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Check out that Green thumb

Recently, we’ve begun gardening.  When I say “we” I really mean Brian.  He has done everything from researching, ordering supplies, setting everything up, and ensuring that our plants are a success.  I on the other hand like to check them out regularly to see how much they’ve grown and occasionally watering them.  We planted our first seeds about a month and a half ago and are extremely excited with how things are going.  I’m no expert on the topic and won’t pretend that I am so I’m going to leave the gardening posts to Brian beginning with the one below.  I promise pictures of the garden will be posted soon.  Enjoy!

 

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow –Audrey Hepburn

I’m not the type of dude to go throwing Audrey Hepburn quotes into the wind.  I’m more of a Sun Tzu kind of guy, but in this case it fits.  Lately it seems like the things I gave the most effort to in my life didn’t pan out.  So now I’ve tried to focus on the things with the most tangible results.  Among other things, gardening seems to be something where there is definitely a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so to speak.  Also, the benefits of hard work can actually be seen at home, which I think will be one of the more important lessons I need to teach my daughter.  Along with an awesome addition to my path towards a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t much not to like. 

I approached my first attempt at gardening like I do most every other hobby I attempt; with way too much speculation and research.  I digested probably every article and study on how to make things grow I could find.  I probably got the creepy IT guy at work that checks out what everyone searches for to say “What the fuck?” with hours spent researching how to get the most yield out of a tomato plant.  This was before even the first dollar was spent.  I quickly found out that most gardeners can be placed at either extreme of the science spectrum and therefore couldn’t offer much sound advice to a person trying it out for the first time.  Either it was some “new agey” hokey stuff that couldn’t be proven, or some very very dense research on soil pH in organic matter.  I learned that it’s probably easier than you ever thought it was.  Try and prove me wrong by putting a seed in some soil.  There are some finer points and some scientific stuff that can be tweaked to get more yield, but overall it’s a simple process.  Seed + Decent Soil + Water + Light = Plant.  Realistically marijuana farmers taught me more about how plants work and how to keep them healthy than most gardeners.  For some reason they are a bit more obsessive over every little detail and are more thorough in descriptions of their successes.  So I modeled my vegetable garden after a pretty simple weed grow, and it hasn’t failed me yet…..actually just the opposite.  (and no I am not growing weed on the side)

I have a mylar tent in my basement with a 400w MH/HPS ballast and light complete with inline fan (with a speed controller) and ducting.  Inside I have a humidity and temperature meter and a carbon filter which help me keep the environment just right for everything I’ve got going on.  I use Fox Farms brand everything, from potting soil down to nutrients.  I decided on a good mix of tomatoes (several varieties), cucumbers, and bell peppers to start with.  I started by planting around 26 seeds, not really expecting them all to sprout.  All but one of the plugs in the tray sprouted, and I’m pretty sure the one that didn’t was planted too deep.  I planted on April 24th and as of right now my tomato plants sit about a foot and a half tall, I have four very long cucumber vines that all bear fruit, and my pepper plants have tripled in size in the last two weeks.  We also just plastered a couple of trays with basil and cilantro seeds, which are beginning to grow.  So far I’m happy.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 

  

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5 days down…

So far I’ve made it 5 days so far on my dessert detox and I think I’m doing pretty good. My husband gave me a hard time at the end of days 2 and 4 because I shared with him that I drank a root beer during the day.  ONE root beer, twice this week!  To me, I don’t believe I broke my detox.  I don’t consider soda a dessert and I don’t necessarily categorize my desserts by the number of calories or grams of sugar they contain.  Maybe I should.  I know that soda is not good for me and I also know that if not on detox I could have enjoyed a low-calorie dessert for less calories than I drank; but I also know I’m not going to binge on soda.  It’s true, I cut soda out of my daily diet many years ago… around 15 or so.  The longest without soda was a year but since then I only drink it every now and again.  I prefer water, to me it tastes soon and I feel good when I’m fully hydrated.  When I did Weight Watchers the first time I only drank diet soda which has made most sodas too sweet for me in general so I steer clear.  But every once in a while I enjoy a full calorie, full flavor root beer.  This week I did so once because I needed to balance out the saltiness of the edamame beans I ate with something sweet and the second time was as a treat for bringing 5 large plant containers inside during a downpour. 

So… are sodas really a dessert?  Should they be banned during my detox?  I’ve given a lot of thought to it and I still don’t consider them a dessert.  I could probably intake just as many calories and sugar from a glass of juice so for me it’s not about that.  One thing that stuck with me after the second root beer of the week was how I felt.  I felt sick to my stomach.  For an entire afternoon my stomach hurt and my body was not happy.  Because of that feeling alone I don’t think I’ll be enjoying too many sodas when I’m detoxing.  I think the amount of sugar was honestly what did it even though I haven’t completely cut sugar out for the past 5 days I have drastically decreased my intake for sure.

Aside from the soda the only other item that could possibly be classified as dessert that I’ve had this week are FiberOne bars.  I prefer the Dark Chocolate Almond flavor and they have been stocking my pantry regularly for the past few years.  Again, I don’t see this as a dessert.  A snack?  Definitely.  The only thing that concerns me here is that it does contain chocolate.  But this detox is about ridding my system of the obsessiveness with which I devour all things sweet (ice cream, cookies, etc, etc.).  The fiber bars, like a chewy granola bar with nuts and chocolate for those who haven’t tried them, are not something I would EVER binge on.  Has anyone ever had more than one fiber bar in a day?  I know someone who has and I laughed my ass off when they told me about it.  The bars actually come with a warning label that explains to increase your fiber intake gradually other “gastrointestinal disturbances” can occur.  I am completely confident that I would only eat one of these bars in a day – chocolate or no chocolate. 

With these two treats in mind I have come to realize that my detox isn’t just about steering clear of certain foods because they are considered (at least to me) to be a dessert.  It’s also about realizing which foods I would actually binge on and which I wouldn’t.  In the dieting world those foods are call trigger foods. 

While the past five days may not be a success from a 100% standpoint I think it’s been a success in being mindful of what foods I’m eating, how they make me feel, and whether or not they could be considered trigger foods.

What trigger foods do you have?  Any thoughts about what is or isn’t considered a dessert?

’til next time!

Danielle

 

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Day 1 down!

I started day one of dessert detox just as planned.  I had a “last supper” if you will on Sunday afternoon when the family and I went to a nearby creamery for a treat (seriously, they make the BEST ice cream EVER – it was well worth the indulgence).  Day one came rather easily – the only dessert-ish thing I ate was toast with cream cheese and jelly and a glass of pre-made, bottled sweet tea.  Neither of these things are items I would over-do it on and I don’t consider them dessert.  During the day I chose healthy snacks and drank several glasses of water which I believe is a great start!

I realized Sunday evening while talking to my husband about this detox that I am excited about giving it a go.  I know it will be beneficial, in fact, I already feel like it is and since I’m posting about it here on this blog I have some accountability… and for me, accountability has always been a motivating factor.  Any time I have to admit I didn’t do something it’s tough.  And I tend to want to take the easy way out. 

So with day one down, I have accomplished a small goal but a goal nonetheless.  What about you?  What goals have you accomplished recently?  What are you hoping to get back on track with?

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I’m thinking it’s detox time…

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat.  What you might not know is that a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with having binge eating disorder.  I knew I had a problem but admitting it really was difficult.  I started seeing a counselor for it after I ate almost an entire batch of cupcakes in just two days.  They were low fat but that doesn’t make a difference when you eat all of them!

At the time, my husband was deployed overseas.  I was working full time and essentially being a “single” mom.  There were days where I was so exhausted that I could not wait until Boo was ready to bed so I could relax and “veg” on the couch.  Having struggled with my weight for as long as I could remember (I think I began dieting sometime in elementary school) I didn’t like feeling that I was losing control.  I have tried just about every diet under the sun – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Slim Fast, prescription and non-prescription diet pills, you name it!  Once I even ate less than 10 grams of fat per day based on some friend of my dad’s recommendation.  I have been successful here and there, dropping as much as 25 pounds at a time.  Each time, I get so excited about how I look and feel and then slowly I loosen up the reigns and I allow the weight to creep back up.

During the year I sought counseling I wasn’t doing anything drastically different and I probably had only lost 5 pounds at the most.  What I was doing though was being more conscious of what I was eating, making better choices (though not all the time), and being more active.  A good friend of mine and I would go walking regularly and we even accomplished the Couch to 5k program and ran our first 5k in December.  I felt great!  And I felt like I was on the right track.  I wasn’t worried about dropping a bunch of weight, I just wanted to feel good about myself and set the right example for Boo.

Shortly before moving to Connecticut I started buying more desserts here and there.  It was all stress related.  For a few minutes I would feel good with what I was eating even though I knew it wasn’t good for me.  I blame the Milano cookies for the start of my downfall.  In fact, when we first moved I think I was eating about a pack a day.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment… A PACK A DAY!  Since then I’ve been shoveling in cookies, or icecream, or the occassional pudding.  I’m eating desserts every single day.  I not only feel like I’m losing control, I know that I am.

I’ve noticed that now I that I work from home I am CONSTANTLY throwing food in mouth and on top of that I’m lucky if I drink even half the amount of water that I’m used to.  Surprisingly enough my weight hasn’t changed much – it’s the same 5 pounds that I lose and gain pretty frequently – but I feel HORRIBLE.  My body feels bloated (rings and clothes definitely don’t fit the same), my skin looks bad, and with every bite I eat I know what I am doing and am pissed off at myself for not even trying to change it.

Last week, after indulging in donuts and pies and other crap while on my trip to Virginia and back, I ended up consuming two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (one of which I ate in a day!).  At this point, I’m off all regular meds for my anxiety and I haven’t talked to a professional about anything in three months… and it shows.  I’m stressed out, depressed, and over the past few weeks the homesickness has begun to set in (frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long).

I don’t normally talk to my husband about my eating habits – mainly because saying it out loud just makes me feel ashamed and makes it feel that much more real.  However, this weekend we had a heart to heart and I shared how I need a dessert-detox.  It sounds silly but when you constantly obsess over food and have a hard time stopping the bad habits once they start, you need something a bit drastic to get your ass in gear.  I’m so obsessed with food that I know for a fact that I once went 40 days without dessert.  It was a challenge I gave myself one year when many folks were participating in Lent.  The first couple days were tough but by the end when I was able to eat desserts again I didn’t really want to.

In an effort to get myself back on track I am planning to start a dessert detox tomorrow.  I don’t have a set time frame this go-around, instead I am going to take it one week at a time.  I figure at the rate I’m going making it even one day without a dessert is better than continuing on the track I’m on.  I don’t expect to be perfect (though I’m constantly trying to be… that’s a whole other blog post in itself) but I do expect to makes strides towards being healthier and to indulging only occasionally.  I don’t plan to give up desserts forever; I just plan to make them a less regular part of my diet.

I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my progress.

’til next time!

Danielle

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