Showing posts from February, 2008


Today I said something I have never said in my entire life, "Hallelujah, it's February!!!"

That lovely short month!

Tomorrow night we are having pizza--TOTALLY loaded with all those meats that one doesn't like to question too closely. And about 7 Rolaids each as a chaser.

It turns out that there really might be something to this whole processed foods thing (OK, let's face it, we were all hoping that frozen pizzas and convenience foods didn't make a difference). We've had to make a few exceptions (see how much better that sounds than "cheating?"), and almost every time, it has resulted in a really upset stomach and an occasional headache. It looks like it's going to be hard--if not impossible--to go back! Granted, I'm willing to work on a healthier diet, but to give up Digiorno's spinach & mushroom pizza entirely?????? Say it isn't so!!!!

MAINTENANCE NOTE: It takes longer than I imagined to type in email addresses, but I…


First, obviously I didn't get the website access shut down last night--it takes a long time to get all the allowed email addresses typed in, but I am hoping to finish tonight. I will be leaving the knitting blog open to the public--if a snooping exwife who needs to get a job, get a life, and move on wants to read about my knitting....well then she's more pathetic than I thought. My other thought was to start posting our wedding pictures on every single post and writing about things she probably WOULDN'T want to read--like our sex life--but let's say it all together.....EWWWWWW! Don't worry--I didn't take that personally--no matter what the Google search engines think, this is not THAT sort of blog! :)

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP FOLLOWING THIS BLOG, I WILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR YOUR BLOGGER USER NAME AND I WILL SEND YOU AN INVITATION. If you do link to this blog, you may want to link directly to my profile page--I'll put instructions for getting an invitat…

Day 27 - Access

Due to an unwanted (and relatively insane) visitor to this blog, I will be restricting public access to it later today. If you would still like to follow it, I will need your email address or Google Blogger user name--as well as some info as to who you are if I don't actually know you or just an explanation of how you're coming to the blog--in order to gain access. I am not trying to be mean or elitist--we are having a probable stalker issue--a definite "needs to get a life and move on" issue .

If you follow this in a blogline, I believe it will still work--you will just need to log in when you get to the site.

Thank you for your understanding--I am sorry one person has to ruin everything, but some people are really just all about hate, spite, and meanness.


Day 26 - I can almost taste the Diet Pepsi

What we have given up this month:

diet soda
my daily cinnamon bear (Andy is handling this one better than I am)
white chocolate martinis
delivery pizza
Digiorno spinach & mushroom pizza
one of our favorite soups (illegal ingredients)
all cold cereal
almost all food in restaurants
most breads
boneless turkey breast
canned soup
microwave popcorn
salad dressing
anything & everything that comes in a box
even the beef jerky I keep in my car for the "no time for lunch but need some protein" moments

The thing that has been the absolute hardest for either of us to give up all month?

Diet soda - without question. We've been like smokers trying to just make it one more day without carbonation. I have not even trusted myself to sit next to someone who is drinking a diet soda. I don't really think I'd sneak a sip from a total stranger's glass, but still......if they weren't really paying attention.....

Day 24 (barely)

Tonight we had friends over for dinner--a very brave undertaking considering this month's experiment. They brought us these:

CHOCOLATE COVERED CINNAMON BEARS!!!! I did not even know such things existed & we will let you know how they are on March 2.

Some fast updates, since it's 11:30 PM:

We have a case of Diet Pepsi chilling in the refrigerator in preparation for March 1.

The Pi shawl is done & will be blocked this week--keeping me ON TRACK for the year so far--truly a record. This is a shot of it in the "almost done" stage:

Still looking a little psychedelic admittedly, but maybe I'm just ahead of my time on the "formal tie-dye" idea. You never know with fashion--who that remembers the 70s would have ever dreamed that ponchos would come back into style?

The new bedding arrived and the cats seem pleased--or can't stand the idea of something in the house without cat hair.

We have our Trail Name!!!!!! "Bananas" and her husband had a s…

Day 23 - There's Been Some Cheating

Forgive me Readers, for I have sinned.

On Monday I coveted my neighbor's delivery pizza. It was probably covered with processed cheese food and mostly likely oozing with high fructose corn syrup, but I bet they loved every bite of it.

On Tuesday I had bread with preservatives because I just couldn't face three weeks in a row of cobb salads without dressing. To be fair, it was a lousy sandwich.

On Wednesday I had a roll with my salad at another lunch meeting. The shepherd's pie they were serving might not have contained preservatives, but that still doesn't make it food.

On Thursday I had two crackers at a cocktail party. Yes, I did know what I was doing and knew that it was wrong, but unless things are to get pretty wild, I should not have a glass of wine at 6:30 without any food to slow down its absorption. Obviously this little experiment does not equip us to be able to be invited out in public.

Last night we may have cheated--it all depends on whether or not Copper …

Day 21 - Things we have learned so far

1. Business lunch meetings are a good way to torture someone who is trying to eat healthy. Shepherd's Pie, for heaven's sake???

2. Groats are fine in granola, but they are really lousy as breakfast cereal all by themselves.

2. Even though I haven't eaten sugary cereal in years, after 20 days of this, I'm having slightly impure thoughts about Cap'n Crunch.

3. Nobody eats tuna for the taste of it.

4. By Thursday, no one wants to cook or do dishes.

5. If you can't go down the aisles, grocery shopping goes pretty quickly.

6. It's hard to tell when the bird seed ends and the health food begins in the bulk bin section.

7. It's hard to convince people to come over for dinner if they know about your little food experiment.

8. Your husband can get a lot of sympathy at work if his coworkers read your blog.

9. It's hard to stop calling food by its labels--protein, carbs--and start thinking of it as chicken and potatoes.

10. Short months are better for my lit…

Day 19 - Tonight Would Have Been a Digiorno Night

There are just nights when we come home from work and neither of us feel like cooking. Generally speaking, those are the nights when we would heat up a Digiorno spinach & mushroom pizza. Generally speaking that is--not when we're doing strange food experiments. When we're doing strange food experiments, we "graze." A little cheese, a few vegetables, some nuts for protein--a balanced "meal" without the actual "meal" part.

Only 10 days left....

Tonight Andy pointed out that after NPR did a story, we had a month of no spending. After NPR did a story, we have a month of not eating any processed foods. He suggested my next project be a month without listening to NPR. Obviously, the lack of Diet Pepsi is starting to get to him....

Day 18 - Now We're Really Confused

One of our friends is about to embark upon a 6-month "through hike" of the Appalachian Trail, so we're helping with regular food packages along the trail (there are mail-drop locations along the way, since without a mule or llama, it would be impossible to carry a 6-month supply of food with her, and I just can't see spending 6 months with a llama). As she leaves in less than 2 weeks, this week we dragged out the food dehydrator and have begun the food preparation in earnest, but we keep catching ourselves blending experiments--she needs foods that will last for several weeks, and we're aiming for things with no preservatives whatsoever that can only last a matter of days. It's taking a lot of concentration to remember "Her Rules" and "Our Rules," though 18 days into this, "hers" are sounding a lot better than "ours." She gets Rice Krispie Treats (no part of which is allowed in "our" rules), and we get tun…

Day 17 - What Mr. Pollan Started

This little experiment of ours is based on an NPR interview with Michael Pollan about his book In Defense of Food. We picked up a copy of the book immediately, but I sheepishly admit that I only started reading it today--and I was actually listening to the audio book version on loan from the library while I made my version of tuna salad (every vegetable I can think of, a little vinegar, and enough stone ground mustard to stomp out any actual taste of tuna). (The urge to jump into a project without thinking it through entirely is one of my most predominant qualities, and probably explains the insanity of a month without buying anything new right at the Christmas gift-giving season and a few jobs that I went into not having the faintest idea of what the job was about. Details just get in the way of some of my best/most memorable ideas.) Even in the middle of this little experiment of ours, his book made me think.

Why don't we eat food any more?

We eat carbs, protein, complex carbs…

Day 16 - WE GOT PIZZA!!!!!!

Last night, after THOROUGHLY checking the ingredients and nutritional information for our local gourmet pizza shops, we ordered an allowable pizza!!!! To a woman who had tuna salad for breakfast AND lunch yesterday, this was like winning the lottery!!!

Yeah baby, walking on the wild side....

Uh huh.

And update time, because I've been a little remiss...

For Valentine's Day, Andy--the most romantic man I've ever known--decorated the house with a trail of cards & gifts (constructed with YARN since I'm not buying any new yarn all year), and these were among the trail's stops:

There's a man who REALLY knows how to woo his wife! 13 more days and I can actually have those cinnamon bears!!!!

My gift to Andy included, among other things,

Ain't love grand?

And in a totally unrelated update, my dem fischer sin fru is making progress

albeit slowly. I'm still on clue one and clue 4 came out yesterday, and my goal is to only be 3 clues behind, so I need to get cracking…

Day 14 - Happy Valentine's Day!

And guess who won't be getting any chocolate?

No, I don't try for such bad timing on purpose--it's just a gift, I guess.

Day 13 - Are We Making Any Progress?

Aside from how it seems (and feels), we didn't start this "no processed foods" project just to torture ourselves--we jokingly call that a "perk"...really jokingly. We are truly doing this for health reasons, partly because of an NPR interview about food and partly because I grew up in a small cattle-ranching town in Idaho where people seem to live well into their 80s and 90s, and seemingly without too many health problems, whereas the people I know now who are living in mostly urban areas seem to not live as long and have more health problems. There is probably an exercise factor in there somewhere, but I have begun to suspect there is something more.

Which leads us to the current month of torture--Oops, I mean eating healthy.

So, 13 days later--do I feel any different?

For one thing, I feel hungry much of the time, so I'm continually eating small amounts of fruit, vegetables, and nuts. I know it's good for me and I love fruits & vegetables, but I&#…

Day 12 - A Scary Thought

In March I am going to be REALLY excited about getting to eat Grape Nuts.

I think I need to get out more.

Day 10 - For about 20 minutes, I was brilliant

Having determined that workday lunches are a big problem on our "Month of No Processed Foods," I thought I would line up some leftovers for us, and have a beef roast in one slow cooker, and "Mexican Chicken Woops" in the other one. Having never actually mastered either slow cooker, I realize that letting them gang up on me might be a serious mistake, but those who have had as much oatmeal as we've had so far this month are willing to try anything.

The roast, I actually think should be okay--I seared it on all sides with some seasoning before putting it in the slow cooker, so we're hoping it will have some flavor. As you may have already guessed, the "Mexican Chicken Woops" has already had issues. First, I found more corn syrup lurking in the diced tomatoes with green chilies I originally planned to use, so that was scrapped, and when I tried adding "just a dash" of chili powder to the chicken, I seem to have gotten "dash" and…

Day 9 - The Breakfast Challenge

Guess how many of our favorite cereals qualify this month?

Absolutely none.

It was a bit of a surprise to find that our "healthy breakfast cereals" were off limits, since we weren't exactly eating them for their flavor. "All Bran" was by far the biggest offender--quite cheeky of it since it is also the worst-tasting of the bunch and looks more like a dismantled bird's next than any naturally-occurring food. Grape-Nuts would have qualified if we knew how to obtain soy lecithin as an ingredient. It is one of the only cereals we found without corn syrup, however, so it will be "re-allowed" at the end of the month.

Still, that leaves 20 days of breakfast left. Breakfast has always been a bit of a challenge, considering I dislike eggs, am allergic to milk, and don't like sweets for breakfast, but removing ready-made cereals has spurred me to a whole new level of weirdness. So far this month I've had leftover butter chicken with rice, leftover…


Remember this one? The MS3 Mystery Stole with the red beady eyes and one asymmetrical wing that is based on an evil ballet character?
Yeah, that one.

It's back.

Not that I've grown any fonder of it during our time apart, but I only have one clue left and, above all else, I want my knitting needles back. (The things I will go through for some #4 bamboos.....)

So it has been rechristened "Lazarus" (which is a whole lot nicer than it's previous names--"beaded knitting abyss," "stupid-ass bird shawl," and "the beady thing") because frankly, no one thought it would ever see the light of day again.

Obviously, when I fall out of love with something, I REALLY fall out of love with it. For those of you feeling a bit nervous for Andy at this point, let me assure you that all is still wonderful, though if he ever sprouts one wing, gets beady red eyes, and starts dancing around the house as the evil queen from Swan Lake, I am SERIOUSLY going to re…

Day 5 - Reality vs. Toni

As much as I try to avoid it, one must occasionally have a brush with reality, though living in it is entirely optional. (Toni-ism)

REALITY: Unless we are going to spend the month grazing on the grass that is currently buried under ice & snow, everything we consider "food" is processed somehow--cleaned, cut, milled, pasteurized, baked, blended, chopped, frozen, canned, etc. A brighter person might have selected summer for this experiment so one could grow their own vegetables--and in fact, a brighter person would have figured out how to grow said vegetables instead of losing them to bugs and weeds--but it was my idea to launch into this in February, so we need to clarify things a little.

The guidelines we're working from now:

1. Does it look like food?
2. Could we have made it ourselves?

#1 encompasses vegetables & fruit in their normal, found-in-nature (though not necessarily in our garden) state, and meat.
#2 allows things like flour, butter, WINE, cheese, etc.…

Day 4 - This is SOOOO Much Harder Than it Sounded!

Having just returned from an hour-long excursion in a grocery store, I can now swear quite positively that the American diet is composed largely of corn syrup. The stuff is everywhere, which amazes me because the corn syrup in my cupboard is a thick, sticky, very sweet substance that I use once every 8 years. What is it doing in Italian sausage for heaven's sake--meat candy?

The other thing I learned tonight is that I have no idea what most of the ingredients listed actually are, but I left with the slight suspicion that our grocery stores are highly explosive. Nitrates, acids, phosphates, sulfates--didn't we blow these things up in high school chemistry class? I was very VERY careful not to drop that pasta....

"You Make Me Happy" Award

I am really new to the on-line world of bloggers--actually, not knowing there really was one until quite recently--but it turns out that there is a virtual world of funny, creative, and interesting people out there, and they go out of their way to encourage and support each other.

Last week, Rachel listed me as one of the ten blogs that make her happy and gave me this:

Now how cool is that? This means that I am now to list the blogs that make me happy, and having just learned how to do links on posts (I am feeling SO techie!!!):

My husband, who not only goes along with all my crazy experiments, but seems to enjoy them (although there was some discussion about the month of no processed foods and the phrase "it's about being healthy, not about being miserable" did cross his lips....

My friend "Bananas" who is planning to hike the Appalachian trail this year and who is always positive no matter what life throws at her.

Susie, who is living & exploring England and …

No Cinnamon Bears Either!!!!

Yesterday was a harsh, harsh day. No white chocolate martinis. No caffeine free Diet Pepsi. And to add insult to injury, the cinnamon bears in the office candy bowl are off-limits as well!!! (sob) While I am struggling to remember why I came up with this idea in the first place, Andy has filled in as guest blogger:

Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

Day two of "Don't eat any processed foods" month, and I blew it already.

This morning Toni was walking down the stairs, as I was carrying a bowl back to the kitchen from the office. Toni asked, in her kindest and most loving voice, as I walked past
"You did not just have a bowl of illegal cereal, did you?".
"I had a bowl of cer... Oh sh*t!"
Only two days in, and it is strange what we decide we miss most from the "processed foods" world. Toni sent me a page yesterday stating that she had been used to eating one cinnamon bear from the candy bowl at work each day, and was missing her cinnamon bea…

Day 1 - I Wasn't Ready!!!!!

February 1 and the month of no processed foods is kicked off. In a discussion late last night, it was decided that white chocolate martinis should probably not be allowed (sob). I had been mentally preparing myself to give up Diet Pepsi and mulligatawny, but white chocolate martinis??????!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be back when I have recovered the will to live.....