Cheetos aren’t Paleo

Most of you are saying “Well DUUUUUH Liana, even I knew that!” I know you are. But the point isn’t the captain obvious observation, but more of how much of a struggle eating right is in this day and age. We are surrounded by quick and easy processed foods that make life seemingly easier. The $0.99 tacos sitting next to a $4.99 salad. The box of hamburger helper that leads you to believe that it will be quicker to use their processed chemically enhanced ingredients than it will to add fresh ingredients to the ground beef you still have to cook on your own. Or McDonalds, and Olive Garden, and for you Endurance Athletes out there, “Carb load” nights before a race.

I started this journey right before Easter as a trial. J had been trying to diet and even though I cooked pretty healthy, he admitted that sometimes it was a struggle when my plate differed from his because my meals weren’t as restrictive. He was eating Paleo/Primal style and I wasn’t. I still brought rice and tortillas and cookies and breads into the house. My biggest objection had always been giving up rice. It’s been an integral part of my whole life and I thought it was difficult to do until I stumbled across Nom Nom Paleo, a site devoted to Paleo eating written by an Asian family. A sign to be sure!!! and off I embarked on my journey.

I won’t say that those first few weeks were easy because they weren’t. I already knew based on my poorly kept food diary that I didn’t eat enough during the day. More specifically, I didn’t get enough protein in each day, even by SAD standards (Standard American Diet). Paleo made these issues even more glaringly obvious by removing breads and many other carbs from my available list of “go to” snack/meal options. No cookies, chips, no quick stops for sushi… Even worse, when I cooked that first two weeks, I panicked after making the main dish because I didn’t know what to serve with it. J would calm me down each time and remind me that it was perfectly ok to prepare to veggie sides. I spent many days and night poring over sites and books devoted to paleo meals to ensure that i was following all the rules. Eventually, it became easier and I realized that I had a ton of paleo friendly recipies in my noggin. I came to realize that there wasn’t a need for Paleo Perfectionism. Imagine my glee when I realized that many dishes I grew up with were paleo friendly! I could make them (some with slight tweaks) and enjoy comfort foods while staying “on plan”! Eat Kalua pork three nights? Don’t mind if I do! Steak twice a week? oh darn! Maybe I should start sharing those recipes with you all…

But between that and ramping my running back up, the past few months have still been hard. The delicate balance of eat enough and don’t eat too much changes when you’re training for endurance events, without adding paleo diets into the mix. I think I’ve been doing ok though. It has been 142 days since I began this journey. That’s 20 weeks I have spent craving spaghetti and Cheetos and chocolate chip cookies and not always winning. As you can see from the screen shot, I tend to yoyo up and down, but still going down more often than it goes up. Of special note is that I realized around the 16th of Feb that my scale was off by 4 Lbs, so I have to add them in manually. What does that mean? That I’ve lost about 10lbs now. Wednesdays weigh-in was 177. Around me, I see friends who struggle against an increasing waistline and other friends who scream in glee about their weight loss using products like Omni drops and Body by Vi and “wraps” promising to help you lose inches from your problem areas and yes even plain old diet/exercise. It’s a DIY struggle for us all as we grow older and realize that we can’t subsist on Cheetos and Mountain Dew. I am encouraged by those people who are paying attention to the journey and cheer me on. By the friends ask how it’s working out and start journeys of improvement and/or self discovery themselves. I may not have lost as quickly as others but that number moves and I’m proud of it? (and I’m proud of you.)

10 things again

I’ve taken a bigger break from 10 things than I planned, but here’s what’s in my head….

  1. LES MIZ is this weekend. One of my favorite musicals and I’m so stinking excited to go. Justin surprised me by mentioning it. My friends have all been checking in on Foursquare and Facebook and I have been meaning to find out when the show closes so I don’t miss it. I’m so glad that Justin mentioned it because I would have missed it! I’ve been listening to the 10th Anny concert at Royal Albert Hall and I just.can.not wait!
  2. Reading makes me realize how awesome my purple people are. I stumbled across this blog recently and it’s a nice reminder that there are still people that blog for the sake of keeping a recent record of what they’ve done and where they’ve been. It’s neat to see what a happy family he has and how he incorporates fitness in his life. Not enough families do any more.
  3. Why is it sooooooooooooooo cold in July?!?!? Yes yes yes, I know. Summer doesn’t start in Western Wa until after the fourth. But does it have to be so stinkin cold that I need hot cocoa in the morning?
  4. My dog. The Emos. He haz it. Not sure what’s up with my dog lately. He’s been reluctant to go outside to pee. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t have to go, but for some reason he’d rather go run for his box than go outside. There’s the obvious – we need to interact with him more given I’ve been gone a lot lately, but I’m hoping something more serious isn’t going on.
  5. Steak sounds rather lovely right now – big and juicy… medium rare please! The nice thing about Paleo is that the only thing restricting how often I eat this is my budget. And the likelihood I’ll get sick of it quickly if I eat it every night.
  6. So does cheesecake –Sadly not so paleo but one of my favorite snacks. It’s just so good!
  7. Paleo isn’t so hard. Really. I’ve been at it since Ash Wednesday and I’ve found that it’s not so bad. We’ve been eating pretty healthy to begin with but Paleo/Primal eating puts a bigger focus on eating right. My problem is still that I’m forgetting to eat. This leads to me being tired, or lethargic or cranky… pick one as it never seems to be consistent. Still – I’ve managed to lose 10 lbs since I started. I know this sounds like less than what most people would lose on this diet, but I was already consuming a large amount of water daily so I didn’t lose that “water weight” that many people lose at the beginning of diets. More on this soon.
  8. Should I run tonight or tomorrow? I may just hold if for Wed since it’s a holiday and I can run in the morning. With no big event in the near future I think I can scale back on the running some. I do want to decrease the walk ratios on my intervals though. That I think I’ll start on Wed. And yes I know I owe you some race reports.
  9. Michigan in Dec. We’re headed to M in December for Justin’s sisters graduation. I’m excited to finally meet her and also to see Colette and Jin after scaling back my Partylite business. Our Hotel rooms are booked already and the Notebook has tabs and tabs of stuff to do, things to eat.
  10. Need more Juicing recipies. I was finally able to talk Justin into buying a juicer and we’ve definitely been good about going through the veggies more often now. Hopefully it doesn’t fall off like a fad with him. We’ve been able to find some good recipes both through trial/error and recommendations from friends. I love how quiet it is too! I ran it a few mornings ago before work and unlike the blender I was using for smoothies, Justin slept through all the noise I wasn’t making.

A lot to think about

It’s now less than one week to race day and there’s a lot I have to do. For one, I need to finish unpacking and doing regular household chores left and/or created since I returned from San Diego. The cat seems is also sick again so the fun of pet worries abound. Joy. Also, poor kitty!

Some of you are waiting for race reports from Portland and San Diego. Yes, I PR’d both events and was extremely joyful about both experiences. I learned a few things about myself in the process!

Last night, however, I realized I wanted to talk about something else today. I was doing laundry so i would be able to actually run when I want to make the effort. (all my running bottoms and bras were dirty) As sometimes happens I found the drawer full of running gear a bit overflowing and made the time to sort through singlets, shorts & self wicking socks to remove the winter gear into storage. I also moved a growing stack of memories to the side. Bittersweet memories running through my mind that brought up thoughts of 7am mission moments that moved me to tears as I learned of how cancer changed a child’s life from one of playgrounds and hopscotch to chemo and blood counts. Thoughts of heart wrenching emails from afar describing the pain and loneliness of undergoing clinical trials. Memories of the smiles and laughter of loved ones taken by cancer. But mostly it brought back thoughts of how much cancer affects all of us and how far we are from eradicating these diseases. It brought home how often the word comes up every week without a reference to the word “Cure”.

When I say the drawer overfloweth, I’m not joking. The only thing that gets folded is socks so that I can grab a pair quickly and go. Everything else is a jumble since what I plan to use is mood and weather dependant. (Because, you know, Snow in April…).  I pulled these memories out of the drawer and neatly folded them for the shelf. I thought of each of these lovely people added to my jersey hours before race time. Each served as an inspiration to me not just on race day, but the entire time I’ve known them. Liz and Sweetie were the first one. My first race, my first half marathon my original inspriations. Two beautiful women who inspire me to be more. Sadly one was taken by Thyroid Cancer, but the other lives with a Joie de Vivre that serves as an inspiration to others around her. Six months later Liz told me about her friend My Tam who was beginning her battle. A beautiful woman with a love for words and creator of delectible image and dishes, she is also thankfully beating her cancer. CURE! is a word that can be applicable to her life. JOY! is another applicable word as it always seems she lives her life filled with it. Another six months passed and my aunt was taken from me. Darline was a beautiful person in life who taught her kids to live with joy. Lung Cancer was the villian that took her too soon. Cheri has been the latest. her name adorned my jersey in “Sunny” San Diego a few short weeks ago. And I say Sunny tounge in cheeck because there seemed to have been a perpetual cloud our entire weekend there. Only to disappear shortly after we flew out. Normally I’d say “What the hell?” but really it helped. I digress though.  Cheri I met a few years ago. Like many of my other inspirations, she was full of joy and an eagerness to learn and experience. No small feat given that she was french. ;)   Cheri was the mother of a friend of mine and it was shocking to see what cancer did to her. I can say I wish I had spent more time with her, I wish I had known her better, but the truth is that she was put into my life at the exact moment I needed her. I thought about her a lot in San Diego….

Race day, as I said, is now upon us.  Emails fly back and forth between my friends and I as we coordinate race day details. Where to meet, who’s carpooling with who and such. It’s a crazy time of chaos which leads me to thoughts of that bottom jersey. It’s blank because I haven’t chosen my inspiration yet. it’s not a methodical choice, nor is it instant. It’s just one of those inherent things that “come to me” when the moment is right. I told someone earlier today that after doing 2 12K “practice” runs and 2 half marathons (complete with PR’s) in the past month and a half, at this point, I hope to just finish as healthy as I started, completely inspired by my team of purple warriors out there beating the road down for a cancer cure.


Oh the places you will go…

The last two months have been somewhat hectic & slightly crazy for me. In that time, on top of my normal housework and work schedule, I managed two 12k distance practice runs & THREE half marathons. Some of you have probably already seen the proud photos I posted in my Facebook stream the last few weeks. First an unexpected PR (Personal record) in Portland and then again three weeks later in San Diego. I’m rather proud of being able to incrementally prove my time in back to back races. Granted the courses were very different, but they also had challenges unique to their area. If these challenges weren’t enough, I then added my latest race in Seattle to the list totaling Seven Half Marathons and one Full Marathon races in the last three years.

Portland was unexpected and completely last minute. On the last evening of registration, a friend sent me a text message coaxing me to run. We had recently become almost perfect pace partners and she felt I could only help her chances in finishing. Since I had already planned to be in the area cheering I nervously agreed. I knew that the course profile for Portland included quite a few steep hills and frankly I had not trained for them. “San Diego’s flat roads were what I planned for”. I kept repeating. But run I did, nervously repeating that I didn’t plan for these hills. But oddly, it’s not the hills I remember.  It’s a gal (I swear was high as a kite) chanting “Honey Badger don’t give a damn!” as encouragement along our route. It’s thoughts of Kathleen smiling and hopping alongside of us chanting about loving hills. It’s conquering those hills with a smile on my face with a spectator saying “that’s the last hill, it’s all downhill from here!” only to find one more hill. It was looking ahead to find that they course marshals had stopped the runners to allow traffic to pass. It’s realizing I worried more for my running partner than I did a PR when she twisted her ankle. And yet still managing a Personal Record! It rained on us and there were definitely hiccups that weekend, but none that really marred the event IMO.  Portland did a great job in presenting their first Rock n Roll event and I quietly contemplate a return.  Things I liked? They carpeted the bridge we ran on so we don’t chance falling. The impact of carpet on our body vs metal gratings was much nicer even if it wasn’t much. Things I didn’t like? The amount of GU pkg litter at that aid station. Someone dropped theirs and I managed to run right over it.  Perfect time to learn the less on “Always walk through water/GU station.” Also the stopping of runners I mentioned earlier? Totally happened, thankfully it didn’t ruin our time, but I can’t imagine how others felt about it. I’m glad I got talked into that race. It was a beautiful weekend.

I’ve forgotten to be thankful

I’ve been struggling with my goals this season. Both in running and fundraising. I started the year saying I wanted to PR all my races this year and I would spend the time in road to make sure that it happened. (This means to beat all my current records) But once January waned like many resolutions, my resolve slowly melted away.

I can make lots of excuses as to why. The weather was wacky enough to keep it bone chilling cold. (and it’s hard to run outside in weather like that). No gym membership meant that I had no treadmill alternative to use. My normal cohorts, Michelle and Teri, both got busy with life and were difficult to schedule weekly runs with. and I just plain didn’t want to get out of bed to go to a 30-40-60 minute run a half hour away in the rain. wha wha wha. lots and lots of whining. But some pretty miraculous things happened lately that made me realize how thankful I should be.

First, Carol Toro called and asked me to do a mission moment for a team run. She said that she found me to be a great inspiration and she wanted me to share my TNT story. (So I told the story of Jimmy, a SURVIVOR of childhood AML) Second, a gal I know via Twitter and the general interwebs of Seattle, decided with her family to form a team and walk Relay for Life. She does this because her mother and cousin are both battling Cancer in their own way. A family of fighters and survivors to be sure. Third, another local Seattlelite tweeted/facebooked his wait from the OR waiting room while the love of his life lay on an Operating Room Table having Cancer removed from her breast. All these things are singularly breathtaking in their own right. You (or at least I) feel emotion when I read these words. They were all great reminders of how thankful I am to have the life I have.

So back up on the horse I got today. With diffuculty as my boyfriend Justin will tell you. He almost had to push me out the door. But out I went for 40 minutes on a day that would not normally be a run day. Alone as I haven’t done in quite a while. And I thought about these people and how lucky I am to have them, even peripherally, in my life. How I am thankful to have my friends and family share time with me day after week after month. How lucky I am to have my health. I think about how cancer tried to take loved ones away from one gal and how they told Cancer to EFF OFF! How wonderful it is to see their family bond as a unit. (Because not every family does or can). I thought about that guy and his wait and how happy he was to have it over. Most of all I thought about how important those 40 minutes were today and the 40 I have planned for tomorrow. For each of those minutes will help fight cancer through donations from my friends and family. And if you donate 10 cents or $10,0000 I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And let me not forget to say Thank You. Thank you to my family and friends for loving my crazy self for exactly who I am. For being exactly who you are & being right where I’ve always needed you in life. Thank You to my co-workers and customers for keeping me more humble than my family does and reminding me day after day to be thankful for the gift of life. Thank you to the regular readers to my not so regular blog for sticking around and listening to the ramblings of a slightly neurotic woman. Thank you to my twitter friends for just being you. I’ve learned so much from just listening in on your conversations. Thank you for just being you.


3 weeks in – It takes time

At just past 3 weeks in I lost about 7 lbs. One of the most popular questions I’ve been asked during these past few weeks is about cheat days. Do I have them? Days when I can eat and/or gorge myself on whatever I want so I can make it all the way through to my goal?  My answer has been an unwavering no. I have always thought that cheat days were counter productive to the purpose and when I started this mission I decided against them. I don’t plan them into my schedule so I can look forward to Spaghetti night (I miss Spaghetti) or a big bowl of fried rice. (Miss that too).  I can’t say that some days haven’t been hard, because there have. Times when I whined via text and IM about how yummy a piece of Bananna bread sounds. Or a few cookies. While this hasn’t been as hard a journey as I thought it would be 20 some days ago, it’s definitely not a simple one. There have been many, many times where I have been tempted. Like when a coworker brought a COSTCO sized Red Velvet cake to a potluck. Or when I went for chinese with my aunts and favorite dishes just didn’t taste the same without rice. But like with my Marathon running, I have discovered that I am more stubbon than this diet is hard. :P

There’s still lots of things to read and research. Paleo Hacks has seen me to be a constant visitor as has Punchfork via their iPad app. I’m learning to move past the anxiety attacks I was having in the first week or so when I didn’t know what to cook or what sides to make with my hunk of meat. My broiler pan and frying pan has gotten more use in the past few weeks than it has in the year prior. It’s also now easier for me to eat less fruit than when I started. It was suggested to me that using Mark Sisson’s website Mark’s Daily Apple, but I decided the primal format he suggests is too loose for me. Not enough structure and too many opportunities to cheat and fail.

What am I making?  Simple sides like Carrots and Cabbage sauteed in Butter with a dash of salt and pepper. Simple, yet so so flavorful.  I’ll also sautee just the cabbage and use it as a presentation background for my meat. After adding random veggies to the plate, it finishes out the food trifecta I always try to have. (For some reason I have it stuck in my head that there should be three things on the plate). I’m learning to pre-slice the carrots, peppers and cabbage so all I have to do is toss it into the pan or the salad or where ever I want it. I’m still learning to get off my but and do that. Roasted brussel sprouts are another favorite in my house only to be made more yummy when we discovered a yummy recipie for Brussel Sprout chips. (Again at Nomnompaleo.)

But I won’t lie. There are still many, many days when I feel lazy. Days when I don’t want to cook, much less clean up the mess from the night before. There are also nights when we commit ourselves to events with friends. Part of dieting is not just to hibernate yourself until you’re at the weight you want. It’s learning how to make those same choices in public. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to plan ahead for ideas of what you might want to eat later. Giving you more time to make your menu decision as it were. Doing so has made eating out fairly simple. Still, there are occasional hiccups. Like going to a baby shower and feeling pressured to eat a cupcake becuase a well intentioned attendee is pushing them on you. Or making a restaurant choice with out actually reviewing what your choices are only to find there are no feasible options other than not eating. And most especially, not carrying around snacks that I know are acceptable to help in those situations.

Dilemma of a winner

Tonight’s Mega pot jumped up to 640+Million dollars and the US is abuzz with excitement. Constantly questions are flying around like “Did you buy your ticket?” “What would you do if you won?” but the question that weighs heavily on my mind isn’t so much “What would/could I do”. It’s more like “How do I say no, IF I won?” A few weeks ago, I posted a question on my facebook page asking people what they would do with a free $500, no strings attached and it was interesting to see the responses.

Personally, I haven’t played the lotto, much less gambled at a casino in many years. Mostly because there were many points where I was having trouble making ends meet. Ensuring that those few dollars went where they were most useful every month gave me a sense of control that helped me handle those lean times. After that, not playing was more because I never really thought about it. The constant flutter of conversation around me though has me thinking twice given the size of tonight’s pot. Do I play? More importantly when family and friends less fortunate than I come asking for assistance, how do I hide tell them no?
Like many people, I know which charities I want to support. I have a basic idea of how I want to pay my parents back for all the trauma joy of raising me. And yes there will be frivolous spending. But what do I do when my friend in North Dakota pings me asking for a little help to send jr to fat camp. Or when my sister who doesn’t like me to begin with suddenly becomes the best friend I never had in grade school? It’s easy to say that you’ll be able to handle all the attention and new and charity requests for your time and new found money. But when family and friends are the ones approaching, how do you say no? Do you say yes all the time? My parents taught me growing up to not take anything for granted. To do for yourself and value the dollar you earned today because not everyone has that ability. How do you stay generous and loving and help others learn that same lesson?

Researching Paleo

Pea Vine at Sea GardenMy first introduction to Paleo was earlier this year from Justin. He told me the basic premise, but a lot of things confused me. Like you can’t eat beans, but haven’t beans been found in fossilized remains? Potatoes are as naturally occurring as Yams, but Yams are ok while potatoes aren’t? He had me read books like Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, and recommended I read others like Good Calories, Bad Calories (also by Taubes). So many things sounded contradictory and so I dismissed many of them. With or without me, he was going to embark on this diet and move forward. I said I would support him on it, but frankly to ask me to give up rice? (Which he wasn’t) Kinda crazy talk, doncha think?

I committed to eat healthier though. More fruits and Veggies, less snacks and desserts… All that fun jazz. I even have tried keeping a food diary which taught me a few things I wasn’t aware of. The first and foremost being that I ate too much junk and too many carbs. The next being that I didn’t eat enough even on my inactive days to properly fuel my active days. So I watched what I ate. I made a concious effort to eat protein, less carbs and well… frankly just MORE. My coaches with Team in Training remarked endlessly and with joy at how my body had changed over the course of the last year. And when I look at pictures I could see the change in my body structure. The problem with perception though, is that it does nothing for how you feel and those numbers on the scale. Instead of creeping downwards with all my positive changes, mine were creeping upwards. In fact, at my last Dr appt, I weighed in at 188. Something needed to change.

I can’t say that I made a concious effort to go Paleo or to even go on any type of diet. I’ve sneered at “Diets” as a four-letter word. It was something people ‘tried’ temporarily until they reached a specific weight, or they fit into a dress, pair of pants, bikini…  Few people I talked to referred to diet as a lifestyle change that I believe it should be. What really happened is that a friend posted a picture of yumminess from the blog NomNomPaleo via Punchfork. I saw it and wondered to myself why I hadn’t been using Punchfork more often for new recipies to try. I had it on my iPad, what was stopping me? I followed her yummy picture and discovered a Paleo blog with MANY, MANY RECIPIES. huh. Then I followed a link on her page that said What’s Paleo? that lead to her husband’s blog. The first few paragraphs helped convince me to finally give this change a try. (The picture of an asian family who had given up rice didn’t hurt).

The next day (yesterday), I had at least 30 tabs open all onto something paleo related., NomNomPaleo, MultiplyDelicious, Whole9life, PaleoHacks and so many others. I even found a good book to help supplement all the different blogs I’ve begun reading. This book will help me maintain the nutrition levels I’ll need as a runner to ensure I don’t hit the wall when running my next half Marathon. It’s called The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Joe Friel & Loren Cordain. It’s pretty good so far.

One of the big things I found is that there is no one paleo diet. I could use big words, but let’s just sum it up by saying that some people say milk products are bad and others do not. Others say somethings are ok and others not. The best statement I saw said “THERE IS NO ONE DEFINITIVE “PALEO DIET.” Even cavepeople ate different diets.” (Thanks Fitbomb) So now all you Atkins-cavemen, South Beach Cavewomen, and Juicing Kidlets can stop worrying. Variation happens. Inuits ate differently than Polynesians, than Russians, and so on and so forth. The important thing is to not make excuses (Anyone watching Biggest Loser this season?) and stay committed to your goal. This is part of the reason, I made some changes today. A short FB conversation with my cousin who is a trainer on Bainbridge Island as well as with Justin convinced me to cut out those concessions I mentioned in my last post. I’ll be stopping the protein powder from my AM Smoothies as well as the Alcohol and add them back in if I find it really detrimental. (The protein powder I mean, not the alcohol. :P)

So it’s….. water? for me as well as some fresh-er Paleo friendly juices. We’ll have to see this weekend. I’ll also be making some homemade condiments, because I really do love my ketchup. Also because when I got yesterday’s Omlette, I automatically poured some without realizing I couldn’t have it. Isn’t self control awesome?


A new start

Two days ago, while people around me were deciding what to give up for Lent, I decided to do something different. Rather than just honor the sacrifice made for us, by making a personal temporary sacrifice I chose to start eating Paleo. The first question asked when I say this people is Huh? What’s that? And I have to explain that Paleo is an extreme change in how I eat. The easiest way to explain it is that I’ll be eating like the caveman did, but it’s a little more complicated than that. It’s eating meats, and fish and poultry. It’s eating non-genetically modified foods. No High Fructose Corn Syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no pre-packaged foods, no legumes, and yes…. No rice. Heartbreaking thought for a gal who’s eaten rice my whole life.  I’ll also be cutting out quite a bit of sugar which shouldn’t be as hard as avoiding rice. (sigh)

 Here’s a great infographic (Because I know my friends loooooooooove Infographics)
The Ultimate Guide to Eating Paleo

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More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist. 


Now that you read that, you’re probably thinking it’s not so hard right?  Think again.  My first attempt was Wednesday night. League night in Kent for me and I headed out to the local dive bar. Have you tried to eat Healthy in a bar before? Not always possible.  Lots of deep fried breaded stuff, burgers, French fries…. I did my best, but failed QUITE a bit.

So reset to Thursday. Determination makes me want to follow this through. Food wise, yesterday was an interesting lesson in being prepared. As a new convert, I had a bit more planning that should have happened but didn’t. I woke up late and decided I would just buy lunch. Little did I forget that most of the options for breakfast/lunch wouldn’t be the best for my new lifestyle. (yes I said lifestyle. This isn’t a temporary diet to lose weight.) I finally chose a nice Veggie Omlette with No hashbrowns.   Delicious and it held me over until after lunch. I grabbed a bag of Beef Jerky as a snack and called it good. A successful day at work despite wishing I had planned better. Dinner was another story though. I had plans to meet some friends for dinner and conversation. That doesn’t happen as often as it should because we’re always so busy. As it was, one gal was sick and another had to fly out of town last minute. The difficult part of this? We had planned to meet at a Sushi restaurant. Oy, the rice. Justin teased me because he wondered how I would handle it. I calmly replied to him that I could always have Sashimi or something else. I just had to choose carefully. Little did I remember that Shoyu isn’t exactly Paleo and What’s Sashimi without it? I ended up choosing a teriyaki Salmon. It comes on a bed of stirfried veggies which is good. But I had no idea what kind of oils (if any) they used to cook it and the amount of sugar in Teriyaki is scary to think about.    I went home with a lot to think about and began prepping for today.  Veggie chopping, Kitchen cleaning, & prepping my breakfast and lunch.  Forty days is a long time and this may end up being a difficult journey that I’ll stop at the end of Lent. On the other hand, it could be an exciting one that leads to weight loss and healthier living.  I’ll also caveat this journey by saying that there are some things I’m not giving up. My protein shakes in the morning is one of them. I want to ensure that I’m kick starting my day off correctly and I’m unsure if I’ll be getting enough nutrition in during the day. These may eventually go away, but for now they’ll stay.  I’m also not staving off alcohol. I don’t think I drink enough for it to play a huge difference. I realize that I may be hamstringing myself, so these are options that could change in my journey. For now they’ll remain. Stay tuned to find out how I do!



edit: I’m told the new mobile version of my site makes that infograpic really really tiny. Use this link if you’re on a mobile platform for a better version.

I’m ashamed of myself

The sun is setting and the temperature is dropping outside. Here in Western Washington we are expecting 2 storm fronts to hit us within the next few days bringing record snow levels with it. This after a weekend of snowing. I started the week on a high. It’s beautiful outside, I ran a half marathon in the snow that I’m somewhat proud of,  there is a wonderous smelling soup stewing on the stove and I made it to work without unintentionally spinning down the road. I end this monday ashamed of myself though.

We were released from work early, so I headed to the grocery store for a couple quick ingredients to make that wonderous smelling soup. I parked carefully still scared from my spinout last winter. The news reports over two dozen weather related accidents this year and the weather simply scares me. After I got out of my car, I saw what I initially thought was one guy holding a sign and a mountain of stuff on his back. Turns out the “mountain” included another man standing next to him.  In the few moments it took to realise this I realized that they were both probably homeless men and both would most likely be out in the rough elements that make up this weeks weather.

I thought about how cold I was during the 2nd half of my run on Saturday. 1.5 hours in snowy weather that I had hoped would hold off a few hours longer than it actually did. I thought of my friend Carol, who ran with me using hot hands in any place she was able to put it. I thought of the other friend who ran us who thought she might have narrowly missed frostbite and I thought of the situation of these two guys. I’m ashamed to admit I looked away. I am ashamed to admit that I choose not to go to the store they stood in front of that I wanted to go to because I didn’t want to walk past this with the few groceries I had, but was unwilling to share. I justified it by saying that my income is still slim enough that I really shouldn’t give what I can’t actually afford to share because it should go into my savings. But I arrived at home and realized that one of the stops I made in between the first and next time I avoided eye contact with these gentlemen I also stopped to pull some cash to send a friend as a gift. Because my life has been so fortunate and theirs have not. I justified it by saying I was scared. Two older men begging on the street and I was a young woman alone.

Why didn’t I have the same fear when the young black man pushed his window washing services on me yesterday at the Gas Station? He was most likely stronger and definitely more angry than either of these men appeared and yet these were the ones that I feared. It’s dark now and I can’t see my backyard. It’s approximately 36 degrees outside and my soup is bubbling away warmly behind me and I wonder what these two guys are doing to stay warm. Have they eaten today? What stopped me from at least giving them gift cards for Panda Express? Or the loaf of bread in my bag? It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that homelessness and hardships are found in other areas. That you’ve isolated yourself in this bubble that hides many of the troubles of the world and then reality hits you.

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