Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Crazy Life!!

This semester is flying by!
Here are the top ten things going on in our lives lately:

1. We have stuck to our healthy {mostly} eating routine. Both have continued to eat vegetarian and DJ has stayed away from sugary sweets completely. I have managed to keep my resolution and have planned at least two meals a week ahead of time. These Mexican Baked Eggs were my most recent accomplishment

visit here for the recipe:

2. I got a car!!! We made it through the first 8 months of being married with just one, which was not easy, but definitely worth it for how much money we saved,
and I love my cute little zippy car! :)

3. We are still at the same church and in the same Sunday school class, studying Song of Solomon right now, which continues to challenge us in our relationships with the Lord and each other everyday.

4. I started swimming... I was researching the most efficient way to get maximal resistance and cardio training at the same time and that was it, so now I run most days and swim 2 or 3 days a week.

5. Gross Dissection. Is exactly what it sounds like, we are dissecting a human body this semester, which I am surprisingly LOVING. There are so many things about the human body that I appreciate so much more now that I have seen it all in person! Our buddy was a 90 year old pilot who died of prostate cancer... SO interesting!

I am so thankful for the people who donate their bodies to science, we really have learned so much through this.

6. DJ has really enjoyed looking into getting more involved in politics, especially the Presidential race, which has given us some awesome discussions lately, and surprisingly enough, we have come out on the same side in almost everything :)

7. The bulk of my classes are based on orthopedics this semester. I have been focused on learning how to evaluate patients, use ambulatory devices (crutches, walkers, etc) correctly, and tons of really interesting information about injury and treatment mechanisms.

8. We still love taking Peyton for walks as often as we can {this is where most of our political discussion and plans for the future get talked out, which is always tons of fun (in my oppinion)}

9. We have started reading Frances Chan's book Crazy Love together. Which for those of you who are not familiar, it is about the crazy awesomeness of our God and how unbelievably amazing it is how and why He loves us. It really helps us keep everything going on in perspective and focused on what really matters

10. DJ still plays basketball pretty much every chance he can get, which works out perfectly for us right now because I study all. the. time.

That is the story of our lives right now. We went out to lunch with some friends after church Sunday and were asked how we manage things, with me living the student life and DJ being a grown up. Neither DJ nor I had any sort of answer. Our life is crazy and chaotic, but really, whose isn't? At the end of the day we just have to realize that everything happens for a purpose and the Lord is molding and shaping us right now for His master plan.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Some New Favorites

In my last few days before classes start I have been trying some new recipes to see what is possible and what is just too time consuming. Last night I made baked tomato slices and baked sweet potatoes. Not the best paired together, but I did want to try both and they were both pretty simple and very tasty :)

Baked Sweet Potatoes:

2 sweet potatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
dashes of rosemary, thyme, salt, and black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease a baking dish
2. scrub sweet potatoee & remove ugly spots and ends
3. slice into ~1 inch square pieces
4. in a mixing bowl combine ingredients, stir until potatoes are coated with oil & spices
5. spread in a single layer along baking dish and place in the oven for about an hour, or until potatoes reach desired texture. Halfway through baking I flipped potato pieces and brushed tops with oil.

The recipe I began with I found here:
But wanted to keep the skin on and ended up using different spices :P

Baked Tomato Slices:

1 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 t "Italian seasoning" from the spice rack
2 sliced tomatoes
1 egg
1/2 cup mozarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a jellyroll pan
2. Slice tomatoes into rounds
3. You will need two bowls. In the first, crack and lightly beat the egg. In the second, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasoning
4. Dip each tomato slice in the egg and then the breadcrumbs, coating both sides with each, and then place the breaded slice on the jellyroll pan.
5. Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Flip the tomato slices after 15 minutes. Sprinkle the mozarella cheese on with 3-5 minutes remaining.

Again, the idea for this recipe came from here, but was very modified:

Not the best picture, and DJ added some pasta to make his a little bit more substantial, but overall both recipes were absolutely delish :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Easiest Granola EVER

I started making this in high school using the Bread Beckers cookbook. My grandpa LOVED it, adopted the recipe, and always has a huge tub of it at their house. Anyways, there is not much bang to a bowl of fruit with unsweetened almond milk, so hopefully a 1/4 cup of this will liven it up a little bit:
The Easiest Granola Ever
Ingredients for base:
4 c. rolled oats
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. of honey
You can add whatever you want to this! I have tried adding nuts, coconut, cinnamon, raisins, even sesame seeds, and all are super good. This time I went with good ol' cinnamon & raisins :)
Bake on a lightly greased jelly roll pan at 400 until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
And THAT IS IT! :)
For more information about Bread Beckers visit here:

20 Secrets of Very Fit People

1. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it often. Water should always be your drink of choice. To kick things up every once in a while, try adding lemon, lime, cucumber, or a few berries to liven up the flavor without adding significant calories.

2. Look at exercise as a pleasure and a privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will produce. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!

3. Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excess calories, even if they’re from food that’s fat free and high in protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight!

4. Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.

5. Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

6. Keep a daily log of what you’re actually eating. This includes every time you grab a handful of chips here or eat the crust of your kid’s sandwich there, and ALL of your snacking.

7. Enjoy an occasional (once a week) “unhealthy” treat, but never an unhealthy week or unhealthy vacation.

8. Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who want to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who’s sitting on the porch every morning when you walk by? Ask him or her to join you on your walk!

9. Avoid monotony by taking up new forms of exercising, or using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

10. Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

11. Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod®, fitness equipment, a new series of tapes, etc.

12. Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you’re eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!

13. Don’t compare your body to others’. Instead, work to be your personal best.

14. If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.

15. Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.

16. Create an exercise schedule the day before instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to “find” the time. If our last three Presidents of the United States can make time to work out every day, you can make time too!

17. Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, not some number on a scale.

18. Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely. Remember that no matter how hard you’re working out, if you’re consuming too many calories, you’ll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.

19. Get adequate amounts of sleep, but remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

20. Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Healthy for the Month of January

I have been reading books on diet and living for health lately. Out of the kindness of his heart, DJ agreed to watch the documentaries Forks Over Knives and Food Inc with me. Both address how the food in the is supermarket unhealthy and how terrible the American diet is for health.

I highly suggest watching both of them, while politics are present in both, they each report compelling factual information that is at least worth looking into.

Anyway, eating for health has never been a key motivator for my husband. As far as he was concerned, whatever food would save him the most money and still taste good was what he would eat.

However, on New Year's Eve, DJ brought up to me that he planned on cutting out all sugary sweets in the new year, and also wanted to try eating vegetarian for the month of January, to see if what the documentaries claimed would actually happen {more energy, weight management, and better health overall}.

All of that being said, I am now on a quest to expand my vegetarian/vegan repertoire of recipes as much as possible so we eat healthy plant based meals without getting sick of eating the same things everyday.

The coolest part is that I did not pressure him at all, this was completely out of the blue! I am sure part of it was him wanting to support me in my efforts to eat healthy, but it means so much to me that he is being interested in what I am :)

Anyway, last night I tried vegetarian recipe #1 from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health cookbook. It was more dairy heavy than I had hoped and did not win any glamour points(hence the lack of picture), but it was delicious and DJ inhaled it.

Greek Vegetable Pie
page 204 - serves 6 - hands on time 50 minutes - baking time 35 minutes
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 T olive oil
3 C asparagus, 1-inch pieces
1/4 t salt
3 cups thinly sliced leeks, using the white and tender green parts, thoroughly rinsed (this came out to about 2 stalks for me)
1 cup diced red bell peppers (I used 1 whole pepper)
3 ounces neufchatel cheese
1 cup grated or crumbled feta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
pinch of ground black pepper


  1. In a food processor, pulse the crust ingredients until crumbly. Set aside
  2. Warm oil in a skillet or saucepan on medium head. Add the asparagus and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cover, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the vegetables are tender, 5 or 6 minutes. Place the neufchatel on top of the vegetables, cover, turn off the heat, and let sit for several minutes to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, press the crust mixture into a lightly oiled 9-inch pie plate
  4. Stir the neufchatel throughout the vegetables. Add 3/4 cup of the feta cheese and the eggs, dill, and black pepper to the skillet and mix well. Spread the filling in the pie crust and top with the remaining feta
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the filling is set and golden, about 35 minutes

Moosewood Variations:

  • use 2 or 3 chopped softened sun-dried tomatoes in place of the olives in the crust
  • use broccoli instead of asparagus

My Variations:

  • Substitutions: green olives for kalamata, frozen asparagus for fresh, used dill from a spice jar rather than fresh
  • used the pie dish I had which was 9.5"

Nutrition information for 1 serving:
Calories: 364, Protein: 14g, Carbohydrate: 30g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Total Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 139mg, Sodium: 716mg

Moosewood suggests to keep this recipe in mind for when you have some leftover rice. I made a bean salad from scratch to accompany the pie.

Chili Bean Salad

1 can of drained and rinsed chili beans
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 of a medium cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn
1 clove of minced garlic
dash of salt, pepper, & balsamic vinegar (to taste)

Combine ingredients and enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


2012 looks promising so far!
We both have laid out some attainable resolutions and hope to stick to them :)

Due to Peyton coming down with a kennel cough, it slowed our time down a little bit. I spent some time in the bathroom "steaming" him to try and loosen what was in his chest a little bit. While all of this was a bit tedious, it did give me some good down time to decompress, slow down, and pray. And my prayers were answered in a big way.

I over-stress myself much more than necessary and I took Peyton's cough as the Lord telling me to slow down, and enjoy the time I have with the people I am with. I did not do this well on New Year's eve, leading DJ to be frustrated with me and in hindsight me being disappointed in myself. {We left Peyton with my sisters overnight, but instead of leaving him, I kept my phone on my hip, worrying excessively, and not enjoying the time we had with DJ's siblings}

Anyways, in my times of reflection and prayer, I felt like the Lord affirmed my efforts to start fresh and try and stick with these resolutions:
  1. plan at least two meals a week ahead of time, so we do not get sick of our "usual" meals and try new things!
  2. eat {and stick to} a plant based diet, not for weight, but for health.
  3. spend time with the Lord daily
  4. limit my social media use {how can I find so much time for facebook and not fit in a devo or run, really?}
  5. pray for DJ without ceasing
  6. overall, seek the Lord in all I do, be the Godly woman He has created me to be
  7. act on the opportunities the Lord has given me, and see all things as blessings
  8. give of myself without ceasing, and know that the closer I am to Him, the more of myself I give, the more He will refill me
  9. walk Peyton everyday (for his health, mine, and decompressing my stress)
  10. try and make time to work out, but not beat myself up if I don't

Overall, I want to manage my life in a way honoring to the Lord, so that the stress that I let overcome me will not have a foundation to stand on, because my foundation will be in the confidence and peace of the Lord.

That is what it all comes down to. I can work-out and eat healthy to decrease stress, but the more I rely on myself, the more I am inviting that stress in. It is when I think I am in control that the stress can take root, but by realizing things are not up to me, and God is in control, that is when the weight will be taken off of my shoulders, and the stress will not be mine to bear :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Christmas time came and went and was absolutely wonderful. There was never a dull moment. Always something fun or exciting going on and always someone to spend time with :)
We kicked off the end of the semester with a PT tacky sweater party :) I then was able to take a week or so of down time until we headed to Atlanta for Christmas :)
We were only in Atlanta for about a day but in that time my mother had a Christmas tea, we celebrated our own Christmas morning at home, and concluded that day celebrating Christmas with DJ's family at their Feliz Navidad celebration!
We spent the 23rd driving from Atlanta to Michigan (undocumented, for obvious reasons), shortly after we arrived at Nona & Grandpa's house we had some unexpected visitors, who kicked our whole visit off to a good start! :)
Christmas eve day was wonderful, we ran some errands during the day, went to 4 o'clock mass with my grandparents,
and then went to my Aunt Kathy & Uncle Joe's to celebrate with family
Christmas morning was spent at my grandparents with cousins, we then headed out to my Aunt Steph & Uncle Matt's house for my favorite meal of the entire year of homemade ravioli. We ate and ate and played TONs of different games too :)
The day after Christmas we had a huge bowling party which was a reunion with about 75 of our closest cousins ;)
On the 27th we headed up to Paula and Steve's house for their annual snow or shine sledding party, which is always so nice and relaxed, we always have fun catching up with (you guessed it) cousins
I would just like to point out that DJ did not sled, he did not want to get wet and cold {pansy}
We did end up getting a beautiful snow that day and took this right before we left (a little narnia-esque for me, but still cute)
Rochester, Michigan has the coolest light display, and we were complete tourists and took loads of pictures around them :)
Stopped for pizza on the way home: Gluten free crust? Yes please! :)
We drove home the following day, Lindsey had her annual Euchre party on the 30th and DJ and I spent New Year's Eve at DJ's brother's house.
Unfortunately, Peyton came down with a kennel cough, putting a little bit of a damper on things, but we ended up staying home on the 1st and were able to meet some of Lindsey and Audrey's friends from school.
I know, this is a little bit over the top information wise, but I have the worst memory ever, and want to remember all that I can about my favorite Christmas yet :)
It was the little things that made it memorable, my gift from DJ was a HUGE surprise and meant so much to me. DJ was willing to stay in the basement with my sisters at my Nona's & Grandpa's house and witness/take part in our silliness. DJ meeting ALL of the family and not letting it overwhelm him/handling it like a rock star. Jill getting engaged and reminiscing about how much fun/stressful that time was for us. :P
Anyways, better late than never, but I hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as we did :)