Behind starburst eyes

Second Week Down = Time For Ice Cream!

While my weight loss isn’t nearly as impressive this week (1.2lb) as it was last week (6.8lb) I’ve also lost a full inch off my hips and 1/4 inches off my arms, and that brings my grand total weight loss to 8lbs so I’m still very pleased!

Of course for this week’s celebration, I want a special treat lol. Only I don’t want a cake this time (I know strange for me!) Instead I want ice cream, or at least a frozen treat that reminds me of ice cream!

Hubby has been experimenting in the kitchen to make a frozen treat and so the recipe below is what he made, and is what we’ll be enjoying tonight after dinner. He said he was inspired by the drink “Flying Gorllias” that we had in Cuba on our honeymoon for this flavor combination. While it doesn’t have the “kick” of white rum, rum also doesn’t have carbs, therefore if one is so inclined, a shot of rum alongside it wouldn’t be amiss.

Picture of Chocolate Ice Cream in a glass bowl with a spoon behind it. Set on a table with a flower motif on it.
  • 3/4 can of Kosa Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Monkfruit Sweetner
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar free peanut butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Toasted Coconut Flakes.
  • Carefully scoop the thicker coconut milk (cream) into a bowl and discard the thinner more watery portion.
  • Add Cocoa powder, Monkfruit, salt and peanut butter to cream and stir until well mixed and fluffy with a hand mixer.
  • Freeze for an hour.
  • Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of each serving then enjoy!
  • Nutritional Information PER SERVING: (Makes 3 servings)
  • Net Carbs: 7g
  • Calories: 320
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 29g

I’ve listed the nutritional information for the entire batch below to make it easier to calculate if you decide to divide it into a different amount of servings.

  • Nutritional Information For ENTIRE BATCH:
  • Net Carbs: 21g
  • Calories: 961
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 87g

Notes: While 7g for net carbs IS higher than one of my mug cakes, so long as one is careful, OR divides it into smaller portions (when divided into 4 portions it’s only 5g of net carbs) it’s still a fun keto friendly treat. Kosa’s coconut milk is super thick and creamy for 3/4 of the can with only a small amount of thinner milk at the bottom, we used all of the thicker part and discarded the thinner milk by not mixing it together. While you can simply buy coconut cream, Kosa’s coconut milk was on sale for $1.08 per can at our local wholesale club so definitely cheaper for us to to make it this way.

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One week at a time

I am now on my 7th day of Keto! So far I’ve lost 6.8lbs, and 1/4inch off each measurement (waist, arms, legs, and hips). I know some is water weight bloat disappearing, and I’m fine with that 🙂 I’m super excited to see what I’m at next week for my measurements and weight!

To celebrate, I of course made another mug cake lol. This time I went for lemon flavored 😃 I couldn’t find any specific recipe I wanted so I altered one. As I’ve realized that the base of most of the keto mug cakes is the same for the almond flour, butter, coconut flour, baking powder, and sweetner. Below is my Lemon Mug Cake Recipe and Nutritional info for it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sweetener (I used Monkfruit with erthyitol)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
  • 2 Tbsp of heavy cream (35%)

Recipe:

  • Melt the butter in the microwave
  • Add all wet ingredients to the melted butter
  • Mix all dry goods in a bowl together
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  • Divide batter into 2 microwave safe mugs
  • Sprinkle a half a teaspoon of the lemon peel on the top of the batter
  • Bake each mug cake for 90 seconds in the microwave
  • Top with your favorite keto cream cheese icing, keto whipped cream or keto ice cream
  • Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest on top
  • Enjoy!

The nutritional information was calculated using the app CarbManager and does not include icing, whipped cream or ice cream and is per mug:

  • Calories: 280kals
  • Total Carbs: 18.7g
  • Sugar Alcohols: 12g
  • Net Carbs: 3.1g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 7.1g
  • Fat: 26g

A note about the carbs, while the original carbs appears high, and the net carbs does not appear to add up to the total carbs minus fibers, that is because of the sugar alcohols. Normally for keto you need to minus half the sugar alcohols plus the fiber from the total carbs for the net carbs. Only, because the only sugar alcohols in this recipe are from the erythritol they all can be subtracted as our bodies don’t tend to digest sugar alcohols from erthyitol. I got that information from:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/net-carbs#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4 and from: https://www.atkins.ca/how-it-works/library/articles/ask-the-nutritionist-the-scoop-on-sugar-alcohols

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My Secret Salvation

As I previously wrote, I’ve started being on a Keto meal plan again. I started full of desire and determination, and after what felt like months but really was only a couple of days I nearly caved.

I have a sweet tooth, and not just a little one, but like a full on I could eat cakes and donuts and pastries all day, everyday. Which clearly is not a thing I can do while also maintaining a Keto meal plan!

Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake topped with keto icing and low calorie caramel sauce: 380 calories and 4 net carbs for this delicious treat.

Enter the magical recipes of Melissa Sevigny! She’s the author of the fantastic blog I breathe I’m hungry (which I mentioned in the last post too lol) Her chocolate brownie mug cake recipe is DELICIOUS!!! Best part it’s also keto friendly 😀 and it totally kept me in ketosis while satisfying my intense need for baked goods!

My humble suggestion to anyone starting out with keto is to 1) check out her blog, and 2) buy yourself some almond flour, coconut flour, and monkfruit and dark chocolate (90%) and keep it in your cupboard for if you get hit with a late night craving like I did!

I admit I could have held out if I’d made my kiddos go low carb with me cause then there wouldn’t have been regular baking goods in my house anymore. But I didn’t make them do it, and for Mr.N with his limited diet due to sensory issues it would be cruel of me to force him to go hungry. So wheat pastas, breads, and mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets will still be staples in my house for him…

But so will almond flour, coconut flour, monkfruit sweetener, and dark chocolate 😉

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Here We Go Again…

Like countless other adults I have gained more weight than I would like, and tried to lose said weight. So it seems a bit silly to announce I’m attempting it again, cause what if I fail, again? Which of course worries me as I’ve been on and off my quest to lose weight so I could book my hernia surgery for at least 4 years now. While I admit I usually have good success for at least a couple of months, it’s around 2-3 months into my journey that I start skipping my workouts and “treating myself just this once” over and over.

I’ve gone through this cycle many many times, and I’m hesitant to say I’ll be successful this time, but more than anything I NEED to be successful this time. I finally have a definitive consultation with a surgeon and I’m told by her receptionist that I’ve got approximately 4-8 months after that appointment for a surgical date. While 4-8 months is quite a vague timeline, it’s far more definitive than waiting till the weight is gone to even begin booking my appointments.

So, I feel I should have the weight gone by the beginning of that window just incase, as the less abdominal fat I have the greater my chance for a successful, pain free (as in no long term pain due to issues or complications) procedure. That means I have 5 months to lose 50lbs. Which is actually reasonable timeline so long as I combine exercise and diet and ya know stick to it.

(Picture of a road with the words: 5 months, 50 pounds, I can do this! written on it.)

For the exercise portion we have a small trampoline, and resistance bands already so it’s just about designing an interval training plan.

For the diet/nutrition portion I’m heading over to I breathe I’m hungry as every time my partner and I have attempted low carb her website has been my go-to for delicious low carb recipes. Last time we attempted this, my partner lost 3 pant sizes and I lost 2 pant sizes with her delicious meals. Had we of stuck to it, we would have lost more and it wasn’t because we got bored with the recipes or they were too hard, it was…

Well to be totally honest it was self (and accidentally partner) sabatoge as I knew I wasn’t going to book my appointments until I’d lost the weight and I was scared of having surgery. I’m still scared, but my hernia has gotten worse and I know if I let it go much longer I’m risking far more serious issues with an emergency surgery for bowel obstruction than a calm, planned hernia repair surgery.

Plus I tell the kiddos all the time “it’s okay to be scared, but you still have to do the things” and I’m a mom who believes in less “do as I say” and more “do as I do”. So now it’s time for me to “do the things” as well.

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Value and Worth Aren’t The Same

I’ve noticed that many people seem to be attracted to or pulled towards those that see their value. Western society seems to equate someone noticing all we could do for them with importance and therefore we crave our value being recognized by others.

What I’ve also noticed is that we seem to view our value to others as being the same as our worth. Only, I don’t see it that way. For me, my value is what I can do for another, my worth is what I bring to the table as a whole. One is about what I can do for them, the other is simply about me as a person.

For example, when Mr.N was a year old my value to him high as he needed allot of things because he was only a baby, but my worth was low because I was not viewed as an individual so much as I was the provider of food, comfort, clean diapers and security. However, now at almost 10, he can feed himself, cook basic meals, wash and dress himself and so on and so my value is lower but my worth is higher because he sees more of who I am as a person. This is a natural progression for children of course.

However, I think for many adults we still get stuck looking and evaluating people based on their value instead of their worth. Basically, we get stuck focusing on what specific dishes they bring to our table that we can consume instead of the worth they bring to our table with their presence.

While I’m sure part of this is due to a primitive survival mechanism that makes us seek out those that can help us have a better life (or thrive), I wonder if it’s something we need to consider as no longer inherently necessary.

How much better would it be if we attempted to develop relationships (platonic as well as romantic) with those who’s worth we saw instead? Would we be happier overall if we stopped focusing on what others can actively do for us and intentionally developed relationships based on the worth we saw within others instead?

I ponder these things because secretly adults that primarily view my value feel like a burden to be honest, I feel like the only reason they ask me to their table is for what I can provide that they will use/consume. I want to be invited because they see my worth as a whole person, not for what I can do for them, and I don’t view my value to another and my worth as a person to be the same thing.

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Corona’s Effect on Mental Health

It’s been months since Covid-19 became a worldwide epidemic, and while I am truly, deeply thankful that my family has not experienced this virus directly, sadly it still has had an impact on my children through their mental health.

He used to be gregarious, he used to be fearless, he used to be happy and confident…Used to be…

It makes my heart ache to see the changes in him, to see how scared he is to even leave the house because as he puts it “It’s invisible, I can’t see it, I can’t fight it” He used to be thrilled to pop over to the store for me, and he’d always ask if he could pick up something for dessert for everyone in addition to the bread or milk I was usually asking for. Now, his first response is “Or I could not go” with a pleading face as he says it. He used to love going for runs, now he says “there’s too many people”. He would rather forgo takeout or new toys if he has to go outside for them.

So instead I don’t ask him to go for me, but I do ask him to go with me. I’m willing to walk with him, because I’m determined to make him go out (while of course allowing precautions such as a mask and hand sanitizer) because he can’t stay locked inside for the next however long. It’s not healthy for him.

I know this might be a long road for him, but I remember when he was 2 and would have uncontrollable meltdowns when we’d walk different routes home from Airzone, he’d cry that it “wasn’t the right way home”. Back then I knew he had to learn there were many ways to get to somewhere, physically and metaphorically. I would hold him and tell him over and over he was loved and safe and I understood and he was my wonderful brave boy as he cried for hours even after we got home.

This is no different, I’ll be there each step of the way offering him love and support as I help him walk this hard path. I love him enough to do the hard things because he always has been and always will be worth the effort to help him thrive.

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Step 3: Kill it with fire

Every blog posting about buying a used trailer to fix up will tell you that more work is needed than you think.

Naively, I ignored the myriad of warnings 😦 and I ended up finding this:

While I knew from the back that one small section of floor would need to be replaced I had no idea how bad it actually was or the real reason why.

I’d been told the back corner ripped when it was moved as a deck was attached to it and not properly unattached before they moved it, the real truth was much, much worse:

Carpenter ants, hundreds of them living and swarming throughout the entire inside of the walls and floor. The more we removed hoping it was the last “bad” section the more we found 😦 Was it hard on the kids and I to realize we wouldn’t be travelling this summer and that our plan for this trailer was not going to go anything like we’d thought…yep!

But as we took the entire trailer apart, separated each type of material, recycled what we could and brought the rest in multiple loads to the dump, I was able to help them to see that even though we plan, life doesn’t always go according to plan and we have 2 choices: Give up or give it all we’ve got to create a solution.

For this specific case we simply started again but from the ground up lol. Which meant our new first step was cleaning any loose rust from the chassis and then treating it with tremclad.

Now the real building begins! With just over 5 weeks left until I begin University again and the kids start their homeschooling year again the race is on! Do I think the whole thing will be finished in 5 weeks, no I truthfully don’t. BUT we’ll have the floor, walls, and roof done at least and that will give us more time to work on the inside of it on weekends as it gets cooler.

As we build a tiny home now instead of fixing up a trailer we’ll learn lots, work hard, and grow a dream and memories together. Wish us luck! 😀

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There’s Always A Reason

During a pandemic isn’t the most obvious time to decide one is going to start working on a trailer and planning a trip across the Americas.

While yes a part of the reason is definitely because we couldn’t go on our grand adventure across Europe, another part was the lump I found on my sternum. I needed something to focus on while I waited for results.

While many people equate Autism with a certain amount of social oblivion, where my boys are concerned momma being upset sets off alarm bells real quick! Couple that with this pandemic already having them more anxious and the inability for me to go off from them for awhile while I process and you’ve got the potential for a whole lot of additional stress and meltdowns on their part (totally warranted mind you!)

So instead I focused on the trailer and creating a sanctuary for the kids and I to have. For a place to make memories for years to come as we adventure together, because the alternative wasn’t something I could afford to focus on in such close quarters with them.

With all the additional medical precautions in place for Covid, getting a diagnosis wasn’t as quick as I would like. It took over a week to be able to physically see my doctor, another 2 weeks for the ultrasound, and then a week and a half for inconclusive results. My actual sternum is inflamed and swollen, so I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory for rheumatoid arthritis to see if it helped to decrease the swelling and then an appt with radiology 3 months from now to look at it again. 😦

The idea that I should just sit around and wait 3 more months to see what exactly it is because most medical procedures that aren’t for Covid or for immediately saving one’s life is so disheartening and makes me wonder how many people aren’t getting timely treatment because our government cut funding for hospitals too much for too long and so they can’t handle both right now.

The bright side is that the pain is less with the medication and I think the lump is smaller so fingers crossed it actually is shrinking, and isn’t potentially life-threatening.

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Step Two: Travel Trailer

Now that we’ve got a truck with a towing capacity of 11,800 pounds we’ve got the freedom to really look at trailers and find the right one for our family of 7.

While we only have my step-daughters part-time I don’t want there to NOT be enough room for them to come along as well because they’re a part of our family at all times; not just the days they’re physically with us.

So we need something big enough to sleep 7, and since 3 of those are teenagers, we can’t squish multiple kiddos into a single bed! However, we don’t want something SO big that we barely get anywhere before we have to refill the truck’s gas tank!

After looking on Kijiji, AutoTrader, and at various dealerships’ websites we went with a used 29ft Dutchmen via private seller on Kijiji. We checked it out in person while maintaining physical distancing and wearing our masks and arranged for it to be delivered to a friend’s farm where we could continue to maintain physical distancing from everyone while we camp in a tent and work on it.

We’ll be going back and forth from the farm to our apartment throughout the summer as we work on fixing the parts that need it and getting it all ready for our first grand adventure in it 🙂

She’s a handyman special, but that makes it even more exciting to me, because the kids and I will be able to create our adventure space together 🙂

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Step One: Make A Plan

Last week I wrote how I had decided to finally follow my dream and chase the sun with my husband and kids.

Well to do that I needed to make a plan. I know I could have just leapt blindly, but as a mom and still a student myself I couldn’t just have us pack a bag and hope for the best!

Logically step one was to research trucks, and insurance:

After researching we choose this awesome truck:

Stay tuned for step 2: researching and purchasing a trailer!!!

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