Tag Archives: food

Getting Fit Fridays {vol. 9 & 10}–My get up and go…

…has gotten up and went.

I know y’all have heard that saying.

It describes where I am, though I guess my get up and go hasn’t entirely gotten up and went. It is just harder to make myself do the things I know I need to do—mostly on the food front. I suppose you could say I am in a bit of a slump.

slow progressAnd before you say, “Hey, it isn’t Friday!” Just let the fact that there was no post last Friday and that this Friday’s post is occurring on Saturday clue you in to the chaos that has been my life the last two weeks and cut a sister a break.

Life has intervened. Prom committee meetings, Military Ball, Eye doctor appointments, Homeschool Co-op prep, Homeschooling, Extra-curriculars, Family visits, Etc. Life events thrown my way which upset my apple cart. This is something I have written about before and am aware is a struggle for me—to stay on track when I start feeling overwhelmed. It is that time of year when things start to go nuts.

Planning becomes difficult. Routines are changed. I feel so exhausted. But if I am truly honest, and I want to be, this whole thing is just hard. And like my friend Cris, when my perfectionism kicks in, I tend to shut down.

Yesterday, as I was driving to the gym for my WERQ class (that I really do enjoy), I was praying, “Lord, I am so tired. Why is this thing so hard?”

I heard that still, small voice say, “Because you want it to be easy.”

Oh really. *insert raised eyebrow here*

Truer words may never have been spoken.

Making good choices in my eating is hard. It takes time and planning. I want to eat what I want to eat. I want it to be quick and easy.

Getting fit takes time. I want it to happen now. I want it to be easy.

Results take hard, consistent work. I don’t like to work hard. I want to give minimum effort and get maximum results.

TRUTH: I am, by nature, a lazy person. I would like things to just happen. I want broccoli and lean proteins to miraculously appear on my plate at dinner time. I want cake to taste terrible so I won’t love it. I want my hips and thighs, okay, my whole body, to be about 6 times smaller than it currently is.

Oh, but wait…didn’t someone once say that nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work? Yep, his name was Booker T. Washington. And didn’t someone else say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result? Uh-huh, his name was Albert Einstein. Someone else said that in all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Yeah, that guy was King Solomon, only, like, the wisest king in Israel’s history. Oh, and he also said, the soul of a sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

SO, while my nature is to be lazy and to want it NOW (think Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka singing “♫…don’t care how, I want it nooooow…♪”), I know that I have to keep on making even the smallest steps in the right direction and just say no to my natural inclination to throw the baby out with the bath water when I feel like I have really messed things up. I have to fight my urge to give up and give in to what I want at the moment.

Progress is slow. And though I have moments when I feel like I want to quit and I am tired and frustrated and I want to eat junk and I feel like there are a thousand other things I “need” to be doing besides working out, I know that slow progress is still progress.

The coming week is just as crazy as the last two. So, what am I going to do? I am going to write down what I eat. All the bites, tastes and licks too! I am going to continue with my workouts and give them more than I have been giving. I am going to ask for help when and where I need it. That may be the hardest thing of all for me. I don’t like to ask for help.

Most of all, I will not give up.

“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted” ~David Bly


Getting Fit Fridays appears weekly here at Red Van Ramblings to chronicle my fitness journey and more importantly, to increase my accountability. Do you need to get back on the wagon? Do you need some help and encouragement? Join with me, if you’d like. We can do it—together.


Filed under Getting Fit Fridays, Health and wellness

Getting Fit Fridays {vol. 7}–Food is what? or Hello, McFly!

chasing the ice cream truckYou know how you already know stuff (or think you do), but then you need a BAM! In your FACE! reminder to really drive it home? Yeah, well that is what happened to me this week.

Think Biff in Back to the Future…Knocking on George McFly’s head…I felt like that. “Hellooo? Hellooo? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly! Think!”

Last Sunday afternoon, I went and met up with my Biggest Loser Ladies for our workout. We were doing a run/walk for half an hour and then hard core circuit training for an hour. All hosted by our very own Jillian Michaels (AKA Rene). We love her. We don’t love her. No really, we love her.

About an hour and twenty minutes into the workout, I started feeling lightheaded, clammy (I was sweaty already, but this was different), and my hands started to tingle. Then, I thought I was going to puke all over the kettle ball I was flinging around. Yeah, it was kinda scary. I have never felt that way before (let’s clarify: during a workout). I had to sit down, sip some water, and try to let it pass. Then try to get up and walk it off. Then sit back down. Took me about 15 minutes to start feeling better. So weird.

One lady asked me, what did you have for lunch? I told her. Lo-carb wrap with turkey and cheese. And an orange. Then she suggested that I had eaten some good protein, but maybe not enough carbs to give me energy for  the workout. This woman, who was talking to me, is diabetic and so she really has to think about what she is eating and how her body will use the food she eats. It is imperative that she eat the proper foods to keep her blood sugar in check.

Wait, what? *insert rewind noise here*

Hold up just a minute. Food is fuel? 

What a novel concept. (Hello, McFly!!)

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” ~ Hippocrates

I learned a long time ago that food is NOT my friend. Thank you, Weight Watchers. And I recognize that I have used food as an emotional crutch or to just eat recreationally. (You are not a farm animal, so stop grazing like one! Thanks again, WW.) So, while I recognize that I need to eat mindfully and healthfully, which is great, I had not really been thinking about food as FUEL for my body to use and function properly, as FUEL for my body to use when I am working out or doing laundry or just hanging out with the fam.

Wow. This was a newsflash. Or a “DUH” moment. Whichever.

And truly, feeling the way I did the other day was enough to really make me start thinking more about the foods that I eat—not just to lose weight, but to get the most bang for my buck for my body! I do NOT want to feel like I am about to go bad. Ever. Again.

Yeah, so DULY NOTED!

I have paid more attention to food as fuel this week. Really taking note of what foods are carbs and proteins, etc. I am trying to eat foods that are not just low in calories, but also that I know will sustain me through whatever I need to do that day. And I have felt very good—aside from general soreness from workouts. I have had good workouts this week…well, besides that one. Thanks to the support of the BL Ladies.

Tire and HammerI continue to notice improvements in my balance and how I feel overall. I noticed this week that my pants fit me better. I am seeing some changes in some of the girls I workout with and they are so inspirational. I feel like a broken record, but I could not do this alone!

I have also discovered a really fun dance fitness class called WerQ (think Jazzercise, only, well, jazzier). Lots of fun, lots of cardio, lots of calories burned, lots of great music, oh, and lots of sweat. Check and see if you have this in your area. It is a blast!

Today is the first of the month and that means WEIGH IN time! Since my first weigh-in back in January, I am down 8.6 lbs. I have lost a total of about 4-5 inches (waist/hips/arms/thigh combined). And maybe those numbers aren’t huge, but I can tell that things are changing. And as I continue to work (or WerQ), things can only get better. I call that a SCORE!

What do you eat before a workout? After a workout? How have you SCORED this week?

Getting Fit Fridays appears weekly here at Red Van Ramblings to chronicle my fitness journey and more importantly, to increase my accountability. Do you need to get back on the wagon? Do you need some help and encouragement? Join with me, if you’d like. We can do it—together.


Filed under Getting Fit Fridays, Health and wellness, Lessons

Comfort Food Calling. Day 14

Chicken pot pie 003Who can sing with me the praises of some comfort food?

Methinks I hear angelic voices singing the Hallelujah Chorus in the distance.

Yes, my friends, I do love me some comfort food. Now, this means different things to different people, no doubt. And this time of year, with the cooler weather and the holidays approaching, my comfort food yearnings kick into high gear!

Soups. Stews. Goodies that are warm and creamy. And, of course, terribly fattening. Oy.

It is not just about the food, though. It is the association of the food with family memories and the love and comfort of family and the standing together in the kitchen, working together to prepare a meal.


It is how my mother-in-law shows her love. No matter how many family members will be coming in for a weekend or a holiday, she will make each one his favorite. For me, she makes her delicious Chicken Salad and her special brand of Chicken Pastry. (Some of you folks might try to call it Chicken and Dumplings, but it is not the same—she uses strips of pastry and not the doughy dumplings. Nom! Nom!) For one sister-in-law, it’s Chocolate Pie. For another, it’s Grandma Nina’s Pink Congealed Salad. For my hubby, it’s Lemon Pie. She slaves away in that kitchen, and though she is nearly 84 years old (yes, she is pretty amazing!) and we say, “Come on, Mom, take a load off!”, she does not listen. She just keeps cooking. And she does it because she loves to do it. And it makes us feel loved by her.

Family. Love. Memories. Comfort. Gratitude.

Yesterday, I started thinking some Chicken Pot Pie sounded awfully tasty. And, Emma loves it too. So today, I gathered the ingredients and went to work. And it is work, but the end result is so worth it.

You should have heard Emma exclaim when I told her we were having Chicken Pot Pie for supper!

It sounded an awful lot like the Hallelujah Chorus.


Oh, so, you want the recipe for this Chicken Pot Pie that is so good that, as we say in the South, It’ll Lock Your Jaws?? Okay, you can have it.

But first, let me say that this recipe is not my own creation. It was originally posted by a woman named Karen Johnson from California on allrecipes.com, where I found it about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, the link in no longer on the website. So, Karen Johnson, whoever and wherever you are, I am trying to give credit where credit is due…You posted one awesome recipe, girl!

This recipe is great for the obvious delicious reasons, but it is also great because it makes TWO pies. Eat one tonight; freeze one for next week or next month. Serve one up for company. Take one to your church potluck or to a family who needs a meal.  Everyone will love it, and it may or may not have anything to do with the cup of butter in there!

Chicken Pot Pie


2 cups diced peeled potatoes

1  3/4 cups sliced carrots

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup butter or margarine

1  3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried thyme

3/4 tsp. pepper

1 cup all purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1  1/2 cups milk

4 cups cubed cooked chicken (This works out to about 3 good sized boneless/skinless breasts for me. I cook them in chicken broth with salt and pepper on the stovetop and then shred them instead of cubing, as suggested.)

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

2  9 in. deep dish pie crusts

1 pkg. of pre-made, rolled out, refrigerated pie crust (2 in the pkg.)


1. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, and pepper until blended. Over medium to medium-high heat, stir the mixture and it will start to thicken. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened..

3. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots and combine. Remove from heat.

4. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pie crusts. Roll refrigerated pie crust over the tops of the pies. Seal edges. Here’s where you can make you a fancy looking pie crust! Cut slits or decorative cut-outs in the pastry.

5. Bake one pot pie at 425 degrees F for 35 – 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Cover and freeze remaining pie for up to 3 months. Or cook both pies at once for about 40 – 45 minutes. Yield 6 slices per pie.

Hope your family will enjoy this yummy deliciousness as much as mine does!


“There is nothing better on a cold wintry day than a properly made pot pie.”  ~Craig Claiborne


Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Family