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Posted on: January 31, 2013

Click the link at the top to see the USDA Thrifty Food Plans. I think this chart is very insightful. It was put together by the USDA to illustrate food budgets for households and to have a baseline for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, what they call food stamps these days.) The budgets range from “thrifty” to “liberal”  and take into account your household makeup by sex and age. The current pop culture debate is whether or not people can live on a food stamp budget or whether people can even afford to eat well and make better choices.

I’ve never closely tracked my food purchases, but I do see myself as a “thrifty” shopper while still bringing home a wide variety of fresh produce and whole foods. For my family size, my monthly food budget should be anywhere from $677.30 (thrifty) to $1318.63 (liberal, I WISH!!!) 

Currently I try to stay around $100/week for groceries, not including incidentals, diapers, dog food, etc. I’m pretty sure I blow that out of the water but I will follow my shopping habits for a few weeks and see where they are and how I can improve. After all, my motto for the year is Be Happy with Less. I’d love to only spend $400 a month on groceries and still maintain my healthy staples. 

I can’t tell you how many times I hear people tell me “I’d eat better if I could afford it.” But you can! Check back for some upcoming posts on how to eat better for less. No couponing, I promise! 

USDA Thrifty Food Plans


Helllloooo New Year! 

I’m committing to a few things.

First off, I don’t really do “Resolutions” for the New Year because I can’t stay motivated and constricted (I mean, REALLY! Who can go a whole year without fast food or biting their finger nails?) I do however like to pick a theme upon which I will reflect upon. 2013 is the year to be HAPPY with LESS. Have LESS of everything so that you can experience MORE. This is a good blanket theme that can go towards obvious and not so obvious goals like Weight, Clutter, Stress, Anxiety, Self-Doubt, Lack of Energy, etc. 

Just had a birthday, so the ever present “what am I doing with my life?!” questions have been popping in my head. Long story short, I am going to:

  1. Verbalize
  2. Visualize
  3. Realize

I honestly don’t know where all these positive feelings and energy are coming from, I certainly have not been a well of sunshine at ALL. But whatever, maybe I’m having a mental breakdown, BUT AT LEAST IT’S A HAPPY ONE! 

Started keeping bad carbs in check, have gone down 6 or 7 lbs since the start of the New Year. Not bad, not bad. 

I’ve been a big fan of Smoothies lately and I can even get the kids to eat them. I’ll post one soon.

It’s good to be back. 

I know I just went on about how wonderful the scale is and you should make nice with it and not be afraid and not take fluctuations to heart. Well, the very next morning and weigh-in after that post, I noticed about a 4 lb. fluctuation. I. Freaked. OUT!

I’ve been trying so hard, so so so hard to be more balanced and listen to hunger cues and to move more (a lot more actually) and that 4 pounds really upset me. I moved the scale into the hallway (Side story: I’ve always kept my scale in the same spot, I line up the spot exactly on the floor using the wood floor lines to mark the exact spot to use, thinking this will bring me greater accuracy. #fail.)  I moved it into the hall and it was like 6 lbs off. Then I broke my moral code and went to Weight Watchers to weigh in. I haven’t followed the PointsPlus plan at all, I find it cumbersome and not intuitive like the regular points program that I used to lose weight and maintain. Anyhoo, I stepped on the scale and I found my home scale WAS off. About 6 lbs off.  

So going back to my last post where I was so excited that I was down 10 pounds. As of today, I am down 18 pounds since January 1st. YAY! Now, who wants to bet I step on it tomorrow and I’m up 3 haha!! I’m sure there should be a moral to this, but screw it. I’m down 18!!!

I’m an avid believer in weighing every day. Maybe it’s because I’ma a masochist, maybe it’s because I’m part Type-A, but whatever the reason I just like to see the fluctuations so I can better understand how my body works. 

Some days I go down 2 lbs, the next day I can go up 4. As long as I keep the long-term in sight and compare the daily weight to what it was a week ago or a month ago, I think it’s good practice to do a daily weigh and I can avoid falling into the pitfall of whhhhhhyisthistakingsolong??? I like to see results. I think that’s why I like vacuuming so much (instant results!)

That being said: I’m down 10.2 lbs since January 1st. I didn’t start being “good” on New Years, but I just wasn’t as religious about tracking my weight in December. I’ve been exercising almost daily, starting my day off with a whole fruit and veggie smoothie (basically just mixing fruits, veggies and water in a VitaMix blender and choking it down) and cutting back on dairy and processed foods.

I feel great! I have a lot more energy and on most days my mood is improved. I say most because I’ve been in a couple-day long funk, but I know I’m on the right track.

So my goals for the week:
-Drink more water!
-Exercise every day NO EXCUSES
-Plan my schedule for the semester so I don’t get behind in school.

Have a great week everybody!

  1. Two mile run. CHECK
  2. Indulge in a half episode of Burn Notice while working out. CHECK 
  3. Spinach, banana, strawberry soy smoothie. CHECK
  4. Sahrmann adominal exercises. CHECK.

How do I let myself feel guilty for taking time for myself when my reward is feeling alive, energized, and happy? That sure beats dull, tired, depressed mommy. 


Posted on: January 2, 2012

Dear New Year,
You’re mine.

So someone told me I should be posting more. I have to admit I’ve avoided this blog like the plague.  I was doing so well, I was down 20, 25 pounds, doing everything I needed to be doing. I felt like I had everything under control for a few moments.

But then something happened.

I don’t even know what. I haven’t been as open about it on here like I should have, and not because I’m embarrassed, but I’ve been dealing with postpartum depression from this last baby (who is now 11 months!!) It has just been up and down, hit or miss. Cry all day, the next day I’m ok. Stay in bed all day, don’t sleep for 3 nights. I have two little babies that still wake up all night in intervals, I never get more than 1 hour stretches of sleep, and I’ve always been a light sleeper to the point where it interferes with getting sleep. The lack of sleep, the lack of will to take care of myself, not being prepared in my kitchen, having my mom visit (i.e. move in for 6 months,) sick children, breastfeeding, music career, going to school full-time online, relationship issues, no adult interactions… it is all weighing me down. I weigh almost what I started this journey at, which is depressing to gain all your hard work back. I don’t remember the last time I exercised with the purpose of exercising, I don’t remember the last time I turned down emotional eating opportunities. 

It all came to a terrible head today as I was cleaning/unpacking (it’s only been a year since I moved, why not start) and I found a box of my winter non-maternity clothes. I had packed them away since I was pregnant last year and they were starting to not fit. I cannot believe that I am fatter at this moment than I was 7 months pregnant. WTF! How does that even work? I was about to cry looking at the clothes, sizes 12 and 14. And to think those were my fat clothes, I would probably jump out a window if I found the box of size 8’s. It was a very hard moment to deal with. But then I looked at them and said I can either be discouraged or I can be motivated. 

Don’t let my exciting caps fool you, my heart isn’t in it. But I’m sick and tired of being in this rut. I’m tired of not knowing what I need. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I want, I don’t know what I love anymore. I’m lost and wandering and out of touch with myself and my body. I don’t recognize what I see, I’ve never been in this bad of shape before. It’s almost as if I’ve resigned to this as my permanent fate.  

What I see in the mirror is only a symptom of my problems, not my problem. I’ve got a lot of sorting out to do.

But anyways, I’m setting some small goals for that.

  • This week I commit to drinking water and keeping my body hydrated. 
  • This week I commit to making myself breakfast before I feed anyone else.
  • This week I commit to taking the time to do my studies and homework and not add more stress by waiting until the last minute to do so.
  • This week I commit to getting to know myself.

It can’t get much worse than this. Can it?