hands around the cross

hands around the cross

Monday, May 12, 2014

2.5 and still rolling on

Hey friends,

Well it has been a while since I have posted so I thought I would catch everyone up on how things are going. I am 2.5 months in to this new way of eating and I have lost 40 lbs! Amazing huh? I have been running for two years and I could not understand how I could not only not seem to lose weight but I kept gaining and my running of course never improved. Since quitting grains and sugar, I have so much energy and I love the foods that I eat. I have gone from barely running 2 miles to running 5.1 miles as of this past Saturday!! I still have around 60 pounds to lose and I want to complete a 5k with NO WALKING and then a 10k so the goals are still there and I am really enjoying the journey.

One thing I have really been working on is my relationship with God. I want to glorify Him in this journey so I spend some of my work out time praying for others and just asking God to bless and use this journey as another testimony for Him. I love the Lord above all else, and I so want to please Him in all that I do. If you do not know this amazing God who changed me so very much.. please ask me about Him! I used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, not a good wife, mother or friend and the Lord took all of that and made me who I am today. I am truly amazed at His power in my life.

Another thing I noticed is that as I continue to eat this way, I am more comfortable tweaking my diet to make sure I am eating in the best way for me to burn calories and still get enough nutrients to be strong and healthy. For example, at first I really relied heavily on bread substitutes like socca (chickpea flat bread), plantain crackers, and things like that. After the 6-7th week I found that my weight loss had kind of stalled so I removed those items which are high in carbs and immediately began to see results again. I am thankful I had those things in the beginning though because it really made a difference in the transition from grains. Both my husband and I have really cut down on fruits as well. We still eat a lot of berries but we steer clear of the higher sugar fruits like bananas, apples, grapes, and pineapple.

Also, I am trying to adjust my brain to accept that FAT is GOOD FOR YOU. This is difficult because I have had low fat, low cal pressed into my brain since birth. What I now know for a fact is that when I eat healthy fats such as coconut oils, meats, avocados, etc. I not only stay full longer but I lose weight faster. It is all about trial and error for me. I do not follow a specific plan completely. I steal what works for me from all of them and go with it!

Anyway... that is my story and I am sticken' to it! I hope this inspires you to really think about what you eat. Nobody needs to eat processed foods but not everyone needs to cut out as much as I have. Just know that if you are feeling sick and unhealthy the first place to start is your diet.

Many blessings and love...

Kelley aka Gypsy

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pure Joy

Hey everyone! I am just so happy today. I am learning more and more everyday about good nutrition and healthy lifestyles! I had to praise God this morning for bringing me to this place in my life and finally allowing me to see some victory in this lifelong battle! I know some people can't stand a morning person so I am sorry if this is a little much at 8:30 AM.. haha!

As much as I love this healthy eating life (ooh.. new bumper sticker? NAH), I have found that it can be very expensive so I am working on ways to reduce our grocery budget. One of those things is going to be an attempt to grow a few of my own vegetables this year. If that goes well, I may try a REAL garden next year! I have never had a green thumb but you never know.. God may be ready to let me win that battle too! :)

One of the amazing finds for vegetables and fruits is a store called Aldi. Some of you may have shopped there but I really hadn't paid it any mind in the past. Almost all of their fruits and vegetables are half or less than what you pay in another store! For example - BIG box of strawberries.. $1.19!! Score!

Here are a couple of fun easy dishes I made this week!

Sausage stir fry -

l pound ground sausage - (2 if you want some the next day!)
cabbage
onions
snow peas
carrots
garlic
broccoli
red pepper flakes
mixed spices
zucchini

Brown the sausage, drain, throw in all the vegetables and let them soften! YUM.. oh my, we had this for breakfast the next day too!


This one makes me VERY happy! Zucchini or squash chips! 

Slice the vegetable, put it in a plastic bag with a tablespoon of Olive oil, throw in some spices red pepper, Mrs. Dash, whatever you like.  Shake the bag really well. Lay out the veges on a baking sheet and bake until crispy!


So that is my story for today! I am so happy and enjoying sharing my story with all of you! Blessing and peace as you complete this week!

~ Kelley






Monday, March 31, 2014

A day in the life....

I have had so many people ask what exactly I DO eat so I decided to do a post with a whole days worth of my food.

So right after I wake up, I have started drinking a serving of Spark. This has replaced my morning coffee and it wakes me up so FAST!!


Then we go to the gym and do our work out or I go for a run. As soon as I get home I make us a protein shake. I like to make it in the blender with almond milk and I add about 10 strawberries. 2 scoops of protein since Pat and I are both having one. Occasionally I will add a banana but I try not to have too many of those because of sugar content.


After my shake I take my morning vitamins. Vitamin D because I don't do dairy, super cleanse to keep me regular and I love Spirulina and Digestive Enzymes (not pictured) after each meal! These all keep my body zipping right along!!


Once I get to work I like to have 2 hard boiled eggs. I usually finish them by around 9:30 and that carries me to lunch at 12.


For lunch I either have a chicken socca sandwich with spinach on it or I like a spinach salad with strawberries, almond slivers and chicken salad. 


I use 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill garbanzo bean flour, 1 cup of water and 1.5 Tblsp of Olive oil with whatever spices I feel like throwing in to make Socca. Cook it just like a pancake. This makes 6 pieces in my small frying pan.  Then I mix up a can of chunk chicken in water (I know... better if I cook it myself) with Earth Balance "mayo" and stone ground mustard. 


Comes out wonderful!! 

Between lunch and dinner I no longer get hungry so if I want something besides water, I will have another bottle of Spark. Spark is wonderful for a quick burst of energy. 


Dinner is always some sort of meat, quinoa and a vegetable. 
 ~Baked Fish 

 ~Turkey Meatballs

I don't really snack anymore but if I am wanting something sweet, I either have a protein shake with fruit or some SoDelicious Almond milk ice cream. I am trying to keep the ice cream down to once a week! 

Before bed I take 2 more Super Cleanse and get some GOOD sleep! :)

Well that's my day.. I hope this helps answer some of the questions. Just so you know, I pray every day that the Lord will use this journey to draw people to Him in whatever way is His will. I am so glad to answer questions and help any of you on your own path! Be blessed and have a wonderful week!!!












Sunday, March 16, 2014

Trying new things!!!

Hello!! Happy Sunday! I hope your day was awesome despite the chilly rain!! I used the time this afternoon to try some new things and I would love to share them with you!

First off, Kale Chips! Yummo! So easy to make and they really do taste like potato chips. I know you don't believe it! Try me!

1 bunch of kale
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt

wash and dry Kale. Make sure you dry it really good with a salad spinner or paper towels. My first batch was not as great because they were still damp. 

Cut the leaves away from the thick stock, spray with olive oil and toss with sea salt. Bake at 400 for 15 mins. 

EAT!! 



We also LOVE stuffed mushrooms so I made some today using sausage, green chilies, onions and I traded the traditional cheese for a little hummus salad dressing. Wonderful!



Now, I told you yesterday I am not crazy about cooking meats but today I dove in to another area where I am not really comfortable... fish! We found some wild caught Sole at Trader Joe's today. We also found some tri-color quinoa and decided to cook these together. For the fish Pat coated with lemon juice and a little olive oil and then added curry spice and seasonings. 

It was fabulous! I am liking this "new thing" thing. LOL!


Finally, my darling hubby has been craving something sweet! So I found a cookie recipe and traded out flour for almond flour, sugar for stevia, and egg for flax and water... He LOVES them. I also used vegan butter instead of shortening but I wont do that again. It came out a little too greasy. 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Well, I am exhausted! I hope you all have a wonderful evening!! 

<3 Kelley


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time Marches On!

Well, it has been a little over 2 weeks since I started this journey to healthy eating and I am still loving it. I am learning more and more about food every day! I love knowing that the things I am eating are healthy and are making me stronger instead of making me sicker and fatter. 12 lbs down so far and more importantly, I feel better and sleep better than ever! 

Today's recipe was a challenge for me! I am one of those people who really do not like to cook meat. I get the eebie jeebies with the bones and all so I pretty much try to avoid it. I learned this week though that bone in meat is a heck of a lot cheaper and is usually a lot less processed. So.. I decided to try. Lunch came out great and my meat eating hubby LOVED being able to chew on the bones.. haha, gross huh!

This recipe is from Real Simple:

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/roasted-chicken-asparagus-00100000078535/

You can barely see my asparagus but it is there and it was yummy! I used coconut oil for this dish.



I also decided to put some rhyme and reason into my strength training routines. I try to lift on my off-run days but I have been kind of sporadic and not really focused. I found this workout and started Friday..it literally kicked my butt! I am sooo sore!! But I love it!! :)


Sadly, I am going to have to take a week or so off of running. I LOVE to run and I feel great while doing it but my right heel kills me for a day or two after running. So, I will do the elliptical and be happy and try to heal my poor heel! :( 

Anyway.. awesome week, sorry I didn't post more but I have been making variations of the same meals this week. Pat and I went to the farmers market today and got some Kale so I will see what kind of yumminess I can do with that.

Love you all.. .be blessed!

~Kelley



Monday, March 10, 2014

2 New Clean Recipes

I had fun cooking up a storm this weekend! I ventured out to try some new stuff and this is what we got!

Last nights dinner was: Vegetable Stir fry and chicken with quinoa

2 sliced yellow squash
2 sliced zucchini
1 sliced red onion
Throw it all in a pan with a little olive oil, a tbl sp of garlic and some Mrs Dash - stir fry it until squash and zucchini are soft.




Remove veggies from pan, add a couple spoons of coconut oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt pepper and a little Mrs Dash and cook for about 4 minutes on each side in the coconut oil. Serve with veggies and quinoa!! Yum!!!


I was feeling pretty good about this dish and the music was playing so I went ahead and made tonight's dinner as well! I call it Trick Spaghetti because I used to trick my boys all the time into eating it !! :) 

1 Large Spaghetti Squash
1 jar of sugar free/gluten free spaghetti sauce (I used pizza sauce)
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbl spoon of garlic
1 can of Rotel



Cut the squash in half and then clean out the center. Place in boiling water for 20 minutes. Scrape the squash out with a fork. It makes "noodles"!

Brown the turkey with the garlic. Drain. Add can of Rotel and sauce and cook on med heat for 5-7 minutes.

I served mine with socca (chick pea flat bread)... We really enjoyed it! 



Sorry I am not regaling you all with my tales of the day but it was a long one and I am just glad to be home! Love you all! God bless!!


~ Kelley 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weekends were supposed to be hard?

I always thought when starting a new lifestyle that weekends were the hardest because we are home with our families and doing what we normally do just seems to be easier but I have found that I love feeling good physically, mentally and spiritually so much that I really don't mind not vegging out on the couch and eating potato chips until I go into a coma. Seriously.. that was like a favorite past time!

So anyways... Friday night we came home and made some AWESOME spinach meatballs! I put it together with quinoa and fresh green beans... yum!

The meatball recipe came from my friend Beth and you can find lots of awesome recipes on her site...
http://www.primal-bytes.com/





The Quinoa is Ancient Harvest brand.. pretty good except it came out a little hard. I cooked it in my Tupperware rice cooker so I am going to try stove top tonight!






What a gorgeous weekend this has been! I was blessed to spend the day yesterday with my sweet daughter, hanging out at the thrift store, home and going to our church The Revolution http://www.revolutionraleigh.com/ in the evening. We had a blast! I got my new supplement Spark! in the mail and I love it! I have tons of energy and Issy and I even went for a 3 mile run/walk (she on her bike) in the afternoon yesterday!


Me and my Spark.. message me if you want to know about this...

I have a love/hate relationship with running.. more love than hate, especially when I am done!

Last night Pat and I stayed up crazy late (for us) because Pat was putting grommets on my Bikers For Christ vest and he did an excellent job! We were watching TV while he worked and needed a snack, so we went with rice crackers and hummus. I don't go over the recommended serving of the crackers and amazingly I never want to anymore! 

These are our favorites! I am working on getting a food processor and a dehydrator so I can make our own crackers and hummus! Can't wait!





 Then Pat and I rode to Freedom Biker Church in Fayetteville (http://www.freedombikerchurchfayetteville.com/) today and decided to stop for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant El Charro. Yes! We can still eat out! We got the lunch fajitas no cheese, no rice and no tortillas. The poor little waitress had to come back 3 times and make sure she got that right! LOL but it was a delicious treat and I could not even finish! 



Well, that is my adventures for the weekend! More to come!!! Love you all and God bless!! 

Kelley

Friday, March 7, 2014

I am not ashamed.

As I was working out this morning, I was listening to my favorite music Lecrae and I was hit with a total realization that God has to be first in my life or none of this matters. I have had so many people show interest in my new lifestyle and as excited as I am to share my trials and success with all of that, I really want you all to know about the One who makes it possible. This is not a new concept to me but just like with all of you, I get sidetracked by my own will and my own desire and I forget to completely lean on the Holy Spirit and give all of my praises to Jesus. Romans 1:16 states "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to EVERYONE who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." So before I tell you about my food diary or how awesome I feel, I need you to know that it is not by my strength that I am able to run, to go to school, to work, to be a mom and a wife, or to eat healthy. It is all by the power of Christ in me because I believe. I praise His name for allowing me a life I never could have dreamed of. I thank Him for each of you, friends and supporters, prayer warrior, and family. The Lord has given me "a people" and that is YOU. Thank you and may you be blessed!!

Here is a snippet of LeCrae's song "Background" which rings so true for me... over and over... 

Lecrae: Background
I had a dream that I was captain of my soul
I was master of my fate, lost control, and then I sank
So I don't want to take the lead, 'cause I'm prone to make mistakes
All these folks who follow me, gon' end up in the wrong place
So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines
Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes
'Cause if I do this by myself, I'm scared that I'll succeed
And no longer trust in you, 'cause I only trust in me
And see, that's how you end up headed to destruction
Paving a road to nowhere, pour your life out for nothing
You pulled my card, I'm bluffing, You know what's in my hand
Me, I just roll and trust you, You cause the dice to land
I'm in control of nothing, follow you at any cost
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is you the boss
Man, I'm so at ease, I'm so content
I'll play the background, like it's an instrument


If you need some music to get you pumped for God.. .download Lecrae.. wow.. awesome!


OK... Food Time!


So this past couple of weeks eating clean has been amazing. I have had my days where I felt like I was coming off of some hard core drugs but the fog has lifted and I am feeling really amazing today. My headache is finally gone and I have so much energy! Praise God!!!

I am really just an average cook but I believe God has given me a real desire to experiment with natural foods and make things from scratch! I am still trying to stick with less than 8 ingredients because I get nervous but so far all of the food has been wonderful! If I had to eat cold salad with tuna and chicken every day for the rest of my life I think I would just choose to remain overweight and forget my fitness goals! Thank God, we can cook those salads a million different ways and prepare meats that are not completely boring!

Props to a few of my new favorite blog chefs!!! 

Beth Dunnavant https://www.facebook.com/PrimalBytes

Lori and Michellehttp://www.purelytwins.com/

Elanahttp://www.elanaspantry.com/

Check them out!!!

So far, chicken salad made with gluten free mayo and served on Socca (recipe by purelytwins) is our favorite lunch!




We have also learned that mixing spinach in your pan for just a minute or so after cooking meat and onions makes everything taste better! :) 


Turkey Sausage, Red Onions, Spinach, Mrs. Dash


Grilled Chicken, Red Onions, Spinach Mrs. Dash



Right now I am still drinking a protein shake once or twice a day but hopefully someday I will get savvy enough to combine my foods in such a way that I wont need to do that. All proteins shakes are NOT created Equal so make sure you watch for sugars and other unwanted things. I love Jay Robb's shakes. They are Gluten free and are only sweetened with Stevia! Yum!!


Anyway... As I try new things I will keep posting and hopefully some of you will share your story as well! I am an ALL IN kind of girl, so if I like something I pretty much go all the way so your journey may be less intolerant than mine... COOL! Do what works for you but most importantly, remember to pray, to Thank God that we have so many options and to be grateful for where He has us now. 

Love you!!! 

Kelley