Monday, August 22, 2011

Until Christmas Time...

It has started... real life in the form of PT school.
So far, everyday has been a constant battle to keep my head above water, yet I am loving {almost} every minute of it!
It took me a little while to get acclimated. I still am not entirely convinced I really understand what we will accomplish by the end of our three years {let alone the end of this semester!}
But I am welcoming it with open arms because I KNOW this is where the Lord has put me {and us},
not on accident but as part of his intentional plan.
Due to this drastic change in well, everything, I don't think I will be blogging for awhile. I wish I could, because I love chronicling things and keeping those who care in the loop. I would love to look back at a photo documented few years, but thats just not in the cards right now.

So, on that note, I am headed back to my semi-permanent location of my head burried in my anatomy book(s).

Au revoir!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nine Ingredients to Keep Out of Your Diet

As I start school, I become more and more aware of my desire to eat and live healthfully.
While staying at a target weight is important, I would much rather have as much energy, be as focused, and enjoy life as much as possible!
For me, that means closely monitoring my diet, I know not everyone has the same standards for health as I do but here is a list of nine ingredients everyone should avoid!
Nine Ingredients to Avoid {at all costs!}{not at all costs, but really, they're bad}

1. Artificial Colors

What: Chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives to enhance color.
Why: Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches.
Artificial Flavorings

2. Cheap Chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors

Why? Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma
Also can affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid.

3. Artificial Sweeteners

What: (Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Saccharin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol) Highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving.
Why: Can negatively impact metabolism
Also, some have been linked to cancer, dizziness hallucinations and headaches.

4. Benzoate Preservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ)

What: Compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid.
Why: May result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticaria
Also, can affect estrogen balance and levels.

5. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

What: Chemical that boosts flavor in many citric-based fruit and soft drinks.
Why: Increases triglycerides and cholesterol
Also, can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

What: Cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar, sustains freshness in baked goods, and blends easily in beverages to maintain sweetness
Why: May predispose the body to turn fructose into fat
Also, increases risk for Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer
Also, isn’t easily metabolized by the liver.

7. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

What: Flavor enhancer in restaurant food, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, soups and other foods.
Why: May stimulate appetite and cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and difficulty in breathing.

8. Olestra

What: An indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked.
Why: Inhibits absorption of some nutrients
Also, is linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding and incontinence.

9. Shortening, Hydrogenated, and Partially Hydrogenated Oils
(Palm, Soybean and others)

What: Industrially created fats used in more than 40,000 food products in the U.S. {Cheaper than most other oils.}
Why: Contain high levels of trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, contributing to risk of heart disease.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Harvard's Take on the Food Pyramid

This food pyramid is SO much more accurate than the FDA food pyramid! This food pyramid is from the Harvard University Health site.

1. DAILY EXERCISE is very very VERY important!

Daily exercise should be part of your routine. We all know that only eating healthily isn’t enough to remain completely healthy.

2. HEALTHY FATS AND OILS are not bad for you. In fact, they should be an essential part of your diet, especially plant based oils.

3. VEGETABLES AND FRUITS should not be limited by a number of servings.

4. Good whole grain CARBOHYDRATES are just as important as fruits and vegetables!

6. NUTS, SEEDS, BEANS AND TOFU - these should be part of your daily diet.

Nuts, seeds, tofu and legumes should be part of what you eat everyday. They are another source of all sorts of vitamins and minerals, calcium (tofu), plenty of fiber, protein and good fats (nuts). Beans keep you full for a really long time!

7. FISH, POULTRY AND EGGS should also be an essential part of your diet.


9. Dairy products/Calcium supplements - eat 1 to 2 servings.

Dairy is not the only source for calcium, there are many vegetables, such as broccoli, that have high levels of calcium. Tofu is also a good supply of calcium.


It may be a little of a surprise to find red meat in this category but red meat is incredibly hard to digest and often very high in saturated fats, as is butter. Refined grains such as white rice, bread and pasta are highly processed, bleached, and are high GI and should be eaten very little if not at all. Potatoes are also a form of carbohydrates to consume sparingly.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just An Antler {or Two}

If there is one thing my husband has learned, it is that when I want something, I am so much worse than a dog with a bone.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that my husband is much more "by the book" than I am.
I like to think I am conventionally unconventional.
I love to find alternative routes to reach a goal, place, or pretty much anything that would save more time or money than the "conventional" method.

When I got the idea in my head that I would love to have an antler to put on our bookshelf, I was pretty sure I knew how my husband would respond.
He said what I expected to a "t"

Last Night:

Me: So how do you feel about antlers?
DJ: {questioning look}{imagine Despicable Me "Whaaa?"}
Me: Well, I think I might buy an antler {or two} to put on the bookshelf

Here it comes... wait for it....

DJ: But We Don't Hunt.

I knew it!
Where is the rule that you must hunt to have an antler?!?!?!
I don't want a whole moose head on our wall, just one little antler!

I know, you're probably thinking "poor DJ"
But NOT poor DJ!
He has done this every step of the way in decorating our apartment,
he looks at me like I'm a crazy person {which is a possibility} before, but ends up liking things once they're put together.

Anyways, PT school starts in two weeks, so I do need to bring my summer full of blog reading, pinterest pinning, craft attempting, and overall decor loving to an temporary end.
I will probably not get an antler {or two} in the next two weeks, but I can still love decorating with them.

{I bet Keri Russell didn't hunt the moose that antler belonged to... just saying}

Last night was wonderful, just big salads {his with buffalo chicken, mine with beans a corn}
for dinner, followed by some quality How I Met Your Mother watching :)
I love our simple life. I just keep praying we will still be able to have some of those nights even after school starts :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Decorating with Antler Accents?

Love the look!
They're rustic but can be combined with pretty much any other decorative style :)

{the turtle shells on the wall kind of creep me out, but love the antlers on the table :)}

What do you think? :)

Definitely Not Using the "V" Word

So, I have been eating meat-free for the past three weeks or so.

I am not a real fan of the word "vegetarian"
I feel like when most people say it they have a purist "I'm better than you" mindset about it. While it is a conscious disciplined lifestyle, its definitely not a superiority thing. Everyone's bodies are different, some respond well to eliminating meat, whereas it would be detrimental for others.

For me, it has been great, I sleep better and have more energy throughout the day.
Since eliminating meat has been so successful, I decided to try going all the way animal free.

I was already mostly there, why not? :)

It was pretty easy for me to eliminate meat, fish, and eggs right off the bat three weeks ago.
It was the cheese holding me back. I know its SO fattening and not even good for me, but it adds so much flavor to things! I don't do much dairy, but where I do, I REALLY do. :/

Parmesan cheese, half & half, and pizza are the three main culprits.
Pizza most of all (I LOVE pizza, probably more than most kids I know... its bad)

So, last Friday we took a little date to EarthFare.
LOVED exploring. Hubby found some out of the ordinary German beer, and I found...

Vegan sliced cheese

Vegan Pizza

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Soy Coffee Creamer

I figured it would be fun to try and at least see if it could work.
On all levels :(

First of all, I have read in more than one place that excessive soy consumption is not great for estrogen levels, guess what one of the main ingredients in all of these products is?
You guessed it!
Soy overload.

Secondly, taste did not compare, while it did add flavor, it was not good, the Parmesan just tasted like I poured a bunch of salt on my pasta, pizza was really spicy and flavorless, and creamer was no more than over priced soy milk (ick! - I'll stick with my almond milk, thank you very much!).

It is totally a mental and marketing thing. I will not die if I do not have dairy substitutes, they add very little to my health. It's labeled "creamer" so it must be better in coffee than regular sweetened soy milk, right? I tell myself "I need Parmesan cheese on my pasta," so I seek an alternative rather than go with out. The main ingredient in the alternative is walnuts... seriously? So instead of going without I put flavored walnuts on my pasta?

Come on Shelb, big picture here!

Finally, the price was not justifiable. The tofurky pizza was $8.99 for a pizza with a diameter less than a foot! I would rather spend our money other places than on overly processed soy and rice products.

In conclusion, I would rather wean myself to eat less dairy than put these things in my body. While they are all animal byproduct free, I can not imagine they are much better for me than the real deal, and are most certainly not better for our budget!

Thank you for listening to my somewhat rant on vegan products :)