Daughter, Wife, Mother... this is what I do

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vacation and Kale Chips

So, you know how everyone always says "I need a vacation after my vacation!" Well... I really do. Taking a 3-month-old on a cross country road trip to Missouri and then immediately flying to a beautiful beach in Mexico is quite the feat. I'm proud to say that we all survived, but we're a little wiser than we were when we left. I won't say that we'll NEVER go on vacation again with an infant, but we will think a little bit harder about when and where we vacation next time.

All that to say... yes, it was not quite as relaxing as the vacation I used to know and love, but it was wonderful and fun all the same. Here are a few highlights:

Lake Ozark, Missouri
-Hanging with some of our favorite people in the universe.
-Sunset boat rides.
-Watching the finale of "Friday Night Lights" with previously mentioned favorite people in the universe.
-Cooking lots of yummy, clean, meals.
-Cheating a little bit on our Eat Clean diet. :)
-Dock swimming.

It was beautiful. See?

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
-Beautiful beaches. White sand and blue, blue water. Perfection. You can see this perfection behind my sweet squinchy-faced love bucket. Taking pictures of beautiful beaches takes a backseat to her. I honestly forgot to take one. But you get the picture.

-Definitely cheating on our diet. The food was too yummy.
-Delish mojitos any time.
-Gia (Elle's grandma- my MIL) hung out with her many times so that I could take a nap, workout, get a massage or lay by the beach. All of which I did and enjoyed thoroughly and did NOT take for granted.
-Surprisingly delicious Japanese food! Who knew?
-Hanging with Kailey, Alexis and Steve all week. Such a fun fam.
-Connecting with my sweet hubby. Love that man.
-Immediately getting hooked into The Girl who Played with Fire. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a few months ago and had mixed feelings about it. After reading the 2nd in the series, all my qualms with the first were laid to rest. Everything that annoyed me about the first book was totally necessary to make The Girl who Played with Fire as awesome as it was. I can't wait for the movies!! (The American ones. I can't handle the subtitles in the Swedish version.)
-Laughing with my sweet baby girl. She's hilarious and so much fun right now. See?

Confession: This picture is from the lake the week before. But, how could I NOT put this face in the blogpost. She's the cutest.

That was the best (and the worst) from our vacation extravaganza with a 3-month-old in tow.

Now for the good part... as some of you may know, Tyler and I have embarked on the Eat Clean Diet. Think: Less of a fad diet, more of a lifestyle change. Nothing processed. Not much dairy. Lots of whole grains, fiber and lean proteins. It's been pretty great. I actually really love eating this way.

The two things I miss the most? 1. Milk from a cow. More specifically the cereal that I put in my cow's milk. There are two very sad boxes in our pantry of Kashi Honey Sunshine that are just begging to be eaten. But it's just not the same with Almond milk. 2.Chic-Fil-A. I may or may not have driven by there today to maybe get one little waffle fry and one little chicken nugget and may or may not have found out that they give away small waffle fries on Fridays from 2-4pm. I also may or may not partake in these free fries. They are also giving away free breakfast the last week in August.

But, hey... this is a lifestyle change. Caving every now and then is part of a lifestyle. I'll go crazy and binge on things like oreos and rocky road if I don't.

Back to my original thought. Kale Chips. Kale is packed with all kinds of nutritional goodness. Wikipedia calls it "the most nutritional vegetable in the world." However, if you've ever tried to put Kale in a salad... it's just not that palatable. Fear not friends. Here's a great way to eat Kale and satisfy your chip craving all in one. I've been making these weekly since I found out about them.

Kale Chips

1 bunch Kale
2 tbls Olive Oil
Seasoning Salt to taste
Red Pepper Flakes (if you like a little kick)

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Trim the stems off the Kale leaves and tear or cut the leaves into even-ish bites.
3. Use your hands to mix in the Olive Oil, Salt and Red Pepper Flakes (if using)
4. Spread seasoned Kale onto a foil covered cookie sheet in one single layer.
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges of the leaves start to brown.

Now, pop one of these bad boys in your mouth and soak in the nutrients. Enjoy :)

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