Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey, Turkey, Turkey

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. We sure did here in Virginia. My Sister-In-Law was able to escape the 3 degree weather in Utah for a week-long visit with us, which was awesome! We had the traditional Thanksgiving spread- lots of turkey, stuffing, corn casserole (MawMaw's recipe of course), green bean casserole, sweet potato soufflé, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. And we ate and ate and ate.

(I'm sure she washed her hands before she did that.)

I am so glad I listened to my mom when she told me not to get a whole turkey. We ended up cooking an 8-lb breast and it was way more than enough for the four of us. It's been four days and we still have about half of the meat left. My plan now is to portion it out, freeze it, and eat it over the next couple of weeks.

Here are a few of the turkey recipes I've found:




That should be enough to get through all of our turkey. What are you doing with yours? Found any good recipes?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers! I hope that you are having a beautiful day with loved ones and you are enjoying delicious food and wonderful company. I know I am.

On this day, like the other ladies of "So Maybe Mom Was Right," I have so much to be grateful for.

First and foremost, this guy:




Those who know me, know that I am not a "pda" type girl...and that includes internet posts. But my husband is phenomenal (in supporting my nutso health and fitness endeavors, and otherwise). Period.



I'm also thankful for this whole clan:


My family is not perfect (whose is?), but they are everything I need. The good times I spend with them keep me happy and healthy. I'm thankful for their health.

The same goes for my inlaws...also fabulous.

I'm thankful for gorgeous Florida weather, perfect for just about any activity (except skiing, I guess). It's 65 degrees here right now. In a moment, I'm going to go outside and play with our 7 (yes 7!) doggies. I don't think think there is any better kind of exercise.

I'm thankful for my tendency to embrace new challenges and for second changes. I'm glad that on those (rare) occasions that I screw up (haha), with my healthy living journey or otherwise, that it can be rectified just as quickly.

Also, rockstar fitness instructors that inspire me. The days when I push myself 1 step/1 rep further than I think I can, and never regreting it.

I'm thankful for my job. Forget the fact that I am happier at work than I have been in years (talk about doing wonders for your health!), I'm also thankful for the clients I meet. As I've mentioned before, my job consists of working with people who have physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. Every day I meet people I might not otherwise meet in the sheltered university world and every day I learn something new. I also often learn the same thing, over and over. Recently I met someone who had become injured while helping a stranger change a flat tire on the side of the road. It was a serious, life changing injury. That person was still pleasant, hardworking, and happy.

Finally, I am thankful that a group of women came together to support eachother on their respective health and fitness journeys, and I'm thankful that they let me be a part of that. I am thankful that others chose to join us on this journey and any feedback they provide.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Count your blessings...

I have so much to be grateful for. On my personal blog, I recently wrote out a list of things that I am thankful for...but I want to share some more with you.

I am grateful for a healthy body that allows me to work hard and play hard. I have abused it in the past (with many hospital visits because of surgeries, sports injuries, car accidents...). And yet it continues to work. Amazing!

I am grateful to live in a country that allows me to worship however I may please, allows me to choose my own career, my own spouse, even what I do with my free time. Not everyone has that.

I am grateful for a family that loves and supports me no matter how disastrous my decisions may be (and there have been a few). And they are there to cheer me on when things do work out and pick me up when things go bad. I love you guys.

I am grateful to have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in and clothes on my back.

I am grateful for a career that has me surrounded by the youth of America, the new generation of leaders. I love teaching and learning from them.

I am grateful to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I feel their love around me every day.

I am grateful for the holidays because it brings my family together. We are having a family reunion at Christmas and it is going to be so fun to have everyone together again!

And...

I am grateful for the readers of this blog. When we started it, we had no idea what would happen, if people would even read it. Thank you for adding us on your blog rolls, your facebook pages, and your google readers. We love your feed back and work hard to make sure that we have interesting and informative posts for you. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i am thankful for miracles.

when we decided that this week we should focus on what we are grateful for, i was totally onboard. i don't do enough of the counting my blessings in my daily life, and i have no doubt that most of you would agree. it's rare to have those pure moments where life stops and you are able to take stock of just how wonderful and blessed you are.

i had one of those moments yesterday.

we had our 20 week ultrasound, and found out we are having a baby girl.

while that news is wonderfully exciting and terribly daunting (a girl! she'll, like, want to be like me! or hate me! or both! game on.), what i couldn't get over was the wondrousness of the human body.  seeing it, not yet completely formed but still perfect, in utero was one of the most majestic scenes i've ever seen.

as i was watching her perfect spine, measurements of her brain and her femur, a sweet little moment when we watched her practice sucking, and being both completely awed  and frustrated by her doggedly modest placement of her feet as we were trying to determine whether she was a she, i just kept thinking that our bodies are miracles.

as women, we are so blessed to have the capacity to nurture life.  yes, we have a great responsibility, and i'm so grateful for the knowledge of physical health and well-being that has made my pregnancy thus far uneventful.  but really? the body is a miracle, and babies are a miracle.  a little person, entirely dependent on me but yet doing all of these marvelous things that make it clear that i have no hand whatsoever in any of this, lives inside me for now.  it's amazing.

there's no way i can really put it into words. i keep trying, and i keep failing, and so i think maybe i'll leave it at this: i'm grateful to be healthy, to have worked as hard as i have to get where i am, and for the miracle that we will welcome in april. i'm very grateful that she is healthy and perfect and growing exactly as she should.  i am grateful for all the times i have to pee during the night and the backaches and the appetite the size of texas, because it means that Baby Girl is growing well and doing all she should. 

i am grateful that all that happens, practically, like a well-oiled machine.  

and i am very grateful for a Heavenly Father who created me, and her, and her daddy, and all of us, in His image--and then created a plan whereby we could taste a fraction of His joy in that creation. 

may you all take stock in the majesty around you and in the little miracles that surround you everyday. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

When I was growing up my mom always hassled me about saying thank you. It was important to her that her bratty little kid grew some kind of a grateful heart. She would sit me down and have me write out "thank you" cards and listen as she made me make "thank you" phone calls. And lest I forget just how blessed a little girl I was, she would remind me over and over with stories of little kids who had nothing.

All of my mom's hard work paid off because my heart is now truly overfilled with gratitude for all the things I've been blessed with. Because Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I'd like to share with you some of the things that make living healthy a little bit easier that I'm especially thankful for.

I'm incredibly thankful for a supportive husband who really will do everything in his power to help me reach and accomplish my goals. Whether it's completing the Couch to 5k program or crocheting a blanket, he's by my side cheering me on along the way.

I'm thankful to be the mother of two beautiful, healthy little girls who give me all the motivation I need to be healthy. I would do anything for these girls, even eat vegetables and exercise (haha!).

I'm thankful for the technology of today to allow me to listen to music and connect on the world wide web with new and old friends alike. Without music, any exercise would feel like it takes hours to complete. And without the internet, well, I really don't know what I would do without the internet! Pretty much every workout DVD or program I've done has been bought after reading reviews or recommendation online.

I'm thankful to live in a safe neighborhood where I can walk and run outside without feeling like someone's going to hurt me.

I'm thankful for Meghan's green monster blog post. I know spinach is awesome. But it's yucky. I hate it. But guess what... I'm drinking 3 cups a day in a smoothie every morning, thanks to the green monster. Try it!

I'm thankful for all the ladies contributing on this blog, and all of our readers. I really do glean so much support from you all. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

that's sooooo cheesy.....

Fridays are my day with my little man, the Munch, the bambino, the Nugget - my son, Dylan. Every Friday, it's just us bonding and having a ball! (I work part-time as a Development Director, and Fridays are the day during the week when I am off the clock!)


We spent the morning in the Children's Department at the Main Library - A-MAZ-ING - and then surprised my husband by picking him up at his office for lunch. (OK...so we made an exception to the "us only" Friday rule...but we kept it in the family so it only half counts...)


The guest of honor got to choose our destination, and he made a fabulous choice - the Cool Moose Cafe and Bistro - a local eatery that offers breakfast and lunch...all with homemade goodness & a lot of organic goodies to boot! It was here that today's post came to fruition.


I dissected the menu, not for something I would enjoy as I find myself flipping a coin to make decisions, but rather to choose a nutritious meal my 6-toothed stud can manage. Alas, I came across my inspiration - grilled cheese.


But this wasn't just any grilled cheese. It was a grilled cheese made with Australian cheddar on Texas toast. It was not only multicultural, but one of the things I love most in life: a creative approach to a tried and true standard. 


Grilled cheese & blueberry muffins - yummmmmmm




Therefore, on this Friday evening I suggest trying this standby with a new twist! Here are some suggestions:


  • Gruyere (you can really sass this up with a touch of truffle oil)
  • Comte
  • Appenzeller
  • Fontina
  • Munster 
  • Swiss
If you want to live on the edge (please note sarcasm) combine multiple cheeses on the same sandwich...or get crazy and vary the bread from your mother's simple Wonder white. 

Some bread suggestions:
  • wheat
  • asiago cheese 
  • sunflower seed
  • multi-grain 
  • marble
  • rye
  • a fresh, tasty original from your neighborhood bakery

Add one or more of the following for the cherry on top:

  • basil
  • tomato
  • bacon (turkey bacon or meat-substitute bacon make for good options as well)
  • roasted red bell peppers
  • onion
  • garlic
  • pesto
  • mustard
For a meal made in heaven, add a cup of tomato bisque. Bon Appétit!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Contest Winner

The winner of the $35 gift card to CSNstores.com is:



JGWM said...
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=1213046227

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tale of two weekends, or why it's important to prepare.

my husband and i went down south a couple of weekends ago, to celebrate my husband's birthday and to see off one of his family members who was moving back north. on saturday, there was a massive family gathering, complete with barbecued chicken and pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni and cheese and broccoli salad and a whole host of appetizers, including chips and salsa and fried pickles.

i'm not kidding. it was foodapalooza up in there.

though i ate some breakfast and tried to make good choices, it was very difficult because i was in an unfamiliar environment.  i didn't have an intimate understanding of what was available to me and, though i know my mother-in-law would have given me anything that i wanted (especially since i'm pregnant, but really any time because she's a caretaker like me), i just didn't know how to choose wisely without alienating anyone or making myself a nuisance.

this puts me in mind of the upcoming holidays, which for many of us will include trips to faraway (or nearer) places that are not as familiar to us. even when you're going "home" to your family's house, they won't always do what you do or have healthy snacks available.

this alone can derail even the most disciplined of healthy eaters, because you can't eat what you don't have and you can't go days without eating.  for me, it's an even bigger challenge as second trimester has brought with it the need to snack often (and i'm trying to do it wisely).  so, i'm planning ahead.

meg gave some outstanding tips for travel snacks in a previous post, which is an excellent place to start. here are a few things i thought of (and will be doing myself) as well.
  • ask to bring something to the celebration, and make it healthy. perhaps you can suggest a bowl of healthy nuts, or a veggie plate with reduced fat ranch or (even better!) a hummus dip.  that way, you're contributing and you're providing for yourself a healthy snack opportunity. 
  • depending on how close you are to your hosts, you might ask to add a vegetable side to your holiday celebration.  i found that my family was very open to this suggestion, making the traditional fare of green bean casserole, corn pudding, and assorted other vegetable variations more healthy or at least offering additional low-calorie options. a green salad can go a long way, as can some steamed broccoli.  they're not labor intensive, they're crowd favorites, and they add an additional option for you besides potatoes and stuffing.
  • pack non-perishable snacks in your bag.  you might want to portion out snack-size bags of dried fruit (my favorites are craisins [which do have added sugar, but are fine in moderation] and dried apricots, but i've found that the dried mixed fruit is quite yummy as well.  you might also consider packing some hardy fruit as well; i'm a big fan of apples right now, and they travel well.  with both of these options, if you eat the snacks, great. if you don't, then that's okay too.  they'll keep--and that's the beautiful part. nuts and small tupperware containers of peanut butter with some crackers can provide a nice balance of protein and carbs as well.  all of these things can remain in your luggage, calling attention to no one, until they're needed. 
  • bring a water bottle or a cup of your own.  i don't know if you've noticed this, but if you're someone who counts your ounces or keeps track of your consumption, it can be very difficult to keep track when you're constantly guesstimating.  if you can, bring a refillable water bottle (plastic doesn't count!) or a cup that you claim as your own.  keep it filled and keep emptying it.  water will do wonders for the increase in your sodium intake (who can resist the chips and salsa? really?) and for your appetite as well.
these are just a few of the ways that i hope to curb my past weekend's indiscretions (i swear, i gained 5 pounds in one week) and keep myself from the blinding headache that accompanied a huge turnaround in my eating habits.  planning ahead for some continuity, and trying to incorporate healthy choices into your holiday menus, will make you even more grateful during your family time. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veggies for the Carnivores!

Happy Friday, All! 
As I have mentioned before, I am a vegetarian by proxy ... my husband doesn’t eat meat and therefore most of what I cook follows a vegetarian or pescatarian regimen. 
People are always asking me is there anything I cook that I enjoy eating since I’m bending my ways to another’s dietary requests. The answer? Y-E-S - YES! There are many foods and recipes that lend themselves to this style of cooking, and best of all...they are tasty!
Here are two recipes I’ve made this week that I encourage you to try at home - carnivore or not!
Squash Spaghetti
A creative approach to a dinner table classic.

Adriana introduced the idea earlier this week in the post A little squash. (Hopefully you've already been tempted by her recipe!) This recipe is a variation on squash spaghetti that I hope will also rock your socks.


I was introduced to this idea at a family function and we love it at my house!! Feel free to knock out the noodles all together...we just happen to enjoy a mix.
Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash (When in season this is in the produce section of your local grocer.)
2 jars of organic marinara 
Fresh white mushrooms (These are sauteed and added to the sauce - if you’re not a mushroom fan, feel free to exclude!)
1 box angel hair noodles (Noodle type can be changed to suit your tastes.)
Olive oil
Garlic salt
  1. Pierce spaghetti squash in five places with a knife. Microwave for 12 minutes.
  2. Sauté mushrooms using a splash of olive oil; when done, add sauce and simmer.If desired add garlic salt to taste.
  3. Bring water to a boil with splash of olive oil - add noodles and cook to al dente. Drain.
  4. Split squash in middle and remove seeds. (They resemble pumpkin seeds.) With a fork, scrape out “noodles” into a bowl. 
  5. Combine angel hair and squash noodles into individual bowls. Top with sauce.
  6. Enjoy!






Crumbles Lasagna
Replace the meat with a healthy treat!

An important aspect of a vegetarian’s diet is protein - just because you have chosen to exclude animals doesn’t mean the food pyramid becomes unimportant. Sometimes you simply have to get more creative with your intake sources. A product that we have grown to love is protein crumbles by Smart Ground; the product resembles ground beef in appearance and is loaded with nutrition! The following recipe replaces ground beef with this product, and adds spinach for an extra punch of delish!
Ingredients:
1 box of Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 package Smart Ground crumbles browned
1 jar organic spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce  
1 package frozen chopped spinach
Parsley (garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Prepare spinach according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Ground protein crumbles. 
  4. In pan, combine spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and protein crumbles.
  5. In bowl combine beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, spinach, and TWO cups of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  6. Set aside.
  7. In 9 X 13 pan, spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of pan.
  8. Layer in this order: lasagna noodles (make sure they do not overlap as they expand when cooked), 1/3 part of ricotta cheese mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture.
  9. Next layer: lasagna noodles (make sure they do not overlap as they expand when cooked), 1/3 part of ricotta cheese mixture, and 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture.
  10. Next layer: lasagna noodles (make sure they do not overlap as they expand when cooked), remaining ricotta cheese mixture, and 1 cup sauce mixture.
  11. Top layer: lasagna noodles (make sure they do not overlap as they expand when cooked), remaining sauce, remaining 1 cup mozzarella. 
  12. Garnish with parsley. 
  13. Bake covered with foil for 50-60 minutes.
  14. Uncover and continue cooking until cheese on top is melted.
  15. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  16. NOTE: If you are using a 13x9x2 pan, reduce to 3 layers to avoid spillage.
  17. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Win a $35 Gift Card to CSN Stores

So maybe mom was right....the best things in life are free! We are hosting a giveaway from an amazing website called CSN Stores. CSN Stores has over 200 stores where you can find everything from bathroom shelving to fantastic fitness equipment to cookware!

This is a great opportunity to get a new product to build your home gym or find something useful to make all those healthy recipes!

To Enter: 

1.  Leave a comment telling us what you would buy with a giftcard from CSN Stores


For Extra Entries:

*Become a public follower of So Maybe Mom Was Right (+1 entry)
*Like So Maybe Mom Was Right on Facebook (+1 entry)
*Share info about the giveaway on Facebook or twitter and leave a comment with the link (+1 entry)
*Blog about the giveaway and leave a comment with the link (+2 entries)

-please leave a seperate comment for each entry, with links if necessary 
-this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only
-entry deadline: Thursday, November 18th at 4pm EST



Links to Health:

FDA Proposes Use of Graphic Images on Cigarette Packages


When to Retire Your Sneakers

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Chilean Miner Runs NYC Marathon

Running For Haters

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A little squash

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?

No?!?

Do you know what you are missing??


Allow me to take you on a tour of how to cut and cook a spaghetti squash. Not for the faint of heart, you will need to start with a sharp knife and a cutting board.

Cut the squash in half length wise.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Put the squash pieces face down on a cookie sheet and cook for about 45 minutes (you want the inside to be soft, and the outside to look golden. Sometimes it takes a little longer. This squash took an hour).


Scoop out the seeds and and scoop out the pulp (it will be stringy, like noodles)


Put the pulp in a dish and add your favorite spaghetti sauce (I like to add a little Parmesan cheese...)

Enjoy!

The best part of spaghetti squash is that for a cup, it is only
42 calories
0g of fat
2g of fiber

I love it when things work in my favor!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

slow cooker chili: perfect for chilly days!

ha! that title slays me.

listen, i can't remember if i've talked to you all about this recipe before, and i'll be honest: i'm too lazy to look back in the archives. so, if i have, take this as a reminder to TRY IT IT'S THE EASIEST RECIPE EVER.

and it looks like this when you start the cooking process.




by the end, it fills your house with the delicious aroma of chili powder, meat, and tomato goodness.  it's a delicious smell to arrive home to after a long day.  i find that this recipe works best to save me from the siren song of fast food when my husband and i have a long night (like we do tonight).  it's also a great, filling source of fiber and something that leaves me with leftovers i can eat for days and days.

it's a winner, i tell you, even if that picture doesn't tell the tale.

you'll need the following:
  • about a pound of your favorite ground meat (i have used beef and pork and a combination; haven't used turkey yet, because i think it might be too dry, but i would imagine you could use anything. chicken would definitely work as well)
  • a very large can (or 2 regular cans) of red kidney beans
  • one regular can of white beans (white kidney beans or great northern beans)
  • one regular can of tomato sauce
  • one can of diced tomatoes spiced with jalapenos (often they're described as chili-style)
  • chili powder
  • cayenne
  • oregano
  • sugar (to cut the tomato taste, if necessary)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • basil
  • hot sauce
all of the spices are to taste, but i use at least 3 or 4 tablespoons of chili powder, at least a teaspoon (when all is said and done) of cayenne, and about 1/2 teaspoon of the rest, other than the hot sauce, which i add to taste.  we like things hot around these parts, so you really just want to flavor it to your family's taste.  you know best.

you will brown the meat first. as it's finishing, put in the spices and let them soak into the meat; then add the tomato sauce and the tomatoes. i try to let the mixture come to a boil so that the spices combine. i almost always add additional spices (here's where the extra chili powder and cayenne come in, and often additional garlic and onion powder) after i taste it.  drain the beans and dump them into an empty slow cooker, then add the meat/tomato mixture on top.

remember: you'll have the chance to add additional spices later, and the heat will build in your chili as it cooks.  don't go too heavy on the spice now, or you might regret it later.

mix the meat mixture into the beans, then turn on low (or high, if you're pressed for time--i find it works equally well, and often turn on low for a while (if i'm home) and then up to high in the few hours before we'll eat).  you can check it, if you're like me, in the hour or two before you eat, to gauge the spiciness and the thickness of the sauce. 

here's a tip: if it's too runny, and you're a fan of thicker chili, add about a tablespoon of flour.  mix it in, and it will thicken your sauce nicely, making a hearty chili that will stand up on a cracker rather than run all over you like a soup.  it's your preference. 

i find it needs at least 4 hours or so in the slow cooker to be best, but you could certainly have it in there longer. watch that it doesn't burn along the edges. if you turn it to high, it likely will, but if your family is like mine, that will be a bonus (we fight over the crispy edges, because they have a great flavor).  stir periodically, especially if you're adding spice, and when it smells and tastes awesome, it's ready.

it's delicious, and one of the things on my constant rotation.  it's also fairly cheap to make: the beans and tomato sauce costs about $5 max, and the meat can vary depending on the sales you can find (my pork was about $2 for a pound).  Considering it makes at least 4 sizable servings (6 if you stretch), that's about $1.75 a serving.  i'm not sure what else i make that is that inexpensive, or that easy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Couch to 5k

Have you ever heard of this program? Meghan, our very own SMMWR workout diva, told me about the program when I was pregnant with Avery. I knew I definitely qualified for the "couch" part in "couch to 5k," so I was intrigued.

I never cared for exercising. I would rather follow a very strict diet to lose weight. That used to work for me. Then I had kids. Things have changed, especially now that I'm nursing. I can't diet like I used to because my body needs lots of calories to make milk. So it's either hit the pavement or hit the gym.

I chose the pavement.

The Couch to 5k program promises to take me from the couch to a 5k run (3.1 miles) in 9 weeks in 3 workouts a week. That is astounding to me. My mom was a trophy-winning marathon runner and president of our town's track club. She tried countless times to help me "learn to run," but I just never got to the point where I liked it or where it was fun in any way. I hated it.

The way this program works is by a lot of walk/run intervals, timed so that you don't over do it. Each week, your workout changes as you change.

I'm using the iPhone app (it was $2.99) along with Nike+GPS ($1.99). The app is great because it tells me through my headphones when to walk, run, and stop. The Nike app uses GPS to chart my course, pace, distance, and calories burned. Isn't technology great?

Today was my first workout. I walked/ran 2 miles in 31 minutes. I learned something with this workout...

I. Am. So. Soooo. Out. Of. Shape.

I now have an appreciation for what those Biggest Loser contestants are going through. But I did it. I ran when it told me to and didn't stop until it said so. I'm one workout closer to a 5k, and to a healthier me (and hopefully a wearing-my-old-jeans me).

--------------------------

Do you remember when Meghan posted about the Green Monster smoothie? Go check it out here. I tried it and it's awesome! You really can't taste the spinach and I'm so happy to say that I'm consuming spinach, just about every day. Woohoo!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pork Chop Perfection

So you all will have to forgive me for not having any photos to go along with this recipe. I had some stored on one of our computers, and yet they have miraculously disappeared. You will just have to trust me when I say these healthy crock pot pork chops are the perfect concoction, in spite of the lack of visual confirmation.

Perfect Pork Chops (Adapted from a recipe in the "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook")

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

2 Frozen Pork Chops (I've tried multiple cuts, and both bone-in and boneless. They all seem to work).
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/4 Cup Hot Water
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Sear both sides of pork chops.
2. Place in slow cooker
3. Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot water
4. Pour water in slow cooker
5. Add fresh parsley and ground pepper to taste
6. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours
7. Serve and enjoy

As I mentioned, these can be made with bone-in or boneless chops. If you go with bone-in, prepare for the meat to fall tenderly (and deliciously) off the bone. You can also use non-frozen chops, and cook for just under 3 hours. These are a staple in our house. Yes, the bouillon cubes have a LOT of sodium, so you just need to be aware of that as you prepare your side dishes and adjust sodium levels there. The recipe works just fine with 1 cube, but we love the juicy flavor of two.

And because blog posts deserve a photo...an explanation as to why you rarely get cooking/recipe posts from me :)



It's a problem...and I'm working to rectify it.

Links to Health:


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Messy...

I, like teachergirl, have nothing substantial to write this week. Yesterday was the last day of the quarter and I have spent the last six days grading 103 essays.

But, what I can offer is a bit of advice:

Don't allow your goals to be sidetracked because you are super stressed or busy (underlying confession: I was a mess this past week).

So, I have started fresh with food that will actually benefit my body and getting enough sleep so that my mind actually works...

We can all have bad weeks, right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

rewards.

i have nothing of substance to say today, which those of you used to my long-winded posts might be surprised about.  i have no words of wisdom, and i'm certainly not going to tell you that my lunch consisted of taco bell and cookies (ahem. dang. i already did.). 

i am, however, going to give you a little snapshot into the rewards for keeping your eye on your health, for keeping the sum total of your actions on the side of good rather than fruitless.

today, i had my 17 week appointment with the ob. 

my blood pressure was stellar.  this is from someone who started out, perhaps because of nerves, with elevated blood pressure. it has only gone down, and is now completely, insanely normal every single time i go into the office.  when i see those numbers, i am always inordinately pleased.

and to venture into the realm of too much information, my urine sample was completely free of protein and sugar, meaning that whatever i'm doing is good.  for someone at risk for gestational diabetes because of family history, this is always spectacular news.

when my doctor looked at my chart, he said "your weight looks good" in passing, like that was no big deal. i don't think i've ever, ever had a doctor say that to me.  that might have been the best thing.

what's my point, other than sharing too much information with you via the internet?

small decisions lead to big consequences.  the small things you do make great things come to pass. 

even when they're not results you thought you wanted to see or that you thought were that important, it's the little things that matter every day.  they DO count and they DO add up.  it's the small things that are the hardest, but they're the ones that matter most. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Banana Bread


I came up with this simple recipe while trying to figure out what to do with all the leftover turbinado sugar from the apple-banana muffins. It's nutritious, quick, and very easy. That's like a stay-at-home-mom's trifecta right there.

Enjoy!!

Banana Bread
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter substitute (I use Smart Balance)
2/3 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 x 5 bread pan.
2. Sift or whisk together first four ingredients in medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter. Add sugar and continue to mix. Add eggs, beat well between each.
3. To the butter mixture, add half of sifted ingredients and mix slowly. Add mashed bananas and mix. Add the remainder of the flour and mix until just blended.
4. Fold in nuts.
5. Pour into bread pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes before removing.