Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are more than numbers.

I have been a yo-yo on the scale of life over the past six years; my weight has fluctuated between babies, our income has made sharp turns and all the while, I have been increasing in age.  :P

As far as materialism goes, I want little more than jeans that fit properly.  I am stuck in a world of skinny jeans while I prefer bell-bottoms or flare, so this task is extra difficult.  Throw in some post-baby pudge and trying on jeans can be simply disastrous.  I am between sizes and that makes things interesting, too.  Nothing ever fits quite right and that could easily break some self-confidence. 

But not me.

The size means nothing, the scales speak lies.  Yes, I monitor to make sure I am not too far above where I am most comfortable but I don't take it too seriously.  I have seen more women at the gym step on that scale with much more additional cargo than myself weigh significantly less than me.  I have seen popsicle-stick thin ladies weigh more than me:  the number means nothing.  It doesn't measure muscle, it doesn't measure genetics and it sure doesn't measure HOPE.  We need to stop defining ourselves by these numbers and let them control our emotions. 

Income is really no different; there was a time in my life where we had two incomes, one extraordinary source and my teaching salary.  I showed the world by wearing my Tiffany's jewelry and driving my Lexus (both very nice things if those are what you enjoy).  When I became a stay-at-home mom, not only was my income gone, we had moved to a house with lots of trouble and then the real estate market CRASHED.  So did our income.  That marked the beginning of my internal transformation when I realized that I was not necessarily happy with all of my material treasures; our income dollar amount meant nothing if we couldn't function as a family and appreciate simple things.  And over the years, it has been difficult adjusting to the highs and lows of owning our own business, but we are happy and have gained some great perspective.  Once again, we make do with our numbers but don't wallow in them.

Age isn't going to go away and I vow to do it gracefully.  I notice the lines in my hands, the skin stretching with age and I don't feel sad...I make the best out of what I have.  I promise to love and nurture my physical body as well as my emotional and psychological nature.  Age does not define who we are or what we feel, it just shows how long our souls have been alive.

As a society, it's not about how much we weigh, what size we are wearing or about how much money we make.  This does not define only pushes us away from others we judge ourselves against.

I am grateful to have these numbers at all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Water, water, everywhere!

I used to be a heavy Diet Coke drinker. I was about 15-20 pounds overweight when I got pregnant with my first child and I am pretty sure that I never drank a healthy intake of water at all during her pregnancy (terrible, I know). I also suffered from high blood pressure and an emergency c-section three weeks it all related? Who knows but it is an interesting concept.

I didn't like water. I would drink pop, juice, anything that wasn't plain 'ole water. And that continued on into my second pregnancy as well. Longer bedrest, raging blood pressure and another emergency c-section.

Then I slowly started developing a healthier lifestyle. I cooked at home, we joined a gym so I could shower (and exercise, too, I guess) and I started drinking lots of water. I dropped 70 pounds after the birth of my second child and maintained a good exercise program.

When I got pregnant with my third, BPA hit the media and I ran out and bought a recopmmended Sigg bottle. They are aluminum, they are reusable, they seemed to be a great alternative to plastic water bottles that leech BPA into your body. So I bought each family member two bottles. Last fall, Sigg admitted that the liners in their bottles had BPA and we could trade them for new ones that didn't contain the dreaded substance. So we walked up to Whole Foods with our backpack 'o bottles and exchanged them. Now, a year later, I have grown weary with a company that allowed themselves to be portrayed in every media opportunity as a BPA-free brand when in fact, they did have BPA.

I am slowly weaning the Sigg bottles out of our house and I replaced mine with this really cool ORANGE glass water bottle made by Lifefactory.

It is a 22 ounce glass water bottle and it is protected by a silicone sleeve.  It is dishwasher-safe and the silicone sleeve doesn't have any plastics in it.  The water bottles range from $17-$21 and I love mine.  :)  The company also makes baby bottles, too, since lots of parents are choosing to stay away from plastics in general.    I was talking with a Whole Foods worker and she said that they had tested them out by dropping them on the floor and that none of them broke because of the sleeve.  If you take the lid off and then drop it, there is a spot that is unprotected by the sleeve...and that could break.  So obviously, when you aren't drinking from it, keep the lid in place.

I haven't seen any smaller versions for kids yet from Lifefactory.  I need to do more research since I hope to weed the Sigg bottles out soon and I am not entirely pleased with going to plastic, even if it is BPA-free.  It's a better choice, but I'm not sure it is the best choice.

I now believe that drinking water solves about every ailment--tummy aches, headaches, sleepiness...dehydration does funny things to your body.  And when I am feeling up a few pounds?  I drink an extra bottle or two of water a day and I can drop those pesky pounds. 

I continue to embrace a healthy lifestyle; cooking a bunch at home, excercising daily, drinking water , taking good vitamins and getting lots of sleep.  If you are missing any of these components, try to squeeze them into your life. 
You will feel extraordinary. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010're actually reading!

I just wanted to take a brief moment and thank you all for reading my blog.  I have run into many of you on Facebook, in the grocery store, at elementary school or even at the gym and you've said, "I read blahblahblah in your blog!".  And although my look of disbelief should tell you enough, my heart SOARS!  I wasn't so sure that when I began this blog what my purpose would be or how often I would write.  I just figured it would be a little url of my life, a place I could go when the stressors of the real world inspired me to digress into the many things I adore:  food, family, eco-friendly choices, etc.

So all in all, thanks for reading.  Feel free to comment.  Let's start dialogue.  Let's make it less about just reading and let's starting making differences in this world.  We need to do it together.  :)

The Beatles "All You Need is LOVE" stop my playlist from playing, make sure you scroll down and to the right, you can pause it so you can play this incredible video. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Week's Eatin' 9-19-9/25

I really do love meal-planning but I don't always love sticking with it.  I try to be mindful about switching plans and make sure that I am not adding to the grocery bill for a specific craving.  Sometimes I do go off the plan and throw something together.  :)

I roasted a pumpkin yesterday and made pumpkin walnut cupcakes with a chocolate mousse frosting.  I have leftover pumpkin so that is why you see my menu a little pumpkin-heavy. 
Pumpkin symbolizes Fall to me; the air is getting crisp and the kitchen smells of apples, pumpkins and cinnamon--YUM!

Sunday 9/19
Breakfast:  cereal
Lunch:  vegetable quinoa soup and tempeh sandwiches
Dinner:  bringing herbed black-eyed peas to a party :)

Monday 9/20
Breakfast:  pumpkin yogurt bread and fruit
Lunch:  leftovers (coleslaw, cheese and crackers, etc for the kiddos)
Dinner:  pizza and veggies with homemade vegan ranch

Tuesday 9/21
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  leftover pizza for kids, chickpea sandwiches
Dinner:  chili mac and roasted acorn squash

Wednesday 9/22
Breakfast:  toast and applesauce
Lunch:  buttered noodles for kids, pasta veggie salad
Dinner:  tofu and brown rice teriyaki, veggie

Thursday 9/23
Lunch:  leftover tofu and rice teriyaki
Dinner:  roasted vegetable barley soup, homemade french bread

Friday 9/24
Breakfast:  cereal and yogurt
Lunch:  bean burritos and quesadillas
Dinner:  fettucine alfredo, veggies

Saturday 9/25
Breakfast:  chocolate chip scones and apple sauce
Lunch:  Indian buffet
Dinner:  whatever is inspiring from the farmer's market.  :)

Special Snacks/Treats for Lunchbox LOVE

*If you are interested in any of the recipes that I don't have linked to a website, just ASK.  :) 
I will be more than happy to share them with you...they just usually aren't electronic*

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Lunchbox

This is a BIG year for oldest is now in full-day school and she gets to bring a lunch which means that we have to be very creative because little missy, she doesn't prefer most sandwiches!  So I thought that I would make a list of all the different *healthy* things we are packing or excited to pack...


Horsie Lunchbag
(Really?!?  I never knew she likes horses!)
Little BPA-Free Bento lunchbox containers
(I don't have a picture but they are containers with lids--all sizes)

Wide thermos
(and it has a pop-out spoon)
BPA- Free Water Bottle

Washcloth (for messy kiddos)
It's only day three but we have been very excited about what we pack for lunch.  Since my girl is at school all day, she needs a morning snack as well as an afternoon one along with her lunch.  I am all about the healthy with a dab of the treat so it has been an interesting balance.  I empower my daughter by giving her some options and letting her make the choices. 

So far, some of the snacks we have chosen or have planned:
Organic applesauce
Homemade carrot-rasin muffins (I doubled a batch, flash-froze them and threw them in a freezer bag to be individually defrosted)
Veggies with various dips (hummus, ranch, honey mustard)
Crackers with cheese
Homemade chex mix
Dried cereal
Other homemade treats (coffee cake, scones, muffins, cereal bars, etc)

We have only had two main dishes thus far, because she liked the first one so much she wanted it the next day.  The thermos keeps things temperature-ready, so it has been really helpful.  And when our sassafras isn't taking it to school, her daddy takes it to work...who cares if it is pink? 

Some non-sandwich, non-peanut butter entree choices:
Bean burritos
Spaghetti (she actually wanted to take the leftovers with lentils and zucchini...who IS this kid?!?)
Buttered noodles
Butter and jelly sandwich
Miso soup
Pizza (small, but a few of them)
Hummus and Pita (or veggies)
Fondue (with chips, veggies, bread, etc)

And I give her little treats to eat with her lunch..
Homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chips...

If you have any ideas, please feel free to share!  :) 
I hope our enthusiasm keeps up for the whole school year!  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Crazy kids-err thirty-somethings these days!"

My husband got me exactly what I wanted for my 30th birthday...a tattoo.  Now most of you will say, "ok, big deal?" or "why?!?" and the reason is simple:  I had wanted one for ten years. My parents had the brilliant plan that if I did any of the tattooing and piercing in college, they wouldn't pay for college anymore.  So I waited.  When I met my husband, he was pierced, but not tattooed because he isn't such a I put it off and off.  And bam!  Happy 30th Birthday to me.  He was not only going to take me, he was going to hold my hand and not say anything negative about it.  :)

I have found that most un-tattooed people don't like to stare at it for fear of being rude or uncomfortableness in general...and they sure don't ask what it means whereas some people will lift my arm and ask me to tell them the story behind it.  If you know me for real, you know there is *always* a story and I want to share it with those of you who don't know the story.  :P

We love music in my house...every morning my husband feeds the kids breakfast while I check my email, read the news, blog, etc.  And the music is always roaring from the kitchen.  A family favorite is Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds".  My middle guy, four years old, ADORES music and he would go around the house singing the words:

Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"
Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you-ou-ou"

I settled on three little birds for my three little birds.  My friend drew it up and here we are today.  Now I also chose to include the words be love. underneath it.  My boyfriend, Jason Mraz :P, was talking in an interview about how most of us wait for the opportunities to be in love with someone...that feeling of love and waiting to love and be loved.  In life, every action we do should be love.  Everybody should be treated with love and compassion.  This is my daily reminder.

My friend found me a place about an hour away that is supposed to be a little more "clean"..they don't add all the extra preservatives to the ink so we headed down there.  And it hurt BAD.  But I love it and want another one.  :)

I chose my arm because I want to be able to look at it all the time...why go through the pain if you can't see it.? 

So don't forget to be love in everything you do today.  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Please Excuse My Contemplation...

life is about relationships
and matters of our hearts
wisdom to accept mistakes graciously
and move on with wondrous start.
I'm grateful for all who love
and give me inspiration everyday
those who give stories
those who live stories
those who ARE stories
touching me in every way.