Thursday, September 30, 2010

I get caught up

No, not me, uh huh....well maybe....okay, okay! I'll admit it, I get caught up in the infomercials.  This is how i got caught up into my Yoga Booty Ballet, and have been a fan of Beachbody ever since.  This is also how I found out about the dryer balls, and other assorted things I have accumulated around our house.  My latest purchase you may is, was the "Cami Secret".  These are like dickies, my mother told me about them, but I never had one.  The name itself was enough to make me not look for them.  But then again, they found me, all cute and lacy, and all I had to do was call or go online.

I have now worn these for three days in a row.  These have done a great job instead of pinning and camisoles.  I will say that it will help having a skinny strap on your bra though, although you can do a bit wider one, it will just be a bit tight to put on.

I never got the Cream, blue and brown ones though.  I have the bright colors and the animal prints, we'll see if I ever use those.  But for now, I have used the black on the most often since I wear black often, and a red one was not included.

oh, I get nothing if you decide to purchase these, I'm not a paid spokesperson. I just get caught up in the excitement of As Seen On TV.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pudding with Almond Breeze - Hungry Girl Style!

I am a fan of Hungry Girl,  How can yo not be with all the easy low cal and low carb recipes that she comes up with.  This one is a special favorite of mine now.  I tried to make pudding the other week with Almond milk, and although it was a thicker consistency the flavor was awful and it was not worth you trying yourself.  Today I see that Hungry Girl had also tried this and found what a pudding disaster Almond Milk made.  It's the only thing Almond milk can not handle.  But they found a work around, it's not instant but it's pudding!


45 Calories, 5 Minutes, Any Flavor!

(1 half-cup serving: approx. 40 - 45 calories, 1.5g fat, 93-103mg sodium, 6g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 0g sugars, 0.5g protein = 1 Point)

Pick your pudding pleasure! Chocolate Covered Strawberry? Vanilla Mango? English Toffee Coffee? Not only are these pudding snacks only 40 - 45 calories per serving, but you can create limitless flavor combos in five minutes. Top with some Cool Whip Free, or dip fruit in them while they're still warm. Yum!

2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 oz. Torani Sugar Free Syrup (or another sugar-free syrup); any flavor
1 tsp. Splenda

In a medium-sized nonstick saucepan, combine all ingredients. Stir well, and set stove to medium heat. Stirring constantly, allow mixture to reach a boil (approximately 5 minutes, depending on if Almond Breeze was previously refrigerated). Once mixture has reached a boil and thickened, remove from heat. Spoon mixture into three dishes and place in fridge until pudding has cooled and set (several hours). Makes 3 half-cup servings.

If you don't subscribe to her emails, check out her website often.  There are lots of good things to eat there.  Although some incorporate more packaged items than I use, there are plenty of things there for everyone.

Birthday Party for DH BFF

..."It's your Birthday"...

Family Shot!

Happy Birthday Bill!

Lemon Muffin & Recipe helps

Lemon Muffin - (Neutral on all steps)

1/2 C or 4oz Almond Flour
1/2 C Flax Meal - I used soy flour instead since I did not have flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 C Splenda granular
1 tsp poppy seeds 
2 Tbsp light butter
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp light cream
2 Tbsp water
2 eggs

Stir together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, melt the butter (maybe 20 seconds in the microwave). To the butter, add the extracts, cream and water.  Combine with the dry ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Spray 6 muffin tins with cooking spray with butter (or other cooking spray).  Bake at 350 degrees (or 325 if using a convection) for 15-20 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on rack before removing from the pan. 

Here is a link for more recipes for those beginning the Metabolism Miracle journey.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pear Chutney - Cooking light

Autumn has some beautiful produce: endive, apples, brocolli, cranberries, gapes, cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms, parsnips, pumpkins, figs, pears, persimmon, pomegranate, quinces, red bell peppers, red potatoes, rutabagas, shallots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, yukon gold potatoes, bay leaves, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, cabbage, brussels sprouts, escarole, fennel, frisee, and leeks.

So in the honor of the season, and at the request of my sister, I will be posting a Chutney recipe for the flavor of fall.

The recipe was for Sage Pork with Pear Chutney, but I will focus only on the chutney today.

2 firm ripe pears, chopped
3/4 C dried cherries
2 naval oranges
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine pear and cherries in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Grate 1tsp rid from one orange (or more to taste); add rind to pear mixture.  Squeeze juice from both oranges; combine orange juice, ginger, and cinnamon.  Add to pear mixture.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered 4 minutes or until pear is crisp tender; stiring often. Remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes.

Recipe comes from Cooking Light: Light & Easy Menus

I would suggest following the meal plan first, and then branching out form there.  It was a delicious meal.  I would serve an after meal tea such as Market Spice, Chai, or Caramel Apple tea.  I prefer the taste of spices in fall, hot apple cider, cinnamon, apple, all of these in an after dinner tea are a perfect ending to this fall chutney.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A little rant about friends, food, and health issues

Taken at a friends baby shower - many good friends and some strangers, picture is not specific to particular friends

I must have been raised different, or Utah is far more different that California as far as consideration goes, or I don't know what the reason is.  Here is what I have noticed though.  There are those in our lives that wear the friend hat, and those who kind of pick up the friend hat at times, and set it down on other occasions.  I prefer to be in the company of those who just live it, they wear the hat even when it's goofy, or it doesn't go with their outfit, or it's just plain old.

There are times when being a friend is inconvenient, when we were all younger and possibly single, but definitely staying up later partying or clubbing, or just out for whatever the reason, we knew who to call if we needed help at 2am.  Those were the real friends, they could call us, we could call them.  Now fast forward a few years, you have jobs that are more demanding, pets, possibly kids, and some new health issues.  There is the ever increasing Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Thyroid issues, etc.  Now you have to make changes to your diet and exercise routines, and those about you may or may not have to make adjustments as well.   Who are your friends now? How do they behave?  Do they get all bent out of shape if you bring food you can eat to a party? Or are they glad that you came and joined in the festivities?

I began this post a long time ago, when I was in a much more angry mood.  I'm still frustrated, but as I st here sipping my vanilla almond tea I think more and more about the friends I have learned so much about.  I know that there is one here who will embrace my new path to health, and if I make changes and adjust on that path I will be supported.  I have another friend who will understand and not judge, she will not necessarily join in, but she will not be offended if I have to bring food for myself.  The others? well, they have their own issues to deal with. I don't know if their children will have allergies, or their friends will have celiac, or  asbergers or autism, but I do know that one day they will come to a place where they will be asked to change their lifestyle for whatever reason and it will be difficult on them.  I wish they could see it now, that the decisions we make will either send us to the hospital now or later.  I have chosen to eat better and exercise and make these changes now before the Dr tells me it's life threatening and that I have to be put on medication.  It would be good to have more people surrounding me who felt the same, but those who do are counted as the best of friends.

Tea is soothing, it always has been. I'm glad I stopped by the market tonight and picked some up after my walk.  Now to hope that all of what I have picked up will help with the cramps.  Yep, they are beginning again, the pins and needles in my abdomen.  The cramps that clench my gut into a knot and make me scream and pray for an easy death.  Hmmm....I'm hoping that in all of this new healthiness, that it will result in less pain and the better possibility of fertility.  I miss my mom, and my friends back home.  Well, there you have it, my rant about friends, and life, and why I'm doing what I am.

If you are interested in the vanilla tea here is a picture and the link
Keep taking steps towards health, do not give up from small set backs, and do not let the negativity of others hold you back.  These are the things I'm learning, and I would like to give to others.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Super dog!

Bear in "flight", looking rather upset about it too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ricotta pancakes & a new fall tea

Yet another recipe from the Metabolism Miracle book by Diane Kress.

This time you will have to look up the recipe or ask for it.  But these are a nice alternative to real pancakes, but you won't be fooled they do taste different, especially with the low sugar Maple Syrup.  Actually the syrup that's low sugar and flavored like Maple, because real Maple syrup is not without it's own natural sweetness.  Personally I will be excited to finally get 8 weeks done and move myself into the next two phases, but so far I've not done a full week yet. This is disappointing, but I have gotten better, and now the summer is coming to a close and I will make a stronger more valiant effort to stick with this for the next 8 weeks.

I have also found a new tea that I love, a red leaf, can you guess what it is? Brand or flavor?  Let me give you a hint, it's not for sale at Starbucks.  Their vanilla rooibos tea, was less than exciting.  I'm sure that there are others who love that tea, but I was not impressed.  It's sitting in the tin, just waiting for someone to drink it.  It's more bitter tasting than smooth.

I'm becoming a big fan of Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider Rooibos

To let you know, I did not appreciate it the first time I tried it, but the second cup got me.  I had been hopping for more apple flavor, it's a mild tea, not a spicy tea.  It does have a smoothness and a fruitiness that I have grown to love.  See, there are "food" rewards, okay tea rewards, or coffee (unsweetened of course).  Have fun learning all the fun new ways to cook very low carb foods.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Graduation Party for my friend

We were up in the nose bleed section

Congratulations on your Bachelor's degree!

There was a party, complete with cake.

Half the crowd piled into the picture.

I even got caught on film.  It helps to bring a tripod, so that can happen.

Finally we end with a family shot. 
 Here is one driven young woman, now she's off to work on her Master's.  I'm glad that we met and have become friends.  So, this is one way to keep your weekend full.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Wordless Wednesday - mostly wordless anyways

This is a story about Bear

Mandy enjoying her rawhide, minding her own business

A side attack

The beginning of  wrestling around a bit

Bear working on a take down

Mandy's take down

Ending friends again

And kisses for mommy, it's been a great day

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coconut yogurt - First attempt

Coconut Milk vanilla yogurt

3 14oz cans of coconut milk (I used the full fat milk, since the LF version is mainly water)
1/4 Cup commercial plain yogurt with the active bacteria in it
2 Tbsp Honey ( I could have done 3, and I could have done agave)
1Tbsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Vanilla paste

1- brought the milk to 150 F- I was aiming for 125F but it went up faster than I anticipated.

2 - Removed from heat stirred in the vanilla past, and the extract {also accidentally added in the yogurt :(}

3- Cooled to 110 F and added the yogurt to a part of the cooled coconut milk mixture. (yep, I added more since the bacteria were killed in the first mistake)

4 - Mixed the two together, the yogurt paste, and the coconut milk. Stirred thoroughly.

5 - poured the milk into the sterilized containers, and placed in the yogurt cooker unit. Let stay for 10 hours.

So, this was a combo of two different recipes and my yogurt is tasty, but very thin.  It's almost a sauce, so next time I will leave it for longer, and I might add in the Non-Fat dry milk that the other recipe asks for. I would also leave for the 24 hours.  I would have to work with my machine though and add time once I could since my machine only goes up to 19 hours.  I'm not personally dealing with allergies, and I can have some dairy fat in my diet, this is not a huge amount.  If I was doing a completely dairy free I would have to order the correct bacteria to add.
After being removed from the machine - see all the extra liquid, the full fat is thin enough

I liked the flavor much more than the milk version of this recipe though, it is more sweet than tart, and I like that.

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt over banana with honey

Now I have a yogurt maker that has plastic containers, it was economical where I got it at the time, not even close to the same price as on Amazon.  I needed to make sure I would use the machine first, before going all out.  There is one I keep looking at on the Williams Sonoma site, and I found replacement glass containers for that machine.  So, I ordered some, and the yogurt starter.  I'm fairly certain that the starter is a dairy one, so the previous post has other sites to look up for the other type of starter to use.  There is a pectin that you can add to make your yogurt firmer, but I'm trying to leave mine as natural as I can and I don't mind it being a bit thinner.

There are other glass replacements you can look at online, and there are more economical ways to make yogurt than using the machine, although mine was a great deal at Tuesday Mornings, so there are ways to find them that will work with in your budget.  Thrift stores, ebay, amazon etc.  You have to decide if you are doing this for economy, or for health, or just for fun.  If it's only for fun, you will most likely loose interest.  There is a long process to making yogurt and if you can buy it quickly for cheap elsewhere you most likely will.  If it's for you health, and you are looking to reduce the amount of additives and fillers in your food, then do what you can to get a system that works for you.  I like having a yogurt maker, and now I will be even happier with the glass jars.  BPA messes with hormones, and that is something I need to eliminate.

So for those of you with food allergies or other health issues aside from PCOS, this is a way to have a non-dairy yogurt.  I will be trying the full non-dairy version at a later time. 

As an aside here, I was just browsing through the items for yogurt here on amazon and I came across this thermometer which also has a clip for the side of your pot, something I have appreciated about the candy thermometer I currently have.  But here is the link and picture if you want to check it out as well.
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