Eat to Live – Week 2

We made it through Week 2! And we are still alive! 

Day 8

I felt somewhat hungry most of the day, but I realize that I didn’t eat enough. Other than that, I felt fine. I really could have had a meltdown when my bean burgers turned to mush in the skillet. I had to walk away, and Wendy told me it would be fine. I ended up using the bean mush for burritos instead. Wheat tortillas, bean mush, rice, salsa, lettuce, and the rest of that bland avocado dressing. They weren’t bad. 

Breakfast: banana and almond butter. Snack: grapes. Lunch: salad with honey mustard. Dinner: burritos with a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. 

  
Day 9

Another good day even though I felt a little hungry all day. My salad spinner came in! I was able to cut and wash all my lettuce and bag it all up. This should make life so much easier. 

Breakfast: banana and almond butter, grapefruit. Lunch: salad with honey mustard, grapes. Dinner: green peas, quinoa, small salad with orange vinaigrette. Dessert: smoothie. 

  
Day 10

Today I had an all-day seminar in Metairie. I was the only person who packed a lunch and, despite the peer pressure, stayed in the conference room and ate by myself. It was peaceful and I enjoyed it. Huge plus: I was alert and able to pay attention ALL day! 

I had some of the spaghetti sauce leftover from meltdown day last week, so I doctored it up with some bell pepper sautéed in broth and a bunch of spices. Much better. 

Breakfast: Apple, banana with almond butter. Lunch: salad with orange vinaigrette, tangelo. Dinner: leftover peas, macaroni and spaghetti sauce. Dessert: smoothie. 

  
Day 11

Another great day! My emotions seem to be stabilizing. The soup I made was fabulous because of the sodium in the broth. We gobbled it up. 

Breakfast: grapefruit, banana and almond butter. Lunch: salad with vinaigrette, grapes. Dinner: onion and mushroom soup in “no beef” broth with buckwheat noodles. 

  
Day 12

Another good day until I was craving EVERYTHING while browsing Pinterest. I want King cake. ALL the King cake EVERYTHING. And we bought a Rainbow today! What a wonderful machine. More on that in another post. 

Breakfast: grapefruit, banana with almond butter. Lunch: salad with honey mustard, grapes. Dinner: leftover soup. Dessert: Apple with peanut butter. 

Day 13

We’re both getting extremely bored and antsy. In hopes of avoiding a full on crash and burn, we’re going to give ourselves some wiggle room for suppers starting Monday. 

Breakfast: peanut butter and mashed banana on whole grain toast. Lunch: leftover burrito fixings with added sautéed onion and yellow squash. Snack: red pomelo (delicious!). Dinner: green lentil macaroni with vegan “cheese” sauce

Day 14

Officially two weeks! We’re both pretty fed up with this and ready for some more normal tasting (not bland as hell) food. To avoid full-blown relapse, we’re going to start eating 90% nutritarian. My grocery cart today still looked fabulous. Our “cheats” we purchased are pita chips and hummus and T. Marzetti ranch dressing. Crazy! And I’m going to use a limited amount of salt to season our dinners so we can really enjoy them. 

Breakfast: toast with banana and peanut butter. Lunch. Leftover soup. Snack: Apple with peanut butter. Dinner: white beans from Maw Maw. 

Week 2 Overview

Weight: still hovering at 126/127. Wendy didn’t lose anymore weight either. I’m happy about this because we weren’t looking to lose all kind of weight. My stomach is smaller and closer to how I want it to look. Veggies alone won’t give me abs. 😦 

Positive Feelings:

  • My body and mind feel spectacular!
  • My digestive system is on point. 
  • I don’t feel fat or bloated. 
  • I still have more energy and am more alert. 
  • Still sleeping well. 
  • Looking forward to our cheats, but I’m surprised that I’m looking forward to just salting my food more than eating anything sweet. I’m still not going to eat any junk food until Mardi Gras, when I plan to eat all things King cake. 

Negative Feelings:

  • None really. Just hoping we can keep kicking ass and not fall into any old bad habits. 

This diet style has been intense and emotional. I would definitely recommend reading Eat for Health and following the slower transition to eating a nutritarian diet. I had already made the changes in the book over the last few years, so it wasn’t AS difficult to go all out. 

If you want to try this out or have any questions, I’d love to offer support! It’s definitely been an exercise in restraint that I think will result in lasting changes and I want to share the knowledge. 

Advertisements

Eat to Live – Week 1

It’s been a LONG week, but worth it in the end. If you’re not interested in the details, scroll down for the Week 1 Overview. 

Day 1

I felt quite a bit of “toxic hunger” pain today, but was able to ignore it because I had meetings all day so I had something to focus on. Dr. Fuhrman says that the salad should be huge, so that’s what I did. Couldn’t finish it. I was feeling very gassy all day, as expected. The best part was after lunch, when everyone else was falling asleep, I was alert and able to pay attention! I was having some serious cravings on the way home so I ate an apple. 

Breakfast: banana and grapes. Lunch: salad with blueberry ginger dressing, fruit salad with almond butter. Snack: Apple. Dinner: salad with roasted red pepper dressing, cabbage and lentils in a tomato base. Dessert: fruit smoothie. 

My gigantic lunch salad  

  

Cabbage and lentils with tomato base  
Day 2

I had toxic hunger pains ALL day and wasn’t the happiest person. Thinking about vegan cheeses. Lol

Breakfast: banana with almond butter, grapes. Lunch: salad with blueberry ginger dressing, fruit salad. Snack: Apple. Dinner: black eyed peas, asparagus, salad with honey mustard dressing. 

What lunch looks like  

Black eyed peas with asparagus sautéed in “no chicken broth.” Can’t sauté in oil! I’ve also been sneaking mushrooms into all of my cooked foods. Dr. Fuhrman is all about mushrooms, but I don’t care for them.   
Day 3

I felt SO much better today. No toxic hunger pains and no cravings. I slept well the night before, had energy, and was in a great mood. My body (read: bowels) is ridding itself of everything. Thank you, fiber! Also, people need to stop posting about king cakes on Facebook. 

Breakfast: banana with almond butter, orange. Lunch: salad with honey mustard, leftover cabbage and lentils, fruit salad. Snack: None! Dinner: salad with honey mustard, veggie chili with greens and homemade tortilla chips. Dessert: fruit smoothie. 

It helps when your dressing looks cute  
Veggie chili with mixed greens in it and homemade tortilla chips. I just cut a wheat tortilla and toasted it in the toaster oven until they started to brown slightly. They were still a little chewy, but I really liked that about them.   
Day 4

Today was okay until supper. It really takes a long time to prep and make a salad. I need to plan better next week so it’s not so time consuming. The salads are tasting bland, Wendy doesn’t like the honey mustard, and I started feeling defeated. We went to the store and bought some Walden Farms “everything free” dressings. Trying them for lunch tomorrow. 

Breakfast: banana with almond butter, grapes. Lunch: salad with honey mustard, leftover black eyed peas. Dinner: salad, leftover cabbage, avocado. Dessert: smoothie. 

Smoothies are the best! Frozen mixed fruit, a splash of vanilla extract, and enough coconut/almond milk to get it to blend.   

Day 5

Today was HARD. Nothing tasted good and I was so tired of eating the same foods. When I got home I tried making a whole food “cheese” recipe, the blender stopped working, bought a new blender and new knife, got home with the new blender to find the old one still working, the “cheese” was nasty, the new dressing I tried to make was nasty, then I cut my finger with the new knife. I was DONE. I cried for probably two hours. I couldn’t even eat supper. Thankfully, my fiancé is an ANGEL and cleaned up the kitchen and made us smoothies instead. And she was very encouraging the entire time. She’s the best and the reason I didn’t just give up. The good thing about today was my discovery of Tolerant pasta. Click that link and have your mind blown. Pasta made from a single ingredient: non-GMO green lentils. And it tastes like regular pasta! Score! If only that “cheese” sauce had worked. 

Breakfast: banana with almond butter, apple. Lunch: salad with Walden Farms Asian Ginger dressing (had to add vinegar) and leftover chili (didn’t finish). Dinner: salad with Walden Farms chipotle ranch dressing (and vinegar), green lentil macaroni with canned “all natural” spaghetti sauce (ate a few bites). Dinner #2/Dessert: smoothie. 

I’m not a fan of the Walden Farms dressings. They taste like fake sugar to me. 

Day 6

I was in much better spirits. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, which I’ve never liked. It wasn’t too bad, but it was pretty bland. The bites with banana and apple were tolerable, but the bowl held us up until 2:30, so that’s a win in my book. I went shopping for next week’s meals and spent less money, so that was nice. I was excited to make a new dressing for our lunch salad, which had a Mexican theme. Unfortunately, it was all still so bland. It was partially saved with some red wine vinegar, but I really had a hard time swallowing it. That’s when I decided that if I’m going to eat this much salad, I need to allow myself to have a decent dressing. I made some more honey mustard dressing and a basic vinaigrette. I also allowed myself to have coffee on weekends. I put very little (less than a teaspoon) unrefined sugar and a splash of Coffeemate Naturals creamer. It’s not the way I like it, but it was still so good because I’ve been so taste-deprived. 

Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter, banana, Apple, pecans, and cinnamon. Late Lunch: Mexican themed salad with avocado dressing. Dinner/Dessert: smoothie. 

Oatmeal covered in fruit and pecans, but I wasn’t a fan of the pecans in it.   

My salad with a Mexican theme  

Day 7

Today was a pretty good day. No meltdowns! I’m feeling pretty good overall. My lunch salad prep for tomorrow went much faster with everything already chopped up. Once my salad spinner arrives on Tuesday–watch out! I plan on chopping and washing and bagging all the romaine hearts. They’re cheaper than bagged lettuce and I add some baby spinach with it. 

Breakfast: oatmeal with a spoon of peanut butter, apples, and bananas. Snack: (skipped lunch) grapes. Dinner: eggplant curry over lentil macaroni (I snuck some greens and mushrooms in the curry- tasted okay, but still bland). Dessert: smoothie. 
Week 1 Overview

Weight: 126. Down 5 pounds! Wendy lost 10! 

Total Spent on Groceries: $205 The first trip is the worst! Plus I had to make a second trip for more lettuce! 

Positive Feelings:

  • I’m much more alert and my body doesn’t feel heavy, so I don’t constantly feel like I want to lie down. 
  • My digestive system is working great! 😉 
  • I sleep so much more soundly. I fall right back to sleep if I wake up to pee and I dream a lot. 
  • I feel like I’m making progress. 
  • It’s super fun being the weirdo at the grocery store with the reusable shopping bags and buggy FULL of vegetables and fruits. 

Negative Feelings:

  • Its really hard to not add salt/sugar to foods and I’m hoping things won’t taste bland forever. 
  • Not getting dopamine stimulation from toxic foods sucks!

Pro Tips:

  • Dijon mustard and vinegar are your salad BFFs. You can try to make that fancy dressing, but it probably won’t be satisfying. 
  • If you try the 6-week plan, do it with a buddy. Someone you know will encourage you to not give up. 
  • Salad prep for the week! Wash and cut EVERYTHING and keep it in veggie saver type containers (they allow for air flow). This will save you so much time. 

Honey Mustard Dressing

(I don’t measure…)

Blend Dijon mustard (probably 1/2 cup), two small sweet apples cut into chunks, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, and water (start small, 2 tablespoons and add as needed to thin out) in a food processor or blender. This should make enough for half a small mason jar (4-5 salads). 

Basic Vinaigrette

(Again with not measuring…)

One part oil (I had olive on hand), three parts vinegar (I used pomegranate and red wine vinegars together), about a teaspoon of lemon juice, a dash or two garlic powder, a few cracks of the pepper grinder, and a level teaspoon of unrefined sugar. I put the ingredients in a cleaned out olive jar and keep it on the counter. Just shake well before use. 

Eat to Live – Day -1

The cabinet has been cleaned out of toxic foods. The freezer has only fruits and veggies. The fridge has a few remaining dishes that we have to either eat or toss by the end of today. Tomorrow is Day 1 of eating to live, eating for health. 

I can notice a major difference in my body since stopping the vegan diet. My digestive system and bowels are backed up, the weight I lost is back, and I have zero energy. It really feels like my body just isn’t working like it should. Sadly, this is what NORMAL felt like before I had ever eaten vegan. I’m eager to get my body regulated again in an even bigger and better way. 

I stumbled up Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. It was exactly the motivation I needed to kick my butt into gear. It was such an easy and captivating read that I finished it in one day. The book is filled with research-based information about diet and nutrition that is mind-blowing and completely shatters everything you thought you knew about eating healthily. Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendation is a micronutrient rich diet style that he termed “nutritarian.” There is no counting calories or points or portion control. The focus is on what you need to eat to have a healthy body and the psychologist in me loves that. Always focus on the positive! The Nutritarian goal is to eat one pound of raw vegetables and one pound of cooked vegetables DAILY. Additionally, you can eat unlimited quantities (without overeating) of beans/legumes and fresh fruits. Unlimited. No need to worry about feeling hungry! The point is to feed your body the nutrients it needs, which the standard American diet does not provide. 

The six-week plan is used to break food addiction and jump start this new way of eating. After the six weeks, Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating 90% micronutrient rich foods. I think that’s doable. 

Six-week Plan

UNLIMITED

  • Raw veggies (goal 1 lb daily)
  • Cooked non-starchy veggies with a heavy focus on greens (goal 1 lb daily)
  • Beans/legumes/tofu (goal 1 cup daily)
  • Fresh fruits (at least 4 daily)

LIMITED

  • Cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains (1 cup max)
  • Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz max)
  • Avocado (2 oz max)
  • Dried fruit (2 tbs max)
  • Ground flaxseeds (1 tbs max)

OFF-LIMITS

  • Dairy
  • Animal products
  • Between-meal snacks
  • Fruit juice
  • Oils

I’m excited! Wendy said she’ll try it with me, so we’re going hard core nutritarian until Mardi Gras. Hopefully by then our bodies will be detoxified and we’ll WANT to continue eating for health. I’ll post weekly updates of our progress. For more information, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s website

Day -1

Weight: 131

Positive feelings: 

  • Very excited to start feeling better
  • Hopeful that this will be a lifelong change

Negative feelings:

  • Constant toxic hunger pain 
  • Backed up and unhappy digestive system
  • Low energy level
  • I’m really going to miss ice cream and sugar (but these toxic cravings will supposedly subside)
  • I’m scared that the detox/withdrawal process will be a raging bitch

A Happy Anniversary Tiny House Encounter!

It’s been one whole year since my first blog post and I almost missed it! It really hasn’t felt like a year. It’s a good thing I just happened to look at my blog stats the other day. 

Since I’ve already written this week about how my goals have changed this year, today, as promised, I bring you a Tiny House Encounter. 

In late June, Wendy, Zuri, Bear, and I took a little road trip to Nashville for a three-night stay in the Music City Tiny House! The real deal! Let’s get straight to the pictures.

 Picture from Music City Tiny House website 

  
Don’t we look cute in a tiny house? The space was comfortable and really didn’t feel cramped. We kept our suitcases behind the ladder which wasn’t ideal, but if you live in a space, all of your belongings will have their place. 

  
The way their sofa is made is not sturdy, especially after continued use. The mechanism holding up the fold-up section was coming unscrewed and felt very unstable. We just used that end to rest our legs on and tried not to put much weight on it. When the folding part was down, the seat wasn’t very deep and wasn’t the most comfortable. We will definitely make sure our sofa is deep enough and our slide out section is sturdy. 

   
 The kitchen is a dream! It’s incredibly spacious and doesn’t feel the least bit tiny at all. The sink is huge and the full-size appliances are ideal. I would love to have this size kitchen in our tiny, but the drawback is a tiny bathroom and living space, which I am not willing to compromise on. So we will likely have a galley kitchen (which is still a great setup) in order to have a more comfortable lounge space and bathroom. 

 Picture from Music City Tiny House website  

 Picture from Music City Tiny House website

  
I must have deleted my picture of the bathroom, so I’m borrowing from their website and using my own pic of the toilet. The bathroom was small, but functional. The shower wasn’t cramped, but it was hard to change clothes or use the hair dryer with the door closed. Also, the door wouldn’t close all the way, so we’ll have to be careful of the type of door we use. The tiny sink size was fine for bathroom use. The water heater was quite fussy and made showering a game. I’ll have to make sure I read plenty of reviews before deciding on which water heater to use! 

This toilet was from outer space! The pros: It doesn’t use water and requires minimal electricity or battery power to function. It’s pretty easy to use and feels like a normal toilet. There’s about as much smell as a typical toilet. The cons: After each use, the cartridge sucks up and covers your waste, so you are using up a cartridge with every flush. Cartridges cost money and are still producing waste instead of compost. The cartridge would have to be changed every few days with full-time use. 

If you want to see a video of this toilet in action, click here.

  
The stairs are certainly easier to use than a ladder, hands down. These stairs, however, were not deep and you have to step sideways or on your tippy toes. They also go all the way up, so you have to crouch down when you get to the top. It was a bit scary at the top because you can see down to the kitchen. The dogs were terrified of these stairs! I had to carry Zuri up and Bear just stayed downstairs to sleep. I have seen tiny stairs constructed in different ways, and I have an idea of how I want mine to be. 

  
The loft bed and pillows were very comfortable! Not much space up there, though, and I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to make the bed! I could barely sit up straight, so there was no way I would fit well by the foot end. This type of loft is not ideal. The lofts with dormers have much more room and will be what we have in our tiny. 

  
Bear and Zuri made a friend! 

Overall, we had a great experience. Our hosts and tiny house owners, John and Sarah, were very welcoming and friendly. The city of Nashville is clean and easy to navigate and I wish we had more time to get out and explore! We learned a lot about what wouldn’t work for us, but also realized that existing in such a small space is totally possible. I think what makes tiny house living doable for many people is the customization. As long as we are conscious of our needs, we should be able to live tiny and prosper! 

Ever-changing goals

My last post (164 days ago!) was about losing steam. Having six weeks of summer vacation is a blessing and a curse. It’s lovely to be able to relax, but without being forced to have a schedule, I’m useless! I had not picked up steam like I planned and felt like I had nothing interesting or useful to write about. Now that I’ve been back at work my mind is in finally in the right place. 
One noteworthy event took place on May 16: I got engaged! Squeee! 

  

Of course, this changes my life goals slightly. Maybe more than slightly. I still absolutely plan to live tiny and Wendy knows that marrying me means living tiny. She’s incredibly supportive of all my crazy ideas and is willing to try almost anything, including eating weird vegan meals and paring down her belongings. I’m still trying to sell her on a composting toilet. 😉 
This also means that I have to make compromises as well. My tiny house living goal has extended from two years to five years. I still contribute to the tiny house fund every month, but the rest of my savings is now going to the wedding fund. After 11/21/16, my savings will once again focus on the tiny house fund. 
My tiny house layout is constantly changing and I’m sure will eventually look completely different from when I first started dreaming. Wendy is leery about only having a bed in the loft for when we get old and unable to walk up stairs, which seems silly to me, but is certainly a possible reality. So I’ve been brainstorming ways for the sofa to easily become a bed for the later years. 
We will also have a backup plan in case we are just not able to function happily in the tiny house. Since Wendy already has a “big” house, we can rent it out while living tiny and move back into it if necessary. Having a rent house also means more income during retirement! Bonus! 
The future is looking brighter than ever and I’m a very lucky girl to have found a partner who is adventurous and open-minded. 
Up next: another note-worthy event- we stayed in a tiny house! 

Life’s Speed Bumps

Starting this journey was absolutely the easy part. I never thought twice about changing my focus to living a tiny life and I still think it was the best decision for me. But what happens when you start to lose steam? 

I kicked butt for the first six months by paying off my credit card, getting my tiny house fund rolling, downsizing my belongings, eating healthy, and searching for biodegradable products. At some point, I was feeling pretty proud of myself and started to relax a bit. I was spending a little more money than I should have and started eating a little too much junk. Whoops! 

At this point, I could easily become lazy (read: lazier than usual) and lose my focus. I could essentially become comfortable with my relaxed attitude and lose sight of my long term goal. This is typically what happens in my life. I get ahead, get comfortable, then get behind again. This time, I refuse! I feel myself getting comfortable, so I’m going to do something about it. 

I’m not mad about losing some steam, because I recognize that life naturally ebbs and flows. My first step to regaining my focus is to write about it here and own it. My next step is to identify my weaknesses (using the debit card instead of cash, for one) and make necessary changes. Then I’m going to get back to reading other inspirational blogs that gave me my motivation in the first place. I’m also going to find an exercise challenge. I know I have more energy when I have an exercise routine, but I’ve just been lazy. There’s really no good excuse, just laziness! I’m not easily self-motivated to exercise, obviously, so if I have a challenge to complete, I know I’ll have a better chance of getting off my booty. 

Do you have a method for getting back on track after slipping up? Please share!

The Good Stuff: Lunette and more LUSH

I am obviously obsessed with all things LUSH. I’ve already switched to their makeup, I’m about to review the deodorant, and I’m itching to go back for the shampoo and conditioner bars. When you find a brand of natural, biodegradable products you should go all out, right? That’s my plan! 

A few weeks ago I started using their T’eo deodorant bar. It smells lovely because of the juniper berry, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. Some of the reviews online claim that it falls apart and is very messy, but I haven’t experienced that. I mean, I don’t throw it against a wall. The bar is a bit rough and you have to be gentle rubbing it on. I enjoy the scent and the fact that it’s natural, but it’s no better or worse than typical deodorant. It isn’t an antiperspirant, so I dust baby powder on my pits also. Feels great and wipes off of clothes easily. I do tend to feel sticky later in the day, but that’s nothing new. Even the clinical strength deodorants didn’t stop that from happening. I’d like to try their powder deodorants next. This bar seems like it will last forever, so it’ll be a while!

Next, the Lunette Cup. WARNING: this is a feminine product and I’m going full TMI here, so if you don’t want to read all about a woman’s cycle, click away now! Also, if you no longer have a cycle, must be nice. You can leave. 😛

This product is LIFE CHANGING!

I’m not exaggerating. 

The Lunette Menstrual Cup is used in place of tampons. *see picture below* I stumbled upon this gem online. I don’t even remember how it came up, but I’m so glad it did. I was insanely skeptical. How the heck is that going to fit in there?! The review that I read mentioned that her cramps were lessened, and that right there is what sold me, because I have debilitating cramps. My cramps would last a good 12 hours or more and only a practical overdose of Pamprin helped. After some more online research of several different brands, I chose to go with Lunette. 

I chose Lunette over other brands such as the Diva Cup because it is not as firm and the shape is a bit different. There are comparison reviews online, and many favored the Lunette. Some bloggers have had to try different brands before finding the perfect fit (natural childbirth changes things I hear), but I seem to have gotten lucky on the first try. 

As nasty as it sounds to have to use your fingers to put the cup in, it’s really no worse than messing with tampons or pads. It was actually cleaner than I expected. Putting it into position was super easy, and once it was in, I couldn’t feel a thing. I really wanted to wait to review this after a couple of uses, but my first cycle was such a terrific experience that I can’t shut up about it! I happened to wake up at 1:00 a.m. feeling crampy, so I put it in (for the first time half asleep, it was that easy) and popped three Aleve, which is much less than I would normally take, but I was feeling optimistic. I fell asleep in 15 minutes and woke up feeling like a normal person. 

The next day was my heavy day and emptying the cup during the day was a breeze. Also, I still felt like a normal person!!! Zero cramps, very mild lower back pain, and no “heavy” feeling. I also wasn’t tired and groggy from having to overdose on Pamprin. I typically feel like crap for at least two days, refusing to cook or do anything productive. This time, it was like I wasn’t even on my period! I had energy, I felt great, and even had moments where I forgot I was on my period. Also, I swear this one didn’t last as long as usual. 

What’s great about the Lunette Cup is that it doesn’t go as far in as a tampon and doesn’t expand, which I’m thinking is why I didn’t hurt and feel heavy. Also, it doesn’t dry you out so you can wear it with even the lightest flow. I read that some ladies cut the stem, and I ended up cutting mine completely off. I had no problems with leakage of any kind, and it holds back a lot. I never realized how much blood and gore was actually involved. There’s also no bad smell. You all know what I’m talking about. Because the blood stays inside and doesn’t hit the air and bacteria until you dump it out, there’s no nasty smells. I truly felt cleaner the whole time. You can rinse it when you empty it, which I was able to do throughout, but in a public stall you could wipe it off with toilet paper. I plan to get some individually wrapped wipes for those occasions. You can also clean it with a good soap or boil it for a few minutes to disinfect. 

Doesn’t sound like it could get any better, does it? Well, it does! There’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome because it’s made of medical grade silicone. And there are other brands made of other materials if there’s an allergy risk. It’s reusable! For a $30 investment, you don’t have to spend another dime on tampons, which would cost me $10 a month. The environment will thank you! Less waste is always a good thing. Also, you don’t have to worry about nasty things in your bathroom garbage. If you keep it in your purse, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have tampons or whether or not you will run out of tampons. And you can keep it in your purse because it comes in a nice little silky drawstring bag. It also comes in a few different colors; I chose blue. 😄 

I hope no one was scared away, I really hope I opened a few minds, and I would be ecstatic if someone decided to give a menstrual cup a try! Please let me know if you do! I have no qualms discussing period troubles, or successes, obviously. Ha. 


Behold, the answer to all of my period troubles!



Dreaming Big: Z Huis and My Current Plans

The stroll to simplicity is not always exciting. I haven’t done anything recently that seems worthy of an entire blog post. I’m trying out a couple of new environmentally friendly products that I’ll review after about a month of use, but other than that, it has just been life as usual. Oh, and it’s tax refund time! I saw a very nice boost to the tiny house fund. It’s the beginning of March and already the total is at $4,400. *happy dance* 

Today I figured I’d do some more dreaming, since that’s what I like to do when I’m bored. I’ve been staying home and dreaming quite a bit lately since it’s free! It feels like every time I leave the house I end up spending money, so my solution is to just stay home. 

If anyone here watches Tiny House Nation, then this tiny house, Z Huis, may already be familiar. 





What I love about this tiny house is the general layout and length. I like the way the bathroom is at one end with the galley style kitchen in the middle and a lounge area at the other end. The door on the side gives much more space for the lounge area. The colors and decorating elements are fabulous and bright. I love bright (or white!) colors in tiny houses because it opens them up so much more. I’ve seen other tiny houses of this same size that appear to be cramped because of dark wood colors. 

I’ve drawn out my tiny house layout idea on graph paper. It’s not the clearest picture, but the top drawing is the loft level, and the bottom picture is the floor level. Each square is one foot. 



Customization of tiny houses is what makes them so livable. You can decide what is most important to you and design your house to suit your specific needs and wants. Many tiny houses have a shower stall to save space, but I mostly take baths (out of sheer laziness, no lie). Making room for a standard size bathtub is a must for me. Also, I want my clothes closet, and possibly a washer/dryer combo, in the bathroom. It makes more sense to me since you take off and put on clothes in the bathroom. Also, I want to have a bit of wiggle room when wiggling out of my clothes to take a bath, so having the closet as part of the bathroom allows for more standing room. 

In the kitchen, a full size oven range is important since I love to cook. I’d also like to see if a table could be built into the counter. It would just kind of slide in between the cabinets and counter. Big ideas! Stairs are a must for the dogs (and people) to get up to the loft. Under the sofa would be a custom storage ottoman that pulls out to add leg room to the sofa (cue more laziness). 

My ideas and plans change as I see more tiny houses and evaluate my daily routines. Jenna (Tiny House Giant Journey) said that they love their tiny porch and actually wish they had made it bigger. That prompted me to plan for a small porch to, at the very least, help out when it rains. Adding the porch also gives that end of the sofa a cozy nook feel. Can you imagine how relaxing it would be to read a book right there surrounded by windows? I can’t wait!

Tiny House Encounter: Tiny House Giant Journey

I experienced my very first tiny house in person! Ahhhh!!!!

Guillaume and Jenna at Tiny House Giant Journey have made their way around the Eastern United States and landed in New Orleans at the perfect time: Mardi Gras! Today was the perfect day for a tiny open house because I’m on vacation, though I was prepared to use my one personal day for the event.

Wendy and I drove out to the New Orleans East Kampground in Slidell hoping to beat the coming rain storm. When we arrived there was a lady who greeted us with a French accent asking if we were okay with being filmed. Well, sure. Not to worry, she assured us, because it was only going to air in France. So close to being famous!

There were two other couples checking out the house at the same time, and eight of us plus a camera man easily fit inside. Pictures tend to make tiny houses look larger, but the space was really comfortable. I was able to sit in the loft with no problems, thanks to the dormers. I think dormers are definitely the way to go over a shed style roof. Their bathroom was reminiscent of Nannie’s camper bathroom, which is something I would do differently. I love taking baths, so a full-size tub is a must. What I love about a tiny house is that it’s easily customizable.

Now for the fun part: pictures!

IMG_0089

IMG_0087

IMG_0107

IMG_0091

IMG_0104

IMG_0108

I’m Over This Breakup!

I think it’s time to say goodbye to this sugar detox. Sugar and I are officially back together. I wouldn’t say we were marriage material, but we’re dating.

While I’m sure the health benefits of kicking the sugar habit are reason enough to push through, they’re just not enough to keep me motivated. I don’t *feel* any healthier. I’m not buzzing around with energy and my skin isn’t clear and glowing. My waist may be a bit slimmer, but I didn’t actually lose pounds and that could also be attributed to the plant based whole foods. The most convincing reason to rekindle the romance is that it makes me happy. My psychological health is important and it needs sugar.

I’m not going to jump off the deep end and eat cake everyday, and I will make every effort to eat “clean” sweets. Everything in moderation, right? I’m still very proud of myself for sticking with the detox for 23 days.

In other news, Tiny House Giant Journey will be hosting an open house in Slidell on Monday!! Jenna and Guillaume built their tiny house and have taken it on an epic journey across the U.S. and some of Canada. This will be my first time seeing a tiny house in person. I am BEYOND excited!

Also, today I booked a few nights in the Music City Tiny House this summer in Nashville! Wendy, the pups, and I get to stay in a tiny house. In Nashville. I can’t even comprehend it yet!

Lastly, I’m still on target toward my tiny house goal. $1900 in the tiny house fund and it’s not even the end of February!

IMG_0080