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. ūüôā

Happy Saturday!

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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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anne day

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Earlier this week my sweet husband informed me that today, July 3rd, was Anne Day (for an explanation, read the note at the bottom of this post).

As I tweeted last night, I was pretty excited about having a break from my before dawn alarm, but, of course, my eyes popped open at 5:00 a.m. on the dot. I powered through, though, determined to stay in bed longer. Next thing I knew it was almost nine. Nice!

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So far this morning, I’ve exercised (yay! 3 days in a row!) and am enjoying my first taste of dairy in over 30 days:

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So very delicious!

We’ve got some very loose plans for the rest of the day, and I’m taking my camera along. I love spending the day with the man that I love, and I love not having a schedule. Life is good, y’all.

Happy Friday!

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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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random thoughts

~ No television series should go longer than 5 seasons. Inevitably, characters do things totally out of character, writers and producers indulge in silliness, and there are bizarre dream sequences and awkward musicals.

~ Since Paul gave me a FitBit for Christmas, I’ve begun thinking in steps and miles. Since I got it set up Christmas evening, I’ve walked more than a marathon in the course of my daily routine. I’m strangely motivated by this:

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~ I’ve been intentionally reading more this new year, and I’m truly enjoying it. I recently finished About A Boy. It was an easy, amusing, yet serious read. I had to smile when I got to these lines. If you’re a Dennis Prager fan, you’ll understand:

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~ I had to show my ID recently to purchase cold/sinus medicine. I guess they knew that you needed to be a certain age in order to handle the sharp implement necessary to open the little pill packs. (And, hey, how is it not racist to require an ID to purchase medicine? That’s the argument for no ID for voting, isn’t it? Who are all the haters who want minorities to go without Mucinex?)

~ If our government is going to continue to be involved in the minutiae of our lives, I have another suggestion for a law: Ban radio commercials that have sirens in them. It drives me crazy to have to check my mirrors and wonder if an ambulance or fire truck is in my path.

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ Our recent southwest Georgia weather reminds me of Belgium — wet, cold, and gray. I would love to see some sunshine.

~ I love, love, love the Anhaica bucket bag I received for Christmas. It’s perfect for toting my current¬†knitting project.

Happy Thursday, y’all!
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