Friday, March 28, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

I think about meat a lot right now. I guess because I can't have it...but it comes up more often in conversation than I even imagined. I think i was going thru a meat detox period there for the first two weeks. I felt weak, irritable and slow? Hard to explain but at first I thought maybe it was because I wasn't getting enough protein, so I really upped my game on adding as much protein as I could to everything. Finally someone said I was like an addict going thru withdraw and it made sense. My body was used to what I fed it, meat and lots of it. Now that it wasn't getting it, it was mad. I just had to give it time to figure out that what I was giving it was enough. I talked with a doctor friend and she said that for a female like me 50g of complete proteins were sufficient. I talked to a trainer and she said that was fine but for muscle gain and weight loss I should try and get at least 100g (even eating meat that is hard). But I am working on it...if you have any bright ideas let me know!

Broccoli, edamame, caramelized onions and orzo = 20g of protien!

And now some links to make it all better....

I think a lot about this, kids should be left to their own devices within reason and I think that is very important.

I think I should sew something this weekend? I think we all should

Kid lunch box rut, fix it bento style ;)

Go Dayton (not actually a fan but all my other teams have nee knocked out so I have to route for my state)

A friend and I have been doing the Bikini Body Mommy challenge and just started the meal planner, will let you know how it goes! Of course as a veggie and primary cook I have had to alter every single step, but at least she gives me a start....

An amazingly written open letter to the archdioceses in Cincinnati

15 more links here and well I love this site so you should too

Carol Filming right outside my office!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Sung Korean Bistro

Happy birthday to one of my big brothers, he would say favorite and I would say maybe :)
As a treat we took him out for lunch to his favorite downtown restaurant, Sung Korean Bistro. This place has all the charm of an old Korean restaurant and well the food is pretty awesome as well. Also late night this place seems to become the mecca for all the dinning industry to come and have a drink. It must be their infused house Sake. That can really pack a punch!

But today we could only come for the food. No sitting criss-cross style at the mini tables. Just a quick celebratory bite to eat. 

If you do have to sit on the floor, at least their chairs have the backs!

When you order your food they bring out a little appetizer plate that usually has three samples of very traditional Korean food. Kimchi, seaweed salad, roasted potato...all very yummy little treats while you wait. My brother and I order the same meal every time, the Dolsat Bibimbab. It is basically a hot stone bowl, like flaming hot still cooking the food hot bowl of deliciousness. They add rice, vegetables and your choice of meat than top it all off with a sunny side up egg. To kick up the heat level they add a red chili bean paste when they stir the bowl for you. Yes you read that right they stir your food for you! Now if they could just feed me too. 

This picture is steamy, that's how hot the food was. PS I had to get tofu which is not as delicious as the meat, sad replacement for their delicious meat. What is so great about the heat of the bowl is that it sort of burns the rice. But not in a gross inedible way, in a way that makes you want to eat every last bite of that rice. In fact I wont let them stir mine right away just so the rice can have a little more time to get a good crust on it. 

They do have other lovely items on the menu such as sushi and noodles, I have tried most of them. But I always come back to my stone bowl. It is comforting, warm, filling and very yummy in my tummy. 

Big thumbs up for this place if you are looking for dinning options in downtown Cincinnati! 

Sung Korean Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guess Who Fast Tracked to VF?

I have been completely bogged down with work lately; I have officially taken on too much. I am now currently a full time mother, cook, cleaner, 9-5 worker and Juice Plus+ VF with high hopes of becoming a sales coordinator! Oh and wanna be blogger, grocery shopper, dog walker x2, part time vegetarian, babysitter, wife (whoops that came late in the list) and friend (sadly that came even later). I feel like this list could get longer but I will spare you as I am very sure that we are all fighting our own battles of finding the balance. So to say the least the world has been spiraling out of control lately. Sort of in a terrible way as I hate feeling stressed, but sort of in a good way too. I have been working towards goals and accomplishing them.

Bought pizza for everyone else, and left over salad and 
cauliflower for me = dissatisfied vegetarian meal

Goal: Fast Track to JP+ Virtual Franchise

  • All JP+ reps start out as distributors; earning the difference between the whole sale price of the product and the retail price. 
  • Next you work to become a direct distributor (about 10 sales) and that is when you start earning commission. 
  • Next comes VF where you earn retail sales profit, commission and performance bonus. 
    • I choose the fast track method, which comes with extra bonus money.
    • I had sixty days to get 1 other person signed up to be a distributor and about 20 sales between the two of us; STRESS-ola

Double JP+ capsules for stressful days in my smoothie and in my body

Initially for me I was still grappling with the idea of even asking my friends to purchase JP+ let alone asking them if they wanted to join my team and sell with me! It took me two years of taking JP+ to even consider the idea of selling...It is a scary thing to sell. Luckily I have an AMAZING sponsor and JP+ as a company has made everything easy for really too easy, do they just like giving me money? After throwing two parties and being able to tag myself and guests on to other parties in the area I was able to reach my goal! I stressed a little bit at the end trying to get that last sale to push me over. But honestly I shouldn't even call it sales, I feel like I am just sharing what is working for us with luckily some awesome research to back it up. You can either buy into it or not. I say at the end, every time I talk with someone new about JP+,  "If you walk away with nothing more than the idea of eating more fruits and veggies and drinking more water, than I have done my job!" That feels like the truth, it is the truth and what I really want. I understand that for some it might be expensive to purchase JP+ and for others they wonder if the benefit is real even with all the research. That is their choice to make but I am glad that I gave them the choice. 

In my heart my goal has changed as I have pushed to fast track to sales coordinator. Yes the money has been nice, but the new friends I have made and the feeling I get that I am actually helping people with their families health is way better. See I do "buy into" the hoopla! My family has seen noticeable differences, I don't have to read the research to know that and that is enough for me.

Salad, zucchini steak and sweet potato mash with avocado = very satisfying 

Moving forward I am trying to let go of the stress and be happy with the progression of my life. This was just one goal and I nailed the first piece. I just have to keep focused and enjoy the journey. 
Quick plug: Message me on Facebook if you have been thinking about over extending yourself lately and want to have warm in fuzzies inside like me :) I have the inside track to the most fun team in the Cincinnati Area!

Onward and upward!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last Week

This is how last week went, and how this week is lining up to be...better blogging tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

Read this article and you will understand the above line. Also understand why this week I just didn't have the time to blog as much as I would have liked. Real work got in the way and well life. I guess I can't do it all :)

Have you ever over extended yourself before?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: St. Williams Fish Fry

Yes it is that time of year again! When all the Cincinnatian's gather underneath each church to enjoy a good old fish fry. During lent this is really the main event each Friday church's boast about their amazon fish fry offerings, trying to gather more than just the usual parishioners. They have music and local radio stations and celebrities stopping by to boost sales and hopefully raise money for the church. In fact for some churches this is a bigger money maker for them than their annual fund?! 

My hubs family attends St. Williams so this is where we usually end up each week. I guess I am bias when I say that their fish fry is the best. Yes we have tried others, and while I am not a big fried food anything girl I like St. Williams and that might be for one reason...they have crab cakes!!! I feel like all the fish fry's offer the same pretty basic items; fried anything fish, but this is the only crab cake in town. 

The kiddo shares the shrimp platter with her brothers and then she works the bake sale or helps deliver food. We are not members of this church but they welcome her help with open arms and she loves it, even makes a tip or two. 

If you have never attended one of Cincinnati's many fish fry's I highly recommend you do. You may not make it out to St. Williams on the west side but there are plenty to choose from around the city. Some you go for the food and others you go for the good company and a time to sit with the family and just relish in the season. Fried food may not be your thing, but like I have said before I love arbitrary rules (only eat fish on Fridays). It makes for a nice family tradition :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Genius Smoothie Moment

I absolutely hate cleaning my blender, getting it out and using it all together. But with this Juice Plus+ Complete Smoothie kick I have been on it has been a necessary evil...well until now! I found something that works a little bit quicker for me in the morning and is also very easy to clean. 


I grabbed the glass from my french press thru all my ingredients in (today was raspberries, JP+ vanilla protein, and my two orchard and two garden JP+ pills with coconut milk) and used my immersion blender to whip it all together. Quick and easy! Clean us was the even easier since I run the dishwasher everyday (product of three kids) I put the glass in the wash rinse the blender in the sink or put water the glass and blend that up with soap and every thing is clean no washer needed!  

It felt very AHA! for me this morning :) don't know if this would work with the green smoothie though since they need to be chopped up pretty finely but perfect for today's smoothie.  Quick update on the smoothie train: delicious and filling (even with just milk and protein)!! Maybe I will even weigh myself this week? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Enjoy your weekend

Explain to me why the kid who eats right only gets a tiny ladder and the dog walker wins the game? Doesn't seem fair to me. hahaha oh well this weekend is lining up to be pretty fun. I am helping a friend work her Tower Garden table at the Learning Through Play conference downtown. It is a great event where they focus on open-ended play to help children learn to love learning on their own. Gardening can be a powerful tool for learning at any age!

Some Links to make the day go faster!

Words are a powerful thing, be careful what you say.

I try to use as much of the fruit and veggies we buy but I didn't know I might be throwing out the most nutritious parts?!

Quinoa is a super food/protein, that the whole family can agree on!

The most gorgeous man from my childhood is also a vegan, I'm very impressed and well he has an Oscar now.

Debating doing this cleanse, bought the online book and the pictures alone were worth it!

I'll admit that I have not always been the most understanding when it comes to food allergies since I love all things food, but this gave me a little perspective.

"We can choose every day whether to let life's little inconveniences make us miserable, or we can choose to smile and carry on. Better still, we can decide to try to make the world a better place; to lend a hand instead of pointing a finger."

Play a learning game this weekend! Even on the iPad :)

Vegetarian Days

OK so I am only two days into being a vegetarian (I guess actually a pescetarian since I am allowing fish) and I wanted to give a quick update. My meals have been going like this:

Lets summarize this in pictures...

First day lunch: left over quinoa, mixed with arugula, red peppers and radishes. I put a little tikka masala sauce on it too. I would say DELISH!

Dinner: Green chili roasted chick peas (literally thru a can of green chilies in a skillet with the chick peas and some garlic with a little water and roasted them) served over top red peppers, cottage cheese and broccoli. Chick peas were great, but what was I thinking with the cottage cheese?!

Lunch day two: This was a recipe from that cleanse I mentioned. I don't know if I am ready to go full throttle on the cleanse but I am definitely going to be adding some of the recipes during my veggie stage. 

Dinner: I was in kid transit mode between tutoring, soccer and a volleyball tournament so we had to eat the shoe leather subway. Not completely terrible, but I had to get every veggie there was just to fill the thing up! Of course Kiddo got bacon on hers and shoved it in my face every second she could; the little bugger. Sadly they lost their game but we ate mini DQ Blizzards to make up for it. 

For breakfast every morning I have been making different variations of the Juice Plus+ Complete Protein shake. These have been surprisingly filling. I am actually testing this shake as a weight loss technique? I work out pretty regularly but have plateaued with my weight loss. I really hate the idea of a diet, I mean I hear diet and I want to eat a pint of ice cream... So this has worked out nicely since it has just become a meal replacement and it is full of good stuff for me! I will let you know how it goes, I mean I am only two days in folks. 

Could you give up meat?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quick Cute Baby Shower

I just had to share a quick post about my friends baby shower this weekend. It is always such a good time to get together with these girls. We don't always hang out and party like we used to and life has really taken us in different directions but it is nice to be able to show up to these events and pick up right were you left off. I haven't always felt like a part of the group sometimes. 

After high school I moved away got wild and crazy, came home got more wild and crazy and got knocked up and disappeared. I made the choices and am happy with where I am now and happy with this close friends I have now, but sometimes it is hard to feel a part of a group when you don't see them all that often and don't have those "stories" to tell from back in the day. I Was the first to have a kid so I left the party early. Lost a lot of friends because of it, but I guess it means the ones I have now are better? I hope so, but I digress. Baby shower...very fun and cute. They Threw it at Tres Belle Cakes, the cutest little bakery shop in Reading. 

Yummy food provided by Tres Belle

Baby boy presents!!!

Three kinds of puppy chow in the cutest doggy bowls! Cake bater was my favorite!

A dog made out of flowers, too freaking cute!

Rolled diapers a must and cute wash cloth puppies. 

Slugs, and snails and puppy dog tails; that's what little boys are made of. We have a couple of favorite baby items in our house; peek a boo blocks, the bumbo chair, honest diapers, and cars, lots of cars. I have a solution for those toys that make too much noise too. 

What are your must haves for baby?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lenten Promise Time Again

March 1st, perfectly sunny, 50 plus degree weather. Kids playing outside, burgers grilled. A taste of the spring that is to come. Hope that winter will end eventually.

Then March 2nd, 4 inches of snow at least another 2 inches of ice. This picture is where we had a fire on our front porch and drank all night with friends. Yup covered in wonderful snow! Oh mother nature you are a moody, hormonal lady sometimes!

Oh well being stuck inside allowed me to think about what I wanted to give up or take on this year as my "Lenten Promise". I wouldn't say I follow Lent in the most traditional christian/catholic manner. I usually take the forty days as an excuse to test myself. Give up pop or saying no, we gave up processed foods last year! Each time it is a way to test my determination to be better and my addiction to being lazy. I feel like if I am able to make it for forty days without something then I can do anything. And maybe at the end of that time I will realize that I don't need what ever it is I gave up. 

Well this year I decided to test myself again, but leave the family out of it (although I am sure they will get some of the effects). I plan to give up MEAT! Gah, become a vegetarian for forty days. Is bacon veggie-tarian? I love meat and I think that getting enough protein is an important part of everyone's diet. I also though feel great taking Juice Plus+ right now. I feel like I have more energy, workouts are easier and I know it is the 25 whole fruits, veggies and grains I am getting. The variety it is adding to my diet is awesome. So I am just taking that piece up a notch...forcing myself to add more variety, to stretch myself to add more vegetables and fruits. Also giving myself the opportunity to find alternative proteins. I have been reading this cleanse and it talks a lot about how animal protein isn't so good on the digestive track. I've heard it too in the JP+ talks and material and I go halfway on it...I believe in moderation. Animals are yummy and delicious but maybe I will see how this body does without them for a little bit. 

Keep following and lets see what I come up with. Yummy recipes, ups and downs, moody pieces and kids/hubs complaining. I will still be making meat which is what is going to make this even harder. Also for the family I am trying to up their fish intake so I will still be eating some fish, but only on Fridays and not just fried ;) I know a lot to take on for forty days but lets see how it goes?

Oh and just so you believe me, here is a another orange peel, every time folks!

Shamrock shakes for dinner, aka green smoothies ;)

Happy Fat Tuesday! Do you give anything up for Lent?

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Perfect Red Sauce

I think I might have perfected spaghetti sauce! Now if only my children actually liked red sauce on their spaghetti, but I will be ready when they do.  So we will make this one short and sweet, pictures and a delicious recipe. I started here, and expanded for our families taste, I mean my taste.

 The key here really is the simplicity of the ingredients. You can follow the original four ingredient recipe and that makes a pretty amazing sauce, but if you want complements from the neighbor kids that always eat dinner at your house, make it my way. In fact hire that kid to come to every meal because he always gobbles your food down. 

This time of season I am stuck with canned tomatoes. But they really work just as well, try and find organic if you can and look and make sure the packaging is BPA free. My in laws can tomatoes but I was all out of their yummy garden ones. 

Butter makes everything better.

Unless you are really into onions I remove any of the big pieces still floating about before I blend everything together. 

Fresh basil

Perfect sauce!

Only made better by the addition of sausage!

Perfect Red Sauce

(makes enough for one box of pasta and then some)

  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half skin removed
  • Three cloves garlic
  • 2 cans of whole tomatoes
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tbls of dried oregano
  • Ground pepper to taste 
  • 4 tbls of butter
  • Fresh basil
  • (Optional) half glass of good red wine
  • (Optional) Italian sausage 
This recipe is really so easy...cut your onion in half remove the skin and throw it in the pot. Now I like to grate one half a little bit to get some juices running (I do this in anything that calls for onions, I love the flavor of onion just not the bit of it). Do the same thing with the garlic, and again I grate one a little bit to get it going. Start your burner and open your tomato cans and dump them in. Stir everything and add your salt, oregano and pepper. Stir again and let it all simmer anywhere from 20 mins to an hour. It really depends on how much time you have to give to this sauce. It taste great made in 30 minutes it taste freaking amazing if made over two hours!!! But who really has that kind of time. 

So we'll assume 20 minutes for now... add your butter and stir it as it melts into the sauce. I remove the onions at this time, most of them have melted into the sauce so I really just grab the big pieces out. Now this next part is much easier if you have an immersion blender but if not you can do this in batches in a regular blender. But I highly recommend in investing in an immersion blender, I use mine for all kinds of things!! Ok blender everything together add your fresh basil and let it simmer till you are ready to serve, at least another ten minutes. 

This sauce is great for all kinds of pasta, we added italian sausage and wine to ours tonight to pour over rigatoni and of course I didn't take a picture of the final project because I was so hunger at this point that I gobbled my plate, my mister's leftovers and some of my hubs leftovers. SO YUMMY!!! It's the butter, just adds a really rich deep flavor! The wine is great to add if you have time to let the whole sauce cook down a bit so think at least another 20 minutes after blending. 

I hope this sauce is as much a hit for you as it is for our house. 

Linked up: