It’s a Post about Things!

by Alexa on August 14, 2013

Notable among my several July Goal failures was “Lose five pounds,” and it is not hard to see how I went astray, there. All month, I was uncommonly virtuous and healthful during the day, and methodically undid all that good work at night. You know that saying, “a lady on the streets, a freak in the sheets?” It is kind of like that, but with gluttony instead of uninhibited sexuality. Do you know what you will find in my sheets? Crumbs.

The good bit is that I have been cooking a lot. I love to cook, and because Scott can’t cook at all, he treats me like some French chef-y genius no matter how simple the meal I prepare, which is gratifying. My favorite things to make are recipes that are easy but SEEM fancy, and a good example of this would be Sole en Papillote, seen here before being all en Papillote-d:

In this particular instance we (Simone and I) put down some baby bok choy and some mushrooms (crimini? I can’t remember) and then salt and pepper, and then some sole (with long spindly fillets like sole I usually fold them in half so they fit and cook evenly) and then some thin slices of butter, a thin slice of lemon, and more salt and pepper. Then we crimped up the sides of the parchment paper and baked the packages at 425 for 10 minutes.

Now, the reason I like this sort of thing is that you can do exactly what I outlined above, or you can whisk together a little soy sauce, garlic, and ginger and drizzle that over and suddenly you have a sort of Asian version (switching out salmon for the sole and cooking a bit longer, if you like) or you can throw in some Dijon and a sprig of tarragon and put a little white wine, even, for a Burgundian version (maybe with asparagus instead of the bok choy), or you can mash up the butter with tandoori spice or curry powder before reforming/slicing it, and have an Indian version, or, or, or…you get the idea. Infinitely customizable, requiring no effort beyond “put things in stack on parchment, wrap up,” fun for children because of the “wee packages” element. Serve with rice or couscous or potatoes, voila!

The problem, alas, is that while my meals became much healthier in July, my snacking was unaffected. I go through snacking phases, you see. Some months I am fine, less dedicated to evening snacking, able to have a thimble-sized square or two of chocolate and call it a day, but what with finishing school and all, I’d been having a Stressful Time, and nothing soothes a person (assuming that person is me) during a Stressful Time like a snack. I don’t snack during the day (or if I do it is healthy and planned, usually cheese or almonds or something), but we eat dinner early, and I am up for a long time after that, and sometimes, once the children are finally asleep and I am able to relax for the first time all day I…go mad. I go mad, is what happens, and I want to eat everything that ever was—and I do, or at least everything that ever was in my cupboards. All the eating virtue I’d so easily practiced by day vaporizes in a cloud of, I don’t know, salt and cocoa powder. I know prevailing wisdom says to simply not keep unhealthy snacks in the house, but this underestimates my evening snack madness. If there is nothing in the house I will SEND SCOTT OUT at 8pm to buy me a bag of Spicy Thai potato chips, which I then proceed to consume in its entirety. I’m not proud of this, but there it is.

I tried having cheese and crackers, under the theory that, while not exactly low cal, it was better than an entire bushel basket of chips, and I ended up putting away a shocking amount of expensive bleu d’Affinois and about half a box of sea salt pita crisps (putting them away in my stomach, to be clear). I am not sure that a toddler’s-thigh-sized wedge of the sort of cheese that is juuust this side of butter was an improvement, frankly.

Now, snacking is mysteriously less appealing again, and I am not tempted by chips even when Scott texts me from the grocery store to see whether I want anything, which is really painting the devil on the wall. But this will not last forever, I know, and July made it clear that I need other ways to cope with stress/relax/reward myself. Or maybe I need some alternate snack plan, because it isn’t unreasonable that I might need to eat a little something post dinner, given what time we eat and how long after that I am awake. I like everyone eating all together, so I don’t really want to do the “kids eat first” thing, and Simone gets too hungry for dinner at eight six-thirty, and Twyla should really be in bed by seven anyway, and I usually end up sitting in bed WITH her while she falls asleep and after (a whole other story), so for now the early dinner/lots of sedentary evening leisure time situation is here to stay. Partly I really am hungry, and partly I am just idle handed and need something mindless to do while I sit with the sleeping baby and watch television/read, and partly the sudden relaxation has a sinister unmooring effect upon my brain. My neocortex slumps over, drooling with exhaustion, and the reptilian portion eagerly takes the reins, just drooling.

Any suggestions you have in this area much appreciated, unless they are of the “stop eating after a certain time!” or “snack on Healthful Fruit!” variety, in which case I will politely say Hello! Have we met?

(So far, all I have come up with is “popcorn.” Maybe that will work?)

We were listening to some oldies station the other day, and I would just like to ask: shouldn’t the fact that a girl is known as “Runaround Sue” be a red flag all on its own? Do you really NEED to be told to “keep away,” and that hey, guess what, she “goes out with other guys?” HER NAME IS RUNAROUND SUE. I’ll bet I can guess what the problem with Syphilis Sally is, as well.

Another of my Stress Relief Techniques is to watch Lifetime Movies, which I Tivo and save for my housework days—days when I have no help with Twyla and cannot do any writing work, and so instead focus on beating back the tides of household entropy. While I am folding laundry, or taking a break from some odious sorting task (culling/organizing Simone’s toys has been a particularly thankless job), I like to indulge in tales of stolen babies or teen prostitutes, tales I dole out in delicious 20-minute installments. Most recently, I watched Sexting in Suburbia, an especially fine example of the genre, the genre being “Lifetime Movies” but also, really, what I think of as “Maternal Consequence Cinema,” because let’s face it, the Lifetime Movie Network could just as easily be called DAUGHTERS IN PERIL! Surely no more complete cataloguing exists of the ways in which daughters might be imperiled: they become co-ed call girls! They get pregnant at fifteen! They sleep with danger!

Sexting in Suburbia opens with a despondent teen walking down a school hallway, despondent-like, cutting to shots of her working (obvs) single (obvs) mother dealing with a work emergency (taping up a leaking pipe before showing a house, as she is a spunky real estate agent). She is so busy, dealing with these work emergencies, that little does she realize there is another emergency afoot! Namely her daughter’s feet, dangling in the top of the shot when Mom returns home and opens the bedroom door.

After this chilling parable, we get backstory. It all started because of Cell Phones and the Internet (which is FOREVER! we are warned repeatedly). The now-dead girl sent a sext to her boyfriend and someone forwarded it to everyone else everywhere. Probably, we are shown, it was the Blonde Frenemy, who was overshadowed in all things by the dead girl, and who now suddenly is getting the dead girl’s field hockey scholarship.
But! It turns out that while the dead girl’s mom was too busy with her career (and too eager to be a cool, casual “friend” to her kid) to know that her daughter was suicidal, the Blonde Frenemy’s stay-at-home mom was so overinvested in her daughter’s life that, determined to thwart the girl overshadowing her daughter, SHE is the one who forwarded the “sext.” Of course as punishment, the fates take her daughter from her as well: after finding out what her mother did, the Blonde Frenemy storms off in the middle of a storm, and is sending an angry text to mom while driving when CRASH, coma, etc.

So be careful! Don’t be so selfish and work-y that you miss the Warning Signs and your daughter dies a horrible death, but also don’t be TOO wrapped up in your child, because then you’re basically deranged and something else horrible will surely happen. And all anyone will get out of any of it is some lame school-wide pledge to give up cell phones for the rest of the year. This message brought to you by DAUGHTERS IN PERIL! television for overwrought middle-class mothers.

You will remember that one of the July list items I did manage to check off was registering Simone for an activity: every morning for a week, my daughter attended Sports Camp at our local park. Simone loves Sports–she’d been clamoring for a “ball stand-upper” so we could play T-ball, and she and I frequently pass Sunday mornings at the park, when it is still cool and too early for other children to be out, giving us the place to ourselves. We play with our new ball stand-upper and shoot baskets and I hit whiffle balls over the fence for her to fetch and it is…fun. Really, really fun. When I was a child, “sports” and “camp” were probably the two things I hated most in the world, and the idea of combining them would have seemed diabolical, but as I get older I realize the thing I hated about sports was other people, and actually, I LIKE physical activity, even the sort that involves balls (oh HA HA) as long as there are no balls whizzing in my direction (For god’s sake, people) and no one is yelling at me, or watching me at all, or expecting me to be part of a team. I like solitary exercises of skill, basically, is what I am saying.

Simone, to my everlasting shock, takes things one step further and doesn’t seem to mind other people when it comes to Sports, and she did great at Sports Camp. We’d had only one other attempt at an organized activity for her, The 2011 Soccer Disaster, and in the day or two before Sports Camp was due to start she DID freak out and decide she didn’t want to go, and I–in a move that was very difficult for me–told her she had to, at least for the first day or so. A large part of me wanted to let her stay home, because SPORTS + CAMP, my god! Of course she didn’t want to go! Only a monster would make her! But I reminded myself that Simone isn’t me, she wasn’t nervous about the Sports part, she’d asked to sign up for this, and just because I have many terrible memories of mandatory anxiety-producing activities doesn’t mean that she will. And anyway, I wanted her to have the experience of being nervous about something and having it turn out to be fine, which I was 99% sure it would. So yes, I made her go. And sure enough, she ADORED it. Simone, I should mention, is basically the friendliest kid on earth, greeting any new group of people she runs across–on the street, say–with a cheerful “Hi, guys!”

So. Sports. Camp. My kid, who has my DNA in her. Will wonders never cease.

 

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee August 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Haha, diet advice. Oh, diets.

OK, so here’s my suggestion just based on what is working for me and advised by my eating-disorder specialist. (Binge eating disorder.)

More snacking earlier in the day.

What? WHAT?!

Yup. The ugly see-saw of virtuous-during-the-day, binging-at-night is actually set off by the restrictiveness you’re practicing and then rebelling against. (“Be a ‘good girl’!” “YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!”)

What my therapist advised me to do to avoid triggering binges is to have an eating pattern of: breakfast, then morning snack, then lunch, then afternoon snack, then dinner, then evening snack (if you want one). I was like, “What? So you’re saying I should always be eating?” And he said, “Pretty much.”

The key is to avoid feelings of deprivation, because that’s what triggers the binges later. So now I always have food with me for my dedicated snacking times. Usually in the morning, it’s a 100-cal package of Emeralds nuts (cocoa roast almonds are pretty amazing) and a string cheese. Protein! Then in the afternoon, it’s a granola bar. In between THOSE times, I eat fruit and veggies.

And here’s the thing: I don’t always even eat my granola bar in the afternoon, because I’ve been eating all the fruits/veggies and I’m not actually hungry. But it’s THERE, and if I’m hungry, I know I have it and I eat it.

I’ll still occasionally go on binges because of emotional things, but I’m no longer being set off by hunger or rebellion. And I’ve lost 40 pounds since January.

So that’s what worked for me.

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Robyn August 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I too tend to sabotage my healthy eating at night – often because I’ve had a glass or two of wine, which softens my resolve about pretty much everything and makes me feel like oh, pshaw, it’ll all be FINE, and who cares if I’m a little soft around the hips! It’s bohemian-ish, and sexy! In fact, let’s have another glass!

So I’ve made myself swear off alcohol Mon-Thurs, which helps.

Otherwise, popcorn is a great idea. Those flavored rice cakes (the little mini ones from Quaker), are also shockingly delicious and come in a variety of flavors (both sweet and salty) for not too many calories. If I’m just craving sweets, hot chocolate (or chocolate milk) is a somewhat satisfying alternative. A cup of tea sometimes (rarely) works, too. And all are belly-fillers, to varying degrees.

My only other trick is to do something that makes it difficult to eat. Take a bath, do sit-ups while watching TV (even just during the commercials), chew gum.

I will be following this thread for other ideas myself!

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nikwalk August 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I love this thing-y post.

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Gillian August 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I read on a blog something awesome about night-snacking – the girl had been very overweight, and felt The Guilt about her incessant night snacking, and would break the habit for a week at a time and then lose her resolve and eat All the Things. She was making no progress and feeling terrible about herself.

Eventually, she was like – Duuuuuude. I snack at night. I have always snacked at night. I always will snack at night. Trying to fight this is like swimming upstream. Silly. SO. She just started eating less in the day. Save up the calories for the night – snack to your heart’s content! And now she’s apparently much thinner, because of this self revelation.

I thought this was awesome. Much easier to go with your body’s flow than to try to trick yourself into doing things that don’t feel natural. Now a toddler thigh sized hunk of butter-cheese is still a toddler thigh sized hunk of butter-cheese – but perhaps if you just accept your night-snacking little self for who you are, don’t have it be forbidden or naughty but just one of the times of day that you eat – then maybe guilt will not drive you towards butter-cheese but instead towards a few demure slices of Swiss, some delicious wisps of prosciutto, Jacob’s cream crackers, and a glass of glorious wine. In other words, perhaps giving yourself permission to night-snack will make it easier to rein in the snack portions, as there will be no delicious guilt to goad you into “Oh well, might as well, since I broke the dam anyway.”

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Jane August 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

My daughter says that a movie cannot be considered as part of the Lifetime channel unless it includes the line, “Give me back my daughter!”

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Laura August 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I too enjoy a night snack so I adjusted my calories to allow for an after dinner treat. If I want to cut out the evening snack, I’ll brush my teeth after dinner and hope that acts as a trigger for me. There have been times when I actually went into the farthest room in my house to prevent food from magically popping into my mouth. It worked but I felt like I was being exiled.

Lifetime movies may be cheesy, but at least they are polite. The girl in question may have slept with danger but she was kind enough to ask “May I” first. My favorite remains “15 and Pregnant”, a movie I am sure Kirsten Dunst bold faces on her resume.

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kathleenicanrah August 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I’m not currently much of a snacker (pregnant, and food is currently acting like The Enemy), but when I’ve been in that place my low(er) calorie picks have been:
pickles (no calories! and crunchy and salty)
popcorn (seriously, it works as you can eat SO MUCH)
pop chips
100 calorie bags of the delicious ness that is 479 degree popcorn fanciness (sea salt caramel oh my gooooodness)
also, what everyone else said about eating less during the day, knowing I’m going to eat (and drink wine) at night. breakfast=blah. snacks=YES PLEASE.

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Brenna Jensen August 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I’m partial to sunflower seeds (still in the shell) for evening snacking. You have to do some work to get them out of the shell, so by design, you can’t eat them very fast. And they tear up your tongue/palate with the saltiness if you eat too many, so that’s kind of a built in STOP mechanism.

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Red Stethoscope August 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

The late night eating will probably get better when your school stuff is done. I say this from experience, as a medical student who reads about celebrities who say things like they don’t go into the kitchen after 6 p.m. To this, I respond, “Do you then stay awake for another 6 hours studying the pathogenesis of rare diseases in detail? I DIDN’T THINK SO.” So. Hopefully when there’s a little less nightly brain power required, it will get easier. As for healthy snacks, sometimes greek yogurt will work and if I force myself to eat a fruit (apple) or vegetable, I usually douse it with a very salty homemade dressing (hypertension, but not obesity…FTW!). I know that is not helpful, but I empathize!

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Cupcakekarate August 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I read somewhere that sometimes when you think you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty. So when I’m jonesing for a snack at night, I try to drink some water or tea first. If I still want something after, I ( try to) go for popcorn or a granola bar. I like popsicles an awful lot too. And raw cookie dough. Shit.

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Hebbie August 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm

For me, evening snacking is directly tied to sleep, or more aptly, a lack of sleep. I have adult issues with going to bed at the same time as the oldest kid (which would be oh-so-smart) so I stubbornly stay awake.

Over the years I’ve discovered that a bowl of cereal (say cheerios) equals about two hours of extra awake time. Likewise, some leftover brownies from a party, cheese, and some tea has me up until 2am (just like now).

Intriguingly, my weight stays essentially constant in spite of the evening snacking unless I’m stressed and on a deadline. During those times I need all the extra energy I can get and I snack more. Probably because I sleep even worse than usual. And that’s where I’ve been gaining weight over the years. (A talk or a conference can be either a one pound or a two pounder… go figure.)

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Hebbie August 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Gaaahhh… too tired to remember to mention that yes, I’ve heard the thing with the You’re actually thirsty, not hungry, but I don’t have the mental stamina at 9 pm to really deal with that.

Sleep Deprivation FTW!!!

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C August 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Well, I’m not a stellar advertisement at my current size/state of health, but I have found oatmeal to be an answer. It’s very, very filling, and it takes a minute to prepare, which slows me down. I add chocolate chips, which get all melty, and make it feel very luxurious (<= this may be where my weight loss plan goes awry. But I bet it would work in moderation. As what wouldn't? But I digress.)

Regardless, I am actually full after oatmeal, and that is an unusual and pleasant after-effect.

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Julia August 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

As usual, I love whatever you write.

So, the food thing. First, why not just embrace the nighttime eating thing if that’s what you need right now?

Related to that, and I’m not saying you hate your body or anything, but it was reading the book “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies” that made me ask questions of myself like the one above. Starting to reflexively ask those kinds of questions changed my perspective completely about food and weight and physical self. Anyway, it was life-changing for me, and it might be for you, who knows. Now that you’re done with school (yahoo! Congratulations!) maybe think about checking it out…

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jill August 14, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I am also a night eater and have decided I’m just going to embrace it and not eat so much during the day. I have a teeny breakfast and lunch and save the calories for evening. It’s only been two days, so I can’t really say if it’s going to work, but so far so good.

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Aunt Lee August 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I loved the part about Simone and sports. I remember when you used to tell us you wore your slippery shoes on physical education days so you wouldn’t have to run. :-)

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Melissa H August 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I was reading about the snacking feeling very pleased about knowing the answer the you said it yourself. Popcorn! It is perfect as long as you don’t do as I do and pair it with wine. Make sure to pop your own as it is 4000 times better than microwave. So basically I got nothin good luck!

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Mary Anne Mohanraj August 15, 2013 at 6:22 am

My default is to take a cup of decaf chai tea up to bed (with a good quarter cup of milk + Splenda) and then once I’m ensconced in bed and sipping that, my stomach fills up and laziness also kicks in. And then I read / work / watch tv in bed. If I drag myself out of bed and go downstairs to find food, I figure I’m really hungry, and I eat something solid-ish but small, like cheese. The Laughing Cow swiss wedges are good, especially paired with a sliced pear; that takes a while to eat too, which is a plus. Or cottage cheese with a lot of blueberries. Or a Fage Greek yogurt with its little enclosed bit of peach or cherry puree.

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velocibadgergirl August 15, 2013 at 7:54 am

I have no advice on the snacking thing since I’m basically nose-first into the trough as soon as my kids are in bed, but I loved this post about things.

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Claire August 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

My husband makes this popcorn in a paperbag — no chemicals and we can season how we like it. It’s awesome! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/plain-brown-popper-recipe/index.html

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Amy August 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I just love your writing. Thank you for this deliciously satisfying post. Maybe just reading it will cure my night-time snacking as well?

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Amy August 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I have the night-time snacking issue as well and would tend to agree with Gillian that it is easier to go with the flow of what your body wants, but kind of guide things a bit, than to struggle vainly against the tide (the tide that is inexorably pulling you toward the fridge/pantry, that is). My quasi-solution for this is twofold:
a) eat a bit less at dinner (especially of starchy and/or fatty things, since my late snack is likely going to be starchy, fatty or both); and
b) lay in a supply of single-serving ice cream bars that are yummy enough to feel like a treat but small enough to not negate my day of healthy eating. I like the Blue Bunny Cadbury bars, the Hood Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Target’s Market Pantry Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. All are in the 150-170 calorie range, which seems reasonable rather than decadent, and they’re all quite tasty.

Let me know if you end up giving them a try! Good luck!

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C August 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Oh snacking….my nemesis!! Suggestions about single serve this or that and lower calorie options (i.e. popcorn and mini rice cakes) are useless for me because I disregard portion size information and can consume ALL THE things. All. Of. Them. Go big or go home, right? Its not anything I’m proud of, and I struggle with it. My solutions are multifaceted, and by no means fool-proof:

1. Do not keep snacks in the house. My husband is sensitive to gluten so we’re largely devoid of snack-y things anyway (despite having a 2 and 4 year old).
2. Drink lots of water. Despite my ability to overcome fullness and eat a pint of ice cream or an entire bag of flavored rice cakes, a lot of water makes me feel bloat-y and that curbs feeding for me.
3. Thorough tooth brushing and flossing. My inherent laziness will usually prevent me from spoiling super clean teeth (and the mint flavor usually spoils the snacks for me anyway).
4. Avoid carbohydrates. This seems fad-y, and I guess it is, but if I can stick to a low(ish) carbohydrate diet than I don’t actually crave sweets or savory snacks. It’s a tough few days to get on that wagon, but once there I’m good (unless I fall off, and then I fall waaaay off). Luckily (unluckily?) my husband is very committed to a paleo-esque diet (I hate how stupid the name of that way of eating sounds) so our pantry/fridge/freezer is pretty devoid of temptation.

Good luck!!

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Tina August 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

I think the answer to your question in the first paragraph lies in the last paragraph: Battle the snack urge by filling up the ‘snacking hour’ with some exercise. Go for a walk, do pilates, yoga, whatever suits your personality. If you’re hungry later, try a bowl of healthy cereal.

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Leigh August 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I, too, am an Unathletic Person whose child is Very Athletic, and it constantly amazes me to watch her run and jump and do things with her limbs that I could never do. It’s kind of awesome, in the real sense of the word.

I must tell you that I tried to post this comment the other day, from work–I subscribe to your blog through Feedly–but when I tried to click through to comment, I was blocked. The message said my company had blocked your site because it had to do with “Illegal Drugs.” Ha! Who knew Spicy Thai potato chips were illegal?

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sheilah August 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I got the same warning which I thought was so stupid. Obviously, you keep your illegal drug activity SEPARATE from your Mommy blogging – duh!

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Amy Shaughnessy August 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

For some reason I ahve been unable to scroll through your blog for ages, but today was finally able to again. My theory is gremlins. Anyway, it’s been like a breath of springtime to read your posts again – I’ve missed you!

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Megan August 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Like a few others said, I’m not 100% sure I should be giving advice here, being that I basically played hooky from my Weight Watchers meetings last month, and am also seeking tips for The Snackage. BUT, knowing what works is different than actually doing it, so…
For me, the biggest issue is portion control, so in the halcyon days of Lifetime Membership, I bought only pre-measured treats: Mini Babybel Cheese from Laughing Cow, string cheese, single-serve applesauce cups, the snack-pack raisins, small bags of those flavored rice cakes. I think the kids’ aisle has kids-lunch-sized cheese crackers, right?
I also LOVED keeping hardboiled eggs in the fridge for snack (I’d peel them, toss out the yolk — making them 0 points! — and then season with whatever flavoring I craved: from plain salt & pepper to paprika to herbs de provence)(I totally convinced myself that between that, and crunch of baby carrots, all my potato chip cravings were met)(this was clearly a lie).
The biggest winner for me, though, was staying out of the house / keeping busy — I’d lose two pounds every time I had a late work-week. It’s not really an option here, I know. Just recognizing that it gets harder when you’re at home.
Good luck!
(Also: I so enjoy reading this blog. Thanks for keeping it coming!)

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Leafynell August 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Wowzers – I made your recipe (version with asparagus/Dijon & white white sauce) for my family and guests tonight. Yum. New favorite! Had wild rice as a side dish. Felt satisfied AND healthy (well, until the shortbread cookies for dessert).

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Allison August 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Evening snacking is my downfall too! Here are some of my favorites:

100 calorie bag of popcorn
Apple with peanut butter
Grapes
Ezekial bread
English muffin pizza

I can’t be trusted with having chips or crackers in my house. Same with nuts. I find I do better with discrete objects, where one item is the full serving.

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Susie August 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Millions of years later, I LOVE THIS POST. I have the same evening snacking problem, curtailed only by my absurdly early bed time – I have about an hour, after Eliza goes to bed, to obsess about ICE CREAM and CAKE and COOKIES. I think I might actually exhibit drug-seeking behavior for these items, lately. Out. Of. Control.

I would like to try all these fish-in-parchment “recipes.”

Your description of Lifetime movies is SPOT ON and hilarious, so well done with that.

And finally, hooray for Simone and Sports Camp!

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Brenda Miller September 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Hi Alexa,
I’m writing to tell you how much I love your book and also how much I love your blog… Your writing is honest, wise and just so funny. I laugh out loud.

I bought Half-Baked to try out for our Family Book Cart at the University of Michigan, Brandon NICU a few months ago and liked it so much that I’ve ordered several more. I will always keep copies on hand because I’m so enjoying recommending it to our parents. I have a grant for this so it’s not a plea for free copies…. :).

I am a paid parent in our NICU – a full-time position I’ve had for ten plus years. There are now three of us graduate parents offering peer support seven days a week. My other role is to help develop programs and best practices for our NICU families.

My daughter began college today (!) but started out almost exactly the same size and gestation as Simone, spending 3 months in the unit. Also, a month of hospital bed-rest for me beforehand. She’s still FEISTY. She’s also smart, sweet, and a talented musician. She was a pitcher on her softball team for several years….. :). Tiny but mighty.

Congratulations on surviving the NICU, your writing success, and your sweet daughters!
Thanks, Brenda

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ldoo September 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

Nighttime cravings=drink some wine. I do this nearly every night, and I don’t feel the need to snack.

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