I Must Love Me Too

If you have neglected yourself,
make a sincere apology to thee.
Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life
and start counting "I-must-love-me-too".
In no time at all you have
a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Love ME!!!

Well, I have now been on this journey for 3 months and am down 23 lbs. As I stop to consider my progress over the past few months, I am so proud of myself. My initial goals were as follows:

  • Exercise 30 minutes 4 times per week
  • Eat more fish
  • Eat more fruit and veggies
  • Consume less meat
  • Reduce or eliminate my refined sugar and flour consumption
  • Lose weight
  • Lower my blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Avoid diabetes
Some of my achievements:

  • I now exercise 45-1 hour or more DAILY (for a non-exerciser who previously hated to sweat, that is a huge development)
  • my blood pressure is now in the normal range
  • more vegetarian meals and international cuisines have made their way onto our table
  • my joints don't hurt, I don't get migraines as often and I have more energy since going gluten and refined food free.
  • we are saving money by eating at home
  • I am truly enjoying challenging my body and proving that I CAN do things I never thought possible

So as I look back and as Valentine's Day approaches, I realized a few things and I'll share them with you here.


Ahhhhhhhh Valentine’s Day approacheth. Visions of flowers, wining and dining and love come to mind. Thoughts of our loved ones, finding a love one or being loved come to mind. Yet in all of the love fren...zy, we often overlook loving ourselves.

Our self-talk is often negative and takes our magnificence for granted. It has been said that we wouldn’t speak to others in the fashion we speak to ourselves. So this Valentine’s Day, I am doing something a little different. I am writing a love letter to myself. It is time to appreciate my attributes and revel in the glory that is ME.

I recently had a health challenge and have begun making strides toward becoming healthier and in doing so, I am learning to love myself enough to take care of myself. I am feeding myself with clean, healthy, real food and discovering the joy of vegetarian meals. I am adding spice to my meals by bringing a sense of adventure to the table and trying new flavor combinations. I am discovering the joys of moving my body and using exercise to energize, challenge myself, release stress, anger or to relax.

My goals have become more important to me, both my educational goals and my health goals and very little gets in the way of reaching of them. Even when life throws a curveball into my plans, I am finding ways to adjust and make some progress toward my goals.

My heart is a kind one and I have begun to make a more conscious effort to live simply so that I am able to relieve the suffering of others. I may not have a lot but I have enough and if I have enough, I also have enough to share. Making a difference does not require much more than caring about one another.

Looking over this past year, it has been filled with huge trials and tremendous growth and while many things have come to fruition, the biggest accomplishment is that I have learned to love myself and to care about me versus pouring everything into everyone else and not giving myself what I need.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Warm Chicken Sausage & Potato Salad

This salad is easy, fast and flavorful.

: January/February 2007, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Nutrition Profile


  • 1 pound small potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 5-ounce bag arugula (about 4 cups, gently packed)
  • 12 ounces precooked chicken sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam, covered, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add arugula; cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add to the potato-arugula mixture.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in vinegar, maple syrup and mustard, scraping up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the arugula is wilted. Season with pepper.


Per serving: 258 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 60 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 2 g fiber; 483 mg sodium; 103 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dr. Oz's Green Drink

This "green drink" is high in fiber, low-calorie and rich in vitamins.

2 cups spinach
2 cups cucumber
1 head of celery
1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
1 bunch parsley
2 apples
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Combine all ingredients in a blender. This makes approximately 28-30 ounces, or 3-4 servings.

SOURCE: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-ozs-green-drink

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Protein Pancake

So here’s the “recipe” and variations:

-1:1 ratio of egg whites and oats. 1 serving is approximately .5 cups of egg whites (like in the cartons at the grocery, or I go thru a bunch of them so I use Egg Whites International) affiliate link-if you decide to order thru that link I’ll receive a small percent.
If you use eggs it will be about 4-5 egg whites or 3 ish whole eggs.

-Combine together-if you like a chunky texture you can just whisk ‘em, or you can blend them up if you like a smoother consistency. Mine vary-depends on hunger and laziness quotient.

-I add a little cinnamon, stevia, and vanilla. Sometimes some cacoa/cocoa powder. Many times I’ll also add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed for a little texture and healthy fats. Sliced almonds would be yum. Kim took it up a notch and spread almond butter on hers. Mmmm….almond butter…..

-You can add some fresh or frozen fruit. Kim topped hers with fresh berries. I always have frozen blueberries on hand, so those often get tossed in. Right now strawberry season has begun here. This makes me very, very happy, and means there will be a lot of strawberries eaten.

I like mine sweet, but you can also make them savory. Someone on Twitter was mentioning smoked salmon the other day-chop some up, throw it in with some spices, spread a little farmers or cream cheese on top-how’s that for a savory pancake? Anna also had the idea of making it into a wrap of sorts-that’d work!

-Approximately 200 calories:24 grams of carbohydrate of which 3 are fiber, 18 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat.

These are also highly portable. Cook em up, cut em up and toss em in a container. Heck, you could even put it in a zip top bag if you had to. These can be eaten warm or cold, and taste good either way. They’re not stinky on planes. It’s a win-win.

Spinach Bake

Spinach bake

-3 3/4 c. liquid pasteurized egg white (I use Egg Whites International)
-16 oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
-a nice sized handful of julienne sun dried tomatoes
-sea salt to taste

Combine the above and pour into casserole dish. Mine is about 13×9, and I cook it at 400 in a convection oven for 30 minutes.

-This makes 5 portions, approximately 20 grams of protein each.

Sometimes I'll cut up some Al Fresco gluten free sausages for this.

After you’ve cooked this up, separate it into equal portions, and place in portable containers. Toss into your microwave for a minute and a half and voila! Healthy breakfast.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Free Mac and Cheese



This versatile recipe tastes even better the second day. To add a bit of fire, use hot sausage and replace the shredded cheese with grated pepper jack. For even more zip, stir in a small can of chopped green chilies.

3 cups (12 ounces) dried elbow pasta or 3-4 cups (8-10 ounces) other short pasta, uncooked
3-4 hot or mild chicken, turkey or pork sausages
1½ cups frozen corn
1 cup gluten-free, dairy-free chicken stock

2½ cups shredded nacho/taco cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute, divided

1. Lightly oil a deep ovenproof dish (7½x11-inch, 9x13-inch, 9-inch round).

2. Cook pasta in salted water for half the time specified on package. Pasta should be undercooked (slightly opaque but not brittle). Drain and transfer to prepared baking dish.

3. While pasta is cooking, remove sausage from its casing and crumble into a well-oiled saucepan. Sauté meat until brown. Add corn, stirring to combine.

4. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold meat mixture into pasta.

5. Heat chicken stock in the saucepan until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add 2 cups cheese. Stir until smooth and pour over pasta. Gently toss to coat.

6. Top mixture with remaining cheese. Cover dish with moist paper towel and microwave on medium-high for 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Each serving contains 431 calories, 12g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 44mg cholesterol, 683mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 20g protein.

I like "We Can't Say It's Cheese." http://www.cosmosveganshoppe.com/store/WCSIC.html

Daiya is too plastic for my tastes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gluten-Free Lean Hummus Spread

Gluten-Free Lean Hummus Spread


This recipe can be made dairy free with good results.

1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve liquid)
1 tablespoon gluten-free tahini, peanut butter (if tolerated), low-fat plain yogurt or dairy-free
plain yogurt
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh lemon, juice only
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt, Greek-style plain yogurt or dairy-free plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1. In a food processor or blender jar, combine garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and yogurt. Blend well.

2. Add salt and cumin and blend again.

3. For thinner hummus, add a little liquid from the chickpeas, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Hummus can also be thinned with warm water or olive oil.

Each serving contains 5 calories, 8g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 1g fat, 1g dietary fiber.

Recipes and nutritional data reprinted with permission from 200 SuperFoods That Will Save Your Life (McGraw-Hill), by Deborah A. Klein.