Monday, December 29, 2014

Positive Body Image

My friend Rebecca reminded me that I need to love myself. Which is totally true. While I've never really thought I had an issue with loving myself, I am starting to see how I might be having issues right now.

The problem is all those exercises and tips for promoting positive body image don't really apply to me. I don't have a problem with loving myself, for thinking I am valuable, for having self esteem. I am fine with my flaws, from the gap in my teeth to the mole on my cheek. I don't need to look picture perfect nor do I need to wear makeup every second of the day. The biggest issue I have right now is clothes.

First, my clothes don't fit. None of them, aside from the stretchy pieces, which don't really count. Especially when my underwear creates lumps and rolls underneath them. I have neither the desire nor the motivation to purchase new (bigger) clothes that fit. Not gonna happen.

Second, and while I want to say I can ignore the mass media and what they think is attractive, I can't make myself believe that the clothes and styles I love don't look about 1000 times better on a thinner girl. Maybe I need to be looking at different fashion sites, or perhaps I can quit my job and be a country girl so that the pressure to dress fashionably is diminished. I know there are amazing style icons out there that are plus sized, but for whatever reason, I don't love their outfits. Maybe I haven't found the right inspiration yet.

On a side note, I'm also way out of shape and slow. My running speed has taken a huge hit, and that's part of my diminished self esteem. It's much easier to love your body regardless of size when you can run a marathon. I have less than three months to get myself to a decent pace so time is of the essence.

I don't see excess weight as a potential flaw, I see it as something that simply needs to be remedied. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I know the excess weight I am carrying is unhealthy and should be taken care of for my health, not just my vanity.

Anyway, I do love myself. I am smart, I am talented, I am strong, I am a bad ass mothereffer. There's just a little more to love than I would like.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Words to the Wise

Hub and I were figuring out our Christmas Card. He wanted to get cards with some funny vintage photo on it, but I had already purchased a Groupon for photo cards. We had no good photos of us. We had procrastinated far too long.

But then I had a brilliant idea! What about photos of us as children on Santa's lap? I always cried in mine, and apparently my husband always inherently knew that the scary fat man was the key to Christmas winning, so he always smiled like a fucking angel. I found a card that said "Naughty or Nice" and the idea was born into fruition.

Now these photos are faded and dated. I didn't think anyone would misunderstand who these kids were. But instead, I have received multiple questions. "Who are those kids?" "They can't be your kids, they must be your friends kids." "Did you adopt those kids?" FML.

What I wouldn't give to get little clones of me and my husband just like those kids on my Christmas card. I know he was a pain in the ass to parent, and I wasn't a piece of cake either, but I'd take it. Or how incredibly impossible would it be to adopt two small children that looked so much like us?

Seeing family for Christmas will be hard, with all those kids running around. I can only hope that the people I don't like won't be there, because it's hard enough being around those whose company I enjoy.

Anyway, moral of the story: Don't put photos of any kids (even you) on your cards if you don't want the Spanish Inquisition.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

January. Rife With Possibility.

I believe I've already mentioned my current obsession with brown butter. I am blaming brown butter on everything that is wrong with the world. Namely, why none of my clothes fit.

As usual, my continually expanding waistline will be cut off from sugar, brown butter and all that is delicious right after Christmas, and then I would like to start a Whole30 on January 2. You know, right after a NYE of drinking followed by a New Year's Day of mimosas.

That's the thing about weight loss New Year's resolutions - so much debauchery has occurred in the preceeding 6 weeks, that you're practically sick of eating all this crap. I know my heartburn has come back with a vengance. Sugar and wine. Fuck. Two of my favorite things. I just have to get through the next few days and then I can eat like a human again. I'm sure you're wondering why I can't eat normal now? BECAUSE IT'S CHRISTMAS! And I have no will power.

Oh yeah, and I'll be joining a gym. Mostly because running in the snow sucks. But also because I'm so out of shape - tight, inflexible, weak, flabby. But once again, I have been waiting until after Christmas, because I can't see paying for 4 days of the gym when I won't be in town. Ridiculous? Yes. But that's how my mind works.

I do have visions of me looking hot. What's sad though is I haven't looked hot in 10 years. Even after losing all the weight with Weight Watchers, followed by losing weight with My Fitness Pal, followed by losing weight with Dietbet, and finally with Paleo/Grain Free.

Maybe I should settle for fitting into my pants without a muffin top the size of California.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh, The Holidays

It just wouldn't be the holidays without me trying to cram far too much into too little time.

I got my cards out early, I got my shopping done and wrapped. I baked cookies. I should be ahead of the game!

Except my husband (and some other person in my household, ahem) ate most of the cookies, so I had to bake more. Last night. After spending the evening with friends I haven't seen in months. So I may or may not have been awake past 1:00 am last night this morning. I have to bake more tonight, and hubby is trying to get me to go to dinner with his friends in a town 25 minutes away.

*yawn*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Random thoughts on a Tuesday that is really really close to Christmas

Browned butter is the most amazing thing I have ever tasted.

Why do I feel like I am constantly expanding?

I can't fucking believe I double paid my property taxes right before Christmas.

Why does that one person think it's appropriate to wear things like that to the office?

Wait, Christmas is NEXT WEEK?



Saturday, December 13, 2014

You like what I did there?

Don't you just love it when bloggers disappear for months, only to reappear for one post and then disappear again?

I didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5.5 Months

Did anyone miss me? I feel like I've had a lot to say, but not the energy to say it. It's not that life is bad, life is good. As good as I could ever ask for.

So why did I go mute?

Sometimes I'm not sure how to say the things I feel like talking about. Sometimes I just don't feel like putting it out into the universe. Sometimes, I'm just overwhlemed. Over summer I started a new job, and we moved to a bigger place. We're still not completely unpacked. Spare time is precious. I've been knitting. I've been reading. I should spend more time cleaning. You know, the usual.

The things that are on my mind these days....

Why am I still fat? Oh, I know - I don't work out often enough and I'm not on top of the food I eat. It's pretty much been a free for all since I started the new job. Whoops.... I'm not about to fix my diet right now, the freaking holidays are almost here. I see a whole30 in the new year. And I'm joining a gym. I'm still a bit pissed that after so much time eating real food, etc. that I didn't lose an ounce that whole fucking time. I'll start my no sugar, no fruit, no grain, no dairy thing after the new year and if that doesn't work, I'll go back to starving myself at 1200 calories a day. No, not really, but I have to threaten something.

I'm running a marathon. I know I said I haven't been working out. But I have been running. Not enough, I'm not 100% on the training schedule, but I have been getting my long runs in. I feel slow and fat and icky, but I'm getting the miles in. The race is in March. I'm really hoping the first two months of 2015 bring a little speed.

Infertility. I'm not sure when I'm going to learn. I find myself still getting caught up in the surprise of others getting pregnant around me. I don't know why it shocks and saddens me still so much. I mean, I should be used to it now, right? I've found myself wanting to be pregnant, making sure I time sex around ovulation, etc. I've also been annoying my poor husband to start eating healthier. He doesn't listen really, which pisses me off. He refuses to discuss it. I'm probably acting a little crazy. I'm certainly not hopeful though. Which probably sounds weird to those not familiar with the crazy infertility brings.

On the other side, other people's kids have been driving me batty. Maybe it's because I'm pissed off I can't have my own. I'm having a holiday party Saturday and half the food there will be spiked. And none of my friends are bringing kids. If they did, they'd have little drunkards on their hands because the cake will be spiked, the jello will be spiked and the cookies will be rum balls. I suppose they can have some of the unspiked apps, but honestly, is there a child on this planet that is going to be able to ignore the cookies?

I am going to make it a goal to blog more. In fact, I'll be keeping it on my daily to-do's. How am I supposed to become some great famous internet personality if I don't actually blog? HA! I did see that movie "Sex Tape" and it was a little annoying that she was this famous mommy blogger. I can't even be a mommy blogger. Maybe I can be a dog-mommy blogger? RIIIIGHT.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coppertone Clearly Sheer Review


As a Bzzagent, I sometimes get to try products for free. However, I have been going through a major hippie phase as any regular reader of mine might already know. I have turned down a lot of products from Bzzagent because they are processed, contain GMO's, have soybean oil in them etc. However, when I was offered the chance to try a bottle of Coppertone Clearly Sheer, I accepted. I still go out and spend time in the sun. Maybe too much time in the sun? Possibly. Which means I do have to don sunblock once in a while.

I don't wear sunscreen daily any longer because of all the chemicals that are in the products I used to use. I mean, who wants to get cancer by trying to prevent cancer? Plus I can use a little more Vitamin D! I regularly use coconut oil though, and that has a natural bit of SPF in it. However, when I am running or hiking outside I need something stronger, and something that isn't going to be greasy or running into my eyes, so I was excited to give the Coppertone Clearly Sheer a try.


I have used it several times now, and the feel is really delicious. Moisturizing, but leaving no residue or greasiness. I used the SPF 30 version and did not get burned at any point. I also wore it when I was very active (read: SWEATING) and did not get any in my eyes, nor did it slide off with sweat.

Now, I was concerned about the ingredients, i.e. chemicals that can harm me over the long run. After Searching the EWG website for the suspect, almost unpronounceable ingredients, here is what I came up with:

Avobenzone - Low hazard
Homosalate - Moderate hazard
Octisalate - Moderate hazard
Octocrylene - Moderate hazard
Dimethicone - Moderate hazard
Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate - Low hazard
Ethylhexyl Isononanoate - Not much information, but doesn't look completely dire
Galactoarabinan - Minimal hazard
Glycerol Stearate - Low hazard
PEG-100 Stearate - Moderate hazard
Silica - Low hazard
Styrene - HIGH HAZARD
Acrylates Copolymer - Low hazard
Benzyl Alcohol - Moderate hazard
Triethanolamine - Moderate hazard
Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer - Not much information, but doesn't look completely dire
Tocopherol (Vitamin E) - Low hazard
Carbomer - Low hazard
Chlorphenesin - Low hazard
Disodium EDTA - Low hazard
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate - Low hazard

I did not google ingredients such as water, beeswax, and glycerin.

Overall, I have to say I am somewhat surprised at the lower scores of most of the ingredients. Now if Coppertone could just remove the Styrene, I might actually purchase this sunblock. The only other ingredient that might be suspect is "Fragrance" because it did have the iconic Coppertone scent that is probably laden with Pthalates. Sigh.

My final review is because the feel is so lovely, I would be willing to wear this sunblock on a VERY limited basis when I actually need a higher SPF, but since chemical overload is so prevalent in the world today, I will probably reference this list when choosing my next sunscreen. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Grocery Budget

Looking at the popular posts on my blog, I'm noticing some most of you don't really care about the ones focused on my grocery budget. That, combined with the difficulty of collecting receipts from my husband, and the general tedium of logging all the details of what I buy an make for dinner, makes me feel like I need to stop. Basically, I have yet to really hit the budget I've set out and knowing that I'm never going to resort to ramen if I'm in danger of exceeding my budget.

So, if you really love these posts, let me know. Otherwise, I'll try to find something else to bore you with. :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Home?

I went home this weekend.

Not really, but that's the only way I can describe it. It was my home for seven and a half years. I moved because I hated it there. Maybe not in my particular home, but the area, city, county. I hated the people. Not my neighbors, but all the nameless people that I did not know but still acted like their needs trumped mine.

I hadn't been there for several years, and being there was surreal. As I sat in the living room, I remembered the last few months I lived there. That was the room I was in when my RE and Team told me I was pregnant over the phone. That was also the room where I waited for my husband to bring me a bottle of wine after the heartbeat-less ultrasound.

Sitting my the pool, remembering the last time I sat by that pool, I was still pregnant. I couldn't swim, so my husband and neighbors set up a low beach chair on the side so I could dangle my feet in.

Shopping in the Costco where we bought the most beautiful crib on clearance, taking the chance that all would be fine with the pregnancy for a crib that I fell in love with and was such a great price. The same crib we returned about two months later.

Walking through the Target where I bought my first maternity shirt because it was cute, on sale and I was feeling hopeful. I never took that one back. It's still in a box. I wish I could say somewhere, but I know exactly where.

Walking through the park where I was going to take my kids to see movies and dance to live music and  play.

I never want to live there again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Heartbroken

A friend of mine left us and this world today. She also left behind her husband and two small girls. The disease she had was Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersensitivity_pneumonitis. Basically it was nothing specific to her, except that she was more sensitive to it. Any of us could get it by breathing in the wrong things.

I can't help but think "why her?" Why not me? Why not an evil person that hurts others? Why not a person who hurts animals or children?

The universe does not make sense today.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Grocery Budget Results

Vons 5/18
Lea and Perrins $4.19
Coors Light $6.09
Total $10.86

Vons 5/19
2 dozen Happy Eggs $8.98
Ammonia $2.49
Chicken Thighs $17.61
Organic chicken thighs $11.41
Bananas $1.76
Bok Choy $1.79
Ginger $0.32
Serrano peppers $0.25
Cilantro $0.34
8 lb bag oranges $7.99
Mushrooms $7.96
Organic Romaine $5.00
Organic baby spinach $3.89
Kombucha $2.55
Total: 72.58

Vons 5/20
Ground pasilla pepper $2.38
Ground New Mexico Chili $1.19
Chile de arbol $1.09
Total: $4.66

Trader Joe's 5/25
Bag of organic red onions  $3.49
Mango smoothie juice $3.04
4 large artichokes $3.96
Peachy Canyon red wine $8.99
Bag of lemons $1.49
2 bags roasted cashews $14.98
Bag of avocados $3.49
Bag of limes $2.49
Turkey Sandwich $3.99
Bag of oranges $4.49
Bananas $2.09
Bag of grapefruit $3.99
Bag of sweet potatoes $3.99
Bag fee (because my husband didn't bring a reusable bag) $0.10
Total: $60.30

Month total: $496.25

First of all, I'm wondering if I forgot to include a receipt since I actually hit our budget. Second, Seriously, the husband needs to stop grocery shopping, and/or demanding stupid frivolous things. Of course, I've been hitting the kombucha pretty hard too...

Sunday May 18: Filet and Artichokes
Monday May 19: Chicken breasts with sweet potatoes and salad
Tuesday May 20: Asian chicken soup with bok choy
Wednesday May 21: Chicken curry with rice and spinach
Thursday May 22: Pollo asada (book club night)
Friday May 23: Leftovers
Saturday May 24: Leftovers
Sunday May 25: Leftovers
Monday May 26: Burgers with sauteed mushrooms, and caramelized onions 
Tuesday May 27: Tri tip and artichokes
Wednesday May 28: Grass fed beef taco salads
Thursday May 29: Hot Italian pork sausage with salad and artichokes 
Friday May 30: ground beef taco salads
Saturday May 31: tri tip with artichokes

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hiatus

Yes, I've been absent. Not blogging my positivity, not thanking the universe for those things I am grateful for. While I am trying to be super positive, we all know that it does not come naturally for me. As always, I seem to be struggling with optimal health. I'm perfectly fine, but not perfect, and my regular doctor doesn't see any issues. I guess I should be fine with that, because what would she do about it anyway? Try to put me on drugs that I won't take anyway?

And I've been worried about some friends. It seems hard to be positive when you don't believe in a supreme being with a master plan.

However, I saw this today. It made me laugh and it also made me feel a bit more introspective than I would otherwise, so enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lists

I feel better today. Thank you for your comments and encouragement. It wasn't a perfect day, but I got a lot done on my day off, which always puts me in a better mood. I have an ambitious to do list for tomorrow as well. Bring it on!

As always, hubby came home late, but since I was off, I had dinner ready and we could relax and watch a movie. I'll sleep well tonight.

Today I am grateful for a warm home. I am grateful for snugly dogs. I am grateful for good books.

My random act of kindness today was letting a gentleman go ahead of me in line at the grocery store. I had a half full cart and he had just a few items in his arms.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Insecurity

It only takes one minute event to shake my confidence. Last night was a wonderful party, there were a lot of people I don't get to see often. I'm glad I went. But it was also a lesson in how fragile my self esteem actually is.

There were speeches, discussing this woman's wonderful career. Her persistence, her tenacity and her incredible instinct for business. And this reminded me how different I am from her. I immediately began to think I didn't have any of those things. I thought about where I am now compared to where she was at my age, and I start feeling inadequate. I don't know where I am going with this job. I love it, but I don't see much room for growth. I still feel like I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm fucking 40 years old.

Then during her speech, she didn't mention me. I'm not saying I expected it, but it would have been nice. I realize she had a bigger impact on me than I did on her. But she did mention the person who took over my position when I left, and said she was like a daughter to her. Sting. Then she said that this person's daughter was a granddaughter to her. Double sting.

Of course, then the floodgates opened. Now I'm feeling insecure, not good enough because I have no career AND I have no children. I guess more people are willing to overlook the childless thing if you're a big career power player, right? And those with children can get away with not being as aggressive in the business world. And I'm suddenly feeling fat, sad, old, slow... you name it, I felt it.

But, my daily blog is supposed to be about being positive for a change. So what good can come of this? At least I'm more aware of what makes me feel this way, and knowing is half the battle. Knowing means I can reverse these feelings with meditation, positive self talk and mantras. So that's what I'm working on today.

Today, I'm grateful for all of you. Those who I know read and don't comment, but especially those who do leave me a note once in a while. Knowing that you're there and even remotely interested in my life does make me feel better. I'm also grateful for my resilience - how many times have I gone to a very dark place and recovered. I'm grateful I didn't go too far down the road of self destruction this time before realizing and making an effort to rectify. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head and enough money to buy healthy food for everyone in my family.

I have to remember that money and possessions aren't important. That if I have a job I like and I make enough to survive and have a little fun, that's enough.

My random act of kindness today - I technically have two. I gave my husband's cousin vouchers for a free ski ticket today, and I helped a family from India get the most out of their visit to the mountains. Having them thank me profusely and walk away with a smile, on their way to an adventure, was awesome.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Strong Women

Tonight I am going to celebrate the retirement of the best boss I've ever had. I haven't worked for her in ten years but I am happy to still be in contact with her. I learned a lot from her, and she is the reason I have my current job, the one that I love. Many talk about her, say she is a bitch, or worse. Really, the only thing she is guilty of is being a woman in a male-centric industry. In many ways, she has to be tougher than a man just to compete on an even playing field. She wasn't perfect, but she was supportive and protective of those that worked for her and did a good job. She never had children, claimed she never wanted them, but in many ways, I was one of her kids. I will miss her, but she is off to the next great adventure of her life and I wish her well.

I'm also out of new gratitudes, but I think it's okay to repeat some. It reminds me I have things to be grateful for, right? I'm so grateful for where I live today. I would love to be closer to my family, but this area is so beautiful and there is so much to do. I am grateful I don't have a long commute. I am grateful that we aren't breathing the smoke from the fires in southern California.

My random act of kindness today is allowing my coworker to get a lot of work done while I took over his business for the day, from open to close. In the immortal words of Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle, "Thank God for me." LOL

May Budget and Meal Plan

Von's 5/2
Mexican style beans $0.00
Gluten free crackers $0.00
The Happy Egg Company Dozen $4.49
2 mangos $1.00
Asparagus $2.28
Crimini Mushrooms $2.96
Coors Light $5.79
Total: 17.40

Amish Farm 5/7
2.12 lbs ground pork $12.72
1.03 lbs ground pork with organs $6.70
3.05 lbs hot Italian rope sausage $21.35
8 dozen eggs $48.00
Kombucha Ginger $5
Kombucha cranberry $5
Shipping $29.63
Total: $128.40

Trader Joe's 5/7
Electrolyte water $2.78
4 cans Coconut milk $3.96
Pet treats $2.49
Dog treats $2.99
Cashew Pieces $4.99
Whole organic cashews $7.99
Chia seeds $4.99
Coconut water $2.99
Cashew meal $4.99
Bag of lemons $1.49
8 artichokes $4.58
2 jars almond butter $13.98
Peanut butter $2.49
2 cans crushed tomatoes $3.18
Marinated mushrooms $2.99
Snack stick $0.99
Everyday seasoning $1.99
Spicy mustard $0.99
Thai chili paste $0.99
Sesame oil $2.29
Turmeric $1.99
Bananas $1.71
Total: 78.27

Von's 5/14
Pepper jack - $8.79
Red onion - $3.96
White onion - $1.48
Cilantro - $0.34
Bag of key limes - $4.49
Bob's Blue Cheese Dressing - $4.49
Ballast Point Beer - $8.04
Total: $32.35 - this is a perfect example as to how my husband should NEVER be allowed to grocery shop.

Trader Joe's 5/13
Olive oil $5.99
2 packages artichokes $4.58
Roasted salted cashews $6.99
3 lb bag organic sweet potatoes $3.99
Walnuts $7.99
2 lb bag apples $1.99
4 lb bag oranges 3.49
Organic garlic $1.49
Probiotics $14.99
Bananas $1.14
Total: 54.69

Whole Foods 5/13
Real salt shaker $3.99
Walnut oil $6.99
Almond oil $9.99
Vitamin water $1.59
Kombucha $2.99
Castor oil $10.39
Total: $36.74

Total this month: $347.85

I'm already mentally avoiding being over budget this month - I completely forgot to place my Amish farm order for the end of the month! Which means I will be keeping my fingers crossed that Von's has the Happy Eggs (the closest thing to my farm fresh eggs that's available in the local store). I really should be under budget this month, since we have been traveling or going to parties for half the freaking month so far. Unfortunately, that means we're over budget in almost every other aspect. Le sigh.

Thursday May 1: Italian sausage with salad and artichokes
Friday May 2: Grilled steak with salad, asparagus, mushrooms and grilled sweet potato wedges
Saturday May 3: Grassfed Beef burgers with roasted beets and cauliflower
Sunday May 4 - 6: Traveling for a funeral :(
Wednesday May 7: London Broil, salad and artichokes with homemade mayo
Thursday May 8: Spicy Italian Sausage in a homemade tomato sauce with peppers and spaghetti squash
Friday May 9: Balsamic Dijon chicken breasts with green salad
Saturday May 10: Chicken vegetable soup with bone broth
Sunday May 11: Out to eat
Monday May 12: Traveling!
Tuesday May 13: Traveling
Wednesday May 14: Leftover chicken soup and beef taco salads
Thursday May 15: Birthday party
Friday May 16: Pollo asada with salad and artichokes
Saturday May 17: Retirement Party


Friday, May 16, 2014

Positivity

I do feel like I am living a more positive life, already. Many times during the day I think about something that is wrong, or not going the way I would like, but I then think about the positive spin I can put on it. If I can't think of a positive spin, I do find myself not worrying about it too much, and able to focus on the things that are good in my life. Such as "Don't sweat the small stuff, and most of it is small stuff!"

I have been watching presentations on the Thyroid Sessions, since along with fatigued adrenals, my thyroid is operating on a sub par basis. I have learned so much, but the information is overwhelming, you know? So many people, even if they are on the same page, they don't have the same opinions. I'm doing my best trying to decipher as best I can, what I should be doing. I don't think I've mentioned it, but while I have been eating mostly whole30-ish, I haven't stayed on whole30. What have I cheated on? A little wine here and there, and I did eat gluten while we were out of town for the funeral, and I had tortilla chips and a margarita on Mother's Day. Far from perfect, but that's okay. I forgive myself. I'm also spending more time accepting myself instead of telling myself I need to lose weight, run more, fit into those pants, etc. America the Beautiful, yo!

Today, I am grateful for my sense of humor. I'm also grateful for my real estate broker for getting my place rented! Last, I am grateful that my friends, their families and their homes are currently safe from the wildfires in San Diego. Fingers crossed that the rest of this fire season is uneventful for them.

My random act of kindness today was to dye my husband's hair. He can't do it himself, and he's not ready to be Clooney yet. Don't tell him I told you! ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Afternoons in the Park

Today was a quiet, uneventful day at work followed by a small birthday celebration for a friend in the park. The best part about it is we could take the pup.You know, the super energetic crazy pup? Taking him made all the difference between relaxing tonight and not.

Today I am grateful for good friends, warm weather and happy dogs.

My random act of kindness, which was not so random, was going to my friend's birthday celebration and not nagging my husband about being the only one to bring charcoal, chips, beer, etc.


Anxiety

I had a minor panic attack today. Life was good, I was thinking positive and focusing on the happy. However, I got home and someone had dumped a bunch of cigarette butts on top of our wood pile. There was also a bottle of fuel stabilizer and a bit of charcoal. I have to say I freaked out. It's been three dry years in a row, and there are at least nine fires in Southern California. There were several fires that burned out of control last summer that killed our air quality, and we live right on a forest parcel in the middle of town. I just thought that it someone were trying to start a fire, it would be devastating to so many around us, but even worse, my poor dogs would likely burn to death. That thought alone threw me into a panic attack.

Side note: there are many people who would say I don't understand a mother's love because I don't have a child. However, I would be willing to bet they don't know the ferocity with which I love my dogs.

It took a few deep breaths, and a lot of talking - to my mom, my husband, my neighbors, and friends, and I finally calmed down. We figured out that whoever did this was probably not trying to start a fire, but just being stupid. The bucket of cigarette butts was from the upstairs unit where nobody is currently living, and the fuel stabilizer was also up there. It looks as though some kids got up there and just dumped stuff off the balcony. It also raised other concerns - I have been hearing things that sounded like someone upstairs, but I blew it off, thinking it must be the neighbors next door. However, when discussing the incident with my neighbors, they have also been hearing strange noises, and apparently so has my husband. I let our management office know and they are going to go into the unit to look. So that's the positive that came out of this situation - I think it brought us all closer together.

Today I am grateful for my simpler life. Living in a small town in the mountains and having a job that doesn't have long hours and is flexible, really gives me the freedom to do so many things, including giving blood, while also getting exercise and fresh air, wearing out my pups, etc. I am also grateful for my neighbors - even though they can annoy me sometimes, they are a good group and we watch out for each other.

My random act of kindness today is giving blood. I really wanted to donate double red blood cells, but they weren't looking for my blood type. They still wanted my pint though! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Day Late

But it was worth it. I spent the 24 hours between Monday night and Tuesday Night on a whirlwind road trip with my husband and dogs. It was exhausting. It was a lot of driving. But it was also 24 hours I wouldn't have been able to spend with my husband otherwise.

I could dwell on not getting my normal sleep, the sheer number of hours I sat in the car, that I didn't get my run in, that my steps were far less than 10,000 (my daily minimum goal) and I ate off plan (WAY off plan!) but isn't time with your loved ones worth it? I'm reminding myself this as I sit here bleary eyed.

During the drive we were able to talk, to admire the beauty around us, and just be together. He took me to his favorite lake, where he learned to water ski, and we walked around with the dogs. Being in a car together for that long tends to grate on everyone's nerves - LOL the dogs had a minor altercation, but nobody was hurt so I know it was just squabbling and not true aggression. Hubby and I waited far too long to eat lunch and we were both a grumpy mess, but we were able to minimize the lashing out at each other. I'm really proud at how patient we were with each other!

We were able to have good, uninterrupted conversations on how we are going to improve our everyday life. He already knows he spends too much time at work. I expressed how having a crazy, disorganized house makes me feel and he agreed. I also told him how I want to prioritize sleep more, since many days he comes home so late that after we have dinner and spend some time together, its usually 11pm or later. I feel good for the future.

The three things I was grateful for yesterday: Being able to read - There was some downtime while hub was doing some work stuff and I am in the middle of a long but very good Wally Lamb. Not only am I reading an amazing story, but I'm also able to pass time in a more productive way than looking at Facebook (although I did a lot of that as well haha). I'm grateful that we were able to complete our trip with no incidents, accidents or injuries. I'm grateful to see a little more of what makes the person that is my husband. :)

I did not meditate, however. Unless you count being in nature meditation? ;)

I had limited access to people yesterday, but I was nice and smiled at every person in Whole Foods. And I was nice to my husband LOL

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spontaneous

Today my husband asked me if I wanted to do a day trip to Lake Tahoe. I'm off tomorrow so I said yes. :)

I've been watching a bunch of documentaries on Netflix. The problem with that is I get very discouraged with the state of our country. In the last couple of weeks, I've watched documentaries about how an unrealistic ideal of beauty and/or weight has been crammed down our children's throats, how corporations are buying judges, how our government helps companies like Monsanto, shuts down small farms and refuses to ban harmful ingredients in cosmetics, and what a sham the pink ribbon campaigns are.

But I can't let this bring me down. I have to find the positive. At least people are making these documentaries. At least they are available on Netflix. I know the word is getting out, because I knew most of what I saw before I saw it. Knowing what I know helps me educate others, and maybe, eventually, this will change. Regardless, if I am educated, and can make decisions for myself. For example, I threw away about 75% of my makeup today. The only things I kept were things I couldn't find on my Skin Deep app and seemed fairly innocuous. I'm going to move towards making as much as I can to avoid as many toxins as possible.

Today, I am grateful for a good trail run through the forest. I am grateful my friend Laura is stable and still on the transplant list. I am grateful that we didn't hit a deer on our way up to Tahoe.

My random act of kindness... I know I must have done something, but I can't think of what.

I did complete an 8 minute meditation with a mb aromatherapy bath soak.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Image Crafting

The dangers of Image Crafting

What an interesting article! I have fallen victim to this phenomenon time and time again. Most of the time, it's more me being jealous of everyone else. Everyone else has a perfect life. They have perfect husbands. They have perfect kids. They do perfect things, have perfect vacations. I find myself getting caught up in jealous thoughts, wishing that I had kids, wishing my marriage was a little better, wishing I could afford extravagant vacations and yummy dinners out.

I have to remember that nobody's life is perfect, despite what they post online. That I am lucky to have the means to travel and the biggest reason I don't go to Europe or Mexico is because I don't like to leave my dogs behind. I live in a beautiful place, and while my marriage is not perfect, it's good. I don't have the children I wished I could, but I also don't have the tantrums, headaches and minor inconveniences that go with them. Life is good if you choose to look at it the right away.

Today, I am grateful for my mother - she's my best friend and I am able to talk to her almost every day. I am grateful that I have taken control of my eating and embraced real food in order to heal my body. I am grateful for Netflix that allows me to watch all kinds of awesome documentaries (as well as How I Met Your Mother).

My random acts of kindness today are a bit of a cheat, but I know working the front lines at work today made many people's day today. Plus I make my coworker laugh. That's a random act of kindness, right? ;)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Letting Go

Today I got to work with some fun people - it just makes the day so much better. I'm also looking forward to a fun afternoon with friends and family, and a quiet night at home with my husband and dogs.

I also had the opportunity to watch a video session online about the role of the thyroid as it applies to conception/infertility, and at the end they spoke about stress. About how holding on to negative emotions, grudges, having resentments, etc. can affect your health. This made me so happy that I am doing this grateful, positive challenge and meditating. I've always wondered if people were turned off by the negative tone of so many of my blog posts. I feel like I needed that then - being positive just doesn't work when you've just miscarried and really don't have the option to get pregnant again. But now that I'm years beyond that experience, I feel like I'm ready. I'm even ready to let go of my hatred towards my old boss/ex-friend. I'm excited about this journey - I've let her get to me for so long, and it's time I let her go instead.

Today, I am grateful for the comfort of my life, that I don't live in a third world country, can afford to feed myself, live under a roof and have the means to make life more comfortable and enjoyable. I am grateful for good friends, the ones that I have been able to hug in person as well as the ones I have yet to meet face to face, for their support is what has gotten me through the last 5.5 years. I am grateful thst I was able to try three rounds of IVF, so that I could end my quest for biological children knowing that I did everything possible and have no regrets or what if's floating around in my brain.

Today my random act of kindness will be to donate to a friend who is doing a walk to support women's cancers.

See you tomorrow loves xoxo

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Gratitude

Today's installment of Let's Think Positive and Live Longer, brought to you by Stop, Breathe and Think, my new iphone app that guides me through short meditations!

One of the four things is meditating daily, and I have NEVER been one to meditate. I mean, I have done the yoga thing, including the end of yoga thing, but I have never been able to actually sit down to meditate. This app was free, and I love that while adults can use it, it seems to have been created to help school aged children get more connected with their minds, thoughts and feelings in order to be more balanced kids. I think that's a wonderful thing! It has a section that explains how meditation can help, and how you can do it.

If you're not an app person, one of the blogs I follow posted about meditation as well.

My loving husband, who I know I complain about more than he deserves, asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. This might not seem like a positive thing, coming from an infertile and childless woman, but it touched me. It wasn't just him asking what I wanted to do on that day, he was asking me because I am a mother in his eyes. I didn't ask if he thinks of me only as a mother to our dogs, or if he is thinking of me as the mother to our angel baby, but it touched me just the same. He's a stereotypical guy, and never really wants to discuss things like my miscarriage, so I don't dare ask. But that moment of him asking me, because to him, it was my day, made me feel validated for the work we did and the sad experience we went through. Even though other people won't look at me as a mother, the one person that really matters does. Now I just have to figure out what I want to do that day! Let me know if you have any ideas.

Three Gratitudes for Today:
1. Grateful for my dogs - they truly love me unconditionally and nothing heals your soul faster than puppy kisses
2. Grateful I have a secure job that I enjoy 99% of the time
3. Grateful my husband chops wood and makes me fires when it is cold :)

My Random Act of Kindness - reaching out to another childless friend to say hi and that I'm thinking of her

One more thing for the childless mothers, this is a beautiful post by my lovely friend Amel. I'll be thinking of all my childless by chance friends on Sunday.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gaining another 10 years of life

While I was sick last week, I watched some Ted Talks, specifically ones about Lifehacks. This one really spoke to me, and it felt like something I could actually do. Therefore, for 21 days, I am going to try and complete the following:

1. Journal something positive
2. Write down three things I am grateful for
3. Practice a random act of kindness
4. Meditate

I'll start right now.

My husband and I just got back from a trip to attend his grandmother's funeral. Obviously, it was a sad occassion and the traveling itself was equally as draining. However, it's times like these that make me remember the kind of man I married. We have an amazing connection and being with him, in daily life, on vacation and traveling for not so fun circumstances just reminds me that he's awesome.

My three gratitides for today:
1. The use of my legs - I can't even imagine not being able to run or even walk
2. Living in the mountains. Please never let me forget the amazing place I live in
3. My mom - always supportive and my friend. We have the most amazing discussions and debates. Especially after seeing my Mother in Law and her siblings at their mother's funeral, I'm not looking forward to that. I hope it doesn't happen for many, many years, but I am grateful to have her in my life now.

My random act of kindness today is to send a small gift to a friend.

xoxo to all of you

Sunday, May 4, 2014

NIAW MIA

I just realized that I didn't post a single thing for NIAW.

I guess I just don't feel connected any longer. I see RESOLVE as the advocate for the mothers who struggled to get there and the women who will be mothers after their own struggle. I feel so removed from even my own struggle, but as we all know, there is no baby in my life, nor really any chance of a baby in the future.

RESOLVE is all about hope. Where do you go when you no longer have any?

I'm actually in a much better place mentally without hope and RESOLVE. I was able to look at a baby 2 feet away from me, discuss why I'm not going to have kids, and I didn't cry. Didn't even tear up. I was so PROUD of myself.

I'm doing good.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

More CSA Decisions

So I signed up for the less expensive CSA with mostly leafy greens. Now that I've done that, a friend wants to split it with me. It might seem like a lot, but we eat a lot of vegetables, especially with me eating Whole30ish most of the time now. She wants to split it because this purveyor stopped selling at the farmers market because he does all CSA and sells to local restaurants, and she misses buying his greens.

If I don't split it with her, I think I could get away with just the CSA box without much additional purchasing. If I split it with her, I know I won't have enough vegetables from the CSA and will definitely have to buy additional. So my options are to A. Not split it with her, B. Split it with her and supplement with farmers market and grocery store or C. Split it with her and join the other CSA as well.

Money-wise, it breaks down like this:

A. Don't split it - This will be $30 a week spent on produce, which leaves $350-$380 a month ($70-$95 a week) for other grocery items. I know this seems like a lot. Writing this out makes me wonder where it all goes!

B. Split it - This reduces my CSA spend to $15 a week (assuming we split it equally), which gives me $425 - $440 a month ($85-$110 a week) to spend on other items, including produce from the farmers market.

C. Split it and join the other CSA. This is probably the most expensive and risky option. The other CSA is $37.50 a week, which would take my weekly produce spend to $52.50 a week, probably higher than it needs to be. If I did this, leaving me from $237.50 - $290 for other groceries. I guess I should look at it like this too: that's only $47.50 - $72.50 a week for other things. Considering I spend approximately $20 a week in eggs alone, plus another $20 per week on whole chickens, that's probably not feasible.

Ok, now that I've put it all down on paper, I guess I am leaning towards option B. I help my friend (my random act of kindness for today) and I also give myself some flexibility on what else I can purchase.

If you were in my position, what would you do?


Friday, May 2, 2014

Now That I've Calmed Down...

There really are more important things than not being able to do the full marathon I wanted to do. I chose to do this race so that I could fundraise to find a cure for cancer. I am lucky that the decision between the half and the full is even a consideration. With so many of my friends currently battling cancer, as well as the friends and family I have lost during my own lifetime, how can I be so ungrateful for the health I have?

I'm still trying to figure out what I will do with my race, but it's not life or death, so I will figure it out. Thanks for letting me have my pity party freakout!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rug Pulled

Yesterday I got word that my Nike Women's Marathon race would no longer be a marathon. Oh, they're still doing a race, but only a half marathon. This may seem really odd, especially to a non-marathoner, but I'm super bummed. Why?

1. My fundraising is/was based on me running a marathon. I know of many people who donated because I was running a full. I also have used the 26.2 miles to garner more money.

2. I've run the Nike half, and it was a total clusterfuck. I swore I would never do it again, that doubling my distance under any conditions was going to be 1000 times better than finishing the Nike half with 20,000 other women pushing and shoving to get their blue box and a photo with the firemen of their choice. I would love to finish in a low stress environment, take my necklace, maybe snap a single photo and then have a chance to cool down. Unfortunately, in the half, you are lucky to cross the finish line before you have to stop.

3. I really had a goal to PR my marathon time. After years of lackluster training, IVF treatments preventing me from running, life changes and weight gain, I just needed a goal. Raising money for LLS made me feel good in the random acts of kindness side, and the training is making me feel better physically. Having a goal is keeping me going.

I'm pretty lost right now. I'm waiting to hear back about if TNT will allow me to transfer my fundraising dollars to LA in the spring. If they don't, I have some decisions to make. I really want to run a marathon in the fall. TNT offered Chicago on 10/12 and Marine Corps the last Sunday of October. Unfortunately, not only will those events cost more than I can afford, they will take more vacation time than I have reserved, and they conflict with my schedule. I'm kinda not sure what I will do if they won't allow me to transfer to LA. I really feel I need to run a marathon in the fall, and no other marathon seems to fit my schedule. I also don't want to support Nike and this race. I know they don't care. I know they have a take it or leave it attitude. As far as I'm concerned, they can GO FUCK THEMSELVES for ignoring those who want to challenge themselves, and pandering to the majority.

Needless to say, I'm PISSED at Nike for this bullshit. This is the Nike Women's MARATHON. But no marathon. BULLSHIT.

April End of Month Grocery Results

Mexican Market 4/14
Pineapple
Avocado
Jicama
Limes
Tacos
Total: $11.00

Vons 4/14
Pepper jack cheese $8.79
Beer $8.08
Total: $17.64

Vons 4/15
Moroccan Spices $0 (free with coupon)
White cage free eggs (for coloring)
8 lbs Chicken breasts $15.92
2 packages Organic Chicken thighs $16.01
4 lbs Grass Fed ground beef $14.36 (Even though I have ground beef left from my cow, this was half price - I just threw into my freezer)
2.55 lb bananas $1.50
Lemon $0.50
2 cucumbers $1.00
2 jumbo artichokes $5.38
2 avocados $3.00
1.3 lb baby bok choy $1.55
2.42 lb Purple cabbage (will use some for coloring eggs)
Red beets $1.99 (will use the greens for breakfast and the peels to color eggs)
Organic golden beets $3.89 (will use the greens for breakfast and the peels to color eggs)
0.81 lbs Organic Italian Squash $1.85
Organic celery $1.79
2.54 lbs Organic Yams $4.29
0.54 lbs organic yellow squash
6 pack of organic romaine lettuce $5.00
Organic fresh oregano $2.29
Dulcinea tomatoes $4.29 (splurge, whoops, grabbed the wrong package)
Total: $101.97

Vons 4/16
Kingsford Charcoal (2 bags) $13.98
Lubricant eye drops $6.49
Cold medicine $5.59
Bananas $2.39
Total: $30.92

Vons 4/17
Ricola cough drops $1.99
2 packages Halls cough drops $5.58
Grassfed Stew Meat $6.92
Navel oranges $3.93
Coors Light $6.09
Total: $25.80

Vons 4/20
Haagen Dazs $2.99
McConnells ice cream $6.49
Bananas $2.09
Strawberries $3.99
Total $15.56

Vitacost Order 4/21
Vitacost Extra Virgin Certified Organic Coconut Oil 54 fl oz $21.99
Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner $4.99
Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil Refined Odorless & Flavorless 2 jars $11.20
4 Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste $13.16
6 Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened   $14.28
Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos  $ 5.19
$10.00 discount
Total $60.81

Vons 4/28
Pepper jack cheese $8.79
2 tubes toothpaste $4.98
Bananas $2.34
Roma tomatoes $3.40
3 avocados $5.00
Beets $1.33
2 large artichokes $6.98
5lb bag oranges $4.49
Organic romaine 6 heads $5.00
Organic celery hearts $2.99
2lbs organic carrots $2.29
Kombucha $3.04
Total $57.08

Month total $617.64

Here we go again... over budget. Gah. I'm obviously not so budget focused...

April 14 - Tri tip with jicama, avocado and pineapple salad
April 15 - Leftover chicken with salad
April 16 - Lettuce wrapped burgers with avocado
April 17 - Beef curry with Cauliflower rice
April 18 - Chicken soup with beet greens
April 19 - Leftover chicken soup
April 20 - Dinner made by friends :)
April 21 - Employee party with dinner provided
April 22 - Ground beef lettuce tacos and artichokes with homemade mayonnaise
April 23 - Roasted lemon oregano chicken with salad and roasted sweet potatoes
April 24 - Moroccan roasted chicken and beets
April 25 - Chicken vegetable soup
April 26 - Asian spiced lettuce wraps with sauteed cabbage
April 27 - Grilled grassfed London broil with artichokes and homemade mayonnaise
April 28 - Lettuce wrapped grassfed beef burgers with salad and grilled sweet potato fries
April 29 - Pork Italian sausage with spaghetti squash
April 30 - Dinner out

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life and Death

Life is fleeting, and death doesn't discriminate. I lost a friend this week to pancreatic cancer, and my friend Alethea is in the hospital, recovering from brain surgery and awaiting results of a biopsy.

Please take care of yourself. Please live life to the fullest. Nobody knows how many days we have on this earth.

I am putting all of my positive thoughts into Alethea's recovery. If you can help, please do: http://www.youcaring.com/Alethea

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gonna Do It Again

I have to say, Whole30 apparently grows on you. Aside from a bit of dairy, some wine and two coffees with sugar, I have stayed pretty much on the plan over the last two weeks. I feel like I have interest to try reintroducing non-gluten grains and legumes, but haven't really felt like it. Weird, right? I also notice that I need far, far less sugar in my coffee now. Yay!

Anyway, since I knew I couldn't be 100% perfect with my winter work situation, I had already planned on doing a second one after Easter. So here I am, starting another one on Tuesday, April 22.

This time I am going to be beyond strict. I know I wasn't being perfect when I ate out or after I read nutrition labels, and I learned a whole lot more stalking the Whole30 forums about things I'm not supposed to have but weren't obvious in the book. I also know I need to incorporate more veggies, especially at breakfast.

And, I am going to schedule my bloodwork and physical to coincide with the end of the 30 days. I'm really excited to see how all of this has been affecting my body! If you've been following my life for any length of time, you might remember I've had borderline blood sugar and cholesterol numbers for years and years, and have recently read many articles indicating both of those are related. Since I have mostly cut sugar (sweeteners and refined carbs) out of my diet but been eating a crap ton of eggs and saturated fats, I'll be really interested to see how that has helped or hurt my bloodwork numbers. Also, the constant inflammation my body must have been going through with eating gluten is also done, so with any luck, my bloodwork results will reflect that.

Anyone want to join me this time? I'm trying to talk my husband into it, but he's not convinced he needs to give up cheese. He has a major sweet tooth issue though, so I think this could only help him. Fingers crossed he will join me so he can also find better health.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Aptil Mid-Month Grocery Budget Check In

Vons 4/1
Bamboo shoots  $0.89
Water Chestnuts $0.89
2 Jars 16 oz Herdez salsa $3.30
24 oz Herdez salsa $2.50
Lite salt (for homemade sports drink) $2.99
Pepper jack cheese $7.99
Cage Free Eggs $4.39
Organic Eggs $5.19
Deli turkey $10.98
Bananas $2.49
Cauliflower $3.36
Red onion $1.92
Plantains $2.13
Baby Bok choy $2.26
Brussels sprouts $2.91
Garlic $0.58
Ginger $0.46
4 packages mushrooms $5.16
3 lbs mandarins $3.99
Organic romaine 6 heads $5.00
Organic carrots $2.29
Total: $71.67

Farm Delivery
12 Dozen Eggs (to get us through four weeks) $72
4 lbs Hot Italian pork sausage $28.21
Raw Greek yogurt $4.50
Shipping: $26.18
Total: $130.89

Vons 4/6
Diet soda (for H) $3.89
Seltzer water $1.29
Bananas $1.86
Lime $0.50
2 cucumbers $1.00
Yams $6.21
2 Avocados $3.00
Tomatoes $4.27
Spaghetti squash $3.65
Cilantro $0.34
Organic cauliflower $4.99
Strawberries $5.00
Total $39.49

Health Food Store 4/7
Whole chicken $10.76
Ground pork $4.76
Garlic $1.00
Total: $16.52

Local Bodega 4/10
2 Fulton farms chickens $38.29
Total: $38.29 

Mid Month Total: $296.86

I'm going to luck out this month too, because the next farm delivery is being pushed back a week into May. It meant I needed to beef up my order, but I'm ordering less from the farm anyway, because I've stopped drinking milk and I found a more local chicken option that's more reasonably priced and doesn't have shipping added. It is not organic, but it is antibiotic free and air chilled, and is also from the same state I live in. I will buy organic chickens when I see them in the health food store, but they didn't have any this week. :( I also had to do three fewer dinners in the first part of this month, because I had a client take us out to dinner and a charity event that I attended two nights in a row. That always helps!

Thinking ahead, I need to sign up for our CSA soon - I was considering joining a larger (and more expensive one) but I really like the guy who runs the smaller one. I guess doing this will reduce my target budget to $350-380 a month! I think the larger one has more selection (fruit, meat, eggs, etc.), but the smaller one (mostly salad greens, kale, etc. with a few other veggies mixed in) leaves another $30 a month for "other" produce purchases. I figure since you don't really have a choice of what you get in your CSA boxes, it's always nice to have a little extra cash to buy what you feel like. What do you think? What would you do?

Anyway, here are the details for dinners we made the first two weeks. I have got to get more creative with the beef roasts we have - they are so random, I'm not sure what to even do with them...

April 1 - leftover chicken soup
April 2 - lettuce wrapped beef burgers with sauteed mushrooms
April 3 - chicken legs and roasted broccoli 
April 4 - beef Thai curry with bok choy and cauliflower rice
April 5 - tri tip with baked sweet potatoes and balsamic mushrooms
April 6 - lettuce wrapped taco spiced burgers with avocado
April 7 - hot Italian pork sausage salads with strawberries and cream
April 8 - slow roasted chicken with roasted carrots 
April 9 - Pork lettuce wraps with bok choy
April 10 - dinner out with a client
April 11 - dinner out, charity event
April 12 - dinner out, charity event
April 13 - Roasted Chicken with carrots, sweet potatoes and cauliflower rice

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Whole30 is done!

I owe you guys an update on my Whole30!

It was actually really easy, once I got over the lack of wine. Ha! I suppose if you want to be a stickler, I didn't finish my Whole30 because I had a unexpected opportunity to taste some super expensive champagnes. I had less than an ounce each of four champagnes, so not terrible, but not on plan. It was day 28.

I did have a couple unintentional hiccups as well. I know my whole30 was a little compromised based on the meals I eat at work on weekends. I was able to choose on plan items, but I know at least once non-plan ingredients snuck into my meat and sometimes I wondered how clarified the clarified butter was, you know? The restaurant closes on Easter Sunday so I plan on starting a new whole30 after that day.

While I felt good, I never got the "Tiger Blood" effect some talk about. They say that nuts aren't actually that healthy, and I have trouble with eating appropriate amounts, so I might cut nuts from my diet. I only lost about three pounds, and of course silly me didn't take any measurements, but I don't think I lost that much size wise since I am still wearing the same clothes and can't fit into the pants I accidentally bought in a size smaller. I know I could be much better at eating on template. I tend to eat more fat and fewer carbs than suggested.

So far, I have only reintroduced dairy and wine, obviously the two things I can't bear to give up. Haven't noticed any odd reactions from either of those things, and I have tried butter, sour cream, yogurt and hard cheese. I have also done both red and white wine LOL Very important distinctions!

Anyway, I thought it was an awesome little test and I've realized I don't need a lot of things I thought I couldn't live without. I'm not really planning on adding much in the way of items banned on Whole30, and I'm kinda looking forward to another one!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Final March Groceries and Dinners Results

Health Food Store 3/19
0.29 lbs pumpkin seeds $1.70
0.28 lbs dates $2.10
0.98 lbs organic walnuts $8.22
1.07 lbs organic almonds $12.37
Total $24.39

Vons 3/19
Seltzer water $0.89
Aluminum foil $2.50
Grapes $6.19
Limes $0.50
Cauliflower $2.55
Fuji apples $1.95
4 Avocados $5.00
Plantains $2.61
Pineapple $2.99
Spaghetti squash $5.26
Total $30.76

Costco 3/21
Toilet paper $14.99
Paper towels $14.99
Freezer bags $11.99
White vinegar $3.09
Cascade (the environmental stuff was killing me) $9.39
Huge package of tri-tips (because my husband had to have them) $57.87
Total: $134.02 (but we had a $31.55 credit)

Trader Joes 3/21
Hazelnuts $6.99
Balsamic vinegar $3.49
Olive oil $7.99
Meyer lemons $1.99
3 bags raw cashews $20.97
Avocados $3.49
Roasted salted cashews $13.98
Bag of oranges $3.49
Bag of grapefruit $3.99
Heirloom tomatoes $2.99
4 artichokes $7.96
Total: $77.33

Total for the month: $596.11

Letting my husband go to the city to shop was probably a mistake, but we needed to make a Costco run, and of course we stock up at Trader Joes whenever we can. I am starting to wonder if I need to increase our food budget, but I'll keep on trying to hit $500 a bit longer.

Anyway, here is what we ate:

Wednesday 3/19: Carnitas salads
Thursday 3/20: Book club night! Leftovers and I took fruit salad to share
Friday 3/21: Leftovers
Saturday 3/22: BBQ pork with cole slaw
Sunday 3/23: Tri tip, artichokes and tomato salad
Monday 3/24: Beef Thai coconut curry with cauliflower rice
Tuesday 3/25: Hot Italian sausage with peppers and tomatoes
Wednesday 3/26: Slow roasted chicken with roasted carrots
Thursday 3/27: Meatballs and spaghetti squash and eggplant
Friday 3/28: Chicken soup
Saturday 3/29: Leftovers
Sunday 3/30: Steak, salad and artichokes
Monday 3/31: Asian beef lettuce wraps

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sooooo Slooooooow

So my average pace per mile has slowed down considerably. And my legs are feeling heavy. I'm so embarassed at how slow I am!

 

I'm trying to figure out why. I think some of it was my move to altitude right after my hiatus in training due to IVF - I had slowed down about 2 minutes per mile. I thought I would naturally regain that speed when I grew some more red blood cells, but I never really did. I've also done a few runs at sea level since, and I think my body is just used to moving slower, if you know what I mean?

 

Another issue is I'm older and heavier. I'm about 20 pounds heavier than my PR Marathon weight, and five years older (can you believe it's been five years?). Obviously, I can't get younger, but I can lose weight, right? Though I'm just a little unsure of how to lose weight any more.

 

I live in a pretty hilly area and I don't really know of many flat trails where I can take my dog off leash. I know hills should make you faster, but I feel like they just make me tired LOL. I should definitely try a flat road run, a track session, or maybe even a one mile challenge to get a baseline. I went back to Couch to 10k, trying to use the intervals as speed training, but I'm still feeling a bit sluggish, even with the extra rest. I've also been slacking on the strength training and the yoga/flexibility which I know could be hurting me.

 

While I can try to blame my diet, I really can't. Yesterday I wondered if I wasn't getting enough carbs to fuel my workouts since I cut out grain and legumes and don't really eat a lot of fruit. However, if anything, I've been getting progressively faster since I reduced my training volume and started focusing on spped, Whole30 or not. I haven't been eating or drinking on my runs because my fuel belt is old and the bottles won't stay put. I also used to do caffeine before my run - usually coffee. However, since caffeine can contribute to adrenal fatigue, I'm a little hesiatant to start again. Maybe I can research different lower caffeine sources.

 

Here is what I'm focusing on:

1. Strength training and flexibility

2. Getting more sleep (i.e. going to bed by 10:00 pm no matter what)

3. Taking hydration and nutrition on my runs (just bought a new fuel belt)

4. Fartleks/Intervals (Hahaha I love that word)

5. Choosing more energetic music? Hahaha but seriously, I found an app called RockMyRun and they are supposed to have playlists set to a specific BPM.

 

Also, I'll do a road run in the next week or so (it's supposed to be snowing here so I might have to wait until after the storm). I'll eventually be leaving the pup at home once I get to the higher miles, so I might as well try it now, at least one day a week. He's gonna be so pissed.


Any other ideas from my seasoned runner readers?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fundraising Again

It's been over three years since I ran a race with Team in Training, and almost five years since I was fundraising! I'm back at it, to raise money for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 19, 2014. I am looking for some new and unique fundraising ideas!

Here's what I have planned:

1. Throwing myself at the mercy of all my friends, family members and work colleagues
2. Planning on bakery orders all summer - cookies, cupcakes, and rolls. Thinking  Hoping might make a little bit every week all summer.
3. Contest/Drawing based on my finish time - asking for a minimum $25 donation and the person who gets closest to my time gets their pick of the prizes, and I'll go down the list from there.
4. Aaaand I'm out.

I'm hoping I might be able to do a guest bartender thing at an event in town, and I'm really trying to figure out how I can afford to copy a friend of mine and buy/ship medals to people when they donate money and do a fun run on their own. So far none of the medals I can even remotely afford are cool enough for my taste. I would also love to design a rad ass t-shirt to sell, but having trouble finding the right one.

Other than that, I'm looking for something new to do! If you have any suggestions, let them fly!

As far as training goes, I am working my ass off to try and get faster. I have slowed down to a turtleish 14 minute mile on my good days. Sheesh! Feeling slow. But I have a training plan set based on my summer schedule of work, vacation and other planned activities and the Jeff Galloway method. Even though I am slow, I am determined to break a five hour marathon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Grocery Budget and Meals 3/12 - 3/18

Here's the next batch for March!

Health Food Store 3/12
Bananas $1.39
Cashews $5.93
Ground pork $4.85
Water chestnuts $1.39
Total: $13.30

Von's 3/13
Organic eggs $4.49
Bananas $1.79
Santa Cruz organic limeade (really for water kefir this time!) $3.46
Cremini mushrooms $2.03
Muir Glen organic tomatoes (have a rebate!) $2.59
Canned tomatoes $1.78
Organic Romaine $5.00
Avocados $4.50
Sweet potatoes $2.42
Olive oil $5.00
Total: $34.06

Farm Delivery 3/14
8 dozen pastured eggs $48
2.11 pounds hot Italian pork sausage $14.77
5.3 pounds pastured chicken legs and thighs $41.34
Pint of sour cream $7.00
Shipping $27.78
Total $138.89

Vons 3/17
2 jars salsa $3.98
Hot mustard $4.99
Corned beef $4.61
Chicken breasts $5.69
Bananas $1.93
Green cabbage $1.73
Eggplant $0.75
Lemongrass $0.17
2 bunches organic kale $4.58
2 organic bell peppers $3.50
Total $31.93
Month so far: $329.61

Wednesday 3/12: Asian style pork lettuce wraps
Thursday 3/13: Grilled steak with asparagus and Brussels sprouts
Friday 3/14: Dinner out with friends
Saturday 3/15: Carne asada and mushroom taco salads
Sunday 3/16: Smoked chicken legs with salad
Monday 3/17: Corned beef and cabbage
Tuesday 3/18: Asian mushroom soup

This month I decided to pay a slightly higher shipping rate but not order as much from the farm, hoping I might be able to control my costs a bit. I also had a surplus of frozen chickens and breakfast sausage (which I can't eat on Whole30 because they have maple in them!) in the freezer so I opted to cut down on my order this month. I also found another couple of local options for chickens - not quite as healthy as they are organic but not pastured, but less expensive for sure. Next month there will be two farm deliveries so I'll have to decide how I want to handle - order less each time and pay more shipping, or skip one? I don't have enough room for 6 weeks of eggs so if I skip an order, I will have to buy organic eggs from the megamart.

I think I'm set up pretty well for the rest of the month, but I think I'm also going to try a bit of a pantry challenge, even though much of my pantry items, I can't use while I'm on whole30!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Workin' Out

So with this whole30 thing, I decided I should start working out. Unfortunately, I miscalculated how flaccid and out of shape I am.

Been seeing a bunch of commercials about DailyBurn. It has a 30 day trial and is supposed to be reasonably customized and give you a new workout every day, plus you can use your iPhone or iPad and get it onto your tv too. So easy to squeeze in right?

Well, the first time I thought about it and took the intro quiz, I was much more modest. However, this time I was all pumped up from 2 weeks on whole30 and I also just finished a run, and I still felt like I had a bunch of energy. So I signed up for the hard workouts. I can handle it! Right?

It started off with jumping jacks. The first 10 were like "this is awesome!" The next 30 were harder, and by the of the jumping jacks my calves were screaming for mercy. 

Mercy came, but in the form of butt kicks. Finally we got to the squats. Something to work my already strong legs! Wait, ouch. OUCH! FUCK! 

But no worries, now we're doing lunges. Ummm actually, no we're not, becausey entire left leg has completely seized up. You know what sounds better than working out? Watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, that's what.

Yes, I know that's how I got myself into this predicament in the first place. Yes, I only made it through 4 minutes. Let's just say I walked funny for three days and leave it at that.

On a side note, I also tried the beginner workout. I'm not doing that for a while. I'm starting somewhere else with this workout thing.

Day 15 of Whole30

I feel pretty accomplished being on day 15, even though I had a setback yesterday. We get fed at work and there were few options. One of the safe options was lamb, but I was wondering why I felt crappy after eating it. Sore throat and headache mostly. Well, it was cooked in beer. :/

I'm opting to not start over, with the biggest reason being that I have been gluten free for a while. I hope that's a good enough reason. 

Other than that, the second week of whole30 was a lot easier than the first. I even went to a Mexican restaurant! Pollo asada a la carte with guacamole, peppers and pico de gallo! I didn't eat any chips and drank water while everyone else drank margaritas. Go me!

I feel great and my husband thinks I'm skinnier. I don't feel it yet, but I can take a compliment. Ha! 

I'm looking forward to reintroduction, just to see how I react. Other than sprouted legumes, there isn't a lot I can't live without. Obviously I can if I have a reaction. And I know it's a bit early to talk about reintro, but they say there is no need to introduce a food you don't miss. Here are the things I will be reintroducing:

Dairy (butter and cheese mainly, will reintro other dairy separately if I decide to)
Corn
Quinoa
Sprouted legumes
Wine (not technically a reintro food, but I want to see if I have any reaction and will introduce white and red wine separately.)

I honestly can't think if anything else!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whole30!

I was inspired by some lovely ladies in a Facebook group to try Whole30. If you haven't heard of Whole30, read all about it here!

I had heard about it, and when I noticed that a few of my friends were doing it, I started seriously looking into it. The funny thing is, that with my transition to Real Food, I had already started on this path. But a few things still weren't working:

1. I started to gain weight again
2. My sugar cravings were still very much present
3. I had a sneaky suspicion I might have a dairy intolerance
4. I wondered how non-gluten grains were affecting me

I think the real wake up moment for me was getting a coffee, and putting a crap ton of honey in it, and then still wanting it sweeter. That's pretty much when I realized I had an issue tasting sweets.

So I jumped in with two feet. Read the website, figured out what I could and couldn't eat on the program, perused Pinterest for Whole30 compliant recipes, and made a start date of March 1 which was promptly changed to March 2 (come on, there was still a bottle of wine in the fridge!).

I started posting about it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and a friend of mine reached out to tell me she owned the book. Score! She let me borrow it, and I'm so glad she did, because this isn't a book I would have normally bought, but now that I've read it, it makes a whole lot of sense. My medical history, blood sugar issues, liver enzyme issues, belly fat, etc. is all explained in this book. The plan focuses on how we react to food - psychologically and physiologically. And while I like grain, I can honestly saw I know now how my brain and my body react when I eat them.

In short, Whole30 is like a super strict Paleo diet for 30 days. The premise is to remove all potentially reactive foods from your diet completely for 30 days (and sometimes longer) in order to allow your body to heal. After the Whole30 period is finished, then you can start to add things back, one at a time, to see how you react to them. You also only want to add in the foods that you can't imagine giving up permanently, and then you have the opportunity to evaluate them to see if the food is worth the reaction. I already have had this experience, and the reaction was traumatic enough that I honestly don't crave bread any longer. On a side note, I'm pretty sure it's the gluten and not anything else in the wheat, as I was able to tolerate organic sour leavened bread during a test (sour leavening eats up much of the gluten).

Since I started on March 2, I'm now on my 10th day. I'm not going to lie, some of those long, stressful work days were hard. I craved wine, sugar, anything. A cup of herbal tea really didn't hit the spot. But I'm glad I pushed through. I am sleeping better and feeling a bit more energetic (or at least less less lethargic?). I am able to push harder during my runs too, although that might be more of a side effect of going back to shorter runs in order to work on speed. While I love my nutritionist, I can't afford the supplements any longer, but I think Whole30 is going to take me past where the supplements could. It is also forcing(?) me to remove things I was resistant about before, namely dairy and legumes.

Anyway, so far so good! My last day on Whole30 is scheduled for March 31 but we'll see how I feel. I'm pretty adamant that I can start reintroduction on April 1, but I suppose you never know.

March 3 - March 11 Groceries and Dinners

This month I'm doing it differently. I'm going to try and track my budget every week, as well as share what we ate for dinner. Breakfast is almost always eggs and maybe a little sausage and some veggies. Lunches for me are leftovers and the hubby eats leftovers or sandwiches made with cheese and turkey or salami. Dinner is the big wild card and where most of our budget goes into planning!

Mexican Market 3/1
Lemons
Limes
Poblanos
Chile spiced Carrots
Radishes
Tapatio
Tomatillos
Cilantro 
$20.00 (we get the "Mexican discount" for going in there all the time, but unfortunately no receipts)

Vons 3/5
C&H Pure Cane Sugar (for water kefir) $1.99
2 cans diced tomatoes $1.44
Santa Cruz organic limeade (originally for water kefir, but husband drank it within 12 hours, ugh!) $1.63
Best foods mayo (required by said husband) $3.99
Paper towels $2.99
Pepper jack cheese (for husband) $7.99
15 Grain Bread $1.99
Salami $5.78
Deli turkey $10.38
Bananas $3.84
Asparagus $2.16
Eggplant $2.29
Red onions $1.73
Roma tomatoes $2.32
2 Grapefruit $1.00
Brussels Sprouts $1.36
Red Cabbage $1.77
Tomatoes on the vine $3.58
Organic orange bell pepper $2.00
Organic green bell pepper $1.79
2 organic avocados $2.50
Organic red kale $1.99
4 packages mushrooms $5.16
Ranch dressing $2.39
2 packages Organic baby carrots $4.00
3 pounds organic yellow onions
$82.43

Mexican market 3/10
Limes
Chiles
Oaxaca cheese
6 avocados
Garlic
$9.00

Total for March 1 - March 11: $111.43

And here is what we made for dinner every night:

Monday 3/3: Roasted chicken with tomatoes, purple potatoes and carrots

Tuesday 3/4: Grass fed beef taco salads

Wednesday 3/5: London broil with grilled sweet potato wedges and roasted asparagus

Thursday 3/6: Duck confit with roasted cabbage and sweet potatoes frites

Friday 3/7: Chicken sausages sauteed with tomatoes and peppers

Saturday 3/8: Lemon oregano grilled chicken and salad

Sunday 3/9: Grass fed beef burgers with lettuce wrapping

Monday 3/10: Chicken vegetable fajita soup

Tuesday 3/11: Hot Italian pork sausage with tomatoes, mushrooms, and eggplant

Anyway, I hope this format makes it a bit easier to see how I use my grocery  budget and the groceries I buy to make real food healthy dinners. I hope it will also help me see any flaws in my shopping and planning - unnecessary expenses, etc.

February Grocery Budget

2/3
Vons
Split peas $3.98
Eco friendly dishwasing detergent $5.49
Pepper jack $6.79
Pork hocks $3.81
Bananas $1.48
$21.32

2/4
Smart and Final
JalapeƱos $1.69
BBQ charcoal $9.99
Tangerines $4.99
Yellow onions $1.99
Coconut milk $3.18
Coconut cream $3.58
Chick peas $1.35
Red wine vinegar $3.38
Dog treats $8.97
Lemons $2.37
Garlic $1.39
Limes $0.78
Romaine hearts $2.79
$47.97

2/5
Vons
Organic ketchup $1.81
Pepper jack $3.99
Sweet potatoes $2.18
Asparagus $2.07
Tomatoes $2.40
Mushrooms $6.45
$18.90

2/10
Vons
Diced tomatoes $1.42
White rice $1.12
Dark chocolate chips $2.18
Organic potato and quinoa soup FREE!
Brown rice pasta $3.99
2 packages Aidell's Artichoke and chicken sausage $9.98
Bananas $2.46
3 Organic Avocados $3.75
4 Packages mushrooms $5.16
Fresh pressed apple cider $4.04
Ranch dressing $2.14
Apple pie moonshine $17.99
$55.94

2/17
Vons
Pepper jack $6.99
2 packages deli turkey $7.98
Bananas $1.90
Green cabbage $1.09
Carrots $2.15
Organic celery $2.29
$21.90

2/21
Amish Farm Delivery
5 lbs blue potatoes $5
1 pint fermented banana pickles $3.75
1 pt sour cream $7
6 dozen fertile soy-free eggs $36
3 pastured chickens (16.82 lbs) $100.08
1/2 lb cultured salted butter $8.50
3.01 lbs maple breakfast Links $22.58
2.13 lbs hot Italian pork sausage $14.91
Shipping $39.56
Total $237.38

$403.41

Of the stuff I was able to track. I'm getting really annoyed because my husband refuses to save me a receipt whenever he shops. I am hopeful that we really did stay under $500 last month, so I am going to go on as if I did. And try to put the fear of God into my husband this month.

I did better this month because:

1. I had two Amish farm orders in January which helped take us through most of February
2. I did a really good job of estimating my Amish order - not so easy when a chicken can be anywhere from 4 pounds to over 6 pounds and sausage can be anywhere from under a pound a package to a pound and a half!

Hopefully March will be even better. You see, I think I am going to try Whole30 for a month and see how it goes. I'm tired of the weight creeping back up, and I think it's because I added some grains back in. I might not get a total allergic reaction to rice, but I think my body might be reacting in other ways. I have also have noticed my coffee needs a lot more sweetener than I think is normal. Obviously I'm just not really tasting it any more. Anyway, that means no more alcohol (calorie AND money punch!) and no more really expensive brown rice pasta just because I miss pasta.

As you can imagine, since this is the 11th of March, I am already on Whole30. I promise to Blog about it!