Happy 2020! We are in the 20’s now, how cool is that?
A couple weeks ago one of my co-workers suggested a few of us do “Laura’s 3 week cleanse” in January. I haven’t done the cleanse in YEARS so I was like YAAAAAS!
We’re doing it.
So I thought I would do a few posts on what I’ll be doing to prepare for the cleanse (as I type with chocolate in my mouth just thinking about it), what I’m eating and how I’m feeling.
And also, WHO ELSE WANTS TO DO IT WITH US???!
We start Monday, January 13.
Here are the details of what the cleanse entails. In that original post I say “no gluten including oatmeal” but I would like to change that to just “no gluten, oatmeal is fine” because oatmeal is gluten free. There is the risk of some gluten contamination but I think most of us are fine eating that trace amount. Or if you want to be sure serious you can buy certified gluten free oats.
A few notes:
The first time I did this cleanse I did it only as a challenge because a couple of my clients were complaining about how hard it was and I wanted to prove them wrong. So if the thought of a cleanse sounds scary, just tackle it from a place of curiosity. Like, how difficult can this really be?
It’s not about starvation!!! Eat fruit, eat rice, eat potatoes, eat rice pasta, eat tofu, eat tempeh, eat beans. Make a chili using some of those ingredients. Make rice pasta with marinara sauce. Make a smoothie. It’s not about just eating salad and raw vegetables and being hungry. No way!
If there is something you can’t stand the thought of giving up…don’t give it up. Any time we put ourselves in a state of deprivation we are setting ourselves up for a big binge later on down the road. So don’t get to a state of deprivation! Eat an abundance of healthful food.
How I’m preparing:
I’m thinking about the reward. I have done many, many cleanses in my life and it’s not all fun all the time, but one thing I know I can look forward to is feeling better. Having fewer aches and pains/ less stiff joints. Clear skin, less puffy eyes, improved sleep and more energy to name a few. Thinking about how good I will feel is really what motivates me! Of course, the first time I did this cleanse I lost a good 10 pounds in 3 weeks which is a powerful motivator too!
I’m figuring out what I want to eat during the first week. I’m still deciding but it will look something like this (subject to change):
Smoothie with frozen fruit, greens, protein powder and flax oil
Sunday I will go grocery shopping and chop veggies, prepare soup, tofu etc.
Mentally prepare. I already don’t eat animal products, alcohol or caffeine so the thing that will be most difficult for me is: SUGAR! I know the first 3 days will be difficult but I’m thankful to have my co-workers to lean on during difficult moments.
Alright, that is about it as far as preparation.
And for posterity, here are a couple pictures. Here I am from a recent vacation.
And here is Rocco laying in front of the heat vent to stay warm!
Woo Hoo, it’s a new blog post! This has been on my to-do list for MONTHS and my big goal was to get this out in time for anyone who is looking for some shopping inspiration before the Holidays! Obviously nothing on here is sponsored in any way, these are all items that I bought and have been using for several months and want to shout from the rooftops about how much I love each and every item on here. I am seriously so excited.
Let’s get to it, going clockwise, starting in the top left corner.
Athleta Elation Leggings
Of course my first pick would be leggings. I am somewhat of an expert of course considering I wear leggings at least 5 days/week and now that I have these it’s closer to 7 days/week. So let me tell you why they are perfect. I used to buy the Lululemon Align Leggings but 1) they pill and 2) they show every lump and bump on your bottom which isn’t a professional look for me. These Elation Leggings have the same buttery soft feel as the Aligns, but they smooth you out and they offer just the tiniest bit of compression but without feeling like the life is being squeezed out of you. Mine have not pilled and they are not see through (why is this something we are even still having to talk about? Shouldn’t all pants be not-see through?) I wear these leggings for all activities including hot yoga. Yes, that’s right, they are even good for the hot sweaty type workouts. They are soft and comfy though so also great for travel. They run true to size.
Marley’s Monsters UnPaper Towels and Napkins
We’ve gone paperless in our household! Yes, that’s right, no more paper towels or paper napkins in our home and we love it!! We realized UnPaper Towels are just towels really. I thought it might be a pain having to wash napkins and (unpaper)towels but it isn’t inconvenient at all. I just throw these in with the rest of my towels. They don’t wrinkle and haven’t stained like I thought they would. I think these would make a great gift for anyone who is trying to be more environmentally conscious. We love them. Plus they come in a ton of different prints and colors. Very fun.
Spin Pins AKA my hair secret
These hair pins are the secret to my hair buns that will withstand spin class or sweaty downward dogs without budging at all. Twist hair up into a bun, insert 2 spin pins, remove after class or once hair is dry and enjoy wavy hair. That’s my big secret!
Moldex Ear Plugs
Only this last year or two did I start sleeping with ear plugs and in the process I tried out at least 5 different varieties before finding these and dubbing them “the best”. They seem like denser foam than the others I tried. I do trim the ends down so they don’t stick out of my little ears (aw, how cute).
Please note this is a stock photo and not an actual picture of what my organizer looks like. If you think I own lip gloss and Versace perfume you’d have me confused with someone else. I saw this on Amazon and thought it was brilliant. Cleans up the bathroom counter top nicely and looks like a display case to show off all those lovely skincare items that bring me so much joy.
We debated this purchase for MONTHS then finally decided to make the investment ($$$). Within 2 weeks we had a second because we each needed one as my hubby travels often and takes the TheraGun with him. This thing might seem like such an excessive splurge, but it has made a huge difference in the tissue around the screws in my hip. I can go from being in a lot of pain to almost no pain after using this. It’s also really helped my tight calves and shoulder pain I’ve been dealing with since I can only lay on the left side of my body now. I definitely recommend to anyone with injuries! It looks like it would be painful but I promise it isn’t. It’s a zillion times more enjoyable than foam rolling (which I despise). Side note, I did order the Liv and returned it. I didn’t like that it only has one speed and it was louder and ran a bit rough in my opinion. We have also tried the Pro but we didn’t feel like the features on the pro were necessary and worth the extra cost.
Athleta Breathe In Bra
This bra says it’s low support and also low coverage but I have to disagree. I’d say it has perfect support and fairly high coverage (goes higher up in the front). I do like it for yoga but I find I reach for it for daily wear as well and it would be fine for hiking and biking. It is overall just very comfortable. And the buttery soft material is the same as those elation pants I mentioned earlier. The best I’ve worn to this date.
In addition to wearing ear plugs, I also now sleep with an eye mask and don’t know how I’ve survived without one. I’ve tried several and the thing about this one is that it is hollowed out around the eyeball area so your eyes and eyelashes don’t get smashed. Completely blocks out all light and the strap is wide and adjustable and doesn’t tangle up in my hair like straps with velcro will do.
Rothy’s Slip on Sneaker
Cute shoes made from recycled plastic! They are also machine washable and comfortable. I hemmed & hawed over these for a good long while and now I wish I had bought them sooner. And I want the leopard ones too. They do run a little small/narrow. My foot is a super consistent size but these I had to exchange for a half size larger.
Alright, those are my top 9 favorite “things”. But would you believe I have a separate list already prepared for my Favorite Skincare & Beauty and also Favorite Haircare products?! It could be several months before those come out so I’ll just say Happy Holidays now, ha!
But really, I hope the rest of 2019 is amazing for you!
I’m popping in to document the salad I have been eating pretty much most days of the week all summer. Super simple, super easy to make, super satisfying, super yum.
So here we go. This is what it looks like:
And this is how to make it:
Avocado Cilantro Dressing
1 ripe avocado
1/2-1 bunch cilantro
Mild green salsa
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. I didn’t list out quantities for the lime juice or salsa so I’ll just say the amount is *some*. Start with the avocado and the the cilantro. I probably use the equivalent of 3 limes but it depends on the size of the lime. And then I pour salsa in until the dressing reaches the desired consistency.
Salad I’m loving
red or green onion
I pretty much just toss in whatever I have, mixing and matching different vegetables. I do subscribe to a CSA so it’s fun to pick up my produce box every week and to then incorporate those fresh veggies into my salad.
That’s it and I haven’t gotten sick of eating it yet!
Other updates: I haven’t been up to anything too terribly interesting these days, just enjoying the amazing summer we’ve had here in Salt Lake! We did take a trip to Germany, Austria and Italy this summer which was AMAZING. We went so my husband could attend the paragliding festival we went to last year and then we added some different stops this time around. We spent a few nights in the Dolomites, here is a photo from that area. Photos really don’t do this place justice.
After returning home from Europe we’ve just been having a real low-key, fun-centered summer. We’ve gotten out hiking and mountain biking which has seriously been SO FUN. The last probably 5-6 years I’ve been so consumed with running that I wasn’t able to really do anything else and now it feels like there’s a whole new world out there for me to explore! I’ve lived in Utah for I think 14 years and I have hardly done any hiking. Turns out, hiking is actually really hard. Harder than running at times. Who knew?
It’s been 11 months now, since I broke my hip! The only activity I can’t do is run which is totally fine. Actually last week I did secretly go for a run and didn’t tell anyone, ha. I just used an interval timer and ran for 30 seconds and walked for 30 seconds for 30 minutes total. It definitely felt better than the last time I went for run so I’m hopeful that another year from now I might be able to run a 5K here and there. Maybe.
I’m really on pins and needles waiting for the 1 year check up just to make sure everything looks good and I will be sure to update at that point!
Rocco is doing great. He’s just funny and smart and lazy and snuggly and just the best little pal. He loves to get inside pillowcases and blankets even if it’s 100 degrees outside. Here is a collage:
Acne has been an ongoing topic here for many years now and I haven’t written a post on the subject in YEARS and it is high time I discuss what ACTUALLY worked for me* to get rid of that horrible cystic acne. Recently I have gotten compliments on my skin from complete random strangers so it got me thinking…I think my skin is finally clear and I have some really good tips to share that I wish I would have known about 10 years ago!
*I have to say this information is purely anecdotal and it’s just what worked for me personally. There are many causes of acne and everyone is different. This is just my story.
If you need more back story on my acne journey, you can read about it here.
Otherwise, here is a short summary:
At age 30 (9 years ago) I stopped taking birth control pills, got a copper IUD and started using Bare Minerals makeup all at the same time. I started to develop cystic acne. At first I blamed the makeup but the acne didn’t improve after I stopped using the bare minerals and over time it got worse and worse…and worse. I experimented with everything under the sun but nothing and I mean nothing worked. I eventually got the copper IUD out and thought the acne would just clear right up but it only marginally improved.
The acne got so bad that every day I would wake up to new clusters of deep cysts. They were obviously coming on WAY faster than they were going away and I started to get really depressed about this. At one point I thought I would need to break up with my boyfriend (now husband) because I couldn’t stand the thought of him seeing what my skin really looked like without concealer. Side note: he was obviously not bothered when he saw what I “really” looked like.
To keep this short I will just summarize by saying I tried EVERY REMEDY under the sun. I tried every medication except for accutane. I tried every type of skin care system, every supplement that could possibly help and even did some really strict diets and cleanses to try to clear it up. I tried lasers, acupuncture, clean pillowcases, facials and every random thing I read on the internet so trust me when I say I tried everything!
The good news is, none of that stuff worked which means supplements, medication and special diets are.not.needed!
So here is a list of what ultimately got rid of my cystic acne and got me to perfectly clear, smooth skin!!
TWO MUST HAVE PRODUCTS TO KEEP THOSE SUCKERS COVERED 24/7
These two products are the only things I absolutely swear by for getting rid of acne.
Once I started keeping my spots covered at all times, even when I was home alone helped me a lot mentally. I used to obsess over my spots and check their progress every few minutes probably, looking to see if anything had changed. Is is better? Is it worse? I drove myself crazy! Once I started to keep them lightly covered with these two products I stopped obsessing as much.
How to do it: After the nighttime skin care regimen take a Q-Tip and pull the tip apart a little bit to make a soft, fuzzy end. Dip that end in the blemish clearing powder and dab on to all the spots. Use a new Q-Tip each time to prevent the spread of bacteria.
In the morning, to cover the spots, use the concealer stick and then, if necessary, dab on the blemish clearing powder as described above.
This is the secret formula I tell you! These products don’t do anything to actually get rid of the cysts but they are soothing and will help with pain and the coverage will last all day.
GET A REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER SYSTEM
I know this one might seem a little extreme or out there or just plain expensive but I attribute 99% of my clear skin to switching to Reverse Osmosis water.
I made this switch years ago and to this day I can tell when the filter needs to be changed. I am really that sensitive to it! I will get a couple cysts on my cheeks specifically and know the filter is due for a change. Change the filter and voila, skin is clear.
AVOID WEARING MAKEUP
I have noticed that any time I’ve thought I should take up wearing makeup my skin gets worse. I have tried many brands and of course I would wash my brushes, but for me, my skin just hates makeup and it needs to breathe. So, I just wear this tinted sunscreen and then use concealer as described above if needed.
WATCH WHERE YOU REST YOUR HANDS
I only recently noticed that I rest my chin on my hands when I work or read or whatever and I have noticed when I do that I get breakouts in that area. So, not a cause of cystic acne by any means but something to watch out for.
STOP EATING CHOCOLATE?
I put a question mark by that one because I’m not sure if it’s true or not. All I know is that I recently stopped eating chocolate and my skin has gotten next level clear. Prior to quitting chocolate I was eating quite a bit of chocolate every day. You know, good stuff like the 70% or higher vegan, organic kind. So maybe it’s not an issue for someone who just has the odd piece of chocolate here and there but I was probably eating 3 bars a week or more, ha!
TREAT YOUR SKIN LIKE YOU LIKE IT
Ok, here’s a hot tip: be gentle with your skin. Treat it as if it is very sensitive, because it is. I used to press my face so hard when I would wash it because I was secretly just feeling around for all the bumps and taking inventory and I thought more pressure was better. But then I went in for a facial one day and the esthetician used the lightest pressure when she touched my face and I just thought-Oh I need to do that. As a result, I obsessed less, put myself down less and just felt less bad about my acne in general.
This tip also includes poking, prodding and picking. 3 of my favorite things, haha! But I started to notice that every time I picked at one cyst, 4-6 would come to it’s funeral which really made my problem much, much worse. To this day, if a cyst shows up my motto is: ignore it and it will go away. These are cysts. Picking and poking will only make them bigger and angrier. So leave them alone, let them run their course and try not to interfere.
This also includes buying products suitable for sensitive skin. I always thought my skin was so gnarly and bad that I needed the harshest, toughest products but I’ve learned my skin does better with products for sensitive skin.
That’s about it! So it’s not a matter of getting a bunch of products or needing to do MORE to the skin, it’s really about a minimal routine, pure drinking water and keeping those cysts covered until they are all gone.
If you read the post I made a few years ago I thought my acne was hormonal, but after reading the Medical Medium’s books I think maybe my liver was full of hormonal birth control pills and copper from the IUD. Maybe that is why switching to R.O. water made such a difference. I have made several changes since I read all the Medical Medium books and I will list them below, but just know that my skin was really good BEFORE I implemented any of this MM stuff.
Changes I have made since reading all the Medical Medium books (not for acne, just for fun & general health).
32 ounces of lemon water first thing every morning
16 ounces of celery juice 30-60 minutes after the lemon water
I do feel like this combo is boosting my skin health even more
Switched back to a plant based diet about 5 months ago. I would say I have a mostly vegan diet but you know me, I can’t turn down a cookie even if it has eggs & butter in it so I can not claim to be vegan.
Started eating A LOT more fruit. I love it!
I have a couple new recipes to share and lots of things to post but as usual, I’m just super slow to get any of this on here!
One of the main reasons I started this blog, back in 2012 is so I could share all my little health experiments I love doing so much! I love trying things out and then reporting back on whether it’s worth it or not.
Enter The Medical Medium 28 Day Cleanse! A friend of mine introduced me to the MM back in November and as we all know, whenever I do something, I go all in. So, I read all 3 of his books in about a week and just got more and more intrigued. The MM gets his knowledge from what he calls “Spirit”. He doesn’t have any medical training whatsoever. Everything he knows he knows because Spirit told him. I know this sounds absolutely bizarre, but I read the books, I read the success stories and I became a believer. His approach can cure all sorts of ailments from skin disturbances to arthritis to fibromyalgia. Now, I didn’t have any ailments I was hoping to cure (although my skin could always use some improvement) but I do love me a good cleanse from time to time so I jumped in.
What it is: Pretty much it’s just all raw fruits and vegetables for 28 days with 16oz of celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. His book gives some menu options but this is what I ate pretty much every day.*
Upon rising: 16 ounces of fresh celery juice
Breakfast: Smoothie consisting of 2-3 bananas, 1 cup blueberries, spinach and maybe some cilantro in there too.
Snack: Medjool dates.
Lunch: Salad consisting of 1 whole orange/apple/pear, red cabbage, red onion, spinach and butter lettuce. Dressing was avocado, orange juice and garlic blended together.
Snack: 2 apples.
Dinner: Another salad. For this one I would make a salsa out of mangoes, cilantro, little tomatoes, lime juice and red onion and serve it over red leaf lettuce.
After dinner: I would say sometime I had some chocolate but it’s more accurate to say I had chocolate every day except for 2.
*Now, FULL DISCLOSURE. I did this for 33 days to make up for the days I went out to eat, had wine, cake, tater tots and the like. I was by no means perfect. Like, not at all. I have done a lot of cleanses “perfectly” and I know what that experience is like and that’s not what I was after here.
I get that this may not look like a lot of food. Or maybe it looks like an insane amount of fruit. Eating 7 pieces of fruit in a day felt insane to me. In the book he recommends eating a lot more than this but this is the amount of food that would fill me up so that’s what I ate. If I was hungry I’d eat more. It’s definitely not meant to be a starvation cleanse!!! I can’t say that enough. It’s not about that. In fact, he recommends eating 2 of those smoothies for breakfast but I just couldn’t eat that much. Plus I’m not terribly active any more so I’m not as hungry in general as I used to be.
So what was the experience like?
The first 2-3 days felt a little challenging and I felt hungry but it wasn’t real hunger, it was more like emotional hunger or like I felt like I “should” eat more.
Surprisingly, I didn’t really get tired of eating the same things every day for a month. I found the meals really satisfying and tasty. I never went hungry. I don’t like being hungry.
I did start to crave cooked food by the end. Cooked vegetables in particular. For some reason I was really craving vegetable soup and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Otherwise, I didn’t really have cravings. I’m as surprised as anyone by this because I know that meal plan doesn’t look like much. After a few days cravings fell away and I didn’t find myself wanting anything. The times I did eat off plan it wasn’t because I fell off the metaphorical wagon, it was more because of circumstance.
Since I wasn’t trying to heal anything I can’t give any real testament to the healing powers of the cleanse but I certainly feel good and I have really good energy.
Now that it’s over I’ve found I really like eating a “high raw” plant based diet. My digestion especially loves it! In summary, I think I can say that I am fully back to a plant based diet just like I was when I started this blog 7 years ago. I really enjoy getting in the kitchen and making plant based food. It just feels good to me and it makes me happy! I realize I can’t call myself Vegan though because as I’m learning, the times have changed and Veganism is now more of a complete lifestyle, not just a way of eating. So while I eat a completely Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) diet, my car has leather interior and I own a leather belt (it’s probably 15 years old), a few pairs of leather shoes, 3 down coats and I have a dog* which I think is technically not allowed either. I am however, committing to changing the way I shop and considering where items come from before I buy them. 10 years ago, even though I was plant based I didn’t really consider where my clothing, shoes or car interior came from. But now I’m realizing there is no reason we need leather or down goods because there are TONS of good alternatives and I just need to pay better attention and think before I buy.
*As for having a dog, I’m still not sure who exactly has ownership of the other. The way I see it, my husband and I go to work all day so the dog can have a nice house to live in, take nice vacations in his travel trailer and receive a monthly Barkbox subscription. I chauffeur him around while he rides in his comfy little car seat-bed. And of course there’s the part where every morning he walks me around outside on a leash, poops and then I pick it up (in a biodegradable bag) and dispose of it. It has never happened the other way around so I’m somewhat convinced that dogs actually run the world.
Alright, well I’m just rambling on now, so I guess it’s safe to say this 28 day cleanse had a bigger impact on me than I thought it would.
PS: I’ve been thinking about recording some vlogs for YouTube just for fun…
PPS: There’s a new Medical Medium book coming out next month called “Celery Juice” and I can’t WAIT!
It has finally been 6 months since I broke my hip! This was supposed to be the big milestone as the surgeon told me I would be able to run again at this point. To me it feels like it’s been forever and indeed a lot has changed. Where to begin…
The latest medical update: The e-ray looks good and my bone has completely healed and isn’t showing any signs of deterioration which is great news! I still have quite a bit of pain though and I thought it was because of the hardware that protrudes but the surgeon said it was more likely that I also sustained other, non bone related injuries when I broke the hip. He said it is likely I could have torn some cartilage or torn something else and that is probably why I’m still experiencing pain. That makes a lot of sense and when I think about it, I have had a lot of pain on the front of my hip more in the ligaments/tendons. What to do about this? Wait and let it heal I suppose. It doesn’t feel bad enough to get an MRI. In 6 months I’ll go back and we’ll discuss whether or not I should get the hardware removed.
The running update: Since I get asked about running multiple times a week I’ll just lay it down here. I will not be running any time soon. The surgeon pretty much said: Find a new hobby. Don’t run but do what you want, what do I know…I only put people back together for a living. How do I feel about this? Not surprised. I know the pain I’ve been in and running is about the last thing on my mind. It’s also been 6 months so I’ve moved on and I’ve been focused on the things I can do like yoga, walking and biking. This summer will be the summer of mountain biking and hiking! Also, I have to admit I have not really been missing running! Maybe it’s because my body hurts so it just doesn’t sound good, but I must say I feel a lot more relaxed and dare I say, happier even?! Maybe this is a bigger post for another day.
The nutrition update: Confession time…I have been moving back into my vegan/plant based ways since November and I feel so good about that! Back in November a friend of mine told me I needed to read the Medical Medium books. I just so happened to have a lot of time on my hands since I was injured so I dove in head first to these books and started applying the principles. One of them being 16 ounces of celery juice every morning! I will do a whole post about this Medical Medium cleanse I’ve been doing but pretty much it’s only fruits & vegetables for 28 days but in my case it also includes daily chocolate because I know my boundaries 🙂 Gradually I found myself going back to my old vegan ways and it felt like coming home. I loved my vegan life and for me it just seems to really work.
Those are the big updates in my world. Honestly, I’m doing great and feeling very happy. For me, running was never part of my identity and I’m good at rolling with the punches so I’ve been able to just roll with this thing. I’m so lucky to have such good support around me and of course I always know that there are many, many, many people with injuries and hardships much worse than whatever I am going through.
I’ll leave you with this Rocco picture! Rocco is such a distinguished gentleman type dog.
These Peanut Butter bars were one of the first recipes I ever put up on my blog! I remember I started making them because my boyfriend at the time wanted to GAIN weight and I thought, a-ha, I have just the thing!
So consider that a warning…this recipe is great for someone trying to gain weight. It’s great even if you aren’t trying to gain weight but weight gain could be a side effect 😉
I eat some almost every day, ha! Seriously, I have been making these just about every week and I’ve tweaked the recipe so much from the original version that I need to re-post it. I lightened it up ever so slightly but I love the lighter texture and feeling these have.
This new version is also gluten free as they no longer use graham crackers.
Peanut Butter Bars (Updated Version)
1 stick butter or vegan butter
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup of crumbs made from ground crisped rice cereal
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 10.5oz bag chocolate chips (I use enjoy life mini chips as they melt perfectly)
1 teaspoon butter, coconut oil or vegan butter
1/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice
Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and set aside. Next, make some crumbs out of crisped rice cereal. My favorite method is to use the food processor because it is so fast but you could also place the cereal in a ziploc bag and crush the cereal with a rolling pin until you get a fine crumb. You need 1 cup of CRUMB which is probably a couple-few cups of cereal.
In a medium or large pot melt the butter on low heat. Once the butter is melted add in the coconut sugar and cereal crumbs. Stir to combine. Last, add in the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into the prepared 9×9 pan. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes or until firm. You don’t want the chocolate layer to bleed into the peanut butter layer so this step is important.
For the chocolate layer, heat some water in a small saucepan. Place a medium size glass bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. You could also use a double boiler pot if you have one. Add the oil and milk to the glass bowl and once the oil has melted that is your cue to add the chocolate chips. Stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate. Once a smooth sauce has formed pour the chocolate layer on to the peanut butter later and smooth with a knife. Place back in the freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate layer has firmed up.
These can easily be removed from the pan by pulling on the corners of the parchment paper to lift the whole dessert out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For cute pictures of Mr. Rocco follow him on Instagram @Rocco_the_minpin (His name is Rocco James).
OH my gosh, speaking of Rocco. A couple weeks ago he ate a good 2 oz of DARK chocolate that I accidentally left out! He has never shown any interest in chocolate so admittedly I am not good about keeping it away from him. Anyway, I came home one day and found an empty chocolate bar wrapper and I knew it had been almost a full bar. He only weighs 15-16 pounds and 2 oz would be a lethal dose to a little guy like him. He wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms of chocolate poisoning but according to my online research that is the best time to induce vomiting. So, I administered 1.5 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to him via bone broth (he loved it) and waited. I probably could have/should have given him more hydrogen peroxide because it took him a full hour to start vomiting. But when he did…it was a big frothy pile of chocolate syrup! It looked like a giant s’more minus the graham cracker. And then again…and again. But the good news is that he was totally fine and never got sick from the chocolate. Only sick from me making him throw up. So all is well. Needless to say I am keeping my chocolate FAR away from him now!
I am going to start blogging more regularly! It’s just that people say “blogging is dead” and then I also feel like I have so many updates that I don’t know where to start.
So, I’ll start with these cookies. These are super simple and impossible to mess up. I make a no bake version of these all the time but this winter I was craving a warm cookie so I decided to bake them and they turned out awesome. I usually don’t measure anything, I just estimate but they always turn out. The recipe is below and I will just leave it by saying these are good for breakfast, snack or dessert.
Ok, then on to my healing updates! I am just about 5 months post-op now!! I can’t believe that much time has already passed but I’m stoked! I have my eye on that 6 month mark because that’s when the surgeon said I can consider running.
The #1 question I get from people (almost daily) is: So are you back to running? And the answer is a big N.O.! Like, not even close, haha! Only this week going up and down stairs has started to feel a littler easier. Anything very jumpy is still out of the question, so jumping jacks and anything of that nature still isn’t happening.
To be honest, running has “lost it’s sparkle” a bit (a lot). That’s the expression my dentist used and I loved it! I was like, YES, it has lost it’s sparkle! I think when an activity can take you down like this for so many months and in such a major way it makes you re-evaluate what is really important. And, I love running, but I love not being injured more. So, I hope that in another month I will be able to start doing some easy running and maybe do some 5K’s over the summer. But, as an active person with many hobbies, I kind of quickly moved on to something else. I changed gears. Re-prioritized. And now running long distance has about zero appeal. I am already looking forward to mountain biking and hiking more this summer and less running is life kind of thing.
Instead I have been doing a TON of yoga & walking. It’s funny, but I started doing yoga in about 2000 I think. My grandma gave me a yoga mat (her old one, LOL! She is 92 now.) and I bought a few VHS videos and would practice in my living room. So how crazy is that, I have been a yogi for almost 20 years! It’s cool that it’s the thing I always come back to over and over and it has always been there for me. I have a pretty regular home practice and then I go to a studio a couple times a week and teach a couple times a week as well. It’s been really nice to practice yoga without being sore and stiff from running and I’ve actually gotten so much more flexible. So yay. The other thing I do is a good 45 minute walk just about every day. It sounds lame I know and I can’t walk very fast still. I walk at around a 2.7 for speed. Last week I tried going up to 3.3 and I was in so much pain that night so that was a bad idea.
Healing wise, it turns out breaking a hip is a pretty painful injury. Not everyone is bothered by their hardware but I sure am. I can’t lay on my side at all and sitting is also painful because it feels like my muscles smoosh into the screw heads. So, if they still bother me in a year I can get them removed but I really don’t want to do that! But yeah, almost everything still hurts a little and sleeping is probably the worst. I think in time all will feel better.
This picture is kind of hard to see but there are 3 screws in there and they have washers at the end to hold them in place. So they go in on the side of my thigh and go all the way to the end of the femur head so I think they are approximately 8 inches long. So I guess that explains why I can feel them, ha. They are stainless steel and I did not set the metal detector alarms off at the airport so I was kind of disappointed by that. But I was in the TSA pre check lane so maybe when I’m in the regular line it will be different.
Alright, on to the cookies now!
4 Ingredient Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies (vegan & GF)
1.5 cups old fashioned oats (use GF if you need these certified gluten free)
1/3 cup nut butter (I use almond or peanut)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons nut milk (I use almond milk)
1/3 cup mini chips (I use enjoy life)
Ok, so there are more than 4 ingredients but there are only 4 MAIN ingredients. The other 3 you could technically do without. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor and process for a few seconds until you get a cookie batter consistency. If it’s too dry add more milk. The oats will soak up the milk so if it seems runny wait a few minutes before adding more oats. But if it is too runny add more oats. Or peanut butter. Or both!
Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon heaps of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I love my dough scoop!
4 weeks down, 4 weeks to go. I don’t actually know what will happen at the end of “8 weeks”. I assume that’s just when I will be able to walk without crutches and probably be able to start doing “things”, but I really have no idea.
So this is the follow up post I promised to re-cap my follow up blood work/bone scan and talk about my feelings! Yay, I love feeling feelings!
First off, I had a “bone metabolic” blood panel done to make sure my bones were healthy and nothing weird was going on. Everything was right where it should be. The only thing I’m low in is Vitamin D, but I think almost everyone has some vitamin D deficiency unless you live in Florida maybe. And it was low but not in the low-low category.
Then I had a DEXA bone scan done and all was well there too. My doctor pointed out that I didn’t have bone cancer or any tumors and I was like…”oh good!”. I hadn’t even considered those things.
At my 2 week follow up appointment I got my staples removed (not painful at all) and they took new X-Rays! The surgeon was very pleased with how I was healing and he said it’s going to heal up great. He said, “I’ll see you back for your 6 week appointment and I think by then you are going to be asking me when you can start running again. And we’ll have to negotiate on that.” I don’t think I’ll necessarily be asking when I can run because I feel like running but more of like, in theory, when do you think I will feel good enough to consider running? But for real it’s the furthest thing on my mind. I just want to be able to sit cross-legged and go to yoga! I miss stretching the most!
Second, let’s talk about my feelings! I have to say when I went to the E.R. and that first doctor told me I broke my hip, I needed a hip replacement, I would need weeks and weeks of therapy I was FREAKING OUT. Like sheer terror. I was not at all prepared for that because I had not been in any sort of fall or crash and I had never even had pain before that day. So it’s not like when you know something is wrong and you can kind of brace for it or maybe even want to hear you need surgery as is the case when you are in a lot pain. I remember looking into my husbands eyes when we heard that news and I was in panic and he was so calm and he kept saying, “It’s ok babe, you are going to be fine. I know tons of guys who have all sorts of pins and hardware in their bodies and they still run”. And of course that was encouraging for me to hear!
So yeah, that was totally unexpected. I can’t remember when I got the news that I only needed 3 screws and not a hip replacement. I was so relieved but still so scared and not certain that was even the truth because I hadn’t talked to the surgeon yet.
That first night in the hospital I cried and cried. I remember telling my husband, I’m just going to cry for a while now. To me it feels good to just feel all the feels and feel sad and scared and all that and to get it out of my body. Otherwise it gets trapped, so you have to let everything out!
But then day of surgery and certainly after surgery not one single tear has been shed. Because once it was over then the fear was gone and everything would be better from day 1 on. And it has been!
I think a lot of people assumed I would go stir-crazy not being able to workout but I have had a surprisingly easy time with laying low. I think it helps that healing bone takes a lot of energy so I sleep and eat a lot without having all the effort of exercise. I finally found “that one crazy trick” that you see all over the internet, haha! I also have really been into jigsaw puzzles. I think puzzling saves me. You can only sit on the couch and watch TV and read for so long.
I can’t say I’ve had any drastic changes. Every day it feels the teensiest bit better so as the days add up I’ve gone down to only needing 1 crutch and slowly things are just getting easier. Except for putting socks on. Socks are still the worst.
I make a point to drink one cup of bone broth every day and drink one protein shake with collagen powder in it. I am also taking Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium. I heard that product CALM + Calcium is a formula that’s really good for getting into the bones and making them strong so I just started taking that.
Ummm, that’s about it. Not terribly exciting. In 2 weeks I go in for my 6 week checkup and I am excited about that!
I will leave you with a picture of Rocco because (obvi) he’s the cutest! This picture is from a camping trip to Sun Valley-a week before I got hurt. Rocco LOVES camping and he loves our trailer, which is a good thing because we basically got it for him. Rocco is a total watch dog in hotels and won’t sleep but he feels right at home in our “Clipper”. He loves camping because he can run around like a little wild animal and you can see in his eyes how much he enjoys the crisp mountain air 😉
Finally, something worth blogging about, haha! I’m full of the jokes these days. But I kind of have to be, it’s how I keep my spirits up.
So, I broke my hip. No, I didn’t fall. No, I don’t have osteoporosis. I broke it running a steep, downhill half marathon on Saturday, September 8.
I want to set the back story just a bit. I ran the Big Sur Marathon last spring in April 2018. I had a fantastic train up and completed the entire training without being sidelined by any injuries! I had really been working on strength and I felt good even right after the marathon.
So naturally I set my sights on another marathon and I picked the Marine Corps Marathon and actually got into it! The MCM is at the end of October, 2018. My training had been going spectacularly. I was hitting the track for speed work, getting faster and taking really good care of myself. My body actually felt great, nothing was bothering me. Prior to the half marathon I had already done 14, 15, 17 & 18 mile training runs and this half marathon was supposed to be “just for fun”. I would tell people, “well my training plan calls for 13 miles that day so why not get a medal for it and have some aid stations along the way?!”
I’ll skip the boring details of getting up at 3:50am & getting bussed up the canyon. I will just say I felt really strong & confident going into this race. I had actually never felt better prepared for a run than on this day.
I started the race at a conservative pace but it quickly felt too easy so I picked it up a little. The course was STEEP and I didn’t want to use my legs to brake too much so I worked on leaning forward, taking small steps and turning my legs over quickly. With that, I was FLYING (for me). My heart rate was in the right zone and it all felt very easy. Easy easy! I was just thinking how I would be done in less than 2 hours and then I could go to Starbucks with my husband and still have the entire day to get the lawn mowed, wash my car and make some muffins, ha!
The miles ticked off quickly and I think it must have been around mile 10 I noticed my hip tightening up. I just thought “oh I’m going to feel that tomorrow”, meaning muscle soreness. But I only had 3 more miles to go and I just wanted to get done quick so I kept speeding along.
Fast forward to mile 11.5. I started to walk and was in a lot of pain. I knew I would not be able to run the rest of the way. I thought about calling my husband to just come get me but figured I could just suck up the misery of getting passed by everyone and walk the rest of the way.
As I walked my limp got progressively worse. I tried jogging a couple times but that was a no go. My hip started to make a clunk every time I took a step and I could feel my hip arcing awkwardly out to the side.
Probably the worst part was all the people who tried to encourage me to keep running. Runners were pulling on me, trying to drag me and cheering for me. At mile 12.6 I flagged down a police officer and he called an EMT for me. I rested and stretched in the back of the EMT cart for a few minutes and everyone was telling me to get back out there but I could bear ZERO weight. Pain level 10.
My amazing husband by this point had run up the course and found me so he rode with me to the medical tent. At the med tent there were all sorts of messed up people! I mean, I was crying in pain but there were 3 other people that actually looked near death.
The Physical Therapist at the tent assured me there was no way I broke anything. No chance he said! Most likely a pulled muscle and I would feel better in a few days. He said the clunking was totally normal. I had to be wheelchaired to the car and mostly felt sad about not getting a Starbucks or a cookie or a donut or ANYTHING except a banana 😟.
When I got home my husband had to pretty much carry me everywhere but even this was excruciating. That popping and clunking was worse than ever. I laid down for about an hour expecting the “pulled muscle” to feel better when I got up but it didn’t. The pain was a 10. Worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. Pain so intense I wanted to throw up. I told my husband it was time to go to the ER. He had to get me down the stairs while I cried and shook in pain. At this point I was thinking maybe it was dislocated because what could possibly hurt this bad?
Is this story getting long yet? It feels long to me!
This is the part where I go to the Emergency Room. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you never regret going to the Dr when injured. The ER was great and the doctor there told me there was no way I could have broken anything but said she could do an x-ray anyway. She thought it was more likely that I had torn something.
A few minutes after the x-ray the doctor walked back into the room, her eyes were wide and she just had this LOOK on her face and said, “I’m so sorry…you broke your hip.” This delivery wasn’t the best because I instantly felt terrified!!!! She launched into what a hip replacement entails…I was having surgery first thing in the morning…weeks and weeks of rehab…and I had to be admitted immediately and oh btw I can’t leave the bed or move at all because if I did I could make it much worse. The nurse came in and set up my IV and started drawing blood. My head was spinning thinking about work obligations and who I needed to talk to and of course Rocco was home alone and needed someone to take care of him too.
The good news in all of this is that my hip had not displaced (separated and lost blood supply) which meant I didn’t need a replacement, I only needed a few screws!! This was fantastic news but I was still scared it could be worse than the x-ray revealed.
The night before surgery my whole family came to visit and my dad joked about how nice it was to have the family together, LOL.
The morning of surgery was a blur and I was just excited to get it over with. The surgeon was a young guy who does nothing but hips and he made it sound like this thing would be easy peasy and even thought I might still be able to run the marathon in October, HAAA!
Obviously I was out for the surgery but I’m told the whole thing took less than 30 minutes. Is that crazy?! The rest of that day was a blur because I was just sleeping and icing. I was able to get up a couple times to use the bathroom though which would have been more exciting if I hadn’t felt so sick from the anesthesia.
But, the next morning I was able to get out & about and start walking with crutches and already bear some weight and then I got to go home!
What a difference 48 hours makes! Picture on the left is Saturday morning, pic on the right is Monday morning… just 2 days later.
And that heel strike, ugh!! No wonder I broke my hip, I cringe looking at that!
Today marks two weeks post-op and I am doing really well and I am going back to work this week!
I think most people would be happy to know that I have spent the last two weeks being really lazy, sleeping a lot, watching Westworld and eating ice cream almost every day! It’s almost been fun but not worth breaking a hip over!
Rocco has been my little nurse and never ever leaves my side. He takes his job very seriously and is really protective of me.
I will write a follow up soon on my feelings about all this and also the results from my blood work and bone scan! Exciting!