First 36 hours thinking about committing to Whole30

September 14: Reading the book I bought about Whole30 and trying to get the teenager into it. I really think it will help the fluid levels in her head.

She’s miserable with her ear infection— now that she’s taking Augmentin, the ear gunk, as I like to call it, is pouring down her nose and throat and making her cough. She went to rehearsal for marching band before today’s home game and she was stumbling and off balance.

She didn’t really have the lung capacity to play, and the clogged ears make blowing hard so she came home and slept through the game.

I bought some eggs at the farm, organic raisins and ginger crystal drink at one natural food store, and ginger chews, liquid smoke and Whole30 approved coffee creamer at another.

The ginger is for the girl’s throat.

I came home and cooked three chicken breasts— some to top my garden salad for lunch and the rest to make a chicken broccoli cold salad for lunches early in the week.

For dinner, we had chicken and some spaghetti squash served like spaghetti and sprinkled with bacon cheddar cheese.

I’m making an effort to plan meals that are Whole30 compliant and testing the waters with individual meals. But I’m also not buying anything not compliant, so by the time we are ready to commit we have the house ready.

September 15:

She had ice cream last night, claiming its necessity due to her throat. I had a “Philadelphia cream cheese cheesecake cup.”

I woke hungry, but I also slept in until 7:30. I also had a headache. Read about the part of Whole30 where you can’t have coffee until after breakfast. I wake very bumbling. And I usually get hungry around 9– even if I have breakfast at 6 or 7 I get hungry around 9.

I had some herbal tea, unsweetened, and it fixed my headache. Tried Whole30’s method of poaching eggs in the skillet— I think I liked mine better. I made a slice of Dave’s Killer Organic Seeded Bread as toast. I know two emotional assumptions about eggs I will have to break if I commit to Whole30: poached eggs go with toast (they suggest salmon, I can do that) and omelettes need cheese. That I will need to overcome.

So I ate my farm fresh poached eggs, about to have a golden kiwi for dessert.

And then finally coffee.

Not so Whole30

It’s hard to believe that in two more weeks I will be celebrating my six-month anniversary in my new job in the development office at ProJeCt of Easton.

Three months in, my husband and I separated. Four months in my boss gave notice. Almost five months in, I received a promotion. Last week, I asked my agency to hire an old acquaintance as a temporary event planner. Our signature fundraiser is six weeks away!

This summer I have written four grants, worked on two collaborative grants, and wrote a letter of interest for a grant. I have three more grants due in the next three weeks.

But in the midst of everything, I’ve had some amazing work adventures but I’ve noticed my natural energy and trips to the gym and being replaced by doughnuts and coffee.

It’s also Marching Band Season with my teenager in her third year in low brass. She’s struggling with a hectic schedule, her fitness waning and her old ear infections coming back. She has a raging one now according to the doctor at Patient First.

She has an appointment with her ENT practice on Thursday. I think she needs tubes. She had them about eight years ago. She needs them again.

My daughter and I both love carbohydrates. I have been weight training now for almost six years consistently and the only thing that keeps me from looking like a totally ripped badass is my weakness for sugar.

I consider myself a lazy bodybuilding princess. I don’t have the hard core discipline to work out daily, but I like to lift. I like results. I like to be strong. But I also like to be lazy.

So food plays into that too.

When my daughter was little, I heavily restricted her dairy hoping it would help clear her head of fluid.

Maybe I need to do that again.

My friend Bill Prystauk (of Crash Palace Productions, author of Bloodletting and Punishment) recommended the Whole30 for my daughter.

I can’t stop thinking about it so I bought the book.

But can we do it?

More to come…

Her week of vegetarianism

My daughter is a lifelong carnivore. Recently, she’s shown an interest in going vegetarian for a week. She wants to see if she can do it.

Of course she can do it.

Especially since I was a vegetarian for eight years before she was born.

We started with lunch today.

I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with carrots. Not only vegetarian but vegan, too.

Dinner was a stir-fry. I made a sauce of Chinese cooking wine, low sodium soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, fresh lemon juice and tahini.

I toasted some sesame seeds in my cast iron skillet.

Cooked some potatoes and Brussel sprouts in the sauce and then added grated radish, carrot and cabbage.

Served with saffron rice.

It was tasty. She enjoyed it.

So we’ll see how the week goes.

I’m already meal planning in my head:

  1. Ravioli
  2. Baked beans and corn muffins
  3. Vegetarian burgers
  4. Breakfast for dinner
  5. Scalloped potatoes and vegetable casserole
  6. Falafel
  7. Homemade pizza
  8. Zucchini cakes
  9. Mexican
  10. African chick pea stew
  11. Salad

Better honed ideas when I get to the kitchen.

My compost heap makes me happy

When my teen daughter still attended elementary school, I liked to garden. I have a small yard in an urban setting but it was enough to hold some herbs & a few vegetables.

I noticed quickly that my soil was mostly clay. To rectify this, I started composting.

I turned the area under my deck into my pile of decomposing refuse. I took a plastic coffee can with a lid and collected the compostables from our kitchen.

Now that plastic bucket gets stinky. But nothing a session with the hose can’t rectify.

The soil that this makes is so rich and dark.

It’s satisfying.

But it’s the “turning” that makes me happy. That’s when you periodically dig holes and bury your freshest fruit-and-vegetable bits to the bottom of the pile.

I have my own shovel and I love to dig and rearrange and mix all the different stages of compost.

It makes me happy.

Stress eating… hello Dunkin’ and Starbucks and bakeries

I have always had a love of candy.

And when I started working at Target, the baristas there extended my love of sweets to include various fancy overpriced coffee drinks. (Yes, Starbucks, that salted caramel mocha latte and the caramel ribbon Frappuccino are delicious.)

But when I started focusing on eating for health and bodybuilding, the sugar had to go.

Historically, I’ve never been a coffee drinker. But a bout with severe anemia ten years ago had me relying on a five-year-old making coffee because the afternoon sun had stolen all my energy on the walk home from her kindergarten class.

I would literally rest on the living room rug and that coffee would give me the energy to climb my way to the table.

So when I needed to end my sugar habit, I replaced it with a plain cup of coffee with a touch of cream. If I were hungry, that would stave my hunger until I made a proper snack. If I were eating out of boredom or emotion, the coffee gave me something to do.

But now, almost five years later, I realize I have become a stress-coffee-drinker. That if I’m gloomy, or tired, or bored, or upset, I go get a cup of coffee.

I’m still disciplined about sugar, though I am slipping back into my old ways, but I notice now I want coffee AND pastry.

Relationships with food can be tricky.

Road trip to Washington DC

So, while my daughter was on Spring Break, I experienced something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

A paid holiday.

A long weekend.

We spent Easter in Washington, DC, with my traveling companion, M. and his Indian housemates.

Washington, DC, is approximately 3.5 hours from my house by car. I say approximately because traffic can fluctuate.

We left at 8ish Friday morning, stopping at our local Target for band-aids, nail polish remover and bagels. We always run into people we know and give lots of hugs so we didn’t get going until 9.

We stopped around 11:30 in York, Pa., to use the gym. We certainly are getting our money’s worth from our Planet Fitness membership.

And then… after a hearty upper body workout and slaying the crunches… there was a Five Guys outside.

We had the man who waited on us cracking up.

Follow me on Instagram for more photos

We arrived in DC at 3.

We hung around the house and had some amazing paneer for dinner. Then we went to Harris Teeter for groceries. This jelly bean addict was offended to see that they only carried Brach’s or Starburst jelly beans. No Just Born?!?!

In the morning, I took our Indian host to the gym in Silver Springs.

In the afternoon, we visited the Frederick Douglass house. That Victorian home is in tact. His books. His desk. His ice box. His dumbbells. His chair. His trunks. His rug beater.

Took my breath away.

Then we went to National Harbor. To the Peep store. Where, even though I am from the Lehigh Valley where Just Born makes my jelly beans and Peeps, I purchased a big batch of candy.

And fed my Indian host his first Peep.

See that here:

https://youtu.be/TgBQ2T4j_Nw

North Carolina memories (and the great little town of Littleton)

So, on my little girl’s 14th birthday we found ourselves in North Carolina. Our plan was simple: the Sylvan Heights Bird Sanctuary in Scotland Neck and the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in Littleton, N.C.

I fell in love with Littleton, with it’s population of 640. It reminded me of the small town near my childhood home (population, 400) but a tad more vibrant.

Littleton had several churches, three restaurants, a police station, an independent pharmacy, an independent hardware store, a library and an arcade.

And the newspaper box had about a gazillion copies of a freebie newspaper that appeared to be an advertising supplement to the local daily. It was literally one broadsheet, both sides, which made it four pages. About 2/3 of one page was the classifieds.

And in the middle of this broadsheet was the weekly Food Lion circular.

And it was in this sweet town we found Grandpa’s Barbecue where I had a good helping of sweet potato pie and the best potato salad I had ever eaten. The potatoes where practically puréed.

From there we went to the Crpytozoology Museum, which I believe I mentioned in an earlier post.

That place was two rooms in this couple’s house. He was a retired photographer from the New York Daily News and he said the area has a strong paranormal pull.