_bbR3iY5lLSjzaZNziPYc6VX6tk Inspiration CAN be found EVERYWHERE!: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Window from which we watch

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast,
the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
"That laundry is not very clean", she said.
"She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
 I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others
depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Proactive Giveaway!

Are you plagued by acne?  Do you know someone who is?  Have you tried in vane to find a solution that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg?  I know we did for a very long time.

I'm sure you have heard about Proactive, an acne treatment that is advertised everywhere.  There are a whole host of celebrities, including Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Julianne Hough, Jenna Fischer, even The Bieber, have talked about how this product has worked for them.  Now usually to me, that means run in the opposite direction because it really doesn't work - those celebrities will hawk anything for a buck, but this is different.

My Jenn wanted to try this product for so long I finally gave in and got her a trial.  I think it has been more than a year now and she LOVES this.  There are still the occasional breakout, but they are so few and far between, and then disappear quickly.

What I love about this product, it is so easy to use.  It can become part of the daily routine without adding a huge amount of time to your morning and nighttime routine.  OH yeah and it works.

I have a great giveaway for anyone who wants to make sure there is no acne (teenage or adult) in their future.  I have 3 Proactive kits for 3 lucky readers.  You can try this kit for yourself and see if it is something that will work for you.  I believe it will, but you would be the best to decide this.  Then if you decide that it is your perfect solution ..... you can order more from Guthy-Renker at Proactive.

Now for the particulars ..... This giveaway will end on Friday, March 11th at midnight Eastern Time, and over the weekend I will select the winners by randomly drawn numbers, using random.org.  Oh and since I'm the one that is doing this (not sponsored by anyone but me) and therefore gets to mail these out ..... This contest will be open to both my U.S. and Canadian readers.

To make this as easy as possible, but still give you the ability to get a few entries ........

The first entry is to become a follower of this blog and leave a comment here (if you are already a follower - thank you, just leave me a comment so I know).

The second entry is to grab my cute button and place it on your blog then come back and leave me a comment.

Third entry is to blog about this giveaway, linking back here so more folks will come on over.  Then come back and leave me a comment.

See told you easy as pie!

My week of The Fresh Diet Feb 21st to Feb 25th

I know I had promised to do better .... really I did mean to get this up every day but somehow the best laid plans....

As you know I try very hard to take pictures (on real plates) of every meal so that you see exactly what it is that I am eating and how I feel about each one.  Well using my cell phone for pictures is very difficult.  Sometimes although the picture looks fine on the camera ... getting it loaded into my computer and then on the blog leaves a picture that does NOT do the meal justice or it can't be loaded at all (I'm not sure why on that one).  So I decided to do a collage type post with all my meals again, so you at least get an idea what wonderful things I am eating and maybe tempt you into trying The Fresh Diet for yourself.  It really is a fabulous way to eat!

Breakfasts have been fantastic.  One morning we had pancakes with kiwi and mandarin orange cottage cheese.  I don't think I have had pancakes before, and I have to admit I was a little concerned that it would not be enough.  Oh and I did spray them with some ICBINB spray, cause pancakes just scream butter - but I was being good (ok better) and used the I Can't Believe its not Butter spray because we always have some in the house.  We actually like it, well Jenn and I do anyway, and what the hubby don't know ......

Mandarin Orange Whole Wheat Muffin with Fresh Banana & Passion Fruit Yogurt.  This was a perfect flavor combination.  I absolutely LOVED the orange flavor and little pieces of orange in the muffin.  It was almost like a surprise in every bite.  The yogurt was a little tart but I really think it was the passion fruit that didn't allow for any "sweetness" to soften the tartness of the yogurt.

Peanut Butter Chip Muffin with Fresh Papaya and Banana Cottage Cheese.  I really enjoy these muffins.  I don't think there has ever been one that I haven't liked.  And they are really VERY filling so that's a bonus.  I wasn't as excited about the cottage cheese but even the sound of banana cottage cheese isn't very "thrilling".  But the muffin and the papaya made up for it.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast with Honeydew and Cinnamon Apple Yogurt  This was an ok option.  I think it was just a little "flat" tasting.  I expected more of a fruity flavor or something.  But I have had some of the stuffed French Toasts before and liked it so I will just put this as a "off day" and try it again when it is offered.

Sauteed Zucchini and Parmesan Cheese Egg Bake with Fresh Pineapple.  I'm loving all the egg bake combinations, although I am a little surprised that I went a whole week with only 1 egg dish. 

 Lunches were a little more interesting in that they were a little more difficult with everyone in the kitchen at work.  They were either all "crouched" around the table so things were very tight or watching to see what I pull out of my bag.  I could see some of them "drooling" some days.  I am hoping that a few will decide by the time tax season is finished (if not before) that they too want to be part of The Fresh Diet family.

The California Wrap with Avocado, Lettuce, Roasted Turkey, Monterrey Jack Cheese was so good.  I was a little leary, to be honest, because I was afraid it would be dry.  But everyone was going "ooh" and "aah" and I was just doing the "mmmm" with every bite.  I did follow direction and left it "cold" but I bet if you warmed it up just a little bit it would have been pretty good too.

I do have to say that I just LOVE the pizza options from The Fresh Diet.  It's almost like those crusts you can get in the supermarket (only actually on the healthier side) in the density of the crust.  It is a thicker crust (when we get pizza we usually get the thin crust) but it works.  I really like these ....... and yes I had to watch that it wasn't "appropriated" by someone in the office.

Here is one of the Philly Cheesesteak options, this one with the bell peppers.  It really is very nice but I think I like this entree better when its been heated in the toaster oven and not just the microwave.  The crust is a little more crispy almost like a "roll" and a little less soggy.  Now I don't know if it was the microwave at work or what - but I had to use a knife and fork to eat this, which is not my norm.  But it did still taste great.

This was a new option for me and trust me it will NOT be the last time I have this one!  Roasted Artichoke Hearts & Four Cheese Panini on Whole Wheat Ciabatta was out of this world.  As I'm sure you already know, I love the breads and would make a special room for the bread baker if he or she wanted to come live in my house (not sure how hubby would feel but well .... you get the idea)  Everyone that saw this entree thought it was really good looking, and I saw a few people trying to figure out how to make this for themselves.

Dinners was usually on the "later" side so sometimes my snacks and desserts were almost combined to make a "meal" at around 4 in the afternoon.  And then there were some days that I didn't even get to take a picture I was just grabbing because I was starving! 

Roasted Garlic & Herbs with Parmesan Whole Wheat Crostini was really good.  My only "complaint" the crostini was a little "overly" crisp and I needed a few more to use up all the great garlic and herb spread.  There was more spread than you could use .... unless you used a spoon to eat it separately (like I did - but at least I didn't just lick my fingers).  Yes it was that good.
Lemon Zest Tea Cookie was so very good.  If you like lemon this is very good, but if you love the strong zing of lemon (which you get from the zest) this is DEFINITELY for you ...... very lemony when you get some of the topping like frosting.  The cookie itself does have a nice lemony flavor but the top adds a huge addition of flavor.  I will definitely be adding this to my list of must have.

 Peach Cheesecake was a nice creamy cake with a nice piece of peach smack dab in the center of the slice.  It was a nice "surprise" without being a surprise.  I believe when I have had this before, there were more smaller pieces of peach throughout the slice, but this was still very nice.

 This is one of my favorite snacks.  Greek Spanakopita that I heated in the toaster oven so it browned up really nicely instead of how it can sometimes be a little "soggy" if it is overly warmed in the microwave.  I think I will always do the toaster oven if I have that option for this snack.  LOVE IT,.

 Everyone in the office liked the look of this one.  Sweet Potato stuffed with Spinach and Gouda Cheese.  I really like the flavors as they meld together after heating this one in the microwave.  I never knew how much I enjoyed sweet potatoes before I had these (yes I have had them before and LOVE them now).  I will be buying some sweet potatoes for home now. 

This was suppose to be Coconut Chocolate Pudding, but I don't remember there being anything about sliced almonds.  This pudding was definitely chocolate, but I didn't see or taste anything coconut about it.  Still good but not what I thought I was ordering or eating.

Strawberry Vanilla Pudding is one of my new favorites.  It was really a vanilla pudding with some tiny bit of strawberry so it wasn't overpowering.  I enjoyed this nice creamy pudding

Now on to dinners.  As I said, some days they were really later than I would have liked, but you do what you have to do this time of year.

 Grilled Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and Orange Glazed Baked Yams and Honey Glazed Beets.  I am really surprised at the combination of beets and yams in this meal, with a little of the chipotle sauce added, that really make these veggies pop.  Now I love the beets, but add a little of the sauce over them or dipped into and WOW it was heaven.

Grilled Chicken with Peppercorn Brandy with Sweet Potato Hash and roasted Artichoke Hearts.  I'm not really thrilled with the Sweet Potato Hash this time - it was rather bland.  The Artichoke Hearts were an interesting addition.  I've had them cold all the time, but never roasted.  I'm still a little unsure about the heat, but I will try them again.  The Peppercorn Brandy Sauce is VERY spicy.  I am very glad that it comes in a little cup so you can add as much or as little as you want to your meal.  This time it was just "a little" for me.

I know it looks like I had a lot of chicken, but since they all have different "sauces" it really does make the meal taste totally different.  This was Grilled Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Lemon Zest Lima Bean Puree and Steamed Sugar Snaps.  I really do like this pesto.  It just have a nice flavor of the tomato but it doesn't overtake everything.  If you like Lima Beans, then you will like this puree.  If you hate Limas, and I know a lot of people who do, this would not be an option for you.  Normally I like the sugar snaps, but this time I found too many "strings" still on them while I was eating them.  

Basil Pesto Sole Roulade with White Bean Puree and Roasted Shallots was rather interesting.  Everything seems just a little "wet".  I'm not sure if it was because of the shallots, which I'd not had before, or the puree or even the fish.  I think I will pass on this combination next time, but I will try the "pieces" with other options.

Fillet of Tilapia with Provencal Sauce and Chinese Black Rice and Roasted Green Asparagus.  This was actually pretty good and extremely filling.  I find that fish for the most part is not all the filling for me.  But this was a big piece of fish so perhaps that was what helped.  The Chinese Black Rice was a nice addition and the Asparagus was very good.  I really did enjoy this meal, even not being a "fish" person I would do this meal again.

 Check out The Fresh Diet Facebook Page to see what things are going on there.  There are always little contests going on that could allow you to try The Fresh Diet for free (that was how I started) for a week or three days.  And you get to connect with some great people.

Also, check back later today for a great giveaway that I am going to be posting.  It could be something to turn March into the "new you" month, or maybe your teen is looking for a little "something" to make her feel better about how she looks ..... come on back.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bad Day

Really Bad Day .....

Hope your day was a better day ............... 
I know tomorrow WILL be better

The 10 Commandments of Marriage

Commandment 1
Marriages are made in heaven.
But then again, so is thunder and lightning.
Commandment 2
If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.
Commandment 3
Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least a 100 grand!
Commandment 4
Married life is very frustrating.
In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.
Commandment 5
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing:
Either the car is new or the wife is.
Commandment 6
Marriage is when a man and woman become as one;
The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.
Commandment 7
Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you said ....
After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.
Commandment 8
Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook.
But the law allows only one wife.
Commandment 9
Marriage and love are purely a matter of chemistry.
That is why one treats the other like toxic waste.
Commandment 10
A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Jersey vs Washington DC

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired, "Where have you been?"

God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael  looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, and I've put life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things."

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel , impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"

"That's New Jersey , the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains. The people from New Jersey are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of
good things."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance."

God smiled, "Not very far from New Jersey is Washington, DC . Wait till you see the idiots I put there."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The "official" CSN Stores Winter Giveaway WINNER

I'm just a day late in posting this ........ but since I had sent out the email to the winner AND have already recieved a return email from her ... I think its ok.

Anyway the winner of the CSN Stores Winter Giveaway was Shel704.  I hope you can check Shel's blog out and congratulate her on this win.  And maybe convince her that she should use the gift certificate for something that SHE wants for HERSELF.


Now I am working on another giveaway real soon - probably before the end of the week, so make sure you check back for that one too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't send a man to the Grocery Store

I will be posting the winner, as well as hopefully sending off an email, of the CSN Stores Winter Giveaway tomorrow.  Sorry its been crazy here this past week - but it is the next thing on my list of things I MUST do.

Until I can get this post up --- check out this wonderfully funny lady - Jeanne Robertson.  She has such a wonderful sense of "humor" that just tickles me to no end.  One of the first things I saw from her was the YouTube video of "Don't send a man to the Grocery Store" and I was hooked.  You can find this and a few more on her web page

I must have some "Southern" blood running through my veins.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Its a Fresh Diet Collage

I know I am sooo very behind in sharing all the wonderful meals I have been eating while eating The Fresh Diet way.  I'm going to try and make it up to you here and now.....I'm going to make a one big post of some of the meals you have missed.

As always it is a joy to see my little buddy waiting for me each morning, but especially now that it is getting to be so hectic for me with the start of tax season ....... I really do enjoy this time of year but sometimes eating takes a back seat or even worse its whatever you can grab quick - and lets face it BK is NOT conducive to weight loss or even maintenance.
granola with pears and ricotta
 I really enjoy this one.  I have had it both with yogurt and with the ricotta, and although I like them both, I'm beginning to think the ricotta is more satisfying.  When I wasn't having my meals delivered, there were times I made things like this, but never thought to use ricotta --- you really should try it this way.

blueberry oat muffin with honeydew

 I have to say I LOVE all the breakfast muffins - they are very flavorful, very moist and surprisingly very filling.

As you can see this one doesn't seem to quite as big as the next one - but it was tasty, which was surprising because of the combination - I never thought of asparagus for breakfast before TFD

spinach and feta egg bake with papaya
I have had quite a few of the egg bakes - for the most part, I enjoy having these for breakfast.  But not everyday - variety is required.  Like the burrito ..... oh yummmmm.  Too bad this is only offered on the weekend ........ that means we can only have these a maximum of 4 times a month.

breakfast burrito

 I've had this one before - goat cheese medallion salad with pear.  The last time the pear was more of a diced, almost like you get from canned pears - but this was great whole slices.  Very enjoyable.

 This is one of my favorite lunch items - a Philly Cheesesteak wrap.  This one has mushrooms, but sometimes it has diced bell peppers, but both are really very good.  When this is on the menu - there is no "choices" other than this one - yes it really is that good.  When I made this one I had put it in the toaster oven so it got really "toasty", and I think I will make my wraps like this from now on - yes that good.

Mozzarella Wrap with baby Spinach, bell peppers and basil pesto on a tomato tortilla.  This is one of the few wraps that I don't heat up at all.  I let it sit on the counter (or my desk) so its not "right out of the fridge or cooler bag" cold.  I enjoy the mozzarella having a bit of "bit" when you eat it in the wrap, instead of oozing around. 

Thyme infused Chicken Salad with Arugula, Orange, Strawberries with a blueberry vinaigrette. This was not a bad salad, but definitely needed more chicken.  I don't know if this was "short changed" in the protein department or if this was a "normal" portion as I've not had this one before - but although it tasted pretty good it was not filling in the least.  

Classic Cobb Salad that was pretty tasty and surprisingly filling.  I admit when I looked at it on the plate, I just kept thinking this is not going to do it.  Now either I was extremely busy and didn't focus on my hunger or it really was a filling salad.

Wasabi Crusted Salmon Salad with Cucumber, Tomato, Hearts of Palm, Baby Lettuce and Dill Dressing.  I have not had this one before - but I will definitely get this again if this wasn't a fluke.  The piece of salmon was HUGE.  I so enjoy salmon now that I have been having it the way The Fresh Diet prepares it.  I think the dressing was a little heavy, but it still was nice to have on the salmon.  This is a definite MUST TRY if you have the chance.

Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Orzo and Meyer Lemon roasted Red Beets are just so very tasty.  The shrimp has that interesting grilled taste ..... I know that's a strange thing to say - but some places that you get grilled shrimp you wonder if it was grilled or just baked in the oven.  I adore the red beets - the Meyer Lemon roasting adds a little "something" to them that gives it a nice flavor other than beet.  

This was the first time I had the london broil but I have to say it was extremely tender and tasty.  The Raspberry Chipotle sauce was really good without being sweet.  I actually split it between the meat and the  Cashew and Orange Brown Rice Pilaf.   The Ginger Glazed Carrots were really different.  The carrot mash sides have not my but the whole carrots are much more to my liking - even if they aren't flavored with ginger.

NY Strip Steak with Mango BBQ Sauce, Spanish Brown Rice and Tropical Boniato Mash.  The steak always surprises me - it is very tender without being so "rare" that I'd rather not eat it, but doesn't dry out or overcook.  Even my daughter Jenn enjoyed this steak and she is definitely NOT a red meat person.

Grilled Chicken with roasted tomato alfredo sauce with steamed cauliflower and herbed barley pilaf.  Again this grilled chicken had that real grilled flavor.  I love this sauce.  The pilaf was good as is, but when I put a bit of the sauce over the barley ..... oh perfect!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Ham and Swiss Cheese, Roasted Cauliflower and Sauteed Spinach.  I have had this one before, but the chicken this time was a little dry, which surprised me.  It was almost like the skin was left on (it wasn't) and dried before cooking.  This is usually a wonderful meal. And I'm really starting to look forward to sauteed spinach - I know who knew?  I love putting a little lemon on the spinach and I think I could eat spinach all day long.

This was Turkey Chili with Whole Wheat Fettuccine Pasta and Lemon Parsley Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  I have to say that I am disappointed with this meal.  I was the last time too, but I really think it is because the Chili is rather bland.  Now I know they are cooking for a "crowd" so they can't go too spicy, but this was just too bland to be called Chili.  However, I had the mini eggrolls with peanut sauce for a snack, and the excess peanut sauce I put on the chili ..... OMG this was so good!  Someone on the Fresh Diet Facebook Page had made the comment about using the peanut sauce on something she had had for dinner and I thought oh I bet that was so good.  Well it really did make the chili pop.  I will definitely do that again.  Now I'm thinking what else I can add the peanut sauce on??

This was my beloved Chilean Sea Bass with spaghetti squash with basil pesto and haricot vert.  Now I just love this Chilean Sea Bass and before this I didn't eat much in the way of fish and definitely not sea bass.  The spaghetti squash with the basil pesto was really very good.  When I think Spaghetti Squash I think strand like veggie spaghetti, not "chunks" like these, but they are making me a believer.  I wasn't overly impressed with the Haricot Vert ....... almost reminded me of canned green beans

This is the Sugar Free Butterscotch Pecan Brownie.  No sugar free taste here - I defy anyone anyone to tell me that it is sugar free.  It was falling apart but it had a nice mouth feel.  Now it if was a little thicker, it would have been great.

These were Sugar Free Raspberry Peach angel Bites but I'm not sure what to make of these.  I know they were egg whites to be made almost like a macaroon or something similar but I personally didn't think it hit any kind of mark.  It was the bland taste of egg whites with some raspberry puree inbetween.... not a favorite of mine, and I not one I think I will repeat.  But hey I can't be liking EVERYTHING can I?

Whole Wheat Cucumber Chive, Mayonnaise & Cheese Tea Sandwich was a new snack for me.  I have to say this was a perfect little tea sandwich when you just need "something" to tide you over.  I had this inbetween breakfast and lunch one day when I was so hungry, for some reason.  It was just enough that I wasn't chomping at the bit for lunchtime.  I would definitely have this one again.

 Sugar Free Boston Cream Pie - Yes I've had this one before and I still love it.  NO way NO how is this sugar free - even the chocolate icing was so good.  And from what I've tried before, the first place you can tell "sugar free" is in an icing.  But not on this one.  I can't wait for this to show up on the menu again.

I promise, I will be better getting my meals documented on a daily basis.  I just have to make sure that I can get my pictures on here ........ sometimes my bluetooth feature works on my computer and sometimes it just "sits" there with the lights off.  But I will try I promise.

And I think I will start with tomorrow ...... even if I end up having to take my camera to the office.  But that would be fun.  Especially since everyone is already asking questions about what I'm doing and "what's for lunch (or dinner) today".  Heck, even the Jenny Craig user is liking my  meals better than her meals.  

EDIT - From what I experienced and what I saw of others getting delivery from the NY kitchen .... these meals are not so nice or tasty anymore.  And when I looked at the "cookbook" (I reviewed this in 2012 here on the blog) the "healthy" is not so healthy - some with more than 1/2 the sodium for the day.  If you get your meals from the California kitchen ....... well count yourself lucky.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nothing more Artistic

The more I think about it, 
the more I realize 
there is nothing more artistic 
than to love others.  

Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Fresh Diet

I know I owe you 3 days of meals (I think) that I promise I will post up tonight.  I'm still not really juggling things well here since I got sick last week and then tax season is starting ........... and then to add insult to injury my scale went crazy.  Either that or its possessed. 

I got on the scale middle of last week - and it said .. get this you weigh 120 lbs.  Yeah right.  Then after I finished laughing my head off, I got back on the scale to try again.  It then said I weighed 265 lbs.  So after I finished fainting and pulled myself back together I decided that it was time for a new scale.

I have this nasty habit of weighing myself every day - I know I know.  But since this scale is about 6 years old that means its had a bit of a work out - not always good for a digital scale.

So stay tuned for the latest installment and hear about my new scale (hot stuff right?)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quotes of the Day - Valentine's Day

"We are shaped 
and fashioned 
by what we love".


"I love you 
not only for what you are, 
but for what I am 
when I am with you."  
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"The power of a glance... 
It is in this way that love begins, 
and in this way only... 
Nothing is more real than these great shocks 
which two souls give each other 
in exchanging this spark." 
Victor Hugo

Friday, February 11, 2011

12 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Better Homes and Garden has a great website at BHG.com that you really should check out.  They have some really interesting articles (yeah yeah I read the articles) that are right on the money.

Here is one I found today in their health and family section.  
12 ways to boost your metabolism that gives some great tips and then some "suggestions" on how to use those tips or why they are important.

I already have this bookmarked so I can check in every now and again and make sure I am still keeping my metabolism "humming".

Make sure you check out my Winter CSN giveaway - easy to enter (3 chances/ways to win) open until Feb 16th.  I'd like to win this one - there are so many things I would use it for.  So many things.

What Winnie Says

"If the person you are talking to
doesn't appear to be listening,
be patient.
It may simply be
that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."

~Winnie the Pooh~

Only Winnie could put it so "eloquently" ........ Now get the fluff out of your ears!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oahu - the land of the Aloha Spirit

Have you ever thought of starting over in a place where there is sun and sand and beauty all around you?  Of course you have, that's just a silly question to ask.  Even if you live in a place that you love, you have those thoughts every now and again.

An absolutely beautiful place to "run away to" is Oahu, Hawaii.  I can tell you from first hand experience that this is a place like no other.  I spent 2 of the best vacation weeks there just before I graduated from college.  The "regular" people, you know those that live there year round, can be the friendliest people on Earth.

Oahu has all kinds of touristy areas, the must see places if you are going to visit like the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor or the Polynesian Cultural Center, that I think everyone should visit at least once - even if you live there.  But there are so many other things to see and do from parks and zoos and aquariums to fabulous restaurants and golf courses.  Not to mention the surfing.  Could you not see yourself in this land of the sun?

Now if the sun and sand are not for you ...... maybe you would rather be in the land of the Northern Lights and snow.  If that sounds like more of your style then maybe Fairbanks, Alaska would be your "run away" place to go. 

For me ...... Oahu has it hands down.  But after this winter, I don't want to see anymore of the "white stuff" for a long long time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Even Medical Professionals need Fashion

Are you a medical professional or do you know one?  Do you, or they, still have trouble finding nice things to wear to work?  I know when I was working at the county hospital one of the pet peeves of the staff was the look and feel of their uniforms.  I believe I heard on more than one occasion, that they feel like they were wearing a green sack. 

Well I have to say I wish I knew about the great scrubs that are now available, because I would really have been a superstar.  No more green sacks for any of the nurses or techs!   They have the best scrubs for women that are available in sets or separates.  And the absolute BEST colors imaginable.  They have more shades of blue than you can shake a stick out but that's not all.  Think about Crimson Wine or Eggplant, yes even those colors are available.  And, are you ready for this, they actually have a slimming fit.  Yes a slimming fit - no more sacks for you.

But what if scrubs are not what you need to wear every day?  Well, I hear you, really I do.  Sometimes you just need to have a lab coat to go over your clothes, so that you don't look like you are wearing an old Doc Welby hand me down, when you are checking on patients.   Here is where you can have that polished look without giving up on femininity - the cut is slimming and chic.

And as a bonus, if you need something to add a little more femininity to your daily wardrobe, they have the best accessories.  How about a colorful but still tasteful lanyard to keep your badge front and center?  I'm thinking these would be great whether your in the medical profession or not.  Who wants a plain brown "string" around your neck when you can have colorful beads that can be used in a multitude of ways? 

Oh yes blueskyscrubs.com definitely has taken the benchmark in medical garb up a notch. This is definitely NOT your momma's medical professional garb.  Check it out.  I think you will be very impressed, I know  I was.

The Fresh Diet does Tuesday

Well I am feeling so much better, thank you.  I really hope you don't end up with this mess, whatever it was that I had.  I can honestly say, even without a temperature, it took another 24 hours after being hit with whatever it was on Sunday to be able to eat and feel human.

Once again my Fresh Diet Fairy (wonderful delivery person) left my bag of meals sitting right outside my kitchen door.  It really is a wonderful thing to see.  Sitting there so proud of what was inside, waiting for me.  I do have to say that I was a little concerned that my meals might be too heavy or too much after being sick - but I brought my buddy inside and "broke him" open.

Breakfast was Ruby Swiss Chard, Oyster Mushroom and Mozzarella Egg Bake with Fresh Pear.  To be honest, I don't know if I tasted the Swiss Chard for all the mushrooms or not.  This was really a very interesting combination, with the mushrooms and mozzarella.  I will order this one again, it was not as heavy as it appeared, although it was a very dense breakfast.

Lunch was a Tuna Burger on Whole Wheat Bun with Cucumber and Avocado Salsa.  This is out of sight!  I love when the burgers are "hand-made" and not the pressed or stamped out burgers.  I did heat the burger, without the bun, in wax paper so that it stayed moist when the microwave hit it.  I have found this is one of the best (and safest) way to heat up the proteins.  I will DEFINITELY be putting this option on my list of loves for lunch.  This would even be great as a dinner (sans the bun) with some sides.  The Avocado Salsa was really really good.  It added that little something to the burger that wouldn't have been there with a mayo based or tomato based sauce.

Snack was an Artichoke Bottom Filled with Creamy Cauliflower.  I have had this snack before, and have to say that it still does not disappoint.  The cauliflower filling is a wonderful combination of the cauliflower and cream cheese that still has a definable texture and not super smooth.

Dinner was Stuffed Chicken Asiago and Tarragon with Carrot and Rutabaga Mash and Honey Glazed Beets.  I enjoyed the chicken and the filling very much.  The Asiago was actually a stronger flavor than I expected, so I'm not sure if it was the added tarragon or just the cheese itself with the chicken, but it was a nice combination.  I always like the Beets, especially because it is not the sweeter harvard beets that you usually find (think salad bar version).  You actually get to taste the beets because the honey glaze isn't strong or sweet.  The Carrot and Rutabaga mash on the other hand ....... I don't know that I've ever had rutabaga so I'm not sure if its the carrot or the rutabaga that I don't like ..... but THIS side is history.  I like carrots, I've even had the farmer's carrots from The Fresh Diet, but both mashes I have had that were made with carrot, not a good option for me.

Dessert today was Apple Cinnamon Cheese Cake.  I opted to not have this today and not because I decided that I didn't want cheesecake.  I was actually so full today I had NO PLACE to put this piece of lushness.  It was sitting in my refrigerator waiting for me, but I just couldn't.  I will be honest, I don't know if it was just coming back from not eating much for almost 2 days or if there was just too much food for me today.  Yes there are days when it does seem like there is way too much food.  So this super yummy (I know because I have had their cheesecake so many times before) little treat is waiting for me.  I will either have this in the next day or two or put it in the freezer (wrapped in wax paper) for a day when I need a pick me up!

Check out the Fresh Diet Facebook page because there is always something going on there.  SuperBowl Sunday they had a quick contest to come up with a advertisement (since the ads were pretty lame this year) for a free week of meals.  Yes I was lucky to win that one!  And right now there is a contest to show your Fresh Diet bag "out and about".  Now if you aren't a customer they want you to create your own bag and take it "out and about".  There have been a few really cute ones - but you should go check it out and maybe submit your own version.  Who knows, you could be the winner of a free week of The Fresh Diet meals.  Come on - you have to be in it to win it.  Hmmmm where did I hear that before???

Make sure you check out my Winter CSN giveaway - easy to enter (3 chances/ways to win) open until Feb 16th.  I'd like to win this one - there are so many things I would use it for!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday Monday - The Fresh Diet Way.

Good morning good morning!  Yes it should be an EXCELLENT morning here in Fresh Diet land, but for me it's not the best of days - but it has nothing to do with The Fresh Diet.  My little buddy was waiting for me this morning right outside my door, but I got whatever Jenn had last week.  It started Sunday night a little before the Super Bowl and lasted all night long, and then into Monday.  When she had said she had to die to feel better, I thought she was being a bit "overly" dramatic (she can be my "Sarah Bearnard" actress) ..... well I can now say she wasn't.  So today's review is actually being done by my daughter Jenn, since she didn't get a delivery today ... so none of my meals will go to waste.

Breakfast was Apple Walnut Muffin with Fresh Banana and Raspberry Yogurt.  This would be great as a grab and go meal, even though she was able to eat it before she ran off for classes.  The muffin was very moist and hat quite a few walnuts in it.  Jenn said even the banana had a good taste to it and the "cut end" of the banana was still pretty firm (you know how it can get "funny" once its protective skin is removed).  All in all, Jenn enjoyed this one

Lunch was White Albacore Tuna Salad and Baby Lettuce on Spinach Tortilla Wrap.  Again this was right up Jenn's alley of easy meals for a busy college kid.  Because this was one of her "early days" she was able to eat this when she got home around 1:30 ... but as she said it would be great to have on her late days too - its easy to carry and eat and tastes great too.  The only thing she did (since she has had this before) was add more mayo .... but since she is not fighting her weight - it didn't cause any problems for her.  As you can probably see, when it was cut in half .... mayo oozed out (like I said she added mayo).  I would have eaten it just as it was ....

Snack for the day was Red and Yellow Tomato with Goat Cheese and Fresh Basil.  The goat cheese was very creamy so it was a nice combination with the basil and tomato slices.  She is just starting to really experiment with cheeses (she was a slow start) and although she like tomato sauce, she isn't fond of plain tomatoes, so I was surprised that she enjoyed this one - but she said it wasn't overpowering and the tomato slices weren't too thick.

Dinner was Citrus Marinated Beef Stir-Fry with Black Barley Pilaf and Exotic Mushroom Ragout.  Now she doesn't like mushrooms at all - so that part of the meal was not eaten, but the rest of it was "pretty good".  I think this is a high rating from the fast food/take out (pizza/chinese/sushi are staples) queen.  I would not be surprised if I see this one show up in her list of meals the next time it is available.

Dessert was Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Creamy Vanilla Ricotta Cheese.  These happen to be one of my favorite desserts.  Jenn even said to me at lunch - You HAVE to feel better you have Chocolate Covered Strawberries .............  Well she was so sweet and plated it for me to eat last night, but I just couldn't.  I was starting to feel much better but to be honest, was afraid that would be too much for my stomach ... so it is sitting in the fridge for me to have maybe tomorrow - wonder what snack or dessert I will give up to have these ???  But I will have them soon so that they don't go to waste - THAT is for sure.

Make sure you check out my Winter CSN giveaway - easy to enter (3 chances/ways to win) open until Feb 16th.  I'd like to win this one - there are so many things I would use it for!