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Recipes of the week

Monday, January 14, 2013

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha... And by "Marsha," I mean "Salad." Here are a few of my yummy, delectable, tasty favorites:

emoticon Harvest Salad - Spring mix lettuce*, dried cranberries or cherries, chopped apple, blue cheese crumbles (optional), candied pecans (I prefer to make my own - recipe to follow), red wine vinaigrette.

*I find cleaning and chopping lettuce to be just too much effort, my corner cutting splurge is the pre-cleaned grab and go convenience salad, a real time saver!!

emoticon Candied Pecans - Pecans and sugar in a pan. That's it! There are many recipes out there and many of them are for the oven, for whatever reason I prefer the stovetop method. I would guess that I use about a 1/4 sugar for 1lb of pecans in a large pan over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, keep stirring to avoid burning the pecans. It's going to eventually become very sticky and really freaking hot (if one falls out of the pan, no touch!!!). Once the pecans are a lovely darker hue, pour the molten nutty goo out onto a plastic cutting board or wax paper to cool. After about a half hour, you can bust up the formerly gooey, now hardened chunks. Store in a ziplock and use as needed (PRN for those of you keeping up with the foreign language we speak in the medical world.) Use on salads or a quick sweet snack. Stores up to a month, maybe longer. I've never had any last longer than a few weeks (or a few hours if my husband gets his hands on them...)

emoticon Cabbage Apple Slaw - this one is a personal concoction I created based on numerous recipes. Cabbage of your choosing (one head red, one head green = about 2 gallons of shredded cabbage - BEWARE!). 1/2 Thinly sliced apple (save the rest for dessert!). A handful of grapes (halved if large grapes). Raisins, craisins, or some variety of dried fruit. Toasted almonds (almonds + pan, stir for a few minutes until darkened. done.) Toss with red wine vinaigrette. Eat.

A second more savory version of the cabbage slaw... Shredded cabbage, thinly sliced apple, toasted almonds, some onion (thinly sliced), shredded baked chicken breast, balsamic vinaigrette. Pretty tasty...

emoticon Dessert: Not your typical fruit salad....
My recent obsession is plain greek yogurt. The opportunities are endless!! My quick version for work is yogurt, a little honey, topped with fruit. Easy. Boring. Yet satisfying and delish! But if you looking for something with some pizzazz (and let me tell you, you want the pizzazz)... Take a cup of greek yogurt, add a pinch or two of brown sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a dash of nutmeg. Mix mix mix. Add chopped apples, bananas, etc. mix mix mix. Eat. Then make the recipe for your family and take all the credit. No offense will be taken as long as you send a little secret "thank you" my way. :)

  


One step back then two steps forward

Monday, January 14, 2013

I enjoyed four nights off work after my last entry which I am finding is going to be a challenge in the "old habits die hard" category. My time off is my quality time with the hubby and a cozy snuggle session while watching a movie leads to popcorn, fruit, ice cream, kale chips, yogurt, candy, more fruit, more popcorn, and whatever other snackables might be around the house. Some healthy choices, some not; in either instance, I packed in enough food to challenge a pot-smoking hippy. Hmmmm I'll have to work on that.

However, when I'm at work - spot on!!! No deviation from my healthy foods in any way and loving it! I pack two small healthy meals and two snacks and eat on a Q3H schedule (that's nurse lingo for every 3 hours).

Previously I would scarf down a bunch of food upon waking and expect that to hold me until 2-3am, right around the time my glucose levels would be circling the drain... at which point the healthy food I slaved over and packed before heading into work sounded about as appealing as eating styrofoam, and instead I opted for the much tastier (what was I thinking?!) Wendy's.

My Q12H (or BID for those of you who really want to learn nurse-speak) schedule has now become Q3-4H and I am officially one of those people who successfully eat 5-6 times per day, a notion previously thought to require too much effort. Too all the fellow chunky folks out there - the skinny people aren't lying when they say you can eat more, weigh less, and feel better. It's not a conspiracy! Alert the media!

Unfortunately my few days at home cost me a couple pounds. I've since made up for it and still managed to net a 2lb loss in these last eight days and for that I celebrate and move forward with some new healthy habit goals to work on. It is a work in progress...

  


Off to a good start

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Woo hoo! Five days in and I'm three pounds down. I'll take it! I feel great and I'm sleeping much better. Here's hoping the momentum keeps going.

Since I'm a total foodie, perhaps it will be beneficial to share recipes when I make them...

emoticon Vegetarian chili to die for... we didn't have any corn and I ended up doubling the chili powder and added some extra hot sauce for a kick.
allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-veget
arian-chili-in-the-world/detail.aspx?e
vent8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=vegetarian
%20chili&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e
7=%2fmy%2frecipebox%2fdefault.aspx


emoticon I wouldn't imagine this Potato Leek recipe being spark approved but it suggests at the end of the video, I went for the lower fat option; there are plenty of healthier options out there but I opted for the heartier soup and just ate less of it. Also delish!! allrecipes.com/video/2722/potato-lee
k-soup-iii/detail.aspx


On a more personal note as reference for the future... what am I doing right this week? As always, I've packed my lunch for work leaving me only healthy options to eat. I have been diligent with taking my vitamins, an important task working midnights during a Seattle winter (sun? ha! what sun? can you have negative Vitamin D levels?)

Food stuffs - I haven't stayed entirely on track with my diet; yesterday I had two chocolate chip cookies, the other day I went out for mexican food with a friend I haven't seen in a year, and of course, the potato soup. At least I was conscious of the unhealthy options and chose to eat less at those meals, eating to reach peak satisfaction and then immediately stopped. I knew if I got hungry later (and I did), that I could eat fruit. It worked! Whoda thunkit?!

Activity - I'm a nurse so I have at least 3 12-hour shifts with lots of walking and I'm getting in at least one day hike when I have a few days off. The walking on the job isn't enough but I've been getting a hike in per week for a month and that feels great. It's something to build on.

To be continued...

  


New year, Big Plans!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Not being one for resolutions, the timing of this blog is pure coincidence. However, given that it's 1/1/2013, I'm guess I'm kind of going forward with a resolution-esque attitude.

2012 was a pretty eventful year and will be difficult to top - My husband and I moved across the country, went on an Alaskan cruise, tasted wine in Napa, and I started a new job.

We have some pretty big plans for 2013 too... the biggest on the list is starting a family! However, I want to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and my husband and I agreed that we shouldn't try until I lose some weight. Overall I'd like to lose 80 lbs but I'd be ok with working on growing our family after losing 50 lbs. Either way, I have my work cut out for me!

My goal is to cut out most junk food and count calories. I don't have a specific plan for fitness but I have recently taken up hiking and will continue on that path (gotta love bad pun).

Any and all tips are welcomed!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPORENTA 1/2/2013 10:14PM

    Alaska was great!! I would love to go back!

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RHEYNKLAW 1/2/2013 11:01AM

    Having a baby is one of the best reasons to get healthy.
emoticon
How was Alaska? We're going for my parents' 40th anniversary in July!

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ZENRYAKU 1/2/2013 8:10AM

    All the best with your goals for the coming year. emoticon

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