Friday, January 31, 2014

What I'm Eating

What a crazy week, y'all! I'm right in the middle of our annual boat show and through all of that I was snowed out of my house for almost three days! 

I shared my progress on Wednesday and it seems like just about everyone wants to know more about what I'm eating. Since this week is so nuts, I'll give you exactly what I ate for each meal and then next week I'll dig into the why. Fair enough? 

Monday and Tuesday:

Breakfast - Oatmeal with diced mango
Lunch - Turkey or chicken, brown rice, salad, and an apple
Dinner - Chicken or tilapia, quinoa, and broccoli or cauliflower
Two Snacks : Apple or Mango


Wednesday and Thursday: 

Breakfast : Eggs with spinach and mushrooms
Lunch: Tuna or chicken with a salad
Dinner: Baked salmon with broccoli, cauliflower, and a salad. (I fixed boiled okra with mine too)
Snacks: Hard boiled eggs or 6 ounces of baked chicken. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:

Breakfast: Egg frittata with two slices of turkey bacon
Lunch: Tuna, chicken or almonds over salad with fresh berries. 
Dinner: Chicken, turkey, or shrimp, sweet potato, and steamed veggies. 
Snacks: Two sliced of turkey bacon or small hand full of nuts. 

I am eating unlimited veggies listed if I find myself hungry. 

I'm eating every two to three hours to keep my metabolism up and burning calories!



*** Just a quick disclaimer: I am not an expert. This is what I'm eating myself and thought I'd share it with you! ***

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Healing Losses

I think I've discovered something very interesting about myself in the past week. I've not lost weight in so long and it was fairly discouraging. I'm still trying hard....eating properly and working out. But nothing. I kept gaining and losing the same 5 to 7 pounds over and over.... for months! That's enough to drive anyone crazy! 

I began looking into a diet designed to heal my metabolism. The idea was that I could eat whole foods in a certain combination that would slowly heal my sluggish metabolism. 

I dropped my bad coffee habit....A pot of coffee a day is caffeine overload, friends! That also took away the Sweet n Low as well. I am so super proud to say that I am officially a week without my beloved coffee! That has been my toughest thing to give up. I'm actually doing a lot better without it! 

Image Via

Last week I started eating according to my meal plan. First day....lost two pounds. Second day....another two pounds. Third day....one pound. Fourth day....half a pound. Fifth day....another pound. And that brings me to the big news: 

I broke my almost 5 month long plateau!  

Hallelujah! 

As I watched the weight come back off in amazement, I realized a couple of things....

  1. I removed all dairy from my diet during the trial period. 
  2. I removed all caffeine. 
  3. I removed all artificial sweeteners. 
I don't know exactly what triggered it, but I have this feeling that I may have a dairy sensitivity. 

I read that some food allergies and sensitivities don't automatically show. When I imagine a food allergy, I think of the extreme allergic reactions some people have to nuts. I kept reading and discovered that some allergies have slower reactions. A dairy allergy or sensitivity can cause inflammation of the intestines and can cause a weight gain up to thirty pounds in a year's time. The allergy slowly causes bad bacteria in our intestines and there comes a point when you must heal it with probiotics. 

So that's where I'm at so far....

I feel so much more energetic! No caffeine crashes for sure. Looking back, I never really noticed that I had them until I didn't have them. I feel a lot less weighed down and icky. And I have this renewed drive to see exactly what my body can do!




Anyone care to see my weekly meal plan that I'm using?


Wanna know a secret? I'm only .2 pounds away from being in my normal weight range. I will officially be out of the overweight category soon! 





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tips and Tricks - Trash To Treasure

I'm loving today's Tips and Tricks topic, y'all! My husband and I are all about the trash to treasure thing. I'm super cheap frugal. If I can take something and make it pretty for less, you better believe I'm tackling it! 

Example? 

Oh yeah.... My fireplace renovation. My husband demolished the old nasty fireplace and refinished it with beautiful tile we already had. A friend donated the wood pieces for our mantle and we bought the grout and a can of black high temp paint for the inside of the fireplace. Big change...little bit of money. Just what I like! 


There's nothing like a can of paint either. You can get a lot of "wow" for very little with just paint. 

Recently we've taken all of our mismatched door knobs throughout the house and painted them oil rubbed bronze. We didn't spend a ton of money (less than $10), but we can a uniform, classy look. 

I believe you can make just about any home project better with hard work and a little creativity! 

A little paint and organization? 

Prettier Pantry....



See? Doesn't take much and you've got something much nicer to look at. 

I can't wait to see what everyone else has this week! I love seeing all of the creative things you're doing! 



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Monday, January 27, 2014

Motivation Monday - Super Bowl Snacks

Happy Monday! I can't wait to see everyone's Super Bowl recipes this week. 

I absolutely love Peyton Manning! I'm a Tennessee girl and he got his start right here. From the moment I bought Caleb's very first Tennessee onesie, I wanted him to be like Peyton. What football lovin' mama wouldn't? He's a wonderful, talented, generous man. 
Peyton Manning 85 pins from People I love board.
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Unfortunately our boat show ends on Super Bowl Sunday. One of the biggest weeks of the year for me at work and I can catch the tail end of the game. After working 70 to 80 hours, I'm not big on party food. We keep it simple with veggie trays and baked hot wings. 

I know some of the other ladies will have some really great things this week so make sure to check them out!





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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Deer Tenderloin

I apologize for being so quiet! My husband has been sick all while we're in the middle of a master bathroom project. Talk about bad timing! Since he's felt so rough, I decided to cook some of his favorite foods for dinner. 

Growing up we just never ate venison. I was an adult before I ever had deer chili. Now that my dad enjoys hunting and stocks my freezer with deer meat, I knew I'd have to learn to cook with it. I tried to come up with ways to make it not taste game-y. Finally, I tried it in chili and we all loved it! 

So I've slowly ventured out with other dishes but I've stuck with the ground deer meat or the deer sausage. It just seems like there's not much to mess up, right? 

My husband loves deer tenderloin so while he was sick, I wanted to attempt to fix it for him. It's kinda hard cooking something that someone loves when you have absolutely no idea how it's supposed to turn out. 

I mixed together some soy sauce, diced onions, garlic powder, and mushrooms. I took each tenderloin and browned it in a skillet. I poured my mixture over it as it browned.  I didn't cook it all the way and transferred everything to a baking dish. I put it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. 


When it was done, I sliced up the tenderloin and poured the juices, onions, and mushrooms over it. 

It was excellent! 

Don't want to try it with deer? You can easily so this with lean beef. You can also use any leftovers for lunch the next day on a salad. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Motivation Monday - New Things to Try

Good Monday morning!!!

While Spring just around the corner, I start thinking about all of the fun, exciting things my family and I can do outdoors this year. My little boy is getting older so being more active outside is much easier! 

How do you fit in fun activities for the whole family? When did you begin getting your kids involved? 

This year, Ryan and I want to try some new things out....

  • Finally biking together on designated bike trails! (I have waited so long for this one. Caleb wasn't crazy about just sitting in the bike trailer. Now he's old enough to ride his own!)
  • We're actually thinking of trying out the Tennessee Riverpark with Caleb as well. 
  • We'll be taking the boat out all summer and I'm sure plenty of swimming is in our future. 
  • Caleb is also signing up for T-ball again this Spring, so I want to be more active with practicing with him. Playing catch and mostly chasing after the ball is plenty of exercise! 
  • Caleb is learning to rollerskate and I want to have family night at the skating rink. It's a great way to spend time together and burns a ton of calories!

As my family grows and changes, I want to introduce lasting family activities we all can enjoy. I am so fortunate that my husband and little boy are naturally active. They'd rather be doing something than sitting around most of the time. It makes it so much easier for me to stay active that way. 

I believe a mother sets the example in her home. If I plan and cook healthier meals, my family eats better. If I choose to get active, they will join me. It may not happen automatically for all families. But over time, your family will see your lifestyle change as something positive. They will see how much healthier and happier you are and they will begin to want that for their own lives. 

My husband eats enough to weigh 400 pounds. Bring on the greasy hamburgers and the french fries covered in gravy. For years, that was his main diet. I began eating healthier and over time my husband started eating more like me. He saw for himself how much better your body feels when you fuel it with better foods. Now it's rare that he actually eats like he once did. It took some time, but he eventually followed my lead. 


So, try new things. You may be the only one doing it, but your family will see how much better life can be! 


Don't forget to stop by and see what my co-hosts want to try! 


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Friday, January 17, 2014

Lately....

Things have been unusually busy. We've been tackling a room in our house at a time and making updates. Mostly it's just a whole lot of hard work without spending a ton of money! 

You saw our living room update and my pantry. We are decluttering and cleaning along the way to make life much easier on ourselves. There's nothing like a fresh, clean, happy home to come to every day. 

We've moved on to the master bath room. I updated it almost three years ago. My husband and I love the Tennessee Volunteers, but we were ready for a change. The chocolate brown walls needed to go. I feel like a lighter color will really open the space up and make it appear to be a lot larger. 


We had a few areas to patch in this bathroom...


My husband is a perfectionist when it comes to projects. Once he gets started on something, it's either do it absolutely right or leave it alone. There's no in between. 


And I do the picture taking....


I can't wait to share the finished project with you! 

Until then....you'll find us in the bathroom. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Eating Clean: Quick Start Grocery Guide

I get asked for grocery lists a lot from people wanting to try out clean eating. They're not quite ready to jump in too deep with everything organic and one hundred percent clean. Again, I'm not an expert and my idea of "eating clean" may drastically differ from yours. But, if you want to try it out and see if this way of eating is for you I have a quick list to guide you through the store. 


I think people are generally afraid of trying clean eating because they simply have no idea where to start. This list will simply get you going. You can take a few items from the produce section, pair it with a protein selection, and add a small serving of grains to make a simple, but completely healthy meal. 

If you're like me and want something quick and easy, try it that way! The combinations are endless....

  • Baked chicken seasoned with black pepper and lemon juice, served with asparagus and steamed cauliflower, with a side of couscous.
  • Turkey breast topped with fresh cranberries (all baked together), steamed green beans, and whole wheat stuffing (I found some at Aldi this past week!). 
  • Tilapia with lemon juice, broccoli, and quinoa. 
  • Deer burgers (no bun), baked sweet potato, and cooked spinach. 

See where I'm going with this? It doesn't have to be fancy or difficult. Once you get the hang of things, you can totally venture out on the recipes. But this can help you get started! 



exploring Domesticity

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ducks and Trucks

On Saturday Ryan, Caleb, and I had VIP Guest Passes to the O'Reilly World of Wheels. My boys are complete car guys. Martin from Duck Dynasty was scheduled to be there too. We really enjoy the show and it's one of the only shows we can all watch together. Caleb loves everything to do with hunting and this show is perfect for him! 


While standing in line, a man on stage told us that Martin was in "good spirits", but would not be personalizing anything for anyone. He made it sound like Martin wasn't thrilled to actually be there. I started wondering if Martin was a jerk by the time this guy explained all of the rules and how to approach the guy.


When Martin began meeting fans, he seemed totally different. He was super nice and really seemed to take time to speak with the kids that came up. 


When it was our turn, Caleb got pretty shy! Martin took the time to speak to him and cut up with him. He was just a good ole' boy and was genuinely nice. 



Oh, and that whole "Martin isn't personalizing anything" bit? Completely false! 
I sure didn't expect it, but he wrote this to Caleb:


So worth waiting in line to meet him! 

We walked around to see all of the cars. Of course my guys fell in love with the Tennessee Vols truck! 


And my dream car....


Caleb says this was his dream car...



But I think Ryan and Caleb finally picked their favorite together...



No trip is complete without Hot Wheels cars...







Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tips & Tricks - Cold Weather Meals and Soups

When it's cold outside, there's nothing like coming home to warm soup in the crockpot. My husband works around the lake and the temperatures always seem to be so much colder there. One of the most important things I can do as his wife is make sure he comes home to a warm, filling meal. 

 I decided to make Bean and Ham Soup. 

It's so easy it's ridiculous! 


I put two large cans of Bush's Great Northern beans and one large can of tomato sauce in my crockpot. 


We saved the left over ham bone which still had some ham on it and put it in the crockpot. I also dumped the remaining pieces of ham in as well. This all cooks together on low all day and the ham literally falls apart! 


About 20 minutes before serving, I pick out the ham bone and pick off any pieces of ham still on it. I throw those pieces in the crockpot.  

This is by far the easiest way to use up your leftover ham. 
You can serve this soup with a big piece of cornbread and it's so good. 

The ham is so tender and just falls apart! 

It makes quite a bit of soup, so invite some friends over or freeze the rest. 


A super filling cup and a half of this soup is a little over 300 calories, so it's easy on your waist line too! 

I can't wait to see everyone's great ideas this week!

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