Archive | February, 2011

monkey bread is my crack

27 Feb

…in which I reveal some fairly disgusting details of my relationship with sugar

On the one hand, the fact that I am even bothered by what happened this weekend shows how far I’ve come.  But on the other hand, I feel like the words “relapse” and “junkie” can actually be applied realistically to a description of the psychological and physical calamities I brought on myself.

Now, I’ve never shot up crack balls or free-based heroin crystals or whatever the kids are doing these days, so I can’t entirely say if my likening this sick Monkey Bread habit to a narcotics addiction is hyperbole or not.  But I was a psych major in undergrad, I know the hallmarks of a substance problem when I see it.  Or when I smell it…that buttery, caramely, doughy, cream cheesey, cinnamony warmth wafting through the air…do I ever smell it.

I’ve been Officially Sick since Thursday night, when my fever grew and peaked and 103 for a couple of hours.  Since then, the aches and temp have subsided, but left behind a deep, gnarly, phlegmy cough and irritated sinuses, making it pretty awful to get up and move around.  So on Friday night, when I was finally done with a grueling 90-minute session on campus and a meeting with a supervisor that WOULD NOT END, I came home completely pooped.  But apparently not pooped enough not to make a batch of Deluxe Monkey Bread whose recipe came with the special Monkey Bread bundt pan I bought a few weeks ago.  The first factor in this disaster was the fact that when I’m under the weather, all bets are off.  I’m tired, I’m not thinking straight, and I sure as hell am not going to turn down some comfort food.

I think my original rationale was that I’d make it all for J, who had been asking for it ever since I first described it.  Of course, this recipe called for pre-made buttermilk biscuits from a can (onto which one then puts a dollop of sweet cinnamon cream cheese mixture  on each ‘biscuit’ and folds into a mini monkey ball pouch, which line up next to one another in the bundt pan, then are drizzled with homemade caramel/pecan sauce.  Also, why ‘monkey’ has anything to do with it, I have no clue).

This leads me to the second problem:  the two-bite size.  “Oh I’ll just have one, and let him devour the rest!”  Simple! Elegant! I believe science calls this sort of design parsimonious.  Having my cake and eating just a little bit of it, too.   However, my plan was spoiled. J is also still sick, and tolerates Nyquill much better than I do, and so was sound asleep when it came out of the oven at 10pm.  I had to negotiate the gooey pan by myself.  One monkey ball is just enough for a taste test (about a 2″ cube).  But of course it passed the taste test and that’s where I got into trouble.  They’re small enough pieces to feel like a second or third is acceptable.  Or a fourth, who am I kidding.

Which brings me to problem three: two or three or four pieces of Monkey Bread make me feel like shit.  If you break down the time frame from me being aware of the desire for MB till the point when traces of MB have cleared my system, it’s one part happy delicious fun time and about 99 parts regret, bloat, and masochistic craving for more of same.  Saturday morning began with J bringing me a tray of coffee + skim with a little plate of MB.  I haven’t started a day out with pure sugar for a really long time, and I was acutely aware of the consequences: the entire day I felt dissatisfied, constantly searching for more crap to stuff in my face to fill the void.  It was like swimming in a syrupy maelstrom, desperately trying to bob my head above once in a while to sustain myself, only instead of sucking air I was gobbling more Monkey Bread.

So then there’s the fourth issue: IT’S STILL THERE.  One of the justifications I make when going back for more, against all logical arguments for not doing so, is that the more I eat, the faster it will be gone.  But I’ve had between 3 and 6 pieces a day and I think J is not too far behind, and we still haven’t been able to kill it off.   I feel like this magical bread should be part of a Brothers Grimm tale.  Having fallen under the curse of an evil witch, the poor starving grad student stumbles across (at Target) the Enchanted Monkey Bundt Pan. She brings it home, delighted at her apparent good fortune.  But as she soon discovers, the sweet treat is not all good: the Voodoo Yeast reproduce when she is not looking to ensure the legacy of the Enchanted Monkey never dies.  Plagued by a lack of self-control (also part of the evil witch’s curse), the girl is forced to eat the piles and piles of dough accumulating in her house, which also happens to be a giant shoe.  She transforms into a gluttonous beast and is discovered, face down in a plate of caramel pecan glaze, by a band of whistling dwarves. I will get the art team who worked on Killer Klowns from Outer Space to do the movie version.

The big surprise in all of this is that Monkey Bread contains no chocolate.  Apparently my carb addiction does not discriminate.

I believe the only way out of this mess is with vegetables.  Green earthy goodness to stave off the onslaught of rotting incisors and diabetes.  If I come up with a more concrete plan than that, I’ll let you know.

p.s. NEVER LET ME BAKE THIS STUFF AGAIN.  Who wants my monkey bundt pan?!


comfort food

24 Feb

All I want right now is some mashed potatoes and chicken noodle soup.  And an electric blanket.

I’ve actually never been in this situation, where I’m waiting for the impending doom and I know exactly what it will look like.  When I get sick, which is rare (last time was January 2008, and in retrsospect I know precisely who gave it to me in that germ hole of a school I worked in), I’m never quite sure of what unpleasantries lie in store for me…just a cough and sore throat? some barfing perhaps? dull aches and chills? will it be intense and over in a day, or long and drawn out?  But this time, I can predict almost to the hour what will happen and when it will happen, symptom-wise.  My boyfriend spent 10 days on the east coast with family who flew in from out of the country, and the whole lot of them (mom, dad, aunts and uncles, cousins, and the brothers and sisters and kids of all of them) got whatever it is that was brought over here from eastern Europe.  Symptoms include chest congestion, fever, chills, headache, puking.  I’m only in the first stage, no fever yet, but it’s moving along in the same way it did for my boyfriend, whose course is about 3 days ahead of mine.  Maybe this is good practice for getting old and inevitably getting some horrible progressive disease that comes with its own pamphlet about what to expect as your body erodes.  Note, I’m still not dying young, don’t worry. That’s the whole point of this anyway, isn’t it.

Anyway, I already had some comfort food for lunch — tomato basil soup (bisque, probably – so creamy) and a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.   I hate being sick for so many reasons obviously but one of them is that it makes it really hard  to stick to an eating plan.


23 Feb

Whew! My weekend of indulgence has come to an end.  It sure ended with a bang — I had flown back to my city already when the real food fun began — deluxe cheezburger, fries, donut, gift chocolate, lasagna.

Not surprisingly, the scales show that I gained 0.4 lb this week.  So basically I am where I was 2 weeks ago.  Was two weeks of effort and a little weight gain worth it for all the indulgence?  You betcha.  That’s the attitude I’m taking.  It’s not like it was 4 lbs, it was 0.4 lb.  And if I didn’t get to have a binge frenzy once in a while, it wouldn’t be sustainable.

I didn’t even really bother tracking on e-tools once it got to a certain point this weekend, but let me see if I can remember some of the food porn highlights:

  • M&Ms on the plane
  • homemade apple pie with caramel balsamic ice cream (yum?!?!?)
  • fresh homemade whole-wheat bread (countless slices…well, we had two loaves and they were gone by the end of the weekend, between 3 people)
  • restaurant breakfast – “home bread” (fried homemade bread…aahhhh butter!), a slice of french toast and syrup, 2 poached eggs, fruit, coffee
  • garlic beef in saucey sauce from a chinese restaurant, plus brown rice
  • “protein” bar. It was mostly peanut butter.
  • goat cheese & portobello shroom open-faced sandwich plus smoked trout & avocado & potato salad.  amazing
  • mounds & york peppermint patty-flavored fro-yo with oreo topping
  • plus the calories listed above once I got back into town

I can see how all of that would put me half a pound over.  Plus pretty much no exercise all week.

Oh well — back on the wagon today.  And the veg-jihad is in full force.  I will get extra super duper lots of veggies from Chipotle for lunch today. 😀


19 Feb

My mom makes a killer loaf of handmade whole wheat sunflower seed bread. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

Also, this long weekend will be full of merriment because I am home and three of my dearest, oldest friends, all of whom I have known since I was at most 6 years old and one of whom knew me at 0 days old, are also coincidentally in town. Plus, lunch with Grandma tomorrow. I can’t make any promises about sticking to a plan until I go back on Tuesday.

I did, however, resist the bundt of Monkey Bread that I made last night before my flight, which is a gift for friends house/cat-sitting. If there is indeed an afterlife where the good people go, I believe it must smell exactly like a kitchen with an oven baking Monkey Bread. Pecans, butter, homemade caramel, fluffy dough, cinnamon sugar. Freaking amazing. Even more so that I didn’t cram the whole thing down my pie hole. That’s what she said.

real slow, and real steady

16 Feb

Down 0.2 lbs this week…HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  Please refer to my fluctuations post.  This means nothing to me, really.

Assuming I really neither lost nor gained anything this week, let’s consider all of the “off-plan” things that occurred:

  • overall, I went over by 36 points, but that’s not including the apparent 27 points I earned in activity (so really just 9 net points)
  • Cheeseburger, fries, Thai food, and dark chocolate on Wednesday. Chipotle with rice and sour cream, and Mexican food pt. 2 on Thursday. English muffin, half & half, pizza, wine, and fro-yo on Friday. Beer, wine, and brownies on Saturday. More fro-yo & toppings on Sunday. Shortbread chocolate cookie on Monday. 7 or 8 pieces of weird Japanese candy and 100 cal of honey biscuits, plus a giant bowl of pho (with rice noodles) on Tuesday.

So really, considering all of that, no loss should have been expected.  Needless to say I could’ve done a lot better.  The first half of the week was a lot worse than the second half, so I’m hoping to continue this pretty decent trend and have some better progress for next week.

One positive thing I will say about perspective and progress so far: despite fluctuations, lately I have been consistently at least 5 lbs lighter, if not more, than I was 3 weeks ago.

Off to Zumba, clean my entire house, and finish up some homework before the end of the week & weekend gets underway!

I’m into (WW) points (+), but they’re not your average (WW) points (+)

13 Feb

Still recovering from last week.  I feel old. Takes forever to bounce back.

Let me tell you how weird my day of eating was yesterday.  Well just how weird my day was generally, in terms of circadian rhythm.

Wake up at 4 am. Drive to airport. Come back and fall asleep at six. Wake up at 11:30am.

Eat 1 point worth of breakfast: fat free cottage cheese (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup snap peas and cherry tomatoes, 1/2 a grapefruit.  Day-old coffee…egghh.

Umm do an intense Zumba cardio and strength training workout for an hour and a half?? What?

Eat a snack of 1/4 c sunflower seeds, then a dinner of 3/4 cup FF refried beans, 1.5 cups veggies (spinach, peas, corn), 1/4 c lite cheese, salsa, 2 T LF sour cream.  I counted this as dinner cuz it was like 6pm.  So far, we’re up to 15 WW P+.

Then I went out, and it could’ve gone worse, actually.  One pint of beer at a bar, umm a few (?) french fries, then later a glass of Lambic, half a glass of dessert wine, and probably 2 or 3 glasses of zinfandel.  Amazingly, I don’t think my BAC ever got above .03 (my friend had a sweet breathilizer thing).  Oh and two small brownies.  So I counted all of that as 28 points…it’s hard to be precise with alcohol for obvious reasons.  Maybe my morals and resolve just aren’t stringent enough.

So I went 11 points over budget for the day (AGAIN!?).  Sigh.  Stupid wine.  Good thing I Zumba’d so much.  I found the WW formula for figuring out exercise points:

weight (in lbs.)  x minutes x .0008077

This actually doesn’t give me as many points as the pre-programmed “hip hop” activity does (12 points for 50 minutes?!…whereas all other dance styles are like 4 or 5 points for an hour. wiggidy wack!).  So maybe I should be doing more hip hop.

Anyway, I fell asleep at 3 and woke up at 9 to try and get back to normal.  It’s not working. I want naps.


12 Feb

Alright I guess I’ve got to come clean, even if it’s just to this little corner of Intertoobs and not with a megaphone from my rooftop.

Apparently I’m rather good at sticking to a diet/lifestyle change when all other ares of my life are going smoothly.  But as soon as the excrement hits the ventilation system, awareness of and adhesion to a healthy way of stuffing things into my face hole is the first thing to go (aside from maybe personal hygiene…don’t make me tell you how many days it’s been since I washed my hair).

This week really was just about getting a lot of stuff finished by the one day that’s been circled on my calendar for weeks, 10 FEBRUARY 2011, THURSDAY. I’m happy to say it’s the 12th and I survived.  However, there was way too much brain power expended and sleep lost.  It was painful.

So of course, I used food as an emotional release.  I’m actually surprised at how relatively well I did leading up to the deadline, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were filled with a hot mess of fat and cheese and ice cream.   I did lose that 1.5 lbs. from last week as of Wednesday, but the current week’s anytime weekly points are already beyond used up.  Let me tell you exactly what happened since then:

Wednesday: My brain is so fried from busting out a project paper, that I space out and deny that I’ve got a midterm I know nothing for the next day.

  • B: pretty lean – 3 points; fake pancakes (egg whites & FF ricotta w/ SF syrup); 1/2 a grapefruit
  • L: 16-point salad — greens, olives, black beans, balsamic vinaigrette, craisins, sunflower seeds, shrooms, tomatoes, a little chicken breast, carrots, 2 laughing cow wedges, an apple.
  • D: here’s where it got hairy.  J brought home Dick’s for me (GREAT, THANKS) and my will and resolve were threadbare at this point.  I ate them.  I estimate that to be 15 points (1 patty, no cheese, 1/2 a small fries).  THEN we got Thai food take-out (no noodles though, thankfully) — and I have no idea how much of that I ate. It was mostly chicken, veggies, and coconut milk/curry (and about 3/4 c brown rice) – so I estimate 12 points.  Then I had dark chocolate to stay awake, and a NSA fudgesicle.  All in all, a whopping 32 points for dinner.
  • TOTAL: 51 P+

Thursday: The only thing I am thinking about today is cramming for this test.

  • B: my go-to breakfast of 7 points: 1/2 cup FF greek yogurt, 1/4 c sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup berries, 1 tsp honey.  Oh yeah plus a venti soy latte for 5 points.  Total 12 points.
  • L: Chipotle bowl with rice, beans, barbacoa, veggies, corn and verde salsas, sour cream, and lettuce. Plus Coke zero.  Total 11 points.
  • S: after my horrible day was over, we went to a cafe and I got a healthy-looking pecan cookie.  Except really it was 4 points.
  • D: Mexican.  I ate about 2/3 of my creamy chipotle chicken burrito which had sauce, chicken, rice, beans, sour cream, and sauteed veggies.  I don’t know why I ignored “creamy” — obviously that’s a bad sign.  But such a good, good sign too.  Plus tortilla chips and a Corona light.  I was throwing caution to the wind.
  • TOTAL: 50 P+

Friday: I don’t even know at this point.

  • B: English muffin with regular cream cheese (probably 2 Tbsp), an egg, and sparse veggies (from a cafe, on the go). Plus half&half in my coffee since I couldn’t be bothered to bother them for skim. 9 points
  • S: banana
  • L: enormous Whole Foods salad.  I went a bit nuts.  Spinach, kale, garbanzos, bleu cheese, sunflower seeds, and some other random zero-point veggies, plus 1T olive oil and balsamic.  Diet coke.  Uh that salad was $12 and hurt my arm carrying it home.  12 points
  • D: oh god.  J made homemade pizza (with white flour since he thinks it makes a better crust than whole-wheat, ugh).  I topped my side with mozzarella, a few (6?) pepperonis, garlic and bell peppers.  I didn’t eat crusts and it was pretty thin (11 points).  But then I had so much cheap wine (11 points).  And then we got fro-yo…and at this point I didn’t want to think about the points so I just copied what I figured it was last time we went and said 12 points.
  • TOTAL: 55 P+. Good GRIEF.

So needless to say, it’s going to be a lean next four days.  That’s alright.  J is off with family on the east coast, which means I probably won’t have as many temptations.  And as for my veg-jihad, let me just say that I had FF cottage cheese with 1/2 a cup of tomatoes and snap peas for BREAKFAST.  Yessss. Go me.

In exercise-related news, I got my Zumba and Jillian Michaels DVDs and I am pumped (clap, point) to have time to do them now.  I’ve done two half-hour sessions of the Zumba cardio in a pinch but I can see myself actually waking up and doing an hour in the mornings.  Unless I can’t tolerate Beto and his midriff-bearing ho’s that early.  Here’s hoping the daily dose of cheez will replace the cravings for actual cheese in my life.