Surgery Recovery: 6 Months.

Well let’s see…let’s cover the positives besides the obvious ones. Some have something to do with the surgery and some who knows? I have lost 30 pounds. Lots of inches and honestly the pain I have is minimal compared to the pain I suffered from PTLS.

I had no minor or major setbacks in my recovery. I saw and knew a lot of people that had long and slow recoveries and by all accounts I did not. I attribute that to my dedication to good health in general over all both before and after. There are a constant abundance of jokes that stem from being a hyster sister at 41. My family pokes fun at me and I poke fun at myself.

There have been some other stuff that just kinda popped up because of the closer monitoring I am getting both from the doctor and myself. Thankfully, I think they were/are all blessings and God’s work. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it negative impacts from the surgery and more just timing and awareness is needed.

I still have my hemorrhagic cyst and cystic ovaries overall. That is actually an issue I have suffered with my whole life and my doctor offered both hormonal and surgical solutions for. Both of which I turned down. Let me address the surgical issue. I do not want another surgery LIKE at all. I have had four surgeries in my reproductive organs and my scar tissue is abundant. Scar tissue causes pain.

Two options will take place here in the next 10 years. The pain will outweigh my decision to not have surgery and I will get my ovaries removed or I will quietly go into menopause and my ovaries will hush finally. The latter would be better.

Now let’s talk for a minute about the hormonal option. I have never been a huge fan of synthetic hormones of any kind. But a few weeks ago I got some scary news about my mammogram. I have been trying to not be dramatic about it, but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been on my heart and mind.

I have dense breast tissue. There are four levels of breast density and mine is the highest. The reason that is scary is because it makes it difficult to use a traditional mammogram machine to screen for breast cancers. It requires additional testing that has a higher likelihood of a false positive. It also can be a predictor of breast cancer. From Are you dense Advocacy website:

“It just might be the greatest cancer risk you’ve never heard of.”1

Five facts about dense breast tissue

  1. 40% of women have dense breast tissue.

  2. Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography to detect cancer.

  3. Mammography misses every other cancer in dense breasts.

  4. Breast density is a well-established predictor of breast cancer risk.

  5. High breast density is a greater risk factor than having two first degree relatives with breast cancer.

Ways to fight against the increased statistics are to lead a healthy life through fitness and nutrition, monthly self breast exams and live a clean life. So no additional hormones unless the benefit outweighs my risk.

Thank goodness legislation just passed less than a year and a half ago in my state that required dense breast tissue to not only be leveled, but to be reported to the patient because before that radiologists were NOT required to report it. The statistics of women who got “normal” mammograms with dense breast tissue and then found out they had breast cancer within a year should drop because of the women (and maybe men just haven’t researched much) who advocated that they have the right to know. I thank them. I also thank my mother who shares similar issues and has been fine. It eased my mind.

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My doctor has always been so supportive of my lifestyle and my choices and I never feel like any of them I have made have been alone. She is always respectful to the fact that I want to talk to my husband about them as well.

Now maybe for the most bothersome and truly related issue related to my surgery is my hormonal fluctuations which has caused me to have dry eyes. I should note I have had them before this, but it was like the surgery put it on a speed track.

Every day I would feel like I had sandpaper in my eyes. I attributed it to my make up or my glasses. Eye doctor finally said get hormones tested and I will do what I can on my end and yes hormones are goofy, not terrible but off. I ended up getting punctal plugs.

They are the absolute best thing ever invented. If you have watched my instastories you know I love them. I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was until my doctor had me do to the dry eye test and I had to have temporaries for two weeks. My life was changed and I all the sudden had normal eyes again. Finally, last week I got my permanent ones. They last for six months and are amazing.

The last and and final thing about my surgery is I still get the nerve jolts. Usually they only come when I work out too hard. That is totally normal and is actually a sign of healing. They aren’t bad at all and more just surprising.

So to answer the question…would I do it again? Yup. 100x over. It was still the best thing I did for myself and my well being.

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Grateful Day # 4 – I can thank myself.

If I could even put into words how bad I wanted this. Years. 4 years of working. 4 years of ups and downs where I gave up and started again for the 100th time. Maybe it took 4 years, or maybe it took some fire within, or maybe my surgery or maybe I just continued even when it was hard.

Frustration reigns supreme when you are focused on numbers. I know that. I purposefully had not weighed myself in a few days because I was tired. I was tired of the trying and eating and really just wanted the doing.

I see my doctor next week and I had hoped I had met my last and final goal. The one goal that felt impossible for years. As it seemed like more of a possibility I didn’t give into hope. Today I decided to step on the scale and it had been over a week. I didn’t expect much and I looked down and an audible scream came out then tears.

I sat in the dark of my living room with just the christmas tree lights glowing crying quiet enough to not wake up my number three. Sniffling and smiling and trying to snap a picture without the flash.

So today I am grateful for me for not giving up on myself. I am grateful that I have healed my relationship with food. For too long I let it beat me and let myself hide behind my weight, big frumpy clothes and all of my favorite carbs.

I am grateful I found me. I am grateful for finding comfort in my own skin on the inside and the out. I am grateful I let my “dear fat girl” posts go. Why would I ever address myself with such contempt?

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Dear beautiful girl, the one who fights for who she is and who she wants to be. Never give up. I am so grateful for you. – MR

Keto Thoughts. Week # 9.

whole30-newsletter-logoSo I am on the verge of a decision. I love Keto. But there are some things about it that I have to acknowledge and most of them are my own personal issues that I have to work through. They are:

  • I have lost my workout ability and lack total and complete umpf. I tried adding a banana as the keto book suggested and I bumped myself out of ketosis. My body doesn’t tolerate influx of carbs. There are a lucky few and I am one of them.
  • I have become obsessed with my keto #. I mean this in an unhealthy manner. I have a likelihood to become obsessed especially with this kind of thing and I have.
  • Sometimes that obsession for me makes me make poor eating choices like eating eggs and bacon for over a week for every meal because I know it works and it is easy. So yea that is my next one…I have very little variety and I am getting bored.
  • A lot of keto uses plant based sugars and ugh…I would rather go without any type of sugars or natural ones like honey and agave if I have some.
  • Finally and probably the biggest, I am struggling to get the nutrients I need without too much dairy and I am lactose intolerant, so I am finding my symptoms increased for that. I hate it.

Now that I have covered all the bad there is a huge amount of good and I want to highlight that as well. I have had great success with Keto and don’t see myself “done” with it. I feel like I am at a point where I need to take it to the next level, but before doing that I need to educate myself some more. But let’s look at the positives:

  • I have lost a lot of weight and inches and got myself back down to the smallest size I was in my health journey. I am 5lbs from my goal weight overall. Admittedly, I would like to lose some additional, but that goal weight would get me to goal of my family doctor and I with room to lose a bit more if I want.
  • I gave up carbs and processed sugar. On Monday, I will have survived without processed sugars for 10 weeks. I would have never dreamed that would be possible for me ever. But I did it and that honestly feels better than losing all the weight I have.
  • Fats are not bad and my blood pressure is lower than it has been. In fact, it was low enough my doc worried a bit.
  • I got to eat bacon every day for a diet.

So with all of that I am fairly certain I will be doing Whole 30 the day after my birthday. My birthday is in two weeks and I plan to celebrate via this diet. I have always wanted to do it and tried so hard that last few years and always failed or was scared away because of giving up carbs and sugars. Well guess what keto did for me. I tackled that beast.

I do really appreciate my morning coffee and Whole 30 does require that sacrifice so think of me the next few weeks before my birthday as I start to wean. I will probably be pretty grumpy. So this will be the next beast, but I have done that before many times and I can do it again.

And one final note before I end this post. None of this fad. I am not a fad dieter. In fact, these are diets that create a better awareness of your body and what it needs and I would argue the 21 day fix container system works similarly as well. It is figuring out healthy ways to eat because somewhere along the way I never learned, or forgot. The container system showed me portion and amounts, Keto helped me to see good and healthy fats and I suspect that Whole 30 will be more about my psyche and conquering the one last hurdle of knowing what is best for my body.

And finally, I think Whole 30 will let me get back to what I love and that is physical movement. It is pivotal to my mental and physical being so I have got to do this.

The Downside of Keto & Figuring it Out

IMG_9094I love keto. What I love most is that in 8 weeks I have lost 18lbs and that I have crazy weeks like last week where I lost 8.5 inches. Yes 8.5 inches and that was with three pitiful workouts in that week. But the end of that sentence is the downside.

I have been almost 4 years at this point maintaining an extremely active lifestyle. So to find a diet that I am losing weight and feel amazing, but cannot work out has been a struggle. I don’t just work out for the weight loss.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder and it a key component in how I manage my OCD. It is also the best way I have found to deal with all the stress and emotion that comes from teaching, being a parent and just life.

The reality is that keto for me creates no umpf in any workout no matter what I try. SoIMG_9122 last week I started on Saturday I had a carb cycle day. A day where I ate pretty much whatever I wanted. I didn’t go totally crazy and eat like crazy, but I didn’t limit my carbs down to the 20 I typically limit it to any other day.

I did it again this week as well. As well twice during the week right before bed I consumed a full size chocolate bar. Nothing crazy high in carbs, but enough. This awesome thing happened I have been able to exercise more and am maintaining the loss of weight and inches. This is me flirting with carb cycling.

I am still researching and studying the science behind carb cycling, but I feel like it will work well for me and the reality is that I am feeling so amazing about this diet and I only have 7 more pounds until I am at my first goal.

I am staying the course and eager to see where I end up. Once I reach my goal I will again try and decide the best course of action. What keto has done for me is relieved me of my sugar addictions. I eat entirely clean. It also has paved the way for if I want to eat 21 day fix, Whole 30 or keep on Keto I can. I feel freed.

 

 

Saturday Sharing – Keto Life (Otherwise known as the Bacon Life)

16.5 Inches – 13 Pounds WOAH!!!!

Yes you guys…these are my month and half of keto stats. Those inches are INSANE and I am so glad that I looked at this. Most of those inches are in my waist and hips. As well, I feel like my body is beginning to heal better. I feel it and can tell. I will try and update this post with a picture later today.  While you wait here is a visual chart of my weight loss and my chart to my actual goal over the last six weeks.

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Top left is today and top right 6 weeks ago and yes I have lost much my tan. Bottom right was today and bottom left was 6 weeks ago. I don’t know why I did them opposite.

But I am not gonna lie sometimes I lack the inspiration of the diet. I just use my standard go to of eggs of some variety and bacon. So much bacon. When I grow tired of these two things I am worried for what that means.

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I do find that I need more and more fat. I am not getting enough and you have to be super careful about not all of your fats coming from proteins because higher proteins can turn into glucose which can mess with ketosis. This is the stuff I am slowly learning.

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So I have been trying to find more fats like this while joking soon I will just need to chew on a stick of butter. While I hope it doesn’t come to that I did try an experiment this week. Last week I had very little change as far as weight (I even gained and lost two pounds a few time) and inches were minimal I sat back and thought about what I did. The difference I believe was that I ran every single day. I was also burning almost 3000 calories and eating about 900-1200 calories.

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Keto makes you not hungry. Like at all. I seriously cannot eat enough and I am going hard running or working out I know my weight loss will stall. It also stalls when I am doing that eating that calorie range. I try and eat more and feel pukey. But something unique happened last week. I ate this!

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Admittedly I didn’t eat it all, but I woke up the next day thinking I would gain a ton of weight and be knocked out of ketosis and I was for less than a few hours. But nope…I woke up feeling terrible, but I lost a pound and was in ketosis again by lunch. I cannot say I got so lucky this week with a treat I had that my co-worker bought for me. I am just now getting back into ketosis after a little over a day. (BTW…I have no regrets. Life isn’t about deprivation and being miserable).

As well, I am at a place in my keto journey where I need to start playing around and seeing what makes my ketones ebb and flow and what I can handle and not handle. I am having to use more dairy than I would like to keep my fats up, but I would like to not. I also can mess with some of keto friendly flours like coconut and almond. I would also like to try some variances on carb cycling. But before I do that I need to identify how my body responds to certain carbs.

I feel seriously super good. I will tell you working out on keto has been my biggest struggle. I lack the stamina, but I know for a fact if and when I add more fats into my diet my stamina perks up. I also know when I can figure out how my body processes carbs then I can carb up to aid in working out. I also would like to find a fat bomb to help with this. Fat bombs scare you a little though, but it does help balance out macros if you need it.

I am going to get a blood test soon for hormones and the rest to be sure that my body is handling this alright. I will also give you a small update about last week’s post about the cyst. I have had a ton of a pain this week especially the last few days which likely means it is disintegrating. That is good news. So we continue to wait and hope it goes away on its own.

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Ketoing On Over Here – MR

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Saturday Sharing is a weekly post where MR covers the latest in her life.

 

Transformation Tuesday: Less of Me is a thing.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

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This is today!

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Sometimes it is so easy to lose your motivation and inspiration or even worse sometimes you feel like giving up because the changes aren’t as noticeable or as quick. So you gotta take a moment and take stock in just how far you have come. And more then anything…you need to remember to enjoy the process because it is all a part of the journey. My journey didn’t just start and it certainly isn’t going to end any time soon. But I gotta hold steady. I am worth it.

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Somedays it just resonates.

Man yesterday was a day. A bad day…maybe? It definitely was not a good day. A whole bunch of little things added into big things and the day was crap. So I finally reached the part of the night where I thought maybe I should sit down and find the positive and it just happened that Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey was sitting on my desk. A poetry book I buzzed through a few weeks ago when things were a lot less hectic and way less chaotic.

I read this poem and it resonated. It felt important to me to come here and write through the feelings it gave me. Failing. Failing is me. I am failing.

IMG_9683So you guys I am failing. I thought I was doing well with the start of school, but I am swamped. I don’t have enough time to accomplish all that I need to accomplish every single day. And remember my filter issues since my surgery? I am tired of people taking advantage of me.  I started saying no which also means I have to sit through the awkward moments that follow that no when they have never heard anything but yes from my face.

But I repeat the mantra, I am only human. I can only do so much and in order to do it well I have to take it off in bite size pieces. Yes remember my post a few months about not being perfect. Well I am not. I dropped the ball today 100x and in a 100 ways. Don’t believe ask the people I work with. I didn’t have a chance to respond to at least 60 emails, I have 1000 papers left ungraded. I even left my classroom last night with my desk a mess which is the biggest thing I hate.

My plans for dinner of a beautiful roast in the crockpot were a shitty attempt by Walmart to pass off a hockey puck as a rump roast. I cooked it like I would cook all other types of roast in my crock pot. This one just seized up and was so tough I would never consider serving it to my family. So thank you Schwan’s delivery truck for your chicken IMG_5599alfredo and Kroger for the fresh garlic bread. My family enjoyed a good dinner because of you.

The biggest issue I see is when things get tough like this taking care of myself is usually the first thing to go and I just can’t let that happen. It cannot. It is the easy take out to make life feel a little easier. I could get up an hour later and enjoy just a little more sleep, but then I have to live with the guilt that I didn’t do my work out. And usually if I don’t do my work out my eating tends to be all over the place.

Yes all of this is tiny stuff when you look at it alongside hurricanes, terrorism or any other sort of major event. So I had a bad day where I didn’t get all the stuff done I needed to get done. I had a day where I feel like a bad mom, a bad teacher and like I am failing. The best part of that all is that I got to wake up this AM and try and again and I also tried organize what is happening a little better today.

So yes, this season is just that. A season. A season that I will over come and I will find my way and I will continue getting better at letting go of the things that don’t matter so they stop wasting my time.

 

 

An Honest Plexus Review: August 2017

A few weeks back I taunted on my instastories that I was on a super secret mission. I IMG_9895didn’t say anything other than that. Well it is has now come time for a reveal. In July, I was approached by an amazing momma friend who is an Plexus Ambassador and has been for awhile now and has seen great results on it. She wondered if I would be interested in a free 30 day trial with no obligation to say anything one way or the other about the product. My only obligation was to post here what happened.

I have talked with her about it a few times over the last year because there are some who say it is great for my guys’s TN and let’s be honest their two most popular claims are weight loss and feeling less tired. So what mom of any kids could not want this. And if I am totally honest I have been skeptical, but also researching like crazy because read the two above claims.

If you have followed me over the years you know I believe in clean eating and natural IMG_8535weight loss with no gimicky concoctions. I don’t even drink shakeology from my beloved Beachbody company which is more of a dietary issue. Herein lies probably my biggest issue with any sort of powder, pill or regiment that is sold similar to Plexus. I make this proclamation loud and clear I have the moodiest of moody digestive tracks and they are easily upset by these sorts of products.

I was given what I believe plexus ambassadors call the triplex which is a combination of three of their most popular products. The first, of course, is the pink drink. The second is the ProBio 5 and the third was Biocleanse. I likely would not have done this had I not just had my hysterectomy because I knew my gut health was a mess. I went into this with a terrible bleeding ulcer, a messed up digestive track from massive amounts of meds and a severely unbalanced diet.

IMG_2262It was also important to me to include how going off of these things felt for my system. So we are a month and a week out of the start, so I have been off of them at this point 8 days. One of the biggest complaints I ran into (besides the cost) in my research were the withdrawal like symptoms ones experiences when no longer taking the product.

Now in my honest opinion, I liked the taste of the pink drink. I have actually tasted the older version and the newer one has a much better flavor. The positives of this drink were it easily became a part of my daily morning routine. It fit nicely into my life and I was able to take it while traveling. I definitely felt a huge energy burst that lasted throughout the day from the pink drink. I would actually equate it with pre-workout feeling if you take one. The one thing it didn’t have that pre-work has is the buzzy feeling. That is a bonus if that is what you are using it for.

Now for the downside and likely the one reason I wouldn’t continue on in this part of theIMG_7011 plexus journey is the jitters. I am extremely sensitive to caffeine and honestly I am not even sure if this has caffeine in it, but I felt like it did. I would be jittery for about an hour and half to two hours after drinking it. Then the energy burst just stayed which was nice. But I have battled a caffeine addiction basically my whole life and in the last three years got myself down to a point where I no longer struggled with adrenal issues because of it. The most evident part of this boost was the week after the trial was over. I was super jittery and super foggy and had about three days of a headache I couldn’t get rid of. I felt like I was coming down with a cold. Not a migraine and not miserable, but enough to be present and accounted for.

Now can we talk about what I was really interested in trying and the main reason I jumped on this free trial? The probiotics (and I think they may call them prebiotics).  My system was out of wack, with overgrowth of yeast, hormones all over the place, over production of cortisol because of stress to my system with the surgery and my sleep was a mess. I was stuck in a battle of antibiotics, anti-fungals and digestive distress which made me not hungry at all and left depleted of energy.

I basically started the ProBio5 right away because my friend had brought by a bottle of this in February of last year on the hope that maybe it would help my guy with his TN. She said, “You don’t have to have him take it, but at least you know it is a possible option. Just keep it.” I remembered it when my family physician suggested a probiotic to try and get some balance in my system.

I started the biocleanse two days later. Two things about these products, they work. The positives for them is you can feel the balance that begins to happen. As I said, I had a bleeding ulcer that was bad because of the meds I was given for pain during my surgery. An issue I have been plagued with most of my life and usually requires a 90 day treatment for. I only needed the treatment for two full weeks after I started taking these two pills. I was able to stop my ulcer med a month after I started and I haven’t needed it since.

I can’t prove that it was the combination of the two, but I can say that my stomach ulcers have never cleared up that quickly and they have never ever been that bad before, so they had their work set out for them and it feels as though they were a success. I was back to my usual self within two weeks time and then after that it was like it never happened which I didn’t think would happen.

There is the claim that they help with sleep and I can tell you that is totally common that after a hysterectomy it is completely normal to have insomnia and I did struggle with it multiple times this summer. However, I have had no issues what so ever since starting it. Again I cannot prove it is the combination of these two things because I know how important sleep is to healing and I have been working extremely hard to make sure I am getting sleep. But yes I slept better. I have continued to sleep better since being off as well. No sleep disturbances happened after going off either if that is important to you.

There was one downside that I noticed specifically with the biocleanse and that is if I took too much I struggled with IBS. I have IBS and I manage it mostly with my diet and watching my stress levels. I could never get over more than two biocleanse pills or I would struggle with the symptoms of my IBS. But overall, my IBS has been non-existent since the trial began which I imagine with what I put my system through with the surgery is unheard of.

So the question is…is this a good review or a bad review. My goal is to not do either. My goal is to tell you what the experience was like for me. I saw definite improvements in my health and mental clarity.  I am not sure I would continue with the pink drink not because I don’t like it, I just don’t feel like I need it. I do fairly well with my energy levels because I have worked so hard to try and master that for myself since I overcame my pop addiction three years ago.

I do think a lot of the benefits I saw with these Plexus products are ones that I see when I really hone in on my dietary needs. But I do like that I didn’t have to think as hard about what I put into my body with these other two products. I can see the convenience of that. I think this is probably a great way to catapult you into a new health and fitness regiment because it is all spelled out for you. I also have been able to exercise every single day with no rest days. Not sure if it is the plexus or if it is just my mentality right now because even after stopping it has stuck.

I cannot speak for cost of any of these products. It was important to me to not look up the prices, though I was tempted, because that is one of the complaints I saw often in my research. I wanted to give it a fair chance no matter what. But what I do think you want to hear is what kind of body results did I get from this and in interest of being honest I must say I started a ketogenic diet at the urging my GYN doc to help balance my very unbalanced hormones. She wanted me to start this immediately to try and fire up my ovaries, so I started it halfway into the Plexus trial. As well, I exercise every day, but I always have. At the beginning of the trial, I was only allowed 30 minutes of cardio with minimal jumping and bending, but by the end I was doing extensive cardio work outs and 3 mile runs. I can’t say one way or the other if plexus contributed to my weight and inch loss. But here at the photos. Most of the weight loss did happen after the diet began, but I did lose three inches before the diet.

I did lose 11lbs. I lost 7.5 inches over all. 

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I can say I think others should try if they are looking for the positives that I mentioned in this post. I also know some people who have tried it and had amazing results and can probably speak much better to the scientific backgrounds of this product. I also know others who have tried it and not had as much luck. I do know I would be interested in seeing and researching a bit more the type of chemicals that are in the product especially as it relates to TN. I am still kinda hanging out waiting to see what happens with the diet and the being without Plexus. I will likely try and update again in a month to see if I can make some clearer distinctions on what is Plexus and what is the keto diet and exercise.

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I was not compensated in any way for this review other than a 30 day free trial of the three plexus products mentioned. My review and opinion of the product is all my own and not a guarantee of any result you will have on the product. 

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.

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.