My Body Thinks It’s In The Middle of the Pacific Ocean
August 29, 2011, 10:50 PM
Filed under: Travel | Tags: ,

Sorry, blog friends.  You’re going to have to bear with me for a week or so to get this lovely little notjustacarnivore project fully up and running regularly again.  It turns out that returning from the honeymoon is just about as busy as the weeks leading up to the wedding.

I’m not even working on the usual name changes and thank you notes yet.  Life is taking the front seat to all that.  If I can call it life.  Right now, it mainly consists of school work and a weird sleep schedule.  I don’t even have time to cook new fun foods because of school work.  Boo!  Hopefully this will all be worked out by the end of the week when I’m all caught up and ready to get back to normal.

Here’s the thing.  Getting married in the middle of August when you’re a grad student/instructor isn’t the best plan.  In fact, it wasn’t the plan at all, but after some mishaps with the wedding date, it was the best we could get.  So, I missed the first week of classes for the honeymoon.  Which means that now, I’m playing major catch up so I can be a good student tomorrow morning and a good teacher tomorrow afternoon.

That doesn’t sound so difficult time wise, except for two things.

1. There’s just a lot to do than I expected.

2. My body still thinks it’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Specifically, it thinks it’s in the “A” bubble way out in the middle of nowhere, and I don’t know how to make it understand that it’s back in the good ole US of A.

WAY out in the middle of nowhere.

In Bora Bora, I woke up at 7am every day.  Why not?  My body thought it was 1 in the afternoon, and I got to wake up to this.

That would be the view from breakfast on our own private pool deck. Can you say room upgrade?

Now, I need to be in bed, but my body doesn’t seem to understand that it’s past my bedtime.

I tried to take care of this issue last night by going to bed at 8 just so I’d wake up early.  8 here, though, is 2pm in Bora Bora, so I think my body thought I was napping, since I woke up at 12:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep until 3.  I did well until 6:30, when I got up, intending it to be for good.  After breakfast and some work, though, I conked out on the kitchen table until a few minutes after noon!  Seriously?  I don’t have time for this.

I’ll start cooking new, fun foods again soon, I promise.  Until then, try some Peanut Butter Panda Puffs.  They’re new to me and they rock!

What are your tips and tricks for readjusting your body clock?  

What are your favorite food staples for the days when there’s just no time to worry about cooking?

“Reader, I married him.”
August 28, 2011, 1:05 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

“Reader, I married him.”  – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

 If you’re my friend on Facebook, then you may have read this quote two weeks ago.  After all, my sweet pup Charlotte’s namesake said it best.  I like to think the announcement of my marriage is more exciting than when Jane married Rochester.  We’ll see if people are still talking about it in 150 years to make that determination…

Anyway, why did I post to Facebook but leave the blog high and dry for 2 1/2 weeks?  Well, Facebook takes 10 seconds; blogging takes time.  And I just got married and spent two weeks in paradise.  What do you want from me?  To actually take the time to tell you about it?

If you insist.

I married my best friend two weeks ago.  I wasn’t the kind of girl who spent her whole life planning her wedding (which is surprising, considering how girly I am and how much I LOVE being the center of attention), but I have definitely been planning it since I met John.  That means this event was bound to be spectacular, as it was almost six years in the making.

And spectacular it was.  The most beautiful ceremony venue I’ve ever seen.

The other side is the edge of a giant cliff.  The inside is like a tiny, but stunning cathedral.  Be jealous.

Then there was the reception…

Beautiful inside

Beautiful outside.

Oh, and there was the incredible rehearsal dinner that my in-laws threw for everyone invited to the wedding the night before.


Good food was had by all.

As were good times.

Mary, I hope you're seeing this.

But in the end, this is what really matters.

We’re in paradise.  And not just in Bora Bora; in life.

After nearly six years of waiting for this day, what do we remember now that it’s over?  Not that it hailed during the ceremony.  Not that our party was so awesome that we blew the power at the reception venue and had to spend half an hour sitting in awkward silence.  Not that my dress completely ripped at some point during the night, or that it was hot (hello August in South Carolina), or that my one rule about my dress when I was searching for one (no cleavage) was completely trumped by the fact that the dress stretched as I danced throughout the night.  Those quirks were what made the wedding fun and uniquely ours, but they still aren’t what we remember.

What we remember about that day is that, after almost six years together, we finally joined together as one couple in pure, blissful happiness.  And we’ve realized that, after spending so much time waiting, it’s not over.

My advice to all of you in the planning phase now (which is a lot of you): don’t sweat the details; what matters is the life you share, and that will always be in the making.

Call Animal Control on Me…and Try this Amazing Recipe!

Sorry, kids.  You’re going to have to wait until a little later in the post to learn about the amazing recipe, but I’ll give you a hint: you’ve been waiting for it!

Now on to more important issues (enter dogs.  mine.  We’ll call them Charlotte and Cody)  It seems like bloggers have crazy obsessions with their animals, and it’s time to confess that I am no different.  My life revolves around these two.  Being with them is often the highlight of my day, even when the day was great on its own.  Leaving them for the wedding and honeymoon is devastating to me, even though everything surrounding this time is so amazing.  They’re my kids, and I will Skype home from Bora Bora to check on them.  Friends, meet the real, crazy, obsessive about her babies Katy.

I've never told them they're not 10 pounds each.

In May of 2010, John and I left the (big) babies for a week and a half to go to Italy and Switzerland to get engaged.  AWESOME!  John finally agreed to hire someone to clean his house while we were gone (we’re both bad cleaners/messy people, and Charlotte and Cody…well…their domestic habits should be pretty obvious.)  As soon as he got home and saw the house, he was sold.  Housekeeper every few weeks = worth it!  It’s amazing what not living in filth will do for a man’s perspective.

So this morning, like all Friday mornings every other week, it was my job to let the housekeeper in.  She’s truly the best cleaner I’ve ever seen.  The only thing I don’t like about having her come make the house all shiny and clean is that she’s terrified of the dogs.

Granted, they’re big, especially Cody.

He likes the weather where he came from.

And hyper!  Especially Charlotte.

"What? I don't look hyper? You should try being a squirrel in the yard...or on the porch...or a few blocks away..."

And maybe I never taught them not to jump on people.  Or each other.

But, seriously, how can you be afraid of this?

Alas, the housekeeper is terrified of them, so when she comes, out go the dogs.  This morning was particularly traumatic because Cody absolutely refused to go outside.  He’s a smart one; he knows he’ll be stuck there all day, getting in and out of the pond to stay cool.  And he was having none of it.  He’s a trickster, that one.

Sadly, so is Mama.  So I pulled out his leash, which I only use when he’s about to get in the car, which he LOVES, and out the door he went.  I walked back in and shut my babies outside behind me.  I feel like the worst doggie mom EVER!  I tricked them.  Who cares that I haven’t trained them properly?  I love them the way they are.  But I practically lied to them this morning.  Not cool.

You know what else is not cool, at least in their minds?  The fact that I keep them on a very strict healthy dog food diet and refused to give them even a taste of these amazing strawberry upside down muffins!

Yum yum yum!

I’d been eyeing Emily over at Daily Garnish‘s Strawberry Jelly Surprise Muffin recipe for weeks.  The time had come.  I stuck pretty closely to the original recipe, only I used Arrowhead Mills All-Purpose Baking Mix (it’s whole grain) instead of flour.

I followed all the instructions to make the jelly a surprise in the middle like it is in Emily’s beautiful muffins.

Turns out my jelly was denser than my batter, because it fell through the muffins and into the bottom of the tin.  Major bummer for someone who isn’t a culinary genius like me.  I used my brains, flipped them upside down, and put the jelly in the hole that was left from where it fell out.  Result: STRAWBERRY UPSIDE DOWN MUFFINS!

The jelly somehow managed to work correctly in the muffin in the middle. These were so good that, when I transferred them to the cake saver, these were all that were left of the 12. Okay, maybe 1 more that I left out of the photo for aesthetic purposes.

Scrumptious, high fiber breakfast/treat with Omega 3s!  Thanks, Daily Garnish, for another great recipe!

Tell me a story about your crazy obsession with your animals!

What recipe has turned out wrong, but you used your genius to save it?

What Didn’t I Eat Wednesday? On Monday…

One major point in my belief for living a healthy lifestyle is that I should never be set on a certain number of meals or a certain number of calories that I should take in per day.  When I’m hungry, I eat.  I eat slowly to ensure I don’t overeat, and then I wait until I’m hungry to eat again.  This really involves learning to understand your body to know when it actually needs food for fuel and when you’re simply craving something because it’s there, even if your body isn’t seeking it.  While I feel insane suggesting Bethenny Frankel for the sole purpose that she’s a Real Housewife, she is also a natural foods chef and has really great insight into getting to know your body and learning to read your hunger signs.  For help with these ideas, I highly suggest checking out her book, Naturally Thin.

One of the ideas I have really taken and learned to trust from this book is that some days, you’re just hungrier than others.  And that’s okay.  Eat what your body needs.  So that’s what I did during this week’s Meatless Monday, although I’ll admit, my body was sometimes craving food, but not the foods I ate.  But I was busy and ate what was on hand, although it all had it’s healthy elements.

Keep in mind that Meatless Mondays and I are still total frenemies.  I love that I force myself to branch out and try new things, but I’m also busy and sometimes I just don’t have time to try a bunch of new, meatless goodness.  We’re still working out our issues, Meatless Mondays and me.  We’ll get there.

I’ve had a lot of people ask how I manage to eat meatless all day.  Hence, today’s post.  We’re linking up with Jenn’s party at Peas and Crayons to explore a meatless day in my life.  Keep in mind, though, that I was busy and a LOT hungrier than normal.  So prepare to see a lot of food 🙂

Meatless Monday began as every day begins, with a protein shake, of course.  I never photograph these because they’re ugly.  That was my pre-run breakfast snack.

Then I completed Week 2, Day 1 of Couch-to-5k (YAY!) and enjoyed what I considered to be my real breakfast.

Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Quiche from Whole Foods, leftover from Sunday's breakfast.

Around lunch time, I wasn’t really feeling all that hungry, but I knew I should eat something (no worries; the hunger will come later), so I enjoyed a fantastic muffin from a batch I’d made on Sunday.

Want to read more about these healthified Strawberry Upside Down muffins? Stay tuned!

What’s that?  Hungry now?  Snack time.

LOVE soy beans!

Not too long after eating the soy beans, I was hungry and craving some Amy’s pizza.  Why not?  At least it’s easy.  And the crust is whole wheat.  That counts for something, right?  Sure.

Two slices of this baby.

Hungry AGAIN before dinner?  Really?  Fine.


Apple Walnut Delight Granola from Love Grown Foods, courtesy of Tina at Faith, Fitness, Fun.  Thanks, Tina!

So…all that and I haven’t had dinner yet?  Good thing I’d already eaten so much since dinner was TERRIBLE and I only ate a few bites!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce and Sage

I bet a homemade version of the gnocchi will be good.

Of course, I got hungry later because I barely ate dinner, so maybe I had another muffin.  Maybe.

And some vanilla soy milk.  And then bed.  I realize I missed the mark on balancing proteins, carbs, fruits, and veggies that day (carbs win!), but believe me, I made up for it the next day.  Not surprisingly, though, I wasn’t all that hungry on Tuesday.

How do you handle days when you’re hungrier than usual?

A Bud that’s Worth the Calories…eh hem…Cost
August 2, 2011, 11:26 AM
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , ,

Ever have trouble with your headphones falling out of your ears while you’re running or otherwise working out?  Perhaps you get tired of having to pull out an earphone every time you want to cross the street because you need to listen for cars passing by.  Do your earbuds annoy you simply because one of the cushions keeps falling off and getting lost?  Or maybe you don’t notice these things because you just assume there’s no solution for them.

That’s where I was before I won Laura at Sprint2theTable‘s giveaway.  I didn’t mind my earphones falling out or constantly taking one out because it was the normal thing to do.  I had no idea how much more fun exercise would become once I didn’t have to bother with such things!

Auria has created an earphone that is meant for exercise, and they gave Laura a set to give away to a lucky winner to try.  Read about Laura’s good experience with Auria earphones here.  I was thrilled to find out that I was that lucky winner, and I now I’m here to tell you my own experience with these earphones.

About Auria’s Earphones

Auria makes three different levels of earphones for different prices.   Provoke is the most basic, and they retail for $23.99.

These are the ones Laura has, so her review can give you a good idea as to whether they’re a good fit for you.  They come in either black or black and white (pictured).

They sent me a pair of their middle-of-the-road earphones, although I’d call them far superior to that description.  These are from the Exceed line, which retails at $33.99 and is worth every penny!

The Exceed line gives you more color options (I have the hot pink and black – obviously the ones pictured.)  This line also comes with an audio control on the headphone unit, as well as a function button that allows you to control the audio (and video, if you’re using it) and to answer and end calls.  This is particularly useful for me, since I use my iphone for music while I’m working out, and I wear an armband so I can’t actually see the phone.

Finally, there’s the highest-end line, Zeal.  I can’t speak for whether they’re worth the price because I can’t imagine needing anything more than what I have, but if you’re a music junkie, I’d say these are probably for you since they have upgraded speakers (nano technology speakers, if that means anything to you.  It doesn’t to me.)  This line also has volume control and function buttons for integration with smart phones, and it retails for $59.99.

For the price difference, I would absolutely stick to the Exceed (or the Provoke if you don’t run with a smart phone), but again, I haven’t tried the Zeal.

What Makes Auria‘s Earphones Unique?

Answer: The Xfit system.  What this means is simple.  Rather than placing the earphone all the way into your ear, it rests just inside the cushiony part of your ear lobe.  With 4 different sizes of cushion to choose from, you can find a size that fits your ears and the earphones will simply rest; they won’t fall out.  Having size options is also nice in case you’re a freak like me who, apparently, has two different sized ears.  Who knew?

The other things I love about these headphones is that, because they aren’t pushed inside my ears (and are, thus, probably saving my hearing,) I can hear outside noises without removing the earphones.  So, when I’m running outside, I don’t have to take an earphone out to listen for cars while crossing the street.  I can hear cars, lawn mowers, even kids playing outside.  But I can also still hear my music.

Limitations of Auria‘s Earphones 

The problems with these earphones are extremely minimal!  But here they are:

1. It can be a little tricky to determine your size.  But keep trying; you’ll figure it out and you’ll be so glad you did!

2. Because they are not in your ear, they’re not comfortable for sleeping, use on airplanes, etc.  These are definitely meant to be exercise earphones.

3. They take some getting used to.  This is key when you first start using these earphones – they really do take some getting used to.  Because they’re not inside my ears like most headphones, I always think they’re falling out.  I actually didn’t like them at first for this reason.  But I kept using them, eventually made myself stop fiddling with them, and quickly learned that they’re not going to come out.  Every time I think I should push them back in, I stop myself.  And they never go anywhere.  I’m hoping the urge to mess with them will go away pretty soon altogether!

Overall Verdict

For exercise, particularly outdoor exercise, these earphones rock!  Nothing beats them.  Well worth the cost!

Have you tried Auria earphones?  Are you fed up with the ones you have?  Let me know what you think!

A Change of Perspective +Meatless Monday
August 1, 2011, 7:35 PM
Filed under: Dinner, Small Changes | Tags: ,

Today has been…well…let say interesting.  Nothing about it has been bad; in fact, most of it has been pretty good, but it seems that a week and a half before an out-of-town wedding followed by a long, far away honeymoon just takes more work than I expected.  I also got particularly frustrated today working on our slideshow.  I was talking to my mom earlier (who happened to solve my slideshow woe.  Thanks, Mama!) and I was griping about who-knows-what and even said, “I realize I’m choosing to be frustrated about this, but still…insert rant here.”

I eventually got so fed up with everything that I decided to take some me time.  I closed my web browser to get rid of blogs and email, closed all the to-do lists on my phone so I wouldn’t think about them, and announced to anyone who I suspected might text or call me, “For the next hour and 15 minutes, if you’re not my dogs, my audiobook, or my bed, then you have no place in my life.  You can talk to me again after 5.”

I came out of this time feeling fairly refreshed: less stressed, loving my audiobook and my dogs, just all around better.  Then I opened my computer and saw my inbox.  The case of the crabby Katy returned.  Awesome.

I decided to tackle about half of the emails before heading to Whole Foods to grab the ingredients for my Meatless Monday dinner and take care of the rest when I got home.  Let’s just be honest here, I still wasn’t in a very pleasant mood.  I was pretty much just ready for bedtime.  At 5:30.  So?

Then I got in line to check out at Whole Foods and this man behind me was on his phone using bluetooth.  “You’re not ready for dinner yet?  I thought you’d be hungry,” I hear.  “No, no, don’t worry about it, I don’t tell you when to eat.  I’ll see you at home.”  I’m convinced that this man is loudly talking to himself in line at Whole Foods.  That’s how my mood has been today; the rational idea that I see no phone because he’s using bluetooth doesn’t even occur to me.  Naturally, the man talking without a phone to his ear must be hallucinating that there’s someone in line with him.  Obviously.

But then, out of nowhere, he snapped me out of it.  He said, with an uncanny spunk in his voice, “Where’s all the energy in this line?”  The cashier looked at him awkwardly and said, “Uhh…I’m at work and they’re ready to go home and eat.  Not much energy here.”  To which the man, who it turns out isn’t schizophrenic (at least not as far as I could tell) replied, “I’m just full of energy waiting to eat my dinner.  It must just be my perspective.”


When I was in middle school, one of my teachers handed out little laminated paper light bulbs whenever a student really understood a concept that had confused him before.  I loved getting light bulbs.  I deserved one of those at Whole Foods today, thanks to the crazy man I thought was talking to himself.

I wasn’t just cranky; I was straight-up bitchy.  I had been all day long.  Entirely by choice.  Nothing bad happened and I’ve been far more stressed out than this many times.  I just decided at some point that I wanted to be in a bad mood and I stuck with it.  I choose how I look at the world everyday.  I chose to look at it negatively today, and I’m choosing to look at it differently tonight.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce and Sage Leaves

I’m not focusing on the fact that this sweet potato gnocchi tasted like crap.  I’m focusing on the the fact that this marinara sauce was SO good that I may never make my own fresh marinara again.  Major find!  I’m also choosing to be thankful that I had the foresight to think that packaged sweet potato gnocchi might suck and also got some fresh veggie gazpacho just in case.  I’m not focusing on the stress of the wedding tonight; I’m reminding myself that I get to marry my best friend in a week and a half.  And I’m certainly not stressing over details of the honeymoon, but I’m absolutely choosing to keep in mind that, in two weeks, I’ll be with my husband in paradise.

What perspective are you choosing today?

Ode to Whole Foods: Wedding Madness

Okay, so I didn’t actually write an ode to Whole Foods, but I feel like I owe that to them right now.  I’m learning a lesson these days: there’s a reason that so many people who plan destination weddings don’t plan an immediate or large honeymoon.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change our plans for the world.  I’m thrilled for our wedding in the beautiful Greenville, SC where we first met, and I couldn’t be more excited for an amazing 10-day honeymoon in Bora Bora.  The two weeks leading up to the wedding, though, are definitely becoming much busier than I imagined.

I have lists for EVERYTHING.  So many lists.  A packing list for the bridal lunch, for the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, the reception, the wedding night, and just for the general wedding weekend.  I have a packing list for the honeymoon broken into a million parts.  A packing list for a suitcase that will go to both the wedding and the honeymoon.  A packing list for gifts we’re giving out at the wedding.  A pre-wedding to-do list.  A pre-honeymoon to-do list.  A pre-school starting to do list.  A pre-being-out-of-town-during-construction-on-the-house to-do list.  A pre-leaving-the-dogs-with-various-people-during-construction-on-the-house to-do list.  Day-by-day to-do lists.  I’m living in list madness.  Madness, people!  

And all the while, I’m trying to eat healthily, continue to tone up and lost a little weight, and exercise.  This is where Whole Foods comes in.  I meant to cook Friday night, but after unplanned hours on the phone answering various questions for wedding vendors, there was no time to go to the store, come home, and cook.  Whole Foods Hot Bar to the rescue!  I forgot to take photos 😦

Then the weekend came.  Trying to accomplish plenty this weekend while still keeping up healthy habits = an amazing spinach and red pepper quiche, made at Whole Foods and baked in my oven.

How good does this look?

I'll have another piece immediately, please!

Healthy?  Sure, it has some cream in it…not the healthiest…but it’s also made with whole wheat flour (fiber! and healthy complex carbs), spinach (more fiber! Iron, calcium, crazy vitamins and nutrients…), red peppers (EVEN MORE FIBER!  And tons of other vitamins and nutrients!), cheese (I just love it, +protein and calcium) and eggs (protein, what?  Great following my morning run!)  As a whole, I’d call this a delicious dish worth eating.

And the best part…it’s fresh!  No freezer section here.  Whole Foods makes it, Katy bakes it.  LOVE.

And tomorrow for Meatless Monday…I wanted to make a zucchini pasta, but my to-do list has filled to the max.  Luckily, Whole Foods carries pretty freshly-made sweet potato gnocchi.  I can throw on some light marinara, chop up some sage, and enjoy!

Seriously, thank you, Whole Foods, for saving my life for the next week and a half!

What are your strategies for healthy eating when you’re short on time?

My First Recipe! Sauteed Halibut with Peach Salsa over Hericot Verts

Jenn, creator of What I Ate Wednesday, has done it again.  Amazing new trend, what?  Check out Peas and Crayons for:

And now…

I did it!  I created a delicious meal using my own recipe!

Now, let’s be honest, this isn’t going to happen very often.  I’m not ready for that.  But it happened last night and it was awesome.  It also happened to be (in my obviously not-so-humble opinion) the most aesthetically-pleasing meal I’ve ever made.  Props to me.  Yeah.

I have nothing more to say.  You just have to see this.  And then make it.  It’s awesome.

The Dinner Process

Wash and chop lots of veggies (and some fruit).

How many colors can you put in your dinner?

Mix them together with the juice of an orange (and the juice of half a lime) and make a salsa.

Season halibut with remaining ingredients and saute.

In the meantime, wash a handful of hericot verts (aka green beans) and saute them for about three minutes with garlic and shallots.

And enjoy

Best ever.

What dish are you most proud of?

I’ve never written a recipe before.  It’s harder than imagined.  Tips?



  • 1 peach, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tsps. Smart Balance Omega 3 oil (you can sub vegetable oil or canola oil; olive oil will scorch)
  • 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
  • 2-3 skinless halibut filets
  • Hericot verts
  • Salt
  • Pepper


1. Chop 1 shallot and mince 1 clove of garlic.  Set aside.

2. Juice half a lime and one orange.  Mix in Smart Balance Omega 3 oil, agave nectar, and one minced clove of garlic.

3. Heat juice mixture in saute pan over medium heat.  When liquid is warmed (before garlic browns), add halibut filets.  Cook for 7 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, mix first 5 ingredients with 1 minced clove of garlic, juice of remaining lime, and oranges to create salsa.

5. With 3-4 minutes remaining on halibut, saute verts with shallots and garlic from Step 1 for 3 minutes over medium heat.

9 Small Changes for Big Results for Health and Weight Loss

I want to preface this post with a few reminders:

1. This is not a blog about weight loss.  It’s about learning to live a healthy lifestyle, which generally results in weight loss, at least initially.

2. I am not a doctor, a registered dietician, or any other medical professional with the training and knowledge to tell you how to lose weight or how to be healthy.  If you need medical advice or have any unique conditions, please consult your doctor.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s talk about why a blog that is absolutely not about weight loss is talking about weight loss.  Short version: a lot of people asked me to write about it.

When I started notjustacarnivore, I intended to teach myself (and all of you) how to live a healthier lifestyle.  It took a few weeks to really learn as much as I needed to in order to make good changes, and then I was travelling a lot, so I’ve only had about two weeks of totally living according to the lifestyle about which I blog.  In those two weeks, I’ve dropped an inch off both my hips and waist, I’ve lost 8 pounds, and I’ve had tons of people asking me how I did it.  My answer: “Read my blog.”

Even reading the blog, a lot of people want more information, so I promised quite a few friends that I’d do a post about the types of food I’ve been eating and changes I’ve been making.  This post is just about the small changes; look for another post with meal ideas that demonstrate how to live the healthy lifestyle promoted by notjustacarnivore.  

I’m not guaranteeing that you will lose weight by making these changes; I’m simply saying they’ve had that effect on my body.  I do promise that it’s a healthy, fulfilling way of life that has left me energetic, satisfied, and happy.

Small Changes

1. White vs. Wheat – When baking, I try to use Arrowhead Mills All-Purpose Baking Mix instead of white flour; it’s whole grain and unbleached, which puts fewer chemicals in my body while providing me with more fiber.  For this reason, I opt for whole wheat instead of white most all the time.  When I don’t want a whole wheat version due to flavor differences (like when I made tacos and knew whole wheat tortillas would taste really different), I try different grains, like spelt and millet.  In the taco case, I used spelt tortillas and they were excellent.

2. Natural vs. Processed – I use natural peanut butter, not processed peanut butter.  Read my thoughts on peanut butter here.  I try to go unprocessed with a lot of foods.  I’ve done some reading on preservatives and food processing (but that’s another post), and while the jury is still out on how those chemicals affect our bodies, they’re still chemicals, and I’m personally much more comfortable eating foods that come with an ingredient list I understand.

3. Water – Drink it!  Lots of it!  I carry around a water bottle that I refill every time I get a chance.  I am never without water.  The benefits of good hydration are endless (again, another post).  For me, it’s helped get rid of chronic headaches and helped my muscles to relax and respond better to massage and relaxation.

Don’t like water?  Flavor it!  Use lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to give your water some flavor.  I also enjoy the flavor of watermelon in water.  Not interested in drinking water at home?  Fill a clear pitcher with water, throw in some fruit, and keep it in the front of the refrigerator where you’ll be tempted by the colorful, summery drink.

On the go?  Try flavoring packets.  I hate to point you toward artificial sweeteners, as the jury is also still out on those but seems to indicate that they’re not good (again, another post), but I believe that taking in artificial sweeteners in water is better than taking in no water at all.  Healthy-to-Go also makes a good acai berry water flavoring using Stevia.  Stevia is a natural sweetener, not a processed artificial one, and I recommend it.

4. Sugar – It is absolutely a fact that high sugar intake contributes to a larger waistline.  I don’t even feel the need to cite that because you can find proof in so many places (and this particular post just doesn’t go that in-depth).  Try to take in most of your sugar through fructose – not from juice, but from the actual fruit – where you get all the nutrients.  When sweetening your drinks, try stevia as an alternative.  Want something that tastes a little more similar to regular table sugar?  Agave nectar has a similar flavor (and is a natural sugar), but is much sweeter than sugar and, thus, requires less sweetener.

5. Fiber  – Few Americans have enough fiber in their diets.  Fiber helps to control appetite and blood sugar levels, as well as helping to  lower bad cholesterol and improve GI functions.  Where can you find fiber in food?  Whole grains, nuts, legumes, most green vegetables, bananas, avocados, tomatoes with skin, flax, and oats.

6. Dairy – Don’t get me wrong, I love dairy and it certainly has its health benefits.  It’s also fattening and should be consumed in moderation.  I still keep skim milk in my refrigerator and I enjoy it, but I’ve been using soy milk in my protein shakes, almond milk when baking, and almond or coconut milk in my oats.  I also enjoy yogurt made with almond milk.  These little changes add up, not to mention different nutritional benefits I get from the different “dairy substitutes.”

7. Veggies – Find a way to get them into your diet!  Don’t like veggies?  I didn’t think I did either.  Turns out, I love squash and zucchini with onions, eggplant with onions, sauteed green beens, okra and tomatoes, and the mixed greens used in salads (spinach, arugula, etc.)  I also enjoy spinach in my smoothies – they still taste like fruit but contain the nutritional value of spinach.  Read about my first smoothie with spinach (aka, green smoothie) here.

8. Protein – Watch the proteins you put in your body.  Beef and pork have always been my favorites; they’re also among the fattiest.  Try chicken, fish, soy, and nuts for healthier protein options.

9. Enjoy! – Keep some healthy snacks you enjoy on-hand.  If you’re REALLY craving something unhealthy, it’s okay to enjoy it – just enjoy in moderation.  Depriving yourself will only leave you feeling unsatisfied and will likely lead to binges later.  Eat foods that you love – just take the time to learn what healthy foods you love and stick mostly to those!  And don’t be afraid to try new things!

What small changes have helped improve your health?  

WIAW #2: A Snacky Kind of Day
July 27, 2011, 10:35 AM
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Eating Out, Local Food, Lunch, What I Ate Wednesday

Hiya, folks!  Welcome to my 3rd What I Ate Wednesday, the very first where I’m actually doing what WIAW was meant to do.  In case you missed the memo, What I Ate Wednesday is a rocking party that Jenn over at Peas and Crayons hosts every week.  Thanks Jenn for your complete awesome hostessness!  I’m all about making up words today.  Hostessness.  Snacky.  You get it. 

We read all sorts of healthy living blogs, but we’re still left wondering: How do these people really eat?  Do they really not indulge?  What does a normal meal look like?

I must admit that yesterday was a weird day for me; I didn’t eat a full meal until dinner, but I did have snack after snack after snack all day long.  Or small meals.  There were some of those.

I apologize for the photo quality; we had dinner out with two amazing friends last night (we’re SO thrilled to have you back in Georgia, Emily and Eric!) and I’m not up for pulling out my camera in a restaurant just yet, so most of yesterday’s photos were taken on a camera phone.  But you’ll still get the idea.

So, let’s get this party started!

Pre-Run Breakfast

Protein Shake (not pictured; it’s boring looking)

Post-Run Breakfast

Would’ve been a green smoothie if I hadn’t managed to break my Vitamix while making it, so instead, I had my new favorite (Sunbutter!) on a banana.

It's tastier than it looks!

Early Lunchtime Snack

Roasted red pepper hummus on whole wheat pita bread (not pictured; I forgot)

Lunchtime Snack

Adore Amande almond milk yogurts!

Late Lunchtime Snack

The last of this week's Baked Blueberry Bliss

Dinner at Wisteria


Black-eyed-pea hummus with homemade sweet potato chips

This is the photo quality I get when I refuse to use a camera in a nice restaurant.


Almond-encrusted Georgia mountain trout with sautéed haricot verts, corn, tomatoes, fingerling and baby red potatoes with a bacon vinaigrette.

Do you use your camera in nice restaurants?  What kind of reception do you get?