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Strawberry Squatcake

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  1. I have no clever title or theme. It’s very trendy to blame 2020, but truthfully, I have been simplifying everything in my life. This challenge is the same same, simple. The first four are skills I am doing well with and want to continue. The fifth is my focus for this challenge (with a bonus mini challenge in the sixth spot). I’m coming off a rough summer with an autoimmune flare. The good news is, that’s helped me put health (diet, especially) at the center of my life. The bad news is, I think I might ultimately need a minor surgery. All things considered, not the worst thing in the world, though the timing isn’t great. I’ll adjust the fitness goals as needed. Speaking of, on to the goals: Strength: I lost a ton of strength when I got sick. I want it back! Yoga, lifting or other workout that builds strength - 2-3x per week. Diet: Continue to prioritize and follow my version of paleo autoimmune protocol (with some reintroductions). This includes drinking enough water and taking appropriate supplements. Mindset/stress/rest/recovery: Stress is an autoimmune trigger for me. Keep doing at least one of the following daily: restorative yoga, walk, meditation. Endurance: Do some kind of endurance work every week. This will vary, depending on how my energy levels go. I’ve been consistently about 2-3x per week. Though if energy is low, it’s ok to default to a plain old walk. Sleep: The big get of this challenge. I’ve been trying to focus on sleep but keep getting sucked in by, well, anything at night. I know I won’t perfect this skill, I simply want to focus on it. Bonus skill - Minimize/Organization: I have been saying I’ll get more organized all year. I’d also love to move in the coming years. Keeping with the theme of simplifying, this will be a fun one to tack on. I’d love to say I spent five minutes a day organizing or minimizing something. It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference. I’ve read if you simplify your space, your mind is clear to more easily see your next step because you’re looking ahead, rather than at what needs to be done.
  2. Hi friend! I love reading your challenges. Which is to say I love stalking you and wishing I were living that life. Food trivia? I need food trivia. Looks like everything is going well, and you’re on the move doing tons of things. Well, that’s all I’ve got. Searching for something clever. Just know the sentiment is clever.
  3. I’m here. Just observing, stalking, and general merriment. I miss your challenges! But, as usual, you’re running circles around it.
  4. Yes! Welcome back! Can I welcome you if I haven’t been here, either? Ah well. I love your goals!
  5. I am here for all of the OG rebels! How exciting!
  6. Thanks everyone! Dinners at home are: Lots of salads. Mainly because a salad is a good place to drop most of my DV of magnesium in pumpkin seeds. I top them with avocado, raw broccoli, cheese, spinach, and whatever meat I have. I love pioneer woman's Italian drip beef (the one with the pepperocinis), carnitas (love the Chipotle knock off with juniper berries), grilled chicken breast or thighs (I also use the chipotle knock off recipe for the thighs), or even steak on a sale week. Salads probably 75% of nights. On mondays I make my own chicken wings. Super easy. They go straight into the oven frozen and I use a dry rub when they come out. I crisp the skin under the broiler. I'll also make my own chipotle bowls (no rice, or I'm a fan of the miracle noodle rice) with avocado or guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and pico. I use the carnitas or chicken above. Im also a fan of turkey, cream cheese and pickles. Or cheese + avocado + some kind of meat as a super simple meal. Or I'll use romain lettuce for a really easy lettuce wrap with the Italian dressing I get from the Italian restaurant down the street, it's also excellent drizzled on broccoli and sausage melted in the oven with provolone. Usually with pumpkin seeds or almonds for crunch (and magnesium). There have been nights I'm not very hungry and exhausted I'll have a quest bar and some pumpkin seeds. Not really not eating out, but it works. Hope that helps answer that question. Nothing fancy but it's working. Even just super slowly. overall challenge - failed at keeping up with anyone's challenges. but for staying keto (A+), getting magnesium through food (B+), working out when energy was up (B), and kill it at work (A). Overall, an A-/B+ Next challenge I'm setting some better sleep goals. That seems to be hanging me up a bit.
  7. You guys. I suck at being a good nerd this challenge! I'm doing a good job Ruth the challenge. Just not checking in with anyone else. I need to bring my iPad to work and keto up on lunch beaks. I finally crossed the 10lb loss mark (for the year, not in this challenge)!! I'm so excited! I started with one workout per week. No more than 20 minutes. That went well. Last week I did two twenty minute workouts. Check. This week I've done one 25 minute workout and plan to get in a second. I'll be so exited to get you three 20-30 minute workouts! I've been doing the "rest fully when I need a rest" technique. Not sure if it helps..But this is the most I've worked out in years. So even if it's mental, I'm still doing it. It means the workouts aren't as full on hard. But moving again and being sore from lifting rules. I'm struggling some with meal planning. I'm always sticking to keto, but eating more bunless burgers, hot wings and Chipotle no rice, beans, or tortillas) than I should. But, I eat at home almost every single night and all weekend. And I have snacks at work. So it's not all terrible. Magnesium foods are going well. I need to buy stock in a pumpkin seed farm. And I've been eating peppers! I missed bell peppers, but surprisingly find jalapenos bitter. But, so far, so good! And work. You guys, I nailed it!!! The CEI used words like "perfect" (which I have purposely tried to give up wanting, but it's so encouraging to hear) and "far better than I expected we'd get on something like this." The presentation is this week. But the hard work is done and in going to schedule some time off to relax. When I.took this job, many people thought I was crazy because it was off my career path and with a VP who seems to be having work taken away. Now that is going well, I see those same people being a little bitter toward me. That sucks, but I was the one who took the risk. And now they're mad I'm reaping a but of a reward. Had it gone the other way they would have said, "I told you so, you idiot." Ugh. Duo that's the only negative. But I'll take it for the positives I'm gaining, career-wise. Hope that's not too braggy.
  8. I've been MIA, but super steady. I'm around nine pounds (since 1/1) down. Still super slow progress (for keto), but I'm happy with it. I'm just past the two month mark and have decided to start adding in workouts and see how I feel. I'm having a single cheat meal about once every 2 weeks. And the cheats are getting less cheaty, but does usually involve alcohol, which I think is probably a cheat no matter what. Otherwise, I feel good, things are pretty easy. Oh!! And I ate peppers this weekend! So far, no fallout. Which is infinitely exciting! Magnesium supplementing with food is going smashingly. And work is also great. Met with the CEO on Friday. I think he's been here four years. This is the first time I've ever talked to him one on one (well, with my boss). He says my work was perfect, and he wouldn't change anything in how it was done. He did add some strategic direction, but that was the main purpose of the meeting. So, all in all, except the frequency of my workouts so far, I'm right on track!
  9. Hiiiiii! Long distance relationship, planning a move, school. You have a lot going on! i should stop ignoring mobility......
  10. I have tried chelated, malate, glycinate, orotate, there's one that starts with a t, I think. I've tried them all. I've also done mag oil, whatever kind that is. I knew a long time ago, the mag was an issue, but I was able to supplement better with foods pre-keto. Once you go low-carb, some of your options narrow (lots of beans, higher carb nuts, some grains, etc., are all out). So supplementing once or twice a week or less was working. Once I went keto, I needed to supplement at least every other day. Sometimes more. Anyway, I think I've tried the supplements. When I found the issues the recommendation was to use foods as much as I could. And I'm still looking for the right foods. Pumpkin seeds are my go-to. Almonds, spinach, and I have started using a small amount of sugar free dark chocolate as a treat. So far, it's working! Pepitas 4eva! I actually ate a bag of seeds with shells, which is don't love, before It figured out Pepitas were pumpkin seeds. I'm like, I think this is what they look like, but don't know what Pepitas are. Idk why auto correct capitalizes Pepitas. Anyway, got some roasted, lightly salted in the bulk bin at whole foods. 1g carbs for a serving. Two servings would be a day's worth, but it can get pretty close with other foods. Life saver! Thanks! I actually have used that for mag and potassium, which is also tough. For mag, it's a long ways down to get to much low-carb besides Pepitas, almonds, and dark chocolate (which can be high carb with sugar added). But I definitely eat more spinach now. And can't remember if broccoli is high mag or potassium,but I do more of that. Also more pork for potassium. All things I like, just more deliberate with them! I knew we would be same page. Your support is the thing dreams are made of. Hey, nerd-bro. How are ya? Mag oxide is a laxative for me. Hahaha. But, yes, mag is necessary for life.... And especially not cramping up while lifting! My recovery time takes way longer. Things that shouldn't hurt, hurt for days, and it's a deep ache, almost feels like to the bone. And my neck will hurt and my shoulders will cramp up at work. Like they get tense, which is normal, then don't relax right when I relax. Then your muscles can cramp. I'll get charley horses in my calves or foot arches. I'll also get heart palpitations. And my workouts will suck at this point. I'll feel like my muscles are fatigued, or they'll cramp up while working out. I think there are other symptoms like anxiety and blood pressure, too. And your sleep usually improves if you have enough. One form that seems to not impact me too much, and I'll use if my recovery sucks, is an Epsom bath. But I only use a cup, and try to limit to once a week. Probably a small dose and that's why I don't react. But it's like insta relief. Epsom bath, sleep like a baby, muscles cured! but I can't do that daily, or I'll break out. It's weird. I know.
  11. Hi, friend! I'm not eating like an asshole and working my way into a good routine for me. Let's do this thang together! You know, while you do you and I do me.
  12. Can you taper up? Like Pam with her cocaine habit? Tolerance! All I mean is I want to add back in some gains, but don't know if I'll do enough for real gains. So... Taper it is! Goal 1: Meal planning, stay keto: The biggest trick to eating well is meal planning, and making groceries a priority. Stay ahead of the curve. Keep the avocado bin stocked! I don't want to ever get away from keto because I haven't properly planned or shopped. This is especially important for snacks at work. Goal 2: Supplement magnesium with foods I'm going to track magnesium in foods and try to hit the daily value as consistently as I can. I don't want to be stuck having to supplement, because I don't think supplementing is working. I felt like CRAP last time I supplemented. Tired for two days, breakout, stomach issues. And with keto, electrolytes can be an issue. I've been eating. 1/4 c pumpkin seeds. But hope to stretch no but more! As as a tiny tack on to this, keep up with other supplements, make sleep a priority. Goal 3: Workout on weekends, as energy keeps up I'm tip going back into this one. This summer I tried keto + workout. Felt like crap. Sleep got screwed up. Tired all the time. Moody with cravings. GAINED weight, this time I said I wouldn't workout until I see if keto alone works. It does. Albeit slower than average, but a loss is a loss is a loss! So, I'm going to kind of tinker around this month to see what works. I have read some stuff on adrenal issues and working out. One suggests setting a workout time limit of 20 minutes. Going really hard (heavy weights, more reps, etc) until your muscles and breathing is taxed and you need to rest. At that point, rest until your heart rate comes back to resting. At first it will happen fairly quickly, but over intervals, you won't recover as fast. With adrenal issues, some can only do 1 interval. Last time I did this, I was able to do about four in twenty minutes. So I'd do four sets of squats or whatever. Anyway, did a practice run Saturday. Got six intervals in. Seven including the warmup, which didn't bring my heart rate WAY up, but it rested to bring it down. I don't know if this is THE answer, but I'll try it until I determine it doesn't work. For now, I'm committing to one workout on the weekend of a week that hasn't been fatigue-ridden. If that goes well, next month, I'll up to two days, etc. Goal 4: Nail it at work I got a brand new title. Brand new to my work. I have a lot to prove, make work a priority. Get sleep. Be focused at work. Be productive. And shine! I wanted to make this a goal since it's really taking up some of my personal life, but right now it's worth it. However, I don't want it to take over. But it is important. It's my opportunity to make my name where I'm relatively obscure. Forgot to mention: big write up due end of Feb, presentation in March or April. So if those both happen, that's what I meant I wanted to nail! Thats it. That's everything. That's all of it!
  13. Man, I lost track of the challenge. Work has been crazy. I have a new title, and really, really trying to perform. I've also been busy at home keeping up with housework. Whaaaat? Yep, more energy! Plus, no workouts left me tons of time, and that's how I'm moving into next challenge. So, goals recap: 1. No eating out. Well, the number definitely won't be zero, but my goal is none, and I'll allow dinner plans with friends. But I don't want to eat out at work when I'm stressed. Or grab dinner because I'm unorganized. This goal changed VERY quickly. Not because I was lazy. But because I wanted the flexibility, and foods I can't make as well (Cesar salad with grilled salmon, hot wings, even a fantastic burger). I tried to mostly choose places with online nutrition, as I get adapted to eating low carb, but it actually went well, I think. I originally was going to have one "off" meal a week. And after having two weekends in a row, decided every other week was a but better fit. Look at me! Anyway, eating out in general, back in the cards. And working for me. I still cook 75% of what I eat. But, love half price wings Tuesday! Score: I'm giving myself a B. I didn't do what I was worried: stress eat or lazy eat, which would have meant not staying keto. Keto was waaaaay easier than I expected! 2. Organize meals. This is always my downfall. I always need more food than I buy, then just grab something rather than shopping. This will be the cornerstone of my success. Giving myself an A+ on this. Unless I had a specific hankering for a food, which surprisingly was rare, I bought the meat on special and tinkered with different recipes. I had sirloin steak (my favorite), ground beef, pork shoulder, pork steaks, chicken, turkey, roast. And I had more veggies than I thought I would, including Brussels sprouts, which I don't like. But mostly found myself eating broccoli with lots of butter. But also cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers and even some spinach and romaine for salads. And so many avocados. So many. Well, and cheese. Duh. I think the enjoyment of the diet made this easy and fun. Plus, my sisters and I are doing it together, so we kind of gave each other ideas for quick meals (lunch meat + cream cheese + pickles is my favorite quick meal!). And! I found most days a 50-70 calorie piece of cheese sustains me for breakfast! Who knew? And half of an avocado + a baybel cheese (the original soft one) killed all afternoon cravings. I'm keeping this goal next time because it's so important to get to the store, and I've found myself avoiding it this week. 3. Sleep and supplements - Gotta keep those in check for two reasons. First, adrenal issues are (no surprise) on and off based on sleep. But most importantly for the success of this challenge, if eating is my only goal, I know tired = more stressed eating, more cravings, more deciding I don't care. Some people do these things drunk. Well, I'm that way when I'm super-tired. (I don't really drunk eat.... Hmmmm, should I stay drunk for a month?) Heres where I love these challenges! Set specific goals, learn things. First, sleep went pretty well! Keto does this weird energy burst thing to you. I had some rough nights falling asleep, but zero issues getting to bed. I give myself an A for that! supplements- ok, so I mostly wanted to take iron, a few adrenal supps, and vitamin d and b12. But, as is started keto, and the keto flu hit, I started taking more mag (and drinking potassium with lo salt). Goal 4 was no eggs or peppers, and this is as good as I've been with that goal in years! But, I got a breakout. And I realized, it's the magnesium. Now, I've known of my mag allergy, but had only taken mag as leg cramps came on. Maybe once every two weeks. Now I was taking it 3-5 times a week. I'm now questioning whether the little bit of mag is what was making me think the tiny amounts of eggs and peppers were an issue! For now, I'm trying getting mag from foods. Being very focused with it. This will carry over for more following. 4. Absolutely no eggs, peppers or beans/legumes. These are the problem foods. I have finally accepted it. No cheating. Including no dry pepper flakes of any kind, including in mixes. No small squeezes of Sriracha, no dabs of hot sauce. No salsa. No eggs, not even if it's just one for something that's four servings. Beans are actually easy. I finally realized the little bits of pepper were screwing with my eyes, red, inflamed, dry, watering. No peppers? Perfect. Same with eggs, they cause constipation. All three cause breakouts. No one likes acne! see above. I wasn't perfect, but did well enough I was able to QUICKLY realize my mag supplement is a problem. I could have done better here, but not by a terrible amount. Solid B+. I probably won't carry this goal over since I'll carry over the mag food goal. But I'm so glad I did this! So final results? I give myself a B! Pretty happy. Wish I'd checked in here more. But! I did my first strength workout this weekend. Slightly modified, keeping adrenal stuff in mind. Also been getting in a good amount of yard work on this stretch of warmer weather. And, for those wondering, final height loss for the month.......... 7 pounds! I know I likely won't repeat that next challenge, but think 5 should be doable! Yeehaw!
  14. I've been MIA from here, but NOT MIA from my challenge! I've been strictly adhering to my diet/eating plan. I have between 5-6 lbs of loss to show for it (2 1/2-3 was water weight, so about 2 1/2-3lbs of fat!). I had a freak out last week where I let some people doing the typical diet schpiel made me want to give up, but if didn't, and I'm glad I didn't. So, list of things that are better: 2 1/2-3 lbs fat loss - first really since 2011! Good cravings control - really not craving anything Super-reduced anxiety - work is in flux right now, and I feel in control, calm, and able to keep my head down - my boss said I'm producing the best work he's seen from me in a long time! Part of that is I actually have a purpose. But the reduced anxiety lets me avoid the drama pockets all over. Better energy than I've had in a long time - I'm using it now for housework, yard work and meal planning, but think maybe in two more weeks I'll start lifting again (!!!!). I'm trying to be flexible with that date. If I have a really tired day, disturbed sleep, etc., I push it out another 2 weeks. Maybe not a total pro/good thing, but I've been really successful with one cheat meal a week, and it's really easy to get back on plan. The longer I go, the less I feel like I have to get all of the things in, which is good. But I expected each cheat to turn into a full blown bender - enough so I'd stress a bit leading up to it. Never did. I come back the very next meal strong, don't have cravings, and never have any negative repercussions. Backstory: I wanted the cheats to still have some flexibility with social life stuff. And so far it's working, but likely a reason my results are slower. I'm ok with that! I have two dinner party groups, and the food is so good! Just waiting for full on fat adaptation, when energy is steady. And I'll add in weights. Until then, plan is to carry on!
  15. So, butter week went well! Although, I found my favorite butter carrier was strangely, chicken wings (instead of dressing), or less strange, broccoli, which seems to have no upper limit as long as you can get it stuck in the tops, which I'm mastering. I keep watching this. So hilarious! Nothing to see here! Yasss! All the dancing! Yes, ask away on elimination diets! I actually started my first one in a strange way. I ate chicken and rice for a LONG time because at the time I read they were two of the least allergic foods. That didn't jive well with the paleo stuff I'd just quit, but it worked for me. I did chicken, rice and seasonings. It's not unusual to have an egg allergy, less common to have a pepper allergy, I've found. My second elimination, I was more haphazard. I knew it was peppers, tomatoes or something else causing the issues, so I only eliminated those three, symptoms stopped. Added back one at a time. Peppers seemed to be culprit, retested, same thing. The last time I did an elimination, I did more of a whole 30, and did AIP, couldn't find the problem. It. Was. Magnesium! Didn't even know that could be a thing. Because I was supplementing, it seemed like everything was a problem. I've heard these reactions are VERY rare, so don't let that discourage you. So, I'm not an expert, but consider myself somewhat of a sleuth. I think simpler is easier, honestly, but it think it can be done with a Whole 30. Let me know if I can help!
  16. Checking in. 1. Ate carbs for dinner Saturday night. World didn't end. Got back on low carb train Sun AM. Win! I want that flexibility long term for occasional social events. 2. Down 4.4 pounds. My Happy Scale app projects I'll hit the 10lb mark on Feb 5th. That's just over a month from start. But might bee over estimating because of initial water loss. 3. This has become very easy. And I'm able to easily skip meals now. Not sure if that's good or bad. Probably good for blood sugar/insulin resistance at least. And a good sign I'm solidly in the keto range. 4. I have the urge to bring more butter into my life this week. Week 1 was avocado. Week 2 was cheese. Why can't week 3 be butter? Butter it is! 5. Energy is fantastic, even while sick. But it's making sleep a challenge. I think that means I need to expend more energy, but don't think full blown workouts are the answer. Maybe short walks. Or more dancing while cleaning! Probably should do the latter. Tl;dr going well! I feel like exercise was derailing me this whole time. Fats are fun!
  17. Blueberries the runner! I'll still be your friend. Truth is, I like running for short distances (around 2 miles or less). I rarely talk about it because 1. Warrior 2. Primarily because longer distance runners always try to get me on the long distance train. Just isn't my thing. But maybe it'll be yours!
  18. You know, sometimes even when I'm on one social media, I feel the compulsion to check another social media. It. Is. Insane. I've been working on it this year at work. But even at home it's bad. When I was in school, I loved having a meal at a restaurant and studying for a few hours. As long as I showed up late in a meal shift, they never seemed to mind (I always tipped well, and they seemed to remember me). For some reason, the change of venue was a reset button. So I might do an hour at my kitchen table, then two hours at a restaurant. Then another hour and a half at home. Meanwhile, I'd never make it four hours at home, even with breaks. Also, I'm looking into that book, too!
  19. Last we heard from you, you were embarking on a sleeping challenge.... Did it go really well? Just teasing. Seriously, tell us the eggs you've eaten.
  20. I was going to say something clever, but now I'm browsing Archer gifs. Looks like things are coming along nicely here. Fist bump.
  21. That bread! And not just because I'm low-carb. Drool. I loooove your workout log. You make my complications so simple! <3 I want to have a Thank God 2016 is Over party! And I want to squat my body weight on my birthday! wait, am I turning into a stalker? It's ok.
  22. I am tracking everything in MFP. So the data is there to review. I'm just not controlling or restricting. Right now I'm getting about 100g protein per day, and that's with being somewhat aware and trying to cut back. Warrior spirit lives on! As as for losses I'm still sitting right at about three pounds. Same as last week. But plenty of people say to give it 4-6 weeks before saying something isn't working. I do feel good. No real cravings. I'm hungry enough to eat 1600-2000 calories most days. And I feel like 1800 should be a deficit. And I know hormonal swings are real, so another reason to get through a full month. Tl;dr Feeling good. Maintaining where I am with eating. Haven't gone over of the 20 net carbs range since my over-eat Monday.
  23. Update: Today is off to a good start. Two carbs for breakfast. Focusing mainly on meat and low carb dairy to get reset. I was a little paranoid eating protein because keto crowds are big on warning that too much is too much and it impacts losses. But stalled losses are better than fat gains. If I'm doing too little protein that I cave and over-eat, I'll never be successful. Now that I can do lower carbs ok, maybe I really do need to focus on how much protein I'm taking in. And whether it's ok and will result in losses. Or if it truly is too much.
  24. Oooohhhh! Hi! Thank you! Hahah on the Fireball. You either loooov it or are like, "meh." I have a friend who nearly dies on Fireball but loves it all the same! I figured vodka was the best choice as that's what most of my low carb friends drink. I'm trying to decide if whiskey is just as ok. Someone told me it was. Not sure if here or elsewhere. I did read there are no carbs, but i never know if I'm making terrible decisions. I CAN drink vodka, but I prefer whiskey. Yes! Confirmed on whiskey... Right? Just as good of a choice? Most of the sweet liquors make me feel blah. But I can drink beer allllll day. I miss you, beer. But we are on a break. I am here to confess my sins.... I went waaaaaaaaay over on food today. No idea why. Well, partly because my job feels in limbo, and while I should be ok no matter what happens, I guess I ate it. I did not dip into traditional carbs, but am sure I'm out of ketosis. I feel sooooo full. And bloated. And ugh. I'm committed to restarting right this second. Tomorrow will be a good day.
  25. Yes!! This is fantastic news! Both about me not losing all of the gains, and you regainzing! Well, one week low carb in the books. Down 3lbs. Feeling key good! Hut a solid keto state mid-week. And while I'm definitely still hungry, I haven't had a lot of cravings or constant hunger. Water has been a success. I've been adding lite salt to the avocado (or more) I eat every day. I also have some electorate electrolyte packets I used the first three or so days, but haven't needed since. Not working out has actually been really nice, which I didn't expect. I miss our some, but the spare time has been nice for meal planning. And not having an extra thing to accomplish has allowed me to really focus on what I'm eating (or not eating). Steak (well, maybe even red meat) and avocados was the theme of the week. And the two got me through. I feel like this week will shift to something else. And I'm excited to find out what. Finally, sleep has been a B-/C+. I've had some good sleep days and some terrible ones. Last night I think I slept through the whole night once I fell asleep, so that's good progress! Overall, I'm super happy with the week and excited to see what's to come this week. I have dinner plans Saturday at a Mexican restaurant. I can definitely go the tortilla-less fajitas route. But feel like I'll want a drink. Or three. So I'm going to figure out what to do with that! Plus, I always do cheese dip. Not sure what I'll do with that. Maybe I can get a small side of cheese dip to pour over the fajita fillings.
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