Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

They just keep coming!

Yesterday I posted the long and pending list of celebrities expecting in 2011 and as if she didn’t want to be left out, my lovely vegetarian favorite Alicia Silverstone came out today with news that she too, is also expecting her first child in the upcoming year. Holy guacamole! I feel as if every week (almost every day it feels like!) another celebrity (or person we know) is confessing to doing the baby dance. I wasn’t kidding about that baby boom! Here’s to Alicia and her future vegan baby!

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Baby Boom 2011!

It is the 1960s all over again people. Every turn I take it seems as if someone else is announcing their pregnancy. In my own world it seems as if a gazillion of people just made known their pregnancy. Facebook, classmates, coworkers, etc. Everyone is expecting. And Hollywood is no exception. Look at the crazy list of (just some of the) celebrities who have just publicized or recently declared they were expecting a baby in 2011.

Devon Aoki, #1
Selma Blair, #1
Victoria Beckham, #4 — Hope this mama get’s her princess!

Emma Bunton, #2
Rachel Zoe, #1 — I didn’t know you could get pregnant when you are that skinny.
Tia Mowry, #1
Jane Krakowski, #1 — Looking fab!

Mariah Carey, #1 and 2
Christina Applegate, #1
Samantha Harris, #2
Penelope Cruz, #1 — This baby is going to be GORGEOUS.

Pink, #1 — Rocker baby here we come!

Rod Stewart, #8
Owen Wilson, #1
Kevin James, #3
Kate Hudson, #2 — So excited for this mama to get her preggo eggo on again! She’s adorable.

Marion Cotillard, #1
Joey McIntyre, #3
Laila Ali, #2
Jennifer Connelly, #3 — Pretty mama.

Drea de Matteo, #2
Autumn Reeser, #1
David Schwimmer, #1
Jennie Finch, #2
Natalie Portman, #1 — Remember her in Where the Heart Is? She played a darling pregnant girl. Excited to see a real bump!

Toni Collette, #2
Tony Kanal, #1
Doutzen Kroes, #1 — What’s with all the Victoria’s Secret Angels having babies?!

Craig Ferguson, #2
Mike Tyson, #6
Brandon Flowers, #3
Ian Ziering, #1
Melissa Rycroft, #1 — Girl is hawt pregnant!

Eli Manning, #1
Eva Herzigova, #2

Here’s to the second wave of baby boomers!

 

 

Nicole Richie; Organic Mama

I absolutely adore Nicole Richie. I full fledge have a girl crush on her. Massively. I love her boho style, her relaxed demeanor, her lifestyle, her wit, her family and her kids. She is my celebrity soul sister. So of course I only love her more now since discovering that she had an elephant at her winter themed wedding. (Elephant = my favorite animal. Winter wedding theme = what I was planning before we ended up doing a destination wedding.) This girl! I need to meet her. I want to personally tell Nicole Richie she is the beez neez.

As many of you know I am a vegetarian and I love kids. Naturally I plan on having vegetarian kids (at least until they can decide if they want to eat dead animals or not with their own free will). So I thought it was pretty cool that Nicole Richie is doing the same in her household. (It helps that her husband Joel Madden is a vegetarian.) As if I didn’t already love this girl, I love how she is raising her kids. Nicole has revealed she uses chlorine-free, non-toxic and hypoallergenic diapers for her children, and refuses to use baby wipes and instead uses cloth and water. She grows her own vegetables in her garden and purees her own baby food. Everything in her household is organic, down to the clothes, food and diapers. She also doesn’t feed her kids dairy. On The Talk, she also shared, “We don’t use battery-operated toys, we don’t use plastic… Sugar is obviously a big no-no.” She went on to share, “I was at a birthday party and there was a cupcake with all this pink icing and there was a blueberry on top of the cupcake. Harlow looked at it and her eyes got so wide and she was like ‘Ohh,’ and I was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go,’ and she was like ‘Blueberries!’ So I went to the kitchen and got her a whole thing of blueberries. And she was happy.”

I give it to her. It’s hard today to be able to live this kind of lifestyle but she’s doing it. It also helps that she has oodles of money, more than I’ll ever have but hey, still I give her props and can only hope I’ll be a kick ass mom like her one day.

Look at these guys-the cutest family ever. For more pics go to Nicole’s blog.

Still hanging on!

Back on November 15th I started on my lifestyle change and took a little quiz to determine my level of health. I had scored between a 4 and 5, which is not so healthy since the ideal number was 10. Now that I have been on this crusade for almost a full month I decided to retest myself. By drinking more water, making a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies, and by eliminating alcohol I am now at a score of 7.

Although that is not perfect, I do feel better knowing that I have moved up on the health scale. My goals had been simply to consume more “good things” (fruits, veggies, water) and less “bad things” (salt, alcohol, white carbs). How did I go from not having any fruit and very little veggies to getting the day’s needed amount? Well I sprinkled berries on my cereal in the morning, had bananas, oranges, apples and grapes as snacks instead of my usual chips, candy, etc., added additional veggies on top of my salad at lunch, had 100% vegetable soaps in veggie broth, and added steamed veggies into my daily diet. I also started drinking 100% (anything less doesn’t qualify as a veggie serving) vegetable juice. That is really gross, but it works if I know I’m not going to be eating a veggie anytime soon.

My biggest accomplishment was eliminating alcohol from my diet. As an alcoholic I was drinking almost daily, with a couple days of complete binge drinking. Although I’ve only been completely sober for 13 consecutive days, it as made a difference. My husband thinks my skin looks better and I am really enjoying the non-hangover lifestyle.

So what’s next? My goals now will to be to try to control my sweet tooth. I say try to control instead of eliminate because there is no way for me to eliminate sweets. I won’t lie to myself or to you…I cannot give up treats. I love, love, LOVE desserts. But my problem is that I emotionally consume treats. If I’m bored I find myself wanting to bake (doesn’t help that it’s the holiday season!), if I am sad I want chocolate, If I am stressed I want candy…It is terrible. So my goal is to consume these devilish goodies in moderation as well as finding other ways to relieve my emotions. So much easier said than done, so I need to get even more specific: I will only consume one treat a day and never go back for seconds. (I have a big problem with going back for more.) I know from a nutritional stand point, a treat a day is still pretty bad but I need to be realistic. Right now I am consuming probably 5 treats a day, easily. Sneak a piece of chocolate here, another one there, try a cookie here, have a hot cocoa there, a piece of pie after dinner…see there’s 5 servings of delicious badness. I’m also going to try to have “good treats.” Meaning maybe instead of a Oreo McFlurry I’ll have a yogurt parfait, or instead of a piece of chocolate cake I’ll have a banana split. Seriously anyway I can be healthier without giving up my desserts I will try.

As for another way to handle my emotions? I know what’s next. EXERCISE. Shudder. I know this because time and time again I hear from numerous sources that working out is the best way to cure boredom, create endorphins, decrease stress, etc. I know, I know. But really, giving up sweets and working out? One thing at a time please! After I can control my sweet tooth I’ll tackle exercise. If reading my blog hasn’t yet told you, I am a seriously, professional lazy person. The best lazy person you will ever meet. I can sleep for hours if you let me. I can wear the same sweatpants for days. I have no idea how to even begin to incorporate exercise. So that will definitely be a task to conquer…later.

Have a great weekend!

 

Hmm, the Holidays Taste Good

Looking for a fun thing to do with your kids, your spouse or with alcohol? My fave, Trader Joe’s is selling giant gingerbread men for $3.99 a piece. The “kit” comes with your giant gingerbread man with a tube of frosting, candy and sprinkles. I highly recommend breaking out your leftover Halloween candy though…the more candy the better. My nephews Woody and Buzz, and I had a little bit of fun last night decorating our giants, then performing surgery, then cannibalism. It would have been even more fun if I was drinking spiked egg nog but I’m still off alcohol. (7 days and counting! Woo hoo! Go sobriety!) Hope you all are having a very merry holiday season!

The Substitute Teacher Returns

A few months back some of you may remember I blogged a recipe I tried out for vegan cupcakes. They were affordable, super easy and healthy to boot. Well I did it again, only this time with chocolate chip cookie brownies! I did the same thing I did last time, just buying a premixed box but substituting the “bad” stuff for the “good” stuff. I used Betty Crocker’s Supreme Bar, Cookie Brownie mix which isn’t the healthiest, but with the substitutions a lot of fat, cholesterol and what not is eliminated, and some
good nutrients are added. When we substituted the egg we saved ourselves 80 calories of fat, and 340 mg of cholesterol! (The flax seed mixture has no cholesterol in it at all.) Plus like I have mentioned before in previous postings, flaxseed is really good for you. It contains a lot of fiber, lignans (which are natural antioxidants) and omega 3 fats. Not only did the flaxseed have no cholesterol but it also has been proven that flaxseed lowers harmful cholesterol already in your body. And obviously substituting anything for butter is going to be healthier.

For anyone who is worried about the brownies tasting different, have no fear because they taste exactly the same. The vegetable spread tastes just like butter, and the flaxseed egg substitute tastes like nothing. You aren’t missing anything by not having the egg because the egg is actually used
for taste, it’s just used as a binder. My husband ate the brownies and he definitely could not taste a difference.

You need:
Betty Crocker’s Supreme Bar, Cookie Brownie mix
For brownie batter: 2 tbsp water, 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of Vegetarian Spread melted (I use Earth Balance), 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water to make one egg substitute
For cookie dough: 1 tbsp water, 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of Vegetarian Spread softened

1. Heat over to 325 degrees. Grease your pan.
2. Stir the brownie mix with 2 tbsp water, melted spread and flax seed egg substitute in a bowl until well blended. Spread in pan.
3. Stir the cookie dough batter with the tbsp water and softened spread. Once a dough forms, drop teaspoons (or chunks like I did) onto the brownie batter.
4. Bake. Here is what it comes out to:
8″ x 8″ (shiny metal or glass): 50 mins
8″ x 8″ (dark or nonstick): 43 mins
9″ x 9″ (all pans): 42 mins
11″ x 7″ (all pans): 40 mins
13″ x 9″ (shiny metal or glass): 35 mins
13″ x 9″ (dark or nonstick): 27 mins

I would even check it before the suggested time, just to be sure. Also follow directions. The first time I made this I used a 13″ x 9″ for 35 mins because thats what it said on the box – however I used a dark pan – and ended up making a nice brick. Sigh. It was pretty devastating. My whole house smelled like fresh treats, but there were none to enjoy since biting into the brownie may have cracked my teeth.

Enjoy and have yourself a pleasant Tuesday! 🙂

Here’s to a new week!

I don’t know what’s been going on with me lately. I don’t know if my “healthy” choices are paying off or if someone is lacing my food with meth but I’ve been a happy, chipper lady lately! I mean, minus this disgusting morning (I do not do mornings-ever), I’ve been really happy! Even while driving in wet snow with dumb ass drivers going 20 mph on the freeway all morning I was really positive that this week is going to rock my socks off. Last week was pretty pleasant, when I reflect on it. I give myself a B+ for last week. We can’t say I ate really healthy but we can say I didn’t drink alcohol 5/7 days (miraculous improvement!) and I consumed fruit! Big steps for me yo. This weekend though I did falter, not going to lie. I happily consumed massive amounts of desserts but come on now, I attended a birthday party and a Baby Gender revealing party. Cake was essential. Yes. Absolutely necessary.

Anyways, whatever it is…I don’t know if it’s all the nasty lemon water I’ve been downing like a fish, or if it’s the extra nutrients that my body was deprived of, but I’m way less tired (only taking 2 naps a day now-haha-perks of being a nanny), and I fit into clothes without looking like sausage. It’s an excellent feeling knowing that I’m going in the right direction. I’ve even lost 2 lbs. although weight loss wasn’t really my goal. I have all this freaky energy too. You should have seen me last week-cleaning my house, baking vegan cookies (recipe tomorrow!), scrapbooking and doing laundry. I was a maniac. A really happy productive maniac.

This week will be fun, testing myself on Thanksgiving- (Why so many pies? Really? Banana cream , apple, pumpkin, french silk…what the hell. Are you trying to kill me?) But I really am excited. It’s snowing, it’s gorgeous, I have a great family and great friends. I stayed sober for 5 days in a row. So much to be thankful about. 🙂 Hope everyone has an awesome Monday! I’m going to go take my second paid nap now.

“Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.”