Last 90 Days!!

It’s here, friends!  I can’t believe that I’m now “that person” that gets really excited for challenges on the internet, but it’s all happening.

For those of you who do not know what the Last 90 Days challenge is, let me school you a bit.  (Also check the bottom of this post for resources)

It’s simple really…..we challenge ourselves to live the last 90 days of the year as intentionally as we did the first 30 of the year.  Along with that intention, there are 5 basic principles that run right alongside it.  Those 5 principles are called “5 to Thrive”.  They are:

  1.  Drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  Every day.
  2.  Give up one food you know that you shouldn’t be eating. If you eat a very clean diet already, consider adding a new healthy food every day.
  3.  Jot down 10 things you are grateful for each day.  This could be as simple as coffee, seeing the sunrise or your kids not complaining about dinner. 😉
  4. Move your body for 30 minutes a day.  This could be power walking the aisles of Target, jumping on the trampoline with your kids, walking the dog, running the stairs in your home, etc.
  5.  Get up one hour earlier and use that time for YOU!  PS, yes, this means you should go to bed one hour earlier as well.

5-to-Thrive

Last year was my first time joining this challenge.  I decided not to partake in the up an hour earlier part of the challenge, only because in the spring and summer of 2018 my severe panic attacks wrecked havoc on what used to be a pretty great sleep schedule.  My sleep still wasn’t the greatest by October when the challenge started, so I decided I would let myself sleep.

Last year I decided to give up cow’s milk, unless it was baked into something like a dessert or casserole.  In doing that, I realized I consumed hardly any cheese, which also felt really great.  If I had cheese, it was buffalo mozzarella (cow’s milk free) or goat cheese.  I would eat pizzas with Daiya dairy free cheese on them yes, they are actually good.  Cow’s milk always tended to make me bloated and congested feeling, so it was a nice feeling to know I could give it up!  Today, I still hardly consume cow’s milk.  Occasionally I’ll have a mini blizzard from Dairy Queen, feta cheese on my salad or a regular piece of pizza, but that’s it!  I even take the slices of cheese off my frozen eggwiches I buy.

As far as writing down 10 things to be grateful for, my water consumption and moving my body….let’s say last year I gave it a good effort but probably ended up with a solid B-/C+ grade in the end.  I found myself not drinking the water at work because I didn’t want to have to use the bathroom so much since it was the beginning of cold and flu season (OCD strikes again).  And though I did try to move in some capacity everyday for about 45 minutes, I would say it ended up being more like 4 days a week.  My gratitude practice was pretty lack luster to be honest.  I started out great, and by the end of November I was down to writing in my gratitude journal maybe 3 days a week.

But this year….this time is different.  I don’t want to let myself down.  I also really need a boost in productivity.  I have so many different projects going that I always feel like I run out of time and run late everywhere I need to go.

So here are my goals for this year……

  1. Get up an hour earlier, at LEAST 3 days a week.
  2. Cut out chips.  Chips of all kinds.  They are such a trigger for me.  I can’t just have a handful.  I have to eat half the bag, then feel bad about it for 2 days.  They’re going.
  3. Drinking my water, all of it!  Washing those impurities out of my body!
  4. Moving every day, for 30-45 minutes.  Doing Pilates more alongside my treadmill time.
  5. Being a lot more intentional with my gratitude practice.  I have a lot to be grateful for and I’m forever an optimist and looking out for silver linings.  Now I just need to put the pen to the paper for it.

If anyone would like to join me in this challenge, message me or leave a comment on this post!  I’m putting together a Facebook group where we can all hold ourselves and each other accountable, and talk about our triumphs and struggles as a group!

I can’t wait to watch myself succeed, as silly as that may sound.  We only have one body, friends.  It’s time to make it physically and mentally fit for the rest of your life.

Good luck to all those participating…may your purpose pull you through!

xoxo

Resources:

What is Last 90 Days?

Last 90 Days Tracker

 

 

 

Vitamins and Supplements the Kids & I Take Every Day

Good morning friends!  Happy MLK Day to you all!  If you are off today, make the best of it, if not, make it a great day anyway!

*Also, before I get into today’s post…please know I’m not a doctor/nurse/caregiver.  These are simply just my opinions.

I wanted to write a short post on what vitamins and supplements the kids and I take every day.  Why just the kids and I and not Brock?  Well, because Brock doesn’t take anything…#TypicalDudeProbs.  I have always thought health was equal parts interesting and super important.  I took nutrition courses my third and fourth year of college because the science behind nutrition has always amazed me; so much so, that for 5 minutes, I thought about being a dietician.

I don’t really think anyone gets all the nutrition they need from food these days, unless you are eating a perfectly balanced menu every single day.  I didn’t really start giving the kids vitamins until they entered the petri dish known as school.  Also, I never thought to give them probiotics (partly because I never knew they were freakin’ magic) until Mason was 3 and having lots of constipation issues (sorry, TMI) and we were literally trying everything to get him regular (FYI…he’s still not, but it’s much better than it was).  So basically I learned and still am learning as I go, but I have done my own research and looked at 5 million reviews on what we take.  There is still a lot to learn and if anyone has any suggestions for additional vitamins and supplements, please comment and let me know.

I’m breaking this down by morning and night, though most of what is taken of a morning is taken by me.

Taken in the AM:

Mason (5 years old)–1 elderberry gummy (We use a brand called Nature’s Way and Sambucol).

Brayden (10 years old)–1 elderberry gummy.  (We use a brand called Nature’s Way and Sambucol).

Mary (like I’m going to tell you my age!) — 1 Vitamin C (1000 mg, Nature’s Way), 1 Vitamin D3 (5000IU, Naturewise) 1 bio-identical testosterone trochee (1.5mg).

Taken in the PM:

Mason–1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Way or Sambucol), 2 Immune C with zinc and echinacea gummies (Lil Critters), 2 multivitamin gummies (Garden of Life My Kind Organics), 1 probiotic (Garden of Life Organics).

Brayden— 1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Life or Sambucol), 2 Immune C with zinc and echinachea gummies (Lil Critters), 1 probiotic (Garden of Life Organics).

Mary–1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Way or Sambucol), 1 probiotic (Young Living Life Nine), 1 Vitamin C (1000 mg, Nature’s Way), 2 hair/skin/nails vitamins (Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair with biotin/folic acid/fo-ti/zinc and paba), 1 progesterone trochee (30mg) and 1 Kavinace Ultra PM (NeuroScience, adrenal, GABA support and sleep aid).

In the fall and winter the kids usually take more than what they would take in the summer on break.  Usually during the summer months, they will just take their probiotics.  Also in the summer, I will go down to 1 Vitamin C a day and stop the elderberry.

One thing we will never stop, no matter what season?  Probiotics!  I cannot stress it enough that everyone should be taking a good probiotic.  The more strains of bacteria the better.  My Life Nine from Young Living has 9 (if it wasn’t obvious haha) and the kids’ have 5, but there are some out there that have even more than 9!  My advice is to do your own research and find which one is right for you.  I would start by googling brands that have 9+ strains and then dig into ingredients, cost and reviews.  Gut health is so crucial for every day healthy living.  It’s kind of our foundation to health.  Getcha gut healthy, getcha self stayin’ healthy!

There are several more supplements that I would like to start taking like a good organic Fish Oil, but I just haven’t taken the leap yet!  I also bought Zinc to have on hand, but haven’t been taking it regularly since my hair vitamins have zinc in them.  I also know the kids take a lot of gummies and I hate that they are consuming extra sugar because of it, BUT if it gets them to put some vitamins and good stuff in their bodies that pizza,  pretzels and organic lunchables can’t deliver, I’m here for it.

Just a helpful tip, lady to lady….the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair vitamins are LEGIT and worth every single penny.  Do you know how many hair and nail vitamins I have tried???  Well, let me tell you, I’ve tried at LEAST 10, ranging in price from 80.00 to 6.00 and I’ve never seen results.  Hair Sweet Hair is literally the ONLY vitamin in it’s category that has started new hair growth for me, all over my head.  Also, my nails grow at lightening speed and could be used to cut ….pretty much anything.  How did I find out about this gem?  My blogging friend, Cristin over at CristinCooper.com.  Side note: she’s one of my most favorite bloggers ever and hilariously funny…also, she’s from NC, so she’s already winning at life in my book.  But get the vitamins, they are so good.  So, so good!!

So, that’s it!  I know it may seem like a lot, and as Brock would say, our kids may as well be 80 year olds with day of the week pill holders, but let’s face it, most kids eat like crap.  Yes, mine will eat berries and PB and green beans and occasionally a bite or two of broccoli, but as a general rule of thumb, I think it’s important to try and supplement when possible.

 

Just as a recap, here are the brands I use for our daily vitamins/supplements:

Kids:

Garden of Life Organics Probiotics

Lil’ Critters Immune C with Zinc & Echinacea

Nature’s Way (or Sambucol) Elderberry

Garden of Life My Kind Organics Multivitamins

Me:

Nature’s Way Vitamin C 1000mg

Naturewise Vitamin D3 5000IU

Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair

Young Living Life 9 Probiotic

Nature’s Way (or Sambucol) Elderberry

NeuroScience Kavinace Ultra PM

Testosterone 1.5 mg (bio identical hormone)

Progesterone 30mg (bio identical hormone)

 

Most of these items can all be found on Amazon or even at a local Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods or a local specialty “clean” store.

You CAN NOT buy the hormones I take over the counter.  You will HAVE to talk to a doctor that specializes in bio identical hormones and have lots of blood work done to find out if you need hormones or not.  Balancing hormones is very important for optimal health, but it’s NOT something you can do alone.  Please reach out to a doctor that specializes in this and do your own research when considering these options.  If you are local to Indiana, and are interested, please send me a message or comment and I can give you my doctor’s information.

I hope you all have a great day, and I’m gonna leave ya with my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote….”The time is always right, to do something right.”

xoxo

 

 

 

A Day In The Life..if I wrote a food diary…

Food diary……
If I were to write a journal entry everyday about my thoughts on what I was eating and doing to become healthier, I’m sure it would go something like this:

This morning I decided I would start Shakeology again, being as I got on the scale this past Thursday and it said I had gained 3 pounds. I figured it had something to do with water retention, but I guess not since the scale said the same this morning. It’s no secret I don’t drink enough water, but I’ve played this game with my body for at least 14 years now, so my body should be used to the amount of water I get everyday.
Along with my Shakeo this morning, I made egg whites with a small spoonful of pico de gallo and about a 1/8 cup serving of 2% shredded cheese. Major protein! Beverage was dark roast PLAIN coffee.

Snack was 12 almonds. Solid.

Lunch was a you pick two meal from Panera. ½ portion of the chicken cobb salad with avocado, with NO dressing and ½ portion of the broccoli cheddar soup. 430 calories total.

Late afternoon. Trying to drink water…..on bottle #2. Part of me thinks I’m so far behind on drinking water that I will never physically be able to catch up.
I’m thinking of all the “healthy eating” things I SHOULD have done already today, like how I should be on water bottle number 3 or 4 instead of 2, how I should have not forgotten my oils at home so I could have had lemon in my water, how I should have packed snacks to fill my work fridge because it’s completely bare.

Oh and my afternoon snack was 2 fun size mini packs of skittles. Normally not my thing, because I don’t really eat a lot of candy at all, but they sounded good today. 150 calories. Technically, that’s an alright calorie count for a snack. Good nutritionally? Uhm NO, but technically not a complete fail.

And now we come to dinner. It’s really hard for me to figure out what I want to fix. I’m totally jealous of all the people who meal plan like a boss and stick to it. I don’t do well with the same meals everyday and Brock and I aren’t big leftover eaters, so we usually just fix enough for the 4 of us.
Then there’s the fact that I never know what’s going to sound good ahead of time. Please tell me this changes once you get into a good meal planning routine?
We ended up having a take n bake pizza from a local grocery store. I only had 1 piece though. Not terrible, but not what I would consider ‘clean’. I’ve also started buying the supreme version of pizza bc it comes w veggies on it. Sometimes I even add more!
Literally as soon as I was done eating, I
jumped on our exercise bike for 45 minutes.
I’m also proud to report I got about 6 of the 8 glasses of water I needed yesterday!
So that was my day! What would your food diary look like?!

If you use my fitness pal, feel free to add me and see my food diary daily! Bskmek@hotmail.com 😊👍

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Let’s Talk Food, Shall We?

Nutrition is what makes or breaks a diet.  We need to think of our bodies as a car that we have to fuel to keep moving on a day to day basis.  Right?!  So what we put into our bodies everyday can cause us to lose weight, gain weight or maintain.  People like me (those hard headed, stubborn people) KNOW this concept.  It’s nothing new to us.  However, for some reason, it’s hard to win.  I’ve said it a million times, but I’m a healthy eater, but I eat out a lot.  Along with eating out comes excess sodium and bloating, which is not a girls friend when it comes time for a morning weigh in.  Feel me?

One evening a few months ago, I met one of my dearest friends for sushi and we discussed food for about 2 hours while we waited on the slowest waitress in the history of waitresses, who brought us the wrong, cold food.  Anyways.  She was telling me about different types of dinners and lunches she was fixing for herself and I was intrigued.  They weren’t that difficult and honestly, I feel a little crazy for not knowing to put these foods together in the first place.  I guess if I don’t see it completed, or read it on a recipe, I have no clue what I’m doing.

I wanted to share a few of my favorites (and yes, some of the recipes I received from my friend as well) from the past few weeks.  I will also post the recipe to the foods I’ve made at home so that people like me can look at it and think “sweet mother, that’s easy, why didn’t I think of that!”  I’m also including my fast food go-to’s, because …. well, sorry.

First up-Breakfast!  Did you know Chick Fil A has multi-grain oatmeal?  Did you know that you can get this oatmeal with a side of scrambled eggs?  Oatmeal with a 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar cinnamon topping (155 calories)  1 scrambled egg (90 calories)  BOOM….perfect breakfast!  Add a medium fruit cup for your 10AM snack for an additional 50 calories.

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This is my go to breakfast if I have time to fix it at home.  Egg whites, reduced feta, salsa/pico, organic spinach, GF Udi’s multi-grain toast with a little Smuckers Simply Fruit on it (or there are a few organic, low sugar options at Earth Fare I love) and fruit of some type.  A few years ago, I remember I would have egg beaters with 2% cheese and watermelon cubes everyday.  Whatever works, right!  Oh, and on the coffee front.  I try to NEVER drink my calories.  I drink black, dark roast coffee every morning, whether it’s from Starbucks or my kitchen.  Another breakfast tip:  mix one cage free organic egg with 1/3 cup of egg whites for extra protein. 🙂

Lunch…the meal my body hates me for when I finally do get around to eating.  I should be eating no less than 5 times a day, small meals, snacks etc.  I always start awesome by eating a great breakfast, then I find myself starving around 11.  Some days I will snack on almonds, or a cheese stick, but more days than not, I hold out until after 1 for lunch.  Basically I’m starving and would eat a hippo (not really) by the time I finally sit down to eat lunch.  Obviously this leads to bad, misled, fast choices, which are not thought through like they should be.

Eating out at lunch time consists of one basic restaurant, Chick Fil A.  And one basic meal, the grilled chicken cobb salad with no crispy red peppers (use your 80 calories else where, like a kids dish of Ice Dream…) and a half portion of the fat free honey mustard dressing.  Sometimes with a cookie.  I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.  Sometimes it’s necessary.

When I come home for lunch, I usually rock out some good choices though!  Shakeology is a new option I’ve picked up over the past 2 months.  I don’t drink it every day, but when I do, I use 2 tablespoons PB2, 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half a banana.  I also bought some cold brew 80 calorie cafe latte to use with it this weekend!  Excited to try some new blends!  If I am home, and don’t choose Shakeology, then I usually eat salads or whatever I can find in the fridge for less than 300 calories.

Dinners are easy!  Here are some fun recipes (courtesy of my fab friend)

Tuna Salad!  1 can of Wild Planet 100% pole caught tuna (I get this at Meijer), 1 half slice Claussen dill pickle, 1 small handful diced red onion, about 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half, 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspoons of stone ground mustard.  SO. GOOD. I. CAN’T. EVEN. TELL. YOU. HOW. GOOD!  I eat this straight out of the bowl or on a piece of Udi’s GF multi-grain bread that has been toasted.

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Easy Crock Pot Chicken:

2-4 chicken breasts frozen, 1/2 c water, 1/2 c organic chicken broth, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and pepper to taste (I use about 1-1.5 teaspoons of the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and a few shakes of pepper.) Let sit for 8 hours on low and shred when done.  It’s basically the perfect flavor.  We’ve made it twice and once left it as-is and once added BBQ.  So good.  I tell ya, my friend is a wicked genius!

Easy Crock Pot Fajitas:

This –shockingly enough, is one of my own concoctions, and it couldn’t be any easier.

4 chicken breasts, frozen, 1 bag of frozen tri color peppers (I use Kroger brand), 1 packet of low sodium fajita mix, 1 can of organic black beans.  Let set for 8 hours on low.  Stir it all together when done and use on top of low carb, whole wheat tortillas or Food Should Taste Good blue organic tortilla chips.

Like I had mentioned last week, we lost our dog and we did not find him until last Wednesday and we had lost him the previous Thursday morning, so basically the past 2 weeks I’ve had a hard time concentrating because of the stress of losing him and a few other things.  Kinda sounds like an excuse though, I get that.  So this week I’ve started my Monday off trying to make a few healthier changes.  5-6 glasses of water today so far and a healthy version BLT for dinner.  Squats while I dry my hair in the morning and I’m getting ready to jump on the recumbent bike for a half hour.  Small. Steps.

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What have you done this week?  Made any changes for the better?

Week 1 Update

Week one consisted of me easing into some new habits.  Monday I saw a new family doctor to see if I wanted to make the switch from our current doctor to this new one and I’m still not sure.  The new doctor is a DO and I thought that was going to be a bit of a different approach, (not holistic, but using other techniques like acupuncture and chiropractic manipulations) to health and … well…I haven’t decided if I’m going back.  Not because I didn’t like the doctor, because I thought she was great, but because I thought a DO’s techniques were different than they were.  One of the subjects we talked about was my anxiety.

It was crazy to me how much emphasis she put on exercise.  She told me I was already doing the right thing by eating less processed food and counting calories and eating organic, but in addition I was to get 30-45 min of HARD exercise every single day.  No if’s, and’s or but’s about it.  Everyday.  No excuses.  I had never in my life had a doctor stress it to me like she did.  I mean, yes, I would LOVE to be toned and lose weight in the process.  Who wouldn’t, right?  Obviously there is no doubt in my mind that exercise is good for you, inside and out.  I just don’t know if I believe it cures anxiety because I’ve been told “just go run the stairs, go swim etc.” my entire life as an anti anxiety tactic and I can tell you it’s not a magical cure.

However, to challenge myself, I said I was going to start getting up early (which also means going to bed earlier) and getting some exercise in every morning before work.  Then…all hell broke loose because one of our dogs got out and is really, really lost.  I did get 2 rounds on my recumbent bike in last week, and TONS of walking on our mini vacation in Cincinnati over the weekend, but the majority of our time last week and even this week has been spent on our dog finding efforts. 😦

This week I had an appointment with a wellness coach and we had the best conversation about nutrition!  I have no problem handing out nutritional advice to everyone else, but when it comes to my own nutrition, I have a problem practicing all that I preach.  Isn’t that how it always works though?  He told me last year I had one of the lowest LDL’s he had ever seen in his life and this year he said it went down some more.  I’ll take it.

Even with our 2 day vacation, filled with some cheat foods and drinks, I am still down almost a pound–more good news!

So all of this busy crap, plus a few more stressful situations and you’ve got me…sitting here….yawning and begging for bed at 10.  Oh, and can you believe we will have a 2 year old on Sunday?  How is this possible!

Goals for this week:

**Increase water intake

**Get 3 more workouts in

**Work on reworking my schedule so it’s easier to get up of a morning to get some kind of work out in.

What are your goals for the week?

Nighty night, all!

 

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