Making Memories

I needed to make cookies for a goodbye party for a friend.  My little girl is very in to “helping” these days, and I have been trying to include her in more of my daily tasks, so that she can feel like she is a part of what goes on in our house.  This is not always easy, as almost everything would go quicker if I did not include her, but it would not be as rewarding either.  For the cookie endeavor, I had visions of the two of us laughing while stiring a bowl of cookie dough, and my daughter artfully arranging sprinkles on the cookies — all while fun music played in the background.  The reality was far from that.   Which was mostly in my completely unrealistic expectations, as I of course mixed everything in my Kitchen-aid, who really mixes cookies with a spoon anyway?  Furthermore,  I did not even make any cookies requiring sprinkles.

I suppose everything could be improved with some sprinkles, but that is not the point.  The point is, we did make some memories.  Gema stood on the step stool and watched me put the ingredients into the mixer.  She laughed when I broke the eggs, every time. She begged to dump in the cups of flour.  And most of all, she LOVED taste testing the results.  I was really glad that I included her in the cookies.  There were less than enjoyable parts of the afternoon – the melt downs that ensued when i said that we had tested enough and the internal cringe that came when an entire cup of flour ended up on the floor was hard to control. Bright side, she is getting pretty good at using the brush to sweep things into the dustpan these days.

Once we had the cookies mixed and on pans waiting to go into the oven, we would sit on the floor and “watch” them cook through the oven door, (one of her favorite things to do, side note: I really need to teach her about the concept of a watched pot never boiling.)  while she sat on my lap and enjoyed her sample from the pan that just came out of the oven.  THOSE are the memories I will remember, not my frustration over the flour on the fl0or.

ONCE UPON A TIME

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So, I grew up on a dairy farm and we ate “local” “clean” food every day. I mean virtually all of our meat was grown on our farm, and most of our vegetables were sourced from neighbors. We NEVER ate “out” because my mom would always say, “I could have made this better at home.” Now, I never tasted anything at home that (to my 10 year old self) tasted as good as McDonalds chicken nuggets. However, we did eat pretty good at home and it was almost entirely “clean eating” way before that was cool.

Then I grew up, I went to college, life got crazy busy and I got lazy. I started eating “out” more and more. I grew to love fast food of all types. I learned to cook at home, and was perfectly capable of doing better for myself, I just lacked the motivation.

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THEN, I turned 30. Everyone says age is just a number, and that is true. However, at 30 my body started telling me NO! It had never done that before! I would abuse it and eat junk and sporadically work out and it just plugged along, slightly over weight but still moving forward. Then one day, I realized, 3 hours of sleep a night is not cutting it. I am so tired!!! Then like a month later, I was like, “hey, why does my stomach hurt when I eat French fries?” Then, a month after that, I was like, “the circles under my eyes are so dark when I don’t drink enough water!” All of these new revelations came at me and still I resisted change. I did sleep more, but the rest, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Then when I was 31, I became pregnant. My body abruptly told me, ENOUGH!!! I started being more consistent about eating at least 2 meals a day, I mean you can’t grow a tiny human on one grilled cheese sandwich a day!!! I sometimes made dubious decisions about the content of the three meals, ( I mean Fruit Loops are fortified people!) but I did eat more regularly. Additionally the addition of the doctor telling me every month that I really needed to drink more water, spurred me on to being better hydrated.5.jpg

After the baby left my body, however, my motivation ceased. I was still breastfeeding, and that should have given me more motivation than it did.( Mommy is so sorry baby!) I went back to my old ways, and now I was even more sleep deprived than before!!1.jpg

In December my baby was 6 months old, and I realized, something has to change! I started looking for ways to make our lives better. It needed to start with food. Food really is the foundation of everything. Food, water, sleep, environment, and state of mind all needed to change. But food was the beginning.8.jpg

I looked around and I read a book called The Plan. This book was great. It talked a lot about how food interacts with our bodies and how we needed to detox from the harmful things we put in our bodies and then once we have returned to a baseline level, slowly introduce different types of foods and see how our bodies react to different types of food. This made since to me and it had a handy 30 day eating plan for detoxing and introducing food groups back in, and I followed it religiously. I felt good. I got more sleep. Then 30 days ended. What do I do now? The author had told me that I would know what to do. That I had been given all the tools. However, there was math involved, and it seemed like too much work. Then I read the book, It Starts With Food. Well, lets be honest, first I read the website, whole30. Which had lots and lots of pictures and a well thought out plan that had the same basic basis as The Plan did. There are types of food that cause inflammation and reactions in our bodies and we need to get rid of these in order to discover what foods…yada yada…. same idea, slightly different plan of attack. This new plan, involved 30 days of detoxing and then adding back in different foods. It also did not hold my hand each day telling me exactly what to eat for 3 meals a day and then just leave me cold and dry to do math on my own. In fact, no math. I did the 30 days. I finished, and felt great. I was sleeping better, and this was the month before the Bar Exam so the fact I was sleeping at all was a miracle. Then, after all that, I read It Starts With Food. This book gave me a revelation. We need to have a better relationship with foods. We can drown our sorrows in a pint of ice-cream. Food is meant to sustain our very life. The love hate relationship we all have with sugar is not normal and is not healthy. Sugar shouldn’t be our everything! It shouldn’t even be our anything!!

This is just background on where I am at today and where I am at starting this blog. I just want to chronicle the journey that I am taking to better living for me and my family!13.jpg

Today, as I have added cream and the occasional cheese back into my diet. (because I grew up on a dairy farm remember, lets get real cheese is my everything.) I have managed to keep from eating added sugars for an additional 30 days since finishing my month of whole 30. I have also managed to eat minimal grains save for the occasional corn tortilla. (Who can live without tacos?!?!) and I have even resisted most legumes. I notice the biggest difference personally with this one. My body really doesn’t like them very much. I LOVE hummus, but I ALWAYS have a headache when I eat it. So, it probably isn’t a very good thing for me to eat. Also, I am eating meat everyday. Which I have not done since I was little. As an adult, meat is expensive, and takes time too cook, and I just didn’t eat much of it.

Keep following along with me and my family and we start an adventure for a better life!