Archive for the ‘Gettin’ Healthy’ Category

Twenty Twelve in Review

The year 2012 in the life of CariKelley was the same as most…with its ups and its downs.   Here are some highlights and lowlights and firsts in no particular order of importance or occurrence.

  • Learned how to drink my coffee black–while this is not exactly a great feat in the grand scheme of things, it is notable in my life.  and to say that I “learned” is really not accurate–more like forced. Since I decided to “clean up” my food intake and because the creamers that I like and were using did not meet the minimum standards for health, they are out. Coffee, however, is necessary, so henceforth and hereafter, it is black.
  • Lost that last 10 pounds–finally. My weight loss/fitness progress had plateaued for about a year.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to make any forward progress.   In November I heard about the Whole30 and decided to give it a whirl (mostly to deal with a nagging neck pain that remains unresolved).  30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no legumes, and no grains (NONE!) and that did it.  Wow…it wasn’t easy but it was life changing.
  • Found out I live in a money pit…my house is broken.  Foundation, plumbing, and other random crap.  Approximately $25G’s to fix it to make it sellable.  So…I guess we’re stuck here for a little while longer….or a lot while longer.  I can think of 3, maybe 4, solutions to this “problem”–1. a $$ windfall, 2. a destructive house fire (not wishing for this, but if it were to happen…), 3. Jesus comes back, or 4. we borrow money to fix everything and then slowly, gradually pay it back over the next 10 years. Only options 1 and 3 sound attractive at the moment.
  • My oldest child left home at 18–with some time I’ve come to realize this really is a good thing…no matter how painful it is, it’s good for him and good for us.  Wow…really hard though.  But he needs to grow up and what better way than the “sink or swim” method?  I know he has a strong faith foundation and I believe in him.  I hate to see him go through rough times, but he’ll be stronger and wiser in the end.
  • Shot a gun for the first time–lots of different guns as a matter of fact…my dad has a collection and a passion to teach.  =)  Lucky me!  Rifles, automatics, revolvers of various shapes and sizes.   It was very, very fun and I was pretty darn good at hitting a stationary target. (not exactly real-world applicable 🙂 )
  • Had my first drink–I have some really really great friends that may or may not be a corrupting influence. 😉  They took me out for my first alcoholic drink, a frozen Margarita…and then my second, another frozen Margarita…and then a third, again with the frozen Margarita.  I can’t seem to venture out from that one yet.  I like ’em~they are very lime-y and very yummy.  Yes, yes, this is a fairly dramatic shift in attitude and belief for me.   I’ve NEVER been a drinker of anything alcoholic.   Just didn’t see the point.  and then my kid left home and I wondered what it would be like to use alcohol to “relax” and, dare I say it….numb the emotions.  Not exactly a healthy thought process, but I can definitely see why some people drink. That being said, I don’t plan on getting ridiculously drunk ever…if you need reason why, just look to Cassio in Othello “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
    my reputation!”   Need I say more?

I’ve already got a list of firsts I’m going to do in 2013.   Take a Zumba class.  Take a Yoga class.  Try a different alcoholic drink other than a Frozen Margarita. Get a tattoo (this one is another massive shift in attitudes and beliefs I should talk more about later).   Maybe I’ll do one brand new thing a month–wouldn’t that be something to type about!?

What’s Going On?

Mother, mother…

Oh, how I hope you sung the title to this blog post to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s epic hit from the 70’s!!

So much going on in my life right now.  Fasting, new experiences, planning a new year, etc.

God is using experiences (some painful) to teach me about judging, accepting, loving…you know, some basic do’s and don’t’s of how to be a person.  As soon as things solidify in my mind, I’ll dedicate a post about it.  It’s all still forming. Verses I’m meditating on– Mark 7:8-9, Gal 5:14, Col 2:22, 23 in case you want to try to anticipate me.

I’m a week into my 2nd Whole30 (or maybe more like a Whole21).  I do a 21 day fast at the beginning of every year with staff at the church where I work.   I decided to fast sugar, legumes, grains, and dairy…essentially the Whole30.   Of course, the emphasis this time will be on the spiritual, not the physical.   It’s been MUCH easier this time–partially because I’m surrounded by people that are also fasting and partially because my body is functioning much better and I’ve kicked the sugar and bread addiction. No weird dreams or detox symptoms like before.

In other big news, my family is hosting 2 exchange students from Korea this month!  This is a first for us!   They are here as part of a language program with other kids from their school, we have two 15 year old girls who are very sweet.   They’ve only been here for 2 full days and nights so we still really aren’t past the awkward stage and they haven’t quite gotten past the jet lag.   Today I taught them how to pour cereal out of a box.  It’s gonna be an interesting month.  haha!

Whole30 Finished–update

I did it!

Actually I finished 5 days ago, but I’ve been having trouble getting around to this blog post.  30 days with absolutely no added sugar, no legumes (no peanut butter!!), no grains of any kind, and no dairy!  No processed foods at all. The first 3 weeks were a challenge, especially with Thanksgiving in there, but the last week was easy-breezy.   Once I got the hang of the menus, the cooking routine, and past the cravings it really seemed almost effortless.

Even now, five days after Day 30, I’m still eating generally the same things.  It’s just a relief to be ABLE to eat other stuff, even if I don’t WANT to.  I have added one or two things back a day–in very small amounts–with no ill effects.   I’m watching my face like a hawk, checking for hints of a oncoming break out…nothing yet.  But there is a lot still to “test”…peanut butter, soy, wheat, for example.

Sorry to say that my neck still hurts…it may be a smidgeon better, but still hurts, tweaks, and twinges.   My head definitely feels clearer and my energy level is excellent.  I had been at a weight loss plateau for months, but I lost a total of 9 pounds in 30 days, putting me at 121…I don’t remember when I last weighed 121—maybe when I was a teen?! It is nice to be able to SEE the muscles I’ve been working on at the gym for the past 2 years. 🙂

The subtitle to the book It Starts with Food is “Discover the Whole 30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways”.   Well, it’s waaaaaaaay to early to tell if I’ve changed my life in the long term, but things are definitely different in the short term!  I’m so excited to be off of that daily acne medicine!!

Was it easy? NO.  Was it worth it?  YES. A hundred times YES!

Day 27 – Whole30

Bowl o' Fruit

I begin today’s Whole30 update with picture of my after dinner snack.  Fruit.  Marvelously delicious dessert-like fruit.   I’ve tried to go easy on the fruit during this 30 days just because of the sweet factor.  If I’m trying to break a sugar addiction, it won’t be incredibly helpful to eat a ton of fruit.  Especially after you remove all other added sugars from your diet and “wake up” your taste buds!   But, tonight I was hungry and I just wanted these yummy cherries, and my new favorite, the kiwi fruit, and the ever present banana.

3 more days.   3 more days and I’m done.  I have no intentions of going hog-wild on day 31, but I’ll be glad to stop thinking about what I’m eating and not eating all the time.  Today I came home from work and spent 2 1/2 hours baking spaghetti squash, butternut squash, turkey meatballs, a sweet potato, and making a delicious beanless beef chili–Yay!  Whew.  A lot of work, but I have easy food for the next 3 days.  Should make for an easy weekend.

Neck pain showing dramatic improvement today…could be wishful thinking, but I don’t think so. 🙂  No more breakouts.  Face clean  and bright. 🙂  Sleeping great.  By and large, I am extremely pleased with this endeavor.

Day 24 – Whole30

I hate to discourage anyone that is even considering doing a Whole 30 for health reasons, but in the interest of full disclosure, I must report progress the last couple of days. Now, granted, I started my period yesterday, so much of the unpleasantness of the last couple of days could be blamed on that.

Anyway, neck pain yesterday was bad…better today, but yesterday at work all day, badness.   Small, but not insignificant breakout ensuing on chin.  Again, could be blamed on the cycle, but <insert sad face> nevertheless.   Sleeping ok, but having a little trouble bouncing out of bed for those 6am workouts. And I’m sad to report that my hair is still growing in gray…I knew that was a ridiculous dream. 🙂

Just for journaling purposes, I had a burger patty yesterday made with fancy grass fed beef.  It was an indulgence because the meat was considerably more expensive than ordinary grain fed cow beef.   Eh…it wasn’t anything grand.  Kinda dry, I guess because it was so lean.   Then today I tried to make my own breakfast sausage as we were having breakfast for dinner.   Blah…not great at all.  In fact, we’ll go ahead and put that in the “Fail” column.

Here’s what I had for a snack after I got home from a full day and evening of work…steamed vegetables.  yum. That’s what every woman enjoys after a long tiring day of work-so NOT a comfort food.  However, I did follow this bowl with a bowl of kiwi, strawberries, and grapes (not pictured)…that was MUCH more enjoyable.

steamed vegs

Day 23 – Whole30

Today was grocery day.  We recently got a Sprouts in our town and Kevin loves to go with me while I load my cart with fresh vegetables, fruit and MEAT.   I noticed today that it is easier to decide what to fix for meals…and I don’t worry about NOT eating the fresh things that I bought.

Usually, when I would buy fresh veggies (with good intentions!) I would stick them in the crisper and forget about them until they went bad.   In fact, the first couple of times I went Whole30 shopping, I made a list on paper of all the things I had bought so I wouldn’t forget to use them!  Today my crisper is packed and overflowing onto other shelves and I am not worried about using it ALL!

I used some leftover chicken breasts and a package of broccoli slaw to make this Chicken Pad Thai to eat during the football game. (GO SOONERS!)

Chkn Pad Thai

Still feeling really good.   Face still looks clear and bright.  Neck pain is still a little better.  Sleeping soundly. Clear headed.   I’m kinda liking this new healthier, skinnier me.


Day 21-Update Whole30

It;s been almost a week since I updated my Whole30 status.  A really long week, I might add.  At some point this week I thought this 30 days might never end.   I’m surrounded by tempting food. Oh. My. Word. we have a lot of food where I work.  Endless supplies of candy and snacks and soda at my disposal.  It’s crazy.   And there’s even some peanut butter cup cookies in my kitchen right now that I made for the kids when we decorated the Christmas tree.  They are mocking me.

And to add insult to injury, I was horribly constipated yesterday.  Horribly.  Which is probably more likely related to PMS than the Whole30.   (Sorry, too much info?!?)  Yeah….sorry.  It happens. Wish I could say sh*! happens, but alas, it was NOT happening.

I’m still going strong though.  No slip-ups at all.   I did dream about cheddar cheese Pringles, tacos, and Braums’ orange sherbet freezes.  Dream food doesn’t count though.  Good grief I must have a really strange relationship with food.  I can’t escape the food dreams.

I have had some really good food though.   I made more tacos with lettuce “shells” and ground turkey this time and I have perfected the pork chop.  I made egg salad today with half an avocado instead of mayo.  It was…interesting…but I was getting tired of everything else I’d been eating for breakfast so I tried something new–yes, for breakfast.   I really need to go to the market for more supplies.

Still no breakouts.  Neck pain is showing marked improvement, too!   Energy level is pretty good despite working really long hours this week. (decorating the church where I work for Christmas is LOTS of work!!)

Day 15 – The Whole30

HALFWAY THERE!   and I made it through Thanksgiving!  2 big wins!

No more interesting food dreams to report.  Are you as disappointed by that news as me?  I was really wanting to eat a Hostess chocolate a dream of course.  Maybe there is still a chance.  It would be just as moist and delicious eaten in my imagination. mmmmm….



….ok….I’m done.

Anyway, Thanksgiving was really not as hard as I thought it might be.   I still enjoyed turkey, delicious sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, and green beans.  My plate was full, my belly was full.  I was satisfied.  and I only looked longingly at the Rice Krispie treat once or twice.    It was all so good in fact, I ate the exact same plateful of turkey and veggies today for lunch…and dinner.

Still no breakouts, in fact my face looks good and feels good.  I’ve been using the coconut oil to cook with and I also put it right on my face.   so soft. Energy levels pretty good.   Neck pain still there–maybe slightly better today, but I can’t be sure.

I don’t have a photo of the Thanksgiving meal, but I had these tacos the day before.   with more fried plantains.   Yum!

Day 10 – Whole30

More weird food dreams last night.  In my dream, I had a spoonful of shredded wheat IN MY MOUTH before I realized “I CAN’T EAT THIS!!!!”  My mouth was so dry, though, I couldn’t spit it out! I had my hands in my mouth (in the dream) trying to scrape the chewed up cereal out with my fingers–I was panicked!  Geesh, I’m ready for these crazy dreams to stop.

Other than that, Day 10 was good.  Cravings, mild. Energy level, good–strong workout at the gym.  No nap required.  No breakouts.  Neck pain…no change.

I made fried plantains for dinner for the first time and served them with shredded chicken and rotel…very yummy.   Sorry the picture isn’t very good–the camera on my phone is on the fritz.

Day 9 – The Whole30

I really didn’t intend to post about this every day (or nearly everyday) but today has been rough.   It’s Sunday, the day of the week that I work all day.  ALL DAY.  8 in the morning till 8 at night…with an hour or so break in there.   Long day and especially hard to eat only what I am supposed to.   Donut holes and cookies are everywhere.

I’m hungry.   and craving stuff.   more weird food dreams last night….margaritas this time. and Mexican food.  The only thing that keeps me from eating what I shouldn’t is the idea that healing MAY be going on inside my body and I don’t want to screw that up and have to start all over.   That’s how bad I want healing.  So, I’m counting the days until I am 1/3 of the way through…and choking down steak and vegetables for dinner.  :@

Neck pain remains unchanged.  Still no break outs.  My mind feels sticky and foggy today. So sleepy. and I want a margarita.  maybe 2.  or 3.  I need that emoticon with the x’s for eyes…that’s how I feel right now.