Simple advice for a better life.

Breakfast-Mini-Quiche-servingVeggie BurgerThe-Fat-Smash-Diet-book

If you have been following my blog, you already know that I am very impressed with The Fat Smash Diet, and love following all the phases at least once every year, with very rewarding results.

Some people think it is too harsh (no coffee or alcohol for 9 days…wow…), but it is perfect for my taste and my lifestyle.

The holidays are over (I have been really bad); the cookies and chocolates are gone…or almost gone: the three-way mirror and the scale are not my best friends at the moment, so the Fat Smash Diet comes back to life.

My most effective motivating factor for The Fat Smash diet this year is  a very special wedding I will attend this  May…then two more after that…so it’s perfect time to clean up my act, and start eating healthy again.

At the beginning of this week I began Phase I, and hoping that some of you will join me on this journey of healthy eating and fitness.

In preparation for this journey, I shopped for the staple foods used in Phase I:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Veggie burgers
  • Low fat milk
  • Low fat cheese
  • Saltines
  • Nuts
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Lots of water

Have you noticed there is:

  • No pasta
  • No bread
  • No white rice
  • No potatoes
  • No meat or fish
  • No coffee
  • No sugar
  • No chocolate

These NO foods are excluded during the Detox Period – Phase I of the Fat Smash Diet, which lasts only 9 days.

Many of these NO foods get introduced slowly back into the daily menu, as we progress further into the other phases.

You may click on the links below for a closer overview of The different phases and foods of the The Fat Smash Diet.

Phase I – Detox (only 9 days)

Phase II –  Foundation (3 weeks)

Phase III – Construction (4 weeks)

Phase IV – The Temple  (for Life)

I love The Fat Smash Diet, because it is NOT a real diet, but rather a healthy lifestyle.

My body feels so much lighter and energetic after only few days of following the Phase I regimen.

Healthy Lifestyle also means keeping your body in motion, hence the need to dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to some type of physical activity, which for me is outdoor walking, stretching , and exercising on the elliptical machine.

The Fat Smash Diet book has a variety of recipes, some of which I tested and posted previously (see links below).

 

Delicious Smoothie

Fruity Smoothie

Breakfast-Mini-Quiche-serving

Mini Breakfast Quiche

Carrot-Soup-The-Fat-Smash-Diet

Carrot Soup

Green-Bean-VinaigretteGreen Beans Vinaigrette

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I hope you enjoyed this post, and will consider joining me now, or at your convenience, on the journey of healthy lifestyle.

I am looking forward to hear your comments, please.

Thank  you.

 

White mushroomsUkrainians looooove mushrooms.  They incorporate mushrooms into numerous every day recipes, but especially for their Christmas Eve  12 course meatless meal.

Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve menu will include mushrooms in Mushroom soup, varenyky filling (pierogi), Holubtsi filling (Cabbage Rolls), Vooshka filling (dumplings which accompany Ukrainian Christmas Borscht), mushroom gravy (referred to as, Machka, in some households), mushrooms with cabbage, and of course marinated mushrooms.

Today I will share my favorite recipe for Marinated Mushrooms, which will be part of our Christmas Eve dinner menu.

This recipe yields 1 mason jar of marinated mushrooms.

Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of white mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 20 Allspice peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 Onion, sliced to rings
  • 4 Tbs. Canola or Olive oil
  • 1/2 Green Pepper, sliced to strips
  • 1-2 mason jars

Directions:

  1. In a 3 quart pot, add the vinegar, water,Cloves, Garlic, Allspice, Bay leaves, and salt.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Trim off the bottoms of mushroom stems, and discard.
  4. Wash mushrooms under running water to rinse off any soil particles (no need to peel mushroom caps).
  5. Cut each mushroom into quarters or halves.
  6. Add mushrooms into boiling marinate, lower heat, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat, remove garlic and discard.
  8. Cool to room temperature.
  9. Remove  1 cup of the marinate and add to a small saucepan.
  10. Bring to boil.
  11. Add the sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat and set aside to cool off.
  13. Once all cooled, fill a mason jar with alternating layers of mushrooms and onions, and place few pieces of green pepper slices for color and additional flavor.
  14. Top off with oil, to seal it off, and help the marinating process.
  15. Close the lid on the mason jar, and refrigerate the mushrooms for few days, to achieve the full flavor of the marinate to penetrate the mushrooms and onions.

   MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

KHRYSTOS NARODYVSIA!  SLAVITE YOHO!

WESOLYCH SWIAT BOZEGO NARODZENIA!

 

 

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Roasted turkey ready to servePumpkin-RollOrange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

It is time again to give thanks for all our blessings, and to spend time together with family and friends.

Thanksgiving holiday this year will be low key at my house, since all my children and their families, will be spending it with their in-laws.

I am counting my blessings, because we will be all together for Christmas!

Today I will not be posting any new recipes, but will provide links to my previous posts, for your convenience.

Roasted turkey ready to serve

Here is my favorite turkey roasting recipe.

stuffing ready to serve 2

Stuffing with Italian Sausage and herbs.

Orange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

Homemade Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce recipe.

Sweet Potatoes casserole - ready to serve

Sweet Potato Casserole.

I did not post a recipe, since it was a very simple process of cooking sweet potatoes, mashing them with a seasoning of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Then, placing the mashed potatoes in a greased casserole dish, covering them with a layer of miniature marshmallows, and placing them under broiler just long enough to form a golden crust.

Need to watch them carefully, since the marshmallows can burn VERY quickly!!

Pumpkin-Roll

Since I am not a big fan of Pumpkin Pie, I bake Pumpkin Roll as one of my Thanksgiving desserts.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY TO YOU ALL!!!

Diaper Cake - right side view 2I was very excited about an upcoming baby shower for someone at work, and decided that it would be fun to make another diaper cake.

The first ever diaper cake I made, was for my daughter’s baby shower, almost 7 years ago.  If you are interested in my cake assembly instructions, you may click on the link above.

A couple years later I made a diaper cake for a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, so this time I was excited to make my third creation.

Since it has been said that pictures “speak a thousand words”, I will share my cake pictures from several different angles.

The diapers and the accessories for this cake were part of the baby registry, so it was very easy for me to put it all together.   I also crochet a blanket for the baby, plus a tiny one for the puppy placed at the top of the cake.

Hopefully you will find these pictures enjoyable, and will be encouraged to create one of your own, for someone special.

 

Diaper Cake - right side view 3

Diaper Cake - left side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaper Cake - first layerDiaper Cake - front viewDiaper Cake - top layer

Diaper Cake - back side - Blanket

The baby blanket was draped over the back of the diaper cake, as in the above picture.

If any of you made diaper cakes before, and would like to share your pictures with me via email, I would love to post them on my blog.

Thank you!

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