Saturday, May 30, 2009

227 Calorie Lunch (and nothing lowfat about it)

As Dr. Roizen says, "food is medicine." For example, a recipe for whole wheat pizza dough with tomato paste can help dramatically reduce your risk of cancer.
Tomato paste is a bit hard for me to get down, I do not care for thick sauces, but this is an easy way to get two T in without noticing.

I have pizza dough in my refrigerator 7 days a week, because I make it homemade (see my Margarita Stewart blog on my 5 min pizza dough). There are times I just want a quick snack, or lunch and don't' want to get the pizza dough out for just me, so I take an Arnold Thin and put tomato paste on it, and dress it up.
My Arnold thin pizza

1 Arnold Thin

2 T tomato paste

1 oz mozzarella cheese

green pepper (i use frozen in a pinch, already diced)

garlic (powder, remember this is a quick meal)


black pepper


Of course, you can figure out how to assemble this pizza. Bake it for 5-8 min, it's done!

It has 227 calories if you eat both halves! NOT BAD!

I don't use anything low fat or low cal , if you do, you can reduce the calories even more. If after you eat this, if you still feel hungry, wait 15 min, it will hit your stomach and you will be satisfied! I do not believe in low fat or low calories foods, it makes you gain weight, you are hungrier and want to eat more.

Note:Of course, add your own toppings, Parm cheese adds 20 calories, but so much flavor. Pineapple is great too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Could you live without closets?

When we bought our early 1800s farmhouse, it was a major fixer upper. The wrap around porch was basically the only thing it had going for it at the time, but that porch was what made me fall in love with the house. Since then, we have done so much work, I still love the porch, but although its still a work in progress, I adore my house and never want to move.

My sister in law had always mentioned her lack of closets in her farmhouse and I never really gave it a second thought. In fact, in looking at the house, the fact that it didn't have closets really didn't cross my mind.

I had lived in a house that had full sized closets that were full. Before that I had a huge kitchen with cabinets that I could not even fill, I had so many cabinets but I managed to downsize and still cook meals from scratch in a smaller kitchen. Not only did I not have closets but this house has no pantry!

Imagine, if you will, taking everything that is in a closet, and pantry in your home, and pretend that the closets dont' exists. Where would you put everything? The vacuum, the ironing board, sewing machine, not to mention the clothes, shoes, etc.

My sister once said to me, you have too much stuff....when I told her to empty her closets and find new homes for everything, she changed her tune.

I have managed to live closet free for 10+ years now. Times were simple when they built my house. I had to be very creative, and, even though there are times when the clutter takes over, I am always keeping on top of it and purging to keep it under control.

My pots and pans hang from the ceiling beams in my kitchen, as well as some baskets I use for popcorn etc. My China cabinet is where I keep the plates we really use (I don't believe in having 'special plates' because my kids are more important to me than the Queen of England, so they eat off of the good plates and when they break, we dont' sweat it).

I have old wooden beer crates in my bedroom that hold my extra sweaters on top of my 10.00 cedar armoire I found at a yard sale. That Armoire holds almost nothing and takes up more room than its worth sometimes. Aprons, and table clothes etc are in the buffet in my dining room. Kitchen towels are in the living room in a Longaberger basket with a lid.

I carry my vacuum downstairs to the basement when company is coming (well when I have notice that company is coming, which doesn't happen often)..otherwise, my kirby sits in the dining room lol. I upgraded to a laptop so that I don't have to have a big clunky computer and I can sit on my patio and surf the web.

I was talking to a man the other night who told me that he bought an old farmhouse and I said to him...let me ask you a question, do you have closets..he looked at me like I must have been to it, and said, how'd you know? I said I too have an old farmhouse, they are famous for no closets lol. He said his clothes are everywhere, and I told him, I live here for 10+ years and still do not have my clothes under control, you never will! lol

I would not give up my old farmhouse for all the tea in China! Closets or not...I love it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free or Cheap ideas for homeschoolers (or families in general)

There are homeschooling activies in my area, but to go every week and having multiple kids doesn't' help, it nickles and dimes ya. We used to do bowling and it was 25.00 a week till we bowled, and had lunch there, its hard to not eat when you are there. It was 100.00-125.00 a month (depending on how many weeks were in the month)

With my husband being in the home building business, we suffered and put a stop to bowling. Luckily, my boys were not that into bowling, so didn't mind a bit.

Two years in a row we took tennis lessons at our county park. It was so cheap...25.00 for 8 weeks. We took beginner lessons two summers in a row and in the fall we took advanced beginner lessons and had so much fun and learned enough that we can now go to a park and play tennis for free. You have the initial investment of buying a racquet and tennis balls, but you can pick them up at yard sales for a dollar in all but brand new condition. Some people go on these health kicks and after a few months or not staying with it, sell their stuff at yard sales. We have met up with homeschool families and played king of the court, and other fun tennis games.

Speaking of parks, there is always the playground. Some have volleyball nets, badmitton nets, basketball courts and of course tennis courts. Arrange a play date with homeschoolers you know to play horse on the basketball court, newcome, or king of the court. You don't need a whole "team" to play these games.

Roller skate down a paved path or in a empty paved parking lot, with permission of course. There are skateboard parks popping up all over the place too, some only allow skateboards, some allow in lines and bikes too.

Go for a walk, hike, bike ride on a trail. There are many in the area. Pack a lunch in a backpack and stop along the way to eat.

In the winter, when it snows, arrange to get together and build a snowman at your house, or another homeschooler,s house. Have hot chocolate together. Go sledding. Back cookies or have some type of home ec cooking class. The County Cooperative Extensions have 4H clubs, that are not only livestock based. They have sewing and cooking classes and so much more. Call them for a list of what they offer. Of course there are scout troops, campfire programs and church groups you can get involved in.

When the weather is warm, go fishing or crabbing if you live in an area you can. It's free for kids under a certain age in my state, but check to see if you need a license. If you get in a fishing rodeo, there is no charge and prizes. Arrange to meet other homeschoolers there too.

Of course, there is always volunteering! You can adopt a grandparent in a nursing home. There are always older citizens that have no family to come and see them and they look forward to your visit if you start to visit. You can read to them, or just sit and talk. Take them for a stroll around the home. Some nursing homes need volunteers to take the patients to hair appts in the building, to the community center in the building for music and crafts, and even there, they could use the help. Take a board game in and play a game in the community room with a lonely patient. Hospitals need volunteers too.

Arrange to raise money for a charity. Alex's lemonade is a great one..

There are others that may be near and dear to your heart. Children raising money for children is very beneficial. Also our soldiers are always in need of some cards of appreciation, care packages etc. You could arrange to make a few up with donations from friends and some stores will even donate items for the care packages.

There are dozens of things you can do that will cost little or no money and still have fun, meet friends and make memories.
Don't forget your camera!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Big Fat Boyfriend (how to stay thin when dating a diet disaster)

I saw this book on the news. A gal was dating a guy who ate out all the time and she noticed her clothes not fitting anymore.

I googled it and found the site. Great info and well, it makes me want the book. The site has great info on it too, recipes and all. I love to read motivating books and websites and blogs on diet and nutrition and exercise.

Another great blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Recovery Drinks and Fitness supplements

Marian Nestle is an amazing woman and I just want to post a excerpt from her blog about supplements and recovery drinks...

My "recovery drink" after a workout comes from FOOD...REAL FOOD! I take out my vitamix, throw in some walnuts whole and bananas, and grind away till it makes a paste...then I add some milk and cocoa powder...the bananas make it sweet for me...and give me potassium. I need the chocolate because, that is me!!! So cocoa is a healthier choice than something like a sugary fake chocolate syrup. I add a few ice cubes to make it really cold and there is my "recovery drink" Simple and all REAL!

Do Sports Supplements Help?
September 2, 2007
Today’s question:
Dear Prof. Nestle,
I enjoyed your article in the recent Scientific American and thought that you would be a good person to ask the following:
Food supplements have become a huge fad among people who “work out”.Protein powders, various lipids, amino acids and dozens of other arcane pills and potions. My step son, who is otherwise a very sensible and educated young man, indulged in some of them (maybe still does) when he lifts weights.
I tried to convince him that a normal, healthy diet is all that one needs. That perhaps these supplements make a difference to competitive athletes who want to shave a few milliseconds off their speed, or add a few pounds to their weight-lifting, but that for a person who just wishes to be fit (even REALLY fit!) they are a total waste of money. One pays tens of dollars per kg or two of protein extract. For a similar cost, relief agencies ship hundreds of times that weight of basically the same material to 3rd world countries.
Moreover, I doubt very much that most of the claims made for them have ever been proven in proper clinical trials. I’m not even sure whether some of the nutrients that are known to be part of normal metabolic pathways cross the plasma membrane that readily. And even if they do, do they provide enough extra to make any detectable difference in performance.
I raised this issue with several colleagues in our Physical Education Faculty…and they seemed equally sceptical about the value of these substances. One of them said that the supplements might help decrease the time at which one reaches a specific level of performance, but not the ultimate level itself.
What might be your thoughts?
My thoughts: I devote a chapter in my book, What to Eat, to the question of supplements. The chapters come with extensive end notes and references, which may help convince colleagues. My understanding of sports supplements is similar to yours–they give a tiny edge to elite athletes but act as placebos for everyone else. The marketing hype is so over the top that the attorneys for several states are taking them on. But I like to put sports supplements in context: they are generally harmless and are a whole lot better than steroids.

This is by far, the best nutrition book I ever read. (her blog link is here too)

I also want to note that what it says on the container of your powdered protein drink (or whatever nutritional supplement you are taking, herbals etc) may not be what is really in it.

There is no one to mandate that its bad for you, that it really has what it says is in it...its a free for all. The only thing the FDA does, is once its already on the market, test it and if they find it to be harmful they can pull it from the shelves...the damage to you may already be done! Why do you think you see the lawyers on TV asking if you have been hurt or lost a family member to something such ephedra or diet supplements etc...The supplements you use may not be safe (and don't fall for the products study..they are selling it, of course their study says its good, duh).

Be safe, get your nutrition from REAL FOOD... and in as natural of a form as you can!


I dearly dearly miss my gymnastic coach Jody Yocum. She was amazing. She was an olympic gymnast and she gave us such a good workout both with our normal gymnastics practice and the last 20 min of practice she would kick our butts with conditioning that we were on the verge of tears, there may have been tears!

I can attribute the fact that I had a flat stomache the day after I delivered, not only my first son, but my second son, to her and the workouts she gave me. Even the doctor who came in said, and I quote "You have amazing stomach muscles, you should have babies for a living".

Gymastics is, by far, the most physically challenging sport there is, ask any ER doctor. The ER doctors told me many times while I was there for sprains and breaks, it was the most dangerous sport with the most injuries. Doing a tumbling pass, it wasnt' enough to think about making the revolution, or making the complete twist, and then landing it on level feet so not to break your ankle, but you had to do it with straight legs and pointed toes and land with a smile on your face, as if it took no effort. That was part of the judging.

If I could find Jody and get her to be my personal trainer, I would be in heaven. I was never in my life, in as good of shape, and toned as I was, when she was my coach.

I love to watch Jillian Michaels on the Biggest Loser because she reminds me alot of Jody. She is caring but not so caring that she isn't tough! The Biggest Loser is very inspiring and motivating and I am so glad for the show. Between shows, I read her books and listen to her podcasts. I also have her workouts and catch her on demand on exercise tv for workouts I don't have.

I love to do P90X. Its really challenging, but I also need variety. P90X stresses muscle confusion...well I confuse! lol I do P90X, I do Jillian's workouts, my own work outs, Gilad Janklowitz's workouts...I power walk, I run, I bike, I kayak, I play tennis, etc...I do what I can and I do it hard when I do it, to make it count.
I try to eat right, but I don't always. I don't have a weight problem, nor do my kids, because playing hard was something we always did with them. In Jillian's one podcast, she talks about how someone will say to her, those cookies aren't mine, they are my kids...she laughs and says, what makes them immune to obesity...she is right. I think everything in moderation is long as you play hard and workout. My kids lived their whole childhoods playing outside as I did. They built bike ramps, skate boarded, learned to play tennis, learned to kayak, hiked to The Pinnacle, played sports and did the things all kids should do.

I had friends comment that my yard is a dream come true for boys. I never worried about the way it looked, with their hideous homemade ramps, tree houses etc in it. Those super pretty houses with the well groomed yards that belong in a magazine, that's not for me. We have some of those in our neighborhood and you don't see those people's kids ever playing outside. The inside of my house is no better. The laundry is never all done, all my housework is always behind....but I don't care! I could spend my days cleaning it up magazine perfect, but then my kids suffer and so do I.
To listen to Jillian's podcasts, go to and she is on Sundays line up. You can listen to past shows for a few weeks.