30 Days of Mindfulness

I get up at 8:30 AM if I have to. I prefer 10 AM if at all possible. But blogging about “30 Days of Waking Up at 6 AM” is a snoozefest title so I’m going to call it “mindfulness” mostly because I’ll be committing to a 10 minute guided meditation each day (which I’m brand new to) along with… I dunno.  Reading? Eating breakfast? Working out? I have no clue how early risers live.

 

 

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30 Days of Whole30

Like most people, when I heard about the Whole30 diet I rushed to order it, only to place it on the bookshelf for a year. Eventually it made it’s way to the coffee table and hung out there for a few months. Finally, I picked it up and skimmed it while eating pizza. Then just decided to do it.

The day before I started, I ate pizza, Chinese food, brunch, chocolate, Bloody Mary’s, beer and yes, I even flagged down an ice cream truck all within a 24 hour period. True story.

My first week I failed EPICALLY with THREE martinis… had to start over. I did it for 10 days and failed again (two Manhattans)… had to start over. Third time was the charm. Mostly because I was sick of starting over.

I can honestly say that my “30 Days of Vegan” experiment, which I failed after only six days, is one of the big reasons I was able to succeed at Whole30. Because nothing will ever be as hard as being a vegan. How is every vegan I know so fucking cheerful?!

It’s important that you understand the main Whole30 rules which are, in a nutshell:

  • No added sugar or artificial sweeteners (Sugar MUST be “0” on all labels)
  • No alcohol
  • No grains
  • No legumes
  • No dairy (butter, cheese, milk, cream, etc.)
  • No peanuts
  • Yes veggies
  • Yes fruit
  • Yes all other nuts and oils
  • Yes coffee
  • Yes eggs
  • Yes meat

Also, everyone has different goals when attempting Whole30. Mine was to slowly add foods back after my 30 days and see how my body reacts.

Anyway here’s what I did and didn’t do:

I did not read the whole book. This says nothing about the book and everything about me. I don’t like reading instruction manuals either. I skimmed, got the gist of it and then Googled CONSTANTLY before eating.

I did not exercise. I wanted to see how eating habits alone would affect my weight. Also… ISN’T DOING THIS DIET ENOUGH?! YOU WANT ME TO RUN, TOO?!

I did not follow the rules to the letter. I cheated once with can of Diet Coke. One time they put cheese in my salad and I accidentally ate a bite. Another time they told me my drink was sugar free but it wasn’t so I threw it out. Finally, I’m sure they used butter when I went out to eat which is a no-no, but c’mon! I feel like Chunk from Goonies right now 🙂 In my eyes, I still succeeded. But the authors of Whole30 would say I failed because I didn’t start over after each of these instances.

I did not touch alcohol. You can’t even have bitters. You can have black coffee or soda water. That’s about it. SNOOZEFEST!

I did not miss cheese. This is a big deal. I’ve eaten cheese almost everyday for the past 15 years. People say that Whole30 reveals what your body truly craves and what it doesn’t care about. That’s not to say that I’ll never eat cheese again. It just means that I know I can take it or leave it.

I did miss sugar. I don’t think being addicted to sugar is that much different than being addicted to nicotine. Because your body craves that next fix. And just a little sugar is what triggers you to want even more sugar. The fact is, whether it’s in a drink or a donut, that sweetness causes your blood sugar to spike.

I did love cooking again. You have to cook more meals and snacks than you’re probably used to on Whole30. I’ve hated my tiny kitchen for 2 years, but I was forced to work within it’s confines and I’m better off for it. Tip: Hard boil a dozen eggs and have them on hand at all times.

I did pick a dish on the menu before going restaurants. This was key for me. I don’t want to be the one holding up the table trying to figure out what I can and can’t have. Usually you can find at least one thing on any menu.

I did eat before parties or brought my own snacks/drinks. There are just too many unknowns when it come to party food and drinks and I don’t feel it’s the host/hostesses job to cater to my diet so I just showed up with fruit and club soda for me and wine for them.

I did get a little irritable. There were two times where I almost lost my shit for no real reason. Both involved someone (a waiter and then a friend) that didn’t get what I asked for, food-wise. And, for whatever reason, it just put a fine point on the fact that I can’t have what everyone else is having. That I don’t have a fast metabolism. That I can’t eat like I could when I was 20. And that life isn’t fucking fair. Know what I mean?

I did get sick. I threw up twice in week two and I never throw up. No clue as to why. It came on suddenly and left quickly.

I did lose weight. I really only lost like 5 pounds whereas I heard you could lose 10. But to be fair I didn’t follow the diet to the letter. Also, I think I ate too much fruit.

I did save some money. Not drinking saves you money period. BUT you don’t get to have a food/drink treat anymore like you’re used to having. So I found myself shopping more than usual. It’s almost like I was looking to give myself a reward in some form. “Congrats for not stuffing your pie hole with actual pie! You deserve a throw pillow 🙂 XO”

I did feel better. I didn’t see any night and day difference. Skin, hair, sleep patterns, moods, etc. All of those stayed about the same. But it was SO nice not to have the guilt that follows the kinds of meals I’ve been eating this past year. To know, in black and white, “YES you can have that” or “NO you can’t.” It made eating simpler in some ways, which is weird because it also made it harder at the same time.

I’d totally do it again. Next time I’ll be stricter with the fruit. Regardless, I plan to adapt pieces of this diet into my everyday life moving forward. And if I can do it. You can do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of “Facebreak”

I’m off of Facebook for the next 28 days.

Ever since the election results, social media has been both a blessing and a curse to me. The good part mobilizes people and helps teach us ways we can resist the new administration. The bad part is the constant negativity and people bitching about what you are doing (because they feel you didn’t do it right) or people bitching about everything yet doing nothing about it. Clearly, I need to get some perspective.

February 2017

So, I had to take Facebook off my phone and iPad and sign out on my home and work computers. Because if I didn’t muscle memory would take over and I’d keep opening it by accident. It’s like the morning after getting a short hair cut when you use way too much shampoo. I’m amazed how many times I thought about checking “it” and “it” wasn’t there.

About two weeks in, I did check it. I had 99+ notifications so I periodically cleared those out. I just breezed through them to see if any were urgent or about potential jobs. None of them were. I found that if people wanted to get in touch with me they would message me. The cool part about Facebook Messenger is that you don’t have to be “on” Facebook to get a message. Messenger is it’s own app. If people messaged me, I asked them to text me if they wanted to talk.

Things I noticed being off Facebook:

-I checked my news apps way more often when I wasn’t on Facebook.

-I was less social in real life because I didn’t realize how much I used Facebook to tag along with people or invite people out in real life.

-I missed being able to share possible jobs I heard or read about with colleagues via my Facebook job sharing closed groups.

-I was less angry about politics and became more actively involved in real life vs. just posting opinions to my bubble.

-I didn’t miss sharing or reading updates like I thought I would.

I’ve been back on Facebook a week now posted once. I used to post daily. In short, I think I’m going to look at Facebook more as a tool now. Sure, I’ll post but those posts are going to be more thought out and not so frequent.

 

30 Days of Vegan

I am a meat, egg and cheese lover from Texas. I don’t eat a ton of carbs. I’ve decided to do a vegan diet for 30 days with no research (which isn’t the smartest I know)

August 30: After eating a last meal of oysters yesterday I feel ready to do this. I hit the salad bar at lunch. Then went to meet an old high school friend for drinks, Steffi Silberstein, at Flo & Santos. I had one beer and a great time. Then it was onto Chicago Diner for the first time. I had one of their Vegan “milkshakes” with my friend, Ellen. It literally was one of the best milkshakes I’d ever had (vegan or not).

August 31: I went to meet up with Lisa and Andy to talk about a photography project. Lisa made hummus and Andy made vegan bread. Again, some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted, vegan or not. And I drake lots of wine. I then had a last minute date with Drew at Handlebar. The fried avocado tacos were amazing. Annnnnd I drank a few beers.

September 1: I threw up in the morning. No clue as to why. Later on I had a martini lunch with Heather at The Kitchen and they magically had a vegan soup that was delicious. I had a dinner Bumble date with Chris at the Franklin Room where I watched him eat a dozen $1 oysters while I had the brussel sprouts. Sigh. I drank a whiskey flight (the International one is my fave) and then it was off to Clark Street Ale House for beers.

September 2: I threw up in the morning although there wasn’t much to throw up. I can’t remember the last time I felt this bad. The whole “winging” it thing isn’t working for me. So I went to Whole Foods and got some protein shake mix, avocados, supplements, almond milk, and peanut butter. Dropped $85 😦 Almost immediately after drinking a shake and taking the pills I felt better. I then met up with Heather and friends for the Saved By the Max dinner. All I could eat on the menu was fruit, salad and fries. The fries were tasty though. Plus I had a couple of beers. After that, I met up with with my friend Matt at Clark Street Ale House for a couple of beers and then we went to see our friend, Megan’s, improv show at Second City where I had a few more beers and more fries.

September 3: Threw up in the AM… again. Feel terrible… again. But I took my supplements, grabbed a vegan snack bar and went to the lake with Niki and all my old Leo Burnett buddies. Ate a ton of pita chips and hummus and drank 4 beers. Five hours later I walked to my friend, Eric’s, neighbor’s party where I ate veggies with no dip and drank a six pack. I then walked to Bar on Buena and ran into my friend Katie there. So I had another beer and a veggie burger. And then… for whatever reason I reached over and ate some of Katie’s nachos. Craaaap. Cheat #1.

September 4: Threw up again in the AM. BTW I NEVER throw up. NEVER. Then, I went to brunch at Northpond with Theo, Heather and Sara. I’d never been there before but they prepared a 3-course vegan version of the menu for me. It’s was fantastic! And I had a couple of bloodies. The girls and I then went on to day drink and shop for about four hours. I drank a few cocktails and had a couple of beers and MORE fries at Little Bad Wolf and Pork Shoppe. I started feeling crappy, so I went home and…. yep…. threw up again. I was in bed by 8:30 PM feeling miserable.

September 5: It’s Labor Day. I’m laying on my couch at 10:30 AM feeling cold and shaky. I think on about it for an hour, throw up three times, and then I decide to call it. My vegan experiment is over. I get on Grubhub and order a cheese pizza. It shows up and after I eat it, I feel SOOOOO much better. I then meet Erin, Kinsey, Tony, some girls, and a Bumble date at Kerryman. I probably drank 3 beers and ate a few chicken wings. Still feeling OK. A couple of us went to Tony’s place for a beer on the roof. Suddenly, I’m exhausted and need to go home. BUT I don’t throw up.

September 6: First morning I hadn’t thrown up days. I eat a cheese and egg breakfast sandwich and am thinking about oysters for dinner. My stomach feels almost back to normal. This experiment is a bust and I only have myself to blame for it. I was totally and completely in over my head.

Results:

Well, I fell pretty shy of my 30-day goal. But I don’t blame my failure on a vegan diet. I blame it on myself in the sense I was sooooo ill prepared. I really thought, “How hard can this be?” and then proceeded to make it three times as hard by not researching, preparing cooking, etc. I also blame it on the alcohol. I think I drink a lot for a plant-based diet to absorb and that has nothing to do with the vegan diet itself.

So what have a learned? Well, even though I didn’t make it as one, I have a whole new respect for vegans. You have to really understand how the body works and be willing to put in some time and effort to lead that lifestyle. And I also learned, that if I ever want to try it again, I need to be smarter about it. But for now, I’m back to burgers and I’m OK with that.

A big thanks to all who gave me such great advice! I tried folks. I didn’t do it right, but I did try.

Week 1 (June 6-12, 2016)

June 6: I didn’t have to go anywhere, THANK GOD.

June 7: First day at Sapient. It’s a 40 minute walk and a 20 minute bus ride. I decided to walk. THEN, once the Sapient folks learned about my experiment, they offered to walk and train it with me everywhere vs. taking an Uber that would be covered by the company (awwweeee shucks).

June 8: Walked to Sapient and bussed it back.

June 9: Bussed it to Sapient and back, that was it.

June 10: Holy craaaap. I got so lost trying to get to Five Star. I must have walked 50 minutes. Then, trying to get home, we got lost (Katie was kind enough to get drunk and lost with me) and we must have walked a good 45 minutes to get back to our hood.

June 11: After so much walking, I couldn’t leave the apartment.

June 12: Walked to meet Miranda and Joe for dinner (20 minutes each way).

Week 2 (June 13-19)

June 13- Still working at Sapient and it’s an 80 hour week so I’m taking the bus home at midnight every night.

June 14- This is going to get boring because I’m on a pitch which means back and forth from Leo Burnett everyday.

June 15- This is going to get boring because I’m on a pitch which means back and forth from Leo Burnett everyday.

June 16- This is going to get boring because I’m on a pitch which means back and forth from Leo Burnett everyday.

June 17- This is going to get boring because I’m on a pitch which means back and forth from Leo Burnett everyday.

June 18- It’s Miranda and Joe’s going away party. I took the Brown Line. My underwear elastic broke so I took them off on the way to the party and I had to go commando the entire evening. Two folks met me there from the pitch which was fun, too.

June 19- This is going to get boring because I’m on a pitch which means back and forth from Leo Burnett everyday.