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

I’m Back!!

Where to start?? It feels like forever since I’ve been able to sit in my comfy chair, in our home, and chat with you. Oh wait, it has been forever!! A little over 4 months to be exact…but who’s counting?? 😉

The transition between Mini’s was harder on us than either of us could have imagined when we originally accepted the promotion. What was originally supposed to be 6 weeks of displacement turned into 3 whole months. It was a long and trying experience…there were days I didn’t think I was going to make it, and Chris had his moments too…thank heavens our breakdowns didn’t coincide!! Who know what that would have led to!! The move to the Twinks was our saving grace, without them it simply would have been unbearable.

We’ve moved into the new apartment…well for the most part. We still have a lot of things in storage. Some of it is just lack of time to go through everything the other is that the space here is so much different and we just haven’t felt it all out yet but it’ll all come together…at least that’s what my Mom keeps telling me anyway. 😉 But with internet and TV services finally in place things are starting to get back to normal…our kinda crazy normal but normal nonetheless.

The new Mini is fabulous!! We love our new location!! It’s been a lot more work but she is really starting to shine. There’s just something about putting your back into it, sweating it out and then just standing back to enjoy the progress. We still have quite a ways to go but we’re enjoying our small victories as they come and pushing forward week after week. Even with the struggles during the transfer we’re still happy we took this opportunity and we’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Since we’ve moved into the new apartment we’ve finally been able to start our transition into the world of clean eating. I did a lot of research on it while we were in limbo so when that glorious day finally arrived I’d be prepared to get started. We lucked out because we had next to nothing for the fridge or pantry when we moved in. A blessing in disguise you might say…hard on the wallet but easy for the transition since we didn’t have a bunch of junk to get rid of or use up…just a lot space for the good stuff!! We’ve been really surprised at how much less ‘real food’ we eat over the processed junk. Our grocery budget has shrunk dramatically simply because we can’t eat as much as we were before. Our pantry is what I once would have considered sparse but I’m preferring it this way now. We have whole wheat pasta, brown rice, canned tomatoes and beans, bags of potatoes and onions along with lots of herbs and spices. The fridge is just as lean…eggs, veggies, fruits, cheeses… I’m sure we’ll be chatting a lot more about this as we go along. Every week we’re trying to delve further into the world of clean eating by removing more processed foods. This coming week…I’m kicking the soda outta my diet completely. Chris isn’t ready for this step so I’m taking this one on solo. Keep y’all posted!! I’m happy to report that we’ve both lost 10 pounds since we moved in and have switched to a cleaner way of eating, without counting or measuring anything!! Just sayin… 😉

We’ve also been giving our new FitBits quite the workout. This Mini is A LOT bigger than our old one which means a whole lotta more steps happening now!! I actually made my 10,000 steps every single day last week!!! A first for me!! Chris gets his steps in all the time…whatever!! 🙂 I was tired…don’t get me wrong…but the sense of accomplishment more than made up for it!!

A lot has been going on… I’m sure I’m leaving a bunch of stuff out. But now that our internet has been restored I’ll be back on the posting wagon and fill y’all in on all the juicy tidbits as I come across em.

With Much Love

Kristy

Moving in the Right Direction

DSCF1728Now that Christmas has come and gone we are gearing up for another temporary move. Our hotel was booked only until the original completion date for the apartment…January 1st. Now we are looking at closer to February 1st so… We’re moving into the corporate suite at our Twinks Mini until our brand spankin new home is completed. It’ll still allow us plenty of privacy while not being so isolated either. I think the girls are going to feel much better too, they’ll have new friends to play with and lots more room to run around. It’ll also give us a much better opportunity to eat better and get more exercise. Once again we’ll have a Mini to walk and a full kitchen at our disposal. It’ll be a good move for all of us…but another move nonetheless.

Just as Chris predicted…I brought way too much stuff to the hotel. Way more clothes than I could ever hope to wear, more little craft projects than I could hope to play with and more bathroom stuff than there could possibly be room for. First step is to bring all of the extra to storage and then bring the remainder to the Twinks. Sounds easy enough, right?? But with only the Miata it is proving to be a little daunting… More to come on that later.

vegesSince I have to go through everything again and repack I’ll be putting aside all the ‘junk’ food for the food bank and only keeping the healthier options. I’ve just finished Michael Pollan’s books “In Defense of Food” and “Food Rules”. I found them very insightful on the history of where our food used to come from vs where it comes from and how it’s processed today. Before reading the books I wouldn’t have thought it mattered much…why do I need to know the history of it all?? But it is very eye-opening and it really has made me start thinking of food for what it is and what it can do to help my body not just make my tummy feel full. The old saying “Garbage IN Garbage OUT” is really true especially when it comes to the foods we are eating!! We’ll be starting the conversion from highly processed with little to no nutritional value “food” to whole real grown in the earth and meat raised on what God intended them to eat – FOOD!! I’ve been fighting the whole ‘organic’ fad, or what I thought was a fad. We’ll now be spending our grocery dollars on organic whenever available especially on the ‘dirty dozen’ fruits and veges, eggs, milk and grass-fed beef. There’s a lot of great info with all the backing even the harshest critic can appreciate. If you’re at all interested it’s something you should definitely check out for yourself and be the judge…

stop smokingI feel like I should address the smoking issue while I’m on this little health kick… Chris and I have agreed it’s time to quit smoking. I’ve always assumed we’d know when it was time for us and it’s finally time. I must admit that eating healthy doesn’t ring as true when we’re still smoking… We are working on our game plan…but soon we’ll be eating healthy and be smoke free!!

With Much Love

Kristy