Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ranch!

Ranch, oh how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Ranch has been my love since the first time my lips tasted it's deliciousness--long before I ever made any attempt at healthy eating. Because I'm terrible at moderation, I have to just cut it out of my life except for special occasions.

The one thing that has really bothered me about buying ranch is the unidentifiable ingredients.  Have you ever tried to read/pronounce all the ingredients in a store bought ranch dressing?  Go ahead, get yours out of the fridge and try to read it.

During the early days of making changes towards a healthier diet, I attempted to make a ranch dressing and it did not go well . For the recipe I was following, I had to buy a whole bunch of fresh herbs that got a little costly, and it didn't taste that great.   The experience was so unpleasant in my mind, I wrote off making my own ranch dressing forever (OK, that might be a bit dramatic.) Until recently when I was sharing some recipes I found online with friends, and we got to talking about how we wish we could find a healthier version of ranch.

Challenge accepted.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WCW and my journey to healthier eating

In the ever-evolving question of, "What will my blog look like?" I've decided to add a new feature for Wednesdays, it may not be every Wednesday, but it will be on Wednesdays.

Welcome to Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW).

Admittedly, my journey in health may not strike a chord with many of you. I've never had a lot of weight to lose (except baby weight), and I'm a stay-at-home mom in California--I may not be motivating for you at all. However, you may see something in another woman’s story to give you the kick in the pants you need to make changes.  Wednesdays I will be telling the stories of other women in their journey of health.

Beginning this feature made me realize I’ve never told you much about my seven year journey to eating better, so I’m going to go first…and it’s my blog, so I’m the most accessible person to interview.

I’ve always loved food (see this post about hiding food in my pockets when I was a kid). When my family has a gathering, there are always more tasty looking dishes than there are people. If there are 50 people at Thanksgiving, you’re going to need at least 75 dishes. It’s how we do it, and it’s GLORIOUS.

Yes I loved food, but I had the palette of a six year-old. Beef stew from a can was about as adventurous as I was going to get. If I had one more person tell me to “just try” a new food, my head would have exploded.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Tasty, nutritious snacks

Let's talk snacks.  It seems that when most people talk about snacks it's said negatively, "I can't stop snacking." Or you're talking to a toddler, "Do you want a snack? Did you hear me?  Do you want a snack?  Snack? Snack?  Snack!?!?!"

Personally, I like to be prepared.  As soon as I eat one meal, I'm thinking of the next one.  When I was a kid, my mom stuck her hand in the pocket of my jacket to find I had regularly squirreled away part of my lunch.  Even in elementary school, I had a need to be prepared JUST IN CASE (in case of what, I have no idea, but I needed to be prepared for it.)

It's time for us to snack like the responsible adults we are.  You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.  I'd like to propose an additional nutritious snack, or two, get added to your daily meal plan.  Snacking every few hours will help your body perform optimally, and keep you going until your next meal.  Remember my KISS guidelines?  Don't let yourself get too hungry, you'll make food decision.  I've got a few tips to help.



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Easiest, yummiest hummus

Hummus is a staple in our house, and it's incredibly easy to make, so there's no need for the store bought stuff.  


Recipe:
1 16 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, with 1/4 cup of the liquid reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini paste (I've made it without the tahini paste and it's still good)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain the chickpeas and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid.  Combine the liquid with all of the other ingredients in a bowl and use an immersion blender, or combine in a food processor.  Blend until you have a smooth hummus.

You can fancy-up your hummus with any of these delicious add-ins:

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Artichokes
  • Spices--cumin, paprika, chili powder
  • Sun dried tomatoes

Sweet potato chips

Chips are my weakness, I'm not a sweets kind of girl, give me all of the salty foods.  These sweet potato chips though will make you feel like you're cheating on healthy eating, they are oh so good!

Wash your sweet potatoes and slice them VERY thinly, or a mandolin.  If you're using a knife, make sure it's super sharp.  If you don't have mandolin, they can be very helpful to make uniformly cut vegetables, plus it cuts everything up really fast.

I couldn't decide on what flavor I wanted, so I tried three different flavors.  Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and whichever spices you choose in a plastic bag--this is a super easy way to get all the ingredients spread around.


Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 300 degrees.  Cook for about an hour and half turning once to make sure they brown on both sides.  The cooking time will vary if your potatoes are thicker or thinner than I cut mine, so just kind of watch them.



Roasted almonds

I love almonds!  They are a fantastic quick snack to grab throughout the day to keep me going with no preparation.  However, I end up eating them so often, I get bored and eat them just to get in a snack and not because I'm enjoying them.  This past weekend, I wanted to kick up the flavor of my almonds, because they were starting to get boring.  Here's the result.

Start with raw, plain almonds spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.


Cook the almonds at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes, you'll start to be able to smell them.

I label the spices and keep them in my pantry because I don't use all I mixed up at once.
While the almonds are cooking, mix up your spices in a jelly jar.  I love using jelly and Mason jars in my kitchen--they have universal lids, it's easy to mix things up in a jar by shaking it, they stack well, and the glass makes it microwaveable safe (don't forget to take off the metal ring!)

Spray the almonds on the pan with olive oil, or you can put them in a metal or glass bowl to mix up. Add the spices and toss.

These are straight out of the oven, so they look oily, but they really aren't in the end. 

The spices are a great addition, but you can change it up however you like.  These would be tasty with just some olive oil and salt, or sweeten them up with some cinnamon.

Recipe
4 servings almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (I know this is a weird measurement, just eyeball it)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil

Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes (until you can smell them.)

Combine the next seven ingredients in a jar, secure the lid, and shake until the spices are well combined.

After the almonds come out of the oven, spray lightly with olive oil, or put in a metal or glass bowl and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of the seasoning on the almonds.

The beauty of making it yourself is you can add more seasoning if it's not spicy enough, or combine in more almonds to spread out the seasoning if it's too much--you choose.

The oil and seasoning will set on the almonds once they've cooled.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Making a list and checking it twice

I'm a Type A person, and a good list is right up my alley--I make lists of lists. One of those glorious, all-is-right-in-the-world things is that my last name is List too. Part of my Type A personality makes me do things as a routine, so my grocery list and shopping is a routine too.

The start of the plan
 Making a grocery list can take time, but by continuously following a plan you'll become a pro.
  1. Every week I go to the grocery store on the same day at the same time. This is significant because I always know on Tuesday night I need to make my weekly meal plan and grocery list. It becomes part of the routine knowing this has to be done by Tuesday night because I'll be at the store the next morning. Having a set day and time keeps me from putting it off another day.
  2. Get one piece of paper for your grocery list, or use a list on your phone. Get a second piece of paper for your meal plan (or whatever you're using to write down your meals that everyone in the family can see every day--no more questions of what's for dinner).
  3. Start with your meal plan. Write down all the days of the week and then assign dinners for each and every day, be detailed (main dish, sides, salad, etc.) about everything you're going to make. Decide on a few things to rotate for breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all the beings of your house for one week. Write those down on the meal plan too. 
    The dinner plan for all to see
  4. Now that you have your plan, start going through each meal/recipe and detail on your grocery list every item contained in the meal--spices, flour, milk, mustard, whatever, write it all down. My tip is to actually write down everything, even if you think you have enough of an item on hand, but star those items you think you have. For example, I think I have enough peanut butter to make smoothies for a week, but I write it on the list anyhow and put a star by it. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

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Colds...eww

Talking about colds was not on my list of posts I wanted to write because it does not make me think of healthy or nutritious, but I've had a head cold for a couple of days so it's currently the.only.thing.on.my.mind!

This time of year it seems everyone has a cold, is getting over a cold, or doesn't know they're about to get a cold.  The boys' pediatrician told me kids can get 6-12 colds this time of year, and two kids means 12-24 colds--ugh!  And being the caring, sharing children they are, I always end up with at least a mild version.

Before children, having a cold meant staying in my pajamas all day and whining to whatever unfortunate soul was left with me.  Now that I have two kids, it means surviving the day.

When a friend or family member is sick, it's the perfect time to love on them (not literally), and really Jesus wants us to show love to each other.  I've got a few most basic thoughts on loving each other, and being loved with a cold:
  • Double your dinner and bring it to a friend with a cold. If you have the cold, graciously accept the offer.  Don't be a hero, just say yes.  It's a kind gesture, and if they didn't mean it they wouldn't say it.  If they actually didn't want you to accept, then you'll teach them to mean what they say :)
  • Make a fast nutritious soup for your family if you're sick, or if you can tell you're coming down with something, leave this in the fridge to eat on for a few meals.  
  • If you're really thinking ahead of time, make a soup and leave it in the freezer for the next time illness strikes your home, take it to a sick friend, or just have a ready made dinner when you don't want to cook.  Many options here. 
  • If you don't have time to make a meal for a sick friend, pick up some pre-cut fruit at the store to give them.  They'll know you care and the nutrients will help.  
  • When you're sick, be kind to those around you, they want to help.<----Hands down, the hardest one for me, I'm a bear when I'm ill.  
 A sweet friend brought me some amazing black bean soup

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Encouragement for today

I really felt the need to write a post of just encouragement today.

The message we get from the food and restaurant industry is that it's just too hard to cook and feed your family nutritious meals, these responsibilities should be handed over to the experts.  You've been eating since the day you were born, I would now call you an expert.  You just may need to learn some new methods. Don't get me wrong, there is some delicious food on the shelves, but it's often loaded with sugar, or other very unknown ingredients.

I'm here to encourage you, you can do this!  It takes a little planning, and a little time.   "Little time" is the key phrase there, good meals don't have to take forever, or have a million ingredients.  I have two little ones constantly under my feet, needing milk, or wanting to show me something.  There is no time for laborious meals here (ain't nobody got time for that!) 

When I'm looking for recipes, I try to keep my meals to 30 minutes.  Now, that's not always a hard, and fast rule.  If I can prep something in 15 minutes, but it needs to cook for 45 minutes, fine.  The active time prepping is what I try to keep to 30 minutes or less.  

If you still don't think you can dedicate that kind of time, think about how long it takes to go pick up food from a fast food place and get back home.  How much longer is cooking a meal at home going to take?

Tips:
  • Prep as much as you can the night before, the morning of, or during the day before dinner (chop, simmer, get the casserole in the pan, etc.)
  • Make a dinner plan for the week
  • Get your kids as active as they can (you had them, now put them to work)
  • If you're eating out a lot, start by transitioning just one meal to a home cooked meal, and then next week, try two meals at home  
Like I've said before, I may not know you, but I know someone loves you.  They desperately want as many days with you as they can get, so start making changes today towards a healthier you.  I don't think I've ever heard anyone say eating nutritious meals made them feel bad.  

Go get 'em!  You can do this!

Let's start at the beginning (part 2)

Continued from yesterday's post...

Originally I thought about just one post with breakfast ideas, but I rambled WAY too long about smoothies, so here's part 2.

Starting off your day with a nutritious breakfast will set the tone for the rest of your eating day.  One good decision in the morning will lead to good decisions through the day.  Granola bars and cereals disguised as healthy are not the way to start your day.  They're full of sugar and will have you crashing shortly and wanting more sugary foods.  (Tip from the documentary "Fed Up": ingredients are listed in order by the largest content in the food, so if sugar--or another name for sugar--is one of the top three ingredients in your food, it's really a dessert.)

So, today, I have two more simple, fast, nutritious breakfast ideas for you.  Like I said before, if you eat the EXACT SAME THING everyday, you'll get bored.  Change it up, have fun, and develop a few go-to meal ideas.

2.  Oatmeal
Oatmeal has never been my favorite. It's always been too bland, or too much sugar, so I buy it and feed it to my children (because as mom's it's totally acceptable to feed our children healthy food we would personally never eat, right???)

I started looking for more breakfast ideas because I sometimes want a hot breakfast, and a hot smoothie sounds disgusting.  So, I started in on oatmeal.  Below is my most favorite creation, and it's got a lot of stuff, so don't be intimidated when you see the recipe.  Oatmeal is a blank canvas to make it how you want.

My oatmeal starts with multrigrain hot cereal, added with a combination of almond milk and applesauce, cinnamon and little vanilla. Pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, add chia seeds, blueberries and real peanut butter.  YUM!  Just like that oatmeal become a dear friend, instead of the weird cousin you have to let come over sometimes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Let's start at the beginning (part 1)

"In the beginning God created the heaven and earth."

Okay, we've gone too far back.  I'm actually just talking about the beginning of your day--breakfast. In a previous post I mentioned planning for success and having a few go-to breakfast ideas.  If your house is anything like mine, the minute my eyes are open in the morning I'm on the go.  Breakfast for the littles, milk, make coffee, let dogs outside, feed dogs, clean up whatever around the house I told myself the night before would be "super quick and easy" to  clean the next morning (eye roll), and reheat my coffee for the fourth time only to forget it in the microwave and find it midday.

So, I have about three meals I really like and it depends on my time, what we have to do that morning, and my mood as to which meal I make. (To be honest, regularly it depends on what ingredients my children have so kindly left in the fridge/freezer/pantry that I can throw together into a meal).

1.  Smoothies
First, the super quick, I've-got-to-eat-on-the-go smoothie.  My toddler almost always drinks at least half of my smoothie, so I'm glad this recipe makes slightly more than one serving.

Start with the soft, easy to mix ingredients.  Here I used plain Greek yogurt, spinach, banana, chia seeds (not required but are a great added nutrient if you have it), and real peanut butter--the only ingredients should be peanuts.  Peanut butter is another great add in for a little sweetness without sugar, but if you don't like it or have an allergy it's fine to leave out. Blend these ingredients.

Next add in your frozen fruit.  In this smoothie, I used a cup of frozen berries, blueberries and strawberries to be specific.

One smoothie with lots of nutrients.
One happy toddler.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Plan for success

Most people who are successful had a plan to get where they are (I would assume), and didn't fall into success (okay, maybe some did but most of us aren't that fortunate).

When it comes to healthy eating you need a plan for success.  Until Target starts carrying carrot sticks and tomatoes in their checkout aisles instead of chips and candy, you're not going to fall into healthy eating.  You're going to have to work a little.
Make a plan for dinners, I use this dry erase planner that stays on the fridge so the whole family knows our dinner plans
Let's get you set up for success and start making a plan.  Admittedly, I like a good plan so this comes easy for me.  It may not come easy for you, but with practice it will become second nature.  Here are my tips:
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand (almonds, fruits, veggies, rice cakes, real peanut butter)
  • Make a dinner plan for the week (and know all of the ingredients on your plate)
  • Keep your favorite recipes in one place to go through when you need inspiration
  • Base your grocery list on your dinner plan with additions for breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Have a few "go to" nutritious breakfast and lunch plans--eating the exact same thing every day, no matter how healthy, is BORING, and food should never be boring, it's deeee-li-cious
  • Prep food for the week to make quick breakfasts, lunches, and snacks--5 minute meals (more on these later)
  • Cook in large batches for your little ones, freeze in individual servings, and easily pull out a meal to reheat quickly (I'll do a blog post later about quick meals for littles)
  • Lots of fruits and veggies, even frozen ones are great
Variety of lunch, dinner and snacks

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Find your fitness

When envisioning the future for my boys, I always say a little prayer they get their father's athletic ability.  The good Lord did not bless me with athletics.  Remember in elementary school when you had to dribble the basketball down to the other end and make a shot?  I was THAT kid who held up the class until the gym teacher eventually just put me out of my misery and let me go on without making a basket.  (Thank you gym teachers everywhere for recognizing when some of us just aren't going to make a shot!)

It's not to say I wasn't athletic at all.  In high school, I really enjoyed cheerleading and gymnastics. Several years after college, I decided I needed to find a way to start working out again.  Those cookies weren't going to work themselves off.  So, I started running.  I figured I was, at a bare minimum, coordinated enough to run.  I stayed with it for awhile, but eventually fell away.


Fast forward to having my second baby, and the baby weight wasn't coming off as easily and all I wanted to eat was junk.   My husband, also who I consider my accountability partner, started encouraging me to find something I would enjoy.  He saw I was down about my weight, lack of energy (in hindsight I had just had a baby, so it's to be expected), and I wanted to feel better about myself.  Not having run in *many* years, I signed up for a half marathon. When I started running again I was SO SLOW, my first run was 10 minutes, and I felt like I needed a sign that said, "I know I'm not fast, I had a baby 2 months ago, have pity."  However, I stuck with it and I found it was nice quiet time (read as: quiet time with my thoughts and without my kids).

Running started a snowball effect and I found myself weirdly wanting to workout more, I can never in my life say this has occurred. Oh, and I finished the half marathon, it wasn't a blazing time, but I did it.  To be very vulnerable with you all, below are my before and after race pictures.  The before picture got posted to social media, the after picture has never seen the light of day until now.  Whatever, I'm proud I finished, but my kids acted like they didn't know me.

Pre-race--the picture I didn't mind to show others
Post race--I pretended like these pictures didn't exist
You guys can we talk about something slightly off topic for a minute?  The other day I ran with a friend.  At the end, she looked like she had been casually perusing Target, while my face was beet red and I looked like I needed oxygen.  Ladies, those of you who glow (sweat) gracefully and still look good working out, the Lord has blessed you.  Say thanks daily.

Now, back to the point of this point...

15 minutes of ignoring everything

Having children is a demanding task, no matter if you're a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom, a working mom, or something in between.  People are constantly asking for something!  By the end of the day, I find myself frustrated and hanging on by a thread.  Part of a journey to a healthier you, is a healthy mind and healthy spirit.

The teacher in my childbirth class told us she would stand at the end of her driveway with her children to hand them off the second her husband arrived home.  (Insert my pre-children judginess, and just.having.no.idea!)  I haven't actually stood in the driveway, but I've definitely been waiting inside to hand them off.

Ignore the world for a little bit each day

Back in October, I read this article on CNN.com called "How to Think Straight in the Age of Information Overload."  The quote below struck me, and I realized this was what I needed daily.
"If we would just let [daydreaming] take over, stare out the window for 10 or 15 minutes, take a nap, and let our minds wander... That has the effect of hitting the neural reset button in the brain and getting us back to our task with a brand new sense of engagement and energy. A 15 minute nap is equivalent to an extra hour and a half sleep the night before."
You may not been an introvert that requires quiet time to recharge, but I'm guessing you could benefit from a daily break.  Fifteen minutes of ME TIME daily.  Let me be clear on what this time is not:
  • it's not time to make a to do list (or a mental to do list--I know you type A people)
  • it's not time to make phone calls
  • it's not time to check social media
  • it's not time to think about what you're cooking for dinner
This is 15 minutes of time to just stare, and clear your mind.  The first few times I tried it, it was hard!  I set the timer on my phone and stared blissfully at the trees around my yard.  After what I assumed to be 45 minutes, I checked the timer, and I had successful had my mind quiet for 4 minutes.  Ugh! Seriously, those first days of 15 minutes seemed to take two hours.  However, I noticed an improvement in my disposition throughout the day.

Now, I try to make this part of my everyday, but I don't make it a "to do" item and I don't stress if it doesn't happen.  I know I'll feel better if I do it, but I don't want the pressure if I can't.  So, set the timer on your phone, set it to not ring, put it on the other side of the room, and don't pick it up until your timer goes off.  For an added bonus, make your quiet time outside and get some much needed vitamin D!

Prioritize 15 minutes daily to blissfully ignore everything around you and enjoy the journey to an all around healthier you.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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My loves

You clicked on this title thinking I was going to talk all about my darling family didn't you?  WRONG.  I'm talking about the food books and documentaries I love.  I mean, don't we all sit down a Friday night and think, "Oh, what good food documentary is on tonight?"

No?  Just me?  Whatever.

If you're looking for some inspiration when you're struggling with your healthy journey, or just want to learn more about your food, where it comes, what to eat, how to eat, then these are my favorites.  I'm always looking for more, so if you have suggestions, send them along.
Food Rules by Michael Pollan--I've professed my love for this short, simple read many times, so it makes the top of my list.
Fed Up by Stephanie Soechtig (2014)--An hour and half that will dramatically change your views on sugar.  
Food Inc. by Robert Kenner (2008)--One of the first documentaries I watched about food and really started the wheels moving for me. 
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (the book) or In Defense of Food by Michael Schwarz (2015) based on the book--It's like in high school if you didn't want to read the book you watched the movie, but this movie actually follows along the basics of the book.
There's a few of my favorites.  My husband and I recently took down our bookcase and all of my precious books were packed away (tear), so I need to go through the boxes and find some of my other favorites, but this is a place to start.

Knowing how to break the rules


In one of my college classes, I very clearly remember my professor telling the class, "You have to know the rules first to know how to properly break them."

His line has stuck with me all these years and I've found it to be true in so many ways, especially eating.

I mentioned in a previous post the guidelines I try to follow in eating, I will also tell you I regularly break some of those rules, but in a way I feel is properly breaking them.  As a wife and mom of two, I want my family to have the best.  However, my sanity is also highly valued by everyone in this family--if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.  

Let's take this picture below as an example.  This day, I continually said, "don't play with the toilet paper, don't play with the toilet paper, don't play with the toilet paper."

Whatever, play with the toilet paper.
Sometimes you have to let go of the rules for your sanity

So, here are some of the rules and how I'm totally comfortable breaking them.


Find a friend

The other day I read on the internet that roughly two weeks into the new year is when resolutions begin to fail (and everything you read on the internet is true right?!?!)  I think we can all safely say resolutions do generally begin to fail at some point.  So we all need someone holding us accountable, cheering for us, and helping us back up if we fail.

We are not meant to do life alone. God gave Adam and Eve each other in the beginning so they weren't alone.  WE ARE MEANT TO BE WITH OTHERS. So, why would you do a journey to healthier living alone?  

I believe there is a tendency to want to go it alone because we can be embarrassed by eating choices, or exercise habits.  Our mind says, "I'll get someone to help when I've got this whole mess cleaned up this is embarrassing."  Y'all I've had two kids, if there's one thing I've learned from them, there's no time to be embarrassed.  Take care of yourself, take care of family and make it a priority.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

KISS eating and encouragment

Everyone remember the K.I.S.S. principle from high school (for purposes of this blog we're going to say it means keep it simple, sister)?  This is my main goal when it comes to eating.  Many people think of simple eating as grabbing the closest, pre-packaged item you can find.  For me, it's about following basic guidelines around eating and not making it overly complicated.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan has made the biggest impact in what I eat and how I eat.  Whenever I'm asked about healthy eating, this is always my first suggestion.  If you're looking to make a change to what you eat, READ THIS BOOK NOW.  It couldn't be easier.

Let me back up a bit.  About seven years ago, my husband and I were looking to make a change to our diet and become healthier.  For seven years, we've taken two steps forward and one step backward.  It's been a journey, a labor of love really for health.

People who have known me for awhile know I've always been a fairly skinny girl.  Skinny does not equal healthy I found out.  Daily, I used to feel like garbage.  In 2007, I was sitting at my work desk about 10 AM barely able to keep my eyes open after 9 hours of sleep.  I looked down at my cheese and peanut butter packaged crackers and thought, "I'm a healthy eater, why am I so tired?"

Why am I doing this?

There are a million and one books, websites, social media sites about healthy eating, who needs another blog?  Well, our children are the first generation expected to live shorter lives than their parents.  WHAT?!?!?!  It's true, here's an article from The New York Times discussing the findings.  The article is more than 10 years old, but I think we can all safely say we haven't righted the Titanic yet.

This makes me so incredibly sad and motivated to give us all more time.  That's exactly what happens when you change your eating and exercise habits--you get more days.  I think we all want more for our children than we had, so don't we all want them to have more days?

It took me more than 7 years to get to the place I am in my health.  I'm not perfect, and I'm going to be really open and honest in my writing.  However, I do work hard to educate myself and make good food choices for me and my family.  Through this blog I hope to encourage others to make good food choices and start the journey of better health.  I want to give you and your babies more days.  When I was thinking of starting this blog I told my mom that even if I only help and encourage one person, it's all worth it.

Here's my proposal.  I'm not a health coach.  I'm not a medical professional.  I want to be your friend that gives you guidance you want and encouragement you need.  Follow along with my healthy journey (it's a journey, not a destination), and let me come along on yours too.

I literally get excited thinking about other people getting healthy! EEK!

Here we go...

I'm raising two boys and I don't have a clue what I'm doing. In trying to make the best decisions for them I find myself sometimes being a crunchy mama, sometimes conveniently creamy,and regularly making things overly complicated.

This blog will contain a little of everything, but mostly I want to encourage others to be the best version of yourself.   I'll tell you about the ways I'm THAT crunchy mom, and I'll be open and honest about the times I'm going for convenience, because you know...life!  I love the earth and God only gave us this one we're on, so we need to take care of it.  Do I wish I could go off the grid, making every product we use in our home, and growing everything we eat?  YES!  Is it feasible right now?  Not even close.  So, I look for the balance to be good to the earth, and good to my family in our current season.

I've been thinking about starting this blog for a while now, but I always feared it would come off as, "look how amazing I am at cooking and keeping my family green and clean!"--which is not at all what I'm aiming for.  My hope is you will be able to relate, get some ideas, and share some new ideas with me.  As I said in the beginning, I don't have a clue what I'm doing!  As wives and mamas, we're in this together.  Here we go...