Life with Liam…

The 3 Day ‘Military’ Diet – my review

So for anyone who hasn’t seen the Pinterest-popular 3 day military diet, here it is:

3 Day Diet

DAY 1:

Breakfast–1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice Toast, 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea

Lunch--1/2 Cup Tuna, 1 Slice Toast, and Coffee or Tea 

Dinner–3 ounces lean meat, 1 Cup Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

DAY 2:

Breakfast–1 egg, 1 Slice Toast, and 1/2 Banana

Lunch–1 Cup  Cottage Cheese (or 1 oz Cheddar Cheese) and 5 Saltine Crackers

Dinner--2 Hot Dogs, (no buns), 1 Cup Broccoli, 1/2 Cup Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

DAY 3:

Breakfast–5 Saltine Crackers, 1 oz Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple

Lunch-1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice Toast

Dinner–1 Cup Tuna, 1/2 cup Carrots, 1/2 a Banana, and 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

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Ok, so the diet ‘advertises’ a weight loss of UP TO 10 lbs, in 3 days. It also advises against substitutions, as it’s supposed to work on chemical breakdown of certain foods eaten together at certain times. I followed the diet almost exactly – my hubby followed it almost exactly but doubled the amount of food eaten at each meal. Really, one egg and 5 saltines, as a meal for a 250lb man? Not gonna work. I/we made the following substitutions: I don’t do saltines, so I swapped 1 slice of whole wheat toast for each serving of saltines. I also drank black coffee/tea throughout the day as I usually do. I couldn’t be caffeine deprived as well as food deprived! I had a total of 3 cups of coffee/tea each day of the diet, no sweetener or milk. And, we made it the 2 and 2/3 day diet. We had plans with friends for the evening of our last day on the diet so we didn’t follow the dinner for day 3, and opted for pizza and cookies instead. 🙂 I attempted to make this as healthy as possible – we did whole wheat toast, natural peanut butter, free-range eggs and had the veggies steamed.

The results? I lost 4 lbs, hubby lost 5. The diet wasn’t that hard to stick to – once you get over the chocolate cravings! We never felt especially hungry, probably because you eat protein at every meal. Personally, I’m not buying the ‘chemical breakdown’ part – I think the only reason this works as a weight loss diet is because it’s quite low calorie. My estimation was 1,000-1,2000 calories a day.

I would recommend this for someone needing to lose a little weight quickly for a special event or something. Or for someone like myself, who was having a hard time with those last few pounds of baby weight. Thanks to the 3 day diet, I am now at my pre-pregnancy weight. I doubt a 10 lb weight loss will be achieved by anyone, unless you are severely over-weight to start. I’m back to my normal healthy eating regime now – thinking maybe I’ll try the 17 day diet before/after Christmas, depending on how much I gain from Thanksgiving!!!

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DIY ‘homemade’ baby powder!

This is my first DIY post…I hope you all will forgive my poor photography and not-so-great camera. I’m hoping for a better one for Christmas 🙂 Anyway, I do DIY projects all the time ~ that’s what stay-at-home mom’s do, especially those of us who just loooove Pinterest! Most of the projects I do are fairly easy, quick projects, and they tend to be baby-related. So, I’m going to *try* to get some of my projects up here! Today’s projects is homemade baby powder.

I am not a fan of talcum powder. The stuff is made out of rocks, for goodness’ sake! Plus it’s rumored to be carcinogenic. Not exactly what I’m looking to put all over the bum of my little angel! Burt’s Bee’s sells a natural ‘Dusting Powder’, that I’ve used and love – but the $5.40 price tag is a little ridiculous. Especially if you read the ingredients and discover that it’s pretty much just herbal scented CORNSTARCH!

So I’ve been using cornstarch in place of talcum powder/dusting powder for a while. It works great! But, the idea of powdering my baby’s bum out of the container of cornstarch that I use to make chocolate pudding…just doesn’t sit right. So, here’s what I came up with:

Empty spice containers! Make sure and use the one’s with the sprinkle type tops,  as shown above. I just wipe the empty containers out with a paper towel. You could wash them, but it would be hard to get every drop of moisture out…plus, I used containers from cinnamon, nutmeg and the like, so if a little was in the baby powder, it certainly wouldn’t hurt! I used a big spice container (6 0z), and a little one (2oz). The little container is perfect for a diaper bag!

Fill container with cornstarch. Yep, just regular old cornstarch from your kitchen. I guess you could go organic, if you wanted to…I just used what I had on hand.

Now the fun part – your containers are filled, so label them! You could skip this part, but it’s fun, easy and makes them look so cute! Label with actual sticky labels, or do like I did, and use baby themed wrapping paper.

I

It’s easiest if you trace around the label that was on the container.

Afix label with some tape. I used a lot of tape, these containers will get some wear and tear and I want them to stay looking cute! (note my FAVORITE red mug in the background!) 🙂

 

There you have it!

Total time for this project: about 15 minutes

Total cost for this project: <$1 of cornstarch. The containers I had, and would have tossed since they were empty, if I hadn’t come up with this use for them! Wrapping paper and tape I also had on hand.

Have you done a fun DIY project lately??

 

Double Coconut Cherry Granola

This past week I began my hunt for a truly healthy granola recipe. I wanted to use coconut oil, and little to no sugar. I found some recipes online that looked fantastic, but I didn’t have the ingredients on hand for them…not wanting to run out to the store, I came up with my own recipe using what we had. 

Double Coconut Cherry Granola:

In a large bowl combine: 3 cups rolled oats,  1 cup flaked coconut (I used unsweetened), 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans. 

In a saucepan melt over medium heat: 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, 1/3-1/2 cup honey, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. The brown sugar is optional – I made 2 batches, one with the brown sugar and one without…the sugar makes the granola crunchy in a way the honey cannot…plus. I like things sweet, so I preferred the sugar version. Bring to a boil. 

Pour liquid ingredients over oat mixture, combine. Spread on rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. When granola is beginning to cool, break into chunks with a wooden spoon, and add 1-2 cups dried cherries. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

We LOVE this granola sprinkled over greek yogurt and fruit! Yum!!

Labor Day Family Picture!

Labor Day Family Picture!

Healthy…Tasty…Affordable…

I’m so inspired to start writing on here now…I’ve been reading some friend’s blogs lately, and it makes me want to write on my own! Even if no one reads this, I’ll enjoy having some record of these early days of motherhood and staying at home! 

I’ve been trying to shop and eat local produce this past summer…it’s really not that hard, thanks to a wonderful farmer’s market nearby! My mom and I usually go to the market on Saturday mornings – she likes to leave by 7:30 in the morning to beat the rush! Since my baby rarely lets me sleep past 6:30 these days, it’s not a problem to get going early. This market has been around for years, and I’ve been going to it my whole life! Some of the vendor’s there I remember from when I was a kid. It is possible they remember me too, as one of the (many) children in that huge, crazy family! 

We’ve been trying to eat healthy lately too, and sticking to a grocery budget! It’s amazing how much you can spend on food if you don’t plan ahead. And if you’re looking for healthy choices while eating out/on the go, it’s usually even more expensive! So I’ve been trying to plan our meals ahead, which is the only way we can eat a healthy, affordable diet. I try to make it tasty too 🙂

This week:

Monday: Stuffed Peppers, sauteed zucchini and onions and zucchini muffins. I bought locally grown colored peppers at the market for $.50 each on Saturday, and I have the filling for stuffed peppers in the freezer from when I made them a few weeks ago. The market was overflowing with beautiful zucchini this past week, so we’ll be eating something containing zucchini at pretty much every meal this week! I couldn’t resist – zucchini was 3/$1.00…I bought 12. They are relatively small, because the larger ones tend to be tough and seedy…

Tuesday: Eggplant Parmesan with spaghetti squash on the side. Eggplant were $.75 each – I bought 2, which will make a 9×13 pan of Eggplant Parm. Yum!

Wednesday: dinner at friend’s house…I will take something made with zucchini – maybe these healthy brownies that are my new favorite thing ever!

Thursday: leftovers! There should be plenty of Eggplant Parm to finish up, and maybe some stuffed peppers as well. 

Friday: we often eat at my parents or with my in-laws on Friday night…I have the ingredients for homemade pizza on hand, in case we decide to stay home. I’d like to try this recipe for pizza made with a zucchini-based crust that I’ve had my eye on for a while…we’ll see!

Saturday: we have plans to be at Rock the Lakes in Buffalo all afternoon and evening so we’ll either grab something there, or I’ll pack sandwiches. Nothing super healthy about either option, but sometimes you just do what works 🙂

Sunday: Tacos, guacamole and chips. Tacos are my stand-by dinner! They’re so fast, easy, and you can make them pretty healthy! I usually forgo the tortilla and make myself a taco salad… I have cooked ground turkey in the freezer, so I’ll just thaw that and season it up with a can of black beans. 

So there’s my menu for the week! This really isn’t a recipe blog, so I’m not posting the recipes I use, but there are links to some. In general I find my recipes on Pinterest, or from a few favorite food/recipe blogs! My favorite blog lately is Sweet Basil n Spice – easy, yummy, healthy recipes! Check out the many baked oatmeal recipes, they are all fantastic!

What are YOU eating this week? Do you have any favorite healthy, cheap recipes? 

 

Summer is almost over…!

I might be the only person in WNY who is ready for the end of summer…this has never happened to me before, but I”m looking forward to fall. Probably due to a combination of the hot weather this summer, how ridiculously busy our summer has been, and the fact that I’m dying to start making pumpkin baked goods – I cannot wait for September!

Friday we will attend the last of the 5 weddings we’ve had this summer…along with the 5 weddings, my spring/summer has included:

-the birth of my beautiful baby boy in April!

– birthdays of my lovely husband and myself, as well as those of multiple family members…

– the dedication of baby Liam…

– all of my husbands out of town family visiting for a week! (Liam has now met all 4 of his surviving great-grandparents)

– attempting to move twice, and then just recently deciding that it’s wise to stay in our current home a little longer, while we save for the home we really want…

And, I think that’s it so far! It’s been a wonderful, hot, busy season, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But I’m so looking forward to the calm, quiet, cool fall! Maybe then I’ll actually get into this blogging thing on a regular basis 🙂 

Here we go!

Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! This is where I’ll write about my beautiful baby William (Liam), and adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom, share some of my favorite recipes, maybe a few photos, and, we’ll see what else!