Simplify Food Choices: The End or the Beginning?

I had multiple people ask me why I gave myself a clean eating challenge. My main goal was and is this: for my health, and for my family’s health. I didn’t do it to lose weight or fit in a certain dress size. I didn’t do it with hopes to fit back in my pre-kids jeans (those days are long gone. A 30 year old who has had 4 kids does not need to be in a size 0 blue jeans). I did this for my health, and from there flowed different objectives I wanted to accomplish.

I wanted to be more mindful of what I put in my mouth. Many times I felt like a hypocrite (as I should) because I would deny my kids ice cream, but then bust out a pint when they went to bed. I noticed there were times I just drifted towards the pantry, not even because I was hungry, but just to see if something caught my eye… almost like I was treating food like entertainment. I realized I wanted to change my mindset about food: I want food to be enjoyable, but I also want it to serve a purpose. I want food to fuel and heal my body.

I wanted to create better habits. I mentioned in the beginning, so much of what goes in my mouth does so out of habit. What I also realized was so much of what I make is also habit. I’d like to think of myself as a pretty healthy person, but I have to admit I got a little lazy when it comes to preparing lunches. Most days when I pack my kids’ lunch it’s a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit. Not terrible, but not amazing. I realized I need to work on lunch, and plan on buying a few containers that would be conducive for them to take veggies and hummus to school instead of relying on breads to fill them up. Please help! What are some of your favorite containers for your kid’s lunch box?

So, the results… Do I feel better? Sure, but I can’t say I notice a drastic difference. Now, this could be because I ate healthy about 70% of the time, or maybe I need to do this for 90 days or longer to notice a huge shift. But, I do feel better. It’s easier for me to wake up in the mornings (mostly) when my alarm goes off at 5:00AM (another habit I’m starting). I’m also pooping more. I go about twice a day without any effort, so that’s nice. I did lose about 4 pounds, also nice. I’m convinced I’m still addicted to sugar and bread because I still think about both often. Although, I don’t miss dairy… which is kind of funny because I used to tell myself I think I could easily go vegan if I didn’t have to give up cheese.  

What’s next for me in my food journey? I honestly am not sure. I’m doing more research, which mainly means watching a ton of YouTube videos (my favorites right now are Kris Carr and Dr. Axe which is kinda funny because they have 2 different views) and Netflix documentaries (Hungry for Change and Food Matters will rock your world) while I’m washing dishes and doing laundry. I do think I’ll be vegan one day. I’ve already made small steps in that direction, and I think that’s how it will happen: one small step after another instead of stopping all animal products cold turkey (I had to add that pun in there!).

Ok, I need some feedback while I’m still on the fence about where to go from here. What’s your food philosophy? Why did you choose your path?

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Warm Kale and Mushroom Salad

It was just there. Staring at me. In all its mac and cheese gloriousness. It was saying Eat me. Eat the mac and cheese. I’m cheesy, I’m gooey, I’m somehow organic even though I came out of a box… I’d been having this argument with myself all morning. I fought with the flour tortillas that I used to wrap my sons’ tacos in, I stared longingly at my husband’s toast that was soaking up the yolk of his egg, and I argued with Annie’s Organic Cheddar shells and cheese. And I won, y’all. I thought for sure I’d be defeated, but I wasn’t, and I came up with a yummy warm salad to combat my hunger after defeating the mac and cheese.

I looked in the fridge, but I didn’t want your typical cold salad. I instantly came up with this simple, but delicious warm salad. The best part? It only took 10 minutes from start to finish. You need to try it, because it will change your life, or at least your vegan lunches.

kale-and-mushroom-salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup of sliced red onions

6 sliced mushrooms, your choice

2 heaping handfuls of chopped kale

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Directions

1. Slice and chopped the veggies while heating up the coconut oil

2. Place the sliced onions in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms.

4. Once the mushrooms are softened, add the kale.

4. Sprinkle with garlic powder while the kale is softening, and add more salt and pepper if needed.

5. Enjoy your masterpiece and give yourself a pat on the back for turning down the mac and cheese.

Notes:

1. This recipe serves 1 person. Double or triple the recipe as needed.

2. Use this as a base for your warm kale salad. Get creative with your add ins!

3. Consider adding other seasonings like red pepper flakes or smoked paprika.

4. If you’re not a vegan, top with crumbled gorgonzola cheese.

5. If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, cook chopped bacon with the onions.

Try it out, and let me know what ya think! And help me out, what’s your favorite vegan lunch?

What to Expect

Oh? You have a blog? Do you have a theme? Because you know if you want readers, you’re going to need to stick to a theme… What can we expect when we read your blog?

Well, I don’t have a theme (I tried that once, but every time I got a thought in my head that didn’t stick to my theme I felt like I was cheating) so no theme here. Unless of course, you count the random thoughts in my head as a theme, than yes, I have a theme. AND to go along perfectly with that theme I went ahead and named my blog after myself because I couldn’t seem to come up with a cute catchy or rhyming name. Creative, huh?

What can you expect? Well you can expect to read a lot about …well me, my life and my thoughts. Who am I? I’m a lover of Jesus, my amazing husband, three adorable little boys, my backyard chickens, essential oils, green living, and clean eating. WAIT! Don’t just stop and roll your eyes as you think this may just be another hippie mom blog to make you feel guilty about not homeschooling your Paleo loving children while tending to your all organic garden with a smile on your face. What you also can expect to see are my shortcomings as a Christ follower, wife and mom. You should know my kids also eat hot dogs on Wednesday when they go to church, there are times I lose my temper and snap at the people who love me, and sometimes I pop an Advil instead of relying on peppermint oil for my headaches… and none of this makes me any less of a wife or mother. As much as I want to be, I am not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect. You can expect me to be real… to share my successes and my failures, my laughter and my tears, my faith and my doubts.

My heart is to invite you to share in my joys, sorrows, and experiences. I want the world to know there is a God who loves us, and I feel like my small part in His plan is to write. So I will write what He puts on my heart, and hopefully it will inspire you, entertain you, and encourage you in this journey of life.