eating healthy

Why I Seriously Hate Being A Woman Sometimes…

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I know, I know. International women’s day was JUST here and maybe it makes me less of a feminist or a traitor to my kind but seriously I just hate being a woman sometimes.

When you’re a single woman, you’re defined by such things as: career-driven success, sexual awareness, college degrees, if you model, where you live, if you have a boyfriend —

When you get engaged, you hear: how did he propose, how big is your ring, are you having a summer wedding, did you cry, how will you announce, who will your bridesmaids be and how will you ask them —

After you get married the silent questions of strangers are: how often do you have sex, does he post romantic, effortless, and natural sounding random things on Facebook about you, is he also a feminist, does he want kids right away, has the “honeymoon” phase worn off, do you guys fight now —

And of course after you have a baby: how did you give birth, was it natural, how long did you labor, what did you register for, how big is your baby, is she sitting up, is she smiling, is she rolling over, if so was it before mine, how much does she weigh now, can she talk yet, is she running because my 9 year old is running, does she speak 4 languages yet, oh you’re NOT getting vaccinated, does she sleep through the night, have her eyes changed color yet, and THE question – have you lost the baby weight —

Most people don’t come right out and say these but they are plastered all over our lives. I could throw up at how many times I’ve had women ask me if I want one of those wraps. Because I guess I look like the kind of person who is trying to “bounce back” in a hurry. Newsflash: babies. need. squish. They want boobs, real boobs to lay on. A soft tummy and nice floppy arms. They want to fall asleep on something they can sink into. But we are so obsessed with comparing ourselves to some other version of ourselves or other women that it feels like we’re doing something wrong if we don’t look like the “hot mom”.

I’m not condoning making unwise or unhealthy choices. Because we deserve to live well, and our bodies are worth taking care of. But real life mamas, they probably don’t have rock hard abs all the time. They just don’t. ********* Hey if you’re doing a workout program right now, or if you coach one, I’m not trying to be ugly. Because the world needs people like you. And there are a lot of mama’s who want and need some help getting things together again. You’re good people and keep it up.

I stepped on the scale the other day and I’m back in the 120’s, and I feel pretty great about that. And when I look at my belly, it’s still soft as a nice bowl of pudding, and I also feel pretty okay about that too. You know what I hate? I hate feeling like as soon as my personal growth is thrown out into the social media world, it’s combatted or surpassed by someone else’s bigger and better growth.

I don’t want people to know sometimes. I honestly don’t. Elena is such a good baby. She’s slept through the night since about 5 weeks. She was tongue tied and still figured out nursing like a champ. She has slept in her own room multiple times and doesn’t ever cry (unless that doggone pacifier falls out…), she naps on a schedule for usually over an hour and a half each time, I can bring her with me to any room I’m in and complete whatever housework I need to, she doesn’t hate being left alone, she loves people holding her but also is okay when they don’t, she likes sleeping on her own, she loves baths and showers and doesn’t even cry if water gets on her face, she loves our animals and she loves us so much – and I can feel she knows she is loved. But. Our lives are not perfect.

But the second that you tell the world all of your good news, you feel guilty. Or you get comments like, “just wait until the second gets here”. Or your friends don’t comment or like your statuses because it makes them feel bad if their baby doesn’t do that. Why do our lives revolve around the success or demise of other people to the extent that we can’t be happy for our sisters when good things happen to them.

Because yeah I stepped on that scale and saw a number that I liked. But 6 months ago when I was in the throes of late pregnancy, with the Alabama sun giving me real bad under boob sweat, I wasn’t liking the number I saw. But guess what. Literally every woman in the world feels like that about something. Big freaking deal.

Why can’t we laugh at the struggles in our own lives and push them aside when someone needs our support more. This is when I hate the Instagram world so much. These beautiful women who post beautifully posed and edited pictures of their lives, with or without kids – the message is the same. It has created this bubble of lies that we all fall into. This need to be a perfectly edited picture. Not real. Not with acne, not with bed head hair that doesn’t look cute, not with clothes that don’t fit us yet.

This need for women to be a certain way and look a certain way and present themselves in a certain way, we want to say it’s because of men but it’s not. We do this to ourselves and each other.

Enough. Just enough of it, already. Honestly I could care less about how far you got in college. Why? Because it’s your business not mine. I think it’s awesome that your baby was born with a full set of adult teeth and speaking complex sentences. Whatever. It literally means nothing about my baby or my life. I don’t care if you go out and model on the weekends and I don’t. Why? Because why should I care.

I think we are so far away from loving each other. We present this “feminism” idea of supporting and empowering one another but I have never in my life encountered so many women on a regular basis that struggle with depression and/or anxiety.

Would it be so impossible to just be a blank slate. Be friendly to each other, love on each other, support one another’s success and don’t try to make it about yourself. Can we try to not be so insecure in our own strengths that we have to tear apart other women’s fears in order to make our own not seem so scary.


Introduction To Juicing

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Okay, I’m sure by this point, you know all about juicing, right? I mean it’s everywhere, and just about everyone has done it. But in case you haven’t known if you should jump in, I have a few notes and introductory how-to’s to get you started. Read the rest of this entry »

Just Dill With It, Okay?

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Man, I just love dill. When I worked at a wedding venue I had the pleasure of assisting in some of the catering preparation and we made these delightful cucumber canapes, which featured an absolutely insane dill spread. It was there that my love for dill was birthed and I have never looked back. It’s such an underrated herb; with such a light taste that can accent or star as the main seasoning. It leaves your mouth tasting fresh and your stomach feeling like whatever you just ate must have been healthy for you. What a hidden gem. One of my staples in cooking, no matter the occasion, or time of the day, it is always appropriate to dash (or splash) some dill on, making every main entree a starlet, in the limelight of glory, just waiting to be devoured.

Well I’ve been wondering lately, is it really the dill that I love so much, or is it perhaps that I have found something I like and am using it in excess in hopes of everything will be just as good as those canapes. I have known myself to do this at times. To find something that I love so much, and then ruthlessly push myself into perfectionism trying to make all of my 7 or so years of cooking (or learning to cook) add up to my teacher’s more than twenty. It’s so challenging sometimes to see the end result, to know what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like, and yet not have the experience to make that ideal thing belong to me.

It’s like how you can go have a lunch (or go to a marriage conference) with an older couple who have years and years of experiences, memories, doing it right and wrong, and ultimately who have put time and patience into their relationship, and now are seeing the fruit of that. They have a great relationship. And you go home, and have to deal with still having crap in your own relationship and life. Hearing women talk about how they’ve dealt with some really difficult challenges, and how they came out the other side victorious, and really wanting to do the same thing, but just not bring at that place yet… well that can just really suck.

Phil and I had the same sort of thing happen to us. We heard all of this information of how to work through your problems, how wonderful it was to be in a marriage with a man who loves you and a woman who loves you, and basically seeing the “light” (so to speak) at the end of the tunnel of what an amazing marriage could look like – and then we came back to reality, and honest to God tried to apply everything that we had learned and really wanted to work through in a mature, loving, patient and kind manner.

Well THAT sure didn’t work.

We still had the exact same problems, if not a few more stirred up. And we went through an entire week of bickering at each other, pushing out every kind of negativity you probably could imagine, and ultimately being just so confused that it was happening, because we really thought we were going to do so good. And I suppose it wasn’t that we were doing bad, but gathering all of that stuff together and trying to make six months into twenty years in a day just does not happen. And that is so frustrating. Why can I just not be perfect, already?! Why is that I know that I’m just word vomiting all over him, and I know it’s wrong and I know what I’m supposed to be doing but I can just not seem to get a handle on myself.

After a long week of feeling distant from each other, seriously irritated with each other, and more short tempered than we had ever been, we decided to go for a drive. He just picked a direction and drove, and it was on a long road going to nowhere we came to peace with each other and the fact that we just are, where we are. And trying to get anywhere that fast wasn’t going to work for either of us. Really it’s trying to cheat the system. It’s wanting to get to the end without doing half of the work.

So we looked at each other, forgave one another (and ourselves) and released each other to just take our time in getting to twenty years. And since then, our home has been at peace. Dealing with it doesn’t always necessarily mean taking all of your issues and shoving them down each others throats (okay, it never means that), but sometimes it means accepting life for what it is, imperfect and sometimes a little rocky. Sometimes I mix weird things with dill that don’t taste good, and the only thing I can do afterwards is suck up my pride, let go of the expectation that I set on myself to be perfect at everything, and live life a little better. Turns out, it’s much better.

Anna’s Crispy Baked Dill Drumsticks

However Many Drumsticks You Want
Whatever Herbs You Want
Some Oil
Some Salt (I Used Garlic Salt)

So you preheat the oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) and try to separate the chicken skin from the meat
and stuff your herbs in there. I used fresh basil, thyme, and of course dill. Bake it for like 22 minutes and turn them over,
and bake for another 25 minutes or so.

Anna’s Homemade Chips

I Used 4 Medium Red Potatoes and 1 Sweet Potato
Some Oil
Some Coarse Sea Salt
Some Dried Dill
Some Garlic Salt
Just A Little Cayenne Pepper

These can be baked at the same time and temperature as the drumsticks.I sliced them thinly,
and put them on oiled foil, in a single layer with no overlaps. I turned them over when the first timer
for the chicken went off. But they came out a little before the second timer, it just really depends
on how you like your chips. I put them in a bowl lined in paper towels and added the salt, cayenne, and dill just gradually,
and gave them a nice shake to evenly coat them. But you can add whatever you like.

Oh My Grainess, What A Surprise

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Oatmeal. Can you say, a horrendous pile of mush that to this day haunts my childhood and puts a damper on all of the good things of life. Despite my beautiful mother’s best efforts, this was despised… because let’s face it. Cream of wheat was just better. It wasn’t oatmeal’s fault that it gets stuck in your throat and makes you feel like your trying to suck on your food and chew it at the same time. It was just terrible. 

However I have very recently discovered a new love for this healthy, appetite-curving, bowl of possibilities. And to be quite honest I do have to choke down some milk in-between bites of flax seeds and quinoa. But I am desperately trying to make my beer and pizza-loving-body back into a green pepper and cherry tomato digesting machine. Life is harder when you don’t have Mom’s garden constantly pumping out delicious, sun-warmed vegetables that taste like God kissed them all individually. I finally understand what being an adult means, and my diet has suffered greatly for it. 

I have always been something of a sucker for being inspired and inspiring in return. Oh my goodness give me any sort of romantic montage, any story of a man loving a woman, tango dancing and the passion required to do so, any movie including sisters loving each other, dad’s coming home, babies being born, people realizing the beauty in life, army families, patriotism for America, songs about people coming together, bonding with girls in public bathrooms because of our mutual hair issues…. I’m just such a sap for that stuff. I weep at the idea of Jesus being in love with me, and when Phil brings me home chocolate milk that has no additives or high fructose corn syrup. 

So how do you turn such a bland and sticky monster of a cereal into something life-altering and motivating. 

You don’t. You embrace the gross and take it for what it is. Something that is good for you. And part of doing things that are good for you is accepting that they might not always taste good, but the result of them will be much better. It might not be the thing that sparks my taste buds and makes my mouth feel like it’s in flavor town but, my legs will appreciate those oats a lot more than any number of beers. 

I know sometimes admitting I’m wrong, or I did something wrong, or apologizing for things that I don’t think are wrong but that hurt someone else, well that feels like someone is asking me to eat a bowl of bark and like it. I can feel every single issue I struggle with rear up and get just infuriated. And it tastes like you took the leftover bark and made a milkshake with sap. And I have to drink it with a smile.

But! Like an hour after that’s all over (okay not a whole hour), I am so glad that I did apologize. Because even if I didn’t do anything wrong. Just the fact that our relationship is growing and we’re becoming more attune to one another and the things we both struggle with, is well worth it.  

So the grain. The oats. The mess. It’s completely worth it to know that I am taking care of myself and my body. 

(Well that’s what I’m telling myself anyway)


Anna’s Bowl of Oatmeal 

– I never measure anything so just eyeball as you will –

A Cup of Oats
A Few Tablespoons of Flax Seeds
A Few Tablespoons of Red Quinoa
A Few Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
A Couple Spoons of Greek Yogurt
Some Fruit

I cooked the oatmeal with flax seeds, and quinoa first.
I just put enough water to soak all the oats and let it heat up.
It all depends on how you like your oatmeal really. 
After the oats are soft I added the sugar, yogurt and fruit.
And then I ate it. 
And it wasn’t half bad.