The Majesty of Motherhood

I have been so inspired by an upcoming event The Majesty of Motherhood that hasn’t even happened yet, but I wanted to share some of that inspiration with you!  As Mothers, there are so many emotions and trials we go through.  If I could tell Moms all over the world anything, it would be that what is on the manifesto below is true – read it – over and over – you deserve to feel that way about yourself!


Only 3 days left till the Majesty of Motherhood event. It’s time for nurturing and empowering yourself in your stewardship as a valuable woman and marvelous mother. Yes, I am talking to you and yes, indeed, you embody those aforementioned adjectives. 🙂

The speakers are amazing and I can’t wait to soak in all the enabling wisdom and goodness they have to share. I just may happen to have a few tickets to share with anyone who’d like to come:) , message me if this is something you’ve been wanting and would fill a need for you. Go to to register. Use the Promo Code “MOM” to receive $30 off!

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When Success Seems Small

One pound.  That’s what I lost last week.

It seems so insignificant and small.

The joy of losing so much weight the week before came crashing down as I stepped on the scale this morning. I was fully prepared for another huge result.  I had been following my plan to the T.  Why would I expect a less-than desirable weigh in?  I must have made an error somewhere along the way.

In my analysis of last week, I came to some conclusions.  My food consumption is still like that of a hard-working lumberjack and yet I seem to stay hungry.  I am drinking more water than in the past but most likely not enough. I have not started the exercise program that was recommended for this lifestyle.  I am eating more fruit than is suggested for weight loss.  No, I am not following the program to a T after all.

I am not one to sit in my discomfort for too long.  After a short abusive moment in my head, I realized I had two choices.  I could head to the kitchen and pop a frozen waffle in the toaster or I could take my 1lb weight loss and turn it into a victory!  I chose the latter.

Staying on course when the light becomes dim can make for some challenging moments.  In the not so distant past, I would have given up.  Talked myself into failure.  Reasoned that success is clearly not my option.  But what do I truly have to gain by staying in that mindset?

Actually, in this particular case.…just more weight.

How many of us sabotage ourselves when our successes seem too insignificant to make a difference?  Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, a professor at the University of Calfornia, Berkeley says: [paraphrased]

“Believing that your ability is fixed is great when the [task] is easy (“I’m brilliant!”), but puts you at risk for disengagement when the [task] is hard and you don’t do well  (“I suck; why [bother] anyway?”).  By contrast, if you believe your ability is something to nurture and grow, those same challenges become indicators of  growth and development.”

Let’s face it, changing an entire decade of poor eating habits is hard.  We can’t expect perfection.  Putting that kind of demand on our psyche is not only unreasonable but dangerous to the forward movement.  If we just realize we are inclined to setbacks, and can accept this with a greater self-awareness we just might protect ourselves from undermining our own pursuits.

I expect that I will have some monumental successes in weeks to come and with that, some less significant ones too.  In the final analysis of the larger picture maybe what I truly want is continued growth toward the ultimate goal and a degree of self love that forgives when goals are barely met.  Today I stand one pound lighter which is one pound closer to long term health, appropriate physical fitness and a certain amount of  ‘dang, I’m hot!’

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“Because Tasting is Believing”

So during the caterpillar eat-fest stage of my life, I was content to put just about anything into my mouth as long as it had flavor.  But during this past summer, I became morbidly aware of my health and future life as a nearly 300lb woman.  Sudden death was most certainly looming around just waiting for me to devour that last ‘Twinkie’ or ‘Ding Dong’. The fear of being ‘this way’ for the remainder of my existence was enough to catapult me into a search for the kind of change I was literally dying to make.  In my quest for knowledge, I came across a plan that I believed I could convert to and have ultimate success with.  I did my due diligence and the  journey to becoming a butterfly began.

Paleo. Short for Paleolithic, was the food plan I had chosen.  This diet mimics the types of foods our caveman ancestors ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, I could ultimately eat as much as I wanted and have success losing weight.  Brilliant!  A food plan that was meant for me.  Thankfully, in today’s world, I will not have to go spear fishing, braless in a loin cloth but rather visit my local market for some fresh, pre-cut organic produce and a slice of meat.

So week one started and as one would expect, I was ravenous.  It didn’t seem to matter how much I ate, I was still hungry.  Coming off sugar, soda, caffeine, carbs of all kinds was  enough on it’s own but to be starving too?  Come on!  On around the 4th day, it seemed as though I would never stop eating.  My meals included: 4 eggs and 4 sausage links with 2 apples for breakfast, a hand full of strawberries and some walnuts for a snack, some fresh asparagus for a 2nd mid morning snack, a mini wild-animal moment with a rotisserie chicken and some lettuce at lunchtime, 3 lettuce wrapped hamburgers as my pre-dinner appetizer and some pineapple and ham for dinner.  Despite all that eating,  I begged my husband later that evening to ‘just take me out for a steak’ .  In an effort to avoid having his thigh become a rotisserie item, he complied and I was satisfied for a few hours by a juicy steak and a double side of steamed broccoli.  I was in heaven.

Something changed though on that day because the next morning when I woke up, I was no longer on the hunt for my prey but content with a reasonable amount of food for the average person.  For the remainder of the week, I had what I consider to be a normal appetite.  No desire for candy or coke or junk of any kind. It was a powerful lesson to me about the the reality of my addiction to sugar in any form.

During the ‘normal eating phase’ of this week, I had to make a trip to Wal-Mart for something and I didn’t plan the trip well and got hungry.  In the old days, I would have strolled over to the bakery or chip aisle but instead I went looking for a Paleo-friendly snack.  As I pushed the cart, a clarity came over me that had never been there before.  “There is ‘nothing’ in this store that is real food!”  I realized that the majority of the store is filled with boxes and bags and pre-wrapped, non food items that America is calling food.  I wandered back to the produce and grabbed a bag of carrots and some celery and checked out.  But I was changed.  No wonder Hostess used the tagline ‘Because tasting is believing’ in the 70’s.  For so long I believed that if it tasted like food, it must _be_ food.  Thank goodness I now know the best way to optimum health is by eating whole foods and saying ‘no’ to the boxes claiming to be real!

Thank goodness there are raw carrots in a bag for this very hungry housewife.

“Because Tasting is Believing”-Hostess Commercial circa 1970

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Introducing the Very Hungry Housewife

Hi!  I’m Joanie and I’m The Very Hungry Housewife.

I’m at the point in the story where the “caterpillar” realizes that all the eating and eating she has done has caused her to be ‘big and fat’.  She is sick of feeling so horrible and now she is ready for a change.  She eats through a leaf and feels much better.  She realizes it’s time to make some lasting changes in her caterpillar life – to eat healthy and emerge as a beautiful butterfly.

I think my story is quite similar to other women who were at one time in their lives healthy and fit until they became a housewife.  Somewhere in that process,  you lost who YOU were.  The importance of taking care of this person vanished in the need to care for everyone else.  Can you relate?

I am here to share my ‘caterpillar’ journey with you as I transition from a fast food  couch potato condition into an active, fruit and veggie-lovin’ lifestyle.  Today marks the first day of ‘cocoon life’.  I have tasted the leaf and there is no going back.

Join me on Sundays for my weekly blog post as I am sure there will be many exciting things to share along the way.

Disclosure: This Series was inspired by the beautiful Very Hungry Caterpillar children’s book, but has no official association with the book.  If you don’t have a copy in your home, we highly recommend it!  It’s such a fun story with a powerful message!

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Turkey Leftover Recipe: Turkey Cranberry Salad

Now that turkey season is upon us, I decided to get over my fear of turkeys and embrace them for their cheap leftover protein source.  There are two salads from restaurants that I’m particularly fond of. It doesn’t matter how frequent I could go to those restaurants, I’m ordering the salad every time!  From Kneaders, it’s the Turkey Cranberry Salad and from Mimi’s Cafe, it’s their Bleu Cheese Walnut Salad.  Maybe they both had me at the Craisins?!  Today, since we’re talkin turkey and since Kneaders is only in 5 Western States, I’m going to share with you the Turkey Cranberry Salad.  Grab a fork!

Lettuce, leftover turkey, Craisins, purple onion, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms slices along with raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

I’d be one to just skip the dressing and use cranberry sauce all over the salad and call it good!  What do you think?  Will you be trying this with your turkey leftovers?


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Turkey: Scary Experience, or NOT?!

I’m not gonna lie – I was totally freaked about making a turkey.  It seemed like such a laborious thing growing up – my mom would cook turkey ALL day on Thanksgiving and there would be so much fuss over if it was moist enough.

I never cared for turkey to begin with.  BUT….my hubby is the web developer for a grocery store chain, so guess what he brought home last Thanksgiving – a big ol’ turkey for his wife to cook :)…lol.  It sat in the deep freezer for months – haunting me.  I finally decided to give it a whirl and you know what?!  It’s not bad at all.  The only prep I did was pull out the bag of gizzards and other goodies, pull out the neck, rinse the whole thing out and throw it in an oven bag with a bit of oil rubbed all over it.  I just simply followed the instructions that came with the oven bag.  It was so easy! And, the best part of all, it only took a few hours.

Now, let’s talk about what NOT to do!  Do not attempt to cook a large turkey in a 9 x 13 pan.  Even though everything turned out okay, you see how my bag is totally bulging over the sides with stock.  Not ideal!  Splurge the $10 or so bucks to get a roasting pan – or, borrow one from a neighbor in advance (unless you’re planning to cook your turkey on Thanksgiving).  As you may see, I did cook my turkey breasts down, legs up as recommended on so many sites – to help the breasts stay more moist.  The only problem with this is that your thermometer is on the bottom.  But, as long as you are using a roasting pan, you’ll have room to turn it and see if the thermometer has popped out.

My final tip: Time the turkey so it’s coming out right before you HAVE to go somewhere.  If you’re lucky like me, when you get back, your husband will have already carved it and discarded of the bones and left you with a beautiful pan full of turkey stock and another large container full of fabulous turkey.  Yeah…he’s pretty awesome!

Image from Stuff Your Face

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Meet Susie and her amazing granola!

Hello Dear Reader! I’ve always wanted to write that :). I thought I’d take a minute to introduce myself here on Healthy Mom’s Kitchen. It’s good to get back to my roots of healthy eating, healthy home and the striving in all ways physical, mental and spiritual, to be a healthy mom. Thanks for the invite Nisha! I expect to blog about both the joyful journey of seeking family wellness and the practical patience required as things don’t always go so ideally. I grew up in old pre-colonial area of New Jersey where rolling hills and forests suggested a time when women were hardy and hopeful about creating a new life in the New World. My earliest American ancestry goes back to the first Dutch founders of New Amsterdam (aka New York City). I guess the mere fact that I relate this shows that I have a fondness for history and simple living. Lots of farmers in my lineage. But don’t let that fool you! It’s taken years for me to learn how to garden and use the bounty (sometimes!) produced. I am 43 years young and still have SO much to learn. When I was 12 my father survived a major heart attack at the young age of 40. This event really made me aware of the connection between stress, diet, genetics and health. And how precious life and family are. I was drawn to any information that would feed my desire to get, be and stay healthy. My college years found me finding myself in foreign lands. First, the Philippines, then India. I loved learning about other people, their culture, food and lifestyles. I majored in sociocultural anthropology and minored in music (vocal). I first became a mom when my twins were born. I wanted to give my husband and kids (now 4 girls) the best of everything – on a VERY tight budget, mind you! 17 years later we’re still on a tight budget and my ideals for health and happiness have been buffeted (and refined) by life’s trials, but guess what?! “I have SEEN the promised land” (I love MLK – hey that’s so freakily close to HMK – sort of) and I will get there ;-). Hope you all don’t mind me taking you along for the ride…..let’s get going!

For starters, here’s a great basic recipe for very tasty granola that will make your kitchen feel cozy with the smells of harvest time and the warmth from your oven. Feel free to substitute the dried cranberries for raisins, dried cherries, blueberries, apples or even apricots. You can also experiment with different spices besides just the cinnamon (I love adding a little ginger to wake up my taste buds and soothe the tummy). My kids love this! Have an Awesome Autumn:).{{kmr:49887}}

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