Monday, January 24, 2011

Today marks the third day of me attempting to detox from my caffeine addiction. When I was pregnant with Brennan I quit cold turkey. I realize that drinking a cup of coffee is not like having a heroin binge, but when I found I was pregnant it was like this switch went off in my brain that told me "You need to be super healthy". So I was. For the most part anyway. I didn't pop a single Tylenol. On the rare occasion that I did drink coffee it was decaf. I only ate Deli meat that was steamed in the microwave (if at all), I drank water like it was my job and took my vitamins like a good girl. Funny thing...after Brennan switched to formula (not by choice, mind you) I sort of just snapped out of it and I wish I wouldn't have. I kind of enjoyed being all "clean". Now it's almost a year and half later (holy crap!) and I find myself needing my coffee in the morning and sometimes another dose in the afternoon to get through my day. Call me crazy, but I just don't want to be dependent on the stuff. Once again, it's not like coffee is going to kill me or become an addiction that I need to be hospitalized for, but an addiction nonetheless. I find myself feeling jittery and anxious when I drink coffee too. I have also been having trouble sleeping lately. Not too difficult to figure out, huh? So I go. I am nixing caffeinated coffee. I have been drinking decaf in the mornings for two reasons: #1, it tastes yummy and #2, it has a *slight* amount of caffeine so that my brain will not implode to a sudden absence of my "fix". So far, it's been ok. The first day was the worst and I had a ridiculous headache. Day two a little better. Today...still a little better. I think you see the trend. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new and healthy me! I would also like to mention that I have nothing against coffee drinkers and I will most likely indulge in a caffeinated beverage at some point in the future, I just don't want it to be one of those things where I am unable to function if I don't have it. Cheers!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hide and Seek

Let me just start this by saying that my son is such a joy to me (and lots of other people too) and I truly feel like he is doing or saying something new every day. I know, it sounds cliche, but seriously...they grow so fast!
One of Brennan's favorite things to do is to hide. In fact, he has a special little "nook" that is perfect Brennan size at Grandma and Grandpa's house and it is endless entertainment for him to squeeze into the space between the wall and the book case and snicker as we say "Wheeeeeeeere's Brennan??" Pretty much the cutest thing ever, although I can foresee this type of behavior being troublesome in the near future when he ACTUALLY hides himself and I cannot find him. Yikes.
He also really enjoys hiding things or I guess it is more like "storing" things...for instance...we have a kitchen island with a butcher block top(got it from Ikea long ago and it is amazing and still one of my favorite kitchen things) that has a shelf underneath where we keep all of our pots and pans. Brennan loves to play with the pots and pans and their lids and I will frequently upon post-Brennan-bedtime-organization find toys, mittens, keys, etc. inside of the pots. Anyway, a few days ago I was smelling this horribly nasty smell in the kitchen. It was so annoying because everything was spotless and I felt like I was losing my mind. I couldn't figure out where in the world this stench was coming from. It was really quite a funny sight: Me, on all fours sniffing around trying to locate the source. TA-DA!! Found it! OH the smell....the wretched, wretched smell. As I mentioned before, Brennan really enjoys putting things inside of the pots. Well...his favorite pot is our "asparagus steamer" (many people mocked me for wanting this, but it has proven to be quite useful. It is a tall, skinny pot with a wire basket inside so you can just snip the bottoms of the asparagus stalks and drop them in the basket upright...perfectly steamed, unbroken, unbent asparagus...every time. Thank you very much!!) I don't know why he has chosen this as his favorite pot...maybe because it a shiny stainless steel? Who knows? Anyway...Usually I will see whatever he has dropped in there because the lid is glass and therefore see-through...Well this time, I did not see. Why, You ask? I'll tell you why...because THIS time, my precious baby boy thought it would be fun to "hide" his milk in the bottom of the asparagus steaming pot. Like I said...this thing has a wire basket inside of it and the milk went straight through the basket and settled nicely in the bottom of the pot. UGH! When I finally discovered where the smell was coming from there was a nice, thick, semi-solid layer of rancid Organic Whole Milk at the bottom. I'm starting to dry heave just thinking about it. Ahhh...lesson learned, I suppose. I now make sure to check the pot for any sippy-cup liquids lest we be plagued with curdled milk once more. Or maybe we should eat asparagus more often and then I would have discovered the milk sooner? Either way...I hope that you never have to endure the nasty stink of old milk.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holy Guacamole! (and Hummus)

Have you ever been afraid to try something new? In this particular instance I am thinking of food-tasting. Either you think the food in question just looks/smells/feels too weird or perhaps you have been psychologically damaged from childhood? A perfect and mayonnaise. *shiver* I hate mayo. Well, not really...I will eat it when it is masked inside of things (like tuna or potato salad...but even then I am a MINIMAL mayo kind of girl.), but the thought of spreading mayo on a piece of bread and eating it on my sandwich or worse...the people who eat mayonnaise as a on fries...uuuuugh. See, the thing is...I don't actually recall ever TRYING mayonnaise by itself. I just know that from my earliest memories I can hear my mother saying "ICK!! MAYONNAISE!!" and let me tell you, it has totally warped my brain into an unhealthy loathing of mayonnaise. I just can't seem to shake it! I am really not doing what I am about to say justice by sharing with you my totally ridiculous fear of mayonnaise, but let me just preemptively defend myself here for a second. It's not like mayonnaise is something that is super healthy and good for you to begin with, so it isn't a huge bummer that I don't like the stuff right? My pants probably fit better because of it. Anyway, on to my point...trying to get you to broaden your horizons and try something new. (Oh the irony...stinkin' mayonnaise) Or if you already like the things that I am going to mention then you should definitely try the recipes that I will provide. DELICIOUS, I tell you.
In an effort to spark our "healthy eating" appetites I have been searching different cookbooks, websites, and magazines to find stuff that is healthy AND satisfying. I don't want to convert to eating cardboard-esque food just to drop some pounds because lets be honest...sooner or later I would go insane and gorge myself on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Nachos because I was sick of eating nasty food. I think the key is to find delicious food that is good for you, have the *occasional* Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and helping of Nachos, and ultimately make a lifestyle change that involves eating these healthy foods forever after. If not, you'll'll lose weight...then you'll go back to eating what you did before your diet and BAM! You're back to the way you looked before your diet. *sigh* Sad, but true. I'm getting side tracked...sorry.
SO my husband really enjoys "dips" and I do too. Unfortunately chips go with dips...usually. Chips aren't really part of the old getting healthy business (although I did find a recipe for homemade BAKED corn chips-made from corn tortillas, haven't tried it yet) so I was looking for dips that would taste good with say...carrots. Or Celery. Or Cucumbers. You get the picture. In my searches so far I discovered two things: Edamame Guacamole and Creamy Hummus. My mouth is literally watering right now as I type this. Both of these dips are incredibly yummy and also very good for you! Hallelujah! They are also both "vegan" friendly. Not that I am a Vegan, I love me some steak...but in case someone reading this IS Vegan or Vegetarian...this one's for you. I am including the recipes. Enjoy. Seriously...if it freaks you out that both of these dips include Tofu, get over it. You can't even taste it and it's just some added protein!! Mmmm....You won't be disappointed. Well, maybe you will...but I hope you're not and least you can say you tried it right??

10-12 ounces of Edamame (We bought the frozen kind and it was conveniently packaged in a 10oz pouch)
2 Large Avocados
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
2Tbsp Silken Tofu
2Tbsp Lime Juice
a pinch of Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Steam the Edamame, cool it off (I just put it in a collender and ran it under some cool water), and peel the skins off so you just have the little beans. Put all of the beans + the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and make it smooth. Ta-da! You're done.

2 Cans of Chickpeas (Drained and rinsed)
1/2 Cup Silken Tofu
2Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 1/2 Tsp. Cumin
3Tbsp Lime Juice (I use a bit extra because I really like lime)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Put it all in the food processor or blender and mix it up! You're done! SO GOOD!!

I'm not naive enough to believe that everyone who reads this will be anxious to try, but I just thought I'd share. My family really enjoys both of these dips. EVEN BRENNAN! Thank you God for a child who enjoys eating healthy food!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Walmart Woes

This weekend I kicked off the New Year by doing something outrageously dumb and embarrassing. Seriously...Lindsey=the antonym of smart.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my family is on it's way to becoming "fit". To get started I made a very detailed and long list of foods to buy from Walmart that would support this makeover of our cupboards. We basically have a few options as far as grocery shopping 5 miles to a not-good-at-all local grocery store, drive 15 miles to a not-so-good Walmart (lets be honest...does a "good" Walmart even exist??), or drive 35 miles to a Walmart that has way better produce and product selection and is also very close to a health foods store that we can find certain "non-walmart" things. So, of course...I chose to go the extra mile(s) to get the good produce which would allow us to begin our "diet" (I hate that's more of a healthy eating plan...) Well, I spent a good hour-hour and a half scouring the aisles (looking for the best deals...we're going to get financially fit too, remember?) and finally made my awesome cart full of delicious food to the check out lanes. I loaded everything on to the conveyor belt and kept loading as the cashier started to ring up and bag my groceries. About halfway through I started to get my method of payment ready only to realize...I had no wallet. NO Wallet. As in...NO wallet. OH...MY...GOSH. I was horrified. I just told the cashier to stop and apologized profusely. She was actually pretty nice about it (a rare find at a Walmart store) and she assured me that this sort of thing happened more often than I would think. So...after nearly 2 hours in walmart and an hour of driving I made my way home without a single item off of my list. Needless to say I was beyond defeated. To add insult to injury, I HAD to go back. We didn't desperately need all of the items on my list, but my sweet little Brennan boy needed milk. I couldn't manage to explain to him that Mommy would rather lay on the floor and cry than go buy some more I packed the poor kid up and headed to Walmart...AGAIN. Ugh. This time I went the 15 miles to the not-so-good Walmart in an effort to save a sliver of my sanity. When I got there I thought "I'll just try to recompose my cart full of groceries" but it was just terrible. The produce is a joke. SO, I opted to just buy a few necessities (milk included) and head for home. Which guessed it!! I have to go to Walmart (the 35 miles away-nicer one) AGAIN today. What is wrong with me?? Clearly I have brain damage of some sort.