Food Log days 6 and 7

Day 6 Food Log

Breakfast – Apple, Pear, Spinach, lemon, celery juice (24oz), black coffee
Lunch – kale, brocolli, sweet potatoes, and pork chop stir fried
Dinner – Portabella Mushroom cap with garlic and balsamic vinegar, 2 slices bacon, 1/2 pear, the mushroom caps were awesome!!!
Snack – homemade cocoa, coconut, date, almond ball – these are delicious!

Day 7 Food Log

It felt good today, I managed to eat compliant while out of the house for the day! Thursdays I direct and tutor for our Classical Conversations home school group and leave the house at 8:00AM with all 5 kids and don’t return until 4:00. We have to pack up meals for the day and remember all our school stuff!

I am fighting a major cold and sore throat and had to take a cough drop to get through teaching a 2 hour class in the afternoon. Couch drops I’m guessing aren’t compliant, but I was struggling. I’m not counting it as a cheat, but wanted to note that I did have one.

Here’s today’s “on the road” menu

Bfast – banana berry smoothie (16 oz), black coffee (no yogurt in the smoothie, just strawberries, black berries, and blueberries with a banana and water)
morning snack – Larabar
lunch – fried plantain chips and pear slices dipped in almond butter, 1 hard boiled egg
afternoon snack – homemade cocoa, coconut, date, almond ball – these are yummy!
Dinner – Kofta Curry over cauliflower rice (I found the recipe on the Whole30 forum.) I used crushed tomatoes for the sauce and ground turkey for the meatballs. IT WAS FABULOUS!!! My entire family gobbled it down.
Lots of water as I’m trying to drown my cold!

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Whole30 Food Log

I’m starting my log a little late, however Meti and I have jumped into our Whole30 head first! We found this program last week and literally decided to just DO IT, so I’m a little less prepared then what I’d hope to be when starting something like this, but we’re staying on track! However I’ve had crazy dreams of sneaking contraband food while no one was looking! :)

We began February 1st and I wasn’t able to go grocery shopping until yesterday the 5th. We haven’t done anything super special yet in terms of meals, but are trying to keep it simple and eat what we have on hand that’s compliant.  A big thing for us is doing this on a budget! As a SAHM with 5 kids we don’t have a lot of wiggle room in our food budget so we have a goal to make this work within our means or hubby gets to nix the program.

In general we are a pretty healthy family.  I never buy soda (yuck!), we don’t do packaged snacks, and I will only occasionally purchase chips to go with salsa or if our family is doing a burger night.  I confess, I feed my family ramen a few times a month for lunch when we’re in a hurry, and to help stretch the budget, but we just don’t use prepackaged starters.  I was fortunate to learn from my mom some sweet cooking skills and we enjoy cooking in our family.  Even Joshua is a fabulous cook!  However grains (bread, pasta, rice, corn, quinoa) take up a large amount of our daily food intake and I can see it taking its toll. And for me personally this next 30 days is all about breaking the grain/sugar addiction. And I am missing my whole fat plain greek yogurt something fierce! And while coffee isn’t as wonderful without cream in it, drinking it black is not the end of the world. For me coffee is a means to an end while I attempt homeschooling 5 ambitious kiddos!

Others suggested keeping a food log for the accountability, and its been great to track and see the changes in our family’s diet.  Joshua decided to join us on day 4, and I’ve been slowly trying to get the other kids more involved.  I didn’t track as well on days 1-3 but have kept a log since then so here’s days 4 and 5!

DAY FOUR

  • Breakfast – hard boiled egg, peach and coconut milk smoothie, coffee with coconut milk
  • Lunch – pork chop with sweet potato hash and kale
  • Dinner – stuffed green peppers
  • Evening snack – 10 almonds

Overall I found myself really filled with these meals.  I drank about 6 glasses of water on day 4.

DAY FIVE

  • Breakfast – 2 eggs over easy, 2 slices bacon, 1/2 green apple, 1 cup sauteed kale, coffee with coconut milk
  • Morning snack – Larabar, these things are amazing!  I had the Apple Pie one
  • Lunch – Salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil with leftover green pepper stuffing on top
  • Afternoon snack – pistachio nuts
  • Dinner – I had a meeting and was out so I grabbed a piece of the chicken I had roasted for our family and another Larabar.  Definitely not the healthiest dinner.

Day Five I felt so much fuller with energy.  While its officially only a few days into the Whole30 I began three days before with the juice fast and I think that really helped get me off to a good start!

And to demonstrate my mad math skills (Meti is currently in 8th grade math and doing fraction to percentage conversions) we are officially 1/6th or 16.67% of the way through the program.  And with that Happy Wednesday to everyone!

 

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Starting the Whole30. . .

I’m a little late to New Year Resolutions and goal setting this year.  However, a month of grace after the busy holiday season, and I feel ready to dive in with conviction.  One area of growth for me this year revolves around food choices.  I went mostly gluten free last year and was about 75% compliant, the problem being that gluten wreaks havoc and has devastating affects in my system for a good 6 months after being consumed!  Due to some other health concerns I started looking into ways to eat to help heal my body from regular fatigue, debilitating migraines, hair loss, thyroid issues, and infertility.

In my search I learned about a program called the Whole30.  Here is what they say on their website:

“The Whole30 is not a diet, a short-term fix or a temporary solution. It’s also not the Whole365.  We want you to use the Whole30 as a learning tool to gain awareness of how the foods you used to eat were actually affecting how you look, feel, live and perform.  And then we want you to carry that awareness forward, and use your experience to change the way you eat for the rest of your life.”

Usually the first thing people want to know is what you can and cannot eat – so here’s an overview.  Basically it comes down to cutting out all alcohol, dairy, grain, sugar (in ALL forms including honey and maple syrup), and legumes for a period of 30 days.  This leaves you able to eat any fruit, vegetable, nut or meat, that has not been processed or altered in some way.  Limiting, but not too hard.

Last week Monday-Wednesday I began with a mostly juice fast.  I drank just fresh juice for breakfast and lunch and then had only vegetables for supper.  This actually went really well and I think set me up for the Whole 30.  We officially began on Friday February 1st and so far we’ve done things like eggs and sweet potato hash for breakfast, a class of 24 oz of fresh juice for bfast or lunch, salads, lettuce wraps, stir-fried chicken and veggies, roasted cabbage, a chuck roast, smoothies made with frozen fruit and canned coconut milk.  There are honestly lots of possibilities!  Our favorite snacks are dates, almonds, pistachios, homemade kale chips or baked sweet potato fries.

Its certainly a change, and its difficult to make pancakes for your kids, but eat something else instead, or sit down with a bottle of water while all your friends eat yummy Superbowl snacks!  This is good though, and we’re committed to it!  I hope to post regularly here about our daily food so stay tuned. . .  and perhaps consider joining us!

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Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!

taylor85

Dear Family and Friends,

In light of recent events I’m taking a moment to pause and recognize what a tremendous blessing family is. My heart is full of gratitude for the children sitting around our breakfast table, the family that I will decorate our tree with this afternoon, the love that lives in our home. My hope is that you will do the same this Christmas season!  How much we have to be thankful for!

As many of you know, last Christmas we had the privilege of welcoming a 4 year old from Latvia into our home and advocating for her adoption, she now is in her forever family celebrating Christmas! I love the journal entry one of our children made a few days before we’d be sending her back to Latvia, “God has a good plan for Raimonda.” Indeed He did! We were blessed to share in her journey to her forever family.

God also had wonderful plans for increasing our family with the addition of a kind and beautiful teenage daughter in January. Meti Joy joined our family the end of January, and Joshua and I had the opportunity of flying to Montana and enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains to bring her home. As you can see in the slideshow, Meti dove into life in the Taylor household with grace and passion. She enjoyed participating in the Track and Field team this past Spring with the local middle school, and now contributes to the school chorus. We all enjoyed the Christmas concert they performed a week ago! Meti, who’s now 15, has a love for children, completed the Red Cross babysitting course this summer, and is hoping to pick up more babysitting jobs in the near future.  She’s active in our church youth group and putting so much effort into her schoolwork.

I’ve considered shrinking formulas for our oldest son Enoch in the last year. He’s growing up before our eyes! Enoch turned 10 this past April and has truly grown in stature and wisdom. I am thrilled to watch him become such a joyful and responsible young man. Enoch seems to be good at almost anything he sets his mind to. He enjoyed playing sweeper for the 1st half of games and goalie for the 2nd half on his soccer team this past fall. His games on the 4th-6th grade team were loads of fun to watch! He also continues to excel in school and has a love for the sciences. He still asks hundreds of questions a day and was the mastermind behind an elaborate fort the kids built in the woods. He dreams of engineering and inventing personal flying devices.

Tigist, age 9 also continues to sprout before our eyes! This past year she has developed a love for art and is doing quite well with it. Her eye for detail, colors, and design provide weekly refrigerator artwork, and often impress her artistic father! Tigist has made many friends in Maine and continues to grow in her compassion for those around her. She’s passionate about life and fills our home with many giggles and is usually the instigator of family dance parties.

I find it unfathomable that our youngest son Justice celebrated his second year as a member of the Taylor family in September. He just fits so perfectly with our crew that its hard to imagine life without his funny antics and spirited demeanor. Justice turned 8 in February and celebrated with a basketball themed party. This kid has some serious athletic ability. Whether he’s on the basketball court and dribbling a ball or running down the soccer field he just seems to know where to be and what to do! Justice also has a love for music and has made up a bunch of songs with his sister Tigist to perform for our family.

Three year old Erbeka is certainly establishing her place as the youngest child in our family. What a ham she has become! As the only child to arrive in the Taylor family under the age of five it has been delightful to watch her develop over the past year. The changes that take place between the ages of two and three are humongous and its been a blast (most days) to watch her determination to keep up with the rest of the gang. She received glasses in July that have aided her vision and allowed her to discover more of the world around her.  She will undergo eye surgery in January to hopefully straighten her left eye. Nothing seems to slow this child down!

Joshua and I seem to be aging appropriately with gray hair sprouting up and work-outs becoming fewer and farther between! Where has our youth gone?!?! Keeping up with five life-loving children definitely keeps us on our toes! In all seriousness we would not choose life any other way. The grace we find available to us and the adventure we live together is a blessing. Family. . . its what we have become and what we will choose again and again. Much love from our family to yours this Christmas and New Year!  I hope you enjoy the slideshow of our year in review.

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Get ready. . .

Okay, so I just sent out the first half of our Christmas cards and they all had a link here to the blog promising a Christmas letter.  Stay tuned.  This blog has been seriously neglected this past year, but I have hopes for more regular updates and the Christmas letter will be up this week.  Check back soon!

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The Glory of Ordinary

This morning as we served pancakes and pink smoothies to our 5 kiddos for Valentine’s Day my heart was full with the joy of the morning and the thought that this was my ordinary daily life.  5 extraordinary children sat around our hand-me-down table with a stool, a couple old chairs and some black folding chairs from walmart.  I placed the red table cloth on top and set the kids Valentine’s cards on their plates.  Hubby mixed up the pancakes with WAY more chocolate chips then I’d ever put in. . . this alone delighted the hearts of our children.

Have you ever had the thought that you’ve got to do more, be more, help more, simplify more, change more, live more, experience more?  I know I have.  It seems popular to glorify our lives these day with either the pursuit of social justice, simple living, global aid, life experiences and so on and so forth.  I’ve also noticed my own tendency to push against normal. . . a desire to be revolutionary.

An article by Kevin DeYoung (that’s his blog not the article) that I recently read in an old publication made me stop and think.  Here’s an excerpt:

“With all due respect, what’s harder: to be an idolized rock star who travels around the world touting good causes and chiding governments for their lack of foreign aid, or to be a line worker at GM with four kids and a mortgage, who tithes to his church, sings, in the choir every week, serves on the school board, and supports a Christian relief agency and a few missionaries from his disposable income?”

He later shares that what the world needs are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding along visionaries.  This is a heart journey that I’ve recently been on.  One of learning to be faithful with exactly what God places in my life today.  Its difficult because the world needs revolutionary people, ones who stand against child slavery and trafficking, people who take a stand against materialism and selfish gain, people who bring awareness to poverty and channel funding to those in need.  However my idea of what this looks like is changing.

There is glory in the ordinary. . . purpose in the daily plodding of a faithful life lived honorably and well.  Today, I’m seeking to hug my children a few more times, encourage my husband more intentionally, and live an ordinary day to the glory of God.

 

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Reinvention. . .

I’m blogging again as an eccentric ordinary lady. . .  try not to be confused.  I’m making some changes to the site.  Keep coming back for updates and a new look.

A re-introduction

If you search the blogosphere you find EXTRAordinary women such as (some of my favorite blog sites):

Simple Mom, The Organic Sister, Those Passionate about Homemaking, Frugal Granola, The Happy Housewife, Crazy Adoption Mom, Crunchy Betty, and The Dating Divas. . .

And then you’ll find me.  An ordinary yet somewhat eccentric lady. We’re probably a lot alike. I try to live simply, I love the idea of organic and natural living, I am passionate about homemaking, I attempt to be frugal, I try to be a happy housewife, I’m crazy about adoption, and yeah people might call me a bit crunchy, and I attempt to date my husband with passion and flare! But I still on occasion let my kids eat hot dogs, once in a blue moon buy Lucky Charms, splurge for some non-essentials, and spend most of my days cleaning floors, wiping down bathrooms, doing laundry, and trying to convince myself that potty training my toddler is a deeply valuable contribution to society.

Nom de guerre aside, I will hit thirty-one this year, will celebrate nine years of marriage to Exemplary Husband, and become the mother of five children ages 2-14 all in the last 36 months. (its possible!) In my life I’ve called Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, and Virginia home. I’ve had the privilege of traveling/visiting: Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, India, Romania, Croatia, Namibia, Ethiopia, South Africa, and London. I graduated high school but never finished college. The time I spent in college I studied Archeology, Anthropology, and then Sociology. In the 36 months I’ve had the honor of parenting I’ve home-schooled, un-schooled, and now public schooled my children, but will be pulling them out to home-school again soon. I promise I’m not crazy, there have been perfectly good reasons for each of these decisions.

Half my life ago I determined that I didn’t want the normal grown-up life; having 2 children, a 2000 sq foot home, 1 acre yard with picket fence, 9-5 job and comfy benefit packages. It seemed too ordinary. In my progressive teenage mind I resolved that I would be a “World Changer.” Perhaps an ambassador to a foreign nation, a humanitarian, a missionary, a chemist discovering cures. . . can you relate? But here I am, and even though I don’t have any of the aforementioned “grown-up life” call it what you want, my days seem ordinary and in my life’s journeys I’ve found that the world is a pretty big place to change.

So are we doomed to live ordinary mundane lives in a never ending-cycle? In a world set to hit the 7 billion population mark this year, do I matter? As one ordinary person to another, I believe all of us can do something extraordinary.  Stay tuned.

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