Getting back on track. Grocery Haul.


So I have eaten many a noodles, curries, burgers, pizza.. you name it. I have been home for two weeks but have not gotten on track at all. So today I said enough! I am not doing any specific way of eating. I am just trying to eat BETTER!! Here is what I scored.

IMG_6319.JPGRomaine, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, squash, green beans, raspberries, 2 things of tomatoes.

IMG_6318.JPG3 lbs of lean turkey, a turkey tenderloin, 2 packages of chicken, chicken burgers, wild salmon bowls, and coconut lemongrass with chicken bowls. The frozen stuff is for in a pinch and has great stats!

IMG_6317.JPGQu0rn chicken patties, soy sausage, and garden veggie burgers.

IMG_6320.JPGWhole wheat bread, couscous, stocks, chimichurri, wraps.

IMG_6322.JPGTrying to go easy on cheese. Got myself the daiya shreds! Mozzarella and cheddar.

IMG_6321.JPGEggs, hummus, salsa.

 

I feel better knowing that their are some healthier choices in my fridge. One day at a time!!!!!

XO-

G

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A new island.


Hi friends. Last summer we took our vacation to Cedar Key Florida located on the west coast.

Cedar Key from a Birds Eye View - Photo by Pat Bonish

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It is about a 8-9 hour drive from the Florida Keys. We stayed for one week and even brought the dogs along with us. I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I was found amazing. Here are a few blogs I wrote with a ton of pictures of the quaint town.

http://gracegothealthy.com/2013/08/13/cedar-key-preview/

http://gracegothealthy.com/2013/08/24/more-cedar-key-vacation/

What I liked about the town.

Stillness.

Beautiful weeping willows everywhere. Palms of all sorts. Lots of trees and greenery.ck13

Clams being sold on the side of the road. 100 little necks for 10 bucks no joke.clams

The pink roseate spoonbills flying overhead. The 12 blue crabs we caught in 4 hours off of our dock. The storms rolling in over the tidal flats. The enormous scallop shells  lying in the water just waiting to be plucked and added to the shell collection. Wanna get around? Do it by bike, foot, or the best option– golf cart. Yes. The island is so small it can be traversed by golf cart in about 15 minutes tops. There are not many tourist attractions. There is dock street of course. A fancy fishing pier where everyone comes together to try to snatch the biggest fish. Along dock street you will find some authentic restaurants, a few touristy restaurants, a few tacky shops selling Cedar Key keepsakes, and a few boat rental places. It’s really small. Probably 1/4 a mile long.ck49

The outer ring of the island leading up to dock street is blue water with gentle waves. The famous honeymoon cottage can be seen. It’s  dilapidated stilts are hauntingly beautiful. Once a popular bungalow, now crumbling into the sea bit by bit due to a tropical storm. ck48

Some parts of cedar key are very muddy and brown. It reminds me of the dirty brown water back home on the Eastern shore of Md. It brought back a lot of memories. ck111

The beaches a mixture of tan, white sand littered in oyster shells and rock. Some mud. Depends on what part of the island you are on. I wouldn’t consider it a “beachy” town and that is just fine with me. ck40

 

A total of area of 2.1 square miles which equals out to 1.4 miles by 1.4 miles, Cedar Key is super small. During the summer the population has about 700 folks. During the winter months it can climb to 1200. I have lived in tourist towns my whole life. Easton Md, Orlando Fl, Key West Fl. I am no stranger to sharing with greedy tourists who use and abuse our beautiful area/home. This place is different though. It’s old Florida. The way Florida used to be. The people who come here aren’t coming to get loaded at Sloppy Joe’s down on Duval Street. They are coming to Cedar Key for peace and quiet. Kayaking. Bird watching. Scallop hunting. Fishing. Eating clams. Air boat rides. A little r and r.

We immediately fell in love with the whole concept of moving north. We made a pro vs con list– The Florida Keys vs Cedar Key. Cedar Key won out every single time. This would mean a few things. Cheaper rent, cheaper gas, cheaper food, access to a big city only 60 minutes away, access to a smaller city 30 minutes away, and of course life on a tiny island. A quiet island. We searched desperately to try to find a lease. There was nothing. We even looked at areas outside of Cedar Key. There are a ton of wildlife preserves and acreage in the area but still couldn’t find anything. We had to put off our dreams and ended up having to sign another lease in the lower keys, when all along our hearts were still up north.

Begrudgingly we have spent the past year here in “paradise” Our animosity towards the whole joint was/is growing by the day. After Thailand we found ourselves asking what is next? What do we do? We aren’t happy here anymore. Why leave paradise you ask? Do you want me to answer that? I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I have had some of the best times of my life here in this place. It’s beautiful. It’s an escape. It’s where the dreamers go. I am a dreamer. I have done and experienced so much here. From sailing 70 miles, to snorkeling with sharks, learning how to powerboat, finding blue crabs, wrestling with 2 pound spider crabs, all the sunsets and sunrises, all the hidden trails. It’s something I will never ever forget. Not to mention the beautiful turquoise, emerald-green, light blue, royal blue shades of water that you are completely surrounded and dumbfounded by. The clear water, the bright white sand, the parrot fish. Oh my. Over the years though our beautiful paradise has started to slip away. Summers that once were sleepy and quiet, where you could make a left hand turn onto US 1 with no problems stopped coming. Lobster mobsters invading our islands, trashing our coral reefs, robbing our precious fisheries, littering our streets, screaming and hollering on  work nights. Our precious summers slipped away piece by piece with every year. Don’t get me started on the winters. The nasty entitled snow-birds  who think they own the joint even though they live here for 3 months. The traffic, the building of tacky pastel resorts, the drunk tourists, the ever rising costs of rent. Greedy, greedy, greedy people. I know they exist everywhere, but in the Keys it’s blatant.

With all that being said…It’s official. We decided we had to get out of the Keys no matter what it took. Where would we go? Obviously we wanted Cedar Key but there were little to no options. Would we move to the surrounding areas of LALA land in California? I fell in absolute love with the ocean and cliffs and my two very best friends live there. Not to mention my husband’s company is located in LA which would mean a lot more face time with his coworkers and perhaps would lead to more contracts. It was all very up in the air. Well this week we found our answer.

If you haven’t heard or guessed by now it’s Cedar Key! Christopher managed to find a vacation rental house that would be willing to rent yearly. It’s on the north end of the island, furnished, over 1000 square feet, on stilts, and with a view of the bay. Our new landlords made us a great deal and gave us a price even lower than we were expecting. I am excited to be able to purge basically all of our furniture and not having to haul 6 tons of things 9 hours north. We will sell some things, junk some things, and the rest we will pack up along with the furry kids and settle in for a new adventure.  Our lease officially begins on December 1st, and our lease here in the Keys ends on December 15th. I want to be out of the Keys ASAP! Wish us luck!

I have made some good friends here and lost some not so good friends here. I know the good ones I will be in touch with forever. You know who you are. <3

I am excited for this next chapter in my life. This move to me signifies lots of things. Change. Not staying stagnant. Not sitting on an island, watching my boat rot, and watching my life drift away. Not staying in a place simply because I was too proud to give up the zip code. The “paradise” zip code. I want to travel. ALL over. I want to continue to get healthy and STAY healthy. I want to grow. I want to experience everything and not be afraid. Who knows what lies ahead for us. California in a year or two? Building a house on a 5 acre piece of property in Cedar Key? Who is to say. I am buckled in and ready for this new ride though.

To the lower Florida Keys-

“Standing here
The old man said to me
Long before these crowded streets
Here stood my dreaming tree
Below it he would sit
For hours at a time
Now progress takes away
What forever took to find
Now he’s falling hard
He feels the falling dark
How he longs to be
Beneath his dreaming tree
Conquered fear to climb
A moment froze in time”

fk1 fk2 fk3

Thanks for the memories.

“And me? I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for. Because it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something. And if you find that moment… It lasts forever”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Keys: 2008 – 2014


gracegothealthy:

I am moving!

Originally posted on blog.belgo.com:

For those of you who are just now tuning in, yep, we’re leaving the Florida Keys. The most commonly-asked question is along the lines of “But why? I thought you loved it here!” and they’re right. Mostly.

It’s still an amazing place to live, and I’d take it over many other places every day of the week. That’s why it behooves me not to make this a missive of angst, as I easily could as we left, say, Orlando. No, Key West still has its share of fun times if you know where to look. But I dare say none of them are on Duval Street, excepting perhaps the Butterfly Conservatory. Park for free at First State on South Simonton and drink at The Bottlecap until you help break up a fight or two. Pay Michael McCloud to play for you at Schooner Wharf while you still can.

Our reasons…

View original 645 more words

Thailand Holiday! Part 1


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A challenge for my readers.


-This post has been sponsored by Fiber Choice and I have been compensated. All thoughts and opinions are as always my own-

FiberChoice

So my 30 days get picky challenge with Fiber Choice is over. As some of you know I was challenged by them to try their products for 30 days. I was already taking a previous fiber supplement and so I was curious as to how the Fiber Choice would stack up.

I am continually impressed. Not to be gross but I feel as though I am on a schedule now with the bathroom. It’s like clockwork. Before I was all over the place with frequency etc, but now I know what to expect. It truly has helped me.

If you are having problems with not fitting in enough dietary fiber, why not try this challenge? It’s only 30 days. See if it can help you out. Not only are you getting more fiber into your system, you are also helping your digestive track! 

Fiber Choice has a coupon on their site and they are also doing a wonderful giveaway.

Every week they are giving winners samples, and also a 500 dollar debit gift card.

Click here to enter–

http://www.fiberchoice.com/consumerchallenge/

Final thoughts- I am so glad I gave this product a chance. Not only are the tablets yummy (low sugar and strawberry flavor yum), but they really work. Thank you Fiber Choice for the opportunity.

Get to fiber-ing it up you guys! 

Vous Vitamin Review and Giveaway.


So I am feeling pretty special. I got to make my own customizable multivitamin with the help of http://www.vousvitamin.com/vous1/

vous

“Two doctors have created VOUS Personalized Multivitamins to address individual needs.
Unlike ‘one-size-fits-all’ multivitamins, VOUS Vitamin™ provides the right combination and amount of vitamins – for your body, no-one else’s”.

I usually just take a generic multivitamin, but after taking a quick survey on Vous Vitamin I had created my own personal vitamin tailored for what my body needs.

The survey is simple. It asks you things like your age, what region you live in (annual exposure to the sun affects your nutritional needs), your fruit intake, red meat intake, workout regime, some family history questions, your dietary restrictions, are you a smoker/drinker, sleep schedule, and lastly they ask how you feel. There are a number of boxes to check from. Things like no energy, acne, sadness, joint pain etc. After you fill out the survey (it only takes 3-5 minutes) Vous Vitamin takes all of your answers and determines what kind of things you need in your vitamins. They next make your batch of vitamins based on the answers you gave and ship them to you directly. So cool.

What is interesting is that most generic multivitamins have been called into question lately regarding the possible harm they might cause. They can exceed recommended doses of certain nutrients. This is bad. Too much of something is never good. On the flip side of that, our bodies need certain things we just can’t give them on our own. Many of us lack Vitamin D and iron. Those are two super important things our bodies need. I know I am lacking in both of those departments, especially iron. Commercial multivitamins are just that. Commercial. Mass produced. Over produced. It’s a generic pill with “good stuff” in it, when really they could be causing more harm than good.

By filling out the Vous Vitamin survey they can determine exactly what it is that your body needs. It’s all safe and made with naturally derived ingredients as well.

“Our products are always freshly made locally and only in the United States from the highest quality ingredients. Your fresh-packed vitamins are gluten free, non-GMO, lactose free and produced without any meat or meat products. The vitamins will be sent directly to you”.

Awesome!

I have been taking my vitamins for over a month now and I feel great. I have been walking 5-8 miles a day, seem to have more energy, and I can tell I am getting more iron because I am bruising less. I used to bruise so easily due to lack of iron intake.

I highly suggest checking them out and taking their survey. It is always worth taking a chance on something new if it could help your body gets what it needs!

Vous Vitamins want to show my readers some love too! They are giving two of my readers a situational vitamin pack. 

Power Up’ for an energy boost any time of day. ‘Immune Blast’ yourself when everyone else is coming down with something. Or use ‘Recovery Act’ to stave off effects from that big night out…

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To enter like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vouspersonalizedvitamin and leave a comment on their wall saying I sent you! I will randomly pick two winners in a week.

Good luck! 

 

 

Passion Xo Sun cocktail!


 

Well it happened. Summer has come and gone. Pretty soon it will be time for changing leaves, pumpkin lattes, and scarves. I love summer so much though I don’t ever want to let it go. Maybe that is why I live on an island! ;)

I got  a chance to sample a wonderful new beverage made by Passion XO called Sun. It’s a passionfruit flavored cognac that is smooth on the palate and leaves you longing for a hot day. It’s sweet but not too fruity and goes down smoothly.

Processed with VSCOcam with 8 presetIMG_6132.JPG

IMG_6133.JPGI mixed mine with just a splash of orange juice! So light and fruity. Perfect for your last end of the summer get together.

There are other flavors! Passion XO combines Birkedal Hartmann Premium XO Cognac with a variety of natural fruit juices. It is currently available in three exotic flavors: Passion Fruit (Sun), Pomegranate (Pink) and Blue Curacao (Blue). All are smooth and refreshing. They can be enjoyed chilled, on the rocks, or used as mixers with other premium spirits such as vodka, rum, Tequila or Champagne.

Check out their facebook page for more info!

https://www.facebook.com/PassionXOUS