Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet

I wanted to pop in and share a recipe with you that I am loving!  It's taken us a few tries to get it just right (mainly because we had never cooked Quinoa before) but now that we have, I believe this will be in our regular rotation.  My daughter, Jessica, found it here at Spoonful of Flavor, which is packed with tons of delicious recipes!  

We had this meal 3 different ways last night; a few of us had it in a wrap, others had it in a bowl and someone else had it over Tostito's Scoops.  I love how we can have one dish and serve it three different ways.

Today, I decided to heat up the leftovers for lunch and added baby spinach to the wrap.  It was even better the second time.  I feel like this is such a tasty and versatile dish that you could easily have it for lunch, dinner or even as a dip at a party!  Plus you can freeze the leftovers and save them for a rainy day!

For the wraps we use whole wheat and the brand depends on what's on sale.  We've also exchanged sour cream for plain Greek yogurt.  There are so many little ways to help make a meal healthy or healthier.  The sour cream swap is just one of many!

If you decide to give it a try, let me know what you think!!  Also, feel free to share your favorite, healthy one pot meals with me here!!

Eating and diabetes

One of the very first things we did after I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, was revamp our meal planning.  Suddenly things like Four Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake were replaced with more natural, wholesome choices like Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce and mashed potatoes made with olive oil and not whole milk and a stick of butter.  Pasta has turned to whole grain or vegetable and 12 grain bread has made it's way into the bread drawer.  Smoothies were already a regular breakfast item but I used milk (whole milk for a long time) and I only used fruit.  I began adding fresh greens to the fruit and no longer used milk, but a small amount of water instead.  My typical smoothie is baby spinach, a banana, strawberries, mangoes, about a tablespoon of peanut butter and a squeeze of honey.  I've tried a few different recipes from this smoothie recipe book but haven't found any that I totally love yet.  I am still trying to expand my palate and learn to try and like new things. 

You can find it here on Amazon

It's got a ton of different smoothie recipes and a lot of good information on how to make a healthy lifestyle change instead of jumping on the next diet fad to hit the shelves.  Although we haven't tried very many recipes from the book, I would still recommend it if you are wanting to make a change or, like me, are stuck in a rut with the same smoothie ingredients. 

Another thing that I've changed is how often I have coffee.  I would typically have a cup or two every morning, usually before I would even have breakfast, which meant that I didn't eat until mid morning, if I had breakfast at all.  Skipping meals is a big no-no for diabetics.  Now I only have coffee on the weekends and am finding that I typically can't even finish one cup.  While I love the taste and the feel of a good mug in my hand, I'm not loving the affect the coffee is having on my body.  I still struggle with the old routine from life before Type 2.  I have to make sure that I eat or drink a healthy breakfast before I get my cuppa joe!   I'm definitely learning to listen to my body.  If we slow down enough and pay a bit of attention, I believe our bodies will tell us everything that we need to know about what it wants and needs and what it doesn't.

As far as other foods, we've added a good variety of nuts to our snack list.  A mix of almonds, pistachios, peanuts and dark chocolate chips are a quick and easy snack to assemble and grab on the go!  Fruit and nut bars are always on the shopping list as well.

I think that these are my favorite!  Their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are the two that we typically buy.  They are gluten free, vegan, dairy free and kosher, made with 100% real food.  1 bar is the equivalent to 1/4 cup of fruit and they are a great source of fiber.  I linked you to the official website for LaraBar but you can find them on Amazon, Target, and Shop Rite.  Another snack bar that I like is made by Curate.  There are no artificial flavors or colors, they're non-gmo, gluten free and have a 4 grams of protein.  To be honest though, we've really only been buying the Lara Bars.

I think that I'll save dinners for another post!  Just know that we eat more chicken and fish.  Avocado's are a staple.  Salads full of fresh, dark, leafy greens happen often and usually include chicken, peppers, feta cheese (which I adore now), fresh rosemary, sometimes fresh dill, avocado or even cooked sweet potatoes.  I used to only eat iceburg lettuce, what a fool!  I had no idea that there were such delicious healthy choices out there!  I mean, I knew they were there, I saw them, I just had no interest in trying them.  Instead of regular salad dressing, we've been using greek yogurt dip.  Usually a creamy ranch flavor but it only has 60 calories per serving, which is 2 tablespoons, and I don't even think we use that much. 

We typically have ice cream on Friday nights and I've not been very good at keeping my portions low.  I told Jessica the other day that I think I'm going to go down to having it only once a month and on the nights that they all have ice cream, I'll blend up some frozen fruit for a sorbet type dish.  Then, as I was looking around on Pinterest, I came across a pin for Healthy Chocolate Nice Cream.  I decided to give it a try the other day and I think it's going to be a hit!!  In the blog post the author shares a link to 10 other Nice Cream recipes!  I can't wait to give them a try!

Tell me, what are your favorite healthy go to snacks?  I'm always looking for something new to try these days!!

A Fresh Start

I'm not really sure how to start this or share this story, but I feel that I need to and that I want to.  So I'm just going to get right to it.  I have Type 2 Diabetes.  I was diagnosed Tuesday, September 20, 2016 and was somewhat devastated to get the news.  I've never been a naturally thin person and after gaining 60 extra pounds while pregnant with my first child (who is now 25) and then going on to having four more children, I've never really gotten rid of all the extra weight.  In managing my very full life, I've allowed myself to slip off of the charts of what's important.  While taking care of everyone and everything else, I've never really taken care of my self.  I've never really been a bad eater per se, but I've never really been a healthy eater either.

This appointment took forever.  I waited and waited and waited!   

This appointment took forever.  I waited and waited and waited!


Let me back up just a bit and tell you that prior to the appointment, I had really started feeling my weight.  I wholeheartedly believe in transparency and so I'll share that I weighed in 244.8 pounds on 9-20-16.  I'm embarrassed to put that out there, but I think it will be helpful.  Anyway, I knew that I needed to start making changes, not in the way that I've always known, but in a way that I knew it was now or never.  Even though I bawled my eyes out while the doctor spat out information, even though I was reminded over and over again while the doctor used words and phrases like "morbidly obese" and "newly diagnosed with diabetes", I couldn't be happier with that appointment. 

After the shock wore off, the devastation quickly turned into anger.  Anger over being a morbidly obese person, anger over having let myself go for so long, anger over now having diabetes.  I took on the mindset that I don't have time for diabetes, glucose checks, extra medicine and God-forbid one day having to rely on insulin.  I declared that I would not get to that point and that I was going to get rid of this disease.  The next day, I started researching and changed my eating habits.  I joined the American Diabetes Association, looked at apps that would help me track my eating habits and settled on Lifesum.  This app helps me to easily log my meals and water intake while giving me the nutritional information of each thing that goes into my body.  It gives me the percentage of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and calories. 

This reading was taken in the beginning.  I am now seeing glucose levels that are right in the range of where they need to be.

This reading was taken in the beginning.  I am now seeing glucose levels that are right in the range of where they need to be.

I am so happy to report that since September 20th, I have lost 16.4 pounds and am at 227.6 pounds.  Just after one week of eating more fruits and vegetables I felt such an incredible difference.  I felt more awake and had more energy.  I am much faster to just take care of things like carrying the laundry right up to my room and putting it away than I was before.  Honestly, if I could get someone to take it up for me, I would.

Yesterday, I committed to a 30 day, 15 minute per day work out plan.  I happened to be scrolling through Facebook, and came across a sponsored ad fromBetty Rocker.  I completed my first 15 minute workout yesterday and am feeling it today.  But I am so incredibly proud of myself that I can't wait to get back at it today!

The American Diabetes Association tells us:

  • In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes
  • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes
  • 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year

November is National Diabetes Month and there are lots of things that you can do to help spread awareness and join in the fight against diabetes.  The ADA (American Diabetes Association) has launched a campaign called #ThisIsDiabetes and they are asking for people to share their stories, either your own tale of life with diabetes or the journey of someone that you know. Or if you're better at dancing than you are writing stories, you can join the #DiabetesDanceDare.  There are so many ways to get involved!!  Please take some time to follow the links and educate yourself on this disease.  Support your loved ones that are living with diabetes by making healthy choices and getting active.  Offer encouragement to them to make good choices and let them know that you are on their team. 

The support that my family has given me is crucial to the results that I've experienced.  I can not do this without them!  Would you be willing to join my support team?  I'll continue to share my experience and goals as I go.  How about I share some of our recipes too?  I'm determined to make this fun and not daunting.  I'm determined to reverse the diagnosis through eating healthy and getting fit!  Won't you join me?  

Here are a few more links that are full of information, International Diabetes FederationNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidneys Disease

 *I have received no compensation from sharing these resources.  I simply love them and want to share them with you.

Do you or someone you know have Diabetes?  Please feel free to share your story in the comments.

God Bless