Journals, Coke Zero and Love!

The kids are back in school and I have been spending my days catching up on all things “mom”. Including a daily Coke Zero with LOTS of ice. Lists are being made and things checked off like an old teacher with a red pen. 
When my first child was born I wanted to give him memories other than photos. I wanted him to know how I felt and the joy he brought to our family. My sister told me how she started a journal when her son was born filled with cute things he said or did that some day he could have. I thought it was a brilliant way for any child to remember their childhood and hear it through the eyes of their parents. I was even more sold on the idea when diagnosed with cancer and faced with the threat of death and my children not remembering their mother. 
It started with a journal for each child and has continued through the ease of electronics. I try to record cute comments or noteworthy accomplishments in the journal or on my notepad on my phone. The phone notepad has become convenient because I can dictate the message when time is limited and print the paper later and glue to the journal. 
I spent Friday printing and glueing notes from 2 years ago! It was fun to print them and read them. I also made sure to write a note from the first day of school and how each child is enjoying the year so far. 
My older kids have asked about the books and what they are. I can’t wait to give them as a present when they are older. I am thinking a wedding present? Or college graduation? Or missionary farewell? I haven’t decided yet and maybe it will be different for each child. They will all find joy and pain in these books, but most of all love and guiding words!  
#cokezero #journal #icanbethegood #memories

Mediterranean Life Style





A mediterranean diet is a type of diet traditional in Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits.  It suggests replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.  Research suggests that the benefits of following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may be many: improved weight loss, better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression, to name a few. Eating like a Mediterranean has also been associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

To make it simple, here are the basics; Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil. Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt. Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.

I have put together a sample option menu of the Mediterranean Lifestyle.


Option #1: Quest Protein Bar (Quest items found at any nutrition store) Or I just found a knock of version at Costco made by kirkland. 21G of protein 1G of sugar & 3G of carbs. water as beverage

Option #2: Greek yogurt or Oatmeal w/ strawberries, blueberries or apples

Option #3: Vanilla protein shake blended with sugar free almond milk and dash of ground cinnamon. I use the Modere Vanilla Slim Protein powder but if you have a low carb, high protein one that can work too.

Option #4: Oatmeal with Almond milk & 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder.


**Sustain** mixed w/ almond milk/water & ground cinnamon. I suggest you drink it with something other than just water. It takes on whatever taste you mix it with.

Option #1: Salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, broccoli & other mixed veggies with grilled chicken and balsamic or vinaigrette dressing.

Option #2: White tuna fish drained, slice apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, peppers and other veggies and sprinkle lightly with an olive oil/lemon juice mix. 1 part olive oil/2 parts lemon juice. Few baked Quest chips, my favorite is BBQ

Option #3: If you are out to lunch try either ordering a salad with no croutons or cheese and add either grilled chicken or grilled shrimp or opt for a grilled chicken sandwich and take off the top or bottom bun. Opt for whole grain bread when available but do not eat bread every day. This is only an option when out for lunch or may be tired of salad.

Option #4: Whole avocado with sliced veggies or fruit

Option #5: Crave Mexican? Quest chips (or Cauliflower) & salsa.

Option #6: Turkey wrap (whole grain or low carb/low fat tortilla) No cheese and added veggies like lettuce and tomato.

Options #7: Mediterranean Pizza (LOTS of veggies & lean meat on top)


Drink water every time you eat and between meals.

Option #1: Apple & Protein bar

Option #2: Raw Almonds, light string cheese

Option #3: Modere Satiety chew (tastes like a starburst)

Option #4: 1/2 of a Quest Protein bar/kirkland bar or your favorite protein bar, save other half for snack on another day in a ziplock.

Option #5: Homemade Protein Balls (MY FAV)
1 Cup rolled oats
1 scoop Modere Chocolate Protein Powder (or whatever kind of protein powder you prefer)
2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
1/4 Honey
A few Choc Chips
Roll into a small balls, put in fridge, eat! (kids love them too!!)

Options #6: Veggies & Hummus


Drink * Sync** blended with almond milk or water either 20 minutes before your meal or if out and don’t get to before my meal, drink it after your meal. Great either way. You can make it into a hot drink as well.

Option #1: Try to cook low carb/ high protein. Turkey burgers instead of beef. Try to eat with no bun, use Lettuce instead of a bun. Roasted veggies.

Option #2: Grilled chicken breast, fish or turkey. With baked regular or sweet potato w/ salad

Option #3: Tilapia & Broccoli

Option #4: Chicken, Veggie Kabobs (they make premade ones you can throw in the over or BBQ.)

Option #5: Zucchini or whole wheat noodles, spaghetti sauce and ground turkey


CLICK blue for the Official Modere Mediterranean lifestyle guide Mediterranean_Guide

Pasta Carbonara: A Family Favorite

Pasta Carbonara the most requested meal of every week.  Or as my kids like to call it “bacon pasta”.  No, I do not make it every week, but they ask every week.  I like to grab my calendar for the dinner table every Sunday and ask the kids what meals they would like to have this week.  Most the time their suggestions are taken and make my meal planning easier because it can be hard to come up with 5 meals every week.  I only say 5 because either Friday or Saturday is spent out and the other is pizza.  Whether it is bought or I make it homemade.  Other times I tell them not this week, is there something else you would like?  For example, we can’t eat bacon pasta every week or steak every week, but they like to try!

A little fun tip to try at dinner.  Over dinner ask your kids their happy and sad part of the day.  Go around the table and take turns sharing.  It makes dinner fun and helps your children express their day to everyone.  It is an easy way to stay involved without pestering especially as the kids get older.


Pasta Carbonara:

8 oz. uncooked spaghetti

2 eggs

1/2 pound of bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tbs. minced garlic or garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (I like Costco)

1/2 cup of water from the spaghetti water (for a creamier sauce use milk instead)


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until it is cooked crisp.  Remove it from the pan and drain it on a plate lined with paper towels.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the olive oil.  Heat.  Add the garlic powder.
  4. When the spaghetti is cooked, lift it out of the water with tongs and put it in the saucepan with the bacon and garlic.  Measure 1/2 cup of pasta water and discard the rest.  Pour the pasta water in the saucepan with the bacon, pasta, and garlic.  Use the tongs to turn the spaghetti over several times.  Add the eggs and continue stirring until the egg is cooked.
  5. When the egg is completely cooked add the salt and pepper and cheese.  Continue stirring until well-mixed.  When the cheese is mostly melted remove the pan from the heat and serve!  I like to add Parsley on top for extra touch of color.

*Serves 6-8

Marinated Grilled Root Beer Chicken



1 (12 ounce) can diet root beer with 0 carbs
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
27 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts – should yield 18 oz cooked


Combine root beer, vinegar, oil and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add chicken and marinade at least 3 hours. I marinated overnight.  Then grill as you desire.