We have had quite a bit of cool weather around here. When the air turns breezy and smells fresh, I become obsessed with baking and cooking. I guess after such long, hot months, it is nice to enjoy warm food again. Also, due to my diet we really do not eat out except after church and on Wednesdays when Lydie and I spend the day in Birmingham and have lunch together. I find it embarrassing to have to say, "I'll take a grilled chicken salad. But the chicken can not be grilled with any oil or butter- it has to be grilled dry. And no salad dressing. And only spinach, cucumbers, and onions." I hate being that girl. So I cook a lot. And consequently, clean the kitchen a lot. :)
This past month I have cooked rich casseroles, baked with pumpkin (chocolate chip pumpkin muffins are a favorite), made steamy cinnamon swirl cake, an apple pie, and created new soup recipes. The children are enjoying chili for the first time ever. The secret? 2 teaspoons of sugar (per crock pot) and sauteed onions. Apparently it makes a real difference. Who am I kidding, of course, it does. It's butter and sugar!
It sounds like the kids eat junk all the time. But really they only have a dessert one or two evenings a week. And we usually have one casserole a week, and the other nights I try to make a lean protein with veggies. They do love carbs at breakfast (waffles, muffins, pancakes) but I try to serve appropriate portions with fruit. Remember when you counted your baby or toddler's servings of fruits, veggies, dairy, etc.? That habit never went away with me. I find myself telling them, skip the chips for yogurt, you need another dairy. Or skip the crackers for nuts, you need another protein. Is that silly? And do you feel like you are constantly reminding your kids to drink another glass of water?
The most ironic part of all of this baking is that I can not eat a single thing that I am making! My diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, and 6 ounces of fish, chicken, or beef each day. (Plus lots of water and gum!) I haven't had a carb, milk/cheese, or any sugar in 35 days. And I have only had snippets of caffeine in the occasional unsweetened tea. Isn't that stifling? But I have 21 pounds of weight loss as reward. And those pounds propel me to keep inching forward. I don't want to have this attitude forever, because I do not think it is what God ultimately intended for us...but right now food is just a means of energy (and not enough!), and nothing more. Because I have been so disconnected to taste and the feeling of being full, I am able to still enjoy watching my family eat all the goodies. Some how instead of torture, it's very gratifying.
I think in order to reach my ultimate goal at a moderate pace, this will be my way of life until December. So no fall goodies for me! I just keep repeating to myself: No more belly fat! No more belly fat! The belly and I have been enemies for a while and I am determined to win this battle once and for all! And in the meantime, I am going to enjoy happy, crumby-faced kids, yummy smells, and good times in the kitchen baking with my kids. And if I'm lucky, I'll dream of feta cheese again. I mean that literally.