Better late than never

So it’s been a really, really long time since I posted. I’ve wanted to post often but for some reason every time I think about doing it I get overwhelmed and lazy. I really want to do a better job with blogging this year.

So, first thing’s first. I have yet to post my “resolutions” (I put them in quotes because I don’t necessarily want to call them resolutions. I want to do them because I want to do them, not because I feel like I have to because it’s a new year) for this year, so I shall post them here!

2011 Resolutions

1. “Green Machine:” go green! Cold water laundry, eliminate paper towels, compost, reusable “waste products”, switch over lightbulbs.
+Thus far I have switched over to cold water laundry and begun composting. I have started to eliminate paper towels- we just ran out and I haven’t been eager to buy more. I’ve been trying to use cloth towels as much as possible where I would normally have used paper towels. This is going to be a big one for our household, I think, but I’m eager to do it. As far as the resusable “waste products” (feminine napkins, tissues, etc)- those are things that I will be able to do more of once I start getting a regular paycheck. Julia- I know Ryan uses cloth tissues. Does he just use bandanas or does he use something else?

2. “Drop and give me 50:” lose 50 pounds this year.

3. “Don’t try to butter me up:” use WAY less butter in my food intake

4. “Less is more:” Eliminate clutter from house/ life. No more hoarding.

5. “Au natural:” No more unnecessary medicines.
+I have begun working on this one as well. I have already weaned off my birth control and reflux medication. I am currently in the process of weaning off my antidepressant and my fibromyaglia medication. Once I complete those two, I will be completely medication free!

So, those are my resolutions. But I’ve actually had some goals and things that I’ve adopted for this year as well. My biggest goal in 2011 was to get a job! I needed one so badly! I had to leave my job in Early Intervention because of my back- it was no longer possible for me to drive the hour to work, drive all day FOR work, and then drive the hour home from work. It was a very difficult thing for me to do, but I recognized that I had to do what was best for me (and for my family, ultimately) and so I left earlier this month. I was scared about what I would be able to do with my life. I’d been so happy with my job and wanted to stay there for a really long time, if not the rest of my working years. But my car accident really helped me put things into perspective.

I recognized that I had been sacrificing my own well being in the process of working so hard. I was working 10-12 hour days and was barely spending any time with Dan. I was sick all the time and always stressed out. I loved my work, but it didn’t work well for me. I wanted it to, and I think if I hadn’t had my accident, I’d still be doing it today.

But, as of last Monday and I have a new job! I am now a lead teacher in an infant classroom for a really amazing school. I love their philosophy and everything they believe. It’s a Piaget-based school and just really has great ideals. I’m very excited to start a new chapter in my life!

I’m also excited, speaking of chapters, to see what is in store for Dan and me over the next several months. We have decided we are finally ready to start a family. There’s no total rush- I would still like to continue to work on myself (weight loss, healthier eating, etc)- but we’re just going to see what happens! 🙂

I have been pushing myself to eat healthier recently. I have begun juicing and it has changed my life! I’ve been helping a woman from church organize her home and what not (her family moved here from Texas a few months ago) and in the process she has passed on to me some great things she no longer needed! (I realize this doesn’t jive well with my resolution to have less, but the few things she’s given me are things I’ve been using almost every day and I’ve gotten rid of things to counteract them.)

One of the things she gave me is a juicer and I’m in love! I’ve been juicing pretty much every day, sometimes twice. It has really changed my life and I’ve been noticing a huge difference. I’ve been juicing the following fruits & vegetables (not necessarily all together):
-spinach leaves                -asparagus         -celery          -cucumbers     -carrotts
-granny smith apples      -ginger               -pink lady apples      -gala apples
-jazz apples                       -clementines       -pears             -pineapple     -grapes

I went to a big box store last week with my friend and bought a TON of fresh produce. It’s been so wonderful (and exciting) to have fresh produce and to make delicious juice every day! And I really have been feeling a lot better! I do have to learn not to eat a full meal AND drink juice. I should be doing one or the other. I am still working on that, but it’s getting easier as time goes on.

I’ve begun using coconut oil in place of other cooking oils when I cook. The taste of it is very mild and it’s supposed to be a lot better for you. It has also been recommended to take a spoonful of coconut oil 3x a day for health benefits, but I haven’t been doing that. At least not yet. I’d like to do a bit more research before I start doing that. (http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html)

I have also begun doing a therapy called “oil pulling.” (http://oilpulling.com — it’s kind of a poorly written website but it gets the point across.) I started doing it this morning and felt an IMMEDIATE difference. I woke up this morning feeling really crummy- I am definitely fighting a cold and I could feel a lot of mucus in my chest. I swished & pulled coconut oil in my mouth for 15 minutes before breakfast, and as soon as I was done pulling & swishing, I was bringing up a ton of mucus. (I know that’s disgusting, but I was pretty amazed that it worked that quickly.) It’s supposed to be really good at removing the toxins from your body and helping people who have eczema, sleeping issues, back pain, allergies, digestive issues and many other things. I’m interested to see how it works!

I’ve taken a ton of pictures documenting my juicing experience because I really am in love with it! I will post a slideshow of the pictures I’ve taken later. 🙂

A (sort of) vegan with a gluten allergy?

So it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve updated. It’s crossed my mind a few times but I’ve had a terrible time keeping myself motivated. A lot has a happened since my last post.

The day after my earlier post I was in a car accident while working. It was actually pretty ironic as I had just been saying how psyched I was about life. I was feeling great, had eaten a fantastic and healthy lunch, and was looking forward to what the future held for me. Ha! Well, life happens. The weird thing is I really felt like it was meant to  happen- everything that led up to that point just… fit. That morning I had paid our car insurance, which was late (due to us being poor), filled my tank up and got a car wash (oops!). That early afternoon I had some time to kill so I stayed at the office and filed all the paperwork I had in my possession. I left a little later than I had wanted to and en route to my next visit I was rear-ended.

After being discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of whiplash and muscle spasms, my mom, Dan and I went to go see my car. At this point I had not yet seen my car so I had no idea how badly it was damaged. I imagined it was pretty bad as I had seen pieces of the styrofoam that once filled my bumper blowing around in the street as I waited for paramedics to arrive.

 I couldn’t even believe it when I saw my car. It brought me to tears (of joy and thankfulness) that I had walked away from such damage. My mom, Dan and I all stood in awe and took in everything we were seeing. My mom took lots of pictures and we gathered everything from my car to take home with us. When we left that night, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I had been that day.

It’s been a month and a half since my accident. I haven’t returned to work yet, as I have struggled with back pain ever since the accident. It’s possible that I may also be diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the near future. I have taken medication to help with this disease and it seems to be helping. I can’t wait and am ready to go back to work and can’t wait to see what the future brings for me still. We have a brand new car (as the insurance company totaled our car after the accident) and we love it. We will never forget what our old car did for us (saved me) and we like to think that the new car is a tribute to it- our old car was a Saturn Ion, our new can is a Scion xD.

Throughout this process of healing and figuring out myself I have worked with many amazing physicians and healers. I have been working with a chiropractor/ physical therapist who is pretty incredible. The practice has a very holistic feel to it, and they believe in massage therapy, nutrition/body composition and other whole body ideas as well as the medical practices of chiropractic and physical therapy. I have had several massages other the past month and a half and I am now a believer!! haha. It’s not that I ever thought massage was a bad idea or not beneficial, I just never realized HOW beneficial! I am sold and hope to continue receiving massages! I am also looking into meeting with a woman who does body composition testing- she helps you figure out what your body is lacking (as far as vitamins, minerals, etc) and helps you figure out how to balance them, especially through diet. I am really looking forward to my visit with her.

Yesterday I met with a opthomologist. I was referred to him to check for something called KP/KF (Kayser-Fleischer) rings. They “are dark rings that appear to encircle the iris of the eye. They are due to copper deposition as a result of particular liver diseases.” (wikipedia.com) I have apparently had raised copper levels presented in my blood work, so my doctors are trying to rule out diseases/causes. He did not see these rings (luckily) but he talked to me a lot about gluten allergies. Upon reading my history and asking me some questions, he told me he believed I have a gluten allergy. I realize he is not a medical doctor (though he does have his M.D…) but hear me out! He told me that for 10 years he struggled with tons of symptoms and doctors tried and tried to figure out what was wrong with him. He learned about gluten allergies and had special testing completed. He discovered he had a gluten allergy and after 2 weeks of eliminating it from his diet, he was symptom free! He told me that blood tests for gluten allergies are not reliable and that I should have this special testing done. He gave me the website to read up on it and told me if I had any questions (needed recipes or advice or anything) I could call his office. He said he would put money on me being allergic to gluten. Ha!

I’ve been told by many people they think I have a gluten allergy, but I figured the blood test was proof enough that I did not. I will be looking into this special test, but for now I am attempting to cut gluten from my diet. Dan was a little upset at first when I told him this- it is another big change for the both of us and my diet is already so limited, but I really feel like it is worth a try. After some time he has come around and even helped me meal plan for the week! We went grocery shopping last night and I showed him how easy it is to eat a gluten-free diet (compared to many years ago) and how supermarkets are really catering to this disorder. Today is day #1 of my being gluten-free. As of yet it has not been too difficult, but it has only been 4 hours thus far.

I am excited and interested to see if I notice a difference. Though I have noticed a difference since beginning my dairy-free diet, I have still been dealing with some discomfort and challenges. I did not realize there is actually a large percentage of people who are gluten-free vegans. I even bought a cookbook! Though it severely limits my diet, I think it will help me even more to eat a more balanced diet. Ever since adapting the vegetarian lifestyle I have eaten a TON of starch. It is the main ingredient in almost everything I eat. Pasta, pasta, pasta… it’s a staple in our household. But no longer! I need to eat more nutritious foods and better my health! We will see how this goes! 😉

Strawberry-banana pops & peanut butter crispy bars

My first attempt at vegan/ dairy-free baking. I did a ton of research yesterday and read all these amazing blogs that had fantastic tips & recipes. I decided to attempt these 2 recipes first. 

Strawberry-banana pops: 

This one seemed simple enough. I got it from the fantastic blog: http://rawon10.blogspot.com/ 

The instructions read: 

2 ripe bananas, sliced & frozen 

1 c. frozen strawberries 

“In a food processor with an “S” blade, process the banana and strawberry until smooth. Spoon into popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours until firm. Remove by dipping mold in warm water.” 

So I sliced the bananas last night and froze them overnight. Tonight I put the 2 ingredients in the food processor and processed them. Well, it didn’t quite come out the way I expected it to. It ended up sort of looking like a mixture of dippin’ dots ice cream and those strawberry shortcake bars you could get from the ice cream truck.  (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…) 

I decided to give it a go anyway. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I spooned the mixture into some ice-cube trays and used a baby spoon to smooth it down. *Side note here: I have spent the past 2 days, and gone to 4 different stores to try to find those little popsicle molds you can usually buy anywhere. Yeah, I couldn’t find any. Every single place told me that they “carry them but they must be all out” or they “used to carry them but don’t have them anymore.” SO aggravating! /end side note* 

I stuck some cut up straws in them to make sticks and put them in the freezer! EDIT: I just had one. It wasn’t terrible. It came out a little… frothy, I guess? I think the bananas weren’t ripe enough. And it would definitely be better with actual popsicle molds instead of ice cube trays. But, it’s not a bad little snack considering it’s only bananas & frozen strawberries! 

So then I moved on to the peanut butter crispy bars. I have actually wanted to make these for quite awhile. I go to this AMAZING juice bar/cafe in Middleton, Ma called The Sol Bean Cafe (http://www.solbeancafe.com) and they have these delicious peanut butter crispy bars that someone makes and delivers to them daily. I decided to search online to try to make them myself. I found  TONS of different recipes, but I decided to pick the one with the least ingredients. All it required was brown rice cereal, brown rice syrup and peanut butter. However, upon searching Hannaford’s and calling a bunch of different stores, I couldn’t find brown rice syrup anywhere locally. I found another recipe that called for light corn syrup instead, so I decided to use that one. Truth be told, there were a few other recipes that called for healthier ingredients and/or less ingredients, but after prepping everything I got lazy and didn’t want to search through all my favorites to find the right one. So I made the one I came across first (from this website: http://www.allhomemadecookies.com/recipes/browniesbars/pbcrispybars.htm ), which called for: 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/2 cup light corn syrup 

2 T. margarine 

3/4 cup peanut butter 

4 cups crispy rice cereal 

I combined the sugar, syrup and “margarine” in a bowl and heated in the microwave for 2 minutes. I then mixed it, added the peanut butter and mixed that. Then I added 1 cup of the cereal. I originally planned to mix in a cup at a time to make it easier, but then I got lazy again (this is a common theme that needs to be remedied) so after I mixed the 1st cup I added the next 3 cups in together and stirred it. It wasn’t very difficult (certainly not as difficult as making regular rice krispie treats can be!) but I would recommend mixing in a cup at a time. I then spread the mixture into a glass dish. The recipe calls for a 9×13 pan, but I used the only pan I had that was bigger than 8×8. It all fit pretty well anyway. After I spread it all into the dish, I decided to melt some dark chocolate Dan bought me to drizzle on half of the bars. I melted it in the microwave and drizzled away. I ended up only doing about 1/4 of the bars, as I am still not a huge fan of dark chocolate (though it is getting better!) These bars are DELICIOUS! I’m gonna try another batch (maybe next weekend) with healthier ingredients- maybe agave nectar and peanut butter vs. corn syrup, sugar, margarine and peanut butter. We shall see! 

And since I can’t figure out how to insert two different slideshows, here’s a slideshow of both projects together, as well as my delicious dinner of brown rice and stirfry (with tofu “chikn”… yum yum!) 

 
 

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Kiley wants to be a blogger, too! 

 

 

Kind of failing at blog writing…

I am pretty disappointed at myself in not keeping up with this blog, as it’s been several months since I’ve written. I am also disappointed in not following through with The Renewal Project. BUT- I can’t go back, I can only go forward. So now is the time to start anew and make new resolutions.

A lot has happened since my previous post. The training for my walk was put on hiatus shortly after my last post due to my acquiring tendonitis in my foot. I am still going to physical therapy twice a week and it is quite a pain. On the bright side, though, I was able to stop wearing my boot and attend the walk as originally planned! Though I only walked 12 miles out of the 18 (we took a 6 mile break in the middle- taking a bus to the midnight snack due to my heinous blisters), I still consider it a victory. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d be able to raise the $1,000 required (in actuality I ended up raising about $1500) AND be able to walk that many miles. I’m fairly certain I have never walked that many miles at once.

It was such an amazing experience to be able to walk through the night in the city of Boston with thousands of people who share a common bond and a common goal. Most of the walkers wore personalized t-shirts garnished with the names and pictures of the loved ones they lost. At the opening and closing ceremonies, several people shared their stories. As I walked over the bridge (wish I knew the name) and watched the sunset, I knew that Joe & Justin were looking down on me. I have always felt a strong connection with Joe during sunsets, and he provided a fantastic one that night.

I didn’t get to hear or share stories with anyone except for my walking partner Danielle (though that was nice to be able to do that) but I think I was so focused on trying to complete the walk that I didn’t try very hard to reach out to others. Danielle and I are planning on trying to do it again next year in New York, so maybe I’ll have more luck then. It was great to hear the reaction of people that we passed who asked why we were walking and to hear many discussing why we were walking (“Oh! I know what it is! It’s the suicide prevention walk! I heard about it __(on the radio, tv, etc)_____!”  All in all, I consider the walk a huge success.  I got to honor my friends, get some closure, feel the feelings that I’ve been holding back for a long time, and complete a goal I had set for myself.

So- on to another chapter of my life: the dairy-free chapter. It has been about 3 months now since I began this diet. It certainly hasn’t been easy- I’ve definitely had my ups and downs, trials and tribulations, failures and successes. I can think of a handful of times that I really wondered if this was worth it. There was one day that Dan & I attempted to go grab something to eat before a church fundraiser. We tried a few restaurants and couldn’t find anything on the menu I’d be able to eat. We ended up heading to a gas station, where I bought a bag of chex mix. I felt so miserable- not only in that I was so limited in what I could eat, but also in that Dan had to suffer because of it. It made me so frustrated- why couldn’t life be easy?! I realize now that good things often are not easy. If they were, they wouldn’t be worth it! You get so much more out of working hard for things. Well, at least I do!

There have also been times that I’ve thought “who cares if I cheat. No big deal.” Well, guess what blog-world- it IS a big deal. My intestines/colon, if they were able to speak, would tell you many tales. Last week I decided on a hot summer day to go into a local Dunkin Donuts in between visits at work and cool off in the A.C. I thought I’d just get a fruit coolatta (as these are dairy-free… healthy? no. but dairy-free and one of the only cool-you-off-on-a-hot-summer-day type drinks in Revere) but as I was driving there I thought to myself, “I could get a muffin. Yeah, it might have milk in it. But whatever. So what if I eat something with milk in it? I’ll be fine. It might be a little uncomfortable, but whatever. I can eat what I want.” I don’t know where this inner-monologue comes from, but I want to send it off to Abu Dhabi with a one-way plane ticket. It never gets me anything except a whole heap of  trouble and lots of miserable moments.

I battled with this inner-monologue for quite some time, finally landing upon “you’re better than this, Lyndsay, and you DO NOT need that muffin” as I walked through the front door. I sauntered up to the counter and ordered my coolatta, and as the cashier asked me “can I get you anything else?” I found myself uttering, almost in slow motion, “yeah- I’ll also have a blueberry muffin.” Even as she bagged it and brought it towards me, I heard myself screaming “nooooo! stop it!!!!” but it was no use. Even as I sat at the table taking the muffin out of the bag and slowly taking pieces and putting them into my mouth, I listened to myself say “why are you doing this?! Stop!!!” Someday I will learn to be strong and listen to my good side. Let me tell you, I learned my lesson. I was sick ALL DAY and I can’t remember the last time I was that miserable. I will not be cheating again any time soon!!

Today I’ve spent quite some time browing various “vegan blogs” and gathering some good ideas. I find myself always eating the same things for lunch, and I get so bored. I also eat the same variety of things that are not-so-good for me, so I need to find some lunch options that are tasty, fun and good for me. This week I am going to try a multi-grain bagel with tofutti “cream cheese,” cucumbers and maybe some other veggies- I haven’t quite figured that out yet. But I am also attempting to make vegan peanut butter crispy bars, strawberry-banana smoothie popsicles and, hopefully soon, some mango “ice cream.” I am really excited to embark on a new journey of attempting different vegan dishes. It’s also been different & nice because Dan currently has a part-time job working 5 hours a night from Sun-Thurs, so I am on my own as far as dinner goes on those days. I typically do not cook for myself, so this forces me to be creative and plan things. It’s pretty difficult to just “throw something together” with the stuff you have around your house when you’re me, a “vegan” and live on a budget- as in, your house is not typically stocked with many different kinds of foods. I would like to start eating locally-  I know there is a little farm stand down the road from us. I’d like to go check it out at some point. My ultimate goal would be to plant my own garden! I can dream. 🙂

“The Renewal Project”

So today I got myself up and out and decided to do some more walking to train for my 18-mile walk coming up. I gave myself a goal of 3.9 miles. Last Sunday Dan, my brother and I walked 3.5 miles and I mapped out a longer route through my neighborhood of 3.9 miles. I was a little apprehensive about it, but I thought: ‘if all else fails and you don’t feel great, take the 3.5 mile route instead.’ I got some words of encouragement from a friend who told me to do the whole route anyway, even if I didn’t feel like it. Then as I was leaving, Dan told me he felt my route was “a little ambitious.” He didn’t say it to be mean, but it was a fantastic motivator. I wanted to prove him wrong- but I also wanted to prove myself wrong. Even though it had started to rain, I set off on my walk.

About 1/2 mile into my walk I turned onto a familiar road and kept going. Since I normally take this route by car or bicycle, I never paid much attention to my surroundings. As I walked, though, I noticed all around me the insane amounts of litter strewn about. It made me so sad to see all this trash carelessly tossed out into nature. When we walked last Sunday we passed a girl on another stretch of road picking up trash in front of her house. I commented to her on how sad it made me and she agreed. As I walked that day I thought, ‘I should do that too.’

Today as I walked this stretch of road and took in all of the litter around me, I came up with an idea. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if I could combine my desire to clean up my neighborhood with my current training?! The wheels started turning and I came up with “The Renewal Project.”

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I’ve decided that every time I walk my neighborhood (which I hope to be at least once a weekend) I will bring a small trash bag and a pair of gloves with me and I will clean up a part of this stretch of road (and then branch out from there.) This way, I am not only training still but I’m doing something beneficial for everyone! Plus, it adds a little extra to my training, because once I have finished cleaning up an area I’ll have to carry the bag of trash with me. I can’t imagine it will be extremely heavy, but enough to add some “weight-training” to my walk!

My other thought was putting up signs or somehow reaching out to the neighborhood to ask that they donate to my walk as they see me cleaning up the neighborhood. It’s not that I want to do this for recognition- not in the least bit. I am doing this for myself and for nature. But I think it would be a nice way for me to do some fundraising for this great cause while improving the lives of those around me. I’m really not sure how I would advertise/fundraise aside from putting up some signs with my website, but it was something that came to mind.

So that’s my idea- “The Renewal Project.” A way to renew the Earth but also renew myself- mind, body and soul. I look forward to seeing where this takes me.

Day #2- an intro and an update

So I figure I’ll first write a little bit about myself and then I’ll dive in from there.

I grew up eating whatever, whenever. When I was younger my mother did a nice job of balancing everything, trying to teach me proper eating habits, etc. We were “lucky” if we had fast food once a month as a special treat. We didn’t have a ton of junk food, but we certainly weren’t forbidden from eating it. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. As I became a teenager I had a hard time regulating myself and setting limits. I would sneak food into my bedroom to eat when my mother wasn’t around and lie about it. I have no idea why this behavior began and still struggle with it on occassion.

 I never put a ton of thought into what I put in my body as far as food goes. Though I was always very passionate about abstaining from alcohol and drugs, nutrition never really crossed my mind. When I was in college (2002-2006) I suffered from abdominal pain constantly. I was in the hospital once a semester, every semester (for at least 3 of my 4 years in schoool) in excrutiating pain. When I graduated and moved back to NH, I knew I had to do something.  I was given this book “Skinny Bitch” to read by a friend of mine, and I felt so enlightened upon reading it. The author talks a lot about what is actually in the food we eat and the science surrounding it. It really opened my eyes. I decided that summer that I would take meat out of my diet and see how I felt.

It was incredible! I felt fantastic! It was a little hard at first, but I had never been a huge fan of meat to begin with so it wasn’t too much of a challenge. The hardest part I found was eating socially- it was very difficult to order food at restaurants or have dinner with friends as a vegetarian. It wasn’t something wildly popular at the time- I don’t know if I had any friends who were vegetarians. It was hard for people to understand, but I felt so great with the change that I knew I had to solider on.

When I first read the book, I initially decided to become a vegan and eat all organic food. I did well for a few weeks, but it became a huge challenge- physically, mentally and financially. Eating organic was very difficult for 2 20-somethings who were unemployed. We had to sell things around our house (musical instruments, DVDs, etc) just to eat, so it was very difficult to be choosy and pick the best foods. Unfortunately, eating organically was put on the backburner and ridding my diet of dairy also fell to the wayside.

Over the past few years I have suffered from some more stomach issues. I recognized that milk products tended to bother me, but I convinced myself that “only certain things” bothered me. For example, I would let myself eat ice cream and tell myself that only Hood brand ice cream upset my stomach “because of the way it was pasteurized.”  Oh, how naive. I gave up milk and certain brands of ice cream, but I still ate yogurt, cheese, and some ice cream. I convinced myself that it was working. And even though I was aware of how gross I felt and why I shouldn’t eat it, I continued doing it anyway. (This is a recurring trend in my eating habits.)

Fast forward to present day. I have been suffering even more so from stomach issues and finally decided to do something about it. I saw a gastroenterologist who diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and “prescribed” a dairy-free diet. At first I thought, ‘no problem! I’m already mostly dairy-free. How hard could this be?!’ Well, it was a bit harder than I thought and is the reason behind me starting this blog.

As I sat in the specialist’s office, I asked her if I needed to cut out any foods that are made with milk (for example, cookies that have milk in them or any other kind of processed food) and she confirmed. Leaving her office, I thought about all the things I consumed in my daily diet that I would need to get rid of as I embarked upon this diet change. Yogurt in my morning smoothie, cheese on my sandwich at lunch, the occassional ice cream. A piece of cake, I thought! I really didn’t think I consumed too many other things that would have milk in them as an ingredient.  As I went through the cabinets in my house I had a wake-up call. I had NO idea how many foods are made with milk! 95% of my diet was made up of foods that had milk in them!

The bread I ate twice a day (morning toast and sandwich at lunch) had milk in it. All of the snacks in our cabinets were made with milk. Even things like the pesto sauce we always buy to put on our pasta was made with milk or milk proteins. I was horrified and flabbergasted! My first thought was, “how am I going to live like this?! I can’t eat ANYTHING!” I sulked around the house thinking of everything I was giving up. I was a sad human being.

I have since realized the benefits of this diet. No wonder I was suffering with so much pain all this time- here I was thinking that I consumed almost no milk products in my diet, and everything I was eating had milk in it!! I never even thought to look! Not only that, but I have also begun realizing what kind of gross “food” I was putting in my body every day. There really is no nutritional value to that processed crap I was consuming every day.

I was addicted. I won’t even say was because I still am addicted. I have a long way to go, but I have seen the light. This is a new chance for me. It’s helping me to realize that I don’t need all those chemically altered, sweet, nutritionally devoid foods in my life. I feel like a new person already and it’s only day 2.

This new diet has stopped me from snacking all day long, which is a definite plus. It’s made me really consider all of the things I eat and it’s made me more aware of everything. I have to really think about what it is I’m going to make and eat for every meal during the day, because I no longer have the option of “grabbing something on the road” as I was known to do weekly.

I’ve begun buying organically again- since we became financially able we’ve chosen some organic things along the way, but now I can be a bit more choosy as I don’t have many options.  I feel refreshed and renewed. Where I was once saddened by all the things I was giving up, I am now more excited about all the things I am gaining!

I am hoping that this change will overflow into other parts of my life- my faith, my health (exercize, stress management, etc), my relationships and my self image. I am excited for the things to come. 🙂

Hello world!

I am excited to start this blogging process. Bear with me as I figure it all out! 🙂