#RemixYourWorkout Challenge: Part 2

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Last week I wrote about how loosening my definition of a workout allowed me to have more opportunities to exercise without adding unnecessary stress to my life. This is really important during the holiday season, but this is a mental shift that has changed my life significantly throughout the last six months as I have been easing away from a regimented fitness routine.

This week, I’m sharing another way you can #remixyourworkout. Often we use our body to determine our exercise patterns- rotating leg day, upper body, long distance cardio, HIIT, and yoga. It’s really important to tune into how we physically feel, but lately, I’ve also been allowing my heart to weigh in on my workout choices.

For example, today I was having a really bad case of the Mondays. I was feeling icky after a weekend of wine, cheese, and not enough sleep or time to myself. I had been wanting to try hot yoga for a while and today the idea of flowing in a warm cozy room really appealed to me. I didn’t force a peppy barre3 workout first thing in the morning or a high impact run. I let my body have a bit slower start to the week, which is what my heart truly desired.

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Hot yoga was new for me and I really enjoyed the experience. Sometimes, when I am feeling sluggish and out of sorts, the last thing I want to do is slow down and be with myself, but this yoga class showed me that this was exactly what I needed to do in order to come out on the other side of that slumpy mood.

Have you ever thought about choosing your workout based off of your emotions instead of hoping your emotions will change based off of your workout? This is just another way your can #remixylurworkout to help you become even more in tune with your body, mind, and spirit.

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#RemixYourWorkout Challenge: Part One

Jordan Younger (aka The Balanced Blonde), a blogger I follow and have written about before, is partnering with Asics in their #RemixYourWorkout campaign. The idea is to try 5 different workouts throughout the month of December with the potential of winning a pair of Asics sneakers! Of course, I wanted to participate.

I have mentioned before that I am a recovering exercise junkie and that I have a tendency to get addicted to routines. That is why I am really excited to not only participate in this workout remix, but to elaborate on it here and invite all of you to join me.

I have tried lots of different “workout challenges” before, from Tone It Up to Self Magazine to the Barre3 January Challenge… just to name a few. While I learned a lot from each of these experiences (and fell in love with Barre3), the underlying reason I did them was because I believed that the workout would help me finally achieve the body I longed for. Now, I don’t workout to aesthetically change my body. I workout to feel good, relieve stress, be strong, and maintain my health. This change in mindset has effected my whole lifestyle for the better. There was a time where I would not have wanted to enter the #RemixYourWorkout contest because I would not have been able to imagine switching up my exercise and straying from my beloved routine.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case. I am constantly varying my workout to fit various factors such as my mood, my schedule, and my physical status. Throughout the rest of the month I am going to show you what my remixed workouts look like.

Especially during this time of year, it can feel impossible to stick to a fitness plan- which is why I encourage you not to! Participate in the #RemixYourWorkout Challenge and just try to move in anyway you can throughout the next three weeks. I have finally come to understand that healthy exercise does not have to happen in a gym. This is especially important to keep in mind when you are juggling a busy schedule and logging an hour long gym session just isn’t possible. This past weekend, I was at our family home in Vermont and I was trying to fit in a lot of activities in a short amount of time. I knew I wanted to get to the farmers market on Saturday morning and I also had plans to go on the Santa Train with my niece & nephew later in the afternoon. Plus, I wanted to help my dad out with raking our big backyard. Instead of trying to squeeze in a workout and cut out time to do any of the three things listed above, I got my sweat on while raking leaves. I felt great being outside (mental benefit), I helped my dad (emotional benefit), and I was moving and using my muscles in a different way (physical benefit)!

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Bonus points if you get your little ones involved!

Join me during the holiday season and #RemixYourWorkout to fit YOUR needs! Follow along with me on Instagram the rest of this month for more ideas of how to switch things up while still getting plenty of benefits. If you participate, be sure to share on social media with #RemixYourWorkout, #TBBmademedoit, and #bloodsugarsweatandtears !!!

Talk About it Tuesday: Gut Health & T1D

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I recently wrote an article for mindbodygreen.com about listening to your gut. It’s hard to tune into your intuition, however, if you are struggling with digestive issues. Today I want to talk a little bit about the importance of gut health for Type 1 diabetics.

Digestive health is a hot topic in the wellness world today. I’ve read many articles that promote probiotics for weight loss or fermented foods for healing intestinal issues. I have been through my share of digestive problems over the last few years. I only learned recently that T1Ds are more prone to stomach problems than the average person because diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, which means that our body attacked its own cells. While taking insulin makes up for the fact that the pancreas no longer functions properly, the autoimmunity remains uncured. Celiac disease, another autoimmune condition, is often found in T1Ds, but you don’t have to have a gluten allergy to struggle with digestive issues as a diabetic.

Some scientists and physicians claim autoimmunity starts in the gut. Gut permeability is a common factor in autoimmune disorders. The body’s immune system attacks its own cells, which generates cell and tissue damage. When the lining of the digestive tract becomes permeable or leaky, this means that several things are happening all at once:

  • The protective mucus that lines the digestive tract is thin and worn down.
  • Beneficial bacteria are not thriving.
  • Inflammation is at an all-time high, triggering an alarm inflammatory response throughout the whole body.
  • The barrier system is not intact. This means that food particles and chemicals are able to leak into the bloodstream. (1)

I went through a time when my “beneficial bacteria” were not thriving. I had trouble digesting fruits, vegetables, fats… At one point, the only food I felt comfortable eating were Rice Chex cereal! I had such a variety of symptoms from stomach aches to bloating to constipation to diarrhea. I was miserable! After testing negative for different food allergies and other conditions, I discovered that my gut was out of balance. Here are a few ways I keep my gut healthy now.

  1. Manage stress.
    I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was highly stressed out during that year of digestive troubles. Now, I understand that stomach problems are one of my body’s ways of communicating to me that I am stressed out. Spending time outside, laughing with my family & friends, and getting enough quality sleep are my top stress management techniques, but you need to find what works best for you.
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  2. Incorporate probiotic-rich food into my diet.
    I was taking a high quality probiotic pill for a year and a half to help restore my gut bacteria. Now I find that I can keep up my health just by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi and drinking kombucha.
    *A note on kombucha: A little goes a long way. While the label says there are 2 servings in one bottle, I split it into 4 servings. Look for kombucha that has less than 5 grams of sugar. My favorite brand is Health AdeWell + Good has some great information about what constitutes healthy kombucha.
  3. Drink bone broth.
    While the health benefits of bone broth have not been scientifically proven, this is a wellness ritual that has been used in different cultures around the world for a long time. The gelatin in bone broth can help heal a permeable gut and/or protect a non-leaky one and the high concentration of minerals improves immunity.tf_j4ytvg70-alisa-anton

Now that you have some ideas for how to keep your gut healthy, head on over to mindbodygreen to read about how to listen to the wisdom that resides there, along with all that beneficial bacteria!

References

1)http://bodyecology.com/articles/the-truth-about-diabetes-the-relationship-between-gut-health-and-disease

Talk About it Tuesday: American Diabetes Month

Every November the American Diabetes Association sponsors a diabetes awareness campaign as part of its efforts to attract our nation’s attention to the condition and to the tens of millions of people affected by it.

What does diabetes awareness mean to you? As a diabetic, do you advocate for the disease or participate in fundraising events such as the JDRF One Walk? As a friend or family member of a diabetic, does diabetes awareness mean that you donate to the cause? Or does it simply mean that you try to understand what your loved one is going through and maybe you keep an extra granola bar in your car in case of an unexpected low? Maybe, like for my siblings when we were growing up, diabetes awareness means that when your diabetic gets low, you get to eat a treat, too 🙂

My definition of diabetes awareness has evolved over time. For a while, I strived for the opposite of awareness. I sprinted through low blood sugars alongside my teammates just so no one would have to see me stop and eat a snack. I ate whatever my friends were having and just guessed at carb counts because I didn’t want to be labeled as “that girl with the sugar problems.” Awareness about my diabetes was uncomfortable.

Fortunately, I have come to realize that while being open and honest with myself and others might be difficult at times, being in denial about my health is much more uncomfortable than choosing something else on the menu or answering well-intended inquiries about my insulin pump. I’ve even learned how beneficial it can be to share my inevitable diabetes frustrations with my friends and family.

But there is another element of diabetes awareness that is really important: wearing a medical ID. Maybe you already wear one… I know I don’t. In the first couple of years after my diagnosis, I got to wear this gem:

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This necklace didn’t weigh all that much, but in putting it around my neck, I felt the heaviness of diabetes on my being. This was a label that sparked those feelings of discomfort around bringing awareness to my condition. Fortunately, these days there are MUCH better options for medical IDs, which is really exciting because wearing a medical ID is important. You never know when an accident might happen and that information is critical for emergency responders and medical professionals.

I want to introduce you to two medical ID creators who make beautiful jewelry that also helps keep diabetics safe. Lauren’s Hope Medical ID designs a wide variety of bracelets and necklaces to match any style. Check out the website and follow Lauren’s Hope on Instagram @laurenshopeid.

Jillian (@t1dchick on Instagram) makes these adorable charm bracelets. You can message her on Instagram to place an order.

I love all of these medical IDs because they serve the purpose of bringing awareness to our diabetes without labeling us as having a problem. This fun and fashionable jewelry is also a great reminder for us that diabetes as an accessory to who we are, not the main statement.

Do you wear a medical ID? Show me your style on Instagram using #bloodsugarsweatandtears. And don’t forget to participate in American Diabetes Month using #thisisdiabetes.

Happy Halloween!

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This is one of my first Halloween costumes.

My favorite part about Halloween has always been getting creative with costume ideas. Well, and… the abundance of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! I like the sweetness of this holiday, and not so much the spookiness, but I have to admit that half the fun of Halloween is that fearful feeling. I’ve never enjoyed horror movies or haunted hayrides, but today that is exactly what I want to talk about: being scared. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the creepiest haunted house you’ve ever experienced. Is your stomach clenched? Do you have goose bumps? Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? Are your legs twitching and ready to jump at the slightest threatening sound?

I’m thinking back to a haunted house I went to in high school. As I walked into the house, the logical part of my brain understood that I was going to make it out alive, with all of my limbs attached. Why, then, did I scream at the top of my lungs throughout the entire thing? Just because we know we are going to be okay in the end, doesn’t always make the process any less scary.

Darkness plays a huge role in cultivating the fear of a haunted house on Halloween night. I couldn’t see what was around the corner or what I might tread on in my next step. The sense of the unknown overwhelmed me and my senses went into overdrive, trying to gather information to help me feel safe. Haunted houses are designed to capitalize on our heightened awareness and sensory panic. Lately I’ve been realizing that when I get that tense feeling in the pit of my stomach as fear manipulates my mind, it is because I am facing an unknown. Knowledge is the kryptonite of fear because once we know what’s around the corner we can make sense of it and keep moving. When we are in the dark, however, there are numerous possible monsters lurking ahead and fear overwhelms us.

The best part about that haunted house was when I found myself at the end, my whole body shaking with relief as I laughed with my friends and ate all of the candy. I remembered how I screamed and truly thought I might die while I was in the house and how those 20 minutes seemed endless, but then I thought to myself, “Eh that was nothing- I could do it again!” All the build up got me buzzing but once I was out of the darkness, that anticipation transformed into pure joy. Is it possible that sometimes getting scared a little bit is just what we need in order to feel an even greater sense of peace and happiness? I know lately I have been feeling kind of scared about what lies ahead (or, more accurately, how little I know about what lies ahead), but I know that as things start to unfold, I will feel that same sense of joy and relief that I felt when I made it out of the haunted house.

Living with diabetes might feel like constantly finding your way through a haunted house. There are many unknowns and attempts to guess what is going to happen next. As you gain knowledge about your body and your diabetes, you will be able to shine a light on the dark corners and in doing so, you will gain confidence and your fears will subside.

Are you navigating your way through a dark haunted house? Do you have any fun plans for Halloween? I’d love to hear in the comments below! Also, check out the recipe for these homemade peanut butter & almond butter cups I made today.

I’ve been wanting to try to make my favorite candy at home for a long time, so today I finally did it by adapting this recipe from several others I have seen online (check below for links).

Ice cube tray

1 cup dark chocolate chips

*I used unsweetened 90% cacao to minimize the sugar, but you can use any kind of chocolate you prefer.

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/4 cup PB

1/4 cup AB

optional toppings: gogi berries, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut

Simply microwave the chocolate chips with the coconut oil, then pour roughly one teaspoon into each cube (you might use more depending on the size of your ice cube tray). Place tray into the freezer and let the chocolate set for 10 minutes. Remove & spoon half a teaspoon of PB or AB on top of each chocolate layer, then pour chocolate on top and sprinkle with optional toppings.

Inspiration for this recipe:

The Chalkboard Magazine

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Next goal: Nutrition Stripped’s Twix recipe!

I’m Still Here!!

I know it’s been a little quiet here on the blog the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t disappeared, I promise! I’ve been transitioning into a new job (again) and acclimating to living back at my parents’ house. It’s been a bit unsettling, as most changes are, but I have been focusing on staying present in the moment and prioritizing my current needs and desires. So while I haven’t posted much on the blog, there has been a lot of internal processing going on that I will be sharing more of in the coming weeks.

Part of the reason I haven’t been outputting very much lately is because I have been intaking a lot of information and experiences. Besides moving and working, I have also been busy with three different courses: a five week intensive business class, an Ayurvedic course, and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s holistic health coaching program. I am learning a lot in each of these courses and uncovering more about where I want my life and work to go.  I also had the opportunity to attend the W.E.L.L. Summit in NYC last weekend, which was an incredible wellness event where I met many inspiring individuals and further explored a variety of topics that I am passionate about. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen some pictures from the weekend, but I will be posting a full recap on it here soon!

I have some ideas for how I would like to improve my blog and I am working towards launching my first program in January of 2017. Stay tuned for that and please leave me a comment, write me an email, or direct message me on Instagram if you have any thoughts, ideas or opinions on what you would like to see on the blog!

Talk About it Tuesday

Energy Levels & T1D

Do you ever feel like you have less energy than your non-diabetic friends and family members? I know I do. I have brought this up with my endocrinologist before and, of course, his first instinct is to check my thyroid levels, but the blood work always comes back normal. I am always left wondering, well if there technically isn’t a “problem” then why do I always feel so tired? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!

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I’m not a scientist or a doctor, but I’ve done a little bit of research and basically the conclusion I’ve come to is that having a chronic illness like Type 1 Diabetes wears the body out over time. Yes, we are all aware of the potential for diabetes related complications – our doctors will talk to us AT LENGTH about that- but have you ever considered the daily drain of functioning without a pancreas?  Extreme blood sugars cause acute fatigue- you know, feeling totally wiped out when you are either high or low, and the fluctuation that occurs- regardless of how great your control is- taxes the body, too. When we get sick or injured, it takes our bodies a longer time to heal. It’s almost like playing a man down in a hockey game all the time.

Now this can get discouraging if we think about it too much (I will be diving into the topic of depression & diabetes in a future post). So what’s a T1D to do? Well, I believe the best approach is to listen to our bodies and honor its needs by prioritizing sleep above all else. Of course there will be occasions when you will want to be up late with the rest of the party, but just recognize that your body will need extra TLC in the days following. I also think it’s really important that we stop comparing our bodies to others, especially to non-diabetics. Every single person on the planet is unique, but diabetics are even MORE uniquely-unique! Don’t waste precious energy trying to make your body be something it’s not or wondering why you aren’t “like everybody else.”

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My last tip on keeping our energy up as T1Ds comes straight from my mom (she has a lot of good advice). Sometimes when I complain to her about how tired I am and how I feel like I could sleep and sleep and sleep and STILL be exhausted, she asks me, “What would happen if you didn’t think about being tired? Try telling yourself you aren’t tired and see what happens.” This usually infuriates me in the moment (how can I tell myself I’m not tired when my eyes won’t stay open?!!) but I’ve actually found this works. If you accept that you are tired, but choose to not let that be your focus, you might be surprised to find yourself getting caught up in your activities and not feeling quite so tired after all.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on energy & T1D in the comments below. What are your strategies for taking care of your body for optimal energy levels?

 

 

Weekly Round Up

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Rounding up another week here! October is one of my favorite months of the year. The foliage up here in Vermont is really doing it’s thing right now… (if you haven’t noticed on my Insta feed). Here are a few highlights from my week:

1) Meeting Gabby Bernstein last weekend at a Tea Time Chat in Boston hosted by the W.E.L.L. Summit. I got to take an awesome yoga class to kick off the afternoon and then settled in with a hot cup of tea to hear Gabby talk about her new book “The Universe Has Your Back.” I’m halfway through the book right now (reading it has been a highlight of my week in itself) and I can already tell I will need to devote an entire post to talk about all the wisdom Gabby shares in there!
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2) Participating in Jamie Mendell’s live webinar on Wednesday night, which was all about self-care. It was an awesome, very interactive discussion that gave me new ideas for how to give myself the ultimate care that I deserve.

3.) Big mugs of tea & hot bowls of soup! I never used to be a big fan of ginger, but lately I’ve been enjoying ginger & tumeric tea. This sweet potato curry soup (made with a few tweaks) was so delicious and warming- especially because it was made and eaten with friends 🙂 These cooler temps definitely have me excited to enjoy all the cozy food and drink of the fall season!
4.) The best part of my week is yet to come: traveling down to Connecticut to see my parents for the first time in TOO LONG as well as one of my very good friends. I am so excited it was hard to sleep last night!

Here are a few other reads I found throughout the week that you might enjoy. Have a great weekend!

I realized I often “fall into the trap of seeking normalcy” and am beginning to recognize that odd days will happen, no matter what. This article was written for the general audience, but I think T1Ds can really benefit from the overall message.

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If you’re traveling at all this weekend- listen to this!

This list will keep you warm for a while.

Talk About it Tuesdays:

Getting Involved in the Diabetes Community

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After attending my very first JDRF event over the weekend, I decided to write about the diabetes community for this week’s Talk About it Tuesday. Most likely, if you are reading this blog, then you have some knowledge of the diabetes community. I have had diabetes for 21 years now, but I am only just beginning to tap into the amazing network of T1Ds and T1D supporters.
It was raining pretty hard in Boston on Saturday, October 1st, but that did not keep people from attending the JDRF One Walk. The area surrounding the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade was full of ponchos, rain boots, and sunny energy. I met a variety of people, from Type 1 teenagers to their mothers to aunts of young T1D nephews to groups of college-aged kids supporting their T1D friend. I even bumped into one of my brother’s friends from high school who I hadn’t seen in years. I never would have guessed that a diabetes fundraiser would be the place we would reunite.
I am not normally one to approach people I don’t know, but something about the fact that we were all there for the same underlying reason brought me a strong sense of commonality and comfort around people who otherwise would have seemed like “strangers.” I introduced myself to different people (although it was somewhat difficult to converse through the rain) and was amazed to discover how receptive everyone was to hearing each other’s stories.
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I know I spend a lot of time thinking about how diabetes inconveniences my life and takes freedom, confidence, spontaneity, and energy away from me, but the JDRF One Walk helped me to see T1D in a new light: That Saturday morning I felt free, confident, spontaneous, and energetic as I connected with other people over the common ground of Type One Diabetes. After this event, I am looking forward to getting more involved in the diabetes community and I am feeling even more inspired to connect with readers through this blog.
If you are looking for great online T1D resources, check out some of the blogs below.
Beyond Type 1
A Sweet Life
Diabetes Daily Grind
Peace, Love, Insulin
Type 1 Jenn
More Than a Number
Type 1 Diabeter
Glitter Glucose
That Type 1 Life
Tales From a Type 1
Type 1 Type Happy

Weekly Round Up

I can’t believe today is the last day of September! This month FLEW BY. I have been looking forward to October 1st for a while, however, because I am headed to Boston for the JDRF One Walk! This is the first diabetes event I have ever attended and I am very excited about it. I will write a full recap on that next week! Have you ever participated in One Walk or any other diabetes awareness/fundraising events? I would love to hear about your experiences!

This week was full of hiking, breakfast for dinner, fall activities like visiting the local pumpkin fest & cider mill, and watching episodes of Friends (never gets old).

Here’s my collection of good reads from around the web:

Big news in the T1D world!!

How to find balance with social media

Definitely want to try this recipe ASAP!

For anyone who struggles with body image.

A fun read for any other word nerds out there 🙂

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Photo: Nutrition Stripped