Category Archives: Healthy Info

Day 4 of Whole30. No quirky lines for you.

I am being reduced to a soulless, primal being.  All I want is a venti salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.  It’s all I think about.  I need to talk about something else.

At the end of day two, because I had skipped breakfast (slept through it…a very rare luxury), I needed something at the end of the day.  Made some guacamole and used tomatoes to dip in it.  OH SERIOUSLY WOW.  It was so good.  So here’s my recipe for some really awesome guac.

AWESOME GUACAMOLE

  • One avacado, scooped out of the skin and chopped and smashed
  • 1 tsp or so of lime juice
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes (to taste for added PIZZAZ!)
  • garlic (or garlic powder)
  • chopped onions
  • two roma tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes.  Now, if you can eat chips or whatever, then just chop one tomato and add it to the guacamole and enjoy.  But if you want to cut that out, use the fleshy romas (or other veggie that can be cut to a good dipping size) to eat the guac.  We sliced them in about 1/8″ slices, thick enough to hold their shape, and used a spoon when necessary to scoop onto the tomatoes.  It was devine.  An amazing and very healthy snack.   I was so hungry, I didn’t take a picture.  But it probably would just look gross…I mean, a bowl full of smashed green things with lumps of other things?

Anyway, I ate this again for lunch the next day.  I gave E a little bit of the avacado and ate the rest myself.  I was very full for a few hours.  Then massively hungry.  I made soup last night and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever made.  Take that, comfort zone!  Still, I was craving something sweet afterwards.  I don’t know if I want that to go away or not, but that is kind of the goal of this program, at least one of them.  I just want something yummy so bad!  I actually just made C a sunbutter jelly sandwich….and now that is all I can think about.  And the coffee.  But that is right on the counter….I cut off her crusts….and they are just sitting there…and I want them…..so I ran to the computer fighting tears and wrote this.  I feel better now.  Whew!

My soup was made a day after roasting the chicken.  JD made stock from the leftovers, and we had some really good broth to start with and leftover chicken.  I added more carrots, onions, and butternut squash and WOW.  I steamed the carrots and butternut squash with a bunch of thyme, and then added it to the broth and let it cook for awhile.  I used garlic, ginger, paprika, dill, rosemary, salt and pepper.  It was amazing.  So so so good.  I am good at making soup, but this was a step up.  All because I had to go away from my staples of either beans or potatoes.  I have never eaten butternut squash before, but we got one on a whim at the store.  It was cheap, and we are roasting another third of it with a pork roast right now and will have more for this weekend.  New favorite produce!  I love fall!

Day Two. 29 to go.

I’m in the middle of day two.  Chicken is roasting.  I know that will help with tonight and tomorrow.  Because the kids haven’t been letting me sleep this week, JD let me go back to bed this morning when he got up, and I slept until almost 11am!  I missed breakfast.  Which is vitally important or something like that.  So for lunch (because JD forgot to take his leftovers to work last night…like always),  we split the leftovers and each had a steamed egg and half a green pepper.  He had some spinach, but I had a bunch last night so I passed on that.  Now I’m drinking my coffee with a touch of coconut milk (mostly for the nutrients in the coconut milk) and I am so glad we decided to forgo the “no coffee after noon” rule.  We decided no coffee 8 hours before bed was better.  We have long days, and two kids, and sometimes its that extra cup that really helps us move.  This Whole30 thing is hard, but I already feel better.  Ok, so I’m a little cranky, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It would help if I wasn’t home all the time.  There’s a lot of food in this house that we can’t eat, and we can’t change that.  Today I want bread.  A big loaf of sourdough or french bread with garlic and lots of yummy spices.  I would eat a whole loaf right now.  I want to.  I am very thankful for this blog.  It helps me know I have a place to vent and a distraction from my cravings.

healthy snack ideasFor a snack yesterday, I had a handful of cashews and a handful of pomegranate seeds.  SO good together.  I’m not a big nut fan, I could live my life without eating them at all, but in this thirty day period I think I am going to need something acceptable to snack on.  I allow myself one snack a day, basically a mini-meal.  If the kids are eating a snack, and I want what they are eating, it helps to allow myself this so I won’t do something off-program.  It has to have protein in it, and it would be good if it had veggies too.  I’d like to find a kind of dressing/dip I could make for carrots and green peppers that was dairy free and had good fat in it.  I would enjoy that.  That’s on my list for today.

Last night I had a salad because I didn’t know what else to make.  All of our meat was frozen, I wasn’t thinking ahead I guess.  I planned out a meal a day, but didn’t think about when it was going to be just the kids and me.  I like to fly by the seat of my pants, and planning things out is hard for me.  So I opened a can of tuna, and split it between us three.  I had a lot of spinach, cut up some tomato and avocado and at that on my salad.  I should have put some sunflower seeds on there too, and I didn’t use oil or vinegar.  I am looking forward to making some dressing and some pesto.  Maybe I can make a good dressing and/or dip from avocado.  Yum!  I need some flavor!  I didn’t like the tuna with the avocado or with the spinach.  Next time I will eat it on the side.  But I got my protein and my fat and my veggies, and I drank hot green tea with it.  The kids had the same minus the spinach and plus some triscuits.  C had some more pomegranate.  She loves them, but E only throws them across the room.

Tomorrow I am making soup…lots of chicken and onions and carrots.  Not sure what else I could put in there yet.  Any ideas?

Day One >> Whole30 Hard.

This program is already making me feel like a caveman.  I want to grunt and growl at everyone.  I want to go hunting.  For chocolate.  It’s all because I want something sweet, and I am post lunch.  Even though I had 1/4 of an orange after lunch, which was really sweet.  I want processed sugar in the form of chocolate and I want it NOW.  Buuuut in reality, I don’t feel super hungry, and I feel very satisfied.  I’m surprised because I am only two meals in.  The plan was to start yesterday, but we went camping over the weekend and were beyond exhausted Sunday night.  We had no energy to get to the store and do the major shopping required for this.  So anyway, here’s what we bought at the store for the next couple weeks-ish:

GROCERY LIST

  • 9lbs of 93% lean ground chuck
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8lbs of pork (JD is skilled at meat cutting, so we buy in bulk.  This made two pork roasts and a ton of chops)
  • baby spinach
  • 5 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1lb carrots
  • 3 avacados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 4 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk (planning on getting more, but wanted to try cooking with it first)
  • 1 half gallon plain coconut milk
  • 2 half gallons vanilla almond milk (for kids)
  • cashews
  • bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • mushrooms
  • Spanish olives (yuck!  I’m gonna work on liking these!)

All of this was less than $120

It is amazing to me when people say they can’t eat healthy because it is too expensive.  First, because that is just complete bull.  Yes, I will have to go to the store more often, and yes, produce and meat is kind of pricy.  But when you cut out all processed foods (and dairy for us) and prioritize, you can afford it.  When you value your nutrition and factor in price, this is a lot cheaper to get what you need than buying cheap food filled with corn and soy and that is nutritionally deficient.  Calories help you survive, but can’t sustain you and keep you healthy.  Empty calories are worse.

WHAT I STILL NEED

  • shallots
  • ginger
  • more coconut milk in cans
  • grapeseed or coconut oil (whichever is cheaper for higher temperature cooking)
  • granola
  • yogurts
  • good coffee (we can’t have anything sweet in our coffee, so we need good coffee we can drink black…we usually buy this from Whole Foods where they roast it fresh, but usually not a whole month’s supply, just 1lb and that lasts about two weeks)
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut amino (I don’t know exactly what this is….)
  • stuff to make mayo, pesto, and curries (still need to plan out some easy, small meals for when JD is gone)
  • sunflower butter (with no sweeteners)
  • frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries) from TJ’s (can’t beat the prices, and lasts a lot longer than fresh)

We have about $40 left in the meal budget for this stuff

Today we had omelets with spinach, green pepper, mushrooms, and onion for breakfast and Asian Beef & Broccoli for lunch.  JD works second shift tonight, and is taking the leftovers to work, and the kids and I will scrounge tonight.  Not sure what we will come up with.  Tomorrow, we are roasting a chicken and eating that with carrots and onions and a salad of baby spinach with a little oil and vinegar.  Leftovers from that will make soup, hopefully enough for a couple days.  It’s getting cold here, especially today, so I am in a major soup mood.  And I like getting everything in one bowl.  Don’t know what is up with that.  I love to eat out of bowls.  The kids are still eating graham crackers and triscuits and will continue to eat cereal until it is gone.  Then we will get them granola and yogurt (almond or coconut yogurt for E and organic plain for C).  They love that and it is pretty good for them.  I’m not focused on them being on this plan, but I do want to keep their diets pretty similar.  They eat the same foods for meals and love what we eat.  E will eat almost anything anyway, and C is really starting to open up.  The biggest thing that has helped us get our 2 year old to eat green peppers and broccoli and that sort of thing is to eat at the table as a family for every meal and leave cell phones and tv out of the meal.  It’s so awesome!  Even when it is just the kids and me, I love it.  I am focused on them, and I am cutting out unnecessary tv out at the same time.  They seem to benefit from it, and we have only been doing that for a couple days.

A planned day of epic fails (and other random life happenings).

What is going on today.

Today is JD’s and my nine year anniversary, and we have decided to completely indulge in the crappiest of food.  Two reasons for this.  1) to get it out of our system…a last hoorah of sorts.  2) to kind of make ourselves feel the food.  To feel that it is not good for our bodies and that it doesn’t make us feel well.  We are having a favorite dinner casserole from the past, we had pizza for lunch.  Pepperoni with tons of cheese.  Yum.  Cinnamon roll with coffee for breakfast…probably my favorite part!  And cookies for dessert tonight.  I’m a huge fan of cookies.  I really love them.  I love packaged cookies, bakery cookies, making cookies.  When I make them they are dairy free, sometimes egg free, and made with much less sugar and whole wheat flour.  Of course, none of that will be happening after this weekend.  Monday we are starting the Whole30 program, and we are very committed to being successful with it.  Might be blogging a lot more to vent about it…I KNOW it is going to be very hard for me.  I am the worst one of our family….so addicted to sugar.  It happened slowly, from around June or July till now.  But I just binge on it sometimes.

I can probably just blame everything on a condition.

I also have found out that a condition of mine has a symptom of feeling hungry all the time, no matter how much you eat.  This happens to me about one week a month.  And no, this isn’t normal pms or something.  I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and it affects hormones and insulin production.  I’ve also been diagnosed with insulin resistance in the past.  I was on medication when I had C, and since then I haven’t needed any.  And I don’t want any.  But I know that if I continue my eating habits, I could get back into feeling lethargic, fatigued, hungry all the time, and depressed.  I can control it with my lifestyle, and I don’t want to be on diabetic medication just to control it if it isn’t actually necessary.  I definitely don’t want to get diabetes.  Just another motivating factor here!

On the running front.

Running and eating well put me back into a good healthy cycle, I could feel the difference it made.  Since I fell on my butt again last week, I can’t run right now, and it is so frustrating.  But at the same time, it gives me a chance to just focus on healthy eating first and foremost, and I should get the chance to get back into running before winter hits.  I’m hoping I either somehow love running in the cold (which I don’t think is good for asthma but if I am in shape it might not be an issue?) or can find an indoor track in Omaha somewhere to run through the winter.  I don’t want to stop and wait.  How frustrating!  JD did say that he used to have a rowing machine…hoping that is still around.  I could stand to do that instead of run if I had to.  And, just throwing it out there, the best thing of all would be to swim…..oh I wish I could afford the cost and the time it takes to swim everyday.  I love it so much.  But alas, you do what you can with what you have.

T minus 3 days and counting….

This weekend we are going camping.  Partly as a celebration of our anniversary and because we had the chance to get away from the kids, and partly because camping is awesome.  A lot of my cousins will be there and we always have a lot of fun.  My family is fabulous.  So that is one of the reasons we are waiting until Monday to start our thirty days of awesome/hellish eating fun times.  Our last hoorah will include probably alcohol, awesome camp food, and smores galore.  And just so you know, we aren’t doing this to lose weight, although we are looking forward to that side effect.  We want to be healthy.  With our random health issues, we truly believe that nutrition is the key to being healthy in most situations, and that we have that completely in our control.  Check out HAES for more on that.  I’ll go into that more sometime, probably as we get into the program, because I will need to remind myself (ha) and it is really good information for, you know, human kind.

 

Whole30 in ONE WEEK. Oh crap.

I’m getting my mind in the right condition, and I’m kind of scared crapless about it.  I am usually one to impulsively jump into things, and so I wanted to make sure and know that this is something that we definitely want to do.  It will take a lot of commitment to stay on the Whole30 Program for a whole thirty days.  If you are wondering what it is…basically, it is a 30 day plan in which you cut out:

  • legumes (including peanuts, soy, and all beans)
  • all dairy
  • all grains (even quinoa and other nutritious grains)
  • all sugar and sugar substitutes (except naturally occurring sugars in fruits and veggies)
  • alcohol
  • white potatoes (basically your body treats it like starch and sugar, despite some good nutrients)
  • additives (duh) like MSG and sulfites

So what do you eat then?  Lean meats, lots of veggies, and fruits.  Cashews and seeds are okay.  There’s some fine print about what you can and can’t eat, and it can all be found on the Whole30 website.  There are free pdf’s of helpful information and guides for shopping and what to have on hand.  This is the free part.  There’s also a book, which I am halfway through reading.

Our family is addicted to sugar.  Totally addicted to grains and dairy (except E who drinks almond milk).  I know it will be a big adjustment.  Since E doesn’t eat soy or dairy, it won’t be too hard on him.  We still aren’t sure how we will still incorporate grains into our kids’ diets, because I don’t think we can cut it all out just like that for them.  And with C we are only going to give her organic milk to drink and let her have her cottage cheese, which she probably couldn’t live without.  She would eat it for every meal if we let her.  As for JD and I, we are going to have it rough, I know, for a couple weeks.  But it is so totally worth it.  This program isn’t about eating this way forever.  It’s 3o days.  A friend of mine says, “I can do anything for _____ amount of time.”  So we can do anything for 30 days.  And in the middle, we will start to get so much energy and feel really great and remember that it is JUST FOOD.  While it is nice to enjoy a meal and indulge sometimes, it is easy to start to do it all the time.  To get, basically, gluttonous.  For me, I need a challenge like this.  No cheating…not even one time, so our bodies can heal and our minds can focus.  No faking.  No pale0-desserts that are technically “okay.”  Because in reality, you are still in the old mindset of eating sweets after meals and thinking you need it or want it and it is ok to always indulge.  For us, this is about changing our mindset and really engaging in a healthy lifestyle.  We did really well for about 5 months eating whole foods and exercising.  But slowly, we got off track.  Our lives got more stressful and we let that distract us.  A healthy body and mind are linked, you can’t have one without the other.  So we are ready and willing, and next Monday, we start our new eating plan with the hopes that it will get us into the correct mindset for us, for eating well and thinking the right way about food and its place in our lives.

I would love to know if there is anyone else out there that has done this program or is doing it now.  Comment below!

Misconceptions

I am so sick of everyone, including seemingly every doctor ever, telling me that E will grow out of his MSPI.  And GERD.  The kid is almost a year and a half old.  At 3 months, when he was not growing and in and out of the hospital…getting a feeding tube, etc….it was all, “he’ll grow out of it by 4-6 months.  When his trunk gets stronger.”  At 4 months-“When he’s 6 months.  When he can sit up.”  At 6 months-“When he’s 8-9 months.  When he’s crawling and standing.  His body just needs to mature.”  At 9 months-“Should grow out of it by 12 months.”  At 12 months-“Anytime now.”  Sometimes I just want to fly off the handle.  There are A LOT of kids out there that don’t grow out of it.  That have food intolerances for years and years.  That have to take prevacid and other meds, and some even have feeding tubes for years because they can’t even handle eating.  How do our doctors not even get this?  Finally, recently, we went with a different GI doctor.  It has made a world of difference.  I have struggled with our pediatrician for a long time.  She is so nice, so wonderful in person, that I just can’t stand the thought of going somewhere else and then having some jerk-face doctor that doesn’t get anything.  But now, with our lifestyle changes…well I just don’t know what to do about all that.

So I am reaching out to all those moms out there who have kids with MSPI.  This is not some cut and dry thing.  A lot of babies don’t even get diagnosed.  Some doctors don’t even believe in it.  But when you are a nursing mother who cuts out all dairy and soy and notices a HUGE difference in their precious, tiny, helpless baby, well it’s pretty obvious who knows what is going on and who is a complete unfeeling idiot.

My son has some other kind of intolerance on top of the dairy, soy, and beef.  I think it might be wheat.  I couldn’t figure it out while nursing, and my son was on his way down a dark road of illness, massive puking, and pain, and so I stopped nursing him and put him on formula.  Unfortunately, it took a few formulas to figure out he needed totally broken down, behind the pharmacy counter stuff.  And still does.  I think wheat still bothers him.  I’m not sure if he feels it inside, but now that he is eating it again, he has constant eczema on his face and arms.  But despite it all, he is the happiest kid.  So laid back, it takes a lot to bother him.

Don’t give up hope.  E’s problems have led our family to a healthy lifestyle.  Without all the hardship, we wouldn’t have gotten here.  Sometimes, it’s hard to see the rainbow through the torrential downpour and massive tornado that is taking out your house….but after the storm, everything can be new, clean, a fresh start.

MSPI and Reflux can last well beyond a year of age.  Trust your instincts, they won’t lead you wrong.  Mother’s know what is best for their children.  They see what goes on with them, and know them better than anyone else.  I hope that if there is anyone out there that is struggling, that you see this and know that life goes on, that although the sleepless nights still come and go, life goes on, and life is beautiful.  Your child is beautiful.  So don’t give up!  Embrace your hardships, and trust.  “This too shall pass.”

lincoln ne photographers

My Little Lion Man

I Am Free To Run

This is just a post to update you on my journey to being healthy.  I post regularly on my personal blog about running and everything else I think about and do, but I thought a general “what’s up” post was in order here.

In January, we made the choice to start eating like our son.  To cut out soy and dairy and processed foods.  We have cut out almost all processed foods, except crackers.  We eat back to nature whole grain crackers, so they are pretty good and not full of fillers.  We don’t eat much soy, except when we use soy sauce in cooking.  We’ve done very well there.  The dairy has been a much bigger struggle.   My daughter gets most of her protein from dairy.  She is obsessed with yogurt and cottage cheese.  Which I am ok with.  I wish we could always afford to get organic everything, but we can’t.  That is something that is a major goal of mine over the rest of the year…to make that a higher priority.  I also have been eating greek yogurt after runs.  It makes me feel much better, like I recover faster from my run.

I knew that I needed to do something on top of all this eating well, and that was to exercise.  This is the biggest step I have ever taken in my life.  I have NEVER exercised.  I played sports in high school, so I guess there was some exercising going on there.  I tried swimming while at college, which I did here and there.  But I have never made the choice to regularly do anything that resembles exercise.  I hated it.  But being in the house most of the time with the kids as a stay and work at home mom, I needed some time to myself.  I  needed something that wouldn’t take an entire morning, that was fast and cheap.  Since I don’t have a bike, the only thing I could do was run.  I got some running shoes and just started to do it.  I am now almost finished with week 5 of the Couch to 5K program.  I have already run in a race even!  forgetti spaghetti

A 3k…..I finished in just under 20 minutes.  (btw-I have no idea why I look super-pissed in that picture.  I’m thinking I must’ve been going for stoic…?)  Not the greatest…I was just happy I finished before the 10K runners started to finish!  I think I was in like 250th place or something, haha!  But who cares!  I did that over a week ago, and I was no where close to actually running almost 2 miles in my training.  It’s important for me to have goals and run in races, otherwise I know I’ll get bored.  I’m going to do two 5K’s in August.  I should be able to run an entire 5K by then without walking.  Today will be my first 2 mile run without walking in my training.

What’s the point of all this?  Well, I always hated to run.  HATED it.  With a passion.  I mean…I don’t know if you get it….I couldn’t stand watching people run.  I was jealous beyond belief that they had a desire to do something like that.  That they could.  And that they did it every day, looking so effortless….it wasn’t fair and I hated it.  When I finally decided to do it, it was kind of awful.  I could barely make it 30 seconds of running without feeling like I was seriously going to die.  It wasn’t even my asthma that was holding me back.  It was me.  Not only not wanting to push myself, but a kind of self-sabatage.  Where I just didn’t want to do something for me, that could benefit me.  I do this sometimes in my life….I think a lot of people do.  This is one of the first times in my life that I have pushed through that, ignored the desire to stop, to give up, and it has given me some incredible benefits.  When I start my day with a run, I feel so energetic, happier, and I get to have over a half an hour to myself in the morning.  I listen to music, I take in my surroundings, and I let my mind drift into deep thoughts.  It’s an amazing thing running gives you that I never knew about.  It clears your mind, and your body.  And speaking of body, some awesome things have happened there too!  Since the end of January, I have lost 30 pounds!  My body has regulated itself, I haven’t gotten sick, even when I’ve felt a cold coming on.  I have become a much healthier version of myself, and I am only part of the way there.

Running is just one more example of how I am conquering my world.