I found the best motivation (Sat/Sun Sharing)

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A kinda cool thing happened after my surgery that I should have know, but I guess I didn’t. My girls motivate me to be a better person. During and after my surgery I struggled a lot with fatigue, nausea, and lack of an appetite. The nurses and doc recommended pop. As well, it will always be my battle and essentially a comfort in those sorts of times. Well a few weeks out I was having about 1 a day or every other day. My girls and I went to lunch at our famous Culvers and one of them asked if I was back to drinking pop. My response was to dump it and say nope. Never again. I have not had one since. In fact, I never missed it, never thought of it again.

So when I started this Keto diet I remarked to them that they motivate me more than anything I have ever had as motivation and that if I tell them something I keep that promise to them more than likely ever to myself. So heck ya I have been using that as motivation. And you know what…much like pop I have not looked back once.

I get the question of what I eat a lot and I want to share. I have been following some what others eat and making up a lot of what I have been eating on own. I tend to be one when first getting comfortable with a diet that sticks with what I know and what I like for the simplicity. Keto in my opinion is complicated and very science based. So I followed the basic rules to get myself into ketosis and now that I have been there I relied a lot on The Fat Burning Man’s book to help me. I also have used pinterest some. But my best resources are Keto Connect and listening to The Healthful Pursuit podcast (she also has a great site…thanks Keen Peach). I warn you that many recipes are marked in pinterest as low carb or keto and are anything but, so you have to educate yourself to research and question some.

I will also say I make exceptions because there are just some things I am not willing to change. The use of stevia is not a change I will make. I don’t like sugar substitutes either because they are full of chemicals and I will always eat clean. If they are plant based sugars I can tell the strong flavor so I just eliminate or use a honey or maple syrup as a substitute and guess what it has worked. If you are migraine prone than sugar subs like stevia can trigger a migraine and do for me. So I usually just steer clear. Another exception I make is that is diet is high fat, but I am so trained for lean meats and that hasn’t really changed. I don’t really like the fatty texture of dark chicken meat or beef.  It seems to working, so I think that exception has been okay.

So let’s talk about some of what I have been eating. Lots of eggs and a generous amount of bacon. I needed bacon a lot I feel like at the beginning because it gave me a crunch that I missed from my carbs. It was also easy. But not as much now. I try and go with a nitrate free and as clean as I can find. That is sometimes hard in my town because I live in small town USA and I am competing with other healthy people to get it first. But options are getting better all the time.

I make sandwiches a lot and use lettuce as my vehicle. Last week for lunches it was tuna salad and I just placed it romaine hearts. So good and has that crunch that is kinda nice. I always eat salads with lots of protein by adding eggs, some cheese (I go pretty light still on diary), and bacon. I do usually have an avocado for the high fat nature. My favorite salad is an Italian salad with pepperoni and/or salami, peppers and black olives.

Dinners are usually a bit easier. We eat lots of chicken, pork and beef roasts and I just make sides for my family and I eat a salad on the side instead of what they are eating. But sometimes they want stuff that I just don’t feel like making two meals like spaghetti, so I just make bacon and eggs with salsa or half an avocado. So far it works.

Here are a few of my creations from the past week with recipes posted below.

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Fat bombs

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Low Carb Banana bread

I have experimented some with some great keto recipes and some that were just okay:

  • Low Carb Banana Bread – I did sub almond milk for the yogurt in this recipe and I added slivered almonds…and my husband even ate it and had no idea it was a healthier version of this recipe.
  • Keto Friendly Meatballs – My kiddos loved these and requested them again.
  • Fat Bomb that tastes like Reeses Cup – This was amazing when you had a craving for chocolate and my ketones always jumped with this…but I did have to use the stevia and I didn’t like it, so I think next time I will not add it and add unsweetened coconut and hope for the best.
  • Fat Head Pizza Crust – This was okay. It actually was probably pretty good if you like dairy. Me I have a dairy intolerance so I have to be really careful and it is too much dairy for me. I allowed myself about a piece and then I just ate the toppings. I was glad to hear in Healthful pursuit’s podcast that this recipe baffled her because it is SO full of dairy by the crust being loaded with it and then adding it to the top because I was so confused by that. I need to find an alternative away from the dairy even if it means it may have a bit more carbs.
  • Chicken Enchilada Casserole  – I made this and the kiddos and I ate it. We did all admit it was a bit hotter. Mine was served in a salad and that cooled it off, but they added it to a tortilla and they thought it was super hot.
  • Cloud Bread – Let me just say this was a total fail. I made it and I know what high peaks are it still did not half any sort of fluff to it so it was kinda like a pancake, but it was nice because it did have a bready texture. I plan to try it again and hope for better results.

This week we are trying this:

As of this AM, I am down 9.5 lbs heading into my third week. I also have lost 12 inches most of which was in my waist, hips and my thighs (all the right spots). Here are some of my staples to get me through.

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La Croix Water and I also really love Perrier Strawberry

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Duke’s Shorty Sausages (2 equals 1 carb) and I can get it at Costco!

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Real Good Pizza Company – has amazing pizzas that baffle the mind. I have only had two but I loved the cheese and I added pepperoni. The supreme I didn’t like as much, but I did not like all the veggies frozen so the pizza itself was still so yummy and not all made from cheese. The crust is made of chicken you guys…chicken. Yes. It is odd, but it is really good. The calories and sodium aren’t ridiculous either. So good alternative for lunches.

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And finally to this diet I am working out every day. I am pretty much sticking with T25 and running. I love it and I get up sooooo early to do it…but it works.

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Week # 8 And Probably My Last Update

By all accounts I am feeling great and my surgery feels like it is in my rear view mirror. My restrictions don’t end until week # 12. But the ones that are left are minimal and watching what I lift is the biggest. However, if I look at how I feel….I feel amazing. I am still struggling with hormonal fluctuations and probably will for awhile. Some days are great in that department and others I feel it with the occasional hot flash or a mood. They are a little more intense then they were before the surgery.

I am so grateful I had the time to heal that I did. I am grateful for the time with my family and that I was able to be home for the majority of it. The sacrifices they all made with the end of the summer meant a lot to me. We are really close family because of what we have been through together and that means a lot to me. It actually makes me feel like my heart could burst.

On the diet and exercise front I can pretty much do most exercises now except for certain floor movements and massive jumping. Squats sometimes feel alright and other times not quite. My stamina is definitely not where it once was. But it will come back. I am still getting up at stupid o’clock to work out. Today I forced myself to take a rest day because I haven’t had one in three weeks and I really want to have a longer run in the AM. But yes…3 weeks of early AM workouts and I am still kicking ass.

I lost 8lbs on the ketogenic diet and I am super excited to measure because I can tell that I lost some inches. But more than anything I feel great. I did notice this week that my stamina was actually less than last week which tells me my body is switching even more into being fat fueled and that is a great sign and common. So I wait for it to come back. I work out but my umpf is a little less during this adjustment period. It has been two weeks and this week I super cut back on carbs even more. The last two days it has been under 10 carbs a day.

The best way I can tell the effect of working out and diet is at work. I have energy all day long. No afternoon slump. No need for coffee in the evening though I do sometimes do it as a treat usually Mondays. My clarity on thinking is probably the best thing I have noticed with all of this. My brain just feels on in a completely different way than it was before.

Work has been amazing and I have an awesome group of kiddos this year and a lot of them are my daughters age and so I feel SUPER old.

Here are some highlights from the last week.

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My new favorite obsession is sitting in the sun and listening to podcasts or music.

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Always my hand to hold. My guy has been so amazing during all of this.

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A ketogenic fat bomb. I find myself not getting enough fat so I tried these this week and it tasted like a Reese cup! yum!!!

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I needed that bready feel this week to aid in craving which honestly I haven’t had much of. So a quick pinterest search of a ketogenic banana bread and I found a great recipe from almond flour and no added unnatural sugars. The sugar came from the bananas and a tbsp of raw honey. It tasted amazing but definitely tested my restraint. I made cloud bread which was good but it was flat which defeated it purpose. I am gonna try again this week.

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I got to have dinner with one of my favorites. ❤ I ate Culvers and had a burger with no bun and a side salad. It basically turned into a burger salad with a shit ton of mustard.

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My Boop who is always a comfort, but is especially cuddly since here at night it has been super chilly and the one stormy night she literally woke me up with actual tears and her way of hugging me which is she lays her neck across my neck.

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My sweaty self after a workout this week. Always trying to find a smile because taking care of me first is a priority because I make it a priority and this has been hard to do, but sooooooo necessary.

 

When the world weighs too much.

Images from this week….

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And these are just the major headlines. Seriously, do you need a run down? This week in news. When hatred happens so much we barely take a pause and say how, why and what can we change? When I have to assure my children almost daily they are safe in this world.

I don’t know what to do or say or feel. All I know is I tossed and turned last night. All night long…the kids. The families. They are what plagued me. When you are glad your children have a social life away from it all because it means they are removed from the 24 hour news cycle.

I ask has this always been happening and we were just so far removed it seemed different. Or is the world imploding on itself riddled with hate and ideologies that have no place for love?

I come across people who truly believe love isn’t enough. That love can’t save us now and I wonder am I the only one who does? I do believe love wins, but when you see children in the street crushed in a pool of blood where is love in that? How will my love save that child?

I cannot single handedly spread love to the world, but I have got to try. If I don’t try doesn’t that make my world a little more grim? I truly believe we have to love more than they hate, but THEY. THEY is the problem because it creates an other when we really just need to be an us.

MR

Recovery Week # 7: New Diet

I keep having to remind myself that I did just have surgery. However, I feel great. My exercise is great. I was able to run for the first time on Saturday. I technically was supposed to wait till 8 weeks, but I have been feeling so good I decided on Saturday to hit the pavement. I did amazing. I am not as fast as I was before, but that is okay.

I am also able to work out and have been pretty much every day since I started back at about 5.5 weeks post surgery. I still don’t do much jumping and definitely no floor stuff like burpees. But I am showing up every single day.

When I saw the doc at my 4 week post op we talked about hormonal balancing and diet and she talked to me about the hormonal benefits of carb cycling. She did recommend the full keto diet to get started for 21 days and then to start carb cycling. She said she has always seen good results with this. I kinda left it out there because to be honest it seemed too complicated because it was counting macros and then I talked with my hairdresser who sees lots of people and she brought up how healthy people have been in her chair that with the keto diet.

I took it as a sign and educated myself over two weeks time and started it on Monday. I love it. It is a little different (A lot different) than what I am used to so the mind shift has been boggling. But to be honest my cravings are curbed BIG time. I feel very satiated and I really cannot eat enough of the healthy fat type foods that I am supposed to.

And I am down 3lbs as of Monday. But I feel leaner because it is low carb. I know for my body when I am low carb I lose a lot of water weight in general, so I feel leaner. I plan to measure myself this weekend. I am pretty restrictive on the carbs right now while my body adjusts. But I know I am ketosis. I went into ketosis the 2nd day in because I restrict carbs usually.

Ask me how I will eat my tacos….I haven’t thought that far in advance. Everything but the shell I guess….AKA taco salad with out eating the gigantic fried bowl. I will let you know.

Work has been so good. I love my kiddos this year already. I had a handful of them before as freshman, but thankfully I know almost every single one of them which helps as we start the year. I miss my kiddos from last year. They are all applying to schools and getting ready for the real world. That is one of the hardest parts. I feel like such a momma.

Here are some shots from the last week.

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Recovery: 6th Week

This is where things really turned around. This was the first week I have been able to feel totally and completely like myself. I was able to forget I even had surgery a few times. I was warned recovery would be hard and it has been, but in the ways I expected. It is hard mostly because I want to do more than I can. I am not in massive pain or anything, but there is a built in something that causes pain if I take it too far.

My biggest struggle continues to be keeping my emotions in check. I get irritated extremely easy and I am praying I don’t take that into the classroom with me. Hopefully, I can just switch into Mrs. E mode and turn it off.

I was able to exercise everyday this past week. I did them all with no modifications. Basically, no jumping, squatting or floor moves. I did T25 which I consider my soul workout and was able to push myself, but was still extremely careful. I also took long walks every day and rode a bike one day.

So things are turning around slowly. The good news my pain has been minimal as far as pain I had before the surgery.

Most of my week has been spent planning, cleaning what I could and had the energy to do and I took the girls our our annual shopping trip. We went to Indy. Then celebrated # 1’s 16th birthday.

I head back to work this AM. I am so excited for the routine, but my family is home so I am kinda sad for that. They don’t start school till next week.

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A lot of really great memories were made this past week, so I am grateful and extremely blessed.

Week # 6 Stats

  • Gained 2 lbs
  • Walking 3-4 miles
  • Daily workouts low impact

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I’ve got this, I’ve always had this. – MR

Back to square one: My Comeback

Okay it hit. The hormonal imbalance. The what now. The blahs. I don’t know. I was driving this week and had it. The it I have been worrying about. The one I have been trying to convince myself I wouldn’t have. The one that I was hoping maybe I could escape. But alas it is here.

The feeling is, “What’s next?” And when I say what’s next I mean when it comes to my248 health and fitness journey as it is relates to my surgery. I am trying very hard to be gentle with myself because I know my body chemistry is trying “right” itself.

But I have reached the point where I feel blah. I feel less than, but I also feel more than. I feel unmotivated, but I feel the more motivated. It is just literally a balance of where am I? I am just trying to figure it out.

I noticed last week that I was feeling way more “rawwwrrr” and way less my normal cheerful self. For me, that ALWAYS means hormonal fluctuations. Even a few times I heard my girlies say something under their breath.

But I think maybe that is why I have been trying to push play every day. It feels easiest to go into automatic mode of what I already know. I know that working out and putting my fitness first will help with the mood, the lack of motivation and my eating.

It is truly hard to even put into words what I am feeling cause I am not even sure how. I am not depressed or anything like that. It feels like disgust. If any of you out there have had this surgery and get what I am saying send me a message please.

The worst was yesterday working out in the hotel bathroom. I was forced to watch myself and my body as I worked out. It was the absolute worst. I feel like I am right where I was when this whole journey began three years ago even though I know logically I am not. But the hatred I feel for my body is. My mind is there. I haven’t even gained any weight since the surgery. I have gained and lost the same three pounds in the last 5 weeks, but never went over what I walked into the hospital as. But the reality is I hate what I see and a lot of my old insecurities are popping up that haven’t been there in a long while.

So yes…I must fall in love with the process again. I know I am strong. I know I can do it. But I am definitely in automatic mode now where it comes to health and fitness.  I don’t know where this feeling came from and I don’t know how long it intends to stick around, but I am gonna do my best to combat it.

My doctor warned, others who have had the surgery warned me. I was NOT naive enough to think that it would skip me. But I am sure as hell gonna fight to move through it the best I can. I may not always like what I see in the mirror, but thankfully I am really good at trusting my body and its ability to know what to do which is why it is so easy to go into automatic mode of eating the right stuff, working out and then work through the self talk and hopefully more to a more positive dialogue of self love.

I am sharing in hopes that someone else that has been through this reads and doesn’t see my recovery as perfect. Physically yes. But mentally I still have some things to work through. Some of the timing is probably not the best either. I am usually pretty high anxiety at the beginning of every school year because of the amount of “things”. Thankfully my support network is strong and I can be open.

Some days are easy. Today and yesterday, was not easy. I will own it.

Tomorrow will be better. – MR

 

Making my life better.

Some have asked why I don’t sell the oils I use and I have lots of reasons….the biggest is that I don’t have time. But my oils are a daily part of my life and my kiddos lives. I am in love. At this point most of them I apply neat (meaning no carrier oil to dilute). I do dilute sometimes for my youngest.

I am almost two years into the oils and they have been revolutionary in my home. My kids use them daily, I use them daily and I replaced tons of medicines. I have also noticed all of us go to oils first before we go to meds to aid with issues.

I also use them in my classroom and find that students enjoy them and request that I use them to aid in productivity especially on work days or request them for calming. I typically use the same ones in my classroom. I mostly use thieves and lemon together diffused or peppermint. I try and be careful as I don’t want to over do it with any strong smelling oils.

I use many different oils, but I would like to talk to you about my favs today.

My favorite oils as of late are….

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I haven’t always been a lavender fan, but is has climbed to a favorite. It is calming to me which is its goal, so I guess it is working.

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This came as a recommendation after my surgery and it is used to balance your hormones and I can definitely tell a difference when I forget to do it. I forgot twice and I could tell immediately the next day.

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Peppermint has long been a favorite. I love it! It helps to make me very productive and it is just a mood lifter for me.

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My thieves cleaner is the best cleaner. I have basically turned into using it for everything. The two most recent things that shocked me in its use were I cleaned my shower and tub and it worked amazingly. I also used it on the hairspray that gets caked on the bathroom counter and floor. It worked instantly on both. I mean it was a piece of cake that required very little scrubbing on my part.

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Despite this looking like an alcohol bottle, it truly is NOT. It is packaged like that but it is not. I have been drinking this daily since January. It contains wolfberry extract and other oils to help with immunity and many other properties. My kiddos drink it too. We love it. It only requires 1-2 ozs a day.