Sunday, April 13, 2014

Menu Plan - Paleo - 4.12.14


Paleo chicken bacon quiche

Paleo sausage egg mc"muffin"

Bacon and eggs and green peppers and apples

Sweet Potato and apple hash with bacon

Blueberry Tortilla


Prosciutto & Egg Roll-Ups, Mini Cinnamon Apple Scone, and Mixed Fruit Salad

Green Chicken, Roasted Rosemary Almonds, and crudités
Asian Meatballs with Bell Peppers & Blanched Broccoli 

Peachy Pork Lettuce Wraps and carrots

Sausage Patties, Apple Sun-wich, & Veggie Skewers with Paleo Ranch Dressing


Beef and cabbage stir fry

Bunless burgers with sweet potato fries and a spinach salad

Asian meatballs and cauliflower fried "rice"

Cracklin chicken, roasted veggies and fruit salad

Grilled chicken, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce bowls

Savory slow cooker ham and baked sweet potatoes

Leftover Buffet


Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Whole30 update - The End and The Beginnning

It is finished.  And yet is isn't finished.  Because I can't quit doing this.  Before I go there, here are my thoughts from my experience.

Here is what I have noticed:

  • Sleep - I sleep really well.  I'm tired when I'm suppose to be tired and so I sleep when I'm suppose to.  No more artificial carb induced energy bursts at 11pm.
  • Headaches - I've had almost none but I'm still drinking coffee.  I mean I had one headache in 30 days.  I'm not prone to headaches but as I've gotten older I get them more often especially during that time of the month but on this it has been weird how fine I have felt.
  • Energy - this one was weird.  I expected to have more.  I was a person that could go from 8am to 11pm but on this I hit a wall every night about 7 pm and my eyes glazed over and I was useless if you wanted me to think.  I could function but I knew my body was telling me to wind down.
  • Listening to my body - this was the craziest thing because I have ignored body signals for YEARS.  I ate when I was hungry I stopped when I was satisfied and I never had that stuffed feeling yet I was never hungry.  I mean who wants to eat a lot of roast and broccoli?  I could eat 7 pieces of pizza but I just couldn't chew any more meat or broccoli at one sitting so I didn't over eat.
  • Taste bud change - oh my goodness gracious this is the biggest thing.  It does change your tastes.   I didn't realize for years how much I ate food with sauces, with ketchup, with something extra.  I ate fruit with sugar or honey or dip.  I never just tasted my food by itself.  And food is good all by itself.  Fruit is so sweet all by itself.  I still used homemade BBQ and ketchup but it was not sweet at all.  I drank my coffee with cream.  I pretty much can't stand flavored coffee creamer anymore and that has happened just in the last week.

I did not stick with the Whole30 100%.  My husband pretty much did.  I did for the first two weeks with the exception of the coffee creamer.  I would say the first two weeks were the most difficult - more mentally coming to grips with this lifestyle change.  The third week wasn't bad and the fourth week was cake (not literally cake but easy).

I had two meals out with my friend when we went to the homeschool convention and I didn't make good choices.  I also had a day where I just "had to have" the leftover tortilla chips that I kept begging the kids to eat so I wouldn't.  I ate them with guac.  I'm not proud of it.  I did a few other thing little things but I would say the last two weeks I ate 90/10 Whole30.  I caved into popcorn a couple of nights too but it was cooked in coconut oil.

Through all of that I managed to lose 7 lbs.   I know it doesn't sound like a lot but for me it was a break through since I'd been STUCK at my weight for too long.

I am not good at selfies and I always forget to take pictures and such of before but here is an after - taken Friday.  Progress.  You won't be seeing me in a sports bra sorry folks.

People that know me know that I could never give up bread, cheese, butter, sweets - I just can't do that, can I?

Yet I can.  Once I read the way that foods break down in our bodies and what that does to help or hurt us I saw food differently.  I also saw in myself the emotional neediness I had placed on food.  I needed it to get through this or that.  I needed it when I was stressed.  It was super unhealthy and I had to break that cycle.  I think that will be an ongoing work but I will break that cycle.

Where do we go from here?

Well I cannot go back to before this.  My husband and I are probably doing paleo with a heavy lean on Whole30 so we probably won't be making a lot of baked things with almond and coconut flour.  I will still enjoy my life but try do it in a more healthier way.  I will still drink my coffee black.  I will still make the majority of my meals at home using grass fed beef and veggies and fruit.  I may use honey from time to time but sparingly.

I have found some amazing recipes from this. 

Oven roasted cauliflower rice - then use that to make fried "rice".

Apple Sweet potato bake - unbelievable good!

And I went to Qudoba and I got a naked burrito with no rice or beans, lol!  I got chicken, guac, hot salsa and lettuce and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!

Another thing we have found that we love - sweet potatoes and ghee.  Just a simple baked sweet potato topped with ghee is so yummy.  I also have sauteed them and made fries out of them.  They are so good no matter what you do with them.

I would HIGHLY recommend you try this program.  I would get the book first and read it so you can see the why behind it.  You need to understand why you are doing it so that in your weak moments you will have more of a purpose.  Hopefully I will be trying more dishes out and sharing what works with you.

Have you done something  likes this?  What did you think?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I've been loving our mornings

I have been loving our mornings lately.  Even before our two week spring break.  I am doing a classical method but I'm not a purist at all so I use things about it that I like.  One thing I like, no love, is reading living books for things instead of textbooks.

In the morning now we have a reading routine.

I bring a bag of books to the kids' room and they play or swing on our Ikea swing while I read and ask questions.

I always start with a Devotion book.  We use the Animal Devotion book that I have talked about before.  It is almost like science and Bible in one.

Then I read a chapter from our current read aloud.  I try to find classic literature for this.  The kids did not like the Little House book I picked (only my children) so I started another one - The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White.  They are really liking this one.

Then I'll read a little "twaddle" as the classical purist like to call it.  But it is books that my kids like that they ask me to read.  Today was a chapter from a Superman book for my oldest and an adaption of the classic Cinderella for my girl (not the Disney book).

Then we pick the flavor of the day book - I try to do a weekly rotation of art, music, science, history, etc.  Monday is usually the art book - I am loving the Come Look With Me series.  We are doing the one about work right now because I found it at Half Price books.  We just finished the Magic School Bus Shark book for science.

And my newest edition - Life of Fred:  Apples!   Shhh, don't tell them it is math.  I have clipboards and pencils and paper in my bag that I pull out.  We sit on the floor or the bed and I read the short chapter and we do the little activity - mostly for my 4 and 6 year old but my 8 year old sometimes joins in.  We have just started it and so far I really like it.

I also do these Q & A for a Day - 3 years journal with the kids.  I have them in my bag also and pull them out and ask them the question of the day.  The answers are ALWAYS interesing!!!

We still watch TV, play Minecraft and use the Ipad/pod but at least we start our morning with reading.  I'll work on the rest later.

What do your mornings look like?


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sparkle Egg book Give-a-way!

The winner is commenter #26 - Kimberly!  Thanks for all who entered.

My daughter and I read through this book one afternoon.   It is beautifully illustrated.   The book is a way to tell the story of Christ's love and forgiveness in a way that a child will understand.  My daughter very much enjoyed it and we were able to discuss it afterwards.  We also plan to make our own sparkle egg this year.  I have a copy of the book to give-a-way.  See the details below!

About The Sparkle Egg 
Easter is coming, and Sam loves Easter! But this year, he is upset about a lie he told his parents. Even though he apologized and they
forgave him, Sam can’t shake the feeling that he is a bad kid for what he did. Meanwhile, his parents help him make a special Easter craft
called a Sparkle Egg. His mom tells him to write anything he feels sorry about or ashamed of on a piece of paper and put it inside his
Sparkle Egg.

On Easter morning, when he opens his Sparkle Egg expecting a surprise, Sam finds that it is empty! His parents explain that because
Jesus died and rose again, we are forgiven. Like the tomb that first Easter Day, Sam's egg is empty—and Sam’s wrongdoing is
completely forgiven. Once he accepts this forgiveness fully, Sam realizes a truth: we can sparkle and shine with God’s light when we
let God’s gift of grace into our hearts. This touching story will strike a deep chord with readers of all ages, and the Sparkle Egg tradition will help readers and their
families grasp the totality of God’s perfect grace.

Written by Jill Hardie
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
Available now!
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages
ages 4 to 8 
Give-a-way information: If you would like to enter just leave your e-mail address.  You may also leave a comment about what you do to get ready for Easter or a tradition that your family does on Easter.

The give-a-way ends on 4/7/14at 9pm EST.

Visit the official website: 
Tag in your posts:  #ShareAMoment 

Author Bio
Jill Hardie’s first book, The Sparkle Box, ignited a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season. Now Jill is hoping to touch lives with a new Easter tradition with The Sparkle Egg. She lives in North Canton, Ohio.

Illustrator Bio
Christine Kornacki illustrated the highly acclaimed The Sparkle Box. She has a love for painting and a knack for bringing stories to life. Christine received a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford and spends most days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming café in New Haven, Connecticut.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week In Review

School Stuff

Our friend came over and talk to us about the Ukraine and Russia.  She was a missionary there for nine years.  She wrote the kids name in Russian and taught us a song in Russian.  She told us what life was like over there and the kids asked questions.  She explained what the school experience was like too.

I volunteered again for my middle two's Montessori school (they go half days in the afternoons).

Here she is doing a silent "e" activity.

He is punching out North America.

We watched a Wild Kratts on Monday.

Then I had my oldest narrate it for me and I wrote it down for him. 

Then they drew a chipmunk using our Draw Write Now book.  Makenna wanted to do the copy work even though I did not require it.

 She also wanted to color a Wild Kratts picture while she watched.

Some strategies we use for our boy during homeschooling - when I am reading something to him he plays with this therapy dough.

And between lessons his dad had the idea of doing some exercises so he does 10 of these and then we throw a ball back and forth and either count by two's or just count to 30.

Some math stuff.

And I actually colored this while we listened to History.  Because they are so pretty and so I was a control freak just this once and colored these myself.  They are for our history timeline.  My husband wishes I was such a control freak over the state of the house I bet, ha ha.

Life Stuff

Makenna got her hair cut!  She donated it too.

Little Miss sporting a side ponytail.  Oh the 80's are back.

Strawberry shortcake enjoyed at Mimi and Pawpaw's house.

And a tractor ride!!

A treat at Orange Leaf.

An attempt at St. Patty's Day pictures.  Right.

How was your week?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm doing the Whole30 and I'm on Day 10

I am on Day 10 of the Whole30.  I don't normally do things like this.  Things like not eating grains or sugar or dairy.  No, that would be kind of insane for me.

My husband wanted us to quietly do this and not tell anyone we are doing it.   But I cannot do that.  I mean I did that for a few days but I have to share.  I need some support or encouragement or someone to tell me I'm crazy.

I already knew that though.

I thought it would be more difficult and this coming from a girl who LOVES her bread and her cheese and her pizza and her sugar.

The worst thing about it is the lack of variety but that is my fault.  I could make a lot more I just don't.  Because I have to think too much to do that.


The thing about this is that it really does make you think - about what you eat.  About not just putting things in your mouth like the kids leftovers.

It doesn't make you hungry at all.  I'm not hungry.  In fact I just wanted to quit eating so much because you have to eat a lot to get all the nutrients and things in.  I don't worry how much I'm eating because what I am eating satisfies me.  Also, who really wants to over indulge in broccoli?  Not me.  But I'll tell you what else I have found - I'm flossing a lot more.  I'm eating a lot more meat and man does that get stuck in  your teeth.  I read that on anther blog - and I totally agreed!

I have days that I want to quit but now I feel like I know too much to quit.  I know what I was like before and what I am like now and right now - I'm fine.  Like really fine.  Like no headaches at all in the last 10 days and yes, I'm still drinking coffee.  My husband keeps telling me my skin is glowing.  My breakouts are less it seems.

Homemade Mayo

The biggest difference I think is energy.  I'm great throughout the day but I'm more tired at night when I'm suppose to be.  I literally can't think past 7 or 8 pm.  I'm awake just not productive.  The book talks about the "carb flu" where you are worse before you are better and I think I'm still going through a touch of that.

I have wanted to eat this way for a long time.  Like if I lived on a mini farm I could eat this way and sustain myself - just eating fruits, vegetables and proteins we could "grow" and kill ourselves.

I wanted to completely avoid restaurants but I couldn't make myself do that until now.  I mean I still go through drive thru's for my kids but I do not get one thing and honestly I don't want to.

This way of eating does make food a little boring but that is great for me.  I need to put food in its place.  I have found it to be an emotional crutch for me.  I was using it when I was stressed.  I was using it when I was happy.  I was using it when I was bored.  I know many of us do that too.

I am seriously considering doing Paleo when I am done.  Except I may still have pizza once a week but I will have to see how I feel after eating to make that judgement.  I do believe in the 80/20 rule.

Also, I have cheated with one thing - coffee creamer.  I drank it black for a while and I did the coconut milk but this one thing has really stopped me from falling off a cliff so I'm keeping it for now.

Also, I have weighed myself.  You aren't suppose to because it isn't suppose to be about weight loss but sometimes I needed a little more motivation to stay the course and I can report the results are really unbelievable.  I'll share more when I'm done.

Have you ever done the Whole30?  How did it go?