If I’m Being Honest…

It’s Wednesday morning and I did not want to get out of bed today.  It seems like it’s getting harder and harder for me to want to get up early. If it weren’t for my 5 year old telling me his tummy was grumbling because he was hungry, I very well could have laid in bed until…

I’m sharing my thoughts today because this is such a crazy time.  We have no idea when this virus will go away, when we can go to the store without fear of picking up germs to bring back to our family.  We have no idea when we can hug and squeeze our friends and family outside of our quarantine circle.

I keep volleying back and forth between, “everything is okay and everything is so not okay.”  I am working hard on my meditations, literally listened to 3 or 4 before I checked any social media today.  I try to allow myself time to process, grieve and allow myself to feel the feelings.  Yes some people have it worse, but it doesn’t make your or my situation any easier.

I keep reminding myself that the kids are happy and healthy.  Joe and I are healthy, and if I’m being honest, he’s always really happy! It’s me who spirals out into monkey mind of, ‘what if’ and ‘what about’?  But that’s always been us.  He’s Mr. Sunshine even on the grayest day, and that’s one of the things I love about him, but he’s him and I’m me and we are different.

So I guess all I’m trying to say is, if you need the good old fashioned shower cry, go ahead and do so.  But please talk to someone, write things down, and give yourself some love.  Read some books, watch some TV, work on a craft or bake if that is your thing.  As humans we need to feel productive, so I always feel best after baking my family cookies or crafting a blog post.  I want to continue to show up, even when I don’t feel like it.  Yup.  I don’t feel like doing a lot these days.  I was killing my at home workouts with Tone it Up routines and then bam–stopped.

I still walked the dogs the last few days, but not showing up and sweating and getting that extra cortisol out really messes with me I think!  I’m making it a goal to sweat daily again. My body, mind and soul needs that extra push right now and it’s so true that we should be taking the very best care of ourselves during this time.

I’m still getting up and writing down 5 things I am grateful for in my Start Today Journal.  I am writing in my journal.  I am working on quieting my mind when the negative chatter comes into play.  It’s an all day every day battle and I will admit Sunday I even had to check out a bit.  I laid in my bed and watched Hulu for a little while.  I just needed a tiny break.  We are not meant to be “on” 24/7 and as moms, wives, friends, daughters, we are fixers and trying so hard to make things right.  I check in with a few close girlfriends and my family through Marco Polo or House Party.  I do think it’s important to stay connected as much as we can!

As for a “Schedule” — nope. We ain’t got one! I love a good routine and groove, but my kids are still little so they’re not sitting in front of computers or iPads for hours on end.  I kinda just let things go where they may.  They have been enjoying a bowl of cereal on the living room floor and watching cartoons together.  It’s the little things. If the weather is nice, which it was yesterday, ZERO worksheets were done. Sorry #notsorry Cuomo.  Instead we all hopped in the truck and spent 5 hours at our land. Walking in nature, looking for items on a Nature Scavenger Hunt.  We saw worms, animal bones, feathers, deer poo, and got real muddy.  I even got a little sunburn on my nose! It was glorious.

I know that I cannot play the “I will be happy when…” card, but I do know that once our weather finally breaks and this 30/40/low 50 degrees crap is gone, we will be living outside! It is supposed to snow this weekend so Joe already promised me a fire.  I can live with that.  I have my Jessica Simpson book I want to finish!

I guess my rambling here is it just let you know, you are not alone.  No matter where you are and who you’re #stayinghome with, just keep going.  If you look for the good, you’ll find the good. If you look for the bad, well you’ll find that too.

1. Plug keep plugging into positive people, my personal faves are, (aside from my husband)

Rachel Hollis

Cambria Joy

How Jen Does it

Gabby Bernstein

Elena Cardone

2. Sweat.  Need ideas?

Tone it Up (You Tube and Free app)

Peleton (going to try)

Beachbody on Demand

 

3.  Laugh.  It really is the best medicine.  Memes galore right now, lighten up and see the humor in the dark.

4.  Eat healthy.  I’m struggling with this one since I am out of fresh fruits and veggies, but try really hard to eat 5 colors a day, throw in some extra frozen vegetables or a smoothie.  I’ve been eating Gluten Free and feeling pretty good! Make efforts and cook from scratch! (No preservatives.). I’ve been following Cara and Christina’s new book ideas.

Wellness Remodel

5.  Show up.  Show up for yourself. Show up for your mom. Show up for your kids, your hubby, your dog. Just keep showing up.  Baby steps like the move What about Bob.  We totally need to watch that this weekend, we just love it! But seriously, DO SOMETHING that makes your soul happy.  We will never get this time back.  The negativity will creep in but you can stop it; we just have to keep showing up. Be the light. Bake the cookies with the kids, play the family board game, make some memories! This will not last forever.
Let me know what is helping you get through the tough moments right now!

Friday Favorites

Happy day 21 in self quarantine! What an emotional roller coaster of feelings.  I feel like we’re getting into a better ‘groove’ with the kids and their online learning, virtual dance classes and structuring the day so we are all a bit more productive.  That said, we’re truly soaking up this time together as we know how precious it is.  (as I’m typing this, I keep glancing over at Joe and the kids who are doing Just Dance 2020.  Bradley beats all of us. All the time!)

I’ve been trying to balance my time otherwise I literally find myself in the kitchen morning, noon and night.  I sent Joe a bunch of smoked meat (and cheese!) ideas for next week, as the weather cooperates and I just can’t slave over the stove any more than I have to! I sincerely don’t understand how people are bored or have watched so many Netflix shows, but we do have a full house and well I’m not one to sit long anyway.

1. Super grateful for friends and family who are so thoughtful during this time! We’ve had some groceries & goodies delivered from my sister and other staples and fun crafts for the kids from one of my best girlfriends…I in return gave her some flour I had extra and some homemade rolls to try.

Sorry you couldn’t come in Bri!! Thank you so much for driving out here.  We love you!

2.  I thought about doing the “Next 90 days challenge” with my faves the Hollises, but then I saw these two are getting ready to launch their book coming out soon and in honor of that, they are holding a two week challenge which I am loving so far!  It’s simple but you need to be mindful:  Daily: Move, Eat 5 colors, Smoothie, Pray/meditate, Give yourself Grace, and water.  I’ve been coloring in hearts on a chart and Brooke saw and wanted to do it too…I thought this was great! What a healthy way to teach her how to care for herself daily, even during a crazy time.  Pre-order a copy here!! 

So of course I’m all eyes for new smoothies to try–this was delish! I follow Cambria on Insta and You Tube.

3.  I got back into my ‘morning routine’ this week.  We don’t ‘need’ to get up early, but I do enjoy a good hour to myself in the morning.  I like to read, journal, write in this Start Today Journaland sometimes even blog.  It’s not easy and I haven’t mastered it, but I did do it a few times, which is a few more times than I did last week!  Once this whole quarantine is over, life will resume. It will be different, but I want to be 110% ready.

4.  Just Dance.  The kids love it so much and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit Joe and I have been dancing along with them!  We may have just unlocked more songs so we can dance even more haha.  If anyone walks by our house during a dance sesh, it’d be pretty funny to watch.  Bradley kicks all of our butts. Repeatedly.— edit– 8:55 pm on Thursday night, I just beat him! LOL

5.  I’m still keeping a sense of humor amongst the heaviness.  You have to. This whole ordeal is surreal and my heart aches for all those who are suffering right now.  However, we must also find love and light in all things and some of these memes are funny.  Current fave:

Linking up with A little Bit of Everything Blog and Becky.

 

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Gluten Free Meal Ideas

So I am a little over 2 weeks into this “Gluten Free” business.  I am not claiming that I know everything, let alone anything hah!  But I do know that I am feeling better and to me, that’s most important! I will preface by saying that I’ve had some odd digestive issues over the last few years, and I’m pretty sure that 4 years ago I did all the “allergy testing” and all that came up was bee pollen.  Fast forward, I’ve done an Endoscopy, and an ultrasound and again, nothing shows up. (Yay! and what the heck?!)

That said, I would say that I eat sort of healthy–and I always know that my body does best with a lot of veggies, greens, lean proteins and some complex carbs.  What I have noticed though was that almost immediately after eating my stomach would hurt, like a burning pain up near my ribs.  I was tired and sluggish, like absolutely no energy.  That’s why I went to my Primary Care Dr. (no help other than offering Anti-Depression meds and off the cuff mentioning maybe try  going Gluten Free) my GI Dr, who tried to help but Prevacid made me feel worse, and my amazing Acupuncturist who is the only one giving me ANY relief. She is focusing in on where my “heat” is and says it has more to do with my hormones than anything…

So while my main goal is to eat whole, real, actual foods, I am such a foodie and I LOVE cooking!  So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been eating that doesn’t seem to bother me (or bother me too much).  So far I have noticed I have lost a few pounds, but I am not even focusing on that because I’m so focused on my GUT health and how to just feel amazing again.

Breakfast Ideas:

Soft boiled Eggs

Spinach

Hashbrowns

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Gluten Free Toast

Coconut spread

Egg Whites

Turkey Bacon

Spinach

 

Oatmeal

With flaxseed or chia seed

Add fruit (blueberries)

*However, I’m noticing if I eat oats in the morning, I feel very bloated  (super– I know, but not cool!) So I’m not sure about the oats…

I tried these pancakes out on Sunday for the kiddos and I.  We LOVED them!

Snacks:

This is the bread I got to use, if I am craving it.  It’s great toasted w/ avocado and this EBTB seasoning.

GF waffles

Almond butter

Strawberries

Chia seeds

My acupuncturist actually said to eat more soy and tofu— I think I’m Progestrone dominant? So I do!

Edamame w/ sea salt and a yummy juice.

I found this Protein at Wegmans and it’s so good you guys! It’s a serious treat. I made it just like the back of the tub says.

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Lunch:

Usually leftovers in a salad or bowl format…

Here I had leftover chicken cubed, rolled in almond flour that I baked the night before. I added asparagus, turkey bacon and some GF Coleslaw salad dressing

Dinner:

I didn’t take a picture, but this was so good!! I love Tiffany Beaston on You Tube; she is GF and even a little dairy free, so this was a great meal everyone like it!!

If I’m making a traditional pasta dish, for example, Linguine with Clam sauce, I just full out make it for Brooke and Joe. It’s great for lunch or dinner leftovers.  Bradley eats butter noodles and I made myself a GF Pasta, cooked up some Tofu and used Braggs Nutritional Yeast, lemon & broccoli. I thought it was great!

The point being, it’s a bit of a 3 ring circus in my kitchen, it does take a little extra time, but I feel great!

Extra Firm Tofu cooked in coconut oil with sea salt is so yummy!!

I did try out the Martha Stewart Baked Scallops recipe. Brooke, Joe and I liked it! I used GF bread crumbs which I actually think are sweeter and taste great. I served over regular and GF pastas.  Bradley would not try it, so he had pasta, veggies and turkey meatloaf (below.)

Giada’s turkey meatloaf is a staple here. I actually didn’t have any feta cheese, so I used Goat and Bradley still ate it! We ate it right up for lunches and dinner.

Another easy sub is rice for pasta, as rice is GF.  Also Rice noodles! I made this Thai Peanut dinner last night and made my own with Brown Rice noodles.  Delish!

February Favorites

It was full of love and that by far is my favorite!  But really, when we come from a place of love, life flows effortlessly.  When we are afraid, or stuck in fear, it can be so much more challenging.

Moving onto some drinks:

I started taking a little magnesium before bed at night for a few reasons.  I heard that it helps with any GERD/digestive issues, also my acupuncturist always tells me to have a little and this helps with sleep.  I just do 1/2 a teaspoon in a little warm water and it fizzes up, then I add cold water and drink.  I think it works!  You can grab Calm off of Amazon.

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I think I finally perfected (for now) my at home Matcha lattés.  I started pouring the Matcha powder, soy milk and stevia sweetener into my milk frother and it is SO much better! I also like to heat up my yeti mug with hot Keurig water so that it keeps my latté warm while I sip it.  It’s not Starbucks, as I am still certain they sprinkle magical unicorn dust in their Matcha Lattés, but it’s better on the wallet and lower in sugar!

I really fell back in love with some delicious green juices.  I swear I was coming down with something Thursday of last week and I just tried to stay away from processed sugars (as much much as I could) and really upped my greens.  My body craves green juice now!  We stopped into this cute Just Juice shop Friday.  My boys had a tropical smoothie which they LOVED and I had a shot of ginger and some green juices.

Clearly I’m on a bevvie kick here, but this Tea is so so good!! It stood out to me at the grocery store because one of my Start Today Journal goals is to be calm and intentional.  I just recently heard about this herb Ashwagandha and it helps with stress and staying calm.  It’s in my current vitamins below as well!

As far as my favorite read of the month, it goes to this one-You Are Not Alone: A Novel It takes a few chapters to get into it because there are so many characters, but it is worth reading until the end!

I get a lot of questions regarding my hair and I do indeed use a Purple shampoo to help keep it a whiter/lighter blond and not more golden yellow.  I find that Joico seems to be the best bang for your buck and produces the best results.  I do get my hair professionally highlighted and it’s naturally a dirty blond, so as always test it out on some of your hair first before you go and do your whole head.  PS do not leave it on for longer than 5-10 minutes or you will get purple hair.

I’m also working hard at amping up the real estate game.  Come September, I’m going to have from 8:30 until 4:00 with no kiddos! Seriously, for the first time in 7.5 years I will have no child to care for most of the days—I am excited and sad all at once, but what an opportunity for our family to really grow and prosper! I am also a tad nervous since there are so many facets to real estate, I feel like I should know everything 100% inside and out but the reality is, I have to just start. Learn. Fail. Get up. Try again. It’s all about not giving in or giving up and just doing my best every day.  So with that, if you or someone else you know is looking to sell a home in the Rochester area, let me know!  Be sure to send them to my Facebook page, Jenn Buys 585.

On the selling side of things, we finished up our Irondequoit house and the kitchen was just so darn cute! Within 6 days we had a buyer.  A lovely family moved in and this home is now filled with lots of love! Definitely a favorite that happened in February.  If you don’t already, be sure to like our page 585 Rent to Own where we love asking our followers for flipping advice!

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We had lots of fun in February, but one of my favorites was taking the kids to see Dino World Live Tour.We had a lot of fun!

I would have to say the other fantastic family moment was when Joe made unexpected reservations at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  The kids got dressed up and we all had a delicious meal!  Mama didn’t have to cook which is always a win in my book!

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And one of my favorite quotes I stumbled upon this month was this:

 

We cannot beat ourselves up for what has happened in our past, the people that have let us down or stay stuck in that negative energy that perhaps made us unhappy.  I keep telling myself that no matter what, if I do my best every day and that I love myself and honor my time, my energy, my life, everything will be okay.

This month has taught me that once again, everything does happen for a reason, and to stop trying to control things that I have zero control over.  God’s Plan is bigger than anything and sometimes you need to give him space, to do his work and he will move mountains.

Looking ahead, I keep picturing how I see Joe and I living our lives in the next few years…

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Aldi’s Grocery Haul

Happy Wednesday!

I decided to record a quick little video of what I just bought at our local Aldi’s.  If you haven’t shopped at one lately, or ever, you are missing out!! I can fill my cart and feed my family (and all of our crazy dietary needs) on a budget.  In today’s haul I spent $127 and I am certain that it would have been close to $300 at our other store.

As I have shared a little, I have been having weird digestive issues and stomach pains on and off for a few months.  Back in 2016 I felt very similar to this, had the same procedures done and somehow through diet, exercise and luck? I overcame my issues and haven’t really had any problems until this past October after our trip to NOLA.

Granted, I am now 38 and in a separate blog post I’ll go into more about this, but I am considered “Perimenopausal.” I know.

So, long story short, since my Endoscopy was totally fine (some stomach irritation)—Prevacid made me worse, and then my recent Ultrasound shows NO issues whatsoever, I feel as though I’m left to my own devices to figure out how to properly fuel my body and feel better.

Hence, about a week ago I’ve been trying to go Gluten and Dairy Free.  Now, I am not allergic to Gluten nor to I have an intolerance to dairy, but the pains and gas pressure in my stomach along with feeling bloated, tired, irritable and just miserable for a bit have caused me to say enough is enough!  In this haul I share some Gluten Free finds and also some great deals on things like Cage Free Organic Eggs.

My husband has Crohn’s and obviously my kids are little, so dinners are a bit of a 3 ring circus but I’m determined to help all of us live our best lives.

Do you have an Aldi favorite? I am obsessed with some of their GF chips and crackers dipped with hummus.  I’m not a huge sweets person, but I got some to try! I’ll report back later.

Enjoy!

 

PS

In the video I mention Tiffany Beaston–here is a link for her You Tube video and the “Marry Me Chicken”.  I just love her channel!