All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Fun Family Sunday !

Posted by Susan on September 6, 2009

We had a blast at my mother in law’s today. A lot of food and laughter as usual. The party began outdoors but moved inside on account of bees and it was really chilly out there ….. for me at least !

By the time the party got underway it was after 1:00 and I hadn’t eaten since 8:00 so I was starving !

We had some munchies until dinner was served . I had some , but didn’t want to go crazy just because I was hungry , so I snacked and walked away (far away ) from the table so I didn’t go overboard before dinner was even served !

For snacks we had some crab salad, it was delicious !

Along with chips and dips ……..

As I mentioned ……… I did indulge !


Finally dinner was served.

My sister in law made her famous Notorious B.I.G. Salad ……….. No matter the occasion, all of us request she bring this salad ! It is amazing. A bunch of chopped veggies, apple, dried cranberries, sometimes almonds, sometimes walnuts, and feta cheese. It is the best salad ever !

This was my plate. I has a little bit of everything ( more than a little salad). In having a little of everything I was able to get a taste of all that was offered , so I didn’t feel deprived. The one thing I cam extremely careful of is over eating. It literally makes me sick. I feel bloated, and gross and usually end up with heartburn. Having made the mistake so many times I am extra careful to try to listen to my body and obey the signals when it is trying to tell me I’ve had enough.


For dessert , my special brownies ! I like them chewy as apposed to cake like so that is how I always make them. I also like them frosted because that is how my Mom always made them.

This is what the end of my meal looked like ! And it was worth every single calorie ! Yes is is big, and yes I ate the entire thing !!!!!

Right now it is about 6:00 and I am still full so I doubt I will eat anything else for the remainder of the night . (maybe a lite snack later, maybe not) The plan for this evening is to relax , watch some TV and get to bed !
Nothing planned for tomorrow. I am looking forward to sleeping in, and having a relaxing last day of freedom !
Have a happy everyone !

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Posted in family, food, holiday weekend | 3 Comments »

Best Day Ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Susan on August 17, 2009

If I could manufacture the perfect day, today would have been seriously close to it !!! My sister and niece are off this week and were planning a day at the beach. I live in a lake community, as I mentioned before, my sister lives in one also about 1 mile down the road from me.

I was feeling really bummed about the prospect of going to work today after the crappy Friday I had last week, so I decided to ditch work, fake a migraine and go to the beach today ! I rarely call in because I am always afraid I will get sick and won’t have the paid time, but I think I was in need of a definite mental health day , so I went for it !

I got up early this morning, had some whole wheat toast with a smear of reduced fat peanut butter, then did my Monday workout. I did 30 min. circuit training, 10 min. ab circuit, and 30 min. HIIT on the treadmill.

Since I had extra time this morning, I decided to make protein pancakes ! I haven’t made them in a long time, I forgot how good they tasted and how filling they are. They’re made with oats, egg whites, and fat free cottage cheese, a little vanilla, and a little cinnamon. They are amazingly good. I usually have them with a few spritzes of Olivio butter spray.

By 10 am we were off to the beach ! It was gorgeous today ! Although it was hot and sunny the breeze off the lake made the heat bearable. So did jumping into the lake every now and then !

I snacked on an apple between sunning and swimming.

My sister and niece , playing in the lake.


Around 12:30 pm we decided to have some lunch. I shared most of mine with my niece ! I had a whole grain sandwich thin, with a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese inside, and some wheat stix.

A peach that I shared with Kate (niece).

A 100 calorie bag of chocolate marshmallows , that I shared with both Kate and my sister.
Around 2:30 pm the beach was getting crowded and we’d had enough sun, so we took one last swim and headed back to my sister’s house for a treat !


My sister made us all ice cream cones with Edy’s Sugar Free Cookies and Cream Ice Cream ! It was the perfect ending to a fun day !

Here’s my cone, I only had one serving ( 1/2 cup ). It was just enough ! I had a treat without over doing it !

I finally got home around 3:00 pm, tired and happy ! I took a shower and did some things around the house. I wanted to take a nap, but I was afraid it would interfere with tonight’s sleep so I just relaxed until dinner.

It is so warm tonight I was not in the mood for anything hot, so I made a big veggie salad and added some reduced fat cheese, and a 4 oz. chicken breast. It was perfect for a hot night ! I ate it out on my deck. ( I also added some sesame sticks and and some sunflower seeds to my salad to give it a little kick )


Dessert tonight was a throw back to my childhood. We always had cookies and ice cream for dessert on summer nights. So I made a more figure friendly version tonight. I had 1/2 cup of Fat free frozen yogurt, a drizzle of chocolate syrup. I took 4 sugar free chocolate peanut butter cookies and crushed them on top. ( the cookies are the size of a quarter , so 4 cookies probably equaled 1 average size cookie )
Amazing how some flavors can transport you back in time. This dessert definitely did the trick!
So my ditch day turned out to be just what the doctor ordered ! I feel relaxed and calm. I had fun with my two favorite ” girlfriends”, chatting and laughing , sharing lunches and swimming and sunning. I feel like I can go to work tomorrow in a much better state of mind.
I also felt very bold today ! I must be getting comfortable in my new body. I even walked to the bathroom in my swim suit ……. not shirt , no shorts , just me ! I never EVER would have done that a year ago !
All in all this was in all ways …….. the best day ever !!

Posted in beach, family, food | 8 Comments »

How Do I Do This ????????

Posted by Susan on July 20, 2009

I am half Italian and half Irish. My mother was Italian so most of my food influences came from that side of my heritage. When you came to my house for a family dinner there was more food than necessary. I was raised with the belief that if you came to my home to share a meal, you had to leave feeling stuffed to the gills with all types of rich yummy food plus several different decadent desserts or I haven’t done my job as a good hostess !

I was also a child in the 70’s. The era that introduced “convenience foods “. More and more women were working outside the home , with all of us kids in school all day, my mother also worked. I can remember our during the week dinners growing up . I remember frozen pizzas. Hot dogs with cheese wrapped in crescent rolls, with a side of tater tots, breakfast for dinner (pancakes, waffles, french toast). Not a vegetable in sight during the week !

On weekends, when my father was home, (he commuted during the week and didn’t get home until we were all in bed ) we would have the standard meat, veg., potato kind of meal on Saturday night, and some Italian dish at my grandparent’s house on Sunday afternoons.

These are the influences that shaped my eating habits as an adult. I am not dissing my upbringing in anyway ! My mom did the best she could, and at the time there wasn’t as much attention paid to the food groups, and getting kids to eat less processed stuff .

Over the years I’ve struggled to eat better. Slowly I’ve taught myself to enjoy vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I continue to try new things and to educate myself on the benefits of whole foods. At this point in my life, finally in my 40’s I am making headway, and actually (surprise ! surprise!) enjoy eating a cleaner diet. I am very aware of the way my body feels when it is fed “good food” as apposed to “bad food”. I feels sick , bloated and uncomfortable when I eat to much sugar and fat and usually suffer from acid reflux that makes sleeping almost impossible.

So the question to myself is this: Why do I serve food to guests that I would not eat ? Why do I feel that I have to bake a fattening dessert ( or 3 !), or make foods like macaroni salad with real mayo and white pasta, or white Hamburger and Hot dog rolls ???? On a usual day would I eat like that ……. not at all !

I understand that I can’t impose my eating habits on everyone around me, and that I can’t a total buzz kill when I have people over. At the same time I’ve committed myself to this lifestyle because, for me , there is a high return. I feel better, I look better, and these things , in turn, effect all other aspects of my life.

OK so here is my dilemma …….. How do I entertain guests and still stay true to myself and my lifestyle and not become the place no one ever wants to go for dinner because she serves nothing but “rabbit food” ?????

Would a nice fresh fruit salad really be more satisfying than a 3 layer chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting ? Would people miss the fatty stuff, or would they feel better for having lighter, less heavy, bloating meals ?

Or, should I balance it, serve a little of both, even though I would never eat these things on a regular basis ?

A problem that solution poses is cost ……. can I really afford to make double of everything so that I have good stuff and my guests can wrestle with their own consciences ????? Not to mention the amount of waste, although I try to give away the leftover fatty foods, most of the time I end up throwing it all out !

This is another example of the “old me” and the “new me” trying to level out and find some common ground. I hated the way I felt yesterday after dinner with my family ! I am to the point where I prefer the taste of healthier foods . And to be truthful , it is hard for me to choose the healthier option over the junk option when it is right there on the table staring at me !

Any suggestions ???? How do you juggle being a good hostess with your new found healthy lifestyle without alienating your family and friends ?

Posted in family, food, friends, healthy lifestyle | 5 Comments »