January

Ask Amanda's Resolutions for 2017

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Last month, I answered a question from a frustrated mom on how to set resolutions that she can stick with. Last year, she didn’t even make it past February before she gave up.

I assured her that she isn't alone, with less than half of adults achieving some success with their resolutions.

I advised her to use my four SIMPLE steps to nail her 2017 Resolutions. Read the full Ask Amanda article HERE.

Today, I thought I would share how I used those same four SIMPLE steps to create my own resolutions for 2017.

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Garlic Green Beans: Recipe of the Week

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Garlic Green Beans

In the celebration of Chinese New Year, one of my favorite veggie dishes is garlic green beans. Growing up, my uncle would make green beans for Thanksgiving,and they are amazing!  There is always room for green beans. My uncle shared with me how to make these crisp green beans, and they are a hit every time I make them.

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Why I Chose to Get Bariatric Surgery

I’d like to begin at the very end of the beginning.  On December 28, 2016, I traveled with my husband to Tijuana, Mexico and underwent bariatric surgery.  The procedure I chose was the Vertical Gastric Sleeve.  It is an endoscopic procedure in which 80% of the stomach is cut away, leaving a long thin sleeve in it’s place.  The purpose of the surgery is to cause restriction and limit the amount of food one can consume.  There are also other benefits, that are largely unexplained, like a loss of hunger, and a change to tastebuds (which favors nutritious foods and makes sweets less palatable).

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A Social Experiment: No New Clothes

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Remember this girl? Okay, so maybe I’ve never shopped high-end designers or driven a luxury car, but I can relate to Cher in so many ways. Trapped in a car while a supposed friend tries to shove his tongue down my throat? Yep. Fallen for a man who turned out to be gay? Oh, yes. (Too many times to count). Dated my stepbrother? Erm, no. Have one, but eww. 

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Pork Two Ways: Recipe of the Week

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Recipe of the Week: Pork Two Ways – Pulled Pork and Posole

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Anyone else just take their Christmas tree down? Guilty here. #sorrynotsorry I’m still adjusting from December’s work commitments, extra social events, and attempting weekly to keep up with having at least ONE bin of clean, folded, and put away load of laundry! And, trying to stay on budget after the extra holiday spending is a plus, too! Our family tries to eat healthy “most” of the time. One of the biggest complaints I hear from my fitness clients is, “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.” I wanted to give you a helpful tip to save on time and cost when meal planning – try to use the same ingredients in multiple ways to keep it economical AND interesting throughout the week.

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Lessons From My Son

Becoming a parent has been the most life altering event I have experienced so far. When I look at my little boy I feel like my heart is literally walking outside of my body. There have been countless moments where I sit and watch him in amazement as he grows and changes at a whirlwind pace. I remember sitting on the sofa watching him play in our living room the other day. He was stacking his blocks and building a tower. He accidentally knocked his tower over with his foot and I heard him say “uh oh spaghetti-o”. I had this brief moment of clarity where I felt so proud of him for making light of what could have been very frustrating combined with the realization that as adults, we are way too hard on ourselves. In that moment, I felt that there were a lot of life lessons I am continually learning from my son has he grows up.

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Binge Worthy Shows

I found a new obsession.  Binging.  Binging on shows!  It happened while I was on maternity leave.  I would put on a show when I was nursing, and I soon became addicted to this “me” time.  But let’s be honest, when you are a working mother of 2 there isn’t usually a lot of time to dedicate to watching your favorite shows, let alone new ones!  

So thanks to Miss Olive, I found a new few binge-worthy shows worth checking out! Here’s my top 5 to get your started:

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Spicy Black Bean Dip: Recipe of the Week

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Spicy Black Bean Dip

My mother gave me a new cookbook for Christmas called Clean Start: 100 Recipes to Inspire You to Eat Clean and Live Well by Terry Walters. Technically, it wasn’t really new; she bought it for herself and then realized exactly what Terry meant by “Clean” and never used it. All of the recipes are vegan or close to it, and generally gluten-free. It’s organized by season in order to maximize use of in-season ingredients. I think it is a lovely cookbook, and I have used several recipes already. This recipe for Spicy Black Bean Dip is in the “Spring” section but could be used any time of year. As Terry says, it can be served with chips or veggies for dipping, or inside tacos, quesadillas, etc. 

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Spiced Pecans: Recipe of the Week

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Shhhh… I have a secret!  

The holidays may be over, but there is no reason not to enjoy these delicious spiced pecans year round. You may be asking why this is a secret, it’s because of my husband.  Aaron loves these pecans.  During the first holiday Costco run of the season, Aaron proudly presents me with three 2 lb bags of pecans and an adorable smile.These pecans are an indulgence, and if I made them for Aaron year round, he might put on an extra hundred pounds.  In short, Aaron knows these as our spiced Christmas nuts, the rest of you now know the truth.

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Be More. Have Less.

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On the eve of Christmas Eve, at a time when my home was full of people, food, and stuff-more stuff than the eye could see-my husband and I were enjoying a brief respite from the typical chaos of life with three young children and browsing through Netflix. We enjoy watching documentaries, but we rarely get the time to find new ones these days. He selected a film entitled “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. I was, as always, doing many things at once, trying to maximize my productivity during nap time, so I was only partially watching at first. By the end of the documentary, I was a captive audience. How ironic that we saw this film at a time of such abundance, both seasonally and in our particular stage of life.

 

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