Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Body: Please heal.

In all honesty, I have had some progress since the accident. I feel silly making a big deal out of it. A stupid fender-bender. Screwed me up good, though. The perpetual migraine is gone, at least. I promise I have been doing everything in my power to speed things along. But no matter how sick I am of being the tortoise, I guess I won't get to be the hare until my body is good and ready.

Now for the patience to accept that.

Ps. Dear body, I fed you steak, turkey, bacon, and eggs tonight. You are welcome. Love, me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Italian Meatballs

Remember how I keep alluding to my awesome recipe that I need to post?

I promise I haven't been making you wait on purpose. You all know how life gets in the way of things, right? ;)

Speaking of life and recent happenings, today was Day 5 of rest/recovery. However, I was going stir-crazy by not being at the gym. Call me maybe crazy. So, I went and kept the sweet older folks company... walked for a while on the treadmill. I got two miles in and even broke a sweat! Whew. :)

I did some stretching and rolling there as well. I also went back to one of my good friends today: the chiropractor. And will be going back on Friday. I thought the migraine from yesterday was done, but then I awoke last night at 1:30 because my head was pounding. Lovely. Awoke again at 5:30 and called that good... yikes. Thankfully I'm tight with another one of my good friends, ibuprofen. Heh.

So anyway,

I was hungry for a) meat and b) something Italian-flavored awhile back. I know, big surprise, right? Plus I had seen this recipe on Pinterest for crockpot Italian meatballs. We all know how much I like waiting for food.. and the crockpot just doesn't cut it for me most of the time.

So, Italian meatballs, Mariah-style. ;) Good thing I had pictures of the process; it has been so long, I nearly forgot what I did!

Remember this amazing bison sausage? Perfect for this. Turkey or pork sausage would also work well.

My lovely US. Wellness Meats ground turkey. Psst. I signed up for an affiliate link from them.. so if you're thinking about ordering some of their amazing bacon or pork sausage (or host of other amazing products), I would appreciate it if you would click through this link here. :) I need to get a little banner up on the side of my page too. Soon.

Ahh. Marinara sauce.

I mixed the sausage with turkey burger, added plenty of Italian seasoning, and 2 eggs.

Isn't that appetizing? Hah!

Then I used my big cookie-dough scooper and plopped it in my preheated pan with coconut oil.

I didn't use any ground almond/flax meal, so I had to leave them alone in the pan for quite a while. They weren't pretty. And not at all round.

But they were delicious! Especially after topping them with marinara and Parmesan. Mmm.

Italian Meatballs

1-pound ground turkey (or pork/beef)
1-pound sausage (I used 12-oz of bison sausage, but turkey/pork would work well)
Italian seasoning
Marinara sauce (look for varieties without sugar... or make your own!)
Coconut oil for frying

1. Preheat pan to medium-high heat
2. Mix sausage, ground meat, eggs and seasoning
3. Add coconut oil
4. Drop rounded balls into the heated pan/coconut oil (make them prettier than mine.. :D)
5. Let cook more than halfway through.
6. Flip and let finish cooking.
       Honestly, I don't remember how long it took. I had to break one open to find out if it was done or not. :)
7. Top with heated marinara

8. Enjoy. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 4 of "Rest"

Today is the 4th consecutive "rest day" for me.

No working out. No cardio. Just a little stretching and rolling.

And this morning, I had a massive migraine. I haven't had one this bad since the day I drove home from Iowa after Justin's funeral.

Actually, I haven't had a migraine at all since probably last summer when I really cleaned up my eating and dropped most of my weight. A migraine is usually my body's way of telling my brain to knock off the torture.

Remember that whole "taking a break" thing? I have been trying, honest!

Granted, it has been a rough last few days. Here's the highlight reel:

Last Thursday evening...

The essence of the story is my awesomeness. In other words, I'm an idiot.

Pretty sure I braced myself, which completely helps my shoulder issues. Oh? No? It makes it worse?

We just heard today that the estimate was approved by the insurance company. Good deal, since apparently for that year of Cobalt, they will total the car if the damage is greater than 71% of its value. I managed to slide in with damages at 61% of the total value.

Yikes. My poor car. Fortunately, I was "fine," the other guy was really nice about everything, and even the cop was a sweetheart. Can a guy cop be a sweetheart?

I may or may not have jumped off my chocolate bandwagon that evening. I had been chocolate-free for months. Months, I tell you!

But like I said on Facebook, sometimes this is how you make lemonade out of lemons.. ;) And sometimes, just sometimes, there are experiences in life where cussing and chocolate are required. And wrecking your favorite car ever when your husband's out of town is one of those times.

So there was that. Friday was fairly normal. Aside from, you know, fallout of an accident and spending hours on the phone with different people, housework, prepping for a wedding, and trying desperately to get caught up with proofing. I might have had 2 more squares of chocolate.

Saturday was a wedding. Sore muscles + holding a camera all day = torture. And there was Justin's birthday. Which actually came and went with a lot more "sweet" and a lot less "bitter." Also, love it when the hubby starts some projects on Saturday evening, resulting in 1:00am bedtimes. UGH.

Sunday was pretty normal, but also prepping for company. Plus a mental crash. All the lovely exhaustion of the weekend combined with this:

Oh, it was good. Grandma B makes amazing pie. But. I only ate 2/3 of the piece, and the results were nasty. Mood swings, I was "out of it" the entire afternoon, and I was feeling panicky and overwhelmed while thinking about the coming week. Definitely not a healthy stress response.

I told my darling hubby (thanks again for loving me, by the way) to remind me about that experience if I ever. want. pie. again. Seriously. It was that horrible. I have sworn off pie. Okay, well except for a bite or two of pumpkin at Thanksgiving. ;)

Monday was decent. I had a chiro treatment. Oh, that was awesome. Then normal computer work.

Or at least I thought so until today. And this nasty migraine.

So, dear body... What in the world? Why the migraine after nearly a year? Too much stress? Not enough sleep? Too much chocolate? All likely, I suppose.

Anyway, on a lighter note. I am pretty excited for the rest of this week: an ordering session, an engagement session, and my last wedding in a row on Saturday. The rest of the weddings I am photographing are a little more evenly spaced throughout the rest of the summer/fall, so that will be great.

Plus! The hubby is working around home this week. Ahh. What a wonderful break from his out-of-town work. :)

A random from last week: I hadn't worn this top since high school! So despite the facts that it's too big and horribly out of date, I wore it anyway. :)

I had so much fun grocery shopping just for myself... and then I found out the hubby would be home this week, so it was off to the grocery store again!

Well, happy Tuesday. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Today. 06.16.2012

A while back, I read this blog post about a woman who lost her father at 39.

She titled it "Why am I so passionate about real food?"

On her dad's birthday, what would have been her dad's 47th birthday, she wrote this on her Facebook status:
Do you think that what you eat doesn't really matter? Or maybe you're meaning to start eating healthier, but you keep putting it off? Can't seem to make time for exercise? Think it's all not really a big deal? When you see me talking about cleaning up my diet, do you think I've taken it just a little too far? When I tell you I don't feed my kids sugar or grains, do you really think I've gone off the deep end??? Does it make you uncomfortable when you hear about the risks of eating fake food and not exercising? Are you feeling uncomfortable right now, reading this status?

Good. I hope you are feeling uncomfortable. I hope you're feeling uncomfortable enough to DO something about it. Because you know what else is uncomfortable? Missing your dad. Watching his favorite team win the NCAA championship without him. Knowing you'll never get to introduce your kids to him, at least not this side of heaven. My dad should be turning 47 today. But instead we lost him to obesity at the too-young age of 39.

Please don't make the same mistake. Please don't think that it doesn't matter, that it won't happen to you, that you have plenty of time left. Your family needs you. Please honor my dad today and think about what kind of changes you can make to be healthier. You don't have to change it all at once. Take baby steps. Do a couple of things at a time. But please, don't keep putting it off. Do it for you, do it for me, do it for your family.

Then she wrote this in her blog post:
Does that seem somewhat inappropriate? Would it still feel inappropriate if my dad had died from lung cancer, and I was pleading with you to stop smoking? What if he had died in an auto accident, and I was spreading the word about how seatbelts and car seats save lives? Would it be okay for me to spread those message? Why is it different just because I'm talking about food? Fake food kills. Obesity kills. And I'm going to keep sharing that message with as many people as I can.

It really set me back a little.

So. Today. June 16, 2012.

My brother would have been 27 years old. Justin Ray Remmers.

I know some people question the intensity of the changes I have made in my life. Why? Why get so drastic? Why put so much time and effort in? There are so many other important things to life! Taking care of your body is just going to end at the grave anyway.


But isn't it worth it to take care of what you have while you have it?

Isn't it worth it to live a long, healthy life with those you care about?

Isn't it worth it to live past your 26th birthday?

I loved my brother dearly... I wish I could go back in time and simply tell him that. I don't remember actually having done that. There are things I wish I could say. He truly was a gem. A teddybear of a guy who would do anything for the people he loved. He always was the life of the party, the center of conversations, and a charismatic presence in the room where he was.

I love the memories I have of him. I wish that I could lock them up somehow, safe from the attack of my fading memory.

And so, my wish for you is this. Take things seriously. Get a grip on your health. Live long enough for those around you to enjoy you.

Since I am already on my soap box, I might as well forge full speed ahead. The biggest complaint I seem to hear, is that you do not have time. No time to exercise, no time to eat right, no time to get a good night's sleep. Really? No time?


Because you know who actually doesn't have time? Justin.

Everyone else who has died an early death due to heart disease. They don't have the time.

And maybe you truly don't have time to exercise. I find it hard to believe that you cannot steal even 15-20 minutes out of a 24-hour day. But, let's say you have special circumstances and a plateful of responsibilities that prevent you.

Fine. You still have to eat, don't you? Start taking that seriously then. Eat the foods that sustain you, while providing you the most nutritional benefit. Cut out the processed crap. Eat another burger instead of the bun. Learn more about the SAD (Standard American Diet), eg. that little plate illustration that Michelle Obama came up with... and then look at how that way of eating has "helped" us. Rising obesity rates, chronic inflammation, disease, etc, etc.

There are ways to become healthy. Educate yourself. Take the time.

Because someday you might not have time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Right now.

Right now my heart feels full. I feel relaxed. Or this headache has dulled my thinking.

3 reasons why:
1. I decided today that we need to take a trip home. So I picked out a weekend. And yes, it is going to be in the middle of my crazy season. But this makes me beyond happy. I haven't been home since last October. :/

2. Tomorrow = rest day. This makes me excited. And a little nervous.

3. Some mellow Benjamin Stockwell is floating through my speakers. It is like magnesium in music form.

Anyway, I can never leave you without something random. Or at the very least, not give you an image or two and a page-long blog post. ;)

I have thought about writing "dear body" letters. For a long time. And then I came across this on Pinterest a few days ago.

I'm thinking "Dear body, I just gave you bacon meatloaf. You're welcome." Yes? This is a good idea?

Does this ever happen to you? Sigh. This may or not have been the second time I did this. Consecutively.

Finally, remember this top? Yeah. Last Saturday was a scorcher. 90*. And I had a 100% outdoors wedding. Fortunately it was breezy. Anyway, I figured I would break it out again.

Note to self: apply sunscreen more than once. This is what I looked like on Sunday after the wedding...

Yeah. Ouch. Love that little purple splotch. If you were wondering, coconut oil is incredible for sunburns.

One thing that's not good for sunburns? Backsquats. ;)

And yes, I still have an amazing recipe to post for you. Italian meatballs. Someday soon. It's worth the wait, promise.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Taking a break. Or something.

I have a bajillion things to do right now. Bajillion is a very technical term, didn't you know? Probably a bajillion images to proof and edit. Plus a stack of papers on my desk that is growing exponentially. It's getting close to the "bajillion" status.

Plus my shoulders and elbows are feeling the fact that I have photographed more hours in the month of June than I did during the first 5 months of the year. Combined. They've been popping, grinding, and all sorts of lovely things. Tendonitis is only a photo session (or 10 burpees) away. Sitting at a computer and typing doesn't help.

Plus I'm hungry.

So that's like a bajillion strikes against me blogging right now. But here I sit with an ice pack on one shoulder and a heating pad on the other. Why? Because, darn it, I feel like blogging.


Ever have those "lightbulb" moments? Flashes of realization?

I had one of those. I think. I am pretty slow at learning these things.

I realize there will be people who will shake their heads in judgement and get all "I-told-you-so" on me. Regardless. I've always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, so why stop now, right?


I debated even telling you all. It's embarrassing.

Ready? Here it is: I realized that I know absolutely nothing about what I am doing.

There. I said it. Just when I think I have things semi-figured out, something changes. Or goes haywire. Or goes off track with what I had been thinking.

I've come to these few conclusions lately... based some really great articles as well as on my own experience (obviously). But then again, I am pretty clueless. So. Take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

Rest vs. Recovery (The best one that set my mental gears in motion...)
Why Can't I Lose Weight?
On the mend: Healing from Adrenal Fatigue and Dealing with Hashimotos
Body Composition Testing and Losing the Goal Weight Mentality


Here's what's going on.

Weight gain. We're talking 10-pounds-ish from my lowest point, which is about 6-8 more than my ideal.

Body fat percentage increase. Nothing over the top, but about 2%. And. it's. not. going. down.

Sticky shoulders and arms. The popping sounds? Yeah, not good. The chiro told me to cool it with some of my overhead work, or they are going to be out of commission sooner rather than later. I told him I was only split-jerking 105 that morning. My current PR is 125, by the way. Those are definitely one of my top faves for lifts. He didn't really seem impressed. Huh.


Here's what I think I'm doing wrong.

Over-training. (See? I can see you shaking your head and hear you sighing. Stop that.)

Actually, scratch that. I think I'm actually under-recovering. It's so kind of me to beat my body to a pulp and then go sit here in this chair for the rest of the day. No wonder my hip flexors are so achy. I think it's time for more active recovery days. Time to take more breaks from sitting in this very chair.

Over-eating. Maybe. Somewhat. The jury in my mind is still out on this one. I might have gotten a little, um, liberal with my avocado broccoli slaw. ;) But I had to make a change from my extreme ketogenic to incorporate more carbs into my daily diet. However, I AM eating super clean. Do you have any idea how hard it is to say no to wedding cake Saturday after Saturday?? ;)

Too much stress, not enough sleep. I consider this the most important. I can tell dramatic performance decreases when I don't get enough sleep. And stress? What's that? ;)


So. Obviously, I am just kind of bumbling along. Continuing on my journey. Making mistakes and learning as I go.

I have been attempting to back off on some things, forcing myself to quit working at 9 so I can be in bed, and playing around with my diet/food log. The usual things.

These few pounds have got to go. Or they at least have to turn themselves into muscle.

And it is time to let some of these nagging things heal. Hips, elbows, shoulders.. this means you.

And stress? We're working on it.

I'll keep you updated. :)


PS. While I was typing/editing, I made myself spicy dog food. Mmm. So spicy. So yummy.

PPS. Canned, whole chipotle peppers are really unappetizing to look at. Like really unappetizing.

PPPS. I have other random news plus a recipe to get posted eventually. More work needs to get done first though...

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I do not have any type of medical training, and my workouts and training are only intended for my personal recollection and your curiosity. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience. All images are subject to a personal copyright unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without permission. If you read to the end of this, congratulations.