Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Own Worst Critic

Why is it that as woman we tend to be so critical to ourselves. We want to be alluring & attractive to our signifigant others, nuturing & patient with our children, savy & successful in our careers, loyal & giving to our friends, etc., etc. Nothing short of perfection and we are a failure. Yet when we stop to think about it, we know perfection is not possible.

But does that stop us from beating ourselves up? NO!

So I've been in this rut. On the outside I've semi-acted like I have it all. I've avoided the areas that would make me see my failures and pony up. I've put on the pretense that everything is going well, but inside my head these are the thoughts floating around:

"Ughh, you are so fat!"
"You never follow through!"
"Everyone knows you're a fake!"

"Why did you even try?"
"You should just stop taking on big things, then you wouldn't fail."
"Everyone is looking at you to see if you're skinny yet and you're not!"
"Why bother, it doesn't work"

Even as I write this, the demons are still circling. I've resisted writing this because let's face it denial is so much easier (but is it really?)

I had this AH-HAH moment on Sunday at church. The cute girl teaching the lesson was talking about a day she had where she wrote this whole list of all the things she sucked at. And it was really long. When she was done she just cried and felt horrible. Right there I was struck. When I look at her this is what I see: Beautiful long hair, great sense of humor, she's such a "people person," very fit, confident, somebody I want to get to know better, etc. My first thought was, "How could she really be bad at that many things?" Then I realized she ISN'T bad at that many things, she is just critical of herself. JUST. LIKE. I. AM. 

What's ironic is when we are critical & unloving of ourselves, we feed this vicious cycle of guilt, shame and hate, which then causes more things for us to be critical of. Oy vay!

As overwhelming as it can be, I REFUSE to allow this to reign my thoughts and my behavior. Here is my resolution (call it New Year's if you wish) I choose freedom, love and understanding. I will be to myself what I confess to be to others. I will embrace the accomplishments and learn from the failures. I will not strive for perfection but rather excellence. I will stop comparing myself to others. I will fill my head with praise and love. I will STOP BEING MEAN to myself!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's for Dinner? (Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup)

Um, hi! Do you remember me? Yeah so, it's been a little while since I posted on here. Mostly life and sickness getting in the way, but no guilt. Life is all about setting and keeping priorities and sometimes that means taking a break from things that you love (like blogging!)

I've been wanting to post this recipe for probably a month now. I've actually made it a second time ... it's that good (and easy). I never thought of my self as a "from scratch" kind of girl, but this is one of those recipes you want to try. With Thanksgiving around the corner, there's no reason you can't turn this into a turkey recipe! P.S. I learned how to make this from my sister and there are not exact measurements ... don't let this scare you!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Rotisserie Chicken
Bay Leaves
Chicken Bouillon

I bought a large Rotisserie Chicken earlier in the week, which we enjoyed for dinner. When we were done, I removed all the chicken and put in one ziploc bag and put the carcass (including bones that were on our plates) in a separate bag.

Around lunch time on the day I made the soup, I put the chicken carcass in my 8 qt. pot. along with roughly 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and one onion each cut in big chunks. (Note these veggies will not be in your final soup, so they don't need to look pretty.) Add some 1 tsp pepper, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp thyme and 2 bay leaves. Fill mostly with water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally. The aroma will fill your house and you'll feel like a domestic diva!

At about 4pm, I started cutting the veggies for the soup (these are the ones you'll want to look pretty). Chop approximately 4 carrots (or most of a small bag of baby carrots), several ribs of celery (I used one stalk total) and one onion (I diced it fine, since my kids wouldn't eat it otherwise). If you need more chicken, cook one or two chicken breasts at this time (I have a micro-cooker that I use to cook my chicken in the microwave, it's fast and easy.)

Around 4:30, I strained the cooking broth ... make sure to have a pan or bowl to catch the liquid! If not, all that simmering was for naught!!! ;) If there is a lot of fat in your broth, you can skim it from the top at this point. Discard the vegetables. Combine the broth with the newly chopped veggies in the rinsed out 8 qt pot. At this point is where you want to taste the broth and determine how much bouillon you want to add. Also add salt, pepper, garlic (I love garlic!), parsley and basil. Start with 1/2 tsp and add more to your taste. The first time I made the soup, I had to add quite a bit of bouillon, the second time not nearly as much. I think the second time I didn't have as much liquid and it cooked longer. 

Now that you've got the taste balanced, you'll want to let the veggies cook, so bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 45 minutes or so. During the last 15 minutes, I cooked the noodles. (Fresh noodles are the best!)

You can choose to combine the noodles into the soup or serve them separately. If the soup will be sitting around, you may want to keep it separate because the noodles really suck up the broth. Serve with a yummy chunk of bread (we had sourdough!)


Blogaholic Designs”=

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stop Acting Like a Kid!

Or maybe you SHOULD act like a kid! The more time I spend with my kids, the more I think I need to be more like them.

For example, this week I ordered a Iron Gym Pull Up Bar from in preparation for starting P90x next week (eek!) Here's what it looks like:

It goes over your door frame so you can do pull ups with out screwing into your walls. Pretty sweet deal. The kids (5 and 10) think this is the best thing ever. Braden (5) says, I'm gonna go on the ride! Aubrey can do pull ups on it already and can't walk by it with out trying it out. Today her abs and arms were sore from all the playing!

This got me thinking. Since when did exercise become such a chore? Maybe I need to start shadowing the kids and see what kind of results that brings!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's for Dinner? (Grilled Salmon)

For years, I've heard about all the health benefits of salmon & how it should be a regular part of your diet. But I just never liked it. Until now. I made this grilled salmon for Taylor's birthday dinner (yes, I'm one week behind!) and it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious. Like for real. Like I am not joking. Like, I'm going to stop saying like now.

P.S. When buying salmon make sure to get WILD, not farm raised. We bought ours frozen with the skin still on one side.

It looks a little beat up because it was majorly sticking to my grill, but it was delish!

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1.Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

2.In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3.Preheat grill for medium heat.

4.Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Calories: 318
Total Fat: 20.1g
Cholesterol: 56mg
Sodium: 1092mg
Total Carbs: 13.2g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1g
Protein: 20.5g

Blogaholic Designs”=

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun and more!

What a fun week. Two birthdays and Halloween! Doesn't get much better than that. In our family we have a tradition of having a spooky Halloween Dinner (think low lights, Halloween music & decor and food that doesn't look like it's edible!) We found some great recipes this year.

On the menu: Rotten Teeth, Worms, Juicy Eyeballs, Salty Bones & Blood, Mummies and Witch's Brew with Decapitated Hands!

Here's and up close of some of the recipes. Click the link to find the recipes:

They were all pretty easy to make, except for the worms. Removing the worms from the straws was tough, but luckily Taylor helped me with that. Trick or Treating was fun ... not too cold and only a few light sprinkles. Here's our fam:

Check out an up-close shot of my eye lashes (fake eye lashes=best thing eva!)

These are some of the fun things we like to do, what are your favorite Halloween traditions?

Blogaholic Designs”=

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Spiced Crepes with Pumpkin Butter

Thirty-six years ago yesterday, my sweet husband was born! In our family, one of my favorite birthday traditions is to make breakfast in bed for the honoree. Normally, the breakfast of choice is strawberry belgian waffles. But you see, Taylor's birthday is on the eve of my birthday (yup, today's my, ummmm, 29th birthday!) Since Taylor likes to try new things, I usually try to mix up things a little for his breakfast.

This year? I came across this great recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes. This website has some awesome recipes that you can feel good eating. I have a feeling I will be trying out more of their recipes! How can you go wrong with Pumpkin? I'm not kidding when I tell you that this tasted like pumpkin pie for breakfast! It was AMAZing. I get so giddy when I find yummy food, that's easy to make AND is good for you ... SCORE!

Now, because it was so early (we have 9am church) and we were trying to get done in time to get to church, I didn't have a chance to take pictures ... please give credit to Gina for these beautiful pictures. P.S. Don't be afraid of making crepes. I've always thought they were hard to make, but if you can make pancakes, you can make these!

1 1/2 cups fat free milk

2 large egg whites
1 whole egg
1 tsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white whole wheat flour (all purpose works fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
butter flavored spray
1 1/2 cups pumpkin butter (2 tbsp in each crepe), warmed (see recipe below)
fat free whipped topping (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

Blend flour, milk, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, eggs and oil until smooth in the blender. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with buttered flavored spray to coat bottom of pan. Pour 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brown. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining buttered flavored spray and crepe mixture.

To serve, spoon 2 tbsp pumpkin butter into center of each crepe, fold the edge of crepe over filling and roll, placing the crepe on a plate seam side down. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and a little more pumpkin spice or cinnamon. Serve warm.

Makes 3 cups. Batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 crepe with filling • Weight Watcher Points: 2 pts
Calories: 107.1 • Fat: 1.1 g • Protein: 3.8 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 1.7 g

1/2 cups pumpkin puree, or 1 (29 ounce) can (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup apple cider or juice
1 cup packed brown sugar
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

Combine pureed pumpkin, vanilla, apple juice, spices, cinnamon sticks and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to your taste.

Servings: 14 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Points: 1.5 pts

Calories: 88.2 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 1.0 g • Carb: 27.3 g • Fiber: 2.5 g

Blogaholic Designs”=

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Conquering Candy Temptations

Trick or treat, smell my feet! Give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underware!

Who doesn't love a good Halloween treat (or 10?) But are those extra candy bars worth it?

In addition to celebrating Halloween on the 31st, my birthday is the week before. If I'm not careful my birthday celebration can turn into a 3 month (because there is Thanksgiving and Christmas of course) splurge. Enjoying Halloween doesn't neccesarily mean I need to throw all of my goals out the window, just means I have to plan for it. Here are some of the goals/rules I have set for myself:
  • Don't keep it in the house! Just because you can get candy for such good deals right now, doesn't mean I need to buy it. If it's in the house, I'll be tempted.
  • Plan ahead for parties and fill up my plate once. If I eat a healthy meal before the party, I won't be filling up on junk. Then once at the party, I won't just eat mindlessly from the bowl, I'll fill up my plate once and then be done. 
  • Don't shop hungry. This is a good general rule of thumb, but especially this time of year. From the Halloween aisle to the bakery, temptations abound. If my stomach is growling, I am much more likely to bring home unhealthy treats.
  • Allow for some fun. I love to go Trick-or-Treating with the kids. We have a big (spooky) meal complete with (spooky) music beforehand. Since I won't be snacking on candy bars all month long, I'l be able to guiltlessly enjoy a few of my favorite treats on Halloween night.
  • Make a plan. This goes along with the above goal. The idea is, plan for the fun and the plan to get back on track. For me? I'm going to do a cleanse during the first week of November to help get rid of all the yuck.  
  • Know what you're eating. Burrying your head in the sand doesn't work. Know what you're eating (calories, fat, sugar). For instance, yesterday I went out to lunch with my mom and sister. I checked the online menu ahead of time and made my choice. Then I wasn't tempted by all the yummy treats (it was a bakery) once I was at the store. I was able to enjoy a nice meal with good friends and meet my goals at the same time.
  • Start new each day. Have a bad day? Doesn't mean it has to turn into weeks or months of being "off the wagon." Each day is a new day full of new possibilities!

Blogaholic Designs”=