Whole 30 Adventure

Hello! I’ve been gone a while, adjusting to life with two little ones. And can I just say, there is definitely a learning curve going from one child to two! Also, since I’ve been gone, my husband and I have decided to really kick things into gear health-wise. First challenge: Whole 30. What is this, you may ask? Check it all out at Whole 30. The basic idea is that you cut out all “bad” foods (things that could be causing health problems, bloating, etc) and feed your body with good, whole foods for 30 days in the hopes of “resetting” your body. Many people have overcome health issues that they thought would plague them for life, so we were really interested in trying it. On this “diet”, you can eat unprocessed meats, eggs, fish/seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts/seeds (no dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, beans etc.). Sound restrictive? It is, but I’ve found that there are a lot of good things we can eat, I just have to get creative!

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The Trial Run

We tried starting the 30 days April 1st, and for a week did really well. Then we realized that since we were going to be gone for over a week (hubby on a work trip and myself and the kids going out of town), that we probably wouldn’t be able to stick to the plan while we were away. That being the case, we restarted our 30 days this past Tuesday. So far so good for me! If you poke around on the internet, you will find that you will go through stages during your 30 days due to food withdrawals. I’m not sure if I have felt these symptoms seeing as I already feel pretty gross due to lack of sleep (yay for having a newborn around again!), but I’m sure I will feel some symptoms eventually. This time around, my hubby’s parents are joining us in the challenge. Their lives are a little busier than mine, so its definitely more difficult to come up with food items that can be grabbed in a hurry. That being said, there IS hope! I want to share with you some great recipes I have found while preparing for this challenge; recipes that will make you forget you are eating super healthy.

Where to Start

First off, clear your panrty and fridge of all things NOT allowed on this diet. This is key; “out of sight, out of mind” really rings true here. Secondly, find some great recipes! There is some really great advice on the blogs What I Wore and The Clothes Make The Girl, so make sure to check both of them out. For breakfasts, its eggs, eggs, and more eggs. Many Whole30 veterans recommend just looking at your day with “meal 1, 2, and 3” in mind instead of “breakfast, lunch, dinner”. A good idea, but I find myself still wanting breakfast type foods in the morning (no 8 am pork chops for me-ha!).

Three Daily Meals

I get bored with eating the same thing every day so I bounce back and forth between scrambled and fried eggs. I usually pair it with some fruit and like to also add some homemade hashbrowns; I have to eat a big breakfast these days I feel faint; nursing a baby football player is no silly business (seriously, he is only 2 months old and already 16lbs!). Lunches are typically salads with plenty of protein mixed in. Dinners have been what’s changed the most around here, but I have found some super flavorful meals that fit the bill. The big thing is that you make sure to eat a ton of veggies on the side to make sure that your stomach feels full. I know I have a long way to go, but I’m excited to see what this month brings. I am finally on board to becoming a healthier person and it feels great! I will definitely keep you updated this month on both how I’m feeling and what recipes/resources I find.

Have you completed the Whole30 challenge? If so, what advice do you have for the newbies? If not, seriously give it some thought; it could change your life 🙂

 Some Recipe Ideas

Kale, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, sunflower seeds, brussel sprout salad

Olive Oil Mayo

Morrocan Dipping Sauce

Sunshine Sauce (haven’t tried this one yet but am dying to try it! Waiting on obtaining one ingredient then I can try this deliciousness)

Giving Up The Scale

Our church has encouraged us to participate in Lent this year. Growing up we didn’t do Lent, I pretty much thought got it was just a Catholic thing (and I’m not Catholic) so why would I? But throughout the years I have gained more understanding into Lent. I am not a pastor nor do not have religious training, but for me Lent is the opportunity to give up something that has taken time away from God or something that will require more effort. It is a period to focus on growing closer to God through giving this ‘thing’ or item up and focusing more on what He wants in my life.

A lot of people give up different foods that probably aren’t doing great things for their body. Others give up social media, which I did last year in a way. I gave up Facebook during my kids waking hours, from 8am to 8pm. There are truly tons of things you can give up.

Endurance

This year seemed hard for me. I thought about giving up sweets, but I truly wanted to do something that I felt would take a lot of prayer to get myself through. So, I am giving up my bathroom scale. To many this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. But for me it is!

Continue reading “Giving Up The Scale”

Make-up: It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3

I will be the first to tell you that I really enjoy women who wear make-up that enhances (not takes away!) from their already stunning features. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at make- up brands and artists on Instagram (such as @motivescosmetics and @_bylabella) but most of those looks are for show and not the average woman.

Make-up shouldn’t be a chore or something you should dread in the morning. A few good products and an easy routine can go a long way to making your beauty routine seamless and perhaps even enjoyable. Essentially, I am that girl who would rather sleep than primp. Ironic, don’t you think (let’s be honest, we could all use a little more sleep these days)? I have learned the few key shortcuts can fool anyone into thinking I spent hours on this beautiful face of mine. Want to know a secret? It really is simple! Continue reading “Make-up: It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3”

Let’s Be Free

Money, money, money.

We need it to survive. Everyone always wants more of it. As many lives are destroyed by it as those that are saved. It is the root of all kinds of evil and yet, can do enormous amounts of good too. We try to control it and yet, all too often it ends up controlling us no matter how little or much we have. We love it and we hate it.

So what does a healthy relationship with money look like? Cutting up credit cards, budgeting and getting rid of debt are great places to start. But I think those only get rid of the symptoms. They don’t cure the heart.

My parents are a great example of this. They are absolutely exemplary with their finances. My mother is an accountant, how could she not be? They’ve always bought used cars paid in cash, paid off their mortgage in less than half the time, and even stopped using ATMs because they weren’t able to track their spending as well. They gave faithfully to our church and lived well within their means. Because of this I have always been very conscious of the value and power of money.

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My favorite story is that of my freshman year of college. My parents managed to pay my full year of college tuition and my sister’s full year of private high school education without having to use their savings. How crazy is that? To say my mother was frugal would be an understatement.

Despite their best efforts though, they’ve still lost money on bad investments, had to sell a house and buy a condo in the economic downturn and I’m sure other things I have been sheltered from knowing. My mother, in particular, can be incredibly hard on herself for these things, because you see, even though she followed all the rules money still controlled her. She was enslaved to it despite her best efforts to master it. Her heart hadn’t changed and she definitely wasn’t free.

But recently I’ve noticed in her comments a change of tone. She’s learning to see how her treatment of money was only a symptom of her need to control. She’s learning to let go.

I use her as an example because she is the exact opposite of most Americans financially. Her contrast shows the root of the issue instead of just the symptoms. Yes, our society is based on consumerism and many Americans live with out-of-control debt. Yes, people often don’t know how to handle their money and live within their means. But I think even those who do control it and handle it well need to acknowledge the obsession we make of it here in America. We can teach how to budget and pay off debt, but we don’t know how to teach contentment despite all of our abundance. And we definitely don’t know how to live free of money’s control.

We are in bondage to our cash. I’ve seen this most clearly when I’ve travelled to places like China and Uganda. They live with so much less and yet are so much more content. Our love of money breeds discontent, strife, competition, and greed. Until we address the complex relationships we have with our money whether we have a lot or a little, we will never be free. We must realize whether we ignore our finances irresponsibly or control them down to the last penny, that cash is but a means to an end. It cannot cure-all our ills, save us from death, or make us happy. It can only pay the bills. But pay the bills we must.

So the next time you’re bemoaning your budget, contemplating a spending spree, planning your retirement fund or struggling to pay off a loan, ask yourself what am I trying to accomplish in this? What’s my motivation? Address the fears or discontent. Acknowledge the unknowns. Put money in its place! Let go of the obsession and break those bonds of slavery. Let’s be free.

It’s Valentine’s Day!

Today is Valentine’s Day. The one day dedicated on the calendar to this little thing called love. You may have heard of it once…or twice…No? I think this holiday gets a really bad rap and all people seem to remember is the over priced roses, wearing pink, hearts/cards galore and gushy-mushy (Christmas Vacation meter overload anyone?). You catch my drift? That doesn’t mean that is what it has to be about for you!

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Some of my nearest and dearest friends have traditions to where their fathers give them a pretty flower or a nice note on Valentine’s Day. Others, their significant others will bring home flowers and cook them dinner. And some of my darling single friends will have an Anti-Valentine’s Day celebrating love among friends. They don’t let being single get the best of them. Jimmy Fallon even created a segment for all singles this week #whyimsingle Seriously though, hop on Twitter and just search #whyimsingle…it will instantly make you laugh and feel better. Promise! Continue reading “It’s Valentine’s Day!”

Hearts, Pink and Roses

Give me a reason to celebrate – and I will! Growing up, it was common for any holiday to serve as an excuse to wear themed shorts(actually boxers)/shirts/face paint/hair bows/tights. Some of those juvenile celebratory tendencies have carried over into adulthood for me and I fear I should have been and El-Ed major, so that I could get away with the expressive clothing choices. 

I have resigned myself to wearing colors that are representative of the holiday as a compromise for my attire choices. The irony is not lost on me that I am a single female who loves Valentine’s Day (actually any holiday, but since we’re talking about V-day, let’s focus on that!). Culturally speaking, Valentine’s Day is all about spending a romantic time with a significant other. I don’t contest that sentiment that many share. However, even if I were in a relationship, I would not appreciate roses (overpriced on this day), chocolate in a heart-shaped box (sub par mass production), or teddy bears (I’m not 5). I dated a guy who bought champagne glasses with hearts on them and I wanted to gag. That part of the holiday I have never liked as it seems manufactured and insincere (even though many want it to communicate sincerity). Therefore, what is a single girl to do on this day?

The same thing she does every day – but dressed in more pink/red than usual. That’s all. I have never felt the need to “celebrate singleness” with girlfriends on this day, nor do I have children that need to learn about holidays and therefore do not need to decorate my house with hearts and cupids. Let’s be honest. I’ll probably pick up some cheesy valentines to pass out at work because I am a cheesy, celebratory woman who thinks that’s funny. I am not however, a woman who will be upset about my singleness because a day is dedicated to those who are attached. The day doesn’t apply to me in that way, and that’s ok.  

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Continue reading “Hearts, Pink and Roses”

Being Called Home

This week has been an incredibly long one. I don’t know exactly what it is about getting older which makes things always a little more sentimental. We get a little more serious. We realize the things that were important in our youth, aren’t really AS important on the grand scheme of life. On Wednesday, I caught myself saying “Is tomorrow only Thursday?” and Thursday came and I wished so much I could take back those words.

We are drawn to certain people in our lives that touch our hearts in such a way as to never quite fully know the impact they have until it is too late. It was no accident I wound up at Indiana University and was a cheerleader there. It was no mistake either. I was so blessed to have met some awesome life long friends and people who you hope never to lose track of on your continuing journey. Regardless of whether these individuals were past or present of this family program, they will always be there to support and love on you. Todd was one of those individuals. On Thursday morning, I found out that Todd lost his fight with his second bout of cancer. Todd’s first bout was while cheering at IU. He was 21 years old and having to bravely fight for his life then. He tackled that battle that nearly killed him right then and there and that is when everything became so much more important.

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Here was a soul that was so encouraging. He always wore a smile on his face and always remained positive even when faced with an uphill battle. He was the one that was always your advocate. Todd was a man of God. I know through both of his battles, his faith never wavered. His example of compassion and kindness are exemplary. All I could do is sob in heartbroken disbelief that this man was now called home. I am happy that he is no longer suffering, and yet at the same moment I realized the impact this very man had on my heart and soul.

Continue reading “Being Called Home”

I Wouldn’t Change a Thing

Recently I was talking with someone who doesn’t know me very well and they asked if I see myself in oncology nursing for the rest of my career. I answered honestly – I can’t imagine my career without working with cancer patients in some way, shape, or form. I truly do love what I do. Even when the world seems to be crashing, I can’t catch up, my feet ache, my brain hurts, I’m sobbing over exhaustion, or I’m sobbing over grief. I was made to do this. I’m not exactly sure when cancer patients became a passion of mine – it was more something that seems to have been weaved into the soul of who I am made to be.

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It’s World Cancer Day. So what does World Cancer Day mean to me? Continue reading “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing”

An eHarmony Success

There are two sides to every story and this is particularly true for love stories. Each story is different and each person has their own version of the story. Steven and I decided we would each tell you our side of our love story to give you a big picture of how we met. You can decide whose you like better…

Her Side
7 years ago, I (Megan) drove into Ingleside, TX with the intention of staying for 10 weeks, complete my college internship, have a fun new experience, meet some sailors and move on with my life. Two weeks in, my life changed.

For those who have never been, which I assume is most people reading this, Ingleside is a small town on the outskirts of Corpus Christi. It had a small grocery, a Whataburger (which just to be clear, is superior to In-N-Out), a few other fast food places, the Buckhorn (a bar), javelina pigs, and a Naval Base. A small one. Prior to this my experience with the military had been slim. I knew some older veterans, a few ROTC guys from college, and a few that had gone on to the military after high school, but no real everyday experience with active duty men and women. And now I was not only working with them every day, but living on base. I was housed in the on base hotel which was the bottom floor of the barracks building.

My internship started and I was working for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) in the single sailor department. That was perfect for me in my eyes as I was also single. I met many single sailors while at work, but got pretty bored everyday after work.

At 21, I was not looking for a husband. I was actually job hunting more than man hunting, but I was bored…so why not try eHarmony? Even if it only provided a few laughs, sure why, not?! I decided to give it one month. There were a few guys I messaged with, but no one really appealed to me until I saw a sailor who happened to also be in Ingleside. We went through the whole communication route they set up and finally started talking on the phone. As it turned out, he was a sailor that often came to the building I worked in and lived one floor above me.

We hung out for the first time just a few days after beginning to talk and saw each other everyday we could until my internship ended two months later. I finished up my internship and packed my car and drove back to Indiana.

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Pink Elephants

A dear friend of mine is going to have a baby in March and I’m throwing her a shower. The thing is, I’ve never thrown a baby shower before. I’ve been to a few where we’ve tasted baby food and smelled diapers as ‘games’ and I can tell you, I am convinced that is not the way to do it! She doesn’t have a baby yet, so we’re not going to gross her and her nauseous stomach out any more than necessary.

As you would for any formal party, picking a color scheme and perhaps a theme serves as an excellent launching point. Based upon intimate knowledge of my friend, I know that she loves elephants. That was a no brainer for this party. However, gray is a neutral and since we’re celebrating my friend who has an incredibly sunny and magnetic disposition who is having a girl, naturally yellow and pink have been added to the color scheme. It is imperative to making the guest of honor feel welcomed and honored by utilizing some of their favorite things.

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Continue reading “Pink Elephants”

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