Saturday, January 21, 2012

What's in a Name?

I'm linking up with Create With Joy for Friendship Friday (yeah, I know I'm a little late...)

So the question this week is: What inspired your Blog name?

Over the past 6 years, I have found myself remarking that my house feels like a circus: 2 dogs, 2 boys, and all the crazy that entails. At one point I surmised that although I view myself as the Ringmaster of this crazy and completely in control of the show, I am more likely just a Clown included for the comedic factor.

So when I decided to start a blog back in August, it was only natural to go with my circus thoughts :)

How about your blog name?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Flexitarian Wannabe

Flexitarian = one who chooses to mainly follow a vegetarian diet, however still enjoys the occasional meat item.

I have discovered that I am a Flexitarian.

Flexitarians are often called "Vegetarian wannabe's," as if we don't have the self-discipline to not eat meat. That has nothing to with it. I just really enjoy a good burger or pork BBQ :)

I have family members and friends who have dabbled at being Vegetarian as well as being Vegan, but I never quite got into it. I mean, why substitute tofu and still call it "Egg Salad?" I love food and I will try anything you put in front of me, but call it what it is! I am disappointed when I am expecting the texture of one food item and instead get an entirely different texture!!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy tofu and many other vegetarian meatless products. The difference is telling me I am eating "veggie crumbles" versus allowing me to believe (or telling me) that it is meat. My husband has recently informed me he is willing to try meatless items... of course, I don't always tell him what he is eating before the first bite :)

I am still struggling to cook vegetarian meals. Simply substituting meatless items into meals does not quite cut it. And I know there are millions of recipes our there that are meatless without being a "substitution." So I will keep searching and trying. I have a few cookbooks I've picked up and a few blogs I have started to follow to get some ideas.

I have discovered that on the days I do not eat meat products, my body feels better in general. I think the most I have gone is 5 days without any type of meat. WOW what a difference in my overall well-being!!

On a side topic, after reading many blog posts about a product called "Kombucha," I decided to try it. I did some research online to find out what it is. The info is intriguing, so I bought a bottle yesterday to try it out. Here's the timeline:

  1. Purchased the bottle at the grocery store. Opened it in the car on the way to the next store. Took 2 drinks... um, ew. I know this is supposed to be good for your body, but, seriously?!?
  2. Went to another store. Took 2 drinks on the way to the next store. Tastes slightly better. Maybe it has numbed my taste buds.
  3. Went to the third store. Took a few more drinks on the way home. Not too shabby. Either my taste buds have left my mouth, or Kombucha is an "acquired" taste.
  4. Finished half of the bottle and placed the rest in the fridge for the next day... there is only so much my taste buds can handle in one day :)
I intend to finish the bottle today. Perhaps I just selected the wrong flavor to start with. if any of you have a good suggestion for my next bottle, I would love to hear it!

I finished the bottle of Kombucha and it was definitely better tasting once my taste buds had adjusted. I think I will buy a different flavor next weekend and keep the experiment going.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The UnDiet

It is the time of year where almost everyone is posting resolutions, and just about every set of resolutions has something about losing weight or getting fit. Not mine. (Of course, I don't set "resolutions"... see my last post).

Yeah, I used to be part of that crowd: trying different diets, shelling out the cash for fitness programs, and just hoping to figure out the mystery of the "skinny people."

There is no mystery.

The summer after I graduated college, I bought a health book that actually seemed to work. I did not own a scale, however I could feel the difference. Looking back now, I realize it was not the book itself but what the book was guiding me to do: eat unlimited fruits & vegetables and eat certain types of foods at the correct time of day for that food. Also, I was pushing myself to run or jog almost every day that summer... that was not in the book, although exercise was mentioned.

Fast forward to the year before my first pregnancy. I vowed to get back in shape prior to getting pregnant. I met with a trainer and a nutritionist at the gym where I had a membership. I LOVED the trainer!! He really listened to my fitness goals & what I like to do at the gym and tailored a plan that I wanted to do. I still see him occasionally around town; I'm sure he doesn't remember my name but he always recognizes me and stops to chat. The nutritionist mostly listened to me and created a meal plan that was pretty good (I don't like rice, sheesh), however she did not include chocolate.

Now there are many things I have cut out of my life in the spirit of "good health," but some things are REQUIRED to stay. Chocolate. Coffee. Wine. Seriously.

I followed the meal plan anyway, although I did have 2 pieces of chocolate every afternoon :) Between the training and the meals, I reached my goals.

Then I got pregnant. Then I gained 60 pounds, including the baby. And when 2 weeks after the baby was born I still had 40 pounds to lose (you mean to tell me they aren't born at the weight of a 3-year-old?), I pulled out the good ol' meal plan. I tried it for a couple of weeks and decided that I do not like to be told what not to eat.

I remembered the fruits & veggies book, but couldn't find it on my shelves or remember what it was called. So I got an app for my phone (Old School: Palm Treo... yeah, baby!) and decided to just log my food, count the calories, do physical activity, and WANT it to work. Oh, and my work was doing a "Biggest Loser"-type contest so I joined in that fun bit of motivation. I won the contest and 14 months after the baby was born, I was back to being me.

Whenever I feel that I am physically not at my best, I go back to eating more fruits & veggies, and try to squeeze in more activities. The second pregnancy was better: I only gained 40 pounds total and lost them all in 7 months. No, my body is definitely not what it used to be (Is THAT my belly? MY boobs look like that?!?), but I am healthy and happy and definitely not food deprived.

I do not claim that what works for me will work for anyone else. I listen to my body and figure out what I need, and that usually works. Although your needs may be different, I bet if you listen you can figure it out.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Look Ahead to 2012

Happy New Year!

Things that will be occurring in the Circus this year:

*CTM will be 6 years old in 5 more days!

*IGM will be 3 years old in May.

*I will complete my 10th year of teaching music in public schools in June.

*BWM and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage in July.

*I will continue to find more ways to "green" our life.

*I will continue to add more spirituality to my daily life.

*I will keep striving to remember "me" in my daily life, while taking care of my family and my career.