Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snowy Saturday

This morning we woke up to 4-5 inches of snow! I was hoping that Spring was here and that Winter was over, but apparently not yet.

Due to this snowy day and to the fact that it's Saturday, I have not even left the house yet! We started a fire but unfortunately the wood we have does NOT like to burn no matter what we do so it was short lived.

I felt like cooking and would have liked to have cooked or baked a lot today, but I did make Crustless Healthy Mini Quiches. I got the recipe out of the latest issue of Clean Eating magazine, but had to adapt it because I didn't think ahead. We had just enough greek yogurt left to start a new batch, so I started making that before the quiches only to realize this recipe called for greek yogurt (I had forgotten and wasn't thinking straight) and of course it wouldn't be done in time ... therefore, I had to do without. (In case you missed my recent blog "How to Make Greek Yogurt", check it out).

But, they still tasted great (though I'm quite sure they would have been even better with the yogurt)! Of course I couldn't do without a green monster today since trying one yesterday for the first time. (It had a half a banana, spinach, and almond milk in it and was very tasty!)Lunch was a spinach salad (I've had a lot of spinach today) with a bunch of yummy veggies and seasonings in it. The salad was followed by a big, juicy grape fruit. Erik and I are off to actually DO something now. Tonight is date night and we're going to cook a nice dinner together, followed by ice cream and a movie! : )

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall


First off, I had my first green monster today and I LOVED it. I've been seeing these all over everyone's blog lately and then my friend, Andrea (who faithfully reads many of our blogs, and will hopefully start a blog of her own soon -- I'll introduce you when she does;) Hi, Andrea!) said she's been making them and I thought ... well I better try one! So, I told Angela at Oh She Glows how I've been seeing them everywhere and she suggested I start out with spinach rather than kale and to definitely use a banana. So I did (it worked well because I didn't have kale at the
moment, though I'm sure I still would have loved it with kale because I like kale!).
Come to find
out, there was no ice in the ice maker either, so I did my best and used spinach leaves, half a banana, almond milk, and a Truvia packet. I was very pleased and will definitely be making these more often. (Note my cute V-day cute given to me by Lauryl : )So moving on, as I mentioned yesterday, by reading others' posts this week, I've become aware that this week has been National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I've read so many posts of so many of you being so honest about struggles, triumphs, etc that you've gone through and it just made me think a little bit. I always love everyone's honesty and I love this network of girls helping each other out and being a support system! So I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts.

I thought of this song called "Mirror" written by a group called Barlow Girl. I don't really ever listen to them, but I'm familiar with their songs and these lyrics came to mind. I googled them and listened to the song more and I think the lyrics are GREAT. It was actually written by one of them who was overcoming ED. While I haven't personally struggled with ED, and while I don't pretend to understand what anyone has gone through in the past or is going through currently, I think we all have something at least a little in common. Whether we're trying loose weight, trying to gain and get to a healthy weight, or somewhere in between, I think at times us girls can ALL come together and relate to this song.


Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Have I got it?

'Cause Mirror you've always told me who I am
I'm finding it's not easy to be perfect
So sorry you won't define me
Sorry you don't own me
Who are you to tell me
That I'm less than what I should be?
Who are you? Who are you?
I don't need to listen
To the list of things I should do
I won't try, I won't try

Mirror I am seeing a new reflection
I'm looking into the eyes of He who made me
And to Him I have beauty beyond compare
I know He defines me

You don't define me, you don't define me

It might happen every single time we look at the mirror, or maybe it's just once in awhile if we think about it too much, or when we're having a bad day, but I think we all have times when we look in the mirror and we let it tell us who we are by what we see, and let that mirror compare us to others who we think look better. We let it tell us we're not beautiful, we're not worth anything, or fill in the blank. We let it tell us we're ugly and that we're not worthy of love, not good enough, not beautiful enough to be loved. And while we all experience different extremes of this, and how often we feel it, it's there. This longing to feel beautiful, to BE beautiful, to be assured that you're beautiful and to feel strong and courageous about it. We long to be captivating, accepted, to freely and confidently to fully know and be known, and still be beautiful.

So what do we do about this feeling, this longing? At times it's easy to ignore it. Maybe we push it aside with a new outfit, or new hair cut ... or maybe unhealthily obsess over food, our career, school, working out, or whatever. But at the end of the day if you really look, it's might be scary to realize it's still there ... longing to be fulfilled. So here's my personal experience with this longing ... at least in my own life, just as contained in this song, the only way these feelings have ever been fulfilled is to realize that God calls me beautiful, and He defines me! To Him, I have beauty beyond compare. And so do you! Whether you feel it right now or not, you are so beautiful. You might not see it right now, you might not feel it right now, but I pray you can see yourself the way He sees you, the way He made you, the way He defines you. He calls you beautiful, and lovely, and awe-inspiring, and captivating, and wonderful, and worth it, and stunning, and delightful, and pure, and strong, and brave, and confident. And, girl, that's exactly how He made you and that is who you are!

Whatever you may be going through and whatever you may have gone through in the past, or whatever is ahead, I believe you can make it, you can achieve your goals to be healthy. You are strong, you are beautiful, and you can do it. Never, ever, ever give up, and let Him tell you who you are! And if you need to, just go ahead and go say this to your mirror ... !

Sorry you won't define me
Sorry you don't own me
Who are you to tell me
That I'm less than what I should be?
Who are you?
Who are you?
I don't need to listen
To the list of things I should do
I won't try,
I won't try.
You don't define me!

And after all that seriousness, I couldn't help but add this picture in light of the topic : )
Sorry for being so lengthy with this post, hopefully no one minds ... and I guess if you do, you probably didn't read it! haha.

And don't forget, Abbie at Foods That Fit is putting together a Blogger Cookbook (she's awesome, isn't she? ... such a great idea!) So check it out if you want to be apart of it and spread the news : )

Have a fabulous weekend ... may it be full of everything good!!!
(it's looks like mine might be full of cold weather and snow ... yuck!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How To Make Greek Yogurt

It's time for the weekend again, ya'll!!

I've had a few people ask me how I make my greek yogurt since posting it a few days ago, so I thought I would quickly post the "How To". It's actually very easy once you get it down pat (so don't let it scare you!) Note: Here is the orignal recipe I used, with a few minor differences.

How To Make Greek Yogurt

Ingredients/Things you Will Need:
-Stock pot that will fit a gallon of milk
-Thermometer (candy thermometer works nice because you can clip it to the side of your pot)
-Large colonder and bowl that it fits in
-Cheese cloth (or really thin towels/dish clothes)
-1 Gallon of milk (I use skim)
-Yogurt starter or about 1/2 cup (give or take a few) scoop of yogurt that already has live active cultures in it (such as Fage greek yogurt, or any other greek yogurt)

1. Pour your milk into the stock pot and heat on low to medium until temperature reaches 185 degrees (stirring once in awhile to assure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan).
2. Remove pan from stove top and let cool until the temperature reaches 105 degrees (meanwhile, set out yogurt starter or scoop of yogurt so that it's at room temperature)

3. When the milk has cooled down to 105 degrees, stir in your yogurt starter or scoop of yogurt (stir well).

4. Cover and place inside oven (that is off) and let sit for around 12 hours (overnight always works well for me) --Note: I have a gas oven, so it's always slightly warm inside, and placing it in the oven has always worked for me. I have heard of others turning on their digital oven to 100 degrees, or simply placing it in a fairly warm place in your house wrapped in blankets/towels where there will be no draft, or using heating pads.

5. When 12ish hours is up, the soupy milk mixture should have turned into a thicker, more custard looking substance. (There should be a layer of whey on top ... pour out as much as you can in the sink without pouring the yogurt out with it) Place your colander inside of your large bowl, and line the colander with cheese cloth.
6. Pour the now custard looking mixture into the cloth-lined colander, and pull up on all the edges of cloth and wrap it up as tight as you can.
7. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours (the longer it's in the fridge in the cheese cloth, the thicker it'll become -- I typically leave mine in the fridge all day while I'm at work and when I get home, it's the perfect consistency for me

8. After the refrigeration, place in container/containers and enjoy with whatever you love in your greek yogurt : )

--- The first time I tried, it was a flop! My yogurt was just soup, haha. But I kept at it and it's gotten easier and easier and now it's a breeze. (And added bonus that it's so much cheaper than buying it and it tastes SO good!) So happy yogurt making, if you decide to try : )

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life

Two more days 'til the weekend already!! Ya-hoo!

I'm tired. I worked 12 hours today and I'm definitely not used to that! Here is what my wonderful husband made me for dinner tonight. It was a very gooey, messy, and DELICIOUS egg sandwhich (on cinnamon raisin Ezekiel, of course)! (excuse the "to-go" aluminum foil it's wrapped in ... I ate it at work) And last but certinaly not least, I'd like to share this book with you all that I'm SO EXCITED about!! The pastor of our church, Brian Zahnd, wrote it and it was just recently published and will soon be in the major book store nearest you (and you can pre order it from Amazon). It's called "What to do On the Worst Day of Your Life". Here's the back cover ...

"No one wants trouble to come.

But when it does (and it always does),
you can recover ... you can prevail.

What do you do on the worst day of your life?

Brian Zahnd turned to the Bible for answers and discovered in the life of King David an inspiring story of hope and a pattern for full recovery. In What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life, he reveals the steps you must take to recover--and the recover all."

Check the link for more info ... a must read that you would not regret checking out!

That's all for me, lovelies ... check you later! ; )

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stuffed Eggplant, Award, and Greek Yogurt

Hello Everyone!

First off, thanks for the eggplant suggestions from the other day ... I appreciated them and it gave me a ton of good ideas! After taking your idea into consideration and looking at a few websites some of you suggested, here's what I came up with. My husband doesn't like eggplant, so we just kinda made our own dinners last night. Ha, so not gonna lie, I don't follow recipes very well. Typically, I just look a bunch of different recipes, use ideas from them all and throw in some more ingredients ... so if I can remember it all, here's how I made my ...

Stuffed Eggplant
-1 Turkey breast
-1 medium sized eggplant
-chopped tomatoes
-chopped onions
-chopped cabbage
-chopped mushrooms
-rice cheese
-sea salt
-garlic and herb seasoning
-red wine vinaigrette

Directions: -Slice eggplant in half long ways, put on baking sheet and bake on 350 for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
-When the eggplant is almost done, saute onions and mushrooms, add chopped turkey breast and cook until almost all done.
-While the chopped turkey breast is cooking, remove tender eggplant from the oven and scoop out middle of eggplant, leaving a little bit on the sides and bottom.
-Add scooped out eggplant to the pan with the turkey, along with the tomatoes, cabbage, and seasonings of choice
-Finally, put contents of pan inside the hollowed out egg plant halves and top with rice "mozzarella" cheese or cheese of choice followed by red wine vinaigrette
I think I could have made it more tasty, but I still ended up very happy with the delicious result of my first time cooking with eggplant and I now officially like eggplant : )

Moving on, I'm very excited to say that today I received my FIRST blog award!! It was the "Kreativ Blogger Award" from the wonderful and lovely Emily, at The Life and Times of Em. I was having kind of a "bleh" morning until I saw this award, in which my day was immediately brigthened : )Thanks SO much, Emily ... you DEFINITELY deserved this award, too! Her wonderful, fun personally always comes out in each blog and they're all a delight to read : )

Stay tuned to my next post as I pass the award on to five other Kreativ Bloggers!

And to wrap this post up, here's the most recent batch of yogurt I made. For some reason it turned out extra tasty and I can't wait to eat it for my morning break tomorrow! (sorry for the not so good picture ... bad lighting!)
Tomorrow is Hump Day already, weird! I hope it's a WONDERFUL and BLESSED day!!

Question ... what's your favorite day of the work week?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Erik's Eats

I'd like to dedicate this post entirely to my husband, Erik. A few of our friends have been reading my posts on facebook and wanted me to post what Erik typically eats in a day, so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

He's the one who got me into actually caring about nutrition, eating healthy, staying active, etc and he's taught me so much and I love it! I'm extremely grateful and blessed to have him as a husband!!So, here are examples of basically all Erik eats in a day ... (ha, it's a lot of food ... he's a growing boy;)

5:30 a.m. Sandwich that consists of 2 eggs, 1 egg white, 3 tbs rice, Mrs. Dash's seasoning with two pieces of 2% organic cheese on cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with Low Carb Heinz ketchup, followed by a banana or and apple and around 6 almonds 8:30 a.m. A serving of almonds (aka large handful, about 24) ... he said he doesn't eat this everyday, but more times than not he does

10:00 a.m. 1/2 lb. chicken or turkey with 1 cup rice and around 1/2 lb veggies with a half an apple (not pictured) 12:30 p.m. Something very similar to the above, or the same amount of rice and meat in a salad, the other half of the apple, along with some carrots and hummus 3:00 p.m. Peanut butter and banana sandwich and an apple 6:30 p.m. After workout shake consisting of 2 bananas, 5 pitted dates, 8 ounces skim milk, spoonful cacao powder, 2 Tbs greek yogurt, 2 packets of truvia (no picture ... sorry!)

7:30 p.m. Dinner usually consisting of 3/4 lb. meat, 1/2 lb veggies, and 1 cup rice ... Example: 3 chicken patties (made with ground Smart Chicken), assorted veggies, and a brown rice/quinoa mix 8:15 p.m. 1 piece Ezekiel bread with peanut butter and an apple or banana (see the 3 p.m. picture minus a piece of bread)

And of course, types of meat, rice, veggies, and fruit are subject to change day by day, but that's the basic idea of what Erik eats in a day. (And in case anyone cares, he pretty much only ever drinks water, tea, little bit of milk, and almond milk)

Right before I even met him, he made this video about himself and since we're on the topic of him I thought I'd post it. It's about his transformation in being overweight, then becoming a bodybuilder, and his transformation spiritually. (And if you're going to watch it, you have to watch it all the way to the end because that's the only part he cares about.)

Here's his description of the video:
"I had a rough time as a kid. So all my life I tried to find things to heal the pain I had inside of me. I partied, I slept around, I had lots of money, I dieted and got skinny, lifted got huge, and just about any and everything else the world told me would lead me to happiness. But nothing ever took an ounce of pain away from me and in fact it only made me feel worse. I'd put all my hope in what I would do at the time and tell myself this was going to be the thing that heals me. That truly makes me happy. But I never found that. Everything I always found faded away usually in a matter of weeks. Until one day when Jesus Christ radically crashed into my life and in one instant took every ounce of pain that had ever been stored away right out of me. From that moment on I decided to live for the only thing that ever healed me, the only thing that ever made me happy on the inside. He loved me when I didn't even love myself. This is a short video of one of my fruitless searches. "

Hope you all have a GREAT Tuesday! : )
And stay tuned for my next post, in which I will reveal what I ended up doing with my first experience with an eggplant ...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hangin' Out With My Best Friend, Eggplant Question

How was your weekend?

Mine has been good, and as you can tell ... I haven't been on the blog world much in the last day and a half. But I'm here now : )

Last night my best friend and I hung out and had a lot of fun! (That's my husband;)

We went to a concert and relaxed while drinking some tea, then we went to the grocery store and got some food, came home cooked dinner, and watched a movie. We cooked dinner together, but he pretty much mostly did it. I stood around and did miscellaneous things and took pictures such as this:
And this:I love my husband. As I was getting ready to go for the night I was upstairs in the bathroom doing my hair, makeup, etc and I couldn't help but laugh and smile because I can hear my husband downstairs blaring Johnny Cash and singing along at the top of his lungs. Haha ... (he loves Johnny Cash, btw).

Anyways, back to dinner ... Chopped turkey breast cooked with sesame oil, tomatoes, avocado, zucchini, chick peas, mushrooms and onions ...
... with Ezekiel fettuccine. Unfortunately I didn't take a completed picture but it was very good!

And for breakfast this morning ... a half a cup of original Ezekiel cereal with half an apple, packet of Truvia, almond milk, and some allspice. Typically I use cinnamon but I was out so I improvised with allspice and it was a nice little change. I'm finding I love this combo with apples rather than frozen berries a lot, too. Mmm! Here's pre-almond milk ... I ate it with a half of a kiwi because I just bought some and couldn't resist.We just got back from going to Fleek's Market and getting a bunch of yummy produce that I'm excited to eat! A couple pieces of produce to note that I haven't gotten in awhile are ... eggplant, squash, and a cabbage. I LOVE produce!!

Anyone have any good ideas of what I should do with my eggplant? I've thought of making stuffed eggplants or something like that but haven't decided yet, so if you have any really good recipes/ideas I'm all ears : )

Hope your weekend has gone well!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


We've made it to Friday! : )

I must say, I really love Fridays ... definitely one of my favorite days of the week.

So as you can tell, I've changed up the blog layout a bit and am now officially a foodbuzz featured publisher ... woo hoo!

Now for a few eats. I've officially tried three different kinds of Ezekiel cereal now; Golden Flax, Cinnamon Raisin, and now Original. While I'm currently on an original box, I'd say right now I'm leaning towards Cinnamon Raisin being my favorite. Anyone else an Ezekiel cereal fan?? Dinner last night was chicken, veggies and some quinoa. Though you can't see it in this picture, my husband made the best quinoa ever (so far anyways;). I'm not even sure what all he did to it, but I know it involved olive oil. For the chicken I tried something a little different than I've done before because it sounded good, and was very simple ... first I sprinkled chili powder on them, then a little bit of low carb Heiz ketchup, some Mrs. Dash's garlic & herb seasoning, and other dried herb mix that's called "Spice It! Pizza Seasoning" that has dried oregano, garlic, crushed red pepper, and other spices in it, and I topped them off with some chopped onions. The result = delicious!

Finally, I was tagged by one of my awesome & lovely favorite blogger friends (it's true, she is that awesome and lovely;), Marian at Marian' eats, tagged with in the purse game and here are the rules:

1) Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. No, you cannot go up to your closet and pull out that cute little purse you used back before you had kids. I want to know what you carried today or the last time you left the house. No cheating!

2) I want to know how much it cost :) And this is not to judge. This is for entertainment purposes only. So spill it. And if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.

3) Tag some chicks. And link back to this post so people know why the heck you're showing everyone your bag.I don't know how much this bag cost because it was a gift for Christmas from my mom and dad : ) It came from the awesome store my cousin, Ericka owns in Sioux City, Iowa called Close to Home (if you leave near there, you MUST check it out!)

Now for the contents:Lotion, keys, gun, pens, finger nail clippers, little thing with some makeup in it that I never actually seem to use, my mini wallet with all the "important" stuff in it, the bigger, older wallet with misc. items in it, my planner, my work badge, most importantly what I use ALL the time, my Burt's Bee's chap stick.

Now here's the honest truth about me ... my purse often becomes laden with junk, trash, and receipts and here is pile I threw away :sPretty bad, huh? lol. So, thanks, Marian, for tagging me and making me clean out my purse : ) I tag whoever wants to play (you should try, it was fun!) ... and holler at me if you do!!

After work today, Erik and I are headed to Great Wolf Lodge for our leader's retreat and then Saturday afternoon we're going to do some Whole Foods shopping while we're there and will return tomorrow evening.

Have a GREAT Friday, friends : )

Working Eats

Yay for Thursday!

It was extra hard to get up this morning and I don't know about you, but it definitely feels like it should be more like Friday!

Here's some eats from yesterday, not too exciting because I was at work forever. Morning snack = apple and some almonds. Lunch = spinach leaf salad with chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, some brussels, almond cheese, onions, Ezekiel penne pasta, garlic and herb seasoning and red wine vinaigrette with an orange. I got to eat lunch with my friend, Danelle yesterday ... (hi, Danelle!). I only have a 30 minute lunch break so she met me at work and we ate in her car together : ) Afternoon snack = carrots, sliced zucchini and hummus And since I had youth group tonight and didn't know how late I'd end up saying at work, I packed dinner, too. I ended up going home about an hour before I needed to go to youth group, but I ate this (plus more) anyways. A sammy on Ezekiel bread with chopped chicken breast, zucchini, tomatoes, almond cheese, onions, a little bit of hummus and some honey mustard along with some veggies.

We're leaving tomorrow afternoon to go to an adult leader retreat at the Great Wolf Lodge in KC with the youth group we help with this weekend, so that should be fun. What are your plans for the weekend?

(and have a GREAT Thursday ; )

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jerusalem Cafe

How did it become Wednesday already??

I don't know. But I won't complain.

First off, thanks everyone for all your nice comments about my bad night!! I almost didn't even say anything about it on my blog but figured, why not? And am so glad I did! I loved all the encouraging words and reassurance that I'm not the only one!! : )

Here's a random me pretending to have muscles, lol.
Okay, enough of that.

As promised, I have one more restaurant review from our Valentine's weekend. And that restaurant is .... Jerusalem Cafe in KC. I'm sure you can guess what kind of food they have by the name. We first started off with some hummus. (Very good!!)Next, came our side salads and I decided to have a green tea (tasted a bit funny, but I'm thinking it may have been the sweetener I put in that I hadn't ever used before). The salad was delicious ... I love feta!! Now by all logical means I should have stopped there. I was satisfied, and everything had tasted GREAT. But I did not. Ha, the main course was a chicken gyro with rice. (sorry about the bad picture!)

All in all, as evident by how much I ate (I almost ate every single bite on that plate!), Jerusalem Cafe was very tasty in my opinion and definitely worth the visit.

And I just may have eaten more than my husband. He ate more hummus than me but I ate more of the main dish than he did. Ha, I sure went at it! But it's fun to do that once in awhile ; ) And now it's that time again to get ready for work. I may be there quite awhile today because our department is behind (I'll be sure to bring plenty of food;)

Have a great day, everyone!! : )

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