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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Living’

SF Pumpkin Pie

Mr. Southern Fiber and I were invited to lunch at our cousin’s home this past Sunday.  Her kitchen has recently been completely remodeled, and she wanted us to come see it.  I walked in the door and the first thing I saw was a brand new stainless steel stove with matching microwave above, and a stainless steel kettle on the stove!  It looks like something out of a Kenmore catalogue.  So chic.  I loved it!

We had salad and lasagna for lunch, and with Scott being the cook, we didn’t want to show up empty handed.  We brought the dessert.  What did we bring?  Pumpkin pie!  Of course, I wanted to enjoy the dessert, too, especially since I love pumpkin pie, like, to death.  We searched and found a recipe that fit the bill for our now persnickety bellies.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 9-inch unbaked pie shells
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar (remember, this makes two pies, so it’s only 1/2 cup per pie)
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Beat eggs with a whisk, adding other ingredients and continue to beat until smooth.  Pour mixture into two pie shells.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce temperature to 350.  Allow to bake for another 45-60 minutes.  Test to see if it’s done after the first 45 minutes, and every 5 minutes after until toothpick (or skewer, as we used) comes out clean.

    Now, the funny part about all of this is Scott forgot to make the pies.  He laid down for bed and I asked him when he was going to cook the pies… this was 11:45 pm.  So, at midnight, Scott is putting the pies into the oven, and me being the good wife I am stayed up to keep him company.  We watched an episode of Earth 2 while the pies cooked, although I don’t remember much of the episode.  I was zonked.  When the pies were done, he took them out to cool and we went to bed.  Here’s what I saw Sunday morning:

    Mouth watering goodness!!!!  I really wanted to have a slice right there before church, but I resisted knowing I could have some at lunch.  I had fiber cereal instead:

    Not a valid substitute, but it was necessary.  It didn’t taste bad at all, but it wasn’t pumpkin pie.  I did get to enjoy a slice later:

    This tastes sooo good, and I am even more glad we still have some left in the fridge!  And with low sugar and skim milk, this is a good healthy alternative to the usual I-don’t-care-about-my-waistline usual pumpkin pie.  Also, it has about 4g of fiber per serving.  Yay me!

    I encourage you to try out this recipe this holiday season.  I think it’ll be a hit.

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    I’ve been approached by several friends and family members who all mentioned that I need to put a before and after post on my blog.  I am excited to do so, especially since I have already lost ten pounds!  I am still getting into serious exercising – old habits die hard, and my body, after years of being sedentary, is slowly getting used to exercise.  I still have a long way to go, but I am happy to report that I have already come a long way since my visit to the doctor and my switch to healthy living.

    Here I am in 2007.  You can’t tell my weight here, but that is because I have discreetly hidden my belly and legs from view by cunningly “showing off” my cute pocketbook.  I was not happy with my size here.

    Honestly, I wasn’t happy with my size here, either.  This picture was taken in April this year on a trip to Vegas with my wonderful husband.  I added inches and pounds after we got married and chalked it up to “happy marriage weight”, which I’m pretty sure is true.  I am still extremely happy, and now that I am in a happy and solid marriage relationship, my self image isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be.  That doesn’t mean I liked having a belly.  Can you see me still trying to hide it?

    Mother’s Day 2010.  I was sooo happy on this day that i honestly didn’t think about hiding my belly, or any other part of me that showed I am overweight, which at least means I was beginning to accept me for me, however I look.  You can notice my belly in this shot, though.  I have had people come up and ask me when I’m due, which, as any woman knows, is embarrassing and hurtful.  Please, don’t ever ask a woman when they’re due unless you’ve heard it from them that they are pregnant.

    Here I am today!!!!!!!  I’ve already accepted that my face is probably always going to be pudgy, since I have the face build of my Daddy’s side of the family.  But – my arms, and my belly!!  I am so proud!!!  The ten pounds I have lost so far have obviously been lost from my belly, and I am not complaining.  Now people everywhere are asking if I have lost weight (still not the best thing to say, but better than “when are you due”) or mentioning how good I look.  It’s invigorating!!!  I’m glad it’s not just me that notices – that helps make all of this more real.

    A close up shot of my belly today.  Sigh, happiness…. I am so very proud of me!  I am staying strong on my high fiber, low fat diet.  Today, for lunch, I had a bean burrito in a flour tortilla, grapes, and Chobani greek yogurt.  MMMMy!

    1/2 cup of black beans, which equals 22g of fiber.  I’m still full.

    Thanks again for all of your love and support.  And remember – I love to hear from you! I enjoy hearing how my progress is helping others have the courage to switch to healthy living as well.  It’s also great to have the support and guidance of others who have made the switch.  You can also sign up for the RSS feed  from my blog, or subscribe by email, on the right hand side of this page.

    When were you finally honest with yourself that you weren’t living healthy?

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    First, please allow me to apologoze.  I have been a busy bee this holiday weekend and I haven’t posted since Thursday!  Second, I don’t know how long it will take me to write this post since I am in the middle of eating my lunch:

    Leftover day, with leftover Thai veggie fried brown rice and leftover lime chicken with peppers that I made into a salad and put on sandwich thins.  My belly is doing a happy dance right now.

    So, having finished the rice, I am now between bites of the sandwich, updating my blog.  I have had a great weekend so far!  Scott took Friday off, so Noah and I spent the afternoon with him before we dropped Noah off at his mom’s.  Fun game night with friends Friday night!  They even popped kettle corn for me so that I wouldn’t be left out of the snacks.  We left around ten thirty so that Natasha and I could get ready for the grocery store relay!

    Da da-da daaaa!!!! The whole point of this post.  I had a blast yet again, and even more friends joined in this time.  The gang from my first Saturday was there, minus one due to a migraine, plus two other lovely ladies from church and a great friend of mine from growing up.  Word is getting out about this thing, and if there ends up being too many people at the relay, I’m afraid they will all blame me.  Never fear – I will continue to tell you of my great finds at the grocery store relay!

    I rode with Natasha and we got there a little before eight.  I cased the joint with her sister to find the box I wanted to grab.  They had a box full of organic preserves, several boxes of almond and rice milk, box after box of cereal, and then I saw it:

    The row on the right, third box up from the bottom… a box full of protein and fiber heaven.  All this box had in it was healthy snack bars!  I love these for snacks, meals on the go (if they have enough fiber), and Scott has gotten into the habit of eating them, too.  I didn’t want to be stingy with them, though, so when I grabbed this box, I went back to my group and told everyone to take some bars for them, too, and I would take the rest home with me.

    I still had almost an entire box left over.  This should last us for months.  I also found three more (3!!) jars of Maranatha nut butters!  Two organic peanut butter, and one of the crunchy and roasted almond butter like I found before.  My mom asked me, “how much peanut butter are you eating?!”.  I assured her that we’re stockpiling since the sell by dates on them are a long way off from now.  We have a good stock of nut butter now, and that’s a good thing, since there’s now two of us that are eating them regularly.

    There were several organic salad dressings to choose from as well, and I got some Caesar, some honey mustard vinaigrette, and some sweet and sour dressing.  I got a box of bulgar wheat, some more oat bran, granola, whole wheat pastry flour, and black beans.  This is some mondo pantry building on the cheap.  Seriously cheap.  Here is my kitchen table with all of my finds:

    The two boxes in the back are free salad dressing cases they were giving out.  These aren’t fat free, so we plan on donating them to our local soup kitchen.  Saturday afternoon, I went to lunch and a movie with my mom and sister!  Lunch, for me, included seasoned broiled tilapia with cauliflower and snow peas.  It was yummy!  After, we went to see Eat Pray Love.  It was a wonderful afternoon with my two favorite women of all time before my sister leaves for Spain!

    Speaking of my sister and Spain, Scott and I are going to dinner at my parent’s house tonight for her going away party/engagement party/everyone’s labor day party.  I am eating high fiber today (I had about 15g at breakfast, and more for a snack) so that I may enjoy dinner with my family tonight without feeling guilty about how much fiber is in the meal.  I informed them that no menu changes needed to take place tonight just for me.  There will be eighteen there, and I am one, so I will enjoy myself.

    And drink extra water.

    Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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    I have lived most of my life in Upstate SC.  Being born in Kentucky, just outside of Louisville, I wasn’t surrounded by “the south” as much as I was when we moved to SC in 1989.  Somehow, I have never latched on to the southern accent.  I have had people ask me where I’m from because they can’t place the accent.  They are befuddled when I tell them South Carolina.  Others ask if I come from the North or Midwest USA.  I am still trying to understand this.

    Here in South Carolina, I have had to repeat myself or explain what I mean because I don’t use southern slang.  I don’t pronounce words like others here in the south.  I say names the way they are written and the way they are generally pronounced.  Sharon, to me, is Sharon, not “Shay-run”.  You guys, or you all, replaces “y’all” for me.  It’s not that I don’t want to speak with a southern accent.  I think southern accents are beautiful.  It’s not even that it’s not me, it’s just, well, I can’t.  Ask my husband.  I try to say words with a southern drawl but it doesn’t work.  It makes him laugh.  Noah even laughs!  I sound like someone with a speech impediment.  My tongue and mouth are not made for Southern Twang.

    I guess I don’t always behave like a Southern lady, either.  I grew up in a house where my Dad, sister, and I would rate each other’s burps.  We laugh at jokes, talk loudly, and we aren’t afraid to speak our opinion.  I will let you know what I think, unless it really is completely the wrong forum.  My mom would say she always tried to make us dainty, but failed.

    That does not mean that I am not southern.  Trust me, I live in the south and survive each summer’s humidity right along with everyone else.  Myrtle Beach is a vacation spot for me, and I love it!  My High School had Farmer Week, and each year, I dressed to the nines as a farmer.  I even ate southern food right up until the doctor (and me) told me to stop.

    So, what was I going to do when I went to the most Southern of all restaurants for dinner last night?  Cracker Barrel prides itself on Country Cookin’.  Pardon, kuuuuntry cookin’.  Scott got a gift certificate from a coworker to Cracker Barrel, and that’s where we went for dinner.  I told him I would have to plan ahead and see what they had that I could eat.  This wasn’t an easy feat.  I’m not sure exactly how healthy this is, but here is the healthiest item on the menu I could find, and it’s what I ate:

    Grilled chicken tenderloin salad with a sliced macintosh apple, bacon, and bleu cheese.  I had it with fat free Italian dressing.  I could have had it with the bacon, but I wanted the bacon.  Oh well.  Still healthier than chicken and dumplings.

    I also had one half of a biscuit with a little bit of blackberry preserves.

    All in all, I think I did okay.  There really is no way to eat completely healthy at Cracker Barrel, especially when they overseason their veggies and they won’t steam plain ones for you.  So, in case you’re wondering, you can sort of eat healthy at Cracker Barrel.  It just takes lots of planning.  I lucked up and got an item that was seasonal.

    At work today, I bypassed this glory:

    And I am so proud of myself!  I just don’t need all those calories and all that sugar right now.  I smiled at the cake and walked out of the room.  I couldn’t have done that a month ago.

    So. Proud. Of me!

    Please feel free to leave a comment – I would love to hear from my readers!

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    I have had an awesome end of the week!  Thursday’s grocery shopping resulted in some staples as well as some extra lean ground beef. Scott cooked these on the Foreman Thursday evening.  I fixed mine with light canola oil mayo, which has only 30 calories per serving!  One serving was plenty with the burger.  I also had Snyder’s tortilla chips with red pepper hummus.  The hummus was extra creamy and has great flavor.

    On Friday, I had it a bit easier at work.  Some children were sick, and that left me with only three kids.  We had fun, though!  I have a new toy tool set for them to play with, and they went around the room hammering other toys and trying to unscrew the high chairs.  It was quite fun to watch them.  I also got to spend a good deal of time with them outside on the playground as the humidity was not too bad and the temperature was lower than normal.  I looove being outdoors when the weather is nice!

    Yesterday evening we helped out and hung out at our church’s lock-in for our youth group.  Scott planned to meet me at the church since it was his late day at the office.  I picked Noah up from his mother’s house, where he had spent the afternoon, and the two of us met some friends at a favorite Thai place of ours for dinner.  Chef’s Secret serves up yummy Thai and Japanese food, and they also have a sushi bar.  I don’t mind sushi too much, but it’s not my first pick.  I chose to have the Pad See-U with vegetables.  I have been wanting lots of veggies since starting to eat healthy, so this really hit the spot.

    We left the restaurant with Scott’s take out order and headed to the church.  We had a blast hanging out with the youth.  They played human battleship, several board games, and capture the flag before I hit a wall.  Scott and I were not expected to stay the entire night, so I came home around one.  Scott stayed to help supervise a little bit longer since he was more awake than I.  He made it home about 2:45 this morning (!).

    The first part of my Saturday was spent resting and being lazy after keeping an eye on teenagers last night.  I had lunch today before I went to a get together for a close friend of mine.  I got to catch up with her and her family, and I gave some good Vegas tips to her sister.  Not wanting to be rude, I did get some small portions of the food that was offered.  It was all very tasty, but eating it, I realized that my body is really beginning to not have a taste for certain foods.  I think that’s a good thing.  It was well worth it to share some laughs and memories with great friends.

    It’s been a great weekend so far!  I’ve had fun, but I am beat.  I see an early bedtime in store for me this evening.  Oh, I have another victory in the Household Healthy Living Transition to announce – Scott tried the almond butter and really liked it!  I knew he couldn’t be a hater.  That stuff is gooood.

    Question: How is your weekend so far?

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    …who is right now diligently doing his homework.  He just asked me “I’m supposed to do the math problems on the odd pages, but there’s no problems on the first two.”  He looked sooo surprised when I suggested reading what was on those two pages.  This little guy never ceases to make me laugh!

    Noah is the son of my husband, Scott, who has full custody of him, so when Scott and I got married last year, I not only became a wife, I became a full time Mom as well.  Noah keeps me company every afternoon as I get off work at two, and Scott gets off between four thirty and six, depending on the day.

    Southern Fiber with SF Hubby on our Wedding Day

    During the school year, our afternoons consist of errands, homework, playing the Wii, and snacks.  Ahhh, snacktime!  I have gotten into the habit of having a small bowl of shredded wheat or a Kashi bar to get me through the afternoon.  Noah eats a pop tart or peanut butter toast.  Meh.  He’s a kid, and pop tarts aren’t horrible, but Scott and I are trying really hard to think up some healthy options for his snacks (and meals, too).  We are aware that there are lots of foods to choose from, but the foods that Noah is willing to eat right now are extremely limited.

    This is presenting its own set of challenges for us while we transition as a household from Eating the American Way to healthy and lean.  Thankfully, I have a good stash of food from Saturday and our trip to the store last week that I’m not lacking for breakfast and lunch, and so far, for dinner, either.  However, Noah is not in the habit of eating veggies at every meal, he eats chicken fingers at the Mexican restaurant, and he tries to gag himself on sweet potatoes.  This is going to take some work on our part to reverse his eating habits.

    At the grocery store this afternoon, I was there to only pick up a couple of things to get us through the weekend since we’re not sure how much time we will actually be home to eat our own food.  I was straining my brain to find a loaf of bread that the three of us will eat.  Scott and I love to eat whole grain bread, but Noah refuses to eat anything other than white.  I picked up a loaf of whole grain bread just to see the nutrition label and Noah said “noooooo!”  This made me laugh.  I assured him I was just looking at the label so that I could find a loaf of white that had similar nutrients.  I settled for a loaf of whitewheat that has *gasp* four grams of fiber!  I know it’s not whole grain, but the label does say unbleached, and it’s “Healthy White” meaning that it has as few additives as possible.  I would like to be buying whole grain bread, but for the sake of my son and our sanity, I am willing to make this concession.  He is doing a great job of eating some foods he’s not used to eating, and I’m afraid too much of a change for him would be a shock.

    We will slowly adjust Noah’s diet, and we are hoping it helps that he is at the age where many children develop “more taste buds” and appreciate a wider range of foods.  So far he hasn’t complained too much about the changes he’s had to make, but I know he’s not ready to give up some of his kid favorite foods.  And that’s fine with me.  He is supporting me and keeping me accountable with my exercising, and he is making sure I get breakfast for me and pack a healthy lunch to eat as well.  Which reminds me… my first shot at being “creative with leftovers” =

    The bean part of my black bean chipotle soup, chicken from dinner the night before, and roasted red pepper hummus on whole grain flatbread.  Mmmmmm.

    In the meanwhile, I am happily content to have Noah encourage me and be supportive of my lifestyle changes.  He is already making some concessions of his own in his eating.  I’m very proud of Noah :D.

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    I have been on my new eating plan and I am very proud to say that I am making some serious headway in the right direction.  My digestive system has been functioning properly, and I feel healthier, even lighter inside!

    Now that I have been making healthy eating choices, I wonder why I didn’t do this before.  Are we as Americans really that accustomed to eating foods that don’t nourish us?  Maybe our taste buds become accustomed to fatty foods.  We eat so much fast food and junk food that when we get hungry, we’re hungry for foods we’re used to eating instead of food that our body needs.

    I agree that fast food burgers, chips, deep fried foods, and the like are tasty.  Trust me – I’ve eaten them for years, and wouldn’t have continued if they didn’t taste good.  However, in my case, I would eat and then feel too full afterward, and sometimes I even wondered why I ate what I did because it didn’t seem to quite hit the spot for what I was hungry for.

    Since I began eating healthy, I have cut out just about all those foods that was ruining my body, my taste buds, and my sense of wellness.  I am now eating lots of high fiber, naturally low fat foods, and after my meals, I feel full, but not too full.  My body doesn’t tell me I ate the wrong thing anymore.  I genuinely feel nourished and content, and it takes longer for my body to tell me it needs more food.  I’m certainly not complaining.  Fruits, veggies, grains, beans, and meats prepared properly are considered healthy for a reason.  Your body honestly needs these foods to run smoothly, and I had never appreciated that fact until I started eating healthy.

    Chipotle black bean soup – high on flavor and fiber.  Yummers!!!

    A Bora Bora Bar.  I found these on Saturday, and I Must. Get. More.

    My personal exercise preference right now is the Wii Fit.  I refuse to sign a contract at a gym.  I did that once and moved, and it was extremely difficult to get out of.  I’m not willing to sign my life away.  Anyhoo, the Wii Fit puts you through as rigorous of a workout as you will allow it to.  Since I’ve been sedentary (all things considered) since High School, I am choosing to do some yoga, aerobics, and strength training with every exercise session.  I did three sessions last week and have already done two this week.  I’m feeling the “burn” of exercise, but I know this is one more way to keep my body healthy.  It’s fun, too!  The exercises feel more like games, but they do give you a full body workout.  It may not be a gym, but I am enjoying my little “home gym” just fine.  Noah even likes to watch and encourage me as I exercise.  That makes it even better :).

    Wrapping this all up, these past two weeks I have found that healthy food not only tastes good, it makes you feel good.  Well worth the change!  Also, exercising is fun!  I can feel my body starting  to “thank me” for exercising by the pain I feel in my muscles.  Oh, I have already lost five pounds!  I’m more concerned with getting my body healthy and feeding it what it needs, but weight loss is an added bonus.  And thank you to my readers – I really, really appreciate the kind words and all of the encouragement.  This blog is a blessing for me :).

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