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Eat Your Dark Greens For Breakfast? YES!

I had the best time in my kitchen yesterday morning.  I found a recipe that I got really excited about in my latest Cooking Light magazine and just couldn’t hardly wait to get in there and give it a whirl. It was a traditional Korean dish called – bibimbop. My husband said that when he was in Korea for a year he saw lots of people eating variations of this dish all the time. He never ventured to try it himself, though. But that’s because my hubby is a vegephobe. He won’t go near any visible vegetables – ever. (Shhh….don’t tell him, but I have a habit of sneaking them in when he’s not looking!)

So, I was so excited about my cooking experience with bibimbop that I made my very first video log! That’s right – I’m reaching beyond my comfort zone!

And here it is, so check it out!

(I don’t know what happened to my video – it disappeared into the YouTube abyss, I’m assuming.)

It was such a reward to sit down and try one of these tasty little bowls. Here is how mine turned out.


Don’t they look scrumptious? The recipe called for Korean chili paste, but I didn’t have any on hand and used Frank’s Red Hot, one of my most favorite condiments, instead.

Here is the recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.


Yes, it’s a little involved, but if you’ve got about an hour to spend in the kitchen, this is such a great meal to prepare ahead. I’m thinking of making everything but the egg for the next time I make this. Then, I can just cook one egg and pile it on top of the prepared bowls and my egg won’t get hard in the microwave.

I know I’ll be making this one for a long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

To a healthier, happier and longer life (full of leafy green veggies!)


Cherry Cinnamon Apple Bake Courtesy of Joe Cross

My husband and I recently watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross. It is a docu-journey that chronicles Joe’s fight against his ailing health, his obesity and struggle to regain his health through “juicing.” I was truly inspired by the film and told my husband that we need a juicer. We are getting ready to return to the U.S. – to sunny California, no less – so he told me I have to wait until then. But I really wanted to give juicing a try as soon as I saw the film.

Well, I went on the website, www.jointhereboot.com, and set up a profile. I was very excited to find recipes! And not just for juices…for FOOD!!! I couldn’t hardly wait to try some out. And one of the first ones I tried was a breakfast recipe. The Cherry Cinnamon Apple Bake. YUM!

You have to try this recipe to believe it. It’s so super simple and absolutely divine. I make it most weeks now and have it for breakfast often.

Cherry Cinnamon Apple Bake

  • 1 cup Cherries (cut and discard pit)
  • 2 Apples cored and chopped
  • 3 tbsp Raisins (choose golden variety for a twist)
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

Coat baking dish with canola oil (I use coconut oil instead to avoid GMOs) and place fruit in dish. Coat with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

How simple is that???

And you’ll be surprised at just how lovely it is in the morning for breakfast. Fast, simple and delicious. You just can’t beat that!

Here’s how mine looked…

There are a couple more recipes on the website that involve baking fruit and I want to give them a try, as well. So, stay tuned…

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Week 4: Hell Week

This week has been absolutely horrible. Not because of my program, but because of a houseful of illness. My son brought home some nasty virus that knocked him back from Friday night (of last week) until Thursday or Friday. He stayed mostly in his room through the weekend and first part of the week while I tended to him. I fed him in his room, when I could get him to eat, and I administered over the counter medication to help relieve his symptoms. We set up the humidifier in his room with Vapo Steam to help with his congestion. He had congestion in his head and his chest. The poor little guy. It’s so hard to watch your kids be that sick.

By Monday, I started to feel the tinge of a soar throat and just thought, “Please don’t let me get this, too.” But, by Wednesday, I was stuffy in my head and starting to run my own fever. I was happy to take Aiden to school, his only day in school all week, on Thursday. He was begging me to let him go since they were taking a field trip to the movie theater that day. But I wanted him to go back. I was feeling pretty horrible by then and wanted to get a little rest for my own oncoming illness.

When I picked him up from school that day, the teacher told me that he is still not really feeling well. She said he seemed really tired more than anything. I could totally understand that because that’s exactly how I felt. She also said she thinks she is coming down with it. Apparently a lot of kids and teachers have started to call in sick due to this nasty virus. Lucky us.

When Aiden and I got home, I got a call from the landlord. She wanted to come and bring people to the house to show it. Potential renters. I tried to explain that I was sick, the house was not even close to show-able, I needed time. She asked to come on Friday since I was adamant about not having people in my house within the next couple of hours. That gave me less than 24 hours to get the house in a more presentable state. But I didn’t feel like starting right then. I wanted a nap instead.

The next day, Aiden and I slept in until around 9am. Although, I did get up really early to make Denny’s lunch and see him off. On Thursday he said that he was starting to feel a bit of congestion in his head. He was afraid he had contracted the illness from the two of us. By Friday morning, he was feeling it like a Mack truck. He left very early for PT, not certain how he would make it through the day. I felt really badly…I wish he hadn’t gotten this sickness. He has to go to work everyday. I do part-time stuff. I can postpone, reschedule meetings, work around an illness. But he doesn’t have that luxury.

I did the best I could cleaning. I was feeling severely fatigued and mustered as much strength as I could to get it cleaned up. I did pretty well, too. I got a lot done in a short amount of time. But the prospective renters showed up half an hour early and caught me in the midst of the final cleaning stages before I was to put things away. Instead, they got to see the vacuum cleaner, still plugged in, sitting in the middle of the living room floor. At that point, however, I could care less. The house was somewhat clean and that was good enough for me.

I warned them not to get too close. I told them I had been sick with my son all week and it was pretty nasty. The woman said she had already had it. Ouch. But I showed them the house and chatted politely. After the tour, the Engels showed up. They decided to have a big discussion right in the entryway of the house. How I wished they would just go already.

The lovely couple left to head back to their TLF home to consider the matter until Monday. I know they will not take the house. They liked a lot of things about it, but there is no dishwasher and for many in this day and age, that’s a deal breaker. But I don’t really care whether they take the house or not. I just want to be gone from here.

The Engels, on the other hand, wanted to check the oil and meters again. I don’t really know why, nor do I care. It won’t make a hill of beans difference. We’re moving and we will not be paying any more than what we’ve already been paying. They just checked the stupid meters and oil less than a month ago. What in the world do they need to check it again for? I just felt really horrible and wanted them to leave. Luckily, they left soon after. And by 2:15pm I had the house to myself again. Just me and Aiden. And it was time for a nap.

Poor little guy. Here's Aiden at the beginning of the week. He's not feeling so hot.

Denny came home early on Friday. He said, “I just couldn’t physically do it anymore.” He was feeling nauseous…something Aiden and I didn’t feel. He had a sinus headache so bad that it was making him physically ill…not unlike a migraine. He came in and got in the bathtub and stayed there for half an hour. Now we all had the nasty virus. But guess who was feeling a lot better?

Aiden, for the most part, had gotten past all the worst of the illness and was starting to bounce off the walls. Poor guy. He had been cooped up in his room for several days. And by Friday he was practically stir crazy. But Denny and I were really starting to feel the worst of it as it was settling in. We moved the humidifier from his room into ours that night.

This weekend has been a pajama weekend. Aiden, even though he’s feeling fine, has been wearing his pajamas while Denny and I have basically been sloughing around the house in ours. Luckily, I made some vegetable and broth the other day in the Romertopf that I quickly whipped into a beef vegetable soup for me and Denny. Aiden has been eating Chef Boyardee, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries and Kid Cuisine the whole weekend. No one’s even gone out of the house since Friday.

Today is Sunday. It’s been a long and excruciatingly painful week. I tried to get my workouts in this week at the beginning. But by Thursday I was in no shape to workout. I tried to use these fancy things Denny bought a month or so ago – Bally Total Body Scupting Bar – on Thursday, but only did about half an hour before my energy was totally gone. Funny thing is, my legs are still soar just from doing that. It didn’t seem like much at the time, but I’ve been feeling it ever since.

We really need to venture out of the house today, but with the lack of sleep for both me and Denny, the congestion and sinus pressure and headaches, it’s hard to even think about having the energy to go anywhere. Maybe a little later today. But right now, I’m living in my Bearpaw boots and pajama pants. I learned that my feet feel most comfort inside these Bearpaw boots and have been wearing them in the house like slippers. They are the most awesome boots ever.

Today, I need to clean the kitchen and think about giving the house a good scrubbing down. I need to get these germs out of our house before we have a second go round with this monster virus. But right now, I’m sipping my coffee and thinking of maybe having a shower. One step at a time, right?

So, here’s hoping we’re almost over this yuckiness and I can get back on track this next week. I have a full calendar coming up this week and don’t have any more time to waste being under the weather. After all, we still have to start packing boxes, which is what we were gonna start doing this weekend. Oh well. At least we put our Christmas stuff away last weekend…

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Week 3: A New Realization

This week has been a whirlwind for me. I didn’t post for the previous week…we went out of town for my birthday and didn’t come back until Monday. Once we got to Tuesday, my life has just been going at 90 mph. And when I stepped on the scale Tuesday morning to assess the damage, it was not a pretty sight. I drank alcohol on Thursday, Friday and Sunday through the weekend (it was my birthday, after all) and it really took its toll.

My new birthday sunglasses! I'm so stylin'!!

The real story is the horrible luck I’ve had with food. We went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill on Ramstein for my “birthday” dinner. I had their Cello Cosmo, made with vodka, cranberry juice and limoncello. It turns out that was the very best thing I had there. Our service was terrible. My food was very disappointing…I had the seafood pasta. My shrimp was hard and rubbery, the scallops were grossly undercooked and the mussels were barely even there. The best part of my plate was actually the pasta itself. At least it was perfectly cooked. But the whole dish was bland and boring. And the seafood was inedible. So, I ordered a second drink. Yay. Happy freakin’ birthday. My son kept trying to tell our horrible waiter that it was my birthday, but he was barely present and never even noticed (even after I wrote it on the paper covering our table.) So much for service.

And that was only the beginning. I really wanted to go to the brand new Frijole’s restaurant on Vogelweh. But when we tried to go, it wasn’t open. And we also found that the Chili’s restaurant is “closed until further notice.” Who knows what that means. So, we were denied once again.

We have had terrible food/service the last few times we’ve eaten at restaurants on Ramstein. The best food we ate was what I cooked in our hotel room which was equipped with a full kitchen. Next time we decide to go and stay for a night or two, we’ll be taking more food for me to prepare instead of spending money on crappy food and service. We definitely will be thinking twice before hitting up the American restaurants on the base again.

But I digress….the thing is, even though I had an awesome hour-long workout  before we left, I over-indulged and came home carrying a couple of pounds extra. Mostly it was water retention, but still…

So, this past week I knew I had to work extra hard to get back on track. And I made a great discovery: exercise and a smart diet are the keys to success. I know what you’re thinking…but everyone already knows that! That’s no secret!! And you are absolutely right. It is definitely not a secret.  But I feel that everyone knows this without actually knowing it.

I was trolling through my facebook wall early this last week and came across a post from sparkpeople.com. (If you haven’t used this site, I highly recommend it. Lots of fabulous tools to help you on your journey!) I read the blog and was instantly inspired…the answer has been right in front of me all along. I had an epiphany!

My diet is probably better than most and has been for quite a long time. Sure I have my momentary bouts of splurge, but at least 80% of the time, I make smart choices. My biggest vice is wine and alcohol. If I indulge, that’s usually where I do it. But what makes the biggest difference isn’t giving up something here or avoiding that over there…it’s the amount of exercise I put in. I can cut back on a lot of things, but if I don’t exercise I won’t see much in the way of results. It’s all about activity. How many calories am I really burning each day?

That very same day I got up from the computer and started a workout. I was so inspired I worked out for an hour and a half. The whole rest of the day I felt really good, mentally and physically. And you may laugh when I say this next part, but I felt “skinnier!” I find that on the days when I work out I feel “skinny” throughout the day. If I workout out 5-6 days a week, and not just quick little 20 min. sessions – I’m talking about giving it a good 45 min. at least, I can still feel skinny on my off days. It’s been liberating and inspiring to feel as good as I’ve felt this past week. I logged in 4 total hours of high-intensity exercise and I feel awesome!

One other thing that I realized after reading that blog post was that the scale can be your friend or your worst enemy. If you are exercising and building muscle, the scale will lie right to your face! You may put on pounds while you are shedding fat. And the scale will not tell you that. The way to tell is through photographic evidence. Seeing the author’s pictures of before and after and her realization that the difference in pounds is minimal was eye-opening. The scale has the ability to discourage the most devout by telling them their efforts are pointless. When in actuality, they are undergoing a transformation so subtle that it’s hard to see without pictorial evidence. Don’t listen to the scale!

So, inspired by this girl’s photographic transformation, I have vowed to log my pics in order to track my progress more acurately. Here are my first two…

Jan 18 - 151.2 lbs.

Jan 15 - 149.4 lbs










I’m really not excited about seeing myself like this, but I’m eager to see the changes in pictures. So, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing this week and keep track with pics each week.

As far as the Diet Solution Program goes, well I have to say I haven’t been sticking to it. I have a hard time with diets that are so restrictive. I can’t keep all the food in the fridge and I don’t have time to prepare everything. I’ve just had a hard time with my busy, busy lifestyle. I’m not spending all my time in the kitchen. I’m just keeping my food choices smart, eating plenty of fruit and veggies, steering clear of sugar and wine, and watching my portion sizes. We don’t eat out much here…not a lot of options that aren’t disastrous (ie. Burger King, Anthony’s Pizza, Taco Bell, etc.) so we keep it at home.

The bottom line is if you are smart about your diet and you exercise and push yourself to build a stronger, healthier body, it doesn’t matter which program you follow. Be smart. Be strong. Be healthy. Be happy.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.


Women’s Health:: 10 foods – 40 recipes

So, I came across this list today from Women’s Health and was intrigued. I looked through some of the recipes and they actually look pretty tasty. What’s really cool is the shopping list…only 10 basic ingredients plus a list of “staples” everyone should keep in their pantry. So, if you are a rookie shopper and need a crib sheet for the weekly grocery run or you simply like the idea of a fancy list of stuff, here it is!

Seriously, these recipes are creative, fresh and enticing (I can’t hardly wait to try the Savory Black Bean Cakes) and most require less than 10 ingredients. Simple, fun and delicious! Enjoy!

10-foods-40-recipes.pdf (application/pdf Object).

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Day 30: And the Holiday Party Season Kicks Off

Here it is again…Friday. I tend to get lacks on Friday nights with my hubby. I have some drinks and such and put my diet on hiatus. Sometimes I’m kind of bad through the entire weekend. This weekend needs to be different. Tonight is the first test…our group Christmas party.

Actually, I didn’t do too badly. The party was fine. The wine was good and inexpensive, for a change. I really didn’t drink too much! I drank continuously, though, throughout the several hours of the party. But the glasses were small and I never lost control. Dinner was great! We had schnitzel, of course, with fries (I didn’t eat those) green peas and carrots. There was no dessert served. And that’s not a bad thing.

Denny and I came home and opened our bottle of eiswein. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s really amazing. They harvest the grapes at the end of the season just after they freeze over. I don’t know why, but the freezing seals in the sweetness and they are the sweetest grapes EVER! So, eiswein is really sweet, but in a really good way.

But we had a glass each of it and called it a night. My day wasn’t perfect (I ate some cookies earlier – shame, shame!) But it ended up okay. I didn’t feel bad at the end of the night and went to sleep with no problem.

Tomorrow is a new day…as is every day.


To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Days 25-29: I’m All Out of Whack!

I’m not sure what has happened, but my DSP seems to have gone M.I.A. Since this past Sunday (Day 25) I’ve been just eating whatever, not really giving any real thought to what I should or should not be eating. I’ve eaten pumpkin pie, ice cream, some Bugles, lemon cake, and even a bagel! What is going on?

Maybe I’m subconsciously avoiding the DSP for fear of repeating the previous disaster. Or maybe I’m suffering from some severe PMS. Or maybe I’m just being lazy. No matter the reason, I need to get myself back on track. I have way too many events coming around the bend and I would like to look my very best. Not to mention I want to feel my best.

I need to get my head back in the game.

It's a long road...

Trying to get to your goal weight is no small feat. It takes stamina, endurance, and an iron will to change your bad habits and create better ones. It’s not an overnight transformation. It can take months or years. The thing to keep in mind is that it’s not a diet…it’s a lifestyle. You don’t reach your goal only to turn around and return to your old habits. It’s a journey, not a destination.

We all fall off the wagon. I am the worst at that. I’ve fallen off many a wagon in my lifetime. But being healthy is so important to me. Maintaining a healthy weight is on the top of my priority list. And it’s not just because I want to look good in my clothes. There is so much more to it than that. Looking good in my clothes just gives me confidence to excel. Feeling good is also very important to me. And keeping my body fit will help me live a healthier, happier and longer life…and stick around for my family as long as possible.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.