Friday, November 26, 2010

Shakeology mini pies

For my dessert on Thanksgiving, I made Shakeology mini-pies.  I cheated a little with the crust, but for 100 calories, I wasn't overly concerned.

I used 4 Keebler mini graham crusts
3/4 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 pkg (6 oz.) Light Silken Tofu
3 Tbsp natural Peanut Butter
few tbsp Almond Breeze
2 tbsp agave
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
pumpkin pie spice

I blended everything in my Ninja until it was smooth, then I poured it into the pie crusts.  I let it sit in the fridge all day.  They were very good but tasted more like chocolate peanut butter (couldn't really taste the pumpkin at all).  I had one and froze the other three wrapped in parchment as they didn't really firm up in the fridge.

Either way, this was super yummy!  And I liked that it was a healthier option for dessert.  :o)

The Usual Suspects (i.e. ingredients)
Before mixing - looks, uh, interesting!

Voila!  :o)

Just for kicks, here's the pecan pie I made for Josh ~ before baking.

Our Thanksgiving - some firsts this year!

This Thanksgiving was an interesting one for me.  This was the 4th Thanksgiving that we have spent here in Maryland, away from our families, and although I kind of liked having such a relaxed and laid back Thanksgiving those other three years, this year I found myself missing family & friends in Connecticut.  Growing up, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays.  I can remember back to when I was very young - our family crammed into my grandmother's small kitchen on Standish Street in Hartford.  Wow - it was so LOUD in there.  But those were the best meals.  There were stories, laughter, and a feeling of comfort, always.  When our family grew too large for Mama's kitchen, we branched out to Aunt Nancy's house.  Those were some really fun and memorable Thanksgivings.  It seemed every year someone else had a baby and the family just grew and grew and grew.  In the past 15 years (longer, actually) since I have been with Josh, we would visit each of our families - sometimes having dinner at one and visiting the other...or, yes, having dinner at both families' gatherings.  I remember the first year I hosted and had Josh's family over.  It was a sad day because his grandfather had just passed away, but yet we all got together to remember Gramps and to be in the comfort of one another.  I was terrified that year.  I had never cooked a turkey before.  Everything out fantastic though.  I digress...

My point there was that every year, for as long as I could remember - until 2007, we spent every Thanksgiving surrounded my family, making memories while remembering years past.  This year, I missed that.  I missed sharing stories while my girls could run around and play with their cousins and make their own memories.

Even though I felt that pang of sadness and regret, I still spent all day in my kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving dinner.  This year, our meal was a little different than what I would normally make on Thanksgiving.  For starters, this is the first year I did not eat turkey.  Earlier this year I made a commitment (much to some people's surprise) to stop eating meat.  I was not sure if it would be difficult for me to smell the turkey, and see it (fully cooked).  I wasn't sure if I would want to have some after it came out of the oven.  But, as Josh carved it (first time ever for him, by the way), I found that I really didn't want it at all.  I thought about the reasons I made that commitment...and I felt very content with the extra dishes I made for myself.

Here's what I served:
*Turkey (stuffed with oranges & onions for flavor)
*Mashed Potatoes (the real deal - butter, garlic & cheese added)
*Stuffing (my version!)
*Southern Green Bean Casserole (so good, but not at all healthy, even with my lightened up ingredients)
*Mushroom Shepard's Pie (for me!)
*Sweet Potato Biscuits
*Gravy (turkey gravy for Josh and red wine reduction for me)
*Pecan Pie for Josh
*Chocolate, peanut butter, pumpkin Shakeology mini-pies for me

Just a few recipes to share...

Mushroom Shepard's Pie:
I winged it on this one.  Really, I just sauteed (in evoo) sliced white button, baby bella & shitaki mushrooms with sliced onions.  I added fresh chopped sage, thyme & rosemary to that.  I tossed that with a little bit of freshly grated Asiago cheese and added a layer to a small casserole dish.  I added a layer of mashed potatoes, then another layer of the mushrooms followed by a thin top layer of mashed potatoes.  Because the mashed potatoes were already cooked, I only had to heat this casserole through on 400 for a little while.

Sweet Potato Biscuits:
(made 7 biscuits)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp raw sugar (I used Turbinado)
dash of cinnamon
1 whole banana, cold
1 whole sweet potato, mashed
also, I needed a splash of almond milk to get to the right consistency

Cook sweet potato and remove skin.  Mash and set aside.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar & cinnamon together in food processor and pulse a few times to distribute.  Add banana and pulse/run food processor until a dough forms (about 45 seconds).  Put dough into a mixing bowl and add sweet potato.  Use hands to mix gently, then form into 7 biscuits.  Bake 5-10 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean - err on the shorter side, and put back in if need be.


Whole Wheat bread, toasted & cubed (10 slices)
1 cup (prepared) Trader Joe's Harvest Grains blend
7 chopped, dried apricots
diced celery, onions & mushrooms
poultry seasoning
garlic pepper
chopped almonds (about 20)
vegetable broth

I sauteed the onion, celery & mushrooms in evoo, then added it to a large mixing bowl with the cubed bread and grains mix.  I added the apricots & almonds and poultry seasoning (I didn't measure that).  I also added garlic pepper.  I added enough vegetable broth to get the stuffing to the right consistency and tossed it in the oven.

Having trouble with formatting - thanks for bearing with me!  :o)

Is it possible?

Is it possible to be Fit & Healthy without being skinny/thin/lean/tight?  In one word - ABSOLUTELY!

I look at myself and I know I am more fit and healthier than I have been in many years - maybe ever.  I love that about myself.  I am strong, I have endurance, I possess the strength to do things I couldn't do 2 years ago.  But - I am not skinny.  I have curves - and some parts are more curvy than others.  I am okay with that!  It took me a very, VERY long time to be okay with that.  And, I will confess, I still have days where I am not 100% okay with that because I would like to lose some fat and tone up several areas.  I would like feel less jiggle when I am working out.  But, I do my best not to let those thoughts get me down.  I have learned that when I focus on these feelings of dissatisfaction, I tend to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, which then leads to overeating, making poor food decisions, and skipping workouts.  Funny how that happens - you'd think it might make me work harder and make better choices, but, well...that's just the way my brain works.

I've learned that focusing on the positive, leaning on friends for support, pulling motivation and inspiration from wherever I can (pictures, articles, Facebook posts, blogs, quotes, etc) has helped me to remain in the positive and work towards staying away from the negative.

For those of you who are not yet where you want to be physically - or in terms of your nutrition - and if you feel badly about that sometimes, then consider this.  Stop for a moment.  Look back to last year or the year before.  Compare how you are feeling now to how you felt then.  Do you have more energy?  Are you stronger?  Were you able to stop using any medications (cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, aspirin, headache medication, etc)?  Are you making better choices when you go out to eat or when in the grocery store?  Do you read product labels to try and avoid things like High Fructose Corn Syrup or Saturated Fats?

If you said yes to any of those questions above, then tell yourself that you have made great strides since you started making these changes.  Pat yourself on the back.  Send me a message and I will tell you how awesome you are doing.  Give yourself credit for how far you have already come - as opposed to looking off too far in the distance at what you are still trying to attain.

Sometimes we need to remember to celebrate our successes instead of feeling frustrated with what we ultimately want.  This is a journey - it's always a journey - and many times, there's no destination.  There's just a check-in point, with another leg of the race to complete.  Celebrate your successes!!

This post today is as much for me as it is for anyone else who needs a reminder that once we start taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, we can look back and KNOW that we are more Fit & Healthy than we were at some point in the past.  We have overcome a hurdle (or several).  Even if there's still a long road ahead of us...we'll keep heading in that direction, because what good will come of us turning back?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vegetable Soup - Great for the Icky Sickies

Pretty much the entire globe knows I was sick last week.  Yeah, I'm a whiner.  I know this.  When I was able to eat again I felt the need to stuff myself silly with all things bread.  When I had to perform contortionist moves in order to get my jeans on the other day, I knew I was not in a good place.  I thought it might be good to make some vegetable soup - that's a good, hearty comfort food that helps combat the ickies and is really a much better option than cinnamon toast or a muffin.

I had a lot of what I needed already, so I just threw it together.  First, I roasted the veggies for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees to bring out the flavor.

I used -
  • 5 carrots - sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery - diced
  • tiny white potatoes
  • edamame - shelled
  • yellow pepper - diced
  • 1/2 onion - diced
  • fresh thyme
  • plus the items listed below...

I added the roasted veggies to the crockpot and topped those with 2 cups of organic, low sodium vegetable broth along with 2+ cups of water and a few tablespoons of tomato paste.  I also tossed in in chopped zucchini, chopped green cabbage and fresh parsley.

When it was done - it smelled fantastic - and tasted even better.  It's been great for dinner or for an evening snack.  I get loads of veggies - which I always need more of anyway without a lot of sodium.  It makes me cough simmer down and makes my throat feel better.
I love my veggie soup!

Who needs a centerpiece, anyway?

Pretty much every time I go to Trader Joe's, I pick up some sort of floral arrangement or potted plant for our island in the kitchen.  Although the island tends to get buried with all sorts of stuff - school papers, mail, keys, wallet, purse, sunglasses, and a plethora of other nonsense (what are those plastic things that go in the collars of dress shirts called?), I still like to have something pretty on there...even if it gets covered in the shuffle.  No wonder the flowers never last more than a few days - they probably can't get any air.

The other day I was looking around my kitchen, noticing how cluttered it is, and I decided that I should try to declutter as best I can.  I installed child locks on the cabinets (yes, just now, when my youngest is already 2) so that I could put a few counter-top appliances underneath the counters.  Then I thought that I should clean everything off the island - and let me tell you - it makes the kitchen look quite a bit bigger when there's not a whole bunch of stuff everywhere.

I was a little concerned because my nice tidy kitchen didn't have any flowers on the island.  I looked around to see what I could put there to pretty it up a bit...and it dawned on me that I could move the fruit & veggies from the counter to the island.  They take up a lot of room on the counter - but I like to keep them there so that I always have a healthy option at my fingertips.

Do you know how EASY it is to enjoy a roasted squash?  Cut it open, sprinkle spices (no salt) on cut side, place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast at 375 for 40 minutes or so.  Remove from oven, scoop seeds out with a spoon...then scoop out the squash or eat it right from the skin.  SO GOOD - and incredibly healthy.  Perfect for chilly evenings.

Here's how my island looks now.  I like it!!  Until we decorate for Christmas, it'll stay like this.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tony Horton's thoughts re: Beachbody Coaching

I love this!  ♥

Boys and girls,

I'm unaware of your financial situation but I do believe that you're reading this page because you care about your health and fitness. If you have plenty of income and love your job then what I’m about to tell you might not be for you. If you're not thrilled with the way you make a living, would like extra income, love Beachbody products, like the way they make you look and feel, enjoy helping other people feel and look better, enjoy setting your own hours, get excited about being the captain of your own ship as opposed to working for the man - then listen up.

The reality is, your health and fitness moves beyond you. It impacts the people around you. You (whether you like it or not) have the power to change lives based solely on your own personal transformation. Inadvertently you become a catalyst for change. This is how I got started. I was clueless, asked a few questions based on my need to be strong and healthy, stayed with it and people in my life wanted to know what I was doing. Simple yet powerful.

If you want to share what you've learned with people in your life who want better health (and could use extra income in the process) then you should consider becoming a Team Beachbody Coach.   I felt so strongly about this program that I’ve encouraged many of my friends to become coaches, even my own sister.  She is doing great (even though my contract with Beachbody won’t let me help her).  She is a perfect example of someone who had plenty of doubt and hesitation regarding the coaching opportunity and still found a way to make it work for her. A busy working wife and mother with three very active kids doesn't sound like a good candidate to start an in-home multi-level marketing company. Did you say multi level marketing? What? Ick! You mean pyramid scheme right? Okay chill out. All these fears would be true if BeachBody were selling hats or kitty liter, but this is Beachbody people! The number 1 in-home fitness company on the planet! P90X is steadily becoming the most popular fitness system in US history. Shakeology is the revolutionary replacement meal on the market today. We sell life-altering change - not soap. Tens of thousands of regular folk around this country are doing something they love because of this coach opportunity.    

The unemployment rate still hovers around 10% but it doesn't have to be that way if more people were willing to see that new opportunities exist all around them. The Team Beachbody Coaching opportunity is one of them. Health care companies, pharmaceutical companies and our government are not capable of solving this obesity crisis and we can't wait around for them to do it. The crisis is now and the answer is YOU! I know that sounds a bit Rah Rah but it's true.
Cynics don't need to apply, but if you're sick and tired of the status quo and want to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of those around you, then open the door.  The two major issues of our time - the health care issue and unemployment rate could be resolved if a million more people in this country decided to get healthy and share the wealth. This is a brand new industry waiting to explode. It's not happening in boardrooms or factories – it’s happening in the homes of tens of thousands of Team Beachbody Coaches and in the homes of their customers.  With a tiny investment (actually the company is waiving the enrollment fee through the end of 2010) and a willingness to help people the sky's the limit.  

Related Posts with Thumbnails