My First Attempt at Gumbo, Sha!

Hi Sha!  My grandpa always called my granny that when they were with us, most often when he was annoyed with her and didn’t want to call her some other slip of the tongue.  Sha is a cajun french expression for referring to one’s spouse or as a term of endearment meaning dear/darling.  Just in case you want to call your better half “sha,” the a is pronounced like the a in apple. 😉

Well, last night I did end up making some gumbo.  I attempted to use this recipe, but some things went awry so I had to make some alterations.

gumbo recipe

My first roux (flour and oil mixture to create gravy) got burnt in the microwave. 

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So if attempting it in the microwave, stir every minute after the first three not after six as the recipe says.  Now it says get to a chocolate bar color; I have always been told a dark peanut butter color.

So roux attempt # 2 was more successful.  I did it stovetop using a cup of flour and a cup of olive oil since I was now out of canola oil.

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I did continue whisking for a couple more minutes as the flour and oil mixture darkened even more.  If making this stovetop do NOT leave it.  Continue stirring the entire time and have veggies precut to add immediately when desired color is reached. 

Normally, gumbo includes the vegetable trinity—onion, bell pepper, and celery.  I used two onions and 1 celery rib chopped plus a tbsp. of garlic since I did not have a bell pepper.  Once the roux was a dark, dark peanut butter color I added the veggies and sauteed them in the roux with continuous stirring until tender.  Next I added the seasoned chicken cubes (I cut up chicken tenderloins into cubes) and sliced turkey smoked sausage.  Continue stirring and cooking on medium low until chicken is cooked on the outside.  Then I added about 8-10 cups of water.  Next, I seasoned with more hot sauce than recommended, cayenne pepper, salt, a tsp. of dried thyme, 3 bay leaves, and a tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce.  This simmered for about an hour.  Any oil that floated to the top was skimmed off at this point.

At this point the husband came home and I told him my gumbo was too light.  He added about 2 tablespoons of the unburnt microwaved roux which gave a much nicer color.  Mom recommends adding a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet liquid if darkening is needed; however, I did not have that ingredient.

The gumbo cooked an hour longer after adding the additional roux.  Today it was reheated on the stove; after heating I added some chopped green onions and cooked 15 minutes longer.  Lastly, after turning the fire off, I stirred in half a teaspoon of ground file’ (fee-lay) powder, which is ground sassafras.  Additionally, file’ can be added at serving time to suit personal tastes.

The gumbo was served with a scoop of brown rice and cornbread muffins.

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Her plate above and his plate below.

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As I was snapping my pictures, Chris felt the need to decorate. 🙂

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I impressed myself.  This was divine, sha!

Niko waited patiently for a taste. Pardon the Hub’s finger at the top.

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Looking back on my other meals they weren’t as delicious, but still tasty.Breakfast included 1/2 c vanilla greek yogurt, 1/2 c cottage cheese, frozen blueberries, and a crumbled muffin, and a tiny bit of peanut butter.

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And I sipped hot green tea with mango flavoring.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich with honey mustard, lettuce, and tomato + some carrots for crunch.

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I brought the fuji apple, but with three minutes left of my lunch break I decided I did not have time to eat it.  I may eat it in a second. 

On my car ride over to the gym I had a Kind Bar that has been sitting in my purse pocket for a couple weeks now.

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Today’s workout started with 10 minutes on the elliptical.  I then did 30 minutes of weight training as some manly man grunted loud enough for the entire gym to hear.  Several people made comments.  One guy passed me and commented something along the lines of “He’ll be okay, it is just labor and delivery taking place.”  What!?! Lol.  But seriously, if that guy needs to make all that noise then lower the friggin weight already.  I ended my session with 15 minutes on the stair stepper.  And that thing is killer!!  I was a huffing and a puffing as though it were 2 years ago and I never worked out a day in my life.  I’m definitely going to pick that up more for cardio days.  I could feel the sweat and the burn, which is a good thing.  It feels good to be back! 🙂

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No Chore Monday

Yesterday when my husband got home from work he found me sluggishly laying on the couch.  I think I am getting sick once again.  It never fails; each year I get sick three or four times per year working with children.  My throat started bothering me on Sunday night and I am not yet feeling better.  Due to my not feeling well, when Chris got home he said, “Since Monday is so tiring from the weekend, why don’t we just relax and have No Chore Monday,”  meaning no dishes, clothes, cooking, etc.  Though I fully appreciate that and think it may have also been due to the fact that he was feeling tired and did not care to do anything, I am not sure I can go with “No Chore Monday.”  I did last night because I was not feeling well, but hopefully normalcy will soon resume. 

On an added note, last week hub switched from the evening shift to the day shift so he now gets home around 3:30-4:00 p.m. as opposed to 10:00 p.m.  So last week he got to see what all I do once I get home from work, grocery shopping, and/or the gym.  I guess he realizes all that I do in the evening and felt bad since I was not feeling my best.

Yesterday morning I slept in so I opted for a quick breakfast of Kashi Island Vanilla Wheat Puffs, sliced banana, and lowfat milk with some hot chai tea on the side hoping to soothe my sore throat.

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Chris made my sandwich for Monday lunch on Sunday night.  He made turkey and laughing cow light mozzarella and sun dried tomato and basil cheese wedge on whole wheat bread.  On Monday morning I added some romaine and tomato slices.

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I had some Triple Berry Torte yogurt on the side for some added sweetness.  Initially I did not like that flavored laughing cow cheese, but my sandwich was cold and satisfying at lunch time.

After work I wasn’t feeling up to par as stated earlier, so I had a snack and then lounged on the sofa watching Oprah and Food Network. My snack included Bosc pear slices and Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter for Dipping~Yum!

For dinner, Chris suggested sushi from the Cherry Blossom at the corner.  All I wanted was some comfort for my throat so I chose the tempura udon soup.  It came with two tempura shrimp and tempura sweet potato, broccoli, and zucchini.

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I ate one of the shrimp, all of the veggies which I actually thought would be in the soup, and about 2/3 of the soup. 

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The Japanese noodles were so thick and chewy I really enjoyed the texture though they were a bit difficult to pick up with a spoon so I had to alternate between the spoon for the hot, salty broth and chopsticks for the onion and noodles mixture.  The soup/tempura combo was filling and soothed my throat for a short while.  Hub enjoyed the soup as well and said it would definitely be on his order if he felt like having soup at some point in the future.

After dinner and a bath I got in my pjs (t-shirt and shorts), took some meds, and climbed right back on the sofa to call it a night.

At the moment I am home from work today.  I requested a substitute yesterday because we are having all of our cable, phone, and Internet services switched to a new company and my husband scheduled them to set it up today.  Since he just started a new position, he did not want to miss work and have about 40 sick days accumulated so I told him I would miss.  As it turns out I am actually sick and not just playing hooky though I would likely have been at work today if I hadn’t needed to be home for the cable guy. 🙂

This morning I tidied up a bit since I went with “No Chore Monday” then had some pumpkin oats with pumpkin spice coffee.

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Old Fashioned Oats were cooked on the stovetop including the following in the mix:

~1/3 c oats

~1/3 c water

~1/3 c lowfat milk

~pinch of salt

~mashed banana

~generous sprinkling of cinnamon

~dash of ginger and nutmeg

~1/4 c pumpkin, canned (stirred in at end)

~cinnamon almonds for topping

Now I’m sitting at the table waiting for the two cable guys to be done.  It looks like this could take a while because so far my cables are bad and the cable guy said he has to do some rewiring, uuugghhh!  So I may do some dishes, clothes, read since my TVs and Internet are currently out of service, and drink coffee or tea for the throat of course!

Do you have any home remedies for healing sore throats? 

A Taste of the Holidays

The cool weather this weekend has put me in the holiday spirit and reminded me that in two short weeks I’ll be off of work an entire week for the Thanksgiving holidays.  I.Can’t.Wait!  The winter holidays are my favorite time of year with the aromas of wood burning fireplaces and Christmas trees filling the air, festive decorations, comforting home-cooking, and spending time with loved ones.  On Saturday, Mom and I attended the Pontchartrain Holiday Arts and Craft Show.  We go just about every year to see mostly the same types of jellies, dip mixes, wooden yard signs, wreaths, jewelry, and much more. 

At the show I sampled way too much of these and did not buy one of them.

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All Kinds of Pepper Jellies including Crawfish Pepper Jelly and Mayhaw Pepper Jelly of The Ole Homestead out of Gilbert, LA.  Plus all sorts of mayonnaise/ sour cream based dips with pretzel sticks from spinach dip to garlic dip to Mardi Gras dip, which is a Cajun flavored spicy dip.  They were all tasty, but what I enjoyed the most and had to have (because I knew I would actually use it and not store it in the cabinet for years like some of the dip and soup mixes purchased two years ago) to top on my oatmeal was Sweet Potato Pecan Butter.

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I actually baked a homemade Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Pecan topping on Friday and topped my oatmeal this morning with it.

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Sunday breakfast—steel cut oats made with banana, cinnamon, milk, and water.  I guess sweet potatoes are on my brain since we still have a bunch to use up, so fittingly I purchased the sweet potato butter which tastes a lot like this pie.  More on the pie in another post.

The arts and craft show was not just about food, though it seemed many people just go for the sample tastings.  There was also tons of jewelry for sale at the show as well.

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Saints and Fleur de Lis paraphernalia out the Ying-Yang!

Handmade Wooden Yard Signage

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Christmas Decor, the Door Wreath I Purchased

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As always, Mom and I shared some freshly roasted New Orleans Praline Pecans.  They were sweet and hot right out the pan.

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To recap the rest of my Saturday eats:

Breakfast was a hunk of Sweet Potato Pie with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

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Lunch was sandwiches for two—one for Chris and one for me. 

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Whole Wheat Toast topped with Greek Olive Hummus, Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Grape Tomatoes, Spring Mix, Sliced Cucumbers, Sliced Bell Peppers, Salt & Pepper

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Chris said this very well could be his favorite sandwich of all times and he wants me to make it “everyday.”  I agree it was scrumptious though I am sure he and I would both tire of it if eaten every day.

Later in the day I tried my first pomegranate.  Julie was right when she warned her readers that there will be ruby red pomegranate juice all over the place when dissecting a pom to get to the beautiful, crunchy, juicy little arils.  I was worried, though, about the staining power, but the juice easily wiped up from my white countertops with water.

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Wish I had this hunk of jewels as a ring; the arils look like beautiful, glistening gemstones.

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My pomegranate provided me with hundreds of the juice bursting arils.  When you bite down on one of them a burst of juice explodes in your mouth.  They are a fun, little snack to chomp on.

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Shortly after dark, husband and I decided to head out to try Prime Time Seafood and Steak House down the street from our house.  It has been there for a while, but we were hesitant to try it since they hardly ever look packed.

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The outside looks a bit old-fashioned, but the inside has been freshly renovated to a modern sophistication with dim lights.  The hostess greeted us kindly and proceeded to seat us at a white linen covered table.  The dining tables were very close together, so Chris asked if we could sit in a booth where our request was welcomed.

To start, we had the stuffed mushrooms, which our waitress claimed she ate them everyday because they are that good.

IMG_0184  They were deep fried and served with ranch dressing, although the menu stated they came with hollandaise sauce.  When asked about the substitution, Angie, our waitress, stated most people do not eat the hollandaise and that they go better with the in-house made ranch dressing anyway.  I’m not a fan of hollandaise, so it was no problem for me.  And Chris couldn’t get enough of the ranch.  I had two of the fried mushroom stuffed balls with a couple slices of crusty, hot French bread as well.  The mushroom pieces seemed to be sliced on the inside of the fried breading, so being called stuffed mushrooms was somewhat deceptive, but the flavor was delicious.  I think it is difficult to mess up a “stuffed mushroom.”  I can’t recall ever having a bad one.

For my meal, I ordered the chopped salad and crabcake appetizer.

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Pile of chopped lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, cheese, egg, bacon, mushrooms, croutons topped with crispy, fried onion rings.  Initially, I requested Italian dressing for my salad, but it was certainly not needed or used because the salad had so many flavors already.  I ate all of this with two of my crabcakes mixed in.  Chris ate the third along with his T-bone steak.

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The crabcakes were chock full of lumps of meat.  Very little breading was used unlike most restaurants who serve more breading than crabmeat.  These were the perfect accompaniment to my chopped salad. 

As for Chris’s steak ordered from the steak house, we both agreed that it was way too over-seasoned.  For a $40 cut of meat, you should be able to actually taste the flavor of the meat and not the seasoning that it was dredged in.

We finished up our meal sharing a cup of coffee and New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with a Sweet Rum Sauce.

IMG_0194    Pudding for Two—Decadent and Delicious

Sip for Him & Sip for Her

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We both agreed that the steak was overpriced, but would perhaps come back for the other food offerings at another time.  Another couple actually came in, were seated, looked at the menu, and got up and left without ordering a thing.  I think it may have been due to the pricing.  The cheapest steak is 30 bucks, which maybe they are trying to become one of the better steak restaurants in the area; however, the place does not stand up to the top notch steak houses for two reasons. 1.) The location is next to a not so nice hotel, so the people staying there may not want to fork out that kind of money for the food.  2.) If the flavor of the steak needs to be hidden with that much extra seasoning, then perhaps they do not know how to cook a good steak.  Maybe they should stick to seafood.  Lastly, I think the name says something about a place.  Prime Time sounds more like the name of a sports bar rather than a fancy dining eatery.

Finally, the day ended with Chris lighting our fireplace for the first time this season.

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Just a taste of the holidays because it did not last too long, because we are short on firewood.  All we had were some twigs and branches that were gathered up a couple weeks ago from the yard.

As for now, this time change has made me feel like I need to go to sleep with it being so dark so early, but I need to get some laundry done instead and see if any good shows are on.  I may just have to pop a handful of pom arils in my mouth for a burst of energy even though I just had some froyo not long ago.  Have a good night!

Do you like the time change for the winter or do you dislike it?

I am not a fan of setting the clocks back for winter because once I get home from work between five or six, I feel like my whole day is lost/gone.  Not to mention it puts me to sleep when I have things to get done around my house.  And I thoroughly dislike driving in the dark (I’ve been in glasses since I was 2 years old and can’t see very well during the day much less at night) which I’m forced to do if I need to run any errands.

Triangles, Squares, Circles, Oh My!

Life sometimes takes over and gets in the way.  And the past couple of days work and sleep were more of a priority than blogging and cooking and exercising.  What’s the phrase?  A lady needs her beauty sleep, right?  ;)  Please forgive me if I do not post every single day.  I started the blog as a hobby and I don’t want it to become something that I feel obligated to do just to please others or to allow it to get in the way of spending time with my husband, Chris, or my family.  I do fully appreciate the small readership that I have gained in the past three months and hope to gain more and also that you continue to check back to read new posts. 

With saying that, I did  begin the blog as a way of tracking my eating habits and exercise, and any other snippets from my days.  Therefore, I no longer use www.411fit.com to keep my daily calorie intake and output.  On the other hand, I do try to keep a mental estimate in my head more so for breakfast, lunch, and snacks than dinner.  I try to take in between 300 to 400 calories for each of breakfast and lunch and no more than 200 calories for snacks, which I generally always have after work and sometimes after dinner.  Usually I do not eat a morning snack, but will drink coffee at work with no-calorie sweetener and powdered creamer.

Now that is off my chest, the past two days I was away at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference.  I wish I could say that it was out of town and I got to experience some other part of the country, :(  but actually it was held in downtown New Orleans at the Convention Center, about 15 miles from where I live.  I signed up to be a volunteer when I registered so each afternoon I stood outside of doors giving out presenter handouts, directing people where to sit, and making sure lines were orderly and rooms were cleared.

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Me Volunteering—well technically “the  greedy triangle” who did not want to be a triangle because his friends didn’t look like him, but I’m handing these out to participants.  I have always considered myself to be a somewhat of a triangle actually for two different reasons.  One, the shape of my body is somewhat of a triangle shape; more so prior to losing weight because I was smaller on top with wider hips like the “pear” shape.  But I think I have balanced out a little bit since exercising.  Secondly, there is a personality test where you select one of the following figures that you most identify with.  The couple of times I’ve done this I’ve always chosen the triangle—probably because of reason one above, but either way that is the shape that speaks to me most.

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Which of the five shapes do you most identify with:  square, rectangle, triangle, circle, or zig zag?  Don’t think too much into to it, just make a quick choice and leave it in the comment’s section.  I will post the meanings tomorrow.

As for my eats the past two days, here is a recap of some of my meals.

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DSC00034 Breakfast Thursday—Oatmeal with Raspberry Preserves and Cottage Cheese Stirred In and Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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Breakfast Friday—Sandwich Thin with Peanut Butter, Banana, Cottage Cheese, Raspberry Preserves and Chai Tea with Milk

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Lunch Thursday—Roast Beef Sandwich and a Diet Coke that cost $3.25 just for the drink! :/

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Lunch Friday—Chicken Taco Salad and Diet Dr. Pepper

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DSC00055 DSC00056 Dinner Thursday—Clear Soup, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Salmon Avocado Roll from Cherry Blossom at the Corner of My Street

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Dinner Friday—Chili Made with Jarred Pasta Sauce, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Lean Ground Beef according to directions on back of Chili Powder, but instead of sugar I used honey and I add a little ketchup also.  With crumbled light babybel round, greek yogurt, and pita chips for dipping.  Chris raves over this chili when he eats it and it is so simple.

A few pics from my excursion downtown:

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Mardi Gras Float Topper

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New Orleans Streetcar Artwork

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TV Monitors Outside of Every Door

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While eating lunch at the Riverwalk Mall next to the Convention Center I was wishing I was one of the people boarding this cruise ship!

While it is no relaxing cruise, it is the weekend so I am going to relax, exercise, and enjoy!  Hope you do as well!

Set It and Forget It

My inspiration for breakfast came from an overnight oats combination I have seen on some other blogs since Fall and the return of pumpkin on grocery store shelves.  I have never used pumpkin in any meals in my past, but thought I would give it a go because I FINALLY found pure canned pumpkin for sale at the grocery store.  I know last year I couldn’t find it for a Hungry Girl recipe due to the pumpkin shortage.  Alas, pumpkin was found.

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In the mix to sit covered overnight in the fridge:

  • a little more than 1/4 c oats
  • 1/4 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c low fat milk
  • 1/4 c pure canned pumpkin
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
  • sliced banana
  • honey added this a.m. for extra sweetener

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My opinion of the pumpkin in my oats this morning—I could not taste it.  It was a waste of pumpkin; it added nothing for me flavor-wise.  Perhaps it added some nutrients.  Here is a list of the healthy effects of pumpkin if interested.

Today I attended a workshop for bettering my teaching practices—it will be every Tuesday in October so more to come with that.  Lunch is being provided at these workshops and it came in the form of a box, so my options were limited to a sandwich or a sandwich.  Chicken salad, tuna salad, turkey, roast beef, or peanut butter and jelly were offered on white, wheat, or French bread.  By the time my table made our way to the food, the wheat option was just about null, and I went with turkey on French.  They were pre-made so mayo and mustard were already slathered on the bread along with shredded iceberg and a tomato slice.

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On side, they included a bag of chips, and apple, and a cookie.

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I ate the sandwich which is always good when someone else makes ’em and the apple.  I thought I would eat the chips and cookie at break but ended up giving them away at the end of the day.  I was stuffed from the po’boy and apple.

Once arriving home and checking some emails I ate a slice of bread smeared with peanut butter and a half of a pear.

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I ended up eating the other half of the pear before heading to the park to run/walk 2 miles.  I walked 5 minutes to warm up, jogged 10 minutes, walked 2 minutes, jogged 4 minutes, and walked about 3 more minutes and the two miles was complete.  I then did a few minutes of stretching before heading to my sister’s house to drop off some clothes and visit the new baby and family.

After a long visit including some hide-n-seek with my soon to be 3 year old nephew, munching on some candy, and cuddling with the baby I headed home for dinner.

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I started with a veggie burger salad that I ended up throwing away because I put Frank’s Hot Wing sauce on it and it tasted off.  Can wing sauce go bad?  The date said use by November 2010, so it was not expired, but certainly not good.

I ended up frying an egg and two slices ham to pile onto a sandwich thin—much tastier.

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Finally, I wanted to share last night’s dinner.  On Sunday, I cooked a roast for nine hours in the crockpot which was enjoyed last night over brown rice.

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I began by peeling and chopping 6 carrots, an onion, and mushrooms.  The veggies were put in the bottom of the pot.  The roast was rinsed and placed atop the veggies.  I then seasoned with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. of minced garlic.9-21-10 001

Next I poured two cans of soup over the entire mixture.

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French Onion and Cream of Mushroom(Reduced Sodium or Fat if desired)

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Cook on low for at least 8 hours.  I sliced my roast after about 7 hours and let it cook for 2 hours more to get a tender roast with a ton of gravy and veggies.

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Top over toast, pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, or creamed cauliflower.

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I love easy, tasty cooking with the “Set It and Forget It” method!

Question of the Night:  What is your favorite crockpot meal? 

Why Not on Wednesday

Why not wake up on time?  Because I’m tired.

Why not start the day with warm oats on a chilled fall morning?  Because I already had the cold overnight oats soaking in the fridge.

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Oats, plain yogurt, low fat milk, banana, figs, honey, cinnamon

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Why not take the whole thirty minute lunch break to eat and socialize in the lounge?  Because I had copies to run off  and work to be done.

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Whole wheat sammie with chicken, provolone (reduced fat), spinach and honey mustard + cucumber, tomato, light italian dressing + peach

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Why not eat a healthy snack?  Because a coworker brought me a piece of cake from her baby shower and I just couldn’t turn it down; and oh it was good!! Thanks J.H.! 🙂

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Why not work out after work?  Because my sister asked me to come help watch her little ones while she got her hair done.

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Why not eat dinner at a reasonable hour?  Because I stayed at my sister’s house too long and ended up ordering take-out with them…

….after eating some of these with my nephew.

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Why not order a wonton soup and veggie dish?  Because hub would get the leftovers for his dinner and he likes beef and broccoli.

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My portion + some fruit + fortune cookie

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Mango (had a second slice of mango unpictured), honeydew, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes

Why not go to bed at a reasonable time?  Because I had to do dishes from last night and blog.

Question of the Night:  Why not do something good for yourself tomorrow?  There is no reason not to!  What will you do for you tomorrow?

Breaking the Habit

Lately, I have been in the habit of eating either oatmeal or a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast.  This morning I opted for one in the same–an all natural peanut butter concoction on a toasted deli flat.  Though it was no ordinary sammie due to the addition of a sweet, sliced plum, a drizzle of honey, and a slight dusting of nutmeg.

Plum + PB

Very little thought effort was put into packing my lunch for today due to my having a meeting prior to the workday, so I wanted to be on time.  I have a bad habit of running late, but have gotten better about it.  So I hastily made a wrap using a Flatout Healthy Grain flatbread, dijonaisse, oven roasted chicken deli slices, and an italian lettuce blend.  On side, I noshed on some sliced cucumbers and red peppers leftover from last night’s Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad.  I also had a small piece of carrot cake made for a coworker’s birthday (unpictured).  Couldn’t pass up a slice of carrot cake with oh so tasty cream cheese icing.

Wrap + Veggies + Dijonaisse in Hiding

Dijonaisse Plays Peek-a-Boo

Once the work day finally ended, I headed to the gym.  Cardio consisted of 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the bike, 15 minutes on the arc trainer, and about 10 minutes of stretching/abs.  I enjoyed half of my Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar before today’s cardio session, and half after.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bar

After the gym, I made a quick stop home to let the dogs out and then headed over to my sister’s house to  visit and have dinner with her, my nephew, and my mom.  As Mom always says, “You fly, I buy.”  So the order was placed and I picked up our dinner.  We had po’boys from a local place called Come Back Inn.  It is a small, informal restaurant where orders are placed upon entering at the counter and your number is called when it’s ready to be picked up.  Sis had a half ham ‘n cheese, dressed.  Mom and I each had a half roast beef, dressed.  (The whole is 12 inches as a normal sub and half is 6.  Dressed means lettuce, tomato, and mayo.)  We also enjoyed some of the crispy, well-seasoned fried onion rings.

Roast Beef Po'Boy and Rings

Sloppy Roast Beef

I went back for some more onion rings than what is photoed.  Thanks Mom for the SUPA Suppa!  🙂

On occasion I do go out to eat, order take-out, and eat what I want.  But most times I will try to make conscientious healthy decisions.  Prior to my new found love of eating, being, and living healthy, I would eat out four or more times a week.  And there was no “let me stop and think about what I am going to eat.”  It was more like, “I had a bad day; I deserve a quarter pounder with cheese with large fries and a diet coke on side.”  Diet Coke with a 1,000+ calorie meal.  Is that a joke if I ever heard one?  Kicking the fast food habit does take willpower, at first.  I would have cravings, but it is about actually stopping and thinking, “Is that food worth it?”  It will not make one feel better, only bloated and sluggish.  It will not lift one’s mood.  If anything, it made me more depressed because I felt like such a pig after I ate it.  Then I would sit on the couch immobile and watch t.v. just letting it all settle inside.  So, it is really about making a choice–choosing to live a healthy life or bring about much of the disease that is ridding our nation.   I CHOOSE TO BE HEALTHY!

After the choice is made it is so simple.  I now get joy out of decorating my plate with vivid, colorful vegetables.  When I take the time to pay attention to my food, to taste my food the experience is a lot better.  And when I run out of vegetables for a couple days of not getting to the grocery my body begins to crave them now instead of the fattening junk lining the highways.  As for rewarding myself for having a bad day, I go to the gym.  It does wonders for stress release and I always feel better about myself once that workout has been accomplished.

Another habit that I have recently broken is nail biting.  As long as I can remember I have bitten my nails.  At times through high school and college, I would wear acrylic nails just to prevent me from biting my own.  Tonight as I was talking to my sister, she stopped me to ask if I had acrylics on.  Nope, I have stopped biting my nails.  It has been about a month since my last visit to the nail shop.  Mom treated me to something called gel polish for my natural, chewed up, short nails at that visit.  The gel polish is thicker than regular nail polish and lasts two to three weeks.  During those next three weeks, I did not bite my nails because of the polish.  After that I soaked the gel off and they’ve been growing since.  I also find staying really busy a deterrent to nail biting.  I do not sit in front of the t.v. gnawing away.  I do not chew at them in my car because I keep my mind busy with ideas for blogs, planning my day’s lesson in my head, or listening and singing along with the Christian music station, Lifesongs.  Also, working out relieves much more stress than any amount  of nail biting could do.  That is how I nipped the whole nail biting habit in the bud.

Questions of the Night:  What bad habits have you been able to break and how did you accomplish that feat?  Are there any bad habits that you are currently trying to put a stop to?