For my Grandma JoAnn. I’ll meet you at the gate.

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Your Garden

A beautiful garden now stands alone

Missing the one who nurtured it but now she’s gone.

Her flowers still bloom, and the sun it still shines

But the rain is like tear drops for the ones left behind.

 

The weeds lay waiting to take the gardens beauty away,

But the memory of its keeper is in our hearts to stay.

She loved every flower, even some that were weeds.

So much love she would plant with each little seed.

 

But just like her flowers she was part of Gods plan,

So when it was her time he reached down his hand.

He looked through the garden searching for the best,

That’s when he found my Grandma, it was her time to rest.

 

It was hard for those who loved her to just let her go,

But God had a spot in his garden that needed a gentle soul.

So when you miss my Grandma, remember if you just wait.

When God has a spot in his garden

She’ll meet you at the gate.

 

4.3.13

Eat for fuel, not for fun…and other Paleo updates.

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I don’t “diet”…I eat according to my goals.

A few musings and updates in regards to my Paleo life.

 

  1. Like any knowledgeable health freak will tell you, the key to good (healthy, yummy, raw eating) is preparation.   Spending an hour here or there to get yourself organized and ready for the week ahead has insurmountable benefits.  Less temptations when less-than-healthy foods are around, easy to ‘grab and go’ if you are running behind, and if your fruits, veggies, and  meats are ready to go you will spend less time contemplating other foods that may linger in your house and more time fueling up on raw, yummy treats. 

 

As I will be away for the next 4 days to a conference for work, I have just spent about 90 minutes getting prepared for that.  Spending 4 days in a hotel (a total of 12 meals and snacks here and there) can be challenging if you are used to not eating out- which you should be if you follow any sort of dietary restrictions. 

 

I will be hoping in that car with a rather large bag full of natural, grass-fed meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, berries, eggs, and about 5 coworkers looking at me like I have 6 heads.  Ensue the conversation about the benefits (health lifestyle, money saved, endless energy…) and cover all the barriers (…can’t really think of any).

 

  1. Moving along…it works (for me).   If you have been an athlete and a generally healthy eater (or anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle switch-up) and you are still not getting the results you desire, I would recommend making the switch over.  Again, to cover the basics, “Paleo” is a lifestyle of eating raw, clean, and grass-fed meats (seafoods and fish as well).  Consuming a great deal of veggies, and smaller amounts of fruits.  Snacking on berries and nuts.  And avoiding carbs, gluten, starchy foods, dairy, and all processed sugars/foods.  If you have any concerns about the intake of necessary nutrients from specific food groups (IE: dairy and more specifically calcium) please message me or post below and I’d be happy to explain that you can get ALL the nutrients necessary in your diet through ALL the foods you can consume Paleo.  I will say that I am in no way trying to push this on anyone as I firmly believe our bodies are all different and benefit from different things. This just happens to work really well for me and anyone who I have come accross who is Paleo.

 

  1. An update on the past 10 days- I have lost 4 lbs and no longer have a “gluten/wheat belly”, also known as bloating.  I have gained a great deal of energy and no longer hit a wall at 2 pm. I get full quicker and stay full longer.  I know it sounds crazy but I can already notice more definition in my abs/quads/and glutes (I stick to a pretty regimented workout schedule).  And in general, my self-efficacy has increased and I feel an over-all sense of accomplishment. 

 

  1. The big dispute.  As Paleo is also called the “Caveman” diet- with this comes the “…well didn’t Cavemen only have a life expectancy of 30 years…” statement.  My answer to that is simply yes.  However, they also had to hunt, fight, and kill their food, increasing their risk of getting mauled to death and then eaten.  They didn’t have a 4 bedroom 3 bath house.  Heat.  Central air. Proper antibiotics/medication. AED in case of a heart attack. Nor did they have street signs in case they got lost when hunting said dinner time meal…

 

  1. I have a real knack for roasting Cauliflower and Broccoli- and I crave it too (another Paleo partner of mine called me a Paleo prodigy because of it).  I have found a new appreciation for Avocados, Kale, Scallions, and have learned about 4 new ways to cut and cook a chicken.  My go-to satisfiable sweet snacks are fruits, raisins, and of course 85% Dark Cocoa (A lady needs her chocolate after all).  I can say that there hasn’t been a minute in these days that I have cursed myself or said “I really wish I wasn’t living this lifestyle so I can eat all that shit.”

 

I’m good.

I’m healthy.

I’m sticking to it.

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Paleo On….

My Paleo Life

Day 1 (technically 3) – 3.1.13

 

After a great deal of trial/error/gain/loss/sleepiness/hunger and frustration, I have found that my body is intolerant to Gluten, refined sugars, starches, and processed foods.  It thrives on healthy, lean, protein filled foods and lives for taste.

 

What wonderful news!  I can now live a life of optimal health (the very thing that my lifestyle and career are based off of) and leave behind the desires (mostly) for sugar-laden and artery closing foods. 

 

…Enter my new, and hopefully forever, Paleo lifestyle. Will it be difficult, yes.  Will people give me shit for it, yes.  Will I want to eat bread sometimes, yes.  However, everyone is different and everyone’s body runs differently, thus far this is the best I have felt in a while.  The simple fact is this: you do what’s right by your body, and let me do what’s right by mine.

 

PALEO= back to the basics.  Nothing but veggies, fruits, organic-grass fed meats, seafood, nuts and berries.  No sugars, no starches, no dairy, nothing processed, and nothing fake. 

 

Natural- crunchy- heady- hearty-healthy-tasty-delicious-wonderful foods.

 

To Start:

1-    Desire

2-    Research/Nutritionist

3-    Planning

4-   Measurements/Weight

5-    Shopping

6-   Start!

 

With 1-6 being complete I will update you as I go!  (as if you freaking care- we all know I’m writing this for my own gratification and monitoring)

Right now I am too ‘chicken shit’ ( mmmm chicken) to post my measurements and pictures but perhaps I will at the end of 30 days.

 

Today

Breakfast: Black coffee, 2 eggs/1 white mixed with sweet potato cubes and turkey

 

Midmorning: Banana

 

Lunch: Big Ass Salad with strips of steak, ½ avocado, and an orange

 

Afternoon: 1 handful nuts and ½ handful of Wasabi roasted soy beans

 

Dinner: Grilled chicken with Squash soup

 

Dessert: Mixed berries and 85% Cocoa Dark Choc. Bits

 

Water, water, water.

 

 

~Fruit and meat
Are good to eat
And veg and fish
Should fill your dish
But sugar and grain
Will cause you pain
And if it comes from a packet
Your diet should lack it.~

Aside

THINGS I AM GLAD THAT CANNOT FLY

…ANIMAL ADDITION…

As if flying spiders and killer wasps were not enough…

 

Highest fear level: I find most things to be comically unsafe whist flying (IE: Elephants…comical, but have you ever been pooped on by a bird? Has a bird ever flew straight into your windshield? Now enter…Elephants)   However, these 3 animals are no-holds-bar the scariest thing to have never had wings. Thankfully.  The below items make me say to myself… “NOPE. Nope, nope, nopety, noperson!  Sweet, Sweet Baby Jesus please, please don’t be able to fly..I’m going to puke.  Oh Thank God, it doesn’t fly…that was close”

1-      Kitties.  Awww.  ‘So soft kitty, warm kitty, I really like your wings…scary kitty, biting kitty, you can now FLY to go kill things’….nope. Amiright? As it stands now: a cat can pounce on your babies, scratch your eyes out, bite your face off, fall off the Empire State Building landing on all fours, and has 9 lives.  Yes, adding wings and making kitties fly has its obvious perks (it can fly dead rats to your most hated “friends” as “gifts”).  But now, you also have a flying death machine looking to take over the internet/world.  No thanks.

 

2-      Zombies.   This isn’t an argument against whether or not they exist in the first place- all signs point to “yes”.  Everyone knows zombies cannot swim, science has proven that time and time again.  But it is a little not-so-known fact that they cannot fly…yet.  Holy shit though, if they could.  As if planning my Zombie Apocalypse survival wasn’t challenging enough.  Theories on how to take out a flying zombie…?? I’m sorry, perhaps I have yet to reach that episode of “Doomsday Preppers”.  I will report back.

 

3-      Snakes.  Just typing the word alone makes me want to run away making the girliest noise that has ever escaped my lips. Besides death itself, this has easily got to be my biggest fear.  I have to say I have a trepidation to snakes that is so massive that even Indian Jones would be proud.   I would take a 4-winged Zombie that is holding a flying kitty that is riding in on a flying elephant over a baby flying snake any day of the week.  Now, unless I have also missed that particular episode of “Doomsday Preppers”, it is unknown to me that this hideous creature currently exists.  If for some reason this does exist in some hidden village in the darkest, most Satanic corner of the earth, please don’t tell me.  I repeat, don’t tell me anything.  I don’t want to know.  I can’t hear you. I’m not listening lalalalalala.

 

Addition thoughts:

1- Just as horrific as these animals flying- it would be equally scary if these 3 animals were bipedal: Horses, a Liger, and …Kitties have graced the list again.

 2-Animals that can’t fly that I wish could: Puppies, Bunnies, and baby Polar Bears.  Definitely not Ferrets.

 End Note: If ‘shark’ was on your list please advise.  Everyone knows if a shark comes toward you all you need to do is simply punch it in the eye and it will back down.  I am happy to report said theory is applicable to flying sharks as well. Problem. Solved.

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No one will ever read this…

I have taken upon a rather new habit purely for the sake of my sanity and creative energies. If something strikes me as funny or intriguing and/or a thought crosses my mind I have started to write it down, get it out, and let it go. How would I respond if someone said something peculiar to me? If I saw something unusual and it was thought provoking would I ever reflect back on it again or would it be something that only crossed my mind in that very moment, dissipating into the deepest corner of my brain? After all, it seems that most people can’t even slow down let alone make time to think about such things anymore.

What made me pick this up? Why now at 26? It was something a therapist said to me once that struck me to start trying this. Mind you, I have gone to one therapist ever and the amount of times I have actually seen her is equal to that of a 12 month old baby (that would be 1, for those who struggle with math, an issue that I too am resistant with).

I was 23 at the time and violently trying to make my mark in the word whilst dealing with issues from a life I so desperately wanted to leave behind. I felt trapped in a relationship I didn’t want to leave for the sake of comfort while simultaneously realizing I wasn’t the biggest fan of the man who gave me life. To you these may not seem like out of the ordinary issues, and looking back, the most certainly are not. I’m not special, and I am no different than anyone else. However, it was sucking my once free-spirited soul dry, and that is a trait I cherish to its very core. My own personal version of hell. I hated my job so much that I would cry on my way to work, and I hated my relationship so much that I would cry on my way home to that very place that was killing me. That is far too much hate and tears for a young woman, anyone for that matter, to carry. After one too many disappointing conversations (arguments) and years of self-depreciation, I was given a gift that will never be taken away from me so long as I have a heart in my body- self worth. It was then in that moment I rescued myself, for me, on my own.

After I got my life together, made peace with my past, and let go of expectations that would never take place- I left. I moved to where I belong, what a beautiful feeling. I hate to brag, I really do, but I have to say my life is better than most. I have found the fortunes of beautiful friends, true happiness, and am reveling in the glory of painstakingly hard work that is finally paying off. I am so very rich in these things and in these things alone.

I took one thing away from what that therapist said to me that day. Only one thing though, mostly because I was too stubborn to hear anything anyone was trying to say to me at that time. It was after a discussion in which we were talking about feelings I harbor for people who won’t change no matter what I say or do. During those years of my life, and sometimes even now, I would often be crippled with overwhelming guilt had I not been nurturing someone else’s wound or taking care of someone else’s responsibilities. This is an awful thing you know, to not put your own happiness first.

She said to me, “you know Jennifer…you can in fact say these things to people for the sake of getting them out. Write them down, get it out, and let it go. They never need to see them or hear them, but in order for you to move on from it, they need to exit your soul. Only then will you be released of that negative energy.”

I didn’t listen to her for 3 years. I just started with this sensible, effortless practice weeks ago in a moment of revelation. So here I am, comfortable in my own skin, shifting my insecurities, and opening up for reasons I have yet discovered. It is something that I felt compelled to do and I can only assume it now takes place of the therapist I once saw, literally.

I’m not writing this for anyone else, I don’t care what you have to think so long as I am not hurting anyone. I am insanely happy and proud to be the strong, independent woman I once thought I would never be. I am not ashamed in where I came from as it brought me to where I am. I am here, taking comfort in my thoughts transcribed on paper because most likely, no one will ever read this.

An Update from the Epi-Center of My Hunger.

Day 1

Ash Wednesday

First Day of Lent

Fasting…

 

6:00am– Self talk: “Ok Ms. Jenny, you got this.  You’ve gone through many-a-breakup where you starved yourself for 3 days straight.” (Don’t judge. I don’t eat my feelings- I starve them to death) “Besides…. WWJD?”

 8:30am– I usually eat a healthy, delicious breakfast at my desk at this time of the morning.  “Oh I know! I shall have a spot of Green Tea.” (Technically I’m not supposed to have anything but I’m not trying to pass out in front of my co-workers.  I’m wearing a dress for church and no one needs to see my lucky undies) “MMM…tea….delicious.”

 8:35am– Chants to self: “Bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon”…. “Stupid Green Tea…stupid idea.”

 10:23amText my girl Caroline (who also happens to be doing this same Gluten Free challenge with me).      Text reads: “Lent Update: day 1, 10:23am… Already miss Pita Chips!”.  I have a disgusting obsession with Pita Chips. I hoard them in the “snack drawer” in my desk, and yesterday I had to finish the bag.  Also in this drawer are (1) packet of Lite Italian Dressing (not G Free), an Orange, and my inhibitions.

 11:10am– Co-worker is eating. Why is she doing this to me?  I now feel that everyone who eats has a personal vendetta against me.  I am pretty sure I once saw a movie and this was how WWIII started….

 11:26am– Another co-worker behind me is crunching… a part of me dies inside.

 12:05pm– People start breaking for lunch and I pop in my 3rd cup of tea.  I have been putting a squirt of honey into my tea, and it’s at this point that I consume a spoonful of it.   Desperate times, people.

12:08pm– “Should I eat the Grapefruit I brought?  I mean, it’s just a measly grapefruit.  And I do sorta have a headache. Ugh, forget it, I don’t need it. I’m not going to die from not eating…my spirit made fade, but I won’t die…”

12:12pm– Receive a text from Meredith (another of my ladies participating in this challenge). Text reads: “eff- you-see-kay (SIC), I’m starving and all I want is bread!!! Ahhhh Dear Lord help me” Exclamation point, exclamation point.  Lucky for Meredith she isn’t fasting today and can actually eat real food.  My reply.. “SNAP OUT OF IT and then I promptly instruct her to the closest salad franchise.

12:29pm– Boss yells running out to grab some lunch, anyone want anything…?”  “Just my soul back…” I reply to myself silently in my head, my stomach agrees…

12:45pm– My Momma calls and announces she will be having pizza for dinner. MMM NY pizza… Am I, …am I drooling?

1pm– I’m sitting on the corner of Grapefruit Center where it intercedes with Shame Street and Hunger Blvd.  Do I always base my day around food consumption or is it just because I’m not allowed to have any on this particular day? …I ate the grapefruit.  I’m sure an extra Hail Mary at church this evening will take care of that delicious moment of weakness.

My afternoon follows with much of the same. 

Tea, anger, tea, hunger, tea… I swear any senses that are associated with food are heightened.  Smell– multiplied by 1,000 and someone has something wonderful in the microwave.  Sight– everyone looks like a bacon cheeseburger and I swear the pens on my desk are French Fries.  Sound– crunching and munching echoing in my head and I swear I hear a mouse in the wall eating cheese.  Taste– nothing, absolutely nothing…

4:30pm– Leaving for mass now.  Have to be there early so I can throw up some extra prayers and penance for the ever-atoned 1pm Grapefruit.  I have never looked forward to a Communion Wafer so much in my life.

Mass was wonderful, I’m almost not hungry.  Almost.  At this point I am seriously considering 1) going home and straight to bed so I don’t eat anything and/or 2) signing myself up for an Over-Eaters Anonymous group- as seen above, I obviously have a problem.

Somehow I have found the strength to go home and rid my cabinets/fridge of foods containing Gluten.  Much to the happiness of my roommate, who ultimately obtained about 3 weeks’ worth of food, it turns out I am a Gluten hoarder. 

 I have to say, after a day of fasting and a pure hour of atonement, I feel renewed and ready to embark down this road of change.  It will not be trouble-free as I, no doubt, will have many-a-desire for my long lost starches.  So says T.S Elliot “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

 

 *slight disclaimer- I am aware of the fact that in the Catholic religion discussing/posting/bragging about the religious things you do is a sin in-of-itself (pride). I understand the point of Lent and I assure you that I am probably one of the ‘last of a dying breed’ who follows the traditions.  I am a believer of my faith and I am not asking you to be the same.  They way I see it is that if it doesn’t exist- well I still went through life living in kindness, no harm, no foul.  Claim me sacreligious if you want, but this is all in good humor.   And what is the point in living if you don’t feel alive???

 

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Just in case you ever saw this on someone’s forehead- Ashes….The more ya know, folks!