Tuesday, November 19, 2013

a few days late

This season has been interesting for us ...well, me. Chase doesn't blog, but I'll say us because my hubs has been alongside me every step of the way. To begin, I started a new job at the end of Sept, my granddad passed away Oct 16th, I've been gardening and sewing until my eyes cross and my fingernails split, and I ran a half marathon last weekend..but friends, it's been SO good.

The passing of my granddad was not tramatic - he had end stage dementia, weighed <120#, and had been declining for a few months.  He knew and loved The Lord with his whole heart.  Praise HIM for His saving grace.  There's no doubt that Max McKinney was a good man.  His passing was different (compared to the only others I have witnessed, my two aunts that were tramatic deaths two years ago).  It was one of those you almost hope for...the prayers in my heart were torn - my grandmother is now a widow, but he loved on her until his last breath.  My mom would cry, and tell me how his  quality of life has "gone downhill", yet...reflecting on his life, knowing his stories, prayers, laughter and the way he treated others made us somewhat comforted and at peace. 

Two days before the funeral, I was asked to do the eulogy.  That night, I said yes.  Then in a moment's time, I asked Chase and my dear friend Amie what that entailed.  Then I started sweating.  The next two days even down to an hour before his service, I spent reflecting on my Papa's life (of 79 yrs).  I was to tell my version of what he meant to me, how much of a great impact he made on my life, and how he reflected the love and mercy of Jesus Christ...without crying.  I rehearsed with Chase in the basement of the church just minutes before and kept thinking ... "I can do this.  This is a celebration of his life. He was a good man."

Friends, I did it.  I had a few tears and honestly made a few unknown to me friends/family members cry, but it was worth it.  His life did impact me, and it will forever.  This past week, I got his old wheelbarrow.  My parents brought it home from Amarillo, and it's ready for massive leaf collecting and spring gardening. It's rusty, red and perfect.  I see it and just know...there were many projects completed with it, and many more to endure. 

Papa you are so loved and very much missed.

On to the job and marathon
I am now consulting for long term care.  For those of you reading who need some understanding-
1. I meet with nursing home residents, perform nutritional assessments, offer recommendations for improving their status and follow up each month (sometimes more frequently)
2. With my job comes hugs, handshakes, flirting (those old men, not me!), singing hymns, serving ice cream, cranberry juice and lotsa coffee ☕️
3. With my job also comes creating relationships and loving on people in some of the hardest days of their lives 
I love it. I love my boss, my coworkers, and those I get to see weekly. 
Oh did I mention, I only work 4 days/week? 😊

I also ran a half marathon last weekend (Nov 10th).  I've been training with Amie since end of May-ish.  

                    I was really happy. 

               Isn't my hubs the best?

         Photo credit: Hannah Bratton

So far, it's been a wonderful season.  I'm learning more and more of his everlasting love for us and how blessed I am...I think this is an ideal place to be just days before Thanksgiving. 

How are you reflecting and spending this thanksgiving season?

***You might be thinking I forgot to post about my garden and sewing projects. There will be another blog post about those soon!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

At Home with Zoe

    Naps and watching FRIENDS reruns

        Sitting under my feet (all the time)

               Sewing/ironing with me 

  Napping in the bathroom as I get ready 

We are adjusting and our home has definitely become hers, too.

Zoe is up to 2.6#, wakes up usually once during the night (it used to be 3X) and will chew any cord or flip flop she spots.  

We are learning as "pet parents" what patience looks like and how hard it can be at 2:30 in the morning when she cries to go outside. 

We have laughed so much in the past 5 weeks at silly falls, barks and little things she does to get attention.

We have enjoyed her making our home even more complete. I definitely encourage those newlyweds out there...follow the rule plant then pet. ;)

Happy Sunday. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

summer grub

summer recipes that we've tried and really enjoyed:

Zesty Chicken Marinade
2-4 T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (excellent alternate to soy sauce for those with allergies or are sensitive to the sodium in soy sauce)
2-4 T. Apple cider vinegar
Lemon Juice
Squirt of Dijon mustard
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 c Low-sodium chicken broth
Bragg's Organic Sprinkles Herb Blend (salt free)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic)

Two methods: 1) put all liquid ingredients and herbs in large freezer bag and place in chicken breasts, refrigerate for 30-hour (or overnight). Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 25-35min or until chicken is cooked through the center, and juices run clear. (you can also grill them)
2) place all ingredients into a large baking pan, cover with lid or foil, refrigerate (and cook as listed above)

Served with asparagus and roasted root veggies

Faux-ice cream sundaes
(We use a Yonanas Maker)
2 frozen bananas cut into quarters (must be frozen)
2 T. PB2 powder
Dash of cinnamon
Pecans (toasted, if desired)

Process bananas through Yonanas Maker. Stir in PB2 and cinnamon, sprinkle nuts on top.  Eat! (This can definitely be modified based on preference...bananas are recommended, and a great addition to any flavor of faux-ice cream that you and your family make. Try bananas+raspberries or bananas+raspberries+blueberries

No image, but trust me...YUMMO!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Updates: cleansing and puppy love

I haven't posted any updates, because friends, A) this week flew! B) I'm not eating enough carbs and well, we all know that our brains run on glucose C) I'm drooling over all my fav (currently hands-off) recipes, while trekking through Pinterest and my recipe collection and knowing all along that my brain's not working creatively enough to make some truly delicious tonight. 

No lie. 

I miss mushrooms, almond butter, chocolate covered powerberries, AND tonight I miss our usual Friday night homemade pizza.

I am enjoying fresh pineapple, berries, hard boiled eggs, toasted almonds, Mrs Dash and marinating with apple cider vinegar and Braggs herb seasoning (salt free).

This process is refining me. {wining over}

Thankful for today! 

We got a pup. {I heard you. You said, "awe!"} Chase said yes on Wednesday night and we picked her up today! {insert:another shrill from
all of my excitement}

Her name hasn't been confirmed (we take this very seriously), but I assure you it will be something just as precious as she is.
She is a Yorkie. Her birthday is 5/12 (an even number day in my birth month...it was destiny), and weighs 1.6#. 
So far she loves naps, car rides, and looking cute. {we just got home}

 She's is adjusting well.  She has her cousin, Emma her until Tuesday, so hopefully they cuddle and Emma teaches her how to chew rawhides and not my flipflops. 

I'll post my new fav recipes this weekend that we tried this week and really enjoyed.  All grumbling aside, it's been a good week. ;)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The cleanse and being well

I start off with, our summer has been fantastic! We have now seen Kelsey, Brett and Bennett, traveled to Vegas with some of our dearest friends, been leading and spending time with our city group, celebrating The Aguilars and The Forsythes through weddings...now we are breathing for a moment. It's fun to take it all in. It's fun to live in a community of people that enjoy celebration, family, and quality time.  It's a blessing to have our two families so close.  It's memorable to be spending our first year of marriage, surrounded by such amazing people and participating in new events....yet we want to stay well and healthy.

As all of the fun will continue through the fall (marathon training, more friends having babies and getting married, etc) I decided to take a break from my normal food routine (diet, pattern of eating, whatever you might call it), and cleanse/renew/focus on Christ through it all.  Some of my friends/readers may say, "You're a dietitian, don't you eat well all the time?"  or "You eat better than 95% of normal people," or..."why do you need to lose weight?" I laugh thinking about some of the replies that I've heard. Well, folks, it's really not about any of those things.  Being obedient to the Lord in the way that I am treating my body is my primary purpose. Taking a break from things like: beef, dairy (boo...no mozzarella), fungi (mushrooms), caffeine, chocolate and wine (for Chase: whataburger, mashed potatoes, pizza and chick Fil a).  As a "foodie" these things are some of my favorites to cook with, eat/share with others, and are lovely things that were created for enjoyment. We are just resting from them for a bit. 

So the cleanse starts tomorrow. 
Chase will be on it for 10 days.
I will go for 24 days (maybe more).

I will probably get headaches.  
My training runs will probably max out at 4 miles.
My sleep cycle will probably improve. 
My skin will improve (trust me, I will be drinking a gallon or more a day of H2O)
My heart, mind and body will thank me. 
And most importantly, I will focus on things that matter: Christ and his creation. Us. I cherish how He created me with detail and purpose in mind. I'm excited. 

We will continue to eat with you, friends.
We will continue to pursue cool, fun restaurants - even if it means smelling your dinner and glass of wine (Stacy) until we can eat all of it again.

Hope you are treating your bodies well and finding strength in Christ alone. 

My CM run tonight brought it a few gems... Here's to our week for $80! :) 
(Only wishing I still had all my CSA veggies)

Friday, June 7, 2013

taking adventures with our soon-to-be-married friends!


Summer is pressing forward.  I am enjoying this lovely 70-ish degree weather, but I am happy about the weddings ahead and for new adventures that our friends are headed for.

We have a wonderfully planned weekend ahead...full of coffee, wine, and gourmet food (and dance-floor watching) to boot.

Excited for our new adventures with (more) married friends!

To Daniel & Stacy and all of your new found adventures.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

this season

In this season of birthdays, celebrations, and new babiezzz (6 to count since March), I have discovered a deep passion of mine: service and gift giving.  Yes, my husband knows that I go to Target twice/week (once for us, and once for all my friends!). Yes, he's noticed that I have made more consecutive homemade meals in the past 4 weeks put together than I have in the 8 months that we've been married.  All of these things (meals, wedding planning, babysitting, gifts, etc) have been wonderful, however, I have had to take a peek recently at my motives and heart. Where do my services/resources come from? Who am I really serving?

Any one who loves to give gifts/time/service knows that sometimes, the heart can get in the way of our gifts and purpose.
Ex: We start expecting thanks, reciprocation, and sadly, in the long run---We burn out, reach long standing disappointment and lots of other selfish icky things.

The Word warns us of motives and our hearts (yikes, which can be just plain ugly).
Good news! We are redeeemed and forgiven and made holy, again. Thank you, Jesus for your blood.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Gal 5:17

...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17).

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Ps 119:11

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15

With all of these reminders (and more throughout scripture), I am so thankful for His life, blood, and Word!

I am growing friends.  I'm slowly but surely, being molded into the lady He wants me to be.  I type this as part confession, part celebration.  It is challenging sometimes to give of yourself and not receive (thanks).  However, the heart check, confession (with God and a few friends), reconciliation, and wholeness have made me question the ONE I truly serve and how, in all honesty, I deserve nothing in return.  He deserves all of our praise! 

Thank you for reading.
If you have any experiences or scriptures that have turned your heart back to Christ and His amazing love and example of giving, comment below.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

lately in my kitchen

As mentioned in my new year's resolution list....I would be cooking new recipes at least once a week.  As little as I have posted online, I have done really well!  I think my man has noticed too. :)

What's been happening with your resolutions?

((Note:  not all that you are about to see would I recommend eating weekly.  notably the poptarts, yet highly tasty and addictive, they are very calorically dense and very rude to your butt.))

Since my last post on Stacy's yummo kale chips....

(photo courtesy of her website - link above)

(photo courtesy of her website - link above)

I didn't serve crispy pita chips.  I actually bought low carb flat pita bread, cut them into wedges and lightly brushed them with OO and sea salt and others with chili powder, toasted them in the oven at 350 until warm.  They were delish!  Try pairing the hummus with any of your favourite sliced veggies.

Chicken Enchiladas 

excuse the poor picture and lighting...
Their story: I made them the Friday evening before our church women's retreat.  We were all supposed to meet up at 7 or so at the hotel downtown.   I knew I hadn't prepared anything new for the week, so I gave these puppies a try.  Turns out they were a hit by my hubby.  Hint:  I had two and there were none left on Sat when I got home....  Regarding their recipe, I made it up.
1 pkg corn tortillas
olive oil
1 bottle Trader Joes enchilada sauce
1 package split, boneless chicken breasts (2-3) (Tip: you could def use rotisserie or leftover chicken that you've made during the week.  I, of course, chose to squeeze in cooking raw chicken on a night I had to be somewhere.)
seasonings I used on my chicken: cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper
1 package shredded cheddar or monterrey jack cheese (1-2 cups)
1/2 stick of low fat cream cheese (4 oz) (unless you can't do dairy...and then, well this isn't your recipe)

Preheat oven to 350.
Assemble fillers:  shred cooked chicken and mix with 1 cup shredded cheese, cream cheese and little bit of the enchilada sauce to make it sticky.
Drizzle 1/2 cup or so of enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8.5 x 11" baking dish or whatever you have that's long enough for the 6" tortillas to fit.
Warm 2 tortillas in microwave inside a damp paper towel for 10-15 sec.
Remove tortillas (you may need to add olive oil in your fingers to keep the tortillas from flaking apart)  and gently add your chicken/cheese fillers and roll up.
Gently place in baking dish.
After you get your dish full, add the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with 1/2-1/3 cup cheese.
Bake until bubbly....20 minutes or so.
Serve with salsa, tabasco or other hot sauce and sprinkle with cilantro, if you have it.

Pop-tarts for Village

{miniatures for my co-workers kiddos}

{full-sized; cinnamon sugar on left-blackberry on right}

{Shanda, I love my silpat! here's a little up close shot before
adding the vanilla bean sugar glaze}
These were so much fun to assemble, bake and share with our friends.   Recipe here.  They are definitely worth baking and modifying with inner ingredients that you and your family enjoy (nutella, nuts, peanut butter, other flavor preserves, or as my hubby requested, cheese or pizza sauce).  We'll see if that happens.  I used regular unbleached flour, but I plan on trying whole wheat pastry or gluten free flours next time.  I also read around on the web for awhile before planning on these.  I didn't want them to be a puff pastry.  Some of the others I found online looked delicious, but they didn't look like Kelloggs.  

Breathe. I know, pastries, Hannah?  You're a dietitian.  Ok, so here's where we're at this week.

fresh squeezed juice

{these make my mouth water}
We received a juicer for our wedding.  Thankfully, I researched recipes for awhile before delving into juicing at the akin abode.  It can be highly expensive and time consuming for those not prepared.  I had great dreams of juicing daily and drinking it 2-3 times/day, however, when you get into it, it's not practical.

My recipes have included:
grapefruit juice
grapefruit-ginger juice
blueberry-spinach-mint juice

Side note: We have a Jack LaLanne's juicer - centrifugal, meaning it extracts juice and leaves the pith, skins and pulp.  I have been reserving this for other things: breads, soups, stews and used right back in any drink to make it thicker.  Make sure you don't throw out all of that $$ nutrition!!

Positive note:  I juiced twice this week!   Plan people.  You can do it!

Remember your green, in-season produce.

Here are a few sites that have inspired me.
Lunch Box Bunch
Camille Styles
Healthy Girls Kitchen
Oh Joy!

Have a wonderful FRIDAY and weekend (insert song of choice here)!

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Recipe: Stacy-Style Kale Chips

Have you ever eaten kale chips?

Me either.

...until last night.  They are delish!  Made well, I promise you'll enjoy them.

I really wanted to title this post Gangnam Style Kale Chips, but thought I should refer to the real creator, Stacy soon-to-be-Aguilar.

However, the flavors do dance in your mouth.

Here's how to make these amazing little chippies:
You'll need: Kale (organic if possible), Olive Oil, S&P, Red pepper flakes (if you like spice!)
Also: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
One bunch of kale yields about 4 cups of chips

Start by cleaning your kale with cold water

Next cut kale into "chip" sized pieces

Make sure to remove stems

Lay kale onto baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment)

Lightly drizzle with olive oil (I use my Misto), sea salt,
cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes (Stacy-Style)

Place in preheated oven 

Bake for 10-15 minutes (watch them, or they will burn)
Enjoy!  These are great by themselves as a snack or pair with your fav healthy soup or sandwich.
Honestly, eating them feels a little like you are eating leaves, however, the crisp texture and pepper flavor will leave you a little bit addicted. :)

Per serving (2 cups): 110 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 6 g fiber; 210 mg sodium; 642 mg potassium.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stronger in 2013


Since last October, a couple of my dearest friends and I have been working out at 24 hour and doing Les Milles classes- mostly body combat & body attack, as well as Nike Training Club (check the app out on your phone).  Boy, oh, boy have I noticed a difference!  The first few classes were brutal (Chase can attest to the multiple back rub requests).  However, now that I am up to speed with the choreography and the instructors, I am loving them!   We are so excited for the new series and versions to come out this coming weekend.  Join us if you're close to Horne St and 30 location.

I can't explain my excitement of sweating consistently for 60+ minutes, sliding around in my own pool of sweat on the gym floor, or having to wear multiple pony tail holders to keep my long-est-mane-i've-ever-had tied back, but it is a-H-m-A-z-i-n-G!

This past weekend, I actually noticed a difference in my strength (mostly in my arms) in doing my pushups quickly and without as many rest breaks as usual....
Which leads me to my fitness plans for 2013:
1.  Try as many of the Les Milles classes as I can that are around Fort Worth (even trying out other instructors/gyms)
2.  Completing at least one full class a month without sacrificing form, intensity, or getting on the wrong leg....(haha, you laugh, but come join us, and you will see...)
3.  No weight goal because obviously, that's ridiculous, but I do have a "look" that I am going for....
and as Micki always tells us before our ab routine "abs are made in the kitchen, and I've been in the kitchen a LOT"
4.  Plan at least one adventure race or 10-15K for the fall...still exploring my options.
There may be more goals...come spring and summer, or if I accomplish these before the end of the year. (How cool would that be? Needing NEW goals...)

Nutrition plans for 2013 (because we know this is the most important part):
1.  Take at least one healthy cooking class at CM (with a friend or Chase)
2.  Cook at least one new recipe a week (that's 52 this year, wowza!) I'll be posting these on the blog.
3.  Eat more greens (aim for that daily allowance 6-8 servings/day)
4.  Juice at least 2 days/week.
5.  Drink less coffee. (yep, there, I wrote it)

What are your nutrition and fitness plans/goals for this year?  Post a comment!  I love sharing ideas with each other.  

Good luck in starting off to our first FULL week of January!