Day 1 Down. Here’s to Day 2!

23 Aug

Good morning friends.

Just a quick stop on the blog this AM to update you on my day 1 progress on this 3-day cleanse of mine.

I wasn’t perfect, but the first half of my day was stellar!

It went like this:

Lots and lots and LOTS of room temp lemon water. After my first cup, I felt really thirst which tells me I’m a bit more dehydrated that I thought, and according to Ayurveda, this could also demonstrate the need for lymph support to stimulate lymph drainage.

A smoothie to start the day. I sure wanted some of Mr. Military Man’s bagel with cream cheese, but with a smoothie I went. Good choice.

Lunch was a big ol’ green salad with some soaked white beans and raw mushrooms. I drizzled a bit of olive oil and lime juice on top. It was really good and so big that I was actually full before I could finish it all.

Dinner….oh, bother. This is where my success hit a speed bump. After a really crummy day at work, I felt like poo. I had intentions of coming home to a light workout and a juice. However, I was easily pursuaded into homemade mac n’ cheese and a glass of wine. Remember, I’m not perfect! 🙂 Dinner was delish and I offset things a bit by putting the cheese sauce on a big bowl of broccoli and white beans instead of pasta pasta pasta. Definitely not a cleanse friendly dinner, but what’s done is done.

On the physical activity side of things, I did get in a 40 minute swim and a 20 minute bike ride. Check that off the to-do list for this cleanse. Woot!

So, here’s to Day 2. I think I can, I think I can. So far, lemon water and a smoothie down the hatch.

I’ll keep you posted.

For now, I’ll leave you with my salad from yesterday. Green goodness, eh? (Don’t be fooled by the photo, that yellow bowl is HUGE!!!)

 

 

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End of summer cleaning!

22 Aug

Hola chicos. Today, I come to you with news of some end-of-summer cleaning. The cleaning I’m talking about doesn’t involve my broom, organization, or scrub, scrub, scrubbing. Instead, this cleaning involves giving my body a break and hopefully cleaning up my insides. That’s right! I’m on a cleanse! What, what?! This is not something I’m super excited about (although I am faking it a bit for this post…). I mean, I love the idea of cleansing, but going days with juices and raw veggies isn’t always the most pleasant and scrumptious experience. But, it’s important to my overall health and wellness, so I push through. I’m actually joining Jodi over at Ultimate Kitchen Commando on her cleanse that kicked off today. When she mentioned via Facebook a couple days ago that she herself was starting a cleanse and hoped to get people on board with her for motivation and support, I was in. It’s been a very long time since I’ve given my body a break.

Jodi sent all of us cleanse participants an outline of the cleanse she is doing to give us ideas for what we might want to do. How nice! She will be juicing and making green smoothies to drink throughout the day. Mid-afternoon, she’ll have a large raw salad for lunch. Other than that, it’s warm lemon water, clay and psyllium husk drinks, and colonics.

I have to admit, as much as my life is so much cleaner and healthier than before, I just don’t hang with the most intense of raw vegans and juice kings yet. That said, I’m adjusting my cleanse just a tad to fit ME! Remember, we’re all very very different and there really isn’t a one size fits all solution for anything related to diet and health. YOU must do what is right for YOU!

Lemon water – Either warm or room temp. No cold water here! Definitely first thing in the morning, then throughout the day to get my hydrated and stimulate lymph drainage (cleansing!!!) I’ll also have some cold water while I’m at work. I work with kids and spend most of my working times chasing them around a gymnastics gym or playing games outside in the 90 degree heat. Cold water is a must for me! 🙂

Smoothie – I’ve got pineapple, strawberries, bananas, and lots of greens on hand for this. For my liquid, I’ll try sticking to water and will add a little unsweetened almond milk if needed. I also plan to incorporate 1/4-1/2 of an avocado once I can get to the store to get some. This should have to keep me satiated after my smoothie meal.

Green juice – I am not a big juice fan. I like something thicker and more fibrous, which is why I typically stick to smoothies. But, drinking juice shoots nutrients straight into your blood without much work from your body, so I am going to try hard for one a day, at dinner time. I’ve got greens, cucumbers, apples and carrots on-hand for this now. I plan on stocking up more once I figure what best suits my tastes.

Salad – Lunch will most definitely a honkin’ salad. I’ve got spring mix, arugula, and spinach on hand to build upon. I also have broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and cucumbers on-hand. Dressing will be a vinaigrette of olive oil and lemon or lime juice.

If I feel super hungry/munchy, I will snack on a small amount of raw nuts – walnuts or almonds. Hopefully I won’t have to reach for these guys much!

I anticipate missing coffee most. And, to be honest with you guys, I did have 1/4 cup this AM. Ahhhh!!! It’s almost silly to have so little, but it helped me through the morning with just my smoothie and lemon water. Hey! I’m not perfect, but I sure try to be better than I was yesterday! 🙂

On the clay and colonics side of things, I’m not going there just. I have done clay drinks in the past and think there is some legitimacy to the health and detoxification claims, but I don’t feel that I necessarily need to add that just yet. I’ll listen to my body and proceed accordingly. Also, no colonics. Again, I’m just not there yet; nor do I have the disposable income to fork out for ’em. Maybe one day. 😉

As I proceed with the cleanse, I plan on getting pictures of the different smoothies, juices, and salads I come up with to share with each of you. We’ll see how it goes. I haven’t attempted anything like this since being married, and already I see additional challenges trying to alter my diet at all with a husband in the house. He wakes up and has a bagel with cream cheese as I run the Vitamix and chug down a smoothie. It can be challenging my friends. But, I will survive. And, perhaps I’ll even motivate him in the process, right?

Well, thanks for listening to my little cleanse rant/announcement. I’ll keep you posted on my ability to maintain my sanity, errr…complete the cleanse!  Below are some links to cleansing, smoothie, juicing information that I like. I figured I’d share in case you’re interested in some of the points I hit on above. Until later my friends! 🙂

Fit Sick and Nearly Dead (movie – available on Hulu)

Green Smoothie Girl

Why You Should Drink Warm Lemon Water

In closing, I wonder – Have any of YOU completed a cleanse? What did you do? How did you feel? Would you do it again? I want to know!!!

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

20 Aug

Top o’ the morning to ya! It’s Monday again. Doesn’t Monday always seem to come so quickly? I think so. The start of a new week means thinking about prepping meals for the hubs and me to take on the go to and from work. Breakfast and dinner always run smoothly in our house (hooray!), but lunch is always a big ol’ pain in the butt! In the morning, I’m good with a quick smoothie, some oatmeal, or a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana. And, dinner is always some combination of veggies from our fridge with whatever sounds good. But, lunch, oh lunch. What to eat? I don’t like to eat anything too warm, heavy, and comforting because I just want to sleep. But, I do need something substantial enough to carry me through to dinner without constantly snacking to satisfy my hunger. If you’re like Mr. Military Man, you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t this girl just eat a sandwich for lunch?!”. Well, folks, I am not a sandwich girl. Never have been really. I’m not sure why. I don’t really remember eating a lot of them growing up, so perhaps that’s part of it. Secondly, I don’t eat meat on the regular which eliminates the go-to sandwich fillings. And, constantly keeping an array of fresh veggies and spreads on hand to make a filling veggie sandwich isn’t always realistic given time and budget restraints. All of that said, lunch is just a weird middle ground of eating. But, luckily, with make ahead “salad” type dishes, I’ve sort of solved my “what the heck to have for lunch” dilemma. Here’s one of my current favs. I’m a sucker for Mexican seasonings (LOVE ME SOME CUMIN!) and black beans, so the base is just perfect. I hope you try this and enjoy some for lunch too! Plus, unless I’m overlooking something, this dish is totally Vegan too. Woot!!!

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

2 cups cooked brown rice (okay if you have it in your fridge from a couple of days ago when you cooked it…)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 cup frozen corn (Canned corn will also work – just be sure to drain and rinse. And, buy ORGANIC corn. If you aren’t sure why, look up genetically modified corn and spend your afternoon reading. I trust you will then understand.)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp taco seasoning (buy the stuff withOUT MSG!)

1 lime

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add diced onions. Stir onions occasionally until soft and transparent. Add red pepper, corn, and black beans. Stir occasionally until red pepper and corn are cooked (soft, perhaps slightly browned) and all is combined (about 5-10 minutes). Lastly, add taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, combine rice (cold or room temp is fine here) with onion, red pepper, corn, black bean, tomato mixture. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and stir again. Note: If you prefer things a bit heavier on the seasoning, go ahead and add another Tbsp of taco seasoning at this point so that the rice is more heavily coated. 🙂

Place in refrigerator and scoop out to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.

Because I am not always good at slowing down completely at lunch time, I typically eat this on its own, straight out of the fridge (cold). But, you could most definitely throw this on top of a bed of  lettuce and drizzle with a lime vinaigrette for a festive green salad, or heat it up for a more comforting meal feel. Oh! And, to make this more kid friendly, you could stir in some chunked or shredded cheddar cheese – about 1 cup. Cheese is always a winner with the younger crowd!

In other news, Mr. Military Man and I decided we should work on a puzzle yesterday. Like a 1,000 piece, Thomas Kinkade, puzzle. Doh! 1,000 pieces is a lot, and my attention span is short. It’s currently taking up my entire dining room table (which double as my office currently), and probably will be until we move. I really suck at puzzles. I’ve been blaming poor lighting for my lack of puzzle skill. So far, the Mr is buying it! 😉

Have a magnificent Monday. It’s the start of a BRAND. NEW. WEEK! What possibility!!!

My recipes are on Recipage! Hoorah, hooray!

19 Aug

Have you heard of Recipage? Surely you have! But….I suppose that, if you’re not food-blog-obsessed like me, maybe you in fact have not. Regardless, of what you have or have not heard, let me tell you something folks, it’s amaze-balls. Yes, that good. Emily over at Daily Garnish and her hubby created it and I’ve been utilizing it through all sorts of food blogs for months. It makes finding, printing, and sharing blogger recipes so super duper easy.

Why does this matter to you? Well, recently, it hit me that I should probably do something about organizing recipes from my own blog. As I started to develop a simple recipe page through WordPress, it hit me! Why the heck don’t I use Recipage?!?! Ah-ha moment!!!

So, here you have it folks – my very own Mindful Munchies Recipage! Woot!

It’s definitely just a start, and a work in progress, but there are about a dozen recipes up and working. So, check it out. You can read full recipes, see photos, email to friends, print for your reference, and share on FB or Pinterest.

Going forward, each time a recipe is posted, it will also be added to my Recipage for easy access to all of you. (Exciting moment in my little blogger life.)

That’s it for now. I’ve been staring at this computer for the past 4 hours and my eyes hurt. So, I’m stepping away. However, I’ll be back soon with another NEW (decadent fudgy) recipe for you!

Have a super Sunday!!! 🙂

My life – let’s hit the highlights!

16 Aug

Hi y’all. Happy Wednesday night. Although it most definitely feels like tomorrow should be Saturday, it’s indeed only Wednesday. Womp womp! Before I get to the food, which is my main priority up on this page, I thought I’d update you on some of the other things that make up my life.

1) Mr. Military Man:  He is flying, and flying, and flying. In fact, I think he’s gone flying more than he is home. And, he has been scheduled for lots of evening and overnight flights, which means I hardly ever see him. This is totally no bueno, but just part of the gig. He is doing well, and super close to finishing this phase of flight school (aka Primary). That means that he’ll be selecting an aircraft soon and moving onto the next phase of things (aka Advanced). At this point, he seems to be leaning toward Maritime (blah, blah Navy speak, but it means he’ll be flying planes that we civilians would ID as those sorts that Southwest Airlines flies). Should this become reality, we’ll likely make a move to TX in September or October. I have to say, I’m sort of okay with that. While I love, love, love Florida and the life we have here, I’m up for something new. Moving is always so exciting – new place to live, new friends, new outings, etc. I like “shaking things up” – for now. We may as well enjoy it while we only have furry children (our two pups!). 🙂 I’ll be sure to keep you posted, but things are going well and we’re anxious to get thru the next 30 days or so to find out what’s next.

2) Doggy training:  We adopted our newborn (we call Duchess, our oldest pup, “first born” which means our youngest dog, Violet, is dubbed “new born”. Clever, aren’t we?) from PAL in Crestview, FL. The shelter is owned by this lovely lady, Hannah, who is an absolute doll. She has created such a great, safe space for these homeless pups on her personal homeland and takes such good care of them. Part of adopting through her is a free dog “training” session with Ken of “The Smartest Dog on the Block“. We’ve put it off for far too long, but finally took advantage of our free session last week. And, OMG! This guy is amazing. I figured a dog trainer would come into our house and teach us to yell commands and swat our dogs. Boy, was I wrong. This guy was totally calm, kind, and NON-PHYSICAL. Everything he tought us involved being calm and assertive, but never mean or physical. We learned some great tips for keeping the girls calm and quiet….oh and down on the ground instead of up jumping on us and everyone who enters our home. So good! We are implementing his diretions each day and seeing great progress in the girls. If we get to stay in Florida for Advanced (the next phase of flight school), we are going to do a full 5 week program with him to turn our girls into superstar listeners! 🙂

3) The new gig:  I’m still really loving my new job. The people I work with are fun and I totally enjoy the socializing. With my past job, I spent a lot of my time working from hom, which made it hard to create much of a social life in a new place. So, total plus there. Additionally, the kids at camp are so stinkin’ awesome. Sure, there are a few troublesome kiddos, but the good ones sure outshine them and I’ll miss many of them who do not return for our after-school program after this week. I also love the part-time schedule and the hourly set-up. After working all of the time, bieng tied to a cell phone/email 24/7, and traveling like a crazy person, the new schedule and being DONE when I leave the building is a total PLUS!!!

4) Swimming:  Since leaving my last job, I have found myself with some free time (hallelujah!), so Mr. Military Man and I joined a local gym. While there were many options in town, we chose the CLUB II for their indoor and outdoor pools. For those of you who know me outside of this blog, you know I LOVE SWIMMING!!! I swam competitively for many years when I was young and always miss the pool when I’m out of it. So, now that I have access to two pools, I’ve been swimming up a storm. I am so loving it and am considering joingint he Masters Swim Team at our club if we get to stay in FL (or seek one out if we move to TX, I suppose…). It’s so nice to get back to exercise that I truly love. That calms my mind. That leaves me feeling long and strong. Love it!!! 🙂

5) Food:  I’ve been testing out some new things recently including vegan chocolate tarts and turkey taco and grilled zucchini stacks. I started this post with the intention of wrapping up with a recipe, but I feel like that would take the blog post into never-never land which would be a total bummer. That said, I’m saving the recipes for the next couple of posts. So, be sure to check back with me soon. You totally don’t want to miss this – I mean, CHOCOLATE and grilled veggies. Does it get much better? You’re right, it does not.

Well, the Mr. and I are off to take the girlies (anytime I say girls, I mean dogs, just so you know…) on their evening walk. Then, it’s more How I Met Your Mother. We started watching from the beginning on Netflix and are finally on Season 6. Woot! Such a great show.

Enjoy your humpday evening. We’ll talk foon soon. Deal? Deal! Until then, I leave you with pics are my beautiful lil’ family! Night y’all.

First Born (also know as Duchess)

New Born (also know as Violet)

White Bean Egg Salad

9 Aug

After the success I had with pureeing white beans for my creamy White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, I decided I totally had to use bean purees more often. Also on my mind has been egg salad. Egg salad – well, eggs really – is a weird thing for me. On about 320 days out of the year, I will tell you that I don’t much care for it. On the remaining 45 days, I’m probably obsessively craving it. Weird, right? Well, the past week has been 7 of the 45 days down on the obsessive craving side of things. When it came to satisfying this craving, rather than just tossing eggs with mayo and mustard as I’ve done all of my life, I decided to give things a whirl with a white bean base. This spiffy update to a classic reduces the empty calories, saturated fat, and cholestoral in the traditional egg salad and replaces those “undesirables” with protein, fiber, manganese, iron, and potassium. Doesn’t that sound about a million times better? If you’re at all concerned with clean, healthy eating, then that’s a big ol’ YES!

So, here’s the scoop:

White Bean Egg Salad

Servings:  (We haven’t eaten it all, but think I can probably get 6-8 sandwiches or salads out of this)

  • 10 hard boiled eggs – de-shelled (If you’re new to hard boiling eggs, I’d recommend consulting Martha Stewart’s directions for perfect hard boiled eggs. She’s got it figured out!)
  • 1 can of white (kidney) beans
  • 2 tsp Wildtree Dill Blend (or some sort of herb blend with dill, or fresh dill)
  • 1 cup H2O
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped (optional)

Drain and rinse your canned white beans. Pour beans into blender. Add Dill Blend to blender. Turn blender on high. Pour water in to thin out the mixture to your desired consistency. (I used about 3/4 of a cup and mine’s pretty thin. Go with what you like!) After all is combined, pour mixture into a large bowl.

Roughly chop all of your boiled eggs (be sure they are free of any shell pieces, or you’ll have a disaster later when you eat this stuff!) and add them to the bowl with your white bean mixture.

Lastly, add your chopped onion (optional) to the bowl with eggs and white bean mixture. Stir all to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then serve.

Nom, nom, nom!!! 🙂

When I started boiling the eggs yesterday, my plan was to make two batches of egg salad – 1) traditional mayo-based for him and 2) beany version for me. However, to my surprise, Mr. Military Man actually LIKED my version and suggested that I make all of the egg salad my beany way. How exciting! He’s pretty great about eating clean and trying healthified things, but I didn’t expect him to like this. Guess I really am on to something good here!!! *happy dance*

So, with that, I’d encourage you to try this. And, try feeding it to your significant others and children. Perhaps everyone will love this MUCH HEALTHIER version of an American sandwich filling!

In other news, I have lots to share regarding dog training, my new fitness regime and goals, and life since leaving my corporate job. I just need more time to blog – and that’s a good thing. Life is full full full of great things and I couldn’t be more thankful. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen things that way! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. Hopefully, unlike mine, yours is filled with warmth and sunshine!

Toodles!

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta “Sauce”

6 Aug

For those of you who have read my blog and recipes from the beginning (albeit it quite sporadic), you know I am a big Mexican food fan. I make it pretty much every single meal. When I’m not cooking up chilis, sprinkling cumin, or melting cheese, I venture into American food and even some Asian cusisine, but Italian food pretty much stays off my radar. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s just not a big favorite in my family, so I didn’t grow up eating Italian food. In fact, the only pasta dish I ever remember eating as a kid is linguine with clam sauce (which came out of a can!). Fast forward to today:  I married a man whose mother’s family is Italian. And, they are great cooks. And, they love their Italian dishes. That means the hubs loves eating Italian food and craves it when we’re away from home for long. So, since he’s so awesome and I love to make him happy, I have tried to add some “Italian” type recipes to my repoirtoire. So far, so good, actually. Surprisingly, I haven’t destroyed anything yet. I mean, I haven’t exactly ventured into anything supremely gourmet. But, at least I’m getting the whole technique of co0king pasta correctly (Hey! Knowing when to stop boiling the pasta is trickier than expected!).

Over the past couple of weeks, Pasta Alfredo has graced our dinner table a couple of times. While it’s pretty tasty – and my version gets loaded with a pound of broccoli – it’s not exactly the most healthful meal we could have. So, I started thinking of ways to recreate the creaminess and decadence of the Alfredo sauce without all of the added cream and butter. I began browsing my cookbook collection (LOVE ME SOME COOKBOOKS!!!) for ideas. I looked and looked, and then came across a pasta dish with white beans and roasted tomatoes. That got me thinking that I could surely make one tasty white bean puree/sauce! From there, my creation came to life! And, here’s how it went:

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

(Serves 4 – depending on how saucy you like things!)

  • 1 can of White Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (if you’re a roasted garlic newby, see this)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth or water if you prefer – you can also use more to thin out your sauce if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon scampi seasoning (I use Wildtree brand; you could use some Italian seasoning if you have that on hand instead – you just want to add some herby flavor/depth to the sauce with this)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese

Add all ingredients, except for ricotta, to a food processor (Note: for the garlic, simply squeeze out the roasted cloves from each pod on the head of garlic. You can discard the skins). Process until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pot and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. Once warm, stir in ricotta cheese. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until all is nicely warmed and incorporated.

That’s it folks. Easy-peasy! Now, all you’ve gotta do is toss the sauce with some cooked pasta and veggies (I chose spinach and asparagus, but broccoli would be delish too!). This is a really comforting dish of pasta with a high-protein and high-fiber punch. It also carries far less saturated fat and cholesterol than the Alfredo sauce Mr. Military Man loves so.

Try this. Then, let me know what you think!

Happy Monday y’all. Make it GREAT!!! (Yes, I know Mondays aren’t typically something we all look forward to, but I’m off today, so I’m a happy girl. This means, I’m attempting to share some Monday happiness with YOU!!!)