Julie's Mission at Home: A Soldier's Wife's Journey of Health, Family and Survival

Journey with me as I document my experiences in parenting, getting healthier, and being a wife to my wonderful soldier and a mom for my two boys!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Picnic Fare...

So, July and the summer in general bring with it picnics, grilling, and a host of great food options! Don't be discouraged by fare that is fat-and calorie-laden and with little benefit to you and your goals! Certainly, treats are part of life and should be included--but don't make treats your "everyday menu," if you know what I mean. I find that, ahem, about once a month (or so) I greatly require chocolate. I work it in. I don't do "diet" chocolate--I enjoy some real stuff, then I move forward. :D Name it and claim it, my friends! Love yourself enough to slow down, reevaluate, redirect, change course, walk away, and feel GREAT about how you are treating yourself better! That is so much what this journey is about for me.

I wanted to share another altered menu item that I've concocted (maybe I have, again, reinvented the wheel...no clue, if so). I love cold yummy broccoli salad during the summer--don't you? But yikes!! Have you made it? Holy smokes, it is rich. Too rich. SO, I've made an alternative that truly is delicious and nutritious--what a combo!
Here goes:


A couple bunches of fresh broccoli. Fresher is better--Farmer's market is fabu, but it is early for broccoli, so fresh from the store will do.
1/2 c fat-free plain Greek-style yogurt.
1/2 c miracle whip, give or take a few tablespoons
5 pieces turkey bacon, microwaved for 2-3 minutes, cut into tiny bits.
Reserved turkey bacon drippings (mostly water)
Chopped red or vidalia onion
2 TB sugar substitute- stevia or splenda is best
1 TB white vinegar

Chop up that broccoli, stems included, into reasonably small pieces. Not finely chopped, but definitely cut-up to your liking. Put this in a large bowl that you can refrigerate, preferably with a tight-fitting lid.
Mix in plain yogurt and miracle whip (remember--miracle whip is 1/3 less fat than mayo. You can use the FF or lowfat kind, too, but I think this little bit is okay.) Mix until broccoli is well-coated evenly. Add bacon "bits" and "drippings" and mix thoroughly. Add finely chopped onion to your liking, plus remaining ingredients. Again--mix really well!
Now here's a part that I think makes it better---refrigerate for a few hours. The longer that stuff refrigerates, the better the flavor! It lasts several days and is delish.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Pizza Creations!

I love a good pizza, but generally I feel eating even a slice isn't worth the PointsPlus in Weight Watchers...or, more specifically, not worth the simple carbs, excess fat and salt. SO, after making these altered-but-yummy healthier versions of 'za, I thought I'd share with you!


Whole wheat pizza crust. Now, you can make this yourself or buy already-made either frozen or sold around the "hanging pizza crusts" in your supermarket. I like the thin crust whole wheat.

1 package FF mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 container Parmesan cheese, for shaking
1 can tomato paste. You can get low sodium.
Oregano, italian seasoning, LOTS of garlic--but not "garlic salt."
Veggies you want on pizza--sky is the limit!
Grilled chicken breast chunks, or turkey pepperoni or turkey sausage crumbles. Also totally wonderful with no meat.
1-2 tsp EVOO

Spread EVOO on crust, add 2 tsp shaken parm cheese. In bowl, mix tomato paste (2 cans if you like it saucy) and seasonings to taste. Spread this mixture on the EVOO/parm-coated crust.
Layer veggies and/or meats as you desire on the crust, then top with a few more sprinkles of the parmesan and 1 cup of FF mozzarella cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 17 minutes or until done to your liking. YUM!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Chicken Enchillada Casserole!

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Fat Free sour cream
1 package Fat Free (or lowfat) cheddar, shredded
1 package whole wheat soft tortillas (8)
1 small can chillis--can be green, or spicy, or whatever kind you like
1-2 cups salsa of your choice
1 can red enchillada sauce

Saute chicken on stove until cooked through and slightly browned in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Once cooked through, add chilis and cook together for a few minutes until juices run out.
In bowl, mix soup, sour cream, half of shredded cheese and salsa.
Mix in chicken/chili with the combination in the bowl, then stuff each of the 8 tortillas with a spoonful or two of the mixture. Lay them side-by-side in a 9"x13" baking dish, cover with some extra mixture and the enchillada sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 375 for 45 min and then enjoy! MMM!


Guess who?
Yeah, so it's been a really super-duper loooooonnnggg time since I last posted. I'm a dork with the blog, but I do have to remind all 5 of you that, indeed, I DID say I was really bad at keeping a journal. So there we have it.
My husband is home! He's been home since the end of March. Yay! We have been adjusting pretty well--not without struggles, but things are very blessed and integrating very well. We're making it! I'm so thankful for my family, my husband, and the safe return of the soldiers in his unit.
So, at the very beginning of April I switched to the Simply Filling Plan with Weight Watchers. I love it. It is very aptly named, friends---you feel very satisfied and it is so very well-rounded. Such healthy choices and lots of fiber, lean protein, whole grains, you name it. Great stuff. No gimmicks or games (Weight Watchers isn't about that stuff). Just good health choices.
I'm moving more, too. Four days a week I am now walking and at least one day a week I do Nia, a really awesome dance/yoga/martial arts class. Really amazing stuff. It is getting easier every time---I'll let you know when it stops hurting. :) Someday!
Since April 1st I've lost 20 lbs, and my total is 31 lbs lost. I'm very pleased with the changes I've made and I am only empowered because God has been with me in this journey. That's really the long and short of it. God, prayer, and taking one moment at a time. Every new moment is an opportunity to make a better or healthier choice. I'm in the business of saving my life now.

I'm going to occasionally share new recipes I'm trying and have found to be tasty and full of good foods! I'll post one in the next blog. I try to focus on all (or mostly) Simply Filling recipes. :) Maybe you'll see something you like!

I'll sign off for now. Ciao for now!