19 signs you’re a foodie fanatic

I got this in an email today and liked it so I thought I would share (check out the article online to see cute little animated images). If you’re not familiar with Take Part, check them out! I’ve bolded the ones that apply to me and added a few notes along the way. 🙂

The eating habits of Americans are changing. Kids no longer cry for Happy Meals, people who aren’t hippies are reaching for Kombucha instead of soft drinks, and organic grocery stores are popping up in the most unlikely places. Last month, McDonald’s saw its biggest slump in sales in 10 years. Other food industry giants, such as General Mills, are taking note.

Obesity rates are still soaring, and the government still needs to better regulate Big Ag, but there’s plenty to celebrate, thanks to a growing community of conscious food consumers. So really, there’s no shame in being particular about what you eat. Here we list 19 signs you’re a foodie fanatic.

1. You own all of Michael Pollan’s books. (I own one…)
2. You think Monsanto is pretty much the worst company in the world.
3. You have strong feelings about GMOs—and your friends (and some strangers) know it.
4. You obsessively check food labels, and you know which ones are bogus.
5. You roll your eyes at beef that’s not grass-fed.
6. You consult a phone app before eating seafood to check if it’s sustainable. (I probably would if I had a smartphone).
7. You jumped for joy when Ben & Jerry’s announced it was going GMO-free.
8. You have an excessive number of reusable bags on hand at all times.
9. You have a garden.
10. You spend a lot of time perusing restaurant menus and peppering waiters with questions.
11. Watching your friends gobble up junk food physically pains you.
12. You freak out when you oversleep and miss the farmers market.
13. You ask baristas where the coffee beans come from and whether they have hemp or quinoa milk.
14. You started drinking coconut water before everyone else did (and are now considering maple water). (I just cannot get on the coconut water bandwagon…it’s so gross to me, no matter how good it is for you).
15. You love Trader Joe’s.
16. You get irrationally angry about food mash-ups and wish you lived in simpler times.
17. You spend most of your money buying organic everything.
18. You Instagram every meal. (Again, I probably would if I had a smartphone). 
19. You’re considering naming your child Kale…or Quinoa. (I have a friend whose dog’s names are Basil and Olive!)

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/09/12/19-signs-youre-foodie-advocate?cmpid=tpfood-eml-2014-09-13-foodie#article-comments

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i’m back

Holding my sweet baby Elam

Holding my sweet baby Elam

I’m back…back to work and hopefully back to blogging a bit. What have I been doing? Spending a lot of time holding a baby and chasing a 2 year old. But, I returned to work last week, so now I am back to being a lifeguard, personal trainer and hopefully group exercise instructor in October.

I’ve missed blogging and have had a million ideas of what I could blog about, but never could find the time to actually sit down and write it out. But now that I’m back to work, I can get my thoughts out during my breaks and such.

Baby is doing well and is already 7 weeks old, which is hard to believe. His brother likes him and is good to  him, so that makes my life easier. Having two small kids is chaotic and I thank God that I have a good husband to help me out.

I really enjoyed my break and bonding with my boys. I miss spending time with them already. My older son started preschool two days a week last week and that went well, thankfully. Here’s a shot my sister caught of him on Labor Day weekend playing with an old Halloween decoration we had in the yard…

Ezra and the skull

Ezra and the skull

Now, it’s time to get back into shape (just did a good 20 minute workout) and get back into a groove. And, get back into meal planning/cooking. I really miss eating well, so that’s one of my biggest goals. Here goes nothing!

a new normal

Little Elam is 2 weeks old today and our family is settling into a new normal. Ezra is a great big brother. Yesterday, he shared his building blocks and asked “Can I touch his leg?” It was very sweet. Thankfully, my husband has had 2 weeks off work and still has one more before it’s back to the daily grind. I am off until the week of Labor Day, thankfully. Physically, I feel almost back to my old self again and my stomach is quickly disappearing. I took a 20 minute walk yesterday for the first time since Elam arrived and it felt good. I hope to keep walking a few times a week and incorporate some light strength training as well. Need to get some of this jiggly tightened up!

My garden is producing an abundance of tomatoes and those sunflowers are even more gorgeous. I’m so glad I decided to have a garden and that it’s turned out so well. I have a few zucchini still coming out and there are some butternut squash ripening nicely. I found a watermelon the vine that’s about 2 inches around, so we’ll see if it turns into anything. I found a recipe for crock pot spaghetti sauce I’m going to try with all these tomatoes so they don’t go to waste.

I’m so thankful for the blessings the good Lord has given me. It’s like the song my son has learned to sing…

This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it

Rejoice and be glad today!

nesting? perhaps.

I left work at 1:30 today to come home and take a nap, which I did…for 2 hours! My mom has my son today, so I thought I would take advantage of a little “me” time before this baby gets here. It’s decided to incubate at least till its due date (tomorrow) and I’d been wanting to bake up some zucchini bread since the garden is being generous.

First, I made a blackberry peach cobbler that I’d made last year. Then, I made a double batch of zucchini bread. Next, I cleaned up the house and lastly, finished packing my hospital bag. I’m getting ready to light into dinner for my husband and me. I hope he’s as tickled as I am when he gets home to a clean house and the smell of fresh baked goodies! I think this might be my sudden burst of energy that folks talk about before you go into labor. Who the heck knows? I thought I’d have this baby by now! 🙂

I had forgotten about something my son said this morning. He got up early (around 5:45 am) and came to get in bed with me (his daddy was already gone to work). He had been laying there a few minutes when he took out his paci (still trying to kick that habit) and said “I like you.” Now, doesn’t that mean the world to a mommy? It sure did to me.

Enjoy some photos of what I was up to this evening and a visit to a friend’s house the other day.

why whole wheat?

Years ago, my younger sister talked me into trying whole wheat pasta instead of just white. Ever since, I typically buy whole wheat unless the type of noodle is not available. I would by whole wheat bread, but my husband hates it and we waste bread if I buy two loaves. However, anytime I can buy whole wheat products over white flour products, I do.

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve only been buying wheat flour to bake with and no one in my house is complaining. I’ve used it in waffles, pancakes, muffins, zucchini bread, and more.

I started pondering why I think this is so good for me and I really didn’t have an answer, so I started researching the benefits of wheat over white and here are some good things I found:

  • It has more naturally occurring nutrients (instead of being taken out and placed back in by humans)
  • Women who eat whole grain products weigh less
  • They reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Lower type 2 diabetes risk
  • Lessens chronic inflammation
  • It’s good for your digestive system
  • Helps protect against cancers

Read more about it for yourself at these sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=66

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthy-wholewheat-flour-vs-white-3305.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/reaping-benefits-whole-grains

Try to substitute some of your white flour products with whole wheat and whole grain – for you and your family!

2014 goals – where am i?

So, it’s July 11 already. Isn’t that hard to believe?! That means we’re more than half through the year. I’d been thinking about blogging about my 2014 goals I set back in January when I ran across the print out I’d made. I’ve been cleaning my work desk all morning getting ready to be out on maternity leave. Here’s where I stand on what I had set for myself this year:

  1. Spend more quiet time with God – So far, so good. I’m still not where I want to be, but I do believe I’m doing better than I ever have. I do MAKE (not FIND) time to read my Bible, but there’s always room for improvement. I need to spend more time in prayer, but I’ve definitely improved on my Bible reading.
  2. Help lead at least one person to Christ – As of today, I can’t say anyone has been “saved” directly because of me, but I’m trying to be a better witness. I still have a LONG way to go with this, but I’m really trying.
  3. Be more positive toward my husband – For the most part, I feel I’ve improved. I try to give out more compliments and praise. The funny thing is, he seems to be doing the same to me. Is it reciprocal or coincidence?
  4. Gain no more than 30 pounds during this pregnancy – I’m less than 7 days away from my due date and I’m right at 30 pounds, so I feel like I have this one in the bag!
  5. Get back to 155 pounds by the end of the year – I think I will be able to obtain this since I didn’t go overboard during this pregnancy.
  6. Perform at least 1 pull up by the end of the year – I put that one on hold until I get back from maternity leave…
  7. Win the weight loss competition – I did win round one earlier this year – my ladies were fantastic! We didn’t win the second round, but it was so close and my gals were really happy with their results.
  8. Add 3 more regular personal training clients – I did pick up a new gal, but she’s fizzled out on me a bit. I think I can still pick up a couple when I come back from maternity leave.
  9. Continue to improve my diet – I have to admit, I’m kind of stuck in a rut on that one. I’ve been eating too much sugar, but I try to eat well for the most part. Thankfully, my garden is doing well so I’ve been eating lots of fresh squash and lettuce!
  10. Grow a small garden – Oh, boy! This has been the most fun for me. I’m so tickled with how it’s coming along. I have bunches of green tomatoes on which I’m waiting for. I’ve really enjoyed the garden and plan to expand it next year.
  11. Potty train our son – He’s coming along (recent blog post talked about this one). I think by the end of the year, we’ll have this one in the bag.

Well, that does it for now! I’m on track, but we’ll see how the year finishes up.

a few new recipes

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself cooking here and there. I figure I better do it while I have some energy before this baby arrives. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Whole Wheat Blackberry Muffins – I ended up using these giant blackberries I had and they turned out so good. I didn’t have any vanilla on hand that day, so I used vanilla yogurt and that worked fine.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread – I made this Saturday and it was so yummy! I told my son it was “cake” and let him eat some for breakfast. 🙂 My husband even liked it. This recipe made one regular loaf plus one mini loaf (I didn’t have 4 mini loaf pans). Oh, and I used wheat flour instead of white.

Spinach Stuff Chicken Breasts – These I made for dinner Monday night and the husband was thrilled! I used thighs because they are cheaper and I like them better. I also used cream cheese instead of feta and I added sun dried tomatoes as well. Very yummy.

Zucchini Gratin – This was a side dish I made Monday. I loved it. I didn’t measure my ingredients, so I went a little heavy on the bread crumb topping, but next time I’ll know better. Had a great flavor!

I’m so glad I’ve developed a love for cooking. The great thing about summer is that you don’t have to “cook” much. I think tonight, I might try these zucchini noodles if I have some ripe ones in the garden.

Thought I would share this photo my mom got yesterday. I’m pretty pregnant, huh? 🙂

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