Friday, March 29, 2013


Apparently I'm too lazy for titles this week!

I just spent several minutes writing an incredibly whiny, negative post. Those kinds of thoughts aren't going to help anything, so I deleted it. I'm really looking forward to the weekend, even though we won't be having our normal family get together for Easter. It's probably for the best!

Yesterday's breakfast was coffee with raw sugar and half & half, a clean blueberry cream cheese muffin (from the freezer), and watermelon. A nice quickie for when some of us are running late in the morning. Not that it happens to us, of course.. ;)

Chris took a sandwich made with natural almond butter and strawberry jam (the clean one we have tastes SO much better than the junk we used to use!) on whole wheat bread, grapes, peas, and some of the Irish cheese.

Lunch was left sitting on my kitchen counter in the chaos this morning, great place for it. We have catered lunches at work, so I had a baked potato. It was the cleanest thing they brought (burgers and cookies being the only other thing).

Weather was beautiful again, and it's supposed to rain for the next 2-3 days, so I took the kids for a walk while Ryan made dinner. I can't wait for Spring to really get here so we can do this more!

Dinner was a slice of homemade pizza (sauce and dough) with a salad. The whole wheat crust was a little different, but we really liked it! I don't think freezing the dough in the future is such a good idea, though. With it being cold, it was very difficult to stretch! The recipe we have requires the dough to sit out for an hour covered, so this may be a weekend only meal. Does someone have a better dough recipe?

No snacking at work again, just way too busy! I really miss boss-friend!

So, I know I said I wasn't going to go into all the negative junk, but I do have a question.. I have 2 brothers, one that's married with 2 kids. One only talks to my parents when he needs something (groceries, gas money, car parts this week), but does say thanks. The other, along with his wife and kids, lived with my parents for most of the last 3 years. No rent, no helping with anything. She stocked their new apartment, watched their kids while they both went to school, gave them unlimited use to her car, and she's afraid to add up how much money has been given (we're talking thousands of dollars). No one ever says thank you, and they're flat out rude sometimes. The wife seems to get pissed when my mom needs to use her own car if they've had it- like it's inconveniencing her. My questions is- at what point do you say enough? My mom's struggling with that because of the kids. I don't think there is a right answer, but what they're doing now sure isn't preparing them for the future..

Alright, everyone have a fabulous friday!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Happy Hump Day!! At least for me, not the kid- he's out for Good Friday. Oh yeah, his life is ROUGH! ;)

 Thought I'd try a picture post today. But, you know. #ADDproblems. I remembered most, though..

 My morning started with coffee made with raw sugar and half & half. I think I'm in love with the Gevalia Kcups. I don't know why our store didn't carry them until recently, because yum!!

On the way to work, I had a green smoothie made with spinach, banana, tropical frozen fruit mix, flax seed, and a little honey.

 Lunch was half a b/s chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and spinach- minus the spinach. Tossed it and had a salad a little while later (and forgot to take a picture). Does anyone have a clean salad dressing they love? I've tried making ranch and one with olive oil, and both were pretty gag worthy. I'm still using up some light Italian, but need a clean one to replace it soon.

 We got a chance to take the kids on a short walk before dinner. It's still cold here in Memphis, so we took advantage of the 60ish degree weather and sun!

I had a small piece of Dubliner's cheese while making dinner (those Costco sample people got me on this one- it's REALLY good cheese). I had taken fruit to work to snack on, but my boss-friend is in the hospital right now with complications from the chemo. Which means I have enough time to THINK about my fruit, but that's about it! I was starving by dinner.

 Dinner was Baked Ziti and cabbage. Chris was not a huge fan of the cabbage, but he thinks it's because I used too much pepper. I love how easily that kid will try things now. Been a long road! Ryan wasn't a fan of any of it, honestly. He's my picky eater now I suppose..

 If anyone reading this could spare a few happy thoughts or prayers for my friend, it would be greatly appreciated.. She had her first chemo treatment last Tuesday after only 3 weeks between that and the 2 surgeries she had (one for a cyst, a second for everything else once it came back cancerous). It was all too fast and she wasn't able to heal properly, thus the hospitalization. She's an amazing, strong lady and I'm so inspired by how positive she's been through everything. It still isn't easy being away from her family and home, though. She's getting amazing care at least! Being the billing manager of one of the largest medical groups in our area has it's perks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Prepping for a smooth week.

Another weekend coming to a close.

What did we get accomplished this weekend? Honestly, it feels like nothing but we sure were busy! Yesterday was spent running errands.. Grocery store (twice now that I have my fancy Costco card!), haircut, Babies R Us because they're the only store with a decent organic baby food section, picked up the new steam mop to replace our swiffer (read that it's been linked to kidney failure in pets and babies since they crawl around on the floor), and hunted down my new mason jars.

Today was spent cleaning the house, doing laundry, and preparing food. Cooking just takes a little longer now some nights since switching to real foods. Our simple pizza night for example.. We make the sauce and dough from scratch now, grate fresh cheese. It's just more time consuming. So we do a lot of prep on the weekends to make sure we don't end up ordering pizza instead ;) I have 3 kinds of clean muffins for quick breakfasts, pizza sauce, pizza dough, crockpot fajitas, and a lot of fruits and veggies already diced up in the fridge.

We're also trying these mason jar salads I keep seeing on Pinterest! No excuse not to take a healthy lunch to work :)

Side note.. TOM showed up Friday. Normally, this would just RUIN my weekend because they've always been bad. Like Xanax, 2-4 lb gains, migraines kind of bad. But.. No cramps, no headaches, no rage, and no weight gain whatsoever. Lost a pound, actually. Whole new reason to stick with real food!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! Walking Dead tonight- woohoo!!

Oh, and someone has her first tooth! She's growing so fast :(

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Goodbye weekend!

Two big changes this weekend to help us keep moving in the right direction with our clean eating.

You've seen the juicer (we bought the Omega VRT330 for anyone that's interested- the masticating ones waste a lot less produce AND the juice is good longer). We let Thing 1 use it this morning to make fresh orange juice to go with the spinach and mushroom omelets.. And this made it totally worth the money. He HATES juice that isn't koolaid (which I haven't bought in years), especially orange juice. I'm not sure if it was because he made it himself, but he loved it and wants to make something else with it later today. He's even making up his own recipes :)) I'll definitely be sharing anything we make that comes out good! We bought everything to try a few of the detox juices before we do the 3 day thing next weekend. We aren't doing it to lose weight, but to rid our bodies of all the built up toxins, but losing 5+ lbs would be sweet ;)

We also finally signed up for a Costco membership. I have NO idea how we've lived without this for so long! Since we're eating less things but more of them (more veggies/fruits/nuts and less boxed junk) a bulk store membership made sense. Ryan's coworker mentioned that his wife has to eat mostly organic due to a food allergy and that Costco carries a ton or organic options.. So we checked it out this weekend. LOVE.

Now, you're probably wondering why I haven't discussed numbers since blogging again. Short answer: they are no longer my main focus. I'm not weighing every day, I'm not counting calories or points, but eating the right foods the last 2-3 weeks has taken 4-5 lbs off without any effort (and by effort, I mean exercise.. STILL trying to make time for that). I mentioned the information overload I got when researching diet related stuff for my friend with cancer. I feel like a moron for not knowing half the stuff I learned- like the hormones in milk, GMOs, etc. Either way, I've never been more committed to change than I am now. I don't want my kids growing up with food-like products and chemicals..

Netflix has a documentary called "Hungry for Change," and a series "Ted Talks: Chew on This" for anyone interested! Really good info!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My First Juicer

Finally bought a juicer today! We made an apple lemonade from "Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies." Husband agreed to trying a 3 day detox with me.. Eek! Has anyone done one of these before??

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Clean Eating

I'm really not sure how to explain how clean eating came about without getting negative. Realizing my weight was almost the same as it was the day I had Reagan wasn't fun. I'd lost about 20 of the 35 I gained with her in the first 3 weeks. But then breast feeding didn't work out, and dinner became fast food, take out, or Ryan cooking (and his idea of cooking is hamburger helper), and finding time to exercise was a JOKE.. And those 20lbs found their way back! The first 3-4 months with 2 kids was so nuts that I truly didn't realize how bad it had gotten. I barely had time to eat during the day, so how bad could it be, right? I should know better, because that's exactly how my weight problem started after I had my son.

The second, and biggest, catalyst that got us to jump on the clean eating band wagon was finding out my friend has ovarian cancer. It's stage 1 and the chemo will be more of a precaution, but it was a huge wake up call for a lot of us. She was told no sugar since it's pure fuel for cancer cells and to focus on fresh foods, so I Googled cancer diets. Talk about information overload..

She's not much older than I am, we're both dealing with obesity, and our diets are pretty similar. So in addition to trying to be supportive of my friend, I got a big wake up call.

I'm still not sure whether clean eating is the right name for it, but it'll do. It's been a slow transition over the last month. So far:

We went back to whole grains (read the labels.. Just because it says whole grain on the front does NOT mean it's whole grain). We checked with a local bakery and may start buying bread there soon. They use NO preservatives.

We swapped our meats out for grass fed, hormone/antibiotic free beef and cage/hormone/antibiotic free poultry and eggs. Wild caught seafood only.

Following the dirty dozen list for buying organic produce.

Nothing packaged with more than 5 ingredients or anything we don't understand. We try to avoid things with sugar mentioned in the first 2-3 ingredients.

No artificial dyes. This one has been a little harder because there are dyes in things that I never would have guessed.. Like pickles. Really??? Why do pickles need yellow #5 added? It's purely for aesthetic purposes.

Organic dairy products for the most part unless we can verify the company doesn't use growth hormones.

The biggest thing we're still working on is sugar. Ryan and Chris have been pretty resistant to this part, and I'm not going to force it on them. They've made a lot of changes in the last month, and if this takes a bit longer to embrace, okay. But we HAVE gotten rid of all the artificial sweeteners, switched to raw sugar, and started using a LOT less. Anything with HFCS in it got tossed except for Mr. D's chocolate syrup.. apparently he isn't ready to give that up just yet. Progress, though.

Another thing that is taking some getting used to is the no fat-free, low-fat, light, etc thing. I've been dieting on and off for so long that it feels like I'm breaking rules when I use real butter, whole milk, raw sugar.. But they're replacing the fat and sugar with SOMETHING. And most of the time- that something is worse for you than the fat and sugar. Like partially hydrogenated junk in my light margarine. So real butter it is, just a lot less of it.

The last month has been a huge learning process for my whole family. My husband thought I was being unusually neurotic until he tagged along on a grocery shopping trip and read some labels for himself. I don't think I'll ever forget his face when he read that his favorite salsa had HFCS in it! He's also discovered that the cleaner version of some of his favorite foods taste a lot better.

Even after just a few weeks, we've all noticed some changes. We're all sleeping better. We aren't craving some things like we used to (sodas, sweets). Everyone is more, ahem, regular (tmi, but a BIG deal for me). And we're interested to see how the removal of artificial dyes will affect Chris' ADHD, though that will be hard considering his after school care gives out snacks like cheetohs, cookies, and Rice Krispies.. Even when I send him other snacks.

So nap time is over, guess my time is up for today!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Meet Thing 2.

I guess I should start with an update.. Been a while!

Last time I posted, we had just found out we were expecting. After that, life was CHAOS. And still is most of the time! I'll try to sum up the last year without putting anyone to sleep..

1) The pregnancy. Dear God, the pregnancy. I knew that doing this with all the baby weight from Thing 1 still around (you know, the 9-year-old..) plus some was going to make it harder. I underestimated how much harder. We had to deal with high blood pressure, sciatica, etc. At first, we weren't too concerned with the blood pressure because we were blaming it on house hunting/buying (!!!!). We needed more space, and moved the first week of July when I was around 27 weeks.

To make it extra fun, I did it with a few broken toes and a gash from a nail. I fell through some rotted wood on our apartment staircase. Because I love a challenge, apparently..

I had to stop working over a month before my due date and was on and off of bed rest for spotting and the blood pressure. It was a frustrating pregnancy to say the least.

2) My little pisser! Reagan Elizabeth was born 10/4 at 4:52 after about 7.5 hours of labor and 3 pushes. She was 9lbs, 2oz and 20 inches long, and beautiful of course! Chris ADORES her, much more than we expected from a boy his age. He reads to her, plays with her, gets VERY upset if we let her fuss even a moment. She's a very easy going baby in a lot of ways. I can count on one hand the number of times she's CRIED, and most of those have been shot related.

10/4/2012- 9 lbs, 2 oz, 20 inches
3) Life with Thing 1 and Thing 2. We're finally settling into a routine now that Mr. D changed jobs- goodbye, retail hours!! He's home every night for dinner and every weekend now. Before the new job, week nights were chaos. Getting home at 5:30 and trying to make dinner, do homework, feed Reagan, get both kids bathed and in bed on time.. Oy! Even with 2 sets of hands now, we still don't have time to breathe until everyone is in bed, but it's worth it.

We've been making a LOT of changes recently, but more on that later!

Reagan, 5 months