Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Positives

elafantbaby @becomingtheyou Watched a good movie and got to see my dad & grandma today. And my bff made me laugh right when I needed it most :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Turkey and Shroom Burger

I personally do not eat red meat often, so whenever i come across a great turkey burger recipe, I get really excited. A well made turkey burger can be just as juicy and satisfying as a great hamburger. I found this recipe at Delish.

Turkey-Mushroom Burgers


* 2 slice(s) whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
* 8 ounce(s) white mushrooms, wiped clean
* 3 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup(s) Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise (optional)
* 1 pound(s) lean ground turkey breast
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 3 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh dill
* 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) coarse-grained mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
* 6 whole-wheat buns, (optional)
* Lettuce leaves & tomato slices, for garnish


1. Place bread in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse mushrooms in the food processor until finely chopped.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add to the breadcrumbs and let cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise, if using.
4. Preheat grill to medium-high.
5. Add ground turkey, egg, dill, mustard, salt and pepper to the mushroom mixture; mix well with a potato masher. With dampened hands, form the mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
6. Oil the grill rack. Brush the patties with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Grill until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 165 degrees F.) Meanwhile, split buns and toast on the grill for 30 to 60 seconds, if using. Serve burgers on buns, garnished with lettuce, tomato and Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise, if desired.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)
Calories 193
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 95mg
Sodium 418mg
Total Carbohydrate 9g
Dietary Fiber --
Sugars --
Protein 18g
Calcium 0

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Positives

smashley_ashley @becomingtheyou i got my start date and salary for my job and i can't believe this is all actually happening

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i spent the day catching up on sleep and it was ahhhhmazing

sunnysideupB @becomingTHEyou got my bike ride on today and crossed off most of my to do list!

Becoming smarter while visiting the doctor

Dr. Oz gives us some advice on how to really get the most out of visits to the doctor. Don't be shy about any of this; you need to understand what they are telling you, and if it seems iffy, speak up.

Five Ways to Be a Smart Patient

Learn How to Talk to Your Doctor

Before you go in for your appointment, be armed with information about what’s bothering you and the answers to your doctor’s most common questions. Make sure you can answer the following questions:

  1. What hurts you?
  2. Where does it hurt?
  3. How does it hurt? (For example, does it hurt all day long or only some of the day?)
  4. What makes it better and what makes it worse? This includes medications, activities and food.

Finally, don’t be afraid of your doctor. If they’re not helping you, go find a new one.

Learn When to Schedule an Appointment

When scheduling your doctor’s appointment, keep these 3 things in mind:

  1. Call your doctor’s office half and hour after they open. This assures that the office is open and can meet your needs.
  2. Be sure you know what type of appointment you’d like. Is an annual appointment? A follow-up? Does blood work need to be done?
  3. Specify what works for you in terms of date and time. If it works for you, it’s wise to get the first appointment of the day – before the office even has a chance to get backed up.

Befriend Your Pharmacist

Your pharmacist has access to your medication profiles so they can check for dangerous drug interactions (link to medical mishaps piece). A communicative relationship with your pharmacist provides continuity of care.

Beware of Germs in Hospitals

As many as 90,000 hospital patients die each year from E. Coli, staph and other bacteria.

If you find yourself as an in-patient, there are certain things you can do to ensure the quality of care given. First, make sure that the doctors and nurses entering your room wash their hands or use hand-sanitizer before and after they examine you. You should also ask visitors to do the same. Another tip for cleanliness and germ prevention is to wipe down the remote control and bed rails with sanitizer.

If you are a patient with a weak immune system, or if you’re visiting a patient with a weak immune system, don’t bring flowers! They introduce a host of germs and should best be enjoyed when the patient is well enough to go home.

How to Get a Second Opinion

Your doctor is not going to be insulted if you get a second opinion – in fact they expect you to! Treatment plans change approximate 1/3 of the time when a second opinion is sought. The diagnoses and recommendations made by each doctor can be cross-referenced – and if your 2 doctors don’t agree – get a third opinion. Don’t be bashful when it comes to your health.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the positives

lairbarbie @becomingTHEyou My daughter sewed me a quilt for my gift EVER!!

smashley_ashley @becomingtheyou got all of my work finished early from being on top of it all week :)

smashley_ashley @becomingtheyou having friends even if you talk to them mostly over the internet, to help motivate you and support you to make you workout

jonasbrat @becomingtheyou Practiced the Easter play with the youth group today and they nailed it. Sunday shall be awesome!

Shmancy Spaghetti Dinner

This is a spaghetti dish that you can make that will make any Italian restaurant jealous. I found this from Self. It's a fresh, healthy pasta dish that was featured in their Eat Healthy All Week segment for November 2008.

Shrimp Scampi With Pasta, Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Serves 1


  • 2 oz whole-grain angel-hair pasta (of an 8 oz. box)
  • 2 teaspoons extra light olive oil
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled (tails intact)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat grated Parmesan


  1. For pasta

    Cook pasta 1 minute less than directed on package; set aside.

  2. For shrimp

    Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt. Cook shrimp until pink, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

  3. For vegetables

    Reduce heat to medium; add olives, parsley and garlic. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant but does not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach, tomatoes, broth, wine and lemon juice. Cover and cook until tomatoes soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half of shrimp and half of pasta; sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve. (Place remaining cooked shrimp and remaining cooked pasta in separate resealable bags and refrigerate until Monday's lunch and dinner, respectively.)

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou we made it back safely from the beach :D

elafantbaby @becomingTHEyou had a halfway decent day at work. and got to work with my favorite co-worker.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cooking For One: Part 2 Cheat Sheet Recipes

If you missed part one, check out the post here for the grocery list. Marie Claire continues with more great ideas for cooking for one with their cheat sheet recipes. Here are some ways you can put things together and turn them into great, easy meals.

Cheat Sheet Recipes:
Cheat sheet - what you can make.
Ground beef + onion + breadcrumbs + eggs + ketchup + herbs = Meatloaf

Frozen fruit + yogurt + milk = Fruity Breakfast Smoothie

Chicken breasts + eggs + breadcrumbs + parmesan + tomato sauce + mozzarella = Chicken Parmesan

Eggs + fresh herbs + cheese + salad = French Omelet with Salad Greens

Frozen strawberries + strawberry jam + ice cream = Ice Cream Sundae

Peanut butter + chocolate ice cream + milk = Chocolate-Peanut Butter Milkshake

the positives

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou I got through the first 3 chapters of the book i'm reading for school.

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou i got back into running and actually went to the gym and ran my mile and more

Friday Follower

Yesterday's randomly chosen Friday Follower was @tashaaa_x3

JonasBrat @becomingTHEyou: I don't know @tashaaa_x3 but hope she has an awesome birthday :)

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou ...@tashaaa_x3 is a great friend and a great listener and is great about turning a situation into a better one

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Only 20 Things You will Ever Need to Know How to Cook...part 2

We continue with Glamour's twenty recipes with a recipe for Roasted Chicken and "Gimme Seconds" Veggies

if you missed the first two recipes, check out this post

The easiest roast chicken ever

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet.
  2. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the chicken 15 minutes for each pound, plus 15 minutes. (A 3-pound bird: 15 minutes x 3 + 15 minutes = 60 minutes.) It's done when you prick with a fork and the juices run clear. Got more prep time? Zap 3 garlic cloves, the zest of 1 lemon (finely grate the peel, avoiding white stuff), and the leaves of 2 rosemary sprigs in a mini-chop or blender for 15 seconds; spread puree under the skin before cooking (lift skin up easily from near the cavity).

"Gimme seconds" veggies

Chop 4 cups of your veggies of choice (cauliflower, zucchini, whatever) and toss on a cookie sheet or two with 2 tbsp. olive oil, plenty of salt, pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Pop into a 400oF oven for 30 minutes (flip veggies halfway through), and voilà!

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingTHEyou its almost my birthdayyyyy, does that count?!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Breast Health

No one wants to do breast self exams; it's awkward, it feels funny, and sometimes it causes you to freak out. It may be a downer, but knowing what to look for can help catch something before it is too late. This article was found at Cosmopolitan and is definitely important for every woman to read and think about.

The One Thing You Must Do for Your Breasts

By: Esther Crain

But many major cancer organizations insist that it’s crucial for women to examine their breasts on a regular basis.

Here’s why: First, an estimated 20 percent of breast cancers are identified (and treated) after a woman notices something “off” about the feel or appearance of her breasts. Second, because women in their 20s, 30s, and now 40s are not advised to undergo yearly mammograms, a self-exam is the only diagnostic tool younger women have to help them detect the disease. (Although only about 5 percent of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40, when it does hit younger women it tends to be more deadly.)

So take control of your health by staying the course with monthly self-exams. If you’ve never done a breast self-exam before or feel like you need a refresher course, follow the easy steps below. The best time to do it is during the week after your period, because that’s when breast tissue is at its smoothest.

Step 1: Stand in front of a mirror topless, shoulders straight, arms down at your sides. View each breast in the mirror, as well as directly by looking down at them, and make sure there’s no swelling, redness, puckering, and/or dimpling of the skin.

Step 2: Raise your arms over your head and check for the same signs again along the skin. (With your arms up, breast irregularities may be easier to see.)

Step 3: Squeeze each nipple gently, making sure no fluid or blood comes out.

Step 4: Keep your first few fingers flat and together, and use a firm touch to check for any lumps, bumps or bulges. Begin at the nipple and move in larger and larger circles until you reach your cleavage and chest as well as your underarm, where many cancers begin.

If you detect anything suspicious or notice that something has changed, check in with your gyno ASAP.

Sources: Marisa Weiss, breast surgeon and founder of; Jennifer Wider, women’s health specialist and Cosmo radio health expert

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou I stuck with weight watchers for 16 steps of weight loss, but at least it's going

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou I got paid. Not much with my little part time job... but it's something at least

CaraLikeWhoa @becomingTHEyou I am looking at going back to Nursing School

To live is to learn is to grow

"What you did is not important, what you learn from it is"

I was going to blog this on my personal blog, and I probably still will, but I wanted to share it here as well. I am not sure who said this, or if there is a certain person to attribute to this quote, but I think that it is one of the best quotes to live by. Life is a learning experience. We live, we do things, we make mistakes. The only way we can grow is to learn from these mistakes. To become the best person; the person who we want to be, we must take cues from both our mistakes and from what other people tell us (even if they are hinting subtly or silently) in order to truly become us. No one is perfect, and no one will ever be perfect, but to be happy, we must let ourselves learn, grow, adapt, and prosper. Life is learning, growing is learning, becoming a better person is learning. Mistakes are only opportunities to learn and grow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the positives

JonasBrat @becomingTHEyou Had such a good time hanging out with my mom and her boyfriend today. Haven't done that since high school. :)

JonasBrat @becomingtheyou Band concert was awesome tonight. So proud of those kids! My youngest son won $86 in the 50/50 raffle. woot!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou got two great grades on assignments..i love the feeling of seeing my hard work recognized

20 Tips for a Positive New Year

I know we're a quarter of the way in already, but I just found this. These are still good reminders and I thought I would share:

20 Tips for a Positive New Year
by: Jon Gordon

1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can know that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.

2. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is_______________________.

3. Take a morning walk of gratitude. It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

4. Instead of being disappointed about where you are think optimistically about where you are going.

5. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

6. Transform adversity into success by deciding that change is not your enemy but your friend. In the challenge discover the opportunity.

7. Make a difference in the lives of others.

8. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.

9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

11. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

12. Remember there’s no substitute for hard work.

13. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.

14. Instead of complaining focus on solutions. It’s the key to innovation.

15. Read more books than you did in 2009. I happen to know of a few good ones.

16. Learn from mistakes and let them teach you to make positive changes.

17. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.

18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:

I am thankful for __________.

Today I accomplished____________.

19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou got right back to being productive instead of being lazy after spring break

Simple Ways to Get Organized

Here are some more ideas, old, new, quirky, to get yourself organized. Sometimes it helps me think more clearly and get more things done when my living space is nice and organized. I can only imagine how much more difficult it can be when more than just one person is living in a space that you have to keep organized (because they're too lazy haha) Here are some tips from an article in Redbook.

26 Organizing Tips That Actually Work

1. Maximize wall space in an entryway with cut-to-fit lattice from your local home-improvement store or garden center. Thread S-hooks through the slats to hang baskets filled with scarves, hats, and Rover's leash.

2. Do one small organizational task daily, no matter how small. Clean out one drawer or the top tier of the spice rack. Just think: After a month, you'll have checked 30 things off your to-do list.

3. Open the mail over the shredder or recycling bin, and get rid of the junk immediately. This forces you to make quick and definitive decisions so nothing piles up in your hallway or anywhere else.

4. Keep each kid's tests, drawings, and papers in a large art box, and go through the boxes with your children at the end of each school year. Holly Bohn, founder of allows each child to pick one thing to save. She chooses one special item as well, then everything else gets pitched. "This way you don't have to make immediate decisions when they bring something home," she says.

5. Store all your notes, lists, and ideas in one small three-ring binder you keep in your purse. Periodically recycle outdated pages (last week's grocery list) and keep others (that million-dollar idea that came to you at the doctor's office).

6. Separate bras and undies with drawer dividers. Home and lifestyle editor Wendy Manwarren uses velvet dividers to sort her lingerie into sections according to type (bras, undies, and camisoles) and function (everyday garments stay up front; strapless bras are tucked in the back).

7. Once or twice a year, host a shop-my-castoffs party. Turn on the tunes, open a bottle of wine, and let friends take what they like — from purses and baubles to frocks and shoes.

8. Give yourself recognition for your organizing accomplishments, suggests Gail Blanke. Show off your solutions and brag a little. You're more likely to maintain order in a space if you're truly proud of it.

9. Treat organization the same way you would a diet or exercise plan: as a lifestyle change. To maintain results, you have to do a little bit, often, says Meryl Starr, author of.

10. Hang two canvas totes, embroidered with REPAIR and DONATE, from hooks in the laundry room, suggests Holly Bohn. She tosses too-small, worn-out, and snagged clothes into the bags as soon as they come out of the dryer to keep from stumbling across these mini-projects all the time.

11. Stash a permanent marker in the bathroom cabinet and mark makeup, sunscreens, and medicines with the dates of purchase so you know when they should be tossed. In general, mascara shouldn't be kept for more than three months, and sunscreens and medicines should be pitched at the end of a year, advises Lorie Marrero, creator of. Look for POA ("period after opening") icons, like the one at right, on packaging; "3M" means a product lasts three months.

12. No bathroom storage? Hang a canvas shoe organizer on the back of the door, says Julie Edelman, author of. Put dental-care items in one row of pockets, makeup brushes in the next, your husband's shaving gear in another, and so on.

13. Get a clutter buddy. "You're a better editor with someone else's stuff," says stylist Christine Cameron, who regularly helps one friend clean out her closet. "I insist she let go of that when-I-lose-five-pounds skirt, and she reminds me that a girl doesn't need 10 pairs of black pants."

14. Store frozen foods and meats in easily accessible, labeled plastic bins, as REDBOOK reader and organizing pro, Sue Becker, did here. You'll never freeze your fingers hunting through your well-stocked but overpacked freezer again.

15. Record birthdays, anniversaries, and other key dates at sites like or, which can send you reminders when someone's special day is approaching. Some even set up an automatic free e-card delivery.

16. Employ one system to help organize favorite recipes. The Recipe Nest ($39; is a binder with six tabbed dividers that you can customize with your own categories, such as Grandma's Secrets or Entertaining Menus. It's nearly two inches deep, so there's plenty of room for you to add to your collection.

17. Make yourself a YNK (you never know) box, says Alicia Rockmore, cofounder of Buttoned Up organizational products. Here's how: Empty the contents of a drawer (the kitchen utensil drawer, or a junk drawer) into a box. Then, every time you need one of the items, remove it from the box and return it to the drawer after you use it. After two months, whatever is still left in the box should be thrown out or donated.

18. Dangle necklaces and baubles from pushpins on fabric-covered bulletin boards, as REDBOOK editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison did here. She hung boards on a wall between two windows and now can always find the perfect accessory. (When the curtains are in place, the treasures are out of sight.)

19. Edit, edit, edit. How many pots can you fit on the stove at once? How many free pens do you really use? How many old T-shirts do you really need to save for the next paint project?

20. Sift through your ever-growing stack of magazines and catalogs while on a plane, train, or bus trip. Bring a few clear plastic envelopes along with you to stash recipes you want to try, decorating ideas, and reference articles you tear out.

21. Give yourself permission to regift. Just because someone you care about gave you something does not mean you have to hold on to it for the rest of your life (even if you have room for it!). Pass it on to someone who will appreciate and use it.

22. Corral clutter where it lands. Keep containers near mess hot spots, such as the front door, the bedroom dresser, and the kitchen counter. Then empty them once in a while (or when they get full), put the items away, and start over.

23. As soon as you upload your new photos to the computer, create a digital photo book. As for old photos that never made it into an album, Donna Smallin,suggests organizing them in photo boxes, categorizing by vacation or time period so they're easily searchable.

24. Repurpose your old TV cabinet as a hideaway bar, suggests REDBOOK reader and organizing specialist Grace Brooke. Here, she installed inexpensive hanging glass racks and used three-tiered stacking shelves and trays to maximize the vertical space inside the cabinet.

25. Clean house like you're moving. Keep only those things you'd take if you relocated.

26. If you travel a lot and collect cards and brochures from favorite restaurants, shops, and activities, throw them all into one box when you get home. When a friend is headed someplace you've visited, you can sift through your box (like the one below) to pass along some suggestions. Everyone wins: You have one spot where stockpiling a mishmash of info is allowed, and friends get travel tips from someone they know and trust.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

the positives

LovelyKelsie @becomingTHEyou i have the best friends in the whole entire world!! :)

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had an easy day of traveling and got back to school with no stress

the positives

ebwootwoot @becomingTHEyou I shared something with a friend that iv been keeping for awhile

tashaaa_x3 @becomingTHEyou the partying for my birthday has officially started :D

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had a great few days with my friends and family

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the positives

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou i found a bracelet to replace my old one so my wrist won't feel naked anymore :)

JonasBrat @becomingtheyou Got to see HS kick off their tour tonight. Got to meet @caralikewhoa and got to hang out for a few minutes w/ @sunnysideupb

tashaaa_x3 @becomingTHEyou I have all the money I need set aside for next week, without counting on my parents money :]

Friday Follower

Today's randomly chosen Friday Follower was follower number 6, @lovelykelsie

here is what some of our other followers had to say about her

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou I don't think I have talked to Kelsie yet but I am sure she is amazing!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou i love @LovelyKelsie because she's a dreamer and a great listener

ElafantBaby @becomingtheyou I love @LovelyKelsie because she's sweet, smart, funny, and beautiful inside & out

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Positives

xoAllisonxoxo @becomingTHEyou I figured out I'm making B's in all my classes :D

CaraLikeWhoa @becomingTHEyou I AM GOING TO FLORIDA!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou i lost a pound :)

emeraldmaz @becomingTHEyou Got my new computer up and running :)

Elafant_Heffer @becomingtheyou took a walk today and took my camera--got some gorgeous shots :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Best.Advice.Ever (part 2)

If you missed part one of this series, check out this post. Be sure to watch the video if you have not.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying
is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your
worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Worrying seems to be second nature for most of us; we worry about getting places on time, whether things will work out or not, and where will will be in a year, five, or ten. This is a piece of advice that I definitely need to take to heart. I am about to graduate and all I seem to do when I don't busy myself is worry about my job situation, and where I will be come May 16. This worrying has taken a huge toll on me-I've lost sleep and have come near ruining a very dear friendship. The dark side of worrying is scary, especially when your worry becomes too much to bear. Even though I worry-a lot, I am a huge believer in "shit happens" and "right time-right place", as well as "everything happens for a reason". I know, I am so cliche, but when I do finally get myself to relax and be rational again, I look at the way things in my life have fallen into place so far and realize that these things are true. Some shit does have to happen in order for you to appreciate the good and learn from the bad, and the shit is going to happen; worrying about it won't get you anywhere. As with everything, going in with a positive attitude; maybe saying Okay, if this doesn't work out, I still have options and back up. Yes, you've got to give yourself those options and backup, but having them, and thinking positively about situations will help you throw your worries away for a while. With less worry, you will be able to see the positive things in life and be able to appreciate them, as they are making your life worth it, in spite of all the worries and uncertainty that you have. Please, don't let those worries keep you from living your life.

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou tried one of the recipes from the blog and loooved it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Five Spice Chicken and Orange Salad

Looking for a way to kick your lunches up a notch? Try bringing this salad from Eating Well to work instead of your usual lunch, or prepare it for dinner. It's got protein and flavor and will refresh you for the second half of your day. The protein will help keep you fuller for longer and the flavor will keep you from having just another boring lunch or dinner.

Five-Spice Chicken & Orange Salad

Five-spice powder is a Chinese seasoning shortcut combining multiple flavors in one convenient package. Tossed with orange juice and chicken, it makes a terrific salad with a complex, layered taste that belies the simple recipe.

4 servings

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 3 oranges
  • 12 cups mixed Asian or salad greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup slivered red onion
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, five-spice powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the chicken breasts.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 165°F), 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and segment two of the oranges (see Tip), collecting segments and any juice in a large bowl. (Discard membranes, pith and skin.) Add the greens, bell pepper and onion to the bowl. Zest and juice the remaining orange. Place the zest and juice in a small bowl; whisk in vinegar, mustard, the remaining 4 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Slice the chicken and serve on the salad.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Slice and serve chilled.
  • Note: Often a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder was originally considered a cure-all miracle blend encompassing the five elements (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty). Look for it in the supermarket spice section.

  • Tip: To segment citrus: With a sharp knife, remove the skin and white pith from the fruit. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice into the bowl before discarding the membranes.


Per serving: 278 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 7 g fiber; 491 mg sodium; 450 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (170% daily value), Vitamin A (140% dv), Selenium (30% dv), Iron (15% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

How about trying some of these foods?

Grocery shopping has become so mundane lately; we pick out the same foods and put them into our cart. We rarely decide to pick up something that we don't buy often or have not tried. Sometimes it is because the kids or the husband probably won't eat it, other times it is because we don't want to waste our money on things going bad.

There are so many tasty foods that are full of nutrients and can be cooked and prepared in many different dishes that could satisfy anyone. Try to expand beyond what you normally eat, or add some of these foods back into your diet if they have fallen off.

This article from MSN reminds us of different foods that are healthy, but often forgone at the grocery store for other items. It also explains the benefits of eating in certain health styles, and eating certain foods.

Foods You Should Be Eating But Are Not

Ignore the Food Pyramid

Bowden says many Americans are misled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid, which is a graphic, pyramid-shaped depiction of nutrition guidelines, updated every five years, that tells Americans what to eat according to food groups. Bowden dismisses it as the product of interest group politics.

"It demonizes fat," notes Bowden. "Fat is an essential building block for many important compounds in the body." This is why Bowden puts grass-fed beef, wild salmon and, yes, coconuts, on his top 10 list.

Eat Mediterranean

For Bowden, sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet is the healthiest way to eat. That means plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lots of olive and nut oils. The Mediterranean diet has indeed been proved by study after study to have multiple healthful properties.

and here are the 10 foods that we should be eating:


  • anti-inflammatory properties.
  • antioxidants which body protect against the damaging effects of free radicals and the chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
  • antioxidants found to promote heart health.
  • helps lose belly fat, the kind of fat linked to diabetes and heart disease.
  • vitamin C--a whopping 115% of what you need to eat in a day.
  • low in calories
Grass-Fed Beef
  • This avoids the meat being full of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
Wild Salmon
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
Flax Seed
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Contains powerful anti-cancer compounds called lignans.
  • Great source of fiber
  • Try throwing it into your next smoothie or sprinkling on a salad
Whey Protein Powder
  • Great source of protein.
  • Stimulate the immune system.
  • Try sprinkling some in your next smoothie
  • Contains indoles, and sulforaphane which are cancer-prevention agents.
  • Contains calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and K
  • The body uses the fat in coconut, called MCT, or Medium-Chain Triglycerides, as energy, like a carbohydrate
  • high in lauric acid, a fatty acid that tends to kill pathogens
Dark Chocolate
  • Contains flavanol, which improve cardiovascular health.
  • Look for chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou just won a contest for concert tickets and meet and greet

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Lamb Chops

Here is an easy lamb chop recipe for those days when you want to mix it up a bit. The recipe is simple but delicious and hardly takes 10 minutes to prepare and cook. I found this in Cooking Light magazine. I love switching lamb out for beef because its lighter than steak, but still has the savory and filling taste of steak.

Sweet-Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

Prep: 2 minutes; Cook: 8 minutes

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 lamb chops)


  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 8 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • Lime wedges (optional)


1. Prepare grill.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub mixture evenly over lamb. Place lamb on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information

209 (40% from fat)
9g (sat 3.3g,mono 4.1g,poly 0.6g)
Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, APRIL 2009

The Positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou started up some things that i had stopped over the years, glad to get back into them

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Protein Packed Soup

This recipe was emailed to me by my Weight Watchers meeting leader. This soup seems perfect if you're looking for a small, yet filling meal. I also love it because it is vegetarian, yet still giving you all the protein you need in a meal.

White Bean Soup (Fassoulatha)

From EatingWell: November/December 1990

A simple, rich stew of white beans.

8 servings / POINTS per serving: 5 / Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

· 1 pound dried white beans, soaked overnight

· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

· 2 large onions, finely chopped

· 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

· 2 large carrots, finely chopped

· 1 quart water

· 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and mashed, or 1 tablespoon tomato paste

· 2 teaspoons dried oregano

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Drain beans and cook them, covered, in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. Add water, the cooked beans, tomatoes, oregano, salt, cayenne and pepper. Simmer vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Per serving : 255 Calories; 4 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 42 g Carbohydrates; 14 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 329 mg Sodium; 1286 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving / Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 very lean meat, 1 fat

The Positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou i had a great night with my mom and my sister and my friends...all at once :)

tashaaa_x3 @becomingTHEyou i swept and mopped the wholeee house today :]

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Let's Get Organized: Mail

In the spirit of blogging multi part blogs, here is another one. I found this one at Southern Living. The article is all about Easy Ways to Get Organized and has a lot of different suggestions on how to get and keep different aspects of your home and life organized.

How to Organize Your Mail

Everyone organizes paper items differently--there is no right or wrong way. Some people feel better when things are in strict order, while others are perfectly happy with organized clutter. Finding your comfort level is the most important aspect of dealing with excess paper.

  • If it's not pertinent to your life right now, trash, trash, trash.
  • A blizzard of catalogs: No time to read 'em? Pop the promising ones in an attractive basket near your favorite chair--dump the rest
  • Never-ending bills: Unless you pay them the day they arrive (good for you), get an accordion folder or freestanding file numbered with the days of the month. Tuck new bills behind the date you intend to send paymen
  • Loose photos seem to drift away. Angela suggests cardboard photo boxes
  • Recipes you clip from magazines shouldn't end up stuffed between the pages of your cookbooks. Staple or glue each one on an index card, and drop it into a categorized recipe box. If recipes are too big, insert them in a three-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors. Thus, you create your own cookbook.
  • Separate items into folders for each member of the family or place each person's mail in their personal spaces for immediate attention.

another way to try to win a concert giveaway

If you like concerts and they make you happy and you'd like to see Honor Society, here is another giveaway for you to enter.

For those of you who want more chances to win tickets and meet and greets to an Honor Society concert of your choice, here is another contest to enter. This one comes from The Cloth Diaper Report.

Entering is simple. You've got to go to her blog, this entry and comment which show you would like to enter for. After that, there are several ways that you can gain more entries; just remember to comment her entry every time you do one of the listed things. These ways include tweeting her, following her on twitter, blogging about the giveaway, and following her blog. Not difficult at all, so for those of you who would love to see the gents and meet them and have a little bit of time, this is definitely an easy way to try.

Also, a huge thanks to my friends at Honor Society Live for pointing me in the direction of this contest :)

The Positives

smashley_ashley @becomingtheyou just got home and excited about being home for spring break

Friday Follower

Today's randomly chosen Friday Follower is @elafant_heffer
Here is what some other followers had to say about her

b_j_d @becomingTHEyou @Elafant_Heffer is great fun to have a chat with!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou ...@Elafant_Heffer is a great person with a good heart

Friday, March 12, 2010

Concerts are fun! check out this ticket giveaway

We all deserve some fun in our life!!

My friends at Honor Society Live pointed me in the direction to this awesome Honor Society ticket giveaway. Go to Fairy BlogMother who is giving away tickets and meet and greets to every single Honor Society concert on the Here Comes Trouble Tour. Pretty awesome, huh? It's easy to enter also!

All you have to do is follow @HonorSociety and @FunnyJello and tweet the following once a day " RT Win tickets and meet & greet pass for Honor Society @honosociety @funnyjello Ends 3/15 12 PM MST"

Of course if she's helping you out, you've got to help her out too. Subscribe to her blog on RSS, add one of her awesome buttons, and blog about this contest in your own blog. Be sure to fan her and Honor Society on facebook as well. All of these things will give you extra entries!! Be sure to leave her a comment for each one of these that you have done. Definitely a small price to pay for free tickets to an Honor Society concert.

Be sure to check out her entry here for more information and her blog, here for other awesome giveaways.
Also, don't forget to check out Honor Society at their website, myspace, and facebook!

Thanks, Fairy Blogmother!!