Healthy Eating, Organization

The Kitchen

Of all the rooms in the house this is the one I hate the most. If I could ask God for something I think it might be that humans did not require food. This would take care of a multitude of health issues, weight gain, trying to come up with healthy menus, grocery shopping, kitchen utensil upkeep, cooking, cleaning…. I’m sure I could think of more here. Think about how much free time and extra money you’d have!

I am a perfectionist. My house cannot be clean enough, perfect enough, finished enough… Cue my two daughters in their 20’s who live at home and attend college, a 12 year old son and a husband. NOBODY wants to clean the kitchen past what they absolutely have to. That leaves cabinets that constantly require a re-arranging, a fridge that needs to be cleaned, microwave, sink, the front of my cabinets are in need of a good washing, the gas stovetop.. Uggg. Jobs I hate more than anything else. My girls sometimes help me with such things but school has had them busy. So, I’ve been overwhelmed by it and keep ignoring it but it can be ignored no longer!

Tonight at 12:30 a.m. I walked in my kitchen and decided to attack one cupboard. I cleaned the “bread” cupboard. Washed shelves, cleaned the doors inside and out. The wood around them and put back what was good in an orderly fashion. I figure tomorrow I’ll pick ONE and do that. If I attack ONE cupboard, inside and out I could handle getting it done that way. By the time that is done maybe the weather will clear and I can attack my yard!

Feeling oddly empowered by one clean kitchen cabinet at 1:30 AM!

Books, Healthy Eating, Lent, Redefining Self!, Seasonal Depression

Diet/Seasonal Depression

Last week on my diet I lost 4 pounds. I’ve gotten a bit off my game this week but I’m holding steady.

This time of year is rough for me. I live in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle, which is gray, drizzly and dreary a good part of the time 9 months out of the year. I get seasonal depression and find it hard to care about much of anything. I just kind of want to hibernate until the dreariness is over.

I’m thinking I need to get ahold of some vitamin D and some K vitamins. I just put out my light therapy lamp that helps with combating seasonal depression and I’ll see if I can kick myself in gear! I’m currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick. Not usually my reading genre, however, my daughter is taking a Literature and Film class and I’ve been reading some of the books and watching some of the movies. This book was the basis for Blade Runner. At the beginning of the book husband and wife are talking about dialing their machines, the Penfield Mood Organ, to set their moods and what they want to feel. For example, he has to go to work so he sets his in the business like setting. This time of year I could use one of those!

I taught my Religious Education class today and got the kids geared up and ready for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. I need to find a new book for Lent this year or one from previous years and focus my efforts on the 40 days of Lent.

I will pull myself out of this pit with vitamins, my light therapy lamp and Lent. The sun would help too! I’m ready for spring!

Healthy Eating, Redefining Self!

Cooking is Therapy

Today was one of those days. Nothing went right, things out of my control tripped up the day, things that needed to get done. I was feeling super cranky. Worse I needed to cook dinner and what I had left on my list was Weight Watcher’s Chicken Pot Pies. This is not an easy quick recipe. The idea of cooking this, alone made me cranky on top of everything else. I wanted to “throw in the towel” scramble a couple eggs and sit and mope.

I got started as it really had to be done, my chicken was going to go bad, I really didn’t want scrambled eggs and my family really wanted the pot pies. I felt myself loosen up as I began chopping vegetables. My daughter walked in and we chatted, she helped a bit, but most of it I did on my own and I found it helped calm the cranky. I spent about and hour and half cooking and cleaning and I no longer feel cranky. Not only the therapy behind the cooking but also the fact that I got something done that was healthy and needed doing instead of skipping out, throwing in the towel and eating something not so healthy.

When you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway. By the end you feel calmer and a sense of accomplishment where you would have been left feeling cranky without the accomplishment. And bonus I get to have a nice yummy healthy WW Pot Pie for dinner! Happy Cooking!



I love to scrapbook. I haven’t done much in awhile but I now have a good space for it. I pulled out all of my things and I’m ready to get started! I’m posting a picture of a page I did a couple years ago. This is the scrapbook I’m going to start with.

My Grandparents passed away and I ended up with a couple trunks full of their pictures. My Dad asked me to put them in an album and I got a bit carried way. But, I’m glad I did! I have a ton of their pictures to work on and a ton of mine!

I used my Cricut, my scrapbooking stapler for embellishment, a bit of ribbon and a huge button. I had a lot of fun putting it together. I’m excited to get going on some more!

Healthy Eating, Redefining Self!

Social Gatherings and Food

Today I learned a lesson in social gatherings and food. It was my Priest’s birthday party and a bunch of us met at a Chinese Restaurant to celebrate. It was a fabulous time to spend with fellow parishioners and Father and develop relationships!

However…. My intention was to eat only a bowl of egg drop soup which was only 2 points. But I decided to go ahead and get Egg Foo Young. That turned out to be 4 points as I called it 4 items because it was big though, maybe it was only really one. I should have skipped eating the rice which was 6 points but still, 12 points isn’t bad especially for eating out. Now if I’d have left it there it would have been great!!!

Here’s the kicker. We finished lunch and sang Happy Birthday to Father then he walked around passing out birthday cake and I, not wanting to hurt his feelings, took one. Worse, I ATE IT. At the time I thought, well no big deal it’s only one tiny piece of cake and I have lots of extra points. However, when I got home I found out that it was a whopping TWENTY FIVE POINTS! Yes, one tiny piece of chocolate cake with frosting is twenty five Weight Watchers points.

What I learned today is this. Leave the rice to rot it’s not worth 6 points for 1 cup. And just say no to cake. Next time I will do it differently. Happy Birthday Father! No thank you on the cake.

Healthy Eating, Redefining Self!

Weight Watchers Day 1

I used to love to cook then I got sick of it. I think that’s where things started going really down hill for me as as far as eating healthy goes. Today, however, I spent a majority of the day in the kitchen and I actually had a lot of fun.

I cooked a Weight Watchers soup that required you to cook a whole chicken in the soup to make the broth. You then use the chicken for other things. The soup was fabulous And the whole family liked it! The rest of the chicken is going toward 2 other Weight Watchers recipes. So, in cooking one soup I also have my chicken made for dinner for the next two nights! I have a frozen turkey thawing in my fridge for similar recipes next week. I also made Weight Watcher’s Maple-Raisin Bran Muffins. I’m super excited about these as they are only 5 points and make for a great breakfast with lots of fiber. They are also very tasty!

I tracked Day 1 in my app and had points left over. What makes me super happy about my points today though, is that all of them were used for something healthy. The Weight Watchers App is super as it also has it’s own community. I said hello and got a bunch of followers and I can follow people for inspiration. I even got in my Yoga!

I told a lady at my Church today that I’d started Weight Watchers today. She told me about how she needs to loose weight and that she would be watching me for inspiration. All the more reason for me to do a great job!

Day 1 was off to a great Start! I’m feeling better already!

Healthy Eating, Redefining Self!

21 Day Sugar Detox Prep Day 1|Weight Watchers

Today in my writing out my grocery lists and getting ready to start the detox. I, after nagging thoughts of I’m not sure this is going to work for me all week, came to the conclusion this is not going to work for me. I’m glad they give you a week to read, research and plan as it gave me a change of heart.

First thing that deterred me was the higher fat content and lack of carbs. I had my gallbladder removed and I was told by both my Doctors to eat low fat as my gallbladder is no longer there to process the fats. As my digestive system isn’t doing very well already I’ve decided to go low fat. The other reason being the amount of preparation in this diet. I know myself there is no way I can keep up with this level of preparation. Today I had a long list of “make ahead”. And third, these are not my foods. I will go crazy. If a person is completely deprived of the things they love a major lifestyle change ridding themselves of those things is a sure fire way to lose your footing.

I decided to go to Weight Watchers. I have done WW before and loved it. However, I made a dire mistake regarding WW is that I thought of it as a diet and not a lifestyle change and that is where I need to first begin. This is a lifestyle change not a diet.

Weight Watchers is a Whole Foods based diet with a good balance. I won’t have to completely cut out the foods I love but I will be cutting them back and eating healthier versions and lower fat, less carbs and just as importantly low sugar.

In my research this past week the biggest thing I felt I got out of it is the dangers of sugar and processed foods. The amount of processed foods, fast foods, bad fats that we eat as a society are scary and it’s undeniably wreaking havoc on our health and that of our children. It has changed the way I see the grocery store. While I’ve been aware of such things for a long time I am far more attuned to it and concerned with ridding my family of these bad habits.

Tuesday I will start Weight Watchers. I subscribed to my first 3 months of the Online version. I have my app and I’m ready to get started tracking. This is one big thing that is so important is tracking what you’re eating. I find when I don’t I loose sight of what I’m eating I think I’m eating healthier than I am.

In the next couple days I’ll write my grocery lists, finish getting my kitchen in order and get started on Tuesday. Remembering this is a lifestyle change not a diet and keep my focus.

Healthy Eating, Redefining Self!

21 Day Sugar Detox 3 days pre-detox

Today in my book 21 Day Sugar Detox, I read about carbs.  She talks about how carbs are not the enemy, there are plenty of nutrient rich Whole Foods that have some carbs that your body does need. The book goes into quite a bit of detail about how carbs and how your body breaks down carbs and how your body stores them and how that all works. In a nut shell, you eat too many they turn to fat.

When you work on your meal plan it’s ok and important to eat HEALTHY carbs in moderation.

In my book, Fat Chance, by Dr. Robert H Lustig M.D. I’m reading about stress and eating. A little stress is important to motivate us and to be alive is to have some stress. However when you are stressed over a long period of time your body creates too much of the hormone Cortisol which raises blood pressure, increases blood glucose level and can precipitate diabetes, human research also shows that cortisol specifically increases caloric intake of “comfort foods” (those with high energy density or high fat and high sugar). In these cases Cortisol increases the visceral fat, which is fat associated with cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Adapted from Fat Chance beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity and disease. By Robert H. Lustig M.D. I found this book on Amazon if you want to read it. They also have it on Kindle.

That is nearly a snippet of what the book goes on to talk about stress, cortisol, insulin, leptin, changes in brain biochemistry, the effects on the body and the vicious cycle of stress-eating. While I haven’t gotten to the part where he tells us how to get out of the cycle yet I learned a lot about how the body works and why we do the things we do! Why do we eat when we get stressed? If you want to know Dr. Lustig has an answer for that!

To stress is to be alive. However, when we find ourselves in a place where there is stress all the time over a long period of time we can find it hard to find a way out of that constant stress. If there is not a way out of the constant stress there are ways of helping you cope with that stress. Some people find a lot of help in self help books while others really respond better to counseling. Not only will finding a solution to the constant stress increase your quality of life and lets face it, the quality of life of those around you, it’s also clear how important it is for your body as well.

Redefining Self!, Rodan and Fields

Unblemish an Acne Regimen that works!!

Rodan and Fields/Laura King
This is my skin care regimen! I am in awe of this! I had been using blemish cleansers and topical creams from the store with no results. I have spots that stay broken out, refuse to heal and nothing worked at all. I started using Rodan and Field’s Unblemish and those areas are diminishing and fading! As a bonus I also use the active hydration serum, paired with the Unblemish, it keeps my skin from drying out!

If you have scars from acne, once your skin is clear of acne there is another product you can use to diminish those scars!

If you have any skin care questions please send me a message! lauraannk@myrandf.comSHAREABLE-WINTER HYDRATION- UNBLEMISH.jpg

Healthy Eating

21 Day Pre-Sugar Detox day 4 Artificial Sweeteners.

Today’s topic is one I’m hugely behind. Artificial sweeteners. Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet One, Sweet’N Low, Splenda even Truvia, “While green stevia is a natural sweetener, when a stevia-containing product is white or present in blended forms such a Truvia, it may present problems similar to those in artificial sweeteners and should be consumed with caution.” 21dsd

I used to drink Diet Coke and I started having some strange issues with twitching that was becoming worse and worse. I had trouble gripping a pen. Then I read about how bad artificial sweeteners are, quit Diet Coke and went back to normal.

Some health problems associated with artificial sweeteners are:

Weight loss resistance, Cancer, Nerve Damage, Migraines and headaches, Dizziness and poor equilibrium, Convulsions and seizures, Nausea and vomiting, Diarrhea, Fatigue and weakness, Changes in mood, Changes in vision, Changes in heart rate, Joint pain, Memory loss, Sleep problems and insomnia, Hives and rashes, there’s even research that suggests artificial sweeteners can increase your risk of type 2 Diabetes.

So, one might think it’s healthier to eat less sugar, yes it is! But, if one thinks it better to instead go to artificial Sweeteners, no it’s not.

So, we round back again to Whole Foods! I’m looking forward to Tuesday and Day 1 of my detox and on the road to feeling better!!