Clean Eating – Full of Surprises!!

So y’all know we embarked on a clean eating journey starting a couple of months ago. We’re really enjoying a cleaner way of eating!! We’re learning as we go…trial by error… We aren’t looking to be extreme about it, instead we’re making better choices more often. I’ve been finding some of the most outrageous recipes online…weirdo stuff…at least to us. I don’t think it has to be all that difficult. More like the simpler the better!! But…I am learning a whole bunch of good stuff while researching online too. Sometimes it still amazes me how much great info is out there to be had!!

We have been surprised at how much less real food we’re eating than we were of the processed stuff. One of the books I read, sorry I can’t remember exactly which one, said that our bodies crave real food and our brains are smart enough to know when we aren’t getting it, thus making us hungry again and again until our bodies get the nutrients we need. I don’t pretend to understand the science behind it but if what we’re experiencing is any indication there just might be some truth to it.

We have actually been able to decrease our food budget while buying more veges, only the best cuts of meat and all whole grains. I was hoping to keep our budget the same, I never imagined it could go down!! One of the easiest ways to keep the cost down is cooking at home, besides, that’s the only way we can know whats really going into our food…if you think about it… Anywho, when I cook something I make a whole bunch at once. Saves a lot of time too which is a huge plus when nearly everything is made from scratch. If I didn’t I’d be spending all of eternity in the kitchen!! That’s a total deal breaker for me. I like to cook and all but I have other things to do too!! For example the other night I made a huge batch of chili. We had chili and cornbread (from a box, I haven’t tried it from scratch yet) for supper. Then I divided the leftovers between tupperwares for the freezer, some for chili mac and others for chili over baked potatoes. One batch of chili will provide at least 5-6 suppers for us over time. Not bad for browning some hamburger and dumping everything else in the crock pot to simmer all afternoon. Great time saver, easy on the budget and a great way to spread out 1 pound of hamburger!! I’ve made spaghetti sauce, granola, roast beef hash, broccoli cheddar soup and an asian inspired chicken salad in bulk for us to either freeze for later or eat on for a whole week of lunches.

Another budget saver is making the absolute most out of everything, waste not want not. I save every scrap from cleaning veges. It may seem extreme…Chris thinks I’ve lost my mind…it’s ok…it’s like a game to me now… I save all my peelings and trimmings in a gallon bag in the freezer. That way when it’s time to make chicken stock I have all my veges ready to go without using good veges that are going to have to be thrown away in the end anyway. Last week I was able to take 3 good size chicken breasts and make 2 batches of chicken stock for the freezer, a chicken pasta that we had for 2 suppers and 2 lunches, then a couple huge chicken salads and still enough chicken left over to try out a new recipe using quinoa for the first time. No waste!!

The newest tid bit of wisdom that I just gleamed from the internet is how to grow veges at home from the scraps you normally throw away while cleaning veges. Say what?!?! Oh YES!! Those green onions that are so fabulous in any number of different kinds of salads or all on their own… We trim the roots off the onions every time we clean these babies to eat, right? Silly me, I’ve been throwing these in the freezer for my stock collection…not anymore!! These are going directly into a glass of water for those roots to sprout!! Once the green onion starts to regrow simply leave in the glass of water being sure to change the water every couple of days or plant your new roots in a pot in the kitchen to harvest whenever the need arises. Then rinse and repeat!! How amazing and ummm FREE!! So guess what my new project is?? Oh Hell Yeah!! I already have some garlic that’s sprouted and is ready to be planted. I’m definitely going to have some green onions too and I’m going to give romaine lettuce a go too!! All inside with my beautiful herb garden!!

As for the outside garden…I’m lucky enough to have a patio at our new Mini. A very very small patio but a patio nonetheless!! We’re still debating on exactly how to do the garden though. I’ve found some stackable planter pots that will allow me to have more of a variety of veges while only taking up a little space…but they won’t hold all veges, just some. I also have an abundance of rubber totes that I could use to plant in…bonus being their FREE!! Another option was suggested to us today of buying a kiddy pool to hold our whole garden. The pool would take up the majority of my patio area which could make it very difficult to plant or weed… I need to get cracking on whichever option I decide to go with… Suggestions?? Ideas?? HELP!!

We’ve made a lot of great progress in moving our way of eating to more real foods and less processed but we still have a way to go. I’ve nearly kicked the soda habit and now enjoy coffee, water or iced tea instead. We are hoping to switch over to homemade bread next month since finding true wheat bread without all the extra crap is impossible at the store. If only a good, cheap bread maker would find its way to me!!

Now that I’ve bored y’all with food stuff next post will be the craft projects I’ve finished up – full of pictures!!

With Much Love

Kristy

Twinks Birthday Celebration

After being sick all last week we are finally getting things back to normal. We had quite the head cold with the tickle cough that just wouldn’t let up!! Nothing was going to keep us from celebrating Rebecca’s birthday last weekend though!! My Twinks personal holiday…you bet we’re going to celebrate in a big ole way!!

DSCF1926Saturday us girls went out for lunch and then a mini spa day complete with getting her curls styled and her face professionally painted. To top off the fun we had us a little shopping spree at Charmin Charlies. I’d never heard of this great little store until we got down here and Twinks introduced me. It’s an absolutely fabulous accessory store with really reasonable prices with everything from purses to scarves to belts to jewelry galore and hats. We filled our basket with goodies to add a little bling and sparkle to our wardrobes…when we get to de-mini that is. 😉 So now that we’re all dolled up – of course we gotta go out!! The Mini family met up for dinner at a great little place close by called The Blue Tomato, you gotta love how things are named around here!! Aren’t we just to stinkin cute?!?!

 

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But that’s not the end of the celebration!! Sunday we all got up at the crack of dawn to go to Mississippi for the day. A little flea market exploring and then a picnic lunch and some time on the beach. I admit…it was a little chilly on the beach for me… I think the transformation has begun…I’m turning…southern!! Ah Ha Ha Ha!! When 70 degrees and sunshine is too cool for a sundress…something is changing!! But it didn’t stop us one bit!! We oiled up and laid out managing to get our first mini burn to jump-start our tanning for the season.

Operation Birthday Celebration was a huge hit!! We had a blast together as always. It’s been awhile since we hung out and got away from the Mini for a little while. Just what we all needed to blow the stink off and start this week fresh. It’s easy for the Mini walls to start closing in when we don’t wander off the island every once in a while. All work and no play make us Twinks sad & cranky!!

We are so grateful to have Alex & Rebecca in our lives!! They aren’t just friends…another couple to hang out with…they are family!! We are blessed!! Love ya Twinks, my sister, my bestie!!

I know I’m terribly behind on my pics… Shame on me!! I have some project pics of things I’ve completed for the new apartment and of course apartment pics too. Our flowers in front of the Mini are starting to bloom and they are amazing!! I’ll work on a whole post with all kinds of pics… Promise!!

With Much Love

Kristy

Choose Survivor!!

A lot has been going on to really force me to put things into perspective, to look at the bigger picture and to let the little things go. I’ve always felt that one’s perspective is what determines their overall state of happiness. It takes the saying “Is the glass half full or half empty” to the extreme, I know, but perspective and gratitude are travel companions. Sometimes a different perspective is all that’s needed to find the gratitude in a situation. If we pull back and view the bigger picture it has a way of putting everything in its place in the scheme of things we call life.

Perspective for me is being able to look at a situation or chain of events from multiple angles and then decide my response accordingly. A lot of comparison goes on, nothing is truly black or white, we live in a world of gray due to so many variables, but we can choose to turn any of the gray into a beautiful hue of our choosing.

Sometimes things happen that just suck. There’s no getting around it…it happens to everybody…usually when you aren’t expecting it…regardless it just sucks!! But I promise you…no matter what ‘it’ is there is always something worse. It can always be worse, some way some how.

Example…

I met a tenant of ours for the first time this past Saturday. She came in to pay her rent and we started chatting. Turns out she’s a shooting instructor and also gives self-defense classes and teaches observation/surroundings awareness classes all geared towards women. She taught me a few tips and tricks then she told me her story and how she got into this line of work. Many years ago she was using an outdoor ATM but when she returned to her car there was a man hiding behind the bumper. He kidnapped her with a knife to her throat, raped her and left her for dead. It took 16 years but they caught the bastard and he is serving 7 consecutive life sentences for his crimes against her and 6 other women in the New Orleans area. She said she lived in fear and as a victim the first year after her attack. But being a victim sucked…she was sad…always alone…afraid to go anywhere…just over all completely miserable. After a year she decided to leave victim in the past and to become a survivor!! She learned how to protect herself and she has since devoted her life to teaching other women the same techniques and skills to protect themselves.

You just never know who you’re going to meet in this fabulous job we have. Chris has been on me for years to take a class to be comfortable around guns and to learn how they work and how to shoot one, just in case, God forbid, I ever have to. I’ve wanted to take a self-defense class or course for years to feel more confident that I could protect myself if the need every arose. The reason I haven’t done any of the above is because I always ‘assumed’ that I’d be learning from a big macho muscle-bound dude and that intimidated me and made me extremely uncomfortable. Now I have an option I’m completely comfortable with. She is an amazing woman, very inspiring with an aura about her that screams confidence.

She could have allowed the attack to ruin her life but instead she choose not to, she choose survivor over victim. Her story could have been worse…because it always can be!! Maybe this is an extreme example but for me at least it’s the extremes that put all the little stuff into the right perspective. Seems a little silly to be fretting and complaining about our apartment not being ready yet… She’ll be ready when she’s ready, we’ll move in and live happily ever after. What’s another week in the scheme of it all? Nothing!! It’s all in perspective…find the half full perspective…run towards happy…choose survivor!!

With Much Love

Kristy