Butternut Apple Bake

My husband and I are in a bit of a life season of ‘in betweens’. It has left me in a state of constant “vegetable drawer lurking”. I cannot explain to you the sheer pain it causes me to throw away vegetables. I hate, with a passion, reaching into my vegetable drawer only to find soft and soggy produce that has to be thrown into the trash. Lately, my family has been having to make a lot of decisions that require us to do some staying or leaving, starting or stopping, planning or improvising. And this has more or less messed up my everything come Monday of each new week.

One night in which a day full of all of the above had occurred, I threw the following in a baking dish, crossed my fingers and was more than pleasantly surprised when I ate it along side my husband come dinner. It was such a hit, that it has been consumed 4 more times in the last two weeks.

Butternut Apple Bake

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 large apples
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 370*F.
  2. After washing your apples, cut them up in chunks no bigger than a nickel.
  3. Sauté you apples on medium-high for about 3 or 4 minutes, just long enough to get them to start releasing their juices a bit.
  4. Place your apples in a baking dish and place to the side.
  5. Take your butternut squash and peel it. I found the easiest way to do this was to use a potato peeler.
  6. Cut up your squash into chunks no larger than a quarter.
  7. Add your squash to your apples and mix them well.
  8. Spoon your honey onto your apple-squash mix. I spooned 1.2 tbsp onto them in 6 areas.
  9. Sprinkle your cinnamon all over.
  10. Place your baking dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir well.
  12. Bake for another 20 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven, let cool then enjoy.

I served this along salmon and blackened green beans and my goodness did I fall in love.

If you are like me, when you like a food you don’t stop eating it. So I took the liberty of finding you some recipes that have apples in them so we can bask together in their wonderful fall-ness. Because, you know, that’s a word.

PicMonkey Collage

Simple Baked ApplesApple Walnut Cranberry Salad

Bacon, Apples and Brussels SproutsSauted Cinnamon Apples

Pan Fried Cabbage and ApplesFloral Apples

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What is your favorite way to take the almost bad vegetables in your drawer and use them to incorporate into dinner or any other meal?

Are you currently enjoying all things apples, pumpkin and fall right about now? If so, share with us in the comments below!

 

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A Day On My Plate

First off, I am sorry this is getting posted a bit late. That is of course assuming that some one is actually sitting and waiting for it… anyways, below you will find a sample of what I eat in a day and as I promised it is more than you would guess.

Second, can I just vent my little heart out to you for a quick second? I try not to get to personal on here but I really think I could eat my weight in food right about now. This baby (I’m 33 weeks pregnant) is apparently growing like crazy because I cannot seem to eat enough. Now I’m definitely to the point in which my meals must be small unless I want to feel miserable. However, I feel as though I am eating constantly. Add on to this that I am attempting to walk anywhere from 3-5 miles a day (I am hoping to convince this baby to get out as soon as possible, in a healthy way of course), and those burned calories are making me a starving woman.

Don’t believe me… well I ate a banana this morning, as in first thing this morning. Guys, I HATE bananas! Life is getting really weird over here, but on a good note I have at the most only 9 weeks to go!

Back to what we are both here for…

A Day On

 

So here is the run down…

6:30 a.m. – Shakeology made with whole milk

9:00 a.m. – Greek Yogurt with Berries (today it was blueberries and raspberries)

11:30 a.m. – A slice of toast, 1/4 of an Avocado and an egg

2:00 p.m. – 1 Cup of Roasted Broccoli, 2 oz. of Cheese and 3 Olives

4:30 p.m. – 8 Baby Carrots and 2 tbsp. of Hummus

7:00 p.m. – Lettuce Wrap Taco’s

A Day On My Plate

 

Some nights, the above just isn’t enough… so I make myself a home-made slurpee! That recipe (which is mind blowing) will be coming your way on Friday. So stop back by to check it out and see just how easy it really is to stick to a real food diet.

 

What are some foods you eat on a regular basis that you would consider to be a staple in your diet?

Have you been pregnant?

If so, did you ever experience extreme hunger at one point or another?

Maybe you haven’t had hunger because of pregnancy, but maybe you have had it for other reasons or seasons in life?

If this is the case, how did you deal with it mentally? Truth be told it’s quite a change mentally.

Food is Fuel

food is fuel

It’s one of the most “true” statements that I have ever heard, and ever said. Follow this statement up with “I don’t have an emotional relationship with food” and you lost me!

I have an emotional relationship with food. I know, I know…. I’m not supposed to, but I do. I think most of America does. I also think it’s part of the reason we eat turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Easter. Yes, tradition plays into it and the whole Native Americans becoming friends with those from England… but let’s be honest for a moment. Thanksgiving would be really weird without a turkey for Thanksgiving.

The statement “Food is Fuel” is true in many, many ways. Food isn’t just physical fuel for us, even though it is supposed to be. Food also serves as emotional fuel, spiritual fuel, mental fuel and even social fuel.

Take for instance all of those holiday parties you get invited to near the end of every year. If you are a bit of an introvert, what nudges you to go to that party? Is it the social scene? The adult beverages that will be there? Maybe that one specific appetizer that the hostess is known for making? Food is sewn into every component of out lives, including our social lives.

Food is also a part of our spiritual lives… don’t believe me? Have you ever been to a church potluck? I thought so. How about our mental lives? Not only does our brain depend on glucose to work, but look at how visually appealing food can be. That is mental marketing. And then there is our emotional life… I’m going to be very honest with you and tell you exactly how food can be an emotional friend of mine.

I LOVE Jelly Beans… the flavor is wonderful and when I have not been having a wonderful day… Jelly Beans seem like they can turn that day around. Is it true… do they change my life circumstances? No. But for a moment, it seems like they could, due to the gratification they give in the moment. How about work… when I have a deadline that I am working towards (whether for school or work), I often find myself working through the evening and even possibly the night. Do you know how boring that is? Do you know what makes it NOT boring? Salty crunchy chips…. ok, well not long term. But in that moment, I’m 137% positive that they will help.

Maybe Jelly Beans and chips don’t do it for you. Let’s try another example then…

Are you a coffee drinker? Nine times out of 10, I hear coffee drinkers equate their morning cup of Joe to a “religious experience”… they don’t drink that cup of coffee every morning because of the burst of energy people talk about, but instead because it’s almost like a a daily tradition and ritual that eases their mind and get’s them off to a good day. If you can relate at all to this, then you my friend have an emotional relationship with coffee!

Do you remember the movie Finding Nemo? There is a scene in the movie in which a small group of sharks are at a meeting and are discussing their recent attempts to view fish as friends, rather than food. These animals (which we are too), are fighting their instance to view fish as food, and instead view them as friends. That seems absurd, hence why it was in a kids cartoon/comedy movie. But the reality of the situation in that we as American animals have to do the opposite. Because of the abundance of food in our society and the variety of it, we actually have to go against this newly found instinct to view food as our friend, and instead view it as fuel.

Hi, my name is Leah and I have an emotional relationship with food. Things need to change for me. This relationship with food that I have is a negative one and it will only reek havoc on my life in the long term. This relationship needs to become, at best a positive one, but hopefully a close to non-existent one. I’m not positive how it is going to change… I usually have some sort of action plan for my to-do lists, but this time I don’t. I know though, that this is going to change… through the grace and strength of God this journey of mine starts now!

Do you have a relationship with food other than for fuel? Be honest with yourself… maybe it’s coffee, or maybe it’s ice cream. Whatever it is, dig down deep and ask yourself if it is a healthy relationship. For most people, it isn’t and for most people, it’s not doing them any good. Let’s try and remember today that food is fuel, not our friend.

Oh and by the way… you can have such a strong relationship with food that you don’t allow certain things into your home, or you refuse to consume certain foods. Unless you have a true food allergy or a specific medical diagnosis, this is a negative relationship with food too.

 

Subway

Hey there friends… Happy Wednesday! I don’t know about you but Wednesday is by far my favorite day of the week. It’s such a prize to me to be going through all my to-do lists and then for Wednesday to come along and be the best cheer leader I could ever ask for. I feel like no matter what happens on Wednesdays, it’s ok because we are half way through!!!!!!

This morning I woke up with a headache. Not an “I ate sugar headache” or an “I’m stressed headache”… this headache is much more focused yet still dispersed all over my head. It feels like it’s the kind of headache that has been lingering for 4 days now even though it hasn’t. It doesn’t at all feel like a condensed pressure building. Anyways…. for me, headaches are a message about my food. This headache has preservative written all over it!

I want to talk to you about exactly that this morning…. preservatives, and especially chemicals in our food. Have you recently heard about the whole Subway issue? If not, let me sum it up for you…. It has been found that Subway was (they have vowed to stop now) using a chemically in their bread that is not supposed to be there. This chemical is found in other places, like yoga mats, the soles of shoes and other rubbery materials. So why was it in the bread at subway? Because, people in America like their bread stretchy, sticky and chewy… and Subway was able to meet their costumer needs by placing this chemical (called Azodicarbonamide) in their bread.

To make things worse, this chemical is linked to respiratory issues. When you consider that our first lady (whom I respect) is suggesting that subway offers the ideal meal for children in their Kid meals, we have a bit of an issue. Children have immature immune systems and their respiratory system specifically can be compromised easily. Enter Azodicarbonamide, which is known to cause asthma and allergies, and we have one very serious problem on our hands as parents.

So am I suggesting that we all never eat subway again, that we boycott all bread and live a Paleo diet lifestyle? Absolutely not! I for one do not live in a perfect world in which eating out is something I can never do again. And despite my own issues with wheat, yeast and dairy, well I still find myself eating some of it here and there.

What then do we do to protect ourselves from all of the garbage in our foods?

Well, I think the first step is to let our government know that we aren’t ok with this type of nonsense happening over and over. Let’s face it, you and I don’t have the power to change the world (our world yes, but the entire world not so much), but our government does! If they want to come down on these big companies and enforce that they give us products that benefit our health rather than harm us would be an amazing thing on their part. And although one phone call to a congress man, or a signature on petition doesn’t seem like it will get us anywhere, it actually will.

A petition, is how subway was taken down on this issue by consumers.

The next thing I suggest we do, is realize that our food in this country isn’t the best. It’s filled will chemicals that whether we want to believe it or not, will in fact harm us. Although we can’t spend our entire lives reading ingredients list’s that we can’t pronounce and then googling those to see if we should be eating them, we can add 2 salads to our menus every week to attempt to get in some extra much needed nutrient. We can also cut out things that we know are not good for us… like diet soda, smoking and frying foods in vegetable oils. Also, start moving more and drink water!

You and I can’t live in a perfect world no matter how hard we try, and we aren’t going to overtake the food industry in this country either. Our government, although they do us much good, does not seem to care about our food, so let’s stop pretending that they are going to set us up to make wise, educated and good decisions about our food. However we can make small wise decisions every day to make our health a priority as well as a positive and reward-able journey.

If you look just below this blogs title, you will see my favorite saying in the world “Change your life by stepping in your kitchen”. I believe that to be true, and concerning today’s post, it’s especially true. Not only is getting in your kitchen with loved ones to prepare meals mentally, emotionally and psychologically good for you, it is also safe. When you are making the decisions of what is in your food, nothing is hidden. The ingredient list, the calorie count and the overall taste is completely up to you!

 

The Story of a Grandma

Throughout my life, and growing up I have had the opportunity to live life closely with my grandparents. Growing up, we spent a lot of time with them, and now, I live with my grandma. My grandpa passed away about 8 years ago and as my grandma has gotten up in age (87) the extra company has just made certain areas of life easier for her.

I have wanted for some time now to “interview” her about what food was like for her growing up. If you know my grandmother though, interviewing her isn’t much of an option. Let’s just say she is pretty good and easily going from one topic to another without much warning. Last night though, the opportunity presented itself to talk with my grandma about a lot of things in her life. We were able to touch on some topics about food and how it played a role in her life. Although this isn’t really one story, it’s a few stories that really gives light to the problem with food in our society (or at least what my grandma thinks it is) as of now. So grab a seat, a cup of tea (or coffee if you must) and get ready to chuckle here and there!

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a picture of my grandma with some of her grand kids

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Grandpa and the Pot of Soup

This story came from me asking the question, what was a common meal your mom would make you growing up?

“My dad (Leah’s great grandfather) grew up on a farm. It was common for him to come in from working outside and want something to eat. His mom would often put some soup on the stove and keep it there all day long. This way, whenever him or the other workers were hungry, there was something to eat. Soup became something very common for us to eat. One time, I was in the hospital and grandpa (Leah’s grandfather) decided he was going to make some soup so I could rest and feel better. He knew that I would always make soup with some sort of bone in it. So when he was done making the soup, he brought me some. Low and behold he put an entire pot roast in the soup. In his defense, there was a bone in it.”

Francis and the Chicken

I asked my grandma, Would your mom go grocery shopping once a week like mom’s do now a days or was it different?

“Back when I was growing up, you didn’t buy chicken from the store. Instead, you went down to the market and picked out a live chicken. The farmer would then chop the chickens head off and you would take it home. My mom would have me go down and do this. Once though, my best friend Francis found out that my mom would have me do this. See, Francis would have to do the same thing for her mom but couldn’t stomach it. So Francis would have me do it. We would go all the time, we would walk down to the market and Francis wouldn’t look while I picked out the chicken. Then I would bring it home for her. She didn’t like to even touch it. But the chicken sure was good. Nothing like what you get at the store anymore.”

Grandma and the Long Walk to Work

This story came from me asking my grandma if she and her friends/sisters every purposely exercised.

“Well, you see we didn’t always have enough cars for everyone. To get to work I had to walk a mile, then take 2 buses and a street car. By the time I got home from work I had walked two miles and I was way to tired to exercise. Plus, there weren’t a bunch of half naked ladies all over the place on bill boards to show you what you weren’t. And all of you girls now a days want to get back to something or other that you were before you had a baby. Back in my day, we just had babies, and if we were a little softer after, well that was ok. That was just part of life.”

Earl and the White Castle

This story came about after I asked Grandma what she thinks the reason is for so much obesity in our society.

“Back in my day, you didn’t just go up to a hamburger joint every day. White castle was the first hamburger place around and you just got a slider, not a quarter pounder. And when we did get a slider, it was a big treat. My brother Earl and I would walk up to a White Castle every once in a while and we would get enough sliders for everyone in the family to have one. Sometimes, we would get enough fries so that we would share. Maybe 2 or 3 people per order of fries. Now a days, you guys just go up to McDonalds one day and order a burger, fries and a pop and then the next day you go to Burger King and get a Big Mac (she’s 87, she can call a Whopper a Big Mac and get away with it), some onion rings and another pop. You know Leah, it’s no wonder everyone is so fat!”

Home Economics and the Egg Cup Recipe

I don’t know how this story came about, as I said she is quick to switch topics… but I thought it was good non the less.

“One time, for just a year my family lived on a farm. It was the stupidest decision my father ever made and I thought my mom was going to kill him a few times for it. That year, I was at a school that had home economics. That year I made a really nice flannel night gown and then we made a really fun recipe. We took a cupcake baking dish, and placed one piece of slightly cooked bacon n the bottom of it. Then we would crack an egg in each cup, then just bake it. See, back then, we didn’t have T.V. telling us that we shouldn’t eat eggs or bacon, we just ate whatever food was around.”

My grandma is a trip, she is the sassiest, funniest and most concerned 80-something year old I have ever met. When we were all done talking last night she said to me, “Leah, I know why you asked me those questions… don’t worry about being soft for your wedding. You know sometimes it’s better for the groom to get the worst before the better as far as “for better or for worst’ is concerned.” I honestly don’t know what to make of that comment and I’m ok leaving it at that!

All of these Saturday stories are to show you a new perspective on food and fitness. There are so many people in this world who look at health in so many different ways. Remember that if you are struggling with your weight, health or physically feeling good that you most definitely are not alone.  Maybe if we start asking more questions, we can learn a thing or two from other people about our own health, food and fitness.

If you have enjoyed this “story”, check out the past Saturday stories. Here is Amy’s story about how she has lost weight, Coop’s about how food is different outside of America, and mine on how food has taken shape in my life.

Food and Money

My original intention for today was to post a video… my techi skills are close to non existent therefore, I failed and getting things to work. But then I saw this article… and it got me thinking. Specifically, I started to think about a recent conversation I had with a woman who told me that she can’t eat healthy because she doesn’t have the time or money.

You see, the article that I linked above is about the top 10 healthiest city’s in America. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, St. Paul Minnesota is the healthiest city in America. This is do to their ability to live healthy, between bike paths, farmers markets and high numbers of community recreational centers, this city beats out all others. St. Paul also ranks as having low numbers of diabetes!

The kicker about this study however, is that St. Paul is known to be extremely cold… for a good 4 months out of the year! In fact, the article above has a picture of a grown man in St. Paul dressed from head to toe in winter wear and riding a bike. So how do they do it?

I think the answer is that they take their health into priority. Which leads me back to the conversation with that woman… my guess is that even if she had the “time and money” to lead a healthy lifestyle, she wouldn’t. I think at times I come off as a individual who has things easy. I’ve never really been overweight in a serious health kind of way, I am single, I don’t have children and I don’t complain to much about my job so I must enjoy it.

Little do you know however, is that my genetics show to be pretty negative in terms of health and weight… although I am “single”, my fiancé lives 650 miles away and that situation is in fact stressful at times. I don’t have children, but I do have a 87 year old grandmother I live with and help out here and there as well as watch a little 5 year old for “work” during the day. I am also back in school full time trying to accomplish some certificates. My health, must be a priority if I want to feel good, like the way I look naked and enjoy life in general. I sometimes have to get to the gym twice in one day so that I can fit in 2, 15 minute workouts, otherwise I’ll never get it done. I say “no” to all things bad for me during the week and instead eat vegetables like crazy other wise I gain weight.

Listen, I’m not saying I’m perfect… in fact, I’m far from it. I am saying it’s time for us to take our health into consideration, time to make our food a priority and our bodies something we can enjoy. I’m not talking about a 100% change here… I’m talking about small changes. In fact, if you make a simple 10 % change this month (cut out soda, stop eating fast food, making your sleep something you fight for), in less than a year, you will have made a 100% change.

I think you are worth it… I think you are valuable enough to deserve better. I also think that we often lie to ourselves when we say we don’t have the time or the money… after all, we watch T.V., surf the web, text like maniacs and go out to dinner multiple times a week. That time spent on social media and waiting for food on your lunch break, well it could be used to go for a walk, do some push ups or even make your own lunch.

We have the time and we have the money… maybe the problem is that we don’t have the will power. So I ask you today, instead of believing that you don’t have the time and the money, the energy and the resources will you reach out to me or someone else you know who can help you prioritize better? I believe, and chances are the people around you do too, that you ARE worth it. You are worth feeling good, getting better sleep, enjoying people instead of only enjoying food and good self esteem.

And now I boldly ask another favor of you… if you don’t want to make your health a priority, will you just say that? By walking around and suggesting that the reason you aren’t healthy is because you don’t have time and money, you are actually giving other people excuses and reasons to think that THEY can’t.

All of this has been on my heart because I have had a hard week. The weekend was even more difficult than last week, and I’m putting 110% into getting back up on the horse and making this week worth something. I’m having to remind myself today to think positively rather than negatively and to just try (to eat healthy) for one more minute… one more hour and one more day! Let’s accomplish good health together today!

American Eats

For a long time now, I have had some suspicions about our country and food. The statistics confirm my assumptions that we, here in America, view food very differently than the rest of the world. If this wasn’t the case, then we wouldn’t be the fattest and most miserable country and society in the world. When I took a class for my nutrition major, and had to do a project on how to make eating healthy look appealing to an individuals social life, well… I was positive at this point that I society has really messed up the idea of food and all of us are just following along.

It is to all of your great benefit that the man I am marrying was not born here in this place called America. Ok, well actually it isn’t any benefit to you other than the fact I was able to take his memories of life in Eastern Europe and translate (not really) them into a bit of a lesson for us here today!

So here we go…

1. If you had to describe food in Albania in 3 words or less how would you do so?

Fresh and Homegrown

2. If you had to do the same but for America how would you do so?

Fake and Steroids

3. What is the biggest difference concerning nutrition between Albania and America?

There are more options and easier access to food (fast food, restaurants) in America. The definition of fresh in both places differs greatly.

4. How about health?

The people in America are more health conscious, however there is a safety net in America concerning health, due to all of the medical abilities. In Albania that isn’t the case which results in more individual responsibility about health.

5. How about exercise?

Much more exercise in Albania, there is a lack of transportation therefore walking was your primary source of transportation. The definition of exercise in America is part of the definition of living in Albania.

6. What was an average meal in Albania like?

A lot of grains such as wheat, a lot of vegetables, however not much meat because it was so expensive.

7. Now as a single male living on your own, what does an average meal look like to you hear in America?

Frozen dinners, fast food and occasionally a homemade meal.

8. Did you ever have any education (formally or informally) about nutrition in Albania?

“oh God no!”

9. How about America?

Yes, in school and from You (me Leah).

10. What is your personal motto to live a healthy live.

Exercise more, wise decision making concerning food and carving out more time to actually prepare real food.

11. Does the Albanian media portray health the same way the American media does?

No, in the Albanian media, all sizes are accepted and appreciated. In some villages and communities, what America would consider to be thick or chunky on females is actually considered more attractive. This is because for so long food was scarce so a female that has a little meat on her bones must come from a wealthy or at least financially stable family.

12. Does Albania have gyms (as in Planet Fitness, Lifetime Fitness etc.)?

Some have popped up but only in the large cities, such as the capital. Gym memberships are expensive and only the wealthy have them.

13. What does the average dinner experience look like?

There are no courses, families sit down and just eat. Everything is set out at once and it is common to eat the same thing over and over for a few days.

14. You said there is a lot of personal responsibility concerning nutrition and food. What are common things that the average family would grow/raise in their back yard to be used as a food source?

Cattle, Vegetables (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Zucchini, Peppers, Peas), Chickens, Grapes, Corn, Wheat, Sheep, Milk from Cows for drinking, yogurt and cheese, Goat, Watermelon, Berries.

** There was little access to refrigerators and/or freezers, therefore food had to be consumed quickly. There were no preservatives or artificial flavoring, food just simply had to be consumed before it went bad.**

15. In the winter, you had weather similar to Michigan, how did these conditions effect your food supply?

The weather would be used to our advantage… I remember my dad and uncles drying and freezing meat similarly to what jerky is in America. We would go without fruits and vegetables in the winter and have more starches (wheat, potatoes and rice).

16. What is the equivalent in America, to a grocery store in Albania?

We had markets (kind of like what you would imagine they had in biblical times) and there was no promise of consistency in products. Whatever the community had, they had and that was all that was available besides what your family grew/raised.

 

Even though I know this, it is still surprising to me when I hear this from him. I often think about how most of those in our society would respond to this type of environment. I also wonder if we haven’t traded in a lot of good in our society (less focus on food, more on relationships and community) for accessibility. For thousands of years, we have survived without options concerning our food, has this possibly negatively effected us? Has the ability to go to the store and buy anything you can imagine overwhelmed your senses and caused you no longer be able to make wise decisions? I guess this is just something to consider, but definitely consider this the next time you are in the grocery store.

 

A Holiday Challenge

On Saturday, I got my oil changed. It was the best 40 minutes of my day! In fact, I read in my quite car for 40 minutes, without cell phone calls and no one in my backseat asking if she they could have a sip of my water.

The thing is, my life isn’t that hard. Yes, I do come from a large family and I have the opportunity to be around at least one of them 99% of my life in which I am awake. But honestly, it’s not that bad because non of them swear at me, physically hurt me or any of the other terrible nonsense that goes on with some families.

As we get closer to the holiday season, I don’t see my attempts to get “me time” decreasing at all. In fact, if you are anything like me, the days will seem to get a bit longer and the to-do lists a bit larger. Then I had an idea…

Holiday Challenge

Everyone starts taking care of themselves after the New Year… but we shouldn’t. This is probably because that isn’t how it should ever work, but our society is messed up. In fact, I saw a Christmas commercial the other day and it wasn’t the kind about holiday cheer or anything other feel good something. It was about toys… the word usage went something like “We’re the best toy store in the world for the best kids in the world”. It was sad in my opinion.

Anyways, back to us taking care of ourselves, and I was thinking it could go something like this…

  • 2 emails a week (from me)
  • 1 large goal and 2 small
  • Weight tracked once a week tops
  • Inches tracked every other week
  • Before Picture – for yourself only
  • Exercise 5 times a week
  • 3 days of cardio & 2 days of strength

So what do you think? Who’s in?

Here are my goals… my large goal is to work back up to running 7 miles. My small goals are; eating a salad for lunch every day until the end of the year and to lose 3 inches from my waist.

During this challenge I will be committing my Friday post’s to telling you my plan for the next week as far as food and exercise are concerned and a progress picture on Mondays.

I hope some of you are also interested in joining in on this challenge. I especially love the idea of reaching my goals while everyone is starting theirs!

Feel free to email me with any questions you have concerning this challenge and please pass the info on to others if you know of anyone would enjoy this.

Meal Plan #1

I love and appreciate anyone and everyone who stops by this space and takes the time to read my thoughts, opinions, and exciting adventures. So I thought as a gift to you, today I would attach a few documents. Today for you, I have a one week meal plan, the recipes for the dishes in it, and a shopping list to go with it.

The meal plan is based on a weight watchers/diabetic living rubric and includes 5 small meals, lots of fresh produce, whole grains that digest slowly and lots of protein. I hope you enjoy this and can find it useful whether you follow it exactly or just find a few ideas from it.

Happy Eating and happy Monday!

Meal Plan Week 1

This Weeks Grocery List

Recipes – some of these recipes aren’t on the menu but will come in handy in the future for another post!

*This post is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. These menu’s and recipes are simple for anyone who is looking for an easy week in terms of cooking and planning*