Me with my family!

Me with my family!

Monday, September 22, 2014 excuse or a REASON!

Today marks 21 years of being a Type 1 Diabetic (the insulin dependent kind.) In the eyes of most people, I would be considered “sick.” I wear an insulin pump on my stomach 24/7 and have to check my blood sugar and administer insulin anytime I eat. Yep, every meal and every snack… I also experience low blood sugars and high blood sugars on a regular basis and have to treat them.
(See if you can spot my pump in the picture below... I try to hide it.)
 I was 12 years old when I was diagnosed. I went from being a very normal middle-school girl to checking my blood sugar and taking insulin shots a few times a day. It was a HUGE transition!! I have gone through a lot of different phases with this disease and various forms of treatment. However, as a grown adult I feel I finally have the right perspective…

I have always tried to look at it as a disease that I can live with. It’s not cancer and it’s not going to kill me! I have seen diabetics use Diabetes as an excuse to not workout hard because they’re scared their blood sugars will drop to quickly. I have seen diabetics use Diabetes as an excuse to not eat healthy because it takes to much time and would be to much trouble to adjust their insulin intake when they don’t eat as many carbs and sweets. However, I have learned that Diabetes is NOT my excuse.  It is MY REASON to take care of myself!!! I want to be around to watch my grandkids grow up, I want to grow old with my husband who has been by my side since college, I want to make a positive impact on people I know, and I want to live life to the fullest and die with no regrets! To me, it's worth the extra work!
Yes, my life is very inconvenient at times! I prick my finger and take insulin A LOT! It is a huge aspect of my everyday life. However, I really try not to draw a lot of attention to it! Some of you may be reading this and didn’t even know that I have Diabetes. But, it is something I deal with on a daily basis. I CHOOSE to be positive, live a close-to "normal" life, and to try and keep myself healthy!

I don’t claim to be better than other diabetics or other “sick” people (I still have plenty of weight I need to lose and probably have the sweetest tooth known to man) but let me tell you a few things I do to help myself  be better.
First of all, I exercise! My favorite is doing Crossfit a couple days a week. It’s a great mix of weight training and cardio. It helps me keep my blood sugars regulated and gives me confidence overall. I have challenged myself harder in the past year of doing Crossfit than I ever have! I am not one of the toughest or fastest at my box, but I love it and I try my hardest!
Rope climbs are something I do about once a month now. I hadn't done them since Middle School when I first started Crossfit.
Stone to Shoulders! This stone is 73#'s and I can do a whole workout using this bad boy now! 
I also run periodically and have ran a few 5K’s over the past few years. I'm not a good runner at all, but it definitely challenges me!
Secondly, I have gotten into eating “clean.” Clean eating is simply eating food that God made…fruits, vegetables, and protein. I have tried a lot of new recipes and have really enjoyed learning more about food. It does take more time and I don't eat clean 100%, but I know when I eat better, my blood sugars are SO MUCH better and I just FEEL better!
I have been very blessed so far! In 21 years, I have no major complications associated to my Diabetes and I have been able to carry and naturally deliver 2 very healthy, happy babies! I’m very glad that my health is holding up for me, but I also don’t take it lightly…

Another thing I do is take steps in being proactive to find a cure for this disease. One of my biggest fears is that one of my children or future grandchildren may develop Diabetes because of the genes I have passed down to them. Because of that, I participate in the “Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes” every year! I raise money for the American Diabetes Association and it makes me feel good to do my part!
This is my daughter and I at the 2013 Step Out Walk! My family walks it with me every year!
We're all going to be "sick" at some point in life. It's up to each of us as an individual to decide how we're going to deal with it! I want to encourage those of you out there that are “sick!” Whether you have Diabetes or some other disease, do whatever you can to take care of yourself!! Don’t use your sickness as an excuse to not workout or eat healthy… Use it as your REASON!! Get a little motivation to LIVE LIFE and run with it!

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Life (and Lifestyle) Worth Living...

          I have not done an update on my weight loss journey in well over a year… Sorry!

When I left off, I had lost the majority of my baby weight by exercising and eating clean. (See my “Weight Loss Journey” posts if you haven’t read them already.) Since then, I started teaching 2 classes a week at the local gym I’m a member of.  It’s a lot of fun and a great way to hold me accountable to working out at least twice every week. Since I have been consistent with working out, I have not gained a significant amount of weight back. However, I fell back into my bad eating habits pretty quickly… I still ate clean periodically, but not like I had been or should have been.
Within the last couple months, I have really been focusing and taking charge of my health overall…not JUST my weight. I have made some major changes for the better and lost another 6-7 pounds in the process so I am currently only 8-9 pounds away from the weight I was when I was in college and when I got married! I have shared some information on Facebook and since so many people were interested in what I was doing, I thought I would just write a blog post on it.
Disclaimer: In a way, this will be a little commercial! However, I am not getting paid to say any of this and have not been encouraged to “talk anyone into” this lifestyle.

 I have started seeing a Maximized Living Doctor, which is a Chiropractor that focuses on overall health. If you Google "Maximized Living" you will see  comments on how it’s a scam, but I can tell you from experience that it is NOT! I attended FREE events my local Maximized Living office hosted for over a year before I even became a patient of theirs and the information they shared with me helped so much! They didn’t care that I wasn’t paying them, they still wanted me (and all of you) to know how to truly be healthy. They are Christian-based and they honestly just want to help America get rid of diseases, cancer, and sickness that we seem to be plagued with.

The picture below was taken BEFORE I started the Maximized Living lifestyle. Note - I am not a fan of "selfies" but I had taken this one in the dressing room and texted it to Dan to see if he liked the shirt. It was the only full body "before" photo I had...
What is Maximized Living? There are 5 main areas that they focus on:
1) Your mind – the way you think

 2) Your nerve-supply – getting adjusted so the signals from your brain can get to your organs properly (the way God intends our bodies to function)
 3) Quality Nutrition – eating REAL food (God’s food) vs Man’s food

 4) Exercising – self explanatory
 5) Minimizing Toxins – soaps, cleaning products, medications, laundry detergents, lotions, etc.

It can be a bit overwhelming to tackle all these things at once so I just took little steps (and still am) to get to where I want to be. After losing my Dad to cancer a little over 3 years ago, it was a wake-up call to me that I only have one life to live and I should live each day to the fullest and take care of myself so I don’t end up in the same unhealthy condition that my genes carry. It is so much more than just carrying around extra weight!
The main thing that people are curious about though…is my weight loss. They want to know how to do it themselves. So…I will talk about that a little.

First of all, I want to recommend 2 books that have helped me tremendously…and they even have recipes in the back! The first is called “Cruise Ship or Nursing Home” by Dr Ben Lerner, Dr Greg Loman, Dr Charles Majors, Dr Chris Pellow, and Dr Eric Shuemake. It describes how to have a Maximized Life. The second book is called “Maximized Living Nutrition Plans” by Dr B.J. Hardick, Kimberly Roberto, and Dr Ben Lerner. This book explains how to get real nutrition so your body can live to its fullest potential, how to protect your body from diseases, how to lose weight, and even gives 2 nutrition plans to follow. I have read both of these books cover-to- cover and highly recommend them. (The majority of the recipes I pictured below came out of these books.)

About a month ago, I stopped eating grains, sugar, and fruit (with the exception of berries and Granny Smith apples.) Yes, I know it sounds extreme!!! People are shocked to hear this and numerous people have actually asked, “Well, what do you eat then?”  Here’s an easy answer…REAL FOOD! Nothing altered or made by man.
Here are some examples of meals and snacks I have had:

Breakfast –
2 scrambled eggs (from free-range chickens), unsweetened almond milk (with drops of liquid Stevia) and 2 vitamins.
Apple Flaxseed Muffins

Lunch –
 Salad (spinach, bell peppers, chicken (free-range), shredded raw cheese and a home-made dressing of EV olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper), strawberries (sweetened with Stevia) and Coconut Water (which I ended up not liking…I’ll just stick with my regular water.)
Homemade Avocado salad dressing
 Chicken Stir-Fry and Green Beans (this was leftover from dinner the night before)
Bell Peppers with Hummus (no soybean or canola oils) and Celery with Almond Butter
 Dinner –
 Chicken Asparagus Marsala with mashed cauliflower
 Caribbean Chicken with green beans and steamed broccoli
 All Natural Chili with shredded raw cheese
 (the chili was made with grass-fed beef and fresh vegetables)

A juiced mixture of Granny Smith Apples, celery, kale, spinach, strawberries, and a lemon

My sugar cravings are gone, I have lost weight, and I am now taking HALF the amount of insulin I was before this! (I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic for 20 years so this is HUGE!) There are a lot of really good things you can make with real food! It does take some time to plan and prepare everything, but it’s so worth it!!! It just makes you FEEL better inside and out!!!
 Exercise is very important also and I have started doing an at-home Crossfit program 3 times a week on top of teaching my 2 classes a week. This is a new way to exercise for me and is very intense but I am loving it…and at times very sore from it! Ever tried a Burpee???

If you are interested in getting healthy from the inside-out, let me know and I’d be happy to give you some tips that are working for me. I also highly recommend going to see a Maximized Living Doctor!!! They coach you through the whole way. If you’re around the St. Louis area, there are now 2 office close by. Check out to find out more. There are recipes, upcoming FREE events, and doctors in your area to go visit.
I hope this information encouraged you! YOU are the only one that can take charge of your health! Better to start NOW then when it's too late...


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Fun

I love Valentine's Day!!!
Since I'm a big sap, it just gives me an excuse to do cute, corny things for all my loved ones!
Seriously though, it is really important to me that my family knows how much I love them on a regular basis! I want our kids to grow up in a happy, loving home where they know they are accepted and have support from both Dan and I. I also want my husband to know how much I appreciate him and that he makes my life so much fun and enjoyable. I honestly enjoy spending time with my family and making memories with them!
I found some great ideas on Pinterest (isn't that the BEST site for ideas) so this year was really exciting. I planned it all out, went and bought all the goodies, and then got to surprise each person in my family everyday!

Warning - Picture overload!!!

The first thing I started with was leaving Valentine's on the door of each person in my family. I made a sign that said, "14 Things I Love About My Family" and each day I would write on a heart something I love about that person and put it on their door. By Valentine's Day, they all had 14 hearts!

 They each got a Valentine every morning, as well.  I started on February 1st and continued thru February 14th. We even did a few little activities as it got closer to Valentine's Day.
Here is an overview of the Valentine's my Sweethearts got each day and the "punny" sayings that went with them:
February 1st -
Gift: Soda
Saying: Just "So-da" know I love you
February 2nd -
Gift: Starburst
Saying: I'm "bursting" with love for you
February 3rd -
Gift: Sprees
Saying: Oh how I love you, let me count the ways...1,2, "Spree"
February 4th -
Gift: Mints
Saying: We're "mint" to be
February 5th -
Gift: Gummy Bears (my family likes SOUR stuff...yuck!)
Saying: You're "beary" special
February 6th -
Gift: Sour Candies
Saying: Life would be "sour" without you
Activity - Made homemade Valentine's cards

Nehemiah's cards...I tried to make them "boy" colors:

Trinity's cards:
The inside of the cards:
  February 7th -
Gift: Fruit Snacks and Fruit ropes
Saying: I'm "fruity" for you
Activity - Made thumbprint bookmarks

One for Mimi and one for Daddy!
February 8th -
Gift: Suckers
Saying: I'm a "sucker" for you
(The kids went to spend a couple nights at my Mom's on this day)
February 9th -
Gift: Beef Jerky
Saying: I didn't want to be "jerky" so I got you something manly
February 10th -
Gift: Combos
Saying: We make a great "combo"
(Got the kids back today)
February 11th -
Gift: Sour Gummy Worms
Saying: I'm "hooked" on you
Activity - Made heart window clings (with friends)

We had some friends over for a play-date so we made our window clings together!

February 12th -
Gift: Smarties
Saying: I love you "Smartie" pants
Activity - Made Strawberry Shortcake Muffins - for my "stud muffin"
February 13th -
Gift: Hersey's Kisses
Saying: "Kisses" for my Valentine
Note: the kids went to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa tonight. So what did Dan and I do? We had a nice steak dinner...then had an "active" date night. I went with him to his Krav Maga class (Israeli self-defense.) It was WAY out of my comfort zone but so fun beating each other up! I wish I would have taken some pictures...

Dan turned his dinner into a terrible tator:
February 14th -
Gift: Sweettarts
Saying: For my "Sweettart"
Activity - Made pipe cleaner hearts with pony beads craft
We also surprised my Mom and brought flowers and her favorite candy bar to her work.

Surprising Mimi:
Nehemiah squished her candy bar...sorry, Mom!
Here are the kids opening their Valentine's gift from Mimi:


Here they are making our heart pony bead project:


They kids and I also got homemade Valentine's cards from Daddy just like the ones we made him! It was so sweet! I loved seeing his BIG hand on a pink piece of paper!!! What a guy!!!
What fun things did you do for/with your family for Valentine's Day?