Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Shrimp Stir Fry


In the world of dinners that can be on the table in the time that it takes to gather everyone AT the table, the Stir-Fry can't be beat. 

This can be a real life-saver for us Dinner-Super-Parents. They can be made fast, exactly how you want them, and with a little prep ahead of time, they are almost no work!  (I LOVE that!!)


Stir-Fry at my house doesn't have a recipe. I use whatever veggies I have. I use rice that I cooked in a double (or triple) batch and saved for later, and I don't get fussy with the sauce. 


I want to share with you the Food $ense Creates - pattern to create a stir-fry. 


These are my bags of prepped veggies that I pulled out of the fridge. I buy them and then I take some time and cut them up.  I feel like that last a lot longer than buying the ones that are pre-bagged. And I know without a doubt we eat a lot more veggies when I can just grab them like this. 


Some of us had shrimp - some of us had just veggies. I didn't get the chicken out of the freezer and so when I was looking in the freezer and being disappointed with myself, I saw the bag of shrimp - and they defrost (and cook) FAST! - so that made the decision to add them really easy. 



Add Veggies - I was all fancy mom, and we did Individual ones... the kids thought I was really cool. 


Add Sauce ----- & ------Stir Fry! 



Serve over your reheated rice, or noodles, or barley or quinoa or.......  more veggies made in noodles.... or......... ?? 





Monday, May 2, 2016

Things You Can Do Everyday to be Fit and Healthy

 Living a Healthy lifestyle is a Practice

It isn't something that you are perfect at everyday - it most likely will not be something that you are ever "perfect" at.  - Is there such a thing as living perfectly.

A few years ago when I was starting yoga, I was so flexible, because I had just had a baby, so I felt like I was So good at it. But my strength and endurance and my breathe - pretty much every other aspect was so sadly lacking. And I was frustrated - I would be upset that I wasn't better at it.

I think the teacher could sense my frustration and she would often talk to me about how doing yoga was a practice. That it was something that you did and it was something that you enjoyed the process of doing. There was no finish line - you really never completed it.  And that changed everything about how I looked at things.



I am enjoying the changes that I am making with myself and my family as we are moving towards being healthier. Some days they feel really easy and so days they are not easy at all. Sometimes we can call it a success and other days I flop into bed at night and think - Tomorrow is another day!

In the spirit of trying to do better each day - here are some ideas of things you can do everyday.

Not things that you HAVE to do everyday or the world will end - Not that things you have to do every single one of --- of you'll not benefit from any of them.  But things you should look at fitting into your day - perhaps trying to fit them in every day.


1. Eat Lots of Veggies

One thing everyone agrees about eating healthy is that you should eat more vegetables. Consumption of vegetables has numerous health and weight loss benefits.

Vegetables are rich in fiber, which helps suppress appetite. They are also a great source of Omega-3 fats, vitamin B and other minerals.

Also note that, eating veggies reduces the risk of diseases like arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Try to eat veggies at every meal.

2. Walk More

Walking may seem like a regular activity, but it can actually help you get fitter and healthier. In fact, according to American Council of Exercise you can burn up to 500 calories by walking 5 miles.

Other than burning calories, walking regularly reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, etc.

It’s better to walk outside than to walk on a treadmill because you’ll get exposure to sunlight and fresh air – both which are necessary for good health.

3. The Back Bridge - (What?!?!?) 

You should do the back bridge regularly if you spend long hours seated. According to research, the back bridge helps undo the effects of sitting, gets rid of lower back pain and improves posture. This exercise will also improve back strength and spine flexibility.

If you are not flexible enough to do the back bridge, do the glute bridge. Then work on the full back bridge as your flexibility improves.

4. Eat an Apple

If there’s one fruit you can eat every day without worrying about excess calories, it’s the apple. An average size apple has 50-80 calories.

For one thing, apples rich in antioxidants; these are disease-fighting compounds which also reduce inflammation in the body. They are also rich in fiber so you’ll stay full for long.

If you snack regularly, replace the unhealthy snacks with apples.

5. Drink At Least 2 liters of Water

Water is good for your health, and some studies show it can help you lose weight. Organizations have different recommendations on the amount of water you should drink. But the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all.
The amount of water the body needs will vary depending on the level of activity, body size, temperatures, and so on. That said the average person should drink at least 2 liters of water a day to stay hydrated.

Drink a glass of water before every meal to avoid overeating.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Nowadays, folks are busier than ever and rarely get enough sleep. Unfortunately, research shows that lack of sleep has negative effects on weight loss, overall health, mood and even sex life.

It’s recommended you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

7. Stretch Your Hamstrings

Sitting down for long hours tightens the hamstrings, and this reduces flexibility and your ability to pick things up.

Stretching the hamstring will enable you to squat deeper and reduce risk of injury. The easiest way to stretch hamstrings is to touch your toes. Just bend over and touch your toes without bending the knees. You can do this standing or sitting flat on the floor. If you can’t touch your toes just bend over and stretch as far as you can.

8. The Plank Exercise

The plank is a great exercise for strengthening the core and abdominal muscles; it will also improve your balance and posture, and reduce risk of injury.

Hold the plank for as long as you can, and work on beating your time record every day.

Frankly, you don’t need to change your lifestyle to makes these habits part of your life. Just start slow and, eventually, they’ll become part of your life.





Friday, April 29, 2016

May Activity List

This is going to be a busy month. There is so much fun going on and so much to look forward to!

I hope you are enjoying getting out into the world and being active and having adventures as much as we are at our house. 



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Hunger - Please Read

Please Please read this post... Share it with people you know - because you most likely will not know if someone is struggling.


I put a lot of information out there into the world - my chatter and recipes and for the most part, I hope you read it, but I understand if you don't.  This however is Different!



Hunger is something we don't share because we are embarrassed or ashamed. You might not know if someone close to you needs help, but passing along this information could make all the difference in the world.


Here is the Summer Food Program start page. If you go here, you can find a Summer Meal site close to you.  This is a nationwide program so please share it so that children can be reached and fed. So that summer can be the fun time we all think of it as being.

If you having trouble with the first site (I did) Try This One. It is the same program, just another way to search for you local sites. I have always been able to get it to work.

If you need more information about getting access to food in your area - you can simply call 2-1-1
Here is the 2-1-1 website specific to food. It is private and all the information you share is confidential. You will be able to talk to someone who is knowledgeable about programs and services in your area. Please don't suffer - there is help! So much HELP!

If you live in Utah - a good place to start is Utahns Against Hunger. They have so much help to give and information to provide - and they are passionate about this. If you are overwhelmed and don't know where to start or what kind of help might be available, they can help you and get you where you need to go. They are amazing advocates.

If you feel like this is something that you might be passionate about too. Consider joining or supporting programs in your area.

Feeding America

No Kid Hungry


Monday, April 25, 2016

Takeout Fried Rice



I have always been a steamed rice kind of person. I like steamed rice - I like brown rice and white rice. And I haven't ever really been a fan of fried rice. I felt like when restaurants would serve it, that it has 2 old frozen peas in it and a dash of soy sauce and frankly cost twice as much as steamed rice to be half as good.   Perhaps I felt more strongly about it then a person should towards takeout rice. 



But when I had Alice a sweet woman in our neighborhood brought us a huge platter of fried rice. - and it was really really good. It was actually a hearty meal and full of vegetables and different kinds of proteins and it was really really Good. 

So I asked her for the recipe,  And she brought us another platter of fried rice. It was wonderful. I asked her what the secret was... and she said, Bacon and you have to have green onions.  I was actually afraid to ask again, in case she brought us another platter and then it just turned into me asking her to bring over food. 

I have made it many times now and I have a few of my own additions to it, but I would take it to a friend that had a baby any day - it is that good. Whenever I cook rice, I always double it, so I can have some to make fried rice. Because having this in the freezer makes for a great lunch for the little kids at home, it works amazing as a hearty snack, and after we have had it for dinner once - it makes a really special side dish for the next night. 



Ingredients:

1 lb Bacon
6-8 cups Previously Cooked Rice
5 eggs to scramble
1 cup cubed ham
1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 bunch of green onions, sliced

1/2 c soy sauce + 1TB sesame oil   (this is the ratio - you might need to adjust to your taste and the amount of rice that you are cooking)

Directions: 

I cut the bacon while it is still partially frozen. It makes it easier for me to cut the pieces really small without the bacon getting all slimy and wiggly. 



I always use my big electric skillet. You don't have to use an electric skillet - but just use the biggest pan that you have that has sides. 

Put the bacon in the pan and cook the bacon.  I like to cook mine a little bit crisper than I would to eat with pancakes because I want it to stay crispy when I add it back to the rice dish and then add the sauce. 

I remove the bacon from the pan and put it onto a paper towel to drain the excess grease. 

Then I wipe out most of the bacon grease with another paper towel. 

Then I crack my eggs into a bowl and whip them up to get ready to scramble them. I don't add any salt or pepper - I think the dish ends up having enough salt added to it with the bacon and the soy sauce without adding additional salt. 

I scramble the eggs in what is left of the last of the bacon grease and as soon as they start to "set" I consider them done. 



Then I add a large package of the frozen mixed vegetables. I like to add a lot of vegetables in this, and my kids expect it now. - the vegetables are Alice's favorite part. 

We had leftover ham in the freezer that I had trimmed and saved from the Easter spiral ham. If you want to buy cubed ham and you that you can as well. 



Here is my giant bag of pre-cooked rice. This one is just a day or two old - so it hasn't been in the freezer, so I just add it cold from the fridge. 

If yours will have been in the freezer, you'll want to defrost it. Just the act of adding it to the pan and heating the rice will not be enough to defrost it. 


Add your bacon back to the pan and stir all the ingredients together - The bacon, veggies, the ham and the eggs. 

Then add all the rice - and stir the rice with the rest of the mixture. 



I take 1/2 c soy sauce and I add to it the TB of sesame oil.  You can add each separately, but I always get concerned that the flavors won't be incorporated evenly. So I do it this way. You'll find your way - and it will be amazing!! 



Stir everything until it looks incorporated and amazing and delicious and you just want wait to eat it. 



Top with sliced green onions - the bright freshness makes a ton of difference in the dish - you really do need them.