Random Thoughts and My Weird Weekend

This is not a normal edition of Random Thoughts.  It’s more like whining.  Feel free to skip all of this.  I just need to process/vent/get this off my chest (SQUIRREL – no pun intended.)


1.  I had some horrible chest pains on Friday evening.  Since I didn’t feel any better all through Saturday morning, I started to Google my symptoms and found out that everything I was feeling were signs of a heart attack in women.  So I went to the ER.

2.  BLUF – I DID NOT have a heart attack.

3.  I did, however, have several EKGs, numerous blood tests, a chest x-ray, and a heart monitor to find out whether or not I had an acute heart issue or blood clots that caused my chest pain.  They all came back negative.  I did have extreme fatigue and one increasingly painful massive headache from the time I had the chest pain on Friday through Sunday night.  They actually gave me pain meds for the headache.  Those helped but made me nauseous and I just fell asleep.

4.  I also had a nuclear stress test – wow, that was awful.  I was injected with something to make my heart speed up and simulate what would happen if I was on the treadmill.  After that, I was injected with a radioactive isotope that could be tracked on a scan (15 minutes of staying still for that scan).  Then they made me rest for 20 minutes and injected me with the isotope again to do another set of scans (only 8 minutes for this one).  Everything came back negative for any heart issues.

5.  I *also* found out that I have a very damaged disk in my lower back – separate appointment.  I’m digging my new chiropractor and feel pretty good about what he plans to do to help fix me.  However, I have been benched from yoga and Zumba (WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!).  He promised he will get me back to them soon.

6.  I’m in a bad mood.  I’m getting pretty effing tired of these curve balls lately.  2014 has been an uphill struggle from every angle so far.

7.  OK, thanks for letting me whine.  Now that I got all of that out, it’s time to “glass half full” this sh!t…  I have to believe that something good will come of all this.  I’m hoping that this back problem will eventually help me to get stronger and reach some of my goals.  Maybe it has been part of the problem all along.  Maybe this cardiac scare was the kick in the a$$ that I needed to force myself to get some rest and remove some of the stressful crap in my life.  Maybe.  Let’s hope.

8.  When things get rough, my “go to” move is to identify all of the things I am thankful and grateful for.  I am thankful and grateful for my friends who have shown their concern for my health and for those who have sent me thoughts and prayers.  I am also very thankful for my mom, who stayed with me all day yesterday to make sure I was OK.  It’s so nice to know I am cared about.

Thanks for attending the pity party.  🙂  Until next time, my friends.



You may recall that I am in the middle of a “no spend” challenge this month and one of the tactics is to use up food that you have in the freezer and pantry instead of buying more from the store.  Well, I decided to do just that.  I have a turkey in the freezer and an opportunity for a family dinner.  So what did that mean to me?  Let’s look at this equation to find out…

19 lb. turkey + family gathering in February + my food sensitivities (21 day sugar detox) =

Paleo-style Fakesgiving Dinner!

I got really excited about this idea.  I also gave myself the extra challenge of not spending any additional money to put all of this together.  So here’s what I ended up with.

First, the appetizers.  A metric crap ton of fruit and veggies (I also whipped up a veggie dip made from organic Greek yogurt) and some deviled eggs.  But not just any old eggs… BACON.  AVOCADO.  Deviled Eggs.

(Oh yes, that just happened!  MAD props to George at Civilized Caveman for the egg recipe.  He’s a genius.)

Fruit and veggie trays

Fruit and veggie trays

Bacon guacamole deviled eggs

Bacon avocado deviled eggs

Pretty little egg (... nom nom nom)

Pretty little egg (… nom nom nom)

On to the actual dinner.  We had the turkey, regular mashed potatoes and corn for the kids, and then a couple of amazing paleofied (yes, it is too a word… just trust me) thanksgiving staples.

Introducing FAUX-tatoes!  Most paleos don’t eat regular white potatoes.  Instead, I make the same type of dish out of cauliflower.  If you rice (I do it in the food processor) and then steam the cauliflower, you can whip them up just like potatoes.  And being a lacto-paleo, I also added butter (lots) and some organic heavy cream.  Boom!



Onto my veggies.  I put out some squash that I roasted up yesterday (delicata squash that I grew in my garden last year) and also made a paleo-friendly green bean casserole.  Of course, there are a couple of substitutions here too.  First, no french fried onions.  But I carmelized a couple and used that instead.  Next, no cream soup.  (SQUIRREL – I have not yet found a cream soup NOT made with MSG.  MSG and I have a big problem with each other.)  Instead, I threw some brown rice flour on my carmelized onions and let them get kind of roux-y.  When that was ready, I added some organic half and half (ok, I won’t lie… I also used some heavy cream here too).  Then I threw in my steamed green beans and some salt and voila!  Healthy green bean casserole.

Paleo-ish green bean casserole

Paleo-ish green bean casserole

Lastly, I cannot have a thanksgiving-esque meal without cranberries.  It would just be wrong.  But I’m doing a 21 day sugar detox, so no regular ol’ cranberry sauce for me.  So I whipped up a relish-type salad based off of THIS RECIPE with cranberries, green apples, orange juice, orange zest, and cinnamon.  It was pretty gosh darn tart, so I did add a couple tablespoons of raw honey and that made it AWESOME.  It wasn’t strict 21 day sugar detox, but I don’t think it was a total cheat.  Still WINNING!

Cranberry apple salad

Cranberry apple salad

I must say, this was a DARN good dinner.  I’m so glad it was time to clean out the freezer.  The family R A V E D about all of the food.

My plate... I'm FULL!

My plate… I’m FULL!

Awesome dinner.  Fantastic company.  And leftovers for DAYS.  Best. Fakesgiving. EVER.  🙂

Random Thoughts – 2/13/2014

1.  I’m so happy that Downton Abbey is back on.  Love this show!

2.  Valentine’s Day is NOT my favorite, but I have a great idea to celebrate with my kids.  It involves balloons and nerf arrows.  Muaaaahahahaa!

3.  I read an amazing quote recently (citation – some guy who posted something on some FB site I follow)…

    –  Fair only comes around once a year—the state fair.

4.  And here is one from my friend, Betwixt (thanks for letting me steal)…

    –  Homophobia- the fear that gay men will treat straight men the way straight men treat women.

5.  I’m glad the sun has come out this week.  It has put me in the BEST mood.  😀  Now if we could just get into some double digit temps on the right side of the thermometer.  (SQUIRREL – I’m still pissed at you, Mother Nature)

6.  New Year’s Resolution update:
–  Eat healthy.  I’m on day 14 of my sugar detox.  I’ve gained some major mental clarity and I’ve lost almost 5 pounds.  It’s so nice to feel better.
–  Get strong.  I started a yoga class and am feeling some major muscle gain already.  Also, I am shakin’ my booty HARD CORE at Zumba every week.
–  Emotional health.  I *think* I’m making some *slight* progress here.  But it’s really hard to tell.
–  House renovations AND financial health.  I’m also on day 14 of a “Living Well Spending Zero” challenge.  I’ve gotten a TON of stuff organized in the house and have saved a lot of money.  So far, so good!
–  Bucket List Birthday.  So far, this is the only one I am failing at.  Only 2 weeks left and I have no ideas.  Wine and Canvas might be a good option though.

7.  Lastly, this is my jam this week (Thanks, Carrie!)… Can You Do This – Aloe Blacc

HVD my peeps!  (That stands for Happy Valentine’s Day… not anything gross.)

I Hate that Girl in My Head

OK… my title is a little dramatic, but this post is all about body image and that title explains mine best.

Left is my "after" picture but my "before" (right) is who I see in the mirror

Left is my “after” picture but my “before” (right) is who I see in the mirror

When I think of myself, I imagine my “before” pictures.  I think about the many, many things I don’t like about myself.  And honestly, I compare myself to other people and how I wish to look like them.  I haven’t found the trick or the key to liking myself and embracing the way I look.  I’m really interested in cracking this nut for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions but also because I know it’s a hurdle that is keeping me from meeting and sustaining my goals.

I recently had a heart to heart conversation with a friend of mine that really opened my eyes.  Before I start though, I need to share that I find my friend to be one of the most confident and strong-willed people I have ever known.  I have the utmost respect for her and think she has her whole life together.  She told me, as she started to get a little misty-eyed, that she has always seen herself as a sturdy, big girl.  She has always been strong and athletic.  She explained how this has always made her feel bad about herself.  I would have never known that she ever struggled with her body image.  I shared with her that I have the same problem.

As I’ve stated before, I follow a lot of paleo and food sensitivity bloggers.  Many of them explain their journey to becoming healthy and some have experienced a major transformation in the way they view themselves.  They had to master the body image trick – they had to become accepting of themselves –  before they could truly make the progress they were seeking.

The story I love the best is from Stacy Toth of Paleo Parents.  Stacy tells of her realization and acceptance of herself after a comment from her husband.  He told her:

“Stacy, some people are built to go fast. Some people are built to go far. And some people are built to pick those other people up.”

(I’m not exactly sure how to credit people appropriately on a blog, but the above quote comes directly from a post on the Paleo Parents site.  Please go visit it… these people are amazing!)

First, Matt (Stacy’s husband) please accept this (imaginary) award for being the most amazing, thoughtful, and supportive husband on the planet.  Second, holy majoly (oh great, I should probably also credit some Ben Stiller movie here) I think we’re onto something here!

I am kind of a small girl.  I roll in at 5′ 2″ and although I’ve been overweight almost my entire adult life, I have a very small frame.  I’ve always been down on myself because I can’t seem to get thin and svelte like I think I should be.  I worry that I don’t have the stamina to make my body as healthy as I want it to be.  (SQUIRREL – I recently realized that I HATE running.  I want to exercise so badly so I can reach my goals, but I can’t stand being on that treadmill.)  But I think I’m looking at all of this the wrong way.

My father – who used to be a power-lifter – once told me he was surprised that I could carry some of the logs I was hauling when we were cutting wood.  People have mentioned things like this before.  At the time, I didn’t think much of it but it did stick with me.  And now all of the sudden I am realizing that maybe most people can’t carry trees like I do.  While I am wishing that I could run fast and far like some of my friends, they might be wishing they could pick up trees like me.  WHOA!

When that hit me, I had to go look in the mirror.  Oh my gosh, just like my friend and also my hero Stacy, I DO think I am built to pick up those other people too!  And if that means I won’t ever be flat or thin, that’s OK with me.  If I focus on what I am built for, I can still become strong and healthy and I bet I can get to the point where I accept, heck maybe even LIKE, my body.  How cool would that be?!?!?!

So to wrap up…  Dad, thanks for the compliment that took me a couple of years to understand.  Stacy, thank you for sharing your self-realization.  And to my friend, thank you so much for our conversation.  Now let’s embrace this AND PICK SOME STUFF UP!  (((HUGS)))

Randoms Thoughts 2/2/2014

1.  Wow, 2014 is getting on my nerves.  Lots of not-so-good curve balls getting thrown my way.  But I’m going to try and trick my brain into not being mad.  So here goes a Random Thoughts in Bad News/Good News style.  🙂

2.  Bad News – I woke up this morning to find that my mailbox has been demolished by the snow plows.

3.  Good News – My birthday is 4 weeks from today.  Time to start planning my next “Bucket List Birthday Adventure.”

4.  Bad News – I think I am getting sick.  I’m super stuffy and don’t have much of a voice today.  I am singing in a wedding on Saturday.

5.  Good News – I’m on Day 2 of a 21 Day Sugar Detox.  So far, so good.  This is also Day 2 of a Zero Spending month for us – this one is interesting. More to come on both of those soon. 😀

6.  Cute News – Zoey begged me to let her sleep in her gymnastics leotard because she was planning to get right up and work out this morning.  She stuck to her plan.

7.  Fun News – Aly and I made a lighted canopy for her bedroom.  It was made from an old hula hoop, leftover ribbon, lights from my wedding, a window scarf I no longer use, and a couple of floral garlands I had laying around.  She thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.   Mom win.