Monday, November 29, 2010

Hummus Recipe and Outdoor Fun

Thanksgiving Hike

Snowshoe Adventure!

Oh moan. This is a terrible time of the year to stay on task. I've been getting out on winter exercise adventures. Thanksgiving Day before work, the little ones and I hiked a mile or more, partly in snow. The past few days I've been out snowshoeing. Mainly the problem lies in doing less. On a normal exercise day, I do a 4 mile run. In the summer I swim 1/2-1 mile. Sometimes even both. I sweat, I burn calories. These outings have been fun, but not like I know I should be doing. I'd like to try supplementing them with some indoor exercises but that seems so BORING!
Here's a fun recipe my friend gave me. I think its delicious and filling, but my husband thinks otherwise. It is very healthy and I can't stop eating it :-)
Home Made Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans
1-2 garlic cloves
fresh herbs (what you have available)
*I use thyme, basil, whatever I can keep growing.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil (sparingly)
Blend it all in the blender. Reserve the garbanzo bean juice if you need to help it blend easier. Should be a nice, blended paste.
I love to eat this on freshly baked pita bread topped with a pile of veggies and some crumbled feta.
I especially love feta in everything because it has a lot of flavor where other cheeses are milder. You need more of them to appreciate you're eating them. Eating less cheese means a lot less fat.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Few Set Backs.....

My Son (Archer) with His Recent Prize
And Our Good, Organic Winter Meat Supply

Well I've had my share of set backs this week, but I have also had a few victories.
Set back no 1 - Had to go to court for a speeding ticket. Got the ticket dropped (but ugh!) made a bad choice by celebrating with pizza afterward and it wasn't my day off!!
Set back no 2 - Had to go to the dentist the next day. Okay I'm confessing it - ended up getting pizza again (that's right that wasn't my day off either!) On the upside, I am eternally grateful to the hygienist who got all the horrible brown stains off my teeth. She worked hard on them. I also didn't have any cavities :-)
Set back no 3 - When confronted with sad things at work, I am known to eat things I shouldn't (Oh that comfort food complex). Bingo, but it was my day off.
With each setback, I did get up and keep going on my plan, but I got pretty frustrated with myself. On the upside, despite the bitter cold, I've been out skiing, snow shoeing and hiking almost every day. Of course, that's not an excuse for bad eating. I'm pretty confident this week will go better.
Now that Thanksgiving is Officially Over Lets be THANKFUL but not keep eating like its still Thanksgiving. BACK AWAY from that left over stuffing!! None of the mashed potatoes and gravy either!! Let the kids have that stuff. Stick with a nice tossed salad topped with delicious turkey and some dried cranberries :-) Mmm.... Healthy and delicious!! I'm planning on a hike out to find a Christmas Tree with the kids. Remember that we CAN walk and many can't so get out there and do it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Balance - A True Friend

I'm sure you've all been on edge just waiting to hear my latest update on my "Operation Hawaii" eating plan ;-) Well I'm happy to report it was mostly good. I made some progress this week even though I didn't think I had :
* I saw 130.6 on the scale this morning - woohoo!! Of course I do fluctuate, but I haven't seen that number since intensive swim training - usually July. Its hard to get to that this time of the year. I am also down a couple of mid-gutt inches.
* I ran 4 miles without stopping for a cool down after two (like I usually do).
* I didn't freak out under stress and eat bad (like I usually do) when I'm doing intensive Emergency Room training/classes. The hospital provides lunch, so I got the ham from the dinner and ate it with salad bar. That was progress. I didn't eat any of the provided array of chocolates, but I did eat a mini bran muffin that am (which was fine). When Nurse Happy Sunny Day brought bakery cookies I did take one. Then I felt guilty about it so I only ate half and threw the rest of it away. I really shocked myself there.
I'm still maintaining mostly eating organic, clean, healthier foods without processed /white sugar/ much white flour,etc.. Of course I'm giving myself every 8th day off and eating whatever I think I missed out on. This week it was chicken nuggets with mac/cheese (dinner), McRib and fries (lunch), a cookie, a carmel, etc.. No binging or anything like that - just non healthy things in mostly moderation.
I'm also not being all psycho about it. The other day when I was gone Sock Fashion Expert put on a pizza crust with whole wheat flour. That was fine. I had made the sauce. The concern was the pepperoni which I really really wanted. I decided to have 1 pepperoni on both slices of pizza. That wasn't a big deal. Balance is my true friend ultimate goal.
This plan started out a little bit frustrating for me because I didn't see any immediate difference. I just had to keep doing it. That's not far off from my plans for Hawaii either. I have to keep filling out travel nursing applications, filing paperwork, etc.. There is no guarantee that I will ever get to Hawaii. A lot of things could fall through. My husband might decide that its not the best choice for our family right now - fine. Who knows? Maybe I'll decide the same thing. The employers/interviewers might decide that I'm not the best candidate - fine. All kinds of unknowns could cause the whole idea to fall through - fine. Hawaii for sure will never happen for me if I don't do some pro active things though. There isn't even a chance if it coming together if I don't fill out the papers, watch the travel nurse gigs, etc.. I have to do something for there even to be a chance of it happening. Its the same with my eating and exercise plans. I might not see results today or tomorrow, but I just have to keep doing it by faith. Theres no doubt in my mind that someday I'm going to get to see Hawaii some how. I just don't know when. It has to be the same way with the whole weight loss / fitness journey. Sometimes you just have to use your faith and keep doing the practical. Its inevitable, you will see results at some point.
Here is an exciting fitness adventure (on my other blog) about my latest deer hunt (don't click if dead things gross you out).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hold On!

It's been a challenging weekend, but I came out okay. We had friends over for dinner and I made enchiladas. I made the tortillas from scratch and used 3/4 whole wheat flour. They turned out pretty good. The filling meat was lean elk burger with seasoned beans I'd cooked in a crock pot. Then I put a garnish out of avocado, tomatoes, butter and romaine lettuces, red onion, red pepper, salsa and sour cream. I also made some corn bread on the side (sweetened with pear sauce). I really wanted to take a picture of them but my camera system is temporarily down until next week.
My girlfriend, Mist, was over while the guys were out hunting. As a special treat to have in the hot tub, I made smoothies sweetened with maple syrup using frozen cherries, coco powder, huckleberries, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Oh they were decadent and without the bad stuff. I could live on those. I just can't wait to start taking pictures again with some of my infamous "dump" recipes. At least I can blog out a few ideas ;-)
As I was sitting here attempting to blog, Moonbeam climbed up on the table and stuck peanut shells and crayons in the left over cornbread saying "Happy Birthday". It wasn't all that long ago we had cake with candles in it for Super Catman's birthday. I guess peanut shells and crayons are her best version ;-) Again, would have liked to photograph that one. Okay okay I admit it, I am addicted to photographing...... Not sure how I will survive until next week but I will try to be brave ;-)
I did come awfully close to blowing my weekly system, though. As I said, I'm trying to go 7 days of whole/cleaner/healthier foods with 1 day of regular eating after each week. So, I am reserving the sugary treats for then. Anyway, Mist was craving chocolate and I was going to let her (okay encourage her) to bake us a torte. She ended up not doing it - whew! It would have been okay and I would have kept on going. I know that times come up when special treats or meals are available and I'm not going to all freak out about it. Mainly, I'm just trying to develop habits of eating better (and lose weight). If I start training myself to think hard before making white flour/pasta/white sugar type offenders, hopefully in the long run I will do less of it. That's pretty much how I lost and kept off the first 41 lbs. I quit eating white sugar for 3 months. I also ate a lot healthier, drank more water, etc.. After that, things were different. My habits all changed and some of them never changed back. Others changed back slowly. Here's a good thought to leave you with. My friend "From MN" told me this probably 15 years ago and its always stuck :
Choices Lead To Habits and Habits Lead To Destiny.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Working Mom Blues and "Operation Hawaii"

Back on my other blog, I announced "Operation Hawaii", my plan to work on healthy eating. In recapping - I started that on 10/27 which was mainly eating clean, whole foods and avoiding processed/white sugar/flour/portion control/etc.. I completed the first week of that, which wasn't easy and then had a rest day where I ate some of the disallowed foods. I just figured that if I was going to try and do it on a long term basis then I needed to have a day every week where I could eat some of the things (like white flour pasta) that I was missing out on. I've never quite done the "off once a week thing" or outlawed processed foods, so its a bit of an experiment. That first week I gained a pound, which, I have decided to blame on PMS, yes PMS. I did lose 1/2 - 1 inch mostly everywhere. At any rate, I'm well into my 2nd week of "Operation Hawaii". That all sounds rather boring, and I hope I haven't put anybody to sleep.
Some of the ways I've broadened my horizons a little in the fitness department has been with biking. I'm even going to add it to my blogger "interests" list. Really, for some reason, I had this idea that biking wasn't real exercise. Let me tell you, biking on wet gravel and dirt while climbing hills with a baby on board BURNED BAD and I am way less cynical of biking. I also liked it because Super Catman and Moonbeam LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Moonbeam threw a big ol' hissy the first 2 days when the ride was over and refused to get out of her seat. Since I'm on my 3rd 12-hr night shift, biking with the kids in my tiny window of family time has been a good multi tasker (time with them plus exercise).
I also may have avoided the whole bike thing because I quite possibly have the most embarrassing bike known to chicks. I got it on clearance from Walmart like 10 years ago. I tried giving it away twice and it was given back to me twice - FOR REAL!! It's green, but splattered with red paint. I got the baby seat for $2 at a "Your Trash Is Also Our Trash" type outdoor sale. It was right next to some adult uh - play items. Again, not kidding. It looked like it came straight out of the 70's. I considered photographing myself and Moonbeam on it together, but I was fearful that somebody would submit the picture to's "redneck transportation" section .

Super Catman's rides aren't all that stylish either. He alternates between a variety of bikes. The first, whose seat wobbles up and down when he least expects it. It causes only occasional crashes. The next one is tiny and he can't ride it properly. The next is a girls bike which he is embarrassed to ride. I don't know what happened to his good bike, but it seems it, too, has some morbid disability. ALL OF THEM are vicious and have terrible appetites. Each one, often and unprovoked, attacks his pant legs. He has gotten to the point of rolling up one pant leg to his thigh when he rides so as to avoid getting it caught. This presents an odd image to the neighbors, who I am always hoping, do not examine our "rides" too closely. Another calamity that continually befalls the lad is that the bike chains of most of them often prefer not to associate themselves with the rest of the bike. They are snobs for sure, each and every one of them. I can't count the times he tells me to "hold up" because his bike chain has fallen off once again. Despite all this bike drama, Super Catman never complains if somebody will only take him out for a ride. After my recent rides, I was all about stealing a few minutes in my hot tub. Something about having that hot tub waiting for me seems to make work outs outdoors a little more appealing.
In other news, I have contacted my first person to interview, but I haven't heard back. Yes, this prestigious opportunity has not been accepted yet - lol. Also, Kudos to The Sock Fashion Expert who made wonderful home made whole wheat tortillas with lean wild burger for tacos. I piled on the veggies with salsa too. They made great meals while I've been working. Best wishes to you, fitness pilgrims, march on through the weekend :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let The Fun Begin!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm excited that you are reading this :-) It means that you have some interest in bettering yourself, just like I do. I'm a little bit nervous about starting a new blog, but that's okay. I've learned that I'm a happier person when I stretch my self. I bet you are too. I have fought obesity from childhood, and I am winning that war, slowly. Its my hope that I can inspire you and myself in this pilgrimage. Here are some things I'm hoping to incorporate in future posts :

1. Inspirational People and Blogs I'm hoping to do some feature stories and interviews. Many people in my life have inspired me. I'd like to share them with you.

2. Fun Fitness Adventures! I have a few of them on my side bars already.
- In the past year, I completed for the 2nd time, the 1.76 mile Long Bridge Swim.

- I convinced my ENTIRE FAMILY for the first time ever to participate in 3 and 5K's!! Several of them won places!

- I also helped organize a community women's hiking group "The Extreme Chicks". Let me tell you, its a DIVERSE group of gals and I revel in that :-)

- Throughout the year I have learned to incorporate a variety of fitness adventures into my life including Running, Hiking, Swimming, Biking, Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Snowboarding, Nordic Walking, Kayaking, Canoeing, Hunting, Back Packing, and counting. These habits did not come easily, I had to learn. I found that as I began to take joy in them, my children were close to follow. Of course, sometimes it was the other way around ;-)

3. Healthy, Whole and Clean Eating is foundational if you want to live well, as is portion control. I have dieted for as long as I can remember. Making Eating Well a way of life is something we all need to encourage each other about.

4. Weight Loss and Retention I can tell you that I have not "Arrived" there, but I will not quit trying. I have lost and kept off 41 pounds! I still have 10-15 to go. For some reason, I was entertaining the silly idea that I couldn't really inspire anybody "until I arrived" at my ideal weight. That's not true. This blog is about working together and inspiring each other.

5. Non Traditional and Thrifty Methods I am a Working Mom with 5 kids. I value my time with my children. I am continually learning the art of balanced living. You will not see me at the gym because it is over an hour away and costs more that I can afford in gas and membership fees. This means I have to find other ways. Its not impossible, only a challenge. We can chose to THRIVE in the midst of every obstacle. Its hard to afford to eat well, I know. I am on an incredibly limited budget feeding so many in an oppressed economy. Again, I have to chose to thrive with that obstacle. Over the past year here are some ways I incorporated healthy foods :
- family labor at an organic cherry orchard for trade (great exercise too).
- family huckleberry picking (again great exercise).
- living year round on hunted, organic meat (don't even get me started on the story of packing out our son's elk).
- processing large amounts of fruits and veggies when they are available at a low cost.
- buying bulk whole grains and foods.
- growing and drying spices.
- I learned about sprouting from a friend.
- I continually learn about cooking from my friend Mist, who is a whole, clean, healthy eating enthusiast and also a Hollywood California Culinary Arts Graduate.

6. Inspiring Friends and Family As I indicated on my side bar, we must empower future generations. You not only pass down your genes to your children, but your life habits as well. I am an Emergency Room RN and it grieves me to see so many premature deaths and disabilities due to lifestyle. This is my chance to make a difference.

7. Without God's Help, I could not have changed. His Supernatural Power is available to all who call upon Him and Believe. May you find that "His Burdens Are Light".

8. Overcoming Fear is important too. For instance, I was afraid to run out here on my forest roads because of mountain lions and grizzly bears. You might be afraid of creepy people in the city or of traffic. I had to realize that sitting on the couch was more dangerous to my health than taking the risk that getting off of it was. We all have to leave our comfort zones and live one the edge a little ;-) I trust God and I pack a gun. Do what you gotta do to live.

Wow!! That's a lot to promise in a first post ;-) I hope I can live up to all that. Okay, well thanks for your interest and for having read this far........ Let the fun begin!!