Friday, October 29, 2010

Nope, this ain't easy.

It's Halloween weekend. I'm sure many of you have parties to attend, kids to get ready and candy to hand out. It's not easy juggling so many things with temptations in the house...not to mention I made this challenge longer than usual. I did this on purpose. This is just a taste of the challenges that are ahead with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Many of you may have had a few slip ups already. I have. The important thing is to not stop. Everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to make better choices. More better days than bad, that's a realistic goal.

So I have two things to tell you. FIRST: Don't stop working at this challenge. Everyone who post their post their points at the end of the session will be put into a drawing for the fabulous gift Melissa has offered. Of course, not the person who wins the bling, sorry who ever the lucky one is.

SECOND: Challenge #2 is to tell everyone what your successes were this weekend. It's not perfection. Small successes help each of us grow. I can't wait to hear all about it!


Ever have a day (or a week...) where things just don't taste right? And as a result you under eat (gasp!) your range? Well, that's me this past week. So, perversely, I'm not even getting my range points. Frankly, that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Orange is in Vogue

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a lunch for some of my friends to celebrate fall and a birthday. There were three orange soups. But, none of them were the same. Although I love my Sweet Potato Leek Soup I made something new and it included a new veggie I had never used before: The Turnip. It was delicious and I'll make it again.

Turnip and Carrot Soup with Parmesan (Flat Belly Diet Book)
1 pound white turnips, peeled and quartered
4 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 large red or white new potatoes, quartered
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 tsp. dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, combine the turnips, carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, broth, water thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

2. In batches blend, or with a hand wand puree the veggies until smooth. When all the soup has been pureed, stir in the milk. Cook over low heat just until heated through (do not boil). Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Ladle into bowls and top each with 2 Tablespoons of the pine nuts.

This makes 8 servings. 261 calories per serving, 9 g. protein 5g. fiber.

I left the Parmesan on the side and sprinkled it on top. It's good either way!!!!

Try it, you'll like it!

Are You Ready!!

Are you ready?? It's coming. The Holidays are before us and Halloween is the kick off to lots of celebration (and yummy food). I don't know about you, but I love this time of year. But, I also know that I have to figure out a plan of attack. What to do with all that candy? I know I don't need it, and my kids certainly don't need it. In years past we eat it, usually not taking long to finish it off. But this year has got to be different. Check out this website:
Have you ever done it before? I haven't, but I'm thinking about it.
Trainer Momma did some great posts last year. One was Wednesday October 28, 2009. Sorry don't know how to link a site.
I need ideas!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Try it. You might like it.

The reasons I love sushi are simple.

It's tasty.
It's pretty.
It's healthy.

. . . and most important of all . . .

I get to use chopsticks.

If you think you're sushi-averse, start small. Try the California Roll first (no raw fish there, only cooked imitation crab).

P.S. Sushi also makes me think of my little brother, also known as Audrey's husband.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

edible acorns

Today at Wegmans I picked up something new. It's an acorn squash, and I have never eaten one before. Last week in the Washington Post they had a side column on different varieties of squash and how to cook them. I quickly ripped out the article to save, since there were a few on that list that I have never tasted. Spaghetti squash was another one that I wanted to try, so it also made it into my shopping cart.

I found this recipe on I will substitute the couscous for brown rice or quinoa to make it gluten free. I'm making it for dinner tomorrow, so I will let you know how it goes. My husband and I will be having a nice dinner with just the two of us after everyone is in bed...(only because I only bought two acorn squash.)


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Dissolve the sugar in the melted butter. Brush squash with the butter mixture, and keep squash warm while preparing the stuffing.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
  4. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet, and mix in the couscous. Cover skillet, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes. Stuff squash halves with the skillet mixture to serve.

Monday, October 25, 2010


New food in my house is considered scary. If the kids find out I'm tying a new recipe or new food, they've been know to cry before even seeing their dinner plates. They even think the word "recipe" is scary because it implies more than one ingredient. My attempt to console them is this: I usually alway have a couple items on their plate that are no-brainers when I'm trying something new. It should also be said that there are PLENTY of recipes I don't try, though I'd like to, because of the picky eaters around here. In other words, I'm already working behind the scenes to reduce food fear.

Tonight was a total feast of deliciousness for me: a balsamic skillet pork chop (so easy, moist and super tasty), roasted butternut squash with fresh rosemary, sea salt and pepper (bonus points: old veggie made a new way!), Brussels sprouts cooked in chicken stock with lots of pepper and thyme and, last, applesauce.

For the kids, I added a little bowl of pine nuts (protein in case they were unwilling to try the chops). I did not even offer them the greens, so I had high hopes for the squash. But despite my insistence that the squash was a close cousin to the sweet potato--a food they enjoy--even my oldest, who scarfed down the chop and asked for seconds, was scared.

He did try one bite in the end. What this all comes down to is this: all three of them will request bread before bed tonight, my high carb whole wheat concession on nights when the food is excellent, but no one but me knows it. Now that's really scary.

And that I'm posting twice in one day. BOO!

Enjoying the view

We took a long fall walk this weekend. It was the perfect fall day, 72 degrees and sunny, with the golden leaves carpeting the forest floor. The first part of the walk involved climbing a long, endless-seeming set of stairs. We counted each and every stair up to the top: all 135 of them. And then we took out our water bottles and enjoyed the hilltop views.
The experience reminded me of our task here on HWHL. The hilltop or mountaintop moments are what we live for: finishing the race in record time, reaching our weight goal, making a really healthy and delicious meal that everyone loves. But we can't rest in that moment for long. Most of our lives are spent below, on the plains and even, sometimes, in the valleys. But don't forget, after all those steps, to enjoy the view and store it someplace you can return to in your heart and mind, again and again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stress Trigger and Release

This is what I wanted to do Friday night. I've recently become the cub scout committee chair for our ward. This basically means I need to be really organized and manage everyone's political agenda. The other thing is means is putting together a list of the awards for the upcoming pack meeting. This shouldn't be a hard thing but since it was recently decided to put everything on the computer program it was crazy.

Problems, not everyone has their stuff on the computer.
The computer that had all the old stuff crashed so I'm unsure of what everyone already has.
Some of the info came from emails and not the computer program.

So, after a wonderfully fun day of lunch, shoe shopping, visiting Samantha, Homecoming Parade and Football game I sat down thinking it would take about 45 minutes to pull things together to give our Cub Master, it was 10:30.

At 1:15 when I finally headed to bed I WANTED A DIET COKE! But I didn't have one to give into, so I went for the VitaWater Zero.

SO THE QUESTION IS: What have you replaced your stress trigger bad habit with? Is that when you give in and fall of the wagon for a bit or have you found things that are better choices and still help?
I see a pattern here. Sunday tends to become my confessions day, although I am learning a lot about myself.
Here's what I've learned.

...I have little self control when it comes to sweet treats that are gluten free.
...I tend to fall apart on the weekends.

So now, the trick is to figure out why that happens, and avoid it!

Here's the plan. I am not going to bake large amounts of gluten free carrot cake, unless there is a lot of people at my house who will help me eat it. I ended up finishing off the cake so I wouldn't be tempted any more, and so I could start the week fresh. (wink wink)

Mmmm, it was good.

Second, I am going to have to plan for healthy treats on the weekend, so I can still have a reward that won't sabotage my efforts. I think if I have the ingredients all together to make my healthy treat, I won't default to creating something that I won't be able to resist.

Third...Keep the really bad stuff out of my house. AKA gourmet chocolate and carrot cake. At least there was carrots in it!

Does anyone else struggle with portion control when it comes to dessert?

How To

I saw a lot of questions on how to make these, so I thought I'd do another post in case you don't get notified by e mail on comments.

I use a toothpick to make the sandwich on a stick. It's not as long as the picture shows, but I use a couple toothpicks and make a few sandwich sticks. My daughter is only 6 and doesn't have a huge appetite.
If you toast the bread, and then use food coloring, it works perfectly.

I use mozzarella cheese as the sail for the sailboats. I cut it like a sail and then stick it in a toothpick. Then I put the toothpick in the egg.