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Dr. Oz’s Cracker Test

I am currently reading Food Can Fix It: The Superfood Switch to Fight Fat, Defy Aging, and Eat Your Way Healthy by Dr. Mehmet Oz. In the book he talks about a cracker test that will determine your “carb type.” I thought I would share here and get your take on it. Did it work for you? I had to do it a couple times before I noticed the change. For me, it was a subtle.

THE 30-SECOND CRACKER TEST

I don’t normally think you should eat processed crackers; many don’t have much nutritional value. But you can use one to determine your “carb type” – that is, how well you tolerate carbs (why some people gain weight at the mere bite of a carb, while others could eat a bagel every morning and never gain weight).

Dr. Sharon Moalem, a geneticist, developed this test: Coat your mouth with as much saliva as you can. Eat one plain, unsalted cracker, setting a timer as soon as you start chewing. Note the time it takes for the cracker to start to taste differently than when you first started chewing. Go ahead and swallow it after you note the change. If you reach thirty seconds, you can stop and swallow. Do it two more times and note the average time. If you stopped the time at fourteen seconds or under, it means you can tolerate more carbs, while thirty seconds means you can tolerate fewer carbs. The middle area is, well, the middle area. The test is a proxy for identifying how your genes break down carbohydrates. While not the be-all and end-all marker, it gives you some insight into the role carbs should play in your diet.

Excerpt from: Food Can Fit it: The Superfood Switch to Fight Fat, Defy Aging, and Eat Your Way Healthy by Dr. Mehmet Oz.

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Why Do I Have to Choose?

This morning I was listening to the radio on the way to work and the announcer was having a discussion about the friendly twitter banter between Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and William Shatner (Star Trek) regarding Porgs vs Borgs. The announcer stated how it all goes back to the whole Star Trek versus Star Wars issue and how he had never watched Star Trek because he was a true Star Wars loyalist. Well that set my mind to spinning.

First off, I must of been obvious to this whole Star Trek versus Star Wars thing. I never truly thought that I had to choose sides. And is there even more too this “loyalist” thing? If I chose Star Trek do I have to decide if I am Star Trek: The Original Series, Enterprise, The Next Generation, Discovery, Deep Space Nine or Voyager? To be honest, if I had to choose, it would be Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk (Star Trek, Star Trek: Into the Darkness and Star Trek: Beyond)…then Patrick Stewart‘s Captain Picard (Next Generation) and then Scott Bakula‘s Captain Archer (Enterprise). And does this “loyalty” relate to other sci-fi shows? Do I have to choose been Dr. Who and Torchwood? I mean Captain Jack crossed over, why can’t I? And where do other shows come in like Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Stargate….OMG! Do I have to choose between SG-1, Atlantis and Universe? Okay, maybe not Universe. But the point is…where does it end?

So again, my question remains….WHY DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE? Why can’t I love Star Trek and Star Wars at the same time? Can I not just be a Sci-Fi Loyalist, Fan, Freak, Nerd…whatever term you choose to use? I may be a girl and you all may expect me to be all about the Rom-Com but I will always choose Captain Reynolds over Bridget Jones. It’s just who I am. (And if you know who Captain Reynolds is…you are a Sci Fi Loyalist…Welcome to the Club!)

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What Does It All Mean?

I had one of those dreams last night that has stayed with me all day. It’s rare that images from a dream plague me this long. But this one, I can’t shake. I feel as though there are two messages trying to come through, and I’m not quite sure what either one is. But let me tell you about the dream first, or at least what I know of it.

The dream started out with me on a cruise ship. I’m not quite sure where we were, or even where we were headed. At one point in the dream, I go to get on the elevator to go back to my cabin, but the elevator doesn’t have my floor number (20) and only goes to floor 9. [Yes, I know cruise ships don’t have that many floors, but it was a dream…so I’m rolling with it.] Anyway, I get to the 9th floor and when I step out, I’m in a gym, with the only way in or out being the elevator. I felt out of place and like everyone was staring out. Which is pretty much like I feel anytime I go to the gym; hence the not going part. Anyway, I run into a friend there as she goes to get on the elevator and we talk about where we are staying, etc. When I tell her I am trying to get to my cabin but the elevator doesn’t seem to go any farther up and that there are no stairs, she tells me I am using the wrong set of elevators and she will show me where I need to be. So, I ride the elevator down with her and we begin to walk to the other side of the ship, where we meet her husband along the way. Some other things happen…it’s a blur. I know her kids were there, but younger than now. The kids were making feet and hand molds to paint. Again, it’s a blur. But eventually we arrive at the elevators and her husband pushes the UP button. The elevator arrives, but I am distracted, and by the time I notice the doors are closing and I’m left standing there alone. Every elevator I tried wouldn’t take me to my destination going from floor 3, to the basement, to floor 7 and so on. The dream changes at this point and so I have no idea if I ever made it to my cabin. I’m sure there is some message there — and knowing how the friend and her husband were, I’m sure it’s a huge one. But it’s the second part of this dream that really haunts me.

I’m still on the cruise, but we are at a port of call. Again, not sure where. I’m in a building with a friend of mine and we were about to go back to the ship, but she has to go to the ladies room and ask me to hold her phone. As I’m waiting, I look at the window and see the moon, but not like I have ever seen it. The colors were indescribable – a mixture of yellows, oranges and reds. I go outside and walk down this long, narrow pier to take a picture. When I do, a blackness passes over, almost like an eclipse and then just when the moon starts to shine back through, an object crosses the sky and lands in the ocean waters. As we look down, it is a shining bronze missile. Someone begins to yell for everyone to get off the pier and I turn and run as fast as I can back to the building where my friend is. It’s been decided that the missile is not going to go off and we are finally released. I just wanted to get back to the ship. I thought I would be safer there somehow. As we struggle with the traffic, we look over and see huge plumes of black smoke coming from where we had just been. Had the missile gone off? When we make it back to the ship, the ship takes off, with us on board. We look at and the water is filled with carnage and wreckage. It’s a war zone outside. The sky is a menacing shade of gray. And the scene below terrifying.

It is at this point that the alarm clock decided to go off. It is this image that is etched in my brain. It is this image that I have struggled with all day.

I pray that I never see those images in real life. I pray that our world finds peace. That we each learn compassion and understanding. But most of all, I pray that love truly conquers all.

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Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

For me, how I start my day can make a huge difference in how the rest of my day goes. It can also mean the difference between reaching my goals, and not.

I have been diligently keeping a journal of everything I eat and how I feel throughout the day. I don’t think this is something I could do indefinitely, but it has been a great learning tool. It has allowed me to see how my body responds to certain foods and at what time of day I seem to struggle the most. It’s also helped me distinguish from when my body needs fuel versus emotionally driven cravings. One of the things I have learned is how I fuel my body first thing in the morning dictates the rest of my day. I know we have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what is even more important is what that meal consist of.

I have noticed that when I start my day off with processed foods or sugar, no matter how much clean food I eat later I spend the whole day craving sugar. My body never seems to be satisfied. One soda turns into two. That afternoon snack becomes something from the vending machine or that evening snack, a bowl of ice cream. It’s an endless day of empty calories, no energy, feeling bad and lots of processed foods and sugar. And it doesn’t end there. I find myself choosing laying on the couch over doing something physical. My whole day is nothing but down spirals.

However, if I start the day off with warm water with lemon plus a protein shake, a veggie egg omelet or overnight oats; I am left feeling energetic and satisfied. There are no sugar cravings. Soda becomes unsweet tea. That afternoon snack? Greek yogurt and berries, hard boiled egg, nuts or veggies and hummus. That evening snack? Air-popped popcorn and an IsaDelight,  ½ an apple with nut butter, watermelon with feta and mint leaves, or a Bedtime Belly Buster. I can easily walk by a donut or candy bar and not even think twice about them. And as you can imagine, feeling energetic leads to be more physically active and just feeling better all-around. I have more confidence in myself because I had a positive mindset all day. And you know how I feel about that….MINDSET IS EVERYTHING!!

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Sometimes You Just Have to Roll With It

I have been going back and forth, trying to decide if I wanted to upgrade to the Apple Watch 3. I bought my current Apple Watch when they first came out and it is still in perfect condition. But after last night’s adventures my mind is definitely made up – Apple Watch 3 it is, for no other reason than the fact that they now have cellular capabilities, even when you don’t have your phone. I REALLY could have used that last night, along with a list of other things. Before I get to that list though, let me tell you about mine and Riley Jo’s adventures last night.

It started off with me developing a sore throat, headache and fever yesterday afternoon.  So when I got home from work my evening plans consisted of pajamas, couch cuddles with fur baby – Riley Jo, soup and catching up on Sunday’s episode of Poldark. I stress, this was the plan. Just as I had gotten settled on the couch my dad came in needing me to drop him off so that he could pick up his tractors.

I must stop her and preface that we live in rural Texas and raise Red Angus, stressing the rural part. So I didn’t think anything about jumping in my dad’s work truck in my pjs (sans bra), messy bun and flip flops. In hindsight I really should have rethought my outfit.

StayCool

Anyway, we dropped my dad off at the hay pasture so that he could get his tractor and drive it back to the barn. Everything was going well until we dropped my dad off to pick up the other tractor at the hay stack. He had decided that he was going to check on the cattle, so knowing that he was going to be some time, Riley Jo and I headed back to the house to resume with our plans. We were a couple of miles from the house when my dad’s truck decided to seize up and die, leaving us stranded on the side of the road with nighttime quickly approaching. In my haste to leave the house, I had left my cell phone sitting on the kitchen counter, so calling some one was out of the question. I could of risked it and just walked to the house, even in my pjs and flip flops, the problem though was that I hadn’t brought a leash for Riley Jo and I couldn’t find anything to make a make shift one out of. Riley Jo is a great dog, but he is a Westie after all and I knew the first Opossum, raccoon, deer or other animal we came upon he would be off on the hunt and completely deaf to anything I had to say. With it getting darker I couldn’t risk that it wouldn’t be coyote or worse. Our only option was to sit there and wait for my dad to come by on the tractor. He had to pass our way to get to the barn.

For 45 minutes we patiently waited. We were hot, sweaty, mosquito bitten and by then, hungry. For the man that always has protein bars and peanut butter crackers there was not a one in sight. At this point, all I could do was laugh at the sight we must of made. It is both a blessing and a curse living out in the country. Finally we heard the sound of a tractor in the distance. We were saved!! However, it would be another 30 to 45 minutes before we made it home, being dragged slowly by a tractor and chain. Have you ever tried to steer and brake a truck when the power steering is not working, nor is the brakes? How we didn’t take out a couple of gates or the garage is beyond me, but we finally made it home safe and sound, two hours after we had left for a “quick” trip.

PlotTwist

This adventure has taught me that no matter how “quick” the trip is suppose to be, even if I’m just going up the drive to the mailbox, never leave the house without the essentials — which gets me back to the list. Those items are: cell phone, bra, clothes (pjs do not count) and a leash for the dog. Also to make sure that there are always protein bars or nuts in the vehicle.

But the biggest lesson I learned was that sometimes you just have to roll with it. Life doesn’t always go as planned. — Oh, and that I really need an Apple Watch 3. (haha!)

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It’s Okay to Ask for Help

I had a trainer once tell me it was not their job to chase me down. I was kinda taken back by that remark. I mean, wasn’t that what I was paying them for? Weren’t they suppose to make sure that I was on track and doing what I was supposed to do to get healthy? I mean, if I could do it myself, I wouldn’t be in the shape I am in nor would I be wasting my money paying them.

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Okay, so maybe they were right…to an extent. They couldn’t forge my “Why.” They couldn’t make me show up and give 100%. They couldn’t monitor me 24/7.  I was the only one who could do that. I was the only one who could decide just how badly I wanted this. But still, sometimes you are so deep in the mud, so overwhelmed…that you really do need someone to just come and pull you through until you get your footing.

Have you ever decided to join a gym and then for weeks you make excuses for not going. Once you finally start going, and going consistently, you wonder what held you back for so long. You see how great you feel after each and every work out. And then you start to see results when you look in the mirror. Now imagine how much quicker you would of seen those results if you wouldn’t of allowed your fears and excuses to guide you. If you would of just had someone who would have drag you kicking and screaming to the gym. Because let’s be honest some times that’s exactly what we need. We need that person to check in on us and make sure that we are on task. We need someone for a sounding board. Someone who will help us turn our negative feelings of despair and defeat into positive ones. Someone who will help us muddle through nutrition plans or help us figure out just what a “healthy snack” is.

If you are like me, you have spent years getting it wrong, so it’s okay to ask for help so that this time, you can get it right.  You just have to be brave enough to ask and put yourself out there.

Brave

Once I was really ready to ask for help I reached out to:

Friends and Family

There is no one better to ask for help. First off, they know you well enough that you can’t fool them. They will know when you are not being honest, even when you don’t, and won’t be afraid to call bullshit.

I was really struggling with sodas. I could push through when I was away from home, but as soon as I got home and could easily grab a coke from the fridge, I would give in to my temptations. I could of thrown them all away, but I hated to ask others to give them up just because I was weak. So instead, I ask them to hide them. Out of sight, out of mind. Once I got through the first couple of weeks, I was no longer tempted even when one was right in front of me. I just needed that little help to get over the first hurdle. So don’t be afraid to ask them to hide sodas, cookies, etc. from you while you are finding your way. Having trouble getting up early to work out? Ask them to call you in the morning and wake you up or to see if you worked out.

Do you have a friend or family who has gone through the same thing? Ask them for recipes, what work outs worked best, etc. Just remember, you ARE NOT your friend. What worked for them might not work for you but it will give you a great place to start.

Challenges

Find an online challenge to participate in. There are lots of free ones out there. This is a great way to connect with others going through the same thing. They also usually offer great tips, whether it is on nutrition or fitness. Currently I am participating in the 6-Week Challenge by Strong Confident Living and it has been so instrumental in pushing me through.

Accountability Buddies

Right now I have a couple of Accountability Buddies for the challenge and this really has helped me. Checking in with them to see how they are doing motivates me. Plus, it makes me feel like I am part of a team and I can’t let my team members down.

Online Support Groups

This is a great place to go to find others who are going through what you are and more than willing to chime in with what works for them. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked for lunch or snack suggestions. It gives me healthy alternatives I would of otherwise not thought of and helps me from getting bored.

Some of my favorite groups are: AbbieQ, SF4W, Strong. Confident. Living.Eat Clean. Live Well. Be Awesome. Together!, The Worldwide Workout

Make sure to reach out to friends and family for other suggestions.

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Remember, you are not alone. I have to remind myself of that every day. That others have walked this same journey. That we all have our demons to battle, but that we never have to go in to battle alone. And this is not a battle I can win alone. I am blessed to have friends and family in my corner, cheering me on. You can too….you just have to reach out a hand and ask for help!

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What I Learned from My Cleanse

Yesterday I did a cleanse. I had been thinking of doing one for months, but as always, I kept making excuses for just why I couldn’t do one. I was afraid I wouldn’t like the flavor. I was afraid my body wouldn’t respond well, if you know what I mean. And I just knew that I couldn’t go all day without eating. But here are a few things I learned.

  • Cleanse for Life is NOT a colon cleanse. In this case cleanse does NOT equal purge. I did make frequent trips to the restroom, but that was due to drinking more water and flushing out my system.
  • Cleanse for Life actually taste really good. I bought the liquid formula and just drank it over ice. I even found myself looking forward to each serving.

Cleanse for Life.png

  • I found out that I wasn’t really hungry. You are not deprived of nutrition during this cleanse. You are allowed Snacks, IsaDelights and other items like an apple, almonds, etc. if you need them. There were a couple of times that my stomach really growled and I was convinced it was eating itself but I just refocused my mind on something else and pushed through.
  • I feel better than I have felt in years. I found myself having tons of energy and honestly felt like I could do anything. My mind is clearer, my vision sharper, my focus more improved and I am happier than I had been in days, months, years. I didn’t wake up hung over, hungry, or tried this morning. And there was no resigal headaches. Just this feeling of euphoria (peace, happiness, energy). I’m reminded of the scene in Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elle, says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they don’t.” It really is like that “high” feeling you get after a good workout.

 

  • I’m stronger than I think. Mindset really is everything. If you think you can’t do something – you will fail.

Mindset

  • Cleanse with friends. I’m not so sure I would of done this cleanse if it wasn’t for my friends supporting me and doing it with me. It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff being afraid to jump off into the water. It’s easier to turn around and not jump when you are alone. But when you have friends standing beside you holding your hand, it’s so much easier to make the jump.

two kids jumping at the beach

  • It’s okay to make adjustments if needed. It doesn’t mean you have failed.  I did not follow the cleanse to the letter. After checking with my doctor since I was new to the diabetes thing, we made a couple of modifications. He suggested not taking my Metformin ER 500 mg the night before. Also, since my blood sugar tends to drop about an hour to an hour and half after taking my Synthroid, I made sure to have a shake that morning and started my cleanse afterwards, adjusting the 500 allotted calories around my shake. There is nothing wrong with making adjustments to make it work for you and your health needs.

So….whose doing the next cleanse with me?!!!

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