2018 Aspirations Summary: April

April was rather crazy.  I felt like I was failing at everything and then I realized what I am actually doing is learning. Finding out what doesn’t work for my eating habits can be just as helpful and valuable as finding out what does work.

Be Healthier

This month I am going to focus on what I am doing well at or at least better. I started visiting the farmer’s market on Sunday mornings and buying lovely fruits and vegetables. And eating them! They also have wild caught fish from Alaska that is hand processed, frozen and sent down to Tucson, very yummy.  Excited about my CSA starting in May.  We still get our Butcher Box every other month and that helps cut down on trips to the grocery store too. And I did really well with eating at local restaurants.

Focused eating is something I think is very important and that I am still struggling with.  I can’t seem to break the reading while eating habit.  I am trying to start with small changes and work my way up.  Focusing on at least a few bites and periodically tuning in through out the meal.   Hopefully in time I will reach my goal of eating with total attention.  I truly believe how I eat will make a big difference in what I eat.  I did finish reading “Food Rules” and am still flipping through it a few times a week mulling over all the advice.

I have been doing a great job of eating only when I am hungry. I feel best when I eat a hearty breakfast mid to late morning and then a late lunch and no dinner.  I sleep better and feel better in general.  It can be a tough schedule though with the family but I am finding ways to make it work.

Feet to the fire:  Weight on April 2 – 144lbs.  Weight on May 2 – 145.4.  I am not stressing because I can feel the water weight bloating thing going on. I figure if I can keep close to 145 then once I am done with the MHC phase of life I will only have to lose five pounds to be comfortable with my weight. I did yoga 17 days which I am happy with since I went on two trips this month. I am also doing PT for my shoulder at home once a day.  Still keeping up with the food log.  Still eating too many sweets. Sigh.

Random photo from my trip to Mt. Lemmon during the teacher walkout.  More dry than wet stream, sad.

Be Happier

It was a bad month for MHC (Menopausal Hormonal Craziness).  I had three periods during the month.  Yes, three. separate. periods. It was ugly.  Emotionally I was a wreck. I kept telling myself this must mean the start of full blown menopause is near and then I would laugh/cry and remember thinking that same thing this time last year.  So now I warily wait to see what happens next with my body.

On the positive side I did get away for a weekend.  I went by myself to Laughlin, NV for a bowling tournament and rather enjoyed myself.  It was a nice change of pace and scenery.

On the nagging task front I have started a new 10 minutes a day project: organizing my digital photos.  I was inspired by this post and then I watched a few youtube videos for more tips.  It is actually easier and going quicker than I thought.

 

Food Rules #83  Break the rules once in awhile.  “Obsessing over food rules is bad for your happiness and probably for your health too.  Our experience over the past few decades suggests that dieting and and worrying about nutrition have made us no healthier or slimmer; cultivating a relaxed attitude toward food is important.”   -Michael Pollan

I feel like I know what I need to do to be healthy and I just need to act on it, at least as much as the MHC allows.  I know I can do it because there are days when I am in complete control and have no desire for junk food or feel the need to eat when I am not hungry.  When the hormones take over all I can do is minimize the damage and move on.  This phase of life will not last forever. Right?  Right? Please someone tell me I am right!  🙂

 

2018 Aspirations Summary: March

This was a good month as far as learning about my eating habits.  I am feeling a tiny bit hopeful that I am going to be able to make the forever changes that I need to be healthy. But I have to admit to an epic fail for going 30 days without added sugar.  I made it two weeks and then the raging hormones kicked in.  Damn I wish menopause would just come on already!  On to some specifics.

Be Healthier

I have been wrestling with myself about how healthy is healthy enough.  I am trying to ditch the all or nothing mentality I seem to have about everything in life.  The reality is there are going to be days or situations that will make sticking to a plan impossible.  The trick is not to let one bad meal ruin a day or one bad day ruin a whole week.  And I can control just how “bad” a meal is to some degree.

The first half of the month I tracked when I ate and how I felt before and after as far as hunger went.  The second half of the month I tracked how much I enjoyed what I ate.  I learned meals aren’t my problem.  I seldom overeat and for the most part enjoy what I make at home.  When I did mindlessly snack I really didn’t enjoy it.  The problem is eating when I am not really hungry.  This happens on weekends when we are doing family things and stop to eat because everyone else is hungry.  Dinner time can also be difficult, I cooked it, everyone else is eating so it feels weird to skip dinner with the family (though I do eat smaller portions).  Listening to my own needs will continue to be a work in progress.

I used a number for how hungry/full I felt and a letter for why I ate for the first half of the month. The second half I used a 1-5 scale as to how much I enjoyed what I ate.

This month I did a much better job eating at local restaurants when we ate out.  It was easier to make healthier choices and I enjoyed the food more.  I have noticed that fast food and most junk food doesn’t have the same appeal as I eat better tasting, healthier food more often.

For April I am going to concentrate on really focusing on my food when I eat. This is a huge change that I am having difficulty with but I am going to persevere.  In my re-reading of “Food Rules an Eater’s Manual”  by Michael Pollan I am into the section about how to eat.  Perfect timing to reinforce all those things I know I should be doing.

Feet to the fire:  Weight on 1 March – 147.8.  Weight on 2 April – 144.0! I did yoga 19 times which with my shoulder I thought was pretty good.  Still doing an excellent job keeping my food log, really unhappy about all the red circles (candy or sweets) though. Can’t seem to win against the hormones.

Be Happier

I decided it was time to do a family activity that I got to choose  so we went to a photo exhibition down at the U of A Center for Creative Photography.  They have the archives for Ansel Adams and display a selection of photos.  It is a small gallery with no admittance fee so after lunch (and after my son’s bowling league on Saturday morning) we went to check it out.  I enjoyed it and my son tolerated it.  Since it was a small display we were there less than an hour and afterwards we took advantage of a cool cloudy day to walk around the campus and explore a bit.  My only regret is I didn’t take my camera, there were some lovely sights on the campus.  Next time.

I have been feeling a little guilty about the time I “waste” coloring.  The above picture of buttons is one I have been working on quite awhile interspersed with coloring pictures for Easter and Spring.  I have found when I don’t take those moments to sit and color I really miss it.  It is my form of meditation and I find the day goes much smoother when I take the time in the morning to sit quietly for a few minutes and empty my mind.  I had to remind myself it is not a “waste” of time but a good way to start and end the day.

Still fighting the hormones and depression.  Nothing seems to work these days so I keep slogging away reminding myself that it will get better, to be patient and take it one day, one hour at a time. And that it is perfectly okay to take a nap in the afternoon, no prescription needed!  Much better than eating a bunch of junk food that I don’t really want. Of course I was able to find a loophole, ha ha!

Food Rule #45  “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”    – Michael Pollan

Hello turtle brownies stashed in the freezer 🙂

The Week in Review 3/21/18

Spring Weather: I often complain about the lack of weather and seasons here in the desert southwest but this year I realized we sort of are having a Spring. Our temperatures are fluctuating between 60’s and 80’s and we have had clouds and even a little rain. Rain is a big deal here and any amount is welcome. (Well, unless we get bad flash flooding monsoon rains.)  Gentle spring showers are thrilling.

First rose bud of the season!

Spring training:  Every year we go to a game up in Phoenix.  This year we saw the Cubs play the Royals (the Royals won 11-9).  It was a lovely afternoon in the 60’s, Canadiens in front of us reveling in the “warm” weather while I was glad for my warm sweater once the shade creeped over us.

The cold shoulder:  Actually I have a “frozen shoulder”, ironic here in the desert.  Not uncommon for people “of a certain age” with hypothyroidism/diabetes.  The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and I start PT next week after the inflammation goes down.  Pain relief should happen in 2 to 3 days.  I am glad it wasn’t anything more serious.

Why is it:   Why does Netflix says “oops there was a problem”  75% of the first time I go to watch something from my list?  After a few reloads I can usually get to my show but there is never a problem with the previews running.  Strange. And annoying.

New word I learned:  “Chiaroscuro” – the contrast between light and dark, their juxtaposition.  I found the word in “A Trick of the Light”, an Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny.  Man I love these books.  I will be very sad when I get caught up in the series.

 

My interpretation of “chiaroscuro”. 

And how was your week?

The Week in Review 3/7/18

Weather:  March came in like a lamb, all warm and sunny.  But February ended with a vengeance. We woke to a cold rain that briefly switched to hail.  Luckily the hail was small but it will take some time to see how my lemon tree blossoms survived. (Those are not decorative white rocks in the plant above but hail.)

The wind blew the canopy off my swing (again).

Something that makes me happy:  All my medical information is available on-line to me which I love.  I like being able to see the actual test result numbers and not just get a “everything is normal” from my doctor.  This week I learned they had upgraded the website and now I can make appointments on-line!  So much easier and quicker than calling.

Something I am learning:  My son is having a terrible time in math these days so I am spending my afternoons learning how to add, subtract and multiple fractions.  I suppose I am actually re-learning  because at some point in my young life I must of had to pass a few tests on this stuff.  I know I deal with fractions when I am baking but obviously not enough for fourth grade math!

Something I watched:  “Before Sunrise”, the first in a series of three movies.  I loved it! I found out about this trilogy from wanderlustywriter.  As luck would have it my library had the first two movies in a set (“Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”) and the third, “Before Midnight” is on Netflix. I plan on watching the second movie this weekend.  I love having something to look forward to.

From the movie “Before Sunrise”.

The Irony of Bowling:  I bowl in two leagues, a regular “normal “one on Thursday nights and the other is a once a month league with the Tucson 500 club. We bowl on the first Saturday of the month and it is a 9 pin “no-tap” league.  (That means if you get 9 pins on your first ball it gets scored as a strike.)  So much fun, all women and I like that we raise money for Special Olympics and Breast Cancer research. On Thursday nights I frequently get a fair number of 9’s on my first ball but last Thursday I actually got some strikes and bowled a 225! (My average is around 150.) And on Saturday, my no-tap league?  My high game was a 192 for the day.  It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss

How was your week?

2018 Aspirations Summary: February

This was a month of success, frustration and continuing education.  The typical mixed bag of life.

Be Healthier

By the middle of the month I was seriously questioning the validity of my goal.  I was not doing a good job avoiding foods with unknown ingredients or sticking to my ‘make it myself’ rule. I thought about specific problems I was encountering and what I could do to overcome them.  If I want to succeed I need to find a way to make my goals realistic.  While I am figuring all this out I have decided to eat no added sugar for 30 days (fruit is okay).  This should also help put a lid on mindless snacking and help me lose a few pounds.  I am also making an effort to eat more vegetables.

In addition to thinking about what I eat I am now thinking about how I eat.  I read this book called “Beyond Chocolate” and I am implementing some of the ideas I found there.  After my no sugar 30 days I love the idea that nothing is off limits because once you make a food a no-no that is all you want.  And eventually you will cave, big time. The catch is you can only eat when you are truly hungry and you have to make a plate and sit at the table and focus on your eating.  No tv or reading.  You very mindfully enjoy satisfying your hunger with a food you truly want.  I love this idea. I hadn’t realized how often I didn’t pay attention to my eating.  I pretty much always read at breakfast and at lunch I either read or watch tv. Seldom do I pay attention to what I am eating much less really enjoy it.  I rather feel like I have had a mini break through here.  I need to focus on eating habits as much as the food itself.  Ah!

Now for the boring maintenance stuff.  I need to put this down to keep myself honest and no I am not that happy about putting my weight out there for the whole world to roll their eyes at, but I am doing it anyway.  Weight on 1 Feb: 148lbs.  I did yoga 18 times and I am back on track  getting in my 10k steps six days a week. (I was a bit of a slacker in January.) I am still doing an excellent job logging my foods and this month I circled everything in red that I considered a junk food snack.

Blue square was when we ate out. And yes, sigh, I eat a lot of junk food.  But not for the next 30 days!

 

Be Happier

I totally embraced my word for the year this month.  “Unhurried” is how I lived pretty much everyday.  And I loved it.  I made a plan every morning and thought about what I wanted to do as much as what I needed to do.  And surprise surprise, even when I took care of myself first all the have-tos got done as well.  Yeah me! I also finished my nagging task of knocking off a tote full of papers to be shredded.

Now I am marching into March with some new goals, a positive attitude about eating healthier for 30 days (even if it kills me!) and some new habits to give a try.  Pray for me.

“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.”   – Franklin D. Roosevelt

This quote cracks me up and makes me think.  I do wonder what the context was when he said this.

2018 Aspirations Summary: January

I knew January was going to be a transition month. I wasn’t expecting to start out perfect and just continue on. Actually I wanted to start out slow and make gradual but permanent changes. Well, it certainly has started out slow.  The first week we were still celebrating the holidays and the second week we were adjusting back to the day to day schedule and there was a lot of holiday food still around.  It took me until the end of the month to start to wrap my head around what I needed to do to meet my goals.

Be Healthier

Surprisingly I did a really good job with my food tracking.  The pages I selected to use in a Bullet Journal work perfectly.  The good news is towards the end of the month I started to do a decent job with not snacking. The bad news is I ate 25 cookies over the course of the month. All but five were homemade,  but still.  And eight chocolate covered pretzels from Trader Joe’s (full size, not minis). And there were a few mentions of chocolates and ice cream.  Yikes!  Moving on…

I am very pleased with how much yoga I did.  It helps that it felt really good.  I did yoga 14 days and one day of Qigong.

Eating out at only local restaurants was an epic fail.  Will have to try harder and plan better in February.

Be Happier

I am not going to lie, this was a tough month.  Exhaustion and moodiness seemed to dominate. I am hoping it is just the peri-menopause spiral.  At fifty-one I have to be getting close to full on menopause even though I haven’t even started the twelve month count down yet.   I can imagine my body trying to crank out hormones and flooding my system with who knows what and making me feel like shit. Hoping it is not my thyroid though I do wonder how one affects the other. Bottom line, not very happy this month.

But I did do a lot of thinking about what I can change, what I can let go of and what I can add to help myself through this period.  I went to bed earlier,  napped once in awhile and holed up in my office or bedroom when I needed my space. I decided to simplify dinners, get more help around the house and accept that somedays it is best just to say f*%$ it and retreat to bed with a book and a mug of tea and let everyone else fend for themselves.  Yes, I actually did that one Sunday.

I am re-reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” one month at a time.  I don’t want to do it all but be selective as to what fits with my goals. (Look at me being smartly flexible!) For January’s theme of “Boost Energy”  I opted to tackle just one goal  and address “a nagging task”.  I have been doing ten minutes of shred, six days a week.  I do feel a sense of relief at making progress on this long overdue project and that does make me feel happier.

I don’t know if this falls under Healthier or Happier (maybe both?) but just out of curiosity I decided to track my television viewing habits.  I don’t feel like I watch too much tv but then I grew up in the 70’s when watching tv was what everybody did, at least at night during the winter.  Over the course of the month I watched ten movies, six football games, eight basketball games and six shows (multiple episodes of “This is Us” and “The Kid’s Baking Championship).  Two days I didn’t watch anything at all.  What does this tell me?  I have no idea.  Any thoughts?

Over and over again I remind myself that this phase of life doesn’t last forever.  Everything I have read says most women feel a lot better once in menopause.  Energy returns, brain fog lifts, emotions settle and I am hoping for less joint pain.  Fingers crossed.

And this concludes the January once in a blue moon month in review.

2018 Aspirations – Part 2 – Be Happier

I only have 2 goals this year, be healthier and be happier.  I talked about the health side here.  Today is all about being happier.  This goal has been much harder to define, much harder to come up with a list of concrete steps.

It is not like I have been completely miserable lately.  I think much of my restlessness and discontent  is “the change”.  Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if all my feelings and physical woes are being driven by peri-menopause.  Hormones going haywire, living in such a hot climate (which is not my first choice) and  still figuring out how to be a stay at home mom now that my child is in school all day.  Full blown menopause can’t come soon enough, but even though I am 51 I am not even in the twelve month count down yet. I tell myself to be patient but I am so ready for the hormones to settle, the weight gain to abate, to move into the next phase of my life with renewed energy and focus.

For two weeks I tried to come up with a word that would summarize my goals for this year to no avail. And then last week (in the shower) it hit me:  “UNHURRIED”.  I am happiest when I can ignore the clock, when I am not rushing to get things done or be somewhere.  I like being able to focus on a task, any task and not have to worry about time.  This insight has been huge and I suspect will be very helpful in my quest to be happier. And maybe it will help with being patient for menopause.

“Unhurried” applies to both my goals.  I am not looking for quick fixes but permanent changes that I expect to take some time, maybe even the whole year.

Here are some other ideas that I am hoping will be helpful.  As the year goes along I am sure I will learn new things about myself and tweak as necessary.

  • I need to listen to myself more. Pay attention to my needs. Acknowledge them even if I can’t do anything about them right away. I need to spend more time doing what I want to do, whatever that may be.  Taking photos, coloring, taking a nap, skipping the laundry and going for a hike. Not always doing what is easiest but doing something that fills a need.

 

  • Embrace my introvertedness.  Or at least accepting it without guilt.  It feels odd to admit my favorite days are when I am home alone and have a balance of housework and time for myself. I like my solitude.  I like my free time. I like being ‘unhurried’!

 

  • Of course I will keep the house clean and do laundry and cook dinner but I won’t sweat it if something doesn’t get done right away or if I decide to do yoga before dinner prep. I am going to be more flexible in my routine. Try and let go of that “all the work needs to be done before play” mentality because, let’s face it, the work is never all done.

 

  • Get outside more.  I love taking walks and hikes and being out in nature.  I love bodies of water, the sound of a rapidly moving stream, the sun glinting off a lake.  Trees. I will forever be baffled about why people think the desert southwest is a great place to get outdoors.  Stickery bushes, blazing sun, rattlesnakes.  I’ll take a slow walk around the neighborhood in gently falling snow any day.   But I have made choices and I need to find the best way to live with them.  It is time to begin exploring the area more fully. I am sure I will be able to find hidden pockets of wonderful nature.

 

  • Less time on the computer.  Last fall I took a break from blogging and I was happier. So I really had to think about doing the blog at all.  Right now the plan is two posts a week  (The week in review and Photo Friday) and a monthly summary post for my be healthier goal. And if that is too much I can always go to one post a week alternating between Photo Friday and The Week in Review.  We’ll see.

I am not sure how well I explained my be happier aspiration.  The bottom line? I believe listening to my own needs and acting on them is going to wrought the changes I need.  Oh yeah, and reaching full blown menopause. Time will tell.

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

2018 Aspirations – Part 1 – Be Healthier

“Just where you are- that’s the place to start.”

                                                                                             – Pema Chodron, Buddhist Nun

First things first: what I hope to accomplish this year. I read blogs where people have 50 goals for the year and I think, no way. I am keeping it simple this year:

1. Be healthier.
2. Be happier.

I wish it was just this simple but of course there must be sub-steps and mini-goals and game plans.  But really just two goals, health and happiness.  They feel like really smart goals to me. Today we will talk a little about the health side.

I read a lot of books last year about diet and exercise and being healthy and have done a lot of thinking these past few months about what I really want.  I want to age gracefully.  I do not want to run a marathon, I just want to be able to walk the dog.  I do not need to touch my toes with straight legs, I just need to be able to pick up something off the floor.  I need to survive menopause.

One of the most surprising things I read last year was how it is not normal to gain weight as you age.  Your appetite should adjust itself naturally as your metabolism slows.  Our appetites no longer do this because of all the processed foods we eat:  large amounts of sugar, fat and salt are messing with our brains.

I need to relearn how to eat because I am hungry, not because I am bored or it is a certain time.  I also need to listen to my body and stop eating just before I am full.  What the French say is  “Je n’ai pas faim” or I am no longer hungry.  Not quite the same as eating until you are full.  And while I am not making weight loss a specific goal I must confess I am hoping it happens as a happy by-product!

Here are my initial steps for my be healthier goal:

  1. I can eat anything I want but I have to make it from scratch.  No processed foods unless all the ingredients listed are what I would use if I were to make it myself.  This means no palm oil or xanathan gum or soy lecithin.  While there will be a few things I can buy at Trader Joe’s the plan is I will be eating a lot more fruits and vegetables because it will be easier than making a bagel or some crackers. I think of this as the “Little House on the Prairie” diet.  Think about it, they ate fresh, local, seasonal foods.  Yes they ate bread and biscuits but seldom cake or candy.  Remember how big a deal it was for Laura to get a glass of lemonade one 4th of July?  I am going to try and make Ma Ingalls proud.
  2. When we eat out I am going to stick to local restaurants as much as possible.  We don’t eat out that much and when we travel this could be difficult but I am going to give it a go.
  3. I am writing down everything I eat.  Not weighing or measuring or listing individual ingredients but just a note of what I eat each day.  My focus is on monitoring my snacking.  The hope is as I become more aware of bad habits it will make it easier to change them.
  4. On the exercise front I am not changing what I already do too much.  Swimming or 10k steps depending on the season, yoga, qigong and I am going to try pilates.  Hey, pilates worked for Shonda Rimes and they recently opened a Club Pilates just up the road.  The least I can do is take the free class.
  5. Re-read “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan, one rule a day as a gentle reminder.

I have twelve months to revamp my eating habits with the hope of making improved, life long eating practices.  Once a month I am going to make a summary blog post to track my progress.  No, you will not have to read everything single thing I ate for the whole month. But the hope is having to write down what went well and what went wrong will help keep me aware and on track.

I will talk about the be happier aspiration in a separate blog post.  Until then, Keep Calm and Eat Well. 🙂

 

Whole30: Week 4

Day 22

B: chicken hash, last of the roasted cauliflower, 1/2 pear

L: egg salad, 4 olives, 1 carrot, snow peas, a banana

S: coconut chocolate Rx bar

D: grilled chicken cashew salad (no dressing) from Culver’s*

Seems I feel a bit hungry all the time now, despite eating hearty meals.

*I am guessing my salad at Culver’s was not Whole30 compliant in some way. ( Cornstarch in the chicken and the cashews may have had peanut oil was all I could find that wasn’t compliant.)  For some this would mean the Whole30 was over or needed to be restarted.  Being an adult and having my own goals of not snacking and reducing junk food I am merely going to press on.  I actually consider this meal a win as I normally order a pork tenderloin sandwich or fried fish plate.  And I did not take even one teensy taste of my son’s ice cream.

Day 23

B: two fried eggs, 1/2 grapefruit, a banana

L: egg salad, rest of grilled asparagus, 1/2 pear  And I watched “Chesapeake Shores” while I ate. Ooh I am such a rebel eating and watching tv at the same time!  🙂

D: an apple and some cashews eaten before I went to my son’s school for Curriculum Night. (I had planned on eating leftover chicken hash after I got home but I just wasn’t hungry.  It is awfully hot and humid here these days.)


Finished the 1000 piece puzzle!

Day 24

B: last of the chicken hash, 1/2 grapefruit

L: chicken tenders, carrots, small baked potato w/ghee and a banana

D: roasted pork loin, pan roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash, applesauce

The house smelled wonderful with the roasting meat and dinner was tasty and had an autumnal feel, but frankly it was a bit much for the triple digit heat.

Day 25

B: quiche and a banana

L: chicken tenders, leftover brussel sprouts and squash, applesauce

Finally the local PBS has the latest season of the “Great British Baking Show” on.  I watched the first episode this afternoon.  Yum!

D: apple and cashews

Day 26

Well, there is no day 26.  I officially ended my Whole30, er Whole25 this morning with a piece of toast (homemade bread from the freezer) and peanut butter (TJ’s no sugar added).  I accomplished my goals of no mindless snacking and reduced my sugar intake. I lost 4 1/2 lbs which was rather disappointing.  I felt like I ate so much less and certainly no junk food.  But I am back in my weight window so I did succeed with my goal.

Now the hard part begins…..

to be continued.

Whole30 Week 3

Day 15

I am halfway done but it feels like I still have a long way to go.  Sigh.

I was going to go to the commissary today but with the eclipse I decide to wait until tomorrow. I look through the fridge to make sure I have enough compliant food to get me through the day.  Should be okay.  I am feeling quite lackluster about food these days anyway.

Day 16

I am so not in the mood to deal with grocery shopping.  All that temptation but it has to be done. I am tired and crabby and the return of triple digit heat is not helping.  On my drive to the commissary I have a little talk with myself. (Hopefully the other drivers just think I am on a hands free phone.)  I remind myself that it is just hormones going crazy and hopefully in a few days I will be back to feeling “normal”.  The only really critical task that has to be done today is shopping.  Dinner can be leftovers with a bag of salad and there are some Trader Joe’s meatballs in the freezer if something more is needed.

Lunch, I felt sort of snackie: snow peas and guac, hb egg, macadamia nuts and cold soup.

I give myself permission to take the rest of the day off.  I can color or work on the puzzle, watch a movie, take a nap.  The sky is the limit!

Day 17

Food prep day.  Happily I am feeling a bit better so the task doesn’t feel so onerous. I make the quiche of the week.  I use the kale and ground pork already prepared from the freezer.  I add a grated carrot for color and extra nutrients.  I found a half a bag of already cooked shrimp in the freezer and made a simple shrimp salad: finely chopped onion and celery, a bit of mayo and some dill.  I am looking forward to having something different for lunch.  I feel like I have eaten a ton of meat lately.  This reminds me to thaw some chicken for later this week.

Day 18

No “tiger’s blood” for me these days.  I didn’t really think healthy eating would be able to trump crazy peri-menopausal hormones.  I remind myself of my goals:  stop snacking, less sugar. I am accomplishing both these days.  I do wonder if I am still losing weight though.  I decide to add more vegetables to my meals and less sweet potatoes and yams.

B: quiche, four olives and a banana

L: shrimp salad, snow peas and an apple

D: leftover pot roast, the last spoonful of mashed sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower

Day 19

I made myself a batch of “Melissa’s Chicken Hash”  for lunch today and found myself wondering if I would eat this if I wasn’t on the Whole30.  Hmmm.  Aside from limiting snacking and desserts (I have a plan!) I haven’t given much thought  about how I want my meals to look post Whole30.  I want to eliminate processed foods for the most part.  But I think I am okay with eating just about anything if I make it myself.  I started buying heritage flour that is grown and minimally processed locally.  I am adding more organic items to our diet all the time.  As long as I continue to incorporate more veggies into my meals I will consider it all good.

Day 20

B:  quiche and roasted cauliflower

L: 1/2 can of tuna in olive oil with 1/2 an avocado, last 4 oven fries, snow peas, an apple and some cashews

D: grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, homemade coleslaw

Took my photography class today, hardly thought about the Whole30 at all.

Day 21

I had my first cheat today. I chewed 1/2 a piece of sugar free gum during bowling.  I just needed it. Banish me from the Whole30 Hall of Fame.


This picture is from my photography class. My instructor called this “Chipotle Art”.  Where you take a picture of something ordinary and make it black and white and voila, art. 🙂  I was working on depth of field with this one.

The class left me very excited about taking photos. I know there is a lot more to learn but at least I know enough to be able to use full manual mode and have a better shot at getting what I want to see to appear on the end product. (Did you get the pun?  “Better shot”, haha!)

Onto to week 4 with a decidedly diminished lack of enthusiasm for food.