Monday, January 30, 2012

This is why...

... this is why I get up at 6 am in the 30 degree weather to run...

When I'm running this early, my God is bigger, and my troubles are smaller.

And for that, I'll meet Him very early, 
on a very cold day, 
and run.

(All photos were taken on my crummy iPhone camera, so please excuse their "noise.")

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Great Day

Our day started out with this:

Clean Chocolate Waffles -- recipe to be posted soon...

Followed by a hike,

Breathing in a bit of fresh air,

And some sight seeing.

Ah, I like that sight!

The kids watched a dolphin as she fished...

And we spied some other wildlife.

I'd say...

It was a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What is Clean Eating?

Several times, I've made reference to how I've been eating Clean.  And have realized that not only have I not explained what that means, but that some of you are interested in what that means.  And so, for the two of you who actually read this blog (!), I thought I'd fill you in...

Clean Eating IS...
1.  Eating 5-6 small meals a day.
2.  Combining complex carbs (fruit/veggie/grain) with a protein (meat/cheese/nut butter/legumes)
3.  Drinking lots of water -- about 10 cups a day.
4.  Avoiding processed foods and white sugar, white flour, white rice, etc.
5.  Eating things as close to God's creation as possible (not factory created foods)
6.  Reading food labels to become aware of ingredients (SO many things have sugar!!)
7.  Eating foods with short ingredient lists, all of which must be identifiable (no science-speak!)
8.  Enjoying every meal, and every bite -- guilt free!

Clean Eating IS NOT...
1.  As hard as your mind is telling you it is.
2.  Going to make you into the supermodel you know lurks inside.
3.  A get-skinny-quick-plan.
4.  An "eliminate a food group" diet.
5.  A count each calorie/weigh everything/dole out points eating plan.
6.  Bland, boring, or restrictive.
7.  A budget breaker.
8.  Going to shackle you to the kitchen and your knives, bowls, and pans.

Clean Eating is a way of life, and one that my entire family can embrace and enjoy.   While I'm the one who eats clean 90% of the time, my family does eat clean as frequently as I can get them to.  They've been harder to convert than converting myself, but they have been very receptive.  In fact, our picky eater enjoys most, if not all, of the clean meals I make.

So you might be wondering:  What's the point?  Why Eat Clean?

I can only report on my personal discoveries since I've changed my eating:

  • More energy, fewer "I need a nap!" afternoons
  • Weight is coming of at a steady pace, without needing to restrict my intake of food
  • NO MORE migraines!!!  This is huge for me, and I believe tied to my consumption of Diet Coke, which is no longer on my menu (it's all chemicals and man-made junk)
  • Variety!!  Wow!  We've started eating so many new things and they are all so tasty!  
  • Less skin breakouts 
  • Enjoyment of the TRUE flavor of foods
  • Fewer cravings for sugar or sweet items, and naturally sweet things are sweet enough
  • Lots of motivation to keep going, keep eating clean, keep moving...

I highly, highly recommend researching more on Clean Eating.  I challenge you to try it for a couple months and see if you don't notice a big change in how you feel, and how you look.  And then, once you try it, come back here and leave a comment letting me know how much you love it!

For further research (and really great recipes), I'd recommend:

The Gracious Pantry
The Eat Clean Diet Website
Tosca Reno's books
Clean Eating Magazine

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Photo Dump

You might remember that one of my yearly goals was to take photos each day and to post said photos on this blog weekly.

Well, I sorta accomplished that goal.  
I did take pictures.
But I didn't take them daily.

But I am posting what I took (and deemed share-worthy) this week.

So, goal sorta accomplished.  
Gonna keep working on daily photos...

My idea behind this goal was that I'd learn more about photography and improve my skills by taking daily photos.  And I did accomplish that this week.  I did learn something new about photography.

I learned that getting the right lighting for food is hard.  I learned that taking photos of food is hard. 
Eating the food?
That's easy.

Especially when it's a Strawberry Banana Buckwheat Bake!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am...

... a lucky, lucky lady!

Honestly, this is one of the reasons I so love my husband.

No, it's not for his ability to grow hair exactly down the middle of his head.

It's because he's always willing to have fun.

Or be the fun.

Tomato.  Tah-mah-to.

Friday, January 13, 2012

You GOAL, girl!

First, let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year!  I know, it's not all that new anymore.  But the wishes are still heartfelt!

I am not one to set New Year's Resolutions.  It has always felt very contrived.  Commercial.  Fake.

However, this year, I was encouraged to make some goals for myself.   Specifically, running goals.  (Did I tell you that I've begun running?  I actually began in October.  And I don't really RUN.  I jog.  But, I'm still lapping everyone on the couch!)

Where was I?
Ah, yes.
Making yearly goals.

I was also told to share my goals with lots of people.  Apparently the more people you tell, the more likely you are to keep your goals.  Since the cashier and any customers who would listen at the StuffMart didn't seem as tickled with my goals as I am, I felt I needed to share with a specific group of people.  And so, you -- you are my lots of people.  And here are my goals for 2012... in no particular order...

2012 Goals
  1. Run four 5K races 
  2. Take photographs daily
  3. Post photographs on the blog weekly (see goal #2)
  4. Update/Change/Refresh blog
  5. Make daily Bible time a priority... And do it!
  6. Eat Clean 90% of the time
  7. Learn and practice a new physical activity (biking?  swimming?)

So there you have it.  My 2012 goals.  
I'm counting on you to cheer me on, encourage me, and give me a whole bunch of grief when I'm slacking!!  Thankyouverymuch!

Ready, Set, Goal!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mystery Trip... Revealed!!

(This post has been sitting in my draft box for weeks.  I wanted to edit all the photos before posting them. But, I'm not going to.  Too many photos to share, and I want to get this post up.  And then another.  And another.  So, just enjoy these photos for what they are:  memories.  And ignore what they are not:  art.  Thankyouverymuch!)

This year, we decided to start a new Christmas tradition.  Instead of giving the kids a ton of presents, we decided to take a Mystery Trip.

We told the kids that we'd use the money that would normally go towards gifts and put it towards a trip.

They seemed excited.


A bit worried that there would be no gifts on Christmas morning.  (Never fear!  Their grandparents covered that for them.  And, they did also have a bunch of goodies in their stockings come Christmas morn.)

This year's trip?
Drumroll, please...


Where we oohed! and aahed! over all things made of Legos,

rode a bunch of rides,

and walked all over tarnation.

He says that's his "pirate face."  Looks very similar to his "grumpy face" to me!  
Then, the next day, we moved on to...


Apparently, at Seaworld, we were so busy taking it all in that I didn't take many pictures.

Maybe I was too busy feeding shrimp to the rays.  Boy, those things come at you like torpedoes when they smell food in the water!!

I think my facial expression pretty much says it all -- WHOA!!

We had a great time, and the kids are still talking about it.

In addition to physical pictures, we have mental pictures and many, many memories that we'll cherish for years to come.

The kids actually said this was their most favorite time during our trip -- a HUGE bubble bath in our hotel!!!

Now to plan for next year's Mystery Trip...