Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Brand New Year

I know it has been way too long since my last post.  With the holidays and a trip I have been really busy.  We have been hit with a lot of cold weather and snow.  The boys had a week off even before winter break due to snow.  I thought we live in Tennessee?  This is the south right?  Well it is the end of the year and I am already ready for some warm weather and sunshine. 

As this year comes to an end I have to sit and reflect on it and ponder how it went overall.  I know I could always do better, give more, be more.  I always find myself coming short of what  and who I want to be.  I am so thankful for what God has blessed me with, a wonderful husband, 3 beautiful children, a warm home, a job for my husband... the list could go on.  With all that I wonder why I am not doing more... being more. 

As the new year approaches I am not going to make resolutions because I know that they don't work, but I am going to try my best to do more... be more than I am right now.  There are so many people out there who are in need of something.  Something maybe I could give them... a kind word...a good deed....a fresh loaf of bread...something.  I don't know what it may be, but as this New Year begins I am going to make it a daily prayer of mine to ask God if there is something I could do or someone in need that I could help in some way.   I think I feel that I want this 2011 to be less about me and more about others.  I hope I could fulfill this.

I hope you all had a wonderful blessed Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Today's tip is mostly for myself, try to be more focused on others than myself.  Yes I will still eat healthy and exercise and take care of myself, but I am really going to try to be more sensitive to the needs of others.



Friday, December 3, 2010

Switch it up

I've been exercising 6 days a week for almost four years now.  I'm committed I'd guess you would say.  I have to do this for me and if I don't I am afraid that I will just slack back to not doing anything.  I have come too far to go back to my old ways of eating whatever I wanted and sitting on the couch.  Do I love to exercise you ask?  Well, no I don't.  Most mornings I get up, have my coffee and wish I didn't have to do it.  But, I do it.  For me exercise DVDs are what work.  I have a set period of time, a certain type of workout and someone telling me what to do and for how long to do it.  It just works for me.  So day in and day out I pop in one of my 20 DVDs and work out.  I do pick out different ones so I am not working out the same muscles every day.  Some days I do more cardio, some days strength, some days yoga.  But, it usually is always a DVD.  So, today my wonderful husband said, "Come on and work on the weights".  My first reaction was yuck... the basement, the weight bench gross.  I hate going down to the basement.  It is cold, damp and on the dark side.  But as I looked at my DVD collection and realized I was bored with them, I agreed to go give it a try. 

So, I went to the dungeon and he had me all set up to do some sets of heavier weights, abs, chest presses, clean and jerks, weighted squats etc.  He actually was quite a good trainer pushing me to do more than I thought I could.  I was actually enjoying it a bit.  Then for part 2 he had me boxing with the punching bag and then with sparring gloves... Well that was it.  I LOVED IT.  I think I was made to punch people.  Just kidding but really I loved doing it and before you know it I put in 40 minutes of strength and cardio and really enjoyed it and it was something different. 

The key is to switch things up so you don't get bored.  I was doing different DVDs but it was still the same type of thing.  This was something new and something I really enjoyed and hope to incorporate into my workout schedule. 

So today's tip:  Tip #1 is get moving... do something...exercise.  Tip #2 if you already are exercising, mix it up a bit.  If you jog, try tennis.  If you walk, try jogging intervals.  If you do the elliptical try going for a bike ride.  Do anything to mix it up so you don't get bored and you will see changes in your body also.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One of my not so new favorites...

Some people have been asking me about carbohydrates and which ones are good.  I have written before that if you choose whole grains over white ones that is your best choice.  One thing that I didn't mention is one of my favorite grains quinoa pronounced (keen wah). Even though technically it is not a grain it is a actually the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach.  How about that?  It really is a cool little grain..seed.

Quiona is high in protein and includes all the nine essential amino acids. It is the choice of grains for vegans and vegetarians, as it helps them take in the adequate amount of protein, required in a healthful diet. It contains lysine, an amino acid that is very important for the growth of tissues and tissue repair. It has slow releasing, high level of carbohydrates, that give the stomach a full feeling for a long time.  Plus it tastes great.  It is like cous cous but way more healthy for you.  It cooks up in only 10 minutes !! 

You can eat it for breakfast like oatmeal, or use it in cold or hot salads.  You can mix in beans, roasted vegetables, cucumbers, cheese., nuts.  This really is a versatile little grain..I mean seed.

Today's tip is to try this little seed called quinoa.  You can use it in place of pasta or rice.  Here is what i like to do with it.

Cook according to directions, which is 1 Cup quinoa to 2 cups water.
After it is done, fluff it like rice and then add the following

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 C walnuts or any nuts you like
1/2 C grape tomatoes
1/2 C feta cheese
1 cucumber
some fresh parsley, dill or basil
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all this and let sit for a while in the refrigerator and enjoy cold or at room temp.
This is a delicious and healthy side dish, main dish or salad.



Monday, November 22, 2010

To be Thankful

Well it's the week of Thanksgiving...already.  Time does fly by.  This is a wonderful time of year.  Crisp weather, comfort foods, cozy fires.  I love it.  This year we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  I love Thanksgiving because it is a time to get together with family and friends and give thanks for all that God has blessed us with.  It is a day that is somewhat non commercial unlike all the other holidays out there.  I am thankful that we take one day every year to say Thank you God,  we are so blessed.  We should all take every day to realize what bounty we all have and how blessed we truly are.  I forget this day in and day out.  We have so much and there are so many out there with so little. 

So as this week goes on try to reflect on how blessed you really are.  Give your children a big hug and tell them how much you love them.  Thank God for your spouses, children, family and friends.  Pray for them this week.  In the hustle to get all the food on the table that is so wonderful take some quiet moments to say
"Jesus, I truly am thankful."



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Much Does Healthy Eating Cost?

How much does healthy eating cost?  Although I don't think the cost of the healthy meal in this article is totally accurate, it does give us an idea of what healthier options cost.  Yes, healthy foods cost more on average than non healthy foods.  You can get candy bars most places for 50 cents or sometimes even 3 for $1.00 and one single organic apple can cost up to $2.00!  I know because I buy them for a snack when I am out shopping.

I used to always go for the cheaper option... every time.  But, as I learn more about foods, how they are made, what they are made with, how they are packaged etc.. I usually never go for the cheapest option, but the one most nutritionally sound.  Take for instance a loaf of bread.  Sure you can go to any supermarket and find their brand bread for 99 cents or less.  You may even opt for their wheat bread.  If you just look at the ingredients you will quickly see that there are over 30 things listed and probably high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils in it.  The wheat bread IS NOT 100% whole wheat.  It is enriched which means they strip out the good stuff and then replace it with artificial ingredients... thus the long list.  Plus have you ever bought a loaf of bread and notice it lasts like 2 weeks without getting stale?  When I make a loaf of homemade bread it lasts one day... that's it.  If you check the other breads that cost $2.50 to even $3.50 a loaf you hopefully will find 100% whole wheat, nuts, seeds, oats, other grains, no added sugars.  You will pay more for this bread but in the end it will be worth it for your overall health.

If you don't believe me about junk food being cheaper... check out all the fast food places.  I could feed my family of 5 at one of these restaurants for less than $20 easily.  I could probably for under $15.  Where can you feed a family of 5 for that price?  It is sad that I can go and feed them burgers, fries, fried chicken, ice cream and soda for that price yet a healthy meal would be at least double maybe even triple that price.

I know it is much easier and cheaper to just go through the drive through and grab something off the dollar menu.  Trust me I have done it with my kids.  I am the queen of trying to stretch my dollar, but I am learning that you cannot put a cost on good health.  So each day I try to make healthier choices little by little and I hope you will too.

Today's tip:  Try to make one healthier choice today when you have a meal.  One healthier choice leads to another and another.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Add whole grains to your diet

I know there are a lot of fad diets... low fat, low carb, low whatever, and though these may work for a short period of time, they do not work long term.  I hear all the time "I'm not eating carbs".  This just doesn't work.  We all need a well balanced diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle and yes you can eat carbs and lose weight.  If you cut a whole food group out of your diet you may lose weight initially, but can you really go your whole life without a slice of pizza or bread or a dish of pasta?  The key is moderation and choosing the right carbs. 

Whole grains should be what you focus on.  100% whole wheat breads and pastas are delicious and so good for you. Whole grains take longer to digest so you feel full longer and hopefully will eat less.  Choose brown rice instead of white rice.  Sweet potatoes are a fantastic choice.  They are so high in vitamins and minerals. 

So today's tip is DO NOT cut out carbs or any one food group out of your diet, just make sure to choose the right ones.

Here is one of my favorite recipes:
Cut sweet potatoes in strips, cubes or slices.  Mix with some olive oil.  Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper or if you like some cinnamon or cayenne pepper and roast in a 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  So delicious!  Try it.



Friday, November 5, 2010

When you don't feel like it anyway!

It's been over 3 years now and I finally think I have made it a habit.  A good habit.  The dreaded exercise...No one likes to do it, but it is something so essential for our bodies.  We all have tons of excuses why we don't have the time to exercise.  I get it.  No one wants to wake up at 5am before they go to work to sweat for 30 minutes, but I guarantee you if you do you will not regret it.  As the days get shorter and the weather colder it is easier to stay in bed or come home from work and just sit on the couch and relax. 

I challenge you to just do it.  Do it for life.  Do it for more energy.  Do it for your kids.  Do it for weight loss.  Do it for lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.  Do it for heart health.  God did not create us to sit around.  He created us to move.  Modern times make it so easy to just do nothing physical.  Email instead of walking to the mailbox.  Dishwasher instead of scrubbing dishes.  The list can go on and on.  Now we buy all sorts of fancy equipment to exercise on.  I'm not saying it's bad, I have a treadmill too,  but when I think about it, it makes me laugh.  Walking on a treadmill in place, lifting weights in our basements while watching tv.  All I can think of is how funny Charles Ingalls would think this is.  Back then everything was physical labor.  Plowing, walking, digging, pulling up water from wells.  All you did is exercise.

But, now to modern times... we have all this stuff but we need to use them... regularly.  I encourage you to start with walking.  That's it... just walk.  Start with 20 minutes a day for 3 days a week and then increase to 4 days then to 25 minutes a day and work your way up to 30 minutes of brisk walking 4-5 days a week.  You don't need any equipment, just a good pair of sneakers.  I lost most of my weight walking.  Walking works!!

So today's tip, if you have a park, walking path, hiking trail or a treadmill... just do it... start walking.  I promise you will feel great!



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My favorite time of year... and my favorite fruit

Well, this time of year means crisp weather, falling leaves, cozy feelings, and my all time favorite fruit:  The Pomegranate.  I have always loved this simple fruit.  I think that it is so special because you can only get it mid October through the end of December.  It is such a limited season that when they are available I buy a whole bunch of them.  Yesterday I found them on sale for 79 cents each so I bought 8 of them!!  I couldn't resist.  On the outside they don't look like much.  On the inside they have these deep crimson jewels called arils.  These are the part you eat.  They are much like seeds with a juicy outer coating.  They are tart yet sweet and so delicious.  The best part is they are so so so wonderfully healthy for you.  They are a good source of vitamin C and potassium and a good source of fiber and low in calories.  So this is a wonderful snack that is super healthy for you. 

You can also buy pomegranate juice in the juice section of the grocery store.  It is really healthy but really expensive.  Single pomegranates will run anywhere from $1.00 up to $3.00.  The best way to eat them is to get a bowl of water and cut the pomegranate in half and then under the water break the fruit apart and take out the arils.  The white pith will float and the arils will sink.  Drain off the white pith and the water and enjoy the arils plain or in yogurt, on salads etc. 

Today's tip is try something new like a pomegranate.  It is different and healthy and of course delicious.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Been Away...

Well, it has been a while since my last post.  Our family left for a cruise a few weeks ago.  We were so excited to go.  So, we drove 10 hours to Florida and anticipated getting on the cruise for a well needed family vacation.  We all love the cruise.  We don't have to think, just get on and relax and enjoy.  So upon checking in at embarkation we give all of our identification, which were the usual, drivers license and birth certificates.  Passports are not yet a necessity, so we didn't get them.  So they lady behind the counter asks if these are hospital birth certificates and I say yes.  She says wait one minute and walks away and we don't think anything much.  She comes back and says we have to move to a different line.  Now I am getting uneasy.  

We move to another line and the gentleman tells us as of last June they no longer are able to take this birth certificate and that it is not valid ID.   Due to homeland security laws it must be a State issued birth certificate.  Well, my husband and I are now in total disbelief and argue that we have gone on 4 other cruises with these very birth certificates and these are all we have and have ever had.  He suggested we call the vital statistics offices in the states we were born in to see if they would fax it to us, but it was Columbus Day and the offices were closed.  

We WERE NOT getting on that ship.  The manager came out.  We were all pulled aside.  Everyone was going through the line happy as could be.  The kids were upset, I was crying... My parents were already on the ship as well as our friends that we were going on with.  The manager plainly told us they could not let us on that ship under any circumstances due to the homeland security regulations.  There was nothing we could do.  Our hearts sunk as we realized that we would not be taking this cruise.  

Our children had the proper birth certificates so we had to decide whether to let them go on with my parents and our friends whom we trust completely or let them stay back with us in Florida for the next 5 days.  With much persuasion from my husband we decided to let them go.  After all they were so looking forward to it and why should we make them miss out if they had the right papers.  So as upset as we all were they went on the cruise and my husband and I stayed back in Florida for the next 5 days.  We were really in shock most of that first day not knowing what to do.  

The rest of the week we tried to make the best of a really bad situation.  We went to Orlando and went to Epcot one day.  We visited St. Augustine which we loved.  The whole week was bitter sweet.  We had a nice time but really missed the boys and the cruise.  

So, my tip for today is not a health or cooking tip.  It is to check your birth certificates and make sure they are issued from the State you were born in.  It should say issued from Vital Statistics on it.  Tip #2 is GET A PASSPORT.  You will need them soon to travel anywhere outside the USA.  If we had a passport we would be assured getting on that ship.  So, I am taking my own advice.  We have already applied for the State issued birth certificates and as soon as we get them, we are going to get our passports so this doesn't happen again. 

I don't know the reason or plan God had in mind for this.  All I know is that we are in his hand and our steps are ordered of Him, so I have to trust that.  I'm hoping next time we are all trusting his plan on the Lido Deck.  



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parmesan Popcorn

This is one of my favorite snacks.  Parmesan cheese popcorn.. yum.  It is really so simple and a great healthy snack too.  I know you can buy that microwave popcorn and that is easy enough, but that bagged stuff has who knows what in there.  That yellow stuff cannot be real this you know exactly what you are getting.
You can play around with the spices and use the ones you like.  The one thing I ask is please do not use that green can of Parmesan cheese that they sell in the unrefrigerated aisle.  You know the one I mean.  Some things are worth spending a little more on and Parmesan cheese is definitely one of them.  I get mine at Sam's Club but any grocery store will sell chunks of cheese.  I like Pecorino Romano, but Parmesano Reggiano is great or just a regular Parmesan.  Trust me this will make a difference.

If you do not have a popcorn popper you can do this on the stove top.  You will have to use a little oil in the bottom of a large pot to pop the corn.

So here is the recipe. 

1/2 C organic popcorn kernels.
1/2 C or to taste of finely grated Parmesan cheese
granulated garlic, black pepper, chili powder to taste (you can use whatever spices you love)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  (again this is not precise but around 2 Tbsp

Pop the corn in the air popper. 
In bowl toss the popcorn quickly with the olive oil and then immediately add the Parmesan cheese and the spices.  Some of the cheese will fall to the bottom, just dip the popcorn in that when you get to the bottom.

Enjoy !!

Today's tip is to look for a good cheese that you can try.  There are tons of them out there.  Find one you like!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feeling Blah...

I guess it happens to us all.  Some days you wake up and just feel well... Blah.  I don't know why it happens.  It just does.  Well, that is how I felt this morning.  Every task seemed extra hard to do.  Getting the kids up and off to school was a harder chore than usual, and we of course ran late.  I hate running late and rushing.  Got back home and looked at all I have to get done and quite frankly just don't feel like doing it.  Then the dreaded exercise.  Since my weight loss journey I exercise 6 days a week.  I do this because if I don't make this a habit I will just slip back into not wanting to do it at all.  So, I just tell myself it has to be done. 

Then I get on the computer and read a daily devotion and boom... I am hit over the head like wake up Trish.
It was about offering a sacrifice of Thanksgiving to God daily.  We all find ourselves feeling down and then complaining, but God wants us to be thankful.  Thankful... I know we say we are thankful, but are we really.  What is our ratio of complaining to thanking?  I know mine is way off most of the time.  I am thankful for what I have but what about just being thankful for whatever situation I am in right now.  That is tough if there is some problem or trial I am going through. 

So, I am going to spend my day today being mindful of what I am thankful for and try to offer up a sacrifice of Thanksgiving as I go about my day.  That is bound to turn my blah feeling around.

Tip for the day:  Concentrate on what we are thankful for and not for all the negative things !!



Monday, October 4, 2010

Autumn Chili

Brrrr.  A chilly autumn day, a bit gloomy out.  I know what I want.  Something warm and hearty.  A bowl of chili perhaps.  Chili is a wonderful one pot meal.  A little chopping and you have a warm delicious healthy meal.  This chili I switched up a little bit from what I usually do.  I used white meat ground chicken and added rustic cauliflower for added depth and nutrition.  It turned out perfectly and my husband said that the picture didn't do this justice it was so good.  So, I guess this one is a keeper.  I made a rustic whole wheat bread to dip into it.  This was one great dish.

Autumn Chili

1 1b ground chicken or turkey
2 carrots
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 medium bell pepper
1 stalk celery chopped
1 small head of cauliflower chopped small

Saute above in a little olive oil till cooked down a bit (about 10 minutes)


1/2 C wine or beer (you can also use chicken or beef stock)
1 28 can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans (or whatever bean you like)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp or less cayenne pepper
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro or parsaly (optional)

Turn down heat and simmer for about 1 hour.  You can also do this in your handy crock pot.  Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 hours.

I hope you try this one, it really is good and so healthy and low calorie.  You can serve with tortilla chips or with some brown rice !!

Today's tip:  Try to add some unexpected veggies to your everyday recipes.  It will go further therefore making the dish cheaper to make and will add loads of vitamins and minerals to your dish!



Friday, October 1, 2010

Whole Wheat Penne with Spinach, Eggplant, and Mozzarella Cheese

This has to be one of the easiest meals I have ever prepared.  I wasn't much in the cooking mood so I took inventory of what I had on hand.  There are only a few ingriedients:  Whole wheat penne pasta, fresh spinach, eggplant, and mozzarella cheese... and a little extra virgin olive oil to bring it together.  It is so healthy especially using the whole wheat pasta.  I know most people will say they don't like whole wheat pasta and I totally get it.  I have never liked it either, but the whole wheat has so much more vitamins and fiber than the white stuff.  The whole wheat is very earthy tasting and great for a quick autumn dish.

1 lb whole wheat pasta (any shape you like)
1 package fresh spinach.
1 cup mozzarella cut in chunks
1 eggplant peeled cubed and roasted. (you can omit this to make it even easier, but I love eggplant)

Cook pasta according to package, save about 1 cup of the pasta water.
Drain pasta and put back in the same pot.  Add spinach, mozzarella chunks, eggplant and the 1 C of pasta water.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste and then shave some parmesan cheese on the top.

That's it !!!  Simple, delicious and healthy.

Today's tip is try the whole wheat pasta over the white.  It does have a totally different taste and texture.  Try it you just may like it.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Healthy Low Fat Banana Bread

I don't know why but there is something comforting about banana bread.  Having some warm out of the oven with a pat of butter tastes so good.  There are so many recipes out there for banana bread and most of them are loaded with butter or oil. I have adapted this one and it is low fat.  I have switched out regular white flour for whole white wheat flour.  You can find white wheat flour at the grocery store.  White wheat is lighter than the whole wheat so it bakes up better. You can of course add walnuts but my son thinks he is allergic to nuts (he is not, we had him tested) so I just omit them.

Here's the recipe:
2 C white wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C honey or agave syrup
1 large egg
3 ripe bananas smashed
1/2 C buttermilk  (I use 1/2 C skim milk plus 1 tsp of lemon juice - it does the same thing)
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 oats
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in another bowl.  Add dry ingredients to the wet. Do not overmix.   Put in a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle topping over it.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Insert toothpick to be sure it is done. 

Enjoy warm with a little butter (real butter please).



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast Burritos

This is what I made for my dear husband Scott for breakfast yesterday.  I thought I would bump up his favorite egg sandwich, so I did a breakfast burrito.  This really is a power breakfast and great for those on the go.  It has whole grain, protein and healthy fats.  He absolutely loved it.

All I did was start with a whole wheat tortilla.  I got these at my favorite store Trader Joes, but any whole wheat tortilla will do.  Make sure it is 100% whole wheat and not enriched wheat flour... there is a difference.

Next make your eggs.  I used one whole egg and one egg white, but you can use what you like. I cooked these eggs like a little omelet, but you can do them any way you like them.  While the eggs are cooking sprinkle a small amount of colby or cheddar cheese to the eggs.  Remove from heat.  

To assemble, take your tortilla and spread with some good salsa.  Then, place your eggs on top of that and top it off with some sliced avocado and cilantro.  Roll it up and enjoy.  The avocado is a MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acid.  Some other rich sources include olive oil, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate.  Of course these also are higher calorie so don't go overboard.
Today's tip is to try to add MUFA's, like avocado into your diet each day.  If you haven't tried avocado , it really is good.  



Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Well, today marks about 3 months that I have been off diet soda.  I never really liked the regular sodas because they were too sweet for me, so I thought I was doing OK even while losing weight reaching for diet soda.  There was something about the soda that I loved... so much I was addicted.  I never would think I was addicted to it, but looking back I know I was.  I could eat more healthy, eat less, exercise, but give up my diet soda.. NEVER. 

 I read all the health books and magazines that said how bad artificial sweeteners are but I  never could kick the habit.  I even tried to give it up and was off of it for about a week when I got this severe headache that wouldn't go away for 6 days... straight.  Nothing would take it away.  I was thinking brain tumor while I was sitting on the couch eating some pizza and deciding I needed a diet soda.  I don't think it was 10 minutes after I drank the soda that I realized my headache was totally gone.  You may say that is wasn't the diet soda, but I am convinced that was what it was.  It was like I was going through withdrawal  from it.  So, I went right back to drinking it.

3 months ago I finally decided that enough was enough.  The stuff is poison to our bodies.  There are loads of products with artificial sweeteners in it calling it sugar free or diet.  If we continue to consume it our bodies cannot digest this properly.  So, I'm done with it for good.  If I am in need of what I think to be that diet soda, I drink seltzer water.  It gives you all the bubbles without any bad stuff.  It's water with bubbles... that's it.  Love that stuff!!  

Sugar seems so natural and good, and I would much rather consume real sugar than any artificial sweetener, but Americans consume way too much sugar.  It is in everything from ketsup to breads to sauces.  The list could go on.  I just read that in the early 1900's Americans consumed 15 grams of sugar per day.  Today the average is 90 grams of sugar.  You do the math on that one.  We eat WAY too much sugar.  (I won't even get into high fructose corn syrup on this post... that will be for another day.)

So today's tip is stay away from artificial sweeteners and try to eat less sugar in general.  You can use honey, organic agave, or stevia which is plant based and no calories.  Honey and agave still have calories but do not spike your blood sugar like table sugar does.  In some other posts I will do some recipes that I swap out the sugar and use honey or agave and they are just as yummy !!



Sunday, September 26, 2010


Hello all.  I have been getting a lot of messages and people asking me why they cannot comment on the blog and my answer has been... I don't know.  I think you have to sign up.  

Well, I think I have figured out how and have set the blog so that you all can comment now.  Please feel free to try and let me know if it works!  

Hoping it does and thank you for all your support and comments to this blog.  If you have any questions at all about anything I write please let me know and I will try my best to answer and if I don't know I will research and try my best to find out and will get back with you. 



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toasted Cheese Sandwiches...Yum

Last night was one of those I don't really feel like cooking nights.  So, when I feel like this I usually do something simple like soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  The one I have pictured above is the adult version. It is 100% whole wheat bread stuffed with mozzarella, cheddar, and swiss cheeses.  Also, fresh spinach, garden tomatoes and roasted red peppers. After I stuffed it, I dipped it into beaten eggs and then grilled it on the stove top in a little extra virgin olive oil. Think -- french toast meets toasted cheese.  It was so yummy.  I also made a pot of homemade chicken soup with it.

The kids version was the same omitting the tomatoes and roasted peppers, but I kept the spinach... they do need some nutrition, right?

So you can make this very easily, just use whole grain bread. That white stuff may taste good, but has no nutritional value at all.  I guess you could use the white wheat, but give the whole wheat a try, it really is good.  Oh and please please check the ingredients to make sure there is no high fructose corn syrup in the bread !! 
Also, use REAL CHEESE.  That stuff in the plastic package is NOT cheese.  It really does make a difference to use real ingredients.  Then use whatever you like, peppers, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, basil...the combinations are endless. (You can even do this with peanut butter and banana -yum)

So, today's tip is to try 100 % whole wheat bread if you already aren't. It has so much more fiber and vitamins than the other stuff, so go ahead give it a try.



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

See You At The Pole 2010

Well, today wall another early morning.  I had to get the kids out earlier than usual because today was National See You At The Pole day.  For all unfamiliar with what this is you can check it out on
It is a student lead time of prayer around their school's flagpole before school.  It all started 20 years ago with a small group kids at their youth group who felt led to do this.  Now it is an official thing.  Schools around the world participate in this wonderful time of prayer where students come together to pray for their schools, their peers, and their teachers.  

This morning as I dropped off my oldest son, no one was at the pole yet and I was worried as he sat there alone waiting.  I had to get the 2 younger boys off to their school.  At the elementary school there were teachers waiting, parents, people from the community and local churches there to support our kids as they took a stand and prayed around the flagpole.  There were at least 40-50 or more there.  It was awesome to look around and see these kids bowing their heads to pray!  As I was praying I thought about how my oldest son was there alone so I quietly left and went to see what was happening at the high school.

Well, it was so great!  There were about 30 or more teenagers holding hands and praying.  It really moved me and I was also proud of my son who was participating in this and knew he was not alone.  I always think of peer pressure as a bad thing and it usually is, but in this instance it was a good thing, peers standing for something good and true !!  

So, my tip for the day is to pray pray pray !!!  As I am on this journey of overall health, I realize that spiritual health really is the most important!  
James 5:16  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Ok here is one that I am still trying to do...  drink more water.  I don't know why this is a challenge for me.  I like water but I don't drink it enough.   We are supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day.   You can get this from other foods and drinks as well, but nothing like pure simple H20..  I am really going to try harder with this one.

So today's tip is simple...Drink more water.



Monday, September 20, 2010

The dreaded.... Dental Appointment

Ok, not only is it Monday, which makes it hard enough to get myself up, kids to school, exercise and try to accomplish something, but it is my dreaded dental appointment day.  Ugh.  I am sorry, but who actually likes to go to the dentist.  It is one of those necessary evils.  I really feel bad for dentists because no one is really happy to see them... except if you have a bad toothache you will be really really happy to be seeing the dentist. 

Anyway, I go for my 6 month appointment for a cleaning and check up and everything looks good, Thank God.  If I had a cavity that is another story of panic.  Did I ever tell anyone that when I was a kid they actually drilled my cavities with NO NOVOCAINE !!!!  Who does that??  I guess that is why I am so messed up over seeing the dentist. That and I feel like I cannot breathe when they are sticking their hands in my mouth.  Well, enough of me bellyaching. 

So, every time I go they ask me if I have been flossing and I am always tempted to lie and say yes when I really only do it once in a while.  This time I got to tell them that for the past 2 months I HAVE been flossing every day !!!  I have really been thinking about my overall health and I have been really trying to do the right things to become more healthy so I had to tell myself that flossing is part of overall health.  So, yes I am forcing myself to floss EVERY DAY.

I asked my dentist why this is so important not only for my gums but overall health and he explained that if we have so much bacteria in our mouths it causes inflammation and that inflammation can travel to other parts of our arteries and cause strokes or other harmful or deadly diseases.  Wow I didn't know that.

So, today's tip is if you don't already, start flossing.  It is not only good for your teeth and gums but your overall health.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ok I am sooo new to this

Hi.  Well, upon conversing with my cousin Elizabeth today, here is my new "hobby"  She always says everyone needs a hobby and well... I just don't really have one.  I like to read, I am recently interested in health.  I mean overall health.  Not fad diets or temporary fixes but true whole foods with no garbage in it.  I have been doing a lot of research and reading on all of this so I hope to share it with you.  I also love to cook.  I really enjoy making homemade Italian style pizzas, artisan breads and soft pretzels.  So, I am combining my love for food crossed with how we can do things more healthy. 

So as I said before, I don't have a hobby and cousin Elizabeth said why don't you start a blog.  Well, that sounded like a good hobby for me, so here it goes.  I am going to give it a try.  I hope whoever reads this will enjoy it and hopefully we can learn some things together.

First tip of the Blog.  Short and simple.  Eat Real Food !!

Have a great night and God Bless.