Conversations Between the Farmer and His Wife, Part II

We’re in the second week of the farmer’s low-carb, high protein, no sugar eating adventure. I chuckle as I type the word “adventure…”

This has not been an easy feat for my grains and starch and sugar loving hubs. In fact, he’s been quite cranky. And I get it. It’s only been  two weeks. You do a lot of conquering what your brain is telling you you’re craving in that period of time. Your body has to remember how to pull energy from fat storage instead of just burning carbs. You get a little lethargic and moody sometimes when your body was used to counting on something it’s not getting now. He’s had great days where he’s thought this isn’t bad. And he’s had bad days. I think the phrase, “My life is no longer worth living” comes up periodically. (Dramatic, anyone?)

However, he’s stayed the course like a champ and looked fiercely forward to the one cheat day he gets a week where he goes completely off the rails and has whatever he wants. On the non-cheat days, he can have whatever he wants as long as it’s meat, eggs, veggies, beans, and nuts. And ya know what? He is very visibly shrinking. While he loves that, he still has to complain just a bit because he feels like he’s eating the same things over and over again. (He kinda is…but ya know what? That right there is part of why he’s been so successful).

This afternoon was a bad day. It didn’t help that I’d let our supply of foods he can have dwindle. It also didn’t help that I was within earshot–he’s gotta play it up for that.

Farmer (as he stands with the fridge doors open): “I am so SICK of lettuce! This fridge looks like a stinkin’ vegan lives here. My options are green, green, green…and green.”

Me: “Oh, come on now! Look at what’s in the crockpot for dinner! STEAK! And you’ve liked every meal I’ve made all week.”

Farmer:  (grumble grumble…something about how they’ve been alright, but not his first choice. )

Thanks, honey. Thanks a lot.

Me: “Really when you think about it, I’m not even cooking much differently than I usually do. I mean, what is missing from our meals that I used to make?”

Farmer: “HOT ROLLS! POTATOES!”

Me: “I NEVER MADE HOT ROLLS! And potatoes? We hardly ever had potatoes!”

Farmer: (more grumbles…something about at least he could have had them if he wanted to)

Because of his lack of choices and apparent desperate hunger, he settles on some refried beans mixed with salsa. And continues to be the curmudgeon to my positivity and bubbliness. But, see, this only eggs me on because it’s my greatest pleasure to make him smile and laugh in these moments.

And even though the farmer’s cranky, his mood actually improves his natural sarcasm and wit…which I get a kick out of.

So, I shift gears as he berates the fact that I told him he could have sweet potatoes. For the love of all things good, when will I be serving sweet potatoes?

Me: (with a ornery smirk) “Now, is this how Jesus would talk to His bride?”

Farmer: (as he looks at me incredulously and holds up his bowl with what looks like brown and red mush in it) “Is this what you would serve Jesus??!!”

At that, I am in tears. Laughing so hard I’m crying at the thought of this being the straw that broke the camel’s back for Jesus. He continues on with his spontaneous skit. Passing his bowl of refried beans and salsa to  imaginary Jesus in the chair next to him and saying all kinds of more hilarious, sarcastic things as he offers him our “best” food and hospitality. I can’t even catch all of it because I’m about on the ground. All the while knowing that I in no way forced my beloved to eat what he concocted in his bowl.

However, because of how hard I am laughing, guess who’s smiling…and laughing. The more I howl, the more he cracks up.

And that bad mood takes a severe hit.

 

Jesus’ presence wasn’t so imaginary in that chair next to my husband, after all.

 

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Two of My Favorite Smoothies

I’ve mentioned before that I used The Abs Diet to lose the extra pounds Peanut left me with. That and ALOT of excersise. Anyway, the Abs Diet isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. It has forever affected what I eat, the meals I fix for my family, and how I look at food, in general.

Today, I thought I’d share with you two of my favorite smoothies. The recipes are from, naturally, the Abs Diet. (I am sorely lacking in food photography skills, but I attempted to show you what they look like.)

This first one is a triple berry flavor. It’s Peanut’s favorite and she’ll usually flat suck it down. It’s sweet and it’s packed full of protein and antioxidants.

Triple Berry Smoothie

Recipe: Triple Berry Smoothie (aka Belly-Busting Berry)

1 scoop low-fat vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup each frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (I get the no sugar added kind)

1/2 cup low-fat milk (I use 1%)

1 tbsp. vanilla whey protein powder

3 ice cubes (I use 6 because it makes it less frothy and more icy. Icy=yummy. And tricks my mind into thinking there’s more there to drink.)

Serves 1. 251 cal, 15 g protein, 38 g carbs, 4 g total fat, 2 g sat fat, 116 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

The next smoothie is a strawberry banana flavor. It is SO good, but I don’t make it as often as the triple berry because:

1. I don’t always have bananas on hand.

2. If I do have bananas, I might have to peel one and there are days I’m just too lazy to do that.

This smoothie is the farmer’s favorite because he loves pink.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Recipe: Strawberry Banana Smoothie (aka Strawberry Shortcut)

1 scoop low-fat strawberry ice cream

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 banana

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 tbsp. vanilla whey protein powder

3 ice cubes (I use 9 or 10. This one is extra frothy.)

Serves 1. 283 cal, 14 g protein, 48 g carbs, 4 g total fat,

Although my husband is a dairy farmer, he rarely drinks milk. This is one way I get it down him. His muscles work hard every day and milk aids in protein synthesis. Efficient protein synthesis = bigger muscles. I like to think I’m feeding these to him for my own enjoyment. 😉 And then to top that all off, more muscle = not only looking good, but a faster metabolism.

Drinking low-fat milk not only strengthens bones, but it gives volume to your stomach. These smoothies are my go-to’s when I’m craving something sweet and I don’t have to deal with any guilt about slurping them down in 5 seconds flat. Scientists believe that calcium aids in weight loss because it blocks/metabolizes fat. What’s not to love about that? I’m not a scientist, but there’s a lot of dairy products in the Abs Diet and I’m thinner now than I was before I had Peanut.

 You need to make one of these today!

Drinking smoothies and supporting… myself?,

The Dairymaid

The Farmer’s Favorite Breakfast: The Three-Country Breakfast Sandwich

I’ve said before that I’m a follower of The Abs Diet. I don’t really like the term “diet” when it comes to what kind of foods you can eat on this plan, though. It’s just a very healthy relationship with food. When I first moved down here to the farm, the farmer had to adapt to my ways since it was a healthy eating plan that I adopted after I had Peanut. It worked for me in losing the leftover baby weight and the farmer has lost 25 pounds since I moved in. (without a whole lot of complaining, to boot!)

The thing I absolutely love about The Abs Diet is that the recipes are so easy and so delicious. My husband likes food. I don’t know many men that don’t. And as embarrassing as it is, there have been times throughout the course of our relationship when I have been able to eat my husband under the table.

And it wasn’t when I was pregnant. In my experience, my hollow leg at 26 is a lot less hollow than it was at, say, 22.

So, today, I thought I would post a breakfast sandwich that the farmer has just about every morning. It’s one of my favorites, too. It’s called The Three-Country Breakfast. Here’s how you make it:

1 egg, fried in olive oil cooking spray

1 slice Canadian bacon

1 slice tomato

1 toasted whole-wheat English muffin

1 tablespoon shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

Arrange egg, bacon, and tomato on one half of muffin. Top with cheese.

*Sidenote: You can also put the egg in the microwave for about a minute and a half to cook it. It takes even less time. I just like the texture better if I cook it in a skillet.

The specifics on this sandwich are: 326 calories, 24 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (5 g saturated), 5 g fiber, 1145 mg sodium

Trust me. It’s delicious and so easy. The farmer also had to make sure his favorite staple made it into the picture. Tabasco. He douses it in it. But, I’m ok with this because it actually makes it even more productive for him. Hot sauce will kick your metabolism into high gear for a little while.

I don’t know about you, but I like the thought of the food I eat working for me. Because the less I have to work out, the better.

Greek Beef and Orzo

This is a recipe I got from Betty Crocker. I made it one night and the farmer liked it so well he said I could make it once a week. I took it to a friend’s house one evening and now she regularly makes the recipe, too. My grandma also loves it.  So, I wanted to share it with you. It falls into my healthy eating category and one serving equals 310 calories. Awesome, right? I thought so. This meal is also so easy that I can remember it off the top of my head. It serves 4.

Ingredients:

1lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef

1 can (14.5) stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 medium celery stalk, sliced (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup uncooked orzo or rosamarina pasta

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)

1/2 cup. fat-free plain yogurt (I personally love Fage Greek yogurt, yum and the little personal serving size one is perfect if you don’t eat a lot of plain yogurt)

Directions:

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown; drain.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except yogurt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender. Serve with yogurt. I usually just put a dollop on each serving and sprinkle some greek seasoning on top (it seems to really bring out the flavors.)

You should make it! It’s positively delicious!

This also reminds me of a story I have to tell on my grandmother. Her name is Betty Cauthron. I think the story goes something like this. One day, she went to Wal-Mart with my aunt and cousin. They got separated from her at some point during shopping and after searching for a while, decided to just page her once they got up to the front. That didn’t work. (My grandma’s a little hard of hearing, bless her heart). So, my cousin took off through the store trying to find her again and finally found her in one of the food aisles. He said, “Grandma, didn’t you hear us page you? We’ve been waiting on you!” This is what she said: “Ohhhhh, well, I heard someone being paged, but I thought they said Betty Crocker!” Grandma always makes for good stories and I love her to death because she’s so hilarious, albeit unknowingly sometimes.

Hope all of you have a wonderful Wednesday!

“Betty Crocker’s” granddaughter,

The Dairymaid

A Super Healthy, Simple, and Scrumptious Breakfast

I look forward to this breakfast every morning. Not only is it healthy, but it’s very tasty and it keeps me full for a while.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 packet maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal

1/2 cup 1% milk (you can use skim or fat-free and eat even less calories)

1 turkey sausage patty (I use the pre-cooked Jimmy Dean ones and all I have to do is heat it up cuz I’m lazy like that)

1 slice whole wheat bread

I heat the oatmeal and milk up for however long the packet says. Then, I cut up the turkey sausage patty into little cubes and throw them into my oatmeal. (I know this might sound kinda weird, but it’s really good. My 3-year-old little brother really likes it, too). Stir it up and use the unbuttered toast for dipping in your oatmeal, if you like. Or you can have no toast at all and save around 70 calories.

I like to keep my meals in the 400 calories vicinity and this one comes in at 375, so it’s perfect.

Since I’m talking about oatmeal, I wanted to throw in some interesting little tidbits about how it’s a weight loss power food. I started eating it a lot when I found out in high school that Halle Berry ate it every morning for breakfast. Who doesn’t want to look like Halle Berry? But, my information is coming from The Abs Diet. The author touts the unsweetened, unflavored variety (which I’m 100% sure is better for you), but I just can’t abandon my maple and brown sugar flavor. My life would be remiss. A piece of me gone. And it also means that I wouldn’t be bucking the system and we can’t have that now, can we?

The reason oatmeal keeps you full longer is that it contains soluble fiber, which attracts water and stays in your stomach longer than insoluble fiber (vegetables). This reduces your blood cholesterol because during digestion, your liver has to pull cholesterol from your blood in order to keep making digestive acids. Therefore, your bad cholesterol levels drop. You can’t beat that for an added bonus.

Doctors recommend 25-35 grams of fiber per day. I know I wasn’t getting that before I started eating healthier. The book says, “Fiber is like a bouncer for your body, kicking out troublemakers and showing them the door. It protects you from heart disease. It protects you from colon cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the intestines quickly.”

You know what else it does? Maintains your blood sugar levels longer than many other foods. This keeps your insulin levels low, so you won’t be starving in 2 or 3 hours. This is amazing because when your insulin levels spike, your metabolism drops and sends a signal to your body that it’s time to start storing fat. Yeah…not good. That’s why oatmeal is so beneficial to a weight-loss plan.

So, folks, treat your body to some oatmeal today! If not for breakfast, throw some in a smoothie or use it as a late-night snack. You’ll feel good about the healthy decision and I will be happy.

An oatmeal enthusiast,

The Dairy Maid

 

Source : The Abs Diet by David Zinczenko. The recipe is adapted for my own personal preferences, though.