Tag Archives: amazon

Whole30 – Day 31 (The Big Reveal)

9 Nov

IMG_0552

Hello again to those of you who have been following along in my Whole30 journey, and to those of you who are just now reading my blog for the first time.  It’s been a crazy 30 days, some ups and some downs, but mostly ups I think.

I started off on the Whole30 because my doctor recommended I change my eating because my body isn’t working right.  Who knew that your gut and healthy gut bacteria had such an impact on your hormones, immune system, and general well-being?  I sure didn’t.  I figured as long as my food digested and went on through I was doing okay in the stomach area.  Unlike some people I wasn’t experiencing indigestion or heartburn so I never made the food connection to my health.  But of course, what good is a engine if you throw junk in it all the time?  Not so good.

One of the big things Whole30 does is to switch your body from being a sugar/carb fueled system to a fat fueled system (the way nature intended).  This is supposed to really increase energy levels because, as we know, excess foods get stored as fat, not sugar/carbs, so your body will have a lot of excess stores of fat to run off of in an emergency (or just when it needs it).

While I don’t feel super energized after completing the entire 30 days, I know it has a big part to do with other health issues I’m having, like hypothyroidism, low B12, and adrenal fatigue (to name a few).

One thing I think has really changed for me personally is that my mood is more stable.  I’m not going to lie, I can be pretty moody and I tend to just be grumpy a lot for sometimes no reason at all.  Now G might not agree with me (but he doesn’t read my blog so I guess he can’t refute what I say) but I feel like my moods are much more even and stable.  Do I still get upset?  Of course.  Do I still get annoyed?  Yep.  But when I do I think it’s for a pretty good reason not because I need some sugar.

What did I gain from Whole30?

Better sleep!  I “usually” fall asleep quickly and stay asleep which is a big deal since I work nights and sleep through the day.  Anyone who has tried this knows it’s not always the easiest thing to do.  My sleep has been screwed up for years prior to this.

Better relationship with food!  My old way of eating was very carb heavy.  I loved carbs.  My typical Friday night might look like me going to the grocery store for a bottle of wine and a sweet or salty snack like ice cream or chips and I would eat and drink it all.  I felt like I had had a hard week and I deserved to put this crap into my body because it was a reward for me.  Obviously I haven’t been drinking any wine the past 31 days or eating ice cream or chips but I no longer reward myself with food of any kind and that’s a pretty big deal.  I had always seen those images online that said something similar to “Don’t reward yourself with food, You’re not a dog”, but I really liked those rewards, lol.  Now I only eat when it’s meal time and I really do love the food I’ve been eating.  I forgot how flavorful real foods and spices could be.

Skills! I have learned to prioritize cooking and cleaning into my routine.  As much as I’d like to not do either of these things ever again I also know that it is crucial to my health.  If someone wanted to send me a personal chef I’d be okay with that too though…just a thought!

Knowledge!  The first time I went shopping for Whole30 approved foods I felt like it took me forever at the grocery store and reading the labels was a challenge.  Luckily I brought a list with me of what additives in foods I could and couldn’t have so referencing that was easy, but time consuming.  After that first week I pretty much knew to stick to the vegetable and meat isle and only go down the other isles for spices and things like that.  My shopping times greatly reduced as the weeks went on.  If you think you can pick up any pre-packaged bottle of sauce think again.  it’s amazing what companies will put sugar in.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Why needs sugar in their tomato pasta sauce?

Willpower!  It’s a good thing I’m a strong person because my willpower has been tested many times in the last 30 days.  From G eating all kinds of sweet, salty, alcoholic treats in front of me, to handing out Halloween candy and not eating a single piece, to free-for-all cookies and candy sitting on the counters at work.  I made it through each and every one because I set my goals from the beginning and I knew the disappointment of giving up on my goals would far exceed the minimal temporary satisfaction gained from eating any one of those things.  If you make up your mind going into this (or anything) you won’t give in when temptation looks you in the face.

Planning!  I have a crazy schedule and this is something I know about myself.  I knew if it were up to me to cook every meal, every day, at the time I was supposed to eat the meal, that I would not succeed.  Did that stop me from doing Whole30?  Nope!  I spend one day of my weekend doing shopping and cooking for the week.  Other than making my eggs every morning for breakfast my food is ready to go and that has been something that has really helped with the stress and time management of this plan.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I would not have been successful had I not cooked my meals ahead of time.

Okay, I know those things are all great, but what you all want to know is how much I’ve lost right?  Well, at first I was a little sad over the numbers but when I stopped to think about the fact that before Whole30 the scale was gradually climbing higher and higher, I can be quite happy and proud of the fact that I’ve lost 4.6 pounds in the last 31 days.  It’s not the number I had hoped for in my head but it is better than gaining!  What’s more impressive to me is that I lost a total of 9 inches off of my chest, stomach, hips, butt, and thighs.  9 inches is nothing to scoff at!  And, I have to be honest with myself, I just didn’t have a ton to lose going in to this.  I still struggle with what society has put into my head about the ideal woman’s body type and to me it’s what I was for years, super thin.  Now I know that being that super thin person who ate like crap and never ate enough fat to sustain my body functions I know that my ideal is not healthy.  It’s still tough to get around when it’s been in your head for so long.  So, I’m learning to love my healthier body.

Keep in mind that my results did not include working out.  I had enough going on to be successful with this that I didn’t need to add something else too.  Also, with adrenal fatigue, until your body starts working correctly you can actually do more damage than good by working out hard and stressing your body.  One thing at a time, which I struggle with.  I just want to be better now!  Is that too much to ask?

Okay, here’s some progress pictures!  It’s a bit tough to tell because the lighting seems different (even though they are all taken in my house under the same lights) but I can really see a difference in my stomach area (less pooch), and where my swimsuit ties cross agains my back area they don’t sink into flabby skin nearly as much as before.  Overall I think my complexion is better too.  My cheeks look more rosy and healthy rather than washed out and pale.

IMG_8336IMG_8360 2

IMG_8361 2IMG_8362 2

It should come as no surprise, if you’ve been reading along with me, that I’m not done with this way of eating.  For my health and in hopes of having a long life ahead I’m going to continue eating this was as much as possible.  I already have my reintroduction of alcohol planned (which has been planned since before I started), because G and I actually have a day off together and we’re going to go wine tasting!  I can’t wait to go out and have some fun.  I’m not sure how the wine is going to affect my system but I’m interested to find out.  I’ll be blogging about how that goes and other progresses along the way.  I’m not done with my blog but I’m thankful to take a break from daily blogging.  Who knew, it’s a lot of work!

Giveaway!!!

Okay, as promised I have details for the giveaway!  I have really enjoyed talking with so many of you throughout my journey.  It makes my heart happy to be able to help people be healthier.  That being said my giveaway is a copy of Whole30!  One lucky winner will receive a hardback copy of Whole30, which includes extensive information on how to eat certain foods and why as well as beautiful color pages of recipes.  The recipes are fantastic by the way and they break it down so anyone can do it!  The copy will be shipped directly to you from Amazon.  As far as I know I can ship it anywhere in the world so this giveaway is open to anyone and everyone.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.46.11 PM

To enter simply leave a comment here on this blog post.  In the comment tell me 1) which of my Whole30 blog posts was your favorite and why 2) one thing you learned from my blog 3) why you’d like to do a Whole30 for yourself and 4) include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

Comments made elsewhere (Facebook or other blog posts) will not count for the giveaway.  Incomplete comments will not be counted either.  Each entry will be assigned a number and I will use a random number generator to pick the winner.  The giveaway will close Friday November 13th (such a lucky day!) 2015 at 8:00 PM Pacific Time and a winner will be announced shortly after that.  In the event the winner does not respond to the e-mail I send within two days a new winner will be selected and so on until I have a winner to send the book to.  Good luck all!

Learning To Stand (Alex the Fey Thriller Series #2)

5 Sep

IMG_0422

I finished reading the second of the Alex the Fey Thriller series books, and already bought the third! Actually I started the third last night but couldn’t keep my eyes open for very long.

Needless to say I’m enjoying this story. There are parts where characters get confusing and it does seem to jump around a bit, but overall I really like the plot…there’s always some kind of action going on. I think there was more action in the first book, but this one was pretty good too.

I will have to say that my biggest pet peeve (more-so than being confused about a character or two) is the exclusion of words. You’ll be reading along and all of a sudden there will be a missing word from a sentence. While it’s been easy enough to figure out the missing word, and make sense of what is trying to be said, some simple editing by someone other than the writer could have easily caught these little mistakes. I counted 19 spots where words were missing 😦 In fact, writers, if you’re reading this I’d be more than happy to proof-read for you! I’m not a perfect writer either, but I can spot a damn missing word! lol

Obviously the missing words aren’t enough to deter me from enjoying the rest of the series. I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen and to read about Alex kicking some more ass! On that note though, some of this stuff is awfully far fetched. One minute Alex can barely stand and before you know it she’s flying across the room in a round-house kick knocking someone unconscious….but she is a fey (fairy) so maybe that’s part of it.

Again, if you’re looking for a thriller with some romance and centered around military happenings I do recommend this series, just be wary of some of the downfalls I’ve mentioned. It’s not perfect, but it’s good! Plus I think the first book (The Fey) is still free on Amazon for download on Kindle!

The Fey (Alex the Fey Thriller Series)

23 Aug

IMG_0417

I just finished reading The Fey, which is the first book in a series of four by Claudia Hall Christian. This is another book I downloaded for free for my Kindle through Amazon. I’m finding all these freebies from a web site I “liked” on Facebook called ereaderlove. Like them and check them out at http://www.ereaderlove.com. They post at least 40 books a day, and I’ve seen more than 80 posted many days.

Anyway, on to my actual review. This was a pretty good book. There were some annoying typos, but nothing that I couldn’t see past. I noticed them, corrected it in my head, and moved on. You can still get the story, and there weren’t that many of them. I’d say it was a half-done editing job. There were areas where the sentence would have an extra word, such as “she Alex said” etc. Where one or the other should have been deleted but wasn’t.

The actual story is a good one. Alex “The Fey” (fey means fairy if you didn’t know), is one bad-ass girl! She’s the only female Green Beret on an elite team that goes into other countries and frees people who have been held hostage. The book starts out where her and her team are ambushed and she’s the only survivor. She has a bullet wound to her hip and several other life-threatening injuries, but somehow she manages to make it through. She goes into a deep depression, losing her whole team, her identity, and the job she loves. Somehow she manages to still kick a lot of butt when this crazy guy Elizar is after her. She finds out some crazy things along the way that make her doubt everything she has known, her husband isn’t who he said he was, he father isn’t her real father, the only person that she really knows is her twin brother Max. She also has her best friend Jesse, who was killed in the ambush, who she continues to see as a ghost who helps her out of a bind or two.

The Fey is a good mix of action, romance, paranormal, and thriller. I’m contemplating reading the other three books, which are currently priced at $4.99 on Amazon. But for now I have plenty of other freebies to pick from. Now if only I could decide what I want to read!

Kindle

26 Feb

For those of you who might be on the fence about buying a Kindle, I thought I’d do a little review.  I have had my wifi only 3rd generation Kindle since September and I absolutely love it.  It is by far the best gift I have ever received and I use it on an almost daily basis.  I find that I do read more with my kindle because I always have it with me in my purse so if I find myself unexpectedly waiting I can just pull it out and start reading.  I also think I read faster on my Kindle.  It’s nice that you don’t have to worry about repositioning the book when you switch to the other page (especially when reading in bed).  The fact that it can hold up to 3,500 books at a time is a huge plus because you have so many options there’s always bound to be something on there you’re interested in reading.  Another great feature is that there are literally hundred of free books (through Amazon), and thousands that are free through other sources (which I’ve never tried, but I’ve heard good things).  Also cool is the fact that most of the “classics” are free because the copyright has expired!

Kindle

I have the gray colored one.  At the time it was the only option for wifi only but the while may be available now, I’m not sure.

Kindle Cover

The cover I have!  Love it!

My number one favorite feature (believe it or not) is that it has a build in dictionary.  So easy to use too!  I’m far too lazy to pull out a dictionary for a word that I don’t know so I’ll just keep reading and get a feel for what the word means.  With the Kindle you can scroll to the word and it automatically pulls up a short definition for you, and if you want a longer version it’s only one click away!  I seriously find myself reading my textbooks for school, finding a word I don’t know, and looking to try to scroll to the word to find the definition.  Then I realize, "Oh yeah, this is a REAL book, no such option.”  I never would have thought that I would use the dictionary as much as I do.  It’s just so easy and convenient, especially when you’re reading older books.  They tend to use a lot of words we don’t use today, or words that had different meanings back then.

The screen is super easy to read.  When I first opened my brand new Kindle I was trying to peel the protective sticker off the front of the face, then I realized that it wasn’t a sticker, it was the real screen.  It really does look that much like paper.  A lot of people prefer the Nook because it has color.  While color could be beneficial if you’re reading a book about art, or a children’s picture book, for the most part it’s not an issue that Kindle is only grey-scale.  I used to use the Kindle app on my ipod touch, which has a backlight.  The Kindle does not have a backlight.  That can seem like a pain if you want to read at night but I just use my bed-side lamp (like if I was reading a real book) and it’s not an issue.  I do find that there is much less strain on my eyes (they never get tired reading at all) when there is no backlight on the screen.  As far as the anti-glare, it’s pretty good.  I’ve never tried to read outside in the sun, but under lights there is sometimes a slight reflection of the light, but not so much that you can’t read the screen.

I did have issues with the first Kindle that Amazon sent me.  For some reason it kept restarting on it’s own, randomly.  Amazon was great!  They overnighted me a new one even before I sent the old one back so that I was never without my Kindle.  I could still use the old one it was just a pain when it would restart in the middle of me reading a page.  The new one has done this to me maybe twice, nothing like the old one.  Another issue I’ve had, even with this new one, is that once or twice now it has lost track of the page that I was on.  That can be a pain because for the most part they use a numbering system that is not page numbers (larger numbers and harder to remember).  There is the percentage completed listed on the screen though and that can help you find your spot pretty easily.  Also, if you hold down ALT + B, it will automatically bookmark your page.  I do this when I’m ready to stop reading and so far that has always worked.  There is a new update out that is slowly going to make page numbers available on all books.  Right now they say there are around 1,000 with page numbers available.  So far it is none of the books that I have downloaded, but it’s not a huge deal.

Overall, I think that just about anyone could benefit from owning a Kindle!  I really do love mine.  I also love owning real paper books (there is something super special about holding a real paper book, the look, feel, and smell) but I ran out of bookshelf space a long time ago.  Plus, the only free real books out there are from the library and you don’t get to keep those.  So, if you’re on the fence about trying to decide to Kindle or not to Kindle, my advice is to go for it!  Especially since I’m sure Amazon would take it back (within a reasonable time frame) if you ended up hating it.

One last thing!  Here’s a link to a wonderful web site for free Kindle books (only those free through Amazon)!  Lots of search options if you’re looking for something specific.  It’s also nice because there are pricing categories to search other than free too! 

http://www.ereaderiq.com/

Happy reading!