Thursday, December 6, 2012

12 Steps to Perfection

If it were that easy, we would have all been made perfect as toddlers...on our 12th step.

Except I have a toddler.  He is pretty sure footed now at 2 years old, but even this morning, he fell down a few stairs and bonked his melon, leaving a not-so-pretty hematoma on his forehead.

...glad we did Christmas pictures last weekend...even if there isn't one where we're all looking at the camera at the same time.  At least there's no hematoma, right?!










I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting on Monday morning at a local church.  The ladies had already been meeting for a little over a month, so part of me felt like I was intruding.  They had built time and trust together over the previous weeks, and though I'm one to jump in with two feet, they may not be willing to fling their hearts wide open to a stranger.

I guess it is what it is.  Because I'm sticking it out...

Everyone went around, shared their name and their beef.  As my turn approached, my heart was beating out of my chest and I felt nauseous.  Usually if my heart is beating out of my chest it's God's prompting, urging me to share something He has put on my heart.  When it came to me, the leader instead had the two last girls after me share first, since they were regulars.

And then it was my turn.

When I finally shared, there was no beating.  I mean, just the regular 50-60ish that keep me alive, but I guess when I shared:

"Hi!  My name is Adrienne and I've been a closet eater since 2nd grade, having food as an idol instead of my God,"

in yet again, another public setting, it just brought it more to light, exposing my hidden behaviors, lighting the way to continued freedom from the lies of false comfort and self-gratification.

It's so interesting, this journey.

Over the past 30+ years there have been years in a row where I didn't struggle one thought or iota over this whole ordeal.  Then, ironically, in the last 10 years as I've researched and studied healthy foods and why I have digestive issues/allergies/etc, I've thought more about food: what I can or cannot have. And then I guess I've thought of it too much.

But what really busts my chops is the previous 5 years, specifically.  You see, I had a son.  And he died.  And none of this is really about food at all.  It isn't.  It's about my inability to be perfect or preform perfectly here on earth.

It's about my lifelong ingrained sickness of striving.

Kristin Armstrong says in her book, Work in Progress,
"When we try to be and do the things that are outside our true selves, we turn into strivers.  
Strivers are people who endlessly struggle for perfection and end up with far less than good enough..." 

You see, in my head, having lost a child, I should have every. single. bit. of. my. act. together.  Every day.  All day.  All the time.  Act together.

In my head, I think that was ample heartache where I shouldn't ever struggle or stumble, with ANYTHING...like that was the end all, be all lesson of life learned.  And, so, when I fall down the stairs and get a hematoma, I beat myself up and think I'm an idiot because I know how to walk, and shouldn't I have learned?!

Whereas Ryan looked straight to me, his mom and his comforter, cried in my arms, rested his head on my shoulder, shed tears because of his pain, but didn't beat himself up or think himself less because he stumbled.  He simply accepted and received my nurturing and unconditional love.

I need to learn more from my toddler.  I'm taking steps.  There will likely be more than 12 steps toward healing in my future, but they will be forward and in the right direction, pointed toward the One Who is my Father and my Comforter, my Healer...my Source.  And in time, my steps will be more sure-footed, sound, firm, deeply-rooted, established in Him.

And rather than PERFECTION as the goal, I'm going to cast off that striver mentality and give it my all.  My best.  I'm going to give my whole heart to God and hope it is good enough.

"Good enough means being able to accept who and where we are with grace and gratitude and being content with ourselves as works in progress...We know we can't make it on our own or by using our old methods, so we go to the Source." - Kristin Armstrong

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Worship Food

I read The Message.  I have read the NIV for 25 years and just this year, in January, I started reading The Message as my daily bread rather than the other version I know all too well.  Making it my "daily bread" continues to be a process...sometimes I choose food.

I found this in The Message the other morning, "First you eat to live and then you live to eat."  I have found myself on the right side of the previous sentence, and let's just say, it isn't pretty.  And it isn't "right."

I'm not talking about appearances here.  I'm talking about priorities and the 10 Commandments.  I'm talking about that sentence, "First you eat to live and then you live to eat," and how the "and" is the balance for the teeter totter but I've tried to kid myself that even though I "eat clean" or avoid certain foods or know my allergies, that I'm actually "balanced."

No other god besides Me.

The truth is, I have lived to eat for so many years now that it's just become the norm.

And within Christianity, it's totally acceptable.  We should be ashamed.

No other god besides Me.

What started out as research to figure out what foods were causing bloating, gas, weight gain, dry skin, dark circles, constipation, burping, inflammation and arthritic symptoms, basically evolved into an addiction to "Food Porn."  For reals.

Why do I need an alternative to chocolate chip cookies?  Yes I'm allergic to eggs, wheat, and dairy, but to take so much time surfing the Internet to find that one amazing alternative recipe is time-not-well-spent.  Plus, I found the ultimate "alternative" recipe for chocolate chip cookies pretty close to right away, so looking any further has literally been wasted time.  And it's only led to more searching for more "alternatives."

And T.  I.  M.  E.  is my love language.

No other god besides Me.

So, here's a wake up call for me:  all the time I have spent in my life looking for alternative food recipes and worrying about being fat and bingeing on bags of chips and even allergen-friendly foods, all that time and energy, has added up to what?

I'll tell you.  It's added up to a lowercase god who has taken the place of my capital letter God.  The One and Only.  Except He hasn't been...He's been shoved aside as I've welcomed all the little guys.

No other god besides Me.

The time I've been spending in the mornings reading The Message and studying the book of Daniel, via a Beth Moore study, have shown me more than I wanted, but exposed everything in my deepest, darkest spots.

And the results?  Seriously gross stuff.

You see, when we allow all the lights to be turned on and the storage room emptied out, not all that is found and exposed will be helpful and useful.  Some of it, sure, yeah, good stuff, like certain tools and patterns of thinking or behavior that are healthy.  However, have you ever seen the show, "Hoarders?"

Sick and wrong.

Yet, that's what we have inside our lives when we lie to ourselves and believe we can stuff secrets or do it on our own strength or just muster up enough self-discipline, no matter our "vice."

The truth is, God is in love with each of us very, very, very much.  And He desires for a kind of relationship where there are no secrets between us and Him, but where there is total trust on our parts that He really is a loving God, very much interested in our intimate affairs.  He doesn't say, "No other god besides Me," because He is ego-centric.  He knows life's complications and He has all the answers...Imagine if I had always just sought Him instead of looking for instant gratification in food and other indulgences...

An old friend recently posted this song on Facebook and it's been on repeat for a few days now...I cannot get it out of my head or heart.

I know God is calling me on the carpet.

Listen a few times, google the lyrics, sit with it a few more times and ask yourself, "What in my life is an idol?"





Food has been my idol in one way or another for 30-some years.

I lay it down.

Again.

No other god besides Me.

God, I know You satisfy.  I have tasted.  You are Life.  The rest is temporary fulfillment.

So, on a practical note, one, I'm blogging this.  Two, I've told my dearest friends, openly, and, three, on Monday morning I'll be heading to Celebrate Recovery because I've been called to be a woman of God, nothing less.

Nothing less.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Accountability

I know I haven't been here in a while.

I haven't felt like writing, one because I'm sick of the same old story.  Two because, for the most part, I'm doing well.  Three, because I don't feel like I'm really encouraging anyone else when I write here, so I'm kind of like, "What's the point?" if my journey through crap and healing doesn't help anyone but me, I'm not sure the point in having this blog.

There are plenty of recipe blogs out there, and that's not the point of this place, anyway.  And, being married to a guy who helps women and children in Third World Countries makes me nauseous that I even have ever struggled with putting food first, before God, and others.

There are some scriptures about fasting in the Bible.  One of the important elements of fasting is not doing it so others look on and "ooh and ahhh" over your outward spirituality.  As a result, I hesitated from writing a couple months ago about a fast that I did because I didn't want to draw attention to it.  However, I have to say, the benefits for my heart and mind were so encouraging, that I wanted to share a snippet with you here.

So, my struggle has NEVER been that I don't eat ENOUGH food, but too much, or really, just mindlessly...seeking something, whether comfort, instant gratification, consoling, in food, rather than in God alone.  The lines of food for comfort and food for sustenance have crossed and become a blur.  I was never good at fasting, if that's something you can actually be "good" at?  There was only one other time in my life I've fasted, one, for pure reasons, and two, where God literally provided all the energy I sought.  That was when Noah was in the hospital.

Anyway, in early August I did a week long fast of water and green juice, along with my daily supplements of a multi-vitamin, probiotics, and fish-oils.  I didn't want the week to end.  I wasn't hungry at all and each time I sat at the dining room table to read God's word, write, and pray, it was like a 5-course meal (gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free, of course!)  Just kidding!

By Jean Fortunet (Own work) [CC-BY-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


And then the week ended, I had a good week or two, and then life started to creep in, slowly, here and there, lies, busyness, doubt, obsessive thoughts, and choice by choice, my mouth became a garbage can...not in the cool way, like, a cussing machine, have you, but just a place where I'd put food without thinking about it.

Thankfully I've been talking daily with God about this and have slowed down, laid it at His feet, and sought His face for the "Why?" of why I brat-ishly continue to put Him second to something as TEMPORARILY filling as food!!!!  And, on a practical side, I've literally SLOWED down my eating, smaller bites, sitting, actually thinking about what I'm doing rather than eating between running here and there or doing this or that.

All this to say, I'm doing a study on Daniel right now and I'm only on chapter 2.  Talk about knocking my socks off!  Good stuff!  And, of course, the first chapter talks about how Danny and his friends set themselves apart for God's purposes, spiritually, and also practically or physically, by NOT eating the king's food.  And, OF COURSE, they were found to be more physically fit and spiritually in tune.  You don't say...you mean cutting out the clutter and excess is actually beneficial?!  Duh (duh, to me...)

A wise saying I once heard and have quoted and quoted and quoted, is:

"Without accountability there is no motivation for change."

I'm sick of quoting it.  I want to live it.

I'm posting HERE for the rest of the story...




Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm So Weak that I am STRONG!

Wow!  Has it been over a month since I've been here?

Funny how during that time I've had great days and days where I still wrestle and battle with food, health, loving myself, choices.  And all the while I've tried to do so much on my own strength.  And for what?  So I could say, "Look at me!  I have amazing self-discipline!  I am a ROCK!  I am so strong!"

The truth is, every. single. time. I try to do ANYTHING on my own strength, I fail.  And epically, I must say.

When will I learn? 

Perfection is the Enemy.


Grace is the Gift.

When will I learn that doing life in my own strength then becomes a life about me?

And the only time "A Life All About Me" is acceptable is when a person hasn't received God's gracious love and forgiveness through what Christ did for us on the cross.

Yes, I said it.  Selfishness is expected from anyone who does not follow Christ.

However, selflessness or dying to self, is counter cultural, exactly what is meant to come with a life surrendered and laid down to God's bigger picture.  So, selfishness as a Christ-follower is unacceptable.

I'm grateful that each time I fall short and have lost sight, God is gracious.  And, He receives my heart again and again and again.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.


When God made us in His image, we were perfect.

Since the Fall of man, we lost that luxury.  However, Satan's lies and relentless pursuit of us here on earth has been to deceive us that our goal is to be perfect in all things, or in anything.

Like Paul says above to the Corinthians, "Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size - (self) abuse, (colossal binge eating) accidents, (failure) opposition, bad breaks.  I just let Christ take over!  And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become!" (emphasis mine)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cherry Dark Chocolate Chip Paleo Ice Cream

Yep.  You read that right.  And it was GOOD!

I like in the Bible when God made things, like, say, the Universe, trees, planets, animals, humans, etc, and called it, "Good."

I am not God.  I know you knew that but I just wanted to make sure no one else thought I was throwing such a claim out there.

I know I wrote about it at one point over the last 6 years, but I think it's quite possible that the fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was likely cherries.  I mean, really, what could have been that good that Eve just had to have a taste?  I mean, maybe a peach tree?  But probably cherry, I'm guessing...

Anyway, I did create black cherry dark chocolate ice cream tonight...and it was SO GOOD!  Which is why I snapped pictures, after the fact (like, I fished the can and bag out of the recycling bin and trash...), and told my husband it was blog worthy.

He agreed.

In fact, in his words, "Wow!  This rivals Sebastian Joe's Raspberry Chocolate Chip!"  And let's just say, coming from my husband, such a statement is a big freaking deal.  It is his all time favorite ice cream flavor from his all time favorite ice cream parlor...and my quick throw together tonight, induced by a monthly craving, gave his fave a run for its money.

Here you go:

  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
  • 1 10 ounce bag frozen organic dark sweet cherries, I used Earthbound Farms
  • 2 to 3T agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract


In a blender or food processor, combine all of the above items on high until smooth.  Pour into your pre-frozen ice cream maker and let churn for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile:

In a glass measuring cup, combine 1/3 cup dark chocolate (I used chips...you could use some of your secret chocolate stash in your cupboard, back there behind the good china or wherever you hide it...) and 1 T butter (you could use coconut oil I would guess but I always use butter when it comes to making my fudge sauce).  Microwave for about 30 seconds until chocolate and butter mix smoothly.  Remove from microwave.  Add 1 tsp dark cocoa powder.  Stir.  Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 to 2 tsp of almond milk.  Stir until smooth.  *(Can be dairy-free/vegan if you skip the butter and use coconut oil instead...)

By the spoonful, add semi-cooled chocolate mixture to the churning ice cream so it swirls in and becomes "chips," if you will.  If it's too hot, the mixture won't become chips but will mix right in...make sure you add the chocolate when your ice cream is almost done and set up...

Umm.  It was awesome!

Even Em liked it, and she hates coconut milk!  I think the almond extract took the coconut flavor away.
4 ingredients.  Four.  F. O. U. R.  Go to the local grocer and count how many ingredients are on the back of a typical national brand.  Oh yeah, and try to pronounce them...Add the chocolate "chips" and you are only adding 4 more ingredients: chocolate/cocoa, butter, vanilla extract, and almond milk.

This was a last minute treat so the lighting isn't great, but Em, who is 10 and has informed us she has more taste buds, assured us it was really yummy. 

Let us know if you guys try this recipe and if it passed your kids' taste buds.  With ingredients I know are healthy, I can feel good about a dessert like this once in a while for my family.  We have some more ice cream recipes up our sleeves.  We'll share here at some point :)  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Lunchables"

Some of you have asked what I feed my kids.  Here's a picture of what I packed Em for lunch today.  We joked that it's the only "Lunchable" she'll ever have.

The other day I used this plastic carry case to house a gluten free turkey sandwich with pesto and green leafy lettuce,  lined up apple slices in one pocket, and then seaweed in another...

Every week I like to pack Em a "picnic" lunch.  This would usually include some summer sausage or salami, but I didn't have any this time.  Pistachios, dried peas, gluten-free crackers, some sharp cheddar, apple sauce and grapes round out this meal.

Tonight for dinner we made sushi rolls.
Make sushi rice according to directions on back of bag.  I didn't, of course, b/c I don't like to follow directions.  I didn't want to use sugar, so I used agave, instead.  And, I made it way ahead of time and then put it in the fridge, so it was too sticky.  But it tasted just fine.

So, when I went to the grocery store today to buy sushi papers they were $6.89 for 7 sheets.  Sheesh.  But, on my way to the check out I noticed these on a kiosk.  They are those seaweed snacks that are usually 2x3" long, but these were sold in bags of 5 sheets the size for sushi for $3.49, so I decided to try it. 

They are thinner than regular sushi sheets (like, you can see daylight thru them) but with rice and veggies and salmon in them, they rolled up just fine and tasted great!

Cucumbers, avocados, and, of course, more carrots from our garden.

Cream cheese for Jason's Philly rolls.

We roll our own...




Carrot, cucumber, green leafy lettuce, smoked salmon

Might not look like the professionals but it sure tasted yummy!
I, approximately 90% of the time, eat Primal or Paleo, meaning:  meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, and seeds.  You know me and all my food sensitivities and allergies, so this works for me.  But, once in a while I'll eat grains and baby, it better be worth it!  And let's just say, sushi, or rolls, are so very worth it in my book!  That, coupled with wasabi and pickled ginger, and I am one happy chomper.

As far as the kids go, Em and Ryan both had their fair share of pieces of rolls tonight.  Ryan ate a few pieces but then finally just wanted "Moy, moy" of the avocado and seaweed.  Em enjoyed the food as well as the process using chopsticks and dipping in her tamari.

It's only the American mentality that kids only like macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken fingers, and buttered noodles.

Start them out young with veggies and just keep giving them tastes here and there of good, whole, delicious foods.

Explore your grocery store's produce section and move beyond lettuce and green beans to try lots of other varieties.

Make hummus or another kind of dip and plate the veggies so they make a smiley face.

Every day at lunch we line up Ryan's wild animal flash cards and give his cards "tastes," each and every one, before Ryan then takes the final bite.

Make it fun and exciting to try new recipes and ask your kids to be "gourmet taste testers."  Stop treating food as a reward for your kids' behavior and start teaching them the importance of taking care of their bodies through health and nutrition.

Kids have smart taste buds...don't dumb them down!  It's fun to be healthy!

Imagine the next generation actually avoiding disease because they choose healthy whole foods over Lunchables!

It'd be wild, wouldn't it?!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Smoothies, Smoothies!

I'll admit it.  I like smoothies.  This affection for cold and creamy, though, was birthed long ago from chocolate shakes and malts at fast food restaurants and ice cream parlors from the 70's and 80's like Farrell's and Swenson's.

Then, in the late 80's, early 90's, I was introduced to Slim Fast, as well as other weight loss shake makers.  I thought it such a grand idea to be able to drink a chocolate shake two times a day AND lose weight at the same time!

A chubby chocolate shake lovers dream come true!

During all of this time it never occurred to me that my farty-ness was anything other than kinda funny. 

Or, let's face it, down right charming.

And why, even after weight loss shake after weight loss shake, made with 8 oz of cow's skim milk, one scoop of chemical-laden artificially flavored weight loss powdered supplement with main ingredients of high-fructose corn syrup/dairy/corn-syrup solids/partially hydrogenated oils/artificial sweetener, and 1/2 cup of ice, would it not occur to me that year after year I still had a stomach pooch and bloating?  You mean constipation and hemorrhoids as a child wasn't just normal?

Anyway, over the last, oh I'd say 8 to 10 years, I've still made smoothies but with cleaner and purer ingredients, experimenting with my food sensitivities.  I still know how to make a chocolate shake that rivals anything you could make, but mine doesn't make me farty anymore and it's one I'm happy to share with my children because I can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Speaking of which, I have a little smoothie fan right here at home.  Every smoothie recipe I make up I test out on my mini-critic.  If he says, "Moy!  Moy!  Moy!"  I know it's a winner.  (Translation:  MORE!)  If he says, "No moy, all done," well, then it's obvious he wasn't a fan.

Now, unlike "Chocolate Covered Katie," I do not make something with chocolate in it every. single. day.  That is not wrong, I'm just saying, I prefer to enjoy a wider variety of tastes and flavors.

And so, without further ado, here's what Ryan and I slurped up in the kitchen this morning:

The ingredients: golden flax meal, frozen blueberries, stevia, canned pumpkin, medjool dates, walnuts, frozen banana, water and ice


My little smoothie critic and biggest fan, Ryan, my little lover

Here's my smoothie critic, post-satisfaction with some traces still under his lips.  I didn't get as much smoothie this morning as I had planned because, "Moy, moy, moy!" was all I heard.  But there was plenty for both of us.  It was really creamy and quite scrumptious!

Here's our recipe:

  • In a measuring glass, put 3T ground flax meal and 1/3 cup of water.  Allow to sit for about 2 or 3 minutes until it becomes gooey, or boogery as we say at our house.  Then fill measuring glass to 1 cup with water.  Add this to blender.
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 6 walnuts
  • 1 large medjool date w/o pit
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • dash stevia
  • couple drops almond or vanilla extract, if desired
  • 8 to 10 chunks of ice
I had to put my blender on chop first, then puree, then liquify.  Basically, my blender is sensitive to frozen bananas.  Just blend until super creamy, put a straw in it, and enjoy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cookies! Chocolate!

Right out of college I was a nanny for a wonderful family.  I was only with them for one year but we have remained friends, and family, ever since.  We've been through a lot together and I can't even begin to tell you the amount of heart space this beautiful family takes up in my life.  I love them dearly.

When I worked for Nanci Masso, I learned a lot about healthy shopping, menus, recipes, and eating because it was Nanci's line of work as well as her passion.  She was surely a front runner in the health and supplement industry and is still diligent at work educating America about health and nutrition, a place where obesity and disease is rampant.

It's crazy to think the kids I nannied years ago are all grown-ups! 

I'm thankful for that particular time in my life, and for God introducing me to this family.  I believe it was pivotal as the beginning of my journey to really know what is in food and which foods are beneficial for healthful living.  It inspired me to watch Nanci's example in the kitchen, along with her attitude toward nutrition as she raised her children.  I have her to thank for my last days at McDonald's and my decision when I became a mom to never allow my kids to eat there or at other low-quality fast food joints.

Recently Nanci and her oldest daughter, Faryn, launched a company called "Biosanes."  They have some great quality products for health and weight loss, as well as a cookie that's been featured on "Dancing With The Stars"  which is gluten-free products!

Nanci was recently on a morning show in Texas sharing one of her cookie recipes she makes at home.  I thought it looked good and I'm going to bake some of my own soon, but thought I'd share it now since I just saw the clip and didn't think something this good should wait :)  It's packed with power ingredients!  When I do make them, I'm going to split the batch and do a version with no oats but substitute coconut flour or another nut flour like almond, pecan, walnut, or hazelnut.  I'll let you know how it goes!

(From the Biosanes blog)



*FYI:  This is Nanci's recipe.  This IS NOT the recipe for their "Magic Cookie."  Just wanted to clarify...






Friday, August 3, 2012

Just BEET it!

Thankfully the hail didn't damage our carrots or beets. 
The colors of fresh, home grown vegetables are so vibrant!


Check this out...here's a seemingly "normal old beet..."

I chose a variety pack of beet seeds including dark purple, yellow, and this fun striped specimen.

I like beets.  When I was a kid I think the only kind of beet I had every tasted was pre-cooked from a can or pureed into the commercial recipe of V8 Juice.  As I "matured" and started eating more and more vegetables, when my friend Kim had roasted some with a little olive oil and garlic salt, I decided to give them another try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Since then I've ordered many different beet salads at restaurants with goat cheese and figs and arugula and all sorts of yummy things.  And I've even juiced beets.  They are really tasty!

After watching Food Network, I decided to branch out and plant a packet of beet seeds in the garden earlier this Spring.  I also planted broccoli, carrots, kale, chives, lettuces, leeks, musk melon, and tomatoes.  And, since I live in Colorado, it doesn't just rain in my neighborhood...it hails.  And it hails pretty much every time it rains.  So, the only survivors of our hailstorms this summer are the carrots, beets, chives, kale, and lettuces (which I missed b/c I was out of town, so when I got home they had gotten too big and tart).  The leeks may still have a chance.

Anyway, the other day I picked the pile of veggies you see in the above picture.  I made a homemade gluten free carrot cake for my mom for her birthday with this recipe from Karina, the Gluten-free Goddess.  It was a hit!  I did the add-ins of walnuts, golden raisins, and coconut.  We had a Primal spaghetti dinner with spaghetti squash and grass-fed beef and tomato sauce (with gluten free pasta for the non-squash fans...I had leftovers...these will come into play later...)

The next day, I cleaned up the beets and cut them into about one inch chunks, tossed them with olive oil, a little lavender balsamic vinegar, some garlic powder, and sea salt, and roasted them for 1/2 an hour at 375.  They were super yummy!

And, I knew I could eat the beet greens, so I chopped them up and sauteed them with a little olive oil, 1/4 of a white onion, some fresh minced garlic, sea salt, and a piece of bacon.  So great!

Today I made a really delicious lettuce wrap with 4 pieces of green leaf lettuce, 2 slices of turkey, 1 piece of bacon, 1/4 smashed avocado, thinly sliced leftover cold beets, 1/4 cup leftover spaghetti squash w/garlic oil, and a drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar.  This was one of the best wraps I've ever tasted!

I found a recipe to use carrot tops as an alternative to basil in pesto.  I'm going to try that next.

Eating from the garden has been so much fun!  I have a whole plan for the backyard for next year!

Do you have any garden fresh recipes you'd care to share???

Friday, July 13, 2012

"On Becoming Fearless..."

I'm reading, "On Becoming Fearless," by Arianna Huffington.

She rocks.

The book rocks.

And pretty much she starts the book off with a chapter on loving yourself and your body.  No mincing, so beating around the bush.  Here's a quote:  "The most intimate relationship we'll ever have is with our own body.  It's the headquarters of our fears and anxieties.  It's also the cause of many of them.  Which is why we can never really be fearless until we stop judging our looks and accept them."

So, here's my personal apology to myself and to every other woman on earth I've ever compared myself to:


  • I'm sorry I've been a hypocrite.  Sorry I've told you to stop comparing yourself while I've done it all along. 
  • I apologize for saying I love you, while not loving myself, while quietly comparing myself to you, wishing I was more like you, therefore coveting your awesomeness.
  • You are you on purpose.
  • I am me on purpose.
  • Self, I'm sorry I haven't ever been your biggest fan.  You really are great, and unique in many ways, so it's high time to start celebrating your individuality by embracing and celebrating the uniqueness in others.  
  • I'm sorry I've looked at you in the mirror a zillion times and not complimented you.  Complimenting you isn't vanity.  It's embracing your uniqueness. 
  • I realize that in comparing myself to you, even though I've thought it was an attempt at wishing I was more like you, I've discounted your gifts and strengths, and not genuinely delighted in them, but been jealous of them/you.  I really am sorry.
  • I've enjoyed these last couple weeks with you.  You're pretty when you smile and laugh and aren't obsessing about that frigging scale and are literally just enjoying the moments with those around you...basically, you are pretty when you aren't obsessed with yourself...which is what your self-loathing has been disguised as...
And that's just chapter one...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Truth!



Hey, here's a picture/quote I found that pretty much sums up my post from yesterday!

Some may not appreciate the language, but why candy coat the truth, huh?







From The Sweaty Betties




Nuff said.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Extremist!

I'm an extremist.  It's pretty plain and simple.

At least I am aware of it.

I am aware of my extreme tendencies, as well as my extreme lack of ability to live somewhere in between extreme and un-extreme.

Clearly I've got problems.

Before Mother's Day when I drafted my personal fitness and clean eating manifesto, the extreme idealistic "me" was in her glory!

"Woohoo!  YES!  This is IT!  You are the queen of the world...well, your world, and YOU CAN DO THIS!  This is RIGHT!  This is GOOD!  YOU will feel SO GREAT!  So, SO GREAT!  Eat CLEAN!  Avoid your ALLERGENS!  Stay away from the DEVIL aka, carbs and sugars!  Go DRY until September 1st when you've got a hold on all this!  DON'T EAT ONE evil carb until after September 1st!  And then, eat clean 6 days a week, and enjoy one or two cheat meals..."

I should have plastered this on my walls.  Tattooed it to the insides of my eyelids.  Written it in Sharpie or lipstick on every mirror in my house.  These sentiments clearly should not have only been written down once in a notebook that was tucked neatly into a cupboard.

For my 3 1/2 month "plan," I did not "write in" ONE SINGLE cheat meal, snack, day, or item...

...as a result, the one vodka drink I had at my friend's 40th, coupled with a fabulous meal where I steered clear of every carb and didn't even blink at the cupcakes, took my brain to a place where I actually felt like a failure after an entire month of doing a fantastic job.

Message in the mirror:  You blew it!  You suck!  You suck at eating clean...you always do!

This occurred 3 weeks ago...and my brain feels stuck in a place of believing I really have blown it!

Then, remember, I divorced my scale.  I haven't gone back, but I NEED TO!  THIS HAS BEEN A VERY, VERY difficult lifestyle change!  I know, from grabbing, I have gained weight, not from not weighing in, clearly from eating the wrong foods, but not tracking it has messed with me...Even though my head got caught up with the numbers, I'm not so sure this was a wise decision...but I'm too afraid to step on it now!

And then June 21st happened...and I haven't even been able to write about it yet.  My heart aches for my friends' hearts.  But I comforted myself with, ummmm, lots and lots of pancakes.  Let's just say, I ate to offer comfort to my friend, though she never even knew...because how does my eating a dozen pancakes offer comfort to her empty arms???  No, really...

But the point is, why am I such an extremist?  And why am I such an extremist with myself, against myself, with stuff that qualifies as #firstworldproblems!?!? #$%^&*

Seriously!  With all the EXTREME energy I put into kicking my own teeth in, I could be putting it into something so much more world changing...or even my own small-world changing.

And so, once again, here I am telling myself to take one day at a time...to keep eating clean, but not kill myself for one day or one meal or one Doley Stoli at a friend's birthday celebration, but to live, to celebrate, and to mourn when these seasons are upon us...

*On a practical note:  I've just received a supplement for my brain called Crave Arrest that my naturopath gave me.  He says it will help with my EXTREME food tendencies to help balance the chemical imbalance I've grown used to because of my poor eating habits.  This confirms what I read in "Unchain Your Brain," by Dr. Daniel Amen, so I guess we'll see...I also have a BLANK food journal. I chucked the other one in the trash and am starting from scratch tomorrow morning with the foods I eat in a day, along with proactive steps for triggers and negative thought battles that are sure to rage...


Friday, June 15, 2012

Me, Adrienne, Cavewoman!

(Beat your chest...)

Look at Raquel rock her Jane rags...


Oh.  Wait.  That's Tarzan and Jane.  Whatever...

Anyway, I'm Primal.

And by, "I'm Primal," I mean I have adopted the Primal/Paleo way of living and eating and exercising.

Do you have to believe in Evolution to be Primal or Paleo?

No, in fact, you don't.  Although, I do believe we have evolved or adapted, if you will, over many years of existing here on Earth.  But that really has nothing to do with whether you want to eat this way or not.  But I was never a fish or a monkey...

No, you just have to believe in something opposite of what the horrific traditional American way of eating has brainwashed you to believe.  And you have to want to do something about it...

This is not a fad diet.  It's not all just eating bacon and cheese.  It's a way of life of whole foods, lots of raw fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, and nuts and seeds.  It's a lifestyle free from refined, man-made, genetically engineered "food" found in boxes, bags, and cans with dozens and dozens of ingredients on the label.

Over the last month I've essentially eaten this way, minus the fat intake.  So, basically, I have avoided oils and nuts and seeds, but eaten healthy portions of all the rest of it.  Now that the cleanse part is over and I'm introducing fats again, I'm not going to lie.  I've found something that might be my downfall.  I need to get a handle on it, because it's super yummy, but super fatty:  pistachios.  Oh, my!  


Now, mind you, this is a #firstworldproblem.  I'm sure Stella in Kenya doesn't dream about root vegetables and Svetlana in Russia doesn't drool over potatoes.  It's those dang twins who really started Facebook who keep marketing pistachios.  It's working and I'm buying them.  And too many nuts make my thighs a little chubby.

But I can't even begin to tell you how free I feel just eating clean, ignoring the scale, doing CRAP LOADS of squats, push ups, lunges, and curls, and, did I mention, eating clean?  I have a ton of energy.  I literally sprinted, S P R I N T E D, the other day, several times in a row, and had no backlash of pain during the routine or the following day.  I don't sprint.  I've said it before, no one is chasing me, so why run?  But that's the thing, I've had the energy, stamina, and strength to do just that....it's crazy!

I have found a way of living that works for me.  My goal is to eat this way 95% of the time.  Once in a while I may have a sugar laden, gluten free goodie, but to be quite honest, since I've cut sugar out over the last month, it's all just too sweet.  I'll likely go here for a fix if I need one...

If you are looking for a lifestyle change that will radically change your health for the better, I highly recommend going Primal.

That's all.  No monkeys or scientists are getting kick backs for this recommendation.  I'm just feeling good and wanted to share :)  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breaking Up Isn't Hard to Do



You are so inconsistent!

I can't believe I've invested so much time and emotional effort in caring about your opinion of me.

I ask you one simple question and you give me, easily, 5 different answers in a matter of seconds.

And even if you are right, I have other ways of learning what I want to know instead of seeking your thoughts on anything anymore...

You have not been a good friend.  Yes.  You have been there for me for a good 25+ years.  Sure, go ahead and claim you've been a constant in my life.  But a good friend, not by a long shot.

Sure, you've told me the truth at times.

But your truth is so distorted...and I allowed your thoughts about me to control my thoughts about me.

No more.

We are finished.

I know the truth about myself, but more importantly, I know the opinion of the One who made me, and He's crazy in love with every fiber of my being.

I see my own reflection.  I know my new found strength.  Those are real muscles, with actual definition, and I feel good about me.  I feel healthy.  I weigh approximately 639, not pounds but muscles...and with all the strength inside of me, I'm breaking up with you.

You are no longer important to me or invited into my life to define me.

I'm kicking you to the curb.

See you later, Scale!  Adios.  Goodbye!  Ciao!  Sayounara!  Hasta la bye bye!  You are no longer my boss.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In a Nutshell



I've been away from a scale for Friday weigh-in's the last two weeks, but I weighed in this morning and am 129.0 lbs.

This is pretty crazy because over this past weekend I literally ate 100 pistachios, easily, not to mention so much other great food.  But I stayed active.  Very, very active.

I know nuts and seeds are not on my food intake list until next weekend, actually, but we were guests at a friend's ranch and I was doing my best to navigate the menu without drawing attention to myself.  I was able to grab fruit and salads and veggies on most occasions, but not always a little meat.  It all worked out and the night they had pizza, I darned near emptied the pistachio jar.  (Yep...any of you reading who were also at the ranch, that was me...sorry!)  And, I'm truly not being legalistic, which is a first for me pretty much in my whole life when it comes to myself and my own behavior.

Anyway, I'm finding that I have a ton of energy.  I'm sleeping so soundly and am able to spring out of bed in the morning to greet the Lord and read The Message.

I've looked at a little food porn lately, and by "food porn" I mean some recipe blogs and websites.  Particularly, I've been searching ones that are solely Primal or Paleo in nature.  This is essentially how I will be eating the rest of my life 95% of the time.  But, looking at food porn at this point in my cleanse is NOT a good idea, only because it's inevitable...I'm looking for a main course meal option with tons of veggies and fish or meat and then a grain-free, vegan baked good pops up on the site that's all chocolaty and amazing looking and I start to drool and wonder if I have the ingredients on hand.  And that's what I mean by "food porn."

Anyway, I'm enjoying working out again, which for a season it seemed like I just was doing it out of fear of fatness or fear of being a lazy 40-something who makes the excuse of just being too busy.  Now, I feel so strong.  I even discovered I have deltoids over the weekend.  Whofreakingknew?!  I didn't!  I have literally never had definition in my arms, though I've had muscles I could feel under a coating.

I'm not trying to lose weight or anything like that at this point.  I'm building muscle and trying to gain strength and tone.  I can curl 15 lbs now.  And, I did 40 push-ups in a row on Saturday.  Followed by 35 more.  I do them on my knees, but if you think that is wimpy, then go ahead and try it...all the way to the floor, wide push-ups and Yoga-style tricep chaturanga push-ups.


Ready:  Go!  (Yeah...that's what I thought...)

I've also just finished the book, "Unchain Your Brain," by Dr. Daniel Amen, MD, and Dr. David E. Smith, MD.  If you suffer from any kind of addiction, I would highly recommend this book!  The subtitle is, "10 steps to breaking the addictions that steal your life."  I re-checked it out from the library so I can read it again, it was just that helpful.

Food is a real addiction.  I'm breaking free from mine!

No food in the world is worth hurting myself or sabotaging just for the taste or comfort.  If my head isn't on straight to make that healthful or unhealthy food choice, then I've been getting out of the kitchen or situation, and changing course.

Will I ever eat sweets or treats again?  Yeah.  Once in a while.  But in America, we eat it every day and we wonder why we have so many diseases...it really is no wonder.

There is no reason to wonder.

Stop wondering.  

Write down what you eat and how you feel and then make changes to feel better.  One choice at a time.  No one else can choose health for you.  Loving yourself doesn't mean rewarding yourself with foods that make you sick.  Loving yourself is nourishing your body and brain.

How close is the food you are about to consume to its original DNA God-design?  Keep this question in mind at the store, at restaurants, and at home.

Eating whole tastes awesome!


God knew what He was doing when He made it...imagine that!?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Puree It!

Today I met my Grandpa's new roommate, Lionel.

Lionel is One Hundred Years Old.  That's freaking awesome!

When my 96 year old Gramps told me how old he was, I was like, "Old Geezer!"  Gramps just chuckled.

I stopped into my Gramps' room (he's usually out on his chair in the family room all day) to introduce Ryan and myself to Lionel.  I didn't wake him...instead, he was doing a word search with a ruler and sketching pictures on a pad of paper.

I reached for his shoulder, "Hi Lionel!  My name is Adrienne.  My Grandfather is your roommate, Lou.  My mother, Betty, is Lou's daughter who is here visiting him every day.  This is my son, Ryan.  How are you doing today?"

His face lit up, I tell ya.  "Well, hello!  That is mighty kind of you to stop in and make time for me.  Thank you for introducing yourself."

He worked in sharing his whopping age of 100 years into our conversation.  I told him I am sure he has so many stories and has seen a lot of life.  He told me where he was from, that he used to be a civil engineer for the Air Force, that he has a Great-great Grandson about Ryan's age.

Great-great.  Can that be right?!

Anyway, before Ryan and I got our bike helmets on and headed out the door, we gave Gramps his smooches and waved "bye bye."

When we got home I cut up organic turkey, gluten-free/egg-free bread w/raw honey from Jason's Grampa's farm, and an organic peach for Ryan.

Let's just say, Ryan was simply unimpressed with the peach.  I had tasted it and it was a little pithy.  So, whether you are 100 years old or 1 year going on 2, I did what must be done in these situations...I pureed it.


  • 1/4 banana
  • 1 small container organic apple sauce
  • 1 small not so great peach partially chewed by a toddler
  • 1/4 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1 dash of cinnamon
Puree these in your Baby Bullet or regular Bullet or blender or whatever.  Then I broke up small pieces of carrot chips (freeze dried from store) and threw those in there.

Baby, there's nothing you can't hide when food is pureed with apple sauce or pumpkin...even ABC food.  He snarfed it down.  

*A reader had asked what I feed my kiddos.  I'll post some of their menus from time to time. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feeling Good!



I'm just over two weeks into this thing.

I feel good.

I feel clean.

In fact, my brain feels healthy and that is of utmost importance to me, even above and beyond my physical well-being.

I haven't followed each exercise day to a "T" but have done something active almost every day.  This past weekend we drove to South Dakota for a wedding and it rained for a majority of the time.  I didn't get out and walk like I thought I would, but we were so busy with wedding planning and preparation, I never had a chance to really sit, so I felt active.

South Dakota, as much as I love it, has historically been a place of overeating for me.  And over 21 years of many, many visits, I've allowed really fabulous memories of being surrounded by people I love dearly become intertwined with making poor food choices.  Every gathering centers around food and celebration, which is wonderful.  However, for the most part, the recipes have been high-carb, high-sugar, high-fat, allergy-laden, or just plain old out of proportion, for me.

Being on this cleanse and getting it into my head that I am allergic or sensitive to certain foods really empowered my mind to set the tone for the choices I made all weekend.  I wasn't sad that I was allergic to or avoiding a majority of the menus.  I was able to eat great meat, tons of veggies, and ample fruit throughout the weekend and am able to look back on the whole experience without one regret.

NOT ONE SINGLE REGRET.

For me, that is huge!  HUGE!

I hate regrets, especially when it pertains to food or excess intake of it, or a particular culprit.

Having a plan written out and a course of action in place for eating healthily has been a great help to me.  I encourage you.  You can make healthy choices.  It's not about how you look in the mirror...it's about stewardship.  We are given one physical body on this earth.  The one you are sitting in right now...that's it, baby.  Are you nurturing it with real life-giving foods or overloading it with "food" it does not comprehend, stuff found constantly in boxes, bags, and with dozens of "ingredients" you aren't able to pronounce?

It's about loving yourself.  If you eat that third piece of pie, you aren't "sticking it to the man" or giving an "in your face" to the person who hurt your heart.  They could care less if you are unhealthy.  You are only taxing your body, asking it to process two pieces more than it should.

It's about whether you can chase your kids at the park, fly kites with them, ride bikes, swim at the pool or lake with them and their friends, climb up into their beds to read at night, wrestle on the floor with them...

...and if you don't have kids, it's about being able to enjoy your friends, relationships, or spouse without obsessing about your back fat, taking a walk or going mountain biking or climbing together, canoeing, running, laughing, enjoying life together, instead of succumbing to being irritable, cranky, and feeling like heck because your brain is toxic from the wrong foods.

Just because I can't eat recipes with eggs, dairy, or gluten doesn't mean I missed out on anything this last weekend.

I actually got to take part and enjoy what mattered the most:  SPENDING TIME WITH SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I LOVE AND FOR WHOM I AM GRATEFUL.

*If you read this feeling sorry for me whatsoever, I would challenge you to start peeling off the layers in your own mind of what really matters and if you, indeed, have a food addiction.  If you believe I missed out on anything, food wise, I would challenge your thinking...



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gun Show

There's a gun show in town today.  

But yesterday, there were no guns.  No.  They were bat wings, Grandma-ish.  "Squishy, squishy," as Emily used to affectionately say.  

Nothing has changed since yesterday, to the eye, but I'm trying to love my arms...and by "love" them I mean, tough love, like Jillian Michaels, Tony Horton, boat loads of push-ups, dips, curls, type of love.  Not unconditional, accept-you-as-you-are love.

It's ridiculous, really.

It's a #FirstWorldProblem to have weight TO LOSE.

Let me repeat that statement:  It's a #FirstWorldProblem to have weight TO LOSE.

This isn't something with which women who walk 6 miles a day to gather water for their families will ever struggle.

And yet, there are moments, here and there, though fewer and farther between, where I wish my arms were just lean, already!

And I know.  I know, okay!  I am reading Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, and I know, blasted.

1.  Thank You, Lord, for arms, in general!  I lift them high and praise Your name!

I do not think about it all the time.  My thoughts, actually are getting better as I habitually practice the art of renewing my mind with God's word on a regular basis.  When I set two alarms for 5:30 am, there are no excuses...

That Guy sure has some great things to say, I tell ya.  He's super smart.  Like, way smarter than Einstein, even.  Like this, for example:

     "If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion.  There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.  Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.  And you count far more to him than birds.
     "Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller (or leaner arms) by so much as an inch?  All this time and money wasted on fashion - do you think it makes that much difference?  Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers.  They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it?  The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
     "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen - don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving.  People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.  Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don't worry about missing out.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."   - The Message, Matthew 6:25-33
(green parenthesis mine...)

30 years of mental un-doing is tough work.  It takes prayer, time literally changing my brain, and physical time.  It's the time part I'm learning...

And so, I am practicing thankfulness, gratitude, joy, and rest in knowing He made me, He loves me, He cares for me even more than the magnificent wildflowers that are covering the countryside in Colorado at this very moment...the ones Ryan and I see on our bike rides...because I have arms that are able to grip handle bars...and I have legs strong enough to pedal.  

And it's up to me to praise Him, to walk out of the gun show and focus on the Great and Glorious God.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week Two, Baby!

I'm on week two of my cleanse and workout schedule.

I feel UH-MAZE-ing!  For reals, I have not had any cravings.  Last week I was a little tired, but I'm guessing that comes from my early morning hours reading and doing my workouts.

I've had tons of energy and a lot of my feelings/symptoms/bodily aches and pains are subsiding.  My hands were achy.  And my knees.  And I was irritable.  And moody.  Did I mention bloated, gassy, and the fact that none of my jeans were fitting...not even the pair I bought a month ago as my "10 lbs, give or a take a few, jeans..."

Here is the run down:  Each morning I have hot lemon water with a little Stevia.  This gets the liver going.  I read my Bible and pray.  I usually have a bit of lean protein in meat form at this time, too.  Then I go to the basement and do my workout of the day.  Head up to shower, get ready and get kiddos and hubster up and going and out the door.  He's helpful with this, so I won't pretend I do it all on my own.  He's stellar!  Then each morning I am drinking my green drink.  I also have hot tea throughout the day because I'm wimpy and am always cold.  This is usually a green tea or herbal tea from Yogi or Medicinals.  I eat fruit, green veggies, and a lean protein for lunch.  I also eat this for dinner.  Sometimes I'll have a piece of fruit or more veggies as a snack, but I haven't been that hungry.

Keep in mind, for the next 2ish months, I am not eating ANY of my allergens, sensitivities, or sugars, so, for me that means NO:


  • gluten
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • corn
  • potatoes
  • grains
  • sugary fruits (ie, bananas, pineapple, grapes...)
  • nuts or seeds
  • fats other than fish oils
That leaves a lot, people.  This is a first world problem to be able to even say, "Oh, I'm eliminating certain foods from my diet..."  People in the third world do not have this luxury, so I would challenge you to challenge your own perspective.

I finally had to give myself a "Snap out of it!" talk and it worked...

In September when I do start introducing foods like grains or sugars once in a while, I'm approaching it more like Laura Ingalls Wilder and the days of old.  They did not go to the store every day or even every week and buy a package of crap filled cookies with ingredients that included numbers and chemical compounds.  Instead, they went to the bakery once in a while and got ONE special treat.  

  • One cookie.
  • One cupcake.
  • One pie to share with their whole family for a special occasion.
  • One piece of candy on their trip into town with Pa.

We all boast about how our great-grandparents lived long lives eating beef and potatoes, real cream and eggs every day.  We forget they didn't have boxes and bags of chemically formulated foods laden with sugar and maxi-carbs pouring down their throats.  

They worked their arses off, got a heckofalot more exercise than the average person these days, and they ate whole foods.  Not at Whole Foods, this doesn't have to be expensive, but actual food...like as close to the way God created it in the first place.


*How far away from it's original design is the food you are feeding your body and giving to your children?  What small changes can you make to start incorporating healthier choices into your routine every day?



Friday, May 18, 2012

Fresh Start, Week 1

So, this week went pretty well for me, spiritually, mentally, and physically.

I've enjoyed my quiet mornings each day with prayer and some digging into The Message version of the Bible, reading Romans, Luke, and some Psalms, as I sip on my hot lemon water to get my liver going.  I'd like to share something I saw for the first time this morning which encouraged my heart:

"God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

(Psalm 18:20-24, The Message)

I'm reading "Unchain Your Brain" by Dr. Daniel Amen, MD, this week, along with some Anne Lamott and Ann Voskamp.  I also picked up Katherine Boo's, "Beyond the Beautiful Forevers," and am looking forward to digging into that story.

"Unchain Your Brain" is fascinating.  The words within have only confirmed what I already knew:  I have been a food addict for years and years and years.  Also, this is interesting:  in lab rats given cocaine and sugar/high carb options, the rats would always return to the sugar/high carb options over the coke.  DUDE!

But not without hope...the scripture above is just proof that God has cast a whole crew of imperfect characters in this drama of life, and I could have easily written those verses, except a different imperfect lover of God did, instead.

As far as food cravings this week, I have literally had NONE!  I'm eating cleaner than clean.  Tons of veggies, lean meat and fish/shellfish, and fruits.  I've also gotten great sleep (went to bed at 8:30 the other night!) and have exercised each morning as on schedule.  As a result I lost around 7 lbs.  This was likely water weight and bloating, as I'm not as bloated in my stomach or torso anymore.  I had been eating all my culprits and I could sure tell!

If you don't think THE KIND OF FOOD YOU CONSUME has anything to do with your physical, emotional, or mental health, I WOULD CHALLENGE YOU TO RECONSIDER and at least GIVE HEALTH A TRY!  Whole food eating isn't going to hurt, that's for sure!

I'm feeling good and looking forward to seeing some definition in my arms one of these days.  In the meantime, I know the Lord has given me the strength to make changes in my life by just deciding to go ahead and do it, and to come up with a healthy, practical plan.

What encouragement do you have to offer others who may be reading?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 2

Good morning!

Just so you can get an idea of how quickly my body responds to clearing out allergens and refined carbohydrates, let me share my journey from yesterday to this morning.

Yesterday I got up, had hot lemon water and spent some time with God.  I spent some time with Jillian Michaels doing one of her twenty minute 30-day Shred videos.  I drank tons of water throughout the day. I had a big green drink for breakfast (RAW by Garden of Life).  Ry and I got Em off to school, ran some errands, took both kids to the dentist, Em back to school, then Ry and I headed home for lunch.  I had an enormous greens and herb salad with 4-5oz of chicken, a Pink Lady apple, and some homemade dressing I made up w/Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic, stevia, 1 tsp of "21 Salute Seasoning" from Trader Joe's.  For dinner I made shrimp lettuce wraps with green onion, cilantro, mango, cucumber, ACV, turmeric, cayenne, smoked paprika, and salt.  (For the rest of the family I made a peanut sauce and rice noodles.)

I was not hungry all day.  I did not go to bed hungry.  In addition to lots of water throughout the day, I also had a little green tea with stevia.

Yesterday morning my weigh-in was 139.6 lbs.

This morning my weigh-in was 136.0 lbs.

I wasn't trying to lose 3.6 lbs in one day.  I just know how quickly my body responds to taking out culprits.

I did have a carb/sugar withdrawal headache last evening, but after a good night sleep, it's gone and I feel energized this morning.

Have a great day!  I just finished my morning Yoga and am going to get my kids some breakfast.

Cheers!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Motivation

So, it's only 3:23 pm and I am exhausted.  I just woke up from a small cat nap in the hammock.

70 degrees + Colorado + sunshine + 1 hammock + a great book = a bit of bliss (and an inability to keep my eyes open..)

Florence and the Machine brought me back to life as I finished the dishes and snapped out of my reverie.

Anyway, the tiredness is no doubt a result of greeting the sunrise today, as I posted on my "Cleanse/Detox Schedule."  But I'm not complaining.  When I write things down, I do them.  Somehow it takes the commitment from simply verbal or intentional to action on a greater plane.

Maybe that works for you, maybe not.  But when I decide something, commit my heart and will to it, and then WRITE IT DOWN, it motivates me.

As a result, I had some sweet time reading my new Remix version of The Message, given to me by my loving daughter, handsome son, and insanely faithful husband.  I multi-tasked this time with a cup of hot lemon water in my favorite mug.  And by "multi-tasked" I mean, hot lemon water activates your liver to start doing its job for the day.  This time went longer than expected, but spending time with the Lord doesn't ever suck, so I went with it.

However, it did not keep me from doing the inevitable:  taking my measurements.

I jotted them down, but with excitement rather than contempt.  This is a big step for me, people, because I know I've gained weight as a result of not making healthy choices and not being sweet to my body, so previously I probably would have dreaded taking measurements.

But today I woke up motivated, excited, and determined to show myself love by first fueling with God's word, then making healthy choices for living.

Still not sure if I have the balls to post a "before" picture, but I will share something I found quite fascinating.  I made a Word document with four columns of my measurements I recorded over the last year and a half.  It's pretty cool, even if my measurements from today show I've gained several inches around my body.



10/23/10
Wt:  170.4
Neck:  13 1/2
Rt. Arm:  14
Chest:  38
Waist:  31 1/2
Stomach:  38 1/2
Hips:  40
Rt. Thigh:  25
Rt. Calf:  15 1/2
Rt. Ankle:  8 1/2
7/19/11
Wt:  145.0
Neck:  13 1/4
Rt. Arm:  13
Chest:  37
Waist:  29
Stomach:  34
Hips:  36 1/4
Rt. Thigh:  23
Rt. Calf:  14 1/2
Rt. Ankle:  8 1/2
8/30/11
Wt:  131.2
Neck:  12 1/4
Rt. Arm:  11 1/2
Chest:  34
Waist:  26
Stomach:  29 1/2
Hips:  34 1/2
Rt. Thigh:  21
Rt. Calf:  14
Rt. Ankle: 8
5/14/12
Wt:  139.6
Neck:  13
Rt. Arm:  12 1/2
Chest:  38
Waist:  29 1/2
Stomach:  34 1/2
Hips:  35 1/2
Rt. Thigh:  23
Rt. Calf:  14 1/4
Rt. Ankle:  8
My goals include losing several inches off my arms, thighs, chest, waist, and stomach.  When I cleaned up my act which reflects the results from 8/30/11, I did not do any sort of exercise.  I can't wait to have pipes and be strong, full of muscle and tons of energy.  Mostly, I am looking forward to a mind which is whole and healed as a result of prayer and feeding my body and brain whole foods.

Will you be joining me on this journey?