Jan 26, 2015

Short, Quick Update

My last blog was about a week and a half ago where I exploited myself (in a good way) and promised for some motivation the following Monday.  Fail.  I was busy painting my condo *some more* and totally forgot. 

I am embarrassed to say I *forgot* but it is true.  I was so excited to get started on my paint that nothing else mattered.... besides the long list of stuff I have been making.  The great news is that I have crossed lots of stuff off.  But then added more.  I have been busy but I feel really proud of the progress I have made to my little condo.  It really needed some updating and I have been working at it, plus going to work AND getting ready to move.

Most of you know Thor and I live together and if I didn't say it (or you didn't read a blog where I said it) it would definitely be assumed.  We are going to live in separate houses for a few months until the upgrades are done.  It will be difficult as we have lived together over 4 years but we have a big dog that cannot live in my condo.  Rules and regulations prohibit animals although they have been changing to accept small dogs or cats but not big ol' dogs.  Especially ones they deem to be mean and vicious. 

 Here he is licking me but the camera missed the tongue shot and it shows a tooth.....it is the meanest you will ever see him.  Either way I can't put him in the "vicious" category because he is too awesome! 

 We refuse to give him up so we are keeping him.  We don't want him to live in someone else's house for this period of time either because he gets separation anxiety and pisses on the floor.  He doesn't do it while he is being dog sat.  He waits til he gets home and teaches us a lesson.  Right on the carpet.  So we don't want to traumatize him by sending him away for a few months.  It is a lot easier for the humans to understand - as we all know we cannot sit our dog down and explain it to him.

Anyway, I still have not worked out and my muscle is still shrinking- which is normal.  I just do not like it.  At all.  But I am still very thankful for many many things.  And I am extremely excited about the improvements already made to my condo.  Before and after pics to come but it will be pretty empty around here for about another week or two. 

 
 
 
~ Continue Reading ~

Jan 16, 2015

Friday Faves

Favorite Lesson Learned:  Anything is possible when you put your mind to it!!!  ANYTHING

Everyone knows about the injury and no working out.  What I did not realize is that it has been 6.5 months but I didn't let that deter me.  I found a way around is so that my health and fitness did not suffer a huge impact.  I am impacted, yes, but it isn't super visible.


 
My point is that there is ALWAYS hope.  More on that Monday.
 
 
This week's favorite goal:  INSPIRE OTHERS.  This is what inspired me to take the above pic.  I have been getting a lot of questions on eating and exercise lately and many people have likes/dislikes/limitations etc. so I want to inspire others to DO WHAT YOU CAN!!!
 
 
Favorite Color Lately:
Grey
Favorite Project:

Paint my master to a beautiful grey with no more border!  More on this to come too  :)
 
Favorite Snack:
 
 
 
Greek Yogurt, organic granola and cut strawberries.  Delish!
 
Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites!!
 
 
~ Continue Reading ~

Jan 14, 2015

December and New Year's Recap

I am late with Christmas and even New Year's updates but here are some pics of how my December and my New Year's Eve looked.  Yes, you all missed out on so much.  *sighs* 

My bf surprised me with a Christmas tree and he put lights on the house too so I was super excited about that!



Delicious breakfast casseroles.  Some with cheese and some without:


 
I have been really enjoying the ease of the biscuits in the casserole and it is oh-so delish.  But now biscuits are on the 'avoid' list due to cholesterol.  Besides, it is highly processed so it should be back on that list anyway.  I just have a reason now!
 
But here are more cholesterol shots.  Oh, and fat.  So much for my "Mostly" Healthy Lifestyle!  *sighs*It was a special treat and I hardly ever have it but now I will have to leave it off the menu for a couple months or more.  And less egg yolks.
 



Ahhh, a veggie and something pita.  Maybe chicken?  Turkey?  I can't remember and a little homemade Tzatziki sauce.
 
Christmas dessert was peanut butter cream pie and the recipe was on a previous blog.  The difference between the recipe and this one is I have creamy PB here.  Pure heaven.  Also off the list for a while.  Not that I was eating big amounts of it but the pic makes me want to make some, right?


Salmon, sweet potato casserole and baked whole cauliflower:

 
Whole roasted Cauliflower -pretty delish

I want this for my zucchini.  I have been using what I have in my kitchen but I think this would be more convenient.  And it's cheap - has anyone used this one?
 
 
A couple Christmas shots:
 

I don't think I like my hair like this.  Opinions, anyone?






 
The start of my New Year:


 
1 shot
 
 
2 shots
 
 

3, it's me!
 
 
 
Not too bad for the balmy dessert, huh?  We snowboarded and I am happy to say that my neck was a little sore but not too bad.  I think I am on the mend!


We stopped at a little place for lunch on the way home and it was really cute:

 
Low Cal dessert consisting of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup and 1 cookie broken up.  A great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without getting crazy!
 

 
 I think I mentioned I am moving and with that I am making upgrades to my condo so I have been working away at that.  I will post some before and after pics as well.  It should make a pretty big difference.

Linking up today with a new group I found through Just Life Take Two:
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren



https://instagram.com/tcfitlifestyle
~ Continue Reading ~

Jan 9, 2015

How to Keep Cholesterol in Check

Meats & ProteinPortionCholesterol (mg)Total Fat (g)Saturated Fat (g)
Tofu1/2 cup0112
Pinto beans1/2 cup010
Egg121252
Halibut3 ½ oz4130
Salmon3 ½ oz63122
Oysters3 ½ oz5521
Crab3 ½ oz5210
Lobster3 ½ oz7110
Tuna (in water)3 ½ oz3010
Shrimp3 ½ oz19410
Squid3 ½ oz23110
Beef (ground, lean)         3 ½ oz78187
Beef (short ribs)3 ½ oz944218
Beef (sirloin)3 ½ oz89125
Beef Liver3 ½ oz38952
Veal (top round)3 ½ oz13552
Lamb (foreshank)3 ½ oz106146
Ham3 ½ oz5362
Pork (tenderloin)3 ½ oz7962
Pork (chop)3 ½ oz852510
Chicken Liver3 ½ oz63162
Chicken (no skin)3 ½ oz8551


I had a screening which indicated my cholesterol was high and my blood sugar was higher than usual so I want to share some things about cholesterol.  There is good cholesterol known as HDL which I like to call "happy" because of the "H" in it and LDL which is bad cholesterol and I call it "lousy" because of the "L" in it.  The good cholesterol has a purpose and the bad cholesterol does something but what does it all mean and where does it come from?  More importantly, what can I do to keep it within healthy ranges?
This post will include my favorite ideas on cholesterol.  Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body and there are certain things we can do to keep the body health and cholesterol in check.  The American Heart and Stroke Association suggests limiting your daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day unless you have heart disease and then it should be less than 200 mg per day.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced in the liver and disbursed into the bloodstream.  The American Heart and Stroke Association says the body uses cholesterol to  convert Vitamin D for the skin, aid in digestion, form cell membranes and develop hormones.  High density lipoproteins (HDL) are used to remove cholesterol from the blood stream and artery walls so the higher this number the better off you are.

Photo Credit

Cholesterol can cause a person to have strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.  Low density lipoproteins (LDL) builds up on artery walls and can cause coronary artery disease.  You have probably heard of plaque build up and it is important to know that a person's genetic make up and other factors such as gender can also impact this.  You have probably heard of high cholesterol 'running in the family' which means people in that family may be predisposed to high cholesterol making them more prone to also have high cholesterol. 

I am unsure of my family history but I have always had cholesterol on the higher level and it is typically the HDL (good cholesterol) that is high.  As an example, last year my HDL was 70 and the test I had was NOT fasting and it was indicated that the HDL should be greater than 60 but the total number should be less than 200.  My total was 201 which is higher than the combined total should be but since the HDL was high it contributed to the overall number being high.  The nurse let me know that most people had HDL much lower than the suggested 60 so that area was good but it is still important to be aware of the overall total.  2 years ago I was right around the same but this year is a different story.  My total was 220!!  With HDL being at 79 so, again, the HDL was above 60 but as it has increased so has my total.  And it seems like it is a lot so this leads me to think about what I have been eating to contribute to this?  How can I reduce the overall total?

Per the American Heart and Stroke Association physical activity, weight and diet are contributing factors -oh, and smoking - and I have not worked out in approximately 5 months by now.  This test was in November so I would have been around 3 months or so.  Admittedly I have been enjoying more things than used to be in my regular diet.  Things such as bacon here and there and cooking with the stock of meat -AKA animal fat and meat.  Exercise is something I have been having difficulty doing due to the injury but it a contributing factor.

Items high in cholesterol:
EGGS
MEAT - Especially high fat cuts and organs such as liver and even fish
CHEESE- and other dairy
DESSERT
FRIED FOOD

Using lean meats, removing the skin and fat, grilling, baking and blotting excess oil
are great ways to help with this.  PS, I love the skin on a baked chicken!  So good bye delicious skin.  I don't fry anything but I sure do love a fried piece of chicken here and there..... I think my here and there has turned into 'occasionally' and has to go back down to once every 2 months or so.  Egg yolks are very high in cholesterol but they also contain a stock load of nutrients and I typically use 1 yolk with a few whites but lately have been using mostly whole eggs.  Looks like I will be reverting back to my old practices as I eat eggs EVERY morning!  Again, it is OK to have a whole egg but it is good to limit yolks if/when cholesterol is an issue and if you eat eggs regularly.



See the chart below:

FatsPortionCholesterol (mg)Total Fat (g)Saturated Fat (g)
Butter1 tsp1143
Margarine1 tsp041
Vegetable Oils                  1 tsp051 - 2

Dairy ProductsPortionCholesterol (mg)Total Fat (g)Saturated Fat (g)
Milk (non-fat)1 cup400
Milk (low-fat)1 cup1032
Milk (whole)1 cup3385
Yogurt (non-fat)1 cup1000
Yogurt (whole)1 cup2975
Cheddar Cheese1 oz3096
Cottage Cheese (low-fat)1 cup1022
Graph and above graph obtained from:  http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/cholesterol_content_of_foods/


Ways to reduce cholesterol include the above cooking ideas, limiting egg yolks, using reduced fat or fat free milk, using a different milk such as almond or the like.  Avoid fried foods, baked goods and items with hydrogenated oils (trans fat- even if the label says "0") which are commonly in things like chips, popcorn, cookies, pie crusts, canned biscuits, creamer, shortening, margarine and many many more.  Incorporate fiber, substitute olive oil for other cooking oils and a little fact is potassium helps.  Exercise and physical activity can also help reduce cholesterol.

Foods that help reduce cholesterol:

CELERY
TOMATOES
AVOCADO
BEANS
OATS
NUTS
RED WINE -(woohoo, right?)  Tip - this is referring to a 5 oz glass per day
FRUIT
VEGETABLES
BARLEY
GREEN TEA

The top four are 'super foods' in reducing cholesterol.  Personally, I began incorporating a half an avocado per day (because it is high in calories) with salad and then eating my fruits and veggies as well as taking a fiber supplement to give it all an extra boost.  This seemed to work and reduced the total number and I hope these tips will work for you!

Today I am linking up with Amanda for Friday Favs  - join in by clicking her name.

http://meetatthebarre.blogspot.com/2014/11/friday-favorites-how-is-it-mid-november.html

https://instagram.com/tcfitlifestyle
~ Continue Reading ~

Jan 8, 2015

Truth

I am reintroducing myself.  I have been absent a while and there are many reasons behind it.  The pretty reason is that I have been busy... and I have.  The real reasons are that I have been learning how to live in hell and get through it while still remaining normal.  Is that even possible?

This sounds like it is going to be a poo poo parade or a giant pity party.  It is not- because I am not that person but it will be a big chunk of truth.  Because I am not a pity party kinda person I have sugar coated a lot of shit I have had to deal with.  I am happy go lucky but as I have mentioned I dealt with anxiety -a monster of a nightmare and have even considered taking medication for it because it can get so bad.  But I will say I do not want to live my life medicated.  Besides, it is not good for the kidneys, liver, etc.  The more the body has to filter the more chances of things going wrong -not to mention that shit is toxic.

Anyway, on with some truths.  One of them is that I have tried to keep my blog very clean but truth is I have a potty mouth.  I cuss a lot and I don't care.  Especially when I drink.  I just say whatever the f I want.  However, I keep it respectful so if I am in the company of someone who doesn't swear I will try to refrain from using profanity in every other effin word.  Which is what I was doing with my blog.  I don't want to offend people because I am a sailor girl but I have also kinda put my personality into a small little box.  I am not a small little box girl.  I am a big, huge, giant, fuckin box kinda girl.  So huge it cannot even be contained.  But I try to keep it at bay because I don't want to offend someone over some cuss words.  I am breaking free and being wild!  Yes, I have a wild side - a big one and I love it so do my friends. 

As some of you may know my job was a major culprit contributing to the anxiety.  I changed positions and what a life changer it is but I have noticed that once anxiety creeps into life that it has a way of coming back in here and there.  I have had to continue practicing natural ways of reducing and eliminating anxiety.  There have been weeks at a time I go anxiety free and I love it!!  Then I may have an issue arise that brings it back up.  I don't want to whine and cry about it so, previously, I just wrote the lightened version of it.  I don't like dragging other people down with crap and I don't really think people like that.  I know I don't.  I don't mind venting but I prefer to stay away from negativity when it is continuously spewed.  You probably have come across the type.  However, I do want to assist others in overcoming it as well.  Preferably free of medication although I know that is not always possible for everyone. 

Then there is the neck issue.  THAT is a big deal causing me grief right now- more truth.  This is another story where I don't want to take medication.  The pain gets pretty bad sometimes but it is bearable.  High pain tolerance?  Maybe.  While sometimes it drags me down because of all the things I can't do, I am still very fortunate for all the things I can do.  So that is what I will focus on.  I believe that this story will help me get others through the same thing.  Just like my story with anxiety and that is what I intend to do.  My plan is to use my unfortunate situation to guide others through it.  My goal is to give as many people peace - a life free of anxiety without being loaded up with meds.  Again, I know this isn't for everyone and some people may still require medication but if I can help just one person, then I am happy to do it!

I used to be wild.  I mean really fucking wild.  That's the truth!  Party animal.  Turned weekend warrior.  Because that is what responsible people do when they grow up!  LOL.  But that little animal (or big animal) still lives inside me.  It is a big piece of who I am and contributes to my happy go lucky nature and optimistic outlook.  Every once in a while that animal wants to get out and I might feel a little scratch, or itch to show itself.  Sometimes I feel a gnawing from inside just dying to free the creature which are the times when I really miss the party lifestyle.  The thing is that my tolerance doesn't work that way anymore and while I had a lot of fun before I don't really want to be a party animal to the extent I used to be.  Plus, my body can't take it.  It takes 3 damn days to recover from a night of drinking and I am not willing to do that on a regular basis!

I am sure you or someone you know is or was a party animal and know taming that animal can happen but I am still a wild lion at heart.

I have a move coming up and I will be doing some DIYs and may need some advice from all of you.  You may have noticed I have been quite absent.  Once the move is over I will have a bit more time to dedicate to blogging and with that I will post ways to deal with anxiety as well as topics such as the inability to work out and what to do to stay in shape in the meantime.  I might even share some of the DIYs and some of the old, exciting party stories - I have a lot and we usually laugh our asses off about them at work so why not share with you guys too!!

There is a time and a place for everything and this year I intend to be me.  Truth is I have big plans and I have a feeling that the muck and the mud is clearing up.  Any and all unfortunate circumstances aren't unfortunate at all.  They are just life and learning experiences that I can use to benefit others. 
~ Continue Reading ~