Saturday, December 31, 2011

List of Foods to Eat

This is the time of year many people think about goals for the New Year.  When it comes to food I try to review the list of foods  that I can eat.  Focusing on the positive. 

Here are a few of the foods that I include in my list of things to eat.

Olive oil
Almonds, walnuts
Dark leafy veggies- kale, spinach
Whole grains-brown rice, oats, quinoa, beans, and lentils
Green tea
Dark Chocolate
Grass fed meat

Another food that I love are winter squashes.  Acorn, hubbard and especially, butternut.  The above picture is a golden hubbard from my local farmers market.  I roasted these for 15min at 425 degrees in the oven.   Squash are difficult to cut into, but worth the effort in taste and nutrition.  I would love to hear from you on what is on your list of foods to eat.  Leave a comment.  Live well, eat well, enjoy the last day of 2011.

I ran today

I ran today.  I usually avoid the treadmill.  I drag my feet, with quiet kicking and screaming.  In the winter it is my only choice if I want to run.  I did a walk run combo for 30 min. I was pleasantly surprised, it wasn't torture.  It felt good to work up a sweat.  I really like to have a distraction when I run.  Today, I listened to music on the ipod.  For me,  letting music or TV be a distraction, helps my legs not feel like weights.

I was inspired by a particular song.  It seemed to fit what I hope for and what I strive for.  It helped my mind to focus and finish the last 10 min of the run.

Be strong in the Lord
never give up hope
you are gonna do great things
I already know
God has his hand on you
don't live your life in fear
forgive and forget
don't forget why you are here
take your time and pray
these are the words I would say.
by Sidewalk Prophets  

The song has been playing in my head all day.  My favorite line is, "don't forget why you are here."  Each of us has a gift to give, a reason, a purpose to share with others.  I know I have many things to share with my family.  Something  I do everyday, is plan the meals and feed them.  I am trying my best to make good choices and be a good example to them. 

My kids learned a song at school that says, "Oatmeal, it is good for your immunity."  I laugh, sing the song to the kids and tell them how glad that they taught it to me.  They like to complain that I feed them too much oatmeal.  I really do use a lot of oatmeal.  In my defense,  it is a whole grain that fuels and fills them up.  My children do like my granola though. 

Exercise for me gives me an energy, a stamina for the day.  Eating well also gives me an energy that is unbeatable.  Live well, eat well, and don't forget why you are here.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Positive Sides of Winter

I read today from the magazine Whole Living,
Brisk, Crisp, Invigorating - Remember all the positive sides of winter. 

One of my winter goals is to get outside each day.  The reason that I chose this goal is because last winter I had a hard time with feeling motivated to get outside.  We moved into a large home, and felt the need to make excuses.  Excuses like, "I need to clean the kitchen."  or "The laundry is piled up."  I had a hard, long winter that I did not enjoy or feel good about.  My new outlook and determination is that getting outside is important for me
It is is important to set a good example for my children and to feel revived, alive, by the beautiful place I live in.  I took our youngest child for a sled ride.   She thought it was awesome, and I got an awesome workout.

The air was crisp and I felt awake.   My heart s filled with gratefulness for snow and the winter weather.  This is the first snowman  I have built in two winters.  The past few years I have made excuses to not wanting to enjoy the snow.  My girls were happy that we made a snow girl with a pink hat.  Pink is a favorite color at our house.  Our household has five girls (six if you count our girl dog) and two boys.  Carrying heavy snow balls around the yard to build a snowman is a great work out.   My arms were sore the next day. 

No matter where you live, I hope you take the time Eat well, live well and enjoy the brisk, crisp, invigorating - winter. 
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Carrots With a Punch

To keep vegetables interesting, I came up with this side dish.  Anytime I want to feel better, keep a healthy weight, or just have my food taste good, I start to experiment with different flavors on my veggies.  Anyone can make this dish in a flash.  Kids like it too.
Carrots With a Punch!

slice 4 large carrots
chop 1/2 onion
mince 1 clove garlic
 grate 1 tsp.  fresh ginger root (I keep some in the freezer, at all times)

I get my saute pan hot and add a good thick drizzle of olive oil.

Add the onion and garlic first and wait 2-3 min to be translucent.

Add carrots. 

Cook on high heat for 6-10 min.

Don't overcook!  Mushy carrots are yucky!

Stir in fresh ginger and serve hot.

In the picture above, you can see that a little dark color is OK.   When cooking over high heat this happens.  Don't worry it adds flavor.  I watch my salt intake.  I let the people in my family add salt to my veggie dishes if they need it.

I love this side dish for lunch or dinner.  Carrots are King!  Carrots are high in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.   A great antioxidant, and great for the immune system.

Most people keep carrots in the fridge.  I hope you try it with the ginger.  Eat well, live well, and eat your carrots.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Plan

Raising a family is a joy and keeps life full of surprises.  Which is why I find that if I have a plan for meals and for staying fit it makes a world of difference.  I find that making a menu plan and making an appointment with myself to exercise is what helps me.    
I try and keep things in the freezer and in the
 pantry that are good choices.  I love the Costco frozen green beans.  I saute them in fresh garlic and olive oil on high heat.  I then add a little chicken broth and cover them to simmer for  7-9 min.  It gives them so much more flavor than plain boiled beans.

I also keep quinoa in the pantry.  I make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for about five days.  Quinoa is a high protein grain.  A 1/2 cup of it has 8mg of iron, and 5g of fiber.   It takes on Mexican or Asian flavors well.  I mix it with black beans and fresh cilantro or add garlic, veggies and sesame oil to give it a kick. According to the book the 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, quinoa "was known by the Incas as the mother of grains."

Today I plan on making  our weekly menu plan and power walking off, some of the extra cookies I ate over the holidays.    My specific goals for the winter are;
1.  Get outside everyday (no matter the weather)
2.  Drink green tea everyday (my tea time will be 4pm)
3.  Eat well, live well, and stick to the plan (my menu full of veggies) 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Start Again

Revive means to start again, bring back to life.  I chose the word revive for this blog to keep my mind to renew, refresh, enliven, my passion for healthy living.  When I started on my journey towards health in 2009, researching food and understanding what is good for me was important.  Sometimes I get distracted and forget.  Today is a new day, a day to start again.  A plant based diet is what I strive for.  Oatmeal is one of my basic building blocks of my diet.

It is such a basic food.  I find that it is a breakfast that I can make taste different everyday.  Here are some of my add-ins that make it taste pretty fabulous.

Frozen blueberries
Crystallized ginger
Ground Coriander
Frozen Peaches
Frozen Pears
Canned pumpkin

I have found that using spices to help combat my desire to have sugar in the oatmeal.  I strive to eat less sugar and start my day with maximum punch.  I make a big batch of the old fashioned oats and re-heat the leftovers.  To keep the cost down I buy a 25 pound bag at (Winco) a grocery store that sells bulk.  I like to eat hot oatmeal from about September to March because something warm in the morning gets me going.  I go with Granola the other months. 

Eat well, live well, and enjoy the view around you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Morning Muffins

It snowed a few nights ago.  The sun shining and sparkling on the snow is inspiring.  Inspiring enough to make some vitamin c rich pumpkin muffins.  I knew we were going to play in the snow and needed warm fresh muffins to start our morning.

These muffins took about 10mins to prep.  Our whole house smelled yummy like cinnamon and sugar.

Ingredients for
Pumpkin Muffins

Preheat oven 375 degrees
8 oz. pumpkin
1/2  cup oil
1/2-3/4 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
2 eggs
Mix these together in bowl.
2 cups wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
handful of raisins
Mix all ingredients together
scoop into muffin pan

Optional delightful Topping:
mix in small bowl with fork
2 Tb Butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
sprinkle topping on top before baking.
My Muffins took 18 min. to bake.

The sugared walnuts on top were heavenly good and messy.  Walnuts are a good source of brain power. 

My daughter enjoyed every bite of her muffin.  I added a sprinkling of snow (powdered sugar) for her muffin.

With the right clothes and mittens going outside is fun.  Even my three year old lasted for an hour playing in the snow.  If the sun is shining I have the kids suit up and soak up some vitamin D rays from the sun.  Eat, play, and live well today.  Enjoy your winter views.