was open, I was unscrewing the cap of the Barney Butter. Right away, I could see why people like it--the texture is the same as "regular" peanut butter, like JIF (the kind we grew up eating).

There was no oil to stir in, like there is with Kettle, which is nice (somehow I always wind up getting oil all over my hands while stirring it).  I took a taste and the texture was as creamy as it looked. However, it didn't taste as "almondy" as I was used to.

I looked at the ingredients and discovered why: Almonds, evaporated cane juice, palm fruit oil, sea salt. I was so bummed to see that they added sugar AND oil to it. I've found the BEST flavor in nut butters is when there is no added oil.

The oil kind of dilutes the flavor of the nut itself, if that makes sense.  The taste was good, but not as good as the Kettle. I liked the texture--it was something different, and I could definitely picture my kids enjoying that too. But there is something about the gritty texture of natural nut butters that I've grown to love.

The nutritionals (when comparing the nutritionals, keep in mind the serving size also--28 grams vs. 32 grams):
Kettle brand

Barney Butter
The texture:

Kettle brand

Barney Butter

If you factor in my free shipping on the Barney Butter (I can't get it in stores here), the cost was about the same--roughly $6/jar.


I like both of these, but I still like the Kettle brand best. I like that the ingredients are minimal and I like the grittier texture. I also like that it tastes more like pure almonds. However, I think the Barney Butter is great for someone who is new to almond butter, because the texture really is just like the good old fashioned JIF peanut butter. Another factor (which doesn't effect me, but may effect someone else) is that Barney Butter is processed in a peanut-free facility, while the Kettle "may contain peanuts and other tree nuts".

I've tried something else recently that I immediately FELL IN LOVE WITH and I'm dying to mention:
BUFFALO WING flavored Pretzel Crisps!!
I really like plain version of these pretzel chips (the texture is SO crunchy and I love the smooth exterior), so I was thrilled to find the Buffalo Wing flavor. And it definitely lived up to my expectations--spicy but not TOO spicy, tangy, and just like a buffalo wing (blue cheese and all!)

Have you discovered any good food-finds lately? I want to hear about them!

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