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Where I Eat: MAD Greens

Where I Eat: MAD Greens

MADGreensmainI’ve been on a health journey for years now. I feel like as soon as I turned 30 my body has fallen apart.  I’ve been working very hard at figuring out what is the new normal for me and repairing the damage that was done.  In this process I’ve learned so much about how my body actually functions, and the best things to put in it – foods, supplements, etc. (If you are interested in the supplement I recommend read this post that I wrote about it.)

Every morning I wake up with the very best intentions of eating right the entire day, because I have really seen the effects of what food does to my overall energy levels (I wrote several blog posts a year ago all about my Health Quest journey that you can read about here), but, let’s be honest, some days I just don’t do that well.  One of my errands might take a lot longer than I expected, or I forget that we have soccer pictures after practice and all a sudden I’m left in a pinch and having to pick up fast food.  It’s nice when there is a place you can go that has very fresh and healthy options not only for adults, but for kids as well – hello MAD Greens!  I love this place – the entire restaurant is full of amazingly healthy, fresh food that your whole family will love!

Everything MAD Greens prepares, from salad dressings to bread, is made in-house from scratch with the freshest ingredients, and you can taste it!  MAD Greens serves salads, wraps, soups, paninis, and juice combinations, and their salads are very interesting to say the least!  I’ve tried several and love their Ty Cobb salad the most – full of flavorful crisp ingredients and I’m very partial to their hand-crafted Ranch dressing.  So yummy!  I like any excuse to go to MAD Greens and with their new location in Castle Rock, CO, its very close to me!

Last weekend I took the whole family to the Castle Rock, Colorado location of MAD Greens to enjoy dinner and it was excellent!  I have three kids and my two oldest were MADGREENS2very excited to eat salad – and I’m not kidding!  They love salad and one of the choices on the kid’s menu is a mini salad, where they got to pick their own salad ingredients and they were very happy about this!  They each made a unique salad and once they picked their hand-crafted salad dressing they were set.  I love seeing my kids enjoy healthy food!  My youngest son chose to have mac n’ cheese and was very pleased about this – I’m still working on him – he’s not a big fan of ‘green stuff’ yet.  :)  The kid’s meals also come with a homemade cookie, and drink.  Of course, my youngest said the cookie (which was gigantic) was the best part.  My daughter said her favorite thing was the salad and the feta cheese and my oldest son really liked the homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing.  To each their own, right?

Honestly, I’m just really happy that my kids are willing to try new things, especially very healthy things, and that they like them.  Now if we can only get my youngest son to enjoy the ‘green stuff’ as much as his siblings…he’s a work in progress! My husband, got a wrap and loved picking out each individual ingredient that went inside it.  He said it was delicious, and he also decided to try their Strawberry Cooler Juice, which was really refreshing – in fact, we all tasted it.  I think my youngest could have had the whole thing if we would have let him!

We enjoyed our experience and would highly recommend trying MAD Greens!  Besides being a genuinely healthy option for your whole family, I love knowing that MAD Greens is committed to their food and the communities they are located in by using produce from local farmers, and they strive to use organic ingredients whenever possible.  For me, I find that very exciting knowing that the meal I’m about to eat is from the farm down the road!  Plus, I live in community that has a small-town feel, and we all love to support our community by shopping local – what could be better than enjoying a fresh meal of superb healthy ingredients that came from my neighbor?  I just love it $25MADGreensand am so impressed by this business model.

Check out MAD Greens and go enjoy a healthy salad!  Currently they have locations in Colorado, Arizona and Texas.

Just for Katrina’s World readers, I’m giving away TWO $25 gift cards to TWO lucky readers to enjoy a meal at MAD Greens.  All you need to do is THREE SIMPLE THINGS:

  1. Comment below and tell me who you would take to enjoy a meal at MAD Greens and why?
  2. Then share this giveaway on your Facebook page and encourage your friends to enter.
  3. If you have not done so already, LIKE my Katrina’s World Facebook page.

Winner will be picked randomly on April 15th and notified via email.  Winner must supply their address for shipment.  Thank you to MAD Greens for sponsoring this giveaway.  Visit MAD Greens on their Facebook page - or on Twitter or Instagram.  

Thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoy your meal as much as we did!  I can’t wait to go back!


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March 16, 201611 commentsRead More
Health Quest – 5 Month Update

Health Quest – 5 Month Update

20150806_081743I thought I would take a few minutes to give you all a quick update on my Health Quest!  I posted a personal status update yesterday after a trip to the doc and it generated a lot of buzz, so I figured I better let you all know the same great news.  I went to my general practitioner yesterday for my yearly physical and the sweet nurse who did my vitals gave me some great news.  You all know what’s is like to walk down the dreaded long hallway to the scale…right?? Well, I hopped right on that scale and she told me that I’d lost 20.5lbs since March!  WAHOO!!!  I had been in to the doc in March when I had a terrible head cold that I could not shake – which was right before we started our Whole30 journey!  So, I’m happy to say that in as little as 5 months I’ve lost 20.5lbs and I’m stoked!  Pretty cool I think!  We are still sticking with a lot of ideas we learned during our Whole30 journey and it’s clearly working out great for us!  We are not nearly as strict, but I’ve learned a lot of things about my body in the last couple years and even just in the last 5 months that I know are truths for me.  If I do one thing I will achieve the same result – every time.  For example, even though I love a crusty piece of sourdough bread, I know without a doubt now that if I eat it I will get a headache and it will add weight to my body.  I don’t always make the best choices, but at least I know going in what my consequences will be.

Besides eating better, I’m making strides with my feet issues.  Lately I have been able to run a lot more, which I can tell is increasing my metabolism – and we all know that the more you run or exercise the easier it becomes and the more SA_cover_295x448enjoyable it is.  I love running – but it’s hard to do – it’s not easy and even though I love it, I hate it just as much – especially when I’m smack dab in the middle of a workout and it’s 90 degrees outside (it’s been really hot here lately).  But I love how it makes me feel afterwards – even if it’s only 2 miles!  I also love the all-natural, sugar-free products I’m using now – AXIO for energy and Protandim for overall body function and recovery – both make a HUGE difference in being able to go for a 2-3mile run EVERY day!  Before I started using these products I could not run every day – my body hurt too bad after a run to keep up – I would need a day in between to recover (even from a small run).  Now, I’m good to go every day and sometimes even twice a day.  I’m feeling a HUGE energy increase – which if you have read my blog for awhile, you know the biggest issue I faced a couple years ago was being so incredibly tired all the time.  In fact, if you are interested and in learning more about Protandim and how it activates Nrf2 and helps to slow the natural aging process in your body, you should read an eBook I wrote all about it – it’s pretty cool stuff!  I’m giving away this eBook FREE to all my loyal readers.  You can download it here, now.  Let me know what you think of it!

Someone asked me recently to put up my Top 10 List of Getting Healthy tips, so here you go:

Katrina’s Top 10 List to Get Healthy:

  1. Do a Whole30 Challenge – (you can read all my posts about my Whole30 challenge – read now).
  2. Limit white flour and refined sugar.
  3. Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Find a form of exercise you love and get MOVING! (running, dancing, yoga, spinning, biking, walking..etc).
  5. Take an all-natural Nrf2 activating supplement – like Protandim.
  6. Limit your sugary drinks – replace with an all-natural Nrf2 activating drink like AXIO.  (I still drink AXIO first thing each morning and it does so much more for my mood and mental focus than coffee ever did! – BUT, I still have a cup of coffee with my girlfriends every now and then).
  7. Enter an exercise challenge group – sign up for a race, or enter a losing weight challenge at your gym – anything to boost your motivation to get moving.
  8. Exercise with your kids – play with them at the park, go for walks and bike rides, sign up for a family race!
  9. Create a list of go-to, easy, healthy recipes and keep those staples on hand so you always have what you need to create a quick, healthy family dinner.
  10. Find an amazing chiropractor, use them regularly, and give acupuncture a try! I love mine – Dr. Carrie Wolf of Wolf Chiropractic in Parker, CO!  If you go see her, tell her I sent you!

My big bad medical degree told me to tell you all of that!  :)  Kidding (no medical degree for me – I have an art degree), that’s just what I’ve learned lately.

Well, that’s about it!  Hugs!

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August 13, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – I Lost Another 2lbs!

Health Quest – I Lost Another 2lbs!

16lbsDownHi all!  Well, it’s a few weeks past our Whole30 challenge and I thought I’d give an update to you all on how things are going.  Just because we finished our challenge, we have not gone right back to our old habits.   Instead, we have adopted a lot of the ideas and techniques we learned in our challenge.  I can honestly say I’m feeling amazing!  I’ve not had any bread (which, you all know I LOVE) for the last 9 weeks, nor have a I brewed a cup of coffee.  I have lost a total of 16lbs since we began our challenge and I don’t feel starved, hungry, or deprived, in fact, I feel totally satisfied.  I have enjoyed some yummy treats in the past few weeks too – Mother’s Day we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and I enjoyed a few tortillas, chips and salsa, and cheese!!  It was heavenly, but I really noticed that a little bit went a long way.  We also had company over last week and since you all know my obsession with brownies – I did find a flourless brownie recipe that tasted amazing – you must check it out here from the blog, Running With Spoons: Flourless Double Chocolate Brownies  I’m hoping to lose another 14lbs in the coming weeks and months – that is my goal, but for now I’m loving how I feel!

For the  most part, we are still eating Whole30 – at least 80% of the time.  I’ve allowed a little more flexibility for the kids while trying to keep my diet stricter.  We are still very limited with our sugar intake, but a few snacks have made their way back into our rotation.  When the kids have special occasions at school or birthday partiesFitBit to attend, they can now partake, we just don’t eat sugary treats at home on a consistent basis anymore.  A great friend of mine gave me a spiralizer and I love it!  It makes preparing veggies super quick and easy!

My husband, and I, have started working out 4-5 times a week doing T25 and are loving that early morning time together before the kids get up!  I now own a FitBit and LOVE it!  I challenge myself daily as I try to get at least 10,000 steps in and today am proud because I’ve already put up 15,000 thanks to the lovely weather and 3 mile run I was able to do with my youngest son!  If you don’t own a FitBit or any sort of exercise/activity tracker, consider one, they are fun and a great way to stay motivated!

I know another huge part of my health success is due to the supplement that I take on a daily basis.  If you are looking for a high quality supplement, then make sure you find one that activates Nrf2 and is reducing your oxidative stress levels, while repairing your body on the cellular level.  Ok, so who has heard of Nrf2?  I promise I’m not crazy and that if you have not heard of Nrf2 yet, you will soon!  It’s something that you absolutely need to look into and do something about.  I have written an ebook all about Nrf2 that you can download if you want to axioknow more – plus I plan to write a post about it soon!  Download my Nrf2 eBook NOW.

Now back to what I was saying about supplements.  I take Protandim (I love the science behind  Protandim and the personal results that I’ve had with it, that I’m also an Independent Distributor for all the LifeVantage Products), and I love knowing that I’m not only reducing my oxidative stress by 40%, but that I’m also repairing all the years of cellular damage that I’ve caused my body with all the over-the-counter pain medications I used to take for the migraines and headaches I would get every day.  Protandim has helped me sleep better and preform better with all of my athletic workouts I do.  Today I went for a 3 mile run and I love how Protandim helps me recover quickly orthodicsand reduces overall inflammation in my body.  I’ve combined my healthy eating with AXIO, an all natural energy drink, and love the guilt-free energy boost!  I’ve even replaced my morning coffee with AXIO and love it!  I know it’s not the same as that warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but after all this work I’ve done, I love knowing that AXIO is actually helping me in the long run – there are studies to show it helps with cognitive brain function and it really does give me a mental clarity for the day, as well as an energy boost.  The best part of AXIO is there is never a caffeine/sugar crash!

Another great part of my overall health success is the continued support from my favorite chiropractor – Dr. Carrie Wolf from Wolf Chiropractic.  If you live near Parker, Colorado, she is AWESOME!  Carrie has not only helped align my spine from recurrent adjustments, but she has continued to do acupuncture treatments on my leg muscles and feet and along with using RockTape to hold my feet in place, has really helped make the nerve pain in my feet to disappear.  Carrie has helped me find custom orthodics that we are working hard to make perfect for my stubborn mechanical feet and today after my 3 mile run I finally feel like we are getting my orthodics right!  The doc who is making my orthodics is wonderful and between him and Dr. Wolf, they have FinishedRunnot given up on me and have continued to refine and fix my orthodics.  My orthodics look hilarious actually!  They are nothing alike – having a normal foot and a mechanical foot make for some crazy differences, but I love that my docs won’t give up on me!  Today I was able to run with minor nerve pain and my toes did NOT fall asleep!  This is awesome!

I’m planning to stick with my new routine and continue on with the awesome success I’m having!  If you have any questions on anything I’ve learned in my journey to better health, please let me know!  I’d love to know what you have tried and what has worked for you as well!

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May 21, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – We FINISHED Our Whole30

Health Quest – We FINISHED Our Whole30

Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!  We have finally finished our Whole30 challenge!  Today is officially day 30 and we have made it!  To be really honest, it felt rylyn_unhappylike a very long 30 days and it makes me laugh because in the grand scheme of life, it wasn’t even a blip!  30 days is nothing to most people, but it really did seem like a long time when we were in the thick of it.  I still maintain that the hardest part of the Whole30 challenge was the time commitment and the amount of cooking.  I enjoy cooking, but it’s very time consuming when you are cooking everything from scratch and that was the hard to fit in when I already have a lot going on with my business and 3 kids.  Somehow we made it work though, it’s so true, you make time for what you want to make time for.

The coolest part of this is that I lost 13lbs!  I’m really happy with that, and my husband lost close to the same.  I still can’t believe I made it 30 days without coffee, bread, cheese, or brownies (that’s about covers all my favorites)!  I honestly don’t see adding any of those things back into my daily life any time soon either.  I miss coffee, but I’m not sure I’ll go back to it, I’m thinking it may just be a special occasion thing from now on (which, I’ll tell you right now, I want a peppermint mocha for Mother’s Day really bad - hint, hint to the hubby if you are reading). Bread is one thing I really miss – nothing beats a crusty piece of sourdough bread, but , no one else in the family seems to mind not having it anymore.  I don’t have any plans to purchase it again anytime soon!

rylyn_happy_grapesThe other cool thing that came out of this was how my youngest son, Rylyn, is eating.  If you have read my other posts, you know that he is very stubborn and only liked to eat chicken nuggets, cheetos, cherrios, bread, most fruits, and anything with sugar.  He wouldn’t touch a vegetable at all even though his favorite color is green!  Now he’s eating just about everything we eat: salad, all veggies, grilled chicken, steak, hamburgers, tacos, and absolutely loves apples dipped in peanut butter!  He’s trying so many new things and doing a great job at it!  He eats eggs and veggies every morning for breakfast and doesn’t complain too much anymore!  I’m super proud of all 3 of my kids and how they are eating!  I’m super proud of how they denied special treats at school to avoid sugar and stuck with the program!  And they have said they feel much better, and are sleeping better!  The above right  picture of Rylyn is on day 1 after he refused to eat his eggs for breakfast.  The next picture on the left is Rylyn on Day 21 after he just ate a full plate of scrambled eggs, carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes (you can see all the tomatoes shoved in the sides of his cheeks).

If you are considering doing a Whole30 challenge, I highly recommend it – but make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for it!  Going forward our family plans to stick to eating Whole foods 80% of the time and enjoy at other times.  For us this means I don’t plan to buy sugary cereal, bread, chips, cookies, gummy snacks..etc…all the yummy things I used to buy that I could get really cheap or for free with coupons.  It’s really hard for me to deal with the fact that there are not many coupons for whole, healthy foods.  I hate the added expense in our grocery budget, but at the same time, I’m so glad to be feeling better and to be looking better and am hoping in the long run this pays off with less doctor bills for all of us.  I’m working hard to find ways to cut corners on food, and can’t wait to hit up our local farmer’s market that opens this weekend!  I’m looking for any tips or ideas you have might have on how to save money buying healthy foods.  Please comment with your thoughts! Hugs to all!  If you have any questions for me about how we did this challenge, please ask by commenting!  Happy to help!

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May 6, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Crockpot Saves The Day

Health Quest – Crockpot Saves The Day

axioWe are nearly done with our Whole30 challenge!  Wahoo!!! Gosh a lot has changed in our lives in the last few weeks.  I have learned so much and am so thankful that our family took on this challenge! In 23 days we have changed a lot of eating habits and learned that I can live without sugar (but I do miss it).  I have somehow managed to survive without eating a slice of artisan bread. and besides brownies, I LOVE a good slice of crusty sourdough bread slathered with some real butter.  Now, that’s a treat to me!

And, I have managed to go without for 24 days – as well as my beloved cup of cream and sugar + coffee.  Yes you read that right, cream and sugar plus some coffee!  I truly love cream and sugar a little bit more than the actual coffee!  I really miss that cup of warm coffee first thing in the morning while I do my Bible Study, but I don’t miss the caffeine and sugar crash a few hours later.  I also read somewhere that caffeine is an appetite suppressant.  I had no idea!  No wonder that first cup of coffee each morning kept me from feeling very hungry, I would usually eat breakfast, but not for an hour or so later once the sugar rush was starting to wear off and I needed more than caffeine to keep me going.  I realize now that the very first things I put in my body  each morning were a horrible way to get my system going each day.  It’s like I was starting off on the wrongcrockpot_horizontal foot every single day.

I sure miss coffee, but at the moment I’m loving having my all natural/sugar free energy drink, Axio, to get me going and it gives me that boost that my coffee did without the sugar/caffeine crash!  I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to do about coffee after our challenge is over, but I had a good friend tell me I should just save it for a special treat every now and then.  I like that idea!  Or I should just learn how to love black coffee as much as I love cream and sugar!  If you are trying to kick the coffee habit, then give AXIO a try – it’s guilt-free energy for sure!  The cool thing about AXIO is that all yfoodprocessorou need is water, and they come in these cool packets that you can take on the go with you!  Gosh, as I write this, I think I must be a little hungry, I sound like I’m starving!  It’s funny when I read this because, 23 days is not very long at all in the grand scheme of life, but it feels like an eternity when you are in the middle of it!

Still the hardest part is amount of cooking that I’m doing.  I’m cooking or prepping food all the time!  In fact, I was talking on the phone with my mom just this morning and she asked what I was doing and I told her that I was cooking. She laughed and said that was all I seemed to do these days!  Which is very true, I feel like I’m constantly cooking, but I am getting the hang of anticipating what we will need or when we will run out of something.  I like to have things done ahead of time (one of my silly nuances), so I tend to plan ahead and I’m getting a lot better at planning meals and snacks ahead of time and making whatever I can to have on hand mandolinbefore we need it.  The key to a successful Whole30 Challenge is planning, for sure, and not allowing yourself to stress out if you mess something up!  Planning ahead is huge – making breakfast the night before or making part of your dinner at lunchtime so you don’t have so much to do later on.

Cooking from scratch just takes longer – the prepping and the actual cook times – so planning ahead as much as possible is key!  I like that I’m getting the hang of it, because it all becomes so much faster and more fluid and a lot less stressful.  A perfect example is that I had a little bit of extra time this morning, and because the weather is so gorgeous right now, I knew that we were going to try to go to the park after school today.  Usually I have a good hour or two of cooking to do each evening for dinner – so playing at the park has not been an option for the last few weeks.  This morning I whipped out my amazing crockpot and got dinner going.  I cooked up some scrambled eggs for tomorrow’s breakfast, and then hard-boiled a dozen eggs for quick snacks.  My crockpot has been a lifesaver!  I’ll use it to cook up some extra chicken for our lunches during the week, etc.  I also love a few other kitchen appliances – I would not have survived this Whole30 challenge without my crockpot, mandolin, and food processor.  These 3 things have cut down on my prep time so much!

Well, better get to work!  So much to do now that I have all this extra energy and no food/sugar crashes. Hugs to you all!

By the way, what is your favorite kitchen gadget?

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April 30, 20152 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Washing, Washing, Washing

Health Quest – Washing, Washing, Washing

washed_grapes_blurred_bgIt’s week 3!  Week 3!  Yes!  The Whole30 book was right, week 1 was torture, week 2 was a little better, and now on to week 3, I’m honestly feeling GREAT!  I have my moments, when it’s 11pm and I’m still up working and totally craving a brownie and some ice cream, that I wish this new way of eating wasn’t working out for us – so I, along with the hubs, could go and indulge.  But, in those moments I’m reminded that I’m feeling so much better, really.  I feel lighter (which I know I am – I have not lettuceweighed myself because the book makes you swear not to during your 30 days), but, my clothes are fitting looser, and my stomach is noticeably smaller (but to be honest, the only person who has noticed my smaller size is my husband – which in a way is a bummer – oh well).  When I look in the mirror, my face looks thinner, which is probably my favorite thing so far!

One of the other great things that I’ve noticed personally is that I just feel better – I don’t have that awful feeling like you need to take a nap after you eat a meal because you just feel so full and can feel the sugar racing through your body.  I don’t have any caffeine and sugar crashes first thing in the morning that I used to get from my coffee – although I will admit I still really miss my morning coffee (still unsure if I will give it up for good).  I have replaced my morning coffee with an awesome, all natural, sugar free energy drink called AXIO – I love it actually  and I NEVER have sugar crashes from it!  Overall, I just feel so much better!  Today I went for a 3 mile run and I did notice I’m running better – I just feel Ry_sink_washfruitstronger – sweet!  Still working on my feet and their issues, but overall, I’m just feeling a lot more alive!

My kids are also doing much better – as I told you before, my youngest son, Rylyn, has been the hardest to deal with.  His whining over food has been never-ending, but this week has been ok.  He just eats what he’s given which is always ton of veggies and fruit and now eats any type of meat I prepare.  This is the same child that just 3 weeks ago would ONLY eat frozen Mickey Mouse or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.  :)  So he’s made a huge change – now he happily eats grilled, baked, any type of chicken and every other meat I prepare!  It’s wonderful!  We have had many picnics with friends and most of them are amazed at what he is eating – they too have known how picky he has been in the past!  It’s been nice to see the change in him!

We spent a good portion of Sunday morning doing our new Sunday routine – washing dirtysinkvegetables and fruit.  I try to make it an all-family affair – I can almost always count my 5yr old daughter in, she loves to cook and is a great sous chef!  The boys on the other hand don’t always like to help out.  Rylyn, my 3yr old was happy to pitch in once he saw all the dirt in the sink that came off the spinach and once he realized he got to gently throw grapes and strawberries into the water!  We washed and prepped so much stuff that I almost lost count!  But it was fun and it hopefully will tide us over through the week!  Now that’s it’s Thursday, we are starting to run low on some stuff, but we are making it!

I’ve also been doing a lot of other research lately on not only my body and how food can hurt and heal it, but also I’ve been Coen_cabbagedigging into a new medical discovery called Nrf2.  Have you ever heard of it?  I’ve found this amazing website that gives a lot more information about Nrf2 and the science behind it – if you want to read up more on it go to: – I’m loving everything that
I’m learning! It’s actually quite mind-blowing! I hope to share more about this in my next few blog posts – as it’s incredible!

Well, I need to get going on my dinner preparation – we are cooking dinner for the neighbors who are having some health issues – so time to get at it! Hugs to all!

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April 23, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Where Are The Veggie Coupons?

Health Quest – Where Are The Veggie Coupons?

20150412_174907_resizedToday is officially day 12 of our Whole30 challenge.  I’m starting to get really used to all of this now.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still really exhausting to do all the food preparation.  I really miss the couple nights a week that we used to go out for dinner,  just for the break from cooking.  I enjoy cooking – but cooking everything from scratch with all new recipes that I’m not used to yet is starting to get really tiring.  It takes double the amount of time to make dinner than it used to, but I know that I’ll get better at it as I get more used to cooking the Whole30 way.  So far, there is only 1 recipe that I’ve made,  for this cold broccoli salad, that was actually awful.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even get it down my throat, and I love broccoli – in fact, all 5 of us love broccoli – but NONE of us liked this salad.

We have discovered smoothies for breakfast and they have changed EVERYTHING!  Last week, my kids woke up with a bad attitude knowing they had to eat some eggs and veggies for breakfast.  Now, after discovering smoothies, they run downstairs asking for their smoothie!  I fill them with spinach, avacados, seeds, nuts, fruit and coconut milk and they LOVE them! I honestly just love that there is no whining at breakfast anymore!  It starts the day out so much better!20150413_071632_resized

I just went grocery shopping at 8pm on Friday.  Yes, clearly I have no life, but it’s the only time I could fit it in and we were totally out of fruit already.  Can you believe that last week the 5 of us went through 6lbs of bananas, 5lbs of Halos, 4 heads of lettuce, 6 dozen eggs, I don’t even know how many pounds of meat, and tons of other fruits and veggies?  It’s crazy!  It’s good, but I had no idea that my kids were bottomless pits – they never seem to stop eating.  They are always asking for a snack.  But, I truly love seeing how colorful our meals are and just how adventurous my kids are with the veggies I’m preparing.  When there are no other choices except some veggies, and when my kids are hungry, then they are willing to try just about anything.  It’s great!

BUT, I do have an issue I need to discuss – my grocery budget.  Ohmygosh, it’s killing me!  My budget has gone up so much this month.  The problem is that we do a zero based budget every month and we definitely didn’t budget enough for this  month.  I grossly underestimated how much all these fresh fruits and veggies were going to cost us, and on top of it, I don’t have any coupons for 20150413_072029_resizedveggies!  Being a huge couponer, it’s very hard to go grocery shopping and not have a huge percentage of the bill paid for by my coupons.  Honestly it kills me!  I have to be really extra creative with any coupons that I can use on my groceries that I need to buy, especially Whole30 staple items.

Usually, when I’m pushing my budget I just work extra hard on using what I have in my stockpile to make due.  I would love to dip into my stockpile, but honestly, my stockpile is full of a lot of things that we really should just get rid of, and things that are not at all Whole30 compliant. I find that I’m buying a lot of new things, that in the future, I can slowly start stocking up on, but in the mean time, it’s expensive to completely change the products you used to buy and start over with new ones.  I don’t even want to think about how much money I have in my stockpile on items that I should really just toss out the door.  It’s hard for my money-saving, frugal-living brain to comprehend just how much money I’m losing and knowing I need to buy other stuff.

This is one time when I wish I wasn’t such a good couponer, and didn’t have such a decent stockpile of “normal” staple items.  I’m sure you are wondering what I’m talking about? Well, I mean stuff like peanut butter, ketchup, cereal, muffin mix, cake mix, popcorn, brownie mix, pasta sauce, pasta noodles, flour, chocolate chips, etc.  Those are the types of things I used to stockpile and that I have a big pile of right now.  We used them all the time, they were quick, easy, and made for a yummy dinner – but I know none of that is good for me or my family.  But, it’s still frustrating.  Old habits are hard to change! Wonder what next will teach me?!  How are you doing this week?

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April 17, 20152 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Will The Whining Ever Stop?

Health Quest – Will The Whining Ever Stop?

20150411_114223_resizedWe are officially on day 7 of our Whole30 challenge.  Seven.  It really feels like it’s been 6 months, not only 7 measley days.  Am I tired of it?  Yes.  But not for reasons you might think.  I actually don’t have a lot of complaints about the food – the food is good – it’s not super filling, but it’s good.  My frustration is more from my kids and the constant complaining.  My older two kids are doing just fine – they are just eating a lot more than they used to – seems like every time I turn around they want another snack, but one of the problems with the snacks is that they are getting tired of only eating fruit and veggies for every snack and every meal.  I don’t blame them, I’m a little bit tired of it too – I was thinking that a huge chocolate brownie and some ice cream sounded so yummy.

Yesterday was a big test for my kids – we had a birthday party to attend that included a bunch of games,
fun, pizza, cake and ice cream.  Thankfully we were at a place that had a lot distraction and we were able to keep the kids occupied while pizza was served, but the smells were mouth-watering.  It was very hard to focus for all of us.  As lunch time started to creep closer, all of us were getting so hungry and we all were ready to give in for a big slice of pizza!  Thankfully we made a quick exit and headed home before they cut the cake, but not before all 3 kids had a meltdown.  The whole car ride home they were ANGRY, I 20150411_112955_resizedthink they mostly were super hungry – I was too.  My youngest whined so much on the car ride home that he eventually feel asleep.  We did make it home for our lunch of left-overs and ton of veggies which was not nearly as exciting as pizza, but we survived.

I’d say overall my kids have done really well on this so far.  Both of my older kids have the process down and have passed up many special treats and snacks from school and church that they normally would have had.  They have no problem telling anyone that our family is not having sugar (cuz that seems to be the only thing they remember) for 30 days.  Which I’m super proud of them for!  My husband has done great as well – he missed out on two special meals at work where the boss man was treating everyone to a special breakfast and lunch that didn’t really have anything he could eat.  I’ve not been faced with a social food challenge yet.  My youngest son has no idea what is completely going on to be able to stand up for himself and make food decisions wisely.

Something I have noticed is just how much of an importance we put on fast, convenient, quick, yummy 20150412_174907_resizedfood – there is junk food everywhere – it’s offered at every social gathering we attend.  It’s no wonder we all have such a hard time slaying the sugar dragon.  I mean my kids go to public school and they are offered candy treats a lot in class when they do something good, and every time a child has a birthday, there is usually some sort of special treat like cupcakes, suckers, or cookies that they pass out.  When we go to church my kids are offered a “snack” which is usually fruit snacks, and when my youngest goes to Community Bible Study and Awana he is given a snack in his class that applies to what they are learning (could be little snack crackers or even cupcakes).  Every time we go to the bank they love getting lollipops, and when we go grocery shopping they love to get a free cookie.  It’s crazy how sugar is everywhere – I mean, why can’t they hand out free strawberries at the grocery store instead of free cookies?  Really, it’s no wonder my kids love sugar!  But I’m just as much at fault in the reason my kids love sugar!  My goodness, I’m their mom – I can control a lot of what they eat and I don’t have to give them a cookie every time we go to the grocery store, now do I?

The past 7 days have been hard, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time!  The week was rough just trying to get used to prepping and preparing the food, finding enough time to cook every meal at home (we used to eat out a couple nights a week out of convenience), and deal with all the unexpected health issues with my oldest son.  Can you believe that my family of 5 ate 4lbs of bananas this week?  4lbs!  My fridge was totally full of fruits and veggies that20150405_210603_resized_1 I didn’t think we could fit it all! All the shelves and drawers that used to be full of yogurts and cheese and breads and milk are now replaced with 5 different types of lettuce!

We also had a lot of extra kids running around our house after school and even had a sleep over with good friends on Friday night.  I was pleasantly surprised how well our sleepover went even though it didn’t include any “fun” sleepover food like we usually do.  We like to have pizza, soda, and a special dessert, then during the movie we like to have popcorn and chocolate milk.  We didn’t do any of that!  We stuck to our Whole30 eating plan and our little friends didn’t seem to notice one bit. Phew!  I just wanted the kids to all have a great time and they all did – minus any “fun” food!  In fact, they all were a lot calmer than usual and I secretly wonder if that is because none of them had sugar in their bodies?

I’m praying for lots of extra strength and patience from the Lord this week…boy do I need it, and maybe some ear plugs to drown out the constant whining…will you pray with me this week?  Have you ever done a Whole30 challenge?  How did your first week go?





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April 12, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Whole30 Begins With A Shock

Health Quest – Whole30 Begins With A Shock

Well, we started the Whole30 challenge 2 days ago, and it’s been the longest, hardest, and most shocking 2 days ever!  I’m sure you are wondering why and there are 20150407_112741_resized_1several reasons.  First of all, for completely unrelated reasons my oldest son was totally unexpectedly rushed to the hospital for his existing heart condition.  He is 8 and was born with SVT – basically he can have episodes when his heart beats VERY fast.  We have known about this since birth and he used to be on a daily medication – as he got older he no longer needed the meds, but still has episodes from time to time.  We have a couple techniques we can try when his heart starts racing to make it slow down, but for reasons only God knows, today we were unable to get him out of his episode.  After trying for an hour to make it slow, we realized it was just a bad attack and off we raced to the hospital.  Thankfully we know his SVT is not like an actual heart attack, but if his heart continues to race for an extended amount of time, it can cause a lot of stress to not only his heart, but his whole body.  We found ourselves at the hospital for most of the day while he was hooked up to numerous heart monitors and EKGs.  It was a long day of ups and downs, but we were released early afternoon with his heart slowed back to a normal rhythm.  Thankfully my mom came to the rescue today and brought us Whole30 approved food to eat at the hospital all day!  Totally silly, but I’m glad we don’t have to re-start.  I praise the Lord that He was with us all day as I held Coen’s hand at the hospital.  He is home now and resting and even got an excuse note from his doc to miss school tomorrow!  I know that this excitement has nothing to do with the Whole30 challenge, but it’s part of my story so far.

Here are the other reasons why the Whole30 challenge is really a challenge.  Yes, the Whole30 is hard.  It’s a ton of work prepping, planning, and preparing food.  I’ve done similar things to this before, so I know how hard completely fresh and wholesome food is to prepare.  The hard part is preparing those foods 3 times a day when I already feel like our lives are so 20150405_210603_resized_1busy!  I did a lot of research before taking on this challenge – in fact I gave myself 4 full weeks to read the It Starts With Food book, pin and plan recipes, read up on what others have done with this challenge, and mentally prepare.  I knew it was going to be a lot of work so I tried to give myself some time to get it all together.  I feel like I did a pretty good job – but I’m not following my meal plan very well – I tend to jump around on my intended meal plan – it’s sort of ridiculous for me to even plan food for certain nights because I never stick to my plan.  I’m never in the mood for the food I planned for – so I usually just plan to get all the ingredients I need for a handful of recipes and then I just pick one of those each night.  That has definitely happened this week so far and I’m only 2 days into it.

Another reason the Whole30 is truly a “challenge” is breakfast.  The typical breakfast meal should be the most important meal of the day and I’ll tell ya, I don’t have time or even want to get up really early every day to make a big hot breakfast.  My kids are not huge egg lovers and on this challenge besides eating leftover dinner for breakfast, your typical breakfast option is eggs.  Needless to say my kids are soooo not happy about this challenge!  My youngest son, who is 3, is having the hardest time.  He loves cereal for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch and then doesn’t fight me too much on dinner.  As a mom, I realize I’ve been doing the biggest disservice to my family with the type of foods we have been eating over the years and I have only myself to blame when my 3 year old doesn’t want to eat the big plate of veggies and grilled chicken.  So I’m truly fighting my own uphill battle.

For example, on Day 1, we had scrambled eggs and some diced potatoes and a bunch of veggies for breakfast.  It took so long to make in the morning20150406_075007_resized that I was way behind getting kids to school and getting me actually dressed on time.  Plus, all 3 kids hated it, my youngest hated it so much that he refused to even look at me when I took his picture.  That’s always fun – first meal of the 30 day challenge and my kids are already wanting to check out.  Great.  Lunch was better and they all 3 loved dinner!  So that was good.  Today breakfast was another huge war.  My youngest was so angry that he couldn’t have Cherrios that he refused to eat anything at all actually.  I saved his eggs, ham and veggies for lunch and he still dug in his heels for his grandma and refused to eat. By 3pm he gave up and ate his breakfast so he could have a snack.  He ate ALL his dinner!  But I know it’s going to be an uphill battle.

So far I’m feeling just fine.  I don’t mind the food, and I’m not at all feeling starved.  In fact, I’m very full after each meal.  I’m not sure with how busy the last 2 days have been if I’ve really had time to even notice how I’m really feeling.  I miss my coffee most of all.  Yes, I could still have coffee, but it would have to be black – and I just can’t do black coffee.  I know what I like about coffee is the cream and sugar.  So, I’m 2 days with no coffee and it’s truly what I miss most of all.  My husband told me when he got home from work tonight that he just wanted a Snickers bar really bad, but is feeling ok so far.    I do like how this is forcing my kids to try some new foods and they are trying.  We will find new things we like to eat and thankfully I really do love trying new recipes!

That’s my Health Quest update for now!  Better get some sleep, who knows what the Lord has planned for me tomorrow!


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April 7, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest Part 3 – Big Changes Ahead

Health Quest Part 3 – Big Changes Ahead

As you read from the previous post I suffered greatly running my 2nd half marathon – my attempt to try to feel normal again and pretend that my body was healthy again after all. WRONG! After that race I took it easy and gave my body a chance to recover – I didn’t run or exercise at all for a couple weeks, but I noticed that my feet were still really hurting, even when I’d just go for a walk around the block.  I decided to take it easy and give my feet time to heal.

accupunctureA couple months later, I was introduced to an all-natural supplement that reduces oxidative stress by 40% after taking it for only 30 days. I had no idea what oxidative stress was at the time, but I started taking it and have seen some cool things happen with my health. When I first started taking it I was really hoping that this supplement would give me back my energy, and although that is not what happened, I did start sleeping much better at night (which I really needed) and my everyday headache was gone. This really helped my mood each day – having struggled with my sleep and every day, annoying migraines for years, this was huge for me! Ok, so great, now I’m sleeping better and my headaches are gone, why am I still so tired? And why are my feet and back so sore? And why can’t I lose any weight? The day I had thyroid surgery my surgeon warned me that for the rest of my life I would have to work 10 times harder than the average person at losing weight or keeping it off – even if my blood levels say the half of my thyroid I have left is functioning at its optimum level. Yippee.

A few months ago I met a chiropractor, by accident. I never considered that a chiropractor could actually help me with anything; I just thought if I ever had a stiff neck then I would call a chiropractor. Well, after talking more with her, she told me that she’s had some great results helping people who have foot pain through the use of acupuncture. I decided to give it a try – that one acupuncture treatment has completely changed my view on my health. I’m sure you all are thinking – uh, sure Katrina, acupuncture? Really? How could that possibly change your life? Well, over the next 5 weeks of being treated I’ve had a remarkable change in my foot pain (also she introduced me to Rock Tape – stuff is amazing!), no more numbness in my toes and I’ve begun to dream again of all the races that me and my husband will get to run in the futurrocktapee.

She’s also been treating my whole body – checking all my aches in pains in my back and shins, and neck (mostly from running) but just overall from not taking care of myself. She’s helped me understand that the body is a whole unit – God designed it to be intricately connected and that each part has its purpose. I’ve heard this so many times before, but never really saw it play out in my own life. We need all our body parts to work together correctly, and function the way God designed them to, in order to feel good. She has helped me understand that something as small as foot pain can just be a symptom of a bigger problem, and it’s representing itself as a glimpse into the larger picture of your body’s overall health.

I truly do have a foot pain, but it’s a side effect of my foot surgery and the lack of proper healing, which contributes to my back pain, excess weight, shin splinwhole30Gheets, fatigue, headaches, etc that I experience when I’m trying to run and get healthy again. It’s a terrible vicious cycle that I’m stuck in. I love to run (and I know I’ve said that a million times already), but it’s doing more damage than good because my feet needed help and my body needs to be nourished with the correct healthy foods from the inside out.

My chiropractor has helped me feel so much better, not only in my feet, but my whole body. She’s opened my eyes to the big picture – that you can’t just fix the little thing, like toe numbness, that is bothering you, it’s just a small piece of the big picture and you need to see the whole picture to really get healthy. I’m more thankful than I can possibly write in words, and it’s just made me think about my health and how something as trivial as toe numbness, is connected to my entire body – not just my toe.

I now so badly want to get off medications, even simple pain relievers and simply heal my body naturally with use of supplements and whole foods, and even some essential oils when necessary. I want so badly to feel well all over and work on my preventative health – not just fix stuff when it’s broken. I want to examine my whole body and get to the bottom of the things that cause me pain and fatigue and change them – finally. I’ve continued taking my supplement through all of this and am so thankful – I feel like it’s the only thing that is keeping me going right now, but I know if I want to see some major changes in my life and my health then I need to get an entire body overhaul. It’s a little over 2 years post surgeries and I’m sick of feeling fatigued, fat, and tired all the time. I’m ready for a total change and it starts tomorrow.

I have decided to do the Whole30 challenge and thankfully my entire family is on board with me as well. My husband is ready for a change as well and is happy to see me, working on me, and hoping that I’ll be “me” again soon. My kids may not love this next 30 days, but besides me needing to get healthy, so do my kids. We really eat too much sugar. I don’t even like sugar that much, but am shocked just how much we are eating each day – it’s in everything! So we are doing the Whole30 and I’m hoping to see these changes:

For Me:

  • Weight lossshoppingcartwhole30
  • Increased energy
  • Decrease in my seasonal allergies
  • Decrease in my overall aches and pains
  • Continued healing in my foot pains and numbness
  • Increased athletic ability and stamina in my running
  • Decrease in illnesses and colds

For My Kids:

  • Increased attention span and focus
  • Decrease in illnesses and colds
  • Easier to fall asleep at night
  • Overall increase in mood

Stay tuned…I’ve read the book It Starts With Food, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig and have purchased and spent hours prepping my food for this first week … I’ll be blogging often about how it’s going, what I’m learning and just how hard it really is. Who knew getting healthy was such a journey huh, and I’m only at the beginning…oh jeez..this is going to be quite a journey!


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April 5, 20152 commentsRead More