Monday, October 10, 2016

Healthier Living Experiment days 12, 13, 14, 15

Wonderful News! I lost 4 lbs this last week.(6 lbs total so far) I notice I have my energy, I feel more awake and intellectually stimulated, less heart burn and I think the diet is making a difference. I decided I might have meat once a week esspecially if we are eatting at someone elses house, but after the great sucess of feeling better and doing so well I am feeling pretty positive about the diet. I've been reading How Not to Die this weekend. I just am finishing up reading about the spices and am committed to finding ways to add tumeric and ginger and some of these other spices to my diet and recipes. I have found it helpful to keep the 12 daily dozen in the back of my mind making sure I eat beans, nuts, berries, lots of vegetables and greens, try to be a bit more active. I think one of my favorite ways to be active is be out in nature esspecially here in Provo and up the canyon it is so very, very beautiful and I love just walking around and looking at all the beauty around me and hearing the wind and the river and I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Yesterday half of my family was sick so I took E and M and her boy friend up the canyon and we walked around Canyon Glen then we went to Bridal Viel falls and walked around and enjoyed and later in the evening went up to the cemetary and enjoyed the beautiful view as the sun set and went and visited Thomas's and Grandparent's graves. It doesn't even feel like exercise when I'm just walking around enjoying the beauty around me. I must admit I love Fall and not looking too forward to Winter. I have kept my diet pretty simple and I think that has been key to me being able to do this diet and I feel full and satisfied physically. I work with what I have and what is on-sale. I have had a lot of apples for fruit, Strawberries and I just eat them or cut up an apple with whatever meal I'm serving everyone. I add Kale and make a smoothie out of whatever I have. I make my black beans every week and they usually last me for several days. I'll probably make Taco soup today and add some tumeric. I also just got a bag of potatoes from my sister Nikki and am planning on adding that to my recipes this week, I think I'm going to make a curry dish I invented a couple years ago but just take out the chicken.

Curry Dish

Peel and chop up Potatoes
Peel and chop up apples
Add dried fruit (dried apricot or crasins)
mix with a little olive oil (I might need to think of something healthier here)
add lots of curry

Cook in Oven 350 for 40 min.

Can be eatten plain or can be served over rice.

So far my whole grains have consisted of whole grain crackers and whole wheat bread, I am hoping to branch out and make oatmeal and some other options. I eat vege burgers, black beans, tomato/lettuce/pickle/cucumber sandwiches with onion and garlic and maybe flaxseed oil on them. I eat a variety of fruit I usually like to get one melon a week and some sort of berries and banannas and other things like that. I have been eatting zuchinni vegetable soup I am growing a butter-nut, a bannana squash and a pumpkin and two melons in my garden and Kale and Basil and hoping to harvest everything soon. I must admit I ate some pulled pork, just a little bit last night and I didn't feel wonderful afterwards, not horribly sick or anything and I really don't think it will harm me to eat meat once in a while but I am really starting to be converted to this plant-based diet based on how I'm feeling and my energy levels. I realized I feel less depresseed and want to do more things it is a good change for me something I really needed right now in my life. I'm hoping I can see as much improvement this next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Healthier living Experiment day 10 and 11

So you get perspective, my teenager begs me to take her to Days for butterfingers practically every day. My kids have almost finished off the bag of costco chicken dinosaurs that I bought on Saturday. My husband still enjoys a bedtime ice cream bowl most nights. My family most of them won't be satisfied with a meal unless there is meat in it. My teenager decided she is vegetarian but still mostly wants to eat junk food so navigating has been hard. However, I've been surprised and please I've been able to resist and have done pretty good even though I am surrounded by non-vegan temptations, I think it really helps that I am starting to feel better emotionally as well.

I have not slept well between insomnia and some gastrointestinal issues and bladder issues I have been getting up around 3 am the last few nights different reasons every night. I try to go back to sleep but is challenging and will play ticket to ride online but eventually get up and take my daughter to her drivers ed class. The good news is that I feel happier, I want to do things, I have more energy despite the lack of sleep, I am still hoping to get a little nap in today but I am not as sluggish as I would have been not getting sleep and I do think that has to do with the diet. So if I can get sleep and keep the diet that will be extra wonderful. I also feel lighter and my mind seems more keen and overall more positive.

Yesterday I ate my nuts, some whole wheat crackers, vege burger, black beens and made a zuchinni vegetable soup for dinner. I sliced apples and I am getting used to making food separate for the rest of the family and food for me and offering it to the family, like I made a kale salad from Costco mix and I wasn't the only one who ate it. Today I ate a bowl of black beans and wanted something sweet so cut up strawberries and added grapes and ate that, it hit the spot. I'm trying to find peace and perspective. I went to a religion class our Stake puts on this morning and it was uplifting and what I needed today. I am trying to paint, keep my house up do maintience every day and a load of laundry a day so I don't get overwhelmed and I listen to music while I do that. I visit with my teenager and her friends, help my younger children and try to get out of myself.

I do feel like I'd like to start taking on some simple projects and maybe eventually a class maybe on-line at first. My family's schedule is pretty demanding and I feel like I need to be here and avalible but I think I will look at some on-line or home options to improve myself and do things I love. I'd like to start writing music again and work on my writing more. Last night my husband and I cuddled and watched a movie but then it was pretty late when I got to bed and then up at 3 am made it extra tough. I need that time to connect with my husband so at the same time I don't totally regret it. It seems life is too crazy but I am trying to find peace and take things one step at a time and try not to worry about what I don't have control over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Healthy living experiment day 9

Last night I cut up a bunch of carrots and celery, it helps to have out on the counter to snack on. So in the book, How Not to Die that I've been reading the author talks about 12 daily dozen. Just something I'm going to keep in the back of my mind while I go about my day.

1. Cruciferious Vegetables 1 serving
2. Greens 2 servings
3. Other Vegetables 2 servings
4. Beans 3 servings
5. Berries 1 serving
6. Fruit 3 servings
7. Flaxseed
8. Nuts 1/4 c.
9. Spices (like tumeric)
10. Whole grains 3 servings
11. Exercise 90 min
12. Water 5 large glasses

I think it might take me a long time especially on exercise but if I can just subconsciously keep this 12 daily dozen in the back of my mind it could be helpful.

This morning for breakfast I've mostly had carrots and celery left over from what I cut up last night. Then when my good friend was over visiting I cooked up some more of my black beans to have ready to eat. Hoping to stop by Sprouts and see if they have any good sales especially on berries. Then pick up supplies for painting downstairs. One thing I realize makes me happy is feeling like I am really helping and making a difference for someone.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Healthier Lifestyle day 7 and 8

I just tried the Zucchini soup I made, it was pretty bland but I ate it with some of my homemade zucchini bread and that made it doable. I went to Costco on Saturday and purchased vege-burgers which have been really nice when I want something tasty and meat-like to eat when the rest of the family is eating meat. I also got Mango Salsa and chips for snacking and some granola bars and some dried Mangos (for a personal dessert) which I learned I have to pace myself with and they do have sugar so I need to make sure I am careful not to eat too many of those.

Good news! When I weighed myself Sunday morning I was 2 lbs. lighter, I bet if I was even stricter I would have even better results. So that is helpful and incentive to keep up with this plant-based diet. My mother took me and H and E to a restaurant on Saturday night while the boys were gone and M was working. It was nice and frustrating at the same time. The menu had absolutely no vegan options, so I ordered several sides that I thought would go with my diet more. Seasonal vege's, green beans, mashed potatoes and side salad. The veges, green beans and potatoes had butter of course, the green beans also had bacon and the mash potatoes had gravy and the side salad was totally vegan only because I asked for dressing on the side, so I am realizing it is hard to go 100% but also happy with myself that I was able to be close to vegan by being creative and getting sides instead of something from the menu. I was full after having just the seasonal veges and a few bites of mashed potatoes (I tried to scrape off the gravy). I was able to take green beans and salad home to have later and that was nice.

I am trying to paint a little bit every day, because that gives me fulfillment. I have found I feel full and have plenty to eat I also make sure I am slowly replacing more vege type options for my family. I find fulfillment writing on my blog being out in nature. We went up to my dad and mom's cabin and listened to the river and even though it was raining a bit I didn't mind at all. Then we went further up to Aspen Grove and on the way it hailed and was crazy weather, but by the time we got to the top the rain and hail were gone and the autumn colors were full and deep and gorgeous. I had flashback memories as we found the amphitheater up there with it's castle like passage and stairs and balcony. H enjoyed being the prince and E the princess and J and I took turns being the dragon. Then when I went exploring as well and just enjoyed the cooler air the colors the scenery and appreciated how lucky and blessed we are to live where we live and to have our beautiful mountains so close. On the way home I stopped by Bridal veil falls and just breathed in the fresh air, enjoyed hearing the water crash on the rocks and the perfect evening it was. After having some food when we got home we sat as a family and played apples to apples and enjoyed our nice family time together.

The evening ended with a spectacular thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms though this one lasted pretty late and was pretty loud. It gives me a thrill maybe they are my haunted house. I hate haunted houses but thunderstorms I love there is that little bit of excitement, terror and anticipation associated with them. Because one of Mary's friends was over I had gotten a little more caught up on the house and I've been able to maintain that, when Haven was at school today I was able to pick-up sweep, iron 3 pants and 2 shirts, mend buttons on two items of clothes, do the dishes, make my bed, clean and sweep Haven's room and transfer laundry. I love days where I have enough energy and I can get things done. I'm looking forward to going to my writing group today and thought it is crazy there is satisfaction of figuring out everyones schedules and trying to make it all work, being creative in budgeting and family management and helping my children and their friends.

Healthier lifestyle experiment day Day 6 and 7

I am still having some abdominal discomfort as my body adjusts hopefully. I made a delicious zucchini bread yesterday with crasins and pecans in it, it did have some sugar but does make a nice healthier tasty treat if I just need a couple bites and something the family would eat. I also made a wonderful vegetable soup that was so simple.

Yummy Simple Vege soup with Zucchini

I diced zuchinni,
lots of onion, sliced carrots,
2 cans of diced tomatoes,
minced garlic and dried basil and oregano,
Water and put in crock pot (Even Haven loved it)

I also had a salad mix with some Asian dressing on Thursday that I had for lunch, so even though it is better to make my salads from scratch sometimes a pre-made salad mix can help give variety and convenience. I still haven't tried my zucchini soup, it doesn't look very appetizing but hopefully will taste better, if not I'll make the yummy soup again. I'll probably make some vege taco soup so I have beans ready to go for the next few days. I am hoping to make some homemade bread as well and raid my garden for basil to use and to dry, also I need to harvest my Kale still and check and see if more of my tomatoes have ripened. If they have then homemade bread with fresh veges would make a great sandwich.

I'm also trying to keep my budget down so trying to make from scratch more and use my garden. I told my teenager I'd buy her an electric guitar if she'd listen to and take notes during conference, but I need to find the funds for that now. Also the first installment of her China trip is coming up, even though she is paying for half of it we are trying to come up with the money for the other half. Then there are three other little rascals I am trying to balance and reward for good behavior I'll need to be extra creative. Haven't had breakfast yet but probably going to make whole-wheat pancakes in blendtec for family and blend up a yummy green smoothie for myself.

I have had a hard time with balance. I am even having a hard time keeping the basics of the house cleaning and need to recruit my family to step up and I am driving my kids all over the place, partially so I can connect with them but partially so I can also monitor and make sure they are safe and it is really time consuming and all the interruptions make it difficult. I have a hard time caring for all my children at once and making sure all of their needs are met. It is also hard not to be affected when those around you are going through emotional or mental difficulties and not want to take on their burdens and help them, it is a good thing but also draining and trying to deal with that is difficult too.

I am hoping to get some inspiration for what is best for our family and how to handle things during conference today. Praying for inspiration. I also have so many people I want to serve and friends I want to be there for as well as my family. I helped to move some family yesterday and my back has been hurting since last night and I need to make time to do yoga I think, my muscles tend to get tight easily and my most common head ache is a tension head ache if I could make time for yoga or tai chi I think I will find more physical and mental comfort.

Simplifying also a lot on my mind, any time I help someone move it is amazing to see the sheer amounts of stuff and junk, I want to get rid of all that in my house, in my life in my schedule in my obligations and try to prioritize and have better time management. I want to help my children be more independent, contributing and aware. I know there are things I can do to focus better. I find if I put music on while I work and do things I seem to be more productive and focused. I could cut out any games on my phone and watching shows so that I only have a set time I take for down time like a half hour in the afternoon and maybe some cuddle time with my husband at night etc. I really need to find a way to work with more then one child at once. I am very much an one on one person and also with my children but if I could manage better so I could be working with more then one child at a time that would help.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Healthier lifestyle experiment Day 5

My life is a jumble of chaos, driving everyone around and always over scheduled. So trying to find fast easy meals I have had to keep things simple. I however realize that by using canned beans and canned soups I also have been putting way too much sodium into my diet. So I'm thinking I'll have to prepared some meals this weekend if I can find even two hours of time I can make my black beans, some lentils and precook some meals I can keep in the fridge and bring out and warm up quickly when I am in a hurry and need something that meets the plant-based requirements. I'll often just grab a carrot and not even worry about peeling it or anything and snack on that if I need something. I should probably keep Fritos to a minimum too they are quite salty and though they add a crunch to dip them in beans I could alternate between crunchy vegetables and chips with the beans.

I had a small window of time this afternoon and I had only a few bites of honeydew melon as my only food all day so for my window of time before rushing out the door again, I opened a can of refried beans and had some fritos with that. I later used carrot dipped in refried beans and it was delicious so crunchy veges work too. I am going to hopefully make some quinoa/blackbeans/cilantro this weekend and that should last a few days as well for me. I still need to find a way to add more activity to my day. I tell you I'm so exhausted though. Also when my daughter works a late shift it is really hard to sleep myself until I know my family is all in and settled for the night.

I tried my hand at Zucchini Soup but I was in such a rush I did my own version of the recipe. For a 10 min. window before I had to take my son to the dentist this morning I grabbed a large handful of basil from the garden and chopped it up, cut up the old zucchini I had and picked a new zucchini and used part of that, sauted some onion and garlic in a pan and mixed everything with some water, lemon pepper, little salt and put it in the crockpot/rice cooker I have. I am planning on blending that and hopefully will make a decent soup for tonight for myself, I'll offer it to the family, but I think I better have some alternative option for them to eat. I'll give a recipe if it works out, I don't want to give a recipe until I've actually ate it.

If we can find a time to eat and I can find time to make something. I literally have four places I am suppose to be at 7 I am trying to figure out. Non-stop today, non-stop I need to find a way to simplify. I was thinking of getting my daughter one of those motorized scooter things if they have one that can be done manually or electrically the kind you stand up on and push with your foot. Then she could get to work on her own and school but driving the kids is also a time I connect with them. We'll figure it out, I do know sleep makes a big difference on my mental and physical and especially emotionally functioning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Healthier lifestyle day 4

Last night went better. Still having some gastrointestinal side effects (gassy, softer stool, some stomach discomfort) but doing better than before. For lunch yesterday more blacks beans and added 5 scoop Frito chips to add variety.

I realized how I have just got into bad habits, my son had left ice cream on the counter and it was that perfect just soft state on top and I just started eatting it with a spoon not wanting to waste the ice cream before putting it back in freezer. I probably had 5 large bites before I realized what I was doing and shoved it onto the freezer.

There have been some challenges with the family being on a different page then I. So last night I gave the rest of the family some frozen pizza and cut up carrots and celery for dinner. I had a can of split pea soup along with cut vegetables for myself. I know the Progresso soup has too much sodium and isn't the healthiest but works as my convinence meal when I need one. Progresso also makes a good vegetable soup and lentil soup. Had a couple strawberries for sweet snack at night.

I found a good zucchini soup recipe online that was dairy free it also uses a lot of basil which I have in my garden. I'm planning on making that today. So far I've had honey dew melon for breakfast. I am also trying to have cut carrots and celery just on the counter for myself and family to snack on. I find that they work really well to fulfill that crunch when you need something crunchy to snack on.

I've had sick kids and driving kids around a lot so I have found it hard to be as active I'm hoping to get yoga or Tia chi in today at least. For personal growth I'm relearning some math concepts so I can help my daughter. I fit in a song or two on piano when I'm cooking or between things. I hope to start on the do it today. I might let the kids help me too.