Saturday, June 30, 2012
When I shared with Deneene that I was GF I told her not to worry about going crazy with trying to meet that restriction 100% because my son and husband also love the foodie pen pal packages and I share with them so if there was something I could not enjoy they would definitely enjoy it. Deneene shared with me that this wasn't something she had encountered before but wanted me to enjoy my package and was going to do her research on meeting my needs. She was so sweet!
The package arrived the Saturday before Father's Day and my little guy was ecstatic that the postman brought it! He helped me open it.
Here is my little guy showing his excitement for the package. Ha ha ha... he's a funny child. He wanted to dive right in as you can see!
What a fun package! I really loved that Deneene not only took time to research GF but that she also went one step further and made me some homemade goodies. How sweet!!! I hadn't made either before so they were a real treat! The box package was full of goodness. Homemade Trail Mix Bars and Fruity Pebble treats, Mike & Ike, Fruit Roll ups, Dove Chocolate, some fun flavors of gum, Reese's Pieces, a Balance Bar (yogurt honey nut which is only1 of 2 that are certified GF- awesome Deneene- Thank You!), and my favorite Nut Thins! Deneene did an awesome job and I was able to enjoy everything and that's exactly what I did! Here is my little guy with the chocolate. He was so excited!
A few months back we had a family dinner where one of our guests was Vegan. She stressed it wasn't a big deal to meet her needs etc. but of course I wanted to because she was coming to my home for dinner and I wanted her to enjoy it. Someone who was throwing the dinner with me (a grandma of mine) felt we shouldn't have to accommodate her and since she already offered to bring her own meal that was good enough and she was sure "some" of what we were serving would meet her needs. But that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted her to enjoy all of it. It means the world to someone with a food restriction if you take the time out to learn about their needs. It is more appreciated than one could even verbalize. Thank you Deneene for learning about my special needs and nailing it. You are too sweet and it's been a true pleasure getting to know you and reading your blog as well!!
If any of you are thinking of joining the Foodie Pen Pal program I highly recommend it. You will love it too!
To start, I am not a patient person! So when I found out that she had sent it out early, I was even more excited! How happy was I when I came home to find waiting for me on my porch one day?! Of course I ran inside to open it up and this is what I found...
How pretty is that? I loved reading her note and also unwrapping everything that she sent. So this is what was in the package:
And finally my favorite part of all...
So there it is! That's everything I got this month. Aren't you so jealous! This is such a fun program. But what is even better is all of the friendships that I've been making. Jilly and I are still e-mailing each other. If we lived closer, I know we would be friends.
And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!
*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!
So long for today...
Friday, June 29, 2012
This week sure has been a busy one! I'm really looking forward to the weekend, although I think it's going to be another busy one. I'm hoping that we're going to be able to get everything done inside the camper so that I can start filling up the storage with pot & pans, plates and all that good stuff! Shopping spree anyone? It's supposed to be over 100 degrees here this weekend anyway, so staying inside will definitely be a necessity!
Dinner was absolutely delicious! I've been seeing so many posts and pins about greek food. I got the idea to make some greek turkey burgers last night. Holy moley they were good! TC actually ate 3 of them, yes, I said 3! They're really easy and so good! You need to try these...SOON! Here's the recipe:
GREEK TURKEY BURGERS
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 c. crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. onion, minced
1 t. McCormick's Mediterranean Herb seasoning
1/4 t. salt
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix until very well combined. Form into 4 even patties. Grill for 12 - 15 minutes on each side, or until well done.
I served mine on Whitewheat buns for an additional 3 points. You can add whatever toppers you want. I also added some American cheese for a little more tang. You could add some tzaziki sauce, too...whatever flavors you want to use really.
Since this weekend is supposed to be a scorcher, I wanted to definitely get my run in last night. The only way I'll be able to run this weekend is if it's in the wee hours of the morning. Ha! We'll see if my eyelids cooperate and stay open for me. So I did a 4 mile run last night. It was a beautiful evening. It's so nice to run in the early morning and the late evening. Such a peaceful time!
So long for today...
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I am so glad that Wednesday. Not only because it means we are on the downward side of the week, but also because we finally have the camper. I was pretty stressed out about this and my eating definitely proved that. I have had great difficulty stopping the hand to mouth motion the last couple of days. We got the camper last night, so now the work starts. The money is gone, the camper is here and there shouldn't be anything else to stress over, right? Ha!
For dinner, I made a new recipe that I found on Lauren's Latest. Ever since I had Pad Thai at a local restaurant a few years back, I've wanted to try to re-create it. I looked over the recipe and had everything but the Hoisin sauce and rice noodles. Well, I had to use ric sticks for this since I couldn't find the noodles in my local grocery stores. I'm sure I could have if I looked hard enough, but I didn't want to take the time to go to every store in the area looking for these. So the sticks would work for me. You can add any combination of veggies that you want. It's whatever you like. This recipe was good, but not great. I think it was the vinegar that I didn't like. So I guess I will continue searching for a pad thai recipe that I love! Here's tonight's recipe:
CHICKEN PAD THAI
adapted from Lauren's Latest
4 T. soy sauce
3 T. hoisin sauce
4 T. sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
7 oz packaged rice noodles
1 lb. uncooked boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 c. chopped, uncooked onion
1/2 c. Egg Beaters
3/4 c. shredded carrots
3/4 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper, any color
In small bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, garlic, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and set aside to allow sugar to dissolve.
Meanwhile, cook rice noodles according to package directions. While those are cooking, place large skillet over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, add chicken and veggies and cook until cooked is lightly browned and veggies are tender. Move chicken and veggies to one side of skillet and pour the Egg Beaters into the other side. Cook until Egg Beaters are cooked. Add drained rice noodles and sauce to skillet. Stir to combine. If you need more sauce, add some water or chicken broth.
Garnish with peanuts, cilantro or green onions. Whatever you have on hand.
I am very happy that I have gotten to a place where running helps me to relieve stress. Well, I was very stressed after my long day and definitely needed a run. I'm still keeping it kind of easy, but I did manage to get 3.5 miles in. It felt so good, too. I definitely wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather that we're having. It's forecasted to be over 100 degrees this weekend. Yuck! Looks like any running I do will be restricted to the early morning hours only!
So long for today...
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Yes, you read that right. There is zucchini in these brownies...about 2 cups to be exact. So even though there is a ton of sugar in these things, I guess you should feel a little better because at least you are getting in some veggies at the same time, right? Or just chalk it all up to a well worth it splurge. Track it and move on. That's what we all say in my WW Message Board! You just have to decide what you think is worth your points and try to be mindful of all your other eating. Everything in moderation.
I promise you. No one will know that there is zucchini in these. I took them to work and told them all that there was a little added green to the brownies. Of course, some of them got the complete wrong idea! But they still tried them. One guy even had 3 of them. So how good do you think they must be? Here is the recipe:
FROSTED ZUCCHINI BROWNIES
adapted from Mommy? I'm Hungry!
Points+: 5 (including frosting)
½ c. vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 ½ c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. zucchini (shredded)
6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ c. margarine (I used butter)
2 c. confectioners sugar
½ c. milk
½ t. vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish. (I lined with parchment)
In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until well blended. In another bowl combine the flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. A little at a time stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in zucchini and walnuts. The batter will be dry and crumbly, don't worry. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
To make the frosting- In a small saucepan over low heat melt together the cocoa powder and margarine. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl blend confectioner’s sugar, milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the margarine/cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into squares.
So most of my evening was spent on the road since we had to run up to Andrews, SC and then had dinner in Georgetown. I definitely knew I had to work out tonight because of the brownies + the time stuck in the car. Tonight, I decided to do an Oldie but a Goodie and did Walk Away the Pounds - 3 miles. It's a great 45 minute indoor walking video. It was the first time that I had ever done it since I got my HRM. The result? 237 calories burned. Not too bad if you ask me!!
So long for today...
Monday, June 25, 2012
Happy "Makeup Monday" everyone! So even though I had a good bit of exercise yesterday, the scale was still up a little bit today so I had another "Makeup Monday." What this usually means is grilled chicken, brown rice and some kind of veggie for dinner. I really think that hubby has come to expect this on Mondays now. I'm not very confident that the scale will drop too much more by tomorrow morning, but it's worth a shot.
So go ahead and guess where I found this chicken recipe...PINTEREST! I'm sure you're shocked by that! This is so good and so easy, too. You know me, it's all about the ease for me! The house smelled amazing while I was cooking this, too! I love using brown sugar in cooking. I love the surprise sweetness that it adds to the dish. Here is the recipe:
EASY GARLIC CHICKEN
adapted from Food.com
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 t. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 T. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.
I'm still a little torn on which workout to do tonight. I'm debating between either Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones, or level 1 of her Extreme Shed & Shred. Life really is full of tough decisions! Tune into Facebook later for the exciting conclusion to "Which Workout Will Deneene Do!" Haha!
So long for tonight...
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Whew! What a busy day! Today was chocked full of so much activity and so much fun, too! It was a typical Sunday where we went to church. Afterwards, we headed up to my parents house. It was too hot to run today, so while Addison was napping, I had the great idea to go for a bike ride around the lake. TC was supportive and went with me. I had decided that I wanted to ride for about an hour. So we stopped about a half hour into it for a water break. Well, once we started riding back, we realized that TC's back tire was flat. Here we are almost 4 1/2 miles away from civilization and we have a flat tire. So TC said that if I would run, he would ride my bike and push his. So that is what we did. We took a couple of breaks to just walk for a little bit but other than that, we were high-tailing it back to try to beat the storm. We didn't quite beat the storm and about the last mile of our trek was in the rain. So I feel like I did a tri-athalon today. I biked, ran and then swam through the rain back. That counts, right?
So one thing that has been on my baking bucket list is zucchini bread. I tried it years ago and loved it and have wanted to make some ever since. I finally got the chance to do this after I picked up some zucchini at the farmer's market this week. I searched for different recipes and finally decided on this one because it was a little healthier. It was absolutely delicious, too! Here's the recipe:
HEALTHIER ZUCCHINI BREAD
adapted from The Sweets Life
2 1/2 c. shredded zucchini (approximately 2 medium)
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. canola oil
3/4 c. egg beaters or 3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 c. sugar (cut down from the original 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
3 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray the bottoms of 2 (8x4) inch pans (or 4 mini loaf pans) with cooking spray.
Mix zucchini, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except the walnuts until well blended. Fold in walnuts.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake 50-60 min (or 25-35 min for mini pans) until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing loaves and cooling completely on wire racks.
So in addition to my tri-athalon earlier, I also got in level 1 of Yoga Meltdown tonight, since it's Sunday. But I'm sure that's what you expected. What you probably didn't expect was that we went on the peddle boat tonight with my parent's for a little while. Even though I didn't wear my HRM and do any official tracking of activity points, I still burned some calories! Every little bit counts!
So long for today...
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Today is a very exciting day for me. You see, tonight is my very first girl's night out since before I had Addison. I love spending time together as a family, so I never really wanted to do a girl's night out before. I've recently become pretty close friends with a couple of ladies at work. We try to make it to lunch at least once a week, but we are always cut short due to only having a "hour." To make up for this, we've decided to do girl's night out tonight. We were going to do dinner and a movie, but realized the other peoplein the movie theater would get mad at us when we keep talking to each other. Instead, we're headed to downtown Charleston for dinner and walking around. We also plan to get some fro-yo. I'm so excited!
I have been planning to make Cheeseburger Cupcakes for a while now, but kept pushing it off for one reason or another. I had all the ingredients for them and just never got around to making them for dinner. I took care of this today when I made them for lunch. It was more than I usually eat for lunch, but I really wanted to make them. I really liked them and I think TC did, too because he ate 6! Yep, they're that good! Here's the recipe:
adapted from Emily Bites
¼ c. onion, finely chopped
½ lb. 95% lean ground beef
1 T. Seasoned salt
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
4 Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedges
3 T. ketchup
1 t. mustard
16 wonton wrappers (typically found in the produce section)
½ c. tomatoes, chopped
4 oz (1 cup) reduced fat 2% shredded cheddar cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and bring to medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until cooked. Add ground beef and Hamburger seasoning and cook until meat is browned. Add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until mushrooms are browned as well.
In a microwavable bowl, combine meat/mushroom mixture, cheese wedges, ketchup and mustard and stir. Microwave for one minute on high. Stir to combine until meat mixture is fully coated.
Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Using about half of the meat mixture, spoon evenly into the wonton wrappers. Follow by sprinkling some of the chopped tomatoes into each cup (using about half the total tomatoes). Sprinkle about half the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.
This morning, I got in a very sweaty 4 miles. I was trying to decide between 4 or 5 miles...until I walked out of the house. I waited too long to go running and the heat and humidity had already decided to pay a visit. Once I felt the heat, I knew it was only going to be 4 miles today. But het, at least that is better than 3, right?
So long for today...
Friday, June 22, 2012
Well hello there! I hope you all had a great day. My day was wonderful! It's days like this that help to make up for the ones that aren't as great. My day started with a 4 mile run with absolutely beautiful weather. We had a couple of errands to run in the morning, but after that, the day was spent at home relaxing. I baked a little bit today and I also tried to get a little sun. We went out for dinner, then had a nice visit with my parents. Days just don't get much better than this.
So while I was trying to eat non-processed, there was only one thing that was helping me to make it through the work day. The evening after my first day, I realized that I needed some kind of starchy carb to eat throughout my day. After I searched through some blogs, I found the perfect recipe...English Muffin Bread. What is great about this besides how delicious it is (especially toasted with butter and some type of jelly or curd) is how easy it was to make. You mix everything up, let it rise and then bake it. Seriously, couldn't be any eaiser! Here's the recipe:
ENGLISH MUFFIN BREAD
adapted from Juanita's Cocina
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages yeast
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
Grease two loaf pans and coat them in a thin layer of cornmeal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Heat the milk and water in a microwave-safe bowl until very warm. (It took me approximately 4 minutes) Add the warm water to the stand mixer bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, begin to mix the ingredients together.
Gradually add in the remaining 3 cups of flour until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Divide the dough in half and gently press each half into the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with more cornmeal. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake in the oven on 350 for 25 minutes, or until loaves turn a golden-brown color.
I woke up this morning and had my morning blueberry and greek yogurt parfait and then headed out for a run. I felt great and the weather was perfect, so I pushed it to 3 miles. I'm still trying to take it easy, so my times are slowing down a little bit. But i'm proud to report that I have ran/jogged/walked 15 miles so far this week and I'm not done yet!
So long for today...
Thursday, June 21, 2012
My friend and I were talking and we have come to the realization that there really is minimal processed foods in our diets already. I'm a big believer of the everything in moderation mind-set. So that is what I am going to do. I've already eliminated caffeine from my diet as well as artificial sweeteners. I think doing that can really help to make my diet cleaner. So we will go with the moderation idea for a while and see how it works.
The good news is that I will be able to try out some new recipes again and share them with you. I bought some zucchini at the Farmer's Market and have wanted to make some zucchini bread for a while, so you can probably expect to see that on the blog in the near future.
Before I decided to quit (I hate being a quitter.), I did take some pics of what I had eaten so let me share them with you:
1 egg + 1 egg white, 1 piece of English Muffin Bread with 1/2 t. organic butter and 1 t. lemon blueberry curd. (I didn't get a picture of this, but just imagine yesterday's breakfast with some blueberry curd on the toast.)
1 banana - Again, not picture, but you are familiar with bananas.
Pear & Almond Salad again with 1 piece of English Muffin Bread w/ 1/2 t. organic butter & 1 t. lemon blueberry curd.
I had visited the local Farmer's Market during lunch and picked up some yummy fruits and vegetables, so I also cut up a cantaloupe and had some of that.
I also had some frozen dark cherries that I thawed out for a quick snack. I think these are so good!
The last snack that I took a picture of was my chopped egg white with some pico de gallo.
So I'm trying to slow down my running. I ran/jogged 3 miles around the neighborhood paying close attention to my heart rate. After I got back from that, I also did some strength moves for my arms and legs. It felt good (but weird) to run so slow, but I guess it's better for my joints, right?
So long for today...
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Please bear with me. I am trying to write this post on a mobile device and I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. So here we go.
I am happy to report that my 2nd day of eating non-processed foods went better than the first. I'm not sure if it was because I had the first and hardest day out of the way or because I had some delicious bread to eat. I had made some English Muffin bread Monday evening to eat during my day. I am a carb lover, so not having any non-processed carbs to eat was pretty hard for me. Whatever the reason, it was much easier than the first day and makes me think that I might actually be able to make it through the week. Here is what my day looked like in food:
Breakfast: 1 egg + 1 egg white wih a piece of English Muffin Bread and 1 t. organic butter.
Morning Snack: 1 banana
Lunch: Romaine lettuce, 1 chopped pear, 1 T. sliced almonds, 2 T. Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressing in Pomegranate; 1 slice of English Muffin bread with 1 t. organic butter & 1 t. homemade blueberry curd.
Afternoon Snack: 1 c. strawberriesDidn't get a picture of this...
Dinner: Taco Salad: bed of romaine lettuce, 1 chopped tomato, 2 scallions, 1/2 c. taco beef made with homamade taco seasoning, 1 oz. Cabot natural Sharp Cheddar cheese.
After Dinner Sweetness: 1 c. mixed fruit.
EXERCISE: Tuesday was a pretty stressful day for me so I needed to move. The first thing I did was go for a very easy jog for about 20 minutes. I also did about 20 minutes of Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones Workout to get in some strength, too. It really helped to relieve some of my stress from the day. I like that instead of wanting to eat when I am stressed out, I am now wanting to run. Funny how things change!
So long for today...
Monday, June 18, 2012
So this week, I thought I would give you a view of everything that I ate each day. Here we go:
4 oz. Stoneyfield Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt with Honey
1 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. homemade granola
1/2 t. cinnamon
Bed of romaine lettuce
1 pear, chopped
1 T. sliced almonds
Homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing
I also ate some baby carrots and strawberries with lunch, but forgot to take a picture. But I also figured that you already know what those look like. I needed something sweet and crunchy with this so I also had a little more granola.
1 hard-boiled egg and 1 hard-boiled egg white
1/4 c. pico de gallo
I also had an apple, once again...you already know what this looks like.
1 serving Easy Garlic Chicken
3/4 c. whole wheat couscous
1 c. green beans
After dinner, I needed my something sweet, so I had a small bowl of mixed fruit:
Finally, I baked a loaf of English Muffin Bread and I wanted to try a piece of it to see how it tasted:
I got in a 2 mile walk after dinner before my parents brought Addison back from her day at the beach. I'm also planning to do my plank hold as well as some upper body moves to even everything out.
So there you have it. My first day of eating non-processed foods. It was pretty hard for me. I'm really hoping tomorrow will be easier!
So long for today...