Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Good eats
Showing posts with label Good eats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good eats. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

104 Days Into My Journey

Hey, hey everyone! I am so excited to be writing about this. 104 days. I AM 104 DAYS INTO MY JOURNEY! First of all, it doesn't seem like it has been that long because 104 is a big number! And secondly, it does seem like that long because I see how far I have come which is a GREAT thing to see.

I started May 18th. That is when I took my measurements, my photos and just really started to get my act together. I was kind of doing it the week before but came back with a vengeance on the 18th. So to me that is my day 1. Think about it guys, 21st of March, I was going through my miscarriage. Dealing with my inner demons. Battling depression, PTSD and just in a major funk. Decided I had enough with it and got my life back! And now I am 104 days from that time and I feel like a totally different person on the inside. I am making huge progress with my counseling. I am believing in myself. And I am loving life. (Although I do have those times where I wish things would be different but they aren't and I can't do anything about it.)

So 104 days. (Sorry I just like saying that!) How did I do it?

1) Clean eating using the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I am eating clean whole foods. No processed boxed foods. Only fresh clean foods. And the other 20% of the time I allow myself to indulge in a nice dessert, ice cream, or a meal I typically wouldn't have during the week. (cream saucy stuff, or a nice burger and fries!)

2) I drink Shakeology everyday to help me curve my cravings and to know that I am getting all the vitamins and minerals that I need to stay healthy but it doesn't do all the work for me. I have to decide not to eat the crap foods. I have to stay committed to what I am doing.

3) I also added in 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Even Sundays, but that is yoga and doesn't feel like exercise. Just another meditation to me.

4) And on top of that I have added in at least 10 minutes of listening or reading motivational, confidence building, learning to love myself podcasts or books. Commonly known as Self Help. But you know what. We all need a little self help! And it is ok.

And in my mind it is too long because I didn't workout at all during July and only ate clean for 2 weeks of the month because of recovery. So July I don't even want to count but I am. Anyways, in those 104 days I have lost over 15 inches. And over 15 pounds. (again not doing anything in the month of July) What is pretty cool to think about though is where am I going to be in another 104 days???

I see myself where I am going to be, mentally and physically. It is amazing. I know that by Christmas I will be at my next goal weight of under 200 lbs. I know that by May 2016 I will be at my goal weight of 165. (unless I get pregnant than that number will be different but I will still be working out everyday and doing everything I can to be healthy!)


Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here to join my private online community where you get free advice, support and encouragement + a free gift with tips to help you get started with the right mindset for healthier nutrition choices!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Preschool Lunch

Mason is starting pre-school in 2 weeks from today! YAY!!!! (I may be just a little bit excited for that fact!) He is one picky eater thought and I would much rather him take the option on the left more than the option on the right. I am a clean eater. My son, IS NOT!
He can eat gold fish till the cows come home. PB&J every meal. No more eggs for him, no more oatmeal. "EWWWW!" is what he says now to that. Pasta, yeah right. And if we tell him he can't have anything else, he would rather not eat at all. (like last night.) He will do hot dogs, without the buns but only if 5 Guys make it. (yeah, at a lost on that one!) No string cheese, no meat, no anything that resembles the color GREEN!

Last night we made these pocket sandwiches (just like in the picture which he said looked good by the way!) And he refused to eat it! He picked out the bread, meat and cheese for it all by himself. And wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted to eat more chips and grapes.

So moms! I got these recipe books from 100 Days of Real Food for help and inspiration. The food looks GREAT! Does anyone out there have any help for me. Tips and tricks. I want him to want to eat healthy foods, and a variety of foods too, not just the same thing over and over. (At least when I do it, is is something more substantial and healthy!) I am at a loss and I really need some help!

I did find this site by Keeley McGuire yesterday for 20 non sandwich lunches while searching. Cute ideas!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Next Adventure...

I have a new adventure I wanted to tell you all about. I have a YOUTUBE channel now! WHAT!?! This is totally new and I wanted to share some tips that I have with clean eating and sometimes it is just easier to tell you about it than writing it down! I won't be vlogging all the time just on some stuff so make sure you check it out. And that you subscribe to keep up to date on what I am doing! It is small right now with only 2 videos but over time it will grow and I hope that you will join me over there too.

I really am a real person. Sometimes it might seem that I am just someone story teller and yes I post pictures of me and my family but it is nice to see that I really do exist in real life. I fully believe that we all need some motivation. And I plan on doing some motivation type videos to help give you that push to get up and go for a run or do your workout. I really hope that you guys can see a whole new side to me.

Here is my most recent video that I did. One thing that I have written about is that last Friday I had oral surgery. For the past 8 years I have been told that I would eventually need a gum graft. Well that day has come and I had it done this past Friday. I made this video on Monday so I am still having a hard time talking and I can't smile at all (I know you will miss my big smile! My favorite feature!) But still I think the video is pretty educational on how to add greens into your daily Shakeology or Green Smoothie without having to have a salad. And it is cost effective.

So in this video I am making Kale Shots, as I call them. They are just 1 ounce cubes of pureed kale. I don't know about you but I have such a hard time eating Kale. I think it is too bitter and I just can't get it down. And using it in smoothies, I just wasn't getting through all of it in a week. So my solution is to puree it up and freeze it. And one once is equal to like 4 cups of Kale. And it is totally masked by Shakeology, and a banana or in your green smoothie. You will still taste it a little because it is so bitter but it won't be like it is in a salad or just straight up. Let me know what you think of the video, subscribe! And hope you join me on this next adventure!

Friday, May 29, 2015

How To Save Money With Food Storage

The other day, I decided to take a look into our deep freezer. I was on the search for breakfast burritos that I made a few months ago as a easy dinner night. Just a grab and go type of meal! When I opened up the top and looked into the mass of frozen foods and meals I was shocked to see what was in there. Chicken breasts, chicken tenders, a STEAK! Chicken pieces, bread from panara that was given to us, meals that were given to us when I was in the hospital. Nuts, veggies! I was shocked. I didn't even realize what food I had under my own roof!

My normal procedure before I go to the store is to look around upstairs in my kitchen where the mostly everyday used items are and see what needs replenshment, and what foods I am going to be making for the week. I check the freezer, oops out of chicken again, add it to the list. And so forth! But I had forgotten to check what I already had. BAD ME!

Again this happened last night. I knew we had cans of veggies and stuff but WE HAVE A LOT OF CANS! And I bought some corn at the store when I already had 6 down stairs, after closer inspection! So my solution: MAKE AN INVENTORY LIST! Neat concept huh! Why didn't I think of this earlier is all I keep saying because this has happened before. I send the hubs out at 6pm, "I need some taco seasoning we don't have any." 2 days later I go down and find 2 bags of it! EEK...Sorry babe!

So I finally made an inventory list! YEA! I am going to hang this in the inside of my pantry door so I will have everything at a glance. Having a food storage is a great thing, but you can't just hold onto everything forever. You have to rotate it through. You need to use it and buy more eventually, but for the mean time I am going to be saving lots of money not having to buy chicken for the next month I think. Yeah, I have that much chicken down there! CRAZY!
Now I can just cross off what I use or add more marks when I buy!

So here are tips on how to save money on food storage.

***Coupons, coupons, coupons! How do you think we got so many tomatoes! Watch the coupon sites to see when canned foods go on sale. Try to stock up on the actual coupons so that you can use more than one coupon at the same time. Know the difference between manufacturer coupons and the store coupons. They are different! Because you can use a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon on top of a sale! LOTS of money to be saved. Check out Krazy Coupon Lady to get the full details on how to use coupons, what coupons are out now and all the deets you need! This is how we have 23 cans of tomatoes! Oh and double/triple coupon sales too! Those are great!

***Store sales. Combining the coupons on top of sales helps you save even more money. So if you have a sale for 2 cans of beans for $.99 and a coupon for $.50 off then you are going to get 2 cans of beans for only $.50.

***Watch for bulk sales. At Harris Teeter they have a sale of 10 for $10. Which is a really great sale because it is usually mix and match. But add a coupon on top and save more money.

***Make sure that you rotate through your supply. It doesn't last forever so you can't just hoard it. So make sure that you buy what you use so that it isn't collecting dust. You are wasting money on it to buy it if you aren't going to use it, or eventually going to use it. Make sure it is something that you will use! (Believe it or not we had a whole lot more than the 23 cans of tomatoes! We use about 1-2 cans a week!)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day BBQ Ideas

Just a quick shout out to my hubs and all those who are currently serving and who have served. Thank you for your willingness and sacrifice to protect our great nation. May you and your family be blessed, always! We honor you this day and everyday for your amazing bravery and patriotism! Thank you!

Here is a collection of a few recipes I found that would be AWESOME for today's BBQ! Check 'em out and let me know what you think. Comment below! We are having steak because I just had an amazing burger on Friday night, and I found a nice steak in the deep freezer begging to be used! But I'm doing the zucc, and the berries. Maybe the water and the fries. It all looks yummy to me! Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day!

Start with a nice Patriotic Drink of Blueberry and Strawberry Infused water! 

Grilled Zucchini -

Classic Hamburger- Make them slider size for better portion control. Use lettuce leaves instead of buns for gluten free option. I make my own homemade buns so I know what is in them. Here is the recipe for them.

Stuffed Strawberries-

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Collin Baby!

Here we are. 1 year old. My baby is 1 year old. So scary how fast this year has gone and how blessed we have been with this amazing year. Collin was our surprise baby. The one where I decided that it didn't matter if I sat on my butt or kept running. I had no control over if I miscarried or not. (I had 2 previous miscarriages just before him, and he stuck!) I still worried that what I was doing would make me miscarry but I put my faith in the Lord that if he was meant to be with our family he would be with our family. AND HE IS!

Collin is THE most laid back baby ever. He doesn't really fuss, doesn't really cry, doesn't really get mad. If he gets hurt he stops crying very quickly thanks to his 2 fingers that calm him down, and mommy of course. He is just a super observant baby and loves to watch his big brother do anything.

Collin loves to follow brother around too. Wherever brother goes, Collin is sure to follow because he doesn't want to miss out on any cool things. Or if dad is home Collin is always hanging out with daddy. Such a daddy's boy.

He is our little runt of the litter. He is still in 9 month old sized clothing. He is a little short but he will hit a growth spurt and get taller. He is also the healthiest eater in the house. His favorite meal of the day is breakfast that he inhales, actually he inhales everything he eats, all 2 cups worth of it! HE IS A BIG EATER. But check out what he loves for breakfast everyday: 1-2 eggs soft over easy cooked, 1 banana mashed, 2 teaspoons flaxseed, 1/4-1/2 cup oatmeal all mixed together. He loves it and is so sad when it is all gone. Healthy eater! He has his yearly check up on Wednesday so I will post his stats after to show he is growing and how much!

Here is a photo purge of some of the pictures I took at his Birthday Party this past Saturday!
~I made the comic book cover banner and we will be hanging it in the boy's room!~

 ~Sugar Coma~

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Water Kefir

Have you ever heard of kefir? I am sure you have. There is a brand at the grocery store that is a dairy product. Have you ever tried it?

Did you know that you can make your own kefir at home? Yep. There is milk kefir, like the Lifeaway brand, and water kefir. I have tried both and don't really like the milk kefir. It is tolerable but the water was so much better! Water kefir tastes like a carbonated drink. And you can flavor it to whatever you want. So it is a healthy naturally carbonated drink that actually tastes good.

What is water kefir? Water kefir is fermented water. You use grains (not really grains but that is what they are referred to as) which are a live bacteria that you add to sugar water and let it ferment for 24-48 hours. The bacteria feed off of the sugar and replace it with natural fructose. The drink becomes sweet but not like normal sugar. You strain the grains before you drink it up and you can use them again in your next batch of kefir water. It is really quite cool! My friend has a jar of kefir fermenting, one in the fridge ready to drink and a new one just started. So she has some every single day.

So why would kefir be good for your body? You know that Activia commercial where they say that Activia will help with bloating, and irregularity. Well, the yogurt has live bacterias in it and they help keep your insides moving. Our bodies naturally have bacteria in our gut for this purpose, but sometimes we need a little extra push. So now instead of spending $4 for a pack of Activia or Lifeaway Kefir you can make your own. A packet of water kefir grains is $17 and they are reusable! (they can die so you do have to take care of them. Think of them as a new pet in a way!) You can get the grains here!

You also need a strainer and some mason jars, and coffee filters and a rubber band to keep the bugs out since it is sugar water, while it is fermenting. So start up isn't that bad and you won't have to buy Activia or other kefir like products again.

Check out this video on how easy it is to make and use. But this is one thing I am, and have been for a while, seriously thinking about starting.

QOTD: Would you ever make your own kefir water? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco De Mayo

I LOVE Cinco De Mayo! It is my excuse that, I HAVE TO EAT MEXICAN FOOD! Why not! So I thought that I would share my skinny enchiladas with you! A couple of weeks ago I added a Green Enchilada Recipe. Well I made a red enchilada recipe and kind of did my own things with it and they turned out AMAZING! I had the chicken and salsa cooking while I was teaching and everyone who came in raved about how amazing my house smelled. When I just said it was chicken with a jar of salsa on it they were amazing at how good it smelled.

Skinny Red Enchiladas: 
1 lb chicken tenders -about 8 tenders
1- 12 ounce jar of red salsa. Not chunky - I like Trader Joe's variety
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I use 2%-22g protein per cup yogurt. It's thicker. Fage or TJ's.)
medium splash of chicken broth
8 small corn tortillas
1/4-1/2 cup cheddar cheese

In a crockpot add chicken and jar of salsa. Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours until the chicken is falling apart. If frozen chicken cook for 3 hours on high.

Remove chicken, leaving as much salsa in the crockpot as possible. Shred chicken. Set aside. Add greek yogurt directly to crock pot and add splash of chicken broth to help thin out the salsa. Stir together. (Don't need a blender just whisk together right in the crockpot.)

Grab a 9x13 inch pan and coat the bottom of the pan with some red salsa mixture. Warm up your corn tortillas in the microwave or steam for just a little while on the stove to soften them enough that they are pliable. Add 1-2 table spoons of chicken to tortilla and roll up. Place in your 9x13 pan. Continue until all tortillas are rolled up. Pour the remaining red salsa mixture over the enchiladas. Top with cheese. You don't need a lot of cheese.

Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Side with Lime flavored rice and black beans.

Lime and Cilantro Flavored Rice: 
1 cup of rice (brown, jasmine whatever you eat. We like brown)
2 cups of water
1/4 tsp salt
2 - juice from 2 limes
2 Tablespoon or more of Chopped Cilantro (depending how much you want!)

Add all ingredients except for the juice of 1 lime to your rice cooker and cook. Or cook covered up on your stove until the liquid is gone.

Once cooked through, squeeze the juice of remaining lime over the top and fluff with a fork!

SO EASY! ENJOY and Happy Cinco De Mayo!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So Long To Fast Food

How many of you guys keep a monthly budget? Do you stick with that budget? Over the past few months I have noticed that we were eating out more than usual. This pregnancy I ate out more often that I did while pregnant with Collin. Yes, I was way exhausted being pregnant and having 2 kids to chase after and frankly when 5pm hit I had no energy to think about dinner. AT ALL!

So my goal over the next 3 months is to stick to our budget. Stop eating out so dang much and get healthier meals in our BODIES! 

How am I going to do that? 

~Well, planning sure is one of those things. Thankfully with all the food we received from the miscarriage we froze a lot of the leftover to eat for later. So that helps. But also not waiting until 5pm to figure out what we are eating. 

~A new rule I have with Matt is, you eat what I make. Instead of me asking, "What do you want for dinner?" It is now. "We are having this for dinner." I know his likes and dislikes and I often will throw in some of his dislikes masked in a dish and he will eat it just fine. So no worries there. But like the other day, I made pulled pork. He likes dry rubbed BBQ. I don't so since I am the one cooking I make it how I like it. That also means left overs for me. 

Now I am going to just plan away and use up what we have in our freezers. Some days I am not going to want to cook and that is ok, but it is time that we just start having mac and cheese from a box or pb&j. I am seriously going to be tightening down on this. I have got to stop relying on fast food. It is not the best thing for anyone on a regular basis. 

(i.e. fast food in our house is: Panera, 5 guys, Chic-fil-a, Tropical Smoothie Cafe or Subway. It is not other common fast foods so it isn't too bad for us...At least that is what I keep telling myself.) 

So with that said, I wanted to share an awesome and super easy recipe that I got from my sister in law while we were visiting her for Easter. 
Green Tomatillo Enchiladas:
1 package of Chicken Tenders
1 12 oz jar tomatillo salsa ( I used Trader Joe's Verde Salsa) 
1/2 block cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sugar
Splash of chicken stock
8 tortillas softened
1/2 small block tillamook cheddar cheese or pepper jack would be awesome! 
cilantro to garnish
sour cream and tomatoes on side  (optional)

Pour Verde Salsa over chicken tenders in a crock pot. Cook on high for 1-2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once cooked, shred chicken. Reserve sauce and put in blender and combine with cream cheese, sugar and stock. You want it to be a little thick. 

Pour some sauce, about 1/4 cup, on a plate and dip each tortilla before you assemble the enchilada. Add the rest of the sauce to the shredded chicken. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the saucy chicken to the tortillas and roll it up and place in a 9x13 pan. Continue until all tortillas used or saucy chicken is all gone. Pour remaining sauce over top of rolled enchiladas. Top with cheddar. 

Place in oven for about 15 min or cheese is fully melted. Serve with a side of black beans and rice.

Super easy. Way easier than I thought it would be. Enjoy! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Building Red Blood Cells

As you know from the miscarriage I lost a lot of blood. And I didn't need/get a transfusion of blood. And since I am not a vampire, Tru Blood is not recommended for me! My body is doing it all on its own. Sad thing, it will take me about 3 weeks to regain all the blood that I lost. 3 WEEKS of feeling out of breath, and every time I go up and down the stairs I feel like I am running up stadium hill. (A beast of a hill here in C-ville). My doc's main orders were to take my antibiotics for possible infection and take iron pills. 3 times a day.

Why is iron so important? Iron plays an essential role in the transportation of oxygen to the blood. Symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness (check), fatigue (yep), shortness of breath (yep have that too) and decreased immunity (might have that but have been on drugs to stave off infection so don't know!)

Well I have gone a bit more granola in my iron consumption. I have the supplements if I need them but here is what I have been doing. (my doc fully supports me doing what I am doing and thinks it is awesome that I am thinking outside the box and more natural! Always confer with your doctor.)

Chlorophyll- Yes you read this right. Chlorophyll, plant blood as I have been calling it, is amazing at building back red blood cells. I specifically have been taking Chloroxygen drops in my water. It turns my water a dark shade of green and has a mild taste. It isn't that bad. Here is some research we found about this specific product. I have been drinking large mugs of water each day and I really think this is what has helped me feel so much better as quickly as I have. (my doc actually said it is awesome to take after a long run because it helps to re-oxiginate your blood. And obviously after having a baby where there is some blood loss as well.)

Black Strap Molasses- I have only take 1 dose of this and man it was hard to take straight up because it has a thick tar like consistency. And it is super, SUPER sweet! Oh man it was sweet. Matt had me take a teaspoon straight up and I swear I had a headache that night from how sweet it was. But this is the kind we got. Organic has 24% iron in it.

Sunflower Seeds-A 1/4 cup serving of sunflower seeds dry roasted with salt contain 1.22 mg of iron. It isn't a whole lot but they sure taste yummy! 

Red Meat- Man I have been eating red meat galore it feels like. And I like it! We have been getting BBQ, or I ordered BBQ from a restaurant Monday night. And hamburger. And happily it was brought to our house last night for a meal from a neighbor! Yummy! 

Liver- Liver is high in iron but I couldn't do it. Nope, not me.

Green Smoothies- Using spinach and other fibrous greens are chalk full of iron of you.

I am also taking some of the left over encapsulated placenta I have left over from Collin. I didn't finish them off cause I had so many and was saving them for a rainy day. Rainy day has come. The main thing I am doing is listening to my body. I don't push too hard because I feel like crap when I do. And it really sucks feeling out of breath all the time. I just want to get better and that means that I have to take it easy, listen to my body and allow it the time it needs to recover. That means no 5 mile walk this weekend. As much as I would love to, it would probably do me in. So more rest and recovery and soon enough I will be back at it and getting back to being fit! 

Have you ever tried any of these natural iron supplements?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Freeze Rice and Oatmeal

I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out but I have found a lifesaver in my bulk meal making. I am now pre-making all my rice and oatmeal in huge pots and then make them into single servings and FREEZE THEM! It works! Totally works and is so easy!

Totally easy to do. Just make up a batch of rice or oatmeal. Let it cool down after it is done cooking so that you can handle it. Then just use a measuring cup (I use 1 cup size) and place the portioned size of rice onto plastic wrap and wrap it up tightly. I do that until all the rice or oatmeal is gone and then put it in a a Ziplock bag and into the freezer it goes. Super easy!
To defrost, pull out as many servings as you need for the next day, the night before and stick it in the fridge to defrost overnight. Pop it in the microwave or on the stovetop to reheat and there you have it! I can then add seasoning to the rice (cumin), or use it in stir fry and the oatmeal I add my tablespoon of Flax seed and stevia and I'm DONE! Super EASY! And one less thing to do in the morning when I have 2 kids screaming for their food in the morning.

Have you ever frozen rice or oatmeal before?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What I am LOVING

Coconut Oil! I LOVE THIS STUFF! It is amazing! (oops, $1 goes in the jar!) I have been using coconut oil for everything right now it seems. I cook with it, feed my baby it and use it as lotion. Let me count the ways I love it!

1. It is a healthy fat! As I have mentioned Collin is not gaining as much weight as he should be. He is a super active baby and started crawling at 5.5 months and hasn't stopped yet. And I didn't supplement his solid foods diet with healthy fats. He was just getting super low calorie purees. So this month I have been fattening him up with FATS. No doughnuts or ice cream for him (although he has tried cake and ice cream and loves them) but I want him to have healthy fats. He dislikes avocados, and can stand egg yolks if they are mixed with bananas but the one fat that he will gobble down is coconut oil! I add 1/2 a teaspoon in his solid foods about 1-2 times a day. Like last night, he had prunes and 1/2 a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. (Coconut oil is actually solid until it reaches body temp, then it melts.) He loves the stuff and he smells so good afterwards when his face is covered with coconut oil! I wonder if he remembers the stuff from when he was just a tiny little baby. I used it to help my nipples when I started nursing him to avoid cracking and such. It totally worked!

2. Cooking with it! Matt loves stir fry and so I have been trying my hand at it. So I have been using coconut oil to coat my pan. Really anytime I use my pans on the stove I add coconut oil. I also use coconut oil spray to spray down my pan right before I cook my eggs. Mason loves the taste of coconut oil eggs and so do I. I know I am giving him good fats and not just empty calories and bad fats like from other spray cans.

3. Winter is hard on my skin. Really hard. I drink so much water but my hands and lips always get so chapped during the winter. So I have been using some coconut oil on my hands and lips to help them not be so bad. I apply at night so it has plenty of time to soak into my skin without me washing it off during the day and such and I will say that my hands look great! But it is not a quick fix. By the end of the day my hands are dry and ready for another coat of oil.

If you haven't tried coconut oil yet, GET ON THE BANDWAGON and try it! You will not be disappointed. It has so many good things for your body. You can add it in anything and not really taste it, unless you want to taste it, then you just use more. It is so clean tasting and it is just an amazing product that is like windex and can help almost anything.
What brands?: I use Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut oil and also Trader Joe's Coconut Oil spray can. I also love Spectrums Organic Virgin Coconut oil but it is more expensive.

QOTD: What are you favorite things to use coconut oil in? Also I referenced 2 shows, 1 current TV show and 1 older movie in this blog post. Do you know what shows I am talking about???
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...