Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Ugly

Tonight I was talking with a friend and we were discussing our eating habits/diets when the discussion turned to bodily functions.

Later I laughed to myself about our conversation. As moms, when our children are little we discuss their bodily functions like it's no big deal. As we grow older, I guess our conversation turns to our own. (Hi friend, I know you are reading this...Haha!)

With that said, if the thought of hearing about bodily functions grosses you out......you may just want to leave right now.

I've shared with you the good and the bad about eating Paleo but today I'm going to share a little bit about the ugly.

After changing my diet my body became accustomed to good food. It now likes good food and does not like the processed food I was giving it before or even some of the foods that we may think are healthy. As I reintroduce certain foods back, some ugly starts happening.

A few weeks ago I was at a lunch meeting at work. We had Chili's delivered in and I was very excited about my choice. It was a new item on the menu, a Fresh-Mex bowl. It actually was a pretty healthy menu choice or at least I thought. Way better than what I would usually order which would be some sort of huge sandwich with a side of French fries.

Well, this healthy option sent me home sicker than any food has ever made me. Since there was so many different things in it, it is hard to narrow it down but since I had eaten all of the items in the bowl except for one I believe that was the culprit. Black beans. My body has never really liked them before and so I was expecting to not feel the best after eating them but I was not prepared for what happened next.

I felt sick to my stomach. I looked in the mirror and my eyes were red and bloodshot. I ended up leaving the office because I couldn't take it anymore. I laid in bed for an hour before my body decided it was a good idea to get rid of whatever it was. Phew, I did feel cleansed after all that! Needless to say, I will never eat a black bean again in my life.

Honestly, as good as I feel when I am eating better, in the last month I have had some days where I feel worse than I have felt in a long time all because of what I've eaten.

I do have reactions to gluten. Not bad but I know what will happen later that day if I eat it and if I eat it too many times in a row, what will happen. Just know that I am sparing you the details :)

I've been cheating more with sugar as well lately which I believe caused the worst PMS this month than I have had in years.

It's been hard to tell with dairy because I don't eat a lot of dairy and when I do eat it, it's usually cheese and accompanies some sort of grain. I have had it a couple times on it's own and it doesn't seem to bother me or have any later side effects.

Brad wants to do a hard core Whole30 again in May, so I might do it just to reintroduce foods again with a little bit more of a plan and see how my body reacts to each thing instead of trying to guess.

In other news, I have gotten down to my goal weight and I did it without starving myself and having to exercise just to be able to eat more food. I still try to exercise 3 times a week but now it's just for physical activity and not to reward myself with food.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mostly Paleo

Today I made Monster Cookies with the girls. They were delicious. I should know, I ate 4 of them.

It's funny, Brad and I both have our different things that we 'treat' ourselves with. Mine is that random cookie (or 4). We also try to have a meal a week that we 'treat' ourselves with. Saturday night was pizza. I must say, it was so delicious but then 3 hours later I felt sick to my stomach. So now I'm left wondering if those 'treats' are worth it.

Today I thought I would answer the question of what is the difference between Whole30 and Paleo and where exactly do we lie in all of this. If any of my Paleo and Whole30 friends want to add anything to this, please feel free in the comments. I'm always reading more about Paleo and am not an expert.

Whole30 is what we did for the month of February. It's more of a detox. Getting rid of all the sugar, grains, and dairy in your body so that you can see how your body reacts once you introduce them back into your diet. We basically detoxed our body but never did the slowly introducing them back into our diet to see how we react to each thing. I have noticed reactions when eating things I don't normally eat and do think it's gluten I'm reacting to because I don't eat a lot of dairy but I can't really say for sure since there has been gluten and dairy in what I ate. Whole30 is much stricter than Paleo. With Whole30 you completely cut out sweeteners. We were very strict with this for the first 3 weeks. After that I did add in some natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Since they are so expensive it definitely keeps you to having them in moderation.

Paleo is a way of life. This is what we are striving for. Although you still stay away from most of the things that you do not have with the Whole30, you can still have some grains, sweeteners, and some cheeses in moderation. I am still finding my way with some of these things and deciding what we will allow back in our diet.

Rice is one of the things you can have in moderation but our family isn't huge on rice to begin with so it's not a big deal to be without. I was happy to learn that I can sprinkle some Parmesan on my food.

There are a few things that I did give up on. One is sauces. Paleo sauces are costly to make, they don't taste that good and they don't keep very long in the fridge so I end up dumping most of it. Since we don't use condiments, dressings, and sauces that often, I've stopped spinning my wheels on this one and am going to buy them at the store but I will be more diligent about checking the labels.

One of the hardest things about Paleo is having to plan every meal. Although there are plenty of easy meals to make, it's still planning. There aren't those fast, easy convenience meals for those busy days. That's why I decided that corn taco shells would be fine so that we can have tacos again. They are still gluten free. And a small amount of cheese on a taco won't kill us.

So, in the end, Brad and I would probably classify ourselves as about 80% Paleo. We try to stick to it as much as possible because we have seen such a difference in our health but we also want to enjoy some of the things that we have enjoyed for years, within reason and in moderation.

And with the kids, I still don't buy a lot of packaged food for them. They are probably 70% gluten free and I've cut back on a lot of the sugar they eat. I try to bake them something each week to treat them and it is usually gluten free. They love picking out a cookie to make and helping me make it. We've cut out chips and I started making our own trail mixes.

On a different note, I oil pulled for the first time this morning. For those of you who have never heard of this, basically you swish oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes. The bacteria in your mouth sticks to the oil and then you spit it out. I did it for 15 minutes this morning and I used coconut oil. I was amazed at how clean my mouth felt all day. I'm excited to see the results as I continue to do it!

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.