A moment of reflection.

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Here I am sitting at a local cafe drinking my earl grey tea.  In the last 6 months I have learned to drink my tea without any additives (sugar, cream, etc).  I drink tea and coffee straight now actually.  Doing so has made me gain a whole new appreciation for both types of beverages.  As a society we’ve been conditioned to think that sweeter is better.  That brown is ugly.

Did you know that in 2014 the CDC released a report that 29.1 Million people in the United States have diabetes? (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-web.pdf) It’s kind of crazy to think about.  I know that we can’t live forever nor would I want to. However, I plan on living life with many experiences and diabetes, high blood pressure, daily prescriptions, is not the type of experience I’m looking for.  I’ve developed a serious appreciation for food out here.  I mean like REAL food.  Not nachos, french fries, etc but like… fish, chicken, steak, vegetables, and fruits.  There are so many things that I’ve learned how to cook (as well as failed experiments lol) the options of cooking/eating REAL food is virtually unlimited.  Fast food is convenient I know but I just wish there were more restaurants that offer GOOD food at fast food prices.

At the end of the month we are moving back to Texas.  Which I am REALLY excited about.  Don’t get me wrong California is BEAUTIFUL and I’m not looking forward to the ridiculous heat or flies and mosquitos. …but Texas is home.  I am also ready to get back into the employment world.  I think I make a pretty awesome housewife but it’s definitely not my calling.  I’ll give it another go when kids come into the picture but yes, I’m ready to find a job again. These 6 months has really given me the opportunity to figure out new personal goals.  2016 is going to be a fantastic year.  2015 has been great but I can already tell the rest of this year is going to be dedicated to getting to where my husband and I want to be in 2016 financially, spiritually, etc.

Oh I’m almost out of tea. I guess it’s time to wrap this up. I will leave this post with some “food” for thought. 😉  When was the last time you sat down and reflected on something, anything other than the daily grind you find yourself in?  Feel free to share your thought by leaving a comment!

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Poison Oak – YUCK! Ugh!

poison oakFor the last week I’ve been recovering from Poison Oak.  It still looks HORRIBLE but at least I don’t feel terrible any more.  It started off as a few little bumps and then it turned into this. I finally went into see the doctor and within seconds of seeing my rash she declared that it was poison oak.  I’m just glad it’s not the shingles. I know I know, I’m probably too young to have the shingles but I was never known to have the strongest immune system and after Googling “rashes” for days it started to seem like a possibility!

I posted this picture and many of my FB friends and family chimed in with their suggestions ultimately for myself I ended up going to the doctors’ office, received a shot (of what I don’t remember!) but it was something to relieve the swelling/reaction, got prescribed some pills.

Other Tips/Remedies you can try if you want to avoid going to the doctor and are pretty sure it’s poison oak.
WASH EVERYTHING THAT COULD BE CONTAMINATED
Bedsheets/covers
Clothes
Dogs/Pets
Jackets/Hoodies

BUY TECHNU
It will help you wash out the oils that causes our bodies to react so violently.  Why is this better than just taking a shower with soap?  Letting the hot water and using soap may not be enough to remove the contaminating oils and it may even cause you to spread the oils all over your body.

OATMEAL is not just for breakfast anymore
They say that you can actually just run a bath and grind your oatmeal and soak in it to relieve the itch.  They also have oatmeal products e.g. soap that may help as well.

CALADRYL is your friend
Someone decided to go ahead and mix the two best solutions for poison oak and poison ivy Benadryl and Calamine lotion. A friend also told me that you can make a paste with the caladryl with echinacea which is also used for those with chickenpox to help dry it out.  If you’re looking for a solution that you may have in the kitchen I’ve also been told use a paste made of vinegar and bakingsoda.

Other Notes
Scratching your blisters will not spread the rash but it will cause bacterial skin infections – JUST DON’T DO IT.
Try to shower/bathe in cool/cold water because hot water will open up your pores more the oils WILL penetrate your skin more.
Most people recover within 1-2 weeks.

Have you ever experience poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac?  Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!  I’d love to hear if you have any other tips or remedies as well.

I’m Not Dead.

I have no excuses.  I’ve been lazy – such a slacker Sharon!  I just wanted to report that I am not dead.  I’m going to give you a quick overview of what I’ve been up to then leave a special treat from YouTube P!NK’s song “I’m Not Dead” and the lyrics below. Enjoy!

So I’m almost done with my Whole30 Program. Finishing up Day 29 to be exact.

Positive thoughts:

  • Looking in the mirror my face seems to be less pudgy. lol
  • My arms are a little more defined (still flabby but I know if I start working out they’ll be toned soon especially if I keep eating right at least 90% of the time)
  • My jeans/shorts no longer require me to lay on the bed to zip up and my buttons aren’t threatening to pop out on me
  • I like wearing tank tops again as they are not showing my “rolls” as much. haha
  • My boobs are smaller (which is fantastic because I can wear my old bras again)
  • My abdominal area is starting to take shape (again, if I keep eating right and start working out I know I can maintain/improve this area)
  • My hair seems longer?  I will have to take an after photo and compare haha
  • As for my butt… well, I need to hit the stairs and squats to improve that area!

My favorite part of the Whole30 is not having the same mentality like “hmm… what should I eat?” but it’s more like “OH MY GOD it’s almost MEAL 2 and I haven’t cooked my chicken yet!” lol  Seriously, I mean, I’ve always LOVED food but now it’s more like a priority and I’m really starting to think of my meals as… what would give me the nutrients I need to get through until my next meal?  As opposed to “hmm.. what sounds good?” I mean, the fact that my food have been DELICIOUS is absolutely a bonus.  I don’t want to be a zombie any more and just go for the latest appetizing commercial on TV where flavor is OVERKILL and nutrition is compromised.

I’ve gotten so used to throwing my simple meals together… I’m kind of afraid of the next step: the reintroduction.  I’ve got the basic idea of how it’s supposed to work… reintroduce myself to “regular foods” but in increments with specific groups (e.g. legumes, grain, dairy, etc).  I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of scared it’s like meeting someone for the first time – not really sure what to expect. haha

I know that everyone is different and that your plan of a reintroduction may not be the same as mine just like how I may react to certain foods while you don’t.  I read that if I don’t particularly like a certain type of food then I probably shouldn’t even touch it again (e.g. red/kidney/pinto beans).  What I’m really looking forward to is Tiramisu, chocolate glazed donut, ice cream, mushroom cheese burger, and 1lbs. The Boiling Crab Shrimp. (Not at the same time or even day of course). I haven’t created a game plan yet and I SHOULD.  In fact, I made a pact with myself that I am to keep eating like I’m still on the whole 30 until I get a solid plan down for the reintroduction phase.  I don’t want my 30 days of good food to go to waste. It’s time to get intuned with my body and learn what it doesn’t/does like.

A bunch of other stuff is going on but you know what… I’m going to leave those for other entries. 😉

Without further ado…

Lyrics:

I’m Not Dead
BY: P!NK

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

There’s all these cracks, crack of sunlight
Crack in the mirror, on your lips
It’s the moment of a sunset Friday
When our conversations twist

It’s the fifth day of ice on a new tattoo
But the ice should be on our heads
We only spun the wheel to catch ourselves
So we weren’t left for death

And I was never looking for approval from anyone but you
And though this journey is over, I’ll go back if you ask me to

I’m not dead just floating
Right between the ink of your tattoo
In the belly of the beast we turned into

I’m not scared just changing
Right beyond the cigarette and the devilish smile
You’re my crack of sunlight

You can do the math a thousand ways
But you can’t erase the facts
That others come and others go
But you always come back

I’m a winter flower underground
Always thirsty for summer rain
And just like the change of seasons
I know you’ll be back again

I’m not dead just floating
Underneath the ink of my tattoo
I’ve tried to hide my scars from you

I’m not scared just changing
Right beyond the cigarette and the devilish smile
You’re my crack of sunlight, oh

I’m not dead just yet

I’m not dead I’m just floating
Doesn’t matter where I’m going, I’ll find you
(I’m not scared at all)

Underneath the cuts and bruises
Finally gained what no one loses, I’ll find you
(I will find you)

I’m not dead just floating
I’m not scared just changing
You’re my crack of sunlight, yeah

Songwriters
Moore, Alecia B / Mann, Billy

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Grilled sockeye salmon – Whole30 compliant

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Dinner tonight was DELICIOUS.  The recipe can be found here: Whole30 Grilled Salmon Officially I just completed Day 4 of Whole30 (I would be at Day 8 had I not messed up earlier!) but that’s OK.  Two things that I’ve noticed about this plan of eating good food three times a day… 1) I don’t feel gross after eating any of my meals 2) When I am hungry for my next meal I am HUNGRY.  Like… it’s not a matter of hmm… I feel like eating this or that or maybe it’s time for me to eat? NO. IT IS TIME TO EAT.  I was not prepared for lunch today so I threw something together:

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Yep… that’s mixed salad, sardines, pecans, and a banana.  My mouth was saying ew but my stomach after half the plate was saying “THANK GOD!”  I’m not starving myself I’m really not. I eat a lot probably more than I have in the past just less snacking and better quality food.  One of these days maybe I’ll dedicate one of my blog posts to my favorite meals on the The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom plan.  That probably won’t be until September or October though.  I am currently keeping a log on the Whole30 community forum however that particular board where I keep my log isn’t accessible to the public (sorry!)

Peas are considered legumes!!!

I thought I was wrapping up my Day 4 last night when a fellow Whole30 community member reached out and informed me that the peas I ate for breakfast one morning are considered legumes. 😦  Legumes are a non-compliant to Whole30 so I now have to restart my 30 days. I knew better than to eat something that wasn’t on the list. Next time I am questioning everything before I prepare it for consumption (no matter how green and safe/healthy it looks).

IMG_2284I must say though this Whole30 journey isn’t as hard as I thought it might be.  Yes I feel limited to the foods I can eat but at the same time it’s liberating to not have to stress about what to eat next.  I’ve tried more recipes that I have had when I didn’t limit the kind of foods I ate at all.  My most favorite recipe attempt I’ve done is Coconut shrimp.  It was DELICIOUS.  I used this recipe: Primal Bites: Healthy Paleo Coconut Shrimp

Diets do not work.

IMG_1751You know those moments when you discover something obvious, but despite it being simple common sense it hits you like a ton of bricks; suddenly it makes complete sense?  I had one of those thoughts yesterday.  I read this book called “It Starts With Food” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  It got me thinking: Diets do not work.

The fact is anybody can lose weight if they are dedicated enough to a change in habits (exercise and food choices).  However, oftentimes people lose the weight only to gain it back and plus some.  This is because “diets” are seen as a temporary solution to a problem (excess weight).  We know when we are overweight and some even go as far as saying that being a little overweight it healthy.  One has to ask though can you honestly say there is such thing as being “healthily overweight?”

So today I decided that I’m going to do the Whole30 challenge.  What appeals to me about this program is that it’s not a diet.  It’s more like a cleanse.  It is a process of reintroducing my body to real good food with no processed, chemically produced, product.   If it once walked or swam or grew from the ground chances are I can eat it.  I have my husband’s full support.  He eats healthy anyway but I told him all the stuff that are not compliant to the program and he has agreed that he will eat those foods (I do not want to waste any of our current food in the house). Thirty days…. this can’t be THAT bad.

Food Journal – Second Attempt (I think I got it down this time)

IMG_20150626_052142I believe it was last month I decided to start writing down what I ate.  It’s too easy for us to just eat whatever is in front of us regardless if we are hungry or not.  Unfortunately I was not able to keep up with it. I thought it would be easy but I found myself obsessing about the portions, calories, time, etc.  that it ended up feeling like work.  SO this time I’m trying a different approach.

Instead of using a fancy app or anything I decided to just go old school with pen and paper (notebook).  I write the day, date, and what I eat as I eat them without any notes of how much.  I just make a mental note to myself to not eat until I’m filled to capacity – simply eat enough to feel satisfied. I’ve also started taking Garcinia Cambogia supplements.  It’s supposed to help curb appetites. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m hoping to keep doing this as a regular thing in order to keep myself in check as far as my nutrition intake goes. My aim is to use my food journal as a guide as far as making sure that I’m getting the nutrition I need and keeping snacking at a minimum.  I used to be able to shed the extra pounds easily but I can tell it’s a bit more difficult now.   I’ve been teetering and tottering between 136-134 this last month and I know what I eat is the biggest factor of my lack of weight loss.  My goal is 120 by the end of September. It should be doable I just need to keep my mind on the prize.