Archives for posts with tag: healthy living

Hello!  Happy Valentines Day!

This morning I started my day with some cardio.  Today is my cardio day and I chose to do the elliptical machine (my Valentines day present from my husband!).  I have not used one in years.  My body knew it too!  I think I am a fairly fit individual but after a 30 minute training program I was dripping in sweat!  I am not used to this type of workout.  It was great and my knee felt wonderful afterward!

I read that this is a good sub for running.  With IT band problems like I have, sometimes biking can irritate it.  I am so happy the elliptical worked.  I felt great this morning.  After the workout I had a great green drink!

I was inspired by a Costco blender demo.  I did not end up with the blender (one day I would love a vitamix! Not on display at Costco, I just want one. :)) but I walked away with a great drink combo idea.  It was not a combo I would have come up with but I am glad I discovered it!

Into my 10-year-old blender (she gives it her blending best)  went the following:

  • Two giant handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/2 a large apple
  • 1/2 an orange
  • 1 TBS of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water (or more as needed)

Whirl it up and you have a great drink. It’s really fresh and has such a beautiful color!  With the seeds in it reminded me of a kiwi.

I paired it with some of my multi-grain bread and crunchy peanut butter topped with golden flax seeds!

Here are some of my other eats so far this week:

You gotta love a good old PB&J sometimes!

Chicken quasadilla!

Last night I was craving a simple meal and this fit the bill!

I was also going through my pictures last night (trying to empty my SD card) and I came across these pictures I don’t think I got a chance to show you.  If I did sorry for the repeat, I just love seeing the thyme go from being in the snow to in my dish, and did not want to delete them before sharing.

My thyme peaking out of the snow.

It still looks great when picked!

Don’t you love the color of the thyme on the pizza sauce I made? The purple and green of the thyme are so pretty!

The sun was shining yesterday morning (a rare sight in Michigan) and was illuminating some ice cycles that I tthought looked beautiful!

Well I hope you all had a great Valentines Day.

Talk to you soon!

I love granola!  I love it with milk, on yogurt, straight out of the container, you get it.  I especially love granola that is crunchy with big clusters in it.

I have been on a hunt for a clumpy, crunchy granola recipe for quite some time.  Usually I get some recipes that do not clump at all, don’t have much flavor, or seem too oily.  I also like making my food when I can.  Especially stuff that normally comes in packages.  If I can replicate it, I am happy.

I have been working with one recipe for a long time that I felt had potential.  I tweaked it some more this last time I made it with some great results.

Look!  I made clumps!

They are fairly decent in size!

The trick to the clumps, I found in applesauce!

Here is what I did:

  • 4 C rolled oats
  • 1 C almonds smashed
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C natural applesauce
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 3/4 C brown sugar

Have a toddler mix all the ingredients in a very large bowl.   Dump it all out on a baking sheet and throw it in a 250 degree oven and stir it every 15 minutes.  It took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes.  It’s trial and error.  I stopped about 15 minutes early to let it cool (put it on two to three sheets to cool it) and it was not as crunchy as I like, so back in the oven it went!  I was a bit heavy-handed with the apple sauce so that would make a difference too.

Now I have some for the pantry!

I have been loving to eat it out of a bowl with dried tart cherries!  I recently read that tart cherries are good for reducing inflammation.  I enjoy eating them so if they help with my knee then even better!  (I am ignoring the fact that they have sugar in them which I do know increases inflammation.  :))

My knee is still not feeling great.  It’s not as bad as it was just after I tried my marathon schedule for a few weeks.  I have been doing my Gabby Reece Tabata workouts three days a week and on the other three days I have normally been running.  Last week I did not even attempt to run on my scheduled days.  I just did stretching, icing, yoga etc.  I did run a bit this week and so far it went ok.  I could not go very far and I did more of a walk run.  One minute of walking to one minute of running for about 25 minutes or so.  I read that doing it that was is a good way to get back into it.  I have never tried it before so why not give it a go!

If you have ever had IT band issues and have had success with anything whether it’s stretches, exercises, supplements, or anything else you think helped (other than not running :)) I would love to know.

I think I may have found something that will help me.  I was doing hip drop exercises and my left hip (the bad one) was incredibly tight when doing this.  I never thought I had an issue with flexibility. In fact, one doctor told me I had great flexibility in my hips.  I guess I do for most exercises, but when I tried this one it was not easy to do.  This gives me hope.  If I work on this area in addition to the other stuff I am trying, it just might work!

That’s enough rambling for the night.  Let me know if you try making the granola and how it worked for you.  I am so proud of this batch!

Have a great night everyone!  I’ll talk to you soon.  🙂

Hello,

It’s been a while since I have written.  As you know I have been working on intuitive eating.  I read a book about it back in July of 2011 and it spoke to me.  I have been working on it ever since.

I had many times since reading it where I felt out of control and thought it was not working.  I had to go back and re-read the book (which I checked out from my local library) and it helped.  Before reading this book, I always thought there was something wrong with me.  I could not understand why I ate the way I did.  It was all or nothing with me.  My husband did not think I had anything wrong with me.  He said I have been like that ever since he has known me.  He always thought that since I maintained a healthy weight I was ok.  For someone who has never gone through it, it’s hard to understand.

Each time I had a binge episode it was due to being restrictive in some way:  Keeping my calories to a certain number, eliminating food groups/types (gluten, sugar, etc), signing up for food/health challenges.  Sometimes I would have a trigger and just not care.  I would give in knowing exactly what I was getting into and doing.  I have totally given in to the intuitive eating idea.  I can see how it takes time.  Little by little I have allowed myself to.

First I dropped my food checklists, I stopped measuring food so much, and I have stopped weighing myself often (several times a day).  I have been weighing myself about 2 times a month.  This has been the biggest thing for me.  I did not think I would be able to give up this one.  My weight has pretty much held steady for about 6 months (I fluctuated a bit with the holidays and my thyroid dropping, but have come back to normal with normal eating not restricting).   It’s nice not seeing the fluctuations from day to day when you don’t  weigh yourself often and wondering what is causing it (even though I know it is normal to fluctuate due to water retention, glycogen stores etc.)  I don’t use the numbers on the scale to celebrate a weight loss or send me into a calorie restricting mode from a higher number.  I am able to listen to my body and give it what it wants.

Some days I eat no meat, some days I do.  Some days I fill up on veggies and fruits and other days I need my bread/carb fix.  Some days I need candy or sweets, other times I don’t!  Some times it’s a bit of everything.  It’s so interesting.  I am eating like my 3 year old.  I am sure I have a ways to go.  Ideally I have always liked my weight at about 5-10lbs lighter.  I am curious to see if eating this way for a year or so will get me there.  Like I said I have had some bumps along the way so without the bumps I wonder what will come.  It’s possible that I am exactly where I need to be, a healthy weight for me

I am feeling balanced with my food.  Now exercise.  I have had problems in the past with my IT band causing pain in my knee.  As a result, my running was put on hold.  It allowed me to try other activities and forms of exercise.  As my knee got better I started to run more often (three days a week) and doing Tabata/circuit (three days a week) workouts.  I was doing what exercises I liked the best.  I even took it a step further and recently tried training for a marathon.  Not the best idea for me, but I was so excited about it.  I got through two weeks and my knee is now mad at me once more.  During those two weeks I felt mentally awesome, but I should have been listening to my physical body.  So with food I think I have found balance (In the past even claiming that has sent me on a binge, but it feels different now, I’ll be ok. J) but now I need to get it with my exercise.  I am taking it easy this week.  Lot’s of stretching, icing, ibuprofen, and some strength training.  No running for now, maybe next week.  This recent strain on my knee opened me up to listening to my body in other ways.  Over the past few days, I have left my exercise feeling better than when I started (my IT band was very tight when I started the workout and loose after), not overly exerted and having an extra sore knee which sometimes I am guilty of.  Just because I am not working out as vigorously this week does not mean I will gain weight.  It just means I will eat less.  I am learning that the body is brilliant and you can trust it.

I also have been feeling very angry about commercialism.  Someone always wants to sell you something.  Everywhere I go!  I can’t even pump gas anymore without a TV on the pump telling me I need to buy something!  I paid cash for something at a store and had to answer several questions on the debit/credit keypad related to my shopping experience and my potential to refer someone to the store!  It’s too much!  There were times recently when I felt like I could really use the advice of a professional in the area of intuitive eating.  I looked into various areas of it and decided I did not have an extra $200.00 for a 45 minute session or money to spend on the other options.  If you have some great information, and you know how to help someone, should it cost that much?  I am not judging, it just left me feeling very disappointed that I could get help if I spent a bunch of money and realized that I was the one that could help myself with advice from the book which I checked out for free and read.

So I am sharing my story in hopes that it helps someone else.  I found out about intuitive eating on another persons blog and it has helped me tremendously.  I am not a doctor, a dietitian, or a psychologist/therapist, but this is what has worked for me.  If you need to seek the help of a professional, please do.  For me it was more of making my self do the work suggested in the book little by little.   It’s been a long road for me and I feel so much better and I know I will continue to.

Editors Note:  I wrote this last week.  I did make it through the Super Bowl and ate normally.  I also got a phone call this morning from my endocrinologist saying that my thyroid is still too low.  They increased the dose of my medication.  This is good because I have been feeling lazy and cold again.  Now I know there is a reason for it!  J  I also have recovered from my marathon attempt.  My knee IT band is tight again but not with the pain that I had last week.

Here are some of the dishes/items I have been eating lately.  You can see a wide range of foods from meatless meals to meaty hamburgers.  The important thing for me is to eat when I am truly hungry and to stop when I am full.  It sounds very simple for some, but for others it’s a bit more complicated.

Chicken Stir-Fry!

Sometimes you just need a burger!

A salad with spinach, berries, feta, and balsalmic vinagrette.

Multi-grain bread stuffed with Gouda cheese.  A new obsession of mine!

Hearty beef and barley soup.

Veggie and berry platter.  So good and colorful!

Chicken curry on white rice.  What a nice change up for me!

That’s all for now.  Have a great night and I will talk to you soon!

Hello!

How are you?  Good I hope.  I have been feeling good these days.  I thought I would share some of my eats from the week with you.

For breakfast, I have been a little tired of oatmeal.  I have been using polenta made as a breakfast cereal (no parmesan etc.) and topping it with maple syrup (the real kind) and berries.  It’s a nice change up.  I love the yellow color against the pretty blue of the berries.  It’s also the University of Michigan’s colors which are a bonus (Yay!  We won the Sugar Bowl!).

I even made some banana bread which I have enjoyed for breakfast.  My husband loves this recipe.  It is domed high, and has a nut-crumb topping!  He thinks its suburb!  I like that it uses up four large bananas.  I had a ton to use up!

For lunches sometimes a blue cheese and walnut salad has been on my menu.  It’s so good!  You can never go wrong with that.

For dinner last night, I made eggplant cutlets (with a nut topping)…

 and a “Mac and Cheese” that uses cauliflower instead of noodles.  It also has nutritional yeast in it which I was afraid of since I have never used it before, but in this dish it works! 

They were both incredible!  I got the recipes out of some Vegetarian Times Magazines.    

That’s some of my eats for this week.  I am enjoying our weather here.  It’s January and we had a 50 degree day in Michigan yesterday.  My daughter and I took full advantage of it.  Biking, walking dogs, and playing in the back yard.  I wish it were 50 all winter. 🙂

Talk to you later!

Hello there!

In keeping up with my trying to go meatless more often and still make my carnivore husband happy, I made a Cuban Bean and Rice dish.

Here it is simmering!

Simmering some more…

It took about 15-20 minutes to simmer.  I was hungry, but it was worth it!  I really enjoyed this dish!  I ate it with some green beans to make an extra “beany” meal and get some green in.

My husband even enjoyed it and would eat it again! Yay!  One dish to add to the list.  🙂

For dessert, (by my daughters request) we made some cornbread.  She is the “dumper” and the mixer.  It was the best one we have made yet!

Earlier in the day I had my avocado egg mixture on top of some lettuce and tomatoes.  It was great as a salad dressing!  I got the idea to top a salad from themindoffreya.  She used my recipe to top a caesar salad.

That’s all for tonight.  I hope you all had a great day.  🙂

Talk to you later!

Hello!  I hope everyone had a great new year!

Just before the new year we got to hang out with some “old friends”.

My daughter has been asking to go to a museum and see dinosaur bones for quite some time now.

My husband had some time off so we headed to the University of Michigan’s Natural History Museum.  She loved it!  They had numerous dinosaurs, mastodons, whales, saber tooth’s, and skeletons of primates of all varieties.  She was in bone heaven!

She has always liked pictures of x-rays and diagrams of skeletons, it was about time she got to see the real thing.

For New Years Eve we went to a friend’s house.  We hang out with them every year for the occasion, and usually for the Superbowl too.  All of my holiday eating caught up with me and I felt pretty miserable all day and night.

I vowed in the morning to go on a 3 day juice fast.  I even went out and bought a juicer and tons of produce to prepare for New Years Day.  It made me feel a little better going out that night, knowing that I had all the stuff and could get myself feeling better the next day.   I ended caving  by lunch time.  🙂  I felt bad buying all the stuff and not using it like I planned.  It’s ok.  My husband said it is a nice juicer (he would like some lemonade out of it) and the produce is all stuff we will eat anyway.  I ate good food the rest of the day after my morning juices and I am feeling much better.

I never usually do a new years resolution.  This year I have a few goals:

  1. Continue to work on intuitive eating.  Try to get the hang of where a comfortable full is.  I still don’t think I eat enough at once and it leads to making up for it later.  I have learned so much already.
  2. Try new recipes!
  3. Get a bit faster at my running.  I am so happy that my knee is feeling better and I am able to exercise the way I want to without trying to dance around an injury.  I want to keep up my longer distance but do it in a faster time.  I don’t think I want to go further yet just faster.
  4. Learn to let little things go.   I take things very personally.  I wish I did not care about everything so much.
  5. Enjoy my little girl as much as possible before she starts school next year.  🙂
  6. Clean out come clutter around the house.  I was doing great over the summer and then it just dropped off.  I’ll get back to it.

So that’s all I can think of for now.  I think it’s enough to work on.  I hope you had a good new year.

Talk soon!

Hello everyone! I don’t know if you are still with me. It’s been a while since my last post. I have many reasons for it. The biggest one being energy. If you remember I had been feeling very weak. Well, it turns out my thyroid dropped drastically from July to November. I have a new dose of thyroid medication and am feeling like blogging again. My thyroid has not been that low in 10 years and that was when I was first diagnosed!

I am still working on intuitive eating. “It’s a process, not a perfect.” as someone reminded me. I also went through a phase where I just did not want to blog about food, or read blogs about food. It seemed to influence what I ate, how I ate, or thought I should eat. This brings me to my third reason for not food blogging in a while.

I started to feel bad about posting so-called “healthy” dishes. What exactly is healthy? It varies from person to person.  It depends on their economic status, heritage/culture, dietary restrictions and probably other situations/issues I am not thinking of. Who am I to say “eat brown rice” (not that I ever did, our would it just might be implied when it shows up on my plate in a blog.)when someone might have grown up with white rice and its part of their family something they enjoy and have eaten moderately. I know I was probably over thinking things and this might not be the greatest example (and I know I don’t have that much clout :)), but that is part of why I stopped blogging. Another part is a three-year-old that never naps. 🙂

I have kept up my running/fitness regimen and am happy to say my mileage has gone up once again! I am also enjoying Tabata training. This I have learned from Gabby Reece’s website. I still love following her workouts. This type of training switches up the normal circuit. I love the change!

So I do have one thing to share that I have been enjoying for lunch these days.  I love avocado and I am the only one that will eat it in my family.  I decided to use it for lunch since everyone eats what they want separate from everyone else anyway.  It’s very simple, cheap, meatless, and I cringe here when I say “healthy”.  It is to me anyway.  🙂

  • ¼ of an avocado mashed
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Diced red onion (I like a ton)
  • Boiled egg diced

Fold it all together and scoop and eat it with a mini wheat bagel (or whatever you like)!  It gives me a chance to eat avocado without grossing my whole family out by adding it to a family meal, except for maybe when they see it.  🙂

Any goals for the new year?

Today I ran 4 miles and got cleaned up to go to a park.  We went to an environmental discovery center.  They have an under water dome inside a pond!  You can observe pond life with a “fish’s eye view”!

You walk down a hallway that opens up into a large dome.

Here I am in the dome.  You can see some fish behind me.

Here is the view from the dome back out to the entrance.

It’s really cool, and my daughter loves it there!  Once in a while people clean the outside of the tank.  We saw more fish today than ever before!  It was a good day to go, they had decent visibility.

I went to library for some food inspiration and found Mark Bittmans new book.  I love the looks and ideas of his books.  Sometimes I think the recipes are just so so but it gives you a good starting point.  I like to make recipes as they are and then tweak it the next time.

I like his ideas on eating.  He has a good idea on what he calls sane eating.  It basically comes down to this:

  1. Eat fewer animal products than average.
  2. Eat all the plants you can manage.
  3. Make legumes and whole grains part of your life.
  4. Avoid processed foods.
  5. Everything else is a treat-and you can have treats daily.

Sane eating to him is about moderation, not deprivation.  You know that I am working on intuitive eating and this fits right in.

You may have noticed I have not been posting my eats for the entire day.  I am sorry if this is something you enjoyed about my blog.  When I post that way it makes my day feel like it revolves around food and food is the center of everything.  I am still eating healthy and good food is important, but I want to focus on other things in my life and have food just be food and not the focus, if all that makes sense.  I still want to share some dishes I have tried, snacks that may be new, or places I have gone.  I hope you stick with me.  It’s just what I need to do right now.  With that being said on to some new Bittman recipes!

Dinner was a whole wheat pasta with spinach, tossed with butter, oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese!  I loved this dish!  I will make this again!  No disappointment and no tweaking either!  Simple and delicious!

There goes the last of my “Managers Special” spinach.  I am sorry to see it go!

I had a bunch of bananas to use up to and I made another Bittman dessert called:  Tropical Oatstacks.

The description is a cookie that falls between banana bread and macaroons.  I would say that is spot on.  There is no added sugar only:  butter, three mashed bananas, vanilla extract, oats, cashews, unsweetened coconut, baking powder, and salt! I loved the idea of that!  They are pretty good but are not very sweet wich has its place too.  They came out better than I expected.  It’s a fun healthy treat.

That’s it for the night.

Have a good one!

Dinner tonight was interesting.  I have a giant “Managers Special” container of baby spinach to use up.  I was eating peanuts, trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner and I decided I would try to combine the two.

I searched the internet and tried the first recipe I found for peanut dressing.  It is from Cooking Light Magazine and it goes like this:

Cooking Light Magazine, May 2009

Dressing:

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts

It was better than I expected.  I loved the mix of veggies I used:

  • spinach
  • romaine
  • carrots
  • edamame
  • broccoli

I liked the dressing but I was disappointed that it was from Cooking Light Magazine.  I have never had the full fat version (or any version for that matter) of this type of dressing, and would have liked to try it, before a lighter one.  It was good, and a new combo of flavors to me.  I will make it again!

I hope you have a good night!

Have you ever had a peanut dressing?  Do you have a good recipe for one?  Please share.  🙂

Hi there!

This morning was beautiful!  Mid 50’s again but sunny and crisp!  I started the day out with some cereal.

Uncle Sam (original and strawberry mixed 50/50), frozen banana, frozen blueberries, and pecans.  I poured over a mix of unsweetened almond milk and skim milk. (50/50).

I know I have told you before but it all freezes and makes a soft serve like combination in your bowl.  You have to chop it up and it’s thick and wonderful!

I took everyone for a one mile walk.  I dropped the dogs off and took my daughter in the jogger for a three-mile run.  It was super slow, but I’ll take it. Not really any pain, just stiffness in my hips.

For lunch I had something similar to yesterday.  It was my chick pea mix on top of a bed of baby spinach leaves.

I also had the last of my giant Ginger Gold apples.  I need to find more before there are no more for the season.  Maybe that is part of the allure!

That’s it so far.  I’m not sure on dinner again.  My husband is working today so I am going to get cleaned up from the run and take my daughter to the park.

I am feeling very well about my eating lately.  This happens to me often.  Just when I think I have this intuitive eating thing down, something happens and I get off track.  I really think if I keep up being full on real food (then I don’t have room to go crazy on sweets), and exercising moderately (If I exercise a ton, it makes me want to eat a ton!) I will be ok.  I hope I just did not jinx myself.  🙂

Have a good rest of the day!