Looking Back on 2009

Happy New Year’s Eve!! I am once again shocked by the fact that another year is almost over. Do you have any big plans tonight? We are going to be low-key and hang out hoping to make it to midnight! haha! Last year we made it until 11:00p.m which was midnight in NYC. So we watched the ball drop and pretended that it was midnight! We kissed and went to bed! ūüôā

But 2009 was a BIG year for me and it included a lot of changes. It wasn’t always easy but all-in-all this was a good year. Here are some notable things that happened for me in 2009:

Professionally

  • I officially became certified as a Nutrition Manager and began to follow my passion for helping people enjoy a healthy lifestyle
  • Lindsay Cotter and I developed and created Healthy Bites!! (Thanks to all of you who purchase them on a regular basis)
  • I developed and published my first, and hopefully of many, cookbook (Thanks to everyone who purchased one!!)
  • I entered the blogging world…and have LOVED every minute of this experience! (Thanks to all my faithful followers…I love you all!)

Personally

  • I ran my PR half marathon: 1:39:34!!
  • I fell even more in love with husband (is that possible?!)
  • I let go of some family baggage that I have held on to for too long and embraced what is my family and the love that is found there
  • I learned the true meaning of unselfish love

Goals for 2010

  • To accept that I am not perfect and that is OKAY! A friend gave me this piece of wise advice: “Perfection is impossible, however, striving for perfection is not. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts.” Lots of people (me included) forget that trying to be perfect actually hinders your chances of being excellent.
  • To laugh more
  • To qualify for the NYC Marathon
  • To publish another cookbook
  • To continue to grow my blog and continue following my passions!

SO BRING IT ON 2010…I AM SO READY! ūüôā

cheers.jpg

Do you have any resolutions for 2010??

Fun Foodie Facts

One of my stocking stuffers was a book filled with random food facts. I was reading it on the beach this afternoon (it warmed up dramatically…like 65 degrees!!¬† WOO HOO!) And here are a few that I thought were fun:

1. A row of corn always has an even number

2. McDonald’s is one of the largest owners of real estate in the world and it earns the majority of its profits from collecting rent, not from selling food

3. Nearly 27 million Americans eat McDonald’s everyday

Really?!?

4. The warriors of Attila, king of the Huns, (A.D. 450) preserved their meat by placing fresh meat under their saddles. All the bouncing squeezed fluids from the meat, and the horse’s sweat salted the meat and removed more moisture. When the warrior stopped to eat, they had a dried and salted meal

5. The first soup was made from hippopotamus and dates back to 6000 B.C.

6. Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved anchovies (including the bones) that have been soaked in vinegar

7. Oysters have often been considered to be aphrodisiacs

Haha...I LOVE raw oysters

8. The banana tree is not a true fruit at all but a giant herb and the banana is actually its berry. A banana plant produces only one bunch or ‚Äúhand‚ÄĚ in its life, but that bunch may have between 100 to 400 bananas. Despite its phallic shape, the banana is sterile and no fertilization takes place in the banana flowers. A banana plant grows when one of its shoots is planted

 9. Kissing may have originated when mothers orally passed chewed solid food to their infants during weaning

10. The agent that gives Twinkies their smooth feel, cellulose gum, is also used in rocket fuel to give it a slightly gelatinous feel

Still want one?

11. The earliest form of eating processed food occurred in early hunting cultures when the men who made a kill would be rewarded with a meal of the partially digested contents of the stomach of their prey

12. In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. In 2006, the spending rose to nearly $142 billion

13. The Tootsie Roll is named after its creator Leo Hirshfield’s daughter Clara, whose nickname was Tootsie. It was the first penny candy that was individually wrapped. During WWII, Tootsie Rolls were placed in soldiers‚Äô ration kits because it could survive various weather conditions

These were ALWAYS my favorite thing to get at Halloween when I was a kid.

14. The term ‚Äújunk food‚ÄĚ was initially used in the 1960s but was popularized during the following decade when the song ‚ÄúJunk Food Junkie‚ÄĚ reached the top of the charts in 1976

Hope you thought this was interesting and fun! ūüôā

A Southern Meal with a TWIST….

So last night for dinner we had my¬†pineapple meatloaf topped with BBQ sauce! (So yum) and instead of meatloaf and mashed potatoes (gotta love that southern food) we did Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes! They were very good and everyone liked…even my meat and potatoes husband went back for seconds! ūüôā But here’s the bummer…can you believe I totally forgot to snap a picture?!? Dang it! ūüė¶¬†

CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES 

1 head of cauliflower 

1 oz fat-free half and half 

salt and pepper, to taste 

rosemary, optional 

Boil cauliflower until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and place everything in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency of mashed potatoes. 

Serves 4-6 

30 Calories; 0.2g Fat; 0.1mg Cholesterol; 244mg Sodium; 6.2g Carbohydrates; 2.6g Fiber; 2.2g Protein 

We also watched another movie….Julie and Julia. It was good. I enjoyed it a lot! A good movie for all you foodies out there! We are working our way through Santa’s movie gifts!!! ūüôā¬†

A Good Foodie Movie!

 

Today my Aunt and cousins came in for the day!! YAY! We walked on the beach and we seashell hunting!! 

The Beach!

Looking for seashells

Me and my cousin Kristen

¬†And tonight we are having FRESH fish…we went to the fresh seafood market and got some Grouper! We are putting the boys in charge and we plan to grill it with some fresh ears of corn! Can’t wait!

Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is having a good day so far! This morning has been very chill for me at the beach. I got up and ran¬†7 miles…nice…came home and have done NOTHING! Love it! We did watch Inglorious¬†Basterds last night…it was really good!

Great Movie!

This morning after my 7 miler (8:05 minute mile pace) I had another protein smoothie but this time I used the Luna Strawberry Banana Recovery mix. (I blended it with vanilla almond breeze and ice) It was tasty too but I think I preferred yesterday’s Dark Chocolate Flavor better. But overall I am impressed with these and will definitely keep buying them!

Strawberry Banana Flavor

I found a very interesting article about weight loss and the scale. How many of you use the scale to measure your weight loss success? Sometimes the scale isn’t the best indicator to use to measure your fitness goals. Since lean muscle mass weighs more than fat you might not lose weight quickly at first even though you are lowering your body fat percentage. Rather use your clothes as a guide. Are your clothes fitting better? Are you losing inches? Sometimes that is a better way to check in than by using a number on a scale. Here are 4 signs that you might be a little¬†scale obsessed:

  1. You constantly worrying about weighing in
  2. You weigh more than once a day
  3. You can recite your weight to the nearest fraction at all times
  4. The scale determines how you feel about yourself for that day

Try not to use weight loss as your goal but rather look at it as the result of a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Sometimes ditching the scale is the best thing you can do for yourself! And if that number is important to you try only weighing in once a week at most. ūüôā

Alright I am off to go beat the hubs¬†at boggle! Well…maybe!

Oh…and their is a HUGE vitatop giveaway from Iowa Girl!

 

We Made It!

Well we are HERE!!! We have successfully made it to the beach! The drive was easy…and Keith and I played fun road games the whole way!

My Cutie Husband!

 

We are headed out!

 

When I walked in the condo my mom had her shrimp creole going (with fresh shrimp she picked up this morning!!) and it smelled AMAZING!!! It was so yummy! My belly is H-A-P-P-Y! 

Mama's shrimp creole with fresh steamed asparagus with lemon!

Another look at that fantastic meal!

We may be at the beach but we still eat really well!! I will score the recipe later and post it next week! Ssh…don’t tell my mom! ūüôā ¬†Happy Monday night everyone!

Packed and Ready to GO!

Yippe…Keith and I are heading out to the beach in about an hour! I am so excited!! See this is why I have never seen snow! I always opt for the beach…always! There is just something calming and relaxing about hearing the waves. Plus running on the beach HAS to be better than running in snow! (Or so I am guessing!)¬†

I had a great workout this morning. I ran 11 miles in 95:07. So about 8:40 minute mile pace…felt great! Since I am super busy this morning packing up all the last-minute items,¬†I made a protein shake using the Luna Recovery Dark Chocolate mix. It was TASTY! I mixed it with 8 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, 1/2 a banana and lots of ice and blended it all up. EXCELLENT! I definitely recommend¬†this product! Each packet has 120 calories; 21g¬†carbohydrates; and 8g¬†protein. Here are the ingredients: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Whey Protein Isolate,¬†Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Organic Alkalized¬†Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, Xanthan/Guar Gum, Sea Salt. It is the perfect base for whatever smoothie you are craving. It also comes in Strawberry Banana flavor!¬†

 

Chocolate Goodness!

 

So now I am beach-ready! I am even wearing flip-flops (although it is like 35 degrees right now!) But I am getting into the spirit…my toes will survive! ūüôā Have a good Monday and I will be back later..from the BEACH!

What a GREAT Surprise!

So I just found out that Suzanne, of Trying to Maintain, presented me and 6 other ladies with the Beautiful Blogger Award for Beautiful Bloggers!  THANKS SUZANNE!!!

So, in Beautiful Blogger tradition, I will share 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to 7 other Beautiful Bloggers!

Here goes:

1. I still sleep with the teddy bear that my mom got for me when I was 6th grade. (Yes, he is coming to the beach with me tomorrow)

Mr. Bear!

2. My mom is my best friend.

3. When I was 3-years old I sliced the side of my face on a swing set pole and cut my right cheek from my eye to my lip. I had to have plastic surgery to put me back together again!

4. I have known my husband since I was born!

5. I am addicted to crossword puzzles.

6. My all-time favorite TV show is FELICITY!

Felicity & Ben
7. I hate tea…all kinds…hot, cold, flavored…all of it!

 

The seven Beautiful Bloggers I choose:

1. Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers

2. Katie @ Yes, I Want Cake

3. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is

4. Shannon @ Tri to Cook

5. Kristen @ Change of Pace

6. Megan¬†@ The Runner’s Kitchen

7. Lindsay @ The Cotter Chronicles

Thanks to all of you for making a difference in my life!

Oh to the beach we go…

Keith and I are going to the beach tomorrow!!! YAY! We are going with our favorite traveling partners, my mom and stepdad, Jim! My mom has a condo in Port Aransas¬†and we will be there until next Saturday! 6 GLORIOUS DAYS! (I will have my computer and internet so no worries…I will still be blogging¬†everyday!!)

Once we get to Padre Island we always spend the first day going to the fresh seafood market to pick out some good local fish and we go visit the organic vegetable lady who sells all organic fruits and vegetables that she locally grows herself! It is very cool…we can walk through her garden and just pick what we want! So fun! (My mom has already promised to make her shrimp creole with freshh shrimp!) It will definitely be¬† a week of total relaxation! After the holiday craziness I am really looking forward to it! Call it my detox! haha!

The Island House Condos...this is where my mom's condo is!

The View From the Patio of Our Condo!

¬†We are also members of the Padre Island Country Club and so we have access to a gym and a hot tub there! Plus we will play golf one morning. (well they will play golf…I will drive the cart…haha!) And Keith will be fishing most mornings as well. Here is a picture from our summer trip to Corpus:

So, back to today. What am I doing?¬†Packing. I never realized how many things I use on a daily basis until¬†I have to pack it all up! I really need to embrace the concept of less is more I think! ūüôā Santa brought us lots of DVD’s so we plan to watch them this week. Here’s what we got:

  • The Hangover
  • Australia
  • Julie & Julia
  • Inglorious Bastards
  • Stepbrother

I haven’t seen any of them so it should be fun! We are also taking GAMES! We are huge game players in my house. True story: growing up we had “family game night” every Saturday night until I left for college. There was no getting out of it! Our friends were allowed to come over and play games with us but there was no going out on Saturday nights! So now I am by default a game lover! We are bringing:

  • Cards (for Spades…boys vs girls…my mom and I ALWAYS win!!)
  • Boggle
  • Jenga
  • Scrabble
  • Kismet
  • Battles of the Sexes

I am sure we will play them all multiple times over! In fact New Year’s Eve will probably be spent playing Spades and drinking champagne! ūüôā

Also during the week we plan on watching lots and lots of FOOTBALL! I am a Texas Aggie alum and my bowl game is Monday night; the Independence Bowl against Georgia! Jim is a Florida alum and so we will definitely¬† be watching the Sugar¬†Bowl on¬†Friday night.¬†My mom is a Longhorn alum (can you imagine if Alabama hadn’t beat Florida…my mom and stepdad’s¬†schools¬†would have been playing for the National Championship against eachother…eeks!) We are football family for sure..very passionate!! Poor Keith…he went to UNC (University of North Texas) and they didn’t quite make a bowl game so he is throwing his support to UT! But first: GO AGGIES!

WHOOP IT UP AGGIES!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday! In between my packing I am watching football! (ha…go figure!) GO COLTS! (As we have already discussed I PEYTON MANNING!) Cheers!

Merry Christmas!!

¬†Merry Christmas everyone! I am pooped but I had a GREAT day! I am right now curled up on the couch in one of my husband’s old fraternity sweatshirts watching my favorite Holiday movie…A Christmas Story. The only lights on are the twinkling Christmas lights. My belly is full and I am HAPPY!! I hope everyone had a great day too filled with everything that makes it special for you!!

I am going to start with pictures from last night.¬† Christmas Eve was at my house and we always open presents on Christmas Eve…yay! Check it out:¬†

All of our presents! There were tons!! 

The loot!!

This was my BIG¬† gift…isn’t it gorgeous?!?¬†

 

My GORGEOUS New Chair!!! YAY!

¬†Santa was GOOD to Keith too…look at that thing?!?¬†

 

Everyone had fun ripping into their gifts!! 

 

My Brother, Josh

Wow Mama!

ME!

Even Kodi got into the holiday spirit!

Christmas Eve was a fantastic night. Everyone slurped my tortilla soup and licked their trifles clean!!   

Christmas Day was even better! My mom’s house was perfect!¬†

The table was beautiful!

The food looked AND tasted amazing!  

My favorite appetizer: cream cheese with raspberry chipolte dressing!

Our Christmas Ham!

The Whole Spread

The fudge we made the other day that I forgot to snap a picture of!

Sugar Cookies

COOKIES!

Homemade Pecan Pie...my absolute favorite!

It wasn’t all about the food…¬†

The NEW love of my life, Parker!

Mammaw (my grandma), Paige (Parker's sister) and Me

Mama and Paige

Mama and Parker ("the chunk")

Mammaw and Jim (my stepdad)

¬†MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT! ūüôā

It’s Christmas Eve!

YAY! I am SO excited!! Everyone (being: my mom, my stepdad, my brother, his girlfriend, and my grandma) are coming over around 5:00 p.m for PRESENTS and good food!! I have the Tortilla Soup going in the crockpot and my mom is bringing the Tamales! We are also going to have chips (blue-corn), salsa, queso and guacamole for some pre-dinner noshing! Here is the tortilla soup recipe I promised…it is SO easy!!

CROCKPOT TORTILLA SOUP

1 lb shredded cooked chicken (I boiled the chicken in chicken stock yesterday)

1 (15 oz) can whole canned tomatoes, mashed

1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chili peppers

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup water

1 (14 1/2 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 (10 oz) package frozen corn

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

 

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilis and garlic in crockpot.

Pour in water and chicken broth.

Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and bay leaf.

Stir in corn and cilantro.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Garnish with tortilla strips or chips, cheese, avocado, etc…

Serves: 8

170 Calories; 5.1g Fat (1.2g saturated fat); 42mg Cholesterol; 816mg Sodium; 14.7g Carbohydrate; 2.2g Fiber; 3.3g Sugar; 17.5g Protein

Tortilla Soup Goodness!

I will be back tomorrow¬†evening with fun Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day pictures of family, presents and food! Happy Holidays to EVERYONE!!!! ūüôā CHEERS!