Friday, April 22, 2011

I love you??

Does anyone else find it highly ironic that we tell someone we love them by giving them a box of chocolates?  Or let our kids have "fun" by letting them gorge themselves on candy?  Or celebrate birthdays with cake and ice cream?  It's like we are saying, "I love you.  Here is a box of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity.  Enjoy your shorter life!"  Isn't it backwards?   Shouldn't we be wanting more  for our loved ones and children? 

As I was gathering things for my kids' easter baskets today, wandering the isles of the store, I was overwhelmed with the amount of candy that were in the isles.  Isles and isles all devoted to sugary covered chickens and long-eared milk chocolate gangster bunnies (yes, dressed like Flavor Flav).  I tried to imagine how many people it would take to eat all of the goodies in the isle (and I am using the term 'goodies' very loosely here).  I pictured the giant dump trucks full of sugar that they dump out on The Biggest Loser to show how much sugar they ate in a year and it's gross.  Why is it that all holidays seem to revolve around food and candy. I would love to pull up a dump truck and fill it full of the Easter candies and then dump it out in the parking lot to see just how much sugar there is.  It might be a real eye-opener for some.  Others might just run in and grab free candy.  I don't know. 

I'm always looking to find a way to avoid the candy excitement of every holiday.  I'm always encouraging healthy eating for my kids and I know it pays off.  They eat so little candy that we still have Halloween leftovers sitting in the pantry.  It's not a priority in our home to eat sweets and junk.  If you don't buy it, then it's not there to eat. 

Back to Easter.  I have tried to think of a way to get past all of the Easter candy. I like being the Easter bunny.  I take my job semi-seriously.  I like hiding eggs and watching the kids find them.  It's silly.  In a few ways.  First that we think that bunnies lay eggs and second that we do this ritual of pretending that a giant bunny snuck into our houses while we were unaware to deposit candy filled eggs (that seem to look mysteriously like last years eggs) all while we were sleeping or gone from the house.  A tad bit creepy if you think about it.  This year I brainstormed with my husband to try and come up with some ideas that we can still have fun hiding eggs, but not give our kids diabetes. 

Here's what we came up with: 
1)  Toys.  I bought each kid a Playmobil set.  Lucky for me you have to assemble them so they have lots of little pieces that easily fit into plastic eggs. 
2)  Coupons:  i.e. A trip to the park.  A bike ride.  Reading a book together.  Bake night with mom (or dad I suppose).  A trip to the library.  Going to the swimming pool.  Activities that we can do together.  Kids love our TIME. 
3)  Carrots.  Okay, not really carrots.  I did think of that idea, but what kid wants to open up their Easter basket and have a bunch of carrots in there?  I did try to think of some treats that I could make at home though that I thought might be good.  Homemade fruit roll ups are a favorite of my kids.  They have no added sugar in them and it's still a fun treat. 

After a 3 mile run.  See? Exercise is fun!
That's all I could come up with for this year.  Toys and coupons.  I'm always looking for ideas.  I would love to hear the ways that other people get around candy at every holiday.  I've heard of some people who let their kids keep 10 pieces and then put the rest in a bag and leave it out at night and whatever fantasy creature they create comes and gets it in the night and they get a prize instead.  I've also heard of dentist offices who will take your kids' candy in exchange for a gift from their office.  I think that's a good idea too.  A part of me still wonders why we go and buy it in the first place then when we really don't want them to have it. 

Well, here's to a Happy Easter everyone!  I hope you find some healthy ways to celebrate.  Let your family know you love them by spending time with them doing something active.  That's one of the  best gifts to give. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"....Just workin' on my fitness." -Fergie

Insanity challenge update: 

Beginning the run
I'm into the first week of the second month and it is fun.  I like sweating.  I unfortunately did take an entire week off due to a bursitis in my knee.  I woke up with a sore spot one Saturday morning with a little bit of redness.  I thought I had hit it on something and bruised it so proceeded to go out for what I was hoping to be a 20 mile run.  Here's what it looked like at the beginning.  (Yes, I know I'm very pale.  I'm okay with that.) 

12 miles later

Two days later

 Needless to say, at the strong request of my husband I sought some advice from a medical professional to help me get back to doing the things I like doing.  This is saying a lot because I am not one to go to the doctor....Ever.  I already know what they are going to say and I don't want to give them $150 dollars to say it.  "Stop running. Take some ibuprofen."  Cha-ching. 

So one week off my feet seems to have done the trick.  Lucky for me that same week coincided with the week my bff from highschool flew out for a visit so I didn't feel as bad missing out on my workouts. 

Back to it then with Uncle Shaun.  I'm loving the longer workouts.  The first month left me wanting more at the end, but this satisfies that want.  I'm usually laying on the floor mopping myself up with a towel by the end.  It's a good time. 

Quinoa: The Vegetarian's Complete Amino Acid

I'm a vegetarian.  No I don't eat fish.  No I don't just eat vegetables.  Yes, I get enough protein.

I'm happy to know that leading an active lifestyle and being a vegetarian can go hand-in-hand with each other.  Look at Dave Scott, six time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, Carl Lewis, track and field athlete who has 10 olympic medals and 10 world champion medals, Catherine Johnson, professional cyclist, and there are so many more.  You don't have to eat an animal to have high performance in sport.

One of my most favorite proteins as a vegetarian is quinoa.  This little morsel is packed with all 10 essential amino acids that our bodies need to build up the protein for our muscles, making it a complete amino acid for the vegetarian.  When I first bought a bag of quinoa I had no idea how to make I boiled it in water and ate it.  While that was a good way to get it down, I have since figured out different ways to make it a little bit more exciting.  If you're like me and need some ideas to make this healthy food, then here is just one variation of a recipe that is quick and easy to make.

Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 cups of quinoa
2 cups water
2 TB vegetarian chicken broth seasoning

1/2 cup edamame
2 medium to large sized tomatoes
3 TB chopped fresh basil
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 yellow pepper chopped

1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB olive oil
1 TB vinegar
2 cloves of garlic

Bring the water to a boil.  Add in veg chicken seasoning.  Stir in Quinoa and let it cook until done.  Pull out and cool before adding to the salad.

Put together all of the rest of the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Blend up garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice until there are no chunks of garlic left.  (Unless you like the chunks)  Pour over salad.  When the quinoa is cooled, add to the bowl and eat!

There are so many different ways to use quinoa.  You just have to be creative and look for some recipes.  I recently downloaded the free Epicurious app on my phone and they have 38 different recipes you can start with.   So delicious.

Want to know more about being a healthy balanced vegetarian?  This article is a good place to start. 

How do you make your quinoa?