Food and exercise journal already paying off!

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Well, I have only been logging my food and exercise for a couple of days but have already noticed something… I’m not drinking enough water.  Although I have increased from what I was drinking before, I am still not getting enough water.  I have read that you need half of your body weight in ounces; so, in my case, I would need 109 ounces per day (217 x 50% = 109).  That is almost a full gallon a day – WOW!!  I think that part of the issue is that I have been drinking some distilled water which I like a lot better than our tap water but I have run out of distilled water.  We have well water but our water is hard and I have noticed that it leaves a metal-y taste in my mouth (never noticed it until I started drinking distilled water… go figure!).  I just have a weird “thing” about BUYING water at the store… I know, weird!

I think my other struggle with not getting enough water is that I used to drink a LOT with my meals.  However, I have recently learned that drinking too much (water, milk, etc.) with your meals is bad for your digestion.  “The general rule of thumb is to avoid drinking water from about 15 minutes before you eat until at least one hour after you eat.”  (You can read the full article here.)  My problem is that I am forgetting to drink water while I am cooking; that would probably help me a lot.  Old dogs can learn new tricks… it just takes a while!  :-)

I still need to get my exercise done today.  Better get that done before the USA v. Ghana World Cup soccer game tonight!!  I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!  (Here is a video where you can chant along!)

Stay healthy my friends…


Embarrassed to share this but will for accountabilty and tracking

I mentioned in a post last week that I would share my “before” pictures.  Well, I had my hubby take the pics last Sunday night but I have been avoiding the blog since then because I didn’t want to have to actually share the pictures.  Well, I think I have finally gotten over that and I am going to share the pics with you along with my “before” measurements.  I plan to have a big celebration a year from now (or sooner…) to debut the new, healthier me!!  My blog last week was: a year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today; well, a year from now, I WILL BE HEALTHIER and slimmer!!

So, here it goes… no haters (I have done enough of that myself already, don’t need any help :-) )…

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okay, there, I did it…  and for the purpose of accountability and tracking, here are my measurements (taken 6/11/14):
Weight:  217 lbs
Thigh:  27 1/2 inches
Hips:  50 1/2 inches
Waist:  44 inches
Abs:  45 1/2 inches
Upper arm:  15 inches
Neck:  14 inches
Jeans:  I currently wear a size 18

It can only get better from here! RIGHT!!!
I look forward to posting progress pictures in the future!!

I think I will plan to weigh and measure myself at the beginning of each month for tracking.  More often than that and I will likely be frustrated; less often than that and I may lose motivation.  Again, I know it’s not about the weight, but I know that I need to lose weight as part of my health journey.  (I think I say that in each post, don’t I… LOL!)

Until next time…
Stay healthy my friends…

Inquiring minds want to know: what am I doing to get healthier??? 

One question that has been asked is:  “It’s great that you are trying to get healthier, but what specifically are you DOING?”  So, here’s my current action plan and thought process:

1.  I am drinking more water; lots of water.  When I can, I add a couple drops of Young Living Essential Oils – usually lemon and/or lime, but grapefruit as well as orange are YUMMY too!!
2.  Along with drinking more water, I am drinking my water out of a glass (usually some kin of a fun jar) and a glass straw (great Michigan-made glass straws at www.Strawsome.com).  I don’t like the feel of stainless steel on my mouth (weird, I know), so I had to be creative.  I use a variety of canning jars and other jars with holes drilled in the lid for my straw.  I find that I drink more water when I use a straw.
3.  We are eliminating processed food from our diet.  For example, we no longer buying things like breaded chicken strips, poptarts, granola bars, etc.  Things that I haven’t been able to eliminate are macaroni and cheese, potato chips, hot dogs (although these are on the soon-to-be eliminated list), ice cream, etc. but we are working to clean up our diet as much as possible.
4.  We are making more things homemade – brownies, enchilada sauce, chicken broth/stock, ranch dressing (oh yum!), etc.  Homemade tastes so much better.
5.  We are not using aluminum foil or pans for anything!  Aluminum is so bad for our brain!  I find that I can use parchment paper in place of aluminum foil in most cases, and that my glass/pottery dishes work fine for baking instead of aluminum pans.
6.  We have eliminated chemical cleaners from our home!!  The toxins in chemical cleaners are the cause of so many health problems.  After being introduced to Norwex microfiber cloths (and their other products), it was much easier to eliminate spray cleaners.
7.  I have eliminated toxic personal care items – I no longer use shampoo, just baking soda and water.  I use a natural facial moisturizer and deodorant (still looking for the perfect combo for my skin though).  I use a castile soap blend for body wash and hand soap rather than the commercial soaps that are so full of nasty chemicals!!  bleh!  Oh, and I have also switched from regular toothpaste to Earthpaste (it is a clay based toothpaste and completely safe!).  I am still trying to get my family switched over to some of these things as well, but some of them are having a hard time accepting the natural products (they won’t have much choice when I just stop buying some of those things – LOL!).
8.  I am also eliminating plastic dishes from our food storage options!!  Just last night I bought a set of wide-mouth pint canning jars to store leftovers in.  I also have some bigger wide-mouth jars that I can use for larger quantities!!  This is super exciting for me as I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but just found what I was looking for (a big shout out to Save-A-Lot for having these awesome jars).
9.  I am also using Young Living Essential Oils in place of a lot of commercial “medicines” that we once used.  I no longer need to buy pain relievers, allergy/cold/sinus meds, antibiotic “ouch cream”, itch cream, bug sprays, etc. as the essential oils have replaced all of those things for us!  I like that I am using completely natural items that have NO side effects or lingering effects!!

Well, I could keep going about some of the changes we have made, but these are the biggest ones.  I will share more as it fits in!

Until next time… stay healthy my friends!!  :-)

And So My Journey Begins…

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My name is Amy.  I am a wife to my wonderful hubby, Eric!  This year we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary!!  WOW!!  I am also a mommy to six (yes, 6!) awesome kiddos – 4 girls, 2 boys, ages 3 to almost 13!!  Again, WOW!!   We live in beautiful, lovely Western Michigan with our two dogs, two cats and two birds!!  I am very blessed!

I am 44 years old, and here’s the less than “wow” part… and I weighed 221 lbs. a week ago!  :-/  I am currently healthy (other than my weight); I do not have diabetes or high cholesterol or any other serious chronic health issues that plague our society.  HOWEVER, I know that if I continue down this path of drinking pop/soda, eating food that is not especially healthy, and not exercising, that I will certainly succumb to diabetes or worse (the dreaded “c” word – cancer!  EEK!!).

For quite some time I have been regularly following blogs through my FB page where I have learned so much about the problems with our food system today – GMOs, meat full of antibiotics and raised in less than humane conditions, artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, etc… I have learned so much yet have only taken some of the easier changes:  eliminating a lot of prepackaged foods, cutting down on pop/soda, making many more items at home from scratch,  eliminating chemical cleaners, etc.. BUT there is still so much more that can be done.

I have recently felt very convicted by the verse, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48b  Because I have learned so much, I know that I need to act on it but also need to share it.  I am getting much more serious about my health partly because I want to be healthier but mostly so that I can make a positive impact on my children’s health by modeling and teaching healthier choices; I want to be have a good quality of life as I age.  So, this blog will chronicle my journey to health – Strait to Health (I love the play on words!).

My primary goal here is to share what I am doing, what I am learning, and how I am progressing; this is mostly for accountability, but I also hope that maybe I can inspire just one person to make changes that they need to make as well or maybe just motivate them to keep going with their own journey.  I don’t have any particular weight loss goals; although right now I would just like to lose enough weight that my Wii no longer says, “Oh, that’s obese!” when I weigh myself!  :-)

So, if you would like to follow me on my journey, I would love that!  Share your tips and ideas for things that you know/do, send along a message of encouragement if you feel led, and scold me if you see me drinking pop or see me in a drive thru at a fast food restaurant  (no, seriously, you have my permission). :-)