We are all products of what we do, what we don’t do, what we eat and the choices we make. I have struggled my entire life to maintain a good, healthy weight for my size. But the funny thing is, I can walk into any doctors office, take a look at the BMI chart and see that 130 lbs. at 5’3″ is a healthy BMI. But when my clothes are bulging around me, when I’m short of breath after a 5 minute game of tag or when I have to ask my husband to carry the laundry basket down the stairs – I KNOW that I am NOT healthy!
We all know when we are unhealthy. We see it in the mirror. We feel it under our clothes. The voice in the back of our head keeps telling us to do something about our health. But we ignore it all and continue on with our daily grind.
Lately I’ve been sharing some of my personal life – mainly what my family and I have been eating over the last few days. But today I want to share some more of my life with you.
Today, I have decided to take a “before” picture.
Mind you, I think I’m a few weeks late for it, since I’ve already released 10 pounds and dropped several inches from around my body. But, I can only see my body improving over the next few weeks, and I would like to share that journey with you.
I think this is important for me to share with you because we often see cover models and fitness models and celebrities looking smoking HOT all the time. The fact is, they work hard for it and can afford to have someone cook for them, tell them how to work out and then dress them so they look fabulous all the time.
On the flip side of that – fitness models often go on a strict diet before photo shoots to rid themselves of a few percent body fat so they look their best. But they are NOT always rippled and glistening and perfect.
I say all of this because I am in a leadership position – teaching families how to take care of their bodies, their health, and their whole wellness. If I look like a “SuperMom” or a “Wifey Supreme” my clients (you) may not think you are capable of achieving the same results. The fact is, YOU ARE!
I pointed out that there is that small voice in our heads that keeps telling us to “do something.” That voice is easy to ignore. Well, my name is Christina, I’m the Chief Cheerleader here at Hopscotch Family, and I’m the loud, bellowing voice outside your window at 6am saying, “come on! Let’s go do something!”
Okay, so I’m not really outside right now tapping my toes, waiting for you to get your shoes on. But I am going to share with you my exercise routines, my feelings, my research, my pictures, my food, my fun and my loud, motivating voice saying, “you can do this too!”
Time to take the before picture!
Okay, so I’m not a brilliant photographer. And my camera…is my phone. (Long story.) AND, I’m standing on a little stool so you can get a better look at my whole body. I’m really not that tall. 5’3″ is all I got!
Here’s me in my bathroom:
Have a good one!
This morning was smoothie morning. The kids rushed down to the kitchen. They helped me wash our berries, peel the bananas and then giggled as I wrestled with trimming the pineapple. Then we all made a guess as to what color the smoothie would turn. That is actually a VERY fun game…because, you never really know what color they will turn!
Now, let me tell you that my children, ages 6 and 4 (the twins) can each eat one and a half waffles in the morning! I, in contrast, can eat about three sections of a waffle. My youngest twin can eat an average of 8 slices of pizza (obviously we’re not on the vegan band wagon just yet) and my oldest child often requests that I pack him two lunches for school.
So imagine my surprise this morning when there were no “seconds please” requests from the family! I blended our smoothie, served it and remained standing in anticipation of having to quickly blend another one before the mob got angry. I got nothing. Nada. As a matter of fact, one of my darling bottomless pits said his belly was full!
So, here’s the recipe, hopefully it fills your bottomless pits too!
handful of raspberries
2 fresh pineapple rings
3 scoops of unsweetened natural soy protein powder
4 – 5 strawberries
6 – 8 oz of orange juice
This served five people in my home. The kids each got about 6 oz. The hubby and I each got about 10 oz. (I’m guessing…because I didn’t take time to measure them.) Anyway, it filled a standard-sized blender to the top.
So far the transition to a vegetarian diet has been easy. We used to eat about every other meal with meat in it, so cutting back hasn’t been hard. I have to warn you though, after our first day of all-veg meals, I was on the toilet for most of the next day. Might be TMI, but I think its info you should be equipped with. It has been three full days of vegetarian meals now and I feel fresh and light and clean.
As far as the food, the kids did not eat yesterdays vegetarian chili. Too bad for them, it was delicious! Today we are having Tomato, Carrot and Spinach Quinoa Pilaf for lunch. Here’s a nutritional run down of exactly what my family and I are putting into our bodies.
Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.
Better eye sight. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.
Cancer Prevention. Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.
Antiseptic properties. Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.
Cleansing. Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.
Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and nearly 40 percent of your magnesium requirement. It is a good, very good or excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein. And yet, 1 cup has only 40 calories! Spinach is an excellent choice for nutrition without high calories.
Spinach contains more than a dozen individual flavonoid compounds, which work together as cancer-fighting antioxidants. These elements neutralize free radicals in the body and thus help to prevent cancer.
The antioxidant properties of spinach (water-soluble in the form of vitamin C and fat-soluble beta-carotene) work together to promote good cardiovascular health by preventing the harmful oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is a danger to the heart and arteries. Magnesium in spinach works toward healthy blood pressure levels.
Strong antioxidant. Lycopene is a vital anti-oxidant that helps in the fight against cancerous cell formation as well as other kinds of health complications and diseases.
Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis.
Now that you know how well you’re feeding your family with this delicious dish, here’s the recipe!
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetarian chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 carrot, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Lower the heat, stir in quinoa, and toast, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the water, bouillon granules, black pepper, and thyme; raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the carrots. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 10 more minutes.
5. Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes have given off their moisture, about 2 minutes.
My brand of quinoa had to cook for 25 minutes…so just make sure you cook the quinoa long enough to see the germ ring.
Enjoy! We did…the kids ate this up like it was going out of style!
I get so excited when Summer comes around and we get to eat all of the season’s freshest veggies. But there is one dish that I truly miss – one that I have always considered a fall/winter dish.
Some of my fondest memories include corn bread and a bowl of chili. I’ve always just suffered through the summer without it, until today! I found this recipe on All Recipes…but I modified it just a little it. My modifications are in parentheses and italicized. You’ll also see my serving suggestions after the recipe and directions for cooking.
Summer Vegetarian Chili
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion (which is actually about 1/2 of an onion)
5 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste (I didn’t use any)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups juicy chopped fresh tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained (I didn’t drain ours and I opted for organic)
1 cup water (or red wine) – (I used water)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color) – (my pepper was orange)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 1 medium to large zucchini, depending on how much you like them)
1 cup corn kernels (I used 2 ears of corn and roasted them at 450 for 20 minutes first)
1 cup chopped white or portobello mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, packed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
reduced-fat cheddar cheese
fat-free sour cream
1. Heat oil in medium pot. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Saute over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients (except garnishes) and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add more liquid if needed.
3. Serve alone or over rice (preferably brown). Garnish if desired with any of the following:
That is the recipe as you will find it on All Recipes. Here are my personal suggestions and serving ideas. As far as the garnish goes: I suggest using Fage Greek 2% Yogurt in place of sour cream…it’s much better for you and you’ll never notice the taste difference. We’re not using guacamole as a garnish. There are so many wonderful colors and flavors already in the chili, that I’m just offering a chopped avocado on top, a little bit of cilantro and salt & pepper.
Anyway, that is our lunch! We’ll be having the leftovers tonight, but I’ll serve it cold with a side of blue corn chips. Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy.