Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Make Your Own Mayo... and Ranch Dip

When I did the Whole30 last year... me and Mike were pretty much on our own. We had to find recipes and meal ideas without help. Well, other than google help. We found that we were eating the same few meals over and over and over and it just got really old and by the time we hit day 31 we were just ready for some different food!

This time is different though. I have a small, online support group and they have been very generous about sharing recipes and answering my food questions.

Something you should know about me...

I hate cooking.
I hate the kitchen.
I had a lot of questions!

Thankfully Mike has been a huge help and has done the majority of the cooking. We kind of have an unspoken deal... I find meals and shop if he cooks the food.

Anyways... one of the things I learned this time around is how to make my own mayo. And let me just tell you... It. Is. EASY! And if I say it is easy then it really truly is because I have another unspoken deal when it comes to the kitchen... if it's not easy I don't do it!

Seriously though... this mayo takes about two minutes to make and while it's not Miracle Whip it IS yummy! I've used it for many things... put it on a burger (even though I haven't been having burger buns), deviled eggs, just mixed some mayo and salsa up and put it on some tuna, and I now make my own ranch dip using the mayo that I make.

Who am I!?!?!

So how do you learn to make this super-easy-only-takes-two-minutes mayo?

CLICK THIS LINK!!

All the step-by-step directions are there and if you don't have an immersion blender then just go to Walmart and spend the $15 to get one. It's worth it. I even used the thing to mix up my laundry detergent after it gelled and it made the whole process of making it so much easier.

But I'm off track. We are talking about food... not laundry.

After I make the mayo I also like to make some ranch dip for my carrots. This also is really REALLY simple. And it's good! If you invite me to a party any time soon I will likely bring a veggie tray with my dip so that I have something to eat and you will all say "Wow! This dip is really good! Where did you get it?" And I will say "I made it" and everyone will think I'm awesome.

(I'm in a weird mood today.)

RANCH DIP
1 cup of the mayo you just made
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

That's it! Two yummy, whole30 compliant food items in a super short amount of time!

Go make some!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Discipline

I have never been one to make New Year's Resolutions or have a "word of the year" but I have a feeling that without even realizing it DISCIPLINE will become my focus this year.

discipline

/ˈdɪsɪplɪn/
noun
1. training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers, self-control, etc
 
Yesterday I shared about Financial Peace and quoted Dave Ramsey. He said,
 
I don't like discipline - but I love what discipline produces.  

I'm working on regaining some discipline in my finances but I have also set out on a journey to regain discipline when it comes to food. Just after Christmas I began the Whole30. I did it last year and had great results. I wish I would have stuck with it... or at least much closer to it than I did. Today is day 29 of my Whole30. 

The quick explanation of Whole30 is that it is a 30 day detox, reset. Get all the junk out of your body so that you can reintroduce some foods, find out what affects you negatively and come up with a good eating plan for life. 

I'm tired of being ruled by food.
I'm tired of always feeling gross and bloated.
I'm tired of my clothes not fitting.
I'm tired of being addicted. 

Tomorrow marks 30 days of fruits, veggies, nuts, meat and eggs. 
30 days of no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no legumes... no a lot of things. I miss some of those things... but not as much as I thought I would. I have learned to cook differently. I've had a great support group and Mike has been doing it with me (and doing most of the cooking!) and with the help of others, I have found a lot of recipes and haven't felt deprived. I have been eating a lot and eating well. I am full. 

Sometimes I think gosh, dessert would be great right now. But then I realize I only think that because that is an old habit. Change takes time. I need to reprogram my mind when it comes to food. Whole30 was a great step toward reprogramming my mind. 

This time... I don't want to give up the progress I have made. I want to keep going. Last time I did the Whole30 I was talking with my kids about it and how I should just keep going and Jason said something along the lines of
Yeah! You should just make it Whole LIFE!
He's right. Whole30 is a great start... but the goal is to use it to help you make a plan that you can carry out for your Whole Life.
 
I'll be spending the next two weeks reintroducing foods from the "no list" and paying attention to how I feel after eating those foods. I'm at a place where I am ready to give up foods I love in order to feel good. I'm ready to be in control of food instead of food being in control of me.
 
It will take discipline... and lots of it... but the results will be worth it!
 
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Financial Peace

About ten years ago we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. The class costs $100 and it is absolutely the best investment we have ever made. In fact, it was so good for us that we decided to take it again.

Last week we joined a group of people from our church and began Financial Peace University for the second time. We decided to go through it again to get us back on track. It's not that we totally slacked off and went back to having debt. We didn't. But it's kind of like dieting... you start out real strong. You change your ways and your habits. But little by little over the years you slack off here and there... and before you know it you are well on your way to the place you had previously dug yourself out of.

That's what was happening with our finances and we wanted to tighten things up again so that we can pay off our house more quickly and build our retirement and college funds for the kids... and maybe one of these years fit in a good family vacation instead of a weekend trip.

While at the first class, during the teaching video, Dave Ramsey said something about how every ten years you will experience at least one financial crisis. In my mind I thought "Hmmm... we haven't."

And then I had a DUH moment because I realized that last year Mike did not qualify for unemployment and we had months to go before he was back to roofing. That's a financial crisis right??

Well it could have been! But it wasn't. My mind did not register it as a total crisis.

We were financially prepared for something to go wrong. Baby Step 3 in Financial Peace is to build a 3-6  month emergency fund. We had that in the bank and therefore knew we would be ok. We had enough money to get through the winter, but we ended up using very little of the emergency fund. Mike started delivering pizza and working at the church. I had offered scarf parties (I made those up) and was making money through those and my crochet business. (Wix-Works)

We managed to get by and still have a good portion of our savings intact... and I didn't need to panic through a crisis. That is financial peace.

It wasn't easy with all our weird work hours... but it could have been so much worse had we not been prepared!!

I am sooooo thankful for Dave Ramsey and his teachings on finances. He is extremely motivational and his teachings have kept us on the right path over the years. In his book Complete Guide to Money Dave says, "I don't like discipline - but I love what discipline produces." I agree! I hate that I have to practice discipline... but I'm willing to do it because I love the end results!

**********

If Financial Peace sounds like something you need you can CLICK HERE and change the location to be yours to see if there are any classes being offered in your area.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 Years

Holy cow you guys!

I've been married for TWELVE YEARS! That must mean that I am getting old.

Twelve years...

Some of the years were good, some were great and some were straight up awful.

The honest side of me insists that I tell you that the past two years... I didn't celebrate my anniversary. The past two years were kinda sorta miserable. The past two years had me thinking that all those people who tried to talk Mike out of marrying me were going to have a reason to say "I told you so."

But I'm not a quitter... and thankfully Mike isn't either!

We are still here and we are ready to actually celebrate this year!

This year... the end of the twelfth year of marriage... we celebrate
*making it.
*not quitting.
*surviving.
*honoring our commitment of "till death".
*change and growth.
*LIKING each other again.
*sticking together even when we didn't want to.
*still being an "us".

We don't have any plans for today because we didn't have a sitter. But we will be taking a weekend just for us in February. I'm looking forward to it!


In twelve years we have gone from this...

wedding 1

to this...

003

It's been hard... but it has also been worth it. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Contentment


noun
1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind. 
 
Synonym... happiness.
 
 
During the summer I had ideas of what I thought my days would be like once the kids were both in school again. I thought my days would be relaxing. Laid back. Easy. Peaceful.
 
That didn't happen.
 
For the first two weeks I was a little bit lost. I didn't know what to do with myself or my time. But then life got busy. My days started filling up with things and I wondered where the time went. I had a lot of work and a lot of projects that ate up my days. I had meetings and things to do.

What I didn't have time for was the things that I wanted to have time for... reading, writing, hobbies... rest.

And then the school consolidation stuff entered my life and made it even more hectic and crazy. (And continues to do so.)

But in the past few weeks I have found myself settling... settling to a place of peace and contentment. Even in the midst of all the craziness I still have calm. Even though my life is far from perfect and there are hurtful situations that show up all the time... I am still happy.

I'm not quite sure how I found my way to this place of contentment but I sure do like it. I like the peace... the calm... the rest. I like that even when things go wrong my world doesn't get flipped upside down. I like that I know who I am and where I belong.

During the past few years the storms of life have been big. I often felt like I was getting sucked into a whirlpool and just using every last bit of energy to fight for one more breath. There are days where I still have to fight for my happiness and contentment to remain... but it's a wonderful feeling to be able to just breath normally again. 

I don't ever want to lose this feeling of contentment.


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