Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Constipated baby? Don't be like me.

When Claire was a few months old, Matt was CONVINCED that she was constipated. She had a hard belly and was cranky. Even though all she ever ate was breast milk, he was convinced. I tried telling him over and over, breast fed babies don't get constipated. I swore to him, it doesn't happen. He didn't believe me. He said he was going to go out and buy something to help her. Problem was, it was Christmas.
He drove to Giant Eagle, Walmart, gas stations....everywhere. Of course nothing would be open. All he wanted was prunes and he couldn't find them. He came home angry, frustrated and tired.

Yesterday, I fed Luca meatloaf for dinner. I cut them up into little pieces and it's so soft he just mushes it down. Problem was, he ended up truly constipated.
It was rainy and cold and I just didn't feel like going to the store for some overpriced baby prunes. This time, I was prepared.
I placed several prunes into a bowl of water and let them soak for about an hour. Then I put them and some water into the food processor and voila! Prunes for a baby.

Luca is happy, I'm happy and his belly is happy. I'll never have another Christmas mishap, ever again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lunges, lunges and more lunges! (and some squats, too)

On my other blog, Sisters From Different Misters, I wrote about my love/hate relationship with Tamilee Webb. The specific blog: I must be missing my army days... I wrote about how I hate, hate HATE lunges.
But something funny happened. I love lunges now.
Personally, I think I have a sick sadistic way about myself where I find pleasure in pain. From workouts only. (See, back in the day, I used to have a problem with cutting. That is a topic of discussion for another day.)
Anywho, finding pleasure in pain through workouts is a great! I'm not talking about the ouch, sharp pain. I'm talking about this sucks, my muscles are burning and shaking pain. It's great! And that's how I've overcome my hatred for lunges.
I did so many, in a bunch of different variations that I learned to love them, and master them. The best part about being able to do lunges well has improved my balance. When I was 17 and in the Army, I broke my hip. This depleted my balance and made it difficult to do simple things, such as putting my pants on without having to hold onto something for stabilization. It has also helped with my running ability.
Here's what kind of lunges and squats I did, all courtesy of Miss Webb:
1. The Sumo Squat: by putting your feet shoulder length apart, turn out your toes to an extended first position. It resembles a Sumo wrestler's stance.
2. The Reverse Lunge: With alternating legs, step back with your right leg first into a deep lunge. Then when pushing back up, raise your knee up to hip level before switching legs.
3. The Split Lunge: In a split lunge stance, slowly lower and raise your right leg, being careful not to put your weight past your knee.
4. Kick Boxing Lunge: Lunge forward, kick with the opposite leg while returning to standing, lunge backwards and stand back to neutral.
And my FAVORITE, which adds a cardio benefit:
5. Squat variation: In three steps, start by moving to the right. Squat out to the right three times, squat back to neutral three times, then step out to the left and squat three times, then squat back to neutral three times. Then step out to the right in a Sumo squat (and follow the above repetition.) Then go back to regular squats. You repeat this so that it's 3 squats in each position, then 2, then 1, then you go from squat, sumo, squat, neutral.

Whew! Did you follow all of that?


Monday, March 15, 2010

reBlog from fooducate.com: Inside the Label | Fooducate

This is what I'm talking about:

Were you to make the waffles at home by yourself, you wouldn’t add artificial colors Yellow #5 and Yellow # 6 to make the waffles look better (these colors are not good for you). You wouldn’t use palm kernel oil with TBHQ and citric acid. You’d use real butter, or perhaps canola oil. And you wouldn’t fortify your waffle with vitamins and minerals in order to make it appear more healthy than it really is. And you probably wouldn’t find any surprise bacteria waiting to make your kids ill.fooducate.com, Inside the Label | Fooducate, Feb 2010

To read the whole article, click above.

HFCS, I hate you

You've seen those commercials about high fructose corn syrup, right? Where one person makes another feel stupid because she refuses to feed it to her self, family, kids...etc? Well, the person who felt stupid was right in the first place.
According to Wikipedia:

"...A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers. HFCS became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to HFCS in the U.S. in 1984. Large corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midlandlobby for the continuation of government corn subsidies."

Continuation of government corn subsidies. Do most people even know that HFCS is a government subsidy? It is in your favorite Yoplait yogurt, your maple syrup, your bread, your cereal, your soda...I could go on forever. All so it can be unnaturally sweet. All those extra calories. All so it's not imported and corn farmers can continue to grow their corn.

Now, this is all just my take on it, but it seems to me like the government is going a long way just to keep something domestic. However, instead of infecting our foods, they should probably find an alternative fuel source instead of using foreign oil. But that's another debate. 

I found this great blog called Fooducate. I was reading one on what people want the government to do for them regarding food labels:

"93% of shoppers ranked the Nutrition Facts panel as a very or somewhat useful tool, followed by front-of-pack information (low fat, high in fiber, etc.) at 88%.

86% of consumers are interested in the government implementing objective  front-of-pack labeling. This includes information about calories and beneficial nutrients.
58% support  government bans of junk food advertising to kids.65% of shoppers reject proposed taxes on junk food and beverages.
64% said if their favorite food had a warning label on it, they would either eat less or stop buying the product entirely.
Wow. That last stat is amazing – almost two thirds of Americans would cut down on their FAVORITE food? And all it needs is a warning label? Seems like wishful thinking, although some will say that severe warnings on Cigarette packs have reduced smoking."
I totally agree with that last statement. It IS wishful thinking. 
But at least we can be educated, right? 

So next time you're out, read the label. If it says high fructose corn syrup, or even if the list is TOO LONG that means it's TOO PROCESSED. I try to only buy things that I can read off the ingredient label. However, we're still in the process of doing that...it's a learning process, I suppose. I'm just glad I've started it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Running, biking, running, biking...

I signed up for my first 5K of the year. It's April 10th at Heinz Field on my normal running route. I've asked my sister's boyfriend to run it with me, and he was excited to do it. I looked at the calendar and blinked...one month!
Here's the thing: I can run 3 miles, no sweat. My best time since I've started back up running again was 28 minutes. Carly's boyfriend can run a 5K in 20 minutes. I don't want to hold him back, but I don't want to kill myself. So I've started to train and I'm taking this seriously.
Last week I ran 10 miles and biked 20.
Monday I ran 3.1 miles in 28 minutes.
Yesterday I ran 1 mile in 8 minutes and biked 3.5 miles in 15 minutes.
Today I plan on running 3 miles slowly, doing 10 minute miles.

My ultimate goal is to run Pittsburgh's Great Race 10K in September. I know I'll be able to do it, it's just nerve racking since I haven't run that many miles at once since the Army and breaking my hip. I am going to take it easy so I don't injure myself.
My super ultimate goal is to run the Clarion County River Run Half Marathon next March.

In the meantime, here's a simple baby food recipe that I made for Luca that he loved:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbs cinnamon

Steam the butternut squash, then combine all ingredients in the food processor and voila! Delicious baby food!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Who doesn't love chili? It's spicy, sweet, and good to eat!

My husband likes my chili recipe because it's filling and I like it because it's healthy. Here it is:

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato puree
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin (or add more depending on taste)
1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans (dark or light, I don't know the difference)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
(Optional, 1/2 cup cooked lentils)

I mix in all the ingredients minus the beans and corn into a crockpot. Set it to low and cook for 6-8 hours. I add the beans and corn half way through cooking.

Serve it with sour cream and cheddar cheese and enjoy!

I typically serve my chili in bread bowls that I make from Rhode's frozen texas rolls. Before baking, I squish 3 or 4 thawed balls together, allow to rise, then bake.

Since this is too spicy for little Luca, I steamed a Nectarine that I picked up at Trader Joe's and mixed it in the food processor with Oikos greek yogurt and a banana. To thicken it, I mix in my cereal mixture: Gerber whole grain dry baby cereal, flax seed and ground dry oatmeal.