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Hello everyone.  So glad to be back to The Rustic Heart.  It’s been a while, I know.  I’ve had a few matters that needed my immediate attention that couldn’t wait.  But, I’m back now with some really great new recipes and crafts for everyone. 

I will be starting off with a ‘Week of Chicken’.  These are all kid friendly recipes.  Some of my grandchildren are pretty fussy eaters, but these pass the test every time. All the chicken recipes are easy, inexpensive and delicious.  Some of them will only take 15 minutes or less.  Great for those busy nights!!!

In ‘What’s going on’, you’ll hear all about my eyebrows and my latest endeavor.  I never realized how important eyebrows were until all mine fell out.  The unbelievable thing is that one day they were there, and the next day they weren’t.  After trying every eyebrow pencil and cream in the store, I have finally made up my mind about what to do.

Some Sjogren’s issues with my knee, shoulder and toe.  And a wicked virus.  But, I won’t spend much time here, just want to keep you updated.

It’s almost time to start cleaning out the garden and preparing for Spring planting.  Take a look in the Gardening section to see all about that.  I watch ‘Fixer Upper’ on HGTV as does most of the country and they recently aired an episode where they build new gardens, a garden house, chicken coop and runs all fenced in with a pretty white picket fence.  It was all so beautiful.  It definitely gave me the ambition to really fix up my gardens and grow some flowers, vegetables and fruits that I haven’t before.  This year, the garden is going to be amazing!!

And last, but not least, my trip to Jamaica.  That will be happening next week and I will post as we go through the week.  When we made these plans with our good friends, we had only a few things on the priority list.  1st –  a golf course. 2nd – Beautiful Beach, 3rd – Great food and drinks.  There were quite a few all-inclusive resorts to choose from, but only a few with a golf course on site.  We choose,  The Jewel, Runaway Bay.  We choose a room that has an ocean view with concierge service.  

All really great things happening.  It’s almost the end of February and I am looking forward to the warmer weather, or just looking forward to not seeing snow on the ground.  So take a look around the site and check out what’s been happening. 

Talk soon,

Eva Marie

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Stocking the Freezer

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Stocking the Freezer

Things at my house get a little crazy sometimes.  I work somewhat of a normal Monday through Friday schedule, although it’s not 9-5, I work 2:30 to 11pm.  My husband owns a Car Service, so he is in and out at different times every day.   What I found to be really helpful, is to fill the freezer with delicious food that we can take out and heat up in a few minutes.  

This time, I made beef stew, chicken soup, pasta with almonds, tomato and white bean soup and chili.  I froze 4 servings of each in individual freezer containers.  I did a little more of the chili because you can use it on so many things, I always like to keep it in the freezer.  

All of these foods freeze very well.  I defrost them in the microwave, then transfer them to a pot and slow simmer until they are completely warm.

Last weekend, we had quite a snowfall here in the northeast.  At my house, we had somewhere around 24″.  We were snowed in all day Saturday, leaving us nothing else to do but lay on the couch and watch movies.  It was great not having to cook, but just go into the freezer and pick out whatever we wanted.

Give it a try, I guarantee you will be glad you did.

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Sjögren’s Syndrome

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A few weeks back, I posted this picture of my FitBit and vowed to do 10,000 or more steps every day.  I was extremely excited and determined to hit the ground running.  However, I didn’t take into consideration that I have Sjögren’s Syndrome.   Whenever I tell people that I have this auto immune disease, they always ask “what is that?”.  Most people don’t know what it is or how it affects people.  This is how the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation website describes it:

What is Sjögren’s?

Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body.  Along with symptoms of extensive dryness, other serious complications include profound fatigue, chronic pain, major organ involvement, neuropathies and lymphomas.

Sjögren’s is a systemic disease, affecting the entire body. Symptoms may remain steady, worsen, or, uncommonly, go into remission. While some people experience mild discomfort, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their functioning. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important — they may prevent serious complications and greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.

So, because I was not used to doing 10.000 steps per day, it didn’t take long for my Sjögren’s to flare up.  When I get a flare, I typically don’t have energy to do my normal day-to-day activities and my joints and muscles ache all over.   I have been diagnosed for approximately 7 years and  I’m able to manage my symptoms very well. However, there are specific things that will bring on a flare for me.  They are, over-doing it, not getting enough rest, stress eating poorly,   There are other things that I have read about, but these 4 usually do it for me. 

So, what I was able to do was step 5,000 to 6,000 steps per day.  Eating is never a problem, I always eat good, fresh food and I was still able to lose 3 pounds this month. Yay for me!!!  This week, I will try to step it up to 6,500 – 7,000.  Of course, I will eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meat, lots of water and plenty of sleep.  With that combination, I should end up just fine.  

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FitBitI heard that the Fitbit was the most popular gift this Christmas.  I got mine several months ago and I love it.   Several people from my job participate in the ‘Workweek Hustle’ from Monday through Friday, then occasionally we do the ‘Weekend Warrior’ on the weekend. It is great to sync your Fitbit to see how you are doing and who’s in the lead.  Then, you MUST comment on who just pulled ahead of you.  It’s so much fun.  

This being the first week after New Years, everyone is participating in the challenge.  Right now, we have 9 people, but anyone could invite more people.  The more, the merrier.

In addition to the exercise, the camaraderie between everyone is great.  We push each other to keep up and to stay on a healthy eating plan.

So, here is my proposal, I will post my steps every day and my weight progress along with light recipes and we will create a challenge of our own.  Respond every day with your steps and we will have fun together.  

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