Garbage In, Garbage Out

Gradually over the past 2 years, I have been experiencing “digestive issues.” These occurrences most commonly included an unsettled stomach, burping, vomiting, radiating pain in the upper abdomen following around to my upper/middle back. I didn’t think too much of it since it wasn’t brought on by anything in particular. But to the defense of food, I really wasn’t tracking what I was eating either.

Last year was a very difficult year for me and the last 3 months of the year were filled with cookies, cake, candy, pies, muffins…you get the picture. As I sat at my desk shoving mounds of garbage into my body, the bouts came on more frequently. I couldn’t ignore it any longer since these episodes became debilitating at one point. I found a great GI doctor and after listening to all of my symptoms (I started writing down EVERYTHING) she determined I have developed food sensitivities along with acid reflux/GERD. Great…what a mess. I now have to say good goodbye to garlic, onions, tomato-based anything, citrus, anything cooked in vegetable oil, anything off the McD’s menu, fried foods (goodbye chicken sandwiches and french fries) sweet tea, and basically all the crap I stuffed into my body last year. There are also some other items that have triggered episodes like cinnamon graham crackers, green apples and strawberry vinaigrette dressing.

I had to make a DRASTIC change. That being said, I researched the hell out of what foods are high on the acidity scale and what could trigger an episode…I have to stop eating like a garbage can. Time to get serious and cut out all the bad in my diet.

I was in Costco about 7 weeks ago and came across an in-store demo for a Vitamix blender (I think you know where this is going). I stood in front of the demo as the rep blended whole fruit with the skin still on along with vegetables. Damn, this looks too easy I thought as he poured out samples of lime, pineapple, orange, kale, spinach, fresh ginger and water. He called it “Tinkerbell Juice”. I called it “sweet green magic”. My daughter chugged down 3 samples and I had 2. Ding, ding, ding…we have a winner. Here is a way that I can eat better, cram more good wholesome foods into my diet and hide veggies in a delicious tasting concoction without my daughter (and hubby) knowing! I loaded a Vitamix into my cart and shuffled away. I just came to Costco for milk, eggs and bananas…$327 later…

Fast forward 7 weeks and I am now 15 pounds lighter, have more energy, am more “regular” and have had only a two episodes (this was due to foods I didn’t know could be an issue but now have been added to my “damn, I cant eat this anymore list”).

Smoothies are my new addiction. So is kale…can we talk about KALE!?!? Where has this been!? Right in front of my face; I dismissed this super food like bad teenage gossip! I have been busy blending new mixes on a daily basis…sometimes two a day. I have two apps that I use as well as a few blogs/internet sites for recipes. Here is my latest tasty addiction:

  • Honey: if you can, always opt for locally produced honey. So many wellness benefits!
  • Banana: well, because it is a banana!
  • Coconut milk: Aldi has a very inexpensive brand that I love. The coconut adds a little something tropical to the overall taste!
  • Kale: a neighbor grows kale in his backyard. What a difference from the chopped bagged kind from the store. Tip: remove the stem before you blend. That is where the bitterness lives…yuck!
  • Pears: leftover fruit cup from what Eva would not eat. I drained the juice…score!

Do you smoothie for health? Can you share some recipes? If so, please comment below.

Thanks for reading…Kara

Hidden Veggie Baked Egg Puffs

Hello Everyone!

Do you have a picky eater? Is it YOU? It is the kids? It is your spouse? I do…it’s all three of us! I am pretty late to the “hidden veggie” recipe game but I remembered that Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, had a few cookbooks called Deceptively Delicious that are packed full of recipes with hidden fruits/veggies. I recently bought two of her books and this is the first recipe I tried: Baked Egg Puffs.

So easy, so good and finally, a recipe that doesn’t end up with me drying out the eggs.

Thanks for reading…Kara

Delayed Postpartum

I used to be a blogger. I used to be able to focus on the simplest of tasks. I used to be able to multi-task like a champ. I used to be socially outgoing and happy. I had never been so sad…ever. I used to be a lot of things…then I had a baby at 39.

Confession: having a baby can change a woman and I had been struggling for a long time.

I am not ashamed to admit (relieved, actually) that for the better part of a year, I had been suffering from delayed postpartum. It is a very real thing; it doesn’t have to occur right after your baby is born. It can show up much later than in the newborn stage…and it is awful. Waves of unimaginable sadness washed over me and left me in tears. Anger popped up at any given time and over the most trivial of things. As someone who is very much a “type A” personality, the fact that I didn’t have a grasp on these emotions or couldn’t control them was troubling.

I didn’t tell many people about my struggles. To be honest, I just didn’t want to. I figured I could deal with it myself. I researched the hell out of this topic just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I looked into therapy groups and one-on-one counseling. There were a few close friends that I confided in; they were supportive and encouraging. I didn’t even tell my family. And then there were a few that just didn’t know what to say or do…and that was ok. I didn’t expect people to know what I was going through…especially the ones who never had a baby or were a man (no offence to men but they have no idea and there is no way to explain it to them).

I hit the lowest point of my depression a few months ago; since then, I have made some changes that have made a positive impact on my life. The biggest change I made was in my surroundings at work; I was in an environment that was no longer a good fit for me. By relocating my office to a better space, it really helped me get back on track when it came to focusing and multitasking. It was like an instant 180 had occurred and I  could feel the happiness returning to my life. I never really knew how much my 8-5 surroundings affected the other areas of my life. This change was the catalyst for getting my personal life back on track as well.

Update: with each passing day, I am getting back to who I know I am.

I am not the same person I was before I had a baby; I am a much better version of myself. There are some things that I still struggle with (like the non-existent “perfect Mom who has her shit all together”)  but when I start to get down on myself, I remember that I have the love of a sweet little sunk-kissed blonde soul who, in so many ways, is just like me. And that is enough.

Thanks for reading…

 

What is “It?”

Welcome to Finding “It” in my Forties! What is “It” you may ask? Who knows? “It” could be a miracle eye cream that erases the signs of your new limited sleep schedule. “It” could be the best kid-friendly-don’t-feed-it-to-the-dog recipe. “It” could be the perfect bra that holds up the girls after the relentless task of breastfeeding and what a horror show that can lead to. “It” is going to be different for everyone and when you find it, you will know it.

I has taken me several months to work up the motivation up to start blogging again. I was a blogger up until I had a baby back in 2014. I loved blogging…I shared recipes, talked about fashion finds, personal thoughts and even stupid stuff my husband did.

As many of you know, having a baby changes things…a lot. I tried to keep up with my blog but just didn’t have “it” anymore. I got to a point where I was blogging just to blog and not really saying anything that hadn’t been said before. I was forcing my creativity…something I am just not good at. If it doesn’t come to me naturally, I just don’t do it.

Having a baby at 39 seemed easy in the beginning…until things started “changing.” My body, my emotions, my attitude. Some of these changes were for the good (like realizing what is truly important and how much time I have wasted caring about things and people that don’t matter) and some were for the bad (like delayed postpartum depression).

Well, it took a trip to the mountains of Georgia for Thanksgiving this week (code-word “no malls within 2 hours”) to finally get me going to start blogging again. My old blog was more of a lifestyle blog…this one is going to be similar but also cover some heavy (and always honest) topics about being a Mom of “advanced maternal age.”

Thanks for reading…