Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Campfire Pizza Sandwich

As some of you know, I've been under a great deal of stress the last year. So perhaps we should talk about stress and MS?
Many people experience bodily woes when under stress. Things like headaches, nausea and general aches are considered normal reactions to internal stressors. People with MS don't have any escape from this human ailment. Some even argue that their symptoms of MS get worse when the are stressed out. The thing is...while I completely agree with that theory... deep down I also know that there isn't any real evidence proving MS is made worse by stress alone.

It's hard to remember that sometimes.

It's also hard not to stress about current stress levels. You know that circle right? You worry about being sick even though you are not sick which sometimes manages to make you sick.  UGH!

Shortly after my diagnosis I received a long-winded letter from a family member saying that I had given myself MS because of the stress I put myself through. While I know that is not true, it's hard not to wonder if I could have done things differently.

Did I GIVE myself MS?

There is a great article that I found through the MS Society website that I recommend you read. Even if you don't have MS, my guess is that you either know someone (or will one day) and they'll benefit from your wisdom, or at least your kindness.
And for heavens sake, take this lesson to heart: Even if you are 200% certain that someone caused themselves to have a serious illness, do not rub that in their face. I don't care if you know for a fact that the reason they grew a tiny baby arm out of their back is because of the summer the spent swimming in the glowing pond. Do NOT write them a letter about how it is so clearly their fault.

{le sigh}

So back to why you are here...

I knew (as did EVERYONE around me) that it was time for a break. And thanks to the generous friends in my life I was able to run away for the weekend. No kid. No dog. No grown up worries.

It was glorious!! I love camping, and the feeling of freedom that comes with it. Without proper planning it can be difficult to eat responsibly while away from home. Here is one of my favorite camping recipes that can be adjusted for everyone in your group.

Campfire Pizza Sandwich
Take your whole wheat sandwich thins or whole wheat English muffins (or similar vessel that meets your health needs), split it in half and place on heavy duty tinfoil. Apply a layer of marinara or spaghetti sauce to each side.

Add your toppings. We chose turkey pepperoni and reduce fat mozzarella.

Fold together....like a sandwich.

Wrap in tinfoil.

Place away from the flames on some hot coals or on a grill grate. Flip occasionally and cook until too hot to handle. USE YOUR TONGS to remove it. PLEASE!

Peel apart and enjoy.... or eat like a sandwich.

This picture here is with a regular English muffin because I INHALED my whole wheat one.  I left it to show how easy it is to modify this dish for the whole family. After all, when on vacation stressing about food is simply not allowed.

By the way, my favorite way to de-stress is to spend some time by the water. I love how it helps me slow down and re-prioritize.

Regardless of the connection between MS and stress, we should all be doing things to help us cope better under pressure.
 What do you do to de-stress?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fish Taco Salad

Anyone else out there seem to be unbearably busy lately?
My severe Type A personality makes me want to be the perfect mom and cook everything from scratch ALL THE TIME.
Unfortunately there just aren't enough hours in the day for that to be a reality. That's why I love looking for products that allow me to trade my time in the kitchen for time with my daughter. These Van de Kamps 90 Calorie Fish Fillets are a great weeknight option for when we are super stressed. And no, I'm not being bribed by the Van de Kamp's rulers... they are just a quick and tasty option for when I am short on time.

I learned about Fish Tacos when I moved to the Seattle area about 6 years ago. A friend ordered them at a restaurant, and since she was from California, it was obvious that she was nuts and her taste buds were broken. That same meal, she proved me wrong...very, very wrong.
(Moral of the story...most Californians are not nuts... except when it comes to your driving... your driving is nuts.)

Now Fish Tacos are among the top 5 foods I can not live without.
In my house we make these 2 ways... into a Fish Taco Salad or Fish Tacos.

BOTH of these are delicious, and I'm not kidding when I say I could eat these every day.

Since tacos are one of those "build your own" kinda things, I'll give you the basic guide here and trust that you'll  follow the diabetic guidelines for portions ;)

Fish Taco Salad
Bag of shredded coleslaw mix
Box of 90 Calorie Van de Kamps
Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing
Finely diced onion
Reduced fat shredded cheese
Spinach (for salads)
Whole wheat tortilla (for tacos)
The instructions are simple. Cook fish filets, then assemble salads or tacos.

How's that for an easy weeknight idea? Plus, a taco will set you back about 280 calories, and a salad only 170. With those numbers I can relax, and devote more time to my family.  After all, we only have 24 hours in a day, and sometimes stressing over dinner is just a bad use of that time.

What meals do you revert to on your crazy nights?
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