Movies, Books, Whole 30 Update and more

disney soup mugs


First, I wanted to share this photo that Kara, one of my readers, sent to me.  She said that during all that snowy, cold weather she made my recipe for Mexican White Queso Soup.  She served it in this fun Disney mugs.  I love it!  Thanks for sending the photo, Kara!


We don’t go to the movies very often, but over the Christmas break we managed to see three!  They were all really good too.  I hate paying to see a movie in the theater and finding it only mediocre.  These three were winners though.  


This one is fun!  Lots of good music, beautiful animation and I loved the way True Love is portrayed in this film.  As a bonus, there’s a fun movie short at the beginning with the old-fashioned Mickey and friends.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I saw a trailer for this a while back and I couldn’t wait for the movie.  It was worth the wait too.  This is a movie that will inspire you.  We took the whole family and we all liked it, especially the older kids.  Mia, who is only 11 didn’t find this one quite as interesting.  She still enjoyed it, but I think some of the larger themes were lost on her.  As for me, I’d go back to the theater to see this one again.

Saving Mr. Banks

Jim and I went to see this movie together.  The story is so well told.  I’d give this movie 5 stars.  It’s simply excellent.  It’s not a kid movie though.  Some of the themes are too heavy for younger kids.


A while before Christmas, I heard about a service called Scribd that’s like Netflix for books.  So I sent Jim a link, saying it would make a perfect Christmas gift for me (hint, hint).  He didn’t get it for Christmas, but did give me a subscription for our anniversary.  I’ve only just begun to explore, but so far I love it!  You can add books to your library (like adding movies to your Netflix queue).

They don’t have everything, but they have lots.  What do I mean by that?  Well, if you go looking for something specific you may not find it.  But if you start browsing, you’ll find all kinds of books you’d like to read.  I found several that have been on my to-read list for a long time.  And I found some new ones too.  If you like to read, you might want to check it out.  I’ll share more of my impressions on it after a few months of use.

Whole 30 Report

My Whole 30 has been a little up and down.  Actually, my cooking has had some issues lately, which affected our Whole 30.  I think we’ve experienced a slight brown-out at our house through this cold snap.  Three days in a row, I’ve started dinner, but dinner hasn’t wanted to finish cooking.  Once, the crockpot didn’t cook the food after 6 hours on high.  And twice, the oven let me down.  It’s been frustrating.

And, sad to say, one of those nights led me to make whole wheat pancakes for dinner. Not on the Whole 30, but it was quick food.  I did end up with a headache the next day.  But it’s hard to know if was a result of the pancakes or just me.

Then the next night we celebrated Meredith’s birthday.  I did have a little bit of pasta and small piece of cake.  So, I’ve strayed off the plan.  But since then, I’ve tried to stick to it.

I know I’m not a very good example.  On the other hand, I’ve still managed to reduce the amount of sugar I usually eat so that I’m now having next to nothing.  I eat a lot more fruits and veggies now than I usually do.  And I’ve pretty much stopped snacking at night.  If I do have a snack, it’s a handful of cashews.

As I write this, I’m only on Day 8.  I’m a long way from drawing any real conclusions from this experiment.

I hope you have a great weekend!  Leave a comment letting me know about movies or books you’ve enjoyed or how your Whole 30 is going.

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  1. I want to see all of those movies! Good luck with the Whole 30. I already know that I wouldn’t stick with it, but I am working on eating healthier. Lots more fruits and veggies in the house!

  2. Just a couple of thoughts…. usually while doing a Whole 30 (or switching to paleo –which I know you are not) there is at some level a detox of sorts happening which can also trigger headaches. I would try to give it the whole month. Also, it may actually be the gluten setting off your headaches and not always the sugar. Just a thought. We are back and forth paleo folks — we don’t have any health issues that prescribe it but I generally like the depth of flavor that I find with many of them and they incorporate a lot more veggies than I tend to think of when left to my own accord. 🙂

  3. I am doing the Whole30 along with you. I officially started on January 2nd because I had to have my blackeyed peas and cornbread on New Year’s Day. So far….so good. Though I am really focused on working the program for the 30 days, there are some areas where I really don’t sweat about. From the developers viewpoint they are probably big no-nos….I have to make it work for me, not for anyone else. Some of the things I am speaking of are;
    *I use butter…not ghee or clarified butter.

    *I buy my meat and vegetables at the local market and can’t affored organics, hormone free, free range items.

    *I buy a salad every once in a while at Chick Fil A and it has about a tablespoon of blue cheese on it. I also use the dressing that comes with it and am fully aware that it has sugar in it. (but it is sooooo good!!!)

    I eat out often and have done well making choices on entrees and vegetables, but I am sure they prepare them with fats that I should not be using.

    Again….I have to work the plan the way it is best for my lifestyle and bank account.

    I may be eating more fruit than I should. Nuts as well. But they are quick and easy and delicious!

    I am close to 2 weeks in and will be going to weigh tomorrow at our Employee Wellness Clinic. They are monitoring my weigh loss for me for free!!! Can’t afford Weight Watchers this time around. (lost 100 lbs on their program in 2002 but have gained it back.)

    I made the Asian Meatballs with sweet potato and cilantro. I never found the Whole 30 approved fish sauce so I just left it out. They had a really good flavor, but I will cook the minced sweet potatoes a bit before I do them next time. They did not get done…still edible, but not done. I saw a recipe for tomato soup that I want to try.


    • Dian, I like your adaptations to the plan. I feel like I’m eating a lot of fruit and so, so many nuts. Probably more than what the authors of Whole 30 would recommend. And last night, I really wanted something to snack that wasn’t fruit or nuts, so I had rice chex cereal with no milk.

    • I noticed how Dian said she bought her meat at the local supermarket and wanted to comment:

      I am cheap, but won’t sacrifice my family’s health.

      I have looked MANY places to find meat for my family that is healthy and affordable for my family, and raising a family on a traditional diet we consume quite a bit.
      I’ve always read find a local butcher…blah, blah, blah… well there aren’t many butchers in the part of the county where I live, and when I did find one his prices were way out of my budget. In my searching for quality food for my family I found a
      I have found a local butcher that works with a local cattle farm, but he’s not in the phone book or online as a butcher. He’s under meat processing. Like where you’d take a deer if you were a hunter. His meat ends up being cheaper than that from the grocery store, it is the best quality, has the nutrients from being grass fed and pasture raised your supermarket meat lacks, and no added chemicals and solutions that you supermarket adds to retain color and extend the shelf life. (I really could go on and on about the advantages / disadvantages)
      A side note…the meat is not certified organic, the farmer is not willing to pay for the government to certify him. It would just make his prices go up. It doesn’t change the way he raises or cares for his animals… so know what your buying, ask questions.

      I also buy in bulk. I asked the butcher how many pounds of ground beef I needed to buy to get a discount. He said if I purchased at least 15lbs and wrapped it myself he would take $2.89 /lb (I refuse to pay $5 and $6/lb )

      Ask for odds and ends. These vary but can be the lesser known cuts and the end pieces of great cuts of meat at a stellar price.

      I hope some of these suggestions help on your journey to healthy.

      • Thanks for the helpful tips! Especially looking for a meat processor. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

      • Gina,

        Very good idea to shop with a local cattleman. We have them here in the Houston area as well and I have looked into purchasing from him. Unfortunately, as a single woman with a lack of freezer space, I only buy 2 or 3 pounds at a time. I don’t think that will help me out much.

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