Thursday, June 20, 2013

Un Sueño Despertado (A dream awakened)

I'm participating in Spanish Friday over at Latinaish today. English translation is at the bottom.

Hay que decir que mis sueños de mudarme a un lugar internacional han sido un poco dificil recientemente. Mi trabajo va bien, mi hijo está feliz con su escuela, mi esposo está pensando en ponerse un negocio aqui en la ciudad donde vivimos ahora. Pero para mí, los sueños no se desaparecen, solo duermen un ratito. Esta semana mis sueños despertaron de nuevo cuando ví este rotulo en frente de un edificio cerca de mi casa:

Una iglesia internacional, con escuela, tan cerca?! Antes de seguir, hay que entender que aqui en Texas, hay un montón de gente de todas partes del mundo. Pero decir "bilingue" o "internacional" casi siempre se refiere al inglés y el español. Entonces, pensé, será posible que se van a abrir una escuela, de pocas cuadras de mi casa, donde Pooh pudiera aprender el español?!

Al momento de llegar a casa, hice una busqueda por la red para averiguar de esa escuela. Sí, es una escuela bilingue, donde los niños hablan el inglés y el español todos los dias. Ya he escrito al director para preguntar de las posibilidades. No tengo nada mas de detalles todavia, pero, un sueño despertado, eso, sí lo tengo!

And now the English translation
I should tell you that my dreams of becoming an expat have been put on the back burner recently. My job is going well, Pooh is happy with his school, and P-Daddy is thinking of starting a business in the city we currently live in. But my dreams of becoming an expat never really disappear, they just sleep a while. This week, my dreams were re-awakened when I saw this sign in front of an empty building close to our house.

An international church, with a school, so close to us?! Now, before I continue, you have to understand that here in Texas, there are tons of people from all over the world. But when the word "bilingual" or "international" is used, it almost always refers to English and Spanish, not any of the other 100's of languages represented in the metroplex. So, I thought, is it really possible that they are about to open a school just a few blocks from my house where Pooh can learn Spanish?!

The minute I got home I googled the church and school to get more information. Yep, it's a bilingual school, where the students use both English and Spanish every day. I've already emailed the administration to request more information. I have no more details at this point, but a dream awakened, that I have!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fuel Cycle Frittata

I love frittata and quiche, and over my years of weight watching and dieting, I've come to rely on them as a staple. My favorites are full of cheese and cream, plus they contain lots of veggies and sometimes some meat. Recently, I just wanted to get rid of some stuff in my freezer, and I hit upon one that is a definite winner. Since I just threw it together, my measurements are not going to be terribly exact here, but you get the idea.

Sage Sausage Frittata

6 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup of cream (or half and half)
1 pound of sage sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, diced and browned
1 bunch of spinach or kale, chopped and wilted
2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

First preheat your oven to 350 (F) and crack the eggs into a bowl.

Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings, and whisk the eggs together. Then add the cream.

Now add 1.5 cups of the shredded cheddar, the sausage, and the wilted spinach, and mix well. Pour the entire mixture into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is nicely browned. Makes 6 huge servings, or 9 smaller ones, or about 18 half-servings like these:

This was such a big hit that it was completely gone before the day was out. And P-Daddy has been hinting ever since that he wanted some more. But I'm headed into a Fuel Cycle with Trim Healthy Mama, and all that cheesy goodness is a definite no-no. So, I decided to make it much more Fuel Cycle friendly. Of course with the eggs and sausage, this is an S, and a pretty Deep one. Here's how it went:

Sage Sausage Frittata for the Fuel Cycle

6 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup of cream (or half and half) almond milk
1 pound of sage sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 large small or medium onion, diced and browned
1 bunch of spinach or kale, chopped and wilted
2 cups 2 ounces of cheddar cheese Kerry Gold aged cheddar, shredded
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

As you can see, it's pretty much the same, but let's take a look at each of the substitutions that make this dish much more Fuel Cycle friendly than the original:

Almond milk in place of cream
Dairy products are fairly restricted on the Fuel Cycle. A bit of raw cream is okay in your coffee, but yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, and half and half are a no-no. Almond milk is neutral, so it's fine, and it actually worked well in this recipe. Definitely use unsweetened, and while plain might be better, it was still great with vanilla flavored, which is all I had on hand.

Small or medium onion instead of large
On the Fuel Cycle, onions are discouraged, and we are told to "eat very few" - I understand this, but I really felt like this dish needed at least a few for the flavor. Spread out over an entire recipe, the onion in each serving is minimal, and should be fine for Fuel Cycle guidelines. But feel free to leave them out if you think that's a better choice.

2 ounces of Kerry Gold white cheddar in place of 2 cups of whatever cheddar I had on hand
Since we just want to use cheese in very minimal quantities on the Fuel Cycle, you do want a strong cheese, and this one has a nice sharp taste. The 2 ounces spread across the entire recipe is just a tiny amount of cheese in a serving (something like one small cube per piece). Of course if you have raw cheese, that would be a better choice! I love the Kerry Gold white cheddar, and although it's not raw, I feel like it's a better option than your average cheese is, so it's my Fuel Cycle choice when I can't get raw.

Overall, this turned out really well! P-Daddy liked it as much as the original (he's not as much of a cheese fan as I am), and I thought it was pretty good as well. I don't think it's as pretty without the browned cheese on top, but it's that taste that counts, right?!

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - head on over to either one for lots more THM-friendly treats!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Swimsuit Season??!! Fuel Cycle Menu coming up!

Eek! Summer's here, and this Mama is very NOT ready for swimsuit season! To help get a little more prepared, I'm planning to do my third Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle this week. The first time I tried one, I lost about 5 pounds. The second one, I only lost one pound during the Fuel Cycle week, but then I lost another 3 the following week. Since I generally only lose about .2 pounds a week (if that much), these were FANTASTIC losses for me!

You'd think, with losses like those, that I might do the Fuel Cycle more often, but for me, that's not a wise choice. It's a pretty restricted week, and it takes lots of planning and prep work to make it successful. And I am looking for a sustainable plan, not a get-trim-quick plan. So I only do a Fuel Cycle week every few months. And if you are new to Trim Healthy Mama, the Fuel Cycle is NOT recommended for beginners - it will give you a false impression that THM is restrictive, when, in reality, it's one of the least restrictive plans out there. Plus, so many people have luck just freestyling the plan that it may not even be necessary! I'll also note that many of the recipes in my menu plan can be found in the Trim Healthy Mama book available as a huge printed tome on Amazon or in print and ebook formats through

Wanting to make room for Fuel Cycle friendly meals, I cleaned out my freezer. But I found so many things I could use to make this week successful that not only will I be helping my weight-loss along, I'll also be using up a lot of my freezer stock while I'm at it! Kai si ming, salmon fillets, chana dahl, brown rice, spicy lentils, enchilada soup, lots of berries, and an endless supply of frozen veggies - here's just a sampling that were buried so deep I didn't realize I had them!

Now that I think about it, maybe the Fuel Cycle isn't really as restrictive as I was thinking! (Can you tell I'm a Trim Healthy Mama by the multiple bags of cauliflower in there?!) Without further ado, here's my plan:

Tuesday (Deep S)
B: Fuel Cycle Frittata, bulletproof coffee
L: Steak fajita salad
D: Kai Si Ming, broccoli cooked in butter
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, cucumbers, nighty-night custard with coconut oil

Wednesday (Deep S)
B: Eggs fried with coconut oil, bacon, bulletproof coffee
L: Salad with tuna, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Salmon fillet fried in coconut oil, broccoli in butter
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, basic whey smoothie, mini peppers

Thursday (Deep S)
B: Fuel Cycle Frittata, bulletproof coffee
L: Salad with grilled chicken, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Fish tacos (fried salmon in wonder wraps), cabbage
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, vanilla pudding, cukes and/or mini peppers

Friday (Fuel Pull)
B: Overnight oats, fat-strippin frap made with coffee
L: 1/2 an Aldi flatbread w/ lean turkey and laughing cow cheese, pepper strips
D: Vegetable soup, wasa with laughing cow
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, muffin in a bowl, light string cheese

Saturday (Fuel Pull)
B: Egg white scramble, fat-strippin frap made with coffee
L: Fotato soup, peppers with yogurt dip
D: Asian stir-fry with konjac noodles, grilled chicken, and lots of veggies
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, tummy tucking ice cream, wasa with laughing cow

Sunday (E)
B: Steel-cut oats with almond milk and berries, coffee w/ FF half and half
L: Fish tacos (grilled fish in sprouted grain tortilla) with mango salsa
D: Enchilada soup, brussel sprouts
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, Deutsche Kuche toast

Monday (E)
B: Deutsche Kuche bread with savory tomato shmear
L: Grilled chicken, brown rice, veggies
D: Lentil soup with greens added, cottage berry whip
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, smoothie

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy makes Cents - make sure to check out all the trim healthy treats to be had! I'm also linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie. Head on over and see all the great menu plans to inspire you!

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