Archive | January, 2013

Inspiration Mission: Hair Salon

24 Jan

I got my hair done last night and while I was waiting for my color to set, my stylist brought over a pile of magazines for me to look through. I get Better Homes and Gardens magazine from my mom mailed to me and I love it for home decor ideas & DIY projects but other than BH&G, I don’t get or read any other magazines. Most of what I read and look at is online and I do miss flipping through pages while holding something in my hand, bound with paper instead of a computer screen.

In this pile of magazines my stylist brought over to me there was Clean Eating Magazine and Women’s Health. I flipped through the pages somewhat fast, stopping to skim an article or look at a recipe a little closer. Last January I had a gym membership for a month and I loved sifting through their magazines while I was running. The only problem was that most of the articles were about losing weight, cutting fat and calories, do this to look a certain way; all articles that made me think I had to follow even more rules, add more “forbidden” foods to my list, and feel less about myself.

Last night I stopped on an article in Clean Eating Magazine (I think now that I am writing this I can’t remember which of the 2 it was, I did a quick look at both’s websites and can’t find the article to even reference…) about eating to improve and normalize hormone levels – perfect timing! Actually I had previously set the magazine down, closed it up, and then got slightly bored so I reopened it and it landed on that page so as a big believer in everything happens for a reason, I took the time to read it.

It was so interesting and really hit home with what I’ve been dealing with in my own body. All year I have been trying to research and figure out what I should be eating to nourish my body in my recovery, eating a ton of pineapple to help my luteal phase of my cycle, full fat dairy to help with estrogen levels, eating foods like flaxseed, oatmeal, sweet potatoes…all which help balance womens’ hormone levels. The article touched on each of these foods and their purposes and how they benefit you; all of that information in one spot!

Another thing I realized is that it taught me beneficial information that did not skew my own body image view one way or another, in fact I felt healthier after reading the article – how often does that happen in a magazine?! Reading the article among others including healthy recipes, information about certain types of food, information on being a better runner, targeted workouts, it all made me miss having that information in front of me…without the computer screen.

There are so many magazines out there that are good promoters of healthy living. Some good ones are: Clean Eating, Prevention, Health, Runner’s World, Whole Living, Women’s Health, and Healthy Living. Yet there are others that focus on some crazy ideal norm that they want everyone to strive for…

What are some healthy living magazines that you read or like?
What one do you think would be worth the money for me to subscribe to?

I really miss getting information from this route of media and am looking to sometime in the future read these more than just while I am getting my hair done. I’d love any opinions or advice on which ones you love! Thank you in advance!!!

Also, I will be MIA again next week but have some exciting stuff to come! See you all in February! 🙂

Simple Joys & Dog Treats

21 Jan

I thought about you all daily last week but never got myself motivated to post! So I am very sorry for being MIA!!! But I am still here! Here are some bits of my life over the last week…

IMG_20130112_143600This weekend David hosted a bus trip to watch our hockey team out of town. It was lots of fun and I filled his Bubba keg mug up with some Sierra Mist and Dr Cherry McGillicuddy. This mug keeps things cold for days – ok maybe not days but hours and hours! David puts ice water in it in the mornings before work and that ice will still be solid that night!

20130109_130506Speaking of ice water…I found a new way to drink more water! I take a dry erase marker at work and section it out for morning and afternoon, ensuring for now that I will drink more than I use to. Another good method that my coworker uses is to take rubber bands on it and that’s how many you drank that day. Just a fun way to keep me consciously trying to drink more H20!

IMG_20130109_094419This is my new favorite tea flavor! It’s so good!!! I’ve been drinking this stuff like it’s going out of style! Way better than the apple cinnamon I once raved about!

IMG_20130111_100625We got software upgrades at work! I don’t talk about my work or freelance much on here as I like to keep that very separate for now but this was very exciting!!!! CS6 is awesomeeeee!!!!!!!!!! Ooo the simple joys of a graphic designer!

IMG_20130108_203735Trying to decide whether normal dog treats or healthy dog treats for Gizmo. He has a super sensitive stomach and the Milkbone brand seems to do fine for him but Target had a Healthy All Natural brand that we debated on getting…we decided not to this time around but does anyone have any suggestions on easy on the stomach dog treats? (By the way, David is growing his hair out for all of hockey season…his hair is currently shaggier than Gizmo’s!)

IMG_20130115_175939Last week I made Hungry Girl’s Chicken Veggie “Fried” Rice and her Crab Rangoons. It was pretty easy and SUPER yummy! I definitely recommend this and will make it again for sure! I have made her crab rangoons many times but I think I’ve got it down now! The Veggie Fried Rice was a new one but one of the best homemade chinese dishes I’ve made! I’m not sure if you are familiar with Hungry Girl but she’s pretty much awesome!

That pretty much wraps up my week last week! Now onto the next one! Monday’s aren’t so bad I suppose…they are one day closer to the weekend right?!

HA Recovery: Eating

20 Jan

I haven’t talked about hypothalamic amenorrhea in a while and I’ve had some emails about recovery that I don’t think I’ve touched on yet.

I had lost a good 15 more pounds at least after this picture was taken...

I had lost a good 15 more pounds at least after this picture was taken…

Disclaimer: All opinions on If Gravity Happens are my own personal opinions, views, and experiences. I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or anything like that; I am strictly talking from experience as just a normal person who is in the process of recovering from HA. Please contact a professional for any specific questions regarding your diet/exercise/medical issues.

Women who are often diagnosed at first are at extremely low body weights with very low body fat to them who were also at some point restricting calories and/or over exercising.

“When the body experiences famine-like conditions (i.e., restrictive dieting), menstruation stops due to inadequate fuel to support the menstrual process, to say nothing of nurturing a healthy baby.” –Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD from SportsMD

When I was diagnosed with HA, I was counting limiting calories (averaging around 1200-1500 a day) while being very active (oftentimes running 6 miles a day, most days of the week and supplementing my ‘rest’ days for Jillian videos or elliptical intervals). I had created a huge deficit between the amount of FUEL I was providing my body and the amount of miles I was putting on it. Our bodies aren’t like cars. They don’t turn off as obvious as a car does if it runs out of fuel. Instead it slowly shuts down, even if we keep going…, sometimes without us recognizing the signs until it’s too late. (Enter my HA diagnosis and the start of a journey that will forever change my life).

Fortunately, my Dr. told me HA is reversible and I could get my cycles back on my own by gaining weight and by stopping running cold turkey. I gained from a BMI of 19.5ish to 22.3ish and stopped running completely for 6 weeks and got my first natural cycle back!

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One of the biggest questions people have for me is what I ate to gain the weight in a healthy way.

NOTE: Never attempt to change your calorie intake without medical supervision.

I ate tons of peanut butter! That was my biggest source of healthy fats and higher calorie food. I also switched from Skim to 1% milk (ideally whole is better for you if you have HA but David and I met in the middle with 1%). I ate tons of full fat greek yogurt and 4% cottage cheese as well. Any kind of nuts, nut butter, olive oil, avocados…all really high in HEALTHY fats! With gaining, I knew I also needed to break free and allow myself some not so healthy foods as well like ice cream (again, that full fat dairy!) and cookies, etc. I knew that the faster I gained to a healthier weight, the faster I would most likely recover and that was my main goal.

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Gaining weight is hard. Trust me, it goes way beyond the pounds on the scale. For a year I trained my willpower and dedicated myself to a new lifestyle, I got healthy which is awesome but there’s a fine line between healthy and taking it to the extreme. I took it to the extreme and someday I will be a runner again but I will be a runner who refuels, a runner who knows not to push it too far, and hopefully a runner who can share with you how to live healthy as a mother!

If you are dealing with HA and are in recovery mode already, it will get easier. Sometimes it’s best to get rid of your scale, get pants that grow with you, get rid of your clothes when you were that unhealthy weight…your mind has got to move past the restrictive thoughts and behaviors and anything you can do to make that easier and allow you to love your new HEALTHY and FERTILE body and curves the better off you will be and HA will feel less and less like a curse.

Eat. Rest. Nourish.

There were so many resources that helped me through my recovery and I hope these links help you find some answers as well! Feel free to email me at ifgravityhappens@gmail.com as well 🙂

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea -Mallory’s story

Ashley at MyFoodnFitnessDiaries HA FAQ

YourEatopia.com Restrictive Eating Disorder Spectrum: Fertility and Pregnancy

YourEatopia.com Phases of Recovery from Restricted Eating (especially read #2: “The Math of the Calories”)