Archive | January 2015

Celebrating Milestones & Reflecting!

Well, it’s been a little while since I posted, but there have been some pretty big milestones in our family.   January has been a month of celebrating some very important peoples birthdays.   My mother and father-in-law turned 85 and my mother-in-law turned 80.

All are in pretty good health, and that is due to the lifestyles that they have chosen to live.  My in-laws eat extremely healthy and have done so for years.  In fact, my in-laws grew their own vegetables. (squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, swiss chard, green beans, snow peas, radishes, rhubarb).  They spent the summers at their cottage and had a large vegetable garden that they cared for.  They introduced me to swiss chard and beet tops.  I never dreamed that anyone would eat beet tops or make zucchini bread!  They would also go fishing and eat fresh fish from the lake.  Some of the fish that they caught were sunfish, perch, bass, rock bass, pickerel, cat fish and even a few muskie.  They are also  careful with their water intake and about 30 years ago they added a reverse osmosis water filter(ChaRO) to their tap.  They use this water to drink and cook with.

My mother on the other hand only grew tomatoes, green onions(scallions) and garlic in her garden.  I remember eating lots of tomato and onion sandwiches in the summer.  Mum is not a big fan of salads, however she made them for us and always threw into the lettuce hard boiled eggs, green onions, tomatoes and celery.  Mum and Dad are Irish so we always had meat, potatoes and veggies at dinner time.  Oftentimes, our potatoes were mashed with green onion mixed through it. We also had a fair amount of cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots and parsnips.   Growing up “snack foods” were limited and so was “dessert”.  We had 3 square meals a day, some fruit and one cookie after dinner with a cup of tea.  Mom loved her chocolate and would let us indulge in some occasionally.  Eating out at a restaurant was also an occasional treat; a luxury.

Mom doesn’t smoke or drink.  She has aged well, and many remark that she doesn’t look her age when I tell them how old she is.

Overall they are in generally good health.  Obviously, old age has brought some health issues their way, but it has not stopped them from living life to the fullest.  They all drive, walk without the use of a cane or walker, are active in their communities and churches and live vibrant lives.

They have paved the way for me to continue to pursue healthy eating and I wish them continued health as they live each day given to them.

I spent the past few weeks detoxing so I was able to eat well during the celebrations.  I did, however, have a small piece of cake to celebrate their milestones, but overall I ate well.

Cheers to good health!

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How much food should I really be eating?

When it comes to portion size, I find it difficult to know how much food I am actually consuming or serving up at home.

Restaurants tend to serve oversized portions of food so I usually divide my plate in half and only eat one portion of it.  However, if I can visualize portion sizes it is easier to control my food intake.

Here is an easy way to eyeball your food with everyday items:

facts-about-serving-sizes529995426-sep-2-2012-1-600x400                            portioncontrol_pancake2_lg

Baseball = Medium piece of fruit; 1 cup of salad greens

Tennis ball = 1 cup (250ml) of rice, pasta or ice cream

Golf ball = 2 tbsp.(30ml) of peanut butter, jam or salad dressing

Dice ~ 1 Dice = 1 tsp. (5ml) of butter

food portion visual2

Computer Mouse = 1 baked potato

3 Dice = 1oz (30g) of cheese

CD = the diameter of a pancake

Dental Floss Container = 1oz (30g) of chocolate

Large Egg = ¼ cup of raisins, dried fruit

Checkbook = 3oz of baked/grilled fish

Light bulb = 1 slice of pie

Another way to visualize the food portions is to use your hand:  here is a neat diagram to show you the proper portion size.

food portion with hand

Mirror, Mirror

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mirror, Mirror.”

When I look in the mirror I see, first and foremost, the woman that I have become.

From head to toe, I have changed.  I see wrinkles around my eyes and mouth, and a few between my eyes. The wrinkles remind me that life is fleeting.  Whether I like it or not, I am getting older and am maturing.  However, when I look at these wrinkles, I am reminded that they are there because I smile often, and try to bring joy to those around me.  The wrinkles show me that I’ve endured some difficult times, but have become stronger for having gone through them.  Wrinkles on my body show the changing shapes I have had.  Some due to pregnancy and some due to the ever fluctuating weight changes I have experienced throughout my life.

I see teeth that cross a little at the front, just like my mom and grandmother’s teeth.  A family trait, I chose to live with.

Scars, beautiful scars!  The scars of course remind me of things that have happened in my life.  The scar above one of my eyebrows is so tiny, you can’t really notice it, but every time I see it I am reminded of how it happened.  My husband and I were at the cottage for our first year anniversary.  We loved to play catch, and on this particular day we kept throwing the ball harder as we moved further apart.  He whipped the ball quickly out of his hand, and it soared through the air.  I ran for it and thought I was going to catch it but my eye decided to get it instead.  Blood spewed everywhere and we had to drive quickly into town to the hospital.  My husband felt horrible and wondered what he could do to make it up to me.  I told him nothing.  Then he started doing jumping jacks in the middle of the emergency room just to get me to laugh..and I did!  Silly man, but he’s my silly man and I love him!

Then the scars on my knees and legs are from childhood play.  Riding my bike too fast and falling into stones, jumping off walls too high,  getting thrown into the lake and falling on a clam that slit my knee open.  Getting my foot caught in the spokes of a bike.  I loved my childhood, and the adventures were worth getting the scars. Other scars are from c-sections and operations I have had for the safe conception and birth of my children.

The mirror doesn’t lie, but I know when I look into it, I can’t escape reality. I am what I am!   I know that there are areas that could use a little nip and tuck and I need to keep working at getting fit.   However,  when I look in the mirror I know that I am  loved!  I am a wife with a husband who loves me,  I am a mother with children that love me, I am a daughter with a mother who loves me, I am sister who is loved by her siblings, and I am a child who is loved by God!

So the mirror may show me my flaws and imperfections, but that’s ok!  I am loved and this body is something that I’ve grown into and it will continue to change and take a different shape, but no matter how it changes, I know I am loved and am content in my own skin!

Popeye was right!

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. I’m strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.”

Popeye-Spinach

I guess Popeye was right after all.  The cartoon character used to get his strength from eating spinach. Spinach is known, today, as a superfood, and it actually does help tone our muscles.

Another food worth mentioning is wild salmon. It’s fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, macular degeneration, and improves mood and cognition.

spinach and salmon

Here is a list of healthy foods that nourish and/or improve the function of different parts of our body.  It’s interesting to note that spinach and salmon are beneficial in many areas.

Hair: swiss chard, salmon, carrots, chicken, brazil nuts, spinach, eggs, walnuts, lamb/beef.

Brain: blueberries, salmon, nuts and seeds (flax, sunflower, sesame), avocado, beans, whole grain foods (oatmeal, brown rice).

Eyes: carrots, kale, collard greens, spinach, red pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, apricots.

Ears: (hearing) broccoli, squash, spinach, turnip greens, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin,  apricots, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, brussel sprouts, lemon, pineapples, strawberries, citrus fruits, lima beans.

Nails:  green peas, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, spinach, beans, lentils, eggs, salmon, oatmeal.

Skin: carrots, apricots, beans, salmon, tomato, spinach, apricots, yellow and orange fruits and  vegetables, blueberries, apples, avocados, eggs.

Heart:  flax seed, oatmeal, kidney beans, almonds, walnuts, tuna, salmon, tofu, blueberries, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, red bell pepper, squash, oranges, papaya, cantaloupe, asparagus.

Liver:  garlic, beets, grapefruit, avocados, lemons, broccoli, brussel sprouts, walnuts, spinach, lettuce.

Kidneys: red bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, onion, apples, berries (cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry), cherries, red grapes, salmon.

Colon/Intestines: broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, cauliflower and bok choy, yogurt, kefir.

Bones: Yogurt, milk, cheese, sardines, eggs, salmon, tuna, collard greens, spinach, orange juice.

Sometimes it is hard to incorporate foods into your diet, especially, when you don’t like them at all.

My kids do not like brussel sprouts. I usually wash a few,  pull the individual leaves off and throw them into my salad, along with some spinach, cabbage, and kale.  Mixed altogether with a light dressing the kids love it and eat it.

Here are some other fun ways to incorporate spinach into the meal.

  • Add a handful to pasta sauce
  • Add it as a pizza topping
  • Add it to veggie soup
  • Add it to an omelete
  • Add it to a vegetable smoothie
  • Make a spinach dip with yogurt and sour cream

From the inside out we can make our bodies work best for us.  It’s time to add some sparkle to our eyes, a glow to our skin and strength to our muscles!  Happy eating!

Information courtesy of:

http://www.healwithfood.org/   http://yourkidneys.com/  http://www.activebeat.co/

http://www.theopticalvisionsite.com/ http://EzineArticles.com/4391731

http://www.whfoods.com/  http://www.webmd.com

http://medicalxpress.com/ http://www.metrolyrics.com/

A picture says a thousand words!

Jamie Oliver And Victoria Government Announce Partnership To Tackle Obesityfresh-fruits-vegetables-2419

Two pictures side by side show a drastic contrast to food.  One picture shows food that is “alive” living, fresh food that will nourish and feed our bodies.  The other picture shows food that is “dead” over processed, filled with saturated fat and stripped of many nutrients.  Each day we choose what foods we put into our bodies.  Today we can choose wisely.

I’m midway through the cleanse this week, and it has been incredibly revitalizing.   My energy levels have increased and my I am getting a good nights sleep each night.  These pictures keep me motivated, and remind me why I am choosing to live a healthier lifestyle.

Hope it encourages you all today, as you continue to strive to be a healthier you!

Time for a Clean Sweep!

The weekend is here, and I am in the process of getting my kitchen ready for next week’s detox diet.  That means my juicer and blender are on the counter and easily accessible.  I have bottled water in the fridge, along with the various fruits and vegetables needed for Monday.

I’m planning on doing a fruit and vegetable juice detox.   I will be incorporating smoothies as well as juice, so that I can get the benefits of the “whole” fruit as well. (eg. Banana blended with orange juice and berries).  The extra fiber will help sweep the toxins out.

Here are a few samples of the juices I will be enjoying this week:

Parsley Purifier:

3 carrots, 4 broccoli florets, handful of fresh parsley.  Juice all ingredients.

This combination makes for a super-rich food. Vitamin E & C help nourish collagen in the skin. Zinc content will help protect the skin.

Beet Booster:

2 carrots, half a cucumber, 1/3 beetroot scrubbed and washed.  Juice all ingredients.

Power Booster:

2 apples, 4oz white grapes, 2oz beetroot scrubbed and cut into chunks, ½ slice of ginger.  Juice all ingredients.

I do this because I feel that our bodies are wonderful machines that need to be maintained.  Lifestyle, stress and other pollutants can affect the way we function.  Just like we take our cars to the shop for repair, oil changes and alignment, I feel that I owe it to myself to maintain my body’s balance, and flush my system from debris.

If you have any comments or have detox recipes you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you.

*Juicing recipes are from the Detox handbook by Maria Constantino

Dream Reader ~ That’s you!

computer shadow

Dear Dream Reader my assignment today, in “Blogging101”, is to talk specifically to YOU.

You know who you are, so don’t be shy.  You are the one that accidentally stumbles across my blog and reads what’s on my mind.  You are the one who likes a post, or decides to follow me.  You are the one who gives me a like or shares a comment with me.

Dream reader, you inspire me.  I babble about subjects that keep me healthy from the inside out.  Things from food to exercise equipment, to beauty regimens and kitchen utensils that make food prep easy, to quick healthy snacks that satisfy, to smoothie and food recipes.  I even tell you when I’ve derailed from my healthy eating habits and that I’m left with a holiday bulge, yet you don’t judge me.

Dream reader, you are the one who wants to be healthy, stay healthy,  and eat food that is “alive” and full of nutrients.  You are the one who is filling your mind with mantras like “you are what you eat”, “garbage in equals garbage out”, “I eat to live, not live to eat”, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”, “know your limitations and then defy them”, “clear your mind of can’t”, “strive for progress not perfection” etc.……

You are the one who knows you have a lymphatic system and that your skin is the largest organ. You know that sweat removes toxics and drinking lots of water flushes them out of your system. You know what lycopene and tryptophan is, what antioxidants and probiotics are. You are the one who doesn’t have a clue what those are.  You are the one who is informed, and you are the one who wants to be informed.

Dream reader you are also the one who stumbles and falls and picks yourself up.  You are the one that keeps pushing forward even if your derailment has set you back 10, 20, 30lbs or more.  You are the one who has faced stress, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, sadness.  You are the one who has experienced joy, love, peace, happiness.  You are the one who clings to hope, who keeps the faith, who looks in the mirror and is happy with you.  You are not perfect, and you are ok with that, but you will continue to push yourself to be as healthy as you can be.  You are the one who wants to glow from the inside out.

Dream Reader have you figured out who you are yet?  Well, let me tell you who you are.

Psst!

It’s You, the one who is reading this right now, the one who inspires me to write things that inspire you, and encourage you.  You’re the one who takes an interest in what interests me. You encourage me to be the best me. You are the one who comes in all different shapes and sizes, genders and colors. You are unique and you are you.

Dream reader, I want to say thanks.  Thanks for reading my rants and babbling.  Thanks for coming over to my neck of the woods and giving me a high five.  Dream Reader your initials are DR. and you are the best medicine this blogger could have each and every day.  Thanks for inspiring me, you are the best.