Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Well no actual steps but a couple in the right direction.....

The weather and an emergency with Frank's Mom conspired against our walk yesterday.  But we did do much better on the eating front and we each only had one glass of wine and drank lots of water so we are still taking those baby steps.

I thought I would share our recipe with you from last night.  This can be eaten by itself as a vegetarian meal or served with a side of chicken as I did.

This recipe for Beans and Greens is easy, peasy and delicious.  Canned white beans, fresh kale, and onions all come together for a wonderful side dish or vegetarian meal.

I served mine with Chicken Cutlets as suggested in the original recipe and it made for a wonderful and heart healthy meal.  I cooked up the chicken first and then used the same pan with the chicken bits stuck to the bottom, to cook the beans and greens.  If you want a vegetarian meal follow the directions below but use vegetable broth or water instead of the chicken broth.

Beans and Greens
adapted from Cuisine at Home

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 t. flour
1 t. Italian Herb Paste
3/4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale, stemmed and leaves chopped
1 t. garlic hot sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add onions, cook and stir until translucent.  Add the flour and Italian herbs.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the broth, cook and stir until slightly thickened.  Stir in the beans, kale and garlic sauce.  Cook and stir for a couple of minutes until the kale is wilted and the beans are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Print Recipe

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting our Vitamin Z....

Tingting, Melody and I went yesterday to get our dose of Vitamin Z.  We were concerned when we first left for the zoo as it was cloudy and looked like it might rain but then the sun came out and it was a beautiful day for walking and seeing all the animals.

We didn't see any polar bears again but there were some seals swimming around us.

Frank went back to work yesterday so he did not get any walking in we will have to rectify that today.  We also did not do so well on the food front yesterday.  We went out to dinner with Frank's brother and sister in law.  Had food we shouldn't have eaten and drinks we shouldn't have drank but it was delicious and we had a great visit so I guess we can be extra careful today.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Beautiful Sunday Stroll

This morning, after Mass, we stayed in town and took a walk around town.  We went to a new museum that houses a Titanic Exhibit along with many other great displays.

This building was once the local theater.  The owner of the museum has renovated the outside and has several display rooms inside including a to scale model of the titanic that took 6 master builders 7 years to create.  It is amazing.  They are putting some of the original seating into the theater and are planning on having a screen on which they can show old movies from the 1920's era and they are in the process of restoring the original box office counter from that time as well. 

We then continued our walk to one of our favorite local restaurants, The Marine City Fish Company, where we enjoyed an appetizer of  Fish Company Spread and a bowl of Company Chowder.  

After lunch we continued our stroll and found a new business called the Blue Pike Cantina, that opened it's doors a few weeks ago.  The Blue Pike Cantina is a smoke house and a winery.  We tasted a few different reds that they offer and settled on a Carmenere made in house with Chilean grapes.  I will be talking more about this when we open the bottle and I do a food and wine pairing.

We continued our walk, checking out some more buildings that are being renovated in town and new businesses moving in.  We walked through parks and watched the freighters pass by.  We stopped in a couple of the shops but didn't buy anything else.  It was a gorgeous day out and a perfect way to spend it, walking hand in hand with the one I love.....I think I will go write a song now with those lyrics LOL.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Recipe Switch...from deep fried to stir fried.

We were scheduled to have Coconut Shrimp for dinner tonight.  Coconut Shrimp tastes great.  Unfortunately it is breaded and fried which is not so great for Frank anymore.  Goodbye Coconut Shrimp....we will miss you.

But it is still Fish Friday and I still have some shrimp to use up.  I also have a refrigerator full of eggplant.  Shrimp + Eggplant = A Thai Style Stir Fry.  Heart healthy, easy peasy and delicious. The perfect recipe.  Have all your ingredients prepped and ready because once you start cooking the entire process will take only 15 minutes.

Stir Fry is a great way to use up an abundance of veggies.

Start by stir frying the shrimp in coconut oil.
When pink, remove to bowl and set aside.

Then stir fry the eggplant, adding more coconut oil if needed.
When carmelized and tender, place in bowl with shrimp.

Stir fry the peppers, carrots, leeks, celery and garlic.

When peppers and veggies are crisp tender, add the squash and stir fry briefly.

Add the fish sauce mixture along with the reserved shrimp and eggplant.
Cook and stir until warmed through.

Add the rice noodles and toss to combine.

A healthy, delicious, nutritious dinner is served.

Shrimp and Eggplant Stir Fry

2 T. Fresh Lime Juice
2 T. Fish Sauce
2 t. sugar
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 small eggplant, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices
1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 small or 1 lg leek, whites and light green sections, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 carrot, scraped and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 pattypan or summer squash, seeded and diced
8 oz. rice noodles, cooked per package directions
Coconut or Peanut Oil

Combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl.  Set aside. Heat 1 T. of oil in the bottom of a wok over med high heat.  Add Shrimp.  Cook and stir just until shrimp turn pink.  Remove shrimp from pan to a bowl or plate and set aside.  Add more oil to the wok if needed.  Add eggplant and let sit for a minute to carmelize before stir frying.  When tender but not mushy remove to bowl with shrimp.  Add a bit more oil to the wok and add the peppers, leeks, garlic, carrot and celery.  Stir fry until crisp tender then add the squash and stir fry for a moment or two.  Add the fish sauce mixture along with the reserved shrimp and eggplant.  Stir and cook for a minute until heated through and evenly coated.  Add the rice noodles and toss all ingredients together.  Serve with lime slices if desired.  Print Recipe

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Heart Healthy Ham Barley Vegetable Soup

We are just finishing all the leftovers from Little Miss Melody's Birthday Party.  The only thing still left is the ham so I made a heart healthy soup that we enjoyed for lunch today.  The rest of the ham and the second ham bone are going into the freezer for another time.

I knew I wanted to make a soup with the ham bone I had but I didn't have any split peas on hand and we had just had chili so I didn't really want more beans.  I looked in the cupboard and found some pearl barley.  Along with the ham in the refrigerator were a lot of veggies that needed using before I go back to the CSA this afternoon and load up again.  I had some lima beans, celery and zucchini.  I was out of carrots and onions but I did have some shallots.  I am very pleased with how the soup turned out.  It made the perfect lunch for us today and all those veggies are not only filling but good for your heart as well.

Ham Vegetable Barley Soup

1 meaty ham bone
8 c. chicken broth, homemade or canned
2 large red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
2 shallots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 c. shelled lima beans
1 c. pearl barley
1 T. oregano paste
1 med zucchini, seeded and chopped
Pepper to taste

Place the ham bone and broth into a large soup pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to med and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes.  Add the vegetables, except zucchini, barley and oregano.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour, until vegetables and barley are tender.  Remove ham bone from soup.  Cut meat off bones and coarsely chop.  Return meat to pot with the zucchini and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until zucchini is tender.  Taste and season with pepper.  Soup should be salty enough from the ham.  Print Recipe

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Baby Steps

Day 2 and we are still sticking to small walks around the yard a couple of times a day.  By Friday, Frank will be off all restrictions and then we can advance.  Today it was advantageous that we were still in the yard because while walking, I heard my chickens and turkeys, getting upset.  When I rounded the house to see what was causing them distress there was a hawk after them.  They are all locked away again safe and sound but we are going to have to be very careful when we let them free range the yard now that the hawk has got his eye on them.

This is what we awoke to this morning.  I thought that our pups were all over this nonsense but I guess not.  

We have asked Tingting to not bring our Little Miss until Friday.  There is no way she would understand that her Grampy can't pick her up.  The first thing she does when she see's Grampy is raise her arms to him and I know Frank well enough to know that he WOULD pick her up.

Raisin Bran for breakfast and trying to figure out how to make a healthy meal using the ham left from the party.

See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sometimes it takes a punch in the face.....

Hi Folks.  Remember me?  I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't.  It has been nearly a year since I last posted on this blog.  I have spent most of that last year just living life, not paying attention to taking care of me or those I love.  Just going through each day with my head in the clouds trying to make myself believe that we can get by in life eating whatever we want, drinking to excess and exercising very little if at all.

Image result for no exercise

Life keeps sending you little reminders. 
  • Your clothes don't fit right
  • You suffer from heart burn every time you bend over
  • You can't reach behind you to wash your own back
  • You have no energy
  • You have aches and pains you never used to have.
Life nudges you and nudges you and you keep batting it away like a fly that is buzzing around your head and won't leave. 

Then, one day, life gets tired of being subtle and punches you in the face.  Wake up Idiot!!  Your husband has heart disease and you are probably not far behind him!!

My husband and I talk all the time about how we need to exercise more, drink less and eat healthier. Usually while sitting on the couch, eating pizza and drinking wine.  Then, last month, we went on vacation and that is when I noticed how out of breath he would get with very little exertion. 
We climbed to the top of a lighthouse and it took him several minutes to catch his breath.  We took a walk to see some waterfalls and he had to stop between the parking lot and the falls to rest.  Even accepting that we were out of shape did not warrant the breathlessness and difficulty breathing that he was suffering.  He also started having a cough that hadn't been there before.

As soon as we got home, he went to his primary care doc, who took some chest films and started treating him for a bronchial infection.  He also encouraged him to see his cardiologist. The first appointment available was 3 weeks later.  He went to the cardiologist who sent him the following week for a stress test.  The day following the stress test the cardiologist was phoning and setting up the appointment for Frank to go in for a heart catheterization.  This procedure was done yesterday morning and resulted in him needing 2 stents in the main artery going to the back of his heart.  This main artery was 90% blocked.  No wonder he was breathless!!

Image result for no exercise

So now I am not only back to blogging here on A Day in the Life on My Quest to Fitness, but I am bringing my husband with me.  We will be sharing with you our life changes as we start to incorporate more exercise, less alcohol and heart healthier foods into our days.  This is step one for me, writing about this so I am kept accountable.  Frank is resting right now as he did not get much sleep last night in the hospital.  While he rests I am preparing dinner.  I am using whole wheat flour in the bread I am making, substituted coconut oil for the butter in it and added a can of heart healthy pumpkin.  The chili is now being made with ground turkey and extra veggies including 3 different types of beans.  

Image result for heart health

After dinner, we will go for a walk.  He is limited to 15 minutes of walking at a time today so we will walk our property, checking on our animals and gardens.  Tomorrow morning we will be able to go for a little longer walk and hope to make a habit of walking each morning instead of sitting in bed with our computers for the first hour of the day as we are in the habit of doing.

Wish us luck.....See you tomorrow!!