Blog Archives

Getting a Clue?

Now and then, it seems like some restaurants are getting a clue…  perhaps they’re actually listening to some of what is being said.

I know I hear more people paying attention to what they’re ordering, or being utterly shocked at how many calories are in (what they THOUGHT) was a “healthy salad”…

But oh my… we still have a LONG way to go to continue being educated.  We certainly can’t let the restaurants do the math, and assume they have our best interests at heart.  No, we have to consider what their objective is – for us to buy whatever it is they sell.  It’s not ultimately for us to be healthy.

But I’ll give them credit where it’s due, they’re at least TRYING.

One of our kid’s favorite places to eat when we’re traveling (and if they’re in the area), is Culver’s.  “Home of the Butterburgers”….  You can imagine how this sits with me.  I used to LOVE their Wisconsin patty melts.  (When I ate rye bread, slathered in butter… swiss cheese all melty and stuff.)  Some days I even ordered a “double”… 616 calories and 35 g. carbs.  Ouch on the calories especially.  Now I just get a double butter burger with lettuce and mustard only – and eat it (without the bun of course).  Sometimes I have a salad with it – no cheese, croutons or dressing of course…  it fits the bill for A LOT fewer calories and carbs.  Not the best choice – but much better for me.

I was a little surprised that with their “Mindful Choices” options, they failed to offer something less of a 4″ white-bread bun!  That’s 160 calories RIGHT THERE of no nutrition… Remember: Think! WHY am I eating this?  What’s the point?

Culver's "Mindful Choices" selections

Online Culver’s even has a “Nutritional Meal Builder” to give you the 4-1-1 on what you’re going to stuff on in, and pray it processes.  They also have an allergen “grid” for their products.  Very nice.  I think while their product offering is mostly of the “fast food” sort – they are trying to make better options available for their customers.  That’s more that I can say for a lot of other companies!  Just be more aware of what you’re eating.  Don’t just 500 calories is what YOU should be eating at a meal just because that is their smallest offering.  Most people need LESS than that.

“Share in suffering as  a good soldier of Christ Jesus.   No soldier  gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”  2 Timothy 2:3-4

 

Worth It or NOT?

Whoa.... crazy image of what these are worth in "workout" calories.

My friend Kori shared this picture image with me yesterday. (Thanks Kori!) It’s a great picture of what we should have in our minds as we consider our non-necessity foods…

Yes, I know… donuts are NOT a necessity.  Who knew?

I looked at a few of those and thought – NO WAY is that worth it.  Now… there are plenty of things out there that are worth it – just make sure it IS worth it to you.

Just a shout out to Kori – who has been on an “Insanity” challenge.  Way to go!  For those of you who have done some of the Insanity workouts, they’re not for the faint of heart.  Kori was an encourager to me years ago to try out Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred.  I never did it as a 30 day workout challenge – but I kept improving, and working at it.

I still go back to Jillian now and then for a quick workout that works – but God has allowed me to be able to tackle much longer, and more difficult workouts…  and for that, I’m thankful.

What workouts are you enjoying right now?

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

Psalm 86:5

Discovering Your Health Monster

With all of the hub-bub about Paula Dean’s hidden Type II diabetes announcement… I thought I’d say, we need not be in fear of desserts and other things that seem to stress people out.  Is her announcement REALLY any surprise?  No.  Common sense can tell you if you ate what she cooks 365 days a year … you’re going to feel and look like a tank.  That said, diet isn’t the only thing going on with diabetes… but eating right is 80% of the equation in losing excess weight, so it’s important to know how to eat right.

The keys are self-control {a fruit of the Spirit}, and moderation.  IF you lack self-control, you’re probably going to REALLY lack moderation ability…  and that’s where you’re going to need the Holy Spirit.  That said, you will find strength in finding new ways to enjoy LESS the things you love.  Don’t do it with the mindset that you’re depriving yourself.  Remember that you’re filling your mind with Truth, and education so that you’ll WANT to make choices that help you to feel well and function at your best for His glory.  Do NOT live in fear over food.  Make better choices.

How about a healthified monster cookie recipe?  YUM!  These are some of our favorites:

Some of the softest, yummy cookies!

HEALTHIER MONSTER COOKIES 

1 1/4 cups organic sucanot

2/3 cup light agave

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter or 1 cup natural applesauce

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking soda

4 cups of oatmeal (or often I use 3 cups, and one cup of whole wheat/white flour so they have a little rise)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

1/2 cup dark choc. M & Ms

** any other extra you might like to add… white chocolate chips or health toffee bits… 🙂 🙂  I said healthier.  NOT perfect.

 

Preheat over to 350 degrees

In large bowl beat together butter/applesauce, peanut butter, sucanot, agave, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine well, then add in oatmeal/flour as directed.   Lastly, add in chocolates, and the goodies.  Place heaping teaspoon blobs onto pan and heat for 10-12 minutes.

 

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Cor. 10:13

Thin Mint Victory!

What is YOUR favorite girl scout cookie?

Oh goodness.  They’ve done it again!

Those tricky little girl scouts!

In my prime, I could knock off a sleeve of Girl Scout cookie “Thin Mints” in a matter of minutes.  NICE. COLD. Glass of milk, and a SLEEVE of cookies.  You betcha.

That was when I was pumping about 60 oz. of breast milk a day, and nursing a 3 month old.  I’m pretty sure her milk tasted of Thin Mints.  Poor child.

But… I justified it – as… I “needed” extra calories.  Never mind the quality of the calories – right?

Well I don’t think we had purchased Girl Scout cookies in years.  I just didn’t even want to go there, knowing the temptation and my history.

Then… a few Sunday’s ago… our cute, little neighborhood girl jumped us as we unloaded our bus after church.  She was patiently waiting for us to return that day, and she was smart to observe our household *might* be her best customer on the block.

Our children were delighted when we purchased a load of 10 boxes.  Yes.  I said 10.

After all, I wanted to show the child loving kindness…  and again, I don’t remember the last time we had any Girl Scout cookies…  I figured we could always freeze some.

Hah.

My children had other plans.  I bought 3 boxes of Thin Mints, my favorite – [and unfortunately the favorite of SEVERAL of the children], Shortbread, Thank-yous, Lemonades, and a few others.

Really all I cared about were the Thin Mints.

Not sure what is "THIN" about the Thin Mints! But a serving is 4 cookies, vs. most of the cookies are 2!

They are actually one of the better choices at 4 cookies for 160 calories.  Definitely not something I want everyday – (nor can I stomach what I used to eat), but yummo.  Those girl scouts sure know how to make cookies.  It’s too bad all of the extra junk that is in them – including HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!

Maybe I am glad my kids ate some of them?  Out of 2.5 boxes gone, I think I’ve had 6 cookies in the past 2 weeks.  Not too shabby.

I won’t lie and say I didn’t want to eat more.  I did want to… but I’m God’s girl, and He kept me in check!  VICTORY!!!  Praise be to Him!

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1Corinthians 15:57

Flapjacks for You… Flapjacks for ME!

 

Our homemade pancakes cookin' up!

 

This new move by some restaurants to post their nutritional information is a great move in the right direction.  I’ve read reports that say people are eating 300-600 fewer calories when they’re eating out – AND paying attention to the information provided.  That will certainly add up over time – in your favor!

Personally I think it should be offered as a courtesy and then the restaurants might try a little harder to make things better for their consumers because I can almost guarantee some of those dishes wouldn’t sell NEARLY as well as they currently do, as people ignorantly gobble up endless calories and FAT.

When my husband was in Portland on business, he said that it was a state law that all of the menus had the information.  Which, while helpful… also made him feel a little ill about eating out so much.  For those of you who travel a lot for business or otherwise, I feel for you – it’s much more difficult to be creative meal after meal on the go.

One of the most difficult meals for him was breakfast.  He always used to enjoy pancakes on trips such as these… and those meals had 1000-1500 a pop.  Whoa.  Can you say almost a days worth of calories for someone like me?

When we first looked and curbing our intake to be inline with what our bodies were designed to handle, we were shocked at several of the breakfast restaurants information online – pancakes especially … because it almost didn’t seem to matter if you got “plain” pancakes, vs the wheat germ ones… the portions, calories and carbs were just TOO much for one person.  Maybe not a big deal once in a while (but you still are going to have to use or burn through those calories SOMETIME so why eat them all at once if they’re going to just turn into FAT?) but if you’re on a vacation, or a business trip… those are REALLY going to add up day after day.

(People WONDER why they gain 5-10 pounds on a trip like that?)  BINGO!

We’ve tried out some healthier pancake options at home… because we LIKE them, and we wanted to see what we could do to improve the option, vs doing away with pancakes altogether!  There are two great mixes we’ve used, and we also have a homemade recipe that was modified from a friend that I will soon share.  Both are much better options, and still enjoyed very much!  That’s the key… we don’t have to STOP eating EVERYTHING we enjoyed… we just need to cut it back, change it up… and make it BETTER for us and our families.

A couple of the mixes we enjoy! We have pancakes maybe 1-2 times a month.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36

Hanging By A String

Thankfully that “string” is tied TIGHTLY to God!

Ever feel at your wit’s end?  Maybe you’ve completely lost your mind with the schedule you’re trying to keep.

What’s the first thing you push aside?

Sleep? In an effort to get more done?

How about exercise… because you can just do that tomorrow – right?

Maybe you forego eating healthy, in an effort to just get through the day?

STOP.

Just for a minute, stop and think about all of the choices you’ve made so far today.

Maybe your day didn’t start out ideally.

When realized I had wiped bottoms 7 times before noon, the thought of hiding with a package of Oreos or donuts DID cross my mind.  Thankfully neither are in the house, and GOD has given me a spirit of strength – the desire to follow in His ways.  Not my own.

Maybe you’ve hit midday and you’re way off track.  HOP BACK ON!  It’s not too late!

Relax. Deep breath….  and drink another glass of water for HIM!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Don’t Be Fooled!

Today on Facebook, I caught an article by Fooducate (the helpful app for your smart phone).  They reported on their blog about the “Facts Up Front” plan, that is supposed to helpful to consumers on making better choices, when buying foods.

Facts Up Front is a nutrient-based labeling system that summarizes important  information from the Nutrition Facts Panel in a simple and easy-to-use format on the front of food and beverage packages.  Facts Up Front is a voluntary initiative aligned with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines and regulations.  If you’ve seen this at all on some packages – it looks like this:

Have you seen a nutrition key like these yet?

 

While it’s definitely a START…

BUT…without some other information, most people aren’t going to know if these numbers are too high, or if something is even good for you if they’re not educated.

Moral of the story?  If your health is important to YOU (because we know it’s important to HIM who created us!)  GET. EDUCATED. about what you’re putting in your body.

We know all ready by looking at a label like these example – 450 calories?  That’s a lot.  I’m hoping that’s a meal that includes all of the food groups…  Not knowing what this is, the sugars is high too (we shoot for under 10 grams).  While the fiber is great to know, without knowing the total carbs, you don’t know what the net carbs are?  See the holes in this idea?

When I see things like this – I think of how important it is to know all aspects of what you’re looking at:

Serving Size

Calories

Fat

Carbs

Fiber

Sugar

Sodium

….and then I think – what else am I going to be consuming WITH this – and how high is this meal total going to go??

Obviously, marketing gurus could use these “helper boxes” to their advantage, and it’s YOU and I that will pay, if we just pay attention to what they spoon feed us.   The fact that it’s voluntary and not being fully regulated, could pose a lot of problems as well.

I was reading this past week about the word “NATURAL” not being regulated…  while the word Organic is…  but even that isn’t always what we think.  When you see NATURAL on a product?  Aren’t you going to assume that it’s not containing additives?  Unfortunately…  it really doesn’t mean much at all.

Do you have any “surprises” you’ve unearthed lately that might help us all be more aware as we keep striving to be healthy for Him?  Please share!

“God did not keep His own Son for Himself but gave Him for all.  Then with His Son, will He not give us all things?” – Romans 8:32

Feeling Fruity?

We had some friends to dinner and they brought delicious peaches! Perfectly ripe and oh so yummy!

I’ll admit, I probably don’t eat enough fruit most days.

I try….

But I’m sort of picky and in a hurry… and …

Oh wait.

All excuses are equal.  Equally worthless.

But… I do eat a lot of vegetables… ???

Okay… so I don’t have a great reason WHY.  But, I know I’m eating more fruit, more frequently – and that is a great movement in the right direction.

When we are at home, we have yogurt for breakfast.  Every day.  I like having the same thing everyday.  I really do.

For lunch, if I remember… I have a half or smaller of a banana, or part of an apple, or a peach….

Sometimes we do fruit from the freezer section… you know the ones that people blend into smoothies?  We defrost it and eat it that way too…. mango, pineapple, peaches and mixed fruits.  This is a great option when other things are out of season.  (Who likes HARD cantaloupe or tasteless strawberries?  No thanks!)

(Remember:  A serving of fruit fits in your hand… so it doesn’t have to be a LOT.  I see people fill up on fruit in LARGE amounts, and assume if a little is good, a lot is better.  Not so.  Many fruits can be high in natural sugar, so consider how much and how often you’re eating which ones.)

Right now the peaches are awesome in Kansas and we had some excellent cantaloupe as well today!  Get fruity!

How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! — Psalm 119:103

Time To Be Sick?

Wow, school has started for us and activities and life are in full force!  BUT that doesn’t mean it’s time to let off of the gas of exercise and being healthy for HIM!

In fact, it’s probably MORE important to be making my health a priority…  so I don’t get SICK!

Speaking of which, for the most part, we’re a pretty healthy family.  Last year was like most, we got our flu shots, got the occasional cold…

and then my husband went on his weekend business trip, with little sleep and lots of work – and brought us back Influenza A.

Thanks honey.

I drink a little of this each day. Some people don't like the taste - but this is my favorite flavor - combined with some TRUE orange (natural water flavor)

First my 8-year-old got it, and then *I* got it, and by the next day… the rest of the kids had it too.

You know how kids bounce back relatively easily?  We adults…. not. so. much.  He was so sick for over a week.  It took me a few days to get coughed on, but eventually I got it too.

Thankfully I was able to drag myself to the Dr. and he was pro-IV fluids to get me rehydrated.  He said that while I wasn’t DEhydrated that would give me the boost I needed to get over it more quickly.

I’d say so!  A few hours in the hospital, and the next day…. I felt like new.  Which was a lot different from how my husband felt for a good week.  I give the IV fluids credit… but I also think being in shape, good rest, and being in good health also played a big part as well.

When I was pregnant with diabetes, I got every cold or flu bug the kids had – and several I’m sure I spread…  That’s really common with diabetes, and I can see why.  Your immunities are way down as your body is struggling to function!   Honestly for the past several years I had been the one to drop first – while my husband stayed strong.  Ironically, this past year has been my BEST year of health since college!  Praise God!

I know a lot of it has to do with eating right, being in shape AND… being properly hydrated…  So if you’re struggling with your health.  Take a look at what you’re feeding your body!!  Consider ways you can be healthy for Him!

* You’ve probably heard of Airborne drink tablets for keeping your immunities boosted.  You mix them with water, and drink up!  I tried that after my husband got sick with Influenza A.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  Someone then mentioned Emergen-C to me.  I figured I could try that…  Emergen-C works like Airborne BUT (in my opinion) is a lot easier to drink, especially in Tangerine or Super Orange flavoring!  I often split it into two drinks  (half a packet) per 32 oz, and then 2 of my True packets per 32oz.  YUM – for something different… Great after exercising!  It’s definitely cut down how long my colds have lasted!!

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–

all things have been created through Him and for Him.” – Colossians 1:16

Apple Pie – the Healthier Way

Some of the ingredients for the pie we make!

HEALTHIER APPLE PIE

Whole Wheat Pie Crust:

(double this for top and bottom of a regular pie, or lattice-work pie)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

-2/3 cup white whole wheat flour

-1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, finely ground

-2 tsp. agave

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

-2 TBS very cold water, or as needed

Combine flour, ground oats, agave, and salt in medium bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle with water; blend together with a fork until mixture holds together.  Shape dough into ball; place on lightly floured sheet of wax paper.  Top with additional piece of wax paper; roll out dough to 1/8- inch thickness.  Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough into 9-inch pie dish, slowly peel away wax paper.  Trim excess crust and turn edge under – crimp as desired.

Apple Pie:

-1/2 cup unsalted butter

-3 TBS whole wheat white flour

-1/4 cup water

-1/2 cup agave

-1/2 cup sucanat

-8 Granny Smith apples peeled and thinly sliced

Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour and form paste. Add water, agave and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.  Reduce temp and let simmer.

Fill pan with crust with sliced apples, mounded slightly.  Pour liquid over apples and top with crust.

Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven, then lower temp to 350 degrees.  Continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft, and crust is browned.

Enjoy!

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