Let the Cleanse Begin…again!

Hi folks!

I hope you had a beautiful weekend.  Mine involved lots of Brothers & Sisters, adeliciousinternational potluck with my classmates, dancing until the early morning hours, late night girl talks, lots of grocery shopping + cooking, a 3am shower, a trip to the farmer’s market, dancing in my car, and fantastic conversations with new friends.

And…restarting the Crazy Sexy Cleanse.

A couple weeks ago one of my good college buddies bought and read the book.  Both of us have similar struggles with our weight + eating and I had been suggesting the book to her since I did my last cleanse.  She wanted to do the cleanse and I offered to do it with her, both for some moral support (it isn’t always the easiest + she isn’t plant-based to begin with) and because I know it won’t hurt me to do it again.

So last night I enjoyed all sorts of Indian, Asian, and American food + dessert + beer (and that dancing) and today I started my day with fresh vegetable juice (carrot/ginger/beet/apple/parsley/kale/celery/garlic) from the farmer’s market, followed by some baked fresh this morning whole wheat walnut bread and sun butter, and topped off tonight with a new-to-me raw kale salad.

I forgot how good it feels to eat this way.

I won’t likely be talking about the cleanse quite as much as last time but I will be following the principles to a T.   For those just joining me, that means: no meat/poultry/seafood/eggs, dairy, sugar or alcohol.  It also means daily meditation, workouts, and dry brushing, as well as using toxin-free health & beauty products and getting enough sleep.  Kris suggests giving up gluten but I’m not quite there yet (personally or budget-wise).  Quite frankly, I think that I probably will feel even better and I’m not ready for that change.  I have no doubt that I’ll get there (and have certainly learned to never say never).

I hope you join me over the next 21 days as I work my way towards a lighter, more cruelty-free life.  My goals with this cleanse are fat loss (not to be confused with weight loss) + more focus.  I’ve been doing much better with the focus thing, often choosing to do that what needs to get done than that which I want to do.  As many of you know, this is a huge step for me and I have no doubt that cleanse will help strengthen this new muscle I’m building…plus a whole lot more.

Yoga/beauty/veggies,

Kait xo

Out sick / uber brief P:FB

Between travelling, starting my coaching session, and the general transitional period I’m currently in, my body is taking a beating!  After my trip to Vegas, I was holding so much tension/stress/worry/overwhelm in my upper back that I could barely move my neck for days.  This time, I’ve been experiencing a whole lotta gastric distress (to use the clinical term).

Lessons learned. I need to focus more while travelling on eating my usual diet, even if it means going out of my way or spending more $.  I also need to ease back into eating clean if I haven’t for a while.  Trying to jump back into a 1 week Crazy/Sexy Cleanse after weeks of abusing my body with travel, inconsistent workouts, sugar, bits of dairy, and just not fresh foods was not ideal.  Got it body.  And I’m sorry I took you for granted.

My mantra the past two days has been: “I give myself permission to let go with ease.”  And yes, I mean this both figuratively and literally.  <–couldn’t resist!  😉  I’ve been on mostly liquid foods diet with the addition of some soluble fiber (read: half a box of cereal) and some “gentle” fresh foods (green smoothie + apple with peanut butter).  I’ve been rocking supported bridge pose and various hip openers for minutes at a time.  They haven’t done a ton to resolve the issue but I can literally feel stuff (I shan’t say “shit” I shan’t say shit) moving around.  And, after much research, I went and bought myself some of this stuff.

That’s right folks…15 billion bacterial cultures, twice a day (per the recommendation of the health food store lady).  My real-life go-to guru for all things holistic, Sarah, suggested this brand and, luckily, my local health food store had it.  *whew*  I’ve taken two doses so far and am happy to report that I am, in fact, starting to *ahem* let go with ease.  In plainer terms, I can fit into jeans again, a feat which was not even close to possible yesterday when I looked at least four  months pregnant (I’m not at all) and couldn’t even squeeze into leggings!

As part of my let my body rest and heal and rejuvenate, you are getting a very quick P:FB post today.

Tip of the Week

Shop around!  Don’t go out of your way and waste excessive amounts of gas and and time and energy, but see if you can combine trips in a way that allows you to get the most stuff for your buck!  For example, this week we needed TP.  So I picked it up at Wegmans after doing the math out.  I wasn’t super happy with the $10 purchase but it was later on Sunday and I just wanted to get my goodies and go.  On the way home I stopped at CVS to pick up some new wrist braces and figured I’d check out their TP prices on a whim.  I ended up saving a close to $6 on TP just by taking those couple of minutes to walk across the store.  So if there are other places you pass en route to your “main” store, check their circulars.  If you pick up prescriptions at a pharmacy rather than your grocery store, check their prices while you are there.  If you purchase two of the same item, no worries…return the other (obviously this depends on your store’s return policy) and enjoy your savings!

Meal Plan

This, this (I used the whole sprout), this (basically the best mac & cheese ever), and this plus lots of green smoothies, tea, and cereal!

Spending Savings

Wegmans: $22.66
Trader’s: $15.42
CVS: $2.25

Total: $40.33 🙂

I’m back in the game!  woot

Total Elgibile Spending: $24.91
Total Savings: $16.26 (65%)

That’s all for today folks…gotta get back to nourishing and healing my God Pod.

Yoga/beauty/healing/savings,

Kait xo

PS Give my fellow budgeteers some loving!

From My Heart to Yours

Source

Its been a long road. Without realizing it, I started this blog as a way to reach out to others and to help heal myself. Some part of me also hoped that my transparency would help others as well.

All of this has come true.

Let me back up. Yesterday I mentioned that I received oodles of good news this week. I held on to this news for a bit because I’ve learned over the years to really relish in and appreciate my news–good, bad, or otherwise–before broadcasting it to the world. I consider this lesson my earliest foray into the world of mindful living (also known to me as YOGA) for it was the first time in my life that I learned to stop and cherish life before broadcasting and rushing through it. Furthermore, when I did tell others, I did so consciously and by choice, telling only those closest to me who would share at the deepest level in my trials and tribulations.

So when I started to receive good news this week, I fought back my immediate desire to share it with the world. Instead I skipped out of the hospital, texting the beau as I went and calling momma later in the day. When I opened the package I admittedly called momma and beau immediately but then stopped and hugged myself, filling up with appreciation and pride before calling the others. I let myself smile and giggle incessantly, much to the chagrin of those around me (whose opinions, suddenly, didn’t matter one bit). Slowly but surely I disseminated the information more but, again, only to those who could fully share in my joy.

Yet through it all, I knew I needed to write about it. So many of you came into my journey at the mid-way point and you’ve been besides me every step of the way since. So here goes…

Saturday I rocked into half moon pose…on both sides.
Monday morning I was discharged from hand therapy.
Wednesday I received my acceptance letter from John’s Hopkins School of Public Health.
I’m moving to Baltimore in July.

In other words: I’ve arrived.

Every time I think about these things, I am filled with infinite amounts of joy, peace, and gratitude. As recently as a couple months ago, I did not truly believe that I would, or could, reach this point. Surgery was a viable and increasingly attractive option as I sought a way to end the pain, anger, sadness, and inner turmoil. I hadn’t gotten my shit together for applications. Even when things started to improve, I was still scared, living from a place of lack and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had hope for the first time in months, yet I still was deeply wounded.

My discharge and subsequent marked the final step in my healing process. Let me repeat that: I am healed.

I’m not longer the “almost girl.” My letter from JH is so much more than a new opportunity. Its proof positive that I am worth it. Yes I know…I shouldn’t seek validation from outside sources. Yet I still do, especially when I am rejected time and time again (a pattern that extends all the way back to friggin high school applications, if you must know). My acceptance to Hopkins proves that it is time for me to take the next step…time to jump and leap and SOAR.

As for my physical issues, they are not gone. In fact, the opposite is true. But instead of being angry or questioning when enough was enough, I’ve come to accept that, fact of the matter is, I have flexible joints and there is nothing I can do to change that. Its how my beautiful body is built. I can stabilize many of them (e.g. shoulders, spine, hips) through strength training. I can make lifestyle modifications that will consciously protect the others (e.g. thumbs, wrists). I will continue eating an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diet, meditating daily, and practicing heated yoga (the heat lubricates and protects the joints) that emphasizes alignment over being the best.

Despite all this, new opportunities and doing best by my body, I’m not invincible. But I know I can overcome whatever else the Universe has in store for me. My big plans (which were to move to CT in May and shack up with the beau after 7 years of being apart and not really having a plan beyond that) have been drastically changed, a fact which presents new dilemmas. I’m re-entering school after 2 years off and going straight into an intense accelerated Master’s program at the top-rated School of Public Health. It won’t be a walk in the park.

But I know I can do it because I have the most amazing support network both among friends and family and the blogging community (that includes you, dear readers). I have my writing and this online diary to show how far I’ve come…how dreams can come true, even if we don’t really know they are dreams yet. And I have me.

To everyone who has listened or read about my journey, who has held me, comforted me, wiped my tears, and supported me, to those who offered words of encouragement and hope: I owe you a boatload of gratitude and love. Both have been filling me up since Monday…I’m literally overflowing with peace and joy and gratitude and general love for all that is around me, including the snow/sleet that New England is finally experiencing!

So from my heart to yours…

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Yoga/beauty/amazing life,

Kait xo

Ingredient Intros: Cukes and Celery

Ok, you’re thinking I’ve gone totally batshit, aren’t you?  Its ok, you can say yes.  I would totally think the same thing too.  But just give me a few minutes to explain why I’m “introducing” these two very commonplace and oft consumed veggies!

In last week’s P:FB post, I taught you that “cheap” ingredients can be used to bulk up meals and smoothies.  So today I want to introduce cukes and celery as amazing ingredients to use in a non-traditional way (read: not in salads or with dip): as smoothie “fillers” and nutritional powerhouses.

So let’s go, shall we?

Full disclosure: I cannot stand cukes on their own.  Once I discovered cukes and pickles come from the same thing, I just…I couldn’t do it. 

Also, I’ve only included that which has the support of science.  I use WH Foods to look up nutrient levels and food characteristics.

Cukes

Source

Cukes are perhaps the best smoothie ingredient discovery I’ve found yet!  Here’s why:

  1. Chock full of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese.
  2. Chock full of phytonutrients like flavanoids and lignans.
  3. Goitrogen-free.
  4. Mildly sweet flavor.
  5. Water-filled.

So we hear words like “antioxidants” and “phytonutrients” tossed around.  A lot.  What does it mean?  Well the science is still mixed but in the health food world these nutrients are generally thought to be anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.  The reason for this, of course, is because they have an alkalizing effect on the body.   In short (if you aren’t feeling a brief video lesson right now), this means that they make more oxygen available to your cells.  Inflammation and cancer don’t thrive in oxygen-rich environments.  <–Note I said “thrive.”  It doesn’t mean that these things can’t occur but that is a topic for another blog post looking at when bad things happen to good people. 

“Goitrogen-free” is a term you’ve probably seen popping up more and more on the site.  I promise to explore that in-depth in the near future.  In short, it has to do with thyroid functioning.  As someone who has an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), I try to avoid goitrogens.  Or at least, I have been since I learned about them!

So the first three reasons are all health benefits.  The last two, on the other hand, are just gosh darn practical.  If the idea of drinking your greens causes your stomach to turn (or if you just err on the side of being slightly weak stomach-ed or nauseous, especially in the morning), then cukes are the way to go!  The flavor is light and downright refreshing.  This is enhanced by the fact that cukes are really mostly water which means two things: 1) you’re basically drinking lightly-flavored water and 2) they add bulk to smoothies…aka more smoothie for less money.  Allllllriiight.  🙂

Celery

Source

Celery, though an amazing smoothie and juice addition, is not quite on par with cukes (IMO, of course).  The main reason for this is that celery has a bit more characteristic (aka noticeable) taste.  When you add too much, you know!  Despite that, I’ve made celery a regular part of my smoothies because it offers a ton of benefits.

  1. Rich in numerous minerals including sodium and potassium, which together play a huge role in regulating fluid balance (aka it makes you pee!) as well as neuronal activity.
  2. Chock full of immune-supporting nutrients like vitamin C and coumarins.
  3. Goitrogen-free.
  4. Fibrous.
  5. Savory tasting.

Another highly alkalizing veggie to help support total body health.  Skipping down to number 4, being fibrous is a benefit not only because it helps clear your intestines but also because, once again, it helps to bulk up the smoothie.  The savory taste can, of course, be either a positive or a negative but I personally love it when I want a little extra ZING in my smoothie.  I also love dipping celery sticks in almond butter for a pre-workout snack.  Nom nom nom.

Finally, it is important to note that both cukes and celery are supercharged with vitamin K, one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, these guys are stored in the liver and, you guessed it, fat and do not need to be replenished as often.  This means, please don’t go on a cuke-and-celery bender.  Vitamin toxicity is a real and dangerous thing!  On a lighter note, Vitamin K supports bone and blood health.

I hope you enjoy this more light-hearted post and see these two humble veggies in new light.  And of course, what post about greens would be complete without a picture of my fave way to enjoy them?

Recasting the wine goblet. *Note* The little dark flecks are chia seed. Don't be scared.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist.  This is not medical advice but rather my personal opinions based on research I’ve done, content I’ve been taught, and my personal experiences.  Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or regimen.

On Meditation

My meditation space *oohhhmm*

I’m not gonna lie: meditating can be hard to do.  Some days your ass goes numb.  Some days one foot (or leg) falls asleep.  Sometimes both do!  Sometimes your brain stages a full-blown sabotage and you end up feeling like total shit.  Sometimes you panic because certainly, you’ve been here more than 10 minutes already!

And then some days you sit in total peace.  You feel 100% juicy, ripe, delicious, and vital and suddenly all of those other experiences aren’t as important.  Your body stays awake/alert/aware and you disconnect enough from your thoughts that you find internal quiet.

As I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks there isn’t such a thing as true internal quiet.  There’s internal disconnect.  There’s tuning in and the ability to think without thinking.  There is complete calm.  But there is no such thing as absolute and complete silence.

And I’m ok with that. More and more I am able to distance myself from my thoughts during meditation as I do during yoga.  My brain may be active but I’m an observer to those thoughts.  Some people describe this as watching them float by like clouds.  <–Hogwash!  Its more like not caring what your brain is doing, being aware but not invested, and focusing elsewhere.  Although, I have a feeling this experience is a little different for everyone!

During this week I’ve also come to terms with only being comfortable sitting for 15 minutes a day.  I was trying so hard for those 20, thinking that number was some magical gateway where I would find the ultimate inner peace.  Instead I was panicky…anxious…freaking.  As usual, the Universe decided to send a little message, this time in the form of Gabrielle Bernstein’s v-log, delivered each Monday morning right to my inbox.  One of the first lines in the video: “It’s not about how long you sit; it’s about how deep you connect.”  <–I couldn’t make this sh*t up!

 

Have a beautiful weekend.  Take some time for you…be peaceful/calm/non-rushed and loving.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 21

Tip of the Week

When I decided to do the CS Cleanse, I was really worried about my food budget.  I wasn’t sure how I would stick to my budget on a mostly raw, veg-filled diet when I could barely do it otherwise.  Add in to that GF foods, the price of which is still higher than of their gluten-containing counterparts, and I was secretly dealing with a bundle of anxiety.  Am I crazy?  Who decides to do a cleanse while trying to stick to a budget?  And one that involves insane amounts of fresh veggies, the majority of which should really be organic? Seriously, WTF am I doing. 

That sounds about right.  My brain was not a happy place in the weeks preceding the cleanse, especially once you add in doubts about my ability to stick with it and get anything out of it!  Then I started varying up my smoothies, adding in things like frozen peas, cucumbers, and celery.  Suddenly I wasn’t using quite as much of the expensive stuff (e.g. leafy greens).  And then I realized there is so much to do with the cheap staples, once we get over our fear of trying new things!  

So this week’s tip is to go out of your comfort zone and bulk up with the basics!  Add some onions and beans into your sauteed greens, use sweet potatoes to make veggie burgers, add cukes and celery to your smoothies and sunflower seeds to your salad.  Use pantry staples to mix and match delish dressings, sauces, and dips so that your mix of veggies doesn’t grow boring.  Buy leafy greens that you can use more of (e.g. chard) and that don’t wilt down as much (e.g. kale).  Get the most for your money, especially if you are investing in organic!

I’m still learning the ropes here but this revelation has been huge in terms of sticking to both my diet and my budget while still getting a ton of nutrients from varied sources.

Weekly Menu

*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner.  I also eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.
*Test recipes for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook are denoted with a * and can include neither a name nor a detailed description.

It was a super international food week.

Rainbow Chard* with Kidney Beans + Tabbouleh*

Paella* over sauteed spinach

Paella* and Gazpacho* <–so friggin amazing even though I added too much water!

Smoothie of the Week: The Sweet and Savory ( (romaine/cuke/peas/celery/ginger/almond milk/banana/cinnamon)
*Goitrogen-Free

  • African mashed potato dish*
  • Aloo Gobi*
  • Salad-of-the-week: arugula/carrots/sunflower seeds <–keeping it simple and delish!

Seriously, who said cleansing was boring/restricting/etc?  I’m eating a TON of food and trying so many new recipes!

Day 9 – Clarity

I worry, I weigh three times my body
I worry, I throw my fear around
But this morning, there’s a calm I can’t explain
The rock candy’s melted, only diamonds now remain

~John Mayer, “Clarity”

I made it to week two!  *Whew*  I talked last week about my difficulties with the cleanse, including battling some massive anxiety.   Little did I know what lay on the other side: perfect, wholesome, filling clarity. 

This weekend was sunny and bright and long.  So maybe that has something to do with it.  But as my Inner Pilot Light reminded me this morning, I 100% deserve to experience ease, joy, love, passion, excitement, beauty, peace, even bliss.  So I lived in it, marinated it, and felt grateful for it.

I feel beyond light and clearheaded with none of last week’s brain fog or confusion. That is not to say I’m no longer struggling with anything, but rather that my mental state is calmer, more relaxed, and more free.  My biggest stumbling blocks are techno detox, feeling hungry, getting to bed on time, eating earlier, and living with a famine perspective (will this be enough?  what if I get hungry?  etc).  But I’m taking the right steps and moving away from sugar, carb, techno, and escapism addictions.

This weekend was certainly difficult.  I made it through my first meal out and my first social affair without drinking or indulging in junk food (full disclosure: one sip of GF beer + a couple extra pita chips).  I probably didn’t stick to the 60-80% alkaline foods guideline but can definitely say that I ate way more veggies than I have in the past.  All-in-all, my victories outweighed my falls.  And through it all I continued to feel light and clear and free.

I’m more content than I’ve been in a long time.  Yes…contented.  That’s the right word.

*Sigh*

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Notes on Wellness, Part 5: Lesson on Metabolism with Dr. Gottfried

Today I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Sara Gottfried, “the Harvard trained integrated physician who helps women, regardless of age, feel vital again using natural hormone balancing.”  <–Her intro on tele-seminars!

As I wrote about on Friday, one of the reasons I love the CSD Cleanse is because it is about more than just our bodies.  Since I was actually in Worcester this weekend I committed to taking some time for me.  To breathe/relax/catch-up.  I visited friends, practiced yoga (both days!), clipped and organized coupons, made late night runs to Whole Foods, watched rom coms ,and caught up on some tele-seminars I had been holding on to for some time.  On Saturda while doing my coupons, I listened to Are Your Hormones Holding You Hostage for  the Holidays?  <–Like I said, I’m catching up!

The focus of the call was Metabolism as it was the free intro to her Mission Ignition e-course on the same topic.  Since I know how much you beauties love reading about food…and we all know how much I geek out about anything to do with the human body, I wanted to share some of her gems with you.  I hope these action steps and words of wisdom inspire you.

“The HALT test is an acronym and the idea with each of these letters is it should act as a trigger to ask yourself, ‘Am I Hungry?  Am I Angry?  Am I lonely?  And I Tired?”

“Maybe its not that you want a hot fudge sundae…maybe its that you want your life to be a hot fudge sundae.”

“So its a question for me of what is it you really want? […] Do you want that chocolate cake?  Or do you want peace and serenity around food?  Do you want a body that’s de-aging, extending your prime, feeling gloriously energetic and vital?”

So I make a choice based on my vision of myself in my world.  And the idea here is to really live in congruence and alignment and to be faithful to this bigger picture of who you want to be in the world.”

“[…] stress and cortisol is responsible for 95% of the diseases we treat in conventional medicine.  So 95%…it either causes the disease or makes it worse.”

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Why I love (and support) the CSD

In general I do not support cleanses.  I think they are unsustainable (kind of like diets) and can even be harmful.  That being said, I adore the CSD and the cleanse.  Today I want to talk about what sets it apart and why I love it so much.

The end of week one is almost here!  5 days counts as a week, right?!

This week has been full of ups and downs.  Day 1 was basically a breeze.  Day 2 brought on a morning-long anxiety attack.  Day 3 saw my mood all over the map.  I was up, down, cranky, exhilarated, energized, fatigued, foggy, and a whole lot of other things. I also wanted sugar.  Badly.  Knowing this was around didn’t help much!

Temptation.

At the end of the day, I was singing (loudly…and out loud) and rocking out to Disney tunes (go ahead: reread that and smile) on my walk home from and in the parking lot outside of the yoga studio.  There were far too many witnesses than is good for my ego! <–Wasn’t yesterday’s affirmation about being a trailblazer and unique?  And didn’t Day 3 say something about letting go of the ninnies in my head?  Hmm…Day 4: more of the same + carb-rich indulgences (paella, crackers, far too many raisins) which then led to stomach aches. *boo hiss*

I’ve been hungry all week, not because I feel deprived but because my body is adjusting to this change and I’m still trying to figure out exactly how much food I need to eat (hint: a lot!). I’ve been fatigued, flirted with constipation (a huge increase in fiber will do that…a little supported bridge with my feet on the floor and all was right with the world), sleeping better than ever, albeit not enough, struggling to focus, being insanely productive, etc.  On the emotional & psychological side, I’ve had revelations and breakdowns, moments of oneness with the universe and mental sabotage while trying to meditate.  I’ve broken through walls and even felt strong enough to rebuild some.

My meditation space & sanctuary *oohhhmm*

And that is the very reason I adore CSD and think it is a valuable cleanse: its about so much more than your body.  I absolutely hate that the word “diet” is included in the title because what Kris lays out is truly a lifestyle.  The book educates, providing the reasons why in the world you’d consider giving up dairy, caffeine, sugar, gluten, meat, and alcohol for 21 days or more…like, ya know, forever.  In addition, there are chapters on non-food related topics like meditation and body care.  In short, the CSD is a guide to a new way of living vitally and wholly, not just healthily.  

The same can be said for the cleanse.  There is only one week’s worth of sample menus plus suggestions on Day 1.  After that, its all about the internal work.  Each day has an focus, prayer, affirmation, and tips to successfully move through detox symptoms and cravings.  At first I was wary because I wanted an easy cleanse: just tell me what to do!  Then I realized the beauty of this way: it teaches the individual how to live this lifestyle independently.  There are no training wheels and this isn’t a quick fix.  Instead, the book provides everything you need to know, including recipes and an extensive resources section.  And if you fall off and skin your knee?  Its totally ok…Kris is gentle and encourages, welcomes, and congratulates any change, no matter how big (omnivore –> vegan; meditating an hour daily) or small (coffee –>green juice; working one or one more day per week).

The cleanse essentially is transitioning you into this lifestyle with loving support.  You might need to repeat multiple times to get “there.”  Then again, your “there” and mine might be totally different!  All I know is that without the mental and emotional support from the book (and my other Crazy Sexy Warriors), this struggle would be so much more.  Its not just my body I’m detoxing: its my whole being.
Find me another cleanse that does that, and maybe I’ll support it.

Until then, you can find me rocking my lotus pose, knocking back veggies galore, and strengthening my spirit.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget,Week 20

Don’t know what this is?  Click here…or check out all my P:FB posts using the tag cloud/categories.

Zoom zoom.

Tip of the Week

Today I want to revisit the topic of making your budget work for you.

My food spending was a bit all over the place this week.  While in VT last weekend, I had the chance to shop at some farm stands and purchase local-produced products.  Some of these were things were on my grocery list while others, though they were not, were simply too good to pass up!  By the time beau and I arrived home on Sunday, we were exhausted!  Napping for too long led to a woozy/drowsy/kinda-seemed-drunk Kait which, in turn, led to the following exchange:

Me: “Hooooooneey!  I dooooonnnn’t waaaaannna go to Wegmans.  I only neeeeeed a few things and can get them alllll at Trader’s…”
Beau: “Ok then don’t go.  Just shop at Trader’s.”
Me: “But it’ll be more expensive.”  *pouty face*
Beau: “Look if you only need a few things from Wegmans don’t go. ”

So that’s what I did.  Did I pay more for certain products because I didn’t shop around?  Yes.  Was it worth it for my sanity?  Yes.  Did I still stay on budget?  Well, you’ll have to keep reading to find out!  😉

Anyway, back to the tip!  As you’ll see below, only one of my VT purchases is included in my spending.  Huh?  Well, I didn’t include the items purchased off my grocery list because beau paid for them in exchange for me covering our accommodations for the weekend.  <–Teheh I’m one smart cookie budgeting genius!  I also did not include the splurge items I bought because they were my souvenirs from the trip and therefore money for those came out of my discretionary fund.  The only other money I spent on the trip was to cover our accommodations.  Snowshoeing was free.  So was sitting around the house, eating, drinking, and playing Catchphrase.  When I travel I either buy locally-produced food or jewelry.  My splurge foods are someone else’s trinkets.  Same concept, different manifestation.

I operate on the same philosophy when dining out (which I don’t do that often): its an activity, not a necessity, so the money for it comes out of the fun fund!  Eating out is one of the few activities I actually spend $ on since I’m not a big shopper (besides grocery shopping, of course) so if my weekened plans are waffles at WooDaddy + dinner at The Citizen, there’s no way I’m not cutting into my grocery budget!

At the end of the day, this system works for me.  You have to do what’s best for you, so long as its honest and within your means!

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