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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A bump in the night

One morning about two weeks ago, I went to grab something out of the truck and stumbled upon this scene....

Hmm... are those tail-light pieces under my bumper? Oh wait the bumper is cracked and hanging a little weird and the license is all mangled up.... Yep, I think someone really did hit the truck! No note left, so I called the police and reported it as a hit and run.
Later that day I went out for a bit and then returned home and found this guy in our parking lot...

HaHa! I found you! I had no clue which neighbor this was, so I had to search them out... Turned out to be the guy who lives right next door to me! I spent most the next day stressed about having to confront him and on more than one instance decided to let Josh just deal with it, but I knew it was my responsibility. I prayed for God to ease my nerves, give me the right words to say and to protect me from any danger. Then when I saw his car back in our lot, I took Elli with me (no one can be angry with her cuteness around) and  I headed over to his apartment. At first he played dumb but agreed to give me his insurance information. Then I explained to him that a police officer might contact him, because technically this was a hit and run (his girlfriend wasn't too happy with him about that one). But, if we could just get the truck repaired I wouldn't press charges and this could be done with. The last thing I want to do is create strife between my neighbors and I. They were both thankful for my attitude and were very cooperative with me.
After getting their info and talking with their insurance, I took the truck into Olsen's and had an estimate done, $1000 worth of damage was done and it would take almost a week to get it fixed. So, a rental car would be available for me. This is what I ended up getting...

2012 Chrysler Town & Country... Now note; I am one of those people that HATES mini vans. But, man! This thing is fancy! The keys have buttons to open and close the back doors and the trunk, satellite radio, leather seats, dvd system and more than enough room for my family and all our accoutrements.  Since we had such a plush ride this week Josh decided to go check out the new Cabela's over the weekend and visit his brother in Auburn. The kids and I have been looking forward to our daily errand runs and enjoyed a trip down to Skagit County to check out the tulips. 

Look at all that space they have! I'm definitely going to miss it! I'm not going to miss the V-6 engine and an average of 18 mpg! My Jetta TDI has ruined me, if it doesn't get close to 45 mpg, I don't want it! Yes, I know I can't get 45 mpg and fit a family of 6 in the vehicle, but a girl can dream right? Maybe Josh can design one and make us millions! LOL

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Journey to Better Health, Pt 3

"Getting my juices flowing"

I have had numerous friends suggest that I watch the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and give juicing a try... They were all on juicing diets, seeing great results and loving it. I've never been one to jump on bandwagons or follow the fads, so it takes me a while to finally give something a try.
One night while searching for something to watch on Hulu we came across the documentary and decided it was time to listen to my friends and see what it was all about. What was different in this movie that I hadn't already heard from all those infomercials in the 80's and 90's? My brother had a mini juicer back when I was in high school and it ended up being too much of a hassle cutting the fruit and cleaning the machine that no one ever really used it. More recently Josh's mom gave us an old full size juicer, but it had the same fate as the previous one... Never being used. (Actually we ended up selling it on Craigslist in our failed attempt to move off to Texas.)
Anyhoo... back to the documentary. Josh and I were very skeptical at first, but the movie won us over. They went over how a healthy diet needs to be more micro-nutrient (or was it macro-nutrient?) based, as in the pyramid below;
note; I have no idea who Dr Fuhrman is, he just had the right pyramid on his site =)

While Josh and I weren't too keen on cutting down our meat/protein consumption to once a week and the idea of Josh "rarely" eating a steak is almost laughable. We did glean a few good points from the movie and decided to give juicing a try. The day after watching the movie I found a Jack LaLanne juicer at Costco and brought it home. The following weekend we went to Cash and Carry and bought a pallet cart full of fruits and veggies to try. We quickly learned what combos we liked and those we didn't.
Now we are about a month out from that and I've been making (mostly orange based) juices every morning and often make either a juice mix or a salad for lunch and have a regular dinner. I've also cut down my caffeine consumption from 1-3 servings a day to about 3 servings per week and have been working on drinking more water to stay hydrated. What a huge difference it has made! Between the juicing and the vitamins I started taking, I really feel the difference in my health... I haven't even had a single migraine since I started juicing! 
I encourage you all to watch the movie and see if juicing can benefit you! 

And here's a little video for you to watch and laugh at the juicing craze from back in the day... If you are not familiar with In Living Color or Jim Carrey's early work, this may not be funny to you. To me it's hilarious! ;-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bham Herald Cute Kid Contest

I entered a picture of Elizabeth into the the Bellingham Herald's Cutest Kid Contest in hopes of winning a gift certificate to our favorite consignment shop. Hop on over to their page and vote for her, please. =)

Read more here: http://bellinghamherald.upickem.net/engine/SubmissionWidgetView.aspx?PageType=VOTING&ContestID=56530&SubmissionID=19155769&IncrementNumber=1#storylink=cpy

Monday, April 16, 2012

Angel Food Loaf Cake

I know it's a little ridiculous to post a dessert recipe during a series on better health and loosing weight, but I don't care! LOL! Actually this recipe does play into that a little bit, as I found it on my search for smaller desserts. I wanted to make something special that would have little left overs and less temptations to eat more than I should. So here is my recipe for an Angel Food Loaf Cake that I altered a bit from this cookbook.

1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup (5) egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.

Sift Flour with 1/4 cup sugar 4 times.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla, and lemon extract until egg whites are stiff enough to hold up in soft peaks but are still moist and glossy.
Add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to egg whites,  2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition to blend. 
Sift about 1/4 of the flour mixture over egg white mixture and fold in lightly. Fold in remaining flour by fourths. 

Bake in un-greased 10x5x3 inch loaf pan in moderate over (375 degrees) for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from oven, invert pan, and let stand for 1 hour or until cool.

Yummy! But it needs a little something more......


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge "Oliver" look a like contest

I rarely ever do any of the online contests, since the odds are so low of winning. But I had to enter this one from the Great Wolf Lodge. Great Wolf is looking for pictures of kids who look like their newest character Oliver the raccoon.
photo from greatwolf.com

And I just so happen to have this picture of cute little Zaccheaus in his explorer outfit...

I can enter up to 10 times with different pictures, but I think this one is pretty good. What do you think? They even both have glasses!
We've been wanting to go to GWL for years, this would be a great chance to go check them out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Journey To Better Health, Pt. 2

"Check yourself before you wreck yourself"

My first step on my new weight loss journey was to learn what condition I was really in. As I was saying in my last post as the fall turned into winter I was becoming more and more tired and lacked the energy to just do normal day to day things. I was like Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories, LOL. Of course my over active imagination went into high gear thinking of all the things that could be wrong with me. Did I have Diabetes? Or maybe my iron levels were just low? So as soon as my medical insurance became active I scheduled an appointment with my Dr.
He ordered a whole panel of lab work to check for diabetes, my cholesterol levels, my kidney function, my thyroid function and all my vitamin levels. Everything came back perfectly normal, with one exception. My vitamin D levels were really low. "Vitamin D, really?" I thought "I take a vitamin D supplement almost every day". The Dr, suggested that I up my supplements to 2,000 IU's a day and make sure I take it every day. I did and after the first week I was feeling really good, but would still start feeling tired mid day. So, I decided to up my supplement to 3,000 IUs, plus the 800 in my daily vitamins. This made the hugest difference! Right away I started being more active. Seriously, the second day of taking the 3,800 IUs I was running around the backyard playing soccer with the boys. Something I hadn't done in over a year. I'm sure it didn't hurt that by this time the sun had finally started coming out and the weather was perfect for playing outdoors.
I learned online that vitamin d deficiency is a very serious problem that can lead to the bone disease Rickets, because without vitamin d your body can not absorb all the calcium it needs. Because we live in an area with low sun exposure (Did you know Alaska gets more sun than Western Washington?), I don't drink milk and was spending most of my time indoors through the fall and winter I wasn't getting all the natural vitamin d that my body needed. Thankfully it didn't effect me in a way that would have lasting consequences, like bone damage.
Hearing that I was perfectly healthy was such a relief! Now I just needed to make positive changes to my diet and lifestyle to keep everything that way!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Journey To Better Health, Pt. 1

"Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail"

I hope you don't mind or get bored by these posts, but I have decided to chronicle my weight loss/ health improvement journey here.

I have always had the idea that as long as I felt healthy, could keep up with the kids and still fit into my clothes; it didn't matter what my weight was. That was until after going up a size with each pregnancy and then I discovered I had put on 20 lbs after having one my last child and never changed a clothing size. Slowly I wasn't able to keep up with the kids as much as I used to and began to feel sick more often than not. I knew I needed to change something... to eat healthier and exercise more, but felt trapped because of our past limitations, when we were without a regular income. Eating healthier usually means spending more on fresh healthy food and how does one exercise regularly in the rainiest state of the US without some sort of indoor equipment or membership at a gym? I was bound and determined to make a change as soon as I was able to.

I thought that opportunity had come when I friend put together a weight loss accountability group back in the fall. Josh was working again and I had the support of a small group of friends, I was going to succeed this time, right? Wrong! As fall turned into winter and the holidays came around I found it harder and harder to put forth the effort needed (more on this in a later post) to succeed at my goal I had set of losing 30lbs by spring. I would lose 5lbs, gain it back, lose 3 and just yo-yo back and forth. Very discouraging. Looking back I realized my problem was that I had no plan of attack and made no drastic changes to my daily habits that would produce lasting results.

Which brings us to now. I have made some changes and am seeing some results (mostly health wise, not so much weight wise yet) and would love the support of my friends and family who read this blog to cheer me on. I have a lofty goal of losing 50 lbs by the end of the summer, which would bring down to my pre-3rd pregnancy weight. The next installment of this series should be up in the next couple of days. Then there will probably be weekly or bi-weekly follow ups. If you'd like to join me in this journey, we can talk more about the changes I'm making one on one sometime.

Pray for me friends this is going to take some major strength and determination.