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Atkins Day 111/Whole30 Day 9

Yesterday was very hard for me with the Whole30. I wanted my Truvia/NuNaturals. I wanted to just shake a little NuNaturals in my coffee. Just a little. I felt like I had a little devil on one shoulder saying, “Just do it, come on, it’s just a little bit”, then on the other shoulder I had a little angel saying, “No, don’t, you will be sorry, resist!”
I didn’t do it. I know I can do this Whole30 and I will not give into my flesh. I need to do this. I need the discipline. Hopefully I can encourage others who are taking the same path of trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

If someone like me can cut out all processed food and then take it a step further with ditching dairy and any kind of sweetener or sugar you can too!

I am a former Oreo and Almond Joy lover. I loved my carbs too but decided to change the way I eat. With God’s help, the support of my family, friends, and online Atkins froum I’ve been able to continue living a low carb life. Eating good carbs mostly from veggies.
As I mentioned, yesterday was a hard Whole30 day. I just wanted a good cup of java. I have added coconut milk and although it taste good it’s not the same. Here is a picture of me pretending I’m sipping my favorite coffee in Italy.
Coffee in Italy, ha
I think part of the reason why it was a very hard day was I didn’t have any good food. I ran out of the good stuff and only have the basics right now. By basics I mean: eggs, hamburger meat, avocados and such. I wanted something tasty like my Atkins’ friends were eating. My do they know how to cook. They are having stir-fry, lamb, stuffed this or that. Oh it all sounds so good. I would really love to stay at their house for the remainder of my 30 days, hehe.

Today is much better. I still don’t have all those magnificent foods but I am having a good cup of coffee. Not hot but blended.

My dad recently bought a Magic Bullet. This little contraption is great. I love it! I borrowed it today to try and see if I could make an ice blended that tasted better and didn’t have coconut floating around.

I put some ice, cold coffee, cinnamon, MCT Oil, and canned full fat coconut milk, blended it and had a frap type coffee. It still doesn’t taste like my old iced coffee (but I’m starting to forget what it tasted like anyway) but it was good. I enjoyed it. Thank you Jesus and dad!

I would love to buy one a Magic Bulle but it’s a bit pricey. Hopefully my dad doesn’t mind me borrowing it for the next 20+ days. Hee, hee. 

Another Whole30 day down, well almost down. Still have a some hours to go. Tomorrow will be day 10! Wahoo!

Week 32/Day 2

It’s been hot, too hot. I don’t like hot. I think the weather will cool down toward the end of the week though.

On the homeschool front I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. I had another little guy to watch and although I don’t mind it does disturb the day (not in bad way, we just don’t get as much done).

I’m glad I did get English in with Ethan. I need to be more consistent though. I was happy he didn’t forget how to diagram.
Rod and Staff English 3
He also completed math and his phonics/reading, ABeCeDarian. I haven’t ordered the next set of books but will this Friday for sure. He only has two more lessons.

Something fun I did today with Joshua was complete a chapter of *High School Prep Genius. This is another blessing from being apart of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Josh can do this on his own but I like for us to go through the chapters together. It gives us some time together and actually I learn more about my oldest son.

I hope to purchase the College Prep Genius set when later this year.

I can’t believe our official school time is almost over. We will continue through the summer of course. I want to see if we can hit the books through the summer and take some time off in the winter instead. We love those stormy days and just want to enjoy the rain with some hot cocoa. Read or watch a good movie without the guilt of taking a school day off. It’s something I’m thinking about.

Week 32/Day 1

Today was a bit hectic. I had a good breakfast (made a smoothie with veggie and fruit only with some boiled eggs on the side) but I was still moody. I’m going to blame it on the heat, ha,ha. I’m doing so much better though. I stay much more calm. Far from the meek and quiet spirit mama that I’d love to be but doing better.
Mock Iced Coffee
I started my school day with a homemade Starbucks coffee. My SIL gave me a plain iced coffee yesterday and I saved it for today. I added the meat part of the canned coconut milk (I think it was the meat part. It was round and and soft-solid) added some pumpkin spice, put it in the blender and yum. It’s not exactly like having cream and Truvia but it will have to do.
A Reason for Spelling
I haven’t been very faithful with this spelling program. I pulled it out last week so Ethan can continue with it.
Annette
Annette reading, her favorite part of homeschooling.
Spelling Workout
Joshua completing Spelling Workout. It’s not his favorite subject but he does it willingly, thank you Jesus. He’s such and easy child to school.

Today we started a new art lesson from *See the Light~God’s Runaway.
God's Runaway
First the children watched the 13 minutes story. Then our first lesson.
See the Light
Caleb
Brent
Ethan
Lance
Annette
The children are learning how to incorporate words into their drawing. It’s called letter art. Tomorrow they will complete their pictures.
(*TOS Item)

Weekend Wrap-Up

What a busy weekend we had. In my weekend wrap-ups I usually add Friday.
Yorkshire Pudding
Friday was baking day for Annette. She was suppose to bake these goodies throughout the week, it’s part of her school projects. She started with making Yorkshire Pudding. I’ve never had this before so I’m not sure what they look like. I didn’t imagine them puffy.
Annette
Annette and I didn’t get to sample them. She is still not eating wheat.
Pears
Yum, pears with cinnamon and sugar. Annette’s nose is healing still from the weekend before from being out in the sun all day. I asked her if she was picking at and she confessed she was. I told her to not do that anymore.
Yum!
She also made a cake. Everyone loved and enjoyed her baked goods. Then once she was done she made thin mints. She was looking forward to those because she could eat them. The pears she could eat too but she doesn’t care for them. She used an apple for her instead. Smart gal!

Saturday Lupe took Joshua, Annette, Caleb, Brent, Lance and my dad with him to get a rental ready. Ethan stayed behind to help his auntie with a garage sale. I did some cleaning.

Here is what I made for lunch. I sautéed my shrimp in ghee with some cilantro, chopped up tomatoes and onions.
Shrimp
Ethan and I took a walk and of course ended up at our favorite coffee/antique shop.
Coffee
As much as I wanted to order a fancy coffee with cream and sugar free raspberry I ordered a regular coffee and drank it black. I also bought a bottle of water. Ethan had a Vanilla Bean Freeze with Oreos.
Coffe House
Vanilla Bean
Coffe bar
Coffe shop
Cheese
That one
His auntie gave him $5.00 for helping out with the yard sale. He purchased some poppers and few marbles.

He bought one for me. He picked it out all by himself.
Marble
It’s the flattest marble we ever did see. Not sure how one uses it in a game.
Enjoying a beautiful day
Then we headed over to the park. We sat on a bench and chatted for a while. It was nice spending time with only Ethan. I plan to take each child to the coffee shop over the next few months.

Lupe and I went on our date pretty late. It was 8:30 p.m. when we left. We don’t like to eat so late but with the sun still shinning it made it feel earlier and although we knew the time it didn’t feel like it. Not until we excited the restaurant past nine.
We went to Outback Steakhouse. We tried a few other places but they had lines so long that we knew it would be a long wait and I was hungry.

Because I’m doing the Whole30 I had to go to a place that served real food without lots of preservatives. We figured steak would be the easiest thing for me. I wanted shrimp but that is usually cooked in butter or margarine.  I didn’t want to hand over my ghee and ask them to use that instead, so steak it was.
Date Night
Lupe and I shared a meal. I passed on the bread and salad. No cheese or soybean oil dressing for me while on Whole30.
t-bone steak
I sure did enjoy my very first t-bone steak, oh yeah! Totally delish. We ordered a 12oz and split it. Yum. I ate the broccoli and Lupe had the mash potatoes. I took my ghee and smothered it on my broccoli.

We both so enjoyed that meal. The steak was so good. We plan to have another next Friday. Blaming it on my Whole30 =)

My Sweets worked so hard that we didn’t stay out too late. Plus by the time we finished our so scrumptious dinner it was 9:15. We needed milk so we stopped at the grocery store. Picked up a few goodies. And headed home.
Goodies
And that was another wonderful date night with my hubby.

Sunday we stayed home from church. Lupe took Joshua, Annette, Caleb, Ethan and my dad back to the rental. I stayed home with Brent and Lance. Those two made me laugh. They were so bored without their siblings.
Hmmm
They had fun playing with their cousins for a time. They kept asking me if they could watch Scooby Doo. I let them watch a few but that was it. On Sunday they are not allowed computer time or too much t.v. time.

I had shrimp again today with this delish salad.
Cucumbers
Around 5:30 we all needed to get out of the house so we walked to the coffee shop.
Lance and Brent
They played a few games of checkers while I read my new book. Atkins for Life.
Black Coffee
As you can see I had my usual. Black coffee and water.
Digging in
Brent likes to eat his Oreo  cookie first.
Oreo Cookie
While Lance prefers to sip his Vanilla Bean Freeze first. He saved the cookie for last.
We enjoyed a nice walk home. We chatted, laughed, and had a wonderful time together.

When we arrived home my Sweets and the kids were not home yet. The boys went out to play with their cousins.

And that was our weekend wrap-up!
Well, it’s late. I need to get to bed.

Schoolhouse Review: Writing with Sharon Watson

Writing
My husband and I both agree that writing well is one of our top priority with preparing our children for their future career.  I have spent many hours researching writing programs in the past ten years. I can honestly say that Writing with Sharon Watson is a keeper.  Not many writing programs get a five star rating here at Homeschooling6.
My 9th grade son Josh was very blessed to use The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School.
For this review I received The Power in Your Hands student workbook ($39.98) and the Teacher’s Guide ($14.98).
I had my Teacher Guide spiral bound.
The Power of Your Hands
Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands is perfect for a beginner or experienced writer. Through the course of the year your child will complete 22 essays and reports. 
Josh just took off with this program he was able to complete assignments on his own. Of course as a parent I do go over his work. We have a meeting time and this is when I will look at his writing and go over anything he doesn’t understand.
What I absolutely love about this program (yes we both loved it!) is the Teacher’s Guide gives examples of an A+ all the way down to what a F paper looks like.
Teacher Guide
The first 65 pages of the Teacher Guide includes an overview of the program, samples of real students writing, grading, what to expect from the student and so much more. It may sound like a lot but it is not overwhelming at all. As a busy mom of 6 I really appreciated this part of the Guide. Having Mrs. Watson show me what an A, B, C, D, or F paper looks like is very helpful.
Page 66 is where the lessons start and the Teacher Guide will keep mom informed as to what the student’s assignment for that day is.
The self guided student text includes 23 chapters with over 100 daily lessons. The lessons give step-by-step instructions. My son can become overwhelmed easily, so I was thankful with how Mrs. Watson breaks down the assignments. The instructions are very clear. Josh knew where each daily lesson began and ended. This may sound petty but for my son, these small things are very important.
Student book
In the back of the student workbook is a Tool Box section. Here is a sample list of what is in the “Tool Box” section:
  • Be Your Own Editor~this has the student reread his paper, check punctuation, grammar, and so forth.
  • Evaluation forms
  • Don’t list for persuasion~Do list for persuasion~Logical persuasion list.
  • How to write a How-to, Biography Slants, Compare and Contrast-three methods and much more.
This writing program does not teach grammar which works out great for us. In writing programs that we have tried in the past always took forever before the actual writing was taught. This frustrated Josh. Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands, has Joshua learning how to write with the first lesson. The writing process is not drawn out like many we have tried the before.
How we used it: I thought I’d be more involved but like I mentioned Joshua was able to do a lot on his own. He worked through the program about four days a week. I would meet with him sometime during the day or every other day.
At the time of this review he is writing a persuasive essay and is doing very well. It’s challenging. His persuasive essay has to have 300 words but it’s good for him. He has spent hours researching and writing. Thank the Lord he likes a good challenge.
He is currently still writing his persuasive essay. He is having trouble with the 300 word count. But again, this is so good for him. He is researching and really taking this writing assignment seriously. 
My final thoughts: Joshua would like to continue using this program. To me that says a lot. He mentioned that it’s hard but he likes it.
What I liked:
  • Pages are clean and uncluttered.
  • Writing samples with thought provoking questions for example: Do you agree with this writer? Explain., What is the tone of the essay?, Stand on the other side of the issue for a moment. List two reasons why someone might believe that the city street should be build in the middle of Porcupine Park.
  • Preliminary checklist are included to keep Joshua on track.
  • The student is encouraged to own their own writing by using the “Be Your Own Editor” section in the back of the book.
  • The program is from a Christian worldview.
I really appreciate all the hard work that went into this program. The step-by-step instructions for the students and the detailed teacher guide for mom. Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands is a huge blessing and I’m very happy to have been one of the reviewers for this program.
Joshua 9th Grade


Quote from Joshua: “Writing with Sharon Watson is great because it has taught me how to write a knowledgeable essay within the first couple of weeks.”

 
 
 
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Whole30 Atkins Style Day 5

This morning I didn’t feel good. I didn’t want to eat but was hungry. I didn’t want eggs. I’m tired of eggs. I want a Muffin in a Mug but of course I couldn't have one so I put that thought out of my mind.

I know it’s because I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. and woke at 7:00 a.m. I was just enjoying some quiet time.

I decided to have a salad that consisted of cucumbers, olives, jicama, tomatoes, red bell peppers, avocado and some vinegar & oil. It was good but took me 30 minutes to eat. I still have oral surgery issues.
Yum!
While I was eating it my stomach hurt like I was nervous. Not sure why.
I forgot to add a protein. My Atkins forum friends mentioned that there was no protein. Oops!

I ate my breakfast salad while listening to Adventures in Odyssey with Caleb. Once done eating I decided to take a little nap. You know with mama ears perked just in case of an emergency.

My dad came to take Annette, Caleb, and Josh to the store. Josh ordered some airsoft guns and needed to pick them up. I had my nephew, Brent, Ethan and Lance. They played in the yard while I rested. I made sure I could hear them.

After my nap I felt better but still in some kind of slump. I was hungry again too. I decided to try an avocado pudding that one of the ladies on the forum mentioned.
I put 1 avocado, 1TBL Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries. I put everything in my Ninja blender. After a bit I added a little water because the food was sticking to the side. The blades was not reaching the food. This helped.

Then came the moment to try it. It was delicious!!! I really enjoyed it. I was shocked that I did not taste the avocado. The chocolate taste was to die for!
Avocado Pudding
I ate it right out of the blender.
Very good!
To think I didn’t add any sweetener. Just the blueberries for some sweetness.

Guess what? After eating my avocado/chocolate/blueberry pudding I felt so much better. I had energy and felt like my old self again. I also ate two hardboiled eggs for protein.

The original recipe from my friend was:
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 TBL Cocoa 
  • Truvia or your choice of sweetener to taste
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
Since I’m not allowed any sweetener during my Whole30 I put some blueberries.

I also made some for the children and guess what?!?! 5 out of 6 liked it and half of my kiddos don’t like avocados! They had it for lunch.
I did make theirs with more fruit:
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup or so of frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 heaping TBL Hershey’s Dark Cocoa powder. Next time I’ll use reg cocoa powder.
  • 1/4 cup of less of water
I put all the food in the blender and added just enough water so the food wouldn’t stick to the sides.

The original-original recipe came from HERE.

Hope you all will try it! My kiddos will be having this for lunch again in the near future.

Dad and Son

Joshua was making tortillas for supper and my Sweets was cooking his steak. I was sitting at the table eating my dinner. The kitchen was hot and I was hungry, so my Sweets said to stay put that he’ll cook his steak. I had everything else done. We were just waiting on the tortillas (they were waiting, I don’t eat flour).

Dad and Son

Atkins Day 106/Whole30 Day 4

Today was day 4 with no dairy or my wonderful Truvia. I grated some cheese for dinner and wanted just one bite but I resisted. Joshua made some tortillas today so I just took some really good sniffs. I wanted one but I was not going to ruin my Whole30. I probably would have taken a bite if I wasn’t doing this Whole30 things.

Here is a picture of me. Not that I’ve lost any weight since the last picture but I think my face looks thinner. I don’t feel as if I have those chipmunk cheeks anymore.
Homeschooling6 Mom
Today I really felt good about myself. This is why I took some pictures of my progress. Some days I still feel fat and other days I feel like I’m making a dent with the weight part of eating well.

I had a little photo shoot with Annette. I’m not sure why the color is so off. My little camera has not been working right for about a year. It has a mind of its own.
Homeschooling6 Mom Homeschooling6 Mom Homeschooling6 Mom
Here is what I ate today:
  • Coffee with MCT oil and Ghee blended in the blender
  • 2 scrambled eggs with mixed frozen veggies (peppers and onions) and mushrooms.
  • 4oz Rib-eye steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms. Used ghee to sauté my veggies.
  • 5oz steak sautéed with mushrooms and onions and a delicious salad of veggies (cucumbers, jicama, olives, red peppers, and tomatoes) with vinegar and oil.
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
I didn’t even snack between meals (shocker) other than the blueberries after supper. Usually I need my midmorning and afternoon snacks.
April 019
Those veggies were so good. I am only drinking water other than a cup of coffee in the morning. The composition book is my food journal.
April 018
I thought since I’m eating healthier I should start storing my food better too. I’m slowly buying jars to store my pantry goods and glass dishes to put leftovers in.

It’s been slow, so many of my foods are still in plastic but one day the switch to glass will be done.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I continue to thank the Lord for providing so many good things to eat. My hubby has a job so I can buy healthy foods for my family.
Just an FYI: Whole30 is more than giving up dairy and all forms of sugar (sweeteners included), no legumes, grains, white potatoes, alcohol, no sulfites-MSG-Carrageenan, and you can’t weigh or measure yourself.

I’m cheating this Saturday and will weigh myself. I have one last weigh in of the Biggest Loser that I committed too before I started Whole30. After that no more weighing.

Here is a comparison picture. On the left is a picture of me about 12 years ago. I was pregnant with Brent (I think).
Before and Now
I had oral surgery 6 months ago and had my chin worked on so everything would line up after they broke my jaw and fixed my overbite. Does my chin look different? Other than it’s more chunky now =)