Farmer Momma

**This is part of my Momma Goes Natural posts**

Hey y’all!

A couple of years ago, I became aware of a diet/eating style called Clean Eating. It didn’t catch on with me until about a year ago. Now, I know myself well enough that I knew I’d be setting myself up for failure if I just drastically made this huge change all at once. So I decided to go “Clean” for 1 week.

And it worked beautifully!!

I can’t remember how much weight I lost, probably about 2-3 lbs that first week, but I definitely lost a ton of bloat and water my body had been holding on to. I felt SO energized, and a lot of my nagging aches and pains eased up!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to stick to it all the time (long days and short nights, lots of stress, lack of willpower) and have kind of gone on and off of it for the past year.

More recently, within the last month or so, I’ve gotten a bug in my ear about this thing called Real Food. This is not a diet, this is not an eating style. This is just what it’s called, you eat REAL food!! (I’m not an expert at this, so pardon me if I botch this explanation….)

Eating REAL food just means that you work to eliminate processed food, GMO foods, excess sugars, foods full of pesticides, and food-FAKERS from your life!

Why would one do this, you might ask?

I’m not going to get too far into in this post, but personally I’m doing it to reduce the chemicals in my house and body, to become more healthy, to lose weight, and to feel better.

You might also ask: How do I go about doing this?

Shop at local farmers markets, local farms, co-op’s, choose healthier foods at your grocery stores, or grow your own.

One last question you might ask: Where do I get more info?

Google and Pinterest are always go-to’s, however my favorite resources to start out are Food Babe (who is actually local to me :-) ) and Food, Inc.

Now, what is this momma gonna do about it? Well, I’m gonna try my hand at being Farmer Momma! LOL! Of course, I’m all gung-ho about it and want to jump right in….but as it’s full on Fall now, it’s not the best time to start. I picked 1 fall plant to try – Spinach – just to get my feet wet.

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First, we (okay my wonderful hubby) drilled holes in the bottom of the planter.

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Added gravel underneath for draining.

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Added gravel in the bottom of the planter, also for draining (duh!) :-P

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Insert the dirt.

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Seeds!

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All planted and covered.

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Just add water :-D

Now I just have to wait….and try to be patient :-)

I’ll keep ya updated, and post pictures as it grows! Have you ever tried your hand at growing your own food? What did you grow? How did it turn out?

Essential Oils

**This is part of my Momma Goes Natural posts**

Hey y’all!

Recently I’ve seen a ton of posts (FB, Pinterest, etc.) about Essential Oils. Now, before recently, I’ve heard a little about them and how they are natural solutions for everything from cleaning to healing and beyond. I never really gave them any thought until I saw several recent posts. I read several websites about the oils, and then had a friend post on FaceBook about the kit she had just gotten. She talked about how they’d helped her family get over cold/cough yuckies recently, without the chemicals, additives, and unnatural stuff of OTC cold meds! This piqued my interest, especially with winter coming up. So I reached out to her to get some more info!

Long story short, I ordered my starter kit from Young Living Essential Oils.

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It included 10 commonly used oils, a diffuser (which I’m absolutely in love with), and a kit with samples and info. The 10 oils are Lavender, Valor, PanAway, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lemon, Frankincense, Purification, Joy, and Thieves.

I started with Thieves. This is the one my friend used, so I wanted to give it a try first! I diffused it, and fell it immediately became my favorite!! It smells amazing….it smells like fall, and it’s a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. It also relieved all of my family’s sinus symptoms immediately! We had all had stuffy noses for weeks, and this cleared it right up!

Next I used Lemon. I added 10 drops of this to my Home Made Cleaner mixture….and I was blown away at how good my house smelled! I had never had a problem with the smell of the vinegar, but my husband said he didn’t care for it too much. The Lemon took the sting out of the vinegar smell, and made the house smell so fresh and clean! Plus, lemon has its own cleaning properties so it bumps up the cleaning power of my mixture even more :-)

I making something else special right now, which I’ll post about later, and I’ll be using Lavender and Lemon with it.

You’ll hear me talk a lot about these oils, I’m sure, so please feel free to ask me questions about them, let me know if you’d like to try them, or if you want samples or to place any orders (I can get you my discount if you want!)!!

Have you ever used oils? Which ones do you use, and for what purposes?

Home Made Cleaner

**This is a part of my Momma Goes Natural posts**

Hey y’all!

This is my very first post for Momma Goes Natural! This is the first thing I did on my journey to become more healthy and more natural.

I’ve never been a fan of bleach. I know it’s a great cleaner, but smelling it literally makes me nauseated. I’ve always bought cleaners from the store that are full of chemicals, which work just fine, but once I had kids I decided I really didn’t want all those chemicals around my children and even myself anymore. So the first change I made was to make my own home made cleaner.

Thanks to Pinterest, I had seen many different types and recipes for cleaners. I decided to go with the simplest….water and vinegar. Simplest is best for me ;-)

So, all I did was just go to the store, buy plain ol’ vinegar and a spray bottle, and mix it with some water! I did a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar. I got a 30 oz bottle, so I put in 15 oz of vinegar and 15 oz of water. The vinegar was maybe $1.50 or so and I have yet to have to buy any more! Cheapest, best cleaner EVER!

I know that there are other recipes that include blue Dawn soap, or baking powder, or other things, but I find that this works just fine for me without extras. The only thing I don’t use it for it the toilets. (I still use SoftSoap for that.)

Let me know what you think!! :-)

Updates

Hey y’all!!

It’s time for a much delayed update on the world of Erin :-)

It looks like the last time I posted for real was in MAY?!?! Jeez! So let’s catch up!!

Let’s back up a little farther than May, back to when I was preggo with my now 1-year-old (huh? Not sure how that happened so fast!). I had quite the problem with my back, and my sciatic nerve in particular. I did physical therapy with no relief, so I was told I’d just have to wait it out and it would improve once I had the baby.

Fast forward a little bit to November 2013….I started my post-baby fitness journey on 11/18/13. My back had improved a little, but I found that once I started exercising regularly that it helped get me functional at least, even though I wasn’t pain-free.

Now coming back to May 2014….My back pain, including pain and numbness radiating down my leg, had gotten to a point where I wasn’t even really functional anymore. Even working out regularly didn’t help anymore. I could barely walk, it hurt to sit for more than 5 minutes at a time, and I couldn’t bend AT ALL. Add in having a sedentary job, and having to lift and move around the baby (10 months old by that point), I had a recipe for disaster.

I had a couple of options. 1) Go to a Orthopedist, who I knew would most likely recommend PT, injections, surgery, or pain management. I wanted nothing to do with any of these options. 2) Go to a chiropractor. I was really nervous about this because I hear very conflicting opinions on Chiro’s. However, since I wanted so badly to avoid an Ortho, I decided to give it a try. I got recommendations from friends and family members, and actually found a great office that is literally the next building over from where I work.

Long story short, I have been going to Dr. Overcash for almost 3 months now. It was slow going at first, and was very frustrating. It also made me frustrated because he restricted me to nothing but walking. No running…no lifting…no yoga even!! I’ve been walking at least a mile 3-5 times a week since then, just trying to keep up an aerobic base for when I am able to get back to real exercise.

In the last month,however, is when I’ve really been able to start seeing improvement in leaps and bounds!! I can now bend over without pain, I can sit/stand/walk as much as I want to (within reason, and I do have a bad day here and there where I need extra TLC), and I can pick up both of my boys with no problem!! He is literally a miracle worker, LOL :-)

I should have another re-evaluation around the first week of September to see if he can release me back to exercising. He says we’ll start with introducing stretching and gradually build back up from there. I’d be happy to do ANYTHING but walk at this point ;-)

I’ve got a bunch of other updates coming soon too, so stay tuned :-)

What updates do you have? What’s been going on in your life?? I want to hear from you!!!!

29 Things About Me on My 29th Birthday

Hey y’all!

*Side note: longest post name ever right there…lol!*

As if the post name wasn’t obvious enough, today is my TWENTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY! Whaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttt?!?! How have I already reached the last year of my 20’s? I’m not sure if I should feel sad or not. I don’t though…go me! LOL!

In honor of this 29th anniversary of my birth, I thought I’d regale you with an amazing list of 29 things about me! Now, these “things” are in no particular order, and are really quite random…just like me :-P

1. I really really really really hate spiders.

2. I’m allergic to strawberries. Not to the point where I need medical care, but I do break out.

3. I have an innate ability to talk about gross, personal things and not be embarrassed. I’m apparently the go-to person if someone has something going on, cause they know I won’t be all grossed out…haha!

4. I have 2 degrees: BS in Accounting; BSBA in Finance with a concentration in Risk Management and Insurance.

5. My day job is a Disability Case Manager.

6. I really really love numbers. I know, I’m weird :-D

7. I’m obsessed with flip-flops.

8. I love anything and everything pink. (I’m such a girl…haha)

9. I must be too much of a girl, because God has seen fit to put me in a house full of males (hubby and 2 sons).

10. I’m the oldest of 3 kids…I have a brother and a sister.

11. I was in vocal lessons for 6 years. I love singing, and really just music in general. That was actually my first choice for a major in college.

12. I haven’t been to a movie in the theaters in 6 years.

13. I spend way too much money on Kindle/iBooks books….maybe that’s why I haven’t been to the movies? LOL

14. I hate condiments.

15. Phantom of the Opera is my favorite ever. I dream of seeing that on Broadway!

16. My life-long dream trip is to Ireland. I would even consider moving there if given the chance.

17. I still twirl my hair around my finger. I know I know…total valley girl over here.

18. I get comments all the time on my Southern accent….even though I live in the South.

19. I can’t whistle.

20. I don’t tan. I burn and then go right back to Casper.

21. I love chocolate, but I hate chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate milk.

22. Actually, I hate all milk. Yuck! I never drink it.

23. I’m a grammar nazi. I’m so sorry. I just can’t help it. At least it’s mostly just spelling errors that irritate me.

24. I’m not a fan of going shopping. I’d rather shop online than go to a mall any day.

25. Almost all of my workout clothes are pink. Almost all of my work clothes are blue or purple.

26. I have absolutely NO artistic skills. Seriously, I can’t even draw a good smiley face.

27. I usually laugh in really awkward situations…because I don’t know what else to do. Sorry for my awkwardness….it’s not you, it’s me.

28. I have a huge fear of needles.

29. I absolutely love summer! I hate winter, so you will NEVER hear me complain about the heat. :-)

Well there you have it! 29 things about me! (That was pretty darn hard by the way, haha!)

Tell me just ONE thing about you :-)

Friday Fave’s

Hey y’all!!

Happy Baby Friday

Hahahahaha! I love that….and Lordy-have-mercy I’m glad it’s Friday!!!!!

This week is my VERY FIRST: Friday Fave’s post!!! I’m so excited to share my favorite things from this week, so here goes:

1. My new Janji shirt.

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It’s awesome! Why? First of all, each shirt you purchase provides a necessity for someone in a underpriviledged area. For example, this Haiti shirt provided “8 packets of nutritional medicine to a malnourished child in Haiti”. How cool is that?!?! Secondly, it’s a great running shirt. It doesn’t ride up (I HATE that!), it fits great, it wicks very nicely, it didnt’ rub, and it is SUPER soft! :-) Plus, they still have 20% off and free shipping on women’s tee’s until Mother’s Day!

2. My new Keep Calm and Run On tank.

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I mean, how awesome is this?! (I know what you’re thinking – 2 new shirts in 1 week? This chick’s crazy :-P) I don’t know really what specific store I got it from….I ordered it online from Jane. They run a little smaller than I thought they did, so I’m glad I ordered a large. Plus, it’s PINK! You know my obsession with everything pink…LOL! And yes, that canister is doggie pepper spray…we have a problem with folks not keeping their dogs in their own yard…and I got chased by a scary dog one day. So I carry it with me every time I run in my neighborhood now. But serious, awesome new tank :-)

3. This article.

I am definitely guilty of self-bashing. I have been working on changing my inner dialogue and using this positive self-talk method, and it has already made a difference! It has helped me power through a speed work run, and resist temptation (SUGAR!!). Let me know if it works for you!!

4. My new favorite healthy snack.

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I made these for a snack day at work this week. I sliced apples to about 3/16″ thick, smeared a thin layer of PB on them, and sprinkled dark chocolate chips and smashed cinnamon almonds on them. Super yum! And super healthy :-)

5. SRIRACHA!

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I can’t even. I love spicy foods (didn’t always…but now I’m so glad I’ve branched out), and I’ve used salsa, hot sauce and all kinds of stuff to spice up my foods. But now my life has changed. Holy moly, I love Sriracha sauce!!!! It makes everything better!!! :-D Give it a try – but fair warning, you may need a couple of cups of water!

I hope you enjoyed my favorites for this week. If you try any of them, let me know what you think!

What are your favorite things this week?

Updates on Workouts and Eating

Hey y’all!

How has everyone’s week been? Mine has been ridiculous! LOL

We haven’t been sleeping much around our house, the patient has been waking up pretty often each night with sore/dry throat needing water and pain meds. HOWEVER, I’ve been working really hard to stick with my plan to hit my goal of losing 10 pounds by 5/31/14 (when I leave for the beach).

With the lack of sleep and all the extra attention my little man has needed this week, I haven’t had a lot of time to post, so therefore my absence so far. I just wanted to post a quick update of what’s been going on so far this week!

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I’ve gotten back to my workouts after taking a week and a half off. I haven’t been back to the gym, but I have done 2 runs. I took Monday as my first rest day (instead of Wednesday…oops?). Then Tuesday I did a 2 mile run (with walk breaks) in my neighborhood: 23:10 total time; 11:28 min/mile; 82 degrees outside and 34% humidity. Wednesday I did speed work: 1 400 meter and 3 200 meter repeats with walk back to the start and then a half mile or so cooldown jog; max pace 7:24; fastest 200 1:20.05; 1.78 miles and 24:51 total; walking back to the start slowed my pace to 13:58 average. I think next week’s speed work will be all 200 repeats, maybe bump it up to 5 repeats, and jog back to start instead of walk. Why did I go from 400 to 200? Because I’m dumb….haha, no – when I planned my run I was planning to do 400 meter repeats. However, when I got out there, I realized the place I’d planned on running was definitely NOT 400 meters long :-P Silly me! Now for today, I haven’t done my workout yet. I was planning on doing an easy run, but my shins feel a little tight and I am a bit wary of running again so soon and making them really hurt. So I might end up going to the gym and using the elliptical instead….or just going out to run and taking it as I go :-)

My biggest takeaway from my runs so far this week: Allergies are Assholes.

No seriously. I hate them, and they hate me.

Now, as far as my eating plan….it hasn’t quite lived up to my plan, but it hasn’t been all that far off either. I haven’t done my food journaling like I meant to :-( oh well….I’ll start on that next week I guess!

Anyhoo, hope everyone’s week is going as planned :-)

How are you reaching towards your goals this week?

Weekend Recap & Sunday Set-Up

Hey y’all!

What a week it has been! Thanks for hanging in there with me while I took a few days off, and HUGE thanks for all the prayers for little man’s surgery (tonsil and adenoids removal). The doc said his adenoids were some of the largest he’d seen, and extended well up into his nose. But thankfully, it went well and we are home and recovering. It was very hard while we were at the hospital, he was very tearful and it just hurt my heart for him to cry so much and not be able to do anything about it. Nights are still a bit rough, having to wake up every 3 hours and make sure he takes his pain meds even though he cries all the way through it. :-( We probably have a rough few days ahead as the scabs are going to start coming off in his throat soon and that won’t be fun. But we’ll get through it and be just fine. I can already tell a difference in his breathing – he doesn’t snore hardly at all and has no more apnea episodes!

If you missed it, don’t forget to check out my guest post from Friday! Love these tips!

Now on to my Sunday Set-Up!

I always try to set up my week on Sunday, because it’s really my only “down” day to do so. I’m a busy, working mom of 2 boys so there’s not usually a lot of time during the week, and if I wing it I end up eating terrible….every time!

In addition to my normal Sunday Set-Up, today I realized that I have FOUR WEEK TILL THE BEACH. So – I’ve set a new goal, and I laid out some steps to get myself there. It’s a bit of a loft goal, but I think if I stick to my plan then I can totally kill it!

GOAL: Lose 10 pounds!!

Current weight: 156

Goal weight by the end of 4 weeks: 146

Plan:

  • Eat Clean (I’ve had wonderful results with this, and I know it’s the way to go, so I’m going back to it fully committed)
  • Work out 5 days/wk
  • Run 3 days/wk
  • Do elliptical 2 days/wk
  • Strength train 5 days/wk
  • Upper body strength 1 day/wk
  • Lower body strength 1 day/wk
  • Abs 1 day/wk
  • Whole body (or the 1000 calorie workout) 2 days/wk
  • NO counting calories
  • Eat by feel (only eat until satisfied)
  • Keep food journal

So I’m now working on a calendar for my monthly workout plan, and then I’ll do just a weekly for eating plan. Once it’s done, I’ll upload it. I’ll be starting my workouts tomorrow (Sundays are my rest days anyway), and I started eating clean(er) at lunch today, and for real clean tomorrow!

IMG_4008Yum! An awesome grilled chicken salad (and okay….I splurged a little with the pita bread ;-)!)

Have you done your Sunday Set-Up yet? What’s your plan for the week?

Guest Post: 3 Easy Way to Become a Mud Runner

Hey y’all!

In my absence for little man’s surgery, I’ve got a great guest poster for you today!! I connected with Kevin on Twitter and I really love this post! Enjoy, and find more of his work on his site: Mud Runner Headquarters!

3 Easy Way to Become a Mud Runner

Like most of you, I did not wake up one morning and decide to tackle a mud run. Instead, I made a decision to take better care of myself because of where I was in my life. My wife was expecting our first child, I had begun to travel regularly for work, thus eating out a lot, and when I was not traveling, I was normally behind a computer. My energy level was low and I knew I did not want to enter middle age with a beer belly.

So I made a decision to start exercising and get myself on a proper diet. My exercise of choice was (and still is) running. Now time to be 100% truthful: I am not a fan of running. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of finishing a run and that sense of accomplishment that comes with it, but getting that first foot out the door to start a run has always been a struggle for me.

After about 2 months of running in parks, my neighborhood, treadmills, and participating in a couple of 5K’s, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to keep myself motivated enough to continue. I knew wasn’t going to break any records and I wasn’t going to drastically improve my time and become an elite runner so I began to look at other things. Low and behold I didn’t have to look very far!

My friend Scott, who was in town visiting, had just told me he had signed up for Tough Mudder Tampa, a grueling 12 mile obstacle course race. He said I needed to join him! He had already done Warrior Dash and a couple of other mud runs and had had a blast. I didn’t think I had 12 miles, coupled with obstacles, in me. He assured me transitioning from training from 5 and 10K’s to a mud run was pretty simple and straightforward. Mostly he said: focus on strength.

TRANSITION: 3 Easy Ways to Become a Mud Runner

Note: I was not a huge weight lifter when I started and still am not. I do lift a lot more than I did when I started this journey 4 years ago, but I am never going to be 240 pounds of shredded muscle, and I am ok with that. Before you begin strength training, you should immediately set a realistic goal into your head and you will find a lot more success in the gym.

  • Join A Gym (Any Gym):

 

I did not want to invest a lot in weights or other pieces of exercise equipment. Heck, I didn’t know if I would be able keep this up. So I said hello to joining a gym. The gym (which is operated by my company) made me pay 6 months up front, which is a great motivator because you feel more of a need to go (which is key if you are just starting out). I am always leery of big gym chains that only make you sign-up for a month/cancel any time plan. Their commitment to you will make you committed. Another great thing that gym can offer newbies are trainers that can instruct you on how to use the equipment. Don’t be afraid to ask. That is what they are there for!

  • Work Your Core:

 

You should be prepared to use all of your muscles in your body come race day. If you are coming into this as a complete newbie, I suggest focusing on building up your core strength. While it is always fun to have big biceps and pecs (if you’re a guy) or toned legs (if you are a girl), you should focus more on your quads, abs, glutes, back, and shoulder muscle groups. The easiest way to do this is through push-ups, sit-ups, squats, rowing (all gyms have a rowing machine), and pull-ups. Don’t expect to do all of this your first day at the gym. My advice: On your first day see how many you can do of each exercise (your maximum). Write those numbers down, and then rest two days. Come back fresh that third day and start doing 3 sets of 60% of your max, three days of week, and build from there. For example:

Max Push-ups: 25

60% of your Max: 15

Monday-Wednesday-Friday: 3 sets of 15 (Minute and half rest in between).

Once you feel a circuit is getting a little easier, bump each set up by 5 repetitions.

  • Don’t Forget Recovery!

 

No one gives out medals for overdoing it in a gym (at least I don’t think they do). Even if you have been running your whole life, weight training can easily hurt you if you overdo it. When I started specifically training for mud runs, I would have cardio and weight days followed by just cardio days. I would normally do that Monday through Saturday (Sunday I rested completely). That gave me 3 days of both and 3 days of just cardio. On the days I did both, I would back off my cardio (either the distance or time) or just do intervals.

 

So now that you have the 3 basic elements for transitioning from running to mud running, sign-up for a mud run. Do it and put it on your calendar. Like a gym membership, if you fork over the cash, get it on the calendar, and know that you have a finite amount of time until race day, you are more likely to show-up on race day and crush your mud run. Happy running!

More about Kevin:

As an avid runner, Kevin Wood was recently turned on to mud runs and obstacle course racing in the last two years. While still participating in traditional 5K’s, 10K’s, and half marathons, he enjoys mud running because of the teamwork, collaboration, and fellowship that each race promotes. Now if he is presented with an opportunity to get dirty while running, he jumps at it.Kevin currently lives in College Park, GA, with his wife and two children. His hobbies (other than running and fitness) include reading, traveling, and spending time with the family.