Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daniel Fast - review and new goals

In my last posts, I wrote about doing the Daniel Fast. Let me just say, the first day was a little difficult, but after some recipe searches and a little planning, it got easier.
In 10 days, I lost 8 pounds! I would have lost more if I was exercising regularly and if I didn't allow myself to "cheat".
During the week of my Fast, we had company in from out of town and my hubby took some time off so that we could play. On the days we packed our our food, I just packed my foods and some extra fruit. On the days that we ate out, I allowed myself to eat what I would have before the Fast. I mean, let's face it, who can go to Fuddrucker's and not eat a cheeseburger? It would take a stronger woman than me!!
I would like to eat more like the Daniel Fast food list. I already do a lot of cooking from scratch and we eat mostly "real food" around here. I think the biggest obstacles for me are cheese and bread!
So next week, I am going to modify the Daniel Fast for me -and yes, I know the point of the Daniel Fast is not weight loss, but a spiritual journey. However, I am using it as a guideline to help me meet some of my fitness / weight loss goals.
Here are the "rules" I am giving myself:
1. Eat at least two meals a day that adhere to the Daniel Fast food guidelines ( for those of you who commented to me that I was severely limiting my food intake - think of this as a vegan diet).
2. I will workout at least 30 minutes a day and change it up!
3. I will cut back on the soda - oh my bubbles!
4. I will try my best to be in bed by 11pm every night.

I think these goals are totally doable. My life is about to get even crazier as all three children prepare to go back to school - my baby is starting kindergarten! Girl Scouts is starting back up and I am either going back to work outside the house or going back to school. Add that to all the various homemaking duties, personal goals and all the other stuff a Mom has to do and my plate is very full! As long as its full of the good stuff, I think I will be okay. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Daniel Fast - Day 1

In an effort to "be prepared" - I stocked up on lots of summer produce. The biggest obstacle in this new eating plan is making sure my children get their fill of their favorite fruits and still leaving me enough to eat!
All three children had a dentist appointment this morning, so for a quick breakfast on the go, I grabbed a banana. I normally don't eat in the morning, so for me - this was huge! Calorie count = 105
At about 10 am, the kids were clamoring for a snack and I was noticing some stomach noises coming from me! So I made a plate of celery sticks with natural peanut butter (peanuts & salt, no sugar!) (112 calories), a handful of cherries (74 calories) and an apricot (17 calories). Calorie count = 203
In the afternoon, I had 6 oz of fresh raspberries. Calorie Count = 64 calories
For dinner, I ate a cup of brown rice and lentils (224 calories), roasted corn on the cob (77 calories), roasted veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, onions, mushrooms = 162 calories). Total Calorie Count = 463
Total Calories for the Day = 835
I have been drinking nothing but ice water and lost count of how much I drank after I hit 96 oz. According to my reading, for my weight I should be drinking 117 oz a day. I think I accomplished that today.
The calorie count seems really low, but I based it on averages provided by a few different online calorie counters. I haven't really been hungry. That worries me a bit as I don't know what the coming days will bring.

Weight Loss Goal

One of my resolutions this year was to finally lose all the "baby weight" I have been carrying around. My youngest son will be 6 in September, so I can no longer use the excuse that "I just had a baby"!
My best friend and I are the same height, same build and have the same goal weight. We decided to embark on an interstate weight loss project. To date, she is kicking my fanny. BIG TIME!!!!
I have 80 pounds to lose. 8-0!! That is a huge number. It seems really overwhelming so I am focusing on the first ten pounds. When those are gone, I'll take another babystep.
I am the type of person that needs that jumpstart.
Today I am starting the Daniel Fast. This eating plan is based on the story of Daniel and his refusal to eat meats, wine and other "pleasant foods"during 21 days. It is a plant based diet. So lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains, beans and WATER!!!
So I hope to chronicle my experience with this fast / diet. I am also going to re-commit to getting up before my family is moving in the morning and have some quiet time for me!
Obviously, weight loss is about so much more than just food. You need to move too. So I convinced one of the "other Jennifers" to get a membership to my gym and we are going to work out together. I just need to get there!!

Mid Year Ramblings

2010 has not been the year I had hoped it would be.
In January, I turned 33 and did not have a light bulb moment. I had hoped that by this age, my path would be clearer or at least more defined. As it turns out, the twists and turns on this journey are still as confusing as they ever were.
In March, my oldest turned 9. NINE!!! When did that happen and why? She has grown into such an interesting person that sometimes I wonder where she came from and how she became MY daughter.
In March, I also lost my Grandmother. She suffered from COPD as well as some other health issues. She declined pretty rapidly in the last few years, but you are never prepared to hear the news that a loved one is gone.
In June, my husband lost his Grandmother. As a family, we lived with her (and my in-laws) for three years before she moved back to Chicago to live with her other daughter. I feel so blessed to have spent that time with her. It wasn't always fun, but I am glad that she got to know me and my children.
So far this year, in addition to the losses, we have had financial trouble (hasn't everyone?), plumbing issues, appliances break, car trouble, you name it! It seems like as soon as one crisis passes, another one erupts taking its place.
Unfortunately, my story isn't unique. We all have issues in life that we must deal with. To often, the people around me think I am a dumping ground and use me to vent their frustrations with life. Yes, your life is horrible. Oh, that is terrible. All the platitudes they want to hear to be justified in winning "My Life Sucks Worse Than Yours" title.
Guess what, I am taking myself out of the running for that title. I don't want it. Yes, I have challenges. Yes, I am extremely busy. Yes, I have three children and a husband and a house to run. Yes, I volunteer crazy hours. Yes, money is tight. Yes, my family all lives 2,000+ miles away and I have little support from the ones who live 20 miles away. So what? I deal and life goes on.
"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure" - Peter Marshall

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Gratitude - The state of being grateful; thankfulness.
It is so important to be grateful and content with your gifts in life. Especially now with all of the horrible images and stories coming from places like Haiti where people have lost EVERYTHING.
Even though things could be SO MUCH worse on a personal level, I have many friends who are so negative about their lot in life right now. I must admit, I have been slipping into that trap more and more lately, and quite frankly, it makes me mad!
So I am playing Pollyanna and twisting my complaints into something useful and GRATEFUL!
*Laundry is a thankless, never ending chore.
Having clothes to wear and to wash is a blessing. My children are clothed and I don't need to haul my supplies to a laundromat or worse to a river to beat them against rocks to keep them clean!

*I am so tired of having to come up with a menu and cook everyday.
There are people in the world who don't have the luxury of variety in their diet or food at all. I am thankful that I have 5 grocery stores within 2 miles of my home where I can shop for our supplies. Our budget may not be large, but we are able to keep our children fed. Cooking is one of my creative outlets and I ENJOY using my talents to feed my family.

*I wish my husband didn't work such long, weird hours.
My husband has a job and most days he really enjoys what he does for a living!

*My kids drive me crazy!
Some women never know the joy of bearing or raising children of their own. I am blessed to have had three healthy pregnancies and three healthy, strong children.

*My house is too small for five people. I HAVE to decorate it on a budget. My furniture is OLD! Nothing matches! Whaaaaa!
We have a roof over our heads. Our house is small, but do we really need more space to fill with junk or clean? Our family is forced to spend lots of time together because there is little space for privacy, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing! :) I enjoy finding bargains and take pride in knowing that the china cabinet you admire so much in my dining room was a thrift store find that actually dates back to the Civil War! Every bit of furniture and decor has a history and I like that. My house will never be in a magazine or a catalog and that's okay! A real family lives here.

So what things can you turn from complaints into blessings?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tomorrow is always fresh

What is it about a New Year that makes people want to completely change their lives or circumstances? Its something as simple as seeing a fresh clean calendar page, writing in a new diary, coming up for air after the holidays to find that we are all still here!
I love the writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery and was introduced to the Anne of Green Gable series when I was around ten. I felt that Anne was a kindred spirit and I connected with her troubles and tenacity through every scrape and mistake. She was just like me in so many ways! But the one thing that always spoke to me was Anne's favorite saying, "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it".
I am jumping on the band-wagon and joining Anne with her approach to life! I worry far too much about things I have no control over. And if I make a mistake, there is always tomorrow!

Its Time

Its time to use this blog for what I set it up for. To stay in touch with my friends and family across the country. To have a space to write and process things in my life. To meet other people who share the same thoughts or to start a dialogue at the very least.