The last couple of days were pretty much a wash for me doing anything productive. I did make it to the grocery store and my eye exam. After that I was on the couch with my blankie and remote control. Despite my best efforts and seemingly elusive moves, the dastardly flu bug caught up with me. The pint sized diva alternates between a half tank of energy and flat out on her back. Welcome to my world.
In between episodes of Cake Boss and DC Cupcakes I started searching for low-fat/low-cal cheesecakes. I found a few that intrigued me, but then had to go through the obligatory have and have not checklist of ingredients. Not wanting to send Charisse to the store I decided to make do with what was on hand. This led me to Kraft’s Chocolate Mousse Torte. Let the tweaking begin!
During my original recipe search I came across several Oreo cookie cheesecakes that sounded over the top yummy. So it was out with the Nilla Wafers and in with Oreo cookies. I took the whole cookies apart and scooped cream the cream filling into a small bowl. Each time I open the cupboard there’s 3 packages of white chocolate smiling at me. Using white chocolate was tweak number two. Then there’s the instant chocolate pudding. Wasn’t feeling that one too much. What was on hand was a box of cheesecake and white chocolate sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding. What the heck, I’ve gone this far might as well keep tweaking. The Cool Whip Whipped Topping was fat free and the cream cheese was 1/3 less fat. By now I’m thinking this dessert is either going to be really good or godawful. Included is the original recipe before I completely annihilated it.
It unmolded easily and taste pretty darn good despite all the tweaks. The Oreos are awesome but they tend to crack pretty easily. Maybe I should have left them whole. I also wish I had saved some Cool Whip to spread on top, but oh well there’s always next time. Enjoy and I’ve got more of the story for you. And speaking of the story; I am tickled pink that you’re reading it, making comments and enjoying it. Thanks a bunch!
37 NILLA Wafers, divided
4 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk, divided
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
Stand 16 wafers around inside edge of 9-inch round pan lined with plastic wrap. Melt 3 chocolate squares as directed on package. Beat pudding mixes and 2 cups milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Stir in 1 cup Cool Whip; pour into prepared pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar and remaining milk with mixer until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of the remaining Cool Whip; spread over pudding. Top with remaining wafers. Refrigerate 3 hours. Meanwhile, shave remaining chocolate square into curls. Invert torte onto plate; remove plastic wrap. Top torte with remaining Cool Whip, berries and chocolate curls if you like.
My New You Revolution With CNN Pt 5
One item on my bucket list was to take a professional cooking class and lo and behold good ol CNN gave me that opportunity. At the Culinary Institute of America, we had a private class with one of their chef instructors. In advance CNN had chosen the dish each of us would prepare. Due to my love of a big country breakfast, the chef modified a traditional recipe for French toast. It was tasty and easy enough to prepare back at home, however, my family would not be fooled by this healthier version. Before class began, I had a brief chat with Miriam and Dr. Gupta. I thought it necessary to tell them of my experience with anti-depressants and the role they played in my weight gain. Now, in no way was I blaming my weight gain solely on the medication. I was an emotional eater and that was something I had to take responsibility for. I offered to talk about it on air hoping that someone would hear, and learn of the other side effects anti-depressants. They agreed as long as I was comfortable with it. Being at the CIA was a tough act to follow, but retail therapy works evertime.
Carol Knistle ,CNN’s director of medical news at the time, was my shopping partner. Visiting the shops on Fifth Ave was necessary. Notice I said, visiting. In our travels we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Its magnitude was overwhelming. Dim lights framed the interior and there were a few visitors either kneeling in prayer or just standing and looking. It smelled of day old incense and reminded me of the Catholic Church I attended as a child. I had never felt more catholic in my life. An area near the vestibule where rows of candles lined the wall caught my attention. Depositing a small donation into the marked receptacle, I lit two candles and sent yet another prayer up for Casey and Theresa.
That experience would stay with me for a while. Each New You participant took turns interviewing with Dr. Gupta and the American Morning anchors. I had my turn the morning I was to leave for home. By now, I was used to the cameras and interviews and felt like I was talking with friends; it went well. NYC was about to become a memory for another month, it was time to go back home. Leaving Manhattan, I promised myself that there would be less of me when I returned.
I was so tired of dramatic weight changes and it was time to get off the diet roller coaster for good. Life is too short to spend it worrying about weight, especially when you can do something about it. We have all heard it and said it before; I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. As in previous attempts, I threw myself into it, but not with the impatience of before. If there was going to be a long haul I was ready for it. I also had to withdraw from being the Mars Corporation’s favorite customer. With a new commitment to success and an arsenal of information from MFIT and the YMCA, I set out to tackle the biggest obstacle, my mindset. The challenge was to revamp my eating habits and to exercise faithfully using the pedometer to monitor my daily steps. Convinced that my tolerance was up, and with permission from my doctor, I graduated from water aerobics to the recumbent stationary bike and treadmill for aerobic conditioning, and nautilus machines for resistance training.
Four days a week, I worked out at the Y alternating between aerobic activity and resistance training. I dusted off the in home walking DVD and added it to my new and improved fitness routine. In two weeks, I felt an increase in energy. My joints were tolerating the increase in activity more than I thought they could. Monitoring my food intake was easy and though I was initially hesitant about taking the extra time to do it, it now seemed effortless. At the end of January CNN and I made a return trip to MFIT. Eight pounds and nine inches, gone. Woo-hoo, yeah me!!!. After the first month, my clothes were not as snug, and people were beginning to notice. Feeling good shows on your face, it sounds corny but it is true.
I spent Valentine’s Day at MFIT, without the film crew. Each night I emailed my exercise activity and food intake to Miriam, along with any timely information that those following our progress online might find helpful. It was soon time for the return trip to New York to wrap up the program. Oh to be in New York city again!