An Updated List

So this is long overdue.  A few months (!!!!) back, I wrote an update post on where I was with the goals that I had set two years ago when I first started this blog.  I met some, I made some progress with others (but have since slipped back) and made no progress with a few.  So I want to update the list and try again.  I feel like I’m finally at a place with my littles where I am able to come up for some air.  Let’s do this.

1.  Eat a homemade dinner a minimum of four days a week.  I’ve done this before but some weeks are just crazy.  In the last month, I was able to do this twice.  I want to do it all the time.  It saves our wallet, our waistlines, our diabetes risk, animals (since we don’t cook meat at home), our health, and often it reduces trash because we bring food home since it’s easier to eat at home than in a restaurant with the kidlets.  And hell, I feel so proud and so good when I cook for my family.  It’s more work and it sucks when I can tell no one liked the food, but it’s a value I want to instill in my family and it’s just the right thing to do for so many reasons.

2.  Cut out the soda.  Soda makes me fat.  It does.  And it weakens my teeth and bones.  And it’s full of high fructose corn syrup.  And I don’t like drinking too much caffeine, especially when breastfeeding.  So I need to stop.  Recently I’ve been having 2-3 per week.  I think I can easily drop that down to one every 3-4 weeks.  And I’ll need to cut back on iced teas too.  I think the ones that are brewed and I can control the amount of sugar are ok.  It’s the boba-type iced teas or the sweet teas I can purchase that are bad news.  So those I’ll only have when I’m out with my husband.  There’s nowhere nearby where we love the tea so I don’t see me having these more than twice a week.

3.  Reduce Trash.  We are very consistently recycling more than we’re throwing away.  And I use my reusable shopping bags most trips to the market and often when going to department stores.  I also tell the cashier I don’t need a bag fairly often.  The biggest trash savings, however, come from cloth diapering our babe.  Not just the diapers but also the wipes, since I use cloth wipes.  And I make her baby food, so comparatively little trash there.  I’m prouda all-a dat!  BUT we can do better.  We do a lot of online shopping, which means a lot of boxes in other boxes wrapped in shrink wrap with a bunch of filler.  Too much trash.  And I want to get better about cutting back on the amount of plastic forks, knives, and spoons we use as well as paper towels.  I’m starting to use reusable sandwich/snack bags too.

4.  Get those vitamins in.  I am horrible at taking my vitamins daily, which isn’t good because I breastfeed and I need those nutrients.  Unfortunately I am also bad about giving the girls their daily vitamins too.  One day I’d like to get to the point where I don’t feel like we need vitamins because our diets are balanced and healthy.  But honestly we’re not there yet.

5.  Exercise three days a week.  Hubs just got us a gym membership and Miss K. is going back to school this week.  This should free up some time for me.  I need to get back out there and move.  The definition here is 30 minutes or more of movement.  It can be a walk, it can be yoga, an exercise video, cardio/weight combos…whatever it is, I need it.

6.  Drink more water.  Everyone knows why. Goal is 48 ounces a day.  And to use my water bottle rather than bottled water.

7.  Make some time for me every day. This doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It can be 10 minutes to paint my nails or an hour for a haircut or massage.  Or even 15 minutes of listening to music while sipping an iced tea.  Or writing my blog.  This does not include mindless internet surfing.  I just know that I feel like crap, I look like crap, and it’s not good for me.  I might have to inconvenience my husband or my mom or disappoint my kids but I need something.  I’m stretched out and my family deserves more from me.  I deserve more too.

8.  Use my clothesline more often.  I put up a clothesline.  I’d like to regularly use it for drying rags, diapers, and blankets.  I’m not ready to commit to using it for clothes yet.  But even if I did just these items, it would probably be 4-5 loads of laundry a week.

9.  Find ways to reduce our water, electricity, and gasoline bills.  The good news is that I walk a lot to the grocery store, library, dinner, etc.  And now our daughter’s school is less than 3 miles from our house.  But the bad news is that our utilities at our new place are through the roof!  There has to be ways to cut back and I’m gonna work on finding them.

10.  Use at least 10 different vegetables in my cooking each week.  I might be doing this already.  If I am, I’ll up the ante.  I promise.  And though I don’t cook with them often, corn and potatoes don’t count.  Miss K. actually likes broccoli, spinach, kale, peas and carrots.  So I need to work harder to make sure she’s eating those and finding ways to introduce her to other veggies and lay the foundations for healthy eating for life.

 

The List – A Sad Update

When I first started this blog almost two years ago, I put together a list of things I wanted to do to make our lives greener, healthier, better.  Some of those things I’m happy to say worked out.  Some didn’t.  Some I made progress on and slid back.  So I figure it’s time to revisit the list and set some priorities so we can live a better life.  Here’s where we are:

Items I’d say are Done:
1.  Recycle more, throw away less
2.  Reduce the number of one-time use bags we use
3.  Stop using SLS based shampoos and soaps
4.  Begin using a natural toothpaste
7.  Use primarily cloth/hybrid diapers until baby is potty trained
15.  Switch to cloth wipes

Items that were improved upon but have since slid back:
5.  Eat homemade dinners at least four nights each week
10.  Limit fast food to once a month
11.  Limit soda to once a month
12.  Reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup in my diet
13.  Exercise
15.  Drink more water

Items that were never addressed:
6.  Reduce our water consumption
8.  Reduce electricity consumption in the house
9.  Compost

I think pretty much everything on the section where I slid back will make an appearance on a new version of the list.  I’m pleasantly surprised that I made progress on most of what was on the list.  I just need to go back and fight gravity to make that second section come true and stick.  I do wish I had conquered more and stuck with it.  Stay tuned.  A new list is in the works.

the little engine that could

Meal Plan Monday – Week of October 28, 2012

First, an update on last week.  The bad news is that I totally did not stick to the meal plan last week.  The good news is that we still ate dinner at home four times – ya!  In addition to the usual perks to eating at home (healthier foods, money saved, confidence, pride, etc), we had the added bonus of always having food to eat for lunch the next day.  This means I didn’t do a whole lot of driving thru to get me some lunch after picking up Miss K. from school.  Yay us!  I had made a big ol’ pot of chili and for whatever reason, I REALLY enjoyed it this week.  I think I had it for dinner twice and lunch twice.  And I still have 3 servings in the freezer for later.  That’s a winner this week.  Also, one day things got hectic so I was going to just say ‘eff it-let’s go out’ but then realized that making sandwiches would take literally less than ten minutes and I just needed to make a quick run to the market to pick up some soup and we’d have dinner.  The trip to the grocery store is closer than most restaurants, so why not?  So that was another dinner.  The third surprise was that I thought the hubster was going to be home late on Friday but he ended up coming home earlier than expected.  So I was a little panicked because I put off starting dinner and considered asking him to pick something up on the way.  But we pulled off making some seitan and had dinner on the table without it getting too late.  Yay!  So it ended up being four days at home and a little confidence boost/reminder that I can make dinner at home.  Yay.

So I’m not sure what’s going to happen this week but here’s the plan:

Sunday:  Went out for pizza

Monday:  Enchiladas and Guac

Tuesday:  Pad Thai & Brussel Sprouts

Wednesday: Out

Thursday:  Quinoa bowls (also poker night for the hubs)

Friday:  Out

Saturday:  Going to my mom’s house to celebrate Diwali (mom’s food is always homemade so I think it counts!)

Meal Plan Monday

What’s this???  A meal plan monday post?  Oh my, it’s been a long long while since I did this.  We are loooonnngg overdue.  Admittedly I have not been the most diligent cook but I’m ready to get back on the horse.  The goal?  Eat at home four days this week.  That’s it.  So here’s the plan (hopefully I can make it to the market in the morning while Miss K. is at montessori):

Sunday: Chinese Take-out

Monday: Vegetarian (and actually vegan!) Chili & Cornbread (if I can find a vegan mix or recipe)

Tuesday: Soup and Sandwiches

Wednesday:  Tofu and Veggies in Ginger/Garlic Sauce

Thursday:  Out

Friday:  Pad Thai – I’m not sure how this will do with my blood sugar, but I’ll give it a try

Saturday: Out

Let’s Do This!

In my last post, I mentioned how I had fallen far off the wagon and was feeling kind of out of sorts.  I’m nowhere near out of the woods with that but I’m thinking I’m going to find my way out soon.  Here’s the big reason (or maybe it’s an excuse) why I fell so hard off the wagon:  I’m preggers.  Yay!  We’re having another baby.

Miss K. has fulfilled every maternal need I’ve ever had.  I’m fully satisfied as a mother.  She’s wonderful…funny, fun, sweet, curious, smart, loving, adventurous, beautiful.  But for her sake, we wanted to have more kids.  Your siblings are the only ones who can truly appreciate how crazy your parents are.  They understand why you’re scared of snakes and in my and my husband’s cases, we know, in our hearts, that our siblings are the ones who will stand by our sides if ever we needed them.  Once parents go, your siblings are your people.  So we decided to try to have another baby.  We were lucky.  Like last time, it took us about three months to get pregnant.

Last time, my period was over a week and a half late before I took a pregnancy test (not really expecting it to come back positive).  This time, I found myself lying the hallway outside my daughter’s room with this nauseous feeling and having the thought “I think I’m pregnant.”  But it was still four days before my period was even to start (and I’m not the most regular person) so I didn’t know if I should even bother.  But I did.  I peed on the stick and waited.  When I found out I was pregnant with Karina, the positive line showed before the pee had even crossed the entire window.  This time, there was no line right away.  So I left the test there and kind of forgot about it until about 10-15 minutes later and I said “Oh ya!  I should go double check.”  I saw a faint line.  So I snapped a picture and texted it to my husband and anxiously awaited his call.  He didn’t call.  Because he didn’t get the text (stupid Google voice).  So I called him.  Excitement!  We made an appointment with my Primary Care Physician a couple days later and I peed in a cup.  And waited for her to come in.  She came in and said “My nurse showed me your test results and told me I would have to tell you you’re not pregnant” and of course I got a sad look on my face because then she shook her head and said “but I told her to wait because you know if you’re pregnant or not!  Congratulations!”  Apparently because it was still so early, the test needed a little more time to confirm the hormones (I guess they were still weak at that point).

Our first trimester was rough, which is why so much fell apart.  With Karina, I had some nausea and a daily vomit.  With this baby, I was nauseous all day long, vomiting about every other day, and exhausted!  I’ve felt pretty crummy for a while now.  I threw up three times while out and about and that’s really uncomfortable.  Once while I was driving.  I had to pull over and hurl.  Another time I was in the car with my poor husband.  Another time I was in the middle of eating a sandwich in an outdoor courtyard so on top of throwing up in the middle of a meal, I was self conscious because I couldn’t make it to a bathroom fast enough and barfed in a garbage can.  Luckily it was kind of out of the way so I think only maybe a couple people thought maybe I was throwing up.  Gross.

My progesterone dipped like it did the first time so they put me on the dreaded supplements.  I hate those things but got through them.  They’re also treating me as a diabetic this time so I’m on a modified diet already.  I’m not sticking to it really but I’m being cognizant of what I eat and I’m monitoring my blood glucose levels.

So that’s all the rough stuff.  On to the good stuff!  I’m now 15 weeks (phew, we’ve made it past the most common timeframe for miscarriages!) and based on the NT scan and blood tests, the baby is showing all signs of normalcy.  According to babycenter.com, Babycakes is about the size of a lemon and can clench its fist and maybe pee.  The morning sickness is wearing off and I’m regaining some energy.  I’m only nauseous sometimes instead of all the time!  My baby bump popped way earlier than last time…I can’t wear my jeans anymore so I’m wearing stretchy pants already (Score!)  We’ve seen the baby in two ultrasounds so far…our baby has a nose and a little mouth and feet and we got to see it move around!  The neonatologist wasn’t able to discern if the baby is a girl or a boy yet so we’re going to have to wait a few more weeks to see if we can find out at the next ultrasound.  I’m guessing girl based on my symptoms.  Ideally I’d love to have one of each but I think it would be beyond precious to have two little girls.  The good news is that we’ll win either way.  We’re excited!

I can’t lie though…I’m a little scared too.  I’m scared of having a hard time being pregnant for the next six months (and all the things that come along with being preg-o).  I’m scared of having a newborn again and being exhausted.  I’m scared I won’t be able to handle a toddler and a newborn.  I’m scared I’m not doing everything right for this second baby.  And that Karina won’t get the attention she deserves when the second baby comes.  And that I’m 36 and something’s going to go wrong.  Scared.  But happy.  And oh so thankful to be pregnant, despite the discomfort and misery of the first couple months.  I know I’m going to love this baby.  Actually I already love this baby.

Sigh.  So that’s what’s been occupying my time lately.  I couldn’t really cook without feeling like I was going to hurl all over the food and frankly I was tired.  So we’ve been eating out a lot.  And I wanted a lot of Fritos.  So I ate them.  Fritos sound delicious right now.  Maybe I’ll buy a bag and eat them over the course of a few weeks.  I lost the dryer balls I made when they hauled away our old dryer.  I do drink soda sometimes (usually no more than 4 oz or so and it’s always Dr. Pepper that gets me!).  I’ve eaten a lot of fast food lately…I just wanted/needed chicken nuggets.  Yikes.  Karina’s had a rash and the doctor recommended that she wear disposables for a while.  So she hasn’t been wearing her gdiapers.  And she’s now grown into the large size of gdiapers (sniff sniff, my baby’s growing up).  All her best diapers are in the medium size though!  Oh well, I’m hoping to start potty training her soon.

On the flip side of things, my husband has gone vegan.  So he’s eating great and I’m so proud of him.  He’s been vegan for 7 weeks now and doesn’t miss meat or any animal products!  I should join him on that.  But it won’t happen for a while.  This week I’m trying to cook at home again.  Depending on how I feel next week, I’m going to try to start walking for exercise and my sister- and brother-in-law got me prenatal yoga classes for my birthday so I want to start that too.  We’re going to get back on track, I swear!

Sometimes You Fall Off the Wagon

And sometimes you fall sooooo far and sooooo hard off of the wagon that you barely remember that you were on a wagon at some point.  I believe I was.  I’m just finding that I don’t really adhere to anything I had set out to do on that wagon.  Based on my original LIST, I’m still cloth diapering and using cloth wipes (although we had to kinda take a break for about a MONTH because Pacific Sales has HORRIBLE customer service and didn’t deliver our washing machine and dryer…which reminds me.  I need to go rip ’em up on Yelp.com.  Be right back).  Ok I feel better.  Sorry, back to the subject at hand…We’re still cloth diapering, using cloth wipes, and recycling.  Sigh…sadly I think that’s about it.

We’ve been eating out A LOT.  Like way too much.  And I get fast food all the time, sometimes with soda.  I don’t work out.  I use a shampoo with SLES half the time (depending on what bathroom I take a shower in).  You’ll notice I also don’t blog.  We’ve even been forgetting to take our bags to the grocery store with us.  Sigh.  So so sad.  Oh!  I’m still using a natural toothpaste, so that’s something, right????

I’m not going to make excuses.  I’ve been preoccupied with a very cool project we’ve been working on (I’ll blog about it later) and there’s been a lot going on.  But I need to go back and redevelop all the good habits I was working on before things fell apart.  So here we go again.  And I’m gonna try and blog a couple times a week again.  It’s good for me.  Return of the Jedi.  Here we go.  Let’s hope Jabba the Hut doesn’t show up in my mirror.

 

Stupid High Fructose Corn Syrup

How’s that title for a bad attitude?  🙂  A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to watch what I ate for a few weeks and figure out what my goal should be for reducing the amount of high fructose corn syrup in my diet.  Well it seems that I’ve been “treating” (well really, it’s more like punishing) myself a lot these last few weeks.  I’ve had Yogurtland a few times and while the yogurt is probably not THAT bad for me, the toppings I choose to put on top of my yogurt are.  They have included Kit-Kats, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Mother’s circus cookies, and Pebbles cereal.  I’m trying to change it to almonds on top of sugar free chocolate yogurt instead.  Sigh.  I’ve also been drinking iced tea a couple days a week and this week I actually bought a Cactus Cooler but probably drank about 6 ounces.  Those have been the main sources of HFCS for me.  At home, I realized that we don’t have a lot of ingredients containing it.  It’s mostly when we eat out or I get a processed treat of some sort.

We buy ketchup that doesn’t have any, we usually make our own salad dressings, we don’t buy Chips Ahoy or Oreos or anything like that…Oh wait.  I’ve been buying Karina some biscuits…let me check the package on that.  It’s a Gerber product so I don’t have a lot of hope…Yep, it’s in there.  At least it’s more than half way down the ingredients list, I guess.  Ugh.  And while we’re confessing, I probably ate as many of those biscuits as Miss K. did.  So let’s add that to the list of HFCS products I’m eating.  Argh.  There are only two left in the pack; next time I’ll buy Annie’s and check the label.

So I think what’s reasonable is to get two “treats” per week with HFCS.  That will still allow me to have an occasional sweet drink (soda or tea) and maybe one other thing.  However, if I eat ketchup that has it, that counts as my once a week treat.  This will likely encourage me to avoid ketchup.  I’ll also be more diligent about checking labels.  I’ve had a few surprises when I reminded myself I hadn’t read the label on a few products.  Like the other day – I was so disappointed when I saw that the Tom’s toothpaste I bought actually had Sodium Laurel Sulfate – ARRRRGGHHHH!!!  The whole reason I bought it was to avoid SLS but of course I was trying to keep Miss K from grabbing all the items in the beauty aisle at Sprouts instead of reading the label.  I was really disappointed in that.

Back to the subject at hand.  Ya, twice a week and no more.  You know, in general, I want to cut back on my sugar intake and this will certainly help  I do realize that I’ve cut it WAAAY back from what it used to be but there’s always room for improvement, right?

One last thing…corn advocates (WHO are those guys anyway??? Let’s call them Corny Cronies) Corny Cronies have been lobbying to change the name of HFCS (most likely because of the bad rep it has earned) to Corn Sugar.  So in case you see the ingredient, be aware of what it is.  For a while now, they’ve been spending millions to get you to think that it’s just like table sugar.  Well it is and it isn’t.  Do your homework and decide for yourself.  As with everything, my philosophy is all things in moderation.

What items do you consume that has HFCS in it that you were surprised by?

#12 – Reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup in my diet

It’s time.  I’ve been avoiding this one.  Deep breath.  Time to start cutting back on the high fructose corn syrup in my diet.  Well, I need to cut back on all sugars in my diet and I’m starting with this one.

High fructose corn syrup is very similar to table sugar.  They both have roughly the same amount of calories, they are both manufactured, they are both made up of fructose and glucose.  Scientists are still studying the effects of HFCS vs. table sugar but there are several things that I’ve read that lead me to believe that HFCS is not good for me.  First, there is a correlation between the introduction of HFCS into mainstream foods and our nation’s obesity problem.  Secondly, HFCS is a cheap way to get sugar into processed foods and I find that sugar is addictive.  So because it’s cheap, food manufacturers use it (a lot) and in turn, I enjoy it (a lot) and then I want to eat it (a lot).  I don’t like lack of control in anything so I’m takin’ it back.  Third, my basic understanding is that HFCS causes nicks in your arteries that weaken the walls that carry vital blood throughout my body.  I need those arteries to be strong.

The big challenge here is that it’s EVERYWHERE.  Surprising places that aren’t even sweet…bread, ketchup, salad dressing, soups.  And of course it’s in the delicious treats we’ve all become accustomed to – ice cream, candy, mass produced cookies, cakes, and soda.  Unfortunately it’s in these things in high quantities.  So it’s time to proactively cut back.

First, the easy stuff.  We don’t buy a lot of cookies and cakes, mostly because I love ’em too much.  Wait.  Let me just show you some items that I’d love to eat RIGHT NOW…

Oh Gingerbread man.  I will eat you.  And when it’s yuletide cheer time, I will eat your whole family.  Seriously, I could use a Payday right now too.  I’ve been thinkin’ about those guys often lately.  No joke.  I could eat any (and possibly all) of these right about now.

So therein lies the problem.  I love this stuff.  Even that disgusting marshmallow peep.  Tis the season.  And although I haven’t checked, I’m pretty sure all of these things have HFCS.  LIke the other items on the LIST, I just want to improve because the reality is that I’m going to want a cookie sometimes.  And I’m going to use Heinz 57 ketchup.  BUT I can make a concerted effort to keep these things out of my home and to have the willpower to resist them *most* times.  So no more store bought salad dressings, no more sweet cereals, no more Heinz 57.  This was my ketchup of choice (ya, I had a ketchup of choice) for many years.  Just like I’m no longer a Crest Kid, and it’s no longer ALWAYS Coca-Cola, times are a-changing.  Time to let it go.  This also means I’ll need to be more diligent about checking labels.  Many of the breads we buy have HFCS.  And this also means keeping those sodas to a minimum.  And it also means I have to give up my beloved Iced Peach Green Teas.  Even though we get them with less sugar or Splenda, the syrup to make it peach flavored must have HFCS.  Oh so sad.  They are such a refreshing treat.

I’m not sure how to set a goal with this, partly because I don’t know how much I actually consume.  I think I’ll start by counting the number of items I eat (that I’m aware of) containing HFCS.  It gets back to the same issue that keeps coming up.  I need to just avoid processed foods.  So let’s start with that.  For the next week, I will keep track of how often I am consuming HFCS and will set a goal to reduce it.  Oh boy.

 

I (blank) excercise

I’ve been working on #13 on the LIST – Exercise.  The goal is four workouts a week, each lasting more than 30 minutes a piece.  I’ve been doing pretty good with it the last few weeks and there are two reasons for that – first, I really want to lose some weight.  We’re going on vacation in April and I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding in May and it would nice to not be tubby.  Secondly, I’m signed up for a half marathon in May and I hadn’t really run in two years when I signed up for it.  I want to not die!  I haven’t run a half marathon since 2008 or 2009…not good.  So I’ve been working on it.  I’m also logging it so I can see my progress.  I’ve only lost 3.5 pounds so far but hey, that’s better than nothing, right?  By the way, I picked this image because my mom used to do the Jane Fonda workout when we were kids.  I should rephrase…me, my brother, and my two cousins used to do the Jane Fonda workout with my mom when we were kids.  Seriously.  Just the memory of this makes me giddy with glee.  How did she not crack up at us?  Why on earth did we work out with her?  Awesome.  Just awesome.

I’ve been doing a few different things – my goal is to run three times a week – one speedwork session, one normal run, and one long, easy run.  But I’ve only run twice a week so far.  Maybe this week will be the week!  I’m also doing Zumba – it’s fun and I work up a sweat.  I also feel like an idiot when I can’t pick up the steps.  But I do my best.  Where I can, I fit in yoga.  Wow, is my body is tight.  So many of my poses look crazy.  But I’m gonna keep trying.  Finally, I try to do various p90x workouts…keyword is try.  I can do the cardio workout, not 100% intensity like they do in the video, but I’m able to complete it!  I tried the ab ripper x video yesterday.  Holy shmoly, it was over the top hard and I DEFINITELY didn’t make my way through the whole thing.  But again, I did what I could and I think I’ll get further next time.  I started the insane pliometrics workout too but it was too intense; I didn’t get but maybe five minutes past the warm up.  Granted, I tried after doing a speedwork session the night before and didn’t want to injure myself but it was tough.  I’ll try again later.  At the gym I’ve been doing biceps, shoulders, back, chest, abs, and triceps too.

All the different kinds of workouts keep things interesting for me and prevents me from getting bored.  And really, right now I’m feelin’ it.  I’m not seeing crazy or obvious results but I’m enjoying the workout itself.  And I’m not dragging myself to go do my workouts these days either.  I don’t know how long it’s going to last but I’ll take it for now.

It’s not easy, though.  When I do my home workouts, I sometimes don’t start til 9pm, and that’s AFTER a day of running around after baby, putting up posts on our other blog, putting baby down for the night, cleaning up after dinner, etc. So it’s not always so easy.  AND I’ve taken baby out in the jogging stroller to get some of my runs done.  I like it because it’s awesome to be with her while doing something for myself but it’s not easy pushing an extra 40 pounds around.  I will say, though, stretching while singing and dancing for baby is a lot more fun after a run is a lot more fun than doing it alone.  She likes being in her stroller, too.  Last week I did a four mile run and she took a nice little nap while I jogged and woke up so happy.  Before she fell asleep, she was looking around and checking things out.  She really mellows out in her strollers.  It’s nice.

The point is that it’s tough but it’s worth it.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  It took me a full year after Miss K was born to get back on the workout wagon.  I think if I hadn’t lost my baby weight, I would have been motivated to work out sooner but I was lucky – I didn’t put on too much and my modified diet due to Miss K’s allergies helped me take off the weight.  It took me a while, but I’m doing it now and it feels great.  I hate it but I love it.  Once I get off my butt, get started, and shake off the rust, I feel great and happy.  I seriously start feeling like this guy:

Then I start have delusions of grandeur and begin having images of being able to do crazy things and suddenly I become this:

Well I become this in my mind, of course.  I seriously have visions of one armed push ups and pull up after pull up.  But then reality sets in and I realize I’m no G.I. Jane and I never will be.  I have half a dozen spare tires around my midsection that I need to burn off.  But it’s fun in the meanwhile.  Sweating is good.  I don’t know how long this is going to last, but I’m going ride this wave as long as I can!

Some Updates

Wow.  I’ve been neglecting the blog.  January was busy, I guess.  And now February has been busy too.  I’ve been helping my husband with his blog and trying to workout and joined a book club so I’ve been sneaking in minutes here and there to read the book (tonight’s the night!  I’m hoping that the book club is nice.  I love reading and the last one I joined was pretty disappointing).  Today I thought I’d update on some of the natural product choice changes we’ve been making from The LIST:

#3: Stop Using SLS based shampoos and soaps.  Happy to say this is going well!  I’ve eliminated a bunch of products already: facial cleanser, shampoo, baby wash, bath gel, and toothpaste.  Yay for us!  We do use softsoap to wash our hands, though and I’m not sure but I’m guessing that also has SLS.  I need to look into that and also to see if Dove moisturizing bars contain SLS.

#4 – Begin Using a Natural Toothpaste.  We’ve been using a natural toothpaste from Trader Joe’s for several weeks now.  No complaints here.  My mouth feels clean and fresh.  The texture of the toothpaste is different from what I’m used to though.  It’s thicker, drier and grittier than the toothpastes we typically buy.  I haven’t heard any complaints from my husband either.  We’ll see if the dentist notices anything.  If not, then we’re sticking to it.  I bought a tube of Tom’s to try next.  I think I want to experiment a little and see what we like out there.

#14: Switch to cloth wipes.  I started using cloth wipes about two and a half weeks ago.  So far it’s going well.  I made up a solution of olive oil, baby wash, and water and have been spraying it onto wash cloths to wipe down baby.  I use them for both wet and dirty diapers.  It’s really not that bad.  I do still use disposable wipes but WAAAY fewer.  Sometimes on Karina’s crazy diapers, I’d use five or six wipes.  Now I’ll use a couple cloths and maybe a disposable wipe or two.  Much better.  And I really really like the idea that I’m not putting so many scary chemicals on her, like the kind that are toxic when inhaled.  Ugh.  I do use disposable wipes on the go, however.  I think now that I’m going to be using them more sparingly, I’ll buy the natural/flushable kind. I’m open to any recommendations if you have any!

On a side note, we’ve also switched the type of garbage bags we use.  We used to buy a big box of them for pretty cheap at costco.  We just started buying biodegradable garbage bags.  I’m not sure if my city shreds garbage before putting it in the landfill so I thought these couldn’t hurt help the contents of the bags biodegrade a little faster.  So far we haven’t had any issues with leaks or anything like that.  One thing that is a little more cumbersome is that the kind we bought don’t have drawstrings like the old ones did.  This makes things harder in two ways…first, I have to get a garbage tie and tie it up instead of grabbing the drawstring and tying up the bag on the way to the big garbage can in the garage.  Next, since there’s no drawstring, it slips out of the kitchen trash can more easily and I find that I’m having to re-fit it at least once a day.

Man. Being less green sure is easier.  Sometimes I think about whether or not I’d be more productive if I just trashed stuff like diapers and wipes and didn’t bother recycling.  I guess I would have a few more minutes in the day but that’s just not me.