To My Husband…

I’m going to abuse my blog today to say Happy Anniversary to my best friend, Dave. Today we have been married for three years and I’m convinced that I could not possibly be happier with anyone else in the world. We’re definitely “made for each other,” and we prove it everyday!

 

We’ve been through so much life together in our short three years of marriage (and the two previous years of dating and engagement) and I’m so glad that it’s you, Dave, that I get to spend all of my days with!

Here’s why:

  • Jesus is the rock of our marriage. I’m so grateful to be married to a man who loves the Lord with all his heart and wants his family to love the Lord with all their hearts, too.
  • We’ve had so much fun and laughter together and there’s so much more to come. I don’t want to miss out on any of it!
  • We’ve experienced loss together and through it we’ve grown closer.
  • We have the sweetest, cutest little baby dude on the planet. We wouldn’t trade him for anything!
  • You always make sure we have everything we need (and a few extras, too). Thanks for all you do!

Thanks for being my husband (and a super great one at that). And thanks for being Charlie’s daddy–I love to see you bond with him and make him smile and giggle! It’s the best sight in the world.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

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IT’S JULY!!!

And if you’ve been following me for the last few weeks or more, then you know what that means! If not, you can get filled in on all the happenings here, here and here!

I have so much to say today–so much that I will probably not fit it all in today! I’m very excited for July. I hope you are too!

***

First Things, First!

I bet you’re all wondering how I did for the last two weeks of June. In order to get a true sense of how I’m doing I think we need a little recap!

MID-JUNE ASSESSMENT/MEASUREMENTS:

Weight: 169

Measurements:

  • Hips-43″
  • Chest-43 1/2″
  • Right Thigh-24 1/2″
  • Left Thigh-24 1/2″
  • Right Arm-11 1/2″
  • Left Arm-11 1/2″

Energy Levels: 3 out of 10

Overall Physical Wellness: 3 out of 10

Overall Mental Wellness: 4 out of 10

Bible Reading: 0 out of 10

So that’s where I unofficially, haphazardly started this journey. Over the last two weeks or so I have made some positive progress–maybe not in the areas I would have liked to make progress but it is positive nonetheless.

So are you ready to see how I did?

Welp…here it is!

JULY ASSESSMENT/MEASUREMENTS:

Weight: 170 +1

Ooops! Hmmm…how did this happen? Well, my weight (like many women) fluctuates a lot, so I’m not going to worry so much about it this time around. Two weeks of unorganized goals and plans ending in a weekend of some pretty bad food choices that included cake, ice cream, cookies and a frozen-sugary-coffee-confection resulted in a gain of one pound this morning. Live and learn!

Measurements:

  • Waist 36″ -1 YES!
  • Hips-42 1/2″ -1/2 Hooray!
  • Chest-43 1/2″ Steady on!
  • Right Thigh-24 1/2″ Same!
  • Left Thigh-24 1/2″ And again!
  • Right Arm-13″ +1 1/2?
  • Left Arm-13″ +1 1/2?

My saggy jeans can attest to the 1 1/2″ loss in my mid-section! Wahoo! Those size 12s almost falling off my bum definitely make up for the one pound gain. And my arm measurements, well I’m pretty sure I didn’t measure them at the biggest part last time so 13″ is probably more accurate anyway. I also lift a 22 pound baby often throughout the day so maybe I just have big muscles!

Energy Levels: 3 out of 10–the same.

Overall Physical Wellness: 4 out of 10–I feel a little better, physically. I’ve been drinking beet/carrot/apple juice about twice a week and I really think it has helped. Beets are super high in antioxidants. Could there be a correlation between drinking beet juice and feeling better? My guess is, yes! Plus (other than the sweets I had this weekend) I’ve been doing my best to eat nutrient dense foods, to listen to my body and give it what it needs–this includes lots of protein, healthy fats, fruits and veggies, etc. I’m still breastfeeding a growing baby so I know that “dieting” is not an option–even if I wanted to diet!

Overall Mental Wellness: 4 out of 10–I think I’m the same here, maybe a little better overall but not enough to say I’m a 5 quite yet.

Bible Reading: 1 out of 10–I feel like this is an uphill battle for me right now. I started to catch up on the Daniel sermons I was listening to and have been doing more scripture referencing but I still haven’t carved out a daily Bible reading time, and this, my friends is a big problem!

+++

JULY GOALS

  1. Go to bed at 10:00pm and get up at 6:30-7:00am (This was a June goal that I’m still working on).
  2. Wear my pedometer–track and increase my steps 3-4 times a week (The past two weeks I pretty much stopped going for walks because of rain or because I was busy–excuses, excuses!)
  3. Read another book. I haven’t decided which one yet but I’ll let you know when I do.
  4. I think it’s time to break out the old 3o Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. I did it several years ago but I think I would benefit from doing it again A) because it’s structured and B) because I need structure! I know I already said I don’t like doing workout DVDs but I don’t mind this one so much and I don’t really have access to other kinds of workouts that I do enjoy. Perhaps that should be goal number 5!
  5. Find a workout that I enjoy and can access on a regular basis (Tennis anyone?)
  6. Sew something–this is going to be it’s own post! I’m really excited about this one!
  7. Start reading the Bible again, starting with Ecclesiastes. I have many, many thoughts about this. This one is so important that it will also be a completely separate post and possibly regular posts. I really am bursting with things to say right now but I’m going to save my thoughts for another post!

I think that’s it for my July 1st assessment, my thoughts and my new goals! I have more things to say about how I’m going to be more organized this month and really strive to meet the goals that I set for myself. I also have some changes in mind for my blog but, as excited as I am that will all have to wait for another time.

What about you? Did you set any new goals for July? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment!

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July Is Coming! And Charlie is NOT Graduating from College This Weekend!

June is almost over!

It went so fast!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and planning for July and I’m really excited about the prospects of a fresh, more organized start to my Challenge! I would call this my “official” start since I started rather haphazardly in the middle of June.

If you don’t know already, I love to be organized in all aspects of life! (Not that I always am–let’s be honest.) 

If you’re just joining me for the first time you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. I’m referring to my year-long plan for overall health and wellness. You can read all about my plan here and my first measurements, weight, personal assessment and June goals are posted here. (Oh, and just in case you’re curious, my before picture is here.)

So, now that you’re all caught up, I really hope you’ll join me with your own goals and wellness plan! We’ll do it together! If you want, please share your goals/plans in the comments. And don’t forget to come back in a few days when I reveal my July goals and update you on all that other stuff!

One more thing: I’m TERRIBLE at coming up with names for things. Please leave me a comment/suggestion for a name for this health-plan-goal-thing!

***

My friends, I must confess, I really wanted to write something to you tonight, other than what I wrote above, but I’ve been struggling since Monday to organize my tangled thoughts.

I haven’t been taking enough walks–no, really.

I think I’ve figured out why I’ve had such a battle this week and I’ve come up with three reasons.

Reason #1: I’ve been watching the news. Do you watch the news? It’s so discouraging. I really do want to know what is going on in the world, but watching things unfold on TV is never a good option, at least not for me; I feel so burdened after even just a few minutes. (Even as I write this to you, I think of these two verses.)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Reason #2: I’m supposed to read Ecclesiastes but I’ve been putting it off, not because I don’t want to read it but because I just haven’t made time in my day to do it. God has something to teach me in Ecclesiastes and I might just be a little jumbled until I listen and read. I would love some ideas from you busy mamas and papas on how to get some quality Bible reading in during the day.

Reason #3: I forgot. Yes. That fast! It may have had something to do with Charlie or my Husband. Dave and I have been keeping busy making things happen here at the apartments, especially Dave–he’s been getting up early to get some cleaning hours in before going off to his internship! I have a great Husband, y’all!

Did I mention June went FAST?! And Charlie. Oh MY! He’s growing so fast. He’s graduating from college and getting married this weekend. Ok, not really, but that is my secret fear–that I’ll wake up one morning, after feeding him and rocking him to sleep, and find him packing his bags and heading out into the world and he won’t need me to take care of him anymore.

Um, yes. This is definitely Reason #3 that your thoughts are a mess this week.

Momma’s, am I crazy or can you relate? College graduation is a LONG way off right? About 20 years or so?

***

I feel the need to write a conclusion (I’ll do it with bullet points because it’s very late…er early in the morning and I don’t want to write a paragraph):

  • I’m excited for July plans/goals! PLEASE help me come up with a name for our challenge. If I get enough name suggestions I’ll either pull one from a hat or have Dave and Charlie pick a winner!
  • I must stop watching the news and I must read Ecclesiastes.
  • Charlie is not graduating from college or getting married this weekend.
Posted in Bible, Charlie, Goals, Health, Taking Walks, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s Happening Around Here–Teeth and Ferments

Do you hear that rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus? Ha! It must be all in my head but it’s so loud that I thought it was real! Can you tell I’m excited that these teeth finally broke through?

Charlie’s happy too. It looks like he’s singing along with the Chorus!

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“HAAA-llelujah! I have teeth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! HA-LE-LOOO-JAH!”

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Happy baby!

What else is going on around here?

Other than the heat (arrrr!), the teething, the goal accomplishing (and not accomplishing), I’ve been concocting ferments in my kitchen! Why? Because they are super good for the gut–aiding in digestion, replenishing good gut flora, building up the immune system, helping your body produce vitamins (did you know that your body actually makes certain vitamins from the food you eat?)–and because I like pickles.

Anyway, here they are! Aren’t they pretty?!

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I’ll let you know how they turn out in a week or so.

***

“Yoohoo! Remember me? You’ve been neglecting me!” said the Singer.

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I know. I know!

“You know when you’re reading all those informational books and articles? Maybe you could take a break from that now and then so I can do my thing. Then maybe I can be part of these ‘What’s Happening Around Here’ updates.”

I’ll see what I can do Ms. Singer. I’ll see what I can do.

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Not so excited about sharing my Before Picture

How am I doing with my goals? Mmm…let’s just say I need to get a little more organized. I’m definitely not efficiently accomplishing my goals yet. I made black bean brownies and got the recipe to you all but other than that I am failing! Good thing there are still 9 days left in June. I still have time to get myself together. Here’s a little recap of my goals:

  • Make black bean brownies and some other things. CHECK!
  • Wear my pedometer and increase my steps. (Where is that thing, anyway?)
  • Read this book. (I have five other books distracting me right now…does that count?)
  • Go to bed at 10:00pm (after I read just one more page, one more informational article, one more blog post…one more…)

I guess it’s easy to see what my real priorities are. The only things I’ve accomplished so far are to make a dessert and to read a bunch of stuff NOT on my list of June reading goals! Not to mention that I don’t think 3-4 pounds is going to happen this month. I did start this whole thing in the middle of the month though, so I’m going to give myself some grace here and try to lose 1-2 pounds.

Although, honestly my friends, I don’t know if that’s going to happen either. Old frozen-sugary-coffee-shop-beverage-habits die hard! 

I HAVE been catching up on some Bible study; however, I have not actually opened the Bible myself. I’m trying to catch up in the Daniel sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah. I just started the messages about Daniel praying for the people of Israel to return to Jerusalem. It’s all so interesting! *** I realized after posting about setting monthly goals and losing weight that I didn’t post a before picture…and I should have. Otherwise, how will you know that I’m a real person and not some false advertisement for, well, nothing ’cause I’m not advertising a THING except for all around healthy eating and living!

Why so much sass about advertisements?

Because, dear readers, I was duped in my younger days into believing that it was ok to drink weight loss shakes instead of eating nutritious meals that included healthy fats and cholesterol (yes! your body needs both of those). Because I tried the eat-two-bowls-of-highly-processed-breakfast-cereal-instead-of-meals diet and definitely lost weight–and then gained every single pound back! And most importantly because now I’m a mother, and when I see advertisements telling me that if my little dude won’t eat his healthy food, I don’t have to worry because there is a highly processed shake to fix that problem, too.

Sheesh! Chillax, oh frenzied-blogo-mom! You don’t have to watch the advertisements.

True. And I often don’t. I just wanted to share my thoughts on advertisements.

Dismount soap-box now.

ANYway…here I am! Before my healthy living transformation!

See Pudge-a-Mudge in the background? I had to take a picture with him too!

I have to be honest with you–I’m not so excited about sharing these pictures. I definitely don’t look like I used to and I definitely don’t have the confidence that I used to. But I am so excited that I’m doing something about this now and not later! That’s what I want to be about, people. I want to be about doing it now! Whatever “it” is, I want to do it now!

How about you? Did you make some health-wellness goals? Some reading goals? I would love to hear about them!

Posted in Do It Now!, Goals, Health, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

These Black Bean Brownies Are So Good!

I have a recipe for you!

It took me a few days to do this because I tried a recipe on Sunday but I wanted to change some things. So I tried again this morning and came up with this Black Bean Brownie recipe!

Why black beans? Well, it’s no secret that refined carbohydrate are not healthy options–sugar and white-wheat flour being some pretty big culprits. I’ve been doing TONS of reading recently so I don’t remember where I read this but…I’ve also read recently that wheat in general–even whole wheat–is not so good. Most of the time it’s improperly prepared, meaning it’s not soaked, sprouted or fermented, therefore it’s harder to digest and lacking in nutrients/the body has a harder time absorbing the nutrients. Also, lot’s of people these days seem to have problems with wheat (you might have problems and not even know it!)

AND…since I don’t have any soaked wheat berries lying around but always seem to have a plethora of beans on hand, black bean brownies sounded intriguing so I had to try them!

Besides, who doesn’t love brownies or chocolate once in a while? Ok, maybe some of you don’t so please bare with me and my love of chocolate.

For this recipe you need:

  • a blender
  • an 8×8 glass pan
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • and all the ingredients!

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Toss everything into the blender, wet ingredients first.

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Pour mix into lightly greased pan. I used shortening but I don’t recommend it. It’s NOT good for you. Try real butter instead (preferably from grass fed cows!). I’m not sure why I used shortening; it’s a habit I guess. Honestly, it didn’t even keep the brownies from sticking. You could try using paper muffin cups and make individual brownies. If you do, let me know how it works!

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Bake it in the oven! Mine took about 35 minutes at 350°.

These brownies are seriously delicious! They do not taste like brownies from a box–they probably taste better! I mean, I ate three itty bitty squares already because they are so good.

And that is why we should not keep chocolate in our apartment–I will eat it.

The only problem with these is that they are crumbly, but definitely not dry.

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This part is totally unnecessary but just too tempting not to try. Make up some homemade chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over brownies. Enjoy!

Brownies:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ c. real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ c. soaked then cooked black beans
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare your pan or muffin cups. Put all ingredients in blender, wet ingredients first. Blend until smooth. Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (until toothpick stuck in center of brownies comes out almost clean).

Chocolate Topping:

(Sorry—I didn’t exactly measure this one)

  • 2 spoons coconut oil
  • 3 spoons real maple syrup
  • 2 heaping spoons cocoa powder

Heat coconut oil and maple syrup until just melted. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth and blended. Use to top these brownies, bananas, strawberries or whatever you want! It will harden in the refrigerator.

Soaking/cooking dried beans:

I soaked my black beans days ago and they’ve been sitting in my refrigerator waiting for me! All you do is cover a 1 lb. bag of dry beans with water plus 1 Tbsp. vinegar. Let them soak for at least 8 hours and then they’re ready to cook. I boiled/simmered mine until they were soft.

I hope you enjoy the brownies!

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My Actual Weight! My Honest Measurements and My Completely Honest Assessment!

Ok…here it is! As promised! Isn’t it fun to tell the world your weight and measurements?

I’m hearing a resounding NOOO!!!

But, my wonderful readers, I think that being honest with you will a) help me reach my goals and b) encourage you to achieve your goals!

READY! SET! TRACK!

Starting Weight: 169

My goal weight after one year is 129. If I feel as healthy as I can be before I reach 129, that’s fine too! Weight is just one of many ways to assess health.

Starting Measurements:

  1. Waist-37″
  2. Hips-43″
  3. Chest-43 1/2″
  4. Right Thigh-24 1/2″
  5. Left Thigh-24 1/2″
  6. Right Arm-11 1/2″
  7. Left Arm-11 1/2″

Energy levels: My energy levels have been pretty low. When I say low, I mean that at my most awake and energetic times of the day I feel like taking a nap! That might be an exaggeration but on a scale of 1 to 10 I would honestly give myself a 3.

Overall physical wellness: Physically I feel just ok. It’s hard to describe, but I feel like my body is constantly trying to heal me from the inside and my poor body is just over worked because, as far as diet and exercise, I haven’t given it much help over the last decade! Many mornings I wake up with very creaky bones and stiff, inflamed joints. Some days I feel a tiny bit ill (not really sick–just lousy). I would give myself a 3 out of 10.

Overall mental wellness: I’m not a doctor–of anything–but I do believe that mental wellness is connected to physical & spiritual wellness. I am nowhere near as joyful and motivated as I would like to be and some days it’s because I just don’t have the energy or the ability to focus. I would give myself a 4 out of 10 here.

I’m pretty hard on myself, I always have been. My husband gave me a 4 for physical wellness and a 5 for mental wellness. He loves me so much! He is always honest with me but definitely doesn’t see all of the flaws in me that I see in myself. 

Bible reading: I haven’t read anything recently enough to give you an assessment or even a little inspiration from my reading. A while ago I started a chronological Bible reading plan so I’m going to pick that up again. So, 0 out of 10 in this category! Yikes!

THIS MONTHS GOALS!

I don’t know if you noticed, but June is half over so I’ve already started some of my goals for the month. Dave bought me a pedometer a few days ago (when I told him about my grand plan) so my first goal is to wear it every day and increase the number of steps I take! On days when don’t go for walks with Charlie I get almost 10,000 steps. It seems like a lot but really…it’s not!

My second goal is actually for today. I have cooked black beans in the fridge waiting to be made into black bean brownies! I have rhubarb on the table and strawberries in the fridge waiting to be made into something. I have a coconut that needs to be opened and turned into milk and coconut flour (remember this post? haha!) And I also have some zucchini waiting to be made into bread (with healthy substitute ingredients)! I’ll post recipes if anyone is interested!

My third goal is to read this book. It’s by one of my favorite bloggers!

My fourth goal: I don’t really want to have more than 3 goals per month–at least not right away–but Dave said one of our goals should be to go to bed on time (10:00 PM instead of midnight?). He’s right and I think that would help with the lack of energy!

THE 30×365 CHALLENGE!

I want YOU to join me! Every 30ish days for 1 year, we’ll set new goals and track our progress toward a bigger health and wellness goal! Your health and wellness plan is going to look different from mine and your monthly goals might be different too! And that’s OK.

Be honest with yourself.

Do you want to get your health back? Maybe you have a weight loss goal?

Figure out what YOU want to track. Set a goal or two for the remainder of June (things that will help you reach your health or weight loss goals) and get started!  Whether it’s reading a book about food or fitness, getting outside and exercising, brushing the dust off your Bible and diving in, or something else!

Leave me a comment and let me know what your plans are and what you’re tracking! I would love to encourage you with your goals!

P. S. I’m not a doctor–if you feel like you need to go see one before starting your plan, do it! I will not be seeing a doctor but you may want to!

Posted in Goals, Health, The Challenge, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments