Progress Not Perfection

Progress Not Perfection

For about 3 years now, I have been an avid reader of a few specific health blogs. In fact, I have even mentioned a few of them before here on The Kitchen Revolution. I love these blogs specifically because they are written by real women who are moms with a desire to give their children (and husbands) a better life than what our modern day society says is normal and/or acceptable.

These precious moms have taught me so much through the research they do and their loving voices. So when they (wellness mama, mama natural and mommypotamus) started posting about our dental professionals and how they have been misinformed on some very important research regarding our teeth, I started taking note.

Slowly but surely, I became one of those people who ditched fluoride and welcomed essential oils and supplementation to help my teeth reach their potential.

Well, all of my good intentions and hard work seemed to have come crashing down on my this last week.

Just weeks before I got married, I popped a piece of gum in my mouth only to have one of my teeth (my back molar) break off where a filling had been. I told myself that I would take care of the tooth after I got through the wedding and moved out of state since I was not having any pain. Little did I know what the future held for me. Since I immediately got pregnant, and this pregnancy was full of vomiting for so long, when I did go to the dentists to have the tooth taken care of, I through up every time they put their hands in my mouth.

Fast forward to last week, and this tooth started to give me a very small but telling problem. At this point, the tooth had been worn down quite a bit by all of the acid it had been exposed to the last 9 months. So when I started to feel a bit of sensitivity, my first thought was… “Go get it pulled, no one wants a toothache while in labor”. So, I found a dentist, scheduled an appointment and was delighted when he informed me that I didn’t need to get the tooth pulled but instead that he could fix it enough to last me the next 2 months.

I was thrilled which is why I think I handled having my tooth drilled and filled without any pain meds. Unfortunately, my happiness was short lived. Later that evening I started having terrible pain in my mouth which led me back to the dentist the next morning. The dentist told me that the tooth was fine and that I was just experiencing jaw pain due to my mouth being open for so long as well as all the extra hormones being produced. I took it as the truth and went on with my life… well kind of.

The pain got worse and long story short I ended up at a different dentists office getting a root canal done followed by needing to have my gums shaved down by that same dentist a few days later. This was all followed by a trip to the hospital one evening to see my midwife because of how severe the pain was getting. Oh, did I mention to you that I didn’t sleep or eat for a week and even went without talking for a few days because of the pain…yeah, it was a crappy week!

If I’m being honest with you, the physical pain (which was beyond terrible) was probably just as bad as the emotional pain that I struggled with this last week. I’m sure you think that this sounds absurd, but honestly… I started crying while in the 2nd dentist chair because I have gone 26 years without needing a root canal and I officially felt like a failure by needing one this last week. I even asked the dentists if he could just pull the tooth rather than do the procedure.

For years, I convinced myself that I wouldn’t fail when it came to my teeth, I wouldn’t succumb to the standards that our society claims to acceptable concerning dental health and that I wouldn’t end up with “bad teeth”. As I sat their in that chair last Friday, I truly felt as though I failed.

Can you relate with me here? Maybe not concerning your teeth but perhaps in other areas of health. I think you can… I think that these feelings are completely normal in the lives of those striving for health and progress. But can I just tell you that non of us are perfect, that our bodies are and never will be perfect and that we are not failures because of it. Health doesn’t mean perfection… health doesn’t mean beauty, and health doesn’t mean anything other than progress in your very private, personal and intimate life.

I want to encourage you today to not be discouraged by our struggles and imperfections in life. They really are a blessing as they help to motivate us.

This week I am feeling very thankful for some things I’m not usually greatfull for such as modern medical and dental procedures, unisom (hello sleeping 9 hours last night) and take out food. And of course, my wonderful husband who put up with me this last week!

Progress friends… Not perfection!

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Hey friends… Just a quick update here, this week has been a bust!

  
I have pretty much spent the last 3 days holding back tears and with this ice pack glued to my face. Long story short, don’t get dental work done so close to your due date or your jaw muscles will make you pay. I’m not sleeping, eating or enjoying life right now but am telling myself it’s only going to last until tomorrow morning (it so far hasn’t worked). I lm headed to the doctor in a few to see if there is anything that can be done and in the mean time nothing will be happening here on this blog. Sorry for the quite and all/any prayers are appreciated!

Hopefully I will be chatting with you all in the next day or two!

Hard Things

I no longer fear doing hard things in life…

I can do hard things

I once did… in fact, there once was a time tat I sat in an airport and cried because I new I had to do something hard that I just didn’t want to do.

Here is what happened… two days before my wedding shower, my now husband got a call that he received a job in DC. He was at the time, living in Nashville and I was living in Michigan. This phone call resulted in my husband driving from Nashville to Michigan and then 3 days later, us driving back to Nashville. From there we drove to D.C. for 3 days and then drove back to Nashville, and there I got on a plane to fly back to Michigan. One short week after that, I got back in the car with my brother and sister to drive down to Nashville to move my husband to D.C., after a very quick trip, my brother, sister and I got back in the car and drove home to Michigan. Except that didn’t quite play out to well.

Half way back to Michigan, it came to our attention that my husbands badge was in MY CAR. This badge was needed for him to start work the next day. We couldn’t turn around and get the badge back to my husband because of my brother and sister’s work schedule. So we had to finish the drive home and then I had to somehow get back to D.C. with the badge. I tried to get a flight out, however there wasn’t a single one available.

This is where the whole ‘me crying in an airport all by myself’ thing happened. Pretty much, from here I had to get back in the car and drive to D.C. in the middle of the night. Once in D.C. I slept for about 4 hours then got back in the car and drove home to Michigan.

That crying in the airport thing, it was just simply be not wanting to do something that I knew I had to do. It was going to be hard it was going to be trying and I was tired… like really REALLY tired!

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My life hasn’t gotten much “easier” in the last year. In fact, my life has simply consisted of hard thing, after hard thing, after hard thing. Non of my plans have gone my way and life is beautifully messy.

But can I tell you something… I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve learned that I can do hard things… not because of me or my abilities but because of the grace of God and the choice to have a good attitude.

My life isn’t going to be getting any easier here any time soon. I will have a crying infant on my hands in no time at all as well as a whole slew of emotions that are new, terrifying and will probably make me feel crazy. But that’s ok! Because I don’t need to be afraid of how things will work out. They will workout and I have faith in that.

Can I please just encourage you today that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!!! You don’t have to be afraid of what it will look and feel like to be stretched paper thing, to be pushed to your max or to be tried in ways you didn’t know existed.

Don’t be afraid of hard things today… instead be invigorated and excited by the fact that what ever you are facing you will over come and while doing so you will become a better person who is stronger and more powerful than before.

 

Diary of a Walker

Diary of a Walker

I love all forms of exercise, but I have come to the conclusion recently that walking will always have a very special place in my heart. It was the first real form of exercise that I ever fell in love with back while I was in high school.

Now that I am weeks away from giving birth, there are not to many forms of exercise that I can perform. This has led me to walk my little heart out. In fact, I have been participating in an eight week challenge that includes attempting to walk100 miles by the first day of summer. Thankfully, my doctors are very much on board with this goal and with some hard work (my miles are getting slower and slower by the day) I am more than half way to my goal!

**You can check out more info about this eight week challenge here.**

Lately I have been getting a lot of “I can’t believe how much walking you are doing”, and I wouldn’t be writing truthfully here if I didn’t tell you that this puts a smile on my face. Along with this comment, I also get the question of “How are you walking so much?”… so I thought it would be helpful if I shared with you today that all my “tricks” to getting in the miles that I have been lately.

      Walk your dog… my husband and I love our sweet Mollie and instead of using the end of this pregnancy as an excuse to hand of all Mollie duty’s to my husband, I’ve chosen to walk her myself while he is at work. And then on some days, if my husband isn’t to tired when he get’s home from work, we walk her again! Please understand that 9 times out of 10, I really don’t want to walk her, but I try to take it one walk at a time and this seems to really help with my motivation. Instead of making a commitment to walk her everyday multiple times a day, I just simply take her for one walk.

Walk your kids… pretty much, everything I just said about my dog, but instead about your kids! ust do it once, don’t over commit to distance or to how often you will do it, but instead just simply walk them. It can be in a stroller, with them on bikes or any other way you see fit!

Rainy day game plans… because you can’t think of the spring without thinking of rainy days. This means that some days I can’t walk outside because of my schedule. If I have a doctors appointment in the morning and it’s raining in the afternoon, my daily walk is out of the question, so what do I do? I walk in my living room to free videos. Some of my favorites include this one, this one and lastly this one. I included for you everything from a 15 minute 1 mile video to a 3 mile that includes upper body work. See, no excuses!

Find a friend… maybe your neighbor has really cute kids that will love your dog more than you do and maybe they will want to go for a walk once a week. Seriously though, I have been beyond blessed with our neighbors and the one specifically has become a very sweet friend who invites Mollie and myself on walks with her and her little girls. Since she has had babies (is pregnant with her 3rd) she is very kind and understanding that at times I need to slow down. In fact, she was with me when I had my first “Real” contraction last week and actually was able to identify it as that. I on the other hand thought it was just a weird pain and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. Just picture me bent over on the street corner saying “no, no… I’m probably just a really big baby when it comes to pain”. Needless to say, we took a little break right about then and then she checked in on me that night after “it” happened two more times before our walk was over to see if I had the baby yet.

Leave the car keys at home… and walk to places that are less than a mile away. I love that we have a Harris Teeter just a few blocks from our home. I use this as an excuse to forget to buy olives at the store when I go grocery shopping on Monday’s so that I can need to go buy some on Tuesdays. Since it is such a light load to carry, I just simply walk up to the store and get in another mile just because! This philosophy also works if my husband are running errands around our “downtown” area. I encourage hm to park a bit further away and then we get in those extra steps by just doing what we need to do for the day.

Walk because it’s a nice day… because truth be told, this weather is fleeting. Every winter we all complain about the horrific winter and dream of sunny days. Well friends, those sunny days are upon us and they are a wonderful reason to get outside and walk. Some days I don’t want to, but then I think about the fall and winter that will be here before we know it at that is enough motivation to get up, out and walking.

Walking has become my dear friend yet again in life and I am so thankful for it. I may not be as fast as some or as sweaty as others, but for now, it’s purpose in my life is to keep me active and healthy and walking is doing just that. I want to encourage all of you to exercise in whatever way fit’s your lifestyle and attempts to get and/or stay healthy.

 

What is your favorite form of exercise?

If you are a “walker”, when, where and how do you prefer to get in your miles?

 

 

Lunch

Alright friends… today I want to talk to you about a very sensitive topic. It’s the topic of lunch and I kind of hate it!

Lunch

I don’t think I am alone either, because I was recently talking with my mom whom said that she also finds lunch to be very discouraging. You see, my mom is currently doing Weight Watchers and lunch seems to be her Achilles Tendon. Be honest… do you struggle with lunch too?

It’s not so much the time of day or the environment, but lunch as a whole… it is more often than not just simply a matter of noon rolling around and I find myself thinking “Ugh, what am I going to do for lunch?”. I think it’s the combination of not really being that hungry, not really wanting anything that seems to be lying around and not really feeling like cooking either. THis leaves me feeling guilty right around 1:30 because I SHOULD eat something even though I don’t want to.

In the past, I have chalked this up to “life” and just kept doing what I was doing. However, now that I am approaching motherhood and the idea of gaining weight while nursing is fast entering my mind, I’m starting to realize that I should probably approach this “problem” now while I have the time rather then later when I am sleep deprived and hungry.

Sadly, at this point in today’s post I have very little advice for you but instead a bit giant favor to ask you. Ok, so maybe it’s more like a few questions that I would love to get an answer from you about…

Do you struggle with lunch time? Maybe for you it isn’t the idea of lunch as whole, maybe it’s actually something specific.

If so, how do you deal with this topic?

So now is the favor… will you help me?

Can you leave a comment below telling me how you may lunch convenient, healthy and good?

Maybe this problem is slightly due to the fact that I am still pregnant and still find certain foods to be not of my “approval”, I hope that is the case!

The Best Broccoli Ever!

I’m not sure why, but so many people don’t enjoy eating broccoli. I personally think it is the best vegetable… it is full of nutrients (including fiber), taste delicious and almost always available. This makes it a staple in my house.

Parmesan Garlic Broccoli

Recently, I have been attempting to cook foods in ways that require as little clean up as possible. It was this drive that motivated me to create this recipe. Let me please say at this point that I am sure this recipe is out their somewhere on the internet, however I’m sharing this with you both because I truly love it and want you to try it out and also with an honest conscious that although I didn’t take this recipe from someone else, I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to ever make broccoli this way. So let’s get to this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • One Head of Broccoli
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tbsp. of Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. of Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Directions:

  1. Place cut broccoli florets on a baking sheet (I line mine with foil).
  2. Sprinkle on top salt, pepper, garlic and Parmesan.
  3. Bake at 350* until the top of the florets are a dark green color with hints of golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven (or convection oven) and enjoy after letting cool.

 

This recipe is most definitely one that falls into the category of “Real Food Diet Approved” which is what we have spent the last 2 weeks discussing here at The Kitchen Revolution. If you missed out on the post’s that were apart of the last 2 weeks, you can check them out below.

 

Real Food 101

What a Day Looks Like Eating a Real Food Diet

Strawberry Slush Recipe

A Real Food Diet on a Budget

Making Baby Steps to a Real Food Diet and Lifestyle

 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the warm weather that so many of us are finally getting!

Baby Steps

Baby Steps Real Food Diet

One of my favorite things about living on a Real Food Diet is that it is a lifestyle rather than a diet. This means that you do not need to be at a certain level of health to start living this lifestyle, and you never get to a point in which you can “retire” from this lifestyle either. Instead, living off of a real food diet is something that can be done forever!

Can you imagine that? Can you even fathom never going on another “diet” again in your life? How wonderful does that sound!

Well friends, it can be done. In fact, you can not only never go on another diet again in your life, but you can also live this lifestyle while constantly improving your health and life.

How you ask… well let me explain.

Some of us eat cereal everyday for breakfast, while others eat a baked egg with avocado on top. Some of us eat fast food for lunch every day while others are salad lovers. Some of us never use our kitchen because we go out to eat every night while others are slow cooker pro’s. No matter where you fall on the very large scale of healthy eating, you can improve! No one is perfect, no one’s eating is perfect and can we agree that no one’s life is perfect?

A real food diet and lifestyle is something that you can adopt today and continuously tweak as you go along throughout different seasons of life as well as, as you grow in terms of your own health. Every season of life brings forth an opportunity to make adjustments and goals so that you can live a life that is always improving and resulting in you feeling better about who you are and what you do in life. Here are a few examples..

  • Get rid of all “white things” in your diet such as sugar and flour
  • Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day
  • Switch all of your dairy products to organic
  • Cut out soda from your diet
  • Only eat dessert 1x a week
  • Drink 80 oz. of water per day

You see, a real food diet isn’t one that requires restrictions. Instead it is one that promotes health and vitality.

Attachment 1(2)

The result? Baby steps to better health!

You may be able to look at the list above and think to yourself… “I need to do all of those things”, or maybe you look at it and can’t say that you need to work on any of those areas. The truth of the matter is that we can all make positive and healthy changes in our lifestyles and a real food diet enables you to do exactly that!

I hope that you can choose today to make some positive changes in your lifestyle and that ultimately you can adopt a real food diet for yourself with confidence that you can do this very beneficial thing for your health.

 

Clean Eating On A Budget

We have some of the cutest kids in our neighborhood! And we are lucky enough that these sweet kids L-O-V-E our dog. In fact, right now they are playing with her and you would think that I am doing THEM a favor. These kids sure are making me love our neighborhood even more than we already did…

But on to today’s post!

Just like most individuals, my husband and I are on a budget. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I do the grocery shopping in our house, so I’m the one familiar with what type of a price for a specific product is too much or a great steal. With saying that… I don’t compromise our health for the sake of money. I choose to buy real foods that will benefit our health and lives and have learned to make cuts where needed so that we can have healthy delicious food 90% of the time.

Clean Eating Budget

I hear so many people who say that real food is just to expensive to buy on a regular basis. Wanna know something… they are half right. The said truth is that in America foods that contain soy, dairy, wheat and corn are subsidized by our dear government. This pretty much just means that the government pays the farmers that produce the above food money to help them with the cost of growing and harvesting these foods. THe result is that these farmers can sell us their goods for a price that is ultimately reduced compared to the cost of growing, harvesting and shipping out these products.

Now please remember… I’m not just speaking about bagged flour, canned corn and cartons of milk. Instead, I am speaking about any items in the grocery store that has these products such as cereal, bread, hamburger helper, cheeze-its and so on, and so forth!

Why am I telling you this? Because to understand why my grocery shopping list (and hopefully yours) is relatively small compared to the money you are spending every week for food, you have to first understand the cost of real food and why is may seem high. In essence however, when you don’t buy real food, you are ultimately spending money on future health problems.

Let’s get to the food I bought this week for a whopping $84…

Grocery Haul

{ Not Pictured – A Whole Chicken from a Local Farmer }

  • Make a List – and check it twice! You will spend way more on your groceries if you just simply go to the store without a list of items that you need to buy. To make a proper list, you have to do some sort of meal planning for the week. If you need more help/info on this topic check out this post.
  • Stay the course – in the outside of the store. It is important to stick to staying in the isles that you need to be in (perimeter of the store) so that you stay away from all of the goodies that may be enticing such as cookies, cereal and other treats that we shouldn’t be eating on a regular basis. By staying away from the foods in the store that you shouldn’t be buying, you will easily save money on your over all bill.
  • Prioritize – what you are willing to spend more money on. I try to make sure all of my dairy is from either a local source or organic. This is important to my family, so we spend more on these items. Lately I have been buying them from Trader Joe’s simply because I have yet to find a local farmer that I like out in the D.C. area. Because this is important to me, I go to two different grocery stores and scrimp on some other items so that we can afford this. Maybe for you, it isn’t organic or local dairy… maybe it’s a birthday party coming up this weekend that you are hosting or because you want to have pizza for your family once a week. Sacrifice intentionally so that you don’t have to sacrifice as a whole.
  • No snack attacks – by taking meal planning a step further. As I said above, meal planning is key to successful shopping for groceries on a budget. I highly encourage you to take this a step further than just main meals. By planning out your breakfast, lunches AND SNACKS, you can easily avoid buying food that will increase your total bill as well as your waist line. Portion control as well as intentional eating will save you in more ways than one.
  • Take it slow – week by week in fact. This week (as you can see in the pictures above) was a heavier produce week for us. This is because I plan my meals not only on what the sales looks like that week, but also what is left in my refrigerator from last week. This means that some weeks you may be buying the bulk of your groceries in the meat department while others in produce. Roll with the punches and remember that you are in control of what you buy and what you eat.

I hope that these few tips help you to buy and eat more food that will help you thrive. After all, why go to work and get paid if you aren’t using that money to better your life in a way that will pay off for years to come. If you are new to clean eating and need more encouragement to spend a bit more money on real and healthy food, look at each grocery shopping trip as an opportunity to invest in yourself and your health.

How do you handle your weekly grocery shopping trips?

Do you enjoy grocery shopping or is it a chore to you?

What are some tips that you would like to share with all of us to help us make clean eating on a budget easier?

Strawberry Slush

Real Food Slushie

During my Freshman year of college, I took a sociology class and we had to read this book. Since then, I have slightly fallen in love with learning about cults, the occult and other minority groups whether religious or cultural. I often read blog that are written by Mormon women as well as Jewish women because I am simply fascinated by them and wish so badly I could live their lives for just one day. I also love to watch shows such as Sister Wives, 19 Kids and Counting, Braking Amish and even Southern Charm. I am terribly aware of the fact that my life is so very, VERY different than so many other people’s in this world and I quite frankly cannot get enough of watching these people and their lives unfold in front of a camera.

I was recently bored, and found the show Big Love OnDemand. Guys, I can-NOT stop watching it. It is similar to Sister Wives, but different in that it is not reality. I will justify my love for reality T.V. by saying that it is better to watch drama than to partake in it! And I will justify watching non-reality T.V. by suggesting that it is helping me learn and grow. Now, I understand that these are terribly weak arguments but I will stand by them. I will also add to them that I am having a baby soon and I will be so sleep deprived that my ability to plop in front of the T.V. and veg will be long gone so I should probably enjoy it while it lasts 😉

On to today’s post… it is a delicious recipe to show you just how easy switching from a Standard American Diet to a Real Food Diet can be and is!

Anyone love slurpees? Actually I should rephraze that… after living in the south, I came to realize that unlike Michigan, 7-11 stores cannot be found on most street corners. So, perhaps your “slurpee” is actually called a “freezy” or a “ICEE”. Whatever it may be, they are a life saver in the summer heat and quite the delicious treat. Unfortunately though, they don’t do much of anything for our waistlines. They are also more likely than not loaded with chemicals that are far from being healthy or considered food.

My love for slurpees has been growing lately and I decided that this is an area of eating that could be tweaked to become a bit less quilt ridden. The results…. well it actually took me a while to get this recipe the way I wanted it, BUT the end result is ridiculously good! In fact, I have to stop myself from eating/drinking one of these everyday. So here it is…

Strawberry Slush Recipe

Ingredients…

  • 1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp of Lemon, Lime or Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 Cups of Ice
  • 1 Tsp Sweetener (I used honey)

Directions…

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend for approximately 2 minutes on high**
  3. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy

** Blending thoroughly is crucial, it is the difference between a bland smoothie and a slush. This make take stop stopping and tasting to get the right consistency based on what type of blender you use.

I hope you guys really enjoy this recipe. My goal is to give all of you the confidence and information so that you can try and love eating a Real Food Diet so that ultimately you can feel better and live a more fulfilling life.

 

Have you ever watch any of the shows that I mentioned above?

Do you have any T.V. shows that you watch that are a bit of guilty pleasure?

Have you tried yet any of this weeks steps to clean up your diet and live a more Real Food lifestyle?