Hiatus

As the new year is beginning, I’ve come to realize that there just isn’t a whole lot more that I can share on this blog that isn’t already covered in about 100 other blogs. This blog was a way for me to track my health journey, and I’ve learned a lot while using it.

At this point in time, I have finally found what is working for me, the problem is sticking to it. Life, as always, gets in the way of things and messes me up, but I’ve been learning and practicing techniques to help me stick to my plan more readily and with less grief!

Due to the fact that I have written much on this blog already about what I have learned, I will leave it up for anyone who wants to look at my reviews of Focus T25 or any of my health tips. However, I will not be posting on this blog regularly anymore.

I want to thank everyone who chimed in or showed their support as I have gone through this journey! If I find out something particularly pertinent, I will write a post about it and share the knowledge!

Thanks again, and stay healthy friends!

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Quick Post!

Things are pretty par for the course, but I wanted to check in and let everyone know that I am well. I’ve been a little tired lately, but I am chalking that up to the shorter days as my sleep getting thrown off by a company party.

I’ve been feeling crafty lately, so I’ve been having fun creating! I’m trying to be more ‘go with the flow’ when it comes to my moods, and it has helped considerably when it comes to my outbursts. I’ve also been giving into my introverted tendencies, and having some alone time before the chaos of the holidays is giving me great joy!

Thanks for reading everyone! See you next week!

Enlightening Consultation with FLO Consultant

If you didn’t know already, by signing up to receive emails at floliving.com, you gain access to a free 30 minute consultation with one of their representatives about your symptoms and important first steps. I just had mine last night, and I am so glad I did! Going into it, I was convinced that I was estrogen dominant. Here is what I learned (be warned, I will try not to get too graphic, but boys may want to turn back here).

  • The 4 day hormone detox plan that they describe on their website is NOT how you should start your healing journey. Doing the plan with frazzled adrenals (which is like 95% of the population btw) will only make the problem worse. I’m glad that I listened to my body and started eating more food on the second day when it got too hard!
  • After describing my menstrual cycle to the consultant, she came to the conclusion that I am actually low on estrogen, instead of estrogen dominant. She came to this conclusion because my flow was really light and because it only lasts 2-3 days. She also came to the conclusion that I am low in progesterone since I have a day or two of a more ‘brown’ flow at the end of my cycle. Symptoms of high estrogen, such as mood swings, cramps, and acne, can also be symptoms of low estrogen because they are also caused by adrenal fatigue (adrenal fatigue (and symptoms) > low estrogen). She said the #1 thing I should work on is my adrenal fatigue, by cutting out stress, and keeping fats and proteins high. I also am going to take a supplement called Adrenal Optimizer by Jarrow that they recommend due to it having a lot of good adaptogenic herbs in it.
  • Since my monthly cycle is shorter than 26 days (my cycle has been 23-24 days for the past couple of cycles), that is indicative of hypothydroidism brought on by adrenal fatigue. The good news is that by fixing my adrenal fatigue, I will be able to fix my hypothyroidism at the same time.
  • She definitely thought it was good that I eat well, but noted that my acne on my back is probably primarily due to digestive stress. I eat a lot of raw vegetables, so she recommended that I try to eat more cooked vegetables where the nutrients are more available. She also noted that my food sensitivities are a result of my adrenals being fried (again), so once I get those under control (by eating more cooked veggies, practicing light exercise, sleeping, and supplementing well), my sensitivities will go away!

I was definitely grateful for her consultation, and the most important take away is that I am on the right path, and that I should try to stop stressing about it. I was a little overwhelmed by the news last night, but I feel more at peace about it today. I brought in my yoga gloves so that I can do a few sun salutations throughout the day, and I have plans to increase my cooked veggies after I finish off all of the salads I have in place right now. I also am thinking of making myself some eggs in the morning on the weekends instead of a smoothie to get a little more healthy protein and fat in my diet.

Thanks for reading, and give FLO living a look if you are a lady!

Results of Thanksgiving planning!

How well did my plan end up working? Let’s review the pro’s and con’s:

Pros:

  • By preparing food ahead of time, and eating lunch a couple of hours before thanksgiving dinner, I was able to minimize the damage done on Thanksgiving during the thanksgiving meal! I just had some turkey, green beans, and some sweet potato and I was full!
  • I had a few days off to relax and rest for a long weekend!
  • I saw my mom’s family (whom I strongly dislike and who stress me out) this year, which means next year I get to spend Thanksgiving with my dad’s family, which I genuinely love!
  • The holiday season is beginning, so I’m feeling generous and very happy!
  • Overall SO MUCH BETTER THAN LAST YEAR!

Cons:

  • I hate my mother’s family, and they stressed me out so thoroughly that I ordered pizza thanksgiving night
  • So much traveling = so much sitting
  • So much resting = so much sitting
  • Everybody and their brother wanted to see me, which meant a lot of eating out. Despite my best efforts, I did eat carbs (french fries *gasp!*) a couple of times for dinner, which left me feeling hung over the next morning. Seriously. Hung over.
  • Due simply to the richness of the food and me not managing my blood sugar well, I’ve gotten myself a little out of whack. I’ve been craving desserts a little too much, so I need to get myself back on track.

I think my plan worked, but unfortunately, there were some elements out of my control, like my wonderful boyfriend snoring and doing aerobics in his sleep because he had a single beer. After a few days, I think I’ve finally been able to catch up on sleep, which was another issue. There was pretty much a 4 day period where it was impossible to share a bed with my boyfriend. We figured out the issue (when he drinks a beer before bed), but I had to do some serious catching up on sleep. I also am pretty sure that I would have been a lot less stressed out and stress eating if I had actually been able to sleep those nights.

I hope your holidays were great! Thanks for reading, and stay healthy!

Holidays Round Two

So, this is the second year that I have been entering the holidays while being on a gluten free diet, and, so far, it is SO much easier than last year. Here’s why:

  • I’ve learned what foods make me sick, so it is easier to avoid them because I know that they will make me sick
  • I’ve gotten really good at cooking ahead of time, so I can go into the holiday meals with food already prepared. Trust me, it is nearly impossible to eat right when the only gluten free option for breakfast is potato chips. Lesson learned!
  • My family has been more exposed to the fact that I eat differently than they do, and are more accepting. They often will go out of their way to make food that I can eat, or at least they aren’t offended when I bring my own food.
  • The past couple of weeks, I’ve been eliminating cravings and leveling out my blood sugar to help resist foods that look and taste good, but ultimately make me sick.
  • I’ve been getting better at eliminating toxins from my body and detoxing to get myself back to health post holiday meal!
  • Healthy foods just TASTE better 🙂 It’s easier to get pumped about meals that are high in fiber and veggies and protein because I know they will taste great and make me feel great!

The biggest change is my mindset. Last year, the holidays were about the food traditions – cookies, banana nut bread, stuffing, etc. All things that I couldn’t eat. It was really hard. But this year, when I see those things, they look and smell good, but I know that they will make me really sick. That helps considerably when it comes to avoiding them! I can now actually bake my boyfriend two trays full of cookies and not be tempted by them. That is power!!

My biggest strategy this year:

  1. Eat a large breakfast on Thanksgiving
  2. Eat a good sized lunch with protein and fat to sustain me until the meal around 3 or 4.
  3. Bring my own carb and veggie sides, but enjoy the protein and whatever sides I can eat with everyone else!
    1. If I eat a few hours before the meal, it should be much easier to no overdo it
  4. In the evening around dinnertime, have a small snack of nuts to sustain me through until the morning.

Knowing my greatest weakness is the greatest key to overcoming it. Whenever I am faced with a situation in which everyone else is eating, but I can’t eat, I start to panic. Hunger sets in and I find myself eating things I wouldn’t normally eat (like potato chips) because I feel like if I don’t eat, then I will surely starve to death. I also feel left out while everyone else around me is making ‘yummy’ noises and eating food that looks and smells delicious.

Therefore, to combat this weakness, the solution is simple: bring my own food. Every time I attend a holiday gathering, I will bring at least one meal’s worth of food. That way, I will always have something healthy and delicious to munch on and enjoy while surrounded by family.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and thanks for reading!

 

21DSD – Last Week, and FLO Living!

So, we’re entering the last week of the 21 Day Sugar Detox (21DSD), and I’m starting to feel really good! Last week was really rough though. It’s very difficult for me to get carbs in when I can’t eat grains or potatoes (it’s very easy to forget), so I have to make a really conscious effort to provide my body with fuel. Because I wasn’t paying attention, I had a major carb crash on Thursday, and ended up over indulging as a result. Earlier day, I got an email from FLO living (which I signed up for months ago, but never really looked into) offering a quiz for hormone issues as well as a 4 day reset plan. After taking the quiz, I purchased the book she wrote (Woman’s Code), and noted that I had problems in all 4 zones: blood sugar, adrenals, elimination, and estrogen. Adrenals and elimination were the worst. My adrenal problems were responsible for my anxiety, hypothyroidism, and general fatigue, and my elimination problems were causing acne, food sensitivities, and indigestion.

I poured over the information in the book, and noted that in order to fix these problems, I didn’t really need to change what I was eating (since I was already eating really well), but when. I simply needed to add about 20g of carbs at lunch, and then add a nutritious snack in the afternoon (keep breakfast and dinner relatively low carb like I usually do). That would resolve my blood sugar and help me keep cravings at bay. For my adrenals, I just need to do gentle workouts in the morning (which is a struggle since I tend to be nauseous in the mornings), try to go on walks, and temporarily avoid stress in my life (as best I can). For my elimination, I just need to keep eating lots of fiber, drinking water, taking baths, and bouncing a little more on my medicine ball at work (which is REALLY fun, btw!). After I get these three things in order, I can begin work on syncing up my cycle (which is already pretty much in sync). Above all else, though, I plan to focus on listening to what my body has to say, and what I’m craving at the time.

I started implementing the food related and elimination related changes last Friday, and hoped that maybe I would start to notice some positive changes after a couple of weeks. That Friday, I felt pretty good, enjoyed my carbs for lunch, and REALLY enjoyed my snack of a green apple and some nuts. The best thing about this plan is that I can start it even though I’m in the middle of the 21DSD, and really, it can be applied to pretty much any healthy diet (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, pescatarian). It would be harder to start if you are starting from ground zero of eating poorly, but since I was already eating well, the switch was pretty easy 🙂

I planned to go work out first thing Saturday morning, but didn’t really feel up to it yet. I allowed myself to have breakfast and wake up a bit before going to the gym around 10AM. The workout she recommends at first is very gentle, with cardio consisting of 8 cycles of 2 min walking and 30 seconds of light jogging (20 min total) and strength consisting of 20 min of light weight compound movements. I did the strength workout on Saturday and felt like I could keep going, which is the idea. I continued to eat well on Saturday, and went to bed a little early since I was tired.

On Sunday, something miraculous happened: I woke up, and felt like I had energy to go to the gym first thing. I drank a little water before going, and did the gentle cardio workout with only the slightest twinge of nausea toward the end. I was so proud of myself! The only problem I had at the end of the day was that I had dinner a little late, so I was pretty hungry by then. Still, I had a taco salad and that was incredibly satisfying.

Last night, I slept pretty poorly. After having the bed all to myself all weekend, my boyfriend returned home from his hunting trip and wasn’t feeling that great to boot. I woke up in the middle of the night a few times and had some difficulty going back to sleep (probably due to being a little dehydrated – I always get dehydrated when I go out for the day since I tend to talk more and drink less).

Despite a poor night’s sleep, I had enough energy in the morning to work out before work.

That. has. never. happened. twice. in. a. row!

So far, things have been going absolutely wonderfully, so I’m definitely going to stick to the protocol and see how it goes. I’ve already noticed body composition differences and that my mood tends to be a lot better, so I’m hoping after another couple of weeks on the protocol, I will be well on my way to recovery!

If you are a woman struggling with any kind of hormonal issue (seriously, sign up for the free quiz on the FLO living website – there are some signs you may not think are hormonal!), I highly suggest giving this protocol a shot. Listen to the author, Alisa Vitti, speak – she has been there too!

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

 

21 Day Sugar Detox – Going well!

I’m not sure, if it is the supplements, the diet, the gratitude journal, or what, but today I’m feeling pretty good. My sleep is still a little off, but I’m noticing that I’m losing some swelling, and my cravings are low. I’ve tried several of the recipes from the 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, and for the most part, they are all good (though you have to go into the dessert recipes knowing that they won’t be sweet). Yesterday, Sylvia came over and we batch prepped and cooked all of this week’s meals, which will take a lot of the stress off.

I want to try to narrow my eating window this week to between 9AM and 6PM, so I will see if that boosts my results. I’ve noticed in the past that if I eat poorly and then skip dinner, I wake up with significantly less swelling and gut pain. I think allowing my gut to heal is going to be key going forward.

Now that I’m more fat-burning adapted, I’m not nearly as hungry first thing in the morning. I think that will help significantly with my more narrow eating window. It may prove to be difficult, but I hope that it helps my healing!

Thanks for reading, and I will keep you posted next week! Stay healthy friends!

21DSD – Day 3 – Emotional Roller Coaster

This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Somewhere over the past few months, I fell out of the habit of gratefulness. For a while, I would write 3 things I was grateful for every day, and I think that helped me be happier. But time got in the way and work was too busy, so I forgot.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but my bestie Sylvia and I are embarking on a sugar free journey with the 21 Day Sugar Detox (or 21DSD). We started on Monday, and I am expecting to have my anti-candida supplements arrive today to begin that regimen. I will be doing 30 days of Para Cleanse by Nature’s Sunshine (10 days on, 10 days off, 10 days on again), as well as 14 days of Candida Clear by Nature’s Sunshine. So, including all of my supplements, here is what I am doing:

  • 14 Days Candida Clear (this will probably suck because I know my Candida is really bad right now)
  • 30 days Para Cleanse
  • Enzymes with Meal
  • Stomach Acid with Meal
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • EFA Supplement
  • Vitamin C Supplement
  • Multivitamin
  • Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc supplement
  • 21DSD extremely low sugar diet

The way I see it, If this doesn’t kick whatever parasites and candida I’m harboring, I don’t know what will!!

Detoxing has been going okay, though my emotions have been all over the place. I flip flop between ‘everything is cool’ and ‘the world is ending’ and it is really exhausting. What I hope will help is by doing the following daily:

  1. Write a sentence for 3 things I’m grateful for
  2. Pick one thing and elaborate on why I’m grateful for it, so that I get most of the details and I get a chance to relive a happy memory
  3. Exercise daily – I would say a minimum of 30 min total of walking
  4. Meditation – I don’t meditate well, but walking is very meditative for me
  5. Perform a Random Act of Kindness – And then write it down – give yourself a written pat on the back!
  6. Write down two things I’m looking forward to! – One caveat is that they must be something that I know when it is going to happen. For example, I can’t say that I look forward to the day my candida is gone, since I don’t know when it will be over. But, I can say that I’m looking forward to the end of the cleanse, since I know what day it will happen.

Doing this takes about ten minutes a day, so I’m going to see if this generally helps me feel happier 🙂

I will be doing this cleanse over Thanksgiving, and that’s going to be nuts, and I will be continuing to to this until I’m done with the Para Cleanse. I know that this cleanse is going to get worse before it gets better, but at the moment, things are okay!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to join me! So far, the recipes in the 21DSD cookbook are pretty good!

Whole 30 – This Seems Impossible

Welp. I’ve already blown my latest whole 30 Challenge.

For some reason, this time around, it was impossible for me to stick to my typical low carb diet. I don’t think my candida fighting supplements were helping me, and I was just completely overrun by candida (my whole tongue is covered in thrush every morning, and I have really bad sugar cravings all of the time). I haven’t experienced cravings this strong in a really long time.

So, I have a new game plan. Unfortunately, this means that I am going to have to go in a more extreme direction.

I’ve talked it over with Sylvia and she has agreed to start a 21 Day Sugar Detox challenge with me next Thursday (21 days before Thanksgiving). At her recommendation, I have ordered the 21 day sugar Detox Cookbook, since it covers the basic program but has more enticing recipes. It should be here in a couple of days, so I hope to use the full week to figure out which recipes I want to try and which ones I want to skip. Going into this challenge, I’d like to have at least a full week’s worth of food cooked and either frozen or canned, so when I’m in the worst of my cravings, I’m not tempted to cheat to avoid cooking (which is my typical reason for cheating).

On top of doing a Sugar detox (which, when done right, really helps kill the candida), I am going to be doing a combination of two herbal cleanses (both by Nature’s Sunshine): Para Cleanse (for yeast and parasites), and Candida Clear. Para cleanse is a three step cleanse: 10 days on, 10 days off, 10 days on again. Candida Clear is just 14 days on. In addition to these supplements, I will be taking a probiotic (at least 50 billion CFU/day), my herbal enzyme formula, and my stomach acid supplement. So, technically, because the Para Cleanse is a 30 day program, my 21 day sugar detox will be more like a 30 day sugar detox. At this point though, I cannot allow myself even a little bit of what I would potentially binge on (*ahem* potato chips). For the purposes of this program, potatoes are poison to me.

It’s terrible, but I feel like as we enter the thanksgiving/holiday season, I will feel more free with a more strict diet. I’m hoping that the combination of this diet and the herbal supplements will finally bring my candida in check and free me. It is so frustrating to get so close and fail, over and over again. But I don’t want to give up. If being free from these cravings will allow me to feel as good as I once did again, then it is worth it to give this challenge my all!

This week, I will be getting all of my ducks in a row for next week, but I plan to spend pretty much every evening this week getting food ready for the challenge. I’ll check back in next week before the challenge begins! Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 9

A really mysterious thing happened yesterday: I was instantly done with detoxing.

Let me back up a bit.

I am a 90 year old in a young persons body. I wake up early, I go to bed early. If I stay up too late, say, past midnight, I get cranky and literally get a hangover.

At the same time, last Saturday, I went to a haunted house with a few friends and had a BLAST! We stayed up late, and I was exhausted and cranky by the time I rolled into my apartment around 2:30 AM.

I woke up the next day feeling really ill. I had a headache, I was still tired, I was nauseous and achy and bloated and gross. I did my due diligence and made some homemade soup, and tried to eat well (when I’m sick, I eat ALL of the potato chips, which I did this time too… whoops). I ended up eating so many potato chips that I fasted for the rest of the day after around 2pm, just drinking lots of water and skipping dinner. I went to bed early and was OUT.

Then, I woke up. And I’d lost 3 pounds overnight and felt great!

What the heck? Not that I’m complaining!

It just goes to show how important a good nights sleep is! The fasting didn’t hurt either!

Both yesterday and today are supposed to be ‘my pants are tighter‘ days, but I’m counting myself lucky that I hit that phase a couple of days early. If I had to guess, I’m in the ‘hardest days’ phase. Despite my recent indulgence in potato chips, the fact of the matter is that I’m hosting for my monthly visitor and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY CHOCOLATE PLEASE. Probably not the best timing, starting my Whole 30 so that I’d be dealing with cravings right when I’m at the hardest part of Whole 30. But at the same time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. If I can make it for the next couple of days, I should be golden!!

I’m feeling a little worse for the wear today compared to yesterday, but that is mostly because I tried a new yoga studio last night and aggravated my back a bit. I’m seeing my chiropractor today, so hopefully he will be able to tell me that I just used my muscles in a weird way, and there isn’t something wrong with my spine. The muscle soreness had been getting a lot better over the weekend, so I have a feeling that I just twinged it in my sleep initially and it’s taking a little while to heal.

Other than my back, though, I slept great and got a lot done yesterday! *pats back and feels accomplished*

Thanks for reading everyone, and good luck with your Whole 30 challenge!