Homemade Spicy V8 Juice

January 9, 2014

Breville Juicer

I’M IN LOVE! :-)

I never would have invested in a juicer, but BigSis bought us this bad boy for our Anniversary back in August and when she came back to So Cal this past November for her birthday, she gave me a little tutorial. I admit that I was more than I little intimidated.

I wish that I liked raw cucumber and celery; but I don’t. I actually can’t stand it. If BigSis hadn’t practically forced it down my throat, I never would have tried it. But; I’m glad that I did.  I LOVE it!  I’ve always loved V-8, but even the low sodium version has too much sodium for me; that’s why it’s so nice to be able to make it myself, to my own taste.

BigSis published her Homemade Spicy V8 Juice Recipe back in April but mine is a little different, so here goes. I don’t care for beet or red pepper so you won’t find that in my recipe.

For my version of Spicy V-8, these are my veggies of choice.

veggies3

Gorgeous fresh veggies.

Homemade Spicy V8 Juice

4 or 5 Romaine leaves
Handful spinach leaves
2-3 curly Kale leaves
2 cucumbers
4-5 celery stalks
5 or 6 Roma tomatoes
2 lemons
2 carrots
3 small purple carrots
2 cloves garlic
1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 – 1/2 t. salt; to taste

Wash all the produce thoroughly. Cut ends from carrots and cut into chunks; cut cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery in half; peel the lemons and cut into quarters. Juice everything together, and season to taste.

A great tip from BigSis  is to remove this lovely pulp from the pulp bin and run it back through the juicer.

Pretty, huh?

Pretty, huh?

 Look at how much extra juice you get from juicing the pulp!

pitcher-juice

 So far, this is the best batch of V-8 that I’ve made.

In my opinion; PERFECT!!!

juice-glass

As BigSis and I call it;  ”Green Gold”!

~LilSis

Happy New Year from Even More of Us!

January 1, 2014

Big Fat Pig Butt

Photo credit: pmarkham via flickr

Happy New Year!

We’ve been out of touch for a while, but are really excited to get back to our favorite little blog baby! While we were gone taking care of some of life’s plot twists, something happened that we have to fess up to.

We both gained an extra 10 pounds and now we feel like our backside resembles the porkie guy above, but not nearly as cute! I can’t imagine why we’d see the scale shoot up though…

Coronado Pizza

Coronado Brew

Coronado Mexican

Coronado Cheese Soup

Coronado Biscuits

Coronado Omelette

Coronado Guacamole

BigSis Birthday

Ok, so we did take an indulgent trip to Coronado Island for my birthday, and from our camera roll, it would appear that we ate our way from one side of the island to the other, wrapping up with an awesome birthday cherry pie! We enjoyed every single bite but now we’re paying the piper, even though we have never stopped exercising.

We’re going to do something about this ASAP, and will be doing a series of posts on the challenges and successes we find along the way. The goal is to get rid of this excess hiney by the end of February, and we’re putting together a plan to get us there. You know the old saying, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Maybe corny, but true.

These are the common sense things we KNOW we have to do in order to lose 10 pounds as 50+ women:

  • Eat less, move more
  • Cut out the processed foods, sugar, simple carbs, chips
  • No evening snacking
  • No alcohol except occasionally on weekends
  • Continue our vegetable juicing
  • Cardio workouts at least 3 days a week
  • Get back to strength training and yoga
  • Shake up our workout routines with something new since they aren’t working any more

Starting on Monday, I’ll be jump-starting my challenge with 3 weeks of the Clean Program detox, and will then continue with a slightly less restrictive version of it afterwards. LilSis has a family to cook for, and will be going with the Mediterranean diet which is more guy-friendly. We’re going to have a little competition to see which approach works better. Any bets?

Stick with us through the series, and hopefully we’ll have some tips to share that might be helpful if you’re feeling a little porkie right now too!

Note from LilSis: In reviewing this post, I notice that BigSis is very kind to say that I’ll be doing the Mediterranean diet because it’s more guy-friendly. That is true; because I live with two meat and potato eating “big guys” who don’t consider a veggie or a salad to be a real meal. But; in all honesty, even if I lived alone, I think the Clean Program detox is more strict than I could possibly adhere to, even if for a week. Hats off to BigSis for being able to do it! She’s done it before so I know she can do it again!

I think I need to have a talk with myself,  because right now, all I want is a piece of that pizza! :-)

~BigSis

Get Your Fit on with Facebook

January 16, 2011

Are you following BigSisLilSis on Facebook?  If not, you’ve already missed 2 weeks of health and fitness tips to get your New Year off to a great start!  Do you know which cellulite cures work and which don’t work?  Do you need some ideas for quick guilt-free lunches?  Are you looking for a new workout?

If you’ve been following our tips, you’d have those answers, and more!  It’s not too late though.  We have 2 more weeks of daily tips for you, so come check us out!  We can always learn something new from each other and we’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

photo credit: petname

~BigSis

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Light Lunch: Quick, Easy & Under 300 Calories!

January 13, 2011

Light Lunch: Tuna wrap under 300 calories

I really don’t like to count every, single calorie in every, single meal and I could never do Weight Watchers because I would never keep up with counting points. I know myself well enough to know that would last about a week.

I have a few favorite breakfasts and lunches that I stick to that I know are under or around 300 calories so that leaves me around 600 calories for dinner, if I’m trying to stay around 1200 calories. But I don’t ever really total my calories for the day, I just try to stay away from carbs at night and will usually have some kind of grilled meat and veggies for dinner.

Last year I lost a pound a week for ten weeks, just by really watching my snacking, making healthier choices, and keeping a food log. I loved my little fitbook: fitness + nutrition journal so much that I didn’t find it difficult at all to log my daily workouts and food intake.

I find it easier to stick to a plan if I only give myself a few choices; that way I don’t have to think about it so much. For breakfast every day, I have an unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon, a small glass of unsweetened almond milk and a small bowl of oatmeal or a low fat Nutri-Grain waffle. It’s quick, easy, and requires very little thought or preparation.

The same goes for lunch. I stick to just a few easy choices. This is what I had for lunch every day this week; and you know what? It’s pretty satisfying. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s healthy. And, it’s a no-brainer.

Light Lunch: Tuna wrap under 300 caloriesI use a can of Trader Joe’s low sodium tuna fish, packed in water, then add a few squirts of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. of Vegenaise and a couple of dashes of lemon pepper.

I like using the low carb Sonoma tortillas as a wrap because they have 7 grams of fiber. Just add some romaine lettuce, top with the tuna fish and presto…it’s a perfect, satisfying, healthy, lunch, for less than 300 calories.

If you’re not crazy about tuna, you can also use canned white chicken or salmon. If I don’t have this wrap for lunch, my other favorite is a low-sodium turkey breast sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado on a toasted ‘everything’ bagel thin. A light, healthy lunch doesn’t have to be complicated! :-)

~LilSis

Easy and Healthy “Back to School” Breakfasts

August 19, 2010

Back to School

This time of year is really hectic for most of us moms; on top of normal chores, we’re clearing our kids’ closets and drawers of clothes that no longer fit, shopping for new clothes, school supplies, backpacks, and trying to stock the pantry with all the goodies needed for breakfasts, school lunches and/or after school snacks.

I do LOVE shopping for school supplies; the whole excitement of it brings back fond memories for me and I sometimes wish that I was still buying pencil boxes and crayons, but I won’t delve into my obsession with school supplies today. Instead, let’s talk about making sure we have what to need to assure that our kids start out each morning with a healthy breakfast.

I don’t have little ones in elementary school or middle school any more and I really miss those mornings when I used to pack the kids’ lunches and put little surprises or notes in their lunch sacks. Since those days are long gone for me and my high-schooler won’t take a sack lunch anymore, it’s more important than ever for me to make sure he has a good breakfast before he leaves every morning.

I’ve always tried to make sure that my kids don’t start the day on an empty stomach or with something sugary. Both can lead to problems with blood sugar levels and make it hard for the child to concentrate during school.

For adults, eating a healthy breakfast also has tremendous health benefits, but specifically here’s what Mayo Clinic says about the benefits for children.

Benefits for children

Breakfast is especially important for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  • Concentrate better
  • Have better problem-solving skills
  • Have better hand-eye coordination
  • Be more alert
  • Be more creative
  • Miss fewer days of school
  • Be more physically active

My family would probably tell you that I sound like a broken record when I say “You know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that. :-)

Obviously on those early morning school days, breakfast needs to be quick, and most importantly, a healthy combination of whole grains, low fat protein, low fat dairy, and fruits and/or veggies.

Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Oatmeal with fruit and almonds. (To me, this is a perfect breakfast.) I like the McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal but Quaker Oats Quick One Minute Oats is also a great choice. The Quaker brand actually has one more gram of fiber and protein than McCann’s. After cooking the oatmeal, I add some cinnamon and top with blueberries or sliced banana and sliced almonds.
  • Scrambled eggs or egg beaters with 2% cheese in a whole wheat tortilla. It’s so quick and easy to make a great breakfast burrito. If your child is open to it, add just a little fresh chopped spinach when you scramble the eggs. (This can even be done in the microwave.)  Then put a little grated cheese on top, scoop into a tortilla and roll it up. I buy a low sodium ham from Trader Joe’s that I sometimes add to this.

  • Fresh fruit salad. I make fruit salads all the time and both my guys love it for breakfast. Have your berries and grapes washed ahead and if adding pineapple, it’s quicker if that’s cut up the night before. We like blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, grapes, mandarin oranges, and pears, but you could use any of your child’s favorite fruits.
  • Whole wheat or multi-grain bagel. We are really liking the new Thomas’ Bagel Thins. The Whole Wheat ones are great but the Everything Bagel Thins are our favorite. These toast great and aren’t as heavy as a regular bagel. They’re perfect with just cream cheese or even better as a breakfast sandwich with an egg and a piece of healthy ham and low fat cheese.
  • Yogurt with berries and granola. We also love yogurt at my house for breakfast. I mostly buy the Trader Joe’s brand and instead of granola, I sometimes toss in some Kashi Heart to Heart cereal.
  • Eggo Nutri-Grain low fat waffles. It doesn’t get much easier than this.  These frozen waffles are quite good; I have one most mornings after my yogurt and fruit.  I try to find something other than syrup to offer with a waffle and I’ve found that these are great with a little almond butter spread on top.
  • Banana and granola bar. If your child is running late and insists that he/she doesn’t have time to sit down for breakfast, then stick a banana and a granola bar in their hand on the way out the door. It’s definitely better than a Pop Tart. There are many nutritious choices for granola bars these days. My favorites are the Peanut Butter Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars.

All of these choices take five minutes or less to prepare and when served with a small glass of low fat milk and/or orange juice, it’ll jump start your child’s day and allow them to get through the morning with enough energy to last them until lunchtime. :-)

~LilSis

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Pink Products

October 13, 2009

Just in case you missed the news at the beginning of the month and are wondering about the pink text, we are going Pink for October to show our support for breast cancer awareness.

One promise

While out shopping, you will have noticed by now the abundance of pink products being sold at most retail stores. Since the Susan G. Komen for the Cure is an important cause to me, I buy pink products from the companies that are giving their profits to that charity. Not that the other charities aren’t completely legitimate, it’s just a personal choice. I found this post on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Message Board and felt it was important enough to pass along to our readers.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure suggests consumers use care and consideration before buying pink products.

October 6, 2009

DALLAS–(Business Wire)–From grocery stores to home improvement centers, pink ribbons and labels adorn everything from candy to vacuum cleaners to raise awareness and money during the 25th annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But with so many “pink” marketing programs out there, how can you be sure your money (or how much of it) is going where it should?

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world`s leader in the fight against breast cancer, suggests people ask a few questions before picking one product over another.

“Selecting the right program is a personal choice based on your interests, your passions and a cause that is important to you,” said Katrina McGhee, vice president of global partnerships for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “You work hard for your money, make sure your purchases have the impact you want.”

Whether a program offers to donate a portion of product sales or requires consumer participation in exchange for a donation, Komen’s objective is that all programs that benefit Komen are meaningful, educate women and men about breast cancer and generate funds which Komen devotes to research and community outreach.

In order to determine if a cause-related program, promotion or project is one that you would like to support (or is worthy of your support), Komen suggests consumers ask five key questions.

1. Is this company committed?

Read the product packaging and promotional materials or display and visit the company Web site to make sure the company is credible and committed to the
cause.

2. How is the program structured?

Transparency is key. Is the company clearly stating how the money is raised and how much will be going to charity? For example, if it’s a donation per purchase, ask how much of purchase price goes to charity-is it two percent or 10
percent-or some other amount? If there is a minimum contribution guaranteed by the company, what is the amount? Is there a maximum donation that will be made by the company?

3. Who does the program benefit?

Does it support a well-managed, reputable non-profit or fund? Again, we recommend that consumers read Web sites. Komen makes it very clear on our site who we are, how we structure programs and how the monies are used. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance is one resource for information on non-profit organizations if you are unsure (visit www.give.org.

4. How will the organization that benefits use my money?

It should be abundantly clear where the monies go. What organization will they support? Will the dollars generated go to research, education, community programs or all of the above? Komen is very specific about our programs, activities and grants awarded to support our mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. View Komen’s most recent Annual Report.

5. Is the program meaningful to me?

Is the program supporting a cause you believe in or have been touched by? Based on the details of the program and the potential for dollars to be raised does the program make sense to you? Selecting the right program is a personal choice based on your interests, your passions and a cause that is important to you.

~LilSis

Back to Yoga!

October 11, 2009

I am so sore in such a major way today! I’m not complaining, though, I promise! Every “Owie” that I say outloud is a very good thing! Friday was my first day back to yoga in over six months. Even though I’ve been walking five miles almost every day and riding my bike for an hour on the other days, I’ve got muscles from my neck to my toes that apparently haven’t been put to the test in a LONG TIME!

I’m done talking about the boot that was on my foot most of the summer and I AM finally, finally getting back to my yoga practice.  I never realized just how much yoga helped me deal with my stress until I was away from it for six months.

My class on Friday was probably the most difficult, yet, most relaxing hour that I’ve had to myself in months. One hour! Just. One. Hour. No Internet. No cell phone. No Facebook. No Twitter. Just. Me. And. My. Practice.  I love the instructor at the gym I go to on Fridays. She likes to instruct her class in the dark, which I love. She’s calming, yet also motivating and inspiring. I knew I missed yoga but I really didn’t realize how much until after my class on Friday. Afterwards, I almost felt like me again.

We’ve had a lot of changes going on in our lives these past several months and I basically let the stress and worry of everything take over ME! There was almost no ME left. (I’m sure some of it has to do with my major roller coaster hormones, but we’ll talk about that later.) Like most women, we tend to take care of everyone else before we take care of ourselves. But, if I don’t take care of  ME,  I certainly won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

On Mondays, I’ll go to my local YMCA where there is another fantastic yoga instructor.  Unlike the corporate gym, the locally owned Y allows him to use props, blocks, straps, and even bamboo sticks, which, by the way, give some amazing results when you massage your calves with them prior to your practice. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!

Since I go to a couple of different gyms, I’d love to be able to travel without a mat. I’ve always been a little curious to find out what it would be like to do yoga wearing a pair of these toesox.

Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig (photo by Jasper Johal)

Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig (photo by Jasper Johal)

Every time I look through my new issue of Yoga Journal, I’m fascinated by their ads featuring Santa Monica Yoga Instructor, Kathryn Budig.

ToeSox_YJ_ad_JanFeb09_proof

Amazing, huh? I’m really excited about getting back to my yoga routine. Maybe some day I’ll be able to do this!

yoga1I wonder if I’m too old to dream about one day becoming a certified yoga instructor?

~LilSis

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Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss

May 28, 2009

Okay, what was I just talking about a couple of days ago before BigSis had to throw in the Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe?  Oh yeah, I was talking about trying to lose 5 pounds before Summer! :-(

Thanks for the recipe, BigSis, but there ain’t no way I’m going to have something that good in this house when I’m trying to lose weight and trying to get SirHoney to eat more fruits and veggies!

It’s so nice to be able to make something like that and take it to work to share with everyone. I know they all love it when you bring one of your homemade treats to work to share!

I bet this chick doesn’t eat cake!

weight-loss-article-photo

On second thought, she probably doesn't eat anything!

I want to share an interesting article that I just read in the June 2009 whole living body+soul magazine. The title of the article is “Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss.” After speaking with several weight loss experts, the writer of the article identifies the eight most common reasons people struggle with their weight.

Here are the 8 Biggest Obstacles:

  • Not enough exercise
  • The wrong foods
  • Mindless eating
  • Getting older
  • Poor portion control
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Goal plateau
  • Yo-yo dieting

So, you’re supposed to find the one that best describes your biggest obstacle and follow their strategies. If you fit into more than one category, you just combine the strategies to best address your needs.

I think that I fit into three of these categories. Those would be Getting Older, Stress, and Goal Plateau.  Within each category, there are three or four solutions on how to overcome these obstacles. They actually have some pretty good suggestions.

You can read the entire “Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss” article here on whole living. As always, we appreciate any comments or suggestions that you may have for us! If you’d rather see more awesome chocolate cake recipes instead of reading about weight loss problems, you just let me know and I’ll put BigSis right on it! :-)

~LilSis

National Women’s Health Week

May 11, 2009

Print

This week is National Women’s Health Week, and Monday May 11 is National Women’s Checkup Day. If you want to know more about this important day, check it out at women’shealth.gov.  We know how critical early detection can be when it comes to all kinds of health conditions: cancer, diabetes, heart disease and lots of other conditions.

We all need a reminder every once in a while right?  So consider this a reminder.  Or consider it a kick in the pants, if that’s what it takes to get you into action.  Call your doctor today and make that appointment you’ve been putting off.  Better yet, do it right now before you forget! And then get yourself a treat for being a big girl and doing what you need to for your health!

~BigSis

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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day

January 19, 2009

Thanks for the info about the MAC free shipping offer, BigSis! I probably shouldn’t order anything this time since I just paid a visit to the MAC counter. (That’s going to be a real test of willpower.)

Back to your question about breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and has been for as long as I can remember.  I’ve never been crazy about pancakes, donuts, or french toast type breakfasts. BUT, if calories and fat grams were not a factor in choosing my favorite breakfast, I’d have to say that it would be something like the huge bacon and cheddar cheese omelet served with crispy shredded hash browns like I got at the restaurant in Vegas on your birthday! (I’m purposely not naming the restaurant since we won’t be returning to that hotel.)

Unfortunately, my favorite spot for Sunday Brunch down on the beach in Cardiff had to close it’s doors last year. My favorite thing on their menu was a Garden Omelet. It had spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, and just a little provolone cheese in it! That was such a perfect omelet!

So, those are a couple of my favorite breakfasts. Honestly, if I could, I would probably eat a big fat Sausage Egg McMuffin and hash browns from McDonald’s every day, but since we are trying to eat healthy, I don’t indulge in those!

450 Calories and 26 grams of fat

450 Calories and 26 grams of fat

This may seem pretty boring, but I don’t ever get tired of it. During the week at around 6:00, I have either a bowl of nonfat vanilla yogurt with a sliced banana and berries or a bowl of McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, sprinkled with a little cinnamon.

berries-with-yogurt

That is followed by my only caffeine of the day, a Diet Rock Star. After a few hours of work and my exercise, I’ll usually take a break around 9:30 or 10:00 and have a one egg omelet cooked in just a tad of olive oil for second breakfast.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  And you’re right about someone cooking breakfast for you! I love that! It doesn’t happen too often around here, but when it does, I definitely enjoy it!

Is anyone already bored with trying to plan a weekly menu of healthy recipes? I know I am. I am trying to change things up a bit and surprise my family with something that they don’t have every week or so. Tomorrow, I’m going to share some of my favorite cookbooks that I like to peruse for healthy recipes.

~LilSis

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