Wednesday, July 20, 2011

baby steps and organic eating

The kids are out bowling with a friend of mine, so I figured it was a perfect time for a blog post!

So much has been going on... I am officially back to work. The first day with students isn't until August 1, but we have so much professional development that I am already back in the swing of things. I am excited about the upcoming school year and blessed to still have a teaching job.

A lot of thinking and emotions have been playing out in my head about my eating and weight loss journey. I am still praying through a lot of things, and asking God for guidance. And it feels good to have "help" from that area.

After my last blog post, a few people made comments referring to my "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to dieting. One person implied that I set myself up for failure by putting so many restrictions on my eating, and suggested small changes. Exactly when I was reading that comment, I was pretty much beating myself up for having a bad day eating, and for not being able to "get it right". So I prayed. And then I thought to myself...

What if instead of making restrictions that I don't seem to be able to stay with long-term, I just made small changes every day. Small steps in the right directions. And at the same time celebrated those small victories instead of being so disappointed in myself for continuously failing at weight loss?

What if?

Over the past couple of weeks, my stomach has been uncomfortably bloated. My raging heartburn has returned to the point where I am about to start taking medication again. On Monday morning when I was getting dressed for a teacher-inservice, my capris were TIGHT. Since summer school ended I've been wearing sundresses or elastic-waist bottoms, so I just wasn't expecting that they would be TIGHT. So what did I do? I ate like crazy all day. And then at the end of the day, I had that hopeless, disappointed feeling that I hate.

Tuesday morning, I prayed for a better day. And as if God Himself were talking to me, the thought popped in my head to eat a good breakfast. So I got up and made an egg sandwich on whole wheat bread. And guess what? I was totally satisfied until lunch. For lunch, I had Subway. And guess what? I was totally satisfied until dinner. I had three solid meals, and not once was I hungry in-between. I felt like I was in control, finally.

And so I got up this morning and did the same. I have made good choices, and I feel good.

At the same time all this is going on, my entire family is going on a new path of eating. Last week, my family and I watched Food, Inc. For those of you that have watched that movie, you know EXACTLY what I mean when I say that movie is mind-changing. My kids even turned down their favorite McDonald's when someone offered to take them.

I have started buying organic milk and eggs as a start. I have not been able to buy any meat, because I keep seeing mad cows and exploding chickens. The cage-free chicken and grass-fed beef that I've priced is RIDICULOUS, so I haven't  bought any. When I empty my pantry and deep-freezer, I am going to replace it with good food. My kids are now begging for healthier food at home, so I am a fool if I don't give it to them. It benefits all of us.

With that being said, if anyone can refer me to any sites with tips or recipes for clean and organic food please let me know. I HAVE to start cooking. And with school starting, I have to start figuring out options for lunch and breakfast since my kids will NOT be eating school lunch this year. Good food is more expensive, but I am convinced that the benefits are worth it. But I have to find a way to try.

I think this all ties in. Me making good choices. My kids making good choices. One step at a time.


  1. As far as trying to eat healthier on a budget, check to see if you have any local food co ops. I have two in my area. One offers amazing quality meat. The other offers amazing 9-grain bread for $2 a loaf. Both offer fruits and veggies which has caused my family to try new things. Who knew my 3-year-old would LOVE cauliflower?!

    I also have been reading Made to Crave. I started it in June. It's been an amazing read. It's nice to know there are others out there right down in the trenches with you. Thanks for your transparency!

  2. I had the all or nothing attitude every single time I started a diet. Everytime I failed.

    When I started to give myself a break... thats when I started to become successful. I started Around the middle of October last year and already had a mini binge by Halloween. The next day I got right back on the horse. Usually I would of considered myself a failure and kept eating. Even when we eat too much on 1 or 2 or 3 or more days, it doesn't have to mean the end. The most important lesson I've learned.


    I also saw the Food, Inc. documentary and I immediately started buying more organic food and grass fed meat. But I couldn't afford it after a while. I try to stick to organic when I eat something with a skin like strawberries and as far as meat goes, I can't do it anymore. I wish I was in a position to afford the better food.

  3. Good post. I too have the hopeless, "why cant I do this" feeling after eating unhealthy! With one bad choice, I FEEL extra fat on my body. I completelty agree about the organic food choices. I too would love to venture in that direction but just cannot possibly see my grocery bill go up anymore. Maybe later. I will however view a few adds to hopefully make groceries a little easier for you!!

  4. Hi Hollie. I'm glad you are feeling better and happy that the kids are on board too. It's so much easier when you have a support at home. I used to struggle because my family wanted the same old foods everyday that got me fat. It was so hard preparing it for them and then making only a salad for myself. I had my good days and bad days but I stuck to it for the most part and you know what? Soon, they all caught on. I haven't had any requests for "bad foods" in a long time but I do allow them to have one meal that they can all agree on once per week as to not fully deprive them. I think weight loss is easy. It's the moderation and portion control that are a struggle!

  5. I subscribed to Clean Eating magazine and I really like it. I also like Vegetarian Times.

  6. Hollie anything is possible. I totally agree that small steps are the way to go. if you ever need a grocery buddy when you come to Nashville, let me know and I would be happy to show you the ropes!

  7. Good post. It sure is hard work and sometimes you need to take a little time to get motivated again, but it will happen!
    Do it gradually and the results will flourish and stay for good, rather than go to waste!
    My blog says more about this, I hope you'll enjoy it like I've enjoyed yours. Keep it up!

  8. I also recommend Clean Eating magazine and website. Tosca Reno has some very good recipe books too that are based on clean eating.

    Keep up the great work!!

  9. Have you read the China Study? It is a great book and has really helped me eat better because of the scientific basis of the nutritional information.

  10. I have a cookbook called the "Eat Clean Diet" I bought it on amazon. It may have some diet that goes with it, I'm not quite sure...but I just use it for the recipes since it's a recipe book. The food is very good!

  11. I've looked into organic foods because organic foods contains less chemicals that disrupts the body. Organic food may keep the body cleanse and more healthy, and perhaps a little on weight loss.

    But you can check out this site which I found some blogs very interesting and motivating!

  12. Eating real food is definitely the way to go. I lost 37% of my weight doing this (I have written a book about it called Obesity Free) :) )

    It is actually much easier than you think to source real food. Great things to buy are lentils and dried beans from bulk food stores...these are so cheap, but when prepared correctly are so tasty! And they are a powerhouse of nutrients!

  13. Hi Hollie, i have just started my first blog, i have not donet this before. I found yours on weight lose. I will keep readying y our blogs so i can get motivated. I need help to get me going. I have put my mind in the right place but all i need now is a person to got o when im feeling down... and want to grab a nice something to eat... Keeps your blogs coming. it will nice to keep me motivated. your follwer - sammy

  14. Hi Hollie! It sounds like you are on the right track, keep it up and Im sure you will start feeling better! But I do want to point out that if you have really bad heartburn your main problems have to do with your digestion, and that is a FACT.

    Eating better will help, but you need the right nutrition. Taking tums and anti-acids make you feel better for a little while, but they really just make it worse. I have been taking nutrients from zija and my heartburn is gone, completely.

    I dont want to ramble on and on, but if you want some more info just e mail me. I HATED waking up in the middle of the night with heartbun every single night, and my doctor said the only thing I could do was take tums, which is a bunch of crap. I didnt want something to tame my heartburn, I wanted it GONE. Plus I've lost like 10lbs in a week and a half. And I've done nothing but take these nutrients.

    But anyways, try some nutrients with a lot of enzymes, it will help, I promise.

  15. Hey Hollie! So glad you're feeling strong and empowered with your food choices!! For salad I suggest Olivia's Organic lettuces. Just check the organic section of the produce department. Their spring mix is the best I've ever tasted! Their's tastes just like the homegrown kind from my uncle's garden, so they must be doing something right! xo

  16. I gave up fast food this year for a New Year's Resolution (one of those silly, crazy decisions). One good decision led to another ... and another ... and I actually learned to cook! LOL I've lost more than 60 lbs so far, and am working hard on eating "clean." Good luck! Can't wait to see how it goes for you in the long run!

  17. Hi Hollie,oh my bad, I mean skinnyhollie (i like that user name,its a psychie name towards seeing yourself in shape). I read your blog and I must say one thing I noticed that you do is "PRAY"...I have to start doing that myself. Because without God nothing is possible. But I tend to keep him on the side instead of infront. You have reminded me today that as I try to loose weight, I need not only workout but pray about it too. Thank you so much for your blog. And may God bless you and give you the strength to achieve your goals. Hope 1st day of school with the kids was good...Aug 1st that is...

  18. Wow... I am very new to blogging about my weightloss (just started my blog today) and I figured to go and have a look to see if there are others like me out there... Glad to know there are! I will definitely start following you from now on!

  19. What we eat goes a long way to detemine our weight.

  20. I've been accused of all or nothing many times in the past. I sure love the all. I just wish I could control the nothing.

    I've always been too impatient for the paced plan. Even though some of what you've been told rings true to me.

    I hope you find that balance.

  21. People tell me the same thing, that I need to try to make a series of small changes that I can continue in the long run.

  22. I used to have the "all or nothing" approach to my weight loss too but I found it would just burn me out within days and I would end up blowing it all and binge eating.

    I actually eat more meals now and find I've slowly started to lose weight (slowly but surely).. at the least I have 5 meals but I aim for 6, it's supposed to aid your metabolism. It does mean a lot of organising but it pays off in the end :) And as long as I have protein in every meal, and eat foods that fill me up, I'm good to go.

  23. Hi Hollie
    All or nothing / black or white is such a destructive path for so many trying to lose weight. I know - I used to follow that path for about 9 years, before I eventually lost all my weight (45 kg in 33 weeks). Anyway, I've recently blogged about the all or nothing if you want to take a look:

  24. Good for you! I have lost thirty-two pounds so far, and am down to my last thirteen... I definitely found it hard to diet well when I had a bad start to my day, but I found it even harder when I started to fit into my clothes! Does any one else have that? You start feeling all skinny, people are telling you how great you look... you think - I can eat a bit of dessert, or an extra serving at dinner...

    Regarding your kids lunches next year, my sister always makes extra food at dinner and then packages it straight away for the kids to take to school the next day.
    Since we all seem to be blogging around here, you can check out this article from my blog about the challenge that is weight loss - Good luck!

  25. It is hard to discipline yourself to lose wieght. But I was successful. Here is what worked for me.

  26. I have been looking for diet supplement that burns fat, good thing I found Lipo-6. a weight loss dietary supplement that is really effective at burning fat.

  27. Kudos to you for taking baby steps! That is truly the key to success! Regarding eating better why not try to grow your own vegetable or herb garden? You can involve your children and it does wonders for everyone spiritually and physically! Also, visit your local farmer's market, produce is typically cheaper and better than what you would purchase at the grocery store. In addition visit: great website for Farmer's markets, Co-ops, and buying clubs. When you shop at farmer's markets you know that your money is helping a family farm not walmart or those big grocery chains. So it is a win-win! I wish you the best on your journey of baby steps!!!

  28. Long time no see. Glad you are still willing to keep the faith. As always, I have faith in you. You might want to read a little about Kaizen. Small steps can often be more effective than massive shifts.

    Take care. Always on your side.


  29. Hi Hollie,

    Have you ever seen ?
    I am a pretty broke student and love the recipes on this site. They haven't been posting much lately but they have a massive archive of recipes and posts.

    I also really like The blogger is all about healthy natural foods she has a whole section on building a natural foods pantry that helped me become familiar with some ingedients I hadn't thought of before (

    Good luck!!!

  30. Hi Hollie! Loved reading this, when you talked about an all or nothing attitude, and then changing that to making smaller changes.
    I went through the same thing. When I was all or nothing, I did really, really, REALLY well for a time, then would crash and burn, then start the cycle all over! I was driving myself crazy.
    Now, like you, I'm making small changes, but more like every week or month, not every day.
    So far, I'm doing well and I'm calmer about it....well, calm for me! :-)

    Good luck with the clean eating we're slowly making those changes over here too. We have no soda, no HFC, no margerines...stripping everything away and replacing with healthy...but you're right; it's expensive and hard to do.


  31. Good post. I too have the hopeless, "why cant I do this" feeling after eating unhealthy! With one bad choice, I FEEL extra fat on my body. I completelty agree about the organic food choices. I too would love to venture in that direction but just cannot possibly see my grocery bill go up anymore. Maybe later. I will however view a few adds to hopefully make groceries a little easier for you!!

  32. Hi, Hollie. I see you include prayer in your quest for weight loss and health. A lot of my emotional eating has been a result of detrimental, subconscious beliefs about myself. My experience is that God is the only source that can help me overcome these erroneous beliefs. Since I have done the emotional eating battle, I have developed a web site ( that addresses this spiritual solution. I expect it to be available for viewing by the end of the month. Thank you for your blog. I look forward to reading more and making solution-oriented comments.

  33. Well, if you can't control your cravings on eating unhealthy food, try to drink lots of water a day because it will helps you cleanse your your body from bad toxins.. Also, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables..
    lose weight in a week

  34. I am really thrilled for you and so glad that you have lost since your last weigh in. I am scared of the scales too, but figure, if I don't know then who is going to know! I am going to use you as my inspiration so please keep writing... I am just starting a blog so please feel free to exchange support. Look forward to reading your next entry.

  35. I know this post is a bit old, but I'm just stumbling across your site and wanted to leave a couple of thoughts. One- If you live near a Trader Joe's, they have very economically priced organic produce. The best I've found! Two-"Mama Pea" at has amazing recipes (they're vegan, which I'm not, and they're still SO good!) and you can customize them to your method of eating. So, if you eat meat, add organic chicken. Or if you eat dairy, add organic milk/cheese/etc....I even have her book (it was just released) and it's phenomenal as well.


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