Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
One of the best things about Trader Joe's is the aisle of nuts, nut/fruit mixes, dried and freeze dried fruit, and so on. In a traditional grocery store, I'm lucky to find very over priced nuts in the baking aisle. At Trader Joe's... they are a center piece!! One thing that was brought up on that chat Tuesday evening- and that was unfamiliar to some- was the idea of freeze dried fruits. We all know that dried fruit is usually loaded with sugar so it isn't a great juice for getting the benefits of fruit. Freeze dried fruit doesn't have any added sugar. It's simply- freeze dried. It has a different texture and the flavor comes through pretty intensely. It's not something I'd play on a regular basis- but there are times they are a fun treat! One other treat to share... kumquats! Up until last year, I didn't know what kumquat was, to be honest. I'd heard of them. But hadn't ever had one and wasn't sure I'd ever even seen one. They look like tiny little oranges. See how small they are? Here's the crazy thing about a kumquat- you eat the entire thing. Just pop it in your mouth. Opposite from an orange, the kumquat peel is sweet and the inside "meat" is tart. So a kumquat is a fantastic way to satisfy that sweet and tart craving. The thing I like about Trader Joe's is that the store is smaller so it's less enticing, less distracting, less confusing. Most of the items are made without high fructose corn syrup and less preservatives and junk like that. Lots of organic choices at better prices than the bigger stores. So if I pick up some cookies, I don't feel as bad about them because they are made better than "commercial" cookies. I can buy things that my kids like- cereal bars, for example- and the ingredient list is a much better fit for the healthy lifestyle I try to lead and provide. Here's another example of how I was inspired... I have to admit that I have a really bad habit of night time snacking. Jeff and I both tend to get the kids to bed, sit down and relax, and end up grabbing some very unhealthy snacks while watching TV. Lately, my snack of choice has been pretzels and french onion dip. Not good- and I tried making myself feel better because I was using pretzels instead of potato chips! And of course, I don't measure out a portion so I'm sure I've been consuming more than the 2 TB serving size (60 cal, 5 g fat). I picked up an alternative at Trader Joe's. Pretzel slims and garlic hummus. The hummus is 50 cal and 3 g of fat- not a huge difference. But the onion dip has 2.5 g saturated fat and the hummus has none. Sodium in the dip is about double the sodium in the hummus. So tonight? I measure out 2 TB and I count out my pretzel slims. One tip that was given in the chat is to take cottage cheese, puree it in the blend (until smooth) and then add a packet of ranch seasoning or french onion and make your own dip! Other items I picked up and am very much looking forward to enjoying: identity crisis chips (gluten free, whole grain, wheat free- 140 cal in 10 chips, 7 g fat- made with corn, potato, and brown rice). These are especially good with Pineapple Salsa (2 TB, 15 cal, 0 fat). take out thali- boxed indian cuisine in microwaveable pouches. Perfect for at work. Less on the healthy scale but certainly not unhealthy. 480 calories, 16 g fat, 13 g protein, 8 g fiber. Soup- like beef & barley, carrot ginger, and sweet potato bisque. frozen foods like meatballs, chicken quesadillas, soycutash (edamame, corn, red peppers), vegetable melange kid friendly options like peaches, yogurt, fruit leather, and even some organic lollipops I'm feeling like I'm well armed to face cravings and urges and so on. I've got a little stock pile of better choices within arms reach. I've been in such a bad place with eating and lack of motivation and lack of physical activity. Not so long ago, just the idea of thinking about healthy food choices made my head swim. I felt overwhelmed by the options and choices and I felt afraid to give up the junk that brings me comfort. It feels so good to be enjoying the better choices that I am better prepared to make!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Yesterday, I pulled a thick envelope from the mailbox. Ted had warned me that it was headed my way- and I'd been watching for it. And what a treat it was!!
A letter from Em to Teagan. The "ice cream ketchup" reference goes back to when my kids, my mom and I had dinner with Ted and Em over the Christmas holiday when they were in Indy for a conference.A letter from Ted to Teagan. Personally, I love the hand drawn edging. A get well card from Em to Zach (in reference to his procedure 2 weeks ago). The referenced coloring pages were a big hit! The kids were really excited because the pages came from their favorite TV show- Dinosaur Train! But the card that made me cry... from my brother to my son. You can click on the picture to see it larger and read the words better. When Ted was around 5 years old, he had to have his tonsils removed. As any child would be, he was nervous. In fact, he might have been a bit more anxious because he was kind of a high strung kid. I bought him a stuff lion. I told him that this was Brave Lion. Anytime he was feeling scared or hurting, he just had to give Brave Lion a squeeze and Brave Lion would share his courage with Ted. This is the second time in his adulthood that Ted has mentioned Brave Lion. It touches me deeply that my small gesture had such an impact. And that my small gesture is being passed on to my children. And apparently this propensity for letter writing and card making runs in the gene pool. Teagan knows that Mommy's been sick. So she made me some get well cards. This cracks me up- she is so proud to know my name. She read the card to me when she presented it and her face just beamed when she said "Liz." It was adorable. A picture of Mommy and Teagan, hanging out. She said this paper was really special for this card- because it was shaped like a letter L... you know, for "Liz." So my mail- both from the post office and from Teagan's back pack- certainly made my day brighter. How about you? Do you send out cards and letters? Do you love to receive those little notes? Even online greetings are a reminder that someone is thinking of me. I think I would like to be one of those people who sends out little cards from time to time- just to let you know that I care.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
1. Friday Fragments make me happy! 2. James on Survivor makes me happy! 3. Healthy kids make me happy! 4. A long hug from my husband make me happy! 5. Swallowing without pain makes me happy! 6. Zach's feet are still fat baby feet just enough to make me happy! 7. Life in general just makes me happy!!
Guess I'll stop with 7... so 7 blogs to gift this one... ummmm...
Blogs that make me happy:
Whacked Daddy *****
I am very, very glad that it's Friday. Teagan has a birthday party to attend tomorrow evening. Other than that, our weekend should be very low key and laid back. We need to hunker down and fight off these germs! Are you doing something fun this weekend?