Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New blogs to follow!

Just a quick note to tell you guys about 2 fabulous blogs I have recently started following.  The first one is 100 Days of Real Food and the other is Food Babe.  Check them out!

As most of you know I played the Game On Diet for about 1 year and then I got bummed out and quit.  While I realize I still have much weight to lose, reading these blogs has given me a new perspective. 

I don't want to "diet"!  I want to eat better, healthier, cleaner!  I'm not quite ready to go totally ORGANIC, but I am trying to clean things up!  A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to check out the labels in my pantry and see what I was really eating and feeding my family!  GASP!!!  GROSS!!!  OMW!!!

I couldn't believe what I found!  Needless to say, I threw out about 3 trash bags full of stuff I couldn't give to anyone else without feeling guilt.  I gave away 5 grocery bags of stuff I didn't feel so bad about.  Then I cleaned out my spice cabinet.  Let's just say that I haven't cleaned that cabinet in about 6-7 years and you could tell!  I'm blushing, that's how embarrassed I am!  I filled the trash can...AGAIN! 

I am now proud to say I have the neatest, cleanest, most organized spice cabinet ever!  And I was able to reduce my "pantry" space by one whole cabinet...and that's saying a lot because I have large, deep cabinets!

I learned how to make my own granola for cereal, snacking and yogurt topping.  I learned to bake my own 100% whole wheat sandwich bread which Kirstyn said is so much better than what you can buy in the store I better keep making it!  :)  And I am learning to incorporate REAL food into my diet instead of processed food.  The Game On diet had already started this process...but being uneducated, I still used "fat-free", "low-fat", "lite" and other such processed foods.  Most pointedly, I continued to use Splenda because that stuff MUST be healthy - hello - no calories!!!  WRONG!

I got rid of all the white flour in my cabinets!  All the diet food, all the "lite" yogurts and such, AND the Splenda!  I now use honey, agave nectar and Stevia for my sweeteners.  Oh, and I have purchased a bag or two of organic sugar for special treats - 'cause that stuff's EXPENSIVE!    I am now using real butter, olive oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil for cooking and baking along with 100% whole wheat and 100% white whole wheat flour.  They even make a special 100% whole wheat flour for it!  I have opted to use real milk, no more 2% - which was very scary for me, but I LOVE IT!  I am buying organic milk, which is more expensive, but lasts so much longer!  I actually tried the coconut milk, which was like drinking whitish water - so that's a big NO for me...and almond milk, which is a bit sweeter, but not really my cup of tea.  So total whole organic milk it is for me.  I've tried the Horizon brand and love it.

I am trying to have 3 meals and at least one snack a day - if I'm hungry, I'll let myself have another.  I am working on portion control - paying attention to the size of protein and carb servings I give myself and trying to increase the veggies/fruit servings - which is really not a problem for me.  I've been eating "wheat" bread, pasta and brown rice for a few years now, so the only difference there is that I'm making my own bread and paying attention to make sure my pasta and rice are truly JUST pasta and rice - no additives and preservatives that are unneccessary.  I am drinking water for the most part although I do love a cup of tea for breakfast and an occassional glass of sweet tea. 

I'm trying to learn more about GMO's and Red #40, Yellow #5 & 6, etc...and about other sneaky items in our food supply that really aren't food and do nothing but convert to carcinogens.  We don't eat much candy in our home, but I did go buy some UnReal UnJunked candy to test it out.  They only make 5 candies - a clean version of M&M's, Peanut M&M's, Reeces Cups, Milky Way and Snickers.  I love the Peanut M&M's and my kids love the Snickers version.  They are only sold at Target and CVS, but they are priced just the same as any candy.  The candy bars at Target were $0.89 and the bag of M&M's were 2 for $7.00.  Try them - you will be surprised!

Oh, I have made my own homemade chicken stock and have a recipe to make my own onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup using real, natural ingredients.  This should enable me to cook foods we are used to on a cleaner, healthier scale.  I hope to begin a small container garden in the next few days - maybe some potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, celery, green onions, onions, garlic and a few herbs just to start off with.  If I am successful, I'll try a few more and then maybe I'll actually try to have a small garden in the yard.  Wish me luck.  The last herbs I tried to grow died as fast as they could!  Sigh....

I almost forgot to tell you - I baked a lemon cream pie using 100% white whole wheat for the crust and it was TO DIE for!  Delicious!  Of course - it is still high in calories, so portion and control are a must, but still - it was nice to have a real sweet treat using healthier options.

I realize I need to increase my exercise - and I haven't been motivated to do so lately, but I purchased new tubes for the bike tires and once spring hits, I'm hitting the road!  I'll try incorporating some Zumba into my evening routine for now....

One last note - totally different subject - I am going to start teaching sewing classes and will be open to teaching cooking classes, if asked.  I'm doing some free lessons to some of the young ladies at church to begin with and get off the ground.  But I hope to take it to the next level and offer group classes and one-on-one classes for a modest price in my home.  Let me know if you or anyone you know are interested - unless you live in ALASKA!!  LOL!  :)

Auuuggghhh - I almost forgot - the Camry is now in operating order thanks to the loving generosity of my Dad!  He paid for the repairs for me - for which I am most thankful and he will probably be getting a big, delicious, chocolate cake from me and Malissia!  :)  After the throttle body was replaced there was nothing else wrong with it.  Of course, Toyota came back and said there was no recall on 04 Toyota Camry's - not even the V6's!  So...mute point.  I'll let God take care of them!  :)  He's good at that!  :)

K.  Bye now!