We suddenly lost our internet connection at home on Wednesday.  I feel lost without out, but we'll be back up and running on Wednesday morning-- I hope.  See you soon! 


breakfast of champions.

Continuing on in the spirit of healthy dieting/weight loss, let's talk about the importance of breakfast.  I already feel like I sound like a commercial.  Sorry for that.  Seriously breakfast is so important.  It kick starts our metabolism, it gets the body going, and keeps us from binging later on.  Having balanced meals and snacks is key to successful weight loss-- breakfast is a big part of that.

Jack and I wanted to demonstrate a healthy breakfast.  My new favorite thing for breakfast is plain yogurt, and I add in fresh fruit and a little honey to sweeten it.  I don't need a lot in the mornings/don't have time to sit and eat, so it's perfect for me.  Jack's still going with the old standby-- the classic oatmeal and milk.  He wanted me to mention he has fruit, too.

My point with all this is breakfast doesn't have to be a huge meal where you sit and eat for 30 minutes.  It can be quick, light if you wish, and healthy!  Some mornings I would just have toast.  [Would being the operative word here, since I can't use my toaster since it's full of mouse poop.  And still sitting on my counter.  What's wrong with me?? ]  Ok funny story here, Tommy still was having toast, until I informed him the other day that I thought I saw mouse droppings down in there.  His response "well, let me go throw up and then I'll throw the toaster out."  Bless him. 

*there's mouse poop in our toaster because we left most of our stuff in our house in Maryland when we moved to Tennessee.  we didn't clean out the cereal cabinet.  four months later, mice had done a lot of damage in our kitchen.  although i had an incredibly tough first round inspection on EVERY SINGLE ITEM that came from that mouse house, apparently the toaster slipped through the cracks.


think small.

In light of yesterday's post on how inappropriate the tube feeding diet is, I thought I would do some posts of appropriate ways to go about weight loss.  If you read yesterday, then you know tube feeding should not equal dieting.  A good way to go about weight loss is to think small and realistic.  These are some of the biggest things to successful weight loss, in my eyes.

I like to tell people to make small changes that are realistic.  For instance, if you drink soda all day- don't say you are never going to drink soda again.  That's just not going to happen.  But maybe you could cut down the number of sodas you drink each day.  We all like for change to happen big, especially when it comes to weight loss, but that's not how successful weight loss happens.  If you eat out for dinner and eating out is what you enjoy, don't give it up.  Yes, eating at home is typically healthier, but if you aren't going to do it then don't kid yourself.  But do make healthy choices while eating out [which is another post in and of itself].

These are just two very brief examples of small, realistic changes.  To some people they may seem to small, but they do add up when they are followed.  Once you get the hang of your first small change, you can take the next step to a bigger change and implement that in your life.  It's exciting to conquer small changes!  They provide motivation on the long journey that is weight loss.


what kind of diet is this?

I watch the Today show almost every day; it's part of how we start our day around here.  It's on in the background while we change diapers and pj's, eat breakfast, and pick up Cheerios from all over the room.  Yesterday I was shocked when I heard a story come on while I was unloading the dishwasher.  I quickly came into the living room because I didn't want to miss any of the story.  It is crazy.  Period.  

A new diet that is rising in popularity with oddly enough, brides-to-be, is a tube feeding diet.  These women have a nasogastric tube [meaning it goes in through the nose, down the throat and into the stomach] inserted and are given a formula through the tube for 10 days.  The formula is made up of protein and fat mixed with water and contains no carbohydrates.  The women get 800 calories a day from the formula and carry around the tube feeding pump all the time for the 10 days.  This costs $1500 for the ten day diet, and the average weight loss is 20 pounds.  After the diet is over it is up to the women to keep the weight off. 

You see, I've worked in hospitals as a Clinical Dietitian.  I was a Dietetic Intern in four different hospitals, so I've seen plenty of patients on tube feeds.  It's generally not an elected thing.  No one, I can guarantee you, no one who has a tube feed has ever said, "yeah, I walked into the hospital hoping they'd stick a tube down my throat and pump a gross combination of liquid into my stomach.  I really didn't want to eat so that worked out perfectly."  No.  In fact, I have had patients pull their NG tubes out right in front of me.  I have had elderly patients tell me they would rather die eating than be stuck with a tube feed.  Seriously.  Tube feeds should be reserved for very sick patients.  For patients who for whatever reason, whether it be a complication from cancer, an intestinal disorder, or an intensive care patient, cannot eat food by mouth.  It is ridiculous that people are seeking out feeding tubes as a method of weight loss.  This is an inappropriate use of nutrition resources and very poor medical practice.  Tube feeding falls in the category of nutrition support, and weight loss is not under the nutrition support umbrella.

I know this is a wordy post, and I know most people probably aren't giving this a second thought.  As a Registered Dietitian I am passionately against this diet.  Thank you for giving me a place where I could share my thoughts and concerns.

*Information for this diet was found here and here.


rice and beans.

Sometimes I don't have the time or energy to fix dinner.  I'm sure I'm the only one, right?  Truthfully, that sometimes is like 4-5 nights a week, but if we ate out every one of those times we'd be struggling with our weight more than we do and hurting in our bank account.  My Granny gave me this rice and beans recipe that is so simple, fast, and delicious [thanks Granny]!  I love it and so does Jack!  Turns out that boy loves his black beans.

The recipe calls for saffron, which is definitely tasty but so high in salt.  I made it with saffron the first time and loved it, but since then I've been trying to use brown rice or at least plain white rice.  It still tastes delicious. 

1 [5 oz.] package saffron
1 [15 oz.] can black beans
3 T lime juice [bottled is fine]
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
2 T chopped fresh cilantro [divided]
Garnishes: sour cream, sliced green onions, fresh cilantro.

1.  Cook rice according to package directions.  Keep warm. 
2.  Drain beans, reserving 2 T liquid [what I refer to as the bean juice.
3.  Combine bean juice, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a saucepan & cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.
4.  Stir in 1 T cilantro.  Serve beans over rice.  Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.
Garnish if you want.  I don't except for more cilantro [the more the better].  If you do garnish with sour cream-- go easy on it and go low fat.

Serves 3-4.  [or 1 1/2 if you're me & Jack]



Jack's first fail-- his hearing test.

We had some rough news confirmed today as we found out that Jack has hearing loss in his left ear.  His diagnosis is conductive hearing loss, and we are so hopeful that it is only temporary.  He has fluid behind the ear drum of his left ear, so the hope is that the fluid is the cause of the hearing loss and once we take care of the fluid the hearing will improve.  There's a chance it won't, because he was on some pretty potent medications when he was so sick and in the NICU after his birth.  But we trust it is something that can be healed and was caused by chronic ear infections and fluid.  At this point his right is normal but he hears nothing out of his left ear. 

We saw an audiologist today and then our pediatrician to confirm the presence of fluid.  Next week we will see an ear, nose, and throat doc where we have been told they will most likely suggest tubes.  It makes me so nervous to think about our little man having surgery, but it's an easy procedure and we hope that it will bring him much relief and healing.  Lots of hope will accompany that surgery.

I'm sad for my little man.  Sad that he can't hear as well as he could, sad that he's had so many infections so early in his life, and sad that his head must have been feeling pretty messed up for awhile with all that pressure built up.  My ears were clogged up last week when I had a bad cold, and I was miserable [everyone around me knew it too- I was not shy about  my misery. but our little guy is so happy.  sweet, sweet boy].  I'm so hopeful for medical interventions that can bring healing!  So thankful for healing hands, and mostly for our Father's Healing Hands, which have healed me, too.


stuffed chicken.

This chicken is awesome.  This dish is so healthy and really pretty easy to do.  It's a fun one to get the kids involved with too because they can learn about healthy ingredients and help put this dish together.

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets  
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped roasted red peppers  
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese  
  • 1 T chopped, flat leaf parsley  
1.  In small bowl mix together feta and roasted red peppers.
2.  Season chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper on each cutlet.
3.  Divide the cheese/pepper mixture evenly in each cutlet [about 1 heaping tablespoon] & roll the chicken up.  Use a toothpick to hold the rolled up chicken in place.
4.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet on medium-high heat.  Use an oven safe skillet to make this even easier! 
5.  Cook chicken seam-side up until browned [about 3-4 mins].  Flip chicken and transfer skillet to top rack in oven.  Roast until cooked through [14-16 mins].
6.  Remove from oven when finished.  Check internal temperature.  Poultry should be 170 degrees F. 


 The healthy facts:

  • I love chicken as a protein.  Lean and a great choice.  A lot of people think chicken can't be good, but this dish has so much flavor you won't even remember red meat.  
  • This dish is low in fat.  The flavoring comes from the roasted red peppers & feta cheese.  
  • Choose low fat feta cheese to make this dish healthier.    

A few things:

  • Don't let your kids touch raw chicken.  That's just wrong.  
  • Don't let your child use a knife.  
  • Great roles for kids include measuring things out, mixing together ingredients, and monitoring the time on cooking. 
  *Recipe is from Real Simple and can be found here

And this is seriously so delicious.  Enjoy!


easter love.

I have a serious number of pictures from yesterday.  We had such a wonderful Easter.  It was so much fun celebrating Easter with Jack, and we look forward to when he is old enough to know and understand why this day is so amazing! I was going to only put up a few pictures, but decided to add many more for a few special Jack-lovers out there [Ms. Maureen and Julia].

 J-Baby's first Easter basket.  

 I love spring flowers!  

 Family shot. 

 Family shot.  

 Ohh I could eat him up.  

 My picture editing software got deleted, so I can't figure out how to flip my photos right now.  But I love this one!  And I think he kind of looks like an old-fashioned ice cream man.  Or Colonel Sanders, according to my brother.  

 Silly siblings.  

 He was so excited about yesterday, he finally slept on the walk.  But it was against his will, if he'd had his way he would have been up all day celebrating!  

 I think I love this puppy.  

 He's recently started scrunching up his nose when he's happy or laughing.  Apparently I did the same thing when I was his age per some pictures we recently found.  Looks pretty cute on him though.  

 Yes, I do love this puppy.  

 I love Easter!  

Hope everyone had a very blessed Easter!



We've been a sick bunch around here.  The little man has had a brutal cold and passed it on to me.  Today his Daddy woke up with it.  Our poor guy is coughing like crazy, and it breaks my mama heart to see him in such pain.  He gets to sleep wherever he wants to sleep until this cold has worked its way out of his little body.  For him, that means mommy and daddy's bed.  Paci, lovie, and us on either side and this cough won't keep him up.  Even though it keeps me up...