Monday, May 2, 2011

Pucker Up, Buttercup

198.2 lbs. Time for a shake up.

While in line at Trader Joe’s (more on the reason in a minute), the lady ahead of me had a young daughter who was buy taking the stickers she had just been given (Flag stickers today) and was sticking them all over the back of her mother’s skirt. The mom looked at me and said, “I know what’s going on back there” and kind of sighed. The kid looked at me as if to say, “Ha Ha.”

 I told her, “You know, Santa Claus is watching you.” She paused. The mom looked. The girl asked, “What?”

 I said, “Santa Claus is watching you. He watches ALL YEAR LONG.” The mom looked at me in a “that’s brilliant!” sort of way. The kid was skeptical.

“How does he watch?” She thought she had me.

“He has security cameras all over the world.” Thank God, technology has finally caught up to where we can explain this. “And he’s tapped in to listen on all the phone calls and email.” I thought the clerk was going to choke, she was trying so hard to suppress a laugh. The mom jumped in.

“You know, he told the soldiers where to find Bin Laden.”  Oooh, timely and brilliant.

The little girl’s eyes got big. “Was he on the naughty list?”

“He was the king of the naughty list.”

She immediately picked up all the stickers and handed them to her mom. After that, Stepford Child, she was so well-behaved.

I actually snarled at Torquemada today. I feel bad about it; the woman was just trying to do her job. The situation was a workout that was actually a series of physically punishing tests; variations on calisthenics that have been upgraded to maximize them for the modern workout. (The rumor is that these were developed by the CIA and tested on renditioned detainees. It’s how they were able to get the info on Bin Laden’s courier. I would have told them where to find the bastard and I had no idea where he was.) There was one that I had gone as far as I could, she said, “I know you can do more” and that’s when I snapped, “I can’t and I think I would know!” 

The current plateau has me frustrated and angry to tears. It was a sudden uptick and has stubbornly refused to yield. I have gone along with all suggestions for diet and exercise. Zip. While I see muscle definition in my legs (Don’t worry, I won’t inflict a picture on you), I’m doing this to see the scale go down. Period.

One of the things I’ve done on this adventure was to eliminate sugar from my diet (as much as possible). When I started HCG, the instructions were to substitute stevia or Xylitol. I went with stevia. It’s plant-derived. Luckily, I was able to find flavored liquid stevia, so the black coffee tasted pretty good (English Toffee, Chocolate and Vanilla). I’m a big fan of tea, as well. Black tea has theanine, an amino acid that reduces mental and physical stress (still learning to love the green tea). Dr. Brain Chemistry highly recommends drinking tea. However, one of my favorite things is an Arnold Palmer: iced tea and lemonade.    I had let this one go because of the sugar in lemonade. Of course, I would get the venti (Italian for “big ass”) and substitute raspberry syrup for the usual sweetener. Not the healthiest thing to drink, surely, but it tasted damned good.  However, since I’m taking my health seriously, it had to go.

Trader Joe’s to the rescue. (Sound of a cavalry charge) Low calorie lemonade (yellow and pink) MADE WITH STEVIA! 

First of all, if you’re going to buy pre-made iced tea, the Trader Joe’s Kettle Brewed is the best, bar none. Good , rich flavor that thumbs its nose at ice cubes. I have previously mixed it with their lemonade (I found that their pre-mixed Organic Iced Tea and Lemonade wasn’t as good as blending the Kettle Brewed and their regular Lemonade). When the Fearless Flyer mentioned their new low-calorie lemonade, I had to do the research.

Trader Joe’s shoots and scores with this one. Pleasingly tart and only 40 calories the one question was how it would pair with the iced tea?

Let the bells ring throughout the land: the slipper fits. We have a match.

In a related matter, one of the recommendations I’ve got many times was to drink water with lemon in it. It’s helpful to flushing toxins from the body, contains Vitamin C and potassium, just good for you. Most of my water consumption has been through small-necked Dasani and Smart Water bottles that don’t accommodate a lemon wedge. At the grocery store the other day (Ralph’s which translates into Krogers in the Midwest), I found something called “True Lemon,” which is crystallized lemon juice. I have been adding packets to my water and even sprinkled some on some chicken I slipped into the George Foreman grill. Really good stuff and portable. Starbucks doesn’t provide lemons when you buy tea; now you can add them yourself. True Lemon comes in packets.

Now, if only sugar-free chocolate wasn’t so disgusting…

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