Essential Traditions/Real Food Real Frugal

The archives for the old Essential Traditions blog and the old Real Food Real Frugal Blog

Thinner Me Monday – #1

As I spoke about in my post New Leaf New Year, I am in the process of changing my diet and trying to lose weight. And, as promised, I’m posting my first Monday update! I was really expecting some weight-loss this week, but because of a weird incident with our scale, I’m not sure if my starting weight, as posted in the New Leaf New Year post is accurate or not. It seemed one of the little legs had come off from the scale so it wasn’t sitting flat on the surface and therefore wasn’t weighing accurately. It was about 9-10 pounds off. So when I posted last week, the weight I posted was 205.6. Instead, it should have been more like 215.6. So from today forward, I”m going to use 215.6 as my official “starting” weight. Anyway, we got the little foot cap back on (it was under the bed where we store the scale). I got on the scale this morning and my official weight is:

Starting Weight: 215.6
Today’s Weight: 213.8
Weight Loss This Week: 1.8 pounds

Hey, slow and steady wins the race.  I’m hoping that next week there will be a bit higher number in the pounds lost.  When cutting out all grains like we have, it takes a little while for you body to adjust.  Early in the week, I found that I was eating a lot, because my body was so use to having to quickly replace all those grains/carbs that it usually had to burn up quickly.  Now by the end of the week, I was getting full faster and staying full longer.  For example, on Saturday, I age 1 egg, 1 piece of ham, and 3 slices of bacon at about 9:00 am.  I then went and did all my errands, which usually burns a ton of calories for me.  If I had eaten my normal breakfast that was high in grains, I would have been STARVING by the time 1:00 rolled by.  But with the grain free breakfast I had, I still wasn’t hungry AT ALL!  Instead, I was able to get all my errands done, come home and put up the groceries, and still not be hungry at 4 p.m.  I was still satisfied with the breakfast that I had nearly 7 hours ago.  Finally, around 5:00 p.m. I started getting a little bit hungry and ate a handful of almonds.  We were going out to dinner after our amateur radio club meeting which was at 6:00 pm, so I didn’t want to eat a full meal.  We ate at about 7:00 p.m.  So I am really seeing how my body is starting to not feel the need to eat every 3-4 hours any longer, because the food I’m, eating is more substantial than the grain/carb full diet I use to eat.

So just what did I eat this past week?  Let me share a few photos of my meals (sorry for the kind of lowsy pictures…used my iPhone instead of my good camera):

Are you trying to lose weight or experimenting with a change in your diet?  I’d love to hear what you’re doing!  Join in the discussion by leaving a comment!


New Year, New Leaf

Sorry to have disappeared for the last couple of weeks. We were out of town for Christmas/New Year’s holidays and while gone, I had a fun trip to the ER. Turns out that I had a bad sinus infection and bronchitis. That hung around for about 2 weeks. I’m finally on the mend, just the annoying cough has hung on, but eve it is better. I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas and that your New Year is turning out to be wonderful.

New Year, New Leaf

It’s a New Year, and like many other people, I’m turning over a new leaf and making some changes in my life. It wasn’t just because of the the New Year, I wanted to wait until after all the temptations from the holidays were past before starting to make changes. So here it is, the beginning of 2013 and we as a family are making some major dietary changes. My husband and I are both over weight. While our diet wasn’t too bad, we ate pretty well most of the time, we had slowly slipped back into some bad habits. Mostly going out to eat and eating convenience foods. So after being encouraged to read the book, Wheat Belly, we have decided to cut out all grains from our diet.  This is something we’ve been talking about doing for a while and the book just reinforced that desire.  Not only are we cutting out all grains, but we are also cutting out sugar and processed foods.

How It’s Going To Go

For the first 4 weeks, we are going to be really strict on the diet, and then after that we will start allowing in SMALL amounts of gluten free grains.  Small amounts will be probably 1 time a week or less.  As for sugar, unless it’s sweetened with stevia or honey, I will avoid it and even honey sweetened foods will be limited (stevia will be used as the main sweetener–which is what I already do).  As for the convenience foods, I’ve cooked from scratch mostly for the last 10 years so it’s really not going to be that big of a deal.

To make things even easier during this first 4 weeks, I’ve created a simple repetitive menu that is easy to create (no thinking), with many items that can be prepared ahead of time, and is full of meals (slightly altered) that my family already loves.  Here is the menu:

Breakfasts (as you can see, my husband is not a fan of fruit in the morning):

  1. egg muffins with sausage patties (homemade sausage)
  2. berry smoothies (for boys and I) and egg muffins for husband
  3. egg muffins with sausage patties (homemade sausage)
  4. fruit salad (for boys and I and egg muffins for husband
  5. fruit salad (for boys and I and egg muffins for husband
  6. egg muffins made with veggies
  7. berry smoothies (for boys and I) and egg muffins for husband


  1. spaghetti with meat sauce and zucchini “noodles”
  2. hamburger patties on a bed of salad
  3. tuna salad with veggie sticks
  4. mini quiches (egg muffins with broccoli and chicken)
  5. berry smoothies and salad
  6. veggie plate/salad
  7. veggie plate/salad


  1. taco salad
  2. meat loaf with 2 veggie sides
  3. chicken enchiladas (made with cabbage leaves) with 2 veggie sides
  4. chicken stir-fry
  5. Salmon patties with 2 veggie sides
  6. egg and sausage scramble (homemade sausage
  7. Big salad meal

Snacks & Beverages:

Snacks will consist of a limited amount of nuts and seeds, veggies & dip (homemade), cheese, hard boiled eggs, limited fruit, and some meats.

Beverages will be mostly water, but will allow some tea and milk.

The Nitty Gritty

Last year, I was able to lose about 25 pounds,  Went from 209 to 185 by eating low carb.  I was happy with that, but I reached a plateau and nothing I did would knock me off of it.  I flat stopped losing weight.  I upped my exercise, ate less, and still nothing would work.  At that point I got frustrated and went back to our normal diet.  The weight came back (and then some!).  By the weeks before Christmas 2012, I had ballooned up to 225.  YIKES!  That was about 2 weeks before Christmas.  Between then and now, I’m down to 205.6.  The only change being that I cut back how much I was eating and was sick for 2 weeks.  The majority of the weight loss was due to the illness.  But still, I have lost 20 pounds in about a month.

To make weight loss even harder, I’m having issues with my hormones.  I’ve reached perimenopause and my periods and hormones are severely out of whack.  I’ve started taking progesterone cream, along with red raspberry leaves, maca, and vitex.  Not to mention that I’m taking several other supplements which include a good food based vitamin and will begin taking fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend as soon as it arrives.

So staring out with these dietary changes, I do have some issues working against me.  But I’m not going to let that get me down.  I have 65-75 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight of 130-140.  I’m not trying to get down to a certain size, I’m more concerned with getting to a healthy weight.  We officially started last night on the diet with this yummy venison taco salad:

More than just diet, I kind of fell off the exercise bandwagon.  I will also begin walking again to help encourage weight loss and overall health.

What to Expect

Over the next few months, I will begin to share my weight loss journey here on the blog.  I won’t let the blog become over run with diet posts though.  The focus will still be on real food, natural living, and frugality.  But I do plan on sharing my progress each Monday and occasionally at other times.  I will definitely be sharing recipes I’ve created along this journey, as well as other things I may try.  2013 promises to be a beautiful year and I have lots of stuff planned for the coming months.  In fact February I will begin a series here at Real Food Real Frugal where I will make the big switch from purchased cleaners and hygine products to 100% home made.  I’ll be running a challenge and be sharing some recipes.  Ought to be fun and I’d love for y’all to join me!  So start getting prepared for that.