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pulchra spatium temporis time sand earth beautiful pause in time

Pulchra Spatium Temporis

Once, I blinked and year had gone.

Soon ten and then twenty.

Now I find myself at Forty-two and wanting time to stop.

Not forever, but just to enjoy pulchra spatium temporis, or a beautiful pause in time.

A pause to look into my daughters’ faces and make sure they know how much I love them–how to me, they are everything.

A pause to look into my husband’s face and make sure he knows how much he is loved and appreciated–how he is what makes me whole.

A pause to look into my parents’ faces and make sure they know how much I love them–how much they taught me, and how I am who I am because of them.

A pause, to fall to me knees and praise God for this life–the one so graciously given to me. This life that might be humble and meager is filled with blessings and love so great.

A pause . . .

In time.

Pulchra spatium temporis.

via Daily Prompt: Pause

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Flax Seed Pancakes

1 cup Flax seed meal (golden will look better–I had brown)

3 TBS Tapioca Flour

2 eggs

2-4 TBS Almond or Coconut Milk

1 TBS Backing soda (aluminum free like bobs red mill)

1/2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

Pinch of Salt

(Sweetener like honey, maple syrup, stevia are optional if complaint with your plan)

(1 Tsp Vanilla optional and if compliant with your plan)

Fruit or berries if wanted

Coconut oil or Ghee for cooking

Mix together adding vinegar last–the vinegar will react with the baking soda making the pancakes fluffy. Use less milk at first then add as needed–mixture will be sticky not runny.

*If adding fruit it seems to cook better if you add it once it is in the griddle than if you add it to the mix

Fry in a griddle or pan with oil or ghee 3-5 minutes on each side by dropping batter and then pressing into shape.

Paleo Flaxseed panckakes
Blueberry “pancakes” are gluten and grain free no sugar and really good. They taste more similar to french toast than pancakes, but a good breakfast option.
Pacific Crest Trail training hiking Oregon section

Training (We don’t use the “E” word here)

I’m looking out the window at the trees that are almost full of leaves, but not quite to their summer glory, whipping back and forth in an excited dance the wind swipes way the rain that falls around them. (by the time I finish this–there is just a calm breeze…)

It’s a tad muggy out, 76 degrees and 58% humidity but not too bad–still I wonder about what I will do for training today. Thunderstorms are predicted shortly–here in the Midwest, they can be a big deal–do I brave them anyway? After all, I can’t hide inside away from a storm when I am out on the trails.

Let’s back up a bit. If this is the first post of mine you’ve read, you don’t know my history or my goals. You can go back and get more detail, but I am 42 (almost 43!!!) and suffer from a variety of autoimmune disorders as well as struggling with weight and low energy. I have been working on doing better–staring with eating healthy followed by doing what ever I can do each day.

As I began to feel better, I decided hiking was going to be my go to activity. (Thank you Alee for planting that bug in my ear!) In fact, next summer I will hike 100-150 miles on the Pacific Crest Trial in my home state of Oregon with my 16 year old daughter (she will be 17 then). My older daughter might go as well–but I don’t know yet. Remember–I am severely out of shape, suffer from severe pain and weakness and this is HUGE deal for me. So I started small. Daily training for the next 13-14 months with local weekend hikes to prepare.

I started with just walking as far as I could, but staying close to home and in very little time have graduated to 2-3 mile walks on our railroad tracks going up and over the hump to imitate climbing (I am a flatlander out here after all).

Backpacking training, pacific crest trail, getting healthy
Walking the tracks. Some places the climb is 5 or 6 feet on each side, some are lower like here, but it gives Alee and me the opportunity to work climbing muscles in our legs ad on uneven ground. The rocks are really loose in some places adding to the challenge.

Fast forward to today–it’s stormy and I don’t have rain gear yet–it s on my list but so is pretty much everything a hiker needs because I have nothing. I also don’t have good shoes yet (this is higher on my priority list than rain gear). Is it worth going out in the weather and training? What if I get injured due to lack of proper gear? That will set me back and I don’t want that.

Stop making excuses. I know that is what is going through your mind right now, but honestly, I’m not. I actually am looking forward to training each day and these are honest, legitimate concerns I have that I am not sure how to answer. I know I need to train in bad weather because when I get to the point I can do a 5 day or 10 day hikes, or God willing, perhaps do a full hike-thru, weather won’t care if I am prepared or not. It will just come. Still, I do worry about being prepared to handle it in the safest manner possible.

That being said, my plan for tonight is to play it by ear–my iPhone is already showing that the thunder storms are coming later than originally projected. Get out there and if it seems too wet for my walking shoes to handle safely, I will stick to flat ground. If it does get bad before I get out there, I have a stairs I can climb and weights I can lift.

Everyday is a training day. No excuses–I can always do something, even on those bad days (rare now) when every movement is excruciating. Train to be healthier, train to be happier, train to meet a goal. No exercises, that word is banned from home–train, because when you are fighting autoimmune issues, every single movement you choose to make trains you to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

On days I can’t, I will lean on God and know that He can.

Life is good.

My Whole30 Experience

As I have said in my previous posts, I was not a fan of Whole30 because I hated the sugar withdrawals and I really don’t like being told “I can’t”.

I can’t:

  • have any sugar unless it is in a fruit or veggie
  • have any grains
  • have any alcohol (not that I drink–I’m 16!)
  • have honey (part of the sugar thing)
  • anything processed
  • have any dairy
  • have certain oils
  • and so forth….

The restrictions on Whole30 are hard because I accepted a challenge and yet I felt like I was put in a cage. Just the idea of “I can’t” almost becomes claustrophobic, wanting everything listed on the “I can’t”.

The funny part is, I like almost everything we ate over the 30 days. Actually, I liked everything, but some things not as much. For instance, curry I like the day it is made, but not left overs, while my mom really loves curry. Tuna steaks, I like but I don’t love. I will eat them, but probably wouldn’t crave them.

Now I am 4 days past the 30 and I am still doing it. I will actually continue on through to the 22nd for sure (I might cheat for prom) but I lost 17 pounds and I got into a pair of jeans I haven’t fit in since the 6th grade (not sure why I even still had them, but found them when cleaning my closet). For the first time in a long time I am under 200 pounds (190 on day 30) and it isn’t hard any more.

What sucks, is that I have to check everything. Food manufacturers sneak sugar in everywhere and choices I thought were healthy are packed with sugar.

Oh, I did try a sip of a Monster on Thursday, an energy drink I used to love and I had to spit it out. My taste buds can’t take the sugar anymore. I don’t know if I am happy about that or not.

Anyway, here is a bit of a summary:

First two weeks, I felt like crap. I hurt everywhere and had no energy. Headaches and mood swings all the time. Drank a lot of water to combat some of withdrawals. I don’t know if it helped, but it made me feel like I was doing something.

Week 3 was better. I still didn’t have the energy I saw my mom getting but I don’t think my energy levels were that bad to start so a boost in energy would not be as easy to see. Cravings were gone by this point and I started making meals myself and learning more on how to cook from scratch myself.

Week 4 I was pretty much the same as week 3 other than it felt like the longest week. That final countdown the last 7-10 days and I just wanted to no longer be in this “I can’t” challenge.

Even though I decided to continue the lifestyle longer, it no longer under the “challenge” and I won’t feel like I failed at all if I decide to have a cheat day. After I do have a cheat, I will go back to a paleo/keto type lifestyle because it works for me, and I NEVER want to have to go through sugar withdrawals again.

Would I do the Whole30 again? I don’t know. I hated everyday of feeling like I couldn’t even though it was still my choice. I didn’t feel like I had a choice because I made a commitment and I was going to stick it out no matter what. At this point, I want to tell Whole30 to shove it, but I like the results so I can’t.

Would I recommend it to someone else? Yes. I would tell them to understand everything about the challenge before they start though.

I guess that is all I have to say right now. 🙂

Whole30 Results

We made it. Wednesday was day 30 and three days later, we are more or less continuing the same eating style (I did have sushi Thursday night).

By the halfway point, the side effects of sugar withdrawals were gone and I started feeling better, and I have been able to become MUCH more active as a result of doing The Whole30.

If you recall, I did not do Whole30 for purposes of weight loss, but to feel better and battle autoimmune issues. I do however, want to share with you the side effect of weight-loss I experienced with Whole30. I did not do body measurements because I couldn’t find a tape.

Day One–Sharlene: 256 pounds
Day Thirty–Sharlene: 231 pounds
Total weight loss over 30 days for Sharlene was 25 pounds.

Day One–Alee: 207 pounds
Day Thirty Alee: 190 pounds
Total weight loss over 30 days for Alee was 17 pounds.

Not great pictures, but–as you can see, I’m still fat and I don’t care. I feel better and I can not emphasis enough that weight loss is not my goal here, but it is a happy side effect.

And Aleesha’s before and after. The day we took the before it was really stormy and the lights were out so the lighting was terrible, but you still get the picture.

As I was say, I feel really good! A month ago, it was a struggle to climb the basement stairs with laundry, and now I am doing 2+ mile hikes on uneven terrain daily, with a goal of making it to 4 miles by the end of the month. I am doing core workouts and strength training daily as well.

I sleep better, my concentration is so much better, I haven’t had a fibromyalgia flare since week one, fewer headaches/migraines, I notice my skin is less dry, and my gut does not hurt.

Would I do Whole30 again? Absolutely! Would I recommend it to others? Most definitely. What will I do now? Continue with pretty much the same lifestyle, only adding honey occasionally (I like honey mustard from time to time, and I like some honey in Zen iced tea) and allowing for the occasional cheat (I might have a glass of wine for my birthday, etc…) but limit them so I don’t get complacent. Alee plans to continue until the end of May with no changes at all.

To be honest, I like healthy food. I don’t feel cheated and when I am faced with “what do I want?” I will pick healthy food over junk. I never want to sugar detox again, but I do think doing the Whole30 from time to time with the stricter limits of zero cheats and zero added sweeteners help keep me in check.

Well, I’m off to hike! Have a great weekend!

Training Hiking Pacific Crest Trail Appalachian Trail

Training for our Next Adventure! (Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail)

Last week, Aleesha asked me if I would consider doing the Appalachian Trail (AT), or at least a section of it with her. To be honest, I had never thought about it, I mean I am a west coast girl at heart transplanted to the Midwest, so Appalachia has never really been a place I thought to visit, let a long hike.

It was a couple of days later when I saw a video on Facebook–I had seen it floating around before, but for some reason, this time I watched it (watch video here). I was watching glimpses of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and when I recognized parts of Oregon near my home town, I thought–“I can do this”! After all, I grew up in those woods, it is not unfamiliar to me, I have family close by so what a great first goal!

Aleesha still wants to the AT, and I that is now in our list of goals.

If you have read pasts posts, you know that I have health issues that make me weak, but I am working on it. I am fat (no shame here, just stating the facts) and if I tried today, the PCT would kill me!

So, last night (Sunday May 7th) it began. Alee and Me are officially in training to become backcountry backpacking warriors!

We will do some small local hikes in preparation, but our goal is to hit the PCT in late July or August of next year. I know, it sounds like a long time, but we have a lot of preparing to do, and this summer would be difficult, and I would rather wait until most of the snow is melted, so next spring is out.

So the next 14-15 months, we will work to get ready for a 5-7 day section of the trail. Keep in mind, this does not only mean that we will be training our bodies and minds, but we will also be getting gear because we have to completely outfit two people! If you backpack, you know the cost of gear–and the budget in my house doesn’t have much wiggle room.

During these next months I am also going to practice dehydrating my own pack food because I don’t want the additives in the commercially packaged stuff, and I want to be able to enjoy it at least a little. After several hours on the trail, I want to be able to refuel quickly and relax while enjoying something “home-cooked”.

So there you have it, our next adventure! Watch out world, here we come!

Whole30 Day 28

As day 28 gets closer to an end, I have compliant chili simmering on the stove and know there are only 2 days left of this challenge where I “have” to be compliant.

I am actually going to continue on with Whole30 probably through the 29th of May (It’s my birthday and I well, who knows, I might want wine).

I feel great other than my allergies which have kept me from posting. I live in a very small town stuck right in the middle of corn country and with farmers in the fields and what they spray on the fields, spring is has my eyes swollen, nose runny and lungs wheezy and looking at a computer screen outside of what I have to for work has been impossible.

So far the journey has done what I wanted, and I it is my goal to have a lifetime of healthy eating.

We have set a new goal, and I will post about that separately, but it is huge, exciting, and scary! I can’t wait!

I will post on Wednesday night with a more in depth over view of the last 30 days, what worked, what didn’t and Alee will have a post up by the end of the week. We will also have a reveal with out pictures!

 

Blogs I Enjoy–April 29, 2017

I need to be better. I want to share blogs I read because they deserve it. Even if it doesn’t reach a lot of readers, a shout out to those who make me smile is still a good thing.

Today I want to share Aroused. Kate (the author) shares her thoughts and poetry with her readers. Some are funny, some are thought provoking. She always takes the time to reply if you comment and I just enjoy time spend reading what she wrote.

I don’t know her story, but I know I enjoy her blog, and I hope you do too.

Whole30 What do you mean no candy?

Whole30 Day 19–Shar’s Perspective

(Feature image: Aleesha’s best friend brought over Milk Duds–really nice when we are on Whole30–and she forgot them. Aleesha’s dog patches found them and her face when I snapped the picture! “What do you mean no candy!” She looks like she is growling, but she wasn’t. I took the picture to send to the friend saying “Patches says ‘Thanks'” and this is what I got)

Day 19 is coming to an end, and that means the end is almost in sight, but I don’t think that is always a good thing, and I’ll tell you why in a bit.

I feel great, Aleesha is still not seeing the benefits aside from extra weight loss. I think one of the big things is that we had already cut out so much stuff in the months leading to Whole30, her body was already doing a lot of healing. Another thing is that I have severe autoimmune responses to things like legumes, while she doesn’t, so some eliminated items that are really helping me are not necessarily making a big difference for her.

For years she has had unexplained stomach pain, and I was hoping that this would help, it hasn’t. I fear there another, yet to be diagnosed food allergy that is causing the problem. She looks great though. I see changes from my perspective that she doesn’t see.

As for me, as I have said before, this is about feeling better, but I do have clothes that are getting too big. To be honest, when you are as fat as I have been for years, it is very hard to visually see any changes though. Get up, look in the mirror–yup, still fat–carry on with day. I am no looking to be a size 5 again, or even a size 10. If it happens it does, but not dealing with the brain fog–that is worth turning down all the “bad” food I’m offered.

So here I am–the sun setting on day 19. My tummy and my coffee cup are full, dogs sleeping peacefully at my side, and I wonder–what’s next? Aleesha plans to actually go six weeks because she is getting school credit logging and discussing everything, but she can’t wait for that cheat day. The day that, despite her allergies, she can have the sweets she so desperately wants.

I fear that day. This is not my first time kicking sugar, and I don’t want to ever have to do it again. I don’t want to become complacent to the hidden sugars in so many things, and I don’t want the brain fog to come back.

Aleesha is 16. Whether she hops back on the sugar bus or not, she has learned a lot so far, and will continue to learn about how to live a healthier lifestyle. The last think I will do to her is place restrictions on her (yes, even if it something she has an allergy to since her allergy response is not life threatening), she is old enough to make those choices on her own.

For me, I look forward to very little… honey mustard (paleo compliant) and good quality cheese from time to time. I don’t plan on being totally Paleo, for a few reasons, but my after-plan will be similar. Ultimately, I want to eat clean, with no processed sugars and not a lot of added sugars regardless. There are some things that I will have though, like butter and cheese, although not often.

So, I don’t know if the end of the 30 days is always a good thing, because what comes next? After suffering through the months (and anyone who has had sugar withdrawals knows–you suffer), do you go back to what you were doing before? How many of things that you eliminated do you dare let back in? Will one binge day undo all 30 days? Answering these questions for both me and for Aleesha will be a big part of the next 10 days.

If any one has any suggestions, I would love the input!

Whole30 day 19

Whole30 Day 19–cravings are back

It is day 19 of Whole30 and I just had my supper of Whole30 Buffalo chicken and fries with some raw vegetables. I haven’t been feeling good today, like maybe I am catching a cold. Chicken wings sounded really good, so mom breaded some chicken breast chunks with flax, tapioca starch, and spices then baked it to get it crispy. After it was done, she tossed it in an olive oil and Frank’s Red Hot mixture (usually, it would be butter and Frank’s for buffalo wings, but Whole30 is no dairy, and I am allergic, so that wasn’t an option). It was good except the chicken we got wasn’t the greatest. We got it from a store we almost never buy meat from, and I can see why mom goes to specific stores not.

I don’t know if is the cold or what, but I want waffles and pastries, and just about anything sweet today. It is a hard day, and I am not a happy camper. On the plus side, I went down another size. My prom is May 22 and I don’t think I will know what dress to wear until a week before. Last year I wore a size 22, the dress I fit in now is a 16, so between my changes before and the boost of the Whole30, I am making progress.

My mom keep talking about how good she feels. I don’t think I notice much other than I am sleeping better most days.

I am learning how to cook more things on my own. I have made meals without help several times. I already knew how to cook, but always used recipes. This is teaching me to experiment and just go with it. The featured image is a pepper steak, topped with some avocado (for mom not me, yuck!) and Primal Kitchens Chipotle Mayo.

I guess that’s all for now. I need to go for a walk before I climb in bed.

 

 

Digital Reflection Panel Review–Update 4/27/17

I posted in my initial review of the Digital Reflection Panel about the who, what, when, where, why and how’s.

In this post, I just want to do a quick update.

I installed the DRP box on March 9, 2017 and I was credited $25 to my account on for installation and speed bonus.

On April 3, 2017 I was credited $5 to my account for monthly meter activity (leaving it plugged in for more than 90% of the time)

On April 14, 2017, I was asked to update and install security certificates on my devices and was credited $25 to my account.

Since you can only redeem your rewards in increments of $50 and I had $55 in my account, I redeemed an award for $50 on April 16, 2017.

I redeemed a PayPal card which reached my PayPal account on April 21, 2017.

I am almost to the end of another 30 day cycle and will be credited an additional $5 and then when they ask me to update, I will get another $5 (the first few months give you more as you get bonuses).

In the nearly two months since I have had the box, I haven’t noticed it at all. However, over the last three days, my internet has been randomly getting disrupted. My ISP is sending a technician tomorrow, as they think I have a damaged cable outside, but if it does not fix the issue, I will unhook the DRP box and see if it is causing interference. I will update on that as soon as I have made a conclusion.

As long as the box is not causing the disruptions, I would recommend using it unless you do work from your home that prohibits such things. (I work from home, but I do not have this issue). You will get paid about $200 a year to do nothing but what you are already doing aside from an occasional update that takes like two minutes.

At first I was skeptical about someone gathering my information, but in reality, it is already being gathered every time I log on. At least this company rewards me for allowing it.

You can check it here. This is not a referral or affiliate link.