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Nutrition Makeover in Progress

Published May 12, 2014 by Jennie

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my successes and failures as I try to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes.  It may end up helping me get pregnant and it may not.  Either way, I figured I could stand to be a little more healthy.  In this post, I am sharing some of the changes I have made.  I am in no way a nutrition expert and I know that different people have different nutritional needs.  Even so, I always appreciate feedback and suggestions from my fellow bloggers.  I have made progress but I still have a ways to go.

My Biggest Struggles

In my very first post I discussed my desire to eliminate soy from my diet.  This is really hard.  Soy is in everything!  Any tips on how to avoid soy are greatly appreciated!

When I make food at home, it does not last nearly as long as the processed version at the store (since it is not processed..duh!).  I feel like I throw away a lot more food than I used to.  Also, sometimes recipes call for a small amount of an ingredient but I have to buy it in a larger quantity.  For example, I had a recipe call for half a cup of buttermilk and the rest of it will probably go bad before I figure out something to do with it.

New and Improved Food Choices

This is not a list of everything but I thought I would share some of them.

crystal_light_onthego_icedtea dietcoke        aladdin

Old: Soda and other beverages with artificial sweetener
New: Good old H20

I really never though I could break my diet soda addiction. I ended up having to get rid of all artificial sweeteners to get it out of my system.  I love my new ninja water bottle (see picture).  It is BPA-free and also opens up in the middle so you can add ice or clean it.  I take one with me everywhere I go.

 

50FD8CC4-D194-E146-440E-8DA592682AAE    oatmeal-500x350

Old: Quaker Oats Oatmeal Variety Pack.  IngredientsMaple & Brown Sugar: Whole grain rolled oats, sugar, natural and artificial flavor, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, caramel color, naicinamide, reduced iron, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid

New: Homemade oatmeal from 100 Days of Real FoodIngredients: Milk, plain rolled oats, honey, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, toppings (fruit, chia seeds, nuts, etc).

While the recipe instructs you to cook this on a stove top, I sometimes pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds when I am in a hurry. Raisins make a yummy topping but they have a lot of sugar so I have tried different things.  It is really good with vanilla almond milk.  This breakfast will keep you full way into lunchtime.

 

cheezeit   cheese crackers

Old: Cheez-Its Reduced Fat. Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, annatto extract for color), contains two percent or less of salt, yeast extract, paprika, yeast, paprika oleoresin for color, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Cheese Crackers from Tidy MomIngredients: Sharp cheddar cheese, butter, salt, flour, red pepper flakes, milk.

Ok so yes I know that cheese crackers are not a health food.  Even so, I love them and eat them as occasional treats.  I used to think the processed version was okay because it is reduced fat but I know realize that this is misleading.  To make my own, I use Cabot Seriously Sharp cheese that contains no dyes (Ingredients are pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes).  I also use whole wheat flour (I like King Author 100% Whole Wheat).  I never have regular milk so I use almond milk.  These crackers are a little darker and not bright orange but they are delicious!

speck    kind      5-Ingredient-Granola-Bars-MinimalistBaker.com_

Old: Special K Protein Bar. Ingredients: Soluble corn fiber, rolled oats, isolated soy protein, cereal (rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, wheat bran, soluble wheat fiber, salt, malt flavoring, vitamin b [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin b2 [riboflavin]), sugar, vegetable oil ( partially hydrogenated palm kernel, palm and canola oil), fructose, corn syrup, inulin from chicory root, rice, roasted peanuts, roasted almonds, dextrose, contains 2% or less of sorbitol, glycerin, calcium carbonate, nonfat yogurt powder (cultured non fat milk [heat treated after cultured]) nonfat milk, whey, salt, soy lecithin, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, niacinamide, bht (preservative), vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), iron, riboflavin.
Middle: Kind Bars.  Ingredients: Mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts), dried fruits (raisins, apricot [apricot paste, glycerol (vegetable based), pectin, apple fiber, citric acid], dates), honey, chicory fiber, non-gmo glucose, puffed rice, flax seed, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Granola Bars from the Minimalist BakerIngredients: Dates, honey, peanut or almond butter, rolled oats, anything else you want to add (fruits, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, etc).

I don’t want to speak badly of an entire brand but it seems that a lot of Kellogg’s products are highly processed.  I switched over to Kind Bars but then realized that it is easy to make them at home.  You do not even need to bake them!  Once they are made you can keep in them in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze them.  It is fun to experiment by adding different stuff to them.  All of these bars do have a considerable amount of sugar (added or natural) so I usually only eat these before a workout as opposed to a regular snack.

I wish there was an instruction manual for all of this!  Thanks for reading 🙂 – Jennie

Snowmageddon!

Published February 13, 2014 by Jennie

Due to this crazy snowstorm, we have been cooped up in the house for several days and I am not sure when it is going to all be over. We live in the South were just a little bit of snow is enough to shut the city down and so far we have already gotten several inches and it continues to come down.
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I am so glad I went grocery shopping a few days before the storm.  One strange thing about this area is people must get bread and milk before a snowstorm.  If they can not find any, they go nuts! I went to Great Harvest Bread Company and there were riots (ok well not really riots but people were freaking out that they were out of bread).  One of their employees told me they expected to have a few loafs done in a few hours so I came back then and actually got two!  Other customers were not as lucky and and I did get some death glares as I left.

Once I got back, I decided to stay put until this mess clears.  Classes have been cancelled and my husband’s office is closed.  Even so, he still has a ton of work to get done.  The poor guy has been slaving away in his office at home and does not even have time to enjoy this winter wonderland :(.  I am getting cabin fever but I am lucky enough to have an awesome neighbor that is also staying home and we have spent the last few days trying out new recipes.  We made granola bars which are healthier and cheaper than the ones we buy at the store, chocolate chip cookies (a hit with our husbands), and pizza with homemade dough.  We attempted to make homemade pumpkin pasta but I forgot to add the pumpkin (I can be absent minded at times).  We will have to try that one again.

My poor dogs have no idea what to do with all this snow (see my short clip).  

I have also been spending more time with my dogs since I am stuck in the house.  This has reminded me how lucky I am to have them.  Our oldest dog, Cali, is just wonderful.  We got her in 2006 a few months after my brother died.

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I am known as not being an emotional person but Cali always knows when I need some comfort.  Somehow she just senses it.  When I went through both my failed IUIs, she would not leave my side.  Also, while she has never harmed anyone, she is fiercely loyal and suspicious of new people.  Once she decides that someone is safe though, she is sweet as she can be.  I always say that if Cali likes you, you must be a good person.

We got Izzy in 2008.  She is so full of life.  For her, every day is filled with pure joy.  She is always ecstatic to see me whether its when I come home after being out of town a while or if I return from getting the mail.

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When I am feeling down, my dogs often remind me to focus on what is important.  It does not matter how big my house is, what kind of car I drive, what kind of clothes I wear, or how much money I make.  What really matters is spending time quality time with the ones I love.  I am so thankful to have my little snuggle bunnies.