Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life (Week 2)

(WARNING--Tracy feels this post is way too long, so sorry about that...I had so much to say and have a hard time being "concise", however, there's lots of good info if you make it through the whole thing...I'm a mom, not a writer, but it is a goal of mine to become better at concision!)

This quote about health inspired me this week and the more I really ponder and think about this, the more I realize how true it really is:

“It’s not what you do once in awhile that will kill you,
it’s what you do every day of your life that will save you”.

As I look at the daily eating habits of my family I realize that even though we have a long ways to go to having everything where I would like it to be at, 
we do many things right every day...like eating a hearty nourishing breakfast each morning (steel cuts oats with raisins, a touch of brown sugar and milk). We all drink water for our beverage of choice, we don’t drink soda pop, we try and eat from the staples for the majority of our meals and try to include as many whole grains, fresh fruits and veggie, legumes and small amounts of meat in our diet as we can.   
We definitely aren’t perfect and as you can see, not everyday its perfectly balanced, like when I make up Old Fashioned Cookies and we have them for lunch with some cheese, fruit and veggies.  Then there are the times when I’m not looking and my kids and hubby sneak taffy or licorice from our "holiday treat jar", or I wake up to a half eaten bag of chips sitting on the counter that Tracy and the boys ate for no reason at all, and yes, when we do eat out, we often succumb to temptation and order greasy French fries and Tracy has a weakness for chocolate malts and then there's the fact that Tracy is a nice dad and buys random "not-so-good-for-you" goodies for the kids every now and then. 

In my opinion, where people go wrong is the daily pop drinking, daily candy bars, daily eating out and consuming high glycemic, high sodium, preservative-laden foods.  These are the diet related choices that will eventually lead to health problems later in life.

It’s a good feeling to think of all of those little things you do RIGHT everyday that will help keep you healthy, to know that you are doing all you can to keep from getting sick.   By making things a habit and getting your palette where you crave healthy things like fresh water, whole grain breakfast cereals, fruits and veggies, beans and legumes and meat (but in small portions) and doing your best to keep moving and staying active everyday. 

Anywho, not to ramble,
we had such a great week!  
Here are some of the highlights:
I had a friend ask me if we stocked up for this challenge...
the answer is no.
I ran downstairs and snapped photos of what my freezers and food storage looks like as of June 12, 2011.
Each month when we do our monthly shopping, we are always adding to our food storage to keep it at a certain level as far as how many staples we have.   By doing this challenge of no shopping for three months (except produce and milk), it helps me rotate through things, and see where I'm lacking and to compare this summer from last summer as far as which items and the quantity of things we went through.  

It's actually really FUN to me 
 to have this challenge and for me "stretch" and to see what I am made of! 

 None of us ever know when challenges may come into our lives and so it is nice to do "trial runs" to see how you would handle things and what changes you can make in your life to be better prepared for whatever the future may hold.
Our week started off with a picnic in the park
I made up potato salad before church, cut up fruit and baked some chicken  Our plan was to take our kids to the Greenbelt in Idaho Falls to enjoy a picnic and then a nice walk around the river, but when we were at  church we found out one of our friend's father had passed away and the viewing was that night,  
so we headed to Rexburg, enjoyed a picnic at the park and gorgeous weather and then headed to the viewing.  
WE LOVED the sunshine this day!
I love days, when I can pull things out of the freezer…
 I pulled out some chicken breast, some cooked wild rice and within no time at all, we had a yummy pot of soup to enjoy for dinner!!   
This is one of our top 5 favorite dinners…Chicken and Wild Rice Soup!

Summer-Time means SMOOTHIES!! 
Most of the time I just put whatever fruit I have in the fridge, or pull bags of frozen fruit from my freezer, add in some honey, water, sometimes yogurt or cottage cheese and we have delicious smoothies to enjoy!

I haven't had one of these days in a long time, where I was able to accomplish everything on my list, including baking, clean house and time spent with kids!!

What a happy kid!
Never under estimate the power 
of making up KABOBS!!  
If you don’t have much fruit, this is a perfect way to present lunch to your family! I purchased a package of bamboo sticks for $1.00 and I have them in my cupboard to make Kabobs in the summer time.  With 32 grapes, 24 pieces of pineapple,24 pieces of watermelon we made up 8 large Kabobs (enough for 2 each) and served along side a sandwich, this filled us up!  
PLUS, it just adds a FUN factor to lunch or dinner!
I had to quickly snatch M&M's from being devoured by my hubby and kid that I brought home from a bridal shower for my niece Shae that I attended
(how many M&M's in a baby bottle...I guessed 190 and there were 196).
I took the remaining M&M's and made a batch of Oatmeal Cookies!

I came to a realization this week, that I probably won’t be buying another box of crackers in my life (other than to make Tracy's favorite Meatballs and Rice)
as we made up some Salmon and Artichoke Spread and pulled out a package of crackers and realized how SALTY they were.   
We opened up a package of non-salted tops and they tasted like card board.    
Since we don’t eat much processed food, when we do eat it, this is always something we realize is how loaded they are with sodium.
  SO, I decided to make a batch of Artisan Bread and use instead of crackers and that was PERFECT!   
If you want it more crunchy like a cracker, you just toast it 
Artisan Bread is definitely going to be what we will be using from now on
for hors d'oeuvres, or cheese, meats, crab salad, anything you would use a cracker for, etc…  
So happy to have found one more option that we can make a part of our daily living to keep from buying processed things from the store.
Our favorite meal this week was this most delicious salad topped with tomatoes, avocados, cheese chunks, caramelized almonds and dried cherries served along side some Artisan Bread and salmon/artichoke spread.   
Salmon and Artichoke Spread is SO YUMMY!
Looking forward to having spinach and leaf lettuce to pick from our garden in a few weeks to enjoy more yummy, weekly salads!
Hopefully, we will get some warm weather
and sunshine so our garden will grow!!

Helpful tip for salad topping...
my mom had given me a bunch of small packages of almond slivers as my dad doesn’t like them.  
I took ½ cup slivered almonds, 1 Tbsp sugar and heated on the stove in a non-stick pan stirring constantly until they were caramelized. They added a fun touch to the salad.  

Great tip for Pineapple…
never waste the core of the pineapple…
when you cut it up, just set aside the pineapple core and blend it up in your next smoothie.  If you aren’t planning on making a smoothie that week, just double bag it and put it in your freezer until the next smoothie making day.
Great tip for Broccoli….don’t throw the stock away
Wash it, peel off the leaves and cut it into small pieces and add to soups, or lightly steam it and serve as a side dish.  
Tracy and I were watching a documentary on the Tsunami in Japan this weekend and how some people are just getting food rations with no live food and how grateful they would feel to have some broccoli stem to eat and enjoy!  Waste not, want not!   
We are SO blessed beyond measure for all of the simple, yummy food we have to eat and it is definitely something I don't take for granted! 

I asked the kids what they wanted to eat 
 when we went on our Friday night date.
They both explained “Homemade Mac & Cheese”.
Since we were running late on time, I pulled a package of ham from the freezer and defrosted it and put half of the ham in with the white sauce (I saved the other half of the bag of ham for breakfast eggs).  
It was SO yummy and the kids liked it better with the ham than the normal chicken I add.  
I think I’ll be making this up LOTS this summer.  
So fun to take basic ingredients to make a white sauce and make a more healthy dinner for your kids than pulling out a box that you purchased at the store.   I always keep frozen peas on hand to throw in Homemade Mac and Cheese to add some “greens” to their dinner.

We are hooked on this smoothie combination....
green grapes, celery stalk, slice of lime, honey and ice
it is perfect

Tracy is always trying to figure out ways to boil water 
 when we go camping and hiking as the majority of our meals we eat camping/hiking are all “add water”.  Tracy also needs to boil water when he goes on his scout camp-outs.  So after much searching online, he purchased this “Kelly Kettle” and this arrived in the mail on Saturday.  It is a nifty little device that you can use any random twigs to start the fire that then heats up water you place inside of it and it also provides heat to cook on the top of it.   
 It was late in the day and I was sitting on the edge of our raised bed garden, planting spinach seeds, when Tracy came out and sat by me and proceeded to make a fire and cook dinner so he could be with me while he made dinner.  
I LOVED that moment!! 
He made a typical “man dinner” by opening up a package of Lipton Chicken and Rice and cooking it in a pot and using his new purchase and me as a mom, ran in and chopped up some broccoli to add to it, to make it a little more healthy.
Dinner was enjoyed as a family on the front porch with some Refreshing Lime Drink as a way to celebrate working hard in the yard all day!   
Love these random, out of the blue moments!
June 5th - 11th
Watermelon and left over Lemon Bars from the wedding reception
Sunday picnic in the park with baked chicken, potato salad and cut up watermelon/pineapple
Buttermilk pancakes for an evening treat before bed


Steel Cut Oats
Leftover chicken, potato salad and cut up fruit
Wild Rice Soup and Artisan Bread
Rhubarb Crisp with Homemade Ice Cream

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Wild Rice Soup, Bowl of cut up fruit, Rhubarb Crisp
(kids and me) Smoothie, Quesadilla
Wild Rice Soup, Honey Whole Wheat Bread with freshly made Strawberry Preserves
M&M Cookies

Steel Cut Oats
bananas, cut up fruit, carrot sticks, broccoli, cheese chunks, chocolate cookies
(Tracy treated us to "Mountain High Pizza Pie" on our trip to Jackson Hole)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Fruit Kabobs, salmon/artichoke heart dip, chocolate cookies
(kids) Fruit Kabobs, Quesadillas, apples/peanut butter
Delicious salad with all the fixins, Artisan bread topped with salmon/artichoke dip

Steel Cut Oats
Cut up carrots and broccoli, fresh fruit, artisan bread/salmon artichoke dip
Homemade Mac and Cheese, whole wheat bread with jam
Tracy and I went to Sam's to pick up some fruit and enjoyed some "smoothie" while we talked to the guy doing blender demos from Blend-Tec.  We weren't too hungry after that so we split an Asian Salad at McDonald's, which I must say, was delicious!

Steel Cut Oats
Green Smoothie, Quesadillas
Tracy pulled out his new Kelly Kettle and made up a Chicken/Rice packet that we added in some fresh broccoli.  FUN time eating on the porch and cooking dinner in our back yard.

(links to recipes used this week...)

Take time to ponder today to think of all the many things you are doing RIGHT in your lives 
Take time to count all of your many blessings like health, good food to eat, family that loves you, sunshine, the beauty of nature and whatever other things make you happy!


Garden of Egan said...

Kimmie! Right now you tell Tracy that the post WAS NOT too long!
I love every single word, every idea!

You are amazing! have told my daughter and my daughter in law about this website as they are both trying to make their dollars stretch. They may not comment, but they are spying.

Thank you for sharing all this talent. I know you are busy but this is such a treat for me and so many others.
I look forward to stretching myself like you do and making more from scratch.

CrisKrinkle said...

I agree. This post wasn't too long. It was very informative. I love reading your posts. You are such an inspiration. I look forward to the next one!

Our Paper Plates said...

So I third the comments, and say that I LOVE reading your posts. Don't shorten them! Men use much less words than women - but us women love to read lots of details (at least I do!). Keep up the great work!! :)

C Smith said...

So funny that you posted about that quote. I also recently read it and had planned to blog about it. So true! You may have to stay tuned for my post about it!

Heather said...

Kimmie you are truly amazing! I really enjoyed this post! I am going to have to try some of these recipes. We have been trying to eat healthier here in our house. Thanks for all the tips! I am definitely going to have to try the breads!