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Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Friends there are always people a little head of you in life.  They have walked a healthy path longer and more effectively.  I try to study people who have followed a healthy path longer than myself. 

My friend, Holly, is one of those people!  I have asked her some questions and asked her to share with us part of her heatlhy journey.  Please click on her name above or her link to the right and read about her journey.

Holly

Holly, The Healthy Everythingtarian

Tell us a little bit about you and what makes you eat so healthy?
To sum up my 24 years on earth thus far, I am a former emotional eater turned health nut who realized that ‘health’ is so much more than food and exercise.  It is a general term, I think, for doing what is right for YOUR body.  For so long, I ate not for enjoyment but to mask something deeper.  Once I realized this, I began to deal with feelings, workout not for weight loss but to FEEL GOOD and starting eating things that helped keep me in a place of whole health.  Knowing where I was helps keep me on track – although I was never severely overweight, I was unhappy with myself.  Now, I know being healthy makes me feel GOOD.
 
Do you eat meat?  How do you get your protein?
I went from meat eater to vegetarian to vegan to vegetarian to semi-meat eater.  Now, I eat meat occasionally (around 1-3 times a month), but realize I don’t love it enough to need to make it an everyday staple.  Also, meat is expensive!  As a gal strapped with student loans, a can of beans is much cheaper than 1 lb. of organic chicken.  When I do eat meat, I try to make it organic and grass-fed so that I am supporting eco-friendly farmers who grow their animals humanely.  Eggs, yogurt, beans, nuts, milk, veggie burgers, tofu and tempeh are all great protein sources I happen to adore.
 
Your food looks amazing, do you enjoy the way you eat? 
Of course!  If food tastes bad, I could care less if its healthy.  I won’t eat it.  I need to be getting nutrients AND be satisfied when I am done eating!
 
Is eating healthy a burden?
A couple years ago, I may have said yes, Now, I do not think so at all.  I am comfortable with my choices and have found that most people WANT to eat healthy.  If you can set a good model/standard to help others, that is the icing on the cake!
 
For someone out there who is not a healthy eater how do you suggest they get started?
I think substitutions are a great way to start.  Make it whole wheat bread instead of white; choose fruits, veggies and lowfat dairy for snacks; try new foods at the grocery store; experiment with recipes and start cooking.  You have to like what you eat. So, get to know your palate, find healthy foods you enjoy and incorporate them more and more in your diet.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself…slowly but surely, things will get easier and easier to where you are eating healthy and not even realize it!
 
Do you have easy go to foods?
I am a big fan of yogurt and adding lots of goodies in them.  It’s easy to transport and oh so delicious.  Fruit, bars (Larabars, Clif Bars, KIND bars and ProBars are all good choices) and crudites are all easy to pack.  Also, become a fan of leftovers.  There is nothing easier than grabbing a Tupperware of leftovers on my way to work and having a delicious lunch!
 
Do you drink caffeine?
I do.  I LOVE coffee.  Not only the taste, but the warmth, feeling and ritual of it.  I limit myself to a cup or two in the morning, and all is well the rest of the day.  I have also been known to guzzle an afternoon Diet Coke or two 😉
 
Do you worry about calories?
I used to FREAK OUT about calories and obsessively count.  But ya know what?  It’s time-consuming, defeating and horrible.  If I can focus on making all the calories I eat good, wholesome and nutritious calories, then I really don’t need to worry. There is so much more to life than food and exercise – it is an important part, but I always like to remember, it’s not the only part.  There is always room for splurges because life is too short not to be enjoyed (and tasted!).
 
Holly is living a balanced life.  She works hard, she eats healthy, and she moves.  I want to be her when I grow up!   Holly is having a contest through Friday, check it out!
 
Have a wonderful day!

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One of my favorite times is Monday morning sipping coffee in bed with Lucy sitting on my lap waiting for a little drop of her morning coffee.  Keith and I discuss the weekend and then talk about the upcoming week.   Somehow focusing on all the good things about the weekend put Monday moaning at bay and I am ready for a great new week.

Some of the things I am thankful for this morning:

Coffee
Fall is here, my favorite time of  year

fall 2009 022

Back deck

Candace was cute at halloween

fall 2009 003

Candace for Halloween is an 80's Hair girl

Lunch was already made
Dinner is already made
Date with Keith tonight
Date with Keith Friday night was great
Got to see Kayla
Snuggled with Candace and watched TV
House is not to dirty
Laundry is almost caught up (praise be to Keith)
My best bud, Robin, had her annual family Pumpkin carving contest,
              you gotta go look, these people take their pumpkin carving very
             serious, (I missed it, had to work, but at least get to look at the
             pictures!)
Yummy pumpkin maple oatmeal for breakfast
Ran Blankets Creek Sunday and got to spend time with friend, Sonia,
           felt close to God and one with nature.
Went to Halloween Party and had a great time (Newlywed Game)
Complimented by my boss
Got  caught up with my friend,  Holly who is an amazing young woman         
               who eats so healthy and is making me try new things
              just because of  her awesome pictures of what she eats.
Faith gave me information to help my blogging pictures come out better!
Got complimented by the boss, made my heart warm
Having coffee with Toni, lunch with Beth and Karen

This weeks line up on the blog:

Exercise:  who needs it?  Who, what, and where?
Recipe:  Wild rice and chicken soup with a host of variations. 
Mind:  Do you mind?  Telling the truth?
Freakin Friday:  Giveaway and quotes (get your favorite quote ready)
 
Make a list of what you are thankful for and leave it in a comment below!
Love love my friends,
Ruthie

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This weekend there is going to be a lot of candy everywhere you look.   You may have even bought the mega family value pack with a million and one little pieces of candy.  I will be honest,  I was not fat because of candy.  Candy is not my weakness.  If I am going to get weak over a candy it will be an Almond Joy.  So, guess what, I don’t buy any package with Almond Joys in it.  It is the easiest way for me to be successful. 

Candace is going to go trick or treating and she will bring home her candy and pour it out on the table.  This has been our ritual for years:  Pour the candy out.  She puts her very favorites in a ziploc bag, then Kayla and Keith their favorites and then I pick 2-6 pieces that I like.  We all have a baggie of our favorites.  I have always allowed my kids to have candy in moderation so they are not shoveling it in.  We just have one rule:  two pieces a day. 

We donate all the other candy to the school. 

Don’t put undo temptation in your way.  Get rid of your favorites! Make a promise to yourself that you will not eat a piece until you know how many calories is in each serving.  You can go to any candy website and it will give you the nutritional information.  If you decided to eat it, know what you are eating and how much it is going to cost from your calorie bank.   Save yourself from failure and a sense of no control by being on the offensive this Halloween!

I left my list of winners at home so as soon as I get home I will post the winners!  I will tell you a secret–EVERYONE IS A WINNER THIS TIME!!!  The four numbers that Candace picked win their choice and everyone else will get another magnet!!

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Okay, so last night  we made burgers from my best bud, Robin\’s, blog.  I got ground sirloin for the family and 97% fat free ground turkey for me.  We followed Robin’s recipe except we used Swiss cheese.  Wow, they were awesome!  The only mistake I made was I tasted the sirloin burger after I had started eating my turkey burger.  Hmmm, must be totally honest, the sirloin was Much juicier and just all around wonderful.  My burger was great and 140 calories less so I was still happy with my choice.  I also used the Arnold 100 calorie,  100% whole wheat buns which I love.  They also make great breakfast sandwiches!
97% fat free ground turkey

97% fat free ground turkey

 Kayla doesn’t touch raw meat, but she cooked the mushrooms and onions nicely.

onion, mushrooms, garlic filling

onion, mushrooms, garlic filling

 

Sirloin burgers and my turkey burger

Sirloin burgers and my turkey burger

turkery burgers 029

Yes, we ate on paper plates 😦

 

yum!

yum!

 

I just could not resist one of Lucy Lou!

I just could not resist one of Lucy Lou!

 

Have a great day and try a stuffed burger!

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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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