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Flexibility of Body & Mind

 

Lovelies, I am taking a moment to celebrate the good: Every single member of my four-person family exercised yesterday! WoooooHooooo!

Hubby and I  had it all planned out: I’d have a delicious dinner prepared for when he arrived home from work, and then, after dinner, we’d all hop in the car and head to the gym so Hubby could work out, I could take a new yoga class, and the kiddos could hang at the kids’ club. Beautiful. When we’d signed up for the gym back in January, the kids’ club was part of my membership, and we thought that since we hadn’t used it yet, tonight would be a great night to do so.

Not so much.

Dinner was divine! Everyday Paleo’s Ground Pork and Apple Sliders [YUM!], roasted broccoli, cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes, and organic applesauce did not disappoint! Dishes were carried happily to the kitchen, gym-time entertainment was packed without squabbling. We even had time to run a quick errand together before class time. We should have known that the evening was about to nosedive.

Here’s the kicker: Though my membership includes access to the kids’ club, I still have to pay $4 for the first child and $2 for the second in order to use the childcare service! Sure, $6 isn’t a big deal, but still…

Anyway, to be brief, neither hubby nor I had our wallets with us, and instead of being cranky, we chose to be flexible.

I, not wanting to derail Hubby’s excellent exercise routine, took the kids home. We moved some furniture around, rolled-out yoga mats, and did a round of Spartacus (my most favorite workout EVER) followed by Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. Afterwards, we piled back in the car to pick up Hubby from the gym. We laughed. We talked. We planned new fitness goals and adventures.

Had I wanted a zen-like yoga class with soft lights, gentle music, and a soothing guru gently guiding me toward a relaxed and thoroughly stretched state of being? Abso-freaking-lutely. I cannot express how much that was all I wanted.

But, by being flexible and in the moment, what I got was far better 🙂

 

Keep yourselves open to what life might bring to you today, Lovelies!

Paleo Plans: Birthday Gift #2

I admire people who are willing to research and explore this world, reach a conclusion based on their experiences and learning, and then faithfully hold that unique, fact-based perspective even as the popular opinion clings to outdated science, sentimental tradition, and the status quo.

I am doing my best to raise my children so that they may each become that kind of person.

The two greatest accomplishments of my 34 years
& the reasons I continue to pursue the healthiest lifestyle possible.

 

I won’t lie. It’s not always easy. I need guides. I need muses. I need information. Luckily, there is no shortage of any of these in the Paleo community.

 

One such guide is Dave Asprey. Even though he is not officially affiliated with “Paleo,” he is, in my belief,  a primal living guru. He views himself as a biohacker and has spent considerable time and money figuring out with the world’s leading scientists and researchers what is best for the human body. His website is vast and detailed, and you can check out exactly what it means to be Bulletproof at The Bulletproof Executive.

I was initially a huge fan of Mr. Asprey’s because he helped his wife overcome PCOS with his “Upgraded” diet, which he details in his Upgraded Chef Cookbook.

What continues to interest me about Mr. Asprey is his “Bulletproof Coffee” recipe.

I LOVE coffee. To a fault. As in it could be the only thing I drink. So, in learning about the benefits of Bulletproof Coffee, I decided to gift myself the Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Kit and give it a try.

My kit should arrive today, which means tomorrow morning is going to be Bulletproof. I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

All my best for a terrific Tuesday, Lovelies!

 

 

Paleo Plans: Birthday Gift #1

Traditional Birthday Celebration:
Musikfest Concert with my #1!
Hello, thirty-four!

Today, Lovelies, is my birthday, which, for me, immediately means a day of introspection and reflection, because, after all, the one thing I fear in this life is stagnation. There’s always room to grow and stretch and learn new things. I don’t believe in coasting.

Nothing is especially spectacular about turning thirty-four. And, honestly, so much has gone wrong in my Paleo world lately that  I am not feeling like the best thirty-four-year-old wife, mother, teacher, friend, sister that I can be. So, it is my birthday goal to make this year THE year. You know, the one where I finally get it all right.

 

Click to preview on Amazon!

 

In order to help me along my way back to the Paleo path, I’ve purchased the book to the right. Sarah Fragoso’s newest cookbook is one of two gifts to myself this year. If you haven’t read her previous work or checked out her blog Everyday Paleo, do so now! She is my personal hero–and I do not say that lightly.

If anyone can inspire me out of my funk, it’s this amazing woman! I plan on reviewing many of her recipes and sharing every small success with you along the way!

 

 

 

And, now, to begin my birthday the right way, I’m off to enjoy Sarah’s Italian Eggs!

Don’t they look divine?

 

Here’s to you, Lovelies! I hope you are all finding success on your own Paleo journeys! And, I will be back here to see you all tomorrow–THE year, remember?

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!

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!

A New Year: Two Weeks In…

Happy New Year, Lovelies!

Yes, I know it’s now two weeks into a new year; so, let’s not waste anymore time! Here’s what’s been going on in the Klien Street Cave….

Thanksgiving landed me in the ER. Twice. With the holiday’s heavy carbohydrate load–mashed potatoes, biscuits, stuffing, pie crusts, etc.–and my POOR food choices, my insulin resistance had a heyday, and my ovaries blossomed with debilitating cysts. I couldn’t find comfort standing, walking, sitting, sleeping, NOTHING. In fact, the pain and nausea got so bad, my little family of four had to leave a post-Thanksgiving celebration in order to bring me to the hospital where, overwhelmed with extreme pain, I started vomiting and wound-up on anti-nausea medication, an IV drip, and morphine before undergoing both a transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound, accumulating over 700+ pictures of my internal lady parts. Lovely, I know.

I was sent home on Vicodin to deal with the pain of an ovary that was swollen to four times its normal size with cysts until I could follow-up with my OBGYN practice. I went to see a new doctor (the only one with an appointment available) at that practice the very next day. After spending about five minutes with me (and that included an internal and an examination of my ultrasound pics), he told me that PCOS doesn’t cause painful cysts and that I should follow-up with my PC physician, who didn’t have an appointment until the next day.

That night, the pain became so severe that I wound up back in the ER, back on an IV drip, back on anti-nausea medication, and back on morphine. This pattern was not one that I wanted to keep repeating. Even though I had worked so hard at keeping my diet clean and Paleo-focused up to Thanksgiving, I had lost control of my diet over the holiday, and my body was making sure that I knew what a mistake I had made–in quite the memorable fashion.

My PC doctor confirmed what I already knew: my pain was caused by the cysts on my ovaries. She put me on Metformin to help my body better regulate my insulin response, and she fully supported the idea that I should follow the Paleo way of eating as closely as possible–advice that, you can believe, I took to my very disappointed-in-myself heart.

Christmas came and went, and for ONE day only I allowed myself a few little treats with no relapse into my painful cystic state, but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my health, because, even with a Paleo-focused diet and Metformin, the extra weight I’d accumulated wasn’t budging. Not one little bit. Gross. I hated the way I felt. I’ve never been thin–I don’t aspire to be, either. I’m too muscular for that. But, I have been at a healthy weight. And, getting back to that healthy weight became the focus of my New Year’s Resolution.

And this, Lovelies, is the point where I get truly excited. After much contemplation and even more searching, I have found something transformational: Bodymedia Fit LINK Armband.

My new best friend

Let’s be clear: I am not saying that this is for everyone. Nor am I saying that you should get one. I am simply offering insight into how this tool is helping me achieve the best me possible, when so many other products, plans, and methods have failed.

First, this armband is the perfect trifecta for me:

1. It provides centralized data for a multitude of different measurements. By wearing the armband, I can collect data about my calories burned, calorie balance (it syncs with MyFitness Pal), total activity time (both moderate and vigorous), the number of steps taken per day, and total sleep time and sleep efficiency.

2. It motivates me to meet the goals I set for myself. Because I set my own goals, I am immediately more invested; however, the LINK armband syncs with my iPhone5, and I can real-time monitor my calorie burn, my activity time, and how many steps I’ve taken. What is more motivating than seeing how close you are to achieving your goal? The activity manager feature even suggests additional activities to help you reach your daily goal!

3. It is flexible and supports my specific needs. The LINK does not require that I follow any specific program. No points. No mail-order food. No gimmicks. No false promises. The armband requires that I nourish my body the way my body needs to be nourished. For me, that means following Paleo. So, I plug all my Paleo-eats into MyFitness Pal and the calorie information is transferred automatically to my armband. I set my own step goal, and I monitor it throughout the day, parking farther away from my destinations and taking stairs when possible, because each step counts. I also set a daily activity time goal, and I work to meet the times I have set for myself. I make sure that if I’ve planned a workout that I keep that workout time like any other appointment in my planner, and I make sure that I play with my kids whenever the unplanned opportunity arises. Because, after all, activity is activity.

Second, it works.

One of the benefits is weight loss: 15 lbs. to date. Which, for someone with PCOS, who has been so discouraged by past experiences, 15 lbs. is an outstanding start!

As much as I love the results as they are reflected in my physique, I am enjoying the feelings of control and informed participation much more. For the first time, I am able to concretely see what is and isn’t working for my body. Pie charts, bar graphs, and percentages are my friends. I can make correlations and inferences by observing these data trends that I now have available–for instance, seven hours of sleep is my magic number. Every night where I have gotten approximately seven hours of sleep, I have lost weight. Less sleep=no weight loss. Information is powerful stuff.

And, Lovelies, do you know what is even better than my success? My husband has gotten onboard with a LINK armband of his own! We are on this journey as partners now (as opposed to me journeying and hubby hanging on for the ride), and our family is so much stronger for it!

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your New Year, too! Make sure to share all of your New Year successes with us!

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