Friday, August 31, 2012


Presently I am developing recipes, building content and taking care of other aspects of my life.  I plan to be back with more of my whole in the raw adventures soon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Budgeting and Bubbles

This is what happens when I take time to work on the budget (or do anything on the computer) when the Monkey is awake.  I try not to get on the computer too often when he's awake, but sometimes if he's playing well I hurry to get some things done.  This is how he occupied his time.  He loves playing in the sink and lately if there's soap available he ends up dumping it all out.  This time he plugged up the sink and when I heard, uh oh, I discovered this...As I always say, good thing he's cute.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 11

Monday, July 30, 2012
We had the pleasure of Sista G and her kids A & T visiting today.  Thankfully the Monkey was feeling much better, though my hubby and I did take him to see a dentist.  Like we thought, there's nothing we can do, but watch his teeth and wait and see what happens. We were able to get an x-ray surprisingly.  All is well in that area.  We played at the spinny park after so hopefully he'll associate that with going to the dentist.  While Sista G and I made dinner, the hubby took A and the Monkey out on the kayak.  I had invited our missionaries over for dinner so with our bigger group we decided on spaghetti.  We made whole wheat noodles and homemade spaghetti sauce (tomato sauce with sea salt and Italian seasoning).  I also made a smaller batch of the tuna pasta sauce since I wasn't sure if it would be a hit.  It actually was.  We used up the last of the pre-made pizza crusts for garlic bread, had salad with home made cabbage salad(poppy seed) dressing and raw brownies for dessert.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Monkey and I enjoyed our visit to our sweet neighbor in the morning then headed off to the library for story time.  After played at the beach for a short time.  The rest of the day wasn't too exciting, just lunch, naps and cleaning and preparing for my family reunion the rest of the week.  I did make up super yummy salmon with salad, corn, and baked potatoes.  After the Monkey went to bed I finished preparing muffins and granola to take to the reunion and then took some time to relax with the hubby and watch a little of the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 1-3, 2012
The morning was spent packing for the reunion.  I was pretty proud of myself for how calm I remained while preparing and packing all by myself.  We made it to my parents in good time and before everyone else was ready to go.  Yeah me!  The reunion was so nice.  The weather was warm and sunny, but bearable (until the end).  I had a great time visiting with my many relatives and getting to know them a little better.  My dad has 12 brothers and sisters which means I have a lot of cousins (68 I believe).  It's sad, but I just don't know them all and add to that spouses and their kids's a lot!  I went to college near the reunion and decided to relive my glory days of hiking the Manashtash Ridge.  With the company of Sista L and my Aunt Rosanne and Nancy, Uncle Joe and cousin Chris we set out.  It was hard, but I felt surprisingly energetic for not being in the best shape.  Yeah us!

So now for the food.  Thank you to the Mark and Patty family for planning such a wonderful menu that was easily adaptable for the slightly more health conscious.  There was lots of fresh fruit, greens, and vegetables to enjoy.  My green smoothies I made also sparked a few questions about the sludge I was drinking.  I refrained from the desserts, but the night after hiking I couldn't resist partaking of the lasagna and garlic bread.  I'm sorry, I was just so hungry and salad just wasn't going to cut it, though I made sure I had vegetables with it.  All in all, I was very pleased with my food choices and didn't feel terribly deprived.  Oh, and the muffins I brought was a lifesaver as the Monkey mostly at those and I loved my granola for breakfast and to snack on.

Saturday,  August 4, 2012
I was glad I left Friday night from the reunion so the Monkey and I could recuperate and I could get the house in order.  I was able to even mow the law.  The hubby had to work, but at least he got home earlier than expected.  We ate at the Family Inn near our house.  It was late and we were hungry.  I wouldn't go there again.  It's not horrible, but there are just not many healthy options.  I chose a black bean burger on whole wheat bread with a side salad.  Not bad, just nothing special.  The Monkey ate some beef and barley soup (way too much beef) and some of the hubby's breaded and fried prawns.

Sunday, August 5, 2012
Another pleasant valley Sunday (don't you love the Monkey's).  I was able to get up at a quarter to 6am to prepare my primary lesson and with only 3 boys in the class it went quite well.  The Monkey made it through the hour of our sacrament meeting, which is always an accomplishment and enjoyed the rest of church in nursery.  Thank you to his nursery leaders!  After lunch and naps I made dinner.  I had bought some red and green cabbage the night before because cabbage salad sounded so good.  So for dinner it was cabbage salad and our traditional breakfast for dinner of hash browns, eggs, and toast.  This time I added nectarines to the cabbage salad and it turned out so tasty.   

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 10

Monday, July 23, 2012
The only good thing about my husband going out of town is that he takes the family out to eat upon his return.  My hubby got home a bit earlier from work today, and though I had an idea for dinner, I was excited when I remembered that he owed us a dinner.  We chose Amy's on the Bay since I loved it so much the last time we tried it for the first time.  The outside seating was closed so we sat in a booth this time.  The Monkey was actually quite good with no major outbursts.  And another positive was that he ate!  He loved my hubby's clam chowder and ate most of it.  He also chowed down on his Captain's plate of fried seafood.  I don't love that he was eating breaded and fried food, but I am happy that he tried different things, and kalamari nonetheless.  That is a real improvement.  I tried the Baked True Alaskan Cod (I think that was the name of the dish).  It was cod in a highly flavored tomato soup.  I also had a green salad with honey mustard and seasoned red potatoes.  I was quite satisfied and had leftovers.  After, we stopped at the new frozen yogurt shop in town for a treat.  I really like frozen yogurt, but it seems sooo expensive.  My hubby LOVES frozen yogurt so he doesn't care about the price.  But, I'd rather make it at home in our ice cream maker.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
If you're in Utah and parts of Idaho, Happy Pioneer Day!  What a gorgeous day.  We went to story time at the library and then to the beach right there with my friend and her boy the Monkey's age.  They had a blast playing together in the sand and water and I enjoyed chatting and being outside.  My hubby got home earlier from work and we really enjoyed having time together.  I loved being able to make dinner without a monkey screaming for my attention.  We enjoyed tuna pasta, kale chips, carrots sticks, and a green smoothie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Another sunny day.  I was able to watch a couple kids for a few hours in the afternoon.  We packed a lunch and played at the lake.  The Monkey loved having other kids to play with and he got more adventurous in the water.  I made Southwest Quinoa for dinner then went to mutual night at church.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can you believe it was sunny and warm again.  Today I got a few friends together to play at Horseshoe Lake.  I took my Southwest Quinoa, some home made muffins, fruit, and trail mix to share.  The Monkey had his friend D.H. to play with.  They sure are getting along well.  After lunch I even got in the water for a short time.  That's a big deal for me, but I'm so in love with my new swim shorts I had to try them out.  In the later afternoon I picked up my hubby from work so we could make it to Costco then to my good friend T's birthday celebration.  She made super yummy desserts.  Again, the Monkey had friends to play with and I was able to have adult conversation.  Oh, so for dinner, it was leftover Southwest Quinoa and I ate half a PB&J sandwich.  Good thing I had so much quinoa salad and that I like it.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

My hubby only worked half a day.  After picking him up from work we ran a few errands then enjoyed a nap while the Monkey was napping.  The Monkey continued to sleep so I was able to get some cleaning done (my bathrooms...yikes!).  We made pizza for dinner with our usual toppings (peppers, pineapple, spinach, tomato and mushrooms and olives for my hubby).  After we took a walk to the beach with fishing poles in hand.  The Monkey thinks fishing means catching seaweed.  But, my hubby did catch a small fish that he released.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012
This was one of those days I wish I could do over.  My little Monkey had his first really big accident.  While my hubby was helping out at my brother's I took his kids and the Monkey to my parents to hang out.  Within 5 minutes of being there the Monkey had been accidentally kicked in the back while walking in front of his cousin on the swing and fell teeth first into the rocks that circled the fire pit.  Yeah, he's got quite the fat lip and a few teeth were affected.  After putting on "The Monkey" (Curious George) he calmed down and continued to play.  With my hubby coming back later than expected and the accident I was not willing to think about dinner or eating "healthy."  We went to Kami Teriyaki for the yummiest teriyaki I have found.  I did try the stir fry vegetables instead of just rice and meat.  But, seriously, if you're looking for whole foods, not the best choice.  My hubby reminds me that a 90% is still an A.  I need to hear that sometimes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Monkey and I stayed home from church today.  He woke up early and still wouldn't eat anything.  My mom emotions were high.  I was so thankful for my hubby for pinch hitting for the Sunday school class I was supposed to have substitute taught.  He's the best.  While the Monkey took a little nap on the couch I sneaked downstairs to prepare the pizza toppings and salad for our friends who coming to visit from out of town.  Thankfully I still had some pre-made pizza dough and home made pizza sauce frozen.  The food turned out good and it was so nice to visit with my old friend and her family.  My hubby also made delicious frozen yogurt that we topped with fresh rasberries.  And the Monkey is eating and drinking again!  He fell asleep in the stroller on our way back from our walk to the beach and decided he was finally hungry enough to figure out he could eat with his molars and not hurt his front teeth (it had been over 24 hours since he'd eaten).  All is well!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deconstructing Supper

While walking on the treadmill this evening (yeah me!) I viewed an interesting documentary on Netflix called, Deconstructing Supper.  It tells of the journey of a chef and restaurant owner who decided to do his own research to find out about genetically modified organism (GMO's).  Before a guest at his restaurant asked whether his food contained GMO's he had never heard of that term.  I too am trying to understand what GMO means and the possible ramifications.  I appreciated the approach taken in this documentary to ask questions on both sides of the issue.  Take a look and decide for yourself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Weeks 7, 8, and 9

Life happens.  And for 3 weeks I had to put my dinner diary on hold.  My hubby and I were in charge of planning the meals for my family's vacation and that took time.  Then we went on vacation.  So fun.  Loved spending time with all of my side of the family.  Loved that the Monkey had so many cousins to play with.  Will post more about our fun times in the Family Fun Day post for July.  So below are some of the things I remember eating for dinner and just a few pictures that I took.  Let's see if I can't get back on track now.

coconut cream oats
Love, love, love steel-cut and regular oat groats.  So hearty.  You can really dress this meal up.  My concoction consisted of oat groats (steel-cut work too), canned coconut milk, unsweetened, shredded coconut, unsalted chopped mixed nuts and seeds, a little sea salt, and some brown sugar to sweeten it up a little.  You could get away without adding sugar by adding some dried fruits.  We had this for one of our breakfast meals on vacation and it was a hit.

tuna pasta and salad
I learned about tuna pasta while serving my mission in Greece.  An Italian sister taught someone and it got passed around.  Seriously easy.  Cook some noodles (preferably whole wheat), add some salt, pepper, oregano or Italian seasoning to some tomato sauce and then put in desired amount of tuna.  See I said it was easy.  Link to recipe here.

quinoa something or other
Not all my creations are good and this was not good.  I wanted to make a Greek-inspired quinoa dish.  I still like the idea behind it, but the dressing I made was NOT good.  I'll have to work on this one.  As always, my hubby ate it without complaint.  I did enough complaining for both of us.

omelette and hash browns
Here was one of our Sunday breakfast for dinner meals.  I was pretty happy with how my omelette turned out.  It even look decent.  I just added chopped green onion and tomato to it with a little mozzarella cheese melted on top.  Served with hash browns and oranges made it complete.  

Below are other meals I remember having, but didn't take pictures:

hash browns and strawberries
homemade pizza
cilantro-lime black bean burritos
green salad
rigatoni and salad
corn tortilla tacos
tuna pasta and salad (again)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Review: Gifted Hands

Upon recommendation from my sister who knows my standards for movies I sat down to watch this movie late one night since my hubby was away.  I previously started a different movie that I had to turn off due to inappropriate contact.  It's always a bummer when that happens.  I had no regrets though as this movie was clean and amazingly inspiring and true.  Gifted Hands is based on the life of Ben Carson who overcomes amazing odds to become a famous neurosurgeon.  I love that it doesn't overlook his faith in God as one of his sources of help, motivation, and inspiration.  I came away wanting to spend my time more wisely educating myself and my family.  I also came away reveling in the miracle of the body.  And I came away feeling grateful for my family.  

If there was anything questionable it would be the one-time use of the "H" word.  There are many topics to talk about with children including, prejudices, education, God and the miracle of the body, overcome challenges and weaknesses, self-reliance, etc...

Oh, and you can watch this instantly on Netflix.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Monkey Eats Kale

Do your kids eat vegetables, in particular, anything green?  Well, my little Monkey does not, or I should say, did not.  Not until he was introduced by my good friend M to kale chips.  My friend has an amazing garden and an amazing amount of greens.  One day awhile back while the Monkey and I were visiting her we discussed kale chips and decided to try it.  Well, she did all the work and we scarfed it all up.  I was so happy my Monkey was eating something green and I'm sure his little body was too.  I do not have an amazing garden.  I am just happy to see a few peas and carrots popping up, the rest is weeds :(.  So I buy my greens.  I bought a bag of baby kale at Costco to use in my smoothies the other day and then remembered the kale chips and decided to experiment. easy!  So good!  If you remember I'm a recovering chip-aholic so these healthy chips definitely fulfilled my craving for oil and salt.  So the moral of the story is if you like chips, but are trying to be healthier, try making these and maybe your non-vegetable eating child will like them too.

Link here for the recipe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Late Night Pie

With my hubby gone for the evening I decided to use my time a little more wisely.  After putting the Monkey to bed, instead of sitting down with a big bowl of popcorn in front of the t.v. trying to figure out what to watch since I don't watch much of anything, I perused the dessert section of one of my cookbooks for a treat to make.  I settled on a variation of key lime pie as I had all the ingredients and I knew my hubby wouldn't be sad not having any 'cause it's not his favorite.  

Here are a few things I learned:

Raw food desserts can be so easy and so good for you.  They most likely say to soak the nuts for enhanced nutrition, which is good, but it was not necessary for this dessert. I processed the nut crust mixture just fine without soaking and it tasted great too.  

I also found it was not necessary to soak the dates.  I used my Bosch food processor attachment and they blended just fine.

Fresh lime juice is better than bottled lime juice.  I only had bottled lime juice on hand so that's what I used.  It tasted good, but it left a more bitter taste in the mouth that I'm pretty sure wouldn't happen if I had used fresh squeezed lime juice.

It does make a difference letting the pie cool in the refrigerator.  It was late when I made the pie and I could not resist having a taste until the next day.  The pie was good, but I had to spoon it out as the filling was a bit runny.  The next day, after refrigerating it, the pie was all firmed up and sliced much easier and I think the flavors came together better as well.

Link here for the recipe.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 6

Lentil Tacos
My little Monkey slept pretty late Monday (6/25/12) morning which gave me time to do a few things, like plan the week's meals.  I had hopes to grocery shop after a meeting I had with the young women leaders, but after buckling him in the car seat I realized it was going to be a nightmare shopping trip (one of those days).  So the meal for Monday changed to something that I didn't need to get ingredients for.  And what is easier than tacos?  It seems I eat this sort of thing a lot so thankfully I really like them and thankfully I don't get tired of them and thankfully my hubby eats whatever is put in front of him without complaint.  I made Lentil Tacos.  All ya do is cook some lentils like normal, but add taco seasoning (I made my own) to the water.  Then you get out a tortilla (preferably whole wheat), slop on some taco seasoned lentils and add whatever other toppings you like (tomatoes, onion, cilantro, avocado, cheese, fresh lime or lemon juice).  Oh, and enjoy!  We had the missionaries from our church over for dinner and they enjoyed the "healthy" food.  I also made a frozen treat that was a big hit.  All it consisted of was frozen strawberries, bananas, almonds, and a little canned coconut milk.  I blended it all up then let it freeze for a bit before serving.  

Corn Tortilla Tacos
Today (6/26/12) was a fairly non-productive day since I was dealing with a bladder infection.  Thankfully my good friend T.H. was able to watch the Monkey while I went to Urgent Care.  I was trying so hard not to have to take antibiotics, but the pain got the best of me.  Anyway, I had little motivation to make a meal due to that and it didn't help that my hubby wasn't home to eat either (working late and checking out another sailboat possibility).  You all know by now what my go-to meal is...corn tortillas.  I basically just added all the leftover ingredients (besides the lentils) from Monday's meal and some Frank's Hot Sauce to a corn tortilla fried in a little coconut oil.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012:  Well, this is what I get for erasing my whiteboard with my calendar of what I did and ate before I wrote this.  Yep, I cannot remember..  I know I visited with my sweet neighbor who I visit teach at church.  It was a gorgeous day.  I know I had the young women over for a campfire and stories from our family histories in the evening.  They roasted marshmallows, but I resisted (I used to be quite a pro at eating roasted marshmallows).  As for clue.  Sorry.

Cilantro-Lime Rice, Garlic and Lemon Salmon, &
Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Thursday, June 28, 2012:  I made the yummiest dinner.  Oooh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I cooked up some brown rice and added lime juice and cilantro.  I sliced cucumber and tomato and drizzled on some olive oil and white wine vinegar and added crumbled feta.  But the salmon was delicious.  I had some frozen salmon from Costco that I placed on oiled tin foil.  Then I spread some minced garlic, put a little dill weed and topped with sliced lemons.  I sprinkled some salt and pepper as well.  I loosely wrapped the tin foil around the salmon pinching the sides closed  and baked for about 20 minutes or so at 450 degrees.  Seriously good.

can't find my food picture so here's a cute one of the Monkey.
no, he's not potty trained.  he just wanted to wear his
underwear 'cause his friend that was over was wearing his.
Friday, June 29, 2012: My hubby actually had his off-Friday off of work.  We didn't do a whole lot, but it was nice to have him around. I took the family out to dinner with my gift certificate I received for coaching track this season...that was nice of the club.  We went to a local place called Spiro's.  We'd never been there and probably would've never gone if I didn't get that gift certificate.  My hubby loved his pizza.  And if you're looking for something that is not healthy, but super tasty, this place met that criteria.  I did have some really good corn and squash soup.  And the Monkey really liked it too.  My pesto pasta  Not too flavorful and white flour noodles.  I did ask if they had whole wheat noodles and they do sometimes on special.  My hubby said he would definitely go again.  I could pass, though I'd get that soup again.

Here are the pictures I took of our meal at Spiro's.
corn and squash soup

pesto pasta

mushroom and olive calzone
Whole Wheat Tortilla Pizza
Saturday, June 30, 2012:   The hubby worked part of the day.  I spent a long time comparing prices for our family vacation coming up while my hubby watched the Monkey.  We just made pizzas on whole wheat tortillas for dinner.  Simple and quick for a later dinner.

Sunday, July 1, 2012:  I wanted to experiment with oat groats today.  I thought it turned out really good.  I cooked the oat groats according to package instructions.  During the last 10 minutes I added canned coconut milk, a little brown sugar, shredded coconut and cardamom.  Then I sprinkled mixed nuts and seeds on top with along with some more shredded coconut and brown sugar.  I loved it.  My hubby was not in love with the cardamom spice like I was.  Cinnamon would work just as well if you're not a fan either.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Family Fun Day: June 15, 2012

Our goal as a family is to have at least one day out of the month that we do something fun together.  This month (June) I was in charge.  In June of 2010 we took our little Monkey to the temple to be sealed to our family.  It was a very special day.  My goal is to return to a temple at least yearly with our boy to remember that day and how special temples are to our family.  Last year we went to the Washington D.C. temple and the San Antonio, Texas temple.  This year we went back to our temple.  It was a gorgeous day.  We walked the grounds and tried to take a family picture.  After, we drove to a nearby park with a lake and the Monkey played in the water and on the playground.  From there we went out to eat (my favorite thing) to Claim Jumper's.  I am so glad we are starting this tradition of taking time out as a family now as I know life doesn't get less busy it's a matter of deciding what's important and how we want to use our time.  Family time is number one!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 5

Whole Wheat German Pancakes with Peaches
I'm pretty proud of myself this week.  Sunday evening I planned out meals for the entire week.  On Monday (6/18/12) I made the whole wheat oven pancakes that I originally had planned for Sunday, but since it was Father's Day I made my hubby's choice for dinner.  I've always loved oven pancakes (also known as German pancakes), but the last time I made them my stomach didn't feel so good.  I didn't have a problem this time and I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour.  The recipe I followed called for sliced pears, but I only had peaches.  I also used whole milk instead of reduced fat and honey instead of cane sugar.  It was delicious and I'm sure it would've been delicious with pears as well.  We downed them like they were nothing.  It was a good thing I made my green smoothies to go along with them.

Veggie Cilantro-Lime Quinoa Burritos
I was able to go shopping for the ingredients I would need for the rest of the week's meals Tuesday (6/19/12) morning and got a few other errands run at the same time.  Thank you monkey for being more calm during this shopping trip.  It was nice to go early and then have story time at the library right after.  Hmmm...this could become a tradition.  Thankfully the monkey took a long nap so I could prepare the health presentation I was doing for my sister-in-law's Relief Society activity (what a fun experience to share my "health revolution" with other ladies and they were so nice).  I also was able to make dinner before I had to leave.  We had veggie cilantro-lime quinoa burritos (my own creation).  All I did was fill a whole wheat tortilla with quinoa, black beans, tomato, shredded cabbage, green onion, and fresh cilantro.  Then I squeezed fresh lime juice all over, wrapped it up and enjoyed.  I ate another one after I came home from the health presentation.

It was a beautiful, warm, and sunny Wednesday (6/20/12) so the monkey and I filled up the little kiddie pool to play in.  Around noon I decided we needed to enjoy the nice weather at the beach by our house.  I actually got hot for the first time this year.  The monkey had a great time playing in the sand and I found a friend to chat with (thanks for the convo BB).  It was a little rushed in the evening before I had to leave for youth group so I was glad steak salad was on the menu, though I found the hubby took the rest of the leftover steak to work for lunch so it was just salad.  That's okay, I certainly didn't miss it.  I made a tasty lemon-lime dressing (recipe from Green Smoothie Girl's 12 Step program) to add to my spring mix, cucumber, cabbage, and tomato salad.  I got a few comments on my "healthy" ways since I brought the salad to youth group to eat.  There were cookies and treats available, and though it is a little tempting, I resisted.  

Curried Quinoa Salad
Thursday (6/21/12) turned out to be another nice day.  Sista G and Officer J's family met us at a nearby lake to go boating in the evening.  I brought along the curried quinoa salad (recipe from "Spilling the Beans") I made before heading out.  My hubby ate his portion in the car on the way to the lake and, more than once, he told me how good it was.  This means a lot coming from a guy who does not get as excited about food as myself.  I loved it too.  I also snacked on grapes and a couple peaches, as well as nuts and the wheat thins sista G brought, oh, and the Monkey's peanut butter and jelly sandwich that he didn't want.  I guess I was pretty hungry.  Sitting on a boat watching other's ski really builds an appetite.  

Whole Wheat Tortilla Veggie Pizza
My hubby is supposed to have Friday's off, but when he's busy, which he is, he ends up having to go in to work, which he did today (6/22/12).  It was really rainy and though the monkey and I had fun playing for the first part of the morning I wondered what I was going to do the rest of the day.  So I jumped on my sweet sista L's offer to come over and hang out.  I got home later than intended so the plan to make pizza seemed like it wouldn't happen at first.  Then I remembered that pizza using tortilla's is quick and pretty tasty.  It doesn't beat home made dough, but it sure is a great alternative when time is short and tummy's are hungry now.  I already had pizza sauce (recipe based off of this one) made that I just needed to thaw.  On mine I had sliced tomatoes and peppers with mozzarella cheese and a little feta sprinkled on top.  The hubby always has olives and mushrooms.  

After coming home from a youth temple trip today (6/23/12) we hurried and got ready to go check out a sailboat (my hubby is on the hunt).  I made a salad I could eat on the way and packed some grapes, nuts, and fruit leather for the drive.  We looked at the sailboat for awhile (not the one:) then headed for home.  It was getting late in the evening after also having stopped at my bro C's house for stuff I left there (I got my camera back!).  Being late and being hungry we decided to stop at a burrito place my sista L told me about recently.  I chose the whole wheat tortilla and added black beans, lime rice (it was white so I added less, but I probably wouldn't get the rice next time unless they start offering brown), pico de gallo, cilantro, and squeezed fresh lime juice on top.  I noticed they had fajita vegetables as added price option (peppers and onions) after the fact, which sounded good.  Next time.

Whole Wheat Crepes
We made it through Sacrament meeting at church today (6/24/12)!  This is a big feat as there's a reason the Monkey is called the Monkey.  After church we had our dinner for lunch.  This seems to be a good way to do meals on Sunday.  I made whole wheat crepes and they turned out so good and it was so easy.  As a filling I fried some shredded potatoes for hash browns and sliced peppers and green onions that I coated in extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a little sea salt and pepper.  My hubby also filled his with thawed frozen strawberries with a little added touch of honey and sliced bananas.  After quiet time that was not quiet we played trains, walked around the nearby state beach park, video chatted with Grandma and Grandpa C, visited a family from church, then crashed (or at least I did) after putting the Monkey to bed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cucumber Lemon Water

Water.  I know it's sooo good for me and my health.  I love it on a warm day or after a good work out, but there aren't many warm days around here and I'm a slacker on getting a good work out (help!).  Other times it can be a challenge for me to drink enough of that oh, so vital fluid.  A few things help me and maybe they can help you too. 

1)  I like to know how much I have to drink and how much I have already consumed.  To help with this I fill up a 32 ounce canning jar so I know that if I drink 2 jars a day I will have drunk a good amount.

2)  Drinks just taste better using a straw.  Try these.

3)  Add lemon.  It tastes good and you'll get some good for you vitamin C as a bonus.

4)  Add cucumber.  I learned about adding cucumber to my water while staying at hotels for a 6 month period.  I was surprised at how yummy and refreshing a slice of cucumber made the water.  Try it today!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 4

Monday, June 11, 2012

Quite the productive day I must say.  Monday's seem to be my cleaning day.  I cleaned my  bathrooms, did laundry, and I even was able to mow our law.  It sure is nice now that Zac is a little older and I can do that kind of stuff with him.  My hubby is on the hunt for a sailboat and found one for us to look at in the evening.  I picked him up from work and then headed out.  We got home a little later since we also stopped at Costco on the way home.  I made some corn tortilla quesadillas fried in coconut oi and a nice big green salad.  Seriously, don't avocados make everything taste amazing?  A side of grapes added a nice touch, and they were so juicy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The hubby stayed home sick today.  I told him he better just stay in our room if he wanted to get any rest.  He was able to see first hand why I am just done, emotionally, by the time he gets home from work.  I cooked some mahi mahi in a clove of fresh garlic, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice.  I shredded and cut some cabbage, carrots, green onion, and peppers and cooked up some brown rice with avocado and a lemon slice on the side.  I really enjoyed it, but the hubby, who eats pretty much anything, was not a fan of the vegetables since I might have put just a little too much apple cider vinegar on them.  I didn't mind it, but I drink the stuff regularly as a tonic of sorts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was not feeling great today and it didn't help that the Monkey woke up at 5:15am!  I took him to the talent show of his cousin that he adores.  Great job playing the piano Miss N.  I was so tired by the time we got home that I allowed the Monkey to watch, 'the Monkey' (Curious George) so I could rest.  I also needed to prepare to present a spiel on healthy drinks for the young women's activity in the evening.  Needless to say dinner was non-existent and the boys had to fend for themselves.  I got home hungry and with the help of my hubby I had a salad with cucumber, mixed nuts and seeds, avocado, feta, and an oil-based dressing.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I was so glad to spend the day with my good Friend M.  We gardened (she has an amazing garden and yard).  The Monkey had a great time playing in the pile of dirt.  Friend M brought in some kale fresh from her garden and made super yummy kale chips that the Monkey chowed down.  I prepared early today so I could eat before I heading out to track practice.  I put rinsed and drained canned black beans and brown rice in whole wheat tortillas that I warmed in the oven.  Then I topped them with tomato, avocado, shredded cabbage, and I squeezed fresh lime juice all over.  I really like lime juice on southwestern types of food.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Today was our family fun day that I'll talk about in a separate post.  As part of it we went out to eat as a family.  We decided on Claim Jumper's.  I ordered a tomato basil pizza.  It was good and better than a meat lover's, but I wouldn't call it healthy.  The dough was out of white flour and the hubby said it was like scone dough.  The tomato and basil were really good though.  I had a salad to start, but was pretty disappointed as it was mostly iceberg lettuce.  Oh well, it was fun to eat out as a family and not be the one to prepare it.  I really do love eating out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sista E and Bro C invited all the family over to celebrate Father's Day early.  We were to bring out own tin foil dinners to cook over an open fire.  Thankfully the rain held up enough for us to do that.  For our family we decided to cook our home made pizza over the fire.  I had taken out dough to thaw on Thursday thinking we'd use it Friday, but we ate out instead.  I put tomatoes, spinach, and zucchini on my side.  Besides the crust getting slightly charred it tasted really good.  I always am trying to get my crust crispier and this seems to be a great way to do it.  Thanks for a fun evening with family.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Being Father's Day, my hubby got to pick the meal.  He chose rib-eye steak, garlic-mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, and corn.  I didn't have milk so I used a little coconut milk in the mashed potatoes with butter and salt.  I drizzled olive oil and white wine vinegar over sliced peppers, red onion, and carrots and added a little salt and pepper.  The steak was seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Everything turned out really good.  We both found that we still like having steak, but we don't have the same desire to eat as much.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Movies I Recommend

Below is a list of movies that I consider to be clean and appropriate.  Check back often as this list will be continually updated.  You will find this post located in the "Reviews and Recommendations" tab at the top of my home page.

Deconstructing Supper
Facing the Giants
Forever Strong
Gifted Hands
Letters to God
Matchmaker Mary
Miss Potter
My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Seven Days in Utopia
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Lost and Found Family
What If...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blueberries vs. Chocolate

I am only going to mention this fact once in this post...I have a two year old.  Now that that's out of the way.  What do you turn to when you encounter high stress and high frustration moments in your life?  Many of us turn to food, and many women turn to chocolate.  I can't say I'm a chocoholic, but there have been times I have grabbed a handful, or 2, or 3, of chocolate chips to get me through (I actually learned this trick from my dear friend D:).  But there are other things, like chips, BBQ chips, greasy, salt BBQ chips, that have been my friends in the past when I'm having a hard time coping.  I have rid my kitchen of most, not great for me things, for which I am quite pleased.  But I still have those times when I just "need" something, something to help me calm down, to take my mind off what seems to be a terribly hard moment.  

The other day I picked up some yummy blueberries to enjoy in my granola and yogurt for breakfast.  I've also been snacking on them throughout the day too.  I was very grateful for this purchase recently.  They became my friend during that moment of stress.  To choose blueberries over chocolate chips (since I don't have any BBQ chips) is what I consider a triumph.  So I am patting myself on the back today.  I hope you recognize the little triumphs in your life too and pat yourself on the back.  Tell a friend and let them high five you.  We all need encouragement and congrats to give us confidence and help us feel good about the improvements we are making.  

What are things you do to cope with stress in a healthy way, be it food or otherwise?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good Quality Peanut Butter

Recently we purchased an ice cream maker for Father's Day and we absolutely love it.  Yes, I know Father's Day is not until this Sunday, but how could I let an ice cream maker sit unused for that long?  The ice cream maker comes with a bunch of recipes to try.  While looking over the various types of ice cream I saw one for peanut butter ice cream.  I really like peanut butter shakes so this sounded quite tasty.  Looking over the ingredients I was take aback when I read what kind of peanut butter they called for.  I quote, "good quality peanut butter (not natural)."  Am I the only one that finds this statement contradictory?  Maybe I'm just becoming too much of a natural foodster, but that really made me laugh.  I grew up on the kind of peanut butter you had to get a big wooden spoon to stir in the oil on top.  For some reason, I started buying the "other" kind that has lots more added to it than just peanuts and salt.  I'm back to the peanuts and salt variety now.  Anyway, my point is, wouldn't "good quality" and "natural" mean the same thing to you?  

When I started going more whole and in the raw with my food choices I ended up giving away and taking the peanut butter that is more than peanuts and salt to the local food bank.  Go take a look at the ingredients in the peanut butter in your cupboard.  Maybe consider if those extra ingredients are necessary and good for your health and that of your family.  As you transition to a whole foods lifestyle it may be helpful to take baby steps.  This could be one of those baby steps.  Good luck in living more whole and in the raw.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Genetically Modified Foods

My husband just sent me this article to read and said I should write something about it.  I told him I'm not sure what I would write except that I support labeling genetically modified foods.  In my mind it just makes sense to know what ingredients are in the foods I purchase.  I don't have any scientific data and I don't know the ins and outs of genetically modified foods, but I do believe that nature does it best.  Food is going to be better for us in it's most whole and raw state.  I do believe there is a strong correlation between the rise in processed foods (including GMO's) and the rise in food sensitivities, allergies, disease, etc...The sooner we get back to whole and raw foods, the better for us and for our children, and our children's children, and on and on.  What we do today does affect tomorrow.  

I certainly hope California voter's make labeling GMO's law.  And I hope my state follows suite soon.  Here's another article to read too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stainless Steel Straws

I like to drink smoothies pretty regularly.  For some reason they taste better when I use a straw.  It's just more fun that way too.  But I don't like wasting all those straws.  I started out reusing the plastic straws a few times.  Then I found some heavier duty plastic reusable straws at the store.  Those worked just fine, but I also am trying to use less plastic.  Plus, even heavy duty plastic does wear out after awhile.  I love Amazon.  It's kind of addictive.  Anyway, I did a search for reusable straws and found these.  

I was so excited when they arrived on my doorstep.  Our UPS lady driver is becoming a familiar face around here.  The Monkey gets excited when he sees we have a new package.  I was a little worried when I took them out of the package that they would be too short to use in the quart jars I use for smoothies and my drinking water, but they are perfect.  I like that they have the curved feature too.  

The Monkey took to them just fine also.  If that face can't sell these things, I don't know what can.  My only warning is to be careful not to bite down on the straw.  The things are stainless steel, remember?  Also, make sure you rinse them right after using them in any drink other than water.  For a good cleaning just buy some cheap pipe cleaners.  Enjoy not wasting your money on throw away straws and not throwing away waste that is not healthy for our beautiful earth.