Monday, June 30, 2014

July Goal Planning

Wow, what a year it has been so far! I never thought when we started 2014 within 5 months I'd be living on an entirely different continent!! So, my goals from way back in January have gone a little amiss. But, never fear there is always time to get back on track..I just need to adjust a this is what I'm doing:

Health & Fitness:

  • Get in more greens:
    • One green smoothie per day
    • One salad per day
  • Complete Young & Raw 3-day high raw cleanse
  • No processed sugar and very limited amounts of local honey
  • Follow workout calendar
  • Continue Oil Pulling and Flossing
  • Get cleaning schedule sorted our for new apartment
  • Mail off change of address cards
  • Learn one  new cooking skill
  • Start working toward finding a great job outside the home
  • Read 3 books in around the world in books challenge
  • Continue with ICAD Challenge (more on this coming)
  • Start gathering Christmas gifts and prepping to mail off (given we live in the Netherlands & I have some super cute gift ideas for nieces & nephews & shipping is expensive need to get this done now)
  • Plan a few field trips around The Netherlands for Summer Vacation (anyone have anything that is a must see for the kiddo & I?)
  • Decide which countries we want to see next, begin making itineraries & travel arrangements
So, I have just a few things on my plate for this upcoming month...can't wait to get things started! I love achieving things I set out to do, it makes me feel so accomplished. What are you working on for the month ahead? Come on over to FB  and let's discuss!

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve written a Menu Plan Monday post! 

I will be honest, I actually stopped meal planning completely there for a while. Shockingly, it is working for us! We haven’t been eating repeat meals and I am cooking much healthier…I’m pretty much back to a mostly vegetarian diet, very little meat at all for myself and I feel so much better. I just don’t think I do well on meat haha

Anyway, even though I haven’t been doing formal meal planning that isn’t to say I am completely without a plan at all. What I have been doing is making a list of snacks and things we want, fruits and veggies we like that are in season and I buy enough on Monday to get me through the week and on Thursday night after dinner when the market is cleared out I head back up and stock us up for the weekend. Living in Europe we only have one small drawer for storing pantry items right now & our fridge and freeze aren’t anything to write home about. So, this is the outline of my plan for this week (the last week of school…finally!) :

I will be linking up at Org Junkie!!!

Oatmeal with lots of fresh berries, banana pancakes, eggs & coconut quinoa patties
Saturday-omelets with sausage/coconut quinoa patties, melon or peaches
Sunday-Treat day…will be something homemade...not quite sure what yet...maybe french toast or some very vanilla vegan pancakes & some sausage...

Leftovers, salad, veggie sandwiches on whole wheat, soup
A few days this week the teenager will be out of town with school so she will eat out those days, then on the last day of school after our conference I will take her out somewhere special to celebrate…maybe the restaurant at the library because it has an amazing view.
Saturday-Grilled cheese or chicken nuggets/veggie nuggets or leftovers
Sunday-Eggs or whatever is leftover

Monday’s I try to go meatless, plus we have a meeting to get the keys to our permanent place so-grilled cheese with soup and salad
Tuesday-taco’s with corn and salad
Wednesday-Chicken/vegetarian patty sandwiches with salad and beans
Thursday-Chicken satay with baked potatoes/sweet potatoes and zucchini….I will use up the beans from Wednesday night to put in my potato in place of the chicken
Friday-Royal burgers/black bean burgers (royal just means egg on top lol) with potato wedges/sweet potato wedges and sugar snap peas
Saturday-Not too sure on this one yet…I’m thinking spaghetti….one I will serve traditionally over pasta but for mine  I will julienne some carrots and zucchini and serve the sauce (just crushed tomatoes & tomato paste seasoned up) over that.
Sunday-We may eat out-if I can find somewhere we all are agreeable to- if not though I’m thinking stuffed squash and some shrimp, then for the husband some corn and chicken wings

So I will say I will probably change around the order in which these happen. I will also make a few extra black bean burgers to freeze so I have some for lunches and other dinners. I am sort of in a rut and things seem the same because I am mostly only cooking from the stovetop. Remember this post??? Well, the oven thing still sucks and I really don’t know how to use it all that well and I can’t wait for our bed to be delivered so we can be in our new place with an oven that works, an electric grill, and English TV.

I know, first world problems, don’t feel sorry for me.

So, what are you cooking up this week?

PS: I post lots of food stuff over on Instagram-follow me! :D

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Culture Shock: Week 4: Doritos, Backpacks, and Internet Banking, Oh My!

 Wow! It's been so long since I've done one of these! We've actually been in Europe 8 weeks now! It has been such an amazing adventure. From learning how to write an address to learning all our favorite products at the grocery store. These last couple weeks we have encountered some humorous and interesting things.....

The day the teenager and I discovered the "cool american" doritos was quite a day. We were just walking along and realized wow! they do carry chips here then as we were looking for a flavor we recognized the laughing that ensued got us a few dirty looks in the aisle, but it was all in good fun...incase you don't know the are the "cool ranch" flavor ;)

What do you mean Doritos don't need an "artsy" photo...of course they do! ;)

This was a fun one to discover. About two weeks ago we started seeing a ton of backpacks hanging from flagpoles. We couldn't figure out what it was. Well, the kiddo cheers with a bunch of older kids who were posting picture of them under their backpacks hanging from the flagpole and apparently it is a Dutch tradition to sling your bag over the flagpole to say "Yay! I'm all done, I don't need a school bag anymore". Pretty neat tradition huh?!

Finally...internet banking! This was a super interesting thing to learn. When we were first given the machine we didn't really understand what to do with it. But, basically you download the software to it, then when you go to log into your bank account on your banks website you plug this in, put your debit card in, enter your pin, press ok, and then you are in your account! You use this when transferring money between accounts, for bill payment, and when making an online purchase with a website that accepts debit as some European & Canadian sites do! Pretty neat huh? It makes the banking super secure. Although I will admit trying to get it to work at first was super frustrating because the day we did it apparently the English part of the site was experiencing technical difficulties and we couldn't understand anything! haha

So, that wraps us up for this week. My favorite is still the "Cool American" Doritos! I still giggle at that!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday!

Wow! I have been gone nearly a month! I am so grateful for all those that kept coming to the blog to visit and read some old posts!

Now that I am done with my project I was contracted to do and we are finally settling in to our life here in Amsterdam I hope to not be so overwhelmed and be back to blogging at my regular rate!

What I Ate Wednesday is one of my favorite days to post because I love, love, love to brag about all the yummies I have been making/eating. This past week has been particularly delicious. Most of these you can see over on Instagram far my favorite social media platform so if you aren't following me please do & leave me a comment or something so I can follow ya back! Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

First, I want to start off with this awesome new product find:

No added sweeteners or thickeners. It is a combo of rice and almonds. It is the perfect complement to all my dishes. I have been looking for something like this for quite some time...I was ready to get the carageenan (or however you spell it) out of my diet and any artifical sweeteners and this is the drink! So, so, so, so, so lucky to have found it! Now, join me over here and tell me how to decipher this label! haha

Banana Pancakes
I will be honest these took a bit to get used to the texture, but they are so delicious!
1 banana mashed up really good until it is almost smooth
2 eggs whisked
Pour the eggs into the banana and whisk together until it gets a bit foamy at the edges and the egg & banana are well incorporated. Pour into a pan in small batches, watch the edges and when they seem ready flip them over & cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on the other side!
Top with your favorite healthy ingredients: I love peanut butter or almond butter & cinnamon!

Egg & cheese scramble with sweet potatoes and a sliced peach

Lunch was this amazing oatmeal bowl. I know it looks weird but it is just oatmeal cooked in water with chia seeds, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries. When it was done cooking I topped it with some Rude Health Almond Milk, some peanut butter, and some coconut oil.

Zucchini stuffed with brown rice, pecans, onions, carrots, and the zucchini "meat" and then topped with a half slice of gouda! So yum!

Delicious snack-Pink Lady & PB...*nom*nom*

Afternoon pick-me-up

So, that is it for what I ate.

To counter act all that and keep up my fitness routine I've been running, almost up to a 5K. I took it slow getting back into running because I am very prone to shin splints and aches in my knee and hip. I didn't want to hit the ground running at a 10K and injure myself so I started with C25K Free from  the iTunes store and am almost done. I've been doing that and 30 days of Yoga . It feels so good to do something so restorative each and every day.

What have you been doing for workouts? Anything cool or exciting I should check out? Anyone heard of slacklining? If so, give me info!