What I Learned This Week


The first thing I learned is that an antibiotic will not do its thang if you take it once a day instead of the prescribed twice a day.

The next thing I learned is that I need to learn to READ THE DANG LABEL on the medicine bottle before taking it.

According to at least one of my eight loyal blog readers, I am missed when I don’t blog regularly.

Here’s all the other things I learned this week.

When in pain from either a punch biopsy or polychondritis – you might expect your ear to REALLY hurt for days and days.

Facebook can be a great resource for finding a puppy.

The Goldbergs is a really funny sitcom.

And lastly, I learned that it doesn’t take long to fall in love with a sweet face like this one.

Welcome to the family, Bentley!!!

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


What I Learned This Week

McDaddy and I had an extremely long, taxing day. I sat in an exam room while three medical professionals punched a hole in my ear to obtain a piece of ear cartilage. And McDaddy? Well, McDaddy stood by my side while I squeezed the life out of his hand for the better part of five minutes because OH MY DEAR GOODNESS, THE PAIN!

It easily ranks among the top three most painful experiences of my life. Wedged right in between my first kidney stone and the kidney stone removal.

So, as you can imagine, I am in no condition to sit behind this computer screen for any amount of time because my ear feels like it has flames shooting out of the top of it. And if you’re wondering if this procedure had anything to do with the ear pain I experienced several months ago, that would be a BIG. FAT. YES.

If everything goes as planned (in my head!) I will have a definitive diagnosis in 2-7 days.

Here’s a quick list of some things I learned this week.

1. You should never leave a burning candle on your stovetop.

2. If you have a burning candle on your stovetop and accidentally turn on the wrong burner, you could have some trouble.

3. If you walk into your kitchen and discover that a candle on your stovetop is on fire because you accidentally turned on the wrong burner, you should not, under any circumstances, attempt to put the fire out with water. Flour is best in this situation.

And before you ask, I did not learn any of those first three tips first hand.

4. The Saturn Sky is a sleek, sexy car. It was not built for comfort.

5. I typically spend a lot more time dreading a job than it takes to actually DO the job.

6. I have a hard time letting things go.

7. Even at forty years of age, my OCD is alive and well.

8. You can expect a lot of blood after a punch biopsy.

9. There are days when I really miss enjoying an ice cold, coca cola classic.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


What I Learned This Week

Dancing With The Stars is back on.

And that means that on Monday nights I’ll be sitting right here on my big, blue, bloggy couch cheering for Val Chmerkovskiy and Sadie Robertson.

And probably Derek Hough.

Oh, and I’ll also be belly aching because my beloved Maks Chmerkovskiy has decided to hang up his dancing shoes, and I will miss him terribly because THOSE ABS!

I miss them already.

But anyway, here’s what I learned this week.

1. Apparently, there is a shortage of stars, as is evident from the 72-year old fashion “icon” currently paired with Tony Dovoliani.

I mean, REALLY in this whole big world of famous people, that’s the best the producers could do?

2. The only thing worse than wading through tall grass, is wading through tall grass full of bugs.

3. Spray painting has become my newest hobby.

4. I feel so much better when my house is tidy.

5. I feel so much better when I eat healthy.

6. Oh Lawdy. And now a 76 year old on DWTS. Poor Peta. Pimps in my crib.

*insert eye roll here*

7. It is impossible to eat just one Mike & Ike

8. OH SHUCKS. Alfonso Ribeiro can DANCE.

9. It costs the U.S. Mint 11.18 cents to make a nickel and only 5.65 cents to make a dime.

10. The average life of a $1 bill is less than six years.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


Some Stuff and Some Things

1. I absolutely love Big Brother. I am rooting for Derek and Caleb to be the last men standing. Derek has played an almost flawless game, and Caleb, well Caleb is so cute, and funny, and well, a competition beast.

2. Dancing With The Stars will start next week. Though if I’m being honest, there are a lot more NO NAMES than there are stars. I only recognize seven of the stars. I’ll be watching each week from big, blue, bloggy couch and rooting for Sadie Robertson and Lolo Jones.

3. Oh, and what in the name of Heaven is a YOU TUBE star? Is this what we’ve come to?

4. I have been crazy busy spray painting anything that isn’t nailed down this week. I’m so excited about how they turned out.

Just look at the difference a can of yellow spray paint, $4.99, and about 15 minutes makes.

[Pay no mind to the subpar photography  and the crazy shadow on the right.]

5. And have a look at my new menu board.

6. And now I’m thinking I might need to paint the chalkboard frame yellow too since the menu board sits on the wall above they yellow cabinet. What say you?

7. You have no idea how much this menu board has helped ease the daily “What the heck am I gonna fix for dinner today?” craziness. Plus, it’s adorable and fun.

8. And also, there are these:

9. Why are Middle School students so mean to each other? Just this week, I’ve heard of four different incidences of bullying. It is frustrating and disheartening.

10. I love fall, but I hate the humidity that comes with it.

What I Learned This Week


The first thing I learned this week is that people are hungry to learn about clean eating.

See what I did there?

I featured a clean eating post on the blog last week and I about swallowed my tongue when I visited my Stat Counter.

I easily topped my “most visited in one day” Not Me, Monday post that had just over 500 visitors.

In fact, if you count in the page views I had between the time I hit “publish” and midnight, that total would have been over 4,000.

So, raise your glass, and lets celebrate my most viewed post in FITP, Inc. history.

Here’s the rest of what I learned this week.

1. A greasy hamburger after three weeks without fast food, might wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system.

2. If the crock pot liner decides to do its own thing while you’re trying to empty its contents into a bowl, you might get burned.

3. When a celebrity dies, it aggravates me when so many of my Facebook friends claim to be their “biggest fan”.

4. In Snowboarding lingo, ‘Send it’ means ‘bring it’.

5. Not too many things are amazing. Some of the athletes on American Ninja Warrior are amazing.

6. My boy Shemar Moore will be on The Young and The Restless on Wednesday and Thursday! YAY!

7. Jimmy Fallon is the best thing to happen to Late Night television in a very long time.

8. Even though I’ve seen all episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, it still makes me laugh hysterically.

9. My boys love tilapia. And I liked it, too.

10. Bath & Body Works’ Caramel Pumpkin Swirl candle smells divine.

11. A new pillow takes some getting used to.

12. Cross Country races are pretty exciting.

13. I have come to decide that my absolute least favorite thing in the world is to be miserably hot.

14. SAMs has a really great, kettle cooked clean chip called Olive Oil.

15. I think the thing I like most about spray painting is the instant gratification.

16. When spray painting, it is a good idea to wear gloves.

17. Spray paint can revive a piece of furniture. [Stay tuned this week for the big reveal.]

18. Switching out a large beside lamp with a small bedside lamp will make your nightstand seem larger.

19. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll go ahead and share the news with you because I just learned it yesterday, The Royal Couple is expecting again. Prince George will be a BIG brother.

20. For some reason, Royal Family news excites me.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


A Guide To Clean Eating – How To Get Started

You’ve probably heard of clean eating, but, if you’re like me, you may be reluctant to begin the process because you have no idea how to go about “cleaning up” your diet. Eating clean is a good way to drop some pounds, while also providing your body with healthy, nutritious options from each of the food groups. Basically, that means eating more foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined sugars, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.

Because eating clean doesn’t require you to count calories or give up whole food groups, it is easy to follow. In a grocery store, you should be doing most of your “clean” shopping around the perimeter. You should shop the aisles sparingly. A good rule of thumb is, if the food can sit on a shelf or in a cupboard for weeks or months, IT. IS. NOT. CLEAN.

Before we get started, you should understand that I in no way, shape or form consider myself an expert on this subject. I have been maintaining a clean diet for the past three weeks, with the exception of our camping trip this past weekend (UGH!!!!!), so I’ve done lots of reading, research and Googling. This post is intended to help you kick start your clean eating lifestyle.


With that said, let’s get started.

Don’t wait, do these EIGHT!


There are many benefits to eating more fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are full of vitamins, with many boasting vitamin A (Essential for healthy vision and immune function) and vitamin K (aids in keeping your bones healthy). Vegetables are also high in heart-healthy fiber, which helps you feel full. Additionally, vegetables are low in calories, so you can eat lots of them without damaging your waistline. (Can I get a HOLLA?) Fresh vegetables are as clean as they come since they are unprocessed and come straight from the garden vine, garden plant or farm. If you are concerned about pesticides and junk, you can do your own research about that. All I can suggest is to wash all vegetables (and fruit!) before consuming. Most of your clean eating plan should come from this section of the store (and blog post). Remember that most veggies (aside from starchy ones) can be eaten in abundance. A general rule for vegetables (and some fruit) is the darker / richer the color, the more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients it contains.

[Pay no attention to the Rolo and Twix you see in this picture. They have no business sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.]


  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers in any color
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Squash of any variety
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Okra
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions of any variety
  • Any other fresh veggie you enjoy



Most fruit is “clean”, however it does contain natural sugar. This can be confusing to the body. Fruit is a great snack or dessert option but should not be consumed in excess. And just like vegetables, fresh fruits are whole, unprocessed foods. Frozen, canned and dried fruit is minimally processed and can be a great clean-eating choice also. You will need to check the ingredient list to be sure that there is no sugar added. It is also best to look for fruit canned in its own juice. To make sure you get the added heart-health and weight-loss benefits of fiber, choose whole fruits over fruit juice.


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Raisins
  • Plums
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Banana
  • Avocados
  • Berries of all kinds
  • Cherries
  • Kiwi
  • Star fruit
  • Any other fresh fruit you enjoy


Dairy can be contrary and confusing when trying to eat clean. Dairy products provide several health benefits – especially improved bone health. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. Full fat dairy products are best because when the fat is removed, it is often replaced with sugar and chemicals. Fat is good for you, chemicals are not. Again, when you read dairy labels, the list should be very short. (For example Daisy brand sour cream has ONE ingredient.) Stick with dairy with as few ingredients as possible.

Greek yogurt – look for few ingredients- artificial sweeteners should not be one of them.

Milk – This is a personal preference. I have been drinking almond milk, but use cow’s milk for scrambling eggs. Generally, low-fat milk typically means the more processed it is.

Cottage cheese (If you eat it, I DON’T!) – Full fat is best, but you can also use low fat. (NOT fat free.)

Yogurt – (I’m not a fan of yogurt either, but I’ve been eating it because BENEFITS!) Always opt for Greek yogurt when you can. Plain yogurt (regular or Greek) is the only way to go. (For added flavor, you can mix in fruits, along with a dab of honey or maple syrup.)

Cheese – Most cheeses should be eaten in moderation due to their high fat content. Block cheese is best. Pre-shredded cheeses should be avoided because they have additives and preservatives. If you have a hankerin’ for cheese, buy a block and get to shredding. Real grated Parmesan cheese is acceptable in moderation.

Unsweetened rice, coconut or soy milk – I can’t give any advice here, I’ve not tried any of it.


  • Greek yogurt
  • Block cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Almond milk


You don’t have to cut out fats when you’re eating clean; instead you’ll need to focus on healthy fats. It sounds difficult, but really, it’s as simple as trading saturated fats (those found in butter, cheese and meat) for healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil and the fat found in nuts and fatty fish. The benefit is that these fats are good for your heart and can help raise your good cholesterol. The saturated fats (found in butter, cheese and meat) are associated with increased risk of heart disease and need to be limited, or else HEART ATTACK. Some simple good-fat, bad-fat substitutions are: topping a salad with nuts in place of cheese, eating avocado on a sandwich instead of mayo. (I don’t eat avocado, but as I understand it, it is good for you), and using natural peanut butter in place of cream cheese.


Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Oils are NOT a food group, but they provide essential nutrients. For that reason, they are an important part of the clean eating diet.


  • Raw almonds
  • Raw sunflower seeds
  • Raw nuts (not salted, oil dipped or covered in chocolate)
  • All natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Coconut oil (I haven’t tried this but hear it is quite good.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seed
  • Chia seeds


Bread and pasta aren’t clean by true definition but the standard American diet needs it. So, your best bet is to pick the highest whole grain quality ingredients and eat it in moderation.

Whole grains include more nutrients than refined grains because the bran and germ are not removed. Look for the word “whole” with the first ingredient in breads and pastas—for example, make sure it says “whole wheat,” not just “wheat.” Outside of whole wheat, choose whole grains like quinoa, oats and brown rice.

Cutting out white flour and refined grains is an easy way to eat cleaner. Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Refined grains are typically found in unhealthy packaged foods, like baked goods and junky snack foods that may also deliver added sugars, saturated fats and extra sodium. Instead of buying [packaged refined carbs] cookies, crackers and cakes, white rice, white bread and white pasta, you should be buying brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta.


  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa (a rare complete protein!! Oh, and also pronounced kin-wa)
  • Whole wheat or whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Black rice
  • Wild rice
  • Ezekiel bread
  • 100% whole grain bread / pasta products (in moderation)


Eating clean doesn’t mean giving up on meat entirely, but eating less meat can help eliminate extra saturated fat from your diet. A serving of meat is just three ounces (think deck of cards)—but portions served at restaurants and even at home tend to be larger than that. It’s best to get protein from beans and tofu (I haven’t tried this!) some nights and then smaller portions of meat (in soups and stir-frys) on the other nights.

Eggs – Eggs are important, especially egg whites. Since most of the nutrition is in the yolk, you shouldn’t leave them out often.

Chicken & Turkey – Boneless, skinless poultry breasts are great if you eat meat.

Beef can be part of a clean eating diet – but should be grass fed and humanely raised beef. If you’re like me, you’ll have no idea how to know this, so you might ask a butcher or meat cutter to help you select these. If you are wanting to forgo beef, try venison, bison or buffalo. Both are very similar in flavor.

Pork – While not everyone believes pork to be a clean food, it’s actually clean if you get the good quality pork. Processed pork is BAD. So, ham are Canadian bacon are definitely NOT part of a clean eating meal plan.

Venison – This is a very lean meat and can be used in place of beef in most recipes.

Fish – Most fish is considered clean, just be careful of the mercury content found in most fish you’ll find in your grocery store.


  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia (white fish in general)
  • Tuna
  • Lean turkey, pork or beef
  • Tofu
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans

7. LIMIT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE (This is the hardest one for me!)

Most people eat too many added sugars. To clean up your diet, cut down on added sugars in your diet by limiting sweets like soda, candy and baked goods. Look for foods without sugar as an ingredient, or make sure it’s listed towards the bottom, which means less of it is used in the food.


Eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure. The average American eats more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day (that’s about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting back on processed foods will help you reduce your salt intake, as most packaged foods contain more sodium than homemade versions. To help minimize salt while you cook, flavor your food with herbs and spices, citrus and vinegar.


Ketchup – It’s virtually impossible to find a clean ketchup. I bought organic ketchup and called it a day.

Mustard – Mustard is tough too. I’d suggest Dijon.


Pure Maple Syrup – The real stuff, not the kind found in restaurants.

Spices – Any herbs you buy should come in bulk or a bottle. Most seasoning packets are not clean. Garlic and onion powder are good options, so long as they don’t include. Several of the Mrs. Dash spice blends are good, but again, you’ll need to read the ingredients.


  • Salsa
  • Siracha
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Hummus
  • RAW honey
  • Stevia (in moderation)
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Apple cidar vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • (Ranch dressing can be made with a ranch seasoning packet and Greek yogurt)


Tea – particularly green tea

Oatmeal – Just the plain kind. Nothing flavored. Opt for steel cut oats or traditional rolled oats. (Though if I’m being honest, the steel cut oats made me gag.) Add fruit, raisins, maple syrup, honey or a dollop of peanut butter to make it more appealing.

Canned items with no added sugar – Due to the BPA’s in cans, there is much debate as to whether or not canned items, even without added sugar and salt, are clean. If you do decide to purchase things like beans or tomato sauce in a can, read the ingredients! There should be no added sugar in the list. (Words to avoid on the list of ingredients are sugar, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and fructose.) Canned foods typically also contain lots of sodium, so be careful. It adds up quick.

Dry beans and legumes – like lentils, black beans, chickpeas, etc.

Whole wheat flour (pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, coconut and almond flour are all good.)

Legumes Edamane, beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and lentils

I hope this information helps get you on your way to eating clean. Or at least eating CLEANER.

I  plan to post some of my favorite clean recipes here in the days to come.

If you decide to give clean eating a try, I’d love for you to let me know how it goes.


Clean Eating

If you’re a regular around here, you may remember that I joined a Biggest Loser contest and had a successful several weeks that helped me lose eight pounds. And then, life happened, and the next thing I knew those eight pounds were back, which is so unfortunate because the only thing worse than losing pounds, is having to lose the same pounds over again.

So when my Biggest Loser organizer friend Tracy posted on Facebook that she was starting up a Clean Eating group challenge and asking if anyone would be interested in joining the group, I was all like, what the heck is clean eating.

As I researched it a little further, I was happy to find out that this clean eating program required no supplements, no products, or exercise out of the home. All it required was commitment.

The 16 of us are in the third and final week of the clean eating challenge. We each paid $35. to join the group – which is headed up by a certified personal trainer – and at the end of the challenge any of us losing eight inches or three percent of their body weight will split a percentage of the fees.

Since sharing that I started a clean eating challenge, I’ve had several [read: LOTS] of messages asking if I’d share how to eat clean. So, instead of typing the info over and over, I thought it might be easiest to share the details here. Although it is so much better for you to eat “clean” it does require more time planning, prepping and cooking meals. Participants in our group were encouraged to pick a day and prep all of the food for the week, or at the very least, have a meal plan in mind for the week.

To kick things off, this is what I bought my first week.

If it is impossible, to purchase a large amount of food at once, try choosing three or four each week. My motto is if you can’t eat CLEAN, at least eat CLEANER.

“Clean eating” is not a new concept; it has actually been around for a long time. If you are not accustomed to “eating clean” it may take some time and practice to get 100% “clean”.  Unprocessed, natural state foods have a different taste than frozen and processed foods, meaning that it will take some willpower to stick with the program.

The premise of this lifestyle change is pretty simple. (Notice, I said lifestyle change, and not DIET.)


1. Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize processed foods.
Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package, and although there are always a few exceptions to the rule (like a bag of fresh green beans), the majority of your foods should be fresh. (I love that the Steamer bags of veggies (the ones without the cheese sauces) that I’ve been buying for years are also okay.)

2. Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, you can up your intake of whole grains like brown rice and quinoa (pronounced kin-wa). Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.

3. Include *some* protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.
Most of us typically easily include carbohydrates and fat, but we often lack protein, especially during breakfast and lunch. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help in curbing your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it helps us to feel full longer. Pay close attention to the kinds of meals you put together and space out your protein.

4. Eat fewer ingredients.
Try not to purchase foods that have more than 4-6 ingredients in the ingredients list. If you can’t pronounce it, it probably shouldn’t go into your body. (Just because a food is labeled as whole grain, you will need to look at the ingredients list. Packaging can be misleading, ingredients lists are not.)

5. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
THIS RIGHT HERE IS MY BIGGEST WEAKNESS because oh my word, I love the bread. And the sweets. And the Mexican food. Once you’ve cut out processed foods, this will be a little easier than you might think. Processed foods are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in ALL of these ingredients.

6. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
Typically, this might mean eating three main meals and two or three clean snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and overeating. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so there’s also that! (In addition to my three meals, I try to eat a handful or almonds, a cheese stick or a handful of grapes at various times throughout the day.)

7. Steer clean of  high-calorie drinks.
High calorie drinks like fancy coffees and soft drinks – on average – tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water when at all possible. Other clean drinks: low-fat or skim milk, almond milk and 100 percent fruit juice diluted with sparkling water. (I am happy to report that after a long, loving relationship, I have given up my beloved Coca-Cola classic, and now drink mostly water or unsweet tea during meals.)

8. Get up and move.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong. (My favorite ‘get up and move’ is riding my exercise bike or dancing around the house while I do daily chores like laundry, tidying up or vacuuming.)

Here are a few pictures from my first week of eating clean to give you an idea of what to eat.

Tomorrow, I’ll provide a list that you can use to do your CLEAN grocery shopping, so stay tuned for that.

That’s what I learned this week.

How about you?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy as 1-2-3.