How am I doing with my New Year’s strategies and my word for 2018? I developed my 2018 life strategies and my word for the year to continue to boost my well-being and physical health. So how’s that going for me you ask? I decided that now that we are 6 months in to 2018, I should ask myself that very question. Luckily I blogged about it so I can be held accountable by all of you.
My strategies included:
- Reprogramming my negative self-talk to become empowering self-talk
- Take more naps (I’m working on this one!)
- Be More Grateful
- Enjoy the Little Things
Step 2 in my quest for personal improvement for 2018 was to Choose One Word to help guide me through the year. So, after much should searching, I chose Intention (see my New Years post https://cookingincowboyboots.com/2018/01/04/its-a-new-year-celebrate-with-this-vietnamese-chicken-noodle-bowl/). I made this commitment with the hopes that this word would help me to stay focused and keep me excited about redefining my life but most importantly, helping me along my health journey. Living with Multiple Sclerosis is hard so when I decided thatintention was my word, my goal was that it would allow me to have focus and prioritize what is most important in my life. Because I only have a set number of spoons (energy) in a day (I will blog about the spoon theory later), intentionally putting important things at the top of my list would define the things I would focus my energy on.
At the end of 2018 when I reflect on the year, I wanted to be able to see that the progress I made was because I was intentional and worked consistently towards positive change in my life. To become intentional in thoughts and actions means actually thinking through, planning, considering the true value in all that I do, say and think focusing on the “why” behind what I do daily. In short, I wanted to make good sound decisions, living a life of intention, not default.
So, how is living intentionally going for me?
In previous years, I would reach the end of the year, frantically search for where I had written down those damn resolutions and then beat myself up because I had failed miserably……..again. I have always had more “resolve” when I thought up my resolutions than I did in actually following through on them. But NOT THIS YEAR!
Little did I know that this word (intention) would literally impact ALL of my everyday choices in the first 6 months of the year! When I came up with the idea for a word instead of resolutions, I knew that I wanted to get my health under control but wasn’t sure exactly how I would get it done. So, I got to work fitting in some exercise, intentionally resting when needed, I was kinder to myself and I continued to lean on my family and soak in every minute I got to spend with them. And then we decided to change our eating habits and decided to go with the KETO way of eating, and using intention for every food decision is exactly what is necessary when embarking on this journey. I had to think consciously about every single choice where our diet was concerned. I looked critically at everything in my cupboards, researched each ingredient and decided if it was a keeper or not. Then I would go grocery shopping and had to look at every label and decide if it would fit into our menu plans. I would find recipes and scrutinize them and figure out if they would work for us or not, then I would start to cook and I would intentionally weigh and measure accurately so as not to add additional carbs or whatever to the recipe. Intention and I became very close and what I didn’t expect was that intentionally making choices slowly became easier and easier to do.
Throughout this process, I’ve come to realize that change is hard but I’m feeling good so it makes the hard work worthwhile. While I have done really well, I know that I have a lot more work to do where my health is concerned. I am still battling with considerable pain in my hand. It appears that I have developed a case of acute carpal tunnel syndrome. This type of carpal tunnel is much less common than regular carpal tunnel and is more often directly related to fractures and fracture-dislocations or trauma involving the wrist. Or possibly a lesion or something damaging the nerve. In contrast to the more common chronic idiopathic form, the acute form of carpal tunnel syndrome requires urgent surgical intervention to avoid or diminish serious and non reversible damage. All I know is that it is extremely painful. The strange thing is that it is on my non dominant hand and I have been do No nothing repetitive, I’ve not had any falls or hit my hand in any way. I’ve had nerve conduction testing that showed that I have almost a complete blockage in the median nerve and I just had another MRI of my neck to see if there is a lesion that had caused the damage and I am patiently waiting for “urgent” carpal tunnel release. At this point, I have lost feeling in my thumb and first 2 fingers. I am amazed at how much you need your fingers for. I’m happy to say that I can finally cut my food and do up the zipper on my pants though! Sometimes, you’ve got to celebrate the little things, don’t you?
I can’t let you go without leaving you a yummy recipe. Even though I have eliminated sugar from my diet, I still occasionally want something sweet. No matter how you are eating, you need to check out gnom-gnom.com. The goal at Gnom-Gnom is to create delicious recipes from scratch. You can find recipes for gluten free, Ketogenic or paleo on her site! Go check it out! And enjoy this recipe, I know we do! Next time I make this, I am going to try adding chunks of peanut butter. AND, another great suggestion is to make fudgsicles out of them, I’ve got to try that too!
Keto Chocolate Ice Cream
This creamy keto friendly ice cream will cure all your sweet tooth cravings and is easy peasy to make!
- 15-oz can full fat coconut milk
- ¾ Cup Swerve granulated “sugar”
- ¾ Cup Cocoa Powder – can use less if you prefer a milk chocolate type of ice cream
- ¼ Tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ Tsp Xantham Gum
- 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Vodka, brandy or booze of choice – I used Smirnoff’s Vanilla Vodka
- Add coconut milk, sweetener, cocoa and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Mix using an immersion blender or whisk until all the solids from the coconut milk have the dissolved and the mixture is fully blended.
- Sprinkle xanthan gum little by little and blend until fully combined. You will likely have some air bubbles but be sure to check there are no lumps. Any lumps will be resolved by mixing with an immersion blender (or in an actual blender). Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Add heavy whipping cream to a large chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Blend in vanilla extract and the cooled chocolate mixture. (Optional): add in more cocoa, to taste, for a dark chocolate version.
- (Optional): add in your booze of choice. The mixture should be thick but still pourable. And, if for any reason your mixture is too thick (whipped cream too much, used a lot of cocoa…): thin it out little by little with more coconut milk.
- Transfer ice cream to a sealable container and place in the freezer until frozen (4-6 hours to overnight).
- If freezing overnight: take out your ice cream 10-20 minutes prior to serving (depending on your room temp!) and scoop away.