Mama’s Vegetable Beef Stew

halloweennails

I am so excited about the upcoming holiday this week, Halloween! I haven’t had the urge to do any nail art recently but my excitement about Halloween has inspired me again. These are my nails to celebrate! So this is our first Halloween in our house. I’ve heard rumors that we get a lot of kids for trick-or-treating. I’m looking forward to this. Mostly because I will get to see how it feels to be apart of a holiday that is built around kids.

I am ready for my first child and am ready to start trying! We have decided to start trying in about 6 months. That will give us both time to start taking vitamins and making better choices for our health. I’ve already made some dietary changes as well as some changes in my activity levels. Walking and yoga have become a couple of things that I enjoy doing. Listening to music or talking to a friend have made the walking less tedious and more enjoyable. I have long since had an appreciation for yoga and the benefits of it on the body, now I just incorporate it into my daily routine. I have a night time yoga routine that has caused me to sleep so hard I don’t want to wake up in the mornings, yet when I do finally wake up I am refreshed and relaxed. That is a great advance from the position I was in just a few weeks ago.

With the cool air coming in I made one of my favorite things in this world, vegetable beef stew. My mother makes the absolute best but I took a go at it and was fairly successful, it tasted very similar to hers. (not quite as good mom 😉 ) Now before I post the recipe I want to state that I grabbed things that I had available in my pantry and you are encouraged to do the same. Being a stockpile couponer like myself is very helpful when the mood strikes for something like this.

mamasvegetablebeefstew

Mama’s Vegetable Beef Stew

Cook time: at least 45 minutes – 8 hours
Prep time: 5 minutes… how fast can you open your canned veggies?
Serves: 6-8 people
Calories: 433 calories for 2 cups of soup
1.5 lbs of stew beef
2 cans of tomato soup (i used condensed cause that’s what was in my cabinet)
1 can whole corn kernels
1 can green beans
1 can sweet peas
1 – 1 1/2 cups of carrots (I had fresh so that’s what i used. feel free to use canned.)
1 tbsp of parsley
1 tbsp of onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Brown off the stew beef  in a big stock pot. Cook until the meat is not gushing blood anymore and all sides are brown (about 10 mins). Remember that the whole purpose is to have tender beef so were just pre-cooking it here.
2. I drain about half of the fat off and leave the rest because I have high cholesterol and love to have a little meat juice in mine. Feel free to drain it off completely.
3. Add the meat back, with all other ingredients. Stir together and bring to a soft boil. Turn down to about medium low (you want it to be simmering) and put a lid on it.
4. Cook for as long as possible. (I let mine simmer for about 4 1/2 hours this time and stirred every 30-45 minutes.) While you are waiting for it to cook feel free to check in with friends on facebook and to catch up on pinterest. Don’t worry about the laundry, crying children, or mandatory errands. This is your time to cook so while it simmers away, do something for yourself so that you may simmer in your own awesomeness.
5. I made cornbread to serve with mine. (you can find that recipe on the side of the cornmeal bag 🙂 ) My husband went back for seconds, I had it for lunch the next day. I still have plenty for a whole 4 more meals.

If for some reason your family does not suck up all the goodness within a few days, freeze it! When those deep winter days come and all you want is a great cup of homemade soup, go directly to your freezer and thaw! The great thing about making this stew is that it is never the same twice, especially if you are using your pantry as the ingredients. Another fantastic thing about this, the leftovers get better and better because its been partying while in the fridge.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Feel the Burn

level 5

Ok its been one week since the beginning of my journey. I have been keeping up with my journey on Noom Coach and recommend downloading it. I reached level 5 and was so excited (I love games and being able to level up). This week has been pretty interesting. I have learned so far that:

*I think I am younger than what I am

*Encouragement can come from unexpected places

*Exercise videos on youtube should be pre-watched so that you don’t just stop and say “yeah no body can move like that in real life”

*Motivation and attitude are everything

I’ve tried my best to keep up my motivation and have a positive attitude. I have done a little better on my food choices this week and hope to continue. I realized that I have a tendency to not think about vegetables when it comes to meals, especially lunch time. So I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate them better for my health. I am pleased to announce that I have lost 2 lbs this week. But even though I had a small victory this week I did have a weak moment and ate the rest of the cookie dough in the fridge, which was like 1/4 of the tube. It was fantastic.

I started this whole beginning hiit training thing and got to day 3. I was trying to do too much after not exercising for about 10 months, therefore I had weak wobbly legs for 3 days straight. I worked through the first 2 days but just rested and stretched the last day. Now my legs are back to normal and I am feeling less than inspired to go work out again. I just spent about 2 hours reading pregnancy articles and setting up a new pinterest board for nursery ideas. So i should really have more motivation….

The days that I was most successful with exercising were days that I had already planned out, as an appointment with myself. With this in mind I am going to make a weekly workout plan so I can hopefully keep it up! So Sunday, Monday. Wednesday, and Friday I will be walking for at least 30 minutes. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I will be doing yoga for 20 minutes and a core workout. Other than that I going to stick with simple for right now. I need to get into a new schedule of life before completely rocking my world. So when this episode of Pretty Little Liars goes off, I’m off to go for a walk. Hopefully I can report another 2 lbs next week!

(encouragement and suggestions or advice is welcomed!)

Lose a person to gain a person

It’s been a while since I posted. I had a whole season of middle school volleyball with some goofy children. Now the season is over and I could almost say the same for this phase of my life. In just a few weeks it will mark one year of marriage to my husband. We’ve been together for 5 and a half years in all. We’ve decided that we are ready to start a family. We have had many discussions about what type of family and when but it has never seemed closer or more real than now.

I grew up knowing that I was here for two reasons to love others and to be a mom. More than anything it’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’ve been teaching for many years and most recently in a elementary/middle school which has led me closer to my career of teaching, but I still have a void. So as I begin to finish my bachelor degree in education I will also begin the life changing steps to become a mother.

I have a few things that I want to work on before we start trying for a child. One of them is my health. I am overweight and pre diabetic. I don’t want to have the same health concerns that I do now, while pregnant or with children. So my husband and I decided to implement our own little plan for getting healthier. Lose a person to gain a person. (Thanks for the title hubs!) I estimated the average person weighs about 150lbs. (Wikipedia says in America it is 164.7) Therefore if we both lose 75 we will have lost 1 person’s weight and would be more prepared to make a person. I am very excited about this plan we have devised. Now my husband and I both have decided to walk 3 days a week together, eat better portions and make better food choices. We are both different in our approach to exercise. He wants to be able to do it and enjoy something he likes. Yesterday we walked around the local shopping center and then went in the stores on our way back around. We spent about 20 minutes walking and then got to reward ourselves with a little shopping. This is my husband’s idea of what is most motivating.

I on the other hand like a competition. I like to see I can go further or faster or do more reps than the last time. I myself was an athlete when I was younger. I played AAU basketball for several years as well as rec league ball and school ball (sometimes all at the same time). In that time, I also played volleyball and was a trainer for the football team. I know what it takes to be an athlete and have stamina. I also know you have to continually push your self to be better than the day before. I know I have to continually reward myself with something I want and keep track of my efforts. For myself I am doing my own regiment outside of walking with my husband. I am going to put a $1 in a jar every time I lose a pound. I also intend on doing a variety of exercise so to get my body ready to carry a child. (I’ve heard that having good core muscles are important) I was playing around on my phone last night and came across an app that I like pretty good so far called Noom Coach. It keeps up with my food, exercise, and steps per day. I started late last night and found that it gave me options for reminding me to log my food. It also levels you up per activities that you complete. Also it gives you advice on picking out meals, exercising, and healthy choices. It automatically adjusted my calorie intake when I exercised yesterday. So far today it has given me information about finding time for yourself that does not including sitting in front of the tv. It also gave me information about what makes a great workout. Lastly, it gave me information about how I don’t have to go hungry to lose weight.

This is a great journey for me to embark on and I want to have the best for me and my children. I hope to bring you some entertainment and great deals as I go. What do you think? Any advice from already parents or others on a weight loss journey?