Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Years Resolutions

Yes, New Years Resolutions are cliche.  But yes, I make them.  And yes, the biggest resolutions on my annual list are usually very typical and cliche, but I still strive to achieve them.  I don't ever make unobtainable goals......I just have a hard time actually obtaining some of them.  So here are my goals for 2016:

1.  Lose 20 pounds

I've been trying to lose this baby weight since a few months after Lucy was born, which was two years ago.  I'm not obese and I'm definitely on the smaller side compared to others who might be battling with some weight loss goals and rolling their eyes at my 20-pound complaint, but I'm just simply not comfortable in my own skin, which is what is important, no matter what your size.  If I felt comfortable with myself right now, these 20 pounds wouldn't matter and wouldn't be on my list.  But I don't.  I'm pretty self-conscious about it and no amount of "You look great!" or "You had two babies 16 months apart, give yourself a break!" help to make it better.  This past summer, I actually lost about 14 pounds, but then I started slacking and gained it all back over the fall months and holidays.  So I at least want to get rid of those 14 pounds I lost and then packed back on, and then shoot for the other 6 after that!

Sidenote:  Losing baby weight after Delano was easy.  Losing baby weight after Lucy has been torture.  Like telling me that I'll win a BILLION dollars if I can make a car move an inch just by blowing on it.  And I know that if I went ALL IN like the fit mommy bloggers out there, I could make it happen in no time flat.  Especially since 20 lbs really isn't all that much.  But I just really hate to exercise beyond running, and I just really can't live on shakes and salads as my meals.  So this is a SLOW process for me!  But I do need to up my game, starting with getting back into closely following my Weight Watchers plan (which is what shaved off those 14 lbs last summer).

2.  Run more

This definitely falls in to the super cliche "exercise more" category, which is basically what it is.  And I've been making this resolution EVERY year since I started running 5 years ago.  But I really do want to kick it up a notch.....and maybe 2016 is the year it finally "takes"!  I do pretty well with running overall, though sometimes I have awesome weeks with loads of running and sometimes I have crappy, lazy ones with hardly any running at all.  And 2015 was a good year for running.....I ran a half marathon almost every month last year!  This year, I don't have the same half marathon quantity goal, but I want to have more awesome weeks than lazy ones.  I want to build up those miles and crush some goals and make the half marathons that I DO run easy again!

3.  Yell less

I yell at my kids (well, I yell at the 3-year-old....the 2-year-old isn't quite to that point yet).  I don't mean to, and I hate it when I lose my cool over something that, in hindsight, wasn't really all that important.  I'm not verbally abusive to my kids, nor do I just sit and bark at them because "I'm the mom".  I do try to calmly and sensibly talk situations out with the kiddos before it reaches a breaking point, which can sometimes be a successful approach, but I catch myself yelling more than I would like to when this approach is a dead end.  I mean, my 3-year-old followed me around for OVER THREE HOURS one day screaming and crying about the same thing and there was NOTHING you could do or say to make it better or make it stop.  (Well, that's not true.  If I would have given in and given him the sucker he was demanding but indeed did not earn, it would have stopped.)  So a goal for 2016 is to yell less.....walk away, take breaks, count to 10, breathe, try to see the situation from a toddler's point of view, whatever it takes.  But just yell less.  Though if you, like me, have a 3-year-old who succeeds in making your blood boil everyday on know how challenging this will be.  Toddlers don't have filters, and EVERYTHING you know about and have taught your toddler - all of their kind knowledge, understanding, rationalization and common sense - go COMPLETELY out the window when they're mad.

Sidenote:  I just recently read a blog shared on The Huffington Post about a mom who, when her kids were 6 and 3, realized WHY she yelled as much as she did and how she turned things around in everybody's favor.  And she wrote a book about it called Hands Free Mama (Rachel Macy Stafford).  I'm super interested in reading this book.  It's not actually a book about "yelling less" (I'm sure I could probably find books out there that cater more directly towards calming the f**k down in the yelling department when your kid makes you insane), but it's about how she made changes in her life that ultimately lead to her "yelling less" because it just ended up being a favorable outcome.  I'm sure parts of her journey won't apply to me (she's a working mom with school-age children, for one), but I still would like to read about her journey!

4.  Read book club books

I've missed a few book club meetings over the last few years, though I didn't know I was going to miss them before I bought the books.  So I have a few book club reads sitting around the house that were never read that I would actually LOVE to read.  So one of my goals is to catch myself up on all of the prior book club reads that I missed out on.  There are a billion other books out there that I would love to read, but I only want to fully commit to the ones I already have at the moment!  (Along with Hands Free Mama)

5.  Teach letters and numbers

My kiddos both know how to count (Lucy can count straight to 11 and Delano makes it to about 15), they know the ABC song and they know a few select letters by sight and love to point them out (on the fridge, on TV, on your shirt, on a wine bottle, whatever.....we don't judge where they learn their letters).  But during the first part of 2016, I plan to actually TEACH them the alphabet so that when they see a letter they know exactly what it is.  The same with numbers.  Delano visually recognizes numbers up to 9, but the double digits are confusing.  He doesn't see "10", he sees a "1" and a "0".  So hopefully we can peg down those letters and some of those double-digit numbers this year! 

Sidenote: I'm not trying to make my kids geniuses or anything, and I don't care if they're ahead or behind other kids their age.....I just feel it's the right time they learn these things since they already know some of them and since we seem to be at a teaching point!

6.  Less TV time (for the kids)

My kids watch quite a bit of TV.  It's not on all day, and we definitely do other things together (like play and socialize, either at home or out and about).  But the TV time could stand to be cut back.  And I'm not anti-TV, no matter what the American Pediatrics group says I should or shouldn't do regarding screen time with my toddlers.  But I do think we could stand to cut back overall.  Plus my heart won't exactly be broken if Team Umizoomi solves less problems during my day.  PATTERN POWER!!

Sidenote:  Less TV time doesn't also apply to myself because I only get screen time at night and maybe during naps as it is.  Go ahead and try to watch an adult show while my kids are awake.  They don't even have to be in the room....they can SENSE it if you turn on any other show besides one of theirs, and it leads to a meltdown, even if they have no intentions of watching TV, and even if they run off to play as soon as you turn the TV back off.  But go ahead and turn it back on and see what happens.......

7.  Read more (to the kids)

Going right along with less TV time includes reading more.  My kids love to read their books, and I often catch them sitting in Delano's room quietly flipping through pages or even "reading" to each other.  But I don't sit down and read with them as often as I should, usually because I take advantage of their self-entertaining moments to get other things done (usually chore-related).  But in 2016, I plan to "chore" less during the day and sit down and read to the kids more.  I want them to know all of the books on their shelves, and I want them to WANT to read even more books.  In my mind, a person can never have too many books, and they should never be punished for wanting to read.  I know that some people just aren't into reading for pleasure no matter what their upbringing, but I really hope my kids end up loving to read.  I can at least try to get them to!

8.  Go clothes shopping

I dread getting dressed every day.  Yes, it would be way less of a kick in the ribs to my self-esteem if I lost that 14-20 pounds I discussed earlier, but that's not the only reason I dread it.  First, relating to that 14-20 pounds, nothing fits.  And there's not a whole lot worse (speaking SOLELY from a middle-class wardrobe point of view, not from a world's problems point of view) than putting on item after item after item in your closet that doesn't fit while simply attempting to get dressed for a plain 'ole regular day.  I don't go anywhere fancy and I don't wear anything fancy.  My high heels have an inch of dust on them, and I even forgot that I owned a nice pair of black boots until I noticed them in the back of my closet the other day.  I basically live in T-shirts, jeans and flip-flops.  And I don't even have to shower if I don't feel like it.  It is totally acceptable for me to toss my hair up in a bun, brush my teeth, and head out on the town with the kids.  But regardless of the fact that I don't ever need to dress up for anything, my clothes are STALE STALE STALE.  And I really should do something about it and stop dressing like a poor college student.  So it is a goal to start revamping my wardrobe this year.  At least try to make myself a TINY bit more stylish.

9.  Drink less

I'm not an alcoholic and I don't have a drinking problem.......and I swear that I'm not in denial, either.  ;)  But I do enjoy wine and I do enjoy beer, and I do enjoy them nightly after the kids go to bed.  A couple of delicious stout beers or glasses of red wine really hit the spot while I'm curled up on the couch with the hubs watching The Walking Dead.  But my daily intake of the extra carbs, calories and sugar is doing nothing for my waistline.  So until I can get this waistline under control and in a happier place, I really should cut back on the additional fat contributors, unless they happen to fit into my Weight Watchers point calculation for the day.

10.  Sleep more

I'm a night owl.  I get my second (or third?) wind at night when everybody else is ready to go to sleep.  I enjoy the quiet time, I enjoy the computer time, I enjoy the TV time, I enjoy the treadmill time, I enjoy the social time (if I happen to be at work) and I typically function perfectly fine on 4-6 hours of sleep.  But getting a good night's sleep (7-9 hours) is not only a good thing for my weight loss goals, but also just a good habit to get into.  So unless I'm bartending or working on an environmental work project or tagging consignment items or hitting the treadmill because I couldn't do it during the day, I plan on hitting the sack at a "regular" time more often.  I really should shoot for a specific number of days per week to start......

11.  Keep to the 52 Week Money Saving Plan

I printed out the 52 Week Money Saving Plan, which you can find a bazillion times over on Google images.  The point of the plan is to put away the amount of money for the numbered week of the year that it is for 52 weeks.  So during week 1, you put away $1.  Week 2 - $2.  Week 3 - $3.  And so on.  By the end of 52 weeks, you should have $1,378.  HOWEVER, I read a post that highly suggested that if you do the plan, to do it BACKWARDS.  Start with $52 and count down weekly to $1.  She said that it is a lot easier to put away the larger amounts during the slower part of the year than it is to put it away around the holidays.  And that if you have a week where you can't meet the weekly "goal", just check off another week instead and put that week off until later.  It makes total sense, and I've already checked off three weeks (I technically started a week early because I got excited).  In the end, that money saved will just likely be a bill payment, but it will be at LEAST a $1,378 bill payment!  I'm actually hoping to surpass the $1,378 goal during those last 20 weeks, when the assigned weekly amounts are $20 or less (when I should be able to put in more than the allotted amount).

12.  Spend less

I'm not a good "saver".  I'm the complete opposite of my husband.  Not that he's a tightwad, because he's definitely not.....he just manages his money WAY better than I do.  I'm a terrible budgeter, because I enjoy making the most out of what I have, which typically translates to spending what I have.  Unlike in my early twenties when I would use credit cards to pay other credit cards because I couldn't pay the debts with my bank account, I actually pay all of my bills on time and typically early - when they arrive instead of when they're due.  I keep tabs on exactly what I owe to who and when it's due and I make sure it's all taken care of.  It's pretty much all in a spreadsheet.  But I do leisurely spend more than I probably should.  So this year I'm going to try to cut back on the spending and send more money to the "boring" stuff, like my school loan.  We'll see how it goes.....especially as fun stuff pops up.  ;)  And keep in mind, this "fun" stuff is usually for my kids and not specifically for me!  Or it's often for ALL of us as a family.  I haven't even dyed the gray out of my hair in probably a year, so we know my money isn't going to things like that!

So those are my resolutions.....or goals.....for 2016.  I know it's a lot (12 things!), but they are all completely attainable as long as I maintain motivation and control.  I'm eighteen days into the new year (I started on the 4th) and I've kind of started on a couple of them.  I've drank a little less (there hasn't even been any wine in my house since just after New Year's Day!), there's been a little less TV, I've started on a new book, I've been more conscious about not yelling, I've been more conscious about my spending and I've slept a little more.  All still room for improvement, but we've got the whole year ahead of us.  As the winter months continue, I hope to start pegging more of my goals down more consistently. 

Here's to 2016!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ragnar Is Coming Up!

The Ragnar Relay is coming up in about 2 1/2 weeks, and man I'm excited but nervous!

I'm in Van #1, which means we're starting off the race with the first 6 legs.  We found out about 2 months ago that this year, the race is starting off in a completely different direction, which changes up the first 6 legs from previous years.  After a little swapping around of runners to meet their abilities, I shifted from Runner #1 to Runner #4.

Which means I'm running 10.2 miles, then 6.1 miles, then 6.7 miles.  HOLY CRAP.

The first 10 miles will be fine.  It's the 2nd and 3rd set of miles that are going to be painful!  My body is going to be shocked about running 6 more miles mere hours after running 10 miles......and then REALLY shocked at having to do it again mere hours after that second 6 miles!  But it's happening!  I might be crawling.....but it's happening.

Here's my first leg:

Here's my second leg:

And here's my third leg:

So there you have it.  On October 23rd I'll be hitting the pavement on the way to Nashville!  And in only 4 more months, I'll be hitting the pavement in Miami on the way to Key West!!

This weekend, though, I'll be running the Urban Nature 10k happening here in Chattanooga.  It should be fun, plus several of my Ragnar team members are also running it.  It should be a good little training run in preparation for Ragnar.  Plus it's cheap, and it should be pretty!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

My Juice Cleanse: The Aftermath.

Where we left off, it was the evening of Day 3 (my final juice cleanse day) and I still had 3 bottles to go for the day.

Well.....I never drank any of those 3 bottles.  Instead I ended up with a glass of wine and a handful of veggie stix.

Shocked, aren't ya? ;)

So here is my synopsis of my 3-day juice cleanse by Raw Generation.

Day 1 (detailed here):  I was STARVING and really wondering why I had agreed to do a cleanse to begin with.  I didn't want to back out, but I wanted to eat everything in sight.  As in EVERYTHING.  I daydreamed about food.  And I wasn't loving the juices.  A few of them were okay, but the green ones were hard to swallow.

Day 2 (detailed here):  I was a MUCH happier camper.  I woke up early, feeling great, wasn't that hungry all day (except right at mealtimes), and the juices were easier to swallow.  I skipped 2 juices and ended up with wine and veggie stix in my hands later in the evening, but ah well.

Day 3 (detailed here):  Day 3 was pretty much the same as Day 2 - I woke up early, happy and not hungry.  I felt great, and even better, I felt skinny.  The juices went down like nothing.....I drank the green juice right out of the bottle with zero problems.  It didn't even make me flinch.  And even though at mealtimes I was craving pizza, I didn't eat any pizza.  I did eat some lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole for lunch (fruits and veggies are "allowed" on a juice cleanse, as that's what the juices are made of anyway) and I sliced up a tomato and had that for dinner.  I ended up skipping THREE of the juices that day and managed instead to find a glass of wine in one hand and a handful of veggie stix in the other later that evening.

These are our faves.

So I didn't follow the cleanse EXACTLY like I had planned......I ate a few meals (of veggies) and ate fruits in between juices (apples, plums, grapes, etc).  And of course we all know I broke into the wine and snacks two of the three nights.  I had planned to go all out and do the juices and ONLY the juices.  But ah well.  I read that some people choose to juice during the day but then have dinner at night.  Some companies even have packages that are geared towards that idea.

If you had asked me on the evening of Day 3 (Thursday) if I would ever do a juice cleanse again, I would have told you no, simply because I just REALLY like food and hated not eating it.  Even though I felt fantastic during the last 2 days, I still couldn't wait to eat a meal once it was all over.  And on Friday, I did just that.  I had a juice for breakfast (from my leftover/skipped juices) and then had a salad, a side of crab salad and a few slices of pizza for lunch.  And then I ate a salad with grilled chicken for dinner.  So I didn't go crazy, but I did really enjoy my pizza.

I did NOT eat that......but OMG!  YOU NO POOP FOR A WEEK!!

But now that I am on Day 3 post-cleanse, my tone has changed.  The past 3 days have felt both rough on my body and rough on my self-esteem.  I lost 2.5 pounds during the cleanse (mostly water weight, I'm sure), but my weight shot back up (and plus some) INSTANTLY after I started eating meals again.  Granted, it wasn't like I went back to eating just raw fruits and veggies......I was hungry for something good and felt like I was in need of carbs and protein, so I had pizza on Friday and Mexican on Saturday (along with some other random tidbits).  But I've also felt tired and lacking energy and nowhere NEAR like I felt those last 2 days of my cleanse.  Of course, I've also been bartending and working late nights all weekend (and will be doing so again tonight), so that's played a part, but I can't use it as a full excuse.  I know that part of the reason I've felt so rough is due to some of the heavier food I've put in my body.

So would I do a juice cleanse again?  Eh......maybe.  The way I felt during the cleanse vs the way I've felt the last few days has made it super appealing.  But juicing is really pricey and actually pretty controversial among those in the health/nutrition field.  I didn't pay $60/day for my cleanse, but that's the standard rate.  I also only cleansed for 3 days, not 30, 60 or even 90 days like some of the extreme plans out there.

So with that being said, would I instead try a raw foods diet, which is kind of like juicing but with chewing involved?  Ehhhhhh........I don't know.  I really don't care for strict diets.  I can't even imaging juicing for more than 3 days.  I love food too much, plus the norm for extreme diets is that you either pack the weight back on after you stop dieting or you damage your body by depriving it of whatever you're depriving it of.

Which is why I love Weight Watchers.  There's no strict dieting involved.  Just SMART dieting.  And for the first 8-10 weeks, I was really good at it.  I need to get back on that "really good at it" wagon again!

So there it is.  Three days of juicing in the books.  I'm on the fence about whether or not I would do it again, but I DO really want that skinny-feeling, super energetic person back that entered my body for 2 days!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 3 of Juice Cleansing

Ok, so I have to admit, I MIGHT have cheated a little on my juice cleanse last night.  I MIGHT have drank some wine and I MIGHT have eaten a handful of my kids' leftover stale veggie stix that somehow made it into my mouth before they made it into the trash.  And this was all likely due to the fact that I MIGHT have stayed up too late.

So there's that.  But at the same time, I also skipped out on two of the juice bottles.  I guess I should have drank that last pineapple/cucumber/aloe juice!

Today is Day 3.....the FINAL day of my cleanse!

This morning I woke up just like yesterday - before everyone else and wide awake.  And once again, I wasn't hungry.  I felt good.  And I've felt good all day.

I got really hungry right at 8:30, which is when I popped open Bottle #1 (the green stuff).  I drank it right out of the bottle without any issues.  It tasted like lemon juice again, and the smell didn't even bother me hardly at all.  It's like I've either formed a tolerance to it or acquired the taste for it.  But that was all that I had for breakfast.

Around 11:30, I was suddenly starving.  The kids and I were out and about with my mom, so we ended up at Amigo for lunch.  I had packed Bottle #2 (the carrot one) in a cooler to bring along, so I broke it out at lunchtime.  I did order a side of guacamole salad, which consisted of lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole, but I stuck to the salad and that's all I ate.  I didn't eat a single chip or dip into my son's queso once.  I really wanted the soft taco that neither of my kids ate, but I left it alone.  And after my mini-salad and juice, I was fine.

I broke out Bottle #3 (the second green one) at 3:30, and drank it straight from the bottle as well.  And let me tell you, I drank it in half an hour with no problems.  Day 3 and this is shiz-niz is getting EASY!

After Bottle #3, just to curb any late afternoon cravings, I ate an orange and a plum. 

Another thing I've felt the last two days, besides good, is SKINNY!  I know that I've lost a few pounds over the last few days, but I'm also not naive enough to think it will all stay off like magic once I start eating solid food again.  I know that those pounds will very easily pile back on even after just one day if I let them, which is why I'm hoping to not let them!  I think being on Weight Watchers will help that tremendously, as long as I stick to tracking what I eat. 

At dinnertime, I ate a large tomato.  Sliced it up, sprinkled on some salt and pepper, and made it my dinner.  It was delicious, not because I was starving or anything, but because sliced tomatoes are delicious.

As of 9pm, I still hadn't broken out Bottle #4, #5 or #6.  Now, we all know how this ended last night when I skipped out on the last 2 bottles......I ended up with a glass of wine and a handful of stale veggie snacks.  Granted, I still needed the added calories for the day yesterday since I eliminated two bottles' worth of pre-planned calories, but wine and stale veggie stix weren't exactly on the menu.  So tonight, if I don't drink another bottle, there is a possible chance that something non-juice-related will end up on the menu. 

My plan for in the morning is to continue the juice trend for breakfast, since I still have several bottles left.  And since I am totally planning on eating some pizza for lunch!

Mmmmmmmmmm pizza.

Craigslist Frustrations Are Real, Y'all.

I have had success with Craigslist, from buying things to selling things to even advertising dogs up for adoption.

I personally haven't had any real "fails" with Craigslist, though I know others who have.  A friend of mine found the PERFECT house to rent, only to discover that it was a scam.  And that's not the first time that house rentals/buys have been a scam......I've known people who have knocked on someone's door only to discover that the house they went to was indeed NOT for rent/sale.  Then of course we all heard that story last year about the couple who was murdered while trying to buy a car.......

Whatever you do, NOT give anybody a dime of your money until you have the product you're buying in hand.

So I don't think I got Craigslist scammed.  I know that may sound naive, but I really don't.  However, I do have some extreme Craigslist frustration going on, which is why I'm pouring it out on paper (or computer, rather).

You all know that I have been receiving CSA baskets since the first week of June.  I've been receiving half-baskets (or according to my farm, they're actually 2/3 baskets), which have STILL been too much for my family to consume in a week, even with Pinterest and Weight Watchers recipes out the wazoo that I've been cooking up.  So I've been freezing vegetables left and right.  Which is great, because I know have a ton of veggies for future use and during the winter months.  However, even with TWO refrigerators in my house, I am running out of freezer room.  Actually, I'm pretty much OUT of freezer room.  So for the past few weeks, I've been on the manhunt for an upright freezer for my overflow of veggies, along with the local beef I intend to buy and stock it with.

Something kind of like this.

So I've been shopping around for a freezer.  I have been to every store in the area, both local and commercial (Lowe's, Home Depot, Best Buy, H&H Gregg, Sears, Sears Outlet, KMart, B&B Discount, Baugh Appliance, etc) and the best deal on what I wanted was at both Lowe's and KMart (same price, same free delivery).  I've also been checking Craigslist on a daily basis.  I initially thought I wanted one of the smaller uprights (13-14 cubic feet), but decided after inspection that I definitely wanted a 16-17 cubic foot freezer.  And though not a deal breaker, I was really sold on the baskets that some of them had.

Like this.  PS - That black freezer in the pic before this one has 3 baskets, which means it's likely one of the HUGE 20+ cubic foot freezers I don't need.  Seriously, like 7 feet tall.

So I picked out a freezer from Lowe's for a good deal (when it comes to brand new freezers), and it included free delivery.  It's actually pretty similar to the stock picture above, just with mainly a different door shelf arrangement.

There she is!  Not exactly an exciting pic, huh?

But let's back up to a week ago, when I decided to check Craigslist for ONE last time before forking over the money for a brand new freezer.   A listing for a Frigidaire upright freezer - excellent condition, frost-free, less than a year old - popped up for $200.  It was pretty much exactly like the one I bought, minus the nifty baskets.  I had seen it stores when I shopped so I knew it was a current model.  SO I WANTED IT.  There was no phone number attached, so I responded via email that I wanted the freezer.  The "listing agent" and I went back and forth a few times.....when could I come see it, where were they located, yada yada.......then suddenly - RADIO SILENCE.  I kept sending emails and all I heard back were crickets.  I even sent an email saying something like, "that's cool if you've changed your mind about selling or if you decided to change the price, but could you just let me know SOMETHING before I move on?".  NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Grrrrrrr. 

The ad was still up on Craigslist even though they weren't responding to me anymore, but after three days I finally gave up and gave in.  I bought my shiny new freezer and had it delivered, and I didn't have to lift a pinky in the process.  I'm just glad that I haven't heard back from the person about that Craigslist freezer.....I'd be super irritated if they got back to me AFTER I bought the new one.

I just don't understand why some people don't have common courtesy.  I totally get that we're strangers and that neither of us will ever know who was on the other end of that conversation, and that you don't owe it to me to respond.  BUT C'MON, PEOPLE.

Somebody's mama didn't teach them right.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 2 of Juice Cleansing

Day 2 of my Raw Generation juice cleanse has far surpassed yesterday in the happiness department.  First, I woke up before everyone else around 6:30 this morning.  I didn't physically get out of bed, but I was wide awake when Delano started calling for me at 6:45.  I had a slight headache when I woke up, but it faded on its own after not too long.  And when I got up, I wasn't overly tired like I usually am.  Even on nights when I get 8 hours of sleep, I typically wake up wishing I could get a couple hours more.  My morning routine involves getting Delano out of bed, taking him to pee, and then curling up on the couch to try to catch a few more ZZZs while he watches cartoons (typically with him sitting on me).  Then after about another 30 minutes to an hour Lucy wakes up, I go and get her, fix her a bottle, put her on the couch with Delano, and then I curl up in the recliner for a bit before the kids force me to be productive.

This morning I laid on the couch with Delano like I usually do, but instead of trying to sleep, I was checking email and Facebook and what not, and by 7:15 Delano was in his high chair eating a PB&J (his breakfast request).  So I was pretty much up and at'em right out of the gate.

Also......I wasn't hungry.  I figured I'd wake up STARVING.  But I wasn't hungry at all until it was time to pop open my first juice around 8:30.

Today, I blended Bottle #1 (the green one) with a banana to make a smoothie.  It still tasted green (though more like green + banana) and took me about an hour to drink.  I had a little help from Delano, as he seemed to like it, even with it being green (he won't actually eat greens as a food yet). 

At this point, I wasn't missing food and wishing I could eat everything in sight, which was way different from yesterday.

I did get really hungry right around 11:30, when it was time for lunch.  The kids and I had met some friends out for Toddler Time at the Eastgate Library, and then went by our local library to check it out and sign up for library cards.  After we were done and since we were already out and about, what I REALLY wanted to do was go grab some lunch at a restaurant.  There's a restaurant called Family Table near our house that has a soup/salad/pizza buffet (along with a full menu).  It's not the best in the world, but it's pretty decent and I could taste the pizza in my mouth.  I wanted like 14 slices. 

**I just discovered that their all-you-can-eat pasta deal is the same price as their regular buffet and it INCLUDES soup, salad and pizza.  Ummmm......Fettuccine Alfredo, please!!

But alas......instead of giving in to my lunch cravings, I came home, ate an apple and drank Bottle #2.  Bottle #2 was even better today than it was yesterday.  I still added a little extra orange juice to it, but I'm not sure it needed it.  Then after the kiddos went down for naps I drank a bottle of water and ate a plum.

I have been SIGNIFICANTLY less hungry today than I was yesterday.  It's still hard to believe that I'll be doing this for a whole other day and that tomorrow isn't my "Let's Eat!" day, but overall I am not disappointed with the way I feel today.

I didn't even break out Bottle #3 (another green one) until almost 4:00.  And I decided to just go for it - drink it "as is" without diluting it with fruit.  It's still not my fave and I avoided smelling it while drinking it, but it tasted more like lemon this afternoon than liquid shrubbery.  I wasn't really hungry when I popped it open, but figured that since it was almost 4:00 and I had only had TWO bottles so far, I should probably drink another.

Yesterday I felt like I was starving myself, but today I haven't felt that way at all.  I honestly, besides right at lunchtime up until this point, haven't been hungry.  I've been perfectly content all day.

Bottle #4 was consumed for dinner.  While the hubs enjoyed his chicken and rice casserole, I drank a bright red bottle of beet juice.  This was after, of course, I caught myself pinching off a piece of leftover cake and popping it into my mouth (oops).  I did find myself hungry at dinnertime, just as I would normally be hungry at dinnertime.  So it was kind of like a repeat of lunchtime, where I was having little fantasies about food.  Before dinner, the kids and I went to the farmer's market to pick up our CSA basket and milk share.  I was "safe" at the market (besides the cookies I bought for the kids as their market treat, I could have actually eaten just about everything else and been fine!), but on the way home I pictured myself going through a drive-thru and eating something delicious.  Which isn't abnormal, as I've been on Weight Watchers since mid-May and so drive-thrus aren't typically on the menu, unless I plan ahead through my WW tracker app (which is way different from a tracker jacket).  But the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich......which was something I saw in an advertisement today (maybe on Facebook?) definitely not 26-points-a-day friendly.  I also fantasized about an extra large order of McDonald's fries. 

Korean "Potato Party".  According to the news article attached to this photo, this group of kids ordered 60 large fries, which totaled approximately 30,000 calories.

Then the buttermilk chicken sandwich made me think of the Dirty Bird sandwich at Urban Stack, which made me think of the Good Day Sunshine burger at Urban Stack, which made me think of the hot pimento cheese dip at Urban Stack, which made me realize I just wanted to be at Urban Stack.

So I didn't eat any of these things, but instead drank beet juice.  YUM.  However, I will say that the juice satisfied my hunger pains.  I drank the juice and was totally fine afterwards.  Not saying I didn't WISH it had been something else......just saying that I survived the fact that it wasn't.

I didn't make it to Bottle #5 or #6.  By the time I started Bottle #4, it was 6:30.  So at that point I knew Bottle #5 (the 3rd green juice of the day) was out, because I certainly wasn't going to finish up my day with a green concoction.  But I didn't even make it to the pineapple/cucumber/aloe juice, as I didn't think I'd be able to finish it in time before bed. 

So Day #2 is done and in the books.  JUST ONE MORE DAY.  I'm counting down the hours until Friday, which I'm already planning out......healthy with a slight indulgence, of course!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 1 of Juice Cleansing

Day 1 of my Raw Generation juice cleanse and I am HUNGRY.  As in, every morsel of food I see I want to put in my mouth, especially carbs.  And my house doesn't lack for carbs with two toddlers running around.  I've got crackers and cereal and granola and snacks coming out of my hoo-ha.  Of course all I get to do the next 3 days is LOOK at it!

All day long all I've thought about is food.  Seriously, like I've thought about stuffing my face with ALL types of food......Mexican, Italian, American, name it, I want it.  But I was prepared for this.  I was forewarned that I would be STARVING on the first day, and I was not lied to.

I was woken up this morning at 6:35 am by my darling son, who needed to pee and was ready to face the day.  I had already mapped out my day as far as my juice cleanse bottles went.....I was going to drink them at 9:00, 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00.  Around 8:35 I was about to eat my arm off (which is not normally the case, so I'm guessing my body already KNEW it wasn't getting any "real" food today) so I popped open Bottle #1.

Ingredients:  apple juice, spinach juice, kale juice, collard juice, lemon juice, carrot juice

I was really hoping that with apple juice listed as the first ingredient, it was going to taste like apple juice with a little bit of greenery tossed in.  Well......I'm not an expert on green juices or green smoothies or anything of the sort (this may have actually been my first green drink ever), but it definitely did NOT taste like earthy apple juice. It absolutely and definitely tasted GREEN, even though it wasn't thick.  And the thing is, I loooooove greens.  I love cooked spinach and kale and collards as much as anyone else who loves greens.  But this drink was hard going down.  And it wasn't terrible - it actually WAS sweet - but it was just tough.  It took me an hour, and I thought I was going to throw up about halfway through.  My body wanted to eat the bowl of Cheerio's that my son was enjoying instead.

Around 12:45, I popped open Bottle #2.

Ingredients:  carrot juice, fresh-squeezed orange juice, ginger juice and lemon juice

This one wasn't bad.  Not overwhelmingly carrot, which I was afraid it might be.  I did add a little extra orange juice into it (a recommendation by the company if you want to change the flavor a little), but overall not bad.  It still took me an hour to finish it, though.  And I did also eat an apple, which is totally allowed if you're trying your best to stick to the plan without cheating.  Raw fruits and veggies are A-Ok.

I was still starving, though.  I got to watch my mom enjoy her cottage cheese-avocado-cucmber-tomato salad (A FAVE), and I got to stare at my kids while they ate cheese, yogurt, Cheez-Its and peanut butter on graham crackers.

I wanted to hide in a corner with the box of Cheez-Its.

Around 2:30, I popped open Bottle #3.

Bottle #1 ALL OVER AGAIN, just with a different picture on the label as a distraction

This time around, I tried blending it with some frozen fruit (peaches, pineapples, mangos and bananas) to make a smoothie.  I don't really have an answer as to whether it was better or not.  It still took an hour to drink.  And I think I determined that more than anything, it's the smell that messes with me.  If I cover my nose, it's MUCH better.

I also ate a plum.  So at this point I've had three juice bottles, an apple and a plum.  I'm not regretting my decision to do the cleanse.  But man, I am hungry.  And EVERYTHING sounds good!

I realized at about 4:30 that I hadn't drank any water today.  I'm supposed to be drinking at least 4 glasses of water a day along with my juices.  But seriously, by the time I finish one juice, it's close to time to start the next one, and the last thing I'm thinking of is putting more liquid into my body.  And even though I'm hungry, my body is actually full on the juices.  Sounds crazy, right?  But that's exactly how I feel.  Like I'm starving but yet couldn't eat another thing.

I did manage to miraculously drink about 16 oz of water before popping open Bottle #4 at 5:00.

Ingredients:  carrot juice, apple juice, beet juice and lemon juice

This one was also not bad, in the same lines as the carrot one earlier.  It's REALLY red and looks like liquid raspberry Jello, but (I guess) tastes like carrots and beets.  I'm not really sure what liquefied beets are supposed to taste like.  Again, it's way better if I don't smell it.  I'm not sure if I can taste the apple or lemon juice in it.  Maybe the flavor's in there - I just don't know.  This one also took me about an hour to drink.  It seems that I definitely cannot chug any of these juices!

I ended up skipping Bottle #5.  It was a repeat of bottles #1 and #3 and I just couldn't do I was fairly certain that there was no way that I could make it through two more bottles before bedtime.  So I skipped #5 and am now on Bottle #6.

Ingredients:  pineapple juice, cucumber juice and aloe vera juice (also notice that it is an "excellent source of love")

This one also isn't bad.  Tastes pretty much like a cucumber.  I like cucumber so that's okay with me (though I think it would be MORE awesome if it tasted like pineapple).  It was the best of the six, though I'm sure at the end of the day it was supposed to be.

Between bottles #4 and #6 was dinnertime.  My husband cooked up a saucy chicken and rice casserole that smelled delish....that of course I couldn't eat.  I had another apple, an orange, a plum and a banana.  And oddly, I wasn't hungry at dinner.  I wanted to eat for sure, but I wasn't actually hungry.  I could have stuffed my face with half of that chicken casserole paired with a beer or two and been a really happy, stuffed camper.  But I was also okay with the fact that I didn't.  Partly because I want to succeed at this cleanse and kick off the last leg of this weight loss with a bang, and partly because juicing isn't exactly cheap and I don't want to waste my money by ignoring what I'm supposed to do.

So tomorrow is another day!  Another day of liquid fruits and veggies.  I think I'm going to blend some banana in with Bottle #1 in the morning and see if I can tame the greenery a little.

Here's to two more days of a juice cleanse!