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…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!

STRESS

SLEEP ISSUES

SUGAR

CHOCOLATE

and drumroll…..

CHEESE

====

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

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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

A little bit goes a long way.

2 Apr

So, it’s been a couple days. The Holiday is over. Life is returning to normal. Ish.

Long story short, I’m SO pleased with myself!

DISCLOSURE: I want to make it perfectly honest what I mean when I make statements

like that. LOL…If I’m brutal, let me just say, I was SO low key, activity wise before, that

it’s actually rather embarrassing. When I say I’m pleased with myself, really, it doesn’t take 

much. At all. So, just in case you were feeling lame for ANY reason, whatsoever, don’t. 

I tracked EVERYTHING, EVERYDAY….and I walked a lot more than usual two days. NOT today. Ahem. Let me check my step counter (keeping in mind, I use my iPhone and I don’t carry it around all the time, but TODAY was SUPER LAME on the stepfront.) Um….yeah. 529 steps counted today.

HOWEVER, I DID exercise today…! I did my Restore Core and Back workout. I ROCKED it even better this time! I was less than impressive (YET VERY impressed with myself!) on my first try, even though it was effective and fun…but this time, I did MORE of the moves completely, or at least maintained the simpler moves better, while the more advanced techniques were shown.

I have a muscle. Well, two of them, actually. My upper arms have some SHAPE to them now. Yes, I have the little (um, bigger than ‘little’ actually) flubby flab hanging down from my upper arm….but my biceps…wow. I’M SEEING PROGRESS! It makes me a bit giddy.

My legs, they are starting to FEEL sleek. Not bulging muscles or flabless, but DIFFERENT!

I spent a LOT of time on WHF (World’s Healthiest Foods) today. I LOVE reading about the broken down analysis of the foods I love and want to use for nourishing and healing my body, and supporting it. It truly fascinates me.

My husband told me I should become a nutritionist. Oh, HOW I LONG to do that. It’s one of those secret desires. I hadn’t even told him…more like a whimsical dream. But it made me giggle when he said it.

My hubby is proud of me.

I like that.

I think I’m getting ‘it’, guys. And that makes for a very special 35 days. I ‘restarted’ my path to a healthful lifestyle again, 35 days ago…and I’ve NEVER looked back. I have been TENACIOUS this time. Understanding more about the science of food and my body has been what it took to make it all CLICK for me. I’m so grateful that I’m learning everyday, what to eat, how to eat, why to eat, how to move, THAT I CAN MOVE without pain.

I’ve had chronic pain for years….(not as bad as a lot of people, but enough to really put me off working out and being active.) and not knowing HOW to work my body and knowing there are so many options and keys, I suffered. Suffered in my own inactivity. Clung to the chronic pain, in fear of creating MORE pain. And I’m so THANKFUL I’m able to actually see, I CAN DO THINGS that WORK and not only does it NOT hurt, but it HELPS! OMGoodness!

Thank You, Lord, for helping me see You in this part of my life. It’s such a blessing.

Be blessed, all.

Karla Marie

The “Food FLu”…?

30 Mar

Ok. So, I’ve been AMAZING for the last 30+ days…no eating out, real food only, fruits/veggies, decent (not organic) chicken and wild caught Alaskan Salmon….BUT TODAY, I went to lunch, for a special occassion, and made a great food choice, logistically speaking, yet left with what I call, “The FOOD Flu”.

I’ve felt that before…LAST year when I had switched to veggies and smoothies…then went out with friends for dinner and a hockey game…and BAM! I was SO SICK for 6 hours…sweaty, nauseous, uncomfortable, bloated, wanting to throw up, having to ‘go’ to the bathroom…just NASTY!

I was rather surprised to feel that way today. I was super proud of myself. Chicken meat, lettuce, a little bit of sour cream (which is ok, not GREAT…but it’s fine), some salsa, and refried beans…with water…(everyone around me was drinking soda, and boy howdy, I was actually craving some Dr. Pepper right about then…but I thought about it…and really, I DIDN’T want all that sugar…not at all…)…I figured, I’m set, look at me, I am amazing! 🙂

Till I started sweating. No, it wasn’t extra spicy salsa. Then, I started feeling nasty in my tummy…Then, I realized…I’ve felt this before….SAD FACE. 😦

Needless to say, I have NO desire to go to a restaurant any time soon. I LOVE that my food makes me FEEL AWESOME! Strong, healthy and satisfied.

I love food…that is REAL. ❤

Today was a good day. I like it.

29 Mar

After my rebellious outburst, exercising in the MORNING, getting my day started off feeling accomplished. With my lower back issues, the ability do a crunch and such without pain, felt WONDERFUL. I bought Restore by GAIAM STRONG CORE & BACK workout, with a peanut shaped therapy ball. I feel AMAZING for what I COULD do from the DVD. That little peanut gave me so much support and comfort.

I ate ‘freely’ this evening. I ate SMART. I loved it. HOWEVER, sidenote: The previous month of hardcore food research and reading helped me tremendously, choose my food and servings wisely. I was content and I actually ENJOYED eating, rather than trying to ‘hit a goal’ or ‘avoid a this-that-or-the-other-thing’. OMG, it was heavenly.

I walked after dinner, to try to push my steps up on my iPhone app. Again, I feel like a rock star. I shoveled ice/snow.

I bought notebooks at the store, so I could fill them up with quick reference info on the foods that I want to include in our menu, with details that will give me the input I need to make choices without having to dig.

I’m looking forward to filling them up. 🙂

Has anyone checked out that site, The Worlds Healthiest Foods site? Do you have anything to share with me, something you’ve found? I’m interested in hearing what you’ve done, or are doing, or trying. 🙂

Be blessed.

LOL…how can it be SO TRUE, the more I learn, the more I don’t know!?

28 Mar

So, I’ve been working on that thing called balance.

“This says” don’t exercise until after 5pm. “That says” don’t even think of eating after 7pm. “The other” says don’t snack.

“Eat THIS much protein”

“DON’T eat CARBS”

Drink THIS

DON’T drink THAT

Murderer of helpless animals (seriously, I was watching a ‘Raw Food’ DVD the other day, and the woman actually said that. I thought that was just teasing people that were vegetarians/vegans, and come to find out, they think I’m a murderer!)

Oh my gosh…the list is LONG, ON TOP OF…………….”DON’T STRESS!”

Excuse my cyber expletives, but WTH!?!?!

HOW CAN SOMEONE NOT STRESS with THAT MESS!?!?

Yes…I speak of this elusive balance.

Yes, what makes me happy, peaceful, fulfilled is likely NOT going to be the exact same thing for YOU.

SO, what’s a person to do?

Here’s what I’ve really decided to do. CHILLAX! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

NO, not GIVE up. but relax!

As far as I’m concerned, learning about foods and their fabulous gift to us and our bodies, minds and spirits and using them as I feel we’re intended to. To heal, nourish and enjoy!

So….I came to this deep conclusion due to last nights breakdown. I have been wanting to go swimming. Our local pools Open Swim time is 7-9pm. I was running behind in town, and didn’t have time to eat BEFORE leaving, enough to fill me up for the night WITHOUT overdoing it for the pool…and we’d be swimming until 9pm….so, of course, it’s ‘against the law’ to eat after 7pm…so the STARVING feeling I ALWAYS get after swimming was killing me, just KNOWING I couldn’t even make a healthful choice and eat.

I SERIOUSLY CONTEMPLATED A McDonald’s DIPPED CONE, I KID YOU NOT!

(I haven’t had a craving like that in 30 days!)

After being rather unkind and pissy towards my precious family, already pushing myself past my regular comfort zone, GOING SWIMMING IN THE FIRST PLACE, getting my chubs into a suit and BEING THERE, but now, stressing about the predicament I had put myself in….I cried…and apologized…and decided, THIS STRESS is NOT WORTH IT…and I’m going to make MY OWN choices, without overthinking or worrying.

And I did.

AND, I worked out this morning, at 11. AM. IN THE MORNING. HA HA!

Let me tell you….the 20 minute DVD I did, working on my core and lower back, using a back ball thingy (I have a fractured L5 disc and it causes a LOT of pain if I’m not careful, making core workouts and strengthening difficult.)

I was ACTUALLY happy afterwards. The ‘high’ I got from that gentle yet effective workout was insane and INSPIRING!

So, I have just reaffirmed my quest for MY balance. And it makes me giddy.

What’s up with you…?

I love the FLUIDness of life!

27 Mar

So, after my last post, having done a food audit of the 26 days previous, I have continued to delve into several informative and interesting articles.

I have found a site, one many people may have already found it…but it’s been a FUN and JUICY gem of a site, www.whfoos.org World’s Healthiest Foods

I’m going to link MY FAVORITE PAGE right here….LINK 

Can you say, YAY!? YAY!

So, anyhoo…refresher: I was attempting to customize a plan that included, Eat Right For Your Blood Type, the Leptin Reset, and Anti-Inflammatory eating. And I have recently taken it down a notch on the extreme ness of the Leptin Reset, keeping paramount the timing and thoughtfulness on stress and sleep, and no snacking.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be an ‘all or nothing’ girl. And I’ve endeavored to be thoughtful and not psychotic ‘eat right for your blood type’ follower, but instead, take it in balance. I maintained a semblance of balance, but I tweeked it a bit over the past two days.

I have POURED over and through all of these foods on the Worlds Healthiest Foods and look for collaborating information and I just marvel at God’s amazing attention to detail and thoughtfulness when He created all of these perfectly complimenting and life sustaining elements of FOOD to nourish our very bodies.

I just wanted to share my latest finds, and see what’s up with YOU!?

Enjoy!