saditycents











When I was seriously ready to start my weight loss journey after the baby. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I also knew with the holidays coming up I was setting myself up for failure if I tried to diet during the food fest that is Thanksgiving, Christmas, and in my family makeup a few other holidays and birthdays as well. So I joined Weight Watchers.

What?! I know Weight Watchers during the holidays? I didn’t join so much to lose weight as I did to avoid gaining weight. I needed accountability and a plan to keep me at least on a healthy-ish trajectory. Considering that I love a discount and a savings, you have to know I was serious because Weight Watchers doesn’t offer a discount during the holidays, at least they didn’t for me.

I joined from October until January, to gather tools, get my mind right and just not gain the inevitable 5 to 10 lbs I gain every year. I’m happy to report it actually worked. I even lost a couple pounds. So why didn’t I stay?

Well, for one it’s expensive. The constant marketing was another, I wanted to train myself to eat healthy, not figure out how to cheat the point system with manufactured food. But most of all, I needed active support. I went to the meetings and really you hear a lecture and receive a little bit of nutrition education and then you talk about ways to skirt the system and then you leave. I saw people in my group who had been in there for years and really hadn’t lost much weight according to their own reports. They stayed for the camaraderie. That was great for them, but I needed a little push and I needed people who were active. I found that, of all places, at my local YMCA, for free (It’s included with a YMCA membership)! They have a program Lose to Win and you meet with a small group weekly to discuss progress and nutrition. The kicker is, you are already at the gym so you might as well get an hour workout in. So far, I’ve lost 15lbs in 10 weeks of active weight loss effort (Just writing that makes me realize the accomplishment. It doesn’t feel like much in day-to-day life). It’s not all this program, but I think that this program has helped. I believe a large portion of that is being in the gym, having familiarity with the leader, and the people. Participants are usually people in your own neighborhood, so there is familiarity. Also, you develop workout groups and that alone is an encouragement. It’s a more multi-pronged approach, which was necessary for me.

I’m not knocking Weight Watchers, because I actually really love their program and I am quasi- mimicking it even now. But I am encouraging others to seek the support they need, don’t just try to fit into a program that isn’t giving you what you need to be successful. What does your support look like? Let me know. Give me some ideas!

I have some more support elements in play right now and I will discuss them in future posts.

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{February 19, 2018}   “One Day” wardrobe

We all have them, the “one day” clothes. You know, the clothes that remind you of yesteryear or yester-size. The clothes you bought as goal outfits that taunt you as you get further and further away from attaining the goal. The clothes that stopped fitting well awhile back but you squeeze into and show of all your unflattering angles. Yep that wardrobe.

As part of my weight loss journey I decided to stop holding on to these things. You see I have items in every size. So that as I’m shrinking I don’t have to buy new clothes. The problem is, I believe clutter not only takes up space in your home and mind it shows up on your body. As I’m releasing the weight I want to also release the junk I’m holding onto. To be honest many of my “favorite yester-size” outfits aren’t kept because of some fabulous memory. They’re kept almost as a mental lashing, a punishment for letting myself “go.” They serve as a reminder of my failing. Every time I see them it’s as if I’m scolding myself, “look how cute you used to be, look what size you use to wear.” They serve as validation that I once was worthy.

Except my journey is also one of combatting the negative thoughts and emotions that lead to eating my feelings. So why would I keep this junk around?



Man, it feels like forever since I did a Sadity Cents post. You know a post about being fabulous and frugal. Anyways, my family has gone “plant-based.” I hesitate to say vegan because there is so much that comes along with that monicker, but food wise I avoid meat, dairy, and processed sugar. We’ve been at it for more than a month and I’m loving it. Part of the reason I think we’ve been successful is that I went in with a plan. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. In fact I do it almost every year as a fast and cleanse except; this time I’m continuing beyond my typical 21-day fast (I usually do the Daniel Fast with my family).

This time I ordered the Thrive Market vegan starter kit to help spark ideas and creativity. In past years boredom has been the major roadblock that has prevented me from extending my fast into a lifestyle.

The Thrive Market kit was such a pleasant surprise! I’ve tried other kits or vegan packages and they just have snacks. But this one had actual staples that were useful and versatile. Below I will list the products that were included in the kit and the recipes in which I used the items.

Also here is a 25% discount code for anyone who wants to give it (or any other Thrive product) a try.

Discount code: http://thrv.me/A12xyy

The vegan kit typically costs $47.95 for about $70 worth of product. With our first order discount code we paid $33. Not bad, it allowed me to try new products without a major investment.

Thrive Market Vegan Starter Kit

Sea Tangle Noodle Company Kelp Noodles — The only ingredients in these easy-to-eat raw noodles are kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water. Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories—and no cooking is required to make them! Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish. Their traditional shape and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses in salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles.

Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Ethically sourced from a small farm in the Philippines, Thrive Market’s organic virgin coconut oil is made from only the highest-quality ingredients. Organic, cold-pressed, and never refined, our coconut oil is just the way nature intended it to be—and at a fraction of the usual price tag. With a medium smoke-point of around 350 degrees, coconut oil is wonderful for baking, frying, and sautéing. Plus, it’s high in lauric acid, which helps to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Native Forest Vegan Coconut Milk Powder

Native Forest spray-dries fresh coconut milk for the perfect dairy-free alternative. This milk powder is great for traveling, camping, or an on-the-go lifestyle since it doesn’t require refrigeration and dissolves quickly when stirred in hot water. It tastes heavenly when used as a coffee creamer or mixed into soups, curries, sauces, desserts, and beverages.

Nuco Coconut Vegan Mayo

Whether you’re vegan, avoiding eggs, or just trying to get more coconut products in your life, this real-food vegan mayo—made from pure, non-GMO avocado and coconut oils—is sure to be a new staple in your kitchen. Cider vinegar and organic rosemary extract add that tangy, savory flavor that makes mayo so irresistible.

Thrive Market Pinto Beans, 2-pack

Thrive Market’s prepared pinto beans are grown, processed, and packed right here in the USA. They’re a great source of plant-based protein and are completely organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients—just wholesome pinto bean goodness. Try them in a number of recipes for added nutrition and rich flavor.

Pacific Foods Organic Seitan

Some vegans have a love-hate relationship with tofu, but there are other meat substitutes like seitan that can fit the bill. Made from a blend of wheat protein, red beans, and sprouted lentils, Pacific Foods’ version goes great in spicy dishes like tacos, fajitas, and stir-fry. Plus, it boasts 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving.

Thrive Market Plantain Chips, 2-Pack

When you open a bag of Thrive Market Non-GMO Plantain Chips, you’re getting nothing but a wholesome snack that pairs perfectly with dips. Try them in place of potato chips, too! These crisps are made with just three simple ingredients—plantains, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, and sea salt—making them vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

Thrive Market Sprouted Brown Rice

Our sprouted brown rices’ rich, nutty flavor puts bland white rice to shame. Try it as a side on its own, or as a base for soups, salads, and stir-fries. It’s official: Thrive Market is taking over your pantry in the best possible way. We now offer a variety of wholesome baking ingredients and nutritious grains. It’s the perfect collection for all dietary needs and healthy cravings

Upton’s Naturals Chili Lime Jackfruit Carnitas

Jackfruit is a giant, fleshy fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. When cooked, it has a consistency similar to that of pulled pork, making it a great option for vegan-friendly tacos and burritos. Not only is this jackfruit carnitas flavorful and filling, it’s also a timesaver in the kitchen. Just fry with a small amount of oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until heated, stirring occasionally.

Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. Pete’s Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper Jerky

“Jerky” and “vegan” are two words that rarely go together—until now. Pete’s bourbon-smoked black pepper flavor tastes like the real deal, but is made from meatless soy protein that’s marinated in gluten-free tamari, sweetened with locally-sourced sorghum grains, and smoked in real Kentucky bourbon barrels. The result is a salty, robust, and chewy snack that boasts seven grams of protein per serving.

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg 100% Plant Based Egg Replacer

What’s breakfast without eggs and toast? Now vegans can get in on the American staple with Follow Your Heart’s 100% plant-based egg alternatives that offer the same texture and taste as the real deal. Simply whisk or blend with ice-cold water, and use in any and all eggs recipes, including scrambles, omelets, quiches, cookies, cakes, and more! This 4 oz. carton makes a dozen cholesterol- and dairy-free “eggs” that the whole family will enjoy.

Sophie’s Kitchen Black Pepper Vegan Toona

Savor the fresh taste of the sea without harming any fish in the process. Plant-based Toona by Sophie’s Kitchen is a delectable fish-free alternative to conventional canned options, made with non-GMO, all-natural ingredients like Konjac root (an ancient Asian superfood), pea protein, agave, and spices. Along with black pepper seasoning, this veganized tuna has a flavor and texture that works wonders in salads, casseroles, sandwiches, and more. Plus, it’s an excellent source of protein and fiber.

Source: https://thrivemarket.com/p/vegan-starter-kit

The recipes I made are:

  1. Jap-Chae: Made with the Kelp Noodles and Seitan
  2. Cubano Sandwich with Pinto Beans: Made with the Chili-Lime Jackfruit Carnitas, Coconut Oil Mayo, and Thrive Pinto Beans
  3. Polenta, Eggs, Chorizo and Stewed Tomatoes: Made with Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs
  4. Vegan Meat-Lover Pizza: Made with Chili-Lime Jackfruit Carnitas
  5. Vegan Nachos: Made with Seitan
  6. Coconut Hot Chocolate: Made with Powdered Coconut Milk
  7. Tuna and Hummus Plate: Made with Vegan Toona and Thrive Plantain Chips
  8. French Toast: Made with Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs and Powdered Coconut Milk
  9. Thai Coconut Curry Soup: Made with Coconut oil and Kelp Noodles
  10. Butter Chicken Chickpeas: Made with Coconut Oil and Sprouted Brown Rice


If you are like me when I became pregnant I made an extensive registry list of all the cute and posh items that I just knew I needed for my new baby… I didn’t use half of them, but one thing I did was ask veteran moms to buy me some of their go to items. This was an awesome idea because I received so many tried and true products rather than the latest fad. Here are some of my absolute favorite gifts that I received based purely on utility. I had other items that I thought were extremely fashionable but these are the items that have helped (and are still helping me) through the nitty gritty of first-time parenting.

Note: You’ll notice some items, I name specific brands while others I focus more on the product type. Certain items I love that brand specifically, other items (like the leg warmers) I just like the product concept and I am not partial to a particular brand.

Also, here is a video with more detailed descriptions of each of the items listed below.

 

  1. WabbaNub  WubbaNub Green Frog Pacifier
  2. Bandana BibsSilly Billyz Toweling Bandana Bibs - Pink 3-Pack (Fuchsia, Pale Pink, Purple)
  3. Victoria Beckham Bibs (They no longer sell them at Target)  Image result for victoria beckham baby bibs target
  4. Silicone Bibs  CB EAT by Chewbeads Baby Silicone Bib (2 Pack), 100% Safe Silicone-Foodie Yellow
  5. Smock Bib  Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib, Bloom (6-24 Months)
  6. Carter’s Zip Up Sleeper  Carter's Baby Girls' Cotton Sleep and Play
  7. Halo Sleepsack 
  8. Car Seat Canopy Image result for car seat canopy
  9. Moby Wrap Moby Wrap Baby Carrier for Newborns + Toddlers Soft Baby Sling Baby Wrap, Ideal for Baby Wearing, Breastfeeding, and Keeping Baby Close - Slate
  10. Baby K’Tan Breeze Baby K’tan BREEZE Cotton Mesh Wrap style Baby Carrier, Charcoal, Small
  11. Lillebaby Complete Carrier  SIX-Position, 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier by LILLEbaby – The COMPLETE Original (Black)
  12. Baby Warmers  juDanzy 3 Pair Baby Boy And Girl Leg Warmers Black, white Neutral Colors
  13. Safety 1st Stock Up for Baby Kit 
  14. BONUS: Pacifier Clips Baby Pacifier Clip by Upsimples - 6 Pack - Pacifier Holder for Baby Girls, Premium Quality Soothies Teething Ring Holder with Modern Design |Universal Fit


{January 22, 2018}   Admit it you’re FAT

I’m pretty sure I’ve railed about the fallacy of the BMI scale before. the cliff notes are that the BMI led me to believe I was overweight long before I really was. So I’ve always taken it with a grain of salt. I mean at 125lbs and a size 6 the BMI said I was overweight and really and truly I was just curvy.

Me at the “overweight/ obese” line on the BMI scale.

But there comes a point when you do have to admit, it’s not just ” curves” anymore. I think I’ve hit that moment. Though I don’t put all my faith in the BMI scale and I recognize that it’s a commercial construct, there is some validity behind having a line in the sand between acceptable weight and unacceptable. Mine came when my baby turned 5 months. I weighed myself and I was not losing those last 5lbs, to say nothing of the 50 pounds that had nothing to do with her. Out of curiosity I calculated my BMI. I was used to the index saying I was overweight and a few years ago I’d crossed to obese. But again, I was biased against its findings since my obsession with it my number in that particular scale (and that of uneducated medical professionals) had sent me into a spiral of self loathing and doubt and really body dysmorphia. But there is nothing that can prepare you to see “morbidly obese.” I mean that’s a name for other people, people who don’t look like me. People who can’t walk far in the store or ride roller coasters or who have to buy an extra seat (I’m not saying my thoughts were PC or kind, but we all try to define something undesirable as the “others”). Morbidly obese was not me, a woman who kept herself up and wore makeup everyday and still got turn backs from passing guys. Yet, there it was. On the BMI scale morbidly obese is considered anyone with a BMI of 40 or higher and I was a 40.9.

I was so ashamed, saddened, hurt. How? When? Why? Me?

Yes, you!

Somehow over the years I’d decided that since the BMI was so fallible that I could dismiss all the information and insight it has to offer. As long as I felt like I looked good “for my weight,” I’d decided it was the same as being at a good and healthy weight. And somehow being cut and “thick” was the same as actually thriving… I was wrong. And that misguided logic had allowed me to watch the scale creep up to my never ever number. You know that one number on the scale, where you swear you’ll never reach? I’d hit it, I’d passed it. It actually became my first weight loss goal; to get back to my never ever weight.

Sometimes even a fallible scale can help you correct failing logic and just admit that you are officially FAT — Failing At Thriving.



After having the baby there are a few inappropriate yet nevertheless persistent questions people feel obliged to ask:

  • How was labor?
  • Did you have an epidural?
  • Are you going to have more?
  • Have you lost the baby weight?

Of all the questions I find the last one the most insidious. Probably because I feel like it’s an undercover jab. It’s no secret I’m on the chubbier side and to me the underlying question I’m really being asked is, “Were you fat before the baby?”

It’s a tough question because you just want to enjoy this moment in life without being dogged by the insecurities and pressures of societies obsession with weight. Often I say, “No I still have more to lose.” But the truth is I only gained about 20-odd pounds with my pregnancy (granted there was weight from a precious unrealized pregnancy as well, but even that doesn’t account for it all) and most of it is gone. But I just call it all “baby weight.”

It certainly stops the judgement because many slim women gain 40 and even 60 pounds and are their trim selves in a respectable time after birth. My sister is one, on a bad day she might be a size 6 (and I’ve seen those jeans sagging on her). She gained about 60 pounds with her last pregnancy and lost it with nothing more than breastfeeding. So no one bats an eye at my fib. But while my exaggeration rids me of the pressure and judgment of the moment, it does nothing for the looming challenge to actually lose my so called baby weight.

I’ve scoured YouTube, blogs, and articles and the voice consistently lacking is that of the plus-sized new mother trying to lose weight. So where do you go for that support? Where do you find the gentle minded weight loss advice that tells you to love your body because it just gave life? That voice that says slow and steady is the way and to avoid taxing your body too much. After all it’s still supporting life via breastfeeding for some and in general as a round the clock caretaker. Yet, as a plus-sized mom I’m not afforded that. One, I’m looked at as a something that needs to be fixed. My entire mothering experience is centered around my weight:

  • Complications are assumed because I’m overweight.
  • Breastfeeding is encouraged to help me lose the weight more than nourish my baby.
  • Exercise is pushed far earlier than is necessary. Just because you can exercise at 6 weeks doesn’t mean you should go full throttle with all the needs your body has and is attending to for your baby.

I’ve said it before on this blog, I’m no expert, so the truth is, I don’t know where that voice is in the sea of opinions. I know YouTube videos feature previously fit women returning to their prepregnacy weight. News flash! Your body works to return to its normal weight one way or the other. That means your slim body fights to stay slim and it also means a plump body fights to stay plump. So skinny Minnie’s tips aren’t as salient to me because we don’t have the same starting place. Maybe I can be one small voice out there for several reasons:

  • The diversity of voices and experiences is lacking.
  • If I need the support someone else does too.
  • If I’m a voice of any worth it means I’ve succeeded in my own weight loss quest.

Until then, we’ll just keep calling it baby weight.



{November 6, 2017}   The Struggle is Real

Its almost 1 am and this nursing mama should be asleep instead I am awake. I can’t even say I’m wide awake, I’m just barely awake, yet there is so much to do. How does one balance it all? How do you function as CFO of our home, chef, property manager, laundress, and full-time child care provider. All while trying to eak out a semblance of a career (which has take a major back seat, I mean right now its not even in the trunk, its hitched to a trailer and holding on for dear life), lose weight, stay presentable (which means doing my hair every day) , and trying to actually interact more than just feeding  the aforementioned child. Sure teaching her French right now is a little much, but I also don’t want her just staring at the ceilings between feedings and diaper changes. How do you accomplish it all? Right now it doesn’t feel like anything can be dropped. Don’t manage the finances and rental property? Don’t prepare whole food meals for the family? Don’t do laundry?

The go to answer is have your husband help more. But if he is already extremely helpful between classes and work and taking on a major portion of the cleaning all while dealing with Uncle Sam on a daily bases what more can you ask before you both are overwhelmed? Right now my solution is that I overload myself to keep from overloading him. It seems like men can’t handle stress at the level women can. I don’t know if there is an answer. There’s just the question at one in the morning. How do you balance it all? The struggle is so real.



Our latest adventure, hubby going back to school, has taken us to one of the most affluent cities in the state. This place is gorgeous and I feel blessed to live here, but it is abundantly clear that the community was designed to price people out. 

According to Area Vibes the cost of living on average is 50% higher than the state average. More than ever fabulous budgeting is necessary. Even basic amenities cost more here. My task as CFO for my family is to not only make our dollar stretch, in a place where it seems status quo to throw money away, but to also make it grow. This is no easy task considering we are here as  students and veterans, meaning we are already way behind the income curve. 

To put it in perspective:

 Cost Of Living Index

Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.

Cost of living index

City: 157

State: 115

Goods & Services index

City: 136

State: 106

Groceries index

City: 125

State: 107

Health care index

City: 128

State: 119

Housing index

City: 215

State: 135 

I choose to look at this as a challenge to put my Sadity Cents to the test and get back to my roots. Wish me luck and follow along as I figure out life outside the military and in wealthy suburbia. 



Once nausea subsided from the first trimester, heartburn kicked in. I am having a hard time not relying the go to over-the-counter medicines for relief. Most contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate which really isn’t healthy for pregnant women.  The go to advice is to avoid acidic foods, eat smaller meals, and avoid eating before bed. But I already do all of that. The other day, I ordered tea at a cafe. There was nothing to eat there except pastries and bread. I’m trying to reduce my sugar and anyways, bread give me heartburn. I literally had nothing but tea and… (you guest it) heartburn. So what’s a gal to do?

Here are some natural suggestions for heartburn. I’ve also added whether they worked for me:

  • Water – Basically this is the cure for everything in life. Pregnancy makes the consumption of water both necessary and difficult for me. I drink my water best in large gulps throughout the day, except when you have a growing person inside and hormones raging, consuming anything in large amounts just doesn’t happen. I sip water all day, but apparently not enough to reduce the fire in my chest.

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

  • Fresh lemon in water- This made my heartburn feel worse in my opinion.

  • Ginger tea

  • Coconut water

  • Fennel seeds

  • Peppermint

  • Yogurt or Milk

  • High Enzyme Foods

  • Fermented foods

  • HCL & Pepsin

  • Bentonite Clay – Now this is an old remedy from the south. The fact that it sells in health food stores for $10/ ounce is ridiculous to me. Especially since poor black women have been using it for years, and its use is consider low-end and almost witch crafty or superstitious. But whatever, it really does work and is good for adding nutrients to the body.

  • Aloe Vera – This is the best solution I have found. It last longer than anything else. Before aloe vera, I literally had been sleeping at. 90-degree angle. Anything less cause severe burning in my chest. I have been hard to avoid prescriptions so I am glad I finally discovered the drink I enjoyed in Korea actually is useful for my pregnancy. 

  • Almonds

 

Resources:

https://www.mamanatural.com/pregnancy-heartburn/

http://www.myhealthtips.in/2014/04/natural-cures-for-heartburn-in-pregnant-women.html



Ok so the title isn’t exactly proper English but you get the reference right?

This isn’t a long post I just figured I’d share my pregnant decision making process when deciding to go somewhere.  This literally was my thought pattern about five minutes ago. Maybe others can relate?

Responsible Me: Ok, you said you’d get up after your nap. So get up! You have to be there in half hour and you already said you were going. 

Pregnant Me: Yes but I’m pregnant I’m sure they will understand if I don’t show up. 

Responsible Me: Really do you want to be that person who uses the baby as an excuse? Be a person of you word and get up. 

Pregnant Me: Ok but I have to put on make up… Ugh… And real pants… Yuck!

Responsible Me: This is why you should go, you haven’t left the house in two days. You need to actually get dressed at some point this week.

Pregnant Me: This is true. Once I get there I’ll probably be happy I went. Ok. I’m getting up. 

Responsible Me: Good girl!

Pregnant Me: I’m going to the event. 

Responsible Me: That’s right!

Pregnant Me: But wait I have to find a bra that fits…

Responsible Me: We’re not going…

THE END



et cetera