Sep 14, 2012

Who have I Turned Into ?

I am turning 30 next week---and I sit here wondering who I've turned into!

I have asked for a blender for my birthday (I want to start making smoothies!), I have a coupon binder (thanks to my friend Kristen), My entire refrigerator is filled with fresh fruit and veggies and organic WHOLE milk. Our freezer is stocked with only Organic Free Range Chicken and Grass-fed Beef. My pantry doesn't have much of anything other than Triscuits,Peanut Butter, Nuts,100%Whole Wheat Bread and Coconut Oil.

Some might say that I'm going through a mid-life crisis. I call it God intervening in my life and finally making me see how much I idolized food. Not that I ever sat around eating chips from a bag or pints of Ben and Jerrys (though I do love my B&J Coffee and Toffee Ice cream!)---I just realize now how much I loved food. I mean who doesn't, right?
I have always tried to lead a "good life". The life of a Baptist Christian Girl---one who grew up in a "bubble" where everything was always very black and white. Where if you smoke, drank or had premarital sex--then you were a sinner. Never did I relate this belief to food though. But, if we truly take a moment and think back about the Bible, God used food as his first means of temptation---which in turn, turned into the first ultimate sin. So why shouldn't I look at food (for myself) any different? Here I am constantly tempted by food---and I can either choose to fall into that temptation or I can choose to walk away. I have found myself many times this past week---praying that God will eventually make me like some of the things I'm eating. (ex: Salmon... I've got a lot of praying to do for that one!)

A few things that I've learned since moving to all Whole Foods---and no Processed Foods.
 1. Grocery Shopping takes you forever (You need to prepare your grocery list and menu out before going to store---and stick to your list!). It took me an hour and half tonight to shop for the upcoming week. I looked like such a mom---my cart was overflowing with stuff! I am proud to report that 90% of my shopping was done on the outer aisles of the store. Also, be prepared to spend more money. We are making it our goal to eat in every meal---so really it's coming out cheaper in the long run.

2. Organic, Free Range Chicken and Grass-fed Beef are worth the extra money

3. Freeze your bread (or you'll have mold on it within a few it doesn't last like regular bread)

4. If any item has more than 5 ingredients listed---PUT IT BACK-- I repeat--- PUT IT BACK. Just because it says "Organic" that doesn't mean it's Heathly

5. Justin's Almond Butter and Chocolate Almond Butter is AMAZING

6. You can eat out!---just be educated on what you choose. Ask questions like, does that have sugar in it?  Or White Flour? We went to dinner this past week and it about killed me to not eat the bread...but I steered clear! (It was even Carrabba's bread!! Can I get a Hurraaaahh?!) Also, I went to a party this past week---and did not touch one sweet... I stuck to what I knew was "ok options" and left proud of my decisions.

7. There are so many blogs with resources (and recipes) to utilize... Pinterest has been extremely helpful with planning our weekly menus. Also, make sure you make extras of your dinner to eat for lunch the following day.

8. I am not nearly as hungry as I was before I started this change over---and I find myself eating a lot less. (Don't get me wrong... I have gone to bed hungry some nights---but I just make myself go to bed...and ya know what? I wake up in the AM fine! Who'd ever thought, right?!? haha)

9. I find myself constantly craving water. (Never thought I'd say that!)

10. I lost around 7 lbs during week one--- and only have 3 more to go before I'm back at my pre pregnancy weight (I'm determined to get there by next Friday, which is my big 3-0!)

I've been amazed at my will power over the past 10 days. I've been in several situations where normally I wouldn't have thought twice about what I was eating: A Party, Traveling Out of Town, Going out to Eat, a Chick-fil-a Lunch run for the Office, A client made us a Homemade Pie, 2 days of being sick and Disney Day at work (we had Sno-Cones and Popcorn!!). I think last week was a great representation of my crazy life these days. To know that I can make this switch to all Whole Grains during one of the busiest Seasons of my life (NOW!)--- it makes me realize that ....I can do this!

Things I've cooked this past week:
Salmon with a little butter and Rosemary
Arugula Salad with Canalope, Feta, Sunflower Seeds with Balsamic

Spaghetti made with Grass-fed Beef, Oranganic Marinara Sauce, Peppers and Onion--- Served on Whole Wheat Pasta

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Breast

Don't forget to check out my Pinterest for Recipes--- I add more daily. 

Sep 6, 2012

The Blog is Back!

Dear Friends and Readers, 

Since my last post, life has drastically changed. I am now a MOM---one who has been... BUSY trying to juggle it all. (I'm sure a lot of you can relate) Between parenting,work,church, family, friends and just life in passions have shifted during this new season of my life. My kitchen has really been neglected over the past year. We have been eating a lot of quick meals consisting of tacos, Trader Joes frozen meals, Crockpot dinners and Take Out. (gosh, isn't it easy to just pick up a pizza!)

Needless to say--- NOTHING HEALTHY! I started my pregnancy with the goal of eating healthy... I mean I was carrying our child for goodness sakes... only to get half way through my pregnancy and all of the sudden live off of Cereal, Chick fil A and Cane's Chicken Fingers. I joked that Grady would come out with Chick fil A Sauce all over him... and I kid you not--after my water broke and on our way to the hospital...we went through the drive thru to stock up on food. (only to get to the hospital and not be allowed to eat it!)

So much of my life revolves around the word F-O-O-D... I mean really, we are seriously sitting here watching Julie and Julia as I write this post! I think God has a purpose for my love for food---I really do... But I just have to figure out how that purpose is best served. I have started cooking a lot for church (Sunday mornings for our Worship team, Cooking meals for those in need during a time of Sorrow or Celebration and just making myself available when a time arises and I'm needed.) I've been saying for years that I would like to write a cookbook... maybe that is my purpose. Only time and prayer will reveal it... join me in praying for my Cooking with Purpose! (disclaimer: I kinda like that.."Cooking with Purpose"...nobody steal it!)

 Brian and I have decided that there is no better time than the present to really change our eating habits. Grady is on the brink of eating what we eat---and I honestly can't imagine him eating some of the crap that we choose to eat. If there is one thing that I can do as a parent, it's that I can instill in him a love for Food...but the RIGHT FOODS. When interviewing pediatricians---that was one of my big questions and concerns to express... I do not...repeat... DO NOT want my children to grow up obese. I did it...and though it has never held me back from ANYTHING I've set my mind on... It has played a major role in who I am. To constantly have to count calories, dread getting on a scale, weigh more than your friends (or even your husband!), shop in the plus size section when all your friends are shopping at the GAP, to never really know what it's like to be all adds up after time and truly starts to wear you down. Some of you know this---but I was given an amazing gift a few years ago and was able to have Lap Band Surgery (pretty much's a 30k surgery ya'll!) and I was extremely successful immediately after my surgery... only to now be weighing the same thing (plus a few extra pounds more) than when I had the surgery to begin with (yes, I had a kid, etc...but sill... I am not where I should be...or where I thought I'd be) So here I am again---I've even gone to the extremes to have weight loss surgery and yet, I'm still not skinny! ....or Healthy.

Last week I read a book that totally changed my mind, view on food and my life (it was like Hypnosis for weight loss...only I didn't have to pay to wear light goggles and listen to a man tell me that I love healthy food in my ears (yes, I've even done hypnosis for weight loss!)). The book is Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. It talks about satisfying our cravings with God instead of food. She expressed multiple times that this isn't easy--but that it's lifelong journey. Well folks, I'm officially on the journey...I've surrendered this part of my life and now I am picking up the pieces and rebuilding.

While on our cruise last week (funny I am surrounded by all this food and I'm reading a book on weight loss!... God's funny that way... cause I had bought the book after Grady was born...only to put it on a shelf and never pick it up...then at the last minute decided to throw it in my bag) I truly set my mind to returning home and making some radical changes to my life. Once home, we decided to start eating WHOLE FOODS---meaning no more processed foods...filled with tons of ingredients that we don't know and tons of high fructose corn syrup. Do you know how hard this is?? Well I am here to tell ain't easy! I am having to retrain my brain on what I can and can't eat---and what I can and can't make. I've spent most nights researching blogs and looking for recipes. See, what I am trying to do isn't a diet... it's a way of life. I am proof that diets don't work. I've done just about every one of them (well with the exception of the HCG drops...but I've done about 95% of them out there). This time, I am not concentrating on a number... I have no goal of how much I want to loose...or what size I want to wear. I am just merely changing my life.

Just to give you an idea of what we've eaten the past 3 days:

Lunch: Chicken Salad made with a little organic mayo, peanut butter, grapes, cashews and apples---served in lettuce cups--- Triscuts with humus,1/2 and apple
Dinner: Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean Goat Cheese Enchiladas (on corn tortillas) 

Breakfast: 100% Organic Whole Wheat Bread, Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich
Snack: Mixed Raw Nuts
Lunch: Left Overs
Dinner: Organic Chicken with a small amount of homemade honey mustard on it---baked with Goat Cheese and Pistachios, Bulgar Salad with Okra, bell pepper and red onion

Breakfast: 100% Organic Whole Wheat English Muffin with Cheese on top
Lunch: Left Overs
Snack: Apple with Peanut Butter 
Dinner: 100% Whole Wheat Tortilla with Sour Cream, Tomatoes and Pot Roast (pot roast wraps), Kale Chips and 1/2 an orange
Snack: Banana 

Follow me on Pinterest to See my New Collection of WHOLE FOOD Recipes: 
My Pinterest Recipes

So... With this novel of a blog post... it is my ATTEMPT to bring Thaw, Heat and Serve back...I can't guarantee it will be as frequent as when I first started---but I will do my best!

Join me in praying that I find my Purpose for Food in my Life---and that one day... I'll actually really want to eat a Banana instead of a Brownie! :)