Month: August 2018

Molasses Cookies

This has been a family favorite for many years now. The kids love them chewy and my husband loves them crispy. 🙂 So I have to make sure they are varied. I hope they are just as loved at your house!

Molasses Cookies
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Things You Need:

  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to do it 🙂

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Beat the sugar with the butter, egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Preheat oven to 375. I scoop them into 1 tablespoon size balls and bake about 8-10 minutes. This will be personal preference. My kids like them chewier, and my husband likes them crispy.
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http://www.candicruz.net/molasses-cookies/

Signs of Eating Disorders

 

 

If you have been following me for any length of time, you might know that I have suffered with anorexia. I say it in the past tense, however it is something that I will battle with it my entire life. Eating disorders don’t just go away. The symptoms on the outside will heal, but the scars on the inside will always remain. The irrational fear of gaining weight I believe will always stay with me.
Let me give you some background on eating disorders in case you are unfamiliar.

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is depicted with an abnormally small food intake and a refusal to maintain a normal body weight for the person’s particular gender, age, and height. A distorted body image coupled with an intense fear of “getting fat” accompanies this disorder. Individuals will attempt to control calories by participating in episodes of severe restriction of calories. Sometimes this is done to overcompensate for overeating or to cause a negative caloric balance to “earn” extra calories later.

Binge eating is another form of an eating disorder. This occurs when an individual significantly surpasses their caloric needs. It involves the consumption of large amounts of food. It is followed by feelings of depression and guilt. These binges can occur from 3-5 times per week.

Binge eating can often lead to Bulimia Nervosa. This is identified by binging and then purging the food by vomiting or other means; including the heavy use of laxatives and diet pills.

Anorexia Athletica is another form of anorexia. It includes the compulsion to exercise to excessive and unhealthy levels to give the athlete a sense of having control with maintaining or losing body weight.

Restricting calories can likely to lead to binge eating. This happens because our bodies need food. When we deny our bodies the fuel it needs, our brain takes over to ensure survival. It will make you hungrier, so that you will eat more food. Add in the right emotional stress and you have a ticking bomb for a binge session. It most often occurs because of the stress and exhaustion of excessive dieting.

Weight loss should be a part of small healthy lifestyle changes. Small changes don’t cause large amounts of stress on your emotional and physical being. When disordered eating habits become routine is when eating disorders occur. These disorders can start from an attempt to lose weight and then grow from there.

 

 

Eating Disorders can even occur in those educated about healthy eating strategies and inappropriate behaviors- including personal trainers. I have been working really hard the last couple years to be healthy. I thought I was winning that battle, but in reality- I wasn’t.

For the last year, I have struggled with anorexia athletica. I had been consumed with the need to maintain my weight loss and feel the need to control the fact that I WAS eating. So I worked out beyond what was necessary. I worked out way beyond what I would advise to a client. I worked out beyond what was healthy. So, I talked with my husband and then took a few months to only work on my yoga practice. I used yoga to gently heal my body from the abuse that I had been putting it through. While I had started eating again, I hadn’t eased up on my workouts. I would from time to time, but I would start “adding” more in. I tell you this to show you that I am a real person. I have struggles just like you. I am a real mom in the real world with work, husband, kids, and responsibilities.

If you struggle with an eating disorder or are concerned that you might be on that road please reach out to someone. I know how difficult that can be. I would scream “help me” inside my own head sometimes to my husband. Somehow the words never escaped from my lips though so he wasn’t aware of my desire for help. Reach out to a loved one – someone you trust. If that seems too scary there are places you can go. National Eating Disorder Association is only a click or phone call away. Their number is 1-800-931-2237.

Please join me next week where I will discuss what happens to our metabolism and bodies when we restrict calories.

Deluxe Chicken Pasta Casserole

Deluxe Chicken Pasta Casserole

deluxe chicken casserole

 

I came up with this casserole this week. It isn’t the *healthiest*, but it satisfied my family’s need for a comfort food casserole as the weather is starting to turn much cooler. You could use leftover ham or turkey in place of the diced chicken, when those holiday leftovers are sitting in your fridge and you’re wondering what to do with them. I usually use broccoli, but the freezer ate the broccoli and gave me peas instead. The fried onions are completely optional, but provided my husband with that little hug to the soul that everyone needs now and then.

 

 

Deluxe Chicken Pasta Casserole
 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole grain pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup dice chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • French fried onions-optional

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the pasta. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. · Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. · Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. · Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken and onion in olive oil until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. · Stir garlic into chicken mixture and cook for about 2 minutes more; remove skillet from heat.
  6. · Mix cooked pasta, Cheddar cheese, broccoli, milk, plain yogurt into the chicken mixture until well mixed.
  7. · Transfer pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  8. · Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle French-fried onions atop casserole and bake until golden, about 5 minutes more.

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DIY: Healthy Instant Oatmeal Packets

DIY: Healthy Instant Oatmeal Packets

DIY: healthy instant oatmeal packets

 

Those little oatmeal packets seem so convenient-especially for busy moms! The problem? They are loaded with sugar. AND, if you have kids with hollow legs like I do-one packet is SO not enough to fill them up. I discovered a way to make my own little packets that even my kids can make on their own.

Pulse some dry oats in the blender to make a oat flour. After pulsing oats in blender to form a oat flour add 2 tbsp of the oat flour to a 1/4 cup of dry oats. Place in a ziploc baggie and write directions on the bag.

When ready to make them add 2/3 cup hot water to oats in a bowl. Let sit for 2 minutes. This makes a hearty oatmeal.

The possibilities are endless for flavor toppings!

 

*applesauce (unsweetened)

*cinnamon

*chopped fruit

*frozen, thawed fruit

*dried fruit

*molasses

*berries

*maple syrup

*bananas

*jelly

*peanut butter

*peanut butter AND jelly

*peaches

*yogurt

*wheat germ

*flax seeds (after cooking)

*honey

*maple extract (to taste exactly like the little maple packets of oatmeal)

*raisins

*dried cranberries

*granola

*chopped nuts

*2 tsp mini chocolate chips

Let me know if you have more ideas or how this worked for you! Leave a comment below!

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Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes

20140416_112436We all love pancakes! My kids adore them as well. I don’t always want to make regular white flour pancakes for them though because there isn’t a lot of nutrients in those. So, instead I make oatmeal pancakes to add extra fiber and fill up those extra hungry tummies. The plus side? These are mixed the night before, so all you have to do is throw them on the griddle in the morning.

Oatmeal Pancakes
2 cups dry oats
2 cups milk/ almond milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients the night before. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, cook on griddle at 350 until the edges are golden brown. Flip and cook about 2-3 minutes on the other side. Serve with real maple syrup, fruit, or honey.

Mexican Salad

Mexican Salad

 

I'm from California and now live in Texas. Mexican food is in my blood. I can't go long without it and start to have cravings if I try. Sometimes I don't want to have the tortillas or chips (anyone who knows, me-knows that I am ADDICTED to tortilla chips). When I think "taco salad" healthy versions don't always spring to mind. I created this salad so that I can feel like I am indulging but don't have to carry the guilt that goes along with that.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup lettuce
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup white chicken pumpkin chili
  • enchilada sauce mine is homemade
  • tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 avocado diced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper diced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • fresh cilantro to taste
  • fresh salsa

Instructions

  1. Start with the lettuce and spinach. Then just pile everything on from there. This is a very hearty salad, so you may feel the need to decrease the size. I have a huge appetite and can eat the WHOLE thing. 🙂
White Chicken Pumpkin Chili

White Chicken Pumpkin Chili

White Chicken Pumpkin Chili

I know most people love chili in the fall and winter. However, for me.....it is comfort food year-round. I was playing around with a recipe this morning and came up with this. The canned pumpkin adds extra fiber to this recipe. I will be having this for my lunches throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups diced/shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans
  • 1 tbsp cumin or more to taste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Saute green pepper and onion until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, cook for one minute longer.
  3. Add the chicken. (I used frozen chicken that I had made in the crockpot that I discussed here).
  4. Next add pumpkin, diced tomatoes, diced green chilis, and white beans.
  5. Next, add the spices. Adjust these to your family's taste. Our family likes a lot of chili powder and cumin flavor. You might choose to add salt as well. I choose not to add salt out of personal preference.
  6. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. I prefer to put this in the crock-pot and let it do all the cooking for me. However, in a pinch do this on the stove and you can be eating a delicious and nutritious chili by lunchtime.
  7. To serve try topping each serving  with fresh cilantro,  plain greek yogurt, and extra diced tomatoes. This could be served over quinoa or brown rice as well.

Recipe Notes

To serve try topping each serving  with fresh cilantro,  plain greek yogurt, and extra diced tomatoes. This could be served over quinoa or brown rice as well.

 

 

Fixate: New Cookbook for 21 Day Fix!

Fixate: New Cookbook for 21 Day Fix!

Enjoy the foods and recipes you love and still lose weight with the FIXATE cookbook, Autumn Calabrese’s very own collection of 101 delicious, portion-controlled recipes designed to work with the 21 Day Fix® food containers.

 

To order the cookbook alone Click Here

To order the cookbook with a set of containers to use with the book Click Here

 

fixate-hotlist

Autumn Calabrese Presents FIXATE—101 Personal Recipes to Use with the 21 Day Fix® Portion-Control Program takes a unique approach to healthy eating by making it simple to eat just the right amount of your favorite foods.

21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese applies her simple color-coded container system for measuring perfect portions to 101 of her personal recipes, so you can have the best of both worlds: the delicious foods you crave along with the nutrition you need to help you hit your fitness goals.

FIXATE includes:

Easy-to-follow recipes (each marked with their color-coded container equivalents) designed to work with 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix EXTREME®, and Portion Fix—or use the deliciously nutritious recipes to create balanced meals for any other Beachbody® program.

Simple, time-saving, and delicious meals.

Get Autumn’s personal tips on preparing meals quickly and upgrading leftovers, so you can have delicious dishes even on your busiest days.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo recipes.

Autumn knows we all make different food choices, so FIXATE includes a variety of recipes fit for every nutritional need.

Tasty treats and mouthwatering drinks.

Enjoy snacks, desserts, and the occasional cocktail—eating clean doesn’t mean depriving yourself!

An inside look at Autumn’s personal journey.

Follow Autumn’s path to healthier eating and get firsthand advice on making the best food choices, organizing your kitchen, and creating your own lifelong healthy habits.

To order the cookbook alone Click Here

To order the cookbook with a set of containers to use with the book Click Here

Meal Prepping and Planning

Meal Prepping and Planning

One key to success at losing weight is meal prepping. It has saved my sanity for years for dinners at my house because I no longer had the dreaded “what’s for dinner?” question being asked 35,000 times and me wondering in a panic…..

What IS for dinner?

So, I started printing out a blank calendar for the month and planning what we would have after going through all my recipes and books. Things are always more hectic around here when I DON’T plan ahead. It is as if we enter the dinner hour at warp speed when there is no plan in place. Then, I always burn up on re-entry because I planned ahead about as well as Wylie Coyote.

I never really gave much thought to planning out breakfast and lunch though. Those meals seemed to just take care of themselves. Right? Didn’t they? I mean, why plan “scrambled eggs and toast” when I am perfectly capable of thinking of that on my own. Although-do I? Do I think of that on my own when I haven’t had my first cup of coffee yet and someone forgot to turn the switch in my brain to “ON”?

I mean- I usually don’t know my own name at this point of the day. Let alone coming up with and cooking nutritious meals for me and the other people who might live here.

For years, I ate whatever was in the house for breakfast and lunch. Although, truth be told- I usually skipped both of those meals until nap time rolled around. Then, I was starving and staring at my munchkins as if they were giant turkey legs.

Fast forward a few years to my weight loss journey. I learned that I need to eat breakfast! Not eating all day slows down our metabolism. Not to mention leaves us snarfing through every box and bag in the pantry. We’ve all done it. Evening tv time and you look back and realize that you ( YOU ALONE) ate one large bag of trail mix, box of dry chex cereal, three mini snickers bars, and a bowl of ice cream. All after eating two helpings at dinner. Then commit to yourself that TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT.

Image result for scarfing food, funny

Except, it isn’t. Why? You didn’t plan ahead. You took care of everyone else’s needs above your own. Just like when we ride an airplane and the flight attendant instructs us to put OUR mask on first BEFORE our children’s. Why? If we pass out, who will put the mask on our children?

So, where do you start? Print out a blank calendar or meal planning page– I will insert a link here for mine once I fix the link.  Or get a spiral notebook and write it in there. Use the back of a junk mail envelope. It really doesn’t matter WHAT you use. What matters is that you are planning.

Start with breakfast. Think to yourself. What do I like to eat? I love scrambled eggs. I could live on scrambled eggs. I also don’t mind eating the same thing every day if it is something that I like. So I would plan on scrambled eggs every morning. Then, I can choose what to have with it. Will it be fruit? Will it be oatmeal? Will it be whole grain toast?

Then- lunch time! Is there healthy leftovers from dinner that will need to get used? At our house, the kids usually have those so my lunches are different. I like to have a large salad, cooked chicken breast with brown rice and veggies, poached salmon (SO easy), etc. I just plan and make sure I know what I will be eating.

Write all of this down on your beautiful planner or the back of that electric bill envelope and put it on the fridge so you can see it all week.

Ok, everything is planned!

“Yay me!” You’re thinking….. Um, except…..Now what?

This is where meal prepping comes into play. That way when lunch time rolls around, we don’t have to think to ourselves about how we really don’t want to wait to cook a chicken breast and some quinoa because we are hungry NOW. What will save you is having made your food for the week and it is waiting for you in the refrigerator. Just needing to be reheated. I did a post on meal prepping here with more to come for ideas on how make yourself succeed.

 That is what works for me! What do you do to help with meals at your house?