Monday, May 31, 2010

the positives

marama @becomingTHEyou I only have 300 words left on an essay, and that's probably just gonna be the into and conclusion :)

ashley @becomingtheyou had a really productive day of packing and i am ready to move tomorrow..also had a great dinner with my family

Sunday Smiles

We started something new today. Every day of the week will have a theme, so in addition to sharing positives, you can share something with us that goes with the theme. Today was Sunday, so we asked you to tweet us (or comment this post) with something that made you smile.

Here are today's Sunday Smiles:

Barb @becomingTHEyou I got a new kitten today and she is so adorable.

Tasha @becomingtheyou my friends make me smile, every day :)

Ashley @becomingtheyou my bubie was very lucid today and remembered that I was moving to Dallas soon #sundaysmiles

Cara @becomingTHEyou all the birthday wishes I received on Friday! #SundaySmiles

Steph @becomingTHEyou the 2 hours of sun in Oregon this weekend made me smile :)

Steph @becomingTHEyou being told on here by someone that a pic of mine is cute. She's such a sweetheart. She made me smile :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Soothe Away Your Stress part 4

If you missed the other parts, check them out here

Here are five more tips from Good Housekeeping's Kate Hanley on how to reduce and soothe away your stress.

Celebrate the Small Stuff:
This year, take the emphasis off creating the “perfect” holiday by taking a moment to appreciate the many things you have to be grateful for. Make it real by writing down your list — the hot coffee you had with breakfast, the way your husband makes you laugh, the blue sky — nothing is too small or too big. Whatever we focus on magnifies; but choosing to highlight the positive you’ll only invite more of it to grow.

Sea Salt Bath:
Recover from the holidays with an easy detox: Add a cup of sea salt to a warm bath and soak. The salt draws impurities out of the skin. To make it even more rejuvenating, sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the water and light some candles. Be sure to turn off the phone, because having to jump out of the tub and run dripping across the room is definitely not relaxing.

Start Again:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” –Henry Ford By now, your New Year’s resolve has probably started to wane. You certainly aren’t the only one! Few self-directed changes happen immediately. Whenever you find yourself straying from your goals, simply start again. No drama, no beating yourself up, and no guilt. Just get going. Whether you need to restart once or one thousand times, it only matters that you do it.

Stress-Busting Smoothie:
Magnesium is key to warding off the physical effects of stress. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first minerals to be depleted by stress. Replenish your stores and boost your body’s ability to handle stressful situations with a smoothie made with raspberries, bananas, orange juice, and plain yogurt — all good sources of magnesium. To boost the relaxing effect, take 10 minutes to sit and sip your smoothie instead of guzzling it as you dash out the door.

Seek Inspiration:
After several months of cold temperatures and long nights, the winter blues can start settling in. Do something this week that inspires you, whether it's visiting a museum, starting a new craft project, visiting a friend who makes you feel great, or rereading a favorite book. It may not cross anything off your to-do list, but it will give you a little lift that will make the things you have to do more enjoyable.

Friday Follower

Since I missed yesterday, I decided to do our Friday Follower on Saturday; Kristi was our randomly chosen Friday Follower

Barb @becomingTHEyou Kristi is really cool and it was really great to meet her in Nashville! @kristi_crow

Ashley @becomingtheyou @kristi_crow is really sweet and seems fun to hang out with, I can't wait to!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Positives!

Tasha Bear :] tashaaa_x3

@becomingtheyou date night with makayla was fun, as usual :D

Friday, May 28, 2010

The positives!


@becomingtheyou i didnt have to work today!

And don't forget, it's never too late to add your positives in!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Positives!

@becomingtheyou I spent a fun relaxing night with my mom. It feels good to relax!!

Feel free to add into the comments if you have anything to add!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou I had a great laugh with some awesome friends tonight!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

the positives

Stacy @becomingTHEyou (prepare for slight teenie-ness --i'm sorry) My favorite Victory By Revenge member @ replied to me on twitter! :)

Tasha @becomingtheyou i only forgot two linesss :)

Find Your IT, Make IT Happen.

"So stop talking about IT and do IT. Remember your dreams. Chase after IT, whatever IT may be."

For myself, personally, I have always loves quotes, song lyrics, etc. I think it might be because there always seems to be one quote, or song lyric that fits your current mood or feelings just perfectly. Then there are also those quotes and song lyrics that just hit you and have this immediate impact. You might not feel that exact way when you read it, but it just hits you and has this immediate impact because it's inspirational. It's telling you something that's true.

Tonight, I found this quote while browsing around online and I loved it right away. I feel the need to share it with everyone because well this is a true statement. I feel like all of out there have so many things we would like to do, so many things we would like to accomplish, and of course we talk about them. We talk about them with our friends, with our families, with anyone who will listen, but we never actually do anything about it. Talking about something is all fine and good because it helps get your feelings out there and you can express what you want to do, but we all need to take action as well. We need to talk about it and then do something about it.

Whatever your IT is, go out and do it. There may even be more than one IT, and you know what it doesn't even have to be a BIG IT like a career or traveling the world. IT could be simple and small. For example, tell someone how you feel about them, take too many pictures, etc. Take a look at all the musicians, actresses, actors, athletes in the world. We all look up to these people because they are talented and following their dreams. Well guess what, YOU can do the same thing. Sure, not all of are musically talented or star athletes, but WE ARE ALL good at something. We all have a talent that we can contribute to the world. Just because it's not music or a sport doesn't make any less relevant. I think we are all held back by our fears. We are afraid that we won't succeed. We are afraid that we won't be great, we're afraid to fall. But you know what, that's why you KEEP trying. Just like the quote says, you keep chasing IT.

So I propose that we all stop talking out ITS and we just go out and chase after them. Don't be afraid. Remember what you love. Remember what you want to do. Remember what you want to accomplish. Remember ALL of you dreams, remember all of your ITS and just DO. It may not happen for you all at once or right away, but in time you will be able to achieve IT. Never forget what IT is, and never stop trying to chase it.

-Stephanie (

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sichuan Style Chicken with Peanuts

This is from Eating Well. Chinese food is one of my main cravings, but the food that I get from the restaurants is always so overfilled with calories and I end up eating way more than I should have. Here is an easy recipe for a Chinese style chicken dish that won't fill you with excess oil and calories from their series of 25 Chicken Recipes under 350 Calories.

Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

The piquant Sichuan Sauce (which doubles easily) works well with almost any stir-fry but particularly enhances dishes with meat, fish and poultry. When stir-frying chicken, always spread the pieces in the wok and let them cook undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. This allows the chicken to sear and prevents sticking. To smash the ginger, use the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.

4 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes



  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang rice vinegar, (see Note) or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, or thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine, (see Note) or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 1/2-inch-thick slices ginger, smashed
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, (8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 scallion, minced


  1. To prepare Sichuan sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare chicken: Combine chicken, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out. Cook until the chicken begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spread the chicken out again and cook for 30 seconds. Continue stir-frying until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Add snap peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the Sichuan Sauce, swirl it into the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a platter (discard the ginger) and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare Sichuan Sauce (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Notes: Chinkiang is a dark, slightly sweet vinegar with a smoky flavor. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
  • Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available in most Asian specialty markets and some larger supermarkets in the Asian section. An acceptable substitute is dry sherry, sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. (We prefer it to the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets, which can be surprisingly high in sodium.)


Per serving: 273 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 3 g fiber; 177 mg sodium; 427 mg potassium.

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

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

the positives

Tasha @becomingtheyou play practice went so well today. I think i might actually have my lines memorized :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

6 Healthy Cooking Secrets

These healthy cooking secrets, which came from Delish, were actually pulled together from what the author learned from fad diets; or why fad diets don't work for the long term.

6 Secrets About Healthy Cooking I Learned from Fad Diets

Are you a fad-diet dabbler? Then you probably know that most of them are designed to help you shed a few quick pounds, but the health benefits often end there. Just for Delish, EatingWell's deputy editor of nutrition, Nicci Micco, sifted through the crowded terrain of popular fad diets to expose the hidden kernels of truth and the real weight-loss secrets.

...Essentially, they set you up to fail.

But I'll be the first to admit that there are kernels of truth buried in the shaky "scientific" rhetoric of many popular plans — real advice that will help you lose weight healthfully. Without further ado, I give you 6 weight-loss secrets I've found hidden in fad diets...and how to apply them with common sense to your own cooking every day.

#1: Eat delicious foods that you love.

The bottom line of French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano: Food should be savored and enjoyed. Guiliano is right: we should continue to eat foods that we love, like chocolate and cheese — just in small portions. Deprivation diets only work for a short time. Making room for a small treat every day can help you stick to an overall healthy eating plan for the long haul.

#2: Keep things simple.

Celebs like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson, and Kelly Clarkson have reportedly tried Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet — which prescribes six prepackaged cookies, plus one real meal every day. The beauty of this plan is, well, you just eat what you're told. But you don't need "appetite-suppressing" cookies (there's no science to show they really work) to cut calories. It's the hassle you want to cut out, so try preportioned frozen dinners that feature lean proteins and vegetables or a healthy meal delivery service, like Nutrisystem

#3: Have some lean protein, good carbs, and lots of veggies.

According to the Zone Diet, created by Dr. Barry Sears and made famous by big-name followers like Jennifer Aniston, meals that are precisely 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 40 percent carbohydrates can reset your metabolism in a way that results in weight loss, reduced risk for heart disease, and loads more energy. I don't buy into the Sears super-exact 30-30-40 formula, but I do know that meals like the ones he suggests — a small amount of lean protein, such as salmon, paired with "favorable" carbohydrates, like vegetables and whole grains — do tend to be more satisfying. Science shows that gram for gram, protein tends to be more filling than carbohydrates or fat. Vegetables and whole grains contain fiber, which causes you to digest them more slowly than refined carbohydrates like pasta or white rice.

#4: Don't be afraid of fat.

If the Atkins Diet taught us anything, it's that following a fat-free diet isn't always the best way to lose weight — especially if your favorite fat-free foods are big, caloric cookies and bagels. Then, the more sensible South Beach Diet came along and taught us to opt for healthy fats, such as almonds and fatty fish, over the artery-clogging burgers and bacon that Atkins permitted. South Beach also encouraged carbohydrates that fall low on the glycemic index (i.e., they don't cause rapid spikes and drops in your blood sugar) — vegetables and whole grains such as brown rice and barley. We all should adopt the philosophy that judicious amounts of healthy fats trump unlimited refined carbs any day.

#5: Soup can help you lose weight.

The anonymous creator of the "cabbage soup diet" was on to something: Soup (based on a low-calorie veggie, like cabbage) very well may help you lose weight. Various studies show that soup is highly satisfying. In one study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior,people consumed the fewest calories on days when they ate soup. Broth-based soups packed with vegetables and lean proteins or fiber-rich beans give you the biggest bang for your caloric buck.

#6: Keep an eye on sugars.

The Zone, South Beach, Sugar Busters, andAtkins diets all had us cutting back on sugars. While I don't advocate limiting healthy foods that naturally contain sugars, such as fruits and dairy (unless you have diabetes and your doctor tells you to), I agree that cutting addedsugars is good for our health and our "bottom lines."

The average American consumes 355 calories of added sugars each day. Recently, the American Heart Association released new recommendations advising women to eat no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars (that's about 6 teaspoons) and men to stick to less than 150 calories, approximately 9 teaspoons. "Sugars" on Nutrition Facts panels include natural and added sugars, so check ingredient lists for sugar and all its aliases: corn syrup, honey, molasses, etc. The closer sugars are to the top of the list, the more the food contains.

3 Trendy "Diets" That Aren't Fads

If you're looking to jump-start your weight loss with a formal plan based on solid science, not gimmicks or pseudoscience, consider one of the following plans. Each of these diets emphasizes portion control and an overall healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, social support, and positive thinking.

Weight Watchers

Defining feature: A point system that replaces traditional calorie counting.

Big pro: You can eat whatever you want, as long as you stick to your point goal.

Drawbacks: You have to calculate points.

Jenny Craig

Defining feature: Nutritionally balanced, prepackaged meals.

Big pro: Lots of support from the program (24/7 phone line, online chats, etc.).

Drawbacks: You eat only prepackaged meals (which can get expensive and may not be as tasty as home-cooked meals); once you transition to "real world" eating you may need to relearn portions.


Defining feature: Nutritionally balanced, prepackaged meals.

Big pro: It's easy. Eat what they send you and you'll cut calories but still get all the nutrients you need.

Drawbacks: Same as Jenny Craig.

Friday Follower

Today's randomly chosen Friday follower from twitter was Jill (@hollaitsjill)

Ashley @becomingtheyou... @hollaitsjill is such a party, from what i've heard, and she seems so fun

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guacamole-rich, delicious, and healthy

Multigrain tortilla chips and guacamole are a great afternoon snack that will give you just enough fiber and healthy fats without overwhelming your body. I found this guacamole recipe from Dr. Oz in his collection of "Love Them or Hate Them Recipes"


Chances are if you love the smell of cilantro, you will love the taste of guacamole – and vice versa.


3 ripe avocados

½ cup diced red onions

2 medium tomatoes, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 small jalapeño, finely chopped

dash of hot sauce

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

1 cup chopped cilantro


Mash avocado, stir in the onions, tomatoes, lime, jalapeños and hot sauce. Add the salt pepper and cilantro and combine well.

Cover with plastic wrap directly on the guacamole to avoid discoloration and store for ½ hour before serving to give flavors time to develop fully.

the positives

Tasha @becomingtheyou i honestly don't know what i'd do without my friends

Ashley @becomingtheyou had a really productive and fun day with my sister

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to define Success

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. " ~Winston Churchill

Ashley sent me this fun little quote last night, and I kind of love it. I kind of love it so much that I have definitely thought of a cute way to draw it and put it on my wall. It is so true. Because, honestly how do you define success.

I mean, good old Webster says : A :
degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
But, where do you stop and sit there and say, this is everything I have always wanted. This is my favorable or desired outcome. Maybe it is just me, but I know for sure that I never have. But I know that down the road, in many different places I have failed, but I can say with full enthusiasm that I just kept going. Like the little engine that could, just keep saying, I think I can, I think I can.

So, hold you head high! Keep on pushing up that hill saying I think I can,I think I can, because all you need is a little bit of faith in yourself, and you can be successful. But you need to find your own definition of success. Deep down in your heart do you want to be the person who looks back and says, I don't have a billion dollars in the bank, I failed at life, or do you want to be the person who says, Wow. Look at all of the things I have made it through and accomplished. I would personally rather be the second person, and I'll be pushing up that hill singing I think I can the whole way.

the positives

Tasha @becomingtheyou reconnecting with old friends makes me life :)

Stacy @becomingTHEyou talked to my crush online

Ashley @becomingtheyou got my grades back from my last semester, and i'm very very happy about how i did

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hot Autumn Apple Oatmeal; a tasty and filling breakfast

From Self's November 2008 feature of Eat Healthy All Week, here is a recipe for Hot Autumn Oatmeal that will fill you up with fiber and keep you satisfied until lunch.

Hot Autumn Apple Oatmeal

Serves 1


  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 large banana, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 3 fresh raspberries (or blackberries)


  1. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the amount of chopped apple, banana and cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until apple softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add oats, honey and milk. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and cook until oats are soft, about 1 minute. Top with berries and remaining apple and serve.