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Who would have thought I’d be writing a post about the results of my weight loss journey, and yet here we are. I, like many of you have been seeking for motivation, will power and strength to get up and start moving in order to shed those pounds that’s been collecting over the years.
As a wife of 20 years and a mother of 3 the time you spend on yourself is minimal compared to the time you put into your family. Realizing that my children were getting older and weren’t needing me for those everyday things was staring me in the face.
I felt like it was time to make some changes for me!
Even though I stress on the importance of cooking from scratch and using fresh ingredients I was over eating, eating all hours of the night. I would eat something and most of the time immediately have to take a nap and or just lay down. This became the norm for me and it showed with the amount of weight I was carrying.
Flashback to 2013 I was fed up and within the next few years I would be celebrating my 2oth wedding anniversary and turning 40 in the same year. If I was ever going to make some drastic changes in my life it would need to happen before those milestones hit. So I set out 2 years ago with a plan to transform my outwardly appearance to catch up with how I was feeling on the inside. I was mentally preparing for the physical changes that were certainly possible.
I wanted the me on the outside to catch up with the me in my head.
I started to rethink not only what I was eating but when I was eating and the amount I was eating. I knew portion control was the most obvious that needed to be address first. So instead of using a large plate and piling on the food I started with a small plate and less food only enough to get rid of the hungry pains. Surprising enough it worked. Once the hungry pains were satisfied I was full. Eating smaller meals throughout the day was a turning point for me.
I joined an online exercise program called “Daily Burn” and planned to start off slow. After all, I was giving myself a 2 year head start so starting slow and at my own pace was KEY! I started with daily stretches and worked my way up to more strenuous routines. I set goals for myself and once the results started to show I was hooked. I would fill backpacks with heavy books and do weight lifting to strengthen my arms and get rid of all that damn back fat.
I HATE BACK FAT!
In the mist of all this self-transformation I was invited and asked to participate in 2 weddings as “matron of honor” back to back in 2013 and 2014. In both weddings I wore a size 18. The process of dress shopping was horrible for me. I hated being overweight and it was totally uncomfortable to say the least.
I got through it knowing that I was working towards a smaller me and that kept me motivated to just keep going.
The devil was hard at work though in this process. You know the feeling when you’re making positive moves he always tries to show up and show out to keep you distracted. After all the efforts in changing my eating habits and exercising just last December for some odd reason I got extremely sick. My appetite was gone. I felt nauseated constantly so I wasn’t eating enough. When I did eat I would take a few bites here and there and that would be enough. I lost more weight at this stage than I did exercising.
The feeling of nauseousness comes and goes still today. I can happily report the weight is still down. Going into this weight lost journey I weighted in at 187 and today I’m down to 142 which 140 was my target so I think I’m good here! My hopes are that you take away from this story a little motivation and get started. Even if its just to plan out your own journey moving at your own pace. Start today! What are you waiting for?
Take care of the you on the outside and make the effort to catch up with the you on the inside!
One of the hardest parts of cooking for a family is trying to figure out what to cook. When you experiment with various recipes so often and grow your repertoire, you just have so many choices, it’s hard to plan meals. We all need a bit of variety when it comes to our meals, after all, and lucky for us, a quick game of bingo with the family could actually help.
Bingo has been around for centuries, originating in Italy in a game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. These days, it’s not just played for charity, but it’s also become one of the most popular pastimes in the UK. According to Free Bingo Hunter, there are now hundreds of bingo sites that are now giving players the chance to win everything from shopping cards to free home makeovers. Home chefs can also benefit from the versatility of the game, by creating a bingo card that can help them randomize their meals.
To play Meal Plan Bingo, all you need to do is come up with a list of 5 recipes for the following meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and Dessert. These can be any number of different recipes you’ve experimented with over the years, and this is where you can invite your family to come help you out. At the start of the week, ask them what they feel like having, and once you’ve come up with your list, use a free bingo generator such as the one on Print-Bingo.com to create your bingo cards, keeping one row for each meal.
Label the items from 1-5, and get started playing the game! To get your meal plan together, you can then call your family and take turns rolling a die, taking note of the recipe that corresponds with the number you rolled. If you happen to roll a 6, you can pick any recipe you like. Mark off the recipes you rolled for until you have one recipe for each meal of the day, and then do that for the rest of the week. By the end of the game, you should have your whole meal plan put together.
My niece and nephew Gracie and Wyatt assist me in making this fun version of pizza. Olaf Pizza that is. Cooking with your kids is a special time that’s shared over an awesome meal together. And these days what brings you and the little closer together better that Frozen or at least the best characters ever…yep…Olaf himself! Happy cooking! Raising Chefs…not just good cooks.
It has been a long time since the last post to this website. I’m very aware how long it may take for me to rebuild this site and its purpose. I’m in a new place in my life which includes approaching the BIG 4.0. next June. So please stay tuned for new blog post, food photography and a new video series coming soon just to name a few of the new changes in the works. I’ve been getting things in order. You know de-cluttering all my “Raising Chefs” files on my desktop and online.
The process was very scary to me because I have alot of files. From images to brainstorming notes to recipes that need to be more organized. I’m so in love right now with EVERNOTE and CLOUDHQ. Evernote if you’re not familiar with it allows you to organize all your notes in one central location. You can also sync it with every device you have. AMAZING! I also have alot of files online through my Google Drive and needed a way to export/integrate those files to Evernote. With CloudHQ…Voilà its magic! This service allows me integrate all my files stored on my Google Drive to my Evernote all in one location and synced with all my devices…LOVING IT!!!
I spend way too much of my time on pinterest these days. I have over 70 boards, which isn’t alot compared so many of you out there I’m sure… Anyhow as you may know I love to cook and cook things you normally would see out in different eateries. We had or maybe it was all me, a taste for some Orange Chicken one night. I knew it couldn’t be all that difficult to make so I surfed the trusted ole pinterest and came across a few recipes that I liked but not as much as the one I found here.
Some of the ingredients that were listed on that site I didn’t have on hand so I did what I do best…improvise. When in doubt go another route…I hope no one else came up with that saying…it’s quite clever if I do say so myself…lol For the sauce I didn’t have rice vinegar but I did have apple cider vinegar so I used that instead. I also didn’t have ginger root so that was omitted altogether and I used garlic cloves. Foolish me…I didn’t take any pictures of the sauce by itself to post so please forgive me on that one…I’m slippin I know!
For the dry flour batter for the chicken I omitted a few things as well because of course I didn’t have it on hand. By doing that and working with what I had my version came out amazing. Meseidy, from her The Noshery blog uses panko bread crumbs, cornstarch and eggs. I didn’t want a heavy batter so I just used flour, salt and pepper on my chicken before frying.
After cutting the chicken into strips and then into cubes I added them to a large bowl with the flour, salt and pepper. Making sure all the chicken was coated before frying. In a medium fry pan I heated my oil and once hot enough I placed about 10-15 pieces of chicken in and allowed them to cook about a 1 minute on both sides. (Cook for 1-2 minutes for medium to larger cubed pieces.)
After frying I placed the cooked pieces of chicken on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and set aside. Once all the chicken were cooked I made the sauce. Once the sauce was done I tossed it with the chicken and made sure the them were completely coated. Added some cooked fried rice to my bowl, topped it with the orange chicken and made a very happy plate!
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Oil (for frying)
- 1 1/2 c water
- 1/2 can orange juice concentrate
- juice/zest of 1 orange (reserve 1/2 tsp of zest for garnish)
- 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 teriyaki sauce (your favorite brand)
- 1 c brown sugar
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 c green onion, chopped (reserve 1/4 c for garnish)
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
- In a large bowl add all your cubed chicken pieces, salt and pepper and toss altogether. Add in the flour and coat all the chicken piece and preheat the oil on medium heat. Place about 10-15 pieces of chicken in and allowed them to cook about a 1 minute on both sides. (Cook for 1-2 minutes for medium to larger cubed pieces.) After frying place the cooked pieces of chicken on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add in all the above ingredients. Stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Once you bring to a boil add in the thicken paste. Directions are at the bottom of this page.
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- In a small bowl add both cornstarch and water. Stir into a wet paste. Add to the sauce to thicken. Allow sauce to cook for an additional minute , remove from heat and toss with chicken pieces. Enjoy with fried rice , oriental noddle or your favorite side dish. Top with the reserve green onions, orange zest for garnish and enjoy!