Alright. This transferring to a new computer scenario went about as smoothly as I expected; worse, actually, since after spending the better part of the day clearing stuff off the old one into files to transfer, we ran into our snag about 45 seconds after turning the new iMac on. Although it detects all of our neighbour’s wireless networks, it won’t pick up ours. At all. And when we pulled out our cord and connected it that way it wouldn’t work either. We tried everything before discovering that they forgot to give us our 24-hour hotline card (an extra $199); apparently you can call at 3am and they will be there to walk you through whatever you need walking through. (Or if you don’t have the number and code you’re screwed at ten after nine.)
Fortunately I got the laptop connected again so I’m back to surfing from bed. On the upside, this whole fiasco has raised my heart rate significantly.
Dinner last night was potato skins and spinach pizza. I dragged myself to the gym at about 4:30 (having procrastinated all day) and didn’t get home until 6, ravenous and with Mike wanting to watch a movie and/or the hockey game with something to munch on the couch. This was one of my biggest obstacles until I found some ways to morph dinner and couch snacks – because I really like something to snack on while watching a movie, and if I’ve already eaten dinner it’s just extra calories. So if I make dinner something I can eat with my fingers on the couch, I can combine the two.
This may seem like an obvious recipe, but cheesy potato skins are a quintessential finger food that you never think to make at home. The spice mixture adds a lot of flavor, and Canadian bacon (back bacon) is much leaner than the breakfast variety. I always use intensely flavored cheeses, like old cheddar, instead of the low fat kind, which tend to be rubbery with very little flavor so you need more of it anyway.
4 medium baking potatoes (russets work well and have sturdy skins)
1-2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. each chili powder and curry powder (optional)
1/4 cup chopped Canadian (back) bacon or turkey pepperoni (optional)
2 green onions or a small bunch of chives, chopped
3/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
Salsa and low fat sour cream
Preheat oven to 400F. Poke the potatoes with a fork and bake them (directly on the oven rack) for about an hour, until tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Cut each potato in quarters lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4” thick shell. (Keep the potato for something else – I fry it up in a little oil the next morning with whatever’s left of the spice mixture for amazing home fries!). Place potato skins on a baking sheet and brush with a bit of oil. Combine the salt, pepper, chili and curry powder and sprinkle over top. Bake for another 10 minutes, until crispy.
Sprinkle with bacon, green onions and cheese, and bake for another 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve with salsa and low fat sour cream. Serves 4.
Today we spent celebrating the January birthdays (two nephews, my brother-in-law, sister and mum) tobogganing and brunching at my parents’ house, which somehow stretched until almost 5. My sisters, mum and I talked and walked up and down the hill, racing each other up sometimes, to get some exercise in. (Using your body whenever you have a chance to adds up to significant changes.) After we had veggies and dip (a low fat peppercorn ranch dressing spiked with lemon juice that watered it down but also made it appealingly lemony) do-it-yourself sandwiches (mine was turkey and a slice of cheddar cheese with mustard, tomato and greens on a whole wheat bun, but I admit I finished W’s grilled-cheese crusts too) cake (our traditional spice cake with penuche frosting and a chocolate one made in a giant cupcake cake mold) and chocolate fondue inspired by Mary Ann – I haven’t been able to get her frozen chocolate fruit chunks out of my head! At family things we typically chop up a ton of fruit to graze on, but my sister suggested we melt some dark chocolate in a Little Dipper (which has been in my basement for eons and I thought I’d never use – it would have come in handy for that sticky toffee fondue too), which worked perfectly and didn’t need to be maintained by a tealight. (Just chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips straight-up – easiest dessert ever.) Having picked at cake crumbs and chunks of icing (and veggies, and fruit) all afternoon we didn’t really need dinner.
Weight update: 206 this morning. My stomach is starting to rumble again now, and I’m letting it – bedtime soon enough, and sleep is my best appetite supressant. After awhile that desperate need for food starts to morph into something more manageable, once my cravings have weakened a bit (like fear and monsters, if you don’t feed them, they eventually back off). Hunger itself is a little more manageable (and far easier to deal with) than cravings – together they tend to kick my ass. I can actually feel when I’ve hit that tipping point; I’ve learned to recognize that hollow feeling eminating from my core as my body burning its reserves – on-board fuel instead of the high test stuff I used to shovel into the furnace.
So really, that feeling is a good thing. It’s progress. I can’t say it’s a pleasant feeling, but it isn’t any more unpleasant as not being able to do up my pants, or catching a glimpse of my Michelin Man back rolls in a full-length mirror. You know the saying ’nothing tastes as good as being thin feels’ – likewise, is this hollow, empty (temporary) feeling in my gut really that much worse than the pain and discomfort of feeling shackled by your own body and awkward in your own skin?