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July 2017

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I did everything but write this weekend - yesterday was a kid day (both kids, and also my son's gf, came by to see me).   My daughter was the real surprise - I see the son and his g/f Summer over here pretty regularly - but Tiffany rarely comes here, I usually drive to Dallas so I can see her doggie Bruce! He is a Corgi.  What more can I say - CORGI!!!!!  She has some good friends (and okay they are mine too - I went to their wedding, the weekend after 45 slayed us all and won (cough) the presidency - the friends are a gay couple, and their wedding was the best wedding I had ever been to.  Now they are close by and that makes me happy, just because.  :) 

So, it was pretty sweet to have her come HERE - and the dogs went nuts, of course, as they hadn't seen her in ages.


Yesterday I shopped as I hadn't since before vacation so was out of everything.  And today I didn't leave the house but completely gutted my kitchen, and completely redid my back porch/zen place.  Man that feels good to have that done but now I am exhausted but that is okay as my (main) boss is GONE FOR A A WEEK YAY!!!!! A week and a day!  Maybe a week and TWO days!!!  JOY JOY JOY!!!!

So, I will drink LOTS of coffee in the morning.  I did think a lot?  I am trying to untangle how I want to finish the last act/part of this story.  I have all my POV characters at their moments of becoming warriors, so to speak - and I've been working through different ways to get everyone where I want them to end this thing.  I have two options - and they are big options - I could either choose to wrap up this story in one go, a stand-alone novel, or I could choose to not do so.  Now, as I am getting ready for the drive toward the end, is where I have to decide.  

A huge part of me just wants to complete their story in its entirety - been working on this 15 years off and on, after all, and the thought of completing their narratives makes me very happy.  But the thought of not writing them anymore, either?  How can I bear to say goodbye to these characters?  This dilemma is a huge/major/overwhelming reason why I have not made much progress this last month (and did no writing at all on vacation).

But I really need to make a decision.   As a standalone, it would clock in easy at around 325k, maybe even 350k.  A big book, a big story.  I think I am leaning this direction, but with spin-offs, or stories running simultaneous to.  I have two such stories teasing me right now, one that I've also had for a long time dancing around in my brain (about 7 years). 

In any case - busy, tiring weekend.  I started a new diet as well, which I will talk about more later - it is basically Whole30, if you are familiar with that.  But, I am counting calories, which you aren't supposed to do on Whole30.  But I am, and there is a reason for that, and so there, that's just how it is. LOL! 

And now I must curl up with the puppy, and watch some  netflix.  I'll seek out American Gods tomorrow and watch the first episode then.

Well fortunately the good outweighs the bad for the weekend - whole 30 is still going great, I got in lots of great walking and geocaching (55 found so far! YAY!), lots of bonding time with the boy puppy:

maddox geocaching

Got to see my son and his flatemate and play with their new pet snake, Lucifer.

I LOVE HIM!

So much so my son is going to find me my own pet snake!

Yes, I want my own pet snake. It was so relaxing to just be aware of this fragile creature, looping in and out through my fingers as I chatted with the guys. This is Lucifer!

lucifer

His eye is cloudy because he is getting ready to shed his skin. Pretty cool.

So all in all, such a lovely weekend. Food went great this weekend, and in fact I have more been dealing with not hungry so why eat? Which I know I need to get enough food. One can't just not eat, right.

Anyway, now for the bad:

glass

Yes. That is my window, held together by the film over it. If not for that it would've been an even more horrible mess. My purse which was stuck under the seat out of sight (though my windows are so darkly tinted you really can't see in anyway) was stolen. Credit card, debit cards, insurance card, driver's license, Maddox's brand-new Geodog tag (grrrrr) and just the worse, my favorite Brighton purse that I've had forEVER. Like... nine years. Those purses just do not die. Now I have no purse at all because I never buy new ones, because I had this one. Dammit!

So anyway. I was at the park, innocently walking Maddox for almost two hours (it was that gorgeous out!) and then we come back to that. *SHAKES FIST*

I had to file a police report, and cancel the cards, but thankfully I have a passport so was able to get to the bank and get a temporary debit card.

So, onward and upward! I am about to make some soup for the week, and it will be an odd one. Zucchini soup. Yes. Weird huh. We will see how this goes. Otherwise, other than getting another couple miles in this morning, I have been quite happily lazy. Somehow it seems less awful to be lazy during the day after getting a good walk in in the morning. No guilt!

Back to my new addiction - Great British Bake Off, Great Irish Bake off and Great Australian Bake Off! There is an American one too! I am up-to-date on the British and Irish ones, currently watching the VERY peppy Australian one. :) So much fun to see the different countries' approaches to baking.

I hate baking, myself, and don't like rich desserts so much (but bread, ooohhhh) but I love these shows.

:) (oh and headaches are gone, YAY!)
I didn't want to bore the few reading this with 'so this is what I ate today!' as that is, well, boring, so I skipped a couple of days.
a heck of a lot of rambling in here )
Seventh day here, and I have to say this has been the easiest of weeks of dieting. Except it isn't dieting. I have had to deal with headaches, which I rarely, rarely get, but that just tells me that yes there is SOMETHING I am consuming that I needed to get out of my system. Given I am still drinking coffee and tea, it is not caffeine. But I have found several teas that are delicious plain - Constant Comment and Ginger Peach - and am content. After 7 days without sweeteners, I realize I don't miss them. How about that.

Other things I have not had this week - dairy, grains, flours, sugar, sweeteners of any kind, processed foods - everything I have eaten has had one ingredient and grew and lived one way or the other. That sounds a bit barbaric but when I did eat meats or fish I bought the best quality I could, free range, grass fed, hormone-free.

This hasn't been hard at all. I tossed everything out last week and have been eating like this ever since. There has not been one hour or one moment where I have struggled, been hungry, craved anything other than sweet potato but I can eat that so no big deal. There is a lot of variety, I have found www.nomnompaleo.com to have the best, easiest and most delicious recipes.

So other than headaches, what else have I noticed?

I feel lighter. My stomach is flatter. My rings are loose. My tastebuds are waking up and simple flavors taste amazing. I've learned to make ghee and other things I never thought of before. I find myself pulling my shoulders back and stretching a lot, because my tummy feels light if that makes sense. As the days have gone on I'm finding myself satisfied more easily, finding it easier to just stop eating when I am done. The dogs have liked getting the tidbits! :)

Also - foot pain has decreased with each day. I haven't had any stabbity pain since Tuesday. There was an hour two today as I was walking around at work (very busy day) that the odd sensation of burning under-toe returned (seriously, the pad of my big toe BURNS) but then it went away.

I've walked the dogs 4 out of the 7 days. Today I got home too late, another day it was too warm. Tomorrow morning I plan to get up, throw the hair into a ponytail, toss on some clothes and take Maddox to our favorite park. It is still too warm for us to try out his new backpack but that is coming! So I have to carry a water bottle for him. He'll need it. (Also! Lots of geocaches in this park - I have found 49, and am determined to reach 55 at least by the end of the day tomorrow!)

Sleep is good too - the last few mornings I have woken up well before the alarm. This is good. Very good.

So all in all, I am very very pleased with the first week of Whole 30. I've had some emotional roller-coaster, this is true and can't be denied, and I am not sure why but the sads hit really hard a few times this week. Little things made me feel sad and neglected and full of woe, just very alone. My daughter and son though--what would I do without them? I'd text Kelly or talk to Tiff awhile and the crushing feeling would lift for awhile.

Work, happily, has been awesome, and my boss and I talk a lot more about random things inbetween the work, which is nice. Been talking about biking, geocaching, hiking, food, adventures, crazy clients (we have plenty) and other lawyers, lol. He and Desiree know I have cut out all the stuff (though Desiree knows exactly what I am doing and is all chuffed about it). Not sure why the leap but I do love it, love the feeling of TEAAAMMM and working for someone who respects me and who I can respect. That is a very good thing.

Oh and have I lost weight? I have no idea! I hid my scale from myself. This isn't about weight loss necessarily, but I know it is happening. I hope at the end of the month I will have broken through that ridiculous plateau barrier I've been on for years. Srsly! For two years I have been almost exactly the same weight. Nice for the wardrobe to be consistent, but I wish it were ten pounds less, and then be consistent!

I am rewatching Supernatural. Am watching X Factor with [livejournal.com profile] sheswatching (oh my STARS! SCREAM! it is agonizing! Love it! ha ha), and just trying to stay busy, in a routine. That I am still working on!

Going to see my son tomorrow, and load up on local produce that he has so easily available where he lives, for next week's menu. :)

WHEE!

I want to sell my mountain bike and get a proper ten speed.

On to the next week of Whole 30, yup yup yup!
Today was the first day I've had without ANY caffeine in ages, years, decades... okay not really true but close? I love me my ice tea (but with sweetnlow only, apparently). So today I drank water, La Croix bubbly water, and one Kombucha Gingerade (mmmm). Breakfast was... NOT THERE! I woke up late, dragged out of bed, and ended up grabbing a Lara bar (allowed! but not to be eaten every day) and some nuts for breakfast. HORRIBLE!! SO BAD!!!

Lunch: lunch was a repeat of yesterday except an apple instead of an orange. Except it was a warm apple, not a cold apple, and I like my apples cold. LOL.

Dinner: Salmon and eggs! I first had this in Cardiff at our beloved Ty Rosa (will I ever get there again? I feel so far away from there anymore). Such great memories though, yeah. That was dinner with a touch of ghee and I also had some oven-fried cubed sweet potato.

Today was pretty good, honestly. Work was good, eating was easy, I wasn't hungry at all and I felt good all day. No severe toe-stabbities today. Who knows why? Not sure. We'll see how it goes.

So, day four is done, and my sister started today. I do feel a bit dragged down but I know that I am going through a detox stage a lot of people experience 'flu-like' symptoms. Or just the blahs, lack of energy, etc. It will pass. Quickly, I hope.

Onward and upward! It is October! I have a very small writing goal to meet this month, with Nano just around the corner. I've signed up here for the [livejournal.com profile] mini_wrimo, setting my goal at 25k. That would be 25k more than I have the last six months put together, so I think it is a good goal.

Stepped away a bit as I had a headache - lack of caffeine, yes? SO I cleaned the kitchen and made a fabulous lunch for tomorrow. I should've taken a picture. LOL I will tomorrow.
Ta da day three is done!

Food today was easy peasy as I planned over the weekend. Today's foods were:

Breakfast: the breakfast muffin and a half cup of coffee with coconut cream in it (I ran out of time to drink the whole thing!)

Lunch: Spaghetti squash with meatballs and green beans w/ghee, and an orange.

Dinner: Tuna pan-seared delicately, with olives, an avocado, and green beans.

I do love my green beans. Seriously. I was not hungry at all today, and did not feel stuffed either. Am figuring out portions, and I am pleased!

Weird thing - driving home from work today? All of a sudden my rings were loose.

Bad thing - my toe freaking killed me most of today. I just HATE it. And totally don't get it. Burning, burning sensation under the big toe, achy as hell joint, and stabbity pains randomly attack. What if this elimination diet doesn't help? I will cry.

Interesting notes for today. I have realized that without SweetnLow, I don't like plain ice tea. On the other hand, La Croix bubbly water in Coconut, Grapefruit, Berry and Plain are DIVINE. Coffee is great, hot tea (mint is my preference) is awesome, but iced tea, that which I drink TONS and TONS and TONS of every day? No. Going to toss it aside for now.

Emotions-wise, I was kinda down today. It was hard to identify what is bothering me. I need to work on figuring this out but I have just not wanted to be around people the last few days. This isn't like me at all. Not at all. Hmmm. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at work, not the work itself but just having time to take care of the behind-the-scene things. I never have enough time for that. So frustrating. So I stayed late (sigh) to get some stuff done.

I had to go by my MIL's on the way home and as always, it is hard to leave. I get it, I do - she wants me to stay for a long time each time I come over and oh how I get it but I needed to get home to the dogs. By the time I did, I just ended up making dinner for us (me and the pups) and then suddenly, it was dark! What! It was only about 7:40 or so! Sometimes I just HATE that I get off at 5:30 (but rarely get to leave then-as today I did not).

There is a stray kitty staying on the side of my house. I tried to tell it this was the worst house to stick to, given the huskies, but I fear it will be back out there again tomorrow. I can't feed it, I can't have a cat! :( But how can I not? It is so sad! Poor kitty! Poor little tabby kitty.

That's it for now - though I did accomplish something tonight. I conquered clarified butter! Go me! First attempt I burned it, ugh, but then I found out how to do it in the microwave.

Isn't it pretty? LOL no no I swear it is not pee, it is ghee!

ghee by me
Today was a much, much better day. I woke up when the pupsters woke me at 7 (the beasts!) but got up and let them out, and oh! the coolness, the breezes, the lovely aroma of Fall! I made myself a cup of my new coffee I bought (mmm so smooth) and sat outside on the porch and sipped my coffee. Even though it is only the second day, I am starting to realize that I have been masking the true delicious flavors of coffee and my favorite tea (Constant Comment :) with Sweet n Low. No more! I THREW IT OUT! I didn't throw it out the other day because in the back of my head I was fooling myself into thinking that I would get back to it. But I've got a new goal to toss in there - no more sweet n low, ever. No more aspartame, no more ANYTHING artificial. Later if I want sugar I will just use sugar, or Agave. Or honey, or pure maple syrup. Those four are at least natural. Yes?

Okay so back to today. It was 8:15 and I said something to Nick about should I make breakfast or go walking and he said GO WALK! So, we did. Maddox is doing much better about harnessing up. Shelby was asleep in the sun in the hole she recently dug for herself so I decided to leave her at home this time and just took Maddox. He did so well! I am so pleased with him. We walked for almost an hour and a half! He also got his very first geocache!

maddox first geocache

I've ordered him a Geodog dog tag so he can log his own finds. I am sure he is excited about that. (lol)

Got home and made a recipe I found that looked really good - breakfast muffins!

muffins

Ever so slightly healthier than the ones I made full of sugar and flour and such last week. These contain kale, eggs, pretty heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. So good! Well, the only thing I will change about next time is I will use olive oil instead of the coconut oil the recipe called for. I think my coconut oil is just too rich. So there is a slight sweetness to the muffins I am okay with, but not enthused about.

I also made meatballs! Free range beef combined with chopped up green and yellow onions, and sweet potato and spaghetti squash. That was dinner and it was amazing! That will also be lunch tomorrow with my favorite green beans from Trader Joe's.

I also had frozen grapes today. I kinda love that stuff.

It is the end of the day and I have to say I am very pleased. Got good exercise with Maddox, I ate very well, no sweeteners, had a marvelous nap. Emotionally I feel empowered - as one does when doing something like this at first! What was hard though was not being able to weigh! I have a terrible habit of jumping on the scale off and on during the day, apparently. Not today! *bites nails*

And one last thing I did today was attempt to make Ghee. Well, after totally ruining one pound of expensive Irish butter (sigh) I found a recipe to make it in the microwave then put it in the fridge. SO MUCH EASIER. Thankfully I had another pound of the expensive Irish butter (unsalted, btw). I rather like Ghee.

Today was also my dad's 81st birthday, so I called and talked to him for a long time. He finally, FINALLY is doing email regularly, since he got a new Kindle Fire! I have long wanted him to get with the program re: email and he finally has. :)

So all in all a good day. A very good day indeed.
So, my sister and I have decided to do this program called Whole 30. This is paleo-rooted, she found it first on Reddit, and after reading in depth about it, I decided this would definitely be a good thing to do. I am sick of the pain in my foot, I am tired of being tired, I am worn out by the deep moods that I can't/won't talk to anyone about, etc. etc. etc. Reading about the way what we eat can (and does) affect how we feel, well, makes sense. I've not felt myself lately. At all. Sure sure during work I am awesome, super-power Cee, but outside of work? I am not feeling at all tiptop. A lot of things have been bothering me lately, things I can't change (such as growing older, for instance, my kids being gone, not being needed like I used to be and I am SO a person who likes being needed). I feel very closed in and unknown. But other things I know I can change. But how? How? How how how???? Well the first and easiest way is making a lifestyle change - and I basically have done this in the past and was very successful so yeah. It is time.

I feel out of control. I hate that. I can't do it anymore, not if I can change things and maybe put an end to some of the stuff what needs letting go. Recently, I've seen my daughter strip all the crap out of her life and she has lost over 35 pounds. I am stunned and so happy and amazed. She did it by eating completely whole foods, no grains, though she is vegan (a vegan who eats eggs). She is amazing. I am so proud of her, so glad she has found what she needs to feel better about herself, etc. Well I can't be Vegan but Whole 30 I can do. :)

So tell me more about Whole 30, Cee! )

So what is Whole 30? It is 30 days of eating clean. That is no sugar, no starches (except sweet taters), no legumes, no white potatoes, no flour, no artificial sweeteners, no dairy... And most importantly, I suspect (for me), no grains. No bread. No pasta, etc.

This is the website, which explains it better: Whole 30

So this is what I am eating now, for the next 30 days!

Vegetables (except corn), all meats (bacon, etc. must be nitrate free), nuts, vegetables, coconut oil, butter in the form of ghee (making it tomorrow!). Coconut milk is a big part of it too... Can have coffee, tea, no sweetener though. Fruit, wonderful fruit! Important emphasis on good fats, and a high percentage of that. EDIT: AND OLIVE OIL! All the olives! Nom nom nom.

This girl does NOT believe in low fat. At all. Lies, ALL LIES.

To prepare for this I got a box, put in it all those things that were not refrigerated, and threw away the rest. Everything. ALL of it. EVERYTHING BAD AND HURTFUL is GONE.

So anyway! Today was the first day and I figure what I should do is write about what I am doing, how I'm feeling, etc. We'll see how it goes. I started the day by weighing (meep - need to lose 15 or even 20) and measuring (double-meep), and put my scale and the tape measure away for the next month. Then I made myself some tea, and drank it without sweetener.

Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked with ghee (ever tried ghee? it is another name for clarified butter - clarification removes the dairy for the most part) and spinach. Really filling whereas eating 2 eggs cooked with nothing leaves me starving.

Lunch: No nitrate hot dog. This sucker was HUGE!!! LOL. It looked like a big.... never mind. Frozen grapes, and a small salad.

I was out of coffee and nothing will do for coffee during this except for Avoca Coffee, a local roaster. So I went and got two bags of their best and ordered a coffee black and plain. At home I can put coconut cream in it (get a can of coconut milk from the Asian foods section, not the lite or low fat, (remember I do not believe in low fat) and put it in the fridge. The cream will rise to the top and can be scooped into the coffee. I can't wait to try it tomorrow!

Snack because Dinner was taking FOREVER: a handful of salt-free nuts

Dinner: lime chicken and a sweet potato (um, was supposed to have green stuff but I was so FULL). The chicken was marinated in a combo of lime, lime zest, cilantro and coconut oil. SO GOOD!!!! The sweet tater had butter on it (plain butter is not supposed to be eaten but I need to make the ghee - you make it with unsalted, high quality butter). This was a garnet sweet potato but I do prefer regular ones.

I have no idea how many calories and I am not caring. Am feeling good, not hungry at all. Today was easy but it was the first day. Even drinking tea and coffee without sweetener was okay. Oh and no sodas either BUT there is a marvelous brand of seltzer water that is flavor without sweeteners - grapefruit, plain and my favorite, coconut flavor!

Oh and technically one is supposed to eat three meals a day. Nothing inbetween. I do like that because those who say 'eat every 2-3 hours'? No can do, not with my work. And I am fine with that.

So let's see if this helps. Let's see if I feel better without all the crap, the grains, the processed foods, etc. Let's see if the stabs of agonizing pain stop, I sleep without needing Tylenol PM, if my mood lightens, I feel like getting out and being with people (which I don't right now, honestly...not good company imo), etc. etc. etc.

Tomorrow if it isn't raining, going to hook up the sled dogs and go for a spin around the neighborhood, and also try to pick up a geocache or two while we are out. Looking forward to that.

Until tomorrow... I srsly plan to right every night how the day went, what I ate, etc., but short posts. Definitely short posts.