I ate Vegan and Survived! YTT Part 2

When I started getting more into yoga, I started to follow a lot of yogis on IG. I quickly noticed that a good number of them were vegan but I never understood why. I thought it was kind of like Crossfit and Paleo, they just go together. It sort of is that way but there is a little more to it. I didn’t understand it until I went to the ashram.

When I found out that I was going to be eating vegan for about a month during my yoga teaching training I was super excited. I’ve never gone that long without eating meat or dairy and I was very interested in what it would do for my body. I suffer from acne so I thought this would be an awesome test to see if that would change. I normally eat a LOT of chicken so I wondered what would happen if I stopped eating it. And then just in general, how would I feel?

The first 2 days I was gone I had terrible headaches. That was the detox period. After that, smooth sailing, easy peasy! The easiest part was that someone was cooking for me and I didn’t have a choice in what I was eating. But if I had to say anything negative, and believe me this isn’t even really negative but I figure I have to have a down with my ups, it would be that I didn’t have a choice, LOL! There were a handful of days that we had the same food and that just got a little boring. But I ate it, and I was never hungry, so really not so much negative, just something that wasn’t 100% positive.

The acne didn’t go away. Actually, it got worse. This could be for a couple of reasons. One, I was surrounded by women the entire time and that meant hormone disruption the entire time I was gone. That said, I was getting zits in places on my face I don’t usually get them, so I don’t think it was all hormonal. Two, it could have been detoxing, stuff coming out, but I don’t think it should have lasted the whole time I was gone. So I am going to say that dairy does not have an effect on my skin. I think it’s time to see a dermatologist.

When I would tell people I was going to eat vegan, the number one response was, “You’re going to lose weight.” I sure didn’t want to. But I was interested to see what would happen so I took some measurements before I left. The only thing to really note here is that the two weeks before I was at the ashram were go crazy eating weeks. I was in California, I went to Disneyland where they have the best churros ever, and I wasn’t eating as clean as I normally do. So I started out about 5-7 pounds heavier than normal. So when I got home from the ashram here’s what happened weight/size/feeling wise. I felt bigger. I felt bloated the whole time I was gone. My clothes (yoga pants) still fit for the most part, but you could see it in my face. I actually had a friend tell me she’s never seen my face that round before. I did lose weight though, sort of. I lost the extra weight I had gained prior to going but nothing more. I was eating fabulous food, but I was eating a SHIT LOAD of carbs. My body is not used to that. So I think that is where the “side effects” came from. When I got home and went back to eating less carbs, the weight in my face fell off! The same friend who saw me and said my face was round saw me only a week later and said I was back to usual. Other people who see me regularly said I didn’t look like I had lost weight but I looked more toned. That surprised me because I wasn’t exercising like I usually do.

So to sum up, I learned that my brand of acne is not from food, and I should continue eating minimal carbs so I don’t feel bloated. But other than that, vegan eating was awesome! Oh, and the part about yogis being vegan? It all comes back to Ahimsa, non-harming/non-violence, the first of the Yamas and Niyamas, aka Yoga Rules. To sum that up without going into great detail. don’t kill anything, which would include animals for your food. Pretty basic stuff.

You’re probably waiting for some photos. So here are a couple of my favorite meals!!

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On the left is a frittata made with chickpea flour. Soooooooooo effing delicious!! On the right is a 3-bean salad. Also major yum! But really, that frittata!

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I have absolutely no idea what is in that patty, but it tasted like a burger and was amazing!

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Quinoa stuffed zucchini! This is something I would normally do at home already so it was great!

 

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MEXICAN FOOD!!!! Beans and spanish quinoa! YASSSSSS!!!!!

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Something I NEVER thought I would eat…palm hearts and okra with green beans. Delicious! Just weird because it was very new.

The next photo is the thing we ate, in my opinion, too often. Mung beans in various forms. If I never eat this yellow bean again I will be okay. I get it, it’s quick and it can be mass produced for a large group, but it wasn’t my favorite.

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The day I rebelled and decided to eat whatever I wanted was day 21. It wasn’t because I missed meat, it wasn’t because I was craving meat or dairy, I was just wanting something different. And so breakfast at a diner was the way to go! And I did it right! Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, and pancakes. And I ate it all!!!!!

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Since being home, a couple things have happened. At first, I went back to eating like I normally did. Clean and healthy, meat, low carb. And I felt just fine. No adverse effects from adding meat back into my diet. But as of a little over a week ago, my family and I are now vegan/vegetarian. It wasn’t just the ashram that made us make the change, I will blog about all that separately, but living it for a month helped sway me for sure. #ChangeIsGood!

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Zucchini Pizza

I have not posted about zucchini pizza boats and that makes me sad. I posted a photo of the boats on my Facebook once and wrote, “When you bout that healthy life but pizza is life.” Seriously, if I could never eat some form of pizza again I might just die. And the best part about eating different versions of pizza is the fact that you start to realize that it isn’t (always) about the bread, it’s about the toppings. So you can eat the cauliflower crust or these boats and still love them and feel like you’re eating pizza.

But this blog is not just about the recipe. The main idea of this post is to boast about how proud I am about this particular meal today for lunch. The first thing… look at the size of this zucchini!!!

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That’s a trenta cup! It was my daughter’s idea to take this next one…. a fun perspective photo.

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And guess where I got this beauty! MY GARDEN! It’s the first harvested crop from this years’ garden! I am beyond excited! I cannot wait to taste this thing. And just to add to my excitement, this meal will be enough to feed both my husband and I. I alone usually eat at least 1 and a half zucchinis because the store-bought ones are so small.

So here’s what I do. You’ll need a couple zucchini’s cut in half, olive oil, pizza or spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, mini pepperonis, s&p and garlic. You can always add other pizza things but these are my go-to.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the insides. I cut the insides a bit so that I scoop square-ish pieces out. You don’t have to get all the middle out, just make a little divot like a boat. Put the insides in a fry pan and add some olive oil with a bit of s&p and garlic. Cook on medium. While that’s cooking, put your boats on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with s&p and garlic, and put them in the oven while it’s heating up. You’re just cooking these a little so they are beginning to get soft. Stir your pan full of zucchini pieces until they start to get soft. Add about a cup of sauce and stir. Once everything is heated, remove the boats from the oven. Pour your pan contents into each boat. Top with mini ronis and cheese.

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I also added fresh basil from the garden!!

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Then broil for about 3 minutes just to really crisp up the cheese. ENJOY!!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Lately, I have had a lot of people ask me for my cauliflower pizza crust recipe. I blogged it a long time ago in my Facebook Notes but I have since made adjustments and perfected it so I thought I would share again. Here goes…

Ingredients:
2 large heads of cauliflower (this will make a square the size of a cookie sheet)
2 large eggs
Italian seasonings
Olive Oil
4 cups mozzarella cheese
Pizza toppings of choice
Cookie sheet
Large mixing bowl

Directions:
-Pre-cook any raw toppings like chicken. Set aside.
-Preheat oven to 450.
-Rice cauliflower and place in a large glass bowl. *To rice the cauliflower either pulse chunks in a food processor, or grate chunks on a cheese grater. I prefer the grater. The end result should look like rice. It’s okay if you have a few bigger pieces.
-Place riced cauliflower in the microwave on high for 6 minutes. DO NOT add any water.
-Once cauliflower is cooked, add eggs, Italian seasonings, and 2 cups (or 2 handfuls) of cheese, and stir until mixed.
-Coat cookie sheet with olive oil
-Pour cauliflower mixture onto the cookie sheet and flatten out.
-Cook crust for approx 15 minutes. Crust will be firm in the middle. Edges may look slightly burned and that’s okay.
-Once crust is done, let sit for 10 minutes while you prep the toppings. Turn oven off.
-Add desired toppings to crust (this includes the other 2 cups of mozzarella cheese)
-BROIL pizza for approx 3 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
-Cut and serve with a fork.

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I have used this same recipe to make “breadsticks” to dip into marinara or to have as a side with spaghetti, or spaghetti squash if you want to go super low carb.

I have also used this same basic recipe to make cauliflower “tortillas”. You just change the seasonings to Mexican style, add lime juice, and cilantro, skip the cheese, and flip mid way through the baking. I haven’t quite mastered those yet but I haven’t made them as many times as the pizza crust.

Enjoy!!

My Health Journey: Progress Report

I am writing this post for a few reasons. I am going to explain why I don’t ever weigh myself (except for this morning for the purpose of this post). I am going to tell you what exactly I do on my journey. And I am going to explain why I think being healthy doesn’t work out for everyone. Here we go.

If you follow me you know that this journey started out about weight loss and morphed into all around health. I used to think that weighing less meant I was healthy. Boy, was I wrong. In this first photo, taken on January 5, 2013, I was 128 pounds and wearing a size 6 pants. This was the first time I had ever felt thin.

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What was I doing to be this size? I shall tell you. I was eating lower carb; Not cutting carbs totally but not stuffing my face with sandwiches everyday either. I was running about 4 times a week. I ate sugar on occasion. I was drinking diet sodas. I did not pay attention to the types of food I was eating as far as ingredients.

I am not going to share a bunch of in between photos but lets just say that I fell off the wagon. I went back to eating whatever I wanted. But I was still running. So why did I gain all the weight back? I didn’t realize the impact of putting “shit” into my body. I thought I could run the carbs away. I had the mentality of, “I’ll just run an extra mile to make up for the Oreos.” I wasn’t thin and I definitely wasn’t healthy.

In 2015 my husband and I read the book “The Wild Diet” by Abel James and really learned a lot about what we were putting in our bodies. We cleared out our kitchen and pretty much started from scratch. We started eating clean. No more artificial ingredients. No added sugar (meaning, only naturally occurring sugar like in fruit). No white flour. No shit. We started shopping in the healthy section of the store. Why is there a healthy section? What the hell are they selling in the rest of the store? We started shopping at Whole Paycheck for specific items. No alcohol. And no soda.

I also started going to an exercise class at least once a week, was working out on my own at home, and doing yoga. I wasn’t running anymore because of the area we live in (no sidewalks).

Today, January 4, 2017, (almost to the day of that first photo which was totally by coincidence) here’s what I do. First, I still eat clean about 90% of the time. That 10% is saved for fun stuff because I still like to live and have fun, and I like dessert (like having a donut on New Years). I still shop in the healthy section and frequent Whole Foods. I still eat very low carb. I do eat bread but it’s healthy bread; no white flour, no sugar, and no artificial ingredients. I eat a lot of organic foods. I pay attention to ingredients!! If I buy mac n cheese it’s the expensive kind with 5 ingredients rather than 20 (seriously, I’ve counted and it’s insane). Speaking of ingredients, I still love to eat peanut butter but buy the 365 brand at WF that is only peanuts with a pinch of salt. Try eating Jif or Skippy after eating real peanut butter for a while. It’s HORRIBLE!!!!! I eat a TON of vegetables; broccoli, brussells, spinach, zucchini…the good green stuff. I don’t buy things with sugar like cookies; I only indulge if we’re out somewhere and decide to have ice cream, or if I’m at a birthday party and there’s cake because… cake. I go to exercise class 2 days a week where we use weights and do full body exercising, I exercise at home, and I do yoga almost every day. I very rarely drink. I enjoy mimosas but save those for special occasions. I gave up beer for about 2 years and just recently started having one if we are out with friends (which is rare). I get good sleep. I am usually in bed by 830pm. It’s amazing how much that helps. And the big one, I do NOT drink soda. I haven’t had a soda in just over 3 years. (You can read my post about that HERE)

So back to the beginning with the photo, 128lbs and size 6 jeans. Now here’s me on December 21st, 2016 wearing size 2 jeans and weighing 135lbs.

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Wait, what? I weigh more but wear 2 sizes smaller? How does that even make sense? It’s really insane. I really can’t even explain the feels from this. Which brings me to why I think people have a hard time getting healthy.

One, they focus on numbers on a scale. You really can’t do that. You have to be able to FEEL. If you feel good, keep going! If you feel like crap, makes some changes. Don’t obsess about what you weigh. Side story, the last time I weighed myself was at a physical a year ago. I weighed 130lbs and since I’m short, my BMI was 25. According to the super outdated BMI scale, I was overweight and had to be given a piece of paper with websites about weight loss. Wonder what my BMI would be today?

Two, you have to have a strong will. You can’t let yourself give up. You can’t let people push you into eating unhealthy which is extremely hard. People who don’t understand your journey will ALWAYS question what you’re doing and try to persuade you to go back to the old ways. “It’s just one cookie. It’s just one beer.” My most/least favorite phrase uttered by friends, “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t do it. I am just going to try to be happy with where I’m at.”

Which brings me to three, you have to want it. You can’t eat healthy in January and slack off all year until next January. You can’t give up soda and then decide to go right back to drinking it. You can’t say you’re going to eat clean and then scarf burritos every day. Yes, you’re sacrificing, but you won’t always see it that way. What you will see though, is results. You will not only fit into your clothes better, you will FEEL better. And the best thing that comes out of all this? You will be here on this Earth a lot longer.

So what’s next for me? I’m definitely not at the end of this journey. There are all kinds of paths I plan to journey down. My first turn is down the road of muscles. In class I use 10lb weights and I am finding that they are getting lighter with some of the moves. I also watched the Rousey fight the other night and might have gotten a bit excited by how strong that woman is. The next day I bought heavier weights. I will now use 15lbs in class (for just a couple things with the 10’s on standby for others) and 25lbs for a few things at home.

Here’s me today, day 1 down Muscle Road.

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Because it’s me and I have to critique the photo, I feel like I have to say that the angle is terrible when you look at my legs. My legs are not that skinny. I still have big, meaty calves.

And of course I will continue down Yoga Lane. I’m thinking that flopping between Muscle Road and Yoga Lane is going to do wonders for arm balances.

If you’re ever interested in starting a journey like mine and need some advice, guidance, or encouraging words, email me, message me on IG, comment on here. I also admin a healthy group on Facebook (the same one that started as a weight loss group early in my journey has also morphed just like it’s members) and we’re always open to fresh meat. 😉

3 Years Stong

3 effing years, guys! One hundred and fifty-six weeks! One thousand and ninety-five days! That’s how long it’s been since I gave up soda! I am happy to report that I have been soda-sober for 3 years today! And man, it feels soooooo good!!!!!

Starting in my teenage years I pretty much drank nothing but soda. I remember giving it up in 11th grade and drinking water and lemonade and that was it. It was a good change. But I went right back. I’ve gone back and forth a gazillion times but never stuck to the goal.

When my husband and I first did a low carb diet we stuck to diet soda. I drank a LOT of Diet Mtn Dew and Coke Zero. Like, a LOOOOOOTTTTTT!!! If you knew me back when, you knew that my morning pick-me-up was a soda. I could go most of the day without eating if I was drinking soda.

When we decided to get healthy and were doing all kinds of research on food and stuff, we decided to limit our soda intake and we quit Diet soda. If we were going to indulge we were going to just go for the real sugar stuff, no fake sweeteners, and have a real Coke or Pepsi. But we were most definitely lowering our intake. We didn’t buy soda anymore and only had it in mixed drinks or when we ate out. But then a family gathering happened.

Thanksgiving 2013 was our first time having a family holiday (we finally lived close to family). I figured that since people were going to be staying at our house and eating and drinking we should probably provide some soda. It had been a while since I had a soda and in a couple days I think I drank 5 Dr. Peppers (like Forrest Gump). My body revolted against me.

I felt like shit!!! I thought I was getting a flu. My body hurt, my head hurt, my arms and legs felt weird. I did not feel right. It was the soda. It was the only thing that was different in my routine. So I quit. Cold turkey. I am not kidding when I say that it took a good week for me to feel better. I don’t wish that feeling on anyone. It was draining physically and mentally. Physically, my body was screaming at me for drinking poison! Mentally, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had spent so much of my life drinking poison and it finally caught up to me. I haven’t looked back since.

I don’t drink ANYTHING soda related. I even stay away from carbonated water. I don’t order a mixed drink if it contains soda. I have not had a single, itty bitty sip in 3 years. And I don’t miss it. Physically, I will never put my body through that shit again. Not drinking soda has mentally messed with me a bit, too, but only in my subconscious. I don’t dream of soda like I miss it, but I do have dreams that I accidentally drink it and I am so mad at myself. I had one dream recently where I took a drink of my daughter’s drink not knowing it was soda and I started yelling, “That doesn’t count! I didn’t do it on purpose!!!”

Maybe that’s part of why I stuck to this as well. It wasn’t a goal of mine to quit soda. I didn’t say, “Man, I feel bad. I should try to cut out soda.” Instead I said, “Eff this! I’m never drinking that shit again!” Sometimes just doing something is better than trying to make a goal. You can’t fail at something that you just DO.

 

Butter Blog

One of the cool, fun, and interesting things about clean eating is learning WHERE your food comes from and HOW it’s made. Just this weekend we “harvested” a duck for dinner. We now know where the food came from (a friend with a farm), what it ate (whatever it could get by foraging in the open yard), how it was slaughtered (I won’t go into details but we did this ourselves), and how it had to be prepared to be cooked and served. We did EVERYTHING!! That’s pretty neat. But this blog isn’t about the duck.

One of the things we eat a lot of is butter. But what exactly is butter? Once you know, it won’t seem bad like some people have made it out to be. We used to eat margarine and then we found out that it’s made with oil and sometimes things that resemble plastic. Did you know that someone invented margarine as a food to help fatten up turkeys? First, key word INVENTED. We really shouldn’t be eating things that are invented. Second, if it was used to FATTEN up anything I don’t want it. So a while ago we switched to real butter. If I buy butter I get salted butter and it’s only ingredients are cream and salt. But how does the cream become butter? And why add salt? That’s why I’m here! I’m going to take you step by step through the super fun (and kind of exhausting) process of making your own butter (it’s only exhausting on your arm muscles but hey, workout and make butter. Win win!!)

I’ll answer the why add salt question first. Have you ever eaten unsalted butter? It’s gross. That’s why you add salt. End of story.

When we started eating clean and learning about where food comes we decided to try to make our own butter. We just googled it and tried it. This blog is basically that except I’ll go into better detail with photos.

First you need heavy cream, not whipping cream. What’s the difference? Heavy cream is, you guessed it, heavier. It has about 35% milk fat while the whipping cream has only about 30%.  Heavy cream, a mason jar, salt, paper towels, a plastic container, and your muscles!  Let’s do it!

Take your cream out of the fridge about an hour before you are going to start. The outside of the container won’t be cold to the touch. Not warm, but not cold. Okay, it’s ready.

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Start by adding your cream to your mason jar. Fill it only about half way because the cream is going to get thicker and it needs room to expand.

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Tighten the lid and start shaking. You’re going to shake about 2 minutes or until your cream is solid and it feels like you can’t shake it anymore.

From the outside it will look like this…

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If you open the lid it will look like this…

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Put the lid back on and continue shaking. This is really the worst part because it will feel like you are shaking a solid and that you are making no progress. I promise, you’re doing it right. About another 2 minutes later the solid will feel like it is moving again. See the difference?

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Keep shaking until there is liquid in the jar again. There will be a little ball of butter and buttermilk.

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Once you hear the liquid, shake for maybe 15 more seconds. Don’t overdo it.

Now, open your jar and rinse the butter. Pour out the buttermilk (or save it for pancakes or something. I can’t tell you about that because I’ve never done it) and rinse the butter with cold water, swishing it around, until the water runs clear. It’s totally normal for little pieces of butter to come out into the sink. (Like the little piece floating on the top in the next photo).

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Once the water is clear, pour it out and put the butter into a couple paper towels and squeeze out all the water. Use more paper towels if you need to.

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When it feels dry, plop it down into the plastic container. Cover it and start back at the top until you’re out of cream. This pint of cream took me 4 repeats. I was beat when I was done, lol. Usually my husband is making butter with me so the work is split. I did this alone and I had jello arms when I was done. The very first time we did it, my daughter helped too but wimped out at the shaking the solid step. But I definitely recommend this as a family project.

Once you are done and have balls of butter, use a spoon and mush it up.

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If there is any excess water, soak it up with another napkin. You don’t want any liquid. The liquid is not BAD, but if it sits in there too long it will make your butter rotten (think milk sitting on something it doesn’t belong on).

Add your salt, a couple turns of the the grinder, mix it up, and put it in the fridge. Or make some toast and try it out. MMMMM!!!!!!

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ENJOY!!!

 

 

Groceries and Stuff

I am doing this mainly for my Facebook support group, but I am sure that if you happened upon this for health and wellness reasons you won’t be disappointed. Stick around!!

My bff and I are always talking about food; what we ate for lunch, what’s for dinner, why she should throw away the margarine, you know, really important things. I told her that I should make her a grocery list. So that’s what this is.

I guess I should tell you first that over the years, my husband and I have gone back and forth and up and down in the health and weight department. We are both very active people but we both actively like to eat as well. Years ago we were eating low carb. It worked out great! We would always say, “It’s more of a lifestyle than a diet.” But then you start to add cookies back into the mix annnnnndddd we were eating carbs again. Somewhere along the lines we decided to just be “healthy”. So that meant eat whatever as long as it was healthy. I was running a lot and staying active so I would also eat cookies because I was totally going to run off those extra calories and then….we’re eating shit food again. Once we left Arizona, I think we left a lot of shit behind us. Living out here in the country, away from friends and family, gives us time to focus on what we really want out of life. We want to be happy, healthy, active people who teach our daughter about being happy, healthy and active and that there is so much more to life than the hustle and bustle of everyday crap. You know what? You can’t be all those things if you are eating shit food, putting chemicals into your body, and living the lazy life. So, we’ve made super changes and they have all been for the better.

This summer we started listening to a podcast called “Fat Burning Man.” The guy who hosts it is named Abel James and he wrote a book about this lifestyle called, “The Wild Diet.” It’s basically Paleo, which I am sure you all are familiar with, but in the book he also talks about what’s really in the food you are eating. We now base our eating on this style, eat as organic as possible, eat very low carb, and find foods that have good wholesome ingredients and less chemicals, hormones, and other things you can’t even pronounce. We still buy some things for us and our daughter that aren’t “healthy” because a) we’re human beings who can’t do everything 100% correct, b) we do what our budget can handle (one income and that’s a military income. My husband likes to say, “You don’t join the military to get rich.”) and c) my daughter is 8, picky, and I don’t want to force her to eat every single healthy thing on the menu and not be a kid. Basically, we eat tons of meat, green veggies, and eggs, and we drink water and tea. We limit our sugar and we eat REAL food. Now, on to the shopping lists!!

I am a list person. I have to write things down or I’ll forget them. And when it comes to food shopping, we shop at several different stores so I write things in separate little boxes for each different store. I usually have a box for Kroger where we do 80% of the food shopping, a box for Whole Paycheck where we buy a few select items and usually eat lunch while we’re there, a box for Sams Club for dog food and toilet paper, and a box for Walmart where we buy cotton balls and other household items.

One thing to also keep in mind is the low carb trick at the grocery store…only shop on the outer isles. Think about it. If you walked the outer rim of your favorite grocery store you’d go by the veggies, the meat, and the dairy. All the boxed, processed crap and carbs are in the middle of the store. Okay, let’s go shopping!!!

Whole Foods:
Peanut Butter. We buy their 365 brand that is peanuts with a pinch of salt only. No other ingredients. (pictured)
Heavy Cream. We don’t always buy this, but when we do, it’s for making our own butter. Heavy cream is different from heavy whipping cream because of the milk fat percentage. I can’t think right now but one has more.
Stevia sweetener. We don’t use it often, but it’s the most natural sweetener we can get.
Fish and Meat. If we want a super good piece of meat or really fresh tuna (we like to make poke) we buy meat here.
Deodorant and soap. For the past maybe 3 years, we have been using all natural deodorant. We used to use the salt stick stuff but now we use Jason’s, Tom’s, or Stink Bug. The soap we use, Dr. Bronner’s, could really be used for EVERYTHING in the house but we use it for our bodies and for the animals, sometimes the laundry. (pictured)

other stuff

Kroger:
This store has a really awesome selection of natural and/or organic products. Their own brand is called “Simple Truth” and it’s always no hormones and no additives. Again, based on budget, we don’t always choose organic, but we do strive for less fillers.
Veggies we always buy: broccoli, organic baby spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti squash, brussels sprouts, onions. If we know we are wanting to make something specific we will buy other veggies but the ones I listed are always in the fridge. When cauliflower isn’t almost $5 a head that is also a staple. We don’t buy a ton of fruit but if we do, it’s what in season. For example, so much money is spent on cherries but only during summer.
In the health food section we buy
Cereal. My daughter is the only one who eats it and it’s the healthiest one we can find. (pictured)
Frozen bread. We buy the 7 grains organic that is made with grains only. No fake stuff and no sugar. (pictured)
Syrup. Plain ole maple syrup. If you’re going to eat something sweet it better be as natural as possible. No refined sugar. (pictured)
Eggs. We usually have the hookup when it comes to eggs. My husband works with a guy who has a farm and he is usually swimming in chicken and duck eggs. We normally get eggs from him but if we don’t, we buy super expensive, free range, grass fed, no extras eggs.
Granola bars. My daughter needs snacks at school so we buy her the Kashi bars or something similar. (pictured)
From the meat counter we get bacon. Lots of bacon!! We eat a ton of bacon and it’s always the freshest and thickest stuff from the butcher section rather than the packaged stuff. If we are feeling fishy, we’ll get fresh fish as well.
From the healthy meat section…
The same Simple Truth brand can be found in the meat department as well. Free range, grass fed, no extras chicken, beef and pork. We usually stock up on chicken breasts, thighs, whole chickens, ground beef, ground bison, and steaks. This is where all our money goes.
From the rest of the outer rim of the store:
Whole fat milk, orange juice, Gogurts (for the kid), cream cheese, cheese, real butter, ham, smoked salmon (for the kid to eat on bagels)
From the middle and the frozen section:
Tea. We drink a lot of tea. Bagels for the kid. Waffles for the kid. Frozen pizzas for the kid for “those days”. Packaged fruit cups for snacks, with fruit and fruit juice only, no sugar or extras. Cheezeits because if there is one thing my daughter and I love more than pizza it’s cheezeits. (Gotta have something you still love right?)

breakfast

snack other

And that is pretty much it. Looking at our fridge (pictured) you’ll see that most of the stuff we buy is perishable. This is good and bad. Bad because obviously, if we don’t eat it it goes bad. But good because we are forced to eat what we bought. That’s where that budget thing comes in again… we spent our money on it, we better eat it.

the fridge

On a typical day, our dinner is a meat and a veggie or salad. Lunches are leftovers, salads with leftovers, or eggs.

My typical salad. Spinach, hard boiled egg, cheese, croutons, leftover chicken, and hummus (Simple Truth organic) as dressing rather than Ranch (do you know most ranch dressings have MSG in them?).

lunch

My eggs are always ham, spinach, and cheese. In this photo I also had some bacon and salsa over the top. The salsa is the BOMB and it’s a salsa verde from Whole Foods.

eggs

For breakfast, I always eat one slice of toast with butter and peanut butter. I’m not a huge breakfast person but I love to drink tea in the morning and I can’t on an empty stomach. If I could, I would just drink tea and go until lunch, but I’ve tried and I’d rather eat something small than be nauseous all morning. Bleh. My daughter, who is 8, is adjusting to our improved healthy eating quite well. The only time she eats things we can’t control is at school, but I am super proud to say that she does eat the veggies given to her at school. She also chooses what days she wants to eat at school and she is making great choices. She always skips fried food days but loves the days they serve baked chicken and vegetable soup. I feel like we are winning in that department. Dinner time used to be a super struggle but now she knows that she has to eat what’s on her plate. I no longer give in and just give her cereal or a pbj.

And because you are probably thinking, “This is good and all but does it really work?” I will add this photo to prove it. The left picture is me September 8th, 2015, about a month after we got here to Virginia and decided to get our asses in gear. The right is December 8th. And if you read my most recent blog updating about me, you’ll know that I don’t run anymore. So all the inches, fat, and weight lost is from regular exercising and food choices.

me

Happy Shopping!!!

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