Winter Weather calls for Winter Food and fun

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Timothy trying out his snowpants for the first time!

Timothy trying out his snowpants for the first time!

So mother nature has decided to grace us with anywhere from 7 to 11 inches of new snow here in the next 24-28 hours.  It’s the thick, heavy & wet snow that is PERFECT for making snowballs and snowmen.  It is also perfect for getting your car stuck and socks wet.  I guess you get good with the bad and vice versa.

Growing up with my mother, food was always in abundance.  The second the Weather Guy would mention snow, she would load me up in the car and we’d be off to the grocery store.  You can only imagine the “apocalyptic style mania” that all Midwest grocery stores have during the pre-storm period. The crazy part of this whole phenomenon is that we always ended up buying MORE than what we usually would, and not just in quantity, but in variety.  I don’t think I ever ‘survived’ a Minnesota/North Dakota snowstorm without Queso & Chips, Chili, Spaghetti & meatballs, Doritos, Oreos, something home baked and a mother load of Diet Coke.  It was honestly like we were getting ready to have our last meal.  Only instead of looking like a sad depiction of a woman who’s circumstances were gruesome, it would be a young overweight woman who died with a Minh Pork Egg Roll in one hand and the remote control in the other after the storm took out the cable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming my mother or the way we ate for my “husky” (which by the way I hate when people call me husky).   The majority of my weight came on as an adult when I was in total control of everything I ate.  I use the word ‘control’ loosely.

BEEF NOODLE SOUP_bowlHaving just restarted my journey back to health, fitness and babyville, I wanted to still get that comfort that I remember, but not kill every ounce of my work at this.  So, I decided on a Beef Noodle soup.  I know what you’re thinking, “Babs, soup really isn’t that healthy”.  Well, I would agree with you, if you’re buying it in the can, package, box, or frozen.  If you are making it, soup takes on a new role in a healthy diet.  It’s comforting, it’s tasty, it’s inexpensive per serving and it’s freezable.

So while my husband finished up the Christmas lights (this round of them) with the help of our jolly little man, Timothy, I started chopping.  6 years ago we received a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for our wedding and the pasta attachment.  BEST. GIFT. EVER.

So I opted to make homemade Whole Wheat Egg Noodles.  They turned out great.  I watched the sodium and fat in this soup by using EVOO and Low sodium Beef Broth rather than Bouillon and added 2 FRESH Bay Leaves and about a tsp of Italian Seasoning to the mix.  Right before serving, I added fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.  It turned out great and after portioning it out into containers for my lunches, today proved it was EVEN BETTER the next day!

Here’s a quick synopsis if you want to take a crack at this Clean Eating Pot of Goodness!

BEEF NOODLE SOUP_spoon1Beef Noodle Soup (clean)

  • 1.5 lbs stew beef
  • 2 16oz containers of Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1-2 T of EVOO
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • Balsamic Vinegar to taste (adds a zing/tang)
  • Whole Wheat Egg Noodles (Whole Wheat Flour, 3 eggs, dash of water) Or store bought.

1.  Heat the EVOO in a Dutch Oven/French Oven ( this is mine)

2.  add the garlic and cook a few moments before adding the beef

3.  add pepper and a splash of balsamic to the beef, cook then scoop out beef in to a bowl and set aside.

4.  Using the juices left from the beef, add the carrots, onions, celery and bay leaves to the pot and cook about 5 mins ( stirring so not to burn)  If your pan is too dry, feel free to add a splash of beef stock and scrape up the bits from the bottom.

5.  Add the rest of the beef stock and beef back into the pot and bring to a light boil. then reduce heat, cover and let simmer. add a splash or two of Balsamic Vinegar if needed (to taste)

6. Add the fresh whole wheat egg noodles about 5-10 mins before you’re ready to serve, just add them, stir it around and let it continue to lightly simmer covered.

7. Stir in a good 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley right before serving.

Enjoy!

Reppin’ and Nappin’ (6am Workout / Day 1)

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So as I drug my tired ass self into the gym this morning at 6:04 for my 6:00 appointment, the first words out of my trainers mouth were, “Let’s get you on the scale”.  This is about the point I contemplated faking a ruptured appendix and fleeing.

I am not normally afraid of the scale, nor do I usually avoid it.  On a typical day, I will weigh myself multiple times just to see the crazy fluctuation that I will have in single day.  Neurotic? Maybe. However, I think it’s fun and I tell myself it’s for the better of science and mankind. I digress.

Of course, as I stood on the scale, sans shoes thank you very much, there it was staring me in the face:  Green Bean Casserole and Pumpkin Pie.

Now, before you go and freak out, no there wasn’t a single fatty carb in sight, just a big fat number that was 4 lbs higher than 1.5 weeks ago.  Shit just got real.

This is the point where my outgoing, fun bubbly self turns in to an ostrich with my head in the sand.  No eye contact here, just a slight shuffle of my feet and hushed mumblings of absurdities.  After a quick reality check with Ben, he looked at me, said “ok, let’s do this” and we went on to workout.

Not really sure if this early am workout thing is for me, I honestly fell asleep on the way home at a red light, then again in my car, parked in my garage.   Usually, even after early morning workouts, I’m totally pumped up, but today I was contemplating whether or not single arm rows had just given me mononucleosis.  Then I remembered they kicked not kissed my ass.