Friday, November 14, 2014

10 day challenge - Finished!!

Our 10 day challenge of no processed food (or limited processed food) ended about a week ago.  I based this off of the book/cookbook 100 Days of Real Food.  I wanted to see what happened in the aftermath before I posted about it.

From post 1, I mentioned a few things I wanted to achieve:
1) have more energy at 7pm

  • No more nappy time for me!  I had a great amount of energy from 5pm - 7pm (my witching hours).  Luckily this helped me keep going when I had all of the food to make for lunches and any prep for the next day.
2) see if my oldest son's allergies lessen 

  • I didn't really notice anything, but we are also into freeze weather here, so his allergies are at a minimum anyway.  I didn't take the season into consideration.
3) see if my middle son's digestive issues get better

  • They improved slightly, but didn't go away.  My guess is that they would have disappeared if we would have kept going.
4) lose a few pounds for the Jillian Michael's DietBet I am in

  • I did!  I was down to the lowest number I have seen in 4 years!  This gave me a $35 payback!! I noticed my pants fit better. do we keep moving forward in a world that doesn't slow down?

I can not continue as we did for 10 days.  I was tired of all of my time being taken up by cooking and baking.  As a mom who works outside of the house and has children in sports, I have to come up with  quicker items.  Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food posted some quick meals and I did find that same macaroni at Meijer to have during busy evenings (hello basketball season!), but I need more than 4.

I wish I would have taken a picture of all of the food we had in the basement that I brought up that we couldn't eat during the 10 days.  I got a sick feeling in my stomach that I was now feeding my children this stuff, so I gave some of it to our church kitchen.

Things I've learned/new things I'm doing:

  1. The food you eat really does make a difference in your skin, your health, your attitude.  I had a small rash on my arm that went away during this 10 days and my skin cleared up as well.
  2. We are going to be a maple syrup family from now on and will leave Mrs. Buttersworth on the store shelves.
  3. Will look for recipes that sweeten with maple syrup or honey instead of sugar (but will not cut out sugar entirely).  We made a great batch of peanut butter cookies (similar recipe) that were very creamy/fluffy last night.  AND delicious!
  4. Will buy organic milk (including butter, cheese and yogurt) and organic fruits/veggies that are the Dirty Dozen. My jury is still out on organic peanut butter.  If it fits my budget, then I will, otherwise I will stick to normal peanut butter with just peanuts as the ingredients.
  5. When available, grass fed beef and pork.  At Meijer, I can not find grass fed ham or bacon, so I opted for Nitrate free.  That's a step in the right direction, right?
  6. Read ingredient labels.  I'd really like to say that I'll only buy things with 5 ingredients or less (like I found an amazing Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa at Meijer! 5 ingredients!) , but I need to be real with myself too.  I couldn't find 5 ingredient bread at Meijer, so I settled on some that were 100% whole wheat.  Triscuits had only a few ingredients so those landed in my cart :)
  7. Buy 100% whole wheat when I can.  This last grocery shopping trip I found some bread, pretzels and noodles.
  8. Stay away from artificial colors and flavors.  This really narrowed down what cereal I could buy my kids.  I was able to pick up Chex (corn and rice) and Cheerios.  My kids groaned when they saw what I bought.  Any advice on good cereals for the kids would be greatly appreciated!  I wish they would have liked the granola we made.
My first shopping trip after these 10 days took awhile longer than usual because I read all of the ingredient labels of everything I was purchasing and considering purchasing.  Once I get a good base of the items I can purchase, shopping will be a lot easier.  I'm also going to be planning my meals on the weekend and preparing things then as well, but I won't let it consume me and I won't feel guilty when I can't cook wholesome meals.

One of the most important things that I've learned from this time is that the food I'm buying counts as my vote.  Am I voting for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Organic 100% whole wheat macaroni and cheese?  I think that's a powerful message.  

My kids and I have all had a little diarrhea since stopping this, but I kind of expected it.  We didn't stop this cold turkey, as I knew there was going to be some backlash, but my kids are now accepting food from friends at school which definitely isn't helping.  I'm not going to make them stop.  I'm going to educate them and teach them balance.  Yes, we can go get Steak and Shake milkshakes every now and again, but we'll balance that with bananas and cucumbers as snacks for that day.

All in all, I'm a convert to better food because I saw the health benefits.  Still figuring out how I can make that work with our busy lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 9 - Are we there yet?

I'm ready to call it quits.  I even talked with my husband about stopping after 8 days.  That's good enough right?  Then I thought "It's just 2 more days.  Easy."  It's not.  And here's why:
This journey brought down my weight some so now I'm a contender in the DietBet I joined.  I had lost hope a week ago because there was no way I could drop 6 lbs that quickly.  Well, I did, and then I gained 2 back, but this morning I'm .2 away.  Today's the last day so they'll give me until tomorrow to weigh in.  I've tracked calories today for a total of 1,609.  I did not have time to exercise, so I hope it's enough.
The other issue is my hormones today.  Usually I'd be making tons of trips to the cupboards so I'm angry that I can't.  When, in actuality, it's probably best.

Seriously though, I'm tired of making all of the food. Yes, my kids have helped, but really, whose making it?  Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for 5 people.  There has been SO many dishes.  I don't want to be responsible anymore.  I want to come home from work and go read in my bed!  But people are hungry!  And I want some more time in my day.  It's usually past 9pm when I'm finished with everything.  I've planned my meals ahead, but they still take time to prepare.

I do feel fantastic though.  I have a ton of energy and my pants fit much nicer.  Tomorrow will be a much easier day because I can eat more than one muffin :)

Yesterday, I made 2 more loafs of Every Day bread that I used to make sandwiches for today's lunch.  I don't know how to get my bread to rise up.  They were small sandwiches :)
I put in a chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight.  I'm planning to make chicken stock with the chicken extras tomorrow morning.  I've never done that before and it's going to be SO much cheaper than buying it at the store!  I like to use chicken stock/broth when making rice.  It gives it a nice flavor.  I use it instead of water.

2 days ago we made waffles before bed to refrigerate for the next couple of mornings.
I think it's one of the kids' favorite foods.

Things I learned:
1.  I cheated.  The Twix was too loud yesterday so I ate it...and some of it's friends.  
2.  People get weak, then they throw away the candy wrappers and continue on
3.  Chicken stock sounds so EASY to make!

Monday, November 3, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 7......again.....feeling the pull of the Twix

The pull is strong with the Twix today.

I have eaten 2 extra blueberry muffins and a peanut butter "breakfast" bar (aka cookie).  I just want the Twix.

10 day challenge - weekend & Day 7

We categorize meals in our house now between likes and not liked.  Meals from this weekend:

Kid approved:
waffles (the kids can not get enough of these!)
scrambled eggs with toast
Eggs in basket
teriyaki salmon and brown rice - C liked, the others didn't
100% whole grain noodles topped with butter and parmesan cheese and parmesan broccoli

Kid not approved:
pizzas - not sure if it's because I didn't read ahead and let the dough rise first, but we kids weren't a fan

More often than not, kids are liking what they are helping to make.  Hud can't believe that B didn't like the pumpkin muffins he baked.  Hud really liked those muffins and was actually happy when the other kids didn't like them.

We did a lot of cooking this weekend, and I nibbled on a lot of the stuff we made (ok, I really didn't nibble, I tried full size helpings outside of my normal meals!). This was evident on the scale Monday morning because I was up a couple of pounds!  We also attended a Halloween party (I planned ahead and brought in apples, oranges and grapes) that I partook in a beer (they say in moderation!) and popcorn.

We made Raspberry Lemon muffins (but made them blueberry lemon) for Monday and some Chicken Noodle soup since I had a feverish child.  We also made a 3 ingredient "breakfast" bar, but it's really a cookie!  Now you see my weight gain!  I'm not picking the salads out of the book :)  I want to enjoy this journey.

The temptation of the Halloween candy wasn't hard this weekend because we were so busy (did a LOT of raking leaves), but it is hard today.  As I mentioned above, I'm home with a feverish child (well, he's doing a ton better now) and the pull to downstairs (that's where we are hiding the candy) is very strong.  I've walked to the door 4 times already thinking "It doesn't matter, it's just 2 small twixs."  and then I start thinking about how I miss crunchy things.  The crunch of an apple isn't doing it for me.  3 more days Allison.  STAY STRONG!

Things I learned:
1.  No matter what, I eat more (and gain weight) on weekends
2.  Allowing myself 0 of something will make me want it more
3. Homemade bread is so delicious

Friday, October 31, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 5 - Children's Halloween Parties - halfway!

We are running low on breakfast ideas.  I had tried overnight chocolate oats with the kids, shredded wheat with granola, and Quaker slow cook oats and nothing really pleases them.  My husband ended up waking up early and scrambling them eggs.  Our waffle maker was planned to be delivered today, so we had more ideas soon. I took the last overnight oats.
I understand now, why you should eat these within a day or two.  These were so soggy and mushy!!  Blah!  I must have made this 4 days ago.

After my leftover macaroni casserole, I headed to the kids' Halloween parties.  I dropped off my youngest two's goodie bags and reminded them to only eat fruits and vegetables from the party table. My oldest son's party was a success.  He dug into his goodie bag and got himself some fruit and popcorn from the snack table.  He asked if he could have some apple cider.  I looked at the ingredients and saw sodium benzoate.  Not something I have in my kitchen, so I told him no.  I don't know what it is, but I know it isn't real food.  He had a bag that he filled with the Halloween treats, candies and chocolates that his classmates had given him.  Side note:  Why do kids hand out candy to kids during a classroom party?  We all know the kids are going trick or treating later and they'll get plenty of it then!  When we were leaving, he asked if he could take some of the 'fresher' snacks (aka donuts, cookies) home to put in the freezer.  I purposefully froze them all together so they'll taste nasty in 5 days (yes!  We are halfway!).  We stopped by Hud's room first to get him, and he didn't know he had more food in his goodie bag (long story), so he got 2 of the chocolates that we had brought in and watched the other kids eat there plates full of donuts, candy corn, and cookies!  What an amazing kid!!  He did have some apple cider, but I couldn't fault him for that.  He did eat from his goodie bag on the ride home.
B is who I was worried about.  He's a loose cannon and I can see him just devouring everything in site.  He surprised me.  He had his goodies and that was it.  I have some AMAZING kids!

When we got home, the postal worker had delivered our waffle maker, so we decided on waffles and apples for dinner.

I could tell the willpower had taken a toll on Hud.  He had a break down before we left for trick or treating and I almost decided not to go.  I knew it wasn't fair for B (C was at a friend's house), but we can't eat the candy anyway!  I decided I would have regretted the decision later, so we went.  After a few minutes of walking and treating, Hud started saying something, and then stopped and laughed.  He said "Mom, I almost asked if we could have a piece of this, but I know we can't."  On the other hand, B asked about every 10 houses "Can we have a piece now?"

When we got home, my self control was wavering.  I *needed* to get that chocolate out of my site.  I had the kids sort theres, pick 12 pieces and the rest we divide up for Operation Christmas Child and the soldiers.  Again, no issues with that (did I mention my kids are amazing?).  I put the candy in the basement and we made some hot chocolate (yes, you can have that with YOUR real food challenge!  See here for the chocolate sauce recipe.  Warm up some milk and mix together.  Not as chocolatey as I would have liked, but it was a good first try).

At the beginning of this journey (a long 5 days ago), I wanted to achieve:
1) have more energy at 7pm
2) see if my oldest son's allergies lesson
3) see if my middle son's digestive issues get better
4) lose a few pounds for the Jillian Michael's DietBet I am in

So let's see how far we've come so far.
1) Yes!  I have more energy in the evenings.  Except today, but that's from getting 4 hours of sleep.
2)  Hard to tell.  He has had some terrible bloody noses the last few days.
3)  After seeing a pair of underwear from today, this seems to still be a problem.
4)  Holy cow peeps!  I've lost 6 lbs so far!  This morning I woke up my husband and told him to go weigh himself because I couldn't believe my eyes.  I haven't seen these numbers in 5 years!  My husband guessed he was down a couple.

Things I learned:
1.  Do NOT eat overnight oats that have been made more than 2 days ago. Ever.
2.  Kids have self control
3.  Moms have very little self control around their favorite candy bar
4.  My kids are amazing

10 day challenge - Day 4 - dinner FAIL!

Things were going so smooth.....

We needed a semi-fast meal for today's dinner due to soccer practice at 6.  Our macaroni and cheese recipe (this is a similar recipe) took less than 20 minutes and I was excited to try it.  I went to Meijer ahead of time to find 2.5 cups of organic cheddar cheese.  HOLY EXPENSIVE!  I found a bag of 1.5 for $4.99, so I grabbed two, but will be looking for cheaper options elsewhere.

I read the ingredients in the recipe and saw "1 1/2 cups uncooked whole-grain pasta, such as elbow macaroni or penne" and I stopped reading figuring it was telling me about other types of pasta to use.  After the casserole was cooked (and slightly cooled), I scooped out a small part for each of the kids plate and a larger portion for mine.  I dug right in!  It was crunchy....

I grabbed the book and finished reading that portion "...cooked according to the package directions".  Why in the world would it say uncooked whole-grain pasta and then, in the same line, say to cook it! Very frustrating, but completely my fault.  I cooked it for 10 minutes longer, and it was a titch better, but the kids wouldn't touch it.  I had lost their interest and trust.  We had 5 minutes until C had to leave for practice, so we ended up with apples with peanut butter and applesauce.

With Halloween the next day, the next step was making treats.  I have been asked by multiple people why I did this around Halloween time.  Well, if it wasn't Halloween, then it would have been something else.  It would have been birthday parties, or classroom parties, or work conferences.  The only time that is the right time is now.

I found 2 recipes from the 100 Days of Real Food book that I was going to make.  One was a popcorn and almond/cashew mix (think Cracker Jack) and a 4 ingredient peanut butter cup recipe (similar recipe here).  I would be setting my kids up for failure if I sent my kids into the the Halloween war zone with no ammunition.  Hud and B were VERY excited to help with the peanut butter cups.  As you can see from the picture, we used an unsweetened cacao bar.  Just like when you and I were kids, the thought of a chocolate bar was tempting, so you had to try it!!  He said "Mmmm!" <pause> "MOM!  I NEED TO SPIT THIS OUT!!".  Luckily I was ready for it.

These were so simple to make.  Hud was humming with pleasure when he was licking the spoon!  By that time, it was ready for bed (the kids, not me.  I had more ammunition to make).  I made 2 batches of the "Cracker Jack" popcorn (one with almonds, one with cashews), followed by the 5 lunches we needed for tomorrow.  I was stuck with the left over mac n cheese.

At this point, I was ready to be done, but I still had prep work to do for C's party.  Making and grocery shopping for real food is tough.  It's not easy.  It's not going to get you into bed at 10pm the day before a children's holiday party.  BUT, it will make you feel better and will detox your body of sodium and toxins (aka bloat).

Each of the kids got a bag with 2 chocolates (the rest were brought in for Hud's classroom party), a bag of "Cracker Jacks" (the rest was brought in for B's classroom party), cut up apple, and a Vitamin Water.  I was officially helping in C's classroom, so I brought in a store bought bag of popcorn (only contained 3 ingredients!), Ghost Poop (aka mini-marshmallows - this I thought was a cute idea.  Even though C couldn't have any, it was fun to bring in), and an orange/apple/grape pumpkin.  It wasn't exactly like the picture, but if my Facebook friends can see a face, then I was good!

I laid in bed wide awake until past 2am.  My mind was racing to make sure I had everything planned and figured out.  Cross your fingers that the parties go well!

Things I've learned:
1.  Read the entire recipe first.  Including all parts of a line.
2.  Always have a backup plan for food
3.  Chocolate is fantastic

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 day challenge - guest post

Today's guest post is brought to you by my 10 year old son.  While I may wish to have changed some of his answers, they are truthful and I look forward to seeing if they change at the end of the 'journey'.

Due to file sizing, I had to crop down the file.  His first response is answering the question "What's bad about it?" meaning, what's bad about these last 2 days.

10 day challenge - bonus post!

This summer I started (but did not finish...don't judge!) a 21 day cleanse.  I was eating a lot of salads and buying crazy things that I had never even HEARD of (what in the world is tahini anyways?).  I also had to look up pictures of some vegetables (fennel bulb) to know what to look for at the store.

Well, this is different.  The start of the journey thoughts were the same though:  Eat better, feel better.  I lost 12+ lbs in doing that cleanse in the first week (I was coming off 2 weeks of almost entirely eating out morning, noon and night - 5 lbs of this weight has been kept off).  This time around it's much more sustainable.  It's macaroni and cheese with 100% whole grain pasta and organic cheese.  It's biscuits with 100% whole grain flour and organic butter.  It's organic whole fat yogurt with blueberries and a touch of honey.  It's chocolate!! Yes, I eat a square every day :)

Lisa from recommend 85% dark chocolate.  Baby steps.

This is doable!  AND my body is naturally cleansing itself.  This means, I'm shedding weight.  I know, I know, it's water weight, but the scale is going down every day (last night I ate two pumpkin muffins before bed and it still went down!  side note: I made these muffins with King Arthur's white whole wheat flour because I didn't have spelt laying around...imagine that, no spelt in the house).  I weighed myself this morning and I am down 3 lbs already.

In my first post, one of the things I wanted to achieve was having more energy.  The first day, I could have crashed at 5:30pm.  I was sitting on the couch while the kids were playing outside and my eyes were getting heavy..... Well, yesterday (I didn't have much time to sit down BUT..) I wasn't tired!  I will continue to monitor my nighttime energy through the next week.

Enough about me, what about the kids?
I never realized how much food my kids get from their friends.  Every day they are offered food.  Yesterday was the first day that they turned it down!!  Very proud of my sons!  They asked if they could take the food and save it for the end of the 10 days.  I think that would be a funny conversation among 2nd graders.

Today, my oldest son was offered graham crackers from the school nurse and he turned them down.  He then said "I should have asked her if they were 100% whole wheat."  (I chuckled then reminded him it's 100% whole grain).
Why was my son at the nurses?  Stomachache (my guess is from constipation).  I didn't think about increasing their water consumption with all of these high fiber foods and ingredients.  When we got home, I immediately had him drink a glass of water and then another an hour later.  He's feeling better now.

Cheers to the journey!  Today is Taco Tuesday (but on a Wednesday)!

Things I've learned:
1.  My body retains water when I eat processed crap
2.  I like seeing my scale go down every day
3.  Kids need to drink more water when increasing their fiber consumption

10 day challenge - Day 2 Complete!

Things I've learned:
1.  Kids will eat what they cook without whining!!
2.  Biscuit scraps look like turtles

Day 0 we spent doing some preliminary work.  C helped put the ingredients of the steak stew together.  I put that in the slow cooker yesterday (Day 2).  After school, C helped me make biscuits to go with the stew.  He picked a bell shape.  This was his meal.  Everything that we ate was made by him.  He definitely was proud.

The stew contained kidney beans, onions, chuck steak, and tomatoes.  I gave each of the boys a very small spoonful for dinner (so I wouldn't be throwing out a whole bowlful) and prepared myself for the usual comments:  "EWWWW!!! Is this tomatoes!??!?!"  (like it's a poison I'm feeding them), "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, what are these red things???  NO way I'm eating this!!"  But what I heard was "Hud, just eat it, you'll like it.", "Mom, this isn't bad.", "I like it!".  Umm..what happened to my children?  They take such ownership when things are made by them!   (or by their brothers)  My kids are totally cooking with me in the future!

I've also learned that my kids are saying they like things, when I can tell they really don't.  They each took one bit of the tomato, one bite of the beans, and one bite of the meat and they said they were done, but they "liked it" (even marked YES on their food charts).  I know they did thoroughly enjoy the whole grain biscuits though!

Funny story about the biscuits.  While C and I made the biscuits, we had some scrap pieces left over that I just formed into a circle.  After these were cooked, Hud came over to look at them and asked where we got the turtle cookie cutter from.  Umm..what?  I went over to look at what he was pointing at and had to try SO hard not to laugh!  I told him I handmade the turtles.  My kids crack me up.

Turtle biscuit circled above.

I don't tell everyone, but my closest friends at how much my kids frustrate me.  I am constantly yelling and asking them 100 times to do the same thing.  I can't tell the world this, because then everybody will know I'm a bad mom (well, take that world!  I just told you!).  This is only Day 2, and my stress level is down.  I can't explain why.  I still tell my kids 100 times to do something, but, it's like, we have this food cooking bond now.  The next time I have to give advice to an expectant mom, I'm going to tell them to cook with their children.  It's amazing (and messy.... :).

Our updated Like List:

Monday, October 27, 2014

10 day challenge - Day 1! Done!

Today's lunches for the boys:

They weren't entirely thrilled with the mini pizzas, but they followed the one bite rule.  Mike and I will be eating mini pizzas for lunch tomorrow.

 We've decided to keep track of the new foods we are trying.  The kids get a kick out of filling this out after dinner (or when they get home from school)!  It definitely keeps them more engaged.

Today's difficulties: Hud and C both had a friend at lunch offer them some of their food.  They both accepted the gift (oatmeal cream pie for C and fruit snacks for Hud).  We talked about it and they say tomorrow they won't accept any additional food.  I know it's tough to turn down food, I almost didn't make it through today!  We had a department meeting today and pop and delicious looking cookies were brought in.  I stayed away during the meeting but then my boss brought them back in the office!  In a moment of weakness while I was leaving I stopped by the cookie pile.  LUCKY FOR ME, there were only walnut ones and cranberry ones left.  Whew!  

Things I've learned:
1.  Talk ahead of time of what to do with different food situations
2.  Create charts!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

10 day challenge - prep

Today I talked with my kids and husband about our 10 day journey.  They were not thrilled.  They ate  a bag of Oreos as an act of defiance!!  I might have partook in that....
After explaining that artificial ingredients can make us sick, Hud asked why we shouldn't do this for a year.  Great idea Hud!  Except, I don't have the time to do all of this planning each and every day.  Isn't that sad?  Processed food is too quick and easy.  How can we make wholesome, nutritious food readily available?

Each kid helped me make one of the things we were going to use during these 10 days.

Bryson helped me make some granola.  It smelled so good baking!  I never knew how much B liked almonds.  We had to add some more in at the end because he had eaten so many!

Next up was Hud and the homemade fudge pops.  He liked all of the ingredients and we talked about how this was healthier than the ingredients in regular fudgesicle.  We are excited to try these later this week.

As C and I made the steak chili I realized how little I cook and bake with my kids.  He had no idea that raw meat was bad and could get everyone sick if he didn't wash his hands after touching it.

After making the fudge pops, I asked Hud a few questions about what he is expecting.

Things I've learned (and the 10 days haven't even started!):
1.  B likes almonds
2.  Cook more with kids

Friday, October 24, 2014

10 day challenge - from 100 days of real food

It's been a few months since I tried something, and I'm always trying some sort of challenge (my success rate to finish is pretty low though!).  I came across 100 days of real food blog recently.  And while 100 days sounds crazy, I found a 10 day pledge on their site.
10 days.  I CAN DO 10 DAYS!!
None of the things that I have tried have been for just 10 days.  The hardest part is Halloween, but I have an idea for that!!  Buy Unreal candy (used to be available at Target but I didn't see it the last time I was there), let the kids eat that, and then, after the challenge, give them their candy back.

I think the hardest part for me is the upfront planning: kids lunches, after school snacks, figure out an alternative to Lucky Charms.
OR maybe the hardest part will be getting my kids on board.  Not sure I can stand 10 days of whining.
OR maybe my husband who doesn't want to give up Oreos for 10 days.

What I want to achieve:
1) have more energy at 7pm
2) see if my oldest son's allergies lesson
3) see if my middle son's digestive issues get better
4) lose a few pounds for the Jillian Michael's DietBet I am in

How I can achieve this:
1) Come up with a plan for meals and snacks
2) Shop ahead of time, not day of
3) Stick to the plan!

The plan is to head to come up with some recipes and shop at Whole Foods and Traders Joe tomorrow (already in the neighborhood for a soccer game) and spend Sunday creating my menu.  Totally doable, right??

Starting 10/27/2014!  Will keep you updated on our progress!  Maybe I can even have my kids do a guest blog post :)


How to define Real Food.  From

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Detox/Cleanse conclusion

Week 3 was like 25% clean eating, during that week and the days that followed, I put back on the 12 pounds that I had lost.  The boxed foods, the artificial and preservative filled foods cause your body to retain water like CRAZY!  And my skin now?  Yuck.  I have the crappy under skin zits.  3 HUGE ones!!
My mouth is dry all the time like I mentioned earlier and I feel tired all of the time.

This cleanse/detox was too time consuming for me.  If my kids were older, maybe?  I found some recipes that I'll continue to make, but still uncertain how I can incorporate it all into a daily life that I don't spend hours in the kitchen.

I will continue to drink my smoothies in the morning (join now to be part of a 30 day smoothie challenge!) and bring healthy lunches.  I can't give up chocolate, but I can maybe try to limit them!  That's like crazy talk.

I'm glad that I did it, even though I can't say any where near 100% like I should have.  I learned a lot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Soooo....let's just forget my past post.  There is too much temptation in my life, and not enough willpower, so instead of kicking myself, I'm doing the next best thing.  I'm doing both!  I'm eating the meals that are part of the cleanse, but I'm also having ice cream with the kids and friends after dinner and eating that mini twix that I find in the candy bowl.  That's real life.  That's something I can sustain.

What I've decided to not do, is to continue the rest of the cleanse (4 more days!) with no caffeine and no alcohol.  Those I've been clean from for the whole cleanse, and those I can stay away from (maybe it's true that 21 days can make a habit, and since they weren't much of a habit before, they can continue to not be a habit in the future).

Walnut tacos last night were not terrible!!  My Comfort soup (aka cauliflower) was delicious!!  Veggie stir fry I can do without.

Today's lunch is a team lunch.  Instead of eating 3 pieces of pizza, I'll have one with a salad and have my apple and peanut butter for a snack this afternoon.  Best of both worlds!  And I don't feel guilty.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Today ends the detox week, with it's crummy recipes, and ...crummy recipes.

Tomorrow starts the 3rd and final week.  I have not been good at all this week, but I did continue to try one recipe a day (other days were filled with A LOT of stuff that would be the opposite of detoxing).

My goal for this week, is to be 100% true to it.  I had a great first week, I know i can do it again, especially since each day is one more day closer to being done!  Going forward I have a good 10 recipes to add into daily life and go towards my 80% clean, 20% anything else.  Maybe this week, I'll get a couple of more good recipes to add.

Cheer me on!  7 days!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

W2D11...not a new day

Today wasn't a new day.  Right now I'm chasing after the wagon that I fell off.

Let's go over my week.  The week I was supposed to be detoxing.

Monday:  mini-twix in morning.  lead to full size Twix in afternoon.  starving at ballgame.  Husband brought Pizza Hut.  ate pizza.  Husband promised kids ice cream.  ate ice cream.

Tuesday:  It's a new day!  3 miniature candy bars in morning.  very gross detox friendly red cabbage sweet potato.  left over pizza for dinner.  ate 4 or 5 of the small packs of Nabisco treats (Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Nutter Butters, Angry Bird grahams).  made beet soup with fennel bulb for tomorrow's meal.

Wednesday:  It's another new day!  tried beet soup.  one bite.  drove home and ate cereal.  ate 4 small packs of Nabisco treats and a Hershey's bar.

What have I learned?  I'm SO much more tired after my fall out on Monday.  I yawn a lot now.  My stomach is bloated (pants tight).  My mouth is dry and cotton like (I remember this a lot from before).

So what happened?  The foods on this detox week are not all that enticing.  Last week I had about 50% of them that were good.  Most I could stomach through at least half way.  This week, not so much.  That's part of the reason.  I think the other part is that I only have so much will power.  Each time I say no to something, a bit of that power goes away, until I have none less.  I don't know how to build that back up.

So what am I going to do?  I was down 1.2 pounds this week.  A co-worker asked if I was still detoxing.  I told her about Monday, and a little bit about Tuesday.  She said "But think of how much better you are eating the rest of the time?  Probably a lot better."  and she's right. But I don't know why I have to eat 5 small treats instead of just one.  It's not like those bags are going anywhere.

Taking a few minutes to think about it....I have so much food left over from this shopping trip, that I really don't want to waste.  I'm going to continue to try the rest of the recipes, but I'm going to allow myself ice cream on my son's birthday.  In the long run, I'd love to do 80% healthy, 20% things that taste good :).  For the rest of this cleanse, I'm going to try to allow myself ONE cheat a day, and I will allow that to be dinner once or twice.  It's only 10 more days!  I did that almost at the beginning!!

I CAN DO THIS!  As long as I don't eat any more beet soup.

Monday, June 9, 2014



But tomorrow's a new day.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Holy cow!!  I've made it a week!!

A lot of the recipes at the end of the week were better than the middle of the week.  Probably why I stopped losing the weight yesterday morning!  Pretty happy with the weight loss so far, even though I know it's 90% water.  I'm not eating the foods that take a long time to digest or cause bloat.  Feeling pretty good.
So far I'm down 12 pounds.  I'm hoping some of that is fat!  This is mainly because of the eating out for the 2 weeks before this.  My clothes really don't fit that much better (which is another reason I figured out it's water weight), but this was the perfect time to start.

I went for a 3 mile jog today and felt fine.  This next week is the detox week (cilantro (yuck) at every meal).  They say exercise wise to just go for a couple of walks, but, you know me, I'll be jogging.

I find it pretty amazing that I ate a whole pound of spinach this week!!  Usually my container sits in the fridge and goes rotten before I can eat it.  I'm making notes of the recipes I like so I can continue to use them post cleanse.

I managed to eat out while on the cleanse (ordering a salad with almonds and cranberries), I ignored temptation (headed to the lake last night where you can order curly fries and corn dogs AND friends had wine), and didn't eat popcorn while at the movies! 

The first salad on the cleanse was delicious!!

I wasn't a fan of the fruit infused waters.  The only one I liked was one with watermelon.


 Spinach is all gone!!  Never happened  before!

You'll have to go back to Day 1 to see what this counter looked like before I began.
I ate a lot of stuff!

When you join the Simple Green Smoothie cleanse, you are invited to their super secret Facebook page with other cleansers.  This has been amazing!  Some people are going through the cleanse a second time, others are finishing up, others are starting off like me.  This is such an invaluable resource!  I've asked questions about getting my headaches to go away, what my food should look like when it's done (mine doesn't turn out as nice :), and shared about my experience so far.  It's so supporting.

Around Day 4, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to finish this up.  Now, 3 days later, I've finished my week and I'm 1/3rd of the way done.  That's huge!!  And I'm excited for the new recipes next week (I may not add quite as much cilantro :).


...I ate eggs.  I wasn't supposed to, but it sounded a lot better than salad again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

W1D4 I can't say that I followed the plan 100%.

My son volunteered to bring brownies to his class picnic tomorrow.  Brownies are my kryptonite.  We picked out the boxes and I put them on my husband's table to remind him to make them tonight.  I figured if I wasn't the one making them, I couldn't be tempted. after school my son wanted to make them.  And I licked the bowl...and ate two after they were baked.  It was DELICIOUS!  There seemed to be a bit of an aftertaste that I never noticed before though.  And then when I was putting the kids to bed, I had to run to the bathroom!  I'm going to have to remember this when I start introducing 'bad' foods.

I'm not loving the food.  Before I wasn't much of a nut eater or a veggie eater, and that's pretty much all I can eat.  Today's lunch was chili, but I picked out the zucchini and carrots.  Lunch was strawberries with lemon and mint.  Not a mint fan.  Dinner was vegan hash cakes.  I ate half. Not a cilantro fan.  Not a chickpea fan.

So what keeps me going?  The scale is going down!  And I'm not even exercising!  I have no time to exercise.  I know people say you do if you schedule it in, but every minute of every day for the last month has been booked.  Things will get better when baseball is done, and soccer.  THEN I'll have time!  Or at least make time.

In 3 days I get to see what the new foods are for next week.  It's the detox week.  That doesn't sound fun, but I'm already ready for new food!!

On a positive side, I passed on free lunch again today (wraps and chips).

P.S. Only 17 days to go!!

Monday, June 2, 2014


For the next 20 days, I'm known as a set of characters!  WxDx.  Today I am W1D2.  Week 1, Day 2.

I was excited the first day yesterday.  Had a fantastic salad for lunch, had a great snack, and managed to eat the so-so salad for dinner (it was called a fiesta salad, I called it the siesta salad - because I'm hilarious!).
Today I put my smoothie in the freezer to finish getting ready and got all the way to work before I realized I hadn't eaten it.  As it was only day 2, I HAD to go back!  If I started skimping this early, I knew it would all go downhill.  But, so far, I'm 100% committed!  I cancelled lunch plans because I spent an hour yesterday prepping for my lunch today (and I'm not really sure what I can eat and can not eat at a restaurant).

The first week is about ridding your body of alcohol, caffeine and sugar.  Guess what that leaves you with?  A HEADACHE!  Oh man is my head pounding.  It's crazy to think that I've eaten all fresh 'stuff' for 48 hours and I have a headache.  Seems like your body should be humming, but I guess it's getting rid of all of the toxins and that's what causes the headaches.  Supposedly is supposed to only happen on day 2 and/or day 3.

I've tried more things in the last 2 days than I have in probably my whole life.  I never knew I liked nectarines.  I do not like tahini, and I still don't like red peppers.  My stomach is still a little queazy from the salad I tried to eat for dinner.  It had tahini, chickpeas, some other stuff that I already forgot in it.  I'm not sure if it was the texture, the taste, or both, but I couldn't finish it.  Just thinking about it makes my stomach queazy.  I'm supposed to have the salad again for lunch tomorrow, but I'm going to go back to the Summer Strawberry one from day one.
What really sucked is that the family had Little Caesars pizza.  I really wanted to take a little bite, but instead I promised myself I could eat some in 20 days.  Man that seems like a long ways away...

I'm going to bed right now, so then I'll only have 19 days to go!

Whoot whoot!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

21 Days Cleanse

Detox is a big buzz word right now.  Everybody is detoxing.  It can range from a day to a whole month.  My friends have detoxed, celebrities have detoxed, but it never seemed to fit my schedule, or I never thought I would get much out of it...and it seemed like a lot of work.

Last year around a big detox campaign (i.e. reading about detoxing EVERYWHERE), I ended up adding in morning smoothies.  This helped me with some extra energy in the day and I ended up not needing/wanting a nap in the afternoon.  I ran out of Smoothie Recipes, and I stumbled across Simple Green Smoothies.  These women have FANTASTIC recipes!

Well, the stars aligned and all things pointed to GO recently.  I won some money through DietBet (I lost 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks.  The winners then split the pot (I was in two: one that cost $25 and another that cost $100)).  Right about this time, Simple Green Smoothies started sending out e-mails about their 21 Day Cleanse.  I deleted the first couple of them because of the cost ($75).  Wouldn't you know it, that they sent me an e-mail with a 20% off link and that came out to roughly my winnings?  I investigated further.

The Cleanse is not a fad, is not short term, is not a quick fix.  I can eat, I can have treats, and I continue my smoothies (and you get invited to a VIP group where everybody is 'cleansing' together).  I jumped on board.  They had a group starting mid-May.  This didn't work for me because I was at my peak in training for a 25k and I had some school and work trips planned for the end of May.   But, if you know me, you know I don't like to waste things (especially money), so I knew I was going to start this at some point.  I just returned from a 4th grade field trip (7 of the 9 meals were buffet!) and weighed myself.  I have gained 8 lbs since the win on DietBet, and I feel like crap.  The 21 days is going to pass over my son's birthday, and that's going to suck.  I also have to make brownies for his school's end of the year party (those are my favorite) and I'm not sure I can resist licking the spoon.  I don't think there will ever be 21 days without some sort of challenge, so I'm ready.

I bought my items from Amazon and Meijer.  My grocery bill was $300!!!  I bought things that I have  never bought before beets (yuck), cauliflower (double yuck), tahini, tamari, zucchini, quinoa (I don't even know how to pronounce that!).  All of my new stuff combined with all of the stuff for the rest of the family barely fit in my fridge.  I'm pretty certain I don't have to worry about my family eating my cauliflower.

I've got herbs in my fridge!!

All of my nonperishable goods for the Cleanse.

My crisper is over filled.

What do I want to get out of this?  I know everybody talks about feeling good after doing these, and that's what I want to feel.  I want to feel invincible.  I want my skin to clear up.  I want my fat to melt away.  I'll take 2 out of the 3.

I'm ready to rock this.  Day one starts tomorrow!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What will you remember?

People are not going to remember me by my developers having worked super hard.  They are not going to remember me for being at work for 60 hours a week (mostly because I don't :).  They are not going to remember how much money I had in my bank account nor what car I drove.

So what will people remember?  I could only guess, and I would guess things like me smiling all the time, my dedication to my family, and my great style in clothes (ha ha!).  I guess only you know!

But there is a subset of friends that I hope remember me for my motivation.  There aren't many things that I think I'm good at.  I'm a pretty average Jane.  But running would be one of my top 3 things that I think I'm pretty good at.  I'm not a 3 hour marathoner, nor a sub 22 5ker, but I can usually squeak out a top 3 in my age group at our local races (and once at a Grand Rapids race!).
In 2002, I ran a half marathon in 1:49:16.
In 2012, I ran a 5k in 23:35.
I feel SO awesome whenever I finish a run.  Sometimes I strut around Meijer while picking up a few things on my way home just because I feel so great.
This subset of friends are my running friends.  I felt like I took them under my wing when they decided they wanted to start running.  I threw all of my running knowledge at them, diagnosed their aches and pains, and pushed them to be the best they could be.
I've grabbed their arms in races to force them not to give up (yup, she did dry heave at the end); I've cheered them on with crazy silliness during a marathon (maybe that's why they slowed down some, to get away from me.  Hmm...); and encourage them to increase their distances.
But the coolest part is that they are motivating too, and always have been, but I never saw it. During longer runs, we take turns motivating each other.  It's like an invisible baton is being passed around.  I'm a good cheerer at the beginning, others are better in the middle, and sometimes the motivation at the end comes from others speeding up when the end is in site!  They won't let me finish a run, until we've rounded up to the nearest mile (no way stopping at 15.83 will work with these girls!).
This past run, I was talking myself out of a 12 mile training run I had to do.  The plan was to run to my friend's house, and she would finish 7 miles with me.   I had coughed a lot at night, so I woke up tired.  I had a stuffy nose.  My shoulders were sore from trampoline jumping the day before.  I was starting to get a headache.  The thunderstorms were making there way in.  I was coming up with every excuse possible.  We texted back and forth and I'm pretty sure I said I'd cancel.  And then she asked when I would get it in.  I wasn't thinking that far ahead, I just wanted to cancel.  I wanted to plop the kids in front of the tv and take a nap.  After church I checked the weather again, and the thunderstorms had moved until later and the sinus medicine I took had cleared up my nose.  What excuses did I have (other than a nap still sounded good)?  We texted and confirmed a time.  It was a fabulous run.  72 degrees in April and a nice 10 minute pace.  At what point did the trainer become the trainee?  I'm not sure, but I'm so glad that it did.

Love you girls!