Right Now

Finishing up the school year.  JV’s last day is today, and Z has wrap-up work to do along with finishing his AP English class as CHS

Thinking about food and health.  Trying to figure out how to eat well and feel good.

Knowing that I need to get started on Z’s graduation announcements.  We are not having a party because he doesn’t want one, but I want to let family and friends know he is graduating.

Looking forward to Spring, which has decided not to arrive.  We woke to a foot inch of snow today.  Yuck.  It is supposed to be colder than average through June. My bones need some heat and sun.  Edit:  Oops, I meant an inch of snow, but is sure felt like a foot. :)

Working  on next year planning for JV, or I will forget what he has done and where we need to start later this year.

Hoping to really spend time this week on Holy Week with a focus on my relationship with Jesus.  Looking forward to spending time in church during the Triduum.

Refocusing on what foods are causing me to not feel the best and eliminating them from my diet.

Feeling pride for JV.  He has made a goal of making so many baskets during the off-season.  That means making at least 200 baskets a day.  He is tackling that goal, even if he is sore from doing weight training.

Feeling pride for Z.  He started working this past week for 3 hours a day before his AP English class.

Planning our summer calendar. Between planning for Z to head off to college and JV’s crazy basketball schedule, the summer is going to go so fast.

Loving my family; spending time with them playing Settlers of Catan, watching The Voice and eating together..

Thinking through my business.  I have focused very little on my business.  Have had only a few sales the last two months.  Trying to figure out how to fit it into my life and get re-motivated to list.

Enjoying the longer days. Love that it is light out until about 8:30 at night. Just wish we could spend it outside more, but difficult with the cold weather.

Vitamix Blender – Green Smoothie

Kale Spinach Smoothie a

Last November I told you how much I loved my new Ninja blender.  Then in January my friend loaned me her Vitamix blender to try.  One try, and I was sold.  Yes, I love my Ninja, but as I began using it for more and more things, I was finding little bits of kale weren’t being blended completely, or little pieces of almonds were still in a smoothie.  I would have been content with it, but then I tried the Vitamix.

This blender pulverizes anything.  I now use my blender at least once and sometimes twice a day.  This guy gets used.  Today, since it is St. Patrick’s day for I made a green smoothie to go with my red cabbage and jicama.  The original recipe was from Stacy Julian.  Here is what I do.

Kale Spinach Smoothie b

Green Smoothie
7 ounces of coconut milk
4 ounces of water
a couple of handfuls of frozen strawberries
a scoop of protein powder (they all taste different and many have a ton of sugar in it; look for low sugar and high protein; keep trying until you find one you like)
several handfuls of baby kale, spinach and swiss chard that I get at Sam’s Club
Blend till smooth and enjoy.

It makes about 20 ounces of smoothie.

My son still uses our Ninja for his individual smoothies, and we still are glad we purchased it.  However, if you are looking for an awesome blender that will blend anything and everything, I recommend spending the money for a Vitamix.  I know you won’t be sorry.

Just last night I made a snack ice cream out of just frozen strawberries and greek yogurt.  No liquid at all.  No problems for this beast.

Do you have a blender you like?  Do tell.

Julienne Zucchini Noodles

Julienned ZucchiniHere is another way I tried in getting more vegetables in our diet.  I julienned two zucchini squash, added a little salt and let it sick for 20 minutes or about the time it took me to make spaghetti sauce and noodles for the boys.  Then, I heated it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. We put some “noodles” on our plate and added the spaghetti sauce on top.  Yummy.  Less pasta, more vegetables in a yummy way.

The zucchini was slightly crunchy.  If you want a softer “noodle” just heat a little longer.  Pretty sure Big M and I will be eating spaghetti this way in the future.

If you have ever tried julienne zucchini noodles, what did you think?

This Broke My Heart

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A woman in Canada is desperately seeking a family for her daughters.  She set up a website to beg for someone to help her.  The father, apparently is out of the picture, and she is in a long-term care facility for multiple sclerosis and other physical ailments. She can not take care of them.

My heart just broke for this woman.  I can’t imagine not being able to take care of myself, much less my two boys. I am blessed…I have my health. But what would I do?  First, I have an amazing husband who would never abandon his boys.  Second, I have a fantastic family who I know would help or take my boys in, so I know I would not be in this situation.  For that I know I am so dearly blessed.

I admire this woman.  She is doing what she can to make sure her daughters are taken care of.  That is sacrificial love. She is willing to sacrifice her time with her daughters to ensure their physical and mental health.  Wow, that is being a Mom.

I live in the USA, so I can’t help, but I would if I lived near there.  It appears that many people have expressed interest in helping.  I have found that if people know of others needs, they are usually more than willing to help.  People are good and generous, and I am hopeful for these girls.  However, I will keep praying for this woman…she will continue to need them.

Reducing Sugar Intact

SugarSomeday I will have to blog about my journey with my health over the past 3 years, but today I want to tell you about sugar.  Sugar is bad for you.  We all know that, but do we really know how bad it is for you.

Check out this post, “You’ll Stop Eating Sugar after Reading this Post” that lists 25 reasons sugar is bad for you. Or if you want a quicker list of 75 ways it can harm your health read, “Counting the Many Ways Sugar Harms Your Health.”  Sugar really is deadly.  There are even studies that show that sugar lights up the same brain areas as cocaine does.  It is definitely addictive.  If you don’t believe me, go 24 hours without any sugar and you will have withdrawals symptoms.

The sad thing is we don’t realize how much sugar we eat each year.  Sugar is in everything.  I used to love eating Yoplait Thick and Creamy Yogurt for breakfast.  Yogurt, it must be healthy for me, but that little 6 ounces had 28 grams of sugar.  That is the pile of sugar on the left, about 7 teaspoons worth. My stomach hurts just looking at how much sugar that really is.

For more than a year now I have eaten Fage Greek Yogurt, it has 6.5 grams of sugar per 6 ounces or 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.  That is the picture on the right.  Think about it, I would eat a yogurt each day, that means I was consuming 10,192 grams or 2,548 teaspoons a year with just my Yoplait yogurt. Just by making that change for the past year I have reduced my sugar intake to 2,366 grams or 592 teaspoons per year.  That is huge, people.  I am telling you…HUGE.

I have not stopped eating sugar.  I still like candy, but eat less of it.  I no longer drink Coke. You know I loved my afternoon Coke. That had even more sugar in it.  I have changed to a Stevia or Erythritol sweetener for my tea and I am trying to reduce that as well.

Americans eat way too much processed food, and almost all of it has sugar in one form or another in it.  I have a long way to go to eliminate my processed sugar cravings, but I have made progress.  I am trying hard to eat at least half my plate as vegetables, a fourth protein and a fourth fats/carbs, as well as chose health, low sugar snacks. My health has improved, but I still am working on it.

Do you pay attention to your sugar intake?

Brussels Sprouts Anyone?

Brussel Sprouts

 

In my quest to eat more vegetables I decided to try brussels sprouts.  I have never eaten them before, so off to Pinterest I went to find a good, healthy recipe.

Tonight I made Cranberry Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Two Peas & Their Pod.  The above photos is what they looked like when I put them in the oven.

I did make one change…I used Truvia instead of honey.  I was pleasantly surprised.  My first try with brussels sprouts was yummy.  No, they weren’t my favorite vegetable, but I liked them.  However, no one else in the family really liked them.  So I am wondering…anyone have a good recipe for brussels sprouts?  Please leave me a link in the comments or send me an email with the recipe.  I have half a bag left, so I want to try a new recipe on Tuesday.  Once I find a good recipe, I am going to move on to eggplant, but for now it is brussels sprouts that I want to be able to incorporate into our dinners.

BTW, did you know it is brussels not brussel?  I didn’t realize there was an ‘S’ at the end.  Learned something new today.