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I created my own shopping list in excel format in order to keep track of what I need during the week. These are things I have on hand right now or have had in my pantry recently. I’m going to tape this inside the cabinet door and mark off things as we need them. That way when I go shopping, I do not over shop or miss those important things for my weekly meals.

On the agenda this week for meals:

Tonight: Fried whole wheat noodles w/ Terriyaki Chicken and Steamed Brocolli

Monday: Coq au Vin w/ homemade whole wheat pasta

Tuesday: 10 bean soup

Wednesday: Lobster Ravioli and Baby Greens

Thursday: Homemade marinara w/ Anise and Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup w/ Whole Grain Garlic Cheese Bread

Sunday: Spaghetti Squash w/ Pesto and Grilled Chicken.

I am a little nervous about embarking on this journey, but what can I do? Other than to just start?

I can’t figure out how to give you a doc on this page just yet. So email me if you’d like a copy, I’m inserting a screen shot just for fun.

I have gathered a substantial amount of debt from nursing school. Now that I am out and starting a great job, I sooo want to pay it all off! A & I both do. I am also on this whole kick of eating well, unprocessed foods and wanting to lose weight. In order to make all this happen and get my life together, I have created a schedule. To help save money I am now creating my list of meals for the week. Four of them will be meals for the two of us and then three will be meals where we can freeze half of it. Then on the days when we are both working, we should only have to reheat dinner when we get home. This should help save money and allow us to eat the organic and grass-fed meats I want to incorporate into our lives. I also have a crazy radical goal that I am planning to implement and now that I’m saying it. I have to live up to it. No eating dinner out for one year. This has a few caveats. If it is a gathering of friends I don’t have control over, it will happen, but other than that. No eating out.

I made my schedule and now I’m ready to begin! I found this piece of art on etsy last night! I’m using it as inspiration. Unfortunately, when I saved the link I only saved the pic and not the store, now I can’t find it again. 😦

I love to use fresh herbs when I cook. However, I do not love to pay for those fresh herbs. This girl does not have that kind of money. But what I do have is a little ingenuity, a little adventure, and a really big window that gets a lot of sunlight. To that I said, “Let there be herbs!”

Step 1: Go to Ikea and buy $8 table and pots for $2 each.

Step 2: Go to home depot buy organic potting soil and fresh herbs. Let me tell you. I really thought about buying seeds, you know all the joy and pleasure of watching those little seedlings grow? Ha. Again, impatience ruled here and I decided to buy just two of the herbs I wanted and to wait until the others are available. I was only able to get flat leaf parsley and rosemary, but they are quite beautiful.

Step 3: Go home and assemble your creation!

I have been in love with photography for awhile now. I purchased a film SLR years ago, but found without taking classes, I had no clue how to adjust things and it was too expensive to try to figure it out on my own. Plus, I was WAY too impatient to read a book about it.

I finally took a photography class when I was attending Santa Monica College. Unfortunately, that class was anything less than informative. I’m not sure how anyone learned anything, it just didn’t work for me. However, I did end up buying a digital SLR. I have had that SLR for about two years now. One thing I have wanted since I bought the camera is a fixed lens with low aperture settings. I don’t really know how to say that in camera people terms, but basically I wanted to let more light into my lens to get better shots.

I decided to buy the 50 mm lens from amazon. It has great reviews and at $99 was within a budget I could afford. It came in the mail yesterday and though I haven’t had much time to play with it. I did take a few shots. A fixed lens takes a lot of adjusting, but I’m getting it. Look at this handsome man. This is kind of what his face looked like when I told him I would be planting an indoor herb garden. It’s also close to the face he made when I told him how much I needed to get this lens. But how cool is it? His face is so sharp and the background is blurred. That my friends is the awesomeness of low f-stops. (i think.)

Did you buy that book, “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat?” Did you notice it on the shelves? I bought it. I bet I still have it somewhere around my apartment. I remember two things from the book. Eat smaller portions and walk more. Okay, that’s great, but in America? Where we have super size everything? I gently put the book on the shelf and haven’t read it since.

However, a few years later, as I am trying to make real changes in my life. Life long changes that are for the better, I’m trying to get processed foods out. I am reading a book by Ann Louise Gittleman called “Get the Sugar Out.” Ann Louise opened my eyes when she mentioned that though the French people have diets that are higher in fat, they eat 5 1/2 times less the amount of sugar we do. Check this out, in 2006 Americans consumed roughly 180 lbs of sugar on average. Whoah! Think about that! Think about a 5lb bag of sugar from the grocery store, that is 36 5lb bags. Scary stuff. This doesn’t include things from refined flours like regular pasta or breads without whole grains that act the same in our bodies as sugar. No wonder we are so fat! Turns out, I have a crappy metabolism and I loved all that stuff, thank goodness I am learning about all of it right now.

I want you to know that I have chosen to not use artificial sweetners like Splenda. In fact, I am trying to only eat foods with about 5 ingredients in them, if they are processed. I have not been perfect about this, but I’m working on it. I am attempting to not use sweeteners at all or use stevia or honey. I was at Ikea today and bought an iced tea, at first it tasted really lame without anything to add to the flavor, but I got over it. Sadly, the tea wasn’t that great, but I am sticking to my goals!

Today also marks one month without soda! That was it’s own battle and choice in and of itself. But i am so glad I did it!

I used to rarely buy organic foods. Even though, I believed organic foods were better for me, I just couldn’t justify spending the extra money to buy them. However, now that we are trying to eliminate processed foods we have more money to buy the organic goods we should have bought the whole time.

But if you are on a budget and you can only buy some organic foods, but these:

1. Peaches

2. Apples

3. Sweet Bell Peppers

4. Celery

5. Nectarines

6. Strawberries

7. cherries

8. Pears

9. Imported Grapes

10. Spinach

11. Lettuce

12. Potatoes

13. Coffee

14. Milk

15. Poultry

16. other meats

These foods are considered reasonably safe non-organic foods.

1. Onions

2. Avocados

3. Sweet Corn

4. Pineapple

5. Mango

6. Asparagus

7. Sweet peas

8. Kiwi

9. Bananas

10. Cabbage

11. Broccoli

12. Papaya

The goal: To lose weight and be more healthy.

The plan:

1. Natural, whole foods in, processed foods out. Using the rules from “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.

2. Use body bugg and count calories daily, update the stats on this blog.

3. Walk an hour day at least 4 days a week.

4. Start practicing yoga again on a daily basis.

I am not going to put my weight, but I will say how much I have lost and how I feel. I am attempting to cut out all refined sugars from my diet. I have replaced them with pure via and raw honey.

I am also using the book 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden to guide my journey about why whole foods are so much better for humans than processed foods. I am going to attempt to share my journey with you. How I feel minus the sugar and how the losing of weight is going. It’s a new year, a year of promise, of belief, and hope. It’s a time for cleaning, restoring, and learning. As I start my new job in the pediatric intensive care unit, I want to make sure I am taking care of myself, so the stress does not overwhelm me.

Welcome to my journey!

Now that I have finally graduated from nursing school, it’s time to get serious about paying off my credit cards.  I accumulated a serious amount of debt in nursing school and I want everything but the loans off my shoulders. Thankfully, having a great job to start will allow me to start this quickly and I am hoping by the end of this year, it should all be paid!

Here is advice from the book “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke,” by Suze Orman about paying down those balances.

1. List cards in order from highest interest rate to lowest – not highest balance, but highest rate.
2. Next to each card’s rate, write down the minimum that the card company is asking you to send in.
3. On the credit card with the highest interest rate, you are to pay as much over the minimum as you can afford. I want it to be at least $50 extra. So if the minimum payment on that card is $50, pay $100.
4. On all the other cards, pay only the monthly mimimum due. And pay it on time.
5. Keep paying the extra amount on the highest-rate card until the balance is gone.
6. When the first card is paid off, take all the money that you were paying on the first card (which is now paid off) and apply it to the card with the next highest interest rate. So for instance, if you were paying $100 a month on the highest card and $45 a month as the minimum payment, pay $145 on the new card.
7. Keep going!