Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not my usual drivel . . .

Today, I'm writing about something important.

I'm very excited to tell you about an organization called "Girls on the Run" that is coming to Ardmore and the surrounding area.  




My friend, Erica, is the brain child of this local operation, and I consider myself honored to have been asked to join in the early stages of development.   

The Cause


Girls on the Run is an international organization with the mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.   From the Girls on the Run National Website:  


It is an after-school program like no other.  Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. 

Over a period of 10-12 weeks, the girls make new friends, build their inner confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.  Lessons are presented that encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at an age appropriate level. 

 Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, we will teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum helps participants get a better understanding of who they are and what is important to them. It emphasizes the importance of team work and healthy relationships. And, finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world. 

 For older girls (6th through 8th graders), the curriculum allows for more mature processing around certain topics including eating disorders, internet safety, relationships, cyber-bullying and tobacco and alcohol use. The girls discuss these subjects on an in-depth level and use their personal experiences to shape thought-provoking discussion. The Girls on Track curriculum provides girls with the skills to shut out the noise of the external world that is attempting to limit who she is and to instead listen to her individual truth – the one that will lead her toward an enriching and contented life.

Why I love it

Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of each three month session, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event. Completing the 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible





Last Friday, I met with a group of women who are eager to give their time and heart to this cause.  Though there are others also involved that were not able to attend the meeting on Friday, here are some of the lovely ladies forming the committee:




What has been determined is that we have a lot to do to get this organization up and running in southern Oklahoma: 



  
If you have an interest in being involved, we would love to have you.  You can leave a comment here or send me an email.  



And, of course, if you want to want to show your support in a financial way, we will definitely accept it!  In addition to monetary donations, we will accept donations (especially, fitness equipment) for our first fundraising event, which will be a garage sale in early October.  More info to follow . . .     

Visit and like us on Facebook at Bringing Girls on the RUN to Southern OK  to keep abreast of our progress.  

Thanks,
JMo

Monday, August 27, 2012

A face lift . . . and a yeast infestation.

First things first. 

I screwed up the recipe for my Maple Pecan Almond Milk Ice Cream last week . 



If you actually made it, I'm sorry.  It may have left you feeling a little lacking. 

My bad.    I forgot to list some of the sweetening ingredients.  Yup.  Winner, here.  So, here is the revised version. 


And, I'm going back to replace the recipe in the last post, too.  It will be like it never happened.

Notice anything different?

Somebody got a facelift.




No, I'm not talking about me. Though, I did cut my bangs recently, and now look like I should be carrying my lunchbox into Charles Evans Elementary with my boys. 




Oz hates the bangs, and I'm on the fence about them.  But, I really needed something to cover up my huge forehead.


Ok, this is actually Calista Flockhart

I went off on a tangent there.   What I was actually referring to is the blog. The blog got a facelift this weekend.  



What do you think?

I was going to pay someone with actual skills to do it, but . . . remember what I said last week about being cheap?



I decided on Saturday morning to just grab the bull by the horns and do it myself.  

There was a lot of swearing.  I might have thrown something once or twice. 


source

But, it is done.  I'm actually pretty proud of the new look.

I chose the color scheme because it reminds me of peanut butter and brussel sprouts.  Obviously, I had to include them in the new header, too, because  I wasnt' sure if the colors would remind you of peanut butter and brussel sprouts and subtly isn't really my thing. 

Speaking of peanut butter . . . This happened this weekend.




Such a simple concoction: a 100 calorie mini ice cream sandwich with a huge smear of peanut butter on top. Worth every calorie. Worth every gram of sugar. And, worth what it took to burn it off Sunday morning, which included a short, but quick 3 mile run with Elizabeth.  Afterwards, we did this "hotel workout" that I found on Carrots 'n Cake



It is a "hotel workout" because you don't need any equipment.  You can do it anywhere.  We did it my yard.



I also worked on my arch nemesis . . . the pull up.

Now for the yeast infestation.

I bet that got your attention.

I'm not talking about nasty yeast. I'm talking about nutritional yeast.

source
 I have been putting it on everything lately.

Dusted on my omelets:



Sprinkled on my salads:



Dabbled on my veggies:




The only thing I can liken nutritional yeast to is grated Parmesan since it kind of has a cheesy flavor.   Some people think it has a nutty flavor.  Even, Oz says that it tastes pretty good on veggies.

So, what kind of wonderful things does it do for you? Well it won't give you super powers.  It probably won't help you fly.  It definitely won't do the laundry for you. And, I think its unlikely . . . that even if you lace their food with it . . . that it will make your kids be quiet in the car.


But, it is a good source of protein and is actually a complete protein.  What that means is that it includes all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans.  If your into sciencey stuff, you can see a listing of the amino acids, here

The short story is that it is a good source of protein so if you are a vegetarian you should load up.

According to wikipedia (my source for all knowledge), It is chalk full of vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins, which:

  • increase the rate of metabolism
  • promote healthy skin, hair and muscle tone
  • enhance immune and nervous system function
  • promote cell growth and division (and may prevent anemia)
  • reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer

Want some?  You can find it in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores . . . meaning you get to scoop it yourself into a plastic bag and pay by the pound . . . which is fun.  In Ardmore,  you can find it at Veggies.




And, while we are on the topic of shopping . . . the single most blog related question that I get . . . is, "Where the heck is the Lavash at Walmart?"  So, I took a picture so that everyone can find it. 

In the bakery section, on the top shelf,
under the $3.68 sign. 
And now that I've published that, there is absolutely no hope that I will ever be able to get it again.  You're welcome. 

Have a great Monday!  

JMo

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm kicking the kids out . . . and an ice cream recipe

I'm so excited. 

source

Elizabeth and I were talking yesterday at the park (yes . . . she is a real person . . . and not a figament of my imagination . . .  and I hope that some day you hear from her again),

. . . and we decided that the day before school starts is like Christmas Eve.  


=



The kids are excited to get back to the business of learning their friends.  And, I am freaking excited to get them out of the house. 

Now, I know that some of you will gasp in horror that I just said that.  But, I'm all about keeping it real, and I flat out don't understand the moms on facebook that go on and on about how they wish summer would never end. 


If my boys have to spend one more day together . . . one single day . . . I swear that they will kill each other. 

I spent the better part of yesterday playing referee while they went at each other with the vengence of the Jackson family.



That's not to say that we didn't have a great summer, because we did.  But, its over now . . . halleluljah.   

So, yesterday was a day of celebration.  A celebration of the last day of summer.  And, here is what I ate. 

I started the morning at 5:00.  Before I went to the gym, I had a glass of Advocare spark.  After I got back, I made a  Green Monster smoothie with spinach, almond milk, cashew butter, PB2, 1/2 a banana, and some chia seeds.




To be honest, I had already drank 3/4 of it when I said to myself, 'Hey, self, you should blog today'.  So, this is only 1/4 of my Green Monster.  I didn't eat the frosted flakes in the background though I would have liked to.  I did have two cups of coffee though.

Around 10:00 a.m., I decided I was going to need a snack to get me through my noon class at the gym.  This is my new favorite snack:


It doesn't look like much, but its a half of a piece of Lavash bread that is smeared with 2 Tbsp reconstituted PB2 (or any other nut butter), 1/2 a banana, and some cinnamon. 



I just roll it into a burrito and try not to swallow it in one bite.  I REALLY love this snack.  Seriously, I want another one right now.

Gym class yesterday was 20 minutes of endurance training.  Every minute at the top of minute we started

5 burpees
10 pushups
15 air squats

The punishment for failing to finish within the minute was that you had to finish up the set during the following minute and then stand around while the class did the next set.  You couldn't start again until the top of the next full minute.  Thus, the punishment was shame.  And, let me tell you . . . shame works.  I was kicking my own ass to finish.

After my heart stopped racing, I had lunch.



A salad topped with left-over crockpot chicken, cherry tomatos, broccoli slaw, avocado, and mushrooms.  Served with a side of celery and hummus, of course.  Oh, and my dressing was Kraft Asian Sesame Light, which does include some sugar.  Whoops.  It's not a lot.

After real-working for a few hours, I took the kids to the park to play with friends.  Elizabeth brought popcorn, which we shared. 


And, then it was time for dinner.  As I said before, it was a day of celebration.  So, on the way home from the park I stopped at Little Caesar's to buy the kids a pizza and some crazy bread.



While I waited in line, I thought of five reasons why I should not be letting my kids eat this crap for dinner . . . and all of them were standing in line in front of me.  But, laziness and eagerness to make my kids happy won out. 

I didn't eat it though.  Heck no . . . because I had been dreaming about dinner all day.



Wait!  "What is that?", you say.  That is a lavash breakfast burrito and roasted brussel sprouts sprinkled with salt substitute, pepper, and nutritional yeast. 

There are two things that you should take from this:

1)  I have a Lavash problem.  The evidence of said problem can be found in my freezer where I currently have five packages of unopened Lavash.  I operate on a depression theory when it comes to Lavash.   It was hard to get for a while, so I feel the need to buy as much of it as I can when I see it at the [hellified] Walmart.

2)  Obviously, the Great and Powerful Oz was out of town last night.  I haven't had brussel sprouts all summer because . . . I swear . . . the man never left town.  I waited and waited and waited, and still, he stayed.  So, when I heard he was leaving, I high-tailed it to the store to get brussel sprouts.  Now, the house reaks, and he will moan and groan when he comes in today, but it was totally worth it.

Now for the good stuff . . . after dinner, I whipped myself up special dessert.  Backing up . . . 

  

A few weeks ago, I bought myself a little present.


I could tell you how cheap I am, and you wouldn't believe me.  But, this little purchase took weeks of deliberations.  AND IT'S REFURBISHED.  So, it wasn't even that expensive.

This is one of my favorite "alternative" ice creams:



NadaMoo is great stuff.  I love it.   It's made with coconut milk, which tickles my fancy . . . but it's also made with agave nectar, which does not.   I figured that if I just had an ice cream maker, I could substitute the coconut milk with almond milk and the agave nectar with sugar free maple syrup and stevia.   My concoction turned out so good that I'm going to share the recipe.





Does it taste exactly like ice cream from Braum's?  Well no, of course not.  Oz and I have this discussion all of the time.  He will say, "well, its okay . . . but it doesn't really taste like a ________________ [Reese's peanut butter cup, sonic shake, etc . . .]"

And, I have to respond, "Well, of course it doesn't.  But, it's a nice substitute." 

If you are trying to make healthy substitutions in your diet, you will find that what  you cook up is not "just like" its unhealthy counterpart.  But, that doesn't mean that its not good.  And, eventually, you start to think that food should taste this way, and you forget the rest.  Well, ok . . . you don't forget . . . but you concede. 



My ice cream tasted great.  The flavor was awesome.  The texture was not creamy like ice cream.  But, think snow.  It was more like eating snow. 

Not yellow snow . . . but rich almondy, maple-y, pecan flavored snow. 

I think it turned out really good.  And, a one cup serving has some pretty awesome digits, too.


Thanks for coming back after such a long break.

JMo

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Birthday Shout Out . . . If I were in the Circus . . . and I need advice.

I'm celebrating again! Today is this girl's birthday:



Jill Falvey is 37!!!!


Happy Birthday to my oldest friend. By "oldest" I mean that Jill and I go way back . . .  I do have friends that are older.

We rode bikes together in the first grade. We nearly killed each other in the sixth grade. And, we were weirdly inseparable through high school.



Jill has hung with me through thick and thin . . . through my best behavior and my worst. We have celebrated thirty years of birthdays together . . . from KoolAid to Coke to beer to wine.

And, fifty years from now, we will be celebrating with Metamucil in our matching condos in Champion Station. (Jill, Elizabeth, and I already have our side-by-side units picked out.)

Happy birthday, old friend.  Feel better soon so that we can do some actual celebrating.



While the boys are at their grandparents in Kansas, they are going on fun and exciting adventures to places like Dodge City and the Dalton Gang Hideout.   I don't want the Tiny Princess to feel left out.  So, we've had our own special outings.  We've been out to dinner.  We've had pedicures.  We've gone golfing with Oz.  And, on Thursday, my mom and I took the Tiny Princess to the Barnum Bailey Circus In Dallas. 


What I discovered is that I love the circus more than my kids love the circus.  Except for the 3-minute tiger portion of the show, the Tiny Princess looked pretty much like this:



She was interested but not enthralled. 

However, I was enthralled.  Despite a complete lack of any circus related skill set, I really think I could be a circus performer. 


My perfect circus job would be a trapeze artist. 



However, I have not shown myself to be particularly graceful.  I imagine that if I were placed according to my natural aptitude, I would be given a job more along these lines:




Or possibly, here:


I think I better stick with my previously chosen profession.  

I will say that I was pretty proud of my food choices at the circus.  I was tempted by the giant corndogs, the Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas, the boxes of popcorn, and the Tiny Princess's pretzel with cheese.  But instead, I had this wrap filled grilled vegetables:



I also had shared a cup of fresh veggies and hummus with my mom.

On a complete tangent, I am seriously considering moving Crazy as a Mother from blogger to Wordpress.  I waste a lot of time because of Blogger's malfunctions, and time is money, my friends.  



To get to know wordpress, I'm going to start a new blog that is really just for my family and I. 

The Great and Powerful Oz . . . in his infinite wisdom . . . has said several times, "you spend all of this time blogging and its not even something that my parents can read."  I think what he means is that Crazy as a Mother is  not necessarily something they are interested in or anything that he would want them to read. 



While I welcome anyone and everyone to Crazy as a Mother, he's right to feel that way. 

Plus, my kids are hilarious.  They do awesome, crazy stuff all of the time.  But, these moments of hilarity are fleeting and will not be remembered unless they are captured.  Unfortunately, I'm not a scrap booker.  I can't even fill a baby book.  

My new "moen family blog" will allow me to share my kids' stories with my close friends and familiy (I don't expect anyone else to be interested).  As an added bonus, It will give me a chance to get to know wordpress so that I can decide whether to move Crazy as a Mother.



If you have experience with Wordpress please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.  I need advice.

So, until I get my new blog set up, you are going to hear a lot of this . . .




unless Elizabeth decides to take over for a bit.

Have a great weekend,

JMo