Archive for ‘Life’

January 1st, 2011

Happy New Year

I feel like this is the first year I’ve actually paid attention to meaning of “Happy-New-Year”. Even though it’s just another group of days, organized into 30 or 31 days that equal months, and twelve of those months equal a year, it does some how give you the feeling that you can make a change.

I’ve never felt like I needed to make resolutions. This is impart to most people not being able to keep them, or making unrealistic resolutions. When I was a little girl, my resolution was always to stop biting my nails. I always failed a couple of weeks in. I still bite my nails occasionally but at least I have the long nails I always dreamed of. It turns out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s actually kind of gross because things can get trapped under your nails!

I feel very hopeful about this year, not that I want to make a lot of changes, just that there will be change, and I’m willing to accept it with excitement. I hope to be healthier than ever this year, make smart decisions and live a happy and fulfilling life. and learn a lot of new things, and share them.

I know a lot/most people make some type of health resolution at the beginning of the year. Gym memberships start flying off the shelves at this time. If I can give any advise in regards to exercise, it would be to do something that’s not a hassle to do. Driving to a gym, for me, just got to be more of a hassle than was it was worth.

The method I found that has really been working out for me is rebounding. I feel amazing, it’s convenient, it’s effective and easy. I have toned up so well, in hard to work places and it makes me feel so energized. I used to spend an hour, at least at the gym, running, using the elliptical and also doing weight training, with little to no results. I don’t mean to sound like an infomercial, but rebounding really is the best form of exercise I have found with more results than I could even imagine! It’s a total health booster.

To find out more information on them, check out the masters of rebounding, Bellicon. It really is like bouncing on a cloud!

Happy New Year to you and your families. I hope that this will be your happiest, healthiest year yet.

December 10th, 2010

Dreams Do Come True!

I normally wouldn’t post something like this, but it’s just too funny not to share! My Mom sent this to me, probably a couple of years ago! She knew how much I enjoyed the claw game. I even would have dreams about winning all the toys. I spent every indoor soccer game, of my brothers, at the mercy of this machine. I would constantly be running back and forth from the arcade to the bleachers where my mom was, begging for another quarter. When she finally turned me down, I would search under the bleachers for the quarter that fell from someones unlucky pocket or purse!

I still remember the time when a couple of the kids and I got so close to getting a stuffed animal, the loop on the top of it’s head was hanging over the side where it would drop. I got real inventive all of the sudden! I ran to the concession stand and asked for a bunch of straws and smiled as the attendant eyed my rye smile with caution. He gave them to me any way, and I got to work. I made a pole out of flexible straws and piped it through the door of the machine and viola! The bear was mine!

So, I say Bravo to this little girl (and the one I saw on the news this morning that did the same thing) for livin’ the dream!

December 7th, 2010

Welcoming December With Potstickers

As my sweet husband put it, the seasons are beings very organized. Fall was fall, and Yesterday, on December 1, it snowed for the first time. It wasn’t anything major, but I nice little dusting to put me into Christmas cheer.

We actually spent the day with my Dad, waiting on our new countertops to show up. After they were finally installed, (at 6:30 PM!!) B and my Dad could get to work putting the plumbing back together and tiling. I felt bad because my dad drove up for just the day and thought he could be home that night to eat dinner with my mom. They live an hour and a half away.

Since we were taking him hostage for the night, we thought we would go get something to eat. Since I’m eating gluten-free, organic and for the time being, dairy-free, it’s hard to think of restaurants I can eat at! I always forget about it but we have a great Thai restaurant in town that use organic ingredients, free range meats and as much local as posible. My Dad loves asian food so this was a win win for me.

It was just us in the restaurant since it was a little before the dinner rush. The food was great, but what made it so awesome was looking out of the window at the falling snow, illuminated by the street lamps. It was such a perfect site to jump start the Holiday Spirit.

I don’t know what it is about winter but all I want to eat is potstickers. It was the highlight of my Chinese Restaurant experience as a kid. Every year since I’ve learned to make them, I just can’t get enough.

The best thing about food blogs, is that people bring their family recipes to the cyber table to share. I love Chinese food but could never recreate it at home, especially potstickers. I found a great blog, UseRealButter, that showed step by step instructions on how to make them. I make these babies in bulk and given them as gifts, they are so good.

I have since played with the ingredients and made my own, vegetarian, gluten free version, that hits the spot every time.

For the Wrapper

1/2 C. Tapioca starch
1/2 C. White rice flour
3/4 t. Xanthan gum
1 T. Toasted Sesame oil
6 or 7 T water

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients until well combined. Add the water until it forms a soft but not stick dough ball. Be sure to keep it moist until ready to use. I cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.
Adapted from Hey that tastes good!

Pot sticker filler

2 green onions
1 C. Quorn grounds
2 leaves of napa cabbage
1 oz gluten free soy sauce
2 T chopped ginger
1 clove of fresh garlic
1/2 C. dried shitake mushrooms
1/4 C. mushroom water
1 T tapioca starch
1/3 C water (for steaming)
2 or 3 T sunflower oil

In a skillet, heat the sesame oil to medium heat. Add the quorn grounds (I use them frozen) and cover to cook. Once the grounds are soft, add the soy sauce. Chop very finely the ginger, napa cabbage, green onions, and garlic. Add the dried shitake to a small pot of water and rehydrate them. This takes me about 10 minutes. Once they are soft and rehydrated chop them very finely. You can put all the “hard” ingredients into a food processor, but you need to be sure not to make it too paste. Add all the chopped food to the skillet and cook until every thing is cooked through and not raw. With 1/4 C of the remaining mushroom water add it to 1 T of tapioca starch and combine with your clean fingers. Add to the filling mix over medium heat. It will thicken everything, making it easier to fill the wrappers. Cool completely.

To assemble

Roll a small ball of the dough, about 1 tablespoon, and place between 2 pieces of parchment paper, do not use wax paper. With the back of a small pan, flatten the ball. Once it’s flattened, you can use a rolling pin and roll it a little thinner, but be sure to keep it circular. Peel it from the parchment and in the middle of the circle place a small teaspoon amount of the filling in the center. Fold it in half and press the sides together and place on parchment until ready to cook. Or you can lightly oil a pot sticker press and use it.

To cook

In a skillet that has a tight fitting lid, add 2 or 3 T of oil on med/high. Place the dumplings, side down in a circular pattern around the skillet, facing the same way to make the most room. Pan fry until the bottoms are golden brown. Once the bottoms are cooked, quickly add 1/3 C of water, it will spit and spatter, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the water has all cooked off. Uncover the pan and brown up the bottoms a little more to make sure they don’t stick. These are very hot, too hot to eat, so once they slide around, turn off the heat and make your dipping sauce.

Dumpling dipping sauce
1 oz. soy sauce
1 t. honey
a little bit of chopped green onion
1/2 t rice wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients. You can heat all the ingredients to concentrate the flavors.

December 1st, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

November 17th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

November 16th, 2010

Tuesdays Tip: Saving $ On Organic Foods

I get asked a lot how to save money on Organic/Natural foods and supplements. Here are some tips that I use and an Ex coupon junkie.

1. Buy supplements on Ebay. As long as they aren’t outdated and are sealed, you can save a lot buying online.
2. Write the companies you buy from frequently, tell them you like their products, and if they can send you some coupons. Most companies will send you some sort of savings.
3. You can buy organic food coupons on Ebay for cheap.
4. Go to websites such as HealthEsavers.com or the companies own websites. Some have on-line print outs.
5. If your favorite item goes on sale, buy a lot of it if it’s non perishable. I always buy my natural dishwasher detergent on sale and buy a couple of boxes because when it’s on sale, I usually save at least $2 per box!
6. Sometimes, the stores will have coupon books in the front of the store or at the customer service desk. Just ask!
7. Look at expiration dates. If things are close the the expiration date and you knew you will use them before, ask for a discount.
8. Buy in bulk from Amazon or other online companies. Sometimes this is cheaper than buying from the store.
9. Bring your own bags! Some stores give bag discounts, if you bring your own.
10. Shop the bulk bin section for common kitchen ingredients, such as rice, nuts, flour, oats, etc. This is often cheaper than buying a pre-packaged item, because they are saving on packing materials which brings savings to you.

This is how I try to save the most money I can. Living organically can be expensive, but there are savings to be had! It’s better for you and the environment, so it’s worth it in every way!

October 27th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 20th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 13th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 8th, 2010

Fitness Friday With The Bellicon

It’s been a week since I’ve had the Bellicon Rebounder and I have not been disappointed. I was hopeful when I started looking into rebounding but I did not expect the results I’m getting.

The first day I got it, I set it up, which was so easy, and bounced on it every now and then until I could dedicate a solid 20 minutes. I was baking that day (I know, counter productive!), so there were moments of waiting in which I could bounce. I started with a soft “health bounce” which was surprisingly effective. As a beginner, the health bounce is recommended to start out with, to ease into the motions and rhythm. Basically, it’s just bouncing lightly, without leaving the mat.

Later on, I went for the 20 minutes. It was fun, easy and the time went fast. I jumped high, slow, ran in place, twisted etc. When the 20 minutes were over, I wasn’t tired at all. I felt quit invigorated. A couple of minutes after getting off the rebounder, I felt a very familiar “detox” feeling. It’s sort of like I’m going to be sick. Let’s just say, there was a cleansing process. I felt so much better, and I slept great that night. This also happened for my husband!

Through out the week, I did every day, but one (I took a long walk), 30 minutes. I usually watch a show to pass the time. It goes by so quickly, that it’s hardly a hassle. On the days I run, I usually dread it. There hasn’t been any weight loss (not a goal of mine), but I am hopeful that it is going to target the muscle groups I have a hard time toning. I noticed that on a downward bounce, there is a back-to-hip muscle (external oblique) that was getting worked, which seemed hard to believe. I’m hoping to bounce away my love handles! My legs feel good and tight and my core is strong.

The best benefit, so far, is the energy it brings. Even B has just jumped on it for a few minutes, just to “get his juices flowing”. I’m hoping to get him to depend on bouncing, instead of coffee. When I’ve been a little tired, I start bouncing and I’m wide awake immediately. It’s so refreshing and not intimidating, and doesn’t require a change of clothes.

Something I’ve also noticed, is that, if you bounce lightly after a meal, it speeds up digestion. I hear my stomach gurgling away.

After some research on rebounding, I learned if you have problems with incontinence, rebounding can definitely help. It helps strengthen the pelvic floor.

The first week has been so rewarding and health benefitting. I can’t wait to see what the second week brings.

For videos and more information on rebounding check out Bellicon-USA.com