Failing My Way to Success

This year I am focused on how good I can fail. I want to fail so much that I learn to be the best at what I am trying to be and fail abundantly into the person and role model I aim to become. 

I have above-average blood sugar control and management of my diabetes, but that sure as hell hasn’t always been the case. I know what to do, how to course-correct out of range blood sugars because I’ve invested and learned from my failed attempts over 28 years of type 1 diabetes.

In fact, you are currently reading from the girl who wrote fake numbers on her blood sugar data sheets that were faxed to her doc weekly. Sorry, Dr Schuster.

So let’s dive in on how to fail more and fail better.

The more worthy fails you can perform, the better. But first, what is your goal? And this goal needs to be hard and challenging enough, you have room to fail.

So what is my advice?

You don’t want to fail on purpose in order to escape discomfort. This is called escape fails and examples would be:

  • Over-eating/drinking off-plan,
  • Not following through on commitments,
  • Not taking action, and more.

You want to fail, attempting worthy failures. 

Worthy failures are considered fails not because of the action you don’t take, but rather because you’re not progressing from the action you do take.

If your goal is to learn to ride a bike, the time you spend practicing and falling would be a worthy failure. Not trying at all would be escape failure. Make sense?

So what is the point in learning to fail better?

When you open yourself up to doing the unthinkable and failing regularly, your life becomes bigger!

Fail. Fail Again. Fail Even Better.

Good-bye 2019, crushing it in 2020.

Quick & Wholesome Dinner Ideas

  1. Meatballs & Veggies using kale or shaved Brussel sprouts as a base. I often opt for legume noodles for my kids. How do I make this quick + easy? I throw a bag of Beetnik grass-fed meatballs in a slow cooker w/ a jar of sugar-free marinara sauce. I allow this to cook for 6-8 hours.
  2. Chicken Tacos. While the slow-cooker is out, make some tacos the following night. Add frozen (or fresh) chicken breast or tenderloins to a slow-cooker on high, allow to cook for 6-8 hours with a jar of salsa. My go-to? Salsa verde. We love our chicken tacos w/ a purple cabbage leaf for the “taco shell,” black beans and some sour cream or guac.
  3. Salmon Burgers + Roasted Veg. If my hubs is home, I’ll have him fire up the grill to make the wild salmon Kirkland burgers (look for any salmon burgers that are made with wild, not farmed, salmon), but if he isn’t, to save time, I bake 4-6 burgers in my toaster oven. Leftovers are a blessing. I also make multiple trays of veg on the weekend, like the pic above, which happens to be 100% from my garden. I use ample amounts of avocado oil, cook at 350F for 30 minutes and douse the vegetables in the Unami spice from Trader Joe’s.

My Daily Health Hacks

What Hacks Do You Use?
A study examining the various things Americans do to feel healthy found the average person attempts six “hacks” a week to boost their health and save time.

  • As a type 1, I supplement strategically with methylated B vitamins, CBD, probiotics, turmeric, fish oil, to name a few.
  • I drink ACV water before bed to improve my fasting blood sugar/gut health
  • I keep monthly notes on my phone for my cycle so I can best prepare for insulin changes and cravings.
  • Morning routine – I wake up before my kids.
  • I use a standup working desk
  • I bounce on a trampoline 3-5 minutes, most days – good for lymph, detox, immunity, and stress.
  • I eat 4-6 cups of vegetables a day.
  • I practice gratitude nightly before I fall asleep.
  • I eat mindfully, paying close attention to what (real food) my body wants and when it starts to feel satisfied.
  • I minimize snacking.
  • I pack my meals for road trips.
  • We use blackout curtains, low temperatures, and an eye mask for high-quality sleep.
  • I have and keep an organized kitchen.
  • I drink decaf coffee and matcha to keep my caffeine in check
  • I pamper myself monthly – from nails, girl night’s out, massage.
  • I read ~3 books a month.
  • I sleep with my phone in airplane mode (but I keep my Bluetooth on to stay connected to my Dexcom)
  • I immediately chop after I grocery shop – to have large salads and roasted veggies ready to go for future meals.
  • I do some form of a detox 4x a year
  • I keep the healthiest food options at eye level in the pantry and fridge.
  • I eat chocolate.
  • I schedule my workouts like a meeting; always showing up.
  • I time block projects to be more efficient with my time, aka stress level.
  • I shop on Thrive Market to save time (esp researching products) and money.
  • I have a water intake goal every day to improve my insulin efficiency, blood sugar control, and appetite.
  • I intermittent fast nearly every day. The summer my fasts are shorter.
  • We go camping multiple times a year. I certainly prefer glamping, but the grounding and gratitude that comes from nature are undeniable.
  • I periodically (depending on the season I am in) track my food to make sure I have tabs on my portions. I have the appetite of a teenage boy.
  • I get outside every day, no matter what.
  • If you are not cheating, you are not trying. I am kinda kidding, kinda not. But I will buy pre-riced cauliflower, salad kits, a premade meal when time is a priority over cost.
  • I throw money at the problem. I have this awesome workout app – and I may use it 1x a week. I purchase a year membership to the local yoga studio, I workout 500% more. I am a fan of throwing money at the problem of whatever hurdle I am trying to overcome.
  • I (try to) eat without distractions to ensure I am eating the amounts my appetite calls for.
  • I use a low carb diet to control my appetite and diabetes.
  • I walk/bike EVERY time I need to go somewhere and it’s within walking or biking distance.
  • I batch and prep meals ahead of time for the week. I also pack my kids lunches the night before to make the mornings go more smoothly.
  • I moderate my alcohol by only enjoying it on the weekends. I love being productive and wine during the week slows me down. Well, all wine with the exception of Dry Farm Wine.
  • drink mixed greens every afternoon to increase my nutrient intake.

Holiday-Proof Your Health

Choose well this holiday season, by choosing you.

Health is precious, which also includes feeling good, day in and day out, so protect it.

  1. Drink water – divide your weight by 2, and drink this calculated number in ounces.
  2. Don’t sacrifice sleep. Aim for 8+ hours a night. We need more sleep in the winter. Can you tell?
  3. Journal daily. Jot down your feelings and a list of gratitude. 
  4. Track habits, not your calories.
  5. Remember food is fuel by honoring physical hunger. Emotional hunger feels real but is for a very specific thing/craving and comes on strong. Real hunger is a quieter sensation and much more manageable. Do you let yourself feel real hunger?

If you want to dig deeper, let’s touch on the hard stuff…

Mindset
  • Goals around this time of year are to either lose weight or maintain weight. You must step back and realistically evaluate what makes sense for you. Once you make that decision, commit to a plan (and below will help you with that).
  • Empowerment and affirmations – can you count on yourself? Even if you feel like you cannot, fake it until you make. Choose an affirmation to repeat to yourself daily, to turn this thinking around. “Of anyone in the world, I can count on myself.”
  • Your best tool to ground yourself, to improve your health, mindset, even sleep, is a blank notebook/journal. If you struggle with this, invest in the “5 Minute Journal.” There is even a version of this for kids. You can make this a family affair.
  • Collect any data you need to get to know yourself better and collect facts that will help keep you motivated – I highly recommend taking the Gretchen Rubin quiz to uncover your tendencies in adopting new habits, do a finger prick food sensitivity test (I offer a test from KBMO Diagnostics), journal your food to see if you have episodes of mindless eating, weigh/measure your body, use tape measurements weekly (if you have a hard time separating the number on the scale to your worth). You are worthy. 
  • Understand your mind and your demons. How do you talk to yourself? Do you have any internal beliefs that you are not enough, unfit, incapable, etc. Understand where these thoughts have come from (perhaps childhood). Next, separate these voices and beliefs from yourself, yet embrace them at the same time. These voices are part of us and will be around forever. View these voices as a much younger, child-like version of yourself, that needs parented and advised to view the situation in a more mature way. These voices/beliefs can be viewed as benign, but just like holding a piece of paper, it’s not heavy. Yet, if we hold a piece of paper for days and years, it weighs a lot.  Don’t sweep these voices under the rug, and learn to not dull the feelings from them with food. 
  • Find a way to self-soothe that isn’t food. Around the holidays we are exposed to a lot of good and stressful emotions. When we learn to feel our feelings and create an outlet for them, we practice self-care.
  • Learn and then use the Thought Model (below) – to gain confidence in reaching any goal you have, health-related or not.
Thought Model – 5 Steps – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
  1. The Circumstance – facts of what happened (not boss yelled at me. Boss told me I was doing a bad job). This is neutral facts.
  2. Thoughts. Step back and think about what you’re thinking. Do a thought download or on paper or phone/computer. Understand the buzz in your head. Let it out. Do this for 5 minutes straight; you will surprise yourself what all you try to cover up. Do it on whatever topic you want. About your job, about your weight, about your child, whatever is consuming you.
  3. Emotions – a situation creates thoughts, thoughts fuel emotions.
  4. Actions – emotions lead to actions. Our thoughts create our results. 
  5. Results – if we thought differently about something, we’d feel differently, we’d make ideal actions and get the results we want. Let me paint your. Few examples below.

Examples:

  • Circumstance (facts) – I have a body, a business and I am alive
  • Thought – I’m plugging through, good enough
  • Feeling  – Unmotivated, resignation
  • Action – I’ll continue doing the same thing
  • Result – No growth in my life or health, and business is stagnant

 

  • Circumstance –  I have a body, a business and I am alive
  • IMPROVED Thought – Just a little more (compassion, effort, awareness, pushing myself past my comfort zone).
  • Feeling  – Empowered, purpose, motivated
  • Action – Step up workouts, craft a plan, look at ways to improve/grow business, more attention to nutrition
  • Result – Moving everything to the next level, I am stronger physically and mentally, I am more confident

There is never a time when you are not responsible for how you feel. It is not what happens to you, it is what you believe about what happens to you that causes your feelings.

  • Circumstance (fact) – The picture of my body in the mirror
  • Thought – I am disgusted 
  • Feeling – Depressed, disgust, disconnection, shame
  • Action – Squeeze into clothes that are too tight because I refuse to buy a bigger size, mentally beat myself up, go and eat a bunch of processed foods.
  • Result – Continue to gain weight, feel uncomfortable in my clothes, emotional pain/suffering

 

  • Circumstance –The picture of my body in the mirror
    IMPROVED Thought – This is my body
  • Feeling – Awareness, neutral feeling, curious
  • Action – Find clothes that fit and flatter my current body, keep working towards my goals
  • Result – Clothes I feel good in, less emotional pain, wanting from a place that feels good

The best way I often find to change my thoughts is asking myself good questions. Ex: What if losing weight was easy? What would I do? What if being diabetic was easier or more fun? How would it be? Our brain will seek solutions and we will gain empowerment.

Recipe: Real Food Fried Apples 

 

These are delicious and do not require any additional sugar as the natural sweetness from the apples is enough. This is a great alternative to more decadent desserts, such as apple pie, but far more forgiving on health. Lower in sugar, lower impact in spiking blood glucose levels, more favorable on gut health, energy levels and wellness goals.

Peel, slice and core the apples, while a medium skillet is being heated to medium heat.

Add all the ingredients to the pan, while stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes, all depending on your texture preference. Serves 2; ~15g of carbohydrates and 175 calories.

Options: you can chop the apples in bite-size pieces and you can also add Pascha 100% cocoa chocolate chips at the end or even cocoa nibs.

Routines

Many, if not all of us, are all struggling to grasp time, the currency of life, and somehow there is less of it to go around each year. From social commitments, work projects, children activities, we are tired, wired and not as efficient as we can or want to be.

As a rebel (per Gretchen Rubins Four Tendency quiz), I find it hard to believe that I am recommending and committing to a routine, but I am starving for time.  When I look at the goal to be more inflow with time and find more purpose with my actions, I question, why has it taken me so long to commit?

Picture @taylersilverduk

While no routine is perfect, they can help us accomplish what we want in life without feeling compressed, stressed, overburdened or hurried. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? In the least, there is little to lose when adopting and committing to a routine.

Where do you begin? Start small and start somewhere in your day where it’s easy to make a small change, so it’s not paralyzing to initiate.

What I do, may not work for everyone nor the majority, but perhaps my personal routines can provide you with inspiration and insight on how to build your own. Here is what I try to practice daily to maximize my time.

Evening

  • Weekly Brain Dump: Before the week begins I dump the numerous things I want to get done for the week including errands, appointments, writing, counseling sessions, social commitments and workouts into my physical planner. My planner is THE anchor for my routine.
  • Daily Brain Dump: Come the work week, I will do a word dump at the end of each day of things I specifically need to accomplish the following morning. For my afternoons, I plan to do errands, have a client session or workout (if I didn’t do one at 9 am) as I do my best critical thinking earlier in the day. With all of this, I set myself up to succeed, and my mind and body can recognize the routine.
  • Elimination of Screen Time Before Bed: In the evening, I am continuously working on turning my phone off 2 hours before bed. The blue light suppresses melatonin and my sleep is already and always has been very fragile.
  • Eat with the Sun: I eat with the sun and strive to avoid eating entirely when the sun is down. This doesn’t always happen on the weekends, but pretty easy to adapt during the week.
  • Honor you Internal Clock: In bed by 10 pm, hopefully, earlier, to support my body’s detox clock and to get the rest I need.
  • Getting Ready for Bed: Adults and children need bedtime routines. I shower in the evening, read a little before bed, catch up with my husband and take a magnesium/sleep supplement as I turn off the lights.

Morning

  • Adopt a consistent wake-up time: Oprah wakes up every day at 6:02 am (without an alarm!). The first thing she does is tell herself, “I am alive! Thank you, God.” She then gets out of bed and does stretches/yoga.
  • “The 3 – 3’s.” Before getting out of bed, take 9 minutes to 1) breath for 3 minutes without judging any thoughts, 2) next 3 minutes go through things you are grateful for, and lastly 3) visualize the day.
  • Delay opening your email until 1-3 hours after waking up. Man, this one is hard!
  • Hydrate. Give your body an inner bath first thing. When we sleep, our bodies repair and recycle old tissues/cells. Water is exactly what is needed to wash these out of our system, preventing the materials from being reabsorbed. 
  • Set your Daily Intentions: I have an affirmation app on my phone I like to use to set the tone for the day. If I do not use the app, I ask myself what intention I want to focus on. I recently got back from London, and for a few days I used the intention to “be grounded,” as I was adjusting back to the time zone, and this intention helped to remind myself to be patient with my inefficiency/fatigue with certain tasks. 
  • Prioritize Growth: Take 5-10 minutes, or more, to educate yourself. Accomplish this by reading or listening to a podcast. When Warren Buffett was asked about his key to success, he advised, “Read 500 pages every day. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” If you think you don’t have time, research shows it’s financially worth it. 
  • Exercise (maybe even overlap the idea of listening to a podcast): Working out and moving is a huge part of building massive success. We need to move our body to move our brain and ideas around. In fact, I come up with my best plans while I workout.
  • Email Blocks: Create a late morning and late afternoon period of 3-60 minutes to address email. This helps me stay in flow of my work, without being tempted to respond to quick emails. As Pedrom Shojai put it, “The key is to get better at what you do by curating your day to serve you and free up your time.”

Daytime

  • Eat Mindfully: On average people eat 2-6 times a day, and with each eating occasion, it’s an opportunity to bring mindfulness to our day with 1 easy enhancement. Before you take your first bite, take 10 seconds to think about all the places, and hands that the food in front of you reached to get the food in front of you. Doing just this, will improve your first bite and help you tap into satiety.
  • Breathe: Make sure you take deep breaths. I do this every time I test my blood sugar (as I have had type 1 diabetes since 1991).
  • Use Spare Time to Meal-Prep: Every few days, I will use pockets of time to make large salads, chop vegetables, fruit for the kids, roast vegetables, make lentils, put together a pressure cooker or slow cooker meal. I always pack lunches as I clean up for dinner.

What routines work well for some of you? Comment below as I’d love to hear.

Picture @taylersilverduk

Books on Empowerment

Books are my new favorite form of self-care and no doubt, I love the self-help section. This list was inspired by Danielle over at Diabetes Dominator and hopefully it can inspire you.

In 30 years, I Have Learned These 30 Things

1. Friends and family are the best gifts in life.

2. Life is too good, to eat bad. When I choose foul foods for my body, my quality of life is deterred. Not worth it.

3. Working hard doesn’t mean I’m working smart. Keeping the end in mind is vital.

4. To take 3 deep breaths at least one time a day, if not more.

5. To turn off my computer and avoid my phone when watching a funny show. It’s harder to laugh when multi-tasking; or for me, understanding the joke!

6. To treat myself monthly, from anything including a walk in the park. a trip, or a massage. This helps prevent burning my fuse at both ends.

7. To be skeptical of any advice I get; even if it’s from a profound doctor. My Grams just turned 87 and she is still hesitant to fully endorse any opinions she is given.

8. To not be hesitant to say “I love you” to those I care about.

9. I will never know enough, but will always have the drive to learn.

10. To always go with my gut feeling. I sure nourish it! #Probiotics #Diet

11. To be my own health advocate, get second opinions and also research for myself what is best for me.

12. Gratitude is the key to happiness.

13. Walks are the best dose of medicine.

14. I don’t ever want to win the lottery. If I do, well my friends, we have a vacation to go on.

15. Let food by thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. The end.

16. Mind over body is powerful.

17. We should take hot baths weekly in the winter months. Epsom salts are an extra perk!

18. Relationships come and go, but the memories mold us to who we are.

19. I am able to achieve anything and everything I put my mind to. This serves as a reminder to dream big.

20. It’s worth the expense to spend extra on good wine.

21. If I had genie in a bottle, I’d wish that we all were gluten free (eating foods that are naturally gluten free, not foods that have a label gluten free on it).

22. I love love love to travel. October Fest is now on my 5 year bucket list.

23. I consider New Zealand to be what heaven looks like.

24. It’s okay to cry.

25. Having a baby/family is the best feeling in the WORLD.

26. You can’t put a dollar on time.

27. We all have stress, and we should not stress about things we cannot change.

28. Once I found my calling, I became my best person.

29. If money were no object I’d continue what I do, become a natropath and be a bike taxi in my spare time.

30. That I am blessed.

Let’s Talk New Year’s Resolutions

Do you have one? I have a few in mind, and while my yearly goals do not always last the 12 months, they are still good to have.

Come 2013 I will be embarking on an auto-immune diet protocol during my January Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledge. I am doing this because it will be a good challenge that will bottom-line improve my health. Most recently my thyroid has been showing some variation (signs of hashimoto’s) and ensuring my gut integrity is optimal for my well-being and defense in thyroid problems.

If I suggested this resolution to be last year or the year before, I would have set myself up for failure. It will (hopefully) work for me for this year coming, because I have a clear understanding of what I need to do, and my food intake is already rather restrictive, and more than half way in meeting the auto-immune protocol guidelines.

Overall though, the Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledge is not about restriction. It is a Pledge you come up with that aims to improve your health. You make a commitment/goal to yourself and to me your dietitian. And through the 4 week Pledge I help you stay on-top of your health game and propose some guidelines of being your healthiest you. So if you are interested, just let me know. It’s nothing to be scared of, it’s an opportunity to learn a whole new way of looking at food. Best part, you don’t have to spend time commuting to appointments, etc. The Pledge is an online private forum, where you have a dietitian, me, at your fingertips for questions and/or to voice your successes and struggles. Who wants to join?!

If you want something more hands out, I can also offer a Clean Eating Bootcamp developed by myself and an excellent Personal Trainer, Becky Schlageter, here in Chicago. Our Bootcamp is composed of 6 sessions, giving the client personal attention to their diet and fitness program. This Bootcamp will start the second Monday of every month. Who wants to join?

As a health professional, I make it my duty to create programs that are appealing, yet attainable for consumers. If neither of the above attract you, let me know what does. Nonetheless, aim to be your best person this year. Because you deserve good health, and the quality of life that goes with it.

Cheers to you and good health,.

Happy Holidays,

Kel

FAQ – Breastfeeding & (Paleo) Diet Change

If you are a new mother, breastfeeding and wanting to shed some weight, you may enjoy this common FAQ. If you have any experiences to add, please comment; we would love to hear from you.

My sweet nephew Beau

Client FAQ:

“I’m looking to jump start losing the rest of my baby weight and was thinking of going paleo, as I have before with significant other. However, I do have some concerns about changing my diet THAT much since I am breastfeeding. My question is: do you have any info on the affects of paleo while breastfeeding? Is there a way to ease into it so that it won’t affect my milk supply? Any info you can find would be so helpful.”

Answer:

While my response is not black and white everyone, hence I do not know exactly what foods are currently being consumed, I believe it is advisable and surely should not negatively impact milk supply switching to a whole food diet, such as a paleo diet. Yet, it is crucial to keep calories adequate. With breastfeeding calorie needs can increase by 200-500 calories. Keeping hydration up is almost, if not more important too. Drink that H2O.

While I am not yet a mother, there are testimonials of moms who have breastfeed their children on both a paleo diet and a Standard American Diets and have found these observations:

  • Paleo breastfeed babies (meaning mother ate a paleo diet) had better sleep, fewer spit ups, less gas and few to no rashes on the bum or face.

Of course this is not scientific data, and all babies are different, but do a Google search and see what you find. I think there is some truth in the consistency of the above noted trends.

Overall, making the change to paleo or to a cleaner diet, you need support. Whether it’s your significant other helping you, family or frineds, I too am happy to coach you along. Please don’t hesistate to ask.

Hands down, you are a wonder woman. Having a baby is not a piece of cake and these breastfeeding months are not a bed of roses either. Changing a diet, and setting standards for yourself can be stressful. Go at a pace of making change that works for you and if you slip-up, no stress. There is tomorrow and the next, wide open for you to be successful with this goal.

Overall some suggestions of transitioning to a paleo diet is to be sure to get good fats (coconut oil, avocado, grass fed butter, etc) in along with some solid protein sources, such as wild fish, grass fed meat, free range, organic eggs. Fill up on vegetables and some fruit. The amount of fat recommended is likely more than you have been eating. Do not be afraid of fat  it is good for you, good for weight loss and good for your baby.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

 

Monday Movers – Journaling

If you frequent my site, you may be aware of some of the food logs I have posted, predominately in the beginning of 2012. Since sharing my meals on my blog, I often track my food intake and health goals with traditional pencil and paper. What have I realized with both methods? Keeping track of what I eat is a SUPER easy way to stay motivated and it facilitates making the right health decisions.

The best thing about a diary is it does not have to be all about what you eat. Just logging some personal thoughts can go a long way. As mentioned above, I make weekly goals and write them down – if I do not write them down, I find I do not stick to them. Certainly I have learned to phrase my goals in a positive light as self-talk is nearly as important as laying out a personal goal. For example instead of saying, “do not eat nuts this week,” I phrase the goal to say, “seek out meals and snacks that include good protein, vegetables, fruit and good fats.” Other things I jot down include intentions to do some fitness classes during the week or no caffeine for better sleep on school nights.

The benefits of keeping a journal are extensive and can include the following:

–        May help with self-intuition and stress management.

–        You may realize that some of your staple snacks/meals may not be making you feel your best. I just realized this with nuts. I love macadamia nuts but lately I have been making my way around them and found I feel better and have more stable blood sugars.

–        It can help build self-esteem. Once you make goals or write down anything you have overcome, it is as if you are patting yourself on your own back. Start with small goals and slowly make bigger ones, week by week.

–        May help keep optimal health in check. Whether you are looking after your weight or nutrient consumption, logging information is making you attentive and cautious of what you want.

–        If you decide to jot down some notes in a journal or on some scrap paper, make sure you do not stress over keeping a perfect record. This diary is to help you, not to fuel more strain.

What weekly goals do you intend to make for yourself? Do you have any good experiences with journaling?

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel