Tag Archives: Diet

Plan Your Produce

imageCooking meals at home helps your family eat healthy and save money, but if you don’t shop with a plan, you can end up throwing expensive produce away. It’s happened to most of us at some point. You head to the grocery store with good intentions, buy a lot of random produce,—because with ten pounds of broccoli in the house, you can’t fail to lose weight, right?—and then half of that produce spends the next two weeks being nudged closer and closer to the back of the fridge before it’s finally tossed in the trash. It’s frustrating and discouraging. For you and for the produce.

2014 June 003The solution to this problem is to plan your produce. Here’s how.

  1. Choose one day a week to sit down and plan your meals for the week. If you’re new to cooking at home, pick one or two meals. Baby steps, baby spinach, baby bellas, baby got back on track. Try to choose menu items that share common vegetables. For example, a bag of spinach can make a spinach salad and a mushroom spinach omelet, or one head of cabbage can make Mu Shu Vegetables and Fried Cabbage. As you plan, make a shopping list of what you need to cook the recipes you’ve selected.


  1. 2014 March 007Take your list to the store and don’t stray from it. There are going to be produce items that you always keep on hand like garlic and onions, and items that you only buy when you need them like bell peppers and broccoli. It all depends on your family and your preferences. For example, I always have carrots in the house. My boys like to snack on them (when given the choice of carrots or nothing), I like to mindlessly crunch them in front of the TV, they’re cheap, and they’re useful in a plethora of recipes. It’s a staple. Cauliflower, on the other hand, only comes home with me when I have a plan for it. It’s like the out of town relative you enjoy having over, but feel like you have to entertain.


  1. End the week with either a batch of homemade vegetable soup or veggie stir fry. Take your leftover bits and stems and combine them into something wonderful. Now your fridge is reset for the week to come and nothing goes to waste.


Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. Genesis 25:29 (NIV)


Don’t Pop Your Tires

(This is a repeat, but a good reminder!)

I don’t remember which weight loss blog I read this on, but I’ll never forget the quote: “When you get a flat tire, you change it and keep driving; you don’t pop the other three tires”. Fabulous, right?

We all have times when we fall off the health wagon. Why did I eat that? Why did I eat ALL of that? Why did I stay up so late? Lifting sofa cushions to find the remote counts as exercise, right?

UntitledThere are weeks when my butt is firmly seated in the health wagon and I’m buckled up and facing front. There are also weeks when I’m more like a little kid who’s hanging over the side trying to hit the wheel with a stick. I’m still in the wagon, but I’m being stupid. I reach a little too far and suddenly I’m eating dirt. (Low in calories, but not recommended. It tastes awful, even covered in chocolate… I mean broccoli.)

What do you do when you fall off the health wagon? You get back on. Make better choices starting now, but don’t beat yourself up about the ones you already made. If beating yourself up counted as exercise, I’d say “Knock yourself out!” But it’s not, and that was a great pun, wouldn’t you agree?

picking-yourself-upIn ten years it won’t matter that you fell, it’ll matter that you didn’t stay down in the dirt. Is falling off the wagon frustrating? You bet. Painful? Sometimes. Embarrassing? Sure. But you still have three good tires. Each day is a new day and each morning you wake up on the wagon. And next time that little kid won’t lean out quite so far to hit the wheel with a stick. Perfection is not realistic, so we’re not aiming for perfect here, we’re aiming for not-stupid.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

How have you handled a fall from the health wagon? What helps you get back on or stay on?

Gimme My Gummies

childrens-vitamins-gummyI have a sweet tooth with roots so deep they touch my tongue. After every meal, I crave something sweet. Eating fruit is a great idea, but if I’m not hungry, just craving, I don’t want more than a bite or two, and unless I have five other people to share an apple with me, it becomes work to not be wasteful. Chewing gum is great too until my kids eat it all and I forget to buy more and turn to option three: one bite of chocolate or ice cream.

Ha ha! One bite? For me, that’s an “I need a drop of water; go ahead and open the floodgates” type of bad idea. My dilemma is this: how do I satisfy my craving for a taste of sweetness without adding 100 calories or more to my meal?

What’s that you say? Why don’t I ignore my craving? That’s the best idea yet! And it works for me when I’m out and about, but I’m a stay at home mom which means that 98% of my waking hours are spent within twenty feet of my kitchen. I try to ignore my sweet tooth, but I often lose. I lack the will power of the Green Lantern.

2014 Aug transformers 045The solution that’s working for me is gummy vitamins. I’m talking about gummy vitamins for grownups, my kids’ Spiderman and gummy bears shaped vitamins, or Juice Plus which is a gummy version of fruit and vegetable juice.

I started taking gummy vitamins a few years ago during the first trimester of one of my pregnancies. Because of first trimester nausea, the prescribed vitamin horse-pills my doctor recommended were not going down without causing something to come back up. I started eating my sons’ gummy vitamins; better than nothing, right? And I never looked back.

Now when I crave sweets after a meal, I take my vitamins. They satisfy my craving without opening the floodgates of Sugar Dam, and each gummy is only about 7 calories. It’s a strange concept, gummy vitamins as dessert, but like I said, it works for me. Besides, I’ve never been so consistent about taking my vitamins in my life.


“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 13:19a


Images courtesy of blog.scratchmenot.com (gummy bears), and me.

Put Your Back Into It: Posture and Weight Loss

good_posture_bad_posture2God created the female form to be best displayed with good posture. Want to see what I mean?

Stand up and either go to a mirror or imagine yourself in front of a mirror. Slouch a little. Your boobs look smaller and your belly looks bigger. Now stand up straight and square your shoulders. Whoa, careful now, don’t over extend! If you push your shoulders back too far, your love handles (IF you have them) get handier. Okay, so we’re straight and square and relaxed.

Your silhouette looks great: breasts are front and center, belly looks slimmer, buttocks looks tighter. But more than that, how do you feel?

A little more confident? A little more in control? A bit more determined?

When I slouch, I develop a bit of the “poor me-s” and the “why bother-s”. Poor me, I blew it diet-wise and it’s only 10am. Poor me, I’m tired, I’m grumpy, and I haven’t accomplished what I thought I would today. Why bother exercising? Why bother putting ice cream in a little bowl instead of snarfing it straight from the carton? Why bother going to bed on time?

Sitting-posture-chair-improve-exercises-correctBut if I stop and make myself sit up straight, stand up straight, it’s like my brain snaps to attention. My eyes are lifted up, my head is held high, and I feel more powerful. I blew it, but the battle is not lost. I have a fresh batch of choices facing me and I have a goal to reach. I’m sure my chiropractor would say that good posture allows my nervous system to operate uninhibited and what I feel is neurons communicating efficiently up and down my spine. Whatever, Dr. Leary. I’m going to call it “Queen Syndrome” because I feel like one.

How do you stand up straight without looking Victorian? Hang your arms at your side. Make a thumbs up sign with both thumbs, then turn your thumbs out away from your sides. You should feel your shoulders moving back, your vertebrae, collar bone, and the stars falling into alignment. You are a queen with a goal. Get to it.


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9


Images courtesy of tuningpp.com (standing woman), achesawaytoronto.ca (sitting woman)

Weight Loss On Pinterest

If you’re looking for some extra motivation or creative ideas for weight loss, take a look at Pinterest.  There are inspiring quotes, information on the benefits of vegetables, recipes for smoothies, cartoons about dieting, and work out ideas (depending on the time of day, I tend to skip those…just  reading about all those planks and lunges makes me tired).

I’ve made a Pinterest board for Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating where I’m gathering some of my favorite pins.  Feel free to check it out HERE.2013 Summer 603

My favorite pin of the day is “I don’t need a personal trainer so much as I need someone to follow me around and slap unhealthy foods out of my hand.”  Hee hee, gotta love it!

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

Can I Eat That? Random Leaf Stirfy

2014 April 004This week we ate the first fruits of our garden!  The turnip plants were about four inches tall and I thinned them and tossed the rejected plants into some stirfry with delicious results.  For you non-gardeners out there, “thinning” plants means pulling (or cutting) the extra baby plants from a row to give the plants that remain room to grow.  The “baby” plants are what you see sold in stores in plastic bags and labeled…wait for it…baby kale, baby spinach, baby arrugula, etc.  Baby plants are popular because they’re tender and sweeter than the grown up plants.  Ever eat overly mature greens (spinach, kale, turnip, etc)?  If it weren’t for the wilting, you could make shoes out of them.

2014 April 002I used to pitch the pulled plants along with the weeds, but then I discovered that you can eat them!  You can eat the leaves of turnips, radishes, beets, and broccoli, as well as the obvious “leaf” plants such as lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale.  When I found out that we can eat the whole plant, I was thrilled.  My kids were not.  I’m under no delusions: my present goal is not to make my kids like vegetables; that will come in time.  My goal is to convince them that they can eat a green leaf from the garden and not die.  I suppose I’m trying to convince a few of you readers as well.

Let’s do a quick science class review.  The parts of a plant?  Root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed.  Depending on the plant, you can eat some or all of these parts.  Quick quiz!  Ready?

Which part can you eat from a carrot plant?
Root.  Nice work, too easy.

2014 April 003Green bean plant?
Fruit and seeds.  Excellent.  The bean is actually the seed pod (fruit) and as the pod matures, it gets thin and tough and the seeds inside become hard; these seeds are what we see in the stores as dried beans in bags or canned beans (think Baked Beans, black beans, kidney beans, etc).  Cool, huh?  This summer I’m going to plant some dried black beans from the store and see what happens.

Turnip, beet, or radish?
When it’s young, you can eat the whole plant!  Root, leaves, stem.  Once it flowers, the plant is so tough; you’d be hard pressed to choke down any part of it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you run outside and begin eating anything green in sight.  No, that would be crazy.  When you find a plant you think is edible, you should first Google it and base your consumption on unverified comments from an unqualified person on a random website.  (I’m kidding! Although that’s exactly what I did….) What I am suggesting is that you try a new vegetable this week!

“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 43:19a