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Category Archives: motivation

Fueling Your Body, Nourishing Your Soul

Greetings, Lovelies. It’s been a while. And, honestly, it’s because I’ve been in a funk. A whirlwind of family activities, new responsibilities, last semester of grad school work, learning to navigate a newly-escalated and life-threatening allergy, getting involved with allergy-specific legislation, and the drudgeries of the daily grind have caused me to do the one thing I hate to admit: I stopped taking care of myself.

It wasn’t pretty. And not just because my pants were getting tight.

I was moody, irritable, short on patience, bloated, crabby because I was bloated, stressed, unhappy, and out of control. I abandoned all my good nutritional habits for convenience (I shudder admitting this), and I quickly set myself back at square one. All of the huge improvements that I’d experienced over the past years shrank into memory, and my PCOS symptoms returned stronger than I remembered.

The important part of this post, however, is that I am not dwelling on my lapse of self-care. Instead, I want to share with you how I’ve started taking it seriously again–for the benefit of EVERY human I come in contact with, especially the ones with whom I share a home (LOVE you, my family!)

First, I reread Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity. I knew that getting my body back into nutritional ketosis was the first step to healing my ailments. If you aren’t familiar with Jimmy Moore and you want to know more about low-carb living or keto, please visit his blog: Living La Vida Low Carb.

Next, I prepared: shopped for the right foods, made a plan, etc. etc.

So far, so good. I’m terrific at reading, researching, listing, planning, and prepping.

The hard part for me is getting motivated, sparking that fire and then carefully and consistently tending it, making sure that I am devoted enough to myself to do the hard work ahead. I’m not good at committing to myself. (I couldn’t even get through a 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge at my local yoga studio because I put the needs of others ahead of my own). I’m much better at making sure the people I love are taken care of and shuttled where they need to go, and I prefer to make sure that colleagues and friends have the support that I can offer them before I worry about me. So, despite the fact that I hadn’t had a period in over four months, the notion that I needed to do this for myself, for my own health, wasn’t really lighting my motivational fires.

And then came the most soul-nourishing message from my kids: I can’t be a fun, easy-going mom, ready to go on any number of new adventures at a moment’s notice if I am not taking care of myself. I can’t help them feel their best if I am crabby and impatient because I am not feeling my best. I can’t expect them to practice healthy habits if I am not practicing them myself.

I like being a fun mom. I like adventuring with my kiddos. I like exploring this world with them in a hands-on kind of way. I like getting messy, sweaty, muddy, full of life’s experiences.
I started keto with full motivation on March 2nd.

For someone like me, who has struggled her entire adult life with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the state of nutritional ketosis is an oasis in an otherwise deadly desert.

Day #2 of snowboarding fun!

By March 5th and 6th I felt so fantastic that the kids and I went snowboarding two days in a row! My sugar was fully stabilized. My energy levels were high, and the fog that had clouded my brain for the past few months lifted. The sense of freedom I experience in nutritional ketosis is astounding, and, even better, it allows me to be the fun, active, and engaged parent I strive to be.

By March 11th, after dropping a little over sixteen pounds, my body naturally regulated my cycle. I did not need a medical intervention to induce a period. I’m waking up BEFORE my alarm clock. I do not NEED coffee. In fact, I haven’t had any since February. My coffee pot isn’t even on my counter any longer–it’s in the basement on my shelf of forgotten kitchen gadgets. My skin is now clear, and I know that within a couple of months my weight will naturally settle into the range where I feel strong and healthy–all because I am properly fueling my body and actively nourishing my soul.

I know there will be peaks and valleys along the way. I anticipate the fear-mongering comments I will surely be receiving about my cholesterol levels and the impracticality of eschewing all grains. But, for this journey–MY journey–all that matters is that I finally have what I need to see it through.

All my best to you, Lovelies!

Whole 30 Challenge, Road Trip & Party Survival Guide

Lovelies! How are you all this morning?

On Day #10, I am soaring–yes soaring!–on the feel-goodness of this plan! I’d try to describe how wonderful I feel, but I’d rather just encourage you to find out for yourselves. Nothing is as effective and motivating as first-hand experience.

For those of you already Whole-30ing along to Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole 30 program, a word of motivation: Do it.

Don’t sort-of-kind-of-ooops-I-had-a-cookie-or-two do it.

Do it as it is written.

There is absolutely no gray area to dabble in. Like the Hartwig’s point out, every bite, every nibble of inflammatory foods puts you back at square one of the healing cycle. It’s commendable you’re putting in the effort, now reward yourself with commitment and follow-through for thirty days. It’s just thirty days. Thirty days that have the potential to be life-changing if you put in the effort. Your one-and-only body will thank you. And, when in doubt, listen to the wise advice of Master Yoda:

Pretty simple when you think about it, right? Either you do it. Or, you don’t. I’d do it if I were you!!!!

So, while I truly believe that the mental clarity and feel-good-body results alone are more than enough to promote the Whole 30 program, the physical body-composition results are equally impressive. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some weight to drop, but in just ten days, do you know what’s happened?

Let me explain…

On Day #1 I put on a pair of jeans that barely zipped and buttoned (A full size smaller than what I wore in January, but still, NOT pretty!). On Day #5 I put on the same pair of jeans without any struggle (or unsexy overhang–yay! Be gone, overhang!) Yesterday, even fresh out of the washer–even with it being “that time of the month”–those jeans had a little room in the waist and hips. Today, I. CAN. FEEL. MY. HIP. BONES. Holy moly! I can’t believe I have them! They’ve been buried as deep as Atlantis for the majority of my adult life, especially post-kiddos. So deep, in fact, that I think I believed they, too, were mere myths or legends. Not so! They do exist! Sure it’s going to take a little more work in the gym to see the ultimate results that I want, but the careful attention I’m giving to my food sure is paying off! Hip bones, by golly!

This is where I say: If I can do it, you ABSOLUTELY can do it! No fuss about busy schedules or liking milk too much to give it up. (Lovelies, you are NOT baby cows who need fattening!). I don’t believe any of it. Not one little syllable. You are exactly as capable of doing this as you believe yourselves to be. When you are committed, nothing can derail you–not even a 1,200 mile road trip to party with family! (Yes, I’m really doing that–in just a few short hours, in fact).

How am I going to survive 600 miles each way, plus two days filled with food, family, and fun? I will be packing my own eats and politely asking for the support (not sabotage) that I need. No questions about it. Black, white, not a shade of gray. Most of my family knows my plan and my goals–the rest will soon find out. I will not indulge in birthday cake, grainy-carby-finger foods, or sugary-dairy-creamy-debauchery of any kind. And, lest you think I’m a party-pooper, I say this: How can I enjoy the party if I am feeling less than my best?

Now that I know what my true “best” feels like, temptation is an abstract idea that affects others. NOT me. It is liberating!

Want to find out what your “best” feels like first hand? Here’s your three-step get-started plan:

  1. Go to the Hartwig’s website. (Click here if you haven’t saved it from previous posts!)
  2. Print out the four pages of the Whole 30 program.
  3. Start. Now.

I believe in you! Keep us posted on your progress!

Whole 30 Challenge, Days #4-7

And just like that a week is over! Phew! What a whirlwind of feel-goodness! All I can say to anyone who is wondering about a Whole 30 is to just take the leap already! In only one short week, my skin and eyes are clearer; my often difficult female cycle continues to run like clockwork (and is accompanied by STABLE–dare I say pleasant?–moods); and I can feel energy humming through my body! No sugar cravings nip at me; hunger pangs are a distant memory; and my sleep is both deep and refreshing. Oh. Yeah.

This is no longer a Whole 30 for me. I want this feeling of health and well-being to be my Whole Forever.

Here are the links to the book I am using as a guide, as well as the website that accompanies it! Both are fantastic resources to guide you on your own Whole 30 & beyond!

Click the book to learn how to get a copy of your own! And, don’t forget to explore the entire website while you’re there! The Whole 30 Program is outlined for you FREE online thanks to the amazing authors who truly have your health’s best interests at heart!

Whole 30 Challenge, Day #3

You, Lovelies, are smart, sophisticated, and completely aware of what my Whole 30 day looks like at this point. No need to detail my every move. However, today I want to tell you about a few of the hurdles I’ve hopped the past couple days and will face in the next week. After all, living well means remaining committed to your goals, even when temptations arise and situations are less than perfect.

 

First, even though I meal plan my heart out, there are circumstances that are sometimes beyond my control. Example: Day #1 had me planning on making a rump roast. No such luck. You see, my dad was bringing me the roast and he forgot to thaw it! A frozen roast at 3 PM does not make a very good dinner, so we found ourselves at our local pizzeria. Luckily, Mr. Pizza Man (our local pizza chef) has a very accommodating menu. Lovely grilled shrimp, fresh lettuce, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, green olives, and an olive oil & vinegar dressing made a delicious substitute. While the rest of my family indulged a bit, I kept my focus on my goals. Crisis (and cheese-filled dough) avoided.

 

Second, despite putting workouts on the calendar, sometimes my body knows best. Nearly falling flat on my face after getting out of bed this morning due to overly-tight calf muscles means one thing: Insanity waits until tomorrow. I need a recoup day. Lots of water, lots of stretching, lots of massage. Does this mean my fitness goals are doomed? Not one bit. In fact, I’ll hopefully be stronger for the extra day of rest, and I’ll prevent future injury by avoiding working out on already taxed muscles.

 

Third, I am traveling next week. Over 1,200 miles to be exact! My gorgeous niece is turning one, and we are going to party with her all the way in Tennessee! And, yes, my Whole 30 Challenge Goals are coming with me! While the emotional urges to indulge with friends and family will certainly be present (as will all my worst saboteurs), my focus will remain on why I am on this journey in the first place. I am working toward MY health, wellness, and fitness. Therefore, the only influence on my behavior will be ME. And, my sister has my back, I’m sure!

 

Journey on, Lovelies! Hope to hear about your own successes!

Whole 30 Challenge, Day #2

Looks a lot like Day #1 here on Klien Street!

  • Wake up w/o alarm 🙂 Such a great feeling! 7:30 AM
  • Meditation, Day #4
  • Laughed, sang, and danced with the kiddos & got them off to school
  • Black Coffee
  • Insanity: Cardio Power and Resistance
  • Breakfast–Greens & Eggs & a blood orange
  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. (And this means stairs today, Lovelies. Running laundry up and down…)
  • Lunch–Grilled shrimp over baby romaine, cukes, tomatoes, citrus vinegar dressing.
  • More cleaning and obsessive mailbox checking (I’m expecting BIG news!!!)
  • Pick up kiddos with a healthy snack and shuffle my #1 gal off to the eye doctor. (I’m packing nuts and an apple-pear)
  • Kiddo exchange with the hubby who will take them to karate while I make dinner. (Last night’s roast beef was not defrosted enough to make, so we substituted and will be eating it tonight!)

Hope you are all having a great week! The weekend is in sight!

Whole 30 Challenge, Day #1

Good morning! Actually, it’s a spectacular, wonderful, gorgeous, awesome morning!

Why? Because my black coffee has been brewed.

The kiddos have been brought to school.

And, my 30-day journey has officially begun!

Here’s what today looks like, just in case you want to journey with me!

  • Wake-up without alarm at 7:20 AM. (In an attempt to better regulate my sleeping habits, I’m going to bed earlier and letting myself wake-up naturally. No worries, though. The absolute LATEST time we can wake up and get going is plugged into my alarm clock, just in case!)
  • Stretch, listen to Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, Day #3. (It’s not too late to sign-up here).
  • Get kiddos to school, enjoy black coffee (I brewed a blonde roast today), & finish posting today’s schedule!
  • 9:30 AM–Insanity, Day #2–I fit tested yesterday.
  • Breakfast–2 eggs, scrambled. Sautéed baby kale.
  • Work, work, workity-work
  • Lunch–Mediterranean grilled white fish over baby romaine greens, grape tomatoes, cukes, and a lemon-olive oil dressing. Asian apple-pear.
  • Clean our downstairs for company this weekend (Yay! Pub Trivia and bonus family).
  • Pick-up kiddos and make our afterschool snacks–fruit smoothies with almond milk for them, sautéed greens and fresh fish for me.
  • Run cave gal to piano lessons. Walk for 30 min with mini cave man.
  • Cook dinner for the whole family–Roast Beef for them with roasted carrots and potatoes (white sweet) and green beans. Fresh fish with sautéed greens and roasted carrots for me.
  • Water, water, water, water…all day long. Add squeezes of lemon here and slices of cucumber there. Ahhhh…spa water.
  • And then, bed. Sweet, sweet, sleep. Don’t skimp!

**If you couldn’t tell, I have a quantity of fresh fish that I need to use. Normally, I’d vary my protein sources a bit more, but, you have to work within your budget and your food’s longevity. No waste!

Please share your own journeys with us! We’ll be your biggest fans!

The Good, The Challenges, and Opportunities for Awesomeness…

It’s that time, Lovelies.

The time where I need to re-evaluate my goals and the methods I’m employing to achieve them.

So, here’s my mid-March review:

Goal #1: 100% Paleo Eats, 80% of the time

The Good: I need to follow a Paleo diet. Not as a fad. Not for the here and now. Not because a friend of a friend is passionate about it. I believe in Paleo because the more attentive I am to feeding my body well, the better I feel, so this is definitely an area about which I will continue to be vigilant.

The Challenge: I notice that my percentages have fallen into the 100% Paleo, 60% of the time range, and my body is feeling the slip. Cramps, bloating, yuck, yuck, and yuck. I definitely need to tighten-up my “too free” with dairy tendency, as I know that this is the source of my dietary angst.

Opportunity for Awesomeness: Tomorrow I begin a Whole 30 Challenge. For 30 entire days (and quite possibly beyond!) I will make nourishing my body a priority by following the guidelines set forth here.

Goal #2: Moving, Shaking, & Faking

The Good: I have been active. I’ve been running in preparation for the Color Me Rad 5k with my awesome little cave gal, and I’ve been busy walking, playing, and stretching. I love activity, and I know that activity loves me back. So, it’s time to step-it-up!

The Challenge: I could be doing so much more! There is time in my schedule that I could be utilizing in a better fashion, and I am not. Shame on me. The gym not yet being open (April 1 is the new opening date–moved from Jan. 1, to Feb. 1, to March 1) is NOT an excuse for complacency.

Opportunity for Awesomeness: Insanity. Yes, you read that right. Shaun T.’s Insanity. I start tomorrow. If I never post again, you’ll know why…. Oh, by the way, check out what Insanity did for my friend Josh here!

Goal #3: Clarity

The Good: I have so many opportunities in front of me this year, and I am the type of person that fully submerges myself. I research, study, and then tackle things head-on. I thrive on learning and experiencing new things, so my mind is in total feast mode these days.

The Challenge: I have so many opportunities in front of me this year, and I am the type of person that fully submerges myself. I research, study, and then tackles things head-on. I burn myself out; however, when I burn-out, it isn’t my work or family or obligations that suffer. It is my head-space that approaches melt-down.

Opportunity for Awesomeness: I completed Day Two of Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge today. Participating in this Meditation Challenge is a segue into meditating daily, a practice that has more benefits than I can go into right now. (But, keep your eyes open for some future blogs!) Interested? Join here!

March may be famous for going out like a lamb, but  I can tell you that this Leo doesn’t see it going that way this year!

Join me for any or ALL of these Opportunities!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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