Whole30: Week One

I decided to do another Whole30 as a kick-off to implementing “My Healthy Life Manifesto“.  The main goal of this Whole30 is to stop snacking and eating when not hungry.  I know I have a tendency to eat when bored or tired and the habit has gotten completely out of control. I will also admit I am hoping to lose a few pounds as well. I looked at the calendar and decided to start the same week school started. I am hoping this will give me some extra time for all that food prep plus no big holidays or major travel plans to make things more difficult.

 

Here is a summary of the first week:

Day 1:  Totally not prepared this Monday morning.  The thing is, school doesn’t start until Thursday. My bad.  So I eat a banana with some cashew butter and a carrot for breakfast and then get to work on some food prep.  I make hard-boiled eggs and clean a bag of carrots. And then I make my favorite quiche:

5 eggs

5 ounces of canned coconut milk

1/2 lb cooked seasoned ground pork (garlic powder, sage, fennel, s&p)

sautéed kale

Mix it all together.

I grease a 9″ pie pan with coconut oil and bake at 425° for ~ 20 minutes

The best thing about this recipe is you can mix up what you add and eat it everyday on the Whole30 if you wish. Some suggestions:  mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cooked grated yam or sweet potato, ground beef, spinach, thinly sliced Trader Joe’s sausages.  Really anything compliant that you like.  This is so much easier than breakfast “muffins” and I think a bit tastier than a straight egg bake.

I eat a piece for lunch (along with a sliced tomato) and now I have breakfast ready for the rest of the week.  I also cook enough pork and kale for a second quiche and stash it in the freezer.

Day 2:  I have a solid meal plan for the day so it seems easy.

B: quiche, 1/2 grapefruit, one small potato.  I microwave the potato, let it cool a bit, dice it, then crisp it up in a little olive oil.

L: salad with 1/2 can of tuna in olive oil, 1 HB egg, cherry tomatoes and avocado

Snack: cut up peaches we picked ourselves and that need to be eaten

D: grilled steak, homemade oven fries and green beans

I am the only person in the house doing the Whole30 so many nights there will be separate dinners but tonight’s worked for everyone. Yeah!

Day 3:

I am not going to write every single meal down because that would be boring.  I am feeling rather tired today. I expected it but it was still a bummer.  See the Whole30 timeline.

Day 4:

 Note to self: be careful what you read and watch during these crucial first days of eliminating cravings.  “Howard’s End”, not a good movie to watch, in terms of food anyway.  Seems they were always having tea and cake.  Reading “Endurance” by Alfred Lansing was a good choice.  This book is about Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica.  While there is a fair amount of talk about food it is items like seal steaks and penguin hearts that are mentioned.  And for a treat?  Fish paste.  No triggering of cravings here!

Day 5:

I seem to have skipped right over the “kill all things” phase and now “I need a nap” and “Why are my pants tighter” phase seem to be overlapping. Geez.

Day 6:

Grocery shopping day.  Halloween candy already?  (No more grocery shopping until after this is over!)  I eat a good breakfast but we have a bunch of errands to run.  By the time we get to the base I am getting rather hungry.  I get my son a sandwich at Subway in the food court and then scan my options.  Nothing.  So I eat my apple cinnamon Rx bar.  By the time we get home I am pretty hungry.  I nosh on sugar snap peas with a single serving size of guacamole while getting the groceries put away.

Now it is 3:00p and I am not sure what to do.  Do I eat lunch or try and tough it out until dinner?  I decide to eat a hard-boiled egg and make dinner an hour early.  It is taco salads so husband and son can re-heat the meat and make their own salads when they are ready.

Taco Salad: ground beef with homemade taco seasoning, a mix of lettuces, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 an avocado and salsa.  So yummy!

Day 7:

Today is one of those days that really are tough on the Whole30.  We are going up to Phoenix to watch the Cubs play the D’Backs.  We are supposed to leave at 9:00a for a 1:00p game because of the crowd expected.  Spouse gets out of work late (he is working extra hours for an exercise) so we don’t leave until 10:30a but it all works out surprisingly well.

B: banana, quiche, potato

L:  Eaten in the truck on the trip up is chicken salad (diced grilled chicken breast, dried cherries, walnuts and mayo), snap peas and a few cherries. As we walk from the truck to the stadium (about 12:30p) I drink a bottle of Zupa Noma soup. I bought a six pack to try out because they are Whole30 approved. I have the Beet-Orange-Basil flavor.  I finish it but I don’t think I would buy this flavor again, too basily for me.

Snack:  For inside the park I have dry roasted pistachios (in the shell) from Trader Joe’s and an Rx bar.  The game is exciting and I am not hungry until the seventh inning. I eat a few pistachios, but probably half or maybe even a third of what I would have normally eaten. That’s it.

D: We stop at a Five Guys on the way home.  I was prepared bringing a little container of my own mayo.  I get the lettuce wrap with two burgers, tomato and raw onion. No pickles because they are out of pickles.  What??  (They got a bad batch from their supplier and were waiting on a replacement shipment. Just my luck.)  But with the addition of the mayo I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything.

In Conclusion:

So the Cubs and I both win!  The week wasn’t bad at all and I am very happy that I have not been snacking on dried fruit or raisins like in Whole30s in the past.  I survived a busy day running around and a road trip.  A successful week one is in the books.

My Healthy Life Manifesto

Manifesto – a public declaration of intentions

I decided I needed to write down some healthy eating guidelines for myself.  That led me to thinking about how big a role stress and lack of sleep play in my eating habits and I decided what I really wanted was a healthy life. So I expanded my manifesto just a bit.

The last few months I have been reading a lot of books about diet, nutrition and eating habits.  Many of them left me feeling like I needed to have an MD (or play a doctor on tv or sleep in a Holiday Inn Express at least) to know how valid the logic/research/argument was. I was left to rely on my own common sense. And Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”.  I love this beautifully illustrated little book of 82 rules.  I understand them, they make sense to me and they are easily followed.  By that I mean anyone can do them with a little time and effort.  No special pills or equipment needed. I plan on glancing through this book daily to give myself reminders of how I want to eat.

What I like about this manifesto is that it is set up for me.  Yes, you can borrow it as a starting point for your own but you really need to devise a manifesto that will fit your own life. Every person is unique with an individual set of circumstances that make up your own needs.

My Healthy Life Manifesto

  • Manage Stress
    • Recognize symptoms and alleviate
    • Schedule appropriately
  • Exercise
    • Change with the seasons/weather as needed
    • Swimming
    • Qigong or Tai Chi
    • Yoga
    • 10k steps and hand weights
  • Sleep
    • Nap if needed
  • Cultivate Better Eating Habits
    • Learn to eat only when hungry
      • Stop snacking
    • Change the way you shop
      • Farmer’s market
      • Less stocking up
      • Keep meals simple
    • Replace processed foods with fruits and veggies
    • Rx Bars for hormonal emergencies and travel
  • Intermittent fasting
    • Make sure you have broth on hand
  • Make everything from scratch
  • Eat at local restaurants
  • No guilt over being an introvert
An example of managing stress, I felt very peaceful when I worked on it. And I finished it!

So there it is, my Healthy Life Manifesto. I am not sure about the fasting.  It seems better suited to people who are obese and trying to lose weight but I have decided to keep it in my hip pocket as a back up plan if I am not doing well with controlling my snacking or the middle age weight gain continues.

My Healthy Life Manifesto.

I printed out two copies, made them all pretty and put one in the kitchen and one in my office.  I’ll be reading them everyday for now.  I am ready to feel not just better but good, really good!

 

Estate Piovoso

I have decided that “summer part II” shall be officially named “Estate Piovoso” which is Italian for rainy summer, because everything sounds better in Italian!

And boy has it been raining!  We had 14 consecutive afternoons/evening with rain.  And not just a sprinkle or quick downpour but hours of showers. I believe at my house we have had more rain this summer then in the previous six summers combined. Crazy!

I have not been spending much time on-line these days.  Just not in the mood I guess.  Instead I have been working on this in my sketchbook:

Listening to “The Island” by Elin Hilderbrand while working on my latest needlepoint project:

Getting close to finishing the ice cream puzzle:

Watching 50 years of Alfred Hitchcock on TCM Wednesday and Friday nights in July.

I took a trunk full of items to Goodwill and mailed off a bag of clothes to Thred Up.

And I tried to take a picture of the back of my hair to show how humid it is here in the desert.  Not easy to do and then I was quite shocked at all the gray!  And here I thought I just had a few strands in front.

On that note I am off to make popcorn and my son and I are going to watch  “House on Haunted Hill”.  (His choice, not mine!)

Instead of my hair here is a picture of our Cat’s Claw blooming which only happens after a lot of rain.

 Felice Estate Piovoso!!

*I hope I got that translation right!

 

A Sense of Purpose

“One of the standard-issue life lessons, which I’m sure I’ve posited along with everyone else who thinks about these things, is that one’s life is enriched immeasurably if you’re able to find an abiding passion. You don’t have to be good at it, it just has to be something that would consume every waking hour if you let it.” **

I, of course, am totally aware of the idea of finding one’s passion but the second sentence gave me pause.  You don’t have to be good at it?? I assumed that one would have an innate ability, a natural talent for one’s bliss.  Sure, maybe you take a class or two or read some books to polish up your gift. You practice, a lot.  But right from the get go you would do something, love it and be good at it.  You would know this was where your heart lies. Hence the reason I am so lacking a sense of purpose these days. I have been thinking about things all wrong!

I like to do lots of different things but I am not particularly good at any of them.  I dabble.  I brush the surface of various hobbies.  I try lots of things once or twice, find I am not exceptionally good at them, and figure they are not my heart’s content.  And I move on.


A cool plant I saw on my meander yesterday up at Summerhaven, AZ.

But now?  Well, I am in a quandary.  How do I know which hobby is the one I should truly focus on?   Which one will give me the sense of purpose I crave in the morning?  I have been doing some cogitating. Do I have to pick just one?  Can I rotate through a few choices?  Now that the pressure is off will my hobbies feel different?  Easier to enjoy now that I know I don’t have to be good at them?

As of this moment I do not have the answers.  But I will be looking at my old hobbies with new eyes and trying new ones with renewed enthusiasm.

I took this photo yesterday on my way down the mountain. (Perfectly safe, I was stopped at an overlook!) You can see Thimble Peak, center left in the distance.  From my house I can see the other side of Thimble Peak and for some reason this always thrills me.

**   From “Julia Child Rules, Lessons on Savoring Life”  by Karen Karbo.

I find it comforting to recognize that Julia Child wasn’t a natural cook.  She wasn’t even a good cook when she started.  And she didn’t find her bliss until she was a full fledged grown-up. I still have time!  I met a woman yesterday that took up sailing in her sixties. She joined a club and found she loved crewing for races.  So many possibilities in my future.

Digesting News

Normally it feels like I am always writing blog posts in my head. But the past week or so I have been thinking about all my medical test results. In a nutshell here are the results: My colonoscopy via mail came back negative.  Yeah!  My mammogram showed nothing suspicious. Whew!

The x-rays of my hands showed nothing (except that I have hands of course).  My doctor’s response was to continue to monitor the situation.  How is that helpful for pain?  Does an x-ray rule out carpal tunnel?  I was trying to figure out exactly how to reply when the hands got moved to the back burner.

I got my pelvic ultrasound results and they revealed that I do indeed have two uterine fibroids.  After the initial wave of panic I did what everyone does, I looked for information on the internet.  It appears there are two options, ignore them and hope they shrink when I hit full blown menopause or surgery.  With surgery they could remove just the fibroids or they could remove the fibroids and uterus.

My gyn appointment isn’t until mid-August. Do I need to go sooner?  Since my symptoms aren’t too horrid I have decided to wait unless the doctor thinks I need to come in sooner.  (It is easier to do doctor appointments after school starts.)

So for now I wait and tell myself all the benefits of surgery.  No more crazy long, frequent periods. A day or two in the hospital can be thought of as a vacation from housework and laundry and cooking.  I promise myself a box of dark chocolate candy from See’s if I do need surgery.

There’s the plan, now I can put all this medical stuff out of my mind for the next month and get back to writing blog posts in my head.  What a relief!

Freaky Friday

When last we left our intrepid heroine she was bravely surviving the Great Heat Wave and courageously conquering the Epic Computer Build of 2017. Let us back up in time, to Friday, the day before all the computer parts arrived.

I finally left the house despite the continuing heat wave. I had no choice, I had three images to be taken at Radiology Ltd.  Let me say I have never encountered anyone who works there that was less than pleasant, friendly and competent.  It is a very comfortable place to have images taken. And I scored a covered parking space.  You have no idea what a difference shade makes when you climb into a car sitting out in temperatures well over 100°. (Or maybe you do and you realize what a big deal this is!)

First up, the pelvic ultrasound.  I ignored the instructions to drink 40 ounces of water one hour before my appointment and thereby avoided the embarrassment of peeing all over myself and/or the technician.  Instead I drank my normal amount of morning water and then right before I left the house I peed, drank 8 ounces of water and then sipped a few more ounces on the drive to the appointment.  My bladder was full enough for imaging but not so full as to be painful.  And as soon as we were done the technician took me straight to the restroom without being asked.  Perfect!

Then she walked me over to have my hands x-rayed as I had time before my mammogram appointment. The hand x-rays took no time at all.  Then I was escorted to mammography where I had a bit of a wait.  Part of that was due to the scheduling and part due to the fact they were running a bit behind.  It happens. I had my book and access to a bathroom (yes, of course I needed to pee again) so the wait wasn’t bad.

And the technician was good. And the room was warm.  In the past I have had some very painful mammograms.  My breasts are very dense so sometimes they feel the need to really crank down on the machine.  This one did not do that for which I am very thankful.

And I walked out the door less than two hours later thinking, gee that wasn’t bad at all!

Those flower seeds I planted in February are somehow surviving the heat!

But wait…the day got even better.  After the imaging I had arranged to drop my car off at Jack Furrier up the street from my house.  For months and months (okay, more than a year) I have had a shimmy in the steering wheel between 50-55 mph.  I diagnosed the wheels needed balancing and maybe I was missing a wheel weight. When I went to pick the car up I was told the problem was actually a leaking valve stem in the left front tire.  Now I knew the tire had developed a slow leak and we kept putting air in it but I had kind of forgotten that. Well, they fixed the valve stem, re-inflated the tire and that solved the shimmy problem. AND THEY DIDN’T CHARGE ME FOR IT!  Not a dime.  Thank you Jack Furrier.

My cantaloup plants are hanging in there.
This is the larger of two teeny cantaloups. I am not giving up hope just yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So a day I had been dreading turned out to be not only not so bad, but kind of good. Life is funny like that.

 

 

Apparently I am a Turnip

As the phlebotomist stuck a needle in me for the third time I found myself wondering who said the famous adage: “You can’t get blood from a turnip”.  (I could not find a definitive answer but maybe it’s from the bible.) And the third time was not the charm for the blood draw and thus ended a very long doctor visit.

And how did the visit start? With me being asked to sign a form stating that since this was an “annual checkup  or wellness visit” the following may not be covered:  referrals, new prescriptions, changes to current prescriptions, blah blah blah.  Um, what exactly was covered then?  Does this mean you can only get an annual check up if you are healthy?  The receptionist was stumped when I asked the question.  Apparently everyone just signs the form and hands it back, I was the first to actually read it.  I pointed out the word may and let her off the hook.  I have to trust the billing department knows all the right codes to put in.

Happily I love my doctor.  She really listens and we went through my whole list of concerns.  We talked some about menopause.  What I thought were typical crazy menopausal periods may be something more.  We discussed the joint pain in my hands and while I was thinking carpal tunnel she is leaning towards rheumatoid arthritis. So on Friday I am getting my mammogram, x-rays of my hands and a pelvic ultrasound.  And I have to go back and try to get my blood drawn again to check for hormone levels that would indicate impending menopause.  This time making sure I am well hydrated.

But guess what?  I don’t need a colonoscopy!  I do need to uh, mail some poop off and while that seems rather ew it is way better than getting knocked out and having something inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.

Now the long wait until Friday and hopefully some answers….to be continued.

(Random Yosemite photo above, chosen for it’s soothing nature!)

 

Blaming it on “The Good Witch”

I was supposed to be attending a three hour photography course this morning but upon arrival found my other two classmates standing outside the door. After waiting 15 or 20 minutes we gave up on the instructor and went our separate ways. Apparently the class was cancelled due to problems with the a/c and the instructor drafted an e-mail but forgot to send it.  These kids and their technology issues. 🙂

Since I now had a few free hours and I was so close to the mall I decided to go shopping.  This is very rare for me.  Typically I dislike the mall and I am not really a fan of clothes shopping but I had a specific goal.  I have two ancient t-shirts, one orange and one red that really needed to be replaced.  Of course I have a ton of other shirts but I needed a solid red and a solid orange.

I have read a bit about capsule wardrobes and decision fatigue but honestly I am just not interested in wearing a “uniform”  (21 years in the military will cure you of that) or only having seven or thirty-three or whatever number pieces of clothing.  I seldom have a problem deciding what to wear and I wear everything in my closet at some point in a given 365 day period.

That being said now that I am in my fifties (gasp!) I think my casual bordering on slob look could use some updating.  I have many older items that I wear but that honestly I don’t love. I have done a pretty good job over the last couple of years of purging items that didn’t fit or were badly worn but there was still some purging room in the ‘but does it make me feel good’ area.

And here is where the “Good Witch” comes into it.  Catherine Bell plays Cassie Nightingale.  I have been watching season three currently on the Hallmark Channel and catching up on seasons one and two on Netflix.  Catherine Bell is only 2 years younger than me so she is the right age to look to for fashion ideas.  And I love how serene and unflappable “Cassie” always is.  And then I realized how much I like how Cassie dresses (aside from those high heels!).  She often wears casual shirts with jeans or skinny pants.  Shirts that look comfortable, not too tight and a step up from a plain t-shirt.  So I had my shopping inspiration!

I arrived home with four new summer tops, one winter shirt (from a clearance rack) and a lightweight cardigan.  Once home I went through my summer t-shirts and pulled nine that I didn’t love.  For now they are in a bag in my closet and if at the end of the summer I haven’t missed them, out the door they go!

I love the embroidery details and it is a different color for me.

 

My new red t-shirt with lace trim, a pale pink accented with silver (hard to see) and my new orange shirt.  Not quite the shade I wanted but I love the buttons and neckline.

 

A light to medium weight simple cardigan. This will probably work as a coat for three or four months out of the year here!

 

The lace detail on the back of a new shirt for winter.  Not too heavy and a lovely silvery gray.

 

And then there are the shoes.  I will always be a sneaker wearing kind of girl. For years I had a pair of pale yellow LL Bean canvas sneakers.  I loved those shoes and wore them out. I finally got rid of them last year and I have been pining for a pair of yellow sneakers ever since.  And this is what I bought today:

Woodstock Van’s

How cool are these!!!!

So what do you think?  Age appropriate?  Casual yet stylish? (I am talking about the clothes, no matter what you say about the shoes I looooove them!)

Happy Summer

I have decided to take a blogging break. I am letting you know because I hate it when bloggers just disappear.  (The photos are from my hike last week.)

I love seeing  cloud shadows.

This is the last full week of school and then we are going away for two  weeks. After that we will have two full months of no schedules and no alarms. I am going to strive for the right balance of doing things with my son and letting him have his own space.

I think the flowers look like sun bonnets on the saguaro arms.

My own personal focus will be on being healthy.  Physically and mentally.  Cook from scratch, shop the farmer’s market. Let myself enjoy some down time, try a few new things, let days unfold.  I have to admit I am kind of excited about this! I have this odd feeling of impending change or growth.  I have a feeling if I sit quietly I am going to discover something new about myself.

No rain but I enjoyed the shade the clouds provided.
I didn’t see many critters which in the desert is a good thing!  Mostly ants and butterflies and this one snake.

I hope you are making wonderful plans for this next season and are able to enjoy something delightful each day.

At the top of the Babad Do’ag trail.  TTFN!  (That’s “ta-ta for now” for those that don’t speak Tigger)  🙂 

Muddling through Menopause

I have been feeling anti-computer these days.  Not sure why but in reflection I don’t think that is a bad thing.

My dream life right now? Solitude in a mountain cabin. I would take long walks along a stream or around a lake. I would sit on the porch with a mug of tea and listen to the rain. I would end the day in front of the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup and some homemade bread with butter. For a project I would take a picture of the same thing once a  day, at different times and in all sorts of weather. Maybe a tree or a spot on the lake or a flowering shrub. Whatever took my fancy.

The last six weeks have been tough physically and mentally. I have had no energy and no focus. Allergy season is at it’s peak. I have been sleeping poorly.  I had a twenty-one day period. I appear to be on the same rollercoaster as the weather! Last week we had our first 100° day, actually two of them and I took my first swim of the season. It was quite lovely until a gusty wind began and a few drops of rain fell.  Then the pool was a mess of pollen and debris.  The beginning of this week we were in the 70’s with some rain so I am back on the treadmill.  Hopefully the solar cover will keep enough heat in the pool so when the temperature boomerangs back to the upper 90’s at the end of the week we’ll be able to start swimming in earnest.

I took this picture this morning, how cool is it to have a bird of prey on your pool cover? I am thinking maybe a Hawk?

I have retreated into what I think of as survival mode. I have ditched the habit tracker and the routine. I am taking each day as it comes. You would think I would be a big slug right now but a surprising thing happened. I started doing random tasks. I have cleaned out one whole drawer of the file cabinet. I tackled the memory box project that was one of my cleaning goals for the year.  (One and two are done with a good start on six.) My son and I spent 10 minutes each night after dinner picking up his room. I am so happy to be able to walk in there again without twisting an ankle!

The missed sunset.

Sunday night we took a family walk over to Sabino Canyon hoping to get up high enough to see the sunset. Turned out it was too cloudy and we left a few minutes too late to get a really good view but it was a very pleasant walk anyway and nice to do something out of our ordinary routine.  Ditching my habit tracker and to do list has been good.

Rain to the East during our walk.

Yesterday I took a four mile hike, something I promised myself I would do at least once when the school year started. The hike merits it’s own post so stay tuned.

Today I am feeling better. I have slept well the last two nights. The hot flashes and night sweats are on vacation. I don’t know if it is hormones or the cooler weather but I will take it.  My allergies are not as bad.  I like to think the wind blew the pollen to New Mexico and the rain washed what was left out of the air.

I find I am actually looking forward to today. I will wash my car and paint my toenails lilac while watching one of the many movies I have on my DVR. And popcorn, I deserve popcorn!

I hope you have a wonderful day too!