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Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Year Later... I DID IT!!



One year ago  I turned 40!  The “I’m getting old” thing didn’t strike me as depressing… but being 40 and fat did!  Last year, on October 19th, I weighed ……..182 pounds!!!  It’s true!  I was wearing solid 16’s and felt like crap.
I decided I needed to do something major;  a one year goal that I would devote myself to until my 41st birthday.  My CLEAN EATING QUEST.

 *My immediate objectives were:
·         *Eliminate all processed food!
·         *Eliminate sugar in all its forms (except raw or frozen fruit)

·         Read something every day that would teach me how to care for this body of mine
Then, in order to increase my chances of success, I told everyone.  Most people said “good for you!”.  Some said “that’s a pretty big goal.  Maybe you should just try moderation so that it’s actually achievable”.  And I’m sure many (myself included) thought.. “here she goes again.”

I am SO PROUD to report that I STUCK WITH MY QUEST for the full year!  I now weigh 140 (a 42 pound loss!) and I comfortably wear a size 8/10.

I have some pretty hideous “before” pictures of me in my underwear last October.  (My poor daughter, having been forced to take my photo, is still in counseling).  You’d be amazed at those before and after pictures!  But I’m just not bold enough to show them to the world.  Instead, I’ve included a picture of me at Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island) in my birthday crown last year and another picture of me at Grand Hotel last week.    


My Journey….

I immediately conquered my first three objectives.  I cut out sugar and processed foods cold turkey!  It wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d imagined.  I focused on eating foods in their most natural form.  I really focused on getting my mind trained for this QUEST.  I knew I wouldn’t be happy munching on celery and carrots for a year!  I needed to learn what else was out there that was good for me, that I could learn how to prepare.  (As a result, I now regularly consume hemp seed, quinoa, coconut oil, bee pollen.)  I hoped that the more I learned, the less desire I’d have to eat crap.  Friends, THAT was the key to my success!  Not only did I make it through my year long quest – I have gone far beyond where I imagined I would, and can’t imagine every going back!  You truly don’t know what you don’t know!!

As I studied and soaked up information, I’d make decisions to test various philosophies to determine if they were true for me.  For example, I read a lot about wheat and gluten and their negative effects on the body.  I was tested a few years ago for celiac disease.  It came back negative.  But after reading so much about this, I decided to eliminate all wheat, bread, pasta, crackers, etc.. from my diet.  I continued this for 2 months.  After two months, I reintroduced some whole grain pasta into my diet.  The negative results were immediate!  I was in pain!  So clearly my body prefers to abstain from those things.
The other major change that I made was to eliminate animal products from my diet.  The research is overwhelming!  Animal products are killing us  “BUT WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?!?”  I don’t believe our bodies need NEAR the amount of protein that we hear about.  But even if we did, do you have any idea how much protein is in leafy greens?  MORE THAN ENOUGH!  I also eat nuts and seeds daily – but in moderation.

I’m not perfect!  Every once in a while I’ll indulge in a little cheat.  But my diet is now completely plant based, free of sugar and processed foods, and 80% raw.  I feel great!  This is no longer a “diet” for me – it’s truly a lifestyle!

While the year has come to an end, and my QUEST has been accomplished,  I feel that I’m really just beginning.  I had so much fun on my QUEST, I’ve decided to do it again.  This year, I’ll focus on fitness.  I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet – but I have decided it will include a half marathon in April!  (My son thinks a marathon next October.  We’ll see… J)
To those of you who have been a constant support for me this year, THANK YOU!  I think my children have been my greatest cheerleaders!  They’ve joined me on this journey, along with my husband, and have endured much!  As a family, we now have green smoothies every morning!  They try every new vegan recipe that I make, and generally find positive things to say about them!  I’m so grateful for the support!!

HOORAY!!!

More Before & After Pix...
 


Monday, July 2, 2012

Zucchini "pasta" Bake

I'm amazed at the bounty my garden is producing already!  In the last 3 days, we've harvested 10 or 12 zucchini!  They are beautiful - and I'm so proud that the are growing in my yard!  
At church yesterday, I was talking to a friend who is quite an accomplished backyard gardener and she told me about a way that she utilizes her abundance of zucchini.  Beth makes a type of lasagna using thin slices of zucchini, layered with spaghetti noodles, tomatoes, garlic and lots of motz!  Well, I don't currently do pasta, and will never do mozzarella.  But the basic idea sounded delish!  So I adapted!  Fortunately, my wonderful husband surprised me late last week with the spiralizer I've been wanting.  A spiralizer, by the way, reminds me of the little playdough toy that allows you to make hair.  Basically, you just push your zucchini through this simple gadget and "noodles" come out the other end. SO FAST, SO EASY, SO CREATIVE & very cheap!  (About $40 on Amazon)

*** You do not have to have a spiralizer to make this!  The spiralizer makes the zucchini fun and appetizing, but you can just slice and layer your zucchini.  OR if you do pasta, use pasta!  (No need to cook it first!  The zucchini and tomatoes produce plenty of moisture in this recipe.  The noodles will cook while they bake).  Of course, I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I didn't remind you that "white ain't right"!!  Eat whole grain pasta!  
Most importantly, NEVER FORGET - this is your kitchen, so you can do whatever you want!  This is a basic template for you!  Use what you have and what you love!  There is no right or wrong!

Don't you just want to devour this!!

Ingredients:

4-5 zucchini
4-5 tomatoes
red onion - as much as you like!
Fresh basil
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Mushrooms (I used portabello)
Pasta Sauce
Oregano (fresh or dried)

Process:

Pour a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan.  
Using the spiralizer, process 4-5 zucchini.  Place a layer of zucchini noodles over the pasta sauce.
Thinly slice tomatoes and layer over the noodles.  Slice onions (I like long arcs!), and mushrooms and layer over tomatoes.  Chop fresh garlic (as much as you like!) and sprinkle over top.  Sprinkle with fresh basil and oregano.  Add another layer of pasta sauce and repeat the whole process.  Because I am basically vegan, I would only sprinkle a small amount of Parmesan over the top before baking.  My family, on the other hand, LOVES cheese, so you can see by the photo that I kept them happy by sprinkling cheddar over 1/2 the casserole.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  This recipe will produce a great deal of liquid!  I just scooped the food right up out of the liquid and served it.  When it was time to store the leftovers in the fridge, I poured the "juice" into a container.  Afterall, it is loaded with nutrients!  The next day I drank it like V-8 juice.  Yum!!  My family (even my mountain dew and Dorrito eating son) really enjoyed this recipe!

IF YOU EAT A RAW DIET... this is just as awesome raw! As a raw dish, I skip the pasta sauce and instead, create my own fresh pasta sauce using just tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and a food processor.  Cooking does remove a substantial portion of the nutrients of these wonderful veggies.  Don't be afraid to try it raw sometime!

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Enjoy life's bounty!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm in love.... with Banana Porridge!!

It's been a quite a while since my last post!  I have a great excuse, though!  My first born graduated a couple of weeks ago.  (I'm so proud of him!)  But end of the year... graduation... grad party.... take a lot of time and energy!  Thus... no post for a while.

I am happy to report, however, that I have not strayed from my QUEST!  My self-education continues and I'm feeling so empowered to take control of my health!
To date, I have shed 40 pounds!

As I continue to research a plant based diet, I've encountered Dr. Douglas Graham and his 80/10/10 philosophy.  He teaches that 80% of our diet should be carbs, primarily in the form of fruits and also some leafy greens.  NO MORE than 10% should be fat.  (By the way, on a 2000 calorie diet, 10% fat would be just 14 almonds!) NO MORE than 10% should be protein.  While we're constantly being told to eat more protein, our bodies only need a certain amount.  (About 6-7% of total calories, actually)  Beyond that, our bodies don't know how to process the excess protein or what to do with it.  This is a vegan, low fat, ALL RAW diet!  It's not too far off from what I've been doing the past few months - so I've decided to give it a try for the summer; Memorial Day  through Labor Day.  I'm looking for some very specific changes/improvements to my health.  I'll be sure to report the results and I continue through the summer!

BANANA PORRIDGE is an 80/10/10 recipe that I stumbled upon recently.  It is so delicious and easy - and my family loves it too!

You'll need to make banana milk!
2 frozen bananas
1 cup of water (or so... add more to get a think milk consistency)
4-6 dates (soaked for 20 min first)
cinnamon to taste

Put all of these ingredients in a high speed blender and let it zip along until you have a thick, creamy milk consistency.  The dates are optional - but I always have dates in my house, so I use them for extra sweetness!

Next...

Chop up bananas into small pieces (I used about 6 bananas to feed three people today)
Chop up any other fruit that you have.  Today, I used fresh Michigan strawberries (because I bought 2 flats yesterday!), and some organic apricots that I needed to use up.
Mix all in a bowl and pour "milk" over it.  Eat with a spoon like cereal.  YUMMMMMMMY!!!

And now... I'm off to the beach with my kids!  I'm taking Friday's off this summer and have declared every Friday  BEACH FRIDAY!  As a super exciting side note... my bathing suit from last year is HUGE!  So, my 15 year old daughter gave me her bathing suit top from last year.  She is a tiny, athletic little thing, so I'm feeling awesome that I can comfortably wear her top!  Her bottoms will NEVER fit me! lol  So for the time being, I've pinned mine.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bring on the Artichokes!

Tonight I was craving something with a "gourmet" feel.  Something easy, of course - as I'm not an accomplished chef! Far from it, in fact!!  But something to change up my smoothie/salad routine.  I started flipping through my Moosewood Cookbook and found just the thing!!  GREEK PIZZA!  It was delicious AND easy! 

Here's the recipe:

Topping

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
3 T water
4 tsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 T olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves (or more!)
5 cups fresh spinach
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes
1 jar (or can) artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup feta or asiago cheese (I used feta - and only about 1/2 cup)

Dough:
Anything you want!  I used  gluten free, wheat free rice tortillas.  But you could use any crust you prefer.

In food processor, puree the chickpeas, water, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, 1 T olive oil and salt.  Add more lemon juice or salt to taste.

In a skillet on medium-high heat, cook the garlic and mushrooms in 1 T olive oil for just a moment, before adding spinach.  Cook for a minute or two, until the spinach has just wilted and is still a beautiful bright green.  Place in colander to drain.

Spritz a bit of olive oil on back of crust and place on pizza stone, or cookie sheet.

Spread the chickpea puree over the crust and top with spinach, tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  Sprinkle with oregano, pepper and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.

I found that this amount of ingredients made 3 tortilla sized pizzas.  I could only eat one!  It was very satisfying!!  To me, the artichokes are what made it divine!  They were perfect on this little pizza!!  Give this recipe a try!  I know you're going to love it!!

Keep in mind, this is YOUR pizza!  You can make it any way you want! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chocolate Coma!!!!

Today I made a 10 minute recipe that was so rich and decadent, it nearly put me in a coma!!  My taste tester, Sophie, enjoyed as well (as evidenced by the photo below!)

This recipe could not be more simple and full of raw nutrients!







Raw Cinnamon Brownies (courtesy of Kristen Suzanne)


Yield one 8×8 glass baking dish (12 to 16 brownies)
Frosting
 
2 T cocoa pdr
2 ½ T agave (or honey)
2 tsp vanilla
1 avocado
Dash salt
Dash cinnamon
Beat with hand mixer to ensure all avocado is blended and invisible.  (I promise!!  It will not taste like avocado!!)

Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, grind the seeds, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate powder to a coarse grind. Add the dates. Process until it starts to stick together. Press into an 8×8 glass baking dish.  Top with frosting.  Enjoy!  (Keep it in the fridge until they're gone.  It won't take long!)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Pantry Project



I really should have taken a "before" photo of my pantry -- but I'm just not that smart. But THIS is the finished project!

My pantry has been a major source of frustration since we moved in to this house 12 years ago. The builder chose to use closet shelving instead of pantry shelving. What this means is that there is not a solid place for items to sit. They are constantly tipping and getting caught in the cracks. Finally, I took some time to make it better.

I started a couple of weeks ago with a major kitchen cupboard overhaul! It was at that time that I decided to start keeping things in bins (I have bins in my fridge and freezer, too!) This way, instead of constantly moving items around to see what's behind them  - and causing a domino effect of items tumbling into the cracks of the non-solid shelving, I just pull a bin forward and I can see everything that is in it and quickly locate what I need. For my pantry project, I took it a step further. I have been buying a lot of bulk items lately. I decided to start scavenging for glass jars with tight fitting lids. (Trying to get away from chemically infused plastic containers) Just to make it cute (cause I DO like cute!), I decided to label my bulk jars and my bins with computer generated labels attached to fabric.

 Those cute jars are sitting on 2x4 pieces of wood. You've probably seen those little plastic stair step canned good organizers for $12. Well, not only are those too small for my jars - they are also too expensive! So I went to Home Depot and purchased two - 84 inch long 2x4's and had them cut in thirds, for a total of 6 pieces. When I got home, I stacked three on top of each other and nailed them together. I slid them to the back row. I then took two more and nailed them together and made them my middle row. Finally, I placed the single piece in the front. (The front piece is currently unoccupied, as I need to gather more jars!) The total cost for my personalized jar-stair was $3.98. Seriously! I'm still planning to decorate the fronts of them with a sassy ribbon. :)

Also, I added the extra shelf pieces, found at Home Depot. There was way too much wasted vertical space between the installed shelves. These little additions were intended for sweaters!   But the work great in my pantry!  I'm really pleased with how the project turned out!

On another happy note, I assembled my new juicer this evening and made my first wonderful glass of fresh, organic, vitamin and mineral rich juice. YUM! I wish I had taken a picture of that too! But again... not that smart. Juicing is the best way to quickly and effectively deliver nutrients to your cells. Juicing separates the bulky fiber, allowing the nutrients to rapidly get to your cells. Of course, we NEED fiber in our diets as well! So I don't personally subscribe to the idea that juicing alone is the best plan - unless you are battling cancer or other disease. In that circumstance, I recommend looking into "The Gerson Mirracle". Dr. Gerson developed a holistic therapy in the 40's that was, and continues to be, an amazingly effective treatment for cancer and a myriad of other ailments and disease. If you or someone you love is suffering, I beg you to look into Dr. Gerson's work. I'm attaching a link to a free 90 minute documentary. WORTH YOUR TIME!!

The Gerson Miracle


Because I am not suffering any type of disease (praise God!) I am using juicing as a preventative therapy! Sticking to a plant based diet, which is highly raw, will significantly reduce my chances of dealing with such things. As I type I'm sipping on my... 12th or so glass of water for the day - and nibbling on homemade organic red popcorn, popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with pink salt. Completely great for me and my all time favorite snack!! 

Ahhhh!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So much to learn, so little time!

I think that this Quest has become a full blown obsession! I just can't get enough! It seems like I'd be on information overload, but I'm truly not!

Sophie was picking on me tonight while I was whipping up a new curry dip, made with sprouted lentils. She said "you're cooking a lot these days!" Must seem so foreign to her! lol!

As I mentioned previously, I've made the decision to go to a plant based diet. Other than free range eggs and organic yogurt, I'm avoiding animal products. It seems that every where I look (even when I'm not looking!) I'm stumbling onto information about the benefits of a plant based diet. However, my family is not there yet. But as a result of our research, they (Ryan) has decided that even though they don't want to give up meat, they are willing to start purchasing our meat directly from farmers. Grass fed cows, free range chickens, etc... This past Saturday I made my first organic chicken purchase. It was SO liberating! I left with my purchase feeling giddy! How silly is that?! Especially considering that the cost is significantly more. SO worth it to me!

Tonight I had dinner at Food Dance, downtown Kalamazoo. It is a wonderful organic restaurant. I went with a group of girlfriends and it was so.much.fun!!
Again, I felt such a feeling of victory as I left. Not only did I have a fabulous meal, I managed to avoid the bread that was on the table, and the decadent chocolate dessert that the girls split. To be honest, it wasn't even an issue of "avoiding" those things... I truly hardly noticed they were there. I was super satisfied with my meal, and we were having so much fun laughing and visiting that those foods were simply not an issue.

MY NEW JUICER ARRIVED TODAY!! And it was FREE! We used our bank points and cashed them in for a lovely juicer! I can't wait to try it out. Unsure of the benefits of juicing? GOOGLE IT! You'll be amazed!




A few have you have asked me for a weight loss update... I am down 31 pounds since October. I feel great and I am SO HAPPY!!!

I have a few documentary & Book recommendations for you! I found these documentaries on Neflix and Amazon. The book I found at the wonderful Otsego Library! But it is so terrific, I'm ordering my very own copy!

1. Forks over Knives
2. Food Matters
3. Food Inc.
4. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Cookbook - Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health. WONDERFUL!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Meet Your Meat

I'm so in shock at this moment that I have no words to write here. Just watch the video.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Discernment....

First, I must share with you my yummy food from today! My salad at lunch time was the bomb! (For some reason, my photo below keeps inserting sideways.  No idea why!  So tilt your head when you look at it!)  I ran out of fresh spinach (boo!), but I had Kale & Collard Greens.  These are very hearty greens, and a tad bitter eaten raw.  But it's what I had, so I went with it.  Instead of tearing the lettuce into bite size pieces, I stacked the leaves and rolled them up, then I sliced them - so I ended up with what looked like shredded greens.  Really liked it that way!  I added fresh tomatoes, red onion, green & orange pepper, shredded carrots and then my sprouts!  Mung bean, broccoli (harvested just today!), quinoa & garbanzo (also harvested today!).  I then drizzled my homemade olive oil- avocado dressing.  I loved it!  (See pix below).  For dinner I made stuffed acorn squash and brussel sprouts.  I made it for the whole family.  I don't think any of them LOVED it like I did, but they were very sweet and finished it :)  They're so supportive!
Stuffed Acorn Squash & Brussel Sprouts

My Yummy Kale/ Sprout salad and some of my leftover white chili.


Here's the thing, the more I learn, the more I want to change what they're eating too.  Cancer scares me - and I'm convinced that IT IS PREVENTABLE in most cases.  I have personal experience with a precious kiddo who couldn't have prevented it.  But research is clear that what we eat, and the way things are now processed and the chemicals used in our food is killing us! Heart disease is another scary but very real example!  But I have a 42 year old husband, 17 year old son, 15 year old daughter & 12 year old son.  I've participated in their addiction to SAD (standard american diet).  I can't MAKE THEM CHANGE at this stage of the game.  But in small doses, and through my example, hopefully some change will come.

So.. let's talk about discernment.  I need more of it!  And I'm praying daily for it.  I am not a scientist, or a dietitian, or nutrition coach!  So weeding through the many, many options, theories, and research (much of which is like a foreign language to me!) is tricky.  So I'm not making any solid judgements yet - but I want to recommend a movie to you.  Forks over Knives.  I found it on hulu and amazon.  It is a 90 minute documentary outlining some very significant studies on consuming animal products.  It looks closely at the effects of consuming animal products vs consuming plant based foods.  It was really good, and again, got me thinking and reeling!

I previously recommended a book called "Why We're Fat & What to do About it".  This book concludes the opposite, in terms of fat and weight, stating that the fattiest meats will not make us fat - grains will.  I can say with certainty that cutting out most grains has made a big difference in how my gut feels and my weight loss.  So, maybe the meat won't make me fat - but could it still be increases my risk of serious disease?   I think in order to make an educated decision,  it's good and important to look at these issues from every angle, especially if I'm going to make life changes because of it!  This study made sense to me. If you can find 90 minutes, please watch it!  I'll look forward to hearing what your thoughts are!

Have a great day - Eat more veggies! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sprouting 101 - My video tutorial (plus a great salad recipe!)

I don't have time to blog everyday!  But I MUST share the delicious and SIMPLE salad that I made today.

I'm not sure if it was the avocado, or the avocado and dressing together, or the fact that I made it and drizzled the dressing at 7:00 am but didn't eat it until 1:00 (giving the flavors lots of time to blend)... but for me, it was a magical combination! In fact, it was sooooo good, that I came home from work and made another.  Isn't it pretty!



So.. here's the recipe:

Strawberry Spinach Salad (see... you just know by the title it's going to be easy!)

1 1/2 (or so) Cups fresh spinach leaves, torn (organic if possible!)
 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved (organic, if possible!)
2 or 3 T fresh red onion, diced
1/2 ripe avocado
scattering of freshly sprouted quinoa (don't quit because you don't have this!)

Dressing
2-3 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
pinch of sea salt

Honestly, I'm making up these dressing quantities because I just grabbed bowl and dumped a little of each.  Shake or stir it vigorously.  Drizzle on your salad.

I really can't begin to tell you how delicious this was!

OK - regarding the quinoa... I used it because I had it - which is really how all salads are born!  This salad would not taste any different without the sprouted Quinoa.  But is was SUPER nutritious with it!

Did you know that Quinoa is one the best staple foods for weight loss? It is very low in fat calories and contains high levels of fiber and proteins. One cup of cooked quinoa is less than 200 calories with only 3 grams of fat. What’s better is that almost all of the fat in quinoa is unsaturated and is beneficial for your health.

Quinoa is less starchy than wheat or rice. Its carbohydrate content consists mostly of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Each cup of cooked quinoa can deliver more than 1/5 of your daily fiber needs.

Quinoa beats most other grains in terms of protein concentration. One cup of cooked quinoa gives you about 8 grams of protein. The further advantage is that the proteins in quinoa are made up of all varieties of essential amino acids, including lysine, which is not found in wheat or rice.

If you've never seen it, it looks somewhat like couscous.  It has a very mild, if any flavor - which means you can put it in anything! If you choose to cook it, I've had the best success by boiling it for 20 minutes and letting it stand for another 5.  Use it in place of rice, or in soups, on salads, etc...  I've made many cold quinoa salads by adding peppers, tomatoes, onions....

In this recipe, I did not cook my quinoa - I sprouted it.  (As noted in yesterdays blog!)  Quinoa sprouts very quickly - about 48 hours.

Quinoa can be purchased anywhere these days, as it's quickly gaining notoriety!  I've seen it at Meijer near the rice. It can also be purchased at any natural food store.  It about triples in size when you sprout it.  So, if you start with 1 cup of quinoa seeds, you will end up with about 3 cups (maybe a little less) sprouted quinoa.  It doesn't get huge and fluffy..

Because so many people have private messaged me asking for more info about sprouting, I came home from work today and made my own little video tutorial. Please try not to get fixated on my muffin top, as I did when I previewed the video!  It'll be hard.. but please try to focus on the message! :)  There are two parts - because I ran out of storage midway through.  So watch them in order.

Enjoy the video and GET SPROUTING!!

Part 1



Part 2

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Loving the Journey!

I am 4 1/2 months into this journey.  I never imagined where it would lead me or how much I'd be enjoying it!  My objective from the beginning was to gain knowledge about eating clean, whole foods.  My thought was that I'd avoid growing bored if I learned about new things to eat & how to prepare them.  Additionally, I hoped that if I knew more about what processed food was doing to my body, I'd be less likely to consume it.

October and November went great.  December was.... well.... Let's not talk about December.  January first, along with the rest of the world, I began again.  It's been 8 weeks since I consumed ANY sugar or ANYTHING processed!  I have jumped in completely and I'm loving the journey!

The more I read and learn, the more experimental I become.  For example, I started with basic clean eating, which is whole foods!  Lean meats, fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc..  Then I read a book that led me to try cutting out grains, including bread, crackers, rice, pasta...  THAT made a huge difference immediately.  The weight really started dropping then and I started feeling GREAT in my gut.  SIDE NOTE.... I've always been very, (ah-hem.. gassy). Totally un-sexy.  Since I cut out the grains my belly has felt GREAT!  As I continued researching, I came upon info about sprouting.  It is my total obsession this week!  IT'S SO FUN!!!  Over the weekend, I got totally lost in you-tube videos demonstrating sprouting.  And the next day... and the next day... and when I'm done typing this, guess where I'm headed?

Left to Right... Wheat Berry, Mung Beans, Broccoli Seeds



Guess who sprouts, by the way??  Raw vegan foodies!  Naturally, I began checking out their websites and blogs. ( Did I mention that I am learning so much?!)  Tonight for dinner I made a raw sprouted adzuki bean & quinoa chili.  It packed some heat!  WOA! No... I'm not saying I'm totally diving in to a raw vegan lifestyle - but I'm sure going eat more raw and keep investigating!

Quinoa Sprouts!


At last weigh in (February 4) I was down 18 lbs.  It was about a week later that I began seeing and feeling noticeable differences in my clothes.  I also did my measurements on the 4th and was down 11 inches overall.  I decided at that time that I would not weigh or measure again until March 3rd.  Today is February 29th - so just 3 more days.

So.. that's the update!  Off to surf you-tube :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am EXACTLY where I've CHOSEN to be!

This is the truth which I will LIVE by this year.  It is the truth that will determine my actions each minute of each hour of each day.  Well... that's the goal.  I have got to get it in my thick skull that I I I I I I am responsible for my choices.  And the choices I make today will determine every future moment.  At age 40, I am fat because I've CHOSEN to be.  No, I haven't conscientiously said "I choose to be fat.  I enjoy myself this way".  But with every choice I make to put something into my body that will cause me to stay the same or grow larger, I AM essentially choosing to be fat.  Choosing to be thin would require different choices.  So this year, I will choose differently.  And next year at this time, I can say "I am EXACTLY where I've CHOSEN to be" with pride and a smile!  Right now, I say those words with complete regret.

I did something crazy yesterday.  I entered the 4th Annual Eat-Clean Diet Makeover Challenge.  I took pictures (again) of my fat, rippled, overhanging body in a BIKINI.  And this time, I sent them to TOTAL strangers to look (laugh!) at.  I sent my measurements and made a promise to do my best to WIN!  What would winning me to me?  It would mean that I worked hard.  It would mean that finally stuck to my plan.  It would mean that I could be truly proud of myself.  It would mean that my family would be proud of me.  It would mean that I kept my promise.  I bet that would feel pretty darn amazing!

My 40th year QUEST started out great!  (These things always do!)  I was a good girl for a whole 6 weeks!  I lost 10 lbs.  And then there was Thanksgiving.  And Christmas.  And New Years.  It wasn't a total disaster, though.  Days were good.  Nights and weekends... not so much.  So I begin again. :)  And again....and again. As many times as it takes!