Wednesday, June 14, 2023

being healthier


Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share a little about what I eat and do in a typical of you asked for this a few weeks ago, and I'm usually happy to deliver.😉 Also, I'm always looking for some inspiration, so I'm going to ask you some questions at the end of this post. 

Lest you think I've arrived at some miraculous point in life where I don't struggle, let me assure you that is not the case, and also know that on Monday I went to bed hungry. Don't ask why, I'd eaten plenty! I have days that are hard and some that are easier. Also, I'm not on a "diet", I'm just trying to generally be healthier. Being in a house with a husband and sons who are also on the same journey helps and they all motivate me in their own ways. I do think there are certain things that play into the fact that I've hit a plateau and I'm not losing much weight right now. It could be that I'm either actually not eating enough, it could have to with my menopausal stage of life, or it could be that I'm consuming too many calories. I'm not super diligent about calorie counting, but I know it's key. But if I do that, it also means I'm on a "diet", and that word psyches me out. It's all a mind game, at least to me that's the case. Also, what works for Todd doesn't work for me, and what works for me probably won't work for you. I think it's good to bounce ideas back and forth, though, and it's inspiring and motivating. Okay, I'll get started now. 

I always, always, always drink one of these for breakfast. (We buy these at Costco.) When I worked, my breakfast took place at eight. Now that I'm home again, I "eat" around nine. The older I get, the more I have to have something like this for breakfast. If I skip it, I start getting shaky. The only thing I want when my feet hit the floor each morning is coffee, so I always have two cups of that sweetened with just this.

This does contain sugar, more than in anything else I eat, but I don't really care. I refuse to mess with my morning coffee too much, and life is too short to have mediocre coffee. I used to put powdered cream AND two heaping spoons of sugar into each cup, but I cut out the sugar and switched to refrigerated cream only. It's so much better this way! Anyway, after my two cups that I drink pretty quickly, I switch to water and mostly just that for the rest of the day. To help us drink more and for the sake of variety, we all use these water flavoring drops that have no sugar.

I am the one who loves the pineapple coconut, which is my favorite and from Kroger. Todd prefers the black cherry in the Walmart brand. About two hours after breakfast, I eat a protein bar for a snack. We also buy these at Costco, and though they're an acquired taste, they're delicious. We got really excited when Todd came home with some new flavors a few weeks ago! In the box of these, the flavors are brownie and chocolate chip. The newer flavors are peanut butter fudge (my fav!!!) and cookies and cream (Todd's fav). 

If I go out with someone for lunch, then I try to eat something that isn't too bad, like food found in a Mexican restaurant. I like to eat a tortilla soup at my favorite place, or I'll get fajitas or fajita nachos. It's easier to eat healthier at a Mexican restaurant than anywhere else. If I'm at home, I'll drink another of those protein drinks around one or two. I have found that eating more often helps tremendously, so even if I'm not feeling "snacky" around the morning snack time, I still will eat one, so that it'll allow me to have a later lunch. I usually don't need anything in between the one/two lunch drink and dinner. 

For dinner we always eat things with meat/chicken/fish and veggies. Recently I've been on a kick with chicken with onions and peppers. We have hamburgers on occasion, like on Monday night of this week, but Todd and I both skip the bun. We keep frozen fish in the freezer so that we can pull it out and season it, then cook it in our air fryer. We'll have taquitos sometimes, or quiche. Sometimes he has chicken salad and I eat something different, like when I had chicken nuggets one night last week. We almost always have chips and this salsa with our dinner.

This is the best salsa I have ever eaten, and it's from Costco. It's Mexican restaurant quality, if that tells you anything. Jonah loves this stuff and takes some for lunch everyday. And lately we've been eating an avocado with each meal at dinnertime.

My mouth just watered at the thought of an avocado! They're so good. Todd bought a big bag of them from Costco when he went there Sunday. Also, if I'm feeling extra snacky, I'll grab one or two of these, or a small bowl of Chex mix that I make all the time.

I only use the rice and corn Chex when I make this, and I use olive oil instead of butter, and a spicy seasoning, along with Worcestershire sauce. I wish I could give you measurements, but I just eyeball everything, then I bake it at 300 for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. If I'm craving something sweet, I'll try a piece of fruit first.

But if that doesn't work, I'll drink a cup of coffee sweetened with that same creamer, or another flavor of it. Sometimes I'll eat another protein bar of a different flavor around 7:30, but I try to not eat after 7:30 at night. I'll drink right up until bedtime, though. Sometimes I'll have a glass of wine, or sometimes I'll crave something fizzy, so I'll drink either a flavored Ice drink or a bottle of zero sugar Ginger Ale.

You'll notice that I try to eat as little sugar as possible. I'm not completely sugar free, but I try to not eat anything with more than 3 grams of sugar. All that I've listed here is that or less. I've learned that I feel a million times better when I don't eat much sugar and when I stay away from gluten. I also try to eat very little carbs, even though I will sometimes have them with my dinner. I do feel like I eat plenty, and I rarely ever feel hungrier than I should be at a certain time of day. (Except for when I went to bed hungry Monday night! 🤣) When I drink more water, that helps fill me up, and I do try to drink close to a gallon each day. I no longer feel bloated (except for when I eat bad), and I have more energy than ever before. I usually don't have any aches and pains, either, which I'm thankful for. I've learned that if I really want something, I'll take a bite of it to satisfy the craving. Sometimes a bite of it works, other times it just makes me really mad, so I have to eat more. I do stray from this plan when I'm not at home, but I would say that for at least five days out of  the seven, I eat this way. 

I have definitely lost some weight doing this, and am down about 25 pounds (give or take). Sometimes I'll see a drop on the scale each day, other days I stay the same. It's definitely a slower process, but I feel like this is more of a lifestyle change than anything else. I've noticed the change in how my clothes fit looser, in the way my hands look, and in the fact that most of my shoes are too big now. I don't want to be a certain weight or size, I just want to feel good in my skin and in my clothes, and I want to be healthier than I was before. 

I still hate to exercise, but I do try to move around plenty. In the summer I love to swim, and though I don't swim laps when I'm with my mom-in-love at her pool, I usually tread water. I'm always trying to be more active, so sometimes I'll do exercises in the kitchen while dinner is cooking, or I'll lift some smaller weights that I have. I've also been known to get up and dance when a good song comes on and as long as nobody is down here to witness it, other than my dogs. I try to get up and do things every so often so that I don't get too stiff. 

So that's what I do! Also, when Todd gets home, he usually inspires me to be up and doing something. He is like the freaking energizer bunny when he gets home from work each day now, so he never sits down until almost eight each night. He does the yard thing, or he'll be outside helping the boys with vehicle things when they ask for it. He also always offer to do the shopping for me which I always take him up on! When he goes to Costco, he parks in the back 40 and speed walks through the entire time that he's there. He makes me tired. 🤣 The more he loses, the better he feels and the more energy he has. I'm so proud of him! He's basically what's inspired entire house. You know I love a good collage, so I have some for comparison!

He's lost even more since any of these pictures were taken, and he is about ten pounds away from his goal weight. I realize you've seen most of those before, but I thought I'd share them again since I wrote this kind of post. Also, one other thing that I want to add that is the most important, is that I also take care of my own self regarding my spiritual and mental health. I spend time with the Lord each day in prayer and reading His word, and I do things that bring me joy, like reading or watching a movie when time allows. I try to always have something to look forward to, even if it's just a Saturday, but it makes all the difference in the world. Spiritual and mental wellbeing are just as important as the physical, if not even more so. I don't want to be a slave to the scale or to a certain way of eating, but I also want to have a healthy mindset of the way that I view it. I don't want to consider it a reward or spend too much thinking about it, either. It's just a good and healthy balance, like the rest of life. 

So tell me what you do to be healthier! I would honestly love to hear any tips and advice you have, because it's always motivating to me. I hope that this post was inspiring for you as well. I've certainly not nailed down the perfect solution, but it's a work in progress that changes from day to day or from week to week. Thanks for reading my blog, friends, and for being invested in this new way of living that I've committed to. Love to all! 

P.s. I'll be back tomorrow with a Thankful Thursday link party if you want to join me! It's been ages since I've hosted that, but I thought I'd aim to do that at least once a month or so. I'd love for you to join in!


  1. Wow! Good for you husband- he looks great! I love the ways he stays active-thanks for sharing. Kudos to you too on your healthy ways- very inspirational. I have been using My Fitness Pal and that helps me track my food, exercise and water every day so I am more conscious about everything. It definitely helps but it is still a lifelong struggle for sure!

  2. My sister is also really trying to cut out sugar. I love my protein coffee/profee and make it like an iced coffee. I am out of the habit of doing it everyday, but I firmly believe that women need more protein. I do like those bars and the new flavors would appeal to me but I am on a more of a real food kick and that would be more of a thing I take to work. I love veg way more than fruit and I try to build my meals around several different vegetables. You know I love a bowl! I love sauces, too. I think you all would love the avocado crema sauce at Costco but I have not checked for sugar content. I am trying to move more and get in a good exercise habit this summer so that I will be in that mode when school starts.
    I build so many of my meals on frozen cauliflower rice. I really like the way it tastes.
    I have let myself gain some weight back and don't feel as good as I did. I am trying to get back to a healthier place.

  3. Jennifer, Congratulations on your weight loss! And thanks for the inspiration.

    I haven't lost any weight, so I have no advice or method to share, but I do wear a Fitbit watch every day, which helps me stay aware of my steps and movement. My goal is to reach at least 7000 steps a day. I've been stretching several times per week with a video on Youtube for women over 50. I also love to put on some worship music and stretch. It's so relaxing and it makes me feel like I've been good to my body :)

    I have (on and off) kept a food diary so I could see how much I've eaten each day. Not counting calories or anything, but simply trying to see if I over eat with the amount of snacks or in between meals. Last week I kept track of my food intake, but also wrote down how I was feeling each day and how it correlated to my eating. Interestingly enough, on the gloomy days (no sunshine) I ate more and had less energy. On the sunny days I ate less and did more. I never thought I was one of those who ate according to mood, but I guess I do!

    I do think menopause has much to do with my weight gain and I hope it's something I can figure out soon! I hate to see myself in pictures and I don't want to be that way.

  4. You guys both look great! Has Todd incorporated exercise into weight loss journey besides generally being active, parking far away, etc.? You guys could consider going for a walk most evenings together. It's such good exercise and there's something about walking together that encourages good conversations though my husband and I have walked in companionable silence as well.

    I know that some people consider the scale a "no-no" for me, it keeps me accountable. I don't weight myself every day but at least once a week. It just helps me. When I see a number higher than I want it to be, I adjust my eating and exercise routine for several days and then check in again on the scale. When I see the number go down, it encourages me to keep going.

    My metabolism has slowed down with age. I'm waiting for Big Pharma to come up with a pill that speeds up metabolism so that I can eat the treats of my youth and not gain weight!

  5. Holly, that's exactly how he got started! I have tried that here and there as well, but I just don't do great at updating it when I need to. It's a great app, though, and it really helped both of us see the nutritional value of what we were eating. Every little thing helps!

  6. Amy, I remember you saying that before about the protein drink mixed with your coffee. My mom-in-love takes her protein drink and adds in frozen bananas or strawberries and it turns into a smoothie. I'm sure we would love the crema sauce! We use salsa or guacamole a lot to things we eat sometimes. We also like to snack on hummus sometimes, which I forgot to mention. I love riced cauliflower! I do use that from time to time, but I always forget about it since it's in the freezer. That's great that you're trying to exercise more! It's what we're both majorly lacking in, even though we have no excuse other than general laziness. Especially me, because I have time in the day! Ugh. I literally hate it, though. I hope your routine sticks for you! That's a great idea to start it now and be used to it by the time school rolls back around.

  7. You are doing so good!! This inspires me after I have not eaten so great, especially this week already. I had candy last evening and then actually ate again at 9:00pm, which is rare for me to eat so late. Ugh, I need to do better, but some days, it just doesn't go as well as I plan. Keep up the good work!

  8. Thanks, Debbie! That's great that you're moving more. I may look into that as well- the YouTube video with exercising. I have thought about it, but then I would forget. Food tracking is eye opening! Todd and I both used the My Fitness Pal app to do that and to see the nutritional value of things, and we learned so much. That's interesting about how the weather affected your eating, but it does also make sense. I know for me I can tend to eat more if I'm bored, which is why I like to keep busy. It's hard to feel that way about seeing yourself in pictures- one thing I always say is that I want to just feel better about myself. So much of that takes place inwardly, and it's something I've really had to work on. It's great that you're making changes, though! I also want to be proactive and start that now, because I know everything gets harder the older you get.

  9. Maria, he does sometimes exercise, but not consistently. We have gone on walks before, but it's not anything we do regularly. We do like to do that when the weather's nice! I totally see what you mean about the scale. It does help to see it more often than not, and I used to feel way differently about it than I do now. Aging plays into everything!

  10. Thanks, Marilyn! I know what you mean about some days being better than others. I hate that bloated feeling I get when I eat bad, though! I feel like this will be an ongoing thing for me, and I do try to offer myself grace when I mess up. I hope you can do that too, especially because of your life right now. Much love, my friend.

  11. wow, I actually commend your discipline. Congratulations on the healthy weight loss.

    The Style Fanatic

  12. You and your husband are really taking steps to change your lifestyle forever! You both look great, and that is amazing about his energy levels. Thanks for posting all this info.

  13. Thanks, Tanya! And you're welcome...I always need the same kind of inspiration and new ideas.


  14. I would suggest getting a pair of air pods (any brand) and listen to podcast, books on tape
    or worship music while taking a walk. Using those gets you to walk further. I walk (weather depending) at least 1.5-2.5 miles a day and having something to listen to gets me going longer and makes the time more enjoyable.

  15. Thanks for the encouragement, Jenny! I've tried watching a show while walking on a treadmill, but that didn't do it for me. I may try again with a podcast, though...that's a great idea. Thank you! And I have some ear buds, but somehow have never thought to take them upstairs with me when I try. I'm going to do this today and see if it helps!

  16. I find I can do pretty well with healthy eating since I love most any veggie, fruit, and lean protein but I STILL struggle with consistent exercise. I HATE exercising so much and it's so easy for me to push it off until "later." Being consistent and keeping all these new lifestyle changes going long term is tough but I just keep reminding myself that each meal, each day, each step is just one more chance to keep going.

  17. Joanne, I feel the same as you about food. I love fresh fruit and veggies, and just about any other thing we would use as the meat portion of our meals. And SAME. I really am going to try and be better and get a consistent habit going again. I used to be so good at it and walked almost four meals three or four days a week. Accountability check-ins help!


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