Food foundation detox, Week 1

How has it been almost a year since my last post?!?!  It has been an exhausting year, but still so good.

Cliff notes version of my last year…My tinys are bigger, I am no longer working full time in corporate america, and I am ready for another real food reset.

I recently met a fabulous gal named Jessica who is a nutritionist, and real food enthusiast.  She offers a guided month long detox with no additional supplements required, and I have jumped on for her program that starts on June 22nd.  It is a bit more intense than the one I did a few years ago, and it is also longer.  Given my previous dive into the real food deep, I feel prepared.  This time though, NO sugar of any kind, and also no alcohol.  Gulp!

food foundation

In honor of this detox, I am creating menus for the journey.  Here is what is planned for next week:

Breakfast options:

Hard boiled eggs

Bacon (sugar free option found at Whole Foods.  Happy dance!)

Whole fat yogurt with almonds and blueberries

Pancakes. (Can be frozen)  One very ripe banana, 2tbsp coconut flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3 tbsp almond milk or whole milk, 1tbsp butter or coconut oil, 4 eggs.  Blend in blender until just combined and grill up.  I used a cast iron griddle, but I am also aggro about avoiding “non-stick” cooking surfaces.

Pumpkin waffles (Can be frozen)

Oatmeal with whole milk, a spoonful of unsweetened applesauce and almond slivers.

Lunch and snack options will be mostly left-overs, but in addition, I will have these on hand:

Fruit (If I did not have any for breakfast)

Cheese

Celery with unsweetened peanut butter

Carrots/red peppers/cucumber, celery with homemade hummus

Tuna salad wraps: Tuna, 1/2 avocado, diced, diced red onion, 1tsp fresh lemon juice, pinch of tumeric, pinch of salt all mashed up, and wrapped in large lettuce/chard/spinach leaves.  This can also be served on celery sticks and/or on hollowed out cucumbers.

Dinners:

Monday: Whole chicken in the crock pot. (My fave!!!)  I got a chicken from my local butcher, and will also roast up some zucchini.

Tuesday: Using the remaining chicken, I plan to make a chicken, asparagus, bacon and avocado salad.

Wednesday:  Meatballs, (with sugar free marinara) steamed broccoli with almond slivers and butter, and parm cheese.

Thursday:  Pho with shrimp, carrots and bok choy.  Trying this for the first time, sans “flavoring” packet.

Pho!

Pho!

Friday: Chipotle chicken sweet potatoes

Saturday: Left over rice bowl.  Quinoa/wild rice, beans, avocado, remaining chipotle chicken, sour cream

Sunday:  Quinoa, sweet potato and apple chopped salad  (Will cook the quinoa in bone broth)

I should be ok if I stick to the plan, but I am still trying to figure out what I do about my coffee.  My coffee cannot be sweetened y’all.  Drop to a knee on my family’s behalf.

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Self-care, risk, and the courage to rise

I have been in the blogging witness protection program for a bit.  It has been refreshing, and also a bit lonely.

Raising littles is an endeavor that, for lack of a better term, has made me feel…mortal.  I know it sounds odd, but they grow so fast, and it is all fleeting.  I am not going all “enjoy every minute” on you, but we really are here for a limited period of time.  Short-term needs have pulled me to unimportant tasks and it has left me feeling flat.

The following is my encouragement to myself to reorient my focus.  It just may resonate with you also.

Invest in self-care.

For me, the very first thing that comes to mind is seeking solitude.  God speaks to me in the quiet; however, I am very rarely able to carve out the time necessary to listen.   The introvert in me needs space to think, dream and reflect.  On the surface, it seems impossible to give myself the space when I have little time to spare.

What I continue to find with a little self-reflection is that much of the “crazy” is manufactured by a poor use of time, and a lack of focus on the important things.  Balancing important/unimportant remains God’s holy work in me.

For you, maybe self-care means that it is time to really decide that you have to change a few things to get healthy?  Like, changing your diet for real this time, or actually stepping into the gym you pay for monthly?  Maybe for you it means making the doctor appointment that you have been avoiding?  My appointment with my thyroid doc is finally scheduled for next week. I may not want to hear what he has to say, and will certainly not enjoy the tests that I will have to endure, but it is still LONG overdue.  There are a few appointments that remain unscheduled.  Time to face that music.

Take the risk.

I have been going through an exercise the last few months to really evaluate my “why”.  What is it that keeps me moving in a particular direction?  Do I want to look back and be grateful to have just survived?  What if I was intended to thrive?  How do I get from survive to thrive?  I often use my kids as the excuse for being in the here and now.  They are tiny little bundles of need, and the fires they create are very real.  (I mean… they have to eat three.times.a.day!)  But honestly, are they not the REASON that I want more?  Are they not my true WHY?  Are they not worth the risk?

I urge you…take the risk.  Make a way to achieve something that is on your bucket list.  It is never too late and there is never going to be a better time.  Go after the degree you have always wanted.  Start that scary and exciting business.  Train for, and finish YOUR marathon.

People will tell you that you are nuts by the way; that you cannot succeed.  The dream stealers are many.  Seek out the cheerleaders instead.  They are waiting to run alongside you on your journey or embrace you at the finish.

The unimportant distractions will fade away when you resolve to chase the meaningful.  Run.  It will be worth it.  We really can do hard things.

You will fall.   When you do…forgive quickly, and rise.

I have written previously about my struggle to quiet the “noise” in my mind.  The tapes play on repeat and spew lies about my value, rewinding conversations and encounters to remind me of how I should have behaved, or spoken.  They speak tauntingly about my previous commitments and failures.  For me, the noise is exhaustion in the truest form.

There are times when the noise is so loud it does not allow me to refocus my gaze on my goals.  Looking ahead to my true why seems too far out of reach, and the doubt creeps in.

Dwelling allows the cycle of wallowing to last too long.  It is WAY more difficult to rise from so low a place.  Guard this timing closely.  When you fall, or others let you down…forgive swiftly.  Failure is the very best teacher, and an opportunity to course correct.  It is a gift.  Be grateful.

I am certain that when I am in my final days, I will not wish that I spent more time at work, more time with my face in my phone, or wish that I collected more earthly things.  While my physical presence, heart and finances are in an epic, daily tug-of-war battle to determine value, focusing on the true priority it is a daily choice.  I have to choose.  We all have to choose.

Be courageous.  Resolve to rise.

 

Courage

 

 

 

 

 

On being still, and my choice in February to “Reduce”

In 2014 I am intentionally making choices.  January was about being still.

Here is the thing.  I have two tiny humans, that are not.ever.still.  This means that my mind is very rarely still.

So.very.this…

mymind

I have come to realize that when you put something out into the ether, like…”I am going to choose stillness”, the world/tiny minions/Satan/calendar events/illnesses all conspire against you.  With all that I had, I began baby steps to choose stillness.  Some days, all I was allowed was the 3 minutes of blank staring at the dinner table.  Those few minutes were pure glory.

Most mornings, I sat with my coffee and read a devotional, or completed my bible study.  Other mornings, when it was WAY too dark for anyone to be awake, I put on a show for the littles, and crawled back into bed for 10 minutes.  No shame or judgement.

I am not sure one can learn a discipline of stillness in one short month.  It is something I STARTED in January, but did not perfect.  Work in progress people.

Readings I am working my way through related to stillness:

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Ehman, Karen

In February, I am choosing to reduce.  Reduce stress, reduce our spending, reduce our trash, reduce judgement.  REDUCE!!!

I am going to really try to reduce judging myself.  Not sure why I think I can do it all.  Lies.  Guess what…you have two toddlers?!?!  Life will be hard for a bit longer.  It just will.  Your house will be dirty, and you will forget to reply to emails/text/voicemails.  Settle in to the chaos already.

This mama neeeeeeeeds to reduce screen time.  Not sure I can join the hands free revolution just yet, but something needs to give for sure.

Reducing the hoarder-status in the garage is on the agenda this month as well.  Simmer on the calls to TLC.  There is an almost-unobscured walking lane all the way through.  Sheesh.

Also, we were introduced to a very cool diaper composting service.  We get to reduce our landfill contribution (and possibly our garbage can size)!  YAY!

Bottom line…How will my relationships, parenting, work/business life, budget change if I choose to reduce?

Learning to make the small choices that add up to big change.  It is a journey!

Dinner Menu for the week of February 2nd

Well hello February.  I guess this means I should finally take my wreath off the front door.  Oy!

Despite having not posted  a menu last week, we have been eating.  Many meals were from the freezer, but nonetheless, they were tasty.

Over the last couple weeks, the scallop quinoa salad was my favorite.  SO easy, and light.

scallops

Second favorite we actually made last night.  On a whim, I bought some grass fed steak at whole foods because it was on sale.  We lightly seasoned it, and used a cast iron grill pan on the stove.  Roasted some red potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, sage and rosemary, and steamed some baby broccoli.  SO flippin good.

steakandpotatoes

 

Here is what is on the menu for this week:

Sunday: I plan to give this pulled pork recipe a go.  Will make corn tortillas.  Yumm-o!

Monday:  Left over pulled pork on a whole wheat bun for Dave.  I have a dinner commitment this eve.

Tuesday:  Tossing in a brinner meal mid-week and planning omelettes.  We can add bacon, avocado and tomato.  Even the boys gobble these up!

Wednesday: Enchilada soup from the freezer.

Thursday:  Chopped Salad with quinoa, sweet potatoes and apples

Friday:  Using the grass fed beef from our CSA delivery this week to make Meatballs alla Parmigiana with whole wheat spaghetti

Saturday:  Pizza night!!!  We use this crust.

Eat well this week!

Dinner Menu for the week of January 19th

Dave reminded me on Friday that we do not have to work on Monday due to the holiday.  I nearly cried.  I limped into the weekend.

My favorite meal of the week was the broccoli cheddar soup.  It was so easy, and came out really great.  Even the boys loved it!

I spent most of today doing prep for the freezer.  I shredded some blocks of cheese from costco, and made another batch of applesauce in the crock pot.

apples cheese

I plan to do some freezer stocking tomorrow, and also prep the veggies for our morning juice for the week.  Yay for productive days off!

Here is what is on the docket for the coming week:

Sunday:  Broccoli cheddar soup from last week out of the freezer

Monday:  Whole chicken in the crock pot with parmesan zucchini and wild rice

Tuesday:  Chicken and Broccoli pockets (using left over chicken from Monday)

Wednesday: Super easy bean, cheese and avocado roll ups.  Using these beans from the freezer.

Thursday: Quinoa Stuffed red peppers

Friday:  Sauteed scallops with quinoa and orange and avocado salsa  (I am a huge fan of making a large batch of something, and then making two meals.  Hence the second night of quinoa.  I use the amazing stock from our whole chicken carcass to make quinoa and wild rice.  The flavor is ridiculous.)

Saturday:  Roasted asparagus with a runny egg and bacon.  Inspired by this recipe.  We LOVE this meal.

Hope everyone has a very enjoyable week.

Dinner Menu for the week of January 12th

What a week!  The first week of the month is usually FULL for me.  I have a few meetings that consistently meet in the first week, so it always takes planning, and grace from Dave.  I was out of the house 4 of the 7 nights.  Yikes!  The evenings this week should slow down considerably.

Oh…having the Chargers AND the Forty Niners in the playoffs for the last two weeks has done slight damage to our obedience to 100% real food.  There may or may not have been a snack or 7 that are not technically “allowed” in the rules.  We will imagine this did not occur, and there will be grace all around.  kthnxbye

Last week’s menu had some real winners.  My favorite item was the crab cakes.  They were a bit of a labor of love, but so so worth the effort.  I used a large biscuit cutter to shape them, and used bread crumbs in place of panko.  They turned out really delish, but next time I make them, I will have to do something about the breading.  It was a little crumbly.

Image

My second favorite was the beef pot roast.  I ordered a grass-fed beef roast from my local CSA.  Honestly, grass-fed beef has such a different flavor.  The only change I made was to add potatoes to the crock pot for the last hour.  Pretty yum!

Here is what is on the docket for this week:

Sunday:  Left over pot roast from Friday.

Monday: Seared Scallop salad

Tuesday: Cilantro chicken and wild rice (using avocado oil instead of veg)

Wednesday: Broccoli cheddar soup

Thursday: A slightly modified version of this spicy peanut chicken salad.  I plan to use whole wheat noodles and less kick.

Friday:  Veggie tacos inspired by this recipe.  I will make home made corn tortillas.  Yay!

Saturday:  Filled pancakes with strawberries and blackberries.  Will used the rest of the cream from the soup to make a bit of honey whip cream.

It is a goal of mine to slowly reduce our wheat consumption this year.  Looking at this menu makes me think that it will be quite a struggle.  Oy!  Baby steps though.

Enjoy your food adventures this week!  🙂

Reflections on 2013, and the choices of 2014

I started my blog in January of 2013 as a way to journal about my personal struggles to determine my value.  Value as a woman, wife, mom, employee, friend…you get the picture.  These particular struggles stem from old tapes that play in my head that try to tell me that my value is limited.  I have to continually remind myself that these lies do not define me.

As I mentioned last year, I do not typically make resolutions, though it worked really well in 2013 for me to have a “theme”.   I closed my very first blog entry with the following statement:  “So 2013, be good and gentle with me and my family, and may I be met with constant reminders of my declaration to return.”  I cannot tell you how many times throughout the year I was reminded that I declared to return.    Here is very brief summary of how well I did in my return to these areas in 2013.

Sanity:  Depends on how much I sleep, and what I eat, but the fog continues to lift.

Sensibility:  We are acutely aware of our chemical burden.  This continues to be an area of passion and research for me.  We made a huge change in April of 2013 to cut processed food from our diet, and switch to what is considered “Real Food”.  Still a battle to eat wisely each day.  Budget…continues to be a struggle.  More to come on this in 2014.

Service:  In early 2013, I began serving on the board of a large local mother’s club.  I am coordinating a program which organizes meals and other service-related tasks for moms that welcome new babies.  Food, and new mamas.  Perfect fit.

My God:  I wander.  Therefore, I am not sure that God will ever stop calling me to return.  It is something that I hope to be a life-long pursuit.  Both Him calling me back, and me chasing hard after His goodness, love and scandalous grace.

This new year, I plan to pursue more perspective in the things that really matter in my life.  Often, it takes a great sacrifice or tragedy to put life into perspective, but I am not waiting.  I am choosing over the next 12 months to sacrifice selfishness in search of character development.  I will not always get to control my circumstances, or the outcome of my trials, but  I do have a choice about my attitude, and response.  This will be my 2014 theme.  The ability to choose.

I plan to begin 2014 in January by choosing stillness.  This will initially mean developing a discipline of giving the first portion of my day to God in quiet and prayer.  I LOVE sleep, so when I tell you that this is a sacrifice, please believe me.

Honestly though, this is about SO much more than morning quiet time or prayer.  How will my relationships, parenting, work/business life, budget change if I choose to be still?  Can I be a better listener, think/pray before making a decision or purchase, pause before speaking, consider others before acting?  Will the manufactured hustle that I create in my life subside?  What will I learn about myself in the silence?  What will God speak to me in the quiet?

Looking forward to January’s journey and the insight.

~S