Weight Loss Update + Today’s Menu + Fascia

Time for an update. I will openly say I am an all or nothing kind of person. Most of the time that serves me well. If I’m in on something, I’m all in. This past couple of days, that included a loaf of sourdough rye bread and a generous portion of buttercream frosting. See, I still have my struggles with food sometimes. I stepped on the scale at 126# this morning. At 5’1″, while I’m no longer overweight, my goal has been 120#.

I eat plants for the most part. This is what’s on the menu for today and has been more typical for me lately. I feel fantastic like this. Due to nagging tendon issues for over 7 years (more on that later), my exercise level has been low. Yoga, walking, and about an hour of biking per week.

BreakfastBreakfast was butternut squash, green and red cabbage tossed in a mix of balsamic vinegar and brown mustard, then baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. It’s a large cookie sheet. I like to be full. Of vegetables!

Lunch

 

 

 

Lunch – I dumped a bag of frozen broccoli into a glass dish and baked it while my breakfast was in the oven. To that I added a baked sweet potato that I’d cooked in a batch a couple of days ago. Top with hot sauce.

 

 

Snack

 

I’ll probably have a snack before massage clients this afternoon, which is 1/2 of a baked kabocha squash with a tiny bit of brown sugar, and a Granny Smith apple. (Edit – I couldn’t eat the squash. Too full yet.)

 

 

SupperBefore I head out for work, I’ll throw the following into my Instant Pot for supper: Black eyed peas, brown rice, salsa and spinach. That way, supper is ready when I get home this evening.

Simple food.

Roughly 900 calories. 80% carb, 14% protein, 6% fat.

 

 

 

 

 

fascia blasterFor the past 7 years I’ve had struggles with my tendons/connective tissue. For a few weeks now I’ve been using this tool to “comb” my fascia. I warm up my by either doing cardio in a sauna suit, cranking up the space heater in the bathroom and doing yoga, or my latest addition – steam room! I picked up a small fryer, filled it water and a little peppermint essential oil, then put it in a crappy old tent. Last night I was reading a book in there by headlamp while an owl was talking in a nearby tree 🙂 I feel some positive changes happening and I can see changes in the shape of my body that I’m happy with.  The tool I’m using is called a Fascia Blaster. The hard, gravel-like crap in my IT bands and Achilles seems to be softening with consistent use. Steam room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, from January 2017 to October 2017. Less exercise. More plants.
Me
Me

It Costs Too Much To Eat Healthy – Plus Supper Tutorial

This puts a bee in my bonnet, so to speak. I have to disagree. If you’re coming from eating a diet of fast food, pizza, bagels and sugary cereal washed down with cow’s milk and soda, you might have noticed that your body doesn’t necessarily feel vibrant, or optimal. Right?

I know what it’s like to have to choose to put gas in the car or groceries on the table. When I put myself through school to be a nurse, I was in food pantry lines and using modern-day “food stamps”. My house was nearly foreclosed on. I was working 2.5 part-time jobs, going to school full-time, mothering 3 kids on my own and pursuing mountain bike racing endeavors. Yeah, I learned a lot about what’s important back then. No cable TV. I had a work-provided cell phone. An old Toyota with a lot of miles on it. The point is, I know what it’s like to have very little in the way of finances. While I do eat almost entirely organic these days and enjoy fueling my body with the best nutrition I can afford, this is a post for people who are eating food laden with trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and whatever other chemical cocktails are being served up at a drive through window.

I was told something about a healthy diet being too expensive and stressful.

Being obese and disabled isn’t expensive and stressful, then? Feeling lousy about oneself and out of control isn’t stressful? Really?! Yeah…. I don’t buy that. In fact, it pisses me off. I clearly recall being obese I was miserable. Am I alone in that?

I put together a week’s worth of menu and groceries for one hungry person. Before I get to that, I want to address some things.

“I can’t cook”. Can’t, or won’t? You can drive, wash dishes, wipe your butt, etc right? Don’t tell me you can’t cook. I call bullshit. You won’t. You don’t have the time? Do you have time to watch horrible things on the news? You have time to cook. Look up how to bake a potato on YouTube or something. You’re reading this. You have the internet. None of this is gourmet food. This is busy, weeknight, easy food. Tonight, I spent 10 minutes prepping supper which included sending a few text messages. The rice cooker (freebie, but they’re often $5 at thrift stores) cooked the rice. The vegetables cooked in a pot on the stove for 10 minutes. In that time, I cut and froze some vegetables and washed the prep dishes. Less time than it takes to go to McDonald’s.

Plan ahead. On a weekend, get your shopping done and  cook up a large batch of rice.

My menu is vegetarian. Suck it up. Eat some different foods. You might find you drop weight, save money, feel awesome and increase your health. Everyone is so obsessed with protein. Educate yourself. Try this article. You’re not a little kid any more. You can expand your palate. It actually does change, given even a few weeks.

Your body WANTS to feel good and it is ALWAYS trying its best for you. Give it some LOVE.

Tutorial Time. Here’s my Thursday-night dinner.

I put 2 cups of brown rice and 4 cups of water in the rice cooker, and pushed the “On” button.


I bought a giant cabbage for $2. Garlic and carrots are from friend’s gardens. Ginger root is cheap.

I cut it all up (5 minutes). Whew. Such hard work. I also got some turmeric, salt and pepper out.

I added some water to the pot, stirred it up, set the heat to medium and covered it with a lid. I stirred it a couple of times over the 10 minutes. Super time consuming. I can see why people don’t have time to cook <rolls eyes>.

I ate it!! I’m content and I feel good.  There’s enough left over for lunch tomorrow, too.

A word on the menu plan. You probably eat the same damn thing every morning for breakfast. I’d recommend keeping your weekday menu kind of boring and functional so you have time to play in nature. Or rest.

There are actually 2 breakfast options.
1. Put a heaping 1/2 cup of rolled oats in a bowl that has a lid. Add 1/2 teaspoon or so of cinnamon. Cover with non-dairy milk and put in the fridge overnight. It’s ready in the morning. Chop up an apple, stir it in and drizzle with maple syrup (just a small amount!).
2. Scramble some eggs. Take a cup of cooked rice from the large batch you made. Put it in a bowl, add the eggs and some salsa.
Boom. Eat and get your butt moving. You have things to do.

Then, make one large meal for dinner. Eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Or, make the large meal for lunch and eat it again for dinner. It doesn’t really matter.

Lunch/Dinner Options
1. Pasta Marinara
. Cook the pasta, drain it, dump in the marinara sauce. Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and dump them in. Add a handful of spinach. Stir and heat through.
2. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy and Mixed Vegetables. Wash, quarter and boil the potatoes. Drain when tender. Mash them with a potato masher and some garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Top with gravy. Open the package of mixed veggies and cook them in a saucepan while the potatoes cook. I just add some water, cover, and cook on low heat.
3. One Pan Meal. Preheat oven to 375. Wash and cut up your sweet potato in some chunks. Open your bag of frozen California Blend vegetables. Cut up your tempeh and toss that in a bowl with a little soy sauce or liquid aminos. Get out a sheet pan and throw it all on there. Season with whatever you want. I like garlic and just a touch of salt. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping it all over on the pan halfway through.
4. Cabbage Stir Fry. See the tutorial with pictures above.
5. Potato Hash. Dice potatoes, green peppers and onions. Saute in a pan on the stove with either a little veg stock or in a non-stick pan with a spray of oil, preferably coconut, until browned. Of course this can be seasoned with whatever. I’m kind of stuck on garlic and onion.
6. Soft Tacos. Warm a corn tortilla. Warm some of your rice or cook another batch if you need to. Warm your refried beans. Put the beans and rice in the tortilla, top with salsa and eat.
7. Baked Potato. Wash and bake some potatoes. Saute the rest of your spinach with some onion. Put it on top of the potato when it’s done. Make another batch of gravy if you want to.

Try to let your digestive system rest between meals. If you need a snack, you have bananas and carrots. Bake some potatoes to keep on hand and eat one with just salt. If you’re not hungry for them, you’re not really hungry. Go take a walk. Drink some water or tea.

Drink mostly water. I put peppermint tea on the shopping list because it’s beneficial to your health and something different.

Here’s the shopping list and price breakdown. I went to ALDI for everything except cabbage, tempeh and peppermint tea, which was from Golden Harvest.

Shopping List (with prices as of October 5, 2017)
Bananas 2#……………………………………………………………. 0.84
Bag of spinach………………………………………………………… 1.49
5# baking potatoes…………………………………………………. 1.69
1 large sweet potato………………………………………………… 0.69
3# bag of onions………………………………………………………. 1.49
Green peppers (use 1, cut and freeze the other 2)…… 1.49
3# apples………………………………………………………………… 1.49
Carrots……………………………………………………………………. 0.99
Cabbage (use 1/2, save 1/2)……………………………………. 2.00
Eggs………………………………………………………………………… 0.58
Non-dairy milk………………………………………………………… 1.99
Corn tortillas……………………………………………………………. 1.29
5# bag of rice (will last awhile)…………………………………. 4.79
Rolled oats……………………………………………………………….. 1.75
Cinnamon (will last awhile)………………………………………. 1.19
Garlic powder (will last awhile)………………………………… 1.19
Onion powder (will last awhile)………………………………… 1.19
Brown rice pasta………………………………………………………. 1.89
Marinara (the organic is dairy-free)…………………………. 1.99
Salsa…………………………………………………………………………. 1.29
Refried beans (low-fat vegetarian)…………………………… 0.79
Garbanzo beans……………………………………………………….. 0.65
Tempeh…………………………………………………………………… 3.49
Vegetable broth……………………………………………………….. 1.89
Soy sauce (low-sodium)……………………………………………. 1.49
Organic maple syrup………………………………………………… 5.49
Mixed vegetables (frozen)………………………………………… 0.79
California blend vegetables (frozen)………………………….. 0.99
Peppermint tea (20 bags)…………………………………………. 3.59

Total for 1 week of minimally processed, easy, nourishing meals = $50.48

Try this for a week. Also, move your body for 30 minutes every day doing something you enjoy. Drink water or herbal tea, about 0.5 ounces for every pound of your ideal body weight. Get to sleep by 10 and wake up with the sunrise. If you don’t feel better after a few weeks, go back to eating the way you do now. What have you got to lose?

If you’re looking for accountability and personal training, I am open to take 1 new client at this time. It includes meal planning, weekly personal training sessions, daily accountability, availability by text/message and a massage 🙂 Click here to learn more. 

Why I Went Plant-Based and What I Eat In A Day

This past spring I went in for a checkup. It had been awhile. At the time, I was continuing to struggle with my weight despite regular exercise (typically 5 days per week) and eating what I thought was an incredibly healthy diet. I was puzzled. I had tried several “sugar detoxes” and would eat approximately 1200-1500 calories per day but my weight wouldn’t budge. I did have a bit of a binge on cheese, nuts or chocolate once or twice every week. I was also having breast pain every day. Driving over bumps in my car hurt.

The pain is what led me to a plant-based diet. While I awaited the barrage of tests to determine if the pain was cancerous, I read up on The Gerson Therapy and Chris Wark’s success with a plant-based diet in fighting cancer. In light of my only full-blooded sister dying at the age of 37 the year before, I figured I would do what I could in the realm of diet to try to be anti-cancer.

At my checkup, I learned that my cholesterol was stupidly high. It’s always been high-ish. This was something else. It’s kind of like when the scale doesn’t move but you’re within 5 pounds of ideal and lifting weights, versus being obese and seeing it clearly in a photograph. Obese is obese and it is unhealthy. Stupidly high cholesterol is the same.

With that, I embarked on a mostly plant-based diet. I still had eggs, cheese, and some meat until the end of April. Something about seeing human flesh at the cadaver lab I attended for massage therapy school killed my desire for meat entirely. I did try fish three times after that. I continued to eat nuts (and I know no moderation with them) as well as add oils to my food until probably mid-June.

So here we are in mid-August. 3 months roughly since I’ve had meat. More like 2 months for dairy and eggs.  I dropped 92 points in total cholesterol and 68 of those were LDL. My blood pressure and resting heart rate are picture perfect. My weight is down 15 pounds. My energy level is steady most days. My bowels are happy (hey,  I’m a nurse, I like talking about bodily functions) and most nights my sleep is good.

I was worried what all these evil carbohydrates were doing to my long-term blood sugar control. After all, I’m the one who invested $1200 in Primal Health Coach Certification recently! I was The Paleo Girl. Carbs = baaaad. Don’t eat too much fruit! Pasta?! Rice?! I thought they were horrible for you! I tried to keep my carbs under 75 grams per day.

It. wasn’t. working. I was diligent. The model paleo spokesperson. Except I was chunky and tired. I couldn’t lose a pound. And my lipid profile was in agreement that it was not working.

So, this time I retested my hemoglobin A1C which is a blood test that gives a good sense of average blood sugars over the last few months. On March 29th is was normal at 4.9 with a calculated average glucose of 94. Mid-August after eating a daily carb intake around 80%….. drum roll please….. 4.7. Estimated average 88. I feel like I’ve been wrong this whole time. Starches keep me full. Fruits are a great snack – super convenient!

Regarding proteins and people’s obsession with getting enough; did you know that the World Health Organization recommends 5-10%? Did you know plants provide that? And easily! I’m not wasting away here. I continue to gain strength and vitality in my 40’s.  I am competing in obstacle course and mountain bike races, having a great time and feeling good! Oh, and the breast pain is GONE. Completely. I do supplement iodine on a regular basis and the rest of my nutrients come from whole foods.

I don’t feel the least bit deprived. I eat a lot, actually, and most days my caloric intake is 1200-1700. I’m so full right now. I ate a lot today and came in under 1800 calories after a couple of indulgences 🙂

So, here’s a rundown of what I eat in a day when I’m working from home. My exercise regimen is pretty much running 1-3 miles each day and doing some form of bodyweight strength 2-3 times per week. I mountain bike sporadically for fun, paddle the kayak when I feel like it, and this week my strength training looks like power yoga.

Breakfast was cabbage, a few bell peppers and carrots roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. It was a huge bowl, with balsamic vinegar and Benson’s Table Tasty no-salt seasoning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I snacked on 2 pieces of sprouted grain rye sourdough, plain. It’s amazing how taste buds really change. The plain bread was quite delicious. I was working and didn’t have to put any thought into it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch was something I’ve been craving for days. Roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli (the broccoli was from an awesome local farmer!) with smoked paprika and granulated garlic. Plus a dash of hot sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not pictured was a very thick smoothie – more like ice cream – made from a splash of unsweetened soy milk, frozen banana, frozen dark cherries and a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Super refreshing and yummy! It’s such a treat.

Supper wasn’t the most beautiful dish I’ve made but so creamy and satisfying. It’s a recipe from Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking and it’s a creamy, low-fat pasta dish that really hits the spot. I absolutely love everything I’ve made from that cookbook. Low-fat, no-added-oils, vegan and delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two kitchen gadgets have made my life so much easier. Instant Pot Duo80 and a used Blendtec Total blender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An evening glass of dry red wine, 2-3 cups of coffee per day, spring water and green tea are my beverages. Life’s too short to give those up, in my opinion.

I did change my diet for health reasons, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge how much better my conscience feels on a plant-based diet. I personally see animals as sentient beings. I look at my snoring, loving dog next to me and I know she’s not made a whole lot different than a pig. Or a cow. I do have 3 ducks yet who reside in my back yard. They’re pampered pets and they do lay eggs. They are beautiful birds with personalities. You can say whatever you want, but I’m happy not to contribute the the inhumane conditions our nations livestock live in. I cry when I see the megafarms. It’s such a blatant disregard for God’s creation and it sickens me. I’m done supporting that. Further, I’m not a baby cow. The thought of an artificially-inseminated cow spending it’s short life indoors on a grate, calling out to it’s calf which has been taken from it and then when her milk production drops, she’s slaughtered…. I can’t. I’m done. It’s not healthy for anyone, and you’re kidding yourself if you think milk from any species isn’t a hormone-laden beverage. Of course it is! It’s made to grow a 60 pound calf to 600 pounds in short order, and the cow is the milk comes from is almost certainly pregnant again.

Also, my food budget is feeling much better. Starches, locally-grown veggies, some fruits, some foraging… I can afford to eat organic now and feel good about it!

In conclusion, my health has improved. My conscience is much more aligned with my spirit. My energy is good and those I come in contact with comment on how they can feel it. My clothes fit. My checking account is happier. My impact on the planet is less. I will check in on lipids again in November when I approach my 43rd birthday, but it looks like I’m heading in the right direction!

Thanks for reading!

 

What Is A Health Coach?

You may be wondering what a Health Coach is, exactly. Let me see if I can help clarify the value that comes along with hiring a Health Coach.

The words that come to mind are Teacher, Motivator, someone to hold your Vision of the healthiest version of you, and Accountability. In my case, it’s like hiring a Personal Trainer Plus!

Teaching is provided regarding diet, exercise, lifestyle and stress management.

Motivation is provided through creative new ideas that don’t resemble drudgery or deprivation (I’ve tried those several times and found them unsustainable!)

I will hold your highest Vision of your definition of healthy and remind you of it when you forget.

Accountability is what keeps you on track when you don’t want to be or you are struggling with a decision. It’s more of an “accountability training”, rather. First you are accountable to me via a quick daily check-in. If I don’t hear from you, I will be contacting you. It’s crucial to keep that communication open. I’m not here to judge; I’ve simply found that being accountable to someone else for my decisions makes it much more likely that they will be good ones. As time goes on, we take the training wheels off and you are accountable to yourself. For life.

As a Health Coach, we will discuss where you are NOW in your journey and define your GOALS. My job is to put on my detective hat and find the obstacles that stand in your way of reaching your goals. Through simple, actionable steps we will co-create a unique and specific plan just for you. No cookie-cutter menus and workouts here!

Once we’ve determined health coaching to be a good fit for you, I will establish a baseline of measurements and physical ability. You will have a plan for diet (no pills, powders, potions or Frankenfoods!), exercise (no gym required!) and stress management (who doesn’t need that?) for 4 weeks to start out with, and then we will repeat the initial tests to see how far you’ve come. In the Rhinelander, Wisconsin area, I will even come to you!

In between, we will have a daily check-in, weekly meetings to review exercise form and questions, and I am available to help you in your kitchen or your grocery store if that might benefit you.

So, how do you define healthy? Are you curious to see if a Health Coach might help you get there?

There are 9 more free Discovery Sessions available (1-1.5 hour consultation). If you want in, start by filling out this form: Pre-Enrollment Questionnaire

And book your Consultation here:

Schedule Appointment

Breast Health

June 2016, my sister died at 37 years of age from inflammatory breast cancer. It was an awful thing to watch progress until it finally overtook her. Now, she had several risk factors and our lifestyles were pretty much opposite. I had been experiencing some breast soreness for years, mostly around my period. It would subside with the onset and return a few weeks later. Because of this, I wasn’t too worried. In recent months, this has changed. The pain is less but continues and has gone from an ache to a bit more sharp, sometimes shooting and accompanied by itching. Ok, now it has my attention.

As of this writing, I had been working for 2 months on getting on my husband’s insurance. 2 weeks ago I was in pain and stressed out over it, so I went in for a thermography. Here are the results. In the breast, blues and greens are good. Of course under them will be red. There is some “suspicious activity” and now that I am insured (finally) I do have a checkup scheduled later this month. In the meantime, I will be proactive.

Sunday I will begin a cleanse/detox, utilizing some Gerson therapy and various breast health resources. Here’s my plan (shooting for a 3-week juice fast).

Nutrition: For breakfast, lunch and dinner I will be consuming juice. Carrots, celery, cucumber, apple, beet, lemon and ginger.  All organic, of course! I picked up my trusty Champion juicer for $50 on Facebook last summer. It’s a workhorse. Juicing floods the body with nutrients and is very easy to digest.  Along with juice, I will have herbal tea, spring water and my beloved organic, freshly roasted coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementation:
1. Greens powder
2. Berry powder
3. Herbal D-Tox
4. Wormwood blend
5. Soil-based probiotic
6. Iodine
7. Systemic enzymes
8. Vitamin C
9. Vitamin D
10. CBD oil
11. Frankincense oil topical and sublingual
12. Thyme oil topical and sublingual

 

Detoxification:
1. Daily coffee enemas with Bulletproof coffee – this is something I implemented last summer when I had an acute Lyme infection. I continued them generally once a week and I’m always amazed what a great pain reliever they are. Especially for my headaches! I set up a little sanctuary in my bathroom and listen to a 10 minute guided meditation while it works its magic. Coffee enemas are fantastic for upregulation of glutiathione, which is one of our body’s intrinsic detoxification pathways.
2. Epsom salt baths – probably 3x/week. Great way to get magnesium (and relaxation). A few drops of lavender essential oil in the water a fine addition.
3. Dry brushing for lymphatic health.

Long ago I ditched toxic skin care from my life with the exception of deodorant. I will continue to search for a natural option that works – don’t be afraid to tell me if what I’m doing isn’t working though! Ha!

Also, drinking out of plastic or styrofoam as well as “nuking” my food are things of the past. I wash my hair with baking soda, rinse with apple cider vinegar and essential oils, wash everything else with Dr. Bronner’s soap and use natural makeup.

 

 

 

Exercise:
For a few weeks, I will replace my obstacle course training with yoga, walking with trekking poles (move more lymph that way) and dance.  Movement is important! My intention is to do it in a gentle, joyous manner. Feeling revitalized is the goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s my start! I will journal and share as I go. If the pain turns out to be nothing of concern, I figure a few weeks worth of spring cleaning won’t hurt.  This is a fine time of year (still plenty of snow and cold) to take things a little easier, and while I juggle 15-hour days away from home I will do what I can. I will have to learn to say no to some things and keep my priorities in order.

Not pictured here: regular massages and hearty laughter 🙂

Any thoughts, suggestions, or encouragement? Post below!

Resources: The Gerson Therapy

http://www.drnorthrup.com/breast-cancer-keep-breasts-healthy-cancer-free/

Breast Cancer Alternatives Facebook Group

 

 

 

 

How to Travel Without Throwing Your Health Plan Out The Window!

trip food

Today I am packing for 5 days away from home including air travel, which I very rarely do. This is no reason for me to throw away good nutrition or exercise!

Each day I will seek out a large salad. No dressing required – just a pile of vegetables with some meat. I never have trouble finding something like that.

In my carry-on luggage I will have the following: Packets of tuna, Epic bars, beef jerky, olives, walnuts, macadamias, baby carrots and Granny Smith apples.

I will continue my yoga practice which is easily done in a hotel room. And, I’m bringing running shoes to get out for some brisk walk/jog action. It’s supposed to be in the mid-70’s outside during the day, and today in Rhinelander the windchill has us at -16 as of this writing. I am hoping to get out in a t-shirt and capris to soak up some sun! Willow would like to be in my carry-on as well. She has to stay home and help Steve take care of the kitties, though.