Friday, July 31, 2009

This Makes Me Feel Better

Julie sent me this link and I found it to be pretty interesting...

I can burn calories without really doing much. (Not that this alone is going to get those last baby pounds off of me, but I am thinking that EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!)

Here are the highlights:

*Fidgeting, tapping feet, gesturing with hands, or twirling hair for 150 minutes a day can burn 350 calories a day.
*Standing burns %50 more calories than sitting.
*Pacing burns %90 more calories than sitting.
*Having 250 milligrams of caffeine with a meal can increase the calories spent metabolizing the meal by 10%. Drink Green Tea, black coffee, or unsweetened tea instead of soda, so you dont get the calories!
*Eat more veggies to help burn more calories after you eat.
*Add 5g of Tabasco sauce to your meal to raise your metabolism by 12-20 percent for up to two hours after eating.
*Drink ice cold water, rather than room temp. water. Your body burns more calories to warm the water up.
* Shivering burns calories!

Happy Birthday SHAD!!

I am a day late...typical Tracy fashion...but I still wanted to give a shout out to my big brother, Shad. My brother has been the best brother in the world! We don't always agree, and we butt heads a lot with our conflicting views on just about everything....HOWEVER, he has always always always been there when I needed him the most with love in his heart and without judgment. I am so proud of the man he is, the husband, and the father that he has become.

I love my bubba. Thanks for all you have done for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Everyone Must Get This Book!

Andre brought this book home from work yesterday. It's called Supermarket Survival Guide: Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding. Andre had told me about it previously, but this was the first time I actually got to flip through it. It's awesome! Just to get your curiousity going, I'm going to give you the book's 20 worst packaged foods in America.

Worst Crunch Snack- #20 Gardetto's Special Request Roasted Garlic Rye Chips
fat equivalent- 3 strips of bacon
Eat instead- Snyder's of Hanover Sourdough Nibblers

Worst cookie- #19 Pillsbury Big Deluxe Classic White Chunk Macadamia Nut
Fat E.- 5 "fun" size 3 musketeers bars
E. I.- Toll House Chocolate Chip

Worst Yogurt- #18 Stonyfield Farm Whole Milk Chocolate Underground
Sugar Equivalent- 4 cherry popsicles
E.I.- Breyer's Cookies n'Cream YoCrunch Lowfat with Oreo Pieces

Worst candy- #17 Twix
Saturated Fat Equivalent- 11 strips of bacon
E.I.- 100 Grand

Worst ice cream- #16 Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter
Fat E.- 1 McDonalds Double Cheeseburger
E.I.- Edy's Slow Churned Peanut Butter Cup

Worst "Healthy" Pantry item- #15 Pop-Tarts Whole Grain Brown Sugar Cinnamon
Sug. E.- 1 Snickers Bar
E.I.- Sun-Maid Raisin English Muffins with Cinnamon

Worst Condiment- #14 Eggo Original Syrup
Sug. E.- Two Haagen-Dazs Vanilla & Almond ice cream bars
E.I.- Smucker's Sugar Free Breakfast Syrup

Worst Drink- #13 Arizona Kiwi Strawberry
Sug. E.- 4 original fudgsicle bars
D.I.- Tropicana Lime Raspberry Fruit Squeeze

Worst Frozen "Healthy" entree- #12 Healthy Choice Complete Selections Sweet & Sour Chicken
Sug. E.- 2 scoops Breyers Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream
E.I.- Kashi Southwest Style Chicken

Worst Cereal- #11 Quaker 100% Natural Granola, Oats, Honey & Rasin
Calorie E.- 8 chicken wings
E.I.- Kashi GOLEAN

Worst Packaged Side- #10 Pasta Roni Fettuccine Alfredo
Sodium E.- 4 medium orders of McDonalds french fries
E.I.- Pasta Roni Nature's Way Olive Oil & Italian Herb

Worst Baked Goods- #9 Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffins
Sug. E.- 3 1/2 Rice Krispies Treats
E.I.- Vitalicious Apple Berry Muffin

Worst Frozen Treat- #8 Toll House Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwhich
Cal. E.- two slices of hand-tossed pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut
E.I.- Skinny Cow Low Fat Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwhich

Worst Individual Snack-#7 Hostess Chocoalte Puddie Pie
Saturated Fat E.- 2 McDonald's Quarter Pounders
E.I.- Chocolatey Drizzle Rice Krispies Treats

Worst Packaged Lunch- #6 Oscar Mayer Maxed Out Turkey & Cheddar Cracker Combo Lunchables
Cal. E.- 15 chicken nuggets
E.I. - Oscar Mayer Deli Creations Fajita Beef & Salsa Flatbread

Worst Stir-Fry -#5 Bertolli Grilled Chicken Alfredo & Fettuccine Complete Skillet Meal for Two
Sat. Fat E.- 22 Strips of bacon
E.I.- Birds Eye Steamfresh Meals for Two Grilled Chicken in Roasted Garlic Sauce

Worst Frozen Breakfast-- #4 Jimmy Dean Pancake and Sausage Links Breakfast Bowls
Cal. E.- 6 bowls of Fruit Loops
E.I.- Jimmy Dean D-lights Breakfast Bowls turkey sausage

Worst Frozen Pizza- #3 DiGiorno for One Garlic Bread Crust Supreme Pizza
Cal. E.- 6 Slices Domino's Thin n Crispy Cheese Pizza
E. I.- South Beach Diet Deluxe Pizza

Worst Frozen Entree- #2 Hungry-Man Classic Fried Chicken
Cal. E.- 5 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts
E.I.- Banquest Select Chicken Parmesan

Worst Packaged Food in America- #1 Marie Callender's Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pot Pie
Sodium E.- 8 small bags of potato chips
Fat E.- 23 strips of bacon
Cal. E.- 7 Taco Bell Fresco Beef Tacos
E.I.- Marie Callender's Oven Baked Chicken

Are you shocked? Appalled?? I was. This is just the beginning! I love that this book gives you a better alternative to the crap food. Anyway, I can't stop looking at this book, and decided all of you should know about it. They also have a book just for kids foods. I gotta get that one. Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Homemade Granola

Ok, so I mentioned in an earlier blog that whole grains help to get your brain going. I suggested oatmeal for breakfast, but I dont really like oatmeal. Here's another alternative: granola. You can buy it, of course, at the store, but where's the fun in that? Impress your friends with this yummy and versatile recipe.

4 cups rolled oats
2-3 cups chopped nuts ( I use almonds, peanuts, and soy nuts)
1/2 cup syrup (I use light)
1/2 cup honey (I try to use local when I have it)
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1/2 cup oil

First, preheat oven to 350. Then pour syrup and honey in pan and heat on low until it has thinned out.

Pour all 4 cups of oats into large bowl.

Add your shredded nuts,( I put mine in a food processor.) vanilla, oil, and salt to the oats. I usually use salted nuts and almonds and forgo adding salt. Mix well, then add the thinned syrup/honey mixture. Again, mix well. :)

It should be wet, but not soupy. I cover a cookie sheet with foil, for easy clean up, and put a VERY thin layer of granola. The thinner the layer, the crunchier the granola...I like it CRUNCHY!

Bake for 25-30 minutes. It should be a dark golden brown. Take foil, with granola on top, off cookie sheet. Place aside to cool. Recover cookie sheet with foil, and add another layer of granola. You should be able to get two layers if you are making it thin enough. Bake second layer. Wait until completely cooled, then break pieces off of foil. I like mine in big chunks, but you can also crumble it it you'd like.

This is half of a batch.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can add or change it as much as you want. I have added chocolate chips, flax seed, and sun-dried cranberries before. I usually just use whatever I have on hand or remember to buy when shopping. You can't go wrong. It's pretty addictive, so watch out. A little is good, but a lot...kind of fattening! When I am working, I use a snack zip lock baggie, and fill it. It's a great mid-morning snack. In fact, my students always ask me to bring it for them. Now that I think about it, I remember my fourth grade teacher telling me that peanuts were brain food. You'll be getting a double dose of brain stimulation with this recipe!

Hope you all enjoy...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Love for Etsy Strengthens

I have for some time had a huge crush on . If you are not familiar with Etsy, it is "your place to buy and sell all things homemade." Ohhhhh, how I love this site. There are so many beautiful, beautiful things created by real people with hearts and souls. It's an amazing site. You must check it out.

Ok, so I said all of that to get to this...I was casually enjoying the Tennessee Aquarium the other day with Julie, Rondi, and the kids when I stumbled upon something very interesting. What was it, you ask? Well. This woman had a camera, and normally I would be checking it out, but not this time. What I noticed was her SUPER COOL camera strap. Before I could even think twice I had asked her where she purchased such a unique item. Her words were simply this, "Cotton Candy on Etsy." I should have known.

Needless to say, I rushed home to get online in order to confirm...yes...etsy...cotton natalie...yes...fantastically cool camera straps. Now I am not only crushing on Etsy as a whole, I have narrowed my love down to these brilliant camera straps. Thought you might like to see...

These are two options that I fancy. This Natalie genius has many patterns to choose from. Someone tell my husband for me.

Summer's Over= Brain Restart

I only have one week until I have to go back to work. The school year will be starting, and I have to be ready with all my gears moving in the right direction. I was doing some light reading, and I found five ways to fuel your brain by eating. This has to help, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. So here we go...

1.Salmon and Omega-3s -Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other cold water fish protect and feed the brain. This beneficial fat positively affects brain chemistry and is important for brain development and beneficial for basic brain function.

2.Whole Grains - It is no secret that the brain loves carbs. As a matter of fact, the brain uses 20 percent of the body's supply of this important dietary component. The brain likes a steady supply of carbs, which is best provided by whole grains since they do not spike your blood sugar. Try oatmeal for breakfast to start your brain out on the right foot.

3.Potassium-plays a major role in nerve function, which can affect the brain. Avacados are high in potassium, as are apricots, bananas, and kiwis.

4.B Vitamins -There are plenty of B vitamins and they are all good for your gray matter. This family of vitamins help basic brain and nerve function, and B6 converts tryptophan into serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Vitamin B rich foods are whole grains, beans, dairy products, poultry, and fish.

5.Vitamin C-a powerful antioxidant, can help prevent that foggy brain feeling, especially after a fatty meal. Why not opt for fresh strawberries for dessert next time you eat a rich meal?

I'm going to try to find some recipes to post for some of these "make you brainier than ever" foods, so stay tuned....

**Hope you all enjoyed your weekend, and a shout out to old Lee friends...Addie, Paula, and Cindy...lunch was fantastic!**

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Homemade Donuts...Yum.

My monthly meeting of the Belletristic Skirt Society was last night. The hostess had decided on breakfast for our food theme. I took the donut angle, but decided instead of buying them at Krispy Kreme to make them from scratch. Here's how it went...

Basic cake donuts-

* 4 1/2 c flour
* 4 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 c sugar
* 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
* 1 c milk
* 1 tsp vanilla

Sift together the dry ingredients. (I, as you will see, forgot to do this, but it worked out ok.)

Beat eggs and sugar until light.

Add butter, milk, and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough is formed.

Do not over mix. If dough is too soft to roll, chill it for an hour. You can roll dough out of a floured surface, flatten, and cut with donut cutters. However, I just used a small spoon and took the dough straight from the bowl.

Fry in 370 degree oil until golden on both sides, turning once.

Remove from oil, hold over hot oil for a few minutes to drain, and then finish draining on absorbent paper. Recipe makes 3 dozen.

I made a glaze by boiling 1/3 water and mixing in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar. It didn’t come out as thick as I wanted it to, so I ended up rolling the donut holes in the glaze. Then I put them in a bag of sugar, or sugar/cinnamon mixture, and shook to coat the donuts.

(The only bags I had were left over Santa bags..)

I also rolled them in the glaze and dusted them with powdered sugar.

They turned out pretty good. I didn't care for the nutmeg, but Andre said that was why he liked them. Everyone at book club loved them, and wanted to take some home. I will definitely make them again sometime.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Do you know what's your interior style?

I found this quiz, thanks to How About Orange, and it was pretty fun to take. I wont say it's completely accurate, but fun non the less. Check it out. It was made by the International School of Color and Design.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Taking a Road Trip? Or Just Curious?

I found this article on Photojojo that gives you tips for on the road photography. They are great tips, but my favorite part is the website it gives you called . This website will give you all the attractions and oddities in all the different states.

I am not planning a road trip, but I checked Tennessee out regardless. I had no idea there was a World Trade Center made of rusty debris in Oak Ridge. What? Rusty debris, you ask? Yes, no kidding. So everyone out there should check this site out, cause how can you really know your state until you know all the crazy tourist attractions that it beholds?

Of course, if you are taking a road trip it would be nothing less than awesome to know ahead of time what dealership to pull into to see Muhammad Ali's Broken Jaw X-ray while in New Hampshire, or when passing through Portland, Oregon how to get to Bobbie the Wonder Dog's digs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Many Can You Get Right

Do you LOVE movies? Watching movies is a staple in my life, so I thought I'd be fabulous at this. I found this fun little way of wasting time, and tried it on my own...I only got 5 right, I think. Then I showed Casey, Kristy, Kieth, and Jeremy....the five of us together still couldn't get them all. It was pretty darn hard, but still pretty fun to do. Try it out and let me know how you did. :)

Oh! Here's the link.

Polenta Instead of Pizza

Instead of eating a totally FATTY piece of pizza, try making some of these to take care of that craving. I found this recipe on Fitsugar, and thought it looked amazing. I'm gonna try it!

To see this simple recipe that can be served as an appetizer or main dish keep reading.

Recipe: Pizza Quinoa Polenta


1 tube of Quinoa Polenta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Pour the oil in a pan and heat on low.
  2. Cut the polenta into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  3. Place the polenta in the pan and cook each side so they're slightly golden brown.

  4. Turn the oven on to 350° F.
  5. Slice the tomatoes. Place the polenta on foil on a cookie sheet. Top each piece with a slice of tomato. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Luc's First Pair of Chucks

Monday, July 13, 2009

NYC Subway Cuff

I am just wondering....would locals wear this? Or is it a dead give away that you are an
"out of towner?"


This NYC Subway Cuff by Tiffany Burnette

Go to the Movies for FREE!

I heard a couple of weeks ago that there were theaters in Chattanooga that would play kids movies for free on certain days of the week. I then read on some random blog about Regal Cinemas' free family festival. I called Regal Cinemas in Chattanooga, and was extremely disappointed to find out that they did not participate in the family festival here in Chattanooga. However, a friend of mine, Kathy H., told me today that they do indeed have free movies for kids at the Rave. YAY for the RAVE!! Thanks Kathy for emailing me the info. Here's what's playing.....

(As for Regal Cinemas, use this link to see where the free shows are near you!)

The FREE Summer Movies began today at the RAVE (East Ridge by Sears Essentials). They will be every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9:30.
June 9/10 Kung Fu Panda
June 16/17 Madagascar 2
June 23/24 Surf's Up
June 30/July 1 El Despro
July 7/8 Horton Hears a Who
July 14/15 Space Chimps
July 21/22 E-gore
July 28/29 - Shrek 3

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Found Magazine is Stinking Hilarious

For the times in life when you really need to laugh:
1. Go to computer
2. Get online
3. Put into address bar
4. Hold belly and laugh

You want proof? Follow me.........

exhibit A.
Why? What's on Top of Your Tree?
FOUND by Keith Sanders in Denver, Colorado
Found in a friend's garage

exhibit B.
No Boys in the Room
FOUND by Paul Druecke in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

exhibit C.
Party Party UK Stylee
FOUND by "The Guvnor" in London, UK
Found behind the radiator at work. No idea when, where, what they are celebrating or what she might be eating.

exhibit D.
Just Fake Her Handwriting!
FOUND by Seth Poppy in Perth Amboy, New Jersey
I work for a touring puppet company and, as a result, often spend time in elementary schools. I found this note on the cafeteria floor where we'd set up our stage for an afternoon show. I'm guessing this is either a rough draft of a forgery, or that Mrs. Hernandez needs to brush up on her spelling.

*These are just a few to get you interested. What is this crazy nonsense, you ask? I will give it to you straight...from their own website.

Found Magazine:

So, what's this all about?
We collect found stuff: love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles-- anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life. Anything goes.

We certainly didn't invent the idea of found stuff being cool. Every time we visit our friends in other towns, someone's always got some kind of unbelievable discovered note or photo on their fridge. We decided to make a bunch of projects so that everyone can check out all the strange, hilarious and heartbreaking things people have picked up and passed our way.

And how'd this all start?
One snowy winter night in Chicago a few years back, Davy went out to his car and found a note on his windshield -- a note meant for someone else, a guy named Mario:

Page Me Later

*Sorry for the language, folks...just passing on info. ANYWAY, I always get a kick out of this site, so I thought I would share it with you. Maybe it'll make you smile some gray and rainy day.

4 for the Summer 6

Here are a few recipes using 4 of the 6 super summer fruits and veggies from my last post.

Mini Spinach Frittatas

Inspired by South Beach Diet and Self Magazine

Mini Spinach Frittatas


5 eggs
2 tbs low fat milk
3/4 cup diced red pepper
1 package of chopped frozen spinach
5 ounces cup soft goat cheese (chevre)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Microwave spinach on high for two minutes. Wring with hands to drain excess liquid.
  2. Beat eggs and milk in a small bowl.
  3. Mix in goat cheese.
  4. Add veggies and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour muffin tins coated with canola cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until firm and just golden on top.
  7. Once cooled, you can store the frittatas in the fridge. To warm you can microwave for 20 to 40 seconds to reheat, or pop them in a toaster oven for about a minute.

Makes 9 mini frittatas

This sauce contains a handful of nutritional super foods, eating for your heart has never been so tasty. Pouring romesco over roasted or grilled asparagus is a good way to enjoy this sauce.It would also be good over fish or poultry. As a snack, dip toasted bread in the sauce. To see the recipe read more.

Romesco Sauce


1/2 cup almond slivers
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
5 cloves of garlic
6 inch piece of stale bread baguette
2 large ripe tomatoes
4 large red bell peppers
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 to 1/4 cup red wine or sherry vinegar to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon or a pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Roast peppers and garlic on rimmed baking sheet six inches from flame of broiler on high. Rotate peppers as they char, about 3 to 5 minutes. When garlic is browned remove from pan to cool, this will likely be when peppers are only half roasted. Peel garlic once it is cool to the touch.
  2. When peppers are charred evenly on all four sides, place in paper bag, or an insulated lunch box lined with paper towels, for 10 to 20 minutes so peppers steam cook in their own heat. Drain on a plate for 10 minutes before using.
  3. Place almonds and hazelnuts into food processor and process until finely ground.
  4. Spray medium skillet with olive oil cooking spray, or use teaspoon of olive oil, and sauté quartered tomatoes for five minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and torn bread to nuts and process.
  6. Add peppers, garlic, and spices to food processor and mix well.
  7. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle olive oil and then vinegar; add more of either as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes about 3 to 4 cups of sauce.

Raspberry/Strawberry Popsicles


4 cups whole milk yogurt
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/4 cup chopped raspberries
4 tbsp sugar


  1. Strain liquid from the yogurt. To strain, place cheesecloth or paper towels in a colander. Pour yogurt into the colander and place it in a large bowl. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Chop strawberries. I chopped them into chunks but in the future, I will quarter the berries and finely slice them into paper thin slivers.
  3. Place strawberries in a bowl and add sugar.
  4. Chop or puree raspberries and add to strawberries, stir to combine.
  5. Stir the strained yogurt into strawberry raspberry mixture.
  6. Fill popsicle molds.
  7. Wait patiently to freeze.

Makes 8 popsicles.

Frozen Lemon-Blueberry Sorbet

Frozen Lemon-Blueberry Sorbet
10 (1/2-cup) servings

What You Need

1 env. KNOX Unflavored Gelatine
1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 pkg. (12 oz.) frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups large ice cubes

Make It

SPRINKLE gelatine over lemonade concentrate in microwavable bowl; let stand 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds. Stir until gelatine is completely dissolved.

PLACE blueberries and sugar in blender container. Add gelatine mixture; cover. Blend until pureed. Add ice cubes; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth and frosty.

SERVE immediately for a soft slush or cover and freeze at least 4 hours for a firmer sorbet.

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