South Beach Update: Fried!
Posted on September 6th, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

Howdy, Folks!  And welcome to the great State Fair of Texas!

Okay, so the State Fair doesn’t start for another 3 weeks but that doesn’t mean my taste buds aren’t already a-waterin’ with a hankerin’ for some good ol’ down-home Southern-fried treats.  And the best place to enjoy those artery-cloggin’ deep fried goodies is – you guessed it – at the State Fair.

If this transplanted Yankee has learned nothing else in the years I’ve called myself “Texan”, I can claim to fully understand this: Southerners can fry ANYTHING.  And I do mean ANYTHING.  If it grows, sows, or blows, they can fry it.  If it breathes, bleeds, or has teeths, they can fry it.  If it hops, drops, or flops, they can fry it.

Oh, and they can pickle anything, too.  But that’s a different blog post.

See, Northerners don’t FRY stuff.  They BOIL it.  They STEW it.  They ROAST it.  Have you ever heard of New England FRIED dinner?  How about a traditional New England Open-Faced FRIED Beef Sandwich?  Or better yet, how about New England Lobster FRY?  Those sound like someting on the menu at Hardee’s that should come with a large sweet tea and hash browns and pickled fried okra on the side.

But even in the South, we have our own chicken-fried heaven.  A beacon of bacon grease shining forth it’s golden light for all to see: the State Fair of Texas.  THE place to go for anything fried.

Don’t believe me?  Just check out this year’s winner of this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards: for best taste we have FRIED Frito Pie (because Frito’s are apparently not fried enough), and for most creative we have FRIED Beer.  Yes, you heard me right:  fried BEER.

Just in case you still need further proof, you can check out this post from a couple years ago, listing all the fried delicacies that were available in Big Tex’s backyard.

Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
Threads of Gratitude: White gym towel edition
Posted on April 29th, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

I’m part of a revolution, it seems.

Somehow I’ve become part of a community committed to losing weight, getting fit, and leading an overall healthier lifestyle.  Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all growing older and realizing the need to take better care of ourselves.  Maybe it’s the realization that we need to set a better example for our children.  Maybe it’s being tired of feeling yucky about ourselves.  Maybe it’s because we’re weary of dealing with all those weight-related health issues.  Maybe it’s simply knowing that bathing suit and shorts season is suddenly upon us.

I’ve been down this road before.  A few years ago, I joined Lady of America.  I started out by using the elliptical and doing some weight training on my own.  Then I started doing Pilates and body blasters classes.  After a few weeks of that, I was able to get a few friends to join.  We would bring our babies to child care and settle in for our workouts.  But then I moved and friends got pregnant and other friends got jobs and the gym closed and memberships were transferred…and that “revolution” fizzled and died a slow, lonely death.

Then came South Beach and – without even really exercising – Matt and I were both able to lose nearly 30 pounds and keep most of it off for the past couple of years.  But knowing I needed to kick it up a notch, and the fact that we were essentially wasting our gym membership, I started going back to the gym.

All of a sudden, I find this time that I’m not alone.  I’ve got friends who have joined Weight Watchers and are having great success with their points system.  I’ve got other friends who have started a Facebook group to help us share our successes and failures along this difficult path toward healthier living.  I’ve connected with several friends through DailyMile where we share our workout stories and encourage each other in our attempts to become more physically fit.  I’ve got other friends who are in various stages of training for bike rides and warrior dashes and foot races: 5K’s, 10K’s, half-marathons and marathons.  Still others get together for spin classes and Latin fusion or zumba or yoga.  We cheer each other on.  We moan and groan about our sore muscles and aching body parts.  We dream of chocolate and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and the guilty pleasures we are denying ourselves to gain better bodies and healthier lives.

It’s working.  It’s making a difference.  I’m grateful for the way this shared endeavor is bringing me into community with such a wide variety of people.  I’m grateful for the changes I see in my own body, and the new confidence I feel about myself.  I’m grateful for the accountability and how it keeps me in line with my eating habits and exercise routine.  I’m grateful for those who encourage me along the way, and for those I can be an encouragement and inspiration to.

It’s a great thing.  And, ironically, to borrow a line from the leader in unhealthy eating, I’m loving it.

Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
South Beach Update: Line in the Sand Edition
Posted on April 26th, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

I’m happy to report that Mr. Scale and I have reached a truce of sorts.

Sure, he’s still a bit stubborn and, frankly, a tad arrogant.  And I am by no means perfect, though I think I’ve made far more of an effort to change my behavior this week than he has done to change his attitude.  But whatever.  He can be like that.  Because I have a new bff to hang out with: Ms. Measuring Tape!

See, when Mr. Scale gets all pigheaded and bullish and refuses to compromise or see things my way, I can go to Ms. Measuring Tape.  She is all kinds of niceness and positive reinforcement.  Because she confirms what I’ve known all along: that regardless of what Mr. Scale tells me, I’m thinner, leaner, and trimmer than ever!  And those smaller sizes I’m now wearing reinforce that she’s right.

So even though Mr. Scale still tells me I’m about 15.5 lbs. away from my goal, I can rest assured knowing that I’m making progress in other ways.  And that’s all the motivation I need to keep going.

Life's like that · Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is · Where'd you get those cute shoes?
South Beach Update: Cookin’ on the Beach
Posted on April 19th, 2010 @ 8:54 am

My scale and I are not speaking to each other.

I know, I know.  It’s my fault.  Mr. Scale is just being honest.  But that doesn’t mean I have to *LIKE* his honesty, or his blatant in-your-face attitude.  I mean, really…whatever happened to a thing called GRACE, huh?  How about cutting a girl a little slack, here, Mr. You-Really-Wanna-Know-What-That-Sonic-Shake-Cost-You?!?

So until he quits with the attitude – or I get my act together and stop fooling myself into believing that a chocolate chip cookie from McDonald’s is part of a low-carb lifestyle – I’m no longer speaking to him.  I’m hopeful we can resolve our differences peacefully and that he won’t end up curbside in the Blue Cart of Doom.

Since I don’t have any weight loss to report, thanks to Mr. You-Ate-More-M&M’s-Than-You-Thought, I’m going to share with you this recipe which I made for breakfast this morning.  It was a bit time consuming, as it only makes one at a time.  I had to make Matt’s first, and then once he was off to work and the kids were off to school I made mine.  It was easy and simple, but oh-so-good.  And Mr. No-That-Birthday-Cake-Is-Not-Low-Carb should be impressed.

EGG PANCAKE (original recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Low-Carb Cooking, but I tweaked it some)

1 T butter (I used Smart Balance)

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a 10″ skillet.  Beat eggs, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Pour eggs into skillet and cook without stirring until set on top.  Using a spatula, slide egg pancake onto serving plate.

In a separate skillet, I sauteed 1/4 C diced green peppers, diced onion, and sliced mushrooms in 1 T Smart Balance butter (you could use olive oil as well).  I put the veggies on top of the egg pancake and sprinkled a small amount (less than 1/4 C) of low-fat mild cheddar cheese over all of it.

It’s man-approved, too, as Matt gave it a big thumbs-up.  Serve with a glass of tomato juice or V-8 and you have a perfect low-carb, South Beach-friendly breakfast that’s easy to whip up.  You can use whatever veggies, meats, and cheeses you have on hand and make your own flavorful combinations:

zucchini, red bell pepper, and basil

cilantro, black beans, salsa, and cheddar

spinach, mushroom, and mozzarella

feta, olives, and diced tomatoes

bacon, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream

ham, shredded swiss cheese, and asparagus with sprinkles of thyme and rosemary

Oh, and one other thing.  You can even roll up the pancake with the veggies inside for an on-the-go breakfast burrito!

Happy breakfast, everyone!

Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is · Someone's in the Kitchen
South Beach Update: Running on the Beach
Posted on April 12th, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

“When I run, I feel His pleasure.”  – Eric Liddell,

in the film “Chariots of Fire”, 1981

“When I run, I feel very tired.” – Debily,

in the gym “Express Fitness”, 2010

The craziest thing has happened.  I have discovered running.  Well, to be honest, I have discovered that I can run.  Okay, technically, I have discovered that I can move my feet faster than walking, and that sometimes both my feet are in the air simultaneously for a split second.  So if you call that running, well then, that’s what I’ve discovered.
I can’t say as I enjoy it.  Not yet.  But I have noticed results far faster than with any other type of exercise I’ve tried in the past 6 years.  And I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my endurance and ability to not get winded doing simple things…like climbing the stairs at our house countless times a day.  In fact, I’ve moved from feeling like I’m going to pass out and die at the 3-minute mark to about the 8-minute mark.  So that in and of itself is progress for sure.
My pace is slow, and believe me I’m careful to stop if I feel any back pain.  So far, so good.  I’ve increased my speed and distance each week and have set a personal goal to reach by the end of school, and another one by the end of summer.  I’m keeping track of my progress through Daily Mile, and have hooked up with a friend to promote a little “healthy” competition.  And the header on my home page says, “Debily is an Athlete.”  If they only knew.  Makes me laugh a little.  Okay, makes me laugh a LOT.  But it certainly gives me something to aspire to.
Now I just need a cute pair of running shoes and a spiffy new outfit for the gym and the makeover of Debily the Athlete will be complete.

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I wanna talk about ME · Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
Third Time’s a Charm
Posted on April 7th, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

Well, it’s either that or “bad things happen in threes.”  But since I’m a positive person, I’d rather look on the bright side.  Whatever cliche’ you use, the results are the same: the miracle of multiplying food at Taco Bueno has struck again.  For the third time.

As has become custom for me on Wednesdays, I was headed through the drive-thru to pick up lunch in between piano students.  I already had a drink, and I was low on cash, so my order was simple.  ONE item.  My favorite: a vegetarian black-bean burrito.  I ordered, was told my total, gathered my cash, and proceeded to the window to pay and receive my order.

And somewhere in between, a blessed miracle occurred.

For you see, when I opened the bag after driving away from the window, I noticed not ONE wrapped food item, not TWO wrapped food items, but FIVE.  It was obvious, even though they were wrapped, that at least one was burrito-shaped.  Some were taco-shaped.  Some were even quesadilla-shaped.  None were vegetarian black-bean burrito shaped.

I’ll be honest:  I was tempted.  Tempted to take the food and run.  Tempted to be grateful for being the recipient of another divine blessing over my Taco Bueno order.  But when I discovered that there were no vegetarian black-bean burritos…and remembering the last time when I had been cheated out of my cheesecake chimis…well, I knew there would be no rejoicing in this meal.

So I turned the car around and headed back through the drive-thru.  I rolled down my window and in my sweetest southern drawl informed the attendant that I had not, in fact, received MY order.  Sheepishly, he admitted, “You ordered the vegetarian black-bean burrito.  I think you got a #5.”  And in a flash, my miracle order was reduced to one vegetarian black-bean burrito in a little plastic bag.

And I was happy.   Not as happy as I would have been if they’d thrown in a free mixed berry cheesecake chimi, but happy nonetheless.

I wanna talk about ME · Life's like that · Someone's in the Kitchen
South Beach Update: Shipwrecked!
Posted on March 29th, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

This is clearly the worst case of sabotage I’ve ever seen.

Okay, it’s not technically a shipwreck yet, but the Black Rock is under full sail while Jacob and the Man in Black sit on the beach of a mysterious island, under the shadow of a large statue, discussing the balance of light and dark, good and evil, luring the ill-fated ship to its unquestioned destiny…

Oops.  Sorry.  I got this post confused with my “I Heart LOST” one.

But seriously.  The “Biggest Loser” competition ends next Monday.  April 5.  The day after Easter.  The day after my freaking birthday, for crying out loud.

As if that’s not bad enough, I’ve got leftovers from the Sloan Creek Estates Easter Egg Hunt baiting me in my pantry: a half-dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies, leftover resurrection rolls, and a rather hefty stash of brownies.  Not to mention jelly beans and the special Easter Egg candies I made but forgot to take out of the fridge before the hunt.  Oh, and let’s not forget the famous “treat bucket”, now restocked and refilled to overflowing with chocolate eggs, malted milk balls, starburst, and a plethora of Skittles.  Oh, how I love the rainbow of fruit flavors!  I mean, seriously, whose idea was this low-carb, no-refined-sugar, only-good-fats kind of lifestyle anyway?!

Obviously someone whose hell-bent on winning this thing, no matter what.

I’m not naming names, but Shellie, Roxann, and Reshma whoever it is better watch out!

Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
South Beach Update: Basking on the Beach
Posted on October 12th, 2009 @ 9:00 am

Well, glory be.  It finally happened.  It’s taken a year, but it finally happened.  I have hovered at the 28-lb. mark for so long, I was beginning to wonder if I was destined to live the rest of my life there.  And I guess I would have been happy, knowing I can wear size 12 jeans again…but somehow things would have felt unfinished.

But by God’s grace, I am rejoicing in two things today:

1.  I crossed the 30-lb. mark on Wednesday…and the 31-lb. mark on Thursday!

2.  My tens digit is now reduced by “1”.

And with all that happy dancing I’m doing, I just might lose the rest.

I wanna talk about ME · Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
South Beach Update: Running Hard on the Beach
Posted on September 7th, 2009 @ 10:22 am

So, maybe this uber-busy, super-stressed schedule is good for me after all.  Sure, I may not have time to keep the house clean, and my kids may run out of clean underwear, and the dog may go days before I remember to feed him.  (I’m kidding.)  But I did drop another pound this week, bringing the total to 28 lbs.  Incidentally, this matches the lowest I reached last fall – but it was a mid-week weighing and so wasn’t recorded on the updates.  Only two more pounds and the tens digit in my weight reduces by one.  And that’s a number I haven’t seen on the scale since my first year of marriage…when I was on the way UP.

Since last October, I was happy just to hold steady.  With all the upheaval in our lives and the inconsistency of our schedules due to chemo treatments, doctor visits, and medical “procedures”, we both knew it was unrealistic to expect that we’d be able to continue to follow the guidelines of the plan as closely as we had been.  But now our excuses have run out and it’s time to commit or quit.  And quite frankly, we put too much effort in and worked to hard to get where we are now to quit before we reach the finish line.

So here’s to the finish line, and to sticking it out until the job is done.

“Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil 3:14)

I wanna talk about ME · Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is
South Beach Update: Miracle on the Beach
Posted on August 31st, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

Well, it finally happened.  It’s taken nearly 10 months, but it’s finally happened.  And I do believe there was an audible “THUNK” as my jaw hit the floor.

I’ve finally matched my lowest recorded weight from last October.

Yeah, baby.  I’m back.  And leaner than ever.  Well, not really.  But leaner than in a long time, that’s for sure.

I wanna talk about ME · Livin' on the Beach...South Beach that is

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