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Archive for May, 2009

Candy has always wanted to make a fondant cake & we did it together with Kayla

Candy wanted to make a fondant cake & we did it together with Kayla

 

Today my daughter, Candace, aka Candy, turns 11 today. I was thinking about what to give her for her birthday and of course I got introspective, if you have not noticed I do that a lot, and started thinking what would be the best gift I could ever give her.

Let her be Candy. 

When naming Candace, my best bud, Robin, promised me that if we called her Candace everyone else would call her Candace.   It worked until she turned 10 and SHE decided she wanted to be called Candy!  There is nothing wrong with the name Candy, taking a deep breath, trying not to conjure up …..  Anyway, at that time, I realized how important it was that I let her be Candy and whatever that means to her.    If you know Candacey, you know how much the name suits her.  She is absolutely hilarious and so much FUN!

Candy dancing a few years back

Candy dancing a few years back

I never discovered who I was until I was in my 40’s.  I want her to have confidence in who she is today.  I want her to explore all parts of her.  My job is to give her wings so she can soar with confidence into this big world.

Be Ruthie. 

When I walk with confidence I am role modeling for Candace what a confident woman looks like.  Becoming mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually strong gives her a picture of what a healthy woman looks like as she grows. 

A couple years ago she drew a picture of me.  I was a stick figure holding weights.  I was so proud at that moment because when she thought of me I was doing something healthy and positive.

Help her find her strengths.

Candy is an amazing artist and loves to cook.  School is not her favorite thing and motivation for school work is challenging.  When we started tapping into the things that she loved she blossomed.  All of a sudden her confidence soared.  She did better in school and started to enjoy life more.  We signed her up for art classes this last year.  She loved it.  She tends to be shy out in public but make it about art and she is excited and ready to give new things a try.;

Candy being her funny self

Candy being her funny self

Candy painting pottery

Candy painting pottery

Candy and her pup, Lucy

Candy and her pup, Lucy

We like to cook together.  She is quite good at tasting things and deciding if things need a little something more.  In two weeks she is taking a five day, five hour a day, cooking class for kids.  She is so excited and so am I. 

Imagine if we can help her discover what makes her tick at a young age. It makes my heart so happy to think we could help her discover what makes unique.

Teach her to listen to her spirit.

Sometimes I want Candace, sorry, Candy, to try new things that she does not want to try.  I have learned to really listen to what she is not saying.  Sometimes it is fear or insecurities on her part and sometimes she does not really want to do it and I have to back off and listen.  We talk through things and then I let her decide.  It makes her feel powerful.  Feeling powerless is a horrible feeling.  I want to her to feel fear and then be fearless and the only way to do that is to identify the fear and then plunge forward.  My job is to cheer her on, give her a little push, maybe hold her hand and maybe let go.

Make eating healthy normal and a way of life. 

I want Candace to think it is normal to eat healthy.  She LOVES SMOOTHIES!  She can make them herself.  Healthy snacks have become her favorite snacks.  When I make healthy food fun and tasty she does not want the junk.

 I could go on and on but as a healthy role model I must get up and go to the gym to face a fun hour of cardio.  (yes, I mean fun, I have a cardio partner who makes the hour fly)

Candy in her new apron

Candy in her new apron

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 I read Matt Bites a food photographer’s blog.  He has beautiful pictures and this time a recipe I could not resist.  I had to make some changes because I was short a few ingredients but oh my goodness, we were all licking the plate!

 

Matt's Perfect Picture :)

Matt's Perfect Picture 🙂

My version without the Avocado

My version without the Avocado

Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado & Pickled Tomato Salsa recipe courtesy Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger and the California Avocado Commission.

Ingredients  (I doubled the recipe)
4 (6 oz.) boneless chicken thighs or breasts, with skin  (I used boneless, skinless breast)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
4 scallions, trimmed
Pickled Tomato Salsa (recipe below)
2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch dice (I could not find ripe ones, it would have been even better with the avocados!!)
2 Cups cooked brown basmati rice (I made crashed potatoes from Ree)

Instructions
1. In a shallow, non-reactive dish, season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and cumin in a small bowl. Brush mixture on scallions and pour remainder over chicken, tossing to evenly coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Preheat broiler or grill. Beginning with skin side toward the heat source, broil or grill chicken until just cooked through, about 12 minutes per side for thighs and about 9 minutes per side for breasts. Grill or broil scallions about 2 minutes per side.
3. Toss Pickled Tomato Salsa with diced avocados and reserve until chicken is cooked.
4. To serve, arrange grilled chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Mound avocado salsa mixture on top of chicken. Garnish with grilled scallions. Serve immediately.

Pickled Tomato Salsa

Ingredients (I did not double the salsa)
1 Pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in quarters
½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 Serrano chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced in rounds (I used roasted jalepenos, seeded and skinned)
½ Cup white vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
4 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne
½ tsp turmeric
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes with scallions and chiles.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Add brown sugar and salt, and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and reserve.
3. Measure ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, cracked peppercorns, cumin, cayenne and turmeric onto a plate and place near stove. In another medium saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat until just smoking. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until aromas are released, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar mixture. Immediately pour over reserved tomato mixture. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or several days.
4. Before serving, remove tomatoes from juices, roughly chop, and return to pickling liquid.

Note: To peel tomatoes, remove the cores and score an X on the underside. Blanch for 15 seconds in boiling water and immediately plunge into iced water to prevent continued cooking. Peel with a paring knife.

This was amazing chicken.  I will use this for company and our big family beach trip. 

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I lost seventy pounds in nine months six years ago.  People would come in my office at work, close the door, and say, “Okay, exactly what are you doing to lose your weight?”  I would tell them, they would say okay and leave.  My commitment to lose weight at that time was extreme, OCD.  My husband and I had talked and we determine that I would take the next year and dedicate it to me losing the weight.  My life had been about everyone else and it was time for me to concentrate on me.  So in a nutshell here is what I did.

Nutrition
Measured everything I put in my mouth.
Wrote everything that went into my mouth on fitday.com (free site)
             (if I could not tell the calorie content, I did not eat it)
I looked at every label to check the calories, fat, carbs and protein
When I ate out I looked up the nutritional information before I went and decided what I would eat.  If they did not
             have it, I called ahead or asked for the information when I got there.
I did not eat sugar for 9 months.
I ate 30% fat, 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates. 
I ate every three hours from when I got up until I went to bed.
I ate fat, protein and carbs at every meal.
My trainer looked at my fitday daily reports each week.
EXERCISE
45 minutes of cardio five days a week.
Weight training with my trainer three times a week for one hour each time.
Heavy weights.
My trainer weighed and measured me every two months.
MIND
I journaled almost every day.
No more self defeating statements
Positive affirmation and visualization
Went to counseling to help with body image
I told my trainer my fears and we conquered them one by one.
What did I lose in those nine months:
70 pounds
some friends
years of fears
time at home with my family
years  of failures
lots of sleep (I had insomnia)
my mind at times  (I was obsessive-compulsive about it)
shame
humiliation
What did I gain:
time with my family  ( I will live longer now)
I can love my husband and  kids better
new friends who want to be healthy also
muscles
belief I could conquer my fears
belief I was worthy of taking care of myself
belief that I mattered
love for myself
education on what to eat
education on how to exercise
education on how to treat myself and others
education on how to think
a new career
a scarred but new body
a love for sweating
better sex 🙂
confidence
a healthy respect for myself and others
peace (now I sleep great)
my mind–I don’t let negative thoughts control my life
I could go on and on about what I gained.  You ask, Was it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  Would I do it again!! Yes.  Do I think there is a better way?   I think there is a less compulsive way, but it was part of my journey.   I am trying to live out  a more balanced approach and encourage my clients to go that route. 
I found that you cannot mantain extreme results without extreme behaviors and that is not how I want to live. I WANT BALANCE!
My approach now to maintain and better myself:
eat moderately
eat nutritiously
exercise five days a week
     4-5 days of cardio, 30 minutes to an hour
    4-5 days of weight lifting
keep working on the transforming of my mind and spirit. 
Losing weight was a short term goal, maintaining it and learning to live a BALANCED, healthy life is a life time journey that I love!!!

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Yesterday I was getting a pedicure and got an e-mail from my husband.  I will just tell you I really don’t like a lot of forwarded e-mails, specially the ones that tell you if you don’t share this in 10 minutes your family will be blessed or cursed.  My man does not usually send me forwards, so when he does, I always read them.  I really don’t care if this story is true or not, it is just so hilarious.    At first I was trying not to laugh, I was in public, and then I could not help myself, I was crying while getting a pedicure.  So, enjoy…

ONLY A MAN WOULD ATTEMPT THIS  

Just try reading this without laughing ’til you cry!!!

Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse- sized tazer. The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety….??

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home.. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I’d get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.

AWESOME!!!      

Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn’t be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I’m looking at this little device measuring about 5″ long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, ‘no possible way!’ What happened next is almost beyond description, but I’ll do my best.. .?

I’m sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, ‘don’t do it stupid’ reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn’t hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . .

HOLY MOTHER  . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . . . WHAT THE HELL!!!

I’m pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs? The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor… A three second burst would be considered conservative?

IT HURT LIKE HE..!!

A minute or so later (I can’t be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.

Apparently I pooped on myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I’m still looking for my n..ts and I’m offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P.S… My wife, can’t stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid !!!  

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Role model–Self centered?

I grew up a preacher’s daughter and from a very young age was taught to give to others.  In the past, I took this to the extreme and gave away everything I had emotionally and physically.  I had no energy to love myself because I was so busy taking care of other people.  I thought others needed my help.  It was an excuse that I hung on to for many years.

As I started to get healthier emotionally and started to get things I needed I felt selfish.  It made me feel sick inside for me to ask my daughter to ride the bus so I could go to the gym.  When she got off the bus I was not there.  My family had to eat an hour later.  Honestly, they were not used to it either, it was uncomfortable for everyone, but I pushed on because I knew I would physically and emotionally die  if I did not start to take care of myself.  It took a while for us to get over the uncomfortable feeling (probably a year) but we all adjusted and reaped the benefits.  I was getting in shape physically and emotionally and my family was getting a happier healthier mom.  It was a win/win.

Believing that taking care of myself would benefit others was the way I got in the gym and then it grew into taking care of  myself because I mattered followed.   In the past, doing something for myself seemed self centered, now I realize that taking care of myself is not selfish but the only way I can truly give effectively to others.  Everyone benefits when I take care of myself.

I want to role model for my girls what a healthy mom looks like, how she treats herself and others.  Taking care of myself is a great place to start.

Are you taking care of yourself ?  What is something you can do for you today that would make you healthier?

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My body was telling me

Last week I struggled with my food and exercise.  I really was not sure what was going on, but it did not feel good.      

I was
     tired
     moody
     craved carbs
     just wanted to sleep (very unlike me)
     energy levels very low
     felt mildly depressed

Today I went to see my hematologist.  I was a little disappointed to learn that I am anemic again.    I really should not have needed the blood test to tell me this, I HAD ALL THE SIGNS!     

I am learning to listen to my body but still do not always catch the cues that it is physical.  A couple mornings in the last week I did not get up early and go exercise.  My energy was low and I had no push. 

Being kind to myself, not doubting my commitment and not being afraid to do what is best for my body has been scary for me in the past.  Today, I realize I am anemic, I will listen to my body, and do what it takes to take care of my body.  For me that means, add a vitamin, rest a little more, and listen to my body.

So, another lesson learned.

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Soups On!

 

 

 

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb Ground Sirloin 7% fat
28 oz Jarred Spaghetti sauce (I had some leftover) You could use 2 cans of  
                         crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb  Frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas,
                         carrots, Lima’s, green beans)
1 cup Canned Black beans (leftovers)
2 cups Frozen okra
1 yellow squash quartered and chopped
1 zuchinni squash quarter and chopped
1 large onion rough chopped
3 large minced garlic cloves (3 teaspoons)
1 cup of dry pasta (I use small shells)
9 cups of water
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste (I add some Lawry’s Season salt also)
2 shots of Worchestire sauce
2 tablespoon of seasonings (I used Italian, basil and oregano)
2 tablespoons of beef base (bullion)  **this makes great soup!
This makes at least 26 cups of soup!
Directions:
Put onion in a large pot and cook until getting soft, (use a little water instead of oil and stir constantly) then add minced garlic and hamburger meat and brown. 
Now, easy breezy, add everything else put the pasta, put on the lid, bring to a boil, simmer 30 minutes.  Now add the cup of dry pasta and cook 10 minutes.  Taste and add any additional seasonings. 

I love low calorie soups.  I always have some packed up in to go containers for lunches and then freeze the leftovers for emergency meals. (translation:  I am tired and don’t want to cook!)  When I make a big batch of something for the first time I want to make sure it is as low calorie as I think, so I have made a Recipe matrix in Excel that helps me figure out exactly the calories, fat, carbs, sodium and protein.  Here is the vegetable beef soup.

Vegetable Beef Soup            
               
INGREDIENT SERVING CALS FAT CARBS SUGAR SODIUM PROTEIN
  IN OUNCES            
Sirloin 93/7 16 680 32 0 0 280 92
Spaghetti sauce 28 560 17.5 84 70 3570 14
Mixed Veggies 27 300 0 60 20 425 15
Black Beans 8 210 1 46 2 960 14
Okra 12    60 0 12 4 40 2
Tomatoes 28 280 0 56 35 2030 14
Onion 8 73 0 17 0 0 1.8
WATER 73 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pasta shells 8 420 2 82 4 0 14
Total ENTIRE BATCH 208 2583 52.5 357 135 7305 166.8
               
OUNCES # SERVINGS CALS FAT CARBS SUGAR SODIUM PROTEIN
8 26 99 2 14 5 281 6

 

If you would like this Recipe Matrix in an excel spreadsheet e-mail me and I will send it to you.  ruthie0404@rocketmail.com

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