Motivation Monday — September 29, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


 

get-back-on-track

You may get off track, lose focus and end up in a place you don’t want to be. Have faith. Take a step back, evaluate your life, reconnect with the world, and the people who matter most. Find yourself again. Look out to the horizon, yours dreams may be far off, but they’re there, waiting for you to move toward them.

Best Brownie Recipe!

For awhile I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect brownie recipe. I like something that is really rich in chocolate and fudgy (none of this cake-like nonsense). Usually I prefer to just leave my brownies unadulterated, but sometimes I will add in raisins (weird? blame my parents for that one :P).

And call me lazy, but I prefer to avoid using baking chocolate whenever I can. My brain thinks it’s easier and cheaper to use cocoa. Whether that’s actually the case, it has yet to be tested. Either way, gimme a brownie recipe made with cocoa powder!

Amazingly, I found a brownie recipe that covers all of the above! It’s seriously the best recipe ever. Just be careful not to overcook the brownies! In my opinion, brownies are one of the hardest things to cook the right amount — the top should be just barely crusted across the entire pan — you must learn to trust that it is cooked the right amount! It’s extremely important to let the brownies completely cool in the pan after you take them out of the oven. If anything, under cook them. (The chocolate deliciousness is quite forgiving 😉 ) I also usually double the recipe, use a 9×13 pan and hike the oven up to 350°.

Definitely can’t take any credit for the ingeniousness of this recipe. It’s perfect as is! Thank you Bon Appetit for being awesome :) Feel free to add in whatever yummy additions you like — raisins, chocolate chips (or any other kind of chip), crumbled oreos, chopped caramels, chopped peppermint patties (my latest try–SO good!). The options are endless!

One last piece of advice before you hurry up and make these — absolutely line your pan with tin foil or parchment paper! Believe me, you’ll thank me.

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.
  • Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  • Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

16 servings, 1 serving contains:
  • Calories (kcal) 110
  • Fat (g) 7
  • Saturated Fat (g) 4
  • Cholesterol (mg) 40
  • Carbohydrates (g) 15
  • Dietary Fiber (g) 1
  • Total Sugars (g) 11
  • Protein (g) 2
  • Sodium (mg) 70

 

 

August Challenge Recap

~ There are many healthy habits I’d like to develop and since I love a challenge (and some structure), I thought I’d give myself a new challenge every month. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, but I thought I’d round it out with a whole month. Some challenges will be directly related to lymphedema, and some won’t. But they will all be with the end goal to make a healthier me. I’d love for you to follow along and update me on your progress! ~


For my August challenge I decided to do the manual lymph drainage self-massage every day.

How did it go? Well, not as expected.

My first approach was to do the full massage, which takes me about 10 minutes. Really the only time I could even attempt to consistently do this is adding to my bedtime routine.

Immediately I realized that the routine took too long. So, I shortened the massage to about 6 minutes. Much more manageable!

But even then, I still couldn’t do it consistently. Either I consciously was too lazy to, had already put on my night garments and didn’t want to take them off, or I completely forgot. Yes, I managed to let it completely slip my mind on multiple occasions.

I tried using an alarm on my phone. That didn’t work because I wasn’t always ready at the same time every day.

I tried posting some obnoxiously bright sticky notes on my night stand to remind me. That didn’t work either.

So, in a last-ditch effort I made a deal with myself: every night I can either do the self-massage before bed or wear my night garment.

The result? I learned I would much rather wear my night garments 😉

What I learned is that I just couldn’t add one more thing to my nighttime routine. Heck, I can barely floss every night. So, I’ve landed on the above-mentioned deal — either the self-massage or the night garment. So sometimes I do the massage, but more often I prefer to wear my night garments.

Why did I make that decision? Because I firmly believe that lymphedema treatment is about tailoring the tools in your lymphedema toolbox to your needs and preferences. For me, self-massage isn’t really my thing. But that’s OK, because there are others tools in my toolbox — compression garments, night garment, pump, exercise, nutrition, elevation.


Did you participate in the August challenge? Do you regularly do the MLD self-massage? Is it one of the tools in your toolbox?

September Challenge: Be Active!

~ There are many healthy habits I’d like to develop and since I love a challenge (and some structure), I thought I’d give myself a new challenge every month. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, but I thought I’d round it out with a whole month. Some challenges will be directly related to lymphedema, and some won’t. But they will all be with the end goal to make a healthier me. I’d love for you to follow along and update me on your progress! ~


 

index

Did you know that although the lymphatic system is twice the size of the circulatory system, it does not have its own pump to remove waste? So, it relies on the contraction of muscles and breathing to help circulate the lymph fluid. Which is why being active for us lymphies (and non-lymphies) is so important!

That’s why for this month’s challenge my goal is to be active every day. “Active” means something different to everyone. For me, being active basically means anything that I do with my exercise spandex clothes on and that breaks a sweat — running, walking, spin class, anything at the gym.

The thing is I’m a pro at coming up with excuses not to exercise. I’m too tired. I feel like I’m getting sick so I should sleep as much as possible. I don’t have time. I need to relax. And the list goes on…

So, for the month of September I’m challenging myself to be active every. single. day. No excuses. Let’s do this!!


Will you join me for September’s challenge?! What does being active mean to you?

Motivation Monday — September 1, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


0bd04d88948cbc565cc6778d02d120e0Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest.
It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.
 

For the first 18 years of my life I lived in the same state, the same town, the same house, in the same room. And then I left for college. Since then I’ve live in 3 cities and moved 5 times. Each move I’ve picked up my life and started fresh–either in a new city or a new job. I’ve gotten pretty good at making new friends. And I’ve also learned to appreciate really good friends, those I’ve known since childhood and those whom I’ve met in adulthood. It’s really not about how long you’ve known someone, it’s about how they show you they’re there for you. Really good friends don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Thank you to those who have said “I’m here for you” and proved it. Thank you to those who have been my biggest champions in my lymphedema story. True friends are hard to come by, and I’m so fortunate to have you in my life.