Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spicy Tuna Avocado Salad & Life Update

Life has been busy, but we have been having lots of fun.

The weather has been quite nice, and we are spending lots of time at the park with the kid. I love how he gets so involved in his projects…

Soccer has also started up again, and the kid is excited. 

We also had some friends over the other day and did an early Easter Egg hunt with the kids. 

We had lots of good food, but the highlight of the evening was the Chocolate Fountain. I always wanted to have either a chocolate fountain or a chocolate fondue and finally bought a chocolate fountain. It was a lot of fun even though setting up the chocolate fountain will be a once-in-a-while thing as it takes a lot of chocolate. Still, I’m looking forward to using it at all kinds of special occasions.

I still plan our meals even though the meal plan doesn’t always make it on the blog.
While our dinners are varied and interesting, I have been in a lunch rut lately. I used to mix tuna, chicken, or salmon with avocado to make a salad and was recently reminded of it again. So I made some spicy tuna avocado salad, and it was a nice change.

Spicy Tuna Avocado Salad

  • 1 can tuna
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cut the avocado into pieces and smash it with a fork.
  • Add lemon juice, Tabasco, salt, and pepper and mix well.
  • Add the tuna and mix well.

I ate the tuna salad on a bed of greens with roasted Brussels sprouts. It was a quick, easy, and delicious lunch.

Questions: Do you like avocados? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat them? What do you typically eat for lunch? Do you have/want to have a chocolate fondue or a chocolate fountain?

Be well,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

4 Years Ago and WINNERS

I started this blog on March 14, 2009. At the beginning, it was an online journal to help me focus on making healthier choices. But once I discovered other blogs, this blog became a lot more.

Because of my blog I dabbled in quite a few things I may have never tried without it, such as:
  • Juicing
  • Green smoothies
  • Raw foods
  • HIIT
  • Different exercises and exercise videos
  • Many different books on all kinds of topics
Because of my blog, I met (virtually and in real life) countless other bloggers, which continue to encourage and inspire me. Thank you!

The blog also helps me keep track of our life. Here are some of the first pictures of the kid (then the toddler) on the blog in June and July 2009:

Toddler-01Kid 01
Kid 03Kid 04

At times, the blog took over my life. I used to post a lot more often but finally had to realize that more than one or two posts per week just isn’t realistic and doesn’t fit into my life. Now my blog feels just right. Smile

And now on to the giveaway winners. Way back when, the toddler used to always help me with selecting giveaway winners, and I thought why not stick to that tradition.

Giveaway Winner 02Giveaway Winner 01

So I got out my pink hat again, and the kid picked four names from all the entries.

And the winners are:

Debbie Harris
Stacie @ Snaps and Bits
Marion @ Affection For Fitness

Please email me your mailing addresses (no P.O. Boxes) to: andreaswellnessnotes [at] gmail [dot] com, and I will forward your addresses to NuNaturals, and they will ship the drops directly to you.

Questions: When did you start reading blogs and/or start your own blog? I started my blog in March 2009 and then soon discovered “mommy blogs” and through one of the mommy blogs I discovered exercise blogs and healthy living blogs. One of the first blogs I found was MizFitOnline, and Carla still inspires me to this day.

Be well,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chocolaty Black Rice Breakfast Pudding & A GIVEAWAY

We have been enjoying the black rice I picked up at Costco a few weeks ago. Often there are leftovers. In the past, I would heat up the rice, season it with sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and top it with an over-easy egg. However, since I confirmed that eggs don’t sit well with me, I don’t eat this dish anymore. So I have been looking for other ways to eat the leftover rice in the morning.

And I found that I very much enjoy a simple rice pudding made with the leftover rice. Plus, it’s quick and comes together in ten minutes.

Chocolaty Black Rice Breakfast Pudding

  • 1 cup leftover black rice (or other rice)
  • 1/4 cup liquid (milk, almond milk, or a mixture of milk and water) – if the rice is very dry, add some more liquid
  • 1/2 tsp Chocolate NuStevia, more if you like it extra sweet and chocolaty
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs dried fruit (I used one date, chopped)
  • 1 Tbs nuts (I used raw cashews, chopped)

  1. Add the liquid and the rice to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the chocolate NuStevia drops, cinnamon, and dried fruit and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes so that the flavors come together.
  3. Serve and top with nuts.

It’s certainly not the prettiest dish in the world, but the rice pudding has a slight chocolate flavor, and I very much enjoy the different textures of the rice, the date pieces, and the nuts.

New NuStevia Products & Giveaway

A few weeks ago, NuStevia contacted me to let me know about their new flavors:
  • Lemon NuStevia Liquid
  • Orange NuStevia Liquid
  • Peppermint NuStevia Liquid
  • Chocolate NuStevia Liquid
  • PreSweet Tagatose, an all-natural sweetener alternative
I was excited when my new flavors and some old favorites arrived (I have been known to hide the Vanilla Stevia Liquid drops from hubby…) and made chocolate milk right away.

NuNaturals has offered a generous giveaway to (4) four of my readers anywhere in the world, and each will receive the following: one bottle of each of the Lemon / Orange / Peppermint Flavored Stevia Liquids, plus the new chocolate stevia liquid.

Currently, NuNaturals has some great deals online. At the checkout page, enter discount code BLG0613 and you’ll receive a  15% discount on your entire order. This discount remains effective until  June 30, 2013. Online customers also receive free shipping to the continental U.S. on all orders exceeding $35.00 after discounts.

How to Enter:

Each of the following, will get you one entry:
  1. Leave a comment and let me know which flavor you are most excited to try.
  2. Like Andrea’s Wellness Notes’ Facebook Page. Leave a comment to let me know you did.
  3. Like NuNaturals’ Facebook Page. Leave a comment to let me know you did.
  4. Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a comment to let me know you did. 
The giveaway is open until Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. PST. After that time, I will announce the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to contact me. If a winner doesn’t contact me, I will select a new winner. After I have collected the winners’ information, I will forward it to NuNaturals, and they will ship the products directly to the winners.

Be well,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fitbit Zip Update, Weekend Fun, and Weekly Meals

I finally reached my goal of 70,000 weekly steps. Here is my Fitbit weekly update report.


We all have been under the weather for several weeks, and I always fell short of my goal. While I walked 10,000 steps most days, I walked less on some days and therefore never reached 70,000 weekly steps.

I really love my Fitbit to keep track of how many steps I walk each day. It’s really motivating me to move more, and I often walk a bit more because I know I’m keeping track of my steps… It was definitely one of my best investments lately… Smile

In addition to my brisk daily walks, I currently take two barre classes per week and do two strength workouts at the gym per week. I feel it’s a good balance, and I really enjoy my walks. They are so good for my body and soul! I can’t wait to add some hikes to my routine soon and hopefully increase my steps and mileage significantly.

The kid got to bring home the “Kindergarten alien” for the weekend, and we are having fun taking him places:

Wuppi 1Wuppi 2
Wuppi 4Wuppi 5

This past week I made two recipes from cookbooks I am re-reading, and they both turned out great. I think I’ll make crepes more often! We also loved the slow cooker meatballs, and I am putting another recipe from the The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth cookbook to the test this week.

Meal 1: Low-sugar BBQ pulled chicken thighs – from The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth cookbook; carrot, cucumber, & celery sticks with avocado cream.
Meal 2: Salmon with lemon juice & dill; oven-roasted asparagus.
Meal 3: Easy pizza made with Trader Joe’s pizza dough, topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms and brie cheese; arugula salad with avocado dressing.
Meal 4: Carrot soup with black rice.
Meal 5: Leftovers.

Questions: What’s the highlight of your weekend? What’s on your menu this week? Do you keep track of how much you walk or run? If so, how?
Be well,

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cookbooks and Weekly Meals

This week, I am making some old favorites but also some new recipes. I got a new cookbook for my Kindle: The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth.

It was only $2.99, and the recipes sound really good and “beyond” what I would usually consider making in a slow cooker. The authors also stress the importance of buying pastured meat, chicken and eggs, which I like.

I have also been re-reading The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook .

Mireille makes a big point that eating should be a pleasure, something I think we often forget, which is a shame. However, she also points out throughout the book that it’s important to balance things out. That is, if you splurge on something, you’ll have to cut back somewhere else. It all has to balance itself out in the end. I really like her approach. I also enjoy all her little stories and most of the recipes are simple and showcase fresh ingredients. Many of the recipes are not very different from what I normally cook, but they are nice reminders of “forgotten” ingredients, and there are some combinations I hadn’t thought of before.

Here the meals for the week:

Meal 1: Slow cooker chicken soup with veggies. I’m not following a recipe. I’ll simply put some bone-in chicken in the crock pot with spices and cook on high for about 3-4 hours, until the chicken is done. Then I’ll remove the chicken meat and return the bones to the pot. I’ll continue cooking the bones on low for another 10 hours or so (which turns the soup into a flavorful stock). I’ll also cook some veggies in the soup. Before eating the soup, I’ll cool it so that I can remove the fat, which forms on the top.
Meal 2: Meatballs from The Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth cookbook, mashed potatoes (which have been on the kid’s “wish list” forever), carrots & peas. I would have never thought to make meatballs in the slow cooker. I’m really curious to see how they’ll turn out.
Meal 3: A big salad with a few Crepes with mushrooms. I’ll follow the crepes recipe from The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.
Meal 4: Spiced lentil soup with carrots, onions, and celery, flavored with curry, cardamom, and turmeric.
Meal 5: Leftovers.

Questions: Do you like to read cookbooks? I enjoy reading cookbooks with stories, but I honestly don’t follow recipes very often. But they do inspire me to cook. What’s the last cookbook you’ve read? What’s the last recipe you cooked from a cookbook? What’s on your menu this week?

Be well,