The Truth And Nothing But The Truth

So as you know we were in NE last week taking care of the kiddos. What a crazy stressful thing it must be for my brother and his wife to raise three amazing children and work full time. But I know it is obviously super rewarding but it sure was tiring and we only did it for one week (with the help of her mother too!). In terms of diet and how that all shook down I will confess that it got derailed super fast. The week before we left was my last week in a long term position so I was busy getting the classroom ready to be handed back to it’s rightful owner. Mitch threw out his back in the beginning of that week too but we did plan a menu as best as week could. We bought some sloppy joe mix that was Wild Diet approved, same as a taco mix we bought too. We had jerky and fruit packed for the car ride and had a game plan of how we wanted the week to go. We would start with the two meals we had planned and had supplies for then we would go to the store from there and get what we needed as most things on The Wild Diet are fresh products anyway. My sister-in-law said they would have groceries for the kids on hand. I thought they could do sloppy joes and tacos with us and then from there I’d just cook a kids meal and an adult meal.

On our trip down we decided to go halfway then spend the night in a casino as M’s back was still touchy from earlier that week. We listened to fat burning man podcasts and planned our on the road meals to the best of our ability. At the casino we stayed at they had a stay and play package so we ended up getting $20 in dining credits. We skipped their Friday seafood buffet knowing that we would need to save our free meal for the next night. Alice’s baptism was the following evening and my brother had a pasta meal with cake and ice cream planned at his house. We had both saved our free meal to be used on that meal.

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I have always said that South Dakota is a beautiful state to drive through but this South Dakotan sunset was truly incredible
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I made M pull over so we could watch it set and take some pictures

The next morning we wake up early to get on the road at a decent time. North central Nebraska ain’t nothing to sneeze at either. That was a beautiful sunrise surrounded by big grassy hills and lovely orioles singing as well. Sometimes it’s not a pain in the butt to get up and take Jackson outside right away.

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Sunrise at Ohiya Casino and Resort

After getting dressed we headed to the breakfast buffet where we had planned to stick to things that were ok for our diet. The buffet was running late so we ended up ordering off the menu and we both skipped the hash browns and toast that came with our meals and choose to add meat as our side instead. Then we stopped in Grand Island, NE for a few essentials and it was lunchtime. We had a chopped salad from Subway with no cheese or croutons and a lot of veggies. We both had full fat ranch because with this diet fat is better than sugar (which is often replaced in low-fat products).

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Still making the best choices for what the situation was I feel like

Then a few hours after we finally arrived it was time for the baptism and celebration. Side note: Nebraskan take their Cornhuskers suuuuuper seriously. In church (which we are told is usually quite full) there was only about 15 other people there besides family that was in attendance for the baptism and that’s because the Cornhuskers were playing at the same time! Anyways even though it was our free meal I still didn’t want to overdo it on anything to much. I had a small portion of spaghetti, one small piece of garlic bread, some Caesar salad,  and a big ol’ glass of milk (my free meal staple :). I opted out of all cake and ice cream. M was similarly conscientious of what he ate. We were feeling great about how the trip was going so far and couldn’t see any issues with doing it the rest of the week.

Well, we were wrong. Early morning Sunday we were left on our own with the three kids. Day one wasn’t too shabby. I made eggs with veggies, M fed Alice, we played outside, they all took huge naps, we had sloppy joes and broccoli for supper. It wasn’t so bad at all. Then 1:45 in the morning happened. Alice woke up. Alice stayed up. And she didn’t decide to go back to sleep until about 5:15. Then Breckyn was up for the day at 6:45. Then 8:00 rolls around M has work phone calls coming in left and right leaving me tired as hell trying to take care of the three darlings. I made Alice’s food and fed her, and got the older two some cereal. I was going to make eggs for myself afterwards but couldn’t because M was’t available to help take care of the kids. I was hungry and caved and had a small bowl of cereal. It was DELICIOUS! I looove milk and cereal with all its sugar (even the “healty” cereal I was eating which was a Kashi Go Lean has a bunch of sugar) is pretty addictive. And that’s how the slippery slope to poor choices started. The rest of the week continued to be a chaotic scene of trying to cook and clean up for the babies and sometimes M could help sometimes he couldn’t. Cooking two meals became like a super human feat that I didn’t ever get around to. All you parents out there I tip my hat to you!! We still tried to have as many fruits and veggies for side dishes and snacks but it was a struggle. I know their parents are obviously better at taking care of them and juggling real life but it was challenging to walk into in the middle and try to keep a balance. We ended up basically saying Fu#% it and said that as soon as we left on Sunday we would go right back to what we had been doing but it was just too overwhelming to try and follow a relatively new way of eating while being so busy.

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He’s a pretty amazing uncle 
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Two peas in a pod who are wild and hilarious together 
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She made me laugh so much! Always snooping to see what’s going on around her
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Sometimes I just needed Alice to not crawl to every naughty thing in the house constantly so I put her in the crib and big brother wasn’t going to allow her to be alone 🙂
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They love playing “funny faces” on Auntie’s phone…funny faces being Snapchat of course!
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For two hours on the Saturday before we left Ayla’s mom babysat for us. We have never enjoyed those two beers or pizza more haha
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I usually post pictures of the healthy things I’m eating but life isn’t constant healthy eating…at least not for us. Here is a picture of some of the best popcorn I’ve had. I also had a Peanut Butter Power with a shot of espresso which is my favorite coffee drink of all time and it’s not healthy either. We had also had mac n’ cheese, non-sprouted bread, sugary peanut butter, lots of milk, nachos, and cereal amongst other things for honesty’s sake. 

All in all I guess life doesn’t always go the way you plan….ok it rarely goes the way you planned but you just have to roll with it. We ate a lot of crap that week yes. Nobody’s perfect and taking better care of the kids was more important to us than eating correctly. But we definitely got a taste of some of the challenges I’m sure many parents face everyday so that is something we can be thinking on as we try to grow our family.

Back in Nebraska

We are spending the week in Nebraska taking care of my nieces and nephew while their parents fly to Germany for a wedding. Being “parents” to three kids that are three years and younger is no vacation let me tell you! It has only been two days and we are already severely sleep deprived and making poor food choices. But what we are lacking in health and wellness this week we are gaining in tons of love, snuggles, and laughter (and maybe a few tears too haha).

When the kids are napping, so is the rest of the house!
He’ll be a great daddy one day 🙂 
This nugget learned how to crawl and stand around recently, causing nothing but headaches for the adults in her life. Baby proof all you want but it won’t stop her from ripping out chunks of animal fur or constantly trying to make an escape for plugged in nightlights. 
She sure is stinkin’ cute though!

 

Happiness Is A Snack With Your Husband 

Perfect way to bond with the hubby

How delicious does this look!? It tasted even better. Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted 7-grain Bread plus organic peanut butter (no sugar), drizzled with a small amount of raw local honey, add some raspberries, and tea and you’ve got the perfect snack date. We are at the start of week four on The Wild Diet and we are both happy with how everything has been going. I was able to wear a pair of pants I’ve had in the closet for a year that grew too small and that was exciting. I have no idea the last time I was able to “shop” back in my closet. I can’t wait until I can do it again. 

That’s not all to say there haven’t been challenges but there hasn’t been any major derailing moment for either of us. One challenge that I was surprised to see the after effects of was my free meal this weekend. I had my sister in town along with my niece and we had some hearty Wild Diet breakfasts and a salad for lunch. For supper on Saturday though Ellery picked pizza at Old Chicago. Sister and I decided on their Italian Nachos which I have always loved. I haven’t had milk in so long that instead of a beer I opted to have two big glasses of milk (still tastes like heaven to me). I dipped my fried cheesy pasta crisps in both the marinara sauce and ranch. It was very yummy and I ate more than I should have/thought that I would. Afterwards we went home and watched a movie and by the end of it I felt such yucky tiredness that I haven’t felt in a long time. It was not a regular sleepy  tired. This was a lathargic gritty debilitating tired and it was no fun. We had plans to stay up and play games and visit but we were both so foggy that we were in bed by 11 o’clock. That sucked. I attribute it to the sugar and junk we ate for supper. It amazes me how I used to live like that all the time. And you don’t realize just how much it affects your body until you have been off it for a while. Something carried over into Sunday and I don’t know if that was the physical symptoms or the psychological but despite eating a Wild Diet breakfast (made together with Elle Belle 🙂 and a Wild Diet supper I still had yearnings of not being satisfied with any of it. I ate a lot of Skinny Pop and snacked on it quite a bit throughout the day just so I could keep my mouth busy. 

Today was back to business as usual with a butter coffee or tea for breakfast and I fasted for lunch. (Intermittent fasting is an optional part of The Wild Diet designed to keep your metabolism guessing). For supper we had oven roasted herb chicken with rainbow carrots and green beans almondine all cooked in healthy oils and fats. And of course the tea and toast for snack. 

Tonights supper
Last nights supper of uncured nitrite nitrate free apple gouda sausages with peppers, onions, and sauerkraut topped with a dollop of stone ground mustard

Next weeks challenge: being in Nebraska for 9 days taking care of babies. M and I have already started meal planning and figuring out how it will all work. Wish us luck! I will just have to adopt the attitude of Ellery who seeks out challenges to push herself. Like in the picture below where she rock climbed a 35 foot wall all by herself and after mastering it asked if the instructor would put her on a harder wall “because she wanted to challenge herself!” Go Ellery! You inspire Auntie everyday with your enthusiasm and energy. 

Our little monkey

Why I’m Angry and You Should Be Too

I have been thinking about how much I’ve learned since I started blogging and it actual amazes me the knowledge I’ve gained since January. I considered myself quite knowledgeable in the area of food and nutrition just as a person who likes to be well informed and enjoys learning. However, I have never learned so much about food and nutrition so much as I have just in the past nine months alone. I considered myself one of those people who knew what I should be doing but just wasn’t doing it. I was too lazy or my willpower just wasn’t good enough to compete with “healthy” eating. I have felt that way since the beginning of high school when I saw a doctor as they were concerned that my thyroid may be under active and that my numbers were a little bit under what was considered normal. I vividly remember the specialist doctor asking me what he thought would be eye-opening questions (which he of course asked in a very condescending way) “do you know how many calories are in a Big Mac?” I gave a pretty darn close to right on the money answer and he looked at me like okay let’s try this tricky question, “Do you know how many calories are in an orange?” I again gave the “correct” answer and he proceeded to ask me, “Do you know how many calories you’d burn playing tennis for an hour?” I aced that question too. The whole time this specialist was asking me these questions I kept thinking it’s not that I don’t know this information it’s how do I do what I need to do to in order to be successful in my weight? The only answer I was given was that it was a will power issue.

I remember dieting as early as 6th grade, going soda free for a whole year and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t see much of any results. I drank “healthy” juice instead and yet I was still heavy. In high school I used the money from my after school job to buy “healthy” groceries like Lean Cuisines and Lean Pockets and I exercised more and still not much of any changes occurred. That is certainly discouraging. I felt I was doomed to a lifetime of being the heavy girl. Luckily my personality is just too positive to let it hold me back from living life (for the most part) but my weight is and has been on my mind every single day for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried Weight Watchers, I’ve tried restricting my calories to 1,000 a day plus 60 minutes of exercise, I’ve tried this diet and that diet all without any real or lasting changes in my weight. Which in turn makes me give up and just eat whatever. I’ve watched my weight climb up and up. Until the beginning of this year when we wanted to start a family and my body wouldn’t allow it. So I started a mission for myself to finally figure this out and I started the blog as a way to remember my experiences and keep me motivated.

In the past months as I have read other’s blogs, watched documentaries and TV shows,  listened to podcasts, and read books and articles I’ve become angry. Like outraged angry. Our government has been making us sick by allowing us to believe that the products we are buying are healthy for us when in fact they are making us sick. “Heart Healthy” “Low-fat” “Whole-Grain” these are words designed to make you think that what you are eating is not only safe but good for you. And this is all done in the name of making more money. All my life I’ve felt that I alone was the failure in my health and weight. And this past year has opened my eyes to the fact that it hasn’t been solely on me. That I was a clueless sheep just following my shepherd’s guidelines. If you are interested more on this topic I recommend the following documentaries which are all available on Netflix: Sugar Coated, Fed Up, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, and Cowspiracy. I’ve also enjoyed Abel James’ podcast The Fat Burning Man and his book, The Wild Diet. Now there is some disagreements about a meat diet versus a vegetarian or vegan diet but one thing they do agree on is that processed food and sugar are poison and really shouldn’t be eaten much if at all. And what is the end result of all this processed garbage? Skyrocketing health care costs and symptom based medical care instead of root cause care. But what do many of the doctors tell us? That it is our fault that we are weak, that we are simple minded folk who just can’t figure out basic input output math. Like my doctor in high school who made me feel humiliated and ashamed and that I was to blame. When instead he could have been the first one to realize that I had the beginning signs of PCOS and a metabolic condition that is affected by the sugar in my diet. But doctors aren’t to blame they are doing as they were taught and are a cog in a much bigger broken wheel.

Now I am not saying that we don’t have control over what we put into our mouths but when you put much of any amount of added sugar into your diet (which is constantly  subliminally pushed at you by big foods) you are essentially addicting yourself to it. Sugar has been proven to be more addictive than cocaine. Makes you realize why it really is impossible to have just one Oreo. Sugar addiction side effects include low energy, and feeling HUNGRY (crazy that something you are eating is actually making you feel more hungry). On one hand you have the food industry pushing you to eat more of their crap food which makes you fatter, sicker, and addicted and on the other hand you have media and advertising using models that are make-uped and airbrushed to the point of unrealistic beauty “standards” and it’s no wonder we all feel like epic failures. Life in the 21st century ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The question becomes, “Now what?” We’ve identified some of the real problems (not the perceived ones handed out to us in a line of bullshit) and while those problems are pretty substantial there is still something that we can do. It sounds radical and hippy if you will but you’ve got to cut out the crap. In a dramatic way. M and I started the Wild Diet two and half weeks ago and while I am most certainly not an expert I am an expert on what I know about myself. And I know that cutting out 90% of the refined sugars and carbs that I had been eating has already changed my life. I have more energy and I don’t sit in front of the TV every night vegged out like a zombie. I am already happier in a way that I have a hard time describing. I was happy before, I have always been a generally happy person, but since cutting out those foods I feel more connected to myself. I’ve been able to listen to my body, really listen to when it’s actually hungry and full. I don’t have much of any cravings anymore. I haven’t eaten out once and that doesn’t even bother me. I cook at home. I spend quality time with my husband talking about our health. I get out in nature as much as possible. I go for walks when I’m on the phone instead of sitting on the couch. These are big changes to happen so suddenly and I attribute it to cutting out the crap. Currently we are still meat reliant as we transition into clean eating but our eventual goal is to be much less meat/animal reliant. For me that decision came from an environmental point of view as the sustainability for an animal based diet has been called into severe question. Of course that choice is personal but if you’d like more information or a starting point to that topic of conversation I recommend watching Cowspiracy.

I was watching Fat Sick & Nearly Dead the other night and what started as an OK documentary into one man’s journey to health changed in the middle unexpectedly to another man’s journey whom he had inspired. Phil Staples was on the verge of death when he happened to run into Joe Cross a man with the same medical ailment that he had. The movie quickly becomes insanely inspiring. Something that Phil said that made me connect with him on a profound level was he said that he wanted to be Phil again. Not fat Phil, not big guy, not whoa Phil…just Phil. I want to be just Kristina again. I currently see myself as fat Kristina. While my family and friends have always treated me as just Kristina I know that I feel like myself, my true self when I am not carrying around all this extra weight.

As for an update in my personal life I have been busy long-term subbing which has been a positive experience but I still love subbing more than running my own classroom (a decision that has been hard for some people to accept). It will be bittersweet when I leave though as I have loved having the same sweet kiddos every day. Last weekend over Labor Day we got together with my mother and father-in-law over on the Easatern side of Minnesota near Duluth. Usually that means foods containing a lot of refined flour but after talking about our decision to no longer eat those kinds of foods they respectfully worked with us to plan a menu that was both delicious and clean. Usually when we are at the cabin we drink a lot of alcohol and sit at the table playing cards for literal hours upon hours. I was never a big fan of that and with my increased energy and desire to be outside I asked if we could go explore. At first we were told no that we could go alone and maybe they’d come next year but when M held his ground and said that’s fine we are still going to go they decided to join us. We had a lovely day traveling along the North Shore of Lake Superior and eating wild caught smoked fish and drinking a glass of organic wine all while walking around different marinas we drove by. When we got back to the cabin that night I wanted to sit outside on the porch in the beautiful fall like weather and they all sat with me. Then we had a bonfire and visited.  And while we all missed Mike and Ashley we were able enjoy the day with just the four of us. 

This weekend my older sister and oldest niece will be coming to visit and I can’t wait to see them and hear all about her first day of school. M is going to take Ellery rock climbing. She is our own little Jillian Michaels as we lovingly call her. She’s been an exercise and play enthusiast for as long as she could walk and she loves trying new things. I’m excited to watch her and M pursue their passions together.

Exploring Jay Cook State Park together
The beautiful scenery along the North Shore

Have something to add to this topic? I’d love to hear from you and your point of view in the comments below!