Keeping it real (recipe included)

Warning: Some photos may not be suitable for the weak or easily offended.

Look, it’s not like some magic switch gets flipped in January and all of my resolutions come to fruition at once. We’re mid-month now, so it’s about that time to see how things are going. Let’s assess.

I lost 3 of the 5 pounds I gained last month, and I realize this is a positive but it’s going slower than I had hoped, still have 17-18 pounds to go this year. As we all know, pounds are easier gained than lost. I did do a cleanse the first week of January, but it was rough getting back on the intermittent fasting schedule after a month of bad habits. I thought about doing a cleanse again this past week, but if I’m being totally honest I just wasn’t willing to give up the alcohol two weeks in a row (you’ll see why shortly). I have stuck with the fasting and am aiming for 22 net carbs or less each day – thank goodness vodka is carb free.

Water – I drank so much water the first 3 days of January I practically lived in the bathroom. Yesterday I drank 1 plastic red cup of water and woke up overnight parched. But I didn’t waste 30 minutes of my day peeing, so still maybe a net positive. Yeah, I’ll have to try harder on this one.

Saying I love you to the kids has been a conscious and easier-than-expected addition to my day. Win.

Money. Ugh. Eggs are like $192843.00 per dozen now and we go through about 250 a week with the restaurant and another 6 dozen a week with the kids. You do the math. Barely enough left for the much-needed vodka, let alone savings.

I called and spoke with my sister for the first time in a while and we had a great catch up. The google “free time to talk” calendar is working (at least for one family member).

I said the holidays were over and I was so relieved, for like a minute. Then I looked around my house and decided I wasn’t so relieved after all, because there’s still all of this holiday crap EVERYWHERE.

Sometimes I compare the holidays to the same trauma level as moving – they take up months before and after to plan and then recover from, and when we’re finally, finally settled back into normalcy, they’re just around the corner again. The more kids we have and the busier work gets, the less Christmas books get neatly stored into my stupid tupperware stacked so high you can’t even see the paintings on the wall. Baby Pat alone can dismantle an entire room in 0.73 seconds, so even when I get my chores done and decide today is the day the holiday stuff is getting put up, I turn around to this.

Or this.

Or this.

And if you think that’s scary…

This is one weekend of laundry for 11, folks. In his free time, Pat enjoys unfolding while I’m sorting clothes out of the dryer.

Just like everybody else, we’ve got the Facebook friendly Christmas shot right up top for you, but I always make sure to take some photos of our actual reality. I may be miserable, but I’m not embarrassed about the mess. And I haven’t even shown you pictures of the bookshelves, butler’s pantry or mail sorting station because those are just too darn upsetting.

I haven’t cursed once in this entire post, I’m saying I love you to our kids more, I’m down a few holiday pounds, and I’m even going to share a short easy keto recipe at the end of this post. Resolutions don’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing, and progress is progress.

I’ll close with a quote I read from time to time, probably said by some very wise person who had 12 kids (or maybe just an overwhelmed mom of 2 who just finished a pint of ice cream). I’ll probably have it engraved on my tombstone.

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy shit, what a ride!””

And for those of you keeping track, that is not me swearing.

Now for the recipe:

Bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed jalapenos

Ingredients: 1 lb jumbo Shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined), cream cheese 8 oz, 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, bacon (half strip per shrimp), jalapeno peppers (deseeded and sliced in half, 1 half per shrimp)

Directions:

  1. Mix the cream cheese, cheese and seasonings in a bowl. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Put a large spoonful of the cheese mixture into each jalapeno half.
  3. Press a shrimp into each spoonful of cheese mix.
  4. Wrap a half slice of bacon around the entire thing, you can use a whole slice if you love bacon, it’ll just take a little longer to cook.
  5. Put all of the peppers onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Then turn the temp up to 425 for another 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon is done how you like it.

Macros for each stuffed pepper: CALORIES: 105, FAT: 9g, CARBS: 2g, FIBER: 0g, PROTEIN: 5g

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Published by Michaela Ingram

Michaela Ingram, creator of thefoorce.com, thecentralparkzoo.com and abckitchentexas.com, is a music teacher and keto chef with a wonderfully supportive husband and 9 amazing children, ages 0-21. Her work has been featured in Special Parent and Big Apple magazines as well as on childmind.org, mommypoppins.com and nymetroparents.com. Her latest endeavors include working for Daniel's Music Foundation as a music teacher and running ABC Kitchen, which specializes in sugar-free, gluten free and low-carb comfort food. Michaela left her fast-paced life in NYC for an even more exciting adventure in Texas, where she works as a fine arts educator for all abilities. She loves cooking, music, writing, chickens, anything outdoors, homeschooling, and big family life. To check availability for writing and speaking engagements, please email mingram1122@gmail.com.

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