What is Candida?

Today I thought that I should share the laundry list of symptoms that comes with candida, but first, what is candida? How do you even say candida?! Thanks to Bing search engine, I’ve been schooled in the ‘proper’ pronunciation…but I’m not diggin’ it! Sounds too much like Canada(not dissing Canada). There should be a distinction between the two words though. Right?! When I played the pronunciation clip, G–Man asked me if the voice was saying Canada. See? So while the proper way to say it is can-di-duh, I prefer can-dee-duh. Y’all can say it however you like I’m not gonna correct you!

Candid– is a yeastlike, parasitic fungus that can sometimes cause thrush. 

We all have this in our bodies, the issue arises when it gets out of control and starts taking over or throwing the balance off with your good bacteria in your body. This is when you may start to notice certain symptoms. And should you let it go undetected for too long you just might want to cry…like I did. I’ve written the word “check” out beside each symptom to indicate which ones I have or had suffered from. It’s nice to know that it’s not all in my head!

This list is provided by the CandidaMD website:

Mental/emotional/nervous system:

  • Headaches and migraine headaches (check, woke up with one this morning)
  • Depression (check)
  • Sleep problems — difficulty falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night with a mind that won’t calm down (typically between 1 and 3 am) (check yep, nightly)
  • Irritability and confusion (check)
  • Poor memory (check)
  • Anxiety attacks, panic attacks (check)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (check)
  • Heart beating too fast or irregularly (check)
  • Sexual problems — impotence or lack of desire, or excessive sexuality (uh, skip)
  • Attention deficit, hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD) (check, ADD)
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness (check)
  • Feeling of floating or not quite being in your body (check)
  • Indecisiveness, difficulty organizing and cleaning messy areas (check, check, and check!)

Digestive system:

  • Cravings for sugar, chocolate, milk, cheese, vinegar, pickles, alcohol, bread, nuts or fruit (check)
  • “Metabolic syndrome” which includes the following: large abdomen (“beer belly”), adult-onset diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure (check)
  • “Beer belly,” also called truncal obesity — excess weight centered around the abdomen (check)
  • Acid reflux/GERD (heartburn) (check)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) (check)
  • Bloating, flatulence or abdominal pain (check)
  • Rectal itching (I know it happens, but does anyone really admit it?!)
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea (check)
  • Excessively thin or anorexic/bulimic

Skin, eyes, hair:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections (current or past), including: athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infections, fungal toenails, ringworm, jock itch, tinea versicolor or itchy eyelids (check, especially the itchy eyelids!!)
  • Skin problems like eczema, rashes, psoriasis (check)
  • Prematurely graying hair (check, ever since I was 15)
  • Pupils always dilated (not sure)
  • Unusually green eyes, or eye color has turned greenish (check, mine are supposed to be hazel but yesterday G–Man noticed my eyes looked more greenish teal very odd.)

Immune disorders:

  • Asthma and allergies
  • Recurring infections — colds, ears, bladder, sinus (check)
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, hypothyroidism, arthritis, others) (check)
  • Penicillin allergy

Whole body:

  • Fatigue (check)
  • Muscle or joint pain, fibromyalgia (check for muscle and joint)
  • Cold feet, cold hands, sometimes cold nose (check, check, and check even in the summer)
  • Sweating, especially at night (check)
  • Uncomfortable at any temperature (check, I have a one degree of comfort. Very frustrating.)

Women’s health issues:

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (check)
  • Endometriosis (chronic pelvic pain)
  • Infertility (female), some miscarriages, toxemia of pregnancy (preeclampsia)

Symptoms seen particularly in children up to about 8 years old:

  • Early allergy to foods like milk (check for G–Man)
  • Infections as a baby
  • Child had or has frequent ear infections, tonsillitis, strep throat or bladder infections, especially if these infections were treated with antibiotics (Check for G–Man)
  • Cravings for milk, cheese, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, or peanut butter (check for G–Man)
  • Asthma
  • “Drama king” or “drama queen” — complains quite vocally and often (check for G–Man)
  • Poor sleep patterns — difficulty going to sleep, sleeps too lightly or has frequent nightmares, and wakes up too early (or sometimes too late) (check for G–Man)
  • Too thin or overweight (check for G–Man)
  • Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
  • Aggressive, poor social interactions, can’t stop moving, frequent fights or arguments, frequent crying (check for G–Man)
  • Autism
  • Pale complexion, dark circles under the eyes (check for G–Man)

Still with me?! Phew, I know it’s a long list but this does explain so much of why I have felt horrible for years. And to know the symptoms for kids has me wondering about G–Man. Though I’ve listed which ones he has suffered from I have noticed that some have eased as he’s gotten older. Has me wondering if environment, diet and hormones has anything to do with it.

So hopefully this helps to shed some light for those out there who have been struggling for years. If you’re the person who keeps going back to the doctor, taking one prescription after another and not getting any relief then ask your doctor or naturopath about Candida(can-di-duh). It couldn’t hurt.

Ok, I’m going to post my recipe separate simply because this post alone is approaching 900 words! Rather lengthy. Bear with me, I’ll get that up asap!!

Have a blessed day!!

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Salad in a Jar

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I know many of you have seen the posts about salad in a jar, some of us have thought what a neat idea and others have cocked their head to the side going “huh?” But that’s ok because today it’s all going to make sense!

It’s not very often that my Dad will make a request for me to make him something for lunch. He had a certification class he had to take at work and wasn’t sure about his lunch time allotment, so he asked me to make him a salad in a jar. I. Lit. Up! Shocked that he knew about such a thing, he must had seen one of my posts on Facebook about it 😉 It worked out that Tuesday night I had made some chicken for dinner and could incorporate that into his salad!

How much of each ingredient do you add? Well, I didn’t measure (of course) and just went with it. Since I had about 4–5 small pieces of chicken leftover I just cubed those up. The mini sweet peppers I used were 1 sweet red, 1 sweet yellow, and 2 sweet orange(since they were really small). As for the lettuce, I packed in two big handfuls of romaine mixed lettuce. I pushed it all down into the jar and for a second I thought this might be too much but as you’ll see in a picture below that it was actually the perfect amount!

Ok, enough hype…let me break it down, or rather show you a diagram, of how to assemble a salad in a jar. Mind you, your choice of ingredients are limitless, the picture is JUST to show you the ‘how’.

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How do you eat such yumminess? EASY!

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You pour the contents out into a bowl or onto a plate and enjoy! This is the picture Dad sent to me during his lunch break. The next time you know you won’t be able to go out to lunch or if you’re trying to save a few bucks (and inches from your waistline) consider making a salad in a jar! The best part, you can make these salads according to your nutritional needs. Doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Be sure to check out All Parenting‘s website for more ideas and recipes for salads in a jar!

Have a blessed day!

~5 Faves Friday: A tribute to my Plus Size Cysters~

I think it’s time I reveal one of my new favorites…Hilda the Plus Size Pinup! Let’s face it, society has decreed that being plus size is a crime. In fact the worst crime ever committed. You all can gather that I’m not a small woman, look at my birthday pictures from a year ago(my birthday post). I don’t deny that there is more of me to love, but neither do I like being ridiculed for something that is partially out of my hands to control.
Nope, not making excuses just stating a fact. When you live with an endocrine disorder and a hypothyroid you tend to get the short end of the stick 90% of the time. I have exercised to the point where I;.’ve injured myself more times than I can remember. I do my level best to eat the right foods, to minimize my carb consumption, and stay as active as I possibly can. I know when my body has had enough, and some days it doesn’t take much to slay me.

With all that said…Hilda is an inspiration to me and many of my other plus size gal pals. Certainly there is beauty all around us in all shapes and sizes. It is widely accepted that if you’re a particular size then you are inherently beautiful! However, when a woman is packing on more jelly rolls than what comes in a Little Debbie box, then we must ridicule her until she loses the weight. Hilda breaks the mold and her little sassy hot mess self pretty much makes people stop in their tracks and giggle! Her misadventures are truly epic! She does know how to bring a smile to ones face 😉

1) HILDA

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My favorite is the one where she is in the hammock and has the fishing line tied to her toe 😀 And even better she’s enjoying a good book, is there anything else better in life?! Nah!!!

2) My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore.

big fat fab life There are many reasons why I love this show, though I would love it more without the language, but here’s a PCOS Cyster doing the very thing the rest of us wish we could do(ok, maybe only part of us…I’m too introverted to be on tv)…spreading the word about PCOS!! And not just on social media and in our own hometowns, but on TV!! Where millions of people tune in and actually learn something about why most women are fat. I will say this, she is definitely more limber than me and her positive outlook is infectious! A lady at my church came over to me and asked if I had watched the show and of course I have. She confessed she actually learned something new and was seeing me in a new way. I give a hearty thanks to Whitney Thore and others who are able to reach out to the masses. Join me and others in the  #NoBodyShameCampaign. This is for all sizes, no one is excluded!

3)Pinterest board, Plus Size Modest.

It’s a personal preference for me to dress modestly. I’m not a fan for wearing things above my ankles, but I do enjoy seeing what’s out there. Below are a few faves from that board…

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IMHO(In My Humble Opinion), the only thing missing from the second picture is a light cotton cardigan, but this gives you an idea of what I like in the way of fashion. Long and flowing, in fact I’m going to go out on a limb and share a personal picture. This is not easy for me and by sharing this I will be inviting criticism. *drum roll*

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It’s not the greatest photo, but I felt the most comfortable the day it was taken. I never dress to impress people, I dress for personal comfort. Fashion has never been a big thing for me. If it’s clean, modest and I can button it, then I’m gonna wear it! Simple. I’m a no fuss kind of gal, if an outfit has too much going on with it then I’m gonna opt for cozy knit pj’s and slippers. Wear what you love and makes you feel comfortable!

4)Be Kind. Always.

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I’ve shared this one a couple of times on social media sites.
And it’s so very true!
You will never know what someone is
going through until you are going/have gone
through it yourself.
This holds true not just for overweight
folks, but for those with
incurable diseases, cancers, life struggles,
losses,etc. There is
already so much hatred in this world, and it will
continue to
get worse unfortunately, but when you body shame someone
you are
only making yourself look bad. Making everyone
aware of your own
insecurities and intolerance. If you
really want to help someone, just
be kind.
Be thoughtful. Be considerate. Be genuine. Be loving.

5)Focus on the Healthy

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To be fat and healthy just doesn’t seem to go
together. It is possible to eat right, exercise
daily, do everything that is humanly possible
and never lose all the weight.
To never be the size that society says is acceptable.
AND THAT’S OK!! Look, with PCOS there’s more
to this health issue than just the weight. Yes,
the weight is a big concern, but there are hormones,
insulin, and a bunch of other little nasty issues that
we have to put up with on a daily basis. So there’s
absolutely no reason to push yourself to the point where
you are injured at the end of the day, or where you become
too depressed because you aren’t reaching the impossible
standards. Embrace the healthy life, eat the right kind
of foods for your Nutritional Type(a Dr. Mercola reference)
and do what you can when you can. Give up the overly
processed foods, seriously those aren’t good for anyone.
If you feel led to detox then do it, if you want to cut out
the carbs then do it, if you want to enjoy the healthy fats
then do it…do whatever it takes to be a healthier YOU!
Just don’t shoot yourself for not doing what everyone else
is doing. There are more important things in life than worrying
about a number on a scale. It’s a nice thing to check on
from time to time, but do not let it rule your life!

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We all are!
Have a blessed day<3

~Homemade Tang~

Afternoon everyone, hope you’re all doing well. My thoughts and prayers go out to those up in the New England area. Praying you all have enough supplies and stay warm.

Here in my neck of the woods we’ve been inundated with illness. A lot of my friends and their families have been sick with stomach bugs, the flu and the cold. We, ourselves, have the cold going around in our house at this time. Dad purchased a bag of clementines(Halos) and instead of letting them go to waste, I decided to make a vitamin C boost drink to help our immune systems.

With homemade tang? What??!!

Yes, it may sound strange but Clementines(aka Halos, Cuties, pick a name) are 60% Vitamin C. That’s pretty good for a little fruit, and coupled with lemons which are 51% Vitamin C you have a super boosting mix that is sure to shock what remaining cold virus is left in your system! I have run into some conflicting information concerning concentrated lemon juice. While fresh lemons contain 51% Vitamin C, it is said that ReaLemon Juice from Concentrate(which is a brand we prefer) contains 60.5% Vitamin C. I’m not going to get into a debate about fresh or concentrated juices, but I found it odd that one would have more than the other. Could be that ReaLemon Juice is more concentrated than fresh and therefore would contain more Vitamin C. Purists however may opt for freshly squeezed lemons in the end. Whichever you prefer to use  I leave that up to you, I won’t judge you one way other another.

JJ was leery at first of my concoction, I’m not a beverage making gal. He was raised on the powdered tang, powdered gatorade, and powdered lemonade. We’ve gotten away from all those chemical laden powdered drinks since G–Man came along, but on occasion I get to hear how much so and so misses tang and various other flavored drinks. I braced myself for some harsh criticism…

 

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(It’s so pretty! just love the color of it!!)

Homemade Tang

1 cup ReaLemon Juice from Concentrate(or 5–6 freshly squeezed lemons)

7 clementines, squeezed

1 1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw(less if you want it more tart)**

6 cups water

In a 2 quart pitcher, add lemon juice, clementine juice, and Stevia. Whisk to combine and add water. Continue whisking until all the Stevia is completely mixed in and enjoy over ice.

NOK Tips

**Stevia in the Raw– Why not sugar or some other sweetener? It’s a personal preference in my book, feel free to use sugar or other sweeteners that you may prefer. I’ve read the pros and cons about Stevia in the Raw, I’ve also used Pure Stevia powder in the past. To me, the powder was more bitter and difficult to use. However, using Stevia in the Raw takes all the guess work out of how much to use since it measures cup for cup like sugar. Stevia in and of itself is a very alkaline all natural sweetener that is actually good for our bodies. Unlike aspartame, which is synthetic and causes many health issues, Stevia comes from a plant. 
Again, I leave the sweetener up to you. I just find that using alkaline foods when sick actually help to knock out the virus or bacteria more quickly. Viruses and bacteria need an acidic environment to thrive in, neutralizing the body will make it less habitable for the cold and flu survive.

JJ was in love with this homemade tang and is wanting me to make it again!! He said it tastes better than the powdered stuff. That is high praise coming from the powdered drink king 😉
This recipe can be altered to make a Lemon–Limeade. Instead of Clementines, squeeze 5–7 limes and add the remaining ingredients as listed.
For an all out citrus blast, squeeze fresh lemons, fresh limes, and clementines for a NOK Citrus Beverage. Freeze concentrated lemon, lime, and orange juices into ice cubes(adding a little water or another fruit juice to aid in freezing), add fresh slices of each fruit into the pitcher, and serve over ice. Pomegranate ice cubes would look amazing in this drink, just add the juice to an ice tray and freeze. It’s a yummy treat on a hot summer day!

Have a blessed day!!

~5 Faves Friday~

Afternoon y’all, just taking some time to share this week’s favorite things. You know, you all are welcome to Tweet/Email/Comment below your favorite things to me. Would love to know what you find funny, inspiring, sweet, or even gross but informative! What your favorite recipes that you’ve tried recently? So be sure to tag me to your Tweets(@nghtowlkitchen) if you share something there…I’d love to share on here your faves and tag you back!

This week has been a bit of dulls–ville around here. I did try out a couple of recipes, but starting next week we’re going to be getting back into our school year. Really be keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. He’s going into the 5th grade, it’s blowing my mind! We tend to start out great in the beginning but but after Christmas it’s difficult to find that groove again. Need to find a way to bounce back a bit easier after the new year. Might look into some holiday curriculum to help keep his mind sharp during his Christmas vacation. I know, I know, by that time we seriously need a break but after three weeks of nothing it can be hard to get back into our studies. Plus we typically take a hard hit with getting sick(without fail) every year. January is our worst month…is there any way we could possibly declare that month as our time off? Well, in any case we’ve got to spend this weekend getting the room ready for the new year, thankfully all our curriculum is in, just need to straighten things up in there and make it all purty!

My first favorite thing was shared with me just yesterday, it’s very special to me because it’s a quote from a dear friend that another dear friend added on top of her own photography…I love having such creative and brilliant friends! I would love to see it go viral so feel free to share it on all form of social media 🙂

1) KS Quote

 

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I love this, it couldn’t be more true! Thank you so much you two, love you ladies!

 

2) If Animals Were Fat

Lol, I loved the cheetah yawning and falling out of the tree!

 

3) First Eye Phone

Showed this to my son, it’s amazing how far we have advanced 😉

 

4) Frozen Hot Chocolate

Who says you can’t have hot chocolate in the summer?! I can’t wait to try this once we get a new blender!! We sure have been missing our smoothies so far this summer. This will be the first one we make when we get one 🙂 Click the above picture to get the recipe.

 

5) 50 States in Legos: What Would Your State Look Like?

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The above picture is a depiction of my state, Alabama. Not sure about the alien but the rest of it is pretty darn cute! Click the picture to see what your State would look like.

 

Have a blessed weekend!

~5 Favorite Things~

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Another week is nearly done and I’m sure many of you have some wonderful plans for the weekend 🙂 Anyone grilling out? Tis’ the season for it! Just finished watching Trisha Yearwood’s show where she marinated some steaks, made a fresh raspberry vinaigrette served over a summery salad, cheesy twice baked potatoes, and garlic sauteed zucchini slices. Hello! I’m not a steak person but I would make an exception to try her marinated steak recipe 😀 

Yesterday my Dad and nephew drove down to Florida, safely too. My nephew is going to stay down there for a little over  month taking driving lessons from my great uncle’s stepdaughter. It’s a family tradition going all the back to my Dad. He’s going to do great down there seeing that he passed his written test with flying colors 🙂 It’s going to be weird not having him around for a month. G–Man has already stepped up and started helping out where my nephew had been. Granted taking the garbage cans down to the road is big chore, he’s enjoying the other tasks, makes him feel like a bigger kid 🙂

Whether you were aware of it or not, the first Friday is National Doughnut Day! Indeed, it’s a day to celebrate that cakey/yeasty confection with delicious glazes, frostings, sprinkles, or sugary coatings.

1) National Doughnut Day

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Now, if you want to share the experience of making doughnuts with your family there are several yummy recipes out there. One of my personal favorite recipes comes from the Joy of Baking website. It’s a cake doughnut recipe that is easy, kids will love helping out with the rolling and cutting! And they’re fried, hey there is nothing better than a fresh fried doughnut 😉


2)iPad Humor

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Lol, this made me giggle A LOT when I saw this pop up on a friend’s newfeed on FB. Just this week I inherited my Dad’s iPad. After removing his apps, info and wiping it clean I was finally able to move all my work related stuff from my iPod to it. Talk about a huge difference in performance! I don’t think I could bring myself to swatting a fly with my iPad but it would be one heck of a way to go 😛

3) New study finds that spirulina can help treat pancreatic cancer…

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Click image to read article

This was such an amazing read this week. I’m sure we all can name at least one person who has lost their battle to pancreatic cancer. My friend’s Dad died of it, so you can imagine how I felt when I saw this article via Alternative Health Solutions on FB. Instantly I shared it and checked it out. I’m all for alternative measures to that of traditional cancer treatment. After losing both my grandmother’s to cancers(one received traditional therapy and the other died too soon to be treated) I’ve made it my personal mission to seek other more natural and holistic measures of preventative treatment. This one is definitely one to keep on hand!

4) You put what into the coffee pot?!

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Seriously, this made me shake my head. My nephew even said “that’s just wrong.” Well, it didn’t surprise me when I saw who shared the picture(Jeff Foxworthy) lol I’m not sure I would recommend this or not 😛

5) Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

If you’re a fan of jalapeno poppers then this is the dish for you! There’s nothing else I can say except…AMAZING!!

~Health Check Tuesday Celebration~

How can we not celebrate health this week?! Even if it’s just one good thing you’re doing today, be proud of that! It’s one thing that will help improve your life. Even if it’s just getting 6–8 glasses of water a day, opting for a salad instead of burger at lunch or dinner, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Be proud of yourself 🙂

Health Check Tuesday came about as something that I wanted to initially use to bring awareness about PCOS to the masses. But over the last few weeks it’s morphed into sharing some of my weight loss triumphs and set backs, while encouraging everyone to continue on in their journey, which I love! No matter where we are in our health journeys we’re all heading toward the same goal::to become a better version of ourselves. We’re all striving to make changes that work for us and here on NOK Blog it’s important to emphasize good habits over any particular lifestyle, while also sharing the benefits I have personally received from living lower carb/alkaline. One of the things that PCOS women tend to struggle with is finding what works best for them. The temptation to find an easier solution is so great, especially when you’ve tried it all! I know, I’ve done most of it! I grew up on the food pyramid and ballooned. As a young adult I went to the more obscure and dangerous things such as laxatives, weight loss patches, thermogenic drinks, pills, starving myself, and it was all for naught.

The key I was missing in unlocking that door to losing weight, in a safe and natural way, was to stop depriving myself and just eat healthy food. I absolutely cannot tolerate much carbs. If I so much as go over 30 grams a day I start to feel tired, sluggish, and the numbers on the scale go up. When I over indulge and find myself in a food coma the symptoms get worse.

One of my fears when I began writing this blog a year ago was that people would EXPECT yummy comfort food all the time and that’s what I strived for. My health certainly took a turn for the worse the more I tried sharing the things that I *thought* people wanted from me. The weight I had lost came back with a vengeance and then some. That miserable sick feeling started to come back and I knew I needed to change what I was doing, but again worried that it would hurt this blog and folks would start losing interest.

I felt that people wouldn’t be interested in reading about my lower carb alkaline lifestyle, people could care less about my need to be gluten free, and most certainly didn’t want to push a particular mindset on others. But I’ve watched how those posts about lower carb recipes have gained views and visits from people all over the world, local readers telling me how much they have enjoyed reading my Health Check Tuesday posts and how they have learned so much about PCOS. That they never knew it existed until they started reading about it here. Let me tell you what an amazing feeling that is, to know you have just empowered someone with knowledge and they are sharing it with others and are now meeting other women who are struggling with this same condition! It’s almost surreal 🙂

So, in honor of today I want to look back at a couple of my favorite Health Check posts and want to encourage you all to share these with your friends and loved ones. They are really posts that everyone can benefit from so don’t think that people you don’t know someone with PCOS that they too wouldn’t enjoy reading something on here.

  1. Healthy Check Tuesday: Positive ThinkingThis post is full of steps in thinking and living more positively. We’re all living busier and certainly more hectic lives now than our parents ever did! What’s changed? We need to examine our lives, determine what can be cut out and what should be changed in order to make our lives simpler and yes more positive. It’s amazing how I much enjoy life when the wifi isn’t so readily accessible. Technology seems to be my downfall, when I let that little ipod device rule my day with it’s constant dinging, pinging, and ringing…letting me know when someone has liked, shared, or messaged me. When the wifi is out I’m not constantly picking it up to check what’s going on. For me, a positive change has been cutting back on my ipod usage. It’s amazing just how less stressed I feel, how much drama I miss out on, and happier I feel! Could that be the same for you too?
  2. Health Check Tuesday: Memory Loss & PCOS–This piece was especially beneficial for me to write. I struggle a lot with remembering things. That was hard for me to admit since there are people who rely on me to remember certain things. When I forget I feel like I’ve just let the world down! I know that it’s impossible to actually do that, I’m just this speck on the map of the world, but still I hate that feeling that I’ve dropped the ball yet again. Sometimes it’s easy to disguise it when online, I can google or bing something real quick and go “oh yeah duh Amanda!” and go about my merry way with a conversation! But in person it’s a different story, even with a list of things I need to remember to do or ask someone I still find myself forgetting something along the way. At the end of the day I just remind myself, the world has not ended because I forgot, tomorrow is another day, and if it really mattered THAT much someone would have said something. In other words, don’t sweat it!

 

Today, I want to look at why bacon is the culprit in making so many PCOS women fat…but pasta is.

pasta photo     V.       bacon photo

18 years ago I would have argued how bacon was fattening, that pasta was healthier, and you would have found me with a plate of of my Mom’s spaghetti going to town like a mad woman. This is why I’m so thankful I learned a few years later just how wrong that mindset was for our family. The issue with carbs, specifically pasta/rice/potatoes/bread is that they raise the insulin levels dangerously and in turn that causes cells to pull in more fat which results in more weight gain.

But how is it then that bacon isn’t the culprit for weight gain?

 

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I love these pictures, but still some might wonder where’s the evidence, I need the proof…give me more input!

To further break this down here’s a transcript from the smarter science of slim show that I stumbled upon not too long ago. It helps to explain this a bit better. The hosts of the show are Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown. I’ve started the quote after some back and forth chatter and picked up where Jonathan begins talking about the science of how fat isn’t the culprit of weight gain.

Jonathan: There is something that is really bad. It’s called ketoacidosis. That is a different thing, but as is common with things in the health world, if two words sound alike then people are like, oh well, ketoacidosis is horrible for you. Therefore, ketosis, which sounds like that word, must also be bad; it is not. They are two very, very different things.

So, ketosis – first of all, when you wake up in the morning you are in ketosis, because ketosis, very high level, just means your body is fueling itself using fat rather than sugar. That’s really all it means.

Carrie: How could anyone think that was bad?

Jonathan: Exactly. There is this mythology that your body requires carbohydrate. This is not an episode saying that we should all go on low carb diets; it’s also not an episode saying low carb diets are bad for you. They are absolutely not. In fact, they’re one of the most scientifically valid and studied ways of eating in the world.

But it is to say that this assumption that we have been told for the past forty years that 60-plus percent of our diet – excuse me, 65 percent plus of our diet should be carbohydrate because that’s the optimal fuel for our body is patently false. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. There is such a thing as an essential amino acid, aka protein, and an essential fatty acid, aka fat. If you never ate a carbohydrate in your entire life, your body could fuel itself just fine via the process known as ketosis, aka burning fat as fuel. And it could also create all the glucose, aka sugar, it needs through a process that we talked about on the show “Gluconeogenesis” whereby protein is converted into sugar.

Carrie: So, we all want to be in ketosis then.

Jonathan: So, we want to be – it is absolutely critical that we give our body the ability to effectively fuel itself using fat. And that sounds obvious, but if our body is not good at using fat for fuel, keeping fat off our body is going to be extremely difficult. And this is why actually eating fat – we talk about it on the show a lot, how things that are intuitive aren’t always true. Right?

It’s intuitive that the earth is flat. Look outside; it looks flat. And if it wasn’t flat wouldn’t the people on the bottom fall off? We know there’s gravity; we know that’s not how the world works. And it’s intuitive that doesn’t eating fat make you fat? It is fat, you put it into your mouth and it just goes and sits on your hips, right? That is intuitive but it is wrong.

Here’s a better and a more scientifically accurate way to think about it. Okay? When you eat your body gets good at fueling itself based on what you eat. Makes sense, right?

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: The more sugar you eat the better your body’s going to be at running off of sugar.
Because it’s like, this is the normal state for me, I better get used to this. Now think about how this works. If your body is best at burning sugar, meaning sugar is its preferred fuel source, for all intents and purposes your body does not store sugar. The only way to store energy on your body, practically – there is some level of glucose in your muscles and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – but practically it’s in your fat. So, the way your body stores energy is through fat. But if you eat mostly sugar and your body is good at burning sugar, and prefers to burn sugar, then let’s say you eat breakfast and it’s a Pop Tart and orange juice, very common breakfast here in the States. Sugar, you basically had some sugar for breakfast. Well, in an hour your body has either burned through that sugar or more likely shuttled it off into your fat cells. So there is no sugar around, so your body needs energy. Well there’s no sugar around, so what’s it going to do? It’s going to make you hungry because the only way to get more sugar is to take some through your lips.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: Now, think about if your body’s more accustomed to burning fat for fuel, and let’s say you have a delicious frittata with vegetables for breakfast.

Carrie: That was me today!

Jonathan: Exactly. Right? So you eat mostly fat. Most of your calories are coming from fat. You got some protein and you got some extremely healthy carbohydrate in the form of vegetables.

Carrie: Yum. It was delicious.

Jonathan: It’s delicious, so you get your calories, you get your nutrients, you get your energy and then when you – a few hours later, you’re sitting in the office or you’re sitting at the house, you’re sitting with your family and friends, and there’s no more energy floating around in the blood stream. Your body’s like, I need some more energy, and do you know what I like to use for energy? Fat. Oh hey. Good news; there’s some sitting right here on the hips. Or there’s some sitting right here maybe on the belly a little bit.

So the opposite of eating fat makes you fat; in fact, eating fat, helping your body to become conditioned at fueling itself off of fat, makes you better at burning fat. Because when you get into a state where you have a shortage of exogenous energy your body can just say, well, that’s okay, I don’t need to take any more fat through my lips. I can just eat it off my hips.

Carrie: The compelling reasons for not eating sugar just pile on and pile on. Don’t they?

Jonathan: Well, think about it, Carrie, it’s a, why is it?

Carrie: I can actually visualize what you just said happening in my mind, which is great, right? Because now every time I get that craving for sugar I’m going to go, nope, I don’t do that, because that’s going to help my body to think that sugar’s not the way to go and so I can visualize that; that’s super-helpful for me. Thank you, sir.

 

I absolutely loved his visuals! You condition your body to burn fat by eating fat. I know that isn’t going to sit well with most of you. Trust me, it took a lot of relearning for me to finally accept that after being told for years that bacon, olives, coconut, butter and yes eggs were all bad for me and I should eat those in extreme moderation. One of the first things I did after discovering a lower carb lifestyle was gorge myself on green stuffed olives! Oh yes, I think I ate half the jar in one sitting and I didn’t feel sick later on. In fact I felt pleasantly full for hours! Which was a new thing for me because I was having to eat every few hours and the weight was piling on like crazy! The first time I lost 50 pounds(I was 16 year old) people were beyond shocked when I told them how I was doing it. They were even floored when I told them that I was eating all these fatty foods and was losing weight hand over fist! So why didn’t I keep going? Life…I got thrown several fast curve balls and struck out one too many times. Wasn’t even allowed to walk the bases. When I finally was given the fourth chance to change my life I punted the ball and yes I’ve been running the bases ever since! (That’s the extent of my baseball knowledge, don’t go thinking I’m some fan…sorry, sports aren’t my thing lol)

I may not be dropping the weight like I did years ago when I first learned about this lifestyle, I’ve missed that golden opportunity, but at least I’m losing it. It’s going to take me longer this time to get to my goal weight(at least five years) but that’s ok too! The important thing is that I’m feeling better, I’m staying active, and there’s a little extra give in my clothes! How can anyone judge those results and say it’s all unhealthy?! That I’m doing something wrong and I need someone to take over my health for me? We’re not all cookie cutter here, therefore a cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t going to work for anyone. We have to figure out what works best for each of us and stick with it! Find new ways to spice it up, treat ourselves every once in a while(don’t call it cheating, that suggests it’s something bad, unhealthy, that should be kept a secret when it’s perfectly alright to have that special meal and stop when you’re full). Are carbs bad for everyone? No, but for the majority of Americans yes they are bad…toxic even. Should everyone jump back on the Atkins or South Beach diet wagon? Nope, in fact I don’t support either of those. They are both loaded with soy and not a healthy option for PCOS Cysters.

If you’re truly curious about what nutritional lifestyle you should be living I encourage you to take Dr. Joseph Mercola’s Nutritional Typing Test. I’ve taken it three times and get the same results. I’m a Protein Type, this is why a lower carb lifestyle works for me! All you have to do is enter your email address, he does not spam you nor will he sell your information to second or third parties. This is strictly to discover what nutritional plan you should be living. You are not obligated to buy anything, the test is free to take, all you have to provide is accurate information to get honest results.

My hearty thanks goes out to everyone who has liked and shared these Tuesday posts. I look forward to sharing more about my journey with you all and hope you continue to enjoy the lower carb/alkaline recipes along the way!

Change your mindset in order to see the results!

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Protein for PCOS and Muscle Repair

Here’s a great article directly from an email I received from Insulite Laboratories:

WHY PROTEIN HELPS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PCOS

Our calorie needs may drop as we get older but it doesn’t mean our protein requirements follow suit. This is especially true in light of the need to maintain strength to exercise regularly to better manage PCOS symptoms.

While the official Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is the same for all healthy adults, there’s considerable evidence that older people need more. Elderly people tend to eat less food, putting them at risk of under-consuming protein.

When the body has too little protein, it breaks down muscle to get the protein it needs for other vital body functions, leading to reduced strength. Insufficient protein has also been linked to an increased risk of hip fracture.

The current RDA for protein is based on body weight: adults need 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day, with people who work out regularly having higher requirements.

To help preserve muscle, most experts advise older adults to aim for 1 gram of protein per kilogram. For a 150-pound person, that’s 68 grams of protein a day, an amount that can be found in seven ounces of chicken and 2 1/2 cups of milk or soy beverage.

One great thing about protein is that it keeps you fuller longer, especially when eating carbohydrates. I always combine the two together at my meals, and I suggest you do the same. How can you start eating more healthy protein choices today?

I loved that article, it’s great to read something that steps outside the realm of tradition.

Now for some additional information 🙂 I’ve recently gotten back to my workout routine, mostly walking with variations thrown in for interest. Every morning I workout before I have breakfast, and once I cool down completely, drink two cups of water, I’ll go and make a protein packed breakfast. Usually consisting of a meat (beef, turkey, chicken or pork) and eggs. Occasionally I’ll throw in some broccoli for added color but also for Vitamin C and to aid with digestion (I need all the help I can get lol). In the month I’ve been working out and having a protein breakfast every morning I have less pain afterwards. My calf muscles which seem to give me so much grief are hurting less when I can consume enough protein soon after my workout.

Think back to health class…

When you are working out, the strenuous activity can create tiny tears in your muscles. This is why you’ll feel it burning or hurting depending on the level of intensity. After a cool down most people grab a protein shake or will eat a high protein meal to help aid in the healing process of those torn muscles. Protein needs to be ingested within an hour after working out in order for to work properly in soothing sore muscles. You don’t have to have a big meal, but any of the following will do the trick!

  • peanut butter on toast
  • lean sliced turkey on a bagel
  • a protein shake(preferably one that is soy free and low in carbs. Look up True Whey.)
  • fish such as flounder, orange roughy, albacore tuna, crab and salmon with a little lemon on a salad
  • eggs either hard boiled, scrambled, made into an omelet, or cooked over medium
  • liquid proteins such as milk will move more quickly through your body(take care if you’re lactose intolerant)

Keep in mind that solid proteins will digest more slowly than that of liquid proteins found in a protein shake. I understand it’s common thought to consume post workout proteins with carbs, but if you’re trying to cut back on those, like I am, take care in what you choose to pair your proteins with. Make sure they are complex(oat bran, wheat germ, barley, maize, buckwheat, cornmeal, and oatmeal to name a few), protein bars are not always a healthy choice either. Sure they are convenient and easy to carry along, but they are chock full of chemicals, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners(which are neurotoxins), and full of empty calories if you’re counting. I look at protein bars as a snack item and not even a snack at that. Use them sparingly, don’t use them as meal replacements, and try to stick with bars that are relatively low in carbohydrates. Quest Bars are an excellent source of protein as well as all natural ingredients and they are low in carb!

As a woman of teal I strongly suggest staying away from anything with soy in it. Soy is a GMO crop, meaning it has been genetically modified. Rendering it unsafe for most human consumption. There are also phytoestrogens in soy, which doesn’t sound bad in and of itself. As PCOS Cysters we tend to run a bit low in our estrogen and you’d think that getting some plant estrogens would be an ok solution, right? I wish that were so, phytoestrogens are not real estrogens at all. They may seem like mammalian estrogen but their structure is quite different. PCOS Diva says,

Phytoestrogens in soy are not true hormones, rather they are similar structurally so they  act like hormones and can cause endocrine disruption.  They can bind with hormone receptors and can interfere with the production of hormones. They are 1200x less potent than human estrogens.  But if you are eating large quantities of soy it can become a problem.  Soy phytoestrogens are not weak. Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle.

 

From one Cyster to another, avoid as much soy as you possibly can. Soy in women can cause PCOS symptoms, cause abnormal hair growth on the face, back and chest, as well as lead to infertility. Men, soy isn’t any safer for you either. Research has shown that men who consume soy on a regular basis have a greater chance at being infertile, have higher levels of estrogen in their system causing breast tissue growth, slow down male hair growth patterns, and affect erectile function. Dr. Joseph Mercola, about the only doctor I trust anymore these days and a leader in natural health, has written several articles about the dangers of soy(Click HERE to read more). He strongly urges people to only consume fermented soy in small quantities, but even better to not consume ANY at all, especially if you are highly sensitive or allergic to soy. We have been duped for so long that it’s difficult to stop listening to what doctors, health specialists, and even what our own government is spouting. Anything that has been genetically modified you should always be wary of, if it’s not growing outside or has organic origins then don’t eat it.

By getting back as close to nature as you possibly can, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll start to feel overall. Certain health disorders/diseases will begin to taper off and may even disappear all together. We were given dominion over the land, not to modify it, but to cultivate it and to provide for ourselves the rich bountiful harvests of each season!

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It’s been too long…

If I could hug this page I would and every single one of you as well! I have missed being able to write on here, the issues with our laptop had gotten to the point where we had to get yet another charge cable. I know it must be time to get a newer machine but really? The time it’s going to take to back up and move everything I need is enough for me to mentally shut down. I don’t like thinking about it. Not only is it nice to have the computer back but also the camera. I had no idea that Dad had taken it with him when he left for his Dad’s funeral. I sincerely thought I had misplaced it. But all is right in my little night owl kitchen again 🙂

 

Today is April 1st, how many of you are actually prank your friends, neighbors, kids, and coworkers? You can share, I don’t judge! In fact, my cousin and I pranked my Dad once. So bad, I had gotten several tampons for free in the mail, well I don’t personally care for tampons. My cousin and I had this brilliant idea to tie them to the inside and outside of my Dad’s car 😀 Under the back bumper where they could dangle, inside handing from the mirror, tied to the air vents, even one proudly tied to the car antenna. Oh, to be young and stupid again hehe I’ve never done anything like that since then, but growing up my siblings and I always enjoyed pranking Dad. My oldest sister would work her make–up magic and make it look like we had bruises, we’d then call Dad and tell him that my brother had beat me up with his baseball bat. Hehe, yeah we were horrible! I keep waiting for Dad to get me back 😀 One of these days he is going to do…just a matter of when?!

 

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I have gotten back to my works outs. Walking every other day, using a workout app on my device to keep help with my upper body. The first day was brutal, squats. That’s just wrong lol And the second day wasn’t any better, squats and lunges! I felt like throwing my iPod out the door hehe but I didn’t, I pushed through it all and burned over 300 calories. Even though I’m trying to lower my carbs and be more mindful of what I make, I do still plan to share all the goodies I can on here. Smaller portions of course and try to keep this blog on track with it’s original intent. Sharing great recipes and reivews! I am contemplating having a separate blog for my weight loss journey, but I haven’t completely settled on that one yet. It’s very hard for me to open up about that with folks because of just how much I have to lose and I don’t want to become the victim of pictures getting snagged for false advertising, or have trolls show up with their nasty comments. There’s a lot to consider, a lot to think about. But so far I’m happy with almost losing three pounds in just a few days. Literally! I started last Tuesday and this past Friday I weighed in and was down no joke almost three pounds. I was blown away! The winds are changing, I can feel it, something is different this time 🙂 And I am doing my best to keep up!!

I’ve taken this post in a different direction than I intended to, but there it is 🙂 I’m just so happy to be back on here, I can’t wait to get my next recipe that’s in queue out for y’all to try 🙂 It’s a vintage one that I found in my great-great aunt’s recipe folder. I couldn’t tell you for sure if she ever made it but it sounded yummy to me. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned for that!

 

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A great reminder!

 

BPA: A Big Concern for PCOS Women

 

Insulite Laboratories sent out an insightful newsletter about why BPA in plastics could be more harmful for PCOS women. I personally go out of my way to avoid that stuff like the plague, thankfully there are many options today of BPA free products. But it’s the WHY that so many folks don’t understand what makes BPA a hazard to ones health. Here’s what the newsletter said:

The hormone disrupter BPA (bisphenol A), which is everywhere in the environment, could present an even bigger danger for women with PCOS than previously thought.

 

BPA levels are higher in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome than other females and can be transferred from mother to fetus. But that’s not all.

 

The Federico II University in Italy has just published a study of 20 overweight women with PCOS, who were compared to 20 overweight women without PCOS. As expected, the PCOS women had higher levels of BPA. However, they also had a higher incidence of insulin resistance, fatty liver degeneration, male hormones, inflammation … and larger spleens.

 

The spleen is an organ in the upper left of the abdomen and is part of the body’s management and immune system. An enlarged spleen can be caused by many things, including some cancers, mononucleosis and liver disease. PCOS is closely linked to liver problems. So BPA may be hampering your spleen’s efforts to maintain normal liver function for overall good health.

 

You can’t smell, see or taste BPA so it’s difficult to avoid. But you can lower your exposure. Try to reduce the quantity of plastic in your life as well as the number of cans, as in canned food. If possible, keep food and water away from any plastic. Ideally, use glass or ceramic instead.

 

Help your liver to detoxify your intestines to get healthier so they can do a better job of getting rid of BPA and other environmental chemicals. A healthier diet that is high in fiber will greatly aid this process.

 

You can be tested to see if you have high levels of BPA. If your levels are elevated, consult with an “environmental medicine” doctor for a program to get rid of BPA from your system.”

Amazon has graciously listed items on their website that are BPA free(click HERE to see products). Over 1,000 products that are BPA free! I know that many have heard over the years, BPA is bad, yeah yeah yeah…but as a woman who owns her PCOS symptoms and someone who is fighting to bring awareness to all please don’t turn a deaf ear to this. If you or someone you know has PCOS please share this article with them. You don’t have to have PCOS in order to be concerned about BPA, everyone should avoid it at all cost. Since it is affecting PCOS women in this manner, can you imagine what it is doing to our children, spouses, parents, pets?!

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An excellent graph that shows the levels of BPA exposure found in humans. It’s scary when you can actually see it this way.

I love the following image of canned foods to avoid!

We have a responsibility for our own health and well being. If we’re not willing to take care of it ourselves, how can we expect someone to care enough to do it for us? We have to stop relying on the government to look out for us, our doctors do not know every nuance in our bodies, they only know textbook information. We have to be willing to take back our own health and use preventative measures to make sure we stay healthy. We are a sickly nation and getting worse by the second. Let’s all do what we can to be more proactive with our own health!