Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Nostalgia

Christmas is upon us... are you ready? Is your tree up and decorated? Do you have your presents purchased and wrapped? Do you have a plan for eating clean yet still being satisfied over the Holidays?

If you answered no to any of those questions, what are you waiting for? Christmas is only a week away!

As many of you already know, I adore the Christmas season... I look forward to purchasing gifts early, putting up a tree right right after Thanksgiving and wrapping presents at least a week before Christmas just so that I can look at how pretty they are under the twinkling lights of the tree.

Every time that I think of the love and sacrifice that it took for God to send Jesus, his only son, to make this magnificent season possible, it breaks my heart and fills me with joy. I can only hope that the love and sacrifice that I feel for my baby will be a glimmer of the compassion that God has for us.

Today I leave you with my favorite Christmas song, Joy Williams, Here with Us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bowls of Oats

It is SNOWING here in Minnesota. This is our first REAL snow of the winter and I am VERY excited! I love the SNOW!!! What is it like where you are?

As the weather gets colder, I start to crave warm, wholesome foods like OATMEAL. So, when I don't have leftovers in the fridge to take for lunch I make myself a warm, yummy bowl of fluffy egg white oatmeal covered in fruit...

Here are some of the delicious bowls of fluffy fruit covered oats that I have been enjoying lately!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eat-Clean Diet Recharged

I received my copy of the Eat-Clean Diet Recharged yesterday. I cannot wait to read it cover to cover!

I spent some time flipping through the pages last night before bed and look what I stumbled upon...

Last summer, I was contacted by one of the editors at Robert Kennedy Publishing and was asked if they could feature my story in one of Tosca's upcoming books. I was thrilled to accept and really excited to see how the editor's would use my Clean Eating story. I was not expecting a full page feature, but am very thankful to be able to share my story with others! So, if you would like to read an excerpt from my transformation story, turn to Page 102!

After I finish reading the book I will be back with a full review!

Tosca just launched her new website and it is very nice. It has a professional feel and features several new resources that were not available on her old site. Overall, I think that the new website really shows off Tosca's personality and is a nice Clean Eating resource.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!

I received an email today from Amazon letting me know that my pre-ordered copy of Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged has been shipped... EARLY! Originally the book was due to be released in late January; however, it is available NOW on Amazon and it's definitely a steal at $13.57, which is 32% less than the retail price.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Announcement!

Good Afternoon, Bloggers!

I have a very important announcement to make...

I am pregnant!!!

Baby Peters is due May 19th and I am in my 13th week of pregnancy. I am feeling well and taking good care of myself. In my first trimester, I struggled with all day nausea and fatigue that impacted my day-to-day activities. I also suffered from intense food aversions. As you can imagine these side effects combined made it pretty difficult to cook, bake and workout. Which left me with little to blog about!

The good news is that as I begin my second trimester, I am starting to feel like myself again. I have had a lot more energy and am regaining my interest in food. I was even able to pick up the latest issue of Clean Eating and Tosca’s new cookbook for recipe inspiration!

Being that I am pregnant, my food choices have shifted from weight loss to weight gain; which is a weird feeling and has required a complete shift in my mindset. So far, I have gained 3 pounds and plan on gaining a total of 6-9 pounds in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. So, that leaves me with another 3-6 pounds to gain until the end of December. From 20 weeks on, I plan on gaining 16-20 additional pounds. This will put me at a total weight gain of 22-29 pounds.

For now, I am focusing my workout efforts on prenatal yoga and walking/jogging on my treadmill. I find little interest in weight lifting at this point, but as I regain my energy I plan on creating a pregnancy weight lifting plan for myself.

I would love to hear your thoughts and advice on this wonderful time in my life! I cannot wait to share the next 27 weeks of pregnancy with you along with my newfound motherhood!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sugarcane-based Sweeteners

I know that a lot of us are confused about the different versions of sugarcane-based sweeteners that are out there. And for good reason! It seems like every other day another company releases a recommendation on which sweetener is best. Also, the descriptions of each sweetener’s processing can be very cumbersome to decipher. So, the following is the result of some research that I did on the subject. I looked at the three most common forms of sugarcane-based sweeteners: Sucanat, Turbinado, and Evaporated Cane Juice.

Sucanat, which stands for Sugar Cane Natural, is made from whole sugarcane. The sugarcane is minimally processed by cutting the sugarcane, extracting the juice and heating the juice to extract the water. The juice is then reduced, creating a rich, dark syrup. It is then cooled and dried creating porous granules. Sucanat retains the full molasses content of the sugarcane.

Turbinado sugar, also known as Raw Cane Sugar and Demerara, is made by crushing sugarcane and extracting the juice from the cane. The juice is evaporated by heat and then crystallized. The crystals are then spun in a turbine to remove access moisture (molasses). Turbinado sugar looses some of the molasses content, resulting in a lighter brown crystal.

Evaporated Cane Juice, aka Sugarcane Juice and Rapadura (in Latin American countries), is produced by evaporation and distillation. This processing varies based on the manufacturer and regional influences. Unfortunately, there is not one tried and true way that Evaporated Cane Juice is created. When doing my research I came across several different photos of Evaporated Cane Juice and they seem to vary from very light in color (less molasses = more processing and closer to refined white sugar) to very dark in color (more molasses = less processing and closer to the source).

Overall, it is best to purchase Sucanat, as it is cleanest of the sugarcane-based sweeteners. This is because it is reliably closest to the sugarcane source by using less processing and retaining the full molasses content. If you find the thick granules of Sucanat unappealing, you can always whirl them in a food processor to make the granules smaller to closer resemble the consistency of refined, white sugar.

Also, if you are interested, I also did some research on Stevia and Truvia.

Click here for more information on Splenda.

Also, a little more information on the sweetness of different sweeteners in comparison to refined sugar:

Please keep in mind that if you replace table sugar with a liquid sweetener, then you will need to increase the dry ingredients or decrease the liquid ingredients in order to compensate for the extra moisture.

100% Pure Maple Sugar - replace 1:1 and read this article about compensating for extra liquid
Maple Sugar Flakes - 100% sweeter than sugar (use 50% less than sugar)
Sucanat - substitute 1:1 (I usually process it in my Magic Bullet first to create a more refined powder for baking)
Agave Nectar - 25% sweeter than sugar (use 25% less than sugar)
Honey - 25% to 50% sweeter than sugar (use 25% to 50% less than sugar), depending on the sweetness of the batch that you have
Dates (taste like brown sugar) - I wouldn't suggest baking with dates as they do not mix well into liquid ingredients, I add them to VitaMix smoothies and raw desserts
Molasses - 65% as sweet as sugar (use 35% more than sugar)
Organic Zero by Wholesome Sweeteners - 70% as sweet as sugar and can be used 1:1

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A couple days ago Allan and I were at Kowalski's picking up a couple items that we were running low on like eggs, milk, sausages, etc. A few weeks ago I decided to cut out my beloved morning skim lattes in favor of chai tea lattes and was running low on my Chai Slightly Sweet liquid yumminess. But to my shock and horror Kowalki's was completely out of it! However, sitting right next to where my beloved should have been was Teeccino.

According to their website, Teeccino Caffeine-free Herbal Coffee is a delicious blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted and ground to brew and taste just like coffee.

I have been wanting to try Teeccino for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! I decided to try the Mocha flavor.

So, this morning I used my Bialetti Mukka Express along with light soy milk to make a Teeccino mocha. It was very good! However, be forewarned that it doesn't really taste like mocha or coffee, but has a really unique and yummy chocolaty flavor with a hint of coffee.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yummies from Lovely

Last night our good friend, Jamie Paul, stopped over bearing some yummy gifts! With him he had 3 Punch pizza's for supper along with some Lovely Mpls swag.

Jamie and Kevin of Lovely Mpls were nice enough to share with us the "Your Hair is Lovely" poster above and the Hope print below that I have been in love with since we visited their studio last winter. Thanks!!! If you are interested in purchasing a print from Lovely Mpls you can visit their etsy site.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thank you.

Thank you for your support, thoughts, prayers, and encouragement in the last month and a half. It has really meant a lot to both Allan and me.

Allan has been home from the hospital for about a month and is getting stronger every day. His attitude is very positive and he makes progress every day towards a full recovery. Thank the Lord!

We thank God daily for saving Allan's life so that he can experience beauty that God grants us each and every day. Allan's life is truly a miracle!

I plan on starting to blog again about my daily life, eats, and workouts. Even though I have not been blogging recently, I have been taking pics of the simple meals that we have been eating and plan on sharing those with you. Since Allan has been sick, I have simplified our eats and we are both happier that way.

Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Monday, September 7, 2009

Psalm 91

You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
"I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care
if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!"


Good Morning, Bloggers.

Allan's dad Mark, who stayed with him in the hospital last night, just called to give me an update on Allan's condition: he has been stable all night and is still improving. Allan's second surgery to repair the bullet's damage will be some time today based on the emergency surgery schedule. Please keep him your prayers, as he still has a long road ahead of him.

If you are interested in receiving updates on Allan's status, I will be tweeting updates that auto update my facebook page. I am making both mine and Allan's profiles on Twitter and Facebook private, as I do not want the news outlets using this information. So, please follow me or send me a friend request and if I know how who you are or if you explain to me who you are, I will let you follow the updates. I am hoping that this will all blow over and I can once again make my tweets/updates public.

Last night WCCO, a local news outlet, specifically Maya Nishikawa, one of their resporters, went against our wishes and used Allan's name and facebook profile photo on the lead story of the evening news along with:
  • Giving an incorrect update on his status (the opposite of what was true)
  • Recounting a false account of what ensued at our home
  • Interviewing our neighbors
  • Stopping by my HOUSE when my parents were there picking up some of my belongings
  • Calling our family, friends and the hospital repeatedly
If the reporters and news outlets would really like Allan to get better and keep this sort of thing from happening to someone else, they should be respect our privacy and the delicate nature of this ongoing investigation. The hospital staff is not there to be give you an update on Allan's status every hour on the hour, they are supposed to be ensuring that sick people get better - let them do their job.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prayers Needed...

Early this morning my husband, Allan, was the victim of a shooting and is in need of your prayers. Please keep him in your thoughts.

Allan is currently in stable condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center. The local newstations have been covering the story and I would appreciate it if they would respect our family's privacy in this very difficult time.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Birthday Week

Good Morning, Bloggers! I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far! I know that I have... clean, busy, and filled with activity. ;-)

Around our house, we celebrate Birthday Week, not just a Birth Day. So, starting last Sunday, my Birthday Week has begun. Usually Birthday Week would start exactly a week from my Birthday (which is Saturday, the 5th), but this year I opted to have it start a day later so that I can get the entire holiday weekend into Birthday Week.

In reality, there is not much that goes down during Birthday Week that is out of the ordinary... but it's just fun to say it's my birthday week and I can do what I want to do...

Over the weekend I planned on creating a new lifting program for the next few weeks; however, after much consideration, I have decided to restart New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROL4W). I finished all the last stages of the book last June and saw great results in fat loss, muscle gain and overall endurance. I also enjoyed the challenge and workout combinations and realized that I really miss the structure that the book brings to my routines. I started Workout A of Stage 1 on Monday. Does anyone want to join me?

I wish that I could find another book like NROL4W that is specifically tailored to women lifting heavy. I know that Rachel Cosgrove is coming out with a new book for women in November, The Female Body Breakthrough, and I am hoping that it will be a resource like NROL4W; but until then, I will be pumping iron in the NROL4W fashion.

I have not posted my eats in a couple days, so here they are:

Meal 1: 1/3 c dry oatmeal cooked with 4 egg whites, ½ banana, and 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 tbsp wheat germ
Meal 2: nonfat plain yogurt + mango
Meal 3: Summertime Risotto leftovers + cucumbers
Meal 4: pumpkin protein muffins
Meal 5: (post workout) kefir + protein powder + spinach + ½ banana
Meal 6: adobo rubbed pork tenderloin + pico de gallo
Meal 7: sprouted grain toast (during the Vikings game)

Meal 1: 1/3 c dry oatmeal cooked with 4 egg whites, ½ banana, and 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 tbsp wheat germ
Meal 2: nonfat plain yogurt + mango
Meal 3: (at a lunch meeting) chicken + strawberries + romaine + 1 tsp poppyseed dressing
Meal 4: pumpkin protein muffins
Meal 5: Almost Tandoori Chicken + Sautéed Broccoli Rabe + whole wheat baguette

Meal 1: 1/3 c dry oatmeal cooked with 4 egg whites, ½ banana, and 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 tbsp wheat germ
Meal 2: nonfat plain yogurt + mango
Meal 3: Pork tenderloin + pico de gallo + cucumbers
Meal 4: pumpkin protein muffins + celery
Meal 5: (postworkout) kefir + protein powder + spinach + ½ banana
Meal 6: apple glazed pork chops + potatoes

Have you pre-ordered the new Eat Clean Cookbook and Eat-Clean Diet Companion? If not, what are you waiting for? Both books are releasing this fall and Tosca just posted previews both books here. They look fabulous and I cannot wait to get my hands on them!!!

Also, Tosca's new book The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged is now available for Amazon pre-order.

Now if we could only get Flexing at 49 aired in the U.S. we would be set!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rachel Sandwiches

We had the most amazing Rachel Sandwiches using leftover turkey breast that I roasted over the weekend. This time, I used a store bought organic 1,000 island dressing, but the next time that I make this recipe I want to make my own clean dressing to use on the sandwiches. This recipe is definitely a keeper and will show up in my cookbook along with my recipe for 1,000 island dressing.

Rachel Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

Olive oil mister
8 oz turkey breast, roasted, deboned and shredded (planned leftovers from another meal)
3 tbsp 1,000 island dressing
1/3 cup organic sauerkraut, drained and rinsed (only ingredients should be cabbage, water and sea salt)
4 slices whole grain rye bread or sprouted grain bread
1 oz low-fat swiss cheese, divided into two 1/2 oz slices

Mist a small saucepan with olive oil. Preheat the pan to medium heat and add turkey breast, dressing and sauerkraut stirring frequently until heated through. Turn off heat.

In the meantime, mist one side of each piece of bread with oil. Set aside.

Preheat a nonstick griddle or panini maker to medium heat and mist with oil.

Place 1 slice of bread on a plate, oiled side down. Layer 1 (1/2 oz) slice of swiss cheese and 1/2 of heated turkey mixture on the un-oiled side of the bread and top with another slice of bread, with the oiled side facing up. Repeat to create the second sandwich.

Move sandwiches to the preheated griddle. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, checking to ensure that the bread does not burn. Carefully flip sandwich and let the bread toast for another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with a green salad or baked sweet potato fries for a complete CLEAN meal.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Picnics in the Park

"God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind."
Isaiah 40:28-31
Good Morning, Bloggers!!!

I'm soaring high today - what about you?

On our staycation, Allan and I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon by Lake Calhoun with a yummy picnic, fun football plays and much needed relaxation on the sand. I love sunny days with my bubbs. ☺

Sometimes life just needs to slow down. I feel like I am always trying to fit so much into every week… ever day… every free moment. Why do I rush to get things done? Why do I take so much on by myself? I have no clue! God gives us the strength to make it through day by day and I need to trust him for the means to get by instead of relying on my own strength. I am weak and he is strong – right?

Let God be your strength today!

Today's planned eats:

Meal 1 - egg whites + chicken sausage + 1/3 c dry oatmeal cooked with 1.5 cups water, 2 tbsp ground flax + 2 tbsp wheat germ
Meal 2 - nonfat plain yogurt + pineapple
Meal 3 - leftover grilled salmon + romaine + balsamic vinegar
Meal 4 - leftover turkey breast + green beans
Meal 5 - leftover chili

No workout today, I am giving my knees a rest and will practice yoga tomorrow to stretch and strengthen. On my way home from work I plan on stopping by a local garden center to find a natural way to eliminate my garden's two munching problems: slugs and baby bunnies. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rough Waters

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it wont be a dead end -
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior."
Isaiah 43: 1-3

When you feel surrounded by rough waters you have a choice to either dwell on the troubles that you are experiencing OR focus on the things are going well in your life that you HAVE control over: clean up your eats, go for a run outside, do a body weight circuit at home, pray and meditate on God's plan for you.

Recently, Pastor Wende described trials and tribulations as God's way of smoothing out our rough patches. We all walk around with burrs and God uses these trying times to smooth them out and shine us up! Relish this time and try to find the purpose of God's plan for you. Today I heard another Pastor refer to humans as butter and he described God using his Son and the Holy Spirit to melt us into his image. Isn't that a fabulous thought?!?

Here are my eats for today:

Meal 1 - the usual... egg whites + chicken sausage + cinn-raisin sprouted toast
Meal 2 - yogurt + gingered/mint fruit + granola (at a brunch meeting)
Meal 3 - chili leftovers
Meal 4 - Vita Mixed: protein powder + 1/2 frozen banana + 2 strawberries + 1/2 serving spinach (in the car on my way to run errands)
Meal 5 - 1 banana (on my way home from running errands)
Meal 6 - Yummy Pasta Pomodoro (a new recipe that I made up the other day, this was its first day in the Test Kitchen)
Meal 7 - 1/2 serving pineapple (if necessary)

I am realizing that on days that seem to "escape" me, I tend to not eat enough veggies and rely too heavily on fruit. I would really like to work on that!

My knees have still been bothering me, but I managed to squeak out a 30 minute interval (incline) workout on the treadmill. By the end I was SWEATING!!! What a great feeling!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Black Beauty and Eats

I have been meaning to post a pic of the new Rav4 since we brought it home a couple weeks ago. Here is our Black Beauty at a scenic overlook near Red Wing, MN.

I would really like to get back in the habit of posting my daily eats here on my blog. I keep a food journal at home, but it's always nice to have the accountability of sharing my eats here with YOU. I am still eating strict Cooler 2 eats.

So, here are yesterday's eats:

Meal 1 - egg whites + chicken sausage + cinn-raisin sprouted grain toast
Meal 2 - yogurt + frozen raspberries, thawed
Meal 3 - leftover roasted turkey breast + romaine + homemade honey dijon dressing
Meal 4 - hard boiled egg whites + cucumbers/corn
Meal 5 - Rachel Sandwiches (pumpernickel bread/leftover roast turkey/sauerkraut/organic 1,000 island dressing/organic low fat swiss cheese) + romaine + honey dijon dressing
Meal 6 - kefir + protein powder + frozen raspberries + spinach
Meal 7 - 2 raw chocolate cookies

And today's eats:

Meal 1 - egg whites + chicken sausage + cinn-raisin sprouted grain toast
Meal 2 - yogurt + mango + multigrain flakes cereal
Meal 3 - leftover chili + romaine/corn + honey dijon dressing

Meal 4 - hard boiled egg whites + mango
Meal 5 - (postworkout) kefir + protein powder + frozen strawberries/spinach
Meal 6 - grilled salmon + green beans
Meal 7 - (optional) brown rice cake or cinn-raisin sprouted grain toast

I am SUPER hungry today! I don't know what has come over me, but I have been needing to eat every 2 - 2.5 hours versus my usual 3 hour intervals. Yikes! I must have really kicked it hard on my interval run yesterday and now my metabolism is zooming!

Since finishing NROL4W, I have been making my own heavy lifting routines and last week I finished the last round of workouts that I planned for myself (I like to switch up my routine every 6-8 weeks) and need to spend some time with my Oxygen Magazines, NROL4W and The Eat-Clean Diet Workout book creating a new workout routine for the next 6 - 8 weeks. This week will consist of running and yoga. As I like to take a week off from heavy lifting in between routines.

Have a wonderfully CLEAN day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting Real About the High Price of Real Food

I have to say that I absolutely LOVED this article! I felt that it embodied the point of sustainable, organic, CLEAN eating. Please take a moment to read Getting Real About the High Price of Real Food by Brian Walsh and let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Our staycation was wonderful! I loved the feeling of waking up every day and knowing that Allan and I could do whatever we wanted! I wish that we could spend every day together hanging out, getting some sun, eating good food and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. It’s silly, but sometimes I look forward to the day that we can retire together. ☺

While staycationing I did not do a lot of cooking or baking, so by the end of the week I was really starting to miss being in the kitchen creating. Here is the one meal that I did make last week and it was a good one!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Update: I started reading Psalms at the beginning of the summer and got through Psalm 50 and started feeling as though God was calling me to read Proverbs. So, I started Proverbs this morning and am really looking forward to becoming wiser through the words of Solomon.

So—join the company of good men and women,
keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.
It's the men who walk straight who will settle this land,
the women with integrity who will last here.
The corrupt will lose their lives;
the dishonest will be gone for good.
- Proverbs 2: 20-22

Friday, August 14, 2009

Experiments in the Kitchen

Here are some of the yummy things that I have been whipping up in my kitchen lately. All of the following items were quick, simple and wonderfully delicious!

Kristen's Holiday Chia Pudding is a yummy cold treat to enjoy as a midday snack or an end of the day dessert. I usually enjoy my Holiday Chia Pudding cold vs. lukewarm, which is how Kristen enjoys her pudding. Make it for yourself and decided which way it's best enjoyed!

One of my favorite meals that I have been making lately is my very own Coconut Cacao Oats. Shown here topped with homemade almond butter, Artisana Cacao Bliss and shredded coconut. Fabulous!!!

I love homemade raw nut milks! They are much more flavorful and complex when made fresh and raw rather than the packaged, heated and shelf stable varieties that can be found at grocery stores. I have found that I prefer raw cashew-based milks over almond-based and would really like to try pumpkinseed and hazelnut milks some time soon. For now, I have simply been making my own recipes for vanilla-spice cashew milk and chocolate-cinnamon cashew milk (as pictured below).

I hope that you enjoyed a glimpse into my test kitchen! I hope to be making several new dishes next week when I am officially back to work after our Staycation. Enjoy the weekend and keep it clean!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Honest Scrap Blog Award

The lovely and sweet Miss Linda of Linda Gets Fit was sweet enough to present me with the Honest Scrap Blog Award!!!

According to Linda's blog, this is the definition of the Honest Scrap Blog Award...

"This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant. This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who oftentimes put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul."

There are three rules that need to be followed upon accepting this award.
1) Brag about it
2) Select 7 Blogs you find brilliant and link to them
3) List 10 honest things about yourself

How sweet is that?!?

Thank you so much, Linda for the thoughtful award!

I humbly accept the Honest Scrap Blog Award and below are the fulfillment of my acceptance parameters:

One: I always try to write thoughtful blog posts that will really help someone out, it is always rewarding to hear when I have accomplished that. I love seeing that my followers check back often and comment on things that I post. Thanks for being such great readers!!!

Two: I do read a lot of different blogs, but these are my top 7, in alphabetical order...

Allan Peters

Choosing Raw

Dani Spies

Eat-Clean Diet
Three: 10 Honest Things About Myself

1. I really enjoy clean eating and exercising, I feel like there was a part of my personality that was completely dormant before I became healthy. Cooking and baking are some of my favorite ways to relax. When I don't have enough time in the kitchen I can become cranky.

2. I love to shop and always have. Now that I am healthy, I sometimes wander around Whole Foods for ungodly amounts of time. Allan has no clue how it can possibly take anyone as long to grocery shop as it takes me. It's because I am enjoying myself. :)

3. I love lifting heavy weights and running intervals. I have tried steady-state running and lifting light weights and I just don't enjoy it as much. I am really starting to love practicing yoga... even if it is only with DVDs and DVR'd Namaste Yoga. ;)

4. I also have a passion for interior design, fashion, and gardening that goes hand-in-hand with my HGTV addiction.

5. Before I was healthy, I did not want to have kids.... but now that I am happy and healthy I cannot wait until Allan and I have a couple cuties running around the house!

6. I was hit really hard by the untimely death of a very close Uncle last December as he succumb to kidney cancer. Some might say that as a result, I took my clean eating to the next level.

7. I love Hawaii!!! Allan and I Honeymooned in Hawaii 3 years ago and I cannot wait to go back this winter. There is just something about it that is magical. I think that they pump the island air with floral scented endorphins or something...

8. I completely adore my orange furry friend, Mister Piggie. I could talk about him in every blog post because he is always doing something cute and/or funny. He will always be our first baby, even though he is a cat.

9. I am not impulsive. I always think things through before I do anything. This is not a symptom of indecisiveness, it can actually be blamed on the fact that I am extremely decisive and refuse to compromise on what I want in order to make a quick decision. Also, I love a good deal, and have a difficult time paying full price for big ticket items and clothing.

10. There is nothing that I love more than spending time with Allan. He is my best friend and there is no one else on the planet that I would rather be with for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Q&A - Fat Loss

Recently I was asked the following question by a fellow forum member and thought that the question and my response may be helpful to some of you. If you ever have any questions or want something that I say clarified DO NOT hesitate to just ask! I am here to help you out in any way that I can!!!

Hi! I didn't know how to find your posts so I thought I would send my question here. I love your blog and the before/after pics. I am well over 200 lbs and basically just getting started on losing - we've been doing weights for about 3 weeks now 3x a week. My question is what all did you do to get your boobs to be smaller? I'm quite large due to childbirth and so far I'm losing in my butt and my legs but not my boobs and very little in my arms (another large area).

Thanks for the kind words. I am very happy with where I have come in such a short amount of time. It's really nice to hear that my story inspires other women because that is the reason that I started my blog in the first place!

To answer your question, my breasts slowly but surely reduced in size and there did not seem to be anything specific that really helped to get them to be smaller - it was simply a reduction in body fat percentage by eating clean, lifting weights and interval running.

My arms and breasts were the places that really held on to the fat the longest, whereas my back, butt/hips, and midsection shed fat the fastest. Everyone's body is different and it is almost impossible to "spot reduce" fat on your body. I have read that the place(s) that you gain fat the first are the last to loose the fat and that was definitely the case with my weight loss.

Try to be patient and remember that it takes just as long (or longer) to loose fat as it did to put it on. Try to keep your weight loss slow and steady (1-2 lbs per week) and you will have the most success with keeping it off long term because you will be building good habits to last you a lifetime.

When weight lifting I used the book New Rules of Lifting for Women and really loved it. I know that there are several other women on the forum that have used the same book with great success. You might consider checking it out because it was a great resource not only for weight lifting routines, but also on the science of fat loss. Be aware that not all of their menus are completely clean and you will want to follow clean eating instead of their meal plans, but other than that, the book is very informative.

Good luck on your weight loss journey and let me know if there is anything else that I can do to help you out!

Your sister in iron,

Friday, July 31, 2009

Raw Oatmeal!!!

Looks like warm, cooked oatmeal, doesn't it?

This has been one of my favorite meals lately...

Raw oatmeal!

What is Raw Oatmeal?

Raw oat groats soaked in water overnight in the fridge then placed in the food processor with dates/agave and cinnamon, or applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins then topped with raw almonds and served cold.

Seriously, this stuff is filling and keeps me full for HOURS!!! The other day I had it as my second meal (around 10:30 AM) and was not hungry until about 4:00 PM.

Seriously GOOD food. Allan even likes it. :)

I am working on a Cacao Bliss inspired raw oatmeal, recipe, too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm still here!

Good Evening!!!

I am still here and eating clean. If you follow me on Twitter, you saw that I am keeping my eats clean and getting in my workouts, but have been BUSY! It's crazy how our life gets completely out of control in the summer and to top it off, I have been working longer, more packed hours at work. So, by the time I get home, workout and get supper on the table I am down for the count!

We had a really nice weekend at home with some decent weather for a change. We were even able to spend Sunday at my parent's pool.

Allan and I just picked this up on Sunday at Best Buy and have been playing it every night!!!

My favorite games so far are jet skiing and wake boarding.

I would love to check out this game for the Wii:
Does anyone have it? What do you think?

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rav4 Has Arrived!

Last night after work we received a call from the car dealership that the Toyota Rav4 that we ordered a month ago arrived! We picked it up last night in Golden Valley and could not be happier with our decision! I will try to post a pic of the black beauty later on tonight!

I'm sorry that I have not posted my eats for a few weeks. I have been staying Cooler 2 strict while integrating some raw foods and eliminating dairy and wheat flour. I found that dairy and wheat flour (even WW) tend to give me belly bloat, so I am trying to limit them as much as possible.

Here are my eats for the day:

Meal 1 - egg whites + chicken sausage + cinn raising sprouted wheat toast
Meal 2 - raw cashew coconut pudding + raspberries (from the farmer's market)
Meal 3 - chicken artichoke spinach pesto w/ brown rice penne + kale + raw orange miso dressing
Meal 4 - banana + raw almond butter (homemade)
Meal 5 - chicken burger + turkey bacon + butter crunch lettuce + green/yellow/purple beans

Last week I went to the Farmer's Market twice to pick up fresh produce and plan on going twice again this week to pick up any additional produce that we need to supplement our CSA share. The weather in MN is finally cooperating and the farmers have been able to start cranking out produce. I read last week that because of the cold and dry Spring/Summer that we have had, several farmers are over 2 weeks behind schedule on their crops. It's nice to see the weather warming up and the rain today to help them out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hello bloggers!

I hope that you had a nice weekend and are off to a great start on the week!!! We had a fun and event-filled weekend. It was one of our first weekends at home this summer and it was nice to be able to enjoy ourselves around Minneapolis instead of constantly being out of town!

On Friday, Allan and I kept it low key and enjoyed pizza and a red box. We rented Marley and Me, because we had been told that it was a good, uplifting movie and we were in the mood for something lighthearted. I thought that overall the movie was good and it definitely portrayed a more realistic viewpoint on marriage, pets, and kids. Although, I didn't think that it was as good as others had made it out to be... Although, I may be a bit biased, because I am a cat person, not a dog person. It's not that I don't like dogs, I do refer to Mr. Piggie as a puppy because sometimes he acts like a puppy, I just prefer cats. I just don't understand the licking, doggy breath and jumping - so not my style. I prefer this fuzzy lover.

Unfortunately, he prefers to lay on the Wii Fit Balance Board,
as opposed to standing on it and exercising. Oh well...

On Saturday night we celebrated my dear friend, Laura's, birthday at The Sample Room and the NE Palace. Good food was ate. Interesting conversations were had. And Karaoke was enjoyed.

Sunday afternoon was spent on Fountain Lake in Albert Lea celebrating my Aunt Becky's birthday with my mom's side of the family. We visited, went boating and ate.

I have been working on a recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus for my cookbook and brought along the latest version of the recipe for taste testing. The response was positive and I think that this version is ready to go! Overall, it was a beautifully sunny day and I even drove the boat!

It's hard to believe that the summer is already half over. Phew! That was fast! Enjoy the beauty of the season while it is here!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Galia Melon

During the summer months, the produce section at the grocery store and the local farmers markets are brimming with interesting produce. I am completely intrigued by unique produce and the Galia melon did NOT disappoint.

Out of the varying types of melons in the produce section, I choose the Galia because it was the most fragrant. The smell alone made me want to sink my teeth into it right then and there. :) Also, the skin of the Galia is completely different than most melons, it appears to have little veins running through it that seemed penetrate into the melon.

I was expecting the flesh of the Galia to be yellow or orange and was surprised to cut it open and find this:

The flesh is GREEN!!!

The taste of the melon was familiar, yet different; sweet and watery, yet complex.

The best way to describe it is if a Cantaloupe and Honeydew were iMated you would get the Galia.

By the way, visit Gina's blog because she is giving away a copy of Sarma Melngailis' new book. I looked at it briefly the other day at Barnes and Noble and would really like to buy a copy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Steamed Kabocha Squash

Have you tried Kabocha squash yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

I have heard that Kabocha can be a little difficult to come by, but here in Minneapolis, I have seen them in all of the local grocery stores, not just specialty grocers. If you have a difficult time finding one, visit your local Asian market and they will be sure to have one.

Kabocha can be enjoyed in a number of ways: baked, steamed, sauteed, grilled, etc. I chose to cut my squash into bit size chunks, skin and all, and lightly steam it.

It kind of looks like an acorn squash on the inside and it has a distinctly sweet smell.

Allan and I enjoyed our Kabocha drizled with ABU and cinnamon. I was a little wary at eating the squash skin and all, but it actually added a nice chewy mouthfeel to the soft squash. We both really liked Kabocha's unique texture, as it is more "meaty" and not stringy like other squash. It almost reminded me of eating a sweet potato. I also loved the slightly sweet taste that melted in your mouth.

Here is my plate:

And this is Allan's plate: