Thursday, April 11, 2019

Shopping at Harris Teeter and Some Recipes! :-)

The journey to good health can be challenging at times, and by that I mean our food choices as well as our budgets to help support healthy habits. The more you consider what our health means to us, the more we realize that stretching the budget a little more to get good, healthy, quality food also saves a lot of money in medical bills down the road. As most of my readers know I'm fighting against heart failure.... but I refuse to let it progress without a fight. Since my diagnosis right before Christmas in 2018, I have completely changed my lifestyle. I like to choose stores that give me great customer service as well as provide me with the foods I feel comfortable serving to my family as well as myself. Great deals can be found, but I am also more willing to spend a little extra to get good quality. For the location I live in my local choices are Food Lion and Walmart grocery. Unfortunately  I don't feel the selections are of good quality so I drive about 40 minutes to get to Harris Teeter. I also enjoy shopping at Publix as well. Since we were in Harris Teeter and everything looked so wonderful, I decided to share a little from that shopping trip. This is my opinion only and this is not a sponsored post. :-)


Their deli section has a wide variety to choose from and they have Boar's Head lunch meats; which I like due to the choices and the fact that they provide nutritional books letting you know what's in all their meats and cheeses. For me that is so important as I have to watch my sodium levels. I rarely eat meat, but occasionally will have chicken, salmon and turkey. I've pretty much eliminated cheese other than some baby Swiss and some Mozarella.


  I was really happy to find this no salt added turkey. The amount of sodium total is 55 mg in a slice.


           Just look at all this fresh amazing produce!! So many healthy options to choose from!


              I get excited walking in the door just knowing I have great options to choose from!


Kathleen and Jerry were shopping with me and had to get a picture of her beautiful face among all the lovely fruits :-)



The meat section is one of Jerry's favorites as he decides what he'd like for Sunday dinner and throughout the week. I usually pick up fresh salmon to have at least once a week. Such a big difference fresh!


Yes.... I do take my own bags as well, especially cooler bags as we have a bit of a drive. I've also been known to bring a full cooler if I know we will be stocking up. ;-)



The customer service on the times we have gone have been great! Very friendly and helpful service!


I found this dark chocolate bar I want to try, but only one or two squares at a time. No more eating terrible candy bars. Actually I got it last Sunday and still haven't broken into it. I'm really watching my sugar intake as well as my salt and fluid intake. Dark chocolate is supposed to be a healthier choice. :-)


                                                            Even better NO SODIUM!!!


I also tried out this drink, I've never seen it before and it has the slightest bit of bubbly in it, but is actually really good. Not very sweet but just enough flavor to help once in awhile. Especially since I mostly drink water or unsweetened teas. Anyone else tried this or heard of this brand? They are a little pricey though. When I got these they were on sale 2 for $5.00. Normally $2.99 each.


                       Also NO SODIUM and very low on everything else and it tastes good :-)


Just about every day for lunch I make some kind of a healthy stir fry. My taste buds have changed so much! I crave healthy things now.


For this one I bought zoodles all ready to go, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken and spinach. So delicious! Harris Teeter has a lot of pre cut vegetables that really save on dinner time. They are a bit pricey so I don't always go that way, but sometimes when it's a busy night I will plan to have them so they're all ready to go! Healthy, delicious and quick meals! No excuses ;-)



One night I made chicken bruschetta with roasted potatoes, so good! The chicken were fresh from the meat market area as well. I just season with some olive oil and make adjustments for my restrictions.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt/pepper to taste
16 oz baby red potatoes halved
2 Tbsps olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup fresh parmesan
4 fresh mozzarella cheese slices
2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

To make bruschetta, combine tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil leaves in a medium bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a bowl.

Season chicken and place on a baking sheet. I like to line mine with aluminum foil for easier clean up :-) Put potatoes in a large bowl and add olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, basil and parmesan (season to taste) Toss gentle to combine and then add to other side of the baking sheet.

Place in oven and bake until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are golden brown and crisp about 20-30 minutes. Then put a slice of mozzarella on each piece of chicken during last 10 minutes, once melted remove from oven and add bruschetta on top and enjoy! :-)





I also had a request in my email from Eileen to share the recipe for my chocolate cupcakes that I made from the Everything Dash Diet cookbook. I couldn't find anything online to link to the recipe so I am including it here, but please visit their website for more great recipes and ideas. :-) You can find their link here

  Hope you enjoy these Eileen, let me know when you get a chance to bake them what you think :-)


1 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sodium free baking soda
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with liners.

Place dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, into a mixing bowl and mix together.

Add wet ingredients to pan and mix until well combined.

Pour batter into muffin cups filling about 2/3 full.

Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over batter.

Place in middle of the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!! :-)



                              Hope you are having an amazing Thursday!!! Many blessings,
                                                                             Jill

Monday, April 1, 2019

Battle of the Books, Spring and some Goodies :-)


Tis the time of year for super busyness it seems. :-) Anyone else feeling the days are too short to squeeze in everything? ;-) We certainly have had a full calendar and it just keeps filling up even more each day.

Kathleen participated in Battle of the Books with her school and they came in third place! So proud of all of them. They had 27 books to read and reflect upon with some challenging questions. I thought this photo was so cute that she shared on her Instagram of her and Jerry so I just had to post it on here. :-)


Way to go Kathleen!!!! Super proud of you and thankful your dad and I could be a part of your special day!


Outside of the building they were in for the competition was a beautiful garden that was showing some lovely blooms. I quickly snapped a few photos to share..... I just enjoy seeing the signs of Spring so very much. Everything in a new season, new life, new potential..... just gorgeous!






Still cooking up healthy food and enjoy trying lots of new recipes that are low in salt, calories and sugar. This was a mediterranean artichoke salad so yummy!


Yes!!! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are also crazy low in salt, sugar and calories. So good and they didn't last in the house long at all! I wasn't sure if the girls would like them since they weren't as sweet as the cupcakes they are used too, but they ate them up fast not really leaving any for me to snack on, lol. I think Jerry may have managed to get one before they disappeared! ;-)




We added 2 new baby ducklings to our family, but they have already grown so quickly since these photos. I will post more updated pictures soon. They are so adorable and sweet!



The other day we had temperatures near 70 degrees and it was so beautiful outside. Kathleen said she was going outside to do her homework so I said ok. I thought she was going to the picnic table or gazebo to work and when I looked around outside I found her in our front driveway. She was having a blast getting her work done, had kicked off her boots and was just enjoying the sun.


Looking forward to more warm days. The last few we've had sun but it has been a little chilly. How's the weather where you are? I've seen a few posts on Instagram of snow still coming down! I'm glad we aren't seeing that here, lol!

Just wanted to check in and do a quick update! Hope your week is off to a great start!! Happy Spring!!!

                                                                    Blessings,
                                                                        Jill

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

She Did It!!!!!!


My sweet girl has dreamed about going to Appalachian State University since she was 12 years old....
She has had all straight A's through school, honor society, awards.....
Everyone said "apply to several schools.... have a back up....."
Hayley said nope my heart is set on one.....

CONGRATULATIONS my beautiful girl! Appalachian State said yes, all your hard work has paid off!!!!!!

Your dad and I both are so incredibly proud of you and all your accomplishments! You're going to go far! Love you to the moon and back, always and forever!!


            Time sure does fly by and they grow up so very quickly.... treasuring every moment!


       Stay fearless and reach high for all your dreams, I have no doubt you're going to reach them!


                                          Just one of many accomplishments to remember!


                                       Always a kid at heart with lots of love to give!!!


                      Way to go Hayley girl!!!! We love you more than words could ever say!

                                                                         Blessings,
                                                                              Jill

Monday, March 11, 2019

Take a Walk With Me :-)


             Happy Monday!! How many of you are dragging today with the new time change?  :-)

I received some not so wonderful blood test results today and needed a way to unwind a bit. Though I'm supposed to walk with someone, I am on my own today and it's just beautiful outside; so I thought I would go ahead and get my walk in early and enjoy the morning. I took my phone along just in case and decided to take a short video of me walking around my yard and setting it to some harp music for a more relaxing experience. More of Spring is beginning to show itself and it's so pretty. I'm sharing a few photos that I took after my walk also. Whenever life tries to get the best of us.... we have to keep fighting. We can do hard things and we can treasure the beauty in all things around us.

          "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other"  Walter Elliot




"Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends and family belong and laughter never ends"   Unknown


So thankful the weather is beginning to warm up so we can spend more time sitting out in the gazebo Jerry built for me. :-)


                               Our very large, old Magnolia tree nestled among the pines.


                                   Red Maple leaves just beginning to bloom for the season.





                                                 Weeping cherry tree among the tall pines.



                                              Pear trees blooming looking so very pretty.





                                          A little close up of the weeping cherry trees. :-)




                                            Ducks are loving the beautiful weather today.



                 Soon the cushions will be brought out for the chairs to enjoy more outdoor time.


              Just planted some forsythias this past year and they are already staring to bloom :-)







"Colors are the smiles of nature. When they are extremely smiling and break forth into other beauty besides, they are her laughs: as in the flowers."   Leigh Hunt


                                                                        Blessings,
                                                                             Jill