Thursday, July 2, 2015

I was right...

Yesterday was a rough day. 

Lots of crying, being upset, and just generally sad. Today feels like it will be better. The sunshine outside my window certainly hints at that :). {in the 5 min it took me to try and find my cameras battery charger so I could take a picture of the lovely sunshine, it got super cloudy and is now pouring. and i still don't know where the charger is}

Crazy Georgia summer weather aside, I'm so grateful for the ability to take the time to work on myself. Hubs has been super supportive and I could not be more thankful for him. Going down to almost one income is definitely a risk but one we were going to take at some point anyway, just not this soon.

I need to get better at planning my time wisely and taking care of myself and our house in the process. Getting up early and meeting my mom for a workout is definitely working so far. Having that accountability is helping me follow through. One thing that's hard is cleaning and picking up the house. I just really hate it. I've never liked cleaning {my mom would definitely confirm that}. It seems like I always let it get away from me and then it turns into this huge chore where every room needs to be cleaned top to bottom. 

My house cleaning to do list looks like this:
Clean both bathrooms
Empty dishwasher
Do dishes
Clean kitchen counters and stove top
Clean and mop all hard surface floors
Organize under bathroom sink {y'all, that space is out of control}
Clean off all surfaces

I tend to have two reactions to lists like that. I either sit and stare at it, willing it to complete itself or I end up wanting to start cleaning around 9:30 at night until it all gets done. You can imagine how much Hubs loves both of those options :/. He is so good at serving me, he does most of those things without me asking. I go away to run an errand, come back, and stuff is done around the house. Since I'm going to be home so much, I need to exercise my servant heart along with my body and work at taking care of our home. I will certainly have the time now and way less excuses. Does anyone have a system they use to pace out the cleaning? I need some tips to stay on top of it all.

{and now the sun it out again}

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some days are harder than others...

Like today.

Today is a gloomy, cloudy day and it matches my mood perfectly. I miss my baby. I miss being pregnant. I would have been 16 weeks by now and would possibly know the gender already.

This is hard stuff. It is not easy. It's getting better but I'm learning that I will always be heartbroken over this. The pain never really goes away. It just sits inside my chest like a dull ache. On these days, I tend to have a shorter temper, I mope around more, tend toward pessimism, and can't seem to get anything done. I'm hoping going to work out this morning will get me out of that slump. We'll see. {that's the pessimism coming out}

The worst part is that there is no ritual for this. No funeral, no wake, no nothing. Because there wasn't anything to bury. Those who have gone through this know how that feels. There's no prescribed way to mourn and acknowledge a loss like this. Hubs and I are working on something; maybe releasing balloons, or one of those lanterns that you light and it flies away. Not sure yet. But it feels like we need to do something. Our baby should be honored because it was important to us and so, so, so loved. We wanted our sweet one so badly.

This is going to be a rough day.

{and that's ok}

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Change of Pace

A LOT has changed since last summer. As it turns out, I signed up to do way too much. I taught two different classes each week, led chapel every week and wrote the curriculum for the whole year, subbed for our music teacher and took over her after school class in March, led small group each week with Hubs, and worked on my CDA courses. During all of that madness, eating well and taking care of myself completely fell by the wayside. Come April, I found myself the heaviest I've ever been.

Come April, I also found myself pregnant and due around Dec 15, 2015! I started to take better care of myself and tried to keep my weight down as much as possible. Unfortunately, we went in for our 12 week ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. Our sweet one had stopped growing at 5 1/2 weeks and my body had no clue. It never did catch up and I had a D&C on June 8, 2015. It's been a rough road from there, but Hubs and I are learning that we have company in this and lots of support and love. It has helped us a great deal. 

Since finding out we were pregnant, and then finding out we were not, our lives have been flipped upside down more than once. Working so far from home and spending two hours in the car everyday has also taken it's toll. I've decided to not return to my current job and will instead be working one day a week for the family I used to nanny for. It's still a bit of a drive, but only once a week (possibly twice) and I'll still be making a bit of money after taxes and gas. This will all give me time to start actually working on myself and getting healthier: emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

I've been so focused on everyone else for so long, that I've let myself go in a lot of ways. It's time to start loving this body again. Sure, I'm not the 18 year old dancer anymore, and I'll probably never have that body again, but I'd like to learn to love the one I have. Part of that self love is taking time to work out (even though I hate it) and eating right (even though I could easily eat waffle fries every day). It's a sacrifice but that's what true love is: sacrificial.

I'm hoping to blog through all of this on a more regular basis, but we'll see how it goes. Who knows? I might actually have time now :).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Whole30 Recap and Weekly Meal Plan

So...Whole30 was way harder than I expected it to be. We ended up cheating toward the end and not really finishing :(. I wish we could have done better but no one tells you how dang expensive it is. We doubled our grocery budget for the month and managed to put ourselves in the hole right before I wasn't paid for a whole month. Yikes.

That being said, I'm glad we did it. I lost right around 7 lbs and about 7ish inches. I learned how I respond to food and better ways to give myself energy i.e. eating protein instead of carbs when I feel like snacking, finding creative ways to get the protein, etc. Also, Larabars are the best and we continue to buy them. They're great snacks, easy to take along, and high in protein. Win win! We also learned that full on Paleo is not for us. We both love diary and legumes way too much. So we're trying to eat healthy and still low carb but with diary and legumes cause I need my sour cream y'all. Sour cream makes everything taste better.

We've gotten a bit off track though. School starting back and me teaching two different classes, plus starting my CDA and leading small group really made it hard for me to want to sit down and meal plan. We've been getting off budget though as well, so I need to get back to planning. Especially with the holidays coming up soon. I also need to find time to do my CDA lessons as well. And plan chapel for school. So much to do!

This week our meal plan is:

Meatless Monday: Mujadara
It's a great, cheap meal packed with protein and flavor. I make mine with brown rice and more onion than she calls for. We also saw a recipe that tops it with sour cream, so of course we do that too :).

Taco Tuesday!
We'll probably make tacos or some variation of Mexican food. I feel downright incomplete if I go more than a week without black or pinto beans on my plate. It's a main source of comfort food for me and the hubs so we probably eat it more often than we should :).

No cook Wednesday: I love to cook but because we are hosting small group on Wednesdays, it's easier for me and hubs if there is minimal cooking and clean up on these days. We'll probably be eating grilled cheese, more mexican, frozen tacos (also mexican), etc. Did I mention we LOVE mexican food? Because we do. A lot.

Lo Carb Thursday: Smothered Chicken
This is one of our all time favorite meals. I only make the chicken from this link but the rest of the meal sounds just as tasty! I serve it with canned green beans (which I doctor up so they taste much better than they sound). It's low carb and a bit labor intensive but oh-so-good and oh-so-worth-it. Savory and creamy and super delicious, we love this chicken!

Friday: Chili with beans over rice
I know there are those of you that will condemn my use of beans in my chili but I don't care. I love beans in homemade chili and it's how I grew up eating it. Served over rice with some cheese on top and a few saltines nearby is the way to do it.

Saturday: Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes and English peas
I have my own recipe for Roasted Chicken that I'll post later. It's easy and yummy and one of my favorite things to make.

Sunday: As a kid, Sundays were the day when we ate lunch out or mom had something in the crockpot for when we got home from church. We were largely on our own for dinner. This quickly translated into me and mom eating cheese dip with tortilla chips and dad making some microwave popcorn while we all sat and watched America's Funniest Home Videos followed up by Star Trek: The Next Generation (I blame my dad for my love of sci/fi). Brett and I haven't decided if we'll continue this food tradition exactly or if we'll change it up a bit. One of our favorite no-cook meals is fruit, good cheese, nuts and some really good Moscato. It's easy, (relatively) low carb and feels just a bit decadent.

I'm hoping that we can stick to a basic meal plan and that having some kind of a "theme" night will help me come up with good ideas.

What are some ways that you meal plan? Do you meal plan for the week, two weeks, the month? Let me know what works for you!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Whole30 Days 4, 5, and 6.

Kill ALL the Things!!!!

Also I really want a nap...

and cheese...

and carbs/gluten in any form it comes in.

The Whole30 people were right. The first day seems like this high where you feel like "this isn't that bad." Your fridge is stocked with healthy food and its looking good. You can do this!

Then you get to Day 4. And you hit a serious wall. The family made it a bit easier but suppling some yummy paleo friendly food for our July 4th on the 5th cookout. My dad smoked ribs and made a special rub for us that was really delicious. We also had fresh green beans and sweet potatoes. It felt like real food and I didn't really feel like I was missing out of anything. Except the homemade ice  cream . . .

Day 5
I just didn't want to eat. I was so sick of cooking I just made tuna salad with home mayo, egg and apple for dinner. It's one of the only picnic things I would eat as a kid (not really a sandwich person) and there's a bit of comfort in that. My first attempt at the mayo was a complete and utter failure. I was following a slightly different set of instructions and it did. not. work. Brett and I were also trying out our new grill at the time and were making squash packets and burgers for lunch. The burgers turned out pretty well and the squash and onions burned to a crisp inside the foil. I have seen my mom make these so many times and I have no idea what went wrong. The plus side was that the mayo finally turned out and I made smoked paprika mayo for the burgers. It was so good :).

Day 6.
Camp started back today. Overall it's going well and the kids seem to be enjoying it. However, it wears me out. I'm already exhausted because of the Whole30 and the added running around isn't helping. Apparently, my body is learning to not rely on easy sources of sugar and carbs for energy. It's learning to only rely on fat as a source of energy and my brain is fighting it every step of the way. Retraining your brain and your body is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. This lack of energy makes going to my classes super hard and nearly impossible. I went earlier this week but going today did not happen. I'm so exhausted all the time. I've been told this is a phase and my energy levels should pick up soon. I hope so!

Dinner was zucchini ribbons with meatballs and marinara. All in all it was pretty good. It is probably something I will make again during the next 30 days.

Brett and I have decided to plan something fun to do locally at the end of the 30 days to help motivate us. We're trying not to make it food :). We want to see this through and feel like a reward at the end will help us finish strong and not cheat. Especially, since if you cheat, you have to start over :(. Any ideas welcome!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Whole30: Day Three

Day 3 Complete!

The Whole30 people warn you about a few withdrawal symptoms you're supposed to experience. So far, I just had a mild headache for a bit yesterday but no withdrawal symptoms today except that I slept for 10 hours :). I think the past few weeks of not sleeping well finally caught up with me. And since I got my butt handed to me yesterday in Hip Hop, I woke up a bit sore and it has only gotten worse as the day has gone on. It hurts so good though. Dancing always makes me feel that way :).

No July 4th plans today but we will be getting together with my family tomorrow. My dad is even making a paleo friendly rub for the ribs he is making :). There are supposed to be some Whole30 approved sides as well. I'm sure it will all be very yummy :)

Breakfast today was the frittata leftover from yesterday. It was still delicious :)

Lunch was a boiled egg, a handful of almonds, and some fresh berries. With it being so hot outside I realized I just couldn't get my head around the idea of eating something hot for breakfast and lunch and dinner. Next week work starts back, so I'll have to get creative with lunches if we don't have leftovers, especially since we are a nut free school. We've agreed to keep boiled eggs on hand though, which should definitely help.

Dinner was . . . interesting. Overall, the flavor from the Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens was delicious but I just couldn't quite stomach the greens and turnips. I couldn't find baby ones, so I just got the big ones and cubed them up. Having never eaten them before, I have no idea if this made a difference or not. The turnips weren't too bad but a few of them were super sour/bitter. I had no way of knowing which was which and eating the soup felt like Russian Roulette "turnip-style" after a bit, so I gave up and ate around them.

The recipe said I could use just about any greens I wanted. I chose the collards because this Southern girl had never had them and I figured it was my duty to at least try them. I wish I could say that I liked them, I really do. I chopped them up fairly small but they're a bit chewy for my taste. We discovered a few years ago that I have some foods texture issues and that's why I don't like a lots of leafy greens (with exception of spinach, and I suspect butter lettuce). I'll be taking them tomorrow to the cookout to pass the leftover greens so my super Southern family.

The good news is that B liked this recipe the best out of the dinner dishes I've made and with a few tweaks after Whole30 I think I would like it too. The only changes I would really make would be to add in potatoes instead of turnips and sub in spinach for the greens. Needless to say, he and my mom are getting the leftovers.

We've done well here at home but tomorrow will be the first time we will be around food we can't have. Because I know we'll have good options and our family is being supportive, I'm not too worried  . . . except for the clear jar of cookies that sits out on my mom's counter. It is down right habit to go by and grab a cookie or two . . . or six. But we're taking fruit, so I'm hoping the cold crisp should help. Only good choices for me!

Day 3 in the books!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Whole30: Day Two

Day 2 Complete!

Got up around 6:30 and made this delicious fritatta. It was very yummy but could have used a bit more salt. Cook and learn! I really liked this dish because it made a really decent amount that will feed me and B breakfast for the next 2 days. Which is good, cause I'm not sure if I could do the breakfast-from-scratch-thing everyday. . .

Lunch was leftovers from last night's dinner. It was pretty good but I've had a lot of spinach in the past day and I'm about over it.

Dinner was this "Creamy" Crockpot Chicken and Tomato Soup. I only used 4 chicken breasts, 1 can diced tomatoes, and 1 can coconut milk. I probably should have served it with salad but so. much. spinach. The soup basically tasted like chicken in pasta sauce, which means it was delicious! B has renamed it Chicken Pizza Soup :). I doctored it up by adding a few more of the spices that it called for as well as some fig infused balsamic vinegar for a bit of sweet to cut the acidity. I love Oil and Vinegar! They have so many unique oil and vinegar blends. One is coming to Atlanta and I can't wait! I've had to get it from Houston and Asheville but soon it will be in my own backyard :).

Today was really productive overall. I made that yummy breakfast from scratch, did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned out the guest room, re-seasoned my cast iron skillet (twice), got dinner started in the Crockpot, did the dishes (twice), bought my textbook, requested my transcripts from college, and started my online course. And wrote on this here thing for a bit.

I also went to Zumba/Hip Hop tonight at Brickhouse Cardio Club. It kicked my ass, as usual :) They offer so many classes, it hasn't been that hard to find a time to go. It's just making my ass get there that's been the issue. That being said, I hadn't been in several weeks (for decently good reasons of course).

We were out of town in Las Vegas for a bit a few weeks ago (more on that later!) and one of my new meds made me so dizzy and light headed I didn't go workout the whole month of June. My OB had prescribed me an appetite supressant to help with some initial weight loss. It worked great the first week: I lost 7lbs! Week 2 was ok at 2 lbs more gone. I lost weight, which was great but I was starting to realize that I didn't even want to eat, like at all. And none of the food I normally love, like Taco Bell or Zaxby's, even sounded remotely appealing. I realized that I was eating so few calories that my body had gone into starvation mode. At most, I probably ate around 800 calories per day. I was surviving on vanilla Greek yogurt, almonds, grapes and berries daily for about a week. Not enough! After I researched said prescription (and all it's crazy side effects that the OB did NOT warn me about) I promptly took myself off of it. I'm glad I did because apparently it's awful to be on for a long time and the withdrawal symptoms were not fun. I was an insomniac for about a week and then of course had awful lethargy during the day. The depression I occasionally experience combined with some *ehem* difficulty using the restroom wasn't that great either. Overall, it was not something I would repeat again.

Since that instance (and since 3 years ago), I've been looking for a new doctor/midwife. Ideally someone who knows more than I do about my endocrine system/PCOS and who doesn't answer their personal cell phone (twice) while they have a scope up my vagina looking for cysts. Oh lordy, the stories I could tell . . .

Onward, Day 3!