Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Diet Changes

I mentioned in my last blog post that I am seeing a new doctor, that is quite knowledgeable in the MTHFR mutation. She has me tracking what foods I eat and how much in a food diary app. She suggested to me Myfitnesspal, so I downloaded it and found it a bit confusing. I then asked my Facebook buddies what they used and recommended and looked into those. I came across My Diet Coach- Weight loss which is a free app. available for androids and apple. It looked a bit more fun and motivating than the other apps, so I downloaded it and started using. When you complete tasks and challenges, you earn points and different clothing items to dress your avatar...corny I know, but I like it. I also like the way it looks, the colors they use and the graphics. The free version does not allow you to input your meals and any exercise you may have done. So I purchased the Pro version ($4), which is perfect. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

So, I have been tracking my food for a week now, it has been pretty eye opening to say the least. I cannot believe how much I have been over eating! My doctor told me it will help keep me accountable and she is right, I am finding it very helpful. A hassle, yes, but still helpful :)

I was also told I need to eat a half a plate of veggies at every meal or a smoothie (blended whole fruits) is ok too, although probably best for only one of the meals. Leafy greens must be present on my plate or in my smoothie at least once a day, every day. This is a big change from what I normally do, which no doubt is what has gotten me sick in the first place. Well, I am happy to say, I have been following her guidelines and am already noticing some benefits even though it has only been a week. My face is clearer and my hair is softer! I have not weighed myself yet, but I think I may have lost a little weight as well, my clothes are a bit looser!

I should mention how thankful I am that my husband is so supportive of the new changes to our dinner time meals, I think he realizes he needs to eat better too. I will leave you with a picture of this mouthwatering beef stew he made for our dinner in the crockpot. Recipe can be found here. He wanted me to let you know he omitted the peas and flour and added chopped celery and arrowroot in place of flour.




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 Extremely blessed and spoiled...that's me!

Steph

Thursday, March 3, 2016

It's good to be back!

Hello faithful readers and friends, I am back! So much has happened since I took a break from blogging that I cannot possibly recount it all for you, but I look forward to sharing my new and current adventures.

Here is an updated picture of me and the kids (my husband is just not the selfie kind of guy). This was taken at Christmas time in 2015.



The kids are getting big! Kade my oldest is now 16...wow, nope it still hasn't sunk in yet! Aiden is now 13 and Eilan is 9, soon to be 10.

Remember when they used to look like this...




Yep, I know!

Truth be told, I am enjoying this stage of life with my kids, we are having fun together in ways we never have before. My relationship with my daughter is a bit extra special, I am now friend/mom instead of just mom and I love it!

We have a new cat, his name is Blizzard since we got him at Christmas in 2014 (literally the day after Christmas). Eric and the kids chose the name Blizzard, I confess I did not care for it, but it grew on me. We don't know much about his life before he came to our home (his forever home) other than he was found with an abscess on his side, the shelter performed surgery on him and placed him up for adoption when he recovered enough. When we got him, his fur coloring was a light grey with some black markings. After about 6 months of living with us, his fur changed to a much darker more beautiful color. I like to think the high quality kitty food and our love made him the happy, healthy boy he is today :) Pumpkin is doing great, he loves his fur brother and they have fun playing together.


Blizzard the day we brought him home.

Blizzard as he is now. Don't you love those blue eyes!



Pumpkin in all his sweet cuteness.

"Move me just a little closer, I can almost taste it"

A little update on my health. I recently found out I am homozygous for the C677T mutation in the MTHFR gene. I believe it is an important piece to my health puzzle. I found a Doctor nearby that is very knowledgeable about this mutation and am very hopeful that she will be able to help me. I will blog more on this later.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Steph

Friday, April 19, 2013

Recipes I have been enjoying.

I have been experimenting with a low carb diet, but not the type of low carb using those processed flour mixes, breads and tortillas and other ready made low carb products. The exception is whey protein and some safe sugar alternatives. My food is made at home and with real food!

So far, I think it is going well, I feel good and not deprived. My husband and kids have liked several things I have made which is a huge plus! Here are some of the recipes we have been enjoying that are available free on these people's blogs...

Healthy Living How To Chia Seed Jam







 You can find the recipe here. In my version, I use the Organic Antioxidant Fruit Blend available in the freezer section at Costco. It contains strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and pomegranate, how's that for healthy!! It makes the best tasting Chia Seed Jam, my kids love it and it gets eaten real fast (you can tell there is not much left lol).  Because there are so many seeds in the pomegranates and raspberries, I will thaw out the amount I want to use, then put into my vitamix along with the water (for example if I am making 3 cups, then I will use 3 TBSP of water) you need for the recipe and blend well, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. I usually have to use a spoon to push the juice through because it is thick. I then follow the directions to the recipe. When the jam is cooling, I will stir in 21 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia.


The Spunky Coconut Dairy Free Yogurt #2 


Made with 4 cups of Cashew Milk and 2 cups of Coconut Milk...thick and delish!

Chia Seed Jam makes the best yogurt topping!

You can find The Spunky Coconut's Dairy Free Yogurt #2 recipe here. In her recipe she calls for 4 cups of coconut milk and only 2 cups of cashew milk, but I made a batch of her cashew milk (here is a video that shows how to make it) and it makes 4 cups so I decided to use it all and use only 2 cups of coconut milk. I am so glad I did, because unless you love the flavor of coconut, I think it will really stand out. If you eat my version plain, you can taste a hint of coconut, but with toppings like the Chia Seed Jam, it will not be noticeable at all and you will still reap the benefits of coconut. Thankfully my two youngest love it (my oldest has not tried it yet) and I do too...I am out of Chia Seed Jam too :)


Amy Loves Her Life!!!! Oatmeal Packets


Aiden putting together the Oatmeal Packets.
My younger son Aiden loves oatmeal. When he finished eating the Quaker Brand flavored oatmeal packets, I brought up the idea of making our own, which he was very receptive to. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a simple recipe to make your own (click here). For the sugar, I used coconut/palm sugar, it's much healthier than brown sugar and actually does contain minerals and nutrients and tastes pretty much the same as brown sugar anyway. We made 27  1/2 cup bags, I know we saved quite a few pennies! The verdict on taste...Aiden and Eilan say they love it, especially with the Chia Seed Jam.

I hope I have inspired you to give some of these recipes a try and if you do, I hope you find them as tasty as we do!

Here is the new Karate Kid...

Kapow!


Showing off his new sparring gear courtesy of his Grandpa, his chest guard is the only thing missing and has been ordered and is on it's way.
My Husband and I bought him a gear bag as an early birthday present.
Aiden and Lily sparring today.


 If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I am now a Karate Mom. My younger son, Aiden is taking Taekwondo at a local studio. He absolutely loves it and we spend a good 8 hours a week there. He rather recently got to try sparring and really liked it, so my Dad purchased the gear for him (thanks so much Dad and Bekkee!) Last Friday however, his gear had not come in yet and all he had to borrow was some gloves, but that was ok, there are other kids who do not have the gear either. He however was paired with a feisty, little 8 year old girl (he is 10), who has been doing karate for 3 years AND who had full sparring gear on. Boy she let loose on Aiden and got him in the jaw/neck area a couple of times till he was seeing stars almost. He said he felt like crying but sat down and took a few deep breaths then got right back up again. He managed to get a few good licks in at Lily too (don't worry she has full protective gear on).

I thought it was cute when Lily came up to me yesterday asking if we would be there on Friday (today) and I assured her we would. 

Today, Aiden was much more prepared for Lily lol. No seeing stars for him today!

Have a terrific weekend!

Steph

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm back! Trying something new this month.

I'm back from taking a bit of a break from blogging...sometimes you just need to recharge for a little while till those creative juices start flowing again.

I have been fairly productive during my absence, relearning how to bake, but with sugar free sweeteners...the safe ones that is. I still am not real comfortable yet, but I have some tried and true recipes that my kids love as well as I do. I have been experimenting with the low carb lifestyle and I have to say, I like it! My body seems to agree with it as well. However, I have not done it for longer than 2 weeks at a time, so this month is  going to be my low carb, sugar free (with acceptable, safe sweeteners) experimental month. I will be continuing to eat gluten free of course.

What do I consider safe acceptable sweeteners? That would be stevia, Swerve (stevia, erythritol), Just Like Sugar (chicory root), small amount of xylitol and maltitol. I have been using these sweeteners for a couple of months now and have no problems with them. Everyone is different of course, so you need to listen to your body when trying new things.

I am also starting another "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" this month, I hope you will join me!
Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/30DayGetUpAndMoveChallenge

I will be sharing with you soon, some of my favorite low carb recipes and cookbooks for those who may be interested.

Last month, my younger son, Aiden joined karate and is loving it! He told me he wishes he could take karate every minute of the day. Right now he is doing 6 hours a week...whew, but I enjoy watching him. The plan right now is to let him have 3 months doing karate alone to help him work on over coming his shyness, then the rest of the family will join him in taking classes. I am really looking forward to learning, but am so out of shape...another reason to get my "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" going again!

Aiden mid kick.


Have a wonderful April Fools Day!
No, this post is not a prank :)

Steph

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Very first "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" Starts tomorrow November 1, 2012!!

The very first "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" starts tomorrow, November 1, 2012! I hope that you will join me. Who knows, we may be able to avoid packing on the typical holiday pounds!




The "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" was created to help me learn to make exercising daily second nature, just as eating lots of veggies is now a breeze thanks to the Whole30. I realized many people may be in the same boat as I am and need a starting point, a goal that is achievable. I hope you will find the "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" to be just that.

The Rules...

Do at least 10 minutes of exercise a day, preferably working up to 30-45 minutes a day (or more) doing any kind of activity you like, such as yoga, walking, biking, dancing, running...etc. You may divide the time up through out the day, but you run the risk of forgetting...so don't forget!

Exercise each day for 30 days in a row. This will give you the repetition that will help you make exercising a new beneficial habit which is the goal we are striving for.

Now get up and move! You can do it!

Here is the link to my Facebook page dedicated to the "30 Day Get Up and Move Challenge" https://www.facebook.com/30DayGetUpAndMoveChallenge

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Fruits of My Labor So Far...

If you have been following my blog or my facebook page, you will know that I had been doing a Whole30 (my second attempt) last month. I am very happy to say that I successfully completed it on Sunday! It was a huge accomplishment for me and I am extremely pleased with the results.

I have learned to prepare and eat a lot of veggies, much more than I have ever eaten in my life lol. But I now can see the benefits, my nails are strong and healthy looking, my skin is clearer and looks more even toned. I don't feel bloated and yuck (sorry, that is the best word to describe it). I have learned to love a nice, relaxing cup of herbal tea at night instead of a big bowl of ice cream (can you envision all the empty calories I am saving there).

All these benefits sounds great and wonderful (they are), but did I lose any weight? You betcha! I weighed myself the day after completing the Whole30 and found I lost 8 lbs.!! Not too shabby at all, especially when I do the math and calculate how much weight I have lost total since last year...50 lbs...gone!! Whoa baby, I have never lost 50 lbs before, this is a new record for me. I am also only 5 lbs away from my latest mini-goal too.

I chose this as my reward for persevering :)






Lord willing, next week, I will post after pic's to compare with how I looked when I started. I will also post my tips for a successful Whole30.

I hope the rest of your weeks is wonderful!

Steph


Monday, September 10, 2012

Easy Baked Apple Recipes

With Fall fast approaching, baked apple and pumpkin dishes are sounding so good to me right now! I decided to focus on apples first and have come up with a couple of delicious, easy and satisfying recipes for anyone doing a Whole30, eliminating sugar from their diet or just simply loves the comforting goodness, warm baked apples have to offer.

You don't need me to remind you all of the nutritional benefits of eating a whole food like apples right? I mean, you probably already know all about the terrific soluble fiber, vitamin A, iron and calcium that is present in baked apples...of course you do...whew, glad I don't have to explain :)





Baked Spice Apples with Coconut Cream

Serves 1

2 small baking apples (I used Granny Smith) sliced into 8 wedges each, preferably peeled (I did not peel mine, too lazy)
1 Tbsp of melted Ghee or butter (I used ghee)
1/2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie spice or Apple Pie spice (I used pumpkin pie spice)
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp of Coconut Cream* (or as much as you want)
Optional: chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add your apple wedges to a 8x8 baking dish.

3. Drizzle melted ghee or butter over the apples.

4. Add Pumpkin Pie spice or Apple Pie spice and sea salt to the apples.

5. Stir apples together with the spices and ghee to coat.

6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until for tender or as soft as you like.

7. Add baked apples to serving bowl, top with coconut cream and nuts if you are using.

8. Enjoy!

*To get coconut cream, put a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for 24 hours (sometimes overnight is not long enough to harden the cream). Open can and scoop out with a spoon the white coconut cream that has solidified in the can. Whisk cream in a bowl till nice and creamy and smooth.

If you are not on a sugar detox of some sort and feel the apples themselves are not sweet enough for you, add a little maple syrup or raw honey before topping with the coconut cream.





Baked Cinnamon Apples and Wild Blueberries

Serves 1


2 small baking apples (I used Granny Smith) sliced into 8 wedges each, preferably peeled (I did not peel mine, too lazy)
1 Tbsp of melted Ghee or butter (I used ghee)
1/4 tsp (rounded) of Cinnamon
About 4 swipes on a rasp of whole nutmeg or a good pinch of powdered nutmeg.
1/4 Cup of frozen, wild blueberries (Trader Joe's has some), I'm sure regular blueberries will work just fine
pinch of salt
Optional: Coconut cream, nuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


2. Add your apple wedges and blueberries to a 8x8 baking dish.

3. Drizzle melted ghee or butter over the apples.

4. Add spices and salt to the apples and blueberries.

5. Stir with a spoon to coat fruit with spices and ghee.

6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until for tender or as soft as you like.

7. Add baked fruit to a serving bowl and top with nuts or coconut cream or both.

8. Enjoy!

If you are not on a sugar detox of some sort and feel the apples themselves are not sweet enough for you, add a little maple syrup or raw honey before adding your toppings.

Other topping ideas are:

shredded coconut
yogurt
dried cherries
dried cranberries
raw honey
maple syrup
Caramel Sauce-homemade and without High Fructose Corn Syrup
Coconut Nectar
Brown Rice Syrup

Or you can make the Baked Apples a topping for:

Vanilla Ice Cream
Yogurt
Oatmeal
Porridge
Pork or other meat
Baked sweet potatoes

However you decide to eat these baked apples, I hope you find it yummy!

Steph