Thursday, January 28, 2016

One Month, Month One

Me after losing 10 pounds in one month.

If you follow this blog for doll making tips, I really apologize. I know I haven't done a new doll for a while now. I know several of you are unhappy because you have unfollowed me (so you're not even reading this anyway) but my job, first and foremost, isn't the doll making and repair or my eBay or Etsy shops or even selling Young Living. My most important job is to mother to my children. I can't be a good mother if I'm sick all the time or asleep all the time or too fat to live long enough to see my children through their transition to adulthood. Taking care of myself so I can perform to my best ability as a mother is a huge part of that responsibility and I'm sorry if you'd rather read about dolls, but this is what I'm doing right now. I promise, promise, I will get back to the dolls as soon as I can. I have a huge pile of them half finished in my studio.

I've been devoting the majority of my time to myself for a change, because I really need to. Besides gaining all kinds of weight steadily over the years and then even more recently (for no apparent reason), I was not feeling well at all. I was exhausted all the time and was having a lot of GI issues. As you know if you've been reading the blog, I joined a closed Facebook group called Healthy and Fit 2016 whose purpose is to use Young Living oils combined with Beachbody coaching to help us improve our health and lose weight if we need that. As you can see from the photos, this is working fabulously for me. After so many years of trying different things and really struggling, I feel like this might finally be the key to getting my health and figure back. I've tried weight loss group meetings, Beachbody workouts and meal plans, essential oils, and pretty much every diet or new exercise trend you can imagine over the past 17 years and absolutely none of them worked well. The few times I saw results I gained weight back after a while. However, combining the Facebook group where we check in every day with the Beachbody coaching (using several different meal plans/workouts from Beachbody) and with the Young Living products has made an enormous difference. I lost 10 pounds in a month and today I'm down another pound. You can see from my face on Christmas how swollen I was before. I'm much less swollen now and my digestive problems are fewer, so I'm sure I have less inflammation. I chose to give up wheat because of my allergies. In my before picture I wasn't just bloated, my arms were covered with a rash. Giving up wheat is not required in this group but some other members are also giving up wheat or all grains, so we can support each other. The next month of the challenge begins on February 8th. I hope you will join us. Please visit my Naturally Amanda Facebook page and message me to find out how to join or email

I am happy to tell you what I've done to get these results, but I'm not sure you'll do as well without the group support. I exercise at least 30 minutes most days. Often I get a lot more. Yesterday my step count was over 24,000! Mostly I walk but I also do pushups, planks, jumping jacks, crunches, and other old school resistance moves with and without weights. I try to eat 6 cups of vegetables (preferably green) and 4 cups of fruit a day. I TRY but it doesn't often happen. I also substitute beans for lots of items made with wheat, like using beans instead of bread crumbs as binder in meatloaf. I snack on kale chips and lentil or quinoa chips with hummus and eat dates for a sweet treat. I drink 3-4 drops of Young Living Slique oil in water before each meal and every morning I apply 4 drops of YL Progessence Plus to my forearms and a blend of EndoFlex, Energee, and Oola Fitness oil to my carotid arteries. At night I apply Cel-Lite-Magic massage oil to my stomach, rear, and thighs, OrthoSport to my knees and feet and any other sore places, and a blend of EndoFlex, Frankincense, Peppermint, Lemongrass, and JuvaFlex diluted in flax seed oil to the soles of my feet. I drink 80-100 ounces of water per day, often livened up with YL lemon or lime oil. I check in with my group at least once a day to get ideas, show the foods I'm eating, ask for encouragement, etc. Below I will share a favorite new recipe I discovered.

Tuna Melt Boats

3 small avocados
2 cans of white albacore tuna in water, drained
Young Living lemon oil
6 ultra-thin slices Colby-jack cheese

Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, saving the shells. Mash up the avocado flesh and mix in the drained tuna until smooth. Add dill, salt, pepper, and Young Living lemon essential oil to taste. Spoon the mixture evenly into the avocado shells. Top each shell with a slice of cheese folded in half. Place on parchment paper or foil-lined cookie sheet under the broiler until the cheese melts and bubbles. Serves 6.

As you can see, this is a simple and easy recipe with lots of healthy ingredients and built-in portion control! That's the sort of thing I'm cooking right now.

The winter storm

I am especially proud of myself for doing well on my exercise plan this month because we were hit with Jonas, the big winter storm that covered pretty much half the country. We got about 4 inches of sleet, snow, and freezing rain over the course of about 48 hours. By the third day this mixture had formed into solid ice almost everywhere, making any kind of outdoor activity difficult. I fought the urge to sleep all day and shoveled snow/ice and went for long precarious walks and took the kids sledding. Between winter break and the storm the kids went to school only one day in two straight weeks!

The latest Kitty Kapers replica

I did pass the time with some work. I had a custom order for one of my Kitty Kapers Barbie replica cats. These are meant to look enough like the 1972 Barbie pets without being so close you can't tell they're replicas. I've made many of these over the years, customizing them for people who want them more or less like the originals. You can find out more about those in my Etsy store listing or in my first Kitty Kapers blog post.

Barbie with the cat

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