How to Make Homemade Almond Butter

So right now there are TONS of fade diets out there. Gluten free, carb free, and those nasty protein cleanses. To all of those people who have Celiac disease, this isn’t towards you. For all of those who think those cleanses work, WRONG. Go buy protein drinks and eat clean, guess what, it’s the same exact thing. But my one sentence of rambling isn’t going to convince you. So who care.

Well I’ve been “crunchy” for quiet some time now. I mean I make my own breads, laundry detergent (well right now I use store bought because we have someone staying with us), I even make my own tortillas. Well this month I told my husband we were going to try to make our own nut butters. This month I only picked up almonds since we will only be here for 1/2 of the month. Between college graduation and vacation we have a very very busy month.

Homemade Almond Butter

Tools:

Blender or a food processor.

I personally have a Ninja, so it went pretty fast. The lower end the appliance is, the longer it takes. SO I’VE READ. I waited three years to get a blender, and I invested in a good one so it wouldn’t break. I don’t judge if you have a lower quality appliance.

Ingredients:

1 pound of Almonds (the more natural the better)

I got  an all natural almond. It was salted. Next time I would choose to get an unsalted almond choice. All natural almonds in Jersey costs about 7.50 a pound. In Texas they cost 7 dollars a pound. Organic almonds are about 11 dollars a pound

Steps:

1. Put almonds in blender and turn it on.

2. This will take 10 – 30 minutes depending how many pounds you put in your blender and how good of quality you have of appliance.

3. Stick in a jar and put in the fridge. From my reading, your almond butter will last any where from 2 weeks to a month in the fridge.

Notes:

– 1 pound of almonds in my blender made about 19 ounces of almond butter. You would think it would make 16 ounces of nut butter, right? I don’t know. There was liquid in my nut butter.

– Your blender will get hot so I would take a break every 5 minutes or so.

For the amount of almond butter that I got it would have cost me over 9 dollars at the store and not all almond butters are made equal. You really need to read the ingredients list to your favorite . I also know what ingredients are in my almond butter. I love the fact that I made this and it is super tasty. It actually doesn’t taste much different from peanut butter. My kids loved eating it straight from the blender.

 

Weigh in Wednesday, on a Thursday.

weighinwednesday

So my post is late. That is all I’m going to comment on that.

So I skipped last weeks weigh in because I was WAY OFF TRACK. I mean I was stuffing my face with everything. First it was Mother’s Day, you can’t diet on Mother’s Day. Then my brother was in DC so we went down to see him and I was depressed for a day. Then I had my period and NO ONE diets during their period. Again, it was the loop of excuses. Then I stepped on the scale and guess what? I GAINED WEIGHT. yeah go figure. You gain weight after eating like a piggy for 10 days. But I got back on track, and a current flu bug, so guess who has lost the weight that she gained? This girl! My weight loss journey is going to be hard. I knew this when I began. So seeing a gain on the scale scared me back into being healthy.

Goal by June 25: -30

Ultimate Goal by the time I die (lol): -130

4/23: -2

4/30: -5.8

5/7: -4.2

5/14: +3.6

5/22: -4.4

Total: 12.8 lbs

If I buckle down and focus for these next five weeks, I definitely have a shot at getting to my goal weight by the time I am in Texas. Heck an extra stomach flu wouldn’t hurt either on my goals for weight loss. So now after writing this I’m going to climb back onto my couch and watch the season finale of Nashville and wallow in self pity for being sick.

I hope the rest of you have a better week that I do. ha.

 

My 5K Inspiration

I’ve fallen off the wagon. I mean the wagon has left me on the side of the road, and is miles down the road. But reality comes at the most inopportune times. Am I right?

 

Well Sunday I had a 5K that I had trained for 3 times in the last month for. See where this is going? I wasn’t going to flake out though. I mean I won the entrance to the race, so I wasn’t going to loose out on any money. But I couldn’t give up on myself. I woke up Saturday and realized that these last 10 days that’s just what I had done. Given up on myself and my dreams of being healthy. Heck. Right now while I’m writing this I know that I’ve eaten chips and a hot dog for lunch. Not exactly living the healthy life if you know what I mean. But this Sunday I did something I didn’t think I could do. I finished my “Color Me Rad” race in less than 47 minutes. I don’t know the exact time because we didn’t exactly run it completely. I mean we ran more.

I ran with a lot of people from my work, plus their friends. We ran BACK AROUND for those who couldn’t keep up, we waited for those who needed extra time, and we did it as a group. I was one of those people they had to wait on. But they cheered me on during the race. I didn’t feel like anyone was slowing anyone else down. For once I felt apart of the group. That and my son was running with me. He was running LAPS around people. I mean that kid would have ran the whole thing if I had let him.

While talking to him during the race, I asked him if he felt fine. He stated that his ribs hurt but that didn’t matter because he wanted to run.

ATTENTION PEOPLE:

My six year old just gave us the biggest secret to running. “Run through it cause you want to”. I don’t know why you want to run. You want to be healthy. You want to train for a 5K. You want to look good in that swimsuit this year. But “Run through it cause you want to”. A six year old put his mind over his body and was a BEAST. You can be that beast too. Just when you want to stop, run through.

And here are some phone dumps.

His shirt read "6 Years Old, 2nd 5K"

His shirt read “6 Years Old, 2nd 5K”

After we ran. It was a BIT messy

After we ran. It was a BIT messy

My daughter stood in the rain and held the sign for me  the entire time

My daughter stood in the rain and held the sign for me the entire time

"Jersey Strong" with our colored boogies

“Jersey Strong” with our colored boogies

We ran with these girls and the people in the blue shirts. But we didn't all fit

We ran with these girls and the people in the blue shirts. But we didn’t all fit

Apparently, the run turned my hair into Dolly Parton

Apparently, the run turned my hair into Dolly Parton

Before and After

Before and After

 

 

I hope that tonight I’ll do better eating. I hope that tomorrow I will do better than today and etc. I can’t be mad at myself for ever. I need to forgive my eating mistakes, stop trying to say “it’s okay to binge during period week” and just move on.

Skinny Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

I made this in hopes it would reconnect me with my great state of Texas. I miss the warm comfort of my home state. New Jersey just isn’t cutting it on Mexican food. Sorry.

So this recipe without cheese is less than 182 calories per serving! And that includes the chips. I know. This could be my “stuff myself so full and won’t go over calorie” binge meal. If you like sour cream, substitute greek yogurt instead. And if you like cheese, dabble lightly.

I make this 2 or three nights after taco night and use leftover corn tortillas and chicken. So you don’t have to be exact. For a family of 3 adults and 2 kids, 3 chicken breast is more than enough for this recipe. My husband said he would rather the chicken be chopped than shredded. But he doesn’t cook so he’ll deal with what I give him.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 (14,5 ounce) can diced petite tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used the kind that is in my fridge pre-minced)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth (or 4 bullion cubes with 4 cups of water)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can of corn
  • 6 corn tortillas

1. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the tortillas and vegetable oil. It should look a little watery. This isn’t a hearty soup, but more of a broth like soup. If you like it spicier add more chili powder and cumin, or hold back a bit if you lean the other way. If you want a heartier soup, only add 1 can of chicken broth. Just make sure you have enough water in there to cover the coked chicken up.

2. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or on high for 4. I have one of those slow cookers with a timer. See here. It was a pretty penny to get, but I really appreciate how easy a slow cooker meal is. No matter how busy I get through the day, I KNOW there is a healthy dinner waiting at the house.

3.  About 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Cut the tortillas into wedges, like a pizza or into strips. I don’t know how fancy you like your soup.

5. Bake for 4-6 minutes per side. When you decide to flip them, add a little salt for flavor. I usually use garlic salt for an extra kick.

6. Ladle your soup and top with chips, greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or even treat yourself to some avocado slices on top and enjoy yourself.

This meal is really simple and something good tasting when you come home from work. This isn’t a staple in my house because the boys like red meat, but when I need to use up leftovers before they go bad, this is my go to.

What I need from whomever is reading this. Do you have a good recipe for mashed cauliflower? 

I’ve been wanting a recipe to try since they are a healthy version of mashed potatoes, but I’m afraid that I will try to make something like this and completely hate it. One, I don’t want to waste my time and money. Secondly, I don’t want to cross something off my list that might be perfect to try. So give me your best “skinny” recipe.

Weigh in Wednesday 5/8/2013

 

Bleeehhh. Another weigh in. I have a love/hate relationship with the scale. I love that it says I loose weight, but hate that it’s not already at my goal weight.

weighinwednesday

Also I want to mention that writing these blogs on my BIG OLE MAC is so much easier than on the itty bitty laptop. I can actually see what I’m typing. Then again I’m not being a lazy bum laying on my couch while typing this. Now that I have figured out my ultimate goal, I know have the bigger picture planned out. I don’t care if I miss it by five pounds or even ten, but I need something to work to for the rest of my life. This journey isn’t going to end in a year or in ten. I will always have to focus on eating right and being healthy if I plan to live for ever. And I do mean FOR-EV-ERRR.

Goal by June 25: -30

Ultimate Goal by the time I die (lol): -130

4/23: -2

4/30: -5.8

5/7: -4.2

Total: -12

I need to put in here that on My Fitness Pal tracks from my weight when I first first started, so I changed it recently. You should also add me on there! Click here and find my profile. I really like seeing people weigh in and loose weight. All but 1 of my current friends are not using it anymore. I really feel that it’s inspirational to see other people’s weight loss and know that it is possible.

So how did I get two amazing weight losses 2 weeks in a row? Honestly? I have no clue. Just kidding. Even though I pigged out on Sunday, I started going to the gym in the morning on Monday. I’m not going to lie to you, going in the morning makes me EXHAUSTED for the rest of the day. But I know that the one work out gets me one step closer to my goal weight everyday. With now doing the C25K I’ve noticed that I can eat a lot more now. And I need it. With getting up that early I’m starving earlier now. Early morning work outs are really helping me get those 2 snacks a day in.

It’s also nice because whenever I want to give up on going to the gym (and I mean I try to give up about 15 times before I step foot on that treadmill) my husband is so encouraging. I posted recently here about how he is my worst supporter. But I sat down and talked to him and I told him what exactly I needed from him. Is he a changed man? No. But does he now understand where I’m coming from and attempts to help? Yes he does. And that’s all I can ask of him. To attempt to help like I attempt to loose weight. If you have someone in your life that is sabotaging your weight lose either on purpose or by accident, talk to them. They probably don’t even realize they are doing it. You are changing you right now, and that means your relationships with not only food is going to change, but with other people. My husband and I already are getting closer because of this. We get an extra hour in the morning to spend with each other. I mean it’s huffing and puffing on the treadmill but it’s nice to just see him.

So I am obsessed with Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans. Honestly. Her 10 week challenge is really kicked my butt into gear. I realized that just tracking my food was going at 70 percent. Well last week I had a piece of glass in my foot that was still stuck so I had to get it removed, so I couldn’t work out. But this week I can work out at 100 percent. So why wouldn’t I find time in my schedule? I have no excuses. I work at a gym. I am there almost everyday. I am going to push myself this week and next week I will find more inspiration and kick butt then. So go out this week and either take inspiration from the weight you lost or get mad at the weight you didn’t and ask yourself, did you work at 100 percent? If you did then awesome job and do it again, but if you didn’t, change that. This is our journey to change not only our bodies, but the way we think.

What are some of your biggest motivators?

Right now mine is Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans and Amber from Crafty Healthy Mommy. I just love to see success stories because now I know how real it can be. Eeck if you have more sites to share or even photos, I would love to see them!

Weekend Wrap Up

So whomever told me that working out in the morning would give me more energy throughout the day is a liar. A LIAR I tell you. I’ve never been more exhausted in my life. I feel like someones drugged me up with Benadryl. Sigh. Yes I do sigh this much in real life. Ask my husband.

Friday: My husband worked ALL day. Meaning he left before I woke up and came home around 10 at night. Oh and that morning he was suppose to go to my sons school for his Kindergarten party. But his job got in the way and at the last minute I found someone to watch my daughter and I somehow barely made it to the party. My son is probably the most adorable kid in the world. They sang songs and showed us their classroom. I am so proud of him and everything he’s done this past year in school. Well to say I wasn’t stressed out was an understatement. Between his school thing and being a single parent ALL DAY I was exhausted. Oh and of course it was a nap free day, just to make my day harder. So mommy didn’t have “me” time until right before my husband got home.

He's freakin' adorable

He’s freakin’ adorable

Saturday: I usually work Sunday’s so we do a big breakfast on Saturday’s before my daughter goes to ballet. Well I finally looked at how many calories are in “Saturday Morning Breakfast”, and holy cow. I didn’t eat what they were eating. But easily they ate 700 calories. Just. For. Breakfast. I ended up eating half a piece of bacon and yogurt. My husband is no longer allowed to helping on breakfast day because he makes the bacon BARELY cooked. Like it was limp and soft and no crunch what so ever. I thought the bacon was still raw in my mouth. Completely disgusting. I mean thanks man for helping, but it was inedible.

We ended up getting the kids 1 special summer outfit each. My son got his outfit from Target and got himself a “big boy watch”. Since he’s started wearing it I’ve been told what the time was ALL THE TIME. At first it was cute and I swelled up with motherly pride. But after finding out it was 12:31, 12:32, 12:33, 12:34, 12:35, 12:36. This went on for ten minutes once an hour. I had it. My daughter ended up with her first outfit from the Gap. We are no longer shopping at The Children’s Place because of this. Until TCP starts using factories that are safe for it’s workers we are no longer shopping there. I don’t need to save 10 dollars on a pair of jeans and a t shirt if 600 people are going to die because of it. You can read more of what retailers are doing and who was apart of it here. Gap has already pledged to increase safety in their garment factories. Until TCP does, we are done-zoes.

They look so innocent and sweet.

I treated my hubby right and bought him 2 pair of shorts, 3 shirts, and a new wallet. Yeah we did summer shopping for him. I’m waiting until we leave for Texas to go shopping for me so that all my clothes will fit me right.

Sunday: I had work Bleeeehhh. I ended up working with the biggest dumbest guy of all time. We watch children. We make sure they live. That’s it. Well this kid would NOT get off his phone at all. To the point that I was annoyed and almost said something. He didn’t do anything and then took the entire tip. He wasn’t even interesting to talk to. I mean working with someone and talking makes it go faster, but he was too interested in his cell phone to do anything.

THEN MY CAMERA WAS FALLING OUT OF MY PHONE. So my phones been shattered since Christmas. No big deal right? Wrong. My camera was falling out. So I finally gave into my husband and got the glass replaced. Oh and I got custom colors. My husband even did one step better and bought be a pair of TOMS. I mean I’ve literally been talking about TOMS since last June and finally I bought a new pair. I mean I could have bought them before but I kept putting it off. Happy Early Mother’s Day to me!

IMG_5085

Because I need a drinking hat in Texas!

We also went to go see Iron Man 3. It was good. Kind of boring. I felt like this one was more of a “whoa is me” type of deal and not really the Iron Man we are use to seeing. The graphics are awesome. The fights scenes are awesome. It will keep you glued to your seat. But I just didn’t like the story line. But my husband did say that ending was accurate. So who knows. Maybe I’m just anti-comic book.

IMG_5086

Yeah he’s Iron Patriot. You jealous?

Now that I’m done rambling about my weekend, how was yours? Did you go out and see Iron Man? How did you like it?

Another Linky Party

weeklygoalslinkparty

So I’m kind of in love with link up parties now. They give me inspiration on days that I have none and they give me a sort of direction that I want certain stories to shape. Obviously I have a voice and a story. I just didn’t know how to shape it at first. I always felt like my post never connected and never really told a whole story. Now I can see how my story is coming together. Well my rambles are starting to connect better. Onto the story now.

Let’s focus first on last week’s goals. And remember I’m writing this on Sunday so this is Monday through Sunday type of deal.

Finish week 1 c25k – Let’s chalk this up to a sport’s injury. Okay okay I got a piece of glass in my foot while I was walking and it’s still not healing. I’m thinking that this week I am going to go to the doctor to look at it. So this one was a complete and utter bust. I guess it’s not an excuse that I wasn’t able to do this because I am physically hurt and couldn’t help it. But I did sign up for my first 5k that is in 2 weeks.

Track ALL my food this week – Surprisingly this was the easy one. I was able to track everything and it was AWESOME. I could physically see after I binged that I didn’t blow my whole day. Maybe I was over 3 days this past week. But I was under for the week so I know I didn’t blow it ALL. This journey is about finding balance. Sunday I lost all my self control and ate everything that was in my way. I couldn’t stop. We saw a movie and I just couldn’t help myself from getting popcorn. If I had just stopped there I would have been fine. At least weigh in isn’t Monday. Tuesday morning the scale might be a cruel cruel woman.

Eat 2 snacks a day – I did eat 2 snacks a day. But I ate my second snack at like 10 o’clock at night. So we will call this a push. I didn’t win this, but I didn’t fail at it. My late night snacks are always what pushed me to the brink of going over my caloric intake. But my late night snacks saved my sanity this week. This week was a ROLLER COASTER RIDE. Thursday I woke up to a screw in my tire, had to take the son to school, I was late for work, and I just didn’t have the patience to deal with an emergency at that point. So I sat by the tire and just cried. Yeah. I had a mental breakdown. Got it together and got everyone where they needed to go. Eventually.

So this past week was not my friend. We are going to call this past week hell week. Next week will be my friend. I know she will be. There cannot be anymore holes in my tires because I don’t have enough fix a flat to fix another flat.

Now onto my goals for this week:

1.Finish Week 1 and 2 of C25k

This might be a bit overboard, but I don’t give a hoot. I am going to do this. Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans is my inspiration for this goal. She said “Make a goal and go for it 100%”. And this past week I was running on 40%. Who cares that I had a nail in my tire? If I had fit an early morning work out, I would have see the nail when I went to the gym and gotten the car to the shop at 6 instead of 9. Which brings me to goal 2.

2. Go to the gym with my husband in the morning Monday – Friday

I did this already at 6 a.m. this morning. Oh goodness it was a ROUGH morning. But I did it. The only way I’m going to finish C25k is if I get my butt into the gym and do it. I have the biggest gym motivator living with me. My husband loves early morning gym. This will also help me go to bed sooner. I know how much of a happier person I am if I go to bed before midnight. I usually get to bed on time 1/2 of the week, but this will help me get there more often. This will also help me get to my goal of 30 pounds in 10 weeks.

3. Not go over calories for the week

I did really bad this past week on this. Well not REALLY bad, but bad enough that I noticed. Heck Sunday I pigged out. And it’s my fault. I went to work on an empty stomach and with no snack. When I got home I started STUFFING my face. I mean I inhaled food literally. It was bad and ugly. When I told my husband I hadn’t eaten since 8 the night before and it was like 1 the next day, he understood why I was hurting.

Man I really thought out those goals this time. They are really big goals too. But I want big things for me. I want to achieve big goals. I want to lose an ultimate goal weight of 130 pounds. I finally decided how much I wanted to lose. And I never ever want to find those pounds again. I need to set high goals for myself because I want something bigger I want something better. I want to be able to go back to college next year (2014) and sit in those tiny desks and not feel my stomach touch them. I want to be able to shop for size mediums. I want to be able to look at myself and go “damn I worked hard for this body”, not “damn maybe I should have skipped that cheeseburger”.