November 20, 2013

Lily's Growing Up...

I took pictures of Lily for her 1st Grade school pictures. She is growing up so fast. Can you believe she is already 6 1/2?! My how the time flies.

We went to the JC Raulston Arboretum here in Raleigh. It's a wonderful place to spend some time in nature.

While there was not a whole lot in bloom, the rose garden did hold some late surprises.

Those picture packages the school offers are just ridiculously priced! And there was a lot of added value we got out of doing it ourselves.

And the photo is not always that awesome. They make you pose in awkward positions. PS, Lily posed herself for the most part. She's always loved having her photo taken.

 You never get to feel like a super model. I gave her a few directions here and there. But I tried to let her run the show.

We spent a couple of hours just the two of us on a lovely fall day together. We both had a lot of fun and I think we got some lovely photos. Some of them are just beautiful Lily. And a few are silly Lily. I think we captured a lot of her personality. I also think we will do it again next year.

October 4, 2013

Join the Conversation

Hi my one lonely reader. I've created a Facebook group to talk about food. You are (all?) welcome to join me over there as well as here.

inner jogging on Facebook

September 10, 2013

...or not moving....

We did move to North Carolina, but I am not moving my blog :)

North Carolina has so many trees! Holy crappin' moly are there trees. But no wind. I think we need to work out some kind of nature trade between North Dakota and North Carolina. We'll send up some trees, if you send down a breeze. I am not joking here. It is a rare thing here to see a tree branch wiggle from a light breeze. After daily winds ranging from 10 mph to 40 mph, this is nuts! Especially with the heat and humidity. A gentle breeze down here wouldn't kill you, Mother Nature!

Side note: Currently watching Gordon Ramsay's "F Word" show from the UK. Really like him in this show as opposed to his American shows (except Master Chef, that one is good). He's not the complete jerk that he's made out to be.

July 17, 2013


I'll be moving my blog over to tumblr as it will be a better platform for the little bit i post :)  Here is the new link

And we will also be moving our household, all the way to North Carolina!

April 3, 2013

Fast and Easy Smoothies and Fruit Sauce

Need a fast, easy and fairly healthy snack? A smoothie fits the bill here. And they are pretty portable too if you have little ones to nourish.  Most people do enjoy smoothies, but don't like the hassle of dragging out the blender.  Today, I have a great recipe that fits the bill. A simple smoothie that doesn't use a blender! (One of these days I will do a better job of photographing things to share :) really, I will!)

If you do prefer to use ice in your smoothies, I highly recommend the Single Serve blender from Hamilton Beach.
It is small, easy to clean and does a good job of crushing the frozen stuff. We put whole frozen strawberries in ours and it crushes them really well.

March 19, 2013

Defining Real Food

Transitioning from American convenience foods to real foods can be difficult for some, my family included. We are still working on it. If you find a sudden switch too hard, make smaller, gradual changes that will help you to stay on track. Unlike many fad "diets", we are aiming to change our eating habits and dietary choices for life.

To begin with, we need to define what "real food" is. The most basic definition is this: anything that you can grow in a garden, or pick off a tree; food that is closest to it's original state. Processed food is food that is a product of refining or made in a lab. The nutrients have been removed while processing and may be later added back in, but in an altered state. A good tip when deciding if it is real food is would your great-grandparent's recognize it as food or could you possibly make it at home?

Below is a more thorough list of real food, as put together by Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food. Another great resource on real food is The Unconventional Kitchen.

March 11, 2013

Whole Grain Banana Bread

What's better than a nice, warm, homemade loaf of banana bread? A whole grain one! And this one is kid-approved!

This is whole grain bread as we are using two different grains, wheat and oatmeal. Do not use the instant oatmeal packets.

Make sure you use a yogurt that is free of junk. I use Dannon All-Natural Plain yogurt. Be sure and read that label! You will be surprised to find out what is in your yogurt.

You can also add some chopped nuts to the batter to add a yummy health boost. Walnuts are full of healthy Omega Fatty acids!

February 13, 2013

Healthy Eating, My Way

So now we are reading labels and learning about our food. What do we do with all that information? We use it to make better choices, of course! But almost everything in the grocery store is full of unwanted additives and fillers you say! What are we to do?!

This is when you decide for yourself how much time and effort you are willing to devote to eating a healthy, well-balanced, real-food diet. I shoot for the 80/20 mark. That's 80% real, whole and healthy foods and 20% whatever. I attempt to keep that 20% as minimally processed as possible, but hey, who doesn't make a quick fast-food run every now and then? And by allowing yourself to not be 100% committed will make it way easier to stick to it. There is no guilt because there is no wagon to fall off of!

February 2, 2013

Mug Brownie Trial and Error

I do love me some Betty Crocker Warm Delights bowls. Mmmmmm..... And the husband loves brownies, but only when they are fresh from the oven. And he wants more than just that little bowl. He eats a few brownies, then I eat the rest of the pan over the next two (if even that) days. We're talking a 9x13 pan here. Not the little one. Nope. That would be just too easy.

So I saw this great idea that you could put brownie mix in a mug and add some water and you could have an instant brownie from the microwave. Well, yeah. That didn't work out so well.

Two of the three mugs there have been in the sink all day soaking trying to get the hardened mass of burnt sugar out of them. One of them still has the fork stuck in it! And the third, well, that was a darned good brownie from the microwave.

January 22, 2013

To eat, or not to eat.....

That is the question on almost everyone's mind these days. Whether they are on the latest fad diet or just trying to eat more real, whole foods, eaters are faced with this decision every day, at each and every meal.  One thing that brings me a little bit of inner peace, is educating myself and others on healthful eating. Now, I am not a Dietitian or Nutritionist nor have I been trained in any such thing. I am just a wife and mother of two looking to keep my family well nourished.

Let's just pause for a moment here and define "diet". Many people hear the word diet and assume it is some kind of crazy plan to lose weight. When I say diet, I am using it as a noun as defined in the dictionary: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

Whether you are looking to change your eating habits to lose weight or to just eat healthy, the first and most important step is to read. That's it.  You have to read those food labels. There are very few regulations as to what manufacturers are allowed to put on a food label. You cannot trust the front of the package. You have to read the nutritional information box and the ingredients. It may look good up there in the nutritional info, but the ingredients tell a whole other story.