Water Water Everywhere

Its been raining hard core for two days….LUH-AME! This is putting a big damper on my Garage cleaning.

But that’s not really what this post is about. This post is about ME drinking more water. Because ME never drinks any water. I know that sounds crazy, but its true. I am never thirsty….ever. This lack of thirst started when I move back to Washington from Colorado. It was soooo dry there, and its so damp here. It’s like my body absorbs water from the air (I’m not scientist….is this true?) However I know that is ridiculous, and I need to drink water with my mouth…lol.

So to help me do this I downloaded the WATERLOGGED app on my phone. Its free, and got a high rating. It seems pretty basic.

There are a slew of reasons why you should drink more water. The two I’m focusing on are that

1. It keeps you full, and helps to reduce the amount you eat at meals (if you consume a large glass of water before eating)

2. It flushes out toxins and other buildups.

I’m re-reading Skinny Bitch, and while I don’t have any Vegan plans, I do love that overall Clean, Natural diet that so politely push on you…jokes. Including MORE WATER. You should read it too! I also bought the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch about a year ago, and have never used it, this needs to change. I’m also super curious about their Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven book. Although we do not have a bun, I do like the idea of staying fit and healthy during pregnancy.

This morning I’m making Kodiak Cakes for breakfast. I found them at Haggen, and I love their message, ingredients, and now I’ll find out if I love their taste! Anyone ever tried these?

 

Vegan PB&J Muffins

My friend Jama posted these on her (private) blog, and they looked so good! I also had pretty much all the ingredients needed, so I whipped them in this evening. Jama is a Clean Vegan, which I am very interested in. She doesn’t eat fake things like Vegan Mayo, Seitan, Soy Burgers. Basically just naturally occurring foods. Soy in generall weirds me out, which is a big reason I still eat meat, I don’t want to do soy. I have recently thought about ditching cheese though, and trying to cut back on the meat…shhh…dont tell Mr. Gaunt.

I also feel like I’m going to remove eating out all but one day a week. Nothing good comes from a restaurant (including no blog posts from me…lol!) And produce season is coming, and I’m jumping back on the veggie/cooking bandwagon! Oh and the pool opens in TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh speaking of Pools, I have officially decided to rock a bathing suit with a skirt this summer. Ms. G gave me one, and it is totally dated and grandma-like, and I LOVE IT! It covers the thighs and accentuates the waist. I might even take a full body shot of it for yah…lol! Basically I decided that I love to swim, and I don’t give a shit if my suit is a littleold school looking, obviously people can see I’m still young, and Id rather have a flattering grandma suit than a not cute modern suit. So that is that!

Oh I was talking about muffins…lol. Yeah so I pretty much made it like the recipe said, except I didn’t have ground Flaxseed, only whole flaxseed, so I used that. Also I didn’t have any Bran, so I did a 1/4 cup of oats. Last and most important, I used Whole Wheat Flour instead of regular flour. This brought a whole new discussion that I will talk about at the end of this post. For now here is the original recipe:

2 C flour

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C ground flax seed

1/4 C bran

1 Tab baking powder

1/2 teas ground cinnamon

1/2 teas salt

1/3 C creamy peanut butter

3 Table spoon vegan margarine

1 C soy milk

1/4 C maple syrup

1 teas vanilla extract

1/4 C jam

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees. Mix first seven ingredients in a big bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, add vegan margarine and peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add soy milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until just mixed. Do not over stir.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Add a teas of jam to the top of each and bake in the oven for 2o minutes. YUM!!

Jama’s looked all light and fluffy and yummy, mine…well…not so much. I blame two things on this. 1. The altitude here SUCKS for baking, Jama lives in California.  2. The Whole Wheat Flour:

See I said a while ago that I planed on replacing everything with Whole Wheat Flour, because it is healthier for you. So far I havent had a big problem with, but I wouldn’t say it really works the same as All Purpose Flour. See WW flour is so much heartier. It gives things a totally nutty-hearty flavor, basically it TASTES like health food. Also it doesn’t rise as well (avoid using in things that need to be light and fluffy: Cakes, Pie Crusts, Pastries) and it definitely is darker in color. Personally I found a liking to it. I like that it taste more substantial and more nutritional. However Its not for everyone. Mr. Gaunt likes it ok, or at least he pretends to. I think I may actually buy some AP Flour for baking too though.

I would make these again though, they are more like a hearty breakfast muffin than like cake or a treat. I think they will be yummy with a banana in the morning, or some Earth Balance Spread on it. I would defiantly tell people to make these.

Granny Smith Apple Chips

I love Costco, they always have fun new foods to try, and I really think they do an honest job at providing healthy options (ignore everything in the freezer section). We usually only purchase meat, cheese, and sometimes produce at Costco. They have really cheap produce, although it’s not organic. Same with meat and fish, cheap but not organic. However sometimes they bring out a new product and they suck me into buying it.

Todays item was Bare Fruit 100% Organic Granny Smith Apple Chips. If I remember right they were around $5 for the bag. The ingredients is what got me though:

Also nutrition wise they are really good:

I love that there is no added sweetener or preservatives, these are CLEAN! Also (and I know this sounds funny) but they aren’t TO DIE FOR delicious. I mean that I am totally able to stop myself at like 10 chips, and not feel the need to eat the entire bag. This is an important factor when purchasing snack foods for me.

I hope Costco carries these for a while, it looks like you can also purchase them online too. You should try em! Id love to make my own with a food dehydrator, but these are so perfect, mostly crisp with a little chew that why bother…lol! Oh and they are made in Washington! I know I’m not currently living there, but it still feels like “buying local” to me.

Oh and in other Apple News Mr. Gaunt bought an apple slicer! At first I thought it seemed stupid and useless, but it is bad ass! I love it in the mornings when I want some apple slices and peanut butter to take to work, this makes it so much faster!

Clean Eating Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cookies

I was craving cookies/baking something, and spent the morning searching for a healthy recipe. I found a yummy looking one in my Clean Eating magazine, but later realized it called for an entire cup of butter (two sticks) and that is just too much butter, even if it is clean. No thanks. I even searched Food Gawker but couldn’t really find anything that was low fat. Last resort I remembered that The Clean Eating Mamma had a recipe tab on her blog, and sure enough she had an Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. Best part is NO butter! Love it! I followed this recipe to a T except that I didn’t have baking soda (only powder) so I just left that out…ha! I also added chopped raw almonds, because almonds are delish and everything should have almonds in it. The batter tasted VERY sweet like honey and I was worried that it would be too sweet, but it must have baked out because these are very light on sweetness. More like an oatmeal breakfast cookie rather than a buttery cookie. I love em! Mr. Gaunt wasn’t so sure about the dark chocolate. I used a Green and Black Dark Chocolate bar (80% I think) from Whole Foods.  I like Dark Chocolate, but I would guess small children wouldn’t be huge fans either.

Sunday Budget

Ok last week I mentioned my goal of reducing our grocery bill down to $67 a week, this week I want to share how things turned out. First off I want to clarify that each week doesn’t have to be a perfect $67, but I would like it to even out to that by the end of the month. Also I’m trying really hard to reduce my artificial ingredients, today at Target this proved to be difficult.

Ok so to start with last week we spent:

$52.88

This included the $22 for our Door to Door Organics box. The other $30 was basically spent on Milk, Cliff Bars, Smart Ones Meals, Bottled Water, and Fruit. We had a fair amount of food still so we really didn’t need to buy much.

Today we went to Target. Now I have heard mixed reviews on shopping produce at Target but I have always been pleased. They have a mix of Organic and non organics, they usually have everything I need in stock (like Kale even thought King Soopers, Safeway, and Whole Foods were out). They also have GREAT fruit prices. (see their ad here)

Today on Ad they had:

1 lb Strawberries: 2 for $5

1lb Fuji Apples: $1 a pound

Annie’s Organic Mac n Cheese: $1.25

Kellogg cereals & Breakfast Bars: 4 for $10 plus a $5 instant Target Gift Card

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So we spent $80.93 today, if your curious here is the (approximate) breakdown:

-$20 on Fruits and Veggies

-$16.00 on Almonds, Organic Peanut Butter, Bread, and Dark Chocolate

-$12 on Cliff Bars (Also Organic and Natural)

-$7 on Dairy (Cream Cheese, Milk, Ice Cream (ok its fat-free sorbet)  (Havent made the switch to Organic in these)

-$5 on Weight Watchers Smart Ones Meals (for Mr. Gaunt, the Kashi Organic ones are TWICE as much…grrr)

-$13 on Cereal and Oatmeal (I have switched to Organic Kashi Oatmeal, but the Cereal deal was too good to pass up)

So basically out of our $80 only $24 of it was spent on items that are not “Clean Eating” material. Now not all of those were Organic, but they were natural ingredients. I am VERY happy with this! And we remembered our bags! Yay! now I just have to use up all these good foods before they go bad. I read somewhere that no one should eat anything that wont expire in a month.

Oh and I have a TON of Sweet Potatoes, any ideas for HEALTHY (no candied Yam ideas) recipes? I’m pretty sure we will make sweet potato fries, but I would love to bake something with them. In my head I’m picturing a Sweet Potato and Peanut butter bar…lol…how could I do this? Anyway sorry if this post was boring, I found it really comforting to break down my bill into nutrition like this. Try it! I will be doing this every Sunday evening.

HEART. BRAIN. STOMACH.

I wasted 23 years not caring about my STOMACH. I’m wrapping my whole body in this term: STOMACH.

I ate to taste artificial.

I ate to be full.

In my 24th year I finally let the knowledge sink in and feed me.

I eat for purity.

I eat to be strong.

I never thought I was uneducated about food, I really didn’t. I thought Low Fat foods were better for me. I thought Carbs were bad. I thought eating meat was the natural way of life. I thought a grocery store was a grocery store, was a grocery store.

I had friends who were vegetarians (love them all dearly) but the guilt they often laid on me only made me rebel against them. Organic was expensive, recycling was annoying, meat was tasty. I felt anger towards anyone who wanted to tell me what I should or shouldn’t put in my body. And I had every right to be. My body My Choice. I feel pretty strongly that when it comes to someone’s health, only give advice when asked. Especially when it is weight related. Giving someone the “eew thats gross” face will NOT change the way they eat. It will only make them think you’re an uppity ass.

I think healthy eating is a lifelong path. Not only because we as a species are continuously learning what’s good and bad for us (it wasnt until 1981 that they put a warning to pregnant women on alcohol bottles!) but because I believe weaning yourself from bad habits is a slow process.

Lately I’ve been having overwhelming self-improvement feelings. While reading Body + Soul Magazine tonight it was all I could do not to run to whole foods to buy some organic foundation. I have now lost about 75 pounds, which is a lot, but I still need to lose another 45 pounds. Im no longer looking to drop major pounds fast though. I want to spend the next 45 pounds really focusing on what is good for my body. On developing a food regiment that is pure and whole and brings my body gently down to a healthy weight. If I eat as healthy as possible and my body still wont lower in weight, then maybe this is where my body wants to be. I will no longer obsess over dropping 2 pounds a week every week. Im going to let this happen in its own time.

So I have some new goals that I would like to achieve in the next six months that are as followed:

-Use our Re-Usable grocery bags EVERY time we shop (even at Target)

-Spend less than $67 a week on food

-Have 1/2 of our food budget go to fruits and vegetables

-Shop the farmers market when they open.

-Spend less than $10 a week on food with artificial ingredients

-Make my own instant Oatmeal Packets

-Try buying bulk beans and cooking them instead of canned

-make my own dried fruit with a food dehydrator

-Learn to can this summer

-Take up regular swimming when the pool opens

-Practice softball once a week along with our weekly games

-Treat my skin kindly with organic soaps, sunscreen (not organic) and salves.

-Learn to make my own skin products (I have an awesome book)

-Slowly eat or throw away all of our artificial foods (and not buy more)

-Shop more used stores.

-purge unwanted art supplies (its ok to let go)

-Find a creative outlet that makes me happy

– Drink more tea, less coffee

-Look more into the Mediterranean Diet

-Read all the books I have on clean eating

-Read more in general

-Continue to try to convince Mr. Gaunt to cancel our cable at least for the summer

-Throw away clothes that dont fit and I dont want tailored.

-Take a photography class, and continue to perfect my skills.