Sunday, November 18, 2007

A new day

So far, I'm doing ok. It is Saturday morning and the weekend is the most difficult time for me. Paul came home with peanut M&M's and a gigantic Snicker's bar yesterday! I did not have any and didn't even feel tempted by them. I'm going to focus on getting my sugar addiction under control. It's amazing to me that after a short time of 4-5 days with no sugar, I could care less about sugar. I've always been a sugar addict, but have gotten off of sugar a few times. Once I let myself have a small amount of sugar, it's very easy to become a full-blown addict again. So, I'm going to try and not have any refined sugar at all before the holidays hit and I'm bombarded with opportunities to eat lots of sugar-laden goodies.

Last night, the family had salad with grilled chicken breast on it. I had some leftover Sloppy Lennies on top of a big, green salad. I used a recipe from Dr. McDougall for my sloppy lennies with a few variations.

I started out adding the following to my stockpot:

3 c. dried lentils
2 packed cups of grated carrots
2 chopped green peppers
1 chopped yellow pepper

Then add:

6 c. water
1 can stewed tomatoes and 1 can of diced tomatoes blended in the Vitamix (the recipe calls for 2 cans of tomato sauce, but I didn't have any)
3 T. tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T. dried parsley (or 3 T. fresh)
1 bay leaf
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. dried basil

Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Here they are on a whole wheat bun with spring mix on top (or you could use any kind of lettuce) and fresh pineapple on the side. They were very good!

I took my kids out to take some pictures to use for Christmas cards, so I'll share a few...

Here is Riley, my 15 yr. old

Reeve is 12

Braedy is 10

Jack is 3

Last, but not least, Oscar is 7 mos.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Step away from the cookie jar!

Ok, confession time! I bought some gingerbread cookies for a treat for the kids while we were at Trader Joe's and I did great at first, but caved in the end. SIGH! Oh well, it was only a 2 day lapse and I'm back on today!

I did make some yummy meals, though. I don't have last night's pics downloaded yet, but will get those up later.

A couple of nights ago, I made a yummy corn chowder. I started out by peeling about 1/2 of a 5 lb. bag of potatoes and dicing them into small pieces. I threw them in my big stock pot along with 3 cups of sliced carrots and about 1 1/2 c. sliced celery (I would have added more celery, but I ran out.). Rachael Ray taught me to even use the leafy part of the celery. I used to throw that out, but not anymore.

I also would have added an onion, but I was out, so had to use the yucky, dried, minced onions from the jar.

I filled the pot with enough water to go over the veggies about an inch. Then, I added some vegetable bouillon.

I set the temp. on high and brought the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer until the vegetables were soft. Once they were soft, I removed about 5 cups of the vegetables.

Then, I used my immersion blender and blended the veggies that were left in the water.

Here it is all blended up.

At this point, I added 4 cups of frozen corn and chopped up some spinach to add to it as well. I added about 2 cups of packed leaves. Here is a picture of 1/2 of the amount of spinach I added.

The recipe didn't call for spinach and I'm not so sure I'd add it again next time. It is a little slimey when cooked in soup and it may have been better if I had cut it up in even smaller pieces. After adding the spinach, I also added one bunch of sliced green onions. I let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes and it was ready to eat.

There are no beans in this one, but I did buy some great northern beans to add to it when I eat the leftovers. It was very good, but like I said, I may not add spinach next time. It didn't give it a bad taste, it was just the slimey leaves that I didn't like.

Also, keep in mind I have 5 boys and a hungry husband, so my pots are nice and big, so that we have leftovers for lunch during the week.

Now, if I can stay away from the chips and cookies until after Thanksgiving, I'll be in good shape. I have been continuing my 30 minute workouts every day except Sunday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weigh in day

Well, today is the day I weigh myself. I am down 2 lbs. since last week. Not a big loss, but an expected one with the few slip-ups I had this week. I have been continuing my exercise with 30 mins. per day.

Last night for dinner, I made one of my favorite soups. I also had it for lunch today.

Firstly, I added to a large stock pot:

3 cups of sliced carrots
3 cups of sliced celery
1 white onion (2 probably would have been better, but we don't like onions too much)
1 1/2 cups of chopped cabbage leftover from a previous meal
2 small, shredded zucchini
1 large shredded yellow squash

Then, I added a whole quart box of vegetable broth and added water until it came up over the vegetables about an inch or so. To that, I added 2 cans of tomato sauce and a 7 oz. jar of tomato paste, 3 cans of kidney beans and about 2 Tablespoons of Italian seasoning.

I brought it to a boil and then simmered until the veggies softened a bit. Then, I added about 4 cups of broccoli, chopped in small pieces. Here is what the pot looked like at this point.

While the pot simmered, I chopped up a big head of kale and a bunch of parsley.

Then, I added it to the pot.....will it fit??

Yep! It fit and here is what it looks like after it's all stirred together.

And then....served in a bowl.


I also wanted to mention something that I made for Paul and the boys, a few days ago, that they all ate happily. I made them spaghetti with ground turkey breast and red sauce (I normally just give them veggie sauce, but Paul likes me to cook meat at least once a week.) and snuck some chopped baby spinach into it. I normally steam broccoli on the side, but I chopped it all up and just stirred it into the sauce to hide the spinach. My 15 yr. old will not drink smoothies with spinach in it, but he ate this without flinching! Of course, I didn't tell him I put spinach in it. Shhhhh!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Simple meals

There's something to be said about simple meals. I find that when my meals are kept simple, I have more time to spend with my family. I love to spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing meals, but with little ones, I just don't have the time right now. I'm thankful that grocery stores offer easy-to-prepare foods, such as veggies that are already cut up for me. Last night, I had a simple meal of fresh, steamed, green beans and brown rice with a little bit of tamari and spicy szechuan sauce. Yum.

My mom told me that they sell fresh green beans that already have the ends cut off. I'm going to have to get me some of those. Cutting the ends off of the green beans is one of my least favorite chores.

My breakfasts have been consistent with a green smoothie of some sort and a handful of cashews. This really keeps me satisfied for hours.

With the weather getting cold, I'm craving more warm foods and will probably make some yummy soup for the family. I'm craving split pea or lentil soup, but my 12 and 10 yr. olds don't like those. The problem I have with warm soups is that being a midwestern girl, I want bread to sop the bottom of my soup bowl up with. This will be one of my challenges.

I've been struggling with the starches lately. I miss my tortilla chips and bread. I've had some air-popped popcorn to try and satisfy the cravings, but I always feel empty after eating's like eating cardboard!

Anyways, I'll leave you with a photo of my guys. :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Still going...

I'm still hanging in there....barely. It's really tough to get something healthy made with the little one. It's either clean or eat....I can't always do both, so I'm often doing dishes (so that I can use the counter!) while Oscar is happy and by the time I'm ready to make the food, he gets fussy.

So, I've had a few unhealthy foods because I've been so hungry. Not terrible, but not E2L. The one thing I am consistent with is my morning smoothie, so that is good. I usually do ok for dinner because hubby is home to help with the little one. Lunchtime is the harder meal to get in. It's ok when I have my salad and veggies cut up and my bean dip/dressing all made, but I ran out last night and haven't had a chance to prepare more. I'll get to it, though!

I haven't eaten dinner yet, but I'm thinking of having something I make quite often. I chop up my favorite veggies (in this picture is broccoli, 2 red and 2 green peppers and cabbage) and steam them in a big pan, covered, with a little water added to the bottom.

I also add some Italian spices and any other spices I want. After it has steamed for a little bit, I add either tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce and beans (In this case, I added 3 cans of kidney beans). If I'm having a starch, I serve it on that, but I often have it plain. In this picture, I served it on 1/2 a ciabatta bun.

These veggies and beans are one of my favorite meals! I've been keeping up on my workouts, although I'd love to get an hour in rather than 30 minutes. Maybe when Oscar gets a little older. I pay the older kids to watch him while I work out and he usually gets fussy after 20-25 mins., so I can't do it yet. It's probably better for me to ease back into my workouts anyways.

I hope everyone else is getting their workouts in! If I can do it, anyone can! :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New Day 2

I did it again! I worked out for the 2nd day in a row. It was only 30 minutes because the baby started crying, but that's much better than nothing. Also, I got on the scale again (I've been planning on having my weigh in day be Monday, but with yesterday's mess up, I decided to do it again today.) and it read 184. So, I didn't gain quite as much as I thought I had. Phew!

I started my morning with a smoothie and a handful of cashews. It kept me full until about 3pm! Wow! The cashews really made a difference. I think I'll continue having cashews with my smoothie.

I got hungry at around 3, but we were out and about and I didn't get home until about 4 and had a few carrots with some black bean hummus that I had made last night. This hummus is one of my staples. I just LOVE it and it is so yummy on salad in place of fatty dressings. Here's how I make it.

I fill up my food processor with 2 red peppers.

Then, I add 1 small or 1/2 large red onion and 6 cloves of garlic.

Then, I add 4 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed), the juice from 4 limes, 1 T. oregano, 1 1/2 T. cumin and 2 T. chipotle seasoning.

I blend it all up (sometimes, I can only fit 2 cans of beans until after it has blended a little bit.) and after it's completely blended, I add 1 bunch of cilantro and pulse it until mixed throughout. I put it on my salads and it's so good!

That's all for today. It's 11pm and I'm exhausted. I want to make sure I can get up and work out tomorrow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm baaaa-aaaack! New Day 1!

I am back and my baby is 7 mos. old! I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog since I was 8 wks. pregnant.

I have 50, yes, FIFTY pounds to lose! As of August, I had 30 lbs. to lose and I have since gained 20 more...while breastfeeding......tandem breastfeeding. SIGH... So much for breastfeeding to help you lose weight.

I am ready to go, though. I got on the scale this morning and here is what I saw:

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UGH. I almost weigh as much as my husband. My XL clothing is snug and I won't even think about buying any jeans because I have no idea what size I wear right now. I can't find my old size 14 jeans from my last post-pregnancy time period, but I'm pretty sure this body wouldn't be able to squeeze into them.

That's ok, though, because as of today, it's going to be coming off. I'm not saying I won't ever have a slip up again because we all have those days, but I will not gain 20 lbs. during my slip ups this time! (Edited to add: I'm a total airhead! Of COURSE I'm going to weigh a lot more when I'm weighing myself with my camera! I have a huge, heavy, Canon camera with a big, heavy lens attached. It probably weighs 5 lbs., which is how much I was up by. I couldn't figure out how I had gained that much in just a couple of days. LOL!)

I'm going to try my hardest, with 2 little ones, including a demanding baby, to have healthy meals which include salads and lots of vegetables and fruits.

Here are my before pics. I can't wait until I can post my after pics! They were taken right after I worked out, so they're not exactly pretty.

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Yes, you read right, I actually worked out for the first time since my 2nd trimester of pregnancy! I did just join a health club, but the little ones have colds and I'm not too sure I want to expose them to all of the germs that are in a childcare setting. For now, I'm doing the Turbo Jam videos and one of my kids gets paid to play with the baby until I finish. Today was a short, introductory work out, which shows the moves and teaches you how to do each one. Then, there was a short, 15 minute, fat burning workout.! I thought I was gonna die (said in my Roseanne Rosannadana!)! I can't believe how out of shape I am. I used to do an hour weight training class in the mornings and after the kids were in bed (when I only had 3), I'd go running for a 1/2 hour. Now, I can barely do 15 minutes of low impact exercise. Oh well, I'll get there.

It was easy to get up early with the time change. I love it when I get up early and am productive. I need to get my shower in now and then make my smoothie. I'll post that after my shower.

Okay, I've had my smoothie and am getting hungry for lunch, but the baby isn't letting me chop my lettuce. This is what happens every time. Not to mention the fact that the kids decided that they wanted to help paint the dining room. I'm doing one wall at a time, so as not to overwhelm myself. My 3 yr. old insisted on helping, too, so I had to sit there and make sure he didn't drip all over the place.

Here are some pics of my smoothie. First is a pic with an orange and a banana at the bottom and a bunch of spinach at the top. This pic shows the large amount of spinach that I put in it:

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Here it is with all of the spinach added:

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Here it is just before blending with blueberries and strawberries added. I can't get the top all of the way on until I blend for a little while.

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Here is what it looks like after it's all blended:

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Here's a little video of Oscar enjoying his smoothie:

Here are a couple of pics of Oscar enjoying his smoothie:

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I think that's enough for now. I may post my lunch and dinner if I have the time.