A Throwing Up Thanksgiving

A Throwing Up Thanksgiving

Does it sound disgusting? Good. Because it was.

This Thanksgiving I was thankful for pink, plastic trashcans, any sleep available and that whatever monstrous flu bug hit our family only lasted a few hours … each.

Starting the week of Thanksgiving, during my daughter’s birthday brunch, my one-year-old got sick. No big deal–he’s a baby and babies throw up all the time. It was probably that cupcake he ate earlier.

Later that night, we headed to my husband’s parents’ house, who happen to have two of their daughters with their husbands and between each other eight children staying with them.

The one-year-old gets sick again. All over grandpa.

We go home. Think next to nothing of it, because the baby’s acting find aside from his two episodes. The next night we take the kids over to grandpa and grandma’s again to hang out with family after a problem-free and happy day.

This time, our three-year-old throws up, all over grandpa, during Looney Tunes. Twice.

She comes home and spends the night next to our bed, throwing up into a pink, plastic trashcan.

Of course, the next morning, I’m sick and have to call into work. The pink, plastic trashcan is now my best friend, too.

The next victim is my husband, on the day before Thanksgiving, which is the day of a surprise date night that’s been planned for over a month. He sleeps all day and feels well enough to go out. Just barely.

On Thanksgiving, my husband’s HUGE family gathers. We here rumblings of others who may feel sick, and from Thanksgiving day to Saturday afternoon 3/4s of the entire family has thrown up.

You may not think this is a big deal, but take into consideration, there were around 50 people at the Thanksgiving gathering. That’s a lot of pink, plastic trashcans filled with puke.

So, in the spirit of giving, thank you, family, for sharing in this year’s Throw Up Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping that next year we have a different theme.

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6 Things That Are Making Your Lifestyle Change Fail

Lifestyle Change

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, FrasierElliot.

We’ve all seen the lists on Pinterest and in endless articles about ‘making your lifestyle change stick’ or ‘the best ways to make a lifestyle change,’ but the truth is so many of the items on those lists are bull.

If you want to make a lifestyle change–which literally means to permanently change your life–not only do you have to want it, you also have to decide to do it, regardless of what that takes. A lifestyle change is long-term not short-term. It’s not a diet or a fad, and if you go into it with the mindset that you’re only doing it to reach a goal and then you can reevaluate, you’re never going to reach your goal.

The daunting truth is that it’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be fun, and every ounce of your being is going to fight you every step of the way. So many lifestyle changes fail because people don’t realize that and inevitably don’t want to embrace the bad to reach the good. It’s a process, and you have to learn–mind over body.

It’s so much easier to complain, make excuses and promise ourselves we’ll start tomorrow or next month or next year. I hate to break it to you, but if you’re doing that, you’ll never move forward. Our minds are powerful; they can create excuses or they can overcome excuses–the decision is ours.

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring,” and if you’re not willing to endure, you won’t achieve. It’s that simple. If you’re already second guessing yourself, trying to negotiate with yourself or looking up articles to find meaningless inspiration, you have not decided to change yet.

Whether you’ve made your decision or not, my guess is you’re reading this because you want something to change in your life. Here are 6 things that you’re generally told to do that might actually be causing your lifestyle change to fail.

1. Finding your motivation. You don’t need to go searching for motivation. Your motivation is you. Yes, I want to have a better body for my husband. I want to stay around as long as possible for my kids. I want to inspire some and not give others the satisfaction of having something to gossip about. Whether I make a lifestyle change or not, the reality is all of those things still exist. My husband and kids will still be around, I can still be inspiring, and people will always find something to talk about. If you’re not changing ultimately for yourself, if the foundation of your decision isn’t to make your life better or yourself happier, it probably won’t stick for long.

2. Take it slow. No, find what works best for you. If that’s dipping your toes in, great. If that’s finding a balance, do it. But some people are the cold turkey, cannon ball into the pool type of people, and that’s okay too. Each approach has its pros and cons and is difficult in its own way. It’s about knowing what you can handle best. If that’s making one small change every month for a year and having to adjust each month throughout, that can work. Or if that’s making all your changes at once and having to push really hard right out of the gate, that works too.

3. Find a support system. Yes and no. A foundation is key to building yourself up, yes. Does that mean you have to have other people holding your hand and making the exact same changes with you? No. Sometimes it means cutting people out of your life who are making holes in your foundation. It can also mean you may just need to come to an understanding with others around you to strengthen your relationships. If you choose to stop eating meat, not everyone you know needs to become a vegetarian, but it does mean those you’re around should at most be encouraging and at least not be that person who’s telling you it doesn’t matter if you give in just once. If you’ve already made the decision to move forward with your lifestyle change, it won’t matter if you’re in a group of people doing it with you or if you simply make adjustments to your environment that are conducive to your changing.

4. Keep a journal. Like #2, this is one of those things that works well for some and completely botches the process for others. If you find yourself struggling to reach your goals or forgetting what you have done or should be doing, keeping track may be good for you. However, this may just be extra stress for others. If you’re a Type A person who’s already super organized and keeps track of everything but you’re still stuck, you may just need to throw it out the window, stop tracking and stop stressing over every little detail.

5. Embrace your mistakes. Or reward yourself. These go hand in hand. Don’t get me wrong, you will have mistakes, and that’s normal. And you should be proud of yourself if you’re doing well. What’s not smart is to constantly tell yourself that mistakes are okay or to reward yourself by giving in on a routine basis. That’s a dangerous habit to start, and it unravels the mindset of a lifestyle change. Special occasions are special for a reason; cheat days are just cheating.

6. Set goals. Goals can be good to an extent, but if you’re constantly fighting tooth and nail to hit a goal every week or every month, or if you’re only working towards obtaining some unicorn of a goal, it begins to cloud the whole reason you’re changing your lifestyle. Have goals, but ultimately aim for change and betterment. Even if you don’t hit every goal, it’s important to continue moving forward and changing for yourself. Goals are great surface motivation but don’t deprive yourself or focus on them too much.

If that list didn’t give you what you need to start changing your life, maybe Shia can with his real message and slightly comical delivery. I’m with him though. DO IT. 

 

Feel free to share your experience, tips and struggles in the comments below!

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To The Fat Kid At Heart Attack

Fries

It’s hard to talk about being healthy and eating correctly without making people want to roll their eyes all the way back in their head and eat a fat hamburger on a glazed donut bun. Believe me, I know. My mother had cancer when I was two, and after surviving it, she became a certified health nut. As you can imagine, I heard all about eating healthy, drinking water, taking herbal supplements and of course, the endless verbal assaults at every mainstream medicine commercial to ever air on television.

My rebuttal? What’s the point of living life if I have to cut out the things I enjoy most: food.

Funny thing is, we all grow up eventually and our priorities shift. One morning, I woke up tired of feeling tired of how I felt. I’m 25, average height, average weight, but yet, I can guarantee there are people who are 60 who feel better, more energetic, healthier i.e. happier than I do. And that is not okay. I should–and could–easily be in just as good of shape as I was in high school or college or before kids. So, I decided to take back my body by taking control of two things: my mind and what I put into my body.

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” –Kevin Trudeau

At first, I dipped my toe in. I did #100DaysOfHealthy a few months back. It had its ups and downs. I was flakey at times, but I did it. I stopped eating added and unhealthy sugars, I cut out flour and dairy, I ran (almost) everyday, I oil pulled, I took supplements, I consumed a ridiculous amount of veggies, nuts and lean meats, and I felt freaking good, for the most part–damn flakiness.

Then, we moved. We lived with friends who had different habits. We kept all of our familiarities in a storage unit and searched for homes constantly. I slipped back into old habits and stopped caring because it was easy. Because, why not, everyone else doesn’t.

Then, one morning, I wake up with my husband on one side and my 8-month-old son on the other. Eventually my 2-year-old daughter plows down the hall into our bed, and as I’m in and out of sleep, laughing at my beautiful children, I think.

I think about my 22-year-old friend who has cancer. I think about my mother who survived cancer. I think about my husband’s co-worker whose brother died of a heart attack days ago. I think about my father who’s survived a stroke and a heart attack. I think about how my legs ache, how I crave sugar, how sometimes my chest hurts and how out of shape I am.

I don’t know what happens when we die, but I sure as hell know I’m not ready to find out anytime soon. I know I don’t want to ever entertain the thought, “If only I had taken better care of myself.” I know not everything is curable but so much of it is preventable. I also know I’m not willing to live with the consequences of setting a bad example of health for my children or the consequences of living unhealthily. I know I’ve seen too many people in the hospital for reasons that didn’t have to exist. Most of all, I know I want to live life feeling healthy and happy for as many days as I can possibly squeeze out of it, and if I have any inkling of control over how many days that is via my health, I’m going to utilize it. It’s worth never even seeing a fat burger on a glazed donut bun again if my kids have a mother, my husband has a wife, my blog has a writer, and I have a body and mind that is as clear and as healthy as I can possibly make it.

100 Days of Healthy: Day 65

For those who haven’t seen my original post on #100DaysOfHealthy, I have a list containing 11 items, and I plan to start each item on a new week and report back the changes I see throughout that week. Once I start an item on the list, I will continue it until the 100 days is over. Hopefully each item will become a lifestyle change if I think it’s worthy.

Last week, I tackled two items in one: running/light exercise (item #10) and oil pulling (item #7). I explain why I decided to do two in one week here. It went pretty well. I’d gone back and forth with cutting out sugar, but also got that back down as well last week. So, with all of those starting in one week, it’s an understatement to say I was exhausted most of the week. Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon I had a migraine from, I believe, cutting out sugar completely again. I’ve also read that oil pulling gets toxins out of the body and can cause headaches at first too. So, my running was minimal but there.

Now that the new week has started, I’m feeling 10x better. I’ve dropped seven pounds. My run today went better than any of my runs this week. I think I’ve found a good balance. I’ve also decided to add in low fructose fruits such as raspberries, grapefruit and kiwi because having no starches, breads, pastas and fruits as part of my no sugar intake (along with no added-sugar or processed foods) seemed to be making me overly exhausted. Your body needs sugar for energy in some form.

My oil pulling experience:

  • I swished around coconut oil for 20 minutes each morning on an empty stomach, spit it into a trash can (so it doesn’t harden in the sink drains) and rinsed with salt water
  • The first couple days it was rough and I wanted to spit out the coconut oil the whole time–the texture was not enjoyable
  • By the fourth or fifth day, it was fine. I could continue on with my morning for those 20 min without it bothering me
  • It also seems like my teeth are slightly whiter just in the week I’ve been doing it

This week is the beginning of no caffeine. It shouldn’t be too rough considering I haven’t really been drinking caffeine lately anyway. I find with this 100 days of healthy that the further I get into it the more I just naturally start to do these things for myself, and with ease. It doesn’t seem like as much of a struggle as it would’ve been 8 weeks ago. It’s nice to finally feel like my body and mind want to work towards being healthy instead of feeling like I have to force myself to do the healthy thing.

#100DaysOfHealthy
1. Drink the correct amount of water daily 
2. Cut out sugar
3. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day
4. Go to the chiropractor bi-weekly
5. Breastfeed
6. Take supplements
7. Oil pulling
8. Bye-bye caffeine
9. Eat only lean meats
10. Light exercise at least 20 minutes a day
11. Make and drink healthy smoothies/juices

 

100 Days of Healthy: Day 57

For those who haven’t seen my original post on #100DaysOfHealthy, I have a list containing 11 items, and I plan to start each item on a new week and report back the changes I see throughout that week. Once I start an item on the list, I will continue it until the 100 days is over. Hopefully each item will become a lifestyle change if I think it’s worthy.

The supplements and running have been going well.run

I’ve taken one day a week (out of almost 2 now) off and have gone from 1 mile to 1.5 miles. I hope to be running 2 miles by Monday. My time and pace is a roller coaster so far. I’m not attempting to push myself hard or run fast just yet, but even so, somedays I run over a mile in 12 minutes and others it seems I feel the need to walk half of it and barely finish 1 mile in 15 min. It’s frustrating, but only being a few weeks out of being okayed to workout from having a baby, I think it’s normal to feel sluggish and out of my element at first.

 

Changes I’ve noticed from taking my supplements:

  • Clearer thinking and memory in general.
  • I also think (from past experience) I’d be more energetic had I not added running into the mix too.

Changes I’ve noticed solely from running:

  • Slight soreness but surprisingly not too bad. I’m not pushing myself too hard yet though so that may be why.
  • Somedays I feel like I have more energy from running and others I feel more drained–(the more drained days may also be contributed to back-and-forth healthy diet which I’ll cover next)

I’ve also noticed I’ve been sleeping better at night. Within just a few minutes of getting into bed, I pass out, which is a major positive considering as long as I can remember back into high school or before, it’s taken me 30 min–1 hour+ to fall asleep. However, I’m not really sure which element of the list to contribute this to or if it’s because of having two little ones or a combination of both.

Like I’ve mentioned before, my biggest downfall has been cutting ALL added-sugar foods out. It’s in so many things most people, including myself, are used to mindlessly eating day in and day out. I’ve noticed on days I do poorly I feel drained and unmotivated to do anything. I also think going back and forth is really messing with my ability to get the full effect and positive results from this experience, so I thought having each meal planned may help with veering away from the correct foods.

Below is next week’s meals and most of the meals are linked to their recipes online. A couple aren’t anything that really needs a recipe or has a link, and one (the salmon patties) will be modified by replacing bread crumbs with coconut flour/shredded coconut and replacing mayo with plain yogurt.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Monday Avocado, black olive omelet Grilled lime chicken salad Quinoa and rutabaga patties
Tuesday Coconut granola Zucchini noodle salad with grilled steak Grilled chicken with bok choy
Wednesday Vegetable omelet Asparagus and anchovies with soba noodles Steak with ginger sauce and quinoa tabbouleh
Thursday Gluten-free waffles Chicken zucchini burgers Salmon patties
Friday Buckwheat porridge Cabbage rolls Beef roast
Saturday Scrambled eggs and avocado slices Grilled asparagus beef rolls Roasted chicken with vegetables
Sunday Buckwheat and eggs Salmon and soba noodles Quinoa fritters with garlic aioli

#100DaysOfHealthy
1. Drink the correct amount of water daily 
2. Cut out sugar
3. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day
4. Go to the chiropractor bi-weekly
5. Breastfeed
6. Take supplements
7. Oil pulling
8. Bye-bye caffeine
9. Eat only lean meats
10. Light exercise at least 20 minutes a day
11. Make and drink healthy smoothies/juices

100 Days of Healthy: Day 50

Halfway! Here I am!

For those who haven’t seen my original post on #100DaysOfHealthy, I have a list containing 11 items, and I plan to start each item on a new week and report back the changes I see throughout that week. Once I start an item on the list, I will continue it until the 100 days is over. Hopefully each item will become a lifestyle change if I think it’s worthy.

Day 50 was actually yesterday, but I might’ve fallen asleep in the midst of prepping the post before publishing it. Oops! Such is life.

I feel like the first half of my #100DaysOfHealthy challenge has been difficult and contained a lot of struggle, specifically with cutting out sugar. Aside from that, it’s definitely had an extremely positive impact on my health, physically and mentally. If you go through my posts (in the Healthy Lifestyle tab above) about each item on my list, you can tell. And I can only imagine how much more of an impact these items will have on me once the ‘back and forth’ battle subsides completely.

I have a feeling these last 50 days will consist of me locking down–mind over body. Because that’s all it is.

This week was item #6 on my list, “Take supplements.” I’m a huge advocate of the CORRECT kind of supplements, and I say “correct” because many of the generic and store bought supplements use synthetic ingredients and contain several times the amount of “vitamins” your body actually knows what to do with or can process.

standard process

I recommend Standard Process because they use real and natural ingredients along with a logical and correct amount of each ingredient. Although I’ve done my personal research on supplements, and specifically Standard Process, I’m not a nutritionist, I haven’t taken classes and can’t tell an individual exactly what’s best for them or even 100% myself, which is why I have a nutritionist who’s dedicated her entire life to health since she battled and won a fight against cancer over 20 years ago. She’s taken more health and Standard Process seminars and classes than just about anyone in her field and is always on point with her health consultations. I can tell from personal experience and know several others as well who can say the same. Her name is Vicki Belcher, and she’s my mother. This is her website which contains ways to contact her for those who are interested in getting help with just about anything health related: nutrition, supplements, acupressure, massage, essential oils, thermography, BioMat therapy, etc.

I took a specific regimen throughout my pregnancy of Standard Process supplements which consisted of all the vitamins and nutrition a generic prenatal vitamin would and more. My regimen has been tweaked a little since having my babe in June but I’ve stopped taking them until this week and can already tell a pretty drastic difference, especially mentally. When I take my supplements consistently, I’m always amazed by how much clearer I think, quicker I react and how much more energy I have throughout he day, and this time is no different.

So, that’s been the benefits of this week. I’ve now started item #7, “Oil pulling.” I’ll update you soon!

#100DaysOfHealthy
1. Drink the correct amount of water daily 
2. Cut out sugar
3. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day
4. Go to the chiropractor bi-weekly
5. Breastfeed
6. Take supplements
7. Oil pulling
8. Bye-bye caffeine
9. Eat only lean meats
10. Light exercise at least 20 minutes a day
11. Make and drink healthy smoothies/juices

100 Days of Healthy: Day 36

Just another super easy and fast recipe idea for you.

lettuce wraps

Lunch…
Bean and tomato lettuce wraps:

Ingredients–

  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 lettuce leaves

Directions–

  • cook beans as directed
  • dice tomato
  • place beans and tomatoes on lettuce leaves
  • roll and eat!

You can also add a tbsp of homemade tomatillo dressing to these, which is delicious, but not as healthy. Here is the recipe I like for tomatillo dressing.

 

For those who haven’t seen my original post on #100DaysOfHealthy, I have a list containing 11 items, and I plan to start each item on a new week and report back the changes I see throughout that week. Once I start an item on the list, I will continue it until the 100 days is over. Hopefully each item will become a lifestyle change if I think it’s worthy.

#100DaysOfHealthy
1. Drink the correct amount of water daily 
2. Cut out sugar
3. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day
4. Go to the chiropractor bi-weekly
5. Breastfeed
6. Take supplements
7. Oil pulling
8. Bye-bye caffeine
9. Eat only lean meats
10. Light exercise at least 20 minutes a day
11. Make and drink healthy smoothies/juices