Friday, June 1, 2018

Whole 30: Day 32

My "Whole 30" is technically done, but I am really pleased with the results and I think I could benefit even more if I kept it up a little longer. I have a trip coming in the middle of June so I'm hoping I can keep it up at least two more weeks. I'm also loosening the rules a little bit -- enjoying a drink with friends, getting a good meal at a restaurant while on a date with my husband -- but at home, sticking to the rules.

So, what happened after 32 days? My body started feeling like mine again -- not bloated, feeling icky. I felt like I fit in my skin again. I also fit in my clothes better! I still have a muffin top, and my stomach isn't flat--that will require a lot more work, but my jeans fit again and I dropped 7 pounds. My skin still gets blemishes and my acne is still an ever present trouble, but its a tiny bit better too. I have more energy and overall have been sleeping better (just not this week).

If you are interested in knowing what other kinds of improvements they say you can experience on this reset, check out this PDF.

I told you before that I'd try to list out our favorite meals when we were finished. It's true, we did enjoy the foods we ate!

 - Whole 30 Sweet Potato Mash & Curry Meat Balls by Whole Smiths
 -  Creamy Pesto Zoodles & Chicken by Whole Smiths
 - Whole 30 Slow Cooker Beef Stew by Physical Kitchness

A few meals I attempted to make Whole 30 by substituting ingredients or leaving them out all together. Those were totally fine, just not awesome. A few meals we made were complete duds (chili and meat loaf). Our easiest meals were spaghetti squash with homemade beef ragu and salmon with roasted vegetables.

We did spent a lot more than usual this month -- we went through 6 or 7 eggs a day which means we bought nearly 4 dozen eggs a week. Eggs are not cheap these days! We had meat with every meal - ground pork and beef were more common but we had chicken and lamb too. We ate a lot of sweet potatoes, I would estimate we went through about 15 pounds.

The kids still ate their regular favorites so we couldn't stop buying bread all together. But we bought half as much! And we didn't buy any cereal (the boys were well stocked), and since we weren't eating cereal we didn't need to buy almond milk either. Chris didn't eat a PB & J sandwich for lunch every day so we didn't go through jelly or peanut butter like we used to and it was too difficult to find deli meat without all the preservatives so we skipped that too. It seemed like a lot of our go-to normal, every day foods were off limits so we just stopped buying them. (They were replaced by much more expensive foods so it's not like we saved money, but it did help to cut things out.)

I'm feeling really good -- proud of myself for doing something hard and happy with the results. I never really thought I could do it, but I did (minus a few slip ups like tasting things I had cooked for other people and using non-compliant condiments by mistake).

Thanks for following my challenge!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

One Night of Camping

Earlier this month, William and I were invited to join my good friend Kate and her daughter for a night of camping near Bodega Bay. I had not been camping since Chris and I went to the Redwoods for our 3rd Anniversary -- which was a long time ago! We still had all of gear (Chris had just gone camping in March) so there was no reason to say "No." Well, even if we didn't have any gear I would have found some so we could go!

The four of us left Saturday morning and drove the 90 minutes to Bodega Dunes. Kate handled everything really -- the campsite, the food, and the fire. The campsite was awesome, there was a huge sand hill behind our tent so the kids just grabbed the sand toys and ran up to the top. William could have stayed there the entire time but we pulled him away so we could play in the sand that was actually on the beach. It was a lovely day, although fairly cloudy and windy. I was glad we brought a lot of layers! We bundled up and had a picnic on the beach for lunch. We made some friends with two little girls that were playing near by (and their parents).

 After a few hours, when we were successfully chilled to the core, we packed up and hiked back to our campsite for a rest. The sun was shining right on our site so we could warm up just by sitting at the table!

After a little rest, we went on a walk around the campground to see what could be seen. There were big trees, friendly campers, flowers and birds to see. On the way back to our campsite we ran into the family that we had seen at the beach! We were just a few campsites apart! Kate invited them over to roast marshmallows after dinner.

At the campsite, the kids went back to playing in the sand, William giving his new shovel the attention it deserved. We ate dinner which Kate had made ahead of time and started a fire to roast marshmallows. The two girls and their family joined us and they brought some friends too. All the kids piled into the tents to play while the adults hung out around the fire. It was really fun, just hanging out with new friends.

Nothing we did that day was stressful or hard (like I said, Kate took care of just about everything!). I couldn't remember the last time I did nothing like that. We walked around, enjoyed the beach and had good conversations. No rushing, worrying, or planning.

We went to bed early that night. Mostly because the kids weren't settling down and needed to be separated. William enjoyed the day a lot, but sleeping in a tent was new to him. After laying next to me for 30 minutes he said "Mom, I want to go home to sleep in my bed." I had to explain what we were doing and that tomorrow we would be home and he would have his bed again. This was just for one night. He clung to Chris's headlamp as a night light and when he finally fell asleep I was able to shut it off . . . because I can't sleep with a bright light in my face. He seemed to sleep well enough. He woke up at 5:30 and I was able to convince him to go back to sleep. I hadn't slept that well (who does?) and even 6:30 felt way to early to me, but that's when he was up and ready for more shoveling.

The next morning, we had breakfast and caffeinated tea, packed up our gear and drove to the beach for one last hurrah. The morning was a lot sunnier than the previous day, it was still chilly but not has bad as the day before. We tried to get the kids to go on a walk and burn off some energy before the drive home . . . hoping they might nap. But they were content to just sit in one spot and play in the sand. After an hour it was time to head out. Something happened that triggered a massive meltdown for William so getting to the car took a lot longer and a lot of muscle on my part. Overtired and hungry is not a good combination for my son. After an early lunch he was much better and we headed home.

William's first camping experience was a success! And other than me taking 20 minutes to get ONE sleeping pad back in it's sleeve, I think I did okay too. I definitely enjoyed it and hope we can do it again. Maybe even attempt to bring Stephen!

The Handmaid's Tale

I finished the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood a few weeks ago and I'm not really sure what I thought of it. I kept waiting for the author to really explain what kind of society this women were a part of and what the time period was for this story or offer some sort of background and explanation for why the women were divided into what seemed like casts but she never really did. By the end, I realized that wasn't the way this story was meant to be told or understood, so when it was over, I was left a little fuzzy.

If you aren't familiar with the story, I'll use a sentence from Wikipedia to explain the subject:
The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society and the various means by which these women attempt to gain individualism and independence. 
It's a really hard subject to read about - women being used as sexual servants for the purpose of procreation - there is nothing positive about it. The book is considered a classic and on recommended reading lists for high school and colleges, and has received many awards; it was written in 1985. I had never heard of it until this year . . . where have I been?

I'm glad I read it, even if I didn't especially like the life the Handmaids lived or the scenes that unfolded; it was an interesting read and a topic worth thinking over.