31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero – Day 22

 
Well I was thrown another unexpected curve ball. Yesterday after talking with my midwives I had to really re-examine my fridge, pantry, and freezer. I need to watch my blood sugar levels as I am now 32 weeks pregnant and several of my numbers were high in my 3-hr glucola test. This is very important because my heart’s desire is to deliver at the brand new, local birth center with these wonderful midwives. My transition into their car is a post in it’s own right. But I’ll just tell you that I have every motivation to eat a low-carb and high protein diet and stay in their care (which means I have to manage those levels with diet and exercise alone, no medication.) The task is made even harder in the next 9 days with my goal still being to spend zero.

I set to work looking up options that I currently have in my pantry/fridge/freezer and also started a “to buy” list that I will snag when we do our first grocery shop post challenge. That being said I can see how the challenge has changed me. I want to show I can have this kind of diet and still stay in a reasonable budget, even daring to say I want to spend as little as possible (caring for my family financially) while simultaneously caring for my body and this little one I am growing. It’s going to be a challenge for sure.

That being said I’ll be trying to share some of the creative ways I’m eating/cooking to keep myself on track while still hoping to finish strong in this challenge.

I had eggs, cheese, and salsa for my breakfast.

Sausage and few apple slices at my Mom’s group as my morning snack.
Lunch was delicious. Last night I made (pre-cooking is going to be key for my success since I basically will be making two meals at each meal. My meals just have to look very different, plus I need to eat small and frequently so I can keep my levels steady and not reach “so hungry” that it is hard to come back from it…) Back to what I was saying originally. I pre-made chicken salad that was scrumptious. For lunch I had it on lettuce wraps and chose to make my carbs fruit – even though I know they digest differently then higher fiber carbohydrates. 
Alex’s Quick Chicken Salad
Ingredients: 2 boiled chicken breasts
2 stalks of celery
1/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
 
Instructions:
I just chunked up the chicken using my fingers, cleaned and chunked the celery, and tossed all the ingredients into the food processor. Gave it a whirl til it was the consistency I liked and added salt and pepper to taste. That simple! It makes enough for several meals so it’s so good to just have on hand when I need a meal quick!
PS am I grateful or what for my previous knowledge on this topic – for those of you who don’t know my husband has Type 1 diabetes and has for 7 years. It has made this less daunting and more possible. Plus my dear friend Janet and my sister Tonie both dealt with this during their pregnancies and have already been vital resources.

Then my afternoon snack was a hot cup of tea with cinnamon (supposed to help with blood glucose levels) and a slice of multigrain toast and peanut butter. YUM! This hit the spot.

Dinner tonight is with our small group and we are having tacos. I’m contributing the ground taco meat and I’ll just try to be very conscious about what I eat and skip dessert. 🙂

Overall the hardest part about this will be my late night snacking. I may need to hit the sack earlier at night to help combat the desire. Which is a good idea anyway. And the other things is that exercising 15-20 minutes after a meal is done is very important but I’m already seeing that with my little men in tow, and our schedule, this may prove difficult. I’m going to try though! And I’ll keep you all apprised at how it’s going.

As far as the challenge today…

I did spend on…

1. We needed milk (I think this is the second time we’ve had to get more, not sure I noted it the first time) but it is on our “absolutely necessary list” for the boys. So … whole milk for Camp and soy milk for Cashel. Plus Ben snagged some green onions for me as we have been able to fill many produce gaps through our Buy Nothing Group but this was a real gap we had. I’ll be making them last! We had some in our fridge but they went bad and it killed me! (<$5)

2. I’ll need to get gas today. Considering I think I have only filled up on other time this month and we have only 8 days left that means I cut our fill ups in almost half! That’s a victory even though I spent. (hoping the fill up with be <$40 with a club discount)

3. Ben got Cashel a treat at the store last night when he stopped for milk. I think our kids have been amazing. They have only rarely asked for something where I’ve had to explain that it costs money and that instead we will go home. And last night Cashel recited his cubby verses and did so much better with Ben at his club time. He gets WAY more clingy and needy when Ben takes him but we really want it to be a special father-son bonding time. So… he felt a reward was in order. I couldn’t say no. 😉 A wee cheat. (>$1)

What I did not spend on…

1. I took yummy pumpkin cookies and leftover brownies to my mom’s group (get my favorite carb loaded treats out of the house!) and tried a new recipe. Using some Swiss Chard I was gifted. This recipe for a Tomato and Swiss Chard Quiche is killer and one to keep around. I’ll be making another one for my breakfasts. It has leafy greens which are great source of iron, plus is low in carbs since it’s crustless. Thanks to Real Foods Real Deals for the recipe!

http://realfoodrealdeals.com/crustless-swiss-chard-tomato-quiche/

2. I’m taking ground beef to small group potluck since it’s tacos. Bless them because they asked me what I wanted to bring knowing I’m not spending.

3. I’m refraining so far from buying some of the easier low-carb things that they suggest and using what I have on hand. Planning to go the full 8 days I have left but will keep you posted on my resolve.

Tips…

1. There will always be unexpected things that “get in your way.” Like this necessary diet change or the car issue we had earlier this month. BUT it’s how you respond that counts. Not getting discouraged was hard, especially in light of the even more important issues behind the diet change. But in some senses having the challenge to focus on also helped me stay motivated and inspired.

2. I think I’ve mentioned this already, several times, but sharing with others what you are doing and not doing it alone is key. I blog but I also share with friends, curious folks who come across a reference to the challenge on Facebook, and even random folks who I’m making small talk with. It keeps the challenge fresh and the accountability real. Plus your community will support you – I believe that. This challenge was not accepted completely out of necessity but in the end our first half the month savings covered our car expenses and our second half the month gives us a tad extra as we hope to close on our new home next month and have a couple things we’d like to do (paint and clean carpets) before we move in. The savings may just about cover those things. God is good! And thankfully the challenge has helped meet needs, and also taught us a great deal. 21 days to build a habit and 31 days to change your life? I think so!

To read more about this month’s challenge visit my home page tab – Spending Zero Challenge.
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