Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monster Juice

In December hubs and I watched the movie "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" (you can watch this movie for free on Hulu).  A great movie about a man that was inflicted with a debilitating auto-immune disease causing him to take medications daily to control it.  He was also about 100 pounds overweight.  He decided to go on a 60 day juice fast to cleanse his body and try to get off his meds.  Long story short, 6 months after he did his juice fast, started eating a plant based diet and started exercising he was in great shape and OFF ALL MEDICATIONS.  Astounding!  Anyways, I wanted to start to incorporate some juicing into our diets (and my kids diets) to obtain more nutrition.  Did you know that one 16 oz freshly squeezed juice is like eating 5 pounds of produce?!?!? 

I have started juicing in my vitamix and straining the pulp through a nut milk bag.  It's working okay for me now.  I can definitely see the benefits of owning a true juicer for the convenience of extracting the juice and clean up so we will have to look into that in the future.  But every morning I have been making a green juice which I like to call "monster juice."  And guess what, my kids even drink it!!!  I do add a little splash of store bought organic apple juice to it for the kids, but I have slowly been adding less and less.  Today they even took a swig of it straight, so I guess they are adjusting to the taste.

Let me tell you, my friends, this stuff is soooo much better than a coffee in the morning.  Talk about an energy kick!!  I actually look forward to drinking my monster juice first thing and if I don't have time to make it can tell a difference in my energy level.  I've lost some weight which is probably a combo of completely changing our diets to cut out ALL processed foods (at least while at home) and working out regularly.  It's amazing!

There are many "green" juice recipes on the Internet.  Some have you make a smoothie of sorts where you don't strain the pulp which is fine, but I prefer to just drink the juice.  So here is my monster juice recipe that I incorporated from Joe's recipe and some others that I found.

2 stalks organic celery
1 organic apple (any variety-Take out the seeds!)
1 organic pear (or 2 apples if you don't have pears-Seeded)
1/4 piece of organic cucumber
2-3 leaves of organic romaine lettuce
Handful of organic kale
Handful of organic spinach
Small piece of fresh, organic ginger, peeled
Juice of 1/4 organic lemon
1 cup water

(Cut out one stalk of celery and a pc of fruit for a single serving)

Blend in your vitamix on HIGH and strain through a nut milk bag.  Enjoy and watch your energy soar!
Feel free to sub out other greens but make sure it's mostly comprised of veggies rather than fruits.  Spinach is one of those greens that doesn't give off a heavy "greens" taste like kale, so pile on the spinach.  I have used other greens like collard greens.  I also have heard parsley has AMAZING health benefits for you and that is good to add to your monster juice too.  The apple and pear are good fruits to add to "cut" the green taste. 

Stay tuned for more of my juice recipes which include carrots, oranges, pineapple and even beets!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workout Jams of 2012

So, I have been getting back into working out on a consistent basis.  Well, when I say consistent I mean "more than I have in the past 4 years."  And that's not really hard to do.  Trust me.  There hasn't been much consistency in work outs since circa 2006.  Geesh. 

Anyways, my iPhone has just about kept me going on those workout days getting me through some runs on the treadmill and torturous workouts on the elliptical.  Thank goodness for iTunes.  So here's a glimpse of what's playing these days.

Boom Boom Pow-Black Eyed Peas
I Gotta Feeling-Black Eyed Peas
Till the World Ends-Brittney Spears
Just the Way You Are-Bruno Mars
On the Floor-J Lo
Jenny from the Block-J Lo
Dynamite-Taio Cruz
Somebody to Love-Justin Beiber
Baby-Justin Beiber
Born this way-Gaga
You and I-Gaga
The Edge of Glory-Gaga
Bad Romance-Gaga
Gangsta's Paradise-Coolio
Harder to Breathe-Maroon 5
Independence Day-Martina McBride
Party in the USA-Miley Cyrus
Whataya Want from Me-Adam Lambert
Crazy in Love-Beyonce

Happy running! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Day I Was Born

My kids LOVE to hear the story of the day they were born.  Hubs tells them their stories often and since hubs was just recently here, they have been repeating it to anyone that will listen.  Madelyn sometimes tells her story a couple times a day.  Just out of the blue.  It's adorable and lucky for us I caught it on film. 

She was a little "camera shy" which prompted me to have to give her a little help with her story.  Normally she can tell the whole story without any help.

Here's Kaiden's version of his story:

Gosh those kids know how to melt my heart <3

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Better Egg McMuffin

In the past few years I have become obsessed passionate about healthy eating.  Cutting out processed foods, limiting our meat intake and eating mostly organic, whole grain foods.  Well this year I plan to keep it up only I have been turning it up a notch.  I have been making practically everything from scratch and been eating/making things with only whole grain and whole wheats and cutting out practically all the sugar by only sweetening things naturally.  I'll be honest, it has been hard and time consuming, but if you do as much research as I do about food, where it comes from, what is actually in it and how little our government is doing to protect us, you would be outraged!  I'm fuming as we speak...

I have been really enjoying this new blog that I found recently.  The family went 100 days with NO processed food.  Once the 100 days were completed they adopted this completely healthy lifestyle with no regrets!  She has some really great recipes (which my kids gobble up!) and information.  It's worth poking around a bit.

So I was out searching ways to make eating "real food" quicker and easier.  I found this recipe and decided to try it.  It turned out really good and super easy! 

Did you know that an Egg McMuffin has over 50 ingredients?  That's right!  Sound like it's healthy?  Not in my house!  So start by gathering all your whole grain, organic ingredients: English muffins, cheddar cheese, butter and eggs.
 Crack your eggs into a muffin tin and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes

 At the same time you can toast your muffins in the oven for about 10 minutes or so.

When the eggs and muffins are done, spread some butter on the muffins, top with shredded cheddar cheese and place an egg on top.  You will now want to "flash freeze" these puppies for about an hour.  If you don't, when you try and heat them up it makes the bread a little mushy from the moisture. 
After an hour, pull them out of the freezer and then place the muffin top on and wrap in tinfoil and freeze in a ziplock bag.  

The directions on the original recipe say that they can go freezer to plate in 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  I beg to differ.  Mine took more like 45-60 minutes.  So, my suggestion is to grab one out of the freezer the night before you plan to eat them and put it in the refrigerator to thaw.  Then bump up the temp to 375 and they will be ready in 25-30 min. 

I just made another batch today but added some Canadian bacon to each one and only cooked the egg whites.  I can't wait to try these ones on a busy school morning as I am trying so patiently to leave the house on time.  Breakfast for mommy will be done by the time I am running out! 

Healthy eating!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome 2012

In an effort to not sound to cliche:  I still can't believe it's already 2012. 
Sorry.  That totally sounded cliche.

2011 was a time of many changes in our family.  In a period of two weeks we made a decision to sell our house in AZ and move across the country back to my old stomping grounds of PA.  My husband stayed back in AZ while renting an apartment and devoting himself to his business while we moved in with my parents in the house that I grew up in and started our lives without hubs. 

The kids started preschool, I joined a new gym and we stuck all of our life's possessions in a storage unit a few miles from my parents home.  We've had three visits from hubs that will never replace the feeling of having him home with us 100% of the time.  We've begun to make new friends, find a new church (still unsuccessfully) and acclimate to the cold weather (also unsuccessfully!).  2011 wasa quite a year.

2012 came in uneventfully as I no longer can seem to make it to see the ball drop anymore.  Hubs came for the holidays and had to leave to go back to AZ just yesterday.  We miss him terribly.  It doesn't seem to get any easier and the kids can feel it too.  But in 2012 we look forward to reuniting (sooner than later) and moving into our own space to start our lives together here in PA. 

I don't really like making resolutions since I never seem to continue them throughout the year, but this year I need to make some changes.  So, I've narrowed down to two things that are high on my priority list.

(1) Read through the Bible.  I have attempted 3 times to read the Bible in a year on a reading plan through our church in AZ.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not really liking their plan how it jumps all over the place and typically involves lots of chapters in each book.  On the advice of a friend of mine I am starting a new reading plan starting at Matthew.  I'll be reading through the New Testament then starting  back at Genesis to read through the Old Testament.  I am just going to read and mark off where I left off and then pick it back up from there each day.  Even if I only read one verse a day or one chapter a day I will be satisfied that I am making the attempt to stay in the Word daily.  It'll take me well more than a year, I'm thinking, but at least I am starting somewhere.

2.  Work out.  I really need to take my health seriously.  I used to be so good at working out and eating right.  Before kids.  And, well, we all know how that goes once those little rug rats take over.  I am going to get back on a early morning work out routine and make whole foods a part of our diet daily.  I do pretty well with eating as it is, but this year I am going to take it up just another notch.  And cutting out my coffee caffeine.  (I'm almost there with that since I just drink coffee about 1x/week  and it's only 1/4 caffeinated).  Who knows, maybe I'll even start running a few races again.

So I have hopes that 2012 will bring us continued health and happiness.  I pray that we get our family back together and that we find a new church, new home and watch our kids grow into respectful, loving, healthy children.

Many blessings to you and yours!