Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farm Share...

This summer was the first summer that my husband and I invested in a farm share at a local organic farm. Each week, starting in June we have been blessed over and over again with a bounty of fresh greens, vegetables and some fruits.

I think this has been one of the best, if not the best, investments we have ever made. We had no idea what it would be like or what we would get. Having all this fresh produce in our refrigerator week after week has really kicked up our vegetable and greens intake. My kids are also joining in! Last night, my 15 year old daughter ate sauteed kale with chicken sausage...and asked if she could have the rest! Seconds...for kale? That was the most awesome feeling ever for me with regards to what I am feeding my family. Even the little kids are getting into it. My youngest loves to pick which bunch of greens we will take home each week at pickup and the boys (the worst veggie eaters ever!) are even trying things. I have found that once everyone gets involved in the process they suddenly have a vested interest and will at least try everything on their plate. I am looking forward to taking a field trip out to the farm soon to help with weeding and to hand pick some of the veggies out there.

Fresh, just out of the ground, organic, local produce is something I have been missing out on all my life! I can't emphasize enough how much this is changing our family and our eating habits. And the taste? Amazing! Everything grown conventionally that is sold in the grocery store, it all tastes like plastic to me...yes, there is a difference!! Do a taste test sometime with an organic vs. non organic fruit or vegetable or green. They are light-years apart in taste...I kid you not!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Night Snack...

Sunday night snack. Sounds like a good idea, huh? I came up with this at the beginning of summer to try and help me control my out of control ice cream binging. It was an attempt to control how often I could eat it throughout the week. Now, I assume you figured out by using the word "attempt", the idea wasn't very successful. Nope. I still eat ice cream WAY too much, and not only on Sunday.

However, upon thinking about the Sunday night snack routine, I realized there is something else to it. My husband and I have a quirky connection around eating snack food together late at night. There is just something about that snack time that has become sacred to us and our routine. Unfortunately, it isn't the healthiest way for us to connect with each other. What's a wife (who's trying to lose weight and get healthier) to do?? Especially when the bad stuff tastes so darn good?

Well, the first thing not to do is cancel Sunday night snack! If I try to eliminate that from our marital routine, bad things will happen. I will probably feel deprived (and binge) and I will eliminate an activity my husband and I have found enjoyable together.

Healthy relationships are key components to our health. When you are on good terms in your relationships, food will begin to move aside and become secondary in it's importance. So how do I handle this when food is part of the relational connection? Well, a few simple changes to the snacking routine will help it become even more healthy without removing the enjoyment or the connection it creates!!
  1. Change what you eat! Instead of indulging in a piece of cheesecake or potato chips and dip that can reach up to 1000 calories per serving, make a healthier version of the dessert, like raw cacao chocolates, a bowl of fruit, or ice cream made from coconut milk instead of cow's milk.
  2. Eat earlier! Eating late at night is taxing on the digestive system and process. When you go to sleep your body slows down to rest as well, and if your stomach is full of snacks, it will sit in your stomach undigested for hours, and begin to ferment...gross! Eat your snack no later than 2 hours before bedtime, and preferably no later than 3 hours before your rest your head on your pillow.
  3. Change the snack! Another alternative is to actually change the snack altogether and do an activity instead (I know, much harder, I have yet to accomplish this steps, right?) If you have the willpower, and you can pass on the snack, and take a walk instead, DO IT! Even if you do this once a month, and see how it goes for three months. Then maybe shift to every other week. This is a pattern change that is leading to excellent moderation!
  4. Drink a full glass of water before the snack! If you fill your stomach with water before you dig into the treat, you will eat less, it's that simple!

Snacking doesn't have to be "sinful". We can snack smartly and responsibly. And usually, when other areas of our lives are aligned and nourished, like our relationships, snacking will take the backseat in our routines. And if you decide to snack in moderation, enjoy it! Feeling guilt slows digestion and causes emotional stress. When emotional stress is present our food can take as much as 3 times as long to digest...that's worse than sitting undigested in our bellies over night!

Now, it's Sunday night, and my hubby and I are going to share some time and a snack together! Here's to snacking responsibly!

Changes To Come...

I haven't spent a whole lot of time in here the past few weeks. We have been traveling A LOT! We have been to Denver, Chicago 6 times in 5 weeks, as well as Minnesota for a few days. We are also contemplating a couple more trips before school starts...but I am feeling burned out and ready to land for awhile...but the mountains in Colorado are calling me back...we'll see.

This blog is going to see some changes soon. Things are good and moving forward in life. I want this to follow suit. It's time to say goodbye to old feelings and emotional distress and take on a new attitude and start a new story. I am hungry for a new beginning, new life, new topics, and sharing of new challenges.

What are you hungry for? Let me know, and I will post all about it!

I hope you will still tag along. Change will be good...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Date Night...

Lately, I've been feeling like my husband and I have spent very little time together. I would even go as far to say that we could qualify as roommates instead of an intimate, connected husband and wife.

Now the truth is, we have been spending time the same room, on the same vacations, same car rides, same bed...BUT, we aren't doing that great at connecting with each other and talking to each other. It seems as though we have continued to do a good job at making time for us to be together for the purpose of re-connecting, but we aren't doing a very good job at the follow through of that intention once we are alone.

Yesterday, in the middle of one his many meetings he had, my hubby sent me a text asking if he could get a babysitter to take his wife out on a date tomorrow night (now tonight!). I responded back with "That would be fabulous!"

He sent me another text earlier today on his way into another meeting (if you ask me what he does for a living, I'll say "go to meetings...about something...all day, every day...with an occasional racquetball and golf game in there") letting me know he has a sitter for 6:30pm and wondered where I wanted to go for dinner. While sitting here thinking about what I was going to eat tonight at my favorite restaurant, I realized I needed to change my focus. I need to reset my brain and get into "dating" mode. My husband heard my complaints about how I was feeling, listened, and took action to help make it better! I just now see this! An amazing man, he is :)

So instead of focusing on what I am going to indulge in for dinner tonight at my favorite local restaurant, I am going to focus on him. I love this man SO much. And we have been through A LOT together. Sometimes, I complain about the fact that we "never" talk anymore, he "always" watches TV in the other room, falls asleep too fast, whatever. But I realize that this is a relationship. You can't have a relationship with 1 person. It doesn't work.

So today it's my turn to focus on HIM instead of expecting him to focus on ME. I am already thinking of all kinds of things I want to ask him about, share with him, and hear what he has to say to me. It feels amazing to have a clear focus in my head about my intention for our evening together tonight. I already feel better and more connected and excited to put him in the spotlight for once! He does so much, works so hard, and supports just about everything I stick my nose into. It's my turn to return the favor and love on him, support, affirm, and be excited for him and all the good things he has going on the fact that he got to play golf this morning for work and it is gorgeous out today!!

Happy date night to me! What should I wear? How should I do my hair? Shower? Bodywash? Make up? Yes! He is totally worth it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sugar Monster...

Have you ever had a monster take over your body? I currently have one living inside of me and it is very much addicted to sweet, cold ice cream. Now, this monster is very persistent. It will not move out and on to someone else, no matter what I do!

This unbeatable craving for ice cream is really starting to stump me. I have done all the right things, like eating more sweet vegetables, fruits, and smoothies. And of course the analyzing and deconstructing of this said craving and to no avail can come up with any reason as to why it is there.

Is it because it is summer and it is warm, and my body is craving something cool? Is there something in my life that needs to be addressed and I am soothing it with creamy, cool, satiating dairy? What is going on in my relationships to cause me to turn to something sweet...I can't think of anything!!

The only time this happens is in the summer. Every summer it is the same thing. All I want is ice cream. So do I give in and indulge? Or do I continue to fight and ultimately fail? I vote indulge, guilt free, knowing it is a phase. My only fear is that my body will not cooperate and allow it to be free calories!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Happy Anniversary...

Twelve years ago, on July 12, 1997, my husband and I were married. Last night before going to sleep, I read out loud to him a letter I had written just a few days ago. In this letter, I shared the timeline of our relationship and what he had done for me at each stage. Over the course of our marriage, we have had many hard struggles and even a separation. And in that letter, I thanked him for all of the hurt and hard times. Yes, I thanked him.

You see, if we don't experience hard times, God can't help us grow and learn. Everything in our lives happens for a reason. God's plan for us was to discover the real reason for our partnership...for His perfect plan. My marriage has taught me to love, to listen, and to be careful about what I say. It has taught me patience, hard work, endurance, and faith. It has taught me contentment (although, I'm still working on this!), compassion, and better ways to communicate my feelings.

My marriage changes me year to year. And all the changes are good, even amongst a wildfire of bad. I love my husband in a way that I can not describe. It is so much I can't even formulate the words into a description. He is the most amazing man there is. And he chose me. How blessed am I to be with him? Hugely blessed...

I love God's plan for us. I would never change a single thing that has happened to us, good or bad. I will endure all the hard times and tears over and over again, just so I can experience the feelings I have for my husband in a deeper, more intimate, and even more amazing way. If you let God speak to you and teach you, you will be forever changed...we are proof.

Happy Anniversary my love, I am looking forward to seeing where the next twelve years takes us, God willing, and all of the blessings He has in store for our future! You are my rock, my comfort, my strength, and my forever love.