Monthly Archives: May 2013

Real Food: Why my family is now eating organic!

I have struggled with my weight for many many years! I have written blogs about it, complained about it, and had finally given in and decided to accept it when something amazing happened to me.

Karol and I went to see Jillian Michaels.  Going was kind of a fluke.  We love Jillian Michaels, and to be honest I had no idea she was doing a speaking tour.  I happened to stumble upon the information on Facebook, and checked out the price of tickets.  I went to the web page, squinted my eyes, took a deep breath, and hit the button to see the prices.

I was quite surprised to see how affordable the tickets were.  So I texted Karol and asked her if she wanted to go see JM.  To say she was excited would be an understatement!! So tickets were purchased, and we waited with bated breath. The night came and we went to see the amazing Jillian Michaels.  The first hour she talked about food and the second hour she talked about living a full life without “shoulds” and guilt, etc.  I have spent years in therapy, that stuff I knew. But the food stuff that I should have known, had eluded me somehow.

I have written about my huge grocery bills. Switching to an organic diet was daunting to say the least.  I was worried about the cost, and how I was going to afford to feed my family of 5 and not break the bank.  But Karol and I were committed to eating better.  No more pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other nastiness in our food. However, the cost of switching really concerned me.

So we entered the Real Food genre slowly.  Just purchasing the food we were making for ourselves.  The interesting thing was the first week we purchased all organic for ourselves we reduced our grocery bill by almost $100.00!!!

Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Green living

Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Green Living

So we ventured out farther into the organic realm and purchased organic meats and dairy.  I have to say that the milk was the hardest for me.  Spending $6.00 a gallon almost gave me a heart attack, but I figured it was the right thing for my family, so I just took a deep breath and put it in the cart.  Two of them…..  The most interesting thing is, my boys like the organic foods.  They say they taste better!!!

We bought organic peanut butter, organic crackers, cereal, creamer, etc.  It has been an interesting transition.  Last week the grocery bill was a bit higher than the first week, but we had cat litter, cat food, and some cleaning supplies, so it was not all food.

I have even found “healthy” alternatives to candy and soda.  I no longer indulge in candy made by any of the huge chocolate companies that immediately come to mind.  Instead I have switched to Unreal Candy.    Their products have NO high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors.  No chemicals!!!!  Just wonderful natural ingredients!  Currently you can find these products at CVS and Target stores!  The price is the same as the other ones in the candy aisle, so why not spend the same and get a MUCH MUCH better product?  Seriously! CANDY!  lower in sugar and healthier?  This stuff is amazing, you have to try it!  (not paid by the company for my endorsement). I used to avoid candy like the plague, never thinking I could fit it into my daily calorie “budget”.  Now I can, and so can you.  Why feed you and your kids crap when you can feel them foods without chemicals?

Photo courtesy of getunreal.com

Photo courtesy of getunreal.com

I used to be a Diet Pepsi junkie.  As a matter of fact I drank 2-3 cans of caffeine free diet pepsi every day.  After seeing Jillian, we decided to no longer use artificial sweeteners.  Then one day while shopping we found Zevia.  Stevia sweetened soda.  They have a wonderful assortment of flavors.  Root Beer, Dr Zevia, Cream soda, orange, grape, cherry, cola, caffeine free cola, among others.  It was a bit more expensive than other sodas, but at only one can per day it was completely affordable. The next week my local Harris Teeter had it on sale buy one get one free, so mama stocked up!! You can buy this product at Jewel, Acme, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Safeway, Target, Walgreens and more.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Zevia.com

Photo courtesy of Zevia.com

So we are on a new trend. Eating REAL food, drinking naturally sweetened sodas, and guilt free candy!

It is working!!  Two and a half weeks in I am down 5 pounds, and have lost inches in my stomach, hips and thighs!!  Karol is taller and has a faster metabolism than me.  She is down 7 pounds!!

I am excited to keep going and see how healthy we can get!! No more chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics for my family!!

Writer’s Block…a bad place to be

I know I have been absent.  It is not because I haven’t had time to blog.  I have had a couple of days that were not too full this week.  To be honest it is because I have been suffering from a horrible case of writer’s block.

I have not been “inspired” to write about anything.  Sometimes I think I should carry around a little recorder in case I get an idea.  I used to have one, but I loaned it out to someone who had that very same idea, and it never made it home.  And since I don’t want to buy another one, I suppose that idea is out.  I do carry my phone with me almost everywhere I go, and I suppose I could look for a mini recorder app.  I am sure that would work just as well.

I did try to get some help for my writers block, so I put it on Facebook and asked for suggestions.  I got two responses.  One asking if I had tried the new Brownie Brittle?  She knows I have been trying to eat organic and watch my calories lately. Maybe she anted me to do a review?  ;-P  And another saying I could talk about why there are mosquitoes, etc.  To be honest, I have to say I am not sure what purpose mosquitoes have in the world?  Cockroaches either.  I know there are many bugs that have many valuable contributions.  Such as ladybugs, mayflys, silk worms.  The list goes on and on.  But mosquitoes?

So now I am going to put it out there to the rest of you.  Is there a topic that interests you?  Something you think I should write about?  Lat me know.  Unblock me!!!

writers-block-150x150

Chocolate Fudge Brownies….ala Jillian Michaels!

Recently Karol (aka Bluebell) an I went to see Jillian Michaels speak during her “Maximize Your Life” Tour.  We have always been Jillian Michaels fans, but to say her talk was inspiring would be an understatement!!  It was life changing!

The first hour she talked about food and fitness, and the second hour she talked about life.  She was a life coach for an hour.  She was so authentic and it felt like we were just sitting in a living room talking. She was funny, and she was informative while at the same time being genuine and “real”.

I was already on-board the fitness and “eating right” mind set, but Karol wasn’t so it was derailing me.  Now we are both moving in the same direction, and it is amazing!!  I have lost 4 pounds in just the first week!!  Karol lost 4.6 pounds!  We have changed the way we eat and are exercising 5 days every week!

Jillian doesn’t believe in deprivation, she believes in doing sweets the right way.  With less refined sugar and healthier choices.  So if you are “jonesing for chocolate” as Jillian puts it, these brownies are just the ticket!  They are moist and fudgy and only 86 calories!!!  They are little bites of heaven.  If you have the calories available in your daily consumption you could cut them into 8 pieces instead of 16 and they would still be only 172 calories!!

JILLIAN MICHAELS CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2/3 cup mild honey, such as clover or orange blossom
  • 1/3 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8″ square pan with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Place the honey in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until the honey is runny and just bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the cocoa and stir with a fork until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended. Add the honey and cocoa mixture, then whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing into 16 two-inch squares. Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 86.2 kcal Fat: 2.2 g Protein: 1.3 g Carbohydrates: 16.0 g Sodium: 63.6 mg

Ingredients (note Jillian does not endorse these products, they are what I had in my pantry)

Ingredients (note Jillian does not endorse these products, they are what I had in my pantry)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl:

Mix dry ingredients together

Mix dry ingredients together

Microwave the honey until it is runny:

Honey mixture after being microwaved

Honey after being microwaved

Mix the cocoa into the honey:

Cocoa mixed into honey

Cocoa mixed into honey

Mix the applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla into a bowl and pour into the cocoa honey mixture. Cool to room temperature:

pour applesauce/egg mixture into honey/cocoa mixture

pour applesauce/egg mixture into honey/cocoa mixture

Once combined it looks like this:

honeycoco2

Mix the wet and dry ingredients and stir until no flour shows:

honeycocomixed

Pour into an 8×8 pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray:

browniesinpan

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes until the edges look dry.

Sorry for the dark picture, my flash stopped working...

Sorry for the dark picture, my flash stopped working…

Once cooled, cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!!!

We had already dug in!  YUM!!

We had already dug in! YUM!!

Lovely bites of chocolatey bliss!!

Lovely bites of chocolatey bliss!!

Honestly, I am a chocoholic, and these satisfied my sweet tooth!!!  (Which is pretty big)

ENJOY!!!!