it’s that time…..

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     I think I am finally at the point where I realized a major Truth: I am who I am.

 

It might not be in every situation but I am no longer “obsessed” with wanting to make sure people like me or are happy with my choices.  I’ve come a long way from the days where I was such a people pleaser that I forgot how to be me.  Whether it was family, friends or work  I always put my needs last. I got to them if there was time. And often there was not, so I just muddled on as I was.

I can’t really pinpoint when it happened but I am no longer suffering from the guilt of doing things I want or feel the need to do. I’ll get to the other stuff, eventually. The thing I finally realized: if I am not being supportive of my own needs I am cheating myself of a full life. By trying to be self supportive I find I am more willing, not obligated, to do things for others….even if it means that sometimes my needs are delayed, but because I choose to–and not because I have to.

 

Disclaimer: Image was obtained from Google Images, my thanks to its creator.

Today’s Gift: A clean slate

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Today's Gift: A clean slate

Each day we are given an INCREDIBLE gift: a ‘clean slate’ to start our day. Yesterday is done, there is nothing we can do about it. Tomorrow has not claimed passage yet. Make today count in honoring YOU; do the things that make your heart hum with contentment. Yes I know this is not always possible, but can you do ONE THING that does make you happy?

I’m beginning to understand “Healthy CHoices”

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I have a “healthy choice” victory to share.

This evening I was ‘browsing’ the fridge, freezer, pantry for something as a snack. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted and I was just about to go for my daughter’s ‘drumstick’ ice cream cones when I remembered a great quote:

“if you are truly hungry you will eat real food”

I thought about it for a minute and I satisfied my REAL hunger with REAL food–carrot slices, celery and hummus. It was so good! And satisfying! And actually proud of how far I have come.

Now I am not saying I would’ve had a major issue if I had chosen the ice cream. The reason I am proud of my choice is I am beginning to understand the “why” of choosing to eat healthy. I am learning to evaluate if I am bored/tired/stressed or if it is a physical need for food.

Give yourself the power to make these kind of decisions by having good food ready to eat–the carrots and celery were ready to go since I had prepped them for work last night. Take the time to have real food easy to choose–its worth the prep time!

Best wishes for healthy choices!~Janice

 

Disclaimer: Images are from Google Images–my thanks to their creators!

Don’t forget to look around….and not just looking forward

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I’ll admit it: I am a planner!

I’m getting better at being a “go with the flow” kind of girl but its hard giving up list making and plotting things out. Its wonderful for when I am at work (I work as a RN) but sometimes hard to be more flexible at home.

I’m gonna say its because of the intrinsic work ethic I have. I really do find great difficulty in just sitting and relaxing. I always feel there is something constructive I should be doing. I get this from my Mom. She is 81 this year and probably is the hardest working person I know!

But there is hope, she is learning to take time every day to read a book or just do something she enjoys without it having to accomplish anything.  If she can do it, so can I!

I started a garden this year and I am enjoying it so far. I like going out and looking at the little seeds spouts pushing their way up from the soil. It was alot of work to get it going but now the ‘be in the moment’ stuff starts. I can go out, listen to the birds and enjoy the sun, the breeze and just be in the moment……

How do you re-focus yourself to ‘live in the moment’ and not just look forward to “someday”?

There is no place like….a house that loves Pizza!

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We LOVE pizza!! It doesn’t matter how it is made, homemade or from a pizza place…we love it. Once upon a time we ate it every week, on the same day, from the same place.  Unfortunately, or maybe its for the best, but our job’s hours and health outlooks have changed that. Now it is more of a treat than a standby.  Now I am more apt to have some whole wheat crust in the freezer ready to go; my recipe makes 2 doughs so if we don’t use both the other one goes in the freezer after rising.

We started with our basic homemade pizza which is usually either plain cheese or with pepperoni. The original crust was all purpose flour, not whole wheat and I have to admit, pretty good. Just not as healthy as it could be. It was overloaded with cheese and the pepperoni….just dripped with grease (yummm!).

We them switched to a whole wheat crust but that got a little bit dry in the crust and didn’t want to “fold”. Our current ratio is now 2.5 cups whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups all purpose flour. It is soft and pliable and a bit more healthy.  We cut back some on the cheese and then microwaved the pepperoni to eliminate a lot of the fat.  OK, we are getting better at being a healthier option!

On occasion I can get my hubby to go for a vegetable pie but he prefers adding meat (pepperoni or sausage) to it. I like the added vegetables and he can deal with the overall picture.

Loaded with veges…..

or a “Sausage and Pepper” pie, its still an improvement over our heavier versions!

Enter the challenge: my daughter has become a vegetarian and is really watching what she eats. We found a vegetarian recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook and started with that. We did adjust it to our taste and preference and I think we’ve gotten a pretty decent pizza option: Deep Dish Pizza with Roasted Vegetables. Both my older daughter and I will eat this one while my hubby and younger daughter will share the modified/lightened traditional one.  We are all eating together which is what matters  and we are eating healthier–its the best of all worlds!

Deep Dish Pizza with Roasted Vegetables (pan option a)

Pizza Healthified: Deep Dish Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

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Pizza has become a bit of a challenge now that we are striving to eat healthier and my older daughter is a vegetarian. She will no longer eat the pizza from our local place, and has also started declining our homemade version (too much cheese for her). So we needed to come up with an alternative. This one has been adapted from a Cooking Light recipe to fit our tastes and her preference.  We focused on getting in as much vegetables as possible with just a bit of cheese to keep the taste satisfying.  Use it a jumping off point and adapt it to fit your needs and tastes!

                                         Deep Dish Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

The Dough

Whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup

All purpose flour, 3/4 cup

Quick rise yeast , 1 package or 2.25 teaspoons

Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon

Warm water, 2/3 cup ( very warm but not too hot)

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer  with a dough hook but you can use a food processor or alternate with a blade attachment. Place all dry ingredients in the bowl and mix briefly to blend. Add water and oil while the mixer is running and mix until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. I kneed mine for just a few minutes more but you can omit it if desired. Place ball of dough in a bowl, preferably glass, that is coated in non stick spray. Turn to coat and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, 15-30 minutes depending on the heat/humidity of the day.

Pizza Filling

1 medium green pepper, cut into 1 inch (bite size) pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional, my preference)

1 (8oz) package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced (you can sometimes find them pre-sliced)

1 medium sized red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 cup pitted black olives

4 plum (Roma) tomatoes, coarsely chopped

6 oz part skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup pasta sauce of choice

For the filling:

1-Preheat oven to 475*F.

2-Line a cookie sheet with foil (this saves clean up time), combine the peppers, mushroom and onion together and coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and toss well. (I would also roast the tomatoes personally but my daughter prefers to add them later.)  Bake at 475* for 20 minutes then stir and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until they are roasted to preference.

3-Add the black olives and tomatoes to the pepper mix and combine well.

4-Reduce oven temp to 450*F

5-Pan choice is your option–I’ve done it two ways and enjoyed both. Choose either (a) a round tart pan (like a Corelle pan) or (b) a 13 x 9 inch rectangle pan. Coat with non-stick spray.

6-Roll out the dough to fit the pan with just a little extra for the crust. Place in preferred pan and press dough up sides of pan and then roll the extra to form the crust edge.

7-Spread the sauce over the base of the crust. Sprinkle 1/3-1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the sauce (if you like move of a cheese topping use less on the bottom or just put on the top.  Top with the roasted vegetables, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

8- Bake at 450* for about 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbling.

9-Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 slices/portions.

Using the round pan….

                                        or the 13 x 9 rectangle one…..either way, its a delicious way to have a healthier pizza!

 

 

 

Choose REAL FOOD…..your body will thank you!

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  I love to eat! I may not eat alot  of it but I want real food when I do.   I want it to taste good AND be good for me. 

I’ve come a long way in my thinking about food. In the past when I was ‘dieting’ I could divide it into two groups: diet/ non-diet or healthy/unhealthy or good food/bad food.  Now, food is food. There are better choices than others but its just food.  My improved way of thinking: follow the 80/20 rule–if you eat healthy 80% of the time then you can splurge 20% of the time.  Most days for me its close to 90-100% healthy but I no longer beat myself up if I want something less than stellar nutritionally.

I’ve never had an eating disorder but this is the healthiest relationship I’ve had with food.  Its not the enemy. Depending on your choices it can either nourish you or harm you in the long run. But its a matter of balance. If you cut back on/ cut out  any of the major groups (carbs, fats, proteins) your body will suffer; it needs all 3 to be in balance and function smoothly. We need carbs for energy; without them our body breaks down muscle and then fat storage to produce it. We need (lean) protein for muscle development and repair. We need fat (the healthy kinds) for neurological functioning and healthy skin, hair and nails.  The “diet plans” that eliminate these things are ultimately doing us more harm than good.

What I propose is we eat more F.O.O.D and less C.R.A.P. !! The closer the food you eat is to its natural form, the better it is for you. I know most of us can’t spend all day cooking from scratch and may have to rely of some pre-made foods but choose fresh food whenever possible. You will be able to control the amount of salt and sugar you add as well as cutting back on preservatives and chemicals.  Go for “real” food over substitutes. I use real sugar in my coffee, its only a few calories more but I am avoiding the chemicals in substitutes. I use real butter, albeit whipped butter, and not margarine or spreads. The important thing to remember–using a little of the real thing is much better, in my opinion, than artificial ones.

One of the things I try to do to avoid using processed food is to have a “prep day”–I cut up and bag veges (celery, carrots, peppers, etc), I thinly slice chicken breasts and pre-cook them (grill or oven) so they can be added quickly to salads or meals. I try to use things in multiple ways–cutting up veges for snacking and cooking saves time and effort rather than doing it daily.  I try to make up food and store it in the freezer when I can–I make individual calzones ( usually spinach or broccoli), burritos, beef,vege or turkey burgers and whole wheat pizza dough. This way its ready to go and all I have to do is grab it and go.

I’ve started making food in jars. I love my ‘Fridge Oatmeal’ and I am planning on making “Salad jars” as well. They are great for grab and go food–no heating required so you can eat them anywhere.

The thing to remember is: eat real food that you enjoy. Eat it in moderate portions, choose wisely most of the time and your body will thank you for it. You’ll have a leaner healthier body that will amaze you with its ability to keep you in top form no matter what the challenge!

 

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