One Healthy Mom

Finding Balance Between Fitness, Family, and Food


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On The Road to Recovery

I have had some health problems for a few years now. I didn’t share much of this because I guess I was kind of embarrassed and felt like my body was a failure.  Now, looking back, it’s totally not true and hopefully by sharing my story I can encourage someone to seek help if they aren’t feeling their best.

I started having trouble a little over two years ago. I went on vacation for 10 days and about a week after we came home I had emergency surgery appendicitis. Shortly after I started bloating after eating anything. I remember running at night and being so uncomfortable because my belly looked super pregnant. After some food elimination I realized I had became intolerant to gluten.  That was an easy fix – I became gluten free.  But about 6 months later my symptoms (bloating, headaches, tiredness, irritability) came back.  It felt like my body had hit a wall.

A few months later, I got a blood test for food allergies. When I went in to get my results, the doctor handed me the paper saying she was so sorry. My tests came back saying I was allergic to about 30 foods. A lot of the foods that I was sensitive to were foods that I ate almost every day. So elimination diets happened and I physically felt better but got depressed because I could only eat a handful of foods. It was a huge challenge to eat and I wasn’t able to go out to eat at restaurants because of cross contamination. Any small amount of the “forbidden foods” would cause major bloating, pain, headaches, and sometimes I would end up in the fetal position in bed crying.

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My first list of food allergies

I was caught in a vicious cycle. I would binge for a few days on the foods my body hated (which wasn’t exactly unhealthy foods either. Things such as tomatoes, peppers, cheese, peanut butter, bananas…) which cause my body to be in pain. Then I go back to eating right to just binge a few weeks later. There were so many restrictions in my diet that I had a hard time mentally living like that.

About a year after my initial testing, I went back in because I was bloating and in pain AGAIN after eating and came back with 10 more foods that were irritants.  I was so tired that I could hardly wake up and spent all day on the couch utterly exhausted.  It was rediculous & depressing!  I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt old, lost my joy out of life and, honestly, I didn’t want to keep living the way I was but I couldn’t feel better no matter how hard I tried.

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The wall of minerals at my chiropractor's office

I was told about a local holistic chiropractor and decided to give him a try (there was nothing left to lose).  In early May I saw him and after explaining what I felt like he pretty much knew right away what the problem was. He had me hold different minerals in my hand and did tests to see what my body was deficient in. He also had me spit into a Kleenex and hold that and ran a test (which I failed). I was basically allergic to myself. His tests showed many things weren’t working right in my body – problems were with my digestion, endocrine system, autoimmune, thyroid, and adrenals – which all were under the main problem with my hypothalamus. So I saw him weekly as he adjusted different things and I was put on a RNA supplement until I passed the tests!!

It was a difference of night and day- like the dark cloud had parted and the sun came shining thru after 2 years! I had honestly never felt better. I was able to go to sleep at a normal time, fall asleep, stay asleep, AND feel well rested when I woke up (something I have had problems with as long as I can remember). I was able to eat foods again (and did go a little crazy with my new freedom) and just felt lighter and more balanced.

But, the last few weeks had been getting harder and harder and the food bloating and the insomnia and tiredness have been coming back. I was blaming on the summer time stress, juggling more work than usual, and lack of sleep. But no matter how much rest and relaxation I just wasn’t feeling 100%. I decided to go back in to the chiropractictor to rule out any internal body issues. Unfortunately, what I didn’t want to happen did in fact happen. I failed some of the tests and needed an adjustment. We are not sure why after only 5 weeks (3 of them with me feeling bad) I regressed so much. He wants to figure out the root cause of what is going on. So that brings you up to date. I haven’t noticed much difference from the adjustment the chiropractictor did a few days ago but he did say it will take a few weeks to feel better again.

As for now, I am cleaning up my eating and trying to cut out processed foods to see if that helps my healing along. I’m using Betty Rocker’s Body Fuel System and after reading her ebook, I am committed to cutting out the junk that I have overloaded my system with. Hopefully within the month I will start feeling the benefits of the chiropractictor and healthy eating again!


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Vega Sport Protein Powder Review

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When I was asked by Fit Approach to review Vega Sports Protein Powder for their #FuelYourBetter campaign, I jumped at the opportunity.  I am always trying to find ways to eat more protein.  Although I am not a vegan, I prefer not to eat massive amounts of meat to fulfill my daily protein intake and I needed something that wouldn’t upset my sensitive stomach.  I was also looking for a protein that I could use for recovery after a grueling workout.   Vega Sport Performance Protein sounded like a perfect fit!

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From their website:

Performance Protein

A complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein powder blend, featuring 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving, Vega Sport Performance Protein is formulated to:

  • Improve strength and exercise performance
  • Repair and build muscles
  • Reduce recovery time between training

Available in Chocolate, Vanilla, and Berry.

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I was very excited when I received a box full of Performance Protein in the mail.  I made a smoothie right away and added a packet of protein powder.  I should add that I have never tried a vegan powder before and it did taste a bit chalkier than a whey protein powder shake.  But knowing that it was all vegan and the fact that it didn’t upset my stomach after drinking was more than enough for me to overcome the slight chalky taste.  The flavor was spot on, it tasted like what I would expect from a vanilla protein powder.  Over the next few weeks, I whipped up a post-workout smoothie with Vega Sport Performance Protein added in.  I noticed quicker recovery time and less muscle soreness after a workout.  I was also full from my shake (sometimes I need to eat a few meals to feel satisfied after a workout).  Vega delivered on everything that they promised out of their sport protein powder and I found myself sad once the samples ran out.  I am very glad that I was able to try Vega’s protein powder and will be ordering some soon!!

I preferred drinking the protein powder blended with fruit although it wasn’t bad on its own.  My two favorite smoothie combinations:

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Strawberries, Vega Sport protein, spinach, coconut milk

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Blueberries, Vega protein powder, Chia Seeds, Spinach, Coconut Milk, Stevia

Interested in Vega Sports Performance Powder?  Be sure to check out their website and let me know what you would use to #FuelYourBetter!!!

 

 


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My Oatmeal Review

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I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I eat oats everyday for breakfast…. and I have been for over a year.  :)  I love oats and its one of the only breakfast type foods that my stomach can handle now.  But eating plain oats for so long can get a little boring.

So when I had the opportunity from Fit Approach to review a bag of oatmeal from MyOatmeal.com I jumped at the chance.  My Oatmeal is a family run company that lets you customize your organic oatmeal every step of the way.  Their oatmeal is free of preservatives, artificial flavors or dyes, and absolutely delicious.  They offer customizable PB Lean in addition to oats.

Ordering my bag of oatmeal was extremely easy.  (My Oatmeal offers premade mixes as well)  They offer 3 sizes of bags, 6 types of oats including gluten free (yay!), and a large variety of flavors, fruits, nuts & seeds, and sweeteners.  Once you are finished deciding on a mix, you get choose a name for your mix.  I love how this oatmeal is truly my own!  The website also includes a Nutrition Facts bar on the side which changes automatically depending on how you build your custom blend.  A great feature if you are tracking your macros!!

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MyOatmeal.com Custom Blend webpage

I decided that since I am unable to eat cake for my birthday next week (food allergies), I was going to make a birthday oatmeal mix to enjoy throughout the month.  There were so many options but I ended up choosing the medium size with gluten free oats, red velvet cake and sweet icing flavors with brown cane sugar as a sweetener.  I named it “Dirty 30 Birthday Mix”😉, placed my order, and off it went to the kitchen to be made.  The process went very fast and I received my bag within a few days of ordering.
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When I received my MyOatmeal package I was surprised by how much oatmeal was in a medium size (and was also surprised that they included an extra small bag of oatmeal)!!  I literally ripped it open right then to try some!
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Even though it looks like plain oatmeal, it smelled amazing.  I added some water and coconut milk, microwaved for a few minutes, and dug right in.  It tasted delicious.  The flavors were more intense than I expected (in a good way, it actually tasted like cake with icing!).  Some days I add fruit to the mix but even without the fruit and it tastes great. I am very happy to be feeding my body with oatmeal that is free of processed junk and still tasty. It is well worth the price of the product. I don’t know how I had eaten plain oatmeal for so long now that I’ve tried MyOatmeal.com.  I can’t wait to experiment and use My Oatmeal birthday mix in other recipes.

The owners of My Oatmeal have generously offered a coupon code to YOU!!  Use coupon code “HEALTHY15” for 15% off you order.  I will be placing another order soon, I already have a few combinations in mind!!  Let me know how you enjoy your customized oats from MyOatmeal.com!

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Disclaimer: I was provided a free sample from MyOatmeal.com for review.  All opinions are my own and I have not been paid for this review


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Cocogo Review and Coupon Code!

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I have some super exciting news!  I have been selected to be an ambassador for Cocogo!!  What is Cocogo you ask?  It is an electrolyte drink made from coconut water and real fruit.  It comes in easy to carry pouches and mixes with water for easy use on the go and tastes delicious.  I have been looking for an electrolyte drink that doesn’t mess with my stomach.  The drinks available in stores contain corn syrup which my stomach won’t digest.  I ran my full marathon recently hydrating only with water and trust me, my body did not like it!  So when I was contacted by Cocogo I couldn’t resist the chance to review the drink.

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When I first took a sip of Cocogo, I was impressed by how great it tasted.  The flavors are amazing even when using only one packet of Cocogo (they recommend up to 4 packets per use depending on the activity).  I have been using Cocogo during every workout and have noticed that I am able to run longer without bonking like I had been and am able to push through a few extra sets while weightlifting.  I have even used it during a sluggish afternoon and felt instantly better after drinking.  I love that it is natural (I can identify the ingrediants) and that it isn’t overly sweet like some drinks I have tried.  I am so excited to have found a electrolyte drink to use during long training runs and races!  I only wish I had tried Cocogo sooner!

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From the Cocogo website:
Cocogo is a new premium sports drink made with real fruit and coconut water in stick pack. It is the best tasting, best performance sports drink. It tastes better because it’s all-natural and isn’t overly sweet. Not only do people prefer the taste, they credit Cocogo for steady energy, no muscle cramps, being easy on the stomach, and preventing “the bonk.” And when you compare Cocogo to other sports drinks, you’ll see the proof (see attached): Cocogo offers the best balance of electrolytes, contains an ideal blend of sugars, and has seven essential vitamins.
A major review on Cocogo came out in Trail and Ultra Running. This review is for hard-core runners, but their key finding our universal.
  • Flavor –  Mixed to any strength and still tastes good
  • Energy –  Quick to get into the bloodstream … nice long release of energy
  • Electrolytes –  High in electrolytes … No cramping issues were found
  • Stomach & Digestion –  Quick to digest … loved how well my stomach accepted it
  • Ease of use –  Small packets allow for very customized mixing
  • Overall –  This is a super solid product, well thought out and executed almost perfectly.
(You can see their full review here)
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I am even more excited that YOU can get 40% off anything at the online Cocogo store!  Use the code ONEHEALTHYMOM at www.store.cocogo.com!  Let me know what you think about the electrolyte drink, you won’t be disappointed!!

 

 


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I’m a Marathoner!!

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I still can’t believe it!!  I can now say that I’ve ran a full marathon.  Twenty six point two freakin miles!!  Last year I ran the same race but the half marathon distance and finished with a PR.  I remember seeing the turn-off for the full and thought that I would NEVER run a distance like that.  Those runners were just pure crazy.  Welp, now I’m part of that full on crazy runner group!!

I didn’t exactly train the correct way for my run yesterday.  My running partner and I only run once a week together.  We were getting pretty high miles already – between 10 and 15 miles a run – so I figured it would be fun to sign up to run a full marathon instead of the half I was planning on.  Once I signed up for the full the miles during my weekly run slowly increased.  I had three training runs until race day… a 15 miler, 16 miler, and 20 miler. 

Wednesday before the full marathon I woke up with a full on anxiety attack.  What was I getting myself into?  I haven’t trained enough!  What if I forgot how to run??!  I decided to lace up and run a 5K on my treadmill and let go of each worry with every step.  My goal was no longer based on time.  For the first time ever, I didn’t care if I ran all day long.  I just wanted to prove to myself that I could go the distance.  My goal was to enjoy the run, savor each mile, and push myself harder than I ever have.

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Sunday was Marathon Day.  I woke up in the best mood and was ready to just run.  I viewed it as a regular Sunday long run, only with a few hundred of my crazy friends.  I got ready and waited for my running partner to come over.  We were soon on our way to the race blaring RENT (the musical) to get us ready for the run. (I never said we weren’t nerdy😉 ).  There was no time for nerves once we parked.  We ran to the bathroom which is always a ridiculously long line and then found our way to the starting line.  I got in the line for the marathon start while she went to the half marathon start.  The Star Spangled Banner played and I received the best Facebook status from my husband which put me in total tears.  I was so proud to be in finally be in the Marathon start and so excited to see what the day will bring.

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And with the roar of the horns, we started!  I stayed slow at first.  It took two miles for me to meet up with my running partner (who has started at the back of the 650 or so half marathoners).  Once we met the miles flew by.  I stopped at Mile 3 to use the porta-potty and then we were onto the hilliest part of the course.  I remember Miles 4-6 being the hardest part of my run last year and this year they were a breeze.

I didn’t start questioning myself until Mile 10.  I still had 16.2 miles to go.  I was feeling pretty good but I knew that my legs would start hurting soon.  Thank goodness for my running partner.  She told me to get out of my own head and reminded me that it doesn’t matter if I’d be the last person to cross the finish line.  I showed up that day and I was doing it and that was all that mattered.  That is all I needed to hear and I didn’t doubt myself for the rest of the run.

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Mile 10.5 we ran through the Gator Stadium.  That’s always my favorite part of this race.  Even though I am not a Gator fan (go Noles!) I do enjoy looking out into the stadium and hearing the music as we go through.  We even stopped and took pictures, LOVED it!

It was finally the turn off for the full marathon.  My running partner turned to me with tears in her eyes and gave me the biggest hug.  She told me how proud she was of me and how she loved running together.  This was on her bucket list of races and she did awesome.  She told me to keep going and not to forget to enjoy it.  We split as she sprinted towards the finish line and I realized that I was truly on the path less traveled.  There were only a handful of people in sight running the full marathon.  It started to get pretty lonely and quiet after that.  We were literally running in the middle of nowhere.  I started counting miles around mile 15.  I had pulled away from the couple running behind me and there were a couple running in the distance in front of me.  I eventually caught up to them and we ran a little bit together.  One of the men was running his first marathon too.  It was encouraging to talk to someone after so long and great to give and get support from each other.  They eventually passed me a few miles later and finished quite a bit ahead of me.

Mile 17 was approaching fast.  During my last training run I had hit the runner’s wall.  I had cramped up really bad, actually sat down and cried and then managed to finish the last 3 miles of that run.  I was terrified I would hit that wall again at 17.  But I watched as that mile marker came and went and I was still feeling somewhat strong.  I was amazed as Mile 20 passed and I was feeling as good as I could.  I was still smiling and waving to all the police and volunteers as I passed.

Mile 21.5 was when the wall finally hit.  I didn’t cramp and wasn’t crying but I was just ready to be done with running.  I had been running for over 4 hours without much walking.  I was ready to see my family, to lay down, and to finally eat some real food.  I wrestled with my mind for the next half mile.  I knew that it was only my mind giving out.  My body felt pretty good and if I could convince my mind to keep going then I would finish. 

I got my second wind during Mile 22 and just kept pushing forward.  It was a little more than a 5K left to go.  I could do this, I’ve done it plenty of times.  A 5K is an easy run!!  I was running slowly but I was running and that’s what mattered. 

Right around Mile 23 I heard someone coming up behind me singing as loud as she could.  She ran past me and said “I really don’t think I can finish this”.  I yelled back “Its only a 5K from here! Keep running!”  I met back up with her at the next water station and we started talking.  It was her first marathon too and she was doing it as a training run for a marathon in California next month.  After she said she was serious about wanting to quit we decided to stick the last few miles out together.  We switched to a run/walk method and talked the rest of the way.  She made those last few miles more enjoyable and I don’t think that I would have loved this marathon as much if it wasn’t for her.  She pulled a little bit ahead of me for the last half mile as we both focused on the finish. 

I was an emotional wreck as I turned the final corner.  I was almost done with my first marathon.  I ran farther than I had ever thought I could and I actually enjoyed doing it.  I didn’t care how long it took me.  I didn’t care about the soreness and tiredness I was feeling.  I was filled with pride and amazement at my body.  I was so happy to hear my little family cheering for me at the finish.  I couldn’t wait to hug them and tell them about how far Mommy had run.  I stopped to give each of my babies a high five and waved at my husband and finished strong.  I earned my medal!!  My running friend was sweet enough to bring me a cup of Gatorade and we thanked each other for pushing towards the finish and I turned towards my family.

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I DID IT!  I am now officially a marathoner.  I pushed myself to hell and back and realized that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it and truly believe that it is possible. 

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Food Intolerances for the WIN!

A few months ago I started getting bloated, gassy, crampy, and headaches after I ate anything.  Even a meal of chicken and rice would upset my stomach and have me laying in bed for few hours.  Some days I couldn’t pull myself out of bed because I felt so lethargic and my stomach hurt so bad.

I decided to do some research into food allergies.  A year ago, after I had my appendix removed, I developed an intolerance to gluten.  I have successfully become gluten free and was now wondering if I had somehow developed another food intolerance.  I started cutting out all forms of dairy and I felt a little better but still was uncomfortable after I ate, especially later on in the day.

I found a place that tested both environmental and food allergies.  After I was tested, I had to wait a few weeks for my blood work to come back.  Yesterday I was finally able to pick up my results.

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I’m shocked with the results.  I am sensitive to 29 allergens… TWENTY NINE!!  And the majority are my favorite foods.  I suspected some of these foods on the list but had no idea about others.

My immediate reaction was to panic.  I had no idea what I would eat.  Almond milk, eggs, peanut butter, and banana are my “go to” foods.  I was freaking out and thinking that I can’t possibly eliminate these foods for the 90 day.  But once I was able to process the results I started to feel better.  I finally know why my stomach hurts every time I eat.  I don’t have an intolerance to many protein or carb sources.  I can substitute almond milk for coconut or rice milk.  And by eliminating these trigger foods for three months, I should be pain free after eating and hopefully start feeling like myself again.

There’s going to be a lot of experimenting with food substitutes but I know I can do this.  Here’s to the next three months of finding new favorite foods!


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Been a while…

I’ve been MIA for a while now. Honestly, things have been crazy since my mud run in April.  I’m not sure what happened.  I was doing the Body Beast program and only had a few weeks left.  I loved the muscles that I felt were coming in.  I was gaining weight (which I wanted).  I was trying to love lifting heavy but I missed my cardio sessions terribly.  Once I ran the 5K in April I couldn’t get my focus back.  I started eating badly, my workouts were getting sporadic, and my motivation was all over the place.  I felt horrible about my self image and started putting myself down for wanting to build some muscles.

Things got crazier after my kids were on out of school for summer vacation.  These last few months have been a struggle.  Most times I start working out and lose motivation because of the constant feelings of having to do something else (either around the house, my job, or needing to spend time with the kids).  My sleep patterns have been ALL over the place (my sleep has not been restful in any way) and food allergies have flared up big time.  So needless to say, I have regrets with my workouts (or lack of workouts) since April.

Along with workouts, I’ve been struggling with nutrition.  I stopped using a nutrition coach earlier this year and have been trying to find a healthy balance since.  Recently I’ve found a way of eating that fits my lifestyle.  It’s all about macros.  If it fits your macros, you can eat it.  If not, then you can’t.  It allows enough room for me to eat things that I would think are a “cheat” without it being bad for me.  I’ve been much happier eating this way and haven’t had those feelings of guilt and binge after a cheat meal.

Mentally, things have been a struggle as well.  Things I thought that I was over were surfacing all of a sudden.  I thought that I had dealt with everything way back when I was losing weight… but apparently not.

As I said, things were a little crazy there for a few months.  I’m sad that I look back on that time and wish that I put more into my workouts and food plans.  But I do know that in life there are ups and downs and as long as I keep pushing forward each day, the downs will pass.  I am taking time to reassess my goals and remember the things that really make me happy (like long runs, good healthy food, and Insanity!).

I’m going to start using this blog as a way to find balance between fitness, family, and food.  It’ll be a place to get my thoughts out – as jumbled as they might be – and a place where I can share my highs and lows on this fitness lifestyle.

As for now, I am finding a program that will help me get conditioned for Tough Mudder in November.  I did Insanity for the first time in months and can I say “OUCH”!!  It was super hard and I’m sore already but it felt so good to get all the frustration I’ve been feeling out in the form of calories!  I forgot how great Insanity made me feel afterwards!  Accomplishment rocks!

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