Friday, March 6, 2015

The Truth About Weight Loss

I originally wrote this blog to keep track of my weight loss and healthy eating and to be accountable to someone, somewhere. I have found that updating readers on my weight loss is hard - I want to write about the tremendous success I have had, I don't want to talk about my limited success or failure, which is where I am right now. I have only lost 3 lbs, I've lost some weight, gained some back, figured out what was going on (more on that later), and then tweaked my weight loss plan.

I have come to realize that talking about the realities of weight loss are important. Too often we see the FINAL success stories - of tremendous weight loss. We want to be there too, but we get defeated because we see the END result, not the process. One of the blogs I follow is a friend of mine who has had great weight loss success. Liz, at The Lemon Bowl, is very open about her weight loss success and recently two of her posts have really made me rethink my weight loss and my journey. The first post that really spoke to me was where she was responding to how she lost weight and kept it off. She believes in an 80/20 rule - 80% of the time she is health conscious and 20% she indulges so she does not feel deprived. (Read about it here.) I am good at losing weight and gaining weight but I have not yet figured out how to maintain it. This simple 80/20 rule reset my mind, 80/20 doesn't mean we can eat cookies or cupcakes every day but it also doesn't mean we have to take it out of our diet entirely, we just need to eat responsibly.

Swimming with my son

Liz looks terrific, but she loves to workout - or so I thought.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tips & Tricks for Using Canned Fruit & Vegetables

Being a new mom of two, I have not yet figured out a we even have a routine? Constantly feeding the baby and keeping up with a preschooler is time consuming, and nutritious meals are sometimes hard to come by. To make sure I eat well, I have had to take a few shortcuts. Since it is also winter and fresh produce is scarce under 3 feet of snow, I have found myself using more canned beans, vegetables, and sometimes fruit. I'm not a huge fan of canned foods because they can have added salt, seasonings, sugar & preservatives, but they are convenient and can add an extra vegetable to a dish. That being said, there are a few ways to make quick meals using canned fruits or vegetables.

  1. Look for fruit packed in natural juice not syrup. Fruit packed in syrup is high in sugar & calories.
  2. Look for Low Sodium, Low Salt or even better, No Salt Added vegetables.
  3. Use frozen fruits & vegetables vs canned whenever you can if fresh veggies are not available.
  4. Look at the ingredients. Find the canned item with the least amount of ingredients and preservatives. It might take a few minutes to find, but they really are out there. The Organic options tend to have less ingredients.
  5. Rinse, rinse, and rinse again. Rinsing canned goods will help remove some of the salt or sugar. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day

Last year I was a guest of Pioneer Momma and made these gluten-free Valentine's Day sugar cookies. This recipe was so much fun to develop and even yummier to eat, whether you are on a gluten-free diet or not, and I decided to bring it back!

Over Christmas, I made sugar cookies for my husband. I usually make the kind you can get in little nuggets, but this year I felt like making my mother's sugar cookie recipe. My husband absolutely fell in love, and told me I HAD to make them again. As a treat, I decided to make him cookie Valentines. I know that Ashley's (Pioneer Momma) little boy eats a gluten-free diet, as does my niece, so I have decided to change up my mother's sugar cookie recipe and make a gluten-free version for everyone to enjoy for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Busy Mom's DIY Soba Noodle Soup

I need to be honest here, being a mother of a newborn and a preschooler, things don't always work out as planned. Last week my post on eating more whole grains highlighted a recipe I wanted to try from Erren's Kitchen. It turned out I didn't have half of the ingredients in the recipe. I have to make lunch quickly, so it was time to improvise. Here is a busy Mom's DIY Soba Noodle Soup.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Real Food Experience: Eat Whole Grains

The Real Food Experience continues this week, challenging us to make the change to eat whole grains. Last year I challenged you to try quinoa by substituting the pasta in mac n' cheese with quinoa, making quin n' cheese. If you missed this recipe, you can check it out here.

How did you do adding 2 fruits & vegetables to each meal?
I have found that planning ahead makes a big difference. By the end of the week there is no produce in the house (or it has gone bad) and I get frustrated. I have to plan my grocery shopping trip and my produce purchases for the week - what do I want to eat, what will I actually eat and how much? By not planning, I have had to throw out a lot of produce which is a waste of money and is frustrating. At this time of year, I do not discount organic frozen fruits and veggies. Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash frozen and are similar to fresh, as long as you do not get any with added syrup or sauces. Frozen fruit works best in smoothies and frozen veggies are a good alternative to fresh vegetables that you may not be able to get in the winter. For the Real Food Experience last week, I decided to go back to the basics - I bought grapefruit. My grandmother eats half a grapefruit every morning with her breakfast. I decided to follow her lead and it was a great and easy way to get another serving of fruit in my day!

This week the challenge is to switch to whole grains.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Real Food Experience 2015 - Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

Happy New Year! With the new year, come our resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier. The Real Food Experience from Juggling Real Food and Real Life is back! I participated in this last year, and it set the tone for healthy eating in 2014. I'm excited to share it with you again.

This week is Week 1 - Eat more fruits and vegetables. The goal is to eat 2 more fruits and vegetables per meal. Check out what Christina from Juggling Real Food and Real Life has to say here. Along with the Real Food Experience, Little Family Adventure is also challenging us to eat a new food a week this year. This week's new food is kale. For many of you this is easy, kale is not a new food. For me, kale is a new food. This challenges pairs well with the Real Food Experience, if we just add some kale to one of our meals - we've tried it AND added an additional vegetable!

How am I going to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scarlett's Excellent Top 10 of 2014

This year has been a big year for me. We welcomed a baby girl into our family in October. Spending most of the year pregnant was hard for a food blogger who focuses on healthy food. Once I was past the first trimester and didn't mind seeing food again, all I wanted was sugar and carbs. Being pregnant and running around after a toddler, my blogging took a little bit of a back seat, but I am proud of my posts this year.

2014 was the second year of my blog. The first year is very exciting with all new ideas streaming out on to the page, but the second year can be terrifying - what will I write about this year? Thankfully, a lot of new opportunities came our way this year, from participating in the Real Food Experience in January, cooking with the Beekman Boys cookbook this summer, reading through Little House on the Prairie and teaming up with my bloggy friends to bring you an exciting giveaway.

We ended 2013 with 103 Facebook fans, 180 Pinterest followers, and 43 regular subscribers to my blog. We have vastly grown this year with 69 Google+ followers, 130 Facebook Fans, 70 regular subscribers to my blog, and 588 Pinterest followers! If you are not included in these numbers, join in by using the "Follow Me" links to the right.

There have been 58 posts this year, with 427 comments. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my posts. May we have a fun and exciting 2015.

Now on to Scarlett's Excellent Top 10 of 2014! We're doing something new this year. We're featuring the top 5 most read posts, the top 4 most shared posts on Google+, and one unsung hero - one of my favorite posts of the year.

Starting with the top 4 shared posts on Google+:

#4: Exercising While Pregnant - Being pregnant did not stop me from trying to stay active, and my readers were equally as supportive by sharing this post.

#3: Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Chowder

#2: Real Food Experience Week 1 - Eat More Fruits and Vegetables - This post is always applicable in our lives, but not to worry if we need to jumpstart our nutrition in 2015 - the Real Food Experience is coming back in January bigger, and better than ever!