Friday, November 9, 2012

Mo' Money October

Photo Credit: kenteegardin via Photopin CC

If this month is No Sweets November, then last month was Mo' Money October. By that I mean that I spent most of my month learning and talking about financial management. Between marriage mentoring homework, wedding related expenses, and the sermon series at church, it felt like I was being bombarded with messages about how to handle my finances. (Side note: If you're at all offended by religious talk, now's the time to bail. Just a head's up.) You'd think that after all that talk I'd be completely sick of the topic and feeling crushed about my socio-economic status. Quite the opposite, actually. I realized how incredibly blessed and lucky I am!
  • True Treasure (Matthew 6:21): I may not be tangibly wealthy but I am rich in relationship. I have a solid relationship with a wonderful fiance. He's more than I could have expected or imagined. I'm lucky to have parents that support and love me unconditionally. And future in-laws that do the same! I don't have a ton of friends, but the ones I do are quality. My relationship with Christ is something that will never end or be replaced. These are the things that really matter, that have true value in the end.
  • Peace and Provision (Matthew 6:25-33): Fiance and I are probably considered "working class" maybe leaning on the edge of "lower middle class". Reading that still kills me a little, but I know that God will provide whatever we NEED. We may not get all of our wants (new house, truck, recording studio, staying home to raise kids, etc.), but God promises our needs (shelter, food, water, clothing) will be fullfilled. We have quite the abundance already compared to a basic list of necessities, so we can have peace that we will have all that we need to live, and probably much, much more! 
  • Real Responsibility (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:26): We (Sorry for using 'I' and 'we' interchangeably; fiance and I did most of this learning together, have similar conclusions on this topic, and we're just about married financially.) learned that everything is God's so we need to be responsible with it. The house that I worked to buy, the careers that we earned degrees for, any money we make, our very breath is ours only by His grace. That means we give God a measly 10% and live of the 90%, it means sticking to a budget, communicating about financial decisions, and making wise decisions on how to handle our finances. We're so immensely blessed that we don't want to be wasteful even when it's easy or convenient. 
I know this is only the tip of the iceberg, we have a lot more growing and learning to do, but I feel like a burden has lifted knowing these fantastic truths! We are blessed, we are rich, my friends!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick Update & Five Healthy Recipes

This will have to be a quick update. Mostly because I'm at work and should be working, not writing. But I can't think of when I'll have time for an update in the next couple days. So here's my 7 day recap:

  • I accidently ordered cinnamon apples for dessert at Chili's.
  • I bought 2 bags of fall candy that were on clearance at Target to put out on Thanksgiving and I haven't been at all tempted to eat them.
  • I started running again!
  • I drank some Diet Coke a little late one night to satisfy a sweet tooth. Never again. I slept horribly and had the weirdest dreams.
  • I've passed up leftover Halloween candy, doughnuts at the office (twice now!), a martini (At a martini bar no less. Bigtime bummer.), and a cupcake.
  • I've been motivated to make healthier, more filling meals like...
  • I had a meltdown and a Bridezilla moment. All due to sugar withdrawal.
  • I've lost 2 pounds!
Overall, so far so good! 23 days left! I think I can... I think I can... I think I can....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sad Apples

It's day two of my (almost) sugarless adventure and it's already a lot harder than I thought it'd be. Last night, fiance and I went to Chili's for dinner. I didn't realize it until my plate came - I had ordered Cinnamon Apples for dessert! I gave them to fiance and he was too full to eat them. So they were sadly abandoned on our table. Better to waste than to the waist! (I take no credit for that inspiration little saying.) It really opened my eyes to this habit of sweets eating that I've developed. It seemed like an appropriate dessert. It wasn't chocolate, it wasn't baked dough, it wasn't candy, and because it had the word "apple" in it, I was tricked into thinking it might actually be healthy! I'm sure I've chosen to eat deceptively "healthy" foods a lot! A few of the things I thought of... 

  • Dark Chocolate Covered Raisinets: They boast "30% less fat than the other leading brands" and "1/2 serving of fruit in every 1/4 cup". To get 1/2 serving a fruit in your 1/4 cup serving, you'd actually be consuming 26 grams of sugar! (Who ever eats just 1/4 cup of Rasinets anyway?) I'm not sure how many of those are added and how many are naturally occurring in the fruit, but that's well over the daily recommended sugar intake for an adult woman. (20 grams)
  • Junior Mints: These are one of my absolute favorites! The box reads "A low fat candy". It is! Only 3 grams of fat. 16 pieces per serving - pretty generous! 150 calories per serving - excellent! Seems to good to be true right? Well, it is. 32 grams of sugar per serving. That would be 2 grams of sugar in each piece of candy!
  • Chili's Cinnamon Apples: Cinnamon is healthy, apples are healthy, yet this side item has 270 calories and 11 grams of fat. Much to my dismay, Chili's has not released the sugar content to the public. I'm thinking that's bad, very bad.

The moral of the story: Think before you eat! Read the nutritional label, question your restaurant choices, research their menu before you head out. Corporations don't care about your health, they want their food to taste addictively good so you come back for more. 

Anyone else care to share a little research on some of their favorites? I'd love to hear! (Please continue to convince me not to eat this stuff!)

A shameful side note - I almost ate a chocolate chip I found on the floor of my car today. Low point. I stopped myself.