Monthly Archives: June 2013

Eat to Live

Eating healthy is always a nice idea. I love it, I try to do it, but sometimes it seems you have mill your own grains and search the supermarket aisles for elusive “super foods” to make these healthy recipes. I have a busy life, and even when I don’t sometimes I’m downright lazy and cooking ‘right’ falls in priority. However, a few weeks ago when I stepped on the scale and found I was the heaviest I have ever been, I decided that things needed to change. I have always been in shape but due to un-diagnosed back spasms that started almost three years ago, exercise (in the normal sense) has not been an option for me.

I decided that instead of using my neck and back pain as an excuse,  I needed to start finding the things I CAN do. If you focus on what you can’t, you never will. If you focus on what you can, you always will. I just made that up, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

One of the things I CAN do, is make better choices in what I eat. I can be aware of how much I snack, what I snack on, and make slight changes that can help me. Because I can’t go do a hard-core session at the gym to work off those snacky calories, I have to pay a lot of attention to what I eat. (I also have to find physical activity I can do, but more on that later, this post is about FOOD!).

I figure most of us are looking for recipes that don’t have us growing our own corn in the backyard and eating hemp. But we still want meals that are packed with nutrition…oh yeah and that TASTE good too. Lets get real here, if it doesn’t taste good it isn’t going to stand the test of time. This is a lifestyle change we’re after here, not a fad.

So, as I go through this quest I want to share the recipes and ideas that work for me, in hopes that wherever you are at on your journey you can at least have access to some genuinely yummy healthy meals. Here we go…

Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad

– This recipe from Foodbabe.com inspired me to try kale. This leafy green is packed full of minerals and vitamins that help us get the most energy into our bodies. I made this with just the dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, & honey) tossed in a handful of chopped raisins and we were good to go. It’s light, refreshing, sweet, and oh so healthy! (I bought chopped Kale at Wal-Mart and just gave it a quick dice, seriously like 5 mins tops for the whole salad).

Chili-Lime Kabobs

— From Allrecipes.com (my fave!!) comes this easy kabob recipe. I marinate the chicken, get cherry tomatoes, chop up red bell pepper and red onion and we’re good to go. These cook quickly on the grill. Serve with cous cous and the kale salad from above and boom, delectable healthy meal!

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burgers

— I know what you’re thinking, “My husband will NEVER eat Turkey burgers!” well my hubby is the same, however I didn’t tell him what these were and when he ate it he said “I don’t know what kind of meat this is….but it’s good.” So, give it a whirl!

SMOOTHIES

I love smoothies! I especially love having a stick blender so I can make it in the cup and go! My basic recipe is this:

1 Banana

1 Handful blueberries (fresh or frozen)

2 Strawberries

1 packet milled flax seed (they say it’s good for me and I don’t notice it so…yay!)

1.5 cup milk or rice milk

Blend and enjoy!

You can add spinach, or kale, or really anything you like. The base is the banana and it’s a wonderful building block for whatever flavors float your boat.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. I will continue to post as I find delicious and healthy meals. Here’s to food, here’s to LIFE!

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Texas Traits

Texas grows on you. I must admit I don’t live in the most beautiful area of Texas, but it has its hidden charms. Namely, the people. I have never smiled at so many people, said hello to so many strangers, and felt so free to ask for help in a grocery store. In California, with some exceptions, I learned to avoid eye contact because I don’t know what invitation I might have just given with my smile. Or, and this really happened, I might “offend” someone by being too friendly…seriously? 

I have always been a friendly, albeit shy, person. But I had no idea how guarded I was until I moved out of California. Texans might just take the cake for friendliness and I find myself at an awkward loss wondering when I should make eye contact and when it’s okay to walk past without acknowledgement. 

I work at a small Christian University and the friendliness is exponential here. When I first started working I would purposely take the longer route to the mail simply to walk on a wider path so I wouldn’t be caught in the awkward “Do I smile now…no NOW!” dilemma. And I hate to admit it, but I appreciate the Freshmen who are just as awkward as I am and don’t know if they should smile at me or not. Kindred spirits. 

I’m not a Texan, but I like them. There is a certain passionate loyalty to their wide open grass plains, mesquite trees, and heat that is to be admired. Their great-grandfathers fought hard for the land and they passionately protect it. I am more of a mountain and ocean girl with lots of green to greet me, but the most beautiful thing about Texas — thunderstorms. I have never seen such impressive clouds, heard such deafening thunder, or seen such a display of fireworks in they sky. It is stunning. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. 

Texas has been good to us so far, and I’m sure it will continue to be. It may not have been my first choice of location, but if I’ve learned one thing through my travels it’s that there is something beautiful and special about every place you go. To be happy in the desert you must find the flowers. 

The thunderstorms and, most importantly, the people are my Texas flowers. Stunning.  

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