Thursday, 20 November 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

I was tagged by the lovely Heather from Where's the Beach in the latest blogger survey/question type posts making its rounds on the interwebs. I have not done one of these posts in a LONG time, so I am game! So let's do this!

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name.

1. Siba/Sibs - growing up there were 2 Krysten's in my elementary school class, so everyone started calling me by my last name. All my girlfriends still call me this. Or they get creative and come up with funny hybrids of my new hyphened name - Bishba or Sibop are favs.
2. K - I have never really gotten Kris, but for some reason K is how everyone likes to shorten my name
3. Darwinian Fail - yep, I picked this name for myself. And it never fails to make me laugh when some asks "Are you Darwinian Fail?". Yes I am.
4. Kooks - this was what my Dad always called me as kid. Pretty sure it is play on kooky - aka wacko/crazy woman. I was a pretty high energy wee one.

2. Four Jobs I have had

1. Waitress/Bartender - I think everyone should be in the service industry at some point in time. You learn a lot about people and the importance of kindness and manners
2. Camp Counselor
3. Program Coordinator for Harmony Place Support Services
4. Communication Enrichment Coordinator for adults that use Alternative and Augmentative Communication
(* the last 2 were what I did in a different life before I got into the sport industry. And there are days that I still miss it)

3. Four Movies I have watched more than once

1. Princess Bride
2. Titanic (swoon Leo in the 90's)
3. Pulp Fiction
4. The Notebook (it gets me every time!)

4. Four Books I would recommend

This one is tough for me, as an English Major. I am constantly reading and have a ridiculous, over-stocked bookshelf in my living room to prove it. But these ones I have read over and over again, so let' go with these...

1. Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath (I would argue the best written book of all time)
2. Hemingway - Moveable Feast
3. Margaret Atwood - Alias Grace
4. Jo Walton - Tooth and Claw

5. Four Places I have lived.

1. Toronto, ON
2. Port Colborne, ON
Yep, I lived here for a while. And yes, it was as magical as it se2. Port Colborne, ON
3. Essex, UK
4. Kingston, ON

6. Four Places I have been.

1. Santorini, Greece
2. London, England
3. Barcelona, Spain
4. Florence, Italy

7. Four Place I would rather be right now.

1. Paris, France
2. anywhere in Italy
3. on the beach
4. having a nap

8. Four things I don't eat.

1. Grilled Salmon (all other salmon is fine, but not grilled)
2. Sheppard's Pie
3. Roast Beef
4. Cabbage Rolls

9. Four of my Favourite foods.

1. Pizza
2. Carrot Cake
3. Chicken Wings
4. Sour Patch Kids
(yes I am aware they are all unhealthy. But they are all delicious!)

10. Four TV shows that I watch.

1. Walking Dead
2. Doctor Who
3. Orphan Black
4. Most Reality TV - I can't resist the drama

11. Four things I am looking forward to this year.

1. Buying a House
2. Christmas (always)
3. Hopefully making it a whole year Surgery-Free
4. Getting back into shape again post-op

12. Four things I am always saying.

1. "Fair Enough"
2. "I hear what you are saying" (it is the psychology degree at work there)
3. "I love you"
4. "Have you heard about the new Polar M400"

13. Tag 4 people...

1. Alan - aka Sweating It Off
2. Kierston - aka Candy Fit
3. Lindsay - aka Cotter Crunch
4. Amanda - aka Run to the Finish






Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#WIAW - A Day of Eats

I regularly participate in the lovely Peas and Crayon's WIAW, but I rarely show a whole day of Eats. Mostly because I use Wednesdays as a day to share recipes. But also because day in and day out my Eats are pretty boring.

9/10 times you can guarantee I had eggs and a potato for lunch. I probably had the same things for breakfast all week, maybe even all month. So it seems silly to show you the same thing each week. But I figured since I hadn't done one of these in ages, it might not be too hopelessly boring. So here you go, this is what I ate Monday!

Breakfast:
Coffee (always coffee, probably x3) and Greek Vanilla Yogurt topped with my new favourite granola Rainforest Banana Nut by Bakery on Main. It is dairy and gluten-free, and more importantly it is delicious. I used to eat yogurt all the time for breakfast, but last year with my tummy troubles I had a hard time finding a yogurt that agreed with me. But recently I discovered Liberte Greek Yogurt and I have been back on the yogurt band wagon.

Lunch:
2 eggs scrambled, a roasted red potato, and Green Juice. There is no picture of the potato because it was in the oven, but I was too hungry to wait for a proper photo haha. I pretty much eat this everyday, or at least when I am not on the road for work.

Snack:
A red pepper with Ttaziki. And a Soy half sweet Gingerbread Latte.


Dinner:
Panzanella Salad topped with Calamari.

Snack:
Apple drizzled in raw honey and cinnamon. I will slice the apple up, top it, and bake it for 10 minutes. It tastes like apple pie and is perfect when it is cold outside!

Happy Wednesday Friends!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Let's Have Coffee

Hey Friends!

We have not done one of these in awhile, and there has been lots going on behind the scenes. So grab a cup of coffee, or preferably something delicious in a red cup. Get cozy and let's chat.

How are you guys doing? Are you getting excited for the Holidays? I am almost done my Christmas shopping and feeling pretty on top of my Santa game this year. And with my surgery rescheduled for the 25th I wanted to make sure I got as much done ahead of time as possible.

A lot has been going on around the Bishop household lately.  The biggest news being that we have started House Hunting.

We waited until after the Marathon to get started, because we knew we would need the extra time, and that was an understatement! The Toronto/GTA market is crazy! We are often going out twice a week to look at places, but so far...Nothing.

I was secretly hoping that this process would be seamless and we would find our perfect place on our first time out. But I am learning it is not quite so easy. So I am trying to patient. And I am hopeful that the right one will come along sooner rather than later. It would be nice to start a New Year in a new place, but we shall see if the stars align. How long did it take you to find your first house?

I would also tell you that I had a slightly stressful appointment with my cardiologist a few weeks back. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed some slight dramatic/angsty posts surrounding my recent doctor's appointments (*pardon my EMO outburst*). I thought I was just going in for a routine check-up, but he wanted to seriously discuss my long term treatment plan.

He actually suggested getting rid of my Pacemaker/Defibrillator. Which sounds good in theory, but is actually kind of terrifying for me.

I have had my ICD for over 11 years now, and I almost can't remember what my life was like without it. So even though the robot heart isn't ideal, I understand the draw backs, and I also know that I get to live a very happy, active life the other 95% of the time.

My Cardiologist has suggested managing my condition with something called a Sympathectomy. The research I can find on this type of treatment is mixed, I have lots of questions about the potential side effects, and there is also no guarantee that it will work.

So if there are any Long QT-ers out there that have experience with this type of treatment I would love to hear your thoughts if you are willing to share?

I am planning to have some consults and do some research, but I am not ready to dive into another medical crisis just yet. And at this point I don't need to.

After my little tweak on the 25th I should be good to go for a little while, and I need the break. (*like really need it!*). Mostly I just have other things I want to do, and I would generally like to spend less time at the hospital. So for the time being I am going to be on a fact finding mission, and when the time comes that a decision is required I will know what I want to do.

That pretty much sums up what has been going on around here.
What would you tell me if we were having coffee today?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Grateful Heart

This past summer you may have noticed that things were a little quieter than usual around here. Part of that was just the busy hub-bub of that comes along with nice weather, race season, and summer vacation. And the other part had to do with some soul-searching. I found myself in a place that was unusual for me - I had nothing to say. 

I started to question if I should keep writing. I wondered if what I was sharing was valuable, positive, helpful. Was I just writing to write something, or was I actually contributing something. It weighed heavily on me. And to be honest I gave some serious thought to just walking away.

Ultimately I decided to continue writing, there is still more to my story, more I hope to share, and more I hope to learn. But my faith in my contribution was shaken. 

So last week when I was asked to be interviewed by Global National News (<---full story and video here if you are interested) and speak out against genetic patents I was surprised and honoured.

And then to be told just a few days later that Mount Sinai (one of largest hospitals in Toronto) was sharing my little blog as resource with its patients I was humbled and incredibly grateful.

Ultimately, when I started this grand adventure, I had secretly hoped and wished and dreamed that my musings would reach just one person. Just one person who was struggling, who felt lost, or who maybe had to face a medical misadventure of their own. I never in a million years expected the kind of reception and support I have received from this amazing community. 

So today I want to say Thank you. 

Thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for all of your support over the years. And above all thank you for sticking by me and believing in me even when I struggled to believe in myself.


Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

#WIAW - Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

Well since I was planning on spending last weekend recouping on the couch, I didn't exactly have a lot planned. So I decided to take advantage of our quiet weekend by getting a jump start on our Christmas shopping and spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen. I also been working on updating my Recipes Page which I am embarrassed to say I have not done in a year...OOPS!

While experimenting in the kitchen Sunday I made this Broccoli Cheddar Quiche, and I got a whole bunch of requests for the recipe. So I figured this recipe would be perfect for this week's WIAW.

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche


1 pre-made pie crust (you can make your own, but I am not that fancy)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 tbsp of EVO
1 head of broccoli - florets removed
1/2 a red onion chopped
2 slices of Irish bacon (optional)
1/2 cup Red Leicester Cheddar 
1 clove of garlic, chopped
4 sage leaves, chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, diced
1 handful of spinach


1. In a large skillet cook of the bacon first if you are using it. Once cooked set to the side to cool, the chop into strips
2. Place the pie crust in and pre-heated oven at 350 for 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown
3. Saute the onions and garlic in the EVO. Once they begin to soften add the broccoli and spinach. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt and the water has been cooked out the vegetables.
4. Place the cooked veggies, bacon strips, sundried tomatoes, and sage leaves into the pie shell.
5. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together and then gently pour the mixture over the vegetables.
6. Top the pie with the cheddar cheese and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes (or until cooked through). The cheese should start to brown on the top when it is ready.

Hope you guys enjoy!
Krysten

Monday, 10 November 2014

Surgery Bumped!

If you were looking for some kind of surgery update today, I don't have one for you.

Because it didn't happen...I got a phone call at 3pm Thursday to say that my 8am surgery was cancelled due to over-scheduling. And that I was being bumped to November 25th instead. This is how I felt --->

I was frustrated when I got off the phone for a couple of reasons...

1. I spent all of October rearranging my work schedule and my life for this date.

2. And this new date is annoying close to my 30th Birthday, and just that little bit more inconvenient

I was happy with the timing of the 7th. It wasn't too close to the holidays. It was post-race season. And it meant that when my 30th Birthday rolled around on December 5th I would be able to celebrate a new decade fully healed and ready for the next chapter. I know it is silly, but I am the kind of girl who likes a good fresh start. And with my surgery just 9 days before, I am not convinced that I will be feeling 100%.

So I got off the phone angry and furiously began reorganizing my life (*Anyone who knows me knows I HATE using whiteout in my planner. And there was a whole lot of whiteout going on.*) But within a few hours I was able to get most things sorted out. Now I just needed to completely reorient my expectations for the next month. BLAH! So I may have angrily stewed over a big bowl of Caramel Corn. (*It was delicious and necessary*)

I woke up Friday morning and realized that this wasn't exactly the best way to deal with things. Anger never serves you. And if I have learned anything from my 20's it is that even your darkest day has a greater purpose. Most things happen the way they are meant to, even if it doesn't feel that way in the moment. So I needed to embrace it and find my bright side.

There is nothing I can do about the schedule change. And to be fair, after 7 surgeries, this is the first time this has ever happened to me. I might need to tweak my plans a little, but waiting a few more days isn't the end of the world. So I dusted myself off and started my Friday with a 60min Cycle Core class.

I have opted to spend the next few weeks getting a jump start on my training. I can't really run right now, it is aggravating the site too much (I draw your attention to my swollen left side after STWM). But I can run a little and cycle/elliptical to my hearts content. I can also work on gaining some serious strength in my legs. Which is exactly what I intend to do.

I admit I have been coasting in the fitness department for a couple of months now (*like approx 3 months*). I haven't been training consistently. And I have been enjoying plenty of extra treats.

I lost my motivation when I found out about surgery #7 and my uncooperative body only further dampened my resolve. So I have only been doing the bare minimum. And I have not been very respectful of my body or my health. This clearly needs to change, so perhaps this Surgery Bump is actually the kick in the pants I need.

On Saturday I activated my GoodLife Fitness Membership. I downloaded the new Taylor Swift album. I rescheduled my post-op Physio. And today I am meeting up with Coach Michelle to go over some new Leg and Core Routines. I have decided to use the next couple of weeks to get my mojo back. And to ensure that my body is the healthiest it can be before I head back to the OR.

I may not be 100% healed by the time my 30th Birthday rolls around. But I am going to make sure that my 30's are going to be my healthiest and happiest decade yet.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

*This post was written as part of GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own*

Thursday, 6 November 2014

What`s Next - Goal Setting

This morning as you are reading this, I getting ready to head back into the OR (*my surgery is tomorrow*). This will be surgery 7, and my fourth visit in a little more than 2 years. To say that I sick of this situation is probably a grave understatement.

I am preparing for this surgery and this recovery differently. For the past few years I have always had my next great adventure planned out. I need to bounce back so I can run a marathon. I am signed up for a race in X number of weeks, so I gotta get back on track. I am always scheming and generally in a perpetual state of motion. It has helped me stay motivated and positive during recovery, but it has also probably been a source of unnecessary pressure.

So I am not doing that this time.

I have decided after this surgery, it is important to get back to basics. So instead of making any grand plans or sweeping declarations, I am just going to move forward slowly. Ease back into fitness and assess my goals and my body on more of a weekly/monthly basis. In a shocking turn of events I am not going to sign up for any races for 2015 until I feel like I am ready. (*I am just as surprised as you are, but perhaps I am growing as a human being*)

My Goals for November are...

1. Take 2 weeks off. 
The surgery that I am having done is extremely minor, so much so, that in my world it almost feels silly to call it a surgery. It is more of a non-surgery surgery. Normally there are movement/weight restrictions after one of these procedures, but not so this time.

So I have decided to impose my own guidelines (*in collaboration with my cardio team of course*). My surgery is tomorrow and I plan to go back to work on Wednesday. And then I will be taking 2 weeks off from any kind of exercise/fitness.The team suggested that I could start running again in 2 weeks if I wanted to, but my plan is to take things even slower than that (*See Goal 3*)

2. Start Physio and Focus on Strength
One of the things I have been discussing with my cardio team is my lack of muscle on my left side. Our exchange went a little something like this...

Surgeon: `` You Run, but you clearly don`t use any weight. You have almost no muscle on this side``
Me: ``Thanks Doc. Maybe you could stop cutting me open so often and I could work on that.``
Surgeon: ``Hmmm good point. But seriously we have to do something about this.``

Basically my cardiologist asked me ``If I even lift, bro``. It was a low moment but there is a lot of truth here. I have never done any kind of physio or focused strength training after my surgeries and the effects are starting to show. All of the trauma to my left side has done a real number on my body and those muscle have atrophied. So I have made an appointment at the Runner`s Academy this month to get assessed and start a rehab program.

3. Get a Gym Membership 
So I mentioned that I was given the green light to start running again after 2 weeks, but I want to take things slow. I want to ease into my rehab program, and use the gym to gently get back into cardio.

I am going to get a gym membership to Goodlife Fitness. I plan to focus on using the Elliptical, StairMaster, and the bike - this will help me rebuild my cardiovascular endurance but without the pounding that is involved with running. This will just be gentler way to restart my fitness routine. And will hopefully allow me to come back stronger and healthier. After I few weeks I can reassess and decide when I am ready to start running again.

Do you have any goals for November
Are you a ``Grand Planner`` or a ``Slow Processer``

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

*This post was written as part of GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own*