Running, weights and some chicken

So I’m still running. I’m keeping up with my program. I haven’t quit. And I won’t! I ran 6 minutes straight today…in the pouring rain. I can’t believe it! I really wanted to quit and go home, but I didn’t! This is coming from a girl who has never been athletic or coordinated or had anything to do with sports. But I feel like I’m finding my way and it feels great! I completed week 4 day 3 of Couch to 5k today! I’ve already looked at the Bridge to 10k app to start when I complete my 5k training. It really excites me to see how far I’ve come because sometimes I forget.

I’ve learned how to set goals for myself. And what I need to do to achieve those goals! Here are some of my goals for this year:

  • Run a 5k
  • Run a 10k
  • Start training for a half marathon
  • Run on the beach in Florida on vacation at sunrise next month
  • Do 20 push ups on my toes
  • Be able to complete the advanced moved on my Les Mill’s Combat dvd’s

I increased my weights from 5 lbs to 10 lbs a few weeks ago and I am already seeing a difference! It’s amazing what a little change can do for your workouts. Ladies, don’t be afraid to lift! It will help lean you out and will really increase your strength. I’m ignoring the scale right now knowing that I’m building muscle. Muscle is much more dense than fat, so the scale can be very deceiving during this process. I am taking pictures and measurements to keep track of my progress.

I wanted to let ya’ll know about a couple of different FREE accountability groups I have going on.

  • C25K Runers – this group is for those who are working through the Couch to 5k program – we keep each other going to make sure we get our runs in!
  • Faith & Fitness – this group is a 14 day challenge group. We’ll be going through She Reads Truth’s Women in The Bible study. The fitness part will be 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week, any exercise of your choice. We’ll also talk about meal ideas, snacks and foods we should try to avoid.

Leave me your e-mail address in a comment, e-mail me at chelseakaster@gmail.com or message me on Facebook if you would like more info!

And now I leave you with one of my all-time favorite crock pot recipes. This recipe is for a bone-in turkey breast, but I use it with a whole chicken too.

Old Fashioned Turkey Breast in the crockpot

Ingredients:

14.5 oz can chicken broth
2 cups of water
2 stalks of celery
1 small-medium onion
1/2 stick of butter
1 tsp of your favorite salt free seasoning blend such as Mrs Dash or Italian
seasoning
5-6 lb bone in turkey breast (or 4-5 lb whole chicken)

Heat water and chicken broth together until hot. Rough chop the celery and onion and place in the bottom of the crockpot. Cut up butter into small cubes, add to crock pot and sprinkle in seasoning. Rinse poultry, pat dry, and place breast side down in the crockpot. Pour your water and broth mixture over the poultry. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours for turkey breast (5-5.5 hours for a whole chicken). Enjoy! The meat comes out super tender and falls right off the bone!

Happy Hump Day!

Chelsea

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My personal struggle

So many people currently or have previously struggled with what I do, but not many like to talk about it. Depression. Anxiety. Baby blues. Post-postpartum depression. They are all interlinked in the world of mental illness. Mental illness – I don’t like that phrase. It makes me feel like the world thinks I’m a crazy person if I am linked to these words…conditions and struggles that you cannot control, for the most part, but yet talked about so very little.

Please note that I am not claiming to be any kind of expert in this field. This is my story about my struggle and what has helped me.

I guess the first time things really hit me was right after I had my son, March 2009. I had baby blues almost immediately. I remember having conversations on the phone with my mom that contained phrases like “I’m too young for this” (I was 22.) or “we should have waited longer” (we got pregnant on our honemoon). But what really tipped me off to the fact that there was something off with me was how often I was snapping at my husband. Any little thing would just set me off. Will was 5 months old at the time. I called and made an appointment to see my OB. I actually got to see the nurse practitioner, who took the time to really listen to me. At the time, we were looking at the possibility of having to find Will a new sitter and that was making me spaz out like crazy. I didn’t want to take him somewhere new. (We did eventually have to find a new sitter but that didn’t happen for another 4 months.) The nurse practitioner could see how I couldn’t stop fidgeting while we were talking. So she prescribed me a 10mg dose of Prozac. I took it for a few months, finally started to feel like I was bonding with my son at 9 months old, and weaned myself off of my meds a few months later. (Please consult your physician before taking yourself off of any medication.)

I felt like the fog that I had been living in for the past 9 months had finally been lifted. I loved my son dearly, but at his birth there wasn’t that high that I had read about and anticipated and I felt let down that I didn’t feel that. I took care of him. I was certainly a mother to him. But bond? That came so much later. I just thank God every day that my amazing husband was there because they were instantly bonded the moment he was born.

Over the next couple of years, I became more aware of my anxiety issues. I have looked back to my childhood and have realized that I was probably dealing with minor anxiety issues then, I just didn’t know it. I took the time to try to learn my triggers – things that overwhelm me is one of them. If I get what I feel is sensory overload or have 50 thing being thrown at me at the same time, I just can’t handle it. I’ll either shut down, crying in the floor or get really angry and start yelling. I’ve learned how to walk away, take a deep breath and conquer one thing at a time.

When we found out we were pregnant with our daughter in May 2011, I immediately began to wonder if I would deal with these baby blues and postpartum anxiety/depression issues all over again. It worried me, but I tried not to hard to think about it. After she was born, things were so very different. We had a successful breastfeeding relationship going, I knew what signs to watch for before things got too bad, and I think I had grown so much as a person, that some of the things that used to make me anxious, just didn’t anymore. I felt at peace after her birth. I honestly believe that breastfeeding had so much to do with helping me bond with her right away. I still had my emotional days for sure, but I wasn’t in a fog, just drifting from day to day and not really living and experiencing. There have been SO many times since she’s been born that I’ve looked at my husband and said “Did Will ever do that?” or “Was Will doing this at this age?” There is a lot I absolutely do not remember.

Now? Now I still deal with my anxiety. It’s something that I’m always aware of. I know how much I can handle and, for me, knowing my limits has been a huge help. I’m not currently on any medication, but if I ever feel that it’s out of my control, I will talk to my physician to see what would be best for me. One remedy I have used is Frankincense essential oil by DoTerra. It grounds me and centers me. I put one drop on one wrist, rub my wrists together and then rub both of them down my neck along my artery line. I will sometimes stop and smell/inhale the aroma of the oil off my wrist. It has a quick calming effect.

Eating better and regular exercise also helps clear my mind and keep me focused. When I eat too much fast food or processed food, I get very scatterbrained and can’t focus on what I need to get done. I try to eat real food that doesn’t come out of a box most of the time. Exercise helps me clear my head, especially when I go for a run. It boosts my energy and helps me feel better knowing that I am taking care of my temple.

And I pray. A lot. I am a very flawed person and I struggle and make mistakes every single day. But I know that God still loves me and will listen to me and help me throughout my day.

If you are struggling or even suspect that you are struggling with baby blues, postpartum depression, depression or anxiety, please find someone to talk to. A counselor, physician, OB or midwife. There are many ways to deal with these issues and everyone is unique. Please don’t hold it all inside. You are more than welcome to leave comments below or email me at chelseakaster@gmail.com with any questions or comments.

Have a blessed day!

Chelsea

Top five: snacks!

I’ve received a few requests for some meal and snack tips so I’m going to do a “Top Five” series on snacks, meals, how to get rid of processed foods and more!

Today we’re talking about snacks. I’m going to give you my top five snack tips and then my personal top five favorite snacks!

Tips:

  1. Eat every two-three hours. This will keep you from getting to the “Holy cow I’m starving!” state and will help keep your metabolism in check.
  2. Eat nutrient dense foods. Empty calorie foods like chips or candy bars offer you body nothing as far as real nutrition is concerned. You want foods packed with good vitamins!
  3. Eat foods that you like! You should eat foods that you enjoy. Eating healthy should not be torture!
  4. Try new foods! While #3 is so true, every once in a while branch out and try a new vegetable with your healthy veggie dip (recipe to follow below).
  5. Always have a snack on you. When you know you’re going to be gone from the house for a while, pack your snacks ahead of time and take them with you so you’ll be prepared.

 

Now these are my favorite snack foods!

  1. Plain Greek yogurt with fruit added. I buy plain because it is much lower in sugar. If you can’t do plain, buy the vanilla. Greek yogurt packs TWICE as much protein as regular yogurt!
  2. Peanut butter and an apple. Make sure your peanut butter does not have a bunch of extra ingredients. Ideally, it should only contain peanuts and maybe salt.
  3. Black beans and brown rice. I LOVE black beans! And I have a super simple recipe I found to cook them in the crockpot! Brown rice is much better for you and contains more fiber than white rice.
  4. Healthy veggie dip and raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Super easy healthy veggie dip: plain Greek yogurt with dry Ranch dip mixed in. A big thank you to my friend Lindsay for that recipe!
  5. Hummus and raw veggies. I’ll be honest – I’ve tried hummus and did not care for it. I think it was a texture issue, but I am going to get a flavored variety and give it another try this weekend! I know several friends who have made hummus themselves and it’s supposed to be super easy.

I hope these tips and tricks help you make some good snack choices in the weeks to come! Comment below with your favorite healthy snacks!

Chelsea