…stress…and sleep….and life.

17 Apr

Have you ever had financial struggles? Or are my husband and I the only ones?

I gotta say, eating healthfully on a budget can be difficult. I look forward to the day when I can post about all my AMAZING tips on ‘How to Eat REAL on a tight budget’. The real downfall for me is, I live in the Golden Heart of Alaska…North Pole, Alaska…12 miles from Downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. Well, as you can imagine, it’s still COLD here…and will be for QUIET a bit longer. I don’t have an established garden. I don’t have a greenhouse  I don’t have a lot of space in my home. And as you can guess living in Alaska, food costs are HIGH for produce and such.

So, here I am, working to make my lifestyle change SUCCESSFUL. Sometimes, it can be stressful. Not EATING or buying, but affording. I long for a growing period longer than Alaska’s 90 days. I dream of Roseburg, Oregon’s typical growing season of 280 days….um…hello! Can you say, HEAVENLY!?

Anyhow…the stress of catching up on winters bills…and LIVING this whole healthy way with Alaska’s unique challenges was really taking it’s toll on me. I’ve not been a very good financial manager of our home. I don’t understand why, because I am a very bright woman and love details and love managing stuff…so then why the struggle with our personal money? Oh, why? Hmmmm…I’ll figure it out, sooner or later. Hopefully SOONER than later. 😉

The stress, added to the penny pinching in my pantry, left me with fewer options for healthful food. And I refused to eat ‘old school’. Then it just overwhelmed me, and the stress built up (I am very good at chiding myself for my shortcomings in the financial areas of our livelihood.) and I started craving crazy stuff. Stuff I haven’t craved or wanted or thought of in the previous 49 days. So, rather than beating myself up for ‘wanting’ carbs/sugar/etc…I CHOSE ‘serving’ sizes of particular things. I have two cups of coffee, with processed white sugar and half and half, (a total of 8 teaspoons of sugar, I like(d) my coffee sweet, hence the GETTING OFF coffee and switching to Green Tea without sweetener), and a serving size of Rocky Road Ice Cream (1/2 cup) and later in the day, I had 1 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese.

Well, let me just point out, EVERY SINGLE item I chose, even though it was small servings, etc, when you look at them, they are ALL the PERFECT recipe for a MIGRAINE! YAY ME!





and drumroll…..



I was actually dressing in the locker room at Planet Fitness, soooo wanting to get a good work out in…and I started having my visual disturbances in my left eye, flashing lights and impaired sight…ugh…sad face. I decided to not workout and stress my body under those conditions. By the time I came home, my ‘painless migraine’ turned not so painless…Needless to say, it was lame. 😦

Today was much better. I had a pretty bad headache, which felt more like my sleep apnea headaches. I was looking forward to my sleep testing tonight…however, sadly, both for me, but mostly for the tech, I had to reschedule. The tech had a family emergency, and no one could cover for them. I said a prayer for the tech, and rescheduled for Saturday.

I had a nice day, after the ‘blahs’ in the morning…and spent a couple hours with a dear friend of mine…and to end it, we walked. And it was fabulous. 🙂

So, my sucky day turned out very nice. I took it easy, and ate well today. It always amazes me how our bodies know what is good for them and how the elements of stress and sleep issues cause our bodies to crave certain things. Pretty fascinating. Yep, yep.

Be blessed. 🙂

Oh, I’m going to attach a photo I took the other night, trying to get a picture of the Big Dipper…I got a bit of the Northern Lights in there. What do you think? 🙂 Northern Lights Big Dipper 4 14 2013


Working Out, is….well, working out.

15 Apr

I know…I know, I wondered if I’d stick to working out, myself. But I gotta say…I am IN LOVE with working out.

Starting off with my little peanut for my lower back and core strengthening made ALL the difference in the world! I am so thankful I found it!

It seems I’m noticeably losing weight. I’m down 25 pounds in 50 days. I kinda think that’s cool. It doesn’t SEEM like a big deal, if I’m not really thinking about it…but if I think about it, WOW! TWENTY FIVE POUNDS! In less than two months…Never even imagined.

My pants, that were too tight for me, and prompted me to order the next size up…well, the ‘tight’ ones are falling off my butt, almost. I’m constantly doing the ‘hike’ up of my pants. I kinda like it, even if it’s a little tacky. 😉

I can actually IMAGINE myself in size 18, 16…and my happy dance will commence when I’m in a size 20! YES, 20! When I met my husband, I was wearing size 8 pants/skirts and size 10 tops. I had a 29 inch waist. (I am NOT attempting to get back to that spot, but it’s where I was 16 years ago.) I got up to size 26, I’m too small for 24, but too big for 22 now. And my waist…well, sure, I’ll be brave and share….47 1/4…there, I said it…GULP! LOL

So, right now, I just focus on BUILDING muscle and eating right, resting right and dealing with stress. Yay me! 🙂

Ok…so I’m off to the wonderful world of workouts! Planet Fitness, here I come!

Be blessed,

Karla Marie

Sleep Apnea and LIFE.

15 Apr

Sooooooooooo, I had my pre-appointment for my sleep apnea…well, it’s actually the appointment to see if you sound like you have sleep apnea, and do a cursory exam.

Interestingly enough, the doctor said my ‘soft palate’ was really close to the back of my throat, which is pretty much a sure thing for obstructive airway sleep apnea.

Losing 20 pounds helped alleviate some of the worse symptoms, I still struggle with sleep apnea. And it does affect so many aspects of life, not just ‘ruining your sleep’. The hormones that get messed over from the interrupted sleep, the ‘gasping’ for air, when you stop breathing in the middle of the night, excess fluid gets pumped into your heart, and causes your heart to release a hormone, that causes you to need to urinate more.  INTERESTING!. Just saying.

The added element of messed up sleep, interrupted sleep, the body getting spurts of adrenaline and/or hormones throughout the night, and all the normal nighttime body repair and restoration that gets deprived, derailed or slowed due to the erratic sleeping pattern, it ALL amazes me. It’s NEVER just one thing. It NEVER takes days to fix what has been ‘off’ for years…but on the flip side of that coin, it’s FASCINATING how QUICKLY your body gains strength and endurance when you start to build it up and SUPPORT it.

Anyhow, I will be doing my sleep test Tuesday night. I’m so excited. The one real concern I had was ‘IF’ I have sleep apnea, having to use a CPAP machine was freaking me out. I hate the idea of ‘air’ being forced down my throat, making my mouth and throat dry. However, the doctor explained that the air is actually humidified and warm, and it’s like a tropical feel. THAT actually sounded NICE.

So, I’m looking forward to this part of my journey being understood and addressed. So very thankful.

A link or two on Sleep Apnea:

How to Deal with Sleep Apnea

Are You Dead Tired? 


Do any of you struggle with Sleep Apnea, or insomnia, or daytime exhaustion?


Be blessed,

Karla Marie


8 Apr

Notice my little ‘widget’, Good Reads?

On the right hand sidebar….maybe scroll down a little…ok, you see it now?

I just wanted to share a little disclaimer on my ‘to read’ list that I’m sharing here…I know I’ve said it in the past, but I wanted to reiterate it here, since I’m sharing titles that I don’t FULLY ascribe to…I love to garner information from MULTIPLE resources…however, I do NOT embrace EVERYTHING about any given ‘only way’…but instead LOVE to customized and research from good input and experience.

So, that being said, have YOU read any of those books?

Oh my goodness! I LIKE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT!

8 Apr


Oh my gosh. Planet Fitness offered an amazing membership option…a special sign up fee of $1 each for me and a friend, and a NO COMMITMENT membership plan of $10 a month. So, how could I NOT!?!?! My daughter and I signed up! And we rocked it!

We LOVED working out on ALL that amazing equipment! And to just use the treadmill….Oh MY GOODNESS! I did NOT KNOW I could do all the amazing stuff I CAN DO!

I have to say, right off, eating healthfully has made SUCH a huge difference! It’s given me the strength, the stamina, the energy to even WANT to workout! Wow!

I am just going to lay it all on the line, here, for you. I started, February 25th, on this leg of my journey. At a doctors appointment, to address ‘sleep apnea’ my weight was….(gulp) 301.+ pounds. That, is, um, large. (blink blink) This morning I was 278.2. That’s an average of 3.8 pounds a week. JUST changing my eating and getting more rest and DEALING with stress.

Um. Wow.

I am just now, these last week and a half, maybe two weeks, really starting to WORKOUT with any regularity….and like I said, I just WANT TO! Yeah! SHOCKER, RIGHT?!


Image I used this…a LOT! I like, like, like this one!

It’s called the Cap Barbell 45 Degree Hyperextension.

I wish I could find a list of ALL the equipment there. I want to make a routine, and ALL of the equipment is NEW and FOREIGN to me…! 🙂

I can’t even begin to express how I feel after a workout. Happy. Yes I can…I feel HAPPY!

Anyhow, I just HAD to share. I’m so thrilled to see this part of me blossoming. I love feeling MUSCLES under the fat. I am so happy that my ankles are getting stronger. That is amazing.

Wow. Ok. I’m done. 😉

Tomorrow is a low key day. Stretches and yoga.

I love loving my body.

Be blessed.

Karla’s Flax, Almond Meal and Spelt Pancakes

5 Apr

1.5 cup raw      Bobs Red Mill – Spelt Flour Whole Grain Stone Ground
 4.5 tsp              Argo – Baking Powder Aluminum Free
1.5  tsp              Table Salt
2 Tblspn           Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2.5 cups           Simple Truth Organic – Plain Soy Milk
2 large               Eggs
2 Tblspn           Maple Syrup
2  Tblspn          Organic – Flax Seed Whole
1 cup                 Raw Almonds
Grind flaxseeds
Grind almonds to make almond meal (course grind, but not chunky. Be careful to grind it too much, it may turn into almond butter)
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, ground flaxseeds, ground almonds.
In another bowl, mix the olive oil, soy milk, eggs and syrup together.
Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Cook like regular pancakes.
Makes 8 6-7 inch pancakes
Almond milk (Makes the pancakes taste/feel like waffles….kids LOVED that.)
Use your favorite flour.
Grind up some oats, until they are flourlike, but with some good sized oat bits still in them and use that instead of flour. Or replace the almond meal with the ground oats.

Homemade Ranch

5 Apr

Ok. So, THIS is my very own recipe. I didn’t know how to make it before I did. 😉 LOL

There are SEVERAL variations that I’ve used, to this recipe, depending on what was in my fridge, and what I was or wasn’t eating. Here is the BASIC way I make it, the variations will follow.


1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
1/2 cup diced/chopped fresh cilantro, including stems
2 Tablespoons dill weed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Sea Salt, to taste

Mix together, refrigerate to allow flavors to mingle.



Greek Yogurt (more protein, less fat)
Mayo (richer flavor)
Sour Cream (thicker)
(If you do mayo and sour cream, it’s an awesome dip, plus, you can thin it out with milk)