Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Juicing, Veganism, Raw Food Diet

For about three weeks I have told myself I was going to update my blog. I sit at the computer and enter in all my reports for work, peruse Facebook, play a game or two and shut 'er down...then I remember I was going to blog. Grrrr, I'll do it later. It's amazing how later turns into later and later and later and before I know it three weeks has gone by.  No more procrastinating!

To Juice or Not to Juice
About a month ago I watched this video - Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - and after watching it I forwarded the video to my mom and stepdad with instructions to watch it.  After they watched it we all discussed the two men in the video and how much we could all relate to them. I am not going to go into detail here about the video (because you can go watch it yourself) but the premise behind it is how the food we eat everyday can do so much harm to our bodies.  If you are at all interested in how food affects your body I suggest you watch the video.

We all agreed to try a 10 day juice fast.  It was hard getting used to some of the concoctions (recipes) we were trying at first but after a few days we started making our own juices up and we all enjoyed those so much better!  Basically you take a bowl like this
and using a juicer
 you turn it into a yummy juice full of nothing but fruits and veggies.
I will say the first 3 days were the toughest. No processed foods, no meat, no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine (I actually kicked my caffeine habit the week before we started) - just fruits and vegetables. We were drinking a rainbow every day!  After the initial shock to my body was gone then around the 4th day I started feeling amazing.  By Saturday of that week (we had started on Monday) I had so much energy and had not suffered from any migraines or fibromyalgia pain all week! I couldn't believe it. 

BUT, the expense of juicing all those fruits and veggies was not something I was prepared for. I realized I couldn't really afford to do just that for another week so I switched to blending smoothies and eating a raw food diet for the next week.  Raw food is just that - instead of juicing my fruits and vegetables I ate them raw or threw them in a blender along with coconut water and ice and made a smoothie.  I still didn't have any meat, processed foods, fast food, dairy, pasta, desserts, etc.  When you juice you have to add a whole bunch of fruits/veggies just to get 8-10 oz of juice. I don't eat as much when the food is whole and raw and I don't require as much when it's blended.

As I have gone through this journey over the last few weeks I have decided to begin eating small meals but I am still not eating any processed foods, meat, or dairy products. I STILL feel amazing and my aches and pains and migraines are gone!  I consciously try to "eat a rainbow" of fruits/veggies every day. I blend my food in the morning for breakfast and in the evening after dinner for a snack (my favorite dessert now is 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 TBS of natural peanut butter - the only ingredient listed is peanuts - 1/2 cup of almond milk and ice...blend it and drink - so delicious!!) 

A lot of people have asked me why I am choosing this path.  I have never been much of a meat eater anyway and lately I have read more and more about vegans and have wanted to try to do this.  I want to #1 Be healthier and #2 lose weight.  I have fibromyalgia, have suffered with migraines for 20 years and I am pre-menopausal...I don't like taking medications and I am always looking for alternative (natural) ways to deal with health issues.  For sleep problems I take melatonin.  For hot flashes I take Black Cohosh Extract.  So after watching this video and seeing how much food affects our bodies I decided why not give it a try?  I am so happy with the results!
Oh yeah on a side note, I have lost weight too!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pre-Hurricane Season

Oh boy...not even June 1st yet, the official start of hurricane season, and this is the 2nd named storm of this year. Hope this is not indicative of what's to come! See where it says TUE AM 35 mph - yeah, that's where I live. This is a small 35 mph storm, but still gets my senses up to see this type of weather map with a cone and my city in that cone.

Cancer - such an ugly word

One of my best friend's just discovered last month that her 17-yr-old has cancer.  This has been such a shock to everyone who knows Halee.  Go here to read more about Halee's story.

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. Their lives have changed so drastically from where they were just 3 weeks ago. Halee was running for Interact club President and her life was revolved around her friends/boyfriend/schoolwork. Now she is dealing with chemo/radiation/hair loss/weight loss/solitude due to her depressed immune system and the fact she is getting treatments 5 hours from home.

On top of Halee's health concerns, they have no insurance.  Click the link below if you are able to help out financially. If lots of people would just donate a little, it would go so far in helping this sweet young lady.
Please help!

Once A Week Cooking

We eat out a lot. When I say a lot, I am talking every morning for breakfast, every day for lunch and at least 4 out of 7 nights a week.  There's 3 of us at home (my husband, my 15-yr-old and myself) and we all have hectic busy schedules so it's easier to grab breakfast through a drive-thru, lunch through a drive-thru and then pick up Chinese, pizza, or chicken for dinner.  Unfortunately this isn't so great on the pocketbook or the waistline!

I have been wanting to do "once-a-week" or "once-a-month" cooking for a long time but could never get motivated to go through with it.  Thanks to a friend of mine who actually did this last week, and posted pics of her progress/meals I finally decided to just go for it!  Last Sunday I got up, planned my meals for the week, went grocery shopping (husband went with me to help since I had a very detailed list he could follow) and then came home and started cooking. It took me all day - yes 7 hours of cooking, BUT it was so worth it!! This is what I produced in that 7 hours....
I made a meatloaf, beef stroganoff, baked ziti, 12 twice baked potatoes, 3 bags of cooked chopped chicken, 3 bags of ground beef mixture (mixed with peppers, onions, shredded carrots), 7 sausage, egg, cheese biscuits for breakfasts, 6 breakfasts pizzas, 1 gallon of chicken stock and 1 bag of chicken/cream cheese/chive mixture to be used inside crescent rolls for chicken packets.

I was able to pull out our dinner every morning to get it defrosted and with only about 15-20 minutes prep each evening we had a wonderful home-cooked meal. I made burritos one night with a packet of ground beef and a packet of chicken and had so much left over I rolled each burrito individually and froze those so now we have 13 burritos to add to my dinner choices.

Today I am planning next week's menu and going to add a few things to what I currently have stored in the freezer so hopefully if I am able to do this for a couple of hours every weekend several weeks in a row, then I will get enough stored up so I only have to cook one big day/month.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pic A Day 2/5/12 Azaleas are blooming

This winter we have had the absolute craziest weather! I live in FL and we are used to mild winters, but this year has been unseasonably mild all winter! It's only the 5th of February and look at the azaleas...they are starting to bloom!! Oh my, if we have a cold snap in the next month or so, there is no telling what these poor plants around town are going to do.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Empty Nest

I record all my favorite shows on my DVR and watch them when I get a chance. One of my favorites is Dog Whisperer.  Since I have 2 Labrador Retrievers I watch this show in order to get helpful tints for controlling my dogs.  Today I caught up on about 5 episodes, one of which had Cesar helping a middle-age couple with their spoiled Pomeranian. As he consulted with them he realized their spoiling of this little monster was due to the fact that their children had flown the coop...they were now empty nesters and having to adjust to this new life event.

I found myself tearing up while watching this episode.  I too have experienced the loss of my children flying the coop - it was terribly depressing and rewarding all at the same time.  My sweet 15-yr-old is still at home so I am not completely child free, but when you consider I went from six kids pretty much full-time to one in a very short time period of 2-3 yrs...it was extremely difficult.  Going from band practices, cheerleading practice, football games Thursday and Friday nights, concerts, competitions, church youth events, parties, sleepovers to nothing was something I wasn't prepared to deal with at the time.

When I see my friends whose lives revolve around their children's schedules and who throw themselves into all their children's activities I can't help but feel sorry for the loss they are going to feel soon.  I try to remind friends to keep up with their own friends and their own activities as well as their children's so perhaps the sense of loss won't be quite so hard.  I speak from personal experience - because my life revolved completely around my kids.

Would I change anything? No of course not! I thank God for that time I was able to share in their lives and nurture and guide them.  I am thankful for the relationship I have with my children now. In fact, I would like for YOU to meet my children...
This is my oldest son, Jon and his girlfriend of many years Heather. They live a few miles from me. He will be 26 this year.
This is my step-son, Justin and his lovely bride Heather. They are building a home in the Orlando area and will be celebrating their 1-yr anniversary in May. He will be 25 in March.
This is one of my twins, Felicia with her husband Will and my 3 grandsons - Allan, Nathan and Shawn.  Will is in the Navy, they are currently living in GA and they will be celebrating 8 yrs of marriage on Valentine's Day. Felicia will be 25 in November.
 I looked and looked and can not find a picture of my other twin, Tina with her entire family! I can't believe that! Well I had to put two pics for her.  The picture above is her children, Bailee and Brayden.
This is Tina and her husband Bryant. He is in the Marines and they too live in GA. They will be celebrating 6 yrs of marriage on Feb. 11th.
This is my step-daughter Brianna with my granddaughter, Bailee. Brianna lives locally and will be 21 in September.
Last but not least this is my 6'4" baby...Dakota. He will be 16 this year and has been homeschooled his entire life.  Dakota is an intelligent, sensitive, thoughtful, considerate young man.  I am so excited to see what his future holds!

Pic A Day 2/4/12 Contraband movie

Family Night - we saw this movie today. It was a pretty good movie...but the language was awful, awful, awful! Would I recommend it to anyone - ummm, no, because nobody should have to sit through a movie filled with expletives in every sentence. If I were by myself I would have walked out.