Should you measure out your food?

When it comes to losing weight it can be very overwhelming. What do I eat, how much do I eat, when do I eat? All of these questions and not sure where to even start!

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There are a couple of ways to look at how to start thinking about making changes. You can decide which one will be best for you. Back in 2004 when I finally started to drop weight and it came off fairly quickly (20 pounds in 3 months) I learned how to eat based on writing down my foods and having a check list. I marked off the foods I ate from each meal as the day went by. So if I ate a large meal at breakfast that meant I didn't have a lot for lunch or dinner.

My day would look like this:

  • 2 servings of Fruit
  • 3 servings of Veggies (greens were unlimited)
  • 4 servings of Protein
  • 2 servings of Starches/Carbs
  • 1 serving of Fat
  • 2 servings of Seeds, Oils, Dressing

This is based on a 1200-1500 calorie diet. If you are feeling hungry then add more greens to your meals to start out with to see if that helps you stay full. You may need to play around with the combination of foods. Fats/Carbs/Protein mixed at each meal. You may need more veggies (good carbs) at each meal versus your protein portion or the opposite.

Now becoming familiar with what a serving is was the other challenge. Let's keep it simple!

  • 1 cup is a serving for Fruits and Veggies
  • 3/4 cup for Protein
  • 1/2 cup for Starches/Carbs
  • 1/3 cup Healthy Fats (cheese, nuts, coconut, avocado)
  • 1 Tablespoon dressing or seeds

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The above chart is handy to have when you are out and about. Trying to determine how much you should eat should become fairly easy when you can use your hand as a guide for measuring. When you are at home and making a plate or packing your lunch and snacks it is good to measure things out. I am sure you are not actually aware of how much you are eating of each food.

 

This is when your eyes become open and you see how much you are actually taking in each day. What makes it even easier is when you buy containers that are already 1/2 cup or 1 cup serving sizes. That way you can pack each item in the container and not have to measure it out. You will know that you are eating the correct portions. When I am making things like a chicken salad I will put my veggies in a container, my protein in a container, mayo in my tablespoon container and mix it all together later. That way the food isn't soggy! 🙂

If you are eating almonds and a fruit as a snack it is helpful to put the almonds in a 1 ounce container (1/2 a handful) so you don't overeat your nuts. 😉 It is actually very easy to eat too much when you eat directly from the container. So pour out your food into a container to eat from instead of eating from a bag or container.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Candace

 

Meal Prepping Made Easy

It's no secret that meal prepping can save you money, time, and keep you from venturing off of your healthy eating path. It is the best way to keep you prepared for you day. Making a plan for your week and sticking with it because you have the food you need for you day is the absolutely best route to go. When you find yourself running errands or sitting at your desk and your tummy starts to rumble you will make some bad decisions if you don't have your snacks handy.

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SAVE MONEY: Planning your week and making your grocery list will help you stick to the foods you need. You will be able to shop based on sales that are going on and plan your meals around those sales or you will simply save money because you will not be making unnecessary stops at the grocery store or fast food places to buy yourself something during the day. Stopping to eat out on a daily basis can easily add up to $50 a week and that is being generous!

SAVE TIME: When you plan your meals ahead you can spend one day out of your week for a mere 1-2 hours prepping foods and putting them in containers. This saves so much time on your days coming home and prepping your meals each night. If you don't plan ahead you might end up spending 30 minutes to an hour prepping and cooking each night of the week just thawing foods and getting the cooked. Take advantage of using a crockpot and prep all of your ingredients on your meal prep day. You can have everything you need in a ziplock bag ready to put into your crockpot in the morning so dinner is ready when you get home. That doesn't just save you time it also saves you from the frustrations of running your kids out of the kitchen telling them dinner will be ready soon!

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MAINTAIN FITNESS GOALS: Meal prepping means less snacking, not making bad decisions, creating meals that are going to satisfy your hunger as well as taste delicious. You will be able to pack your foods in portions that are appropriate to eat rather than grabbing a bag and vegging out on the entire thing! Your waistline will thank you!

LESS CHEATING! It is a lot easier to keep from cheating on your meals when you have snacks with you and your lunch for the day. You will stick with what you have available. You will not get to the point where you will eat whatever is in front of you. 🙂 And you know that when there is a pot luck day at work you will be more likely to stick with the meal you brought with you and not cave in with all the desserts that your co-workers brought in. You only need to purchase the items on your grocery list as well so you will not be roaming around the grocery store mindlessly buying foods that you will end up letting go bad or buying junk that is found down the isle of the grocery store. Try your best to stick with ingredients that are found around the perimeter of the grocery store.

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So sit down and think of at least 5 meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. Don't make it too hard! You can always eat leftovers from dinner for lunch or breakfast. Make a breakfast casserole that has veggies in it and eat on that for the week. Make some chia seed pudding that you can eat for snacks or have at breakfast as well. Keep it simple!

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

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I started cleaning my home with plant based products when I became pregnant with my first child. That was over 6 years ago! Coming up with a solution to replacing dryer sheets has been a little bit harder. Especially converting my husband over. The guys can be so hard to get to make changes! There is no need to have some kind of fragrance on your clothing, but we have been fed this crap from advertising that your laundry is not clean unless you smell a fragrance for days.

Dryer sheets are the most toxic item that is in your house! Aside from replacing your laundry detergent (follow this blog on making your own here) the dryer sheets are a great place to get started. According to the Environmental Working Group:

The mystery mixtures that provide the jolt of fragrance in fabric softeners and dryer sheets can contain hundreds of untested chemicals, including toxic ingredients like phthalates and synthetic musks - both suspected hormone disruptors. Fragrances are among world's top five allergens. A recent University of Washington study on air contaminants from fragranced consumer goods detected between 18 and 20 chemicals in each of four laundry products - including likely human carcinogens acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, developmental toxicants methyl ethyl ketone and chloromethane, and allergens like linalool.

So ditch the dryer sheets and either purchase your own dryer or just make some. They are so easy to make! Here is what you need:

  • 100% Wool Yarn
  • An old pair of panty hose or buy a $1 pair at the dollar store
  • Washer and Dryer 🙂

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Just start rolling your yarn into a ball. I was able to get two balls out of each spool of yarn.

 

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Now you are going to place the balls into 1 leg of the panty hose. You will cut the leg off and save the other for when you want to make more. Place a ball into the toe of the panty hose and tie a knot to keep it in place and then put another ball in repeating until you have all of them in the panty hose and all of them are knotted so they stay in place.

 

 

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Now just throw them in with a load of towels and wash on hot. Once the load is done throw everything into the dryer. After the load is done you can cut the wool dryer balls out of the panty hose which will now be felted and will not unravel.

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Now just place a couple drops of your favorite Young Living Essential Oil on your yarn ball and enjoy your wonderfully fresh scented clothing. 🙂

I love to use Purification, Lavender, or Citrus Fresh!

Get your oils here! You will not regret it!

What chemicals in your home are doing to your body!

I never did like using things like bleach to clean with. It always caused me to cough a lot and I would have to air out the house if I did clean with it. So I naturally, no pun intended, I leaned towards using natural products to clean my house. For example, I would use vinegar and steam clean my floors and bathrooms. It wasn't until 3 years ago that I started to look closely at the ingredients in the other products I was using, like my shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, and the list goes on....

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I have slowly weeded out these toxins out of my home because of the heavy burden they put on our body. The exposure to these chemicals is not just here and there. They are in so many products that we use on a daily basis if not many times a day that our body can not keep up with flushing them out so they just build up and get stored.

Here is what I found: 

1. Triclosan - mostly found in anti-bacterial products. Triclosan is also a common ingredient in toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, a host of personal care products, and even mattresses, toothbrushes and shoe insoles. The American Medical Association says not to use it in your home.
Risks: Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine function.
2. Phthalates - Used in a wide variety of consumer products such as fragrances, cosmetics and shampoos, medical devices, soft toys that children and pets play with and often chew, building and home decorating materials, and even children's clothing.
Risks: Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. According to the CDC, men that have higher levels of phthalates in their blood have lower sperm counts. Exposure many happens through inhalation, but can also happen through skin contact. The skin can and does absorb chemicals and those chemicals go straight to organs.
 
3. Quarternary ammonium compounds, or "QUATS" - found in fabric softener liquids, dryer sheets, most household cleaners labeled antibacterial.
Risks: help breed antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are also a skin irritant. The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, a leading international authority on asthma, calls these chemicals "asthmagens," substances that can cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy people. With asthma affecting nearly 1 in 10 American children, it makes sense to avoid exposing kids unnecessarily to asthma-causing chemicals.Many quats have antibacterial qualities. While it might sound useful to keep clothes germ-free, freshly washed clothes are already plenty clean, and overuse of quats may lead to development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
4. 2 - Butoxyethanol - found in window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.
Risks: causes anemia by damaging red blood cells, creates air pollution that exceeds workplace limits, is linked to impaired fertility and reproductive and developmental toxicity, and (just to really make the case) EPA considers it a possible human carcinogen.
5. Ammonia - polishing agent for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; glass cleaner.
Risks: Ammonia is a powerful irritant. The people really affected are those that have asthma, elderly people with breathing problems or lung issues. People that are exposed to ammonia a lot are housekeepers and they often develop chronic bronchitis and asthma. If mixed with bleach it will create a poisonous gas.
6. Chlorine - scouring powders, toilet cleaner, laundry whiteners, tap water.
Risks: You are exposed while cleaning with water, showering and washing your hands. The health risks can be respiratory irritant to serious thyroid disfunction.
7. Sodium Hydroxide - oven cleaners
Risks: burn the skin, eyes, and lungs. Many ingredient labels warn users to wear long gloves and avoid inhaling spray mist and vapors.
8. Sodium Laureth Sulfate - Anything that foams or suds up. Soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, engine degreasers,  etc.
Risks: It is a known skin irritant. It pollutes our groundwater. It is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and has the potential for bioaccumulation (meaning it accumulates in the bodies of the fish.) It is actually a pesticide and herbicide. It is commonly used to kill plants and insects. It emits toxic fumes when heated. AKA: during your shower and washing hands! Toxic Sodium Oxides and Sulfur Oxides are released when SLS is heated. According to the American College of Toxicity, this includes corrosion of the fats and proteins that make up skin and muscle. Long-term permeation of the body’s tissues. A study from the University of Georgia Medicine showed that SLS had the power to permeate the eyes, brain, heart, and liver. It helps other chemicals get into your body.
After reading all of that which pretty much eliminates everything you have in your home that can be very overwhelming! If you are like me - I just wanted to throw out everything in my house and start new. You don't have to do that. You can start replacing things as you run out of them with way better items.
You can clean your over by putting water in an oven safe dish and let it steam up your oven and then wipe it down to clean it. No money needed or anything new to be purchased!
I started making my own laundry detergent which you can read the blog here.
You can replace ALL of your household cleaners with ONE cleaner: THIEVES! The best cleaner out there! No gloves needed, completely safe for your children and animals, no fumes, it is plant based, eco-friendly, will actually help support your immune system and smells great!
You can get an entire Thieves Starter Kit here: http://yl.pe/cvm
I also ditched the dryer sheets and made my own wool dryer balls. I infuse them with essential oils before throwing into my load of laundry. I will have a post on how to make your own wool dryer balls very soon!
Just making these small changes will get you on your way to having a healthy, more balanced body. The Thieves kit can easily get you started and if you create your own wholesale account using my link http://yl.pe/cvm you will receive your own wool dryer balls AND the kit is also 10% off this month! Even better!

DIY Liquid Laundry Soap Tutorial

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Making your own laundry soap is very easy and inexpensive. Why not make your own? It only takes minutes, will save you a lot of money each month that add up over the year, and did I mention the MOST important part? You will be eliminating all the toxins and chemicals that you are washing your clothing in! It is a WIN WIN WIN!

Here is what you will need: Dr. Bronner's liquid castille soap, Washing soda, Baking soda, and the best ingredient of all... Young Living Thieves cleaner! You will use a 5 gallon bucket to put all of your ingredients in a use 1/2 cup per load. I purchase all of my ingredients in bulk because I use these items for many of my diy recipes and cleaning around my house. The cost breakdown of making this laundry soap is $0.07 a load, that will save you 1/2 the cost of what you are spending on chemical laden brand laundry soaps. You should be able to get 160 loads from one batch, taking you only 5 minutes to make it! Say WHAT? Yep, I said only 5 minutes. SO.WORTH.IT!

Ready to get started? Well let's get to it. Grab your 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with hot water from the sink. You are going to measure out 3 cups of baking soda and pour into you water and stir until it has dissolved. I use 3 cups of baking soda because I have 2 young boys and my husbands work clothes get really dirty. I find that 3 cups makes a difference when it comes to cleaning power.

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Once you have the baking soda almost completely dissolved go ahead and add in the rest of the hot water. You are now going to measure out 1 1/2 cups liquid castille soap, 1 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup Thieves cleaner (this is your secret ingredient here!).

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Pour in the remaining ingredients and give it all a good stirring to mix everything up and dissolve the remaining ingredients. Now all you do is put on the lid, let it sit over night and you are go to go!

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So easy you will never go back to store bought laundry detergent! Your clothes will be clean, without all of the toxins and chemicals that leach onto your skin when you wear your clothing and you will not be inhaling the chemicals when you smell them. Just think of everytime you see a commercial of someone smelling the towels from the laundry, they are actually inhaling chemicals! Take charge of your health and start removing all those nasty chemicals in your home that are causing your body to not function properly.

Till next time....