Aztec Diet Day 36: Zucchini Chips and Big Moments

Weight Lost: 18 pounds

Pre-Breakfast: 1/2 ruby red grapefruit; Breakfast and Lunch: All Day Chocolate Cherry Banocado Plus; Snack: low-fat cottage cheese and 3 ribs celery; Dinner: Tuna Sandwich on sprouted grain bread; Snack: air popped popcorn

Today Jane posted the first 15 minutes of the audiobook of A Shot in the Bark. I was so nervous, I put off listening to it until after I was able to settle myself. Turns out the woman is an even bigger genius than I thought she was. And no, I’m not sharing her last name until I get both books out of her. I wish there was some way to share the recording with you. So I was having a “WOW” moment today.

I used to celebrate big moments with chocolate. Or cheesecake. Or chocolate cheesecake. If it was a really big moment, a fillet, followed by a Chocolate Stampede. I haven’t figured out what to do instead. I don’t drink, so champagne is out. Getting a massage would be great, except you can’t get a good massage on the spur of the moment. At least, I can’t. Maybe you can. When I have an answer to this problem, you’ll be the first to know.

I made it through work without anyone flinging chocolate at me. I suspect I’ll be okay for the next couple weeks, as long as I keep appropriate snacks on hand. No need to worry until the project winds down. Then, one of two things will happen. Either we will be ahead and the work will come slow, with lots of down time conducive to boredom snacking (not good), or we will be behind, and the bowls of chocolate and assorted candy will be passed around from station to station to give us a little something help us keep our focus (also not good).

I need something to chew on that won’t make me fat. Like a piece of rope soaked with hickory smoke.

Today I made dehydrated zucchini chips, thinking this would make a good snack for work. They taste like potato chips, but are sweeter. There’s no frying or oil involved. Zucchini is low in carbohydrates and calories and contains fiber. I popped the first batch into the dehydrator about noon, and they were ready after I got home from work at 10 p.m. I miscalculated, though. I thought 5 zucchinis would make enough chips to last the rest of the week. These are addictive. I’ll be lucky if they last more than 24 hours.

My neighbors, Mike and Marti Dourson (source of Peter Dourson’s name), gave me a t-shirt for Christmas. They had it made up special. It says, “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.” I wore it tonight. So Eric, my team leader, asked me if he was going to be in my novel. I told him he might. I have not shared with him what I do to the people I put in my novels. He’d have better odds for survival as a Red Shirt on Star Trek. And a cleaner end, should it come to that. I’ve been thinking he’d make a really great stalker. Maybe I’ll let him choose his own demise. That would be the polite thing to do.

Zucchini Chips

    Slice zucchini thin, about 1/8″. A food processor is fastest, but you’re likely to wind up with paper-thin chips. A mandolin works fine and gives more control and consistency. You can slice them by hand as well.
    Lay out on dehydrator trays (if you have one) or on baking sheets lined with parchment (if you don’t).
    Sprinkle lightly with salt or other spice of choice, such as cumin, pepper, curry, etc.
    Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6 – 10 hours, depending how thin your slices are. you can flip these halfway through. It’s not necessary, but it will prevent sticking. If baking, bake in a warm oven for a couple hours, keeping an eye on them. Flip when the tops are crisp and continue baking until done. I can’t give you exact times, because I’ve never made them in an oven.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

I use an Excalibur 4 tray dehydrator. It’s a decent machine, though If I were to buy another, I’d get the 9 tray. It’s got a more reliable thermostat and you can dehydrate twice as much food. This is the one I’d get:

All Day Chocolate Cherry Banocado Plus.

Banocado means the base is a banana and an avocado. Plus means I added a big handful of spinach. This is perfect for two servings or for an all-day smoothie.

    1/2 Cups frozen sweet cherries
    1 banana
    1 avocado
    1 large handful of baby spinach
    1 heaping TBSP cacao powder or cocoa
    2 – 4 TBSP ground chia seeds
    1/2 TSP ground ginger (optional)
    Water, to desired consistency

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