Can’t get nothing past you….

So I guess I never really planned on bringing it up, but due to people being highly observant and the overwhelming amount of email that I received, I will address it.

Yep, I weigh less. A lot less. Apparently some of you noticed this when I posted the picture of me in my glasses. :D

No I did not have weight loss surgery (the most common question asked). I did it the old fashion way, move more, eat less.
I, as you know, have always been what one may refer to as a fat advocate. Meaning that if you are truly content with your size and are healthy then be whatever size you want to be. So last year in March I wrote a post about how I got an abscessed tooth and lost 7 pounds in two days. What I didn’t say is that while I was at the doctors office they freaked me out. See, I have always had great health numbers, no matter what size I was. My guess is because I stay active. But when I went in for my tooth pain my blood pressure was sky high. The Urgent Care doctor insisted that it was my weight and not the tooth that was causing this. He freaked me out to say the least hitting me with “this is the only heart you have”. He sent me home with water pills (which I didn’t take) and told me to go to my primary care physician the next week. Which I did. Only to have my blood pressure be 116/73.

So technically my health was fine but I took it as a sign. Most of my adult life I have been on a medication that made me gain weight. I told my doctor enough is enough and I didn’t want to take it anymore, find me an alternative. Which is why I eat raw vegan until 5 pm every day. It gives me the energy the medication used to.
I also joined Weight Watchers on March 17th 2009, who coincidently, I now work for. I had to choose Weight Watcher for an obvious reason…I run a baking blog. I had to find some plan that would allow me to eat what I made for my blog. This girl is not going through life depriving herself. I still eat every thing I make for this blog. The main difference is just how much.

Let’s take this bread pudding for instance. The old me would have eaten the whole thing. The new me eats one serving and is done with it. Luckily for me I have a goat and two hockey teams to pawn food off on. And if they can’t take it, I give it to the people at my Physical Therapy office since I love to visit that place so much. :)

Speaking of that bread pudding, this one is kind of out there. Awhile back I had considered writing a cookbook, this bread pudding was an idea for the book. Since salted caramel has been all the rage I wanted a spin on that. The idea came from me eating a pretzel at a hockey game and my friends kid was eating McDonald’s apple dippers with the caramel sauce. He didn’t want the sauce so I kept dipping the pretzel into the sauce. Tasted pretty darn good. So I went with it.

Some people wanted to know how much I lost. Not going to tell you. Just going to say that I used to only be able to shop at certain stores or parts of stores. I went from double digits to singles in clothing. I can shop wherever now. Which is bad for the credit card statement. :P

Close to my highest weight…I look a little bigger because I am sitting down…or at least that is what I would tell myself. ;)

This is the begining of this year. I actually weigh a little less now but too lazy to take a photo. You can see more over on Northwest Noshings.

Soft Pretzel Salted Caramel Bread Pudding

16 Super Pretzel Soft Pretzels (these are the smaller ones, not the full size, if using the full size ones, I would guess about 8-10 of them)…they come with a salt packet. You will want to salt your pretzels. If you don’t use the salt you will want to use the salted caramel sauce instead of plain caramel sauce.

1 pint heavy cream
4 egg yolks
¼ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/3 cup caramel sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350F

Tear the pretzels into pieces. Place half of them onto bottom of a prepared baking dish (buttered 8-x-x8).

Pour 1/3 cup caramel sauce over the pretzels in the pan.

Mix the egg yolks, brown sugar, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, and vanilla together in a bowl. Then stir in the heavy cream. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Pour ½ the custard over the pretzels and caramel. Press down the bread pieces until the pretzels are soaked with the custard.

Place remaining pretzels on top of the soaked bread. Pour the remaining custard over and again, press down on the pretzel pieces until they are soaked with the custard.

You will most likely have extra custard. Don’t feel like you have to use all the custard.

Place pan into another pan that will hold a water bath. Bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes until golden on top. Cool 10 minutes and serve warm with the remaining caramel sauce.

****Only use salted version of caramel sauce if you did not use the salt that came with your pretzels. If you did use salt on your pretzels, then change the amount of salt to ¼ tsp in this recipe.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons gray sea salt, crushed

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter and salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.

Caramel sauce recipe from Food and Wine

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  1. melissa says:

    Wow you look amazing! I love the way you write– feels like I know you somehow! So congrats!

  2. go get it pea! you look great ;)

  3. Good job! Looking great! I can’t wait to have this baby so I can get skinny again. Three more months to go, but in the meantime that means I can pig out on bread pudding. . .

  4. Melissa says:

    You look great! I do WW also for the same reason – I like to be able to eat anything. My numbers have never been bad, but after a few months of WW recipes, they look great. True, this is the only heart I have…

  5. Wow, you look absolutely amazing. Just wanted to tell you how impressed I am.

    But I am also super excited to read that you eat raw vegan for most of the day. Way to go, girl. I am a raw vegan myself but also love to bake. I don’t eat what I bake because after eating such a clean diet, it actually makes me feel unwell to eat wheat, sugar, etc. But baking itself is so much fun, such a creative process, I can’t not do it :-).

    I am glad you can life healthfully and still follow your passion. And you can inspire people.
    Well done!!!

  6. I thought so, too! But I certainly wasn’t going to ask. But girl you look awesome. I need to follow your lead.

  7. Wow, you look great…and I bet you feel great too! Has your hockey benefited? :-) A pretzel bread pudding, huh? Does the pretzel lose enough of its inherent toughness to soak up everything? One of my favorite parts of bread pudding is the “sogginess!”

  8. You look fantastic, Pea! It’s great that WW allows you to make your cake and eat it, too. Or, bread pudding, in this case.

  9. I’ve only been visiting your blog for a couple monts, but when I read the glasses post and saw your photo, I thought, “Wow — she’s so trim. Very impressive being around baked goods all the time …” It’s inspiring to learn the backstory and how you conquered the issue. Cheers to your good health and congratulations!!

  10. You are adorable! Then and now! I hope you are feeling better! I love what you do and am so happy for you in your new found health. I love what you do and I think you are brilliant! Congratulations!

  11. I’ve seen you a few months ago and you are more gorgeous in person…although that is a great photo! Being a lover of all things bread pudding I just love!! this one. Salted caramel and pretzel! I want a dish of that.

  12. HOLY JAMA LLAMA!!!!!!!!!!! You look fantastic! You look happy in both of the pictures, but there is a glow about you in the 2nd one. :D

    It’s great that you don’t deprive yourself but just examine your portion sizes. I find it so depressing when I see women starving themselves and denying themselves happiness (yes, I believe food = happiness) so your post is a pleasant break from that. :)

  13. Good for you! I have been on weight watchers for most of my life. They really work well in letting you eat whatever you want (in smaller portions). :)

  14. You look smmmmokin! The only thing that comes close to looking that good is that bread pudding – that pretzel on top is so inviting.

  15. Wow. You look awesome! Gives me encouragement that I CAN lose the 10 pounds I’ve gained since I started my baking blog-right after losing 40 pounds doing Biggest Loser online! I have hope.
    You really look great!
    And the pretzel/caramel bread pudding–Whoa!

  16. Have you tried putting this together the night before and baking it the next day? I wonder if it would work.

  17. Nabeela says:

    I HAD to comment today :) You look GORGEOUS in the second picture. I mean, seriously, you look HOT! :)
    You go girl! Doesn’t it feel awesome to become healthy all by natural means? I was very proud of myself when I did the same last year.

  18. You look absolutely amazing and beautiful! I bake loads but because I’ve also lost a lot of weight lately I can’t bring myself to eat anything I make – just too worried I’d scoff the whole cake/tart/whatever. Your will power to be able to eat just enough is really impressive.

  19. Christine says:

    I’ve never really understood bread pudding, but maybe if I tried it…?

    And Peabody: You look great. :)

  20. Your excitement shines through. I imagine you have so much more energy. I have been baking too many sweets lately, I need to have more friends who are willing to take the leftovers.

  21. Wow! You look amazing! I tip my hat to you. I have had weight issues all my life and am struggling once again to get myself into good habits. You are inspiring!

  22. Wooh!! Congratulations on the weight loss! Foxy!! The dessert looks delicious :) Love the creativity!

  23. Wow, congrats on the weight loss! I’ve done something similar (through modifying what I eat and exercising more) and it’s really the best thing I’ve done for myself. You are looking so great! And yes, shopping anywhere is GREAT but also bad for the finances! Hahaha… But it’s just so good, you know?

  24. Lookin’ good!

  25. I can tell that you are really happy with your weight now, so congratulations! I’m a Weight Watcher also. I know this is a baking blog, but I’d love it if you would share one or two typical meals you eat for breakfast and lunch. Not the recipes, just a rough outline of what you eat. Yes, I could buy a raw vegan cookbook, but I’m asking because you obviously love good food, so I’m curious what types of vegan foods you choose to eat.

  26. WOW! Good for you. That is fantastic. I wish I had the get up and go as well as time to do this as well. I really should look into weight watchers. I do need to lose the weight. My problem is, I concentrate on everyone else in my house but myself. With Colby needs, I am so low on the totem. And I too, love to bake. Dammit.

  27. Jessica says:

    WOW! Congratulations! You look fabulous!

  28. Pea, you look great! I thought you had slimmed down some, but I didn’t realise how much. I’ve also lost substantial weight in the last three years due to some health concerns( food intolerances due to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome). Weight Watchers is the way to go for weight loss, because you can eat everything in moderation…no crash diets like on some other weight loss programs.Good for you.

  29. Amazing! That is how you look! Great job.

  30. Look at gorgeous you! You should be so proud. Not for the weight loss per se, but for doing it the “right” way and for wanting to be healthy. You look terrific and I’m so glad to hear you feel good too.

  31. My biggest congrats to you on your weight loss. I lost 50 pounds on weight watchers, being a pastry chef is not an easy thing! i’ve unfortunately gained a bunch back but i think i’ve just gotten my kick in the ass to get back on it..thanks for that =)

  32. 1. Congrats! I work for WW too–it’s a great company, and I love it for the same reason you gave–you can eat whatever you want, as long as you do it in the proper quantities!

    2. Awesome idea. I LOVE sweet and salty together. This sounds like a winner…

  33. Looks gorgeous, love the idea. Would never of thought of using pretzels. You look stunning in the pics.

  34. First off, you are a baking genius! as I always say. and two: you are an inspiration. I lost like 8 lbs since january to get down to a 10, but I still want to lose more to get to an 8! I am so proud of you!!!

  35. Oh wow this definately does sound good, would you believei ve never had pretzels before!!

  36. WOW — you look fantastic, keep up the good work!!!!

  37. OMG! Girl….congrats. You look stunning! I always thought you were so cute before, but understanding the struggle, I get it. You motivate me, now! Of course this bread pudding doesn’t help! …lol

  38. I’m sooo happy for you! I used to work at a major weight loss company, but since then I’ve had two kids and developed a baking hobby. I’m trying to get back down to a semi-normal weight but it is definitely a struggle with all the goodies! You’re an inspiration, thanks for the post!

  39. You look great in both pictures!

  40. pretzels are a good twist (haha) on bread pudding! you look fab, and cute in glasses, too btw! :)

  41. I’ve followed your blog for a long time now but I’ve only ever commented a couple times… But today I just had to leave you a comment to say, you look fabulous! Keep it up, you look great :D

  42. You are one hot tamale girlfriend!

  43. congratulations, Peabody! You look AMAZING!

  44. wow! i don’t know how you do this with all the amazing sweets you create day in day out… hats off to you!!!

  45. Lindsay says:

    I realize this post is kind of old now (I’m just getting caught up!), but DAMN, girl! You look fantastic! (And if you can do it with all of that delicious stuff you make, there’s no excuse for the rest of us!)

  46. You look marvelous, dahling! You were out there doing the two things that can actually help you lose weight, eat less, move more, while others sit and wait for the magic pill. And all the while continuing to share the baking love with your loyal followers. Well done!

  47. Dolores says:

    You ROCK woman. Thanks for proving it CAN be done without starving or sacrificing. :)

  48. Congrats on your weight loss! And keep baking! :)

  49. I just rediscovered your blog and it’s fabulous as always. I’m glad your blood pressure is normal and you look great now and you looked great then.

  50. Do you bake/cook the pretzels first or put them in the pan frozen?

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