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Why I decided to eat clean



A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a few health issues. My doctor recommended that I try a clean eating diet. I really had no idea what that was, so naturally, I headed to the internet. 

During my internet searches, I came across a book by Tosca Reno, The Eat-Clean Diet, which had a lot of really great reviews. I was lucky enough to find it at my local library, so I picked it up and read it that day. It is the perfect book for anyone new to a clean eating diet and breaks down what a clean eating diet is, how to shop, and recipes for every meal. 

What the Heck is Clean Eating?

There are different versions of the clean eating diet, but I'll share with you what I am doing and how it is working for me. 

1. It isn't a diet, it is a lifestyle change - I don't like the fact that it is called a "diet". For me, it is a complete and total lifestyle change. When I decided to begin eating clean, I purged my pantry and refrigerator of all non-clean items. It was really tough, but I knew that if it was in the house, I would eat it. 

2. Avoid processed foods - I read on my favorite clean eating website, The Gracious Pantry, that if you can't pronounce an ingredient it isn't clean. I have never been one to read the labels on my food, but I have completely changed that. I read EVERY label now. 

3. Avoid anything "white" - I no longer eat white rice, white flour, and I am slowly weaning myself off of white sugar. I also learned that table salt is a big no-no. I now only use sea salt, though I don't use it that often.

4. Eat as much fresh food as possible - I've read that when you shop for food you should stick to the outer areas of the grocery store. That is where you find the fresh fruit, veggies, meat, dairy, etc. Try to keep what you are buying as close to nature as possible. 

5. Eat 5-6 smaller meals a day - I eat breakfast around 7:30, a snack at 10:00, lunch at 12:00, a snack at 3:00, dinner at 5:30, and sometimes a snack at 7:30. It has worked out quite well for me. 

This is just a small look at what clean eating is all about. If you are interested in learning much more I suggest you check out the following books (affiliate links):

Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker by Tiffany McCauley
Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash

Now how am I going to eat clean while I'm on my 6 Month Spending Diet Challenge? Check back tomorrow for my plan!

What is in my crochet bag?

To be completely honest, right now this is not what is in my crochet bag. Right now my crochet bag is full of a bunch of stuff, mostly cross-stitch and embroidery projects. But, this is usually what is in my crochet bag and what will be by the end of the week. Contains affiliate links.

Crochet Bag - I absolutely love my Cath Kidston Cranham and Wicker craft bag. I have a slightly different one than in the picture above. Mine has a white basket print instead of the blue and a rose print on the inside, but the style is identical. You can see my bag, here. Unfortunately, this bag is no longer available but you might be able to find one on Ebay.

Another plug for Cath Kidston is their customer service. It is great! I am in the US and the company is based out of the UK. When I ordered my craft bag I also ordered a few other little things including a super cute polkadot pen. They accidentally sent me the wrong pen, which wasn't a big deal but I wanted to let them know. They emailed me right away and told me to keep the pen they sent in error and they would send me the pen I wanted right away. So great! I placed another craft order from a different company in the UK around the same time. Not only did I never get the items I purchased, but I was charged for them and then treated very poorly when I finally got to speak with someone from the company 6 months later! Needless to say, I was out $80 and extremely disappointed. Unfortunately, I am now very particular with who I order from outside of the US.

12 Free Sun Crochet Patterns


Welcome Summer!!!

Today is the first day of summer and to help celebrate I've put together a compilation of 12 FREE crochet sun patterns. It has been so gloomy lately in North Carolina that I needed a little sunshine to brighten up my day.

1. Summer Sun Wreath


2. Sol Rug


Free Monthly Migraine Tracker

https://migrainecenters.com/blog/

I come from a long line of migraine sufferers (During my childhood,  I remember watching my mom give herself shots of Imitrex to battle her migraines). So I knew that over time I too would eventually develop migraines.

For me, they really didn't get intense until my thirties, though I did have them off and on throughout my teens and twenties. But for the last eight years, or so, I've battled frequent migraines.

Triggers

As a migraine sufferer, one of the most important things to know is your trigger(s). For years I've had migraines so I have gotten pretty good at knowing mine: food (shellfish, tomatoes/sauce, processed foods, cauliflower, chocolate, wine), smells (perfume, gasoline, ammonia), environment (hot temperatures, being in the sun for a long time, barometric pressure, rainy days), stress, and most importantly hormonal fluctuations. Click here to read more about migraine triggers.

It is tough to not have at least one of these triggers affect me, so I tend to have migraines a few times a month. I know there are a lot of sufferers who battle migraines on a daily basis. I feel for you! I am glad mine aren't that frequent, although once I get one it usually lasts for a couple of days.

The good news is when you know your trigger(s) you can pay attention and learn to be proactive. I know when it is raining outside there is a good chance that I will get a migraine. So, I opt for my go-to remedy of a Pepsi and an Excedrin Migraine pill. If I can catch it early enough that will do the trick. If not, I have my backup that is my Imitrex prescription medicine. But you have to be careful with Imitrex and other prescription medication as there are side effects for long term use.