Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Well, things have gotten progressively worse over the last several days! I could now be the poster child for the Junk Food Challenge, as I've pretty much gone 180* with my eating! I have managed to get over the guilt because the alternative is to be sick all the time and starve altogether and also let my family go hungry. We will get through this trying time. I just hope I am able to go back to eating healthy again without much struggle. Right now, everything that I was eating and everything that I should be eating makes me want to gag when I think about it. I also have no energy to cook and a killer headache that ruins everything.

It's unfortunate, I was hoping this pregnancy would be different. I had dreams about working out all the way through and eating right and not gaining much weight at all. Then my life would just go on post-partum, I could enjoy my baby and not worry about getting back in shape. Ha! What's happened in the past is I've been so sick in the beginning that I have to stop working out, then I am too exhausted to get back into it and of course I just eat whatever I can at first and then whatever I want later. Makes for a lot of work to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans!

So, it's time for me to go to bed and get some rest, but I don't want to, because I am really dreading the morning!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Bun in the Oven and the End of My Challenge

So, I was pretty certain I was pregnant when I started my challenge. I felt fantastic up until day 23 and then the all day nausea set in. I have been working out with increasing intensity 6 days a week throughout this challenge. Five of those workouts take place at 5:15 am. On day 23, after working out, I was so nauseated I didn't know what to do because the quick and easy things to eat are definitely not whole30 approved. In my past pregnancies, I practically lived on cereal. I was thinking that maybe the foods I had eliminated were going to keep me from experiencing morning sickness, because I have read so many stories of primal/paleo women who don't. So that was an exciting thought. But no. I now have the nausea, the headaches, the exhaustion, everything. So I have to figure out how to keep myself from being sick without eating all the carbs that I crave.

Today's lunch.

I have been pretty much living on eggs the last few days. It's one of the few things that appeal to me. This morning I ate a small bowl of rice chex before working out and then went on with my regular routine of working out, showering, getting ready - before making the eggs. And since my challenge is over, I cooked them in butter and added my conventional bacon! Yum! It worked well and I managed to have a great workout still and not feel like I am going to pass out with nausea afterward. So, I guess I will allow myself this grain "cheat" until this nausea goes away!

Update on our dinners the last few nights. The turkey chili went over great with the kids. Matt didn't care for it as much. I liked it, but not as well as beef chili. The kids were surprised when I told them there was squash in it! The curry pork was a fail in my family's book. I love curry. They don't. But I didn't love the pork. Too dry. Tonight was my favorite, beef vegetable soup. I could live on this stuff. I don't know if I would ever get sick of it. :)

Here's some challenge stats for you:
weight lost in 23 days - 8 pounds
inches lost - 2 on belly, 1.5 on hips

Here's some baby stats: baby number 5 due September 2012!

ps - Some people just can't stand not knowing if a baby is "planned" or not, especially once you get past number 3. I think it's an inappropriate question, really, unless it is coming from a very close friend. Whether or not we planned this baby, God certainly did! But yes, this is something we wanted. The anticipation is almost unbearable! We are thrilled!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindness and Respect

It's time to take a detour from my food challenge and talk about parenting a bit. And my darling children. Oh, how I love them! Carson will be 9 in two weeks! Hallie turned 5 last month. Montana is solid 7 and Ollie is approaching 3. They are the greatest gifts I could have ever been blessed with.

In the "early days" of parenting, when I had 3 preschoolers at home, I felt like it was all I could do to survive. I did my best to discipline and teach appropriate behavior. But mainly we worked on daily routine and right and wrong.

Over these last couple of years I have had a chance to breathe and reflect and consider what it is I really want to "teach" my children. What do I want to model? What kind of legacy do I want to leave? And what is it I want my children to take into their hearts and into the world?

And it really boils down to two things. Kindness and respect. These are what I value above all else. I pray daily with and for my kids for God to help them to be kind and respectful. Now, so far, they aren't always exemplifying these values at home. But we are all working on it together. I hope that they are just so exhausted from being so kind and respectful out in the world that sometimes they let their human weakness take over at home. :)

Also, perfect behavior is not important to me. I want my children to obey me out of love and respect. But they are kids, not robots. I do not expect them to be perfect and I don't spank them every time they mess up.

I believe having a thick skin is important and being able to be teased in love is essential. We are a family who laughs with each other and at ourselves. And you can often tell you are loved by a Fischer if we tease you. But I am teaching my children the difference between teasing and mocking, laughing with and laughing at. I hope they are learning to differentiate between appropriate times to tease and laugh and inappropriate times.

So here is what I want to say to you. If you know my kids, if you spend any kind of time with any of them at all, and you witness unkindness or disrespect, call them out on it. I cannot tolerate my children being rude, sassy, or bossy to adults. I cannot tolerate my children excluding other children, or being mean to their peers in any way. And, if you witness my children being respectful or extraordinarily kind, praise them! And PLEASE let me know as well, so I can be encouraged too. Parenting is tough work and I think we could all use a little more encouragement.

"Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel." Proverbs 11:17

"Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect authority." 1 Peter 2:17

Whole30 Day 21

This is the turkey and yam hash I made last night. It was yummy! I tasted it and then worried that the husband wouldn't care for it. But his comment was: "if this is healthy then I want to eat healthy!" There wasn't enough to satisfy him because he loved it so much.

Tonight's dinner also turned out very good. But let me just say, I am not a salmon lover. I have not found a way of preparing salmon that keeps me coming back for more. I eat it because it's free and we have a freezer full. And because I know it is healthy. I enjoyed the yellow squash much more than the salmon.
The sun has stopped shining and today I was feeling really cruddy. Headache, general yucky feeling, no energy. I tried to take a nap, and lay in bed for a full hour, but I don't think I slept much. I was hoping to wake up refreshed and re-energized, but nope. I sure hope tomorrow is better, because when I feel this way, all I want to do it medicate with chocolate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Day 20! (and a meal plan)

I don't know what happened over the last couple days, but I feel like I got my vitality back. On Friday I struggled. I wanted to quit. Matt and I had no kids for the night and a gift card to St. Elias. The craving and thoughts of all kind of sweets kicked in. I wanted pizza. I wanted beer. I wanted chocolate! But I was strong and resisted that urge. When we got home from Carson's game, I opted to make some baked bars with almond flour and dates. The dates were the only sweetener. Even though it may not be best to find a "legal" way to get past that craving, still, I did stay legal and managed to hang in. Then on Saturday I stuck with my usual Sat. morning routine of about 6 cups of coffee over the course of 3 hours and I ate 2 of those bars for my breakfast around 8. Then I went to Zumba at 10 and I was feeling great. I went about my day and never got hungry again. I finally decided to eat again at 5, when I was feeding Oliver dinner. I felt fabulous all day and never felt hunger or thought about food. It happened again today when I didn't feel hungry for breakfast and had my coffee with coconut oil instead and waited until lunch to eat. This makes me really happy because, not only do I feel great, but food is not on my mind. I am not wondering what I am going to eat and when I can eat next. I love not feeling hungry and not wishing I could eat something I shouldn't. And I love being able to see things and watch people eat things (i.e. doughnuts at church) and not wish I was eating one too. Not compelled at all. Not missing what I should not have. Big happy face.

So, here is this week's meal plan. Since I made the turkey last week (the best thing I could have done), I have been enjoying homemade stock and turkey soup. I am getting adventurous again with some new recipes this week, so I hope my family doesn't rebel! :)

Wednesday: turkey pumpkin chili (I'm going to use frozen squash because I have some)
Thursday: beef vegetable soup
Friday: salsa chicken (I never ended up making this, with all the leftover turkey, and it's sort of serving as my backup meal right now)
Saturday: I will be gone this night and so I will probably let the fam eat pizza as a treat. I am thinking a nice yummy steak will be just the ticket for me on this special night. :)

So, fyi, Saturday will be day 26 and I am actually considering ending my challenge on this day. I will be celebrating the 40th birthday of a very dear friend that evening. I plan to stick to Whole30 as much as possible, but thus far I have not had to face the challenge of eating out during this challenge. On this day I will be having dinner out and then breakfast and lunch the next day. I am afraid it will be difficult to avoid butter. I also plan to make her some coconut bars that contain some honey (I do not use stevia. Ever.). For the sake of happiness and not feeling deprived, I may just end my challenge a few days early and enjoy the blessing of friendship. Either way, I will certainly let you all know what happens! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh, and it's Day 18.

Yes, I am getting worn out with this. I am not as excited to show you my food anymore. There are no changes happening with lunches and breakfasts, and dinners have had a few less-than-satisfactory results. I am still hanging in, but definitely counting the days until this challenge is over. Not so I can start eating unhealthy stuff, but so I don't have to wonder what to eat when I am hungry between meals. Hopefully I will be able to reintroduce cheese without any issues. And then, when I need a snack I can go back to eating my salami and cheese - because even though salami is a processed meat, I still feel it is a better choice to snack on than cookies or crackers and, I like it. I can cook with butter. And consume bacon again.

And hopefully, I will continue to do an awesome job making meal plans each week and feeding my entire family healthier, not just me. Being on this challenge has really made it easier to bring the whole family in to healthier eating, because there is no more junk in this house. I know I don't do well with temptation. Hopefully, I will be able to go back to eating a very small portion of dark chocolate now and then and occasionally bake a Primal treat using honey or maple, and almond flour without losing complete control of how much of these sweets I eat.

Hopefully, I will take the time and effort to make myself a salad for lunch or cook up a quick stir fry. Rather than just eating an apple with almond butter and cheese and salami for lunch!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Days 13 & 14

For some reason I have not been motivated to update yesterday or today. Tomorrow is my halfway mark and I feel as if I have lost some of my unction. :( All day today I felt the need to snack, which was frustrating and annoying, especially since my snacks are so limited. Then tonight my dinner wasn't very satisfying. I was very hungry shortly after. I don't want to be so negative on here, so maybe that is why I have been avoiding it.

I will say the eggplant recipe was good! I wouldn't rank it among my favorite meals, but I did go back for seconds. Unfortunately, the rest of the fam didn't care for it much and so after they all ate a little, I allowed them to eat pb&h sandwiches AND cereal! Totally opposite of what I am trying to accomplish here! Oh well, you can't win them all. Overall, the kids have played along quite well and been little troopers about the whole thing.

I'll be eating leftovers for awhile!

I did make one delicious discovery yesterday when I was actually craving chocolate, of all things! (My cravings for sweet have almost vanished, so I was surprised it had surfaced.) I decided to mix cocoa powder and nothing else into the cream from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk. Oh my goodness! It didn't even need to be sweetened, just creamy, chocolaty goodness. The texture was sort of between a mousse and a pudding. YUM!

I'm really hoping my mood and attitude improves and goes back to the way I was feeling last week. Maybe it's because we have had multiple nightime visits from numerous kids the last few nights. It's starting to take it's toll and I'm feeling worn down.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 12 - Meal Planning Day

Tonight we are having the beef stew I had planned on having last night. Last night I made the chicken soup I intended for tonight. I think I'm allowed to do that, right? ;)

Here is this week's meal plan!

Monday: Eggplant/Ground Beef Marinara recipe (this popped up on Maria Mind Body Health's facebook page and then I just happened to notice eggplant on sale, so I thought, how fortuitous, we will all try something new this week! Eggplant!)
Tuesday: Orange Ginger Stir Fry Chicken
Wednesday: Slow Cooked Pork Roast (I have another recipe I usually use, but wanted to try something new!)
Thursday: Turkey? (I really want to make a turkey so I can get some snacking meat in my fridge, but if I just can't accomplish it, we will probably have salmon.)
Friday: Salsa Chicken (another slow cooker recipe - chicken covered in salsa)
Saturday: salad or leftovers (kids will be out of town with grandparents)

Not sure about Sunday yet!

I would like to note how fantastic I feel, physically, how positive my mood has been, and how much easier this challenge has been so far than I expected! I have never done anything this extreme (meaning, 30 days with not even a little niblet or taste of dark chocolate). I didn't have much faith in myself, really. But the reason I keep denying myself whenever I am tempted is because of you, whoever you are, reading this blog. I've gone public with my goal and because of that, I intend to see it through. Thanks for hanging in with me!

Day 11

Saturday mornings are a bit special for me. Usually, it is the only day of the week I don't have to be "on task" first thing. So I like to be lazy. I usually get out of bed between 6:30 and 7:00 (whereas on weekdays I am up by 5:15). I like to make coffee and sit and drink it for a couple hours while messing around on the computer, sometimes just playing card games. If I get hungry, I try to eat something easy. I make the kids fend for themselves with cereal or toast on Saturday, but the rest of the week they get pretty healthy breakfasts. So today I cooked a sausage patty around 8 and then at 10 I made the most delicious omelet. (The way Matt's dad taught me when we lived there for 9 months.)

Two eggs + ingredients of choosing. Mine: mushrooms, onions, cilantro, pickled pepper rings. Mixed together and cooked like so.


Today, for the first time on this challenge, I encountered an "oh no! I don't have anything legal to eat!" situation. I was taking the kids to the pool right after feeding them lunch. I had depleted all of my greens and leftovers! I grabbed trail mix for the car and stopped by the store to try to find some deli meat I could legally consume on the challenge. That was definitely a challenge in itself! I ended up getting some meat that didn't say "sugar" on the label, but it did have some type of "-ose" ingredient in it. It was the best I could do and I knew I needed some protein before several hours of swimming. It tasted disgusting, by the way. Super salty!

Here is the delicious soup I made for dinner using the leftovers from roast chicken night.

And here is how gorgeous it was outside today, even though it was -20 degrees and the view from my bonus room window.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 10 - 1/3 of challenge down!

Today the sun was shining and it was glorious. It gave me energy to clean the bonus room that still had confetti on the floor from New Years and puzzles and games dumped everywhere from when Ollie sneaked up on Day 2 of trying to nap without a pacifier and wreaked that havoc.

But this evening I found myself being more tempted than usual to just have a little taste of the snack mix I had made for the kids - it just looks oh, so delicious! (Almond slices, coconut chips, and rice chex held together with a heated honey and butter mixture). I was able to be strong, but I was feeling deprived. I am usually pretty thankful when bedtime rolls around and I know I've made it through another day.

Lunch was good. It consisted of leftover salmon on a bed of spinach with avocado and cilantro, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

The meat loaf dinner was delicious. Really, really yummy! I did not snap a photo. The kids all scarfed it! I can't believe how fast our family can go through 3 lbs of meat!

Here are the general ingredients I used last night. (I never make it the same twice.)
  • 2 lbs ground moose
  • 1 lb country sausage
  • almond flour
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • italian seasoning
  • marjoram
  • carrots, mushrooms, onions - finely chopped in a food processor
Normally I would include an egg, but I had used the last of them that morning without thinking about dinner. It wasn't missed. I pressed the mixture into a 13x9 pan and it cooked in half the time. For the kids, I mixed ketchup and honey to dip or spread on top.

And there you have it. I will have to put my thinking cap on today to come up with next weeks' meal plan!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 9

You know how you have everything planned and it's supposed to go just so and then something is thrown at you that you weren't planning on and it just causes everything to go askew? Yeah, that was this evening. The day started out fine. But I had my meal planned based on my day's schedule and then last night Matt told me I was going to have to take the kids to practice AND stay there the whole time. I had planned on roasting my chicken and vegetables WHILE they were at practice and I would have a lovely meal ready for them upon their arrival. Uh, no. I knew I would never have time to do it. And there was no plan B. There are no quickie meals (unless you already have one planned and prepped) in Whole30. So I threw the chicken in the crockpot before I left this morning and prepped the veggies. I was gone the entire day (which was planned until the practice, which I was supposed to be home for). Thus, the chicken was overcooked and dry and of course I still had to figure out the quickest way to cook the veggies once I walked in the door at 6:20. Ack! They ended up getting boiled/steamed in the broth/runoff from the chicken. Overall, the meal was fine. But my anxiety level today was through the roof. (I also did a lot of driving in yucky weather/road conditions with Ollie either crying or trying to tell me something I couldn't understand and getting frustrated.) I guess I am not so flexible. Ahhhh. Breathe, the day is over. ps - All I really want is a big slab of dark chocolate right now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I believe this is day 8?

I was cold all morning and I did not feel like having the salad I had planned on. I wanted something warm. I was really tempted to roast a sweet potato, but I had planned on those for dinner and I knew that would be overdoing the carbs. (Plus, as it turned out, there would not have been enough for both!) I ended up sauteing zucchini, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and cashews in olive oil and sea salt. It was delicious! But I was a little concerned with the lack of protein and possibly getting hungry again really soon.

The chipotle lime salmon for dinner was equally delicious! (But I did end up using Fiesta Chili powder in place of the chipotle.)

The whole family enjoying this Whole30 approved meal!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

First of all, pause the song by Needtobreathe on the left hand side of the page and then listen to this song by JJ Heller.

When I am having a rough day, I tend to return to this song. I haven't really listened to it in a year. This time of year - post Christmas - always hits me hard. I am faced with the fact that it is a very long time until Summer, when I can get out and ENJOY the outdoors. The kids are starting to go crazy as well. This week I started feeling sorry for myself. I have really had a fabulous year but I let this selfishness and self-absorbtion sneak up on me. Why? Because I let myself go dry. Because I wasn't standing guard. Because Satan uses the dark every year to stop the work Christ is doing in and through me.

So, today I renew my vow to look outward and not inward. I am praying for God to show me where and who to love. I am praying He will keep me so busy loving that I will not notice the dark, cold, or how long I have to wait for summer.

A passage that I have come back to time and time again for guidance and reassurance is Isaiah 58:8-14. This passage has meant a lot to me over the last four years, as it prompted healing and huge changes in my life. Sometimes when I find myself in a place of "down and out" or in a funk, I return to this passage searching for hope or joy or instruction or anything to move me forward.

Here's what stood out today - and some parts that stand out every time.

8 - Your healing will come quickly. (I need quick healing, Lord!)

9 - Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! (I usually get past this verse quickly because I have a major dislike for gossip, having been the object of it many times in the past, and am quite vigilant against it. But today, it was painfully convicting. I have not oppressed anyone that I am aware of, nor have I spread any vicious rumors, but I have participated in what I would consider gossip twice within the last week! I must remain strong in my convictions against this.)

10 - Help those in trouble. (Always praying for God to guide me to them. In general this is where my passion for MOPS comes in, because I was in some serious trouble as a mother of preschoolers and I think many moms out there are struggling.)

Then my favorite part: still verse 10 - Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. (I have a lot of darkness around me. LITERALLY! I recognize when I am a light in the darkness. I need that back.)

13 - Honor the Lord in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires. If you do this, the Lord will be your delight. (Yes, yes, yes!)

Scriptures taken from the New Living Translation.

If you are someone who prays, I can always use it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 1 Down!

I've made it through one week of the Whole30 Challenge! Today I was starving at five, which is or is close to when we usually try to eat dinner. But Carson (the almost 9 year old) has started basketball and Matt (the husband/dad) is coaching. They had practice which caused dinner to be at 6:45! So late! The afternoons have been harder to figure out what to eat when I actually feel hunger. Under normal circumstances I would run for the salami and cheese, but they are not legal on this challenge. So I had a boiled egg, 1 tbsp coconut oil, and coffee with coconut milk in it.

Then I was fine until dinner. The coconut chicken strips were AMAZING! But it isn't too surprising that I loved them since I do love coconut. I did over cook them and in the future I will try not to cook them as long. It is so hard to tell when meat is done when you can't cut into it! The family all loved it and scarfed it down! Along with the cauliflower with clarified butter. The meal was incredibly filling and satisfying with all that protein and healthy fat.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This Week's Meal Plan

Monday: beef vegetable soup (I chose this for this day because I can make a lot and I am bringing dinner to a new momma!)
Thursday: roast chicken and vegetables
Friday: meatloaf
Saturday: beef stew
Sunday: chicken soup (with leftovers and homemade stock, of course!)

The linked recipes are new recipes I've never tried, so I'll let you know how they turn out! The others are all in my head I've made them so often. If you want to try and need further guidance, feel free to comment and I will share how I make them.

Also, when the meal just lists a main meat dish, I usually prepare one or two veggie sides and since my family still consumes grains, I will make a rice or potato side. The rest of the family put their beef veggie soup over egg noodles, because that is a Fischer tradition handed down through the generations. :)

Breakfast plans involve eggs and sausage! If I get bored of that, I will have to figure something else out. If I get motivated, I might cut up veggies to have omlett or skillet type breakfast with my eggs and sausage. ;)

Lunches and snacks will always consist of leftovers, big ass salads, fruit (limited), nuts, seeds, coconut and coconut oil.

It's going to be a great Whole30 week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day Five and Still Alive!

My workout today consisted of: lifting a bbq grill up onto a porch, dragging a gigantic Christmas tree halfway across the yard, and walking up a very looooong and fairly steep hill 5 or 6 times. (this was in snow for those of you lucky enough to live places where it doesn't do that)

breakfast: sausage egg bake
snack: trail mix, satsuma mandarin
lunch: leftover turkey soup (turkey, carrots, celery, seasonings in homemade stock)
snack: I also made coconut butter today! YUM YUM YUM! mixed some freshly made coconut butter, which is quite runny when first made, with almond butter and dipped apple slices in it.

*admission - when I poured in my tomato sauce (because I was out of paste), I glanced at the can after and saw that there is sugar in it! I had no idea there would be sugar in my organic tomato sauce. I just assumed tomato sauce always consisted of tomatoes and whatever preservative they used in canning. bummer. Whole30 fail!

But it was delicious!

I put my turkey on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado and cilantro. I let the kids put theirs in tortillas with sour cream and shredded cheese. Hallie was the only one who didn't love it.

Making Homemade Stock

Friday turned out great. I am feeling great! I am missing my scale more than my sweets!

I boiled the turkey and got my stock and enough meat for 3 meals! I've been making my own stock since we moved into this house in October of 2010. I LOVE IT. I know it's healthy. I save lots of money on broth. I am getting the most out of the food I buy.

Here is a link to a great instructional on how to make stock!

I should have taken a picture of the carcass before I boiled it, but I am just getting the hang of remembering to do these things!

Here are the bowls where I separated as much good meat as I could from everything else after the turkey carcass had boiled for several hours.

Here is the stock once all that stuff was pulled out, but before being strained.
Here are my beautiful jars of strained stock! (I kept enough out for a big batch of soup that night.) Homemade stock is so much yummier than store bought!

And here's a little picture of my salad lunch on Friday. YUM.
One last note about Friday. I had a girlfriend date and I knew I didn't want to have to face temptation and have to say no to all my favorite things involving sweetness or dairy. So we met at a billiards hall and enjoyed "playing" billiards while visiting and catching up. It was a really good time. We were both pretty terrible at billiards (me more so) but we were doing something other than eating while we caught up, which was really nice. I didn't think about food once.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Whole30 Day 4

I feel like I'm getting into a groove. I am thinking less about the things I can't have and less about food in general, which makes me so happy! I don't want food consuming my thoughts.

It is now harder to not be able to step on a scale than to not have my dark chocolate. That is some crazy scale addiction right there. It is a little exciting - build the anticipation and step on that scale in 30 days. But if the results don't speak loudly enough, I might sink into a depression! (JK)

This morning I was hungry right away, so I ate breakfast earlier than I have the last few days. Then I was hungry again before nine, so I ate some of the trail mix I made yesterday with fresh coffee.

Lets talk a tiny bit about working out. I know quite a bit about it. I've read. I know what's best and recommended in the primal world. I know I need some exercise or physical activity to be healthy and transform my body into the temple I would like. (And just to be clear, I don't have any crazy notions...I am not looking for perfection here.) But I really do hate working out. I enjoy zumba and dancing in general, but toning and weightlifting, resistance type things - I can't stand them! And these are the things I really need. I have an elliptical that is like a fifth child. We purchased the hefty Nordictrack piece of equipment over 7 years ago. It was a coat rack throughout my second pregnancy. (I was too sick and tired.) Then when #2 was 6 months old, January came around and I was ready to take a plunge. That elliptical got an hour of use almost every day. With daily movement and ediets' version of SAD, I lost 40 pounds in 4 months. That was when we were living in a tiny bush village. That elliptical has moved with us 5 times. And let me tell you, it's a chore! It's not one of those tiny little fold up numbers, it's a beast! I bet it weighs a couple hundred pounds, and there is some disassembling to be done. I really do love it.

I have done lots of other videos and programs - Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Brazillian Butt Lift, Slim in 6, 10 Minute Trainer, Callenetics, Pilates, The Firm, Kettlebell Goddess, and I'm sure there are more I am forgetting! But I get bored so easily and I am not running to get to my workout because I really don't want to do it.

So, it's like this. This Fall I was basically at the point of "I have to do something!" And it wasn't even for the fitness, it was to make me a happier, nicer, more energetic person throughout the day. I get up around five every weekday morning (in order to beat the kids) and 30 minutes is what I got. I can't workout later and I can't work out longer. So even though I know my dear elliptical is not the most efficient or best choice for working out, it is what I dreaded the least and it served the purpose. I could get the endorphins pumping, serotonin level up, listen to praise music and worship God all at the same time and I would have great days. And that is what I have stuck with. Until I started taking a medication that took away any good feelings from working out and made my butt drag all day - but that's for another story. I quit working out and then I quit the med and then we had Christmas vacation and now here I am on this challenge.

So for now I am continuing my 20 minute e. sessions, but gradually trying to create variety in them. I am also adding in one toning exercise each day. Tuesday it was kettlebell ab twists, wednesday it was pushups, thursday it was the special Callenetics hip exercises, and today I did Callenetics triceps, abs (partial) and waist stretch. I hope to add more things in (so I'm doing several a day) once I have more energy and am jumping out of bed excited that it's 5 am and time to get up. :)

PS- I really love Callanetics! I found it that first time around 7 years ago and used it ever since. It's like a combo of yoga, pilates, and ballet and out of everything I've ever done, it has by far been the most effective in visibly transforming my body. This is the DVD I got, and the only one I've ever used. Eventually, I just started doing the exercises on my own without watching the video and only doing a few a day, rather than all of them. Apparently now they've updated everything! I just discovered their website today!

Callanetics: 10 Years Younger in 10 Hours was the first exercise program to be released and is America's #1-selling exercise video! Callan was waaaayy ahead of her time with this no-impact concept of exercising. People tried it and discovered it really worked. It wasn't an advertising campaign but word-of-mouth that catapulted this video to the top of the charts. This original 60-minute break-through workout has revolutionized the exercise world and to this day is still selling as strong as ever. The exercises are deceptively simple yet amazingly powerful. See why this program is already a classic.

today's meals:
breakfast: sausage egg bake
snack: paleo trail mix

I won't be posting later, so these are the plans I have for lunch and dinner.

lunch: BAS w/ avocado, egg, olives, possibly some turkey
snack: I have a bunch of grapefruit and apples, so probably one of those with trail mix or nuts (if I even need it)
dinner: today I am boiling the turkey carcass from New Year's dinner at my mom's. she sent it home with me and there was a ton of turkey left on it. I didn't have time to deal with it so I just threw the whole pan in the freezer. I will separate the meat and stock, make a pot of soup with turkey stock, turkey, carrots, celery and seasonings. Then I will freeze the extra stock and meat. I LOVE making my own stock!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goodnight Day 3!

today's meals:
breakfast: sausage egg bake
snack: handful paleo trail mix (raw pumkin and sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, golden raisins, chopped dates - I did not measure amounts, but I only used 4 total dates and prob. 1/4 cup raisins, much less than I would like! LOL. Ended up with probably 4 cups total.)
lunch: 2 Italian sausage links (I prepared a package of 6 yesterday) and leftover sweet potatoes
snack: I didn't get hungry until I was driving home from grocery shopping and it was already time to prepare dinner. I ate a handful of cashews.
dinner: ground moose burger topped with mushrooms, onions, zucchini, garlic sauteed in EVOO

After dinner I had decaf coconut chai tea (the tea bag kind) with a a half tablespoon coconut oil.

It should also be noted that I consume coffee throughout the entire day. Usually black, sometimes with coconut milk. I know it's an addiction and I know it's bad for me! But it's legal on this challenge, so I am keeping this one vice for now in order to not be a total grump all the time!

Today my sweet craving was less! Yay!

OH! I almost forgot to mention my screw up today! I made some granola bars and paleo granola (with honey and butter) for the kids to have snacks on hand. They have all (including Matt) been whining about NO FOOD IN THE HOUSE! Geesh! It's not that bad! They are just addicted to their carbs! I am not going to buy that crap. But I have this issue with wasting expensive, yummy ingredients, such as the buttery, honeyey, coconut oily, vanillaey mixture that I had mixed into the paleo granola. I had scraped the measuring cup and then there was the bit on the scraper that wouldn't come off on it's own. So, as is my customary action, I scraped the scraper with my finger and shook the excess into the bowl. But that left a good deal still on my finger, since it was a pretty thick liquid. So, WITH thought, I placed my finger in my mouth and licked it off. This is my norm, and I could totally lie and say I did it without even thinking, but I totally thought about it before doing it. And then I felt really terrible for making the bad choice. So, now you all know. Technically I broke the challenge rules. I am going to continue on my challenge as if I didn't do anything at all!


You know how people take such pretty pictures of their food when they are going to post it? I'm too real for that. Just before I sat down to eat I thought, I should take a picture because this looks mmm. mmm. good! So you will always see what the table looks like when I sit down to eat and you can see that I fed the rest of my family tater tots and sloppy joes for dinner! I am so terrible and selfish!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goodnight Day 2!

A tiny bit of background: I went "Primal" in June of 2010 even though I thought it was crazy. Why on earth would anyone give up grains? God gave them to us, right? But I was willing to try something crazy after many failed attempts to lose the final 10 pounds of excess weight after baby number four. And I absolutely did not want to count another calorie! I shed 10 pounds almost effortlessly. I was smitten with eating fat, feeling satisfied, and never worrying about how much I ate, but what. Plus, I was allowed dark chocolate and treats made with almond flour, coconut, honey. Mmmm.

Fast forward to Christmas, minor setback as the 20 of the 80/20 became much more than that with family gatherings and traditional foods and no will-power over my sweet tooth. I did my best to recover after that first Christmas, but I have not ever been at my Primal best since then and so after another 2 weeks of gluttony this Christmas, a whole year later, I decided I needed to be extreme! Enter the Whole30 Challenge!

food today:
breakfast - sausage patty; eggs
snack - grapefruit, walnuts
lunch - salad (similar to yesterday's but smaller); Italian sausage link
snack - satsuma mandarin, second Italian sausage link
dinner - smothered pork chops (see link to recipe in meat post! they were good!); green beans, sweet potatoes
dessert - one date, tea with coconut milk.

I am still struggling with my post-meal sweet cravings! And even though it's technically "legal", I don't feel good about eating a date after a meal in order to satisfy my sweet tooth! If I don't stop that, I will not stop this sugar addiction.


Oh boy, do I love the sight of A LOT of meat all at once! There is something so comforting about opening up the freezer and seeing it FULL of meat! And not ice cream, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, etc, etc. I stocked up on meat and produce at IGA yesterday. I have decided it is totally worth the drive over to Kenai and the difficulty with kids to go there. This was my meat take. This, along with the moose burger, salmon, turkey carcass, and full turkey in our freezer should provide for some healthy meals for more than a month!

I can't wait to try this recipe I found for the pork chops tonight!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goodnight Day 1

I made it through a whole day without dark chocolate! But I sincerely missed it, especially after dinner. I have been trained my entire life to end a meal with something sweet! :(

breakfast: eggs cooked in olive oil with the yummy seasoned salt I bought at Gaylord Opreyland in Nashville
lunch: BAS (big ass salad) with green and black olives, boiled egg, avocado, cilantro, olive oil and seasoned salt
snack (at variable times): walnuts, one date, coconut flakes, tea with coconut oil, 2 tiny satsuma mandarins
dinner: slow cooked pork shoulder roast with garlic, g.salt, lime juice, avocado, cilantro, cumin; yellow squash cooked in olive oil and seasoned salt, peas

I'm afraid I'm going to run out of my current supply of EVOO and special seasoned salt very quickly! Everything I ate today was delicious and I said NO to all the food at MOPS! Yay for me!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions OR 2012 Goals?

I have always had a sort of negative perception of new year's resolutions. It just seemed so silly to me to make these "resolutions" that seemed flippant, would be forgotten in a week, or that were the same every single year. I honestly can't remember the last time I actually participated in this tradition.

Prior to Christmas I was talking with a friend about goals for the new year. I automatically stated that I never make new year's resolutions because I hate to fail. And I realized what I had said and the truth behind it. I don't set specific goals at specific times and make them public, because I hate eating my words, and failing to attain a goal that I shared with others feels a lot like eating my words. I realized, before my friend could point it out, as she did, that not ever setting goals for fear of failure is a sure way to never accomplish anything, be lazy, and have no drive.

So this year I've decided to take the plunge! Of course, once I decided to set some goals for 2012, I had to go overboard and set too many! Sheesh, will I ever learn?! :)

Some of my goals have tangible ways to "check-off" that they were completed. And some I still have to figure out how I will manage to keep track of whether or not they are attained. But I need to post them now before I use the excuse of "it's too late" to not do it! (And now I just got this idea brewing to do a monthly goal type thing. Welp, too late now! That can be a future project, I guess.)

So, without further ado (but with some further explaination;)

2012 Goals


  • Read 5 books from start to finish – two of which must be nonfiction. (this does not include devotionals, periodicals, Bible studies, commentaries, etc.)
  • Write 2 times a month, one of which will be a blog post.


  • Complete the Whole30 Challenge (I am starting this challenge on the 3rd! This is by far the scariest goal I am taking on and the one I fear failure of the most! But hey, it's only 30 days, right? About a year and a half ago I adopted the Primal way of eating and it was the best thing for me! I shed excess weight without effort and maintained without ever feeling deprived. But, little by little, I was adding in things by eating a little here and a little there until it became a lot all the time! I need this fresh start, but I have never given up dark chocolate and butter! AHHH!)
  • Abstain from grains and refined sugar except for special social occasions. (This is a refresher/reminder goal since I have basically fallen off the wagon during the last month.)
  • Exercise regularly. ( This goal is too generic, but until I adopt a shorter term goal system, I cannot post anything more definitive!)


  • Pray daily. (This is a weakness of mine that I would like to improve upon.)


  • Make a budget that works and stick to it. (Ugh! Why is this so difficult? Our income and payout has fluctuated for over a year, and now we are in the process of refinancing. But I am determined to accomplish this within 2012. When I do, I will let you know so you can celebrate with me!)
  • Make sure kids’ teeth get brushed each day. (I know, so ridic. But it's GOT to be done! UGH!)
  • One on one date once a month with one of the kids (rotation). (I absolutely LOVE one on one time with my kiddos! And we both really need it. So, I will be trying to create some sort of schedule.)
Okay, I had to stop myself. I feel like I could go on making goals for myself forever, because there are really so many things I would like to do/change/accomplish.....you know! I decided I need to attempt to make my goals attainable, while being a stretch, which I believe these are!

So So, 2012, you are on!