Tea with Links

Just catching up on the internets and sipping some tea. Oh Sundays are so wonderful, aren't they?

I've been dying to make these Sweet and Sour Cucumbers from fitsugar.

I've also had my eye on this Pesto Squash recipe from allrecipes.com. Although on this one, I would cut the pesto in half.

Does it cost too much to be thin? (From The Daily Dish)

Without healthcare reform, health insurance premiums could double by 2020.

Yes, alcohol affects your sleep, but you probably didn't know that.

Healthy You Challenge Check In #14


It feels really good to have my activity minutes back up for the whole week. This morning at the gym, I rocked out on the elliptical to the latest Gossip album and had a great time. In a gym. Before 7am. Having fun. What's happening to me?

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Now for this week's weigh in:

Starting Weight (5/13/09): 320 lbs.
Last Week's Weight: 304.8 lbs.
Current Weight: 303 lbs.

Weight lost this week: 1.8 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 17 lbs.

I'm so close to being out of the 300's I can taste it. The 300's can kiss my ass.

Smart Shopping Checklist

Yesterday I went to the grocery store near my house, and it took hours. Hours and hours and hours. I knew what I needed for the most part; however, between quitting meat, avoiding high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, trying more organics, etc., it takes so long to evaluate any new item I might want to try. Each product needs it's own deliberation. Either I can buy only things I've already bought and evaluated in the past, or I need to block off my entire Sunday afternoon for food shopping.

Neither of these plans seem exciting. I want to try new foods, but I want to get out of the store in a reasonable period of time. So I need a good checklist that I can take with me and go over quickly with each new food I encounter. I'm not talking about a grocery list of foods to buy. I usually go with one in hand. I'm talking about a list of questions to ask myself before I plop something new (or something old that I haven't had in a while) in my shopping cart.

Drop150's Smart Shopping Checklist:

1. Does it contain high fructose corn syrup? If yes, don't buy it.

2. Does it have trans fat or list "partially hydrogenated," "hydrogenated vegetable oil," or "shortening" on the ingredients list? If yes, don't buy it.

3. Is there a reasonable organic alternative?

4. Is it pescetarian? (Does it have meat, gelatin, animal fats, cochineal, rennet, or Carmine (Cochineal, E120, Natural Red 4, or C.I. 75470)? If yes, don't buy it.

5. Does the cheese contain enzymes are microbial or vegetable-based? Other cheeses might not be pescetarian.

5. Are the eggs from cage free chickens?

6. For dairy, is there a soy alternative?

7. Is there a whole grain version?

What are the questions you ask yourself when you shop? What other foods or ingredients do you avoid? Please share so I can refine this list before I try it out in a few weeks.