fangirling & more

Yesterday I watched some of the Boston Marathon – so amazing!  One of my former Ragnar teammates ran and she kicked some booty!  It is just so freakin’ inspiring, I can’t even handle it.

It makes me want to RUN ALL THE MILES!  SIGN UP FOR ALL THE RACES!  DO ALL THE TRAINING!  In fact, last night I looked into a few fall marathons.  I have no idea what to pick, all I know is I want one on the calendar.  That and a 1/2 – it’s going to happen soon – there is no denying it.

Some positives after my headachy post…

Yesterday it was windy and rainy all day.  I loved it.  The sun never came out – just gray and wonderful.  I’ve noticed I am missing PNW-like weather more and more… I think it’s a sign.

Because of the aforementioned weather, I get to stretch some of my winter/fall wardrobe a little longer.  I dig it.  I love to layer.  In fact, I was talking to a co-worker last week and they were talking about all of the “elements” I wear.  I decided to adopt this word into my style vocabulary.  I like to wear a variety of elements.

Since the need to sign up for a 1/2 and a full is hitting me, I wonder if there is a giant surge in registrations across the country/globe after Boston.  Someone should do some research and get back to me – much obliged.

The Blerch looks at me everyday.  Everyone asks me what it is and it’s very hard to explain.  But it helps to keep me motivated.  Sometimes the motivation is to simply to get through a difficult work day, which is no small feat.  Good job Blerch.

blerch – reminding me to not give in!

I’ve lost some weight.  During the Whole 30 I dropped 9 or 10 lbs but I wasn’t sure if it was a lasting weight loss or simply a short term by-product of the drastic changes.  Now, a few months later, I can say it’s for real.  It’s a solid 10-12 lbs and I feel much better.  I’m shooting for 8 lbs more.  I once took a Self magazine health assessment deal to find my “healthy weight”.  I was certain it would be higher than my weight at the time, 125 lbs.  Nope.  It said I should be around 110.  Yikes.  Naturally, I tried to get down to 110.  After a surgery, I managed it.  However, this is not a healthy weight for me.  Despite being a shorty, I’m not structurally built to maintain a 110 lbs and still eat, run – all that jazz.  Lesson?  Don’t take those assessments in “health” mags.  A couple of lifestyle changes I took with me were measuring my coffee additions every morning, gluten-free, A LOT more protein, actually cooking meals and reading labels.

I thought there was more of a point to this post.  Oh well.  Running on the docket for this eve, although it will be some inside miles since it is cold and windy outside and I don’t feel like freezing my buns.  I’ll leave with this pic of Simon.  He was giving me the ol’ ‘you don’t give enough attention’ look yesterday.  Yep, my poor chubby bunny of a cat totally suffers from lack of attention!

silly cat
silly cat

coffee conundrum

Alright, let’s talk some coffee…

It’s no secret, one aspect of the Whole30 that drove me bonkers was the lack of a satisfying cup of joe in the morn.  I lamented endlessly to anyone who would listen (or at least pretend to listen) and on this blog.  I was certain once the 30 days ended (or 31 in my case as I can’t count) I would be basking in the rays of a coffee nirvana.

HA!  Joke’s on me!

My first day of “real coffee” I went out to Baskin’ and Robbins for my favorite drink.  If any one you have had it, it’s the mocha blast, made with fat-free frozen yogurt.  I even got up an hour early for work to make this happen.  This was an overzealous first introduction back to dairy on my part.  Sure, I need to integrate some of the former eliminated foods back into my diet but what is essentially a coffee milkshake may not have been the best way to do it.  And my stomach concurred.  I was only able to drink half and then I enjoyed some tummy upset for several hours.  Boo.

The next day, I went for a blend of low-fat 1/2 and 1/2 with some lactose free 2% milk.  It was drinkable but not very good.  I even added in some caramel syrup to no avail.  This coffee reunion was not filling my expectations one bit.

Thursday morning, I went ahead and opened one of my Coffeemate Creamer bottles that I still had left from before.  I mixed it with the lactose free milk and was very careful with regards to the serving size of said delicious Samoa Girl Scout Cookie flavor.  Still a no-go.  I was distraught.  I went through all of these trial and error coffee enhancements during the first part of the Whole30 and it was frustrating to go through it again.

By the way, in case anyone is wondering what I tried during those first few weeks.  I blended some almond milk with coconut milk.  Not great.  I used almond milk with cocoa, another fail.  Then this with coconut milk and again – boo.  I found a recipe to blend dates and coconut milk – this was disgusting.  I used just the coconut milk fat – what was I thinking?!  Finally, I just used almond milk and I counted down the days by saying, “only x many cups of bad coffee to go”.

Anyway, yesterday, I used a recipe found here at Craving Comfort.  This included one can of evaporated milk mixed with one can of condensed milk.  I also used a vanilla coffee blend.  Both milks were of the low-fat variety but still the condensed milk packs a wallop in the calorie category.  After a long search I found this cool site Recipe Calculator/SparkRecipe, that lets you put in your ingredients/servings of your homemade foods and figure out what the calorie count is per serving.  Based on these calculations I figured that I could get a decent cup in the 150-180 calorie range; a drastic decrease from my former 330+ drinks.  I am measuring it out though (a little less than a 1/3 of a cup) and will continue to do so in order to keep my love of the sugar corralled.

There you go.  My coffee woes have been documented.  Silly perhaps,  to reference this as a “woe” but to me it is.  It was my saving grace for all of the effort and it failed to perform.  In the famous words of good old Celine Dion, “my (coffee) heart will go on”.

a shark, a pie crust and stuffing walking into a bar…

Happy Thanksgiving!  A few days late for sure, but I feel the sentiment can be true for the duration of the weekend.

why didn’t I think of this for my bug?!

I had a nice thanksgiving-you?  I managed to keep it gluten-free, which was a lot more challenging than I originally anticipated.  Shopping was stressful as I mentioned & while I was making the stuffing I truly wanted to call it off & give into the gluten!  Just use those perfect breadcrumbs to bind this all together for a magical Thanksgiving feast.

But I refrained. I cut up a loaf of gluten-free bread & dried the bread crumbs.  FYI if you ever do this then give it longer than you think.  I ended up putting them in the oven at 200-250 degrees to finish drying them out.  Overall, my stuffing wasn’t as good as it has been in the past but it will be a work in progress.

my sister and dear friend both posted this on my fb page - obviously they know my hatred for this word
my sister and dear friend both posted this on my fb page – obviously they know my hatred for this word

Turkey?  Kicked some seriously tasty ass<— weird sentence but totally true.  And I used a carving technique I saw on Facebook.  Funny enough things I didn’t consider-dull knives are a danger!  So are my “knife skills”.  Great Scott, I almost took out my spleen.  Then there was the lack of mention of how to avoid burning my finger tips off or the RIVER of turkey of fat/juices that managed to overrun my counter top!  All of this aside, it was a very handy method & I will use it again in the future.  It made me feel all Food Network-like.

When my sister offered advice on how not to get overwhelmed with my new thanksgiving diet, she told me to pinpoint what recipes were important for my feast and concentrate on those.  Pumpkin pie was certainly on this list.  I decided crafting my own pie crust was key since Pillsbury has yet to jump on the gluten-free train.  I waited though & finally did it last night – or at least made the dough.  It has been chilling in my fridge as I’ve read this is really helpful.  I also heard from various interweb master pie crust makers that using a combo of water/vodka is the way to go.  Someone even suggested vanilla vodka for a sweeter taste.  My next venture will be to try this one out.  The other pie crust is going to be used for turkey pot pie-currently in the works.

cheers B-Dubs

And then I purchased a Shark vacuum. Yay!  I get ridiculously excited for new appliances & this one didn’t disappoint.  The other night I vacuumed my living room & realized every time I vac with my big vac I have to go back over it with my mini one too in order to pick up Simon’s hair.

I broke out the new bad boy 10 mins after getting home & it was super great!  Excitement abounds!

Restful weekend filled with TV, laundry, baking & even a bit of working out. Oh & the Whole30 results?  I lost 10lbs.  I’m slightly concerned about maintaining this weight loss so now it’s time to add in some physical activity as I am getting better with my food choices.  This remains to be seen…

P.S. Red Robin is the place to go for gluten-free eating.  They were amazing in a non-judgey way…  Enjoy the last of your weekend!

gluten free for meeeee!

I decided to air my Whole30 wrap up on day 30! I have no idea how I made it.  I have a bazillion and one thoughts on the topic so I tried to list the main ones.  Honestly, part of me despises saying this changed my life because it sounds hokey and I kind of wanted to debunk the whole thing.  But the title is fairly self-explanatory – no more gluten for this gal.

1. Cons

a) I’m still bitter with the authors (creators?) of the Whole30’s website.  They have a blurb in there how this isn’t “hard” that “childbirth is hard” along with other things that fall into this type of painful category.  BUT it was hard.  Sugar was one of my coping mechanisms.  Giving that up wasn’t all pina coladas.  So when I admitted to myself it WAS hard I felt kind of guilty about it.  Thankfully, even my friends who have given birth said they thought it would be tough.  So there, Whole30.

b) They also questioned my coffee and “why I need it”.  Because I do.  It brings me joy.  It reminds me of my sister and family.  It reminds me of WA.  It’s a lovely way to start the day.  I did not appreciate my love being questioned.

c) You will wash more dishes than you thought imaginable.

d) I am truly and completely sick of almond milk.  And I hated coconut milk.

e) Getting set up with the gluten free business isn’t cheap.  Oh and I’m one of those folks who now brings their own food to social gatherings.  Awesome.

2.  Worries

a) I know I’ve lost weight.  I’m scared that I will gain it all back.  I’m also nervous it won’t be as much as I was hoping!

b) I was SURE my stomach issues would be cured by the end of these 30 days.  I’m quite delusional and impatient.  Now I wonder if they will ever be fixed.

sing it

c) I am becoming one of those difficult people to feed in social gatherings.  I am going out to dinner twice this week and I looked up the menu both times.  I found options!  I don’t feel as carefree anymore though.

d) I feel like a poser.  I look at my grocery basket will all of the gluten free labels and I wonder if I’m just being silly.  Oh and grocery shopping is harder – NOT having massive amounts of stress would be helpful.  Seriously – did you know there is wheat in cream of mushroom soup?

3. Pros

a) Wahoooo!  I made it! (Okay one day early but no way in hell am going to screw this up!)

b)  I promise, I am not exaggerating when I say, I feel better emotionally and mentally.  My depression is milder, my ADD is better (I can focus!), some of the foggy brain has lifted – as much as possible with my epilepsy meds, I feel more alert and less fatigued on a daily basis.

it probably helps to listen to your body

c)  I haven’t had a headache in a month.

d) Meal planning is pretty nifty – even despite all of the dishes.  Considering the new lifestyle (WEIRD to say) I will continue to cook my little heart out.  I’ve found some really tasty treats that will continue in the rotation and thank goodness for pinterest.  I want to start making my own bread and I can’t wait to eat pancakes again!!

e)  I’m going to really try to keep the whole sugar thing under control  This kinda broke my sugar habit – just not my likeness for the treat!  One of the bigger changes was I used to be unable to get through the afternoon without some kind of chocolate.  I still like something sweet during this time (Auhmaze Balls anyone?!) – maybe a natural sugar.  But don’t worry, I’m not turning on my friends, I’m NOT sugar free!

f)  Ummm – I feel better?  Damn good reason right there.

As mentioned, FODMAP is next.  It is NOT paleo.  If my stomach can handle it, I get some rice!  And dairy!  And corn products – again, if my stomach likes it.  Legumes are the list of possibilities but I’m keeping those at bay for a while.  I’ll post more about it in a bit.  Even if I don’t have celiac I’ve got the good ol’ gluten sensitivity.  All of this is kind of a lot to take in since it’s a freakin’ life change.  There you go… Maybe the Whole30 isn’t for you and certainly no judgements from me!  But if you have any questions let me know!

1.  Whole30 – would you try it?

2.  Thoughts on gluten?



tummy drama

Alright, I need to write about last week… It’s my way of dealing with it and keeping sane.  No problem if you want to skip this post; I would completely understand.

Everyday last week I wanted to crawl into bed and stay there.  Every damn day.  The snow day was beneficial as it allowed me hang out on the couch.  And writhe in pain.  Remember the plan to cook and prep foods for the week?  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  It all started Monday night and then the rest of the week was terrible.

wilson phillips, I’m counting on you to tell the truth

On Wednesday I called “Dr. Ascot’s” (my pet name for him) office in hopes they would have at some kind of advice to help with the bloating, cramping and nausea.  Their suggestions were the following:  eat smaller meals, take gas-x, no veggies… Basically that was it.  Not super helpful – I wanted to cry… not for long though.

But one of the helpful/great aspects of the Whole30 and ditching gluten is my mental state has improved.  For example, back when I hurt my hand again in April and the doc told me there wasn’t much I could do, I got all funky in the emotional realm.  It was yet another thing wrong with me.  Now, even though I’m hard up in the health department, I’m not scraping the bottom of the barrel in regards to depression or apathy.

must embody my inner, very determined Rocky

But I kept hoping everyday would be better.  Why is it worse this week?  I’m certain (well as certain as I can be by learning my diagnostic skills from the internet) it’s the lack of my combo of Nexeum and Zantac.  I think it was keeping me sort of functional.  Now, I’m supposed to depend on my the power of my shit stomach to save the day??  Clearly this is isn’t happening.  I’m afraid to eat.  Most of the time, I can’t even tell if I’m hungry or not and then if I do eat, I always wish I hadn’t.  Sooo, I eat very little… I know this sounds border-line disordered eating and I am trying VERY hard not to get sucked in.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ascot also cut my depression med.  He told me I needed to stop taking it so I assumed that meant right then and there.  It was only on Wednesday that I learned from the doc’s office that I should have weaned myself off of the stuff.  My pharmacy friend was worried so I asked when I called.  Seriously though, how was I supposed to know?  And guess what??  Withdrawal symptoms were/are some nasty business.  I was irritable all week, dizzy at times, had a small seizure and felt all kinds of out of sorts that I couldn’t even describe if I tried.  I thought it should be over by this last weekend but nope – still a loopy goose and a bit unstable on my feet.  I have hopes this will end soon.  When I asked the doc assistance if I should do something different and you know, it was the “too late now” answer.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?  It can’t go on forever.

just the withdrawal talking… I can do this, right?!!

Oh and guess what??  I only have today’s cup of crappy coffee and tomorrow’s and then the introduction of dairy on WEDNESDAY!  Wahoo!

snow days are the best days

Guess what day it is?!  It’s a snow day!  Seriously, even though I’m in my 30’s working in higher ed still allows me to enjoy the day “off”. Technically I don’t get the whole day away BUT, I’m in sweatpants so it works.

I’m utilizing the day to advance cook a few things for the rest of the week. My auuhmaze balls are almost gone & even though the breakfast cookies weren’t super great in the beginning, they tasted better as time went on. I also put them in the fridge, which helped. Then I will be cooking some meat. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten so much meat in my entire life in such a short period of time. On the docket are some delish hot dogs, almond flour salmon, some dates wrapped in bacon & something with a couple of steaks I have. I’ll say it again-this meal planning deal is nifty.

In non-whole30 news.

I have a 5k this wkend. It’s a local turkey trot & I’m looking forward to it. I am slightly concerned about the weather but whatever. I’m MORE concerned about my lack of running as of late!  Where has all my motivation gone?!  Ok, so it’s safe to say it was sub par to begin with but now it simply qualifies as lackluster.

I still haven’t been to our new Costco & I’m feeling really left out. My plan was to go today but my car is a giant snowball & this past Thursday we had out first big snow storm. My car played “let’s go sledding!” So it’s home for me.

Simon also loves snow days.

Snow day

Tomorrow morning I am charged with bringing lovely-surgery-gluten-donuts to our business meeting. 4 dozen to be exact. It happens I’m in charge of the committee for this sort of thing & I have more time in the morning than others. THEN I get to sit around as my co-workers get to enjoy the deliciousness of said donuts. While the history books don’t support my theory, I think this is some form of medieval torture. I’m guessing it’s so horrifying that they couldn’t bear to document it.

My co-workers hovering donuts

Lastly, I spent some time googling celiac disease this morning. It happens that this snow day fell on a good day since I’m not feeling very well & I’m trying to moderate my sick leave. In addition to other unfortunate diseases, celiac can be a contributing factor to epilepsy, migraines, ADHD, depression & anxiety. There are more but these are things that play a major role in my life so I was taken aback. Even gluten sensitivity can foster the migraines, ADHD, depression & anxiety. My bro-in-law does most of the cooking in the house & it’s all paleo meals so this means my sis does too. She said her migraine frequency has gone down considerably & even when she does get a headache it isn’t as bad. Since gluten issues run the fam, this is certainly something I’m considering for long term changes. Even if my test results are a negative for full on celiac, from my reading it’s harder to rule out the sensitivity. Clearly I have lots to consider.

Celiac disease sufferers out there-please tell me some of your tales of healing!

and gluten sensitivity folks-please send me some good progress reports!



less is more

Day 23.  I officially have “completed” more days than I have left.  Yes, I realize we all know how math works but I’m so happy!  Essentially, it’s like the moment I hit mile 14 in the marathon while doing Dopey.  At that point I knew I could finish.  And as you know, (PSA), knowledge is power!

one of my prouder life moments
one of my prouder life moments

To be honest – I really felt this way last week around day 17.  It was nice to be a tad bit more than half way done.  As per my experience, my feelings are mixed on this Whole30 deal.  If you would like to read what I have so far, my posts are here, and here.   I refer to the timeline quite a bit on the Whole30 site as I found it to be fairly accurate.  Unfortunately, some pieces are still missing.

1.  Where is my mo’fo’ Tiger Blood?!  Seriously, I’m currently awaiting feeling like I have 20 thousand watts of energy coursing through my body.  I DO have more energy but I expected feeling like a bunny – bounding about in a meadow.  No bunny feelings here.  I’m a bit disappointed.

tiger blood
my bro-in-law sent me this so at least I could have a picture of my non-existent tiger blood

2.  Losing inches and weight is where it’s at man.  I was reading through a blog somewhere on the interwebs and they were writing that doing the Whole30 and eating paleo was a way to lose weight without doing any work.  Umm… no.  Yep, there is an initial weight loss from cutting sugar and it’s true I’ve yet to really work out, however, it has been work.  Maybe not in the way we usually think about it but still work.  Not to mention, I’m sure just like with any elimination diet, you can still gain weight due to portions.

3.  This weekend I went to a dear friend’s daughter’s first birthday.  Yay!  I was THAT person.  I brought my own pork chop for lunch as they were having pulled pork with bbq sauce.  I ate the veggies (thanks!)!  At cake time, I brought one of my breakfast “cookies” to help ward off some of sugar’s siren’s call.  We went out to dinner later that evening and brunch the next day and both times I went all When Harry Met Sally on them.  I felt like an idiot.  A high maintenance idiot at that.

4.  On my drive out of town, I stopped by McDonald’s for an ice coffee – black.  Along with my pork chop, I brought some almond milk.  I pulled up to the window and the handed me a cup of deliciousness, a.k.a. coffee with cream and sugar.  I’m not even kidding when a part of me ALMOST just took it and ran!  But I explained the error and a not-as-tasty coffee was passed along to me instead.  *Sigh*.

5.  Essentially, in times of stress or sadness, I still want to find comfort in food.  I thought this would have passed by now.

6.  My skin IS much clearer.  I hate it when other people are right.

7.  I suppose my sweet tooth has changed somewhat.  I gave one of my AUUUHHHMAZE Balls to my friend to taste and she was not terribly impressed (really kind of hated them).  To me they are the BEST!

8.  Meal planning is much easier.  It always seemed so daunting in the past but now that I’ve been doing it for three weeks, it’s better.  I cooked pork chops the other night, even.  Look at me!  I don’t feel as intimidated as I did before about cooking certain foods and I actually have some energy to put things together in the evening times.  Plus, I can look at something in the fridge and figure out a meal from those ingredients.

this is what it used to fee like

9.  It’s been a really good segway to the FODMAP diet.  I’ll be switching over to that when the Whole30 is over and it won’t require a terrible number of changes, which is nice.

10.  I certainly don’t think this is an easy process.  I’ve been having food dreams.  One night it was some chinese take out and another night a giant burger.  Last night it was some kind of coffee drink.  Then I wake up kind of freaked out that I blew it.

11.  I truly thought I was going to HAVE to cheat at some point in order to make it.  I’m happy I haven’t despite wanting to!  They don’t really mention too much about managing cravings  during women’s cycles and I think if they added some info it would be helpful.  That was a trying time for sure!

12. I don’t believe “I’ve got this in the bag” or that the remaining days will be all easy as pie – yum, PIE.  I’m determined though.  I am going to start making a menu for next week (aside from Thanksgiving, which still boggles my mind that it’s here) to make sure I don’t hover food for the sake of hovering.  Food is fuel only – right?!


my special specialists

I like to think I am very special.  A sparkle or a bright shiny star.  I also seem to be very accident prone and a sickly creature.  This is all-encompassing for this “special” label I’ve placed upon myself.  The sparkle is simply me trying to compensate for constant injuries and/or illnesses.  Loads of fun happening up in this body!

My hand appointment finally came and went.  Monday morning I met with the hand specialist and he was a pretty cool guy.  I was nervous he would take a look at my thumb and mock me for my weakness then get up and call me a wimp.  Then walk out.  None of this happened and instead we came up with a game plan.  Next week, I will be getting a splint that is created from a mold of my hand.  Neato.  After a month, we will move to a cast if my hand/thumb are still being non-compliant.  I like having a plan.

Constant pain and irritation are really annoying.  Sometimes it feels like my thumb slips out of place which grosses me out.  It was nice to be taken seriously and have the inner workings of my hand explained.  He went through all of my options as well.  The last option is surgery, which I completely agree with.  Get this, they take a part of my tendon from my arm and use it weave the tendons tighter in my hand.  I find this both disgusting and nifty.  Science man.

Next up, we have the stomach specialist.  Thankfully, this appointment did not take 6 months to get.  In fact, my lovely doctor got me in within 2 and half weeks or so.  Apparently, this is the expedited process.  A friend went to her regular doctor with similar symptoms (and in some ways worse) and they sent her home saying, “I’m sure we can get you an appointment in six months or so”.  Crazy pants.

My tummy is a big part of why I started the Whole30 in the first place.  It’s really nice to feel proactive and attempting to get some control over my out of control GI system.  The appointment was yesterday and it was both good but overwhelming.  Quick and dirty: he is taking me off 8 of my meds – scary! and replacing them with 1.  Yes, a major positive.  He said, “you are on too much shit”, haha.  Ummm – BUT they are kind of my security blanket…

Another piece that is overwhelming is I must have more blood work and other tests done, get scoped from the top and the bottom – will they meet in the middle?!, (ON NEW YEARS EVE! WHY??), a biopsy of my tummy and follow a FODMAP diet.  Essentially it’s like the Whole30 diet I am currently on so I will need to continue but possibly add some dairy (please oh please).  The scoping stuff sucks because I’m flying back the day before and I have to be ready for the test at 7 am the next day.  Because God hates me.

The doc said he will make me feel better – WIN! – although he followed up with the list of possible issues and they are not great.  OR it could be that all of my meds have essentially killed my stomach and I need to help it heal.  Oh and he says I need a new job, have a severe case of anxiety, wants me to see a therapist and start doing yoga.  I guess he is a life coach on the side.  Lots of info yesterday in less than an hour appt… I was internally screaming…

yep – but I looked calm and collected – maybe…

One more thing… Wednesday morning I dropped my work phone and it hit my toe.  I don’t think it’s broken but it hurts like a son of a gun.  Who knew toes came in so many colors?

***Special shout out and a “thank you” goes to my sweetheart of a buddy who had to endure my minor meltdown.  I poured some water out in your honor.

I dig this

I know… You might be getting tired of hearing about all of this Whole30 business and I promise, tomorrow will be an entirely different topic.  However, these 30 days are a major influence in my life at the moment so a topic here it will stay.

After my emotional train wreck on Friday, Saturday and today have been better.  It probably helps that the jeans I wore on Friday were looser on Saturday – obviously, I can be easily swayed.  Yesterday, I slept in until 9:30 am and then took about an hour nap.  I was exhausted, which probably came into play with the whole tears for fears deal.  I also hit up the grocery store last night.

I had no idea the party was at the grocery store on Saturday eves

Want to know something strange?  The grocery store was PACKED – and it was 5 pm.  Seriously, this place was hoppin’ – too bad as I was looking forward to a ghost town shopping experience.  Nevertheless, the following are some items I picked up (or just want to tell you about) because they make me happy.

1.  The Frosted Pine Febreeze holiday candle.  Great scott – it’s fabulous.  I feel like I’m cheating on Thanksgiving a bit as I don’t like to kick off Christmas until I’m good and stuffed with turkey, but I caved.  It’s the perfect blend of pine and whatever else.  It’s a light Christmas tree scent that permeates my apt.  I feel this scent is tough to master because it can either be overpowering or smell like men’s aftershave.  This is a winner – the secret is out too, because I had to find it at another store.

2.  Bacon from Target.  Bacon is hard to find because it’s cured with sugar – or at least most of the brands I’ve read the labels for.  Oddly enough, it’s the fact that it’s 60% less sodium that does the trick so I’m thinking it doesn’t take sugar to balance out the salt during the curing process.  Anyway, it’s handy.

currently, this is my reaction every time I find out there is sugar in something I want to buy

3.  These über delicious little energy balls.  I made them last week and I ate 2 a day.  They were perfect as an afternoon snack and then one in the evening.  They came together quickly and I’m making another batch tomorrow.  I will be making these long after these 30 days are over.

4.  Our local butcher shop.  I got some hot dogs from them and I am over the moon in love.  Store-bought hot dogs simply can’t compare.  I will be going back next week for some frozen chicken and more hot dogs.  Because I’m obsessed.

I legit professed my love for said butcher shop while I was there.

5.  The tv show, Jane the Virgin.  LOVE!  It’s on the CW on Monday nights and it is a very cute show.  I highly recommend it.

6.  Costco.  Okay, this isn’t a new love affair but since I moved to Kalamazoo, I don’t have access to one.  All that changes on Nov. 12!  Wahoo!  I’ve already purchased my membership and there may or may not be a countdown on my fridge.  I love Costco.  It’s a great company and their products rock.  Not to mention, its roots are WA based so there is some home state love going on.  Office mate has never been and I just keep telling him how fabulous it is.  I don’t think he quite believes me…

yeah, I don’t get it either

7.  Oh and of course, the Whole30.  I’ve been pinning recipes and reading through some blog posts about the experience of others.  I’m actually cooking real live meals and even experimenting a bit.  This week?  Mahi-mahi fish tacos, a chicken stir fry and cauliflower rice.  I’ve never had fish tacos and I purchased purple cauliflower for a fun flair.  I’m in some new territory.

Oh!  And this buzzfeed – Skeletor (from the cartoon He-Man) affirmations.  I can’t even tell you how much I love these!



day 13 of the whole30 & feeling a bit salty

Day 13

I made it through the first week of no sugar, dairy, grains or legumes.  The sugar deprivation was/is still challenging.  You see, I depend on sugar as a coping mechanism – taking that away means I get to ride out some of those feelings.  I think I like my feelings covered in chocolate better…

Nevertheless, I’m wicked proud of myself.  Foods I thought I would miss terribly haven’t been overly strong on my radar, which is also surprising.  I miss foods being convenient but I don’t always miss those foods.  Well, except for yogurt.  I really like yogurt.

How I’m feeling:

I haven’t experienced that “jump out of bed with the energy of 10 super humans” quite yet.  I’m not a morning person & am guessing this will never change.  I DO wake up & don’t feel quite as groggy as I did before.  And as promised, I have more sustainable energy throughout the day.   I don’t feel I’m thinking with more clarity or anything like that-but I don’t feel like a zombie either.  Also, I have more energy/drive to do things (like cook a meal) when I get done with work.

I’ve lost inches.  I can feel it in the clothes I’m wearing.  I’ve followed orders & not stepped on the scale & honoring this has been a struggle.  I just want to KNOW!  But as I mentioned, I don’t feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man anymore.  I’m guessing this could have something to do with the fact that my coffee drinks were clocking in at a whopping 330 calories every morning.  Cutting these for a week was equal to the number of calories necessary to lose a pound.  It definitely makes me think about future coffee ingredients.

Last week I would be starving by the time my next meal hit.  It was obnoxious.  I kept feeling I shouldn’t be that hungry given the amount of food I felt like I was eating.  Where did it go?  Suddenly I was envisioning tighter pants & I was worried.  This week it has somewhat calmed down.  I’m certainly hungry for my next meal but I don’t feel like a bottomless pit anymore.

There are good things about this process/plan.  Today I’m feeling kind of ragey and emotional.  There are some hormones to blame (so there are some non-stable emotions involved and way to much pain that I can’t take motrin for) , my stomach isn’t feeling up to par and what I really WANT is a diet 7up.  Or something… seriously, I don’t know what it is.  But this morning, I almost started crying when I thought about the next 17 cups of crappy coffee I’m going to be drinking and then DID start crying when office mate asked me what was wrong.  Sure, I was feeling a bit salty about a few other things but nothing that warranted actual tears.  And there were tears – plural – none of that one dramatic, yet soulful tear sliding down the cheek.  Nope, facial floodsville.  It does coincide with the Whole30 timeline.  Essentially, I’m grieving some of my lost foods.  This probably attributes to my not knowing what I want per say just that I want ALL of the foods I am not currently eating.

I hear ya, Britt

I’m guessing this phase will pass?  It says it will but I’m having my doubts on this Friday afternoon…  I’m sticking it out though…

***I made it through –  day 14