Workout Video + Check In

Hiiii!

Happy Quarantine Times to everyone. Now that the shock of everything closing down has settled a bit hopefully we can all fall into a rhythm.  Today I have some updates and also a short workout video, ahhh!

  • The 75 Hard goes on: I got to about day 15 and then decided to have a couple glasses of wine with a friend. It wasn’t a moment of weakness, it was just like, eff it, my friend is more important. So I started over and I think I’m on day 7. Honestly, #quarantinelife makes doing this challenge really easy. Drinking a gallon of water every day? Easy. Walking outside for 45 minutes every day? Easy. Reading 10 pages? Definitely easy. So maybe someone else reading this will also want to give it a go?
  • The 75 Hard “Diet”: The diet aspect of the 75 hard is the most puzzling for me because you get to create your own rules. My “diet” if you will is to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. Once again, quarantine life makes it pretty easy to eat healthy because I’m just home cooking my own food.
  • Favorite things about quarantine life: Not having to meal prep! I think I’ve been packing lunches and snacks since Junior High so this is the first time in my life that I can make lunch…when it’s lunch time. My second favorite thing is being able to do a random load of laundry in the middle of a weekday. I’d say spending time with Rocco is a favorite but he spends most of the day looking out his window.
  • Least favorite things about quarantine life: I miss seeing the people I like. Duh.
  • Yoga Teacher Training: I haven’t mentioned on here that I started a 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training back in February and I have been beyond impressed with how seamlessly they transitioned to all online. They already recorded and streamed all the classes so they made the change look easy. I feel so grateful I happened to choose this training over doing an immersion course in another country. I’m doing the training through InBody Academy in Salt Lake City. In my opinion, the instructors are a real collection of the best of the best in Utah. Oh and it’s a Yoga Therapy program which is right up my alley in terms of being able to help people with physical injuries or mental health.

I filmed a little workout video and I will continue to film more.

Alright, that’s all for now, I hope you enjoy the video!

Laura

75Hard and the Importance of Personal Goals

Wow…I wrote a post a couple weeks ago and intended to publish it this week but then, obviously, a pandemic broke out and it then it just made sense to start a fresh post.

So let me start with what I’m up to. I am currently tackling the #75Hard. This is a 75 day challenge that is meant to be, well, hard. It’s meant to build mental toughness. I had planned to start on Monday, March 16, 2020. Pretty much all hell broke loose in the days leading up to my start date but I started anyway and I’m hoping anyone reading this will consider doing this challenge with me or at least do some other personal challenge during this crazy time.

What is 75Hard?
I just barely caught wind of this concept created by Andy Frisella a couple weeks ago and knew I had to give it a go. Only 2% of people who start it will actually finish…or so the legend goes.

  • 75 days
  • Follow a diet (you get to set your own parameters for that one)
  • Drink 1 gallon of water a day
  • Take a progress picture every day
  • Actively read 10 pages of non-fiction/self-improvement every day (not an audio book)
  • Complete two 45 minute workouts every day (one of those must be done outside)
  • No alcohol, no cheat meals, if you mess up you go back to day 1

75hard

I’ll do a follow up post outlining what I’m eating etc, but I wanted to chat more about the importance of having personal goals amidst everything going on right now.  When things outside our control feel chaotic it’s easy to start feeling hopeless. Without our friends, jobs, gyms, social support and even just the normal stressors of life it’s easy to feel like you are just lost and floating around without any destination. Unfortunately, this thing doesn’t look like it’s going to be over any time soon so that would be a long time to be floating around in limbo. I know for me, I started looking at a calendar and how long it is until June and just thought: I need to do something.

Participating in a personal challenge give us a sense of purpose. A reason to get out of bed. A reason take care of ourselves (in the case of the 75 hard that is literally the entire challenge).

I started only a few days ago and in that time I have been through the following:

  • The gym I work at shut down due to the pandemic
  • A major earthquake that scared the pants off Rocco & me
  • A minor cold (brought on by stress no doubt)
  • Rainy weather
  • Hectic schedule where I just didn’t think I would have enough time to get all the things in

But what I find I’m really enjoying is that every day that I’ve thought I wouldn’t be able to complete all the tasks, I did complete the tasks and that feeling of success has helped me feel so.much.better and overall better equipped to handle the things going on around me. It’s nice to have some personal betterment to focus on instead of all the doom & gloom on the news. Obviously it’s good to stay up to date on current events, but in my experience listening to too much news can also cause anxiety.

Alright, that is all for today. If you are still reading, I’d love to know what sort of challenge you have just formulated for yourself while reading this.

Laura

 

Need a Re-Set in 2020?

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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!
  3. 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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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):
    1. Smoothie with frozen fruit, greens, protein powder and flax oil
    2. Piece of fruit and/or some almonds
    3. Probably a big salad
    4. Edamame, chia pudding or another protein shake (if I’m on the go)
    5. A soup, possibly the red curry soup or Thai Red Curry.
  3. Sunday I will go grocery shopping and chop veggies, prepare soup, tofu etc.
  4. 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.

stubai

And here is Rocco laying in front of the heat vent to stay warm!

Rocco

Bye for now!

Laura

Favorite Things of 2019

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.

favorite things

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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).
  5. Bathroom Organizer
    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.
  6. TheraGun G3
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sleep Mask
    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.
  9. 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!

Laura

 

Avocado Cilantro Dressing + The Salad I’m Loving Now

Hello, hello!

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:

avocado cilantro dressing salad

And this is how to make it:

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2-1 bunch cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • 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

  • Spinach
  • kale
  • red cabbage
  • shredded carrot
  • red or green onion
  • beans
  • quinoa
  • corn

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.

dolomites

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:

rocco is cute

Alright, that’s all for now!

Laura

How I FINALLY got rid of cystic acne once and for all!

Hello friends!

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!!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. WATCH WHERE YOU REST YOUR HANDS
    1. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!

Bye for now!

Laura

Medical Medium 28 Day Cleanse Overview & Review

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!

Bye for now!

Laura

 

 

 

6 Month Hip Update + A Return to Veganism?!

Well hello!

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Bye for now!

Laura

Peanut Butter Bars-Updated!

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!peanut butter bars

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)

Base Ingredients

  • 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

Topping Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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!

That’s all I have. Bye for now!

Laura

4 Ingredient Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF) Plus UPDATES!!

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.

screws

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!

oatmeal choc chip cookies

4 Ingredient Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies (vegan & GF)

Ingredients:

  • 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!

Bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen so I recommend doubling this 😉

 

Bye for now!

Laura