Friday, January 6, 2017

Dig a Little Deeper

A Balanced Meal
by: Kel Amstutz
January 6, 2016

As the New Year begins, I think that everyone is trying to figure out how to make those weight loss resolutions come to fruition. So, let's talk a little about balanced meals, because we don't want a diet, after all, we are looking for a life change- it is a resolution, for the year, remember!

Balanced meals help us all to maintain energy, stamina and, well, our overall health.  Let's think about the Earth's population, it is expected to continue growing to nearly 40% by the year 2050, which in turn sustain-ably growing enough for a growing world is one of the major challenges of our time. Fortunately, having new tools and solutions are helping to ensure a sustainable food supply, which will help farmers make balanced meals more accessible to all. #foodforthought

1. The concept of a balanced meal has grown more popular through initiatives to educate Americans about healthful eating, such as the dietary guidelines of MyPlate, which is a great tool that is even sponsored by the USDA. Though the breakdown varies slightly depending on your age, gender and of course, other factors, MyPlate will generally recommend that your plate be half fruits and vegetables, one quarter of healthy grains, one quarter lean protein, and a smaller side serving of lean dairy.

2. What is the best way to help make a balanced meal more accessible, in a sustainable way? One key strategy is to help farmers have better fruit and vegetable harvests even while facing weather challenges. Another is to help farmers produce healthful grains (such as wheat and rice) and protein-rich legumes (soybeans, lentils) while using important resources, like water, more efficiently.

3. Enticing vegetables are more likely to be eaten! #truestory  Through traditional plant breeding, plant breeders cross-breed romaine and iceberg lettuce to develop a new lettuce that is crisp in texture, sweet in taste, and contains a good source of Vitamin C and folate. There are also new varieties of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers that are smaller, which can help reduce food waste.


Roughly 1 in 8 people worldwide don't have enough food to eat- more than the populations of the U.S., Russia, Japan, Mexico, France and Italy combined.

In the 1960, a typical US farmer fed 25 people. This past year (2016), that same farmer will feed 155 people.

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, investment in agriculture is 
in reducing poverty and hunger than investment in any other sector. 

I wanted to post this due to the fact that I am on a #thrive journey, which goes beyond my 3-step system. I am finding my way to clean eating in order to better my life, but on this journey comes discovery. It is important, vital, for us, as a whole, to understand the statistics and to understand why it is so important to know these facts.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A look back on 2016

Kelley's Look Back on 2016

January 2, 2017

Once again, it's hard to believe another New Year has just set foot upon us. I wanted to take the time to sit down and let you all know how thankful I am for your support, prayers, and continued encouragement.

What a whirlwind 2016 has been. Our 2016 started quietly. We cheered in the New Year then by watching the Rockin' New Years show on T.V., much like we do every year. There were so many ups and downs that took place, making the final decision to leave my secure full time job with the State and basically take a huge gamble on Substitute Teaching. Who knew I would be where I am today, a year later almost. The work was slow. Other jobs would come and go, but my heart ultimately knew that subbing was where I needed to be, at that time. The Hubby was moving up the ladder at work, team leading, and enjoying his new placement. The kids, healthy, getting ready to move in grades, a fresh kindergartner emerging.

We had a summer to remember. Me and my girls. It was amazing and I would not ask for anything else. We played. We learned. We spent so much time together. It was truly a gift.

A new school year emerged, and boy what a shocker it held. A long-term sub job, in my daughters class, even! Great reports on both of our kids. Watching them grow through my eyes has been something that I wish for all Moms. It has left me with a loss for words. To be this Mom right now, the one that is able to be close to my kiddos, to be a part of their world, even if just a little, has been a humbling, awesome experience.

The amount of pride that I hold for my Hubby, well, it's unreal. He has allowed me to live in this world, to have this life, to experience this pure joy and bliss and forever I will be thankful for this man and his own sacrifices. He is a special soul and I know that I lack telling him just that in my own words. He has let me be the Mom that I need to be at this point and time and if he only knew that the way I see him through my eyes was beyond measure, that would be complete. He is a leader, his job he handles with ease and it's almost in-bedded in his soul for his duties. I know that he is where he was always meant to be, responsibility and all, and it is my hope that he will only continue to grow and excel at his work.

Moving on to our Fall, where the leaves began to change, the school bus was promptly at the end of the drive at 8:20 a.m. and the girls were eager to head to school to see their friends. We slowly shifted to December. It seemed like a blink of an eye. The sub jobs kept slowing rolling in, I had made my decision to expand my presence in the school district by reaching out for sub secretary eligibility, as well as working in the lunch room. I had a goal. I wanted to be a School Secretary.

Sometimes it is as simple as that with me. I make my decision. I follow some yellow brick road that only I can see. The problem always lies in the other yellow brick road that God has paved for my being. It's a constant struggle. Where I want to be and where I need to be.

So, with the upcoming New Year, a new path began to emerge. One that I need to follow, at least to see what is at the end. It is a familiar path. It is one that I am nervous, stressed out about, and scared to death to stay on, but it is one that I believe was presented to me for a reason. Those paths are the ones that are hard to pass on. I will be a Mother first. I will be a Wife first. That has been made clear. If things interfere with my family, then this path is not the one that I am meant for. But a chance is needed, a choice was made, and a soul was put in front of me to help me along the way.

Hats off to 2016. You held New Beginnings for my family. I found #thrive, which has made things clearer, made me feel so much better and honestly, made me more determined and focused. I thank #thrive for that. That is a true gift. It is amazing what vitamins my body must have been missing!  I have been working my Pink Zebra business more. I love sprinkles, so why not! I am determined to make something of both of  my businesses. I believe in both of the product lines and believe in helping others with a passion.

Onto 2017, I know you will be better than ever. To think, ten years ago, 2017 seemed impossible. Light years away. Time flies..when you are having fun, or so the saying goes!

I hope that your 2016 was chalked full of memories. I wish you all the best 2017 that you can muster!!!

With Love XOXO,

Life at Gray Gables...RE-BOOT!

A post by Kel

January 2, 2016

Today marks the beginning

The FIRST post on Life at Gray Gables 2.0.  

I lost myself with my other blogs

It was due time to reset, rebuilt, reboot!  

I am focusing on Gray Gables, our life as a family, and all the little things that go along with that. 

I hope that you all had a fabulous New Years and Holiday!!! 

It was a busy end of the year for the Amstutzes, but we are here, ready to rock 2017, and feeling better than ever!  (thanks #thrive)


Watch for new posts soon ;)