Monday, December 29, 2014

Spicy Beef Burritos

Now that the holidays are over, what are we to do with the leftovers?  If you had beef instead of the traditional ham or turkey, stay tuned and I will show you a quick and easy way to spice up those leftovers.  How does some Spicy Beef Burritos sound?  


1 pound of left over roast beef
1 onion diced
1 pat of butter
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
1 cup of salsa
2 cups of water


Cook onion in the butter and olive oil, until translucent.  Add in dry seasonings and whisk until they form a paste.  Next add in the salsa, water and meat.  Simmer on medium until the meat and sauce are reduced by half.
Spoon into a warm tortilla, add some cheese and there you have it.  A quick and easy way to use up some leftovers and still keeping it interesting.  

Live, Laugh and Love.

Bonus Tips:

You use butter and olive oil together for two reasons, the butter gives flavor the olive oil prevents the butter from burning too soon.

When reducing something that means just letting the water evaporate.  Keep an on eye on it though you dont want it to reduce too much where all the water evaporates and you are left with a scorchted mess.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Homemade Spanish Rice

Its that time of year again where the stores are full of impatient children and parents are pulling their hair out.  I have a recipe for you today that is not something you think of when you think of Christmas.  However I feel it shouldn't be forgotten over the holiday season either.  Its quick and easy and affordable.  Add some chicken or beef to it and you have a filling meal that will feed an army, plus save you a few pennies and a lot of time.  Let's do this!


1 Onion diced
2 chicken bullion cubes (if you are using beef use 2 beef bullion cubes)
4-6 cups of water depending on how much rice you are cooking
1 pat of butter
2 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (homemade or store bought its up to you)
2 1/2 cups of quick cooking rice, I used minute rice
1/8 of a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, not for heat just for the flavor
1 can of diced tomatoes


In a medium stock pot or dutch oven, add in the butter and onions.  Cook the onions until you can see through them and they haven't started browning yet.  Next add in all the dry seasonings its ok you will want to whisk the seasonings into the butter and onions.  It will thick and pasty and that is what you are looking for.  From here add in the water, tomatoes and bullion cubes.  When the bullion cubes have disolved and the liquid come up to a boil, add in the rice.  Now just follow the instructions on the rice box.  Cover with a lid until all the liquid is abosorbed into the rice.  Serve with vegetables and either beef or chicken.  

There you have it, Hommade Spanish Rice.  I made this with some homemade beef burritos from left over roast beef.  Stay tuned for next week's recipe for that burrito.  So full of flavor yet so little time to make.

Live, Laugh and Love


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Thoughts on Healthy Living and Surgery

Hi everyone, as some of you know I have had the RNY gastric bypass.  Dont ask me what the difference is from reg. bypass surgery, I think it may have something to do with the way vitamins are absorbed in your body.  I am going to tell you all what my experiences have been so far.  I will not hold anything back and if I made mistakes I will tell you those too. I am no way an expert but here are a few things to help you if this surgery is something you are considering.


As some of you already know any change including changes you go through for any surgery, is a process.  You cannot just dive in on day one.  Gastric bypass surgery is a lot of work.  Its not an easy way out at all.  Its a tool, and it will only work to benefit you if you use it correctly.  Changing eating habits is a big one, but an even bigger one is exercise.  Everyone including some people who have had this surgery find every excuse not to do this.  My personal experience is do it anyway.  You dont have to join a gym, you dont have to buy fancy equipment or fancy clothing.  I do most of my exercise right here, in my own home.  I have stairs so I use them to my benefit, I walk when I am talking on the phone.  I walk around the house with the music turned up loud (my husband just loves that one).  I have been working out since day one, meaning since the first appointment I had with my dr.  There are going to be days you will not feel like doing it, do it anyway even if its just using handweights.  Move somehow and in someway.  Its not only good for your body but it prepares you for surgery.  It makes you stronger and it will come in handy after surgery because you have already established a routine with it.  Before too long it will be like drinking water, which is also important.  In the beginning I struggled with this one, I hated every aspect of it.  Exercise to me was my enemy, it physically hurt.  Instead of quitting, I got mad.  I looked at excercise as someone I couldnt stand and pushed through even harder.  I worked out so hard I injured myself so do not go that far lol.  I was out of commision for two weeks.  Even now that I have had my surgery exercise is a key part of my day.  I do not feel like I am ready to tackle the day without 30 minutes of cardio first.  

Eating Habits:

Before surgery the drs and dieticians want you to change your eating habits.  Eat a lot of protein, veggies and small amounts of carbs like rice and potatoes.  The more protein you consume through the day the less likely you will snack and the fuller you will be.  This part I didnt have a problem with at all, I have always loved my meats and veggies.  When I was getting enough protein, I was finding I didnt want sweets, or candy.  That feeling is only going to continue after surgery too.  However the protein shakes, ewww those are different story.   Two weeks before surgery you are put on a liquid diet, at least the center I went to you are.  I have to admit I didnt do well here.  I did have things that were not liquid but overall I did stick to the plan with just a few bumps here and there.  If that happens to you do not beat yourself up over it.  Stress causes your weight to go up.  Just know that tomorrow is another day.  This has been the theme through this whole process with me.  Head hunger is real, guilt is real, throwing up is real, and dumping syndrom is real.  After I had the surgery food wasnt enjoyable to me not like it used to be.  It all tasted funny and smelled strange to me.  I was on again the liquid diet and that was ok but I didnt know why I felt so sick.  The next phase was implimenting dairy back into my diet.  That is where I found my answer, the dairy was making me so sick, throwing up, stomach cramps.  I had it all.  Come ot find out reg. protein powders have dairy in them, I bought the whey isolate that has no dairy and it was like my world had changed.  I no longer felt sick.  I still havent found a milk I enjoy yet.  Before surgery I was drinking almond milk a lot and now I cannot stand it.  I am not fan of the coconut milks either and soy is ok but not my favorite. I will find something I am determined to.  There are going to be things that other people have no problems with that may make you sick and that is ok.  There have been a lot of allowable foods like dairy products that I just cannot tolerate.  Oh and did I mention the first time I had a small taste of icecream? Yes I was sick as a dog and before surgery icecream was incredible.  I still get a sweet tooth, most of the time peanut butter helps with that or sugar free jam.  Truvia is a great sweetener because its all natural from a plant, however it makes it very expensive.  It lasts forever though so I would consider that.  

Mind Games:

Be prepared, after surgery your mind will play tricks on you, you will be hungry for something you never had an interest in.  For me that was seafood, I hate it.  However a week after surgery I was craving shrimp, lobster, clams, ect.  That feeling soon passed when I was able to eat real food.  Your mind is not going to catch up to your new stomach right away either.  Your mind is going to think you can consume the same amount of food you did before surgery.  Do not fall into that, recognize how you feel if you feel hungry eat something small if you are not hungry then drink some water.  Chances are your head is confused between hunger and thirst.  

My Life so Far:

If I am leaving things out I am sorry, there is just so much more to any change than what can be written.  I have lost 60 pounds so far from the very first visit to the dr.  I have no regrets with this surgery.  Yes there were some moments where I regretted it and yes there were times when I thought what did I just do to myself?  However here is the bigger picture, I am no longer on high blood pressure medicine.  I no longer have high blood pressure.  How I deal with stress now verses over a year ago are two different animals.  I actually deal with what bothers me and move on.  A year ago I wouldnt deal with problems or stress.  I would eat my feelings and then get angry about it later.  I still have good and bad days however the good days are outweighing the bad just because I have implemented positive habits.  I still get stressed and that is when I work out longer or more often through the day.  I still wind up making not the greatest choices sometimes when it comes to food.  However I am trying to use every mealtime as an oppertunity to get the most nutrition for my body so I have the energy to follow through with my work out.  You will stumble, you will cave to a potato chip or a piece of candy now and then.  However do not let now and then be every day.  So I have had this surgery it doesnt mean I am through learning and it doesnt mean I wont make mistakes.  We do, we all do and those who tell you they never made a mistake after surgery are not being 100 percent real with you.  

I hope this helped you and I know it helped me.  Next week is a new recipe!

Live, Laugh and Love.   Heather

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Warm Pasta Salad

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate it.  If you do not I hope you have had some wonderful opportunities to make some long standing memories.  Either way today's post is about a salad I made about a year ago and my family loves it.  Its not too bad for you health wise either.  It makes a great side dish to anything you are making.  I believe last year when I made this it was a side dish to our Christmas dinner.  So I hope you all enjoy this as much as my family does.  


1 cup of whole wheat pasta shells
2 tomatoes diced
2 laughing cow cheese wedges any flavor you enjoy
1 celery stalk diced
1 slice of bacon crumbled, or you can use turkey bacon
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
the juice of half of a lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper 


Cook and drain the pasta as directed on the box.  Do not rinse the pasta.  Next in a large mixing bowl add in pasta, and all veggies.  In a separate bowl mix in the seasonings including lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Whisk the seasonings, oil and lemon juice together and pour over the top of salad.  Last crumble up the bacon and cheese wedges.  Give the salad one last mix and you are ready to serve.  

I hope you all get a chance to try this recipe, its very simple but the flavors compliment each other in such a way that it can go with any main course.  Live, laugh and love all.