Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Changing the Way I Shop

I was forced to start running last week.

I'm not sure I was ready but I did it. As much as I hate running, I also love running that much too.

It makes no sense but it's true. I think it's because I feel like I'm getting somewhere and I can track how far I've gone.

Last Tuesday I went to get on the elliptical. My elliptical is cheap. You don't plug it in, it has batteries to control it. When the batteries go dead it is very hard to use it. As you guessed, on Tuesday the batteries went dead. The kids were watching TV and we only have one TV, so 30 Day Shred was not an option. My last option was to set up the treadmill in the garage. I did and now my running has started.

Aren't you glad I told you all that :)

Anyway, to continue with things to expect when changing the way you eat.

#3- I expected to change the way I cooked and expected to change what I eat but what I didn't expect is how hard it would be to change the way I shop.

I've been doing the grocery shopping in our house for 13 1/2 years. I always checked the sale paper before I went to the grocery store and made my list from what was in that paper. That is how I decided what our family was going to eat. By Price. 

The first week I went into Aldi I couldn't believe how difficult it was. That is when I realized not only was I retraining my brain with what I'm putting into my mouth, not only am I having to find all new recipes to cook, but I need to retrain my brain when it comes to my shopping. 

No longer can I buy according to price but I need to buy according to what is good for us. It was hard for me to go from buying the $1 bag of chips or pretzels to buying the $6 bag of pistachios. 

For the most part I have finally gotten past price but don't worry, this frugal girl still looks for the best deal. I have a whole list of the stores I shop at and who has the best deals. I've started shopping at Meijer because they seem to have healthier options at the best price. They also have good sales on produce. I still check sale papers but I only need to look at a couple of the pages. Meat and Produce. I also just found that there are two places in Meijer with raw almonds and the cheaper bag is in the baking aisle. Score!

I make more trips to the grocery store but they also are shorter trips. When you are buying produce, meat, and nuts only, you get to skip most of the grocery store. 

The top stores on my list are Meijer, Aldi, Jewel, and Produce Depot. If you have a membership to Costco, they also have healthier options than Sam's Club. If you don't, do what I do and head there with someone who does. I've also been trying GFS since you can buy in bulk without a membership. They don't have a ton but there are a few things that I found there that our family likes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That

Last week was a bad week. There were lots of things going on and eating at various places which resulted in 5 days straight that I had gluten. And of course there was some sugar too. This girl needs a cookie every once in a while.

It wasn't all day long but at least one meal each of those days.

The result?

By Sunday I felt sluggish. I also had a couple headaches during those days and I rarely ever get headaches.

So, with that said, Monday I was back on track.

I want to continue sharing with you some things you should expect if you start Whole30 or just want to start eating healthier. So here is #2: Expect to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

In order to keep from straying when you are busy, it's best to have food easily accessible. If you want to snack on veggies and you have to peel it and chop it, how likely are you going to do that right at the time you want to eat it? When we first started, I chopped up everything for recipes and snacks ahead of time so all I had to do was grab it out of the fridge.

You will also have to make every meal, which means Preparation. We do a lot of scrambled eggs for breakfast, so I try to have peppers, mushrooms, onion, bacon or sausage, sweet potatoes  ready to go so that I can just throw them in. Cooking breakfast goes much quicker then and we are more likely to eat a healthy breakfast instead of just grabbing a piece of fruit or not eating at all.

Same thing with lunch. If I want to make a salad, it's much easier if all the vegetables are already chopped and I can just throw them on top.

It also takes time out of making supper if I have these things chopped for my meal and can just throw them in the skillet.

But don't worry, it gets better. Yes, I still spend a lot of time in the kitchen but it has decreased a lot now that I know what we like, now that we are less likely to grab the unhealthy snack, and I've developed a little more of a system.

On a different note~

Last week I was talking to a friend of mine and she told me how she had cut out almost all Gluten and Dairy for a week and shared with me the great benefits she was having. I asked her if I could share with all of you. So here is what she wrote:

This past year I was diagnosed with a blood disease called Von Willebrand's disease. It is tied to an autoimmune disease. (Basically your body attacks itself.) For me my body attacks my blood. My platelets are usually low and the Von Willebrand factor which helps clotting is very low. I bruise very easily, have a hard time forming clots, and my monthly cycle is debilitating. Autoimmune diseases run in my family. My sister has Lupus and my mom has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. This past month my sister was seeing a specialist in order to see what was causing her Lupus to flare up. She diagnosed her with Leaky Gut. So in order to determine what she is sensitive to they started her on a sugar free, dairy free, and gluten free diet. She convinced me to try it as well. I was desperate to get off my medicine (Stimate) that helps keep my menstrual cycle under control. The side effects were terrible and wasn't getting to the root of the problem. It was just managing the symptoms. So I began to change my diet. I cut sugar out but didn't cut dairy and gluten out completely. I only allowed myself organic cream for my morning coffee and 1 serving of whole grains. I replaced one meal with a veggie and fruit smoothie. To my amazement after being on the diet for 7 days my period came and I didn't need my medicine. For the first time in years it was normal and 2 days shorter. Wow! If I had only known that changing my diet could improve my health that much I would have done this sooner. At the end of this month I see my Hematologist and I'm looking forward to what my blood tests reveal.

I never tire of hearing the results people are having by eating healthier. If you have a story to share, let me know. I'd love to post it on here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

As Promised

I've had several people contact me that they would like to start Whole30 and I've even had some tell me that they have already started and one family that I found out are veterans to Whole30. Since there has been so many asking what we eat I want to share in more detail exactly what we did and some things we've learned along the way that may help anyone wanting to eat healthier.

What do we cook?

What do we eat?

How do I start?

Things to be prepared for.


You must plan. If you are not a planner, you need to become one. While you're at it you should become a list maker too. Both are great things. Believe me. Plan what to eat and then make a list about what to eat, what to buy, where to buy it. It's fun. I promise.

If you don't plan you will be more likely to just grab whatever you can find in the house or stop and pick up fast food.

I planned for almost a month before we started. I read, I plotted, and I planned. We ate up the stuff that was in our closet and pantry, and did not bring anymore of it in. I stocked up on meat as I found it on sale so that I didn't have to go out all at once and buy a lot. And most of all I found new recipes and pinned them. If you aren't on Pinterest, I highly recommend signing on. Search Paleo or Whole30 and you will find recipes for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack ideas. Feel free to follow me on Pinterest and find some ideas on my Paleo board. I am hoping to organize them a little better over the next couple weeks.

Plan your food. After pinning lots of recipes it was time to start planning what we were going to eat. There is definitely a lot more planning to do the first couple weeks because you are changing ALL of your eating habits. I was used to planning what was for supper but now I had to plan EVERY SINGLE meal! Breakfast is a must and if you don't plan what you are going to eat, you probably won't eat. If I was going to be gone I needed to make sure I planned ahead of time what I was going to have for lunch.

Now that I have 5 weeks under my belt it has gotten easier. I still make a weekly meal plan for supper but breakfast, lunch and snacks have gotten easier because I know what we like.

For those of you that are hardcore Whole30, I know you are supposed to eat 3 meals and not snack. I started following that but have gone back to a small snack in the morning and the afternoon.

I hope this helps and I'll continue to share more tips in future posts.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Numbers Are In

The proof is in the pudding.

Or shall we say, the proof is in saying 'No' to the pudding. Even Chocolate Pudding. And Banana Pudding. I've never had Peanut Butter Pudding but I imagine it would be good. So, you should even say 'No' to Peanut Butter Pudding.

The point is......You are what you eat. And I think Brad's recent blood test showed exactly that.

Yesterday I picked up the results and I am still in amazement! I asked the nurse to print out last years and this years for me.

Last years numbers reflect Brad not being on any medication and eating whatever he wanted as well as no exercise. I should point out though that he does not have a sedentary job and spends most of the time at work walking and on his feet. He is horrible at taking medication and has already told his daughters that when they get older, if I'm not around they need to come over and make sure he takes his meds otherwise he will die. I'm not so sure if I'm still alive he should rely on my memory either.

This year Brad was taking his medication in December and January. But as I mentioned, he's not so good at it, so it was definitely not daily. The first week in February his meds were gone and I did not go and get more.

Without further ado......here are the results.

These are the results after just 26 days of us changing what and how we eat.

Triglycerides- the normal range is less than 150.

Last years test shows he was at 735.

I know! How was he walking around.

And this year.........

Drum roll please.......


I can't believe it either. It's amazing!!!!

Now to the HDL Cholesterol-  Normal is above 40.

Last year Brad was at 24.

It was about 11 years ago when he first found out this number was low. His Dr. at the time told him that with diet and exercise he would be lucky to get that number to 36.

Drum roll again please......

Now it's at exactly 40.

Last year his Glucose and Non-HDL Cholesterol were also both out of the normal range and are both back in the normal range this year.

I am still amazed at the results after just 26 days. Let me say it again, 26 DAYS!!!!!

If you are sick of taking your meds.......what do you have to lose! Except some weight and the bills for those pills.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


First I'll start with a couple news articles in health that I heard the last couple days that I found interesting.

Sugar. They've changed the recommendations for how much sugar we should have each day. For women, we should only have 6 teaspoons or 25 grams a day. That means if you drink a can of pop, you've already had more than that for the day.

Here is the full article.


Last night as I was watching the news they had a segment on high-protein diets and a link to a higher risk of cancer. Of course, we are eating a lot of protein now. I guess no matter what you eat it's going to kill you. I'm not really sure what we are supposed to eat anymore except for vegetables. My thoughts........if you are eating a well balanced diet and you feel good, leave the rest in God's hands. We need to take care of our bodies but I'm not going to get anxious over it either. But I did want to share the article on this as well.


Now that I'm done boring you with "the news", I'll share what's been going on over here.

Saturday marked the end of our Whole30 but really it ended up being a Whole26.

We went to a friend's house on Saturday night and I had told her to not worry about our diet, at that point we would be ready to eat whatever was there. And guess what I got to bring????? Yep, Dessert. I'm sure that doesn't come as much of a surprise. I made some delicious Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars that were drizzled with chocolate and are amazing! I also made some brownies. You better believe that I did not pass up either one.

I will be honest. I was a little scared to end the strictness of our diet. After that point I told myself that I would stick to the diet for the most part but I now have license to eat other things in moderation. It is much easier to say 'No' all the time than to make the decision of when to say 'No' and when to say 'Yes'.

So far I've done pretty good. But it helps that I'm feeling great, my pants are fitting good again, my cravings are gone, and no more mid-afternoon slump.

Yes, I see that chocolate and I would love to eat it all but I also know the affects of it if I eat too much.

Brad on the other hand is an all or nothing kind of guy. He's afraid if he gives in to any sugar it will be the end. He said his cravings are not completely gone and last week there were still a couple days that he really wanted to have a pop. He didn't have any dessert on Saturday. I admire his strength.

Throughout our month he discussed things he missed and how he wanted to incorporate some of it back into his diet. He wanted regular milk, cheese on his salads, and a piece of toast with his breakfast. Now that we've gotten to this point he has changed his mind and for now isn't going back to any of those things.

He has lost almost 20 lbs and had his blood work done last week. I need to go pick it up yet to compare it to last years. I'm excited to see the results! I'll share when I have them.

Some of you have told me you are thinking about doing the same thing, so next time I hope to start sharing some tips that I have now that I have a month under my belt.