Sunday, October 10, 2010

The MOST amazing soup ever!!!

I got this recipe for Kale and Lentil soup from Diana Dryer's website.  She is a three time cancer survivor and her recipes are CHOCK full of cancer fighting ingredients - but more than that her food is good - dang good!!


I have adapted this recipe slightly from the original.  Many, many skeptics have loved this soup! If you have not tried Kale yet - this is the PERFECT introduction.

Turkey, Kale and Lentil Soup
1 teas olive oil
1 cup onions chopped
1 teas garlic minced
1 pkg. Italian style turkey sausage (hot or mild, casings removed)
2 cups potatoes, diced
3-4 carrots coined
1 cup lentils
10 cups veggie broth
I Large bunch Kale rinsed and rough torn
1 teas sea salt
red pepper flakes (if desired)


Saute the onion, turkey sausages and garlic in olive oil. Add the carrots, potatoes, lentils and broth and bring to a boil.  Once at a full boil turn heat down to low and simmer 1-2hrs.  20mins before serving bring heat up to med and place torn Kale on top of soup. Cover and steam.  When Kale is wilted stir into soup and return heat to low.  Add sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

OR try the original recipe here:
http://www.cancerrd.com/Recipes/lentilkalesoup1.htm

Happy Turkey Day!

Tomorrow is Canadian Thanksgiving.  I will be making an amazing Turkey breast in the crock-pot.  Here is my favourite reprice taken from a fellow blogger.  Enjoy!

http://www.potsandpins.com/blog/2008/09/crock-pot-turke.html

 

Murder in Green Meadows!

Masks for Halloween

Performance | Thu, 10/07/2010 - 9:29 pm | Read 187 | Commented 0 | Emailed 0

Last October, Magenta staged a superb production of Frederick Knott’s classic, Wait Until Dark. This year they’re producing something in a similar vein: an intense thriller of sex, deceit and murder set in the cozy suburbs, Douglas Post’s Murder in Green Meadows, directed by Jaynie Roberts. But whereas Dark depicted the horror of external intrusion, Meadows reflects the terror under everyday facades.
For the cast, Roberts turns to reliable stalwarts of Magenta and Vancouver theater. Dave Roberts and Lynn Greene play Thomas and Joan Devereaux, something of a typical suburban couple. Thomas is a home designer and has, in effect, created the neighborhood they’ve just moved into. They are welcomed by a pair of neighbors, Carolyn and Jeff Symons (Dorinda Toner and Glenn Chipman). But when Thomas finds out Joan has been having an affair with Jeff, he suggests a dramatic course to save their marriage.
Like any good thriller, Green Meadows takes what should be our comfort zone (in this case, a loving partner in a suburban home) and turns it into something to be terrified of. Roberts plays a social misfit, someone who is uncomfortable around other people and who likes complete control of his life, up to and especially Joan. Dressed in khakis and a polo shirt, and sporting short hair and thick-framed glasses, he looks like a prototypical nerd: something that doesn’t exactly strike terror into the heart. It’s all the more shocking, then, when he shows his true self in bursts of rage and brutality.
The rest of the cast is routinely strong. Chipman stutters and stumbles as the hapless sucker caught in the middle of everything, but, in this story, it’s the women who really make up the meat. There’s a theme about the directions that women can take, and Greene is especially good as the tragic Joan, who probably had been a dreamer but ended up taking the wrong path somewhere along the way. When confronted by her overbearing husband, her good housewife front crumbles to soft speech, glazed eyes and quivering lips. Ultimately, her loyal and sultry masks are stripped away and she’s reduced to being something she probably always was: a woman dependent on someone to tell her what to do.
Both Greene and Toner are adorned in bright make-up that are like masks over their discontent. Toner is smarmy and jovial as Carolyn, who’s not so subtle about her boredom. After the turning point in the middle of the play, she shows herself to be as self-reliant and sneaky – in almost a villainous sort of way – as her neighbors.
The story of Murder in Green Meadows isn’t terribly complicated, nor especially clever, but the underlying theme (what lies behind the mask, if you will) is what makes it fascinating and an often disturbing suburban thriller. Magenta and its bevy of fine actors flesh it out and leave us this Halloween season to consider what lurks within our beloveds’ closets . . . or our own.
Murder in Green Meadows runs through October 16, and for those looking for more supernatural thrills, fear not: there will be zombies on Main Street this Halloween. For more information, visit www.magentatheater.com.

Monday, September 27, 2010

crock-pot apple-sauce

Oooohhh yum . . . I LOVE this time of year - when Joe's Farm brings in its APPLES from the orchards.   I stopped and picked up some MacIntosh apples a few days ago.  These (imho) are the BEST baking and cooking apples.  Not mealy, not too sweet.


Here is what I threw in the crockpot this morning:

12 MacIntosh apples, peeled and cored
3 Tbsps lemon juice
1 dash allspice
2 teas cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I dont like my apple-sauce too sweet but if you want more sugar by all means!)

Cook on low 6-8 hrs.  Use a potato masher to mush to desired consistency.  YUM!!!

Our HSP Story (part Four)

So we were home from the hospital full of optimism, prescription meds and lots of 'you'll be fine' assurances.  Thaniel was a on a pretty strict regimen of rest, meds, rest, meds, sleep, meds, rest . . . you get the idea!

At this point Nathaniel could still not put weight on any of his joints and the Prednisone was making him giddy, hungry and cranky.  I spent a lot of my time distracting him, feeding him and carrying him about.  We had been home just 3-4 days when one night as I was tucking him into bed and noticed he felt quite warm.  'Don't worry about (from the sage husband) his body is just fighting this thing.' Little did we know the fight was far from over!

The next morning I got Hannah off to school and carried the boy down to the couch as had been our pattern for the past few days.  He was hungry but almost immediately after eating brought everything right back up.   Now being from the school of 'non-panicking' parenting I carried him back upstairs cleaned him up and put him in the bathroom.  He vomited a few more times and I could see he was thoroughly wiped out.  I tucked him into bed and re-viewed the HSP information.  Call the doctor it warned.  So I put in a call to Kaiser.

The advise nurse had NO IDEA what HSP was.  And since a majority of the kids who have it manage to escape complications - she really had no idea how to help.  "Its on the list of 'call the doctor for advise immediately' symptoms", I re-explained. She promised to send a message to our doctor and marked it urgent.  I called Eric and told him "I dont like this - I don't feel good about this at all. Come home".

About this time I heard a feeble 'Mom!?' from upstairs.  I went back to check on the boy-child and he was vomiting again.  "I need the bathroom 'he told me, pale and shaky.  A'nd Mom - I really messed the bed".  "Not to worry" I replied, thinking he meant the vomit.  I gathered him up and carried him to the bathroom - where I placed one end on the toilet and gave the other end a big bowl.  He was now 'emitting' from both ends. It was violent and scary. Poor baby!  Not wanting to stand there and watch I headed back to his bedroom to clean up the mess.


And here is where is went downhill very quickly.  I pulled back the blanket on his bed to find his sheets soaked in blood.  I ran back to check on him and his violent diarrhoea was blood!

I dialed the doctors office again - 'PLEASE HELP - I really, really need the doctor to call me back right now - I am scared'.  About this time Eric came home so up stairs I went again.  Thaniel was in a LOT of pain, complaining about his 'tummy'  and begging to be allowed back into bed. 


About then, the doctor's office finally called (2 full hours after my initial call). "Mrs. Toner? This is Dr. M's nurse - she told me to call you and tell you exactly this - hang up the phone, dial 911 and ask them to take him to Dorenbecher.  It sounds like a bowel intussusception  and it can be fatal."  THAT IS WHAT I WAITED TWO HOURS TO HEAR!!!???

Eric took the phone from me and dialed 911.  He quickly explained the situation and our doctors instructions.  They refused to take us to Dorenbecher.  'You live a mile from SWMC, we can take you there if you like' - they told him.  Forget that! Eric hung up.  We wrapped Thaniel up in a blanket, grabbed a bowl and raced him up the street to SWMC.

The staff very quickly assessed him and the doctor let us know that if he needed emergency surgery he should be a Dorenbecher (grrrr) He ordered the ambulance, and they got an IV started.  It was challenging because with the HSP all his blood vessels were breaking down and he bled out quite a bit just trying to get the line in.  The doctors and nurses were quick efficient and calm.  They also made no bones about how serious the situation was.  We were sent via ambulance from SWMC to Dorenbecher at a code 3 (lights and sirens all the way)



Here are some photos of him being loaded up into the ambulance, smiling at the lights and sirens and being unloaded on the other end.




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

making your own Tortillas

When we first moved to the States I had a nice mexican neighbor who taught me how to do these.  they are EASY but take time. And you need to be prepared to have flour all over the place - because making these can be MESSY.  I have altered the original recipe to suit my family's tastes and to include healthier whole wheat flour.  This recipe makes a lot of tortillas - so you can HALF this if you choose - though I find they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Simple Flour Tortillas
2 cups white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1&1/2 teas salt
2 teas baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1-1&1/4 cup Hot water
(extra flour for rolling)

Mix all dry ingredients and then crumble in shortening with a fork.  Add hot water a little at a time until dough becomes soft and pliable.  Knead a couple of times and then break  into 1-2 inch balls (depending on how large you want your tortillas).  Dust tops and bottoms with flour and then roll out as thin as you can make them with your rolling pin.

Heat skillet or cast iron pan on med-high. Cook tortillas 1-2min per side (I flip mine when I see bubbles start to form) Be careful not to over-cook these as they can quickly become cracker-like when overdone.  Place them immediately into a clean kitchen towel if eating right away or into a large freezer bag for storage.  TIP - Placing these into a large freezer bag while still hot will keep them steamy and pliable!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We got a PUPPY!!

I know, it seems random and odd - lol!

And he is actually a 14mth old ENORMOUS 60+lb Treeing Walker Coon-hound.  Not much of a puppy to the naked eye .  . .

he is a poorly behaved, full of mischief, chew on ANYTHING, get in trouble the minute you turn your back, steal food off the counter, bark UNENDINGLY at the kitties, steal your dirty socks, follow his nose rather than your comands, PUPPY.


BUT he is also loving, sweet, protective, kiss you when he wakes up, greets you at the door as if you set the moon, hide his nose when you are mad at him, lean on you for love, roll over to have his belly rubbed - big BABY.

oh, and his breed is approved for Autism spectrum kids.  And he LOVES Nathaniel and Hannah.  Is eager to please, smart and a big sweetheart.

Even Eric loves him . . . .

meet Sherlock!

Our HSP Story (part three)


So when we last left off  . . .

Nathaniel was a swollen, bruised and bloodied mess but resting on, antibiotics (for the Strep), anti-nauseates (to stop the vomiting) and Prednisone (to combat the bleeding in his stomach).

Slowly over the next several hours the doctors and nurses kept close watch on him.  They weaned him from the anti-nauseates and low and behold the vomiting had stopped.  Now to test it with food.  "HALF a popcicle", the Doctor said and we'll see what happens.  It stayed down!  A couple hours later - some jello.  That stayed down too!

The last vestige was for him to be able to "eliminate" on his own.  On his own was funny to me because his joints were so swollen and painful he need assistance getting from the bed to the toilet and because he was hooked up to an IV he also needed assistance moving that into the bathroom too.  But eventually we managed.

I have since said that this hospital stay would have been GREAT fodder for directing WIT which I had completed the previous summer.  For the first 12hrs of Thaniel's stay on the children's ward he was so fragile that they put him in isolation.  This meant no visitors and any Doctors and Nurses entering his room were required to be in gown, glove and mask before touching him.  Also his input and "output" were measured to ensure kidney function - I spent half my time quoting WIT - "time to measure this emesis" ha ha ha.

We spent time watching movies and letting Than sleep.  Taking pictures between (and during) rounds and waiting, waiting, waiting. Finally around supper time the next day  - everyone agreed he was stable enough to go home and REST.  We were instructed to keep him in bed as much as possible, watch closely for any further signs of bleeding and were given a prescription for anti-nauseates, something to coat his stomach since it was so irritated and raw and the steriod Prednisone.  He would also need to be checked by his family physician every 2-3 days.



My dear friend Suze was a Phenomenal help to us in those few days - she picked up Hannah and took her home to feed her and let her sleep over.  She enlisted the help of another good friend Amanda and they (with Hannah's help) came into our home and SCRUBBED the bathrooms, kitchen, living room, Nathaniel's bedroom - anywhere a germ could find my little guy - so that he would be coming home to a safe germ-free environment.  Suze brought me a change of clothes and a toothbrush, said she would sit with Nathaniel and ushered me into the hospital room's bathroom for a shower.  She brought Nathaniel games, books and her son to visit.  She was an angel.  A bossy, lovely, thoughtful angel.  MANY people offered to help and brought gifts of games and toys and food to us at this time - I cant even list everyone on here and I am so grateful to each of them - Suzanne though - did not ask what I needed she simply brought her best and gave it freely.

It was scary taking Nathaniel home in such a fragile state - I felt as if we should keep him in hospital longer.  Surely the doctors would take better care of him than I would?  I did not know if I was up to the task of caring for someone so sick - what if he became violently ill again?  The hospital staff assured us we were more than capable and that they would be there if we needed them.  We wrapped Thaniel up in far too many blankets, carefully loaded him in the car, drove slowly home and carried him in to the sofa.  My next thought - ok now what???

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Borscht

On Saturday Nathaniel and I visited the Farmers Market and I picked up and bunch of beets - which are in season and gorgeous right now!  A couple of nights ago we had steamed beet greens (yum) and today I decided to make borscht (beet soup)

This is traditionally made with beef but I decided to try a vegetarian version.  This is not a traditional recipe but rather a combination of what tasted good to me and what I had in the house.  The result was a creamy, fulfilling, sweet tasting soup with lots of body and a gorgeous bright burgundy colour.  Enjoy!!

Dorinda's Borscht:
1 tbs olive oil
4 large Beets peeled & chopped
1 onion diced
2 large carrots coined
1 pkg, shredded cabbage
3 small potatoes diced

1 teas. minced garlic
4 cups water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

2 tbs. course salt
1 teas dill
1/2 teas cayenne pepper
2 cans sliced beets (with the juice)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fat free cream


Sauté the onions, cabbage & carrots until soft (about 7mins).  Add beets, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, spices and water.  Bring to a boil and then keep at a low boil for at least 20min.  Turn stove down to low and simmer 1-2hr or until you are ready to eat!  At this time I used my immersion blender to blend the soup to a creamy  thick texture.  You may choose to leave your soup chunky if that is what you prefer.  About half and hour before serving mix in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, September 13, 2010

returning to the land of Blogging

It's been an enormously busy, emotional and challenging year!  Lots of things have been happening and I am taking some time to return to the things that bring me joy.  And YES, this blog is one of them.

I confess I have occasionally stopped by to catch up on everyone else's blogs but just couldn't muster up the energy (or TIME) to put into words all the things that were going on.

One of the biggest things was Nathaniel getting so very sick this year.  I have parts one and two of that story blogged along with some boring information on the disease itself.  Part three is rattling around in my brain but it may be a while before I get it all down.

In the meantime I will try to catch up  on family happenings, post recipe successes and failures, fill you in on on my theatrical ventures and wax philosphical when ever the opportunity presents itself.

Cheers!

Monday, May 31, 2010

what are the complications of HSP??

http://www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=1839

Henoch-Schonlein purpura, also known as anaphylactoid purpura, is a disease characterized by an inflammation of the body's smallest blood vessels throughout the body. While the cause is unknown, it seems to be triggered by a recent respiratory infection, either viral or streptococcal. Children ages two to ten (particularly boys) are most commonly affected, although the condition can develop in adults as well. The older the child (or adult), the more likely the disease is to be serious.
The disease may begin suddenly, with rash, abdominal pain, and other signs, or it may develop more slowly over a period of weeks. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is characterized by:
·A rash, which is always present, begins with small hives, or red patches, which appear anywhere on the body, but especially on the legs and buttocks. This rash represents swollen blood vessels, and the spots blanch with pressure, since pressure moves the blood along the vessel. The allergic nature of the rash often makes it itch. As time passes, blood leaks from the swollen vessels, the rash changes from red to a bruised, purple color (hence the name purpura), and the rash no longer blanches when pressed. As the tiny bruises heal they turn to a rust color, and then fade. Each spot lasts for about five days. Often the rash comes in several crops, and a single child may have a rash of a variety of different colors. The skin rash is the most obvious, and most common, finding in Henoch-Schonlein purpura - but by no means the most serious. Blood vessels in other parts of the body can also be involved --most frequently in the joints, the intestines, and the kidneys.
 ·Joint symptoms (arthritis) occur in two thirds of the children. The knees and ankles, particularly, often become swollen, tender, and painful with movement. This arthritis can be quite debilitating, but usually resolves in just a few days. No permanent deformity results, even with the most severe arthritis.

  
key points:
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a short term inflammation of certain blood vessels thought to be triggered by a malfunction of the immune system.
  • Symptoms include a purple spotted skin rash, abdominal pain swollen painful joints, and gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea.
  • Children (particularly boys) are most commonly affected, although the condition can develop in adults too.
  • In most cases, the symptoms disappear by themselves within one to four weeks.


  • ·Gastrointestinal symptoms occur because of inflammation of the blood vessels of the GI tract. Most of these children experience abdominal pain, often quite severe. They will often vomit -- sometimes vomiting blood. More than half of the children with Henoch-Scholein  will have bloody stools. Serious short-term complications most often come from the GI involvement. of pain and gastrointestinal bleeding, with possible complications of bowel rupture or intussusception
  •  
  • ·Kidney disease occurs in up to half of affected children, usually manifest by blood and protein in the urine. While more severe kidney involvement can occur and may even become more or less permanent, most children with kidney involvement recover fully. A very few do not clear up fully and may go on later to develop more serious chronic kidney disease.
·Angioedema - massive transient swelling of the scalp, eyelids, lips, ears, backs of the hands and feet, back, scrotum, and perineum is common and may be striking, especially in young childrenMost children recover fully. The disease may be quite mild and last only 2 or 3 days. For those with moderate to severe symptoms, though, the disease lasts an average of 4 to 6 weeks, with relapses occurring up to a year later (particularly after the child gets another cold or is re-exposed to the offending agent).
Rarely, children die from complications experienced near the time of diagnosis (bowel perforation, hemorrhage, seizure, stroke, etc.). Having made it through the acute crisis, the long-term outcome depends on the extent of kidney involvement. With no kidney involvement, full recovery is the rule. One-fourth of the children with kidney problems will still have detectable problems years later. 
There is no specific treatment for HSP. If the initiating trigger is identified, everything possible should be done to remove it. If the cause is thought to be a bacterial infection, such as Strep throat, prophylactic antibiotics are often given once the infection is eliminated, to prevent recurrence. Anti-inflammatory drugs, and sometimes immunosuppresive drugs, are used to provide much-needed symptomatic relief. Steroids may cause dramatic reversal of GI or brain involvement, but have not been shown to be very effective for the kidneys.

HSP is a very serious disease. Thankfully, it is also very uncommon.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our HSP Story (part two)

Over the next couple of days Nathaniel's rash continued to spread over his feet, ankles, legs, bottom and arms. He ran a fever, complained of constant pain and could not mange to bear any weight on his legs.  He was taking antibiotics for the Strep throat and Tylenol for the pain.



By Wednesday March 30th (just over one week after he first started feeling poorly) he became very nauseous and started vomiting.  I like to believe I am from the school of parenting that is Non-Panicking but when it became more blood than vomit I called the doctor.

When the Dr. office called us back - it was not reassuring.  'Take him to Dorenbecher - to the emergency room.  We are calling ahead so they know he is coming.'  Oh dear!  So we loaded up the boy, his Lambie and his 'bowl'  and headed into Portland.  Here is what he looked like on arrival:


They started an IV and pumped him up with anti nauseates to stop the vomiting.  The ER doctor decided to call in a consult from the Paediatric ward, who suggested that he must have had a stomach bleed (due to the purpura in his stomach)  and should be kept for observation.  So Thaniel was admitted and moved to the childrens ward.

Due to the bleed in his stomach he was not allowed any food or drink and they started him on 40mg of Prednisone to stop the bleeding.  After a battery of blood work and testing we settled in for the night.  By morning Nathaniel's body was covered in bruises and his joints had swollen enormously.  Here are some pics of the swelling:

 Yep - thats MY thumb and Nathaniel's hand!!  And here is what his face looked like - just from sleeping on that side of his body!!  Poor baby,

Friday, May 28, 2010

HSP overview:

What is Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP)?
Henoch-Schönlein purpura (say: hen-awk shern-line purr-purr-ah) causes blood vessels to get inflamed (irritated and swollen). This inflammation is called vasculitis. It usually affects the small blood vessels in the skin (capillaries). It can also affect blood vessels in the bowel and the kidneys. When the blood vessels get inflamed, they can bleed into the skin, causing a rash that is called purpura. The intestines and the kidneys may also bleed.
What causes HSP?
HSP is caused when a person's immune system doesn't fight an infection like it's supposed to. It occurs most often in the spring, usually after an upper respiratory infection, like a cold. HSP occurs most often in children from two to 11 years of age, but it can occur in anyone. Its exact cause is unknown. It might be triggered by bacterial or viral infections, medicines, insect bites, vaccinations or exposure to chemicals or cold weather. You may catch an infection that caused someone's immune system to respond with HSP, but HSP itself isn't contagious. Doctors don't know how to prevent HSP yet.
What are the symptoms of HSP?
HSP causes a skin rash, pain in the joints (such as the knees and ankles) and stomach pain. The rash looks like small bruises or small reddish-purple spots. It's usually on the buttocks, around the elbows and on the legs. HSP can also cause fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms usually last for about four to six weeks. If the blood vessels in the bowel and the kidneys get inflamed, HSP can make you bleed when you have a bowel movement or when you urinate. Serious kidney problems don't happen very often, but they can occur. In rare cases, an abnormal folding of the bowel called intussusception (say: in-tuh-suh-sep-shun) can occur. This makes a blockage in your intestines that may need surgery.
How is HSP treated?
There is no specific treatment for HSP. Medicines can help you feel better and treat an infection that may have triggered HSP. Fortunately, HSP usually gets better without any treatment. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (brand name: Advil) or naproxen (brand name: Alleve), can help the pain in your joints. Sometimes medicines like prednisone can help people with severe stomach pain.
What happens to people with HSP?
Most people do fine. Usually, HSP gets better on its own and doesn't cause lasting problems. About half of people who had HSP once will get it again. A few people will have kidney damage because of HSP. Your doctor may want to check urine samples several times after your HSP goes away to check for kidney problems. Be sure to see your doctor as many times as he or she tells you to.

Our HSP Story (part one)

Monday March 22nd - Nathaniel woke up with a fever and sore throat.  I let him stay home from school for three days.  By Thursday he was feeling better but that night Eric noticed what he thought were bug bites around Nathaniel's feet and ankles.

We were headed to the beach for a couple days and began to notice that what we thought were bug bites - were actually spreading up Nathaniel's leg and growing into dark purplish red splotches.  We sent an email to our doctor because I was worried that it may be somekind of secondary infection from the bug bites.

By Saturday morning (the 27th) Nathaniel was having a very hard time walking and was complaining of pain in his feet, ankles knees and hips.  By the end of the day he was crawling across the floor instead of walking.  We decided to cut our trip short and get him back home and straight to the doctors office.

The Pediatrician on staff ran a rapid strep test which can back positive and she recognised the rash right away.  She explained that it was not bug bites at all but HSP.   She sent us home and told us to keep a close watch on him over the next week or so.  Here is what some of his rash looked like:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weird but yummy!

Easy Stir Fry Peppers


2-3 cups sliced (any combination) green, red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
1 teas olive oil
1 teas minced garlic
2-3 teas (or to taste) Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs Ketchup (yep!)

Heat over med-high until peppers are tender crisp (about 5mins) I love this as a side dish.

enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

breakfast?

My good friend A and I joined Weight Watchers together.  Well actually, this will be my third time down the WW hallway.  Technically I am a lifetime member having met and maintained my goal weight some 4yrs back.  Now that I have gained a good 20lbs+ of that back I am back on the wagon - so to speak.  And that means calculating and counting points.

I like this  part of the WW program - its easy and really helpful.  I keep track of my eating habits without having to count calories and I am more mindful of my choices.  No food is off-limits - but healthier foods are far less points so you eat more when you make smarter choices.

So for the next few blogs dont be surprised if you see alot of WW information and recipes.  It keeps me on track to write things down - and who knows - it may be of use to some of you too:)

Today I am starting with breakfasts.  Here is what I had this morning:

4 ice cubes (0)
4-6 large frozen strawberries (0)
1 tbs Frozen Orange juice concentrate (1)
1 (6oz) container non-fat, sugar-free strawberry yoghurt (1)
1 cup reduced cal, no-suger added, vanilla soy milk (1)

Blend together until smooth.  (3) pts!  Yummy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Script writing is HARD WORK

Yikes.  I dont know how writers do it!  I am not even writing from scratch - just reworking yet another adaptation of Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice.  

Seirously,  I was thinking a couple of days - no problem.  This is WORK!!  I have been a this for days (and days) and so has my co-adapter R,  and still, so much to do.  On the up side - its going to be fantastic!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Here's the one I am starting . . .

Not sure if this is the one my friend S is doing but this is the program I am following. What appeals to me the most is having the running fit in to suit your body. - "This means that you may run for 1 minute, walk for 5 minutes, run for another minute OR maybe save the running for the middle of your routine and walk before and after your running...anyways, you get the idea. Do whatever is comfortable to do the required minutes. However you choose to do it, you are still building up." This means I can do this at my own pace, my own way as long as I get the running in - perfect for the Director in me! LOL


The Aggressive Couch to 5K (3mile) Program - 4 Month

The following tables should help you get started on a simple walk/run routine. It is more aggressive. You work out three times a week at 30 minutes per session. This program takes 16 weeks and is a quicker though steady progression from the conservative program. Remember to eat healthy too. Feel free to change the days if needed to convenient you, but just remember to always have a rest day between runs - you need that rest.

You should be able to do your 5K with no walking after finishing this program provided you can maintain a 10min/mile pace. If you are slower, its ok to still do the 5K BUT walk during it. Don't push yourself. OR add another month of training at the end of this program to build up to about 40minutes by increasing your duration by no more than 10% per week.

If you are experiencing joint pain during this program, it might be best to start off with biking and a decent diet to lose some extra weight that could be irritating your joints. Also, see your doctor. By using this program, you accept the RESTRICTIONS AND TERMS OF US

***Starting on week two, you will see that you run and walk a certain number of minutes each. This means that you may run for 1 minute, walk for 5 minutes, run for another minute OR maybe save the running for the middle of your routine and walk before and after your running...anyways, you get the idea. Do whatever is comfortable to do the required minutes. However you choose to do it, you are still building up. It is sooo important to not overdo the running...and don't even think about speed. Run at a leisurely, comfortable pace. It does not matter how fast other people are running.

You will also notice in the training that the last two weeks of every phase is about the same. I feel this is good as it is kind of a rest. Your not going up in running minutes but just maintaining. This will also keep you less injury-prone...you can't constantly be improving. To improve you need some rest stages where you go back down and some stages where you just maintain. Remember, rest is very important in training.

Now I want you to do something...Print this routine out, put it on your refrigerator and start your first day!

Some running essentials:

  • Get fitted for a proper running shoes at a dedicated running store FIRST!!! A lot of injuries can be avoided this way...just ask us.
  • Avoid running on asphalt or concrete....find a good, smooth trail.
  • A good warm-up is imperative to a safe run. A recommendation is to start with a 5min walk, 1-5minute light, slow jog , 5min walk, LIGHT, gentle stetching, 5min walk THEN start your routine. Doing this will get some blood flowing to your muscles before stretching. NEVER stretch a cold muscle.
  • Cool-down. Very important. Cool-downs eliminates lactic acid, brings your heart-rate to normal and prevents muscle cramps. Walk for at least 5-10minutes. The more the better. Do a LIGHT, gentle stretch session after your walk, walk some more. Later that day/night, do a more intensive stretching.

Phase I Walk/Run Month 1 Mostly Walking (Times in minutes per day)

Week M T W TH F S S TOTAL
1 Off 25/0 Off 30/0 Off Off 30/0 85/0
2 Off 27/3 Off 27/3 Off Off 27/3 81/9
3 Off 24/6 Off 24/6 Off Off 24/6 72/18
4 Off 27/3 Off 24/6 Off Off 24/6 75/15

Grand total: 313/42

Phase - II Walk/Run Month 2 Mostly Walking (Times in minutes per day)

Week M T W TH F S S TOTAL
1 Off 21/9 Off 21/9 Off Off 21/9 63/27
2 Off 18/12 Off 18/12 Off Off 18/12 54/36
3 Off 15/15 Off 15/15 Off Off 15/15 45/45
4 Off 18/12 Off 15/15 Off Off 15/15 48/42

Grand Total: 210/150

Phase - III Walk/Run Month 3 Mostly Running (Times in minutes per day)

Week M T W TH F S S TOTAL
1 Off 12/18 Off 12/18 Off Off 12/18 36/54
2 Off 9/21 Off 9/21 Off Off 9/21 27/63
3 Off 6/24 Off 6/24 Off Off 6/24 18/72
4 Off 9/21 Off 6/24 Off Off 6/24 21/69

Grand Total: 102/258

Phase - IV Run Month 4 All Running (Times in minutes per day)

Week M T W TH F S S TOTAL
1 Off 15 Off 15 Off Off 20 50
2 Off 20 Off 20 Off Off 20 60
3 Off 20 Off 25 Off Off 25 70
4 Off 25 Off 25 Off Off 30 80

Grand Total: 260

Chipotle any one??

A couple weekends ago I had a fun shopping trip into Portland with the 'girls'. And what shopping trip would be complete without some yummy food??

We totally splurged and shared an order of greesy, yummy garlic fries. Oh but that is not all - they served them with CHIPOTLE mayo . . . um my YUM that was good. I puzzled it over a bit and then determined to create my own healthier version. Here is what I bought:

1 small jar reduced fat REAL mayo (15 cals per tablespoon)
1 jar chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican foods aisle)

Get out your food processor (or similar) and combine the entire contents of the mayo with 1-3 peppers. (I used three and thought it was perfect - the kids found it too spicy). I saved the rest of the jar of peppers and will have to come up with something creative for those I guess . . .

YUMMMM . . . I served this with chicken breast strips, lettuce, and shredded cheese in whole wheat wraps. Cant wait to try it on more things . . . . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pork Roast and a 5k


So I have been inspired by my dear friend S who has been posting to Facebook this week about starting the couch to 5k program. I so admire people who take on a challenge! So I am unabashedly going to copy her!!

I have been walking on my treadmill at home already the past couple weeks and Eric and I have been trying to get out for walks together too (when the weather isn't too dismal) but having a program to keep me accountable and consistent sounds like just the thing I need! Another of my dear friends A, suggested that I should try yoga before bed to combat my insomnia so I think I may try adding that to the routine as well.

Speaking of healthy activities . . . The food I have been making at home lately has been much healthier lately too. Gone are the sweets and salts and fats and alcohol of Christmas (well mostly!) And in come the fresh juices, salads and healthy meals.

Tonight I decided to try a pork roast. Eric is not too keen on pork roast - probably because he dosen't like sauerkraut or applesauce - which is my general mode of cooking pork. So tonight I am trying something with no apples, applesauce or Kraut. Slow oven roasted BBQ pork. Sounds good right?

Here's what I did
1 4lb lean pork roast
1 medium onion sliced
1.5 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teas Tabasco sauce
1 tbs Worcestershire
1/4 cup Splenda ( you could use brown sugar if you are anti-fake sweeteners)
1/4 cup Black molasses

Place the pork in roasting pan. slice onion over the roast. combine all other ingredients in a med. bowl and whisk together. pour sauce over roast and onion. bake in a 275 oven for 2-3 hours or until roast is very tender (easily pulled apart with a fork) or use a meat thermometer to make sure pork reaches desired temperature (160 internal for pork)

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where do you keep your ADA?

Saturday night we had a fantastic time at the Magenta Theater celebrating our first annual ADA's (Artistic Director Awards). It was a completely touching, funny and rewarding night looking back over all the hard work and amazing accomplishments of the past year.

In addition to being surprised with a couple awards myself I have to say the highlight of the night was watching those I had worked so hard with rewarded for their outstanding achievements. Seriously I was puffed up like a mother hen and my cheeks ACHED from smiling so much!

I now have my personal ADA's on display in our living room. My friend J should be so very proud of her company! I know I am :)