Review: Just Do Yoga

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Sorry if I get a little spammy in the next few days, I have quite the backlog of reviews to get out.
Today I’ll be taking a look at a book I received a while ago from tomoson.com. From the back cover,

Julie Schoen, yoga expert, author, and contributor at yoginiology.com, makes practicing yoga fun and simple in her new complete guide for beginners, seasoned practitioners, and beyond.

I initially got the book because the only time I can truly exercise without interruptions is before the kids wake up in the morning. However, if I want to work out early, whatever I do needs to be something quiet. Voila! Yoga! When I received the book I was surprised by its size. It contains so many sequences and difficulty levels that this may be all I ever need. While it’s a little more difficult to interpret pictures instead of watch a video, once I get the hang of what she’s doing, it becomes much easier.
As I mentioned, Julie includes many sequences for so many situations, including:
-morning yoga
-night time yoga
-sequences for flattening the tummy
-sequences for a happy back
-poses for reducing stress
-immunity-boosting sequences
-yoga for the office
-and yoga poses for overall body sculpting

In addition to the sequences, Julie includes an index of poses in both sanskrit and English, which is incredibly helpful.

I have loved trying several of the yoga poses and look forward to incorporating yoga into my daily routine.

If you’d like more information on Julie Schoen you can check out her personal site or on Yoginiology.com.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using <a href=”http://www.tomoson.com/?code=BOTTOM98c5785ac9c3c4b2daa5acb81d15abf5″ rel=”nofollow”>Tomoson.com</a>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Kombucha Revolution

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About a year ago, Rial asked me if I had heard of Kombucha. Together, we looked into it, and thought it sounded intriguing. This “magical elixir” had mysterious roots and boasted many benefits from longer life, better gut health, and weight loss. A couple of days later, I coincidentally saw a post from a friend on Facebook. “I have some extra Kombucha SCOBYs, does anyone want one?” I obviously said, “YES!” and jumped right into the world of brewing Kombucha.

For the past year I have basically brewed pretty boring ‘booch and I’ve been satisfied. I like the bubbly, tart flavor. I enjoyed the relaxed feeling it gave me. My kids also enjoyed it. My husband, however did not. I brewed and drank Kombucha for a while, until I got lazy and left my SCOBY in the fridge for a couple months. Two weeks ago, Rial said to me, “Do something with it or give it away.” At this point, my beautiful SCOBY was a 3″ solid blob. I peeled the top layer off, determined to once again brew and then sliced the remainder into 4 sections and offered it to my friends on Facebook.

About a week ago, I logged on to Blogging For Books to post my review for The Nourished Kitchen and see what new review copies were available. I saw Kombucha Revolution and snagged it immediately! It arrived a couple of days later and I’ve read and re-read several times!

Kombucha Revolution was authored by Stephen Lee, co-founder of Tazo Tea and Stash Tea. His tea experience is evident and the book is basically a “cook book” of Kombucha. It includes homebrews, infusions, juices and smoothies, spirited cocktails, dressings and dunks, kombucha at the table, and sweets and ices. I particularly enjoyed reading about how to use kombucha in cooking, since prior to this book I had only been drinking it.

While Rial is still not a fan, he’s given me one more opportunity to test his kombucha pallet. This week I’m brewing some green tea Kombucha for a milder infusion in hopes that he joins me in my own personal Kombucha Revolution.

If you’d like to pick up your own copy, you can find it here.

 

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. This article may include Amazon Affiliate links.

 

Review: The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle

love cookbooks. I have plenty of them and love to just browse new recipes and learn new techniques. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I logged on to Blogging For Books and saw that The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle was one of the featured books. I have been following The Nourished Kitchen on Facebook for quite a while now since we’ve been venturing into whole foods and homesteading and I have fallen in love.  have wanted to get this cookbook since it was first advertised so you can imagine my excitement when I opened the box last week to see my very own copy.

The Nourished Kitchen

First, let me go ahead and tell you, many of my cookbooks boast “dinner to the table in 30 minutes or less!” This is no such cook book. Some recipes include directions for 7 days of fermenting and brewing time! But I can promise you, it is all well worth it.

The first thing I noticed about the cookbook was the vibrant pictures and just the sheer volume of recipes included. In addition, I really enjoyed the non-traditional (entrees, deserts, poultry, pies, etc.) lay out of the book. The Nourished Kitchen is divided into the following sections: from the garden, from the pasture, from the range, from the waters, from the fields, from the wild, from the orchard, and from the larder.

When I opened the cook book, I got sucked in, and could not stop reading. I loved the stories about the recipes, and the simplicity of the real food ingredients. My husband even started reading it, and he’s been searching for recipes for our blueberries we just harvested. He’s got the bookmark on the “melted blueberries with ginger and mandarin orange” recipe. Just listen to the description:

Tossed into frothy butter scented with ginger, blueberries soften and seem to melt away.

Yum. To help those new to the Traditional Foods Lifestyle, McGruther also includes a glossary, resource list, and a list of traditional food advocacy groups. The book is available to purchase in hard copy as well as in e-book format. I would highly recommend picking up a hard copy just to have on your shelf and thumb through when you need inspiration! I cannot wait to put some time in the kitchen preparing some of these wonderful-looking recipes!

If you’d like to learn more about The Nourished Kitchen or author Jennifer McGruther you can check out the links below:

If you’d like to see more of the book before purchasing, you can read the first chapter here. I received my copy of The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review. I thoroughly enjoy this book and highly recommend it!

Book Review: Fierce Beauty

I have had this book on my shelf for quite a while. I got it for free to review before having my son, over a year ago. Since then, I’ve undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. I truly believe God put this book back in my focus at this time in my life. Before kids, my husband and I were always outside. We loved backpacking and camping and generally just being outside. However, with marriage came weight gain until I eventually became morbidly obese. I hated myself and my body and my inability to enjoy the outdoors with my husband. 
I lost the image of God’s beauty for me and since I was no longer back packing, I had lost sight of God’s beauty in the world. Since having surgery, I have been on a quest to discover my God-given beauty. 
This book is an amalgamation of stories that blend together with one central theme–that women can lay down the “earthly beauty” and the crown of this world and pick up the sword of victory in God.
The story could not have come at a better time as well since I’ve been able to explore the outdoors with my husband again. I’ve loved hearing the stories of the wild outdoors and about girls picking up their swords and laying down their crowns of earthly beauty.

Getting in some protein

I am definitely a creature of habit. I try to keep the same routine most days, and every week for me is laid out about the same. It helps me stay in control and even extends to what I eat.
Like most bariatric patients, my doctor recommends that I get 70+ grams of protein. Planning my daily food intake and sticking to that plan is the only way I’m able to do that. When I plan my food, I know how many calories, carbs, and proteins I can expect, so I’m never worried about running out of calories when dinner rolls around, since I typically like to enjoy most of what the rest of my family is eating (that’s important to my husband, as well).
Since every day is basically the same, here’s an idea of what I’m eating for the majority of the day.

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The nutrition breaks down like this:

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As you can see, before dinner I’m at 646 calories, 82 grams of protein, and 20 carbs. This leaves just under 500 calories and a couple carbs for dinner, although if I stay under my calories, I don’t worry about the couple extra carbs.

One thing I should mention is that these are spaced out. Around 7:30 am (when my kids are waking up and eating breakfast) I make my coffee with a scoop of chocolate powder. Sometime after 9am I drink my Premier Protein shake. After I feed the kids lunch and put them down for nap, I cook my eggs and meat. Finally, around 3pm I make a chocolate shake.

Many surgeons (including mine) really would prefer your proteins come from solid food, but I’ve noticed I have a really hard time getting enough protein if I am not drinking shakes, especially since I’m so busy with my two kids and keeping the house clean to focus on food all day, that’s another reason making a plan and sticking to it works.

In order to eat so few calories, and lose fat and not lean muscle, it is essential to get enough protein. When I don’t get my protein, my weight loss stalls.

Another essential component is water intake. Between each “meal” I drink 20 ounces of water, around 100 ounces daily.

I  haven’t always planned my intake, but doing so has contributed to my total weight loss of over 80 pounds in the past 10 months. I still have around 60 pounds to lose, so be sure to stick with me to see my future updates.

DIY Laundry Soap

Hi everyone! Long time no see! You can check out all of our new ventures at Mount View Homestead, but today I just wanted to feature a post about homemade laundry soap. I’ve been using this for about a year and I LOVE it!

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I had been planning on writing up this post since we started the blog and this week we ran out of laundry soap–perfect timing! I got my inspiration to make our families laundry soap from How Does She and adapted it based on what our local store had in stock.

I’ve been using some variation of this recipe for probably a year now and I’ve only made it twice. This will be the third time. That’s right, two batches of this stuff last’s a year. Maybe you’re thinking I only do a load of laundry a week, that would make sense, right? Well, let me remind you, there are two parents and two very messy young children in this house and I cloth diapered Noah for the first 6-8 months of his life.  Cloth diapers excluded, I do about two loads of laundry every week day and sometimes more! So for two batches of detergent to last this long is amazing.

Just a disclaimer, I’ll be linking to my Amazon Affiliate account when I give you the prices of the laundry supplies so you can get your own and help us out! If you’re interested in a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime (we recommend it!) click here.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Baking Soda (Purchased at Costco for around $7, or here)
  • 1 Box Borax ($11.49, here)
  • 1 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($9.68, here)
  • 2 Cups OxyClean (Purchased in bulk at Costco, but you can get it here)
  • 1 Container Purex Laundry Crystals, any scent ($9.30, here)
  • 1 Zote Laundry Soap Bar ($4.25, here)

To begin, I recommend finding a big bucket to dump all the ingredients into. It will make mixing much easier. I added all the powdered ingredients first.

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Why yes, I do prepare all of my laundry soap outdoors on a beautiful old tree stump, thanks for asking.

After all the plain white ingredients (borax, baking soda, washing soda, and OxyClean), I added some color with the Purex Crystals and Zote Soap.

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The Purex is added as a laundry softener and to make things smell nice, but you could leave it out if you wanted. The Zote Soap was the most work, because you have to grate it into the mix, but it is a magnificent neon pink.

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Grate the entire bar into your bucket and you’re ready to mix it all together. The bucket we’re using is actually a recycled laundry detergent bucket. I like our detergent better.

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Once it’s mixed, keep it in an air-tight container so that moisture isn’t an issue. I like to use one of the little scoops that came in a formula container to measure out my soap for each load of laundry. I use 1 scoop for normal loads and 2 scoops for the kid’s laundry (or things that tend to be super dirty).

So far, I’ve had no issue with it irritating skin, which is a huge deal with my daughter’s horrible eczema. It smells nice, works well, and lasts forever a really long time.

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Have you made your own laundry soap before? How does it perform compared to what you can buy pre-made in the store? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is featured on The Prairie Homestead’s Monday Blog Hop as well as over on Mount View Homestead.

Molly Signature

In the Red.

I haven’t written any thing of substance in quite a while (story of this blog) and to be completely honest, I haven’t had the energy for the past 4 weeks to even think of anything important to write. So I guess that’s what I’ll be writing about today. The down side of Lap Band–the dreaded RED zone.

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I was in denial for a couple of weeks, because honestly, I wasn’t thinking about eating, and I wasn’t hungry, and I was dropping pounds super quick. But now it’s been nearly 4 weeks of not eating solids, barely eating proteins, and surviving on probably 20 ounces or less of water daily.

Yes,  I’ve lost close to 15-20 lbs, but quite honestly, I think I might have lost more if I were just a tad “deflated.” I’m sure I’m in ketosis since I’ve not eaten, but I haven’t given my body near enough calories to work with. It’s not that I’m not trying to eat. Believe me, I am. I can’t keep anything down, I burp a lot, and if I am able to eat something, it comes back up moments later. And my stomach doesn’t quit expelling things until every last morsel is out. I’m just worn out. I’m really wanting to try to wake up earlier and get things going for my family, but it’s tiring to just get out of bed. I want to start running again, but the thought of pushing a 50lb+ stroller is daunting to say the least.

Now, let’s get one thing straight, I in NO WAY regret getting surgery, I’m just in yet another phase of getting used to my band and where it needs to be. I think it was inflated just a tiny bit too much, and once I’m able to snag an appointment at the Bariatric center, I know we can get it all straightened out.

Until then, juice and water. Hopefully, it won’t be but a few more days.

 

Snow!

Yesterday, we had the first real snow in at least 3 years. Almost 3 years, exactly, actually. The last time we had snow to stick was in December 2010, because I announced I was pregnant with Alden. Yesterday, at 2 1/2 years old, she had her first snow.

We started the day with Bible Study, but cut it short when it started to snow and accumulate. I got a message from my mom to pick her up from school since I borrowed her car, and went (slowly) to get her. We started back home, and things got a little tricky. About a mile ahead of us a tractor trailer jack-knifed and resulted in a one lane interstate going 10 miles an hour. Luckily, I had leftover biscuits from Bible study for Alden, and Noah was snoozing. I got to mom’s school and they were letting out the students. I waited for her, and we started to carefully head to drop her off and get my babies home!

We made it home and up our driveway and inside. Since Noah only took a partial nap in the car, I put him back down and Alden and I bundled up to go play. Rial got to stay at work and at a hotel in Chattanooga, and is making his way home as we speak.

I hope you all stayed safe and sound, here’s some pictures of our snow day:

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Things I CAN Eat… But Shouldn’t

We’re back! My husband has been in the process of updating my blog, so I haven’t been able to post anything. Any how, I’m back and posting now.

So before being banded I talked about my wish list of what I’d eat before being banded. While most of those ring true for what I really can’t eat, there ARE things I can eat, but shouldn’t, and I’m finding it’s really testing my willpower these days.

Popcorn, for one. No, popcorn itself is not terrible for you, but when I eat 1/4-1/2 cup of any other food and I can eat an entire bag of popcorn, no bueno.

I’m finding this is true for most crunchy things. I ate a nachos bell grande from Taco Bell the other day. Granted it took me an hour, but I should’ve stopped at 20 minutes as my surgeon suggests with all meals.

I can eat pretzels, crackers, and saltines. All starchy, grains, that push me out of ketosis and stalemate my weight.

What’s a girl to do?

Track. Keep lists, Take pictures. Drink water.

When I track what I eat, most easily done by just taking picture of everything I’m about to eat, I notice my intake just goes down.

I fill up on water to flush out my system and fill my stomach. I usually add some flavor or have tea several times a day.

Another option is to fill up on fats. Fats in fat out.

Finally, I physically block off my kitchen. I’m short. 5’2.5″ in fact. So after I clean up after the children’s breakfast I put up the baby gate in the doorway to the kitchen. It’s annoying to take it down and even more annoying to step over it. Not only that it creates a visual block that makes me pause and consider WHY I’m going into the kitchen. For a compulsive over-eater, that’s a huge accomplishment.

I’d love to hear your suggestions on fighting compulsive eating, please share in the comments!

 

 

Jammy Jams: Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Our bedtime routine is pretty much the same every night. It pretty much starts with dinner. We eat, the children take a bath, get dressed for bed, clean up the house, brush teeth, read a book, and get in bed. Alden has to have her humidifier on and her “sleepy songs.” She insists on sleepy songs every night, or she won’t sleep. We usually go with some classical music, but any soft music will work. My husband and I love those reworked songs that are adult songs done with xylophones/marumbas, and usually bells and most of the time there’s a cricket or two.If you’ve heard them, you know what I’m talking about. Anyhow, I love them, because it’s songs I enjoy, but made for bedtime, and it lets me listen to lots of baby music without getting too annoyed.

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SO- when I had the opportunity to review such sleepy music for this blog, I jumped on the opportunity. I received Jammy Jams, Greatest Naps, Vol. 2 as a digital download, which allows me to stick it on Alden’s iPod (don’t flip out people, it’s like 10 years old) and play it for bedtime. According to Jammy Jams,

Whether you are a classic hip-hop or alternative music fan or a connoisseur of rock, hair bands, or pop music, you and baby will enjoy this collection of lullaby renditions from a variety of musicians such as Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, Fugees, Oasis, and Def Leppard. Expose your little one to multiple genres of music while effortlessly drifting off into dreamland.

Here’s the tracklist:

1. Get Lucky (originally by Daft Punk)
2. Wrecking Ball (originally by Miley Cyrus)
3. Send Me An Angel (originally by Real Life)
4. Groove is In The Heart (originally by Deee-Lite)
5. Ready Or Not (originally by Fugees)
6. Champagne Supernova (originally by Oasis)
7. We Are Young (originally by Fun.)
8. Hysteria (originally by Def Leppard)
9. Drunken Lullabies (originally by Flogging Molly)
10. I Will Always Love You (in the style of Whitney Houston)

I’m not going to lie, even though I’m not a Miley fan, I am hooked on wrecking ball. I don’t know why.

Overall, I dig this “album.” I think it’s computer-generated instead of live-recorded, but it’s still really good quality. I love the variety on this playlist, and it’s full of my favorite songs.

If you love some sleepy songs like we do in our family, I really encourage you to check out Jammy Jams on their website or Facebook.

Annnnddd… If you’d love your own copy of Jammy Jams Vol. 2, Greatest Hits use the Rafflecopter below and enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.