Do we really know how much sugar we take in every day??

We have been watching a lot of documentaries about sugar and it’s crazy how much we really want to cut it out of our diet for good.  The hard thing is…almost EVERYTHING has sugar in it.  Its frustrating that the food industry is making it so hard for us.  We just have to be smarter about our choices we make. It CAN be done :D

I did a little experiment with a day of food I USED to eat and put sugar in a bowl to show myself how much sugar I was REALLY getting vs how much I THOUGHT I was getting.  It was amazing!  I was shocked…well, after watching a youtube video on it, I wasn’t really shocked…because I already knew I was overdoing it on sugar.  I was shocked however, as I watched that show, just learning how much sugar each item actually had in it! I will find that link and add it here later for you. 

Do yourself a favor and figure it out for yourself and just see how much sugar your ingesting each day.  I bet you too will be amazed.  Take a bowl and set a tsp in it, for every 4 grams of sugar you ingest, put a tsp of white sugar in a bowl…so if it has 12 grams of sugar, put 3 tsp of sugar into a bowl.  Do this for EVERY item you eat/drink.  If it doesn’t have a label, google it.    Do this throughout the day.  Share it here with me if you decide to try it out please.  I would love to see your results!   Just check the label and it will tell you how many grams of sugar each serving has.  Make sure you remember that if you have more then a serving, add that extra sugar to your bowl as well.  Don ‘t guess, measure everything.  If you have salad dressing, measure a serving out (usually 2 tbs) because we usually ALWAYS have over a serving.  A bottle of soda is over a serving, so add that extra if you have a whole bottle. 

Keep in mind that a women should only have about 5 tsp of sugar per day (20 grams), that’s not a whole lot!  Some say that it’s ok to ingest 10 tsp…even at that, it’s not a lot considering that some single food items are over that! If your having over that, weight gain and health issues will eventually find you. 

So please, check this info out for yourself and watch a few documentaries about it and what it does to your body.  Cancer being a big one, heart disease being another.  It’s worth looking into…if not for yourself, for your children.  Times have changed SO much and they are at serious risk.  Get rid of sugar out of their diets so they can thrive and live a long healthy life without so many health issues.  They will thank you for it later! 

Very Berry Spinach Smoothie

Very Berry Spinach Smoothie
Serves 4
This smoothie is delicious and I promise you, your kids will go crazy for it! We freeze what is left to make "go gurt" type ice cream treats :D
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
  1. 1 cup of milk of your choice (we use grass milk, which is milk from grass fed cows)
  2. 2 TBS of heavy cream (we use organic)
  3. 2 tsp of vanilla (we use organic)
  4. 2 TBS Maple Syrup or Honey (we use local pure maple syrup)
  5. 1 container (or one cup) of plain yogurt
  6. 1.5 cups of mixed frozen berries or frozen fruit of your choice (we use organic)
  7. 1/2 banana (frozen or fresh)
  8. one handful of ice
  9. one huge handful of baby spinach leaves (we use organic triple washed)
  1. Add to blender in the order listed in the list above. Blend starting on low and moving to high speed for one min or until smooth. Enjoy! If this is too thick you can add 1/2 cup extra milk...or even water if you don't want to add those calories to it. We enjoy the thickness of it, that way we can enjoy it slowly without it getting to warm.
  2. Whatever you do, don't skip the cream! With that added it really gives it a smooth consistency. This is three to four servings (8 oz glasses) so it's not bad per serving. And well worth it! It also helps keep you full. I stay full all morning until lunch need for a mid morning snack.
  1. We use a Vitamix blender but this should be ok in any blender just may have some seeds from the berries left over in the smoothie. Just blend a little longer if need be.
  2. We have this for breakfast every morning and my 10 yr old son LOVES it. And he's a very picky eater.
Our Journey Into Whole Foods*

We are back!~

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back!  By back, I mean back on our Whole Foods Journey.  One thing I can tell you is once you “take a break” be it however long, it’s NOT easy to get back into the grove of things. 

We have let ourselves slip and started eating bad food here and there…started off with me going to MO for a few weeks to be with my grand babies and my kiddos and I told myself it was “ok” to not stay on it just for a few weeks.  Right?  Well, it didn’t do me ANY good and it sure didn’t do my son any good.  He got his head aches back full force (almost daily again), I got my knee pain back because I gained weight back (not all I lost, but a lot for only being a few months), hubby got his allergies back and my back started hurting again.  ALLL those things had went away after we were on our whole foods diet for just 10 days…well all except my knee and back pain..those took about a month but they went away!  NOW we are dealing with everything again because we took a break. 

We learned a hard lesson with all this though!  It’s NOT ok to take a few weeks off!  Not for us anyhow.  Obviously it didn’t work. 

We had recently watched the documentary called “Fed Up” and it showed on Netflix.  If you get a chance, watch it!  It’s very interesting.  My son watched  it with us and he was very moved by it.  HE asked us to start buying healthy foods again, he was tired of his headaches every day. 

We have been doing well now for about a week and already his headaches have went down a lot!  It amazes me every day how much of an affect eating has on those things.  Now, if your eating “sort of healthy” and not ALL whole/clean foods…this will NOT work for you.  At least it didn’t for us.  You have to be consistent with healthy/clean foods every day for it to work it’s magic.  I am already feeling better and have a little more energy but I know by the time the month is up It will mean less knee pain and back pain for me!  I will continue to update on how it goes. 

For now, I will leave you with this photo of my shopping spree today.  90 bucks got me what is pictured.  A big bag of different dark greens in the bag in the back,  I did have a lot more apples and mushrooms but didn’t put all of them out there…just a few for the picture.  All Organic.  This is what our “normal” used to be..and now, what it is again!  Could not be happier about that!  SO excited for my back/knee pain to go away again! 

Shopping spree at our local health store

Shopping spree at our local health store

What happened last month?

I have been in MO for almost a  month and let me tell you, it was NOT a good month food wise (getting to see the grand babies was AWESOME).  BUT it was a GREAT experiment.  I’m glad I did it and I’m even more glad it’s done!  It was VERY hard to stay on our diet and we didn’t stay on it while we were there.  And let me tell you some of the things that happened, starting about a week and 1/2 after we stopped eating healthy.

First thing I noticed with me was my knee started hurting a little more again (I have arthritis in it).  Not a whole lot (prob because of the 40 some lbs I had already lost) but some.  Next I started noticing my stomach aching a little…just a dull ache at first.  Then  about the third week it started hurting more (mainly at bed time).  Headaches were HORRIBLE and often (about twice a week which is a LOT for me since I usually don’t get many at all).  And I just all around felt tired and yucky.  Didn’t feel like doing much at all. 

For Nic, his headaches were back DAILY.  I shouldn’t even call them headaches..they were mainly migraines for him…he needed to sleep and he needed it dark (just like he did before we started this change of lifestyle).  They started about week two we were there…dull at first but then later, week three, they were really strong where he would not want to move or even go on the computer at all.  And his stomach aches were back as well.  He also said he felt a little more “weak”  I think he means tired, but weak is the word he used.  This was all in just  three weeks.  After the end of week three he was begging me to get him healthy foods…that’s how bad his headaches were :( 

What does this tell me?   Well for one, I KNOW it was the change of food.  It was the ONLY thing we did differently.  We used our same bottled water to drink (although we did drink soda while there besides the water).  

We have been back to eating healthy foods again and already we have noticed a difference…Nic has not had a headache since we have been back, and we were not even eating 100% at first when we got home but we were eating mainly healthy again.  Today we are back on 100%.  I will update again after a weeks time to let you know the changes.  I have gained 10 lbs back while being in MO,  I can tell that is mainly water weight so not too worried.  I’m sure I can get that off in a week. 

We will NOT be doing that again!  If I have to stay away for a few weeks time again, I will be SURE to find someplace to buy ALL the food I need to stay on our  food plan (we did buy some but I didn’t have everything I was used to cooking with so it was hard, and had to improvise …have to plan better next time!.  I never want to feel that way again…EVER.  You really notice more going to the bad foods (after eating healthy for so long) then you do going to healthy from bad foods.  The change is much faster and you notice it right away.  Glad to be back home and doing well again! :D  Let the weight loss continue!! 

Weigh in and Blood Tests

Blood_1I weighed in again a few days ago and today I received the blood test results required for my work insurance (required for a lower rate anyhow.)  I’ve been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for these results.  I wanted to see what effect this diet has had on my health and not just total weight.  Now I have about three months of whole foods and another three of SANE whole foods behind me.

First, the raw numbers: 

Item May 2014 Nov 2014 Change Standard
Weight (lbs) 372.6 327.4 -45.2 183
Total Cholesterol 173 147 -26 <200
LDL 98 83 -15 <100
HDL 48 44 -4 >40
HDL Ratio 3.6 3.3 -0.3 <5.0
Triglycerides 134 101 -33 <150
Glucose 101 89 -12 <100
SGPT (ALT) 42 30 -12 <45

There were a bunch of other results, but they were all pretty much right in the middle of the recommended ranges and had changed little, if at all, in the past six months. I didn’t include them here.  

In May, I had two items which were high (weight and Glucose) and two which were flirting with the high limit (LDL Cholesterol and ALT.)  The new test results are all normal/safe except weight.  

Virtually all of the blood test results improved in the past six months.  The only lab result which was worse is HDL Cholesterol (higher is better in this case.)   It only dropped four points and is still in the desired range, but it really should have gone up.  Then again, I was still taking fish-oil capsules then.  (I’m not taking any vitamins now.)

High ALT indicates possible liver damage or stress.  I’m happy to see that one back away from the high water mark.

Overall, I’m VERY happy with the results of the past six months.  I looked at my older checkup history online.  Many of the results this time are the best they’ve been for as far back as I have records.  For some the results are the best in five years.  For several others the results are the best they’ve been in a full decade!

I’ll definitely be sticking with this diet.

Weigh in Number SIX, slacking just a little!

Well, my “No eating out” plan for the month of November has failed!  We ate subway three times, and even tho it was a veggie  sub, I consider that a fail since I had bread with it.  Even tho we haven’t been on 100% this month we have still both lost weight!  I lost two lbs and Cory has lost three.  We will take that!  We have not had the best month at all but it wasn’t all that bad either. I ate out three times in the month and I’m not sure how many Cory has eaten out.  I would still consider this a good month since I have seen a loss :D  Feeling really good about everything, and we will continue to move in the right direction!  One day at a time, being consistent! 

Stir Fry Chicken Recipe

Stir Fry Chicken
Serves 5
I have changed this recipe many times until I got it just right! We ALL love it and we think it's delicious! It is one I made up myself with trial and error so I hope you enjoy it! I know we do! There is a lot to this recipe but it's well worth it!
Write a review
  1. 1 TBS olive oil
  2. 1 TBS sesame oil (give or take...may need more)
  3. 9 oz of cut up chicken breast
  4. 2 cups chicken broth PLUS 1/4 cup in a baggie
  5. 1 cup beef broth (or mushroom broth)
  6. 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  7. 1/2 tsp Ginger (can use powdered but we have found using fresh is a wonderful thing)
  8. 2 TBS soy sauce (low sodium or regular is fine)
  9. 1 TBS maple syrup (if you don't have maple syrup you can use honey or brown sugar)
  10. 1 TBS Hoinsen Sauce (don't skip this!)
  11. 1 can of water chestnuts (sliced)
  12. 1 chicken bullion cube
  13. 1 onion (diced)
  14. 1 cup carrots (chopped)
  15. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (do not skip this!) You can add more if you like extra spicy! We will use more (up to 1 tsp) if our red pepper flakes are older. If they are fresh, you may only want to use 1/4 tsp.
  16. 2 TBS corn starch (we use Arrow Root powder for a healthier version, but read up on it before does play different then the corn starch does). This gets added to the baggie with a 1/4 cup broth in it.
  2. Prep your ingredients (see notes)
  3. Preheat a 12 inch cast iron pan for 5 min before adding your oils (1 TBS olive oil and 1/2 TBS of sesame oil on med high heat) I leave my pan on med high the entire time I am cooking.
  4. Add your onion and carrots to your hot pan with oils already in it. Stir until onion is clear and carrots are browned just a bit. Move them to the side of your pan and move the pan off the heat just a little on that side.
  5. Add a little more sesame oil and add your chicken or beef (salt and pepper) cook until both sides of meat are browned. Stir the onion and carrots into the meat when the meat is done cooking.
  6. Add one cup of beef broth, ginger, garlic, ONE TBS of soy sauce, hoinsen sauce, maple syrup, bullion cube, pepper flakes, water chestnuts and stir.
  7. Let this reduce down until there is NO liquid left. It's ok to walk away for a few minutes. This usually takes 10 min or more depending on your stove. You will hear when the liquid is will sound like it's "frying" Watch it closely when the liquid is close to can burn easily if not watched at the end, and your whole dish will be ruined. Make sure you wait until all the liquid is won't be sorry!
  8. Once your liquid is fully gone, add your 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 TBS of soy sauce and stir. Let them come to a good boil and here is where you would add broccoli if your adding so it doesn't get over cooked. Any other veggie can be added during the reduce time.
  9. Once the mixture is boiling well, let it boil for about 5 - 7 min and then you can add the baggie mixture of corn starch and broth. You may not need the entire baggie worth. Add slowly until it's as thick as YOU like it. Keep stirring as you add. Once you have the consistency you like, remove it from heat. It's done!
  10. Serve over brown rice.
To Prep
  1. Start cooking your rice: (we use brown rice which takes 50 min to cook (2:1 ratio) (1.5 cups rice to 3 cups water) Rinse your rice, add to pan and add water. Stir once, cover, bring to boil then turn to LOW, let this cook 50 min while you work on your stir fry. DO NOT PEEK at the rice (you will let out all the steam that helps cook the rice)...leave it covered and cooking on low until 50 min has passed.
  2. Dice one onion, dice up carrots, grate ginger if using fresh, open water chestnuts, mince 4 gloves garlic, cut up chicken breast to make 9 oz, prepare your baggie with broth and corn starch mixture.
  3. NOTE: If you want to mix up your stir fry you can add beef in place of the chicken but just swap the chicken broth for beef broth...use 2 cups beef broth and 1 cup chicken broth and use the chicken broth first while reducing. You can also add veggies (we have added broccoli and snow peas with our beef and it was awesome!) we have also added other veggies including cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage to our chicken stir fry. Just what ever we feel like that night for veggies is what we add. Make it your own! ENJOY!
Our Journey Into Whole Foods*

Taco Soup Recipe

Taco Soup
Serves 6
Delicious Taco soup with added shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream to garnish.
Write a review
  1. 1 pound ground beef (we use grass fed)
  2. 1 small onion chopped
  3. 4 large cloves garlic diced
  4. 1 TBS Cumin
  5. 1 TBS Chili Powder
  6. 8 oz box of Cream Cheese (we use organic)
  7. 2 (10 oz) cans of rotel (cilantro and lime flavor, mild (we are looking into making our own))
  8. 1 box (32 oz) of beef broth or stock (we use organic)
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream (from grass fed cows)
  10. 1 cup cooked Elbow noodles (optional) do not add these for a low carb version.
  1. We use a 12 inch cast iron pan (turn burner onto med heat)
  2. Brown ground beef in a pan that you will be making the soup in.
  3. Add onions and garlic to beef and continue cooking.
  4. When beef is browned, add the cumin and chili powder, stir.
  5. While this is sitting, cut up your cream cheese into cubes and add it to the beef mixture and smash it into the beef.
  6. Once that is well smashed into the meat, add the Rotel, broth, and heavy cream and bring to a boil.
  7. Add noodles if desired (after you boil them) and serve!
  1. After putting the soup into your bowl, add a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a dallop of sour cream. You won't be sorry you did this!! And for an even more taco tasting soup...add a couple crunched up tortilla chips!
Our Journey Into Whole Foods*

A November experiment.

I have decided that November will be the month that I will not eat out at all.  No fast food, no subway.  It’s going to be a ‘test’ month for me.  Nic says he will do it with me :D  In fact, he was kind of excited when I mentioned it.  He is NOT the boy I remember!  I am SO very proud of him for choosing to do this with me.  A few days back he actually choose to eat at home vs subway :D  He said he just felt like eating healthy that day.  Plus he knows that when he eats bad it brings back his migraines. 

He had one the other day (asked me to turn out the lights etc…that’s when I know one is coming on) and I asked him what he ate and he said he ate and ice cream bar at grandmas (I forgot he went there) and he said he only had one but that one ice cream bar was enough to bring back those headaches for him!  I find that so amazing really!   I think Nic is trusting us now when we tell him that MAY be causing his head aches.  Hopefully he will stay away from them when he’s visiting grandma next time :D 

I have not mentioned our November plan  to the hubby yet so maybe he will do this with us as well.  Either way, I’m doing it for me just to see what the end results hold.  We didn’t eat out that often so it’s not going to be a hard thing to do really.  I just think it may help push that extra lb I am looking for at the end of the month during weigh in :D 

We have blood work coming up here soon…I will be sure to share those results.  We both got them done when we started this journey so were curious to see how it turned out.  Cory will get his before I get mine so I’m sure he will share his news when he gets his results. 

Hope my readers are well!  Until next time…

Weigh in number FIVE.

This morning I didn’t expect much at weigh in.  I hadn’t been AS careful as I was the past four months but I was still keeping it within our “rules”.  Just eating a little more that’s all.  Well turned out that it may have helped me instead of harm me.  I lost FIVE lbs this time around :D  Very happy with that and look forward to next month weigh in!  Heck, if I can eat this way and still continue to lose, I will take that any day!   Short blog post today but wanted to update you all on how I did.  Very happy girl this morning.  And hubby has reached his 42 lb mark AND got rid of his allergies almost totally!  And my knees have not hurt in a while now and I can again walk normally!  In total the two of us have lost 87 lbs and feeling SOOO much better!  It’s a win/win for sure. 

apple tapemeasure