Monday, August 18, 2014

What do our kids eat?

Crap.
They eat a lot of crap.

You can't deny that processed foods and limitless amounts of ranch dressing and sweets are bad.  There is just no argument there.  However, our kids (aside from Cason) are ruined.  They love that stuff.  I mean, so do I!

So how do we address that?!  Well, with time...lots of time.  We can't switch what they eat overnight and we don't ever plan to completely say that all of that stuff is off limits.  We just want them to have better habits and that starts at home.  We were taking tiny baby steps before...and now the steps are just sort of baby steps...a little bit bigger baby steps than what we were taking.

So I made fried fish the other night and Tate loved it.  It was paleo and yummy and so with that...no more fish sticks!  Baby steps. 

I threw away all of our candy in the cupboard because c'mon...why on earth does a child need to eat candy regularly...period.  They will get some more on Halloween, and they will eat some of it and I will be fine with that...and then it will go in the garbage shortly after.  Baby steps.

The kids like fresh fruit...and we have it in the house.  So why would I open a can of fruit with dinner every night?!  I won't.  They will eat watermelon and grapes and apples and bananas, not pears in heavy syrup.   They love mandarin oranges and I will still feed them to the boys for now every now and again even though they aren't good for them in that syrup.  Baby steps.

The boys love sandwiches with lunch meat...I will buy the Hormel lunch meat with no preservatives or artificial ingredients instead of the cheapest stuff I can find.  Baby steps.

So these are the changes so far and each week or month we plan to replace some of the crap they eat with a healthier alternative.  It will probably take years to change these horrible habits.  The good thing is that at least ONE of our kids will eat ANYTHING and we are even being better about what we feed him.  There is just no reason for Cason to develop a taste for unhealthy things.  Healthy food is delicious!!!  So we are being more aware of what goes in his mouth as well.  No, we won't never let him have special things like cake on his birthday or treats now and again, but we are going to be extra aware of what he eats so not to ruin his eating habits like we have ruined Wesley and Tate's.  It's our fault they eat the way they do...period.  We need to fix it.

We know that the kids will go to sleepovers and eat pizza and Hostess snacks and candy and that we'll go out to eat and they will want crap.  We are realistic in knowing that these things are things they will eat, but we hope to change their tastes for things.  Hopefully by working on them for the 95% of the time that they are at home, they will start to prefer the things that are better to put into their bodies.  It's going to be a process...it's still a huge process for Sean and I every day!  We are praying we can take the time and effort and do the work it requires to change ALL of our eating habits for the better.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What do we eat?

I have had lots of people intrigued with what exactly Sean and I are eating now that we are eating Paleo.  Honestly, it varies.  I decided to try and go through what a typical week might look like for us.

First of all, at the beginning of the week, we have found it works best if we cook up a couple of large, inexpensive steaks and several chicken breasts.  I have a griddle that is on top of my stove (which I don't know what I would do without!) and I make both the steaks and chicken breasts on there.  When they are done, I cut half of the steaks into strips and package them in individual baggies for topping a salad and then I cut the remaining steak into 4 pieces of steak and package those in a baggie as well.  I do the same with the chicken breasts...cut half of the breasts (I usually make 6) into strips and package in individual baggies for topping salads with and then the remaining breasts and put in a baggie together that I can heat up throughout the week.  All of this meet usually covers Sean and I for about 5 lunches each.

Breakfast: Sean eats an apple and a banana almost every morning for breakfast.  I eat fruit for breakfast most of the time as well.  A banana is common for me, but I will eat whatever we have.  If I don't get around to eating until mid/late morning, I will sometimes eat a larger meal for brunch and not eat lunch.  This would consist of either some of the strips of meat I have prepared along with some over easy eggs and some fruit or sometimes bacon and eggs and fruit.  Also, there is a sweet potato hash that is yummy (I will have to do a post on my favorite recipes) that has potatoes, onions and sausage in it.

Lunch:  We eat a lot of salads with our strip meat on the top and other raw veggies we have (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower)  and we dress our salads with different things, but we love the Roasted Red Pepper Annie's dressing you can find in HyVee's healthfood market.  We also sometimes make the prepared steaks and chicken breasts we have and eat those with raw veggies and sometimes will fry up and egg to eat with those as well.  Otherwise, we will eat leftovers from the night before or sometimes saute up some veggies in coconut oil or cut a zucchini in half lengthwise, drizzle in olive oil or spread some ghee on it and season with sea salt, pepper, garlic and put in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  We almost always eat some sort of fruit with every meal as well.

Snacks:  Both Sean and I snack on cashews, pistachios and almonds a lot.  I also snack on fruit or carrots and celery a lot.

Dinner:  We find ourselves eating some form of protein (grilled steaks, chicken, kabobs, roast, pork chops, fish) and at least 4 nights a week we roast veggies.  It is our favorite and never gets old.  We roast all kinds of veggies (brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, celery, carrots, leeks, cabbage...pretty much anything!).  The way we like to roast them is by spreading the cut veggies onto a baking sheet and drizzling with coconut or olive oil and sprinkling with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and roasting for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping the veggies over so they don't burn on one side and then roasting them for an additional 7-10 minutes.  MMMMM...they are soooo good!  Sometimes we will just eat a salad with our protein or even raw veggies too.  I have recently discovered and fallen in love with frying food with a mixture of almond and coconut flour, sea salt and pepper...dip your protein in egg, into the flour mixture, back into egg and then into the flour mixture again.  We fry it in a skillet with coconut oil...it's sooooo good!  Also, we bake fish with lemon a lot as well.  I have a couple paleo soup recipes I really love also!  We have made burgers and lettuce wrapped them, made italian chicken and lettuce wrapped it, made our own version of tacos by browning ground beef and seasoning with cumin, chili powder and adding lime juice, peppers, tomatoes, onions and wrapping in lettuce.  I found a paleo tortilla recipe that I am excited to try as well. :)  We don't feel limited with options at all and don't often do the same thing more than a couple of times.  Pinterest is amazing for finding simple paleo recipes and I use it a lot!

We are still going strong and both LOVING it!  Sean has lost close to 20lbs in these last 5 weeks in just changing his diet and as I have said before, I have no idea how much I have lost because I don't weigh myself. :)  What I can say is that I am fitting into clothes easily that I wasn't even close to squeezing into only 5 weeks ago.  I would say that I have lost almost 2 pants sizes.

Some of the other changes I have noticed...

NOT A SINGLE HEADACHE IN A MONTH!!!!  This is unheard of for me...a girl who got a terribly debilitating migraine about once a week and minor headaches at some point at least every other day!

I have more energy...I'm just simply not tired all the time.

Less aches and pains...I can't explain how diet changes this, but it's the truth.  I just FEEL better.

No heartburn/indigestion...again, this was a huge issue for me before, and it's GONE!

Less skin issues...my skin just looks clearer.

My hair is not greasy...like ever.  This was oddly one of the FIRST things I noticed when eating paleo both times I've tried.

I am just in a better mood...I just feel mentally healthier.  Again, not something I would have expected from changing my diet, but it's the truth!


Maybe I'll post some of our favorite recipes here in the near future!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

1 month eating Paleo update...

I am still going strong peeps!  :)  Sean is too!  Weirdly, I am proud of the fact that I ate a tiny piece of cake a couple of days ago at my brother's birthday celebration and it didn't ruin me.  Imagine that!  I actually am not craving cake or sweets anymore than I was prior to eating that few bites of cake.

I am still not working out though. :/  I called Anytime Fitness today though to see about a trial membership to see if I will like it.  So that counts as a step in the right direction, right?!  I am excited to start running and hoping I can do some other forms of exercise as well and will have another option for working out besides running outside once it gets super cold out.

And I still am not stepping on the scale.  I love not being so concerned about the scale.  I can tell in my clothes that the weight is coming off and that makes me happy and keeps me going.  And I like Paleo eating.  It's expensive...I don't like THAT part.  We are able to eat a pretty big variety of things and I am a huge fan of meat, veggies and fruits so it's a good diet for me.  Oh, and eggs...I eat eggs pretty regularly.  I miss desserts.  I miss dairy...I miss cheese and milk.  And chocolate...I miss chocolate.  Not so much that I am going crazy though.  And I plan to hopefully get to a point where every once in a great while, I can eat a little of those things as a treat.

Mostly, I FEEL good eating clean.  I feel like I am putting things in my body that are good for it.  I haven't had a headache in WEEKS!  That is so worth everything!  And I am losing weight...being healthy is the goal and with that will come weight loss...at least that's the plan!

It's been just over a month since we started eating Paleo...Sean has lost over 15lbs (all the while, never giving up beer:)) and I have no idea how much I've lost, which I am FINE with!  We both feel great and are enjoying this diet.  Most often, it is actually pretty easy to do!

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Diet Update

I'm happy to say that Sean and I are both still going strong on this Paleo diet...hopefully lifestyle change.  There is freedom in throwing out the scale...figuratively, not literally.  Though I totally would throw it out...Sean wants to keep it.

I have no idea if I've lost weight, but I feel like I have in my clothes a little.  I feel good...I feel so good!  I don't know the last time I had a headache!

When I want a donut, I grab a banana or some sort of fruit and if I feel like that won't satisfy me, then I assume I am not actually hungry, but bored instead.

I miss cheese and milk...dairy in general.  Ranch dressing...oh, I love ranch.

I am kind of over missing out on certain beverages like I was missing them in the beginning.  I have only drank water and green tea since July 3rd...oh and those Vodka Tonics...and I know, Tonic Water is far from Paleo, but we'll just act like it's Paleo because I'm not giving up a little bit of alcohol...just sayin'. :)

So I'm going strong...though I need to work out...I know, I know.  That's coming next.  Soon...I hope.

Monday, July 14, 2014

I threw away the scale...

Okay, well not literally because Sean still uses it, but I will not be using it.  I have committed to not weighing myself more than monthly (for now) after my first "weigh in" didn't yield the results I was hoping for.  I feel amazing...AMAZING!  Seriously, it's incredible how eating this way makes me feel!  I have more energy (soooo...maybe it's time to start working out), I am less tired, no headaches, no indigestion, no swelling (I often get swollen feet).

I am committed.  I need to make a lifestyle change and I feel like I want THIS to be it.  I don't want to yo yo anymore, I don't want to do fad diets that make me lose weight, but don't make me FEEL this good and aren't realistic to maintain, I don't want to be a slave to the scale, I want my life to be healthier...for me!  I want to feel good on the inside and feel like I look good on the outside.  I want this to be my time to make this change.  I NEED this to be my time to make a change.  Soooo, 10 days in and still going strong.

Monday, July 07, 2014

I'm Dieting...My Thoughts

So I am back on the kick...I have said I need to make a "lifestyle change", but let's get real...I'm on a diet!  And when I make the whole heart decision to do a diet...I am all in.  Thankfully for me, Sean is doing it to!  I WANT it to be a lifestyle change, but I'm taking baby steps here...I'm hoping that this "diet" BECOMES a lifestyle change.  The problem is, I am an addict...period.  I can do a diet and do it right for several months, but the day I decide to let myself just have ONE PIECE of cake...it's over.  My addiction though lets my brain believe that it will just be that one piece...really, this time it will.  Ugh.  I don't know how to stop that because I don't think I can legitimately NEVER have a piece of cake again.  Is that realistic?!  I don't think so.  So how do I make it a lifestyle change???  I hope I can figure that out someday!

So it's Paleo.  I really do love Paleo.  I LOVE meat and veggies and FRUIT...I LOVE fruit!  I have to say that we have been at this diet for over 4 days now (I know, not that long!), but I felt better after TWO!  I've done this diet before...and I never felt better.  There is something about eating clean that truly does make your insides feel..."clean".  I know that there is not an ounce of processed crap in my body and all the while I am satisfied.  Though, I must say, I am still hungry ALL THE TIME!  I could snack all day long.  However, I never get that miserable, yucky, full feeling on this diet ever.  Honestly, I haven't ever eaten more yummy things though!  We've had amazing meals these last 4 days and they haven't been difficult...just using much more fresh, yummy ingredients!  So while my body is feeling better and I am proud of myself for making truly healthy choices, our bank account is getting drained!  YIKES!  How do people continue to do this forever?!?!  My sister, Cassie is pretty legit Paleo and has been for a long time...how on earth????  Are you a closet millionaire or something?!?!!!  :)  I am going to need to make some serious budget adjustments to fund this diet!  I will do it though because it is our health we're talking about here...and nothing is really much more important than that!

Yes, I want to lose weight...obviously, but I ALSO want these consistent migraines I get to STOP and I want to feel better.  I plan to start running again because I really enjoyed it before.  Baby steps though, people...I haven't gotten that far yet. :)  I have had several people tell me I should do yoga.  I am not so sure that I could be a yogi, but never say never!  I certainly would have never thought that I could eat Paleo!!!  I love cheese!!!!  I love pasta, sugar, brownies, BUTTER, milk, chocolate, corn, caffeine, potatoes...CHEESE!  And when I say I LOVE those things...I mean, I am IN LOVE with those things...all of them.  So who knows...maybe I will try some yoga at some point.  Lord knows I could use a little calm and peace in my life!  For now, I will start with running, though...well, not for now...maybe in a few weeks! ;) lol

So we'll see how this goes.  I feel good.  One day at a time is my plan!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Special Vacation

Several months ago, we talked to Brandon about flying him down to Florida for a vacation with us.  He was game and we started planning!  We have spent LOTS of time with Brandon over the last 7 1/2 years, but it was always short spurts of time.  Tate is always excited to see him and sad when he leaves and then starts asking when he gets to see him again shortly after our visits.  We decided that it was about time he and Brandon got lots of uninterrupted time together.  Tate has been so excited and counting down the days since we told him that he would be going on a whole week long vacation with Brandon!

It's been so great.  Of course, I have taken hundreds of pictures to document this special trip! 

Tate was attached to Brandon from the second he arrived...





And Brandon is always so amazing about including Wes and Cason too.  He's just a great person and ALL 3 of our boys are blessed to have him in their lives!


It just never ceases to amaze me how perfectly orchestrated this adoption story went.  How God made such an amazing thing out of this incredibly hard time.  He always knew this is how it would be...we know that.  We are so blessed to not only have Tate as our amazing son, but to have an additional family member in Brandon who we love so much as well!



And the fact that Tate has a father's love from 2 incredible men...wow.  It's just such an amazing and rare blessing!




These two love each other beyond words...and they have so many uncanny similarities!




It's just so cool that Brandon is a part of Tate and our lives, but it's even more awesome when he gets to take part in things that most birth fathers don't get to be a part of because of the short spurts of time they get to spend with their children.  For example, tonight Tate lost a tooth...he was scared to pull it out.  He asked me to go get the tooth pillow (I brought it because it was sooo loose when we left and I KNEW it would come out on vacation!) so Brandon could help him pull it out.  Brandon sat with him and coached him while he worked on getting it out...



And wouldn't ya know, he got it!  And Brandon was there to witness it.  It's a small thing, I know...but it's so cool that he was hear for something like that!


And then he helped Tate rinse the blood out of his mouth while I took pictures! lol



 Then, we went into Tate's room and prayed together in his bed.  Brandon tucked Tate in and will be able to again for the next several nights.

It's hard to articulate how awesome this whole situation is.  It's something that many struggle to really understand.  It is our story...and I love our story.  I love how things in our family have grown and worked out and how we get to be a part of this amazing gift from God!

Going to bed feeling so unbelievably blessed tonight!