Archive | September 2013

October Unprocessed – September 30, 2013

Well, tomorrow is the day!  I stocked up on fresh produce today and I am getting really excited about this challenge to eat only real, unprocessed foods for the entire month of October.  Here are some of the foods I bought today and this is what my refrigerator looks like! 🙂

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I know there will be a few foods that will be major obstacles for me, such as bread, ice cream, and pizza, but I am going to try my best to eat as healthy and unprocessed as I can.  If I cheat a little bit, I am not going to worry about it.  I have decided that cheese is going to be one of my deliberate exceptions, but I am going to use it as sparingly as I can.  Another obstacle is going to be my weekly lunch date with my husband.  I have decided that I will be a little more lenient about this challenge during that meal, but I am still going to try to choose the most unprocessed choice on the menu during those dates.

I am amazed at the amount of support I have already received from friends and family members on Facebook, and 3 of my friends have even pledged to do this with me!  I am enjoying the recipes and tips my friends are giving me, and I am grateful they are all cheering for me to succeed.  I also feel so much support from the October Unprocessed Facebook page, with over 10,000 participants who also took this challenge and are committed to supporting each other.  I love being a part of a community of people who share the common goal of trying to improve their health and wellness and be the best they can be.

One of my ongoing goals in life is to contribute to a healthy society (in mind, body and spirit), and to do that I need to start with myself.  I strive to better myself every day in one of those areas, and I am hoping this challenge will help me to set the example of healthy eating for my kids.  My ultimate goal in raising my 3 daughters is to teach them the importance of respecting their bodies and being aware of everything they put into and on it.  I live my life trying to be a positive role model for them, and if I inspire a few others along the way, all the better.  I don’t think it is going to be easy, but with plenty of support, I can do this!  Bring on October!


October Unprocessed – Eat Real Food

I just signed up to take the “October Unprocessed” challenge.  This means I will eat only real food, and nothing processed for the entire month of October.  I will be tracking my progress on this blog.  Join me in taking this challenge, or find out more about it at

The Sunflower Contest

September 8, 2013 025With every passing year, my interest in gardening grows.  One of the things I love the most about gardening is that the whole family can get involved.  The kids think it is fun, and I love that gardening teaches them where their food comes from while teaching them patience at the same time.

This summer, we decided to have a little family contest to make gardening even more fun!  We decided to see who could grow the tallest sunflower.  We all planted our seeds on June 1 (and some of us even later because our original sunflowers didn’t make it.)  We decided to measure the sunflowers on the first day of school (August 28) and determine the winner then.  The winner of the contest would be able to choose the destination(s) for family fun on the following Saturday (August 31).

All five of us started out very enthusiastic!  We all took different strategies as well.  Here are the strategies each of us took as well as the final results of our contest:

Fifth place went to Kaitlin (age 9).  She decided to plant her sunflower seed in a container and leave it there the entire time.  She kept it indoors for most of the summer, and then put it out on the deck sometime in August.  She was good about watering it at first, but as the summer went on, she only watered it when she remembered.

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Fourth place went to Kassi (age 6).  She also decided to plant her seed in a container, but this one was a little bit bigger than the container Kaitlin used.  The only water it got was when it rained, and when she occasionally felt like watering it.

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Third place went to Kira (age 10).  She started hers out in a container, and then decided to plant it in the garden so it would get watered automatically with the rest of the garden.   She chose to plant a different type of sunflower seed than the rest of us.  If the contest had been for biggest, prettiest, or most sunflowers, she certainly would have won.

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Second place went to Mom (me!)  I originally planted mine on the side of the house, and then it got crushed by the garden hose.  So on my second attempt, I planted it directly into the garden.

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And first place goes to dad (Alex)!  He planted his directly into the garden to begin with.  His sunflower measured over 9 feet tall on August 28th.  Great job, Alex!

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For his day of family fun, Alex decided we would go to a local 4-H fair in the morning, then he chose to take us to a corn maze in the afternoon, and then we all went out to dinner that night.  It was a great day and we were all happy with his family fun destinations.  Overall, we were all glad that he won.

Here are a few more sunflowers in our garden that we all planted together, but they were not part of the contest.

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Growing sunflowers has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us, and we are very excited to do it again next year!