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Friday, September 5, 2014

Tradition: How Can I Pray For You, Mom?

How Can I Pray For You, Mom?

This school year I started asking my Monkey "How can I pray for you?" on the way to school. I feel like we do have open talks, but this gives me an additional inside to what he is thinking or what is weighing on him. He always has something to say. Just once he did not have any thing to say so he asked to pray for a friend. We pray for others during our bedtime routine so it was nice pray for someone who was on his mind. I feel like this is our new tradition that will allow him to talk about any thing that's on his mind and he can leave it in the car with me knowing I will pray. I think about my boy through out the day and I pray for him, but now I'm also praying for what was on his heart. My Monkey surprised me, when he asked me "How can I pray for you, Mom?" This moment made me cry. It was so sweet and thoughtful of him. I wasn't surprised since my boy is a ball of sugar for his mama. 

When my Monkey asked me what prayer I needed, I felt so proud of him that he thought to ask me in return. I told him how thoughtful of him to think of others.

Prayer is a gift we can give others. I am loving our new tradition!

Do you have any new traditions this school year?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How I Quit Pop

How I Quit Pop

At the beginning of my weightloss fight, I quit drinking pop. I would only drink it when I ate out. Since I ate out 12 times a week that added up to a lot of pop. I would also go to the drive-thru just for a drink, okay a cheeseburger too. I have estimated I was drinking 5 gallons of diet pop a week. I stopped eating out so the pop stopped too. I switched to water. I use to believe I hated water so I used Mio or Crystal Light to make it taste better. I struggled to drink even 6 glasses a day. Oh how I missed the fizzle of pop and the bubbles on my tongue. It just took time and I had to keep my brain away from thinking about it. I dug into hobbies, reached out to friends and my Boss and drank more water. I also prayed for control around pop. There's no easy answer, it just took time. After a while I used less and less water flavor enhancers and went to plain water. Gasp! I know! It just took the time from being addicted.

 My thoughts of pop became distant.   I now drink 10 glasses of water and for the past 4 days I've been drinking 12 glasses a day.  My goal is a gallon. I still drink a pop with my cheat meal one a month. I may stop that, I may not. Some people don't like it after quitting it, I still do.

This was not easy, but this was one way I changed my lifestyle to save my life. God is my strength. We can reach out to him in the good and bad. Looking back I feel proud I made this change and improved my health. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lifestyle Change: Gluten Free

Hello Fab Warriors!

I have been missing around this part of the world. I am revved up to share on FWM!
This summer I had some health issues. I started to have stomach pain. After several tests, nothing was found. I asked my family and friends to pray with me. I felt in my heart that I needed to try gluten free. I asked my doctor and he said it was worth a try. So I did. One of my friends helped me get started. It always helps to get help from some one who has been there before. Reach out and ask for help, makes our struggles easier. It's been four weeks now and the pain is gone. If I do eat gluten, because some times I miss it and I don't want to believe this is the answer. The pain comes back and it takes two days to go away. This is what I need to do. A friend shares that it gets easier. The food was a easier transition from a clean diet, it wouldn't have been if I was still on a cheeseburger cupcake diet.

This summer I lost 7lbs, I would have liked for it to be more but I'm moving on and ready to focus 100%. I know I lost slowly because I was not at my best game. Not feeling your best and life still racing around you is tough. Here I am. Facing the fact I need to eat gluten free and fighting to lose more. I have lost 62 lbs and I'm in a size 16 from a 26/28. I have a new joy in me that a cheeseburger could have never fulfill. It's all God's work in me. I am blessed that I have opened my mind and heart to live his will. 

Let's go!

Before 270                                             Now 208

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Developmental Delayed: How to Start a Clean Diet

When my Monkey was 3 years old his pediatrician suggested a clean diet. He explained a clean diet at that time consisted of removing artificial sweeteners, food dyes, partially hydrogenated oils, nitrates and high fructose corn syrup. He also told me that  there was no proof that it would help him progress. He had seen many kids in his practice show improvement. I trusted this doctor so I thought to give it a try. I was motivated to further help our son, so I started this change right away.  Here we are 7 years later and we are on the same clean eating plan. Since I started my healthy lifestyle, I recently also change our diet to include products that have no more than five ingredients.  

It was very overwhelming in the beginning to find out what foods did not have these ingredients in them and what foods he could eat. My monkey was three years old at the time, I explained it to him as simple as I could so he was aware that some of his favorite foods were going away. I remember going to our pantry and I had to remove all the food. I was unaware of the big change this meant. I did not want to overwhelm him with the changes so I changed out one to two products a week. We were not dealing with an allergy so I decided to do it slowly. Yes, we had days he would repeatedly ask for food he use to ate and I just explained why we were doing this. I helped him find foods he liked so we try different brands.  I explained to him that we are what we eat. So if we eat junk, we are junk. We will not feel our best. 

 Seven years ago there wasn't much information about clean eating on the internet. (There was one site that helped me, but I could no longer find it to link it)  I went to the store and I walked up and down the aisles looking for foods it did not have these ingredients. There wasn't much in the stores, so I ended up at Whole Foods because I couldn't find foods such as fruits snacks without food dyes. Do you know how hard it is to find fruit snack without food dyes? 

As the years went by more and more has been available on the market. We saw changes in Monkey within 4 weeks of his diet change. His biggest change was how he interacted with us and his eye contact. We were also seeing a behavioral therapist, occupational therapist and a speech pathologist so the combination of consistent hard work is what help my Monkey. I am grateful for the changes I saw in him that is why I will continue this healthy plan because it is also good for us. Later after I started my boy on this plan, I started myself because I did not want to eat things he could not. I also wanted to do it with him so I knew the difficulty. As time passed, we found new foods we liked and it became easier. 
My monkey still follows this plan and I pray he follows through as a adult.  I am considering becoming gluten-free also. Casein nor gluten was recommended by the doctor, but I read all the information how it's harmful to our health.  I have read the health benefits and I do see how it can be beneficial. 

Occasions do come up where there are foods that are not on our plan. For instance, going to the movies, hanging with friends and birthday parties. Monkey does eat what is offered, but does not eat seconds and knows that is it. So he will still half an ICEE at the movies, birthday cake at parties and such. 
I'm thankful that the pediatrician recommended this and that we had faith and just tried it. The food market has changed so much in the last 7 years. There are many products out there for us to try and not feel deprived. 

Once Monkey was released from all therapies we decided to keep living a clean diet because it's good for our health. Just remember to make your dietary changes in small steps because it can be overwhelming. As we look back, we have replaced all our old favorites and found new favorites! It's such a great gift to give ourselves for optimal health. 

Here is a list of foods my Monkey likes: 

Aldi organic fruit snacks
Cascadian cereal
Chex cereal
Walmart brand saltine whole wheat crackers
Homemade popcorn with coconut oil
Walmart brand peanuts
Hormel all natural deli meat without nitrates
Oscar Mayer hot dogs without nitrates
Pepperoni found at Sprouts and Whole Foods
Capri Sun fruit veggie drink
Honest drinks
Edy's ice cream
Canyon Boulder chips found at Sprout
Tositos corn chips
Zevia soda as a treat
Roasted and salted cashews
Stur water flavoring 
Hunts ketchup
Kind bars
Lara bar
Spouts brand sandwich bread
Sara Lee wheat bread
Blue Diamond Nut Thins Walmart, Sprouts
Fage 2% greek yogurt 
Almond milk for smoothies
Milk without our rBST hormone Braums, Sprouts, Walmart

PS: Cooking homemade is a great way to have a clean diet. 
Soon I'll post about the foods I like that are considered part of a clean diet. 

More articles related to Monkey's history

The Day Monkey Enjoyed the Wind

Monkey: Beating Sensory Challenges

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lost 60 lbs: Weight Loss Pictures

I started this adventure 9 months ago. I have reached a goal by my birthday. Every year for the last ten years, yes ten years I would set my weight loss goals and always quit after losing five lbs. Instead of loosing, I just gained more weight over the years.  As my body aches were getting worse and I was on 5 medications I decided this time it was for good. I felt a motivation I've never had before. What was so different? I ask God to help me control myself around food, to help me follow through each day, to motivate me to work out. I leaned on 
God and talk to him throughout the day. I use to think I could only talk to God when I had troubles. We had started attending a new church where I have learned so much more than I have ever known. I became more comfortable talking to God about any thing. God has time to hear me pray not to hog on Taco Bueno. Yes HE does. I still had days I over-ate so I just dusted myself off and started again.
 I wanted to live my life without limitations. Here I am. I now weigh 210 lbs. in a loose size 16 from 270 in a size 26/28. I am proud of ME. I have more weight to lose. I'm not sure how much more. I'll take it 10 lbs. at a time. Although, I don't believe that's me the girl I see in the mirror I do believe the confidence and fire that soars in me. The reflection I see in the mirror will catch up with me and that will take time. That's ok, it's part of growing. 
I have taken pictures along the way and I love to reflect on the changes especially in moments when I can't believe all this is happening and that I have accomplish this. 

I had lost my first 6 lbs. I had done this many times throughout the years and always quited. I was motivated to keep on. 

By November, I had lost 15 lbs. as much as the pumpkin pictured. It was the most I had ever lost. I started this blog around this time. 

In this picture, I had lost 40 lbs. and I was noticing big changes. 40 lbs. is as much as this microwave weighs. It was heavy! 

These bags of dog food represent the 50 lbs. I had lost. It was amazing and eye opening to actually feel how heavy 50 lbs. really was. My poor bones.  No wonder I had aches throughout my body.

Here I am. I have lost 60 lbs. about a week before my birthday. A dream came true. I have not been at this weight in years. I'm getting to know myself again and I am LOVING it. A cheeseburger could never give me this satisfaction that I am living every day. This statement is on repeat in my head.
Thank you God for always being with me. You are there when I call upon you. YOU are in my heart 24/7. I gave you this and ask you to help me fight back. You blessed me will determination and will power. There were days I cried out to you to help me beat the food monsters. You always saw me through it. Yes, there were moments I did not ask for help and I over-ate. You always gave me the strength to pick myself up and just keep on. Thank you for showing me I could do this. I thought losing weight was some thing strong people did. I believed I had no chance. I was scared of dying and not seeing my son grow. God showed me I had the FIGHT in me. God put the desire to lose weight in my heart and I am thankful that I listened and got started. I am not "fixed", but I believe I am learning and I will keep learning every day how to change my relationship with food. 
Thank you God for showing me the way! You are the only way for me.
Set your goals and fight your way there. You can do it. 
PS. I was so scared in the beginning to change my diet. I took it day by day with small changes. Start small and planning ahead is key! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dijon Pork Loin with Vegetables

Recently, I started to eat more pork. The only pork I ate before was bacon. I choose pork loin because it is a lean cut. The recipe has Dijon mustard that adds a tangy flavor to this dish. I love the bold flavors and it belongs on my meal rotation!

1 tsp. olive oil
 6 oz. pork loin cut into pieces
2 cups of chopped broccoli, cauliflower and jicama
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of chicken stock
garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

  • In a dish, I mix the chicken stock and Dijon mustard and set aside. 
  • Heat up the olive oil in a pan. 
  • Add the chopped pork loin, brown and cook half way through. Then I take it out of the pan and set aside. 
  • I add the vegetables and sauté them until they are half way done. 
  • I add the pork back into the pan with the vegetables.
  • Next add the mixture of stock and mustard and heat through. Cover and let it simmer for 2 minutes. 
  • Serve 
Tip: Divide pork loin into serving sizes and freeze. Chop the vegetables ahead of time will simplify the cooking time. 

My Meals and Snacks 6/16

I had a good week. I lost 2.5 lbs. and worked out 4 times. I power walked or swam. Here's my menu for last week. Ready for another winning week. This past week I had some food encounters, but I remained in control. It's a lot of work and it's not easy.  I take it one day at a time and some days it's by the hour. The days that are the hardest do not happen often because I am growing and my relationship with food is changing. Let's get the menu started!

Monday: Breakfast was pintos topped with over-easy eggs and one corn tort. 
Snack: Greek yogurt and pineapple
Lunch: Zoodles, ground turkey and spaghetti sauce. I make zoodles using a very cool kitchen gadget I found on Amazon. 

Tuesday: Breakfast was 1 tbsp. of PB with sliced bananas on toast. 
Snack: Mango and a green fruit juice
Lunch: Sautéed vegetables topped with over easy eggs. I use to eat this instead of vegetable it was fried potatoes. Ha! No more of that. 
Snack: Yogurt with strawberries
Dinner: Sautéed pork loin with vegetables

Wednesday: Breakfast was pintos and scrambled  eggs with salsa
Snack: Pineapple with yogurt and a 1/4 cup of wheat Chex cereal
Lunch: Pintos and taco seasoned ground turkey on a whole wheat tort. 
Dinner: Sautéed vegetable topped with two over-easy eggs. 
Oops... I ate eggs twice on this day. 

Thursday: Breakfast was pintos and scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tort. 
Snacks: As pictured yogurt and fruit and the other snack was oranges and grapes
Lunch: Zoodles with red sauce
Dinner: I was not feeling well so I ate a little. Later I had popcorn and I had a latte some time that day. 

Looks like I forgot to take my pictures on Friday. Darn. I had oats for breakfast. I knew I was going to encounter fried chicken that night so I was careful what I ate that day. At dinner I had a fried chicken breast, salad, half a corn and a taste of carrots. I also had a small piece of dessert. I remained in control, I wanted so much more. I was sure to not be starving when we went over to our friend's house also to be mindful and stay in control. The food was delicious and I enjoyed it. 

Saturday was a long day out. I had a egg white sandwich from McDonald's  and I love their iced coffee too. 
Snack: Chobani greek yogurt and strawberries. 
Lunch: Chick-fil-A Cobb salad and 8 piece nuggets
I used my light Ranch with the salad when I came home. 

Sunday: Breakfast was oatmeal. 
Snack: Fig Blueberry bar reminds me of Fig Newtons
Lunch: I made a Cobb salad with light ranch. We had a picnic so this was my choice of lunch. 
Dinner: Grilled vegetables and scallops. 

That's my week! I really enjoyed my food choices that helped keep the food monsters away. 
I'd love to hear what is on your menu this week!