Quitting Soda? Drink These Instead!

Welcome back, readers!

The past few weeks I have been really trying to cut back on my soda consumption. Since I eat (mostly) according to the Ketogenic Diet, any soda I do have is diet soda. The extra sugar in regular soda upsets my stomach something major, so diet soda used to be what I would fall back on.

However, lately I have been having some seriously annoying stomach problems. I’m slowly finding my way back into a normal diet, and I’m having less and less episodes every day. One thing I have found to trigger these episodes is, you guessed it, soda. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s regular or diet, my stomach just doesn’t want it anymore. So here’s what I’m drinking instead!

Bulletproof Coffee

IMG_20170606_122833

Everyone seems to have their own way of making bulletproof coffee, this is mine. I use coconut milk creamer (unsweetened) instead of the normal heavy cream, because the heavy cream doesn’t always agree with me. In the little red bowl is my combo of grassfed butter and MCT oil. Then I add a little bit of Truvia and cinnamon, then blend with some black coffee. That’s it! Tasty, simple, and just one cup of this will carry me over until a late lunch.

Water

IMG_20170606_123108

I drink a LOT of water throughout the day. I generally just fill my water bottle and take it with me wherever I go. Some days I like just plain water, and some days I add these little beauties to flavor the water. I use the vitamin line of flavorings because they are sweetened using stevia. Other sweeteners have upset my stomach in the past, so I generally stick to stevia because I know it’s safe for my system. You can use whichever flavorings your heart desires, these are just what I use.

Sometimes I find myself craving the fizz and bubbles from soda. When this craving hits, I like to grab a sparkling water. My favorite flavor is the Coconut from La Croix, but there are tons of brands and flavors out there that don’t use sugar or artificial sweeteners, you just have to read the labels!

Tea

I am a strong lover of most teas. Hot, iced, sweetened, unsweetened; you name it, I’ll most likely drink it. Tea can have lots of great antioxidants and almost healing properties. I drink a lot of tea when I’m sick, but I try to drink lots of tea the rest of the time, too. I’m always looking for new ways to drink tea, flavor tea, etc. Recently I found a recipe for iced matcha tea, which is one of my favorite teas. It kind of smells like grass and looks like you just blended up some spinach, but it is SO good, as well as good FOR you.

IMG_20170606_123306

Just mix the matcha powder with the appropriate amount of water (instructions are usually on the bottle/package) and some ice, then shake! I use my Blender Bottle so all the little chunks of the powder get broken up, then pour it into a smaller glass over fresh ice to drink.

Last, but not least, Kombucha!

Kombucha is a funny little beverage, but SO good for you. My parents discovered kombucha a few years back, and I have gone through phases with this adventure of a drink. Kombucha is actually fermented tea. It contains lots of probiotics which help the good bacteria in your stomach. I try to drink some every day. Now, I say interesting because it’s absolutely an acquired taste. Kombucha has a different sort of smell with a very distinct taste to match. Also, there’s sometimes particles at the bottom of the bottle, which won’t hurt you (they’re actually supposed to be really good to drink), but DEFINITELY creep me out. It took me quite a while to get used to, and actually like, drinking Kombucha and I still just drink until I can see the particles on the bottom then dump the little bit left at the bottom with the particles. There are tons of flavors and brands of Kombucha and most are very low in sugar/carbs. BE CAREFUL if you want to start drinking Kombucha. Your body is accustomed to a certain amount of probiotics and good bacteria in your stomach. If you just start chugging a whole bottle or more of this stuff everyday, you’re most likely going to make yourself sick. Kombucha is something to start slow and gradually increase in intake. I started with about a third of a bottle and I’m now closer to drinking about a half a bottle to 3/4 of a bottle a day. It’s all in how your stomach reacts to this wonderfully odd creation. Here’s the one I’m working on currently.

img_20170606_130056.jpg

Overall, there are tons of beverage options out there that aren’t soda. When at restaurants, I try to order either unsweetened iced tea, water, or sparkling water. So whether you’re trying to cut out more sugar in your diet, or just soda altogether, I hope my few ideas help you along your journey!

See you next time!

Cami

Some Words From a Fellow High School Graduate

Welcome back!

With many graduations coming up in the next few weeks, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve learned since my graduation from Portage High School. I have many friends and family graduating in the next few weeks and I remember not being sure of my future, but I want them to know that everything will work out if they’re willing to make the next big step into life after high school.

IMG_0502

First, it’s okay to be sentimental. You have probably spent the past 12+ years with the same people in school. In my case, I had gone to three different elementary schools, and I don’t treasure any of my old friendships less than any other. Each friendship and school gave me wonderful memories and you’ll find yourself at graduation thinking about how excited you are to go off to college, but it may hit you either on the day, or a few days later that some of your friends are going to school hours from your school, and that you may only see some of the best friends you’ve had your whole life a few times a year. So get sentimental, talk about all those good memories because you will cherish some of those memories the rest of your life.

IMG_1033

Second, your high school friends may not end up being forever friends like you thought, but they could be. Relationships give out exactly what you put into them. I have people that I haven’t talked to since my project graduation, and I have high school friends I still talk to on a weekly basis. If your high school friends are willing and able to put in the time to talk, go for it! However, if you start to slip away from some of your high school friends, I’m gonna tell you now, it’s gonna happen. Some of your best friends will get new friends or get too busy to talk all the time or be too far away for it to be plausible that you see one another more than 2 or 3 times a year. That’s okay too! You will meet PLENTY of new friends at your next step in your life, whether that be college, a sports team, an apprenticeship, the workforce. There will always be new people for you to meet and become friends with. Which leads me to my next point.

FullSizeR

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to meet new people! Graduation is the change for you to spread your wings (cheesy, i know) and find what you want to do with your life. Along the way you will meet tons of new people all looking for their next step in life, and sometimes they coincide with yours. My mom always told me my friends will always be changing, and the longer I’m out of high school, the more I find that to be true. Some of my best friends now, weren’t my friends a year ago. Some of my friends from 1st semester of college I don’t even talk to anymore. That doesn’t mean you don’t hold on to what they taught you, your paths just don’t cross anymore and that’s okay.

20160417_142259.jpg

Speaking of paths, it’s okay to not know what you want to do in the future. I was always told you don’t need to know what you want to do, you need to know what you DON’T want to do in your life. I have already switched majors and minors a few times, and I’m finally happy with what I’m studying. Change is inevitable. Learn to experiment with all different classes and have an open mind. I’m majoring in accounting and in high school I wouldn’t take any accounting classes because I thought I would hate it. I never gave it a shot and now I love my accounting classes more than any of the other classes I’m taking. So don’t be afraid to not know what you want to do with your life. Even after you have your major, the workforce is a whole other animal. A lot of my professors have worked many different jobs just because they felt they needed a change.

20160425_202804

This next category isn’t as light-hearted as the first few. Make sure you understand that reading the textbook and studying become important to actually learning and passing your classes in college. At this point in your life you get to start picking the classes you will be taking, so you should find them more interesting. However, there are so many events and chances to see your friends at any moment at school, that sometimes students procrastinate or think they can just do the minimum like they did in high school. This is a recipe for disaster in college. You will have good professors who care if you’re doing your homework and actually learning, and you will have professors who couldn’t care less if you show up for class everyday, let alone pass their class. In college you HAVE to take your education into your own hands and make sure you know what you need to do to reach your goals.

IMG_8709bz

Last, but not least, have fun with this transition in front of you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or advice if you need it. After high school, many of you will be going to school or moving out to go into the work force and/or insert whatever you are going to do to take the next step. You are officially an adult, and many of you will be moving onto college campuses, some of you very far from home. I’m lucky that my school is only 2 hours from home so if I needed help, it was fairly close. Others of you will be going across the country, or even elsewhere in the world. Have fun with that transition and enjoy every moment this crazy life may bring you, but never be afraid to call home for help. Your parents will wait to hear from you, and sometimes may give you some tough love, but understand that they’re just trying to help you through the next step of you becoming who you are meant to be, without doing everything for you. Being independent can be hard, but it’s something that everyone needs to learn at some point, and these few years after high school are the perfect time to do so.

IMG_2353
Portage High School Class of 2015

So good luck to the class of 2017 in your future, and I hope you enjoy life after high school just as much as I have.

See you next time,

Cami

Daily Inspiration for the Week of 5/7-5/13

 

Welcome back, readers!

The past few weeks have been, for lack of a better word, interesting. I have been fighting a reoccurring sickness that I can’t seem to put my finger on, and my to-do list continues to get longer. I have started to feel rather overwhelmed, but I have found a comfort in different quotes I have either heard or seen in the past week. As May goes on, many of you will encounter either finals, moving stresses, graduation stresses, so on and so forth. Whatever you are dealing with this next week, I want to share seven quotes, one for each day, to inspire thought and possibly help some of you through this next week. Enjoy!

Day #1:

57quote

I thought this quote would be a great way to start off the week. I believe in extending kindness to those who may need it. A simple smile or small compliment can brighten the rest of someone’s day. Be thinking about a way you can extend kindness to those around you this week.

Day #2:

58quote

I am a firm believer in being present in the moment. In our age, many people are on their phones and forgetting to really be part of the world around them. So this week I challenge you to put down the technology, and really be present in every moment you can. That text message can wait, the moment will always pass.

Day #3:

59quote

Take the extra time this week to wear something that truly makes you feel good inside, whatever that is to you, as well as the time to learn something new about a subject you enjoy, or about someone different than you.

Day #4:

510quote

There has always been a special place in my heart for the Dr. Seuss, and this quote is one of my all-time favorites. It applies to almost every part of life and I like to read it when I feel discouraged or left-out.

Day #5:

511quote

Today, I want you to think about how often you feel overshadowed by someone else and why. After that, I want to let you know that it is 100% okay to not be the center of attention, but to never let someone put you down or slow your shine.

Day #6:

512quote

Throughout the week if you mess up or feel low, just read this little ray of sunshine and tell yourself that it’s okay to fall sometimes, but it’s not okay to give up.

Day #7:

513quote

Last, but not least, think over everything you’ve done this past week and decide if you are where you want to be at this point in your life. If so, good for you! How can you keep your momentum? If not, don’t be discouraged. There’s always time to make a change, you just have to figure out how.

These are just a few of the quotes that have helped me in the past and that, I hope, can help you through the stress of the next week.

See you next time!

Sincerely,

Cami

**Disclaimer: I don’t own these pictures. I found them on Pinterest and I do not claim ownership.

10 Ways to Find the Best in Each Day

Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted for many reasons, most of them college related. It’s week 11 of a 16 week semester, so the essays, projects, and exams are starting to pile up, making it hard to write on a regular basis.

This week I’d like to talk about how important it is to live everyday to its fullest potential. A few weeks ago, the world lost a kind and passionate soul in a 19-year-old man that I had known fairly well since, at least, age three. The news of his death hit me like a semi truck, as this is the third funeral I’ve attended in the past 5 years for kids near my age. As an almost-20-year-old, I shouldn’t have to attend funerals for my peers, but each time I’ve learned a different lesson. At the first two funerals I learned the importance of attentive driving and not letting the road get away from me, but this time it was different. This time I was absolutely inspired by the life of my friend, Austin, and I want to share some of the ways I have been trying to change my attitude towards life since his funeral.

Step 1: You are what you eat

IMG_20170412_131620

After hearing the news of Austin’s death, my diet went completely down the drain. I turned to food for comfort and, in doing so, started to feel worse. I was tired all the time, I couldn’t sleep at night, and my daily life suffered. What you eat is SO important to keep track of, for it affects everything you do. Eating comfort foods is okay in moderation, but in the end moderation is always key when it comes to comfort foods. I am now back to keeping track of what goes in my mouth and I’m almost 100% back to normal! Today I made these mostly-keto tacos and my stomach, and body, is happy to be back to normal.

Step 2: Exercise

As I over-consumed comfort foods and wasn’t watching my carbs and sugars, my ambition to exercise declined rapidly. I have spent the last two weeks sitting in front of the TV during my free time, because I lacked the energy to do anything else. I wasn’t reaching my daily step goal of 10,000 steps (I usually meet this goal). I finally got back into a workout routine yesterday and I’m SO sore, but I’m super proud that I’m finally getting back to business as usual. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with food and the more you exercise, the better you’ll feel!

Step 3: Take care of yourself/Put yourself first

IMG_1780

I am guilty of putting others first and thinking of what I want last. The majority of people I’ve met are the same way. However, no one is going to take better care of you, than yourself. I am slowly learning how to put myself first and come to terms with what I actually want from MY life, not what others want/expect from me. As I come to terms with this step, I feel my anxiety and stress levels dropping dramatically. I’m learning that I only get one body, and taking care of myself is assuring that I can be around to help others long into the future. If this means pampering yourself every once in a while, go for it! My friend, Brittany, and I did exactly that a few weeks ago (my first EVER pedicure, SO fun.)

Step 4: Make an effort to cross things off your bucket list

This goes hand-in-hand with putting yourself first. Generally, the things on your bucket list are going to be things that will put yourself first. My first ever pedicure was something I could cross off my bucket list. Nothing huge, but something I can now say I have done and enjoyed.

Step 5: Keep in touch with friends

16265610_1319754271396377_4597867238194022822_n

This picture includes some of my friends coming together to celebrate the birthday of one of our mutual friends. Your friends are your legs when you can’t stand, and my friends have been by my side every step of this process that has been the past two weeks of my life. I try to have dinner with my two good friends at least once a week, and I usually find myself keeping in touch with them through Snapchat, text message, or otherwise basically everyday. Friends are there to make life in this crazy world of ours a little bit easier, and they should be embraced, and thanked, with open arms and lots of thank you’s often.

Step 6: Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends

megcam

This is my friend, Megan. We’ve been friends since third or fourth grade. We don’t talk as much as we used to because our colleges keep us busy and about five hours away from one another, but we still try to meet up when we get home. Old friends can sometimes be the best friends, and sometimes you just drift too far apart. Either way, reaching out to an old friend you miss is never a bad endeavor. I find that a lot of people at the funerals I have attended in the past few years have always said, “I wish I would’ve just reached out like I always thought about doing.” I’m very guilty of this line, and I can understand the difficulties a person can face when trying to decide if that message should be sent, and the answer is send the message anyway. Never be afraid to reach out to an old friend, even if it’s just to say, “Hello. I was just thinking of you.”

Step 7: Forgive and forget

If you don’t reach out to that old friend, don’t get hung up over it if they happen to leave the Earth too soon. Forgiving yourself and moving forward is how you can best live for them. This applies to other areas of your life as well. We’re all guilty of holding grudges, and I’m no exception. However, I’m learning to forgive and forget for my health, and it’s like a HUGE burden being lifted off of my shoulders.

Step 8: Stop complaining so much

This step is my biggest downfall. I tend to just keep talking and not realize I’m complaining until I’m three text messages deep and hoping I didn’t write anything too drastic. There’s complaining about something when you have a bad day, or something you actually have an issue with. Then there’s complaining just for the sake of talking bad about someone or something. The second is what I’m trying to stop doing, and, like forgiving and forgetting, I’m feeling much happier.

Step 9: Change how you look at the world

20160721_180111.jpg

They say that if you change how you look at the world, the world will start to look different. While some people may find a storm or a hindrance in this picture, I find a wonderful act of nature that is made to be feared, but admired. Many times, even in my case, it takes a huge event to change perception and sometimes it’s too late. Try to find the good in everyday, and I’m sure that good things will find their way to you.

Step 10: If you don’t like something, change it

Whether this be something about your hair, your personality, your makeup, your daily routine, or your current situation in life, you always have the power to change your future.

I hope you stuck with me through this long, emotional post. I also hope that you can all take something from my ramblings to improve your life, or the life of someone around you and that you share your experiences with those who love you.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on A Moment with Cami!

Signed,

Cami

How I Eat Keto in a College Dorm

Welcome back, readers!

This week I’m going to give an introduction to my diet and a how-to on one of my new favorite snacks.

I am one of the many people in our culture today who are intolerant to gluten. This means that eating gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye) irritates my stomach and can cause a whole range of uncomfortable symptoms depending on how much gluten I eat. I have been following a gluten-free diet since March 2016 and this past summer I joined my parents on a diet called the Ketogenic Diet after readingĀ Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore (see his blog here: Livin’ La Vida Low Carb).

The basis of the Ketogenic diet, or Keto as I will often refer to it, is basically a low-carb, high-fat diet. This forces your body to run off of ketones instead of glucose. If you want to know more in depth about this process, visit Moore’s blog or read his book, for it’s a little too complicated for me to explain in a simple blog post.

I have been following the Keto diet for eight months now and I feel so much better now than before when I was eating tons of carbs. It was a hard transition for me, as I am a lover of all things carbohydrates. I used to eat bread, pasta, mac n cheese, rice, etc. on a daily basis which I believe was a factor in the eventual diagnosis of my gluten intolerance.

Now, most people are critical of the Keto diet and this diet may not be for everyone, but this diet is what works well for me. Therefore, I will continue to follow and share my adventures with those willing to follow me, as well as my dorm room hacks to sticking to the keto diet.

Earlier on, I promised to share one of my new favorite snacks, and here it is. They’re called Cheesy Pesto Fat Bombs.

img_20170218_141421

I found the recipe on Pinterest, where I find most of my recipes. Here’s the link to the recipe for those who are interested in trying it out: KetoDiet Blog. The dip is super simple to make. It’s simply cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and pesto. The recipe also calls for olives but I didn’t have an olives in my fridge when I made this, so mine lacks olives.

img_20170218_140944

Then you mix it all together, cut up a favorite veggie (in my case cucumbers), and eat!

img_20170218_143650

I hope you enjoyed my post this week! Stick around for future recipes and adventures. I’ll see you soon for another moment with Cami.

Sincerely,

Camille

A Month of Dresses #itsbiggerthanadress

Hello Readers! For my first post I thought I would share one of my passions with the world, the end of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act, aka modern-day slavery. (Source: Blue Campaign) Approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year and the average age of an individual taken by trafficking is 12-14 years old. I was floored when I encountered these statistics just about a year ago. It’s also amazing to me how many people I’ve talked to who have no idea that human trafficking exists! I want to help these young boys and girls find a way out of a nasty situation and see the end of modern-day slavery in my lifetime.

So I have participated in a movement called Dressember for two years now. The concept is simple. Women wear a dress everyday for the month of Decemeber, and men can dress up as well. The point is to raise awareness for those stuck in the trade in a creative way to make starting the hard conversation about modern-day slavery much easier.

20161217_172544

Living in Wisconsin, this is definitely not an easy feat. December tends to be cold and snowy, so fleece-lined leggings and tights become a girls best friend, along with the thought that even though I may be cold, there are girls somewhere who are suffering way worse and I simply want to be their voice.

img_20161210_161001

This year I had a team with one of my best friends and we were SO close to making our fundraising goal. Next year I am hoping to expand my team both member-wise and financially. I can’t wait to see what happens and I hope some of you, my readers, would consider being a voice for the voiceless!

20161207_190936

Thank you for following along so far, I hope you stick around for some of my other adventures. If you have questions, comments, or ideas for future writing topics, leave a comment below!

‘Til then,

Cami