Sunday, April 29, 2012

Change Has to Start TODAY

I woke up this morning with ANOTHER cold. Although I’m certain I’ve had an ongoing cold since before Christmas. It just gets a bit weak, and the kicks back up. It had been that I just had a constant runny nose (clear thankfully, but still annoying) which came about after my pregnancies with the kids. I’ve always related it to changes that can happen to the body during/after pregnancy so it was just a new part of me. But, now I think it’s time for it all to go. The colds, the runny noses, they are not normal.

Last night the hubby’s parents took the kids overnight so hubby and I went to Davanni’s for dinner after dropping them off (YAY! He got off work just as I was getting to his parent’s house to drop them off; we ditched his car there ‘til we pick the kids up later today, and went on a dinner date!). We only get to Davanni’s once or twice a year, so we just ordered our ‘regular’ pizza: Medium, Deep Dish, Pineapple and Pepperoni, with Pink Sauce. Except that they made a traditional Hawaiian pizza (Canadian Bacon and Pineapple) so my hubby let them know and they ended up making a Solo size of what we originally ordered…just for me. I will eat about any pizza topping, but Canadian Bacon is the one that I don’t really care for. I COULD have eaten it (ok, so I did take the meat off and eat once slice while I waited for the other pizza to bake) but I figured that we don’t eat out much at all, so I should at least get what I really want. Right? What would you have done?

So I then proceeded to eat the whole solo pizza, plus the piece I ate while I waited. Oops. I was so full. Now I believe I may be paying for it with the return of this full blown cold.

I had been eating pretty well, especially after my juice fast a few weeks ago. More vegetables and fruit, less red meat, dairy, sugar, and baked goodies. Except I made a peanut butter cake this week, which was too good, especially with the Hershey’s Kisses I hid in the batter (wasn’t part of the recipe). The cake was low in sugar, but I never should have made it. The cake monster got me on Friday morning-I ate several pieces. At least I didn’t frost it! Then the pizza last night.

I’ve really been listening to  my body lately, and when I eat these things – it’s not happy. I can tell that I feel different, my energy level is different (low), and this cold gets worse.

I’ve been reading up on nutrition A LOT lately and getting some plans in order for my new eating lifestyle, but I’ve decided it can’t wait. I need to just go with what I can and incorporate new options as I discover them. Change has to start TODAY. And it will. I’m done splurging because it just makes me feel so icky, for lack of a better term. I have a kitchen full of healthy options and I need to stay away from the unhealthy ones (ex: snackies-my hubby is not ready to give it all up so I don’t feel I can just toss everything…yet). I normally have such great will power, but sometimes I just crave something sweet or salty lately, so I need to make a better snack choice and grab an apple or have a small salad. (I also need to stop baking cakes...)

And, I’ll be back to juicing this week (not fasting). My mom borrowed my juicer last week to do a juice fast (which worked out pretty well for her on her weight loss mission) but it’s back on my countertop now so I’m looking forward to making some new juice recipes with it. The extra nutrients it will provide will hopefully help to kick this cold to the curb sooner than later.

You’ll have to excuse me now while I go blend up a Blueberry Cantaloupe Greek Yogurt Flax Oatmeal Chia Seed smoothie for breakfast :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Follow Up to Breaking My Fast

After having a possible reaction to what I ate last Thursday after breaking my fast , I spent another couple days juicing, and mostly eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Then Saturday night I ate an egg. Everything was ok. Sunday morning I ate oatmeal made with milk. Everything was ok. Monday I ate something with flour/whole wheat flour. Everything was ok. So, I guess maybe it was just a coincidence that I had quite suddenly developed a cough and swollen/tight throat.

I am thankful that it doesn't seem to be any type of food allergy/sensitivity. But, I still plan to make some changes to how I have been eating, even though it does seem that I have been eating pretty decent - well...ok, except for the buffalo chicken dip incident from Sunday & Monday night...but making it was 50% my hubby's idea so it was a joint effort :-). This past week I have really been paying attention to my body and how I feel after eating certain things. I've noticed changes in my energy level, and basically how I feel overall.

I will continue to juice (although, maybe not every day) and will juice fast again, but as of now I don't have anything planned. First I want to continue reading and researching so I can decide what I want my "eating habits" to be. I do LOVE to cook/bake though, so I can't say that I will never eat anything that is not healthy for my body (unless my body decides it can't handle a certain item anymore at some point) but I will continue to  do the best I can to make sure that my family and I are eating the best we know how.

Speaking of which...time to make dinner. The kids want breakfast burritos...we have no tortillas so I found a recipe for whole wheat tortillas-my dough is ready to roll out, so we'll see how this goes!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Testing the Waters: Day 3 - Breaking the Juice Fast

Overall day 2 (Wednesday) went pretty well. Making dinner for my kids was the hardest part again because I made a homemade pizza crust, topped with leftover spaghetti sauce and cheese (the kids requested pizza); and it smelled SO good! I decided I was going to semi-break my fast with a smoothie recipe. Unfortunately the smoothie was AWFUL. I have decided that I will keep avocados in my guacamole or in my salads...I just did not like the taste of it in the smoothie with the other ingredients. I did manage to drink about 8oz of it, so I wasn't hungry anymore, kept drinking water, and decided I would officially break my fast in the morning with a delicious Gala apple that was in the fridge with my name on it.

My body had other plans. I had wondered if/when I would experience any of the effects of detoxing that I had read about, because I hadn't yet at that point. Around 3:30 Thursday morning they showed up. Thank goodness it was not a daycare day for me yesterday! I woke up having to pee, and felt a bit dry mouthed and nauseous. I drank some water and crawled back into bed...for about three minutes. Then I was up rushing to the bathroom to throw up. Of course my stomach was empty except for water and bile. I decided to grab my pillow and a book and campout on the couch, so I wouldn't disturb my hubby since he had to get up early for work. I read for a while and then experienced dry heaves. Then I decided I needed to eat so I cut up my apple, grabbed another glass of water and peacefully read my book. I slowly ate about half of my apple and was feeling ok, for a while. Then I was back to what I thought would be throwing up again - except it turned out to be just dry heaves. I was shocked that my apple stayed down; could my stomach really have digested it that quickly?? After that I fell asleep reading, woke up, ate the rest of my apples, fell asleep again, then woke up shortly before the kids got up.

After I fed the kids breakfast, I treated myself to a banana and peanut butter. The nausea had passed, so I was feeling pretty good - just a bit tired from being up so early. I kept the water flowing, took a hot shower hoping to sweat toxins out, and had a light lunch of spinach and sliced cucumbers with a bit of natural dressing. By afternoon I was hungry again, so I took a break from playing with the kids and pulled out some frozen black beans (I cook dry beans then freeze them), red peppers, garlic, and vegetable pulp saved from juicing. I simmered it up and had a nice soup.

Soon it was dinner time. My daughter wanted my Almond Cinnamon pancakes (a recipe I made up...that I should post) so I decided to make those (although I didn't plan to eat any), eggs, and smoothies. The pancake recipe was altered a bit when my son accidentally tipped the bowl before I had added my dry ingredients. Oops! So I guesstimated on my measurements based on what was left in the bowl (too much left to just start over). After I made a couple griddles worth I made the mistake of trying one. I haven't been eating many bread/baked items lately so I thought I'd just try a little one to make sure they were ok ...within about five minutes I had developed a cough, and my throat was feeling a bit swollen/tight. I proceeded with dinner, and decided not to eat any more pancakes. Turns out nobody else wanted eggs, so I fried one up for myself in a little grapeseed oil, with a bit of black pepper on top. The smoothie was strawberries, bananas, coconut, and soymilk. I didn't want to eat anything too 'heavy', but I wanted some protein to get me through the night. And, the smoothie was quite a treat after the previous nights recipe fail!

My hubby got the kids ready for bed while I went for a nice 20 minute bike ride, and then I read for a bit and then went to bed early.

This morning my cough is horrible, and somewhat "productive", and my throat is still tight. It had to be something from the pancakes because I was feeling pretty good before I ate one last night. Now that I KNOW this, I know that I need to be more careful when reintroducing foods after a fast. I had planned to just stick with fruits/veggies/and the egg for the day (no dairy or grains)...but I made a mistake which turned out to be a good thing because now I know that one of those ingredients does not agree with me and is causing this reaction. Now I just need to figure it out. Was it the milk? almonds? whole wheat flour? egg (in which case I could have doubled my trouble by eating a whole egg separately)? cinnamon? sugar? leavening agents?

I feel like I should fast again because I need to clear out whatever is upsetting my body! Today I plan to stick to fruits and vegetables, fresh juice, and lots of water. I will juice fast tomorrow if I need to. Once I am free from this reaction, then I will introduce those ingredients one at a time to figure this out. I am guessing it is the milk or wheat. Has anyone else that has juice fasted experienced something similar?

Overall, this has been a good 'experiment' so far, and I plan to juice fast occasionally and make it a regular part of my life. Back to my day already in progress, full of activity!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Testing the Waters: One Day Juice Fast (turned into TWO)

I suppose I should start out by explaining a new "adventure" I am taking on: Juicing! A "school days" friend of mine on Facebook had posted about beginning another juice fast, and I became interested in it. I contacted her to ask about it, and then I picked up a couple books from the library. I read "Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life" by Cherie Calbom, and I was hooked. (I've also started reading another of her books.) I started researching juicers. After a couple weeks I narrowed it down to a couple, then finally made up my mind. I went with the same brand that my FB friend has and suggested, but went with a very similar, but different model. The Omega 8004 Nutrition Center Juicer is my new 'toy'.

This past Friday the kiddos and I went to Costco for our regular fruits/veggies/milk/soymilk but I also picked up huge bags of carrots, spinach, and kale. I also hit up our local co-op for some other organic veggies that I didn't want to buy in bulk, and a few apples (I don't use much fruit for juicing) just because we love to eat them.

I juiced a few times over the weekend to test it out and prepare for my juice fast. I've tried several combinations now and the first glass was "interesting". It wasn't bad, it was just different. By the second time I had acquired a taste for it, and now I am really enjoying it. My husband was hesitant to try some the other night, he gave it the look, but then after he tried it-he thought it was good! I am working on acquiring a taste for juiced kale, which is something new to me anyways. I tried it just raw and wow does it pack a lot of flavor! I will be looking for some other recipes to use it up, but will continue to juice it a bit.

The plan was to do a one day juice fast a couple of times in the next few weeks, and then work my way up to a 3 day juice fast. I then would like to work on the colon cleanse, kidney cleanse, etc...

I do have to point out that the main purpose/goal of my adventure is to feel better overall, physically and mentally, and to increase my energy level, all as part of my healing from depression (I will still post later this week about where I am at with this). I am not looking to do this as a way to lose weight, although I think juicing would really benefit those looking to do so. I have a crazy high metabolism due to a genetic syndrome that I have (Nail Patella Syndrome-don't worry, there will be a future post about what that is) so I have actually always had a hard time gaining weight (yes folks, things work both ways-being skinny w/a high metabolism is just as challenging/troubling as I imagine being overweight is). Because of this, I will be careful to make sure I'm not losing much weight-since that is not my purpose, although I do realize that I can't avoid it all together.

Yesterday I didn't have my daycare kids, and there was no school for the kids (conference week) so it seemed like a good day to start. Monday night I made a big batch of juice to have ready for breakfast/snack. In addition to the juice, I am also drinking about 2 1/2 quarts of water each day (which is about 10-eight ounce glasses). The day started out well, and the water in between the juice helped to keep me feeling full. There were times that I did feel hungry, but I tried to space out the juice so I could drink it when I was feeling hungry. I think I peed a couple dozen times at least, throughout the day.

I kept really busy yesterday; I don't know if it was increased energy from the juice :-) or trying to distract myself from the fact that I wasn't eating solid food (I LOVE to eat...). I managed to rearrange and reorganize the upstairs living room, which is our play/reading/activity area. I also rearranged and organized my son's room, and organized my daughter's room. I now have a trunk/car full of items for the garage sale that my mom and I are having at her house in a few weeks.

The hardest part of the day was making dinner for my family. I made homemade spaghetti sauce and it smelled SO GOOD. I know my husband would have taken care of dinner for me, but he was doing some work in the garage, and helping out with a few other things, so I decided to get it made up. I kept organizing while they ate, and then had my juice later.

We often times snack after the kids go to bed (usually chips/salsa, or banana/peanut butter for me) so it was a bit of a challenge after my last glass of juice for the day because the water could only keep me so full. I kept busy by reading a novel that has been pretty good so far, and then went to bed a little earlier than usual.

I woke up this morning feeling good, no hunger pains, and feeling refreshed (unlike how I usually feel) so I decided to go for another day... I have daycare kids today so after I got everybody set up with their breakfast (homemade waffles...smelled so good, with apples and milk) I got my juicer fired up. Lunch will be challenging (leftovers from dinner last night) but I think I will manage. I have juice ready to go for my lunch, so I can drink it while they eat, then I'll juice again in the afternoon while the kids nap. I may eat a light dinner to break my fast tonight, or I may finish out the day and break it in the morning. I haven't decided yet - we'll see how I am feeling tonight...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Unfinished Posts...

In January and February I began writing posts that have been hiding as Drafts, for various reasons. Lack of time or motivation to finish them; knowing that things are a bit different now so uncertain if I should even put it out there; thinking maybe things would get 'better' soon and then I wouldn't feel the need to write further posts about it; fear that someone might want to talk about it

Excuses, excuses...I think excuses (in this sense of the word) may just be things we make up to make ourselves feel better about not doing something that we know we should do. And excuses are not an excuse to put things off.

While I am a busy mom/childcare provider/housekeeper/chef, lack of time is no excuse. I do have time here and there. Lack of motivation...while this seems more reasonable, I really did feel motivated to finish them-in my mind anyways: it was just the actual typing thing that didn't work out. Things are getting better, slowly, but it is still a work in progress; thus, I still feel like I will have a lot to say-some on here, and some in my journal that requires ink, although I am not planning to type those to post here. And while I fear that someone may want to actually talk about anything I've written (because sometimes I feel that this is my own battle to be fought on my own) deep down I know that isolating myself is not the answer. Luckily I have a very patient and understanding husband who has been very supportive of me, so I never feel completely alone in this.

Overall I feel that these unfinished posts will be the backbone of future writings, so I've decided to go ahead and post them here. They are maybe not as complete as I would like them; I'm sure I had more to say and such, but I'm tired of thinking about the Drafts hiding in my list. The longer I have waited to post them, the more that has changed so it's time to just get these out there and start fresh with where I am now. I will do my best to post where I am now, in the next week or so. I am taking on a new "adventure" soon and would like to begin writing about it, so I can do update posts. AND, I still haven't posted Part 3 of A Life Worth Living, so it's going to be short, sweet, and to the point (hopefully) so I can clear it out and get on with things :-)  Here we go:

January 25, 2012
Out With It

I've recently discovered realized admitted that I have been suffering from depression for several years. It has had a big effect on my day to day life, including how I handle situations with the kids to the relationship with my husband. It is a horrible thing, and from the outside it may not seem very apparent, but inside is where it hurts. Inside is where I can hide it away to try to make people think that I am ok. Inside is where it should not be.

It seems that it may have started as postpartum depression, but I believe I may have had a mild case of depression for many years before my children were born. Maybe it wouldn't have even been classified as depression, but more so the ups and downs of the "average" persons life (whatever average is...but I'll use that term here anyways). Then add the shock of becoming a new mother...and it twists and turns things to a whole new level. I started this post several days ago, and while thinking about how to write what I wanted to say next, I realized that this didn't start as postpartum depression, and I didn't have a mild case of depression before having children. I had a really bad case of depression. How could I have forgotten about those terribly awful THREE YEARS I suffered through before I got pregnant? Wow, what the mind can do. Part of me has chosen to forget about those years, but deep down I still remember it. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I had mild depression BEFORE those three years of he!!.

I guess I can't continue without briefly talking about those three years, and what brought me down (I really don't want to "relive" in my mind all that I went through).

In the fall of 2003 I began to have some pain in my heel. Over time (and many doctors) it led to knee pain, finger pain, both heels being in pain, big toe pain, etc... I felt like pain had taken over my body, and no doctor could really tell me what was wrong. I was made custom orthotics for my shoes, braces to wear on my feet at night, walking boots, you name it-I had it/tried it. I had a DEXA scan and learned that I had osteopenia (the beginning stage of osteoporosis, but explained nothing about my pain), and I even had a doctor diagnose me with Psoriatic Arthritis in 2005. One of the (several) medications he wanted to put me on (Methotrexate) was known to be used as a means of medicinal abortion. I could NOT put that in my body knowing I wanted to have children just didn't seem right.

After losing trust in traditional medicine, I decided to take the alternative medicine approach, and to start - seek out a chiropractor. After searching, I found a place in my hometown (far from my current home, but was close to where I was working at the time) that seemed really great. Even though my insurance didn't cover this particular clinic, I just had a feeling that they could help. Everyone there was so helpful, friendly, and it felt like home. Dr. Jay Bertsch (from Team Health Care Clinic) is one of my heroes. He performed chiropractic work, and I also received massage and STIM treatments. It helped a bit, but the thing that really changed my life was NAET (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique), which Dr. Jay recommended. It was expensive, but I decided that anything that could possibly conquer this pain would be worth every penny, and it WAS. I won't go into describing the method here because my "brief" explanation has turned lengthy already. I will just say that I will forever be grateful for Dr. Jay because he gave me my life back, and although I am still dealing with depression in other ways/for other reasons, I am doing it pain free. And that makes such a WORLD of difference. I became pregnant shortly after completing the NAET treatments, found some GREAT shoes (and learned the importance of buying good shoes, at any cost) and have not had any of these pains since!

I can envision the life I want to be leading. Not in the long run, and not even in the short run, just in general. Simple things that shouldn't even be a big deal, but I am just lacking the motivation to do them. I somehow manage to keep my business running (which means keeping a tidy house), keep our tummies full and have clean clothes on our backs, but there is so much more I want to do.

February 17, 2012
Suffering VS Fighting

I was suffering from depression for A.LONG.TIME. But I am no longer suffering, I am now FIGHTING!

The difference between the two is amazing. For too long I gave in to what I didn't even know was happening to me - a downward spiral of my life=depression. It was only a few weeks ago that I realized what was "wrong" with me. It was the best realization I had had in a long time. Not only did it put a name to what I was going through, it gave me a starting point to figure out how to get better, to heal, to feel like there is more to life than what I had been living. I still need to set some type of goal though, so I know that I am on the right path to recovering from this long, silent road I have been on, but that will come. Can happiness be a goal? How is that measured? Does it need to be measured? Maybe as I read about depression, and how to fight it, I will find ways to change little by little and the happiness will just come naturally.

To go on I need to fight, I need to learn, I need to take action and LIVE life.