day date

This weekend, Ryan took me on a date… or rather, a day full of adventures. I drew a popsicle stick at the beginning of this month from the Jar O’ Dates he gave me for Christmas, and the clue was, “AROO! AROO! AROO!” And anyone who knows Sparta knows that clue can only mean one thing. Ps. Most of these photos were taken with my phone, so sorry if some pics are blurry!

Here lie the tales of the adventures of our day (I do love that we can relish in this geeky interest together).

During my morning time with God, I found the first message of the day in my devo:

IMG_7955Note here: 300 + The Office quotes = guarantee of a good day

After breakfast, we geared up with snacks and drove to Memorial Park. There, I received my “Spartan Training”. Aka throwing a spear at a watermelon in an open field with bluebonnets nearby.

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Ryan is a lot better at this than I am. Nevertheless, we both speared the thing, and I found the second message.

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What is Wes Lands?
We put the spear back in the car, and started running. I did not know where we were running to, but we ran. We ended up at the Edwards Theater about 2.5 miles away from the running track. And guess what movie we saw???

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You are correct, sir! We saw 300: Rise of an Empire! And yes, I did eat a Snickers Ice Cream Bar at 10:45a.
Apparently, Ryan’s first idea was to run to a movie theater on Weslayan St, which was 5 miles each way (explaining Wes Lands). I’m glad he remembered there was another movie theater half the distance away from us.

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This right here is one of the many perks of seeing a movie at 11a. This and the ticket prices. Here I am in an empty movie theater with my ice cream in my right hand. Bliss.
The movie was great as expected, other than a really weird and kind of confusing sex scene. That with the violence, don’t take your kids to this movie, people.

After the movie, we ran back to the park, and were accompanied by these beauties:

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Here we are with me eating a banana, which is totally picture worthy since I hadn’t had one in 3 weeks:

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Aaaaand lunch:

IMG_7983All I can say is, praise Jesus for fruit and peanut butter

We purposefully relaxed for the afternoon, since we are so busy all the time and sometimes feel like our weekends wear us out more than help us to recharge!

IMG_7984I asked Ryan after opening this, “Hmm, how did you know you would think I would look amazing?” He replied with, “Had a feeling.” Smart man.

IMG_7985Note spear still in back seat. And in honor of Sparta, a hand-crocheted headband. Leather would’ve been more appropriate, but whatevs.

We got ready for dinner, and Ryan brought me to a place we’d never been to before but have wanted to try for a while. We absolutely LOVED it! The ambiance is in my opinion, to die for. Hearsay is a historic building built in 1889, renovated into an industrial restaurant with classy style. The chandelier in the middle of the dining area pulls in a romantic feel, and the decor is simplistic and clean. The food was sooooo good! Definitely will be back to this place in the near future. Oh! And sit in the balcony if you can.

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dinner

And for all of you waiting for what comes next, because you know how much I love dessert (and might love it even more when I’m not able to have it for 3 weeks)…… We bring you Fat Cat Creamery. This was AMAZING. It’s an ice cream shop in the heights that uses mostly local ingredients, namely the cream, eggs, and milk. The texture was different than typical ice creams, and it wasn’t overly sweet, but sooo creamy! And the waffle cone is by far the best cone I have ever had. I had the hardcore chocolate and peanut butter, and Ryan had the milk chocolate stout. Guys, go check this place out. Some of the BEST ice cream I have ever tasted. And you know me and ice cream.

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We were thoroughly stuffed after the last trip, and called it a night. This date was full of new things, and they all turned out to be some new favs of mine! Love when that happens.

What are some things you love to do, and who do you do those things with? It’s so fun to share common interests with my hubs, and have a whole day of enjoying those things together! Go find someplace new, and give it a try! Make an adventure out of your hobbies, even if they’re a little geeky! We had a blast, and I’m already looking forward to next month’s popsicle stick. :)

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week 3 | clean eating

This is by far the BEST meal we have had on this entire journey. You can find the recipe here. I made a few adjustments, but you get the general idea. :)

We made it! Everybody sing the hallelujah song. It is such a relief to be able to eat some fruit tomorrow! I’ve definitely learned a lot about my body over the past 3 weeks, and am excited to share some of that with you. Here’s a review from our last week!

Day 15: We have a very busy weekend with helping some friends move last night, and going to a sip and see for a sweet family’s brand new baby today! Loved seeing some friends we haven’t connected with in a while, and I always love the sight of a tiny baby! It’s hard to stay in the mindset of eating clean when I know tomorrow we get to go to the rodeo!!

Day 16: Cheat day! We ate so much, and don’t even feel bad about it. I think having this cheat day makes it possible to stick to the clean eating throughout the week. Remembering that going forward! Check out our day of indulging here.

Day 17: Back to the grind. Mondays aren’t my best friend, especially after 2 very full weekends in a row. It’s kind of crazy how much I really need a good day of quiet to recharge. I realized over the weekend that even though I spend my Friday off cleaning and cooking, I usually spend it in complete silence and solitude, and that does my soul some good. Already looking forward to the weekend since I haven’t had a regular Friday in a few weeks!

Day 18: Did a good 45 mins of spin and feel soooo good. Crazy how a workout will wake you up! Also covered some upper body and abs after I taught bootcamp, which wrapped up the day well. Feeling back to normal after our cheating weekend.

Day 19: Longest. Week. Ever. Someone give me an apple. But for real, I’m dying here.

Day 20: Woke up with more energy than I’ve had all week! Ready to kick the remainder of this week in the face. Subbing a spin/circuit class tonight, and one reason I love teaching is because I push myself so much harder (some studies show that you exert 30% more energy while talking during a workout).

Day 21: Made it to the last day! Crazy to think about everything that has happened in such a short time (sometimes if felt really long), but feel so accomplished! Took my weekly picture, and it is just crazy! Even with our cheat day last Sunday, I have some crazy oblique action going on that I for real have never seen before. Wuuuuuttt?! Finishing today off the right way, and getting ready to eat a banana tomorrow morning! I bought unripened bananas and an almost ripe pineapple yesterday so that they would be ready to go tomorrow. Am I kind of ridiculous? I don’t even care.

Positives: Discipline, and finishing strong. Holy cow, how difficult things get when you’re almost to the finish line! Remembering the why behind the what is what keeps me going.
Negatives: Kinda just bored. I knew that was to be expected, but I am ready to add some variety back into our meals!

Things I’ve learned 
Over the past 3 weeks I have learned so much about myself, food, and believe it or not, the Lord! Here are a few takeaways:

– I quickly found out who my real friends were. Countless times I have been walking around with broccoli or spinach in my teeth like an idiot, and for those of you who never told me, shame. To those of you who saved me hours of quirky and awkward conversation, I appreciate you. You are pretty great.

– I’ve discovered a lot about my body, and I’m pretty sure I thrive on the sugar from fruit. Of all the things I’ve been craving during this time, fruit has been the only one really hard to resist. I think I gain lots of energy from those sugars, and am excited to experiment with that. Every body is different, and (for example) some people thrive on the fats from nuts, while others only gain weight by eating them. Never would have even given that a thought had I not taken it away.

– Though at times I felt like I was going to die (ok, I exaggerate), I realized that half the things I normally consume daily I don’t even need. I broke my diet down to really only complete proteins, gluten free carbs, and veggies, and I’ve had more than enough energy to think clearly at work and hit it hard in the gym. No more excuses for this chick!

– My water consumption has nearly doubled, and though I’m still very annoyed that I have to go to the bathroom every 45 mins, it’s incredible the difference water consumption has made. If you’re feeling tired, down a cup of water. Consume a ton of water throughout the day, and your workout performance will be a million times stronger. Ps. Going to the bathroom so much has helped me peel myself from my computer and take a break from work. Even just a couple mins here and there, it has done my mind some good.

– Like I mentioned before, it was good for me to have a cheat day to take a break from such a strict schedule and eating plan. The hubs and I want to make this clean eating a lifestyle change, and allowing a cheat meal once a week will help immensely in keeping us on track. You already know I’m so very goal oriented, and giving myself boundaries and finish lines helps me stay disciplined. I was totally out of control in just eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and sticking to only eating at strategic times throughout the day, and controlling what I eat at those times really helps me to be mindful of what I’m putting in. Kinda crazy!

– We have gotten pretty creative with our meals, and have learned flavors we like and dislike. I’m not a natural cook, mostly because I am a rule follower and look at a recipe like 1200 times while I cook to make sure I get everything right. This plan has helped me recognize flavors in spices and learn how much of what we like best. That would have been a foreign thought to me before I got married (what is happening to me?).

– Since I have to wake up and eat breakfast pretty early in the morning, it has not only helped me keep my eating schedule straight, but also my time with God. I have been reading while I eat breakfast and sip on my coffee, and my time with the Lord has been so much richer! I have learned much in my extra time with Him, and being disciplined in both time and food has taught me so much about His heart, and my own heart, and how to make mine match His a little better.

Overall, this clean eating adventure has done some good for us! I encourage you to explore foods and how different things affect you, positively or negatively! You don’t have to be as strict as we were… obviously. But try it out! You’ll be shocked at how much you eat without even thinking about it. Again, if you are interested in starting or curious to know what we ate, just let me know and I will send you the google doc with our meal plans and recipes!

One more side note: I tracked all my eating on the MyFitnessPal app, and it was really helpful. You enter your height, weight, and goal (gain/lose/maintain), and it gives you the amount of calories you should consume in a day. You can also enter your water intake (which helped me keep count of cups throughout the day), and exercise, too! The first day took me forever since I cooked everything myself. I broke down how much we ate by serving, and entered the food items myself. But the app remembers everything you enter, so do it once and you can enter repeat meals from there going forward.

Ryan’s taking me on a date tomorrow! Really, a date day, as he’s told me to keep the whole day open. If you remember, one of my Christmas presents was a Jar O’Dates, with 12 popsicle sticks with clues for dates – one for each month. We obviously spend time together more than once a month, but these are intentional dates that Ryan plans out and keeps it a surprise for me. I’m very excited! And in case you were wondering, I will be eating some fruit and chocolate. I don’t even care if that’s part of the date or not. It will happen (that’s what’s up!).

Hope you have a very stress-free and relaxing weekend! Enjoy some of that sunshine! Eat a cup of fruit for me. ;)

rodeo | cheat day

Ryan and I had a fantastic time at the rodeo yesterday. This was our cheat day, and though it will look like we did not hold back when you see these pictures, believe me… we did. Next year we decided we need to go more than once so we can try all the crazy stuff without stuffing our faces in one day (fried Nutella and chocolate dipped bacon is already on next year’s list).

My sister texted me and asked how we feel after eating all that junk. Are we sick? The answer is: nope. Hahaha. We feel completely fine, and other than crashing from a sugar high a few hours later and feeling really fat, we don’t feel bad at all. Kinda strange, I do admit. Not complaining though.

For your enjoyment:

DSC_0502Bacon Wrapped Sausage on a Stick. The only “real food” we had at the rodeo, and soooo good.

DSC_0503This stand had our favorite food of the day. Winner.

fried whatFried Pecan Pie and Dough-E-Oreo (Fried Oreos with Cookie Dough inside). Both of these were soooo soooooo goooood.

DSC_0509Fried Nutter Butters. Ryan said this wasn’t one of his favs, but remember that peanut butter is one of my favorite things, and I haven’t had it in 2 weeks. I gave it a 10. :)

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Custom ConfectionsCustom Confections – Frosty Bite: Lemon Cream Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream inside
This one was really good (obviously… look at my face), but I can’t lie to you, this was not the best one of the day. It won an award on a rodeo food list, so we tried it. They had a banana sundae with rum sauce that I think would have been better. Next time. :)

Ryan wanted to try this pizza that won an award for strangest food… apparently it’s topped with scorpions, grasshoppers or meal worms. So nasty. We decided against the pizza, as the amount of desserts we wanted to try won over (thank God).

Ready to take on this last week of (strict) clean eating and hit it hard. And totally ready to bring back fruit and nuts next week! Happy Monday!

week 2 | clean eating

Week 2 has been ridiculous. I don’t know if I’m just THAT addicted to sugar, or if it’s all the temptation I’ve had to resist, but this week was pretty rough. My sister and bro-in-law came in to town last weekend for a memorial service and stayed with us, and I definitely was enlightened to how much I usually eat. Not only bad foods… even just food in general.

DSC_0501 - Version 2Gary & Lynette touring Living Water International, Ryan’s workplace

Day 7: This was the day Gary and Lynette flew in, and also the day of my friend Julielle’s fabulous art show (the art will be up for viewing until tomorrow (Saturday), so you should go check it out! Vine Street Studios, 2nd floor. I took photos for this event, so thankfully I was pretty busy and distracted and didn’t even take a glance at any of the snacks (aka temptation). Ryan, on the other hand, ate everything in sight. He kind of threw our eating plan out the window this weekend. Yes, I am telling on him. He abandoned me. He also ate the ENTIRE bunch of asparagus I bought for our lunches. It was cooling on the stove and he just assumed it was all for one meal. Do you know how long it takes to prep meals for a week’s worth of lunch? :)

Day 8: While Gary went to speak at the memorial service (with Lynette, of course), Ryan and I got a great workout in. Since I’ve been teaching so much it’s been hard for me to work out myself, so pushing it in the gym felt really great. We went to Black Walnut Cafe for dinner with the sis and bro (and I ate my gluten free, fruit free, cheese free salad), and then we took them to The Chocolate Bar for dessert since they’ve never been there. Pause here. This place is like my favorite place ever and they make my favorite ice cream. 1) My favorite dessert in the world is ice cream. 2) They make my favorite ice cream (creamy dreamy truffle, in case you’re wondering). I’m just trying to unpack for you how deep this struggle was for me. I did not eat ice cream. Yep. In all honestly, I’m really just ridiculously stubborn. Most of why I didn’t cheat this weekend is because then I’d have to say I cheated, and then I’d have to start all over again. A hard head can be a good thing….?

Day 9: Did the usual… wasn’t too bad besides the dozens of hot donuts classes bring in for church. But I can say no to donuts pretty easily, so that wasn’t terrible. Made a pretty healthy dinner for the fam that evening, but I used honey and I’m also not allowed to eat carbs for dinner and I made couscous, so I again ate my salad. :) Can’t wait for the day I can eat that Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken again (seriously, really healthy and delicious… try it!).

Can you tell the temptation is getting worse??? 

Day 10: Today I had a lunch meeting in the office and they ordered in Berryhill. It’s getting to the point that all I can think about is what I’m not eating. Hahaha. Queso. No one told me week 2 would be 10 times worse than week 1! I sipped on my water and ate the lunch I brought with me when my time to eat rolled around.
One good in all of this: I’m really seeing pretty clearly how much I usually eat and don’t even think about it. Were I not on this clean eating plan, I would have eaten fatty foods and desserts every single day this week.

Day 11: Seeing some progress in my upper body and also torso area, so feeling really motivated. Pushed it hard in a class tonight before teaching bootcamp, which was so needed (love a good sweat). I don’t feel like I look any skinnier (which isn’t the point anyway), but I have noticed that my core is tightening up and what was fat around the abdomen and back is minimizing to just skin and muscle. Just FYI, for me, I actually gain weight and muscle mass when I workout hard and eat clean. When I don’t, I get skinnier and lighter. I know, it’s weird. But I’m a small build and muscle weighs more than fat, so when I am replacing fat with muscle I both gain and grow. Which is why I think I don’t feel skinnier, but can still see a difference (which is what my goal was). I haven’t been around any bad foods accessible to me today, so it’s been a LOT better and a lot easier. Already half way through the 3 weeks!

Day 12: The weekend finally caught up to me, and felt super tired the whole day. We made dinner for our grow group (which I again didn’t eat, haha), and I taught my usual class before heading there. Today was much better. Feeling strong and lean.

Day 13: Did some cardio and strength training, and finished it up with some really great ab work. Had a lunch meeting at an Italian restaurant, but didn’t find it a problem to order grilled chicken and veggies with no cheese. The cravings are decreasing!

Day 14: This morning I taught a class, which started at 10a (my usual snack time). Since I was in class, I didn’t get to eat til an hour later, and felt like I could have hurt someone, hahaha. It’s crazy that when I first started I had a really hard time sticking to the 5 meals a day, and now my body expects and needs it! I took my weekly pic and compared it to my starting picture, and though I can’t tell a difference when I stand in front of a mirror, I can definitely tell in the picture. Weird how that works.

Most of what I see improved is my lower back. I’ve always worked pretty hard on my upper back, but the lower back is tricky because you can hurt yourself pretty easily if you don’t work it correctly (plus, we tend to work things we can see, and neglect what we can’t). Since I changed my eating and have been focusing on more oblique work and supermans, I’ve definitely toned up! I didn’t have much of “love handles” before, but I definitely don’t now. So cool! Also, my arms and legs are much thinner. At first I didn’t like that, because I looked stronger with more fat on my arms and legs. But the definition is there, and I’m getting used to it and liking it better.

Positives: Leaning up immensely, definitely feeling strong and encouraged by the progress. Super great for the motivation aspect. Structure is also really good for this busy body, so I’m learning how to juggle this eating plan with my crazy life (maybe I should slow down for a second?).
Negatives: If I have to be around it, food is a tough struggle to not give in to. It’s very enlightening how food has had such a stronghold on my life. I’m learning a lot about self control and how to not make other people feel awkward when I’m not eating with them (being honest here). I’ve had to truly pray about and balance how to stick with what I know is good for me without offending anyone else.

I’m letting you know upfront, Ryan and I are going to the Rodeo on Sunday, and I’m going to let myself eat a small portion of whatever it is we decide to get. We just realized Sunday is the last day until next year, and for those of you who aren’t Houstonians, the Rodeo is like our hillbilly version of Mardi Gras. It pretty much takes over Houston for a month, and there are people who hang out there all day long… some people go every night. It’s a big deal. They always come up with new foods and have competitions, and so this is the only time Ryan or I would ever eat fried cheesecake or chicken fried bacon. You feelin’ me?
I do realize this will push back my 6-pack goal, and I’m willing to take that hit. We’ve figured out that this eating plan is more than doable though, and we’re going to continue eating clean, though not quite as strict, when we finish up these 3 weeks. We’ll add back fruit, nuts, beans, and honey in moderation but pretty much everything else will stay the same.

Again, if you’re curious and want to give it a shot, just let me know and I’ll shoot you the link to our meal plans and recipes.

Hope you have a great weekend! We are going to help some friends move and get to hang out with their ridiculously adorable twin boys. Enjoy SPRING!!! Never know how long that will actually last here, haha.

julielle’s art show

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Have I ever mentioned that I have some of the most brilliant friends? This weekend was my dear friend, Julielle’s art show! She’s really fantastic and specializes in all sorts of mediums. This particular show was called “color studies” and featured some of the brightest and beautiful pieces! If you’re interested in commissioning her to do work, or want to purchase an already existing piece, you definitely should contact her. She is so sweet and wonderful to work with! Check out her site here. Also, the art will be up through this Saturday April 1st(!) for viewing, so you should go check it out! Vine Street Studios, 2nd floor.

Here are some of my favs from the show. And here is the link for the entire album.

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Art collage 1

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Thanks so much, Julielle, for letting me be part of your big day! Everything was so beautiful!

week 1 | clean eating

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We made it through week 1! I just want to say upfront that the biggest and most exciting surprise was my total when I checked out at the grocery store. Apparently, we snack on a lot of protein bars and fruit, and cutting both of those out cut my grocery bill in half! Like, so shocked. We’re still getting all natural/organic meats and veggies, and I’m even buying everything (carbs) gluten free, which I don’t usually do. All of our meals cost tops $2/meal. We are highly considering making this our new norm purely to save money!

If you missed what plan we’re on and talking about (what we are and aren’t eating), catch up here.

Here’s a little overview from each day last week:

Day 1: Didn’t have good protein powder, so ate my breakfast oatmeal without it, and a bit of cinnamon. Just being straight, it was not good. Barely finished it. All the “snacks” and lunch were delicious, and so was dinner. It’s strange because I felt so full towards the end of each meal, but not stuffed, and was STARVING about 5 mins before the next. Felt so much energy, and hit a wall about 7:30p, but purposely stayed up til 9p (daylight savings next day). Bodies are definitely needing some adjustment to the change. Ran this morning and felt really great.
I want to make known that Ryan cheated 5 times on day 1. I told him I was publicizing this, so don’t worry, I’m not outing him without his knowledge of it. He already gave in to honey, peanut butter, and several other things. I do have an advantage though, as I gave up processed sweets on Mar 1, so I went into this diet not even craving sweets, whereas he’s trying to cut out all of these things at once.

Day 2: Despite it being daylight savings time and losing an hour, woke up with so much energy. If you know me, you know I am absolutely not a morning person. In fact, it’s better for the whole world if the only person I speak to the first hour I’m awake is God. However, I woke up feeling very awake, ready to down a bottle of water, and was even joking around with Ryan (he picked up on this change from me right away). We both feel a million times better in general already, and our meals have been totally satisfying and enough (Ryan has been eating more than me, obviously, because he weighs a bit more than I do). I still crave fruit like crazy, but other than that, this almost seems like something we could do forever! Didn’t crash like the night before.
Ps. We had some good protein in our oatmeal this morning, which made that meal one of my favorites of the day. Soooo much better.
Feeling surprised that the water consumption hasn’t been hard at all to keep up with. I usually have a hard time drinking anything fast (or a lot of it), so that has been a pleasant surprise.

Day 3: Didn’t sleep very well through the night, mostly because I had to pee so much (sorry if that’s tmi). I doubled my water intake, so no joke, I’m going to the bathroom like every 45 mins. I slept very lightly, which isn’t normal for me, and woke up with a stuffy nose and feeling drowsy (somehow managed to throw coffee grinds on myself while making my morning cup o’ joe). The weather changes have also been really crazy, being 75 degrees one day and 45 the next, so that might have something to do with it, too. Oh, and daylight savings on Sunday. Why do we do that to ourselves?
The meals are still really good, and I’m getting used to eating 5 times a day. It’s really great to not have to think about what I’m going to eat when I’m getting hungry. Eliminates bad eating decisions. :)

Day 4: Pretty opposite of yesterday, woke up with soooo much energy! I slept all through the night, and even though I felt like my bladder was going to explode when I did wake up, I was glad to sleep soundly and get some solid rest. My energy has been through the roof today, and pushed myself in an afternoon class before I taught bootcamp. I almost felt like I downed 5 cups of coffee, except that energy lasted the entire day, and I never crashed. Was in a strangely great and optimistic mood (I’m generally a natural skeptic, and have to remind myself to not see all things through a critical eye). Wishing every day could feel like this one!

Day 5: Felt really clear headed and able to think straight. Ready to tackle the day. I again had a ton of energy, which lasted throughout the entire day. Tonight was our first real test of resisting temptation. We had a grow group gathering (church) and for dessert they had marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham crackers. And hot cocoa. And it smelled amazing. BUT, we ate before we got there and neither of us gave in. We sat and drank our water. :) If you know how much I love chocolate you know how big of a victory that was.

Day 6: Felt like today was one big meeting. I started out my day with a meeting, then went directly into another when I got back to the office that lasted til long after lunch time. I’m an introvert, so talking that much and discussing plans and strategies for that long wears this girl out. Was great throughout the day but kinda felt like a zombie when I came home. I think that was also because we’ve got a pretty full weekend ahead of us, and knowing there’s much to be done in preparation for it makes both Ryan and me tired, haha. We got to watch Ryan’s cousin in her middle school play this evening (see photo below!), and then came home and cleaned to get ready for my sis and bro-in-law to visit (coming in tomorrow!). We have my awesome artist friend’s art show tomorrow evening (that you should totally attend – check out her website too!), and more weekend fun to come! I’m excited to share all of it with you next week!
None of that had anything to do with the clean eating, but I wanted to share with you what’s happening in my life. :) As far as how I felt, I had great, high energy most of the day but then wanted to take a nap when I got home. I’m thinking that had more to do with feeling spent from meetings than the food though, as I gained a ton of energy after eating dinner.

DSC_0133 - Version 2Kallie is far left

Positives: Call me crazy, but I feel like my skin is getting softer. Even just applying my usual facial lotion in the morning feels different. Not complaining about that. Already noticing a change in my torso, too. I took a before pic and am taking a pic each week, and I’m pumped to see the progress. It’s definitely been an adventure already!
Negatives: The downside we’re discovering is that our diet and eating schedule are somewhat restricting. We have to eat at certain times, which is difficult for a busy day in many places. We also have a strict diet, which really limits meetings that usually happen over meals. Another reason why it’s good we’re only being this strict for 3 weeks.

Overall, it has been a great experience so far. Feeling like it’s definitely worth it, and looking forward to week 2!

If you are curious and want to take a look at my menu, I’m keeping a google docs folder of all my recipes and meal plans (mostly because I have a bad memory and need to remember what spices I use in the meals that taste good……. also, I’m a weirdo when it comes to organization and feel a need to keep everything in my life orderly). Let me know if you want the link!

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for an update from week #2 next weekend!

clean eating

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So remember in January when I set goals for this year? I didn’t post the list on this blog, but one of my half-hearted, kinda-maybe goals was to get my 6-pack back. The reason it’s half-hearted is because on one hand, I’d really love it back. That’s obvious. But on the other hand, the more important hand, I really love food. And I knew that if I were to be serious about that 6-pack it would be majority diet change, seeing how I already workout hard enough to have one if my food intake would match. So, I sat on it for a long time. But I recently decided to take it more seriously, and started by cutting out all sweets (added sugar). THEN, this happened.

One of our trainers at the gym, and dear friend of mine used to compete in fitness shows years back. She is to this day the most ripped female I know personally, and is super lean and healthy (she’s had 3 kids and still has a 6-pack… and would probably kill me for telling you that). :) I was talking to her yesterday about my half-hearted 6-pack goal, and she immediately asked me what I’ve been eating. She then gave me a fast track option, and slower track option, and basically told me that half the things I love I’m not allowed to eat anymore if I take the fast track, haha. But according to this super strict diet and my continued workout routine, I should be ripped in about 3-4 weeks. I can do that, right? :/

Here’s what I’ll be cutting out: red meats, yogurt, nuts, beans, dressings/condiments, starches/carbs that aren’t gluten free (and no carbs for dinner or later), protein bars, cereal, honey, and FRUIT (what, omg omg).

Here’s what I’ll be eating: lean meats (turkey, chicken), veggies, gluten free brown rice, sweet potatoes, gluten free oatmeal with cinnamon and a scoop of protein, salad, and doubling my water intake.

You can start praying for me now. Ryan is joining me like a champ. So you can pray for our marriage too. :)

That picture right there at the top are all of Ryan’s and my meals for the next week. We won’t be eating “snacks” but will instead be eating 5-6 small meals a day. And we will pretty much be eating the same thing over and over again, so we’re probably going to feel like we’re eating cardboard after a while. Yes, it’s boring and it’s extreme, but it’s 3 weeks. I already cut out sweets, so my thought process was, “Well, if I’m going to suffer anyway, may as well make it miserable.” Have I lost my mind? Probably.

We’ll keep you updated with how we feel. The part I’m most excited about is figuring out how different foods affect me and have been affecting me for a long time and I didn’t even realize it. The greatest part of all of this is knowing that I won’t regret it, even if it is miserable and boring. PS. I’m not doing this for Lent, in case anyone was wondering. I’m doing this purely because I want to lean out, and I kind of think it’s a cop-out to have a goal that has nothing to do with meditating on Christ and slap “Lent” on it to make myself feel better or help me along. I’ve got something totally different for Lent. :)

 

What’s the one thing on your goals list you’ve been putting off because you’re only half-heartedly into it? Start now! You won’t be the only one struggling through! If you need some support, don’t for a second hesitate to share with me! We can push through our goals together. :)

lent

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.

That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.

(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

 

This Wednesday (3/5) marks the beginning of Lent. I always look forward to this season, as in recent years I have cherished Lent more closely than years past. For me, it’s not just the taking away of something I hold dear to me, it’s more about the intentional time spent meditating on Christ and His work on this earth. Just like any relationship, the more I invest, the better I know Him, and the greater my love grows for Him. After 40 days of focusing my attention on Christ’s life as a man, I’m moved so much more deeply when the anniversary of His death draws closer. This is only followed by joy almost too great to contain when we get to celebrate His defeat of death on Easter Sunday. This is truly the greatest, most redeeming moment for those who put their trust in our Lord.

Ryan asked me tonight to be reflecting on things in my life, whether tangible or not, that are hindering my love for Christ and spending quality time with Him. It’s already easy for me to pinpoint some things, but we are taking the next few days to really pray about this season of Lent, and work through putting those things aside for a time in order to admire who Jesus is more deeply.

We’re also reading through this book (started today) and will finish right around Easter. If you don’t have a Lent read, I encourage you to pick this one up. Each day is only about 2 pages long, and helps to reflect on Christ’s purpose and design in His death.

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I’ll leave you with the same question the hubs asked me. What in your life, tangible or not, is hindering your love for Christ? What takes the place of quality time spent with Him? Where do you go to, or what do you do to distract, get away, cope, or ignore stuff you don’t like? My challenge to you is to trust Christ with those things, and give them to Him this Lent season. Force yourself to rely on Him, and ask Him to be enough for you. Ask Him to speak to you clearly, and that you’d be receptive to what He has to say. I’m excited to see where He brings us on this journey with Him.

lil men

Today I had sooo much fun shooting some photos of some friends’ adorable twins. Josh and Jamie are some of my favorites, and their boys are so cute, I almost can’t stand it. Here’s a little sneak peak of our fun from today.

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Absolutely love this family. Jamie is also a blogger, and you can find her here and stay updated with her and her kiddos. Thanks so much, Jamie, for letting me hang out with your family today!