Happy Thanksgiving! :) Join us over at The Laney Story! I just posted a blog about thanks!

Love :)


I did it!

3 weeks of the Candida Cleanse diet, and I’m done! Done done done.

I actually ate strawberries and raspberries this morning in some hot cream of rice.

I love fruit! :D

I am so so proud of myself for accomplishing this cleanse. My body feels better; I have great energy; my skin and eyes appear clearer; I haven’t been having to take pills for indigestion every single day like I used to. It’s wonderful!

I’ll be adding back the foods that I haven’t been eating very gradually over the next couple weeks and staying on my candida cleanse supplements, but the worst part is most definitely over!

I’m really just so excited that I did it. :) It was super hard, and it’s a great thing to get through something hard and come out triumphant on the other side.

This cleanse has been incredibly inspiring for me in that I just feel so much more excited about living in a healthy body, about doing what I can to work with and for my body instead of against it (and not truly appreciating it!). I am more thankful for my body and more confident than ever before that I can live healthy in this body.

And that was worth the 3 weeks of hardcore restrictions!

Am I really doing it?


This Candida Cleanse is not fun, my friends. I cried every time I thought about potatoes last night. Yep, for real. I wasn’t meant to live on this little scope of allowed food items. It’s one of those things that requires a person to be really really committed in order to endure. (I guess I’m really really committed since I’m now on day 11!)

I suppose it’s that way with a lot of quality things in life. Sometimes it’s so easy to compromise or to say “I would love to do that” or “I need to do that,” but how many times are those things that one wants or needs to do so badly actually being done?

I want to be a healthy person. I really do. I’ve been working on it for over a year now. Am I really doing it?

I started by doing an elimination diet where I discovered I am allergic to wheat and gluten. That discovery drastically changed my life. After that I got my thyroid checked (again) because I was pretty sure it wasn’t functioning well. Turns out I was right, and now I’m on thyroid replacement meds. Those 2 changes in my life have increased my energy in amazing ways! I also don’t consistently have stomach problems like I did before I discovered my gluten allergy. (I think I’m doing it…)

Another big step was quitting smoking. I was so skinny when I smoked! And so much more anxious, sick more often, and in pain in my lungs constantly. Everything feels better without the weight of a smoking habit hanging around my neck. (I think this really is doing it…)

The next step was to add daily exercise to my life. Linds and I started walking 2 miles every night and strength training 3 times a week several months ago, and now daily exercise is just a habit for us, a habit we love now and couldn’t live without. I’ve been sleeping so much better for months since we started exercising every day, and we’re both physically seeing the side effects of our work. (Doing the healthy thing…really doing it…)

So now, here I am, doing this cleanse to create the best balance in my body that I can. It helps to look back on the steps I’ve taken to become the healthy person that I want to be. It helps me stay motivated and push through the difficulty of this cleanse. It’s so hard sometimes to set one’s life on a new track, but I’m determined! So determined.

Just naming the things that I’ve done to change already helps to feed my determination. I am passionately determined to fill my life with quality! I am passionately determined to be at peace and enjoy what it feels like to be in my body. If working my butt off to get through this cleanse will help me do that, then so be it!

I can do it; I am doing it. :)

What a difference a sunflower seed makes

So I’m on my 4th day of a Candida cleanse diet. You can check out what that means here ( This is not easy, people, but I’m doing it to increase the quality of my healthy. For years I’ve had a run down immune system, adrenal system, thyroid system, and, well, just a run down body! I was put on thyroid meds several months ago, and I’ve seen a huge improvement in the amount of energy I have on a day to do day basis.

You can’t ever imagine what a difference energy makes in living a life filled with quality unless you’ve experienced the day after day struggle of not wanting to move a lot. So thankful for thyroid replacement therapy!!

Anyhow, I’m still experiencing some bothersome symptoms (such as low blood sugar bouts and skin issues), and I continue to try as many different things as I can to help my body get to a healthier, less stressed out place. Enter the Candida cleanse diet! This diet is all about starving yeast populations out of the human system in order to improve it’s all around health and return the intestines to the right balance of good bacteria.

Basically this means I get no sugar, no starches, no dairy, no fruit. Nothing but meat, eggs, and a dang lot of green vegetables with some brown rice and quinoa on the side. Now, I’m already allergic to wheat and gluten, so this forces my diet to be pretty darn healthy. I don’t eat many carbs (or much “normal” food, since it all seems to contain wheat); my normal diet consists of a lot of protien, vegetables, and fruit with some brown rice and quinoa on the side. However, this diet has made my already “restrictive” diet look like an absolute cornucopia of deliciousness!! O.M.G.

Seriously, I know that the 3 weeks of torture (and I loooove vegetables, people, but eating celery sticks with a little almond butter spread on top for breakfast is taking it a bit far!) that I’m putting myself through is going to be worth it in the end if it can help my body function better. But wow….I miss so many foods right now that I could shed a tear! :P

It’s made me think about the fact that I really am determined to include health and wellness in my quality over quantity living. I’ve already come so far; if I could take a snapshot of myself and my health 5 plus years ago and put it next to the same shots from now, you’d be shocked! I’m seriously proud of myself! And being proud of one’s self is a quality feeling/state-of-mind to experience.

I’ve got to say that in the midst of this 3 weeks of what feels like completely depriving my body of things that it totally wants and probably needs…Sunflower seeds are making all the difference. I may wish I could be eating an apple right now, but instead I’m going to pop a couple of sunflower kernels into my mouth and suck on the husks until I get the tiny seed out 15 minutes later. No, it’s not a banana, but it sure keeps my mouth busy when I just can’t face life without bananas anymore. :D

beans and rice anyone?

Want some quality in your week?

Cook something yummy!

I love to cook. In our family we have a month long menu that I create and Lindsey helps :) We go grocery shopping once a month and buy most of our food in bulk, enough food to cover the month’s menu. This helps me to not worry about making a grocery list every week or going shopping every week, and I only have to think about what I’m going to cook once a month. It makes my life so much easier!

I love trying to cook new things, and I love adding new things to the menu, but we also have a lot of the same things (or staple things). For example, we always put chili on the menu, so we have it once a month. We are big chili lovers!

Several months ago I decided I wanted to try and cook beans and rice in the crock-pot (aside from chili I don’t often use beans because I’m not a huge fan, but I’ve come to love this particular dish as well!). I looked at several different recipes, tried some different things out, and created my own version of this delicious dish that is great addition to our monthly menus! I thought I’d post it here since I’m discovering the many different angles to choosing quality in life: Sometimes it includes cooking something delicious!

Steph’s Beans and Rice Recipe

1 cup of rice (I use brown basmati rice)
1Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 cups of water
1 can of Kidney beans (drained)
1 can of diced tomatoes (not drained)
4 hot dogs (cut into little chunks)
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of chili powder
2 tsp of minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp of salt

Combine the rice and olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot and stir; add all other ingredients and stir. Put on low for 6 or 7 hours or high for 3 or 4 hours. We add sour cream (or ranch dressing in Lindsey’s case) and cheese as a topper when the rice and beans are cooked. Yum!

So thankful for a world of ways to include quality in my life. :D