Feeling a whole lot happier!

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Since starting a more fruit based diet, I’ve felt so much more… I guess energized.  Well, the thing is that with my on/off insomnia, other health issues, especially IBS, and stress at work and some other issues in my life, I have felt really tired for the longest time. I need to snooze the alarm like 10 times in the mornings and I don’t feel like doing anything. With me living in Finland, when autumn comes and winter approaches and the days become shorter and darker, I usually tend to get more depressed and tired, but this time it hasn’t been that bad. I mean, this hasn’t been a miraculous change or anything, but I notice myself having more energy and actually caring about things, which I usually don’t do during the winter. I need to give credit to all the fruit I’ve been eating, especially bananas!

Speaking of darkness, did you know that Finnish summer is known for the nightless nights? It literally does not get dark in the summer time. Here’s a throw back to me coming home on a beautiful summer late evening after a friend’s birthday party (gosh, I miss summer):

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So for the longest time I’ve been feeling like I really want to and need to get married soon because of reasons I am not going to list right now, and my boyfriend on the other hand isn’t ready for it at all (for very valid reasons I’m not going to tell just yet either) and it has been making me feel really down. I mean, it’s not like I am unhappy, or that I feel unloved or anything, it’s just that getting married is one step towards other goals that I have and by us not getting there, feels like I’m missing out on things. I wish I had the strength, the time and the words to explain everything, but right now I don’t. The point behind this ramble is, that since feeling a lot better in my body, I’ve also felt less stressed about the whole marriage issue among other things.

I am so very glad to inform you that it has been about a month and a half since the last time I had intestinal spasms or other kinds of severe stomach pain. I am 100% sure that it is mostly due to the combination of eating less meat and dairy and being less stressed about everything. I’m so happy that I’m feeling healthier!

One of the people who inspire me the most is Sarah Argo from http://southernblondevegan.com/. I’ve gotten so many good recipes from her and been inspired to come up with some of my own! Go check her out everybody!

Here’s a picture of a lovely strawberry-banana treat I made following her recipe:

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No wonder I feel better, huh? 😉 🙂 ❤

Well, time for me to go to bed! Good night everyone (or good morning/day, depending where you’re located). 🙂

XO,

Hanna

Autumn is like Sunday of seasons.

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I love autumn. I love the colors, the clothes you need to wear to keep yourself warm and the melancholy of it…

Let’s face it, there is a certain sadness to autumn. Summer is gone, you’ve packed away your summer dresses and flip flops and you know winter is around the corner. Autumn is like a lazy Sunday that you wish would last forever, but you know Monday is inevitably coming.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate winter. I hate just the cold, the darkness, the wet and cold feet, the chapped lips and the dry skin. I do enjoy winter for a good 2 weeks, when the snow is pure like young love and everything is magical an beautiful. And then I get my first frost bite and I can’t wait for spring. I was born in April and I have to say, it is one of my favorite months with the first warming sunshine of the year, the coltsfeet starting to bloom, birds moving back and people coming back alive.

But then again September is also one of my favorite months, so I’ll need to enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂

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Ismo and I on a walk today

Like I told you in the last post, I had a long and rough week and I’m glad it’s coming to an end. At the same time I am nervous about the next one beginning since I know I need to go to work. Lately I’ve been feeling more and more like I want to do something else. It’s not like I dislike my current job, my heart just belongs somewhere else. I need to start looking into that if I want to truly stop fearing Mondays and start enjoying my life.

Talking about things I enjoy. I love sandwiches. I could live on sandwiches. But the thing is, my stomach doesn’t really approve of wheat, barley or rye (or the gluten in them to be more exact) because of IBS, so typical sandwiches are not the best food for me. Before deciding to go vegan for 5/7 days, I was worried about not being able to quit eating cheese and butter and other important parts of a great sandwich. But then I created this little masterpiece; sliced bread made of 100% oat (which my stomach can handle) topped with a little bit of margarine, a good chunk of avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and a little bit of salt and pepper. I’ve had probably 10 of these over the last 2 weeks and they are so yummy. I don’t miss cheese even a bit when I eat these sandwiches, omnomnom.

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Take care everyone,

Hanna

Work, work and more work.

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I’m having a horrible week. Well, it’s not really that horrible. I just need to whine a bit to get it all out of my system… You know what I mean?

I do have to work a lot this week though. I won’t go to much detail about my work, because of several reasons. Let me assure you though, I’m not a secret agent, a stripper or anything interesting like that. Just a normal person in a normal job. This week I just happen to have a lot to do and no matter how much I work, there is even more work to be done!!! Do any of you ever have weeks like this? This week I have to work on Saturday too, boooo.

And how has this semi stressful week affected my eating and my overall mood? BLAAAAHHHH! I want to eat everything, and I mean everything. Like a plate of everything sounds pretty good right about now. But luckily I’ve stayed pretty strong. Also for the first time in a surprisingly long time I haven’t slept very well the last 2 nights. Sun-Mon night I fell asleep at around 02.00 and woke up at 07.00 and Mon-Tue night I slept from 23.00 to 03.00 and then for about 06.15 to 06.50 and then I just had to get up to go to work. So I’ve gotten only about 4-5 hours of sleep per night. It could be a lot worse and I’ve had it worse, but still… I’m tired.

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Really Insomnia, really? You have to step back into my life right when I most need the energy? Sure.

The most annoying thing about this week is that I’m doing the early morning shift. I usually like them, but lately I’ve gotten used to preparing and having a smoothie every morning for breakfast and I’ve been loving it. This week I have to go to work very early and I can’t use our blender that early in the morning, because it would disturb our neighbors. I don’t like making my smoothies the day before, because they tend to go brown and weird in the fridge. Does anyone know a recipe for a smoothie that doesn’t turn weird in the fridge? Or do you have any other ideas on what I could eat on early mornings? It should be quick, vegan and tasty. I would love it if it also were raw, but it’s not a must. And no, not just fruit. I don’t have time to stuff my face with enough fruit to make me feel full and satisfied until lunch.

Speaking of lunch. For lunch and dinner (yes, both because I made so much of it) I’ve been having smooth vegetable soup. I replaced the cream, that I used in the original version, with oat cream to make it vegan and it’s just as yummy. 🙂

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Oh and I almost forgot, I made suuuuuuper yummy vegan burgers on Friday last week. I made so many patties that I had to freeze some of them. I ate my burger so fast that I forgot to take a picture of it, oh well… Next time. 🙂

Now I really need to start getting ready for bed. I’ll try reading a book until I notice I’ve read the same line 3 or 4 times and I know I’m tired enough to put the book down and sleep. 🙂 Do you want to know other remedies I have for insomnia? How do you guys treat your insomnia?

Love,

Hanna

Celebrating 5 years together!

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Originally posted on September 15th 2014:

Last week it was me and my boyfriend’s 5th anniversary. On the day we exchanged gifts and spent some quality time together on the couch, but saved the bigger celebrations for the weekend. On Sunday went to a spa in Tallinn, Estonia. We took the quickest cruise ship from Helsinki to Tallinn, and the trip took 2 hours. The first part of our first day in Tallinn we spent in the old city, which was beautiful and offered a lot to see and experience. We also enjoyed a lovely early dinner there. The second part of the day we spent at the spa, relaxing in a hot tub, for the most part. After that we were so tired, that we almost instantly fell asleep in the cozy hotel bed. In the morning we ate at the hotel’s nice breakfast buffet and afterward decided to go shopping for a while before checking out and leaving Tallinn behind us.
The trip, though short, was such a nice break from the sometimes boring everyday-life. It was a really lovely way to celebrate our 5 years together.

Now that we’re back and in our own bed, getting ready to sleep (and trying to face the reality of having to go to work tomorrow), I am thinking about my future as a healthier and hopefully thinner person. It is looking very bright to me. I am feeling so very confident of myself and my ability to commit to healthier eating habits and that is partly because even though we did buy (and eat) some chocolate on our trip, I managed to enjoy it sensibly and not stuff my face with it like there’s no tomorrow. I made a lot of great food choices on the trip and even at the breakfast buffet I kept the portion sizes reasonable. And you know, we fat people love buffet’s (joking, and then again not).

Lately I have been interested in learning about vegan lifestyle, and trying out vegan cooking. No, I am not fully going to commit to the lifestyle (at least yet) BUT I little by little have gotten friendly with the idea of using no or very little meat or dairy products. I have been a vegetarian before for a couple of years, but I did eat eggs and dairy. Most of my life I have been a omnivore though. The thing is, I am really getting tired of supporting maltreatment of animals (and our planet), by eating meat and dairy. Also I don’t even like meat that much… I do enjoy my cheese though!
I have decided to cook vegan 5 days a week and on weekends let myself eat meat and dairy if I feel the need to or am in a situation where it is offered. If after a while I feel comfortable with the thought of going vegan full-time, I will do that. But even if I can’t, I am and will be happy with cutting the meat and dairy products down drastically and I am absolutely sure my body will agree with me on that.

I am meeting up with my lovely nurse tomorrow, and I will have to see what she says about my plans. :) I’ll write about it later this week.

I wonder if anyone is interested in reading my food diary if I were to keep one for a week or so…?

Ciao,

Hanna

Where to begin?

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I originally started my blog on another site but because the site was really bad, I just decided to start a new blog and just copy the text’s I recently wrote from the old one to the new one. So this was written on September 13th:

My life is a constantly changing state of being. At least it has been for the last several years. But then again isn’t everyone’s? I can’t think of a time where there hasn’t been some change, big or small, going on.

Right now I’m dealing with one major thing, my health. Well, I have been trying to deal with it for my whole life, but I have come to notice there is no try, only do. It’s hard to explain everything in one post without making it too long and incoherent so I will start with my current struggle.

Warning: Graphic content. I have had a strange stomach for all my life. Even when I was a baby my mother noticed there something strange about my digestion (I pooped A LOT) and all through my childhood I suffered from an unpredictable stomach. Let’s leave it at that. For the last several, about 7 or so, years I have gotten really bad stomach aches, burning spasms to be exact. They usually come during the night time, waking me up from my sleep and they would usually end only when I used the bathroom. I would also often be really bloated. The first times it happened, I was scared and thought there is something really wrong with me but when I went to the doctor, they were able to convince me I only had a “stress stomach” whatever it means. His only advice was not to stress.
So I learned to live with my pain and the awkward bloatedness. January of 2014 the spasms started getting worse and more frequent so I decided it was time to visit the doctor (different one, luckily) again. This time he took me seriously and to make a long story short, after testing me for several things he diagnosed me with having IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

IBS is an annoying condition to have because although it is possible to control it with your diet, it takes time and effort to find out which foods suit me and which do not. I will not list all of the possibly not suitable foods for people with IBS, because it is a long list and if you, my dear reader, are interested you can google it and you will find a lot of information about it.

One of the biggest no-no’s is sugar (which I happen to love in any form, of course). And with this awkward transition I’m going to share with you my other always present struggle, weight loss (and/or maintaining a healthy weight). As a young child I used to be really thin, underweight even, but during the ever-so-lovely early years of puberty I started gaining weight. Of course a lot of kids noticed, and even though I was only roundish, I got teased because of it. My weight was an issue for me (and apparently for some reason for others too) all through my pre-teen and teen years and got worse in adulthood. During the last 10 years I have gone up and down with my weight from normal weight to obesity. Losing 25 kilograms, gaining 30 and so on and so on. Classic tale, right?

Well now that I have come to terms with getting closer to being 30 years old (I still have some years to go, wohoo), I have come to realize I really have to take care of my body before it’s too late.

For me the biggest problem is that having IBS and my stomach not quite working as it should, has a direct effect on my weight. Some issues that make losing weight and maintaining normal weight harder are occasional insomnia and PCOS (which I also have, but more about that another time). Having those issues affecting my weight and then my weight making the issues worse, it is just a damn annoying vicious circle. That is why I have decided to take this one step at a time. I have already gotten better sleeping habits, so the next step is to work on my diet which should be friendly to my ever so delicate guts and make me lose kilos, and when I lose weight it should help keep my PCOS in check. TADAA, problem solved!

Ok, it’s more easily said than done, BUT I will do it!
And I am taking you guys (if someone’s reading this) through this journey with me!

Love,

Hanna