Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Harold Whitman

Friday, June 1, 2012

{beef & kimchi stew with kelp noodles}

click through to see the recipe and step by step instructions.

Tonight I made a new dish, Beef & Kimchi Stew with Kelp Noodles.  It was a hit!  

Well it was a hit with the husband, myself and the 3 year old, the 7 and 8 year olds passed.  The dish was very easy to put together and the flavors were smooth and spicy.  I could have eaten the entire recipe myself.

I have had a long love affair with kimchi.  Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.  There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber.*  Kimchi has a reputation of clearing out the room when opened, with it's fermented scent.  While this may be the case in some instances my experience with King's kimchi and Grateful Harvest (a homemade kimchi I found at Market of Choice) showed that while kimchi has a distinct aroma, it is far from overwhelming.  I love the taste of it, crunchy, bright and sparkly.  Kimchi is also very good for you.  Per wikipedia*; 

                Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber
                while being low in calories. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily 
                recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain 
                onions, garlic, and chilli peppers, all of which are salutary. The vegetables 
                being made into kimchi also contribute to the overall nutritional value. Kimchi is 
                rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and contains 
                a number of lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical specie Lactobacillus kimchi
               Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods" for 
               being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth.

Long story more kimchi (but I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist so please don't take me as one)!

Before this recipe I had never heard of kelp noodles.  These noodles are becoming increasingly popular among raw foodies and paleo enthusiasts.  As the name suggests they are made from kelp and are gluten free & vegan.  They are a glassy noodle with a terrific crunch when raw and a smooth bite when simmered.  They are very low in calories and fats, while high in trace minerals.  They were perfect in this recipe and I am looking forward to eating them again!

I was not compensated for my opinion.  Neither King's or Grateful Harvest know who I am...but if they want to send me Kimchi I wouldn't say no.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012


Since I started this journey to optimal health I have been pretty focused.  I've strayed a few times but have been able to retrain my brain to jump right back on plan.  In the past when I was on a diet (my program isn't a diet) and 'screwed up' I would do one of two things; not eat the rest of the day or I would say "oh well, I'll start again tomorrow" and then eat whatever I wanted the rest of the day.  Both of these approaches are counter productive and not physically or mentally healthy.

I don't know if it was a little bit of 'plan fatigue,' working for so long towards a goal that I wanted to have a break or what, but last weekend I made the decision to go off plan all weekend.  I ate and drank whatever I wanted all weekend, and it was mostly junk.


Here is a list of what I noticed:
1. I no longer felt I had control over myself.  
2. I was ravenous all the time.
3. My stomach hurt.
4. I was irritable.
5. I slept poorly and was very hot during the night.
6. I woke up tired.
7. I gained 8 pounds.
8. I was very bloated, my rings and flip flops left imprints in my skin.
9. I was sad I did it.
10. It wasn't worth it.
11. I was more motivated than ever to get back on plan (and stay there).

When I started I made a commitment to myself that I would be in this for life.  This is a journey NOT a destination, and there will be peaks and valleys and hardships and triumphs, and every time I fall I will get right back up and move forward.


Read more about my journey here.  If you would like to learn more about my plan please visit
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{wiww: maxi edition}

I love maxi skirts.  L.O.V.E. them.  They are my answer to sweat pants.  I always feel so comfortable yet put together when I wear them.

Six years ago I started suffering from severe eczema all over my body, primarily on my legs and face.  I went through treatment and have now been flare up free for over a year, although I have to be careful.  Unfortunately my legs were left pretty scarred (I would scratch them to the point of blood in my sleep) and I feel more comfortable with them covered.  Maxi's are perfect.  

I have found several I love at Target, and even bought some in smaller sizes to be able to wear later in the summer as I continue to lose weight (I love my plan!).

Shaping Cami - Target
V-Neck Maxi - Target
{mirror was NOT as clean as I thought it was...keeping it real here folks!}
In other news...I HAVE A WAIST AGAIN!  <3 <3 <3
The husband says I am very noisy when I walk around in this dress...I don't care...I have a waist!

Here are some more maxis that I love...
via Anthropologie
I love this one from Anthro.  The pattern is so fun and I love the sweetheart neckline.  I'm a little to busty right now to feel comfortable in this top but on the right figure it would be cute.

via Etsy
How amazing is this one?!?!  That embroidery detail is beautiful!  This would be great for church, a baby/bridal shower, even a summer wedding.  It feels very vintage to me and makes me think of the beautiful clothes women used to wear (if you are like me and have a fascination errr obsession with historical fashion check out The Ornamented Being on Tumblr - Lyze is amazing and I have learned so much from her).  

via g*rated
I love red/white/blue and the belt over the sweater thing that g*rated did here.  This is the effortless, casual, everyday look that I love.

via Alternative Outfitters
These are not a maxi dress {duh...heehee} but I love everything about them.  I think I'm going to add them to my rewards list as I hit weight loss goals.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

{soft boiled eggs w/roasted asparagus & spinach}

A few months ago I was enjoying a particularly yummy lunch, one that I had just thrown together at the last minute because I was very hungry.  I decided to take a picture of it and text it to my sweet friend, Stephanie...yes...I take pictures of my food and send them to friends.  She invited me to share the recipe with her readers!

Today I ran across the pictures from that post.  I thought it sounded good for lunch.  It is low in calories, high in protein, and very filling - a win win WIN in my book!  The eggs were overcooked - oops - but still tasty - and I added a small quartered tomato for some color and flavor!  This is a great post workout meal and/or if you are super super hungry.

Click through to Stephanie's blog to see the step by step recipe and nutritional information.  
Don't forget to check out her other healthy recipes!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

{wwiw: what I wore wednesday}

yes...I do realize that it is Thursday...I actually JUST realized this...*sigh*

In an effort to make myself more presentable each day I thought I'd start showing you what I wear on a regular basis.  I follow a few bloggers who do this and I love seeing everyones styles. 

 Top - Old Navy (not available)
Lace Trimmed Shaping Cami - Costco 
Pants - Old Navy

As I move through my 'heavy' wardrobe you are going to see a lot of black (and probably this outfit again).  I'm running out of clothes that fit but I don't want to go buy new ones quite yet.  Yes, I am wearing sweat pants.  They are just SO comfy and I like to wear them! 

I must have taken 100,000,000 pictures and this was the only one that turned out.  My biggest problem is that I do not have a full length mirror and so was using a wall mirror that is currently waiting to be hung up...and I couldn't seem to hold still...and yada yada yada.  So I don't have a cute pose and you can't see my face but I promise I did wash it today and even put on some makeup and earrings.  My hair is down and the sides are twisted back.  I just started doing this and as my hair gets longer (it is about mid collar bone) I really like how it looks.

As I continue to move towards ultimate health I like to think of my dream wardrobe.  I love this outfit from Lilly's Style (she has the BEST clothes!).  This is how I would like to dress on those days I don't have a lot going on outside the house but want to look cute in case I have to go somewhere or someone comes to the door.

via Lilly's Style

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{taking control}

Funny how life happens...

When I got married 12 years ago I was 127lbs and had a 26 inch waist.  I never 'dieted' or watched what I ate and my exercise routine was anemic.  I ate what I wanted and stopped when I was full.  It wasn't a conscience thing...I just did it.  I would go out to eat and have 1/3 of my dinner and then eat the rest over the next couple of days.  

Over the next 12 years I went up and down with my weight.  I tried different programs with different levels of success.  This past January I found myself at my top weight ever...246lbs.  I was humiliated.  How could I let this happen?  I needed a plan, an easy to follow plan that would be safe, healthy and effective.

Last summer a friend of mine, our children were in the same classes at school, shared that she had started a program.  I followed her story with great interest and saw she was losing a lot of weight and feeling fantastic.  I was so inspired by her and asked how she was doing it.  I was familiar with her plan, I knew it was a safe, clinically proven plan that I could be successful on.  It took me another 3 months to actually commit and signup.  My friend became my health coach.  She held my hand and answered my questions and guided me along the way (she still does).  In the last year she has lost 145 lbs, so amazing!  In the last 4+ months I have lost 43 lbs and I feel great!  I am sleeping great and have tons and tons of energy.  

I believe in this plan so much that I decided to become a health coach too.  It is so rewarding to help others on this journey to ultimate health.  We are all so different and it helps so much to have someone walk with you along the path.

This is my FIRST before/after picture.  
38 lbs & 5 waist inches - GONE!
I have lost an additional 5 lbs since this picture was taken.  I've struggled to stay on the plan this past month, old habits die hard, but it is getting easier.  I am in this for the long haul.  My husband was so inspired by my own success that he started the plan today!  I would love to help other people too.  If you want to hear more about my program email me at
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Monday, May 21, 2012

{menu: May 21-27}

This is a big week coming up.  I will be sharing some exciting things that have been happening around here, including more about how I've lost 43 lbs since January 15th!

Here is our dinner menu for the week.

     Kids: Steaks || Salad
     B&M: Steaks || Grilled Veggies
     Kids: Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken || Rice || Broccoli
     B&M: Spicy Peanut Chicken with Broccoli & Tofu Noodles
     Kids:  Tacos || Salad || Chips
     B&M: Taco Salad
     Kids: Leftovers!
     B&M: Salmon Salad
     Kids: Creamy White Chicken & Artichoke Lasagna || Salad || Fresh Bread
     B&M: Date Night!  (celebrate 12 years of marriage!)
     Kids: Leftovers!
     B&M: Sweet Chili Lime Tofu w/Spinach
     Kids: Homemade Pizza || Salad
     B&M: Spicy Beef Stew with Kimchi & Kelp Noodles
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