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Entries Tagged as 'Cooking/Recipes'

New Blog Post on Breathe Magazine

September 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

Testing the Lean Out Program is now live!

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition · health and fitness

‘Twas the Night Before

August 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

……..Back to Work Week, People!!

Yes, it’s true I’ve had two and a half months off, oh yeah, baby, being a teacher does have it’s benefits, although 12.5 hours with my two boys has been one heck of a ride!! We’ve been to the beach, the mountains, the air museum (twice), watched lots of movies and had generally good times when just hanging at home. They’ve learned that they can really dive into their cars game and it can literally last all day. Or legos, or trains, or whatever….as long as everyone is getting along, I’m happy.

Going into this week, I’ve had goals to you know, clean rooms, drop off donations, plant a another vegetable garden, cook lots and be rested. Well, let’s just check off two of those things, and hope for the best! My biggest fears are going back to work and having nothing healthy to eat for myself, my husband or my kids–wierd way my brain works, I know. So, today, you get to have a peek at my fridge, because I’m proud to say we are ready for the week!!

Pictured in fridge is 1 doz. hard boiled eggs, 2 large containers of roasted sausage and peppers to be eaten for breakfast and lunch, sliced strawberries, cooked beets, carrots, grilled chicken breasts and a butternut squash sauce to be served with sausage later in the week! Yes, we are good to go!

Now, please pray for a calm and successful return to work and that everyone adjusts easily.

Happy Monday!

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition · Questions for Readers · Things that motivate me

Grilled Peaches

July 5th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Ever tried grilled peaches?! They are delicious. What about grilled pineapple or grapes? It certainly changes your view on what can be put on the grill! It seems as if I now have a bit of a farm in my back yard and eating all the fruits from the trees has been a challenge. Which is the reason for me grilling the peaches. We can eat 4-6 peaches a meal if I grill them. Now, about plums?! Haven’t tried, but, I have a ton!!

What is the weirdest thing you’ve grilled before?

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes

The Colossal Food Effort

July 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

The following is probably going to end up being a note to myself.

This past week, we were in San Diego for a “getaway” with the kids. I’m calling it a getaway and not a vacation because to me a vacation implies –REST and RELAXATION. With kids in tow, nights in hotel rooms are not vacations. Everybody has to share the space, the TV, the light, when to go to bed and when to wake up….In addition, you have to eat three meals a day where ever you are. On top of that, we have food requirements….such as eating lean meats, eggs, veggies, fruits and nuts for all our meals.

Now, here’s where I get a little freakish about my food. There was not fridge or microwave in our room so that left me wondering…”what will we do for food??” Not to mention my cheapness… First morning I spent an hour searching for a grocery store so I could buy sandwich meats, pre-cut fruits and nuts plus cereal and milk for the kids.

When we could have all just gotten dressed and head towards the nearest Coco’s or Denny’s and had omelets and the kids could have had pancakes for the same money and time I spent hunting for a grocery store!

At lunch, the same thing occurs, I need/want to eat clean food and I go out hunting for food to take back for the family! Not knowing the area nor fast food eateries that would offer healthy fare, it took me WAY longer than it should have. Luckily, I found, Corner Bakery Shop that had plenty of healthy food choices for both lunch and breakfast!!

Bottom line is that I was way too INflexible when it came to dining options and spent too much time and energy looking for healthy food options when they were right in front of my nose. Also, since it is vacation, I could have also tried to revert back to a Zone type diet for the few days we were gone for a bit more flexibility as there would be times and hours when I just wouldn’t eat because I didn’t want to eat crap food and was being cheap (not a good choice for me, but?!!)

Healthy food options are always available!
Roasted Chicken
Raw veggies or pre-cut fruits
Half of Sandwiches
Smoothies (?!)
Salads (without cheese or croutons)

Live and learn right?!

How do you keep it clean while on vacation?

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition · Questions for Readers · Zone Diet

Kid-Friendly Ratatouille!

May 11th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Recipe inspired by this recipe…but, of course, I never really follow the instructions!! However, it was delicious and satisfying none the less, works great for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I also love that it makes a huge pot with plenty of leftovers.

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes

New Kid Friendly Recipe: Butternut Coconut Curry Soup

April 21st, 2011 · No Comments

If you knew how I really function in the kitchen, you’d probably never want to eat here! I rarely follow recipes, I never measure anything, I cook all the food before I wash the dishes, and I feed my kids everything I cook. They do not get special dishes prepared just for them! And, on most nights, it’s the same old boring stuff: Chicken and Veggies, Fish and Veggies, or Sausage and Veggies. Tonight, I had 2 Butternuts and lots of veggies but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to put it together, so, I simply entered butternut and coconut milk in the search engine and this is what turned up first. Of course, I didn’t really follow this recipe!!

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.

1 tablespoon olive oil coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions. I added celery and peppers
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup canned vegetable chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño Anaheim chili
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
12 ounces dried futonaga udon noodles (oriental-style spaghetti) or linguine (this dish also goes beautifully with jasmine rice in place of noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth, jalapeño and garlic; bring to boil. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and curry paste. Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Add squash mixture and cilantro to noodles; toss to blend. Serve.

Recipe taken from Love and Olive Oil.

Delicious and Kid Friendly!!

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes

New Blog Post on Read Breathe Today!

January 25th, 2011 · No Comments

On How We Encourage Healthy Eating in Our Kids!

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition

Inexpensive Diet: The Paleo Solution

January 17th, 2011 · No Comments

This is going to seem weird, but, it’s true!

Our main focus at the moment is eating really clean foods {lean proteins, good fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and fish}. At first, you might think, heck no! It’s not cheaper, but, when I took the time to think through what we used to eat as opposed to what we eat now, it really is cheaper.

For example, I was buying 10 protein bars per week for my husband who would go through 2 a day at a cost of $1.50 per bar. Fage Greek Yogurt costs $5 for two servings from Trader Joe’s and hubby and I were each eating one serving a day. Diet Soda’s in the can cost $6 for a dozen (+ or -). My families favorite cereals are Puffins, Shredded Wheat (cereals by Kashi) and they range for $3-5 per box and we’d go through 1-2 boxes per week. Jarred sauces with loads of sugar cost $3 bucks each and they’d only get me one or two meals per jar! Let’s talk about bread- one loaf of bread can be around $3 and our favorite were the Arnold’s Thins which runs around $4 per week. Then, there’s the coffee shop budget which used to be $4 for hubby’s drink and $3 for mine, and although, I still drink coffee there, nothing is exciting like Mocha’s or Latte’s or as expensive. Any of the processed carbs such as the veggie chips or the Multigrain chip (oh, I miss these) are $4 bucks a bag (that’d be one night’s dinner for us). And the cheeses…the string cheeses or the shredded cheeses are all extra that cost extra money.

The Paleo Solution diet can be as fancy and as tasty as you want! The more I research new recipes, the more recipes I want to try. One common mistake for me is that I will see a recipe, and then go make my own version of it…without consulting the recipe again. I’m a bit on the lazy side…

You might wonder, so what do we eat instead? And, as for the kids, well they are still on a non-paleo diet for the most part..this is not a mountain I am ready to hike yet! Mainly because they are not so enamored with my egg dishes for breakfast and they LOVE their Pb& J…dinners are always paleo for them, though.

Breakfasts are usually Frittatas or crust-less quiches
Lunches are leftovers (chicken, apples and nuts) are standard
Dinners are lots of veggies and proteins.
Desert…for me is 85% Dark Chocolate and/or Medjul Dates

What are you all planning in the way of food this week?

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition

5 Easy Ways to Execute Paleo Meals for Weeknight Rushing

January 7th, 2011 · No Comments

Starting today, we are going back to a stricter Paleo diet for both my husband and myself.  For us, that will mean, no sugar (white, raw, agave, honey of any kind), no grains, oatmeal, rice or pasta, and no dairy.

Honestly, we eat in 6 days a week.  One night a week, we will eat out as a family, but, that leaves 6 other nights where we (I) am doing the cooking.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to cook and I have lots of go-to fast meals that I can crank out within 30 minutes.  Some of the easiest ones are the simple ones like spiced up chicken and sauteed veggies with garlic, spaghetti squash mixed with organic (sugar free) spaghetti sauce plus all the veggies + one protein in the house.  On nights when I’m “oh my gosh TOAST” we will eat either leftovers or eggs.

Some ingredients I always have in my kitchen or pantry include:

1. Fresh, delicious salsa

2.  Penzey’s spices (as much as possible!!)

3.  Spaghetti Squash

4.  Already prepped veggies

5.  Coconut Milk, Tomato Paste, Tomato sauce, Almond Butter, Chicken Stock, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil

6. Fresh Medjul Dates (These are so delicious and I can get them from a local source and I just can’t live without them! They are like my sugary desert.)

What is always fresh and ready to go in your kitchen? Do you have any 30 minute or less “go-to” meals that you always rely on?

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Nutrition · Questions for Readers

Stopped in My Tracks…Everyday!

January 5th, 2011 · 1 Comment

“So, Rachel, I get home from work and I just want to crack open the wine, sit back and relax!  I really should go swimming or go to the gym, but, I usually don’t want to.”

“Wow, you’ve lost 10 pounds over the break, how did you do it?  Stomach flu plus my mother in law’s cooking, ha ha ha….but, Rachel, I run everyday and can’t lose any weight.”

“What can I do to get rid of this ***demonstration of a flabby arm***?”

“So, Rachel, I’m getting married soon and I’d like to get toned up, what do you suggest?”

“What can I do in fifteen minutes?”

“Or, Rachel, I’d like some definition in my arms, but I don’t like that muscle bulging at the top of your shoulder (pointing to mine)?!?!?”

“I’m getting an elliptical for my birthday present, what should I do with it?”

“Or, I am going to the Y and usually spend 30-40 minutes on the treadmill, isn’t that enough?”

Readers, I need your help here!  I am getting stopped every single day with fitness questions!  And, I am not walking up to them, saying “how’s your fitness plan going”?  I am flattered, truly, because I think I am finally at least modeling a really healthy model for being physically fit.  (I am far from perfect on the food plan, people, but for the MOST part, I follow a health, clean  eating plan).  If I wasn’t already working six hours a day teaching physical fitness, I’d go work with every person individually to help them!

So, here are my “GO TO” rules of quick and easy fitness and food:

1.  When in doubt on what to do on aerobic machine, do less.  Complete a total of 20 minutes on the treadmill going as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then rest.  Repeat.

2.  Lift Heavy Dumbbells & learn new movements utilizing them.  There are thousands!

3.  Eat chicken, eggs, sausage, or bacon for breakfast and put DOWN that bagel.

4.  Carry bagged chicken or protein powder daily.

5.  Wear comfortable clothes daily, so that you can drop down and do “Death By Push-ups” with your kids!

6.  Have the healthy fruit snacks prepped and ready!

7.  If eating out is a must and it’s not your cheat meal or day, order grilled meat and veggies!

8.  Read more about health, nutrition and food!

Please  feel free to add your tips, comments and suggestions!

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Tags: Cooking/Recipes · Cross Fit · Nutrition