Day 10 and the after

With all of the holiday brew ha ha I completely forgot to post about my final day. It was pretty uneventful. I ate a spinach and cheese omelette for breakfast. 

C wasn’t feeling well so meh didn’t eat today. I’m pretty sure I ate leftovers for lunch and for dinner I made spinach with cream cheese and lemon juice with a blue cheese and butter sweet potato. It was a pretty light weight and really inexpensive day.  

So here is the big question: did I get anything out of this and was it all worth it?  I think it was. It’s hard with the holidays but I think I am going to try to maintain a similar but less strict diet one December is over. It made me feel better. I’m not sure if it was the control I had over my diet or the fact that I cut out m sugar and processed flour, but I definitely had a happier prospective on life.

I also feel like it was too easy of a challenge. I think once one of us is back to work and we aren’t worrying about money as much I will do a much stricter cleanse. Something that makes me feel like I am actually sacrificing. We will see. 

As for me I would say this was a complete success!  

Day 9- the home stretch

There wasnt work for C today and Adin was sick so we had a late breakfast. I made eggs and toast for C and the kids for breakfast today. I didn’t have toast of course, I had plain yogurt with raspberries and honey. It was delicious and very filling. 

Raspberries $2

Plain yogurt $1

It’s been really cold here and with C being sick I have been in charge of keeping the wood burning stove running.  This means that along with waking 3 times a night to feed the baby I’m also running downstairs to put more wood on the fire. It’s worked well though. We have gotten through 2 nights of freezing temperatures. 

I’m still in a great mood today too. My brain seems to be working better. Instead of jumping to instantly yelling at the kids I am thinking of more productive ways of handling them first, which is helping them to behave better. 

I wasn’t very hungry after breakfast so I snacked on pistachios and drank coffee while at the coffee shop preparing my pink Saturday sale for my business. 

Pistachios ($13, we bought a massive bag that had been mislabeled by the store as “whole cashews”) 

C was feeling a little better so he made us chili for dinner. It was really hard finding a chili powder mix that didn’t have silicon dioxide in it, but astonishingly enough I found one. I ate a big bowl of chili, C even used both braised stew meat with the ground beef. It was delicious. 

Chili powder $1

Ground beef $8 (cut into 3 1lb portions)

Stew beef (free from the freezer)

Beans $4

Tomato paste $1

Total $30, with snacks and dinner for another night 

Day 8- almost done!!

Day 8- Sunday. 

I am loving life right now. It’s been a long time since I have felt like this. I haven’t even had coffee since Friday. C is starting to not mind the annoyance of it. He is happy to have his wife back. 

I made a family size whole wheat mixed berry upside-down pancake. One of my favorite breakfasts. I have made them before with bananas, or just blackberries, or strawberries. It’s amazing you cook the fruit with butter in a cast iron skillet. When the fruit is soft enough add the pancake batter. Bake at 350 for about 15 min. It’s delicious. We eat it with maple syrup.

Berries : $5

For lunch the baby and I shared a can of tuna made with a drop of lemon juice, dill, and cream cheese. It was a lot better than the last tuna fail. It was really good this time. We are the whole thing. 

Tuna: $1.50

Cream cheese: $1.50

I made pizza for dinner. Whole wheat dough, homemade sauce, and mozzarella. It was delicious and one of the kids’s favorites.  The 2 year old calls it “zha zha”. C made more Cesar salad to go with it. This time we bought the fresh (not packaged) romaine. It was cheaper, bigger, and tasted better. Once again I had him add the croutons after I took my portion. I was very happy with dinner. 

Cheese $5

Romaine: $1

Croutons: $4

Total: $18

The cleanse: day 6 & 7

It’s been a long and busy weekend. But the the main theme of this weekend is “and there it is!!”

Midway through the day on Friday I hit my reason for doing this cleanse. I was at lunch with a friend and I was stopped bring so angry. I couldn’t remember why i was angry anymore. 

So rewind to Thursday evening/Friday morning. A night Chris and I once again didn’t sleep at all. The 2 year old was up all night throwing up. Than woke at her normal time like nothing ever happened. She was her normal self. I was a zombie, which typically doesn’t make for a happy day, for anyone. 

I had leftover eggplant for breakfast, because there wasn’t enough for more than one person and I hate to waste food. 

I had been invited out to lunch with a close friend of mine. We ate at Harvest Cafe. The second time this week. It’s easy to eat there because of this:  

 
I had the egg salad again. It was delicious, again. I also had a soup. I think it was carrot and ginger bisque. Regardless it was absolutely delicious, and the baby really enjoyed it too. He ate half of it. 

Then came the hard part. I had my book club. Thankfully most people in my book club like to make their own food. I brought curried chicken salad so just in case i knew I could eat something. I also had lamb balls (balls of lamb and beef), baba ganoush, feta, and wine. It was an amazing evening of girl talk, book talk, and fun. I also had to miss out on this:  

 
But that’s ok because despite having to miss out on such a beautiful dessert I feel amazing. I have so much energy. I am so happy. I have found myself laughing at my husband’s silly jokes, I’m not screaming at my kids, and I survived Saturday. Saturday: The day of the full blown poops. I guess I caught whatever my daughter had. 

I made homemade hash browns with onions and cheese for breakfast and spent the rest of the day in the bathroom. My friend made me some peppermint tea which really helped my stomach to stop hurting but it didn’t help the other situation. C made hotdogs for him and the kids for dinner. I ate the small amount of chicken salad that was left over. 

Total for Friday and Saturday:

Chicken breast: $9

Raisins $2

Organic potatoes: $4

Cheese $2

Total: $15. Not bad. 

The cleanse day 5

Halfway there!  I’m really enjoying this (although I am finding myself to be a pain in the ass to others). 

I’m also finding that it’s a bit easier than I remember it being. I think it’s because the only thing that I really had to cut out was sugar and white flour and be more strict on packaged foods but I don’t normally eat packaged foods.  

Breakfast was boring again. I heated up the leftover pancakes and made some eggs to go with them. The whole thing was totally free. 

We have bible study on Thursdays in Louisville. I always treat the kids and I to an inexpensive lunch at Earth Fare. I made myself a salad (with simple organic salad dressing!!!  I was so excited) and bought the kids a kids grilled cheese with veggies and hummus. The whole thing was $9. 

I snacked on cheese and black beans when we got home. Black beans are so versatile. They can be a snack, main dish, or a side. I like to have black beans on hand all the time, just in case. 

Dinner  was one of my favorites. Curry eggplant. It’s made almost completely with vegetables from our garden. The only things missing are

plain yogurt ($1)
curry powder ($3)
and brown rice ($3) 

Total: $7 (plus $9 eating out). Pretty good I would say!  

The reason I need a cleanse

This isn’t a post I have been wanting to make. But I know that I need to so that you all understand why I feel I need to go through this cleanse. Especially since I have my husband asking me why am cleansing right before the Thanksgiving and my friends asking why am cleansing before other big events with food. 

This is an issue that I haven’t spoken to have for almost 4 years now. It’s the reason I feel like I need some sort of control in my life the moment. It all goes back to right after the birth of my first child who is now five.

My son was born with a brain injury. He lost oxygen during birth and was in the NICU for 30 days. The first two weeks was him recovering. And the second two weeks was just waiting for him to be able to eat on his own. He was able to take a bottle he just wasn’t eating what they thought he should be eating.When we finally took him home it was with a G tube (despite the face that we didn’t want him to have one). I was bound and determined to get him to eat on his own.  I was pumping every 2 to 3 hours. I fed him every two hours from a bottle. I fought tooth and nail to get his G-tube removed. 

I became obsessed with his feeding. I knew at any point in time when was last time he ate how much he ate and when he needed to eat next. I thought about it constantly. I had doctors telling me he was close to failure to thrive. I supplemented with formula, with goats milk, and when he was six months old I started feeding him baby food with butter. He continued to not gain enough weight. (Later after joining an online support group I discovered that there was a growth chart for children with CP. While he was failure to thrive on all normal growth charts he was in the 50th percentile for CP kids).  For almost a year I obsessed about his eating and his weight. After two months he had his G-tube removed, at six months he was starting to eat baby food, and at a year the doctors finally left me alone. he now eats just about anything that any other kid eats. This obsession though was very unhealthy for me. So much so that I chose to seek help. I was having panic attacks before doctors appointments. I was stressing constantly.  I even had to pullover to the side of the road and cry for 10 minutes in order to go on.

So what does that have to do with me now five years later? A couple of friends a few weeks ago decided to take it upon themselves to have a “intervention” with me over baby O’s weight.  Now granted he was a little underweight, which I knew I was already and was working to correct the problem.  the way in which they went about addressing the situation was very unhealthy for me. I told them I was stressed, I asked them to stop, but they continue to press on. I didn’t realize how unhealthy it was for me until a week ago when I had a complete meltdown him over the baby not wanting to nurse. I realized that I had been showing signs of PTSD ever sense the intervention. And I had become as obsessed with the baby’s eating habits as I was with my oldest child. I was having trouble functioning on a normal level especially with my family. I decided I needed something to feel better about myself. I have been wanting to redo this cleanse for a while and realize I had to do something now to resolve the situation. I am also seeking the help of a professional again, but this is something that I am doing for me right now, and it feels good. 

The cleanse: daaaaaay 4

It’s not as bad as it was the last time I cleansed, because I already had mostly cut them out, but omg am I craving white bread and sugar. If I can get through the next 24-48 hours I’ll be home free. 

Another issue you have to get used to is portion sizes. Whole Foods fill you up faster and you stay full longer.  I’m used to eating at least two fairly large meals a day but now I find that I’m not hungry during the day much.  as long as I eat a nice size breakfast I can basically have two snacks and two small meals and I’m good the rest of the day.  

Breakfast:

I decided to break up the monotony of eggs for breakfast by indulging in whole wheat honey banana pancakes with maple syrup. My 2 year old was SUPER excited about this. 

All that I was missing for this was:

Honey (free, but if you aren’t fortunate enough to have your own hive I recommend buying a jar of local honey from a farmers market)

Banana ($1.50 for a bushel) 

Maple syrup ($8)

For lunch I took my kids to a local cafe. My 5 year old has 3 hours of therapy for his cp on Wednesdays. There is a local café that also does pay what you can Wednesdays so I can feed me and my kids for about the same as I would spend on crappy meals at like McDonald’s.  It’s a win-win.  Plus they specialize in natural whole foods sonindont have to worry about not being able to eat anything.  I had chicken salad in lettuce. Total : less than $10 for me and the kids. 

Dinner i let my husband make dinner for us. He is a really good cook but after 30 minutes in the grocery store was getting a bit frustrated at me over my inability to eat any salad dressing. We finally decided I would make it. We had the second nights worth of steak, sweet potatoes with blue cheese butter, and a Caesar salad (sans croutons for me). I requested we not have large amounts of meat for a little while. It’s a bit too much for me. As for the dinner We were short:

Anchovy paste ($3)

Lettuce ($3)

Croutons ($3) 

Total: $18.50 (plus less than $10 for lunch). Plus we have maple syrup and bananas for later. 

The cleanse: day 3

Day 3 is much harder. I’m starting to hit the brick wall of “There is nothing I can eat that I want”. 

Breakfast:

2 cheese and egg whole wheat breakfast burritos. 

Then I had to take my 5 year old to the doctors which ended up taking almost all day and of course I brought snacks for the kids but not myself. I didn’t get back home to eat until after 3. I was a bit cranky to say the least. 

Lunch:

Tuna salad with walnuts (I thought I wanted tuna salad until I was eating it, very disappointing.) 

Snacks:

Buttered popcorn from the day before. Slice of Brie

Dinner:

C spoiled me with dinner. He made steak with blue cheese butter and sweet potatoes. Totally made my night, especially with how dissapointed I was with lunch. 

Today’s grocery list:

Tuna ($2.50)

Mayo (free, I make it myself with ingredients already on this weeks grocery list) 

Bulk raw Walnuts ($4)

Steak ($13, it was in super sale and there was enough for 2 nights worth)

Sweet potatoes ($5)

Blue cheese ($4)

Shallot ($.50)

Total: $29 and still a bunch of stuff we can use for later meals (sweet potatoes, blue cheese, walnuts)

I think the rest of the night I will be working on tomorrow’s meal plan so we don’t have another tuna incident. 

The cleanse: day 2

I started the day with a big breakfast (after almost cheating on the first day). I had a craving for a snack last night and almost grabbed a handful of Cs pirate booty. Instead I had some raisins. Today I am going to make Parmesan and butter popcorn to have to snack on when I need it. The challenge there will be to not eat it all in one sitting. 

Anyway!  The big breakfast.  I wake up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 everyday (depending on Cs schedule). I get up, make him breakfast and lunch, get the kids ready, take my kindergartener to school, then come home and make breakfast for me and the two littles. 

Today was:

2 Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, a homemade whole wheat tortilla with Brie, and a plain Greek yogurt. Coffee and my lactation tea. 

It was delicious and mostly free

Lunch is usually small with a snack in between breakfast and lunch and another between lunch and dinner.   

Lunch:

Zucchini fritters with sour cream and Parmesan. 

Snacks:

Raisins, Parmesan and butter popcorn

Dinner: fajitas with black beans 

Grocery list for the day:

Pasture raised eggs (free, the joy of having chickens)

Hormone free Cheddar cheese ($4)

Tortilla (whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, water, olive oil) ($8 for the olive oil) 

Brie ($3.50 in the sale bin)

Plain Greek yogurt ($1)

Zucchini (free)

All natural Sour cream ($1.50)

Raisins ($2) 

Popcorn ($4) 

Steak for fajitas ($17.50, but it’s 2 large strip steaks that I cut into 4 meals worth of steak fajitas)

Bell peppers ($2.50)

Can of black beans ($1)

Total: $45 with 3 frozen fajita meals, popcorn, Brie, raisins, sour cream, and oil I can use for later. I call that a win! 

The cleanse: day 1

I need to feel like I have more control over my life. I’ve been progressing into a downward spiral of depression and self doubt (which will be a later post). I have been telling C that once we get approved for food stamps I will start my 10 day cleanse. We have had them since the 9th so it’s official:
3pm today started my official food cleanse.
Here are 3 truths about my food cleanse

1) it’s not really a cleanse, I mean it is, but it’s not. I am cutting out all processed foods for 10 days, which basically means I am cutting down on breads and the breads I am eating are ones I make out of whole wheat flour, absolutely no sugar, and only expeller pressed oils. Also no more splurging on junk foods or fast food restaurants. 

2) even though I say this is to “feel like I have more control over my life” it’s in no way an eating disorder. I have been looking forward to this cleanse for a while and I’m excited to get started. Also I’m not dedicated enough to ever have an eating disorder. My goal is to make it 10 days. The last time I did this I had more energy, felt so much better, and lost weight. I am looking forward to all these things.

3) for those of you who are worried about me because I am breastfeeding, don’t. This is so much better for me and the baby. You will see why as we continue on with this. 

So here are the rules: everything I eat must be able to be purchased at a grocery store or farm and not created in a lab. This includes all ingredients in every packaged food. All wheat must be whole wheat. No sugar, only honey and maple syrup, and only expeller pressed oils or butter. 

Here is the menu for tonight :

Whole wheat beef and mushroom hobbit hand pies. 

Broccoli and onion sautéed in lemon dill butter. 

I made enough hand pies to freeze another meals worth. Her is the grocery list for today:

1.5 sticks butter ($3.50 for a lb of butter)

Mushrooms ($4)

Spices I already had (salt, pepper, paprika, dill, thyme) ($0)

Whole wheat pastry flour ($5)

Onion ($3 for a bag)

Garlic ($.50)

Organic lemon juice ($7.50 for a large jar, we use lemon juice a lot)

Broccoli ($2 or so) 

Total $23.50 plus whole wheat flour, butter, onions, mushrooms, and lemon juice we have for later meals. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s meals!