A Guide To Clean Eating – How To Get Started

You’ve probably heard of clean eating, but, if you’re like me, you may be reluctant to begin the process because you have no idea how to go about “cleaning up” your diet. Eating clean is a good way to drop some pounds, while also providing your body with healthy, nutritious options from each of the food groups. Basically, that means eating more foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined sugars, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.

Because eating clean doesn’t require you to count calories or give up whole food groups, it is easy to follow. In a grocery store, you should be doing most of your “clean” shopping around the perimeter. You should shop the aisles sparingly. A good rule of thumb is, if the food can sit on a shelf or in a cupboard for weeks or months, IT. IS. NOT. CLEAN.

Before we get started, you should understand that I in no way, shape or form consider myself an expert on this subject. I have been maintaining a clean diet for the past three weeks, with the exception of our camping trip this past weekend (UGH!!!!!), so I’ve done lots of reading, research and Googling. This post is intended to help you kick start your clean eating lifestyle.

 

With that said, let’s get started.

Don’t wait, do these EIGHT!

1. EAT LOTS OF VEGGIES

There are many benefits to eating more fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are full of vitamins, with many boasting vitamin A (Essential for healthy vision and immune function) and vitamin K (aids in keeping your bones healthy). Vegetables are also high in heart-healthy fiber, which helps you feel full. Additionally, vegetables are low in calories, so you can eat lots of them without damaging your waistline. (Can I get a HOLLA?) Fresh vegetables are as clean as they come since they are unprocessed and come straight from the garden vine, garden plant or farm. If you are concerned about pesticides and junk, you can do your own research about that. All I can suggest is to wash all vegetables (and fruit!) before consuming. Most of your clean eating plan should come from this section of the store (and blog post). Remember that most veggies (aside from starchy ones) can be eaten in abundance. A general rule for vegetables (and some fruit) is the darker / richer the color, the more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients it contains.

[Pay no attention to the Rolo and Twix you see in this picture. They have no business sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.]

VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers in any color
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Squash of any variety
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Okra
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions of any variety
  • Any other fresh veggie you enjoy

 

2. EAT MORE FRUIT

Most fruit is “clean”, however it does contain natural sugar. This can be confusing to the body. Fruit is a great snack or dessert option but should not be consumed in excess. And just like vegetables, fresh fruits are whole, unprocessed foods. Frozen, canned and dried fruit is minimally processed and can be a great clean-eating choice also. You will need to check the ingredient list to be sure that there is no sugar added. It is also best to look for fruit canned in its own juice. To make sure you get the added heart-health and weight-loss benefits of fiber, choose whole fruits over fruit juice.

FRUIT SUGGESTIONS

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Raisins
  • Plums
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Banana
  • Avocados
  • Berries of all kinds
  • Cherries
  • Kiwi
  • Star fruit
  • Any other fresh fruit you enjoy

 3. DAIRY CAN BE CONTRARY

Dairy can be contrary and confusing when trying to eat clean. Dairy products provide several health benefits – especially improved bone health. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. Full fat dairy products are best because when the fat is removed, it is often replaced with sugar and chemicals. Fat is good for you, chemicals are not. Again, when you read dairy labels, the list should be very short. (For example Daisy brand sour cream has ONE ingredient.) Stick with dairy with as few ingredients as possible.

Greek yogurt – look for few ingredients- artificial sweeteners should not be one of them.

Milk – This is a personal preference. I have been drinking almond milk, but use cow’s milk for scrambling eggs. Generally, low-fat milk typically means the more processed it is.

Cottage cheese (If you eat it, I DON’T!) – Full fat is best, but you can also use low fat. (NOT fat free.)

Yogurt – (I’m not a fan of yogurt either, but I’ve been eating it because BENEFITS!) Always opt for Greek yogurt when you can. Plain yogurt (regular or Greek) is the only way to go. (For added flavor, you can mix in fruits, along with a dab of honey or maple syrup.)

Cheese – Most cheeses should be eaten in moderation due to their high fat content. Block cheese is best. Pre-shredded cheeses should be avoided because they have additives and preservatives. If you have a hankerin’ for cheese, buy a block and get to shredding. Real grated Parmesan cheese is acceptable in moderation.

Unsweetened rice, coconut or soy milk – I can’t give any advice here, I’ve not tried any of it.

DAIRY SUGGESTIONS

  • Greek yogurt
  • Block cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Almond milk

4. CUT DOWN ON SATURATED FAT

You don’t have to cut out fats when you’re eating clean; instead you’ll need to focus on healthy fats. It sounds difficult, but really, it’s as simple as trading saturated fats (those found in butter, cheese and meat) for healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil and the fat found in nuts and fatty fish. The benefit is that these fats are good for your heart and can help raise your good cholesterol. The saturated fats (found in butter, cheese and meat) are associated with increased risk of heart disease and need to be limited, or else HEART ATTACK. Some simple good-fat, bad-fat substitutions are: topping a salad with nuts in place of cheese, eating avocado on a sandwich instead of mayo. (I don’t eat avocado, but as I understand it, it is good for you), and using natural peanut butter in place of cream cheese.

FATS AND OILS

Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Oils are NOT a food group, but they provide essential nutrients. For that reason, they are an important part of the clean eating diet.

FATS AND OILS SUGGESTIONS

  • Raw almonds
  • Raw sunflower seeds
  • Raw nuts (not salted, oil dipped or covered in chocolate)
  • All natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Coconut oil (I haven’t tried this but hear it is quite good.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seed
  • Chia seeds

5. WHOLE GRAINS ARE GOOD, REFINED GRAINS ARE BAD

Bread and pasta aren’t clean by true definition but the standard American diet needs it. So, your best bet is to pick the highest whole grain quality ingredients and eat it in moderation.

Whole grains include more nutrients than refined grains because the bran and germ are not removed. Look for the word “whole” with the first ingredient in breads and pastas—for example, make sure it says “whole wheat,” not just “wheat.” Outside of whole wheat, choose whole grains like quinoa, oats and brown rice.

Cutting out white flour and refined grains is an easy way to eat cleaner. Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Refined grains are typically found in unhealthy packaged foods, like baked goods and junky snack foods that may also deliver added sugars, saturated fats and extra sodium. Instead of buying [packaged refined carbs] cookies, crackers and cakes, white rice, white bread and white pasta, you should be buying brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta.

GRAIN SUGGESTIONS

  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa (a rare complete protein!! Oh, and also pronounced kin-wa)
  • Whole wheat or whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Black rice
  • Wild rice
  • Ezekiel bread
  • 100% whole grain bread / pasta products (in moderation)

6. EAT LESS MEAT

Eating clean doesn’t mean giving up on meat entirely, but eating less meat can help eliminate extra saturated fat from your diet. A serving of meat is just three ounces (think deck of cards)—but portions served at restaurants and even at home tend to be larger than that. It’s best to get protein from beans and tofu (I haven’t tried this!) some nights and then smaller portions of meat (in soups and stir-frys) on the other nights.

Eggs – Eggs are important, especially egg whites. Since most of the nutrition is in the yolk, you shouldn’t leave them out often.

Chicken & Turkey – Boneless, skinless poultry breasts are great if you eat meat.

Beef can be part of a clean eating diet – but should be grass fed and humanely raised beef. If you’re like me, you’ll have no idea how to know this, so you might ask a butcher or meat cutter to help you select these. If you are wanting to forgo beef, try venison, bison or buffalo. Both are very similar in flavor.

Pork – While not everyone believes pork to be a clean food, it’s actually clean if you get the good quality pork. Processed pork is BAD. So, ham are Canadian bacon are definitely NOT part of a clean eating meal plan.

Venison – This is a very lean meat and can be used in place of beef in most recipes.

Fish – Most fish is considered clean, just be careful of the mercury content found in most fish you’ll find in your grocery store.

MEAT AND PROTEIN SUGGESTIONS

  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia (white fish in general)
  • Tuna
  • Lean turkey, pork or beef
  • Tofu
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans

7. LIMIT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE (This is the hardest one for me!)

Most people eat too many added sugars. To clean up your diet, cut down on added sugars in your diet by limiting sweets like soda, candy and baked goods. Look for foods without sugar as an ingredient, or make sure it’s listed towards the bottom, which means less of it is used in the food.

8. HALT THE SALT

Eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure. The average American eats more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day (that’s about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting back on processed foods will help you reduce your salt intake, as most packaged foods contain more sodium than homemade versions. To help minimize salt while you cook, flavor your food with herbs and spices, citrus and vinegar.

CONIDIMENTS, SPICES and NATURAL SWEETNERS

Ketchup – It’s virtually impossible to find a clean ketchup. I bought organic ketchup and called it a day.

Mustard – Mustard is tough too. I’d suggest Dijon.

Honey

Pure Maple Syrup – The real stuff, not the kind found in restaurants.

Spices – Any herbs you buy should come in bulk or a bottle. Most seasoning packets are not clean. Garlic and onion powder are good options, so long as they don’t include. Several of the Mrs. Dash spice blends are good, but again, you’ll need to read the ingredients.

CONDIMENT / SPICE SUGGESTIONS

  • Salsa
  • Siracha
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Hummus
  • RAW honey
  • Stevia (in moderation)
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Apple cidar vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • (Ranch dressing can be made with a ranch seasoning packet and Greek yogurt)

OTHER FOOD SUGGESTIONS

Tea – particularly green tea

Oatmeal – Just the plain kind. Nothing flavored. Opt for steel cut oats or traditional rolled oats. (Though if I’m being honest, the steel cut oats made me gag.) Add fruit, raisins, maple syrup, honey or a dollop of peanut butter to make it more appealing.

Canned items with no added sugar – Due to the BPA’s in cans, there is much debate as to whether or not canned items, even without added sugar and salt, are clean. If you do decide to purchase things like beans or tomato sauce in a can, read the ingredients! There should be no added sugar in the list. (Words to avoid on the list of ingredients are sugar, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and fructose.) Canned foods typically also contain lots of sodium, so be careful. It adds up quick.

Dry beans and legumes – like lentils, black beans, chickpeas, etc.

Whole wheat flour (pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, coconut and almond flour are all good.)

Legumes Edamane, beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and lentils

I hope this information helps get you on your way to eating clean. Or at least eating CLEANER.

I  plan to post some of my favorite clean recipes here in the days to come.

If you decide to give clean eating a try, I’d love for you to let me know how it goes.

 

Happy New Year!

We rang in theNew Year here at the McResidencewith McDaddy’s two brothers, his sister and their families. In all, there were 19 of us sleeping in this house last night. Twelve of those people were under the age of 11.

We partied like rock-stars until well after midnight.

Or something like that.

This is my sister-in-law, Michelle and I (and the cute cowl she made for my 40th birthday!) just before midnight.

All the while, the kids were going nine kinds of crazy just behind us with blow-horns that I got at the Mart of Walls. [Have you ever had the joy of hearing TWELVE blow horns at one time? If not, you most definitely should.]

Anyway,a few days earlier, I saw a picture on Carrie Ann Innaba’s Facebook page thatincluded a box of envelopes, along with members of her family holding cash money. (If you’ve ever been to a party at my house, you know that I am a sucker for games and prizes, so I am always on the lookout for a new game AND this one seemed fun!)

First, I bought a box of envelopes and a gift card.

Then, I searched my house over for flat items that would fit inside of the envelopes.

(And this is where I should include a picture of those items, but I got over zealous andplaced the items in the envelopes beforetaking a picture.)

I randomly placed20 coupons for a free frosty atWendy’s(which Ibought for Halloween treat bags and THEN FORGOT ABOUT), six gift cardsfor free games of bowling (which the boys received months ago when attending a birthday party at the bowling alley), three packets of Kool-Aid (we get wild and crazy up in here, folks!) two bookmarks, a ten-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill in the envelopes.

We sat in a circle (kids and adults) and passed the box of envelopes, pulling oneenvelope at a time until all the envelopes were pulled. It was so much fun and even the youngestchild (3 years old) caught on pretty quick. The even funnier part is that the envelope box fell to the floor as it was being passed and the envelopes spilled out all over the floor. We ended up placing the envelopes in a basket to finish the game out.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you should go HERE right now and watch our nephew, Noah FINALLY picking a winning envelope after several rounds of picking an empty one. (I’m hoping the link works!)

And of course we ate. And ate. And ate some more.

It was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year and we all had a great time together.

I am looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

Trix Or Treats

I did something today that I have never done in my adult life.

I purchased a box of Trix cereal.

I have serious issues with the Trix Rabbit because years ago, “Trix Rabbit” was my nickname.

Before orthodonticintervention, my teeth were a hot mess. Because of that,a couple of boys in my Jr. High (now called Middle School) home room nicknamed me “Trix Rabbit”. I haven’t been able to stand the sight of that stupid rabbit since then.

And even though I looked nothing like that idiotic rabbit, I have since refused to buy the cereal because it reminded me of those stupid boys calling me a stupid name.

Just to be clear, this is the way I looked back then,

It’s been 25 years, but I have never forgotten their words.

Fast forward to 2013.

I was snooping around on Pinterest and found a recipe for Trix treats. I knew immediately this was something the boys would like. The only problem is, I don’t buy Trix cereal.

But this morning?

I bought some butter, a bag of mini-marshmallows and Lord, help me, a box ofTrix cereal.

Doesn’t it look like the Trix Rabbit is going after those marshmallows?

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I have a few requirements for making a recipe.

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Fail proof (this one *might* be a stretch because it doesn’t take much for me to mess something up in the kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 1 regular size bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1box ofTrix cereal (about 9 cups)
  • cup butter

Instructions

  • Place the marshmallows and butterin a glass bowl andmicrowave for2 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan
  • Stir butter and marshmallow mixture.
  • Pour mixture over Trix and stir until all cereal is well coated. (It will be tough to stir, but keep at it!)
  • Spoon (or SHOVEin this case)into a large9×13 panand press down with a spoon.
  • Cut and enjoy.

Aren’t they pretty?

While I will probably never be a big fan of the Trix Rabbit,I ama HUGE fan of the Trix Treats.

And you will be, too!

Happy Halloween, y’all!

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

I first started blogging to document all the crazy that happens in my life. I also hoped that I might get to eventually hostreviews and giveawaysof really cool products. What I didn’t count on was the friends I would make along the way. When I first made the decision to author From Inmates To Playdates back in 2008, I contacted two bloggers about blog design and hosting. Since that time, I have become FB friends with Heather and Jo Lynne and quite honestly, I consider them friends even though I have never met either of them.

Earlier this year, I received an email from a friend asking if I’d be interested in attending an Extraordinary Women conference in Roanoke, Virginia.When I found outthat Third Day would be performing and Missy Robertson would be speaking, I said, “Oh yes, Sister, sign me up!”

A few days before the conference I was talking to McDaddyand mentioned something about returning on Sunday. He was confused (it doesn’t take much when you’re dealing with me) and told me he thought that we’d be back on Saturday. When I looked up the conference online I wondered what the heck was happening to my mind. Not only was McDaddy correct about me returning on Saturday, BUT ALSO that the conference was in Roanoke AND HOLY CRAP THAT’S WHERE HEATHER LIVES!

I contactedHeather on Facebook and said:

So…. I will be in Roanoke for Extraordinary Women on October 4-5. Any chance you’ll be there, too?

She replied minutes later with

I’m working it – theSpirit FMbooth – Need a place to crash? I have plenty of room! But yes! We MUST get together!

So.

In a matter of minutes, a perfect stranger who I had only talked to online had invited me and three of my girlfriends to spend the night in her home. She messaged me her phone number and asked if we’d want to meet her and some friends for coffee and doughnuts after the conference and/or dinner after the conference on Saturday night.

I was going to Roanoke with three girlfriends. I texted them to ask if they’d like to go for doughnuts after the conference on Friday or dinner on Saturday with a friend of mine. I might have neglected to mention that I had never met my “friend.” While we were at the hotel getting ready, I mentioned in casual conversationthat although I had been “friends” with Heather since 2008, I had never actually met her.

There was some silence.

Some bugged out eyes.

Alook of ARE YOU CRAZY?

And a look of WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?”

And it dawned on me that this whole thing probably sounded crazy.

Still, I was excited to meet her!

Once we arrived at the arena (and waited in a ridiculously LONG line to get into the conference), I texted Heather to let her know I was there. She texted back to say she’d be there to meet me as soon as she could get away. As I waited for Heather on the concourse, I felt like I was on a blind date. The crowd in the arena was crazy and it was hotter than you-know-what in there.Within minutes, I was face to face with my friend and we hugged likesisters separated at birth. After five years, I was face to face with my blog designer, Heather.

I could tell immediately that we would be fast IN REAL LIFE friends.

Because she was actually volunteering at the conference, we weren’t able to talk long. We talked long enough for me to find out that her friend Cheryl – who was also at the conference – was afan of my blog.It took me a second to process that. After writingthis blog for five years, it is easy to forget that actual living, breathing people who I DO NOT KNOW stop in here day after day to read this mess, especially given my excessive comma usage and my flair for the dramatic. Only thing I can figure out is that my crazy makes your crazy seem less crazy. I told Heather that we’d love to meet her and her friend for doughnuts and coffee after the conference and we parted ways.

And then I giggled out loud thinking about the factthat I had a fan.

The conference was jam-packed. Unfortunately, so was the friggin’ parking lot. There were cars everywhere and not a one of them was moving. After the conference we sat on that stupid parking lot for 35 minutes, which might have been enough to put me over the edge because I hate to wait – especially at a stand still – but thankfully, when four women get together almost anything can make them laugh. Especially something like this:

It still cracks me the heck up thinking about the license plate and the whole “well-behaved women” thing. In fact, it was an on-going joke the entire weekend with my girlfriends.

And just for the record, there’s a pretty good chance I might make history someday.

Because it was midnight before we moved off of the arena parking lot,we decided that it wastoo late to go out for coffee and doughnuts, but agreed to go to dinner after the conference on Saturday.

Y’all.

Dinner was, um, an experience.

Heather toldus about a nearbyMexican joint called El Rodeo. Iwas a little leery becauselet’s face it, Mexicanrestaurants can be a crap shoot, and when I order my”Chicken Fajita Chimichanga without guacamole anywhere on the plate” I have highexpectations. Heather and my fan her friend Cherylwere already at the table chowing on the chips and salsa when we arrived at the restaurant.The waiter showed up at the table almost instantly, and before I knew what had hit me Iwasblushing and speechless because our waiter was off the hook. If you know me IRL you know that it is difficult to embarrass me and that I am rarely ever speechless.

In his defense, the six of us were more than any one man should have to handle by himself.He rose to the challenge.When my friend Jessica – while looking at the menu, mind you – asked “So, what’s good?” ol boy didn’t miss a beat when he responded with, “Me!”

Y’all.

I about fell out of my seat.

I was just like, “Well, alright! This cat is crazy as we are!” and I kinda figuredthe El Rodeo hadn’t seen this much excitement in a very long time. Our waiter, who I learned, was named Dennis (which cracks me up, because how many Mexicans do you know named Dennis?) was great. The chips and salsa were some of the best I have ever had and my chicken fajita chimichanga (which I have never seen on a menu) was yummy. I would suggest you skip the “cheese sauce” though, unless you like more mayonnaise than you do cheese or sauce.

As we were diggin’ through our purses for money to pay the bill, I remembered that I had a pile of pennies in my wallet. I couldn’t resist leaving our new Mexican friend, Dennis a message (and no this was not his only tip) on the table.

Don’t ask me why I left the word H-O-T. It could be because I only had 33 pennies and couldn’t think of anything better. Or it could be because Dennis kept using the word “caliente” and it only seemed appropriate. Whatever the reason, he seemedembarrassed when he went to our table to retrieve his tip.

That’s Dennisthere on the right.

He probably thinks we are a bunch of crazy lunatics.

And he is half-right.

I had so much fun this past weekend. I REALLYenjoyed Third Day, Tim Hawkins and Missy Robertson. But more than that, I LOVED meeting my friend, Heather.

And my new Mexican friend, Dennis.

Totally Random Nonsense

It is with regret that I announce that I shot my wad on the SLIMpossible diet today.

While at the hospital for most of the day, I found myself with about six minutes to scarf down some “lunch”. I made a quick trip to the hospital snack bar and settled on a bag of Doritos and a chocolate pudding parfait, which I could not pass up because,HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE? And, in a moment of weakness, I swallowed fourthin mints, almost whole.

On an unrelated note, who named those suckers THIN mints anyway? I realize they are THIN, but that’s the last thing anyone who eats them is going to be. (Especially when you eat an entire sleeve. * Not that I’ve ever done that! *

In my defense though, I did come home and spend an hour with Leslie Sansone in an attempt to work that parfait and the Doritos and those four measly 160 calorie THIN mints off.

For weeks (or maybe it’s been months at this point) my kitchen counter has looked like this because the screen on that pretty pink laptop decided to quit working.

Only,I did move the monitor and keyboard over toward the wall to clear up half the counter.

But alas, I am pleased to report that tonight I am no longer sitting on that HARD bar stool. Instead, I am blogging from the comfort of my big, blue, bloggycouch with a brand spankin’ new laptop with a screen that works.

Hallelujah.

And Amen.

My tailbone thanks you, McDaddy.

And I do, too!

I heard bad news today.

I mean REALLY bad news.

I haven’t been able to think about much else since I heard the news.

Can you believe that my beloved MaksimChremkovskiy will not be on this season of Dancing With The Stars?

That makes me nine kinds of unhappy.

But seeing these at the hospital today sure made me smile.

Yes, those are tennis shoes.

The nurse wearing them explained that they are specially designed tennis shoes (called Z-Coils) for people with a bad back. I think they are super cool and really, I MEAN REALLY wanted to ask her if I could try them on. But instead, I just snapped a picture all secret-squirrel right in the middle of the E-R.

She bought them on a Canadian website and theywere $240. And before you ask, for once I wasn’t the one asking nosy questions.My dad happened to be in the E-R with me and his nose is way bigger than mine! (Hi Dad!)He was asking her all kinds of questions.

[On an unrelated note: Since receivinga tablet for Christmas,my daddy has joined the ranks withLBF’s all over the nation. Andyoucan bet the farm it is killing him not knowing what the heck anLBF is.

I do not suffer from back, joint or foot pain (but remember I still have butt pain from sitting on that hard bar stool!), still,I reallywant a pair of those shoes. They are cool and from what I understand verycomfortable. Not to mentionI amfinding, at the ripe age of 39, that comfort trumpscute every. single. time.

Oh, and on the off-chance that the fine folks from Z-Coil end up here at From Inmates To Playdates, Inc., you should know that I would LOVE an opportunity to work with you on a review/giveaway promotion. Just have your people call my people and we’ll set something up!

And just like THAT, I realize the time on my laptop is an hour off.

Danggit.

Crazy random posts work for me!