Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Newest Blogger In Town!!!!!!

I just wanted to share Ariana my 8 yr old daughter decided to start a blog. ( Imagine that!) She is always asking to read my blog and to help take photos for my blog. She wrote her first post on having her Aunt here to visit. You can read it here. I am sure that she would love the encouragement.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Real Reason Denise Came to NY!

This is really the reason my sister came to NY! She wanted my cooking... Well then She made a few requests. First she wanted lasagna, so I made it. She made me green smoothies, yummy.... She made Ariana fall in love with mango smoothies! Then she asked if I could make Tam's Bread bowls and her Lentil Soup. Another hit, it's pictured to the left. The funny part is when I went to print the recipes, we were away from the printer and it printed what appears to be the whole blog! Tam, I will be trying ALL your recipes soon! I just put them into my binder and off I will go. I have spent the better part of the last few days in the kitchen. I do really like to cook and it is great to have someone that really appreciates my cooking. (Thanks Denise) To my surprise her boys even liked all the food I have made. I certainly did not expect that. I have made pizza crust before, and bread in the bread machine; however, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the bread bowls came out. I made a first batch and they were a little flat (I covered them with a warm cloth like I do other breads when they are rising) , not that it mattered because the first batch didn't really last until dinner and I had to make another. It is definitely something I will add to my regular cooking. When the kids like it it's even better. I can see so many different soups and stews in these bowls. I look forward to trying out more things. Oh and she(and me too) has been enjoying my home grown cucumbers, you can see them in the background of the photo. They are pretty good. We are having a good time, I have more food to plan and I better get a good nights rest, this is a really hungry crowd we have here!

This is NO tea Party!!!!

This is the closest thing we have to a tea party when Aunt Denise comes to town! They are reading Diary of a Whimpy Kid!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Did you know...Chimpanzees peel their bananas upside down

Yup... it's true. Primates peel their bananas upside down. First it gets the little nub thing off the banana and second it helps pull all the strings off much easier! Here's William and Ariana are testing it out. They thought it I was kidding, I do believe it worked.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She's Here!!!!

Hello from NY! I got Denise riding on the plasma cars! They are a lot of fun.. you can see that Scott and David are having fun in the background too!! I can't believe that she's here!!!!! Here's Denise admiring my neighbors garden! Again right in front of my neighbors house. Doesn't she look great for someone that had been traveling all day with 3 kids??? Here's a few of the kids playing Dance, Dance revolution... We had a great simple and healthy dinner..... Everyone had grilled chicken(but me I had a black bean burger) the most juiciest corn on the cob ever, grilled onion, grilled yams and grilled red potatoes, and grapes....yummy! We thought there was a lot of food but I have to say there wasn't much left when all is said and done! Then we sat in the hot tub! yeah! It's been so hot we haven't really wanted to, but now the weather has been cooling off it was great to sit in there tonight. Tomorrow we are going to the children's museum I am looking forward to it. It is really nice and I am sure that they kids will have a great time. Be on the lookout for more photos!!!!

Our Weekend...

This is Chip... He's My husbands Aunt's dog.. We went up to the mountains this weekend to see her. She just got him. He's such a cutie. We woke up in the morning and this buck was across the street. We all really enjoy seeing wildlife close up. The kids love Aunt Evelyn's bird feeders, however none of the photos turned out well so I didn't post one. I tried to take the photos from inside, because everytime I went outside to take them the birds flew away. Here's Nikolas and Ariana playing with Chip.
We stopped on the side of the road on the way home. Heres one of the views we saw. It's so beautiful up in the mountains. It's amazing that the leaves are already changing. I am sorry I didn't get any photos of that. There were no pull outs where we could take photos by them. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tooting Her Own Horn.... I mean Cast!

Well here is Ariana being her usual jokester self! Her cast is off, and now it's a horn, planter(yes she wants to put seeds in it to grow in our yard!) and the best one a whacker! She is VERY happy to have the cast off, even though her skin is dry and her arm is stiff. She still(since yesterday) hasn't extended it or bent it beyond the angle it was in the cast, however she is slowly getting mobility! She really has been a trooper. This has sure been an experience for all of us. Ariana is happy and is working hard to get the kinks out. Her goal is to have mobility before her cousins come! She wants to take them swimming at the lake!

Look what I am having with my lunch!!

My first beautiful grown from organic seeds.. cucumber! From my own yard..... I am just so proud! I can't believe I didn't kill them.. I probably should have waited to pick it, I just couldn't wait any more!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I can't believe that I am Writing again!!

Well you see, I have been writing all day. No not for fun. Writing for school. I am taking Applied Research Skills and I wont say that I am enjoying these first two assignments so much. I have finally finished the VERY rough draft of my first report. It's dry and boring! I will go back tomorrow and rewrite and edit a bit. I am just so tired of reading the debate about fluoridation! Four more assignments to go! I am putting a lot of pressure on myself, to get my work done, before my sister's Jet plane lands on my turf!! (not a personal one) Girls just want to have fun, and I can't wait to see my sister and her boys! My kids are so excited they are planning everything they want to play, do, say etc..... to make sure that they get it all in. I am excited to have someone that share's my desire to eat whole healthy meals! I am already in planning stage.... I do love to cook... I have some great results for my sugar study! I am gearing up to start compiling data and writing the report for that. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all your help. Your notes were fantastic and I can not express how pleased I am that so many of you learned some things for yourself along the way. It is so amazing that nutrition can take us in directions that we didn't know existed. I realize each day that there is so much more I can do for my health.... THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For the rest of tonight, I am going to put away my school work and just relax. I am hoping to head out for a run in the morning, as I haven't been able to run or even walk much lately, it's been raining almost daily! Oh, one more thing. I have about a gazillion cucumbers growing in my yard! I cant believe it. They are so cute and little right now... Little prickly things. I love cucumbers! I grew them from itty bitty organic seeds and it's the first vegetable besides tomatoes in a pot and few strawberries I got off a plant a few years ago.. My neighbors are smiling as they know that I can not eat those all by myself!! hurray!! I will spread the joy!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weightloss 101

After going to my husbands family reunion, so many family members and Friends expressed questions related to how I lost the weight, and how I keep it off. First off, I will make it clear, that never once was losing this weight 'easy'. There is no magic pill (I know, so sorry) there is no miracle 'diet'. The only thing we can really do is make slow gradual changes towards health. So where to start? For me my worst habit (well there were two or three) Diet soda and NO water ever, unless I accidentally swallowed it while swimming the other eating at fast food restaurants! I started out with the water, I stopped drinking soda completely and worked on increasing my daily water intake, some days I felt as if I was drowning. I started carrying a reusable water bottle and still do to this day. This way I can keep track of my water intake, and on a side note help the environment by not throwing away(or even recycle) a million little water bottles. I really did little else, although other changes started occurring. Like I had more energy, I felt better and I chose to exercise! Amazing huh? Dehydration, even a slight bit, can slow metabolism, cause fatigue and generally encourage poor health... so drink your water. As I was feeling better, if I would eat fast food, I would feel worse, thus I just stopped eating it. At this time, I had lost at least 15 lbs and starting exercising and liking it! Imagine that. I started to cook more at home. I ate more vegetables than ever before and more fruits. I was planning meals and balancing my nutrition out over a weeks time, days with more and less carbohydrates and fats. Planning was second nature. As I lost more weight I learned, I can't have as many calories as my 'smaller' body doesn't burn as much calorie at rest or work. (sigh) So constantly revamping, and reworking my food intakes was imperative. Over the years, I have come to eat the majority of my diet from whole foods (just the way they were grown with little processing) I changed all breads and pastas to whole wheat and other whole grains. Started eating brown rice instead of white. Generally I made an effort to make sure what I put in my body was beneficial to my health. I am always asked, how do you do it, stay so committed. Well I want it! I love feeling good and having energy. It's better than eating a whole bunch of junk food, and feeling physically ill all the time. I had so many ailments(which I will spare you all of in this public forum) however, as the weight came off, the ailments went away! Hurray to good health! There is no need to try and be perfect. I know I said before and I will say again. This is an imperfect world we live in. In western culture we have fast food, junk food, processed food shoved down out throats. It's hard to weed through the facts of food and what we really need. When I go to the store. I like to stay to the outside, I like to think like a native and buy the foods that people would have eaten before, the mass grocery store full of processed foods. In school I have learned of the 85/15 rule, others think of 90/10. If your just starting out, how about 80/20. The first number, I will use 85 for explanation, is the percent of healthy foods you eat. Whole foods that nourish you, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, if not a vegetarian like me, eat quality meats, and fish. The other 15 percent is for fun. Eating to enjoy. For me, I still like to keep away from refined flours and sugars as much as possible. Health is not an exact science, everyone is different. All I can say is that if you want health, and a normal weight, be patient with yourself, get support and give yourself time to make permanent changes. If it's not something you can live with, for a lifetime, it's probably another diet gimmick. Give it up and strive for life. Don't forget to add your daily dose of exercise!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Maybe I have Half a Green Thumb!!

Here's a side view of my cucumber plants.. I am sorry you can't really see the flowers. They are bright yellow and there is a billion of them under there... I sure hope I am going to be eating LOT of cukes soon..... Here's another view of my cucumber plants. You can see a bit of yellow flower there.. In front is a few basil plants.... yummy!! Here is my potted basil.... It's gold and In a few more weeks it's going to be pesto!! This is my stevia plant. Last time I took a photo of it, it was to the second window division. Look at it now, I still have to learn about how to harvest it. I am SO amazed it's still alive, It really seems to love my entryway window!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

SO good to be home!!!

My family and I traveled yesterday to my husbands home town.. Today was their annual family reunion. I can't say that there was any Reunion for me. I have barely ever met any of the people there. It was more like, hey at 15 years it's about time you meet some of these people! Anyhow, it was fun, and my kids had a blast and really that makes it all worth while. The traveling is hard, I really don't like being in the car that long. (3 1/2 hours each way) However, I went to a farmers market this morning with my sister in law.. I learned so much about produce and met a LOT of produce I never knew existed.... I bought purple peppers, and I can't wait to try them. I LOVE PURPLE! so how could I resist! I also bought green beans that looked out of this world, red potatoes, the most yummiest blueberries... cucumbers, corn, tomatoes that smell out of this world and are bigger than my kids head! Then I couldn't resist the dragon tongue beans.. they are white with purple(imagine that) streaks in them. I SO can't wait to steam some up. I tried one raw and it was good. All this for about 10 bucks! wow... I really wanted to buy more stuff but I knew I couldn't fit it all in the fridge when I got home so I had to refrain... So sad for me! I wish that I could have gotten to my camera. It was SO buried underneath all the bags and stuff we dragged along, or I would have taken photos of the farm by my husbands folks house.. One would think that it was a botanical garden and not a farm. There is not a weed ANYWHERE, I looked in these gardens, they are more like professional landscapes than vegetables... I could just stare at it all day. I am thrilled for my kids to really see where the food they eat comes from REALLY, and to understand this is why I want you to wash it before you eat it, even if it is organic!!! Birds and bugs, will still poop on organics!(sorry probably more info than you wanted to know) I look forward to having more produce growing next year. I have cucumber plants going wild and will probably soon have more cukes than I know what to do with. Next year there will be OH so much more growing out and about my house! Oh and baby basil is getting so close to being pesto... I lost most of my tomato plant due to the horrible storms.. I will post some photos soon.... Enjoy the rest of the weekend all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Tuesday Epihany Today... so I will ramble about Nutrition a bit!

I do not really no where I am going with this yet, so read on perhaps you or I will learn a little something today! Speaking of nutrition if you are helping out with my nutrition study, thank you! I have already got both weeks of logs from several of you, Hurray and thank you! If you are still working on your logs.. thanks and please let me know if you need help! I will say that many of you eat a very healthy diet! I am so proud to know so many of you that make health a priority. It feels so good and keeps us away from the doctors. (sorry Denise, plenty of babies still need ya!) With that said, a whole foods diet is the way to go, what are whole foods? Foods that are just the way nature gave them to us! Picked off a tree, pulled out of the ground, and yes, meat and fish are also whole foods(this coming from the vegetarian). Don't forget, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, milk etc..The less processed these foods are the better they are for us. Organic's are best when you can find them, and for some afford them. Truth be known, a bag of brown rice will go much farther than rice-a-roni. Not just food wise but also nutrition wise. There is definately some truth to the statement "you are what you eat". The emergence of processed foods, refined flours, additives, sugar, and high frutose corn syrup(to name a few) have brought upon us new surge of diease in the past 50 or so years. We can not change our genetics, however what we can change is the expression of our genes, by how we treat our bodies. For example: if we have lung cancer in our family, and we smoke we are more likely to get lung cancer. The word diet comes from díaita, meaning way of life. So why does it seems that 'diet' is our way of life? Everything we do has to do with food, we are influenced by advertising, other people, it's on TV, bilboards, magazines, at the mall, the movies it's everywhere! Everytime we get together with family or friends it's all about food. We can not turn around without having food in our faces. So why is it that we are the most obese country in the nation? Let me just say this: golden arches, have it your, way, hurry hurry and get that box in the microwave... Is this really how we want to live? I personally don't want this. I choose my way of life to be very different. We cook dinner just about every night and we do our best to put nourishing foods on the table. I realize that for every family and every person, it is not something we can do EVERY day, sometimes things come up, sometimes we just can't. However, if we plan we can overcome even this. Sometimes a sandwich is all we can do. Should it be that frozen PB&J or should we know that if we have fresh ingredients and whole grain breads that a quick and healthy meal is on the way. How about a salad made with whatever fresh green we have, some veggies and maybe even some fruit, with nuts, or beans tossed on top. It doesn't always have to complicated. Sources: The Worlds Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Ronald Schmid

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I have been a busy busy bee!!

Today was a great productive day. I didn't do what I 'thought' I would do, but I did get so much accomplished. I woke up early and started out on a run, about 3.5 miles, at my nice mostly slow pace, but the heart rate was up.
Brian had the kids out at the lake to go fishing, so I ran past the house and back down to the lake to see what they were doing. Our neighbor who works for the park, told us that the fishing is better on the other side of the lake, so we walked around the lake. Shortly after, I left to walk home with Zach and thus I got a nice walk on top of my run! yeah for me...
When I got home I started working on some menu planning. Made a really delicious loaf of bread, bannana oat nut... yummy...
After I hit the grocery store, I started another pot of Magic Mineral Broth, and now it's smelling SOOOOO good... then I started to make dinner.
I am sad to say that dinner took twice as long as I thought(it was a new recipe) you can get the recipe here. It was a moroccan shepards pie... I will post a photo and you will see why I DONT decorate cakes (Are you reading Tammy??) dont laugh too hard.....
It is topped with white and sweet potatoes. It was VERYgood. However, it took forever to make.... I could have just spooned the potatoes on instead. The recipe called for soy burgers crumbled, but I didn't use them I used a crumbled soy instead. Personally I would have preferred it with beans instead TVP would have worked too. It was very good and full of fresh vegetables... yummy... Here's a photo of it after we bit into it:

I have a small amount of reading to do for my class, about 4 pages, I will finish it up in the morning... It feels so good to accomplish so much. I was happy to get lots of things done around the house. Starts off the week really well.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Tiger!

Oh Nikolas is so PROUD! Last night he had his very first tiger scout meeting. He was so excited to put on his new uniform.

For years Nikolas has been dragged to scout meetings, for both his brother and sister. I was her Daisy and Brownie leader(in WA) and Zach's weblos leader(in WA) and Nikolas was always there, although not a scout.

Now lucky and happy Nikolas is now really a scout, not just the brother of one. Athough his brother and sister are still both scouts he has a troop of his own. He had a great time at his first meeting. He learned about the color guard, scout salute, pledge and law and played some games. Isn't he a cutie???

Finger's and Toes!

Ariana NEEDED her nails cut, toes and fingers... so she asked if I cut them would I paint them. Today we walked over the the pharmacy and bought these colors! Now she has rainbow fingers and toes... she loves them, and asked me to put these photos on my blog so that her grandma could see them! (and anyone else that wants to look!) Not to mention it's the closest thing to crafty I have accomplished in awhile.. besides the ugly card that I made last weekend.....