You Are So Much More Than A Number!

Numbers Are Just That, Numbers

Age Is Just a Number...get younger as you get older!

Where in your life are you letting a number define what you do? Is it your age, the number on the scale or _________ (fill in the blank). In the photo above I was almost two years OLDER in the second photo!!! See, these numbers mean NOTHING other than a measurement of SOMETHING. It is not WHO or WHAT you are. Check out this week’s vlog where I share four of the most common “numbers” most of us let define us, then come back and comment below with where you are no longer going to let a number decide or determine the decisions you make.

 

Guilt-Free Waffles From The Aging Youthful Kitchen

I’m not joking…guilt-free waffles are here!! For months I had been seeing all these amazing pictures on my social media feed about protein waffles, but didn’t have a waffle-maker. Eventually the constant drooling on my phone got the better better of me so I headed to Wally World in search of an inexpensive one in case it wasn’t something I liked.

With the first recipe I tried, I was impressed with how the waffle turned out looks-wise, the taste,  another story. It was dry and kinda chewy and I was pretty happy I had only spent less than $20 on the waffle iron. However, my second try at making them, I tweaked my awesome Banana Walnut protein pancakes and it was a massive success! They are seriously SO good I don’t need butter or syrup! (But IF I do, I measure…1 tbsp. of grass-fed butter and 1 tsp. of local syrup.

Guilt free waffles are here!

I love this simple recipe:

2 eggs

1/4 c. Dry Whole Organic Oats

1/2 Scoop Vanilla IsaLean Protein Powder

1 tsp. Organic Cinnamon

1 tsp. Homemade Vanilla extract

1/2 Medium (1/3 large) banana, sliced

2 tbsp. Finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat up a Belgian waffle iron to medium-high. Place all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts in a blender or magic bullet and blend for about a minute until oats are finely chopped and banana is blended. When iron is hot, melt  tbsp. Of coconut oil on bottom and slowly pour mixture on iron, starting from the outside working your way in. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts before closing. Let cook approximately 3 minutes until waffle easily slides off the iron. Move to plate, let cool a little and enjoy!

 

The only thing different between this and my pancake recipe is added protein powder, and the banana are in the batter. I like this recipe better as the waffle iron takes out the awkward pancake flipping factor as well as the waffle tastes better reheated a day or two later!

Next time you break out the waffle iron, give these bad boys a try. You may never say “Let Go My EGGO” ever again!

The Benefits Of Celery Juicing – My Four Week Journey

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Results So Far

In my last post  “The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story”, I shared the background story of losing my thyroid and subsequent 20 years of not being medically treated properly and how competing in a fitness competition with a prep coach who only cared about getting paid. This combination put my body into a downward spiral for the last five years where my body quit responding to my thyroid meds, extreme bloating after eating, inflammation and adrenal fatigue. The 20 year journey has been one of highs and lows, and I shared a few bullet points to help you understand how much my health has changed in the last six months.  In Part 1 I shared how a posting about the benefits of celery juicing on Facebook by an inspiring friend, Kristi Youngdahl, changed my life.

After Kristi’s posting, I did a little more online research about celery juice and what it can do for the body and a couple of weeks later I ordered a cold-press juicer from Amazon that fit in my budget to get me started. I chose this VonShef slow masticating juicer from Amazon as I had read slow that masticating juicers keep more nutrients intact as it’s a “cold” process and centrifugal juicers get hot and some nutrient loss happens. While I don’t think it’s a huge deal since I drink it immediately after juicing, if I am going to drink celery juice, I am going to make sure I got as many nutrients as possible, ya know?? Now that I’ve been consistently juicing for six months, I’m looking to upgrade to a larger machine where I can just wash the stalks and put in the juicer. Currently I have to wash and chop into small pieces which translates into lots of time chopping when we go through around 10 bunches a week for Mark and I to each have 16 oz. of fresh juice a day.

The VonShef slow masticating juicer I currently own for celery juicing

Celery Juicing – What I Noticed In Four Weeks

Within the first two weeks of juicing I noticed a couple of things: First, I wasn’t bloating as much or at all when I ate, which was a sign that my stomach might be breaking down the foods I was eating better. The second thing I noticed was the day I put on a normally tight fitting sweatshirt and the arms were loose for the first time! That was a sign of retained water from inflammation leaving my body. And lastly, I had started to break out, a sign of toxins leaving my body.

In those first couple of weeks, I worked myself up to 8 oz. of juice, thinking that’s all I needed and after the first few weeks, hadn’t seen too much more in physical changes. However, I know when it comes to natural remedies, change isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s consistency over time that yields results.

Life-Changing Book

When I read the book The Medical Medium in early March, author Anthony William recommends 16 oz. every morning on an empty stomach. Once again I thought to myself “yuck” but with the changes I had seen in the first few weeks, I had to give it a try. Holy moley Batman…with one week, I noticed even more change in how I felt after I ate and I also could SEE changes when I looked in the mirror. The biggest “holy $h!t moment was three weeks after upping to 16 oz. a day when I sent my check-in photos to my lifestyle/competition prep coach, Amy. The day I took those photos, I felt bloated as I had been a “bad girl” the night before and had ice cream. I begrudgingly took the photos and thought to myself, it is was it is, and was FLOORED when I attached the side shot photo to the email. I did like a quadruple-take as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…my “bloated” stomach this week, was flatter than my not-bloated stomach from two weeks before!

The benefits of celery juicing - my changes

While I still have a long way to go in my journey, I am amazed at how far I have come in the last six weeks. I’ve had more positive body changes, both physically and visually, than I’ve had in the last 20 years combined, sans contest prep “dieting down”.  I know people will say it has to do with my diet and exercise plan, but since January, I have been back to working out and eating “on plan” most of the time,  I hadn’t seen much change until I upped from  8 to 16 oz. Just today I “came out” to my coach that after I started upping my juice, I also upped my fruit intake, beyond what is on my custom food plan. In the book, Mr. William shares how our society has made us afraid of fruit because it causes diabetes and a host of other diseases. In truth, we are depriving our bodies of healthy-cell building nutrients!

I have a my next thyroid and it’s collateral lab work in June and for the first time in a long time, I am excited to see my results. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, whether you have thyroid, hormone, auto-immune issues or not, I would recommend reading one or all three of Anthony William’s books.

The Medical Medium: The Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illnesses.
Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits and Vegetables.
Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: The Truth Behind Hashimoto’s, Graves’, Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules and Esptein-Barr. (This will be released later this year).

We go through about 10 bunches of celery a week to have 16 oz. of fresh pressed celery juice for both Mark and me each day.

While you may not think celery juicing is for you, I would urge you to at least learn more about how foods are medicine and if we give our body the nutrients it needs, most of us would need less chemical medicine and be healthier in the process.

We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or share on our Facebook page what you would like to read more about. Next up on the blog is a new incredible protein waffle recipe and a story from The Aging Youthful Dude!

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story

In late November of 2016, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (as I usually do) and came across a Facebook photo and post about the benefits of celery juicing from Kristi Youngdahl, who I incredibly admire:

My friend Kristi Youngdahl's Facebook photo and posting about the benefits of celery juicing that changed my life.

So grateful for a husband who not only does dishes… 😍 but also juices our celery every  morning! Why celery juice… because it transforms the gut! Our gut is linked to EVERYTHING! Seriously.

Celery is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, because it starves unproductive bacteria, yeast, mold, fungus, and viruses that are present in the body and flushes their toxins and debris out of the intestinal tract and liver—at the same time, celery helps good bacteria thrive. Celery is the most powerful way to alkalize the gut. Celery offers enzymes and coenzymes, and it raises hydrochloric acid in the stomach so that food digests with ease and doesn’t putrefy. In addition to the above, celery can improve kidney function, helps restore the adrenals, and can even bring ease to one’s mind and thought patterns, with its mineral salts feeding electrical impulse activity and supporting neuron function. When it comes to celery, think electrolytes. It hydrates on a deep cellular level, lessening your chances of suffering from migraines. It is one of the greatest healing tonics of all time.

Drink a full 16 ounces of fresh celery juice daily—and make sure it’s on an empty stomach to raise hydrochloric acid levels most efficiently. We prefer first thing in the morning before our breakfast shakes! CHANGED OUR LIVES! #gamechanger #teamwork #celeryjuice

When I read the first two sentences, I first said to myself “WHAT???”…I wasn’t talking about the part where her husband does the dishes, I was talking about the part where they drink 16 oz. of celery juice first thing in the morning. My second thought was “GROSS!!!”, and I only kept reading because I admire her so much and I HAD to read what the benefits are of celery juicing. I will be forever grateful I DID keep reading. Like she says at the end of her post “CHANGED OUR LIVES”…it has changed MINE!

My Background Story

For those of you that don’t know my history, in 1997 I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and had my “extremely dangerous hyperactive” thyroid killed in order that it wouldn’t kill me.  There’s a long story I won’t bore you with about what finally made me go see the doctor, but thankfully I did, as I was on the verge of congestive heart failure. At that time thyroid removal by surgery or killing it with radioactive iodine pills were my options given by my doctors. At that time, I took whatever the doctor said as gospel (I no longer do) so I chose the less-invasive option. For the last 20 years, I’ve struggled with low energy, bloating, inflammation, nutrient absorption, digestive issues and more (reducing all these are some of the benefits of celery juicing!). Thankfully in 2011 I was introduced to Isagenix as it gave me back energy and helped me get the micro-nutrients my body was CRAVING as the protein shakes are more easily absorbed due to not having to have hard digestive breakdown like a piece of chicken would. However, Isagenix cannot cure disease and conditions and the root cause of the underlying reason why my body wasn’t breaking down foods and absorbing nutrients wasn’t being addressed.

To Make Matters Worse…

In 2012 I did a figure competition using a trainer who put me on a Ketogenic diet (please, do not do this diet unless it’s for medical reasons, in which case you stay on it for life) for 16+ weeks prior to the competition and had me doing two hours of cardio a day the month leading up to the contest. The photo below showed up in my Facebook memories this past weekend with the posting “How’s this for a sweat session coach? Cardio #1 done for the day, I’ll be back at it later.” (UGH! If I knew then what I know now, but then again I wouldn’t have this story to tell to hopefully help someone else).

Little did I know my marathon cardio sessions would send me to adrenal fatigue and other hormone issues.

This combination took my already messed up hormone system to a whole new level. The bounce-back after the competition was awful; within a month post competition I had gained back the 20# I lost prior to the competition and fell into adrenal fatigue. Slowly over the next couple of years, my body quit responding to my thyroid medication, I had horrible bloating almost every time I ate and created and inflammation cocktail inside my body that had me gain an additional 20 pounds over the last couple of years.

Symptoms:

  • Adrenal fatigue: I was finding myself having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Once I got moving  I was fine until mid to late-afternoon I’d have a major crash and would struggle to stay awake driving home from work. I would get home, struggle to get through the evening but when I went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep. If I did fall asleep, I would find myself waking up around 2:30 AM unable to fall back to sleep.
  • Food absorption issues: With almost anything I ate; full meals or just protein, veggies or fruits by themselves, my stomach would feel  like someone pumped air into a balloon in my stomach. I would wake up each day with a semi-flat stomach, but within a couple of hours, as soon as I ate something I looked like I was in a third tri-mester of pregnancy!
  • Other issues: as a result of the two problems above, I had bad water retention/inflammation all over my body. I had a huge “pooch” in my lower belly, and dimply upper arms, especially in my tricep area.

I THOUGHT I Was On The Right Path

When we moved to Fairbanks I found a naturopath I liked at first. She said all the right things; “we need to get to the root cause, I suspect you aren’t absorbing nutrients and have adrenal fatigue, etc. etc. etc.” While many of the things she thought I had going on seemed to make sense, low hydrcholoric acid in the gut that wasn’t breaking down the foods I was eating causing the bloating, adrenal fatigue creating my sleep problems, low progesterone (that’s a whole other story), etc. etc. etc. again. I started out with a new off-the-shelf  “more natural” thyroid hormone and a hydrocholoric acid supplement to take with every meal along with an iron supplement (my iron levels are extremely low too). I was excited at first to finally feel like I was on the right path, but with each passing month, nothing seemed to change and created other issues. While most people supplementing with iron tend to get constipated, I had the opposite reaction!

Supplements or Medicine: Too Much Is Too Much

At each visit I was prescribed another supplement (or three) and  after a few months, she had me on so many supplements I couldn’t keep track of them all! Not to mention paying a ton of money with very little results, and of course to also not to mention, all these supplements are available in the clinic she works. She even went so far to suggest that I trade out a couple of my “expensive” Isagenix supplements for cheaper versions in her office. I don’t know what price list she was looking at, but the Isa products are cheaper to buy wholesale than what she had in her office. She also refused to take more than a quick look at the products I was taking before discrediting them and how they had helped me. (I will make the disclaimer  I also not only earn enough money each month to get Mark and my products paid for, I also earn enough residual income to pay more bills).

I finally had enough and late last year found a new doctor I’ve been working with. He confirmed that the supplements weren’t doing much for me and cut me back to only my thyroid hormone in a very high dose with the hopes of reducing it as time goes on and my body starts absorbing and utilizing the hormone more.

There you have it…the SHORT version (yes this is the short version) of my background story. I don’t want to make this too long, so next week I will share changes I’ve seen in my body since I started celery juicing. Just like Kristi said in her Facebook post, it’s been LIFE-CHANGING!

The benefits of celery juicing

The Easiest Meal Ever From The Aging Youthful Kitchen

If you think you’re too busy to eat healthy I have THE easiest meal ever for you, even easier than my protein pancakes! When I first started on my quest of clean eating, I bought a clean eating cookbook and found the recipes too time consuming. First, I didn’t have the desire or the time to make them and they also had a list of ingredients a mile long! At the time Mark and I lived in a small town in Northeastern Minnesota, where the grocery stores are smaller than most convenient stores. Finding the non-basic ingredients was not happening unless I drove two hours one-way to a big box store. Here’s a little blast from the past: The two grocery stores in town;  Johnson’s Big Dollar and Gene’s IGA! I’m guessing anyone under thirty has never been in let alone seen either of these grocery “chains”. But I digress. At the time, Mark and I also had sled dogs to take out on a run after work. I needed to have cooking my clean meals as simple as cooking a frozen pizza, which was our staple in the past (and why we needed to get on a clean eating kick!). So what IS the easiest meal ever???

Crockpot Salsa Chicken, The Easiest Meal Ever

Crockpot Salsa Chicken, The Easiest Meal Ever

This recipe is SO easy it has only two ingredients; salsa and chicken. Yep, that’s it! When I first saw someone post this on Facebook a couple of years ago, I thought it couldn’t be that easy and that good. Well, it was and still is. It is a great meal when you want to have dinner when you get home and are getting ready to run out the door in the morning. It is as simple as pulling out the crockpot, plugging in and turning on low (I’m adding this because more than once I’ve forgotten to turn on the crockpot). Next throw in your favorite chicken; whole birds, thighs, legs, breasts or a mixture of all of the above! If using boneless, skinless breasts (like I usually do) legs, thighs or wings, throw them babies in frozen! No thawing required! Next add your favorite salsa to cover the meat. If using a whole chicken,  thaw before putting in the crockpot and add a little water to the bottom before adding the salsa. This is so easy it can also be cooked in the oven. I’ll line a cooking pan with tin foil (easy clean up!), spread a little olive oil in the bottom, add my frozen chicken breasts, top with salsa and bake at 350° until chicken if flaky all the way through.

Come Home To The Easiest Meal Ever

The best part? Coming home eight hours later to the awesome aroma of salsa spices wafting through the air, knowing dinner can be ready in just a few minutes! I usually turn off the crockpot as soon as I get home and make a side dish while the chicken cools. I’ll make steamed fresh vegetables, brown or mixed rice, quinoa…whatever I have on hand. Some nights if Mark and I are super hungry, we’ll just eat the chicken without any side dish, it’s THAT good.  This “recipe” (can I even call it a recipe with it being so simple?) can also be used as a base for tacos, enchiladas, burritos or whatever you can imagine. It is so tasty with the salsa spices simmered in over the day, let your imagination run wild and create a new family favorite.

There you have it, the easiest meal ever, at least in our house. If you have a meal just as easy, we’d love for you to share and possibly feature on the blog. Either comment below or share on our Facebook page. If you are too shy to “put it out there”, feel free to send us a private message on our page, or send an email to AgingYouthfulBlog@gmail.com. We love hearing from you!