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No Trace! Well… except when it motivates me.

Trying to keep the house clean with kids it’s a constant battle.

Who am I kidding?

It’s probably just as hard without kids I just don’t remember those days. Now I’m buried by legos and matchbox cars. There always seems to be something on the counters — mail, papers, bills, CRUMBS! And the nerf bullets — on my word — don’t even get me started. They are EVERYWHERE!

Our house is proudly “lived in” and normally I don’t mind the mess but I also know how much better I feel when things are simple and tidy.

So I enacted a new rule, well… guideline as I’m just as guilty of this particular thing as the kids. We call it “No Trace” and it’s been coming in handy these last couple weeks.

The idea hit me one afternoon while picking up blocks from the living room floor… again. I looked at the 10-Year-Old and said,

“Do you remember what the rule was when we went camping?”

“No trace?” He said.

“YES!” I said. “It’s time we enact the ‘No Trace Rule’ at home.”

Why haven’t I thought of this before?!  Now every time someone walks away from a mess (myself included) I say aloud, “NO TRACE!”

Of course they let out a big sigh but they also immediately clean up. It’s  genius! (And very #wycwyc I may add.) And it’s working, kind of. The house is remaining much cleaner than it normally does.

One huge benefit is coming down to a clean kitchen at 5 a.m. before heading to the gym. It always puts a smile on my face and it’s refreshing to start the day without the extra weight of yesterday’s mess.

This morning when I came down there was an empty bag of grapes that wasn’t there the night before.

Grapes left on the counter.

I noticed because I particularly yelled “NO TRACE!” while cleaning the kitchen before bed.

See, The Husband has a night time snacking habit even worse than mine. I swear, some days he consumes more calories between 8 and midnight then he does the rest of the day. I’m not going to lie, it’s a challenge to be around him sometimes.

However, he’s been making an effort and a few months ago he started cutting back on his evening snacks and trying to make better choices. He stopped buying the chocolate cupcakes and Twix (the two things he’d eat the most of when the kids went to bed) and started to take advantage of my fruit salad making.

He’s not known for pulling fruit out on his own though. So I was impressed to see the empty bag near the sink. He actually dug them out of the fridge and washed them. Pretty impressive for someone who normally digs in the pantry and opens a bag of chips or Oreos when he’s hungry.

It inspired me.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little out of control in the food department. From Whole30 to Eat to Perform, I’m finding myself preoccupied and overwhelmed with what I should be eating. This has never served me well.

When I changed my diet and lifestyle nearly 11 years ago resulting in a 70lbs weight loss I did it NOT by making some absurd rules about what I could and could not eat. Actually the opposite was true, I didn’t make anything off limits. I was just really smart about portions and balanced everything in a paper food journal.

I find I make the best choices when I just try to stay conscious about my food choices. No calorie limits or macros to hit. Those constraints have always backfired. Getting that detailed about my diet makes me feel as if I have something to rebel against.

Instead, all I need is a good old fashion food journal to help me stay accountable. Yes, after all these years I still need to keep myself accountable because I have a problem with overeating. And it doesn’t matter how much I workout or lift, my overeating will catch up with me if I don’t get it under control.

And I’m starting to feel out of control.

So here goes nothing…

Thursday Food Journal

  • Fresh Pineapple — I brought some to the gym with me to snack on after my workout.
  • Quinoa, Pineapple and Mango Salad With Avocado – Grabbed it for breakfast while getting the kids off to school.
  • Yogurt with apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts — late morning snack.
  • Leftover baked chicken strips dipped in homemade hot sauce and an ear of corn — I’m really getting into making hot sauces lately. The husband is ecstatic as he’s a wing fanatic.
  • Ham and cheese roll ups – I made sure to weigh out of the cheese as I’ve been going overboard with it lately. I had 1.5 oz. If I don’t watch I can easily eat 5 times that. It’s just one of those foods I struggle with portions.
  • Steak, 1/2 baked potato and roasted Brussel sprouts with coconut oil — SO good! And satisfying. No snacks after this one!
    grill whore!

It’s crazy to think that an empty bag of grapes on the counter inspired me to start food journaling again but it did. If The Husband can make the positive changes he’s making then I can surely continue on the path I started on all those years ago.

He doesn’t know it, but he gave me the kick in the pants I needed.

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About Mehmood Esmail

Mehmood Esmail
Hi, I am Mehmood Esmail, there have been severe health issues in my family, like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, kidney stones, IBS, etc. Where we live, in Africa, health facilities are basic. Thus it becomes imperative that we hnow what is happenining to us and how to look after ourselves, and where possible, how to prevent serious illnesses.

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