Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Low Salt, Low Carb, Low Calorie, and Low BS

So, in the midst of trying to save money, trying to pay things down, we've been screwing up a bit.  A JUICER here, a new crock pot there.  The juicer, while nice, isn't a necessity, and I'm really beginning to feel we shouldn't have gotten it just now--maybe saved that purchase for down the road a bit.  But hubby was inspired, he really wanted to try it, and it was pretty majorly on sale.  But still.  Now I feel obligated to push him to make juices because, otherwise, it's just a lump of cash on the counter, one of a million "used for a few weeks" juicers out there.

If you're in the market, it's a Cuisinart, and it does make super-nice juice, with pretty dry pulp.  No, I'm not trying to sell this one, just saying that if you're looking for a juicer and you can't afford a 600 dollar Breville, this one's good.  Here's a more DETAILED REVIEW.

The crock pot I feel better about.  While it won't save us any money on spaghetti sauce (in fact, it costs more to make at home), it does knock the sodium back by 75% over jarred sauce.  That's important to me, because I really struggle with keeping my sodium under 2,000 mg a day.  Plus, making our own Mexican beans at home IS markedly cheaper.  Make them in the crock pot, spice them up, then freeze them.  They're muy tasty, and a whole lot less expensive.

The gadget counter.  Funny, they all look very small in this picture.

Notice the dirty spoon?  That's for stirring the drastically lower-sodium homemade primavera/arrabiata sauce.  Here's a list of the ingredients and their nutritional information (we entered it as a recipe last night on My Fitness Pal so we can use it repeatedly without having to re-enter the information).  You can, of course, add whatever you want, but try not to add salt--sort of defeats the purpose:

Also, watch those red pepper flakes--they can heat up a vat of sauce in a big hurry!  Remember--less is more, you can always add more later.


Our boy is feeling very self-conscious about his weight and appearance, specifically when it comes to going to the pool.  While he's certainly not obese (like his mom), he could stand to lose 20 lbs according to his doctor, and I agree.  However, it's hard to get a 15 year old to stop eating the crap--or, more specifically, it's hard to get him to start eating the good stuff.  The sheer volume of food we wind up throwing away because he only picks at it?  Upsetting.  But we keep trying, because it's important.  You see, he was a freakishly picky child--so picky that we couldn't even take him to restaurants because he wouldn't eat anything on the menu.  No beef (that's okay), no pork (that's okay), no chicken unless it was breaded and baked or fried (but had to be REAL chicken, no parts-is-parts chicken), no green veggies, no beans, no rice.  He would eat bread and fruit.  And, as a result, he was incredibly skinny (like boney-skinny) until he was 11 years old.

When he finally decided that he actually liked pizza.

And we, in our foolish joy that he was suddenly able to eat at birthday parties and the like, encouraged him!  Try pizza with this, try it with that!  Try THIS--it's pasta, and it's really just pizza in noodle form!  

Boy, aren't we stupid?

Anyway, he announced last night that he wants to go to the pool alone.  And that brings with it new worries.  Because those ratty children in this neighborhood scare me.  What if they follow him?  What if they hassle him?  

Or follow him to the pool and ridicule him?

What if they attack him?  No, I'm not overreacting, one of the rat children attacked another boy just a couple of weeks ago, beat him and strangled him.  

I think I'll let him walk up, call me when he gets there so I know he made it okay, and then his dad can pick him up on his way home from work.  That will put our boy at the pool later in the day, which will reduce his sun exposure (skin cancer mommy doesn't like him getting baked), and it will have him NOT walking home later in the day.  

Oh, and before you think I'm being completely smothering, the pool is over a mile away.  It's not like I'm worried about him walking around the corner.  

I think he's hoping to make friends, and, while that would be great, I really fear that the rats in the neighborhood will spoil that pretty quickly.  It's happened before--the new kids turns out to know the rats, and they pressure him to stop hanging with our boy.  One kid in the face of a group of bullies?  Not many will brave those bullies to hang out with the "loner."  Who is only a loner because he's been excluded and put outside.  

Well, and because he doesn't want to hang out with kids who kill small animals and beat the hell out of other kids.  

We'll see.  Cross your fingers.


Saw a ridiculous meme come across my wall today:  

Okay, first off--seriously?  Let's be real here--Christ isn't the default position (if you think it is, look at India, the Middle East, or many Asian countries some time).  Children don't need to be taught NOT to believe in Jesus because that is the natural state-- NOT believing is normal, natural, and how we're built.  In order to produce people who don't embrace a particular mythology, all you have to do is avoid teaching that mythology as "fact."

Like they say--if you don't indoctrinate them by the age of seven, you almost certainly won't be able to.  My wonderful boy?  I read the bible to him, Old and New, before he was ten.  When I got to the story of Moses and the burning bush, he said, "Hang on--now God's a BUSH that's on FIRE and TALKS?  PLEASE!"  He demanded to see the book, thought for sure I was making it up.  After reading it, he looked up and said, "Nobody really believes this, do they?"


And that's about it, I guess.  Time to wake that boy up and find out who stole my dark chocolate bars.  

Here.  Have something ugly!



  1. Crock pots are cheap and you can make a lot of inexpensive things in them, so that's a good investment.The juicer? Well, juice is expensive, smoothies are expensive, and making them at home is healthier.

    I discovered that flat bread pizza is easy and delicious. Most of the calories from pizza are in the crust, so it's much less fattening that way. I used those "Flat Out" wraps, which are dull and flavorless, but with a little sauce and a lot less cheese, they tasted great! You could probably use your lavash that you already love, and the sauce you're making at home. The boy might get a kick out of making it himself, and he can try out different toppings, and bonus, it's like home-ec class, he'll come out of it with a recipe he can use when he lives on his own. Grilled zucchini, carmelized onions, roasted garlic, pesto sauce, oh, and low-fat mozz is stretchy and fun when melted!

  2. He loves making homemade pizza, and I've considered seeking out some of the lower-calorie naan-type breads. He already likes making little "personal pizzas" on slices of garlic bread/Texas toast. The cheese, though? He's a cheese snob, I don't think he'll go for just low-fat mozzarella, though we could probably cut the parmesan and asiago with that. What I've done is cut him back to pizza once every two weeks. Now what I need to watch for is what he fills that gap with, you know? Another problem is his sodium intake--he will drench anything from popcorn to salad in Old Bay and other sodium-heavy things. I'm thinking it's time for a sodium 'reset.' I did that when I was 15--just stopped adding salt to anything, stopped eating salty snacks, etc., and after a few months my whole perception of salt had changed. Even now, I can't eat fast food fries with salt--they taste like chemicals.