Category Archives: clean eating

If you dangle a carrot..

One week into 2017, how’s everyone doing out there?

We’re doing well here, although this coming week will be our first FULL week back into school and work.  I can sure get used to 3 and 4 day work weeks!!!  Nice.  Very Nice!!

Any resolutions?  I didn’t really make any official proclamation of resolutions so to speak.  A few internal conversations with myself on organization and time management and healthy eating and food prep and yada yada yada, but really.  Nothing truly earth shattering.

Our Dave Ramsey train keeps plugging away.  A full year and 2 months in and I remember listening to Dave and at one point him saying that the average of people meeting financial goals through his plan took about 3 years.  That is a long time to be budget focused.  However, if you live another 40-50 years….3 years isn’t so much.  Right?  We’re definitely making headway, using our cash and are far more intentional with our spending.  A long way to go from perfect, but learning and making strides and that is something!

Tomorrow starts a 10-week “Mayor’s challenge” for the town I work in and so I joined with a few  friends.  Our team works towards points and each person needs to attend 2 of 3 workouts each week and at the end of the week the individual male and female winners are awarded $1000.  Hello there $1000 carrot.

My veggies are prepped.  Lunch is made.  Workout plan for the week is a go and now to turn  in for a good night sleep.  I am.  In it.  To win it.  Certainly going to work my tail off anyway.  And with the cold weather all weekend, we got the good cookies made and on their way out of the house via bellies, so I’d say.  I’m ready.

Stay tuned.  It’s only my 400 millionth effort at this, surely one of these will stick.  And for $1000, I am certain to have  a few good habits and results take root over the next 10 weeks!!!

Happy 2nd week of 2017!!

Food talk

Currently, I have been switching to a more Paleo food focus.  I started 3 weeks ago, but week 1 was rudely interrupted by a hurricane and although I still managed to lose a pound that week, it was just too much  to stick to it in the midst of evacuation, power loss, clean up, etc. etc. etc.  Hey, if you ever need a rationalization parter, look no further.  So, the past two weeks , I’ve been doing very well:  on track, planning ahead and really focusing on will power.  The Hubs and I even managed to get to the gym 2x this week for strength work, so I am plugging along.

Let’s get real now, though.  If you’ve ever read “Made to Crave” by Lysa Teurkerst  it’s a great book really delving into WHY we overeat (emotionally) and her own story of overcoming and learning to better manage life with a food crutch.  In the book, there is a part where she talks about how she cried over not being able to eat bread (or pizza or sweets–I can’t remember exactly).  As I read it, I’m thinking, oh for the love….are you kidding me?  Then I started this little baby journey of 2 weeks and several times I have foregone sweets or super carby foods and although I didn’t cry, I ABSOLUTELY now understood what she was saying.  It’s flippin’ HARD!  You do not have to think one iota about eating crappy, but if you want to eat better and avoid processed foods, you have to think.  you have to plan.  you have to abstain.  HARD. It pretty much sucks right now.  I know it will get easier, but now…right now…. it blows.

My fitness pal app is really helping me to stay on track though, as well as giving myself permission to eat something once in awhile that is not so Paleo-ISH.  For instance, this week it was a birthday and there was a truly delicious and not run-of-the-mill cake to celebrate and so I had a piece.  One piece.  It was good.  And that was it.  I ate, I enjoyed and then my stomach kind of hurt, so I guess my body was not digging it as much as my mouth was.  Another day, I had a lemon bar.  I don’t make those.  But I find them enjoyable and so I enjoyed it.  And that was it.  So, I am learning, but man…..it’s hard. Because really, I could easily push through the pain for two pieces of cake or several lemon bars; I’m an overcomer.  Those choices, however, will not get me healthier or more energetic.  Sooooooooo, I’ll keep fighting the fight.

Like so many other battles, just taking it one day at a time and go from there.

Wish me luck!

The recurring battle

I have worried about my weight for as long as I can remember.  Probably from middle school on.    When I look back on my school pictures though, I see a normal girl who went through her thick before shooting up phase and later on, in high school, a fit and athletic girl who looked super cute in a bikini.  What the heck was I worrying about my weight for??

Who knows really.  Yes, family drama and divorce and responsibilities far beyond a 14 year old’s capacity probably contributed to emotional eating and the beginning of bad habits.  We can finger point and dissect it a million different ways, but at the end of the day, we all have our battles and my longest-lasting battle definitely comes in the form of food.

Fast forward many moons and 4 kids and I continue to battle those demons.  My Hubby is amazing and supportive and certainly loves me whether I’m fluffier or more fit and I am grateful for that.  The truth is, I have seasons where I do better and others where I don’t give a rat’s a** and just give into the yoga pants on the daily.  In spite of the support and encouragement of family and friends.  There is always a battle present and it is exhausting.

At this time in my life, it’s not about being a size 2, I mean my skeleton isn’t designed for that.  And I’m OK with that.  What IS true is that I’m just uncomfortable.  I’m tired.  All those years of taking care of patients who tell me “don’t get old” and “I wish I would have taken better care of myself when I was younger”, well, that is getting to me.  I see friends and patients who are fighting cancer and I know that we fight our best fight when we are at our strongest:  mentally, physically, spiritually.  Most days I’m 2 out of 3, I want 3 of 3. That is not too much to ask and the time has come to put these beasts down.  For good.

So.  Here I go again.  Changing things up.  While I won’t say it’s a “diet” so much, mostly because I don’t do well on diets, but certainly changing my eating up.  More Paleo.  Ish.  A friend introduced me to Mark’s Daily Apple  and I really like his approach.  So for me, the focus is more FOOD food, less processed food and keeping my carbs under 100g a day.  I’m using myFitnesspal to track my choices and my fitbit to track my moving.

Technically I’m on week 2, however, week 1 got sidetracked by Hurricane Matthew and you just go on with your bad self if you can stick to cleaner eating while stuck in a 2 Br/2 Ba house with 7 people, 1 dog, 1 cat and the uncertainty of a massive storm potentially getting ready to wipe out your city and flood your neighborhood.  As for me, well…….I did my best, but I won’t lie; hte candy corn and the iced cookies, they went down.  Timber.  This week, however, power back up.  Home good.  Debris mostly cleaned.  Closing in on “normal” and it was a good strong week.  Slight “cheating” today, but not horrific and verdict is:  down 3 pounds total since I started.  I’ll take it.  It’s time to put this battle to rest.

On the lighter side…

To lighten things up….a little fashion PSA for you.  Although, generally I am NOT your go to person for all things fashion, I may be a little late to the party on this one, but sharing anyway!!

Nail talk.  I am blessed with good nails.  (thanks, Mom).  I even have to chop them down about once a month because when they get long, I can’t type well at work.  But they are strong.  And I love polish.  BUT…..since I wash my hands a million times a day it’s useless to paint them due to peeling within a day and then they look like crud.

I love a pedicure but am fairly convinced that I picked up a fungus at one pedicure that is just now growing out and therefore I’d rather paint my tootsies at home.

And the time.  Personally, I just don’t enjoy giving up the half hour or hour in the nail salon.

Enter gel paint.  I’ve been fascinated at the lasting power on friend’s nails with the gel, but haven’t wanted to purchase the light and all that. Too much hassle.  Then I heard that OPI has a no-light gel system.  Since I love me some OPI (and totally not sponsored BTW), I headed to ULTA to scope it out.

Here’s the down low:

  • A little more expensive than the usual OPI (about 12.50 a bottle).
  • There’s a base primer and a top coat/lacquer
  • There weren’t a ton of colors (but then OPI does color seasons…so you just stock up and roll with it)
  • I did two coats on my daughter, one coat on myself
  • I should have done two coats, but it’s a beige color so it doesn’t look bad at all, but after looking at her nails, two would have been better
  • I’m curious if a regular OPI color will hold up with the base and top coat the same, so yes, that’s next on my agenda to try it out
  • I haven’t take it off yet, but it will take a bit of extra effort and time
  • I’m going on day 3 and looking fabulous.  even after house cleaning, dishes and laundry

There you have it!

 

Feeling so crunchy and granola right now

oil-pulling

It all started HERE on this Facebook post….

This week I saw the above post on Facebook on a friend’s page.  Intrigued by the title, I checked it out..b/c I have never heard of Oil Pulling and it looked gross and fascinating.    So, I was all in.  Curious though, have YOU ever heard of this?

Apparently, its age-old and a natural detox.  The added benefit of whiter teeth….I figured I’d give it a try since we actually have coconut oil in the house (although you can use other oils, too).  Here’s how it went down:

Round 1.  I took a teaspoon of coconut oil and put it straight into my mouth and began to swish.  Aaaaaaand immediately gag.  And spit.  Most disgusting texture of goo EVER.  Seriously.  Just beyond describing.  I was bummed.  

Round 2.  Right?  After that who in the he** is going for round 2?????  Me.  That’s who.  Dog with a bone.  I remembered that the article said you could melt the oil for a few seconds and do it that way.  So.  I melted it.  10 seconds.  Stir.  A few more seconds.  Voila.  Liquid.  After testing the warmth factor, I teaspooned it in and swished.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  And swished**.  Warm.  Ooey.  A little gooey.  But not terrible.  My lips were super shiny, though.  

**Prior to swishing, I informed the kids of what I’d be doing.  Naturally, I pick the time to do this during the morning get-ready-for-school/work-time.  Needless to say, there were a hundred and one questions WHILE I was swishing and so the whiteboard became quite handy.  And charades.  

The second day went a little smoother.  With only one kiddo up and both of us knowing what was going on, I STILL had to use the whiteboard , but it seemed to go quicker.  Ish.  That girl can TALK!!!!!!

Day 3.  No one awake.  Hubby gone for an early meeting.  NO whiteboard needed.  I did some online banking and next thing you know the timer went off.

A few days of personal research here for you, but I’ll keep you posted as it goes along.  A few things and many links for you to consider:

  • “They” say to do it first thing in the a.m.   Mostly for ease of remembering and actually getting it in before the day takes over.
  • Don’t spit it in the sink.  It’s oil.  Spit it in the garbage.  Or pay the piper.  Or plumber.
  • Don’t swallow.  It’s full of bacteria from your mouth. LIVE bacteria.  Ew.  Just.  Ew.  Brush your chompers afterward.  
  • Appears to be safe for pregnant and nursing moms as a natural detox method, however, I say check with your OB and go with your gut.  However…….common sense tells me if you use mouthwash during these times and it’s not a problem…………..that’s just me thinking.
  • Dental crowns.  There are some cases that say the oil weakens the cement on the crowns and can cause them to chip or come out, so if that’s your lot you might want to reconsider.  That’s a lot of cha-ching to mess with.
  • There MAY be some side effects of detoxing, as for me, so far, just a little upset tummy but I’ve also been eating lots of veggies this week, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt.  

A few links for your own perusing, because if other people have done books and talks and all the legwork, you should read them not my parroting…this is mainly MY experience thus far.  

That’s plenty to get you started, there’s a bajillion more out there on the webz.  Do.  Or do not.  

Happy Weekending!!

 

Fast First Friday aka #7QuickTakes

Burnout.  7 days in a row of blogging and nada this week, until today, because everyone in my casa is occupied (for the moment), so here I go…all Fast like….on this First Friday in March AND in Lent…woot, woot!  (see what I did there?)  Therefore, jumping back in (for today), with author and speaker of many hours in a row…Jen@Conversion Diary for a weekly wrapup…go see!

  1. So Lent is here, how’s it going for you?  For me, so far so good.  I haven’t felt called to fast from any particular thing but I have been called to prayer.  Lots of prayer….I mean:  Adoration, weekly, and prayer journal for prayer requests.  So, if you are in need of any extra prayer (and aren’t we all), feel free to drop a note in the combox or email me (found on the sidebar).IMG_3716
  2. The other thing I am committed to is finishing some spiritual reading:  Mere Christianity, The power of persistent prayer, St.Monica.  I have a bad habit of having too many books going at once, so this is a great time to actually focus on these!
  3. Meatless meal time.  This year is going to be a little less trying since we have a boy/man in the house interested in veganism and willing to help me out with finding new and fun recipes for the fam.  He’s good in the kitchen and tonight picked out and helped make a (non meatless) homemade version of Hamburger helper with roasted cauliflower and peas.  Makes dinner much less a chore for Mama!
  4. Ash Wednesday ended up being a date night with the Hubby and I.  The only Mass we can make it to is the 7 p.m. and opted to allow the kids to stay home and shower and settle in.  Sometimes you just have to exercise common sense in knowing when it’s forcing too much.  I missed them, but enjoyed the one on one with the Hubs.  We even took a selfie afterward!  Love an unexpected date time with my honey!669831106177617683_3843666
  5. Providing our son wakes up in the a.m. and we make it to the gym, it will have been a full week working out.  Spin this a.m. was with Crazy Courtney (as I like to call her) and I was soaked, so a good workout and start to the day.
  6. Clean(er) eating this week has been going well.  Perfect?  No.  However, definitely have been getting in more fruits and veggies and avoiding miscellaneous crap food at work that seems to show up unannounced and at the most ravenous times.  Planning is key.  Will just keep planning and plugging along.imgres
  7. The end!  Blessings on the weekend and praying all north of Florida will thaw out soon and welcome spring most joyfully.  Until then, I will do my best to appreciate the Vitamin D for you!IMG_1970

Grocery game

Today I received a text regarding how much I spend a week on groceries.  Always an interesting discussion, to me.  I am infinitely curious as to what people spend at the grocery store.  It’s a barometer of where we are as a family (am I blowing too much on x, y and z?), but also a GREAT way to get tips and such.

I have friends who can coupon like the TLC show (in my eyes), friends who once had a $1000 grocery budget FOR. THE. ENTIRE. SUMMER., friends who cook ahead and freeze and friends who just wing it.  It never gets old to me and so, once again, it was an interesting text conversation on groceries and I thought I’d share a few tips that help us and would LOVE to hear your tips.

  • We shop at Aldi.  We’ve comparison shopped and they are consistently lower than Publix and Walmart.  Downside:  they don’t always have everything I need on my list and they don’t take coupons since they sell their brand (aside from the surplus of various name brand items from time to time).
  • I plan our meals ahead for the week.  I don’t plan specific meals for specific days, but a menu of meals for the week.  I shop for the menu.
  • Our fruits and veggies come from Aldi and the produce store/farmer’s market.  We do have to replenish bananas mid-week (a family of monkeys, I tell you) and I buy the verrrrry ripe ones @ .29/lb and freeze them for smoothies.
  • Eating out is a rarity and a luxury.
  • It’s a dry house.  However, Aldi does have beer and wine—FYI.

Sadly, we don’t have a Costco close enough for regular grocery shopping (I hear they are the bomb diggety!), but we do have a Sam’s Club and a BJ’s.  When we get a stand alone freezer, we will stock up on meats there or possibly look into purchasing a 1/2 a cow or something like that.

We’ve tried to coupon, however, with both of us working full-time outside the house, we simply don’t have the time or energy to really work the system.

Our summer garden was awesome and we’re planning on doing a winter one as well.  (the perks of living in sunny Florida!), However, if I had a big ole garden like Mavis HERE….hooooooey…that’d be awesome!

Eating healthy is a mainstay in our house.  Not to say we don’t have junk around here, because we sure DO.  Meals however, are pretty healthy and we have a wide variety of healthy snacks for the kiddos to choose from…almonds, protein bars, popcorn, fruits, veggies, raisins, smoothies, nut butter.  We also have one who doesn’t seem to tolerate dairy well, so we’ve got almond milk in the house and some dairy free ice cream as well.

Bottom line, for our family of 6 (2 teen boys and 2 growing tween girls, a triathlete Papa and a Mama always in search of healthier choices) we average $200/week.

So, what are your tips, tricks and average spent on groceries each week.  This inquiring mind wants to know!!