The Whole Shebang

Turns out, I made it through Whole30 February, although I’m not gonna lie- it was a close call at the end there. 

But I finished, and now that it is two week later, I figure it’s time for my final thoughts. First of all, is like to say that it really wasn’t that bad, but that is totally the glow of reminiscence/ Stockholm syndrome talking. It was awful. But I think the awfulness was maybe kind of fun? In a super masochistic way? Like poking at a bruise constantly even though you know it’s going to hurt; it sucked not being able to indulge my cravings, but whining about not being able to indulge my cravings might be my new favorite hobby. Kate Johnson: food martyr. 

Also, I ended up losing over 11 lbs! Which is BY FAR the greatest part of the entire experience- I don’t care that the official goal of Whole30 isn’t weight loss, it is totally the only reason I did it in the first place. Unfortunately, now I know that I have to maintain fairly strict rules about what I will and won’t eat in order to a) not gain the weight back immediately and b) possibly even lose the remaining 10-15 lbs. 

Which brings me to point 3: reentry. The official plan involves adding one forbidden food group at a time, followed by two days back on plan so that you can accurately gauge how your body responds to each category separately, and you can then determine if anything needs to be permanently left off your daily diet. I have it a go on the first day, adding in dairy (Lattes! Cheese! Gelato!), but then normal life activities got in the way and I sort of abandoned the project. So essentially the last 2 weeks have involved the INTENTION that I’m going to stick to compliant meals, but then basically eating whatever I want. Turns out being Whole30 compliant is so much easier when it’s just a figment of your imagination! 

I have been weighing myself daily, and it has been interesting seeing how my weight fluctuates depending on how off plan I eat. And there are definitely different results for different food groups. Turns out lattes made with regular or soy milk (my absolute favorite) cause me to jump up 3-4lbs, but if I use almond milk I’m fine – even with added sugar. 

Sugar itself doesn’t seem to affect me that much (which I could have predicted given my response to every glucose test I’ve ever taken), but the few wheat based foods I’ve had (cookies, muffins, rolls) have made me nauseous. I did have a sandwich that was fine, but straight up baked goods are not agreeing with me. Which is helpful for weight loss but super negative in terms of my extreme love affair with cake. Also, I had some chocolate and I didn’t even like it. 

I don’t know who I am anymore. 

Overall, I think the mental roadblocks are going to be the most difficult to get over. Obviously there have been some physical changes in how I react to foods, and it’s going to take some time to get my brain to accept that I no longer enjoy some of the foods I previously ate to excess. And it is proving very challenging to make responsible choices when I don’t have the external pressure of The Rules limiting me. 

Being an adult is stupid, and self-discipline has never been my strong suit. 

But I REALLY hate it when the scale ticks upwards, so hopefully that will encourage me to keep making better choices. 

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What I Read 2017- January/ February 

Here we go again: a list of the books I have read so far this year. 

The Butcher’s Boy- Thomas Perry: a hit man, the mafia, and a justice department analyst, all scrambling to unravel a tangled web of deceit and murder and cover their butts. 

Metzger’s Dog- Thomas Perry: a thief steals the wrong set of documents and gets sucked into a game of chicken with the CIA, who thinks they are dealing with an organized twrrorist group. Very clever

Sleeping Dogs- Thomas Perry: sequel to The Butcher’s Boy. A coincidental sighting after 10 years leads the hit man  to think his enemies are still after him, and he leaves a path of bodies behind him as he tries to erase his tracks and resume his quiet life in hiding. 

You Will Know Me- Megan Abbott: I always expect to like her books more than I do. Totally mediocre ‘suspense’ about a family in turmoil after a tragic accident. Set around the world of high level competitive gymnastics, but the main character was a whiny mess and the ‘big reveal’ was pretty obvious from the beginning. 

The Midnight Star- Marie Lu: finale book in The Young Elites trilogy. Satisfactory conclusion, although I think I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read the other two immediately beforehand. 

The Billion Dollar Spy- David Hoffman: the true story of a Russian engineer who chose to spy for the US, and the incredible impact he had on American military intelligence. Incredible story, although not written in the most thrilling manner. 

The Vanishing Year- Kate Moretti: decent thriller about a woman whose hidden past has come back to haunt her. The big reveal is way too easy to guess, but the book was enjoyable. 

The Drifter- Nick Petrie: an ex-marine helps out a fallen comrade’s family and gets pulled into violent confrontation with domestic terrorists. Basically, if you like Jack Reacher, you’ll like The Drifter. 

Field of Fire- Marc Cameron: this is #7 in a series (none of which I’ve read), and the author goes a little heavy on the allusions to previous stories. Makes the beginning a little slow. But once it gets going, it’s a ripper of an action book. 

Order To Kill- Kyle Mills/ Vince Flynn): super agent Mitch Rapp singlehandedly foils a terrorist plot. Again. 

Guilty Minds- Joseph Finder: someone is trying to discredit a Supreme Court judge, and an ex-military private eye wants to find out why. Predictable but fun read. 

The Beautiful Dead- Belinda Bauer: a serial killer fixates on a TV crime reporter. Not exactly groundbreaking, but a better than average thriller. 

Rubbernecker- Belinda Bauer: I liked the first book I read by her, so in true obsessive fashion I’ve decided to read them all. This one is a twisty tale that alternates point of view between a man trapped in a coma, and a young autistic man studying anatomy. Not your typical thriller, but very satisfying when all of the pieces finally fit together. 

Blacklands- Belinda Bauer: a lonely, neglected 12yo boy starts an ill advised correspondence with the pedophile who murdered his uncle in an attempt to find the body. Not exactly a feel good read.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (#1-4)- Lemony Snicket: Isabelle has read this entire series, and Jack just started after watching the first season in Netflix, so I figured I’d read them as long as he was bringing them home. Quite amusing, and each book takes about an hour to read

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Mascara Of The Month: W3ll People/ Mineral Fusion

Time for month 2 in my mascara testing series (mascarathon?) and this month it’s a two for one special thanks to a couple of brands I was able to pick up on my regular shopping trips.

The first one I tried is from Mineral Fusion- a clean beauty brand that is available in various health food grocery stores, and even my regular HyVee! That makes this a very convenient option. They have several different formulations- I chose waterproof because that is super hard to find in natural beauty.



I like the formula, although I don’t know if it is anything super special. My lashes look … fine with it on. Not amazing, not terrible. Perfectly acceptable but nothing you’d write home about. I can’t specifically testify to the waterproof properties- the only test I gave it in that department was a trip to the water park, and there’s no mascara in the world that is going to withstand 200 gallons of water pouring over your head (which happened to me THREE TIMES- the warning bell is a pack of lies). But it doesn’t smudge or smear throughout the day, and it washes off completely at the end of the night so I’m happy.


What I don’t love is the brush. It’s really fat and it pulls out big blobs of mascara, making application less than seamless. I usually end up with spots on my eyelid, no matter how gently I brush it on. Super annoying. With another brush (one that curls!) this would be a real winner, but I probably won’t buy it again.

 

The second mascara I tried is from W3ll People. I have some other products from this brand (love love LOVE the concealer), and it just popped up at my Target (so much yay!), so I couldn’t wait until next month to try it.


This brush I LOVE. It seems to coat each individual hair so flawlessly and make them seem so much longer. Definitely not a thickening mascara, but for long, black, everyday lashes it is fantastic. The first couple of times I wore it I did have some under eye smudging by the late afternoon (boo hiss), but I haven’t had that problem lately, so I don’t know if I just rubbed my eyes those days or what. Hopefully those were flukes because otherwise I really like this one.

Mineral Fusion:

W3ll People:

Final verdict: I still prefer the Perfekt mascara, but either of these makes a solid backup.

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Whole Lot Of Nothing

Guess which bird is me?

In a fit of lunacy, I somehow let myself get talked in to doing Whole30 for the month of February. In case you are unaware of what that is, that means you go 30 days (or 28 as the case may be) without eating dairy, sugar, grains (of ANY kind- no fresh corn even), legumes, and alcohol. 

It’s pretty much as awful as it sounds. 

The creators of this fad diet say that the purpose behind it is to reset your palate, reduce inflammation in the body by removing trigger foods, and help to create a healthier relationship with food. But let’s face it, unless you are actually trying an elimination diet to discover the cause of a true physical ailment (ie: diary sensitivity), the real reason you do something like this is to lose weight. 

I have lost no weight. 

You aren’t supposed to weigh yourself for the entire time you’re on this diet (just like the main focus isn’t supposed to be weight loss), but some of the other people in our group did so of course I had to join in. After all, if I didn’t easily cave to peer pressure I wouldn’t have joined the group to begin with and I’d be eating chocolate covered strawberries (that I dipped myself!) right now! But no dice for me- I’m still right there at my heftiest weight ever. *grumble grumble*

But hey, who cares about losing weight, at least all of this healthy food has got me feeling great, right? Nope. It seems like everyone else has turned a corner where they are starting to settle in to a groove and have started feeling better, but I still feel exactly the same. Well, exactly the same but also MUCH crabbier and with a newfound hatred towards food, and life, and other people. So that’s fun. I didn’t really need to become MORE misanthropic, thanks. 

I guess the upside is that if I’m going to feel the same whether my diet is made up of lattes and cookies or all fruits, veggies and meats, I can definitely stop feeling guilty about downing an entire box of shortbread. The downside is that I still have 15 days to go in this experiment, and I’m likely going to still be fat at the end of it. 

Boo. 
Update: it has been brought to my attention that this post was “littered with typos and misspellings.” More than my posts usually are, anyway. I think I’ve corrected most if not all of them, but any others you find will just have to serve as further proof of my rapid deterioration as a result of such stringent dietary guidelines. My brain likes sugar, yo 


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Safeguarding Screen Time With KoalaSafe and Curbi

I’m sure other parents will agree with me when I say that monitoring your kids’ screen time is practically a full time job. Every one of our kids has their own iPad (because we are consumerist jerks), and I fully confess to not following the recommended daily time limits. But the more I read about the addictive effects of electronic usage (and see the symptoms in my children), the more I determine to enforce better rules and guidelines for my children.

Even though it kind of sucks.  Continue reading

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