Recent Thoughts, Recent Eats, Recent Randomness

Where should I begin…..

Thoughts, ideas, inspirations, dreams….do you all have them rolling around in your brain like I do? Sometimes they drive me a bit crazy but I often wonder if they aren’t meant to do that. Some of the things rolling around in my head range from where to camp this coming summer,

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to what trails I want to hike this year,

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to what state do I want to toss at my family and see if they are on board to go visit.

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I would love to plan a girls weekend where all my girl friends escape the role of wife and mother and just be us for a few hours. No worries where this child is or that child is, what we will be preparing for dinner, how high the dirty dishes are stacking up or how much laundry I need to eventually make time to get done.

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I am not a big shopper but I want to plan a Trader Joe’s trip(2 hours from us is the nearest) and also want to make a trip to the next REI garage sale day for members(again, another 2 hours from us).

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I have a million recipes I want to try in my new dutch oven. However, I have been using it quite a bit with old recipes and so far I am thrilled…it is fabulous. Big huge thank you to one of my daycare families for this wonderful gift.

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I also have a list of places to research for possible destinations to visit and I am really feeling the need for elevation…..a long trail that’s leads up where no one else is typically found when you finally reach the top. In other words, a little peace and quiet to gather all these thoughts and put them in order of importance.

So let’s move onto an easier topic….recent eats. This last week it’s been all about cleaning up the frig and open food in the pantry. I hate leaving home and having to throw out food. So it’s been a bit of random meals but still good meals per say.I have been really enjoying spicy black bean salads for my lunches. I am not a big side salad person but give me a meal salad and I am all in.

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With winter chill in my bones I have been really enjoying oatmeal for lunch also. Oatmeal is not a family favorite so when I get the chance to make it for just me I do.

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We had one bottle of Trader Joe’s curry sauce left and it was time to enjoy it since I had a few chicken breast we needed to eat up. My son and I were in heaven…..hubby…not so much. He had italian chicken breast instead. He is not a fan of curry in anything…party pooper.

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Let’s see, workouts have been going great. I have been concentrating on weekends at the gym and maybe one day during the week since right now it is so crowded it’s more stressful to go that not to go. Weekends are busy but not nearly what Monday thru Friday are at the moment. I have not been outside to exercise in quite sometime….and even though I miss fresh air, I have no urge what so ever to go outside to “play”! Too much snow for this desert loving girl!

I know my husband is waiting patiently to go ice fishing for the first time this winter which really causes me anxiety. Although, this year it seems he is going with someone new and it could prove to be very interesting to hear about when they get home. We shall see….

I am trying to figure out when and how I plan to surprise my boys with something they purchased me for Christmas and of course, I want them to share in the fun of it also. They thought it would be a great gag gift to buy me a brick of ration bars. Why…..who knows??? All I can tell you is, when they least expect good ole mom to have snacks in the snack bag while 10 miles back in the middle of nowhere….this is all I am going to produce and they are going to share in the fun of trying it if they are hungry enough. Fun will be had by all of us;-)

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For now I will leave you with all this. You may not feel better but I feel a bit lighter.

If you feel the need to get something off your mind…feel free in the comment section….I will listen.

 

Ground Chicken Breakfast Sausage

During the holidays I had some time to experiment with a few new recipes and this one really was a great hit with my family.

I am a firm believer that breakfast is the best meal of the day. One of the foods we stopped eating on our journey to healthier living was breakfast sausage but that has come to an end since I did some experimenting in the kitchen. Breakfast sausage is typically made from pork and has way to much animal fat in my opinion to even think about being consumed occasionally much less more often.

Here is what I came up with made with 100% ground chicken, no fillers, and simply added spices that most people will have in their homes. Give it a try and see what you think.

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Ground Chicken Breakfast Sausage

1lb. of ground chicken

1 tsp. sage

dash of oregano

dash of red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix these spices into the ground chicken until combined. Refrigerate this mixture for at least two hours or overnight like I did.

Over medium heat in a sprayed, nonstick pan gentle scoop roughly formed patties. Cook for about 12-15 minutes(depending on the size of your patties).

One pound of chicken made approx. 10-12 patties for my family.

 

Healthy Lifestyle vs. Dieting/ Dealing with Hypoglycemia

I can’t believe the number of people that have told me they are going to try a new diet. Doesn’t it always seem that someone is on one diet or another? Honestly, I think there are enough different ones out there that a person could be on a new diet monthly. This is just so overwhelming to me!!!

Maybe I was lucky, when I achieved my weight loss years ago, I truthfully did not find it difficult to eat healthy. I simply just changed the way I ate. Not a hard concept. I knew the junk I was eating and simply stopped eating it.

Yes, of course, I craved things that I gave up, like chips, cheese (I do live in Wisconsin), grilled hotdogs, etc. Then I searched around and found replacements for all these items. The things I could not replace, I had a bite of and left the rest for someone else.

I really never understood dieting. Once you “START” a diet, you eventually have to “END” a diet. I wanted my weight loss to be lifelong, so I never wanted that “END” day to come. My solution was to change my lifestyle, not start a diet.

Many will blame their husband, wife or children. So and so always has to have this or that in the house. Kids like there snack foods, husbands like their chips, wives like their chocolate. So be it. Find healthier alternatives. Learn portion sizes, and stick to them. Let’s face it, chocolate is healthy in small portions, baked chips are better than regular chips and kids eat what mom or dad buy for them. In other words, if they can’t see it, they can’t eat it. If they are are hungry and offered healthier options they will eat them.

One of the hardest things I had to learn was that every time we had an outing planned we brought a cooler full of healthy options. It is not easy to feed a family healthy on the road. Another hurdle was eating out. Portion sizes at restaurants are enormous. When we would eat out, I used to cut everything in half and only eat half my meal. The rest was brought home for another meal.

I often ask myself why people do this to themselves. Go on a diet, go off a diet. Loose weight and feel great, just to turn around and gain it back when the diet is done. Just make a lifestyle change instead. It’s your life to change.

This is how I lost weight. No calorie counting, no special diet, no surgery. I have been struggling lately with hypoglycemia. I found myself researching different strategies, diets and foods that help solve some of the issues that come along with this frustrating condition. Then I thought to myself, what am I doing? I am not going to try any diet. No way, I can do this myself. My biggest hurdle is I need to eat every 3-4 hours, regardless if I am hungry or not (according to all the experts and doctors). This is not something that makes me happy! I have trained myself to eat only when hungry and at no other times.

I eat a balance diet and exercise daily. I have come to love exercise and my active lifestyle and will not let this condition change the way I do things. (Remember, I am a redhead and am very stubborn) I have learned that I do need to feed my body when it tells me it needs to eat, although, I don’t always agree with it. So, I try and feed it healthy options and will change some of my eating habits to adjust to this condition but no new “diet plan” is going to happen.

I have come to realize I need to have a small snack everywhere I am, just in case things get delayed and I can not make it home within that 3-4 hours. I have a snack in my purse and in our vehicles. When we leave home for any larger amount of time I now grab what we all know as “mom’s snack bag.” It hangs on the hook right next to the door leading out of our home. Always accessible and easy to grab. (That’s it, on my husband’s back, my emergency bag of snacks.)

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Yes, I have even reached the point where, if I forget it I have turned around and went back home for it. At this stage, I have surrendered to this condition and have come to realize for now I can only hope my brain and my body will eventually learn to get along again, and be happy together. I hope:)

I just wish more people would look in the mirror and realize that if you want to be healthy, it’s really not about what diet you choose. It’s about what you feed that body of yours and how you choose to live your life. You will succeed if you want it bad enough.