Partial Vegetarian

Saturday I made a trip to the happiest place on earth, a place everyone, and I mean EVERYONE loves going on a Saturday…Costco! My husband hates even going into the parking lot and leaves bloody fingernail drag marks if I try to drag him in, so I go by myself to keep everybody (including other shoppers) happy, plus I love getting samples (shopping and lunch, ultimate multi tasking!)
In the past, every few weeks I would buy big packages of chicken breasts and ground turkey in order to fill the “protein” portion of our nightly meals. That’s the way a meal has to be, right? Meat, starch and vegetables. Nothing wrong with that, especially when we use organic brown rice or quinoa for starch and garden fresh veggies. We recently decided to take healthy eating to the next level and become “partial vegetarians”. What I mean by partial vegetarian is we only eat meat three days per week because, for now I don’t think I could become a full vegetarian (meat is just too tasty!).
Back to my Recent costco trip, I realized our food expenses have gone down by about half! Nice chunk of change for a family trying to save up for a college education in 18 years! Among the other positives besides saving money, I feel much healthier and have a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing vegetarian meals are definitely more environmentally sustainable than meals using mass produced grocery store meat products.
Just to be clear, having a vegetarian meal doesn’t mean just skipping the meat portion of a classic meat and potatoes recipe; it takes work and planning to combine grains and dairy to create a complete protein. I recommend doing some serious research before embarking on any vegetarian diet. So far I have been making stir fry like meals with quinoa or rice, beans, some spices, corn, peas, onions and bell peppers (plus lots of cheese to keep my husband happy), lentil loaf (with extra catsup and some imagination, tastes kind of like meatloaf….), and loaded burritos with lots of good whole grains.

What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe?

Until next time… Ryann

My New Workout Buddy

I have recently replaced my old workout buddy with a new, improved version. Among other failings as a workout buddy, Steve’s motivational toolbox consisted solely of visually reminding me what my tummy would look and act like if I skipped a workout. Sometimes if he was feeling particularly active, he would join me by lying on the floor, looking on with cool detachment while I struggled through ab ripper, but I always got the feeling that he cared more about his food bowl then my workout success.

My new workout buddy is only 2 feet tall but is a hard nosed slave driver! Her motivational tools rival those of Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser, always pushing me to work out harder. Sometimes it is her screaming that pushes me on, sometimes it is a goofy toothless smile, sometimes she is fast asleep. If you haven’t guessed by now, my new workout buddy is my 6 month old daughter Addison. Unfortunately, she is unable to join my workouts at the moment, but when she starts crawling, look out! The best part is that she doesn’t even have to be awake to motivate me, just the thought of being as healthy as I can be so I can keep up with her in a few years is motivation enough for me. As I have said before, I really like p90x3 because I can get a full workout during her morning nap, and often she sleeps through my entire workout. If she does happen to be awake, she coos, makes screeching noises and is all smiles as I get through my tough workout. When she is awake I can only imagine what she thinks her mom is up to, but I gotta get used to her laughing and rolling her eyes at me sometime. No matter why she is smiling, that smile makes each move much easier, and less painful.

This face makes me push hard everyday!

He’s been replaced.

Do you have a workout buddy?

Garden Season

It’s that time of year again…garden season! Last weekend Eric spent several dirt filled hours turning over the soil, digging in compost, carefully planning a new and improved layout, setting up the drip system on our sprinkler timer, and putting seeds in the ground (I was busy watching the baby). This year we decided to plant bell peppers, lettuce, sweet peas, green beans, kale, spinach, cucumbers, crookneck squash, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkins, cantelope, carrots and probably some others I have forgotten (surprises are always good).

In a few weeks the kale and lettuce will be ready to eat, and that means I can skip the produce aisle for the next several months. Since Addison is over 6 months old, now we can start making her fresh from the garden baby food. Now more than ever it makes me feel really good to know exactly where our veggies come from, and they aren’t covered in pesticide or nasty diseases.

Do you have a garden and what types of fruits/veggies do you like to grow?