Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ready for the week to begin!

I am so ready for Monday already!!
We are going out with a bang today and getting our favorite BBQ chicken pizza. I am not sure who is more excited-Amara or myself!
I already grocery shopped early this morning and sipped my full fat Starbucks fancy coffee drink as I walked the aisles. No more of that for a while!
I won't get my plan ( for SOS) until sometime tomorrow so I will just make the best choices and start following the plan on Tuesday. I have done it before so this is nothing new. The plan will have set parameters for protein, fat, carbs etc. for me to follow. I actually kind of miss this. Kind of.
In order to succeed I really need to be ready for this and I feel I am now.
I have made 3 batches of protein pancakes. The brown rice is simmering on the stove and the chicken breasts are cooking in the oven. The protein powder should be here by Tuesday. The fridge is filled with containers of cottage cheese, romaine lettuce, baby spinach and low fat yogurt. This is actually nothing new for us, but I did have to dust off my food scale again so I know exactly how much is going in my mouth. This is how I have found the most success when trying to drop some pounds. It can be tedious and annoying at times, but it works for me!
Bring on Monday!
Protein pancakes:

6 egg whites
1 cup cottage cheese ( I use 1% milk fat)
1 cup dry oats ( old fashioned)
cinnamon ( optional)
vanilla ( optional)
sweetener of your choice ( I use Stevia)
Cook on stove top like a pancake
You can blend in blender or just stir really well.
I fill a 1 half cup and can get 5 pancakes out of one batch.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give thanks

Please take a moment to give thanks to all the good and positive things in your life. I am most thankful for my friends and family today and everyday. I am also thankful for all the food and yummy desserts I will be eating this afternoon. I am thankful for whomever "invented" the idea of having a second helping of food-Thanks..I owe ya!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I actually exceeded my 6 recipes in 6 weeks! Take that!
On Sunday I made a loaf of banana bread with 1/2 cup cauliflower puree. It was very good!
This morning I used a1/2 cup of the same puree to make scrambled eggs. Amara asked for seconds! Both of these recipes get a thumbs up from me! If I remember correctly 6 out of the 8 recipes from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook were better than I expected. I might be making some repeats soon. Matt has asked for spaghetti pie again so I might make that this week.
Today I rejoined with my online trainer ( I still have high hopes of running the 25k this spring and this time I want to be properly fueled during my training instead of guessing on my behalf. I worked with this trainer to prepare for the figure show and I also joined from January to July of this year to aid in weight loss after having Miles. Since July I have only put on 2 pounds so I am very happy with that! I am very excited to see what happens next!
Since taking off from weight training these last few weeks my shoulders have been very happy. They feel normal.What a difference using 5 pound dumbbells make while doing a shoulder press. I am used to using 15-25 pounds for that exercise. I do miss lifting heavy, but I will be back at it soon enough. I hope my shoulders appreciate this rest as well.
Eating has been alright. I am probably very lax with it since I know I start my new "diet" and training in a few days. I have not gone hog wild by any means, but I sure am looking forward to all the Thanksgiving treats!
Happy Holidays!

Scrambled eggs:
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
Pinch of salt
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tsp. olive oil
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, sour cream, cauliflower puree, Parmesan and salt.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, then set the pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula, until the eggs are scrambled—firm but nice and moist—2 to 3 minutes.

Banana Bread:
nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 ts baking soda
1/4 ts baking powder
1/2 ts sea salt
1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 lg egg whites
1/2 cup pureed bananas
1/2 cup pureed cauliflower
1 ts pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan, or 2 mini pans, with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, Mix the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the egg whites, pureed banana and cauliflower, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes for a large loaf and 25-30 for 2 mini pans. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool before serving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recipe review, Turkey "Dinner", and the Rockettes

Today has been a busy day. Well, first I will review the turkey chili I made yesterday. It was good. I made a few changes though. I made mine with lean beef. I used a can of tomato sauce instead of chopped tomatoes ( Amara has a thing about chunks of tomatoes) and I used black beans in addition to the kidney beans the recipe called for-we love beans and 1 can just seemed like it was not going to be enough. This chili was a bit "soupier" than we normally make. Amara even made the comment, " This is not chili, it's soup." It just had more liquid then we are used to. It's not very spicy at all, but you can doctor up your individual bowl if you want to.

This recipes "hidden" veggies were red pepper and carrots..both are on the bottoms of the list of Amara's favorite things. She had no clue either. She also made a comment of " Yum, dinner smells sooo good!" Little did she know I was sauteing onions ( " I don't like onions momma") She ate it right up!

Today Amara had her turkey dinner at school. It was at 11:30am so it was really lunch, but she got upset if I said it was lunch. Matt and I were able to attend. It was really nice. They had everything. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls and nasty cranberry sauce. I can't stand that stuff. We were able to stay for about 45 minutes. Amara only went to school for part of the day because she and I and a friend and her daughter went to see the Rockettes perform!

The Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular Tour made a stop in Grand Rapids this year. I was not sure Amara was old enough to enjoy the show since she is not big on loud noises and big productions. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and was pleased that she sat through the entire 1.5 hour show ( in her own seat and not on my lap) without complaint! I was also not sure if this was my kind of thing. I changed my mind after seeing how much Amara enjoyed it. She is big into all things that sparkle and the outfits had plenty of bling too. We had a great photo opportunity while we were headed to the car- 3 of the rocekettes were coming out of the building, but Amara got suddenly shy, so no picture! She did fall asleep on the 10 minute drive home though!

Turkey chili
1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup red onion, chopped

1 pound turkey,

ground 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp chili powder, or to taste

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sweet paprika

⅛ tsp pepper

15 ounce chopped tomatoes

26 ounce chicken broth, (low sodium, reduced fat)

1 large red pepper, pureed (about ½ cup puree)

1 cup carrot, pureed (about ½ cup puree)

¼ cup cornmeal

2 tbsp flaxseed meal

15 ounce kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Coat the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium heat. When the pot it hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle the turkey with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika and pepper. Add the turkey to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add the broth, red pepper puree, carrot puree, cornmeal and flaxseed meal, and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until the flavors have blended. Stir in the beans and cook a little longer, just to heat them through.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

So just a few words........I got this idea from a lot of the blogs out there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Biggest Loser

I just finished watching The Biggest Loser. I love this show!!!! It's a 2 hour block that I carve out every Tuesday night at 8pm. I allow Amara to stay up an extra 15 minutes so she can watch. She loves to see the people exercising and "getting healthier than the last time". The people on the show are very inspiring and motivating to watch. Jillian is such a kick butt trainer with super buff arms ( and body) that I envy! Bob is tough when he needs to be, and just a great person ( as if we hang out or something). I am actually in the midst of reading Jillian's book called "Making the Cut" So far so good! A lot of the information she gives is stuff I already know, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have already Incorporated some of her fancy weight training moves in my group exercise classes.
This week is going well. I have decided not do any heavy weight lifting of my own for the rest of the month to give my body a break. It's smart to take a break from that every so often and I admit that I rarely even do unless forced to do so. People should take a break every 8-12 weeks depending. The last real break I took was after I had Miles 13 months ago--so I am a few months overdue! I love to do cardio anyway and am liking the shorter gym visits as well.
Tomorrow I am meeting my partner in crime to take on Power Pilates again at 5:30am. Later on I plan on hitting the Zumba class for my cardio fest. I am not sure if it's because I have been less active this week, but I have not had much of an appetite. I read somewhere recently that there is no direct correlation between exercise and hunger-that after exercise you really are not hungrier than if you did not exercise. I don't believe it at all. I need to research this more because I know that on very active days ( such as today-I teach 3 classes) I always feel hungrier than on a day that I am not as active. I will get to the bottom of this!
I have not been posting about our "cheat" meals recently because they are too boring. $5 cardboard pizza one week and Taco Bell the next. Blah. Too boring to talk about.
Matt is going to make his way back to the gym. He has declared that after Thanksgiving will be his debut. He has added another day of basketball to his regime already so that's a great start. He always takes a break during hunting season.
Amara can almost do a full blow cartwheel thanks to her once a week gym class at school!
Miles has taken up the practice of "sprinting" and jumping off of anything that happens to be in his path. Boys!
I am slacking on my recipe of the week. This is the last week so I need to figure out what to make. I will post about it later this week.
I have to get to bed. 4:30am will be here soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I made the chocolate chip cookies on Thursday and let me tell you, they did not disappoint! I think the only reason I thought they would be good was because Oprah said so. Otherwise I am not sure I would have even made them. Who wants a chocolate chip cookie that has a big 15oz can of garbanzo beans?!?! You could not taste, see or smell them in the cookies. Well, I take that back..every once in a while I did get a piece of bean "skin", but that was the only evidence that they were even included in the recipe.
I would not go as far as to say these are a totally healthy dessert, but it is a healthier version of the standard chocolate chip cookie and a healthier alternative. It's all about finding a balance. There are not many cookies that are full of fiber and protein and actually taste good. The recipe also includes trans-free tub butter spread alternative. The jury is still out on this. I have read that real butter is the healthiest thing to use as the fake stuff is compared to the actual plastic container it comes in.
Next time I might try real butter or even using a fruit puree instead. I might add some cocoa powder and use a white flour-whole wheat flour mixture.
I will definitely be making these again.
I will include the actual recipe this time!

Recipe by Jessica Seinfeld - Deceptively Delicious
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15 - ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
2 Cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cups raisins (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour1
teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, walnuts and raisins (if wanted,) and mix on a low speed until a thick dough forms.Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not over bake. Transfer to a rack to cool.Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
As a side note: I know there are a lot of moms that read this blog ( I think so anyway!) Here is a link to an awesome blog that is offering a cool free Christmas Giveaway from V-Tech.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This entry is not really about Thursday, I was just at a loss for a title........
I think I'm sick. I am not sure though. Sometimes I confuse sickness with allergies or just being tired. I have been using Zicam like nobody's business and my own concoction of echinacea and vitamin C. I hope something helps. It was only a matter or time. Amara has been congested for about a week now. Those darn preschool germs. She slept for an unheard of 13 hours the other day. I kept checking on her. She is usually good to go after at 11 hours or so. Lucky girl. I don't think I could even sleep that long if given the chance.
Besides feeling slightly under the weather this week has been a fairly good week for me. I am on track with all my workouts this week. Matt skipped his night hunt yesterday due to poor weather so I was able to go the the gym kid free. I think I was almost there for 2 hours! It was a good time--Zumba was great. My Zumba partner ( my brother's ex-girlfriend) and I were discussing that we might be getting bored with Zumba--say it ain't so!!! After last night's class I can say that it is just as exciting for me as it has been in the past months. Especially after missing it last week-it was great to be back!
I am behind on my recipe for this week. This will be week 5 of 6. I hope to whip something up today if I can find the time. I might make some chcolate chip cookies that use a whole can of garbanzo beans. Oprah said they were excellent so you know they must be.. Oprah don't lie!
I hope to post again later tonight about the cookies or tomorrow. Until then........

Monday, November 10, 2008


The day is almost over and I survived-YAY! I don't know why Mondays are so blah...coming off the weekend, going back to work ( a mother is never off-duty), getting back in the swing of things- it's hard.
I was able to get up nice and early and get to the gym and really push myself. It's been a while! Matt decided to "sleep in" and let all the deer get away so I could do my thing today. Although Miles had other plans for him-he was up from about 5am-6am. Glad I was at the gym! I was sore by 8am- that is something different for me, but in a good way.
I did something bad yesterday..I called myself Fat Butt in front of Amara! I try to never say stuff like that. I don't want her thinking I have issues ( even if I do). She just laughed I think and asked me why I said that. I told her I was just joking. She seemed OK with that answer.
I must be doing something right though--earlier in the day Matt asked her if she was going to quit ( I cannot remember what they were talking about), and Amara says " Girls don't ever quit. I'm not quitting" she has also been known to say "Girl Power!" at any given moment.
I need to say more positive things such as that and no more negative body image talk--even if I'm joking!
Miles had his flu shot today and all he did was frown in confusion after it was administered. So happy about that. I hate having to hold his arms down during shots, which is why I normally make Matt do it. The flu shot is the only doctor's visit I don't mind him skipping since it's just a shot and takes 2 seconds.
Amara's halloween candy is almost gone and I have not touched any in at least 4 days. She probably gets 1-2 pieces a day and noticed that her candy basket was getting kind of low. Ooops...I might've blamed Matt. I took credit for eating the big Tootsie Roll though--since Matt told her he did not eat it and she knows Miles didn't.
Here's to a fabulous week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recipe Review--

Tonight for dinner we had Burgers I from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The "secret" ingredient in this recipe was pureed cauliflower. It also called for soy sauce, garlic, breadcrumbs, black pepper and milk. When I make these recipes the purees I use are no secret to Amara. Have you ever steamed broccoli or cauliflower before? It's hard to keep that a secret with the strong smell. I put my own secret ingredients in these burgers though-- flax seed flour and wheat germ. Just for a nutritional boost. You can't even taste it. So anyway, I thought the burgers ( I used extra lean ground beef) were very good and flavorful. Matt liked them as well. Now, Miss Amara initially said her burger was good, but I asked her again after I noticed that she ate the whole bun and her burger was still on her plate. She changed her mind and in fact did not like it at all. Oh well, I can't win them all! She ate it all anyway ( because I made her-it only took her an hour.....)
Workouts have been so-so this week. I think I am suffering from burn-out as well as over training. Not good. I think I have done really well all year in avoiding both of these things, but now that the year is coming to an end I feel the need to take a break from it all. Well not it ALL, just a break from work. I would love to be able to just do my own thing for a week or 2 and then go back to work refreshed! Ahhhhhh--I will keep dreaming. No Zumba today. Miles has decided to be text-book and take 2 naps a day like 13 month olds should do!
I have pregnancy induced carpal tunnel--I have it when I am pregnant ( hence the name) and for while after the babe is born. So, of course I was a bit concerned/terrified/sick to my stomach as to WHY it is flaring up so much lately??? Nope-not pregnant ( knock on wood), but I sure do look super hot wearing my 2 braces to bed everynight. It's either that or waking up every 30 minutes because my hands and arms are tingling. Braces it is!
It might be because I have been on so much lately!! I am an addict. And since I mentioned the site on my blog the president( not Obama) thanked me by giving me a coupon to print a page for free! How cool is that!! Thanks Kathy!
Let's see, my eating will be discussed at a later date, when Amara's Halloween candy is gone. That should be real soon at this rate.
All in all this week has not been one of my better weeks, but I'm not concerend. It happens and you get over it and get back on track. Which is exactly what I plan to do-starting on Monday!

Monday, November 3, 2008


The President of emailed me to let me know how to post creations--Thanks Kathryn!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New addiction!

I try to limit my time on the Internet to when the kids are sleeping and/or in school, but I became addicted this weekend to:
I always wanted to scrapbook( and to be good at it). I have done a few pages here and there, but never found the time or money to keep up with it. That, and I am just not that creative or imaginative when it comes to things such as that. I take a look at others efforts and then I think mine look like a joke! I had grand intentions of chronicling my pregnancies and the kids lives, but well, that has never happened! We have so many pictures of them on the computer, but nothing that I can share with people in a cool way.
I was up very late last night playing around on this site-it was a lot of fun. I am still new at it though, so I think I will have many late nights again.
I have no idea how to "share" my creations on my Blog, but if you join up for free, my name is mardgra if you want to take a look at my attempts at digital scrap booking! All you have to do is click on View Gallery.