Lighten Up!

It doesn’t take long for the days to slip by, especially when they are so busy!  Audley’s precious Granny is improving and in a rehab facility.  This independent 82-year old is having a difficult time with everything, but she should have a full recovery!  The kids and I have helped with their great-grandfather; spending time and cooking a little.  While crisis’ are difficult to deal with, I do love the sense of family they build as Audley’s family has grown so much closer over the last three weeks.
Preparing meals has been a challenge as we stay on the go, but it has also gotten me concerned about how I eat and what I am teaching my kids.  I am having a serious change in eating attitude as I have let bad habits rule me for much too long now.
A diet coke and 3 musketeers candy bar is not a healthy breakfast, even when you slept on a chair in the hospital all night long!
With a family health history that is worrisome, a birthday two weeks ago that put me one year away from 40, and the fact that I am going to be the mother-of-the-bride in the next year, I have decided to become fit and fabulous.  No frumpy momma here.  When I hit the big 4 – 0 next May, I am going to do in in style, not in a mu-mu (I don’t really wear one, yet. haha).
I am not going on a diet and depriving myself, I am simply making better choices for me and the family, as well as adding exercise to my week.
First up on my agenda, lightening up our meals at home.  In stereotypical style, Southerners love their fried foods: fried pickles, fried chicken, fried eggs, fried pork chops, fried shrimp, fried bacon, fried Oreos, French fries, ….. it just keeps on going and EVERY bit of it is delicious!  The best part of eating fried foods is the crunch when you bite into it.
While shopping at Greenlife Grocery a couple of weeks ago, I picked up the most wonderful looking Iowa pork chops.  With very little fat to trim, these looked really good!  Instead of dipping them in egg and buttermilk and battering them up to fry, I dipped them in lightly beaten egg whites, and dredged them in Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), sprinkled with a little sea salt and black pepper.
I then placed my chops on a broiler pan, so that any grease would drip away from my chops, and baked at 400 degrees until the juices run clear; about 30 minutes.


Golden brown chops make the highlight of dinner and the trademark “crunch” that accompanies fried foods?  It is there, and possibly tastes better!
To accompany our meal?  I served up fresh green beans, deviled eggs, marinated cucumbers with onions and a whole wheat roll.  No fried pickles here (and oh how I adore them!).  I took a large English cucumber, peeled and sliced it, sliced Vidalia onion ring and then marinated them in rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar for an hour.


The result is fabulously crunchy “pickles” that make a summertime meal complete.



Making changes in the way I eat is going to take a lot of patience.  I didn’t put on all of this excess weight in one month, so I sure don’t expect to loose it all in that same time.
So now, please share ….. How do you lighten up or keep a healthy balance if foods in your diet?
I have a huge week coming up with a mission trip out of the country.  Our team will be conducting a Vacation Bible School in Jamaica.  I was able to make this life changing trip last summer, and look forward to all of the adventures that will be encountered.

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