My kids are constantly amazing me. As a parent you always wonder if you are raising them to be respectable little beings when they go out into the world.
Last week my kids started yet another week of soccer camp followed by Apple camp in the afternoon. Yet another week of fitting in patients and paperwork, while I make sure my kids have all I didn’t growing up, especially, summer fun.
After the first morning session of soccer camp, I picked up my kids, exhausted, and heated from 3 hours of play in the sun. My kids and their friend are always last because 1: they are discussing how to wrangle a play date, and 2: they just plain old enjoy each other’s company. When my friend and I got to the area where the kids keep their belongings, we were greeted by plastic cups all over the floor from the water breaks. My friend and I cringed and reminded the kids the scout phrase “leave no trace”. These kids went over and picked up each cup they had no part in leaving without so much as a complaint or a sigh (they bring refillable water bottles).
The next few days there was a garbage bag near the water cooler, so way less mess. On the final day though, no garbage bag = big mess. The next thing I know, my daughter went, got a garbage bag from maintenance and started picking up garbage without any direction from any adults. Bit by bit, 3 other campers began helping her. When I asked her why she did it she just answered “I don’t know, I just did it.”
At that very moment, my hectic day melted away. I totally did something right.
This is a recipe that usually goes over really well at most gatherings I serve it at. All I ask is that when you consume this (or really any meat for that matter), you consume it sparingly and paired with many, many, many plant based selections. Better yet, make sure to have a fiber filled smoothie that morning with loads of calorie burning activities in preparation. Heck do that the next day (and every day) after that.
I serve this with mini rolls (whole grain if you can find them) with sides to make mini Cuban sandwiches, or with black beans and yuca.
1 pork loin, about 3-4 pounds
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup loosely packed parley leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed garlic cloves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp organo (dried)
1. Cut pork loin in half and pierce flesh several times to create holes in the meat for the marinade to penetrate.
2. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for approximately 2 minutes until a thick liquid forms.
3. Combine loin and marinade in a dish deep so marinade covers both halves. Marinate for 12-24 hours.
4. Place in slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low (but check after 6-8).
5. Shred meat with 2 forks, add salt and/or pepper to taste, and allow to cook on low for another 20-30 minutes before serving.
I present the latest addition to the Nutrition Map office. The price came down on #Amazon and we promptly snagged one up plus the desk expansion kit. How does it compare to walking while working? I find it easier to get work done on the bike however prefer the treadmill for webinars and lectures. If you find yourself on any device, mindlessly surfing the net, I still recommend getting up and moving. Might as well burn some calories while “surfing”.
Researchers often aim to “figure it out” or determine the one factor that is the cause of whatever they are investigating. We want to know the magical component that can be THE cure. We live in a reductionist culture. This couldn’t be more the case when it comes to obesity and the quest to lose weight and find good health. There are so many theories surrounding why humans weights are climbing. Everything from hormones, antibiotics, low activity, stress, vitamin deficiencies (just to name a few) are being investigated. We actually want it to be one single component. We NEED it to be. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
There are so many roads I can go with this, but I am only tackling one contributing factor today. Sitting on our bums. The longer you sit, the more your risk of dying increases (sleeping time excluded, that you need of course). Now you may be thinking, “I workout most days of the week so I am good” and I am sorry to report you are wrong. The longer you sit without getting up and moving, the worse it is for you.
One discovery I have made in my travels has been converting to a standing desk. You may be thinking this is an expensive new age concept and my employer will never go for it. I introduce what my husband came up with.
My standing desk is made from an old side table we found in the basement in our downsizing quest (that post is for another time). A shelf for the key board and trackpad completes the set up for my docking station. I sit when I am with patients, stand while charting, and when I need to complete online trainings, back to the treadmill I go.” Even my watch reminds me to stand.
First I will say the title of this post is so not what you may think it is about. Stay with me until the end and you will see where I am going with it.
So much has happened since my mother was diagnosed almost 15 months ago with Alzheimer’s disease. Another year of firsts, too many to count. But so far this has been the year:
My mother didn’t recognize me, like at all. Total blank. She looked at me with the pensive look like “this young lady looks so sweet and kind waving at me from across the room” kind of look. Luckily she came back to me when I called out “Mima.”
My mother forgot my birthday. Sounds so totally selfish on my part, but a necessary bump in the road I was meant to experience and handle.
Today, my mother forgot my kids entirely. She actually jumped back in horror when my 7 year old daughter ran to her screaming “Abuela Happy Birthday!” Thank goodness my daughter is so resilient and happy. Let her brightness shine on.
Today I took mom out to celebrate another year on this planet. Another year of changes in our relationship. Another year I will survive, because she needs me to. Another year I will treasure the art and gift of remembering.
After dinner we crossed the street and went for dessert at Strawberry Fields in Morristown. For so long I felt like a fighter in life, and now I am learning I am a survivor. “War is Over, If You Want It.” This is the year I commit to finding peace in it all.
Last night we had some Japanese take away with friends for a fun, relaxing evening. After having an avocado brown rice roll, miso soup and a side salad, I was stuffed and ended up taking about half of my main meal of Vegetable Yaki Udon home. The best way to doctor it up so the smaller amount is actually filling? First, boil 3 oz each of frozen broccoli and spinach, 1/2 cup white beans, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Once the broth has reduced and the vegetables are heated all the way through, throw in the leftover noodles and serve once heated completely. I prefer to reheat on the stove, but this totally works in the microwave.
Come wintertime, the organic berry selection can be pretty dismal (and expensive) here in Jersey. Instead, I rely more and more on frozen organics. Pictured is 1 serving of mixed organic berries with 1/4 cup of quick oats, 1 tbsp of chia seeds, topped with unsweetened almond milk and cooked in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. If organics aren’t quite accessible, remember, a nonorganic berry is still way better to eat over any junk.
The vegetables don't need to be chopped finely or perfectly, most will go in the blender anyway. Feel free to pass this along
Optional: My family enjoys this meal with sausage instead of the chickpeas. I just prepare the sausage in the toaster oven to bake while I make the soup and orzo. You could also opt to use any leftover over protein you may have in the refrigerator like tofu, beef, or chicken. I serve all the ingredients separately and let everyone make their own bowls with as much or as little as they would like.
16oz package of whole wheat orzo (I use Delallo Organic but feel free to use any other small shaped whole wheat pasta)
4 tbsp of Earth Balance Butter (however feel free to use regular butter or other butter substitute, ah, heck olive oil will do)
2 Celery Stalks, scrubbed and roughly chopped
1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2-4 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil (depends on how much basil you like, I go all in)
2 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth will do)
2 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz each can)
8 oz of vegan cream cheese (feel free to use regular cream cheese)
1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the whole wheat orzo according to package directions while you make the tomato cream.
Melt the Earth Balance Butter over medium heat.
Add the celery, onions and garlic and saute for approximately 5-6 minutes (add the salt and pepper here).
Add the basil and broth.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese.
Puree the mixture with a food processor or blender (in batches) until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender, however remember it may have a chunkier consistency.
Return to the stove and reheat on medium setting. Once the soup boils, add the kale and continue to heat until the kale wilts.
To serve, plate approximately 3/4 cup of the cooked whole wheat orzo, 1/2 cup chickpeas and top with 1-2 cups of the tomato cream (add as much or as little as you would like).
Over the weekend my family and I walked The Color Run in Englishtown, NJ. I would have loved to run the 5K instead of walking, however my husband and I joined a group of friends and our children to walk together as a team. I am so glad we did. Eventually we will run some races without them, however this particular event was fantastic for families and I was amazed at the amount of children excited to exercise (and get pelted with color). How do you implement physical fitness as a family?