Health And Fitness Update ~ March 21, 2017

Well I am almost 2 months into my “get healthy” plan and I am discovering so many things.  Like for instance, to chuck the fucking scale in the trash stay off the scale. scales humor weight loss I am not kidding ladies…the scale is truly our demon and we don’t realize how much our bodies fluctuate throughout the month between hormones, stress, and all those other shitty things that come along with being a woman.  So I have decided that I am officially staying off the scale for the entire month of April.

Currently I am doing something called carb cycling.  But I changed it up a bit from what I learned about it on the internet.  It goes in stages of 3 workout days and then a day of rest with some activity (mine’s usually house cleaning).

The first day is your hardest workout day.  This is also the day that you consume the most carbs.   I am really wanting to work my upper body and mid-section so on my first day of the cycle I do my back, chest, shoulders, arms, abs, and 20-30 minutes of cardio.  I also start off with 200 grams of carbs on this day in which the majority are consumed around my workout.

humor weight loss gym

The second day is butt and leg day.  Now I hate doing leg exercises and tons of squats but I am determined that since I have seen actual results of someone who has the same crack in their back, aka booty, that I do, transform into an actual butt, then I shall not skip butt and leg day.  On this day I take the carbs from the first day and cut them by a third.  Again consuming the majority of them around my workout.  Again I also do 20-30 minutes of cardio following my workout.

The third day is high intensity full body workout doing cardio using low weights with fast reps.  And on this day I only eat a third of the carbs I started with the first day.

protein shake ice cold beer glass

 

On the fourth day is rest day.  And let me tell you, if you don’t hurt from head to toe on this day then you aren’t working out hard enough.  I also try to stick to no carbs on this day or if I do have some it’s usually first thing in the morning.  And the best thing about rest day is you should feel a burst of energy.  Now, resting doesn’t mean lay around and do absolutely nothing.  You still should be active.  This is the day I usually try to catch up on housework, maybe walk to the park with the kids (that is if the weather is nice), eventually there will be some yard work and gardening thrown in there.  But nothing high intensity.

Then repeat the cycle.  I am going to do 4 cycles and of course will share my results with you when I am done.  Also keep in mind that you can play around with your carb intake.   If you are doing 200 grams on the first day but are feeling really sluggish and sleepy the rest of the day, after your workout, then you may want to consume more carbs or consume less around the workout and save some for later in the day.

If you are getting really tired and sluggish during the middle of your workout then this probably means you didn’t get enough carbs to keep you going throughout your workout.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Everyone’s body is different.

I try to do an ab workout everyday…even on my rest days because it is my least favorite area after having 3 kids.  I was lucky enough to never get a stretch mark but I am determined to not have to go under the knife or get lypo just to obtain the midsection I want.  If you want a great ab workout, click the video below.  The first time I tried this workout I couldn’t cough or laugh for two days.

And I didn’t do it at the gym…I used my bed post.

I finally broke down and bought a vegetable spiraler.  The first thing I used with it were a green and yellow zucchini squash.  I spiraled one of each and then lightly saut√©ed the spirals in some olive oil, freshly chopped garlic, and seasonings (I was lucky and found a bunch of organic seasonings on sale and bought a bunch).   I also made a little pesto to go with it using basil, spinach, lemon, pine nuts, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

zucchini clean eating healthy

I think next time I will probably just try the zucchini noodles saut√©ed by themselves as my side dish of veggies.  I love pesto but until it starts growing in my garden I won’t be making it because  I don’t like spending the 3 or 4 dollars that they want to charge for a very small amount at the grocery store.  Basil grows like a weed, literally, and in the summer months I always have fresh basil.

My other favorite recipe was some saut√©ed shrimp lettuce wraps.  Just saut√© some uncooked shrimp in a little olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, a little chopped cilantro, and some garlic salt and then place in a romaine lettuce leaf.  Sprinkle with some more cilantro, chopped avocado, and some thinly sliced jalape√Īos and enjoy!

Shrimp lettuce wraps

Chow for now,

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Health And Fitness Update ~ March 10, 2017

I have decided that not only do I want to share my progress with all of those who wish to read about it but I would also like to share with you recipes that I like, exercises that I am doing, and just anything else that comes to mind that I think might help others.

My newest found addiction was stumbled upon while doing my morning cardio on the treadmill.  I had decided that I wanted to find a knowledgable person who could give me some tips on achieving the goals that I wish to achieve.  And where else to find such a person but the glorious land of YouTube.  I found a girl by the name of Jen Heward and I absolutely am intrigued by everything she has to say.  Below is the first video I watched and I was instantly hooked.

The thing I like about Jen (besides her goofiness) is the fact that she gears towards women and how OUR bodies work.  She also has the same troublesome areas of the body that I do which helps in getting to my goals.

She’s also a great motivator. ¬†If there is a morning…like today for instance…that I just want to sit in my chair, binge watch TV, binge eat, and have nothing to do with exercise, I just pull up one of her videos and am instantly motivated. ¬†Even if it’s just a short workout, it’s still doing something.

If you would like to check out her website which has some awesome recipes and supplements just click here.  I recently purchased the BCAA powder in pink lemonade flavor.  It shipped to me in 2 days (even though it said 5-7) and I tried it out today and loved it!  Not only does it taste great but it gives you energy without the jitters and helps with muscle healing during and after weight training.

I have been trying to keep to a clean eating lifestyle. ¬†It’s going to take some time and serious commitment, especially on days like yesterday when I had to take 3 kids to dentist appointments at the same time, we were there for nearly 3 hours, and by the time I got home they weren’t willing to wait for me to make dinner. ¬†So to avoid them gnawing my arm off, I ordered pizza. ¬†And of course I had to have a piece of said pizza. ¬†And then I decided that since I was already falling off the wagon I mind as well just get off the whole damn wagon completely and indulge myself into a glass, or two, or entire bottle of wine.

And so I did.

My favorite clean eating recipe of the week was my salmon, asparagus, and mushrooms all done in one pan.

Heat the oven to 425*F

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray

Trim the bottoms of the asparagus

Cut the mushrooms (I used baby portabellas) into quarters

Make sure your salmon is thawed.  The best salmon to use for clean eating is wild caught.  They sell it in the frozen section at War-Mart.

In a good-sized bowl mix together about a cup of olive oil, fresh finely chopped garlic, juice of one lemon, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (optional) **likes her food a little spicey like her sex everyday life.

Mix ingredients well with a whisk

Place the vegetables in the bowl until well coated then arrange them onto the foiled pan making sure you have some liquid left for the salmon (which is set aside for now).  I also thought to myself if I had time and would have thought about it,  I would have marinaded everything in the mixture before hand but I will have to do that next time.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

Pop the vegetables in the oven for about 10 minutes

Take the pan out and place the salmon on the pan. ¬†Drizzle the rest of the mixture over the fish and veggies and feel free to season the salmon as you wish. ¬†(I use McCormick’s Steak Seasoning for EVERYTHING…I even sprinkled some on the veggies) ¬†Pop the pan back into the oven for about another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how you like your salmon cooked and then plate and enjoy!

salmon asparagus mushrooms recipe clean eating

The best things I learned this week are that I should do my weight training before my cardio and that I don’t have to spend hours a day doing cardio. ¬†I also learned that women shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy. ¬†You will not bulk up like a man unless you take steroids. ¬†In that case you may end up looking like this…

women body building steroids

When I look at that picture I see a man with a blonde wig but who am I to judge what someone wants to look like.  I just want to tone the flabby parts, not turn into the Incredible Hulk.

I also bought some weights and a yoga mat (I’m tired of getting up from the rug in my bedroom to find myself covered in dog hair) from the store this week. ¬†I like to try out some of Jen Heward’s workouts at home before making a fool of myself at the gym. ¬†Let’s face it, no matter how good I think I am doing something right there are times I know I must look like this…

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Until Next Time,

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Making Progress

It’s now been a month into my journey of trying to become a better version of me. ¬†I decided to do things a little differently from last year as to try not¬†to set myself up for failure.

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I don’t deprive myself.¬† I eat and snack but make sure to count my calories. ¬†My FitBit app has a counter on it, that even comes with a food scanner, which makes it very easy to keep track throughout the day. ¬†I also don’t feel guilty enjoying the occasional glass of wine or my new-found cocktail made of cranberry juice and Malibu rum with a squeeze of lime. ¬†I allow myself one day a week to indulge and not count calories.

I started out slow with my exercise regimen. It’s still very much winter here so I have been having to get my walking/jogging in via the dreadful treadmill. ¬†I started out with 20 minutes and now after only a month am up to over an hour. ¬†And I have also started to incorporate weights into my routine as well.

treadmill workout beginners
This is the treadmill workout I try to follow most days

I don’t obsess about weight loss. ¬†I weigh myself once a week and have lost 6 pounds this month. ¬†The key thing people need to remember when working out is that you are gaining muscle which weighs more than fat. ¬†Therefore, you will lose inches before losing weight. ¬†I can tell, without measuring, by the way my clothes fit much better.

I am trying out an assortment of essential oils. ¬†I must say that I intend to eventually invest in a diffuser for every room in the house. ¬†So far I am up to 3 and have found a sleep and depression blend that I use often. ¬†The sleep blend I use at night in my diffuser which sits next to my bed, and the depression blend I rub into the bottoms of my feet. ¬†I’ve also discovered bath bombs which used with my Epsom salt manage to relax me at night and helps with any soreness I have succumbed to throughout the day.

I still have bad days. ¬†I’m not going to lie, there are still some days I struggle with not wanting to do much of anything but binge watch television and throw my FitBit at the wall. ¬†But I keep it as a reminder of when I’m doing great as well as not so great. ¬†Plus I love joining challenges with my friends as I can be very competitive which is great at keeping me on track to making progress. ¬†Below are my stats for the last four weeks starting from the end of the month. ¬†Each week I try to do better than the previous week. ¬†As you can see weeks 2 and 3 I failed at that, but like I said…I still have bad days and it’s ok.

fitbit stats exercise tracker      fitbit stats exercise tracker  fitbit results exercise tracker

fitbit stats exercise tracker

I feel that as long as I am doing something that makes me feel better than that to me…is making progress.

If you have a FitBit and would like to join any of my challenges you can find me via email on the app (tristasim@yahoo.com).

Chow For Now,

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My Struggles With Anxiety, Depression, And Being A Stay At Home Mom

I think that there are so many other mothers like me that have daily struggles with anxiety, depression and the challenges of being a stay at home mom.  The problem is most of us aren’t talking about it.  I think this is because in many ways we feel weak or that somehow it’s our fault that something isn’t right in our head.

People who don’t suffer from it don’t understand it.  They think there’s just some kind of switch.  And the most common stereotype are those who look at your life, the life where you have more than most do, and they say to themselves “What in the world does she have to be depressed about? She has everything!”

Everything except the correct chemical balance in the brain.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I was put on Zoloft after I had finished nursing my 3rd baby.  I had an appointment with the doctor and I suggested to him that I hadn’t been feeling myself and he instantly just wrote me a prescription for the anti-depressant.  I had read a lot about post natal depression and especially from dissolving breast feeding, so I really had no concern.

I was on Zoloft for 3 years.  200mg a day.  And one day I realized I still wasn’t feeling myself.

So I decided to go off of it.  My mood swings were horrible, I still didn’t feel like doing things most days *like getting out of bed*, and so as most people would do, I decided to make the decision to quit taking something that I felt wasn’t doing a damn thing.

After experiencing brain zaps, body twitches and any other withdrawal symptom, I was finally returning to what I felt was normal.

About 3 months passed.

One morning I woke up and I thought I was having some kind of heart attack or mini stroke only there was no pain in my chest.  My heart was palpitating, I was shaking, my stomach felt like I needed to throw up, and I was dizzy and couldn’t focus on much of anything except trying to breathe.

Of course I didn’t go to the doctor.  I looked up my symptoms on the internet and everything was telling me to meditate, take deep breaths, and try some yoga positions because I was having a panic attack.

After several hours I finally was able to calm myself down.

In the mornings remaining I would always wake up in a state of panic.  Like feeling like the plane was going to crash, only I wasn’t on any plane.  I was in bed and just waking up.  But the feeling of dread was there.  Like literally I felt plagued with it.

Depression anxiety chemistry
About a week later another panic attack occurrred and I went straight to the doctor.  My blood pressure was through the roof and he confirmed what I already knew.  He said that being on the Zoloft must have kept the panic attacks at bay and even though I had been off of it for 3 months my body was still adjusting.

He put me on Kolonopin, an anti-anxiety medication.  I was to take it twice a day, morning and night.  Haven’t had a panic attack since.

In the beginning of 2016 I decided it was going to be my year to finally get in shape.  I started going to the gym, sometimes twice a day.  I found a love for Zumba and watched 28 pounds melt away.  I even got my Kolonopin down to once a day.

But even though I was feeling better, had more energy, and getting a good nights sleep, there were still days I was fighting with myself just to get out of bed.

The warm weather started to roll in and by end of May I couldn’t stand the temperature inside the Zumba room so I quit going.  And then a few weeks later the kids were out of school and so there went going to the gym too.

Now I realize they were bad choices.

But we had a busy summer planned with camping, swimming, and hiking.  But facts are facts and as the summer passed I felt myself feeling worse and worse.  I also found myself “self-medicating” by consuming alcohol on almost a daily basis and justifying it with the fact I wasn’t getting drunk, just trying to wind down from the daily struggles of being a stay at home mom of 4 kids.  Three of which were still very dependent on me every 2.5 seconds.

By the end of last year I started noticing that I had lost interest in everything that used to be important to me.  I stopped blogging.  I stopped being creative through my photography and designing.  I started distancing myself from family and friends.  I even stopped doing craft projects with my kids, which has always been a passion of mine.  And instead I started binge watching TV…something I just don’t do on an everyday basis.  Sometimes confining myself to my bedroom.

But yet the ambition to do any differently just wasn’t there.  I did the bare minimum of what it took to be a mother and a wife.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I decided to go through a series of medical testing through my OB/GYN and my family doctor to see if there was anything that would be causing me to feel so fatigued everyday.  I even started seeing a therapist hoping she would have some answers.  All my tests came back normal, which was good but I knew that this also meant I was faced with the fact that I will probably have to spend the rest of my life on some kind of an anti-depressant.

Both my doctors and my therapist confirmed what I already knew.  Only this time I was put on Wellbutrin at 150mg a day.

I’ve been on it a couple months now and have started getting back to the gym.  I’ve even started keeping my alcohol comsumption to a minimal in order to give the meds a chance to work.  

I quit going to the therapist as I felt completely drained upon leaving her office because she constantly wanted to drudge up a past that I buried long ago.  And also because my insurance only paid for a certain amount of visits and in those 6 visits I felt like I was 20 steps behind from when I started.

Therapy isn’t for everyone.  And it wasn’t for me.

I made a choice to try and work this out with the help of a medication I hate, but any person with a chemical imbalance feels that way.  We think that when we start to feel better we don’t need it anymore.

This is the start of my journey and the end of me beating myself up over something that has, and never will be any fault of my own.

One Day At A Time,

Cuddle Fairy

My Decision To Circumcise 

Even though my son is now almost 7 years old, ¬†it is still a frequent discussion between my husband and I why I made the decision to circumcise our son. ¬†My husband believes that there is no reason for males to be circumcised and I felt that I didn’t want him growing up having to deal with society’s idea of what most penises look like.

Circumcision reasons pros cons
I remember the day like it was yesterday. ¬†Since my husband was against circumcision (he is circumcised but says he was never given a choice) he refused to go with me. ¬†This was my first baby and here I was going to a life changing doctor’s appointment all by myself.

I sat in the examining room going through my head a hundred times and wondering if I was making the right decision.  Honestly I made the decision to have my son circumcised based solely on the fact that society has decided on this procedure to be completely normal and is no longer based on religion or faith but that of cosmetics.

As a woman, I have seen both types of penises and have talked to various other women who have as well. ¬†And the sad fact is that the majority of women prefer a circumcised penis over that of one that is not. ¬†According to the popular adult store,¬†Adam & Eve,¬†over 54%¬†of women prefer a circumcised penis. ¬†But I also found in my research that circumcision rates increased from 48% during 1988‚Äď1991 to 61% during 1997‚Äď2000 but declined to 56% in 2008¬†according to the CDC. ¬†The results from the Adam & Eve survey were done in 2014.

They took my son into another room to do the procedure while I waited in the examination room. ¬†It seemed like hours passed when finally they brought him in. ¬†The doctor removed his diaper to show me what he had done and to say what I saw was anything short of horrific,is an understatement. ¬†No one had prepared me for the dark red flesh that was now at the end of my little baby boy’s penis. ¬†I felt like a horrible mother and began uncontrollably crying. ¬†To the point that the doctor had me sit down and relax before going over the after care with me, or even giving me back my baby.

Circumcision reasons pros cons
I finally pulled myself together because I wanted nothing more than to hold and soothe my crying little boy.  The moment he was in my arms I felt a wave of relief come over me.

The doctor explained the after care to me and I hung on every word that escaped from that man’s mouth. ¬†They told me I could stay in the room as long as I needed until I felt comfortable enough to leave. ¬†I remember just sitting there nursing him until finally he was sound asleep.

I gathered up our things and left the hospital.  But as soon as I got him safely loaded into the car (still sleeping) I sat in the parking lot and cried and continued to cry all the way home.  Questioning myself over and over again if I had done the right thing.

I never did any kind of research before the procedure but I made sure to follow the doctors instructions thoroughly.  As each day passed the wound began to heal and quite honestly I thankfully never had any problems and my son never showed any signs of discomfort as described in this article I came across in doing some research for this post.  Had I have read that article before making my own decision, I probably would have decided differently.

Circumcision facts reasons
But then I found a more recent article which you can read here that makes me feel as if I did make the right decision. ¬†I would never want my son to feel like, I am sure some of the men who are talked about in this article, must have felt. ¬†Not to mention I wouldn’t want to be having to constantly be telling him, let alone showing him, how to pull the foreskin back and clean it. ¬†Let’s face it, children (especially boys) don’t care much about their hygiene until far into their teen years when usually they get their first real girlfriend. ¬†The CDC has also stated that several types of research have documented that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of men contracting HIV through penile-vaginal sex.

In all honesty, as a parent, I think it is a personal choice unless of course it falls under your religion or faith. ¬† But I would like to hear from the women out there what their views are…my main question being…

Do you prefer a man who is circumcised or uncircumcised?   And if you feel like it, please do explain.

Domesticated Momster
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

National More Herbs Less Salt Day

In the past I have written quite a few articles about the benefits of herbs. ¬†You can read about them here¬†… here¬†…and here.

It just so happens that today is also the day that I have decided to get back on track once again.  For some reason I am just never very good at sticking to my weight loss goals during the summer months.  But I am happy to say that this summer, due to all the activity it has brought,  I have managed to only gain back 10 of the 28 pounds that I lost at the beginning of the year.

I keep falling off the horse but the important part is that I keep dusting myself off and getting back on. ¬†And on and on and on….

falling off the horse exericise
I have missed Zumba tremendously! ¬†And probably would have stuck with it had the room, in which it is performed, didn’t get to be 100*F by May. ¬† I prefer to have a cold enviroment to work out in which is why on most 32*F mornings you will catch me out walking the neighborhood.

So as it being National More Herbs Less Salt Day, what a better day to start my health and fitness goals up again.  I said that 2016 was going to be my year and I still have 4 months to go.  I know that I can do this.

exercise humor funny
I have got the FitBit all charged up and ready and as soon as I drop the kids off for their first day of school this mama is off to the gym.  Now I will do good all week with my eating habits and no alcohol but come the weekend, we are attending a Red Sox baseball game where yes I will be indulging in clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl and consuming large amounts of beer.  And that will be my last hoorah with alcohol for 30 days.

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Yeah I wish I looked this good as a hot mess

I am going to find a 30 day cleanse and stick to it. ¬†This will include a lot of smoothies with a lot of herbs in them. ¬†I was just in the garden last night picking fresh spinach and basil. ¬†Basil grows like a weed in case anyone is interested. ¬†I cleaned out my garden beds at the beginning of spring. ¬†Broke up all the soil. ¬†And even put some new soil in there and the basil from last year…CAME BACK!

Here’s to getting on a health kick once again….(to be continued)

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Throwback Thursday ~ RLS And Sleep Deprived

I am so not a morning person and anyone who knows me knows this about me.8136414_orig

Now this probably stems from the fact that I am a night owl and have a hard time getting to sleep anytime before midnight without a dose of Ambien or a couple glasses of wine…oh who am I kidding if the bottle of wine gets opened it’s getting drank to the last drop. ¬†I also suffer from RLS aka Restless Leg Syndrome which if you don’t have it then you have no idea what it is like to deal with it.

When I was pregnant it was really bad and because I couldn’t drink wine or take anything to help me sleep I looked up home remedies on the internet…yes I was desperate and aggavated and just wanted to SLEEP!!! Several people who claimed they suffered from RLS had “try this” and “try that” …I tried everything from eating spoonfuls of mustard to taking bars of soap and putting them in my socks because there was actually a couple comments from people that had tried this. ¬†Well nothing worked, and trying to explain to my husband why there were socks laying around with bars of soap in them was quite comical…I think in his mind he might have thought I was getting prepared to swing those suckers at his head if one of my hormonal episodes should appear.

Well since having my children my RLS has gotten worse. ¬†Now on the WeBMD website it gives suggestions of what to do and what not to do to help with your symptoms. ¬†One suggestion is to go to bed later and to sleep in because those morning hours of sleep will probably be the best hours of sleep you will get. ¬†Obviously whoever wrote that does not have kids. ¬†It also states to cut out caffeine…once again obviously a suggestion from someone who doesn’t have kids.

No tv or computer before bed, no alcohol…WHAT! that’s about as bad as no caffiene. ¬†I actually tried giving up caffeine and it was unsafe for my entire household. I have pretty much tried everything mentioned on this website and still find no relief with any such “medical” advice. 1d0f57936cb803c3282eeea53ec36810

I remember when I first started noticing these tingling pains in my legs. ¬†It was in my 20’s and I actually thought that I was going crazy. ¬†That I had some phantom feelings in my legs until one day a commercial came on and answered my ever so growing question…I AM NOT CRAZY…it’s a real disease! ¬†Of course there are people who still believe that it’s a “made up” ailment. ¬†Like my husband for instance, when we first got together he thought I was bluffing even though I pulled it up on the internet and showed him he still thought it was all in my head. ¬†“Can’t believe everything on the internet” he said.

Well then he had to take a sleep disorder class for work and guess what one of the sleep disorders listed was?  Yep, RLS,  and because it came out of a physicians mouth then he finally believed me.  Not that it changed anything he now just thinks I exaggerate it.

One of the other suggestions on webMD is to have someone massage your calves before bed. ¬†I couldn’t even get my husband to rub my aching legs when I was pregnant so there is no way in hell I am getting that now. ¬†(He doesn’t like giving or receiving massages…yes he is weird) ¬†He says he would rather pay for me to just go get a massage…maybe I should take him up on that and hire a massage therapist to come over every night before I go to bed and massage me…yeah that won’t put a big dent in our already “totaled” budget.

So I just live with it and some nights are good and some nights are really really bad and I have just come to the realization that I will probably never have an extremely excellent night of more then GREAT sleep…that’s life.

UPDATE: ¬†Last year I finally went to the doctor about my restless legs. ¬†I couldn’t stand not being able to sleep any more even with Ambien and wine. ¬†He put me on a medication that actually WORKED. ¬†The only set back is I have to remember to take it 2 hours before bedtime because that is how long it takes for it to kick in. ¬†But besides that it has been a life saver for my sleep.

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