Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIAW- Week 6 Sugar Detox

Happy WIAW folks!
Leftover taco salad, peanut butter toast with half a grapefruit, plain greek yogurt with granola, Texas Hash

This week's challenge is to not consume more than 2 teaspoons of natural sugars a day. (Plus all of the previous weeks' challenges) It hasn't been that much more difficult. I end up using just a teaspoon of honey on my yogurt sometimes. I haven't been needing anything in my coffee. I have found, though, that a drop of peppermint essential oil in the pot makes for a very refreshing cup of coffee in the morning! One drop goes a long way. I know from experience! One drop per POT of coffee. A little coconut milk is nice, too.

For snacks, I've been enjoying lots of peanuts, fruit, celery, and Sargento pepper jack cheese sticks.

I have decided I will have to cut my challenge a week short. I most likely will be camping and it will be too hard to adhere to the challenge. So, instead I will be cutting two things next week, all grains and starches and all sugars. Well, I will try to cut them all. I haven't made my meal plan yet for next week, but I will let you know when I do!

In other news, I have had a loss in the garden. Yes, the squash bugs won the pumpkin battle and I had to pull them all out. I am NOT happy about this. I just bought some diatomaceaous earth today. I am planning on using this to get rid of the rest of the bugs who are moving over to my winter squash.

The squash plant on the right is doing well but the bugs are all over the left plant. I'm seriously over these dang bugs!

On a better note, the lettuce, carrots, chard, and onions are sprouting and the radishes seem to be growing well.

One of the dogs got out one night last week and decided to walk through my garden. AHHHHH! I was so angry! She trampled half the radishes! So if you notice in the above picture, some sprouts are larger than others. I ended up having to plant some more over the weekend.

I still haven't planted the broccoli and cauliflower. I know, I need to get on that. I will make it a point this weekend. I think I am going to start indoors. Hopefully they don't bring a bunch of gnats inside.

Do you have a fall garden? What garden pests do you have problems with?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Week 5 Sugar Detox Challenge

I am a few days late on this post, and it has to do with the fact that, well, I needed some ME time! I'm assuming my recent emotions have been because I'm going through sugar withdrawals! I have been pretty mean. I have been on edge, and all I really feel like I want is some space! I'm trying not to let my temper get the best of me. Well, I'm assuming it's because of sugar withdrawals. I am hoping it's not my old "friend" Mother Nature coming to call. We haven't seen each other in about a year and a half and I'm not very excited for our reunion any time soon!

So, I can say that I am over half way through the 8 Week Sugar Detox Challenge! Have I been adhering to all the rules 100% of the time? No. I can tell you, though, this is the least amount of sugar my body has ever had! EVER! So I see it as a step in the right direction. I am going to continue to try to follow the rules of the challenge as strictly as I can for the these last couple weeks. Please pray for my family's safety!

This week we had to cut out all quick breads. This includes tortillas, muffins, pancakes, basically any bread that does not use yeast as an ingredient. I unfortunately made a huge batch of pancakes over the weekend and froze them. Now, I REALLY hate wasting food. So, yes, my children have had pancakes almost everyday this week! They don't seem to be protesting. 

I've decided I am not going to list every meal I've eaten any more. It's boring right? Most of them are pretty much the same things. So instead here's a quick view of some of my eats:

I didn't realize until I made this collage, that I had a lot of salad this week. Hmmm. 

I also have been on a pumpkin kick. I made my gluten free hot breakfast cereal the other morning and added some pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and topped it with  a pat of butter and a little maple syrup. HOLY COW! Pumpkin pie on the taste buds! Well, pretty close, anyway. And since I needed to use up that can of pumpkin I opened, I made a pumpkin spice mousse using equal parts pumpkin and plain greek yogurt, a little pumpkin pie spice, a little honey, and topped it with unsweetened shredded coconut. Yum!

Next week I will be trying to cut my natural sugars down to 2 teaspoons a day. I can still have my whole wheat bread though! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Garden 2014

I spent the weekend planting the rest of the seeds I had for the garden. Well all except the cabbage and broccoli. I'm a little nervous about planting them since I've had such a problem with bugs on my pumpkin plants. I may try to start them indoors, but I haven't decided yet.

The squash bugs are a REAL problem. I have been spraying neem oil to get rid of them, but it's a war that if I let my guard down for even a couple days, they will get the upper hand. I've already had to pull out a couple plants because they took over.

Here is one of the plants that they were pretty bad on. They are even on the flowers.

I really hope these plants can survive these annoying critters! I guess this is one of the lessons learned with my first garden.

Next to the pumpkins and squash I planted radishes on both sides. Supposedly they are good for keeping the squash bugs away. I haven't noticed a difference yet. I'm not sure how the companion planting works with these, they may need to be in the ground longer to actually help.

Over the weekend I planted the carrots, lettuce, chard, onions, and celery. It's still pretty warm here, so I hope everything works out. I guess I will see! To see all the types of veggies I planted see this post. I am also planning on planting some garlic but not until October.

A week or so ago I added some more of the bat guano fertilizer to the whole planter. I will save the fertilizer pellets I received from Azure Standard for later.

With most of the seeds planted, now I will just have to wait and see what works and doesn't work. I have to keep telling myself that it's a learning process and I will most likely have a lot to work on the next time around.

Have you ever started broccoli or cabbage indoors? If so do you have any tips?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIAW- Week 4 Sugar Detox Challenge

First of all let me say Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband! Three years and two children later, I can say my life is so full of love and I wouldn't change a thing! Just to reminisce, I had to read my WIAW post from last year- WIA On My Second Anniversary. Now I want a Pumpkin Spice Frappacino! Jeez! My eats this anniversary will be a lot less sugary!

Week 4- Cut Out All Refined Sugars

This week we cut out all refined sugars. I haven't been using very many recently so it hasn't been too difficult. I did have a pretty bad cheat day on Saturday though. The kids and I made a trip out to Pahrump (about an hour and a half away) to visit my sister in law who took some photos for me. They ordered Pizza while I was up there. Then because we didn't get back until late the hubby suggested we just go get Sonic(which we haven't had in years!). I had a cheeseburger and chili cheese fries. Hey, I figured I might as well just go with it since I had already ruined my eats that day! Right? Well I've been much better since then. I can say that the couple days afterward I had some pretty bad cravings. Ugh. It wasn't worth it. Here are my eats so far this week.

Breakfast- gluten free hot cereal topped with bananas, maple syrup, and coconut milk, with a piece of whole wheat toast (This week I left out the 1Tbs of sugar called for in the recipe)

Lunch- Leftover beef stew

Dinner- Leftover turkey (that I roasted on Sunday) sandwich with Delallo pepperoncinis (It has to be that brand! They are so good!) 

Breakfast- Peanut butter whole wheat toast and coffee with a little local honey

Lunch- Another turkey sandwich, with pepperoncinis of course

Dinner- Chili made in the pressure cooker. It turned out pretty good. I added both cayenne and red pepper flakes so it was a bit spicier than usual but it didn't bother the kids! Yum!

Breakfast- Peanut butter whole wheat toast (I told you cutting the grains will be the toughest part for me!), half a grapefruit, and coffee with a little local honey

Lunch- ANOTHER turkey sandwich. I may need to make some turkey chowder or something with all these leftovers!

Dinner- We are planning to have dinner at BJ's tonight. I'm not sure what I will have, and of course it's always hard to tell what ingredients are used when you eat out. Their menu is pretty large, though, so I am pretty sure I will be able to find something that is for the most part within the guidelines of the challenge.

lightly salted peanuts
Greek yogurt with honey (it HAS to be Fah-yay!) 

toddler photo bomb!
I may have to have a glass of wine with my dinner tonight. It's kind of a ritual. I may also break open a piece of our wedding cake if I can find it in our freezer! We vacuum sealed it but who knows if its still good!

Did you save your wedding cake to eat on your anniversary?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WIAW- Week 3 Sugar Detox Challenge

No Desserts

This week I have to cut out all desserts. No cookies, candy, ice cream, chocolate(AHHHH!), etc. Even if it is made with all natural sweeteners it's out! I'm missing my chocolate already. (This doesn't include the sweeteners in yeast breads or added to things like tea or coffee.) Before I cut out all dairy because of my son's allergy, I used to have a bowl of ice cream after dinner almost every night! I did have some coconut ice cream while I was dairy free. That somewhat helped with the craving. I actually had some frozen yogurt for the first time in 9 months, right before I started the sugar free challenge. It was delicious! Since I haven't been eating dessert every night, though, it really hasn't been too difficult cutting it all out. I do crave chocolate every so often. Actually, I crave carob chips. I was using those instead of chocolate chips and I would grab a few once a day or so just for a small treat. It seems my cravings for sweets are becoming less often and less severe. I think once I switched to only whole grains, it has helped tremendously. Cutting all grains out completely may be the really difficult part for me. I have never been grain free for any amount of time. I'm curious to see how my body reacts to that!

So here's my eats so far this week:

Breakfast- whole wheat pancakes with real maple syrup, 1/2 grapefruit (I may have over done it slightly with the syrup)

Lunch- grilled cheeseburger on whole wheat bun, with french fries- my husband wanted to grill burgers so I told him to make sure to grab whole wheat buns. Unfortunately they had high fructose corn syrup in them. Did I eat them? Yes, I cheated.

Dinner- Carne and polo asada, guacamole, beans- some friends of ours got together for Labor Day and they made carne and polo asada on the grill. It was delicious! Yes I ended up having 2 corn tortillas with my food. Yes, second cheat of the day. Although, I still think I did fairly well considering it was Labor Day. Could I have passed on the refined grains? Probably. 

Breakfast- peanut butter whole wheat toast, 1/2 grapefruit

Lunch- Quinoa with veggies (green onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper) and balsamic vinegar.

Dinner- grilled flat iron steak, steamed broccoli, and 1/2 baked sweet potato. (Sweet potatoes are another weakness of mine.)

Breakfast- 1/2 grapefruit, peanut butter whole wheat toast, coffee with some honey.

Lunch- will most likely be another quinoa veggie bowl

Dinner- I have planned suasage and sauerkraut with potatoes in the slow cooker. This is one of my husbands favorite meals. Unfortunately the sausage has corn syrup as an ingredient. I'm not sure how the body reacts to this as opposed to high fructose corn syrup(I will be researching this), but I imagine it isn't too different. I still shouldn't have it. 

Next week is no more refined sugars at all! I think I have for the most part already cut most of them out. I will have to read labels more carefully just to make sure!

Don't forget to link up with your eats, too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lyric- 10 Months Old

My baby boy turned 10 months old yesterday. As I nursed him to sleep, the emotions hit me. I'm not sure why it hit me so hard in this moment. This last year feels like it has flown by right before my eyes. I may be with my children every day but it still seems like I didn't soak it all in enough.

I feel like this year has gone by much faster than the first year of my daughter's life. I guess having two little ones to take care of makes the time go by quicker. 

 So in order to remember this time of my son's life, here is Lyric at 10 months:

 -He loves food! Anything and everything! He eats more than his sister! He has grown out of his dairy, soy, and egg allergy for the most part. He eats eggs no problem. We are slowly adding dairy into his diet. I have been able to add it all back into my diet without it bothering him through breastfeeding. Today he had Greek yogurt for the first time. I will see how he does with that and go from there.

- He is crawling and pulling himself to stand up. I'm not sure if you could really call it "crawling", it's more like one leg crawling while dragging the other along!

- His favorite yoga pose is downward dog. He does it better than me!

- His two bottom teeth make the cutest smile ever! (I am a little biased though!)

 - When he wakes up from his naps he has the biggest smile! He has an even bigger smile when his daddy comes home from work!

- He talks a lot! Lots of babbling and mostly "da-da-da"s.

- He loves his sister so much! He always wants to play with her and be around her. It's so beautiful to watch them play together!

I strive to slow down every day and see the little things. The little quirky things my children say or do every day that may go unnoticed. I want to remember these times, because they don't last long. So now, if you don't mind, I'm going to spend some time with my children. :)