Archive | May, 2013

Green Smoothies (Recipe Included!)

30 May

The initial idea of adding green smoothies to our diet didn’t exactly excite anyone in my family, so I signed up for a 30 day challenge I read about on Unconventional Kitchen to get us started. Each day during the month of May I got an email with a new green smoothie recipe. I also got an email with a shopping list a couple days before the challenge started.

To be honest, I did not go out and purchase everything on the shopping list. We also are not drinking a green smoothie every day like the challenge suggests. BUT, we tried the first recipe this past weekend, two different ways, on Sunday and Monday, and everyone loved it! My 8 year old and my 5 year old had no idea they were drinking a smoothie with spinach in it, but I made a point of telling them after they had slurped it down. I wanted them to know that they had had spinach and actually like it, which will hopefully translate into them being more accepting of it in other recipes in the future.

Here is the recipe we tried:

Basic Green Smoothie
Serves 2
3/4 C of almond milk, water, coconut water
1-2 handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.)
1/2 banana
1 C of frozen fruit; apples, oranges, pears, pineapple, etc.
Dates or raw honey to sweeten
Optional superfood booster: flax, chia seeds, kefir

Fill the blender with greens, add liquid. Add frozen fruit, bananas, any optional ingredients, and blend until smooth. If mixture is too chunky and not blending well, add more liquid.

I used raw milk as our liquid, spinach, frozen fruit (raspberries one morning, and blackberries the next), and flax seed as our superfood booster. The first day I added raw honey, but I didn’t think it really needed it, so they next day I didn’t add any sweetener at all and no one missed it.

Try a green smoothie this week…I dare you!

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Restaurant Review: FnG Eats (Keller, TX.)

28 May

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Chef Proprietors Bob Stephenson and Carlos Arevalo are proud to open the doors to FnG Eats, Keller’s newest dining destination for locally sourced upscale-comfort food. Using fresh food offerings from the Keller Farmers Market, the FnG menu brings together the perfect blend of creativity, inspiration and skill to create exciting dishes based on homestyle favorites as well as new innovative offerings. Everything from its small plates, entrees, desserts and even its cocktail menu are developed to be a culinary experience. And best of all, every dish is served with a big helping of hometown hospitality.

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My husband and I ate at a new (to us) restaurant that I had been wanting to try, on a date night last weekend. We arrived at 6:30 to find that recommendations are strongly recommended on Friday and Saturday evenings, and of course we hadn’t made one so the wait for a table was rather lengthy. Our options for quick seating were to eat at the bar, or at the “community table” (a long table that seats around 10, that multiple parties can sit at together), we went with the bar.

The bartender was friendly, and service was quick despite how busy he was (he was the only one working the bar that night). My husband ordered a Best Damn Old Fashioned cocktail, and I ordered a Jollyrancher (off the menu based on the bartender’s recommendation). We both enjoyed our drinks, and mine did taste just like a watermelon Jollyrancher…yum!

For our appetizer we ordered the Lodo, a chipotle black bean puree with queso and avocado. This is served with a pile of stone ground tortilla chips for dipping, and was very good.

For our main course we chose the Flat Iron Steak with Smashed Potatoes and Wood Grilled Asparagus, pictured below. The steak was melt in your mouth delicious, and the smashed potatoes and asparagus were amazing. We enjoyed every single bite!

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For dessert we ordered the Creme Brulee…it was absolute perfection.

My opinion? Everything about this place totally did it for me! The location, the ambiance, the food, and the service were all superb. We will definitely be going back, there were so many things on the menu that I would love to have the chance to try!

FnG Eats
201 Town Center Blvd, Suite 1101
Keller, TX.
817-741-5200
http://www.fngeats.com

Hours:
Sunday -Thursday: 11am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 11pm

Cost:
$$ (most entrees under $25)

Fare:
Upscale Comfort Food

When Did My Baby Grow?

25 May

Five years ago my youngest was born on Cinco de Mayo. Honestly, I wasn’t even aware of the holiday until she came along, and all the nurses in the hospital kept saying how fun to have a Cinco de Mayo baby. 🙂

When did she…

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…become her?

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(Yes, that is a small bag of candy! To celebrate the end of the school year she wanted to go to a local candy shop and get a treat. We do allow these types of things in moderation or on special occasions. Full disclosure!)

A Weeks Worth of Groceries (April 22-28)

23 May

I apologize for the poor quality of some of these pictures, I’m not sure what happened! This is a typical weeks worth of groceries for our family of four.

Central Market

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Organic whole milk, Food 4 Life sprouted tortillas, Food 4 Life hot dog buns, Applegate Smoked Turkey deli meat, organic butter, Applegate organic hot dogs, organic Pink Lady apples, organic lemons, organic green and red bell peppers, Hass Avocado, organic bananas

Cupboard Natural Foods

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Organic Valley 2% Lactose Free milk, Hail Merry Strawberry macaroons, Barbara corn flakes, Numi Rooibos tea, Bionature organic crushed tomatoes, That’s It bars (apple/mango, apple/apricot, apple/cherry, apple/pear), honey mint patties, Honey Acres chocolate honey mints, Dr. Kracker seeded spelt crackers, Pepper Belly salsa, fruit leathers (apricot, raspberry, grape), Larabars (banana bread, key lime, peanut butter cookie, carrot cake), organic red delicious apples, organic russet potatoes, organic lemons, organic bananas, Heartland Raisin Cinnamon Walnut bread, Heartland Whole Wheat bread, Garden of Eatin blue chips, Beanito black bean chips

Earthwise Gardens

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*All items are local (within the state of Texas), organic, meats and eggs from animals that are pastured/grass-fed, cheeses made with raw milk.

Boneless skinless chicken breast, whole chicken, rainbow carrots, broccoli, snap peas, red leaf lettuce, strawberries, eggs, grapefruit, oranges.

2013 Goals: May Update

20 May

My progress so far this year…

Financial

1.Pay off all debt except student loan and home mortgage (this includes two cars, a line of credit, and credit cards) – Paid $211 extra towards debt

2. Make a decision about what I want to do (for work), and work towards putting myself in that position – I am leaning in a certain direction!

Physical/Health

1. Convert to clean eating, while spending wisely to save on groceries – Watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

2. Exercise 2-3 times per week (30 minutes or more) –

Home

1. Finish girl #1’s room re-model

2. Start (and hopefully finish) girl #2’s room re-model

3. Continue improvements to yard and landscaping

4. Start a garden – I planted a tomato starter plant in a large pot, using all organic products (fertilizer, soil, insect repellent [garlic spray])

Spiritual

1. Find a church home – Visited a friend’s church, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit for us

Personal

1. Learn Spanish with my girls –

2. Read (books) –

3. Volunteer (more often)

4. Be a better wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend

5. Simplify my life – Made the decision not to constantly check email, or spend time on facebook daily. I check email when I can, but only for a few minutes, and spend time on facebook only when I am waiting somewhere (doctors office, school pick-up line, etc). I am behind on email and facebook, but I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. I have adjusted my priorities to fit the kind of lifestyle I want to lead.

The Milk We Drink

16 May

raw-milk

My view of milk has evolved over the years, but most drastically in the last few months. Growing up, my mom always bought conventional 2% milk (I’m not sure if organic milk was widely available at the time) and I was taught that whole milk had too much fat content.

Around age 12 I was diagnosed by an E.N.T. with a milk allergy, and my parents made me give it up altogether for several months to try to “cure the allergy” as the doctor suggested. Ever tried cereal with apple juice? Um, yeah.

As a teenager I was influenced by a few of my friends, who were constantly dieting, to switch to skim milk because heaven forbid we eat or drink anything with any amount of fat in it. This was during the rise of the “fat-free” trend, and I got swept up in it like so many others.

After I got married, I went back and forth between skim and 1% and 2% for no particular reason. All I knew was that whole milk had too much fat in it. Little did I really know!

Sometime in the past few years, I don’t remember exactly when, we switched full-time to buying only organic 2% milk. We made the switch to organic because we were worried about the hormones in conventional milk that were being passed on to our two little girls. We had heard how the hormones in conventional milk can cause early on-set puberty in children, and that was something we definitely wanted to avoid.

A few months ago we switched from organic 2% to organic whole milk. You can read more about whole milk, as well as all the others, here.

Within the last couple months I have been reading about the health benefits of raw milk vs organic milk that has been pasteurized. You can read more about the health benefits of raw milk here. We decided to make the switch, and are currently working on our second gallon. Laws concerning the sale of raw milk vary by state, but here in Texas you can legally purchase raw milk from the farmer who produces it. You have to purchase it AT the farm, not at a farmers market. We are purchasing our milk from Diamond B Cattle Company in Decatur, TX. If you do decide to give raw milk a try, you must visit the farm first! Get to know the farmer, ask questions, and make sure the farm is clean and in tip-top shape. Since we just recently made this switch I don’t have a lot of experience with this, but let me tell you, this is the freshest best-tasting milk we have ever had. I am hooked already!

Healthy Lifestyles Chair (PTA)

10 May

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I am so excited to have the opportunity to be the first Healthy Lifestyles Chair to serve on the PTA at my daughter’s elementary school during the 2013-2014 school year! This position did not exist at her school, so when I read about it I contacted the PTA president and asked her to let me take it on. She gave me the role!

I will be working under our SHAC (School Health Advisory Council) Representative, and will attend SHAC meetings as well. I will promote healthy lifestyles programs like Walk to School Day, Bike to School Day, etc.

I plan on using my position to try and influence the school to make adjustments to the school cafeteria menu. I recently requested a list of all the items served during the month of April, and I plan on doing a lot of research over the summer to find healthier options. The first issue I plan to tackle is the beverages they are serving the students. I will present my findings to them at the beginning of the school year, and hope to convince the staff to make needed changes.

I feel like this role will put me in a better position to be an agent for change. We need to take steps in the right direction, towards healthy eating and healthy living. I can’t wait to get started!