blog tour, my friend LJ, + my process.

Hi friends!

I hope your summer is going well and has been so fun so far.  I’ve been loving this summer.  We have been having a blast!  My time away from the blog and the computer has been so good.  It’s been very life giving to step away from the regular and the driving things, and just enjoy the life in front of me.

 

This weekend we were gone to Kingsport to see my mom’s family for a family reunion.  We had a great trip!  Lots of fun and good times at parks, playgrounds, the farm, the golf course, the hotel, and “reunioning”.  Now it’s back at it.  Laundry, cleaning out the van after a long trip [and yes, I said van.  Last week we traded in my SUV for a van!!  Yikes!  And exciting!], back to work, back to chores, back to child training and potty training.

 

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour my friend Lindsey asked me to do.  Lindsey is one of my favorite dietitians ever!  We went through our nutrition classes together and then went to different universities for our dietetic internship to get our RDs.  She is super intelligent, super fun, and is an excellent dietitian because she thinks outside the box.  I learn new things from Lindsey, who I call LJ, all the time and love seeing how she makes nutrition and dietetics fun.  Check out Lindsey’s blog — she’s the DIY Dietitian.  You will enjoy reading posts from LJ!

 

blog tour

 

Now on to the questions about my writing process ::

1.  What am I working on?

A:  This summer I’m taking a break from all things blogging, so while I’m not working on anything blog related right now, I do have some ideas to work on starting in the fall to improve my blog.  My BIG focus this summer work-wise is Project Gabriel.  I’m focusing on ramping up what we can do, trying to make dreams come to reality.

 

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A:  What I love about blogging is that everyone has a perspective.  I’m not a professional blogger by any means, so I’m not competing with fellow food bloggers or DIY bloggers or photography bloggers.  I just write about what inspires me and to try to share along the way.  I love talking about nutrition, sharing about a healthy lifestyle, as well as easy recipes.  I’m most happy with the transformation and growth of the depth of my blog through the last year and a half as our life was rocked and changed forever.  My hope is that women will find my writings and see that they aren’t alone as they go through something really hard.

 

3.  Why do I write what I do?

A:  I kind of answered this above.  My nutrition background and that I’m a Registered Dietitian inspire the nutrition, my love for good food inspires the recipes, my need and excitement for organization inspire the organized living, my excitement for DIY and wanting to DIY our whole house keeps my mind thinking about that, my love for my family keeps me journaling our lives in the form of this blog, and most importantly, the nudging I feel to share our baby G’s story through this little blog keeps me honest, open, and sharing about life, death, loss, grief, and so importantly hope.

 

4.  How does your writing process work?

A:  It depends.  Ideas come to me at weird times, so I keep a notebook where I write them down or make sure to make a note on my phone so I can get blog about it later.  When I’m blogging about something specific I will mostly write a post and then come back later to edit and add pictures and schedule it to post.  Sometimes I just write straight from my heart not knowing what is going to come out.  That usually happens at night after Jack and Tommy have gone to bed.  I sit on the couch and just write my heart onto this piece of the inter webs.  Then I will find pictures that work, edit them, add them, and post.  In theory I like scheduling my posts ahead of time, but in actuality, I really love the honesty that comes from a late night post, so I try to remain flexible for those posts.

 

 

Thanks so much LJ for inviting me to join this tour!  Friends, be sure to check out Lindsey the DIY Dietitian.  Her recent post on Popsugar 4 tips for your most confident bikini season is fantastic, motivating, + confidence inspiring!

 

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snacks for 100 calories or less.

I don’t know about you but in the summertime we are snacking a lot!  We snack at the pool, at the park, in the car, and even at home.  It seems too hot to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, so we do a lot of snacking throughout the day.  Sometimes we even have larger snacks for meals.

 

I don’t want to be absent-minded about the snacks we are eating.  I want to feed my son, my husband, and myself wholesome food — even in the lazy days of summer.  I compiled a list of 12 snacks under 100 calories.  Today I’m sharing it over on the Knoxville Moms Blog.  I hope you will head over there and read it!  Let me know what your favorite snacks are.  We aren’t the only snacking family are we??

 

You can find my post with healthy snack options over here.

 

12 snacks under 100 cals.jpg

weight loss update.

It’s time for another weight loss update.  If you missed before, here’s the run down.  I hit my breaking point, I started trying to lose weight, I got really serious about my exercising and my food intake, and here I am.

 

I am really happy to share that I have lost 3 pounds since my starting weight.  Since my last update, that is a healthy weight loss.  Not an awesome or impressive weight loss, but it equates to about a pound a week.  However, from the point I started I went up and have been coming back down.  So I’ve lost 6 pounds total — but gained 3 before losing any.  Yikes.  It feels good to be actually losing weight now.  I feel like I’m making steps in the right direction.  And that definitely helps fuel the fire and keeps me going on my weight loss adventure.

 

A few things that have been helping me:

1.  A food journal.  So super important!  I didn’t start doing this at first because I thought I knew what I was eating.  But once I wasn’t losing weight, I started keeping a journal of what I was eating — and WOW!  Since I started this is when I started losing weight.  I always told patients and clients how important it was, but I am definitely learning for myself now.

 

2.  Cutting out Coke.  I love Coke.  Confessions of a dietitian.  I just do.  I know it’s bad for me.  I know all the stuff.  But it’s sweet, sugary taste is my favorite.  I cut it out and am just drinking Diet Coke.  It’s not the same, but it’s 0 calories.  I cannot lose weight while drinking an empty calorie beverage on a regular basis.

 

3.  Making water taste better.  I plan to expand on this one in a post soon.  But drinking water is so important, and I like when it has good flavor.

 

4.  Not being too strict.  I don’t do well when on a super strict diet.  That’s why I am always an advocate or having a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to dieting.  Part of a healthy lifestyle for me means chocolate.  I love chocolate, so if I deny myself of it, I go crazy catching up.  I have to allow it in small amounts on a regular basis.

 

5.  Pedometer.  I’m wearing a pedometer as much as I can to track how much I’m moving.  I’m aiming for 10,000 steps a day.  Wearing a pedometer motivates me to keep moving and be less lazy.  It also makes me appreciate chores like vacuuming — which can me to take lots of steps!

pedometer

 

I will touch up on some of these things in more detail to come.  Just happy to see changes happening in my body.  I feel so much better, my muscles are getting stronger, and I am a much healthier person now than I was 2 1/2 months ago.  And that’s the whole idea!

 

Hope you’re having a good week and it’s going by quickly — can’t believe it’s Thursday already!

 

pedometer reading

 

a little weight encouragement + it’s the weekend baby we’re about to have us some fun.

I mentioned the other day that I was so frustrated that I haven’t lost any weight.  Then I saw this article on Twitter which reminded me why I always told clients not to pay too much attention to the scale.  Yesterday morning I woke up and put my jeans on and they felt great.  They pulled up easily and buttoned smoothly for the first time in awhile.  It felt great.  Then I stepped on the scale an hour later and weighed the same — still.  And I felt bad, when just an hour before I had felt so good about my health and progress.  It was such a good reminder to me that the numbers aren’t as important as your overall health.

 

We are settling in for a fun weekend — I’m all about the cooler weather we are going to have.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

If you are in the Knoxville area and know anyone who would be interested in this group, please spread the word.  We are meeting on Monday evening — any woman who has been impacted by miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss — we would love to see!

 

Peer support group meeting

 

 

 

 

happy weekend!

 

 

weight loss + healthy living.

I opened up about my weight fluctuation, gain, and struggles sharing that I started on a weight loss adventure.  It has been and is a huge learning process for me.  In my favor are that I love to eat healthy — I just got way off base.  As an honest dietitian, I would never say it’s easy to change your lifestyle or choose to eat healthy.  It seems like those choices are harder and harder to make these days in this fast-food loving, on the go, processed food world we are in.  I am super middle of the road when it comes to convenience vs. super healthy.  I shop at a regular ol’ grocery store — nowhere fancy, nowhere with all-natural foods.  I buy Goldfish for my kid and regular person yogurt.  And I also make the best choices that I can make every time I go to the store [except for all those times I bring home ice cream].  I think you can be convenient and be healthy, but it takes work and focus.  It never happens by accident.  Here’s an example.

 

We went to the zoo recently and some friends came with us.  Our plan was to grab lunch for them at Chick-fil-A and take it there for a picnic.  What Jack eats at CFA is healthy — grilled chicken and fruit, so I don’t mind that for him at all.  Right now because of my Sjogren’s Syndrome [my autoimmune disease] I can’t eat the grilled chicken, and I don’t eat the fried because of the peanut oil [and that obviously wouldn’t be a healthy choice for weight loss].  So all I can eat at CFA right now is salad smothered in Ranch dressing and fries.  The easiest thing would have been to drive thru and get food for Jack and food for me, but I knew that would add a lot of extra calories that I didn’t need.  So I made a better choice.  It took planning and it took more work, but I’m so glad I did it because I really didn’t want to waste calories because I was being lazy.  So I packed a turkey sandwich on whole wheat for myself along with carrots, and at CFA I got a fruit cup and Diet Coke for myself.  I was happy with my lunch and even happier to not add calories and fat when I wasn’t passionate about it.  If I’m adding calories and fat, I better really want those fries!

zoo picnic

 

 

I give this example as one of success with planning and weight loss.  I have plenty of examples where I didn’t plan ahead and I ate more calories.  Being on the go makes it hard to always be healthy, but taking the time to plan your day and what foods you need makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

 

zoo picnic fun

nutrition, weight loss, + not losing weight.

Y’all this weight loss business is hard.  It has been one month since I posted that I was going to lose weight, and truth be told at that point I thought my one month update would look a lot different.  I was pretty certain that after one month of exercise and being mindful about losing weight, that I would be telling you I was half way to my weight loss goal.  Seriously.  I may not be the brightest crayon in the box.  So here is where I’m at 1 month later:

 

No weight loss.  But my weight hasn’t just stayed the same; it has fluctuated a lot.  Between water retention, poor eating choices, and exercise, I have been up and down — but mostly up.  I started this goal 5 weeks ago.  I started exercising.  I made some changes in the way I was eating.  And I was hoping to see some changes.  I haven’t.  I have stepped on the scale about 6 times in 5 weeks and have been disappointed every single one of them.  If I’m trying hard, why am I not losing weight?  Yesterday when I weighed myself I was up 3 pounds.  I have gained three pounds WHILE I’M TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

 

jack and ice cream.jpg Me to Jack :  I’ve gained 3 pounds.  Jack’s face says it all — yikes!!

 

 

To be totally open about this, I have got to share my before diet with you.  I generally eat pretty healthy.  I love to.  But February, March, and early April were rough for me.  I was getting lazy, I started on steroids, and I had crazy cravings for food all the time.  I drove through Chickfila a lot — eating a side salad with a lot of Ranch dressing on it and a large fry and a large Coke.  Or driving through for breakfast eating biscuits and hashbrowns and Coke.  I ate a lot of ice cream during that time.  Ben and Jerry’s — some nights by the pint.  Um… pints of ice cream by myself.  Steroids or not, that is not healthy!

 

So when I had that moment where I stepped on the scale and realized I had gained a bunch of weight, I knew I had to make some changes.  Funny thing is that the weight sure does go on fast and come off slow.  Real slow.  So I was super frustrated with myself and my weight gain and took some time to evaluate where I was at.

–  My exercise is good.  I’m in better shape now and stronger than I have been in nearly 2 years — when I was running a lot and very active keeping up with our 1 year old, at the time.  And I love how great my body feels now.  I have been doing Barre 3 workouts mostly — online at $15 a month and on my own time at my home works really well for me.  I have become a huge barre and really Barre3 fan.  It is helping my body feel stronger, my mind feel calmer, and my back to feel a lot better.  And I love doing it.  It’s challenging and I sweat like crazy, but I’m not miserable during it.

 

–  I thought my diet was good but when I looked further into it I realized that it wasn’t very good.  It’s better than it was.  I haven’t bought any ice cream in awhile and have cut back on the desserts and the eating out.  But my diet still isn’t impressive.  I analyzed my diet after weighing myself the other day, and it stunk!  That day wasn’t typical — it did happen to be a very bad day, but I was at 2800 calories with at least 1500 of them empty calories.  And I drank close to 1000 calories.  Not good at all.  Very eye opening.

 

–  I need to drink more water and I need to get more sleep.
So I have my goals and I have things I need to work on.  I’m hoping that I can update soon letting you know that I’ve actually lost a pound or 2.  Or maybe that I’m at least back down to my starting weight.  We’ll see.  Just keeping it real over here at Adventures of Jack and Me.

 

Anyone else in my boat?  Trying to lose weight and succeeding or not really?  Would love to hear your advice!

jack and icecream.jpg

food allergy awareness week.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a special Mother’s Day.  It’s a hard day for me, like I know it is for so many of you.  I never realized before how hard this day was for people, but now I’ve met so many people who have a hard day for so many different reasons.  Life isn’t like I always imagined it would be.  Anyone else feel that way?  It’s so much richer and so much harder than I ever thought possible.  It really is beautiful.

 

So this week is food allergy awareness week.  Back in my practicing days as a Registered Dietitian, I would take this week as an opportunity to educate others about food allergies.  One of my favorite things was working with the kitchen staff at hospitals to help them get how serious it is.  I would assign a food allergy — one of the big 8 — to each person and they had to act like they had that allergy for a day.  That meant reading labels, asking questions, being cautious eating out, and so on.  It was always really eye opening to people, and I always appreciate when people are really sensitive to food allergies.

 

I’m sharing a little more about food allergies today on the Knoxville Moms Blog.  Head over there and show me some food allergy love 🙂

 

 

happy Monday friends!

 

let’s talk about weight loss.

Weight loss is a subject that I am very familiar with.  As a Registered Dietitian I have counseled many patients and clients about weight loss.  However, I have never really been in a position where I need to lose weight before, so I don’t know what it’s like first hand.  I think sometimes you can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you haven’t experienced something first hand you just aren’t going to fully get it.  Weight loss may fall in to that category, too.

 

weight loss

 

For the first time in my life, really, I am in a position where I need to lose weight.  Like I’ve shared, my body has been through a lot in the last year and a half.  My pregnancy with Gabriel was physically challenging, and I had the opposite problem — I had a really hard time gaining weight.  I weight almost as much right now as I did when Gabriel was born.  I lost all of the baby weight right away — within the first 2 weeks.  Then I lost another 10 pounds between June and October because I was so sick with a gallbladder that wasn’t functioning.  Before I had my gall bladder removed in October, I weighed the lowest I had weighed since middle school or maybe freshman year of high school.  Then I gained 17 pounds between October and February.  Talk about weight fluctuation.  Up and down and up and down.  That put me just a few pounds above my usual body weight.  And then I started steroids.  Which I now believe is a miracle drug — because of how much better I feel — but it doesn’t come without side effects.  Including weight gain.  I put on 10 pounds in the first month on steroids.  Hello significant weight gain.  And hello reality check.

 

During that month there were a lot of times that I felt really bad about myself because of my nutrition — mainly my poor food choices.  I knew I was making bad decisions, I knew I was gaining weight, I could see changes happening, but I just kept sitting in that.  Gaining 27 pounds over the course of 6 months is crazy and hard on the body, and I could feel that resonating in my body physically and also emotionally.

 

I reached my breaking point.  I stepped on the scale, saw the number, and realized I had to make changes.  And I know I’m not  alone.  So I’m going to share my weight loss journey here on this blog.  Because I apparently enjoy doing scary things.  But I am hoping that it will be an encouragement to anyone else who is working through this or feels that tug to get going on it.  Maybe we can do it together?  Maybe you can keep me accountable?

 

I will go more in depth on different aspects of weight gain, weight loss, nutrition, exercise, the emotions behind it, and whatever other random stuff you know I will throw in.  But today I just wanted to share with you that this is where I am.  In a new territory, learning things, trying to apply the book stuff and the head knowledge to my own real life.  I’m excited to share what I learn.  I am also humbled to admit there’s some ugliness in all this, too.  And I’m really hoping that I can get back on track to a healthy state.  One where I’m not concerned with numbers but with overall health.  Where I eat a really well-balanced diet and I live a healthy lifestyle.  It’s always been my passion, and I want to get back to it.

 

Also, I want to address this — I know that I will hear from many of you that I am so little, I couldn’t have gained that much weight, it doesn’t show, etc.  And I appreciate your kind words.  I am a petite person.  I always have been.  My Mamaw, my mom’s mom, was a short and very petite woman as was her family.  I seem to have those genes.  I have a petite frame and look like a little person, but over the past little while I have added weight on to my small frame that shouldn’t be there.  But even more than the pounds, it’s about the food choices I’m making and not living a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.  That’s what I want to get back to.  I notice differences in the way my body feels.  There is extra skin, and fat??, that didn’t used to be there.  And the tell tale sign — when you rip through 3 pairs of jeans in 2 days you can’t help but slump your shoulders and throw in the towel.

 

So I hope you will join me.  Maybe if you’ve walked this before and have some tips for me, you will share with me.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  And I will definitely share how it’s going and what I’ve learned.  So far my favorite thing I’ve learned about — barre classes.  I am obsessed.  I’ve been able to do them at home, which works really well with my schedule since I can’t get away to work out.  I also have some other forms of exercise to try out and am looking forward to seeing what is fun and works great!

out for the weekend.

Hi friends!  It’s Thursday, which means it is the kick-off to a big weekend.  This weekend I have the privilege of being a guest minister for DiscipleNow at the church I grew up in.  I’m so excited to be back there to be a part of this amazing weekend.  I’m spending the weekend in someone’s home with a group of 8th graders.  It’s going to be great, and hopefully I will come back younger and cooler.  Although probably just older and maybe I can hope for wiser?  In all seriousness, it’s going to be a really good weekend.

 

So I am signing off until next week.  I hope you have a restful and fun weekend!

 

 

And check out my post today over on the Knoxville Mom’s Blog.  I’m talking about a reminder a woman in the grocery store gave me — that I’m a good mom.  Hoping I can encourage some other mamas out there that they are good mamas!