Tag Archives: diet

Manic Monday

It was one of those days.  We had a criz-azy weekend, and had a child with a fever.  Aye carumba.  So, today was the perfect test of my little experiment.  Breakfast- homemade yogurt (epic fail with my attempt at coconut milk yogurt last night).  Lunch- homemade chicken and veggie soup for Ebro and me.  OMG good and no crud.  I had no idea that boullion cubes had so much junk in them.  Most have massive amounts of sodium, MSG and other preservatives and added ingredients.  It was so easy- I just sauteed, in butter, onion, celery, zucchini, tomatoes and kale.  I had some left over drippings and chicken from a roasted chicken last week that I threw in there, and some store bought, all natural, chicken stock.  I added some Pampered Garlic and Peppercorn.  Holy moly.  Best chicken soup ever.  Easton hasn’t really eaten much in three days and he drank it up.

Dinner can be seen on my Facebook page- http://www.facebook.com/ThePamperedActors.  Or at least I think it can be seen.  I uploaded it, but didn’t see it a little while ago.  I am still playing with my new Kindle Fire, and haven’t worked out the kinks.  For the kids, I found grass fed beef at Sprouts for $4.99/pound and each package was as much as Kroger beef.  Jeff and I had ahi tuna steak that I coated in a coffee rub and seared on both sides.  It was wild caught and $6.99/pound.  Our steak was about $4.50, and we split it.  We had wild rice, organic zucchini and either the burger or tuna.  Everyone ate every bite, and the kids asked for us to get tuna for them, next time.  I didn’t make any sauces and served the burgers just as patties.

I’ve been consistently jogging or walking.  I am not enjoying the jogging as much as I first did, but hoping I enjoy it or that it gets easier soon!  I enjoy walking, but I want to see some serious results.  I am tired of having a post-baby belly.  I’m seeing some results, but would love to love to run.  I am thankful that I’ve been able to make myself get out and do it, but am hoping to be able to push myself one more street, one more mile, one more song. 

What are you doing?  How do you exercise and keep motivated?  How do you push yourself?  How do you know when you have too much going on and what to cut out and what to push further? 


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Friday Night Special

Sorry for skipping Wednesday, right after committing to writing Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I was a little depressed about having to go back to work after being off for two weeks.  Two glorious weeks.  It’s not my job, it was leaving my wonderful children.  I loved being with them, doing fun projects, trying new recipes, and just slowing down and hanging out. 

But that isn’t the only downer.  My job is very stressful.  I like my job, I like the people I work with, but I don’t like the stress.  It made my last pregnancy tough.  It wrecks havoc on my body.  How can I change this?  One thing I started while I was on vacation was walking and jogging.  I need some hard core endorphins!  Another thing I’m doing is changing my diet.  I am cutting out sugar, fast food (with some exceptions, I am human and have limitations), and processed foods.  I am on a quest to eat only real food.  When I eat fast food, it will be real food.  I need to research further, but no burgers for me, and more salads and occasionally Taco Bueno. 

I am reading tons of happiness books, too.  I am able to leave my stress at work, and when I’m home, I’m home.  I am practicing mindfulness and being fully in the moment.  When Q is in the bath, I’m not multitasking, I am enjoying my last baby.

One thing I read about constantly is EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique.  I have been too lazy and slightly doubtful to try.  I am going to watch the EFT videos on mercola.com and check out the app.  There is something to it, and I can use all of the tools possible.  Stay tuned for my results!

What do you do to stay stress free?  What makes you happy?  How do you keep your cool?  I play with my kids, hang out with my Jeffro, have a glass (or two) of wine, cook, read, play games with kiddos, and hang out with the ladies.  Sometimes I do so much, in the pursuit of utmost happiness, that it adds to my stress.  But, we only live once, I’ll only have this energy once, and who knows what will come of it? 

Yogurt Recipe:

4 Cups Milk (1 quart)

2 TBL yogurt or yogurt starter

Bring milk to a rolling boil, but stir occasionally

Let milk cool to lukewarm temperature

Take 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk and mix in 2 tbl of yogurt (from commercial yogurt or from a previous batch) mix well

Add yogurt starter/milk mixture into the rest of the lukewarm milk.  Pour well mixed milk/yogurt into glass container and let sit 6-8 hours in a warm (not hot) place until thickened up.  Save a small bit for your next batch.  Refrigerate and serve cold.  You have yogurt!  It was so easy.  I used some peach flavored milk.  Too much sugar for me, but something to experiment with.  And DELISH!

That is my recipe for today, courtesy of my neighbor, Liz.  What do you have for the hungry for change happiness project diet?  We’d love to hear from ya!

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Count Down to the Real World

Welp, Thursday will be here before I know it and it will be back to the grind. Three jobs, parenting, blogging, cooking, jogging, oh my. So, to keep it manageable and to make myself accountable to my little project, here, I am committing to writing Monday, Wednesday, Friday and maybe some Saturdays. That’s doable.

So today, I did a little vendor event for Pampered Chef. I am working on some fundraisers, one for American Heart Association and an upcoming one for melanoma research. You can contact me or check out my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ThePamperedActors, if you want to check out our fundraisers. We have at least one a month, or we’re doing something for S.T.A.G.E. (a local actors’ resource center in Dallas). I spent half of the day with Syd. Man, she was a huge help getting me organized.

I am trying to follow Dr. Mercola’s recommendation of intermittent fasting and not eating until lunch. My goal is to keep a small window of eating time so my body has time to “fast”. Check out mercola.com and “google” fasting for the “why”. It makes sense, but I will not do it justice if I try to explain the technicalities. I do know that when I do this, I am less hungry and eat less and better. GOAL! So no breakfast, had plain coffee from Starbucks with some half and half. Shared some tacos al pastor with Syd (and chips, salsa, bean dip and queso), but we shared. Again, corn chips are my weakness and not sure how I’ll do it. I can and have given up bread and pasta, and wheat in general, but man- living in the land of Tex-Mex, how do I give up the corn chip? Maybe I don’t.

So, I’ve been walking with the neighborhood ladies at least a couple nights a week for the last month. The last two nights I’ve jogged, alone. Tonight I jogged 1.5 miles in eighteen minutes. Not bad for an out of shape mom of three. I enjoy the company of the walkers, but I’ve never felt better than running and listening to music. Let me tell you that Pantera is a better running partner than Owl City. Sydney and I share an iTunes account and I haven’t set up play lists on my new phone. So, I get a lovely mix of tween tunes and thirty-two year old mom music. The Cranberries aren’t a very good motivational group to run to, either. But, ah the memories.

For dinner, Jeff made bun-less cheeseburgers with watermelon, pickle, red onion and tomato slices. Organic veggies, no clue about the pickle, and conventional Kroger brand meat and cheese. Small steps, right? My kombucha has been bottled and is sitting in a closet building carbonation. My second batch should be about ready to be bottled. I am so excited! I think even Jeff will enjoy our bacterial-yeasty goodness. My SCOBY is getting HUGE, while my belly is shrinking- finally!

Eating well and exercise really helps with the stress. When I stay away from sugar, man I feel good. I am really hoping to keep this up when I go back to work to keep the stress down. In about two weeks of being off work, I think I am finally getting my stress levels in check. I think that is my biggest problem. I have a very high stress job in which I wear many hats and don’t know how to prioritize all of the many tasks I have. Then, I have my home based bakery. And then my new Pampered Chef adventure, that I love, and am working daily on building. Plus, my exercising and mom’s group and book club. I can not tell you how busy I have been just Making Whoopie, doing Pampered Chef, and playing house the last two weeks. And, I’ve had a family emergency that I’ve been dealing with in the midst of all of this. Not emergency, conflict, something that has wrecked havoc on my stress levels and really forced me to take some much needed time off. An expensive blessing in disguise. How’s that for a positive spin?

I’ve been organizing, trying to set up daily routines, and systems to make juggling easier. I want all of us in a good auto pilot mode when I go back to work. Jeff is an amazing partner, but a creature of habit. He is such a good sport, and does make changes, but it is not easy and I have to really get a new habit up and running before he fully embraces it. I guess we’ll see how well we’ve done, come Thursday.

So, what are your routines? How do you eat healthy? We have a wonderful veggie co-op in which we pick up a box of veggies twice a month (http://yourhealthsource.org/), but I need something like that for meat. I have the dairy down the street, but will I really drive over there for it? We’ll see! I really want to hear what you do! Will you introduce me to my next “kombucha”? My aunt introduced it to me a couple of months ago, and now I’m addicted. LOVE it. What else is out there that I’m missing? I’ve got to know!

Talk to you on Wednesday, my last night of sweet freedom. I guess I need to spin some more positive energy- my last night before going back to a new and fresh office opportunity. Go team.

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Set backs, or new beginnings

Today was Jeff’s, Sydney’s and my mother-in-law, Rita’s, birthday party.  So, there was cake and other no-nos.  But, Jeff did recognize what we’re eliminating, and told everyone about our project, so is that really a set back?  I think that is a great accomplishment.

We finally tasted our kombucha, and OMG- it is so delish.  I am excited about our new family beverage and the opportunity to brew it myself, instead of spending $3.50 a bottle. 

Well, that is all I have today, but am trying to set good habits for when I go back to work and life is crazy, again.  It is crazy enough without work, so I can only imagine how busy I’ll be once work starts up again, ugh.  I have enjoyed not working and being with my children more than I expected.  It has been so much fun!  I could easily do this full time and LOVE it.  I am so happy for families that are able to have the mom stay home with their babies.  Such a great opportunity for everyone.

Until tomorrow!  Please share with me how you’re living a natural lifestyle.  What are you eating and doing? 

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Day Two, What Do I Do?

 My final goal is to eat all natural grass fed and freerange meat (or wild caught fish).  This will be my focus after we get the first two objectives down, and can go without eating from any boxes for a few days.
Stuffed Pepper Recipe
Green peppers
Any leftover meat (I had some brisket)
Parmesan Cheese
Sour Cream with dill seasoning
Cut green peppers in half and clean out seeds.  Dice up tomato and potato (better if cooked or left over from another meal).  Mix in veggies, some sour cream and dill (maybe 3 tbl spoons), and brisket.  Scoop into peppers and grate cheese on top.  Grill for 15 minutes or until cooked.  ENJOY!

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Foodie Friday- High Fructose Corn Syrup

I’ve known for awhile that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad for you, despite what the corn industry says, but I didn’t know how to explain it.  It is hard for me to tell my family why they can’t have certain treats anymore, or to convince my husband to read a label to check for HFCS.  Why is it important to chose sugar over HFCS if you are going to consume something with sweetener?  Sugar is sugar, right?  Wrong!

According to Mercola.com, “(fructose and grains) affect the hormone insulin, which is a very potent fat regulator. Fats and proteins affect insulin to a far lesser degree.”  Furthermore, Dr. Mercola says, “research by Dr. Richard Johnson, chief of the Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado and author of The Sugar Fix and The Fat Switch, demonstrates that large portions of food and too little exercise are NOT solely responsible for why you are gaining weight. Rather it’s fructose-containing sugars that cause obesity – not by calories, but by turning on your “fat switch,” a powerful biological adaptation that causes cells to accumulate fat in anticipation of scarcity (or hibernation).”

Not only does HFCS affect insulin, but it is largely produced from genetically modified corn.  This corn is created to be “Round Up Ready”, meaning it is genetically built to have pesticide as a part of its DNA.  In other words, no amount of vinegar or fruit and veggie cleanser will rinse away the pesticides on GMO produce.  It is in its DNA.  Gross, not something I want to consume.  Further more, if GMO produce isn’t produced for human consumption, it is produced for animal feed.  Either way, it ends up in our food supply.   The high price of organic grass fed beef doesn’t sound so bad, anymore.

Have you really read your food labels, lately?  It is pretty scary.  Almost all baby food, from yogurt to the little finger foods, to cereal, to fruit bars all contain HFCS.   And, this ingredient is usually one of the top three, meaning it is the biggest ingredient in the product.  Food producers have to list their ingredients most to least.  If HFCS is the first thing listed, it is what the product is mostly made of.

So I can be a big eater if I just watch my gains and sugars?  Yes!  And so can my kids.  In January I did an experiment.  I cut out wheat to see if cutting out the grain would make a difference.  I haven’t had any HFCS in months, except when I had some Blue Bell ice cream, and I haven’t had anything artificially flavored in more than four months.  I didn’t count calories, but I did limit my processed food consumption.  I lost eight pounds doing nothing.  This month, I am going to continue, but add sugar to my list of no-nos.  Once a week I will eat like poo, but six days a week I will eat only whole foods and limit my grains and sugars.  I am excited!  I have so much more energy simply from cutting down on my grains and artificial/processed food consumption.

So what pantry items don’t have HFCS?  My baby loves graham crackers.  But it is hard finding any without going to the super expensive organic food section.  I know I should shop there, exclusively, but my budget only goes so far.  I found that Nabisco Graham Crackers don’t have HFCS or anything artificial.  Please read the labels yourself, because I have missed crucial ingredients, getting distracted by my three year old knocking down displays or the baby having a blow out in the middle of my shopping trip.  And, products’ formulas change.  But, you have to read labels on even “healthy” foods.  For example, so called healthy yogurts for babies are filled with sugars and HFCS.  Yikes!  Is anything safe?  Is there anything you don’t have to slave away and make yourself?  Yes, but you do have to read labels.  And it is a pain when you are a busy mom or dad.

It is totally worth it, though.  Watch your children’s behavior change.  Watch attention spans improve.  It is not a quick fix.  It takes a lot of work preparing foods, reading labels and spending money on a higher quality diet.  The hardest part is getting the whole family on board.  Older children complain when you don’t allow them to have soda, sports drinks or certain juices made with artificial colors, flavors and HFCS.    They will cry when you no longer buy certain chips or let them eat certain fast food.  It isn’t fair.  Husbands buy what they want, like and what’s on sale.  But when you go the whole food route, attitudes get better, grades go up, and dispositions improve.  Seriously.  That is the magic formula, all natural ingredients.  🙂

My Daily Prayer:  Thank you God for second chances.  I pray that you continue to walk with me and help me to keep my eyes on You.  AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful for Easton who thinks he spells his name “EON”.  I am thankful for Baby Q who barks at my wiener dog slippers.  I am thankful for Syd who wishes her family was normal.  I am thankful that one day she will see that normal isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.

Kardashian Kash:  I would try laser body sculpting just ’cause.

Happiness Project Update:  I am working on my stand up routine and pumped to try an open mic night in March.  Despite an over the top set back the last few weeks, I am back and back on track.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day:  All of our products are all natural, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com


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Foodie Friday- Wheat. Miles and Miles of Wheat.

So I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a student of nutrition, officially.  But I do read several nutrition newsletters a day and read quite a bit about diet and exercise.  Everything I have read lately has encouraged me to give up the grain.  I do not have celiac disease, but I do suspect an allergy.  I am SOOO wiped out whenever I eat bread.  The wheat we eat today is genetically modified and has twice the gluten than the wheat of our parent’s generation.  The genetically modifications are enough on their own to keep me from my beloved.

I recently gave up artificial everything, as much as possible.  I am a crazy label reader and try to only eat whole foods that I prepare myself.  I know it will happen from time to time, but 98% of what I eat is all natural.  And just knowing the consequences of consuming fake anything was easy for me to quit cold turkey.  I even gave up anything that contains high fructose corn syrup because the corn used to make the corn syrup is genetically modified.  I haven’t had a soda with HFCS in months.  I do occasionally have a real soda with real sugar, but mostly drink water, coffee in the morning and a glass of wine with dinner.  So why is wheat so hard to give up?

Wheat is in everything.  Gluten is used in chewing gum to keep it from sticking.  Flour is used in gravies, soups, cheese sauces, and of course baked goods and breads.  It is even in corn bread.  Crackers, some beers, and even meatloaf all have wheat in them.  Think about all the stuff that you add breadcrumbs to.  And pasta.  Have your tried gluten free pasta?  I have and it is MEH.  I even made gluten free pancakes and was less than impressed.  Wheat is delish and there is hardly a worthy substitute.  And, wheat is the foundation of our diet.  I couldn’t imagine going a day not being able to hand Baby Q a cracker or Gold Fish while I make dinner.  No Cheerios?  But, that is what I need to do, based on my convictions.

This is not for everyone.  Not every nutritional expert believes that genetically modified crops are harmful.  It took God a long, long time to perfect his creations.  When a scientist tweaks this and changes something in one season, I tend to be a little leery of the ramifications.  Besides, the whole point of genetic modifications is to create pest resistant crops.  What does this mean?  For GM corn it means Round Up in its DNA!  I am not up on my GM wheat research, but imagine the whole point of the genetic modifications is to make it pest resistant, like corn.  I like my wheat plain.  The same way the bugs like it.  Besides, if nothing in nature likes the GM wheat, then why should I?  If it kills or bugs are resistant to it, what is it doing to us?

One of my goals this year is to read Wheat Belly to get the whole picture.  The doctor who wrote the book was on Dr. Oz and explained that giving up wheat products will cause a person to lose at least fifteen pounds because of a chemical reaction in the brain that makes a person crave more calories than a person not consuming wheat.  There is a heroine like reaction in the brain, but instead of feeling euphoric, it causes the person to eat 300-500 more calories a day.  When it comes to bread, wheat is my heroine.  I can eat and eat and eat bread, waffles, baked goods, and not get full.  But, when I don’t eat bread, man, I fill up fast on good food and not empty calories.

I have been wheat free since the 2nd (I made corn bread to go with my blackeyed peas on the 1st).  I can’t wait to see if that makes a difference in my diet.  I am not going out of my way to count calories or eat perfectly.  Just cutting out wheat cuts out most sweets, gravies, cheese sauces, anything with breadcrumbs, fried foods and generally anything I shouldn’t be eating.  We’ll see!  I’ll keep reading, both from anti-GM sources and pro-genetically modified foods.  Until I have my mind changed, I will continue to eat my organic produce from the veggie co-op and search for lean, grass-fed animal proteins.  Yes, I am a hippie in training.  But, I do still shower daily.

Tomorrow- Saturday Happiness Project Update.

Daily Prayer:  God, I pray for guidance as to where to go.  I put one foot in front of the other and thank you for strengthening my faith that you will guide me down the path you have chosen for me.  I pray that I am who you want me to be and that you continue to help me grow.  AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful Jeff is such a neat freak.  It is very obnoxious that it takes him forever to get through his routine of putting everything up before joining us for the dinner I slaved to get on the table as he got home from work, but I am thankful that if someone dropped by, my house would be presentable.

Kardashian Kash:  Hair extensions sound like a really good idea right now.  I can not get my hair to grow much longer than it is.  I would love LONG hair, and that sounds like my solutions.  But, I want good ones.  Not cheap ones.  And, I want to keep them up.

Happiness Project:  I have made my two eggs, sriracha and avocado for breakfast all work week.  I’ve had my stuff ready to go by the door for the mornings.  I have worn full hair and makeup.  A coworker told me today that I looked rested.  Yep, that has changed me forever and I will never leave the house without full hair and makeup.  Mascara only apparently isn’t enough.  🙂

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day:  Peanut “Bud”er.  Chocolate whoopies with a peanut butter creme filling.  http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com

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Thankful Thursday- Venting is Complaining

Much like my Making Whoopie website, I am going through bit of a makeover, myself.  I am trying to be more positive, a better parent, the best wife I can be, dream achievers\ and weight loser.  But one thing I notice is that I still complain about stupid stuff.  But, I call it “venting” and felt like it was an exception to complaining.  It isn’t.

Venting, or getting something off of your chest, is complaining.  Sometimes someone feels it is necessary to let off steam before they blow.  For me, I use it as an excuse to complain.  I need to just be a big girl and deal with it.  By not making it a huge deal, I am able to move on quicker and not focus on the negative.  I am finding that venting doesn’t serve me, but rather perpetuates the negativity.  I am ready to get to the next level of positivity and this is holding me back.  So, instead of venting, I am going to share something positive with those I generally vent with.  It may start out small or feel forced, but I have found that when I do something new, sometimes I have to fake it until I make it.  I have to go through the motions until it becomes genuine habit.

This is not a criticism of anyone else.  This is not me saying that this is right and you are wrong.  This is simply deciding to cut this habit out, much like becoming gluten-free.  I want to be complaint free.  I want to live a life that says to the world that I am grateful, happy and content.  I feel that venting is the last hurdle that I must over come.  And, it is something that I will always have to work on.  It isn’t a task that I will just check off of a to-do list.  It will be part of a life long happiness diet.

So, Monday morning instead of “venting” that my normal parking spot is blocked and I have to walk farther with a broken foot, I am going to focus on how great the renovations are going to be when complete.  It’s small, it’s forced, but if I make a conscious effort, it will become my true habit before I even know it.  I want to be that person that is referred to as the one who never complains.  Honestly, what do I have to complain about?  I’m married to my best friend, my children are hilarious, healthy and loving, and we’re taking steps to live our dreams.  What else matters?

My Daily Prayer:  Thank you God for reminding me that there is a much bigger picture and not to sweat the small stuff or complaining about it.  AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving:  I live in the coolest neighborhood ever.  I am thankful to be a part of such a great community.

When I have Kardashian Kash:  Sound proof walls.  If you have children, you’d want some too, at least in the play room and baby’s room.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day:  Pumpkin Spice decorated like a jack-o-lanterns.  Cute and yummo!


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