No Sugar and No Processed Food Update- Over a Year Later!

Hello everyone!

Wow, has the time flown over here!  I hope your area of the woods has been sunny!  So many things have happened this past year and so many things have changed for me (many of them good).

Let’s start with how I am doing on the No Sugar and No Processed Foods lifestyle I was doing so well on, back in 2011….I have still been eating very little to no sugar!  (I will occasionally have chocolate, but it’s so infrequent).

I must confess though, that when it comes to how much professed food I am eating, it is more than what I ate back in 2011.  I am still pretty much eating the way I did in 2011, but I have been eating some Amy’s frozen macaroni and cheese, and also eating some homemade organic white bread (made with honey, not sugar).

I have also changed what rice I am eating- I no longer eat brown rice, but rather have chosen to eat basmati rice, and I love basmati rice! (Lundberg rice is awesome!)  I have also been cutting down the amount of wheat I eat in general.

It is a daily challenge to continually eat no processed food, and it is easier to just take the processed food route.  It is.  However, I do still eat mostly no processed food.  I just am not nearly as strict about it as I once was (for better or for worse).  Since I am no longer being as strict about it, I have gained back 20 lbs, (I had gone down to 120 lbs. while eating no processed food), which leaves me still weighing less than I did in high school.

I have been focusing more on trying to make sure that all food I eat is either certified organic, or locally grown/raised.

I had four goals for my No Sugar and No Processed Food Challenge, back on April 23, 2011.  They were:

1. More Energy

2. Help clear up my acne.

3. Maybe lose a couple pounds (though this was not a major goal of mine)

4. Just feel overall healthy.

So how am I feeling?  Well, I have more energy, my face is essentially clear (except for an occasional pimple), I did gain some weight back (but that is not an issue for me), and, right now, I do feel overall more healthy than I have in years!

So did this challenge help my lack of energy?  Not really (for me anyway).  Cutting out sugar and processed foods for many people will help them with their lack of energy.

What I found for myself though, was that two major things were causing my energy to be constantly depleted- a relationship (that I broke off a year ago), and a job (that I stopped back in September).  It is a reminder that how we feel is not just affected by the foods we eat, or the products we use on our skin.  We are also affected by people that are in our lives, and by our environment And for me, since I do have some multiple chemical sensitivity, I found that I needed to let go of these two things to allow my health to become better.

How is my acne?  It’s essentially non-existent!  I found that as long as I have kept cutting out sugar from my diet, that my skin is essentially clear.  I still wash my face daily with local pure honey, and only use lime as an occasional nighttime treatment if I do have a pimple or two, or when I have an acne scar.

How is my weight?  I’ve gained some weight back, but I am still a healthy weight 🙂  I truly believe it is less about how much I weigh, and more about whether or not I am healthy.

How do I feel?  I am feeling pretty healthy right now.  I am eating pretty well (though not as perfect as before).  I am still making sure that the products I use on my body and in my environment are healthy for me to be around.  I am in a healthy relationship with a man that I love.

Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions, and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

I hope you have a wonderfully sunny day!

~Kim

Please note:  Please check with your doctor or a nutrionist/dietician before starting any new diet/lifestyle.

A Mini Grocery Haul: What I Eat While Eating Real Foods aka No Processed Foods

Hello there!  Long time no see!  I’m so sorry that I haven’t been on this blog in forever~ this summer has been SO much busier than I ever expected it to be!  I finally found the time to upload a couple of videos that I actually recorded over a month ago~ I will be posting more hopefully tomorrow.

This video is a mini grocery haul that I was asked to do.  It is a glimpse at what I eat on a regular basis~ including what vitamins/supplements I take, and what type of processed food I eat if I do eat any (except I forgot chocolate~ sometime I’ll have to show you what organic chocolates I eat if I really want chocolate).

Some random info:
~ My stomach feels good, too, on the Smarty Pants Vitamins.  If you have stomach issues, like IBS, like me, vitamins is something that are recommended to be avoided.  However, these are ok since they do not have any artifical colorings, flavorings, etc.  I actually could not take any vitamins since I was 12 (7 years before my IBS started), due to how horrible I would feel on them.  These, and the Vitamin C ones I talk about in this video, are the only two vitamins I can actually take.

~The snap peas and organic carrots in this video at 11:00 are ones my dad grew.  An awesome way to save money, and gas having to go to the store=grow your own veggies!

~Please note: I am affiliated with Compass Teas.  However, any high quality tea is great for your body and your health 🙂

~Somehow I completely missed mentioning peppermint tea: I LOVE it! Peppermint is also great for IBS symptoms/stomach issues (unless you have heartburn issues too).

~For some reason, parts of the video stop working for a second, but it starts to work again.  I’m really sorry about that.  I tried to fix it, but could not :/

But most importantly, have a sunny day!!
~Kim

Please note: If you wish to try eating real foods, and cut out all the processed foods, please do your research, and ask your doctor or registered dietician for more information.  All the information I talk about here is info I have collected while trying to cure my acne naturally and help myself become a healthy person (not just “healthier”).

Processed Food Free for 1 Year: Story and Results!

Hi everyone!

Back on April 23, 2012 (as I was preparing for the college semester to close within a few weeks), was my 1 Year anniversary of starting the No Processed Foods and Processed (Refined) Sugar Challenge, AKA The Real Food Challenge!

Partly in celebration of this, I recorded a video a few days ago explaining what personally led me to decide that I wanted to stop eating processed foods and refined sugar.  Closer to the end of the video I do also talk about the results I have seen since following this for a year! (I do want to clarify- I lost the 35 lbs. between April 2011 and November 2011.  I have not lost any more weight since then.)  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: If you are worried about starting this type of diet, or want to know whether it’s right for you, please consult your doctor.

Loreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner Review and Why I’m Not Fond of It

Hello!

I hope things are sunny in your lives right now!  When I heard of the Loreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner from a comment on another one of my videos on youtube, I was absolutely intrigued and amused that Loreal had jumped on the cleansing conditioner bandwagon.

However, although this product does have some positives (like it did cleanse my hair nicely), I have two main reasons why I do not like it, and would not recommend it to most people (if not all people).

Watch my video below to find out more! 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: I bought this product myself, and am not affiliated with Loreal in any way.  I just wanted to see how it worked 🙂

How to Begin Decluttering Your Stuff (and Life) Or How to Begin Spring Cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello!

So this past weekend (and continuing until this next week) I have been studying for three mid-term exams!  However, I have also wanted to clean!  It feels so spring-like here, I must be ready for spring cleaning 😉  The image above I feel is a good representation of how I sometimes feel surrounded by the stuff in my life.

So, here are some tips I have been using to help me decide what I no longer need 🙂  These three tips are part of Step 4-Don’t have a lot of clutter, from the Feng Shui: What Not to Do article here.

1. Do I love it?  For some people, the answer may be that they love every single thing that they have in their possession (for those of you who this applies to, skip this step).  For the rest of us though, we probably do not love every single thing that we own.  If it makes you sad, feel down in any way, or makes you angry, if it is possible, give it away!  This will help to bring positive energy and feelings to you and your surroundings.

2.  Is it useful?  This can be a helpful question, but it can also be a difficult one that allows a person to continue having clutter.  So, more specifically, is it useful to you now?  Ask yourself whether you see yourself actually using it within the foreseeable future.  If so, keep it.  But, don’t keep holding onto that one shirt you’re sure you’ll wear someday again (I have been guilty of this too).  Just give it away, and move on. 🙂

3.  Does it reflect who I am now in my life?  This was the question that really helped me the most.  Since I have lost 35 lbs. from cutting out processed foods and sugar, I have been still holding onto clothes that really no longer fit me, nor that really even fit my personality anymore.  I still am holding onto some clothes that are too big for me (that I can see myself enjoying wearing later on just because it has not even been a year since I have lost the weight yet), but I have let go of those clothes too big for me, that are much more high school-ish, and that I did not even like that I was holding onto merely “just in case” I gained weight again.  And I feel so much lighter for doing it! 🙂  I also am starting to go through my collection of books, and giving away some that just do not fit my personality anymore, or that just simply do not make me happy.

I hope these questions help you lighten your belongings and help you lead a happier, clutter-free life!

Also, I just started a Facebook page within the past week.  Check it out! 🙂www.facebook.com/sunnymothernature

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: Only the three questions are from the article I linked above.  All the commentary and descriptions after the questions are my own.

Also, the image above is used under the Commons license, shared by the Smithsonian Institution’s Photostream on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smithsonian/2551232980/

Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic in Your Life AND Save Money! The Using Less Plastic Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! 🙂

Ok, so the image above of women wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms may have not caught on (thankfully), most of us can still reduce plastic in our lives very easily!

Here are some simple ways to reduce plastic in your life (adding onto my previous Using Less Plastic Challenge Posts).  Most, if not all, of these simple steps help you save money in the long run too!

1. Switch to body oil to moisturize your body.  Most lotions come in plastic tubes or plastic bottles.  By switching to body oil packaged in a glass bottle with a metal lid, you help to make sure that the packaging is truly able to be recycled.  Just make sure that your skin is damp (just after taking a shower is a good time to moisturize skin with oil), and you do not need to use very much.  A small amount really goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Switch to handkerchiefs.  This may seem like it does not actually have to do with plastic, but it does.  Most disposable tissue boxes do have a plastic window around the opening where you grab a tissue from.  Handkerchiefs are so much more economical (only have to buy them once and they last for years) and you can just throw them in with any wash load you wish.  Plus they feel, and are, so much softer on your nose!  The above image is my collection of handkerchiefs that I have been using for several months now 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Switch to at least a couple natural homemade skincare products.  I know it is hard to switch all of your skincare products over, but even just switching over one or two helps to significantly reduce the amount of plastic consumed.  Honey is an awesome cleanser (the only one I use at this point) and fresh lime juice is a wonderful acne and acne scar treatment.

Click here to see My Skincare Routine for Clear Skin Naturally post about how I use these!  You will also save money by switching to these if you typically use a little bit more pricy cleansers and treatments.  Also, you will not have as much visual clutter in your bathroom.

4. Switch to a safety razor.  What is a safety razor?  It is like a disposable razor, but rather than throwing the razor away, or buying new cartridges and throwing the old ones away, you buy a metal razor (some do have plastic handles) and you just replace the blades.  I have not bought a safety razor yet (I’m using up my disposable razors first) but many people who do use them say they give closer shaves, and that you do need to use a lighter hand when using them (ever notice how much pressure you have to use with disposable razors to shave?).

Now, you can buy a new safety razor, but they are expensive (the cheapest I’ve seen is $60 and up).  So, why not be extra nice to your wallet and the Earth by buying a vintage one? (You won’t be using vintage blades- essentially you’ll only be reusing the handle).  You can buy a vintage safety razor at some antique stores, www.etsy.com, among other sites.  And replacement blades can be bought in bulk on Amazon and are much less expensive compared to the replacement disposable cartridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Buy some of your clothes secondhand.  Although while researching I do not get a definite yes or no answer, most polyester (if not all) is actually plastic.  Have you heard of the polyester clothing made from PET bottles?  That’s why that is possible.  So, by buying some of your clothes secondhand, you help to reduce the amount of clothing made of thermoplastics, and also help to reduce the amount of clothing discarded yearly.  Buying secondhand also helps your wallet!  If you have a little bit more money to spare, organic cotton, or hemp, clothing are also nice alternatives to man-made.  The image above is a beautiful blue striped sweaterdress that I found at a local thrift store for $2.50!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Make your own laundry soap with castile bar soaps!  Even if we ignore the possible health problems of conventional laundry detergents (including even ones such as Tide Free & Gentle), these along with even most eco-friendly laundry detergents are packaged in plastic.  We can simply avoid this constant buying of laundry detergent packaged in plastic by making our own!  Above is a photo of the container I am using at the moment to hold my laundry soap (It is an old castile liquid soap container.  I plan to switch to a glass container at some point) and an old laundry detergent lid that has the measurements on it.

How to: Take one bar of castile soap and grate 1/3 to 1/2 of a bar.  Bring about one gallon of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, stir the grated soap into the water, until it dissolves.  Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Then, take the pot off the stove and let the laundry soap cool for a couple of hours (or until it is completely cool).  Lastly, place into a container of your choice.

And there you have a wonderful laundry soap!  I personally use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Bar Soaps.  They smell amazing, and their Baby Mild one is nice if you are very sensitive to scents, or if you have young children.  My three favorites are Lavender, Peppermint, and Baby Mild.  They are a little less than $5 a bar of soap.  You can buy the Lavender and Peppermint scents at Target, or you can buy all of their scents on Dr. Bronner’s site at www.drbronner.com. So, you are paying $2.50 for laundry soap that is safe for the planet, safe for you, you are saving money, and you are reducing the amount of plastic consumed! 🙂  It’s a wonderful feeling.

I’ve found that I use the same amount of this laundry soap as I did with conventional laundry detergents.  If you have not used castile liquid soap to wash your clothes before, I have read that it may take a wash or two for your clothes to get the residue of the previous detergents off.  However, I have not found this to be the case, even when I switched from conventional detergents over to a castile liquid soap I bought (it was so expensive though).  Also, this laundry soap works nicely even in hard water!  I have extremely hard water, and it cleans wonderfully in it.

So there are some simple ways to reduce plastic!  Have you tried any of the suggestions above, or have any others to add?  Any questions?  Leave them in the comment section!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: The image of the women wearing the plastic snowstorm protectors is used under the Commons license, shared by the Nationaal Archief on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationaalarchief/4193509756/  All the other images shown are my own.

Blog for IWD~A Project and a Company that are Helping Connect Girls and Inspire Futures

Girls in front of Central Community House, St. Paul

Hello again and Happy International Women’s Day!

So I wanted to do another post for the Blog for International Women’s Day hosted by Gender Across Borders and CARE.  With this post though, I wanted to focus on a project and a company that are connecting girls and inspiring futures!  The project is xoJane’s Real Belly Project, and the company is Lunapads.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoJane’s Real Belly Project

This project is just what it sounds like it is: showcasing real, unphotoshopped women’s bellies in a positive light.  In my previous post I mentioned that we need to embrace our own bodies to help girls embrace their own too.  The Real Belly Project does just this!  These are actual women that have taken photos of their bellies and sent them to xoJane for them to make a photo gallery of bellies.

There is already one post on xoJane from a girl that comments on how this project helped her become determined to accept her body.  Want to check out this project? Click here: http://www.xojane.com/fun/gallery/bellies-part-2

Click here to read the girl’s story~ It Happened to Me: Real Girl Bellies Saved My Life: http://www.xojane.com/healthy/ihtm-real-girl-bellies-saved-my-life

Lunapads.com

Lunapads.com is this awesome Canadian women-owned company that sells reusable menstrual pads, pantyliners, and menstrual cups, but at the same time sends out the message of embracing, understanding, and loving our bodies.  Honestly, since I have started reading their blog posts, and watching their youtube videos (and overall just looking more into reusable menstrual pads and pantyliners and why they are better for my health), my attitude towards my body, and menstruation, has drastically become much more positive.

This kind of impact on all girls and women is so important!  Why should women or girls feel ashamed about something so natural as our cycles?  The simple answer is, we shouldn’t.  I love that Lunapads is trying to get rid of this embarrassment, and even often shame, so many girls and women feel towards our bodies.  Can I say that I love my period at this point?  I’m not there yet, but I have come a long way from hating my period.

Another wonderful thing that Lunapads does is that they donate pads to girls in undeveloped countries through their program Pads4Girls since 2000.  They send reusable pads to girls in areas where either disposable pads are too expensive, or they are just unavailable.  Therefore, girls have to decide whether to risk embarrassment by going to school, or just staying home for about a week.  This reduces these girls’ chances of staying in school, and ultimately can result in them staying in poverty, having children sooner, and possibly even dying sooner from childbirth complications.  So, Lunapads is helping to change this just by donating something that seems so simple as a reusable cloth pad.  But this pad symbolizes a brighter future for so many girls!

To find out more about Lunapads’ Pads4Girls click here: http://lunapads.com/about-us/donate-pads

We, as a culture, can help girls and women have brighter futures~ we just need to believe that we can!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: The image above is used under the Commons license, shared by the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhsum-commons/4419492544/

Previous Older Entries