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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sugar Sugar

I will always have this memory of a guy I knew that was overweight in his high school years and years later he had a lost a ton of weight! Everyone asked him how he did it, and his answer was simply that he had given up desserts and refined sugar. Nothing more. It was an amazing transformation and extremely informative to me on how sugar can impact our health.

Here are two entries I have written on how it has been for me to give up sugar:

3/11: It has been about a week of no sugar so far, and it’s been a little difficult. I love sugar. I am a refined sugar addict. I usually start out my morning with a flavored coffee creamer in my coffee, and then it’s down hill from there. My meals are usually pretty decent meals that don’t include a lot of sugar, but my snacks are horrendous. The snacks sometimes include cookies, left over birthday cake, chocolate candy bars, candy, chocolate covered raisins (okay, not so bad), sweet tea, etc. Now granted, I don’t eat a ton of sugary food. I do have my limits. But I scatter my sugar intake throughout the whole day.
For lent I gave up refined sugar to include items that have high fructose corn syrup or sugar as the first 5 ingredients. And if you are thinking, “why is she participating in Lent?” In the words of a friend of mine, “I really like the tradition of Lent, giving up something to help focus more of my attention on God. It’s not “part of” my church’s traditions, but I’m making it part of mine.” I do not participate in the whole of Lent, but yes, I really do like the idea of giving up something you “love” to be closer to the One God whom you should love with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Being off of refined sugar has meant that I have been eating things like bananas, apples, yogurt, and cheese crackers for snacks. The first couple of afternoons were rough because I wasn’t listening to my body very well and in the late afternoon I was crashing from low blood sugar. One afternoon I almost blacked out, but my banana finally kicked in and all was well. Since then I have done a much better job of listening to my body and eating a snack before I even get to the point of feeling off. I am so thankful for snacks like chips and crackers. I don’t know how people go on these diets where they give up sugars AND carbs!

3/27: Today makes 3 weeks that I have given up refined sugar. Some days I don’t even miss it, but occasionally I have a major craving for something chocolate. I admit to having a dream about eating a chocolate dessert last night, and in my dream I *knew* I was cheating! HA! Thankfully, it was all a dream. 😉
So far I have learned:
-Pretty much everything has sugar in it (of course), and since I am trying to not eat anything that has sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients, it’s been eye-opening. There have been a few snacks that I wouldn’t have considered sugary, but sugar was listed as the second or third ingredient so I put it back. I mostly stick to veggies, fruits, cheese, and crackers, and sometimes chips, popcorn and other salty foods, like Gardettos! Yum.
-I need to eat something about every two hours. If I don’t, I start to feel sick. And here’s the kicker. When I start to feel sick, it can take a long time to feel like myself again. Two days in a row this week I started to feel lightheaded and hungry and it was close to lunchtime so I ate lunch. My body and head didn’t recover from that awful feeling for a whole hour! I have always had problems with low blood sugar, along with low blood pressure and lower body temperature. I just like to be on the low side… But really, it’s annoying. I have to eat a lot of salt on a daily basis to keep my blood pressure up where it needs to be or again I feel lightheaded.
-I haven’t lost that much weight, just a few pounds. But I can tell I have lost an inch or two. I didn’t measure myself before because that wasn’t the point of all this, but it’s still interesting to note. It also makes me realize my sugar intake probably wasn’t as awful as I thought. Yes, I scattered eating sugar throughout my day, but I rarely ever gorged on sugar. I might eat one or two cookies mid-morning and maybe a piece or two of Dove chocolate with a granola bar in the afternoon. So this has been pretty eye opening to me.
-My mind is a lot clearer in the mornings since I stopped eating refined sugar. According to the hubby, this is because the brain works on sugar. Sugar is your brain’s food. When you are feeding it sugar at night time before you go to bed, you wake up with what your brain feels is a “deficit” so your mind doesn’t want to work until you give it sugar. Hence the flavored coffee creamer. It was definitely needed. I now know it was the sugar and not the coffee that kicked my brain into gear every morning! Now I wake up with a clear mind and I have no trouble processing thoughts and chatting with everyone who comes into close proximity to me (sorry husband!). But sometimes my body just doesn’t want to wake up so coffee is still a morning tradition.

If you read this far, you deserve a prize. Maybe a cookie, or a doughnut, or a cupcake. Mmmmm… But in all seriousness, I hope you were able to find something to take away from what I have learned so far in my sugar fast. 2 1/2 more weeks and I may celebrate by eating a girl scout cookie that I hope I have successfully hid from my household!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Spring Break

J was off of school for spring break a couple of weeks ago. We went to see my parents for a few days and decided to go to the zoo. Friday was a beautiful day and perfect for spending a couple of hours in the morning at the zoo. J can identify all of the common animals now so he had a lot of fun looking at each of them. At one point, I was snacking on a protein bar and some ducks came up to me. They just knew I had something to eat. I felt so bad for them. I saw they were tagged so they were a part of the zoo, otherwise I would have been highly tempted to feed them like I do the ducks at the park!
When we walked through the new Sea Lion Exhibit, a little girl had just taken off her headband and one the of sea lions wanted it. He kept “chasing” it through the glass. It was so cute and hilarious! We had a lot of fun watching the sea lions interact with everyone. They love showing off.

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Transitioning to a toddler bed

On Saturday we changed J’s crib to a toddler bed. J had been asking for a “door” on his bed for a few weeks now so we figured it was probably time. I think everyone was ready except me. Transitions are tough, especially for the momma. It not only means that your little baby is getting that much older, but that you have to either learn a new routine or unlearn an old one or both at the same time.
I love that I could put J to bed and he would play in his crib until he fell asleep. I also loved the knowledge that if he woke up in the middle of the night he could play in his crib and I knew he was safe. Mornings have been the best because he spends the first 15-20 minutes singing and talking after he wakes up and I love hearing him through the monitor.
So here is how the transition went from a crib to a toddler bed.
Day 1:
Nap: He easily took a nap in his toddler bed, but we put him down for a nap later than usual and he was exhausted. When he woke up he climbed out of bed to go to the door even though we specifically told him to call for us and we would come to him.
Nighttime: It took him over an hour to go to sleep and Chase had to go in there and put him back in bed when we saw through our monitor that he was no longer in bed. He asked Chase to lay on the floor, which he did for a few minutes. Not sure if it took him this long to go to sleep because of the later nap or because of the change in bed. Around 2:30am J woke up and barely said “momma.” I just barely heard it, and by the time I got into his room, he was already at his door. I once again explained to him that he needed to wait for me to come get him. Well, then he wanted a drink, and to be rocked, and then I put him back to bed. But he was awake until after 4. I heard every little peep out of him. He did such a great (hear the sarcasm) job of saying my name super quiet. I was on high alert so I didn’t get much sleep. He would barely call out momma and give me no time to get to him before he was up and out of bed. Finally after 4am he went back to sleep and I did too. What a night!
Day 2:
Nap: He played in bed for a good 30 minutes and scooted his legs off the side but didn’t get down for a while. Finally he got down and Chase put him back in bed and he fell asleep for about a 45 minute nap.
Nighttime: J went to sleep pretty much right away and slept through the night! Woo Hoo!
Day 3:
Nap: He played in bed for about 30 minutes once again and he kept putting one foot on the floor and then putting it back in bed. I finally went in and told him it was time to take a nap. He wanted me to lay on the floor so I did for about 5 minutes until he was asleep. He slept for about an hour.
Nighttime: Chase put J to bed and he didn’t fall asleep right away, but he was asleep after about 30 minutes. He was pretty still the whole time though and didn’t try to get out of bed. He slept the whole night!
Day 4:
Nap: We had a long day today so J fell asleep at nap time right away He slept an hour and a half before I woke him up! That is a rarity!
Nighttime: Just put J in his bed and he is laying still.

I’m not saying that the transition phase is over. I will give it through the end of the week. I hope this keeps going though. I am thinking of buying a stop light clock that turns red when it is time to sleep and turns green when it is time to wake. Not sure if I want to spend the money, but I will wait and see how the rest of this week goes.

Transitioning to a toddler bed is happening people!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Being a picky eater

I know all too well what it is like to be a picky eater. Not only did I grow up being a picky eater, but by some aspects, I still am one today.
When I was little I didn’t like tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, meatloaf, vegetable soup, and pretty much anything that most kids usually don’t like. My favorite foods were spaghetti, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cheeseburgers, ravioli, biscuits, and well pretty much anything that is a major carb. As I grew up my tastes expanded to like all the previously mentioned foods I didn’t like as a child. But now I have foods that don’t “like me.” Certain foods give me side effects that I would just rather stay away from. So to this day, I guess you could say I am a picky eater because there are some foods I just will not eat even if a stranger served them to me (sorry all you adults who taught me to do otherwise!). The side effects are not worth it.

My little boy would probably be called a picky eater. And it amazes to me to watch people say to him the exact same things that were said to me as a child. “He doesn’t know what he is missing!” “But that is good food!” “Wow! He doesn’t like that? How does he NOT like it!?” and so on. He is too little to grasp these sayings, but I remember as I got older I used to grimace each and every time I heard, “You just don’t know what you are missing!” Yes, yes, I did. I tried it every time my mom made it per our dinner time rules. I definitely knew what I was missing.

J doesn’t like mashed potatoes, pizza, sweet potatoes, any kind of white potatoes that aren’t solid (he will only eat the french fry kind), applesauce, yogurt, or pretty much anything that’s a semi-solid that you must eat with a spoon, to include ice cream, because ice cream is just too cold and mushy and wet. And oh, we hear it all. “HOW can he NOT like it!?” But here is a very very small sample of what he does like: meatloaf, carrots, corn, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, apples, oranges, grapes, sharp cheddar cheese, strawberries, really any kind of berry, milk, bread, high protein cereals (I Know, right?), and the list goes on and on. So when I hear people say those words to me wondering how he can’t like pizza or ice cream or whatever, I usually just smile and nod and think to myself, “yes, but you have no idea the foods that he does like.”

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized