What’s New?

Hello, blogging world! It has been awhile, hasn’t it?

Over the past 3 1/2 weeks, my family and I have been pretty close to going coast to coast! We started out on a birthday tour for my husband’s family. We celebrated an 80th birthday in Dallas, TX then another 80th birthday in Silver City, NM then we ended that trip by spending a few days in Tucson, AZ, my hubby’s birth town. A wonderfully fun trip! I had never been to the southwest before, and I found it beautiful!

Standing on a lookout in Tucson, AZ

Standing on a lookout in Tucson, AZ

Then we were home for just a little bit, and then my little one and I took off with my family to spend almost a week having fun in the Philly area. We went to NYC for a day, then we went to Belmar Beach in NJ, had fun at the Sesame Place water park for a day and ended that trip with the Pinto family’s 18th reunion! It was so nice to see everyone and show off my “facebook baby” as they call her, to them.

Also, I am completely bragging here, but I have an amazing husband! He wasn’t able to head up north with me to my family reunion, which made me sad, but he completely spoiled me! He spend the day, yesterday, as I was coming back from the reunion, cleaning our three story town home top to bottom and made the bed and did laundry?!?!?!? He  even made sweet potatoes for me just in case I was hungry when I got home. My heart melted. I would marry him all over again if I hadn’t already done so 😉

shhhh! I haven’t stuck to my diet at all, unfortunately, and have gained a few pounds. Blah! I will say, I can be one of those people now that screams the  wonders of how much better you feel when you stick with a plant based diet! I have had lots of issues with my skin (like being a teenager all over again) the past few weeks. Now some of that may indeed be that I had to put sunscreen on my face a few days and all the heat we had to deal with. AND the biggest issue I have had to deal with is not being “regular.” Not an awesome topic so I will leave it at that, but you catch my drift 😉

Anyway, I finally got back home late last night/early this morning and am now committed to restoring my health!

I have found I need to add more greens into my diet. We eat a lot of spinach, but just today it came to my attention that it doesn’t have calcium in it?!?! Should have looked that one up sooner, woops. So a list of greens that contain calcium that is easier for your body to digest that I have found helpful is here:

  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • collards
  • Chinese cabbage
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • okra

Also I read that Blackstrap molasses has calcium in it. An interesting fact. Not sure how much it has in it, nor do I have any in my cupboards considering it is soooo expensive! But interesting, none the less.

Also a neat website I have stumbled upon, which you might know, but me being new to the realm found it very helpful! NutritionFacts.org 

It is run by Michael Greger, M.D. and it addresses a lot of issues and or rumors that are floating around out there in video form! I love to read, but I learn best by visuals and hearing at the same time, so for me, it is a perfect website.

Hope your summer has been wonderful and full of veggies so far! I need to improve my veggies but we still have half a summer left! Tell me about your summer below! Would love to hear of your adventures or any tips you have =)

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Going Vegan for Allergies

I feel as if I should cry out for help. I am pretty much a vegetarian, I will occasionally eat chicken and salmon, but other than that, I stick to my veggies, grains, cheeses, and yogurt.

My baby girl had her 15 month doctors appointment today, and in it we discussed her long list of allergies. Here are her “major” allergies/sensitivities:

– Chashews
– Peanuts
– Sesame Seeds
– Milk
– Soy
– Egg Whites
– Coconut, Almonds…pretty much any nut except pecans (?!?)

With that being said, the pediatrician – I adore her! She is on board with how we eat and uses medicine as a last resort instead of always having a prescription pad in hand! – Told me that I need to go as vegan as possible and as organic as possible.

Okay, not a horribly big deal. Until I realized just how much I cook with cheese and Greek yogurt!!! I have a few 100% vegan meals, but I love to bake and cook!  Living without yogurt is okay, I can deal with that and find substitutions (if anyone has an idea for a vegan substitute, I am all ears) but it is really the cheese I am having issues with. Just last night I posted a recipe for Loaded Southwestern Vegetarian Quesadilla, how do you make a quesadilla without cheese? the first part of the word is practically queso!

So hear is my cry for help. I know it is possible to go vegan successfully. I have friends who have done it, but then they usually add back dairy products because they missed them. But I need to do it as a lifestyle change for good. I think it will help future children of mine too if I can cut down on exposing them to all of those sensitive foods.

If anyone has helpful suggestions, I would really appreciate them!

My Prayer

I sing and rock my little girl to sleep most nights. I usually have to make up my own songs because I am so bad at remembering lyrics. So tonight I sang to her my prayer for her. I pray, every word I pray will be true. It is always tough trying to raise a child in a Christian household, especially in today’s world. I never feel as if I am doing enough to set a good example for her, but every night I pray the same prayer for her. And every night I mean every word. I am by no means a professional, so don’t judge on quality. I know it is a very simple song, but it means everything to me as a mother.

New Year, New Life

Beginning in December of 2012, my hubby, Andrew, and I decided that 2013 was going to be our new “beginning.” We were going to improve our selves totally, mind, body, soul, and wallet; and so far we have been doing well, all 12 days of 2013. I will explain how we are improving ourselves.

Mind:

This year we are being happier, and we are trying to communicate better. Having an almost 10 month old is one of the best things in the world, but it can be a bit stressful especially when that little one doesn’t want to sleep! So, we are going to bed earlier, and sleeping when our little one sleeps, which helps improve everyone’s moods.

Body:

We are exercising almost every day. Andrew plays basketball while he is on his lunch break or does weights in the gym at work. I usually put Caroline, our baby, in the stroller and walk to our complex’s gym and run a mile and do light weights, or if it isn’t nice outside, I do Blogilates and some basic exercises with my baby girl, who thinks it is the most fun! We also changed how we eat. We have always been “good” eaters, but this year we switched to eating Whole Foods. It is crazy at how much more energy we have had already with the combination of exercise and eating whole foods.

Soul:

God never forgets anyone no matter how far away his children have strayed. This year we have decided to get back to being close with God. My mother-in-law gave us a book, Experiencing God (by Henry and Richard Blackaby, and Claude V. King), which allows us to just take 15mins to a half an hour a day for a daily devotion, then we pray afterwards about things going on in our lives, or others who have asked for prayer. Our main goal is to listen to God, and do as He wishes us instead of doing what we, as humans, want to do. That is NOT an easy task for sure! but we are committed!

Wallet:

Finally, wallet. Andrew and I have always been savers, and thankfully we made it through college without taking any loans or having any debt in general, for that we are both very thankful. When we got married, we decided to read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover which Andrew had already read and I knew a little about. Once we had read it together, that was the beginning of us becoming “one” in our married relationship. We got through the first few baby steps and now we are on to saving for a house! So that is how we are improving ourselves financially this year, so that we can hopefully, within a year, buy a house. We have decided to put the money we want to save away at the beginning of the month instead of waiting until the month’s end to put what we have left into saving. This puts a bit more pressure on the savings aspect. I think of saving money on groceries and other items like a game. I see what coupons I can use and see what deals are going on. That is how I view it.

As I post (or sometimes my hubby when he wants to), I will update on how we are doing, and post recipes that I sometimes create, or crochet projects, or other crafting projects, etc. You will never know what I might just post!