5 Faves from this Week….

So my Mom saw this idea, somewhere on the wonderful web, and told me about how every Friday some bloggers post their five favorite things from the week. Stuff they’ve seen, laughed at, a recipe they tried or will try, something inspiring, etc…I’m not one who goes with the flow and I’m a day late….but here goes πŸ™‚

Amanda Gayle’s 5 Faves

1. Advice from the Ocean…

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Coming out of my shell has been the theme this week for me. Trying new things, exploring other options and embracing some new habits. This weight loss journey so far has been successful, being officially down 10 pounds as of yesterday I’m feeling more determined to press on.

2. The Correct Response to the Question…

Hehe, excellent response!

3. 10 Health Benefits of Watermelon…

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4. Chicken Parmesan Patty Melts

Chicken Parmesan Patty Melts Recipe

(I would prefer this without the ciabatta bread, serve it up with Dreamfield’s Angel Hair Pasta, and a side salad)

 

5. Realizing blessings…

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This really hit me about mid week. Being surrounded by a loving family, amazing friends who have helped me overcome some major hurtles, and it reminded that even though I’m a perfectionist life is not perfect. Therefore, I need to stop placing such high expectations on absolutely everything. Life is messy, it doesn’t always go the way I want it to, and when that happens it’s not the end of the world. Take notice of the many blessings that come your way, count them daily!

 

These were just a few of my favorite things this week, what was yours?

 

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Feeling old yet?

Afternoon y’all, I finally had that feeling of “good grief I’m old” last night! I help teach a class of 3 & 4 year olds every Wednesday night at church. Two of the youngin’s arrived early and one of them had a heart sticker. She called it her Tenderheart sticker πŸ˜‰ Oh the flashbacks that came rolling with that hehe!! I was sitting at the desk prepping their take home papers and I leaned forward close to her and asked her if she has ever done the Care Bear stare!!! She looked at me with that look of “uh, no I’m not THAT crazy!” lol Ok, so I was THAT crazy when I was her age πŸ˜›

$(KGrHqRHJBQFEzL0DlORBRs2vw0!9!~~60_35 I had Cheer Bear, I would sit with her and Butterbear (when I would watch the Wuzzles) and do my Care Bear stare when they would πŸ™‚ And yes, I would bounce all over the place when the Gummi Bears came on πŸ˜€ Actually all my stuffed animals would watch my shows with me, pound puppies included! Oh those were the days, feels like it was just yesterday. Now admit it, you all did the same thing too, don’t deny it.

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Raise your hand if you remember this funky morsel of 80’s cartoons *raises her hand* and I would only watch it when we would visit my Grandma and Grandpa Jones. I never slept well in their house and would wake up before the sun. So I’d come out to their living room feeling like a zombie and curl up on the sofa(back when I could curl up lol). My Grandma would turn on the tv and put it on Jem. I loved it and longed for my Barbie dolls to look as cool as Jem, because she was truly outrageous!

But my all time favorite toy that I used over and over until I lost teddyruxpin-e

the cover for the batteries was my...

Teddy Ruxpin!

Oh how I loved that toy, still have my original packed away along with my preemie cabbage patch baby dolls. I would put the tape in ol’ Teddy and hunker down on my bed with my babies and listen to story after story of Teddy’s adventures, often times pretending to shush one of the baby dolls.

How I wish I could explain to these youngin’s that they aren’t the first to enjoy things like Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, and the Smurfs. One day πŸ™‚ When I’m gray haired…oh wait, already that lol…well, y’all get ready for stories titled “When I was your age” hehe to me those are always the best!

Happy TBT!!!

 

Related Links:

You Know You’re an 80’s Kid if…

Popular Items for 1980’s Kids on Etsy

1980’s Website; Totally retro

1980’s Quizzes and Trivia

Protein for PCOS and Muscle Repair

Here’s a great article directly from an email I received from Insulite Laboratories:

WHY PROTEIN HELPS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PCOS

Our calorie needs may drop as we get older but it doesn’t mean our protein requirements follow suit. This is especially true in light of the need to maintain strength to exercise regularly to better manage PCOS symptoms.

While the official Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is the same for all healthy adults, there’s considerable evidence that older people need more. Elderly people tend to eat less food, putting them at risk of under-consuming protein.

When the body has too little protein, it breaks down muscle to get the protein it needs for other vital body functions, leading to reduced strength. Insufficient protein has also been linked to an increased risk of hip fracture.

The current RDA for protein is based on body weight: adults need 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day, with people who work out regularly having higher requirements.

To help preserve muscle, most experts advise older adults to aim for 1 gram of protein per kilogram. For a 150-pound person, that’s 68 grams of protein a day, an amount that can be found in seven ounces of chicken and 2 1/2 cups of milk or soy beverage.

One great thing about protein is that it keeps you fuller longer, especially when eating carbohydrates. I always combine the two together at my meals, and I suggest you do the same. How can you start eating more healthy protein choices today?

I loved that article, it’s great to read something that steps outside the realm of tradition.

Now for some additional information πŸ™‚ I’ve recently gotten back to my workout routine, mostly walking with variations thrown in for interest. Every morning I workout before I have breakfast, and once I cool down completely, drink two cups of water, I’ll go and make a protein packed breakfast. Usually consisting of a meat (beef, turkey, chicken or pork) and eggs. Occasionally I’ll throw in some broccoli for added color but also for Vitamin C and to aid with digestion (I need all the help I can get lol). In the month I’ve been working out and having a protein breakfast every morning I have less pain afterwards. My calf muscles which seem to give me so much grief are hurting less when I can consume enough protein soon after my workout.

Think back to health class…

When you are working out, the strenuous activity can create tiny tears in your muscles. This is why you’ll feel it burning or hurting depending on the level of intensity. After a cool down most people grab a protein shake or will eat a high protein meal to help aid in the healing process of those torn muscles. Protein needs to be ingested within an hour after working out in order for to work properly in soothing sore muscles. You don’t have to have a big meal, but any of the following will do the trick!

  • peanut butter on toast
  • lean sliced turkey on a bagel
  • a protein shake(preferably one that is soy free and low in carbs. Look up True Whey.)
  • fish such as flounder, orange roughy, albacore tuna, crab and salmon with a little lemon on a salad
  • eggs either hard boiled, scrambled, made into an omelet, or cooked over medium
  • liquid proteins such as milk will move more quickly through your body(take care if you’re lactose intolerant)

Keep in mind that solid proteins will digest more slowly than that of liquid proteins found in a protein shake. I understand it’s common thought to consume post workout proteins with carbs, but if you’re trying to cut back on those, like I am, take care in what you choose to pair your proteins with. Make sure they are complex(oat bran, wheat germ, barley, maize, buckwheat, cornmeal, and oatmeal to name a few), protein bars are not always a healthy choice either. Sure they are convenient and easy to carry along, but they are chock full of chemicals, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners(which are neurotoxins), and full of empty calories if you’re counting. I look at protein bars as a snack item and not even a snack at that. Use them sparingly, don’t use them as meal replacements, and try to stick with bars that are relatively low in carbohydrates. Quest Bars are an excellent source of protein as well as all natural ingredients and they are low in carb!

As a woman of teal I strongly suggest staying away from anything with soy in it. Soy is a GMO crop, meaning it has been genetically modified. Rendering it unsafe for most human consumption. There are also phytoestrogens in soy, which doesn’t sound bad in and of itself. As PCOS Cysters we tend to run a bit low in our estrogen and you’d think that getting some plant estrogens would be an ok solution, right? I wish that were so, phytoestrogens are not real estrogens at all. They may seem like mammalian estrogen but their structure is quite different. PCOS Diva says,

Phytoestrogens in soy are not true hormones, rather they are similar structurally so theyΒ  act like hormones and can cause endocrine disruption.Β  They can bind with hormone receptors and can interfere with the production of hormones. They are 1200x less potent than human estrogens.Β  But if you are eating large quantities of soy it can become a problem.Β  Soy phytoestrogens are not weak. Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle.

 

From one Cyster to another, avoid as much soy as you possibly can. Soy in women can cause PCOS symptoms, cause abnormal hair growth on the face, back and chest, as well as lead to infertility. Men, soy isn’t any safer for you either. Research has shown that men who consume soy on a regular basis have a greater chance at being infertile, have higher levels of estrogen in their system causing breast tissue growth, slow down male hair growth patterns, and affect erectile function. Dr. Joseph Mercola, about the only doctor I trust anymore these days and a leader in natural health, has written several articles about the dangers of soy(Click HERE to read more). He strongly urges people to only consume fermented soy in small quantities, but even better to not consume ANY at all, especially if you are highly sensitive or allergic to soy. We have been duped for so long that it’s difficult to stop listening to what doctors, health specialists, and even what our own government is spouting. Anything that has been genetically modified you should always be wary of, if it’s not growing outside or has organic origins then don’t eat it.

By getting back as close to nature as you possibly can, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll start to feel overall. Certain health disorders/diseases will begin to taper off and may even disappear all together. We were given dominion over the land, not to modify it, but to cultivate it and to provide for ourselves the rich bountiful harvests of each season!

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It’s Been 10 Years…

I grew up not wanting to have any kids. In fact I prayed it wouldn’t happen, mostly because I wanted to pursue a career, have my freedom and not have to be responsible for anyone but myself. I had my life somewhat planned out from a fairly young age. I wanted to do the three F’s: Learn to play the flute(check), Learn French (partial check), and go to France(never happened). It’s amazing how thing work out, once our family moved to Brazil everything stopped making sense. I didn’t know what I wanted to study in college, so I didn’t go. After we came home I floundered for a couple of years unsure of what I wanted to do.

I finally got a job at Hobby Lobby as a cashier, it was a love/hate relationship. I loved working in my favorite store but I hated being stuck behind a register for 10–12 hours a day. After some headbutting with the manager I wound up leaving and spent a month looking for a new job to no avail. The following year I never dreamed I would have wanted something so much that I was willing to give my life for…I became a Mom. It wasn’t by choice to become a single Mom, but that’s how it worked out πŸ™‚

G–Man has certainly kept life interesting for me! There have been days where I wonder what I ever did to deserve this little crazy mess I call “mini me”.

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Sure it was a rocky beginning, trying to figure out how to adjust. Sacrificing my wants for his needs, there were a lot of bumps and potholes along the way that I kept stumbling over and falling into. But the one thing I never regret is choosing to keep him. I had to learn how to be his Mom and do everything in my power to make sure he would never be in want.

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curls…curls…curls!!!

I miss these curls, they were soft and just melted my heart! He’s the closest thing to a green eyed redhead that I could get πŸ™‚

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When he was 3 I was convinced that everything I was as a child was amplified by 100,000! Oh what a handful he was! Climbing on everything, coloring on the walls, painting the carpet, baseboard and part of the wall in the dining room with bright fuchsia fingernail polish(it’s still there by the way, just covered up by a lovely Brazilian cabinet). There was the shampoo incident on his bedroom, apparently he wanted to clean a dirty spot on the floor, and oh the joys of summer time in the pool, back when I could still go out. He stopped taking naps at this point and the adjustments were not in my favor πŸ™‚

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Almost overnight he grew up…

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…he was becoming his own little person!

Of course I didn’t want to let go, I held on as tight as I possibly could! That sounds worse than I actually meant it πŸ˜‰ But I definitely couldn’t wait to see what kind of a little person he would grow into. Would he take up art like me? Would he be interested in Legos? Would his love for bugs ever end?! The years passed, we started homeschooling when he was 3 yrs old, the very first thing he learned was how to spell his name. I wanted to make sure he could do it himself in case someone wasn’t sure how to spell it for him(and believe me the variations we got to see on his Sunday School papers over the years have made us giggle). However, we officially didn’t use actual curriculum till he was K5. Yes I boogered up his ABC’s at first, teaching the names of the letters instead of the sounds. We were learning together, trying to figure out what would work best for him and eventually finding out he would be a fairly average student (FTW=for the win)!

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Don’t ever let the smiles fool you, he and I are so much alike we butt heads constantly…but the one thing I have always strived to make sure he understood was that I love him with every part of my being! It may not always come out in the loving soft tones of Mrs. June Cleaver, but he’s become my world in ways I never thought someone ever could!

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His humor is what I love the most, we make each other laugh over the silliest things! He says that my laugh makes him laugh πŸ™‚ But it’s the other way around, quite honestly!

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And if I could bottle up a single drop of his energy I would keep it for myself to use in my old age. He’s got a zaniness about him that’s questionable and endearing at the same time! Well, he is mine after all πŸ˜‰ *looks up at the above picture*Β  Yep, he’s definitely mine…

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He calls his Grandpa “Dad”, since he’s the closest thing to a Dad he’s ever had.

It’s no lie, he’s shot up over these last few years. My little baby is no more 😦 Gone are those days of me carrying him around on my hip and rocking him to sleep. Now he’s this person with ideas, dreams, and becoming aware of the things around him. His world is expanding, as are his interests! From ninjas, to Legos, taking pictures, making videos, and showing me a thing or two on the computer!

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He’s hit the big 1–0! He has arrived!!!

I knew this year was going to be exceptional, I just never thought it would get here so quickly! His birthday was special, filled with lots of memories and reflection. We don’t do big parties,Β  we keep things simple and low key with just us here at home. His request every year is for a strawberry cake with Neapolitan ice cream. The cake recipe has been in our family for three generations. It was my favorite birthday cake year after year and now it’s his!Β 

(Ok, I know y’all are dying to see it lol)

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I opted out of candles this year, simply because they never seem to work right unless you get the extra long funky candles!

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It really is a beautiful cake once you get a pieces served up, but it tastes even better! So easy to make, yet without fail something always goes wrong with the cake. It’s been that way since his first birthday, and this year wasn’t any different. But as always it came out just fine on the second try (ugh) and if I’m not mistaken, there are only three pieces left! It’s that big of a hit!!

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And the night just wouldn’t be complete without Lego Ninjago toys and Halo Megablok sets. Followed by Despicable Me 2 with pizza and strawberry soda. Indeed, I have been blessed by one amazing little boy. One I’m beyond thankful that I have been given. He’s brought a lot of joy and intrigue to our lives πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday to my little Irishman!

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Through the years…2004-2014

Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad

What a beautiful day it is! Nice cool breeze, wish it could be this way year round. Last night I kinda already knew that I wanted to fix a chicken meal but didn’t exactly know what though. After my workout I remembered I hadn’t made lemon pepper chicken in a while. Β Normally when I make lemon pepper chicken I just put the seasoning directly on the chicken, but it tends to be strong and difficult to enjoy. While I’m trying to cook more lower carb meals for the family I had to find a way to tone down the intense lemon pepper flavor. I added the seasoning into some flour and coated the chicken in that beforeΒ  pan frying in a little peanut oil.

Don’t judge, it wasn’t as if I ate the entire plate of chicken or sat there eating the seasoned flour from the bowl. Give this gal some credit πŸ™‚ I made sure to remove as much of the excess as possible before cooking it. In the end I ate three pieces of the pound that I made which was more than enough!

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The breakdown of my salad…

You don’t have to use the same exact ingredients as I did. You can use any lettuce you like, any vegetables and leave off the dressing if you prefer. But here’s what was in my bowl last night.

Romaine Lettuce, chopped

Carrot, grated

Red Onion, thinly sliced

Tomato, chopped

Avocado, cubed

Dressing

Lemon Pepper Chicken, chopped

Broccoli Florets

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It was absolutely delicious, I used 1/2 of a very ripe avocado and the flavor was a nice addition with the lemon pepper chicken! All the flavors really just went well together, the red onion I will admit was a tad stronger than I’m used too, a sweet onion can be substituted if you prefer. The broccoli was frozen, all I did to it was put it in a small sauce pan with butter and water. Sprinkled on dehydrated onion flakes and garlic, a pinch of salt and covered it to allow it to steam cook. I didn’t allow it to overcook and get mushy, but it cooked long enough to be hot with enough crunch to satisfy my oldest nephew πŸ˜‰

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Play with the flavors, grill your vegetables for added flavor, and most importantly…use the freshest ingredients you can find and afford!

Happy Eating!

Warmer Days…

Get your grills ready!

Tonight we didn’t get to use ours, but this is such a delicious recipe we will no doubt be making it again very soon!

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Burger Patties, Romaine Salad with Turkey Bacon and Avocado Ranch Dressing

Very simply pan fry or grill your burgers to your desired taste. We like salt and pepper on one side and a cajun seasoning on the other. Get a little heat with your burger πŸ™‚

The avocado ranch dressing is what really makes this meal! You’ll need:

2 small ripe avocados

1/2 cup ranch dressing

pinch of salt

1 Tblsp lemon juice

a little garlic for flavor, powdered works nicely

Put all your ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. ForΒ  chunkier version, smash the avocado with a fork, combine with lemon juice. Stir in ranch dressing, salt, and garlic (if using) and serve over salad or meat.

This is such a keeper! There’s no cooking required and as for leftovers? Well, there might be some left but are you seriously going to let that go to waste and possibly turn brown? Nah, I didn’t think so πŸ˜‰ I topped my salad off with a few chopped bits of cooked turkey bacon in lieu of croutons.

But what is a fantastic summer meal without a cool dessert?

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Cran–Strawberry Fluff

2 cups frozen cranberries

1 cup water

3/4 cup stevia in the raw

a splash of lemon juice and zest from one lemon

1 small box of strawberry jello gelatin

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large sauce pan add the cranberries, water, stevia, lemon juice and zest. Cook over medium heat, the cranberries will pop. Continue to cook and mash the berries slightly. Remove from heat and strain liquid from cranberry pulp. Set liquid aside and place mashed cranberries in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In strained liquid add strawberry gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in cranberry mash. Let set up slightly in the fridge, till it’s mostly cooled.

In a clean small bowl whip heavy cream until firm peaks form. Fold into cran–strawberry mixture, it’s ok if some white pockets don’t get fully mixed. Put it back in the fridge for a couple of hours or until set. Serve in high ball glasses or dessert cups and enjoy!

I personally loved this dessert, the best yet! It’s not too terribly sweet, has just enough tartness to pull a slight pucker πŸ™‚ If you want it sweeter you can increase it by a 1/4 cup or mix your sweeteners. Add a little xylosweet till you reach the right level of sweetness. Do not feed this dessert to your cat or dog, xylitol isn’t safe for them.

Both of these recipes are low in carbs and are based off of Linda Sue’s recipes(Recipe #1, Recipe #2).

Happy Eating!!

It’s been too long…

If I could hug this page I would and every single one of you as well! I have missed being able to write on here, the issues with our laptop had gotten to the point where we had to get yet another charge cable. I know it must be time to get a newer machine but really? The time it’s going to take to back up and move everything I need is enough for me to mentally shut down. I don’t like thinking about it. Not only is it nice to have the computer back but also the camera. I had no idea that Dad had taken it with him when he left for his Dad’s funeral. I sincerely thought I had misplaced it. But all is right in my little night owl kitchen again πŸ™‚

 

Today is April 1st, how many of you are actually prank your friends, neighbors, kids, and coworkers? You can share, I don’t judge! In fact, my cousin and I pranked my Dad once. So bad, I had gotten several tampons for free in the mail, well I don’t personally care for tampons. My cousin and I had this brilliant idea to tie them to the inside and outside of my Dad’s car πŸ˜€ Under the back bumper where they could dangle, inside handing from the mirror, tied to the air vents, even one proudly tied to the car antenna. Oh, to be young and stupid again hehe I’ve never done anything like that since then, but growing up my siblings and I always enjoyed pranking Dad. My oldest sister would work her make–up magic and make it look like we had bruises, we’d then call Dad and tell him that my brother had beat me up with his baseball bat. Hehe, yeah we were horrible! I keep waiting for Dad to get me back πŸ˜€ One of these days he is going to do…just a matter of when?!

 

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I have gotten back to my works outs. Walking every other day, using a workout app on my device to keep help with my upper body. The first day was brutal, squats. That’s just wrong lol And the second day wasn’t any better, squats and lunges! I felt like throwing my iPod out the door hehe but I didn’t, I pushed through it all and burned over 300 calories. Even though I’m trying to lower my carbs and be more mindful of what I make, I do still plan to share all the goodies I can on here. Smaller portions of course and try to keep this blog on track with it’s original intent. Sharing great recipes and reivews! I am contemplating having a separate blog for my weight loss journey, but I haven’t completely settled on that one yet. It’s very hard for me to open up about that with folks because of just how much I have to lose and I don’t want to become the victim of pictures getting snagged for false advertising, or have trolls show up with their nasty comments. There’s a lot to consider, a lot to think about. But so far I’m happy with almost losing three pounds in just a few days. Literally! I started last Tuesday and this past Friday I weighed in and was down no joke almost three pounds. I was blown away! The winds are changing, I can feel it, something is different this time πŸ™‚ And I am doing my best to keep up!!

I’ve taken this post in a different direction than I intended to, but there it is πŸ™‚ I’m just so happy to be back on here, I can’t wait to get my next recipe that’s in queue out for y’all to try πŸ™‚ It’s a vintage one that I found in my great-great aunt’s recipe folder. I couldn’t tell you for sure if she ever made it but it sounded yummy to me. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned for that!

 

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A great reminder!