Saturday, June 26, 2010


I have such a problem with Procrastination. I say I am going to do something, and I really mean it. I am going to do (fill in the blank). But I don't get around to it. Worse yet, if I commit to start a daily/regular task and then I procrastinate on starting the routine. Ugh!

So, I keep saying I am going to exercise regularly. And yes, it would be very good for me to do this task. Yet, I procrastinate. Why?

Possible Reasons:
  • I'm busy: Yep. I am busy. But perhaps not so busy that I can't work in some kind of exercise.
  • I'm not in shape: Yeah, that is true. But of course, if I exercised then I would increase my "in shape-ness" and that excuse would no longer exist.
  • My house is hot: True. But I have fans, so I really could have enough air moving to make it okay.
  • I'm tired: Yes, but I probably would gain energy from exercising. At least that is what other people tell me.
  • I'm scared: True, now we are getting somewhere. I am scared. Scared of failure. Scared of injury. Scared of embarrassment. etc.
  • my list could go on and on.
The truth is, I need to exercise and stop making excuses. Today, I started. I printed off a calender from Microsoft Outlook and took a page of home school reward stickers, and made myself an exercise chart. I then exercised for 15 minutes to a VHS workout tape. And I earned a sticker on today's date. YAY!

Some people would say that 15 minutes is not a true workout. But at my level, it is. I will need to increase my workout ability and endurance. But it is a start.

What are you procrastinating? What are you going to do about it?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yummy Fruit Punch

Today, I made a Yummy Fruit Punch that was fairly healthy. You can judge for yourself.

1 can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
12 ice cubes made with water
2 cups of vitamin fortified orange juice
7 up (as much as you desire knowing the health content)

Combine the pineapple chunks, pineapple juice and ice cubes in a blender. Add orange juice until well blended. Pour into pitcher/punch bowl and add 7up. Tastes delicious served cold. Enjoy!

Healthy Burgers

Just like pizza, Burgers are an American favorite. Usually they are filled with grease and fat, therefore they are unhealthy. Is it possible to make an American favorite burger that is healthy? Yep!!

Healthy hamburger buns (whole gran, gluten free, etc.)
Burger veggies (sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, lettuce or spinach, pickles, etc.)
Healthy sliced cheese (reduced fat, low sodium, etc.)
Your favorite burger condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, etc)
And of course the Burger patty.

Make the Burgers with:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained well.
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 can whole kernel corn
2 eggs (or egg equivalent)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 teaspoon hot sauce (or a dash of Tabasco sauce)
1 cup healthy cracker crumbs (whole grain, gluten free, etc.) Optional: replace cracker crumbs with brown rice)

Blend ingredients together. I used a food processor to blend all the ingredients except the cracker crumbs. I transferred the mixture into a bowl and added the cracker crumbs, mixing until thick. Add more crackers as needed, until the mixture can hold form.

You may want to grease your hands with olive oil before forming the patties. Then form the patties and place them on a baking sheet. Place the patties in the freezer (ideally overnight). Once the patties are firm, you may cook them.

You can bake them at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes on each side. I suggest greasing the baking sheet before baking them. They will brown and crisp, just like real burgers.

Or you can grill them for about 8 minutes on each side.

Assemble your burgers and enjoy! My whole family (adults, kids, vegetarians and meat lovers) all like these burgers!

Friday, June 18, 2010


This morning I was thinking about why I like reading fiction and one of the key aspects I like is escaping into another world. I like to mentally go into the imaginative situation and put myself in the role of the leading lady and main characters.

Lately I have been rereading a book called "A Stitch in Time." It is a compilation of 4 short books on related themes of falling in love during the pioneering "Old West" days. As I was reading, another reason for my love of fiction jumped off the page: I learn things about myself and life from the experiences of the fictional characters. That may seem absurd to some people. But I have had some amazing Christian role models who only lived in the pages of fiction.

Taking her hands in his, he looked into her sweet, heart-shaped face. "I'm sorry I was such an idiot when you told me how you feel. To be honest, I've been struggling with the same emotion toward you."
Her wide eyes glistened. "I don't understand what you mean. Why struggle? Am I that repulsive?"
"Repulsive?" In a flash, he released her hands and slipped his arm around her waist. She didn't resist as he pulled her close and kissed her trembling lips.

Okay, some would read that part and think, "Oh how typically romantic." Others may think, "Ahhh, that is so perfect." And no doubt, these statements and many others are true.

But my thoughts were stuck on one phrase, "She didn't resist as he" She trusted him enough to let him do whatever he was planning. The book doesn't say that she wanted him to kiss her or that she expected him to kiss her. It says, they were having a misunderstanding and he reached for her. In a perfect romance the two characters trust each other and know each other so well that they react well in each situation and it goes "right."

But, I'm not as trusting. In a misunderstanding, if that person reached to give me a hug (not to mention, a kiss) I would automatically pull back and resist. I wouldn't even think about it, I would just react.

This fictional character thought she was being rejected for being ugly. She thought she was not good enough and not appealing enough. I would have felt hurt and maybe defensive, not trusting and compliant. Maybe that is just me.

The whole section brings to mind the topic of trust. Do we draw others to us and allow ourselves to be drawn toward others? Or do we isolate ourselves? And how healthy is that?

As I look toward physical health and healing, I find I must also seek emotional and mental healing. One area I need to heal is my ability to trust others. To live on the defensive, always alert to offense and hurt, it is a tense and frustrating way of life. It makes me an angry person who is always finding what I expect, hurt and offense. When what I really desire is goodness and peace, gentleness and love, joy and contentment. These can be found too, if I am alert to watch for them.

So today, I seek to trust others and look for the good in every situation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yummy Italian Sandwich Spread

So, last weekend I was experimenting with yummy ingredients and discovered a delicious sandwich spread.

In my food processor I combined fresh garlic, fresh basil, and fresh cilantro. I added olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. I put this mixture into a bowl and made sure the garlic was finely chopped. Then I added grated Parmesan and grated Romano cheeses. Viola, delicious spread.

I spread some on Italian bread, added sliced tomato, spinach leaves, sliced onion, and a slice of provolone cheese. Mmmm, vegetarian goodness.

This would also taste delicious with precooked chicken pieces, especially if the chicken is also seasoned with Italian seasonings. It would probably also taste good with Italian cold cut meats, (salami, peperoni, sliced ham, etc.) though I haven't tried it yet.

My family loved every bite. I served these sandwiches with fresh baby carrots and fresh sliced apples. My husband said, "Why go to Panera when you can have this at home?" Of course, I'm not convinced that they really taste as good as Panera, but I certainly enjoyed my meal and I hope you do too. Let me know what you think, okay?

Healthy Pizza

Can pizza be healthy and yummy? I say, Absolutely!

Start with a healthy pizza crust. It could be made from scratch or bought in the store. We recently used 100 % whole wheat crusts premade. But in the past I have been able to make my own using my preferred flour (whole wheat, gluten free, organic, etc.) add some yeast, a bit of water and olive oil, maybe a pinch of sugar (especially to activate the yeast) and some favorite spices. Voila! Healthy pizza crust!

Next, I omit pizza sauce. Instead I use a bit of olive oil or an olive oil spread like Smart Balance (from the butter section of the grocery store). I spread on the olive oil, fairly lightly.

Then I sprinkle my Italian spices. Fresh is always better where spices are concerned. Common Italian spices include Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Garlic, Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper (as desired), Parsley, maybe some Rosemary or Coriander, etc.

Then I add fresh veggies. Real veggies. You are welcome to slice and dice as much as you like. The reason I sometimes use big chunks of veggies is it is easier to cut and easier to pick off should my company not want to eat a particular veggie. However, my family prefers to have the veggies tiny for delicious flavor in every bite. We add tomatoes, green peppers, onion, etc.

Then we add cheese. I try to use low fat cheese and reduced salt cheese. Typical Italian pizza cheeses include: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, etc.

At this point, you have a wonderful vegetarian pizza that will taste delicious.

However, for the meat lover, feel free to add meat as you desire. I have added bits of chicken, peperoni, precooked sausage, precooked ground beef, salami, ham, etc. I usually put meat on top so that everyone knows that particular pizza has meat. However, if you desire to add cheese on top of the meat, that is certainly okay with me. In fact, if you have a healthy cheese, you could add two layers. Make it as you prefer, just keep in mind the olive oil and cheese contain the most of the fat content.

Also, if you would like a stuffed crust pizza, prior to adding any toppings, you can stretch the pizza crust about one to two inches over the edges of the pan, place string cheese along the pans edge and roll the crust over the cheese, pressing the crust down to seal the inner edge.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I tend to check my pizza and rotate it, etc. The cooking time will vary based on the pizza thickness.

Yummy! Enjoy!


We live in a society that drinks everything except water. When I walk through the grocery store, I see fruit juice, vegetable juice, juice cocktail blends, juice boxes, juice pouches, flavor koolaid pouches, soda pop cans, soda pop bottles, soda pop 2 liters, soda pop 3 liters, beer, wine, wine coolers, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, iced tea, lemonade, koolaid mix, premade koolaid, etc. I could keep going. We are surrounded by water alternatives.

Also, we are told that our tap water is not good enough. Which truly, some towns that is true. But some places the water is just fine and delicious. For those who decide water is a good beverage, we have water choices too. Advertising for individual bottles, gallon jugs, 3 gallon jugs, 5 gallon jugs, mini kid-size bottles, bottles with twist off caps, bottles with sports caps, bottles with snap up lids, reusable bottles, self-filtering bottles, self-filtering pitchers, etc. Yikes! What an industry.

I even saw a kid size mini water bottle with a child proof cap. Guess what, the cap didn't come off. At all. Not a bit. They advertised that the bottle would be kid proof. Yep, it was. It was also a complete waste of money since it only held 8 oz and could not be refilled. What makes it worse, is that little bottle of water cost the same amount of money as a 2 liter bottle of soda pop. Ugh!

So, why water?

Well, there is something unique about water. It is refreshing. It is necessary to live. It replenishes our bodies. It is filling. And when not surrounded by other water alternatives, pure water can actually taste delicious.

In comparison to the water alternatives, water ends up tasting boring and bland. But even the best water alternative is found lacking on a hot summer day when you've been walking in the heat and sweating, that is when the refreshing taste of a nice cool glass of ice water is wholly satisfying.

Our bodies require water. We don't require tea or soda pop. Some of our bodies complain without our usual coffee, I understand. But all those beverages are body "wants" the only liquid "need" is water. And in my experience, if I am drinking all 8 cups of water, I find I have had enough beverage that I don't really need soda pop or lemonade, etc.

I still crave flavor. So I sometimes I try to convince myself that those other beverages contain water as an ingredient so they must be good enough or even better that just plain water. But in truth, I know I should be drinking pure water.

And I kid myself into not drinking enough water, by saying it would make me use the bathroom more. Blah, blah, blah. Well, it might make me use the bathroom. But guess what, that may be a whole lot more healthy for me. Ya know?

So, do we need water? Yes.
Can other beverages fill the need? Let's not lie to ourselves. No, not really.
How much pure water should I drink? As much as possible.

A simple tip: make it fun. Have a cool cup or fun straw. Store a pitcher in the fridge with pure water that is cool and ready to enjoy.

Another tip:
Since our bodies are made up of mostly water, and water is filling: if we start each meal with a glass of water, we can meet a basic life need and eat less food. Double bonus.

So I suggest we take a minute to get a fun glass from the cupboard, fill it with an ice cube or two and pour in some fresh water. Relax, take a breather, and enjoy the refreshing moment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What's new

So today I watched the new show, Losing it with Jillian Michaels. WOW! I may already be addicted and it has only aired one episode. Clearly, I have issues.

So anyway, a couple things I picked up on while watching the first episode include: little issues never dealt with grow into HUGE issues, fixing the outside physical body doesn't fix the inside issues, and with the right kind of small healing whole body healing can come.

So, what does this mean for you and me?

In my mind, it means, "Oh crap, I have to deal with my issues!" I'm not too happy about that. I mean, I know we all have issues. And somehow I believe we are all supposed to be working on our issues. And it is definitely easier to say, "that person needs to deal with his/her issues." But, really, do I have to deal with my issues? Really? That is hard. Can't I just justify them and somehow blame others for my problems? I'm much more comfortable with that idea.

So, I not only need to eat healthier and sweat like crazy working out, I also need to go through an emotional and mental overhaul. I could say, fix the eating and exercise problems first, but that may not fix me in the long run. So, I need to get to the heart of the issue. I need to face reality.

Why am I unhealthy? And what am I going to do about it?

Those are tough questions. But I guess if I really hate being unhealthy and if I really want life change, I better get answering.

Someone once said, something to the effect of, insanity is when you keep doing what you did and expect different results.

Another someone, somewhere long ago, told me about a mama eagle. She builds her nest with briers and sticks, but then fills it with soft fluff. When the eggs are whole, they are kept warm in the fluff. They are cushioned soft and comfy. When the eggs hatch and babies emerge, the warmth and comfort are still necessary. But eventually the tiny eagles are ready to learn to fly, but the nest is so comfy they don't want to leave. They don't want the challenge. They don't want anything different than the false bliss they already feel. So the Mama Eagle takes out the fluff, She pecks away so much fluff that finally the tiny eagles are only surrounded by prickly briers and sticks. They endure enough discomfort and enough pain, that they finally decide it is time for change. And they learn to fly. They soar.

Can you imagine a life of health? Can you picture what that would mean for you? I picture clothes shopping based on style rather than size. I picture going up a flight of stairs and not being winded, but rather being able to carry on a normal conversation. I imagine being comfortable sitting in theater seats, walking in between church pews, walking in a crowded hallway, and not feeling squished. Or going on a family hike or bike ride all afternoon and not being exhausted.

Is it worth it? Is your picture of health worth the sacrifices and hard work it will take to achieve your dream? Mine are. I hope I can remember that when the going gets tough.