Tag Archives: diet

Beans and rice

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Our church is challenging the congregation to take part in a Beans and Rice Challenge on Monday through Friday of this week.  Basically that means to make beans and rice the main course for every meal of the day. There are two purposes to this challenge. The first is to give us a taste of what it’s like in other countries who have no choice but to eat beans and rice for every meal.  Of course, we are still spoiled in this challenge since we can also add different things like spices, vegetables, meat, tortillas, etc.  Other countries have only beans and rice, no seasonings, and definitely no meat. In fact, many times they don’t even have clean water to cook their beans and rice in.  The second purpose of this challenge is to save the money we would have spent on groceries for the week and donate it to help build a church in India.  The goal is $10,000.  Before the challenge started, two families pledged to give $500 each, one family pledged $2,000, and a local business donated $1,000.  We are only on day 1 and already 40% to our goal!

Our family admittedly hemmed and hawed about the beans and rice challenge a little bit. Or should I say, Mr. W and I were hesitant.  He was concerned about being hungry all the time, an understandable concern since the boys in our family tend to be hypoglycemic without enough food.  I was vainly concerned because I’ve lost all this weight avoiding things like rice and too many beans.  But when the challenge got closer and we talked about it with the family, it was the Taz who was instantly intrigued.

Ask the Taz what his favorite dish in the whole world is, and he’ll tell you ‘burritos’.  The kid lives for them.  If we have refried beans in the fridge, he’s good for lunch.  He’ll even pack burritos in a brown bag for school, not even caring that they’re cold by the time lunch rolls around.  And rice?  Probably in his top 5 of favorite foods.  So a week of beans and rice sounded like heaven to him.

I went about packing mine and the Taz’ lunches last night just to set us on a good start for the first day of beans and rice.  For me, I packed a breakfast of red beans, rice, and yams.  For lunch it was red beans, rice, and avocado.  I added a little salt to each for flavor, and had an orange for lunch.  For Taz, I gave him red beans and rice for breakfast.  For lunch he had red beans, rice, and avocado in two tortillas.

I brought all my food to work, and immediately ate my breakfast.  It was a little bland, but not that bad.  But having avoided rice for so long, I felt really bloated when I was done – almost too full.  “This is going to be easy,” I thought.

An hour later I was starving.

I spent the next three hours until lunch time drinking tons of water to keep me filled, as well as half of my orange.  When lunchtime came I nonchalantly heated up my beans and rice and brought them to my desk where I proceeded to devour them.  They were even plainer than before, though the avocado gave it a nice texture.  I was full and hungry at the same time.  I ate the rest of my orange, drank a boatload of water, went pee about 50 times, and then waited till it was time to get home.

Once home, I could barely function.  I was in one of those places where it was best if I just avoided everyone altogether.  It’s luckily Mr. W’s turn to make dinner, so I sat outside and read a magazine until dinner.

For dinner we had…..wait for it….beans and rice.  But we also had all the fixings for tacos, including chicken.  I made sure to put a good amount of chicken and beans on my plate, but I avoided the rice like the plague.  Still counting calories, I couldn’t fathom filling up on something that was so lacking in nutrients when what I really needed was a proper amount of protein.

“Thanks God,” I said, when I saw everyone was waiting for a prayer before beginning to eat.  And then I bit into my first bite of dinner as if I were coming up for air.

“I find it strange that you’re doing all this challenge for a Godly reason, and can’t even pray before we eat,” DQ said with her nose up in the air.  I was just about to hit her over the head with my taco and a flurry of unGodly words when Mr. W interrupted with a much more proper prayer.  I decided it was better to be holy in my discontent at my self-righteous daughter than to say something that might make me slightly less holy in my sacrifices.  Besides, it took about two tacos worth for anything that made sense to come out of my mouth and be able to look people in the eye again.

The Taz admitted that he, too, suffered adverse effects from a day of beans and rice.  He had no energy when it came to playing with his friends during recess.  And in class, his teacher had to kept reminding him not to lay his head on his desk.  And then there were all the times he kept sneaking a left-cheek sneak, and then looking at the person next to him so that everyone in class thought it was the other guy and not Taz.

Day 1 down and I’m already sick of beans and rice.

I am re-evaluating the whole challenge for my diet by nixing the rice.  I just can’t eat it.  I hate the way it felt to feel that full and then that empty soon after.  I know, I know, there are starving children in India who are forced to eat this way daily, and I can’t handle even one day of it.  But hey, those starving children aren’t going to be fitting into a wedding gown in a month and a half, either.  Besides, this whole stomach-eating-brain-because-I’m-so-hungry thing just doesn’t bode well for being able to work properly, and especially for keeping the peace in the household.  It’s only been one day, and I feel like we’re all ready to bite each other’s heads off.

Only 4 more days.

Here’s a cool recipe I found for Bean Cookies that I plan on trying out this week just for the fun of it:

Breakfast Bean Cookies
by juliewashere.blogspot.com

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda (I’m guessing, since the original omitted this step)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 – 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, the darker the better
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or a combination of dried fruits
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

Preheat oven to 350° F.

1. In a food processor, Pulse the oats until it resembles coarse flour. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and process until it’s combined.  Transfer to a large bowl.

2. In the food processor, add in beans, butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla, pulsing till smooth.

3. Combine bean and oat mixture in bowl and stir by hand until combined.  Add in chocolate, raisins, nuts, and flaxseed.  Stir till just blended.

4. Place large spoonfuls of dough on a greased (or parchment papered) sheet, and flatten each one slightly.  (The blog I borrowed this from suggests dampening your hand first to keep it from sticking).

5. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until slightly browned on edges but soft in middle.  Cool on wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Per cookie: 138 calories, 3.5 g total fat (1.4 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 3.4 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 14.2 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber. 22% calories from fat.

Carb lusting

I had a sandwich today. It was horribly amazing, possibly the best thing I’d eaten in a long time.  Because I’ve been Paleo for so long, it occurred to me that I would regret this decision as soon as my protruding wheat belly caught up with me.  But as the juice from the tomato dripped down my arm and the chewy sourdough of the bread flirted with my taste buds, I was perfectly content in the moment.

I regretted nothing.

Totally absorbed in the decadence of my totally carbed up sandwich, I didn’t need electronic gadgets to amuse me or even someone to keep me company.  My book lay closed next to my juicy elbow, and I found solace  in staring straight ahead at the waterfalling fountain in front of me.  As I sat, the sun gently caressed my back, my crowded mind slowly winding down as my mouth filled with Heaven.

Eating like a normal human being is divine. And my pants already feel tighter. But it’s not like all this edible sacrifice has even touched those ten pounds I keep wishing away….  And I swear I ate less today NOT Paleo since my carb craving was finally appeased.  I’m starting to wonder if it’s even worth it to limit my diet so much since all I end up doing as a result is obsess about the foods I can’t eat.  I may have some thinking to do.

Fat Tuesday, Lean Wednesday

While no longer the genuflecting type, my Catholic roots have kept a few traditions under my belt that I cherish in my Christian faith. One of those is the season of Lent. I find it a beautiful time of starting over and ridding myself of the things that are warping my life. Much like the rest of the population has New Year’s Day to create resolutions, Lent is the perfect time to rid my life of everything that is bringing me down.

It’s the time when I make my life more holy.

Admittedly, diet is about to take a huge part of my Lenten fasting. Knowing I’m embarking on stricter food rules come Wednesday, I relaxed my regiment over the weekend. On Saturday I had a sandwich in a thick Dutch Crunch roll. I had not eaten bread in months. It was delicious, if not super filling. That night I enjoyed a dessert of King’s Cake in honor of Mardi Gras. The almondy taste was heavenly. Over the weekend I filled up on Ritz crackers. OMG. Ritz crackers are golden! I could eat those buttery loves all day long. And then last night I took a flour tortilla, filled it with refried beans, and then topped it with cheese. Dairy is another food item I have nixed from my diet in suspicions of being lactose intolerant. But nevertheless, I figured a little bit wouldn’t hurt.

Today I am down for the count and have been a slave to the toilet for the past 3 hours. Damn you cheese.

I fantasize about chocolate. I feel dumb when I go out to eat and can’t enjoy what everyone else is eating. I hate that I gain 5 pounds immediately when I stop eating “clean”, and it takes me weeks to lose it again. I think about food all the time.

I suffer from food addictions.

So yes, I am going to be making some changes for Lent, and am starting early today to give my tummy a break, as well as to fix some of the other areas in my life that are less than holy.

Lent Promises

Paleo Diet: So easy a caveman can do it

1. Diet: I am going back to my Paleo way of eating, but will be even stricter about it in the next 40+ days of Lent. I will allow beans in my diet (not considered Paleo), but am giving up corn and corn products, soybean, grains, and dairy – focusing my diet mainly on lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. I also plan on trying my best to stick to non-GMO foods (I am really scared at how genetically modified food has transformed the health of our society!).  And buh-bye sugar. It’s been sweet knowing you.

2. Use my inside voice: I am raising a teenage daughter. I have not been very good at it. I find myself acting in ways I swore I never would. In the past few weeks we’ve gotten into at least two screaming matches. I said things I’m not proud of, and acted out in ways I’m ashamed of. If I were my daughter, I would want to move out of my house and in with my dad – just as she wants to do. I can’t blame her. So the first rule on this I am making for the next 40 days is that I am not allowed to raise my voice. If I feel the need to yell, I need to take a moment and think before speaking. It is my hope that this will also help me to pause and remember what it felt like in her shoes, and to not take everything so personally. And perhaps I can become the kind of parent I’d want to have if I had to (God forbid) relive my teenage years.

3. Make my phone “dumb”: Another addiction? My smart phone. I am attached to my iPhone, and have become dependent on it. Free time? Feeling lonely? Need to do something I don’t want to? My iPhone is right there to distract me and help me procrastinate, replace my need for actual socialization, and help me feel less awkward in times of discomfort. And it’s holding me back. I have a wedding to prepare for. I have a novel that will never be completed until I start editing it. I have kids who need my attention and a career I need to refind my passion for. And my smart phone is right there telling me that all of that can wait because I need to beat my high score on Bejeweled. I can use the Internet when I’m sitting at a computer. All other times, I don’t need to. So my iPhone is about to become really “dumb” and lose its internet abilities so it can be used only as a (gasp!) phone.

One of the bridesmaid bouquets in the DIY wedding project I've imprisoned myself to.

4. Wedded focus: I have a bunch of really cute DIY bouquets I’m creating instead of using real flowers. But they aren’t going to get done if I’m not doing them. By Easter, these bouquets are going to be finished. I also plan on finalizing the centerpieces, invitations, and have my dress ordered. Phew!

5. A novel idea: This step is tentative, and really hinges on whether I can get the steps in #4 done. But I need to work on my book. I’ve written it, and marked it up with a red pen after re-reading it twice. But I am scared to make any changes. I need to step over my fear of altering it and dive right in. After all, what if my procrastination is depriving the world of the next NY Times Bestseller?

6. Pray. Pray like there’s no tomorrow. Pray like there is a tomorrow. Use this time of Lent to remember to lean on God when times get heavy, when parenting hurts the most, when going to work feels like heading to my execution, when I’m scared to talk to people, when every day feels like a repeat of the last, when life seems bleak, when friends feel far away, when I feel fat and ugly, when I’ve lost my purpose, when time seems too fast, when the clock seems at a standstill, when unfairness rears its ugly head, when I’m overwhelmed, when I don’t know what to do with myself…. And pray when I remember all that God has blessed me with in the hurdles he’s helped me overcome.

And perhaps some of this might become lifelong habits long after Lent has ended.

A personal battle with child obesity

One of the lowest points of this past year was when a reader left a comment on my blog, remarking that the Taz had gained a considerable amount of weight. I deleted it as soon as I read it, afraid that he might see it. And then I hemmed and hawed over that comment, whether I should have left it or was right to leave it off.

In the end, it remains deleted, even as I print the words on this blog post.

I mention that deleted comment because weight is a very huge part in our resolutions this year. The Taz is overweight. He knows it. I know it. And it’s been known for a while. It’s something we’ve struggled with all year long. Last January, I mentioned the weight problem and our goals to tackle it. I received a lot of support from other people struggling with weight issues of their own – either with their kid or with themselves. And it really helped to motivate us in our health journey.

But somewhere along the way, we lost track.

Maybe it was busyness, or maybe laziness (or maybe a combination of the two), but I stopped paying close enough attention to what the Taz was eating and how much screen time and play time he was getting. I allowed him to make his own lunches, trusting him to make the right choices in what he was eating. But at 10 years old, willpower can be a very nonexistent thing. A corn muffin and chips sound like a way better lunch than a turkey sandwich and an apple, right? He hadn’t developed healthy habits that were strong enough to be able to make good choices. And yet I was putting the power in his hands.

We were both bound to fail.

What the Taz really needed from me was to take control of the battle for his health. With the New Year fast approaching, I knew I needed a game plan. I was afraid for the Taz’ health, and afraid that he’d be destined towards a life of obesity. Thing is, I didn’t really know where to start. And that’s when I came across the book, Healthy Choices, Healthy Children, by Lori S. Brizee, MS, RD, CSP (a registered dietitian and certified specialist in pediatric nutrition) and Sue Schumann Warner (an award winning journalist and author).

Now don’t get me wrong, I was mailed this book with the hopes that I would do a review on it. And being that faithful book reviewer that I am, I put it aside and almost forgot about it. But in a moment when I was going over a meal plan for the first week of January, I suddenly remembered this book and pulled it out to start reading. What I found were chapters that gave step-by-step instructions on how to turn around bad habits and change them for healthier ones.

The first thing the authors are clear on is having respect for the body. The book comes from a spiritual point of view, but the message is relevant whether the reader is religious or not. We should treat our bodies more kindly, respecting them with healthier food and keeping them active so they can continue to do us good. The authors go on to encourage parents to involve their kids in the shopping and cooking process, teaching them the “hows” of eating. And at the end of each chapter, an action is listed for the week to help continue down a path of healthy decisions.

What I love most about this book is the fact that it is step-by-step instead of all-or-nothing. Each chapter is another rung up the ladder towards instilling good habits in eating and exercise. The guidelines offers small changes that can be made each week – making it the ideal model for busy parents (like me!) to help our families be successful in establishing healthy choices. Real recipes are offered in the book (I’ve actually included a couple on my meal plan for the week), and there are different ideas listed to encourage activities for the whole family. There’s even a chapter on helping picky children (like my veggie-averted son) to eat well.

I’ve found this book to be incredibly useful to help me get the Taz back on a healthier track, and to give me the tools to know how to do it. If you’re interested in checking out the book, Lori S. Brizee will be at the Petaluma Copperfields (140 Kentucky St) on January 28th at 7pm to promote her book, “Healthy Choices, Healthy Children”. I hope you can make it to hear her speak and pick up her book for your own family.

For more info or to purchase this book ($13), visit paracletepress.com.

Recap: Anyone miss summer yet?

Featured photo: Karen's son Zachary went for the surfer look on his first day of school. Share your own first day photos in our photo gallery!

Hello all you Moms and Dads! Did you survive the first week of school? Take a break from helping your kids with homework and packing lunches, and join us over at SantaRosaMom.com. Here’s what’s going on this week:

Back to School tips
The APA (American Pediatrics Association) has released some very useful tips for Back-to-School. They give advice on how to help kids entering a new school, how to save their backs from backpack weight, rules of the road for walkers and bikers, and more. This is a vital topic you’ll want to read.

School pics in our Photo Gallery!
Have you checked out the first day of school photos in our photo gallery?  The photo to the right is from Karen who sent in photos of all her kids’ first day. Take a peek, and then upload some school photos of your own!

What do you miss about summer?
Now that we’re in the throes of school, I can bet there are some of you looking back at that short summer vacation and missing it like crazy. For me, there’s a little beach house in San Diego I’d give anything to be back at. How about you?

Diet book for kids?
Parents are up in arms over a book set to release in October called “Maggie Goes on a Diet”. Many are upset that a book would target girls in this way and give possible eating disorders and self-esteem issues. But others see this book as a good thing that most children need to read, especially as we battle the obesity epidemic that has taken over our country. What are your thoughts on this?

Protecting against childhood
A blogger is taking issue with the fact that playgrounds are being modified to make it impossible to get hurt, Happy Meal toys are being banned, and parents are going overboard in child-proofing their surroundings. His question: “Is childhood going out of style?”

Deep, dark Mommy secrets
Our Petaluma360.com mommy blogger, Veronica, wrote a really deep post about the secrets we learn as we are parents, some we share but don’t admit with others for fear of looking like a bad mom, and what would have kept us from having kids had we known them before. Have you discovered any of these secrets about yourself? Share them if you dare!

Are you listening, Mom?
My kid is a talker. And some of the things he talks about are admittedly of no interest to me. I don’t want to know the play-by-play of his favorite TV show. I don’t really care about that person I don’t know all over YouTube. And the detailed description about how to get to the next level on his video game just goes over my head. But what kind of message am I sending to my kid when I tune him out?

Dance classes for toddlers
One of our moms Is asking about toddler dance classes in Santa Rosa. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hot Topic: Secret Starbucks Menu
Ever ordered a Dirty Chai? How about a Chocolate Dalmatian? There are some really tasty treats you could be missing out on because they’re not on the Starbucks menu.

Events
Several fun events are happening this weekend. There’s the Hawaiian Luau at Penngrove Park, Taste of Petaluma will be happening all over Petaluma, there’s the Rohnert Park Art & Music Festival, and you can learn about pickling at Savory Spice in Santa Rosa. And more! Check out our Events Calendar to see upcoming Family Events.

Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you on the forums!

Crissi Dillon
SantaRosaMom.com

5 tips to curb mindless grazing

As you may remember, I gave up sugar for Lent – not added sugar, but anything that might resemble dessert. And while I’d love to say it was for religious reasons since Lent is a time of meditation, it was more to get over an obscene obsession with sweets following the winter holiday season.

The first couple of weeks giving up sugar were hard. I found myself snacking on anything else I could substitute for sugar. The food victim that suffered the most at my hands was a jar of peanut butter. Yes, you could argue that it has a lot of added sugar and should therefore be considered a cheat. But being that it only has 3 grams of sugar in it and doesn’t fall in the “tasting sweet” category, I used PB as an alternative to gorging on chocolate. Unfortunately, I found myself getting just as addicted to it.  I realized it needed to be on the “do not eat” list as well, especially since the scale was creeping up despite my “no sweets” diet thanks to 16 whole grams of fat in that “tiny” serving of PB.

At any rate, I made it to the other side of Lent with my cravings curbed. I also gorged on candy all day Easter Sunday. One piece of chocolate led to an invite to several more pieces of chocolate. And soon I was hosting an all-out chocolate rager in my mouth. Obviously I still need to keep strict restrictions on my sugar intake. But luckily, I came out of this experience with a few tips for curbing the sugar cravings, as well as mindless snacking that leads to unaccounted calories throughout the day.

1. Green smoothies. I have fallen in love with this little concoction. It’s a mixture of veggies and fruit to create a sweet snack without adding sugar, and while also getting the proper amount of veggies in my diet. As someone who is not very good at eating her greens, this has been my lifesaver! I make a large cup of it in the morning and sip it throughout the day to keep me from reaching for the salty or sweet snacks. And because it’s so filling, I’m not tempted to cheat. Of course, I have yet to find the exact recipe to entice my kids to enjoy these as well since I’m trying not add anything to sweeten it besides berries or bananas. But I’m getting closer. My personal favorite is banana and kale with a little almond milk and wheat germ. But you can make it as simple as adding one serving fruit to one serving veggie, and just adding water. For some healthy smoothie ideas (green or not), visit our forum discussion at SantaRosaMom.com.

2. Plan it out. If you take the time out in the morning to list all the foods you are allowed in the day, and even when you can eat them, it will help to keep you from cheating against it with mindless snacking. If you’re going to work, pack a lunch every day to avoid eating out and consuming too many calories. Stagger your eating so that you don’t have a chance to get too hungry. An empty stomach can cause you to make bad food choices, so always allow for healthy snacks like a lower calorie yogurt (my favorites are Light Yoplait at 100 calories, or the Light Dannon at 60 calories), fruit, cut up veggies, or a small plate of lunch meat and a string cheese. And get in the habit of writing down everything you eat so that you’re holding yourself accountable.

3. Water yourself. Always keep a large water at your side, and drink it liberally. Many times when we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated. Our bodies need more water than many of us are supplying it with, so increasing your water intake is a great habit to get into. At first, it might be hard. But once you get used to drinking more water, you’ll find that you actually crave it. Also, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of other drinks you’re having as you increase your water intake. Nix the sodas and fancy coffees – drinks that add way too many calories to your diet for being just liquid – and drink water instead.

4. Do something – anything! I found that at times I was sitting around and bored, that’s when I wanted to snack the most. But when I was busy, I didn’t even find the desire to snack. I recently took up running, and the motivation from this simple form of exercise has motivated me to think twice before snacking as I feel more energized and way healthier than ever before. Of course, there will still be times when sitting and doing nothing is necessary. But make rules or habits that will curb mindless snacking – like no eating in the living room (to keep from grazing while watching TV), or busying your hands with knitting or the like.

5. Check out the additional tips we have listed over at SantaRosaMom.com.

What are some ways you curb mindless grazing?

Lent for everyone

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day when practicing Catholics start their 40 Day Fast from one thing until Easter Sunday when they can indulge to their heart’s content. The reason behind it is to a) make a sacrifice in honor of the sacrifice made for them, and b) up their opportunity of prayer and meditation as they struggle with giving up something they love.

Our Christian family finds this Catholic tradition beautiful. And while it’s not a required tradition in our sect of faith, it is a tradition in the roots of my faith. And it’s become something I’ve taken from my childhood religion and introduced to my family at this time of year. We welcome the challenge to give something up for 40 days, seeing if we actually can do it. And more times than not we come out of the experience with a fresh outlook, as well as an ability to lessen one more addiction from our lives.

Of course, our favorite addiction to give up is sugar.

Not only is our family in love with all things sweet (in terms of dieting, it is my #1 downfall), we crave it when it isn’t around. This is why I try to keep my house free from desserts at all times. Our biggest sweet splurges in the house are Jello pudding snacks, strawberry jelly, and honey. The absence of desserts keeps us from scarfing sugary sweets throughout the day. But, of course, when it is around us – WATCH OUT.

Remember that scene in Finding Nemo when Marlin and Dory are at the would-be vegetarian shark meeting, and Dory is hit in the mouth so that recovering fish addict Bruce catches a whiff of her blood? This is slightly less dramatic than what it looks like when the kids and I catch sight of some innocent chocolate just laying around.

This is also what has made it so dangerous when we come over to Mr. W’s home.

Mr. W is one of those annoying people who can eat ANYTHING without gaining weight. His son has annoyingly taken on this genetic ability as well. The two of them rave about their greasy cheeseburgers, two-pound sirloins, cheesy lasagnas, and other artery clogging, thigh-enhancing, humongous meals without any sign of their health deteriorating or their waistbands expanding. I, on the other hand, only have to smell such foods to gain 5 pounds around my lower half. Another characteristic to this unfair calorie-cancelling duo is the ability to pass up sweets without a second thought. I mean, their ice cream has been in the freezer for so long, it has freezer burn. I wasn’t even aware ice cream did that! I suppose if it stayed in there longer than 3 days, however….

In Mr. W’s kitchen is a cabinet at eye level that holds the most enticing snacks a sugar-holic could dream of. Halloween candy. Easter candy. Those two-pound dark chocolate bars from Trader Joes. Truffles. Cookies…. You get the picture. When I come to Mr. W’s house, we all make a bee-line for this cabinet if only just to stare at the wonderfulness of it. Here is this magical cabinet that holds candy that has been untouched for months! Is that even possible? And for some reason, whenever we visit Mr. W, the candy on those shelves lessens just slightly. And I can’t for the life of me explain how I gained a couple pounds just from a mere visit to Mr. W’s house… I finally had to instruct the 6’ tall Mr. W to hide everything of interest on the very top shelf so that my 5’4” self couldn’t reach them without some effort, and so they weren’t staring me in the face every time I walked by. And it seemed to mostly do the trick.

But still, those sugar addictions exist.

Yesterday afternoon I caught a chocolate craving so intense I could barely think straight. And I made a beeline to our office vending machine to quiet my inner chocolate gremlin. Alas, I only had a $5 bill. I plugged it into the change making machine, and then listened to what sounded like the winning jingle at the casino slot machine. Apparently the machine was out of dollar coins and quarters. But it had plenty of dimes and nickels. :-/ No worries, I just pulled out 20 nickels and bought myself a Hershey’s chocolate bar – which promptly got stuck when it fell to a part of the machine that wouldn’t allow it to travel the rest of the way to my waiting hands. You’d think I’d listen as the universe plainly told me I didn’t need these extra sugar calories, but no. I just counted out more change and bought myself the world’s most finicky chocolate bar. And sitting at my desk, I forgot that anyone could see me as I inhaled the chocolate bar without coming up for air. And it was heavenly.

And it was also my last sugary indulgence until Easter Sunday when, appropriately enough, we will be surrounded by chocolate bunnies and crème filled eggs.

This morning my son asked me if he could give up video games instead. And I told him I thought that was a wonderful idea, but that it didn’t make much sense unless he included his computer games as well.

“But what will I do then?” he lamented before deciding that sugar was an easier addiction to avoid for 40 days.

Goodbye pudding. Goodbye yogurt. Goodbye juice and soda. Goodbye chocolate. Goodbye freezer burned ice cream at Mr. W’s house…. I’ll miss you all terribly.

Are you giving up anything right now, for Lent or for any other reason?