Remember that commercial?  I loved that little old lady who shouted, “Where’s the beef?”  It was a hit during it’s time.

If someone were to really ask me, “Where’s the beef?”.  I would probably respond, “Who cares?”.  I admit I am not a huge meat eater by any means.  Meat actually grosses me out a little.  I hate preparing it.  The feel and smell of raw meat turns my stomach.  I don’t even like to patty up hamburgers.  Disgusting! 

However, that doesn’t mean I am totally against meat.  I do love a good cheeseburger now and again.  I just don’t ever really crave a steak, or a juicy chicken and you can just forget about eating pork.  Don’t even get me started on pork.  Pork is repulsive.  You know the whole pig/toxin thing don’t you?  Now if you are talking overly processed bacon, that’s another story for me.  I love crispy bacon.  I am a total mixed bag on meat.  However, I recognize that protein is vital for a healthy diet.  Protein gives our bodie’s cells structure, assists in making hormones and enzymes, and also is needed for growth/tissue repair.

Due to my transient and totally emotionally tied repsulsion for most meats, I try to look for more sources for protein than just meat.  I stumbled upon this great list a while back, and while I already use many of these food items in my own diet, I found a couple more great ideas.  I am a firm believer that the lower you eat on the food chain, the healthier the food. Meaning, meats are higher up on the food chain and usually have more toxins.  Plants, minus human applied ferilizers, tend to have few to no toxins. These protein sources fit that criteria as well.

Go to fullsize image1. Quinoa (pronounced KEE-nwah)  Known as the mother grain of the Andes this delicious nutty flavored grain has amino acids, a high iron content, and is quick to cook.  Look for this also in breads, pastas and other grain products.  I learned to love this grain when I was going “wheat free” for a while due to an elimination diet.  I still crave the yummy bread made with this I found at the health food store.

Go to fullsize image2.  Veggie Burgers  That’s right!  It’s a burger but absolutely no beef can be found in these.  Usually made with protein rich soy and organic vegetables, these no meat alternatives come in a bunch of tasty varieties.  Don’t be afraid of veggie burgers, they don’t taste like the cardboard veggie patties from days past.  I admit we don’t eat too many of these at my house.  Tomas thinks the only burger is one made out of beef.  I have yet to find a veggie burger that fits “his beefy manly needs”.

Go to fullsize image3.  Almonds  You all know about the delicious almond, right?  It’s the perfect snack!  High in protein and calcium while low in carbs, this little nut provides a tasty and easy meat alternative.  For best results, eat them raw.  But, don’t just eat the nut itself!  Try almond milk too!  I try to pretend that almond paste is equally as healthy when I am eating danishes or pastries, but I don’t think that counts.

Go to fullsize image4.  Yogurt  Packed with protein, calcium and good bacteria, yogurt is another healthy staple.  Stick to the organic varieties to avoid the processed extras that many brands contain.  Plain, organic, full-fat yogurt is best for you.

Go to fullsize image5.  Tempeh  I haven’t tried this yet, so I will assume that this really would be tasty.  Made from fermented soy beans and rice, tempeh is high in protein and fiber.  I have heard it has a nutty flavor and tastes great in stir frys.  Let me know what you think.  I am usually not an adventurous chef.

Go to fullsize image6.  Legumes  My favorite category!!!  Love these!!  Lentils (yum), chick peas (yum yum) and black beans (yum, yum, yum) are full of protein and fiber.  Find a healthy recipe to combine all three for a protein power pack.  We use all three in combo to make an awesome burrito.  No beef in those babies!  Just legume goodness!  Oh, and don’t even get me started on how great hummus is!

Go to fullsize image7.  Cheese  Oh, my beloved cheese!  I love cheese!  Buy all natural cheese for an awesome addition of protein to your diet.  All natural cheddar and mozzarella are the best choices for protein content. 

Eat up my friends!  As a bonus, you will save a TON of money at the grocery by switching out some of your meat for these protein choices.  Have you seen the price of meat lately??  Who needs it?

Go to fullsize imageI just thought I would share a little funny story that happened last week.  It’s still making me crack up!  I hope it’s not one of those, “you have to be there” moments.  I wasn’t there and I think it’s hilarious, but I know everybody involved.  Here goes…

Part of dealing with this whole bedrest thing means that Tomas has had to get a little creative with his work schedule.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t include never showing up.  So, last week while Zack was at Kindergarten, he took Anson and Gret to work for a while.  I know, that’s probably not the most productive move, but at least he could gather some paperwork to bring home.

There they were at work.  The kids love going to Daddies work.  They feel very important and really like to visit all their grown up friends there, not to mention they know where the candy dish is kept.  They were so excited.  It just happened to be a day though where Tomas’ bosses boss was there (can you follow the hierarchy?) for some pow-wow.  We’ll call him “The Big Guy”. Normally, he works out of an office on the other side of the state. 

“The Big Guy” is a pretty friendly guy and went into Tomas’ office to say hello to the kids.  To preface what happens next, you have to know a physical description of this guy.  He’s a bigger guy in stature with a “generous” potbelly.  He has totally silver/white hair.  Now Anson, who is definitely not our shy boy, goes up to “The Big Guy” and repeatedly pats “The Big Guy’s” belly. 

“Wow!  You have a great big belly!”  Anson exclaims.  “You must have a baby in there like mommy!”

Everyone in the office gets a little chuckle and Tomas turns a little red from embarassment.  BUT…Anson was not done yet.  Seeing as how he had a new interesting friend, Anson states out of no where later (Bless my little boy, for he knows not what he does), “Your hair is really weird.  I don’t like it.”

How’s that for tact?  Tomas wanted to crawl out of the room.  However, that would have been difficult since Gret was so freaked out by “The Big Guy” that she was clinging to him like a teary baby opossum.  What are the chances that “The Big Guy” okays a decent raise for Tomas this year?  It depends on how much he likes kids, I think!

Go to fullsize imageI previously wrote about KIND Fruit and Nut Bars.  They were so delicious.  I still think about those little beauties and wish I had more right now.  In the meantime, I have tried the Boomi bar.

Here’s what the Boomi Bar has to offer:  All natural ingredients.  Most have a good amount of fiber.  Gluten free.  GMO free.  No preservatives, sulfur or hydrogenated oils.  No added sugar.  Dairy and soy free.  Totally wheat free.

I have been looking for all of those things in a good snack bar.  So, I picked one up from the health food store and to give it a shot.  I brought it home and that poor lonely bar just sat for ages in the cupboard.  Finally, I decided to give it a shot.  I was afraid that the ever so yummy KIND bar had shot my chances of liking any other bars.

I tried the Cranberry Apple Boomi Bar.  Right away, you can see the large amount of dried fruit in the bar.  It has 4grams of fiber.  Watch out however, other Boomi Bars only had 1 gram.  The ingredients in this bar are almonds, honey, apple, cranberries, dates, crisp rice and amaranth.  That’s it!  I do think I could make this bar myself (If I took the time or had the time, that is).  The first couple bites were great.  It was a little crunchy, really sweet and tasty.  About 1/2 way through the bar though, I started to get sweetened out.  I needed a little more nut to balance out the fruit.  By the end of the bar, I felt like I had just eaten a bunch of dried fruit and a couple almonds.  Plus, 20 minutes later.  I was still hungry for another snack. One day later, I saw no effects from the fiber like I had with the KIND bar.

I am trying not to be to biased but I had spent $1.90 on this bar and wanted something more satisfying.  It might be my personal taste of course.  I like more crunch than squish in my food.  This Boomi Bar tasted fine it was just too sweet for my salt addicted taste buds (since pregnancy, I just crave salty foods). 

 My one major thought was this, for the price and what you tasted/got in the bar, why not go to the grocery, get a bunch of dried fruit and some nuts and make a trail mix?  You would save money per serving (I am sure) and you could control the balance of crunch vs. squish.  In other words, save your $2 for some other healthy treat that gives you a little more satisfaction.

Next up in my quest for the perfect healthy snack bar:  The Larabar.  The Larabar shares many of the same offerings as the past 2 bars and was voted best snack bar by “Men’s Health”.  We’ll see if those men know what they are talking about.  I hope so, because hubby picked up a whole box of them from Sam’s Club.

I admire anybody who is on bedrest for any reason, for any prolonged amount of time and remains sane to tell about it.  I tell you what, your mind becomes your worst enemy.  It constantly bounces around from one thought to the next.  One minute, you feel good and positive.  The next minute, you feel lonely and depressed.  It’s crazy.  I had to break out the giant sudoku book today just to distract my mind.  Maybe I will become a sudoku master.

The hardest part.  Sitting on the couch feeling like a lump and watching everybody living their “normal” life around you.  Also, you are forced to watch someone else run your home.  Basically, it’s like someone layed you off from your career but are requiring you to sit and watch while someone else does your thing but not quite in the same way.  The project that took you 10 years to build.  Yeah, someone else is working on it right in front of you.  It’s torture I tell you! 

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the help we have received.  We wouldn’t be able to survive without our friends and family.  The kids wouldn’t be fed, clothed or at school.  Our refrigerator would be empty and our house would be condemned by the city as a health hazard.  Even though it’s hard for me to let go, at least that stuff is being prevented by others generosity.

So, if you think that bedrest is a piece of cake, think otherwise. be grateful that you can move your legs and can sneeze or pass gas without fear of body organs ripping apart.  The things that are getting me through this are first of all, the thought that this too shall pass and we will be holding a healthy baby in a few months.  Second of all, the channel A&E.  That’s right, the Arts and Entertainment channel on tv. 

If you think your life is difficult, watch the shows on A&E.  There’s the show Intervention (one of my personal faves), 48 Hours, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The Cleaner, Cold Case Files and numerous other cop type/forensic shows.  I think these really appeal to me because at one point in my life, I wanted to be a cop/detective.  But really, there’s nothing like watching some drug addicts and unsolved murders to make you feel blessed.  There’s always something for everybody and it could always be worse.  After watching these shows, I am thankful to be at home safe in bed without suffering from a heroin addiction.  It’s better than therapy or pills and much cheaper. 

Now, as for the baby.  As far as I know, there has been no change since last week.  Except in my butt, I think that has gotten much larger and flatter since last week.  I can’t see inside my womb.  I wish they had sent me home with an ultrasound machine.  How fun would that be??  It would have provided hours of entertainment.  I still think I feel little taps down there if I sit very still for a while, especially at night.  Hopefully, no new news is good news.  I will know for sure in a couple days when I go for my next evaluation.  I’ll let you all know if anything more exciting turns up.  Right now, it’s ground hog day over here and I want to spare you all from the monotony of my life.

StreetThe presidential candidates seem to have selected their running mates long ago.  I have been waiting to hear on the news/debates where both the McCain and Obama camps stand on environmental issues. I could take a pretty good guess, but I wanted to know the facts…nothing but the facts (or as close as I could get to the facts).

What I found was a nice little summary on some of the major environmental and energy issuesfrom “Scientific American”.  It compares what each political camp has said regarding each issues addressed.

You can see the article here.

I honestly can’t wait to hear the debates on issues such as the environment, education, energy & oil, healthcare, and families and children.  I know that the economic crisis is huge but I am afraid that even if a plan/agreement is reached soon, it’s going to overshadow all other issues that effect our homes.  I can’t wait for some other issues to get some face time as well!

Today is a better day.  Activity in the nether regions has slowed down.  I am more rested and can think rationally.  I talked to my own ob/gyn and she was a little less reactive than the other doctor.  Which is good because I can always use a calming force.  My worries and anxieties can get a little out of control.  That’s never helpful.  For instance, I was considering not eating beans for a few days because I was worried that bad gas would disrupt my uterus.  After considering this for a while and performing a couple experimental gas passes, I decided that gas really didn’t effect the bleeding.  But I thought about it for a long time.  Anyway, my doctor didn’t paint a rosey picture of the situation but seemed pretty certain that we could make this successful if I stuck with the bedrest.  “Don’t panic!”, is what she kept telling me, “it can take a long time to heal.  Stick with it.”  So, I am hanging in there and trying to move around as little as possible.

During my bedrest since yesterday, I did have one momentous occasion.  I felt the baby move!!  It is really week 14 now and I guess that’s about right timing wise.  It wasn’t anything huge, but it was a consistent light bumping in there.  It made me happy and sad at the same time.

Another bonus that happened over the past couple days.  I have involuntarily gained a life coach.  We are using the term “life coach” loosely and in good humor.  It evolved after my post-ultrasound pep-talk I received from her yesterday.  She sounded like a football coach trying to motivate a “down and out” team.  I kept calling her “coach” and it evolved from there.  My life coach calls me daily and gives me great positive motivation.  Although yesterday, I did shed a couple tears during a conversation.  She told me that I can heal my body with positive thoughts.  I agree, but it’s hard to do. I have tried to distract my brain from anxious thoughts and not think about the what ifs.  Instead, I am trying to think in terms of “it will happen”.  Such as:  “My baby will be fine.  It will happen.” Or, “My hematoma will start to shrink.  It will happen.”

My LC may also appreciate this little quote that was just randomly sent to my inbox today:

“If you keep your face to the sunshine.  You cannot see the shadow.”  –Helen Keller

And so, I look forward to the sunshine and am grateful for a good day.  Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes and thoughts!

I have been watching a lot of television the past couple days.  More than I care to admit.  I have come to the conclusion that it’s basically all trash.  Especially, this one particular set of commercials.  The one’s that talk about how high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made of corn, so it’s okay.  It makes my blood boil everytime I see one of them.  Then I go on a tirade informing anyone who’s near me, that the commercials are all lying liars.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s one of them:

My favorite part is the part that says, “It’s just like sugar and okay in moderation.”  Well, that’s the frickin’ problem!  HFCS pushers are making us think we have easy control to keep our intake in moderation.  Have you looked at all your food labels?  HFCS is in many of our “healthy” foods (yogurt, cereals, whole grain breads & crackers, etc.).  It’s in almost any of your sauces and condiments.  Of course, you will find it listed in any type of “snacky type” of junk food.  It is so pervasive. How can we eat this lovely highly processed corn product in moderation if we buy anything that comes in a package?

Nice try, you health destructors!  I will not be fooled by your propaganda!  Sadly, I fear that many Americans may be swayed slightly by their commercial hoopla.  Keep up your guard, people and continue to read those labels to save yourself from the highly unnutritious, severely processed HFCS.  There are options, you just have to be vigilant.

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