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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Homemade Italian Dressing Mix

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder 
2 Tbsp. oregano, ground or leaves
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt or salt substitute 
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground basil or leaves
1/4 tsp. ground thyme or leaves 
1/2 tsp. dried celery leaves, flakes, or seeds 

Mix & Store

Use 2 Tbsp. in a recipe in place of 1 packet dry Italian dressing mix.



Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm baking brick bread right now.

I don't know what went wrong.

Of course, I was directing a hoard of children to not bring cupfuls of roly-polies in the house while I sliced oranges for them and pressure cooked chicken and rice for a late lunch.

So I'm thinking I added too much water-- like maybe I put an extra two-thirds cup in.

I had lost hope in this batch and started a new batch of 4 with fresh-ground flour.  But by the time it came to put the new dough into the bread pans, the brick bread had tried rising enough to say, "Believe in me!"  

So it's baking while I keep punching the other dough back down.  It's rare that I ever wish I had 8 large loaf pans.

I am certain between the 11 kids here, 4 loaves will be gone in no time-- even if it's in the form of toast.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Peach doesn't doubt Daddy's knowledge

Peach (4 year old) said to me, "I want to sing Jingle Bells not in English but in Quaglish."

I said, "What's Quaglish?"

She very earnestly said, "I don't know.  But probably Daddy does.  We'll ask him when he gets home."

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Hippity-hoppity Easter is tomorrow (or at least my kids think so)

We emailed the Easter Bunny and asked him to come early this year since Dan would be out of town for Easter.

Hammy remembered just before going up to bed.  He ran to the school table, feverishly drew this picture, and brought it in to me and asked me where the Easter Bunny would be coming in so he could leave it for him.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Have pounds, willing to shed them.

Alrighty this post is directed to my fitness friends, Beachbody friends, gym rats, exercise appreciators, and people with opinions on all sorts of things.  ;)   

I'm looking to expand my gym workouts to include some sort of home workouts-- especially for when hubby is away for long stretches of time with work.

I have a Kinect-- but my Xbox doesn't always allow me to open it and switch the disc.  So that's a quasi-option.

What videos do you recommend for someone that doesn't have a weight-set/home gym?   I have one Kettlebell.  I don't really know what to do with it.  It's a really heavy paperweight on my desk right now.

I'm thinking beginning to maybe intermediate level is what I'm looking for.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This morning, I felt like I was walking to my sentencing.

Part 1
Part 2
The first 30 days doing the "Shake it Off Challenge" with Kelsie were easy.  I lost 13.4 lbs. taking the Orchard and Garden Blend capsules and drinking 2 shakes a day.

I had a veggie filled lunch everyday as well as healthy snacks in-between meals.  I was averaging 10-13 fruits and vegetables a day not counting the Juice Plus capsules.  I was CRAVING fruits and veggies and drinking things like KALE in GREEN SMOOTHIES!  I'd go to the Farmers' Market and be assaulted by all the amazing smells of all the produce.  It was like my palate had been cleansed of all the refined and processed foods and I could appreciate God's bounty more fully.

I avoided gluten and dairy.  I also avoided any processed foods and salt and sugar.

I drank half my weight in ounces of water a day.  I was flushing out all the toxins.

I slept 7-8 hours every night.  I felt so rested and amazing.

2 1/2 weeks into the challenge I started going to the gym.  It gave me MORE energy.  I had always told myself I didn't have time to workout.  I have 8 kids who I homeschool.  Where would I possibly find the time?  I found the time early in the morning before they wake up.  I was wide awake.  Getting enough fruits and veggies and enough sleep switched me over to being a morning person.

My body wakes up every morning at 5:15 unless I set the alarm for 5 am.

The "Shake it Off Challenge" was a good thing for me.  I didn't have to commit to it for 3 or 4 months.
Just one month.
That was bite-size enough for me to handle.
I didn't have any illusions of dropping an absurd amount of weight in that time.
I hoped it would help me set some good healthy habits.  It definitely did that.

I jumped straight into another month of the same healthy habits.  About a week into it, I started to get discouraged when the scale wasn't budging.

I second guessed my ability to turn my fat-storing diabetes-bound body into a healthy fat-burning body.

I let these doubts poison my thinking.

I felt like failure was creeping up on me because the scale wasn't going down.

I was desperate.


And then one morning, my skirt fell off.  I was losing inches.  I WAS MAJORLY LOSING INCHES!  Of course!  I wasn't losing weight because I was building muscle.  And muscle is heavy.  And I WANT that muscle to help me burn more fat.  Yes, yes, YES!

I was doing everything right.  What could I possibly do more?  I was making reasonable and healthy choices for my health.

Positive affirmations.  Positive self-talk.  That's what I could do.  So I started to journal my feelings on my progress.

The scale wasn't the only thing to show progress.  I was a size 22 skirt in November.  My size 20 jeans were too tight to button.  I could only button them if I laid down on my bed and held my breath.  Now I am a size 16.  I have a whole bunch of clothing that fit me that had been banished to the shelf in the closet for many moons.

I can ride a bike.
I can swim.
I can take my kids on a hike and not gasp for air.
I'm not using any allergy medication anymore.
The only time I used my inhaler in over two months was Sunday, and that was because there were lilies in the primary room.  And I have a life-threatening allergy to lilies.
I had one migraine since mid-January.  This is unheard of for me.
I'm not drained and exhausted every afternoon.

Yesterday I went to the doctor and she discussed with me my test results from mid-November.  She was ecstatic that I took her advice to exercise and eat right and had lost over 30 lbs.

My test results from November showed I was a little low in Vitamin D.  Another test, that checked my A1C, was high indicating an increased risk of becoming diabetic.  It should've been followed up with another test.  But it wasn't because somehow the note to follow up wasn't there.

Now, 4 months after that November testing, and 33 1/2 pounds lighter, she's retesting again.  I fasted after dinner last night until my labs this morning.

This morning, I felt like I was walking to my sentencing.  Would it come back elevated?  Would my birthday present be a verdict of prediabetic?

Would it make a difference?  Would I still continue my path to health?  What would change?

to be continued...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Peach gives herself a haircut


With 8 kids I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

She said she didn't want the hair in her face.  Why couldn't it be a lock from a less obvious place?

Monday, March 16, 2015

"If you do, you will have to make one big pot of stew."

Biscuit stood by as I prepped veggies for pressure cooker chicken soup.  Every time a carrot rolled off the cutting board she took it and added to her collection.  She was disappointed to discover that none of them were cooked yet.  But if anything, Biscuit is tenacious.  She tried each one!  

My 22 quart pressure canner 

When I started dating at age 16, my Hawaiian-Chinese grandmother told me, "Never marry a Samoan.  If you do, you will have to make one big pot of stew.  They have BIG families."

Well, obviously Danny is like the total opposite of Samoan, but I still find myself making big pots of stew and soup.  ;)

I hear my grandma when I use my pressure canner as a pressure cooker for my family.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"There's no magic pill." part 2: Praying for inspiration and taking that leap of faith

I wanted there to be a magic pill.  How could I POSSIBLY lose 110 lbs?  Wasn't there some kind of surgery that was approved for people 100 lbs. overweight or more?  Didn't I qualify for that?

But thinking back on my recovery from my hysterectomy 4 months earlier, a surgery was the last thing I wanted to go through.  As far as I understood, that surgery made your stomach smaller so you couldn't overeat.  There was no guarantee I would get all the nutrients I needed with my limited stomach capacity.  I didn't want to be that woman with the hanging skin because I had surgery to ensure rapid weight-loss.  But I also didn't want to be 110 lbs. overweight anymore.  I wasn't just overweight.  I was obese.

"You know how to do this," her words echoed in my mind.  Did I?

If I knew how to do this, why couldn't I just do it?  A close friend encouraged me to try the Atkins Diet.  I wasn't going to pay to join something, not even sure you have to for that, so I looked up what I could online.  Sure, I lost some weight following it.  But I was always constipated.  There were so many fruits and veggies on the list of things I should hardly ever eat, that my system was just not happy.

I fasted and prayed about how to get healthier.  I felt like if it was up to self-control, it wasn't going to happen.  But perhaps if my Heavenly Father wanted me to lose the weight, I could.  But I needed some divine intervention.  Or a nudge.  I'd take a nudge in the right direction.  Anything would be better than eating too much cheese and very little fruit.

Mid-December, a little over a week after fasting and praying about help to get healthier and lose weight and a month after my doctor's appointment, I got a Facebook message from Kelsie, an old friend from the Frozen North who's totally fit and a personal trainer and has more energy than my 5 year old twin boys.  Plus she was Pookie's primary teacher when he was 4.  He used to stroke her skirt because he loved the way the fabric felt.  Hey, it kept him quiet.  But I digress...

Kelsie was inviting me to join a "Shake it Off" Challenge.  It was a biggest loser type game with motivation, cash prizes, recipe ideas and workout tips.  

I could use healthy recipe ideas and workout tips.  The very idea of working out scared the daylights out of me-- I could injure myself!  But who could give me better tips than a personal trainer, right??

But this was just before Christmas.  And well, you know me, I'm a baker.  I was busy making cheeseballs for youth parties, and cheesecake with my number 1 girl, and cookies for the neighbors, and rolls for the ward Christmas dinner, and on and on and on.

Maybe I'll look at that invite again after Christmas.  I would make sure I had some goals for the New Year.

But the new year came.  All I knew was I wanted to lose weight and develop some healthier habits.

I was pretty depressed about my state of health.  I was snoring like a beast.  According to Danny, it would shake the bed.  Even when he rolled me onto my side, I still snored-- though not bed-shaking snoring.

January 5th, I took the kids for a walk.  It was the first Monday of the new year and I was going to start my new healthy habit.  I decided I would walk 3 days a week for at least 15 minutes.  We walked for 25 minutes.  It felt REALLY good to be doing what the doctor said to do.

I did it again on Wednesday, January 7th.  25 minutes was really good for me.  Go me!  The kids were loving the outdoors time.

I decided not to let the week get away from me and did it Thursday instead of waiting for the weekend to make me lose momentum.  But it was 20 minutes.  Not bad.  I was a day ahead of my goal and 5 minutes longer anyway.

For whatever reason, that evening I remembered that message from Kelsie from 3 weeks earlier.  So I contacted her about "my friend" to ask some questions.  I was excited about everything she was saying:

Whole foods
Non-GMO
organic
phytonutrients
vegan shakes

I thought Danny would never go for it.  It was going to be about $5 a day for the program she was telling me about.  I was thinking I'd need it for like 3 or 4 months to get a good jump-start on my weight-loss and solidify some healthy new habits.  That was going to add up to like $600 if I did 4 months straight.  Maybe I could just get the capsules and the occasional shake.

But Danny said, "Yes."  We were very worried about my health.  I didn't want to die before I was 40.  What did I have to lose?  They had a 30-day money back guarantee.  And after that, I could always send back what was unopened for a refund.  I figured I would know for sure by the 30 day mark if it was going to be worth doing 3 or 4 months.

So I signed up with Kelsie and joined her "Shake it Off" challenge too.  I was going to utilize this opportunity to learn everything I could about bettering my health and get recipes and workout tips.

To be continued...  


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