Thursday, April 3, 2014

Creating Our Garden - Herbs

Since going on Paleo I find that I get out of the house a lot more. On some of those outings I’m either scouting for farmer markets or making more frequent trips to the grocery store. At this point I am committed to eating fresh veggies and fruit. I enjoy the juicing and meals I am creating but let me be REAL for a moment…………… eating organically and eating low processed meats adds up fast on the pocket book. Now not to discourage anyone because in all honestly the amount we were paying going out to lunch and then picking up food for a fast meal added up to the same amount if not way more. I think it’s just actually seeing the large dollar amount all at once. However to save a little money, and enjoy getting outside more and an opportunity to play in some dirt with my son I thought it would be nice to start growing what we can at home.

A few weekends ago we got our herb garden up. My husband had worked hard a few years ago building our privacy fence and he really cringes anytime I say “honey this would be good on out fence”, so with that being said I was trying to find a way to create a vertical garden for our herbs. I knew the location I wanted it in because eventually we would like to do an outdoor kitchen/deck and it is a must that it’s vertical because we have two very large Rhodesian Ridge-backs that either like to roll around in my plants or pee on them. I already have on the fence a few pots that I used Hang-a-Pot to attach them. I love this product and they have lasted for about 4 years now but still I wanted something a little different for this project.

I have seen where a lot of folks make a vertical herb garden by using old wooden pallets and I liked the idea but it's still not what I wanted. When at the hardware store the idea had come to me when we were pricing the materials for our deck. They have pre-made deck rails made from pressure treated wood, about $30 a piece. I thought why not place them vertically into the ground on some post and then attach window boxes to them.

This is how it turned out! I am very pleased with it. I drilled some holes on the planters and placed them in a way that when watering the top one it will drain and help water the ones below it. Also in the above picture you can see the flowers I had planted using the Hang-a-Pot.

Now that the herb garden is complete we are now working on building a garden fence so we can plant some veggies that I got started from seed.

Do any of you have your own home herb garden and if so how and where do you have them?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Starting New with the help of Paleo

It has been far too long since I have taken the time to write about my journey. The past few years have been a struggle but with the help of family and friends I am starting to feel like myself again. I finished my last round of chemo a few weeks ago and considering I am feeling really good. I am still having kidney treatments but I see an overall improvement.

Back in December, weighing in at 266lbs from the combination of medicine and eating from depression I decided to look much deeper into what I can be doing for me and my family. I am not new to watching calories, going on diets, exercising and trying to start a new healthy lifestyle. I have started and stopped for years with maybe hanging in there for a month to two before burring out. I desperately wanted to make this commitment for myself. The pain from my headaches was becoming worse. One of the tumors on my brain had hemorrhaged causing an immense amount pain. I was told my brain kept swelling but couldn’t ever find the true cause. I become more depressed, and trying to juggle a full time job, a five year old, chemo treatments, and find time for my husband it became all very overwhelming.

Other than the obvious of not wanting to be sick anymore I had to find what drives me. That’s always been easy, that’s my family. I want to participate in my son’s life and not just be a spectator. We have a great relationship and I love being a mother but with everything my body has gone through it was just plain out too tired to hang with a 5 year! I needed to find something that I can do for me. Again I have tried so many things in the past but would get derailed for a multitude or reasons and it would take me months to get back into the swing of things again.

What changed for me is when I watched a documentary of Netflix called Hungry for Change.

After watching this film it was as if someone had flipped the switch on for me. Everything made more since to me, including why my attempts have failed in the past. I highly recommend watching this film because it puts so much about nutrition and the American diet in perspective. The one thing that I realized while watching this film is what I eat overall doesn’t really resemble food.

That got me thinking what if I cut out all the processed food in our diet and just stick to eating as clean as we can. This is when I came across a Paleo lifestyle, also known as the Caveman diet. At first looking at what you cut out of your diet I thought to myself there is no possible way. I always considered myself a “carb lover” and cheese….. Pretty sure I was in a hot steamy romance with it, but what I have been doing before wasn’t working and I wanted to get away from those foods, right? Being introduced to Paleo was saying “goodbye” to grains and gluten, processed foods, legumes, dairy, white potatoes and saying “no” to added sugar. I also learned that Paleo is more than eating nutrient-dense foods it’s also about the other factors in your life, quality of sleep, movement, stress levels, sunlight, supplementation and overall your thoughts.

As of today I am currently 95 days in. I have successfully cut out the entire “No, No’s” on the do not eat list mentioned above. Remember when I said I thought it would be hard to cut it all out? By far the easiest plan I have ever followed. I started juicing organic vegetables and fruit along with this process and I notice I don’t struggle with cravings at all. I feel full and I actually feel satisfied, not to risk sounding like someone on a late night commercial but I already see and feel a difference. I haven’t had a headache in over 90 days!!!!! This is truly a miracle for me. I have been in pain EVERYDAY since ’05. Anyone that really knows me knows how much I felt captive by my pain. My doctors believe that a large part of my headaches were due to I have an abnormally large brain (I have been telling my family that for year. Had to be the reason why I’m so brilliant), and 7 tumors, so when my brain swelled it had really nowhere to go. Paleo is known to help reduce chronic inflammation as well as stabilizing blood sugar, clearing up gut and skin issues, and assist with getting a good night’s sleep. (Note: I am not in the medical profession so please research and talk to your doctor if this is something you would want to start). For me this has been life changing. I feel happy again and not like every day is a fight to get out of bed. I am enjoying preparing our meals with my son, and teaching him at an early age. I’m starting to get more active and this past month started incorporating exercise. I weighed myself on my 90 day mark and I am currently down 32.4lbs and 8 inches from my waist. It’s an overall good feeling but what I enjoy the most is not the number on the scale but being more active with my son and being able to play with him.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

The past two weeks or so I have not really been able to follow my normal eating plan due to feeling very ill and not holding food down or in some cases “in” (yeah, I know TMI but I have felt so bad I don’t care). Not sure what was going on, seems too long to be a stomach virus and no I don’t have a bun in the oven. Whatever it is I have my bad days and good ones too. For the most part just eating really bland and mostly liquids. Despite not feeling so great I have had a few days I got some exercise in. Nothing really adventurous but something is better than nothing, right?
On the fourth my aunt invited us over to where she was house sitting so we got a chance to see our little buga swim. We had a really good time. I love being in the water, but I forgot how tired I feel after wards. Me and my boys got a good nap that day (=

Nothing else new is really going on. The only thing of importance is today at work (which for you that are not aware I work for NASA under a contract at Johnson Space Center) is the last shuttle mission. We are currently awaiting the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. It’s one of those times you feel sad yet proud all at the same time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rain/Run/Finding Me

Yay….. we finally got some rain in the Houston area today. It is about time!!!!!! My plants must be so happy(=

I got up early enough this morning (4:45 a.m.) to ride my bike and walk with a good friend of mine. We had a good time and got a pretty good workout in. Today I took it a little easier since yesterday I REALLY pushed myself. Even though I live in Texas and it stays pretty dang hot, I prefer to be outdoors to workout. I use my spinning bike & treadmill several days a week but I never feel that I am getting the same amount of a workout in. Yesterday I got up, got dressed, stretched and planned on just walking but I felt so strong that I decided to run. I did 3 minutes of running with 1 minute walk intervals for 55 minutes. Afterwards I felt so incredible, nothing beats that feeling of pushing your body, hell your mind to do better. My friends and even my husband always tell me “you don’t have to push yourself, you just have to move”, and trust me I get what they are saying and I would never push myself where I would risk injury but I also don’t want to half-ass it either. When it comes to fitness I am an ALL or nothing kind of girl. When I wasn’t taking care of myself and felt sorry for myself because I was told that the cancer would kill me…… I got depressed and ate what I wanted and decided not to move. So now this is “ME” time……. I want to KNOW after I complete a workout that I gave it my all and that I’m one day closer to my goals. Plus sweating is the new Sexy right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Great Week

I could not have dreamed for a better week than the one I had last week. It’s no secret that I have dropped off the band wagon a time or two or three. I enjoy eating healthy for the most part but I do have a hard time in social settings or like yesterday when I was eating a fairly bland dinner that I wasn’t really excited about and my husband ate a grilled rib-eye steak, fully loaded baked potato, grilled corn and sautéed onions in front of me. Now don’t get me wrong I usually don’t mind and don’t expect my family to eat the same as myself but man it smelt so good! I really had a moment I wanted to tackle my husband and run with his plate like a wild dog. I ate my steamed veggies but then I just wanted to stab my husband with my fork for being blessed with a great metabolism and for never gaining weight. Do not worry know one was hurt during the consumption of dinner. Luckily the moment past and I finished my meal without cheating or acting out of impulse. I think having one moment out of the week and not acting on it is pretty awesome.

My eating plan has been so easy! That’s right I said easy. I have been following the “Reshape the Nation” fitness plan and using the “STAX” system. Now the meals are simple, simple….. not a lot going on with them but with my busy schedule it is a bonus. The containers are color coordinated to separate the carbs, proteins and veggies. Instead of counting calories or measuring servings the traditional way each container is labeled with weights, so you fill the food to your weight. This week I have lost 6 pounds and have never felt better.

I am full of energy and my workouts are proof of that. Every day last week I got up at 4:45 a.m. and looked forward to my workout. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I did jog/walk intervals. Tuesday and Thursday went for 12 mile bike ride and in the evening lifted weights.

This week I plan on sticking to my eating plan and push, push myself during my workouts! For the first time I really do believe I can do this. I have no choice, I need to do this.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm getting out of the 200s

For what...... the past year and half now I keep playing with 55lbs. Seriously I have gotten to about 5 lbs to go to my goal and then just something would derail me and I throw my hands up (mostly to my mouth with a piece of pizza) and just hurt myself more. I have all the right tools and the know how on what to do. Hell I'm one of those freaks that loves to exercise and sweat even in this Houston heat, so why do I let others and a few obstacles just ruin all my efforts.

I know I have been so hard on myself. No matter my size I have never felt beautiful, smart, talented or just worthy of anything good. I want that for others and I encourage it in others but why not myself? Instead I defeat myself with my own words.

The fact is in order for me to feel better I need to make the time for exercise & healthy eating. I'm happier and feel better about myself when I do. I currently am weighing 226lbs and within three months I want to be at 200lbs. I need to prove to myself that I can do this and that I am worthy of change.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I have even a bigger goal

Hey everyone. First, let me start by saying I should be able to commit to writing a post on more of a regular basis now. Instead of trying to post every day I think I will stick to at least two days a week, that way I don't get burned out.

I have been doing pretty well. Had a few slips but I am getting closer and closer to being under 200 lbs again, I am so freaking excitied. I have been following the Weight Watchers plan on-line and have been using my Body Bugg to help calculate the calories I am burning.

Another thing has happened to up my modivation. One of my closest friends is getting married in October (which we are more than happy to celebrate with because she found herself a Great Guy!! They make such a great couple), and they asked me to be a bridesmaid. Now I know she does not care about my weight but I do. I at least want to feel comfortable in the dress and make an effort to look the best as I can in it. So I have 6 months to work it out but I think that is plenty of time to do some damage (=