Today

My day so far:

Woke early because a spider was crawling up the side of my torso. Flicked him off and rolled over, but the birds were singing, so I didn’t get back to sleep. In case this anecdote hasn’t informed you already, spiders don’t freak me out… which explains my affinity for the Wizard Howl.

Baked these grain-free vanilla cup-cakes.

Frosted them with this home-made nutella.

But first I blanched a bunch of hazelnuts… which is ridiculous. Spend a little more and buy them blanched. I tell you what.

Ate two cupcakes. I justify it that by the time everything was done it was nearly noon.

Then I mowed the lawn and puttered a bit in my garden.

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Spent some time petting and crooning love songs into the ear of my beloved Oliver. (He’s a cat, btw.)

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Picked great mounds of plantain leaves (yes, the yard weed), washed, chopped and covered it  in olive oil in a jar. After several weeks, it’s supposed to be useable for an amazing skin salve for bug bites and i know not what. We shall see.

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And the day’s not over yet. ;) I have great plans for more gardening and working on a painting later this evening. My aunt has commissioned two paintings from me, the cost of which almost exactly covers the amount I still owe her on my car loan. Perfect! I love that even though I am not waking up to an alarm and groaning my way out of bed to head to work every morning, I am still able to earn my keep while I’m home. I’m not growing rich by any means, but my time is my own and I love it.

Hey, you. It’s YOU.

On a similar topic, but not exclusively Whole30, I have been toying with the idea (yet again) of getting trained as a health coach. I have helped a number of people to change their eating habits and loose weight (and quite frankly, they do a better job of keeping it off than I do… the curse of being a snacker who can’t figure out how to break the habit…) and I love being a part of that and seeing people’s lives changed for the better. There’s an online course that I would love to take, it looks marvelous and has a good reputation compared to other online schools I’ve looked at… but alas, the ever-present problem of I-don’t-have-money-right-now keeps me from even applying. Maybe in a could of years, after my car is paid off. We’ll see. In the meantime, I read books (a new one on balancing hormones is currently in the mail heading my way – so excited!) and blogs and try methods out on myself, and cringe and squirm when I read conventional health magazines. Uuuggghhh. I used to get a couple of health magazines when my interest was budding, but I ended up cancelling them, because they are seriously full of lies. I’m a first-hand witness to the effectiveness of many things they call quack solutions, and I’ve seen the damage done by the ‘healthy’ eating habits they promote. Continue reading

Whole30 FINISHED: recap, and sundry.

My Whole 30 was finished nearly a week ago. There was no huge burst of relief, because my eating habits haven’t changed much since then. I still haven’t touched a bit of dairy, and I don’t intend to for a long time. It’s just not worth it! I did, however, try a couple of different grain-based foods one two different occasions, just because they sounded good and I wanted to test my reaction, even though I had a preeeeetty good idea of what would happen. I was a little surprised.

Sunday, I went out to lunch with a friend, and we had ‘breakfast’ for lunch. I got eggs, ham, and two pancakes. Here I was imagining two moderate sized pancakes, but nooooo, they came on a separate platter, yes, PLATTER, and were each the size of a dinner plate and nearly and inch thick. I laughed outright and made exclamations that amused the waitress. I managed to eat one. Allllll the rest of the day, I felt like there was a weight in my brain, and I so desperately wanted to take a nap. At church that night I had small-group, and during the discussions I didn’t say a word. I just kept yawning and rubbing my eyes and really wishing I could go find  a place to lay down and sleep. Anywhere. Cement floors wouldn’t have bothered me too much.

Then, Tuesday my church streamed the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye (which you can still watch here, and I highly recommend that you do.) , and I chose to eat some of the whole grain tortilla chips that someone had brought. Yum. They were really good. And my stomach then felt like it was full of nails and sharp, pointy rocks for the rest of the night.

So, I’ve had enough of ‘reintroducing’ foods that make me less healthy. They might taste good, but not THAT good. And there are other foods that taste just as good that don’t harm me, so… it doesn’t make sense.

 

 

Things Unrealted to Food.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated life-in-general things. My last update was right after my sister’s wedding, so I go to my picture files to find out what I’ve been up to since then… it’s all a blur to me, so thank the Good Lord for digital cameras.

Lots of pictures ahead… Continue reading

Whole30 week 3 check-in

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21 days in, no grains, no refined sugar/sweeteners, no dairy, no legumes.

It’s actually not hard. Easier than I was expecting. I thought for sure my cheese cravings would come crashing down and turn me into a crazy person, but I find most ‘cravings’ for anything pass in a matter of minutes and I’m fine.  The hardest part is STILL vegetables. I started out well, but I’m finding if I don’t take time to prepare a meal, I’ll just grab protein and fruit and skip the vegetables, which is a no-no.

What I miss the most, surprisingly, is Continue reading

Whole30, Day 12

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Okay, so here I am nearly 2 weeks into Whole30. I’m only half way through reading ‘It Starts With Food’, the guidebook, which is more than a guide book. I am very highly impressed with that book. Over the past two years I have read my share of anti-infamatory-type foods books, and this is by far the best when it comes to explaining food-related hormones. We’re not talking about female, moody, boo-hoo hormones, we are talking about the ones that are in charge of your nutrient intake and regulating… well, everything in your body when you eat anything. They explain it in very easily understood terms, and I couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be if this was a high-school text book. What would the American people look like in the next generation if it was taught these read food-facts in school?

Anyhoo, on to my results thus far…

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Whole30… eep.

Next month, I’m going to start my first Whole30 challenge. If you’ve never heard of Whole30, check out Whole9life.com for tons of information. My description of it is very clean Paleo diet for a month… get rid of grains, dairy, sugar, etc. for a whole month to re-set your eating habits and, if you don’t know already, discover problem foods that have been making you miserable without you even knowing about it.

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I haven’t done Whole30 before, as I said, but I have done elimination diets and already know that ALL THE THINGS they suggest removing are indeed problem foods for me. I finally have come to the point where not eating bread/pasta/crackers etc. doesn’t bother me (my downfall is cookies. *hangs head*) but I still struggle with dairy. Not milk, exactly… I haven’t drank (drunk?) milk in ages, but cheese… or real whipped cream… those things I am still hanging onto for dear life in spite of the fact that I know they make me feel awful and literally make me fat. And sugar. I was doing really, really well with not eating any added sugar in anything until about August this year. Then, my sister moved back home, slowly recovering from a concussion, and the two of us bought a very large bag of peanut M&Ms and sat on her bed watching Doctor Who and eating them every.single.night. until I had completely ruined myself for sugar. Again. There’s something very sad about knowing what food is doing to your body and eating it anyway. I understand addictions, because FOOD IS AN ADDICTION for many of us. Don’t think the junk-food industry doesn’t understand this. Anyhoo, I guess you could say Whole30 is going to be my food rehab. In preparing for it (this sort of thing take a while for mental preparation… jumping straight in is a recipe for failure) I have made myself a list of what I hope Whole 30 will do for me. Goals to keep me going when someone offers me a cookie.

  1. Loose 10 lbs
  2. Get back into size 12 jeans comfortably
  3. Clear up skin
  4. Mental clarity
  5. Physical energy
  6. Regular exercise
  7. Get back to me before Lyme Disease

See, I HAD those things, earlier this year. I was a size 10, actually, my skin was the clearest it had ever been, I had such mental and physical energy; quite frankly it was the best I had felt in my entire life. Until I got Lyme disease which wiped me out for a couple of months, then I added sugar back to my diet which has kept me there. My sister has had enough of me whining about how fat I’m getting again, and I am certainly sick of feeling awful. So… here we go.

Today I am working on a menu and shopping list. Oh, I wanted to order the book “It Starts With Food” which guides you through Whole30 (trust me, having reference materials to keep you sane and on track is a HUGE help), and I was biting my nails trying to decide if I should buy the Kindle book, ask my librarian to buy it for the library so I didn’t have to shell out (she does that sometimes… it’s nice. ;) ) or just bite the bullet and buy the hardcover, when I remembered that Amazon had given me a $20 gift credit because they failed to deliver a package the day they said they would. Win! Free book. :)

I miss yogurt!

 I found out over a year ago, through an elimination diet, that dairy products and my body do not agree. It’s nothing violent; I won’t die if I indulge in a slice of cheddar now and then. However, with any regular consumption, I can watch in shock and disgust as my abdomen bloats and makes my jeans VERY uncomfortable for the rest of the day. And I gain weight. So, yeah, not a dangerous allergy, but I feel better if I avoid dairy.

And I miss yogurt. I used to (actually still do) adore yogurt. Home-made, especially. I would make it all winter long by just setting jars of starter on the cool side of the wood stove in the morning, pop it in the fridge before bed, and the next morning it’s beautiful, smooth, creamy, tangy… add fruit and a dash of stevia and breakfast was set to go. I lost the taste for store-bought flavored yogurt, the flavoring is so fake and it’s always highly over-sweetened. (You know your tastes have changed when you whip up a dessert to take to a friends’ gathering and find out that everyone thinks you forgot to sweeten it. Tastes good to me…)

I miss yogurt.

I haven’t eaten any in months. You will laugh (I hope) when I tell you that this morning, I pulled up an exercise video to help with my neck tension and it made me think of yogurt. It was a yoga video, you see. Yoga, yogurt. Follow? Yeeaaahhhh. So instead of stretching my ligaments, I googled how to make coconut-milk yogurt. Found a recipe that I even have all the ingredients for; simply coconut milk and probiotic capsules (let over from this summer’s adventures with Lyme-slaying amoxicillin). I haven’t made it yet, but believe me when I tell you a jar of it is going in my oven just as soon as I do my yogurt video. I mean, yoga video.

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Where has she been?

She (myself) has had one whirlwind after another over the summer and fall.

First, my brother got married. If you’ve ever had a wedding in your family (and I assume you have) you know what that entails.

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I had the privilege of being the florist for his wedding….

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Mini Chocolate Truffle ‘Cakes’

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This recipe has nothing to do with the 4th of July or BBQs, unlike all the other food posts the blogging world is producing the past few days.

This has everything to do with chocolate. And friends. I used to make these regularly, before I was stricken with health-consciousness *cough*, and I made them for the first time in a few years to take to a friend’s house recently. They were well received.

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart (or her food editor, or whoever), who makes them in standard sized muffin tins, but honestly, these are so intense and fudgy and rich (yes, I said rich… I’m turning into my grandmother.) that I feel they are best enjoyed in small bits, so I use mini-muffin tins. Anyhoo, on to the goodness.

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