Dinner Tonight: Homemade Pot Roast

I cheated on the oven with my crock pot! Admission is the first step in healing a relationship, but I think I might divorce Oven and Stove and run off with Crock Pot to Panama! (Crock Pot is portable like that.)

Tonight’s recipe comes from the Pot Roast previously mentioned. I made some changes… again…

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin (I love onions – there’s more than half)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced 1″ (lots o’ onions, less carrots – I used 2 sticks)
  • added two celery stalks, sliced thin
  • sprigs each (or 1/4 teaspoon dried each) rosemary and thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups burgundy (none? use 1 cup strong brewed coffee)
  • 1-28 ounce can peeled, crushed tomatoes
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 3(ish) pounds chuck roast or top round (chuck is cheaper!)
  • 3 teaspoons each of salt and pepper
  • pot roast spice blend (store-bought packet)

Directions

Layer all the vegetables into slow cooker. Season with 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper and spice blend. Add rosemary and thyme (sprigs must later be removed), broth, honey and garlic. Sprinkle flour over mixture and mix well.

Season beef with 1 teaspoon each per side salt, pepper and spice blend. (I mixed the three together and rolled the pot roast in it until it was coated, and then rubbed it in.) Place beef on top of vegetables and slowly pour coffee(burgundy) over beef careful not to run spices off. Cover and cook on HIGH for 8 hours.

Shred beef with fork. If sauce is very liquidy, remove beef and mix together 1 tablespoon corn starch and cold water. Add to crock pot and stir. Replace beef and serve.

I have been promising pot roast to Husband since Saturday. It’s Tuesday… Fail. But our entire house smells like stew-y goodness and absolute beefy deliciousness so he totally can’t be mad. If I had to pick chicken or beef, I would pick beef as long as it is cooked right. Husband says I overcook beef so I’m usually not allowed to cook it, but with Crock Pot it is almost impossible to overcook anything. Almost… the operative word there. I’ve done it, but completely by mistake.

Here is what’s cookin’ so far!

Pot Roast Prepared with the Crock Pot
I can smell it bubbling!

I think, since I tried very hard to use lean beef, lots of spices and healthy veggies, this meal constitutes as worthy for a winter weight loss challenge! Also, beef is so good for you so just eat it, seriously… unless your vegan, then don’t (and if you are – I’m sorry! I just love it so much!).

However, if you are vegan, taking out the beef and beef broth, using vegetable broth and Worcestershire sauce and simmering in a heavy pot on the stove for 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes would give you a decent stewy soup. Take it or leave it.

At 7 p.m. we eat! I’ll update you on how AWESOME it is! (Pray for me.)

 

9:00 p.m. Update: OMG, you guys… it was amazing.

Luna Bars are Complete Nutrition for Women… and they’re delicious

After discovering that my beloved Lara Bars (the most delicious things ever) were no longer on special at Dillon’s, I knew I had to change my favorite nutrition bar. Luckily, Dillion’s seems to order things alphabetically, and right next to the Lara Bars were Luna Bars.

OMG… they’re amazing. Last night, for the first time ever, I tried a Blueberry Bliss bar. I had a moment. No one in class wanted to hear about it. I told them anyway.

Complete Nutrition for Women
Omnomnomnomnom...

Luna bars…

  • are 70 percent organic
  • contain calcium (35 percent), folic acid (100 percent), vitamin D (15 percent) and iron (30 percent)
  • also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, B, C, E and K
  • count around 180 calories (sometime less or sometimes more)
  • usually have no more than 5 grams of fat and no less than 8 grams of protein
  • also a significant source of FIBER

While my current favorite Luna Bar is Blueberry Bliss, other favorites include: Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Zest, Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry and S’mores. Yummy!

Of course I haven’t deserted Lara Bars. Lara Bars are all natural, have less than five ingredients at most and taste amazing. I love Lara Bars, but until they cheapen up or I learn how to make them, I’ll continue to buy Luna. Plus, Luna Bars have who-inspires-you quotes on them.

For example, today I am going to eat Berry Almond, which is “loaded with red berries and antioxidants,” and says, “To my grandmommy, who taught me that no mountain is ever too high! You are my inspiration and my hero! I love you!” -Brooke

How sweet!

Okay, I’m going to nom.

Yoga by Shiva Rea

Back from break… no more turkey, potatoes, stuffing, souffles or pies. How sad! Shockingly, my Thanksgiving (except for dessert) was pretty healthy. I just won’t ask how much butter everybody used in their sides.

Since I am back from a week-long vacation, I have to get back into my workout regimen. You think it’d be really easy to workout while on vacation. Nope! It’s not. Just take it from me.

My workout buddy and I are getting ready to hit the gym hard. There is, however, one problem. My work schedule at the school changes weekly, so I’m not going to make Body Blitz or Yoga at the YMCA on Tuesday. Poo.

Today, I re-began my workouts with a sweet and short yoga DVD by Shiva Rea called Creative Core + Lower Body. Twenty-four blissful minutes of lower body pain beginning with Creative Roots, a powerful standing pose practice, followed by Creative Core, a innovative core workout sans crunches, and lastly, the DVD ends with Shavasana, or two minutes of slow breathing and rest. (Also called: Savasana.)

I discovered Shiva Rea via Yoga Journal about a year ago. One reviewer called her the Madonna of Yoga, but Rea’s got Madonna kicked when it comes to creating a powerful practice that is easy to follow along and challenging for the body (I couldn’t follow a Madonna music video if I tried).

Rea is a beast. A better analogy, I think, would be that she is the Ray Lewis of Yoga. Her abs rock. Her arms and shoulders are slim and toned. Her legs are like a horse’s legs. Her strength is amazing, especially when you see her twist her body into pretzel shapes and hold herself in the most awesome arm balances I’ve ever seen. This woman is a yoga-goddess.

I have four of Rea’s DVDs: Lower Body, Upper Body, Creative Core (by itself but longer?) and Fluid Power (my favorite!). So far… I haven’t been able to get through one of them without feeling my abs, legs, arms, back and shoulders burn. Oh, did I mention my butt? Well, that burns, too.

(I wanted to go to the YMCA today, too, to walk on the incline treadmill, which is probably the worst thing ever, but I’m so tired, it’s so far and I don’t want to go by myself. I hate going to the gym by myself, which is often why I spend so much time and money on workout DVDs for the home. I have so many… it’s almost shameful.)

Yoga is by far my favorite workout, and Shiva Rea is by far my favorite yogi.

And for you naysayers about yoga and getting into shape… Yoga is very effective as long as you’re doing the right kind and amount of yoga and are doing it correctly. Correct posture, positioning and balance are just a few of the reasons yoga is so difficult, and when doing them wrong, yoga becomes way too easy and way, way dangerous. I have face planted quite a few times trying to use muscles I wasn’t supposed to use for arm balances and headstands. Believe me -it’s not fun when you fall on your face.

My yoga instructor at the YMCA uses only yoga as a form of exercise (and chasing her children around) to stay in shape, and she’s in great shape. What’s even more awesome is that she still looks like a woman and not a manly woman. Rock on!

For example, in about 30 minutes of vinyasa yoga, what I did today, I burned 275 calories, which isn’t nearly a package of Pop-Tarts, but it’s enough to keep me honest with myself. Think of what an hour could do for your body, or an hour and thrity minutes, which is how long most professional yoga classes are in gyms.

Yoga is aerobic, anaerobic, stretching and strengthening, and it’s vitalizing. If yoga cannot fix your problems, I don’t think your problems can be fixed.

…grace and peace to you all…

Namaste

Regular posts to come after Holiday Break

Since it’s Thanksgiving Break, I’m not at school or teaching so I haven’t been posting regular updates or posts. Don’t worry. I will.

I’ll get back on schedule as soon as the break is over and provide wonderful health, fitness, diet, food and beauty updates. It will always be fun because I’m not good at being unfun (unlike Husband says), and I promise if it’s not about the point of my blog, it will still have a point. Hopefully I won’t lose any visitors.

Keep commenting! Some of these posts may be interactive ;)

skinnyshae blog photo
See you!

 

 

Nerf Guns and the Wii Fit

What can only be described as pandemonium was the most exercise I got all week. Sometimes I forget that playing is exertion, which burns calories.

Jo’s and my fantastic adventure did not end at the grocery store. It ended 2:00 a.m. the next morning at our friends’ Luhu and Missy’s house. (Luhu and Missy are married, and they have SO many toys!)

Party, Pizza and Nerf Guns
Samo, Luhu and Missy

I haven’t been around people in a while, according to Jo, so my strangeness stemmed from a severe need for attention and apparent lack of social skills, which isn’t true. She was just being mean, or funny, I can never tell.

Continue reading about the most epic day in all of history.

I’m not sure I can describe to you the epicness of the night, but I will try by first beginning with the Wii Fit. We made me a Mii and the Wii Fit Board made my Mii a fatty and told me I was overweight. I set my goals to lose 20 lb. in a year. (But I’ll never talk to that jerk again.)

I also hula hooped on the Wii Fit, but then I felt like I was dancing and completely ignored what I was supposed to be doing and spun in the wrong direction and made weird circles. The Wii Fit Board… can we call him Jim? Good. Jim didn’t like it, and he yelled at me.

No one got a picture of me hula hooping, which would have been great I promise, because they were downstairs writing on the wall.

Black Light Chalk and Children
Jo said this... for some reason... I don't know.

But I did hula hoop on the Wii Board! I did a bad job and dropped my hoops, but I was really awesome at the yoga one until the stupid “personal trainer” said I wasn’t allowed to decide how long I wanted to hold stuff. Well… fine! But check out my Wii Fit Center of Balance test results. I have to stand so far back so I can make sure my boobs don’t topple me over. The board made me put the red dot on the cross-section and I had to lean over to do it. If no one knew… I have a large chest and back side so my center of balance is way back on my heels. Jim didn’t like that. Jim doesn’t understand the term “top heavy.”

Wii Fit Board Wii Fit Results Image
My Wii Fit Center of Balance test results. I'm the bomb.

Wii Fit bowling and tennis against Luhu were also fun. I’m not so good at those either. Boxing was awesome! Husband and I must get a Wii so that I can box him. You know, every once in a while you feel like hitting your spouse. Well, with the Wii, this is made possible without domestic violence charges. (That, and I’m not good and UFC fighting. I just spam the x-button, and Husband gets mad that I don’t use skill.)

Wanna know what I am good at? Rapid fire…

Nerf Machine Gun
RAMBO!

…and then running away.

Nerf Gun Wars
Enemy NOT down!

There is video of this somewhere. I will find it because it is literally the most hilarious thing ever! (Okay, so I tried to get the video of the epic battle, but I cannot figure out how to hijack from her Facebook page so you’ll just have to wait. Remember, it is hilarious.)

Samo was on my team, but then I shot Samo in the face so she abandoned me. :( I also shot Jo in the boob, Dr. Craigleefordshire the Fifth in the butt. I did not shoot at Missy because it was her house. I did shoot at Luhu, but not too much. I am a Nerf gun warrior. I am also really good at running away, which you would totally see for proof in the video.

So that was last nights adventure. Today, I’m going to see my grandparents because I’m a good girl. Yeah… when was the last time you saw your grandparents? Make the trip. Peace.

 

Battle's End
Th Aftermath... I really wished I woulda stayed and helped clean up. :(

(This sentence is entirely for the purpose of not have the devil’s number of words in my post. I’m sure that’s bad luck. Take this devil’s number.)

 

Groceries for a Healthy Diet – The Fantastic Adventure

Every other Friday I get groceries. I also get paid every other Friday –my meager salary pays for groceries and gas, and then I’m out of money.

Anyway, TODAY is Friday, and this is my first ever blog post about my shopping trip to Dillon’s while Husband and Ivan stay home and avoid ALL OF THE POSSIBLY HORRIBLE THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN AT THE GROCERY STORE ON BLACK FRIDAY.

(Traffic was bad, but the grocery store was practically empty!)

I would make Husband suffer grocery shopping with me, but when I take him, he doesn’t stick to the list. He gets distracted by items like bagels and $15 fresh salmon fillets. Yeah… Husband can’t come to the grocery store.

Shopping List for Groceries
This is the list! Stick to it!

(Now that I think about it… maybe he does that on purpose so he doesn’t have to come. Husband is sneaky.)

Anyway, my grocery shopping trip isn’t just a willy nilly adventure. It takes planning. Lots of planning.

The planning begins Sunday with coupons. Since I go every other week, I usually get two Sundays worth of coupons to take to the store with me. Sometime, though, coupon creators suck really hard and don’t give me any coupons.

Coupon Holding File
These are my cu-pins!

Then, I have to compare the coupons that I have with the recipes I might make for the next two weeks. I also have to compare those recipes to what’s on special at Dillon’s.

I do NOT change grocery stores. You may be saying, “But Shae, Wal-Mart is way cheap! Or Target always has good deals.”

Well, Wal-Mart and Target can suck it. I go to Dillon’s. Dillon’s is best because I get fuel points, and I NEVER pay more than 10 cents off per gallon of gas. And they have 10-4-10 deals on Husband’s power bars, which is the only way he gets them.

After all my comparing, it’s time to go to the grocery store. Today, I took my friend Jo.

AKA AW
This is my friend Jo. That is not her really name. It's better than her real name. We're going to hell together.

We made a pit stop at Kwan Court to have some very healthy Chinese food before heading to the store.

 

The Cat Croissant
I have no idea what kind of meat was in that thing. I think it was cat.

I felt sorry for Marvin because his life was going to be a short one… all alone… in a tank.

Fresh Lobster Claw, Tail... Whatever you want really
This is Marvin. He is going to be someone's food.
Dillon's Entrace
To the grocery store!

I always start in the fresh fruit and veg section. Of course, Eddie Izzard knows why… If we walked into a store and saw toilet brushes, we wouldn’t want to shop there because it’s a “poo shop. Everything here is made out of poo!” (Please find and watch Eddie Izzard if you have not already done so.)

And then, I move through the breads, meats, milk, cleaning supplies, dry and canned goods and anything else I might need. I do a C-lap and then crisscross through the middle (with a stop in the frozen foods sections for veggies).

Expensive Lunchmeant
Husband likes sandwiches with roast beef and pastrami.

I have a strategy. I hit only where I need to hit and get deals if they’re there. No deal, no sale. I even stopped buying my favorite granola bars until they’re on sale again. I am a grocery shopping fiend! And this is today’s adventure.

The Meal Plan: I’m making Pot Roast, Salmon with Dill, Crock Pot Enchiladas, Chunky Potato Soup with Dill, Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs and Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Salsa.

You may be thinking, “But Shae, there are only six things and one of them doesn’t even make a meal. You are thinking correct. I also always buy a box of Kung-Pao Chicken and ground beef and ground turkey so Husband can make tacos, turkey burgers and Kung-Pao Chicken. I over cook meat so he makes most of the stuff he actually likes to eat. And we have so many leftovers.

(Forgot the turkey. No Kung-Pao Chicken. I’m crying inside.)

Anyway… I got all the groceries I needed. My total was $172.98. ZOMG! That’s so expensive! However, I had coupons and a Dillon’s card so I saved $45.59 to pay a total of $127.39 on groceries. I saved almost $50 that trip. Plus, I have 220 fuel points until December 31, which mean I get 20 cents off my next fuel purchase. Be jealous.

Wewt! And I didn’t get any unhealthy food because I wasn’t craving it after eating at Kwan Court. Although I am craving Marvin just a bit.

Jo did a little grocery shopping, too and agreed that she needed to cut coupons and download the coupon printer from Coupons.com because she spent way more money on groceries than me.

I am a grocery shopping ninja! Watch out!

I hope you enjoyed my grocery shopping adventure. Tomorrow, yoga???

Holiday Break and Cat Scratches

It’s so early…

At 6:30 this morning, while I was sleeping peacefully on the couch (because that’s where I passed out while watching Team America World Police), my lovely cat decided he needed my attention. So desperate was he that he squealed in my ear as loudly as he possibly could. I did what every person would do after being awoken by a screech at 6:30 a.m. on the Friday morning of my holiday break from school. I pushed him away from my face.

Bad idea.

You see, my cat has a club foot. He was born with it, and that is mostly the reason we have him… because he hobbles around the house like a gangsta. He has a gangsta walk.

Gangsta
This is Hobbes.

When looking for a cat for Husband, Sister-in-Law and I were playing with the ones in the bins at Petsmart. Hobbes, who was once called Arnie… stupid… grabbed our fingers with his good foot and began to “punch” our fingers with his club. He was ours that day. And we renamed him, but he answers to anything -especially if you sneeze. He’s a big fan of saying, “Bless you.”

The club foot was my downfall this early early morning. It was placed unusable directly under my ear. When I pushed the cat, his half retracted claws (he can’t actually do anything with them) caught onto my ear lobe and ripped it open.

At first, I did not understand what had happened. Well, I knew what happened, but in my sleep-logged brain, I was unable to put pieces together until I had bled all over Husband’s sweatshirt. Go me.

One dish towel, two bandaids and lots of peroxide later… my ear has a pretty blue bandaid, and the cat is no where to be seen.

I sent Husband a text to bring bandaids that were ear-shaped, and he said, “How the hell did you cut your ear?” Before I replied that it was the cat’s fault, Husband decided that I deserved a medal for how clutzy I am. Thanks, Husband.

I have a blue bandaid on my ear. I can’t wash my hair. I want to kill my cat (but that’s a daily occurrence -it’s really good for him that he’s so damn cute sometimes).

Husband's medical skills

Not to be left out, the dog is also very cute and has been behaving perfectly all morning. I love the dog today and not the cat. The cat can suck it.

This is what my dog is doing…

skinnyshae's best doggy
Way interested in something in the corner of the room

I have no idea, but I am almost positive it is too early in the morning to be worried about whatever bug may be over there. He’ll eat it eventually.

Did you know bugs are full of protein? There. That’s a little diet tidbit.

Oh… and Husband must have felt sorry for me this morning because when he brought bandaids home (in fun colors!), he also brought me a donut. I totally ate it… most of it.

Did you donuts are full of empty calories? Yep. I’ll never look like Katy Perry, damnit!