What Happened When I Eliminated Eggs, Sugar, & Caffeine For 28 Days

This post could have easily been titled “I Gained 15 Pounds in 2018” because I did. Towards the end of 2018 between numerous bought of sickness that spread like wildfire throughout our home and the ridiculous amounts of baking I did over the holidays I discovered I had gained 15 pounds after ringing in the New Year.

I was actually fairly surprised because I didn’t really feel heavier. I honestly hadn’t even been paying attention to how I looked in the mirror. When you have 4 kids time management becomes very important. I could probably win a gold medal at this point for how fast I can go to the bathroom, change a diaper, and get myself and all the kids dressed ;).

In February I knew I wanted to overhaul how I was fueling my body and also commit to exercise more consistently each week. So here is what I started doing.

WHAT I ELIMINATED FROM MY DIET

I eliminated 3 main things from my diet that I knew weren’t helping me. Eggs. Added Sugar. Caffeine.

Eggs

I had been so good about staying away from eggs the last few years but slowly in 2018 I attempted to eat them again, mainly by baking cookies and cake. I discovered several years ago through an elimination diet that eggs gave me severe skin rashes and swollen eyes. In fact the day after I took my before picture that I am using in this post I developed the most horrible all over body hives and swollen eyes I have ever had in my entire life. I had to go to the doctor and was prescribed steroids because they were so bad.

Added Sugar

The amount of sugar I was consuming was ridiculous. The American Heart Association recommends the maximum amount of added sugars women should have each day is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. Most days I was consuming well over this amount. For the month of February I used this recommendation and only ate natural sugars. Meaning no candy, juices, cookies, cakes, breads, pancakes, etc…but instead more fruits and I used maple syrup as a sweetener.

Caffeine

Hi. My name is Tamara and I am an iced tea addict. I love iced tea. I don’t drink coffee or soda but I would take a China Mist iced tea anytime of day. I had been having a really hard time falling asleep the last few months even though I was so tired. So I ditched the tea and focused on drinking more water.

WHAT I HAVE BEEN EATING

When I first wake up I drink a glass of room temperature water. Then for breakfast I have a smoothie with spinach, frozen dark cherries, banana, avocado, chia seeds, water, and a scoop of this protein powder. For lunch and dinner I have either chicken, salmon, or tri-tip with lots of vegetables which is usually a salad or a sweet potato with avocado. I just discovered this dressing and love it.

For snacks I have been making a fruit parfait with siggis yogurt, the Fitnessista amazeballs, or more fruit. Each week I have been trying to drink at least 3 green juices. I am also drinking about a gallon of water daily and making way more trips to the bathroom ;).

MY EXERCISE PLAN

I will be sharing more on this in the next two weeks but I wanted to have a plan to follow because I am always more successful when I have one. I decided to sign up for one month of Gina’s Home Workout Warrior Live plan. I am so glad I did! It came with 5 days of workouts each week and a meal plan. I haven’t really been following the meal plan because of eliminating eggs but it was still worth it. I have 1 more week to go before I am finished. I started this plan on Monday February 11.

THE RESULTS

I feel so much better overall. I am so happy with how I am eating now and that I started exercising more consistently again. I don’t normally weigh myself but I decided I should in February and I lost 6 pounds. I went from 150 and now I am 144.

Before & After Eliminating Eggs, Added Sugar, and Caffeine
Before & After Eliminating Eggs, Added Sugar, and Caffeine

I think it is so important whenever you do make a change like this to track also how your body feels, not just how you look. My periods had been off the chart lately with cramping and heavier bleeding and this month it was so much better! My skin also didn’t break out before my period either which was so amazing. I am sleeping better and have so much more energy. My head hits the pillow lately and I am out. I sometimes even fall asleep before my husband shockingly. And he makes sleeping look like an olympic event by how quickly he can fall asleep.

So there you have it! This was an honest look into the start of my fitness/wellness journey for this year. I love the accountability this blog has provided for me during other times in my life and knew I wanted to connect back to this space again for this reason. I am off to get to sleep because I will be up soon enough to exercise and spend time in the bible before the kids wake up. Thanks for reading :).

Share

The Greatest Showman Halloween Costumes

This year our family decided to do a group costume from our beloved movie The Greatest Showman for Halloween. We had so much fun last year dressing up as The Incredibles that we wanted to keep the good times rolling.

I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to actually find these costumes or an easy way for me to recreate them. And that is how I found myself at Hobby Lobby in the sewing department looking up patterns. I hit the jackpot because the day I went the McCall patterns were on sale for $1.99. I purchased M6143 a patriotic pattern that looked like it would work perfectly for a P.T. Barnum inspired coat with tails and fabric, thread, and buttons. In total I spent $8. Everything was on sale and super cheap.

The last time I sewed anything was in middle school, thankfully my grandma is an expert seamstress extraordinaire who lives 5 minutes away. She was thrilled to help offer her knowledge and surplus of items that helped me finish this project. Here is my grandma sitting in her sewing/craft room.

My grandma made all the Halloween costumes for me and my cousins so it was really fun to be able to  spend time with her while I worked on a costume for my own baby. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to soak in these moments with my grandparents and I am so glad that they live close by and that they are able to be as involved as they are in my children lives. Surprisingly once grandma showed me how to decipher the instructions for the collar I was able to finish up the coat quickly.

It was a huge confidence boost to finish this project successfully and add the detailing to the coat. I purchased a second hand vest and added the ribbon. Josh made the cane using a 1/2 inch dowel that we painted and topped it with a decorative drawer knob we found in the discount section of the craft store.

Once this costume was done I went to work on making a Tom Thumb costume for one of our littles. This basic t-shirt quickly turned into the military styled coat using the leftover fabric from the PT Barnum costume.

From there I used this free online pattern from Martha Stewart as a rough guideline to finish off the costume. Building upon this shirt really made this project go quickly.

Total cost spent for both of these costumes was $25. The rest of our family outfits that were super easy to put together for this ensemble that includes the bearded lady, a little lion, and Jenny Lind.

Several years ago my mom asked me if I wanted her old sewing machine. I really didn’t think I should take it because I knew it would just sit in the closet collecting dust. Today I am so glad that I took her old Viking machine because I now have a precious memory of making my kids Halloween costumes and getting to spend extra time with my grandma.

Share

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

We ventured to Boyce Thompson Arboretum for the first time this month. When we left I was already trying to figure out when we could visit again. I loved it and can’t believe I have never visited this gem before. And I wish I would have taken more pictures. This place was so pretty.

We saw a few other people meandering about but for most of the two hours we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. We brought our double jogging stroller for the two little ones and the older two walked with us. There are two parts on the main trail that narrow and our stroller wouldn’t fit but we still felt like we were able to see a good majority of the arboretum. If you are going with toddlers I would recommend a stroller. It was helpful to be able to contain Jesse at times, especially by the Cactus Garden. He walked a good portion of the time we were there but it was nice to have the stroller.

The day we went we had just finished a week of study in Genesis 1:1 learning about what God created and who God is. The kids were walking about saying “wow, God created lots of plants”. It was neat to see them connect what we were doing as a family to what we had learned about this week in our bible lesson.

You can bring outside snacks and drinks into the park and there is a large picnic area available by the butterfly garden. I loved the butterfly garden. It was so awesome and I  loved watching my kids watch the butterflies. They were so still and quiet standing among the wildflowers soaking in the fun of having butterflies surround them.

If you are local and have never been I highly recommend it. And if you are visiting from out of town this would be a fun place to see.

I would love to know any other hidden gems I might be missing out on seeing in Arizona. Let me know.

Share