Friday, July 31, 2009

Cookies and Hummus?

So since we have been back from vacation it is time to stock up the fridge again. Adam is always in a rush in the mornings and usually eats his breakfast in the car while on the way to work. He quickly grew tired of Zone and Cliff bars, plus they are very processed, so he hated to start his morning everyday with that. I had been trying all sorts of recipes for him, and have finally landed on one. I got this recipe from friend and Adam really seems to like it. They are called Breakfast Cookies. I made them once before and they seemed to do the trick so I have repeated the process. Now I have changed up the dried fruit to keep him guessing, and I store them in the freezer, so he (or I for him) can just pull it out and zap it in the microwave before he leaves for work. Here is the recipe I followed:

Nonstick cooking spray
1 large banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries or blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat two cookie sheets with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, milk powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined. Stir in dried fruit.

Using a 1/4-cup measure, drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. With a thin metal or small plastic spatula dipped in water, flatten and spread each mound of dough to a 2 3/4-inch round, about 1/2-inch thick. Once baked, each cookie will be about 3-1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months; thaw before serving.

And here is how they turned out.

Ok, so while those were baking off, I thought I would make some hummus. Now I used to buy hummus a lot, because we eat a good bit of it, but it's expensive (we like the good stuff). So I tried a recipe I found online and it was ok, but not great. So I found another recipe from Cook's Illustrated. This recipe turned out much better and I can't wait to dip into this hummus.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where have I been?

Good question! Last week we were at the beach. I have been going to Amelia Island for 29 years now. Wow! We had a great time! This was Hope's first time to the beach and see seemed to love it just as much as we do. I was able to run 5 out of 6 mornings and twice on the beach. I think I did about 30 miles worth of running, plus biking one day and we walked almost everywhere we could, but we also enjoyed the food everyday. :) It was a great vacation and here are some pictures from the trip.

Hope at the beach, Day 2.
Hope and Adam at the marsh before dinner.

Hope at the pool just chillin'.

Happy girl before dinner (pasta night at the ocean club).

At lunch one day.

Playing in the ocean and sand. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Planning - 7/27

Sorry my menu planning Monday post is a little late. We have been out of town and today has been crazy! So here is what I am thinking this week.

Monday - Cottage cheese and noodles
Tuesday - Vegetable Curry with Lentils and brown rice
Wednesday - Marinated tofu and pork chops with Garlic Yogurt Cucumbers
Thursday - Burgers with baked potato fries and a salad
Friday - Grilled pizza ?

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

I am just over 1 hour early, but I have an incredibly busy day tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure I got this post in. Some of you may know, but my mom passed away 2 1/2 years ago. She would be 54 this year (yes, she was only 51 years old when she passed). It was the most difficult thing I ever had to go through in my entire life. I was very close to my mom, and she wanted to be a grandmother so bad, but God had different plans for her. She is now watching over Hope in a special way right now. It's so upsetting knowing that Hope will never know her Grandma. My mom would have loved her in such a special way. It would have been a magical relationship. Hope's middle name, Cecile, was my mom's middle name growing up, so Hope will always have that connection with her grandmother.

It was also very sad to through pregnancy and childbirth without my mom. I thought my mom was a fantastic mother and someone with such a level head, it would have been great to have had her when I had questions. I am fortunate to have such a great extended family who loves me and has supported me through my pregnancy and childbirth, but if you are close to your mom, then you know, there is no substitute. I think about my mom a lot still, and miss her terribly.

The first picture is from my wedding (June 2004). My mom is in purple. I thought she looked beautiful at my wedding. The second picture is our last family vacation together (August 2006). She was going through chemo, so in that picture, she is wearing a wig. She is still beautiful, but you can tell she is very sick. She was sick for a long time (4 years) before she lost her battle with cancer. So a lot of my last memories of her, are of her being sick. It's just so sad, because she was a very active, vibrant woman. Today (7/17), I will try to remember that vibrant woman. Happy Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sometimes it just happens

Like today for me. I was able to sleep in until 6:45am when Hope woke up, so I fed her and was out the door for my 6 mile run while Adam watched her and got ready for work. Well my run was just off today. My legs felt very heavy and I was slow! I ran 8 miles on Saturday and felt awesome! On Sunday, I had a long singles tennis match (over 2 hours in the hot sun), so I took yesterday off. I don't know if my body is just still a little sore from the weekend or if it had something to do with the big dinner and dessert I had last night. Oh well, at least I got out there and finished.

A friend of Adam's sent us some information about the Old Soliders Day Race. We are thinking about doing it. It's a Peachtree Qualifier, so maybe I could break 50 minutes. Does anyone know much about this race? Can you run with a jogging stroller? We would probably need to bring Hope, and we would both like to run, so I am hoping we can use the jogging stroller. It's on Aug. 1, so not much time. Good thing I have continued to run since the Peachtree.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Planning - 7/13

Well it's Monday again, so it's time to start planning those dinners. This will be will an easy week for dinners. I will be eating out twice and traveling for work on Friday, so it might be a on your own night too. Here's what we got.

Monday - Veggie and Black Bean Quesadillas and a salad to use up our fresh produce

Tuesday - Dinner out with a friend, Adam is on his own

Wednesday - Adam and I have dinner out

Thursday - Burgers on the grill, salad, and homemade sweet potato "fries" (Veggie for me, regular for Adam

Friday - On your own or Cottage cheese and noodles

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What a morning!

Well yesterday morning. Hope has been getting up early these past couple of mornings, around 6:15am. We have never needed her to get up that early, but it's just what she is doing. We have tried to put her to bed earlier and later than her normal time, but she still gets up at 6:15am. So Saturday morning rolls around, and Hope is up. Adam grabs her out of the crib and brings her into our bed. I fee her real quick and then Adam jumps up out of bed and said he would take her, and I could go back to sleep. What??? This almost never happens. I wasn't sure I would be able to go back to sleep, but I did. I woke up at 8:00am and when I did, I found Starbucks coffee (half caf) and bagels from our favorite place. Wow! I felt special. I drank my coffee while I fed Hope some cereal and when it was nap time for Hope, I suggested taking her on my run so Adam could take a nap without any interruptions. He said that was silly and to just put her down and go for a run. So Hope went down for her nap around 9:20am, and I was off by 9:25am. I couldn't believe I was running without the jogging stroller. That happens so rare these days. I was off! Between the extra sleep, the half caf coffee, and the excitement of being able to run without the heavy jogging stroller, I was passing people like they were standing still. I was able to run 8 miles in a pretty good time. I got home and Hope was still asleep. I was able to shower and eat half my bagel before she woke up. I couldn't believe the morning I had. I know, it's sad that I am now excited about sleeping till 8 and running 8 miles, but it was awesome!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Exercise and Eating - 7/9

I used to do this on the day, but then sometimes things got changed up so I thought I would post what I did and ate yesterday so I know it's accurate.

Exercise: Ran 4.5 miles in the AM and went to tennis practice in the PM (which left me putting up laundry at 10:30pm)

Breakfast: 1 whole wheat english muffin, one side had almond butter and the other cherry jelly (generous portions of almond butter and jelly btw) and some decaf coffee with light soy milk

Snack: organic blueberry greek yogurt and 1/3 cup granola (free sample)

Lunch: Veggie (spinach, tomato, and red onion) and cheese (parm and cheddar) omlette (2 eggs) and a plum

Snack: A coffee mug full of Cinnamon Crunch Total cereal (dry) (I know I should have had a protein to accompany this, but it was a late snack and I knew I was eating before tennis practice, so I really didn't need much)

Dinner: Tofu and veggies in a Trader Joe's Masala simmer sauce over some brown rice (ate this on a salad plate so I kept my portion small

Dessert: Breyer's light vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate sauce and slivered almonds (I usually don't put the chocolate sauce on there because there is absolutely no nutritional value in it, but I was really hungry so I figured I could afford the calories)

So the grand total was 2,001 calories with 52% coming from carbs, 31% coming from fat, and 17% coming from protein according to Sparkpeople. Ideally, I'd like more protein, but I am still adjusting to the whole veg thing, so it will take some time. I'm not sure I was much higher though when I was eating meat, since I was eating little of it anyway. Also, you can see that I did a pretty good job of eating small meals throughout the day so I kept my energy up all day, which was good because Hope was up at 5:30am yesterday and then woke up last night at 11:00pm crying so it was a long day for me. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1 month meat free!

So I have been going back and forth with this for a while (since Hope was born). For me, it's a humanities issue. I have never been a big meat eater. I have never liked beef. I was 7 years old when I found an article in my gymnastics magazine where Mary Lou Retton said to limit red meat as much as possible. I showed it to my parents and after that I didn't have to eat another hamburger. :) So like I said, I have never been a big meat eater. I didn't like much pork (except bacon of course) and chicken was just ok. Well after Hope was born, I became more sensitive to the treatment of all animals. I mean every one of those animals is somebody's Hope in my eyes. So I did some research and read a little, and I didn't feel quite right. The biggest hurdle for me was figuring out what to do at home. Adam is a big meat eater and while I don't mind him eating meat, how was he going to feel about different meals. He was actually very supportive. I was surprised. So that bricked chicken I made a month ago was the last time I had meat. I am still eating fish right now. I figure one step at a time. I do work out a good bit so I want to make sure I am getting enough protein. I have always liked fish too, so that will be a lot harder for me to give up. I do have to say I have felt really well in the last month. I have been replacing the meat with more veggies. I definitely feel healthier. So thought I would share. Also, because I am new to this, if anyone has any advice or websites, articles, etc. please send them this way. I am an information junkie, so any great recipes or literature would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Confession #2

So confession #1 was about me never going to the dermatologist. Well confession #2 is a little different. I weigh myself way too often. I usually weigh myself every morning, and I don't know why. Well, I am a little OCD, so that is probably why, but it's stupid. I am a very percise person, and always have been. I measure out my food a lot of the time, my job requires me to be very accurate, which is why I think I am good at it, etc. But I am happy with my weight, so I shouldn't have to weigh myself so often, but I do. A long time ago, "people" used to say that you shouldn't weigh yourself more than once a week, because you could get discouraged by a little weight gain. Then "people" said you were more in control of your weight if you weighed yourself everyday. You would be more accountable and be able to control your eating if you weighed yourself everyday. Well I go in and out of weighing myself everyday, but there is no reason for me to weigh myself that much. I am not trying to lose weight, so I did weigh myself to this morning, but I am vowing to not weigh myself again until next Wed. This is my pledge. Hopefully, I will be able to keep it. :)

Recipe Rave - Green Monster Smoothie

So I had seen this recipe for a couple of weeks and heard people raving about it, so I thought I might as well try it.

I tweaked it a little: (edited to update my most recent recipe on 10/28/10)
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1 cup baby spinach
1 small frozen banana
1/2T almond butter
1T ground flaxseed
Blend and serve!

It was very filling, only 300 calories, and I got a fruit and a veggie serving in. Score! We will see, but I am not sure I will have to have my morning snack today. Just had to share.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Planning - 7/6

So it's Monday again, which means time to start planning those dinners. :) I have a new recipe I plan to try this week, plus the tried and true favorites.

Monday - Grilled Salmon/Chicken and leftover Butternut squash risotto

Tuesday - Spaghetti Pie with a side salad

Wednesday - Grilled Pork/Salmon with baked potatoes and broccoli

Thursday - Stirfry with a Trader Joes's simmer sauce

Friday - Leftovers or Crockpot spaghetti

Have a good week everyone!

New Peachtree PR!

Yeah! I completed the Peachtree with a new Peachtree PR (personal record). I ran it in 50:34. That's a 8:02 minute mile. Not too bad considering I had a kid 8 months ago. :) The Peachtree is a pretty tough 10k. It is flat for the first 3 miles, then the hills start and there are 3 pretty major hills in the last 3 miles. There is also a slight uphill that I don't count but Adam does. :) I believe my previous Peachtree PR was 52:18, so my time was almost 2 minutes faster. Normally, I am not as fast in July, but I haven't done as much training but since I am hoping to do a full marathon this Nov. I knew I needed to start early. We had a great time at the race. We went with another couple and their friend. It was nice because we carpooled so we didn't have to take Marta and it was pretty convenient. I had to get up extra early this year to pump before I left because was still asleep when we left. My future brother-in-law came over to babysit in the early morning hours which we greatly appreciated. He is a runner too, so he knew it was important to me to get back out and start racing, so he had no problem coming over before 6:00am to watch little Hope. I have to say, I was a little nervous not having a phone, but as soon as we called him, he told us everything had been going smoothly. Yeah! My dad was at the race and got a couple of pictures of us. As soon as I get them, I will post them. Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Peachtree!

So the Peachtree Road Race is coming up. I completed my last training run for the race. I developed a personalized 8 week training plan from runner's world Smart Coach. I like training, so even if it's an easier race, I still like to develop something for me to go by. :) Well I did almost every run in the past 8 weeks. I few times though I had tennis instead of running, but I think it will all even out. I am in the first group (Time Group 1B), so I get to start when the gun goes off. That's key! If you haven't ever run the Peachtree, then you don't understand just how many people run this thing. I believe it's the largest 10K in the country (but maybe just the southeast). Over 55,000 people run/walk it. You have to act fast to get a number even. Adam and I had qualifying times that were good enough to get us in the first group. Adam ran a sub 50:00 10K and I ran it in 50:09. Adam is in 1A and I am in 1B (missed the 1A time by 9 seconds). Sucks, but I am hoping to do well in this race. I have my new awesome watch, which has a virtual partner (VP) on it. My goal for this race is 51:00. That is not my PR, but it would be my PR for the Peachtree and the Peachtree is not an easy race. So I have set my VP at a 8:11 pace. If I can keep this pace for just over 6 miles, I will get my 51:00 time. I have created a new playlist on my iPod shuffle, which I always do for races. Adam gave me a new running outfit for our anniversary that I plan to wear (he knows me so well), so I think I am ready.

Tomorrow, we plan to hang out with my side of family and do a cookout. Hope will be introduced to Lake Lanier tomorrow. My dad bought her another PFD that hopefully she will like more than the one at Adam's mom's lake. :)

Happy early 4th of July

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baby Food

So I have had a lot of people ask me about food I am feeding Hope right now. Ever since I have been on my own, I have loved to cook. I started doing a lot more when I was married. Sometimes it's hard when you are just cooking for yourself, but when you have another person to cook for, then you are do more. And the invention of the Food Network helped too!

So before Hope was born, I was considering making her baby food. I mean I like being in the kitchen, and I want to know what is going into her body, so why not. Of course, I admit, I was scared. I mean, baby food is expensive, so it must be very labor intensive and require heating things to a specific temperature to kill off bacteria, right? Wrong! I asked for a baby food cookbook for Christmas and got this one. I really like! Everything I read said not to worry about getting a cookbook, just steam and then puree. Well I didn't think it was that easy, but it is really. Of course, I like having the cookbook for reference. Also, I am/was clueless what babies can eat and when. Hearing that there is no real rhyme or reason to most of it, didn't help either. I am the person that follows instructions so I wanted to know what to do and when. Well reading the baby food cookbook helped! I now have recipes broken down by ages. Of course, the book starts solids at 4 months, and I didn't start until 6 months (recommendation from Hope's ped to not start solids if I was exclusively breastfeeding, which I was). The book recommended not making the baby cereal because of the fortified iron it in, which I also heard from a lactation consultant. So we did/do buy Earth's Best Cereals for Hope. But other than that, I have made the rest of her food. I just steam the fruits and veggies, peel them and put them in the food processor to puree. You don't need a special processor to make baby food. We did get some special containers as a gift for freezing. I have played it safe waiting at least 4 days before trying something new, so she probably hasn't had as much as most babies her age, but I am a cautious mom, what can I say. We have also been able to introduce to foods that you can't buy in baby food jars. So far, Hope has had:

Rice cereal
Sweet potatoes
Acorn squash
Green beans
Oatmeal cereal
Apples (didn't like the Gala apples I bought) :)
Bananas (I recommend introducing bananas early, because you don't have to do anything but mash them up and they are portable too)
Multi-grain cereal
She has also started eating organic cheerios.

The cookbook does promote organic eating. Adam and I eat organic with our fruits and veggies, eggs, and most of our dairy. Adam eats some of his meat organic and about half of our grains are organic. We are fortunate that we have a farmer's market less than 2 miles from our house, so I can get lots of organic fruits and veggies are very reasonable prices. I personally feel that eating organically for Hope is important right now, because I don't want her little body exposed to pesticides. They have been linked to ADD, ADHD, and several forms of autism. Autism does run on Adam's side of the family, so it's important to us.

The cookbook also goes way beyond just pureed fruits and veggies. I just bought some green lentils and brown rice (both organic) for a recipe in the cookbook. Now, where can you get that in a jar? I think this cookbook will give Hope a wide variety of foods at an early age and hopefully promote healthy eating habits as she grows up.

So if you are thinking about making your own baby food, it's not nearly as daunting as I thought it was. It just takes a little extra time in the kitchen. With several veggies, I just steamed a whole bunch. We ate some for dinner and then I pureed the rest for Hope. Didn't take much time at all.