Healthy Living in 2020

Nutritional Health: So Many Documentaries, So Little Time

In my quest to live a healthier life, I am feeling overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information that is out there on different ways of eating. What’s better…what’s best…Who knows? But, let’s face it. Anything that includes vegetables and is the exact opposite of how I ate and drank in November and December has to be an improvement.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that one of the food documentaries out there that changed my life was That Sugar Film. There are now two more documentaries on my must-see list that I learned about today at work. One is The Game Changers about athletes that gave up meat to eat a strictly plant based diet and how that turned their bodies into machines. I’m also interested in the medical science behind it and especially the measurable health results that came with changing the way they ate. I personally don’t see me giving up meat entirely but I have to admit that I’m curious – and I’m open. Watch the trailer below:

The other one I want to see is called The Magic Pill. This is a documentary that discusses the detriments of sugar and carbohydrates in our diets and embraces healthy fats as a source of fuel. It follows a variety of people suffering from conditions and illnesses that were significantly altered or completely changed by a shift in the way they eat. Some of the conditions/illnesses it focuses on are people who have coronary artery disease, asthma, type II diabetes, epilepsy, autism, high cholesterol, and cancer. This one has now become the top on my watch list. Check out the trailer and join me if you feel called to. I’d love to have a discussion about it.

It can be so easy to get gobbled up in all the information out there but I’m a research junkie so I like to learn as much as I can and I love the science behind nutrition — a new love of mine but a love all the same.

For now, I’m trying to eliminate and/or severely cut back on refined sugar, grains, and processed foods. I am already a firm believer in consuming healthy fats. My favorite food in the entire world is avocado and so being able to eat an avocado a day delights me.

I struggle the most on the weekends. My weeks are so planned out that it’s easy. My wife and I have always packed a lunch because we just feel it makes little financial sense to blow money getting lunch out every day. Two of us ordering lunch out every day of the workweek at a minimum would be $20.00 a day (and that’s if we stick to fast food). $20.00 x five days a week is $100 a week. That’s $400-$500 a month on eating ONE meal out a day. That’s not including breakfast, dinner, snacks…oh and then there’s feeding that cute, little, and growing human who lives with us. It doesn’t make sense for our family.

So, Monday through Friday, we do well as we pack breakfast, lunch, and snacks. It’s controlled and it’s all healthy. Breakfast might be a keto egg casserole filled with veggies, ground flaxseed, and half an avocado. This week, it’s a piece of 7 grain sprouted bread with half an avocado mashed on top and a sliced hard-boiled egg on top with a side of cherry tomatoes. Lunch is typically 6 oz of protein and veggies and the other half of the morning’s avocado.

Snacks are plain greek yogurt with blueberries and cinnamon, celery with nut butter, raw veggies, turkey and cheese roll-ups, and almonds. Dinner is also usually well planned with 6 oz of protein, a steamed or roasted veggie (roasted with olive or avocado oil), and half a sweet potato. We are eliminating evening snacking and we indulge in our favorite red wine once a week only.

On top of this, we are trying EXTRA hard to drink more than the suggested water intake. To make this challenge a little more fun, my wife surprised me with this amazing water bottle. It tells you where you should be at certain times of the day to help you reach your water goal by 6:00 PM. When you drink two of them, you’ve reached your suggested water intake for the day. It says “Oh For Fox Sake, Drink Your Effing Water”….and it is just the sort of thing that makes me smile when I’m getting that water in for the day. I try to average 3-4 of these babies.

But, those pesky weekends are what get in the way. We’re out having fun, running errands, and sometimes spending an entire day at Disney. Not only does it become tougher to stay on track with all the distractions, but it feels like a giant inconvenience to have to stop and think about food when we want to go, go, GO as we chase adventure and create memories. We are trying to be better planners when it comes to this while also acknowledging that life happens!

For example, this past Saturday was my wife’s birthday. Typically, there’d be a whole cake or a dozen cupcakes in the house to celebrate. This time, though, we let our daughter pick out a cupcake from Fresh Market and the three of us shared one cupcake rather than having our own followed by two or more additional days that also included the leftover cake or extra cupcakes.

I would love to lose the 20 pounds I’ve put on over the course of last year but right now, I’m focused on what fuels my body to work and feel its best and so far, that has been an absence of refined sugar in my life. My joints are already thanking me, my stomach fat is dwindling (slowly but surely), and I’m down 5 lbs which is an added bonus. At this point in my life, I care more about how my clothes fit and that my knees and other joints don’t feel like I’m 98 years old than what the scale says – but it’s still nice to see the five-pound loss.

For years in my thirties, my blood work at my annual physical with my primary care doctor had my fasting blood sugar at pre-diabetic levels. I smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day for almost twenty years. I over-indulged in alcohol. I was also very skinny. Today, at 44, my blood work is consistently great. There are no signs of diabetes (“pre” or otherwise) and my cholesterol levels couldn’t be better. This year will mark ten years since I quit smoking. I’m heavier than I should be by 20 pounds but that is not the only measure of health and success as far as I’m concerned and I celebrate how far I’ve come in my overall health.

What type of eating plan has helped you look and feel your healthiest? What has inspired you to make those dietary changes for the betterment of your personal health?

Also, for those of you who gave up meat for health reasons, I’d love to learn more about it before I watch The Game Changers. I’m open to learning about it all!

Healthy Living in 2020

Exercise: My Archenemy

I hate exercising. There. I said it. There is nothing about it that I enjoy. I don’t get that endorphin rush so many people rave about. I don’t like the way it feels when my muscles are burning or my heart is racing so fast, I’m not sure if I’ve reached my peak heart rate or if I need to call an ambulance. To top it all off, my exercise-induced asthma really makes for a good time where cardio is concerned.

How’s that for some honesty?

Still, I recognize it as a necessary part of living a healthy lifestyle.

My wife and I have now exercised for 12 days in a row and as we’ve been flopping around on our living room floor at night as our toddler sleeps just feet away, I’ve been evaluating my relationship with exercise Why is it that so many people love it? Many even get to a point where they crave it or they feel “off” if they don’t exercise. Not this girl.

My disdain for exercise probably stems from my childhood. There was a man I used to call “Dad” (and I use that term loosely). He adopted me when I was very young when he married my mother. Long story, short (and to save you the gory details), he was abusive and is no longer in our lives but his legacy is alive and well in the wounds and triggers I’ve had to contend with all of my adult life – not to mention the therapy bills which I’m so very thankful for. Therapy was life changing for me.

As a parent, I now know that when you discipline your child, it must be done with love in your heart and compassion and an eagerness to teach, forgive, and move forward as soon as humanly possible. This was not the case with this man. He didn’t discipline. He punished. And exercise was a part of that.

“Drop and give me 20” was a common thing we heard. Sometimes it was because we had done something wrong (and please keep in mind that the normal person’s version of wrong and his are incredibly disproportionate). Sometimes it was just random but no matter the circumstance, it was never a request. It was required of us. Push-ups, leg-lifts, sit-ups — the works — and all military style. We were treated like soldiers and he was the general. That was the end of it.

Image captured from video at

Don’t get me wrong. My brother and I were physically strong because of it. When I was a sophomore in high school, it became a “thing” for me to arm wrestle some of the boys in my study hall class. I beat many of them and often. You’d think it would have embarrassed them but everyone got a kick out of it (including myself) and kept coming back for more. I was incredibly strong for a 15 year old girl and I played ZERO sports. Now to put things into perspective, I couldn’t beat my two-year-old in an arm-wrestling match today…. but I digress.

So, I believe this disdain for exercise is deeply embedded in my brain as a form of punishment and not something meant for enjoyment. I’m not sure how to get around that. I can only say that I really want to. I can tell you I’ve tried throughout my life to work out and be healthy. I’ve done gym memberships, walks, runs, pilates, yoga, DVD’s, spinning classes, aerobics classes, and more. I’ve even made numerous positive social media posts about it when I’m “in the zone” of consistent exercise. But if one of my goals this year is to live authentically, then I have to speak the truth in my heart. I hate it.

So, how do I move past this deeply ingrained feeling about exercise? My past protocol to address this has always been to:

  • Dread today’s work out
  • Sweat. Pant. Regress to my childhood. Fight the urge to cry.
  • Dread tomorrow’s work out
Image courtesy of

I guess I’m looking for words of wisdom. Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did you overcome it? Mind over matter gets me through the exercise but it doesn’t me closer to enjoying this important part of establishing and living a healthy lifestyle. I am determined to not only work through this challenge, but also to show my daughter what it looks like to be healthy nutritionally, mentally, and physically. I turn to you, friends. Help!

2 Moms · 2020 Adventures · Healthy Living in 2020 · Mom Life

It’s 2020 — The Year Of Clear Vision

I started this blog to document my journey through my hysterectomy. I am so grateful I decided to do that. The support, encouragement, and stories shared as I was sharing mine were just so special to me and I enjoyed every moment.

I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I decided to keep the blog alive by just documenting my life as a 44 year old woman who is married to an amazing woman and Mama (my wife is Mommy) to an incredible two-year-old little girl who keeps Mommy and Mama on their toes ~and everything in between. I’ve learned that writing things down does wonders for my soul. Whether or not this journey resonates with any one person isn’t the reason I write. I want to write about it because writing sets me free.

Don’t get me wrong, I HOPE my story resonates with readers and that the stories I share are enjoyable to read, but it’s not a prerequisite for me to write. I have redesigned by blog (and even renamed it) and I am excited to get started.

So now, I find myself in 2020. My health issues and my hysterectomy (If you’re late to my hysterectomy party, you can read all about it HERE) are behind me and I find myself looking ahead. That is, as long as I can stay away from the news which has been unbelievably depressing since the start of the New Year.

When I see our nation and our world spiraling in chaos, I look to my daughter and I pour all of my energy and attention into raising the future. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly and one that I take great joy in.

I’ve also decided I must get healthy again. Before my health issues last year, I lost 30 pounds by following Kelly LeVeque’s Body Love Program which is not a diet plan, but a structural way of eating that incorporates what she calls the FAB FOUR FOODS. (Read about it HERE). I read her audiobook and got started immediately. It worked and it worked better than any program I’d ever tried. I didn’t even have to exercise to lose weight. There were no “special foods” either. Everything could be purchased at my local grocery store.

Once my health began to decline, so did the priority of how I ate or what I ate. I was depressed and anxious and for me, that comes with overindulging. Take my entire hysterectomy experience (which culminated in September) and then add the holidays to it. Yup. I gained almost 20 pounds. My knees and my joints were starting to hurt again from the extra weight and all the sugar I was consuming. Sugar hurts me physically. I’ve learned over the years that when I cut it out of my diet, my body aches less and feels better. I should have known better than to overindulge for two months on it…. BUT, this isn’t about beating myself up. It’s about getting myself back on track to a healthier me. Speaking of, if you haven’t checked out That Sugar Film, I encourage you to watch it. It was very informative and life changing for me. You can see the trailer below.

On December 29th, my scale showed me at 204.5 pounds. That means I am 15 pounds over my healthy BMI. That also means that I had gained back most of what I had worked so hard to take off and that frustrated me terribly. Now that my life has regained some normalcy and I’ve personally returned to center, I’m excited.

I purposely didn’t start on January 1st and not because I don’t believe in or enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. If I’m being honest, my wife and I eagerly started on Monday, December 30th because we were legitimately scared we’d have no pants to wear to work. Not wearing pants to work is frowned upon by most employers. This was quickly escalating to a matter of urgency.

We are following a Keto-inspired eating plan. I say Keto-inspired because I’m not about to give up healthy carbs (like sweet potatoes, couscous, and quinoa) and wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Red Blends) but we are significantly cutting back on it all — especially sugar — and incorporating a little bit of exercise every day. Right now, the exercising is basically my wife and I flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water every night while shouting expletives into the air. But, we’re confident we’ll get there.

It’s also very important to me to continue to incorporate the guidelines of Kelly LeVeque’s Body Love program because it’s amazingly healthy, balances blood sugar levels, and keeps you from experiencing hunger in between meals. Plus, I know that it works.

I’m happy to report that it’s “so far, so good” for our health journey in 2020 and I look forward to writing about our successes, failures, excitements, and disappointments.

Here are my 2020 Goals:

  • Set my intentions at the beginning of every day
  • Daily gratitude work
  • Eat mindfully
  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain my weight at my healthy BMI (189 lbs)
  • Live authentically
  • Seek out adventure and create memories with my family and friends
  • Blog often
  • Finish the novel I started during NaNoWriMo
  • Stop chasing money and start chasing my passions
  • Continue my spiritual growth and evolution
  • Deliver my best self to my wife and daughter every day

So buckle up, 2020. I’m coming for ya! And I hope you’re coming for me, too! I’m counting on you for abundance and growth!