Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Weekend of Firsts

We partied all weekend long.  Seriously.  All. Weekend. Long.  Three birthday parties and one baby shower all crammed into one weekend.  It was busy, but it was fun.  

Friday night Little Man had his very first sleepover party with friends.  We're those weirdo kind of parents who will only allow our children to sleep over at select homes.  It was a big deal to allow Little Man to stay the night with someone other than family.  Thankfully, his first sleep over invitation came from his former baby sitter.  She kept him for me while I was still working.  We developed a great friendship and our boys have grown up together.  Another little guy is Little Man's BFF.  They have been friends since birth.  Literally, Little Man was born and three weeks later we were back at the hospital visiting our friends who delivered their boy.  I was so thankful, Melinda sent us pics throughout the night.  

I missed that guy.  Little Man's sister, however, was pumped to sleep up in his bed.  She couldn't brush her teeth fast enough so she could climb up in the big 'ol loft bed.  She's a hoot.

Speaking of Little Miss, she attended her very first princess party designed just for girls.  This is the first party she was invited to that was solely for her.  Slowly, she is forming her own friendships.  Steven got to take her while I was at my precious neighbor's baby shower.  The pictures I got to see made my heart smile. Little Miss was in her element with some special little ladies.  I am so thankful for opportunities such as this.

Even though the weekend was crazy busy, it was so fun to watch the kids get to experience their firsts.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Regular and Detox Menu Monday

This week we are reintroducing foods back into our diet. I am excited to not be as strict with my eating, but I am also excited to have the knowledge of what allows my body to work better than it has before. I have specific fitness goals that are going to be tested next month and for June. Knowing what I know now about how my body responded to eliminating foods and adding the best absorbable vitamins and protein, I will be ready physically for those challenges. Pretty exciting.

Here is what my menu looks like coming off the detox:

Monday- Key West Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice, and Grilled Veggies
Tuesday- Chicken Tacos, Chips and Salsa, and Salad
Wednesday-Hawaiian Ham Sammie's, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Green Beans
Thursday-Taco Salad served over Spicy Roasted Chick Peas
Friday-Dominos Pizza Family Pack (don't judge...I WON it!)
Saturday- DATE NIGHT...finally celebrating our 10 year anniversary!
Sunday- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Salad, and Oven Baked Pickles

Have a Great week!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My 3 Loves...Getting Healthy, Saving Money, Helping Others

Day 25 of my detox is HERE!  If you follow along with my news feeds on Facebook, then you've had the day by day playbook of my progress and failures.  It's definitely brought a lot of change to me, my family, and friends.  Lots of weight lost, but more importantly, people are changing their eating habits and reaping the benefits.  I love hearing the progress and successes.

I also love saving money.  I'm going to be honest.  When Steven and I looked into supplements for our family, we didn't know how we were going to add it to our budget.  After a little research, we knew the Arbonne Fit Essentials line was the best choice for us, especially the protein.  It's vegan based with protein coming from pea, cranberry, and brown rice.  Pea protein in the most absorbable form of protein.  We also wanted to steer clear of whey (leftover milk and cheese by products that is difficult to digest), and soy (we do NOT need any more soy in our diets...ever).  Plus it is sweetened with stevia.  Not artificial sweeteners we were finding in other protein shakes.

I digress.

We decided on Arbonne.  The price was a bit much for what we could afford.  I began looking at options to save and decided to turn this into a business.  It has been super fruitful to me.  I've met some amazing ladies (and a few men).  Doing the business side allows me to save 35% off everything whether it's the supplements, make-up, baby products, or skin care.  35% off everything!  However, I realize not everyone is interested in the business side.  I get that.

That's where I've done some research to get people the MOST for their money.  Erica and I discovered a way for customers to save 47% on their order.  Lately, I have been bombarded with emails about the detox and what is needed from Arbonne for success.  It is easier for me to line it all out for you here.  Are you ready???

Arbonne offers an option of becoming a Preferred Client.  Basically, you pay $20 for the year and get 20% off anything, anytime for the year.  It's kind of like a Sam's Card.  That's not the big savings though.  If you opt to become a Preferred Client, Erica and I uncovered an even better deal.  You can get $325 worth of Arbonne products for only $200 plus taxes/shipping/preferred client fee.

Here's where it's helped about 10 of my customers who wanted to do the detox.  The detox 'kit' is retail $289 plus a $50 7 Day Body Cleanse.  Here's the items in the Detox 'Kit':

  • two bags of vegan protein
  • one bag of soluble flavorless/odorless fiber
  • two boxes of Fizz Sticks (Mommy Crack)
  • two bags of Fit Chews
  • two boxes of Detox Tea

By the time you add the $289 for the Detox Kit, plus $50 for the 7 Day Cleanse, plus shipping and tax you end up spending $384.10.  YIKES!!!  Some customers are okay with that, but this money saving gal is not.  I would rather you get the whole detox kit for $260 (that includes shipping/tax/preferred client fee) shipped to your door.  Not to mention you will also get a free gift!  That's my kind of savings.  Saving a little over $120 PLUS a free gift.

Let's say the detox is not for you.  There are so many products I have fallen IN LOVE with.  The baby line for example has been the saving grace for two of my friends whose children suffer from ezcema.  The make-up primer and RE9 line had me at 'Hello'.

If you have been wondering about pricing and how this will fit for you, maybe this is your answer.  I promise to never look at you as a dollar sign or try to 'sell' you.  I honestly want to help you get started on better options for health and save money.  Some major loves of mine.  But guess what?  If you still want to drive thru McDonalds, I'll still love you!  I won't turn into the crazy Arbonne lady.  At least not yet ;)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two Wheelin'

Little Miss has always been my little daredevil.  Last weekend she began to show interest in removing her training wheels.  I was heading out the door to meet my friend, Erica for a run.  As we were coming up my street, I see a little tiny thing on a little tiny bike without training wheels.  Her daddy running behind her.

Photo: Little speedster

Within the five minutes it took me to meet up with Erica, stretch, and begin the run up the street, Steven had popped off those training wheels and had her riding her bike.  I was such a proud mama.  She is so my Annie Oakley.

Any thing you can do I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

Not only was I was proud of Little Miss' bravery getting on that bike, but I was proud of the man I married. He taught Little Man how to ride his bike, and he took the same interest in teaching Little Miss to ride hers.  The only exception was the delicacy he demonstrated to her while he was instructing.  Gosh, I love that man.  He knows how to push her, but also knows when to stop.  He gives her the right amount of encouragement in a way that is so special to her. He calls her his little Honey Bear.  Just as Erica and I were about to round the corner off my street, and I heard him say, "Good job, Honey Bear!"  Not one bit ashamed of such a mushy gushy name.  He is such a great father to a little girl.  

If you are thinking, "Isn't she a bit big for that bike?"  You are right!  The bike is too small for her.  We've kept that bike so she can touch the ground with ease.  Here in the next few weeks, we will be on the hunt for a 'new to her' bike.  Keep your eyes peeled for a 16 inch Hello Kitty or other cutie pie girlie bike.  We'll need one!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's Like Mommy Crack

Picture this...

It's 5:28am.  I am in a hoodie smeared with snot on my left shoulder (only I don't realize it's on there until I get home...classic Amanda Torres), my hair is haphazardly thrown into a ponytail, and loose hairs are pulled back with a a head band.  I am a hot mess running down my street trying to make 5:30am F.I.T. Boot Camp at Erica's.  

I make it just in time, and I have a bit of time to talk to friends while we're warming up.  One girl that I absolutely love says, "You know those Fizz Sticks?  They are like Mommy Crack!"  I died laughing.  I had never thought of my Fizz Sticks as Mommy Crack, but she was right.  IT IS!!!  
I've never been a person to struggle with consuming the recommended amount of daily water intake (half your body weight).  I honestly thought about not ordering fizz sticks, I'd just stick with my normal water routine, when beginning the detox, but it was recommended.  I thought, "If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right."  And holy hairballs!  I'm glad I got those suckers.  I look forward to mine everyday at 2:30, a time in my day when I hit a wall.  

Fizz Sticks are little packets (kinda like Crystal Light) you add to your water, and guess what?  It fizzes as it goes in.  What I love about the Fizz Sticks is of course the au natural qualities.  They contain B vitamins which are often depleted in times of stress (let's be real...I'm a mom...I have many stressful moments!), and they help support my metabolism, healthy skin, hair, and nervous system.  Even though my skin is looking more vibrant, that's not why it's Mommy Crack.  Those little boogers give me alertness and enhance my cognitive performance.  I seriously need alertness.  I have a 14 month old who thinks he can do the same tasks as his 4 year old sister and 6 year old brother.  Just today he was trying to climb in my neighbors water feature.  Yeah, those Fizz Sticks will always be my Mommy Crack as long as Chubby Cheekers is around.

So Fizz Sticks, this pic is for you.  Life is so much easier with you guys.  I love you.

                               Photo: Ornery guy

Fizz Sticks Make Me Smile


Monday, April 22, 2013

Detox Menu Monday

It's officially the last full week of our detox.  I've been asked numerous times if we'll continue the clean eating beyond our 30 days.  It's super hard to answer that one.  The detox is very specific about eliminating all dairy, soy, wheat, caffeine, alcohol, vinegar, and meats with antibiotics and hormones.  So if you're asking am I going to stick to strict limitations, the answer is no.

There are so many changes this detox did bring to my attention.  For example, meats.  I honestly believed I could not fit grain fed, free range chickens in my budget.  I can.  It's not hard, and not that much more expensive.  I can swing it in my budget.  I also realized how much wheat and dairy we consumed.  A lot of my budget went to cheese.  Not anymore.  I will add cheese to casseroles and dishes, but not by the handfuls.  Just little sprinkles.  Almond milk will not completely replace the milk in our house, but we will buy one 1/2 gallon of almond and 1/2 gallon of regular milk. And lastly, I will continue to use the protein shakes every morning for breakfast during the week.

I hope that answers your questions about life after the detox.  I am very happy about losing the pudge off the front of my stomach, and if it comes back I know exactly what I need to do to get rid of it.  Knowledge is power!  Here's the menu...

Monday-Chipotle Sweet Potato Skins, Berry Salad, Green Beans
Tuesday-Hummus Crusted Chicken with Yellow Squash, and Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday-Shredded Chicken Fajitas with Quinoa in Lettuce Wraps, Mexican Rice
Thursday-Taco Salad on Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, and Raw Veggie Strips
Friday-Dinner with Friends
Saturday-Grilled Chicken, Roasted Butternut Squash, Green Beans
Sunday-French Lentil Soup and Salad

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Than I Love You

On rare occasions do I get one on one time with the kids.  A couple of days ago Little Miss and I were headed to meet her brother and Daddy.  Chubby Cheekers was at home with his favorite aunt.  As we were driving she was super quiet.  I usually bask in the light of silence in the car.  So much of my life is consumed with kids who know no volume control when speaking, especially in the car.  I so wanted to not break the silence, but we only had a short time together.  Just us.  It was my chance.

So I asked, "Mama, whatcha thinking about back there?"

"I'm thinking about you Mommy."

I was a bit surprised, "Me?  What about me?"

"That I love you."

My heart was melting.  My only precious little girl was just sitting as far back in the car as one can sit, just thinking about her love for me.  What a precious love.

It was my time to tell her more than "I love you" back to her.

I looked in my rear view mirror and said, "Mama, I love you.  I love how you dance and perform in the room when you think no one is watching.  I love when you get so tickled you have a big belly laugh.  I love how you love meeting new friends and talking with them.  I love that you want to cuddle.  I love when you make sure a belly button is on every person you draw because your belly button is so important to you.  I love you."

When I was finished, I looked back in the mirror and she had the biggest smile.  Then she said, "Mommy, that makes me so happy."

That hit me hard.  How many times have I let moments pass by without recognizing how special she is to me?  In a world full of boys, she is my sunshine and sparkle.  I will be more conscience with all my kids to tell them what makes them special and what I love about them.  It just so happens my little princess taught me the lesson.  I love her to pieces.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomato
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot and cook until evenly brown.  Stir in onion and cook until tender.  Pour water into the pot.  Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic.  Season with chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Optional: top with avocadoes.

Homemade Salsa

I very well may get hacked for posting this one.  My father-in-law has an amazing salsa recipe.  For almost six years I dated his son, and he would not fork it over.  He told me we had to get married first before he would tell me.  It is top secret, and here I am telling it.  If you don't hear from me over the next couple of days, please contact authorities.  I kid.  He wouldn't kill me.  He loves me.  I am one of his two favorite daughter in laws.  Plus, I'm leaving out the extra special ingredient.  I guess if you want the icing on the top, then you'll have to marry a Torres.

Even though I won't give you the final ingredient, I'll give you a still delicious recipe.

Torres Homemade Salsa
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced (leave one whole)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lime
1 jalapeno
1/4 tomatillo
1/4 cup cilantro
salt or pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients into a food processor except one tomato and lime.  Pulse processor until you have a good salsa consistency.  Pour into a large bowl.  Dice the last tomato with seeds and all.  Toss into bowl and squeeze the lime juice into the bowl.  Add sea salt to taste.  Keep refrigerated.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Menu Monday Detox Style

Have you ever had weeks where you try to accomplish too much? Who am I kidding?  This is a blog written for a group of females.  We always have weeks where we try to accomplish too much.  It's just this week was exceptionally busy.  Crazy busy.  In addition to crazy busy, we had a gigantic curve ball thrown into the mix.  I can't even really classify it as a curve ball.  More like a curve ball from left field.  Not the pitcher's mound.  Something we never ever saw coming.

Steven and I were so consumed by this curve ball that when Friday rolled around I wasn't prepared.  Fridays are my grocery shopping day. It also happened to be pay day.  AHHHHH!  I had to quickly throw together a menu (I hadn't even looked at the competitor ads yet), restock all of our cash envelopes for the remainder of the month, and get myself to the store.  I generally start this whole process on Tuesday so getting it together in a few short hours during nap was challenging.

And how does this affect me?  I'm sure you're wondering.  It boils down to this...

My menu is full of repeats.  I really try hard not to repeat meals within a month, but since the detox takes planning, I'm repeating recipes.  Saving time was just a tad more important this week.

Monday-Cilantro Lime Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Toasted Brown Rice Bread
Tuesday-Hummus Crusted Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Butternut Squash
Wednesday-Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Berry Salad
Thursday-Turkey Chili and Salad
Friday-Coconut Chicken, Stir Fry, Brown Rice
Saturday-Chicken Avocado Sandwiches, Chips/Homemade Salsa, Raw Bell Pepper Strips
Sunday-Chicken Parmigiana*, Salad, Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce with toasted brown rice bread (omit balsamic vinegar)

*I used the basic plan of this recipe and substituted.  Here's the rundown...

Use almond flour instead of flour,  stevia instead of sugar, and of course, no parmesan cheese.  I still used the wine because the alcohol is reduced in the heat, and leaves behind an amazing flavor.  Over and out.

Tomorrow I will post the recipes for Turkey Chili and Homemade Salsa.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reclaiming Your Time

I love my church.  Love it.  Steven and I have been at the same church for almost 15 years.  Over the course of 15 years we have heard a few messages more than once, but I find those to be the most beneficial.  Each time I get something new to apply to my life.

Our Wednesday messages have been on reclaiming your time.  For the most part I don't struggle with time management.  I'm a list-making, multi-tasking, type-a weirdo.  We don't do wasted time very well.  However, I have learned the art of letting some things go because I simply can't drive myself nuts all the time.  Just on special occasions ;)

I digress.

We all have areas where we could improve, but most often we feel we don't have enough time to focus on that specific area.  That's where Pastor Andersen broke it down for us.  Basically, you have Power Breaks so you don't end up breaking yourself.  There are 3 Power Breaks for daily living, and 4 Power Breaks for weekly living.

Time with God (spending time in His Word and prayer)

Time for You (spending time doing something you enjoy doing)

Time for the Temple (your body is the temple...exercise it)

All of these points were spot on.  I know when I do those three things I am the best me throughout the day.  It is important to recharge yourself so you can refocus what is really important.  However, I especially liked his extra points on the Time for You section. He specifically said, "It's not just time alone.  It's time alone doing something you enjoy."  Yes Honey, that meant going to the grocery story by myself is not time for me (although I appreciate the mini vacation from the kids while shopping).

Day Off (protect a day for rest...no piling chores and errands into the day of rest)

Date Night
A time for you and your spouse to spend reconnect during the week.  Keep the activity limited to only the two of you, doing something you both enjoy, and the activity must allow for conversation.

Family Night
This was my favorite, and I most definitely plan to copy the idea.  One night a week is protected for your time together as a family.  No friends.  No extended family members.  Just your family.  The basic plan for their family was one person was in charge of planning Family Night.  Since we have 5 people in our family, every 5th week, only I would plan the activity.  The activity was limited to something that didn't cost any money and everyone could participate.  After Family Night is over, the person in charge of planning journals about the night.  That was my favorite part.  A big documentation of what's going on with your family every week.  LOVE!

This one is kind of obvious.  Weekly, you should recharge yourself by heading to church.  This has made a world of difference in our lives.  I can't imaging going solo without Church on the Move.

That was it.  All 7 ways to take Power Breaks.  I fully intend to work on plugging these into our routines because it takes a lot to keep up with these monkeys...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Peeing On My Parade

 Negativity bothers me.  It bothers me a lot.  I'm even bothered that I'm about to post on negativity.  However, it's on my mind and I need to let it out.

A few weeks back Steven and I were searching for safe supplements for our family.  We looked into a lot of different products and decided Arbonne was the most well rounded line for our family.  I had no intentions of turning this into a business, but I have and I'm very glad I did.  It has been a fruitful journey financially AND in my relationships.  My family is currently going through the detox with Steven and I and their reports have been amazing.  In fact every person in my boot camp that is detoxing is also having an amazing experience.

Doesn't sound so negative, right?  Every person who has committed to doing the detox has had nothing but positive, healthy results.  Every person I have spoken with who has been through the detox before that I lean on for support speaks nothing but praises of how well they felt on the program.  It brought healthy changes to their lives.  Things I love and stand for.  Making healthy changes.

Still no negatives yet, right?  Here it comes.  Despite how wonderful I feel, my family feels, and my friends feel, I have experienced some Debbie Downers.  People who want to throw out their discouraging words.  That bothers me.  I am bothered by people who discourage others.  I am bothered by people who feel insignificant when others around them are working to better themselves.  I am bothered so much that I realized I was bothered.  ARGH!

I was thinking about how this negativity was affecting me and I read a beautiful quote on a friend's facebook page.

What comes out of someone else's mouth is a reflection of their heart...not yours.

That quote hit me hard.  The people speaking negativity around me, spreading dissention, and passing out discouraging words has nothing to do with where my heart is on the issue.  I should not be bothered by someone else peeing on my parade, because I feel wonderful.  I feel strong.  I feel capable.  I feel empowered.  

On the flip side of this coin, I am also reminded to double check my words to make sure they are true reflections of my heart.  My heart is to serve and help others while demonstrating how Jesus has changed my life.  If those words do not support what my heart believes, then I shouldn't let them out.  That's some good accountability for me right there.

And those my friends are my deep thoughts.Happy Hump Day!  Just in case you don't know what "Hump Day" is...it's the hump of the work week.  Not something else.  Right, Lindsay Little???

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Babes

You remember this gem of a photo?

Chubby Cheekers: 6 months
Mr. Fluffypants: 4 months

I love it. My all time favorite photo of the babes.  Something I will cherish when they are old and grown and having children of their own.  A pic I will pull out at random moments to reminisce and to show girlfriends, friends, family, everyone, and anyone who will look and listen.

It kinda blows my mind when I think about Chubby Cheekers and Mr. Fluffypants being 4 or 5.  They really don't know too much of life without one another and it's becoming very apparent how much they mean to each other.

Every morning, despite the front door always being unlocked for him, Chunkey Monkey rings the doorbell.  When Chubby Cheekers hears the doorbell, he takes off running for the front door, bypasses Chunkey Monkey and looks for Mr. Fluffypants.  As soon as he sees him, Chubby Cheekers lets out a big squeal and Mr. Fluffypants smiles a gigantic smile.  It is the most precious thing I have ever witnessed.

They do the same thing after naps.  Look for each other and then squeal once they lock baby glances.  Here they are at 12 and 14 months and they already have a bond.  Almost like twins, but better.  A special kind of cousin bond, and I get to see it unfold everyday.  I'd call myself blessed for having the opportunity to witness a relationship so special.

Those two little guys may have me pulling out my hair on somedays, but I would not trade this time for anything.  All the craziness, all the snot, all the poop, all the feedings, it's all worth it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Detox Menu Monday

My first detox week is over and I'm moving on to week 2.  I'll share successes tomorrow.  Today is my menu.

Monday-Firecracker Shrimp, Steamed Broccoli, Green Beans
Tuesday-Chicken Tacos served on Rice Wraps, Black Bean Fritters (substitute almond flour) and Salsa
Wednesday-Veggie Spaghetti with Quinoa* (for added protein), Green Beans, Garlic Bread (Udis)
Thursday-French Lentil Soup and Crusty Udi's Bread
Friday-Cilantro Lime Chicken, Grilled Peppers and Onions, Brown Rice
Saturday-Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa*, Baked Sweet Potato Slices, Salad
Sunday-Dinner with Mom (she's detoxing too!)

*These two meals were so good and filling that we had to put them on again.  The grilled salmon was restaurant quality.  Seriously.  The flavors blended so well together.  Ah-MA-Zing!

Sorry to be so short.  This past week had me so focused on what and when to eat that my mind was done by the end of the day.  I seriously could not think of anything else.  Good news!  I have that part down now. Things are becoming a routine and bad eating habits (my disastrous pantry carb/sugar loading right before bed) are moving out.  It feels really good.

For the first time ever we went to a birthday party and I wasn't dying to dive into the birthday cake.  It looked delicious, but I had no cravings for it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chubby Cheekers~13 Month Edition

Lucky.  That's me.  I'm a lucky kind of guy.  I have the best big brother and big sister.  Not everybody gets a welcoming committee each morning when they wake up.  First thing in the morning, I get the Milk Twins.  The whole time I can hear my bro and sis sitting right outside my door until Mommy gives the okay for them to come in to see me.  They burst through my door and I squeal.  I really like those two.  They make me feel like a baby king.

I have done so much growing up this month.  I can now say 'Da-dee' (Daddy), 'Hi', 'Ba' (ball), 'Dow' (down), 'MmmMmm' (I'm hungry/thirsty), and 'Boo-bee' (boobie).  I'm also pointing at things that I would like to have.  Top of my pointing list, Easter candy and Mommy's water bottle.  I love those things.  

Mommy says I'm quite the handful.  What can I say?  I'm curious.  I like to climb...and run...and dance...and get into everything.  I like to play rough.  My new favorite game is punching my brother in the face when I'm in my car seat.  I've even learned to say, "BAM!" when I do it. Everybody thinks it's funny.  Well, everyone except my brother.  He doesn't laugh anymore after I hit him in the face with my toy dinosaur.  Apparently the spikes on the Stegosaurus hurt.

One last update on my little life, I got to take my first big road trip to the beach.  The car part wasn't my favorite.  I'm still not 100% in love with my car seat, but I did like playing with Little Man and Little Miss in the car.  They like to make me laugh.

Once we got to the beach I was in heaven.  My absolute favorite part was sucking my thumb, sticking it down in the sand, and then sucking it again.  It was so sandy, and salty, and yummy.  I really don't get why it was frowned upon.  Sometimes mommies and daddies are just big 'ol fun killers!

Anyhoo, I think it's very important for you to see how cute I am.  It's been awhile since you've seen a pic of me and I thought it was time for my brother and cousin to make an appearance.  They are some cool dudes.  Fast forward 15 years, and I think we could really pick up some babes!

Yep, that's me.  Doing my best linebacker stance while sucking my thumb.  I am a boy of many talents.

Chubby Cheekers

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Clean Eating on a Strict Budget

Financial Peace University has my heart to the fullest.  It resonates so deeply with what I hold dear that I will never, ever abandon the ship.  It allows us to closely watch every aspect of our finances from building wealth to giving lots away.  Honestly that's why we're doing FPU, to give more away to organizations and people we are called to bless.

When this whole detox thing began I knew my $110 grocery/baby/household budget was going to be stretched like never before.  I kept thinking, "I'll just do what I can do."  We already purchase a lot of fresh produce, but buying free range chicken and turkey and grass fed beef was overwhelming to me.  I really didn't think I could squeeze that into my budget.  Well, guess what?  I did.

I did have to change the way I purchase my meat.  No longer do I buy chicken breasts.  I switched to the whole free range fryer chickens.  They are around $2 more than a regular chicken pumped full of hormones and anitbiotics.  I can do that increase!  For this detox, we are forgoing beef and sticking with chicken and turkey and incorporating more lentils and beans into our diet.  Lentils and beans are saving us a bunch.  Allowing me to spend more $2 more on the chickens.

Also, Steven and I are following Arbonne's 30 Day to Fit Challenge.  We choose Arbonne because it has best product line of 100% natural ingredients all the way down to the sweeteners.  Nothing artificial.  That is a big, big part for me.  We start our day with a protein shake blended up with leafy greens, fruit, and almond or coconut milk. This replaces our normal breakfast and is just as filling. I was a bit apprehensive about the taste, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I love them.  Super quick, easy, and tasty.  I find it so hard to believe that something so good is actually fueling me way better than I could with 'solid' type food.  It's not just me either.  My family members and a ton of my friends started protein shakes and were also surprised at the taste.

I have so much more I want to tell you, but it's getting late for me. Not to mention I have a big 'ol headache from cutting out my coffee.  Day one of the detox was wonderful in some ways and rough in others.  Hoping tomorrow goes smoother now that I have a better lunch game plan and one day down without my precious morning cup of joe!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Monday

It has arrived.  The first day of my first detox.  AHHHHH!!!  So many emotions and thoughts.  Can I really do this? What if I fail?  What if I'm miserable?  How is this going to benefit me? What if Cheesecake Factory calls me in for taste testing and I can't eat anything?  Okay, so that last thought is a bit extreme.  Cheesecake Factory isn't going to call me, but I do wonder how I will feel throughout the month while taking out some of my most cherished foods like bread, dairy, and peanut butter.

However crazy this whole detox may sound, I am secretly excited about exercising my will power, making healthier choices, and seeing how my body reacts to fueling it completely the right way for 30 days.  Throughout this whole thing I will keep you posted, not just with my menu, but with details.  Details about my moods, cravings, feelings, performance, everything.  Well, maybe not everything.  I will be increasing my fiber intake.  We all know where that leads.  Nobody needs to hear about that!

Without further ado, here is my corn/wheat/dairy/soy/caffeine/white potatoes/peanut butter free menu...

Monday-Easy Roasted Whole Free Range Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower, Fresh Strawberries
Tuesday-Chipotle Sweet Potato Skins and Grilled Asparagus
Wednesday-Turkey Veggie Spaghetti on Rice Noodles and Green Beans
Thursday-Turkey Chili and Salad (Salad Dressing=EVOO, lemon, lemon zest, sea salt, pepper)
Friday-Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Saturday-Turkey Burgers served on Ice Berg Lettuce, Fresh Cut Veggies and Hummus, and Berry Salad
Sunday-Salmon with Cilantro Salsa, Snap Peas, and Brown Rice

There you have it.  The menu actually looks pretty tasty to me, it was adjusting to removing the wheat products that had me stumped.  I love bread with every meal.  Finding substitutes for that will be difficult for me.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk with you about how all this new clean eating fits with my Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Budget.  For this detox I did NOT change my grocery budget.  I was pleasantly surprised how eating cleaner was around the same cost as how I shopped before.  This is doable!!!