You know you’ve raised em’ right when… ~By:Steph

21448388b155887fd5d72692cee4f539Hope you all enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend.  I had a really nice weekend and it actually felt like a real weekend.  That doesn’t happen often.  Saturday we did some shopping and my husband took me to Ulta to ahem…grab a Mother’s Day gift for myself.  I did use the proper mom etiquette and tell the kids, “Thank you.” when I walked in with my gift.  Hey, at least I don’t have to sit around thinking, “Really? This is what they thought I’d like?” ;)  Don’t judge me… you know you’ve been there!

My eating has pretty much been right on track this past week. This is a nice change.  I decided to keep myself focused on Mother’s Day.  Saturday evening I made a Strawberry Cream Cheese Delight on an almond crust & a lemon cheesecake on that same almond crust.  Both low carb, both had no added sugars and both had really nice calorie counts of less than 200 cals per serving.  It always freaks me out when I read “low carb” recipes with 5000 calories per serving.  My Noodle and I cut up a ton of fruit and made a fruit plate for Mother’s Day and one for home.

I figured the kitchen was already messy from all that baking nonsense so I may as well try another recipe out.  I’m pretty glad I did.  I tried cloud bread.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, I will put a link.  I found one recipe that called for sour cream instead of cream cheese and decided that’s what I’d try.  I’d already blown through a lot of cream cheese by this time.  I was a little worried about the whipping of the egg whites but, no disasters occurred and we had stiff peaks! I am NOT a baker.  Too many rules, too many bowls and measuring cups, dirtied. All in all the cloud bread was a success and pretty tasty.  I do need to use a flat baking sheet next time rather than, the 15 year old misshapen one that I chose to use. Although, it would make for less interesting shapes. I’m willing to sacrifice my art. I expected these little breads to be pretty gross and not at all bread like.  I was very surprised.  They browned up nicely, had good flavor and had a mouth feel that was very similar to bread. http://pin.it/x2ChXmY

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Low Carb Cloud Bread Top and bottom views.

 

Sunday the Big Guy and I headed to church early, to serve.  We were actually on time. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that Noodle brought Wild Bee and Monster Boy with her later.  They walked into church with some very pretty flowers and on time.  I was a happy mama!  Don’t you love that book “Llama Llama mad at Mama?”  Oops…sidetracked.  My mom and I showed up at church looking like we were trying to be matchy-matchy.  Totally cool, right?  So, a lovely friend, insisted on snapping a picture.  My Mom-mom attended service, it’s always nice to have her visit the church.  Even had a surprise text from my Lucy who informed me that she and her Ricky were playing hookie from their church and visiting ours.  So I had a lot of people I love to pieces, worshiping in one building.

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Me and my Mommy

Headed over to my Mom’s with the food and decided that the girls needed to take a field trip to Ulta and browse the makeup.  Found some fun stuff  got our “free gift with purchase” which is why we went there in the first place and then headed to Dutch Bros. while the men folk bbq’d for us.  Dutch Bros. on a normal day is insane.  Dutch Bros. on Mother’s Day when moms get $1.00 drinks…COMPLETE AND UTTER INSANITY.  We did not help this situation by ordering 9 drinks while we were there.  WHAT? We had to be nice and take the guys something!  Headed back to Mom’s with my sf strawberry/coconut iced green tea and we seriously got out of there for only $18.00.  Plus they made one of our drinks twice and gave it to us with a smile and a “Happy Mother’s Day”!  WOO HOO, extra sf green tea for Mom and me!  Well, maybe…I’m pretty sure I drank them both. It’s good to get all your fluids in. I wasn’t selfish, I was health conscious!

After dinner which was delicious and full of some really healthy choices, we headed to the other room and did makeovers on my Mom and Mom-mom.  The girls and I had fun playing with makeup and they got pampered. End result gave us a very nice picture with 4 generations in it.  My Mom even put on her “fancy hair”!

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I have to say that by far the most interesting part of my Mother’s Day was my Monster Boy’s gift. A little background…my son hates to draw or color and has questionable handwriting.  When we got home on Sunday evening he pulled a paper out of his backpack.  I stared at it for a bit and then said, “Thank you, it’s beautiful.”  I was holding a very neatly handwritten paper with my name on it (spelled incorrectly), tulips drawn on it and colored. He smiles and says, “The teacher gave us time to make our moms a card.  I had my friend ‘A’ write it for me, ‘B’ draws cool things and I picked the design for him to draw and then, ‘C’ colored it because, she had colored pencils.”  I guess you know you’ve raised em’ right when they contract out your Mother’s Day gift in the 5th grade! My little CEO in the making.😉

 

A fun weekend, had my dessert and stayed on track, got presents…I like presents, and spent time with my crazy butt family!  Wins all around:)

Chile Verde…yum ~By: Steph

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Chile Verde, only healthy carbs

Last Friday at the supermarket, I decided I was buying tomatillos.  I have never even unwrapped a tomatillo before.  I knew they went into homemade chile verde sauce.  Yep there’s my expertise in a tomatillo husk. Is it called a husk? Hmm…

I realized on Tuesday that I had forgotten about the tomatillos and they were going to end up going to dead vegetable land. More commonly known around these parts as, the trash bin.  Alas, many a vegetable has met this terrible fate in my home.  I decided to stop the madness and do something with these little green, wrinkle wrapped thingys. I went to…wait for it…Pinterest, and found a recipe that sounded pretty yummy/pretty easy (once again…I do not really follow recipes as much as I look at them to see what should go into something.) and I got to work.

Tomatillos are sticky little suckers under that covering.  It was weird and I got great satisfaction at washing their stickiness away before quartering them.  I threw the tomatillos, some chunked up green peppers (yep, chunked up), a couple of halved jalapenos, a rough chopped onion, and an entire head of peeled garlic, on a baking sheet.  Coated everything in roasted garlic olive oil and seasoned with chipotle chile powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Took about 15 mins to prep and get into the oven.  I roasted this until the house smelled phenomenal…that means about an hour.  They were so pretty but, I forgot to take a picture of their slightly charred gorgeousness.

After the veggies cooled down a bit I threw them into my Cuisinart with about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of cilantro leaves.  Whirled it until it looked Chile Verde sauce-ish and set it aside.  It was at this point when I realized it made enough for two recipes.  I threw half into a jar to be popped into the freezer.  After it got it’s picture taken, of course!

I cubed up a pork tip roast that I had quick thawed in a pan of water, while the veggies roasted.  They are very lean and I definitely prefer them with some kind of sauce to keep them moist. I seasoned the cubed roast up and popped it into a hot cast iron skillet to brown up. I contemplated throwing the meal into my slow cooker. Which is where I usually make my cheater chile verde with the jarred salsa and canned green sauce.  I thought better of using the slow cooker when I realized it was already after 12:45 and I wasn’t positive the meat would get tender enough before dinner.  I almost put it all away to make the next day and then GENIUS STRUCK.  Okay not really but, I did remember that I had some of those Reynold’s oven bags in the drawer.  I grabbed one out, added the meat, covered it with the sauce, sealed it up, stabbed the bag a couple of times so the steam could escape, and cooked it at 325 for about 2 1/2 hours.  The result was a really ugly looking bag that sort of scared me when I opened the oven. That’s why I included it in the picture.  I was totally convinced I had cooked dinner into an incinerated oblivion.

When I opened the bag up, there was bubbly, green, deliciousness! That’s not a phrase you use often.  I was totally ready to mash up some pinto beans and chow down for dinner that night.  NOPE, Big Guy had an errand to run so I went with him.  Ended up eating the kids meal of grilled chicken nuggets and fruit salad at Chik-fil-a. I LOVE that place.

Wednesday I made some Mexican riced cauliflower.  It was pretty delicious yet, still cauliflower and not rice.  I am not going to lie and say I like it as well as carby, delicious, rice but, I do think it was a nice substitute.   Mashed up and seasoned some pinto beans for fat free “refried” beans. Shredded up a little lettuce and diced a tomato because, I like the fresh crispness with Mexican food. Warmed up the Chile Verde in the oven and ta-da dinner!

I’d say that I spent about 40 mins of prep time on the meal.  There was a lot of waiting patiently (I’m so very good at that…) for the oven.  The end result was definitely worth the time it took.

Healthy carbs, veggies, lean pork, homemade sauce, and some new favorites.  I call this meal a win.

Everyone ate this meal except for My Monster Boy. Well, The Bee didn’t eat the cauli rice.  As I have said before, my son would think I was trying to kill him if I served him something other than pizza with any kind of sauce on it.  Took out a Flatout, coated it very lightly with Ranch dressing, threw on a bit of shredded cheese, and added some turkey pepperoni (shh…don’t tell him), and put it in the toaster over until it was crisp and melty.  That and a bowl of fresh fruit with some cucumber spears, and he was a happy kid with a fairly healthy meal. I love that he enjoys Flatout’s and they have great fiber and protein.

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For my wls friends, I know this looks like a lot of food. I am very near, 4 years out of surgery and can eat a decent portion of food.  This is a salad plate with 2 TBL of beans, 1/4 cup of cauli. rice, 3 oz. of chile verde, and maybe a quarter cup of lettuce with 3 pieces of diced tomato on top. There isn’t even a TBL of cheese on top of the meat.  Maybe 1 1/2 cups of food total. The lettuce and cauli. rice don’t really take up a lot of space for me.  If this plate contained all solid foods, I could do about a cup.  If this plate was a bag of popcorn, chips, cookies, or something else carby and easily digested, I could unfortunately probably do closer to 50 cups.  Okay that may be an exaggeration but, I can do way more of something that breaks down easily like those off limit foods. That is why they are off limit foods for me.


P.S.  I like to grab a few head of cauliflower at the store, and forget them in the fridge until I panic about them going bad.  Then and only then do I drag out the food processer and make cauliflower rice.  I never actually want to use it that night because, honestly I hadn’t planned on using it that night and only touched it because, I was afraid I’d have to throw it away if I waited any longer. So it gets bagged up and put into the freezer for when I actually do want to use it and have absolutely no fresh cauliflower in the house.

 

Do You Ever Ask Yourself, “Who am I?” ~By: Steph

Today I am in the zone.  Well, my own zone which is not for everyone.  I caught myself in the midst of doing something strange and thought, “Who does this stuff?” I know I’m quirky.  I know I come across as closed off until, you get to know me.  I know I have my struggles.  I know I’m a smart ass like my Papa before me.  I know that I’m a fairly decent wife…YES Big Guy I am! I know that I’m the Meanest Mom in Fresno (M.M.I.F.), just ask my Noodle. I know I am a child of God and that I’m incredibly blessed to be His.

What didn’t I know? Technically I knew these things but, never really thought much of them.  I’m weird, thrifty, totally irrational at times, overly emotional in good and bad ways, and I know that my mind often is like a canoe stuck in a whirlpool. I think in circles and often talk in them too.  Often during a conversation, the worst possible responses pop into my head at extremely inappropriate times and I have to shove them away. I’m pretty sure I get THAT from my Papa too.  He was the sort of guy who said things like, “You’re a good ole hefer.” to the lady who spent an hour dealing with us and hooking my electric account up. Leaving her giggling and blushing.  Anyone else who said it would have probably gotten punched in the nose!  I at least usually have the good sense to think but, not say these things. I’m not as adorable as Papa was so I’m pretty sure I’d get punched.

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Yesterday my Big Guy informed me that the container that grinds the Himalayan pink salt, had melted.  I checked the store for a salt grinder to transfer it to.  Totally refused to pay $12 for a new one.  This morning I was staring down that salt grinder and wishing it ill. Ten minutes later I had the electrical tape out and was “fixing” it.  Who tapes a salt grinder back together? Especially when it’s one of those cheapo ones that comes with the salt! Me, that’s who.  Hey, it matched!  You never would have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out.  I’m fairly certain of that because, most of you wouldn’t have been in my kitchen.

I can not say that without saying this.  Today wasn’t my first rodeo with tape.  Two full years ago, Bailey our sweet little pit mix decided that she was going to help me decorate the house. She decided to eat the back off of BOTH leather end table/storage cubes. You guessed it.  I contemplated buying new ones and ended up breaking out the duct tape.  Taped the entire back of both of them and then to top off my awesome ingenuity…I spray painted the duct tape brown to match the cubes.  We still have them.  I still roll my eyes every time I see the fraying edges of that tape masterpiece.  The couch now has electrical tape on the back of it to close the seam in the leather that the daycare kids were dropping toys into.  I’m the kind of person who really wants new furniture but then I think, “It’s just going to look the same way as the old furniture if I allow the kids to even breathe by it.”  No Big Guy, that does not mean I don’t want to get new furniture! I would prefer it if the Furniture Fairy would drop off some indestructible, free, furniture one night.  Not holding my breath.

I am scatterbrained to the point that I think if you look hard enough you can see my brain jumping around.  In my mind there are always about 15,000 things running around.  Kind of like ants. No not like ants, they are pretty organized.  More like bees buzzing around a hive.  I am also busy.  Who isn’t though?  This is why, I will now confess that this blog was started TWO days ago.  So when I say that I taped the salt grinder, “this morning”, what I really mean is 2 days ago. If my blogs jump around, it’s partly due to the fact that I rarely write more than one paragraph at a time.  More like one paragraph an hour or, six hours, or 48 hours…whatever.

I come across as closed off because, I’m trying to take in all of my surroundings and still speak coherently.  I have a hard time with crowds, windows, background noise, or any other distraction that may be taking place during a conversation.  My co-crazy Becky, likes to shout, SQUIRREL, at me when this happens. I don’t mean to seem standoffish, it’s just that there are so many things happening and that makes it hard for me to focus.  Call it ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, whatever you want.  I call it life.  My Monster Boy was lucky enough to get this from me.

If you’ve ever read my blog you know the “struggles” I have.  I am pretty blessed that God helps me to manage them.  I did not say they are under control. If they were under control, they wouldn’t be struggles, Silly.

I’m over emotional.  Enough said or else, I’ll get mad and cry.

All in all, I like who I am.  That isn’t something I could have said a few years ago.  I am learning to embrace my quirks, my struggles, and my ability to live a joyful life, with them. I have my days, and sometimes they feel overwhelming but, I get through them.  I wouldn’t change them if it meant losing the lessons I’ve learned, the family I have, or my faith in God.

I hope you enjoy your quirks and embrace who you are and where you are.  It kind of stinks to always be looking for something better, or more “normal”, than who you are.

Hugs and go tape something up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken, Broccoli & Mushroom Alfredo

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My serving of Alfredo-ish stuff. My cute little appetizer plate and my new cocktail fork. It’s itty-bitty and adorable!

Healthy and delicious meals, don’t have to be relegated to nights when we have hours to spend in the kitchen.  Today during the daycare kids naptime I threw together dinner for myself and the family. Cubed up some boneless skinless chicken thighs.    Seasoned them up and Sautéed them in a tiny bit of roasted garlic olive oil.  Set the chicken aside. Made florets out of a couple crowns of broccoli.  I have to say that I love the Ziplock steam bags.  I sprinkled the florets with a touch of kosher salt and popped them in the bag.  Microwaved them for 4 mins and shocked them in ice water to keep the color and stop the cooking. Grabbed some cremini mushrooms and sautéed them in the pan from the chicken. Grabbed a jar of Alfredo sauce from the pantry. Okay yes, I skipped making my own sauce today.  I was lazy and in a hurry, those kids don’t sleep forever!  That’s it, combined about 2 svgs of sauce with two cups of the cubed chicken,  3 cups of broccoli and the mushrooms. (I used the sauce sparingly, I didn’t want to Swan dive into a vat of sauce. I just wanted to add a little moisture and flavor to the other ingredients.)  Seasoned it well and ta-da. Dinner for Big Guy and myself plus, my lunches for the week.

The girls had the rest of the sauce,  chicken thighs, and broccoli, combined with some Protein Plus pasta. WHAT??? They didn’t even complain! That happens…never.

The boy will have a chicken thigh with steamed broccoli, fresh pineapple & kiwi for his sides. NO SAUCE…he’d think I was trying to kill him. I know he’ll happily gobble his meal up because one, he likes everything on the plate. Two, he has no other choice for dinner. Three, he will be STARVING when he gets in from playing with his friends. The stars are aligned in my favor!!!

Everyone will eat roughly the same meal.  I was able to prepare it all at once and it was healthy:)

Sometimes we over think and make things harder than they have to be. Not me…but, some of you probably do.  I’m never an overthinker-ish kind of gal.  No…I did not just get struck by lightening!  Anyway, simple is really tasty and well,  SIMPLE.  I cooked from the freezer, pantry, and fridge.  No need to run to the store.

Update..Big Guy ate while he was prepping his lunches for the week.   So much for the whole family eating roughly the same meal.  Oh well,  it almost happened!

 

 

Am I Self Defeating? ~By: Steph

Hmm…I am not sure about you but, I am indignant, self righteous, self critical,judgemental. Not really sure why. Not really sure at who or what I am these things.  However, I am indeed indignant, self righteous,self critical, and judgemental.  Sound familiar?  If you’re honest I bet it does, at least to some degree.  I mean come on…Target restrooms, who bakes a wedding cake and who doesn’t, the presidential candidates, dogs with painted toenails, teens with saggy pants. I’m a bad motger/wife/dog owner because, my Monster Boy and Big Guy need a haircut, Noodle didn’t clean her bathroom, The Wild Bee could pass out and be lost for a year in her room and there’s no way I could find her under that pile of clothes on her floor, my bad dog is trying to kill the other dogs by dehydration, need I go on???

Do you ever just wake up and instead of thinking, “THANK YOU GOD, for being my Savior, for another day with my family, for forgiving my self righteous internal rantings, for allowing me to have healthy kids, for giving us a home to raise our family in and providing work for my incredible Big Guy and I.”?  You instead think…”WATCH OUT WORLD, I’m in a mood!”

I have been in a mood quite frequently, lately.  I think it has to do with the conscious decision I have made to focus on my subconscious attitude and thoughts.  It makes me mad! I am a crotchety, grouchy, 119 year old porcupine on the inside.  I am not the sweet (okay stop laughing), thoughtful, semi proper, mostly sane, people pleaser, that I often present myself as.  Come to think of it, that sort of kind of makes me a big stinking liar. So now, I just realized that I’m an indignant, self righteous, old porcupine, liar.  Well that’s great!

The end.

 

 

Yeah…you know I have way more nonsensical, rantings before this blog is complete.

I think I’ve mentioned a couple of dozen times, that our current message series at church is about changing our thinking to change our behaviors and thus, transforming our lives.  (UGHHHHHH…the pricelessness of realizing as I type this that tonight is Thursday and I DID NOT DO MY BIBLE STUDY!  Guess what I’ll be doing next?  I really don’t mind because, it’s a good study but, I don’t enjoy being so last minute and rushed.)  Who am I kidding? It’s daycare naptime and I will not be doing anything except tending to waking babies after (possibly during) this blog. There’s always the 15 minutes of free time between when the kiddos leave and I have to leave for church. :)

Anyway…I’m pretty much rambling today.  I know…you hadn’t even noticed but, it’s true.

I have a very negative internal dialogue.  I have put myself down before other people could do it for me, for as long as I can remember.  I have incredibly poor self esteem and not a whole lot of faith in my own abilities.  Yet, I totally believe in Christ’s ability to do all things.  So, don’t those things cancel each other out?  I mean, if I believe that Christ can do all things, and I also believe I am without worth or ability then, how does that work?  He chose me, I did not say, “Woo hoo, I’m going to just run out and believe in Jesus, after spending my life being pretty hatefully against the idea of “religion.” Nope, He pretty much reeled me in, kicking and screaming.  I had no desire to “find God” but, apparently and I am so grateful for this, He had a desire for me. If I believe the God of the Universe chose me, then how do I think that I am so lacking? He makes all things new, He makes all things beautiful…well except for me.  Is that how this works? I’m the ONE exception to the rule?  Pretty big ego I have there. Right?

Focusing on my internal rantings is like holding a very dirty mirror up in front of myself.  I think that in some ways I want to be all of the ugly, hateful, thoughts that I have about myself.  It’s comfortable. It’s the home where I’ve lived for so long that I have become a part of the structure. I want to feel bad about things, about myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  We are surrounded with negativity. Righteous indignation. Moral indignation. Sexual orientation indignation. Racial indignation.  Short people indignation.  Fat people indignation.  Indignation at those who are not indignantly inclined. We almost feel good when we are mad at the waitress who dared forget the lemon in our water, the guy who cut us off when we are so obviously in more of a hurry than him, the parent who takes 27 extra seconds saying goodbye to their kid and holding up the drop off line at school.  Now take all of those feelings and multiply them by about 1,010. That gives you about the level of indignation I feel at myself on a regular basis.  I am fairly certain I am not alone in feeling like the person staring back at me from that toothpaste splattered mirror is not so great.  I really need to clean that mirror.

The worst part of all of this is that I cool down and I realize I’m being ridiculous for being mad or hateful to those other people.  I don’t let up on myself.  I don’t say, “Hey, she’s okay.  Maybe she was just having a bad day. Look at how hard she’s trying. There’s no reason to be angry with her. She’s pretty okay for the most part.”  I never say those things about myself.  Almost as if I am the worst of the worst people in the universe. Why do I think that my own vision of what I am is more accurate than God’s?  He knows things about me that I will never realize about myself. He created me and He loves me.  Am I a better judge of character than Him? Pretty sure I’m not.  I have demonstrated questionable judgement in the past.  Perms, big poofy bangs, acid washed jeans, 18 layers of mascara, and white high top aerobic shoes with Velcro. Oh crap…I demonstrated all of those 7 days a week for about the entire 4 years of high school!

Changing my mindset is something I’ve written about often.  It’s something I have thought about often.  I just really never took the time to pay attention to what was going on in my head.  I would lock on to one specific thing and it would get all of my attention.  At least until I forgot about it.  This time I am trying to stay vigilant and pray about the many things I catch myself thinking. My plan is to start writing down the negatives that go through my head each day.  That plan has been in place for about 2 weeks.  It’s a definite plan. I plan on implementing this plan.  That’s the plan. Well…at least I didn’t lie to those of you in Blog Land and say I already started on the plan!

Here’s an example of what I caught myself doing on Sunday morning, as I was getting ready for church.  I have had an outfit pinned on Pinterest for over a year.  I fell in love with this outfit and wanted to do my own spin on it.(If you don’t know what Pinterest is or think Pinterest is dumb then, I can find a Pin to send you that will educate you.)  Saturday night I picked out my clothes and laid them out.  I looked at my Pin again and decided that I had done “okay”. Sunday morning I got up, showered, got ready and got dressed.  Immediately I started comparing myself to the girl in the picture.  She’s gorgeous, that’s why the outfit looks good on her.  I didn’t use the right color of jeans, right color of shirt, my sweater is brighter, my jewelry is different, her shoes are cuter, her thighs are amazing, she’s taller, she’s curvier, I can’t compare to her.  I almost took the outfit off and just said, I can’t do this because, obviously everyone else has my Pin in their head and will know I totally butchered her outfit and look like a clown. Sat myself down, prayed and told myself that I was going to church.  It wasn’t about what I was wearing, how I looked, or if my outfit looked clownish. It was about God, not about me.  I needed to get downstairs so we could go.  My Big Guy who is generally not all up in my fashion or lack there of, declared the outfit a hit.  Without prompting he volunteered how much he liked it.  Then I had him take a pic for some friends on Facebook who like me have lost weight and often will recreate a look and show a side by side on our site.  They loved it.  I got, only positive responses.  I received several compliments at church and even my Noodle who had stated her hatred for my ugly yellow sweater, admitted it looked good.  Not one of these things outshined the fact that I had just shoved my negative self talk down and embraced how I looked, before walking out of the house.

My take on the Pinterest outfit :)

My take on the Pinterest outfit.  I was told that her blog is called, Curves and Confidence.   I am going to check it out:)

I know that many women are hard on themselves and have a negative body image.  I  know personally that it can become overwhelming if I allow it to.  We often see who we were in the mirror and not who we are now.  We see every flaw, every imperfection and we narrate every negative comment that anyone could throw our way, in our heads. Sunday’s message was about how that in itself is ego.  We are so full of ourselves that there is no room for others or most importantly God, in our head and hearts.  We are placing ourselves above all. So yes, I was in tears by the time service was over because, it went along perfectly with what I had felt while getting ready that morning.

I’m not really sure what this has to do with weight loss but, it has a lot to do with me. As stated above I obviously have a lot of ego! I hope that we can all take a moment and stop being upset by the things that don’t really matter.  Take an inventory of what should truly be important to us. Say kind things to ourselves and be thankful for what we have in our lives.  No strings, no if only’s, no I’ll be happy when’s, just be at peace with who you are, and the fact that you are loved, beautiful and not at all the most horrible person on earth.

 

 

 

Fajitas and Zoodles and Salad, oh my! ~By: Steph

Well, I have made it to Wednesday and not killed anyone.  Laying off of the unhealthy carbs kind of makes me feel murderous…I mean less than Mary Sunshine. This shall pass and hopefully my family will survive my mood swings and they in turn do not lock me in a closet. Personally I think mood swings are awesome. My lucky husband gets a new wife each time he walks in the door. SURPRISE, BIG GUY! At least I’m not boring to live with. Hmm…anyhow, let’s move on😉

I’m in the zone.  Not sure exactly what zone.  I am using our pantry, freezer, and fridge like a pro. Saturday’s leftover grilled steaks became, Monday’s fajitas with fresh peppers, onions, and homemade mango salsa. Wish I’d snapped a photo of it.  It was a very colorful and pretty dish.

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Zoodles w/meatballs & sauce.

Tuesday I grabbed a container of 7% ground beef/hot Italian chicken sausage meatballs and sauce out of the freezer.  Meatballs are one of my favorite foods to make. (I used to make them with 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 lean ground beef.  I love the chicken so much more.  It has great flavor and the texture is nicer than ground turkey.) As my friend Becky would say, “SQUIRREL!” I got sidetracked with the meatballs and forgot to mention what I made with them.  I zoodlefied (yep that’s the word I’m stickin’ with.) some zucchini, julienned red pepper/onion, sautéed them with cooking spray and seasonings, then set aside.  Added a bit of garlic infused olive oil and mushrooms to the pan and sautéed until golden.  Mixed it all together, added a couple of meatballs and sauce on top. This =’d YUMMINESS.

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Taco salad with mango salsa.

Today’s meal was the leftover mango salsa over a taco salad.  My carby indulgence besides the salsa, was black beans cooked in chicken stock, with chile, cumin and onion. They were delicious on a plain little taco salad.

Simple meals, using up what’s on hand and keeping on track.  I’ve been setting aside a portion of dinner for the next day’s lunch. Making a protein shake for breakfast. Reduced fat cheese, fruit, a slice of lunchmeat, etc have been my snacks. Yay for 3 days of good choices!

Oh, I have to mention how much I love my little appetizer plates and bowls.  I have several different ones and I love eating off of something pretty:) I think my next purchase is going to be little cocktail forks. It feels weird using a fork bigger than the plate.  Using bigger plates leads me to pushing past my limit. In my head I’m still a clean your plate, kinda gal.

Trying to stay accountable and lay it all out here.  It’s a struggle to reset your eating but, we have to value ourselves enough to do it.  There’s no, “good reason”, to knowingly make frequent unhealthy choices.  We can blame our circumstances but, that won’t change anything.   We have to work for what we need. That’s what I’m once again deciding to do.

 

Honesty Sucks Sometimes ~By:Steph

Reset

I think I have “reset” myself on this journey about 5016 times…this month. Okay maybe these past 4 years.  I am happy with the fact that I do indeed have the desire and the drive to reset.  I am grateful for the strength I find in the Lord, to not just chuck everything and dive into a carb filled pool of deliciousness for the rest of my life.  Sometimes I even entertain the thought of just giving up and eating what I want and quitting the healthy rollercoaster ride.  Just when I feel like I’ve got things under control and I have changed my thinking and relationship with food, ABRACADABRA…something happens.  I know this is something I need to figure out and I’m honestly trying.

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I definitely have always had issues with depression and anxiety.  I take medication and feel okay most of the time.  Prayer has helped immensely with this struggle.  I think that if I am going to blog, I have to blog the good and the bad.  I have to share my HONEST experience not just the healthy recipes and victories. So here goes, I fell off the wagon.  Actually, I think the wagon jerked to a stop, slung me out in front of it and then ran over me. Do wagons have reverse? If so, I may have been backed over too.  I had a family member diagnosed with cancer…again.  I thought I handled it well.  I prayed, I focused on the positive, I said all of the right things to myself.  However, on the inside I think, it hit me harder.  It brought up thoughts of another family member’s diagnosis last year, and all of the emotions of that time. Depression lessens my will to resist carbs.  For the past several weeks I have been indulging in things I hadn’t eaten in months. Things I know better than eating.  I pushed through the dumping and got to the point where sugar didn’t get to me or at least I didn’t physically feel awful when I ate it.

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On Saturday night, I realized I was really struggling. I gave myself a pep talk, I prayed and decided I had to fix this.  On Sunday I heard the best possible message preached for my state of mind.  So, guess what?  RESET…again.  Yesterday went pretty well. Today is more of a struggle but, I’m doing fine.  I do admit though, I am craving those foods I am pushing out. I know that if I can get through a couple of weeks, the worn out, headachey (yep headachey), feelings of withdrawl and cravings will go away.  I just need to actually DO THIS for 2 weeks.  I think that now that I am fully aware of what was in the back of my mind and focused on it, I will be okay.  If not, I’ll be honest about that too.

That was the bad news.  The good news is I know that my God is bigger than the problems in my head.  The other good news is that my Big Guy and I actually were able to go on a very unexpected mini getaway weekend before last.  Left Saturday morning and came home Monday afternoon.  We hit a lot of coastal towns in that short time frame. It was our first getaway without the kids in 2 years. We were in need of a little couple time.  We had beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, antique shops (yes, I’m 80 yrs old at heart), time to relax together and reconnect.  Despite my humidty hair, it was an amazing weekend that almost didn’t happen.  First I didn’t want to ask for time off on such short notice.  Then we didn’t know what to do with the kids.  Thank you to my Noodle for being an awesome big sister and watching the Bee and the Monster Boy for us.  Last, it was our month to serve as greeter’s at church so I felt super guilty calling people last minute and asking them to cover us.  It all worked out and we had the help of some really gracious people who encouraged us to go and enjoy ourselves.

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I’ll end it with this, I’m grateful that I have an amazing Big Guy who supports me and encourages me.  I have good friends who care and listen when I need to be insane for a moment.  I have healthy, amazing, pain in the rear, kids who I love to pieces. I have a family who are a blessing. I have a God who makes ALL THINGS POSSIBLE.  Even things like helping me overcome my self defeating thoughts and internal dialogue.  I am blessed beyond measure and need to focus on that and not setbacks. 

Hope you are having a wonderful week.  If you are interested in the current message series that I have been talking about, please leave a comment or message me.  I will get you the links for our church website.  Changing our thoughts is difficult, NOT impossible.

Take one small step and focus on a way to be kind to yourself at least once a day this week.  These little steps add up.