healthy habits 2019!

One of my 2019 priorities is my health so I thought I would share some of my habits to kickstart the year!

Plant Based!

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July 2018 to January 2019

A picture says it all! I decided to go completely plant-based (vegan) in July of this year and it has radically changed my life for the better.  Not only have I lost +30lbs just through diet, my skin has never looked better (along with my vitamins!) and by eating whole foods (non-processed food) I just feel wonderful!

Not to mention:

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Some awesome documentaries and resources can be found here!

Forks Over Knives – Netflix, about the health consequences of eating animal protein — it’s no coincidence that diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity plus so much more has increased with the amount of animal protein being consumed.

I Love Vegan –  holy vegan recipe batman…. they have everything here – literally you will miss NOTHING by going vegan!

Veganuary – An awesome challenge for the month of January to go Vegan!!

Sleep Tracker!

For those of you with a fitness/activity tracker like Apple Watch, Fitbit etc this is a game changer!  A few years ago I talked to a nutritionist who actually prioritized sleep as the first thing to conquer/change in a daily routine for weight loss.  She would see clients lose weight just by increasing their sleep!  Of course sleep is directly linked to health and wellness.  I am someone who had no idea what my ideal sleep was, or what my sleep patterns meant for my days/goals.  Pre-Apple Watch life I would have inconsistent habits with sleep (I still LOVE a good all nighter – but my body hates them).

I started tracking my sleep and within 2 weeks I had confirmed that 7.5 hours was my ideal sleep target to function at my best each day!  With 7.5 hours I felt rested, ready to engage, brain ready to work and body operating at an awesome foundational level.  Now it’s easy to prioritize sleep so I work/live my best life!

Oils!

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Surprise! Oils are a HUGE part of my health and wellness regime!  I use them for everything – both physically and emotionally!

Oils to aid in metabolism, support anxiety/stress, help for restful nights, ease stomach discomfort, support lady health, support glowing skin… basically EVERYTHING.

I’ve found out so much about the efficacy and safety of essential oils and I will forever only recommend doTERRA because they are 100% clear in their process/practice and commitment to wellness with oils.

Exercise!

Tannith and I decided to get back into the whole ‘workout thing’ since we both feel so much better when we do move our bodies!  We turned to Betty Rocker (you’ll remember we did a 90 day challenge and both saw awesome results back in 2015!) and I’m already LOVING her new workouts and the burn!

It really helps with stress management and my confidence when I am moving/toning my body.  Plus, I get to use my fancy basement gym equipment!

Well there you have it.  Just a few simple ways I’m investing in my health in 2019.

When I take care of me, I can do more for the world and others!

xo

gfk

Fitness Journey 2.0

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I titled this fitness journey 2.0 but let’s be honest, it’s like on update 14.4. When we moved back to Denver, I just got out of habit with fitness and wellness. I stopped going to acupuncture, I stopped riding everyday, I stopped a lot of healthy habits.  And you know what? I’m not mad about it.  It was an incredibly stressful year when we moved back and working out wasn’t a consistent priority.  I did HIIT workouts, Betty Rocker, ran and biked some, but after a while I would stop due to weather, health, or just because Law & Order was on.

So here we are 2017, for the last 4 months I have been consistent and the results are insane and am highly motivating. In November, I joined the rec center that is literally a 5 minute walk from our house and started riding.  Then in December I started a program from Massy Arias.  I did it again in January and now in Feb am getting into some new workouts at Crossfit! I ride the spin bike probably 2/3 times a week to prep for my ride in September with the Tour de Cure.

I also have been meal prepping my but off – here is my typical day:

Breakfast: 1.5 Cups Eggs Whites, 2 C Sweet Potatoes 4oz ground turkey

AM Snack: 1/4 C Cashews – Apple

Lunch: 6oz Ground turkey/1 C Broccoli/ 1 C Potatoes

PM Snack: Beef Jerky/Apple/LaraBar

Post workout: Vega Performance Protein

Dinner: 5oz Ground Turkey/Unlimited Salad

PM Snack: nuts/salad/almond milk latte

Plus you can see from my last post The Nausea – I got rid of hormones that derail my day and weeks. No more bloating, cravings, and emotions telling me to sabotage my success.

Here are my before and afters.

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From September 2016 to Jan 2017
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Two week difference – dem abs!! 

Starting Feb 20th, I’m doing Whole 30 again.  Just as a reset, you’ll notice the menu above is paleo – but I have been sneaking processed food here and there – like that red velvet cake Rob insisted we make for V-day.  But again, I’m not sweating it (well literally I am lol).  It’s funny though a few days of frosting and I was craving it again, so time to nip it in the bud! 😉

I’ll update as I Whole 30 it up!

The Nausea – A Story of Self

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If you’ve followed my blog, or even if you’re new, I bet you’ve noticed I’m an over achiever and refuse to just settle for something. Well last fall, my heath was no exception.

Most times being an over achiever is good, but other times, well it bites me in the ass. Starting Ghostface Knitter up was really stressful and it’s really hard to turn a hobby into a business.  I started prepping for the Nov 1 launch of GFK in early September.  I would wake up at 5am and work until I had to get ready at 8am.  Then I’d come home at 6pm and work on GFK until midnight. For weeks I did this.  I was motivated, excited and ready.

Then, in late October I started getting nauseous. Like couldn’t eat nauseous.  I had always had bad PMS and for the first week I just chalked it up to the lady game.  But then it progressed.  I was losing weight, not because I was healthy, but because I was only able to eat bread, oatmeal and juice.  I had started a birth control pill to alleviate my PMS symptoms a few months prior – so every MD I saw ruled that out.  I stopped taking it at the end of the first week of feeling like garbage. So it MUST be stress. Everyone was telling me this – and believe me it doesn’t feel good to have people tell you, you are stressed. Dear friends, keep that crap to yourself.  That kind of shit only makes the stress worse, because now you are conscious about it. So the nausea went on for a month – a few days before Thanksgiving I begged for some anti-nausea meds so I could at least eat during the day.  That helped, but only for a few hours after taking the meds, then the nausea would come back. I literally laid down and panted for 2 months.

Then, I finally went and saw and acupuncturist in early December.  I had REALLY been into this when I lived in Chicago, but got out of it when I moved back to Denver – I don’t know why.   If you’ve never been to acupuncture – the needles don’t hurt, they itch sometimes and you basically lay and take a nap (or at least I do).  However, this acupuncturist is skilled in women’s health.  She  listened to me. Told me that it was hormones causing this and the birth control acerbated it.  At this point she was the only one listening and not handing out referrals to expensive Dr’s, tests, and medicine. She also recommend that I see the Doula at her practice who is skilled in abdominal massage.

I started seeing both.  The most upsetting thing to me is that NO ONE in the medical field asks any of the questions about my menstrual cycle like these two did. And you know what? I discovered that PMS is not normal! We are not supposed to be crampy, bloaty, upset, binge eating, craving, and for lack of a better word – crazy.

So after 2 weeks of seeing them, the nausea was gone and it is still is gone!  Why? Because my reproductive health was upset – my uterus is/was tipped, and thus blocking the natural flow of hormones which the birth control made infinitely worse.  And guess what else? NO PMS.

After this, I have renewed my faith in holistic meds and I refuse to be ashamed or upset about sharing my experience.  I would buy a billboard and write ‘LADIES PMS IS WRONG – LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BODIES WITH HOLISTIC MEDICINE!’ if I could.

If you’re interested in more about my journey please email me! ghostfaceknitter@gmail.com

Here’s some reading also:

Take Charge of Your Fertility 

Mayan Massage History

Mayan Abdominal Massage Info

Goals For #MakeFatCryChallenge

Well Day One of the Make Fat Cry 90 Day Challenge is underway and I am still so excited!  I thought it would be great to have some measurable goals to reflect on along the way also.

Goal #1:

Push-ups – you think after all the weight-lifting, cat/pug lifting, and trying to carry ALL my weekly groceries up the 3-4 flights of stairs at once I could do a push-up.  Well I cannot.  I can do a ‘poor man’s’ push-up, on my knees or by not touching my nose all the way, but I can’t seem push myself back up when I lower my body all the way down.  So there’s goal 1.

Goal #2:

My jeans won’t be so tight. Listen the ‘I just washed them so that’s why they must be snug’ excuse has only bought me a few months and I am not buying the next size up, so I’m anxious to see my Levi’s fit with just a little room around the waist.

Goal #3:

Follow the plan!  This one is the most critical and will ensure I even see my other goals, but I’m going to follow this plan down to the last chia seed smoothie and plank exercise. I know if I put the work in, I will see the results I want.

Goal #4

Be nice to myself! I’m not gonna make excuses or miss workouts or eat Whoppers, but I think a huge part of this challenge is being kind of myself also.  I care enough about my health and my body that I am changing my lifestyle to reflect that. Despite what each day may feel like, I can be happy in knowing that I am being kind to me!

Also be sure to check out my partner in crime’s blog over at FranklyTannith!

Yay! Can’t wait to experience these next 90 days!

xx

GFK

Betty Rockers “Make Fat Cry” 90 Day Challenge

In my last post about finding balance, I mentioned that I am doing a 90 day health challenge. Well! The time has come! I am going to participate in Betty Rocker’s “Make Fat Cry” 90 Day Challenge. Other awesome news is that I am getting the support from my best friend Tannith from franklytannith! She did the 30 day challenge and saw such success that we are both motivated to do this longer and more nutrition based endeavor.

For the past few months, my exercise habits included more and more time running, spinning, and cardioing – but I could also feel my jeans get tighter and my eating habits fall back into not so good ones (“I’ll get back on track tomorrow…tomorrow…tomorrow”). I’ve reached a point in my life where I am ready for balance in all things. Thus, this challenge is the perfect way to kickstart this new way of living I’m in pursuit of!

Healthy nutrient-filled foods and appropriate circuit and body weight exercises (max 30 mins) could not be more balanced. If you’re not familiar with Betty Rocker (also named Bree! and she also lives in Denver!) you should definitely check out her blog & instagram to see all the awesome things she is doing in the fitness realm.

I have not been more excited for a ‘radical life change’ since I did the HCG Protocol 2 years ago. I will admit 15 pounds have crept back on over the past six months, but instead of going back to the Protocol as the first reaction, I am doing this challenge. I am ready to get back on track with proper portions and nutrition as well as do daily appropriate workouts. I have to say that nothing is more frustrating than spending hour(s) a day working out only to see absolutely no results physically. I know quite a few people like this and after seeing my New Mexico pics I have become one. Too much exercise + whacky nutrition based on imbalanced nutrient levels = not a body I’m taking care of.

So my friends, for the next 90 days I will be apart of this challenge and I am so excited. I plan on following it to the ‘hemp seed’ (one of the many great nutrient packed ingredients I’ll be eating) so that I can truly see results. I plan on updating at least weekly for the next 12 weeks – you know it will be before and after crazy on here.

I spent a good chunk of change and a good chunk of time today prepping for the first week. Although, I can’t share specific recipes on here (Betty Rocker owns that IP yo!) I will definitely share my progress and my experience along the way.

Here’s some funny time lapse movies getting ready for the week!

Summertime Chi.

from Adler Planetarium on my lunch run.

It’s officially summer here in Chicago and I am loving it! What a difference from last summer. Seriously, last year, I was still pretty nervous to explore and wasn’t into ‘outdoorsy’ or many ‘non-drinking’ things so finding out how many summer hobbies I now have has been awesome.

Let’s do a few words to recap the past few weeks.

Bought a bike – became obsessed with biking – fell off bike – waiting for arm to heal (still – sigh).
Studied 3 months for GMAT – took GMAT – that was pointless to study for 3 months.
Bought 3923748 avocados – made amazing avocado dishes/sauces/spreads/smoothies – enjoyed eating it all.

bike ride to Irving Park/Lincoln Park

There that’s a verbal description of my past two weeks. I’m bummed I can’t ride because I LOVE my bike. I’m not really that disappointed about the GMAT, my scores are not ‘super competitive’ but they aren’t laughable either so… I’m gonna take some time to heal both mentally and physically before I plot my next move or bike ride.

Let’s look at pictures. I have been loving walking around downtown during lunch and I have really enjoyed discovering the lake and many other awesome running/biking trails/paths. Pretty much me and Leopold love summer Chicago!

summertime grilling – hawaiian chicken thighs and apple cider coleslaw
i made my own laundry soap with this and borax! it is great!.
just a five minute walk from my office 🙂
al pastor tacos from the taqueria down the street. NOM
spock.
oh just making up my own shawl pattern NBD.
lunch time walk
oh hai.

okay there is more but I promise I’m gonna start updating again WAY more often now that the GMAT is done and summer is here!

🙂
xxx
GFK