So, this is Mitch writing for the first time on this blog. I felt that there were actually some pretty big changes and new, interesting things happening in Ang's and my life that haven't yet been blogged about. (No, we're not having a baby if any of you were just thinking that.) Not that big of change, but still kind of big; and I wasn't too sure if Angela was going to blog about it or not because we don't want anyone to get the feeling that we're boasting, or weird, or trying to push any of our ideas on them. What I'm talking about is our changes in "Health-consciousness" (if that is even a word). Angela and I have recently made some drastic changes to our diet and made some new exercise goals. Since I've been taking some pictures lately, now I want to tell you about them.

Let's start with the exercise since it's a little less extreme. I made some goals with my DPT program in early June to improve my exercise, and was thinking "how can I really accomplish this?" I've set plenty of goals in the past and never end up keeping them. Ang had been mentioning triathlons and marathons and such for a while, but I never really seriously considered it. Then it hit me while making my goals that maybe I needed something like that to give me a vision to actually work for. A few weeks later, and both of us were signed up for a service sprint triathlon here in Vegas in October. Although difficult, we have loved training so far and it definitely worked for meeting my goals. Exercising 5-6 x per week has surprisingly become enjoyable, and I am now a swimmin' and bikin' man (...maybe not so much swimming, but I am slowly improving). Here are some pictures of our new (well used, but new to us) road bikes:

. . . And now to our diet changes. They're a little more crazy to me. In fact, I was thinking the other day if someone had approached me in high school and said, "You are going to eat like a Vegan 90% of the time when you are 25," I would have laughed in their face and never believed them. They didn't call me "Buffet" for nothing! But this is what we now do.

I know a bunch of you are thinking, "What?! They're nuts!" And you're probably asking, "what happened to Mitch and Ang?" But let me tell you about it first, and show you some pictures . . . then you can call us crazy.

The Bishop's wife in our ward put on a plant-based cooking enrichment night for those who wanted to come back in May, and of course, Ang went. She then came back totally gung-ho about making a diet "life-style change" to eating only plant-based foods. I took some convincing, but since she was so excited about it, I thought I owed it to her to at least try it out for a few weeks. We decided on a 90-10 deal, 90% of the time we eat plant-based (basically avoiding meat, dairy, and highly processed/ refined things), and since we're not perfect and don't want to always turn down others' food, 10% of meals bend the rules a little. I was very skeptical and was most worried about not having meat for dinner, but I had some rules and regulations in my head about whether I could continue this or not:

1) I could not feel hungrier than before the switch - I hate normal dieting because hunger and going without food just makes me sad and angry.
2) I had to enjoy my meals just as much as before - If you know me, there aren't many things in life that bring me more joy than food.
3) I needed credible research saying this truly has health benefits.
4) I needed tangible results - giving up some sweets and foods I love would require something worthwhile in return.

Well, after 2 months of trying it, CHECK to all 4 and much more!
I'm still stuffed after meals; plus I feel way more satisfied with what I ate. I enjoy the food just as much if not more than before. Ang and I (mostly Ang) have done lots of research, and although nutrition research is filled with bias (people are very passionate about their food), we feel very, very good about this way of eating. And tangible benefits, besides just feeling overall healthier than before, I'll get to those. But first, here are some meals we've made during the past few weeks.

Confetti Quinoa with a side salad

Sweet Potato Chilli Cheese Fries with Biscuits and Fig Jam

-Yes, hard to believe but this is vegan (bean only chilli), plant-based (cheesy sauce made from boiled veggies and nutritional yeast), and healthy (baked fries w/ good oils & whole wheat biscuits). . . And probably one of the best meals I've ever had, before or after the diet change!

Black Bean Taco's

Butter Bean Fried Rice

Herb and Veggie Whole Wheat Pasta

Red Bean Fajitas

Veggie Avacado Burger (We try to avoid those processed vegetarian replacement meats and other things, but this was pretty darn good.)

One of my specialties I call "Ultimate Salsa"

For our date night last weekend, we went on a Whole Foods bulk shopping spree and made some homemade granola, trail mix, and banana carob treats. These are the delicious results:

Chilaquiles (but we just call it Mexi-cabbage)

Bibim Barley (Korean Veggie delight)

Oh yeah, and now for the tangible results I was hoping for. Well, I have lost 20 pounds in the past 2 months thanks to this diet and exercise. I haven't weighed this little since junior year of high school and it feels great! You can compare this picture with Angela's previous post about our anniversary trip and see the change. Anyways, I just wanted to share some of the pictures I've been taking lately and talk about these interesting changes we've made. I don't know how much I'll be posting in the future, but hope you enjoyed this one. Thanks!


Who's Your Hero?

So I think I have a pretty cool calling.  I am the Girl's Camp Director.  I've found from talking to other women that most either love or loathe this calling.  I definitely fall under the love category.  I get to plan a week of camping in the middle of nowhere with teenage girls who are, quite frankly, hilarious, and do all kinds of fun things like singing silly songs and riding a zipline.  How does that not sound appealing? Well, camp was fantastic and I had a blast with the girls.  I'll admit, it was a little stressful being in charge and my awesome assistant did more than her fair share of the work....a lot more. She rocks!  The theme this year was "Who's Your Hero?" and each ward picked a hero from the scriptures to base their camp around.  Our girls chose Moses and boy did we have fun with snakes, staffs, burning bushes, and parting the Red Sea!

Cute beehives setting up their tent :)

Hooray for certification! Highlight of the week: Older girls gather the younger girls together to help pass off certification....WITHOUT being asked!!   How cute are these little ladies?

Adorable mia maids.  I was put in as the mia maid advisor right before camp.  These funny girls toilet papered my bed to "initiate" me.  They even put pink polka dots on the toilet paper and tied bows.  They crack me up!

Cooking up some lunch with Steph and Alex.  These women are incredible and were so fun to work with at camp.

Roasting fried chicken over the fire=hours of laughter.  I about died when she added a piece of garlic bread and ate it all straight from the skewer.  "I love me some fried chicken!"  This also happens to be the same girl who dropped her flashlight in the porta potty.  Luckily a brave first year fished it out for her.  Talk about a good friend!

These girls really are so much fun.  Hopefully they got a little spiritual boost from girls camp in addition to some good laughter and memories.  I know I did!

A Whole Year!

We did it! Mitch and I have been married a whole year!  Ok, so this momentous occasion may have happened more than two months ago (posting and I don't get along sometimes), but I still wanted to put up a few pictures.  We thought for our first year anniversary we really needed to do something big...go somewhere exotic and have a grand adventure.  What did we do you ask?  Headed for St. George!  Well, perhaps it wasn't the tropical paradise we were dreaming of, but we had a great time taking a mini vacation with just the two of us.  Here's a taste from some of our trip:

We had a ton of fun hiking and exploring Snow Canyon State Park.  The trail we took wasn't really marked so we forged our own.  So much for staying on marked paths! Luckily I was able to rescue Mitch from nearly falling to his death off this cliff ;) 

What a beautiful day for hiking! ....and taking awkward pictures.   

Triumphant Mitch after we traversed our way up and over the mountainish thing behind him.

We found a cliff high above the city one day where we ate lunch.  It was pretty windy, but the view was great.  See the temple in the distance?

We of course had to stop at the temple and visitor's center while we were there.  We forgot the camera the day we actually did a session, but snagged a picture when we went back to do more sightseeing. 

Our fun little trip also included visiting several historic sites, great food, and a failed attempt at playing tennis.  Who knew it could be so hard to find an open tennis court on a Monday morning?! We had a great time being gone for a few days and couldn't be happier after our first year of marriage.  I've heard people say that the first year is the hardest; if that's the case, we've got some phenomenal years ahead of us!


Mitch: Teaspoon destroyer, bean connoisseur, 25-year-old.

Mitch turned 25 on March 22nd and amidst all the craziness of life he didn't even get his own special post on our blog.  Talk about a lame wife!  After perusing some of our more recent photos, I  realized that my husband is funny.  Not the "he cracks a few jokes and makes me smile" kind, but the "I can't stop laughing and even when he is isn't trying I double over" sort.   Many of you may not know this side of him.  In public or in groups he's usually fairly reserved and content to let someone else take the spotlight.  So, I thought it only fitting that more of the world experience a small dose of the Mitchell found safely within the walls of his own home.  Happy birthday babe!

For Mitch's birthday I made him a mint oreo ice cream cake.  Yummo!  

Mitch blew all his candles out! All 7 of them! Yes, I used 2 green candles and 5 pink candles to represent 25.  Notice the way awesome basketball he recieved in the picture.  Now you may be thinking that these pictures don't seem all that funny.  However, there is something to chuckle about from Mitch's special day.  For his birthday dinner he asked for........frozen pizza!! Yep, of anything he could choose he wanted a nice big Digiorno.  His reasoning was that he never gets to eat it and we were planning to go out for his birthday on the weekend since we were busy the night of.  Frozen pizza for your birthday?! That made me laugh. 

These pictures crack me up! Not long ago, Mitch got our "1 teaspoon" measuring spoon stuck inside the blade of the peeler.  He claims that he just found them that way, but I think I know better ;)  It took a long time, but he managed to rescue both kitchen untensils.  I'm afraid I wasn't much help because I was too busy laughing at how seriously he addressed the issue.  Look at his face....that boy means business!

Recently, Mitch and I have been on a big bean kick.  Black, pinto, garbanzo, great northern, kidney.....we like them all.  In fact, Mitch has taken such a liking to them that he has now become a self-proclaimed bean connoisseur.  As we sat eating taco soup this week (complete with four different kinds of beans!), he decided that he really needed to have a favorite bean.  "I've got to have a best," he said.  The site of him quietly picking out each type of bean from his bowl, tasting it, then rating it, was really pretty comical.  Sadly, he never did make a decision. 

Can you tell what this is?! Yep, that would be Mitch's leg with a quaint little picture he drew during general conference.  I'd like to think he was listening intently during that session, but that may be a little optimistic given this lovely display of artistry.  Just as the prophets and apostles are counseling us to keep ourselves clean and treat our bodies as temples, Mitch is tatooing himself with a "families are forever" scene.  Atta boy!  We all laughed pretty hard as his drawing became more and more intricate with every speaker.  I can't decide if I like the ugly dog or the mole better....bahahaha! 

For all his silliness, Mitch really is the sweetest, most loving, husband and best friend ever!  After I started my new long term sub position, I was feeling really stressed with all of the burdens of a full time teacher.  Things were more difficult than I had anticipated, and I was definitely a bit emotional.  I came home one day to find these little beauties waiting for me.  Flowers certianly aren't the most practical of gifts (they always die!), but any honest girl has to admit there's something special about recieving them.   I thought they looked so cute on our little island, and it made my day to get an out of the blue surprise!  My husband may draw on his legs and ask for frozen pizza, but he sure is thoughtful!  Thanks Mitch for being an absolutely amazing husband! I LOVE YOU!  


Let's Finish Up!

I decided that I'm tired of thinking about all the things I haven't blogged about yet.  A blog should be current, right?! It's one of my worst habits with any kind of journaling/life recording task.  I have great plans, get behind, and am forever trying to catch up.  For the sake of avoiding this self-inflicted trap, I've decided to finish up with a few old things so we can move on with the new!  Ambitious? I think yes!

At the end of December, all of Mitch's family took a trip to California.  We first spent some time in San Diego--a new favorite vacation spot since Parker and Steph live there--and then moved on for a fun-filled New Years in the happiest place on earth, DISNEYLAND! A big thanks to Mama and Papa Smith for the special Christmas gift.  We had a ton of fun! Here are a few highlights from our trip.

Panning for gold at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in San Diego

Pump that water Porter!

Love these boys :)

The fam at the Hotel del Coronado

We went to see the Christmas lights at the San Diego Temple and it was beautiful.  And as tradition has it, Mitch not only wanted to look at the nativity, but become part of it. 

The Smith family all in one boat at Disneyland=FUN!

Porter Kenzie and Eliana having too much fun to look at the camera.  

Train ride!

We had a long day, and at the end the kids were getting tired and a little cold.  I just couldn't resist a shot of Porter all wrapped up.  Cute!

All the Christmas lights and decorations were still up at New Years.  Disneyland plus Christmas?! It doesn't get any better than that!

Happy New Year from the whole Smith gang!