Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've Been a Little Distracted

Once again, my blogging has stalled due to unforeseen events.

I have a new housemate.

This is my new housemate.

He showed up with about a hundred of his friends last week. Don't recognize him? Here are a few of his family members, also residing in my home.

Termites. Damned termites. Munching on the wood within the walls of my house.

I am not a happy camper.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - Core Granola

First, a little bit of background. In order to balance out my love of food and drink, I also do Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has two eating plans, Core and Flex. In 2004, I lost 30 pounds using the Flex plan.

Flex allows you to have any food you like but within a certain number of Points per day, based on your height, weight, and several other factors. Points are calculated using the calories, fat, and fiber in a serving of food. In addition to those daily Points, you get 35 weekly points to use as you'd like for extra things.

Core is the Weight Watcher "no count" plan. As long as you eat from a specific list of foods, you don't have to count the Points. If you want something that's not on the list, you can use the 35 weekly points. With Core, you eat until you are satisfied - not full or stuffed - just no longer hungry. It can take a little bit of time to learn where that "Comfort Zone" is but by eating mindfully and paying attention to your body's signals, it can be done.

While I used Flex to get to my goal weight, I did it by eating a lot of overly processed foods. The frozen meals, cereal bars, and other not-so-healthy foods were a means to an end; i.e., lose fat/weight. I was hungry much of the time because I wasn't eating real foods or getting enough protein or meeting many of Weight Watcher Good Health Guidelines.

What I love about Core is that it, mostly, focuses on real, healthy foods - whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy products, and healthy oils. Note: This is not a complete list nor does it list some of the restrictions; that would be infringing on WW copyright. I still have those "extra Points" for wine, martinis, and carrot cake.

For this post, I wanted to share my recipe for granola. It is adapted, as most of my recipes are, from a combination of other recipes.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 c. cream of wheat
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

Mix together and add

1 cup SF syrup, any flavor (I've been doing a half-cup of Davinci sugar-free hazelnut and a half-cup of sugar-free vanilla)

Mix well, spread into a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with a healthy oil (I use canola) and bake at 275 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes of so. It's done when the granola is crunchy and dry, but be careful not to burn it.

Cool well. Divided into six one-cup servings, each counts as half a dairy serving.
Oooh! Look! Pictures!

I just picked up some sugar-free cinnamon syrup and will be trying it next.

My dear friend, Kay, at Gobstruck is blogging about eating clean and focusing on whole foods these days. Be sure to check out her blog.