Less Protein For MY Health

I have changed quite a bit from last year. Mentally, physically, socially, but my health has changed too. But up until recently when I made a trip to an endocrinologist about my hormones (hypothalamic amenorrhea) and just a general blood test, I discovered something I had no clue existed. For starters let me say that my hormone levels came back normal except for my LH being too low. Hence, no menstrual cycle. While discussing this with my doctor on the phone, he strongly suggested birth control and gaining a little more weight. Of course I happen to be a little frustrated because I told him birth control didn’t work on me and that’s not the way I can get a natural period. Doctors are really one-sided and he continued to tell me it’s the only option.

my response…..

So gaining weight it is! Gotcha doc.

eat-all-of-the-food

But he failed to tell me something that could be very important to my health long-term…

my blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (not creatine you gym junkies) were HIGH.

Curious little me did some research. What I learned was…

Urea is made when protein is broken down in the body. This also is an indicator of how your kidneys and liver are working. Causes of a high BUN is heart failure, dehydration, and a high protein diet. Well, I haven’t had heart failure and I drink well around 64 oz of fluids a day. Oh, but I’m sitting there eating a protein bar with yogurt just because “gains” right?

Creatinine relates to BUN as it shows how well the kidneys are working. Having high creatinine is a sign that the kidneys are not working properly.

Well damn.

But it all makes sense. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there that has fallen victim to buying a shit ton of protein bars, powders and supplements because it’s what you need for building muscle, right?! Well…. what about your kidneys?

Yes, it is science that protein consumption increases muscle synthesis. But what if you are over-doing it?

I think of all the other women out there that live their lives everyday not eating protein bars, protein cookies, protein pancakes, and protein shakes for their snacks every single day. They live perfectly fine and they still seem to be in shape and have muscle.

What I get from all this is as long as you are eating a good amount of protein from a variety of whole foods such as beans, meat, yogurt, cheese, etc. then why are we supplementing so much? I am so glad I did my own background research to see what I was doing. And I am surprised he did not mention this to me.

                      

Am I going to completely cut protein bars and powders from my diet? No. I am going to limit them. I will use them if it’s after a workout and I don’t have time to make a full meal. Maybe I’ll have a quest bar if I REALLY crave it, but by no means will I keep eating them day after day. I am going to focus on just eating whole foods and change my snacks up a bit. I am not a “clean” eater by all means but instead of a protein bar, maybe I’ll have an apple with peanut butter… popcorn, trail mix, a REAL non-protein cookie instead.

And I will be just fine. I don’t expect my body to change much from this. If it does, it doesn’t really matter. My overall health is what matters. I would love to have healthy kidneys that last me my whole life.

I really hope that whoever reads this really considers how much extra protein you are eating and what that could do for you in the long run. We are set out to believe it’s the best macro nutrient out there but just like anything else, moderation is key.

I love to hear any thoughts/comments/concerns so hit me up! 😉

emlove814@gmail.com

Apple Oatmeal Squares

If you are someone that likes to snack or is on-the-go a lot, then I guess we have a lot in common…. familiar with the case of the hangry? Been there, don’t that, no bueno.

That’s exactly why I got crackin in the kitchen (lol is that even a saying?) I rummaged through what I could find.. oats… apple sauce… nut butter… oh my! But sadly no pumpkin. Curse my grocery store for not selling it in the summer. And sadly no chocolate either. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?

The good news is that these bars that were made with love and care are pretty fricken good if you ask me. Soft, moist (HA), and lightly sweetened with agave and apple. BRAVA.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 T chia seed
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (the powder not the seeds)
  • 4 oz unsweetened applesauce or 1 mashed banana
  • 6 T agave syrup or honey
  • 2-3 T almond butter
  • 12 oz almond or cashew milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • About 5-10 drops liquid stevia or other sweetener *optional

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then combine the wet into another small bowl and whisk. Add the wet to the dry, stirring until no clumps. You can add dried fruit or nuts if that’s yo thing!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and add in the batter. Smooth out evenly and put in the oven for about 40 minutes. The edges should be a little golden. Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting! Makes 9 squares 🙂


 

 

Birthday Weekend Recap

Here I am, dreaming about this delicious white chocolate cake batter froyo with nutter butters, cookie dough, Reese’s, and almonds as I sit here (froyoless).

As some of you may know, my birthday was yesterday and to celebrate, my parents took me to Chattanooga for the weekend! Now remember that I haven’t had a “vacation” this whole summer because of working full time at Cracker Barrel (thank the heavens I am done).

Saturday we spent touring Ruby Falls which is basically an underground waterfall that you have to walk about a mile inside a mountain to see. Quite fascinating and very chilly under there!

We then visited Lookout Mountain. This is me and my silly dad who took several tries before successfully smiling in this picture.

 

 

 

And this is my momma and I at the restaurant we stuffed our mouths with delicious pasta and chicken!

img_6253The next day we went to Chattanooga Aquarium! I haven’t been there since middle school but it was definitely an euphoric adventure. Didn’t take that many pictures because my battery was low but I will say that the otters were my favorite part 🙂

Here’s ya girl with a butterfly. I laugh because the only reason it’s on my finger is because it had a broken wing… We the same.

Overall, my mentality this weekend was amazing. I didn’t give a damn what I ate and didn’t track a thing. Not once did I exercise because the walking around we did and that’s okay. No matter who you are, you deserve to fully enjoy a weekend away. No stress or worries about the future, just focus on the present. Laugh, try new things, explore, and be there with your loved ones. I am proud of the progress I have made this past year and thrilled to see how it will be next year.

So tell me,

What is your ideal weekend getaway?

Ultimate froyo topping?

What I’ve Been Loving Lately

I’ve been taking time lately to appreciate the little things I am blessed with.

What has been making me happy?

pupp

  1. My puppy. I was home by myself for a weekend and she kept me company and we cuddled and watched movies together. Talk about a great best friend.

 

 

2.Our new hammock! We have been wanting to get one for a while and we finally did. It really is so peaceful and calming.

hammock

3. Maple Sunflower Seed Butter. Yes, so much yes. If you haven’t had sunflower seed butter before it’s exactly how you would expect it to taste- like sunflower seeds. Except it’s creamy and this one has a sweet and salty touch! Perfection on my oatmeal ❤

maple

4. Generosity. If you don’t know by now I am a waitress and a lot of the times I do not get tips from people which really blows since that’s where all my money for the day comes from. The other night I had a really nice couple that made conversation with me and when I went to bus the table once they were done, they gave me $50 in person. I literally didn’t even know what to say. I told them I couldn’t take it considering it was more than their meal but they refused to take it back. It’s little things like that seriously can make someone’s day.

5. SUSHI. Becoming a slow addiction and severe cravings lately. I LOVE the ones with avocado in it like the spicy tuna or salmon roll.

6. Morning naps. I don’t know why but I always wake up super early (like6-6:30 and sometimes even earlier). My body just refuses to sleep past that and it’s sometimes very frustrating. But that doesn’t stop me from taking a morning nap around 10 if needed and feels so refreshing on my days off!

7. Pretty Little Liars. I am a die hard fan of The Walking Dead and OITNB but since I finished those recently, my mom and I have been starting PLL! Only on season 3 but that’s just another reason I can binge watch TV 😉

8. Long nature walks/jogs. Usually I like to go on a long walk with my mom so we can talk and stuff but just this morning I went on a little jog and it felt SO PEACEFUL. Not only was the weather not too hot or humid but it had just rained last night so I could smell the wet asphalt the whole time. I spent that time focusing on my breathing and maintaining a slow, easy pace. I felt like a champ after because if you know me… running isn’t my thing, haha 🙂


 9. High-top converse. I have always been into the low-top look but ever since I got my new white high-tops I really am starting to dig em!

10. Iced Coffee. I have never been a huge caffeine of coffee person but its growing on me. I really appreciate the little boost when needed and cold coffee is just really refreshing. I got a premade one at Walmart because I heard cold brew is a nice blend and it definitely has a kick with 95mg of caffeine!

Tell me,

What’s something YOU are loving lately?

Iced coffee or hot coffee?

Dealing With Not Being The “Small” One

Every day when I look into the mirror, I see a changed woman. I am not longer a girl. I have to unbutton my shorts instead of sliding them on. My clothes fit more snug. I have a little crease where my armpit meets my tank top. I have a new layer protecting my belly.


But all these little things I see in the mirror reflect someone that is strong. No, I’m not egotistical to admit that. I am strong. I never gave up. I didn’t let anorexia take my life. And this is the woman that grew from it.

Sometimes it does make a situation uncomfortable when I look at other girls who look smaller than me. I will admit I let my self-consciousness creep in and it makes me feel insecure. But then I remember that they may be thinking the same thing about me. We often are so critical of ourselves that we forget how other people perceive us. You don’t need to seek reassurance from ANYONE. Instead, learn to do it for yourself. Take control over your own life and own up to it!

I don’t want to be remembered as a small, frail or weak girl. Down the line, being small is not what makes an impact on others lives… not even your own. Being healthy gives you personality, desires, and more passion than any eating disorder will let you have.

So, I’m not the “smallest” girl anymore. When people see me, they would have never known what I had gone through, and that is absolutely refreshing. Because I am not my past. I will not make my past or recovery my lifestyle. I am who I am today and from here on out I will always be striving to be a better version of myself. I will find new passions and hobbies. I will make a shit ton of mistakes but I will pick myself up and try again.

I am relearning to love myself, just as when I was a little kid. Remember those days? When the little pooch on your stomach never crossed your mind? When all you looked forward to was getting an extra scoop of ice cream with your family? When you had the most self-confidence and spoke your mind like most little kids do? Not saying you have to be a little kid or the person you were before, just know that you CAN recreate yourself and be happy, regardless of your size.