Thursday, January 26, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Breakfast

I am usually really bad at eating breakfast. I shared a while back that I've been eating Cinch shakes most mornings with a piece of fruit to start my day off. Well I needed more options and this has quickly become a favorite around my house. There are three simple ingredients; quick oats, honey, and berries. Any kind of berries you like will work, I have this frozen blend from Sam's Club.

So basically just make the oats according to directions, add 1-2 Tbsp honey and about a half cup berries. In just a couple minutes you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast that is about 300 calories, has 7 grams of protein, and 8.5 grams of fiber!

This is his 'smile for the camera' smile, but he really loves this for breakfast.

Yum Yum!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inspired: 2x4 Snowmen

This week has been a little weird. My husband's car is having problems so we've been without one most of this week and been stuck in the house. You'd think that would lead to getting a lot done, but somehow each day just flies by and nothing seems to get accomplished. I did get one craft done thanks to our craft club.

We came across this cute project idea from Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous. Here's how my 2x4 snowmen turned out...

Here's hoping for a much more productive week next week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Goals Update: Losing Weight and Eating Healthy

I'm happy to report that I've been staying on track so far and have lost 3 pounds! It has actually been pretty challenging because as I mentioned before, I have to take it slow to maintain my milk supply and continue breastfeeding my son. I have to make sure I'm eating enough, yet working out too. It's a fine balance.

So what exactly am I doing? Well I start my day with a good breakfast. Most days that means a Cinch shake and a piece of fruit. Cinch gives me 24 grams of protein to start my day with lots of energy to keep up with my 2 little boys. If I get the chance I'll exercise before breakfast, if not usually just before lunch I can sneak it in.

For exercise I have been running and doing yoga. I have some knee problems so I only run a couple times a week. It's been about 2-3. I run a mile in the best time I can without hurting my body. It's not super impressive but 12 minutes has been my best time.

I just added yoga to the routine this week and I love it! I found tons of FREE yoga videos on Hulu. I was super excited when I realized I didn't have to fork over tons to go to a class. Plus there are tons of different types you can choose from (toning, flexibilty, abs, AM wake up, etc) and different lengths. So this morning I did the AM Wake up video that was only 12 minutes long. Both my boys were already up so I knew I couldn't do a long one and I had trouble falling back to sleep last night after my youngest got up. Felt so good to start my day this way!

And then there's the eating healthy part. I haven't been perfect on this but really trying to get better and better. This week I tried a new dish I found on Pinterest, Broccoli Quinoa casserole. I'm new to quinoa, but I like the fact that it is a complete protein and can substitute for rice. I really liked this casserole, it was nice and creamy. The only thing I did different from the recipe is I made my own cream of mushroom soup. 

yum yum

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom)
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (original called for 1 full cup. WOW.)
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups cooked broccoli

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see note)
Feshly grated Parmesan cheese
To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Faking a Clean Home in 30 minutes or less

Two weeks into 2012, how are you doing on your resolutions? So far, I've been doing pretty great. 

One of my goals for this year is to maintain a cleaner house. Since we bought our new house, I haven't been as good at cleaning regularly. We love this house, but now I have 3 bathrooms to clean. But recently I came across this helpful site that inspired me to break cleaning up into small everyday tasks. That way you don't have to spend hours at a time cleaning - just small things each day. 

I started by making my own schedule. It still may change but this is how I broke down my 'chores' so they were somewhat evenly distributed. Tuesdays are my laundry days and although laundry isn't a 30 minute task, there is lots of waiting time to break it up. The worst to me is folding and putting away clothes, they used to just sit in baskets for almost a week before getting put away.

So there's my schedule. Like I said it still might change but having the outline has really helped me stay on top of cleaning. I use only the Get Clean line of products, mostly the Basic H. I love that they are all non-toxic and chemical free. Yesterday when I was cleaning the bathrooms, my son started crying. I was able to put down the sponge, rinse my hands and go get him without that lingering chemical smell that other cleaners leave.

If you're like me and you have a glass shower, the Scour Off paste is a miracle worker. Like I said, prior to the New Year, cleaning bathrooms was a daunting task, so things were a little backed up. I used the scour off on the hard water spot on the shower and it took them right off in a matter of seconds! Not only does it clean showers, but is one kick butt oven cleaner. I blogged about that here  and here. But if you don't believe me, here are some before and afters. 

And here are the shower door before and after.

How do you balance your cleaning? What are your favorite cleaning tips?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Western Beggar {Stir Fry} Tofu

We're only 4 days into 2012, but so far I've been doing great on my goals

I've been running and eating healthy, well mostly healthy. There are still some Christmas treats around the house.

I made one of my favorite recipes Sunday night, first a little background. My parents are both flight attendants which means awesome travel benefits. One of our family trips was to Japan. The trip was amazing and the food was even better!! My mom asked the chef at one of the places we ate for this recipe and it has been a family favorite ever since.

I modified this recipe to fit the bill for one of my meatless meals this week. According to the My Fitness Pal App that I have on my iPod, each serving (without rice) is only about 108 calories, with 13 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, and has 10 grams of protein! (did I mention that I love this app! I can put in the ingredients to my own recipes or scan the bar code on any package and it keeps track of my calorie intake for me! fabulous!)
Western Beggar Tofu (originally made with chicken)
  • 2 C Bean Sprouts
  • 4-5 C Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 C Grated Carrot
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • 1 package Tofu Cubed (or if you prefer 2 boned chicken breasts cut up)
  • 2 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dried Red Chili flakes
  • 1/3 C Soy Sauce
  • 1TBSP Sugar
Heat wok or large saute pan and add 1 TBSP oil. 
Saute tofu (or chicken) with garlic and red chili. If you're using tofu be sure to drain off the whey and if you feel it necessary drain again after sauteing. 
Add sprouts, cabbage, carrots, green onion and saute for a few minutes.
In a small bowl mix the soy sauce and sugar together and add to the pan. 
Serve over rice

My son started scarfing it down before we even had the chance to say prayer. This from a little boy who can tell if there's chicken in his meal, no matter how small it's cut up AND he's even talented enough to put a bite in his mouth, spit out the chicken, and continue eating the rest of the food like nothing happened. He didn't mind the tofu at all, ate it with no problems.  

Well there you go. Enjoy a healthy meal with your family!

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