Be Your Own Cheerleader

You have to show up every day for YOU.

Because the thing is, you can only fill everyone else’s cup for so long until yours runs dry.

My whole life I stayed busy, playing every sport and joining every club. In high school I was a cheerleader, both at school and competitively, same with soccer, co-editor of the yearbook, an officer on student council, and in about 10 clubs. Literally.

In college I essentially took all those extra-curricular hours and channeled them into my journalism career. I started working at The Kansan as a freshman and worked my way up to digital managing editor my senior year, taking 15 hours of class and working 30+ hours a week. Somehow managing to find time to party far too much in between there, too.

You see? Busy was my game.

Then my back injury slowed me down. (I had two herniated discs and wrote about it a while back, you can read it here). My mental health was in a poor state and I was finally coming to terms with the fact I couldn’t out-busy my struggles anymore. I had to face what was going on inside before I could ever truly move forward.

My healing process hasn’t been linear, either. Back surgery helped, but my pain was still there and it was just so hard to get back on track. I’d been an athlete my whole life, how was I supposed to get back to the gym after being off for 5 years?

I started going to therapy about a month after my surgery and that is where my healing and self-awareness and acceptance journey really began.

After a few years of working on my mental health and pretty much neglecting my physical health, I was diagnosed with a skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS for short. It resides within the autoimmune/auto-inflammatory disease family and has no cure. The only FDA-approved medicine is a weekly immunosuppressant injection, and even then the success rate is only 50%.

Needless to say, my world. was. rocked.

I decided enough was enough. I’d been working on my mental health for years, it’s time I put my physical health as a priority, too. Enter hours upon hours of self research and learning all there is to know about autoimmune diseases and holistic ways of healing.

The biggest contender and most common answer? Diet.

Following a whole foods diet, focused on eating anti-inflammatory foods, healing the gut. That is what all the other people with HS said helped put them in remission.

So, I embarked on my AIP, or auto-immune protocol, journey and started to eliminate all the unhealthy things from my life, literally and figuratively.

No gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar. No artificial ingredients in my skin care.

You know what that leaves you with? Meat and vegetables and slowly but surely purging just about everything you already own. I was reading labels like it was my profession and learning so much.

It was overwhelming at times, discouraging at times, frustrating. I felt left out. I felt deprived. I would freeze up when it was my time to order at restaurants because I felt like I couldn’t safely order anything. That’s where the mindset came back into play.

Gratitude is a beautiful thing and practicing it has helped me heal in more ways than I can express in this singular blog. I remember struggling for months, wanting to give up, thinking my disease was never going away. Until one night at the gym, I realized I’d been on the elliptical for 54 minutes without stopping.

Sister, say what!?? That is crazy talk!

I started crying. Right then and there, because in that moment I realized, “This is exactly what I was praying for every night before my back surgery. All I wanted was to feel alive again. To move my body and enjoy it. To feel strong.”

And boy do I feel as alive and strong as EVER, y’all! My progress isn’t linear because thats just it, it never is. Life is all about the ebbs and flows and exchanges of energy. I needed to get knocked down, to realize all the power I had within me, to come out even stronger.

I’m powerful.

I’m a warrior.

I will overcome.

I am a force to be reckoned with.

For too many years, I’d been filling up everyone else’s cup. Cheering them on throughout their battles, helping them get over their latest struggle. You called? I answered and picked you up with a snack and an ear ready to listen.

I’m still that friend. But now, I’m that friend for me, too.

I listen to my needs and sit with my feelings. I let myself feel valid and process whatever I’m going through. Then? I tell myself to get up, get dressed, and face that bad boy head on.

Because I’m unstoppable.

I’ve overcome so much in my life and I’m only 27 years old. For too many years, I stayed busy to avoid my feelings. I stayed busy to avoid what was going on inside my head. I listened and helped people with their problems to avoid my own.

It’s super fun giving out advice until it’s time you took your own, right?

This past year has been nothing short of incredible. I’ve lost 80+ pounds, gained control of my bad habits and have incorporated newer, healthier, more sustainable ones. I’ve grown in ways I didn’t think was possible, especially in only a year’s time.

My biggest success thus far? Learning to be my own cheerleader.

Pumping myself up when I need it, convincing myself that the scrambled egg and avocado is better for me than the honey butter chicken biscuit, no matter how bad I think I want it. And then celebrating those choices that lead to even better choices.

Building upon these healthy habits to feel better, it’s an amazing journey. A lot of the time, I still can’t believe I’ve made it this far. There were so many days I wanted to give up, sometimes I still struggle with, “Is the work worth it?”

But that’s just it, of COURSE it’s worth it! You deserve happiness, you deserve joy, you deserve health and success. Yes, you do!

And I do, too.

xoxo,

HB

Simply Healthy Fried Shrimp

I’m just going to come right out and say it – these are the best dang shrimp I’ve ever made in my life... like, I just finished my plate and immediately had to come write this because it’s so dang good the whole world needs to know about it!

Thankfully, it’s super simple and an affordable take on a fancy shrimp dinner out, too.

Ingredients:
– 1 lb bag frozen raw, shelled, deveined, tail off (saves so much time, worth the extra pennies)
– 1 tbsp coconut oil
– 1 egg
– 3 cups coconut flour
– garlic powder (to taste)
– cumin (to taste)
– ground ginger (just a little)
– Trader Joe’s Vegan Chicken-less Seasoning Salt (tastes like Ramen noodles seasoning)

Directions:
– place shrimp in strainer and run cold water over it until thawed
– microwave coconut oil until it becomes liquid (about 15 seconds)
– combine coconut oil with one egg
– in separate mixing bowl, combine coconut flour with seasonings
– dredge shrimp in egg wash, then flour mixture, then place into air fryer
– cook on 380 for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway
– enjoy!

Honestly, the only thing that’s missing from this recipe that would make these coconut shrimp is the coconut flakes. I didn’t have any and was too impatient to wait to make these, LOL, so I decided to make coconut-flavored shrimp (thanks coconut oil and coconut flour!)

One of the best parts of ordering coconut shrimp at a restaurant is banking on getting some sweet and tangy sauce to dip those bad boys in. I’m still working on perfecting a keto-friendly sweet chili sauce, but, what I made today is ah-mazing!

Sauce ingredients:
– Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise
– fish Sauce
– G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ sauce
– sriracha
– salt
– ground ginger
– garlic powder

I didn’t measure them…ended up using about two big spoonfuls of mayo, one big spoonful of BBQ, plenty of fish sauce and sriracha and minimal seasonings. I like to measure to taste and make adjustments throughout until it’s exactly what I’m going for.

If you can’t tell, I love to cook/bake based off of my mood. And if I’m out of an ingredient, I’ll improvise! Today was a good day for improvisation. I’m definitely making these air-fried shrimp again.

What else would you like to see me make? Drop a comment below!

xoxo,

HB

Shift Your Mindset, Elevate Your Lifestyle in 10 Days

Ten days. That’s all it takes to reset your mindset and shift into better living.

How? It’s simple! Join me in the 10 day challenge. hannahchristine.challenge.com But, before I even get into the details, just look at my results from my latest 10 day challenge⤵️



I’ve been eating clean and exercising moderately for 10 months now. Between that and drinking pure therapeutic ketones for nearly 8 months of that time, I’ve lost 75 pounds. INSANITY, y’all!

You see, I’m a recovering athlete. I grew up playing traveling soccer and doing competitive cheerleading.

I’ve had my fair share of struggles… too low on the scale and far too high on the scale, too. Emotional attachments to food, you name it.

Injury after injury, I had to have knee surgery in high school and back surgery right after graduating college. On top of all of that, at the ripe age of 26, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and enough was enough. You can catch my full health journey timeline here.

Enter clean eating, easing into exercising and drinking ketones.

The 10-Day Challenge is the perfect way to jump into ketosis. Familiar with the ketogenic aka keto diet? Well, when you eat keto, your body is in a state of nutritional ketosis. Drinking one serving of Prüvit pure therapeutic ketones puts your body into a state of nutritional ketosis within one hour.

Your routine will be simple:

– Drink one serving of caffeinated ketones in the morning
– Fast until lunch (drinking coffee or tea is okay but only black or with 0g sugar cream)
– Eat a low carb meal (think meats and vegetables)
– Drink one serving of decaf ketones mid to late afternoon
– Eat another low carb meal for dinner

That’s it!

Shift your mindset and get your body ready for a healthier lifestyle in just 10 days. Yes – really! Head over to hannahchristine.challenge.com to get your kit.

Keep up with me on my Instagram @healthyhannahchristine for day to day activities.

xoxo,

HB