Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why is it that men become more set in their ways than women?  Especially about food.  I think I need to begin by defending my husband a little and giving him the credit he deserves.  Josh will do ANYTHING for me.  He is wonderful about that and I love him deeply for it.  Being willing to do something and enjoying doing it are two different things, though.  He's never criticized a meal I've prepared and he's almost always eaten every morsel on his plate (and then some morsels still in the pan on the stove).  Still, it's easy to know that his heart is just not into this new way of eating.

Over the last few weeks, I've been hearing the subtle protests of my husband.  I went grocery shopping and came home with nothing except the foods needed to prepare each meal I had planned for the week.  The first thing Josh said, "You didn't get me any Cheez-Its?"  THAT MAN AND HIS CHEEZ-ITS!!!!  While I'm making dinner he'll walk up to the stove, look at the pan, and say, "Are you sure that's enough meat?  It doesn't look like it's going to be enough for me."  It's suppose to be enough for the WHOLE family, not just him!!  Oh, and my favorite was when we met up unexpectedly in town and decided to switch cars for the rest of the day. "Um, don't pay any attention to the McDonald's bag in the car," he says to me.  Really?!?!  Honestly, I just have to laugh every time, but it got me thinking that I can not be alone.  I've already talked about my responsibility to feed my children healthy foods, but I also prepare my husbands main meal of the day.  I'm sure many wives do the same.  So how can we help the guys stay on track with us?

First I wanted to understand why men prefer the foods they do.  I did a little Google-ing and found out that quite a bit of research has been done on this topic.  The most prevalent theory is that men prefer things like meat, potatoes, pasta, etc. is because of psychology.  Specifically, American society and it's views on masculinity.  That's right, you're more of a man if you eat "manly" foods.  Across the globe there is significantly less gender-segregation in food choices.  The other theory is also very interesting.  Many studies suggest that men prefer meat and other "hearty" foods because of our ancestors.  When men hunted daily, meat was a reward for their efforts.  Also, they needed the increased protein consumption to accommodate their higher activity level.  This even carries over to times of "comfort eating."  Men are more likely to comfort eat when they are already feeling happy and will more often choose a meat product.  Women, on the other hand, will comfort eat when they are sad and will choose food with fats and sugars.

No, I am not quoting sources today. :)  These are all just theories anyway, but it's nice to have a little idea of what might be going on with the guys.  Now I need to get to ideas to help them.  The first thing I noticed is that Josh will not go out of his way to choose a healthy food item like a piece of fruit.  This means that if the grapes are still on the stems in a produce bad in the fridge, he won't touch them.  If I take them off the stems, rinse them and put them in a bowl, however, he will pop it open and snack on a few here and there.  The same goes for basically every fruit product: strawberries rinsed and cut, cantaloupe removed from the rind and cubed, etc.  Also for fruit, if it's put on the table at dinner, he won't take any, but if I put it on his plate (some nights I just dish up everybody's plate at the stove), then he'll eat it all.  Crazy man!!  Maybe doing this will help with your man, too.

The other thing I want to do is help him adapt to the decrease in meat.  First of all, meat is expensive!!  Secondly, everything should be in moderation and the more meat he fills up on, the less fruits and vegetables he's getting.  I know that he is making sacrifices in diet just to make me happy and support my weight loss efforts.  So it's only fair that I make some sacrifices of my own.  He may not get as much beef as he likes, but he's a huge fish/seafood fan.  Those things do fit in with health and decreased caloric intake, so I can add them into our diet more.  I'm not a huge fan of fish, but if prepared well, I can choke down a little tilapia, salmon, or tuna on occasion.  He even gave me a big thank-you kiss after last night's salmon dinner.  That made it all worth it. ♥

Here's my recipe for today.  I found it on  This is a great website for user-submitted recipes.  Some of them even have nutrition values.  I suggest serving this with some rice (see my recipe in the previous post) and steamed asparagus.  Enjoy!

(This is not a picture of the food I prepared, by the way! LOL)

Maple Salmon


  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon


  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator up to 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered approx. 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork at thickest part.  
 (Side notes: Do not marinade fish for more than 30 minutes.  Nutritional value is for all of marinade which may not be entirely used in preparation.)

Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4 (4 oz. each)
Amount Per Serving

Calories: 265
  • Fotal Fat: 12.4g
  • Cholesterol: 67mg
  • Sodium: 633mg
  • Total Carbs: 14.1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 23.2g

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

All The Prep Work

I am always in search of new recipes that fit my criteria for healthy.  I've found quite a few, but they all have one thing in common: they take a while to prepare. Now, some of them take longer that others, but for the most part, I've noticed it takes about an hour start to finish to make one of these meals.  The biggest reason for this is that the food needs to be prepared before it's put together in the recipe.  This is what happens when you reduce the amount of convenience food you eat! LOL  So, fruits and vegetables need to be washed and properly chopped,  meat needs to be rinsed and trimmed, etc.  I am not used to this!! 

I am the kind of gal that decides what to make for dinner about 5 minutes before it's actually time to make dinner.  Granted, I may have done some meal planning when I went grocery shopping, but I still reserve the right to make whichever meal I have the energy for when the time arrives.  I was discussing this with a friend and she pointed out a truth.  All of the easy to prepare meals are used up first and at the end of the week, your only options are all the complicated meals.  :)  That is exactly how it goes for me.  However, this just doesn't work with my new plans for healthy eating, so I have to buckle down and make some changes.

The biggest thing I have to overcome is waiting until the last minute to think about dinner plans.  I don't want to not have enough time to make the meal or not have all the ingredients I need or even have to skip a meal because I didn't throw stuff in the Crock Pot earlier in the day.  So now I start my day with a general idea of what each meal will be.  I also check my schedule to see if we have anything planned that night.  If so, do I need to prepare the meal during the day so we can simply re-heat it or do I just need to start preparing it earlier?  Maybe it's a good day for a Crock Pot meal and I need to get it started in the morning.  Once that is determined, I do a double check of my on-hand ingredients.  It is not uncommon for me to buy something on a grocery trip with the intent it will be used for a specific meal and then have my husband or kids eat it before I make the dish.  Finally, I see what I can do before it's dinner time.  Can I chop the veggies, measure them, and put them in Ziploc bags? Can I make the bread product? Can I measure and mix the different spices as needed?  This way, my actual meal prep time is cut down significantly. 

Doing this truly has helped me stay on my meal plan for this week.  It's been worth it, too, because these recipes I've found have been very delicious!!  Now I'd like to share a meal with you that a friend served to me when I visited her home.  Her marinade was so delicious that I had to ask her for the recipe.  And the prep and cooking is almost painless. :)  Now remember, this goes along with my theme of beginning dinner prep before dinner, so you'll need to make the marinade earlier in the day.  Thanks, Lori!


Juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tbsp, so 1 juicy large lemon might do it)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1 small onion, chopped small
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
3-4 minced garlic cloves

Other Ingredients:

1-2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow or orange bell peppers
1 large sweet onion
8-10 cherry tomatoes
white rice (I prefer regular vs. instant)
chicken broth

Cut chicken breasts into large cubes and place in bowl.  Pour marinade over chicken and place bowl in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Cut peppers and onion into large pieces.  Reserve approx. 1/6 of the onion.  Place the pieces of peppers, onions, tomatoes and chicken onto skewers.  Be sure none of the chicken pieces are touching.  Brush any remaining marinade over vegetable pieces.  Cook the skewers either in the over at 400 degrees or on the grill until the chicken in done throughout.  (Take note: The chicken will have a red tinge to the outside even when fully cooked because of the red wine in the marinade.  Do not mistake this for under-cooked chicken. Check the inside of a piece of chicken to determine if it's done.)

While skewers are being cooked, prepare rice.  Follow directions on the package to prepare the rice.  The only modifications are to use the chicken broth instead of water and to chop the reserved onion and add it to the broth while it is coming to a boil.  These two things will add a ton of flavor to the rice.

Serve the veggies and chicken over the rice with a side of fruit or a small salad.  Delicious!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is healthy?

Today I want to define what I mean when I use the term "healthy" in my posts.  The dictionary defines health as: 

1. the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor: good health; poor health.
2. soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment: to have one's health; to lose one's health.

Well, for a definition, it doesn't seem, definitive.  I feel it is very open for interpretation.  People in our society have varied views of healthy.  There are vegans who believe health is obtained from omitting any and all animals products and by-products from their diet.  A vegetarian does not eat any animals, but may still consume animal by-products (such and eggs or cheese).  Some people now believe gluten to be extremely detrimental to a person's health.  Others have specific ailments, like diabetes or hypertension, which require dieting changes or restrictions in order to attain better health.  Clearly, there is not one way to be healthy.
When I think of wanting to be healthy, I think of wanting my body to function properly and at it's highest efficiency.  My personal belief is that God has given us everything we need to sustain optimal body performance.  Did God give us the Twinkie?  Well, in a very round-about way, I guess we could say that he created everything on this planet, including all the ingredients of the Twinkie, and that he gave people the knowledge to put those things together into a tasty treat.  I do not think this is the same as saying that God created the Twinkie.  I can not go out to the unattended wilderness and pick a ripe Twinkie off the vine.  I can, however, go pick a ripe grape off the vine and eat it right there on the spot.  So, I guess I think of healthy foods as those that are commonly known as "whole foods."  These are foods with little or no refining or processing and containing no artificial additives or preservatives.  These will be the primary ingredients in the recipes I try.  Oh, for clarification, frozen or canned fruits and veggies are still good in my book.  And there may be some processed ingredients included on occasion.  That's alright!  I'll just try to make sure those ingredients remain the minority.

So, on that note, I'd like to present my first recipe.   It is very simple and something I created on my own.  My family really enjoyed it, so I hope yours will, too!

Turkey Salsa

1 lb. ground turkey
24 oz. salsa (I prefer mild, but whatever your family likes will work)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
 Rigatoni pasta, cooked
(Optional: 1 medium zucchini, diced)

In a large pan, brown the ground turkey.  Drain and return to pan.  Add in salsa, diced tomatoes, and frozen corn.  Heat, covered, until corn is warmed.  Stir occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook rigatoni pasta as directed on package. (I used this because it's what I had in the cupboard, but you may choose any shape pasta you'd like.)   

To serve, place one cup cooked pasta on plate.  Spoon 1 cup of turkey salsa over the pasta.  Viola!

Makes: 7 servings (a serving is one cup pasta and one cup turkey salsa)
365 calories per serving (Calorie count may vary depending on the brand of product used.)
One medium zucchini adds 5 calories per serving.

I suggest serving with a side salad and a small piece of garlic bread.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

And It Begins...

I want to take a minute to explain what this blog will be about and why I decided to start it.  Let's start with the title: Moms Do Not Eat Alone.  There is an obvious (I hope) truth to this statement.  Beginning with my first child's move to solid food and continuing until all my children are moved out of my home, 90% of the meals I eat will be in the company of at least one or more of my offspring.  More than that, I will be primarily responsible for the planning and preparation of each of those meals.  Now, let's be honest.  For many years, this hasn't exactly been an issue that weighed heavily on my mind.  I'm a mom.  Of course I fix food for my kids.  So what?  They certainly aren't starving, so where's the problem?

The problem is that it's apparent I'm not starving, either.  And I mean that in the "looks like she could stand to skip a few meals" kind of way.  Is it obvious yet? I'm over-weight.  The thing is, I'm not alone.  I know more women who are struggling with their weight than I do women who are even close to their "ideal" body weight.  There are a LOT of programs or products available to help people got control of their weight.  Let's see what comes to my mind: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Alli, Fastin, Ultra 90, Sensa... and the list continues.  I am not bashing any of these things.  I'm sure for any individual person, one or more of these solutions would produce weight loss. 

Oh, wait.  Did you read that?  "...for any INDIVIDUAL person..."  This is the point of my blog (I know, I know, it sure took me a long time to get to it).  If a mom decides to embark on any of these weight loss adventures, she often has to exclude herself from family meals.  For some women this would mean not eating at the same time her family eats.  Maybe she will make their meal, serve them at the table, and then heads back into the kitchen solo to prepare her "special" meal.  Perhaps instead, the woman starts meal prep an hour earlier than usual just so she can make two meals; one meal for her and one for the rest of the family.  She sits with her family and gets to have a family meal.  Except she really enjoys the food she made for the family.  Oh Yum....  Doesn't it smell good?  Ooh! Look! There's one small extra slice of lasagna left over in the pan.  Hmmm....  Her "special" food is gone, but just that last little piece wouldn't be so horrible to her diet, would it? And why should she be the only one who has to deprive herself of the succulent food???  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  It certainly describes me every time I have attempted a specific diet plan.

So, my goal here is to address this issue.  I want two things to happen: one, women can control their weight while enjoying the same delicious meals their whole family eats, and, two, the entire family benefits from the move toward healthier eating habits.  Please keep in mind I am talking about a MOVE TOWARD healthier eating.  Don't judge me if I slip and feed my family a frozen pizza one night. :)  I'm not perfect and no change like this is going to happen over night.  My blog will be about my personal journey, but I do hope you will join me.  Everything is more fun with friends!