Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bastard Brownies: Dastardly Delicious

By now you know about, ahem, so-called "slutty brownies." I think Jessica Simpson was all about them when she was preggers or something? Anyhow, I finally decided to avoid doing any real work this afternoon by making some of my own. Also, I changed the name to Bastard Brownies because I think women get the shaft in that there are too many crappy names for us and not enough for men. (I would've called these Asshole Brownies, but the imagery...just wasn't right.)

The basics are the same for any Bastard Brownie you want to make:

• Press readymade chocolate chip cookie dough into the bottom of greased muffin tins
(I used tinfoil cupcake papers)
• Add your favorite candy item
(I used chocolate covered pretzels, for my husband, and peanut butter chips, for me)
• Top with a couple dollops of whipped-up boxed brownie mix so the tins are about 3/4 of the way full
(I nearly topped them off completely because I'm excessive like that)
• Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes
(I did 22 and they were perfecto-chewy)

The result: A surprisingly not-overpoweringly sweet (plus a little salty because of the pretzel) treat that will get me many brownie points (har har) with the husband later tonight. He is going to die of them.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free online sites for tracking calories (a.k.a. What I Ate Today)

I'm a list-maker. A planner. A make-a-checkbox-just-so-I-can-feel-awesome-when-I-put-a-checkmark-in-it type. (Write mommyblog post—check, muthafuggah!) So I've always found food logs to be helpful when I'm trying to get a handle on my eating. (For more background, feel free to dig around for details here.)

That's why, a few weeks ago, I dusted off my Livestrong MyPlate membership (not a fan of the wife-and-kids-leaving, secretly doping cyclist Lance Armstrong, but hey, his site is free) so I could start to track what I'm eating. The site's design is a hot mess, and it's not super user-friendly, but it has the best and easiest-to-search calorie database I've come across.

I haven't been too rigid about logging my food—and, like showering, it's a task I'm often too busy to tackle daily, but it's still been helpful. One thing it helped me realize? When I snack mindlessly (which, by the way, has been much less likely now that I'm working from home instead of in an office) I can easily take in 500 extra calories. D'orp! Maybe that's why I've still got these 30 pregnancy pounds on me.

Other free food-tracking sites if you feel like getting on the food-tracking train:

Here's what I ate today, if you're curious:
Bfast: Dr. Praeger's Broccoli pancake, egg white mug-omelet (I'll explain someday), double-fiber wheat toast with butter
Lunch: Cucumber/tomato/feta salad with grilled chicken and two steamed artichokes (had to eat them up before they went bad. Can't waste money on rotting veggies anymore now that I don't have an office job, y'all!)
Snack: Deep Chocolate Vita Top (bomb diggity)
Dinner: On tonight's menu are Shake-and-Baked pork loin chops, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
Dessert (a must!): Skinny Cow vanilla caramel cone

Yes, this is a new health kick and does not reflect the butter-and-ice-cream plan I've been on for the past year.

photo: flickr/aroid

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't believe the "breastfeeding diet" hype!

Okay, so here's the deal: Despite the fact that I'm a longtime health editor who should've known better, I totally believed the hype about breastfeeding. You know, the stuff about how it's the fastest, easiest, drop-a-million-pounds-in-a-month fat-burner and that no matter how much weight you pack on it'll melt away as long as you whip out your boobs for your kid.

I'm not too worried about weight generally (read more about why here), but thanks to my celebrity-news habit, I truly believed that if I just breastfed my baby like I planned to anyhow, the 50 pounds I gained would quickly and naturally slide off my body like cheesy eggs from a really buttered English muffin like the ones I ate all the time while I was pregnant.

But no.

Sure, I lost an initial 20 pounds within six weeks of having Lil' P (8 of that actually was Lil' P)—but the scale hasn't budged since. Nine months after giving birth to the best little girl in the world, I'm still up 30 pounds from my normal number and ain't nothin' going on in the weight-loss department.

Not that I've tried especially hard, that is. I'm just so darn hungry! I got so used to giving myself anything and everything I even thought about eating—Frozen pizza! Ice cream cones! Hostess lemon pies! Entenmann's raspberry twist danish!—that going back to a more reasonable way of noshing just sounds boring. Blergh.

That reminds me...gotta go pump!

Yay to Jenna Fischer and Jennifer Garner for admitting that breastfeeding didn't do a darn thing for their figures.
Thbbbt to celebs who work out like fiends, diet their asses off, and then tell the world they lost the baby weight "just by breastfeeding!" Kill.

photo: flickr/denizen24