My Lunch

Here’s what I had for lunch today.


Beans with cheese, homemade guacamole, and sour cream. Pretty filling. I didn’t get hungry til dinner.

I also made a smoothie that I thought was pretty icky, but what’s crazy is my kids drank so much of it. I was even babysitting my friend’s 16 month old daughter and she kept asking for more. 3 bowls later, I finally cut her off and made her eat something else, but she would have kept going. My boys too, both had multiple helpings. This just goes to show i should offer my kids everything, even if I think it’s pretty nasty. Maybe next time I’ll give em lemon rinds or something?

Anyway, here’s what I put in the smoothie:

•Beet greens (this gave it such a strong flavor)
•mixed frozen berries
•orange juice

Voila! Tastes pretty beety, but I know I got some good vitamins.


New Segment: What We Ate

I’ve had several people ask me what I eat in a normal day, especially if I try not to use processed foods very much.  It’s been a very long transition, so most of this stuff seems pretty easy to me now.  When I think back to when I first started I was a completely lost, so I hope this helps give some ideas to someone out there…I think I’ll make this a new segment, and I’ll try to take pics of everything in the future.

This is not a perfect day, but pretty good.

Breakfast:  Bagels and cream cheese (we don’t normally have bagels but they were leftover from company in town), fruit salad made up of fresh pineapple, oranges, and apples

Snack: Raisins

Lunch: Ham Sandwiches (leftover from a honey baked ham we had recently), sweet potatoes sprinkled with brown sugar and butter, cottage cheese

Snack:  Dried Fruit Mix (the kind with no added sugar or preservatives…just fruit)

Dinner:  Sweet and Sour Chicken over Rice (Original Recipe from my MIL)



  • 2 Meaty Thighs
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Can Chunk Pineapple
  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar ( I use less of this and pour in pineapple juice to sweeten it up)
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbs Corn Starch (sometimes does not need)
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped


Boil and debone the chicken.  Fry meat with the onion and green pepper in small amount of oil until vegetable is tender.  Add 3/4 cup water, ketchup, sugar, salt, pineapple juice (drained from the can of chunk pineapple).  Simmer.  Thicken sauce with the cornstarch, diluted in 1/4 cup water.  Stir until thickened.  Serve over warm, cooked rice.

My hubby took one bite of this and said, “mmmmm…tastes just like Sybil’s.”  His mom is an amazing cook.  The boys liked it too and it’s a pretty easy yummy dinner.  We also ate a salad and some sort of side vegetable…probably peas.

There you have it – a typical day in our house.  We normally eat meat about once a week, so I guess this was the day!

Refried Beans: Crock-Pot Edition

Do you know what makes canned refried beans so delicious?  Lard.  Not even kidding.  Next time you are at the grocery store check it out.  It really sets the good brands above the generic ones as far as taste is concerned.  But…lard?? I have a hard time buying it now.  Luckily, I found a super easy and pretty declicious recipe (from here) for refried beans in the crock-pot.  Check it out.

Crock-Pot Refried Beans

  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • ½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • One big pinch of cumin
  • 6 cups water
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.
  3. Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid. If desired, save excess liquid until the final product is desired consistency.
  4. Mash remaining beans with a potato masher and voila! You have homemade refried beans.

Can’t get easier than that, right?  They tasted pretty good too.  We ate them by themselves with cheese, dipped chips in them, and put them in burritos with veggies. They lasted about four days!   We usually have beans about twice a week around here, because it is a money saver, and packs in the protein we are lacking in the meat department.  I bought a 25 pound bag of beans in JULY and have only used about 1/4 of it.  Talk about getting your money’s worth.  It’s a good investment and a versatile food.  I am slowly building a relationship with these little babies.  Right now we are in the “good friends” stage, but things are heating up and I think I might be ready to take this to the next level!  I’ll keep you posted.

The Day I Almost Had A Coronary Out of Shock and a Recipe

A few days ago I took both kids with me to Sunflower Market to get a few things.  It’s challenging now because The Wild One is at a weird size.  He is still 2, but big for his age.  So he doesn’t really fit in the main basket part with all the food anymore, and there is only room for Tornado up front.  So I let him walk.  Disaster.  He was touching  I don’t need to describe the scene to you, because you’ve all been there.  I was at my last straw when was elbow deep in the bulk steel-cut oats, but once his fingers got stuck in the grate of the dairy products I had to do something, so I sat him in the back of the cart…on top of the cilantro and bananas.  It was more painful for me than it was for him, trust me. 🙂  Anyway, before he lost his walking privileges he grabbed a huge thing of broccoli and said, “MOM!  Should we buy some broccoli please??”  I just kinda laughed, but I did end up buying some.   Today I chopped it up and steamed it for lunch, served with parmesan cheese on top.  Tornado ate it like it was candy (!!!!) and I put some on The Wild One’s plate.  He refused to touch it, but I told him he just had to have one bite and then he could go play.  He ate it.  “What do you think?”  I asked.  “It’s yummy. ”  Then he ate more and more and even more.  WHAT?  “Mommy, I like broccoli so much.”  Part of me thinks moments like this come from reading Green Eggs and Ham at night.  Then he gave some to his dinosaur because it was so good.  Oh man.  I wish things like this happened more often, but unfortunately they are kind of few and far between.  But I am happy at the progress!!  If we keep offering our families good nutritious food, they will start to eat it…and LIKE it!

Proof Tornado was all over this stuff:


Dinner tonight:  Sweet Potatoes and Apples  eaaaaaaaasy and tasty


What’s for Dessert Wednesday

Let’s get real for a second…I am DYING with this no sugar thing.  oh my goodness.  I didn’t realize I was this hooked on it, but I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth.

In an effort to help, my sister gave me her secret recipe for banana shakes, so I tried it out tonight.

Banana Shake

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-2 cups of milk
  • peanut butter
  • pumpkin pie spice

Dump it in the blender and mix it up.  Pour it in a glass and voila!


It was refreshing, yes, but still not quite sweet enough for me.  I am going to do some experimenting and see if I can add some cocoa powder and honey or something… stay tuned.


Here’s what we’ve been eating lately:

Breakfastwhole wheat biscuits (in the shape of footballs!),  eggs with cheese, fruit

Snack:  pears and raisins

Lunch: tortillas with hummus, corn, plain yogurt with strawberries

DinnerLayered Vegetable Enchiladas, salad with blue cheese dressing

Note:  This was a little bit dry, so we put some green salsa on it and then it was AMAZING!  And so healthy!!


No Processed Foods Challenge: Report

Remind me why I decided this would be a great idea during the month between THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS!  Hello…people (including me) wait all year for these seasonal delicacies and I am forfeiting all of it.  😦  Plus it is getting cold here and every night I say, “Let’s go home and make some hot chocolate.”  Wrong.  So here I sit sipping my room temperature water, and giving myself a pep talk.

Other than THAT, this is really going great.  It’s been pretty easy except for snacks.  I usually graze a little bit, because I am giving the boys snacks all day long, and it’s been tricky for me to forego the organic animal crackers.  This lady is literally my idol.  I would be having a MUCH harder time if it weren’t for her website and I am getting lots of recipes/good ideas from her.  So grateful for the internet.

So far I have had no slip ups, but I did change my policy on treats.  I originally said no sugar, and I am sticking to my guns, but I’ve softened up a little bit.  Here’s why:  After reading Intuitive Eating, I adopted the practice of never restricting anything.  It only makes you want it more, and when you get around it you go on an uncontrollable binge.  Also, I’m currently reading Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food, and I am on board with basically everything he says.  In his opinion, an occasional treat is okay, as long as you make it yourself, because there are less artificial and fake ingredients.  In addition, Lisa allowed her readers who took the challenge to have alcohol in order to stay sane, and I am a non-drinker!  So, having all of that in mind, I decided it would be okay to have an occasional food that contained a bit of sugar.  That doesn’t mean I am going to go buy some ice cream or chocolate (although I’d like to).  But I DID have a small slice of whole wheat pumpkin bread, which has a small amount of sugar.  I was satisfied, and in my mind, I consider that healthy.  But still, I am not going to have it every day, just on occasion when I really feel like I need something small.  I’m not going to get any more rigid than that – use your discretion and do what you feel would be fair – make it a sacrifice but don’t get crazy.

Oh! And my other rule  is to allow exceptions when we are guests at someone’s house, which will most likely happen in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll grab the healthy options if I can, but I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or awkward.

The fam is also doing great on this and feeling superb.  The Mr. commented to me yesterday on how good the boys were being and I honestly think the challenge has something to do with that!  Of course, later on in the day one of them decided to pee on the floor, and the other one decided to crawl through it, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.

Here’s what we had today:

breakfast:  whole wheat pumpkin waffles and maple syrup

snacks:  fruit, whole wheat banana bread

lunch:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on homemade wheat bread, pears, hummus and chips

snacks: PGM granola, raisins, dried fruit

dinner:  Pesto, cheese, and roasted vegetable sandwiches (recipe below), peas

snacks: bananas, milk

Overall, I feel like this has been great for us.  It takes a little bit more planning on my part to make sure I have good snacks on hand, and an idea of what I am going to have to make, but I am not in the kitchen for any greater amount of time.  I haven’t felt deprived yet…most everything has been tasting pretty yummy.  Real food is actually delicious if you find good recipes.  The Mr. is well fed and happy, and so are the kids, so that’s all I really care about.  We’ll see how it continues when I am a bit farther into it.

Pesto, Cheese, and Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches

  • Homemade Pesto
  • 2-3 cups of chopped vegetables
  • Any kind of cheese
  • bread
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while making the pesto.  I used vegetables I had on hand: potatoes, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and green beans.  Any veggies will work.  Chop them up and spread on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt, and mix them around to coat evenly.  Place in the oven for 8 minutes and remove.  Turn vegetables over with a spatula to cook the other side.  I sometimes have to sprinkle more oil if it is looking dry.  Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft and lightly browned.  note:  I put the carrots and potatoes in by themselves for about 5 minutes before adding the other vegetables, because they take longer to cook.  Spread pesto on slices of bread, add a large scoop of roasted vegetables, and top with cheese.  A toaster oven probably works best to melt the cheese, but I don’t have one so I put the bread in the toaster before assembling, and then microwaved for a few seconds.
Me:  So so good.  Pesto is delicious, and tastes sooooo much better if it is homemade.
The Mr.:  He walked in and instantly knew it was pesto.   It’s one of his favorites, so he scarfed it down in record time.
The Wild One:  Picked all the veggies off, but said, “I like pesto!”
Tornado:  No complaints