Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 3 -- Where's the beef?

So last night was chicken and a salad. I found a really great low-fat honey mustard dressing and added some cranberries (that's good for you, isn't it?) and tomatoes and just a little cheese to the salad. Stacy said, "Is this it?" I caught him making a snack about an hour later -- but it was a bowl of oatmeal! I can't blame him!

Tonight it was broiled talapia, sweet potato in the microwave and the rest of the salad. The sweet potatoes were huge and very good - nice filler! Then I made strawberry pies from the FFA strawberries that came in today! I did use sugar-free Jello in it, but it still had sugar -- and I bought "lite" Cool Whip! It wasn't quite set, but the pie was delicious! Yum!

But now I'm ready for some good old beef! I don't know if I can be a chicken every night kind of person! Lord, give me strength!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 1 on our Heart Healthy Diet

Stacy's close call -- not a heart attack but he had one artery 90-95% blocked and had a stint -- has really got his attention -- and mine too. We're both overweight and need to trim up our diet. The doctor told Stacy that particular artery (behind the heart that serves the lower portion) does not show up in a stress test. He would never have known until he got hit with the "big one" -- which the doctor said was the "silent but deadly" blockage -- he probably wouldn't have survived it. The reason for the heart cath was that he was getting short of breath and having chest tightness.

So now we're on the first day of our "Heart Healthy Diet"! On my shopping trip to the grocery store yesterday, I didn't purchase anything unless it was low fat, low sodium or no fat! His mom offered to buy shrimp last night, but Stacy said no thanks -- so she made him his favorite homemade Tomato Soup (no salt)!

I've been checking out recipes on different websites. Tonight's came from the Mayo Clinic:

Pork Chops with Black Currant Jam Sauce

1/4 cup black currant jam (I substituted blackberry jam)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons olive oil
6 center cut loin pork chops (trim off all fat)
1/3 cup wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 orange slices (I left out the organes)

In a small bowl, whisk together the jam and mustard. In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning onece, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. (I sprinkled with Mrs. Dash and a tiny bit of sea salt). Top each pork chop with 1 tablespoon of the jam-mustard mixture. Cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the pork chops to warmed plates.

Cool the frying pan to a warm -- not hot -- temperature. Pour wine vinegar into the pan and stir to remove the bits of pork and jam. Pour the vinegar sauce over each pork chop. Sprinkle with pepper. Garnish with orange slices if desired.

We also had mixed steamed vegetables in a "light" sauce. No more meat, veggie & starch for dinner! Maybe I can have my rice and his mashed potatoes every once in a while! For desert, low fat yogurt or ice cream. Plus I have enough left over for another meal (I only cooked 4 pork chops.)

I give this pork chop recipe 4 stars -- it was very tasty -- nice flavor -- with a sauce (I don't like dry meats). It was a different type of flavor that I thought was very good -- a little sweet with a touch of the mustard taste for spiceyness! Stacy says he gives it 4 stars also! In fact, his comment was, "Was that really a healthy one?" So yea! Tomorrow night -- chicken!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CiCi Heaven

I spent three days in Montgomery with eleven high school juniors going up and down stairs in the Capitol and State House, but it only took one year-old granddaughter to wear me out! Whew! Parenting is definitely for the young!

But I dearly loved every minute I got to spend babysitting my beautiful, precious granddaughter Kate last weekend while her parents took a much-needed vacation ski trip to Utah! That one-on-one time I got to spend with her was priceless! Although she got sick with an ear infection, and we spent four hours in the Urgent Care on Sunday (and I forgot the pacifier) with about a hundred really sick people (I disinfected Kate, me and everything we took with us when we got back to the house)!

The first night was an experience. Kate has a precious room upstairs with a really nice baby bed. But these new baby beds (that convert as they grow up) don't have "let down sides" like our old-fashioned baby beds did; and me, being a little (maybe a lot) on the vertically-challenged side, couldn't reach all the way down to the bottom of the bed! So after I rocked her to sleep, I tried to lay Kate in her bed. Since I couldn't reach all the way down, I tried to "drop and roll" her into it -- it wasn't that far down! But it did wake her up -- and I knew that wasn't going to work. Casey said not to sleep with her in the regular bed because she might fall out-- so what else could I do? I got a comforter off the bed and laid down on the floor with her to sleep! Even with the comforter and carpet, that floor was still pretty hard!

She was so funny! A couple of times she woke up during the night, and she would put her face right up to mine and look at me so seriously -- like she was thinking, "Who in the heck is this person on the floor with me?" Then she'd flop back down and go back to sleep!

She also likes to run her hands through your hair while she's trying to go to sleep, then she'll grab your hair at the top and just pull -- and pull -- and pull! Gladly my hair is still intact!

So the next night, I said the heck with it and we slept in Casey and John's bed with pillows piled up on the sides to "fence her in"! That worked just fine -- she didn't fall out -- and my back was saved!

Of course, I just about let her do whatever she wanted! We played farm -- watched Elmo videos (she loves Elmo) -- read books (really fast, you have to skip the words!) -- took walks around the neighborhood with Cherokee (their black lab I also babysat) -- sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" -- and played with the remote controls! She doesn't mind telling you (with grunts and turning her head) when she doesn't want to eat any more or she doesn't like something (like her medicine)! In fact, she kind of reminds me of her mom Casey when she was little! It's amazing how much you forget once yours get grown! It's also amazing how fast it all comes back -- and how much things have changed in thirty years since I had kids!

Thanks, Casey and John, for letting me have this time with my beautiful granddaughter! Although I had to go back to work to get a rest -- I wouldn't take a million dollars for that fun CiCi and Kate time!