So first things first…I have not been blogging. Just life I suppose. As summer vacation is winding down my children are becoming more and more intense and difficult to entertain.
Trips to the pool and park are “booorrrriiiiinnnng”, bike rides are no fun, my food is horrible our back yard sucks, they have no toys, so and so’s mom lets them watch Power Rangers …. blah, blah, blah. Needless to say the closer we get to September 3 the better because, while I love them, they are driving me nuts.
Something I owe you. Back in July I mentioned that sometimes when you want to make a big change in your life it helps if you go forward as if that change has already happened. Well for me, it was hard to be all “new and shiny” when I was looking at the same old face in the mirror. So one day I took a picture….
This is yours truly. I am blessed with really fine, poker straight hair. The down fall is that I have a tonne of it. It used to drive me nuts, it was about a 45 minute process to comb out, condition, blow dry and style….if I wanted it straight. If I wanted it curly that was another hour of work. As a result this is what I did ….
Yeah, I cut off about 14 inches of hair. Then I highlighted it. Well, hello new person! How are you today? I love it. I love the change, except on the days where I wake up looking like this…
So there’s that. Then I wandered through July trying to get myself organized. Really organized. I entered August ready to rock it. Armed with my Weight Watchers tracker, my fitness dvds and a new attitude towards eating a healthy balanced diet in which no food group was summarily dismissed.
Well, here we are three weeks later. I am down a few pounds, my cardio has improved a little…and I look pregnant. I am not pregnant. After following my weight watchers to a T, eating my healthy whole grains for three weeks I can not fit into my pants. Seven pairs of them actually. I am a full size larger in less than a month than I have been for two years. Yeah!!!! Mission accomplished.
Not so much. In as little as three weeks I went from feeling mediocre, at best, to being exhausted. I am bloated….beyond bloated really, I am chronically nauseated, and my fat pants feel tight. What the hell? That was my Friday. I lived Friday in a world of “what the hell”. Then I went out to organize the baskets under my coffee table. Guess what I found?
Yeah….It Starts With Food. It was one of three diet/nutrition books that did not get sent out for recycling in June during the massive overhaul of my bookcase. So I pulled it out and stared at it. Thinking, this has so many valid points….its a shame you let yourself get distracted by the fringe elements. Then I wandered upstairs and pulled “The Paleo Solution” off my shelf. Maybe they were right? Maybe I could modify my diet to be back in line with paleo. Maybe I should do the Whole30 again, that would clarify if my guts are upset from all the grains I have been eating…plus it is a nice way to “reset” for the fall. I talked to the husband. He agreed to JOIN me this time. No more me going it alone and watching while he scarfed popcorn and Pepsi in front of the tv. So it was settled…me and the hubs would be embarking on a Whole30 starting September 1.
Then, last night we realized our fridge had moved on and was now watching over us from refrigerator heaven. Well, that explains why all our milk, meat, and produce kept going bad this month. As we started emptying the contents of our fridge to bring downstairs I was blown away by how fast fresh food goes bad. Two day old pickerel….fuzzy, 5 day old home made pasta sauce….fuzzy. Strawberries, blueberries, milk…all turned in less than a week.
Then we started checking the jars in the door….mayonnaise….still good? Creamy salad dressings….still good? Commercial pasta sauce…still good? What in the world? How did these products, all of which were opened in July, not go bad? Why are they still edible if our fridge has been on the fritz for several weeks now? I mean milk was a solid, rancid glob in three days….why does my mayo still smell, taste, and look fine? WHAT IS IN MY FOOD?
So here I am today, about to set off to Sears, Leon’s, The Brick, and other fine kitchen appliance stores and I dawns on me. Why should you wait until September 1? Why? When you know the food in your fridge, even though it is organic, is so laden with chemicals (and sugar….lets not forget about the white death) that is can sit in a warm fridge for weeks on end and not go bad? The truth is, I shouldn’t. I emptied my fridge of the mayo, the salsa, the tomato/pasta sauce, the dressings, the bbq sauce, and the ketchup (gasp, do not tell my kids). I am whipping up fresh homemade versions of all of them today and tomorrow.
I used to scoff at the paleo-ites who “made it all, all the time” now I am determined to be one of them. Simply because food should go bad. It should decay. That is how we are supposed to know if it is good for us.
So here I sit, coffee in hand debating whether to wash the floors or…okay I would rather do anything but wash floors sadly two dogs + two kids means I don’t have a lot of choice. I am constantly surprised by the volume of fur I sweep up daily, how are my dogs not bald already? Ughh.
Today is a two post day. Mainly because I have a delightful draft all about biting the bullet and making some big changes all ready to go – except the pictures that go with it are all on my phone. My phone is currently MIA due to the fact my kids are on vacation and steal it off the charger before I am even out of bed in the morning. Somewhere in my house a depressed, lifeless iPhone is waiting patiently to be found and resuscitated – and when it is I shall immediately post my other blurb.
In the meantime, I am patiently waiting for my weigh-in tomorrow. Okay not “patiently” but, I am feeling fairly positive about the whole thing. Which is a nice change. I am also feeling a little bit “meh”. I am lacking a long term “big” goal. My knee is proving to be more than slightly annoying. Not sure if it is protesting because of the extra weight, because of the fall I had in January, or from all the bad tackles I took way back when I played rugby. Regardless, it isn’t working….although, I am not giving up, I would still like to run a half marathon next year. I am just going to have to alter my training schedule.
I have been rocking the weight watchers for almost two weeks now, still loving it – more so when I can track everything on my phone. Some of the point values blow my mind. It’s nice that I can gorge on veggies without worrying about points though. I am a little concerned for what the point values will be when I start putting in recipes that call for coconut oil and/or avocado. Regardless, it is all part of the awareness factor. I am still weighing and measuring food to make sure my portions are bang on. The hubs told me that my stomach looks flatter last night, so…..I guess that is a good thing right?
I have adopted a pretty repetitive eating routine through the day. I am finding it easier to monitor what is hitting my mouth that way. Soup, salad, smoothie, chicken, and fish all seem to be making fairly regular appearances. At first I was eating the salad out of some sense of obligation but, two weeks in and I can honestly say I am starting to look forward to the crisp and cool veggies in the middle of the day.
Okay, I have to go….the kids are officially driving me up the wall today. If food is not present the instant they proclaim they are “starving” all heck breaks loose.
So, last week was fabulous. Mostly.
We went camping for the week to celebrate Canada Day, five glorious days of nature. There was swimming, campfires, and a ginormous thunderstorm with 100km/h winds! My kids loved it. My dog spent most nights under the table steadfastly refusing to emerge. I am pretty sure he does not understand why his people would opt to live in a large canvas bag rather than their wood framed home.
There was homemade chicken burgers, with lettuce, tomato, and red onion. There was grilled asparagus. Perfectly seasoned steak, “campfire” potatoes, even a fire pit pizza “pocket”. Copious amounts of fresh fruit and veggies were consumed along with enormous amounts of water (it was 43 degrees Celsius according to the humidex).
The only down shot to the entire trip was that I left my thyroid medication at home. So by the third day I was pretty much in a coma. Yeah, comas are awesome. I slept pretty awesome though. Fresh air and a cool breeze are the perfect recipe for sleeping.
We came home and hit up the farmers’ market on Saturday morning so we could top up our fresh produce. We bought some gorgeous looking kale (yeah, I get how ridiculous that sounds) and some super fragrant dill weed. Then we took the kiddos to see Despicable Me 2 – hilarious! I love the minions, they seriously make those movies fantastic.
Sunday was weigh in day. Oh awesome. I love when weigh-ins fall on a) the first day of your period; b) at the very end of a vacation. So, I sucked it up, and plopped myself on the scale. Down 2 pounds this week! Yeah!!! Vacation weight loss, LOVING IT!
To celebrate this fantastic event I promptly went over to my bookcase and pulled out every diet book, every magazine, every “special” edition I own and immediately deposited them in the recycling bin. Then I gathered up my food journals and did the same. Next up was the interweb. All those pages I had bookmarked – gone; forums – gone; facebook pages – gone; all of it…..disappeared. Sometimes there really is such a thing as too much information. This is a total “back to basics” event for me. It is so unbelievably liberating to actually throw “experts” in the garbage. Try it.
Obviously, I still have my small collection of recipe/cook books. I also still follow all of two “professional” blogs but that’s because they are normal people and not passing themselves off as dietary gurus. Ugh, I am tired of gurus. The dietary “elite”. I am happy you lost six thousand pounds eating banana leaves and dried termites, but you are a weirdo.
That is pretty much all my kiddos will give me time for today. Tomorrow, I am continuing on with my month of changes and new attitudes. For starters….I cut off 14 inches of hair. I went from mid back to pixie. I will tell you all about it in the morning 🙂
A most excellent day was had by the Potato Tribe today.
First, the husband is off work for a week and decided that I too needed a few hours of down time so he took the kids to the splash park and allowed me to stay home and just chillax a bit. It was awesome. I promptly poured myself a glass of lemon water, a bowl of homemade raisin bran/flax, a coffee, grabbed a ginormous apple and headed to the backyard.
After that delightful respite I picked up my phone, caught up on some texting and emails, and foolishly checked to see if the crazy woman of Wednesday acknowledged me. She has not. Which is fine, the universe has a fabulous way of having things blow up in the face of these people. Besides, she has been on the same forum for 4 years and has managed to create zero physical or personal changes…so, she is basically unsuccessful at the lifestyle which she is promoting and is trying to lead others….kinda like a high school drop out teaching chemistry if you ask me.
Anyway, then the children came home. We filled up the splash pool and and set up the sprinkler. We have been outside all day. Water gun fights, bucket fights, lounging. It was a fabulous day.
For dinner we decided to create nachos….they were awesome!!! I haven’t made nachos in years, since we turned “paleo”. Seriously, the best nachos ever. Ground beef, tomatoes, fresh jalapeños, fresh salsa, some sour cream, and fabulous cheese. Mmm. We only ate about 1/3 of what we made so they are wrapped up in the fridge and ready to be reheated as part of lunch.
Then it was back to the deck, the splash pool and the water guns. I don’t mean to brag but, I totally whooped my 3 year old. Sure, I always gave him a 10 count head start at firing but, I am bigger and I have better aim. Muah ah ah.
I am continuing to track my food on Weight Watchers, which is ridiculously easy. I sorta cringed at the idea of it, but I really like it. I haven’t joined any of the forums yet, instead I creep around and read what’s there. They all seem so friendly and it definitely does not seem to be “micromanaged” by one specific person. It is nice. Still, I will stay in the background for awhile.
So, recipes…you know you are curious about what I have been up too. I have tweaked a delicious version of honey dill salad dressing/dipping sauce with greek yogurt rather than mayo. I am planning on making it through the week. I will take photos, and put it up for you. I am also hard at work trying to create a homemade version of Starbucks’ Cool Lime Refresher. I almost have it, probably one or two more trials and it will be ready.
Pictures, they are coming too. I managed to lock out the mobile version of WordPress (because I am brilliant with technology) so as soon as that is fixed up I will post some stuff for you…the kitchen overhaul, a few meals, some glorious “pre-summer” photos…which will then be compared to “post summer” photos. Post summer will be….September 1, 2013.
So that is all my lovelies. If I am not on I hope you have a wonderful Canada Day, and I will probably be on before then but, Happy Independence Day to my southern friends.
So, the kitchen reorganisation did not go entirely as planned the weekend got in the way, as well as a husband and kids. So I opted to wait out two weeks and, when the husband goes back to work, finish it at a later time. I did manage to get a lot thrown out. So that was a bonus.
On Sunday evening my lovely fur ball named Molly ate an entire bottle of canine pain killers….always awesome. She spent 3 days at the vet have her stomach purged, filled with charcoal and her little body filled with antibiotics, anti-ulcer medication and … there was something else, the bottle is on the counter but I am too lazy to walk over and get it. She is home now, healthy and recovering and it all came in under the bargain price of $1,600.00! Bonus, I thought it would be closer to 2 grand.
We finished up school this week, I am now the proud mom of a first grader. Yeah!! If I can just figure out what I am going to do to entertain them for the next 8 weeks I will be golden.
This week saw the start of something new for me. I was participating in an exercise. Something was said (well, written actually…damn written word gets you every time) that I took offence to. Rather than stew over it for a few hours, as I am prone to do, and let it stress me out which will result in me seeking comfort in something deep fried I opted to send a message to the person stating how I felt, and why. I expected to hear the standard, oh sorry, that was not how it was meant to sound, I can see why you may have thought that. Let me explain myself better. What I got was an emotional, defensive attack message. Prior to being able to respond the sender altered their settings (unfriended and/or blocked) and my subsequent messages were all sent back to me with a Facebook notification stating I had ben removed, blocked or unfriended and would no longer be able to contact the person via this method. Gotta love Facebook. I am pretty sure she didn’t count on me getting that.
I was completely taken aback. I then waited a few hours and attempted a third and final time to contact the person to clarify my position. Still no change so, I made a post on another forum to which we belong, summarizing the situation and requesting clarification with respect to a specific point. She still opted to ignore me. Fair enough, I posted a further comment stating that it was unfortunate that she was passing on mis-information with respect to this topic and that, if she decided, I would be up to discussing this further. At which point I removed my profile entirely from the facebook site, as I no longer had access to any of it.
Enter the evening, as a result of this event not only did my stress levels go through the roof but I actually had a very strong physical reaction to the situation, I ended up with a migraine, vomiting and, shall we say, other digestive issues. I checked back on the forum the following evening in the hopes that she would acknowledge me and what greeted me was a verbal onslaught from one of her friends. The terms manipulative, liar, and fraud were thrown my way along with a few others. As well as a fairly detailed and fabricated/embellished, account of an event which this person was not a party to given the entire situation involved a single personal message and possibly 3 comments on a group forum. I was then treated to a detailed accounting of the verifiable sainthood of this woman and, that given her long and glorious relationship with the community, there is no way this event could have possibly happened the way I said it did. It ended with a warning to the forum about how “angry” I was….which is awesome given I specifically wrote in my message that I was not, in fact angry, nor was I mad, I was simply offended by the wording of her comment.
Enter night two of vomiting, migraine and digestive upset except this time I was so upset I couldn’t sleep. There is one thing I can not handle and that is people accusing me of lying. I have long list of personal flaws, but lying is not on them. In fact my honesty has gotten me in trouble on more then one occasion. In fact, I have learned to screen shot my personal conversations with some people specifically for this reason.
So, I got up this morning, contacted another administrator of the forum and advised them that I had removed the post as my intention was never to start a war but, only reach the person who cut off contact in the first place and try to explain that I wasn’t attacking her, I was only pointing out that I had taken the commentary personally and that I still needed clarification of a discrepancy.
I consider this, my first attempt at subverting stress by dealing with a situation directly, a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to its outcome. It was in no way successful with respect to the goal of limiting stress and emotional turmoil. It was however a rousing success in that, when confronted with a situation that was 10 worse than I could have possibly imagined I came through it relatively okay. I didn’t dive into a bowl of chips. I did not race to the nearest drive through. I simply drank water, ate healthy and hoped that someone, anyone, would extend a hand and offer me the benefit of the doubt. Which has sort of happened.
So that was my week. Oh, and I joined Weight Watchers. I figured, with my healthy eating coming along just fine, it was time to find a group to gather support from….because my most recent experience has left me somewhat in doubt of the viability of the “forum”. In all the other forums I have belonged to over the years I have never seen what happened here happen anywhere else and I have belonged to some pretty gung-ho, semi-militant, paleo groups.
At some random moment yesterday I had a revelation. Immediately after tripping over one of my husband’s many laptops (techies, pfft) I realized that while cleaning up my body, cleaning up my diet, cleaning up my thought process are all great things to aim for…I should also be cleaning up my living space. After all, my home is a direct reflection on, not only me and how I currently feel about myself, but also my children, my husband, and my marriage. Sure, there are those out there that will inevitability deny this and think somehow keeping a tidy house means that all of the hard work of the early feminists was wasted but, keeping a clean house isn’t sexist…it’s necessary.
My house is not dirty….it is just extremely unorganised, very messy, and too cluttered. Sort of like it’s owner. Yeah…I am smart, I am capable, and I am the least organised person I know. When your report cards all the way through school consistently point out your tendency to be scattered, at some point you have to acknowledge they may have a point. It isn’t even that I dislike cleaning. I just can’t seem to stay on top of anything….EVER. My fridge, my pantry, my bathroom cupboards, my dresser…it doesn’t matter. It starts out nice and organised and ends up looking like a blind toddler tried to put my belongings away. Honestly, it’s brutal.
I don’t mean to sound like an out dated fuddy duddy but seriously, there should be an elective in school that boys and girls have to take with respect to running a home. I took Home Ec. but, rolling out some Pillsbury Pastry and making muffins from a mix does not exactly prep one for the real world. Now, I am not saying that we need to learn how to mix the perfect dry martini and lay out the breadwinner’s favourite lounge wear immediately upon their arrival from work. I am saying that budgeting (money and time) would be worthwhile. Cleaning tips, how to organise your home/workspace effectively, menu planning, grocery shopping…these are all life skills that used to be taught in school, and I personally think they should be taught again. Obviously, with the surplus of cleaning services, home organisation services etc. we need it.
Okay, so I got that off my chest. Onto the real stuff. Rule No. 1 – Tackle the Worst First. My first….the kitchen/back porch/dining room area. It is the worst not only because it is disorganised but, also because it is where I spend the majority of my time. This area sees the most traffic in my home. It is prone to occasionally blowing up into random piles of paper, books, toys, leftovers, general mess, and dirtiness as a result of not being thoroughly cleaned after cooking/meals/snacks etc. It is also where, as someone how is trying to completely change the way the shop, store, prepare, and eat food, it is the most vital that it is set up intuitively. The less work I have to do preparing to cook food, the more likely I am to do it…..it all comes down to my innate laziness.
This morning I ran around my house and took pictures. Horrible, embarrassing pictures that are a literal snapshot of what my house can look like at any given time. Over the next month I have the goal of organising and decluttering my entire house – from top to bottom, every little nook and cranny. My intention is to update you here as to my progress. What I have found works and what doesn’t. I will show you how I have set up my kitchen/fridge/pantry to ensure I see further success at my changed eating habit. I am relying heavily on other experts in the field of home organisation to get this done.
I hope to have “Area 1” finished by Sunday evening – along with food prep for next week. I will put up the “before”, “during” and “after” shots with my Sunday post. I will also put up my menu for the week and some of the ideas I have stumbled upon to further help me make clean eating as painless as possible.
As for workouts, I have managed to tweak my knee. Not sure what I did. As a result, I have to lay off the running and the TurboFire for a few days. I am going to be walking my dogs and children instead. Slow and steady.
Okay, admittedly I have been slacking in the posting department. Life kinda got in the way. Two rounds of company, birthdays, camping, school, gym, food prep….I kinda ran out of time in the day. While I love you all, my kids kinda trump just about everything. Rainy days always equal more hands on mom related work than sunny, throw the kids outside and chill out on the deck type days.
So, what have I been up too? Well, I have started running intervals. I suck. Yup. This body was not built for running. It may have been at one time, but it is currently not in running condition. Intervals are fun. I can crank out about 3Km – without stopping. I am aiming for 10km by fall and then a half marathon in the summer next year. That should be fun…right?
As for the gym, I am sorta on a hiatus. Not so much because I don’t want to go, I am just in the middle of potty training my 3 year old and, well, to be honest I just don’t want to be dealing with “accidents” anywhere but in my own house…or possibly the park across the street. I intend to go back once the training is complete besides, if I can hack out two more months they will both be in school in the morning and I won’t have to worry about dragging either of them with me when they don’t want to go. Sweet, sweet freedom. In the meantime I have some free weights at home, as well as tubing, an exercise ball and more than enough DVDs to ensure I am not totally bored out of my mind.
Food. Well, I have completely separated myself from the Whole30 community and most of the Paleo community as well. Not because I don’t approve of the food, the lifestyle or anything like that, but I have noticed a definite shift in the mentality on some of the community pages I used to belong to. There seems to be a growing tribe of militant cavemen (and women) out there and I just don’t have the time to deal with that kinda of crap. I am noticing a lot of bashing and flame throwing that is just unnecessary. Sadly, the community is what has turned me away from the “movement”. I don’t deal in absolutes. The universe is not built on absolutes and the paleo community at large seems to be dealing more and more in this “my way or the highway” type crap. There seem to be a lot of very vocal individuals that are confusing their eating habits with their identity and it is just sad.
So, where does that leave me? In the same place I was before. Really. I still make my own food from scratch. I still ensure I have adequate fat intake. I still enjoy steak, fish, poultry, game and the like. I still consume copious amounts of fresh veggies daily. I just also enjoy quinoa, wild rice, and lentils. I don’t usually eat breads or pastas but, when I do I thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t have to monitor who I tell about my fabulous bowl of beef and lentil soup for fear of the paleo police popping up and telling me how I am going to die of ABS because I ate lentils and now my guts are inflamed for a month and I may just have a heart attack.
Anyway, toodles poodles.
I shall make an effort to post much, much more frequently.