Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I really like the meaning behind the Thanksgiving holiday and setting aside the time to be with family and being thankful for our blessing, however I wish the part of the holiday where we eat until we’re stuffed wasn’t an annual tradition. After we all take the time to truly be thankful, we eat and eat until our “fat pants” are tight, then we take a nap and continue to eat. Usually, I always turn back to my bad eating habits on thanksgiving and the days after until all the leftovers are gone. I’m choosing not to this year. This year, I’m going to be mindful of what I’m eating.

This will also be the first thanksgiving as a Vegetarian. This is will the 2nd year in a row where I have eaten turkey at Thanksgiving. Last year, it was by accident. The time slipped away and I wasn’t in the mood to prepare a Turkey. This year, instead of focusing on the turkey, I am focusing on other foods.

I was at a local farmer’s market recently and I found these Brussel Sprouts! I had never seen Brussel Sprouts on stalks!

When it comes to any pie, I just can’t get enough. I’m going to try make a “Healthy” pumpkin pie with less than 5 ingredients AND without a crust. Save the calories, skip the crust. I am also going to make apple pies. I made apple sauce from fresh apples a while ago and I saved the apple skins. I’m going to cook those down, add some spices, portion into egg roll wrappers and bake. I’ve made apple pies before with egg roll wrappers. I’ve also made strawberry, pear and blueberry pies. I cook down whatever fruits and spices I would like, portion into egg roll wrappers and bake for 15 minutes, or until egg roll wrapper was brown at 350 degrees. It’s such an easy way to make a delicious pie.

I was getting nervous about having all the food around and the possibility of being tempted by the foods. I realize I am strong, power and I have a lot of self control. I am determined to make it through this holiday season still losing weight.
Whatever your thanksgiving traditions, I hope you have a great thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fallin’ in love

I just love this time of the year for running. The weather is just perfect for breaking a sweat. On a recent run, I found myself in the middle of the woods, running a trail that was just covered with leaves. It was a sunny, but chilly day. The trail was absolutely gorgeous. Most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees, but still a few remained on the trees. On that sandy trail, I ran by a lake and ran over a few streams.

As I was running, I noticed I was singing, quite loudly, along to the music. I made sure to stop singing when fellow runners were around, out of respect. I was laughing out loud and just loving the run. I was in a daze and not paying attention to the ground. Before I knew it, I was on the ground. I was running on the trail and tripped over a tree root that was covered by fallen tree leaves. My knees were covered in sand and I couldn’t believe I fell.

After realizing I was on the ground, I quickly looked around the make sure nobody saw. Thankfully, nobody did. I walked for about 30 seconds to make sure I wasn’t injured, then, I walked the 30 seconds back to where I fell and started to run the trail again. Thankfully, there was another runner about 3 minutes away, so if I needed help after the fall, there was help available.

As I started to run again, I told myself to turn the music down (a little) and start to pay more attention to the trail.

I love when running outside seems so fun. It’s such an amazing feeling when you don’t have to push yourself that much and by the time you know it, you’ve already ran over 5 miles.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Breaking the tradition

My birthday is quickly approaching. Only two days away. I have told family members that I do not want a birthday cake this year.

My reasoning is this-

1. My birthday is going to happen whether or not there is a birthday cake.

2. If I had a cake, not all the pieces will be eaten at once, so I would have leftovers. At some point, the leftovers would have to be eaten and I don’t want the temptation of having a half-eaten pan of birthday cake in the frig staring at me.

3. I could make a "healthier" cake, but again there will still be leftovers.

4. I have a difficult time avoiding having a 2nd, 3rd or 4th piece of cake, if they are available, and I DON'T need or want any temptations.

5. I love cake, cookies and all desserts, but the only reason that I can think of to have a birthday cake is because it’s tradition. That’s not a good enough excuse for me (anymore).

I started the tradition of not having a birthday cake last year. Last year, I was out of the house the majority of the day. When I returned home it was about 9:30 at night and that is way too late for me to eat anything, let alone cut into a birthday cake. I started a new tradition instead of eating cake, we take a family walk. Instead of eating, we continue to celebrate my birthday by all breaking a sweat together. I hope to continue this new tradition this year, even if it’s raining.
My birthdays have really evolved the past few years. Two years ago, I bought myself a cookie cookbook for my birthday. That day, that only thing I wanted to do was bake cookies. If you didn’t know this before, I loved cookies. I made over a dozen cookie recipes. Each recipe made a dozen or more cookies, so I had a whole bunch. I have cookies stacked on top of cookies all over the countertops in the kitchen. The freezer was just filled with bags of homemade cookies. And yes, I continued to snack on them, because they were available.

So to go from baking dozen upon dozen of cookies, literally all day long, to the next year of eliminating my birthday cake and incorporating a family walk, my birthdays have definitely evolved with my healthier lifestyle.
Traditions don’t have to be broken to stick with a healthier lifestyle. I have learned that I need to take control of the situation and reduce, and sometimes, eliminate my temptations all together. The positive side of breaking a tradition is creating new ones. A birthday walk is now my new birthday tradition!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Trick or Treat? Yes, please!

This year for Halloween I reinvented my tricks and treats. Usually for Halloween I always associate the holiday with candy, and who doesn’t?!? You see a lot more candy displayed in the store and many more decorations. Traditionally, I wouldn’t associate Trick or Treating with living healthy, but this year I definitely did.

I have a little trick that I do whenever I went shopping. Whenever I was in the stores and would walk by a Halloween candy display, I tighten my grip on the cart, continue to look straight ahead and avoid all eye contact with the candy. Usually I would avoid the candy aisles and displays all together, but sometimes you have to pass them. I refused to buy candy and I was successful. I made it through the holiday without any candy or sweets.

My treat this year was to wear a fun costume and exercise. I attended an exercise class days before Halloween and everyone who attended wore a costume. I dressed up as a 14 “Carrot” Wedding Ring.

Below is a picture! (Notice the 14 carrots, the hula hoop representing the Ring and the white dress and obnoxious bridal makeup.)


Besides the exercise class, I also treated myself to something else. Instead of buying candy for myself, I bought a new bicycle helmet. Not only did I avoid all candy, I gave myself treats to encourage myself to continue on my new healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pink Banana

I have really been enjoying myself the past couple weeks. I have been going to as many farmer markets as I can find. On one of my farmer market trips, I came across of local stand where the majority of the produce was squash. That’s not really surprising given the season. While I was at this place, I found myself looking at all the different kinds of squash that were available. I came across a Carnival Squash, Sweet Potato Squash and, the most shocking, Pink Banana Squash. I have bought squash before, but usually stick with only a few varieties. My curiosity got the best of me and before I knew it I was loading  Carnival, Sweet Potato and a Pink Banana into the car. As I was driving home, I was getting more and more curious and anxious to cook these different squashes up.

Below is a picture of the pink banana squash that I bought.


As soon as I got home, I began preparing my kitchen for a squash bake-athon. Besides purchasing these three new squashes that I never had before, I also previously had Acorn squashes, a spaghetti squash, a large Hubbard squash and two Butternut squashes awaiting for this bake-athon. As soon as the oven was preheated, the bake-athon began. It was raining that day and the smell of the something in the oven made it an ideal fall day. As the squashes were done cooking, I removed the skin and began filling zip-lock bags.

Here’s a picture of my madness! (Only about 1/4 of what was I was doing.) The long squash in the front is the Pink Banana.

Out of all the squash I baked, the only one I tried that day was the Pink Banana squash. I was the most curious about the taste of that, so I had to try some. I stocked the freezer with pre-baked squash and kept as many seeds as I could. I kept the seeds with the intention of trying to grow my own squashes next year. I also had another motive for keeping the seeds. Baking them! Since I had so many different kinds of seeds, I used a different spice and herb for each one! The only baked squash seed that is still available for consumption is the Pink Banana squash.
I really enjoy finding new produce to cook with and try. Especially if it’s in season and cheap.