Hello everyone! Long time no talk. It's been a whirlwind of a week and a half, however I'm happy to report that yours truly is down 15lbs! I'm super happy about this because this is the first time I've been able to lose that much on my own in a VERY long time. By "on my own" I mean I haven't used anything fancy, just old fashioned lifestyle changes and your typical blood/sweat/tears combo. I'll be taking my measurements again sometime in the next week or so, but my last figure was 20.25 inches gone!
Over the weekend, a place that is near and dear to me, had a devastating earthquake. Nepal had a 7.8 magnitude earthquake this past Saturday, that has currently taken the lives of nearly 6000 people, and that figure is only expected to grow. Not only did they have a major earthquake, they were, and still are, plagued with aftershocks. I have family there, and it has been quite an emotional week. Thankfully, they are safe, albeit, very startled, but they are alive. Before you read any further, I challenge any reader of this blog to hug their loved ones, send someone a quick text to let them know you are thinking of them, write a note, make a phone call, whatever you need to do, just do it! Life is so incredibly precious, and it's usually in times of great sorrow, all the darkness is what forces us to see that glimmer of light. The past week or so has really challenged me mentally, but the past few days have really iced that cake for me. I've spent much of the week cycling through a multitude of emotions: worry, anxiety, fear, anger, and even joy. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. All of this emotion makes the mental aspect of food, and how much of an emotional eater I have always been very evident to me. It's taken 30 some odd years to get to this point, so I'm well aware that it won't change in just a few months, but I'm trying not to dwell.
I read this excellent article by Steven Aitchison today about 10 things you need to drop from your life. If you don't know who Steven Aitchison is, please look him up, he's awesome! While reading the article, I started to get excited. I thought to myself "This is it!" This is the motivation that I needed. If you have a moment, please stop by and read the actual article, as it's very eye opening (At least it was for me) _http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/10-things-you-should-drop-from-your-life-starting-now/ There are some on the list I can easily do, like drop negative people around me.....Buh Bye! I actually started this years ago. It seems the older I get, the less tolerable I am for anyone who is a Negative Nelly. However, there are others on the list I need to definitely work on (caring about mistakes I've made, worrying about the past etc). Reading through this article really opened my eyes to many things that I need to work on. While this journey to a healthier me focuses on weight loss, it's much much much more than just that. It's ultimately about dropping more than just the weight. It's about gaining a new outlook in all the aspects of life.
So I ask........What do you plan on dropping from your life to make things better???
The blog has a new look! What do you think??? Also, did you notice the new logo??? That is compliments of a dear friend of mine, who is not only my friend, but also one of my biggest cheerleaders as well! Thank you!!! Does anyone want to take a guess at my current stats?.....anyone?...anyone?....ok fine, I'll just tell you. *Drum Roll* 13 pounds and 20.25 inches!!!!! *applause* Thank you thank you :) While I was on my weekly grocery shopping run, I was thinking about how I've come to the point in buying the organic foods I buy , as well as the many years of researching and understanding what the best choices are for me and my family.
If you're anything like me, you probably read about organic, non-organic GMOs, Non-GMOs etc, and think....WTF?!?! Why can't food just be food? What happened to the simple days when you could go into the grocery store and buy an apple, without worrying if that apple will 1) break the bank to buy it 2) give my kids cancer 3) be worse than eating a candy bar due to the bazillion chemicals on it, and the list goes on. All of these thoughts would race through my mind, but over the years, I've learned to make the decisions that I felt are right for me and my family. We try to live by the motto of "everything in moderation", therefore, going to dire extremes is not an option. I remember the days when I would read healthy living articles, books, blogs etc. about clean eating and all the green alternatives, I would get to the point of thinking to myself......I can't win for losing. Everything I eat, clean with, use for daily grooming, breathe, touch, look at is going to kill me! To me personally, worrying about eliminating every possible disease causing chemical from your daily repertoire, is an unnecessary stress. What's the point of worrying constantly about these things, when it's likely that the worrying itself is taxing your health more so than these chemicals.
What I decided to do was keep it simple for me and my family. There are certain items that I will only buy organic, and there are others that it just doesn't really matter to me. So for starters what is organic food? In short, it's food that has been grown in the absence of man made pesticides, as well as any chemical fertilizers. Check out this link for a more in depth explanation, however the easiest way to think of organic food is food that your ancestors used to eat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food Obviously, non-organic is the opposite. It's food that is grown utilizing chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. My organic foods shopping list includes, organic milk, eggs, chicken, and fruits/veggies on the "dirty dozen" list. The Environmental Working Group has a list of the top 12 foods that have the highest concentration of pesticides on them. Certain foods tend to hold onto those pesticides/chemicals due to their coverings (i.e. peel, thin skin, thick skin, etc.) I buy only organics in the below foods, and typically, I only buy them if they are on sale to save money. Contrary to popular belief, organic isn't always more expensive. You just have to know the right places to buy from. Today, for example, my local farmer's market had conventional apples for $0.98 per pound, and organic Red Delicious apples for.......$0.98 per pound! SCORE! Looks like apples are definitely on the menu this week in our house.
On the flip side, there's also a list of foods that you don't necessarily have to buy organic. Their unique skins allow them to be grown in a conventional way, but they will not retain as much chemical residue. So, save money and buy these non-organic.
With the whole organic vs. non-organic thing behind us now, what's the deal with all this GMO talk? You're probably seeing more and more foods these days with a label that says non-GMO, but you are probably thinking, what does that even mean??? A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is an organism that has had it's genetic material modified. Currently, there are no rules or regulations to label items in the U.S. that have been genetically modified. So why mess with the genes of our food? Basically, with the ever growing population, scientists are always looking for ways to get their best bang for their buck, so to speak. We're always searching for how to make fruits and vegetables not rot as fast, grow bigger, not have the nuisance of seeds, and heck.....now there's talks of an apple that doesn't oxidize and turn brown! Sound healthy to you? While the jury is still out on whether or not GMOs present risks to your health as a whole, my opinion is this.....Why take a chance? The GMO foods that are available today aren't anything close to their natural form. Since companies do not need to advertise if their products contain GMOs, the easiest way to ensure that you are eating something that is non-GMO is to buy organic. This website has a plethora of information for your inquiring mind, so check them out for some more in depth explanations of GMOs. http://www.nongmoproject.org/
So does your brain hurt yet? I hope not! Hopefully this helped clarify just a little about all the craziness that surrounds our food today. Tell me, what do you buy organic? What are your thoughts on GMOs? Feel free to check out the forum and post a topic.
So I've learned some valuable lessons this week...1) I'm not super human and 2) I now know what it feels like to have a crappy driver's license picture. It's been a rather stressful few months, and now with my new goal of not using food for my stress relief, I caught myself in a whirlwind of emotion this week. I've been in constant go go go go mode for months now, I sort of lost track of myself. I finally hit a brick wall today which knocked me on my bootay! I've been burning from both ends lately, which is definitely not conducive for tip top mental/physical/emotional health! I HIGHLY not recommend you do the same, and in return I will start practicing more of what I preach.
So moving on to my DMV experience. It was driver's license renewal time, and I skipped down to the DMV with the 1 million pieces of paperwork that they require, waited for my number to be called, approached the counter and this happened:
"Ma'am , step all the way back and look down at the blue dot"
and then I was like.....
"Ummm can we please retake it, I've got a bit of a double chin there"
*Lifts chin up to make sure double chin was NOT in this pic*
And then I was like.....
On a positive note, he did allow me to change my weight to my goal weight, so that was a definite plus. Moving on, let's talk about something fun that we did this week....
You have all probably been to one of the many burrito/taco making places, that allow you to choose what items you want in your food. My family particularly likes Chipotle. We decided to bring Chipotle into the house this week by utilizing our leftover grilled chicken. It was a lot of fun because the kiddies can choose what they want and even make their own burritos. Here's what we used to make our, as I'm calling it, "mock-potle"
Grilled chicken breasts/tenders - in our case we used leftovers
1 can black beans- I used organic canned beans in a BPA free liner
2 cups brown or white rice- I used leftovers and added some lime juice and chopped cilantro
Shredded mozzarella cheese- part skim
Salsa- We roasted some tomatoes on the stove, added cilantro, salt, pepper, lime all to taste
Sour Cream- I used Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream
Whole wheat tortillas
Sauteed green/yellow/red bell peppers
You can really add whatever ingredients you enjoy in a burrito (avocado, corn, mixed vegetables etc). I placed all the ingredients on the counter, and the family all made what they wanted. I personally forewent the tortilla and rice, and basically created my own burrito bowl. It was super duper yummy! It was also a fun and exciting way to get the kids involved and really make it all a family affair. Also, it's a great way to utilize leftovers.
Do you have any mock recipes you enjoy? If so tell me about them, I'd love to hear!
Did you miss me?!?! I feel like it's been forever since I've posted something new. Life has been super hectic being a full time super woman. Stress has been a factor, however, I'm happy to report, stress related eating has NOT!! I still continue to struggle with not using food as a reward or a crutch, but I'm essentially having to relearn how to view food. It's a process. Stats on me, I'm holding steady at 12 lbs lost, HOWEVER, I'm down 16.5 inches!!! I totally feel like this right about now! :)
Ok to moving on.....My continued love for muffin pans. I have yet another recipe that I love making with my muffin pans. This recipe is also good to make in larger batches as they freeze well, much like the zucchini muffins. I present you.....Egg Muffins! (that's as creative as I'm going to be at the moment)
and whatever you want to mix with eggs :)
What I have used:
Lunch Meats (non nitrate of course)
Again, the possibilities are endless!
I typically use a dozen of eggs (you can use egg whites as well), and mix in whatever strikes me at that moment. I then mix all ingredients together, add a splash of milk (makes them slightly more fluffy) and place the mixture into the muffin tins. Make sure you fill them to the top.
Bake these at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to check if they are cooked thoroughly. The best part about these, my kids eat them!! They are chock full of protein and vitamins from all of the added ingredients. I typically make up about 24 or so of these and freeze them. They are super easy and convenient. You just have to pop it out of the freezer, place it in a paper towel, heat for about 1 minute on high, and Voila! Super fast, super convenient, super healthy breakfast or anytime snack!