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Hello 2016!

Hello, 2016!

If you are a long-time reader, you will probably remember our Month of No Sugar last year. Essentially and few of the kids and I dropped all processed sugar for the month of January. It was a complete success from the standpoint of finishing the challenge. I made it, easily and didn’t particularly crave sugar…It was a failure from any other standpoint. I didn’t feel any better (or different for that matter) I didn’t lose any weight and I didn’t have more energy.  I did find some new favorite sugar-free foods though.

Last year I was struggling with health issues (adenomyosis and fatigue) both of which are still present and problematic. Finding myself in the exact position I was in last year, I decided on a new challenge. This January I am cutting out refined sugar (I will use honey and maple syrup sparingly) and refined wheat. My goal is to “reset” my taste buds, eat a little healthier, feel better, and lose weight. In the past, I have found cutting out refined wheat a great way to lose weight and it has the amazing side benefit (for me) of taking away any cravings for sweets. I am not worried about gluten, per se, but more about the unhealthy carbs in refined wheat and products made with it.

2016 Photography Goals

It’s the new year…so let’s talk about goals. Back in 2014, I set the goal to improve my food photography. I tried staging a few photos and putting effort into making my food photos look nice…and they still sucked. Last December, after returning home from BlogHer Pro (where I shared a room with a talented food photographer) I can home and purchased some vinyl backdrops and a macro lens.

bad food photography

This is a photo I took in 2014 when I was working hard and trying to stage my food photos. Um, yeah. It’s absolutely horrible.

You must try this quick and easy Crockpot Peanut Chicken recipe! Only 6 ingredients!

Here is my 2015 attempt at the same meal. The difference? I added a backdrop, made sure I had adequate light and used my macro lens. While the goal took a little longer than I hoped, I would say I accomplished what I wanted. 

My goals for 2016 are:

Finish my book proposal and find a publisher. 

I am hoping to get this finished this month. A lofty goal, but this has been taking way too long!

Grow my photography business.

I have a goal to book 2 births  one other session each month. 

Make a plan; follow the plan. I tend to be very scattered when I work (whether in housework, writing, or photography). I jump from one task to the next, with no particular rhyme or reason…It’s like I hear “squirrel!” every 17.8 seconds. So this year when it comes to blogging, writing, and promoting my business (and any computer-related work) I plan to write out a list of tasks and work on accomplishing them. Maybe even in order, but I really want to break the habit of constantly jumping from one thing to the next…

Write more.

Spend more time outdoors.

Increase my energy and feel better.

Have you set any goals for yourself in 2016? Feel free to share them here.



    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      This is a great question! I was planning to drop all wheat…until I went to Costco and, without thinking, grabbed a box of Grape-Nuts (a mainstay in my month of no sugar last year). Then I realized, it is pretty much just wheat, salt and yeast. I thought about it for a while and realized what I am really trying to avoid is the high-carbs in things like bread, pasta, etc. So, essentially, I will be avoiding all wheat, except Grape-Nuts, which seem acceptable to me for my goals. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but that’s my plan :)

  1. Sam

    I’ll also be eating less wheat and sugar – I know I feel better (and lighter) without them but they are so difficult to resist!
    In line with eating less wheat and sugar, I need to be more organised in planning, shopping and preparing food so that I have healthier options to help resist temptation. I’m also starting my first year as a teacher so surviving the year and teaching my 22 students something valuable is a relevant goal!

  2. Amy S.

    Your “squirrel” comment hit so close to home. I do the same thing. I’ll be cleaning the bathroom and remember something in the kitchen. While doing that I think of a task that needs completing in the living room. Come back to the bathroom an hour later only to think “ugh, I never finished this”. Let me know if (and how) you have success with this goal. And good luck!

  3. Dorothy

    I would like to finish all the in progress projects. Over Christmas I replaced the ceiling fan/light combo in the girls room, replaced the main floor entryway light, rewired/extended 2 dining room circuits and repaired the drain for the upstairs bathroom. The main bathroom sink has something stuck in the drain line below the pop up, so I will be taking that apart tomorrow night.

    The old laundry room was entirely gutted 18 months ago. My boys replaced rotten floor joist and put down the plywood sub floor. The insulation and wiring are done.and drywall is up. I need to finish the drywall seems, sand and paint. The trim should be painted and put it back up. I need to decide what kind of light I want, and decide on a flooring to use. I’m thinking something like real tiles, as I would like to learn how to tile and this is a fairly small room. The end goal is to have a room for my stuff, sewing machines, material, craft items, to get them out of various other rooms in the house and consolidate them in one room. The half of my enclosed porch that is not the laundry area will eventually be a toy/play room. The family room became the 4th bed room years ago.

  4. Karen

    Renee, I was recently diagnosed with adenomyosis. I have opted to not seek a hysterectomy (I’m only 42!) and have focused on dietary and lifestyle changes. Progesterone cream has helped immensely–adenomyosis is aggravated by excess estrogen and progesterone balances that. I also restrict my dairy and red meat intake, and focus on whole grains, not white and processed, as you’re doing. Apparently cruciferous veggies help, so I eat either broccoli or cabbage every day. These are just the things that helped me; I hope you find relief!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Karen, I have been struggling with adenomyosis since the summer of 2012. I have been working with both a naturopathic doctor and obg/yn. We have run through the entire list of options starting with tinctures from the naturopath, to more invasive measures. It has gotten so bad I am in pain three weeks out of the month now.

        • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

          Not know-it-all! Everyone’s experience is different. You would have no way of knowing how long I’ve been dealing with it or what I’ve tried :) I don’t write about it on the blog because, really, who needs that info? LOL

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