Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Carrot Bread {Figure Friendly Version}

Recently I shared my weight loss story with the world here so I thought I would share a seasonally appropriate recipe that helped me get through the oh so tempting holiday season...on track.

Let me warn you that these pics are straight out of the camera.

No editing.

I get lazy like that sometimes.

And I apologize for the lighting.

I always bake at night.

There is no additional charge for partaking of the always lovely tungsten glow.


I cannot take credit for this recipe.

It is a Roni original.

And it is devine.

I modified by using a *carrot* cake mix, shredding some actual carrots into the mix,and by adding some nutmeg and cinnamon to my batter.

Brew a pot of coffee and watch them go.


Heck, have a piece yourself.

Adding cream cheese frosting to them is totally optional.

So is licking the beaters.

Or telling anyone else in the house that you made them.

Just sayin.

* 1 box of carrot cake mix
* 2 egg whites
* 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
* 4 or 5 baby carrots (shredded)
* 1 (or more) tsp. cinnamon
* 1 (or more) tsp. nutmeg
* 1 Tbsp. quick oats (optional..used for decoration)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk the egg whites and pumpkin. Stir in the cake mix, carrots, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend until moistened.

Spray 4 mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the cake batter into the pans, just about halfway.

Sprinkle the tops with quick oats and a bit of cinnamon and bake for about 40 minutes.

Cut each loaf into 8 slices evenly.

Serving Size: 2 slices = 150 calories 2g Fat 1g Fiber

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"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

How I lost 20 pounds {3 Gallons of Milk}

I wasn't one to struggle with my weight most of my life.

Knees and elbows all through childhood.

In High School I was super active. Cheerleading, softball,etc.

Weight was never an issue.

I could eat whatever I wanted, when I wanted, without giving any thought to weight.

Snickers and Doritos from the vending machines?

No problem!

On Graduation Day I was 5'9" and weighed 135 pounds.


By the time I was 27 I had given birth to three children.

After my third child was born I weighed 146 pounds.

Even though I had gained a bit that I wasn't able to lose, I felt comfortable enough at this weight.


Then came 30.

Life and body would never be the same.

All that activity and all those injuries had taken a toll on my joints.

I became more sedentary.

Suddenly the scale became extremely sensitive to what I was eating.

My philosophy on food had caught up with me and my weight was now an issue.


I had tried in 2008 to lose weight.

I was on a roll losing and exercising.

In fact I had fallen in love with kickboxing.

Looked forward to it even.

But on the inside I was still a bit resentful that I couldn't have what I wanted when I wanted it.

That others could sit at a restaurant and order as they pleased and I had to decide what I would eat before I arrived even.

My mind still hadn't accepted the fact that this was my new reality like it or not.

I kept pushing through the mental battle and had lost about 13 pounds.

Then this happened.

Kickboxing did not love me.

Being immobilized for almost 3 months sent me into a slight depression.

The weight came back. (I don't think I would have successfully kept it off anyway at this time...I wasn't completely sold out to eating this way forever. Still did not "get it")

My goals went out the window.


Fast forward to 2009.

My daughter snapped this photo of my husband and I while out to dinner.


I was mortified.

I could feel my weight going up during the Holidays even more so I finally stepped on the scales and saw a big red "174" staring back at me.

I nearly had a stroke when I saw that number.

An all time high for me.

My cholesterol was 203 total.

My bad cholesterol was 134.

Something had to give.

Something had to change.

And it was all up to me to make it happen.

While staring at the numbers "174", this time something shifted inside.

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of dealing with my weight.

In that moment I knew I had to want it bad enough...let go of every excuse I had a death grip on...accept that it was possible...then own it.

And this time....I did.


I began Weight Watchers in January of 2010.

For the record they do not know me or my story.

I receive nothing for endorsing them.

I will just say this of the program..."If you work it, it works!"

But you must work it the way it was intended.

I have known so many people who try to do their own revised version of the program and wonder why they weren't losing.

My mantra?

"If you bite it, write it!"

The meetings were essential for me personally.

I could not have been as successful doing the online program.

That is just me though.

I needed the accountability of having a complete stranger see my weight and jot it down in black ink on paper.

It made me think twice about the choices I was making throughout the week.

And I needed the community I found in my meetings.

To know that bad days will come.

And when they do all I need to do is get back up and dust myself off start over with the next choice.

My official weight at that first weigh in was 173 pounds.

So like me to be sure to lose a pound before that first meeting.

Kinda like cleaning my house before someone comes to clean it.

Scales don't lie and I was fooling no one.

The next 4 months were spent counting, weighing, planning, journaling, and exercising.

I found an exercise program that I loved called "Devoted Fitness".

High Impact Cardio set to Christian music of all kinds.

Larae and Tobymac kicked my bootay every week and my body began to take on a whole new shape.

Suddenly I loved movement.

Of all kinds.




Wii Fit.

And I felt stronger than I could remember.

I also found support and inspiration through a lady named Roni.

She is a genius in the kitchen and very real about her battle with the bulge.

You have to see her before and after pictures.


I have watched her transform into a running machine over the past couple of years and it has inspired my socks off.

I have a whole notebook of her recipes that I still use to cook to this day.

I was tickled pink to get a shout out here on her site.

Seems I inspired her a bit as well.

She even called my idea "genius".

Imagine that.

"Kitchen" and "genius" are not two words you will ever use in the same sentence when referring to me folks.


On May 4th I became a Lifetime Member by losing 20 pounds {same as 3 gallons of milk} and maintaining that weight loss for 6 consecutive weeks.

This was me right after I achieved this goal.

Same restaurant as the horrid before picture taken above.

All of these pictures were taken this summer after reaching goal.

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This was a HUGE personal victory for me.

I am just not good at sticking with things.

It became less and less about the weight or the number on the scale, and more and more about proving something to myself.

That I am stronger than I realize.

That I can do all things through Christ.

That I am responsible for my body and perfectly capable of changing it for the better.

That was 6 months ago and I am very proud to say that at my weigh in this week I weighed 153 pounds. My goal weight is 158!

Due to a recent tick bite I had to have blood drawn so I asked them to check my cholesterol again as well.

My total cholesterol was 189!

Down 14 points!

And my bad cholesterol went from 134 to 120!

That was incredible to me!

To know that I had internally made a difference in my health.

It hasn't always been easy to maintain but it has become second nature.

Long gone are the days of mindless eating.

It's all about portions and smart choices now.

That's why I love this program so much.

It truly is not a diet...not a magic pill (trust me I tried those too)...not a quick fix... but a lifestyle change.

The fact that I have maintained my weight loss for 6 months is proof of that.

I always say that before Weight Watchers it was like I had a tool belt but nothing to put in it.

This program has given me the tools necessary to stay on track and in charge of my weight.

Even with a slight gain here and there I now can get that under control and off within a week.


I won't lie and say it was easy.

It wasn't.

But the more I let go of those mental excuses and embraced a healthier way of eating and living, and the fact that this was now my lot in life at 34, the easier it did become.

It took self control.

Out the wazoo.

I'm talking walking away from Cheesecake on the table people!

But over time the cheesecake began to look less and less appetizing and more and more not worth it.

It took discipline.

I didn't always feel like exercising or portioning food or writing down every bite I took.

But I saw that it worked when I did.

So I had to have the discipline make those things happen.

It took patience.

Think Job.

Some weeks I would literally only lose .2 of a pound.

That can be discouraging if you are looking for a quick fix.

BUT if you are in it for the long haul and your goal is more long term you will begin to see that .2 as .2 you did NOT gain that week!

Also keep in mind that a healthy weight loss is about 2 pounds per week.

It also took prayer.

Sometimes we think God is too big or too busy to worry about things such as our weight or fitness regime.

He's not.

Test Him.

I can remember one walk in particular that was up a mountain and nearly kicked my tail.

I called out to God literally and asked Him to please bless my efforts to be healthier.

To get me up that mountain.

To make my body healthier with every step I took.

On the verge of vomiting, I made it.

He is Faithful.


If you are struggling with your weight I encourage you to do something about it!

No more excuses!

Trust me, I know them all.

Talk to your doctor and come up with a plan that is right for you.

My doctor recommended Weight Watchers but that may not be best for you.

Whatever you choose, do it with everything you have!

It's your body.

And you CAN do this.


Let me just end by saying this.

Weight loss and body image are two totally different things.

I may have lost weight but I have always and continue still to battle a bad body image.

Even at 135 in High School I thought I was fat.

While in Destin this year a server called me "small" when helping me find a shirt my size.

I didn't know what to think of that.

Still don't.

I just don't see it that way.

There is something deeper going on here I am aware.

Something I can't always "fix" with a program or portion control.

Sometimes we have "stuff" in our past that affects how we see ourselves.

How we think others view us.

If that is you, I completely understand.

Some things take more time.

It will be an ongoing battle of mine I am sure.

No matter what the number on the scale says.

Still, I will not let my poor body image stop me from living the healthy life God intended for me to live.

Or stop me from changing what I can about my life.

I will work on what I can.

He will work on the rest.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My washer is full of jeans and socks {must be Fall ya'll}

Fall is in the air here in The Volunteer State.

We went from Hades to Autumn overnight it seems.

Brisk 70's by day.

Downright cold 30's at night.

I hear we are heading back to 80's by weeks end.

La La La {fingers in ears}

Don't hear you.

I'm going right on into Fall.

With or without the weather's cooperation.

Ignorance is bliss.

Pumpkins in my kitchen window.

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Fall wreath on my front door.

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Mums on the porch.

Chili on the stove.

Washer full of jeans and socks.


By far my favorite time of year.

Especially for camping.


Six things you need to get your camper clean:

1. Dirty camper

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2. Nice weather

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3. Turquoise sponges. (turquoise makes any job seem fun)

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4. Lots of both of these.
Especially if you live in the deep South near a lake.

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5. Free labor.

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6. And a nice view never hurts.

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We went camping twice last month.

First time it was just us.

I love this time together.



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No age limits.

Just kids enjoying being kids.

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Sometimes my husband has to work while we are camping.

This is our favorite thing to see coming down the road at the end of the day.

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Especially if we are hungry.

Man has mad grill "skillz".



Our second trip included about 25 other Homeschool families from our Tutorial group.

We spent a glorious weekend with friends that have become more and more like family.

Sunrises over the lake.

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Good coffee.

Even better conversations.

The friendships my children have made in this group are priceless.

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I especially get emotional when I see the friendships my oldest has made.

These boys are comical.

Dare I say goofy {and smelly} at times.

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But something so amazing is happening behind the scenes.

They are learning how to navigate this world with integrity and character.

Daring to be different.

Becoming young men.



I got a nasty tick bite on this trip and am currently being treated for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever...just as a precaution.

Really strong antibiotics = Really bad stomach pains.

I hate ticks.


With Fall comes school around here.

I officially have a Freshman this year!


Just yesterday this kid was peeing on me every time I changed his diaper.

Now he is learning Distributive Property and writing Lab Reports.

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Long gone are the days of Five in a Row.

His days are F-U-L-L.

Maggie and Aidan are still able to enjoy school at a slower pace.

I am so thankful.

I will miss these days.

Science experiments in the sink.

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Lazy days reading under the table.

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All too soon their days too will be filled with a heavy workload, talk of college and ACT scores, and less time for fun.

I want to savor each of these moments while I can.


This is currently what my microwave is being used for.

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It really is evil.

And so is anything with the phrase "Fun Size" written on it.

I sure wish "Fun size" was code for "produces no fat".


We are heading to Disney in a week!

Whoo Hoo!!!

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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