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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chick Fil A Kids Meal Giveaway & Old School Fun Widget!

Hey guys!!

Check out this very fun widget from Chick Fil A!  You can:

  • Take a spin with their fun activities! Spin the wheel to get an endless amount of Old School Fun and games for the entire family! You’re just a spin away from creating awesome family memories!

  • Take the Old School Fun Quiz! Are you a disco-dynamo or the bomb dot com? Take the throwback quiz to reminisce about the pop culture icons of your era!

This app gives you some great ideas for getting your family active in the great outdoors.  Super Fun!  Chick Fil A will give one of my readers a three pack of FREE kids meals ~ yay!  I love giving David Chick Fil A  ~ they offer several nutritious & tasty choices with the kids meals, and the food is always fresh and delicious! My picky son loves Chick Fil A Kids meals!

Use Rafflecopter widget below to enter this awesome giveaway!! (Click the read more link, then log in to Rafflecopter with Facebook or email.  Next,  follow the directions to enter.  I will draw my winner from the Rafflecopter comments after verifying you left a blog comment!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Day 4 of our juice fast!

Just a quick check in ~  We're on day 4 now.  I am feeling a little better, the hunger is not nearly as bad now! I've lost 7 lbs,  too!  That is enough to keep me motivated.  I will probably be eating either fresh fruit or a small salad a couple times a week just to help with the hunger.  Our favorite juices are the fruits - not a big fan of the spinach, cuke or kale - but trying to get that in at least once a day.  Our favorite is watermelon juice with a little carrot juice - yum!   Oh, and Katie weighed herself yesterday, she had lost 3 lbs! 

So things are going well - it's just really hard to rid yourself of the feeling/habit that you have to "EAT" 3 times a day.  Not to mention the mindless snacking, or tasting I would do making the kids' dinner just a week or two ago!  I am going to buy some chicken today and make David some baked chicken nuggets I can keep in the freezer to heat up a few times a week.  He also has had a quesadilla for dinner, and last night RR picked up Chick Fil A for him, so that has helped me not have to mess with food too much!  Easy meals for him make it easier for me to not feel any temptation!

This is definitely doable, people! I had my doubts on day 1, but a juicing fast has been easier than I thought.  Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead was such an inspiration!   One thing I learned - I won't do a huge produce buy again - I'm still trying to finish juicing all that!  Once our Vitamix arrives, it will be easier, but our current juicer is so difficult to clean, and I have to do everything in SMALL batches when I use it.  So I am juicing for about 1 1/2 hours a day, but it  still takes forever to get through our purchases from Saturday night! (For example - 3 small bunches of spinach took me 40 minutes!) Can't wait to get our Vitamix!

Hope y'all are having a great week!! 

PS ~ Is the pollen bad where you are?  It SUCKS here!! I'm taking Claritin-D but it is not helping much! 

Don't forget to follow our juicing journey on our juicing page ~ see link at the top of the blog, or here!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 1 of 60 day Juice Fast/Day 2 off caffeine....

Oh boy.  I knew today would be hard, but dang!! It's 4:15, I'm starving, and I would probably fight someone for food right now!  I know most of it is in my head, and in about 3 days things will be so much easier!  But today bites. : (   At least I have a pretty mug to drink out of...

For breakfast I made us a juice from some of my frozen cubes.  I blended them to make a slushie - it has been so hot here, and that seemed to be a refreshing choice.  I used watermelon, pineapple & orange juices.  It was very good!  Katie, Randy & I all had that for breakfast.

For lunch,  I made a juice of: kale, spinach, cucumber, red grape, green grape & orange juices.  It was pretty good - served it over ice.  RR was at boy scouts with David, so Katie & I drank this at about 2.

We hit up the Dekalb Farmers Market down near Atlanta last night. So now I have a ton of  fresh produce to juice tomorrow:  pears, spinach, tomatoes, cukes & zucchini, celery, gala apples, pink lady apples, granny smith apples, watermelon and clementines.  Here's hoping I will be feeling better by then! ; )

Oh, and here are a couple picks of the juice cubes I'm freezing....that is really working out well, because I don't want to juice every day.  We ordered our Vitamix yesterday,  I can't wait til it arrives!! 

I'll write again tomorrow....hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

How we prepared for our juice fast

It's been a busy week here, and I'm really thrilled the weekend is thisclose!! I'm so excited to start our juice fast this Sunday!   My beautiful Katie started her juice fast today.  She watned to try the 3 juice a day fast, but after getting home from her p/t job she decided she wanted dinner!   it's healthy as long as she drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day!  Her breakfast juice was:  2 oranges, 1 apple, 2 carrots,1 lime.  For her lunch juice, she had a couple carrots, 1/4 of a peeled cucumber, 2 celery sticks, white grapes, a few leaves of spinach, 1/2 a pear, a little mint & parsley, plus a couple oranges.  She will do this for 30 days. I'm very proud of her - this is a healthy way to get the weight off that she wants to (about 30 lbs), and get a good foundation for how she'll want to eat/drink for the rest of her life, I hope!  So far, so good.

I found this webpage that explains the stages of detox your body will go through during a 30 day fast.  It is pretty amazing!  I know already the first few days will not be fun.  As in - my caffeine addiction is going to have to leave me and I'm not gonna be happy!  Me & diet coke/diet dr. p are like BFF's, it is going to BITE to give that daily fizzy caffeine drink (or 2) up!  But once you hit day 8 of this fast/detox, you are supposed to start feeling good.  I mean REALLY GOOD!  I can't wait for that to happen! Can I fast forward to that, please? lol  : )

Yesterday I went to Aldi & Kroger to get a huge amount of fresh produce.  I spent about $22 at Aldi ~ got a bag of oranges, bag of pears, 4 tomatoes, 2 lbs green grapes, 4 lbs of carrots, bag of Granny Smith apples, bag of Gala apples, a pineapple, bag of lemons, and bag of limes.  Aldi has the best prices,  but it is about a 30 mile round trip for me to shop there.  That is about 2 gallons of gas - so I have to balance the savings with the $8 (appx) I will have to spend in gas to get there too.

At Kroger I spent $25 and got 1/2 watermelon, a pineapple, fresh organic mint, ginger, 2 bunches of spinach, 1 bunch of kale, red grapes, a grapefruit, cucumbers, zucchini, and a bunch of organic parsley.  Eventually I want to transition to organic grapes, apples and greens, too.

Today,  I juiced each fruit separately.  Then, I poured the fresh-squeezed juices into ice cube trays and froze them.  Then I put them in freezer bags, marked with type of fruit, and how many cubes = how much of the fruits. (ie,  I juiced four tomatoes, and got 12 cubes, so 3 cubes = 1 tomato!)  I'll take some pics tomorrow to show you!  This way, I will just pick a recipe, pop the right number of cubes out for each fruit or veggie.  I can let them defrost and then mix them together, or throw them into my blender, and blend.  That way I can have slushies sometimes too!  I am freezing the juice immediately after juicing and I should have enough to make it through next week.  Tomorrow we are going to the Dekalb Farmers Market to get a bunch more fruits & veggies - I'll be freezing some of those as well, but juicing some fresh for the beginning of the week, too. 

Also, I don't want you to think that all I'll be posting about is juicing!  No way!!  I have recipes, crafts and more coming up!  So I'll post a lot more info on my fast on the Juicing Page - check out the link at the top of this page - it's a work in progress! It will have alot more information about juicing, our fast, plus recipes and resources!  If you are interested in juicing, or seeing how we do on this fast, I'd love to have you check that page often! : )

Hope y'all have a great  Friday, and a fabulous weekend too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles ~ Super-Easy, Delicious Breakfast!

Every Wednesday I ask my FB friends "What's for Dinner?"  I've been doing that for over a year, and I love getting inspired by their creative dinners each week!  A few weeks ago, a FB friend from high school (Stephanie) posted that she was making breakfast for dinner and having Cinnamon Roll Waffles.  One of my friends asked her for the recipe, and Stephanie said she found it on Pinterest and it was so easy!  I had to try these for myself  ~ and my kids LOVED them!  It couldn't be any simpler:  get a can (or two, or three, lol) of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  Spray your waffle iron heavily with Pam, then plop a cinnamon roll into each section.  Set the icing container aside for now.

We have a small, two section iron, so I made two "waffles" at a time.  Close iron,  cook til done. I sprayed the iron very heavily with Pam in between each batch of rolls, but it still made a mess!  Drizzle the waffles with the cinnamon roll icing (heat it for a few seconds in the microwave first!) and serve it to your family - they will ooh, ahh, and ask for seconds!  I served ours with turkey sausage links - yum!  

Keep an eye out for coupons for the cinnamon rolls - they are in the paper all the time, and you can often find them on (there's even a link below in my right sidebar!)  If your store doubles coupons, you'll get these for a steal!  The only bad thing about these waffles is that they will make your iron a hot, sticky mess.  But I think it was worth the messiness!

Have you (or a friend) found a terrific recipe on Pinterest?  I'd love to hear about it so I can pin it too! : )  Just leave a comment below!

Monday, March 12, 2012

We're going to start a Juice Fast!!

Last week, I was walking on the treadmill, and I asked David to find something for me to watch on the Wii (Netflix).  (I am way too tech-challenged to use the Wii remote, my kiddos have to help mom out!)  Under new releases, he found a documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" that sounded interesting.  WOW. is all I can say.  It is a must see if you struggle with your weight, or have health problems.  Basically it's about an Australian man named Joe Cross who is overweight, on lots of medication, and ready to tackle his demons.   He comes to America, and travels while he fasts on fruit & veggie juices for 60 days.  He loses a massive amount of weight, and inspires others along the way.  Particularly, a truck driver who suffers from the same health issues, but weighs about 100 more.  He also does a 60 day juice fast and is able to drop a HUGE amount of weight, and also improves his health tremendously.  Check out the trailer here!

Well, that inspired me.  I just wrote about how my kids don't eat much fresh fruit or veggies. Kind of ironic.  Luckily, they are on board with this juice fast idea! We have a crappy juicer, but it works. (It just extracts the juice only - there is SO much wasted fruit/veggie peel/pulp!)  Starting Sunday 3/18,  Randy & I will be drinking 3 "meals" a day of fresh juice.  Katie will be drinking 2 meals a day, and David will just supplement his breakfast with a glass of fresh fruit/veggie juice.  As far as weight loss, I need to lose at least 60 lbs, probably more like 80 to be where I want. Wonder how far I can get in 60 days?   Once I get to my goal weight,  I'll be juicing for breakfast forever - I actually am surprised at how much I'm enjoying the juice!  I'll also plan to do a 10 day juice fast every 3 months or so.  SO excited/motivated/inspired!! 

 Katie wants to lose some weight before graduation, as do I - I'd like to be comfortable in front of the camera for once in her graduation pictures!!  But mostly,  I want energy.  I'm exhausted all the time lately.  I'm unhappy with how I look, and I don't eat much in the way of fruits or veggies. I want to feel like I did 10 years ago!  So - We 've all started drinking one glass of juice a day in preparation - I hear drinking 2 or 3 glasses a day can shock your system (ie - potty all day - yikes!) if you aren't ready, lol!  Hopefully easing into this lifestyle change will be good.

So far,  here is David's favorite juice:

1 or 2 limes & lemons, a couple handfuls of spinach (or kale),  2 apples, 2 oranges,  1 or 2 tomatoes,  1 carrot (don't tell him a carrot is in there!) a couple cups of watermelon,  a handful of red grapes, about 1/4 of a pineapple, and a little fresh ginger.  

Our juice has:

cukes, spinach, tomatoes, limes, lemons, watermelon, apples, carrots, oranges,  ginger, pineapple, grapes

I'm juicing at night then storing it in the fridge for up to 2 days.  (I've read that you can store it safely up to 72 hours, but I don't know for sure - that seems like a long time.  I also just read that glass is best for storing juice, and that you want very little air in the container - oops!!  I will have to get some mason jars to store it in.  I'm also adding a healthy amount of lemon & lime juice to each batch - the citric acid helps preserve it too)  I will post once a week and keep y'all updated on our progress, how we're feeling, etc!   Hope you'll follow along here, and please feel free to leave your questions or comments!   Also, follow me on Pinterest (button at top right of blog) I've got a juice fast board with recipes and ideas I've found!

Wish us luck! xoxo

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jazzed-Up Pimento Cheese

So happy it is the weekend again! : )  We have a teacher furlough day on Monday, so the kids are off.  That means this is a fabulous three-day weekend!

Today we are going to a potluck get-together at our friends Stephanie & Jamie's home in Forsyth County.   Steph & I met our junior year of high school, went to Berry College together for one year, and have remained friends through thick and thin ever since!  I love these get-togethers at their home - lots of friends, delicious food, and lots of laughter & friendship!  We try to have these every few months at their home, and it's something we all look forward to.

Today I'm making my Buffalo Chicken Dip (double batch!),  Creme de Menthe Brownies, & Jazzed Up Pimento Cheese for sandwiches.  Pimento Cheese is kind of a staple here in the south.  This Pimento Cheese is my version of a local cafe's amazing Pimento Cheese. The now-closed Red Sky Cafe in Buford served their Pimento Cheese on biscuits, mixed in with hot grits, and even offered a grilled version with a side of strawberry jelly.  It is SO good - there's a little kick from the jalapenos and a little crunch from the chopped pecans.  Heavenly, I'm telling you!

Jazzed Up Pimento Cheese  
  • 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz jar diced pimentos, finely chopped (because I don't like them big - I chop them til they are almost non-existent, lol)
  • appx 1/2 cup mayonnaise - we prefer Duke's mayo, or Kraft's Olive Oil Mayo if I'm out of Duke's.
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of the juice from a jar of jalapeno slices  (can also add chopped jalapenos,  or more of the juice to taste)
  • 1/3 c chopped pecans

Mix it all up, then store in covered container in the fridge overnight.  I like to slice a package of soft rolls (the kind in the little foil pan, found on the bread aisle) in half, and take the top half off.  Spread the bottom layer of rolls with PC, replace top half of bread, and toast in the oven til brown and PC is bubbly.  Serve with a side of strawberry jelly, just like they used to do at Red Sky in Buford!!  YUM!  Also good with crackers, or on celery.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How I get my kids to eat their veggies without fussing....

This is a post I've been meaning to write FOREVER!!  I've written before that I have picky kids.  In fact,  David is aka Mr. Picky Pants around here.  Katie is a little easier - at 17 she will eat salads, broccoli , carrots, lima beans & other veggies with no begging or bribing.  But it took a long time to get her to this point!

David will eat kale (as in kale chips).  And that's about it, veggie-wise.  He tends to like only one fruit at a time - previous faves were applesauce,  bananas, strawberries.  Now he is into mangos.  Only.   This is a kid who will choose to go to bed without eating if I make him try a bite of something he doesn't like.  And he is too skinny, so I won't do that!  He takes a Hero Nutritionals Multi Vitamin plus a Hero Nutritionals Whole Food Supplement daily to help him get the vitamins and minerals he needs. But I realize he needs the real things, too!  

Maybe you are lucky enough to have kids who love their veggies.  I envy you!  But even veggie-loving kids can always use more veggies in their diet, right? Here's my secret....

Remember the cookbook by Jerry Seinfeld's wife - Deceptively Delicious? (I think that was the title) I loved it - but it was a lot of work (and dishwashing!) to puree all those fruits and veggies. Plus some of her recipes were a bit complicated, and my kids would not have eaten them.   My solution? I ditched the book, and bought organic baby food!  Now my pantry always has a stockpile of baby food veggies & fruits.  I buy it when it is on sale, and add it to most everything!  I've been doing it for a couple years now and it works like a charm!

Sprout brand is my favorite.  I get any variety of veggies, and sometimes fruits too!   Last week I made my turkey tacos - I add water, seasoning mix, and a can of drained corn.  Then I added sweet potato puree & green bean puree to the mix. We used the leftovers two nights later for nachos.  Neither kid had any idea that they were eating veggies!  You can do this for burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.

I also made turkey chili in the crockpot one night.  I used a package of baby carrots and a package of sweet peas and green beans.  I always start my tomatoes & tomato sauce first so they are nice and hot when I add the other ingredients.  Then I add the browned turkey, chili seasonings, and baby food!  It doesn't look so great before I mix it all up, but trust me on this - you won't taste the extra veggies but you'll feel better knowing the kids are getting their veggies without fuss!  (Just make sure you hide the baby food packages in the trash!!)

Colorful, right?! : )

Then you mix it all together and it's so delicious!  You can't tell I added green veggies, right?

I also add veggies to mac n cheese (usually sweet potatoes and white bean),  lasagna,  spaghetti sauce,  casseroles - any veggies!,  soups, stews, and even in some of my cakes & cupcakes (I sometimes use apples or bananas instead of oil!)

Really, the possibilities are endless.  Get creative!  You can even add the purees to convenience meals like Hamburger Helper!