Monday, October 31, 2011

Health Challenge Week 2: Green Drinks

So, how did you do? Were you able to drink 8 glasses of water a day last week?

I did great! I honestly think having so much water in me curbed my eating a little. A little. I felt like I ate sometimes just because I was used to eating and not because I was hungry. So now you get to choose for yourself: are you going to keep it up or not? Please comment--I would love to hear from you.

This week's challenge is to have at least one green smoothie every day. I know it sounds gross, but they're really good. Well, they can be--I'm not one of those crazies who gags something down just to be healthy. If I'm going to eat it, it's going to be palatable.

I like to put a few cups of spinach in the blender with maybe 1/4 C water and a banana or some frozen peaches or strawberries. Sometimes I put in apple juice or applesauce.

You'll have to experiment with the amounts, but try to make enough to fill a nice, tall glass for yourself (and extra for the kiddos to taste. Isaac loves green smoothies!).

I've been throwing in some collard greens to add some variety. I also put in flaxseed oil to add some Omega fats (really good for you), but you have to be willing to spend some $ for that (I paid $11 for a bottle that will probably last a month or two with a smoothie a day)

Apparently you can go pretty crazy with green smoothies, but we're keeping it simple around here for now.

Why we are doing this:

Everyone knows that we should be getting several servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I come up short more often than not. This is a quick, easy, tasty way to get more of both in your diet.

"Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness with little to no fat and only a small number of calories. Fruits and vegetables also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients." (From this article)

Spinach: the super food. I got this off of wikipedia:

Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach.

Now, I'm not sure what a rubiscolin is, but doesn't it sound healthy?

I have a theory that the more nutrient-rich food we get in our body, the less we will experience cravings and our appetite will decrease. It's just a theory, though. I started on the green smoothies last week, and I have felt awesome. It's probably all psychological, but even if it is, at least I'm doing something good for my body- even if the increased energy and better mood have nothing to do with it. And if they do, all the better!

Good luck!

P.S. Here is an article about foods that promote healthy skin (and those that don't) and why, as well as a green smoothie recipe.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am thankful for

My Thankful Tree

I have decided to go back through the year and put all of my 'Thankful Thursday' blessings on this year's tree. It has been a great opportunity to look back and remember all that I have been grateful for. It seems like so much has happened this year. It has gone so quickly and yet, when I look back on my blog posts from last fall, it seems like so long ago. Life was different with only one child. It is so much fuller and richer now. I have felt grateful all over again as I realize my many, many blessings.

I noticed that certain 'blessings' repeated themselves often. Good thing you can be grateful for things more than once :)

Here are some that showed up quite a bit:

This one

and this one

I'm also grateful for fall and all of the holidays and activities that come with it, The Mr's job (a year this week--I can't believe it!), and a great week full of good days


P.S. Are you getting your water down? If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my Monday post. I'm doing a health challenge and I want YOU to do it with me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Get Your Affairs in Order

So the other day I was learning about green smoothies and how they apparently make you invincible. I took a health quiz on one of the websites, and I failed! Not a C, not a D, a big fat F! This is what it said:

"Get your affairs in order. Or, make major changes immediately to begin reducing your enormous disease risk."

If only I had gotten a few more points, because
this what a D looked like:

" Your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and overweight is very high, and you are likely suffering from a variety of symptoms and chronic conditions. Please consider a dramatic change in lifestyle such as the 12 Steps to Whole Foods right away!"

Much better!

And I consider myself a fairly healthy person. Of course, I do think it was a tad bit exaggerated, and may have had to to with the fact that because I was so unhealthy, it was
crucial that I start their green drink diet before I spontaneously drop dead...and for only $170 for a limited time!

Still, it got me thinking. Honestly, I'm always thinking about my diet and how it should change. Part of it is the OCD in me, I know, but another part is the Gestational Diabetes that forces me to eat healthier every pregnancy, and the impending doom of permanent diabetes later in life. I need to make some changes. Just to clarify, skinny does not equal healthy.

I stumbled upon this the other day. If you feel like blowing some time you can go peruse the site, but here's the Reader's Digest version: this guy is a personal trainer, and he is doing what he calls fit-to fat-to fit. Basically he has spent the last several months totally trashing his body; eating poorly and not exercising. The before and after pictures are amazing. He has gained somewhere around 70 lbs. in the past five months. His goal is to turn around after he hits six months and spend the next six months getting his body back. It's quite interesting, really. And disgusting. But I like the premise and I really admire the guy. Especially since he's not just trying to prove a point, but he wants to teach individuals how to take care of their bodies.

I'm rambling. My point:
I have decided to make some changes in my own life. Will you join me? I am going to try to improve one aspect of my eating habits each week. I'm not talking about resorting to a birdseed diet that is totally unsustainable, but rather a healthier outlook that doesn't ostracize you from the rest of society or break the bank. It will be a good opportunity to explore what healthy looks like.

This week my challenge is to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Here is an article on adequate fluid intake. Easy, right?? You don't have to cut out any comfort foods or add any vegetables to your diet that you've never heard of. Just drink more water.

I've been filling a 64 oz juice bottle with water every morning and trying to at least drain that before I go to bed. That's approximately 8 cups, though if you are exercising (which you should be), pregnant, or nursing, you should drink more.

Leave a comment if you're willing to do this with me. I would also love to hear how everyone else is staying healthy--suggestions, tips and tricks, complaints, you name it.

P.S. Stock up on spinach for next week's challenge--you're going to need it!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tell me how you're suppose to discipline with a straight face when your kid turns around and he's got a mustache drawn on his face.

The funny thing is, this was all done under "adult supervision". I'll give you two guesses as to which adult was supervising.
And a clue: it wasn't me.

Giving a 'thumbs up'. You'll notice those aren't his thumbs.


It's been an interesting week. I'm starting to think that the baby blues are a little more than the baby blues. I have found several ways to fight it, or at least get a little reprieve, and those are the things I am grateful for:

Music. Oldies especially, or anything clean and upbeat. Uplifting works to.

A project. I started on a crochet project that has kept me busy off and on. At least it keeps me from pulling my hair while I am sitting. I like to crochet and listen to conference talks.

Listening to conference talks.

Forgetting about the housework I don't feel like doing, and just being with the boys.

Getting outside/the sun.

Getting exercise.

Being around other people.

NOT going to Walmart :)

I'm also grateful that it comes and goes. I woke up from a nap this afternoon with a burst of energy, and was finally able to create some semblance of order out of my wreck-of-a-house.

This is how most of my house has looked for most of t he last two weeks. Let's be honest; this is a cleaner portion of the house. Much cleaner. Thank you, Isaac, for documenting. Thank you, also, for the 79 pictures you took with your fingers in front of the camera lens.

No worries, though. It could be a lot worse, there are still good days, and I can still count my blessings. I'm grateful for a supportive husband who works hard to help out. We're just keepin' it real. Next week I'll show you my Thankful Tree. It's coming along!