I will be announcing the winner for the Alvarado St. Bakery as soon as possible. I am sorry for the delay.
I have a confession to make. I’ve been in a funk again which is why I haven’t been on social media lately. It happens to me every now and again.
A few weeks ago I went through the blog and made private all the posts that we’re about things like this. My personal thoughts. The depression that seems to just be a part of me. My reflections. I still don’t know if I should have done that. But, I thought it would make me feel more confident about posting.
Truth is, I am scared. I have so many ideas. So many things I want to talk about. I have good solid advice about loosing weight. I have recipes that are mine, my little foodie brain children. I have hundreds of pictures saved on my phone. And then when things get all funky in my head, I don’t post. I don’t Instagram. I worry too much about what other people will think. How I will appear. What they will say.
I worry that someone I know in “real life” will find my blog and read about my personal thoughts and feelings. I worry about exposing my heart to the world. About being too open. About saying the wrong thing or too much of the right thing or just saying whatever it is I am trying to say in a way that offends or doesn’t provide the right information.
I don’t know. It is exhausting. The constant fluctuation of thoughts in my brain quite literally exhausts me. And instead of speaking from my heart I become something I am not. I become this person who is trying to entertain. Who is trying to draw an audience. Who is trying to be confident and knowledgeable about things I honestly don’t even know about.
Truth is. I am shy. I know a lot about loosing weight and I read a lot about carcinogens and red dye #5 or whatever else we should be afraid to eat and I try to eat healthy. I try to eat as much organic foods as I can but, I have a real issue with retaining the information I read and every time I try to explain it to even my husband I forget and end up sounding like: it’s just bad for you and yeah. Cancer. Yeah.
So forget all that. Forget trying to impress you with my worldly knowledge that doesn’t exist. Forget trying to give away products that create overwhelming giveaways for me and work I am not ready to commit to. This blog barely has any content because I have been running around in circles afraid of where to start. So forget it all.
I have always struggled with worrying way too much about other people’s opinions. I spend most of my life trying to appear to be someone I am not while I struggle inside with terrible insecurities, fear and personal judgement. I do things because they are what I should be doing or because they look right. I never listen to my heart out of fear. I am never honest with myself. I am never confident. I am always hiding. I am so tired of hiding. It is exhausting.
I want to help other people. I want this blog to teach people what I have spent over a decade of my life doing. Loosing weight. I also want to reflect. I want to talk just like this when I need to talk. This is my space so I am granting myself with the right to do that. I am done putting on a show. I am going to peel back the layers. I am going to stop trying to sugar coat and just put it out there.
I was a fat kid. I overate a lot. I didn’t even know that I was overeating. I was thoroughly convinced that I was just born that way until I was about fifteen years old. I started off dieting and running and once I saw that I could actually loose weight, that I wasn’t just “big boned” or whatever kind of bulls*** line they want to feed you. That is was MY fault and I was in control, I became obsessed with the control. I got into diet pills and caffeine pretty heavily. So bad that it turns out, I didn’t really have Crohn’s disease at all. I just did so much damage to my intestine that it flared up and looked like I had Crohn’s disease. I caused myself to feel like I was on death row for six years but whatever, I was a kid and I was really into that whole living on the edge thing. In fact, I only recently discovered that not living on the edge could actually still be fun.
I spent a lot of years abusing my body, doing drugs and starving myself. I thought the only way that I could be thin and stay that way was in this state of starvation. I loved the euphoria your brain experiences during fasting. That state unleashed so much openness in my thoughts. I could write for days. I was once again again, addicted. So much of my life has been about addictions. I never felt like I was good enough, pure enough, honest and worthy enough to deserve a good life.
I have disrespected and taken advantage of the beautiful life I have been blessed with. My good job. My loving and understanding husband. The house we amazingly built. My daughter, the most incredible gift I have ever received. The reason why I think, there must be more to this life that we live. I have been so selfish. So self involved. So much of everything that I shouldn’t be and not enough of what I should.
Screw everything. My parents. My past. The thoughts that haunt my mind. The inability to focus on the present. Forget all that. It doesn’t own me. This day is all that matters. Today is all that matters. Not yesterday. Not last year. TODAY.
When I got healthy it took a long time before I could talk to other people about loosing weight. In fact, no one asked me. Everyone knew what I had been up to even though I had never told a soul. It was all just one big dirty secret in my mind. And once time past. Once I stopped yo-yoing. Once I started eating again. Eating healthy. People, the people in my life, they all started asking me for advice. Me, of all people.
I thought it was crazy. How did they not know the right way to eat? I somehow thought it was normal that I had spent hundreds of hours of my life on the internet researching how to loose weight and just somehow assumed everyone else did the same. But they didn’t. They wanted to ask me the right things to eat. They wanted to know what exercises I did. They wanted to know how I bounced back after pregnancy. They wanted to know how I was still thin so late in my twenties, how I still looked so young.
And that is what inspired me to create this blog. Because I wanted to have a blog that was a positive experience for me. After spending close to ten years blogging about my pain, my depression, my eating disorder, everything that I was hiding from the world. I wanted to stop hiding.
But I just haven’t known where or how to start. I have been afraid of which honesty was okay and what was not. I wanted to appear a certain way. To hide from my past.
I am done hiding. I am done pretending. And finally now, I realize where I needed to start.
It was right here.
Hi. My name is Danielle Johnson. I get depressed sometimes. I get scared and I am shy. I used to starve myself. I use to cut, abuse, and do anything else I could to fuel my self hatred. I did lots of drugs in high school. I still love a good party. But these days, I love to cook. I love to create fresh beautiful meals that are picture perfect. I believe in whole foods, natural foods, goodness that comes from the earth not in a lab. I’ve taken up gardening and it doesn’t feel like work. My husband has started calling me farmer Jo. It makes me think that maybe he’s onto something. I still love to run and I’ve taken up yoga. I have realized that stress is deteriorating and try to avoid that feeling as much as I can. I love my family. I love being home with them, put-sing around the house, hanging up pictures, reflecting on our memories, playing board-games. I could take friends or leave them. Most of the time, it feels like too much work keeping them around. People tend to hurt each-other, worry too much about being there or not being there, depend on things we shouldn’t, get too involved. At the end of the day, give me my couch, a big box of Lego’s, some Curious George and our night is perfect. I want to have more babies. I love being a mom. My Summer is the best thing that ever happened to me. If she is happy, I am happy. I am always thinking of everything I can do with her, places I can take her, new toys I can buy her, she is my new obsession and I am pretty sure that for once, it is okay. I am finding happiness little by little, day by day. I managed to get through all the darkness without meds, without therapy, without any outside help. Writing is my therapy. Maybe a little bought of pot here and there. Mostly just having my rock of a husband and an outlet for my thoughts.
So here goes nothing. I am letting it go. Goodbye past. Goodbye pain. Goodbye self hatred. Goodbye doubts. I am healthy. I am going to organize everything I want to say and I am going to help. If you want to loose weight. If you don’t know where to start. I am going to show you how. The right way. The healthy way.
I have to be honest, I really have always had to be in the mood to eat tuna fish out of can. But, that was before I tried Wild Planet Albacore Tuna. This tuna is amazing! It is the freshest, tastiest canned tuna that I have ever had in my life. I even got my anti-canned tuna husband to try some and now he can’t get enough! This coming from a man who wouldn’t ever consider eating canned fish is a very big deal. This tuna is different from other canned fish. Wild Planet Tuna is caught wild, cooked once in the can retaining all it’s natural juices and Omega-3’s and packed without the addition of any water or oils. This process makes this tuna some of the freshest, natural canned fish on the market! I loved it so much that I wanted to share some with all of you.
So I partnered up with Wild Planet to offer two of you the opportunity to try out this delicious tuna for FREE!
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“The Wild Way”
By, The Wild Planet team
“For millennia the earth has been a thriving, prolific planet teeming with life. It goes without saying that human survival is dependent upon the well being of earth’s ecosystem and, therefore, we all have a moral obligation to preserve and protect our wild planet by putting its health before economic gain.
To that end Wild Planet Foods is committed to looking for ways to maximize the health and resources of our wild planet and, thus, boost its food production output and its ability to sustain harvesting. Food is one of the most important things we can obtain from the planet. Wild Planet stands for a balance between producing healthy food while at the same time maintaining a flourishing planet. That is the WILD WAY.
Here at Wild Planet, we are serious about what we sell. Since 2004 we have been selecting only the finest quality, 100% sustainably caught seafood for all of our packaged products. We source our tuna exclusively from pole and troll catch fisheries, never using purse seine or long-line gear. Pole and troll fishing has been rated the best catch method for sustainability by a consensus of eco-organizations including The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ® Program, Greenpeace and Fishwise. It is our goal to provide market driven change in global harvest practices as well as impact consumer choices in seafood consumption through education.”
For more information on The Wild Planet and a complete list of their products including: salmon, sardines, anchovies and shrimp click here to visit their website.
Thank you Wild Planet for this opportunity to share your wonderful products!
What does it mean to “eat clean”?
In a nutshell.. It means, avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods.
How do you know what is processed or refined?
1. It has a label.
2. It has more than one ingredient on that label.
Sure, you’re not going to cut out processed foods all together but, if you cannot pronounce an ingredient listed on that label…
Don’t eat it.
Think: Fresh. Whole. Simple.
When you think about eating clean, imagine you are living in a time before grocery stores. When everyone grew their own food for harvest, got their milk and cream directly from their dairy cows, raised their own animals for.. you get the picture.
Now that we live in a time where we don’t have to farm anything unless we really want to, why would we not just rely on quick easy packaged meals for nourishment?
Because, if you are looking to optimize your nourishment, reach and maintain a healthy weight and feel fantastic, you want to stay away from as much of the chemicals and genetic modifications found in packaged foods as you can.
Other Benefits of eating a cleaner diet include but are not limited to..
Less chance of disease, including cancer.
Your digestive system will function better and more regular.
You will feel stronger and have more energy.
You will have a better balance of nutrients coming into your body which in turn will keep you satisfied longer and less likely to snack on junk food, IE your cravings will subside.
Loosing weight will help your self confidence.
Your skin + hair will look and feel healthier.
Your eyesight will improve.
Mood swings stemming from irregular balance of blood sugar will subside.
Your focus and overall sense of well being will improve.
So this all sounds good to you but you’re like, where do I start, huh?!
So you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on your food and this all sounds like this could be expensive, huh?!
So, you’re on the go A LOT and you just don’t have the time, huh?!
I’m not going to lie, it can be expensive and time consuming at times BUT.. It doesn’t have to be.
Plus, think of it as an investment. An investment in yourself. Maintaining a healthier lifestyle means, less trips to the doctor which in turns means, less time taken away from work, less copays and doctor bills and essentially, more money in your pocket.
Having a clearer more focused mind means = a happier you!
What if I said that you could eat clean without all the planning, prepping and cooking, you’d say I was crazy right?!
You can ear a clean healthy diet for as much enery as it takes to go through the drive-thru… well… almost.
Let’s start with the basics.
Think- original man. What did the cave-men eat? No, this isn’t Paleo. I’m not well researched in Paleo but I do know they eat a lot of meat and cheese, which can be high in saturated fats. Cheddar cheese for example, is one of the leading causes of saturated fat in America.
Now, I know I just told you to stay away from packaged foods but, we both know that can be very difficult. So, here are some guidelines when grabbing for snacks on the go…
You want to look for foods with low fat grams per serving, always as close to or less than 30% of the total calories.
You want to find foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories.
You want to follow the recommended percentages found on the food guide pyramid. The food guide pyramid is actually an important tool- Use it!
When you think of the word clean, think natural.
Organic, yes is always the best choice but, isn’t always possible which I completely understand. Eating organic can be very expensive, especially when you are raising a family.
Try to limit the amount of different products you buy. You will find over time, you won’t need them.
Researchers began creating genetically modified foods in the 80’s. They started added chemicals, hormones and tons of sodium to our foods. Sodium is one of the leading causes of obesity. Processed foods contain a lot of sodium.
If you want to eat clean, loose weight and feel more alive than ever before. If you want to get sick less often, have more energy and become more alert, stay away from processed foods and restaurant foods as much as possible.
You never know what you are truly eating unless you prepare it yourself or are eating at a “farm to table” style restaurant.
Cook as little food as possible. I don’t know about you but, I have a very energetic three year old and a very busy schedule so I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
Ok so, where do you start?
More to come.. Stay tuned!
I have been using these bags for about two months now and I LOVE them! I was looking for an eco-friendly solution to snack bags and these have worked out perfect.
The zipper works great, they are sturdy and machine washable, which is exactly what a busy mom on the go like me needs!
They were so affordable ($7.99 for two!) I am thinking about ordering about 10+ more so I never have to buy plastic snack bags again!
Want your own?
HOW TO ENTER:
1. “LIKE” THIS FLYER OR BLOG POST
2. CHOOSE YOUR WAY TO FOLLOW
My first ever giveaway! I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I feel to be given the opportunity to work with Alvarado St Bakery. For those of you not familiar with the brand, they are an organic food company based out of Northern California. They began creating organic baked goods during the “Food for people not for profit” movement in San Francisco back in 1979. They were originally part of a non-profit organization called the Red Clover Worker’s Brigade. In 1981 a worker cooperative was formed by five of the brigade workers. They purchased the bakery and ended up choosing the name Alvarado St due to a road sign they found stowed away inside.
Being that spouted breads freeze so well, they have been able to expand their company to supply their healthy, organic, whole grain breads across the globe. Their Sprouted Wheat Breads are now available in over 1100 Walmart Supercenters! You can find Alvarado St Bakery from “Small marts to Walmarts” across the USA!
Here is a complete list of the varieties now available at a Walmart near you:
The California Style Bread
Essential Flax SeedBread
Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread
Sprouted Wheat Bread
Sprouted Diabetic Lifestyles Bread (low glycemic bread made for diabetics).
Their products can also be found and most supermarkets.
They also make bagels, buns, tortillas, pizza bread & granola!
They have graciously provided me withtwo varieties of their bread to sample, The California Style Bread & The Essential Flax Seed Bread. I have been deliciously sampling away and will have some interesting facts and pictures up within a few days.
And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for:
To Enter simply “like” this post on any social media site and complete ANY one of the following:
The winner will be chosen at random and announced Saturday July 19th!
Thank you to Alvarado St. Bakery for sponsoring this Giveaway!
Time has a tendency of slipping through my fingertips. A substantial amount of my life is spent fighting time. There’s just never enough of it. And sometimes when you get caught up in doing something you truly love (like this blog) you loose track of all the other things you need to balance in your life (like, your daughter, your husband, work, school and your house) which lands you in the middle of a little mini life crisis. I have been away from social media for around three weeks now. I wish that isn’t how things needed to be but, it is just the course my life naturally took. I love this blog and I love graphic design almost as much as I love feeling thin. I think all my ladies out there can collectively agree nothing quite compares to that. When I feel beautiful, I know that I can conquer the world.
I have not been feeling like I could conquer my morning cup of tea let alone the world lately. Too much came into my life at once and I needed to take a step back to figure out how to move forward. Things are finally settling in now and I am optimistically approaching some better weeks ahead.
Thank you all for your patience and, stay tuned I promise you won’t be disappointed!