Peanut butter VS Almond butter

Really a post about the difference between peanut butter and almond butter?  Kind of, it’s my lead into this post 🙂

I used to love peanut butter, I would eat it on bananas, Oreo’s, toast, straight off the spoon, it was pretty much a staple in my diet.  But the other day I threw it in one of my shakes and honestly had to choke the shake down.  Once it was down I just sat there and felt like I was going to barf.  Ugh I just couldn’t stand the taste, it was awful.  It tasted like peanuts just swimming in oil.  :-S   Around December I made the decision to start eating healthier.  We have cut back drastically on the amount of meals I made by throwing them in the oven.  We have started eating leaner hamburger not just buying the cheapest, which holds like 20% fat.  We have drawers full of fruits and vegetables and Jemma and I started eating Almond butter.  It’s so good, and not as buttery tasting like peanut butter.  To add to the yummy goodness of the almond butter they now make caramel almond butter, it’s like a party in your mouth.  It’s so good, I could eat it by the spoonfuls and if Jemma could reach it she’d probably eat the entire jar in one sitting. So ever since I started eating the almond butter I just can’t do peanut butter, not even the natural stuff.  It just doesn’t taste right to me anymore.

It amazes me at how much my taste buds have changed.  Before I wanted cookies that were just loaded with butter because they would melt in my mouth, ok I still like those, but I don’t feel the need to eat a bunch of them in one sitting.  What lead me to the change in diet was one day I walked by the mirror in Jemma’s room and was absolutely disgusted.  I couldn’t believe that I had let myself get that big, that was the biggest I had ever gotten.  Being a tiny girl, then a very skinny teenager, and average woman when I was 19-20 I wasn’t taking this “chubby” look well.  The whole spare tire thing wasn’t cute in the least bit.  So that’s when I said no more.  I texted a friend that I knew was a huge fitness guru and was a fitness coach and talked to her about 21 day Fix.  If it worked for her, if she liked it and if she had heard anything else that was good about it.  She said it helped her to get back on track when she would fall off the wagon a little by going back to portion control and getting back into working out.  I went online and did some research and was really liking what I was seeing.  I made the jump, a couple of days after Christmas I jumped on beachbody.com and ordered my 21 day fix kit.  When it came in January I was a little nervous but I did it and loved it!  I would sit down every Sunday and figure out the meals for the week and I would stick to those meals for the week.  I would work out in the beginning every day during the first three week cycle.  During the second one I only worked out about 4 days a week, but I was still seeing results because I was watching what I was eating.  This entire process has been a learning experience.

The first thing I learned was how many calories I should be taking in for my height.  Then how much water intake I should be taking in every day.  It started with 82oz a day.  I’ve always been a big water drinker, but when you have to try to strive for a certain amount of ounces a day it seemed to be more challenging.  I started to learn different ways to spruce up my water so I wouldn’t get so bored with it.  That’s been a huge life saver for me.  Before I eat a meal I will drink either 8oz or 16oz, an entire water bottle, then eat.  Drinking the water before a meal would fill me up and I wouldn’t eat as much.  I drink a 16oz bottle after I would drink one of my shakes and be golden for about 3 hours if not longer.  Next thing I learned is I seriously needed to slow down when I ate.  Yes there are things I needed to get done but I needed to take the time to actually chew my food well and not inhale it while I ate.  So I taught myself to slow down when I chew, and also take some sips of water in between each bite.  Another way of filling me up faster. I always knew you were supposed to eat at least 5 meals a day, breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner.  So I started to do that too.  That was harder to get used to, I felt like I was eating all the flipping time.  Next was what I was eating.  We needed to get rid of the freezer full of that processed crap and start getting fresher foods.  I cleaned out the freezer of junk over a matter of about 10 days and filled it with lean meat, sea food and a few favorites of the kids.  The fridge has an entire drawer dedicated to fruits, one for veggies, cheese and some lean sandwich meats.  We have a bunch of eggs, I’ve had to get 5 dozen eggs a few times because we’ve been going through them so fast.  I eat wheat bread, and for salad dressings it is strictly Italian or raspberry vinaigrette.  Now that a large portion of the junk is gone and replaced with healthy food, it’s rare that you will find anything other than that in our house.  My next really difficult task was learning portion control.  The program sends little containers that you use to measure your portions properly for each food group.  There is green for veggies which equals a cup, purple for fruit which equals a cup, yellow for carbs and is 1/2 cup, red for protein and is 3/4 cup, blue for healthy fats like cheese and avocados, and lastly orange for seeds and dressings.  I am allowed to have 3 greens, 2 purples, 2 yellows, 4 reds, 1 blue and 1 orange.  Planning meals for the day and week based on that was difficult at first but I’ve gotten really good at it.  After the 3rd cycle on 21 day I didn’t really need the containers anymore, I was really good at eye balling it and being right on.  I was a little bit hungrier at first, but as my stomach shrank there have been days where I can’t finish it all.

Since I started 21 day fix I have lost 20 pounds and am still working toward my goal weight, which I am about 15 pounds from.  I’m 3 pounds away from where I was when I got married and got pregnant and I feel great!  I have more energy to play with the kids and get things done.  I feel healthier, I can always tell when I’ve eaten like crap or too many carbs.  I feel sick, like I’m going to throw up and like all I want to do is sleep.  That was another huge reason I wanted to lose weight and start eating healthier.  I’d come home from work, eat and right away I’d want to take a nap.  I still take them from time to time but I don’t take them every day like I used to.  I always say I’m tired and would like to take a nap but I usually end up doing something like dishes, laundry or putzin in the garden or yard.  The exercise aspect has kind of been set on the back burner this summer though.  With all the yard work that we’ve been doing I’ve felt like that’s been a good work out for me all by its self.  I’ve been working on moving landscaping rocks around, that is a leg and arm day let me tell ya.  Then with all the other lifting I’ve been doing and keeping my garden weed free and fighting with keeping everything separated, that’s a work out and I also walk to work almost every day except maybe when it rains.  I also learned that exercise is actually only 20% of loosing weight the other 80% is what you’re putting in your body.  That doesn’t excuse me not working out, I just haven’t taken the time to do so.  John and I both want to start lifting together, maybe after the kids go to bed and then I’ll do yoga before I go to bed to relax and destress. I discovered yoga through this and absolutely love it! It relieves so much stress and loosens up the muscles so well, it’s great to do before bed for me.  When we went on our vacation to Alabama I was really afraid I was going to derail.  I did veer off track a little with a few restaurants that we don’t have up North but for the most part I stayed right on point.  It’s awesome how aware I am of what’s going in to my body now.  I won’t eat a lot of greasy foods because I know what it will do to me, I don’t eat a lot of junk and whatever junk I do eat I’ve learned to eat in moderation.  You can’t deprive yourself completely from your vices or when you do actually eat them you’ll over eat.  So every once in a while I will get a small carton of ice cream, or eat a rice crispy treat, or for birthdays eat a small piece of cake.  I can’t give up cake or frosting, that’s just not an option, so I taught myself to do it in moderation instead of eating an entire bowl of frosting.  It’s been a great experience and I’ve even thought about becoming a beachbody coach because I love feeling healthy and would love to share it with others like I do with John, who has lost about 30 pounds since we started eating healthier.  It’s great to feel healthy, have energy and give your body the love it deserves.  We get just this one body, taking care of it is so important and for me it’s one of the most important parts of me so I can be here for my kids longer and teach them that eating healthy can taste good and be great for you too! Not only that when you look good you feel better about yourself, self-esteem is a hard thing to have when you don’t feel like you look decent.  My self esteem has gone up so much since I’ve lost 20 pounds and there’s really no stopping me now 🙂
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