Small consistent changes to eating healthier and living an active lifestyle is what I did to get the results that I wanted. And, I am still doing it. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years now. I still motivate myself and do lots of self talk. It has led me to live a healthier and happier life for me, my family and my friends.
People ask me if I can help them. But I don’t have any certification. I do, however, know how I did it! My little note certainly helped. I would love to help others, I’m thinking of getting certification in Personal Training so that I can help others. In the meantime, I still wanted to share my little photo-note in this post:)
Can’t emphasize enough – Being consistent and patient is what worked for me! Small consistent changes to eating healthier and living an active lifestyle is what I did to get the results that I wanted. And, I will continue doing it!
When bananas start to have brown spots like the ones you see in the picture below, you are left with two options:1) Eat them as soon as possible, or 2) Freeze them. Many people never think of freezing bananas, but I do it all the time. Frozen bananas make the best smoothies. Better freeze than throw away a good-looking banana:)
1. I peel the banana and cut them into 8 slices. I, then, arrange them flat side up in a single layer on the cutting board. You can use a cookie sheet also.
2. I place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. They freeze nicely.
3. Next, I place each individually frozen banana slices into a sandwich bag. Freezing them individually, and then storing them in a bag keep these slices from sticking to each other.
4. Then I place the sandwich bag with frozen banana slices into another bag, a storage bag or freezer bag. Just for extra protection! I do this so that these banana slices won’t get freezer burn.
5. And, that’s it! I just throw in 2 to 3 frozen banana slices into the blender when I’m making my delicious smoothie. Yum!
I really enjoyed making these. They are fun to make and delicious to eat.
I roasted almonds in the oven (I used my little toaster oven). The aroma of roasting almonds is quite good:). That also meant it was ready to be taken out of the oven. So that’s what I did. And, I set them aside to cool.
Time to melt chocolate:
Endangered Species Chocolate is what I used (the brown wrap one). My daughter is an animal lover. Her diet includes no animal products or by-products. She is passionate about them and is determined to be their voice. (I am making this for her.)
Next step: I started my double-boiler. I heated enough water in the pot so that it wouldn’t touch the base of the second pot with chocolate pieces to be melted.
I kept the heat on low because the chocolate melts fairly quickly.
All melted! Looked rich & creamy! I turned the heat off.
Next, I added almonds into the melted chocolate and stirred the chocolate to coat the almonds.
Roasted almond & melted chocolate…irresistible! I wanted to try one so badly.
I placed wax paper on a cookie sheet. Then, I scooped out almonds from the pot and spread them in a single layer on the wax paper. I got a spoon to start separating these guys. After that, I placed these almonds in the fridge so that the chocolate around these almonds will solidify.
They stayed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
It was time to coat them with cocoa powder. You don’t have to do this part, but the cocoa powder adds to the flavor.
I mixed in a bit of raw cane sugar in the cocoa.
Then, I got the chocolate covered almonds from the fridge and dropped them in the cocoa powder mix; I used a spoon to gently fold the cocoa powder over the chocolate covered almonds.
Last thing I did was to place the almonds from the bowl into a colander. I shook the colander to get excess cocoa off the almonds. And, then I stored them in a plastic container. All done!
My daughter will love this. She will be coming home soon from the animal shelter…I’ll surprise her! This is one of her favorites! I’m glad I made these for her. I feel good!
The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory says that 1 oz. of whole, shelled almond kernels contain 163 calories and about 14 g of fat. They’re also a nutritious source of protein and fiber, with 6 g of protein and 3.5 g of fiber.
1 oz. is standard serving of almonds. That’s equal to one handful or about 23 whole, shelled nuts.
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar serving size:
!/2 a bar, calories: 250; total fat: 18 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; carb: 20 g; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 4 g
1 – Endangered Species dark chocolate bar (use any brand you like)
1 – Cup Almond
2 – Tablespoon Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder (use any brand you like)
1 – Tablespoon raw cane sugar (option: use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar)
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place almonds in a baking pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Take out of the oven, and let them cool.
Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. In a small bowl add cocoa powder and sugar and set aside. Have a colander handy. Have a storage container set aside also.
Break chocolate bar into pieces, and melt in a double boiler. (Please refer to pictures above).
Add almonds and stir to coat.
Scoop them out on the wax paper and gently spread them in a single layer.
With a spoon separate the almonds from each other.
Place the almonds in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.
Break the chocolate almond pieces…thin chocolate layer breaks apart quickly.
Put all of the chocolate covered almonds into the cocoa powder sugar bowl. With a spoon fold the cocoa powder mix to coat the chocolate covered almonds.
Place all the cocoa powder coated chocolate covered almonds in the colander, and gently shake to get excess cocoa mix off them.
Place these coated chocolate covered almonds in a storage container.
This is what I’m cooking tonight for dinner. Yummy! One of my husband’s favorites. High protein meal, undoubtedly.
I get all my ingredients set up. Then I boil the spaghetti noodles per package. I cool it under cold running water and set it aside.
In a large pot, I add oil and the ground beef. I turn the heat to medium and start browning the ground beef. I stir frequently to keep the ground beef crumbly. While it is browning I add the onion and sliced garlic because I really don’t like the smell of ground beef cooking. The onion and garlic cooking along with the ground beef works for my olfactory systems:0) I drain the meat in a colander if there’s fat. Then, I start adding other ingredients.
I start by adding the spaghetti sauce…
Then, I add everything else – fresh parsley, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, water, salt and pepper.
I cook this mixture on medium-high until it starts to boil. Then I turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. I cook this for about 20 minutes. At this point the mixture should not be bubbling-in-a-hurry, but simmering-in-calmness 🙂. Stir every so often to see if sauce is thickening. Once it reaches desirable thickness cut the heat off. The sauce is done!
Spaghetti is served:)
I add salad and garlic toast as sides.
My husband loves this recipe. He does not even order spaghetti out in a restaurant, ever!
Ingredient: (Serves approximately 6)
1 box spaghetti pasta – cook per box directions (I freeze what I don’t use)
1 tablespoon – Canola oil
2 pounds – ground beef (option: you could use ground chicken or turkey)
1 large onion – peeled and chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced
1 bunch – fresh parsley chopped (option: you can add 1-teaspoon of dry Italian Seasoning)
1 – 24 oz spaghetti sauce (I used Herb Garlic Psst Sauce from Kroger)
2 tablespoon – Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons – ketchup
1 tablespoon – sugar
1/4 cup – water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Direction ( step by step):
Boil pasta, drain and cool under cold tap water and set aside
Add oil in a large pot.
Add ground beef and start browning it for about 10 minutes on medium heat
Keep stirring so the meat does not clump up, you want it crumbly
Add chopped onion and garlic slices to the cooking ground beef
Add chopped parsley, and stir to mix
Drain fat (if there’s any) by dumping everything from the pot into a colander.
Put drained mixture from the colander back into the pot
Add spaghetti sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sugar, water, salt and pepper
Stir to mix well
Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
Cut heat down to medium-low, and cover the pot
Cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce is to the consistency you like. I like mine thick. (Proof is in the photos:)). Serve over cooked spaghetti.
Nutritional Information (approximate)
Calories 200; Total Fat 1 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 42 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 2 g; Protein 7 g
Ground beef sauce:
Calories 334.67; Total Fat 15.96 g; Saturated Fat 6.07 g; Cholesterol 97.5 mg; Sodium 750 mg; Carbohydrate 14.43 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 9.76 g; Protein 31.94 g
These Buffalo Chicken Wing Balls are seriously yummy! Sauces I used were Original Anchor Bar Wing Sauce and Tabasco sauce. That’s it!
1. I chopped up chicken breast. I chopped it when they were not thawed all the way, but still a bit frozen. It’s super easy to cut and chop the meat when it’s not completely frozen. Need a sharp knife for sure! I, then, added the wing sauce and Tabasco sauce in the chicken, and marinated the chicken for an hour.
2. Then I filled an ice-cube tray with the marinated chicken and covered the tray with aluminum foil, and placed it in the freezer for an hour. The chicken meat somewhat soldifies…let’s say semi frozen. Not rock solid!
3. After an hour, I took the ice-cube tray with the chicken out from the freezer, and unwrapped the foil . I scooped out semi-frozen chicken balls one at a time and dropped them in the flour mix (recipe below). Coated them well, shook off excess coating, and dropped them in heated oil. Medium to low heat. Fried 4 to 5 balls at a time.
4. Fried them for 3-4 minutes until golden. Put them on paper towel to soak oil. Then for the grand finale…
5. I dropped the fried chicken balls in the sauce mix, and gently stirred them in the sauce to coat well. I arranged them on a plate and…
…It was time to eat them! Delicious!
Ingredients for above recipe:
2 Chicken breast semi frozen, cut in tiny cubes (chopped)
1 Cup Original Anchor Bar Wing Sauce (use more if you want extra saucy wing balls)
1 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (optional). Use only if you want extra heat!
Marinate for the chopped chicken breast:
4 Tablespoons Anchor Bar wing Sauce
1 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/2 Cup White Flour
1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix all three ingredients and you have the flour mix. I add no salt because the sauce has enough in it.
And there you have it! It’s easy and yummy!! These boneless wings are not as high in calories because the flour coating is not heavy as in store-bought frozen ones or the ones from the restaurants. The coating is thin, you can actually see the pink chicken underneath before it’s fried. Eaten fresh it’s light and crispy to taste! I love this recipe…hope you will too.
…enjoy now! ..until next time. Thank you for checking out my blog.
Super easy 4-step recipe. Took me less than 30-minutes to make!
1. In a large frying pan stir-fry mixed vegetables (I used frozen), onion, frozen shelled edamame (or any type of kidney beans), tricolor bell peppers with garlic powder and salt & black pepper in pure olive oil. Already looking & smelling good! Once the veggies start to char a bit, turn stove off.
2. In a small pan, add roasted unsalted cashews in pure olive oil. Keep stove heat at a low. Sprinkle salt & black pepper over the cashews. Stir until the sides darken (this darkening is not uniform but will taste yum!). Turn stove off.
3. Cook Uncle Ben’s Parboiled rice according to the package. Or any rice. I’ve made this with Basmati rice, Brown rice and Black rice. They all taste great. Serve each item separately like shown below on a plate. I, however, mix it up in a pan on low heat until well heated.
4. Scoop the fried rice on a plate and enjoy! You can always add fish, chicken, beef or tofu. You can pan fry, bake or grill them! My husband wanted the original version: vegetarian (this recipe is also vegan). I, however, added 3-oz Rotisserie chicken breast to my dish. And now, I’ll tell you a secret — I added my favorite hot sauce to my dish! Tabasco! And, I loved it!
Ingredients for one serving:
(For cooking steps, please see above instructions with photos)
Frozen Mixed Veggie – 1/4 Cup
Frozen shelled Edamame – 1/4 Cup
Onion (roughly chopped) – 1/2 of a medium size
Garlic Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Roasted Cashews Unsalted – 1/8 Cup (about 8-10 cashews) (do not add salt if using salted)
Rice – 1/2 Cup Cooked
Salt & Pepper
Nutritional Value (one serving) without the chicken:
(The sunset photo is unaltered. No editing, just the way I saw it.). I took it from the cruise ship I was on! It all began with my husband proposing the idea that I go on a cruise with my daughter, I agreed and we sailed! He couldn’t go & neither could my son. Initially, the idea of such an adventure got me excited. However, as the day to depart got closer, I was unsure and I was a bit nervous – I thought what would I do by myself? All our vacations have been family vacations. This time I would be accompanied by two minors – my daughter and her friend. Two teenage girls! Of course, nothing to worry about there!
So the day arrived and we made it on the ship! The vastness of it suddenly made me feel all alone! I did not know anyone in the big crowd of people! But I held my posture straight and strong realizing I’m the adult here! I’m the parent and the decision maker! The girls just followed me as we made our way to our stateroom. Once there, I took a deep breath and felt relaxed in this tiny quiet space – our home here on the ship.
Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!
Decision one: To get the girls registered in the teen club. Did that! The girls, excitedly went to visit the club while I figured my afternoon. I walked, ate and watched the ocean until we sailed.
Second day came fast! I asked the girls if we could eat breakfast together before they left for the teen club. They said they’d like to sleep in and would eat later, and that they would not be going to the teen club because the teenagers there were up to no good! They said they’d do activities on their own. I was cool with that!
Decision two: I wanted to do things that energized me! Did that!
Food is energizing anytime 😋. My first meal was a big bowl of cool salad.
To the fresh green spring mix I had added raw broccoli, garbanzo, beets, tri-colored bell peppers, sauteed zucchinni, sauteed onion, sauteed squash and sauteed eggplants. I had taken extra eggplants. I love eggplants! To all that, I added an ounce of baked chicken. No salad dressing! The sauteed veggies, I thought, already had just enough oil and spices. I sat where I could get an ocean view. I was romancing the ocean! And, my delicious salad! That salad really hit the right spot! It was now nap time for me. I was quickly getting comfortable here…in this huge space.
Decision three: I wanted to see this big ship. I needed to walk everywhere! (What other option did I have😀?) Did that!
Alone, but not lonely, I walked the decks! I would run into my child and her friend once in a while. I did not stop, neither did they want me to stop. I waved at them, blew kisses and kept on.
Decision four: Wanted to live it up on the ship! That meant doing stuff! Workout, eat and live the ship life! Did that!
Each morning, after a great breakfast I would head up to the SPA area, where the exercise room was located. Upon my arrival to the exercise room the first morning, I was a bit surprised to see every exercise machine occupied. Instead of leaving, I decided to hang around and watch people on these machines and familiarize myself with the room. I had all the time! I had no groceries I needed to run get, I had no laundry that I needed to throw in the drier, and I had no kids who needed to be dropped off or picked up from any where. I really did have all the time! I sat there watching more people and scanning the place for restroom, towels, mats and for a good spot for stretching! Every morning thereafter I noticed less and less people. By the last day of the cruise, I was the only one in that workout room. (Worked well for me👏).
Remembering my second day – Second day, after a killing workout, I had planned on rewarding myself later that evening by going dancing – of course, all by myself! But I needed some rest first. I went to rest in my nice comfy bed after dinner only to wake up bright and early the next morning😉! I kindly accepted the fact that I may not ever make it to the dance floor after my active day.
Healthy and yummy breakfast got me going each morning. All five mornings! Workout after that breakfast was nothing but the best! A quick shower after workout was refreshing. Energized everyday, I walked on the Sports Deck…played putt-putt golf; walked on Promanade Deck…watched people getting pictures made, kids of all ages going up and down the glass elevators; checked out the theater, the library, and the coffee shop. I watched people! People laughing, talking and having fun. Everyone seemed very content and happy!
All five days for me turned out to be “fun-tastic”. I realized that I didn’t need too much to make me happy! Every afternoon, after lunch, I found a comfy spot with a great ocean view where I read a novel that I had checked out from the ship’s cute little library.
Looking back, five days of cruise life went by quickly. Crew members whom I met regularly on the ship came to know me well. We chatted a bit each time we met, and they made sure that all my needs were met. I appreciated them a lot. And, they loved talking to me!
I woke up really early on the last morning of my cruise. I peeked out of my window to see if we were still sailing. To my surprise the ship had made it back safely to the port from where we had departed earlier in the week. I met a few crew members while I ate my last breakfast. We said goodbyes. They wished me a safe journey home, and asked me to come see them again. I felt close to them at that moment. But, I needed to get off the ship! Once out of the ship, the land world hit me hard…it was a hot day, and I needed to get started toward getting back home. The girls… I didn’t forget them:). They were too exhausted to say anything. We were a quiet bunch rest of the trip. And, I was fine with that.
Will I do a trip by myself? Absolutely!!! (Girls were with me but really not!)
If you came to my house any time during summer and opened my refrigerator, you’d find a cucumber in the vegetable bin. No one in the family cares for it much, except my husband. He loves eating them in his sandwiches.
Yesterday, as I was cutting a freshly bought cucumber to make a sandwich for my husband, I noticed tiny crystal balls oozing out of the cut end…I was totally amazed by these crisp, clear, round droplets. I never quite noticed them this way before. I got my phone and took a close-up shot of them.
These water droplets steered me to find out more about the vegetable itself. After reading several sites I felt like cucumbers are not getting a good deal from us. We definitely NEED to consume more of this fully hydrated vegetable! They are HIGH in water content…obviously:). See for yourself, buy one, cut it crosswise & you’ll see those droplets making its way out!
I found out that cucumbers are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Rich in vitamin K, too. Only 8 calories in half a cup! Good snack food, for sure! I enjoy getting my information from going to several sites, but I love http://www.livestrong.com.
To make this sandwich I start with one slice of a sourdough bread which I cut in half. Then I spread lowfat olive oil mayo on each slice.
Next, I thinly slice about 1/2 a cup of cucumber and arrange them on one slice of “mayoed” bread. After that I sprinkle a dash of black peppers over them.
Then I add 5 slices of gherkin pickle (sweet & salty cucumber pickle). Most grocery stores have them. (I plan on learning how to pickle once I get the hang of this blogging😃!!) I bought this one from Aldi.
I add a slice of cheese: cheddar, parmasean, mozzarela or any that I have at home. Here I have added Parmasean with black peppercorns from Trader Joe’s. It’s deliciously buttery in taste.
Usually, my husband does not want any meat on this sandwich. Lastly, I put the other slice of the sourdough bread over the layered side. My husband’s sandwich is ready to be devoured:). Cool, light, healthy and delicious sandwich! I serve a handful of chips and about 2 cups of salad with it.
Slice bread in half. Spread mayo on both halves. Arrange sliced cucumbers on one half slice bread. Sprinkle black pepper over cucumber slices. Add the pickle slices. Next, add cheese. Put the other slice of bread with mayo side down over the layered bread. Cut sandwich in half. Enjoy!!
Calories 315; Total Fat 16.5g; Saturated Fat 6g; protein 11g; carb 30g; Fiber 1g; Chlesterol 30mg
“Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed…I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.” — Delia Smith