Happy Rambling 2021

I haven’t blogged in over a month. I’ve been all over the place. I feel scattered – everywhere at once. In an effort to “get things done” I start one task and then pause that and start another until I’m simultaneously trying to do several while none of them get finished and I end up forgetting what the first task was. Indeed, I started reading an article and then decided I should blog.

I feel lost. Every day is the same, and now that we’re past Christmas and New Year’s here in Oregon, it’s all the same gray, wet shit. My therapeutic happy light used to combat SAD needs to be, like, turbo charged cuz it’s not cutting it. I often don’t know what day it is. I have a million nitty gritty things to do that are made harder by Covid restrictions and trying to not get sick. Returns to retail stores. Repairing my car’s tire (AGAIN!). Relying on whatever substitutions our grocery store pickup offers us, which is sometimes bizarre.

The political junk is unreal. I told my husband the other day that I had the vague thought about needing to finish that one book about the attempted coup because I wanted to know how it ended before I realized…oh yeah. Not a book.

And then Oregon schools are just now moving in the direction of opening up and I’m pissed. We’ve been in lockdown more or less for 10 months now, and we have several vaccines in the pipeline (if you follow Oregon news, our government is slow as fuck getting those needles into people’s arms for some reason) and the government, school boards JUST NOW are making decisions to open up. Hey, I know! We’ve waited 10 months to try and flatten the curve and that didn’t work so you know what we should do?! Open the fuck up so that we can perpetuate community spread at the height of Oregon’s case numbers and deaths after the holiday surge. High five!

Oh, and I’m doing Whole 30 again so there’s that. All this fucking rabbit food had better kick in and make me feel better because it’s a goddamn miracle I didn’t reach for the mint chocolate chip on January 6th.

One good thing to end on – I randomly decided to mention a lifelong dream of mine to the members of my moms group – that I want to learn the piano at some point. I have zero musical experience. I don’t know how to read music. Never owned an instrument. I sing a lot and was in choir once, but I learned the songs by ear. Aaaaanyway, what comes up on my Facebook feed just days after I make this comment? A local piano teacher offering zoom classes for adult beginners. THAT’S ME! There was no way I couldn’t not NOT do it. So the teacher actually helped me spend a chunk of my Christmas money to buy a used keyboard and I signed up for the class……and it starts in two days!! I’m super excited and intimidated and nervous, but hey. It’s Covid and it’s zoom so it’s convenient and I’m not doing anything better besides drooling at Amos’ abs on The Expanse (ANYONE ELSE?! Dear lord don’t get me started.)

So there you have it.

Happy rambling 2021, you guys. May you feel safe and loved and relatively sane. Ish.

Far Away Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Today I’m using an idea I got from reading Steven’s blog about spending Thanksgiving as an American overseas.

In the Fall of 2005, I studied abroad in The Netherlands through a program run by the University of California system. My destination was University College Utrecht in The Netherlands, which is an international university that, at the time, housed and educated roughly two-thirds Dutch students and the other third students from all over the world (of around a total of 750 students). My personal circle of friends included Americans, Dutchies, Australians, Germans, a Swede, and a few assorted others. It was one of the best, richest, most exciting experiences of my entire life.

For Thanksgiving, the UC program people put on a traditional holiday dinner for all the American students, who each got to bring a plus one. My boyfriend (now husband) was visiting me that week, and so he got to come and join in the merriment. For most others, that meant a non-American student got invited to their very first Thanksgiving dinner.

I honestly don’t remember much about the food at all, but the experience was so much more than what we were eating. At that point in the semester, we’d been away from home for four months. The days were growing short and cold, and many of us were starting to feel twinges of homesickness. Having the familiarity of tradition, familiar foods, and my boyfriend there by my side made me feel comforted and joyful.

I found a blurry picture I took of the food!

What I enjoyed most was the exchange of culture that took place. The non-Americans had so many questions about why we ate certain things and why this custom and compared it to their own. It was an invitation for me to stop and think about customs and traditions I had always taken for granted. To see myself, my country, my culture through the eyes of foreigners is an incredible experience. I highly recommend it.

When the dinner was over, we went outside for the short walk back to our units (dorms), and upon setting foot outside we found that it had started snowing. The Californians, me included, promptly lost their shit and started playing in it, not ready for the night to be over. It was a special dusting on top of a very special evening.

Frolicking in the snow!

Now that I think about it, that Thanksgiving feels similar to this year in that I’m separated from family. At least in 2005 it was by choice.

I’ve often stuck my nose up at the American tradition to celebrate gratitude by wallowing in excess. Doesn’t it make more sense that you’ll better appreciate what you have by going without? With that in mind, this year I’m making a special point to be grateful for my family and friends, especially those I haven’t seen in far too long. I’m not on the other side of the world this year, even though it often feels that way. Hopefully, we’ll be together again sooner rather than later.

Counting my blessings, and I’m hoping you have many to count as well.


Day 26

Whole30: The Last Day

Ok guys.

A lot has happened since I last posted, mainly that the world is going to shit. Schools are closed, people are working from home, and everyone is watching Frozen 2 on loop. We’re definitely headed into the unknown…amirite?!

And now, today’s the last day, you guys!!! It’s Day 30 of the Whole-fuckin-30. I definitely hit a groove somewhere in there and started to eat and make my food choices without much thought. Now, I get up in the morning and make my eggs like I’ve been doing it always.

But here’s the thing. It’s not really over, because now I have to reintroduce all them non-whole30 foods the proper way because I want to see what makes my body angry or this was all for nothing. Tomorrow, I get legumes. I plan to smother my face in peanut butter as soon as I’m conscious. Then it’s non-gluten grains, followed by my personal fave, DAIRY, and lastly, gluten. We’ll see how the next 10 days plays out.

Top two things I definitely missed: ice cream and crunchy things to add texture to meals, like chips and crackers.

Surprising things: I didn’t get sick of eggs! I still really like them. Also, I think I actually prefer almond butter to peanut. I guess I’ll know for sure tomorrow.

The hardest part: Not partaking in alcohol and sweets in social settings. Emphasis on social. I have willpower for days, and the principle of out of sight, out of mind totally applies to me regarding food, but when I’m around all these other people who are having yummy sangria and frickin gooey rice crispy treats, I tends to get a little more than a little grumpy.

Another thing that made this hard is that I came down with a nasty sinus infection last week (which I’m still fighting, grumble), and being sick makes everything harder. It makes you tired, it makes you grumpy, and it makes you reach for the comfort food. Forever the stubborn rule follower, I stuck to my guns because I wanted to say I did this the right way.

HOWEVER.

I did not deny myself some sweet, sweet NyQuil that is actually 10% alcohol, which I confirmed after ingestion. Having a shot before bed after being sober for 25 days was like my own personal party! #noregrets

So. Congrats to me in about…5 hours when I go to bed…for successfully completing Whole30!

But honestly, the real celebration will be a week from now when I finally get to have my ice cold, sweet, fatty, smooth deliciousness. Hopefully, it’ll actually be there in grocery stores when it’s time for me to have it. Fingers crossed.

Whole30: Whisper-screaming

I don’t know what happened, you guys.

My tiger blood packed it up and left town (along with the great weather we were having), leaving me feeling super cranky, tired, and rundown. I’ve been needing naps and craving sugar.

Rawr.

On Monday, not only did I have my annual GYN/cancer check up, but I also had a headache. (On the upside, everything came back normal!!) Oh yeah, and speaking of my ladybits, my hormones decided to start the flow right around here because their timing is impeccable.

Last night I had my regularly scheduled yoga, and so I screamed out of the house as soon as my husband got home. It definitely made me feel a bit better and took the edge off; the yoga helped too. I tried my hardest to get to bed early last night, but night terrors prevented that. Yaaay.

And get this- last night I had my first food dream since this whole shindig started. I dreamed that I was at a bar with M (my Whole30 friend/coach/guru/emotional punching bag), and we ordered croissants and beers. It was loud, dark, and I had forgotten about the diet. Halfway through my dreamy snack, I looked down and, through the haze, realized with a jolt what I had done. OH SHIT! I screamed. M, WE CAN’T HAVE THESE!! She shrugged and kept eating. Thanks a lot for your subconscious dream abandonment.

I woke up with tension in my jaw, a clear sign that my body is trying to grind my neuroses between my teeth again.

So today, in an effort to turn things around, I went to the gym and did some good rage workouts. You know, the loud music, grimacing, and whisper-screaming obscenities to no one and everyone in particular. It definitely helped. Aaand today’s weather isn’t horrible.

I’m trying my best, you guys, but this is definitely starting to get old, like my eggs.

Whole30: To the kind soul who finds this

Dear Diary, or to the kind soul who finds this,

It’s Day 15 in this dark place. I wonder when I’ll see the end? Sometimes I think my punishment will never end.

I feel pretty accomplished, surviving in this strange place, with a huge credit to my husband on the outside who has courageously smuggled in compliant dinners.

My captors allowed me to eat out a few times and but forced me to make substitutions and special requests. I longed to cry out for help to the waitress, but I was threatened with punishment upon our return. At one point I was brought to a bowling alley that sold fried foods as another twisted means of torture and I ended up begging to be put out of my misery, to no avail. I was present at a gathering where I was offered pizza. and. cake. but I knew of the unsaid consequences if I were to succumb to temptation in a moment of weakness. Only strength will get me through. And hope. One day at a time.

My time here has reminded me of being pregnant, oddly. My sense of smell has become superhuman. Halfway down the dungeon stairs I breathed in, and with my exhale I moaned, “THOSE MARSHMALLOWS HAD BETTER BE GONE BY THE TIME I GET DOWN.” Sometimes, the captive start to sound like the captors.

I’m still craving the sweet flavors of home, mainly in the dark of night. Some days are better than others, but I find being given permission to eat something -anything compliant- does the trick to distract my body from its woes and the craving passes.

I should be drinking more water. I’m being given my ration, but I long for something different.

My biggest concern for the second half of my sentence is the shackles of food boredom. I’m trying to keep my spirits up by finding ways to make my meager breakfast more interesting. Even the slightest new taste can do the trick; I plan to beg for fruits I don’t often have. With luck I’ll be shown some mercy.

Sometimes I sense that my time here is melting away my humanity. Have you seen that movie, Lord of the Rings? Do you remember when Bilbo saw the ring again after he hadn’t seen it, or held it, caressed it, in a long time? The greedy monster inside him contorted on his face for just a fraction of a second. That’s how I feel when I see my captors eating ice cream right in front of me. The preciousss.

Another day, gone.

If you should find this, please leave a message of hope in its place.

I’m going to need it.

Welcome to the Jungle

Today is Day 13 and I feel greeeaaattt. (If anyone else remembers and loves this commercial as much as I do – you are my people.)

So far, I haven’t been progressing through the Whole30 prescribed schedule, but I’ve more or less been experiencing it in broad strokes.

I felt the hangover and on and off for a week I felt some yucky bloating, but the last 2.5 days it’s mostly given way to TIGER BLOOD.

I actually feel almost manic, which, for me, is alllllmost to the point of uncomfortable. I have more energy and I feel more alert. It also feels like my body and brain are buzzing and I’m having a flight of thoughts (not quite racing). When I feel manic like that, like I’ve drank a pot of coffee, it ironically makes me want to nap. That said, I am definitely enjoying the lack of sluggishness!

In addition, not last night but the three nights prior, I’ve been having incredibly intense dreams. They haven’t been scary nightmares, but they’ve all had dystopian/survival themes with extremely vivid sensations and detail. The kind where I’ve woken up and my body was still rigid and my heart was racing, and each time I’d have no trouble getting back to sleep and having yet another death-defying sequence. In one dream, my family was preparing for some kind of disaster and so I was rushing around with my kids making all these arrangements, packing up and getting ready to leave. In the most intense one, my husband and I were staying in this castle/mansion high on an ocean cliff that felt like Scotland. We had about 15 minutes warning for a tsunami. We were located on the highest ground as far as we could see and we had no time to go anywhere, so we sheltered in place. We closed all the doors in an effort to create as many barriers as possible. I felt the air pressure change and heard the loudest roar ever and then all at once the entire room was full of water. I woke up heart pounding. Crazy!

I’ve also really been enjoying my new ritual of making my breakfast every morning, new for me since I don’t normally cook. Pouring the olive oil in the pan. The click of the gas stove. Cracking the eggs. Shaking the salt and pepper. Scooping the avocado. Washing the blueberries. Glooping the almond butter. (I totally get that this sounds like I’ve gone off the deep end and drunk the Whole30 koolaid (not compliant)). The downside is that all this takes more time in the mornings (and non-tiger-blood me is not a morning person), but I am enjoying this new way in which I take care of myself.

As I move through this process, I’m starting to think about which habits I’d like to keep, and to what extent. I’ll for sure add some stuff back in, depending on the results of how certain food groups make me feel, but I definitely want to continue to go easier on the carbs and cook myself some egg deliciousness more often. I’ve gotten great at making the perfect over-medium fried egg!

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You know you’re doing Whole30 when…

  • You’re constantly thinking about food.
  • All you have to do is give your partner a look and a grunt (maaaaybe a wave of the hand) for them to get that fucking beer/ice cream/candy bar wrapper out of your sight.
  • All your girl scout cookies are shoved to the back of the pantry.
  • You practically live in the bulk-foods aisle. (Did you know that those pre-packaged nuts are a racket?! You can just bag them and weigh them yourself- they’re the same nuts! -for much cheaper y’all.) #samenuts
  • Your husband starts naming snack options for your kids and after each option, you start saying “compliant” or “not compliant” without even thinking.
  • You start thinking about how many ways you can make eggs. There’s scrambled, hard boiled, poached, fried, omelette, raw…such a world of possibilities!
  • You start carrying full meals around with you to social gatherings. You know. Just in case.
  • You try to cram an entire meal into your piehole (not compliant) before going out because you’re pretty sure there won’t be anything you can eat there…and then you still bring a meal with you just in case.
  • You make slow-mo videos of the blender whirling your latest tastebud sensation and then post them to Facebook (ahem).
  • You start mentally planning your next smoothie even before this one has finished whirling (has anyone included almond butter?! Totally doing that next.)
  • You start looking up W30 memes and laaaaaugh and laugh.
  • You start running out of compliant food midway through the week and have to run to the grocery store again, ugh.
  • You start continue sharing about bowel movements.
  • You start blogging about it. Like, all the time.

 

Whole30: I miss cookies

Here’s how conversations go now that I’m doing Whole30 (inner monologue is in brackets, because I’m normal and have a constant inner monologue like every human rightfully should. Also, like Joe from You because he’s witty and not at all creepy):

Mom acquaintance at school pickup: Hey, how’s it going?

[I’m on Whole30. It’s day 5. I miss cookies.]

Me: Pretty good! How are you? [I’m normal! Act normal.]

Mom: Doing good, feeling tired. What’s new with you?

Me: Oh, nothing. I’m doing Whole30. [smile!]

Mom: Oh, cool! How’s it going?

[Help me. Do you have any chocolate? I won’t tell.]

Me: Surprisingly well, actually. I feel good, just starting to get cravings at night after the kids go to bed. [It’s like a sugar booty call and I can’t get to the phone.]

Mom: Ah. Well, good luck with everything!

[I’m gonna need more than luck, but ok.]

Me: Thanks! [run away.]


Also, it’s interesting how food and diets and programs like this shine a light on one’s personality. What I mean is that I’ve always been a rule follower. I like rules; they make me feel safe and alive. I tend to follow them to the letter. And well, I’ve found out that my Whole30 food guru leader, M, is a little more lax than I thought. Observe our text conversations that may or may not have been embellished for my pleasure.

Me: Soooo, you can’t have hummus, right? They’re legumes?

M: Oh. Technically that’s right, but they’re my cheat thing.

Me: Oooh, got it.

(later on)

M: Lookit this pic of this super tasty Whole30 meat bowl explosion at Chipotle!

[includes pic of a super tasty-looking bowl of food- but wait!]

Me: Looks yummy! But uhh…is that corn? Corn isn’t compliant.

M: Corn is a vegetable!

Me, unable to tell if she’s joking: Corn is a grain. It’s against the rules.

M: It’s ok. Everything is ok. Breathe.

Me: But, but…how many cheat things do you have? You’re supposed to guide me on this journey. This is such a violation of my expectations! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?!

M: Eat what you want, lady. Your goals on this are different than mine. Breathe.

Me: [hyperventilating]

 

Whole30 Day 3 Update

Knock on wood, buuuuut I’m seriously feeling a lot better than I thought I would at this point.

I expected to feel like complete shit by now, based on what the book says and based on what everyone else has said, and also based on the fact that I’m addicted to sugar and prone to headaches. It all says that day 3 is shitsville, but I feel…pretty good, actually.

Let me back up.

Day 1, got up early and had some eggs, fruit, and coffee and then headed out in the rain to walk four miles with some ladyfriends. During the last mile or so, I started to get this mildly dizzy headfeeling. It made me need to focus a little harder to maintain balance and it reminded me of a feeling I often had during my second pregnancy.

As that day continued, I developed a mild-to-moderate headache (my threshold is high, mind you, because I’ve been getting migraines for years now), continued to feel dizzy-ish and foggy, and a feeling that I like to call “fragile” (the lightheaded pregnancy feeling). In the afternoon, I sat down to read and started to feel really low energy and sleepy…so I took a nap. Man, I felt out of it. I got kinda freaked out because I was worried that this was the beginning of feeling like hell for goodness knows how long.

I had a good helping of protein with dinner and felt much better afterward, but my headache returned and stayed overnight. I woke up several times and was still able to get back to sleep, but still felt generally out of it and yucky.

Day 2 I felt much better. My headache went away (I was shocked)! My body promptly decided to void itself of all waste products. And I do mean ALL. Afterward, I felt so light I could fly. I had some twinges of dizzy-ish-ness, but not anything to worry about. I had more energy and didn’t require a nap. I actually also ate out for lunch that day and had a burger sans bun or ketchup (if you know me, you know I worship at the base of Mt. Ketchup) and had salad sans dressing.

Day 3, today, has been even better. I continue to be surprised. I still feel kinda tired, but honestly, I always feel kinda tired so it’s hard to figure out exactly what is the new diet and what is normal momlife.

So far, what I don’t find all that difficult is the willpower part. Neither my husband nor my kids are on this diet with me, so yesterday we all sat together while my husband had a beer and brioche buns on his burger, and my kids had grilled cheese sandwiches. Did that stuff look good? Sure. But was I dying on the inside not getting to eat it? Not really. This is where my stubbornness works in my favor – once I set my mind on a goal, no one ain’t gonna get me to mess it up, least of all myself. To be fair, I haven’t experienced any intense cravings yet. We’ll see if that’s in store for me later.

The following things are aspects I am finding tricky:

  1. Meal planning/cooking/prep

My husband does all this normally. He’s the cook, and so he plans the meals and grocery lists, I add a few things I want or need, and then I do the grocery shopping and get what’s on the list. My husband has been awesome so far in that he’s agreed to make me W30 compliant dinners that I help him plan for if he needs, and then I have to take care of all the other food I’m going to need. I’m not used to planning out meals. Usually, breakfast is cereal and lunch is whatever is lying around because I have kids to drop off or pick up and ain’t nobody got time for that. I’ve had to make a few extra trips to the grocery store (which I haaaate) to make sure I have things on hand that I need or want for breakfast and lunch. Planning ahead and coordinating with my husband are key so I don’t wake up in the morning to find he used all the eggs, for example.

2. Cooking (meat in particular)

I don’t like to cook. I just don’t have the patience for it and I’m not great at it. I don’t enjoy it. I’d rather be doing something else. No doubt, this has contributed to some yucky food habits. More specifically, I haaaate cooking meat. I loathe the feel of raw meat and it spikes my germyphobe-ness. I avoid it at all costs. Clearly, on Whole30 this is a roadblock, so my husband makes big dinners that I can have as leftovers for lunches the next day. If I absolutely have to, I can cook it, but so far I’ve been doing eggs and lunchmeat.

3. Snacking

I was raised in a household where snacking was often prohibited. You’ll ruin your dinner! I remember snacking being ok while watching sports, while going fishing, and while on vacation. Otherwise, not so much. When I was pregnant, I had to force myself to snack. There were a few times I got myself into trouble because I was in public and feeling lightheaded and shaky because I didn’t have enough in my system. On this diet, I’ve made myself a trail mix of sorts and I plan to carry it around with me everywhere, just in case.

4. Eating off my kids’ plates

Another value instilled in me growing up was to not waste food, ever. We don’t throw away food in my house unless it’s downright unsafe to eat, and even that is negotiable. So when my kid leaves a half-eaten sandwich, I’d either pop it into the fridge or into my mouth. There’s been a few times already when I caught myself about to pop some cereal from their bowl in my mouth, or reach to finish the last bit of their grilled cheese from yesterday. NOOOOPE.

_____________

Also, I’ve been reading food labels like crazy. Here’s a few surprises I’ve come across, both good and bad. To be safe, I just assume that every freaking thing has sugar in it. Dear lord, it’s disgusting. A while back I watched Katie Couric’s documentary on the sugar industry, and I highly recommend it. My rant is this: I have a major sweet tooth, but I’d much rather save it for the good stuff, like ice cream. cake. the occasional soda. I DO NOT want sugar in things I usually eat all day, every day like bread, peanut butter, tomato sauce, cereal, granola bars (which are really candy bars), lunchmeat, etc. YUCK. We’ve had to work hard to find certain products with no sugar added or the least amount possible, even before Whole30.

Good W30 surprise

  • the salsa we usually buy is compliant! I just assumed it must have sugar, but huzzah!

Bad W30 surprises:

  • my freaking gum has soy in it. I can’t even have gum as a stand in for a desserty taste in my mouth. Sigh.
  • most prepackaged lunchmeat has added sugar?! It’s MEAT, why does it need to be sweet? I also never knew bacon had sugar in it. Or beef jerky. I guess I just need to go kill the animal myself. Yeesh.

Ok, I’m done for now. I’m just so glad this isn’t as hard as I thought…so far…knock on wood.

Wish me luck (and continued willpower)!

 

Challenge Accepted, MFers

2020 is my year, bitches.

I’ve taken my extra time away from babies and I’ve surprisingly spent a good chunk of it exercising and shit. I know, I’ve surprised even myself. This morning, I was running around the house in my sports bra, getting the kids ready for school, and my husband first asked this weird half-naked lady with purple hair if she’d seen his wife, and then, upon remembering how hot I am, asked me if I knew where the gun show was. (spoiler alert, I do.)

That’s right. We know how to keep that spark alive.

Ever since my daughter was done breastfeeding and my body became my very own again, I’ve been working to really, truly take care of myself. I’ve had mental health stuff come up. I’ve had a bunch of seemingly random health stuff come up, too. Skin issues, GI issues, chronic acid reflux issues, my ongoing headaches and migraines. I’ve had a few tests done for the GI stuff and the short version is that they can’t find anything physically wrong with me. That leaves me with…my diet. The food-like things I put into my body.

About a year ago I cut out some dairy, but not all. I feel like that has helped some. Not all. I’ve also cut out or reduced a few things that trigger my reflux. So that helps. But not all the way.

Sooooooooo, my dear psychos, I’m taking the plunge. Starting tomorrow, I’m doing Whole 30. Wholey crap. For those of you unfamiliar, Whole 30 is an elimination diet to see how certain food groups affect your body – you eat whole foods for 30 days and then slowly add stuff back in to see what happens. It’s a good way to see if you have any allergies or aversions and junk. Basically, I can have meat, fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts. Nothing else. No added sugar, no soy, no dairy, no legumes, no grains, no alcohol.

This is a big deal for me. I’ve always eaten everything. I don’t have any obvious allergies and I’m generally not a picky eater. I’ve also never been on a special diet before, ever. Unless you count my surgery prep and the stuff I couldn’t eat during pregnancies, I’ve never really restricted myself. And guys, my parents are from the midwest. Dairy is, like, THE most important food group. It’s like how Bubba is with shrimp: there are so many ways you can have cheese. There’s sliced cheese, grated cheese, powdered cheese, melted cheese, blocks of cheese, wheels of cheese. There’s cheese curds and cheesecake. Don’t forget cheesewhiz. I grew up having cows milk with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ice cream almost every night. Dear lord, my body is a temple and it’s never not been worshipped with dairy.

This is going to be interesting, y’all.

Luckily, I have a friend, whom I’ll call M, and she’s done this before and she offered to do it with me now and to be my emotional support animal. Honestly, I don’t think she’s aware of what she signed up for, because when I get hangry, all bets are off. I’ll be texting her in the middle of the night needing a peptalk so I don’t inhale my kids’ Valentines candy in my walk-in closet.

It goes without saying that I plan to blog about this experience as much as I need to and probably more than you all would like. Food is such an emotional thing. We have living, breathing relationships with it because it’s rooted in culture and family and it’s woven into every. single. social. gathering.

I’m treating this like one big experiment, and it’s my goal to remain determined and curious. Although I’m a rule follower to the core, M (dude, when I call you M, it reminds me of that kickass lady from the Bond movies played by Dame Judy Dench. You’re welcome.) kinda gave me permission to bend some small rules so I don’t go absolutely crazy. Like, I may still cook with real butter (I’m just kidding! I don’t cook, my husband does. A word on that later). And I’ll probably have some store-bought mayo (another midwestern food group – you can’t make a salad without it!), but I’m very interested to see how I feel without all that sugar and dairy and grain in my system. I’m looking forward to the poops! Oh, the BMs! I’ve heard the legends and I want to know what secrets lie within…and without.

Advanced thanks to M and to my husband, who has been amazingly supportive so far. He does all the cooking in the house, and he’s been planning meals for me and I know he’s gonna be there to cheer me on this whole way, even when I’ll be tackling him to the ground trying to eat the pasta hanging out of his mouth.

It all starts tomorrow, folks. What’s hilarious is that my mom friends are going out after we walk/jog/run tomorrow morning for coffee and donuts. FUCKING DONUTS ALREADY?!

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.