Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grilled Chicken Pizza

Grill the chicken. I sprinkled it with Mrs. Dash's Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning Blend.

Make the dough. Use any recipe--I used this one.

I then divided it into six equal balls so that we could each have our own pie. (For future reference--I wasn't thinking about just how big that would be. That is like 1/6th of a loaf of bread. Probably too big of a serving size, but yummy all the same!)

Make the sauce. My sauce is simple and healthy--mix tomato sauce, green puree, garlic (fresh! If you don't already have one, go buy yourself a garlic press and start using the real stuff, people! The health benefits greatly increase when the garlic is freshly pressed.), oregano flakes and basil fresh from my garden.

Gather your toppings.

Flatten dough and brush with olive oil (I mixed this with the Mrs. Dash seasoning as well.)

Grill on both sides.

Prepare to top.

Cover with toppings and finish cooking (until cheese melts.)

Topped mine with a bit of fresh chopped baby spinach.

Enjoy! I know we did! Thanks, Kayla!

Onward and Upward

Well, not much I can do about the weight I've gained, except lose it. I'm still highly disturbed (and depressed), but determined. Here is my current game plan:
-Use this blog to hold myself accountable for every morsel of food I put into my mouth. Maybe I've been eating more than I realize. Even healthy foods have calories, after all.
-No more nightly snack. I'm cutting down to five meals a day. NO FOOD AFTER DINNER.
-A lot of teeth brushing. Not only to help my dental hygiene--I'm a lot less likely to do mindless eating when I have clean teeth.
-Come up with a more elaborate work out plan that includes more variety--especially in terms of cardio. I really need to mix it up a bit. I plan on working on that in the next few days and I will post it.
-Try to quit getting sick...wish me luck.
-Stop getting older. :)

In the spirit of my new found determination, here is my menu for today:

Breakfast: one blueberry pancake with a tiny drizzle of syrup and some scrambled eggs (we were at a camp-out where breakfast was provided. In retrospect, I probably should have just brought my own food. That is definitely a topic I want to come back to!)

Snack: Yogurt bowl. I have been obsessed with these things lately! It's blueberry Greek yogurt mixed with about 10 chopped almonds and a handful of Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal. YUMMY!!

Lunch: Berry protein shake. I used only a half scoop of protein powder to reduce the calories.

Snack: Chocolate Peanut Butter protein shake. Same about the protein powder.

Dinner: Grilled Chicken Pizza. My friend told me how to grill my pizza, so I decided to try a grilled chicken one. I'll post the "how to" next.

Today's workout was not quite as intense as I would have liked. We got home this morning exhausted from camping (which, when done with our kids, means very little sleeping.) I spent the whole day cleaning and getting the house ready for all the guests I will be having this week. Then tonight I helped Ryan lay sod in the back yard. So that is going to have to count for my cardio. I also went down to our gym and got a good lower body workout from 9 pm to 10pm. You do what you have to do.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Frustration and attempting acceptance

I hate going to the doctor for a multitude of reasons but one obvious one is their obsession with my weight. I mean, seriously, I could go into the doctor for a hangnail and they would still insist on weighing me. WHY? Why is it any of their business what I weigh?!

I went to the doctor today and gasped audibly when she moved that little thingy on the scale. I don't own a scale. I have found it very emotionally freeing to not know what I weigh. I don't want to know. And today I was plunged into the depths of a major depression when I saw those three little numbers. There is a good reason to not own a scale. Scale = Suicide Watch for Lindsay

The cold hard facts are I have gained weight. I knew my clothes weren't fitting like they used to. The frustrating thing is I have NO IDEA WHY. I work out consistently, twice a day. I eat right. I am very active.

I am trying hard to be accepting of the fact that I am healthy and that is all that matters. But WHY?! My only thought is that as I get older, my metabolism is naturally slowing so I need to up my intensity. Which believe me, after today's near heart attack at the doctor's office, I will have no problem doing.

By the way, sorry I haven't posted in a while--I have been sick all week. And now I'm depressed. :(

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nature's Bounty

Last week we had another easy meal of Beef Subs with one exciting addition:

Our first homegrown tomato of the year (that a bird didn't get to first.)

On Friday morning I made Cream of Wheat for breakfast. I added vanilla protein powder, Splenda, cinnamon and almond extract, along with some chopped almonds for the top. Yummy!!

Yesterday morning the kids and I finished up our weekly grocery shopping at the local farmer's market. We came back with quite the feast of yummy treats! Isaac asked if we could go every week. I wish that was a possibility, but unfortunately it is just too expensive! I like to go occasionally and I love the idea of supporting local farmers, but my budget doesn't allow it on a weekly basis. Half of the problem is my inability to take a free sample and then not buy it. I'm fine with the samples at Sam's but for some reason I feel obligated to buy at the farmer's market. Hence the jars of whipped cinnamon honey, homemade peanut butter and peach salsa we ended up with! Oh well. Check out our loot!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It actually happened...

Friday morning I woke up feeling refreshed and awake. The morning air was crisp and cool--not too hot, not too cold. Just a bit breezy. Ryan wasn't working and I didn't feel the pressure of getting four kids ready and out the door on my own. I also knew I would be spending a large part of the day in a public setting dressed only in a swimsuit, so I was highly motivated.

In other words the stars and planets were in perfect alignment and I went running.

Still not my favorite past-time, but I did enjoy myself. I'm not a big fan of running uphill or against the wind, though. Hopefully I burnt a lot of calories and extended my life span a least a year or two. :) (No comments on my rockin' farmer's tan, please.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Muffins

These are adapted from a Weight Watchers Recipe. I think they are pretty tasty. I added a small glob of almond butter to the middle of each one to add an element of surprise (and protein) to breakfast!

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Splenda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flaxseed
2 TBSP chia seeds
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sweet potato puree

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin. Combine dry ingredients. Add wet. Stir together until combined. Spoon the batter into muffin tin. Bake about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes; remove from pan.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What a ride!

This morning I decided to take Lincoln for a bike ride. He loves it. It burns calories for me and it models good, healthy behavior to him. I asked my friend Amy for some bike trail suggestions.

Never take advice about a potential bike trail from someone who has only walked that trail. There is a big difference.

After I made it up the first massive hill, I was really wishing for my own "Mike."

We got caught in the neighborhood sprinklers four times. Then we got stuck in the mud and I had to push the bike out. The funny thing about having mud on your bike tires is that the faster you ride, the more the mud flies off your tires and all over you. It was hitting me in the face. It was all over my legs.

Forty five minutes later we made it home. We were hot, sweaty and covered in mud, but we had a blast! However, next time I might just scout out my own bike trail...

Just teasing, Amy!

One thing it got me thinking about--the importance of cross-training! I do cardio every single day and that hill still had me winded. I really need to mix it up more often!

The Balancing Act

Since the kids started back to school a few weeks ago, we have been trying to get used to a new schedule. For those of you who don't know me, this is our first year of having the three oldest in school all day (the girls did "half-day" kindergarten last year.) The school schedule also changed this year, so now their school day starts later and ends later. I am finding it more and more difficult as the weeks go by to get everything done the way I want it to be. By the time they get home from school and get an after school snack, it is 4:00 and time to start on homework. Doing homework with all of the kids makes me want to gouge out my own eyes with a sharp stick, and by the time we are done with that torture, it is time for dinner. But wait, I haven't made it yet because I have been explaining the concept of counting by fives and tally marks to a six year old for the past 45 minutes.

Needless to say, dinners lately have all been thrown together and EASY. It is not the way I like to cook. I actually really LIKE to cook, but I just have not had time!! Sometimes I put dinner together in the mornings, but I don't always get a chance to do that. Where is the balance? I have realized I just have to prioritize. I always work out. That is up there on the list. I clean the house. I try to do engaging, entertaining things with the one kid I still have at home. I do laundry. I sweep. Forty times a day. I plan. I shop. I try. There are just not enough hours in the day. Lately I have been going non-stop from 5:30 am when I get up to 10:00 pm when I fall into bed. And it's still not enough!!!

On that note, here are some of the dinners we have been having lately:

Tonight we had one of my brother's all time favorites when we were growing up: Toasted Tuna and Cheese. (He also really loved Ramen Noodles, but you can bet you aren't ever going to be seeing those on this blog!)

Put tuna on a toasted English Muffin. Layer a slice of tomato (if desired) and reduced fat cheese and broil until cheese is melted. See what I mean? Easy.

Last night we had Turkey Meatloaf and potatoes. I didn't love the recipe I used--I'll go back to my old stand-by next time. No picture. Oops.

These are Ryan's Black Jack Burritos--whole wheat tortillas filled with black beans, brown rice, cilantro, reduced fat cheese and fat free sour cream, grilled in a jalapeno lime vinagrette, then smothered with my homemade guacamole. YUMMY!

Pink Protein Power Pancakes

This morning Isaac asked if next time we could make the pancakes a different color. I guess it all depends on what purees I have available. Chloe is requesting purple--maybe I'll experiment with blue or blackberries. I feel like a Native American or something--using my all-natural dyes. Hee, hee.

This is a recipe adapted from Eating for Life. They provide a complete meal in themselves (in terms of protein and carbs.) Isaac gave them 2 thumbs up, the girls were not big fans. Lincoln ate them. I tasted them and they are bit different--a little sour maybe? But still good. With syrup. (I like SWEET.)

Pink Protein Pancakes
1 cup uncooked whole grain oats (non-instant)
6 egg whites
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 TBSP Splenda
1/4 cup beet puree (or puree of your choice)
2 TBSP flaxseed
1 TBSP chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto hot skillet. Cook until bubbly, then flip. Serve with light or sugar-free syrup.

*I tripled this recipe for my kids--although I could have gotten away with just doubling it. Also, I made the batter last night and refrigerated it. This morning it was really, really thick so I added some milk to thin it out. I think the beet flavor is a bit stronger than some of the other purees, so don't double or triple it. And you do need syrup. Trust me on this one.

And I tried a different brand of Greek yogurt this morning. I thought it tasted like vomit. But that is just me. Ryan likes it. I'm going to stick with the other kind for me at least.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sorry for not posting that bread recipe, guys. Man, the fall-out from this... :)

It's just that it is the same recipe I use over and over. I used to make this divine whole wheat bread that tastes incredible, but since I have come upon this new bread recipe that is so much faster and easier and has no fat, it is all I ever do. I've referenced it quite a few times in other posts, but I will go ahead and post it again for you all.


1 1/2 cups warm water
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP yeast

Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then add:
3 1/2 cups flour (part whole wheat if you have it)
1 tsp. salt

I also add some sort of veggie puree (last night it was pumpkin), chia seeds and flaxseed and enough flour to make it the right consistency.

Mix until smooth, then let raise for 10 minutes. At this point you can make it into breadsticks, pizza dough, rolls, a loaf of bread, or a loaf of cinnamon bread. (To make the cinnamon bread, simply roll it out into a rectangle and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then roll is up as if you were going to make cinnamon rolls. Fold it over on top of itself and put into a bread pan.) After forming whatever it is you are making, let it rise again (20-30 minutes) if you wish, then bake at 400 degrees or until golden brown.



Without knowing it, this morning for breakfast my kids had pumpkin, spinach, zucchini, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, bananas,chia seeds and flaxseed. And they loved it all.

I made the cinnamon swirl bread last night--no fat, a tiny bit of sugar and added pumpkin, chia seeds and flaxseed. The eggs had green puree and the smoothie had lots of fruit and fresh baby spinach.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Run, Forrest, Run!

I don't really like running that much. I like the idea of it. I would love to be able to say I've run a marathon. I just don't like running. My sister wants me to run this race with her and my friend and I are planning on doing this one next year with our husbands (wild, huh?)

Can you imagine us doing this...
or this?!

Normally I only really get the urge to run when I am angry or I feel fat. But not when it is too hot, or too cold or too sunny or too dark. You get the picture. I'm just not a runner.

But listen to these stats I just came across! "A recent study has found that running...promotes a long, independent life. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine followed a group of runners for 21 years and found that elderly runners put off age-related disabilities for 16 years beyond their non-running counterparts." ("The Anti-Aging Diet", Good Housekeeping, 125-131,March 2009)

So even though I'm not fond of running, I think I need to add it into my routine. Because I'd much rather run now than be falling apart before I have to!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Having three kids in school all day has presented some interesting challenges in terms of food. Like we are going through juice boxes at an incredible rate! I always pack their lunches. I always have. From what I have seen and read about most school lunch programs, sending a home lunch is the only option. I don't get how the government claims to be so concerned with the childhood obesity epidemic but then allows the schools to feed them crap and cut physical activity to a bare minimum. No wonder they are all fat! Okay, off my soapbox...

I want to give my kids a variety healthy things to eat, but I need some semblance of convenience as well. On Friday I picked up a box of "Oatmeal-to-go Bars" and was going to give them a try. They sound healthy, right?

The second ingredient, right after oatmeal, was high fructose corn syrup. Might as well just give the kids a Snickers bar. So back on the shelf they went and I got these Clif Kids Z Bars instead. They are all organic, whole grain and sweetened with things like cane juice. Of course they are twice as expensive as the Oatmeal-to-go bars. My mantra is "Pay now for good food or pay later for health care."

We have also recently made the switch to organic milk. I've heard a lot about the hormones they put into milk (or do they put them into the cows?) and how they are linked to early onset puberty and other issues. With twin girls in the family I would like to put off puberty and the ensuing raging hormones and violent mood swings as long as possible. :) AND it tastes a lot better! The kids now spend all day begging me to drink more milk and Chloe said while drinking it, "I like milk when it comes from real cows!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So this morning for breakfast I tried the greek yogurt...

I added some blueberries and a bit of organic granola (store-bought, mine is long gone).It was yummy!!! I'm sold! It is definitely not sweet and the texture is different than regular yogurt, but I liked the texture better. And it has 13 grams of protein!!!!!!

That's about as much as one of these snack:
I'm working today, so this is the lunch I am bringing:

A turkey sandwich with reduced fat colby-jack, lettuce, spinach, tomato, purple onion and a touch of lite ranch instead of mayo. Oh, and plenty of watermelon, of course!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Feature!

At my beloved readers' request...I will start posting my monthly meal plans on the left sidebar of the blog, right under my personal intro. If you see something on there that intrigues you and you want the recipe, let me know and I will make sure and post it. I put the last two weeks of July up there for your viewing pleasure! Breakfast is listed first, followed by dinner (in case that wasn't obvious.)

Hot, hot, hot!!!

We are going through some sort of a heat wave here lately, and the heat just zaps my appetite. All I have wanted to eat is watermelon and lemonade. My family doesn't share my sentiment, though, so I have still been making them food. The other night I made them modified tuna casserole. This is an easy classic--but also really easy to make even healthier.

Tuna Casserole
2 cans tuna (packed in water)
1 pkg. whole wheat egg noodles
1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can skim milk
1/2 cup green puree
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup flaxseed
2 TBSP chia seeds

Cook noodles. Mix everything together. Spread into sprayed 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes. Voila!

This morning we had Swedish pancakes again, but this time I used beet puree (instead of sweet potato) to make them pink. The girls were just delighted and the boys didn't complain too much. Beets are good for you because (according to Jessica):
-They have 2 different antioxidants that help protect healthy cells against damage.
-They have folic acid which keeps cells growing and functioning.
-They are good for heart health and for regulating blood pressure because they are a source of potassium. (Doesn't potassium also help with belly bloat? All the better, I say!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Next you will be calling me a tree-hugger

That's right folks, I'm going all granola on you.

I made granola for breakfast this morning. Danger!! As far as granola goes, it isn't half bad--no added sugar, heart-healthy nuts and very little oil. The problem is not the granola, it's me. I can't stop eating it.

This morning for breakfast I had granola with milk. For my morning snack I had granola with yogurt. Lunch has been granola and watermelon (I'll have a light string cheese, too, so at least I get some protein in today.) It tastes REALLY good sprinkled on top of fat free chocolate frozen yogurt. I know that from previous experience...

Here's the recipe. Don't say I didn't warn you!!

3 TBSP canola oil
1 cup honey
2 TBSP vanilla
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 TBSP orange zest
1 cup coconut
2 TBSP cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Spread in a thin layer over a greased jelly roll pan. Bake 10 minutes, then stir the mixture and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool. Add raisins if desired.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shopping List

I got a comment/question from someone I don't know! How exciting! People are actually reading!

Rachel wrote: "What does your shopping list look like? I find that I am at the store all the time to get an ingredient here and there. Do you have a master list? "

Here you go, Rachel:

I plan out my meals a month at a time (breakfasts and dinners, although I need to start doing after-school snacks, too.) Each week I sit down with all my recipe books and plans and make a big list. My list is actually printed up in the order of the aisles in the store I go to (usually Super Wal-mart, Sam's and Sprouts.) So I make my list according to what I will be making that week. Then, as I cook throughout the week and realize I need something I add it to the list, which is hanging on a magnet board right in the kitchen. My husband knows that he needs to write anything on the list that he uses up or needs as well, because if it isn't on the list, I don't buy it. And I only go grocery shopping ONCE a week. If we run out of something, I just substitute or make something else. I also tend to buy extra food (as in food storage...a friend once told me my pantry looked like Costco) so that there is always something available to eat if things don't go according to plan. I always have an abundance of staples such as flour, sugar, oatmeal and applesauce as well as protein powder so I never run out.

Here is the list hanging right there under the monthly meal plans for July.

There are things I buy every week regardless of what we are planning for meals. Protein bars, light string cheese, yogurts, weight loss shakes, eggs, peanut butter, chicken breasts, whole wheat bread etc. That way Ryan and I are always prepared for the week.

Hope that all makes sense. And thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

These muffin tops I can handle!

If you have to have a muffin top, these applesauce muffins are the best kind to have! (NOT the kind pictured above!!!) This recipe is adapted from one of Mrs. Seinfeld's in Deceptively Delicious. Even hers need some tweaking in my book! They are topped with a delicious streusel topping that has just a touch of butter.

Applesauce Muffins
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBSP butter, melted

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 TBSP chia seeds
1 1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup Splenda
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. To make topping, stir together oats, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in butter. To make batter, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and chia seeds. Add applesauce, milk, puree, Splenda and egg white with a wooden spoon. Divide batter evenly among the muffin tins and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake until the topping is lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and serve warm or cool.

The kids enjoyed them with yogurt and walnuts.