Tag: health

I May or May Not Be Becoming A Crazy Health Nut

In Defense of Food

Image Credit

Have you ever thought about what you eat?

I honestly didn’t until we got married and I began to cook more.

At the beginning it wasn’t very often; I was mostly trying not to burn anything and come up with things that my husband would like. I also was a little like an ostrich, my head buried in the ground- knowing I should consider these things but fearing that what I learned would turn me into a crazy health nut.

And then I read 7. There was something intriguing about Jen eating only 7 foods for a month. It was a simple premise, yet the benefits she explained made me curious. After that, I read In Defense of Food, by Michael Polland.

Michael gives away the premise on the front of his book: eat food, mostly plants, not too much. He opened my mind to a whole new way of thinking and eating.

I realized that I’d been gliding on autopilot, eating small portions of whatever I wanted and that I’d never thought about how much processed “food” was going into my body. (And it was labeled ‘healthy’ or ‘low fat!’)

What we call ‘food’ is not necessarily food. Michael gives easy-to-implement guidelines for more thoughtful eating, but the one I feel sums it up best is, ‘Don’t eat anything your great grandma wouldn’t recognize.’ Meaning? Avoid products containing ingredients that are unpronounceable, unfamiliar, more than 5 in number or include high fructose corn syrup.

I’m not chained to this, but I try to frame our food in light of that. And holy cannoli err…holy broccoli, has it made a difference!

When we eat closer to these guidelines, we have more energy, our skin is clearer, and we feel better in general. Honestly, as we eat more good foods, we want more of them. Fast food has lost most of it’s luster and my raging sweet tooth has calmed. {Is there a pig flying somewhere?}

So far, I haven’t done anything too crazy, like buying chickens {our hoa would kill us}, but a few changes like

  • adding more veggies and fruits into our diet;
  • canning our own salsa;
  • and planting herbs and baby tomatoes,

make me feel like I’m becoming a better manager of my family’s food. One day I hope to have a big garden, a freezer to hold the produce, or maybe join a CSA (right now there aren’t any close to us). The investigation is slow, and for some reason even though I know these things are good and should be implemented, sometimes it’s just so dang difficult to follow through.

I keep seeing and hearing more on the subject, so I’m curious about how other families are responding.

Are you a food investigator? Is it hard to implement better eating habits even when you know the results are what you want? Are there any books you’ve read on the subject that you would recommend?

Does It Count If I Painted My Thumb Green?

plant seeds

I am a flower killer. Every year we plant gorgeous flowers and bushes and they always die.

But this year, I have hope. I did some research and planted some herbs and a tomato plant over the weekend! {I painted my nails a nice minty green to convince my baby seedlings to grow. Fingers crossed it works!}

This is all the result of a book I put off reading for a long time because I was afraid it would turn me into a crazy, high maintenance eater. I do eat differently now, but it opened my eyes to how I shop and what we eat, and gave me simple adjustments that go a long way. I highly recommend it.

One of those simple changes is to grow a few things we eat frequently. We live in a patio home community, so we don’t have room for a garden per se, but some day I’d like to have one, so I’m starting out small. Planting a few seeds to reap a bigger harvest down the road, if you will. {I truly apologize; my jokes are corniest on Mondays. On second thought, I don’t apologize. You can’t beet corny jokes.}

In all seriousness though, do you grow anything your family eats? Any tips for newbies? Gardening resource must-reads? Please share them!


california roll {in a bowl}

cali roll in a bowl

t and i love sushi, but it’s expensive, so we don’t have it very often.

for one of our date nights, i created a ‘sushi in a bowl’ recipe. it makes an at-home-date-night extra special! {and it’s way easier than trying to make rolls of sushi.}


  • sushi rice 
  • 4 sheets of nori {seaweed}
  • 1/2 a package of imitation crab
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 of a cucumber
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce for serving


  • make the sushi rice according to the instructions.
  • while the rice is cooking, cut the nori, crab, avocado, and cucumber into bite-size pieces.
  • when the rice is finished, keep covered and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • put the rice into a nonmetallic bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar. mix well.
  • divide the rice into 2 serving bowls.
  • add half of the crab, avocado, and cucumber into each bowl. mix well.
  • sprinkle sesame seeds {and soy sauce if you like!} on top and serve.

this recipe serves 2.

paleo, oh paleo

like a rockstar


despite my going off paleo, i’m still cooking paleo meals for troy and adding in carbs and dairy for myself.

adding a limited amount of sugar, dairy, and carbs back into my diet has made me feel full again. i’ve found when i stick to “real” food {avoiding processed things}, i feel an incredible difference in my energy level and my skin is clearer. {i still have a weakness for all desserts.}

that being said, here are our favorite paloe-rific recipes from the last few we’ve tried:

  • shakshuka {t’s favorite}
  • chicken with creamy sun dried tomato sauce {my favorite- i added an appetizer of italian bread that i tore off piece by piece and dipped in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. would you judge me if i told you i was drooling right now just thinking about it?}

ps thanks for your recipe suggestions the other day. we can’t wait to try them!

pps you can find my jacket here.

adventures in paleo

classics and neutrals



troy is awesome at being healthy. he’s inspired me to work out {more} and eat healthier {most of the time. braum’s ice cream trips me up; i won’t lie.}

this month, to prepare for a half marathon he’s running, we’ve been on the paleo diet.

that means no sugar or creamer in my coffee {which means no coffee this month}, no bread or grains, and no dairy.

it also means lots of fresh fruits and veggies and time spent on pinterest pinning new and exciting recipes.

so far, not so good. between writing the draft of this post and finishing it up today, i quit paleo.

i was hungry all.the.time. i ate and ate but rarely felt full. i lost several pounds, which wasn’t my goal, so i went off the diet after a few days. it made me think a whole lot more about what i eat though, and i’ve continued to cook and eat {mostly} paleo meals to help troy stick to his goal.

the recipes have all been delicious so far, so i thought i’d share a couple of our favorites:

  • portobello burgers and sweet potato fries {t said this is one of the best meals i’ve ever made.}
  • chicken “tacos” and guacamole: chicken rub, taco recipe, homemade guac {t surprised me and made this for me on a date night. he’s the best!}

have any good paleo recipes up your sleeve? i want to hear them!

ps i haven’t had a chance to work on the reader remix post, so  i’m extending the deadline. if you want to join in, click here for details and send me an e-mail by midnight monday!