Tag Archives: mercola

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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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
Tomoato
Potato
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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Hungry for Change Happiness Project


 Plano, we have a problem.  My life is high stress, fast paced and full of activities.  It is a recipe for a heart attack.  In fact, I had a fake heart attack a few weeks ago due to high stress and impossible deadlines at work.  I work well under pressure- it is my best motivation, but I am ready for change.  I am hungry for change.  I also just read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, and want to incorporate a year-long happiness search with my lifestyle change.  I think it is all inter-related, and I want to spend the next year documenting the changes.

So what is my strategy?  I have no clue right now.  I know that I need to make some changes, so I am going to cut out all artificial food.  My family has agreed (sort of) to do the same.  Their change may be a more gradual, but I am starting NOW.  I am starting with all organic produce (bananas will be conventional), no GMOs, so no corn or wheat products (YIKES!).  When we get through this set of groceries, I will only bring good stuff into my home.

Hungry for Change is a very motivational food film that we watched last night. But, how can a normal, American family carry out eating all whole foods, juicing pounds upon pounds of produce, and all grass-fed/free range meet while sticking to a VERY modest budget?  I don’t know, yet, but I am going to find out.

So here’s my objective.  If it isn’t necessary, I won’t eat or do it.  Is Candy Crush necessary?  Nope, but I justified it as a de-stressing activity.  How can I better use my time?  I will apply this to food too.  Are chips and salsa necessary?  NOPE!  But, I can grill an avocado, fill it with taco filling of my choice and enjoy with salsa.  It will take some creativity, planning, and a will to change.

Eventually, I want to nix the microwave, never use plastic, and use natural hygiene products, but for now, I’m sticking to time management and food.

What makes me happy?  The thought of a healthful lifestyle, exercise, proper whole food diet, and low stress.  I love to cook, write, and spend time with my family.  This is the perfect vehicle to do all three.  We will get healthy together, I will write, and we will document our hit and miss recipes from this year-long experiment.  Stay tuned and I’ll post dinner videos and recipes.

My objective for the end of the year is to be the healthiest we’ve ever been, fit, lower our stress and drama, and be artificial ingredient free.  I also want to be a full time writer/film-maker.  There I’ve said it.  Those are my goals, fit and writing and filmmaking.  So here’s day one:  158 pounds, day one of writing, and needing help to stay on the goal wagon.  I’d love to hear from you and see what you do to eat healthy, and work towards goals.

So here are my goals:

1.)  Diet and fitness change

2.)  Stress management

3.)  Pursuing my passions and not waiting for a more convenient time

4.) Having a happier household

I’ve never been happier, however, I think our happiness and stress levels can use a positive boost.  What can I do to help change that?  How can I help the attitudes of a preteen, almost two-year old and a four year old?    I can’t make them less attitude-y, but what can I do to promote a happier home?  Let’s find out!  I really believe that a whole food diet is step one to better attitudes.  Proper sleep and a predictable schedule will help, too.

That’s a lot, but I think it is a great starting point.  I’ll weigh in on our progress tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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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- Coconut Oil


So I’m not a doctor or nutritionist.  That is my disclaimer if I botch up my understanding of the amazing properties of coconut oil.  My family has been using it for awhile for lotion.  I have been reading about its amazing dietary properties and have begun cooking and baking with it.  In everything I’ve read, we should be consuming (after adding a little at a time to your diet) three tablespoons a day.  Holy moly.  How do you consume that much coconut oil?  Why bother?

I have been reading that coconut oil, although a saturated fat, is an amazing super food.    According to the Natural News (www.naturalnews.com) is is one of the four super foods, next to avocados, green tea and I can never remember the fourth.  It will come to me later.  I’ll tweet it.  It is so good for your brain because of the fatty acids, the same in avocados, salmon, and almonds.  Studies have shown a link between coconut oil consumption and better brain function and memory in Alzheimer’s patients.  It helps with memory, energy, and even weight loss.  Who knew that a fat, a saturate fat, would be good for weight loss?  And has been linked in studies to preventing heart disease!  An oil?  A saturated fat?  Dr. Mercola speaks as to why this is helpful.  It makes sense when he discusses it, but I would be useless- here is his link http://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/.

50% of the fat in coconut oil is monolaurin.  Monolaurin is a medium-chain fat which has anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties.  This is the same fat in breast milk that boosts babies immune systems.  I highly recommend trying coconut oil before a prescription, if you get sick.  What can it hurt?  It is natural, no chemicals and fairly inexpensive.  Plus, eating it every day will keep your body full of those anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to help protect you if you do get a bug.  Can you tell I am not a doctor?  I just know this is good stuff.  I have a GALLON of it on my stove.  It is pricy at the store, so I just invested into a gallon so that I wouldn’t think about the expense.

I don’t want to just eat it.  It is good, but I want to incorporate it into my everyday diet.  Dr. Oz has some good smoothie recipes that include a tablespoon of coconut oil.  I saw a recommendation of a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of chia seeds for an energy boost throughout the day.  Replace butter with coconut oil.  Cook with it- it has a high heat tolerance.  If you have to fry- fry with it!  I replaced shortening with it in my baking.  I am trying to cut down my sugar, so I want more healthy recipes than baked goods and frostings.  It does make an excellent base for my whoopie pie filling! I made Christmas popcorn and used coconut oil for my popping my corn.  I am going to use it in all of my cooking.  Oh!  I just saw a post where someone uses it as creamer in their coffee.  What a great idea!  I melts at 76 degrees, so it would be perfect in a hot beverage.

Here is where I am going to go next:  http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/.  Make everyday tropical and healthy with coconut oil.  How do you use it, or how will you first try it?  I want to hear your ideas.

Daily Prayer:  God, please soften our hearts, have us treat others as we’d like to be treated and remind us that others are your children, too.  AMEN!

Thanksgiving:  I am thankful for when babies first wake up and are so happy, funny and full of delight and wonder.  I am also thankful for the quiet at nap time.

Kardashian Kash:  I want to travel and check out foods and food preparations all around the world.

Happiness Update:  I got up at 5:25 every day and never hit snooze.  I exercised Monday through Thursday.  I made my lunches, helped Syd keep up her room, and played with my kids.  I feel orderly and less stressed.

Making whoopie flavor of the day:  Carrot Cake QT cakes.  ‘Nuff said.  http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com

 

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