Forgetti Spaghetti

Leaving it all behind and taking strides toward a healthy life.


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Recipe >> Kid-Friendly Quesadillas!

This is one of those amazing things that you can sneak a bunch of good stuff in without your toddler or kid knowing.  Plus, I LOVE these.  I used to make them all the time, especially when it was just me making a meal for myself and two little ones.  This takes hardly any time and is a great meal that will fill you up.  While I don’t eat most of this stuff anymore, this is an awesome toddler recipe!  This is definitely not Paleo, but still a great kid friendly fast recipe.  So have fun with it!

Kid-Friendly Quesadillas

What you need:
Whole wheat tortillas (I use either local or Mission brand)
Black beans
Some sort of cheesy substance (For E, we use Daiya and for the rest of us we use reduced fat cheddar or mozzarella)
Chopped tomato
Ground flax seed and/or chia seeds
Avacado, diced into small bite sized pieces

Put a couple tortillas on a cookie sheet.  For me, I like the black beans whole.  My daughter won’t eat it unless they are smashed, so a head’s up there.  I also just put the beans right in the middle of the tortilla, so it doesn’t creep out the edges.  You can make these into quesadillas or burritos, whichever works best.  Sprinkle flax and or chia onto the beans.  Next add some cheese on top.  To keep dairy intake down, just put a little on for flavor.  For kids, you might need more than you would use, to mask everything else, but don’t load it on. Put in the oven under the broiler, watching closely, until the cheese gets melty.  Don’t over cook, as the tortilla will get hard.  Of course, you can also use the microwave.  There isn’t much time difference because you can do two or more in the oven, while only one at a time in the microwave.  Also, the microwave adds moisture, so I prefer the oven.  Once they are done in the oven, put on the stovetop.  Don’t try to remove them yet.  Instead, put in the tomato and avocado.  Now my son will eat avocado, he loves it.  I can get C to eat it if I make guacamole and tell her it’s a dip for her chips, but not in this meal.  So for her, I omit the avocado.  For me, that’s my favorite part!  She sometimes will eat the tomatoes and sometimes won’t, but I always add them.  Chopped very small.  For a quesadilla, fold it in half, push the contents to the edges, and cut into thirds.  Perfect portion for a kid!  Add some fruit on the side and serve.  No I don’t have a picture, sadly.  These are awesome, but I don’t eat them anymore, so I’m probably not going to making them anytime soon, since I love them so much!  Maybe I will adapt it sometime soon.

Sidenote:  It took about eight times of serving this with beans before my daughter just said one day…”I love beans!”  Before that, she wouldn’t eat it all, and would try to eat it around the beans.  Keep serving it, and they’ll catch on.  The beans provide fiber and protein and calcium and are a great thing to add to a lot of meals, so just keep introducing it to your kid or toddler, and eventually they should take to them.  If not, mash them, chop them, and hide them.



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Whole30 in ONE WEEK. Oh crap.

I’m getting my mind in the right condition, and I’m kind of scared crapless about it.  I am usually one to impulsively jump into things, and so I wanted to make sure and know that this is something that we definitely want to do.  It will take a lot of commitment to stay on the Whole30 Program for a whole thirty days.  If you are wondering what it is…basically, it is a 30 day plan in which you cut out:

  • legumes (including peanuts, soy, and all beans)
  • all dairy
  • all grains (even quinoa and other nutritious grains)
  • all sugar and sugar substitutes (except naturally occurring sugars in fruits and veggies)
  • alcohol
  • white potatoes (basically your body treats it like starch and sugar, despite some good nutrients)
  • additives (duh) like MSG and sulfites

So what do you eat then?  Lean meats, lots of veggies, and fruits.  Cashews and seeds are okay.  There’s some fine print about what you can and can’t eat, and it can all be found on the Whole30 website.  There are free pdf’s of helpful information and guides for shopping and what to have on hand.  This is the free part.  There’s also a book, which I am halfway through reading.

Our family is addicted to sugar.  Totally addicted to grains and dairy (except E who drinks almond milk).  I know it will be a big adjustment.  Since E doesn’t eat soy or dairy, it won’t be too hard on him.  We still aren’t sure how we will still incorporate grains into our kids’ diets, because I don’t think we can cut it all out just like that for them.  And with C we are only going to give her organic milk to drink and let her have her cottage cheese, which she probably couldn’t live without.  She would eat it for every meal if we let her.  As for JD and I, we are going to have it rough, I know, for a couple weeks.  But it is so totally worth it.  This program isn’t about eating this way forever.  It’s 3o days.  A friend of mine says, “I can do anything for _____ amount of time.”  So we can do anything for 30 days.  And in the middle, we will start to get so much energy and feel really great and remember that it is JUST FOOD.  While it is nice to enjoy a meal and indulge sometimes, it is easy to start to do it all the time.  To get, basically, gluttonous.  For me, I need a challenge like this.  No cheating…not even one time, so our bodies can heal and our minds can focus.  No faking.  No pale0-desserts that are technically “okay.”  Because in reality, you are still in the old mindset of eating sweets after meals and thinking you need it or want it and it is ok to always indulge.  For us, this is about changing our mindset and really engaging in a healthy lifestyle.  We did really well for about 5 months eating whole foods and exercising.  But slowly, we got off track.  Our lives got more stressful and we let that distract us.  A healthy body and mind are linked, you can’t have one without the other.  So we are ready and willing, and next Monday, we start our new eating plan with the hopes that it will get us into the correct mindset for us, for eating well and thinking the right way about food and its place in our lives.

I would love to know if there is anyone else out there that has done this program or is doing it now.  Comment below!


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Some Encouraging Stuff

When I first started this journey, I think it was right around January 20…Jon’s bday.  While my whole family has definitely benefitted from it, I am the one who has really bought into it all.  The food, the exercise, the state of mind it takes.  Finally, this time, it took with me.  I’m not sure what the difference was.  Maybe it was because of my son…for that I am actually grateful for his food intolerances.  So I thought I’d document where I was and where I am at now, for posterity’s sake…HA!  How about just so I don’t forget, hmm?

When I was in high school and the first couple years after, I weighed from 167-177lbs.  It fluctuated a lot.  When I lived in Omaha for a year, the same time I met Jon, I was the lightest I had been and have been since…in my adult life.  (Hopefully that will change soon though!)

At the end of January, I weighed 203lbs.  It was almost a year after having E, and I weighed a little more than I did when I had him.  That was not ok.  Also the fact that I had gone over 200 and had been sitting there for awhile…not ok with me.
I wore a size 14 in pants, with a nice muffin top spilling out, and a seriously jiggly lardo post baby tummy that had not gotten any smaller or tighter since my two pregnancies.
I had big old jumbo boobs.  I know…nice way of putting it.  Some would say they were nice…but they actually just felt ginormous to me.  40D or 40DD, depending on the brand.  Those mixed with my flabby, wide arms and natural broad shoulders made me feel like a linebacker pretty much all the time.
I was starting to get rolls where I had never had them before.

After changing our diet, I lost 20lbs in about two months.  I was able to get a couple of size 10 jeans…totally amazing!  Then I just sat there for awhile.  I think I even gained a little back as I had a little love affair with Casey’s cheese pizza pretty much all throughout April and part of May.  I felt like it was a reward, that if I ate super healthy, I could indulge every now and then.  While I still feel that it is ok to indulge, it is NOT ok to give myself food rewards!

I started to run on May 12.  I was very motivated by one of my best friends, who was starting to ride her awesome new bike all the time.  Well I don’t have a bike, and while I would LOVE one, I’m not ready to unload a massive amount of cash for one, and I don’t want a crapper.  So what could I do?  I needed to do something.  So I downloaded the free C25K app on my iPhone and started running.  Since then, I have lost 10 more pounds.  For a total of 30lbs.  Now my size 10’s are getting big, and I had to make a new whole in my belt to hold them up.  I’m making myself wait until this fall to get new pants because it’s so freaking hot I probably won’t wear them much anyway.  (side note: I HATE Nebraska summers!)  I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve stalled out a bit.  This didn’t start out as a way to lose weight, really.  I just needed time to myself, I just wanted to eat healthy.  But now, I am finding new motivation to get smaller.  My entire life, I believed the lie that I could never be thin or fit.  Now, I am finding the reality of healthy living, and looking, to be a life changing thing.  And as you fix one area of your life, everything else starts to fall into place too.  Not that it doesn’t take work, but you want to do that work.  So that’s where I am.  And where I’ve been.  It’s pretty encouraging, to me anyway.


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So…What About Protein?

Protein is a very important part of our daily diet. One misconception among the meat-eaters out there is that it is difficult to get protein on a plant-based diet. Wrong! Actually, it is recommended to get most of your protein from plants, regardless of your meat preference. In fact, if you get too much protein, it is hard on your liver and kidneys because your body can’t handle more than it needs. It can’t store it for later. There are actually many sources of protein that don’t come from meat. All you have to do is find them, and include them in your daily diet. You just have to be conscious of what you need and make it available to yourself.

Here are some great sources of plant-based protein:

SOY
Ok…now soy is great. You can eat tempeh, tofu, edamame, etc. and get sufficient protein from it. But there are a couple things to keep in mind. 1-Make sure you are getting organic, non-GMO soy. Most of the soy consumption in America has been genetically modified. 2-Soy contains estrogen, which in large quantities can be harmful, especially to males. I actually like to find my protein from other sources, and keep our soy consumption to a minimum. But we will still use it occasionally. My husband especially likes dark chocolate covered edamame, which is easy to make at home and a fun and healthy snack.

BEANS
Beans are awesome! Especially black beans, but any whole, organic beans will do the trick. They contain all the protein you need plus the benefits that most meats can give you, like iron and B vitamins, and you can substitute them for meat in many dishes. Beans are great for filling out salads, and are a main ingredient in most soups we make. You can even make bean burgers and grill or bake them like a regular burger. Seasoned correctly, they taste amazing!

SEA PLANTS
There are a ton of sea vegetables out there and they are nutritionally complete and packed with more of what you need than land plants, which make them easy to include in your diet. You don’t need as much to get as much! Here’s a great website that describes many different kinds of different sea vegetables and their benefits.

WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains have a lot of nutritional value. They contain protein, and they also contain fiber, B-vitamins, and other great vitamins and minerals essential to your health. Try getting grains in their whole form to get maximum nutrition. We like to use whole oats in a lot of recipes. I’ve heard that quinoa is especially wonderful. So far I’ve used it as a side and in the black bean burgers I make. My son loves it.

FRUIT
The best source of protein in fruit is in goji berries. You can eat them raw or dried, but they are difficult to find fresh. You can also get goji berry juice, but make sure it is actually goji berry juice, no added sweeteners, and organic. Other fruit proteins include raisins, apricots, dates, currants, figs, and avacados. Yes avacados are technically a fruit. 😉

So there you go, and now you know. Your body’s need for protein is not really an excuse to not eat meat. I’m not knocking on those who choose to eat meat, and occasionally I will too. (I love love love sushi!) I encourage you to find more of your protein in plant-based sources regardless of your diet. Your body will thank you!