Yesterday was one of those days where I could not figure out what to cook for dinner. I wanted to make something easy, but there were restrictions. For example, my two year old had been sick, and I knew that he needed grain and vegetables. (He had a reaction to two different items: too much chicken and a soy allergy. The poor child woke up three times during the middle of the night with stomach cramps and constipation.) Luckily, I had some barley malt and Aloe Vera juice on hand. I fixed him oatmeal with dried fruit and lots of barley malt for breakfast, pumpkin bread for lunch, apple juice mixed with aloe Vera juice, and finally --- the dinner dilemma.
Just before dinner, he “blew out”. I was actually quite happy, because I now knew that he would sleep through the night painlessly. Anyway – back to my quandary: I had two O’s to feed, and two A’s who needed to avoid meat.
In the end, I asked my husband for help. He willingly agreed to fix hamburgers for himself and my five year old. Meanwhile, I fixed a spinach and goat cheese tortilla. (Hooray for the health food store! They are selling both Ezekiel cereal and Ezekiel tortillas, which make a nice thin “pizza” crust. )
Much to be expected, I drizzled a little too much olive oil on the frozen tortilla and used the wrong pan! Can you guess what happened? That’s right- smoke. ( I am still laughing..) Next time, I will use a baking sheet and a lower oven temperature. But there is good news! The simple frozen spinach, salt, and garlic spread tasted wonderful with the goat cheese.
As a busy Mom, I still love making those easy dips in my little cusinart chopper. I buy the salted rice cakes (just brown rice and salt!) and use them like chips and dip. Whether it’s parsley, cilantro, leftover spinach, etc – I’ve always got something easy to whip up. I think I will have to try collard greens again with ?????? Hmmmmm, the possibilities!
Hooray! Two dinners this week my husband enjoyed! I wouldn’t say there were perfect, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
The poached salmon with rice turned out just fine. It also made an excellent leftover for my 2 year old A son the next day. I just threw some soy sauce in and presto!
Here’s what I did last night:
Cut slightly frozen chicken breasts into small square pieces. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, paprika, dried parsley and red cayenne pepper in a plastic Tupperware dish. Next, I made the plum barbecue sauce found in the Cook Right for Your Type book. (Yum! Plum and pineapple, ginger and soy, etc.)
Because I wanted to experiment with Kabobs, I stuck the “O” pieces of chicken on the wooden sticks. Lesson number one: cut these pieces very small! It took forever to get these things completely cooked!
Next, I brushed the “A” chicken pieces with the plum sauce and skewered them as well. Lesson number two: the sauce burns! It was just a little too smoky in my kitchen for comfort. (Ha ha). Next time, I will brush the sauce on the chicken close to the end of the cooking period.
Turn these kabobs frequently and get them nice and caramelized. (Oh, the simple olive oil helped make them so crispy and yummy! Of course, the “A” cook has to test the “O” spice combo for sampling purposes only!
Serve with a big salad pre-assembled (saves time) and a sliced Fuji apple or two. I have my nightly glass of Sangria – half of it 30 minutes before the meal and half of it with the meal. Technically, Dr Dadamo recommends as little liquid during the meal as possible, as it interferes with digestion. I am sure he’s right. But hey, I am just being honest!
Thanks for reading! Good day!
I am so lucky! I’ve been fortunate enough to enroll in a Women’s on Weights class and I am dedicating this blog to the art of strength training. If you are not interested in lifting weights or strength training, please skip this blog and enjoy some of the other writer’s escapades!
a) Select one type of exercise for each major muscle group. If you are at the YMCA within my city, you’ve got the choice of the CYBEX, Paramount, and In-Shape machines – just to name a few. You could also choose to use the benches, incline benches, barbells, E-Z Curl Bar, dumbbells, and balls on the workout mats.
*Note: There are many exercises that can be done at home which mimic some of the strength training machines. If you are like me and feel you need to stay at home, take heart! You CAN take care of sick children and still workout!
b) The major muscle groups would include: quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves and abs.
c) Work from the largest muscle groups to the smaller muscle groups. (Note – while this is recommended, it is not crucial. One will still develop muscle and tone if one chooses to vary the order.)
d) Frequency: 2-3 times per week – but never 2-3 days in a row. Give the muscles a chance to rest and rebuild.
e) How many? Lift the weight or repeat the exercise 12-15 times. Rest briefly, and repeat. 2-3 sets are recommended
*Here’s the funny part. I was completing only one set for about a year. Yes, I did develop tone. Yes, I did lose weight. But it probably took me a lot longer than it could have. Or maybe this is a good adaptation for A’s? After all, we are more about calming and relaxing than intense!
f) How fast should one lift the weight? Not fast at all! (Slow and controlled.) Inhale before the exercise itself, and exhale on the exertion. On the exertion, squeeze the muscle you are targeting, hold, and slowly release.
g) Increase your reps before you increase your weight. Why? I am taking an educated guess and saying that this prevents injury.
h) Stretch!!! Do this before you lift weights and in-between.
i) Never hold your breath.
The Paramount leg extensions, the ball squats, the Cybex Leg Press, and the “leg press” work the Quadriceps primarily.
The seated Cybex Curl, walking lunges, and standing lunges primarily work the hamstrings. (By the way, a lunge can actually work all of your leg muscles. This is an excellent exercise for all of your lower body.)
The barbell bench press, the cybex press, the dumbbell bench press, incline dumbbell press, and the flat dumbbell flies work the chest muscles.
The Cybex shoulder press, the dumbbell shoulder press, the upright row (dumbbells) and the front lateral raises work the shoulder muscles.
The seated incline dumbbells, the hammer curls, the EZ curl bar, and the dumbbell curls work the biceps.
The cybex triceps extension, the cybex dip, the bench dip, the cable push down, the kickbacks and the rope all work the triceps.
The seated calves machine, the one-leg calf raise and the angled raise works the calf muscles. (So does hauling laundry up and down the stairs!)
Last but not least, the ball, the thera crunch machine and the abdominal machine all work the abdominal muscles. This is a muscle group, which could be worked every day unlike the other muscle groups.
Strength training is really all about form and proper posture. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who are causing themselves injury every day. Thanks for reading. Good Day.
* Please forgive the typo's!
Here is my personal "get healthy/lose weight story." I hope some find it helpful.
Step #1) If you do not already own the book "Cook Right for your Type" then please check it out at your local library.
Step #2) I typed the 14 food categories and their recommended servings on a piece of paper. I stuck this piece of paper on the front of my fridge.
Ex: Seafood servings 1-3 per week
Eggs 1-3 per week
Nuts and Seeds 4-7 per week
Note Please doublecheck the book. I am going off of memory here.
Step #3) Learn recommended portion sizes. Ex: protein is the size of your fist at a meal, 4-6 oz of fruit is the size of one small apple, nuts and seeds are a small handful
Step #4) At the beginning of the week, I ate whatever I felt like (no avoids) and then made tick marks on my piece of paper. Once I had eaten the maximum recommended servings of a specific category, that was that! IT was then time to move on to what was left.
Step #5) Eat frequently. I ate 3 meals and 2 snacks every day. The snacks were easy and fast. (Peanuts and raisins or just peanuts!, Almonds and dried cherries, etc.)
Step #6) I DID NOT count calories. I also left out the "Oils and fats" category on that piece of paper. I used lots of olive oil AND LOST weight.
Step #7) I never went hungry. In fact I felt stuffed most of the time. And while I never filled up my sheet before the seven days were up, if you do -- then eat more veggies. According to the little grocery shopping book, the recommended servings of veggies for A's are ::: UNLIMITED.
Step #8) Once you have lost your weight, get rid of that piece of paper. What do feel like eating? (no avoids, please!)
** One final note. We can't afford to buy organic. Wish we could. So I wash my produce with soap and water, and I buy the canned fish which has been CAUGHT in the ocean. Once in awhile, I get lucky and the organic stuff goes on sale - and then I scoop it up! Also, the multivitamin for A's - if you are eating correctly, then you don't need a DAILY vitamin (my humble opinion). When I am feeling a little sick or tired, then I take my vitamins. Otherwise I don't. And health food store medicines? Let's talk about cost. My O son was on a prescription laxative for two years at 25 bucks a bottle. Meanwhile an 8 dollar bottle of pysllum powder (forgive spelling if it's wrong), works just as well. (Yes, the powder tastes bad. Dissolve it well in chocolate soy milk and put a lid on top of his cup so he can't see it. He drinks it without complaint when he doesn't know it's there.)
And what about fresh greens? They are cheap!! Kale, collard greens, spinach, carrots, and celery - lots of good affordable stuff out there. In the summertime, it gets even better. We have lots of small gardener's around here who sell their produce and don't use pesticides. Healthy and cheap. It is possible!! Take care..........
It’s been difficult finding recipes to please my husband. First of all, O’s do not like rapid change ESPECIALLY in their diet. We have compromised a bit. I refuse to cook what I consider unhealthy, but I keep looking for new recipes that might please his pallet. Since his taste buds are very used to corn syrup and MSG, this is not easy!
Today, I am hopeful. My husband and I were watching Rachel Ray’s 30-minute meals. The title of the show was “Oven Poached Salmon…” Basically, one takes a slab of butter:
Places it into the bottom of a casserole dish,
Seasons the fish with salt and pepper,
Adds the chicken broth
Adds a few sprigs of dill to the pan, and
Roasts the fish 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
The exact recipe can be found at food network.com under the name of her TV show.
Anyway, wish me luck!
P.S. Next week I will be trying to find something similar to his mashed potatoes. Parsnips, I believe? Does anyone know of anything else, which mimics mashed potatoes?