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If you’ve been reading here for a while, you should be familiar with my struggles as an effective housekeeper.  Juggling three children with the blog, my new business, and keeping the house is not an act that I’m primed for.  I feel like all I freaking do is run after the babies and clean up behind them while they are off in another room creating chaos.  Promoting my new business and writing here at Banana Hammocks & Tutus have recently gone by the wayside due to The Workaholic’s belief that I could keep a much more tidy house.  Then he would walk in the door to a CLEAN but chaotic home.  I personally think that, that just comes with the territory of having three extremely energetic and stubborn children.  Say what you will, but until you have three children who all come from parents who have ADHD, and then you can talk.

Anywho…

I was completely totally excited when I found out about National NO HOUSEWORK DAY.  PERFECT!  One day devoted to having an excuse to not do housework.  The Workaholic can finally see what it means to truly not do anything around the house.

Then my bubble was completely popped when I realized that I would be in Orlando staying with my in-laws and visiting my mom.  My mom and mother-in-law are both meticulous housekeepers.  My mother-in-law, Janice swears that her house wasn’t so tidy when her 3 children were small and she often tells me that she doesn’t know how I do it.  Truthfully, I don’t even know myself.  My mom was always a neurotic house cleaner.  Our rooms had to be perfection and the house always looked like a museum exhibit.  It also smelled amazing but I don’t know how she did it.  Maybe because my earliest memories are from when I was a bit older than the babies are right now.  Or maybe she was just Superwoman.  I just don’t know.  It seems as though The Workaholic only remembers a time when his childhood home was always clean and orderly, but his mom tells me otherwise. I’m going to just believe that my mom was NOT stashing boots and a cape somewhere in her closet and did, in fact, go through a difficult cluttered phase.

Please hold while I go change a poopy diaper.

OK I’m back and on with my story:

I decided that while in Orlando, I would accost both my mom and mother-in-law and hold both of them hostage for the entire No Housework Day; Saturday, April 7 so that neither of them could get any housework done.

4 Generations

We started the day off by going to my grandma’s Assisted Living Facility for an Easter egg hunt.  It was so wonderful to see my grandma, even though she didn’t know who I was.  She told me that I looked beautiful and that my shirt was very nice.  I was shocked that she could even form the sentence to tell me that and it made me beam with pride.  After the hunt, my in-laws went their separate way and I went shopping with my mama.  Janice promised that she was just going home to cook for Easter and that no housework would be done.  I don’t know, though.  When I got back to their house, it was still pretty tidy.  Maybe that’s just because they don’t have babies running all over the place leaving trails of crumbs and rogue Mega Blocks pieces?

Nursing in JCPenney instead of vacuuming

The shopping excursion with my mama and sister was fun!  I got a new pair of jeans that actually fit well and a new cotton dress that I can’t get enough of.  I want to live in this thing.  Seriously.

TCBY Grocery, TCBY, No Housework Day

TCBY Grocery

After our trip to the mall, I wanted to run to the store to get some froyo to celebrate our collective housework ban.  I found a Walmart near by and ran in while my mom waited out in the van with the babies who were both sound asleep.  I perused the ice cream aisle and saw some yummy deliciousness but settled upon some TCBY treats.  Are you KIDDING ME?!  TCBY has moved on to the frozen aisle at my friendly local Walmart?  I was stoked.  When we were younger, and before we moved to Alaska, we would go to TCBY once a week for a treat.  We often rode our bikes there and I always got the same thing:  White Chocolate Mousse.  I thought it tasted like Lucky Charms.  I dug through the cooler and couldn’t find White Chocolate Mousse so I got some chocolate bars which are like an adult version of Fudgesicles, and a pint of English Toffee Crunch.  I figured my mom and I would dig on the chocolate bars and that Janice would like the toffee since her favorite candy bar is a Heath.

Yummy Deliciousness!

I grabbed my wares, along with some beautiful hydrangeas, and checked out.  Now get this:  I had parked at the very back of the parking lot so that the babies could sleep and I high-tailed it into and out of the store.  My legs were SO stinking sore afterwards that I was concerned about my ability to bust my groove thing on the dance floor later that night.

It’s seriously time to get into the gym.

My mama indulging in a TCBY Chocolate Bar!

Anyways, back to the FroYo.  My mama and I enjoyed the 80 calorie, probiotic-filled chocolate bars while hanging out in the parking lot while the babies slept.  They were soft and delicious.  I’m drooling just thinking about them.  When we were done, we hopped in our vans and went to opposite ends of town.

TCBY

I dropped the babies off with Steve & Janice before readying myself for my big night out on the town, but not before doing a visual sweep of the house.  Janice’s bed was unmade and she had left a sweater hanging over the sofa.  The dishes were clean and put away but there were a few un-done things around the house so I was all-in-all pleased with her lack of effort in the house that day.  There’s no way my mom had time to clean anything so I’d say that No Housework Day was a smashing success for our families.  As a reward, I gave Janice her TCBY froYo which she moaned over until it was gone.

Janice enjoying her TCBY

Mission accomplished.

 

 

 

  • This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias  All stories of lackluster housekeeping and amazing mothers are true, and all opinions are my very own and were not influenced in any way.

 

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I am so excited to have a guest blogger with us today.  Melissa is a Pilates Instructor and the mastermind behind the blog, Satisfying Eats.  Her grain-free desserts and baked goods are phenomenal.  If you’re new to Paleo, you won’t want to miss out on this blog so that you never feel like you’re missing anything from your former lifestyle.  She has a recent post about meal planning for the week for those of you WHO WORK!!!  I am SO excited about this because I know that many of you work and are having trouble trying to figure out how to work all of the food prep that Paleo involves into your work schedule.  Melissa has it NAILED DOWN.  She has also included a recipe for us to bake this week.  I can’t wait to give these a try.  I’ll be buying some pumpkin tomorrow so that I can whip these up for Sunday morning.  I’m drooling just thinking about them.  Without further ado, please welcome Melissa to Banana Hammocks & Tutus!

  I am a happy wife and proud mother of an 8 month old son.   I am originally from Metter, Georgia but have lived in Louisiana for the last 8 years.  I a certified STOTT Pilates Instructor in Mat, Reformer and Chair and I also do personal training, as well as nutrition consultations.   I have a degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University with an emphasis in Exercise Science.  I love how the body works, and how you can strengthen core muscles to change someones posture.  But my true passion is food!  I love food.  I love eating it.  I love cooking it.  I love watching people eat the food that I cook! I have been cooking since I very young, but have only been cooking and baking grain and sugar free for about 5 months.  It is really not that different than traditional cooking.  I started my blog Satisfying Eats: Grain Free, Sugar Free & Hunger Free to help those starting a grain free lifestyle have options when it comes to eating and let them know that they can still eat the foods they love, but you just need to be a little creative, and that’s where I come in!   Grains made me FAT!

6 weeks before Hunter was born. Last doctor visit before he was born, I weighted 183 pounds!! I was carrying around an extra 58 pounds on a small, 5'1'' frame. Starting weight 125.

I have always had to watch my weight.  As a child, I was very overweight (155 pounds in the 5th grade at 5′ 1”).  I ate what every kid ate, Pop Tarts, Frosted Mini Wheats, lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and lots of Kool Aid.  My parents were both not skinny people either.  In late middle school and early high school, I began to cut back on fats and fried foods and I became more active.  Over those years, I lost 40 pounds.  I gained so much self confidence.  In college, I put on a few (not quite 15), but quickly lost it through a “diet” of fat free mayo, whole wheat bread and Splenda sweetened desserts.  In college, my dad suffered from a stroke at the age of 46 and died within the week.  It was a very tough time for me, he was such a wonderful man.  I had just declared my major in college, Kinesiology, and finished my degree at Georgia Southern University then moved to Louisiana to do my internship.  This is where my view on nutrition began to change.  I took a Nutrition Lifestyle Coaching Course and through the course material and my fellow colleagues, I learned so much life changing information about nutrition.  Then, I reduced the amount of sugar I used to bake with and started using Stevia.  I would always bake desserts for people and “hide” stevia in them and they would never know! ;-)  I also watched my below ground vegetable consumption, limiting my carbohydrates.  I had the hang of it and I was healthy and maintaining a good weight for me. Over the next few years, I tried to avoided wheat, especially in preparation for my wedding.  I was the happiest I had ever been and I felt I looked the best that I had ever looked.  Over the first year of marriage, life got busy and I didn’t watch my bread consumption as closely and my attitude toward wheat was, if I could avoid it, then I would but if that was the only choice, just eat it.  Well thinking like that put on 10 pounds in my first year of marriage.  No big deal, I just dealt with it, I just bought bigger clothes.  Then in October, 2010, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I was so excited.  I continued to eat healthy when I good and continued to do Pilates.  Then the migraines hit, and the hit HARD!  I was getting migraines every week for about 6 weeks and they lasted 2 days.  It was horrible.  I found myself picking up pizza on the way home because I thought it was making me feel better.  In retrospect, it was probably making me feel worse.  Then as I began to eat more grains, then I wanted more grains.  It was a vicious cycle!  I developed horrible varicose veins in my right leg that bulged out, and the weight that I was packing on didn’t help.  When taking the glucose test, I was one point away from them making me take the 3 hour test, I begged for them not to order the test because I knew what the problem was, grains and sugars!! Two days before I had my son, I had gained 58 pounds!   4 Days after Hunter's birth Hunter arrived May 29, 2011.  It was a great delivery and recovery but life just got so busy that it took me months to get back to my low grain, low sugar lifestyle.  Looking at pictures, I actually think I put on weight after my son was born.  I started back teaching Pilates in August and I was so uncomfortable in my body.  I teach Pilates, I should have not gained so much weight and it should be coming off faster, right?   I was nursing and that didn’t seem to help.  So in September, I started cutting back on my carbs but still eating wheat thinking, it wasn’t a big deal.  The weight was slowly coming off so I was happy.  Then in October, I stumbled across a cardiologist’s blog and book, Wheat Belly.  Reading the book, reinforced the need to cut Wheat out of my diet 100%, and not only wheat, other grains and sugars.  Day 1, no more low carb pitas which I was living on, the next day on the scale, 1 pound gone.  This was good.  Next day I got on scales after being wheat, grain and sugar free, 2 pounds gone.  I normally do not weight myself that often but I was intrigued about what was happening.  Day 3, another pound gone.  Day 4 another!  I was beside myself!!  Why had I not started this earlier.  So my lifestyle changed from that day!  Not only was the weight coming off, I wasn’t craving the sugars and breads that I had before.   All the while, I have enjoyed all of my favorite foods: eggs, bacon, steak, dark meat chicken, pork, spinach, asparagus, green beans, etc. and my favorite: chocolate, oh yes, I said chocolate!  Some times I eat chocolate every night for a week! It all made sense, reading about how wheat stimulates your appetite and that we were not designed to eat all of the grains that the Food Pyramid suggest.  I continued eliminating grains and sugars and the weight continued to fall off.  I stopped using wheat four, gluten free baking mixes, sugar, honey, and replaced those foods with almond flour, coconut flour, stevia, coconut oil and bacon, lots of good bacon!   By the end of December, when my son was 7 months old, I had officially lost all of the 58 pounds!  Oh, happy day! ;-)  I will never go back to the old way of eating or cooking again.  I have been so excited to make my favorite foods without the use of grains or sugars and have other people taste the food, and love it!  I have enjoyed blogging about my internet finds and my culinary creations! I hope I inspired you to start today on this new lifestyle that will change the rest of your life!

3 weeks after my son was born. Looks like mama had put on more weight since my son's birth!

5 1/2 months later, 55 pounds lost, gone, never to come back!

Recipe:       Almond-Butter Spice Muffin Tops       Now that is a mouth full!  Every time I think of muffin tops, I think about the Seinfeld episode where Elaine only eats the tops of the muffins and starts a business selling muffin tops.  She sells only the tops after removing the bottom from the muffin and donating to charity.  Problems come as charity wouldn’t take them because there were no tops! lol       These are so yummy and they require no special flour, only almond butter.  Almond butter is a bit expensive but it has a nice, neutral flavor.  It is also easy to make your own and much cheaper!  Check out this easy tutorial! http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/recipes/homemade-nut-butter/      I decided to use a muffin top pan because I didn’t want these to be thick and dense.  Instead, they have a nice texture, moist, but not wet.  Of course, you can use a regular muffin pan, just adjust baking time.       There is not much pumpkin in these muffins because it would affect the texture but the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice give it the pumpkin flavor.  You can also use unsweetened applesauce as well.  These would be a great breakfast, snack or dessert.       I love pumpkin pie spice.  It is a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice.  You could always make this combo at home and omit what spice you don’t like or add more of your favorite!  These also reheat in the toaster very nicely just don’t leave them in there long!

      Almond-Butter Spice Muffin Tops  Makes 10 Muffin Tops (but won’t GIVE you muffin tops)       1 cup Almond Butter   3 eggs & 2 egg yolks   1 -1/2 tablespoon vinegar   1 -1/2 tsp soda   1 tbsp vanilla   1/2 teaspoon Stevia** (to taste – I used powdered Kal Brand)   1 tablespoon cinnamon   1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice   1/2 cup canned pumpkin   1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp more cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lube bottoms of muffin top pan.
  3. Mix all ingredients with electric mixer until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  4.  Measure out heaping 1/4 cup into each opening of muffin top sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done.  Be careful not to over bake!

**Start with a little less Stevia and sweeten to taste.  You can always add more but you can’t take any away!

For your entry this week, leave me a comment and tell me what, if ANYTHING, you miss the most since becoming a Paleo Lifestyler!

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I apologize that this is 4 days late hitting the web, I genuinely do.  I had become stuck in a rut and was spending WAY too much time on the computer and not nearly enough time with my children or being a good (house)wife.  I unplugged for a few days and spent an astonishing amount of time outside playing and teaching my 10 year old to ride his bike.

No, I’m not kidding.

Last Tuesday, we started the 21 Day Body Transformation.  I’ve found it to be only lightly time-consuming and extremely worthwhile.  I believe this coming week, things will pick up and we’ll spend more time working on our muscle building and cardiovascular activities, although I haven’t looked ahead to find out whether or not that’s a true statement.  I like taking it one day at a time.  If you want to join us, it’s not too late!

I want to lightly touch on something this week that has been bothering me in regards to Paleo.  Not anything about Paleo in particular, but about how people react when they hear that we don’t eat grains.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past 3 months I’ve heard, *GASP*”You don’t eat GRAINS?  But you need them to survive!  You need them to produce good breastmilk! You need them for fiber and nutrients!  Your children NEED grains to lead healthy lives!”

Really?

How on earth did the Homo Sapien survive to this point considering grains weren’t edible up until a few thousand years ago?  Blows my mind.

I also like this one: “Oh, yeah.  Another fad diet.”

Well, no.  Not so much considering it’s how our ancestors thousands of years ago ate.

My favorite:  ”Cavemen didn’t eat THAT” (whatever “that” is from a paleo-approved cookie to a crock-pot roasted Boston Butt smothered in homemade Barbecue sauce and eaten in a butter lettuce leaf.

You’re right.  Cavemen DIDN’T eat THAT.  Paleo is not a historical reenactment.  It is an intuitive way of eating that builds its foundation on the things that our ancestors would have hunted and gathered.  We are lucky to live in a time and place where technology is king and we are able to eat things made with the ingredients that our ancestors ate, but made in a different way.

Lucky me.  Poor caveman.

SO yeah, that’s all I have to say about that.  Do you have people heckle you for your choice to be healthier?   What do you respond to them when they roll their eyes at your healthy decisions?  Leave me a comment and then use the Rafflecopter below to tell me that you did so to win some really great Paleo prizes, including “Eat Like a Dinosaur” by The Paleo Parents.

(Dinner menu below the Rafflecopter)

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