Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Four weeks!

Monday marked four weeks on our new clean paleo-style eating plan. No gluten, no dairy, lots of lean meats, & organic fruits and vegetables. It’s crazy for me to think that for four weeks we’ve made every single meal at home. We’ve never done that before! We made it through cake filled birthday parties, festivals w/elephant ears (my favorite!), family BBQs, sweet treats at work, and even free coffees from customers. 

I think we’re really starting to get the hang of it! Planning ahead & packing snacks if we know we’re going to be gone during a time we’d normally eat. We’re also feeling great! We’re both sleeping better & have lots more energy. 

There is no way I could have been this successful without Alvaro. I’ve asked him several times if I could have just one cookie or a little gluten. He’s helped keep me on track! He’s done the same diet as me and has encouraged me the whole time. When I’ve felt stressed or discouraged, he’s stepped in and helped to cook or prep things. He’s bought me books & researched things with me. I feel truly blessed to have him as my best friend! 

We’re off on our first weekend getaway since transitioning to this new eating plan on Friday. I’m excited & I think we’re going to be successful and have a great time! 

Happy labor day weekend! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Diagnosis

About two weeks ago Alvaro & I walked into my doctor’s office hand in hand. We waited for nearly an hour to meet with the doctor. Once she came in we reviewed the test results. I was pretty certain what the test would be, but will still surprised. We talked for some time about the best way to move forward and treat this. After the diagnosis (& a few tears) Alvaro and I walked out hand in hand. 

This diagnosis isn’t a life stopper, but I would label it is a life alterer. We’ll have to alter our eating and exercise. The doctor suggested a very clean, paleo style eating plan. Avoiding things that are known to cause inflammation. Basically no sugar, gluten, or dairy. Lots of organic fruits & vegetables, lean meats, and proteins. Sticking to a strict exercise plan is also very important as she’d like me to lose a little of the weight I’ve gained over the last 2 years (newlywed weight gain). We wouldn’t say we ate terrible before, but enjoyed ice cream & pasta whenever we wanted and often had sandwiches for lunch. 

Well nearly two weeks in and it’s been going good and bad. The first week I felt great. It wasn’t so hard to give up my favorite treats knowing that their was something bigger on the line here. Alvaro & I both felt like we had more energy and weren’t crashing at 5pm everyday due to our my 3pm sugar snack. We also felt like we were sleeping better and deeper. This last week was a little tougher. I felt exhausted. Cooking every meal & making sure lunch was packed the night before was tiring. Alvaro worked late nearly every night so he wasn’t able to help as much as usual. I felt like week 1 the whole, organic food we were eating was fueling me. This week I felt like I was detoxing all the crap I’d been consuming before. It was tough. I fell asleep on the couch nearly every night. I should have been more in tune with what my body needed. And to top it all off Friday afternoon I tried to make a good snack decision and ate a package of peanuts. Big mistake! I’m guessing maybe I ate it too fast or it was too much fat and I was sick almost the rest of the day & night. I felt terrible. Lesson learned, no snacks. I’ll be sticking to my fruits and vegetables and wait till I get home to have more if I’m still hungry. 

Through all of this Alvaro has been my saving grace. Promising to eat, exercise, and do whatever I’m doing to improve my condition. How I was lucky enough to marry the most understanding, flexible, caring, and selfless person, is a mystery to me. I love him & am so grateful for him. He’s told me so many times, we’re a team. These last 2 weeks have really brought us even closer. 

We’re still getting a handle on our grocery budget & learning where to buy everything. This is one of the hardest things for me. Grocery shopping isn’t my favorite. I usually like to go at 7am on Saturday or Sunday and (proudly) finish my shopping in less than an hour. That’s no longer an option. We now are comparing prices and shopping multiple stores. Learning who has what and what we can afford. It’s a lot of work, lol! #firstworldproblems

So we’re learning. Reading a lot of books (hello Powell’s & the public library!), lots of research, recipe reading, and blog following. Overwhelming and encouraging. If you have a favorite paleo style blog, cookbook, or recipe, please share in the comments! I hope to document my progress and journey on this new path and hopefully offer support and info to others making changes to their diet and lifestyle for health reasons. 

Thanks for reading! I’m off to find some goodies for dinner from the farmers market! 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big decisions = big changes

Often you’ll hear people say small changes can make a big difference. Well guess what, big changes also make big differences. But usually, big changes are harder. A lot harder. 

Recently Alvaro & I made a hard decision. 

When we first got married {two years ago this month!!} we started planning a trip to Hawaii. We couldn’t wait. The plan was to go the following summer. However, plans changed and we decided the timing wasn’t quite right. 
No biggie, we’ll go next summer. We started planning, saving, dreaming, and pinning our ideas. Again, we couldn’t wait! We were planning to go in September this year. 

However, when we sat down & looked at the money we’d be making over the summer plus some extra coming in we had a big decision to make. We could either do what we really wanted to do (HAWAII) or do what we knew we should do, make Dave Ramsey proud & pay off some debt.

So after crunching the numbers a couple times, talking about the pros and cons, and deciding what would be best for our family; we decided to put the trip on hold again. 

I know it may not seem like a big deal and it really isn’t, but it is a bummer. I know Alvaro & I were really looking forward to our first big vacation away. 

But there are so many positive things about making that tough/big decision. 
  • We won’t feel any guilt about paying those things off. We were worried we’d be thinking about what we should have done while laying on the beach and not enjoy the trip as much. 
  • This will set us up great for the next couple years. If any great opportunities come up for Al to be apart of a research team or participate in an internship, he can do it! We won’t have to make our decisions on him getting a job to pay the bills. The idea that he can pursue his goals and have the opportunity makes me so excited for him! 
  • These tough decisions are tough now, but I think they’ll get harder as we get older, stuck in our ways, and have kids or a house. While it’s just the two of us, we can sacrifice and scrap by. Also, I think learning these lessons while we’re younger is just going to help us as we get older. 
  • We’re learning and practicing our communication skills. I was able to tell Al that I knew what the right decision was but it’s hard not to make the wrong decision out of emotions. Being able to tell him that and know he understands what I mean is such a great feeling. Neither of us wanted to make the final decision and have to tell the other person that we weren’t going. Instead we were able to talk it through and come to that decision together. We’re a team. 

So hopefully sometime in the nearish future, we’ll be laying guilt/debt free on a beach, enjoying each other, and grateful that we made the right decision. I believe we’ll look back and see this decision as a huge turning point in our lives. 

Deep down we know we’re changing our family tree and just like Dave Ramsey says: 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Beach Trip!

The first year Al & I started dating we went to the beach for the 4th of July. It was by far one of my favorite days together. 

We didn’t do anything special. Hung out on the beach and watched illegal fireworks from random people almost all day. We dug a fire pit, roasted marshmallows, listened to music, and just hung out. I’m sure the weather wasn’t great. I often mention to Al how it was such a wonderful time.

So this year we’re going back! Our anniversary is June 30th so we’re going to celebrate on the 4th instead. We snagged the last hotel room in Seaside a couple months back & I’m going to find some fun things to do in the area. Maybe an easy hike that morning. But really, I’m just excited about hanging out and relaxing on the beach with my favorite person. 

Also we'll have our new camera so we'll be able to take some great pictures! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

30 days

Recently Al & I have started watching TED talks a couple nights a week. The other day I came across the video below about trying something new for 30 days. 

I loved the idea! Instantly I thought about 20 things that I’d like to try/start/stop for 30 days. In the end I landed on two things. 

#1 - no social media. No Facebook, twitter, instragarm, or YouTube for vlogs. I removed the apps from my phone so I wouldn’t check them by mistake.

#2 - drink the recommended amount of water each day. For me and my body size that’s 64 ounces a day. I’ve downloaded a fun app to help me keep track.

Honestly I’m pretty excited about this! I hate how much time I absentmindedly spend on Facebook and twitter. And only good things can come from drinking lots of water :) 

Oh and bonus, Alavro is doing the water with me too! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Valentine’s day ... On the farm

Every year my parents go away to the coast for the long president’s day weekend. They go with a few other couples and rent a house. They love it and look forward to it each year. Unfortunately their dog got sick and had to have an emergency surgery 3 days before they were going to leave. So that meant they couldn’t board her while they were going to be away. That’s where Alvaro and I step in :) they asked us to stay at their house and watch the puppies (4), horses (2), and the recently acquired quail. Yes, a quail. What can I say, they are animal lovers. We were happy to help. 

So Valentine’s Day night we grabbed our usual heart shaped pizza, packed our bags, and headed over to get settled in for the weekend. It was dark when we got there, so we hurried and fed the horses and made our way up to the house. Excited to cook our pizza and watch some olympics. When Alvaro went to wash his hands he realized the water wasn’t working. My parents have a water pump and they just moved in a few months back so they are still working out all the quirks. Long story short, we spent about 30 minutes on the phone with my parents, with their friends, flipping breakers, and running between the pump house and the regular house. After about 30 minutes we gave up and decided we’d survive the night and use water bottles if we needed to. Then we’d head to our house in the morning. 

About an hour later while we watched the olympics we heard the faucets start to gargle. The water mysteriously turned on! Wahoo! Made washing the dishes and feeding the dogs much easier! 

The next few days went much smoother. We slept in, lounged around, drank silly amounts of coffee, and watched all the olympics we could. 

The last night there was a huge storm. It was insane! The trees all around us were swaying and the wind was shaking the house. We actually couldn’t sleep cause we were so worried about the trees. We got up, packed, and headed to our apartment at 3am. We were exhausted, but so happy to sleep in our bed. We couldn’t even hear the storm in our place! I went back before work and made sure everything was alright. No trees fell :) 

My husband is such a good sport. Giving up his weekend to help out my parents. All in all, we had a great weekend with some fun memories. 

ruff life for these puppies

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow Days!

A couple weekends ago we got some snow, a lot of snow! I work at an orthopedic clinic and they actually closed the clinic for Friday. That never happens! Needless to say I was over the moon excited to have an extra day off to hang out with Alvaro. 

The university was closed too, so we got to hang out around Salem. Luckily my Volvo does amazing in the snow! We headed out several times for groceries, snacks, and emergency trips to the coffee shop. It was fun to see all the photos and videos on Facebook & Instagram of everyone enjoying the snow or getting cabin fever. By Sunday our foot of snow had turned to ice and mostly everything was shut down. Luckily we found one coffee shop where only 2 employees were able to make it in! They were open for a few hours and packed!! 

Overall it was a great snow weekend! Alvaro and I hung out, I finished the book that had been taking forever to finish, continued planning our vacation, and drank lots and lots of coffee(!!!). I don’t think everyone in the Portland/Salem/Eugene area would agree with me, but I’d love to have snow days more often!