Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Livin' La Vida Lean Cuisine


My dinner invitation from Ann via Twitter notwithstanding, mealtime has been pretty uneventful around This D*mn House. To sum it up, we've been Livin' La Vida Lean Cuisine for several weeks now.

It's due in part to 1) Carole is dieting and 2) When you work full-time at a job to pay the bills and at least part-time on house projects, meal preparation is not high on the priority list. Or at least it's not for me.

While I'm an aspiring "Barb" Vila, Betty Crocker I'm not. And I'm less likely to ever be so on evenings like tonight where my plans are to mix mortar for the porch, not recipe ingredients. (Instead, open freezer. Open package. Open microwave. Push button. Voila! Dinner.)

Since mom is actively changing her "all junk, all the time" lifestyle, how can I not be supportive? It's hilarious to hear her obsessively query calories and fat grams. She asks how many calories one of my favorite LC meals has (Swedish meatballs). When I say 300, she gets this concerned look and says, "Oh, that's bad." I just laugh. (By contrast, an Arby's regular roast beef sandwich has 394 calories and nearly twice as much fat.)

I try hard not to bring home things that she would be tempted by or to eat bad things in front of her that she might want. In fact, I've gone out of my way to identify low-fat or fat-free things she might like, make sure we have a healthy supply of fresh fruits on hand, just lots of thought and prep work. And since she is dieting and still hasn't been feeling well, it's kind of unfair to expect her to cook on a regular basis. So, the Freezer Queen Liveth.

It also means that I, too, have been dieting. That's not an entirely bad thing. I had some severe leg muscle strains last fall while painting the house and that sent me to the doctor. My cholesterol was high for the first time in my life. (Not overly so. I think it was 130-something which is borderline, but high for my age apparently.) And, I weighed as much as I ever have in my life. Freaked me out as I had been working like a dog for six months straight. One would think the scale would be moving downward. Of course, doing all that work led me to have drive-thru dinners 5 or 6 times a week, and snack like mad on less than healthy stuff during breaks. Or just not eat at all one day and gorge the next.

Therein lies the rub, as Bill S. would say.

While Carole occasionally derails, she has lost 13 pounds! I had shed about 8 pounds toward the end of last year, gaining a few back over winter, and I've lost 5-7 more in recent weeks. (Even five pounds -- in either direction -- can make a lot of difference when you're short.) I hope to burn off 10 more between diet and, well, working on the house. Maybe it's not such a bad life after all ...

Viva La Vida Lean Cuisine!

6 comments:

notsosahm said...

My love of cooking goes in phases. There are some times when I really love being in the kitchen. Then there is most of the time when, like you, I'm so engrossed in a project I'd just rather snack on whatever might be laying around. Alas, with three other mouths to feed that are actually demanding life-sustaining sustenance I have to get resourceful.

Rock on with the Lean Cuisine! Fast and low cal :)

notsosahm said...

My love of cooking goes in phases. There are some times when I really love being in the kitchen. Then there is most of the time when, like you, I'm so engrossed in a project I'd just rather snack on whatever might be laying around. Alas, with three other mouths to feed that are actually demanding life-sustaining sustenance I have to get resourceful.

Rock on with the Lean Cuisine! Fast and low cal :)

MonkeyGirl said...

My thoughts - 1) kitchen tables are used as a place to hold your briefcase 2) the only purpose of a fridge is to keep my ice cream from melting and to keep my beloved diet sodas cold 3) microwaves are for making popcorn. I guess it is good thing I married a guy who know how - and more importantly - likes to cook!!

NV said...

Notso and MG -- SO glad to know that I am not the only anti-Betty Crocker though I come from a long line of great cooks.

I CAN use power tools though. :-)Genetic blunder?

MonkeyGirl said...

I like to claim that I can't cook but my hubby points out that I really can do it and do it well. Doesn't matter - I don't like it and my only prowess with power tools relates directly to using them on big orange veggies!!

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