Dear Reader(s)

I’m well aware that this is supposed to be a weight loss/maintenance blog, but sometimes other matters rise to the top of my personal needs pile. This is one of those times.

I’m purchase pondering today, and I’m seeking the voice(s) of experience for assistance. If Ann Landers or Dear Abby were still alive, I could bother them with this, but they’re not so I’m counting on someone–anyone!–here to fill the void.

Cottage Cheese
I’ve tried cottage cheese in the very distant past and didn’t really care for it. Considering it can be a good low-to-no-fat source of calcium and protein, I’m thinking it might be time to try a small container. The only problem is that there are about 30 varieties available. Small curd, large curd, 1%, 2%, no-fat, creamed, plain, fruit-flavored, etc. I have no idea where to start, other than to shoot for a No Salt version and to probably avoid the fruit-flavored. Your thoughts on cottage cheese? Anything interesting to do with it to pep it up?

Sulfate-free Shampoo
I prefer to use sulfate free shampoos. My fine, straight hair doesn’t have near the fly-aways (those little wispy hairs that stand up to be noticed) when I use shampoos free of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Those are the chemicals that make shampoo foam (and certain people’s hair frizz.) Anyway, it’s time for a new bottle of shampoo, and I’m taking recommendations, if you’ve got them.

The Other Scale
With birthday and other festivities last week, I decided it was time for one of my periodic self-checks on weighing and measuring foods. I like to do that every now and then to make sure I’m not suffering from portion distortion. (I actually found out I was underestimating some foods. Love when that happen, especially when one of the foods in question is blue corn tortilla chips.) For my food weighing, I use a 30-year old dial-type scale with a teensy little cup on it. Not conducive at all to weighing a chicken breast or other bulky items. Considering that and my future career on Food Network, I think it’s time to upgrade to a digital food scale with a Tare function. I’m leaning toward the Eat Smart Digital Scale, because the price is right, plus I like their bathroom scale ), but I’ll happily accept any recommendations you might have.

Possibly the Best Invention Ever
I stumbled across this little jewel during some idle web surfing:

tune bug shake

It’s a Tunebug Shake Portable Speaker, which can apparently be attached to my bike helmet, turning it into a surround sound speaker! No dangerous ear plugs necessary. Ever heard of it, tried it, lusted for it, etc.? I’m thinking it might just go on my Christmas list.

Strange Things in My Freezer
Cooking (or stirring) for one is tough when the most economical way to grocery shop is usually for multi-serving foods. A loaf of bread usually winds up in the freezer or in my back yard as bird food. A ginormous head of Romaine requires huge servings of salad for a solid week (great for health and digestion, not so great when the taste buds are tired of it after the third night) or risk having to toss it. I can (and do) freeze a lot of things, but I’ve never tried freezing leafy produce. Yesterday I bought a single bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped enough for the week and put the rest in small, snack-sized bags in the freezer. It occurred to me after I did it, that there might actually be a method to it. It also occurred to me that there may be a way to successfully freeze other leafy greens. Has anyone ever tried freezing lettuce, in any of it’s varieties?

Okay, so there were a few remotely health-and-fitness-related items in there. Enough to keep my tax deductions in effect. :) Thanks in advance for any tips!

I’m off to tackle my MIT list, which includes the annual visit to the Land of Stirrups and Frozen Speculum. Oh, that reminds me: are YOU caught up on all your physical exams and testing? I’m not trying to nag, but it IS important. YOU are important!

I’ll be back to blog world later in the day, where I hope to learn what a wonderful and fabulous weekend you had!

20 thoughts on “Dear Reader(s)

  1. Here is my cottage cheese suggestion – I prefer small curd. Back in the day when I was on weight watchers, there used to be a cheese danish kind of thing where you would mix the cottage cheese with sweetener and sprinkle cinnamon on top. You would then “broil” it on a piece of bread or an english muffing. It really didn’t taste like a danish, but it wasn’t bad.

    On scales, I am a soapmaker so I have scales all over the place. I used a postal scale. I may find something else for the kitchen.

    On that portable speaker, can’t wait to see what you hear on that. I know a couple of kids (mine) that would be all over that one!!


  2. My 2 cents….
    I LOVE my scale. It’s the Eat Smart Precision Pro. I got it from Amazon and it’s about $25. Maybe that’s the one you were looking at. I was amazed myself at how much I was underestimating my portions. Anyway, it’s been great.

    For cottage cheese… I’m a real big believer in non-hormone dairy. I think organic is best actually. I just don’t think we need any extra antibiotics or hormones adding to stressors. Other than that, I like small or large. And I really like sprinkling some Lawry salt on it. I know that’s not the most natural seasoning, but it’s a fav of mine. Also, cottage cheese is good with iceburg lettuce and whatever seasonings you like. I’m sure there are going to be lots of good ideas coming. I’ll have to check back myself!

    I wouldn’t think lettuce would freeze well….. but am also curious to hear what others say. At the very least maybe get one of those vacuum seal things?

    I hope your appointment went well! That does not sound like a good time. I did my gyno, but have to go back for the mams…

    Take care!

  3. Can’t speak to the cottage cheese – have never been a fan. But do not freeze your lettuce! Buy one of those special produce storage bags which I have heard work really well and they are re-useable.

    Or wrap the lettuce in a paper towel and then put in plastic bag but don’t seal it up. You need to let some air circulate (those special bags do that.) What you want to do is reduce the moisture with the paper towel, so if it gets too soggy, replace it.

    Sometimes I wash the lettuce and spin it dry and leave it in the salad spinner, the moisure can drip down into the bottom of the container and the greens stay drier. But we go through the lettuce faster because of how many people I’m feeding around here – so I am not sure if that would be the best solution for you.

    I think you will find the cilantro will turn black and yucky when you defrost it. What I have heard is to freeze it in water, like in ice cubes which then you can drop into sauces you are cooking. Or make a pesto (which is grinding it up in a food processor with a little oil), then you can keep it in the refrigerator.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Cottage cheese – don’t laugh, but I like it with cinnamon and splenda sprinkled on top. Or with fruit. Plain – ugh. Small curd and low fat, I think. I just go for the same coloring on the carton!

    Shampoo – check out

    What the heck is a tare function?

    My doctor’s never let me go without scheduling stuff. They hold me captive by my prescription medications! But my dilemma is all the docs want to see me annually but the insurance won’t pay for that often!

  5. Wow … I’ll try to answer as many as I can.
    (1) Cottage cheese: I just buy what’s on sale AFTER I compare calories, protein, carbs and fat. Don’t really care about curd size, but I **definitely** stay away from the fruit mixture thingies… just get plain and add dried or fresh sliced fruit. One day soon, I’ll figure out how to make my own cottage cheese! (2) Shampoo: I buy what’s cheapest, usually suave, and it seems to do the trick. Sorry, but I’m more money conscious than environment conscious (at this point). (3) Scale: I just use the scale I bought for weighing mail! I check it for accuracy regularly. (4) Speaker: No clue! (5) I dehydrate spinach for later use, but never lettuce. It’s too easy to grow on a window-sill. I also dehydrate parsley and basil (hate cilantro… sorry). I also make pesto with the basil and parsley and freeze in ice cube trays, then when frozen, take out and put in single-serving baggies. (6) Regular Checks: yeppers. UTD. Vee at

  6. Re: Cottage cheese—I like the texture of large curd, but I’ve never found large curd in a low(er)-fat variety, so I end up opting for small curd. Good luck finding a low-sodium variety. I like mine best with grapes and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. We also usually have some on the side with summer BLTs, as the bacon is more fat than protein and the cottage cheese mixes nicely with the extra tomato juices. My MIL creams hers (use a blender or food processor)—from there, it can be eaten straight or used as a veggie dip. I haven’t tried them and can’t vouch for them, but these Low Fat Oatmeal Protein Pancakes might be a sneaker way to get in the cottage cheese.

    And if you still don’t love the stuff? I wouldn’t sweat it. If you can swing the price tag, Greek yogurt is at least as high in protein as cottage cheese. Mainstream yogurt companies are starting to offer their own; I find the Dannon to be pretty darn good. I even saw a Kroger store brand recently, so I wouldn’t be surprised if other supermarkets follow suit before long.

    Re: food scale—I’m not loving mine and can’t recommend it, but I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only OCD-er who uses a food scale for portion control! Not only does the scale help me control what goes into my tummy in any given serving, it helps me pace my consumption of packaged goods, such as quarts of yogurt.

  7. Not a big fan of cottage cheese because of its texture, but I do like it in my protein pancakes. I find if I blend it up with some sweetener and cinnamon, it is a good topping on toast. Do *not* get FF cottage cheese. Unless you like eating plastic, that is.

  8. I have also never liked cottage cheese, but have recently been trying to get into it for it’s convenience to healthy snacking! I had only ever tried small curd, so I tried large curd. I livened it up with some cherries that were going bad in my fridge, and it’s pretty good- I think I could at least learn to like it, lol!

  9. I don’t have a lot of info on these things.

    However, I will say that I am a small curd guy.

    Oh….. and those speakers look awesome!!!!!!!

    Thanks Cammy!

  10. hi cammie! i love cottage cheese. i prefer large curd but it really tastes the same. i like it plain with just salt and pepper, or with pineapple, or with tomato. i think both lauramich and lori mentioned creaming it in the blender… i’ve done that and used it as a base for salad dressing or as a sandwich spread or dip (need seasoning for the dip, dry ranch mix will do!) or tossed sliced cucumbers in the creamed cottage cheese with some garlic salt… yum! and i agree with the person who said greek yogurt is just as good for you and tasty too.

    clearly you peaked my interest with the cottage cheese question!

    with cilantro, i LOVE it but always find it going bad before i use much of it. i liked the suggestion to mash it up with some oil, i will try that tonight if the bunch in my fridge isn’t black slimy yet.

    have a fab day!

  11. What a fun post! I don’t have much for you & I am not a cottage cheese fan but keep thinking I will try it in Lori’s protein pancake recipe!

    As for shampoo, I use the Deva Curl/Deva Care line for my hair so it may not work great with straight hair! :-) It is sulfate free though & I love it!!!!!

  12. Cottage cheese, I like it with sweet little tomatoes or with sugar free applesauce or pineapple.

    Shampoos I use Thermafuse sold at Beauty Supply Stores

    My kitchen scale is an old Weight Watcher one with a tare. I use it almost every day.

    The greens don’t usually last around here so I don’t have to worry about storing. I have read that you can freeze kale and other greens if you plan on using them later in smoothies since you would throw them in frozen. I have not tried it though.

  13. Now you got me lusting for a tunebug and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that here in South Africa. That would really go down well with cycling :-))

    We don’t have much variety of cottage here. Options, smooth or chunky, fat free or normal – barely any variety in flavours, definitely nothing fruity. I grin and bear it through the chunky fat free version we get here. Sometimes I drizzly a bit of honey on top.

    Good luck with your choices.


  14. I love cottage cheese! But savory – I loathe it with fruit. I love black pepper on it and perhaps a tiny bit of salt. 2% milkfat is more important to me than curd size. Sometimes small curd is REALLY small, and it is kind of mushy. I wouldn’t freeze lettuce. It has so much water, that when you defrost it, it will be limp – think of frozen chopped spinach. If you do freeze it, just use it to puree into soups, or tomato sauces. Not as a salad or a leaf in a sandwich.

  15. Okay, I might be able to help you on the cottage cheese thing… or at least offer my opinion. I like 1% small curd. And I love to top it with sliced tomatoes and fresh ground pepper, maybe even fresh basil it I have some around. Yum! I also use it in recipes to add protein or to replace ricotta cheese because I don’t like ricotta…

  16. Sorry. I realize I’m very late here, but I wanted to chime in with my favorite cottage cheese and I was out of it (and, of course couldn’t remember the brand particulars) so I had to wait until I went shopping again. Here goes.
    I have never loved (or even liked) cottage cheese, but occasionally I would eat it in the interests of eating healthy. My plan (WW CORE, or Simply Filling) will allow only fat free cottage cheese without charging me extra points, so fat free it is. I have to say, Lucerne fat free cottage cheese is very good. Tasty, in fact. I have mine with a small can of mandarin orange sections. Yum. For now, I eat it every day for lunch.
    On our various travels this summer, I’ve sampled other brands of fat free cottage cheese. There were some that I could barely choke down. Definitely look for Lucerne’s ff. (I buy mine at Safeway).

  17. I take cottage cheese small curd mix it with just a little cool whip, and dry jello I prefer strawberry but that is up to you. Mix it up and it is wonderful, and you hardly taste the cottage cheese.
    Or you could do cc, cool whip and sugar free jelly, or some other flavoring…hope that helps some.

  18. So have you tried any cottage cheese yet…I buy one here that is Bulla Low Fat with onion and chives…I LOVE IT….I could eat the whole container which thankfully isnt too big…hugs Khris

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