Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Mayhem

Wow Monday, you are kind of a jerk. 

Sigh, today wasn't bad, just hard to get through. 

  • Glad the work day is almost over!  Monday = jerkfacemonkey.
  • I hate when I don't blog for a bit, because it's hard to get the magic back.
  • I think I still have July 4th weekend to recap and then forward from there but I don't think I have very many pics to share. Ugh.
  • People should do what they say and not not do what they say...jerks. 
  • 131.5 is better than last week's 133.5...but not as good as two weeks ago's 129.5 
  • I need to get back on track...this is what I have discovered with my cheats...
    • 2T of PB a day or less ONLY - not 1/4 jar per day like I was doing
    • No Ice Cream - sad face
    • Only cheese from the dairy group
    • I think coconut milk might give me stomach bubbly-ness (oh yeah, I know you wanted to know that), so I plan to eat less of it
    • I ate gluten and it hurt like so no more gluten, ever (or until my birthday cake August 6th!) - unless someone gives me a gluten-free cake and that would be so fantastiriffic.
    • 70% Dark Chocolate is ok, but only a couple squares per night.
    • Beer is gluten, but it is still a wife-ly duty to drink your hubby's beer.  But only on weekend nights and only a couple.
    • Kombucha makes me feel awesome.  $3.80 a day is a hard habit to keep though.  Until the hubs stops me though, I will drink one a day....forever! Muahaha...
    • I still randomly am having stomach issues.  I really need to pay more attention to what could be hurting me.  I think it correlates to the weight gain and also that I have been eating less veggies and fruit and more unhealthy cheat-y things.  So back to veggies and fruit hardcore!
Ok now to photo free-for-all!

Go to Austin and become a musician.  That is what happens.  Also another in the series of big giant things that are awesome to stand near!

Austin is awesome, like sooooooo friggin' cool.

My husband love loves his beer.

Thai place right near our house.  Ribs served INSIDE a pineapple!? Awesome-sauce....literally.  This place issoooooo amazing!  Thai Wok-in and Carryout...haha...get it!?  Please don't ever leave us TWIACO.

Barley says Hola.

Then he said NO-la....silly Giraffe dog, you can't escape!

Carousel with the neice...look for the hippie (Greg) and the tiny person on a bunny/donkey(?) waving the wrong way.

Eyes dilated....I look a little anime-y.... -.75 in both eyes...decided to get cheap-o glasses at ($26 total for 2 pairs!).  Ugh wrinkles go away.  You didn't get the memo that I am too young! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When the hubby is away the dog still wants to play & "T"ea Tuesday

Last week the hubby was in Utah for work.  Barley and I had to entertain ourselves.  Enjoy the photo fest below...

Barley thought: Do you think Greg is over there!?  
Barley thought: I'm on a walk, walkawalkawalk... Squirrel!

Sunset on the Walk
Barley thought: Maybe if I concentrate hard enough a squirrel will appear INSIDE the house
Barley thought: Pet me or I'll eat you!

Barley thought: I secretly love it when she takes photo's of me

I don't know much about Gluten-Free beer, but this wasn't good.  The Kombucha though is my newest favorite thing to drink....EVER!  Which is why today is "T"ea Tuesday!  Kombucha is a fermented tea and is very probiotic!  Try it! 
MmmmMmm....Kombucha "T"ea Tuesday!  Huzzah!  I need to learn to brew this or purchase stock in a Kombucha company!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Health Food and WIAW

So Today...
I am thinking of doing an IF (Intermittent Fast).  I realize they should be organic, like "oh oops I fogot to eat lunch because of how awesome I am."  Uh yeah, I am a planner.  I need to plan my day and my food, or the lack of it.  So this is my...

'What I Ate (or not) Wednesday!'
Breakfast: Smoothie - Blueberries, Spinach, Liquid Vitamins, Cod Liver Oil (lemon flavor), Chia Seeds, Kefir, Greek Yogurt, Ice
Snack: Iced Coffee (x2)
Lunch: Grass-fed ground beef in curry sauce (sauce from the store, its a little too over processed, I will have to make this with coconut milk and spices next time I think), avocado (although it might have gone bad) and 2 squares dark chocolate (60%, but after it's gone I have 73% matcha green tea and peppermint chocolate to eat at home!)
Dinner: possible IF

Ok so I live on the outskirts of Houston, like an hour drive, if you drive 75MPH the entire time.  So finding good healthy food is a little difficult...or so I thought!

Health Food Stores
Enter Hubbel and Hudson, this place is FANTASTIC!  If you live in North Houston area, check it out!  My hubby and I, on Saturday night, went to the movies in The Woodlands, and this place was right across the way.  We went to see what all the hub-bub was about and it turns out it is a grocery store and bistro in one!  YOU CAN DRINK WHILE YOU SHOP!  They had a bunch of raw cheeses, grass-fed meats, a make your own nut butters! bar, gelato bar, a HUGE organic fruits and veggies section and so much more!  Hubs and I were in HEAVEN!  We ended up buying So Delicious! Coconut Milk Ice Cream - Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor - yum!  Although it contained peanuts and soy, so it was a little off my diet.  It was such a tasty treat!  As a warning - too much coconut ice cream can cause a rumbly tummy!  We also bought a dark chocolate bar, 75% with cocoa nibs inside it.  It was a little too bitter for me, but my husband took it on his trip to Provo and loved it!  The final item we tried was chocolate hazelnut nut butter, which we made at the nut butter bar!  It was AWESOME!  Ok so I am a little allergic to hazelnut.  I didn't care,  I can splurge every now and then...right?  Ok so I shouldn't, but besides the itchy throat closing feeling, it was amazing.  If you aren't allergic, try it!  Better than Nutella!!

As if one healthy food store within 30 minutes of me wasn't enough, I found an even closer Health Food Store, within a short distance of my house! Healthy Living!  So granted, this store has apparently been there for a long time.  I really thought they only sold weird aromatherapy and other herbal remedies that didn't apply to me.  I was SO wrong!  My mom has convinced me I needed more calcium in my diet, which I am not sure is factual based on the Paleo Solution, but I went along with it.  I thought it would be a good experiment to see how adding dairy back into my diet would be.  I bought Kefir and Greek Yogurt for my morning smoothies.  Both were pasteurized, but from Grass-fed cows, so at least there was that.  I think in Texas you can buy raw milk products from farms only.  I also bought Kombucha which was REALLY yummy!  I am going to make my husband help me create this concoction at home.  He is a home-brewer so he knows how to deal with yeast and maybe if I make it a little stronger than I can have an allergy free alternative to beer (hops allergy, boo)??  My final purchase was that 73% matcha green tea, peppermint chocolate bar I mentioned above.  It was really yummy and I can't wait to have more tomorrow after my IF!

So how have I reacted to adding milk into the diet?
Well, I am a hypochondriac, so any little change could possibly be a figment of my imagination.  Yesterday I thought perhaps I was producing a bit more phlegm, which I am not sure was factual.  What I really did notice was this morning and I had more seasonal allergy symptoms than usual, a little more phlegm and ear drainage issues.  I want to monitor it and finish off the kefir and Greek yogurt, but I think I will go back to using raw cheese sparingly and that being about it.  I still want to understand more about milk and calcium and its role in the body.  I feel if I do drink it from now on, it will be at least grass-fed organic (no hormones or additives for me!).  I hear that with the hormones, milk is growth producing and can cause cancer?  Which is scary.  Also, with the extra allergy symptoms, perhaps I am negatively affected by it?   I will continue to research!

Oh as a side note, I am getting a massage tonight!  Plus I am so ready for the hubby to come back from Provo!  He is getting back Friday and then we are headed to Austin Friday night and Saturday!  Then it's to my parents for a fun 4th of July celebration!  Although with all the drought and Texas forest fires, I don't think we will get to see fireworks :(

These are not healthy, say NO to the beige!

Monday, June 27, 2011

What Paleo is to Me

Ok so I am a little obsessed with this diet.  It has helped me so much and I just want to share some details with you. 

  •  “The good” is any meat (seafood included), veggies, fruit, nuts (not peanuts), eggs, there is plenty more you can eat, but this just gives a basic overview
  • “The Bad” that is vegetable oils, any breads (pasta, cookies, flour, rice, grains – even whole wheat).  Olive oil and coconut oil are good and recommended.
  • “The Ugly” are all processed foods.  If you can’t find it in the wild, then you should steer clear (although dark chocolate and one glass a wine a night are okay)
  • “The Okay” are dairy.

A typical day for me…
  • Breakfast -A smoothie in the morning (frozen banana, blueberries, spinach, liquid vitamins, fish oil – you don’t even taste it but it’s so good for you, more ice and more water)
  • Morning treat - Iced coffee
  • Lunch in the work cafeteria – I eat only the meat (not fried or with other breaded-ness on it) and choose only veggies as my sides
  • Dinner – Burgers without the bun (we add hot sauce, colorful peppers and onions to the burgers) and I eat it with a little olive oil mayo, steak, salad with lots of olive oil and yummy balsamic vinegar – we have red apple vinegar- with some cheese and meat crumbled in, Thai curry from takeout, any sort of meat and some veggies really
  • Snack after dinner or when I feel hungry –Fruit – blueberries, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, etc.  Although, to lose weight I have been trying to eat fruit any time before 6pm.
They also say to get lots of fats from avocado’s, olive oil and coconut milk.  You shouldn’t ever feel hungry on this diet nor have to count calories.  If you eat this way 80% of the time you will see results.  Eating fats doesn’t translate to fat; eating breads, wheat and gluten (found in breads, lots of people are intolerant and don’t know it – Celiac Disease) does.

  • Read this! - Whole 30
  • Also, one of my favorite places to find out answers is on  It is forum’s based, but you search for anything it will help answer your questions.
I got into this using the book “Paleo Solution”, which was really helpful, but half the book seems to be steeped in science and it gets a bit bogged down for the average reader.  However, I did get the basic idea of the book.  One thing the book said was that there are so many choices on this diet.  I think it is easy to get into the mindset that there aren’t because you are cutting out breads and legumes and some dairy, but really what I like about it is that I have developed a taste for fruits and veggies and I love experimenting on different things.  Carbs are an addiction, don't eat the beige! 

I also have found out it is pretty easy to eat paleo at restaurants, although I am sure hardcore Paleo peeps would disagree (cross contamination and trace amounts of grains, etc).  Steak and veggies, fajita meat and salsa with guacamole, Thai curry without the rice, Apple chicken salad from Panera (yum!), grilled chicken and veggies, burger without the bun and lots of condiments, fish, crabs, shrimp, etc. 

It might be a little weird of a diet, but I feel SO much better.  I used to get stomach aches and indigestion, but I haven’t had a single issue since I switched to this....  AND I have lost 25 pounds!

Exercise wise I saw this graphic on a Paleo site and it made sense to me.  I have sometimes worked out, sometimes not on this diet and have seen results in both.  Now that I have lost the weight I want to tone so this is my plan…  I don’t know if it’s necessary to work out all the time on the diet, but I do think it helps…

Thanks Paleo for being AWESOME!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

25 Pounds Down!

I've hit the 25 lb. Mark! Thanks Paleo Diet! That is all. Back to sleep.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2 Years Ago I Got Engaged! (Minus 3 days)

My Engagement - June 21, 2009

Yay for being married!  I LOVE it.  I love my hubby and my little family we have made (Barles-ter included).  To commemorate le Jour du ‘engagement’, I ransacked my iPhone for pics and only came up with two from the entire trip.  Although I do have some engagement photo session pics, so I will share those as well.

How did it happen?  Did you suspect?
We were on a cruise to Alaska with my family and I suspected BIG time.  It was on Sunday, June 21st.  We had just gone to dinner with my family.  We were all dressed up and fancy.  I wasn't feeling all that well from the rocking of the boat so Greg mentioned that perhaps we should go on a walk outside.  Suspicion #1 - The sweaty face and nervous excitement had me a little alerted, but of course I didn't say anything in the hopes I didn't scare him away from doing it!  Next we went to the little flower cart and he asked her to make a bouquet for me out of my favorite orange and yellow roses (something like the rose below...).
Orange And Yellow Rose
by Andrew Schmidt
Suspicion # 2 - So this was pretty funny because the lady didn't do bouquets on the spot.  She wanted to send it to our room.  However, the hubby was VERY insistent.  I knew something was up, but I played coy again because I really didn’t want to frighten him away from asking!

Next we went to the very front of the boat.  I was cold and it was windy so he gave me his jacket.  Little did I know that the ring was IN the jacket.  It was very impressive he let me borrow it and still somehow managed to slip the box out without my knowing.  Then he got down on one knee with the box in hand (suspicion #3!?)...

I didn't even let him say anything other than "Erin..." before I said "Yes! Yes! Get up! Get up!" and I dragged him back to his feet.  It took about 1.2 seconds total. 

The best part was that we had an audience...ha!  The fitness center overlooks the front of the boat and a lady on the treadmill watched the whole thing.  I was quite embarrassed, although I don't know why because people get engaged all the time in font of strangers. I guess it’s because one of the most intimate moments of my life was being shared by some random person I could only see through a tinted glass that was waving her arms excitedly and cupping her mouth with her hands.  I kept thinking how strange that would be to watch and how creepy stalker-ish I would probably feel!  If you are out there stranger, thanks for being part of the celebration!  Hope you PR your next 5K!

So yeah, I kind of knew it was coming.  But it was a grand gesture and I so very much love that he made it special.  It is a memory I will never forget!
On the Boat, a couple days before the proposal!
The night after the proposal!

 Now enjoy some engagement sesssion photos!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Three Things Thursday!

Welcome to the second installment of TTT!  Where you get to hear three completely random tidbits about me! Aren't you just so interested??

1) To continue with my love of BIG things from last TTT, I wanted to share two more photos.  I was just lazy last time and decided not to add them to the post.  Both pics are from our recent trip to Seattle.  *Sigh* I wanna go back!

2)  It rained yesterday!  You might be asking yourself, "Mr. Toodles, why would it matter if it rained? That is a normal phenomenon in the world."  Well, Mr. Toodles...if that is really your name, it stopped raining in the part of Texas where I live and work and sleep and boat.  So I am a happy person, but still not sure if it was enough to repair the cracks in the ground around my house (pretty sure a sinkhole is about to form and swallow my house whole) and we can't get my parents boat out of their slip.  Yes yes, we have so many problems, woe is me, blalala.  Anyway, back to looking at the rain!  Yay!

 3)  Did you know Malta is a place?  I went there on a business trip a couple years ago.  It was pretty awesome.  Also, do you remember the movie 'The Count of Monte Cristo'?  This is the prison they used from the movie.  Pretty sweet, eh?

Sooooo coooool.

Sweet glasses, Miley Cyrus
Yes, perfect.  Minus the jellyfish chasing me wherever I went.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday! Paleo Week 3

Updated: 3:37pm!

Paleo-riffic...but I think I need to increase my protein and calories for sure!

Green-ish Smoothie (Chia seed, Blueberries, Blackberries, Banana, Spinach) –
Protein =4.3

Half Fuji Apple Chicken salad with Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette and Fruit Salad

Kebabs(grass-fed pork with peppers and onions and other spices) with Spinach salad with olive oil and red vinaigrette
Protein =24

Sunflower Butter and honey on a spoon

Updated Overall:
1283 Calories
71g fat (+13g Saturated Fat)
2480mg sodium
129g Carb
49g Protein
15g Dietary Fiber
67g Sugar
Ration – 38%Carb, 47% Fat, 15% Protein

It looks like I need more protein. Any suggestions on how to get more protein without added sodium or carbs?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"T" is for Tuesday!

Today will be "T"errific I have deemed.

Why is today "T"errific you might ask?

1) Well, it is 3:52 and I am about to head out the door!
2) The weekend weight gain has gone and went.  Which I am still unsure why it happened.  I got up to 134.5 after getting all the way down to 131.5...I am now at 132.5 so pretty happy.  Thoughts on why this happened...
-Chipotle hurt my tummy.  I don't know why.  I stayed Paleo but something went awry.
-Amazing "T"errfic Thai food of my life and in walking distance from the house...maybe too much coconut fat from all the awesome-sauce?  I won't stop this one though.
-Too much sun (not that much though, really)
-Not enough water (I chug-a-lug, so I don't think this is really it either)
-A couple glasses of wine (Ok so Thursday and Friday might have been a more than a "couple")
Oh well, who knows.  I am still working on tweaking this diet.  It is sooo hard to cut back on PB and sauces in general...sigh (I like that I didn't list those above, but they should most likely also be included).  I only eat a little of each, but I wonder if it really is affecting me?  My whole life I thought dairy was made just for me, specifically ice cream and cheese.  I miss these things.
Anywho, moving right along...
3)Iced Coffee is kind of yummy.  I have had it three days in a row and am contemplating continuing this one.  Not sure how healthy it is due to the whole MVP thing, but I only have one a day and no other caffeine, so it's ok...right, right?  PS this is straight up hard stuff, no sugar or cream. I am so tough...ha!4)I went blonde!  See me below!

Behold the beauty that is the Blond Erin...or beware the wrath of my wrinkles and dark under eye stare...muahahaha.  What?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The family that diets together...

So my immediate family has lost a large amount of blubber within the past couple years. 

213 POUNDS OF FAT no longer plague my family.  We have lost a whole HUMAN of fat!!

Each person took their own journey but ended up in the same place.

I am so proud of my family.  We realized we weren't being healthy and we made a change.  Each person has their own reason for the weight loss, which isn't the story I want to tell.  What I want to do though, is talk about how.

And now for the details...

Husband: 40 pounds
- How long it took: 3 years
- How it was lost: Drinking less and eating better.  More fruits/veggies and less cookies.
- Exercise: Occasional basketball and stationary bike. Regular Kayaking and 2 mile walks with the pup and me.

Me: 23 pounds
-How long it took: 3.5 years of fake trying, but 1.5 years (most of it since Paleo) of results
-How it was lost: Tracking calories and then my version of Paleo (no breads and just a slight amount or legumes (peanut butter only) and dairy (relugated to dressings)).
-Exercise: Intermittent treadmill, weights, yoga and workout DVD's.  Regular 2 miles walks with the hubs and pup.  I am an on again/off again workout person.

Sister: 30 pounds
-How long it took: 1 year-ish
-How it was lost: Tracking calories and working out hardcore.
-Exercise: Running and triathlon training, every day.

Brother: 70 pounds
-How long it took: 1 year-ish
-How it was lost: Medifast program (at first shakes and now lean & green meals).
-Exercise: Working out at the gym with my dad.

Mom: 50 pounds
-How long it took: 1 year-ish
-How it was lost: tracking calories and a personal trainer.  Low carb (diabetes diet-esque).
-Exercise: Personal trainer twice a week and walking the other days of the week. 

Those that didn't lose, but didn't really need to: Dad, brother-in-law & the two nieces.

Funny Confession Ecard: I love pretending that I don't care about my weight.
Source: someecards  - Not me, I will talk your ear off.  Don't ask me how I lost the weight if you don't really want to know!  Hope you don't have a somewhere to be!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where did last week go!?

So I managed to be so busy for the past week as to not be able to post a single thing!  I am sure that if I tried hard enough, I could have made time...but I was in "school." 
I now know more about the stuff that I should know about when it comes to my job than what I knew before I did the thing that I just did...  So there.
Since it is Monday and I am behind in posting-ness, I will do a post about 10 things that happened since I was gone.

1.  I went to Galveston two weekends ago with my family and all I came back with were two bathroom photos and a very cute Dora the Explorer hug pic-ola of the nieces.
Dora kept them happy for 1.23 minutes, which was nice, because I was in charge of them at the time...  Ok breaks over, where did they go!? I tease, they are safe, I think.

2.  Bathroom pictures you say?  Yes I have piqued your gross disgusting curiosity then.  Well, have a look-see (a fancy bathroom for a fancy lady)... 
I wanted to mark the occasion I saw this.....
(BTW, why the funny and hair and sleepy eyes? I'm awesome, that's why.) 

You know you've made it when you have swan sink handles....I know you are jealous.  I made Greg take a picture of the boy’s bathroom, they had serpents.  I wanted serpents L

3.  This photo makes me happy…no Barley’s were harmed in the making of this photo…only loved and given a treat with more loved heaped on the side…

but, how come when I take photos, only the ones that show my house being a mess ever make it?  Hmmm.  My theory is that messy gnomes come in and dirty up the place after I spent hours upon hours cleaning.  Yeah that’s what it is.  Dang gnomes.

 4.  One of my best friends from high school got married.  She is fantastic and had a beautiful wedding.  Upon first arriving I was a little afraid it was just going to be smack dab in the middle of a cow pasture…but then all of a sudden a very nice and brand new reception hall appeared.  I was quite impressed.  I mean look at that river-rock-bed-Lilly-pads-water-feature-thing. Very nice.   

5.  The hubby and I had a really good time.  There was delicious food, like queso, chocolate covered strawberries………and a candy bar!  I should have taken photos!

I also got to see a couple people from high school, which wasn’t as weird as I was thought it would be.  Overall a nice time was had and…mmmmmm quesooooo.

6.  Speaking of food, I have been doing really well at not eating bread and gluten products.  I still have been splurging though.  Like Saturday I might have eaten a whole thing of ice cream in one sitting (the small kind that is still really large, you know the one) and then tore up the queso and candy bar that night…but somehow eating 98% less bread and gluten has been good to me.  I am down to 133.5 and I feel GOOD (when not splurging that is).

7.  I learned all about drill bits this past week.  It was a good experience and one of the most challenging weeks I have had since college (Texas A&M University Class O’ 2005, what what!).  Yup I am a dork. 

8.  I didn’t work out.  I was too tired, which is a terrible excuse.  I plan on starting again today------ish.

9.  The hubby and I worked on a special super-secret gift item for some family members that I will reveal next week!  It felt good to do some crafting, especially with my hubby, but it kind of looks like a 3 year-old decided to paint the walls with lipstick…I am still proud of our work though! The sentiment is still the same!

10.  Alright, I am sleepy and thirsty.  Off to get some water and caffeine! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ode to Barley-licious and Ipad photos

So we are off on another vacation this weekend!  This will be the last for a little bit.  It is close to home though, going to Galveston with my family and the nieces, yay! 

In honor of my poor puppy who doesn't get to come along and my Ipad for not much of any particular reason except that it keeps me happy, I wanted to post a wall full of adorableness...

Engagement photo..not an Ipad photo, but I lurve this one...

My home brewing hubby needed a brewery name and cool kegs, so I invented Black Barley Brewery...don't I have some mad vinyl cutter using skillz (they are so good, they get a Z).  This might have been an Iphone photo...oops.

Closer pic-ola.  Also Iphone photo I think.

Last night chilaxin' with my two favs...the hubby and the puppy.  Word corrected me to 'chillaxing'...cause that is a word..ha!?  Yep this is an Ipad photo.

Lick me...ok ok...don't like me..tehehehe!

Last Christmas in Indiana on the lake.  Barley hates water but LOVES ice...strange.  Also not taken with an Ipad, but it was on my Ipad so it counts.

First day I got my Ipad and was a bit obsessed with the swirly function...doesn't he look so respectable with his tie!?  That is MISTER Barley to you.

My sleepy fluffy Alf-Chewbacca-bear-deer combo...I miss your hair.

I will miss you for the 1.75 days we won't be there for you to sneakily lick my face and follow me around the house. 

See you soon!!!