Trip, Sick, Self

I woke up on February 2nd and I cautiously rolled over, and rolled over again. I breathed in deep, from my nose, from my mouth. I waited for my stomach to rumble, for the nausea, for the snot, the aches, for it all to come back, but it didn’t. I opened my eyes and it was sunny, and I felt healthy for the first time in 7 days.

My mom and I went to Portland last weekend. It was an awesome trip. We ate at cool places, and shopped at cool stores, and hung out with VERY cool people (hi Kelli!). We were chill and relaxed and vacationed just the way my mom and I like to vacation. There are very few people in life that make a good vacation match. My number one vacation buddy is obviously Mr. Gaunt, we like to travel almost exactly the same, although he likes to do little nature-y adventures, which I might not do on my own, which is good. My mom and I travel very similarly, only she likes to do slightly nicer things, have cocktails more often, pay for parking, that sort of thing. Both of them make me so happy to “travel” with. Spending this past weekend with my mom, just the two of us, to shop and gossip without any interruptions, was really awesome. I love her so.


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If it looks like all we did in Portland was eat and drink and haaaaang out, that’s because that is all we did. Best vacations.

Downside of the trip was that I got sick on Saturday afternoon. I managed to drug myself for two days and still thoroughly enjoy the trip/food/fun, but when I got back into town on Monday night, things took a turn for the worst. My swollen glands and sore throat turned into a full-blown major head cold. I called out sick on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday I finally crawled out of bed for a short shift at work, got home at 7pm, ate, went to bed, and woke up at midnight throw my guts up. Apparently the cold warped into the flu. I went to bed for 48 hours, and slept until February 2nd. Healthy at last.

I still have a bit of the sniffles, but that is NOTHING compared to being sick as a dog for 7 days straight. Ugh.

Since then though, I have taken a new outlook on my health. I have not had any coffee or alcohol since Portland. I am currently steering clear of 95% of all dairy (rice pudding is all that makes me happy when I’m ill!) and am even reducing my gluten intake (although don’t sign me up for that bandwagon, I’m just reducing it). So yeah, from sickness comes health, and maybe some lessons on what I put in my body and the respect I should have for feeling good.

I might have more to say on this tomorrow! Off to bed!

Juicing: The Preperation

Mr. Gaunt and I love a documentary. When we originally lost a bunch of weight we watched tons of documentaries. Some faves:

Food Inc

Super Size Me

Fast Food Nation

as well as reading books like Skinny Bitch and Eat Your Way to Happiness.

Recently we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead about a man who changes his weight, health and life by juicing! He also helps a severely overweight, sick and unhealthy truck driver do the same for his life. It talks all about the nutrition of juicing vegetables (and some fruits) and just cleansing your body and mind. It was really good.

So we jumped all over that bandwagon.  To say I have gained back some weight might be an understatement. I feel like crap, and look like crap. I don’t even eat that bad, but I also don’t eat nearly well enough. I also let food entertain and make me “happy” which is just so so bad. For the last 6 months my back hurts a lot, and I just feel really unattractive, so it’s obviously time to make a change. I’m not necessarily sure what that change is, but I know it’s not about changing what I eat, it’s about changing the way I feel about eating. And sometimes it takes drastic measures to change your own mind.

Why Juicing? Well, because it’s a little extreme, a lot interesting, AND its something Mr. Gaunt wants to do. When you are in a partnership, one of the only ways you will succeed is if your partner succeeds with you. We did weight watchers together, and now we are going to juice together. We also have a number of friends who really love juicing, and one friend who has lost a lot of weight and DEFINITELY changed his health by juicing.  We have both done a lot of research and gotten a lot of opinions on the matter.  It’s also not too hard (to prepare) and will help us eat more veggies in a somewhat “easy” way, easier than cooking that is.  And we are often a little too busy to cook properly.

So we bought a juicer! This juicer to be exact. I know what your thinking, and NO we did not buy a $200 Juicer, well we did, but we only paid $15 for it! Goodwill is the BEES KNEES! Its only slightly used, not gross at all, so we just washed and soaked it really good. It works like a dream, and really isn’t too hard to clean, easier than a blender I would say.It makes smooth pulp free juice. The only thing it struggles with is leafy greens, it kind of pulverizes them, but it does great with all heartier veggies.

Test Run: Raspberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Lemon and Cucumber. Yum!

So starting tomorrow we will be juicing 2 meals a day and eating 1 meal a day. We will be eliminating all snacking, all alcohol and all caffeine. Because you are supposed to drink juice quickly after making it, we are juicing breakfast and dinner and eating real food for lunch at work. Real food consisting of vegetables, lean meats and some Greek yogurt.

Tonight we went to our local discount organic grocer, who does 20% off all produce on Sundays….seriously people, it’s a good deal. We bought a weeks worth (well maybe 4 days worth) of juice ingredients for the 2 of us for $55. ALL ORGANIC (which is kind of important because you can just throw the veggies in with the skins on). This might seem expensive, but it breaks down to about $4 a meal which is really good. Here is what we bought:


-Green Apples

-Braeburn Apples



-Green Peppers







-Collard Greens



We probably looked like crazy produce loving freaks, which I suppose we are. When I got home I looked up juice recipes and put together ingredients for juices in freezer bags and wrote the recipes on the bag in sharpie. This way I can reuse the bags and they already have the recipes on them for next time. Plus it just eliminates excess waste and extra work when I actually need juice made. (also note most of the juices are all veggie based, as fruit is full of sugar)

Mr. Gaunt talked to our juice friend about what he does, and he recommended we use hemp protein powder in our juice, so we got some on sale today. It also has fiber, because when you juice you take a lot of fiber out of the produce. There was also talks of Colonics and other things you have to do when you drastically change your diet and cleanse your system, but I’m not going to get into that quite yet.

We also took BEFORE photos in hopes that in 30 days (which will be our first assessment of how we like Juicing) we look and feel lots better.

Bottoms up!




The Not Dirty Workout Pants

This morning I was folding laundry and I pulled my workout pants out of the dryer.

1. They were definitely NOT dirty, as they have definitely NOT been worn since September.

2. Boo…I suck.

I feel sluggish and tired and fat and lazy these days. I feel overwhelmed by the loss of light (dark at 4:30!) and it makes me not want to do anything. I Looonng for the days of summer where it was light until 10! And we at so healthy and I ran at least 4 days a week, and when J would get home from work we would use the barbels to strength train.

God I feel sick with how lethargic we have become. How couch loving, cake eating, grossness.

I want to feel motivated again to at least be healthy.

I need pride back.

I need strength back.

I need energy back.

I’m really poor right now, but I might fork over the money for a gym membership again. I can’t work out in the dark, but I have got to feel better about myself. And no more sugar! God I have way to much sugar in my life! I’m debating giving up sugar in January as my New Years Resolution. I’m really good at New Years Resolutions, so we will see.

My last name is MELIM not JONES

We are now 9 days into 2011, and it has taken me these 9 days to actually figure out what it is I want to do in 2011. We already had some pretty lofty goals, but over the past week, we have fine tuned them into much better goals. First off here were our old goals:

OLD 2011 Goals:

-Lose 50 pounds in whatever way possible

-Get Married

-Save up $3500

-Move to Washington

-Quit working at my Current Job

-Get Mr. Gaunt enrolled in School

-Find a nice 3 Bedroom Townhouse or Duplex

Now those are all lovely goals and all, but there were glaring problems. Things took a turn for the worst this week when I went to couples counseling BY MYSELF. You see, over the last month I was having a very difficult time getting a handle on my emotions. So I went to therapy alone and we discussed what it is that is making me unhappy. It all boiled down to two things:



I went home feeling like “I can’t marry Mr. Gaunt because he can not provide me with MORE” now I know that sounds completely insane…and it really is. But it was more complicated than that. The “MORE” I so desperately wanted looked a little something like this:

-More money to pay off my car

-More house

-More yard

-More time to do the things I wanted

-More money to pay for a wedding photographer

-More self control to lose weight

-More clothes to feel cuter

-More sales with our paintings

-More money to pay for our $2500 moving truck

-More Friends

-More Family

-More Fun.

Now see, not all of those are bad things. In fact I’m sure you too could easily make a MORE list. Things that you want so very badly, but cant seem to acquire. My mom calls it:


And its true! I have had 4 friends or pseudo friends all get engaged since we got engaged. And ALL of them got much larger surprise rings. They all posted pics of their hand flashing their big old rock. I WANT THAT! I wanted a bigger ring! I wanted Mr. Gaunt to provide me with MORE ring! It wasnt FAIR!! (throws tantrum)

And our very good friends Jenny and Justin (who have baby Liam) live in a very nice size house, where they just remodeled their huge basement. To me they have everything. We always go to their house because they have the space to hang out, and our house doesn’t. I want MORE house!

So you see, I was taking all my insecurities about what I DONT have and placing it all on Mr. Gaunt, making him THE ENEMY. Truth be told I do have hopes and dreams for Mr. Gaunt to be successful in life, but not just so he can give me MORE, but so he can be HAPPY. And that is where the great confusion lies:


And for the records, Millions of Americans have been brainwashed into thinking this exact same thing, so don’t shake your head at me. You probably want MORE right now too.

So that is what brings us to today. Today I feel happier than I have felt in 4 months, despite the fact that I have $32 in my bank account, ZERO gas in my car, and house that looks like a complete and utter disaster. Its cool, because WE have a plan!

And no our plan does not require MORE.

In fact it requires a whole lot LESS of everything.

Lets begin.

First off the BIG MOVE! Yay we are so very excited for this change…but oh wait…theres a hiccup. Where will we be living? How much can we afford? And worst yet, How will we get ALL of our STUFF from here to there?

A little over a week ago I calculated these costs:

-Moving Truck $800

-Trailor Hitch (to tow one car) $350

-Gas for Truck (from Co to WA) $800

-2 Hotels $100

-Gas for 2nd Car $285

-Food, and other such needs $60


Well that my friends is not going to happen. I did NOT work 2 jobs and paint 20 paintings to blow almost all of our money on a 2 day drive…no way! We still have a wedding coming up, and we will need to get a new place to rent (including deposits) and what about my job? I really wanted to quit and work somewhere part-time while I worked on the paintings!

And so we after LONG talks and much research the two of us, have BOTH decided to do something a little crazy.

We are getting rid of EVERYTHING. All of it. Furniture, Kitchen stuff, Clothing, Books, Knickknacks, Computers, Clutter, Stuff, Art Supplies.  It is all being sold or given away or thrown away.

Now we of course will be keeping some things. We can’t live with nothing. So we came up with the following Guidelines for every item:











Answering those 10 questions will help us determine what will actually come with us. Some things we know for sure that we will be bringing are the following:

-Bed Frame and Mattress (box spring is in bad shape and will not be coming)


-1 Desktop Computer & Printer


-Minimal Kitchen ware (4 sets of dishes) (2 pans) (1 pot) (2 Cookies Sheets) etc.




-Minimal Clothing

The list goes on a bit, but you would be surprised as to what we are getting rid of. I am cutting my art supplies by about 70% and donating them to the Ronald Mcdonald House. I am only bringing resource books and NOT novels. All Furniture will be sold on Craigslist. I will be cutting my make up and jewelry down to only items I wear every single week and will be shipping the rest off to friends. Other things that will be coming are expensive lamps and electronics, things that wouldn’t sell for what they are really worth.

To move what we do have, it will cost us $400 to rent a trailer and have a hitch installed on the Subaru. Plus gas. That saves us about $1600!

Now you may be assuming we will just replace these things when we move….nope. We will be replacing a few things, like the couch and the coffee table. However we are planning on moving into a small one bedroom apartment. We are hoping to find a place under $600 a month. Therefore our large sectional and coffee table really wouldn’t fit anyway, so we will be getting smaller items. This goes for our desks and bookshelves. If we move and we find we need something, then yes we can replace it, but the point is not to get rid of and replace.

Basically it comes down to this:

-We both work 40 hours a week at a job we HATE so the we can afford to live in a large nice place to fill full of stuff.

-We fight about money because we are living at the top of our means.

-We have so much stuff that we no longer use or appreciate most of.

-We find that shopping is one of our few hobbies

-We spend evenings and weekends cleaning, washing, and organizing our stuff, instead of doing fun things.

-We can never save to buy a house because we are already capped off financially

-School or career changes seem impossible, as we must continue to work full time to pay for our stuff.

-We keep stuff for “a rainy day” but when that day comes we forget that we have that stuff buried under other stuff, so we just buy new stuff.

-We have collections of things to use with friends, but our house is so crowded and small that we never have friends over.

-We want children one day, and lordy do they come with more stuff.

So there it is. Stuff and consumption is ruining our lives. And we want it to stop!

-We want to live simply. We want to have little enough stuff that we can comfortably live in 700 sq ft.

-We want little enough dishes that even when every dish is dirty it doesn’t fill the sink.

-We want our closets for hanging coats, not storing stuff we don’t use

-We want to do 1 load of laundry a week, not 8 loads every 2 weeks.

-We want to produce a bag or less of garbage a week

-We want to recycle

-We want “cleaning day” to be dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing toilets…and that it. Not spending 4 hours moving around stuff.

-We want to have most of our money go to SAVINGS and ENTERTAINMENT

-We want ENTERTAINMENT to be vacations, and nice meals, and fun with friends. Not shopping

-We want Mr. Gaunt to go to school and have the option to work part-time without it affecting our bills

-We want me to be able to work part-time and full-time with my paintings.

-We want to spend our money on quality organic groceries

-We want our lives to be spent outside and in the community more.

-We want to fight about Chess Games, not Money Games.

So there it is. That is our plan. Along with this comes a number of new wedding plans (also downsizing) and new health and job plans. This post is already a million miles long, so I’ll save those for a later date. Today I’m still in the process of going through our stuff….but dreaming of the day when we have no stuff to go through.

If you need to understand things a little better, feel free to watch this movie, or go to


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.

Putting Dinner To Bed

Ok so I have heard this for YEARS now, something along the lines of how your suppose to stop eating two-ish hours before you go to bed. I got O’s Guide To Life (a best of Oprah Magazine book) on clearance at Barnes and Nobles for like $5, and Oprah rants and raves about this NO LATE NIGHT EATING rule.  I always thought it had something to do with food sitting in your belly while you sleep and somehow making you fat (who knows, I’m no scientist) but this article on Oprah’s website states that it mor has to do with people who eat in the mornings consume LESS calories throughout the day as opposed to people who wait until late night and just snack and snack and snack. It’s more about how much you eat rather than when you eat.

Bedtime Eating

A few times throughout the last 9 months I have ended up taking a nap and pretty much skipping dinner. The next morning I always awoke to a very nice number on the scale. Sleep is the best diet as far as I’m concerned because you don’t know your hungry when your sleeping! On a number of occasions I have taken a nice long nap on weigh in day so I can just sleep through the hunger and avoid snacking. I highly encourage this, especially if you’re having one of those days where you just cant cram enough food in your mouth, take a nice long nap.

Is it wrong that this bed makes me hungry?

Wait what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, so I’ve decided to do a little experiment with this whole no late night eating thing. For the next 10 days I’m going to attempt to not eat anything after 6pm. NOTHING! Of course water is fine, and maybe a Girl Scout cookie, but NOTHING else! (= So that means dinner needs to be on the table by 5:30pm, we can do this. Mr. Gaunt and I are both working at 5am for the next couple weeks, and because I work 30-40 minutes away that means I have to crawl out of bed at 3:30 am in order to have time to eat breakfast. I do NOT skip breakfast. So eating at 5:30 should be fine since we try to be in bed by 9.

So hopefully this will help me shed a few pounds that are clinging on for dear life. I’ll keep you posted to see if I notice a major change!