I did the 22 Kill Challenge for a year and this is what happened…

krista-stott-attending-rugged-maniac

Trends come and go but for some we are greatly impacted by them. There have been trends like the ice bucket challenge for ALS and the 22 kill push up challenge for Veteran Suicide are to bring about awareness for important causes. This awareness gets people involved, makes people curious about the cause – so they may look it up, donate, or share for someone else. These challenges do not directly help the issue but they give hope and inspiration to others.  Some people can relate to these causes because they are facing challenges head on or know someone who is. You do not know me but I participated in both challenges, donated to each cause and then volunteered my time. We all find causes that impact us more than others and will try to help however we can. For me, I could relate to both causes but the 22 kill was the one that hit home for me. The 22 Kill Challenge dares individuals to commit to 22 push-ups for 22 days to spread Veteran Suicide Awareness, but I choose to further that challenge and do 22 push-ups for a year!

My reasoning, Suicide is a worldwide issue that people contemplate and try often because well life is hard.  In a world so big you can feel so small. My main goal was to share a smile and let people know I support them and would be someone who could listen. When I originally started, I didn’t plan on doing the pushups for a year but when people reached out and the amount of support I received from others, it kept me going.

“I have successfully completed my goal of 365 days (1 year) of 22 pushups for Veteran Suicide Awareness. Now I want people to hear my story and understand why this cause has meant so much to me.”

Life is difficult for everyone and some people are better at handling situations than others but we need to remember that we are all different and we cannot judge someone or their situation.

Not many people know this about me… but I struggled a great deal with some issues and was not in a good place for a long time. I shut down, lost people and pushed other people away. Everyday got harder and harder to see any light and there was a point when all I saw was darkness. It was a scary and lonely place to be. I self-harmed, self-sabotaged and at one point attempted suicide myself. I still have struggles every now and then but I try to smile and think about all the good things and people in my life. Of course I still have bad days but there is always something good in every day so I try to focus on that which is not always easy but it helps to have a good support system and believing in yourself.

So when this cause came to my attention, I knew I needed to be part of it and not just for myself but for others too.

Though it may not seem like much, I wanted Veterans to know that I support and appreciate what they have done for this country and for me. I was hoping that these videos may reach someone who may be having a hard day and know that I am there. Know that I was open to talking to them or anyone for that matter who needed someone to listen.

It wasn’t always easy and every time I didn’t want to do the pushups, didn’t feel well or was hurting… I thought about how Veterans who are contemplating suicide deal with these emotions every day. They don’t just go away and it’s a constant internal battle. They sacrifice their lives and independence for this country; for our opportunities, our families, our friends and for our freedom! Then they come back and have their own fight within themselves- a fight that not many can understand.

 

I believe it’s difficult, scary and even traumatic for people to share their experiences. We are all so fearful and build ourselves up to think people won’t understand, will reject us, look at us or treat us differently. We let fear drown us and we lose ourselves. We talk ourselves out of saying or doing things.

 

I have learned that we have the power and control to choose how we react, how we feel, our thoughts and our attitudes towards people and situations. Yes words are easy to say and doing can be difficult but I think as long as we try and always continue to improve ourselves everyday by working on ourselves and own issues then we are successful. Take one day at a time and things will be ok.”

 

I cannot believe it’s been a full year since I completed the 22 push up challenge for 365 days. That was my favorite challenge because not only could I spread awareness but I was pushing myself and I got to share the experience with other people. I want to follow up with my story.

 

I used to be the type of person who always felt like I needed to please other people, the type who put so much pressure on herself, and the type who stressed, worried and would overthink everything. I focused my energy on everything that was going wrong, didn’t always take responsibility for my actions and would make excuses. I was afraid to be whom I wanted; I limited myself and constantly put myself down. I was stuck and lost in my own mind.

 

Within the last few years I have taken the time to focus and work on myself; to grow, to learn and to be better. It has been amazing and I am proud of my progress. Then something wonderful happened this year. Something inside me clicked and it clicked in a way that made me understand and realize that I deserve more and I can be more. This happened through a series of 4 events.

 

This first has been the books I have been reading that have helped empower me and realize that I can speak up for myself; that I have a voice. The books have allowed me to focus on me and know now that it’s ok to do that. The books taught me that I was allowing negativity in my life and that I had to change that. I had to let go of people or not attend certain situations to help benefit myself. Yes this is very difficult and may seem selfish to some but you have to think of the pros and cons. Is this person or event worth you feeling insecure or upset. I have been in some bad situations and I have been abused in many different ways. One was a relationship in which the guy was extremely verbally abusive and tore me down. It was partly my fault for not choosing to leave and take myself out of that situation… I have accepted my part in that situation and that I can’t blame someone else. Situations can be difficult and not everyone will understand or know where you are coming from or why you choose to do the things you do and honestly it’s not their business unless you want it to be. But we also need to understand that if we ask others for their input or advice you are opening yourself up for something you may not want to hear. Life is about choices and it’s the choices you make.

 

The second event was a conference I attended. This conference increased my confidence in the workplace by reassuring my knowledge and abilities. The sessions reminded me why I started working in this field (therapeutic Recreation) and that I have a lot to offer. It also made me feel like my opinions do matter. I realized how valuable and important the work I do is for others and that I could positively or negatively impact someone’s life. I felt inspired after this conference.

 

The third was a guy I was seeing. Things were going well but once I asked if we were going in the same direction he decided he didn’t know what he wanted. He decided that I wasn’t going to be able to handle his flaws. He decided that it wasn’t going to work. And when he was telling me how I was going to feel, how I was going to act and what I was going to say, well I had had enough. Relationships are difficult and take time and effort. But they are also a choice. You choose to put your time and energy into someone because you want too. You want to share experiences with that person. In that moment I realized that I was happy and content doing things on my own. I didn’t need him, I wanted him but I deserved more and I that I could get more.

 

Lastly was by changing, focusing and turning my attention, energy and thoughts towards the positive. Bad things are always going to happen but you don’t have control over situations that arise or other people. BUT you do have control over yourself and how you will react and respond. You have the power to choose to take what you want from a situation. Once I realized that, things became a lot easier for me. For example, someone snaps at you for something as simple as not replacing that paper in the copy machine. Are you going to let that person ruin your day? Its definitely normal to get upset or feel annoyed for a minute but then learn to let it go because in the scheme of it all, it’s not that big of a deal and it’s not your issue. We all dwell on things that we have no control over and let other people affect us. Try to realize that everyone is trying and doing the best they can. Learn to have patience and understanding towards others. You may be in a rush at the grocery store and then someone in line is taking a bit longer than you would like. Well maybe you should have left earlier or maybe that person has a learning disability and is trying to count money. Take responsibility for your actions. We all get the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to you on how you use that time.

krista-stott-attending-rugged-maniac
Krista Stott pushing through the rugged maniac

I want people to know and understand that we all have struggles and obstacles we need to overcome. Things may seem to all come down at once but the way you respond changes it all. Let’s try to be more accepting of others. Someone may be struggling with an issue that may not seem like a big deal to you but it is to them. We are all entitled to our feelings and emotions and they will be different for everyone. Even people who are going through similar situations, it will never be the same because the way people internalize things or respond to situations will always be different. Let’s try being supportive and uplifting.

Now let me remind you that nothing is easy but it’s about how much time and energy you decide to put into yourself and others.”

To anyone reading, I want to reiterate that life is difficult and there are so many ifs, buts ands, that we all questions and wonder about. My recommendation is to try. Simply try to be more patient, understanding and supportive. Try to focus on the positive and be the positive. Smile at people and say hello. Be someone that brightens someone’s day in a world and society that is filled with rude, negative and obnoxious people.  In the words of Charles R. Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Think about these words and learn to apply them to your life.

So when this cause came to my attention, I knew I needed to be part of it and not for myself but for others.

Though it may not seem like much, I wanted Veterans to know that I support and appreciate what they have done for this country and for me. I was hoping that these videos may reach someone who may be having a hard day and know that I am there. Know that I was open to talking to them or anyone for that mater who needed someone to listen.

It wasn’t always easy and every time I didn’t want to, didn’t feel well or was hurting.. I thought about how Veterans who are contemplating suicide deal with these emotions everyday. They don’t just go away and it’s a battle. They sacrificed their lives for this country, for our opportunities, our families, friends and for our freedom! Then they come back and have their own fight within themselves. A fight that not many can understand.

I believe it’s difficult, scary and even traumatic for people to share their experiences. We are all so fearful and build ourselves up to think people won’t understand, will reject us, look at us or treat us differently. We let fear drown us and we lose ourselves. We talk ourselves out of saying or doing things.

I have learned that we have the power and control to choose how we react, how we feel, our thoughts and our attitudes towards people and situations. Yes words are easy to say and doing can be difficult but I think as long as we try and always continue to improve ourselves everyday by working on ourselves and own issues then we are successful. Take one day at a time and things will be ok

 

  • Yours Truly KAMS

 

Week 1 Keto Meal Ideas For The Lazy Chef

bacon and cheddar jalapeno popper boats - keto dinner recipies week 1

I like a lot of people this year am turning to the Keto Diet in hopes to achieve great weight loss in the New Year. I have gone through this path before with great success, but uh.. life happens. This time around I am struggling with what to eat, I am not a good cook so do I live solely off of protein shakes and meal replacement bars, or do I try? As you probably guessed I decided to try and learn how to cook Keto, and I am so glad I did! I have found some easy recipes that anyone can do! (Trust me if I can, you can) Below are some great easy recipes to kick start your diet into keto. I started the day with a full stack of large keto pancakes! By lunch I decided to test my oven skills with some bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and for dinner I made a delicious cheeseburger casserole mmmm…

low carb almond flour pancakes with butter and bacon - keto breakfast ideas
Photo Credit: Sasha Pierce

Make Low Carb Keto Almond Flour Pancakes in 5 Minutes or Less

During the week I hate waking up early, therefore I am always in a rush and never have time to cook. These almond flour pancakes not only are perfect for the keto diet, they only have six ingredients, and they are perfect for lazy night owls with sleep deprivation who can’t wake up on time like myself! (And everyone else of course)

 

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  2. 1tsp Vanilla
  3. 2 Eggs
  4. 1oz Cream Cheese
  5. Butter
  6. 1tsp Erythritol Sweetener

Directions:

  1. In your blender/mixer mix the flour, vanilla, eggs, cream cheese, and erythritol till nice and smooth. I like to blend the ingredients in my magic bullet because its quick and easy to clean.
  2. Heat the burner on medium with butter, once ready pour the batter mixture in the pan and let it fry for two minutes. When ready flip the pancakes and let fry for another 30-60 seconds.

Once your three pancakes are ready, plate and top off with some butter and sugar free maple syrup. I like to have mine with a side of bacon, also Keto friendly. I mean what other diet allows you to eat pancakes, eggs, cheese and bacon? These pancakes work well with cinnamon and other flavors as well, I just choose vanilla for this instance. You can also make them without Almond flour, but the first time I did this the pancakes didn’t rise very high so they were too thin for me.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers – Low Carb Keto Lunch Ideas

bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers - low carb keto lunch ideas
Photo Credit: Sasha Pierce

Lunch is probably the toughest meal of the day for me. I hate protein shakes, ill drink them if I have to but I would prefer something with sustenance. If I am at work I will go to Sweet Tomato’s with the guys, a healthy on the go salad bar in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. But on the weekend, its jalapeno popper time! I love me some jalapeno poppers mmmm. And these jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon only require 3 ingredients bacon, jalapenos, and cream cheese!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  1. 4pcs Jalapeno Peppers
  2. 2oz Cream cheese
  3. 4pcs bacon

Now what I love about this recipe is the fact that jalapeno poppers are so quick and easy to make. It doesn’t require a laundry list of grocery’s and a few hours to prepare. I like to interchange the ingredients with sweet peppers, or onion and chive cream cheese every now and then!

Directions:

  1. Line a baking pan with some aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 400º degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Slice jalapeno’s in half and de-seed them
  3. Fill jalapeno’s with Cream Cheese layer
  4. Slice bacon in half making 8pcs
  5. Wrap jalapeno’s with bacon and place on the cooking sheet
  6. Cook for 25-30 min (until bacon is fully cooked)

That’s it, once the bacon is fully cooked you’re ready to eat!

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 8pcs

Calories: 400

Carbs: 7g

Protein: 12g

Easy 4 Ingredient Low Carb Cheese burger Casserole – Keto Dinner Ideas

low carb keto dinners - week 1 - cheeseburger cassorole
Cheeseburger Casserole by Sasha Pierce

Finally as we wrap up a day in the life, daily keto meal plan ideas I made a simple Cheeseburger Casserole. What is a Cheeseburger Casserole, a cheeseburger without a bun, served in a dish. You can add whatever spices and veggies you like to this dish, but I am one of those rare people that prefer my cheeseburgers naked without any condiments. (OMG that’s crazy right! I know)

Ingredients:

  1. 1pkg Hamburger
  2. 5 slices Sargento Cheddar Cheese
  3. 1tsp of garlic salt
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. 1 slice butter

Directions:

  1. Heat a frying pan on medium with butter and cook the hamburger meat till brown on all sides and cooked all the way through, this typically takes between 10-15minutes.
  2. While frying stir in your salt, garlic, veggies and spices to taste.
  3. About a minute or two before the hamburger is complete, layer your cheese around the pan and mix in the melted cheese.
  4. Finally spoon and serve

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Total Servings: 6

Calories: 500

Carbs: 6g

Protein: 40g

The hardest meal of the day is ready just that fast, can you believe it? Now it is up to you to decide what to do with all that time you just saved not cooking some elaborate cuisine tonight for the family, while feeling accomplished for staying true to the Keto Diet. Be sure to tune in for more great keto recipes by subscribing to the Edgy Reporter and liking below.

Recover Like A Pro, No Junk – Just Taste!

Jason Venckus is the owner of Momentum Fitness, located in Berwyn Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Like many Americans Jason suffered from many problems stemming from being overweight.

“At the age of 28 I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic acid reflex and many other problems too embarrassing to mention. Being overweight caused Picture1me to be depressed, so I turned to alcohol, which only added to the problem. Medications came with their own issues, so finally I turned to exercise and nutrition. What do you know? It worked!”

After losing 40+lbs and regaining a new outlook on life, Jason realized that he wanted to help others turn their life around. Thus momentum fitness was born! Momentum Fitness has been around since 2013, offering nutritional guidance, athlete training, functional fitness classes, and personal training for all ages.

Now Jason is excited to launch his newest project, Regain a no-junk sports recovery drink! Our bodies appearance is a direct correlation to what we put in to our bodies and the nutrients we supply it.

“I see so many people killing it on the field or in the gym but replenishing their bodies with processed sugar, chemical sugar-free substitutes and dyes made from coal, tar, and other horrible sources. Now I have created a drink that not only replenishes the body properly, but tastes great too!” – Jason Venckus 

Nutritional Information

 

Serving Size 20oz:

135 calories,
22g Sugar,
31.5g carbs,
1098mg Potassium,
222mg sodium.

Regain Your Momentum Highlights Include:

-Complete electrolyte profile

-No added sugar, artificial sugar, dyes or preservatives

-Aids in muscle recovery

-Reduces oxidative damage

-Sleep aid for late night workouts

-Less sugar than leading brands (natural sugar from organic juices and coconut water)

-Not as sweet as leading brands

-Hangover helper

“When I am doing cardio, I often drink G2, but I hate that it is not a natural product. I have tried to drink coconut water for the same benefits but find it hard to drink in sufficient quantities because of the taste and consistency. Adding tart cherry, which is something I drink regularly for the health benefits- is brilliant. It makes the coconut water easy to “chug” and therefore re-hydrate faster. Delicious!” -Kristin Holmes

Jason just launched his crowdfunding campaign in search of donations to get Regain off the sidelines and into the hands of athletes of all ages, cover supplies and testing. You can help fund Jason’s campaign on Go Fund Me:

If you are interested in contacting Jason to learn more follow him on Facebook.

Don’t do Keto they said, it doesn’t work they said…

FeaturedDont do keto they said, it doesnt work they said

 

Keto aka the Ketogenic Diet is one of the most controversial diets on the market today, but does it work?

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I will say that the Keto diet like most diets does come with risks, and you should consult your physician before starting any diet. So what is Keto? Keto is essentially a high fat, high protein low carb diet. By increasing your fat and protein intake and decreasing your carb intake your body alters the way energy is used throughout the body and starts to convert fat into energy.

When I first heard about Keto, I thought to myself it is just another fad diet, they are pushing in the media. However once I started Keto my whole world changed!

Week 1:

Day one of starting Keto was by far the worst, my whole world is carbs…I love pizza, pasta, soda and all the other junk food that caused my body to become over weight in the first place! As soon as I skipped my good morning soda the cravings and headaches started to take place. Although the eggs and bacon I had for breakfast (yes bacon!) were filling, my mind kept telling me to cave in and cheat with a nice sugary beverage. But once you make it through the first few days of cravings you quickly notice that your body and your mind start to change.

Unlike most fad diets that take weeks to see results of any kind, Keto’s results can be seen early on if you are paying attention. My cravings for soda and chocolate began to subside and by the end of the first week I had dropped 7lbs on the scale WITH OUT EXERCISE! That for me alone was a sign that I was on the right track, I had tried counting calories, exercise and countless diets with no results. So for me after 7 days on Keto those results were pretty amazing and enough motivation to continue…It’s what happened next that really surprised me.

Week 2-4:

shutterstock_541208512As the weeks continued the weight melted off, I was down almost 30lbs by the end of week 4 without exercise. That said I started to notice benefits to Keto that for me were way more gratifying than the number on the scale. I craved water, I was never hungry, not only did I suppress my cravings for sugary treats I conquered my constant need to eat in general. My body was hydrated and full of good sources of protein so I would stay fuller longer and I would only eat because I told myself I had to, not because I craved it.

My body became regular because the nutrients in my body were in surplus and my mind was clear. I like many other people have struggled with ADHD, and struggled with my doctor to find the right medication to help. What Keto did for my mind is what really sold me on adopting a Keto lifestyle. By the end of week 4 my mind was sharp, the brain fog that had cause me to slack off in many areas of my life had subsided.

Month 2-3

shutterstock_539919946By the end of the third month I could focus, my mind was clear, I could think straight without struggling to process the information I was able to stop taking my ADHD medication completely! Anyone who takes those types of medications knows how expensive they are so I was happy to say good-bye to the extra cost. I became so full of energy that I was able to wake up earlier, get to work on time, focus more and actually find time to go the gym after work without feeling too tired or lethargic.

When I started this process I wasn’t a believer, I weighed 230lbs and was just looking for any way to find a better tomorrow. After three months on Keto I lost 70lbs and had a whole new outlook on the way I chose to live my life. Keto is not for everyone, it can be hard on the kidneys they say and is not suitable for many medical conditions so its best to consult your physician before starting the Keto diet. That said Keto helped me loose the weight and become a better person and I still continue to use what I learned from Keto to this day.

What did my daily diet look like?

Breakfast:

Coffee along with Scrambled Eggs & Bacon, or some sort of omelet

Lunch:

Diet soda with a hefty chicken salad, or a protein shake

Snack:

Zucchini chips, or some form of nuts

Dinner:

Some form of meat (Steak, Chicken, Lamb, Pork etc) and asparagus/veggies

A diet where I don’t  have to count calories, and eat bacon and steak…Yes please!!!