Our Food Detox

This past week, Adam and I decided to try out a new way of eating that we'd been hearing about. It's supposed to help your body go through a detox to get rid of all the unnatural stuff that we put into our bodies day in and day out. The diet is called Ultra Metabolism and the idea is that there are a lot of preservatives and unnatural additives in the processed foods that we eat that slow our bodies down and build up in our systems. So we're cutting it all out to help our bodies do their job with more ease. It's a 21 day plan and we're on day 5. The first couple of days were a little rough for me because we had to cut out all caffeine and of course I am addicted sadly, which meant I had a couple days with pretty terrible headaches and rough nights of sleep. However, by day three I was feeling much better and getting great sleep at night! I guess it's out of my system now. YAY!!
You may be wondering what kind of foods we've been eating then. Well each day we have breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks and everything has to be organic. For breakfast we made this brown rice and soy milk concoction seasoned with nutmeg. It is actually really good! We've also had berry smoothies with soy milk and soy yogurt. Tasty too. For lunch we've been having a variety of salads from a chicken salad made with pears, parley and a touch of olive oil to tofu Waldorf salad made with apples, tofu and curry. Today's lunch was a vegetarian burrito made from vegetarian beans and avocado, cilantro and chunky salsa on a corn tortilla. Tasty too! Snacks of consisted of organic fruit and a handful of almonds or cashews and veggies with tapanade or almond butter. Dinner have ranged from organic salmon with baked sweet potato slices and asparagus to a black bean and vegetable soup with a lemon-mustard dressed arugula salad. We've really been expanding our food horizons and in some ways I feel like I'm getting a fun taste of what some vegetarians must eat to get their protein, though this is obviously not a vegetarian diet at all.
The results so far...well I am no longer getting caffeine headaches and Adam has been losing a little over a pound a day on this diet along with exercise! So we have 16 more days to go and hopefully many more positive results to share. It hasn't been easy because we have to prepare a bunch of odd recipes usually the night before to prepare for the next day and stay away from eating out, which I know hasn't been easy for Adam with work lunches and we really enjoy restaurants, but in the end the results should prevail over the hardship. I sure hope so! We're supposed to have more energy, better sleep, better skin and that's just the beginning. I'll keep you posted on our little adventure in detox land.

Happy Birthday Amy

Just before break my sister-in-law Amy turned 25. We were able to celebrate with the family Saturday night before leaving for our VAcation. Happy Birthday again Amy!

Spring Break...VAcation

I cannot wait for spring break to arrive. Work is good, but a break would be great too and I could use the REST!! The month of March has just been busy non-stop, so I am ready for a week of relaxation and fun without a strickly set agenda.

Adam and Nima are on break too since the church offices will be closed that week, so we're heading out on Sunday after Easter services (where I'll wear my new dress) and we'll all be off on our break tour which I will call our VAcation.

First stop: Mom's cabin where we plan to relax, read and enjoy the mountains. Maybe we'll go hiking, maybe we'll have fun with my new camera, maybe I'll see Radford where Anna goes to school, and I'm sure we'll enjoy some extra Z's as well. Nothing is set in stone, but it should be a few days of relaxation with some new discoveries along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Then we're off to Lynchburg (Wednesday) for a visit and to see how much Liberty has grown and changed. We keep hearing all about it, now we'll get to see it for ourselves. We'll also see some of Adam and Nima's friends who still live in the area and maybe I'll get to visit my Miss Lynchburg pageant committee while I'm in town.
Thursday we're off to Charlottesville for a visit. Hopefully we'll see some friends (Stacy, Celeste, and maybe Pete and Amy) and of course we'll walk around UVA. I hope the weather is nice because I love eating Little John's and Take it Away on the lawn.

Our last Virginia Visit is northern Virginia where we'll stay with the McCormicks. Maybe we'll even experience Dinner in the District (well I found out that no girls are allowed...but we can have a Dinner in DC, maybe girls would be allowed to that version;). We'll also do some birthday celebrating because Amanda's birthday will take place while we're hanging out as well as Kathy's 25th birthday celebration.

Nothing is totally set in stone except where we expect to be, but we know all the VACATION will be fun-filled. I'm sure I'll give some updates as long as we have internet access along the way. Only a few more days or teaching ESL and Acting classes and then we're off!

I'm not missing this one...

I've loved this group since high school when my (OSL) friends and I would sing "It's a Beautiful Day" at the top of our lungs in the middle of a field we discovered out in Great Bridge on a gorgous spring night with our car headlights shining as we danced and frolicked around in the moonlight.
Now I'll get to see them live at Scott's Stadium this fall!
I may have missed the Rolling Stones while I was at UVA, due to being a student on a college budget...but now that I'm a working woman I won't miss this concert!
We'll be waiting in anticipation for October to arrive. I agree with Andrew, it will definately be "A Beautiful Day" !

Easter is coming!

This past weekend, I got to spend some really good quality time with my hubbie. Life has been pretty busy lately, so I really enjoyed having his complete and undivided attention. I was even more excited when he told me he actually wanted to take me shopping for an Easter Dress. We wandered through a bunch of stores and this is the dress I took home from J. Crew. (Oh and a little something I didn't know about J. Crew...they give teachers a 15% discount if you show your school ID!) I even got a new haircut on Friday, so I'm looking forward to celebrating Easter with me new look wearing my new threads with a springy colored cartigan and a cute pair of sandals.

The Doctor is IN!

After much perserverence, we can finally call her Dr. Melinda Barker, Ph.D!
Dr. Barker defended her dissertation at Hampton University yesterday and thankfully we were there to see it.

Her study researched the Hepatitis C population and a group of their family members to study their hope, self-care and quality of life. It also broke down the patient pool to study those who did attend support groups and those who did not. Hepatitis C has been an area that my mom has been devoted to for years now. Her devotion and teaching is what motivated me to work as an advocate for disease awareness as well. Dr. Barker hopes to create new research about the virus because very little research has been done up until this point on this patient population.

Here are some shots as we watched her prepare and defend...

A prayer before hand with a couple of her faculty members

Her introduction by her chair Dr. Jane Servonsky

The defense presentation begins.Questions from the dissertation committee.
Faculty questions and the audience in the room.Dr. Barker responds to questions passionately.After the committee convened, the announce that Melinda Barker will become Dr. Melinda Barker, Ph.D! CONGRATS DR. BARKER!Her senior med students came to watch the defense and celebrate with her.Dr. Barker and fellow nurse practioner Karen. They go way back!
Dr. Barker and her sister, Helene. The nurse who inspired her to pursue nursing.
Then we headed to Zia Marie's for a celebratory dinner!
Before dinner we presented Dr. Barker with some gifts.
Brad gave her a beautiful watch, symbolic of all the TIME this journey has taken.Anna gave mom a desk placard with her new name engraved on it.
She got a little emotional realizing it was all really happenning! She had done it!
Adam and I added to Dr. Mom's (what I've taken to calling her) Willow Tree collection with the angel of learning for those who have a love of learning.
Cola and Dennis gave her Dr. Melinda Barker stationary.

Our family celebrating with Dr. Melinda Barker! We are all SO PROUD of her!THERE SHE IS DOCTOR MELINDA BARKER PHD!
We can't wait to celebrate again on Mother's Day as Dr. Mom graduates and recieves her Ph.D!

Coupons...take two

I took the plunge again and tried my hand at triple coupon shopping this time well aware of the limits of the triple coupon. I headed to Harris Teeter on Monday with Adam, this time with a stack of $.99 and lower coupons (since those are the ones that triple). I wasn't able to get a picture of what we bought and saved on this go round...but I can tell you it was a successful trip. We saved $48 this trip, $38 with coupons alone and another $10 from the VIC card. We got three tubes of tooth paste for $.15! I don't think we'll ever pay for toothpaste again, at least that's the hope. I'm still working on using the coupons to actually buy food because after our shopping trip we realized we still didn't go home with a ton to actually eat, but we also realized just how much more expensive it can be to shop at Teeter. Therefore, we decided to save the majority of our non-coupon food shopping for the commissary. Cheers to a successful coupon experience! Now the task is to collect more food coupons. Any suggestions for where to find more beyond the Sunday paper?

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