What am I cooking?
Green smoothies. This is not really cooking, but I have gotten in to a smoothie routine that really works for me. About once a week, I make a blender full of a combination of spinach, a whole lemon and fruit. That becomes the base and I put it in mason jars in the fridge. In the morning, I add some sliced frozen apples and a splash of plain Kefir and blend that again. Portable breakfast (or lunch) that is healthy, delicious and almost instant. I am finding that this is MUCH better fuel-on-the-go for me than a packaged granola bar or another Starbucks latte. I also think that drinking all of this spinach is helping me with my chronic iron deficiency.
Over the past two months, I have started to hard-core avoid refined carbs and sugars. I am basically eating meat, eggs, yogurt, vegetables and fruits. Some days I will have oatmeal, a whole wheat wrap, beans or brown rice. The change has been dramatic. I have lost about 20 pounds, but the biggest change has been in my energy and attention levels. I am drinking less coffee and I am much happier. So, I am also sauteeing lots of veggies to have with a quick scrambled egg, cooking lots of grilled chicken, and having to be generally pretty organized in the kitchen and plan my food in advance.
A word or two about dieting — my baby is almost two. I have not been pregnant or nursing for about a year. This is a long stretch for me, and I think that my metabolism has changed from all of these pregnancies, sleep issues, and just being in my 30s. Last spring, I was consistently working out and feeling great until I got Lyme disease, and it has been a long hard year for my body since then. Often, I thought that my fatigue was related to the Lyme disease, but I would handle it with carbs and coffee, which is a very short term solution, it will get you through the next hour, but not much further. That combined with stopping all exercise was really a whammy for me. I didn’t gain weight, but I settled in to a post-pregnancy, post-nursing weight that was really not healthy for me. Then, this spring, I got E-coli. I was really sick for days, throwing up and all kinds of other problems. When I finally figured out that this was more than a stomach bug and got an antibiotic, I decided at the same time that I needed to cut out sugar in order to give my body a fighting chance. A friend was doing Atkins, another doing Paleo, and I pulled out this 17 day diet book because it gives a very specific structure to an eating plan, which I needed in the beginning in order to wean myself off the sugar.
What are my weekend plans?
Reunions! It’s my husband’s 15th, so we will be in for a full slate of activities from this evening to Saturday night!
What are my prayer intentions for the day?
For friendships at Reunions. As more of an introvert, I find these three days pretty trying, but I also know that witnessing to my happy marriage and my large family is important work, and can be fun if I am open to the fun. Over the past several years, there has always been a woman or two, someone whom I did not know well in college, who have decided to really open up to me about their marriage, infertility, etc. One time it was a young man who was thinking about drastically changing the course of his life and wanted to talk to me a lot about family and work-life balance. I am praying in advance that I will be there for a reason, and that I can “preach the gospel without using words.”
What can my children do instead of watching TV?
School work! I have written out everything that my twins need to accomplish in order to be “done” for the year, and now that they have this list they are just plugging away and having lots of fun flinging workbooks into a bin as they complete them. I hope to have their full 36-week curriculum completed by the middle of next week.
What have I done for my marriage this week?
My husband adores Reunions, there are a ton of logistics to get the nine of us there each day while still prioritizing some of our “regular” life, and he is over worked and over tired. I am trying hard, hard, hard to just be patient and kind.
What am I reading?
Wonder by RJ Palacio. It is a middle school book, and it is amazing. It should be required reading for middle school, followed by The Giver.
What is one product that made my life easier?
Space bags! Have you tried them? These used to be made for infomercials, but now Ziploc makes them and you can buy them on Amazon. I put each child’s entire ski outfit in a bag, vacuumed out the air and they all fit neatly in to one bin. Recently I did the same with my winter sweaters and they take up one shelf!
What is challenging me lately?
Transitions are always hard for me, and we are in to the end of school year beginning of summer transition. In April and May I found it hard to keep track of concerts, sports uniform returns, and changes of schedule. Now we have three weeks of afternoon swim team before it switches to morning, and plenty of school work to finish up. It will take me a few more days to get into the groove. I am trying to be outgoing at the pool, remembering how hard it was, early on, for me to be a new mom on the swim team scene, and how much it helped to have some friendly faces on the pool deck.