Fast day 1 review

No, I didn’t eat this poor bear yesterday!

Yesterday’s fast went well, I managed to keep it under 500.

I drank two cups of raw, whole milk (320 calories), one half piece of turkey bacon (15 calories) and two plain boiled eggs (156 calories) for a total of 491. I also drank at least 48 ounces of water.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see if I can keep to 500 calories again.

New Years Resolutions


Another reason why my jeans don’t fit!

What’s a New Year without resolutions, right?!?

Generally, I don’t do the whole resolution thing. My decision to make some changes to my life just happens to coincide with New Year’s day.  You may wonder what is prompting this need for changes. I’ve got three words for you – Jeans Don’t Fit.

I had a few extra pounds sticking around following my miscarriage in June. I half-heartedly tried the 8/16 fast, where you fast for 16 hours, then eat only during the 8 hours. I didn’t stick to it very well . I’m a creature of habit, so skipping my morning cuppa tea really threw my day off. To be able to have my tea at 7 am, I’d have to stop eating at 3pm. Did you ever notice how far 3pm is from 10pm? Well, my stomach noticed!

I’ve done fasts before, and I have the most success with the 5/2 diet. You restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories two, non-consecutive days per week. I usually do Tuesday and Thursday. The last time I did it, I lost 12 pounds without having to run miles or really increase my activity level. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not sitting around eating bonbons (though I do day dream about it sometimes). I have five, very active children that I homeschool, so I’m on my feet all day. The idea of adding workouts to my day was completely unrealistic. No disrespect to you supermoms who can run five miles and still have energy to homeschool, bake bread from home ground wheat, and study for your nursing finals without breaking a sweat. I aspire to be you someday. But right now, I aspire to fit in my jeans again.

I will be starting this tomorrow (Happy New Year to me!). Here’s the plan:


1 large boiled egg          78 calories

Tea; 1 TBS honey           23 calories

1 TBS whole milk 10 calories

Total:                              111 calories


1  C lettuce                        5 calories

1/2 C chicken                167.5 calories

1 TBS hummus              25 calories

Total.                           197.5 calories


1/2 C cooked brown rice  108 calories

1/2 C carrots                          41 calories

1TBS cooked 80/20

ground beef                        38.5 calories

Total:                                  187.5 calories

Daily total:                        496 calories


Now for this type of eating program, measuring is essential. You can’t just eyeball it, because your eyes will deceive you. Keeping hydrated is important too. A glass of water can really help you feel full. Especially when taken just before a meal.

I’d love for others to join me on this! If you want more info on it, look up 5:2 fasting and Michael Moseley, a big advocate and author of a few books about it. My last piece of advice, try not to hang out in your kitchen on fasting days. Unless you feel like you need to do extra penance!

The Waiting Room

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a local hospital. I’m waiting for my mother to come out of a cardiac procedure to fix her atrial fibrillation. It was scary watching them wheel her away. After all, they are working on her heart. They reassure you that they’ve performed this procedure thousands of times and tick off the risks like they’re telling you the chef’s specials of the day.

But I can’t help looking around this waiting room and feeling anxious about myself and my future health.

How did all these people end up here like this? Can it be avoided or is this just the way it goes?

We are living in a time of great ease. Never before in the course of human history have we had the abundance we have here in the U.S. The sheer overwhelming availability of food, goods and resources is astounding.

A scant century ago we made our own clothes, washed them by hand and hung them to dry. We raised our food or at the very least bought them from the grocery in a recognizable form. And we walked to that grocer. We mowed our lawns with a push mower.

Now we buy our cheap clothes from the store and throw them in our washer and dryer so that we have more time to hang around or shop. We can grab dinner premade from the grocery store, no need to kill and prepare a chicken. We have our ride-on mower for the yard.

Has this life of ease bought us a future of illness?

I know that some of these conditions are simply the inevitable course of aging.  I also know that much of it we have brought upon ourselves.

Through our mechanization of the world around us, we have increasingly lost touch with those aspects of life that are necessary for our health.

When was the last time you made dinner from scratch? Can you pronounce the ingredients in your breakfast today? Do you know how much you work your upper body when you carry wet laundry outside and hang it on the line? Can you walk to your nearest store?

These changes aren’t easy, if they were we wouldn’t be in the health mess we are collectively in! But something must change. I, for one, don’t want the future I see before me in this waiting room.




What’s in Your Spice Cabinet?

My spice cabinet sees constant use throughout the day.  I finally paused to look at the state of it, and I am embarrassed by how bad I had let it get!  Look at it!  No rhyme or reason to it at all, empty bottles in there among the new ones, sandwich bags and muffin cups.  So, I pulled everything out, wiped it down and reorganized it all.  I also found room to put away my toaster oven, which is also a well loved item in the kitchen.  It is ugly as all get out, but still works fine, so I am in no rush to get a new one.  Hence my desire to hide it away from visitors!

Here it is all wiped out and ready for reorganization (personally, my favorite part of the process!)

And here is the reveal:

I had spices in there that we received as part of wedding shower gift.  We’ve been married for 20 years this year, so eww right??! (I mean the spices, not the being married 20 years part – that has been awesome!)

And there is my ugly toaster hidden away from the world like a princess in a Brothers’ Grimm fairy tale.  Maybe a fairy godmother will pretty it up before it gets used again!

Are you still plugging along with your forty bags challenge?


Purging the Freezer

I wasn’t planning on cleaning out my freezer, but I took advantage of the fact that it was completely defrosted from our 3 day power outage. So, as they say, when life hands you lemons make the freezer clean! I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t really cleaned it in a long time. But, I’m satisfied with the result and was able to purge a few things not worth saving.

How are you doing with your purging?

That Girl is Crafty!

My daughter hasn’t met a piece of fabric that she didn’t love.  She is a very creative kid, always sewing and making, which is wonderful!  It just leads to a lot of scraps and bits of fabric that get put in the craft room drawers.  They looked like this when we started:

That closed drawer also was overflowing, but I had already taken that load upstairs when I remembered to take a photo.  I took me a few hours, some cutting to get some usable pieces and a lot of being tough and saying “We are never going to use this.” But it got done, and now it looks like this:

Yes, you’re eyes do not deceive you, those two drawers are EMPTY!  I can now move some of the craft stuff back in there, a lot of it is currently occupying the top of that desk and various corners of the house.  I need to sort and purge the craft items before they get relocated to their new home.

I was able to donate a few of the items, but most of it was useless.  I’ll be dropping that off to the St. Vincent DePaul Society drop off location.  Did you know that they accept fabric scraps and worn/holey items for recycling?  Here’s the bag they are getting from us (the smaller bag is donation items):

We have about 30 days left until Easter!  How are your Forty Days going?

My Mugs Are Getting Dirty

I think my mugs are getting dirty, with each other!  I think when we close the cabinet door, they are reproducing.  Look at the smile on Grinch’s face:

He just looks guilty, doesn’t he?!  A few years ago I had everyone each pick their favorite mug, I kept a couple extra for guests and passed along the rest.  I’m not sure how we got to maximum density in that cabinet again, but we did.  So, I went through them again.  I only got rid of six, but it made a difference in there:

And look, he’s still smiling.  Maybe I should keep that cabinet door open….

What’s In Your Pantry?

Well, my pantry was chock o’block full of stuff begging to be thrown out.  Pantries tend to be one of those areas where things go in, some things come out and some gets lost at the back of the shelf.  I started by going top down and organizing like items with like.  I took partial packages and put them into glass containers I had on hand.  Much easier to see how much of something you have, plus less likely to get up-ended and spilled when the kids go rummaging for snacks.

Our pantry also houses our medicines and first aid items:

I love these clear shoe bags for storing things.  I use them here for the first aid and medicines, in the basement to store video games, cords and controllers, and in the craft room for sorting things like scissors, ribbon and crochet/knitting needles.  Really, the uses are endless!

So, here is the cleaned-out and organized pantry closet and first aid station:

And here is the pile of stuff I threw out and recycled:

I’m a happy girl today!  How about you?  Was it a good purging day for you?

Forty bags from my van

Well, maybe not 40 bags, but I did take 4 small bags of garbage out of my car. I didn’t take a before picture, because I was absolutely embarrassed by the state of the place! The joke in our family is that if we ever get stranded, we could survive off the leftovers on the van floor.

So, I cleaned, vacuumed and organized the van. Honestly, I don’t think it will stay that way. We are in the car a lot, so it gets pretty messy. I just need to get better at maintaining it. For now I’ll enjoy the neatness:

Clothes Hounds Part 2

I finally got through all the boys clothes.  I could have opened my own Macy’s with all the clothes they had.  I am grateful for the generosity of my neighbors, but I know that it is selfish of us to keep that which we know we can’t use.  So, here is the after shot:

These are 10/12, 12/14, 14/16, 16/18, 18/20, S, M/L.  This also allows the boys to see what is in the boxes so that they can find stuff when they need it.  I am so happy to finally have completed this task.  It has been on my to-do for a long time.

And here is the pile of donations:

I put my slipper in the shot to give you an idea of how large the pile really is.  It ended up filling 2 large and 5 medium bags.  That more than makes up for not getting rid of anything for the other 3 days, right?!

How is your FBFFD going so far?