Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day!!!

Today is Valentine's Day, which means moms everywhere are breaking out the heart-shaped cookie cutter to make pancakes for breakfast and PB&J to pack in lunches.  I have had several people ask me how we are going to handle the Valentine's Day candy that the minis will be bringing home from school.  I have decided that today we are following a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.  So, for today, the candy is far game...tomorrow, when they are in school, it's all going in the garbage.  Now, before you get all "oh, those poor minis", remember that my minis are not huge sweet eaters.  They were far more excited about the organic uncured beef franks that tasted like beef jerky than my homemade poptarts.  Besides, they are much more likely to carry emotional scars from childhood memories of their mother yelling "booyah suckas" in their faces during UNO. 

Tonight's dinner is going to be p'sketti, garlic bread, and a spinach salad. 

Spinach salad
  • spinach
  • berries (I used strawberry, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
1. Add chopped garlic to balsamic vinegar
2. Season with salt and pepper
3. Slowly add olive oil and stir to mix.

Spaghetti Sauce
  • one onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cans plum tomatoes
  • basil
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar, 1 tsp
1. Remove tomatoes from cans (keep the juice) and cut into chunks.
2. In a pan, saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
3. Add red wine, and let cook for a few minutes. Some of the liquid will evaporate. This is okay, just don't let it all.
4. Add tomatoes, tomato juice, basil, salt and pepper. Stir.
5. Simmer 30 minutes.
6. If you don't like your sauce chunky, remove the large chunks of tomatoes and puree in a food processor.
7. Simmer on very low heat until ready to serve.

We are having our sauce over spaghetti squash (I will mix some Ezekiel 4:9 pasta in with the minis).  Ezekiel 4:9 products use freshly sprouted organic live grains, which means they are higher in nutrients. 

Cook the squash at 375 F in the oven for about an hour (or, if you're okay with the microwave, just nuke it. I'm still unsure about microwaving everything, so I bake mine). Once it's cooked, slice it in half, dig out the seeds, and scrape it with a fork just like this.

We are also having garlic bread with our dinner.  And because I do know how to let my hair down and have good time, I used all white bread flour when I made this. 

Bread Machine Garlic Bread

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-3/4 cups and 3 tablespoons bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (I was out of parm, I used asiago and romano)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1.  Put the ingredients in the bread machine according to your machine's directions.  For mine, I put in water and oil first and then the dry ingredients. 
2.  Bake on white or basic bread setting.  Set for 1.5 pound loaf and medium crust.

I wanted to talk to you guys about some information I learned from my boyfriend the other day when he did an episode on weight loss.  Now, the last time I said Dr. Oz was my boyfriend I got a few emails and even a text from my bestie saying, "Really, Heids?  Dr. Oz?"  I know, I really should stop calling Dr. Oz my boyfriend because the truth is my boyfriend of 14 years is pretty wonderful.  And he tolerates a wife that celebrates Valentine's Day by cooking a dinner that uses 12 cloves of garlic, makes him a mixed tape, and sends him this.....

Anyway, Dr. Oz is really smart and can do a lot of push-ups, which are the 2 things I look for in a man, so he's sort of my boyfriend too.  Anyway....Dr. Oz had an episode on eating for your body type and I wanted to pass this information along.

When I was overweight, I carried all my weight in my mid-section.  This is the most dangerous place to carry extra weight, so I have to be really careful to keep myself thin.  So, I decided I would follow Dr. Oz's recommendations of avoiding all refined carbs (bread, pasta, etc) and try to eat healthy fats (fish, avocado, etc). 

This morning for breakfast, I sliced an avocado thick and placed it on a pan.  I cracked an egg in the hole of the avocado slice and cooked both sides.  Oh My.  Delish.

I copied and pasted this from Dr. Oz's website, I am hoping that's okay.  I don't want my boyfriend to be mad at me on Valentine's Day.

Body Type: Big Bottom (Large Hips, Thighs and Rear)
If you fall into this category, the first secret to slimming down is to understand what type of body fat you’re fighting. Those with big bottoms are carrying around extra subcutaneous fat. This fat that appears just below your skin is actually healthier than belly fat; unfortunately, it is also harder to get rid of. Subcutaneous fat is associated with healthy cholesterol levels and fewer heart attacks, but it also has less blood flow and holds onto calories, which makes it tough to burn off.

Diet Plan: Eat a Low-fat Diet
Research shows that a low-fat diet actually helps break down stubborn fat cells in your bottom region.

Step 1: Cut Back on Saturated Fats
To get on track with a low-fat diet, begin by cutting down on saturated fats, including animal sources such as high-fat dairy and red meats. Eliminate hidden saturated fats such as hydrogenated oils found in processed foods.

Body Type: Big Middle
If you’re struggling to get rid of a big middle, you’re battling visceral fat, the fat located in your abdominal region that surrounds vital organs. While this fat is easier to get rid of than subcutaneous fat, it is also worse for you. Excess visceral fat has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. People with big middles tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the body’s key stress hormone. Too much cortisol slows your metabolism and also breaks down muscle, making you hard-wired to store fat.

Diet Plan: Avoid Refined Carbohydrates/Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
First, avoid refined carbs like white bread, pasta and rice that are low in fat and spike blood sugar, which can increase stress and make you hungrier. Replace simple carbs with anti-inflammatory foods such as barley, buckwheat and amaranth. These whole grains stabilize blood sugar and help control cortisol surges. Go for other healthy anti-inflammatory fats, too, like olive oil, avocado, sea bass and salmon.

Body Type: Big on Top (Chest, Arms and Back)
Women who are big on top carry fat in their chest, arms and back and are the android type. Upper body fat is dangerous for your heart. Stress and lack of protein makes this problem area worse. However, the right combination of foods can melt away the extra fat.

Diet Plan: L-Carnitine Lunch Tex Mex Salad
Just like big bellies, people who carry weight in their upper body do well on a diet that emphasizes dairy. This salad has a decadent sour cream topping. Pair with 500mg of L-carnitine, which stimulates growth hormone and helps turn on the mechanism that burns off fat in those specific areas. Eat with an orange since vitamin C activates L-carnitine.

Body Type: Big Thighs
Trying to lose fat on your thighs can be very frustrating since the fat on your thighs is not very metabolically active. Those with big thighs, like those with a big behind do best with a low-fat, high-protein diet to help boost their metabolism.

Diet plan: Liquid Lunch
Make a protein drink with a secret fat-busting ingredient: white kidney bean extract, shown to help prevent carbs from being broken down into sugars and converted into fat in your thighs.

If you are still reading after all this, HaPpY VaLeNtInE's DaY!!!!!