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I have a LOT of catching up to do....   here on the blog, in my own manuscript writing, critique groups, homeschool plans, catching up with friends, decluttering and organizing and oh so much more.  My "To Do" list keeps growing.   I write it out once a week or so and cross out things as I accomplish them but seem to always add more than I cross out.  I never get it all done.  I'm always rewriting the things I didn't get done from the old list to the top of the new list.

I have had some recent achievements though:

My little guy and I are halfway through Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons.   I'll try to get an update on that out soon.  He still enjoys the lessons.  Sometimes we skip a few days, sometimes we do two in a day because he brings the book to me and wants to do it.  He is starting to pick out a lot more words in the books I read to him.  🙂  It's exciting!

I am in Spring Cleaning Decluttering and Organize Mode..   I finally succeeded in cleaning out my closet!  It's a nice walk-in closet with lots of shelves...also, unfortunately, the place I was learning to put things if I didn't feel like dealing with it at the moment...and was no longer very 'walk-in-able'...  But NOW IT IS!  Woot!  I have it all done but one shelf...  lots of pictures and papers that need sorted and put into the right boxes.  But just this one MAJOR task accomplished and the $65 I made cleaning out the game closet (I sold some games and an old keyboard on a Facebook online garage sale) gives me HUGE motivation to continue.

I finally watched the Charlotte Mason video seminars that I bought LAST year at the CHAP (Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania) conference....with only 7 days to go before the next conference!  It was worth it.  It did convince me that I really need to make an effort to get to know more about the Charlotte Mason approach and stay on track with it.  I definitely feel it's the right approach for us for the little man...  if only I had researched it when the others were younger 🙁   Oh well....I did the best I could,

I completed the May Menu.  But I really need to get cracking on the grocery list for next week or I'll have a menu with no food!

I finally wrote the blog post I've been meaning to write for some time.  I posted it last Thursday and it got over  198 views thus far...making it my 3rd most viewed post.  Not a lot of comments were made, but it pleased me that that many people read it and am hopeful it gave   If you haven't and you want to read it, it's right here:  Why I Refuse To Support Homeschool Diploma Programs.

I made a LOT of revisions on my manuscript in the last month or so.  Unfortunately, the last time I sat down to work on it my goal had been to CUT word number...and ended up with 35 extra words....  LOL... but I think the revisions I made were important and beneficial.  I hope to cut some more on the word count today and maybe even write up a draft query letter!

Well, that's certainly not all I've been doing - but it's the highlights of quite a few.  And now, I need to get back to the manuscript!  Wish me luck!

 

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Week Two Recap:

The second week has gone by.... so we should be through the worse part they say... I don't know... chocolate is still calling my name. In fact, I think I hear it whimpering.....

But even with some major stressors happening, we have all kept up with the challenge.  We are grateful, though, that we picked the season of Lent to do this as I do feel without that spiritual aspect and commitment, we may have faltered at this level.  Sugar addictions are by far harder than most would like to admit.  Eating food products simply due to habits and emotional stress is also a bigger problem than most would like to admit.

Again, we stuck to the menu.  I wasn't sure we'd have as many leftovers on Sunday especially with my daughter coming home for Spring break but it turned out we had plenty and still some left over again!

I have not done well with my exercise goals... but am still attempting them.  That wasn't the biggest part of my personal goals...but still something I'm going to keep trying to form into a habit again.

Week 3 Menu:

Monday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, pork sausage, sautéed kale, warm coconut milk to drink

Lunch (EACH DAY):  Leftovers or Fried Eggs (my son has this special egg thing he likes o do for lunch and snacks - he fries up an egg and cooks it through....and leaves one soft so the yolk is still runny...mixes it together and fries up some compliant ham lunch meat and enjoys it all together)

Supper:  Paleo Chili, Mashed Cauliflower, Salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast:  Frittata with tomato and spinach, guacamole

Supper:  Slow Cooker Potroast, Mashed Cauliflower, Salad

Wednesday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Vegetable Hash (mixture of leftover vegetables), Ham Slices, guacamole

Supper:  Salmon Cakes wrapped in tomato and Lettuce,  Tomato Soup

Thursday:

Breakfast:  Fritatta with tomatoes and spinach, sweet potato hash, warm coconut milk to drink

Supper: Best Ever Chicken Legs/Wings,   Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Friday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Potato Hash, ham, warm chicken broth to drink

Supper:  Cod with butter and herbs, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad

Saturday:

Breakfast:  My husband will mix up some sort of egg dish because he's that awesome!

Supper:  Whole Greek Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli cauliflower mix, Salad

Dessert (with or soon after supper) - Blackberries

Sunday:

Breakfast:  Small amount of fruit with a few cashews and almonds, small amount of warm coconut milk  (for myself and my son - the rest of us fast completely before Sunday Liturgy.  I'm working on cutting back little by little to see if my body is able to tolerate this. I have a history of low blood sugar symptoms and passing out if I fast too much)

Lunch:  Wraps with lettuce and compliant lunchmeat, guacamole

Supper:  Leftovers

Easy Mashed Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup (or more depending on desired consistency)
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower by placing in pot with a small amount of water and heating until soft enough that a fork easily slips through.  Place steamed cauliflower in food processor with desired amount of coconut milk and ghee/butter.  Dash with salt and pepper.  Process until smooth or reaches desired consistency.

* I have tried mixing with an electric beater.  While it mixes, it does not process smoothly.  I much prefer the smoothness of a food processor.

Breaking the addiction and habits:

This week has certainty tested our ability to say no to our cravings (addiction to sugar and habits of eating processed sugary chocolate and snacks when stressed or performing various activities).  I got an email from the Whole30 website (I signed up to receive them daily) that gave pointers on what to do when you are experiencing cravings.  I had to laugh at two of them... on a list of suggested activities that one does to do instead of giving into those cravings was 'take a warm bath' and 'read a book'.... two of the most common times I actually do sit down to enjoy my chocolate and the ever so occasional glass of wine!....  so while those activities may help others take their minds off of their cravings, it actually increases mine!  And I certainly can't give up reading....well, I could for a few weeks, but realistically I'm just not going to.  So what can I do?  Well, painting your nails was on the list.  I bought two bottles of polish yesterday.  I  make sure I have a small portion of healthy snacks (a container of almonds or pistachios) so I have something to munch on at the most obvious times I've given in to those cravings in the past.  Ideally, one shouldn't give in to food at all....but I think replacing what we are eating is part of the process and it's better to give in to something I've prepared that's healthy than be tempted into something unhealthy. I've also tried changing my location for some of my reading.  I think location of doing an activity adds to the habit, so changing the location makes it a little different and helps a bit. Having a specific prayer to say at that moment of temptation is certainly helpful as well.  St. Ephraim's prayer is excellent as is the Jesus Prayer.

What are some things  you do to resist cravings?

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Week One Recap:

I think the first week went really well.  I don't think any of us experienced any of the tiredness or other physical symptoms that my daily emails from Whole30 warned us of.  That may be because we do eat fairly well to begin with and our diet isn't anywhere close to that of the Standard American Diet.

I did have cravings...  CHOCOLATE being number one!  And going to the grocery store was difficult.  I've never noticed so many people standing around with their coffees before.  I have gotten into a habit of treating myself with a breve latte when I do my weekly grocery store shopping so that was hard.  Also, walking past the Easter Candy displays - even though their isn't any candy we can have there (we can't eat anything with artificial additives) just reminded me of the chocolates that I CAN have and wanted desperately.

We stuck to the menu for the most part.  There were two days we switched around and we also ended up having leftovers on Sunday after Church because even with eating leftovers for lunch there was still plenty left at the end of the week.  So I think I'll just keep my leftover day planned for Sundays and just have some sort of stir fry thing I can toss together as a back up plan if there isn't enough leftovers to make a meal.

We set exercise goals and I think we all managed to keep them.  My own was to simply do some very simple weight exercises most mornings and to use either the treadmill or stationary bike for ten minutes 2- 3x a week.  It's not much - but it's more than I've done in a few months.

Week 2 Menu:

Monday:

Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs, Pork Sausage (I'm doubling this as my son asked if he could have some for snack time!), Sweet Potato Hash w/ steamed kale & Healthy Fat of Choice

Lunch (EACH DAY) - Leftovers OR  Egg Salad or Tuna Salad over greens with tomato and a drizzle of oil and nuts

Supper - Sweet Italian Sausage Soup (I'm doubling the recipe to either freeze for lunches for another week or another Supper sometime),  Salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast:  Broccoli Quiche, Hot Pepper Sausage, Avocado or other Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Greek Chicken (This was planned for last week but got moved), Baked Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Hash, Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Thai Shrimp Soup, Salad

Thursday:

Breakfast: Broccoli Beef Sausage Frittata, Steamed Kale ( possibly a baked sweet potato for my son) and Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Venison Loin in the Crock pot w/ tomatoes, mushrooms and onions,   Zucchini Noodles, Salad

Friday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Ham, Steamed Kale

Supper:  Salmon w/ cream sauce, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus

Saturday:

Breakfast:  My husband will make some sort of egg dish 😉

Supper:  Seafood Chowder, Salad

SNACKS:   There will be on hand, if necessary for ourselves and always for our sons - Lunchmeat (no sugar added and of course, no nitrates!), vegetables and various Paleo dressings or dips, nuts, and fruit for the boys (we, my husband and I, allow ourselves fruit but not by itself... only a small amount and with a meal)

Healthy Fats:  Just to clarify what healthy eating fats are according to Whole30 guidelines (and myself), a healthy fat according to my standards and those of the Whole30 is avocado, cashews, coconut butter, coconut meat, coconut milk, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, macadamia butter, and olives as well as Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee and animal fats.

Venison Crockpot Supper

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 6-8 hours Cook Time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This dish is so easy and, of course, could be used with venison (our usual) as well as any beef or chicken meat you have available.  Be creative!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. meat (the meat itself can vary - I like using venison steaks or loins - as well as the amount), left whole to cut later OR cut in bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
  • 8-16 oz. fresh (sliced) mushrooms of choice (If you love them, add more!)
  • One Large Can Diced Tomatoes (I like Fire-roasted!)

Directions:

Simply prep by putting the meat and vegetables in the crock pot together, meat on the bottom.  Cook on Low 6-8 hours (more time for more meat).  That's it!  Easy Peasy!  And really delicious.  We like to serve it now with zucchini noodles and a salad.  ENJOY!

My several Saturdays have not gone as I would desire them to.  They allowed no time for any relaxation or doing anything that I truly WANTED to do.  Today has been a bit different.  I got up this morning (After sleeping in!!!!  Hooray!) and started the soup for dinner while I made breakfast.  Breakfast was just eggs with several sides of leftovers thrown together.... but dinner will be a Sweet Italian Sausage Stew... a new paleo recipe obtained from Everyday Paleo that I'm looking forward to.  Then, with only a few minor disruptions, I finally got my 'morning routine' done by noon and the rest of my usual Saturday tasks and planned the Novemeber menu and was done by 1:30!  YAY!  Time to read blogs, do some writing myself and explore a bit with the whole writing idea.  I also hope to squeeze some extra play time in with my toddler 🙂

My husband and son came home early from hunting as my son got a doe this moring.  So it's nice to have them in the house since they've been rather absent for the past 4 days out hunting.  And soon we will have venison in the freezer alongside the grassfed beef we just put in about 2 days ago.

So today's post is brief but I have been working on several ideas for next week and writing down ideas for blog posts and stories to turn into someday manuscripts!  All in all, it's been a nice Saturday for once!  🙂