Friday, January 25, 2013

Fitness journey update - Eat To Live

Disclaimer: this is premature glory. I have lost a whole pound, not anything to write home or a blog about. Acknowledged.

Okay. I went to a beloved friend's house (She has long red hair and 10 kids, for those of you who know me personally and need to know exactly who I'm talking about) with the intention of asking while there about her tricks for feeding a lot of children breakfast on a healthy dime. I knew she would have wisdom. Boy did she!

Within a few minutes of being there, I asked my first question (it had been too long since the last visit and we both had lots of questions:) and she hit me in the face with this - "We are no longer eating meat or dairy."

What?! What are you eating then? (I knew she was staying away from sugar and limiting carbs) What else is there?

So we chatted about that, she gave me some recipes, but several of the recipes she had that I wanted were in the book she kept referring to, Eat to Live. For whatever reason, and I'm not sure what it was honestly, I ordered the book when I got home. I really was skeptical.

I'm not now. I think the guy makes a profoundly convincing case for needing to have the vast majority of our diets be made up of, in this order, green leafy veggies, other green veggies, colorful non-starch veggies, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, with a smaller amount of starchy veggies, and almost no animal products. For weight, for heart, for disease fighting, it all seems pretty clear.

So I am experimenting. I'm not following his advice and cutting out all salt, though I think I'm using less of it. But I'm eating weird stuff. My breakfast was a smoothie made of a half bag of spinach, a banana, a cup of frozen blueberries, a cup of other frozen fruit, a half cup almond milk, a half cup pomegranate juice, a beet and a tablespoon of ground flax.

For supper last night I actually ate a salad without meat or cheese. It was ok. I'm learning. Some of the things I make are duds. I made a veggie soup and had to add quinoa and tortellini to make it worth eating. I did a veggie chili (beans and bell peppers) and had to add seasoning I don't normally think of as chili seasoning (cloves??). But I'm doing ok.

My treats are things I find on - especially the no sugar cookie dough dip. I don't add the chocolate chips, but it's good anyway. To me.

I am trying to feed my kids healthier too - and that's harder. I'm trying to keep a veggie tray stocked and on the counter right before meals, when they're all starting to nibble on each other. I am trying to do more whole grain things, bread, pancakes, waffles, breakfast breads. We're only doing cereal once or twice a week. I am actually making breakfast most days. And I'm talking to them about eating more veggies, and why.

We have a ridiculously long way to go. And I am certainly at the beginning. But I'm excited about this for the following reasons. #1 I am not hungry. #2 Pretty much everything I am eating is good for me. #3 I think I am doing what my body needs and eventually what my kids' bodies need.

I will keep you posted. Unless I completely fall off the wagon. Then I probably won't mention it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


But I'm not. I'm not a slacker. I'm working hard. Honest. I'm nursing a baby right now. I cut hair, I helped make bread, took down Christmas decorations.

Well, I'm writing now. I'm trying to get inspired. I think the hubby and I and some great friends are going to try to go on a cruise next summer for our anniversary. 20 years. And I am researching that some.

I'm trying to get motivated for the next leg of my fitness journey. It's hard. Especially on hard days. I'm pretty sure the thinner I get the nastier I'll look. An old wrinkled nasty bag of skin. The saggy, baggy elephant. Not looking forward to living life in too-big skin.

And hard days are, well, hard. Comfort food is comforting. And time. There simply isn't enough time.

My dad always says you will make time for what matters the most to you. And that is true. But for me, that means neglecting something else I should be doing. For example, there is a pile of clothes in my laundry room that always accumulates of garments that don't fit anyone who lives here right now but that are perfectly good and will, within a few hours, fit someone just fine. They need to be put away. And even though I have an ideal storage system, it still has to actually be done.

Cloth diapers have to be washed and stuffed. People insist on eating every day and that means dishes have to be washed.

And I'm doing this crazy thing of trying to cook more of the foods that fill people up and cost less and are, you know, healthier. Do you know how much more time it takes to make real oatmeal (doesn't come in envelopes) than letting people get their own cereal??

Today I tried an experiment - and those only work about 30% of the time, but I was desperate) - and made breakfast burritos. Doesn't sound that scary, but I decided to make some filler, since we didn't have 3 dozen eggs. I cooked up some potatoes and onion. I thought it was too delicious (scrapping my plan to have an egg day and drop a little of my bloat) and ate 2, but half my clan took one bite and decided to fast.

Sometimes trying at all is the most overwhelming part. And even though I suspect I will at some point put on my A-game and give it my best, count the dumb calories and the stupid carbs and drink the horribly cold January water and run on the stinking treadmill, right now I just want to sit down with a steamer and play solitaire.

Ok. I am a slacker. Or a slacker wannabe.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Wasting time

Today my husband is taking our 7 oldest children to see The Hobbit. They are hugely excited. I am also excited to see it, but that will have to wait until a day I am willing to leave the baby - I don't want him to have a bottle every day, and he had one yesterday (oops). So I'll go sometime. But they're all there, and I am here. I am here with the 6 youngest. 6 under 7.

Now the mountain of laundry is still there, there are dishes waiting to be unloaded and others waiting to be loaded. We cleaned and then messed up again the kitchen table. And I got 2 babies down for naps and thought, is it possible that I might get something done?

Well it all depends. Because Daughter Number Four had the Wee Sing Christmas Songbook in hand. We sang Jingle Bells, all three verses, several times. We sang through the Little Drummer Boy numerous times. Then we just started at the front and worked our way through, singing all the verses listed for each song.

Not too long after that, the baby woke up, and the window of possible efficiency closed again.

Did I get laundry done? The dishes? No. But we sang with gusto, we sang with passion, and my younger children now know how "Must Be Santa" goes. I'm calling that time well spent.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Starting Over

Part of why we make and need New Year's Resolutions is because we have behaved so poorly and been so irresponsible and negligent in honor of Jesus' birthday, because that is how we show we love Him, that it is going to take some serious resolve just to begin life again as we knew it before the hurricane known as The Holidays struck.

I need a fresh start. I know, most of you fresh started on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Me, I'm procrastinating. My brother, niece and nephew fly home tomorrow. Then I've got about 36 hours to pull it together, make a plan, and gear up before the First Real Monday of 2013 launches.

Monday morning, school resumes. Monday morning Eldest Daughter and I will start a new fitness journal/plan together. Monday is the beginning of the week in which all the activities and classes that paused for The Holidays unpause. Monday, Monday, can't love that day.

Frankly, I'm nervous. But ready. One cannot live in holiday mode forever. My children's brains are melting. My pants are getting tight again. The laundry mountain is growing (no one has been doing chores around here, and there has been travel, and cleaning, both of which produce more laundry, somehow) and someone, Someone, I say, someone is going to have to undertake to climb it. That Someone is likely to be me. We could lose a child in there, I tell you.

We are not in as bad of shape on dishes, in part because, well, we have to eat. And, for one of my first amazing and super acts of the new year, I bought more spoons (**applause**). But my refrigerator is a collection of various shapes and sizes of storage containers filled with generations of food-that-once-was-but-is-now-growing-whoknowswhat. And my countertop has 15 empty stockings and 15 almost empty holiday tins from Grandma, containing only candy no one really wanted, necco wafers and such, all taking up space we normally reserve for whatever objects we take away from the toddlers.

Anyway (or any-who, depending on where you're from), I'm just grateful for this whole fresh start New Year's Resolution thing, to give us a pass for whatever lies behind and an official encouragement to look to what lies ahead and press on toward the mark of the high calling of what we were supposed to be doing before we got so distracted celebrating.

Ready, set, go.

(I'm not really ready yet, but, like I told you, I'm starting Monday.)