We at Casserole Gals are not experts, physicians or licensed in any way. All content on our site, is our opinions, knowledge and experience. Before starting any weight loss or exercise program you should get approval from your physician.
If it has been longer than a year since, your last check-up, pap smear, blood work or mammogram, Make an appointment! As women/moms we tend to take care of everyone else before ourselves but, this is very important to our health. It isn't fun afterward, treat yourself to an ice cream cone, manicure, a treat of some kind.
This is a regular lunch for me, to make it more attractive I serve it on a colorful plate, with a place-mat and cloth napkin.
I try to drink a lot of water and sometimes it is really hard to do. So, I will use a wine glass, add lemon or orange, it dresses it up and makes it more appealing.
Leslie Sansone has many dvd's that get you moving and are low impact. If you can't or don't want to buy equipment, or need to exercise before your children get up or while napping, these are great. You can find several of her programs on YouTube that you can do for free.
Check out your local library, see what exercise dvd's they have. This is great if you want to try something new like Yoga or Zumba, do it before you purchase or just to change up your routine. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu etc. explore their options.
Popsugar Fitness is another site you can find on You-Tube for exercise routines, diet tips and recipes.
Linda Melone focus is on health and weight lose after 50 and or after menopause when our weight struggles are real and can be a lot harder! I heard a physician on TV say that weight lose is 80% changing our eating habits and 20% exercise. For me that may have been true in my 20's-30's but, now I feel like it is just the opposite!
This was me last fall, since then I have lost a few pounds. The key is to keep moving.
If you know me very well, you know I love these, a Cappuccino from Quik Trip. I still drink them just, not very often. You have to have rewards, I know if I make my diet too strict I am not going to stick with it.
Casserole Gals theme for 2017 is Less is More!
Clearing out and organizing your belongings is suppose to help in weight loss!
Read my posts Plastic Containers Unite and Getting Healthy and Losing Weight after Menopause and 50, for more about how I am attaining my goals for 2017.
We will be sharing this post to these wonderful Blog Parties
This drawer has been messy and a disaster for years. I couldn't find the right size lid, the bowls didn't stack, it was frustrating.
Studies have shown that clutter can make you gain weight and being organized and having less stuff can help you lose weight.
Less is More, our theme for 2017. I started with something small but, caused me a lot of frustrating moments.
I emptied the drawer and donated everything. I purchased new plastic containers, ones that the lids and bowls stack. I also, bought glass containers with lids and a couple of larger size containers. I prepped, primed and painted inside the cabinet, it is amazing how a little white paint helps!
You can see the difference, I spent $40, a little paint and time and made a major difference, On to the next project:
I am archiving all our family photos. It will take me all year to finish and I will post about it later. Better get to work!
We are sharing this post to these blog parties.
Hello followers - this is Casserole Gal Kristen! CG Rhonda (my mom) recently posted her healthy living for 2017 post here & now it's my turn to share!
To be honest, this has been an incredibly difficult post to write, as I am opening up (just a teeny bit) about health problems I've had since I was a teenager. These past couple of years, the issues aggressively attached my body & brought about major changes in my life. They're kinda private.
This is me - October 2015 - ecstatic about the purchase of vintage camper, destined to become my food truck. I'd been having serious monthly complications, but based off the past 20 years of my life I figured...this was just my life. Earlier that month, I had an ovarian cyst rupture. The weekend after this picture was taken, my husband & daughter witnessed a horrific tragedy that killed 4 people. I was struggling to work, struggling to take care of my family, just struggling. I made an appointment to see a specialist.
By December (after tests, ultrasounds, appointments....) I was scheduled for a laparoscopy exploratory surgery and a DNC, as well as tissue sample collection to test for cancer. Afterwards, my doctor confirmed that I had Dysfunctional Uterine Syndrome and Endometriosis (along with PCOS and a couple other already known problems) but I was cancer free!
We hoped I would heal, we hoped to have another kid...I hoped for a normal month. Within a few months, however, my conditions had become almost unbearable and I could feel another large cyst had developed.
The doctor told me that if untreated, uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer were inevitable, and that it was highly unlikely I could have another child. Even if I became pregnant, chances were very high that myself and our child wouldn't survive. It is a miracle I had one baby, let alone two beautiful, healthy kids! So I decided, at the age of 34, to have a complete hysterectomy. In the 6 months between my two surgeries, the endometriosis had grown around my uterus, engulfed a tube & attached to my body cavity wall, grown in my intestines attaching a section of them to a different area of my body cavity, and I did have another large cyst.
It has now been 7 months since my 'hyster' and I feel like a completely different person. There are still lingering issues and pain however, so a friend recommended I try the AIP or Autoimmune Protocol Diet. It can help those suffering with chronic illness, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
With AIP, you eliminate all gluten, grains, dairy, beans, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades. Buh-bye coffee, chocolate and sugar! After a period of time, you slowly add certain foods back into your diet and see if there are reactions.
My body has endured a lot of trauma this past year and a half, so I'm hoping this diet helps heal my wounds, restores my gut health and helps as my body adjusts to surgically induced menopause. (Can I just say.... night sweats & hot flashes are serous business. Wowzer.)
Keeping with our 2017 theme - Less is More - I have a list of goals!
1) Obviously I'm eating less - haha - and while I am following the diet for my health, I would be thrilled if I WEIGHED LESS too!
2) Less stuff - areas of my home are clutter mine fields! Plus, I saved all the baby stuff I could in case we had a 3rd kid - I need to take the time to emotionally and physically sort thru the boxes and keep only the truly special items. We plan to donate as much as possible to local shelters.
3) Less stress - I'm having fun & starting back old hobbies like crochet, embroidery and sewing. Working on my stress and emotional health is very important to me this year - I need to achieve balance and peace with myself.
4) Exercise - 2 babies, 10 years in an office job, 2 major surgeries and a LOT of bed rest & lack of movement, plus menopause has seriously changed my body. As I regain strength and endurance, I plan to take exercise and weights classes, walk, run, row and be active again!
Thank you for letting me share! If you know anyone with PCOS, Endo, cysts, fibroids, etc.... and they would like to talk with someone, please send me a private message thru our facebook page. I will gladly share my experiences & provide encouragement!
Sharing this post to these blog parties.
Pictures of roasted whole heads of cauliflower keep floating around the internet, popping up in my instagram and pinterest feeds --- I finally decided to try it myself!
There are so many variations, but I had these ingredients on hand - so why not?
Lemon Caper Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1 Tb minced garlic
2 Tb capers
Salt & Pepper
1. First prep the cauliflower by trimming any greens still attached, and carefully cutting out a bit of the core.
2. Rub olive oil over the entire head - get dirty! Sprinkle top and bottom with salt and pepper.
3. Place cauliflower in a cast iron skillet and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
4. Remove foil & increase oven temperature to 425 F. Continue baking cauliflower till it is slightly browned on top and it is fork tender on the bottom.
5. Carefully remove the head from your skillet and set aside. Move skillet to stove top and medium heat. Saute garlic in a couple teaspoons of olive oil, till soft & fragrant. Add capers & lemon juice. Add cauliflower back to the skillet and spoon the pan sauce over the whole head.
6. Serve hot! You can remove it from the pan to slice and serve - or bring the skillet to the table!
Review?? My husband and I LOVED this! We almost ate the entire head in one setting -- and it was a side dish. This is now in regular menu rotation and I'm playing with different flavors. Also, it could easily be the main part of the meal- not just the side dish!
We will be sharing this delicious dish to these blog parties, check them out!
I remember the days I could eat pretty much what ever I wanted and not gain weight, well those days are long gone. I am now over 50 and have gone thru menopause, which means that extra weight hangs on me like a toddler that is afraid of Santa Claus.
Part of it is my fault for 2016, I didn't eat that well and slacked off on exercising. Plus, we ate out often and every time we went by a Quick Trip I got a Cappuccino. Not only was this not healthy it isn't being money wise.
My husband and myself challenged ourselves to eat a healthy diet, lose some weight and save money during 2017. We are going from January 1st to February 14th, without eating out, eating ice cream, chips, candy and my favorite, a Cappuccino from Quick Trip. After, Valentine's Day we will eat out and buy a Cappuccino and then set another goal, probably April Fool's Day. This isn't easy when we both have a sweet tooth and I love to bake!
To help us with our goals purchased a used Elliptical, it takes up a lot of room but, I am determined to get on it at least 4-5 times a week. The good thing about this machine is, I can do it no matter the weather. I love to walk outside but, so many days the weather doesn't cooperate.
Keep moving is key when you are over 50 and the elliptical is easy on your joints, not my lungs or my thighs, both of those burn like fire!
I have been slowly learning more about Linda Melone and researching her site http://lindamelone.com/ I follow her on Facebook and have listened to a couple of her Web Cam posts. Any motivation helps.
Another goal is to unclutter and organize our home, we plan on moving in 3 years and I want to have Less to Move.
All of this goes with our theme of Less is More. I will share more on what and how I am accomplishing my goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
My recipe today comes from Around My French Table, it is a side dish for our French Themed Progressive Dinner. The tomatoes were a little tart but, I will try the recipe again this summer, using my ripe home-grown tomatoes.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tblsp olive oil
1-2 sprigs thyme
1-2 garlic cloves peeled and fourth long way
Cut tomatoes in half and place on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place thyme and garlic cloves with tomatoes.
Use immediately or pack them in a jar with the oil, thyme and cloves.
Bake for 3 hours at 225 degrees
Enjoy Casserole Gal Rhonda
It is just my husband and I and we often want something sweet but a whole cake or pie would be too much. I came up with this simple recipe that uses agave sweetener, fresh fruit and an oatmeal topping.
2 cups fresh or frozen berries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
5 Tbsp Agave sweetener
1/2 stick butter, softener
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
Place 1 cup of berries in each lightly greased dish, mine are 5 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches deep. Pour 1 Tbsp sweetener over berries in each dish.
In a small bowl mix butter, cinnamon, oatmeal and 3 Tbsp sweetener. Divide mixture over berries, place dishes on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Blog Parties: Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Meet Up ;Monday,
Full Plate Thursday, Made by You Monday,
Welcome Home Wednesday
I have always loved Julia Child. As a kid, I watched her cooking shows on PBS - her funny & witty shows charmed me. Since I was little, I have wanted to work with food, create recipes, write cookbooks, own a restaurant and I even dreamed of hosting my own show. Julia Child was the epitome of my goals. So, when we decided to have a French month - Julia was my main resource of recipes and inspiration.
This soup is a classic comfort food. Easy and effortless in preparation, but full of flavor and possibility. I am sharing the basic recipe, as well as a few variations.
A note concerning this book - it is a treasure! Written as a textbook in Julia's voice - she breaks down a multitude of classic recipes, includes perfectly helpful photos; you can almost hear her voice as you read the recipes. For me, it was as if I was reading transcripts from her show. But more about the book in a later post.....
Potage Parmentier - or Potato Leek Soup
3 large leeks
4-5 medium potatoes
Approx. 6 cups stock (chicken or veggie) or water
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream (optional)
1. Cut root tip off leeks, then slice in 1/2 length wise. Remove the outer layers & throw away - then separate all the layers, Rinse VERY well. Leeks tend to get bits of dirt and sand in all the layers, and no one wants a gritty soup! Thinly slice the leek as your would a small scallion. Toss into a large stockpot.
2. Peel and chop your potatoes into medium-small cubes. Toss them in to the pot too.
3. Pour in your stock or water, making sure leeks and potatoes are completely submerged. You may need to add a bit more liquid. I used water and the taste was still lovely. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low heat until potatoes are soft.
4. Taste and salt more if necessary. I added a bit of pepper. And enjoyed with saltine crackers!
1. Let soup cool slightly, then add a couple cups at a time to your blender. Blend until creamy - serve.
2. Let soup cool slightly, and blend with the 1/2 cup heavy cream for a richer soup. This was a favorite version - I added a bit more pepper to balance out the decadent flavor of the cream. Quite nice! A dollop of sour cream makes a great garnish.
3. Blend all your soup with the cream and place in the fridge. Served cold, you have a classic Vichyssoise Soup.
4. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley, even a bit of fresh dill. Use a pinch of white pepper for a different complex flavor.
-Casserole Gal Kristen
This is a Weight Watchers recipe that I made with only one adjustment. I used mozzarella cheese instead of Parmesan. Next time I will add some chopped onion with the garlic and maybe some red pepper just to boost the flavor. I am curious about how it will freeze and will experiment with that and let you know.
4- 3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes
1/2 box spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove liquid
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups no-salt added chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup low fat cottage cheese, blended to make it a smooth consistency
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 pound whole grain pasta, penne or spirals
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray 9 x 11 casserole dish with olive cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium-low and saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened, Add lemon juice, nutmeg, oregano and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add blended cottage cheese, spinach, chicken, cheese and pasta. Stir to combine. Place in casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Casserole Gal Rhonda
Blog Parties: Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Treasure Box Tuesday,
Full Plate Thursday, Made by You Monday, Foodie Friends Friday
Today I have a Lighter Lasagna to he!p you stay on track with any eating-more-vegetables resolutions you might have made this year. I added onion, carrots and celery to my typical lasagna recipe. I'm not usually a fan of celery but I didn't even notice it in this recipe. Enjoy!- Rachel
1/4 onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb lean ground meat, cooked and drained
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
9 lasagna noodles
8 oz mozzarella cheese
In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until tender. Lower heat to low and pour in crushed tomatoes and cooked ground meat. I used deer but use whatever lean ground meat you prefer. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste. Let sauce simmer for about 30-45 minutes to let some of the liquid cook out.
While sauce is simmering, cook lasagna noodles until tender. Drain noodles. Grate the mozzarella cheese.
Assemble the lasagna: put 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish, top with 3 lasagna noodles and 1/3 of the grated cheese. Repeat two more times and top final layer with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 just until heated through and cheese is me!ted.
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!