Big Changes at Our House!

(I'm not pregnant, and we are not moving.)

Tony and I have made the decision that our family needs to be moving toward healthier lifestyles.  It started with my continual off-feeling.  Then I started getting heart palpitations, headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. (Tony would like me to add moodiness, but that's just who I am.  ha!) I made the commitment to my friend, Becky, that I would try harder to eat better.  Only a couple of days of half-hearted trying, I saw an improvement.  And 7 days of proper eating, I feel fabulous, and we are all on the healthy-living train.  We're also hoping that a shift to more natural foods will help some behavior issues that have recently emerged.

The first thing we did, a few weeks ago, was get rid of all packaged sweets.  This is mostly cookies and cereal.  I now make all desserts from scratch so I can control the ingredients.  I also make most of the breakfast options with the exception of whole wheat bread (which I could do, but don't wanna) and oatmeal.  We also eliminated all juices from the house for everyone but Coralynn.  The kids were allowed one 100% juice box in their lunch each day, but we bought reusable water bottles yesterday, so juice is going to be gone for a while.  Oh, and we've ended the days of microwave popcorn.

Next, we bought the cooler packs I showed you last week, and the children are now required to pack lunches that require refrigeration instead of the majority of their food being shelf stable.  (I'm hoping to get my hands on some thermos products so they can have hot lunches, too.)  I'm making whole-grain spaghetti and grilled chicken strips for them to take in their lunches.

The next change was initiated by Tony.  We've eliminated 90% of our microwave usage.  Tony's goal is for it to be completely eliminated immediately, but it's going to take a little time because it means that reheating has to be done in the oven or the stove, and the kids need to be trained on those appliances.

Personally, I am trying to lose some weight.  Before my mom panics that I'm going to start starving myself again, no worries.  My weight (mid 150s) is within the healthy range for my height (6ft).  That weight has been maintained through terrible eating habits and no exercise.  My goal is, through better eating habits and exercise, to lose the remainder of the baby weight.  I would like to fall in the middle of the 140s.  (Okay- that's not true.  I'd like to be 135, but my body starts to shut down at 132 so I need to grow up and find a healthier number.)  Each Sunday, I'm going to weigh in and post my weight- it's harder to lie on Sundays!  We will see what happens with the scale!

If you'd like to take this journey with us, I encourage you to come on!  I have a team of 10 ladies who are encouraging me, and I'd love to encourage you!  Let me know your goals, and we can keep each other on track!

I thought I would share a new recipe that I just tried yesterday that received thumbs up from everybody in the family!  (and my Middles are PICKY eaters!)  I originally found it on allrecipes, but we have changed it a fair amount  It isn't low calorie, but it is yummy, filling, and healthful.  And it's for breakfast, my nemesis!

Breakfast cookies (Yield 25  1/4 cup cookies.  These could certainly be made smaller!)

1 small container of plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter (I'm looking for healthier options that I can also afford!)
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/8 cup of honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used whole milk, but others would likely work.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or craisins or white choc chips)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Beat first 5 ingredients together until creamy.
3.  Beat in eggs and milk.
4.  Add in flour, oats, wheat germ. salt, cinnamon, baking soda.  Combine well.  (And, to be honest, I totally forget I left my mixer on, so it beat a good long time with no ill effects.)
5.  Add in chocolate chips.
6.  Drop on greased cookie sheet.  (I used my 1/4 cup measure.)
7.  Bake for 15-18 minutes. (depending on your oven)

Each cookie has 199 calories.  (I figured this out using so this isn't perfectly accurate, but it's close.)  Now, I know that isn't low calorie, but it fits within a reasonable breakfast.  I told my kids they may have 1 cookie with either a banana or a piece of turkey bacon.

(Clearly the chocolate chips weren't evenly distributed, but that's okay because Carson and I prefer fewer chocolate chips anyway.)

Oh- I almost forgot.  Today's weigh-in.  7 days ago, I weighed 154.5 pounds.  Today, (drumroll, please) I weigh:

152.5 for a loss of  2 pounds!!

This proves that I was retaining a lot of water from all the junk I was eating!  In no way do I expect this to be the norm for my weight journey.  (I do lose and gain weight fairly easily, though.)  I am very happy!  My week of calorie counting, good choices, and 1 trip to the gym did do some good.  Yay!  Only time will tell if this encourages me to keep it up or gives me permission to slack off...


Lesa said…
You'll find you won't miss the mircrowave as much as you think. I noticed I used it in cooking prep for getting water hot/boiling. An instant pot (boils in under 60 sec) fixed the problem. Steaming veggies with a cheap insert in any pot you can purchase very easily. The rest of the stuff, we reheat in the oven. 20 minutes and its hot. (Don't forget, stuff warms as the oven warms too...don't wait for it to heat fully. You're not cooking it, just reheating.) Best to you in your new healthy life choices.
So, I'm making your breakfast cookies right now. I put in a banana and 1/3 cup honey instead of the 3/4 cup sugar and.1/8 cup honey. Also noticed your recipe here didn't include eggs on the ingredients, but went back to the one on allrecipes and added the 2 eggs it listed there. Did about 1/2 to 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips. So far dough tastes good. We've cut way back on sugar the last couple years, so my sweet tolerance is a lot lower than it used to be. Thanks for the recipe!
panaMOM said…
Girl- I forgot the eggs!! Thanks!!

Let me know how it is with the sugar changes. They certainly weren't sweet, but I'd love to cut more out!!
I thought they were just fine. My kids thought they were just fine (but they don't know any better). I think a little more sweetness would have been fine too. My guess is that if you didn't think your recipe was too sweet, you may think my version a little bland and want to increase honey to at least 1/2-2/3 cup. Or adjust the raw sugar if honey is too expensive. Anyway, great recipe, great idea! Now I can give them something besides oatmeal. ;-)
panaMOM said…
Yay! I'm so glad that it worked out for y'all!!

And thanks for keeping us posted!!

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