" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

December 1, 2007

Taming the Insane Cravings Monster

It's no secret. I have a sweet tooth. I can remember my very first taste of hot fudge. I was a very small, about 3 or 4 years of age, child. After that I would no longer be satisfied by just a plain ice cream cone at the Tasty Freeze. It had to be, at the very least, dipped in chocolate. But my preference, by far, was a hot fudge sundae. Always.

However, as a child I was not fat. I was very active, playing outside most of the day weather permitting. And I was not a big eater. Mostly, I filled up on milk at mealtime. The scenario was this...sit down to a meal, quite hungry...reach for the big cold glass of milk mom always poured for me. Begin drinking and don't stop until it is empty or almost empty. By the time my food was allocated to my plate, I was no longer hungry.

I really didn't gain weight until I went on an unnecessary diet. Thinking I was fat, I did the, back then, drastic, in my opinion, Weight Watchers diet...which required me to eat 2 ounces of animal protein at breakfast, 4 ounces at lunch and 6 ounces at dinner. Geesh...that's as much meat as I ate in a week. I was not a big meat eater, ever. And that liver I had to eat once a week...yuk. And sugar was absolutely forbidden. And corn, peas, potatoes...all those starchy veg were counted as bread, and the daily allowance was 2 slices or the equivalent.

I didn't last very long on that diet. A short time later I developed gall stones....I found out in the late 1980's that a drastic change in diet can cause gall stones, so likely the diet was the culprit. Around that time a friend of mine did Weight Watchers...and yep...she got'em too...had to have surgery to remove her gall bladder. By then they were doing the laparoscopy procedure...mine was the old fashioned, cut you from "stem to stern" almost, and it took six weeks to fully heal and a year to recuperate.

I didn't really get fat until the late 1990's...when I started the low fat diet...thinking if it was fat free I could eat as much as I wanted. Wrong. All I achieved is becoming fatter and possibly insulin resistant.

I did Weight Watcher's again in 2002, achieving a 50 pound weight loss, 18 I lost on my own, then the other 32 I lost doing the WW Flex plan....a more realistic and doable plan in my opinion.

But about a year into maintenance I began gaining...gained 10 pounds...and it wouldn't budge. Decided to live with it....then 2 years later I gained another 20 pounds...it wouldn't budge either following the WW plan.

So, I devised my own plan and it is working...slowly, but working and is "livable"...I could do it forever with no problem.

Finally to the point of this post.....a couple of the ways I'm satisfying my sweet tooth without too much damage to the calorie tally at the end of the day.

The first is not a recipe, but food you can purchase at the grocery store. Basically I have a cup of 25 calorie hot chocolate...if you haven't tried it, do...I was skeptical...but it tastes just as good as any of the instant cocoa's and the calories are almost nil...with that cocoa I have 2 Nutri-Grain frozen waffles...the low fat whole grain ones, each is 70 calories. I pop them into the toaster and when they are hot and crispy and golden I spray them with some liquid butter, drizzle with just the tiniest bit of honey and then sprinkle with some granular Splenda and some cinnamon. It's just like eating, almost, 2 giant, hot, chewy cookies. Yum.

The next sugar tamer requires some cream cheese, walnuts and a 45 calorie Kraft sugar free pudding cup.

Measure 1 tablespoon each of regular cream cheese and fat free cream cheese, or alternatively you can use the light cream cheese or fat free if you prefer, into a small 1/2 cup Pyrex type dish. Nuke this about 8 seconds...just long enough to soften. Stir in about a teaspoon of Splenda or your choice of sweetener and about 7 grams of walnut pieces..this is about 50 calories worth, a scant tablespoon I guess you could say. Then smooth this to make a level layer in your dish. Top with your favorite pudding...mine is the Caramel, which tastes like butterscotch to me. Chocolate is good too. Then top with whipped topping. The calorie count on this will vary with your ingredients, but mine is 45 for the pudding, 50 for the nuts, 65 for the cream cheese, and 40 for the whipped topping, for a grand total of 200 calories. This dessert is insanely good...at least I love it...perhaps you will too. And with some tweaking you could bring the calorie count down, by using less topping and all fat free cream cheese.

Update: I weighed myself on Tuesday and discovered I'd lost another half pound for a total loss of 5.1....this is over a nine week period, so I' m losing about a half pound a week which is wonderful for me. I've had Thanksgiving during that time and several trips and special occasions when I ate more than my daily 1600 calorie allotment...so I'm a happy camper!
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.