Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clean Eating Progress and recipe links

We've been eating 90%+ clean for around 2 months now. It's going great, and I no longer really equate food with comfort. So that's an awesome feeling. I've lost weight, not where I want to really be in my clothes, yet, but it's a definite start. My husband has lost weight too. Overall, I just feel really proud and happy with what is going into our bodies. Our bodies will find their own happy weight on their own, since we are giving them the right fuel. G has adjusted pretty well, and J eats lots of our table food, since it's all clean anyways! Sometimes when G was his age, I'd make special foods for her because what we were eating wasn't what I'd want to feed her so young...which is saying something. Even though I thought we were eating pretty well.

If it's not something you want to feed your infant, why do you want to feed it to yourself? Baring alcohol and the occasional treats...and honey.... you know what I'm getting at.

Sometimes things I make take up a lot of time, and I hate that, but it certainly makes me appreciate our food a lot more. My husband respects the effort I put into feeding us well. I haven't bought bread products since the end of July. Yah. Mind blown.

It's not any more costly, either. I'm spending right around the same amount as I was before. I was hoping it'd be less, but produce and meat still make up most of our budget. Processed goods just got replaced with baking ingredients or healthier snacks.

I definitely think being a lover of all things kitchen, and a small appliance dork, have helped me succeed so far. If you don't like to bake or cook, your eat clean journey might be a little tougher. Definitely do-able, though, but a love of baking and cooking will certainly increase your chance of survival.

When we do eat junk now, we can tell, and to be honest (never thought I'd type the following)...it's not as good as I thought it was, and I don't crave it like I used to. Sure, there are days when all I want is a little bit of ice cream/custard. Ok, I'm human. And I have it. But a lot of times, I'm like; "Man, it's weird...I want to be craving ice cream, but really, I'm not. So strange." I literally think that to myself. Now, dark chocolate chips and plain Greek yogurt, I could eat that all day. WHO AM I??
We recently went to a picnic at a local cider mill put on my husband's work. We ate the BBQ provided, because, it's free, and good; but definitely not clean. I ate the white bun, but it was seriously hindering the meat's flavor. I almost took the meat off, but the portions were small, and we had just run 6 miles, and I was honestly famished so I kind of needed any calories I could get, sadly. I ate about half a snack-bag size of plain potato chips. Yes, they were pretty good, but old-Kaylene would have eaten the whole thing. I had an apple cider doughnut (ok, 2?) and it was the awesome...overly sugary, but yeah, it was good. These few and far between treats get me through. Oh, and then there's G....  can totally tell when she's hopped up on sugar, since she doesn't really have it often. Half of the doughnut and she was doing circles.

Ok, back to the point. We are doing great with eating clean, but do so within our means and take advantage of little treats now and again.

Here are some of my favorite recipes;

Clean Wheat Tortillas
Clean Pizza Dough
Zucchini Brownies - I combo these two recipes A and B

Honey 100% Wheat Sandwich Bread

Clean Hamburger Buns

100% Whole Wheat Rolls

Clean Crackers. This was a super chore. I've made them once. I'd really just suggest forgoing crackers all together, or stocking up on Annie's Homegrown like me ;-)

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

Stuffed Red Peppers
Eat Clean Potatoes with Lemon

I stock Daisy Cottage Cheese, Chobani Plain (some flavored cups for easy lunch-packing and G's snacks), deli cheese, low sodium no nitrate lunch meat, clean peanut butter (PS no stir style "natural PB" isn't clean), homemade jam, healthy cereal, eggs, Annie's Homegrown snacks, almonds, and of course fresh fruits and veggies.

We eat a lot of salads, a lot of Mexican style dishes because I bought a 5 lb bag of Masa (to make corn tortillas), meats and veggie meals...I make a lot of veggie muffins and quiche using personal recipes. I also make up a lot of my own meat recipes, including a secret clean chicken and dumpling recipe that I want to enter into a contest ;-)

For anyone out there questioning if they should "go clean" or not...the answer is DUH, Yes!! Just know it takes some planning, some sweat, and some serious motivation. Commit and don't look back, because you already know it's better for you. :-)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cloth Bottom Baby plus Giveaway

Recently a co-worker from college reached out to me regarding her new cloth diaper clothing line. When our kids were young(er) we messaged specifically about our cloth diapering and other natural-parenting choices we share. I appreciate that she values my opinion :-)

She wanted to send me some of Cloth Bottom Baby's new clothes to try out with baby J. So glad G is potty trained and need not participate in this review.

a happy Cloth Bottom Baby selfie
Cloth Bottom Baby started because famous name brand clothes are no longer made with cloth diapered babies in mind. Sure, many years ago it was the norm for babies to be in cloth diapers, but nowadays it's still pretty rare except with us hipsters, frugalistas, or crunchies. Thus, clothing companies have changed their patterns and styles to fit over thin disposable diapers that are so popular. Which leaves us CD-parents with two options (okay three, if you count using cloth diapers as bottoms themselves, which isn't realistic in Kansas winters).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Family fun days

I've taken to labeling certain days "family fun days." Basically that is any day we don't have work & I want to focus on fun rather than chores. Saturday was one such day. We slept in until about 8:30, ate chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes, ran 11 miles, and then I went grocery shopping during nap time while my husband did a few things around the house to help me out.
After nap time we went to jcp for some family portraits and J's 9 month photos. Then onto a local custard place with an attempt at sustainable / mostly eat-clean practices. They also offer $1 local beer. Two of those to our order please. After we made it home, G got to play outside with daddy to burn off some sugar-high. After the kiddies went to bed my husband and I had eat-clean style nachos and watched some tv. A fantastic day. 

One of my favorite parts was on the way to the picture studio, the radio was playing Katy Perry's new song (roar or something?)... Apparently J loved it so he started clapping along, then G did, and it was such fun :)
I also love watching G's face light up when she eats ice cream with SPRINKLES. What is it with kids and sprinkles? They're a waste of a topping if you ask me, but they're pretty & that's what she likes so whatever :) 

Sunday we went to church, and behavior was B for J and A- for G. I heard nearly all the homily. Victory. It was a long winded missionary one too. Whew.

Then a quick lunch, zucchini brownie making (love.), nap time, and onto the moms group picnic. G got to romp around on the play ground with my husband and I socialized with some other moms.

The house is mostly clean, fridge and freezer are full, and we had a play date this morning (after my early morning run). There's a cold breeze blowing through my open window and I'm making stuffed bell peppers for dinner.

More days like I've been having lately, please and thank you Lord.

Nine Months Old baby J

Having a nine month old baby boy sure is fun! He's into everything, makes everyone happy, keeps me on my toes for sure.

 J is very curious. He wants to see what everyone is doing, and likes getting into the action himself. He's feeding himself, army crawling (maybe it'd be better described as crocodile crawling lol), pulling-up on almost everything (except his crib, which is weird, because that's the first place G pulled up, but his crib is taller), clapping and waving, and just being a generally awesome little man. He plays peek a boo by pulling covers up and down, he can find some hidden things when shown them first. He can put things in and take them out. He's trying to mimic some motions, so maybe signing a few things might be in his future. He likes anything with a screen, which is a sign of the times, eh.

He is super into G's fan, cords of any kind, bathrooms, doors and door stops, and shoes-especially flip flops. Sounds like a puppy to me, LOL - of course I stop him from getting those things and so that probably increases his interest in them.

He eats 3 meals a day plus nurses about 5 times a day. He sleeps from about 8:15 pm - 5:30 am, nurses, and sleeps again from 6ish until about 9 am.... give or take, usually. He takes a nap from around 1:30 pm until 4 pm. Yeah, he's a one nap baby already. And I thought G was an early 1-napper.... though I did kind of push J into one nap so that our life opened up in the morning a bit.

J eat peeled/cut grapes, bananas, peaches, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded meat, bell peppers, squash/zucchini, puffs, yogurt bites, pumpkin, and cheerios. He's tried lots of other things, but that's what he eats fairly frequently. He loves food and feeding himself.

He kind of drinks expressed milk from a sippy, with a lot of help and a lot of it spills, but this is helpful for getting through mass. I can't nurse under a cover because he pulls it off, so nursing discretely through mass isn't an option.

He's taken several tumbles because he's really top heavy, so when he pulls up on something and then tries to creep along or transfer between objects, he falls. I can't be right next to him every second...so long story short he topples over and cries. :-( Oh well, part of being a kid, right?

Then there's G who has pulled him over on accident a few times. She has just tried to help him "walk" but it ends up being her pulling him down since he can't walk. We've had a few talks about just letting him be....

She's a super awesome big sister, seriously, I've never seen a better one. She loves on him, plays with him, helps get his food, and takes care of him as much as a 2.5 year old can. Not that I put that on her really, but she's got a maternal instinct.

J is doing really well as far as CDPX1 (chondradysplasia punctata) is concerned, at least in my non-medical opinion. He seems to hear well, but we'll have his hearing checked pretty soon. He may or may not hear exactly right though, only time and monitoring will tell there. He seems to see well too, but again, we'll keep an eye on it ;-) His breathing is fine. He snores sometimes and makes odd sounds, but mostly does great. Let's all pray he stays healthy and avoids serious illness this Fall. His bones are the main thing, and we won't have x-rays again until December when he's almost 1. His torso and head seem to make up most of his body, so I think his legs are shorter than normal, which is why I think he's so top heavy....but he's only 9 months old ;-) so we'll see what happens in the future.

I'll update his height and weight tomorrow after his appointment. He's got two teeth on bottom and 4 about ready to bust through on the top.

Love you baby boy!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quotes of the day and fall fun

"It's kinda like pizza!" Regarding the eggplant Parmesan she was eating

"It's park, mom" regarding how I said we were going the parkski.

Other fun things from today, th weather was beautiful so we went to a little park and had it all to ourselves. J was in the beco and I sat on the swing with him strapped on to me and we had a grand ol' time swinging like that...literally he giggled at the wind in his hair.

Days like today are what life is about.

We also went to the library :)