The year is coming to a close. It's time for reflection on the accomplishments of the year's goals and unexpected happenings. The single most important change has been in my diet.

This way of eating has been good. REALLY good. The food is beautiful, tasty, filling and surprisingly easy to stick to in all situations. 

Yesterday, on a nice forest trail walk, I got a little choked up about how good I felt! This sounds strange, but I had resigned myself to feeling "old" in my joints and muscles. Now, suddenly I feel so much better. My body feels like it did 10 years ago (Not young exactly, but it's still early in the game on this way of feeding myself). The parking brakes are off my range of motion, the minor constant aches are not in my way anymore. My breathing is easier and my pants fit the same in the morning as they do at night (that's a big deal for me). The "balanced" diet I had been eating my whole life was making me slow, and I get teared up from joy and a little bit sad and sometimes even angry that I wasted this much time feeling old when it was so EASY to fix!

I'm not being antisocial with it. If there is a special reason to eat a certain food that's not normally on my menu, I take enough to participate. It's rare enough that my health is still improving even with all the Christmas feasting going on. 

On the topic of simplifying...

I have faith that this path of healthy eating is 100% sustainable, therefore I can confidently remove the clothes that fit 10 pounds heavier. 

5 pairs of pants, 12 tops, some sports bras are all off to the thrift store.


Outerwear outa here!

 Sorry for the terrible picture, it's dark this time of year. 

3 decent coats that no one fits and 3 pairs of dressy boots. 

I love the dressy boots look, but I realized that have my favourites and these aren't them, so off they go to a new home. Since I always buy them second hand, I don't feel like I have wasted money.... I just "rented" them for a year from the charity thrift shop for a very reasonable price!

That wasn't a bad purge for a 5 minute look in the front closet! It's amazing what can be lingering neglected behind closed doors. Now these things are off to a worthy cause and maybe a new home, that's a nice feeling.


Pantry clean out: revisited

This new way of eating that we have adopted - whole real foods - has resulting in very very good things in my family. Not only are we leaner, we just plain FEEL better! Physically and mentally clearer, more energy, a better sense of being ALIVE!

With results like that, I really can't see us returning to our eating habits, so I revisited the fridge and dry goods to get rid of even more processed and sugar or flour based foods.

My sister is adopting most of the open packages, and there is some unopened foods for charity too.

As I do more and more research, I see that there is a word for this kind of eating. 
We have adopted Paleo as our choice for feeling good. 

At first I heavily resisted giving up some of the grains, legumes and beans... And the sugar withdrawal was not fun. But as I read the medical arguments (there are a ridiculous number of medical studies) I appreciate that it might be worth it to at least see if I can live without these things I am just used to. 

Of course I can! Just trying to figure out what to eat each meal was the hard part at first. My go-to recipes and snacks were in question after all. So I am retraining myself to cook without these things thanks to ample blogs and recipe books! - the Paleo recipes are amazing! Full of colour, flavour and texture (all the things I love about cooking and food), this is a really diverse and bountiful way to eat and I have the pictures to prove it! 

And that's just a "taste" of the meals we have been enjoying lately.


Different Perspectives

Recently I found out that my husband doesn't think our 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is big enough!

I was shocked. Honestly for the life of me I can't figure out what he would want more space for! It's so far beyond my goals, that I can't think of anything to say about it. I always thought when the children left home that we would move into something smaller like a cottage in the back yard, then rent out the main house to supplement our old age income, but my husband says this house is as small as he wants. Gobsmacked how we could be so far apart in our vision of the future. I guess we both make compromises at every life-step.

Functionally, I think this is far more house than we need, but apparently he wishes it had a full basement as well. We are a family of 4, but our kids are getting older (17 and 13), less toys are coming in (yay!) and their interests are primarily outdoors or digital. So you would think this 1800 sqft rancher house would be more than ample!

Our oldest is anxious to start a life of his own within the next couple years, and will likely move hundreds of miles away for the best employment opportunities (and take his stuff with him). When that happens his room at the end of the hall has so much potential!

I could move the home office from the front room to there (not my favourite option because I like being in the big room next to the front door), or make a small TV room with hide-a-bed sofa to get the noisy video games out of earshot and double as a guest room that our oldest son could stay in when he visits, or a gym, or a craft/sewing room, or, or, or....

We have never had a "spare" room before! The potential is mind boggling (in a good way).

And our son has loads of outdoor gear that he would be encouraged to take too... bicycles, camping gear, tools, and other boy-interest paraphernalia. It would clear out gobs of garage space and a shed! ( I will love tearing those sheds down one day. Handy for now, but eye sores.)

Once again it makes me wonder why our house isn't "big enough" in my husband's eyes. It's only going to feel bigger from here on out. Especially as the purging continues daily bit by bit.

pretty serving dish.... unitasker whose function can be met by other dishes

hand painted pitcher (and 6 matching goblets not pictured) it is heavy and poorly balanced. A gift that I was hanging onto and using out of respect for the gifter

digital camera, charger and battery that was replaced by a newer faster version some time ago

box of miscellaneous cables, books and too-small-boots

... and more clothing and books and toys not pictured!