Category Archives: Daily Posts

I try to talk daily about my experiences as I try to get my life together and get healthy!

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!

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!

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!

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!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 4

According to the schedule, I have made it past the ‘Hangover’ phase and am now in the ‘Kill all of the things’ phase.

But, I really don’t feel like killing all of the things, which is good 🙂

Today, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. On day 2, I felt like I was hit by a truck. On day 3, I LOOKED like I was hit by a truck. But today, I feel and look a lot better!

My only problem is some back pain that I am experiencing, and the source of the pain is a mystery. It started the morning of day 2, was the same yesterday, but got about twice as bad this morning. I did move some heavy things around yesterday, and played racketball, which could have aggravated it, but I didn’t do anything to originate it on day 1 or night 1.

The only thing I can think of that started it was maybe I slept on my back funny that night and pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle. It feels like a muscle ache right above both butt cheeks, but it could be something more. I am going to try to get an appointment with my chiropractor today to have it checked out, but if I can’t get in, I know that I have an appointment already scheduled with him on Tuesday. In the meantime, I’m managing the pain by:

  • Standing at my desk – I’ve noticed it mostly hurts when I’m sitting
  • Practicing good posture – lining up my hips over my knees and ankles, and untucking my hips.
  • Taking frequent walking breaks
  • Using a microwave heating pad
  • Drinking lots and lots of fluids – on the off chance that this is something kidney related
  • Eating healthy food
  • I also plan on going for a nice long walk when I get home to get some blood pumping and my muscles moving!

Though I did ‘kinda’ cheat a little last night by having dried cherries and candied walnuts on my salad at a restaurant I went to with my dad, I’m feeling really good today. I’m going to monitor how I feel tomorrow to see if I get a hangover again for that small cheat.

I’m excited going into this weekend! Tonight and tomorrow, I’m going to get the apartment spick and span (I always feel so accomplished when I clean!), and then I’m going to go over to my best friend’s house for board games and then a haunted house!! I’m going to cook a bunch of protein and the like up tonight so that I can bring food with me and will be less tempted to eat junk food (my bestie, Sylvia, as you know, is also a health food nut, but her new husband is a little slower to get on the bandwagon). Then, on Sunday, I have some time to relax and get some gardening done (pulling up my carrots and getting rid of my dead tomato plants). And, hopefully, I will have some time to spend with my boyfriend on sunday too 😀

I’m hoping this back pain isn’t something serious, and it probably isn’t, but it is important to note that seeing a health professional when you notice something weird is very important!!

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope the hardest part of the Whole 30 challenge is behind me (fortunately I ate well for the most part when I wasn’t whole 30 so I didn’t have AS MUCH cleaning up to do  as I would if I’d been eating a lot of junk!). Stay healthy, friends, and give the Whole 30 challenge a try with me!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 2

I’m not sure if this round of the Whole 30 challenge is easier or harder than the first one. The good news it that my body hasn’t been completely broken by a week’s worth of drunken, potato-chippen tirades. That being said, last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to a bed and breakfast for a romantic weekend away in which I ate 3 things I don’t normally eat: dairy (LOTS of cheese, butter, cream), alcohol (3 glasses of wine in total), and SUGAR (creme brulee, so good).

One of the best things about eating a paleo diet, and forming these good eating habits is that maintaining my weight is effortless. So, once I know that I’ve gained 5 pounds, I know exactly what I need to do to get back to my maintenance weight and stay there (as long as temptations don’t abound). I’d been pushing off my second round of Whole 30 for a few weeks longer than anticipated, so after this past weekend, the gig was up.

Today, on Day 2, I am experiencing:

  • Horrible nights sleep
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • “Fat Face” – Even though my face doesn’t look fatter, I feel like my face is swollen
  • Extreme Body Odor
  • Lower Back pain (probably due to poor nights sleep)
  • Tooth Pain – either from sugar/alcohol secreting through my teeth with the dentin (yep, that happens), or from clenching my jaw due to stress

Pretty much par for the course. Still, it sucks.

According to this handy Whole 30 Timeline, I’m in the ‘Hangover’ phase, and it only is going to get better from here (note my sarcasm). I think what really sucks the most is that it only takes eating poorly here or there, probably only 20% of the time, to make me feel THIS crappy. I mean, when I ate like that all of the time, I didn’t feel ‘great’, and I had a lot of excess weight, but I didn’t have constant ‘hangover’ like feelings of unwellness and torture. I suppose this is just part of becoming an adult, and my body not being able to handle the stress it could when I was 20, but it pretty much blows.

This time, though, I’m going to kick my whole 30 up a notch! And by kicking it up a notch, I mean taking my salt DOWN several notches. I am a salt kid. I love salt. I salt the crap out of everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if I consume upwards of 6-8000 mg of sodium a day, and despite that being not ideal in general, I noticed an interesting phenomena:

Salt makes you eat more.

Take for example pistachios. The so salty your lips start to crack variety. They taste so good to me that I would regularly eat a full cup (in two half cup servings) of them on top of my lunch at work.

On a whim, I purchased the 50% less salt kind and brought them to work. I poured myself a half cup serving, and started cracking away. At the end of the half cup, I noticed that I DIDN’T want another half cup of those nuts. By reducing sodium by half, I reduced what I ate by half.

I don’t want to go hyper low sodium, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start by not salting my meats. I SALT them when I salt them, like can barely taste the meat anymore. So, by cutting out any salting that I would do of my meats, I am cutting my salt intake in half right about there!

As a scientist at heart, I had to do an experiment on this, to see if salt was what was holding back from breaking my fat loss plateau.

I’m making plans to reduce my sodium intake, and here are some places where I hope to reduce sodium:

  • Don’t salt meats
  • Keep eating raw foods
  • Purchase lower sodium or salt free nuts/seeds
  • Avoid high salt foods, like potato chips and restaurant fare

Exceptions to the rule:

  • I must put some salt in my homemade soups – otherwise they are super bland and virtually inedible to me. It is worth the slight bump in sodium in order to get all of the goodness of homemade bone broth soup
  • I also must salt my homemade pasta sauces a little. I will keep the sauce low salt, but pasta sauce is what I use when I really need a bump in flavor.
  • I will use commercially made salsa (as long as there are no artificial ingredients or sugar) and taco seasoning. Taco salad is my go-to healthy comfort food. I need something to fall back on if I am just hating the Whole 30 plan.

This is going to be really hard for me, but I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this! Thanks for reading, and stay healthy everyone!

Quick Post

This week is pretty much the same as last week, though it is becoming more and more clear that I need to be more proactive about starting my next Whole 30 Challenge. I made some delicious dairy free and coconut rich peppermint bark (seriously, this stuff is like crack), so I am trying to get through the rest of the bark before going on the Whole 30 challenge because I know that I won’t be able to resist it or throw it away.

I’ve been trying to get help for my emotional issues, and I think I found someone who understands my problem at its core and can help me. At the same time, I have to pay out of pocket for all of my therapy costs, since in-network providers are so jam packed with patients that I wouldn’t be able to get the help I need in the time that I need it in. It’s pretty stressful financially (which is making me freak out a little hahaha – irony), but I am hopeful that I will get a large reimbursement from my insurance company in a few weeks that will help with the strain.

I bet you were looking forward to hearing about my financial and emotional woes! I aim to please!

On a lighter note, I am feeling a little better 🙂 I need to steer clear from the junk food, which is really hard, but will make me feel so much better. Last night, I slept soooo poorly that I almost called out sick today, but I grabbed my emergency iced coffee (I seriously drink coffee only when I REALLY need it, and even then I sip it) in the fridge and showed up to work! I’m proud of myself for that. I also am going to tough it out and show up to yoga today since I know that it means I will sleep like a rock tonight!

I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. And even when things are rough, remember the good in your life, like a supportive family, or being lucky enough to meet and kiss the love of your life.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone, and stay healthy!

Mental Health – Diet and Fitness may not fix everything

For today’s post, I’m going to get personal about myself, which means that I am vulnerable, but I think it is very important to point it out.

So, you do the Whole 30, you work out 4-5 times a week (nothing too strenuous), you go for daily walks, you get a good night’s sleep every night, and you take your vitamins. On paper, you do everything right, and when you look around at how everyone else is eating and living their life, you give yourself a pat on the back for taking your health into your hands and taking care of your body (I mean, you only get one).

And yet, despite doing everything ‘right,’ you find yourself spiraling out of control over the smallest of things. One tiny slip up and you becoming an emotional tsunami on everyone and anyone who you think can take a hit.

Especially yourself.

I like to think that I am a happy person, that I have my life together. I have a great job, a great boyfriend, a great family, and friends. I have a roof over my head, and never have to worry about whether or not I can put food on the table (financially – whether or not I want to cook is a whole other story hahaha). I have a good life.

So, why do I use myself as a punching bag regularly?

Here’s what I’m talking about. I like to refer to myself as the smartest moron that I know, and I am actually kind of right. Despite the fact that I have a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, I am extremely forgetful, illogical, and have virtually no street smarts.

A perfect example: Last night, the power went out in my apartment complex twice. The first time, it came back on in about ten seconds. The second time, I waited for about 20 seconds for it to come back on, and when it didn’t, I went into ‘the power is not coming back on’ mode and started lighting candles, turning on flashlights, etc. Even though I felt woefully unprepared for a power outage, it became clear that I was much more prepared than the entire rest of my apartment complex. As I looked out my balcony, I didn’t see any candlelight, flashlights, or anything in the other units. Immediately, I thought, I have to protect myself so that no one is tempted to break into my apartment, since I clearly have my ducks in a row.

So I locked the door, and chained it shut.

And briefly patted myself on the back for protecting myself – noting how proud of me my boyfriend will be.

The power came back on in about an hour and a half, and I resumed my normal nightly activities of making my breakfast and lunch for the next day, opting for an early bedtime. I was awakened at 11PM by the loudest yelling of my name I’ve ever heard, followed by ‘OPEN THIS DOOR!!’

I had forgotten to unchain the door.

I ran out, unchained it, and my boyfriend was understandably angry. I started down a thought spiral of ‘you are a moron,’ ‘how can anyone love you,’ and other self destructive thoughts. My boyfriend had a beer and a good meal and he got over it, while I lay in bed tossing and turning and freaking out.

I know I was being irrational, but at the same time, I couldn’t stop those self destructive thoughts. Which leads me to the reason I wrote this post: fixing my diet, though it helped me considerably, did not fix the emotional outburst problems I’ve been having since day one. It made me realize that I need more help.

Sometimes, fixing your diet and lifestyle will fix any hormonal imbalances and fix any emotional issues you may still be having. But sometimes, those deep seated and self destructive thoughts don’t go away, and you need more help. This post isn’t to insight pity; I wrote it so that if anyone else reading this feels like they’ve done everything and they’re still a failure, they know that they aren’t alone.

And they aren’t broken either.

I’ve decided to see a therapist to hopefully learn some tools for battling my inner demons. If I find anything particularly useful, I will mention it in a blog entry.

I know that I’m ending this on a sour note, but I am hopeful that I will finally find some help with my problems. Thanks for reading, and stay healthy friends!