Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sorry to leave you hangin...

So sorry to my TENS of readers (Okay, that was probably a generous estimation) for not writing anything in quite some time. I know I promised to get that menu plan down-loadable, was working on some exercise routines and other things that I haven't posted. Truth is, if you are on my Facebook, you probably are already aware of how hard life has slapped my family in the face right now and it's been the number one thought on my mind. My youngest brother, Brent, went through his 3rd major heart surgery two weeks ago and things went horribly wrong. He's alive, so that above all is worth celebrating. But his recovery is something none of us were prepared for. If you are interested in finding out more, here is a link to a great website that my Step-dad and brother Ryan are updating daily on Brent's condition: CaringBridge.

But I thought I would take a second to relate this somewhat to the point of this blog. So, I discovered that I am a stress eater. It's not like this is really news, and I've never claimed to have amazing will-power with food, but I just don't buy or make junk too often. Well, I spent the first week at the hospital giving into the evil snack machines with their taunting Sour Patch Kids that I haven't eaten in like 10 years and other equally deadly sugar-packed goodies. With not being able to workout, I gained 5 lbs in 2 weeks. EEP!

So my poor family not only has to deal with the hardest thing any of us has ever gone through, but also has to endure me whining about how I'm gaining weight and what the hell happened. HELLO! Sour Patch Kids happened! So, I decided to just let that go, allow myself the temporary comfort and slowly channel that to a more sustaining stress-reliever, which it turns out is running. It's okay to have ups and downs with food. The "everything in moderation" doesn't take into account our emotions and life's drama. We all deal with things differently, the point is to just reel it in before it spins out of control.

So the running... yeah I was in the Army Reserve for 8 years and I HATED running because of it. It screwed up my right leg and knees permanently, made me go to physical therapy for it, blah blah, long uninteresting story. But I did miss working out. I like to just zone out to music, reading my nook, or whatever I can do depending on what type of exercise I'm doing and have some me time. It feels good to get my heart pumping, endorphins flowing, and take an hour or so just for myself. On Saturday, I was at my parents house, and just felt I really needed to run. I have been having a hard time processing the reality of Brent's situation while taking care of two small children and shuffling back and forth from Portland to Seattle. It's hard to keep track of the days and I felt like I needed to just MOVE. So I went on a run, and boy did I move. It was so much nicer to be going somewhere and feeling the strength I have worked so hard for, pumping away, faster and faster then be stuck on an elliptical machine. It's like it was the first time I've ran before or something, which doesn't really make sense, but all I can say is I needed it. I did it again the next day. Then couldn't feel my legs on Monday, and went again last night. I just might become one of those runners after all that I see and silently judge how crazy they are, running in the rain when there is perfectly good equipment that they can take advantage of indoors. God help me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

World... Meet Mr. Quesadilla *cues angel choir*

Black Bean Quesadilla w/ Chipotle Sauce

Ok, so that might be a little dramatic, but seriously this quesadilla needed it's own post.

First though, sorry for the long absence! It seems that once my children get a stomach virus, their little bodies hold on to it for over a week... but that is the ONLY thing they hold onto if ya get my drift. So, I thought I would pop on for a quick post in between catching up on more laundry than one house should ever go through in the history of ever. Ok, that was a little dramatic too, haha.

Onto the food! So I made up this recipe on late afternoon when I realized I hadn't eaten lunch, had a hankering for Mexican food and two kids napping AT THE SAME TIME. With this rare time on my hands, I decided to listen to my tummy and here is what I came up with. Any time I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a recipe, I always freeze the left overs but it's hard to figure out what to do with them. So I started there. (FYI, a whirl in the food processor with some ketchup makes a great dip for sweat potato fries from my last post). I will try my best to estimate amounts, but I never really measure anything. Like I said, follow your tummy!

Black Bean Quesadilla with Guacomole and Chipotle Sauce


1 wheat tortilla (like Smart & Delicious low carb ones for only 80 cals each!)
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
low sodium vegetable stock (about 1 cup)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 small onion (white or yellow) diced
1 lime (cut in quarters)
cilantro chopped up (about a handful after chopped)
1 ripe tomato diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 avocado
salt & pepper
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use to taste, but around 1-2 peppers and 1 Tbsp sauce)
1/4 cup light or fat free sour cream
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt (use 1/2 c sour cream if you don't have this)
olive oil
olive oil cooking spray
shredded 2% low fat sharp cheddar


Black Bean Filling-
In a small saucepan on medium heat, put in beans, green chiles (substitute some more chipotles if you want it spicier), corn and pour in vegetable stock until the mixture is just covered. Add a half a handful of diced onions, a squeeze of 1/4 lime, 1 clove of diced garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt & pepper to taste. Mash together with potato masher or wood spoon until the consistency of a lumpy paste. Let simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let thicken up.

Add a handful of onion, 1 clove diced garlic, diced tomato, chopped cilantro and juice of 1/2 the lime into a bowl and mix together. Half the avacado, throw out core, and hold one half in palm. Score a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife, turn upside down over the bowl and push the skin inside-out to remove all the cut chunks. Repeat with second half. With a fork, mash the avacodo together with the salsa mixture, adding salt & pepper to taste.

Chipotle Sauce-
In a small food processor, blend about 1 or 2 chipotle peppers with about a TPSP of adobo sauce until mixed well. Squeeze in a quarter of a lime's juice, add sour cream, yogurt and a little chopped cilantro. Add salt to taste and blend well. Put this mixture in a small plastic baggie. You will cut a small hole on one corner to add to top of quesadilla.


Heat a large pan, grill pan or panini maker on medium heat.
Take the tortilla and spread about 1/3 bean mixture on half of it. Add a little cheese on top of that and close.
Either brush outsides of tortilla with olive oil or use a olive oil spray.
Cook quesadilla in pan or grill on both sides until golden brown. Add EVOO to pan if neccessary, or spray.
Remove, put on plate, let cool. Slice in 1/3rds.
Top with Guacamole, and drizzle Chipotle sauce over each slice.

*you can either make an extra and freeze it for later, or just freeze extra ingredients for easy assembly later.

This is a great dish for meat eaters or vegetarians (in my opinion anyway). You can play with the ingredients to your own taste. Sometimes us mom's have to take a little extra time to treat ourselves! This might take longer than a quick slice of the kids' pizza, but it will be loads more satisfying PLUS good for you. I'm still figuring out how to upload the menu plan I made but stay tuned for that soon. Happy cooking! <3

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clearing Your Kids' Plate Guilt-free!

Well maybe it depends on how much is leftover to be considered guilt-free, but you know what I mean. We mothers tend to prepare food for everyone else first, sometimes forgetting ourselves all together, and end up eating leftover, cold, half-eaten Mickey Chicken Nuggets or Mac and Cheese. Well if you don't want to eat that, why are your kids eating it? Convenience maybe? I hear ya on that! And don't think I'm preaching here because my son is not going to stop requesting Cars Spaghettios with meatballs, and I'm not going to stop giving them to him when I just don't have time or energy to make something healthier.

Sorry for the Seizures

I want to punch Numbers in it's stupid face, if computer applications had a face. I can't figure out how to make the menu chart I made print-friendly. You don't need to tape like 4 pages together to have enough room to write. Plus I need to figure out how to upload it so YOU can download it. Grrrr....

So I am playing with free templates instead. If it keeps looking crazy and different every time you visit today, sorry about that! This is proving to be an equally annoying experience.

I sound a little negative today. Maybe it's because my favorite mom's cafe is closing this week called Me Too. Ok, off to take my kiddos there! Sunshine, butterflies, rainbows, puppies... better?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Screw Baby Steps

No really. If you are anything like me, you spend entirely too much energy focusing on how unhappy you are with yourself and how it just sucks so bad and wish you didn't look and feel like you did. So taking baby steps like workout once this week, or eat more veggies this week, are small potatoes and won't get you the fastest results. Which is what we all want right? So jump in! Lets do this!

Here's a quick start guide that may help you along. Again, I feel the need to put a disclaimer that I am NOT a certified trainer or counselor or anything like that. This is just my advice, take it or leave it. But please don't sue me ;)

So here are some tools to get you started:

1. Invest in a Scale-
Scary times, I know! No one wants to know the number, but you HAVE TO. Don't get hung up on numbers or goal weights or whatever, but you need something to keep track of. And you need accountability. So get a digital scale, and either have a spouse or friend be there to witness your weight (so you can't tell your brain to imediately forget the number), write it down in a log, or get a scale that saves the information. That way you can't lie to yourself, which we get very good at when we are in denial about the size we are. I recommend only weighing yourself weekly on the same day and same time each week. Don't obsess about daily fluctuation, that will make you crazy.

2. Buy a pedometer-
This is the easiest way to motivate yourself to get moving. Wear it ALL the time, not only when you are working out. I mean, only take it off for the shower. Seriously, you will be shocked how 5 more minutes walking with the dog or one lap around the playground adds up. A great workout is 10,000 steps a day, but that is difficult, so don't get hung up on it. Buy one that is flat enough to wear on your waistband under clothes, has a miles counter as well as calorie counter. Target has some great ones!

3. Think about how you eat and change it-
I'm working on a chart that you can download that will serve as a menu template. But to sum up what that will include is a good range for daily calorie consumption while losing weight is 1250-1500 cals a day. You also need to consider how to fit veggies, fruits, dairy and two snacks a day in there. So food journals are great, but since I'm a visual person, it's easier for me to see it broken down for me. Then you can hang a new one on your fridge each week and fill it out as you go! It is important to keep track or you will not remember what you're eating. I'll have it done soon, promise! :)

4. (Optional but helpful) Buy simple exercise equipment-
*Big Exercise Ball
*Set of Resistance Bands
*Set of 5lb weights
*Yoga mat

5. I forgot! Get a good water bottle. Something you will carry with you to the park or wherever. Mine has a straw and a water filter in it so I can refill it whenever.