Friday, November 29, 2013

Low Fat and Fat Free Cookie Recipes

Fat Free Oatmeal Cookies

*these are soooo good*

Blend in blender until creamy:

  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1/2 c. fat free, no sugar added, natural applesauce
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (or honey or brown rice syrup)

Sift together:
  • 1 scant cup of Whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)


Directions:

  1. (preheat oven 350)
  2. mix dry and wet. Stir in 3/4 c. oatmeal (the regular cereal type)
  3. stir in 2 tbsp raisins or whatever else you want (optional but delicious, I have used all kinds of dried fruits, pomegranate and cranberry is my husband's favorite. I also have used dark chocolate chips and almonds which is my favorite.)
  4. Drop by generous spoonfuls onto cooking-sprayed cookie sheet (or one covered with aluminum foil).
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min or until just browning. (without the oil they take longer to bake than you think!... check them though after 15 min to see how they are doing) 

Fat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 38 cookies

• 2 1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup applesauce
• 1/4 cup raw sugar
• 1 (4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
• 4 egg whites
•  1 cup Chopped nuts (optional)
• 2 cups chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate since reg chocolate has very little of the benefits and all of the ummm non-benefits lol)


Directions

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl beat brown sugar, apple sauce, pudding mix, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
4. Mix until well blended.
5. Add egg whites and mix well.
6. Beat in the flour mixture.
7. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
8. Drop by rounded teaspoonful and bake 12-14 minutes.


Carrot Raisin Cookies



from the "Secrets of Fat Free Baking" book by Sandra Woodruff, RD.

Yield 32 Cookies
Nutritional Facts:
Calories: 48
Fat: 0.3 grams
Protein: 1.2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 27 mg
Fiber: 1.2 gram
Calcium: 6 mg
Potassium: 64 mg
Iron: 0.4 mg

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup prune butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins


Directions:

1. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and cinnamon, and stir to mix well.
Add the Prune Butter, honey, and carrots, and stir to mix well. Stir in the
raisins.

2. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Roll the dough into 1
inch balls, and place 1-1/2 inches apart on the sheet. (If the dough is too
sticky to handle, place it in the freezer for a few minutes.) Using the
bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten the cookies to 1/4 inch thickness.

3. Bake at 275 degrees for about 18 minutes, (275 is correct), or until
golden brown. Cool the cookies on the pan for 1 minute. Then transfer the
cookies to wire racks, and cool completely. Serve immediately, or transfer
to an airtight container and arrange in single layers separated by sheets of
waxed paper.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is Only a Day Away!

No need to panic, I am sure most of you are frantically searching the Internet for last minute ideas and ways to save time for tomorrow.


If this is you we can help (but you probably should have planned ahead silly!). We know there are last minute changes and last minute plans. I have thrown Thanksgiving with two days notice before when traveling and work schedules changed.

Quick Tips for your meal-
You are going to need:

(1) meat-NOT a frozen turkey, you won't have time to thaw it safely!!!
(2) vegetable sides (green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, corn, roasted potatoes, etc.)
(3) hearty sides (potato casseroles, corn pudding, stuffing, etc.)
(4) salad (lettuce salads, macaroni salads, fruit salads, etc.)
(5) bread (rolls, biscuits, corn bread, crescent rolls, bakery loafs, etc.)
(6) dessert (pumpkin/apple pies, cookies, cake, pumpkin rolls, etc.)
(7) *an obligatory can of cranberry jelly

This is a quick list just to help you keep a running list of what you have. Obviously nothing is set in stone, but if you are hustling through the grocery store with hundreds of other people it can be hard to think about what you want to make.


 Just remember, the holiday is about spending time with family and/or friends and being thankful for what we have. Don't worry about your meal being the perfect representation of what the movies portray-do it with your heart and it will be perfect!


If all else fails, have fun watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!!


Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. Love all your Stepford Sisters!



Monday, November 25, 2013

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Tired of the same old turkey sandwiches and turkey ala king? Here are some great recipe ideas to use up all those leftovers!

Next Day Turkey Soup:


This is a great recipe because it utilizes the entire leftover turkey carcass and some of the veggie side dishes.

Click here for the recipe







Turkey and Mashed Potato Frittata:



Leftovers for breakfast, such a great idea!

Click here for the recipe










White Bean Turkey Chili:



This is my recipe for white bean chicken chili, but you can easily replace the chicken with turkey and it is just as delicious!

Click here for the recipe











Turkey Stuffing Casserole:



This recipe uses turkey, stuffing, and even some of the leftover cranberry sauce!

Click here for the recipe






Ranch Turkey Pasta:




While I'm not a huge fan of ranch, I love the idea of turkey pasta!

Click here for the recipe










Do you have an awesome recipe for using up your thanksgiving leftovers? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments or share it with us on Facebook!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quick Read: Which finger could you best do without?

I sometimes discover so really odd information. Today I want to share an interesting topic I stumbled across-missing fingers.

Setting: You are being forced to choose a finger for someone else to chop off, which one would you choose?!



Instinctively people jump to the pinky because it is small and at the end of the hand. In reality the best decision for the fullest function of your hand is to pick the non-dominant hand's index finger.

I know what you are thinking-an index finger?! We use our index fingers for pointing, touch screen technology etc. But...the way our hands and tendons are we are able to easily adapt to our middle finger becoming that dominant place.

So, if you are ever in a position where you must choose what finger someone else will cut off...now you know! Your non-dominant pointer finger.

Bonus information you will likely never need: If a bear is chasing you in the woods and you must run choose down hill because their front legs are shorter than their back legs (they run quite well going up hill!)



Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Fuel Your Body with Bodyfueling



Bodyfueling recommends eating basically what we learned in grade school...the food chart. Carbs are important, just make sure they are whole grain complex carbs.


Recommended daily intake (for women...men need a little more protein)


Breakfast
12 g. Protein
60-150g. Carbs
0-15g. Fat

Lunch
12-18g. Protein
60-150g. Carbs
0-15g. Fat

Dinner
12-18g. Protein
60-150g. Carbs
0-15g. Fat

Snacks
30-75g. Carbs
0-10g. Fat

* NOTICE: You do not need to add fat, just eating chicken or beans or whatever without adding fat can get you up to 15 grams. So don't think you can add 15 grams of fat to each meal. *


Proteins

Choose 2-3 with each meal

1 oz of turkey or chicken
1 ½ oz most fish
1 cup nonfat or 1% milk
1 cup nonfat/low-fat yogurt
¼ cup cottage cheese (1%, nonfat or dry curd)
1 ½ oz nonfat cream cheese
2 oz low-fat/nonfat ricotta
¾ oz low-fat or nonfat hard cheese
2 oz quark cheese spread
1 egg (or 2 egg whites mixed with one yolk)
1 cup fruit yogurt
1 cup lentils (combine with grain for complete protein)
1 cup split peas (combine with grain for complete protein)
½ cup beans (combine with grain for complete protein)
Or any low-fat item with 6 grams of protein

Carbohydrates

Choose 3-4 with each meal and 2-3 for a snack

1 slice of wheat bread
1 small roll or cocktail bagel
1/3 regular bagel (one whole bagel makes 3 servings)
1/3 cup oatmeal (dry)
½ -1 cup cold cereals (avg: check package for exact grams)
¼ - 1/3 cup fat free granola
1 fruit
4-8 oz fruit juice (unsweetened)
1 large wheat or corn tortilla
1 cup fruit yogurt
½ cup cous cous
1/3 cup rice or barely
½ cup pasta; 1 pasta tube (manicotti)
1/3 baked potato (1 medium potato is 3 servings)
1 small red potato
1 cup lentils
1/3 cup – ½ cup beans
Any other low-fat item with 15 grams of carbohydrate
*All measurements are of cooked food except oatmeal*

What is not Bodyfueling?



1. Diets (obviously)
2. Starvation
3. Counting Calories instead of fat. (It is fine to count both, but make sure you are paying attention to fat intake! Try not to eat anything that has more than 4 grams of fat per serving and you will notice an immediate difference. There are good fats of course, but they are still fats and you don't need to eat a lot of them.)

Things that are 100% fat (or close to it)

butter
oils
margarine
butter-substitute spreads
mayonnaise
salad dressings

Very High in Fat

beef (even extra extra lean)
pork
duck
bacon
hard cheeses
whole milk
cream
icecream
cottage cheese
whole milk yogurt
coconut
coconut milk
tofu (regular)
lamb/mutton
hot dogs
ham
avocado
chocolate

Common "hidden" fats

Commercially made cookies, cakes, candy bars
Many Commercially made breads, rolls, and muffins (oat bran or not)
Many "natural" and frozen yogurts
Many Chips
Many "diet" and "health food" meals
Many granola and granola bars
Salads (with dressing)
Many soups, chillis, canned beans
Many packaged and process foods
Many sauces and gravies

How do I make the right choices when I buy groceries?




Check the label, buy things that are less than 4 grams of fat per serving.

Try to get low sugar or sugar free things that are low in fat.

Buy Whole wheat breads.

Get 1% or skim milk.

Try to buy items that have 10 or less PRONOUNCEABLE ingredients.

Buy lots of fresh fruits or frozen if there is no fat added.

Either skip the dressing on your salad or skip the salad altogether. Instead add the vegetables to a chicken basil pasta dish or stir fry.

Use spices instead of oils and fats for flavor.

Cook your own meals instead of relying on prepackaged stuff.

Good Fats

Avocado (recommended intake: 1/3 - 1/2 an avocado a week.)

Dark Chocolate (no more than 100 calories a day - milk chocolate does not have the health benefits of dark chocolate)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 TBS a day)

Honey (1 - 2 tsp a few times a week)

Natural Peanut butter ( 2 TBS a few times a week or an oz of nuts)

Wild Salmon (3-4 oz 2 to 4 times a week)

This is all good enough to start with, but buy the book, it has TONS of more information and is so easy to understand.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bodyfueling


Bodyfueling is a book written by Robyn Landis and I recommend you buy it. I can't possibly give you all the information in that book in this note because I would most likely be sued for copyright reasons. I will give you a summary though.

Bodyfueling is also plain and simple eating to fuel your body. It is a way of life and not a diet. Diet implies that there is a time limit, that it is a temporary thing. This is forever. Diet also implies that you have to starve yourself or follow a strict set of rules. Robyn Landis is a lean attractive woman who eats 3,000 or so calories a day. Starving yourself is not the answer.

Understanding why Bodyfueling works



First of all, according to Robyn Landis, you need to get rid of diet thinking. An ideal weight or losing weight is not necessarily healthy and is not the right path for becoming a lean healthy individual. If it is just about losing weight people will do ANYTHING to get rid of it, and they don't seem to care about what that weight is.

Of course everyone means fat, but it doesn't always turn out that way. For example, if you want to lose weight you: EAT ______ EXERCISE ______. People naturally fill in the blanks with eat less, exercise more. However, when you follow that formula you lose weight, but not necessarily fat. As Robyn Landis points out, with your car, would you drive more and gas up less? Just like your car, your body needs fuel to run properly.



People think that not giving your body fuel will force it to burn fat. That is not true. The body doesn't run on fat alone. In fact, carbohydrate (and by that I mean whole grains) is the body's primary source of fuel, we use it constantly for everything we do. The body must always have glucose - the carbohydrate found in your blood stream at all times and virtually no fat can be made into glucose.

If your body is denied the foods that make glucose (carbs) it has to get it somewhere just so you have enough energy to function. So if fat can't be made into glucose what can? Your muscle, or rather the protein in it. Your body will break down your muscles and convert the protein into carbohydrate. This process leaves toxic bio-chemical by-products in its wake. Protein is nitrogen based and so nitrogen is released when it is converted into carbohydrates. That stresses your liver and kidneys since it is their job to filter it out. Also, don't forget your heart is a muscle. Ms. Landis tells of a woman who was on low carb diets for many years and the damage to her heart because of it cannot be undone.

Your body needs those proteins to stay proteins. Along with losing muscle proteins you also lose other important body proteins. The antibodies that defend you against illness are proteins. Muscle contains enzymes designed to metabolize fats, which are lost when muscle is lost. And when your body is struggling to process muscle protein into carbohydrate fuel, the liver produces more low density cholesterol, and fat-storage-assisting enzymes build up.

Your body does break down SOME fat along with the proteins, but without the help of carbohydrates (which you body needs for energy and when it breaks down muscle to get them it doesn't have any to spare to help break down the fat) your fat won't break down completely. Instead it leaves more toxic waste products for your organs to deal with. Even if it does make you skinny, it isn't healthy.


So, don't try to lose weight. Weight can mean anything and with most diets means losing muscle weight. If you want to lose "weight" cut off your hair, or a limb. If you are properly fueling it is possible to become lean without losing much "weight" at all. For example, Robyn had her body fat tested. In two years her bodyfat went from 27 to 17. her dress size went from 6-8 to 2-4. However, she weighed exactly the same 130 lbs. 27% of that equals 35 lbs of fat while 17% of 130 equals 20 lbs of fat. She lost 15 lbs of fat and gained 15 lbs of muscle. FAT BURNING MUSCLE! And she looks good.(She also eats 3,000 calories a day and works out only 3 hours a week- I can't wait until I have the muscle to be like that!)


So if you shouldn't be concerned with how many pounds you have lost while bodyfueling how do you know it is working? Robyn says your eyes are the best tool. You can get bodyfat measurement tests, but they are a hassle and can be expensive. Just look at your body, you will be able to see the difference. You will also be able to feel the difference. You will become stronger and have more energy. I know I do.

Another problem with diet thinking is your reason for dieting. Most of us do it because we want to look good. That can't be your soul motivation, though...it simply isn't enough motivation to make a life change. Instead you need to figure out the real reasons you want to make this change.

Mine are:
  • I want to have more energy to play with my little brother and sister.
  • I want to have the energy to play with my kid as we both age.
  • I want to have more energy for ME!
  • I want to live my life vibrantly and do things like whitewater rafting and rock climbing and travel!
  • I want to live as long as I possibly can.
  • I want to look good...it made the list, but it isn't nearly as compelling a reason as the others.

My next post will be How to Fuel Your Body!




Monday, November 18, 2013

Time to Get Healthy

My Story

I weighed 100-120 lbs during my 4 years of High School. I looked thin without even trying. I ate what I wanted for the most part. I didn't exercise much except when I got a stress rash because things started to get crazy Junior Year I had to work out 10-20 min a day to relieve the stress. My parents thought this was healthier than staying on medication for it. It worked, so I guess they were right.

After graduation I got a job at DQ. Fried food and all the icecream I could eat meant I didn't eat much that wasn't full of fat. I worked there for almost two years and in that time gained 30 lbs. I was dating the king of frozen dinners at the time and even after I quit DQ we didn't eat healthy food. I gained another 10 lbs. 40 lbs in 2 years and I didn't even notice until people started asking me if I was pregnant.

Once I did notice I did what everyone thinks is the best thing to do. I stopped eating. When I was starving I ate veggies, but that is about it. Then I would relapse and eat the fattening foods I gave up. I tried low carb/high protein diets and gained another 10 lbs, even though I was following the diet and working out. Depressed, I gave up and that added another 10lbs. I weighed 180 lbs. I was upset about it, missed my old clothes, but grudgingly accepted that I wasn't going to lose the weight. I didn't cry about it or try to starve myself anymore. I kept working out, but ate what I wanted.

Then my aunt came in from Oregon. She had lost 50 lbs in 5 months. It was amazing. I had heard she lost weight, but I hadn't had any idea how much. I was so shocked for awhile all I could do was stare. I think I told her it was "weird". I didn't mean it as an insult, but it was something my mind couldn't comprehend and that was all I could think to say.

After it wore off a bit and I let it sink in I decided if it was possible for her, it was possible for me.

I emailed my aunt who had lost her weight and she managed to explain to me what I should be eating, why, and how and why my body was reacting to food without being too long or too technical. She also sent me Bodyfueling, the book with all the answers. With her help and the information in this book I lost 30 lbs (which I am almost positive is pounds of fat). Unfortunately, Marrying a man who loves whole milk, red meat, and butter surrounded me with too many temptations and I gained it all back. Now that I have given birth to my fist child I have a new found desire to take care of my body for his sake and so am starting over. I want to share my journey with you! My next post will be a summery of the information I have gleaned from BodyFueling with recipes and updates to (hopefully) follow soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quick Tip: Dress Quick but Polished

I don't always have time to get my entire self put together before needing to step out on the town. But I have figured out over time that I only need a few things to make me look like my 'look' is more polished than it really is.

1. Scarf

2. Lipstick

3. Heels


Yep. That's it. For whatever reason you can even be wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but if you have a scarf that matches it in some way and a pair of heels it looks like you tried harder than you did. As usual, if the only make-up you choose is lipstick it helps your facial look greater than any other single choice!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ongoing Difficulties in Step-Parenting

All three of us Stepford sisters have step-children, therefore making each of us step-mothers.

Imagine for a moment entering a marriage with the love of your life and being so happy about your partner. THEN in the back of your mind every horror story you have heard about evil step-mothers.

My thought on that, "Hey, I know myself! I am not evil, I'm a very nice person. I won't have any problem because I am excited to be a step-parent."

Now, some of you might need to take a break for a minute and collect yourself from laughing yourself out of your seat. This was certainly me, and I am going to take a guess that for most women entering a relationship/marriage this thought is the same.

 It is amazing how quickly the greatest, nicest, and most wonderful woman can go from a great parent figure to the evil step-mother. And it all hinges upon perspective of the children and rating you against their mother and father.

At the time I am writing this, I have been a part of my step-children's lives for nearly 10 years. As a percentage that equals out to being about 86%, 81%, and 69% of their lives that they have known me. And lets face it, the first few years of your life you don't remember anyway. Also, for anyone who has a problem of understanding numbers, as time goes on, that percentage will increase. So I have been a part of their lives for a long time.

There is no doubt ever in my mind that I love all three of them with every ounce of my being, and would drop everything any time to do anything for any one of them.

Here is a pretty common equation with children whose parents are not together:




1. Mom has the kids most of the time, and becomes lax on rules and guidelines because they are a 'single' parent now and they want the kids to like them and side with them more.
2. Dad doesn't have the kids as frequently and wants to pack in as much time with the kids as possible. This often includes fun activities because their are holidays or seasonal things that happen year round and only so many times to experience them with the kids. This often leaves dad with less down time with children to instill good habits and manners.
3. Step-mom (I can't speak on behalf of Step-Fathers) goes along with the fun seasonal activities and spends time with the children when they are on the father's time. The step-mother (who is a woman and naturally has mothering instincts) picks up on some things that will help the child/children to grow and mature in to respectful well mannered young adults.


Herein lies the problem. I suppose this is a message to mothers who have children with a step-mother so just bare with me here. Step-mothers LOVE their step-children. We seriously love them as much as possible and this is great because they aren't biologically ours and we don't have to love them, we just do. So, if we see a small (or occasionally large) problem that could be corrected simply by mentioning it or working on it over several discussions we are doing this to better the child.


Only when someone starts turning the blame (i.e. a step-parent saying to the children "your mother should have told/taught/noticed) does it become a problem. Rightfully so, a mother can become defensive and threatened. When two parents are together there are no other onlookers with opinions about raising your children (I won't even touch on in-laws and parenting!).

So this is a vulnerable spot for mothers and step-mothers alone and should be treated with care.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Turkey Day Treats

Here are five fun treats for your little turkeys to gobble up this year!

Fruit Gobbler from Spoonful


Pilgrim Hats from Woman's Day


Thanksgiving Mix found on Pinterest


Turkey Toes from Growing up Gable


and the Edible Glove Turkey from Mom it Forward



 For more holiday themed edibles check out our post last year of Turkey crafts!

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