Monday, March 22, 2010

What does it take?

I have always wanted to be in a successful, committed, long term marriage. I always wondered what was the secret that kept a man and a women together through the tuff times, the hardships, the pain, the ups and downs of life? What made that couple different from the millions of others that never make it?

I have always wanted to be that couple that made it through. I mean not just suffered but looked back and found myself successful at navigating life's hardships with my spouse and to come out stronger and closer.  Except here is the twist.. No one can make two people work together at the same time or even at all. I could place blame and cast stones, I could tell you all the pain and wrong I suffered and even inflicted but does it really matter? When in the end ALL I WANT TO KNOW is how to fix ME.

This is my 2nd marriage and I left the first one due to a huge miscommunication between us. First hubby thought it was acceptable and Ok to not keep a job, sleep around and produce kidlets that were not OURS. Things that were not conducive to a marriage with me.

Then I married again and I thought I had it all figured out.. But I didn't. There were hardships and pain ad neither he nor I (2nd hubby) could seem to overcome the challenges. I have wanted to leave. I have almost left. I have had plans, I have been determined and frightful in my inability to see the harm and damage I was inflicting. That was until the bus come to a screeching halt on top of my world crushing it to bits.

I am in a place of pain and reality. I can no longer ignore the reality of life seeping in through the gaping wounds of my marriage. I am an optimistic person, I know that most things can be overcome if people are willing to put in the work. I know that I have tenacity and grit to bear through. I just don't know if HE does.

Life is a journey and at this moment I am laying on the floor in a PANIC, overwhelmed with pain and fear. I am giving myself permission to feel these things. I will count to 10 feel the fear and then pick myself up and MOVE ON. I have seen the depth of my pain and I guess I can do nothing but go UP from here. I am depressed and I am filled with anxiety but I acknowledge this and I will allow myself to feel then and then I will move on. I just have to figure out for how long. I hope I feel like getting on with life sooner then later.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Its been almost a month

I have had a lot going on in my life and I went into hiding. Blogging was not on the top of my too do list although I enjoy this place to express myself.

I am pregnant and due Sept 12th. This pregnancy has come as a TOTAL surprise and has continued to bring surprising results with it. I am happy to be pregnant but the pregnancy has caused its own sets of complications.

1st being the strain on my already strained marriage.

2nd being my schooling as I am a graduate student and this baby's arrival will be smack dab at the beginning of my last year of graduate school.

3rd being the stress on my marriage.

My last child is 5 years old and I had not expected to see another little one in my life anytime soon, but I guess God has a way of giving us what we need not what we want. I love each and every one of my children but the combination of school, family life, and marriage has placed me in a position of stress that I wish I was NOT in. Who wants to be stressed? NO one but there are times in our lives where we find our self in a position that is not very comfortable.

Because of the stresses in my life I feel unsure and uncertain about my future. I am worried about how I will manage a new baby, an internship 3 full days a week, a load of full time classes, family obligations and then the uncertainty of my marriage.

In the end I know I will make it through this. I know this too will pass but I just wish it had been smoother.

On happier news this baby is HEALTHY and perfect per the ultrasound tech but I already knew that lol. Baby has the nick name of Plankton at this time and Plankton is measuring 2-3 days ahead of schedule consistently for the past few weeks. I am looking forward to MOVEMENT! I am pretty sure that in the next 2-3 weeks I should begin to feel movement which will put my mind at ease as well as give me something happy and exciting to look forward to.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

Well I am only a day late.. I guess but what does Valentine's Day really have to do with anything? For me it was a day about reconnecting. I guess over all these pasts few months have been a lot about reconnecting. Reconnecting with myself, my spouse, my kids, my friends, my education and my goals and in some cases my reconnection with myself has led to a disconnecting with others.

My husband and I had been contemplating divorce in a very serious manner. So much so that we had seriously disconnected with each other and both thought that a new year would mean new lives for us both, apart from each other. I figured I would get over it and so would he. It is amazing what a few months can do to change your life.

Our marriage had been in a destructive mode for quite a few years and V-day has not been on the top of my list. Last year was pretty disastrous in that we had a very very traumatic incident that lead to a holiday get away to try to reconnect.. which didn't really work .. which then led to more disconnect. Neither of us saw how we could make a future with each other, truth be told I am not sure if either of us wanted to.

It's so hard to see the LOVE for another person when you feel blinded by pain and disappointment.

My husband came to me a few days ago, the day before Valentine's day, and told me that he has to remind himself why he loves me and appreciates me more because I am a great woman. At first I was a bit put out by this... I mean honestly I AM GREAT!!! Right? But then it made me smile and helped me connect with him even more, because I feel the same way about him. Its really easy for me to see the flaws in my husband and his varying short comings in life. I mean those ARE the things that make me wanna break his hand in 4 different places, makes me wanna have deeper understanding heartwarming conversations with him. I mean we are NOT newlyweds. This has become old and repetitive at times. But this time Valentine's day was rewarding.

My husband made an effort. The man sent me flowers while I was at my internship. It was a huge surprise and although i am not much of a flower gal the IDEA of his effort and his actions are what endured me to him even more. He DID instead of trying. It was not rocket sience nor was it a huge money deal but it was breath taking love on his part. I was so happy to acknowledge his effort and action and that has made my husband feel loved.

I am learning to LOVE him how he needs it which makes him want to love me in the manner in which I need it. This is defiantly a learning experience but I think I am looking forward to next years Valentine's day even more.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

peaceful parenting: Doubleday's Vaccine Additive Offer

I saw this post on the website you found it on and thought it was a GREAT read and interesting...

peaceful parenting: Doubleday's Vaccine Additive Offer

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Agave Nector- A natural Sugar alternative.

Agave nector is a product that I have been using for a few years now. It is a great alternative to sugar and I have found nothing that I can not use it in. As a person who is watching their weight, intake of processed foods, and trying to cut out sugar I have found Agave to be a great additive to my food pantery.

The Glycemic index for Agave is between 30-39 and had about 60 Calories per Serving: A serving (1 tablespoon). depending on the brand. This is a great alternative for persons watching thier sugar intake or a diabetic.
I have used 2 brands of Agave,

and Madhava

 both of which I have no complaints about. I usually purchase which ever one is on sale when I go in. They are both found in my local gorcerie stores, whole foods, and health food stores.

To me they taste like a split between honey and maple syrup. I have used them for baking, in tea and coffee, and in cooking that has called for sugar and no one knows the difference. If you have never experienced agave I hope that this inspires you to go out and have a try and if you have tried it I hope that this makes you giggle that someone else knows the secret and is using the wonderful product.

Bread Success!!! Finally! And Recpie to share.

I finally found a bread machine recipe that WORKED. I am way excited, (if you had not caught on yet), this is my, ok I won't even try to count how many, attempts at making bread.

I guess I should start from the beginning. I once feel in love with a bread machine, that in the end I never used, and it finally founds it way to a garage sell. Well the tide turned and I found my way back to baking but decided I could do it myself, like by hand. Let's just say that I never quite got the hang of that. In fact to put it like my hubby did, The bread was only good in case a robber came into the home and we needed to defend ourselves. The poor robber might have ended up with a concussions.... now with that in mind I lost faith in my bread making skills.. for a VERY short period of time. One thing I can say about myself is that I am tenacious and when I have my mind set to make a change said change will be made. Bread not being purchased at the store any longer was my mission. Much to my families dislike there were many days there was NO bread in the house because I could not make it myself. Every now and again I would find bread that did not contain ingredients I could not pronounce and I would purchase them much to their pleasure but not often.

Then it happened I was "thrifting" which is my term for shopping at thrift stores, Goodwill's, and stores along those lines, when I found "it"! I bread machines!! Yeah baby! It was cheap and in working order and my quest to bake bread was renewed.

The issue from there was to find a whole wheat bread that the family would eat, that did not look to healthy and did not taste awful. Let's just say I failed a few times... Ok more than a few but I kept on going.

My first deal was finding flour that I felt was worth eating and after much searching I found my gold mine.

King Arthur Flour Company- 100% White Whole Wheat Flour

(I'll write about the flour in another post)

100% Whole Wheat Bread

The following recipe is one we worked out for the Zojirushi. It makes a firm, sweet loaf of golden bread. It shouldn't be hard adapting it to your own machine; all you need to know is what proportion of flour/liquid/yeast your machine functions best with. Take a look at the dough after it's kneaded for about 10 to 12 minutes or so; it should be smooth, not sticky (too little flour) or lumpy (too little liquid), forming a nice ball. If the dough looks good at this point, you're probably all set.

For 1 1/2 lb. bread machine

1 1/4 cups water (I used all Milk)

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil (I used Olive oil)

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup ( I used Agave Nectar)

3 to 3 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat or Traditional Whole Wheat Flour (I used 3 1/2 cups White whole wheat flour)

1/4 cup sunflower, sesame or flax seeds, or a combination (optional) ( I used 2 tab flax seed meal)

1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (omitted as I did not have any on hand)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast ( I used 2 tp)

Put all of the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Program for basic white bread, and press Start.

I was beyond pleased to see this loaf in my bread machine. It is moist and soft, the texture is wonderful and all of my kids and hubby have eaten it and enjoyed. I feel great about feeding it to them and this will become our staple bread! Woooohoooo for not giving in! Success tastes so wonderful.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Challenges of Parenthood

The hubby and I have been over the years blessed with our middle child who is to put it lightly a handful and a half. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and has some "issues", which is putting it nicely.

A little background. The hubby and I married each other with kid-lets under our belts. I had one and I was a divorcee. He had a few but one to which he had full custody and lived with him full time. This said child is whom I consider to be our middle child. I met and married my husband before middle child was 5 years old so in the scheme of things I am the momma. I have been there sense the first day of kindergarden and beyond. Said middle child began school with a bang and has been on a roller coaster ever sense. In fact the fist weeks of kindergarden included a call from the office asking us to come in and discuss his disruptive behaviors. Speaking out of turn, singing loudly, dancing, talking over others, not waiting for his turn, answering when not called on, and on and on.

Being that I had already had a son who was 1 year ahead of said middle child I knew that some drastic measures needed to be taken and without them we would be doomed.

Our middle child had issues with to many people trying to parent in IMHO.  He had paternal grandmother and grandfather (Grammy and Granddad) who spent a large of amount of time raising him and loving him, as my husband was their son and they were his support system.  Then there was the maternal grandmother who equally loved this child and wanted to keep as much contact with him despite his bio mothers lack of commitment and involvement. The maternal grandmother demanded every other weekend visitations that his bio-mom was suppose to have. Now let me say that all of these stupid shenanigans arraignments had been made and had transpired long before I came onto the seen and much to my disappointment continued much longer after wards as well, despite my firm belief that this was a bunch of BS err against it. 

Either way I felt and feel that our sons issues stem in part from instability and who knows what kind of exposures as an unborn and infant. Either way as he progressed in school he only experienced a shit-load more and more difficulties. It got to the point that when he was in 2nd grade, at 8 year old, the teachers suggested that he be tested for ADD and ADHD as they felt he was in need of some serious help. His behaviors had escalated to the point that I was being called at least once a day to the school regarding his behavior and he was failing in school due to his inability to complete assignments. It got so bad that if I put homework in his backpack completed by the time he reached class he could not find them! 

He would be unable to tell us where the work had gone and thus he would fall behind, which only frustrated him more as he was pressed to make up the work. Needless to say this pattern was beyond frustrating to all involved and most importantly to him. 

None of this helped when said middle child also had bonding issue with me. In fact in the 2nd grade I was called into the classroom after class by his teacher. She had asked middle child to draw a picture of the people who lived in his home. He had drawn a picture of his dad, our eldest son, his Grammy and Grand dad but had omitted me, grand parents did not and do not live with us. When asked about his mother and why there was no mother in the picture, as the teacher saw me daily, he refused to respond or draw me. This of course alarmed his teacher enough to bring it to my attention and to ask for clarification. I had no insight to give but he did. He told us that he did not draw me because he wanted me to go away and he wanted the people in his picture to all live together in a house. 

Even today middle child and I have what I would describe as a distant relationship, I have learned to live with it as has he. I have given him his space and have reinforced the love I feel for him while NOT pressing myself upon him. I am his main care taker. I go to all school meetings, parent teacher conferences, school activities, Dr appointments, therapy appointments, football, basketball and baseball games he has ever played. I have cared for him when he is sick and been there to keep him well. I love this child despite the fact that I did not birth him from my body.

Yet at time I feel challenged and pressed with the weight of loving a child that is frustrating and often destructive. Who despite our best intentions and wishes seems to be failing at almost every avenue in his life. Today I made an appointment for middle child to be seen again with pediatric psychiatry. Yesterday he was suspended from school and has been struggling immensely with his academics, still.

I have found myself tied with the feelings of wanting him to be "normal" capable  and feeling a sense of failure as a parent. As any parent we have the simple desire to see our child succeed in life, yet we find it almost impossible to make that happen.  Middle child has been medicated, exercised, given rewards, things taken away, therapy, tutoring and more and more over the years but to no permeant and successful end. 

I am not at my wits end but I am at the end of dreaming that somehow this will go away and he will just gain skills and mature out of this. He will not. Instead as parents we are huddling together to formulate a new game plan. Our first plan of action is therapy again, from there we will adjust as need be.

As we stoop in our huddle we chant and clasp hands. READY! SET! HUT HUT!!! We are off to our first of many plays wishing for a touch down or at least to gain some yards. 

Wish us luck because we are trying to pull of the play of a life time. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010


My marriage has had its share of ups and downs as I am sure most couples have experienced. In my case though my marriage is uniquely my own as each of ours is and the challenges we face as couples are uniquely our own.  For me my marriage has seen some very dark times that almost ended our relationship.

Marriage is hard. I wish someone had told me just how hard it could be so that I would not have spent so much time thinking I was the only one having a hard time.

We have been married for 8 years this year and together for 9. Some years have found us farther apart while others found us closer. This year I think will be our year of being closer. The last 2-3 years have progressively found us dealing with additional challenges that have pushed us further and further apart, so much so to a point I was not sure if we could ever come back.

Then life gives you a surprise and the tide changes and life gives you another chance. I am growing my husband is growing and together we are growing CLOSER together. For the past few months I had been praying for a clear and concise answer to a question. God answered my prayer and in no uncertain terms to I understand his answer.

I am happy to say that I have renewed confidence in my husband and our marriage. I am growing to become a stronger and more supportive wife and partner. I am finding the love that I feared we had destroyed.

I have found that the more I surrender and support the more I am supported and surrendered to. Its amazing!

And then the tide turns.

My last few posts have been filled with my woes of frustration and let downs. Weight, food, body image, and the struggles of finding a balance have been weighing me down, but I am happy to say that I am over my slump. In fact I am over the slump and back to feeling like I am moving forward.

I have been having a few issues with my eating being that I am TIRED and busy and my desire to cook meals is just not there. I am also feeling finicky about my food. Overall I know that this will pass and if I just hang in there I can do this. I am staying focused and I am not giving in to the old habits.

One of my other pick me ups was seeing a few friends/family members I had not seen in a while comment on how GOOD I looked. In fact they commented that I looked like I had lost some weight!!! YEAH BABY there is nothing like having someone comment on weight loss.

Over my life is still trying to find a balance but at least I am still in the game.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The balance of life, school, children, home, family obligations, and my marriage are all things that at this moment I feel challenged with.

I have had some life changing moments recently and I have found myself, despite my best efforts, really really really stressed out over what to do and where to go. I know that stress is BAD for your health, it can contribute to high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, heart attacks and disease among other wonderful health issues I would rather not have the pleasure of meeting.

But despite it all I am HUMAN and it is within my nature to try and work out the "challenges" I am confronted with. I know that a bigger part of me is worried that what I want to do is not doable, while what I could do seems like such a hardship on others.

I am a praying person, I am a spiritual person, I am a person of faith.

I do believe that if My God brought me to it he will support me through it. This is easy to say but hard to practice. I am working on my practice skills.

I know that a year from now when the challenges have passed and all of my issues have been worked out I will look back on this and thank God for doing what I know he would do.



Despite my best efforts I have found myself frustrated with myself. I am frustrated with my lack of weight loss and frustrated with all my hard work seeming to be for NAUGHT.

This is usually the time when I give up. I throw in the towel and proclaim that this is just what its going to be, there is NOTHING I can do about it, and I might as well just get comfortable. But this time is different. I am NOT going to throw in the towel, I am NOT going to give up or give in. I am going to preserver through this.

I will chose to eat a healthy meal this morning, and I will eat a healthy lunch, followed by a healthy dinner. Today is just one day in my journey to a healthier self and I cant let one day be the determining factor in my journeys course. Of course this is more like a month after changes but who's counting?

Ill admit this is HARD, and I am FRUSTRATED and even envious of those I see doing better then me. But I have to remember that just because I do not see outward signs of my hard work and changes I know that my INSIDES are doing better. I know that I am making a difference and the changes are effecting me long term and they are real.

I have to take a step back and let go of my need for immediate gratification and outward results. I have to stay on track and preserver through my frustrations.

No one said this would be easy, but I know it is worth the effort. I am worth the effort so I will keep moving forward, take my frustrations and embrace them, acknowledge them and then lay them back down to visit with another day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fun with Flax.. YES really....

This was my first experience with Flax Seed Meal. Bob's Red Mill. Just a side note. I have found that the Red Mill products are vast and easily found in many stores. They are very inexpensive and often extensive in the variety of  products they offer. Now having said that back to the original slated program.

I have seen flaxseed meal as I do buy the Red Mill products but I had NO idea what to do with it. That was until I found a recommendation on its usages through a blog that I read. It was enough motivation for me to take a plunge and experience flax meal.

So before I begin to tell you all the ways I have used Flax let me tell you WHAT flax is and its benefits!

I have found that Flaxseed is a great additive to many food items to boots their nutritional values.

Now here is a list the things I have thus far added flaxseeds to or have found to use flaxseed in.

  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Meat Loaf
  • Hamburgers or any ground meat
  • Breads or any baked good
  • Sauces (anything dark)
  • Pasta and Sauces 
  • Pancakes and Waffles
  • Eggs
  • Chili
  • Any bean dish
  • Soups
  • Casseroles
  • Bbq sauce or ketchup.
Honestly you cant taste it and my family has no idea that I have been adding it to their food. LOL. It was easy after the first few times and in fact now I make it a game to see how many places I can stick a tsp or 2 into the foods that we are eating. I am on the road to a healthier me and I am taking them along for the ride, I am sure their bodies are thanking me!

I hope you are motivated or at least intrigued enough to step out and research or even try this great food additive that will help bring added nutritional benefits to your diet in a simple and easy way. 

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

  1. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.1,2
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. 3,4,5,6
  3. Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.7,8
  4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.9,10,11,12
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.13
  6. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.14,15,16,17,18,19,20
  7. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.21,22
  8. Sugar can weaken eyesight.23
  9. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.24,25,26,27,28
  10. Sugar can cause premature aging.29
  11. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.30
  12. Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.31,32,33
  13. Sugar contributes to obesity.34
  14. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.35,36,37
  15. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)38
  16. Sugar can cause gallstones.39
  17. Sugar can cause appendicitis.40
  18. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.41
  19. Sugar can cause varicose veins.42
  20. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.43
  21. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.44
  22. Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.45,46,47
  23. Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.48
  24. Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.49
  25. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.50
  26. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar molecules attaching to and thereby damaging proteins in the body).51
  27. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.52
  28. Sugar causes food allergies.53
  29. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.54
  30. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.55
  31. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.56,57
  32. Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.58
  33. Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.59,60
  34. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.61
  35. Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.62,63
  36. Sugar can cause emphysema.64
  37. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.65
  38. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.66
  39. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.67
  40. Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.68,69
  41. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.70,71
  42. Sugar can damage your pancreas.72
  43. Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.73
  44. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.74
  45. Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.75
  46. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.76
  47. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.77
  48. Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.78,79
  49. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves which can alter your mind's ability to think clearly.80
  50. Sugar can cause depression.81
  51. Sugar can increase your risk of gout.82
  52. Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.83
  53. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.84,85,86,87
  54. Sugar can lead to dizziness.88
  55. Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.89
  56. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.90
  57. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.91,92
  58. Sugar is an addictive substance.93
  59. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.94
  60. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.95
  61. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.96
  62. Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.97
  63. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.98
  64. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).99
  65. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.100
  66. Sugar can slow down the ability of your adrenal glands to function.101
  67. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.102
  68. I.V.s (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.103
  69. Sugar increases your risk of polio.104
  70. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.105
  71. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.106
  72. In intensive care units: Limiting sugar saves lives.107
  73. Sugar may induce cell death.108
  74. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.109
  75. Sugar dehydrates newborns.110
  76. Sugar can cause gum disease.111

     By Nancy Appleton, Ph.D Author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit
    References cited in this article: 76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

EA Sport Active and the Upgrade- 30 Day Challenge, 29 days and counting.

EA Sport Active and Upgrade was something that I have been going back and forth on purchasing for the past month or so.

My first reason is that I have MANY work out tapes and videos sitting around my home that I have used and just let slide to the sideline rarely to be used again.  I have quite a bit of research and found that the whole sale warehouse club type stores had the best deal on the programs. This game has also received very high ratings on multiple gaming sites, their website, and online in general.

When my Wii broke and had to be refunded I went ahead and made the purchase. I was beginning to feel a bit  board with my Wii fit plus alone so I figured why not.

Last night was my first work out, let me just say WOW! Oh my goodness! Was this a tuff workout. I was sweating and huffing and I only worked out for 30minutes. I agree with many of the other reviews that I read the resistance band is flimsy and I needed another one, thank goodness I had one on had. Other then that so far so good.

Today was day2 of my 30 day challenge and I can totally feel the after effects of my workout. Ouch did I use my muscles today and last night. Lunges, walk, running, high leg kicks, boxing, bicep curls and other such exercises.

It was a huge difference in the Wii fit workout in intensity and muscle usage. I am enjoying it and I look forward to the next 30 day's or I guess 29 days now!

Dedication to Exercise.

I have mentioned that working out can not be a job for me nor can I get bored. Well it was just my luck that my Wii Fit Plus hit a wacky stage yesterday. At first it told me to step off when I was not standing on the board and then when I was standing on the board it told me it could not detect me, and yet another time it told me my weight was significantly different then before. Despite all of the "issues" I kept trying to work it out but to no end.

So off I went on an adventure. First I went to take the item back for an exchange only to find that the item was not in-stock and if I wanted to have one sent it would cost me shipping and of course the time it would take for shipping.

Needless to say I was not happy. I took the refund and decided to find my replacement else where. Long story short I went to Wally World and Game Stop with no luck. I contacted Tarjet and was happy to find they had a Wii Fit Plus on sale but only one left.

Off I go speeding down the freeway, making a huge circle, during traffic hour to get my Wii. NOW that is dedication for me. lol

I made it to Tarjet and was happy to find the Wii waiting for me, the staff was so funny because they were rooting for me! It was $10.00 more then my original Wii price because I had purchased it at a discount warehouse place, but I was still very please because this one included a bonus game! YEAH

Over all the silver lining to my cloud was there. Oh and let me not forget that I was able to snag my EA Sport Active and the Upgrade. (More on that in my next post)

I just wanted to note to myself and others that I am happy to see that I am really dedicated to my exercise and goals. I don't know if I mentioned it before but my goal has been to work out M-F and let Sat-Sun be my rest days. Without my Wii working I was unable to complete my goal so out I went to make sure I could do what I set out to do.

I am happy to note that I did work out last night on my new game!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yogurt-Homemade and Smoothie Recipe

Ok so I tried it! I made homemade yogurt and it was awesome! Here are 2  recipe if you are interested.

recipe for 1/2 gallon of milk
recipe for 1 whole gallon of milk

I followed them both if that makes sense. The first recipe has more detailed directions but the 2nd recipe has the instructions for the full gallon as well on what to do to thicken your yogurt.

My yogurt was pretty thin so I chose to strain my product to make a Greek Style yogurt. I had some left over yogurt that was thin and I put it into a plastic storage bag and used it to make smoothies.

The smoothies recipe is below

1/2 bag of frozen blueberries
1tb flaxseed meal
agave nectar (to taste)

Place blueberries into blender
Add yogurt
1tb of agave nectar
1tb of flaxseed meal

Blend and drink. Yummo!!!

Pork Chop Puttanesca-Recipe

Tonight I made  a great easy dinner. I started with the ingredients below.

 6-8 pork chops 
1/2 bottle of Puttanesca Sauce (if you have a full bottle of sauce you dont need anything else except the veggies)

1 large can of canned tomatoes
1 small can of sliced black olives
1tb cappers
Olive oil
Crushed red peppers
White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Bell pepper
1 Portabella Mushroom
Sea Salt and pepper
1/2 small onion

In a large pot I added olive oil (about 2 tb).
To the oil I added the chopped onion, bell pepper and mushrooms.
Sautéed for about 2 minutes.
Seasoned pork chops with sea salt on both sides
Add pork chops to pot
Add the left over bottled puttanesca sauce (if you have a full bottle end here)
Add canned tomatoes, garlic, about 6 dashes of vinegar, 2 shakes of red pepper, 
3 shakes oregano, capers, olives, parsley and pepper.

Cover and let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until meat is done and tender and sauce has reduced and thickened to your liking.

This could be placed in a crock-pot as well.

I served my pork with quinoa and sautéed spinach. YUMMO!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Firday's= Weigh in

Today is my first weigh in. I weighed 213lbs on my Wii or a little less. Bmi was 40.12 (think)

On my home scale it says 214.4.

Either wasy that is my truth and I am sticking with it. Oh I guess I should mentioned that when this all started I was 218lbs. I am almost at my first 5lbs lost FOR GOOD. 1 more lb to go!

Exercise can NOT be a job for me.

I hate traditional jobs. I mean I dont have a full time job outside of my home but I do work.  I think jobs are over rated and I would much rather be doing something else with my time. Now many folks will disagree with me, while others will look at my like I am INSANE, and yet still more will just shake their heads and pray for my lose soul.

But let me explain before you go throwing holy water on me or trying to commit me to the crazy house for an extended stay.

I enjoy things that are  enlightening and challenging. I like things that push me and things that motivate me. I enjoy things that make me a better version of myself. A job, IMO, is not one of those things.

Education is my biggest accomplishment in life, after my kids and marriage. Exercise is going to have to be placed in that arena.

I am really really really having a hard time finding the JOY of working out and exercise. I could and I want to be doing some much more enjoyable activities.. BUT I am NOT because I am exercising.

In fact for the past week I have worked out M-W for 1 hour a day, Thur for 35 minutes and today (Friday) for 50 minutes. I am TIRED and I feel let down that I do not see some RESULTS.

Ok OK now I know some of you are on the floor laughing at me but give me a second to explain. I am the kind of person who enjoys gratification for my hard work and accomplishments. My kids are healthy and alive, (that is an accomplishment), I am still married after 8+ years ( real accomplishment), I have good grades at the end of the semester (HUGE accomplishment), but working out is well its different.

I am not feeling the gratification.. yet. So I am venting yet staying motivated through this patch of tuff times. Because this is my long term goal not my regular instant gratification moment. WISH ME LUCK.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Alternative ways to buy healthy foods.

Farmers markets are great places to buy healthy, local, farmed raised foods.

Whole food markets or food Co-ops are a great place to venture out to as well. Although they can be a bit pricey they can also have some really great deals on bulk items.

Trader Joe's is my new found best friend. They are CHEAP amazingly so and they have a wonderful selection of products but most importantly for me is that they have a wonderful selection of organic food products, they promote NO high fructose corn syrup, they make the best deals when buying products and pass it on to the consumer, they also seem to listen to the consumer. Oh and did I mention they were cheap!!!

I hope that this post gives you a kernel of pounder. (tehehe) Meaning I hope this post makes you think about alternative ways to purchase your foods.. which could lead to your pondering what foods you purchases next.

(disclaimer: I am not a person who works for any of these places I am just an ordinary person who works hard for their money and am offering some advice and my opinion)

Natural Resolution and how I came about the name.

Thanks to my bff, my high school runnen mate, and friend for life. We have been friends sense my freshmen year of high school. Needless to say we have been there for the ever so clever climb up in the scales of weight gain as well as the well placed attempts to loss that ever so relentless gain.

As I have gained weight and gotten older and then been challenged with the health issues that come with said weight gain I have taken the steps to understand food and how I interact with it.

What I have learned from the experiences of learning food is that MOST of the food I ate often was NOT good for me, at all.  For me it was a process to look back at life. When was I my healthiest and for those in my family the same question was applied. What I learned was astoundingly simple. REAL food is healthy.

Natural foods as close to how they are grown or live is best. I was my healthiest when I cooked almost every day or at foods that someone cooked. I was healthiest when I was not consuming foods and products that I could not even begin to imagine where they came from.

I began to ask myself, if a food will last on a shelf for 3 years how is it affecting my body? If a piece of fruit is for gotten in the outside fridge and 2 months later I find it and it is NOT molded or decomposing what happens to it in my body. A preservative is to preserve, I don't think a preservative can tell the difference between my body or the food item it is first located in.

I kept thinking about it and researching it and in the end I convinced my GF and hopefully some of my other fiends, and maybe even you.. QUESTION what you eat.

And that began my journey on the road to a natural resolution to a healthier life. Each day I take it one day at a time. I make 1 better choice everyday and I stick with it until it becomes habit. I began and still work on reading labels. I work hard at making better food choices and places to buy the food we consume. Its not easy but it is the beginning of a life time journey to a healthier and more natural me.

Exercise! How do you do the magic that you do?

My goal for exercise is just to do it! OK, ok. I admit it. I am not good with exercise for several reasons.

1. I lose interest
2. It is HARD
3. When I don't get quick results I am let down and frustrated.
4. I make a lot of excuses
5. Did I mention I lose interest.

I have several different forms of work out tapes

1. Walk Away the pounds. = I actually really like these tapes, but see above #1 and 5
2. Yoga for weight loss= Again see #1 and 5
3. Palates for weight loss= See #2 and 5
4. Wii fit= This is NEW and exciting and has several different games and options of work out programs. So far so good but see #1 and 5 lol
5. Jillian Michaels for the Wii... Um see #2 and of course 5!

So what is my issues!? I need some will I guess. I need to want to change more then I want to just let things wait until later.

Today I worked out for 1 hour. It was a challenge but I did it and I felt great. That is usually what happens. My goal going forward is to work out Monday-Friday at least! The weekends are FREE and a bonus if I work out on any of my games. I would like to do "outside" exercise during the weekend. Perhaps doing a walk in the park, bike ride, or walking the mall.

I am taking this ONE day at a time and when I don't do as well as I had hopped I am making an effort to learn that it is NOT a failure.. more along the lines as a flat tire or a pot hole in the road.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

White Whole Wheat Flour.. Have you ever heard of it?

White Whole Wheat Flour have you every heard about it? Well this is something new to me and I wanted to share the secret. I know most of us NEED to eat more whole grains and I found this product to be an EXCELLENT way to begin that journey. This flour has a higher protein level then regular flour and it is Organic to boot at about the same price of a regular bag of flour.

I found this product on another blog and checked it out at my local Smart and Final but looking at their website it looks like this product is widely available at the local grocery and even at Food Maxx!

Is anyone willing to give it a try? If you do tell me what you think.

What's my plan?

I know that many people would like to know what is my plan of action. How do I plan to lose this weight, how much weight do I want to lose and HOW do I plan to do it?

Well to answer the first question I have have no time frame to lose the weight per say. I do know that an average of 1-2lbs a week is a good amount of weight to lose but I am not set on that number as I know it could less or more depending on my experiences.

I plan to start with my eating habits. My first goal is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Whole foods, grains, fruits, meats, and vegetables.  Most importantly is that I understand that this is a PROCESS and JOURNEY. I know that I will fail, back track, and not do as well as I thought I would.

I will stun some folks with my food ideas but I am going to do what I think is best. I know for me my food journey has been a long one and I have experienced many food fads but at this point I am taking many different approaches and combining them as I see fit.

Exercise is the other key. With my busy schedule I am working on consistency. I would like to work at Monday-Friday every day for at least 30-45 minutes. I plan on doing that with my new Wii Fit Plus, Walk Away the Pounds and Yoga for right now. I am currently contemplating "The Biggest Loser" for the Wii or the EA Sports.  Both have received excellent reviews. I know that I need variety to keep myself motivated and engaged. In addition to variety I need something to do when there are extreme weather issues. Such as raining or 115 degrees.

Finally the total about of weight I would like to lose.. Well I would be happy at round about 140 lbs again. At this point that means I would need to lose about 73 lbs but because that amount looks HUGE I am working on losing enough weight to take me in to the next weight bracket. In this case that is to be single digits in the 200's so 209 lbs and under,  or 10lbs.

First Post-Welcome-Bio

All about me.. well sort of.

I am 31 years old and I currently weighing in at about 213lbs at 5'1. Food, weight and exercise have been issues with me for almost all my life. At my highest weight in Aug 09 I was 225lbs. I currently fluctuate between 210-220lbs but lately I have been able to stay within the range of 211-218lbs.

In Aug 09 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar levels making me a boarder line diabetic.  I was devastated and scared out of my mind, but it was motivation. After the scare of the news began to wear off I was able to think.

I know the reason I am where I am is in large part to my lifestyle. In the last 8 years I have gained 71 lbs. When I meet my husband I weighed in at 142 lbs, but marriage and a baby along with school and life have packed on the pounds. I do not exercise regularly and my eating habits were atrocious. I spent a lot of time eating in my car, fast food, and other wise unhealthy eating habits. In addition I am an emotional eater; happiness, sadness, fear, pain, and any other emotion you name has been an opportunity for me to eat.

Over the years there were times when I would take my weight gain seriously by joining a gym (Curves and a local gym) I have tried several diets, South Beach, Sparks People, Weight Watchers, Dr. Gotts No Flour No Sugar, and Atkins to name just a few; and with all of them I had some level of success and weight loss. The over all issue with my life is that I lose interest and momentum.

I know the tools to be the best version of myself. I have taken nutritional classes, read enough, seen enough, experienced enough, and tried enough to know the key.

This journal/blog is going to be my motivation and my accountability. With the help of my friends and family and maybe even the "blog" world I will accomplish my goal.. to become the healthiest version of myself.

Thanks for reading!