Monday, November 25, 2013


    WELP my 21 day detox is over and I'm happy to say that what everyone else said about it is true: I don't feel like going back! I didn't wake up this morning (day 22) and think, yes I can have sugar! I woke up thinking about eating all the foods that I have been eating because I feel won-der-ful. I guess it's a bonus that my clothes are fitting looser but I don't own a scale and wasn't planning on weight loss with this whole thing. My goal was to be healthy and I sure feel like I'm on my way there.
   The food I have been eating can be filed under "paleo" or "primal." I don't know the difference and that's also something I don't care to look into. I have been fighting fighting fighting the whole paleo thing because I find the intensity and superiority complexes of those who follow the diet to be incredibly obnoxious.
   The catch is that since eating this way, I have felt healthier, clearer, more energetic....blah, all the things these people tell you eating paleo does for them has been true for me.
  One of my main problems with the whole paleo thing is that it's based on the idea that our caveman ancestors had it "right" when it comes to food. Well I don't really know about all that...our lifespans are longer than that of the caveman and I'm not completely anti modern medicine.
   From a biblical standpoint, I can't help but believe that our bodies were designed to eat food....not packaged, processed, chemicals that taste like food. I am convicted that doing anything that goes against our design is typically bad for you--and that covers a lot of ground, not just food. [Think: biblical marriage.] I also think that obsessing over food can quickly turn it into an idol. So that is not my goal either. I don't want to go to the grocery store and spend hours reading ingredient lists and forfeit time that I could be at home with my with most things in life, I'm attempting to find a balance.
  All that being said, for me, eating "paleo" may be more about swallowing my pride than puffing myself up because I'm so cool for eating a certain way....instead it may be more about dropping my judgments and following my convictions.

  We had the privilege of helping a friend get to No Longer Bound last week. He and his beautiful wife and wonderful baby stayed with us and it was stupid-fun watching two one year old girls run the house for a few days. Clementine is obsessed with other babies and this was no exception.

   It was definitely strange--and awesome--and weird--and amazing how our friend Allan helped Thad get to NLB 5 months after Allan graduated the program, and then Thad helped our friend get to NLB 5 months after he graduated the program. God is so cool.
  It was also a huge privilege for me to be there for my friend after her husband was accepted. It was astounding to watch her strength and grace through such a tough week. Despite the incredible head on her shoulders, I am still able in small ways to throw some nuggets of truth and "experience" at her, even though I personally think she is in a way better place emotionally than I was when I was in her shoes (really, this girl is strong! I have been blessed by just witnessing it!). Thad and I look forward to hosting her and her daughter again so she can visit her husband while he's in the program (they are not from Georgia) and I'm planning on talking her in to moving here. I've already started the process by taking her to visit our church. Really, who wouldn't want to live here just to attend this amazing church?

  Poor Thad was sick all week last week. He wasn't able to recover quickly because he was working 10-11 hour days with a fever, and he had short nights on top of it.
  I rarely cease to be in awe of how great of a Dad he is. Even though I worked from Friday night until Saturday afternoon, I never had a moment of "I wonder how Thad and Clementine are doing?" because they are doing awesome. Thad knows her schedule, reads her sleepy cues, rocks the cloth diapers like a champ, keeps her entertained, knows how to make her Magical Mush recipe without even thinking, and somehow manages to do things like dishes, laundry, and bed-making while taking care of her. She thinks he is hilarious and is incredibly content and rarely fussy when he is her main caretaker. It basically melts my heart.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

You seriously have to see what my husband did today for fun....

Thad built a baby food dispensing machine out of cardboard boxes and a can of baby cereal. Clementine HATES it. Basically I love everything about this video. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 12. And why I failed.

It's been 12 days since I decided to break up with sugar and I have some bad news.

I had sugar.

Before you get too disappointed, hear me out. 

On Monday, no home, apartment complex, or business had water within a 1 mile radius of here for over 13 hours. The city said it was for "routine maintenance" but clearly something went wrong. The notification we received said it would take 5-6 hours. By the end of the day, the dishes were piled in the sink....don't even ask me about the toliets....and I was freaking thirsty. 

When Clem was really little, I drank about 3 gallons of water a day because I was nursing so much. Still, I average a little over a gallon of water a day and we have a giant water filter that I have to fill 2-3 times a day just to stay hydrated (I am still nursing). By early afternoon, I was so thirsty I jumped in the car and drove to Starbucks and asked them for some large waters. Those were gone 3 hours later. Clementine was asleep. I felt dizzy from thirst. The only thing we had in our fridge to drink was half&half and a small bottle of cold-pressed orange juice.

I had to do it. I just had to. I cracked that thing open and took a few swigs. Really, I drank less than a quarter of it. I know OJ has sugar in it, I just needed SOMETHING to drink. When Thad got home I made another Starbucks run for a few waters. It wasn't until past ten o'clock that night that we had running water again. 

Anyway, that being said, I guess I can't say "I haven't had any sugar for 12 days!" What I can say is that my sugar detox has truly been detoxifying. The subtitle of the book I'm following that has all of my meal plans in it is "Bust sugar and carb cravings naturally" and I can gladly say that after 12 days of following this plan, that is exactly what I've experienced. I just had a cabbage/kale/avocado salad with the foccacia bread on the side that I made last night (more on that in a second) and I am full, feeling great, and not craving sugar (like I usually do every afternoon around this time). 

Okay, it's been a second, so let me tell you how delicious the foccacia "bread" I made last night is. (Can something be called bread if it doesn't contain wheat or sugar? I don't even know.) IT WAS SO STINKING DELICIOUS THERE IS HARDLY ANY LEFT. The recipe is, of course, in my 21 day sugar detox book. It's made with coconut flour, eggs, herbs, n such. Basically there was no talking at the dinner table last night because Thad and I were unceremoniously stuffing our faces with this stuff. 

I told myself I would just nibble on a little of it with my lunch this afternoon, and then Clementine came along and literally stood at my feet crying for me to share. You can't really say no to her face, so she and I just nom-nommed on it until I was sure she had ingested more than a day's worth of the calories she needs and much to the chagrin of us both, decided to save what is left for Thad. 

How great I am feeling and how much I actually love the food I'm eating leads me to wonder how I'm going to eat when I am not on the detox anymore. 

Wait just kidding, I'm always gonna eat like this. I may not cut anything COMPLETELY out of my diet--really, there's no need to feel so badly for drinking an ounce of orange juice--but I can't imagine going back to how I was feeling prior to now! I have not in any way, shape, or form, wanted to conform to a "paleo" or "primal" or "I only eat clean foods!" thing (because really, that can get annoying just way too quickly to have to be around) but I can't ignore the positive effects these bodies of thought have to offer. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 8. Fresh Market, where have you been all my life???

Less than 2 miles from my front doorstep is the mecca of all health food stores. *Cue the angels singing*:


How have I never learned about this before? UGH SERIOUSLY!? It's like Whole Foods, minus the hippies, plus cheaper prices and mood lighting. You woulda thought I walked into Disneyland I was so giddy walking into this place today. Did I mention its less than 2 miles away?

Yep. Less than 2 miles away.

So basically my 21 day detox just got way more funner (because 'way more funner' is a totally grammatically correct thing to say). 

I'm doing fantastic. I have yet to consume sugar but I did just notice that gum is not allowed on this diet. So, uh, oops. I've chewed gum. But since I haven't eaten any of the insane amounts of cake or pie or cookies Thad brings home from No Longer Bound every weekend, we're gonna just overlook my gum slip-up. Because let's be real. I'm killin it.

I made beef jerky today and it is delicious. The problem is, it's so good it's hard not to eat all of it in one sitting. And the thought of eating $10 worth of food in one sitting literally makes my stomach turn. Ain't nobody in this house got money for that!! 

Today I ate

Lunch--Salmon/avocado/cabbage salad
Dinner--spaghetti squash/chicken/tomatoes/garlic, onion, spinach

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sugar Detox Days 5, 6, & 7.

Without a doubt, day 5 was THE WORST. I was on auto-pilot all day, and found myself reaching for sugar/bread without even thinking. Thankfully I have yet slipped up and cheated. Having the "banola" on hand has been so helpful, especially when I'm missing bread.

Yesterday and today have been awesome. I feel so much more clear-headed and energetic. My energy levels are waaaaay up.

My go-to meal has been quinoa, black bean, and avocado with a little bit of Tessemae's Wing Sauce. I seriously could eat this all day every day and I'm super grateful to have found Tessemae because they make sauces and marinades that aren't full of allergens and words I can't pronounce.

Spaghetti squash with this awesome home-made sauce has also been something I can make huge batches of and have for lunch the next day.

This week I will be working on perfecting the kale chips and finding other things I can make that Thad will want to eat, too.

I've got to admit, writing about this on the blog has been super helpful. When the wonderful Nicole Boucher brought pumpkin fudge to work the other night to share with us I just about screamed FORGET IT and slammed my face in the bowl and ate whatever I could get my jaws on but having some accountability has been SUPER HELPFUL. I am really looking forward to creating a healthy habit and chaging how I view food.

YEP. It's going super great. :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 3 & 4

The ONLY thing I want to do right now is lie flat on my back starfish style and pass out but if I don't write this now, I never will.


But since I forgot about day 3, the run down is that I had cheese. Which is not explicitly a no-no but it's also not explicitly allowed. But hey, it's not sugar.

For dinner I made chicken smothered in Tessemae's wing sauce with onion and pepper and YUM. Thad has his like a sloppy joe but I threw mine in some quinoa and black bean and yes....I have a new favorite meal. If it were acceptable to eat the same thing for dinner every day, this would be it. It was THAT good.

Today was the worst so far. My mood was up and down, I'm tired, and several times I reached for something bread-y and sugar-y on complete autopilot. Since things are just a tad bit (and by that I mean a-lot-a-bit) crazy and stressful around here right now, I can honestly say I have no clue how much of my moodiness and exhaustion is due to the detox.

The bad news and good news from today:

BAD--I ate all the banola. And I want about 12 servings more RIGHT NOW but the food processor is loud and its 1230 in the morning. Boo.
GOOD--I made my own kale chips. They were not exactly crisp but somehow they were SO DELICIOUS. I shared some with my girls at work and they liked it, too, which is somewhat validating since they don't HAVE to like things like kale chips at this point in their lives.

Also, I worked today and for the first time in 7 years I did not consume sugar during my shift. If it wasn't for the fact that I was scarfing down kale, carrots, and banola, I probably wouldn't be able to say that.

I have no idea where this resolve is coming from as I have never stuck to any kind of food restrictions for four days in a row in my life and given the amount of stress I am currently under and the fact that sugar is my security blanket it seems even more miraculous!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No sugar, Day 2.

I woke up feeling exhausted this morning. Completely drained. I got almost 7 hours of sleep so I am not sure why. Once Clementine went down for a nap, I did, too, and slept for an hour. I woke up from my nap feeling like I could take on the world, so I did, by taking C out for a walk on the greenway that our complex has access to.

Really struggled with some sugar cravings today. I feel like a bottomless pit. I could just eat and eat and eat, but strangely, I'm full?

Anyway, today I had

2 eggs
Quinoa w/avocado and black bean
Spaghetti squash with homemade marinara sauce

Yea, banola. It's like granola without the grains. And I realize it's the stupidest word you have probably ever read but it. is. delicious. You should probably whip some up right now and do yourself a favor. It's easy (if you have a food processor) and delicious and you can pretty much eat crazy amounts of it guilt-free. I lowered the temperature and cooked it for less time than the recipe calls for so it actually tastes like banana bread. Um, yea. WIN.

So, that's it for Day 2. I felt terrible and then I didn't, I wanted sugar and then I ate healthy instead. Whew. I should throw that jar of Nutella that is staring at me away...

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm going through a breakup...

&it's with sugar. 

 Now I know that we've all had it just about up to here with having to hear people talk about their paleo/primal/blahblah/crossfit/I'msocool lifestyles, so I don't want this to be another blog post about that. I'm actually writing this blog post for me. 

I won't be waxing eloquent on how sugar is injected into all kinds of everything that we find in the grocery store today (seriously, why is sugar the number 2 ingredient in every single package of beef jerky??) because if you want to read about that, people with degrees and such have written plenty about it.

I'm giving up sugar for 21 days because I believe that I am completely addicted to it. I crave sugar and carbs. I am on a blood sugar roller coaster day in and day out, and I want to hit the reset button, if you will, on my food cravings and ultimately change the way I use food. (If you wanna see someone stress-eat a pint of ice cream, jump in your time machine and hang out with me almost every single day this past summer.) 

This is not a "diet" in terms of counting calories or a goal of weight loss (I don't own a scale and I don't plan on ever owning one). This is a way to flush out toxins that have built up, bolster my immune system, and help out my poor little liver. 

All that being said, I'm going to blog about it for my own accountability. How utterly embarrassing if in two days, or ten days, I have to admit that I just couldn't do it. I'm going to use my blog to challenge myself and keep a record of how I'm feeling, what I'm eating, and just how grumpy I am because I really want some Nutella.

Today was Day 1.

I ate:

Cabbage and pepper salad
Beef jerky (sans sugar...because I made the dreaded trip to Whole Foods)
Ground turkey with bell peppers in lettuce wraps
The absolute WORST dessert ever conceived of (because it had no sugar): Chocolate/almond cups

Seriously though, these "chocolate" almond cups were disgusting.  The cool thing was that after a day without sugar, they actually tasted a little sweet (mostly bitter) and after two bites I was full. Or completely grossed-out. Not sure which. 

I'm actually feeling clear-headed. After the nasty chocolate almond things (that I had to make from scratch) I can happily say that I am NOT craving anything sweet. Typically I crave sweets every. single. night. like clockwork, so I'm pretty stoked that I am not currently raiding the fridge for something sugary. My slight headache and complete exhaustion are probably due to being up late with baby, then being up early with baby, and then hanging out all day with grumpy baby, so I can't say that those things are due to a change in diet. 

My friend that has done this 21 day plan before says Day Four was the hardest for her, so I'm not ready to get all trigger happy on this thing and declare victory. This could be an interesting ride. Heck, check back here tomorrow and I could be singing a very different tune!