Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Review and Looking Forward

Looking back:

This year we went off and on dieting numerous times, trying both calorie counting and carb restriction/paleo/primal. Both actually worked pretty well until we decided to throw everything out the window and eat lots of sugar and junk food.

We also had a love/avoid relationship with entertainment. Video games and watching tv shows were either our obsession or we cancelled and avoided them completely. Right now we're in the "avoiding them" stage, and it needs to stay that way until further notice.

We made a spur of the moment trip to Disney for almost a week, and this is one financial decision I will never regret. We had a wonderful time, made lots of memories, and enjoyed the time together.

We're also still learning to budget out money and avoid too many spur of the moment decisions. We made a few, and haven't saved as much as we could have. Also, we're now paying of a vehicle.

I got a job this year starting in February. This job has been one of the most challenging and growing experiences of my life. Alex also got a second job working as a youth pastor at a local church. We are both enjoying the experience and trusting God to guide us.

Looking forward:

Overarching goal is to grow closer in our relationship with God and with each other. This influences everything else that we do. Or at least it should.

We want to eat as healthy as possibly as consistently as possible, and as cheaply as possibly. Therefore I am not going to completely cut out any food group, even as unhealthy as it may be. I'm going to meal plan at least one week in advance, post the meal plan, and stick to it. We're getting cash out ahead of time for all our groceries and spending.We're starting a partial cash only plan to help us stick to the plan. We're going to commit our time to reading books, studying God's word together, and finding other productive ways to spend time. I'm going to work until we believe God is telling us otherwise. We're not sure what that looks like yet.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let the memories begin...

that's what signs say when you first enter Disney....what a fun time! We were gone Tuesday, and got back around noon today. Now we're relaxin' the rest of the weekend so that we will be ready for work again on Monday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Food and Feeling

Since I'm sick, I've given myself permission to chill on the couch until time to brush my teeth and go to sleep. A cup of hot tea may be calling my right back!

After putting my water in microwave, blowing my nose, washing my hands, kissing my husband, and then stirring my tea, I am now on skype to talk to my mom. I was a great conversation, and I was sad that it had to end abruptly. I'm just not feeling so great. blog:

Up until my "low carb/paleo" phase, I was pretty much following the "what would 'so-and-so' eat" plan for eating. See, I made the mistake of thinking "Well she's really skinny, so I should eat the way she eats and then I'll be skinny." This is how a lot of diet plans are sold to the general public: pictures of skinny and or built people, and the before and after pictures.

Anyways, I have a couple of friends....really a lot of the girls with whom I became close friend, who all were very slim. I decided to watch religiously what they ate...or did not eat. They ate things like ice cream, cheese, pizza, cookies, breads, cake, and so on. Also, in general, they did not excercise, or at least not like I did. I was a runner for years and years....some of my earliest memories are running to a doughnut shop a couple of miles away from my house...and then sometimes running back.

Back to what would my skinny friends eat. The thing was, most of them didn't eat a lot. Or they were the "eat when I'm hungry" kind of people. Or (as I found out later) they are the "I was sick and lost weight because anything I ate made me feel more sick" kind of people

Which, btw, left me thinking that I could only take two or three bites of something before being done with a meal.

You can see why these plans didn't work quite as well for me. Not that I had a ridiculous weight issue, I just had the wrong mindset.

So then entered Alex, our upcoming wedding, and the idea of low-carb. I only wish I had read the book before deciding to limit myself to 75 carbs a day in order to fit back into my wedding dress.

I did fit into my wedding dress, but I quit the low carb plan some weeks before the weedding. I exercised like crazy the week before we got married.

Enter into the on and off again Primal way of eating. I will tell you that it works: I was the smallest I've been since I was 15 (?), but as soon as we decided that we wanted to eat ice  cream and cookies again, anything we lost was gained right back. I slowly moved towards more moderation-mostly because I wanted to wear my clothes.

So we're back on the "eating healthy on a budget" diet. Hot dogs are included, but this week I did buy some healthy chicken thighs...and then fried them with whole wheat flour and veggie oil. Fun stuff. Sure was yummy.

I'm realizing, again, that I can't keep comparing what I eat to what others eat-whether that's my friends, my husband, my coworkers, or the person online or on TV. Just because  cop on TV is super skinny doesn't mean she's really a cop, nor  does it mean she really eats all that food on the show.

So here's to a healthier life. One filled with fruits veggies, and happiness.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

how to be a sugar junkie

How to of the day:

Bake brownies
Add chocolate chips and peanut butter before baking.
Eat them every night after dinner-at least two...maybe more if they start calling your name specifically.
Have only two people in the house.
Offer to share them.
But then eat them when the others aren't able to eat them too.
Eat them when feeling sad, frustrated, happy, busy, stressed, annoyed, excited, confused, sleepy, energetic, etc.
Especially when you feel disappointed by failed sourdough bread.
Avoid any small signs of being sick, such as sniffing, coughing, or a general queasy feeling.
Also forget how much better you felt when you didn't eat any grains and very little sugar....or at least forget about only having one piece at a time.
Oh, and it might help to decide to eat better tomorrow....or plan a new health idea for another day...but definitely justify the sugar binge by saying that you might as well enjoy it while it's there. Justification at it's....daily grind.

Today I accomplished this "how to" to perfection.

Oh, and tomorrow, I'm totally making up for it by eating a whole wheat pancake....C'mon....WHOLE WHEAT!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A wedding

Today we enjoyed going to Mason and Paige's wedding. Very cute!
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Because it seems to be all I think about.
More food thoughts. We eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. Breakfast is coffee with a tsp of sugar. Eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit. Water.

Lunch is some leftover meat and either caned peas or green beans. Sometimes an apple or another piece of fruit.

Dinner this week has been whatever we feel like. Today we had pork chops, raw broccoli w/ranch, cooked red and green peppers, leftover Mexican from our special date night, half a banana and peanut butter, and some chocolate chip cookies.

And at this moment, I don't feel sick. When we ate whatever and didn't focus on being healthy, I did start feeling sick from eating junk all the time. However, when we always ate healthy, sometimes I felt like I didn't get enough food, and I would wake up the next morning very hungry. Not a huge deal, but it's nice to feel satisfied. And right now, I feel like what we're doing works. We eat pretty healthy for breakfast and lunch, and then enjoy a dinner of some sorts of indulgences. It helps us to wait and eat junk at one particular time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eat Fresh at Wendy's

So tonight I told Alex I was craving a burger...and he suggested we bake something we got baconators from Wendy's and we're making chocolate chip cookies when we get back from church tonight.

I ate healthy all day today.....until dinner....promise...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Starting again is busy. REALLY BUSY! But sometimes it's fun to post about what's going on in my life. I enjoy posting pictures, ideas, and thoughts of the life of a young, Christian, married woman.

Alex is going to seminary. I'm so excited for him, and I told him I'm going to make use of his books. He's starting online classes in the middle of this month.

I really like living in a third story apartment. If I make no effort to exercise all day, I do have to put some effort into getting to my front door. Also, I have a dishwasher. We just organized our second bedroom, and it looks great!

Eating patterns....haha....well, we started about GREAT avoiding grains and sugar and legumes (except peanut butter....just don't want to give that up). But these past couple of days we've indulged in other things like pizza and ice cream/froyo. So whatev. Diets are good so that I'm not a grumpy wife/case manager/friend/person, but it's not worth stressing that much about.

We're volunteering with Celebrate Recovery on Friday nights. It's a good place to help out, and I love that Alex and I are helping together. He's a wonderful husband, and I thank God daily for him.

Just saying, about food, we eat yummy, healthy food every day when we avoid grains and sugar. Grilled chicken, pork chops, bacon, eggs, sausage, bunless burgers, meatballs, and lots of fruits and veggies. We end up eating a lot of canned, just because it's cheaper, but I'm happy to report that we are finally able to eat this way AND I'M UNDER BUDGET!!! WOHOO!

So update on the life of Calista. As I feel more creative, I may decide to start posting again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Real Challenge

Maybe it was the constant thinking about food I "couldn't" have. Maybe it was the spending half a month's worth of food money on one week of groceries. Maybe it was looking back and realizing that the best thing that worked for me was tracking my food (regardless of what I was eating).

"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both."
1 Corinthians 6:13

Still going to eat healthy. Still going to me sensible with decisions. 

That is all.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 2

This is breakfast. I'm trying to only take a picture of the food, and not our messy table. Same as yesterday, only the sausage is shaped in a regular circle. We've decided that they don't realy taste like sausage, just like mini hamburgers. Not bad, but not sausage. We're ready for a Whole Foods trip so that we can buy some bacon without nitrates!

Lunch was the chili from yesterday, and some canned green beans. The green beans are not pictured, because I ate them before I remembered to take a picture. I finished lunch by 10:45am, and at 11:20 decided I was still hungry. Since I live a few minutes from home, and get an hour designated for lunch, I went home and ate an apple.

This is one of my all-time favorite dinners! Burgers (I usually make them, but I bought them already-shaped because they were BOGO for a package of four), cooked sweet potato and brocoli. Everything had steak seasoning on it. Instead of ranch dressing, we had both digon and regular mustard. I had another apple.

I cooked dinner in a pan and on the George Foreman, but decided to bake the rest in the oven, so we could eat it for lunch tomorrow. Well, I think some of the hamburger grease overflowed into the oven, because the house was filled with smoke! I also burned the rest of the brocoli, so I had to throw it away. The sweet potatoes and burned on one side, but I tried them and they still taste good, so they are packed in lunch containers.

I told Alex I was craving junk food. He's such a good support, doing this with me. I mean, he gave up his ranch dressing! Also, we bought almond butter today (Which is EXPENSIVE at Kroger! I need a Trader Joe's close by!). Alex gave me the last piece of his apple, and told me I could eat it with some almond butter on it. What a delicacy :)

Gotta go buy more apples and bananas tomorrow.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 1.

Above is breakfast: home made sausage in the shape of hearts! It is my anniversary to my wonderful husband! We had seasoned scrambled eggs, and a couple of strawberries. I had to cut some parts off the strawberries. We also had black coffee and water.

Here are two pictures of lunch. It's the chili recipe (see yesterday for the link) served atop a bed of baby spinach. I had an apple for "dessert," and Alex and an apple and a banana.
Lastly, here is dinner. It is pork tenderloin and an apple cut in small pieces and marinated in limes and cinnamon. I baked it in the oven at 350 for a while (until I took it out and it looked done. I think it was 30 minutes). Those are canned green beans with added salt an pepper.
Reflection: Well, I forgot that the first couple of days after giving up sweets are miserable. Actually, I felt better after eating a banana, but not so great the rest of the day. Mostly craving sweets and feeling crabby. I did question whether it was worth it. I'm going to keep trying, and will document progress, but I miss my peanut butter, ranch dressing, and chocolate.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Challenge Begins! (Tomorrow)

Last post I mentioned the Whole 9 Thirty Day Challenge, and that I was considering it as a healthy jumpstart.

I wavered. Up until the time where I was forced to start a meal plan and list, I was seriously afraid I would not enjoy this challenge. I mean, they say no peanut butter....HOW CAN THEY EXPECT ME TO GIVE UP MY PEANUT BUTTER! (image from here)

Alas, I had read too much. I was inwardly convinced that the principles worked. I had actually gone one whole day without the delicious peanut-y goodness, and felt great. The past week has proved that my tummy doesn't enjoy junk food. Thus, the lack of legume meal planning began.

I forged my way through the "under construction" Kroger, and read several labels before deciding against nitrate-ridden bacon.

Here's the general meal plan for this week:

Breakfast: eggs, home made sausage (which is just ground beef and seasonings), coffee (nothing added, although I did buy coconut milk, and may see how that tastes in my coffee) and strawberries.
Lunch: leftovers from dinners. Alex and I both work days, so I'll be making use of the microwave. I did buy baby spinach, so I may make some salads too.
Dinner: This is where I switch up my options. I had one plan, but ended up buying a few different meats,  since some were on sale and "Manager's Special." I stood in front of the meat area for a long time...

  • Pork tenderloin (I use various spices and fruit juice with olive oil to season. I've recently put some lime and cinnamon together) and green beans
  • A chili recipe that sounds yummy-click here to see it!
  • I was going to make a roast, but then I found stew meat on Manager's Special, so I got that instead. I'm dumping this with some red potatoes (the whole 9 said to avoid white potatoes, so I'm not sure about red ones. We have them leftover from vacation and I didn't buy enough sweet potatoes for this recipe), carrots, onions, and peas (maybe, haven't decided for sure on the peas yet) for another meal.
  • Steak seasoned with "steak seasoning" from Aldi. I'm cooking mushrooms, peppers and onions for topping and veggies
  • Brazilian Chicken Curry-seems easy enough, and it's in the crock pot!
  • Burgers made from ground beef and seasoning, sweet potato fries, and cooked broccoli
  • Grilled Chicken and broccoli. I may add another veggie, but this dish is fine as is. I buy chicken thighs because they are cheaper and tastier. They're frozen, and all the other meat is fresh. Therefore, this meal will be eaten after the others, since it can last longer before going bad. 
I tried to make sure we have plenty on hand, so that I don't have to go to the store, and we aren't tempted to go out to eat. I didn't buy beef broth for the chili, because they all had some not-so-great ingredients in them. Therefore, our chili will be a bit more boring. Oh well.

I end up improvising sometimes. I think something will taste good together, so I try it. I look up a recipe and like the picture, so that's what I decide to try. My fridge is full of perishables, my cabinet covered in fruit, and that's they way I like it :)
(Those are kebob stick on the side, NOT noodles)

One last thing: I put this at the end, because I don't care if anyone reads this part. One not-food-related challenge is to avoid the scale during the challenge. So, I weighed myself this morning, and will do so again after 30 days. (I did gain some pounds on vaca, due to junk food. Not a big deal, but I thought it would be fun to record and see if it makes a difference).
Weight as of today: 128

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vacations and Breaks

This past week, I spent my entire time in Orange Beach, Alabama. Beachside condo, and plenty of sunshine. Not quite as warm as I would have liked, but definitely a wonderful time off.

We also took time off from our fairly strick paleo/primal diet, and ate a plethora of junk food. Doughnuts, poptarts, strudel, biscuits, quesadillas, LOTS of ice cream, cookies, french fries, and other fried foods. I enjoyed each an every bite, but my stomach is an entirely different story. Considering how drastically my eating habits changed over a couple of days, I can see why my stomach has been writhing in pain when I devour mounds of sugar. I kept saying, "It's vacation, let's indulge!" Indulge we did.

But I wonder if I would have enjoyed my vacation just as much, if not more, if I had eaten well the whole time. I was clad in a bathing suit much of the time, and would probably have felt more comfortable with so much skin showing had I eaten the right way.

My mother-in-law introduced me to "The Whole 9 Challenge" and I am prepared to try it as soon as we get back from vaca. The website actually says to start right away, but we're planning to eat Chick-fil-a for breakfast, and I want a chicken biscuit.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

getting back on track.

Since Alex and I ate enough sugar today for the whole week, so we're going to not eat sugar the rest of the week. I have actually made a meal plan for this week, which involves yummy food, but not "make us feel sick" food.

I think THIS is a link to see what my meals will be like this week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last night I made steak for the first time since being married. I guess I cut up steak strips, but that is definitely not the same. I first marinated it in bbq sauce and steak seasoning. Later, I "pan seared" it, and then put it in the oven for about five minutes before it was done. Meanwhile, I sauteed mushrooms and onions in olive oil and some more steak seasoning. I also microwaved-steamed some broccoli to go with it. Alex decided the broccoli needed cheese.

Unfortunately, I have no picture of this meal, due to the fact that we were both very hungry. We gobbled it up before I thought about taking a picture.

Great first try :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

wanting to craft

another post.

Just thoughts again. I've been browsing etsy on my laptop while at a friend's house. Looking at the creativity of others is truly inspiring. I want to try some of what they do, but I don't want to start spending a lot of money. I could probably keep playing with what I have, but I'm starting to get bored, since I haven't bought anything new. Of course, I haven't actually made anything creative since Christmas present earrings for sisters-in-law.

I think I'm going to start yard-saleing or something. I don't really want to buy all new things from a place like Hobby Lobby. I wish I could get a bunch of leftovers from other people and just have fun playing with it. I don't really have my own inspiration, but I like to see what works with what other people have.

That's why I'm in social work/case management. I look at where people are in their life, and help them make the most of their situation.

That being said, if anyone still reads this and wants to get rid of anything crafty-like, please let me know. Also, if you know of good deals, please send me details.


Today I had fun baking with my sister-in-law. We often have another couple over for dinner, video games, movies, etc.

During the week we pretty much work, eat dinner, watch tv, clean up, and go to sleep. I like keeping it pretty simple (and I like getting sleep), but sometimes I miss the business of life and spending time with people.

I LOVE my wonderful husband. I am so glad to be married and to have him with me. I am his priority, no question. He's fun to hang out with.

Sometimes, though, I miss going places with different friends. I don't see people very often, and I'm kind of sad about that.

Just musings as of late.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another process in this food journey

So I am realizing in my "food adventure" that I have certain triggers that cause me to feel like I just have to keep eating and eating. Some of it is feeling bored, procrastinating, feeling sad, or entitled to chocolate. I also have noticed that certain higher carb foods make me want to eat more. Even eating larabars, apples or bananas drive me to more high carb foods. The days that I eat mainly meat and veggies during the day, the less I crave sugary foods. Another trigger is any kind of artificial sweetener. I used to be good about staying away from them, but I've recently been drinking a lot of diet drinks, and splenda sweeteners. I have definitely not been eating as well. It's already showing up on me.

So next plan: no more sweeteners, and higher carb things should be saved for later in the day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"you are not my friend"

"I have to be careful to avoid becoming emotionally involved with my consumers." This is what I told my husband today. I have to remember that they are my consumers, not my friends. My job is to coach them, to encourage them do things on their own. My job is to provide them with resources, but not necessarily make the phone call for them. I want them to like me and trust me, but my job is not simply to win their approval. My goal in this job is to help each person that I work with become a more self-sufficient person. I'm not to become their best friend. In fact, I'm not to be anything more than a professional helper.

And yet, sometimes when I distance myself, I find it's hard to feel compassion for the person. Sometimes I feel like I just don't care whether this person is really doing a good job. When I start caring, I start going to far in the opposite direction and want to do everything for them. It's all part of the learning process, and applying what I learned in school to these practical situations. I will say that the application is definitely harder than just talking about it in class. 

One more thing. I realize that we are in hard times, and there are people who milk the system, and that some places have a mentality of "take care of our own first." But really. Columbia doesn't have a lot of resources, so much of the burden falls on family and churches. I know churches have to be careful, but sometimes it seems like they don't want to do anything at all. Sometime it's "well, we have this program/aid/assistance, but it's for members only." I realize that members usually tithe to a church, but I don't see why a church would exclusively help a member of the church and not a member of the community. I heard "We have a financial assistance program, but we don't like to advertise it since it is a small fund saved for only our members." I really don't know what to think about this. 

I am an advocate of people getting their own jobs and taking care of themselves. Irresponsibility should not be rewarded. On the other hand, a few bad decisions should not mean barely surviving for the rest of someone's life.

This is just in my neighborhood. What am I really doing to help my neighbor?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"I have a job now"

First: I am really enjoying my job. I know that I'm still just getting started, but it's perfect for me right now. I also like that my house is close enough to go home for lunch. I've gone grocery shopping on my lunch break :)

Second: I love being married to Alex. He's so wonderful and supportive, and innovative. We have so many fun ideas that we want to try together. So many "little adventures" like trying  new foods, thinking of places to visit, ways to fix up the house if we decide to, and on and on. We played SuperMario on the Wii together...good times. 

Third: I have been able to start hanging out with people around Columbia more often, and it's been great. These people are caring I enjoy spending time with them. Steven and Callie have been able to come over the past couple of Sundays too.

That's all for now. I made yummy "primal pancakes" this morning. There's one left. I think I will go eat it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What has happened since...

So I wrote a really long blog about food, and got some great feedback (thanks Josh and Kelli!). I didn't actually start to implement many of these thoughts until a few days later. Here's the story of what happened:

Sunday morning I made baked oatmeal. I don't think this particular recipe had any flour in it, but it was still major carbs in the morning. Not a terrible problem, but still. Anyways, Alex had never had it before, and thought it was great! Then he had two + bowls of it and decided that he felt sick and really wanted to go back on the Primal/low carb plan. Since I had already put some thoughts about needing more veggies, we agreed to do something different. He still wants to do 75 carbs or less/per day for now, so that's what I'm meal planning for. I have pretty much replaced grains with veggies. We do still eat beans sometimes, but just in moderation. Also, we decided that dairy was a no-go, since it makes us not feel so great. It's not a "never have", but it is a "avoid almost always".

Tuesday I had more training and a terrible headache. We also had cut out sugar for the week (kind of a detox) so my body was kind of freaking out without the usual sugar-overload. By the end of the week, I felt WAY better and actually wanted to keep eating this way.

Satuday I made a noodle casserole to bring to a friend's house. I ate some of it. Also some sugary lemonade&tea and other "ish" foods for dinner. Not bad, but the next day I started feeling sick again.

So far this week we've been on track. I still add some dairy to things (like when I attempted chili) but for the most part I stick to our plan. "Plants, animals, and things you can gather (like nuts and seeds)" are the food for this plan. It definitely is taking some adjustment, but I really do love the way I feel.

From a Biblical perspective, I do think that this honors what God's plan is-eating foods in a mostly original form without a lot of processing.

What is working now is that I've learned A LOT more about portions, and about eating more veggies and a normal amount of meat. I still put the Splenda sweetened creamer in my coffee-even the book specific to this way of eating suggests aiming for 100% but reality will probably be 80%. I can definitely do 80%.

So that's an update on our food life. I keep meaning to take pictures of our food so that I can post it on my food blog, but keep forgetting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food thoughts/a reflection on this year.

This is me on my day off. I'm taking some time to reflect on our food plans, since this is a primary role in my new married life. I love it. Sometimes it's a little overwhelming, but I look forward to times when I can peruse recipe sites, other blogs, recipe books, and people's success stories with various eating habits.

Confession: my biggest weakness is bread, or bread like foods-pancakes, waffles, bagels, pizza, noodles, and then the sweeter versions like cakes and cookies. I can very easily eat a large amount of any of these options without a second thought. Well, maybe a second thought, but definitely not a third thought.

Alex and I attempted to "go primal" or low carb a while back, and I got very frustrated because I wanted my chocolate chip cookies and ice cream (which isn't a bread but is equally enticing). We did this before we got married, right after Valentines day last year. He suggested the idea because I was afraid that I wouldn't fit into my wedding dressing, and he lovingly wanted to help. He lost 20 lbs, and I maybe lost five, but I didn't stick to the plan as well as I should have. Plus, stress with school and wedding was not conducive to my plan because I still ate when I wasn't hugry-low carb only works when you eat until you are full. Also, I really enjoy eating legumes (black beans, chili, certain nuts) and the paleo diet was not a fan as far as I could tell. Sometime I don't feel like eating meat.

When I started tracking my food on sparkpeople, I became increasingly successful. It ultimately didn't matter what I ate, as long as I stayed within the parameters of the sparkpeople website. I still feel that this is an effective way to lose weight or at least maintain. The process of admitting everything that I consumed helped me to limit myself. They encourage consuming fruits and veggies, but ultimately the numbers don't reflect a big difference between an apple and a pancake. Actually, I have problems getting enough protein, and sometimes a whole wheat pancake has enough protein to help me reach my goal.

The biggest problem with this plan is that I would eat a large portion of my calories in pancakes, bagels, breads, and other indulgences. Once I decided I had "reached my limit for the day" I had no room for the  friendly fruits and veggies that I should have been eating in the first place. This is my present predicament.

Recently Alex showed me an email linked to a MDA (Mark's Daily Apple) success story. Today I again have reviewed a number of stories and articles on this website. One of the suggestions was to reflect and write about what worked and what didn't. Thus, this blog. Next, he suggested writing out three goals and  what I will do today, this week, and this quarter to accomplish this goal. Goals may come in another blog, but for now I will end with these thoughts on the topic:

1. One major focus is avoiding processed foods.

For the most part, we don't eat pre-packaged meals, but we do enjoy veggies that are canned and frozen. This is the reality, and I'm OK  with this part of the plan. They are more affordable, and much easier to prepare.

2. One suggested goal is to "completely eliminate grains from diet"

I have an eerie feeling that if I eliminate grains, I will actually replace them with the fruits and veggies I am supposed to be eating. Eerie, because I know that would most likely be a struggle. Also, I still have plenty of bread and noodles. Not a ton, but enough that I think "I don't want to waste it!"

This is a silly thought. Most of our grains are either in the freezer, or in uncooked noodle/rice/flour/cornmeal form, which means they will keep for sometime. If I want to make them for company or to bring to a friend's house, I can still use them in the future. However, I don't have to eat them right away.

3. Although the results of the primal diet are clearly effective, I do not agree with their over-arching believe about the origins of human life.

This may be silly, but I like to be "all or nothing" when following a plan. I like to participate in blogs, conversations, and be able to promote an idea as a whole. This may not be realistic, but it's how I feel. The thought behind "grok" and the primal way of eating is basic evolution, and that grains did not come into the picture for thousands of years. The "hunting and gathering" principle is key, and even exercise should be practical.

But I don't believe in evolution. I believe that God created us in His image. I believe that His creation was "good" and late corrupted by sin. I believe in the story of Cain and Abel where Cain harvested crops-so it seems grains have been around for an equal amount of time.

This really may be a silly, minor, insignificant detail, but I still feel uneasy about following the plan to perfection.

I do, however, think that
1. Many processed foods are not how God originally intended.
2. Cutting any number of grains out of our diet would increase our consumption of fruits and veggies.
3. Protein is important, but I'm not about to cut out the legumes in order to cut down carbs.

Seems like I've come up with some type of "goals" after all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Savoring time

This is my last week before I start working full time. This is my last week (well, really only a half of a week now) to chill at the house, take my time getting ready, watch TV and let the clothes pile up because I still have time to fold them.

The past two nights Alex and I have gone to karate and then had people over. I loved it-great learning, workout, and time together with friends. I've loved it. I won't get to go to karate next week because I'll be in Nashville training.

I'm trying to think of what I would like to get done before a lot of my time is dedicated to work. Folding laundry is always an admirable plan, but a never ending ambition I'm afraid. Honestly I think I have kept up with most of our necessities. I'll probably realize what I should have done once I start working. I think learning to adjust will be my biggest challenge. I'm excited about the training though.

I'm eating my lunch early. I found mini bagels at the day-old bread store, and bananas and peanut butter. yum :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting back on track

I have found that if I start my day by reading my Bible and making myself a list of things to do, I am much more productive than if I start my day in from of the computer watching ANTM reruns and having a bit of "second breakfast." The latter is what happened yesterday. When I used to work at Hobby Lobby, I had a much better attitude when I took enough time to reflect on God's word before heading into work.

I have been watching TV while exercising on my elliptical. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I realized that I have the Bible on my iPod, and could listen to it while exercising. I think this may be a better way to spend my time. We'll see-it's easy to go for a long time on the elliptical if I'm distracted by TV drama.

Loving the weather these past few days. Not freezing when I walk outside has been nice. However, I think it ends tonight.

Tasks for today: cleaning the house and studying for the driver's knowledge test for my new job that starts next Monday! So after this post I'm going to clean like crazy and then study so that I can get it all done before Alex comes home after work.

When I get my "F" endorsement, I will have completed everything I need to start my job. Then I can just enjoy the rest of the week before starting full time!

I have already decided next week will mostly consist of crock pot meals. Easy and ready when I get home!

Monday, January 31, 2011


It's fun to dream about the future, and look in the possible immediate futures. Alex may be getting his Masters, and even his doctorate if we can find a way to make it affordable. Since the MHC has tuition assistance, Alex suggested maybe I look into getting my Masters as well. So we'll see. We're not in a hurry to start having kids, so maybe we will pursue further education while we still have plenty of free time on our hands. I think we would do well studying while we weren't working.

All is still unsure and full of prayers, but fun to plan.

Also, we cancelled our Wow (World of Warcraft) accounts because we weren't playing together anymore.

For now, I'm going to keep studying for my diver's knowledge test. Then probably grocery shopping. I'm so excited the high is 60 today!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Some earrings that I made for family recently. Bits of creativity...
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, January 24, 2011

Geting the job done

TWO updates in ONE day??

I got the call that is changing my life. Well, sort of. I have been offered the position as Adult Case Manager with the Mental Health Coop. I am getting a packet of information in the mail, and I am going to the Nashville office for paperwork and training February 7th. YES! First real Social Work job! Yay for finishing school and working hard!

Goodbye working nights and Saturdays (and one Sunday). Hello Monday thru Friday! Hello to consistent hours! Hello to getting paid to communicate with and help people!

Also, hello piles of laundry from yesterday which have yet to be folded. Today, I will conquer you!

taking off

Although I am still technically employed with Hobby Lobby, I have been taken off the schedule until business improves. My manager has assured me that it is nothing I have done; the snow is killing business right now, so she has to take people off. I'm not the first one, and she said I'm not the last either. I guess that's comforting. She does know that I have applied for another job, and she told me how to get employment verification if I need it. I have not yet heard back from the Mental Health Coop since finishing my paperwork, but I hope to hear soon!

This may turn into an easy transition-at least I hope that is the case. I was wondering (if everything with the new job works out) how to say that I cannot work at Hobby Lobby anymore. I just don't enjoy saying that I quit. This way I have no set schedule, so I can start a new job at any time. This is my prayer.

Alex has had the flu the past five days, but he is back at work today. He still feels weak, but he is much improved. After spending the majority of those days in the house, I am ready to get out! I'm going grocery shopping with my sweet sister-in-law this afternoon.

Also, we haven't had coffee while Alex was sick. It's just not fun making coffee for one. But today just feels like a coffee day. So I might run by the golden arches and get a cup for a buck. The chicken that I'm making for tonight (Sesame chicken! I would post a link if this dumb blog would let me) has to marinate, so I may make a short trip now and another "official" trip with the sis-in-law later. I'm excited to be more social again.

All for now!

Monday, January 17, 2011

food happenings

Since I can't seem to post pictures, I thought I'd just share what food I made recently in words on this blog:

Alex wanted salad, but only if we had croutons and bacon bits. They were on my list to buy, but then I realized that we have bread that is getting old, and the wrong brand of bacon that we don't like. So, I cooked up the bacon and crushed it into bits. I also turned my oven to 225. I tore the bread into lots of small pieces. added olive oil, a lot of Italian seasoning, and stirred it all together. I put the seasoned bread onto cookie sheets and baked for about 40 minutes. Yum! I let them sit for a bit, and they toasted wonderfully. Yay for perusing "how to make croutons" on various websites.

Also I whipped up some pancake batter for this morning. I like it better when the batter sits overnight. I also cut up the ham I bought for sandwich meat. Alex REALLY like the honey ham on his sandwiches. I portioned it so that he can have it for the next three weeks! I put enough for one week in a bag, and froze two of them. I put the meat into sandwich bags so that all I have to do is put the bag in his lunch :) Easy lunches this week! I've been eating my almond butter and jelly on sandwiches, or leftovers for lunch. Or Kashi cereal. I had to throw away part of an opened box because the ants found it :( but I still have plenty left :)

Anyways, I also put dinner in the crock pot because I used the ham bone and what meat was left on the bone. I added two different cans of beans and a small can of mushrooms. Since the ham already has seasoning, I didn't add any. I refrigerated it and started the cooking process this morning. What a yummy dinner! AND Alex loves it! I think it's a happy thing that we both enjoy eating beans, because they're cheap and yummy and easy.

I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow, and I will probably be frequenting Wally World again. I am an Aldi die hard, but some things like coffee and bacon just taste better when they are name brand. Also, we are still eating leftovers this week, so I don't have to buy a lot. So my Wal-Mart challenge is to stick to my list because it's so easy to say "oh yeah! I want/need/will use/might never need but I'm still buying this item.

I also used a "magic eraser" cleaning pad today for cleaning walls and floors at Hobby Lobby. I'm amazed that I've never used one before. Those things are incredible.

All for now!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This morning I spend some time sipping coffee and watching the snow fall outside my living room window. It was peaceful. I felt the stresses of this new week falling away with the snowflakes as they danced to the ground. I remembered that my relationship with God is what really matters; that He cares about even the little details of my life. He knows what is best for me, and I need not worry.

Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Yet again I need the reminder that I don't have to control everything. Sometimes my plans don't work out, but God's ways are not my ways-they're better! How many times am I going to need this reminder? Probably many.

Still no pictures. Maybe thoughts will just have to stay here, and pictures will be for facebook.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Reading other blogs today has been both inspiring and discouraging. Some people are so creative! It started with looking at my friend Logan's blog, and she makes such creative cards, cupcakes, etc! She had links to other blogs, which I've started to peruse this morning. So many great ideas. I feel very "non-creative" at this moment, as I've hardly attempted anything of this sort. I think that I would enjoy doing these kinds of things, but I haven't put my mind to it. I have kept our house organized and food on the table, and I already feel accomplished just doing that and part time job. I'm not sure how people have full time jobs and still find time to do everything else. I hope to attempt this feat sometime soon....but I'll say more on that when I know things for sure.

So next time I go into work I may buy a hot glue gun, some modge podge, and some clearance scrapbook paper. Thanks to some friends, I have a few Christmas pictures, although I wish I had taken more! One step at a time, seeing as I STILL don't have our wedding pictures printed. Thanks to my mom, we do have a book, so I can print fewer pictures than I'd originally thought.

Still can't post pictures on this blog *sigh* so feeling more and more unmotivated to post....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First week of the new year

What a great week. Fun times grocery shopping and hanging out with family. So excited to see what God's bringing into my life. He has blessed our family so so much.

I have started/set up a blog for my food adventure, but I dont' know why I can't put up pictures. I'm gonna play with it for a few minutes. Feel free to check my profile to see if I figured it out.