Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The 2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange kickoff

I know, I know: it isn't even thanksgiving yet! But I have an idea, and it takes some planning, so we have to start early!

I would like to start a world-wide Christmas ornament exchange! This exchange will take place annually, each year on a different theme. This year's theme:

Home For The Holidays! 

This is inspired by my recently revived love of travel and seeing places, hence the picture of my most recent Christmas acquisition:

Here's how it works:

1. Decide you want to join in. I promise it will be fun, and can be a one time thing or on going, depending on how committed you want to be.

2. Send me an Email with an address for your delivery, and let me know if you want to be a "continuing giver" or  if a one time gift is more your speed. You can also choose to be a domestic (U.S. Only) giver.

3. If you're a one time giver, all you have to do then is make (or buy) an ornament and mail it to me, and I'll mail you one back. Done!

4. If you're a "continuing giver", I will pass your address on to the others on my list, and then you send an ornament to each of the,, and they will also send one each to you!

Does that make sense? Basically, give an ornament, get an ornament!

Now, when it comes to the ornaments themselves, there are only two simple guidelines:

1. Keep it PG. it's the holidays, y'all.
2. The ornament must be a representation of this years' exchange theme: Home For The Holidays! I'm hoping for ornaments that represent the place you either are currently living or the place that means "home" to you. I won't tell you what mine are going to be yet (spoilers!) but I will tell you that they are going to represent one of three places:
- Dayton
- the United States

I'm really, really hoping this will result in ornaments from all over the world and all over the country, and I can't wait to decorate my tree with them!

So with that, I declare the 2015 ornament exchange up and running! I'll continue to post updates and pictures, of course.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

When enough is enough

Hi friends!

Sorry for the break- but that's what today's post is about.

I'm not trying to make excuses, but I've been so busy. I've been blessed recently with an abundance of life- friends, social events, work, more work, vacation opportunities, you name it, I've probably got it. I've even had the opportunity for a few dates- no, I haven't accepted them.

And the results of all this activity? Mixed, to say the least.

I have loved reconnecting socially with people- old friends, a few new. It's been simply amazing to hear their opinions, laugh at their jokes and just enjoy the company.
And the work isn't all bad either- stressful, and always a learning experience. But there's been plenty of it, to say the least.

And it all leaves me feeling... tired. Stressed.

My dad talks about "noise" a lot. Not noise like the sound of the highway out my window, or the sound of the wind or the clicking of the ceiling fan as it goes around. But mental noise- the kind that gets in your brain, keeps you from thinking. The kind that you're hearing when you enter a place, and although it might be silent, you can't truly relax there. My whole life, I've wanted my home to be peaceful- quiet, so to speak. But recently, between one thing and another, that's been difficult.

This is a common problem in my life- I fill my life up with things until I threaten to explode. Stress is still stress, even when it's good stress. But this busy-ness? This is my addiction. The need to be occupied every minute of every day, from the moment I wake up until the moment I drop from exhaustion is poisonous. Dangerous. I'm very extroverted. I love people. I need people. But I also need time to just be. That can be with another person, but right now, it usually isn't. And while that's ok,  it isn't alright for me to not take the time I need to unwind simply because someone isn't there to force me to do so.

So how do I break this addiction? How do I change this cycle now, before I'm down the road 20 years and a confirmed work-aholic? All I can do is make small changes, one at a time. All I can do is say "Enough is Enough".

Enough of too many side jobs so I can't focus on my day job and I don't take care of myself
Enough of hanging out with people who don't bring me joy.
Enough of projects that are more stressful than they're worth.
Enough of letting people guilt me into doing something that I don't enjoy or simply don't want to do in that moment.
Enough of taking work "for the experience"
Enough of taking on so much I don't have time to grow as a person and professional because I'm too busy jumping every time someone asks me to.

But also:

Enough of holding onto people and things that used to bring me joy but don't anymore
Enough of sacrificing my health and well being to other people's motives.
Enough of thinking that if I do the "right" things, I'll get ahead somehow.
Enough of letting my life get so out of control that I don't have time to take care of myself and my priorities.

Enough is enough.

Until next time~

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Get Crafty: Nerdy Key Rack

Hi friends!

Thanks for tuning in for another post in my $5 Summer Series! I promise these won't all be craft projects, but I'm really feeling extra creative this week, so that's what we've got!

Today, I'm so so so! excited to share with you my Nerdy Key Rack! The tutorial is a little low on pictures, but I'll try to be extra clear about what I'm doing.


I know. Love it. Very proud of it. Ahem.

So, I've been a Harry Potter fanatic for most of my life (the first book came out when I was about to turn 11), and I've recently decided to add some of my nerd loves to my home decor. (So keep your eyes peeled, I have plans!)

Well, I promptly fell in love with this beauty:
Available here

But, I'm a little too cheap for $35. (Sorry Etsy seller who worked very hard on this!)

So of course, I DIYed it.

I started with a piece of 1/4" ply wood that I got the guys at work to give me. It was scrap from something, and they cut it down a little bit for me. My board measures 18" L x 6"W.

I brought it home and gave it 2-3 coats with my black chalkboard paint  I'm using this brand:
I got it at JoAnns around Christmas time, and I've been very happy with it. On wood, though, you want at least two coats. I'm not planning on actually using it to chalk things very often, so two-three coats were enough.

I let it dry overnight. I hate it when tutorials say that because I am very impatient when I'm crafting, but I wanted everything dry... and it was time for bed.

The next afternoon, I came back to it!

Very lightly, with a pencil, I drew a couple of reference lines: I put a vertical line four inches from each edge (so I knew where I wanted to write!) and then a line at 2" down from the top and one at center horizontally, so I had a straight line to write on, and a straight line to mark for my hooks.  Then I started at center and marked out every two inches until I was happy- I ended up with seven hooks, which is probably too many, but it looked right on my board.

Next I lightly traced out my lettering. I freehanded it, but stencils would work really well too! I did them in pencil first, and came back later to finishing them off. 

Next I took some 1" cup hooks and screwed them into my board. This took a little elbow grease, but not actually very long. One caveat. If I could do it over I would use a 1/2" thick board- my screws are coming through onto the back side and I'm going to have to find a way to trim them off the back now.

Once those were screwed in tight, I gently blew away the small amount of sawdust they had churned up and used my sharpie paint marker to trace the letters over. Mine is white, but as with the paint, any color would work, really. I traced over a few times, being careful not to stop too often, as it leaves a little blip in the line.

Finally, I went back with some qtips and black paint and got rid of my pencil lines. Yes, I probably could have erased it, but I didn't want any of it to be smudgy or pink from erasers. 

There! The hard work was done! It looked great! I was so pleased.... now how do I hang it up?!


I got out my picture hanging kit and dug around. I started with two nails, and then found two tiny eyebolts. I screwed them carefully into the top edge of the board, about 2 inches in from the vertical edges. (approximately over top of the out side screws). Then I took about two feet of picture wire, wrapped one end around each eyebolt and twisted several times, being sure to hide the raw end.

Then all I had to do was put a nail in the wall and find my keys!

Best part? It was cheap cheap CHEAP. My only purchase was the hooks, and they were $4.21 for FIFTY. (So... anyone need a key rack?)

The board I got from work... so... free!, and the paint and marker I had left over from some other projects. The wire and eyebolts were from a picture hanging kit I got from Lowe's after my last move. And pencils and rulers hardly count!

To recap:

-One board. I got some scrap from work. They also sell premade plaque thingies at craft stores, or the hardwarse store will usually cut something down for you! Mine measures 18x6". You want something at least a half inch thick.
-Paint of your choice. I like my black chalk paint.
-Paint marker in contrasting color
-1 inch cup hooks. I used seven.
-2 small eyebolts
-Small amount of wire or hefty string
-paint brush ( I used a 1.5" foam one)

1. Paint your board. 2 coats is a good rule.
2. mark out some reference lines over your paint, and trace out lettering
3. screw in your cup hooks
4. Use paint marker to draw out letters
5. touch up any paint. Let dry.
6. screw eyebolts into top edge
7. string wire or string in between them
8. Hang and enjoy!

Enjoy! Let me know if you have questions in the comments! And don't forget to check out the other $5 Summer Series posts

Until next time~

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Get Crafty: Boho dreamcatcher wreath

It's summer time!

Summer always makes me long for flower crowns, maxi dresses and good music. I always want to bring the outside in, and hit the road.

I have a pretty wide hippie stripe and summer busts it wide open.

And, of course, I'm always full of house projects. So today I'm bringing you a crafting tutorial:

My Boho dreamcatcher wreath!

(someday, maybe I'll get into pretty photo editing on this blog. But it is not this day)

As usual, I was mega inspired by Pinterest... I mean, with pictures like these, what's not to love?

Bright, beautiful, laid back...

evocative of Summer, definitely.

And then, I had a thought: A dream catcher wreath for my upstairs front door!

A little more pinterest searching led me to this image:

And I was hooked. So I did some googling, and bought a 12 inch grapevine wreath at Jo-Ann's ($4.99). I pulled out some embroidery floss and some ribbon and I got crackin'.

I tried to tie the top 'web' part together... but I couldn't get the hang of it. And then I found the above video. I'll admit, the girl hosting it drove me slightly insane, but she does a great job with the tutorial! I didn't need it until about 1:30, since I was using my grapevine as the hoop part. .

After I finished the web part, I simply tied my ribbon scraps along the bottom, and then trimmed them to a length I liked. Then I simply hung it on a nail from my front door, and, well, I love it!

So, to recap:

12 inch grapevine wreath ($4.99)
embroidery floss in color of your choice (white is traditional, I used multi colors that I already had on hand)
ribbon scraps, beads, feathers, trims etc.

1. Watch the video and make the "web" part
2. Tie on your trims, scraps and beads
3. Trim the ends until you are pleased with them
4. Generally fidget all of the pieces. I tied a bow and added a piece of trim I'd pulled off of a top for a show I was working on
5. Hang and admire!

Thanks for reading- until next time!

This post is a part of my Summer Series: $5 Summer fun. For more posts in this series, please start here

Summer Series: $5 Summer Fun

Hi friends!

Summer is finally here! I may not be in school anymore, but there's something special about summer. It makes me want to try new things, take on different projects, go places, eat yummy food... (ok, I always want to do THAT!)

But you know what's a downer? Blowing the budget because of your summer plans.

So (drum roll please) presenting my Summer Series: $5 Summer Fun!

All Summer long, I'll post things that I'm doing that are costing me $5 OR LESS. Craft Projects, hikes, meals, day trips, etc.

I have a ton of ideas, but I want to hear from YOU! What are your favorite inexpensive Summer plans? If I try them out, I'll post about them!

In any case, I'll link to all of the series posts from this one, so check back often to see what I've been up to!

The $5 Summer Fun series posts:

A couple of caveats.
  • cost only includes money spent specifically on that project/activity/event. Grocery staples, previously purchased craft supplies & gasoline do not count.
  • Occasionally if I do something super awesome that's a little more expensive, I might post about that too.
Ok, cool? Cool. I can't wait, this is going to be fun!

Until next time~

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day hike

Hi everyone- and Happy Memorial Day!
A big thank you to all of you who have served or are serving in our armed forces. That isn't an easy life, and we appreciate your sacrifice.

Today, I had a day off. No show requirements, no costuming requirements, and no work. My first one in nearly six weeks. I could not have been more excited! My plan was to go for a long hike this morning, get some laundry done, prep for the week and relax at home.

But when I woke up this morning, it was raining! First Penelope let me sleep until after 9:00, which is pretty much unheard of. Eventually, we got around and hauled the laundry to Momma's, scoring some lunch in the process (thanks!).

After lunch, the skies cleared up, and about 2:30, we headed out. I had decided to go over to John Bryan State Park, which has some good hiking trails, and also an entrance to Clifton Gorge. Turns out pets aren't allowed in the gorge, so we didn't get in there, but we had plenty of lovely sights in John Bryan! We hiked almost 4 miles along the Little Miami River. It turned out to be a lovely day, and Penelope was an ANGEL the entire time... here's a few pictures.

 This is a tiny, disgusting, murky swamp-pond. Why is it in my pictures, you ask? Because this is the site of the burglary almost three years ago. When my car was broken into in July 2012, the thieves threw most of my things in this pond, and Mom and I climbed in after it- I haven't been back out here since, so it seemed fitting to take a picture!

I tried to get us to take a selfie, but Penelope wasn't really having it. Clifftop climbing!

 See? She really wasn't having it. However, she did so well while we were out today that a failed selfie is a small price to pay! She didn't bark or fuss, and she didn't get overly excited about any of the dogs we passed while we were hiking the trails.

 We even found a cave! I really wanted something magical to be inside, but I only found graffiti. Still, it was pretty cool, and an awesome site for future pictures of something, I'm sure!

Penelope made a pretty rad trail leader, and, as you can probably tell, she was having the time of her life, bless her.

It was so nice to get out for a few hours, reconnect with nature. As I walked, I could feel the tension and anxiety draining out of me from the past weeks. The trails were fairly busy, but there were long stretches of time where I couldn't even hear another person, just the trees whispering to each other and the occasional bird call. What a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. We stopped once for a water break, and we didn't hurry, just walked at a fairly comfortable pace. I would love to be able to make this more of a habit! There are lots of good hikes in this area.

As for John Bryan itself, I really enjoyed the trails. The paths were neat and well maintained, the park is easy to find, and the trails mostly connect so it's pretty difficult to get too lost. Also, it's really lovely. Lots of huge exposed rock features, the river rushing by... just incredibly scenic. And it's all in the trees, so it's very shady!

After we were done, we drove back through Yellow Springs and stopped at The Corner Cone, a little outdoor ice cream stand. We both got some vanilla soft serve in a cone- they do a "doggy cone"! They keep the broken cones and add a little vanilla ice cream, then give them to dogs for free! This last picture is of Penelope munching on her ice cream- I held the cone for her and she ate it all up, before wolfing down the cone itself. Loves ice cream, just like her mama!

Bonus- she's EXHAUSTED. She's been basically asleep at the foot of the bed for the last 4 hours- the house will sleep well tonight!

Hopefully you got a chance to enjoy the great outdoors today! What's your favorite summer time activity?

Until next time~

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mango relish

Hi friends!
Sorry I went dark on you there for a few days! The show opened- it's going very well, and I'm enjoying it immensely, but it has completely absorbed me for the last week.

Unfortunately that has included some relapsed eating habits. However, I was still down about a half pound to a pound this week, and it's That Time of The Month (yurgh), so I'm giving myself a pass on some of it. This week I'm looking forward to hopping back on the wagon, so to speak.

Tonight, however, I wanted to share with you all another recipe that I developed earlier in the week. I used it to top some baked porkchops and fresh asparagus- incredibly tasty and turns an average meal into a super quick and easy "people are here for dinner" meal. Best of all- the whole meal was ready in less than 45 minutes- and that includes all prep! Now that's my kind of recipe!

Pictured above: Baked pork chop, fresh sauteed asparagus topped with mango relish.


-boneless thick cut pork chops
-one large mango
-onion (yellow or red) ( I used two small)
- 1Tb minced garlic
- asparagus
-olive oil
-garlic salt
-one lemon (for juice)
-2 Tb tangerine juice

I started with the pork chop. I put them in a 9x9 baking pyrex that I'd drizzled some olive oil in. I add some salt, garlic powder and pepper to both sides and popped them in the oven for 20 minutes at 425. (I ended up cooking them for about 25-30). While they were cooking, I chopped up the mango and onion. I added some olive oil and the onion to my favorite flat bottomed skillet with a little salt and a heaping spoonful of minced garlic. After a minute or two, I added the mango to the pan and let that cook, stirring occasionally. Then I added the lemon juice and a splash of tangerine juice (mostly cause that's what I had in the fridge). I let the whole thing cook down until the onions were getting translucent before removing it from heat and setting aside.

Lastly, I added some olive oil and a touch of bacon grease to my griddle. I chopped the stem ends down on my asparagus, set them on the hot griddle and cooked them for a few minutes, rolling them over about half way through. When one of the thicker ones was easily speared by a fork, I removed them from heat. Then it was just a matter of plating and enjoying!

If I make the relish again, I think I would try to use lime juice and add some chopped cilantro to it, which would be very tasty. But I didn't have it and I didn't really miss it, either!


Talk to you soon!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Paleo Pancakes

Hello everyone!

What a week, eh?

Just a brief check in, then. Adding gluten back in is hard. A lot of sugar comes with it, both are very addicting. And boy, have I felt sick a couple of times. Just lessons.

In some ways, I'm kind of glad to have felt sick- it's good to know that my insides have changed a lot by doing this.

I lost another two pounds this week! I won't measure myself again until the first week of June, but jeans that were tight a month ago are sliding on my hips, so things are a-changin'!

But tonight? Tonight I had breakfast for dinner. Is there anything better? I mean, on a rainy evening, there's something about pancakes and bacon that is just so... familiar. A little bit of orange juice, a season finale to watch...

Now, pancakes in any form are strictly outlawed on the whole30. The Hartwigs reason that "paleo treats" are still not good for your emotional relationship with food, so there's none of that stuff allowed. But these were completely paleo, very easy, took no more time than regular pancakes AND I could eat a big huge stack of them and not feel bloated or sleepy afterward. Safe to say this is a keeper- and is a great recipe if you've got guests for the weekend or whatever.

I will say, I'm not a huge syrup fan, so I don't have any. These are sweeter than normal pancakes, so I absolutely didn't miss it at all. But they would be good with a little maple syrup. I bet they would also be awesome with mix ins, like chocolate chips, chopped nuts or even blueberries.  SO, the recipe, eh?

-2 ripe bananas
-4 whole eggs
-cinnamon (I didn't measure, but I bet it was somewhere between a 1/2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp.

Mix all ingredients together. (I used my mixer but you could probably use a blender too). The smoother the better, but they don't have to be perfect. Grease a griddle. I made my bacon first, so I used the same pan and used the bacon grease. Ghee (or regular butter!) would be a good choice too. Then, using a ladle or a small measuring cup, just pour small amounts on your hot griddle. These cook more quickly than regular pancakes, so be careful! I think the heat might've been a little high for me, as they got brown pretty quickly but were a little gooey in the middle (which tasted great to me, but tastes differ!).  Flip once, after the edges start to get round and big bubbles start popping on top.

Serve with a side of bacon, or whatever breakfast treats you like best!

These tasted really wonderful. They do have a banana flavor to them- but it was almost like fresh banana bread or something. And warm, gooey, sweet like pancakes should be!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

After Whole30: Lessons learned

Hi friends!

This is the last post about my day-to-day experience with my Whole30. Probably a few more about what I've learned through this process, and definitely some continued food posting, but not as much about what I'm eating everyday, etc.

So then, to whit:

Yesterday, I had a pretty bad day. After I opened the door to gluten, I went a little hog wild in the break room on Monday. Handful after handful of animal crackers, a peanut butter cup and a Subway white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. And I. felt. AWFUL. I mean, really, really sick. Not to mention I couldn't focus, I could NOT stop eating and I had absolutely no energy. It was weird.

But you know, I'm almost glad it happened. It was a really good lesson after everything that's happened to my eating habits. No, I can't just go back to my old habits. I really and truly felt awful, and I do not want to repeat that!

As for what that means for me and gluten and sugar, I'm still working on that. Obviously I'm going to really limit them both, but I'm hoping I don't have to completely eliminate them.

Today I did much better. I need to make some more time for food prep, cause I'm out of porridge and don't have other good breakfast options right now, but other than that i felt pretty good about things. And, consequently, I felt a lot better today. Penelope and I went for a run, I got plenty done at work, finished up a couple of projects around here post run, made an excellent dinner... Very pleased.

 Meal 1: grain free porridge
Meal 2: 1 baked chicken thigh, roasted zucchini and squash, spinach
Snacks: cookies, crackers, a little candy
Meal 3: I never ate dinner, I was so full and sick feeling from my down right binge in the afternoon.

Meal 1: yogurt, an apple and a cheese stick (told you I need to make some time for food prep)
Meal 2: 1 baked chicken thigh, roasted zucchini and squash, spinach
Snack: handful green grapes, outshine fruit and veggie popsicle (after my run)
Meal 3: small steak, sauteed radishes, spinach

Until next time~

Sunday, May 10, 2015

After Whole30: Weekend update

Happy Mother's Day, all! I hope you had wonderful days celebrating the amazing women in your life, whoever they are to you.

It was a great, if all too short, weekend. Saturday I started Mary Poppins fittings, which were fun and are off to a good start, I think. I went to the grocery,took a nap, tidied up a bit and got my season's worth of show posters hung up in my front hallway. Today I went and spent the afternoon with my momma and grandmother and other family, and then had a grand rehearsal for the show- it's opening SO SOON! Come see it. Tick Tick Boom at Troy Civic Theatre, opening May 22, 2015. Then Penelope and I came home and I finished getting the apartment cleaned up and ready for another work week. Whew!

Penelope had an upset tummy this afternoon. She's also completely worn out from playing at gramma's today, so I'm hoping it will pass- she's been going back and forth between the bed and the couch for hours now. But I did get her to eat a cookie when I offered (on the second try). I'm sure it's nothing.

I, on the other hand, feel pretty good. Eating was decent this weekend, not 100% clean, but pretty good. I NEED to drink more water, I'm sure of that. Other than that, though, I'm pretty good. I am noticing a little bit of irregularity, but nothing too hard to manage.

Let's see, food logs:


Meal 1: apple cinnamon porridge
Meal 2: brown rice sushi sampler
Meal 3: Leftover chicken thigh and veggies

I did take a nap on Saturday afternoon, but it was more to treat myself than because I was feeling low energy. Other than that, it was a pretty solid day all the way around. Plenty of mental clarity, which was great considering I had four hours of fittings in the morning!

Meal 1: grapes and plain yogurt
Meal 2: salmon patty stuffed with crab mixture stuff of some kind, green beans, sweet potato fries, fresh fruit, greens and a quarter glass of wine. It definitely wasn't enough to do anything to me.
Meal 3: I stopped at Panera! And I got a Turkey avocado BLT, which did have some mayo on it and was served on sourdough bread. I also ate the chips. It was gluten day after all.

I will say, the gluten didn't really seem to bother my stomach, but I felt REALLY full before I even got half the sandwich down. By the time I finished it, I really felt stuffed, but about 15-20 minutes later, I was very comfortable again. Interesting, at least.  I amy have some more gluten tomorrow before giving myself a few days off of it to see how I do.

Alright, I'm off to dream land!
Until next time~

Friday, May 8, 2015

After whole30: enthusiasm flagging

Hello, everyone!


It was another rather hectic day at work, but nothing too terrible. And then I had a nice, lovely quiet evening at home: made dinner, did some cleaning (although not enough!), some sewing, and then went for a run about 10:00. Night time runs are the best runs. Yes, that is my idea of a nice Friday night, and yes, actually, I am middle aged.

I feel pretty good. I definitely need to up my water intake next week. I can tell I'm dehydrated, especially now that I'm running some again. But I'm not noticing anything else, really. I have plenty of energy, I'm in a good mood, my body feels pretty good...

OH! I weighed in this morning and lost another three pounds! YAY! Just keep falling, numbers! That's officially-officially 60 pounds in just over a year and about 35 pounds until goal weight, although I'm not super tied up in the goal weight thing. But still. 60 pounds. Wow.

I will say, though, that reintroduction is proving to be the most difficult part of this. I wasn't supposed to eat dairy today... definitely had some cheese on my salad. I guess that was the only off thing all day, so that's not too bad... but just knowing there's some options there is weird and oddly discomfiting. On the other hand, no signs of dairy disagreeing with me... yet. I'm still pretty suspicious of it.

Today's menu:

Meal 1: grain free apple porridge

Meal 2: spinach salad with turkey, almonds, small amount of monterey jack cheese, olives and guacamole. Pear on the side. This was NOT the most delicious choice I've ever made, but I survived.

Snack: mango

Meal 3: chicken thigh with roasted zucchini and yellow squash. This was very tasty and very yummy. Its also pretty quick and easy and it only takes one dish. If it didn't require the oven to be at 450, thereby turning my kitchen to a temperature closely resembling Hades, baked meat and roasted veggies would be an absolute STAPLE around here. (Let's face it, it probably will be anyway).

alright, I think that's all I have to report tonight! One more day and then GLUTEN!

Until next time~

Thursday, May 7, 2015

After Whole30: Dairy

Hello, all!

It's another hot night here. The fan has helped a lot, but there's not denying it, it's warm. Ah, well.

Today was a pretty great day. Things got a little hectic at work (we have quite a few orders coming in right now), but nothing too terrible. Then I came home, walked Penelope, and leaving her at home because of the heat, ran an errand, ate my dinner and went to rehearsal. Rehearsal was a touch up, but it was fine. Then I came home, walked Penelope again and crawled into bed. Whew!

I have to admit, I am looking forward to having all of my work evenings back. I am LOVING being on stage again, but man, I just can't get enough stuff done in the evenings! Cleaning, sewing projects, house projects... I have the energy, just not enough time!

Hey, by the way, if you're a local adult reader, come see Tick...Tick... BOOM at Troy Civic Theatre, May 22-24 and 29-30. It's gonna be a good time, and I'll be there. Win-win.

So today was dairy! I woke up late, grabbed breakfast and ran out the door. I ended up going out to get lunch because I knew what I had was not going to keep me full all afternoon. Then I bought dinner while I was out running an errand. I feel pretty good. I got a little nauseous while I was actually eating the dairy, but just a tiny amount that COULD be tied to over thinking about it.

I still felt very energetic. I do feel a little bloated and fat tonight. I keep having to remind myself that I've lost SIXTY POUNDS in the last year. Sometimes I don't think I've changed at all. I seem to still be fairly regular, but I'll be interested to see if that shifts over the next couple days.

FOOD today:

Meal 1: Apple cinnamon breakfast porridge & about 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt. The yogurt tasted good if kind of unfamiliar. My stomach seemed fine, although I noticed some slight gastrointestinal motion.

Meal 2: Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad and a baked potato with chives and sour cream. This was also the most sugar I've had since starting this. The salad had feta crumbles on it. It was delicious, although the sweetened pecans were like candy. The baked potato was... ok. The butter spread stuff had a funny aftertaste. It was very sweet, almost like melted ice cream or something

Meal 3: Paleo Lincoln Specials: I bought a snack thingy that had baby carrots, broccoli, a piece of cheese and some almonds in it and munched on that. I also got one that had roasted turkey, monterey jack and more almonds. I brought a pear from home.
The cheese tasted... weird. VERY salty, for one. And the texture was weird... I never noticed how greasy cheese could be before. And some of the almonds had some kind of smoky, salty flavor to them which was a little weird. Overall, the baby carrots were the best part. Sweet and crunchy!

Snack: I bought oreo ice cream sandwiches on my errand. I shared them with my cast mates. I realized as I was walking out of the store that I shouldn't eat a giant oreo yet because of the gluten, and then promptly decided I was going to anyway. It was very tasty. I mean, absolutely delightful. But not as good as I'd been thinking it would be. I ate my one cookie sandwich and I was totally satisfied. In fact I was kind of done with it before I finished it. Interesting- I've never had enough ice cream EVER. Even when I got sick from it. I'm very curious to see how I do with some of my favorite ice creams.

Hopefully all's well and dairy can continue to be included in my diet... as a treat!
Until next time~

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

After Whole30: thoughts and impressions

What a day! This heat! I hope we're not looking at four solid months of this!

Today was my first solo day at work! I kept myself pretty busy and we got an order right at the end of the day! So I'll ship that out tomorrow. I listened to a few podcasts and got my latest book from Audible. I think it's going to be just fine for a few weeks.

After work, I met my brother for dinner in a park. We went for a long walk (Penelope came too), chatted about a lot of different things, and generally had a lovely evening. On the way home, we stopped for a fan at Target. It had cooled down a lot, and I left windows down for Penelope (no, I'm NOT that guy)

I've got the fan plugged in and running in the bedroom, and let me tell you, it has already made a WORLD of difference. I mean, seriously, it is pleasant in here. Touch noisy... but I don't even care about that. Not. Hot. Thank heaven!

I felt really good today, and I'm wondering how much of it had to do with my kind of simple meat and veggies meal last night (and for lunch) plenty of protein, some greens... and I have plenty of energy and I'm in a really good mood. Interesting to say the least!

Meal one: 2 fried eggs and an apple

Meal two: leftover steak and sauteed veggies

snack: couple handfuls mixed nuts

Meal 3: Hot head special! salad, pork, pico de gallo, guacamole!

Now that I'm essentially done with this process, I've been thinking a lot about it. The whole30 taught me a lot about myself and my relationship with food. It taught me about how I reward myself with sweets. It taught me that I don't need to. It taught me so much about the additives in foods, I can't even tell you. To always, ALWAYS check ingredients labels because ANYTHING is possible. It reawakened my love of and passion for health and fitness. It brought back some goals I had buried really deep and rejuvenated them. I have loved this experience. I honestly believe everyone should try it at some point. It will teach you so many things about yourself, about food, about the people you know and love and tolerate. And about your body and what it needs to run effectively.

My plan after I'm officially done with this program next week is to continue to eat this way (although probably not quite as strictly). My plan is to eat about 90% paleo/whole30 compliant, as I hope to stay healthy and continue to lose weight. I think that is totally sustainable for me at this point. Yes, I will continue to eat some treats! After all, life is for living! However, I am confident now in my ability to limit them to occasional treats, instead of "deserving" a donut for showing up to work, or "needing" some ice cream after a long day.

In any case, I think the whole30 is something I will come back to again and again when I need a boost in my health or results, which is nice to know I have, just back here on the back burner.
Ok, I'm babbling...

Tomorrow is dairy day! Wish me luck!
Until next time~

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

After Whole30: Grain recovery part one

I'm gonna need a fan. Stat. What happened to spring?! Seriously, if anyone has an extra little window fan thingy-ma-bob... you know, the flat ones that sit in front of the window and suck in the outside, supposedly cooler air and blow it in the room so you don't melt? That'd be great. Even Penelope is hot.

ANYWHO: Today was a back on plan eating day so I could work through yesterday's non-gluten grains.

I felt pretty good for the most part. REALLY tired. The cat woke me up at 5:30, so when my alarm went off at 6:15, I must've just been back in a deeper sleep cycle. Work was fine, although I need to continue to work on focusing! After work I came home, walked Penny, made some dinner, pulled some costume things together for my show and went to rehearsal. Rehearsals are going well. When I got home, Penelope and I walked and now we're in bed. Warm.

The only other thing I'm noticing is that I feel "fat" today. It's not like I really feel that bloated, I don't think... just mentally fat, I guess. Probably the heat isn't helping that either!
And the tank top I wore to rehearsal tonight was not my best choice. On the upswing, I don't feel like I really had leftover grain hangover today, which means that I can feel ok about eating some of that now and then.

I'm also having some other, non related to food choices and rather personal health issues, and at times that messes with my perceptions (and occasionally reality)SO! Food today!

Meal 1: 2 fried eggs and an orange. AND MAN WAS THAT ORANGE SWEET.

Meal 2: Cabbage Hamburger soup and a grapefruit

Meal 3: steak on a bed of spinach with zucchini & yellow squash medallions. This was nom. And quick, incredibly filling, and a really great example of a whole30 meal. I was pretty proud of it.

I really wanted to stop for a box of fruit-sicles on my way to rehearsal, but I resisted. 2 more days until ice cream!

Until next time~

Monday, May 4, 2015

After Whole30: Non-Gluten Grains

Oh my, friends. WHAT A DAY! Today I got to experiment with any grain (or pseudo grain) that didn't contain gluten. So that opened up things like rice, corn, oats, etc.

It was a fairly normal day. Work was fine, although repetitious. I came home, caught dinner with a friend... and plopped. I HATE it when I do that. I played on my computer... talked to a friend... got nothing done.

Then, about 9:30, I rallied and went for a run. I LOVE RUNNING AT NIGHT. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it! It was lovely.
Came home and tried to do my kettlebell circuit- but I got into my deadlifts and had some pretty bad, sharp, sudden knee pain, so that pretty much ended that! Happens, occasionally, but I try not to push it.
Now I'm showered, and it's bed time.

So let's talk about food. I'm gonna tell you what I ate and then circle back to how I'm feeling.

Meal 1: 2 fried eggs & five or six strawberries, grapefruit

Meal 2: Hamburger Cabbage Grandma soup & fritos (ingredients are only corn, corn oil & salt, so I figured it was a fairly safe experimental add in)

Snack: couple handfuls mixed nuts

Meal 3: sushi! Roll with a seaweed wrap, white rice, salmon, asparagus, carrot, arugula, avocado, topped with a tiny amount of a sweet soy and a sweet chili sauce.

ok, so. Felt fine through the morning. What I think of as the new normal. Head clear, plenty of energy, relatively focused. Then I ate lunch. With in 20 minutes of the fritos, I could feel them solidifying in my belly. Seriously, it felt like there was a hard ball of chewed up frito bits all massed back together right under my diaphragm. It was pretty painful. I had some brief but painful headache spasms, and then, about an hour after lunch, BAM, a relatively noticeable sharp pain in my left side. Then, within another 20 minutes, all of the symptoms disappeared.

So I don't think fritos are a very valid choice. I'm curious to try something less processed, like you know, sweet corn or something. However, at this point, I'm not sure I'll be choosing corn as often as I used to!

Then, dinner. I was a little nervous, honestly. I ate my sushi roll (which tasted HEAVENLY, by the way. SO GOOD). I tried to eat slowly and chew well. I really did try. I think I felt an echo of the grain mass in my belly, but if it was actually there, it was barely noticeable. I think rice occasionally (like in a sushi roll) will probably be ok. I do not think we'll be going back to rice as a main or side dish.

I will say, I felt great during my run. I'm working with an app called 5k runner, which is basically a couch to 5k program, but they tell you when to do what. But I really felt pretty great. So that's a bonus?

Tomorrow we're back on plan eating, and I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it...

Until next time~

Sunday, May 3, 2015

After Whole30: legume recovery weekend


Sorry I didn't get a post out yesterday... it just didn't happen. It was a pretty busy weekend, all things considered.

Yesterday, I got up early and dragged myself off to rehearsal, where I measured a few more kids and generally checked in on the summer show. Then I came home, vegged for a while, and then Penelope and I went to a family and pet fair hosted by our vet's office. The vet just opened a new location, so they had a few booths, we both got some free stuff... and then we went and looked at the new vet's office. Mostly, we'll continue to vet where we have in the past, but the new place has a dog training area, some puppy rehab stuff and some surgery facilities. Hopefully, we won't have to spend much time there, but it is really lovely, so if we do, I'm glad to have seen it! And in any case, it was fun, something to do outside in the gorgeous weather, etc.

 Then I went last night to see a friend's production of West Side Story at a local high school. Really great work, very impressive! And then I ended up talking to said friend for like... a solid three hours. I love good conversations like that, but it was very late when I got home!

All day, I felt kind of sleepy and tired. Just not a lot of motivation or energy to do much of anything.I was in a pretty great mood for most of it... just tired. I don't really think I'm blaming the legumes from Friday, though... Mostly the weird schedule and possibly not the right balance of macros (no, I'm not going to begin tracking my macros. Yes I do feel better when I eat more protein.)


Meal 1: banana raisin porridge... with another banana

Meal 2: leftover nachos (without the beans this time!)

Meal 3: hot head bowl special

Today, I slept until about 8, at which point Penelope threw up. So I cleaned that up, and we went for our morning constitutional. (she has seemed totally fine all day and is now sound asleep with her head in my lap). I made some breakfast... but then it got dumped all over the couch, so I only got about half of it. I ran lines for my show, and then took a nap. And then I went to the grocery, tidied up around here a bit, and then got off and went to my rehearsal. They are just SO FUN! Afterward, Derek and I ended up talking half the night away- oops! So I grabbed a snack and now I'm in bed.

I love weekends, but I know I didn't do very well this weekend at eating good meals. The choices were all ok, but they just didn't make great meals. Part of that was I did a lot of things this weekend. Part of it is I just didn't plan very well last week, so I didn't know what I was really doing after Friday night's nachos. But part of it is that now that my whole30 is over, I'm struggling a little bit already. Its totally a mental thing, but it feels like now that the program is over, the portions, planning and rules can relax a little, which isn't true at all. So I need to try to do better this week.


Meal 1: egg scramble with spinach and chives

Meal 2: leftover hothead, root chips & guacamole

Meal 3: ...handful of almonds and a handful of raisins. I had planned on eating dinner... but then I talked Derek's ear off and I didn't want to cook/eat a meal when it is already past bedtime!

Overall, I think legumes are probably pretty safe for me to add back in- albeit on a rather limited and specialty basis. I am going to keep an eye on whether I continue to have low energy when I eat them, but I feel pretty comfortable allowing myself the occasional something with peanut butter, or some black beans or hummus, or some other legume product.

Tomorrow I add back in non gluten grains!

Until next time~

Friday, May 1, 2015

After Whole30 day one: Beans

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. Is that even true? Heck if I know. Luckily for me, the second half of that charming poem is not... at least not yet!

So today I could add beans and legumes back to my diet!
I feel pretty good- I'm breaking out a bit on my left chin/cheek area, but that was there this morning. I'm also absolutely whooped at 9pm, but I'm not totally convinced that's the beans either.

After all, it was a busy day. I worked until noon (we closed early for the weekend), before going to the kroger store. I grabbed a jar of all natural peanut butter, a tub of hummus, an apple and a small salad with some grapes and berries. The hummus tasted WONDERFUL, but like hummus. Nothing overly surprising. I had a couple tablespoons with veggies from my salad.  The natural peanut butter though- WOW! Except for the soupy consistency, it almost could have passed as regular sugary pb. Amazing. Then I went and ordered new contacts, stopped at the high school to drop receipts, picked up PennyG and the laundry, returned a purchase from TJ Maxx, and went to Momma's. Threw in a load of laundry, went out to her theatre's storage and pulled like crazy for Mary Poppins! Pretty excited to really get started on that! Then Penelope and I came home, I made and ate some dinner... and pretty much nose dived. I'm just... taking a night off and going to bed early!

I'm loving being in this good of a mood though. I mean, I just don't get mean or grumpy feeling. I feel things, sure, but they don't effect my mood like they used to.

ok, last thing before I tell you what all I ate today...

Yes, I weighed and measured!! Ok, a few caveats. I weighed first thing this morning, before I ate anything.
I measure last thing tonight after I'd eaten (but I don't think I ate THAT badly to actually make the measurements increase). My 'before weight' was from March 29 (or so) but my 'before measurements' are from February.

Before weight (March 29): 198 This morning, I weighed in at 190

This is a 60 pound weight loss from about this time last year. (to date)

Before measurements:                   After measurements:
Bust: 46                                           Bust:44
Waist:38                                          Waist 35.5 (yes!)
Hip: 46                                            Hip: 44
bicep: 16                                         bicep: 13.5 (woo!)
Thigh: 25                                        Thigh: 24.5

Overall, I am happy with these results, although the weight loss was NOT my strongest motivation for this. I was hoping for something a little more dramatic, but 8 pounds is very respectable in one month- especially considering I did this without any restricting or extreme exercise.
As for the measurements, I'm pretty pleased there, as well. I knew I was shrinking! I would like to try these measurements in the morning though, just to see the comparison.

ok, now!

Meal 1: breakfast porridge & hardboiled egg
Snack: banana
Meals 2: small salad with chicken, berries and grapes, hummus, apple, peanut butter
Meal 3: PALEO NACHOS! (So freaking good!) I took root vegetable chips, and topped them with some hot seasoned chicken I'd just cooked, black beans, 2 kinds of salsa, chives and guacamole. Boy, oh boy! They were good! And a plate full was INCREDIBLY filling. Like, way more filling than nachos usually are.

ok, y'all, it might not even be 9:30 yet, but I'm super sleepy!

Until next time~

ps: don't forget to subscribe, or bookmark, or whatever! I won't be posting every entry to facebook anymore, and I don't want you to miss out!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whole30 Day 30: Checker flag flying


We made it! Holy cow! I can't believe the month is over. This has been such an adventure. Such a learning experience- and I honestly couldn't have done it without the support I've gotten from family, friends, and honestly, this blog. In my moments of weakness (or laziness) all I needed to remember was that I was going to tell you all all about it and that kept me on plan. So THANK YOU for reading this, whoever you are.

This journey, however, isn't over. Over then next ten days or so, I will start to reintegrate foods back into my diet. I start tomorrow with beans and legumes. I hope you'll stick with me as I go through that too. And of course, I'm sure you all want to tune in to see what the final stats were on pounds and inches lost!

One of the unexpected joys of this journey was using this blog again. I'd forgotten how nice it was to use this space! If you're using my facebook links to get here every night, I would encourage you to subscribe at this point. I will be continuing to blog as frequently as I can (although my topics will certainly expand!) but I don't know that I will always post about it on facebook. So those of you who have enjoyed this journey, I hope you'll continue to check in now and then!

Today was another really good day. I've apparently had plenty of fiber in the last few days, but my stomach wasn't upset at all. I did have a few moments of a sharp headache pain about midmorning, but that was gone within about 20 minutes. After work and a walk, Penny and I did lay down for about 20 minutes, so no kettlebells today, but that was interesting too. I love to take naps. I'm a good napper- if I have 2 hours. I'm not good at the 20 minute power nap. Or I wasn't. I set an alarm, and after 20 or so minutes, I got up. I didn't really WANT to get up, but I did, and I wasn't groggy or grumpy, nor did I have a headache or feel sick like I used to after a nap.  And then I had tons of energy to get me through my rehearsal this evening. Pretty cool, right?

Meal 1: banana nut breakfast porridge & hardboiled egg

Meal 2: baked potato with leftover stuffed pepper filling, salsa & guacamole

Meal 3: really random tonight... some olives, two slices prosciutto, a few black berries, a few raspberries, a banana, 2 hard boiled eggs and the last of the pepper filling wrapped up in a lettuce wrap. All very tasty- I'm calling it a Paleo Lincoln Special (family tradition similar to a home made lunchable)

Well, friends, that's all for now- I hope you'll stick with me in life after my whole30!

Until next time~

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Whole30 Day 29: closing in on the finish line

This challenge has been absolutely amazing, you guys. I'm starting to think about the long term effects of the Whole30, and I'm so excited to discuss and share that with you over the coming few weeks as I reintegrate other foods again. I really and truly can't believe there's only one day left!

Today was very fulfilling. I'm exhausted, but it's a good, productive exhaustedness, so that's alright.
I nailed focusing at work through the middle of the day, finishing one order and getting another started, finished and shipped out. Then I ran an errand or two, came home, and Penelope and I went for another run. Today we went down next to the river- I LOVE having that as a resource! I'd forgotten how much I like running. Talk about therapeutic! When your body's working that hard, you don't have room in your head to do anything except run- so no thinking!

When we got home, I threw dinner in the oven and started fighting Doldrum Fatigue. This is a very real syndrome that's easily incited by the inbetween times, like prevening. (That's pre-evening). But I managed to get my kettlebell circuit in, showered, dinner eaten, some emails sent, some bills paid, some receipts tracked down and a calendar check. Then Penelope and the cat made an ABSOLUTE nuisance of themselves while I ran lines- now that I think on it, it probably helped after all.

I followed that with a quick night-night walk with my walking buddy, the few dishesI had from today, a ten minute tidy and whew, time for bed!

So, then. Plenty of energy, nothing weird in my digestive tract, no headache. But I am thirsty today. Have been all day- that's really something I need to work on again: water intake. Also, can we just make an official note that I no longer have a chronic headache?! I've had headaches, very low grade, about 75% of the time for YEARS. All of a sudden- no head aches (unless they're caused by loud music or other issues). Thank goodness for that! I'm also feeling pretty ok mentally and emotionally. Like I have a measure of control over how my body feels and thinks, which is a first in a long time, and very welcome.

On the other hand, getting out of bed in the mornings is not any easier. Penelope still drags me out of bed and propels us both around the block before I start feeling even remotely human. I am still having some slight, slight skin issues, especially on my upper arms and the outsides of my thighs. And I'm not sleeping as well now as I was early on. I'm not sleeping poorly by any stretch, but it isn't that out like a log feeling I had during week 2.

Ok, food!

Meal 1: banana nut raisin breakfast porridge & a hard boiled egg. Since I didn't get apples yesterday in my CSA box, I messed with my breakfast recipe a bit- it tasted great! Here's what I did:

1/2 c. walnuts
1/2c. cashews
1 c. almonds
3 bananas
1 egg yolk
cinnamon to taste
ghee (medium spoonful)

combine nuts in a bowl and fill with water. Cover and let sit for at least 6 hours.
Once the nuts are done soaking, pour them into a nut milk bag or strainer (OVER THE SINK!). Rinse them until water runs clear. Then combine nuts, egg & two of the bananas in the blender. Add enough water to cover nuts. Pulse until smooth.

Pour the mixture back into your nut milk bag and squeeze the milk into a bowl, setting aside both milk and nut meal for a moment when finished.

Then, add remaining banana, half the amount of raisins you like, and the cinnamon in a large saucepan with your ghee. Heat on very low heat until banana chunks (did I say slice it? Well, do!) and raisins are coated in cinnamon. Add about a cup of the milk. Increase heat to about medium. Stir until well mixed, and then heat until it starts a kind of thick, slow simmer. Simmer for 2-5 minutes.

Then add the nut solids (or meal) from your nut milk bag to the saucepan, stirring well to mix.
Finally, add the remaining milk. Bring pot back to simmer, stirring frequently, and then add the remaining milk and allow it to cook down until you like the consistency! I topped with another handful of raisins.

This makes a lot- at least 4, maybe 5 servings, but it refrigerates and reheats BEAUTIFULLY.

Meal 2: Salad with spinach, lettuce, prosciutto, hardboiled egg, olives, blackberries & guacamole.

Meal 3: Baked potato, loaded up with leftover stuffed pepper stuffing, salsa & guacamole. One smallish potato, and I was very full and satisfied. And some grapes.

And can we just take a minute to appreciate the baked potato?! They're good with practically anything on them, and the only dish you get dirty cooking is a for to poke them with! My kind of dinner!

Ok, that's all.
Until next time~

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Whole30 Day 28: Checkered flag at the ready.

Wowee, April 28th! Barely. It's 11:20 pm here, and I've had a long (but excellent!) day, so this one will be brief.

I feel good. All of the normal things, of course- energy, weight loss (seriously I'm SO excited to weigh in on Friday morning, you have no idea), skin, body working right and feeling good. But I also feel... confident. More myself than I have been in a long time. Less fearful. I've struggled a lot with fear in my life, but when I like myself best,  I'm not afraid; I'm bold. I'm decisive and quick to act. I stand up for myself and others. That's the person the Whole30 seems to be unfurling, which is pretty exciting.

At work today, my boss brought in cookie dough brownies to celebrate someone's birthday. I'm kind of curious to see how I do with the multitudes of baked goods at work after I have less rules governing me. That'll be a real test, because I really think there are baked goods in the break room at LEAST once a week most of the time.

Other than that, work was pretty good. Finished my project, chatted with my boss about shows, etc.

I called my brother on the way home and that was nice too. It's so funny talking to him... those of you who are only children, I really, really feel bad for you. I have friends that I ADORE and think of as family. But no other relationship in my life is like the one I have with my brother. Totally unique and special.

Then Penelope and I went for our w-a-l-k, which it was a GREAT day for. I did my kettlebell set, unpacked the CSA box (NO CABBAGE YAAAAAAY!!!), showered, made my dinner and dashed out the door to my rehearsal. And those dang rehearsals are just SO much fun. I mean, this show is just fun, fun, fun. And it's gonna be so good. And it is SO unbelievably nice to be on stage again. Wow.

And then I came home, made a fresh batch of breakfast porridge, washed all my dishes, took another walk with le pup, did an evening tidy... no wonder I'm tired!

Tomorrow is all about paying bills, learning lines and buying CONTACTS!

Meal 1: apple porridge. I brought an egg to eat... but when I cracked it.... I'd grabbed a raw one instead of a boiled one. Drat.

Snack: grapes. Since my breakfast was incomplete.

Meal 2: stuffed pepper leftovers and grapes

Snack: olives & a handful of almonds

Meal 3: salad! Made from spinach, lettuce, torn up prosciutto, 2 hardboiled eggs, blackberries, green olives & a scoop of guac. I know this sounds like a super weird combo, but it was actually REALLY good. I was very satisfied!

Well, so much for brief! But I'm having to retype every third word now, so I believe I'll get some sleep!

Until next time~

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whole30 Day 27: The last long straightaway

Seriously, three more days. When did that happen? Why is it that when you're ten, you blink and 2 seconds go by... when you're 25 you blink and you're missing a whole month?! I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of flack about it getting worse as you get older, but right now that can't possibly be true!

But let's talk about today before it's gone too.

Let's see. My eyes are really bothering me tonight- ordering new contacts just hit number 2 on my todo list, right below "deposit check that will allow the purchase of new contacts". AND I GOT ANOTHER ZIT. Which is frustrating, but probably related more to my failure to wash my face at night than anything food wise.  The breakout on my back is just a little pimple too, no dragon wings.

If I haven't already said so, the "dragon wings" are a series of dry scaly patches and big (nickel sized) bumps that I've gotten a few times on my upper back and shoulder blades. I had a pretty bad case of them this spring- until I started the Whole30.

In other news, Penelope and I went for a run this evening! Just a short guy, I started my 5k training app over, but still- it felt pretty good. I do enjoy running. And Penelope is really a pretty good running buddy except sometimes she pulls me down the sidewalk cause she gets excited. And then we did the kettlebell circuit. So all in all, I'm feeling pretty great. I really like that kettlebell- the cycle I'm doing is difficult enough to leave me out of breath and sweating, but really takes about ten minutes, so it's a perfect short and sweet little bit of weight training.

Let's see, food today:

Meal 1: Cinnamon apple porridge. I forgot to hardboil more eggs, so I was pretty hungry at ten o'clock, so...

Snack: grapes. I know, fruit on it's own isn't the Whole30's first choice, but it's what I had, and really, they're grapes, not candy.

Meal 2: leftover meatza with guac and... a few more grapes. The meatza caused quite a stir at the lunch table today. Everyone thought it was pretty funny! But it warmed up pretty nicely and tasted excellent, so they can laugh all they want.

Meal 3: Paleo stuffed peppers. These were great! I got two yellow bell peppers in my CSA last week, so I halved them and filled them up with a mixture of ground pork with some seasonings, onion, garlic, chopped cherry tomatoes, verde salsa and red salsa. I backed the peppers in an oiled casserole dish for 30 minutes at 350, and topped them with some guac and more red salsa. And then ate a handful of berries with one whole pepper for dinner. So tasty! And really very easy, if a bit messy to make and more than a bit messy to eat! That recipe is a keeper- another good one for using up whatever veggies you need to. I bet you could even add leafy greens without much trouble!

I keep thinking of Friday as the end of this, but really, I've got two weeks left of readjusting. I'm kind of nervous about the reintegration process, honestly. I'm afraid I'll feel sick when I start eating things again. I am looking forward to paleo nachos with black beans on Friday, though! The black beans? Totally bought those at the store today and I'm still feeling a little... rebellious.

Until next time~

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Whole30 Day 26: coming out of corner four

FOUR MORE DAYS! Crazy. But can I make one thing clear? I am NOT just going back to my old habits after this. I'm excited to be able to make some different (more) choices. Things like paleo-fied baked goods, a little sweetener or a treat now and then, but I don't think I'm going all the way back any time soon. If ever. Most days, especially if I have control over all of my meals, this doesn't bother me at all, and I know I'd only get better at finding recipes. But some days, like today, as we'll soon find out, this is just... inconvenient, and I'm looking forward to being able to choose a salad with balsamic dressing and a small amount of cheese without having to worry about it too much.

Because today was SUPER busy. I got up early, went for my walk with Penelope, and got down to the business of cleaning house. I got my place about half done before I had to get ready to leave. I drove an hour to see a dear, dear friend in a show (as a surprise, which was AWESOME), talked with him for nowhere near long enough afterward, drove home, and went back to cleaning. Then, just as I was almost done with the dishes, my bluetooth speaker flipped out, making the loudest, most OBNOXIOUS noise. Eventually, with a phone call to Dad underway, it turned itself off, because nothing was working to get it to shut up. Then I finished the dishes, took Penelope for our evening ramble, and here we are!

I had a headache for a lot of today, which I think comes from several combined factors. I did a lot of driving today for one, and then I sat in front of a VERY loud stage for two hours (which is the root of this I'm pretty sure), drove home facing west at 6pm (not so good on eyeballs...) and then dealt with a screeching speaker for a solid 30 minutes. So no surprise about the headache, I'm sure! I'm also breaking out a bit- 2 on my chin and one coming in on my mid back. The one on my back is the most annoying (the other two could be a problem of my laziness in removing makeup). However, it could be due to some hormones being weird in my body this week too. But I've been in a pretty great mood all day, thinking clearly, no afternoon slump. So that's pretty great!

Meal 1: 2 egg omelet with red onion, green pepper, salsa & guacamole

Meal 2: This got... tricky. The theatre is a dinner/lunch theatre, but there was not one thing on the menu that was compliant. No, not even the salads. My server was very nice and super helpful and I ended up with a side salad of lettuce, onion, tomato and green pepper, topped with a little beef tenderloin. It was very tasty, but not very filling. So when I left the theatre, I immediately went and found meal 3 at the nearby Kroger.

Meal 3: Chicken leg & quarter (baked), fresh broccoli & cauliflower, mixed berries. I ate this about 5:30 because I was SO hungry after a too-small lunch. Which led to a 7 pm...

Snack: dried green beans with guacamole- a surprisingly tasty combination! The green beans have a good crisp crunch, which is so nice!

Hey, a quick note. I know I'm eating way more fruit than Dallas and Melissa would probably prefer. But ya know, I just feel like that's my line in the sand and I'm sticking to it. I eat my veggies pretty well and I do like them very much, but all nutritional values being equal, I could eat nothing but fruit for the rest of my days and die happy. So I'm letting that be alright. Just so we're all on the same page!

Until next time~

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Whole30 Day 25: speeding through

Only 5 more days!

I'm starting to think more and more about life after the Whole30. There's no doubt that this experience has changed the way I think about food. How could it not? And while I'm looking forward to having some more freedom, that's more for the convenience of it then missing those foods- I don't even miss the texture of bread or crackers anymore. And I certainly don't miss feeling bloated, like I tried to eat cement mix or sleepy after meals. On the other hand, I DO miss the sociability of food- and drinks. It will be nice to be able to go out after a show, or grab dinner with a friend. And I AM looking forward to occasional ice cream. However, I have no desire to eat crappy versions of any of those treats. If I'm going to get ice cream, it's going to be the good stuff, you know? No more McDonalds soft serve that really doesn't taste like much.

Physically, I feel really good. It was a long long day today, but I didn't even feel like I needed a break from it. Now that it's bed time, I'm exhausted, but not until I stopped moving!

Meal 1: 2 egg omelet with green pepper, onion and mushroom, plus a spoonful of guacamole and a spoonful of salsa. (SO good. Looking forward to another one tomorrow!)

Meal 2: At momma's! She made mini meatloaves with turkey, beef, zucchini & carrot. They were delicious! Also a bunch of snap peas.

Meal 3: Hot Head Classic. Tonight was hard- I was working, and the school was providing pizza, which of course, is a definite no-no. But honestly, it didn't really look all that great, and my hot head bowl of compliant foods tastes like a treat, so it all worked out!

Tomorrow is crazy too, but hopefully it will be productive too. There's still a lot to do in this apartment, but I guess we'll get it out of the way eventually. Oh! And show 1/3 was tonight, so that's one out of the way- yay! On to numbers 2 and 3- hopefully they are just as smooth!

Until next time~

Friday, April 24, 2015

Whole30 Day 24: speeding into turn four

YOU GUYS. This was the last Friday of my whole30! I made a grocery list AND IT INCLUDES A CAN OF BLACK BEANS!

I really can't believe it.

Today was, really, a rather quiet day. Went to work, ran a few errands, came home, made some AWESOME dinner, walked my dog, watched a little tv, made a to do list for the weekend... (can we just say woof in advance, cause... yeah...) and bed early.

And then I found out one of my co workers is in labor, so that's pretty exciting!

So let's see. I feel pretty good. Solid, sustained energy, good mental clarity. I feel pretty strong- I did the kettlebell circuit tonight too and I'm really liking that. Might need to up reps soon!

However, I must admit that I am NOT being as productive as I would like! Definitely need to work on using my extra energy to get some work done! Ah well... I've made a good list for the weekend, so now we'll see if I can follow a schedule.


Meal 1: Breakfast nut porridge. I was out of hardboiled eggs, so I skipped that. And I was a little bit hungry at about 10:30, but I powered through until 12 when I had...

Meal 2: THE LAST OF THE CABBAGE ROLLS woo! And a grapefruit. I still think it's funny that I can now peel and eat a grapefruit like you do an orange. I grew up on those in FFA boxes at my grandparents... but sliced in half and COVERED in sugar.

Meal 3: Stay with me now... Mexican "meatza". So I was busily thinking fondly of mexican food, so I googled "whole30 mexican recipes" and this popped up. I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I went for it.

Here's what I did:

1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoonss chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garlic salt to taste

green pepper
lemon or lime juice

Mix the first set of ingredients together well. I used my hands, which was effective, but turned my hands orange.  Divide the meat into two halves. Press each half into the bottom of a pie pan and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on. Ditch the grease and let the meat crusts cool for a few more minutes while you finish your kettlebell circuit.

Remove crusts from pans and place on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Spread a couple of large spoonfuls of salsa on each, and then top with thinly sliced veggies. Or fruit, I guess. ( I love pineapple on pizza. And burgers) Really, if you think it goes with tacos and would be good with meat... it's a go. REturn to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the veggies get soft but not soggy.

Remove from oven, top with a squirt of citrus juice, some fresh cilantro if you're fancy, and a spoonful of guacamole. Eat up!

I thought this was pretty easy and very tasty- totally repeatable! It does make me feel a little like a bro-y frat boy or something... I mean, really... a MEAT CRUST?! But it is tasty... and I bet with some adjustments this would make a great italian style meatza too.

Until next time~

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Whole30 Day 23: brake check

A week from now, we'll be all done! Pretty wild!

Today was really busy. Just kind of insane.

I felt pretty good today, all things considered. My early night let me get up a little early, so I made some more nut porridge for breakfast. So good!! I really want to get some raisins this weekend so the next batch can have some of those too. Work was fine- I'm trying really hard to work on focusing, and it is yielding some results.

After work, I stopped home. My landlord was here fixing the kitchen light... again. Hopefully it is fixed permanently this time! He was right in the middle of stuff though... so Penny and I got around and went off to my rehearsal, so it was another Hot head night for me. No complaints here! Rehearsal went very well, and we did a sing thru of the entire show, so that was pretty exciting!

And now it's bed time. Where does the time go?

Meal 1: cinnamon apple porridge and a hardboiled egg

Meal 2: baked sweet potato and a salad with mushrooms and olives and an egg

Meal 3: salad bowl from Hot head with pork, pico de gallo and guacamole

My skin is continuing to clear, which is pretty exciting. I feel strong and pretty energetic. I can't WAIT to weigh and measure myself next week! Which might be the first time I've EVER said that...

On the other hand, I'm also starting to dream about peanut butter next friday... and sushi for dinner on May 4... and a Whit's fix on the 7...

Until next time~

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Whole30 Day 22: White flag waving

It's the last week officially!

ok, so, REALLY, I'll be done a week from Friday. But I started on Wednesday, so it totally counts!

You ever have one of those days where you have so much to do you... go to bed.

Yeah, that's what I'm doing. It's 9 pm. Ask me how much I care.

It'll bite me- I'll deal with that then. Too tired to care tonight!

Other than tired (which is typically hormonal this time of the month for me) I feel really good. Just kind of wiped out tonight.

Also, sorry if this is WAY too much information for you with all my feeling this or that way stuff- but I'm trying to be as accurate as possible if people ARE interested!

Today was busy, but not as busy as it could have been, I'm sure! It got cold again- high of 50 today and in the 30's tonight- which I'm sure is not helping my energy levels. I got up, went to work, went to the high school for dress rehearsal, came home, walked PennyG, warmed up some more cabbage rolls (I really need some variety soon...) watched Once Upon a Time... and I'm done. Calling it a night. Here's to a more productive tomorrow!

Meal 1: 2 hardboiled eggs, grapefruit

Meal 2: cabbage rolls and strawberries

Meal 3: cabbage rolls (see what I mean about variety...?)

Have a good night, all!

Until next time~

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whole30 Day 21: Final lap!

Can you guys BELIEVE IT?! Yes, I'm probably going to start all of these posts with some exclamation of shock Every time I type the date into the title bar, I freak out all over again. THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Wow.

Today was a roller coaster, emotionally. I mean, I've run the whole gamut: contented, excited, scared, happy, pleased, frustrated, mildly angry, annoyed, furious, nostalgic, and utter sorrow. No wonder I'm wiped out. Don't we just love hormones?

As for physically, I feel better today, so maybe this diet (I hate that word, but you know what I mean) did help the PMS symptoms after all. I usually feel pretty yucky for about 1-3 days and any discomfort today was light and fleeting.  I was really, really sleepy this afternoon, but that might have had to do with monotony at work too :)

Penny and I got up a little early this morning. I went to work, stopped at the high school to work on some things and came home. My landlord was trying to fix my kitchen lighting fixture and I had no way into my fridge, so I worked on costume research until he was done at about 8:00. I warmed up my cabbage rolls- very tasty! That's definitely a keeper recipe. I basically steamed the cabbage leaves off and sauteed up a bunch of vegetables and a pound of hamburger, rolled the meat mixture into the cabbage leaves and  baked them at 325 for two hours. It made a lot, too. I may make another panful this weekend and freeze them all for simple meals on the go. Then I spent another hour on research before a night night walk with my best girl and now it's already bedtime. I only got about half of the things I needed to do done, but well, that's life sometimes. Especially when your landlord spends all evening "fixing" your kitchen light, but you go back in your kitchen an hour after he leaves and the thing won't turn on at all... no, I don't really want to do dishes by moonlight, athankyaverymuch!

Food log:
Meal 1: Cinnamon apple porridge and a boiled egg. So good.

Meal 2: salad with lettuce, mushrooms, fish filet, olives and lemon juice. some green grapes.

Meal 3: cabbage rolls: mine were cabbage, hamburger, onion, mushroom, green pepper & cucumber Very comforting and tasty.

Until next time~

Monday, April 20, 2015

Whole30 Day 20: merge

Holy moly, it's only monday!! But hey, you guys!! You GUYS! We're TWO THIRDS of the way done! How did THAT happen??

This is the busiest week yet, and frankly, I'm not sure how we're going to get through it. It's tech at the high school, albeit a very minor one, and we're in three a week rehearsals for my show. Tomorrow I have final fittings at the high school, and then I have to do the research to make the design presentation for the Summer show. Oh, and somehow in there I'm supposed to remember to plan all my meals way in advance!

Luckily, it's week three, and I'm a pretty good meal planner!

OH! OhohohohohohOH! I tried a new breakfast recipe this morning! Well, actually I made it last night and ate it this morning. I'm not kidding- I never want to eat anything else for breakfast ever again!!! I got the recipe here, but I modified it quite a bit. Seriously, you simply must try it, regardless of whether you're grain free or not. It. Is. DIVINE. So good, in fact, that I'm willing to carve out some time tomorrow night to make another batch.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not feeling so hot today, but I'm fairly sure it's hormonal and not nutrition related. I was hoping that the Whole30 would help with some of my PMS symptoms, but really, it's pretty much the same. Ah, well, I guess you can't have everything. I do have plenty of energy still, which is a bonus! Oh, and the weird patchy dry spots on my skin are almost all cleared up. My next skin goal is the little bumps on my arms and legs- and they do seem to be going!

okokok, food log:
 Meal 1: Cinnamon apple porridge and a hardboiled egg (have you checked out that recipe yet? seriously, what are you waiting for?!) This also kept me really plenty full until 12:15 lunch- far longer than my smoothie and egg cup combo

Meal 2: cup of cabbage soup and a salad, with some purple grapes

Meal 3: leftover rainbow trout and sunchokes with some green grapes.

And that's about all for tonight, folks!

Until next time~

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Whole30 Day 19: Fender bender

You guys. I'm so disappointed in myself. SO mad. But let me start from the beginning.

The weather is not very pretty today, but I had plenty of indoor work to do, so I didn't complain. Penelope and I slept until 8:30, went for a walk, had breakfast and I showered. Then I set about food prepping and cleaning up. I spent most of the day doing that, but then I changed, got my stuff rounded up and Penelope and I went to my rehearsal. I got into town (the theatre is about 30 minutes north of me) and realized I was hungry- I had thought I wasn't. So I stopped at Kroger and got some fresh fruit and veg at the salad bar. Decided I wanted a tonic water, and grabbed one with white grape flavor. Got to rehearsal, ate my snack, got halfway through rehearsal... my belly is feeling kind of weird. It's hard to describe. Not painful, exactly. Not bloated, exactly. Just uncomfortable. Then I realized: I FORGOT TO CHECK THE INGREDIENTS ON THE WATER!!!

Sure enough, the last ingredient on the bottle is Sucralose. I didn't even think about it! Tonic water my behind! That's soda at that point, y'all. I only drank a small amount of it, and of course didn't finish it. But doggone it! I was doing so well...

Other than that, though, I feel pretty good. Some digestional distress, but it's ladytime, so that's pretty normal for me.

Food log:

Meal 1: 2 fried eggs & grapefruit

Meal 2: leftover rainbow trout with sunchokes and grapes

Meal 3: hard boiled eggs, pinepple, strawberries, grapes, raspberries & blackberries and carrots (small amounts of each fruit!) And the dreaded "tonic" water. Bah.

Better luck tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Whole30 Day 18: Turn 3!

What a glorious, glorious day! I hope you all got the chance to be outside today. Around here, at least, it was absolutely incredible. A perfect, perfect spring day. And very productive, if I do say so!

Late last night, I got word that the only real appointment I had for the day, from about 9-11am, had been cancelled. Although I was disappointed- I have measurements to take!- it did give me two extra hours of viable time to get other things done. So! Penelope let me sleep in (reluctantly) until 9:00. We got up, went for our morning meander, and had breakfast while I made a shopping list. Then I showered, got dressed and then had lunch. No, I wasn't all that hungry, but I knew we'd be gone for a while and didn't want to get caught hungry! Then, we went over to a park, sort of on the way to the grocery. And we walked for an hour and a half! This specific park is called Hills and Dales, and boy, is it! Penelope absolutely loved it, of course, and I did too- but it was a bit warmer than I had expected and I forgot to bring water. But a quick car ride cooled us off, and I went to the grocery. Don't worry, I left windows down! Then, a quick stop at the pet store yielded collapsible bowls for Penelope and cat litter for Little Bit. With the amount that dog is riding around with me these days, I figure a pair of bowls we can just leave in the car is probably a pretty good idea- I'm always grabbing some random piece of tupperware, either from my cupboard or someone else's, so hopefully this will help her out some! An even briefer stop at the library to pick up a few things, and we came home. Groceries away, I sat down and finished the project I started late last night- it turned out pretty cute! Then I made and ate my dinner, and did some alterations for the high school, paid the rest of the bills for the month, ordered next week's "you made it!" prize, and bought a ticket to see a friend in a show. Then I did my kettlebell workout, Penelope and I went for a final walk, and now we're in bed! Whew!

How am I feeling, you ask?

I had bad dreams last night. I don't really think this is anything nutrition related, although I know they can be. I have pretty vivid bad dreams fairly regularly. But it did kind of throw my morning off. Other than that, the only issue I'm having is some slight digestional, gastro-intestinal trouble. Nothing too bad, and that may have to do with things other than food too, but that's how I'm doing today. Side note: it's really weird to be this open and honest about some of this stuff with the entirety of the internet.
Anyway, I had plenty of energy, and I was in a good mood all day as well. Oh! I'm also noticing some calf cramping in the mornings and if I wake up at night, which happens sometimes, especially around this time of year. No idea what that's about, but I'm seeing it.

Food Log:

Meal 1: two fried eggs and a grapefruit. You know, even grapefruits taste sweet now? I mean, I just ate it, no sugar (obviously) or anything! Very strange, but it was SO so good.

Meal 2: leftover steak and sunchokes from yesterday.

Meal 3: baked rainbow trout and roasted sunchokes. The newsletter from my CSA says that we're almost done getting sunchokes, and you know, I have to admit I'm ok with that. I really, really like them a lot... but they're have been a lot of them this spring! Also, I got rainbow trout at the store- they were a little expensive- I think something like $7 for two filets? But that's four meals, which seems like a bargain to me.

I also snacked on some grapes today, and then had a glass of fruit juice this evening. Which I almost couldn't finish, it was so incredibly sweet! Mm, such a treat!

Until next time~

Friday, April 17, 2015

Whole30 Day 17: easing into turn 3

You know what there aren't enough of? Hours in the day! It's amazing how much energy I have now- I had to stop myself from working because I can't be lazy tomorrow either and my body needs rest. But I feel like I could keep working!

Today was very, very busy. Let's see. Work was work, nothing special. We left an hour early due to Friday blues, but I had plenty to fill my evening with, so that didn't bother me too much. When I left work, I was on the hunt for black leggings. I know, I know... they're for a costume. Granted, yes, it's MY costume, but still. So I wander into teenage-girl mecca: Forever21. I girded my loins and marched over to the plus sizes (which, really, is anything over about a size 10/12 in their books). I found one pair- they were patterned, but black...but a 2x. So I went back to the giant display of leggings in the main part of the store... which only goes up to Large. Well. I took my two pairs of leggings in.... and... drumroll... the Larges fit! Woo! Plus they were only $4 a pair! So I went ahead and bought two pairs, due to a slight translucency, and sashayed my way off to my favorite thrifting joint. I had some costume shopping to do, which was fine, but I also tried on a couple pairs of jeans. I grabbed a 12 Levi 515 pair, a 12 Sweetheart Old Navy Pair, and a size 10 Eddie Bauer pair. The Eddie Bauer's were brand new, tags still on, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. Those didn't fit at ALL. (No surprise) The Levi's were close, but no cigar. But the Old Navy ones fit just fine. This is the problem with women's clothing. I mean, seriously?? A 12 should just be a freaking 12. Ahem.

So I bought the Old Navy ones, which is exactly what I would have bought brand new, so that's perfect.

Then I stopped by the High school and picked up my work load for the weekend. And THEN I came home. Penelope and I went for a nice long walk, and then we came home and made dinner. Well, she had kibble while I cooked mine.

Then I did a craft project that I'm super pleased with. (Tutorial coming soon- look out for it!)
Finally, I started in on a couple of gifts for friends. I'm super pleased with the progress on that, too- so maybe a coming tutorial on that as well!

But I didn't finish the second project, only got about a quarter way through. And I din't get my kettlebelling done, which I'm disappointed about. But! My first morning commitment tomorrow got cancelled, so I can sleep in a tiny amount and still get everything accomplished.

Anyway, I'm blathering... FOOD LOG:

Meal 1: smoothie with spinach, strawberries and orange. I just really couldn't do another egg cup. Really, just could not. So on my list of things for the weekend is to come up with a better breakfast choice, because by 10am, I was STARVING.

Snack: kale chips. I'm still surprised by how much I like these. I'm planning on making some more for next week!

Lunch: hamburger cabbage soup. Because of my dinner out last night, I had no leftovers, so I grabbed a container out of the freezer, let it defrost overnight, and it was ready to go at lunch time- there's even enough to have on Monday, particularly if I bring some salad to go with!

Meal 3: Steak and sauteed sunchokes.

Let's see... I feel great. Tons of energy. A small amount of irregularity is starting to pop up, but that could be about anything. I was super thirsty today. I really need to try to drink more water again. I was doing so well there for a while!

Until next time~