Feline on a Bike

Howdy there and Happy Saturday! How are you today? I woke up this morning, and the first thing I spotted was Calliope making herself comfortable on Luke’s woolly bike seat! Naughty kitt lit!

She was very pleased with herself, as you can plainly see.

I’m going to try something new with my eating schedule, y’all. I’m going to try eating every two hours or so, and I’m going to break up my meals. For instance, instead of having chicken and veggies in one setting at lunch, I’ll have my chicken around 12, and then my veggies around 2. I’m hoping this routine will help with any hunger pains and help me to eat a little less (I went overboard yesterday with my snacks).

I wasn’t too hungry for breakfast once again, so I scrambled two eggs with a tablespoon of shredded cheese and S+P and topped with salsa. Simple! One cup of coffee with creamer to drink.

Soon after breakfast, I drove to Planet Fitness and did 45 minutes on the elliptical. (Calliope was *still* sleeping on the bike when I got home.) It was a bit of an overcast, rainy, lazy day, so I’m glad that I pushed that into the back of my mind and went to the gym anyway!

My hair braiding is slowly but surely getting neater – I did two French braids this morning before my workout, and they’re looking much tighter and more even. It’s harder for me to do them on clean hair still, it’s much easier when my hair has gone a day without a wash. I tried doing them on my clean hair after my shower in an unsuccessful and frustrating attempt … ah well. I’m getting better.

I had a veggie-snack around 10:30 – sugar snap peas and salted cucumber slices with salsa (I’m a salsa-fiend, what can I say?). Little veggie-snacks keep me sane throughout the day, I have to say.

The first part of my lunch was 6 oz of baked BBQ chicken with some celery and Bacon Cheddar Ranch. I mainly wanted to focus on the chicken, but the plate looked bare, so I added some extra crunch.

Soon after lunch, I ran to the store and bought a ton of tasty goodies! Huzzah! Around 3:30, I had what I’m considering to be my second part of lunch, which was some raw cauliflower and red bell pepper with hummus and salsa.Around 5:30, it was cocktail time! I had a Trilogy Kombucha, and it’s by far my favorite flavor.

Dinner happened around 7. I baked more BBQ chicken and some broccoli, sweet potato, jalapeno, and carrot and placed them all on a bed of lettuce, a bit of rice, and with a sprinkling of cheese. BBQ sauce and Sriracha ranch along with a few Fritos as a topper.

Alrighty, that’s all I got for tonight! πŸ™‚ Hope everyone had a fabulous day – I’m off to watch Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel.

~ Mandy

30 Minutes a Day

Hi there! How are you doing today? My moods have been pretty stable lately, and I’m very thankful! Bipolar disorder is a harsh mistress sometimes, and I still experience bizarre moods throughout the day, but I like to think that I’ve been in a balanced way lately (I’ll have to ask Luke, of course, as he’s the ultimate gauge for my moods, but I think I’ve been steady).

I admit that I had giant LOW and a good cry over my body yesterday … I was convinced that my stomach looked terrible! That’s just part of it, I think, but it sucks when it happens. I’m trying to keep positive and look at any changes in my body as a positive thing, not a detrimental one. After all, my body *is* going to change if I keep working out and eating well. It’s NOT a bad thing at all! I’m just so used to being extremely thin and disordered that it’s hard to see any change, but I’m working on adjusting my perspective.

I’m upping my protein intake for real this time, y’all. I want to see results, so I need to get with the program and stop living off fruits and veggies. So today and from now on, my focus will be on protein, protein, protein. My eats may become a little boring as I tend to eat the same thing once I find a good balance, but I like sharing them on here regardless. πŸ™‚

Breakfast this morning was around 9; I ate two eggs with about a tablespoon of shredded Mexican Blend cheese, S+P, and salsa. 1 cup of coffee with creamer to drink … I’m going to try cutting back. I wasn’t terribly hungry for breakfast, so I had a relatively small meal, but since it was packed with protein, it kept me full until lunch.

Soon after breakfast, I had an inkling to hit the gym. I felt a bit gross because I hadn’t taken a shower, but I washed my face, put on deodorant, put my hair into low pigtails, and I went anyway! I did the elliptical for 30 minutes and walked/ran a bit on the treadmill. I felt *so much better about my body* after exercising, y’all.

My goal is to start doing 30 minutes a day on cardio and keep up with weights – I’d do a hour on the elliptical for a few days in a row and then get burnt out and just do weights. By doing just 30 minutes, I’m getting many health benefits, such as a mood boost, and I can create a little deficit, which I do want (I’d like to lose some more belly fat to show dem abs!). If I’m feelin’ frisky, I can do 30 minutes twice a day. I don’t need to do an entire hour in one setting though … it just makes me too tired, and I need to avoid burn-out.

Luke woke up early and wanted to go to O’Reilly’s for some bike stuff, so I went with him. πŸ™‚ He was up and at ’em and worked on his bikeΒ all afternoon. Yes, it’s parked inside the apartment … no, I don’t mind! We don’t want it to get stolen like Luke’s old one, so it needs to stay inside with us.

Random, but I want to decorate the wall where the bike is – it’s stark white right now, and it just bugs the crap outta me! I’m gonna go to TJ Maxx and Ross to see about some cheap wall decor. I have to do something about that white space, damn it!

Lunch was at 1:00, and I enjoyed 6 oz of baked BBQ chicken (yep, I’m weighing out my proteins), roasted onion, broccoli, cauliflower, and red bell pepper all placed on a bed of spinach with Fiesta Ranch and a little extra Stubb’s BBQ sauce. It was delicious! Chicken salads are a “safe” food for me now, which is GREAT.

Vanilla chai tea with almond-coconut milk and stevia was my beverage of choice with lunch. Tea literally keeps me sane during the day as it’s something to sip and keep my tummy full – it truly helps with purge urges, in my opinion, but those urges are starting to fade.

One of my little “mini-goals” today was to start re-learning how to properly braid my hair! I did two French braids down the back, and although they need to be cleaned up a bit, they looked good enough to wear for the rest of the day, so I was pleased with myself. I want to learn how to do fish-tail braids again too. πŸ™‚ (Not the most flattering pic of me – the shadow makes me look like I have major crows feet, but I was proud, ha!) I want to have much longer hair, and I need to learn how to braid again.

I needed a pick-me-up, so I had a smoothie for a snack around 3:30 – my mix was Protein One vanilla, almond-coconut milk, a tablespoon of chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and ice. Yummy!

I also munched on an apple and some peanut butter yogurt dip (I *love* that stuff, and the recipe makes a ton!).

I wasn’t very hungry around my usual dinnertime due to my large snack. Instead, I watched TV and simply vegged out in my cozy old blue socks (they are getting holes in them, damn it, but I still wear them because they’re so damn comfortable). The apartment was very clean, so I didn’t have any catching up to do this evening, which made me happy. I had planned on going back to the gym to do 30 more minutes of cardio, but I was ultimately too lazy return to the gym … oh well! I already went once, so that’s good enough for a Friday night.

I had my kombucha cocktail around 6:30 … Gingerade this time because my tummy needed some soothing after my big snack! Dinner was much later than usual, but that’s perfectly fine with me! I had more BBQ chicken with roasted onion and broccoli and a bit of rice drizzled with some ranch, BBQ, and a dab of salsa. Easy peasy, yum, yum.

Now I’m watching Expedition Unknown and trying not to think about my full tummy! Hope you had a great day, y’all!

~ Mandy




Watching Mr. Boomer

Hi there and Happy Monday!Β I’ve been feeling a little low today in the mood department (i.e. fuzzy in the head, overall tired compared to my usual energetic self) … I think it’s due to taking extra Gabapentin for my anxiety attack yesterday, so I’m happy that I won’t have to take any extra anytime soon. My anxiety attacks happen about once every two weeks now, and I’m handling the situation as best I can. Extra gaba helps as does hot tea and deep breathing.

I’ve been struggling with food more than usual recently too. It’s so easy to want to restrict, y’all. I struggle with feeling too full still, even after I’ve just eaten an apple. I keep telling myself that I’m absolutely not fat and if I *feed* my body properly, I’ll gain muscle weight. I haven’t been feeding my body correctlyΒ  (during my blogging hiatus, I ate mainly vegetables), and I must remedy that … I think I did a good job today! Today I ate three big meals and two snacks, and I think I’m going to take a lesson from my achy stomach and try three smaller meals and two snacks tomorrow.

This morning around 8 after I went to check on Mr. Boomer (I’m watching him since my mom is out of town), I made banana pumpkin oatmeal in a jar! My mix was 1/2 C of Quaker Oats, 1 C soy milk, 1/2 of a banana, chia seeds, almond slivers, coconut bits, cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pumpkin stirred in the end. Topped with banana, granola, and peanut butter. I just adore oatmeal because it keeps me full throughout the morning. Yes, it’s a bit of a carb overload, but that’s okay! It’s ENERGY. I need to branch out from my oatmeal rut and try some eggs and toast in the morning, so perhaps that’s what I’ll eat tomorrow.

I went to the gym after breakfast and lifted some weights. Then I walked Boomer around the block … he’s 15 years old, so he loves to piddle! Sweet ol’ man.

Around 11, I had a Pacific Rose apple with cinnamon … I just love my daily apple!

Lunch time! I baked some Pioneer Woman Perfect Salmon with some roasted broccoli and brown rice complete with some stir fry sauce (it’s just soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, cornstarch, and a bit of chicken broth with some sesame seeds mixed in).

After lunch, I felt literally stuffed and fat and ugly. I’m still working on dealing with the sensation of feeling full, y’all. I look at myself in the mirror and see this bloated, gross person staring back at me … I know in my heart that I’m neither ugly nor fat, but my brain likes to tell me otherwise. ED’s are a battle of the brain, my friends, and my brain LOVES lying to me about my looks and my feelings. My stomach also sends signals after I eat which scream “I’m UNCOMFORTABLE! You should purge!” … it’s a big battle, I ain’t gonna sugarcoat it. But I’m dealing with it as best I can.

Luke had the day off today, so we relaxed – Luke hurt his back recently and needed to chill out – and petted kitty cats …

Β … and I ran to my mom’s house a billion times to let Boomer out to go potty (he has a weak bladder and gets fluids for his kidneys, so I let him out often).

Around 4:30, I wanted something to munch on, so I cut up some cucumber and carrot and served them with some light Fiesta Ranch and salt.

Luke made us bison burgers for dinner with pepper jack cheese, and I roasted some sweet potato. We added fresh heirloom tomato, romaine, and pickle to the burgers. Ketchup on the side for dipping. Mango kombucha to drink for me, strawberry ale for Luke. Very yummy!

Now I’m off to check on Mr. Boomer one more time and to digest my burger (yes, I’m dealing with a stuffed tummy again tonight)! Hope you’ve had a nice day, my friends. It’s so nice and HOT here! πŸ™‚

~ Mandy


A Trippy Head

Last night was trippy af, y’all. I took my nightly pills, and I suddenly turned into a dizzy-ass walking zombie. I even hit the back of my head somehow (I don’t remember doing this) and turns out that I bled on my pillowcase.

I woke up around 3 a.m. – Luke was awake reading his iPad – and had a splitting headache (migraine-class). I felt the back of my head and found some of my hair to be matted with blood. Luke and I looked at it, and he said I had a cut on the back of my head. I vehemently denied bumping it, but Luke said I had to do *something* for it to bleed like that (which is the truth, damn it!). I had a rough time getting back to sleep, but I woke up around 7 with my poor head still pounding. Ibuprofen became my new best friend today, I gotta say. Luke said I probably gave myself a concussion, and I have to agree … my head was being SO SHITTY for the entire day.

Three cups of coffee were consumed this morning, complete with Coffee-Mate Chocolate Espresso. My head was feeling yucky, so I treated myself with some creamer. I enjoyed a Siggi’s Mixed Berry Yogurt with some raspberries and blueberries with a sprinkle of granola and a drizzle of honey.

After breakfast, I got dressed, went to the gym, and did my hour on the elliptical (my head wasn’t doing too well during my exercise, but I plugged through it). Luke advised me not to go back and lift weights today because of my head … I thought he was right, so I didn’t do weights today (hopefully tomorrow I will – weights are my favorite!).

Washing my poor hair and blow drying it was not pleasant – my head was not thrilled with all of the activity, and my headache worsened. Poop!

Lunch was a smattering of tuna, cucumber, Toasted Sesame Ginger dressing, Pace Salsa, a few pickles, a bit of sweet potato. It looks unappetizing, but this really was a delicious pick-me-up meal. Salted Caramel Tea to drink!

Persephone was nestled on the couch inside of Luke’s belt.

Luke and I ran a few errands – we needed to grab some veggies and lotion at our local United Supermarket, and we needed more e-liquid. Yes, we smoke e-cigs … it’s the last unhealthy habit that I need to tackle, but I’m still in the throws of fighting the eating disordered behaviors, so I’m allowing myself to smoke (for now … I keep throwing around the idea of quitting, as Luke does too!).

With my pounding head, I drove to Target and TJ Maxx to just browse … I had no money on me, just a $5 Starbucks Gift Card, ha! I enjoy browsing and dreaming, just the thing to get my mind off my stupid headache. I spotted a Wonder Woman Crop Top at Target … and then I spotted a Star Wars Crop Top! Enamored, I texted Luke, and he told me to swing by his work. He sweetly gave me his credit card and told me to buy the two tops (I could return them if I needed to … the Target dressing room was PACKED on this Saturday, and I didn’t want to stand in line for an hour to try them on). Talk about a loving husband, y’all. I just adore my caring man!

At 5 p.m., I had a Pink Lady apple with crunchy organic peanut butter and cinnamon to stave off hunger for dinner. So tasty and satisfying! I drank Purple Acai Blueberry Green Tea with my apple … I would post pics of my drinks, but they’re almost always in my giant Yeti Mug, so it wouldn’t be very interesting to see.

I made Ranch Chicken for dinner with ranch dressing, BBQ, Panko, and cheddar cheese … easy peasy recipe! I just coat the chicken in a bit of ranch dressing, S+P, top with some Panko, drizzle with some BBQ, and add some cheddar during the last few minutes of baking. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees.

I also sauteed some broccoli, zucchini, green beans, and carrot with some S+P, basil and parsley in EVOO and butter.

Dinner was so delicious! πŸ™‚

Now I’m off to drink some tea and to nurse my damn head … hope you had a great day!

~ Mandy

A State of Mania

Howdy there! How are you doing on this fine Saturday?

I woke up feeling very low energy and a little moody yesterday, y’all. I’m not sure why exactly, but there it is. I made some salted caramel tea with stevia and tried to boost my mood a bit by watching Travel Channel … I wasn’t very hungry, so I skipped breakfast.

I went to the gym around 10 and managed 45 minutes on the elliptical before needing to come home and eat! Note to self: don’t try to work out without eating something first!

I had two hard boiled eggs at 11 (my hunger suddenly dropped off upon coming home) with some mustard and S+P.

At noon, I was looking for something fast and simple, so I heated up some BBQ meatloaf and ate up my leftover salad from The Bagel Place. Yum! Talk about some tasty leftovers. That salad was so tasty!

The cats were very interested in Mr. Drogo today … Calliope and Caprica were sitting on Drogo’s cage looking sweet until Calliope batted Caprica away! Nasty things. Calliope looked particularly angelic too (despite being a batty-boo towards Caprica).

Luke and I drove to the gym again, and I made a new friend named Amanda (that’s my name too, ha! I won’t forget that easily) who works at Planet Fitness. She’s such a sweetheart, and I’m glad to have finally made her acquaintance! Luke and I did weights for about 50 minutes, and I felt AMAZING once we were done! I need to lift weights often, even if it’s by myself, because it makes me feel so wonderful.

Caprica bothered Luke after our workout … she wanted attention! Here’s where it gets weird: I became utterly MANIC after Luke left for work. I mean, like CRAZY MANIC. My mania usually entails an urge to CLEAN EVERYTHING. That’s exactly what I did! I cleaned out the fridge, the microwave, the doors, the floors, the baseboards … everything.

So what caused my mania? I took an extra Gabapentin. Dr. Jenkins told me to increase my Gaba from 600 mg to 1200 mg for my frequent anxiety attacks.

I’ve held off on taking my extra Gaba for a few days since I talked to Rachael, the wonderful and caring nurse, but today I decided to try it. I think my mania is just my body trying to get used to the new dosage, and that’s okay! I’d much rather be manic than depressed … that sounds horrid, but it’s true for me because I get so much DONE when I’m manic … don’t get me wrong, mania is not fun sometimes … today, though, it was ABSOLUTELY awesome!

I’m not trying to glamorize mania as it’s hellish for many people. For me, it’s not hellish (for the most part). It’s wonderful and euphoric. Today I’m feeling on top of the world, and that’s okay. It’s just part of the mania. I know it’ll subside soon, probably after I sleep it off.

When I’m in such a manic state, I don’t want to eat, period. I forced myself to eat some cucumbers and salsa around 5 p.m. ….

…. and around 7 p.m. I forced myself to eat some melon. I just wasn’t interested in eating very much at all due to the mania.

My mania subsided a little bit, and I went on a walk with my mom and Boomer, her ancient Shih Tzu. I’m going to be watching Mr. Booms for about 10 days starting on Tuesday, and I’m thrilled to help out my mom while she goes on a trip to Seattle!

After the walk, I was finally hungry around 9:30, so I roasted some broccoli, carrot, and green beans with seasoning and EVOO. I served them with a dash of Toasted Sesame Ginger Sauce. I also added the rest of the meatloaf to the pile with some BBQ sauce (I needed some protein, after all).

My eating isn’t where it needs to be, I realize – I didn’t eat all that much today, but that’s perfectly okay. Mania is a tricky beast for me, and I just wasn’t all that interested in food.

That’s my spiel for the day – are you ever manic or suffer from mental health issues?

~ Mandy


Cutting Calories + Meatloaf

Howdy there! How are you doing today?

Luke and I were chatting last night, and he suggested that I cut out about 100 to 150 calories in sugar, carbs, and fat to get more muscle definition. I’m intrigued by this idea, so I’m giving it a whirl. That means no more carb-bomb oatmeal + granola in the morning (at least not often … y’all know I love me some oatmeal) and no more coffee creamer (oh, the drama!). I need to ease up on my dressings and dipping sauces;Β  I also need to find some yogurt with less sugar too – Siggi’s Yogurt is a good bet for me.

Smoothie in a bowl today! I blended a banana, some almond-coconut milk, a goodly handful of spinach, Protein One vanilla, ice, cinnamon, and vanilla, and I topped the deliciousness off with just a sprinkle of granola (I’m trying to cut back on my carbs and sugar, after all) and a few lonesome strawberries that were needing to be used. Mighty tasty! Coffee with stevia and almond milk to drink.

I was in a so-so mood this morning, so I decided to head to the gym bright and early to boost my mind. I did my hour on the elliptical and walked for a while. Felt so good to work out!

On my way home from Planet Fitness, some jackass clipped my little Kia Optima by trying to turn into my lane while I was passing him. Luckily I didn’t see any damage done … GRRR! The jerk didn’t turn into the parking lot with me either to see if any damage had occurred … makes me mad that some people are so damn inconsiderate.

At home, I drank some hot mint green tea and cleaned up the apartment a little bit (HELLO, cat box! We meet yet again!).

I needed a snack around 11, so I cut up some cucumbers, added S+P, and dipped them in some Pace Salsa. Oh those little cucs tasted so good to me!

I roasted some broccoli, yellow squash, and carrot for lunch and served them with leftover BBQ baked chicken (it had a bit of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top) and BBQ sauce … a little salted yellow honeydew melon on the side! I apologize for the messy plate, my chicken really sizzled in the microwave.

I ran to the store and then had a honeycrisp apple with cinnamon and crunchy organic peanut butter around 4:15 while I was baking some dinner (I also had about 6 undocumented jelly beans, but who’s counting?).

I tried a different recipe called Honey BBQ Meatloaf for dinner tonight … I’ve been searching for ground beef recipes that don’t involve noodles or rice, and this meatloaf fit the bill. I roasted some sweet potato, broccoli, half of a baby avocado, and green beans with Parmesan as a side dish. The meatloaf was very tasty, and I’m glad I made it!

I also tried Bigelow’s Salted Caramel Tea with dinner tonight … it really does taste like salted caramel! Yummy! πŸ™‚

I’m kicking back this evening and am enjoying Mysteries at the Museum with my hot tankard o’ tea. Have a lovely night, y’all!

~ Mandy


Brighter + Bagels

I woke up with high hopes that today would turn out to be a much brighter day than yesterday. Yesterday was a complete bitch, and I hope I don’t have to repeat a day like that for a long time. It’s just part of being bipolar, I know, but it absolutely STINKS when I’m in a depressed mood. I hate to say it, but I’d much rather be manic than depressed. Both are hellish in their own right, but for me, mania tends to be much more tolerable.

I had Oats-in-a-Jar this morning … hooray for almost-empty peanut butter jars! My mix was a banana, 1/3 C of Quaker oats, about 3/4 C of almond-coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla with pumpkin stirred in at the end. Cascadian Farm Organic Oats and Honey Granola and organic peanut butter as a topper, and coffee with Coffee-Mate Chocolate Espresso to drink!

I did my usual hour on the elliptical soon after breakfast, and I walked on the treadmill at an incline for a bit too, all while listening to the Miss Saigon Manila Cast. I just adore that show, y’all. It has some peppy music which makes working out fun – I basically zone out for an hour when I do cardio, and it’s blissful.

My Mom wanted to take me and Luke out to lunch after a doctor’s appointment, so we headed to The Bagel Place on Bell Street around noon. It was such a treat to see my mom and to eat lunch out, I have to say!

I ordered the half sandwich-half salad combo, and it was a TON of food. I ordered the Badger Sandwich, and they gave me the entire Parmesan bagel instead of half; for the salad, I ordered the Monica with chicken. Talk about delicious! The spicy turkey sandwich and the salad with the glazed pecans, strawberries, red onion, and chicken along with the raspberry vinaigrette made for a tasty lunch!

I polished off my sandwich and most of the salad … this girl was hungry after her workout, but I managed to sneak some salad and some of Luke’s Baked Harvest Sun Chips home. I was sufficiently STUFFED after lunch (Luke even gave me a bite of his Salted Carmel Brownie). The Bagel Place is comfortable, quick, delicious, and clean – I highly recommend this joint if you’re ever in my neck of the woods!

At home, I cleaned the apartment up (I especially took care with vacuuming and scrubbing the floors, damn that makes a difference!) while Luke talked on the phone with Geico about his bike … we’re still *praying* that it’s been totaled, and Luke’s phone call today made that sound promising, so fingers crossed.

Drogo was stirred up by the vacuum and came out to say “hi” – he’s so sweet! He’s still very full after his last meal. πŸ™‚

Luke “fur-minated” Calliope today (I admonished him not to get cat fur all over the clean apartment, but he kept the fuzz in a nice clean pile). The look of complete and utter betrayal on Calliope’s face says it all.

Next it was Persephone’s turn … no like-y!

My big-ass lunch held me over until 5:30, which is a rarity for me – I’m usually reaching for a snick-snack before then! My stomach started to grumble, so I fixed an Ambrosia apple with cinnamon and peanut butter which filled me right up!

Dinner was simply a Silk Vanilla Yogurt with a banana + honey and some roasted broccoli and carrot drizzled with ranch. My tummy wasn’t too thrilled with me at this point, I have to admit … I was feeling a bit yucky and tired for some reason, not sure why exactly, but there it is.

I had a pretty damn good day today, y’all. Despite ending the day on a tired and icky note with my tummy and headache, I’m feeling pretty great. Here’s hoping that the weather change is going to help my mood out (it’s supposed to be in the 80’s and 90’s this week with no rain). The weather definitely affects my moods, and yesterday was a cool and rainy day here, so I’m going to blame the weather on my depressed mood yesterday.

Alrighty, I’m off to watch me some Expedition Unknown! πŸ™‚

~ Mandy