Parts of the Whole

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hide yo' kids, Hide yo' veggies


This year in an effort to be more consistent with Goal #3 (and #1 too I suppose), I'm taking part in the #NoExcuses #SweatPink challenge. Back when I was a good little blogger (and runner), I became an SweatPink Ambassador or SPA. It's a great community of physically active bloggers who want to change the world one burpee at a time.

So as part of the challenge, every Sunday for the entire year, we receive an email that lays out a different task for each day of that week. I've done squats, ran/walked a mile and for today, I'm sharing a healthy snack with you. As if all my recipes weren't super healthy. Pffft. As if.

Becoming a mom put so much of life into perspective. Especially when it comes to food. From eating right while nursing to keep up supply and provide nutrients to now feeding a ever eating toddler (seriously, I cringe when I think about the teenage years of watching my kid go to the fridge at stare into only to come out with the fixings for a Dagwood sandwich).

Now I know how to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I lost thirty pounds before I had Monkey by doing so. That was when I only had me to worry about. There was no teething, roaring, pooping pterodactyl screaming in my ear for me to put something, anything in front of him to devour. One of my biggest challenges is veggies. I'll eat them all day long. In fact, I even have favorite vegetables (asparagus, lima beans and peas are my top three. Stop gagging you big baby). Husband, on the other hand, will only eat corn. And not even corn in a variety of ways. Just corn or corn on the cob. Guess what vegetable I hate? Corn. And I actually loathe corn on the cob (my biggest nightmare involves eating corn on the cob and discovering that the dental floss factory has burned down).

So what's a girl to do to make sure her child is getting a balanced diet? She purees the shizz out of veggies and puts them in everything. No really, EVERYTHING.

Last night I opened a can of beets (small can, I wasn't even confident to begin with) to introduce to Monkey. Bad, just bad (how are these things a super food?!). Even I wouldn't try them. So bad. Rather than waste them because there are starving kids in China (thanks maternal unit for that therapy session), I pureed the beets with some frozen spinach, frozen fruit (I used a no sugar added blend) and water and voila! That puree will go in Monkey's oatmeal (part of his high iron diet). It will go in his plain Greek yogurt. Perfect for adding to pancakes and waffles. I may even spread some on his toast. Winning!

Beet Puree
1 8oz can sliced beets
1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice
water (enough to help liquify)

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until desired consistency. (Mine was smoothie like)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Completely Mad...Lib

If you remember from this post, I talked about how one of my goals was to write more. It's one of the ways I remain centered and a little less Ted Bundy. In conjunction with writing more, I was also going to run more. Which I have. I've even enlisted Melodie, who now thinks that every time we go out the door we should be running. In an effort to be more active period, I took advantage of being an SPA (SweatPink Ambassador) and signed up for the #NoExcuses Challenge. Each Sunday I receive an email with our daily challenges for the week. The challenges range from doing a 30 second plank to sharing a healthy recipe (probably one that doesn't require you to use a can opener to access all your ingredients).

There are a bunch of awesome sponsors (Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, Beaming with Health, Actio926, WIN Detergent and Sasquatch Racing) who are giving out some awesome prizes for participating in other activities and let's face it, we all know I love for free shiz. This time it's filling in a mad lib which I'm terrible at. This should be interesting. (Forgive the uninspired answers. My 5AM wake up time is finally catching up with me.)

  • Hey 2015, it’s me DCG(nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)
  • This year I would like to run more, cook more, and write more.
  • It would also be super duper awesome if I also did a 10k this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because it's all about your attitude.
  • The thing I am looking forward to most this year is continuing in my new job.
  • I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is coffee to help me get up, get rolling (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.
  • Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is "I'm too tired" and I have used it to get out of doing exercise and writing on more than a billion (number) occasions.
  • I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to get up even earlier.
  • Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I'll still wake up at 5AM.
  • I will stop blaming the Monkey [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the ice cream when everyone knows it was really me.
  • My job [job, hair, car, husband, kids] is not the reason I make excuses. I will show my job [same as before] who's boss this year and get my run[type of sweaty activity] on
  • I know that running[type of workout] is better than whittling [noun]
  • I will reward myself by not caring a fig how often I do it or for how long
  • No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a Ladies Action Color Block Skort(article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and glowing (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking the plank [yoga pose / workout move] in new Rock the Course leggings[article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my strength[noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  5k[distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.
  • Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my reflective shirt[article of clothing] will smell in my / during my run [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!
  • Tag, Tweet, shout-out, call, text, fax or email 3 friends to take this survey and share how they will have a #NoExcuses 2015. Remind your friends to simply fill in the underlined parts!
  • Use the #NoExcuses hashtag and post to win prizes from Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, WIN Detergent, Actio926, Beaming with Health, and Sasquatch Racing
  • Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Here's Hoping Beauty Doesn't Have 20/20 Vision

    There's a lot going on in this house most days. So much so that I now get up at five AM just to have some me time. It's no wonder that a lot of days, I feel like something the cat dragged in (and based on my Instagram photos, I tend to look like it as well). Luckily, I have managed to get in the routine of mascara, blush and lip gloss. That tends to keep the zombieness in check.

    It's hard to feel beautiful when you look in the mirror and all you see is someone who idolizes Rip Van Winkle. Since delivering Monkey safely and securely into this world, nothing fits the same. Pants don't fit the same, bras don't fit the same, hell even my skin doesn't fit the same. I live in fear of the day Monkey wants to find mommy's belly button in public. Anyone in the near vicinity will surely be turned to stone if they catch a glimpse of what lies beneath my spit up stained jump rope t-shirt from my freshman year of college.

    What does make me feel beautiful, though, is when I open the bedroom door after giving up with trying to find clothes that don't scream "my hips were made for birthing!" and keeping my hair in place (I should really know better than to try and do anything with my curly hair on days when it's raining), and there stands my boys. And when Husband says to Monkey, "Look it's a pretty flower. Can you say pretty flower?" and Monkey claps his hands in approval, I glow from my unpainted toes to my split ends. Nothing makes me feel more beautiful than being acknowledged by my two favorite people.

    And cheesecake. Cheesecake makes me feel beautiful. It's like the healthiest dessert there is when smothered in strawberries.

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    *Food Friday* Husband Friendly Burritos! Ole!

    Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that it is a rare occasion where Husband takes a second helping of something. Like million dollar in plain view on eccentric grandma's coffee table book rare. And yet when I was trying to figure out a way to use up an excess of couscous sitting in my fridge with burrito sized tortillas, I apparently hit it out of the park with this recipe. Even Monkey had seconds (and will actually have thirds tomorrow at daycare).

    Feel free to substitute ground beef for ground turkey. I'm a budget conscience grocery shopper so I regularly interchange the two. Keep in mind that when you're using ground turkey, you really want to over season the meat. It's rather bland without the extra BAM!

    This was also the first time I didn't hear Husband whine about my use of rice in my burrito/taco/enchilada filling. I'm half Puerto Rican; I grew up eating A LOT of rice. It's like pasta to Italians or bread to Germans. It didn't even cross my mind that Husband might not potentially like rice. Who doesn't like rice? I mean, it's just rice; it's like tofu and takes on whatever flavor you throw on it. But he doesn't like rice and I don't like picky eaters, so I get an earful at least every other week when rice makes it's way on to the menu. This time, I didn't hear a peep about the couscous. Makes me wonder what else I could get away with. Quinoa perhaps? Make some cauliflower? The possibilities are (kinda sorta) endless!

    Husband Friendly Burritos
    1lb ground turkey
    1 cup frozen chopped spinach
    1 can low fat refried black beans
    1 cup cooked couscous
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    4 burrito sized tortillas
    1 8oz package shredded cheddar cheese
    Seasoning salt (to taste)
    pepper (to taste)
    cumin (to taste)
    Sour Cream

    Brown ground turkey in medium pan over medium heat. Add frozen spinach while browning. Season generously. Add garlic when meat is almost completely down cooking. When everything is completely cooked through, add refried beans. Stir in until hot. Add couscous. Heat through. Place meat mixture in tortilla, top with cheese and sour cream.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Islands in the Stream, That is Where I Am

    Let's face it: it's winter. Even here on the Oregon Coast where our weather is relatively mundane (although, any local will tell you, don't like the weather, give it fifteen minutes), we are still experiencing winter-like conditions. On New Year's Day, I welcomed in the new year with a run. Even with what felt like enough layers to keep a polar bear warm, I almost froze my Puerto Rican coconuts off. When I came back inside, my cheeks and lips were so cold, that as they thawed, I could not talk. I could not talk because I could not move any muscles on my face.

    The only thing that kept me going through that very cold run was the image I had of warm Mediterranean beaches. Crystal blue water, white stone buildings, big bright sun. Lately I've been obsessed with the thought of vacationing in Greece or some other warm beachy place in that region. Someplace that I can stuff my face with amazing local cuisine and then lay like a bloated beached whale, sizzling in the sun while my son covers me in sand and my husband pokes me in the bum because he likes to see it jiggle. In my dreams, though, the sand never sticks to your feet and the second you step off the beach, it magically disappears never to be tracked into your car, house, or butt crack.

    I plan another trip to those near perfection beaches very soon because the girls need walked and Husband is thoroughly ensconced in NCIS:New Orleans. He will soon be replaced with a tanned golden cabana boy holding a fruity drink with a cute little umbrella.


    Reality. I'm pretty sure this accurately sums it up. Source
    I would love to hear where your dream vacation destination is. Extra points if includes cabana boys.

    Saturday, January 3, 2015


    I think it's inevitable to start off a new year with some sort of goal setting. Whether they're actually resolutions or flights of fancy, we all would like to think that the first day of the first month of the new year offers a clean slate.

    I myself am not immune to this and in fact am a part of a goal setting group. When I found out I was pregnant with Monkey, I joined an amazing Facebook group filled with amazing women who were due around the same time. One of its off shoots was a group devoted strictly to motivating whomever joined to do their best, set goals in place and encourage each other when there were highs and lows. Recently, we've been talking about what we want to accomplish in this next year and admittedly, at first, I struggled.

    Since having Monkey, I feel like a complete idiot most of the time. Mommy brain is, for lack of a better term, a bitch. I forget things, repeat myself, get sidetracked easily, all things that would've drive my pre-pregnancy self crazy. I suppose this is one of God's ways of pointing and laughing and still teaching me a lesson. Thanks for that.

    I was able to finally put down some ideas and I thought I'd share them here. Putting your goals in writing is half the battle. It doesn't mean you'll actually achieve them, but you do have a higher chance.

    1) Run away. Run every chance I get. Run here. Run there. Just run. I'm never so truly centered as when I am running. I even found some mommy friends to do virtual runs with me since I work weekends and will most likely be out this racing season.

    2) Cook. I did not realize how cathartic cooking is for me until a few weeks ago when I was able to cook every day of the week. It was almost zen like. My soul feels better when I get to feed my family. Watching Monkey wolf down home cooking was extremely rewarding. Plus I need fodder for my Friday food posts.

    3) It's all about me...when it comes to my blog. For so long I tried to figure out how to make my blog become this mega hit, with guest posts from the likes of Gwyneth and any Food Network star. And it felt as fake as it was. So now I blog with my original intent: just to write. I've loved writing since I was a little girl. One of the first jobs I ever said I wanted was a journalist. Sadly, you have to do a lot of writing in college to become a journalist and ironically, I hate formal writing. I can do it and do it well, I just don't want to. So wah.

    There are probably other goals that I'm forgetting like saving more and spending less. Those have more do with my family and feel a little too personal to put out there. But these three are just about me and what I need for myself, which I'm learning is just as valuable as the wife-me or the mom-me. The me-me is the one that makes sure all the other me's are functioning on a somewhat human level. The me-me thinks I need more coffee.

    How about you? What are your goals for you-you? Who's climbing Mt Everest this year or painting the next Sistine Chapel?

    Friday, January 2, 2015

    *Food Friday* Cluck Cluck Chicken

    I miss living in the same city as a Costco. I miss everything about Costco. The samples. The copious quantities of items. The liters of alcohol. Mainly, though, I miss the cheap rotisserie chickens. The big juicy rotisserie chickens. Who knew that the ocean would drive the cost up three dollars and drive the size down? It's pretty much a conspiracy to get you to eat more seafood. Conspiracy I tell you.

    It's pretty easy for me to sit here and extol the virtues of the rotisserie chicken. Fully cooked and ready to go, what isn't there to love about them? A meal in themselves, they are right up there with the fish that Jesus used to feed the five thousand in that you can usually stretch them out over the week. Chop some up add some mayo, BAM! Chicken salad. I use it in recipes to cheat. Anything that calls for cooked chicken. Call me lazy, just don't call me late for dinner.  I made this recipe as a way to get dinner on the table quickly for Monkey. And yes there's spinach again. I like to think of spinach as the tofu of the leafy green world. Plus, my baby's iron levels were way up at his one year appointment, so don't expect the spinach to be going anywhere. It's good for you! Eat it!

    Chicken Baked Ziti
    1 jar spaghetti sauce
    1 cup frozen chopped spinach
    1 cup cooked chicken
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/2 box whole wheat penne pasta

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare penne according to package directions. Cook spinach on medium heat in a small saucepan. Once heated through, add cooked chicken and spaghetti sauce. Combine with penne pasta and cheese. Place in ungreased 9x9 glass pan. Bake for 10-15 minute or until bubbling.

    It's all going to end up on the floor anyway...
    Easiest way to get a toddler to eat? Cover it in sauce. And cheese. Oh man, Monkey goes bananas (see what I did there?) when the parmesan cheese container comes out. He also really loves the tube noodles for the same reasons his father loves Bugles.