a (not so) little whole30 update

As I mentioned, I finished my first whole30 last week. (Just to recap: it’s basically 30 days of no sugar, no gluten, no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no legumes, no soy.) Since then, I’ve been experimenting with a few of those forbidden foods, and I’ve learned quite a bit.

I was really curious about how dairy would affect me because I missed (craved!) it during June. I don’t drink much milk, but I do love full-fat plain Greek yogurt mixed with berries for breakfast, and I enjoy all kinds of cheeses. I’ve found that while yogurt hasn’t upset my stomach at all, it does leave me with almost immediate drainage in my throat that’s thick and hard to clear (sorry to be gross!). I’ve had sinus and allergy issues as long as I can remember, and now I’m wondering how much of that has been because of dairy products. I’ve decided to have yogurt for breakfast on occasion, but it will be a treat — as will dairy in my coffee and cheese on my salads.

Reintroducing my favorite Belgian dark chocolate didn’t go well. I ended up with a horrible case of indigestion. I’ve heard that it can cause reflux, but I’d never isolated it before. Sure enough, it left me quite uncomfortable. I’ll give it another try to be sure, but I’m fairly certain it will be be a very occasional treat from now on.

Last night I came home from work very tired — and craving pizza. So we went out, and I indulged in my first gluten since May 31st. Honestly, it didn’t taste that good but I was so hungry that I ate an enormous slice. I expected to get pretty sick. I felt stuffed, but I haven’t had any other adverse reactions. I got up this morning and returned to my whole30 way of eating (that is definitely what they call a non-scale victory!). I had no brain fog or mad sugar cravings, and I had enough energy to exercise after work.

Speaking of exercise, I’ve met my goal six of the past 8 days. I’m pretty happy about that.

Even better than feeling good physically, I feel more like myself these days than I have in months. To be honest, our move earlier this year combined with a loooong stretch of insomnia really wiped me out. I had achy joints and absolutely no energy. I got out of my usual routine, and it’s taken me months to get my groove back. Now I’m reading more, blogging regularly, picking up my camera every few days, and knitting again. Those are activities that energize me and make me feel more alive.

I promise that I won’t blog obsessively about whole30. But I can’t help sharing with you something that has really helped me. My friend Natalie has been blogging about her positive experience, too — most recently here. And here’s why the whole30 is the diet for people who hate diets.

Seriously, y’all. I feel good.

G’night,

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2018 reading

This year – the year that I turn 50 – my goal is to read 50 books, mostly from my own shelves. Here’s how it’s going so far:

JANUARY

  1. This Must Be the Place: A Novel – Maggie O’Farrell
  2. Young Jane Young – Gabrielle Zevin
  3. Delores Claiborne – Stephen King
  4. How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem – Rod Dreher
  5. The Temptation of Adam – Dave Connis

FEBRUARY

  1. Death Comes for the Deconstructionist– Daniel Taylor
  2. In Fairleigh Field – Rhys Bowen
  3. The Whole30 Day By Day – Melissa Hartwig
  4. Not Perfect – Elizabeth LaBan
  5. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

MARCH

  1. Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  2. Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line – Michael Gibney

APRIL

  1. My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love & Life – Luisa Weiss
  2. Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits– Gretchen Rubin

saturday

Today has been a perfectly lovely day:

~ Paul’s brother and his wife are in town and stopped by for a visit. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get a photo of the brothers!

~ Paul and headed up to Thomasville for lunch and a couple of errands:

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gear

George & Louie’s for lunch:

gandl

~ A stop at my favorite yarn shop. I just love this place! I love that when I walk in Cadence calls out, “Hi, Anne!”

lys

~ A stop for an Icee on the way home (I know, I know… it’s not Whole30. But I felt like we were on a little vacation, so I indulged. It’ll be okay.)

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drive

I hope you’re having a good Saturday, too!

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5 favorites

Here are a few of my favorite things these days:

okra1~ Roasted okra — I can’t get enough of this. I wash the pods, snip off the caps, and make sure they’re thoroughly dry. Then I toss them in coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. I roast them around 400 degrees until they’re nice and brown, tossing them around occasionally as they cook. So yummy and perfect for whole30 (I’m back on the wagon this month.)

~ My magnifying mirror — My mom gave me this years ago, but it’s only in this past year of aging eyes that I’ve come to rely on it every single day. I didn’t realize how dependent I’d become until I traveled to Chattanooga for a week recently and didn’t think to bring it along. Big mistake. I had a hard time seeing to put on eyeliner or make sure my eyebrows were tidy. When I finally got home, I had to do some serious deforestation there. I think this one is like mine, but it’s marked as currently unavailable.

~ Savannah Bee Company Earl Grey Lip Balm — I use this every night before bed, and I can’t go to sleep without it.

~ What Should I Read Next? podcastI’ve mentioned this one recently, but it is my favorite podcast these days. I’m listening my way through the archives  on my commute. My wishlist continues to grow…

~ Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford — my favorite fiction so far this year.

Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?

hey there

Hi, I’m Anne, and I’ve been a very lazy blogger. It seems that when I get one or two areas of my life together, something has to go, and for this past month or so I just haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and type anything coherent. I’ve been focusing on improving my health, and that is going well. At the beginning of April, I began another round of Whole 30, and after a day or two of detox “flu,” I immediately felt so much better.  On my first round I discovered that I’m allergic to dairy. Nevertheless, I let it back into my diet and had a terrible fall and winter of stuffed up nose, sinus headaches, and absurdly puffy eyelids. But since giving it up again, I haven’t had to take a single pill for my allergies all month — when everything is blooming and I’d normally be sniffing and sneezing.

We also began a step challenge at work around that same time, so exercise has been a priority. I’ve been walking nearly every day, and that has me feeling more energetic and more antsy when I have to sit for any length of time. I can tell that my endurance and speed have improved, as well.

I still compose blog posts in my head when I’m in the shower or on the road, but they’ve not yet made it to my laptop.

I have kept up with my 366 photo project on Instagram. Here are some recent photos if you don’t follow me there:

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I’ve also been knitting, reading when I can, and trying my best to avoid thinking about moving soon.

If anyone is still checking in over here, thanks! I’ll try to have something new next time you stop by. 🙂

Happy Saturday!

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what I read in 2015

It was a disappointing reading year for me. But I enjoyed knitting. 🙂 I plan to be more intentional in my reading in 2016.

JANUARY

~ About a Boy – Nick Hornby
~ The Overlook – Michael Connelly
~ What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage – Paul David Tripp
~ Stop Walking on Eggshells – Paul T. Mason, Randi Kreger
~ Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith – Scotty Smith
~ Caught Off Guard: Encounters With the Unexpected God – William P. Smith

FEBRUARY

~ Be Careful What You Wish For (Clifton Chronicles Book 4) – Jeffrey Archer
~ The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough
~ Misery – Stephen King

MARCH

~ Knowing God By Name: A Personal Encounter – Mary Kassian
~ The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

APRIL

~ A Man Called Ove: A Novel – Fredrik Backman
~ I’m Too Young For This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause – Suzanne Somers
~ The Dogs of Rome – Conor Fitzgerald

MAY

~ It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life In Unexpected Ways – Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig

JUNE

~ Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
~ Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown
~ Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection – Ed Welch

JULY
…reading, reading, reading…

AUGUST

~ Happiness Is A Serious Problem – Dennis Prager
~ Let’s Study Ephesians – Sinclair B. Ferguson
~ Blood Work – Michael Connelly (Audible)

SEPTEMBER

~ The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are – Sheila Walsh

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

~ Gray Mountain: A Novel – John Grisham
~ Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning – Nancy Pearcey

DECEMBER

~ Naked Economics – Charles Wheelman
~ Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves – Trillia Newbell

(Just so you know: Every time you click on one of the Amazon links and make a purchase, a few pennies are eventually passed along to me. They eventually add up and feed my book habit. Thanks ever so much!)

random thoughts

~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.

dropstitchscart

aus

~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?

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all good things must come to an end

Well, we’re back to reality. Or almost. We got back home earlier today, and I’ve been busy unpacking, restocking the fridge, and doing laundry. I’m back on the Whole30 wagon tomorrow, so I boiled eggs, made a big salad, cut up some veggies, and have some chicken marinating.

We return rested and relaxed and grateful for our time away. Paul and I agree that we have fun traveling together and even going to Costco together. We’re grateful.

Here are a few more photos from our time away:

coffeeba
coffee with a nice view

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babeach

rb
not a cloud in the sky…

umbrella
umbrella, multiple layers of SPF, hat, sunglasses — it’s hard to be a white girl in the sun.

niceview
nice view! 😉

beachbook
bliss!

chips
chips & salsa for lunch

usseaside
last evening on vacation

We stayed on 30A, and enjoyed the scenery and several good meals. Our favorites: The Great Southern Cafe (we liked it better than Bud & Alley’s), The Perfect Pig, and La Cocina Mexican Bar and Grill.

Ciao,

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i did it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 9.52.18 AMI finished whole30, and I’m so very glad I stuck with it. I feel better, and BONUS! – I lost 9 stubborn pounds. My joints aren’t achy, and my digestion is much improved. I have an fresh awareness now of how what I put into my body makes me feel, and I’m enjoying the taste of real food. (Just yesterday I had one of the best salads I can remember. I used leftover steak from the night before with romaine lettuce and assorted salad veggies, a few walnuts, and a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette that’s become my favorite dressing. Every bite tasted wonderful, and it left me satisfied until supper.) I’ve cut back on caffeine, and I’ve found I really don’t “need” snacks anymore.

I’ll admit that it took a lot of planning and work to hang in there for 30 days. My eyes have been opened to how hard it is to find whole, real food without any funky additives. Sugar is in nearly everything, and did you know soy is in much more than you’d suspect — cans of tuna, vitamins, supplements, and more? Meat in restaurants is often not 100% meat — dairy and soy are added to meat even in upscale burger joints. Having compliant food in the house takes real effort. And I never seem to buy enough eggs or berries.

It really helped to have some friends at work committed to this way of eating, too. We shared experiences and recipes and encouraged each other.

There have been a few moments of mad cravings, but honestly, the worst part has been the never-ending pile of dirty dishes in the sink. (Fortunately the dishes fairy pays regular visits. Thanks, Paul!) When there are few places you can eat out and you have to do some sort of cooking at every single meal, it gets old.

I’m going to stick with many of the habits I’ve acquired over this past month — cooking with coconut oil (Trader Joe’s is my favorite), eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, avoiding soy and gluten, compulsively reading labels, having boiled eggs always ready in the fridge. I’m most curious about how dairy will affect me when I reintroduce it because I really miss my full-fat, plain Greek yogurt with berries for breakfast. And I love the creaminess of half & half in my coffee, even though I’ve learned to make do with coconut oil or coconut milk.

Now that I’ve seen what a difference 30 days can make, I’ve decided that July is a month to really commit to moving my body every day except for Sundays. I’m encouraged and motivated by my progress in June and want to keep the momentum going in July. My Fitbit is now back on my wrist.

I really think most everyone could benefit by checking out whole30 (the website is generously filled with free resources).  It Starts With Food is a helpful read and reference, too.

It’s not easy, but what positive changes ever are? If you’ve done a whole30 or are considering it, I’d love to hear about it.

Feeling good,
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monday miscellany

Another round-up of links that make me think:

~ Read the Bible to your anxiety.

~ I’m feeling quite world weary these days. Everything, and I mean everything is politicized. Doug Wilson articulates this well:

…it is unseemly to politicize these horrors when the families are still weeping. Whether the issue is gun control or something else, whenever a hard sell comes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, the only thing it makes me want to do is wonder at how boorish some people can be. If this the case when the political issue is arguably connected, as with gun control, how much more is it the case when it is so obliquely related? Did the alleged shooter even know about the [Confederate] flag? Boorish behavior can be exhibited by either side. If one man starts a roaring debate in favor of gun control the same day of the shooting, the situation is not improved if an advocate of open carry does the same thing the next day. The families involved, who include godly Christian people calling for repentance and a turn to Christ, ought not to be distracted by apparatchiks trying to make some political hay out of their grief.

~ Just start.

~ A Whole30 success story.

~ I recently made this crispy baked okra, and it was soooo good.

~ If you use Chrome as your browser, you may want to reconsider.

Well, that’s 3 days in a row of blogging.  And I pulled my camera out of the cabinet. Baby steps. 🙂

Happy Monday!

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