Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My story

This is me (and my awesome husband!):

I've been thinking a lot about what got me to where I am today.

Over the past 25 years I have learned a lot!!

I guess things all started when I was a kid. I knew nothing about health, but I did notice that most of my family members (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and some cousins) were overweight. Some would fit in the obese category. Another thing I noticed was that they weren't really happy either. So in my mind being overweight meant that you would be unhappy.

In my teenage years I became obsessed with my weight. I wasn't overweight but I never felt like I was the weight I would like. I wasn't super skinny. I tried all sorts of things. I would exercise. I even started running. I would run up and down the bleachers at the high school across the street from our home. I drank SlimFast shakes (nasty) and ate Snackwells cookies by the box because they were "healthy". I bought my own small refrigerator when I was in high school so I could put buy and have my own "healthy" food (which was mostly yogurt). At one point I became anorexic. I didn't eat. After a while it wasn't even hard and I really didn't feel like eating. Thankfully that didn't last long and my parents made me go to the doctor. But during that time people were noticing that I was losing weight and they were telling me how good I looked. So I thought to myself "did I look bad before?"

After getting married, we didn't have much money and ate a lot of processed food. It was easy. We had 4 babies in 4 years and 10 months! To me, health was exercise. That's all I needed to do. And I made that happen during the 12+ years of having babies and toddlers around.

Then in 2006, after my 5th child, I noticed a slight lump on my throat. I called the doctor to make an appointment. I knew what he would say - Hypothyroidism. I knew this ran in my family. I quit sugar. I took the prescription and for a year or so started to wonder why this happened. What was the cause, and why couldn't the doctor tell me anything other than "take this little pill for the rest of your life"? That answer was not acceptable to me. It just didn't make any sense.

So I started on my health journey. It's really been over the past 10 years that I have learned SO much! I've had to un-learn lots of things. Lots of things that mainstream media and doctors want you to believe. Now, don't get me wrong. I think doctors are great but I just don't think they are really the ones that should be in charge of your health.

I've tried:
No chocolate.
No sugar.
No dairy.
No gluten.
No grains.
High fat.
Low fat.
Whole grains.
Lots of veggies.
Gluten free.
No starchy carbs.
Intermittent fasting.
Water fasts.
No processed food.
I've even tried to follow the US Food Pyramid (what a joke lol).

I've followed advice from:
Denise Austin
Billy Blanks
Tony Horton
Chalene Johnson
Dr. Amen
Dr. Mercola
Dr. Sara Gottfried
JJ Virgin
Dr. Morter

I've purchased tons of workout videos:

And that's only some of them (Can you tell whose I like the most?)

I've read tons of books too:

And what it really boils down to is this.

No two people are alike!

Right now I am in the process of figuring out what is best for MY body. It's more about how I feel in more than one area of my life. It's a whole mind, body, spirit, relationship connection. It's more than just exercise. It's so much more!

I'm learning new things all the time! Right now I'm listening to the Broken Brains online series by Dr. Mark Hyman, going through the 131 Diet by Chalene Johnson, and reading a book about the  subconscious mind.

Learning is power. Power to change. Power to make a difference.

And these people are why I do what I do:

This family of mine! I want to feel good and be around with them for a long time! Sometimes they wish I wasn't all into this health stuff but deep down I think they really like it ;)

I hope you'll be with us for this crazy ride!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Healthy eating while traveling

In the past, when we've gone on vacation it was an excuse to pig out! To eat whatever we could find that was cheap and convenient.

But we have improved over the years. 

We have been on vacation for the past 2 weekends in two different places.

Our first vacation was with our family right before Christmas. We rented a home through www.vrbo.com and stayed 4 days and 3 nights. I have been on a strict diet/way of eating for the past 2.5 months and was really wanting to keep going since I have been feeling SO good!

So I brought some food from home and my husband and I went grocery shopping when we got there. We got some splurges but we bought pretty healthy and yummy food. 

We got eggs, bacon, ground beef, veggies, fruit, and some snacks in between meals. 

Each meal was a treat! I did so good! 

These may not be the prettiest presentations (LOL) but they sure were good! And I was feeling pretty good when we got home. 

Then we left 6 days later, just my me and my husband. We went to Oregon and stayed 4 days and 3 nights. Again, we rented a home through www.vrbo.com and "ate in" for each meal. It was nice to have a Whole Foods within walking distance too!

Here were some of our meals:

I am hungry just thinking about all of this food!

Real food tastes so good! 

When traveling by plane, come prepared with snacks to eat while in the air. Nuts are my favorite. But you can also do fruit, applesauce, jerky. I've been impressed with airports lately. They are offering more and more healthy convenience and dining options! It is actually pretty fun to forage our way to finding the best food. 

The key to eating healthy is PREPARATION!

Don't let a vacation or weekend derail you - but if they do, jump right back in! No one is perfect. We all mess up. I did yesterday. I had a bunch of See's chocolates but today is a new day and I am really looking forward to having a salad like one of these tonight!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Plant-based Eating

Growing up I ate a diet that consisted of mostly processed food (if you can even call it food! ;) Vegetables came from a can, mashed potatoes were made from flakes, and we always had lots of treats. Seems like since I was a teenager that I've been searching for a healthier way. 

There is just so much information out there - in books, online, and social media. What works for one person doesn't always work for everyone. 

But I have been drawn to plant-based eating.

 I have been trying to eat more plant-based this past week. But I just have so many questions!

One of the questions I have is about protein. How do I get enough? And what is enough?

I found an article here that gives protein amounts for foods other that meat:

1. Organic Edamame - 18g per 1 cup serving (cooked)

2. Organic Tempeh - 16 g per 3 oz serving

3. Organic Tofu - 8 to 15 g per 3 oz serving

4. Lentils - 9 g per 1/2 cup serving

5. Black Beans - 7.6 g per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

6. Lima Beans - 7.3 g per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

7. Peanuts or Peanut Butter - 7 g per 1/4 cup serving or 2 Tbsp peanut butter

8. Wild Rice - 6.5 g per 1 cup serving (cooked)

9. Chickpeas - 6 g per 1/2 cup serving

10. Almonds - 6 g per 1/4 cup serving

11. Chia Seeds - 6 g per 2 Tbsp

12. Steel-Cut Oatmeal - 5 g in 1/4 cup serving (dry)

13. Cashews - 5 g per 1/4 cup serving

14. Pumpkin seeds - 5 g per 1/4 cup serving

15. Potatoes - 4 g in 1 medium white potato

16. 3 g per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

17. Organic Corn - 2.5 g per 1/2 cup serving

18. Avocado - 2 g per 1/2 avocado

19. Broccoli - 2 g per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

20. Brussels Sprouts - 2 g per 1/2 cup serving

Looks like there are a bunch of foods I need to add to my diet!

On my quest to finding out more about this and figuring it out myself, here are some articles that I've come across that are very helpful and that I will dig deeper into!


On to a continued quest for health!!

Do you have any tips or ideas on how to adopt a plant-based diet for a family?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thoughts on Health Challenges

I love to do a good health challenge!

This has been long overdue but I want to remember the things that I learned about myself and others during our health challenge at the beginning of the summer.

My husband introduced a health challenge to extended family on a Monday night and it was to start the next morning. It included things like eating 5 veggies per day, walking 6000 steps or exercising for 30 minutes, drinking half your weight in ounces of water. It also included writing down 10 things you were grateful for that day and prayer and scripture study. There was a total of 10 things.

The challenge lasted for 28 days and there was a $10 entry fee. The winners would get to split the money!

This health challenge was prompted by at least 2 of the family members that wanted to do another challenge for some help and accountability on their health goals.

As my husband was announcing the "rules" there was one rule that people did not like and that was NO SUGAR. (Well, there were 7 cheat days out of the 28-day-challenge) Boy, that was a heated discussion lol. Everyone asked questions on what is sugar and what is allowed and what isn't allowed.

So, finally with lots of hesitation we all agreed on doing another health challenge together.

Here's where it gets fun and here is what I learned:

1. Don't quit just because you made one (or two) mistakes!
Many of the family members were "out" the first day. They "messed up" and had some sugar. So, therefore they dropped out of the challenge.  These people didn't even try to keep going. It was going to be too hard. I learned that just because you mess up doesn't mean you are doomed. If you fall, get back up! You don't have to start over the next day, or the next Monday, or the next first-day-of-the-month. Pick up where you are and keep going! By the end of our challenge we only had a few people left in it. Don't be a quitter.

2. Hard is good
It is good to do hard things! Life isn't supposed to be easy. Reaching a goal is supposed to take work. I can do hard things if I put my mind to it and so can you!

3. Having people to hold you accountable is key
By doing a group challenge, it made everything so much easier! In our little family, we were all (or most of us) working towards the same goal. We were asking how many veggies we'd had and how many more we needed. We'd go on walks together. We'd encourage and help each other. Having someone to help you and do it with you helps a ton! And with a group you have an even better advantage.

4. Prioritize
We started this challenge at the beginning of summer and at a time where I was the busiest I'd been in my life. We own our own business and it has grown to the size where it is no longer in our home. I had to work full-time (which I have never done before) for about 6 weeks while I got some new staff trained. We were also planning for our son to come home from a 2-year church mission and for another son to leave on a 2-year church mission. And between those two events we were taking a week off to go to Mexico while we were all together. Talk about the worst timing. But, I knew I need to do it so I did. I would get my water out and ready. I'd walk before and after work or do a video. I'd have veggies ready to go. I'd listen to scriptures on my drive to and from work. I made my health a priority. And I noticed that after the challenge was over, I slipped. I didn't prioritize anymore and somehow I was just too busy.

5. Don't complain!
We all do this, but it doesn't seem to help. I had plenty of reasons to complain about doing this health challenge, but I decided to make the best out of it. I made it fun. I made it a challenge. By the end I felt invincible! (haha) But on the other hand, we had one member of the family that hated the whole thing. She couldn't wait for the stupid challenge to be over. I'm thinking the challenge didn't help her at all. In fact, it probably did more harm than good. At the end of the challenge we were both the winners - we both had perfect scores. I felt so good after those 28 days that it wasn't about the money after that.

6. Be grateful!
I liked this part of the challenge and it helped me not to complain. Each night I would write down 10 things that I was grateful for that day. Sometimes it took work to think about my day like that but it helped me realize that I have so much to be grateful for.

7. Don't wait until it is convenient
Life will never slow down. I know, I've been waiting for mine to. But, I have realized that it's not happening. You're going out of town, you have too much work, whatever the excuse, you can still take care of yourself.

I think it's about time we do another family health challenge sometime soon. Maybe once the kids get back to school and we all settle into a routine :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Cleaning!

This time of the year gets me so excited!

I love to see the trees, bushes, and flowers coming alive. And I love to do some major spring cleaning. It's as if I've let my life go and now it just needs to be gone through and sorted out. 

Well, have you ever thought about spring cleaning your body?

This hasn't really ever crossed my mind until recently. 

I've been dealing with some health issues that I just wish would go away so I've been doing some spring cleaning. I've given up things like peanuts, eggs, sugar, dairy, some meats, grains - you name it - at one point I've probably gone with out it. 

I'm working on dialing in on what my body is telling me and I'm trying to listen. I'm trying to be nice to myself - and it is hard!

But I have noticed that when I do take better care of myself I am happier!

I recently read this article here and there are some great ideas on how to spring clean your body. 

I've been working out in the yard more (who knew that was good for your health!), we've brought plants in our home and I've even tried meditating!

We're constantly trying to make better food choices too! Than in and of itself is a full-time job! Especially with 7 people under one roof. 

But I am so thankful to be on this health journey. I've come to realize that the more I learn about health, the more there is to learn! It is never ending and there is always something that will help me (and you) to kick it up a notch!

So there you go! What are you going to do to spring clean your body!

Your body WILL thank you - I promise :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Paleo Tortilla Chips

These are such a nice treat when you can't have regular tortilla chips or you are gluten-free!

And they are easy too!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A new favorite - Alfredo Sauce

I have been needing to find an Alfredo Sauce recipe for awhile. The jars from the store aren't that great on taste and health.

And then I found this here:

And EVERYONE loved it!

This is a keeper!!

Easy Alfredo Sauce {It's the BEST!}

  • ½ c. butter
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • ¾ c. - 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the cream cheese, and stir until melted. Use a whisk and add the milk until it reaches the desires consistency. (Start with ¾ c. and add more if you like it thinner.) Stir in the parmesan cheese, and bring to a low boil, stirring often so it doesn't burn. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta, and sprinkle with a little more parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
  2. (Our additions: We served with chicken and brown rice fettuccine noodles.)