End of Summer <3

Hey Ya’ll….in breaking news: I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.¬†

I’ve just been using all my mental energy to do the parenting thing¬†24/7¬†and working too much at Sbux.¬† But, thank the Lord Almighty, school is booting up soon. Image result for joy kids going back to school

I’m still here; sipping my matcha protein shake.¬† Bio-hacking.¬† Keto-ing.¬† Multi-tasking.¬† Mom-ing.¬† Like a #ladyboss. 20190818_1036385475217853434615514.jpgThis is the magical concoction that I just finished.¬† This is a¬†next level¬†recovery shake.¬† I needed it because I woke up early and did a torturous¬†70 minute long leg workout¬†courtesy of Miss Cathe Friedrich.¬† Why?¬† Sometimes you just need a long, grueling workout.¬† I love it, I feel good afterwards.¬† But definitely in need of serious refueling. 20190818_103419741156775855317948.jpgOf course I can’t just drink a basic protein shake.¬† Oh no.¬† I’m throwing in matcha.¬† I’m tossing in moringa.¬† And¬†of course;¬†a scoop of collagen.¬† I blend mine with fairlife (lowest carb milk I’ve found) and a pure protein powder.¬† I do about a tablespoon of each.¬† Plus liquid monk fruit to sweeten it up.¬† It is really good.¬† Seriously.¬† Plus you’ll feel so good that you can tackle the rest of your day with some serious gusto.

In other news; I am officially a college student.¬† This has long been a dream of mine.¬† The timing was just never right.¬† But now, the time is right and I know what direction I want to go in.¬† Therapeutic Massage.¬† I’ll be studying things that fascinate me; biology, herbal medicine, nutrition, etc.¬† I am really excited.¬† Hopefully I can continue to pass on what I learn as I go.¬† I’ll be busy but I will still try to find time to blog.

How has your summer gone?  Has it flown by like mine?

Thoughts on Self-Harm

You guys know that I work at Starbucks, right?¬† 80% of my costumers seem to be young women, ages 12-20.¬† Seriously.¬† If you are a young guy looking for cute girls, get a job at Starbucks.¬† You’ll be inundated.

In addition to seeing the latest in makeup and clothing trends (high-waisted bottoms-¬†wwhhyyy???!!) I’ve also noticed a disturbing trend…

I see so, so many young women bearing the scars of self-harm.  It brings tears to my eyes, even now, thinking about it.  All the scars on such young skin; outward evidence of a terrible inward pain. Image result for self-harm

I’ll be totally honest and admit that I experimented with self-harm as a teen too.¬† Thankfully that period didn’t last long and my mom took me to get most of the scars lasered off.¬† I¬†know¬†what it is like to be that depressed, that mired in self-hatred.¬† The worst thing about it is the hopelessness.¬† You don’t want to do anything to improve your situation because you just can’t see how anything could possibly help.¬† How it could ever possibly get better.

What I would say to those girls, is that it can and does get better.  You will not always be suffocated in the darkness in your own mind.

So much of that is dealing with hormones and the horrors of public school!¬† Trying to fit in when your are struggling with serious depression, low self-worth, problems at home, etc.- it’s a complete nightmare.

Things get so much better when you get out of school and realize that you are¬†not¬†the labels people may have put on you.¬† You¬†don’t¬†have to continue to invest in toxic relationships.¬† You can just be *you*.

I always felt very strongly that I could and should overcome my depression naturally.¬† And I have.¬† I’m not “knocking” medication.¬† I really do believe some people need it.¬† Maybe for a season, maybe for life.¬† But it is possible to overcome depression through lifestyle changes.

I used to have constant heart palpitations and anxiety.  It was so bad that a doctor put me on a blood thinner at only 17.  It took me years to realize that it was the artificial sweeteners I was ingesting that was throwing off my heart rhythm and keeping me in a constant state of uneasiness.  I stopped my 3-4 cans of diet coke daily habit and the heart issues disappeared.

I also eventually realized that sugar was keeping me on a horrible roller coaster ride of emotions.  With my blood sugar up, I felt happy and energetic.  But then would come the crash; irritability, anger, depression.  Going through that cycle every single day made me feel crazy and out of control.

You can not isolate brain/emotional health from your overall physical health.  Especially if you, like me, are naturally prone to depression or anxiety.  You really need to employ every trick in the natural health handbook.

You need to treat your body with love and respect.¬† You need to talk to yourself like you would talk to a close friend.¬† No berating or shaming.¬† When you start to feel a tidal wave of depression rising up, do your best to fight it and stave it off with positive thinking.¬† It’s sounds really simple, but it works.¬† When I start feeling those old feelings trying to pull me down, I will start listing off things that I am grateful for.¬† I will focus on the good things in my life.¬† I just don’t go there; that dead end of despair and discouragement.

The opposite of hurting yourself is investing in yourself.¬† Building yourself up.¬† You can do that literally or figuratively.¬† I was the girl that was terrified of gaining weight and wouldn’t lift heavier than 5#.¬† Now I strength train 2-3 times a week and¬†love it.¬†¬†You don’t have to lift weights, but find a form of movement that brings you joy.¬† There is just no feeling of being alive like pushing your body physically.¬† There is ever-growing¬†evidence¬†that exercise is just as, or even more; effective than drugs for depression.¬† Even getting out for a walk in nature can do absolute wonders.

If you are doing what you can to take care of your body, so many things will get better on their own.¬† I wouldn’t have the audacity to say that unless I had lived it out.¬† I came out of very severe depression to a life that isn’t perfect, but¬†is meaningful and joyful.¬†¬†The things I have been through have shaped who I am, in a positive way.¬† Would I be the person I am today had I not had to fight my way out of the darkness?¬† I don’t think so.¬† It may seem dark now, but I promise, you will get to the point where you can look back and see beauty and meaning in the journey. Image result for overcome

Please don’t give up.¬† Decide, right now, that you will never intentionally harm yourself again.¬† That you will be brave and get through this with your chin up.¬† You will, I promise.

So much love, Sierra

 

 

Are You Tracking?

If you are just starting out on keto, it is a good idea to track your macros.¬† But do you need to track every single food for the rest of your life?¬† I don’t think so.¬† I have the fitness pal app on my phone (right on my homescreen!!) but I only use it once in awhile.¬† I weigh in every few days and if I see my weight creeping up, or my jeans start feeling too snug; I will crack the proverbial whip.

Yesterday I tracked because I just wanted to see where I’m at with my macros in a typical day.¬† I tend to eat the same things over and over again so it would be a “snapshot” of how I’m doing.¬† I tried to eat normally, but the funny thing is; that extra accountability really has a way of cleaning things up!!¬† I also wanted to make sure that I was eating enough calories.¬† I will confess that I am just not a big eater.¬† Some nights “dinner” is wine and some veggies.¬† Short term calorie restriction is “ok” but long-term and you are absolutely tanking your metabolism.¬† I love the keto diet because you¬†don’t¬†need to starve yourself to see results.¬† If you do it right, you should be well nourished and still see the extra pudge melt away.

I didn’t peak at my macros until the end of the day. screenshot_20190529-083040_myfitnesspal7915952603268336665.jpg Lo and behold it was right on track.¬† I do a higher protein version of keto, not the more traditional 80% fat.¬† Higher protein is great for muscle sparing and metabolism-revving.¬† I lift weights and need that extra protein.

My calories came in around 2,000, which was more than I thought I was eating.  We typically underestimate our caloric intake.  On active days I think 2,000 is reasonable.  On more sedentary days it might be only 1,500.

I guess the moral of the story (or blog) is that keto really can become a very natural way of life.¬† There definitely is a challenging adjustment period.¬† But I’m at the point where eating this way is easy and second nature.

Yesterday I enjoyed buttery, cheesey eggs on a keto mug-bread muffin, peanut butter, dark chocolate, a bunless cheeseburger and a generous amount of Malbec.¬† ūüėȬ† I ate foods that I really enjoy and was able to stay within my optimal range for macros.

How about you?  Do you track your food or just kind of wing it?