Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's that time of year again!!!

Oh boy, you're going to want to quit reading this right now. The reason for that would be because it is almost January and that means.....   Time for the January Whole30!! So I will be boring the life out of this blog for the next while with cranky posts about not being able to eat sugar or dairy or alcohol.

I am hoping it won't be so bad because I have retained a few habits from last year's Whole30. I still drink black coffee, I still don't hardly eat legumes, I still attempt to avoid cheese and other dairy, and I still attempt to avoid needless grains. I have recently fallen completely off the wagon because Thanksgiving and Christmas. I didn't even bother pretending to limit anything I shoved in my mouth since Turkey Day. Of course I have paid for that immensely by feeling like crap, being super tired, not being able to poop, feeling totally achy, and getting raging neck pimples.

Who am I fooling? It will totally be so bad!! The hardest part is that I am an expert at rationalizing terrible food choices. I can convince myself to eat some pretty awful stuff. I once ate a serving of moldy pancakes because I rationalized that I didn't want to make my date feel bad by refusing to eat them. Moldy. Pancakes...! The worst part is this wasn't an isolated episode. I have also eaten moldy bread pudding. Again, I didn't want to make a fuss, so I ate it. Ack!!

This year's Whole30 will concentrate on not rationalizing poor food choices. I want to focus on good food that is good for me.

New this year -- I might train for a half marathon. There's one coming up in May and it's not one of those obnoxious Color Runs or Spartan Races or Mudders. It's just a plain half marathon. It isn't even combined with a full marathon. It's just straight up 13 miles of running. Granted I haven't even walked 13 miles since 2003, but whatevs. I got time to start working on it. I do need something to do that is active. I can't really keep blaming my slothfulness on my kid since she is five and fully capable of either running with mommy or staying home with daddy without as much fuss as a younger kid would cause.

So I guess these are New Year's resolutions? We'll see. We shall see...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

30 Ways Being A Working Mom Is Awesome

1. You see your kid less than daycare sees them.
2. After working all day, you get to come home and cook and clean and do homework and take out the garbage and clean and do laundry and do the dishes and give bathes and clean.
3. You get to spend all day with people based on circumstances, not choice.
4. You can't quit because money or health insurance or retirement funds or money.
5. Your kid asks every morning if you have to go to work again.
6. You probably don't use your vacation days for vacation because puking kids aren't allowed in school and mom is the one who has to stay home to take care of them.
7. If you do use vacation days for a real vacation, it's not very relaxing because you have to pack your clothes and the kid's clothes and all the toiletries and make the plane reservations and make sure the hotel has strollers you can borrow and don't forget the sunscreen or the goggles or the sand toys or the snacks.
8. Your sick days are actually used when you are sick because your kid brought home the creeping crud from school.
9. Being home from work sick doesn't mean rest and recuperation, it means just a normal day with more puking and tissues.
10. Errands after work don't run themselves and usually include a cranky kid fresh from daycare.
11. Holidays are not relaxing because they are predetermined a year in advance as to which relatives you are dragging your kid to.
12. That is, if you don't have to work during the holidays.
13. You work more than non-parents because you know from first hand experience that projects won't do themselves.
14. You get the joyous designation of "office mommy" which just means you know how to clean up after people.
15. Just like your kid who knows you will get them the red cup after you already filled the blue one, your boss knows you won't say no to most requests.
16. Most office disputes are taken care of by you because if you can handled a cranky toddler, you can handle Ted from IT.
17. You never get a full lunch break to actually enjoy lunch because the Post Office and the bank and the eye doctor and the veterinarian all close at exactly 5pm so get your butt over there between 12pm and 1pm or else.
18. Lunch consists of leftovers or whatever your kid wouldn't eat the night before.
19. When packing lunch, you have to leap up from the dinner table and immediately put a portion of dinner in a lunch container and hide it behind the cabbage or else someone in your family will eat it before you get a chance.
20. Dinner consists of McDonald's drive thru more than you care to admit.
21. You occasionally leave work early and take a nap in your car because it's not time to pick the kids up yet but you just can't sit at work any longer.
22. All the men you work with make more money than you.
23. All the men you work with get promoted faster than you.
24. Maternity leave has a stigma attached.
25. Your husband makes more money than you and doesn't have to cook and clean when he gets home. Every. Damn. Day.
26. Your kids only vet to see tired, stressed mom and not the mom you want to be.
27. Your husband only gets to see tired, stressed mom and not the wife you wanted to be.
28. If you have almost no time for your family, you have absolutely no time for friends.
29. Weekends are not relaxing because your too busy doing all the crap you neglected during the week.
30. Nothing. Nothing is awesome about being a working mom.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rose's Rules For Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Animal Groups

Facebook buy/sell/trade groups can be a great way to locate sellers and buyers for stuff. Here's some rules to make the most of your free membership:

1. Always post "wanted" ads for the exact same thing in the previous "for sale" ad. It helps if you are in the same area as the previous seller. Advanced tip: Be sure to say in your "wanted" ad that you want the item for free.

Ad example: "For sale - Ten Muscovy ducks. $5 each. Located in Naven."
Your ad: "Wanted - Muscovy ducks in Naven. Must be cheap or free."

2. Reply to all ads with philosophical questions.

Ad example: "Wanted - Someone to butcher a cow"
Your reply: "Why would you want to butcher such a nice cow?"

3. Reply to all ads with criticism.

Ad example: "Horse for sale"
Your reply: "That horse is too skinny."

4. Post ads with way too much personal information.

Ad example: "Selling our pig because my husband lost his job and the landlord doesn't want us to have pigs anymore and the kids are too attached to the pig to eat it."

5. Post "for sale" ads with outrageous prices.

Ad example: "For sale - 25 year old horse, not trained, can't be ridden, needs special diet and extra hoof care monthly. $2500 firm!"

6. Be passive-aggressive.

Ad example: "For sale - 3 roosters, $10 each - Must go as pets only, don't contact me unless serious, fenced in yard only, must pick up. No delivery. Going to the first person who comes to get them. I will not hold them. Cash only."

7. Post guilt trip ads.

Ad example: "Nice dog needs a new home. Previous owner died and this nice little dog is all alone. She just wants a forever home!"

8. Post ads for stuff not related to the group.

Group: "Farm Animals in NNY"
Ad example: "1984 Chevy Impala for sale"

9. Use the group to solicit advice.

Post example: "My goat has a cough. What's wrong with it?"

10. Post links to political stuff vaguely related to animals.

With these tips, you should be the most valuable person in the group, or get you banned... whatevs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

life is.... life

My kid is crying because I used the toilet first. Apparently she needs to be Queen of Her Domain in the bathroom in order to feel that all is right and good enough to brush her teeth and get ready for bed. She's stalling the inevitable bedtime. I love how stalling only occurs on nights when she's tired and really needs to go to bed early.

My job situation sorted itself out for the most part. I am back to Plan A. This is good. The universe calmed down with its cosmic signs. I never heard back from Plan W. I hate job searching because if you don't hear back from a company after you send a resume or application, there's no good way to tell if it is because you aren't qualified enough, or are overqualified, or they already hired someone else, or they didn't like your cover letter, or they never received your information in the first place. It's painful to speculate on why you are not hearing anything but it's impossible to not imagine all sorts of terrible things.

Considering that I just had a craving for speculoos cookie butter because I just typed the word "speculate", it must mean one thing --- I am back to not eating carbs again. Don't worry, I won't start posting my lame meal plans and boring dietary musings on a daily basis. Between job stress and the fallish weather, I have been pounding cookies with vengeance. I got lazy and stopped cooking. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with popcorn on the side have been a staple. Ugh...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Universe Is Mocking Me

My life has been "special" lately. By "special", I mean totally effed up. I will be losing my job in two months. My super awesome boss is moving his research program to another state. He asked, or actually begged, me to come with him and my other coworkers. Unfortunately I can't bring myself to force my family to move to a state where we have never even driven through for a job that can't guarantee 10 years of stability. And there's the tiny issue of my husband's super successful tree care business that he would have to abandon here and try to reestablish there. So yeah, I will not be going with the rest of the group.

That leaves me trying to find a job. In the area that I live, there's not a whole lot of options for the line of work that I do. Through the panic of thinking about this situation and trying to decide what to do, I begged the universe for a neon sign to show me what to do. I had Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and wanted a sign for which one to pursue. There's a lot of wacky coincidences that happen in strange ways, so I do believe in signs and fate.

Well, the other day I was cruising the interwebz trying to get my mind off my crappy situation by surfing around looking for jobs in random locations. Low and behold, I stumble upon a detailed help wanted ad with a job description that eerily mirrors my exact current job description. It was freaky the way this position was looking for someone with my exact qualifications and training. So I then checked out the location of this job and was floored to find it located about thirty minutes from my parent's house. Ack!

I have always hoped to move back to that area. My parents have a large farmstead with a gorgeous house, several nice barns, and two small apartments. They live near a big city but are located in a rural area. My mom has often said that as she and dad get older, they would love to move out of the big house and into one of the small apartments. And then one of the kids could live in the big house and take care of the farm (and them). It would be so nice to have the help of family nearby when I needed it. My other family members live in that area too. The only problem is that my husband would have to relocate his company and live with his in-laws. He likes my family a lot but that's a big commitment for someone to do.

This job description has to be the sign I asked for. But, of course, instead of pointing to Plan A, B, or C. It points to Plan W! This idea of moving home is not what I was expecting. The universe is definitely mocking me by giving me a bright sign to a complicated new idea.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Perfect Online Livestock For Sale Ad Template

Hi folks! Have you ever wondered how to write the best online for sale ad for your livestock? You want it to shine off the page so hoards of people will be emailing and PM'ing you to get in line to buy that critter now. Well, here's your chance to get it right -- Introducing::

Rose's Handy Dandy Livestock For Sale Ad Template

Ad title: Something catchy and descriptive, like "Horse for Sale"

Ad details: Be sure to mention the breed, temperament, medical history, training records, and any other useful information. Be sure to embellish here and there with minor half-truths and lots of exclamation points! (Not too many exclamation points, you don't want to sound desperate!!) For example:

"Halfinger X Quarter Horse X Arabian X Pinto purebred horse for sale. Uncut stallion, forty-two years old. Flashy mover! Super friendly, good boy! Needs advanced rider. Bad pasterns but not lame with proper shoes. Rescue horse, in good shape now! Stands, ties, good for farrier. UTD on shots."

Sob story: Always have a reason for why you have to ditch the beast.

"I hate to sell him, but I just don't have time to give him what he deserves. We are moving to Zimbabwe and landlord won't let us keep pets."

Pictures: The best pictures must be blurry, dark, and not even centered on the animal for sale.

Price: Be sure to value the animal properly, taking into consideration it's goods and bads. 

"$10,500 firm"

Declaration: You don't want to waste your time with cheapos and scammers

"Serious inquiries only. Don't waste my time if you are not ready for him. Don't bother emailing me if you don't want him. Good homes only! I will not respond to spam and fakers. Be sure to put "Haflinger X Quarter Horse X Arabian X Pinto in the subject line or else I will delete it as spam." 

Contact information: Make it clear when and how people should get hold of you.

"Call Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays between 7am and 9am. Leave a message and I will get back to you. Posting for a friend so don't email. No calls after 5 pm!!!"

Location: Give plenty of detail. 

"Upstate NY"

With this template for success, that animal is already sold!

PS: If not sold in a timely fashion, it's totally fine to repost the ad over and over while threatening people. Lower the price to sweeten the pot.

"STILL AVAILABLE! Must be gone by tomorrow morning at 5 am or else!! Price reduced to $10,450!!!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

Well, that's different!

I have noticed my eating habits have changed in a major way since doing the Whole30 and staying paleo. I have even shocked myself lately. Today I bought mini cupcakes at the big grocery. Normally my kid would have one or two and I would eat the other ten on the forty-five minute drive home. Then I would shove the empty package in the car garbage so no one would see it. But today I had one as I got in the car and didn't have any more. It wasn't even a self imposed "I am only going to have one" thing where I agonized about the other nine that were just sitting there. I ate the one and then asked myself if I wanted more and I was like "meh.." so I didn't have more.

Even after dinner the cupcakes were still around and I would normally have snuck at least two right after eating... but again, I didn't. I had some fruit and then much later had a cupcake. Now it is late and everyone is asleep and I used to binge eat at night. But tonight I feel chill and not craving sugar.

I am feeling good about this stuff. I hope these changes continue.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I read an article in the Washington Post today about diets and why it is so hard to keep up with them. One thing the person said that struck me was if you look at a donut 19 times and don't eat it, but then you do eat it on the 20th time, you lose the willpower game. You don't get any points for the 19 times you didn't eat the donut. What only matters is that you ate it in the end and now those calories are a part of you.

I play this game a lot where I will focus on a food and ignore it for a long time but then eat it in the end. I lose. When being strictly on the Whole30, I didn't have that problem once the carb cravings went away. I think it's because my focus on bad foods gets super magnified by sugar addiction. It's probably a little similar to alcoholism. I can't just have a little sugar or carbs or dairy. It triggers things to cascade until I am eating Lucky Charms out of a coffee mug at 8pm.

So I guess I can't just have a little sugar. It's like having a little crack or being a little pregnant.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Entertaining Without Food

One of the thing I would like to work on is learning to entertain myself without food. I have always tended to use food as a form of entertainment -- every trip ends with going out to eat, or every party is centered around meal. I am struggling with removing food as the focal point because if I know I shouldn't eat certain things, then I need to avoid bad food options by having non-food options. I need to think of things that are fun that do not fill my face.

This is becoming a major issue because my kid has caught on that fun = food. She likes making special trips to go out to eat and she wants snacks in the car whenever we go anywhere. She's not even a big foodie but she has learned that doing something fun with mommy should involve food.

I tried to think of non-food activities this weekend and came up with a very short list. I am saddened that my imagination is so limited. So I am going to try to retrain my brain.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ham Sandwich

The Ham Sandwich

Some goats are like fine wine, they get better with age. Some goats are like a ham sandwich, you can wait all you want but they definitely will NOT get better. I have a ham sandwich goat. My little Fiona, daughter of Lucy, granddaughter of Gloria, from a long line of lovely goats -- is a ham sandwich. I have waited and waited for her to mature, lengthen, get taller, and develop dairy character, but to no avail. As a kid she had promise. I kept her through the awkward yearling phase with the hopes that she would grow into her body. Then I bred her because I thought that would do the trick. Nope. She is still short, stumpy, and fat.

Her mom, Lucy, is lovely. She's tall, has a great udder, and is a long, lean goat with no obvious conformational issues. Her mom's mom, Gloria, was a knockout. She was everything a high production dairy goat should be. I was hoping for the best because Fiona's dad was Gloria's son. I was hoping that mixing Lucy's genetics with more of Gloria's genetics would produce the goat to end all goats! Not so much....

I don't really know what went wrong with Fiona. Other kids from Lucy and Gloria have been a lot nicer looking. Fiona did produce two promising looking doe kids this year. They are nice looking as three week olds. I think it is time I cut my losses and send Fiona down the road. I have three other very beautiful dairy goats to feed so this less than optimal one can find a new farm. She's a great little doe with a very pleasant and calm personality. I will find her a nice family farm home where she can produce milk for the people and be a sweet goat as a pet.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rewarding Weight Loss With Weight Gain

Brains like to play mind games, dirty, dirty mind games. My brain has decided that since I have lost weight, I must reward that hard work.... by gaining weight! This means that I will give myself a treat of a cupcake or two, some chocolates, or even a big sandwich on a daily basis because I look good so I need a reward, right?? Ugh. This is exactly the mindset that got me to 200 lbs and more in the first place.

I know what is behind it all --- SUGAR! When I hadn't eaten sugar or any carbs at all on the Whole30, this mindset went away. I felt so free because I could look at a cupcake or chocolate and go "Meh..." I didn't feel compelled to make up a BS excuse to eat them, like "I deserve a reward". Unfortunately, I have been riding the sugar train to crazy town a lot lately. I want to be free again so I really do have to buck up and get back on the no sugar, no sweeteners, no carb express to happy land.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Falling off the wagon

I've fallen off the Whole30 wagon a few times lately (okay, more like once a day or more). I have heard that a lot of people do a 80/20 split between Whole30/Paleo and conventional food. Unfortunately I am on a 50/50 split. Also my sugar dragon is back and I have bad cravings at night so I stuff my face with handfuls of discounted Easter candy at 10 pm. Not good.

I am going to work on being much more Whole30/Paleo and much less chocolate bunny rabbits/seafood salad subs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why Watching a Goat in Labor is Like Watching Ice Road Truckers

Do you remember Ice Road Truckers? It was a show on the History Channel about truckers who drove on the ice roads in Canada. That was it. Trucks + ice = TV....? The show used to make me nuts because they would promise something exciting was going to happen, but it would take a whole hour of watching truckers drive around on ice before it got to an exciting point, like a flat tire or a near slight slide off of the road. Nothing much really ever did happen but they kept you hooked by shaking the camera and adding sound effects of ice cracking.

I realized this week that watching a goat in labor is a lot like watching Ice Road Truckers. Goats keep you hooked on staring at their butts all day because you're sure that the moment you look away, a kid will pop out. Something exciting is bound to happen at any minute. Unfortunately it's 90% anticipation and 10% action. You watch and wait for hours and just when you are ready to give up they burp or fart in a way that makes you want to stay and watch some more. Was that a contraction?? Nope, she's just chewing her cud. Wait! Is she pushing? She just pushed, right? Nope, she laid down on her leg wrong and had to roll around on the ground grunting until she got more comfortable. These things are the goat equivalent of shaking the camera and ice cracking noises. And when you are finally ready to go nuts, the season finale happens and the kids finally come out.

Unfortunately Ice Road Truckers never had a season finale that involved baby goats. Maybe if they did, the show would still be on the air...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Been doing it wrong...

I realized this year that I have been doing this whole goat/kid/kidding thing wrong for a long time. I used to spend a lot of time and energy on this part of the year with baby goat watching, bottle feeding, milking, and the like. This year I got super busy (AKA "lazy") and decided to let the goats do their own thing and take care of their own kids. I have been present for the kiddings to help out if needed. I got smart and took the whole week off from work since all three goats were due at the same time. Normally I spend days at work fretting over if the goats are in labor and what I am going to find when I get home. This has been nice to have my schedule clear so it's all goats, all the time.

This year I decided to let the kids stay with their moms. Normally I bottle feed to make the kids friendly. It was me up every three hours for days feeding and cleaning up after the kids. Just like a human baby, yuck! So I left all the kids and moms together. They are all doing amazing! The kids eat when they want to and the moms are happy to have their kids with them. I have Alice and Fiona together in the big pen with their four kids. It works pretty well and the kids have been quick to learn to stay away from the wrong momma. The only issue is that Alice will attack Fiona's kids if she is not in the pen. There's no problem if Fiona is in there too, it's only when she is gone. I think Alice gets worried that she will be stuck with four kids to raise and is like "Oh hell NO!".

Dam raising isn't a disease issue this year because I finally have all my bred girls CAE negative. That was another reason I used to bottle feed. My girls tested negative in September so it is game on for dam raising!

I do still have to milk but right now it is only just to even out the udders. Soon I will start separating moms and kids for a time so I can get some milk for me. Luckily, these are all high producing dairy goats so there should be plenty of milk for everyone.

I feel like I have been doing it all wrong because this year has been pretty easy so far. I don't have any baby goats in my kitchen, I don't have to worry about being a little late for milking time, and I don't have to worry that the kids aren't getting enough to eat.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Baby Goats!!!

I had two sets of twin does born in the last two days. The first set were from Alice, my sundgau Alpine. She had two all black little girls. The second set were from Fiona, my brown Alpine. She had two all white/cream little girls. All kids and moms are doing great! Only one more goat to kid and then I am done with kidding season.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What's Wrong With This Town??

So I live in a really weird part of NY State that may actually be a parallel universe where the rules of real life and modern society don't actually apply. Don't get me wrong, this place is really pretty and full of talented, nice people who totally rock. But sometimes things happen here that would never fly anywhere near where norm people habitate.

For example there's this restaurant that just announced it is closing and everyone is all sad about it. The only problem is that this place is a total dive (and so not in the Guy Fieri Triple D way). It's like stale food on the floor, and greasy, stinking air, and why dear GOD is my chair sticky?? sort of way. I've been there twice in five years and both times swore I was coming home with a doggy bag and some home-cooked salmonella. I really don't understand why people are mourning the loss. Yes, this greasy spoon has been in business for a super long time, and yes, it will be the end of an era. But sometimes it's time to cut your losses and move along.

Maybe I am a cold-hearted person who doesn't understand local traditions...BUT since when did horrendous food in a sub-par setting ever resemble a useful local tradition?? I just don't get it.

The Baby Goat Waiting Game

Ugh... I hate/love this time of year. I hate it because it is days of endless waiting and I l love it because the end result is lots of cute baby goats. This year I tried to be smart and took the whole week off of work to be at home for the kiddings. Well, I *tried* but it isn't going so well because it is Tuesday already and none of the three goats are making any progress. I know they are all due soon because all three of them went to their respective boyfriends within the same week in November. They each only spent a few days with the bucks and then I tested them by blood for pregnancy. So I am certain they are actually due within the next few days. The sticky part is that goats have a ten day window from within which they can kid. Most goats kid on day 150, but they can go at any time from 145 - 155 days. So I wait. The only solace is knowing that thay can't hold on forever.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Fan of my Body

So as a result of my Whole30 experience, I am thinner than I have been in quite a while. Yay! I feel great and don't miss the food I have given up. I have always been a fan of my own body. I am super blessed with good weight distribution, even when I was way heavier. My fat tends to distribute all over my body and doesn't concentrate in one area, like my butt or belly. I am tall and large framed so a lot of weight doesn't look too bad on me, which has always given me some major body pride.

I am a fan of my body also because I have never been called fat or teased for being heavy. There were some little shits in grade school who called me "Ogre" but that was mostly because I was a head taller than all of them and I tended to stomp around the classroom (graceful, I was not!). I am super blessed with parents who never focus on my size. Sure, they notice when I lose weight but they never criticized when I was big. I know a lot of people who have parents who criticize their kids' bodies. To me, this is one of the meanest things you can do to a child. Kids have a hard enough time with creating their self identity that they don't need shitty adults making it worse. I see a lot of prepubescent, 10 - 12 year olds who get lot of flack for being fat. I have never seen an 11 year old who looked good, even if they are thin. This time of life is tough because kids are changing and growing. All parts of their bodies are growing at different rates and they are saving up body reserves for a huge puberty growth spurt. Most hefty 12 year olds turn into sleek 14 year olds as soon as the hormones kick in. I promise to never make my daughter's weight an issue for her.

I am a fan of my body because it works. I don't have any huge issues (okay, I do have a wacked out thyroid, but who doesn't?!). My body is strong and I can do a lot with it. I am not in shape but I am not out of shape. I am not fast but I have stamina once I get going. Most of my body systems seems to function well. I rarely need a doctor and feel pretty good each day.

There isn't anything I would change if someone gave me $100,000 and told me to pick out a surgery. I don't need bigger boobs or a nicer nose or thinner legs. Of course, I will continue to live the Whole30 and be ecstatic about any additional weight loss, but I don't have a particular part of my body that I don't like.

I figured out long ago that this body is all I have so I need to deal with it. I'll never be a super model but I can rock it, and that's all that counts to me. Let's all be fans of our bodies!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I don't think "free range" means what you think it means

So I was reading a Paleo blog post about how you should concentrate on buying organic, all natural, free range, grass-fed meat in order to be as healthy as possible. Of course, I glossed over the article and then carefully read the bazillions of idiotic comments that followed the post (because the idiot comments are the best part!). In the comments was a long conversation about which type of chicken is the best to buy from the store. Some people said organic was fine. Others recommended free range. While some said it has to be pastured/grass fed.

I kind of wanted to chime in and let all these people know that regardless of the labeling, pretty much all of the chicken you buy at a chain grocery store comes from Cornish hybrid chickens who don't really know how to survive in a free range or pastured situation. Also these chickens don't survive on a grass fed diet. Cornish hybrids have been genetically manipulated through intensive breeding systems to be a super fast growing but incredibly fragile meat chicken. These birds are capable of growing from a 1 oz chick to a 6 lb. oven roaster in 6 weeks or less. This is an incredible growth curve for an animal. Of course, this sort of intense growth requires a massive amount of calories and an infinitesimal amount of energy expended getting these calories. These chickens are programmed to eat all the time and not move at all.

I have friends who have tried to pasture Cornish hybrids and the result was that they had to actually pick up each chicken and move it to a new spot in the pasture or else it would just lie in its own feces. No amount of free ranging space can convince a Cornish hybrid to get off of its butt and move around. While pasturing meat birds is a noble pursuit, it is probably not feasible with the most numerous type of meat bird -- the lazy Cornish hybrid.So don't waste your brain power trying to decide if the plastic-wrapped package of organic free-range chicken is better than the plastic-wrapped package of organic pasture-raised chicken. The health benefits are probably not different between the two because the chickens who went into the meat are the same.

There are some meat birds available to purchase who are more suited for a pasture situation. I prefer to raise "Freedom Rangers" which are a hybrid of three French breeds of meat chicken. They grow very quickly (8-10 weeks for maturity) and yet they move around a lot more than a Cornish hybrid. These meat birds actually act like real chickens. They will scratch and forage and eat a varied diet. A Cornish hybrid will not scratch or forage, and they prefer broiler feed to anything else.

The moral of this story is: If you want healthy, humanely-raised, organic, pastured, grass-fed, all natural chicken -- RAISE IT YOURSELF or hire a good friend to RAISE IT FOR YOU! And stay away from Cornish hybrids -- they are gross!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"The Gap" is a Very Accurate Name

I spent some time wandering around Lake Placid today. The weather was nice and I got out of work early enough that I had two hours to spend by myself before I had to pick up my kid from daycare. So I made my annual pilgrimage to LP. I needed some dress socks and the Bass store there has lots of cute ones. While there, I managed to find a smoking deal on a pair of leather boots that actually fit my man-feet. I feel very cosmopolitan now.

The next store I went to was The Gap to find some pants. I remember a long time ago I found some decent jeans there. Well, those days are over like me and pasta. Done! All the "pants" (I use this term loosely) were weird leggings/jeans/aviator/Idontknowwhat. They weren't leggings because they were made from stretchy jean material. But they weren't jeans because they were cut like leggings with very slim legs and super tight ankles. The tops poofed out like normal pants but then the legs quickly became pencil thin, hence the aviator look. I didn't even bother trying them on because I didn't want my good day ruined by having the fire department cut me out of a pair of pants in the dressing room. I can't imagine there was any way that anyone over a size 2 would have legs thin enough to fit. Also the pants were all short. I need a tall pant or else I look like I am avoiding a flood. These pants were very short and would require either an over the pant boot or sockless shoes. While I did just procure a rocking pair of those boots, I am not ready to be type casted into wearing them only with those pants. I wandered around very puzzled and then left empty handed.

I guess turning 33 makes you into an old fogey who doesn't get the fashion at The Gap. So be it

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Spring of Meh....

Normally this time of year, I would be going crazy prepping for baby goats. Normally I would be like that but this is far from a "normal" year. Winter hasn't ended yet. It's going to be 0F tonight and there is two feet of very frozen snow everywhere. Usually by this time there is some thawing and more mud than snow. I can work in mud, I can't work in frozen snow.

My wheel barrow is frozen to the side of the barn where I parked it earlier in the year. Even if I could get it out, I still couldn't get it to the manure pile on the snow filled path. And even if I could get it to the pile, I couldn't dump it because the few times I was able to clean the barn I had to dump the manure wherever I could which happened to be right in the way of future dumpings. I would like to clean the barn before kidding but I guess the  cleaning I did a month ago will have to be fine. Meh...

I should be getting the kidding pen ready but it's full of thirty bales of hay. I had left it empty and clean since the fall so I wouldn't have to fight it to get it ready in the spring. Well, we got to putting the hay in the conveniently empty pen rather than fight the snow to get the tractor to the barn to load it in the hayloft. We just got a new load of hay so the pen is really full. I don't want to fight it to empty the pen. Meh....

Since I have no empty pen for the kids to go into I am seriously considering leaving the kids with their moms. I have a general rule about hand raising kids to make them friendly. I do not dam raise my kids. But it might be easier than bottle feeding a bunch of kids and milking a lot. I have three goats kidding in a week, so I really would like to take the easy way out. Plus none of the kids will be keepers this year, so I don't care if they are friendly or not. The moms are all CAE negative as of September, so dam raising isn't an issue for that. Meh...

Maybe this summer will rock it (if it ever gets here). Meh....

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Really Paleo... Really???

So there's this Paleo recipe where you take chocolate and mix it with avocado and then call it "pudding". To me it's too much like mixing apple pie with cow pie and expecting the cow pie to taste better. Really, you just make the apple pie taste much worse. I like avocados but I just can't wrap my brain around this. Yick!

On other news, I made some chcolate banana larabars that were fricking amazing. But I have now confirmed that any sort of cocoa/chocolate makes me grumpy after I eat it. It gives me rage issues and make me want to hurt things. So these chocolate grenades will be frozen and saved for PMS Land when I am already a grouchy bitch so no one will notice.

I ate a mountain of lasagna and dairy and cupcakes and margaritas tonight. This means tomorrow will be a total loss for productivity. I have been staying on the Whole30 not because I don't want to gain weight, but more because I don't want to be a sluggish lazy-butt slave to cravings.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Whole30 Results: With Pictures!

Here's me in October 2014. I was around 200 lbs.
Here's me in March 2015. I am around 185 lbs. Whoot!
The moral of this story is that this dress isn't very flattering. It looks like a maternity dress. Ugh.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Still rocking the Whole30/paleo life. I made mini "cheesecakes" today. And by "cheese" I mean cashew butter with maple syrup. And by "cake" I mean pecan crust with dates. It was meh... Definitely not cheesecake by any stretch of the imagination. More like a Larabar on crack. I think I will take them to work and pass them off on the starving post-docs. They will eat ANYTHING. Even if it is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, paleo nonsense.

Dinner was a hit except for the eleventy-bajillion hours it took to make it. I made curry coconut chicken fingers from Pasta to Paleo, warm Asian Brussels slaw from Nom Nom Paleo, and roasted sweet potatoes. It was so yummy that I couldn't stop stuffing it in my face! Now I am super full. Of course, not too full to not eat two more of the questionable "cheesecakes".

I think I hate making chicken fingers the most. I would rather go shoe shopping with my four year old than make chicken fingers. Not only do they require a ton of steps, but they require dirtying every dish in the house. Also fishing raw chicken out of raw eggs is just gross. I really don't like the gunky fingers you get from dredging the chicken. I have tried using kitchen forceps to pull the chicken out of the eggs and get it in and out of the breading but that doesn't always work. There's always that one piece of chicken that gets lost in the eggs and you are forced to go in by hand to get it out. Yuck. At least the darn things were tasty.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ode to a Blue Plastic Sled

Oh! Blue plastic sled you were so cheap
I didn't think you could handle snow so deep
Now you are my best winter friend
I will cry when your plastic life comes to an end
I can use you to haul feed to the barn
50 lbs, 100 lbs, 200 lbs! You don't give a darn!
I use you to haul manure when the snow is punky
So what if it makes you smell funky
I use you to pull my kid while on my skis
You make winter fun such a breeze
$300 for ski-joring gear?! That's crazy you see!
A $15 blue plastic sled and a dog leash works for me
You help me groom trails by smooshing snow flat
I love it and you can't beat that
Six years old and still going strong
Who knew your life would be so long?
So this, dear sled, I say to you
Please keep on doing the things you do

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goat Herbal Deworming Results

Remember how this blog used to be about my life on my farm before I turned it into my personal food journal and diet diary? Well, today I actually have an update from the farm!!

Currently I have five goats. Three of them are pregnant. They are in their last month of pregnancy and will probably all kid on the same day since they were all bred within two days of each other. My other two goats are just hanging out this winter. One is my Angora wether and the other is my 8 year old Alpine herd queen. All of my goats have been on Molly's Herbals Dewormer blend since August. Molly's blend has two parts: one is a tonic that is given weekly, the other is a wormwood dewormer that is given every 6-8 weeks. For pregnant goats, it is not recommended to give them wormwood, so my pregos have only had the tonic for the last four months. My not pregnant goats are getting the wormwood as scheduled.

Today I did fecal samples to look for worms in all the goats. I was able to get some fresh samples and some pooled samples from the stalls. I had some pretty amazing results from this testing. The goats on the wormwood formula had NO worm eggs in their samples. I was shocked because these two goats are usually very prone to worms. On the other hand, my pregnant goats who are not getting wormwood, had TONS of worm eggs in their samples!! All these goats spend time together so transmission of worms from the infested to the not infested goats is totally possible. This is part of the reason I was shocked to see two/fifths of my herd completely clear and the rest very infested.

Obviously, the wormwood formula is incredibly important for keeping worms out of the goats. I will be dosing my pregnant goats with wormwood immediately to get rid of the worms they have before they kid. I am continuously impressed with the efficacy of herbal dewormers.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Whole30 Do-Over

Ugh. Tonight I binged on chocolate covered peanuts while my husband was in the shower. And I had a Shamrock Shake on the way home from work. These are both unhealthy food habits that are purely psychological. Binging in the car or late at night is a huge problem for me. I really need to stop these habits before they become normal again. Before the Whole30, I was regularly eating all sorts of junk when I thought no one was looking. Most of that problem went away after a few weeks on the Whole30 rules. Now I have slipped backwards into unhealthy eating land. I think the reasons for this are because I got too focused on the scale and not enough focused on the food.

My weight has gone up slightly since I stopped being strictly Whole30. This is discouraging and has allowed all my old bad thoughts of "food deprivation for no pay off" work their way back into my brain. It's easy to convince me to quit when I don't get instant gratification. I was doing so well at not feeling pressured to snack at night and not feeling cravings for sweets. Now those feelings have crept back in as I get discouraged.

I know I haven't been focusing on the food enough lately. I haven't been prepping or planning my meals consistently. I also haven't been packing or picking Whole30 alternatives when I find myself in a sticky situation. I have given in to tacos and pizza and wings and cake because that was what was available. I have let myself slip because I wasn't prepared to follow the rules or figured a little bending of them wouldn't hurt.

Well, I know better than that. I don't want to go back to that unhealthy place I was. I saw the light of the Whole30 and I want to stay there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rational Parenting

I read an article today about how if you want to make your kids eat healthy food, all you have to do is discuss with them how nutritious food makes them feel good and how not nutritious food makes them feel bad. You should talk about autoimmune inflammation and food sensitivities that cause behavioral issues.

I read that and then laughed so hard I cried!

This article was written by someone who believes in "rational parenting". This is the concept that if you treat your children like the rational mini-adults they are, then they will certainly understand and respect the things you are telling them. Usually those who believe in rational parenting are people with only one child to deal with and no other life obligations other than making sure that little Jackson eats his quinoa. They only have a sample size of one with limited experimental variables. I have a hard time believing their hypothesis based on those statistics. Try convincing a daycare full of random three year olds to eat their greens and then come back and talk to me about how rational parenting stands up against that.

I have never met a little kid that can be rationally talked out of eating a bowl of Fruit Loops. I have never met a kid that grasped the concept of food sensitivities or autoimmunity. The whole article was so silly because kids aren't rational. My kid once puked on herself because she was so mad that I gave her a blue cup instead of a pink one. That is hardly a rational reaction.

I am not going to pretend that I have some magical parenting advice to bestow. I know better than to think that because my one kid isn't a total basket-case, that I have somehow figured out this whole "parenting" thing out. My only advice is to caution others on handing out advice as if they got it all figured out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Food Guilt

Why is there so much guilt involved with food? People will apologize before eating a cupcake, "Oh, I am sorry, I shouldn't be eating this!". People will apologize before requesting food that doesn't make them throw up, "I am sorry but I am allergic to strawberries". Why do we put so much pressure on the food?

There's a conversation on my Facebook wall this week about being fat and happy. I fully agree that finding a weight and body shape that feels good and doesn't make you nuts is completely independent of a number on a scale or in a waistband. Your happy weight is just that, YOUR happy weight. It belongs to you, not to other people. What works for one person could result in a completely unhappy and psychologically unhealthy situation for another. Some people just can't be thin and happy. Their bodies won't let them. Being thin may mean 20 hours a week in a gym and eating only 1000 calories a day and instead of enjoying your family, being trapped in a tiny world of your own obsession. For some people, being thin is easy. But for some, being fat is easy. Easy without the trauma of hating yourself. Easy without the self-inflicted diet and exercise obsessions. Easy compared to being thin.

So now that we have decided to stop feeling guilty about how we look, let's stop feeling guilty for what we eat. Whether it's dessert, or gluten free, or a salad at a pizza party, let's not aplologize for it. Let's eat what we want, when we want. If a brownie makes you happy, eat it! If a brownie makes you sad (I have a lot of issues with eating chocolate - it makes me crazy when I eat it), don't eat the brownie. You don't have to feel guilty that people are judging you. Eat what you want, when you want.

This includes eating on a special diet. I am a much, much happier person when I avoid sugar and grains ( and don't get me started about chocolate). Those things make me feel sick to my stomach and very tired when I eat them. So I know they are best avoided. I shouldn't feel obligated to eat cake just because it is a birthday party. I shouldn't feel guilty that I am not eating it, either. My food is my food, so who the heck should I apologize to? Why should I feel guilty?

The same goes for if I decide to eat the cake, or pizza, or chocolate. I shouldn't feel guilty (regret, yes, especially when I am curled into a ball from carb-induced tremors). I shouldn't apologize either. No one forced my hand. No one made me put it in my mouth. I did that and it's okay.

P.S. The food doesn't care if you eat it or not, so don't you dare apologize to it or feel guilty because of it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Problem With Paleo!

Due to the Whole30 being similar to the Paleo Diet, I have bookmarked and "liked" a bunch of Paleo recipe sites. But now I am getting fed up with them. Everyday my Facebook wall is flooded with chocolatey, gooey Paleo faux food. I can't stand it! Paleo chefs have decided that since they won't eat regular cookies, cakes, and candies then it's perfectly okay to replicate these naughty foods with Paleo ingredients. Since the whole point of the Paleo Diet is to change the way you eat, why would you replicate all the bad foods??

The final straw for me came when I saw a post for Paleo Girl Scout Samoa cookies.Those cookies are the epitome of an unhappy food relationship because they are full of unhealthy ingredients and the whole box is typically a single serving, at least in my world. With so much effort put into following the Paleo requirements, why would you want to support unstable eating habits by mimicking bad food?

Apparently the Paleo Diet is no better for you than any other popular diet. The low fat diet took normal food and recreated it as fat free or low fat by swapping out oils for sugar and carbs. The sugar-free craze took normal food and substituted chemicals to add sweetness. Now the Paleo Diet is swapping out processed foods for their less processed but equally psychologically damaging look alikes.

I am not questioning the physical benefits of the Paleo Diet because eating less processed foods is always good for your body. I am questioning the psychological benefits of a diet that pushes the same chocolatey triggers that people have to avoid in order to live healthy. It's hard enough to change what you eat without having to dodge mind-bombs about how to eat. There's nothing stopping me from downing a whole tray of Paleo brownies if they taste as good as regular brownies. My mouth doesn't know the difference and it doesn't care. It just wants to eat all the foodz!

So now I will be unliking a lot of Paleo sites and working on avoiding those naughty foods even if they are Paleo Oreos.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's a good day

Today is a good day. I weighed myself and did a double take on the scale. I am 188 lbs today. I haven't been this thin since at least 2006. Whoot! I wanted to weigh in today because I have been eating a lot lately. The food has been Whole30 approved but I just couldn't stop shoving it in my face. I had two large servings of curry coconut sweet potatoes for dinner and lots of dried fruit and nuts for snacks. The past few days have been a food parade. I was super relieved to see the scale numbers.

I used to have major diet anxiety. I would get so worked up about what I should and shouldn't eat that I wouldn't eat anything. That would last for about an hour before I would say screw it and stuff my face with all the bad things. This cycle would happen day after day. I would go to bed vowing to eat better from then on. I would wake up on track and then fall apart by 10am.

During the Whole30 I learned some of my triggers which cause me to go off plan. Dairy products are out for me. It has nothing to do with milk allergies or lactose intolerance, I just can't stop eating cheese. I love it. On previous low carb diets I would use dairy as a replacement for the grains and sugars I didn't eat. Whole meals would be just cheese or yogurt. So no more dairy for me. Another trigger is time of day. I get cravings at 3pm and 8pm. I know those are times when I want bad foods so I try to ignore the cravings and eat fresh fruit instead of chips and chocolate. Luckily fruit doesn't seem to make me crave sugars, like it can in some people. I made some homemade banana nut larabars today for those 8pm cravings. They're just banana, almonds, and dates. Yum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life after the Whole 30

I took a vacation from the Whole 30 a few days ago after finishing the first 30 days. I ate King Cake from New Orleans, had whiskey and beer at a party, ate chips, cheese, chocolate, lasagna, bread, beans, and every other off-limits thing I could find. After two days of that, I was ready to go back to the Whole 30 plan. The two days off left me feeling really bloated and grumpy. The off-limits food I ate didn't taste any better than the on-plan stuff I had been eating. I thought my reunion with my friend dairy foods would be like heaven, but it wasn't. It was not as exciting as it could be and left me feeling blah.

Now I am back for another 30 days of the Whole 30. I learned a lot during the first 30 days and I am ready to keep going.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And now for something entirely different...

This blanket was knitted by my mother-in-law. It's made with yarn from my Angora goat. It's a goat fur blanket. And it's darn gorgeous!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Whole30 Break

I went to a party last night so I gave myself six hours to eat and drink whatever I wanted. And boy, did I!! I had whiskey and chips and lasagna and brownies and cupcakes and cheese and beer. After eating so many forbidden foods, I realize it's all just calories and not much that I am missing in terms of tastes and flavors. I wasn't impressed with that stuff even after not eating it for 30 days. I don't feel deprived at all by the Whole30 rules.

Now I will go back to the Whole30 today. The six hour break was fun and I may do it again but I don't think I will keep that up. I prefer the Whole30 to the alternative.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 30: I made it!!!

It's day 30!! I did it. I feel great! I have slayed the sugar dragon and killed the carb ogre. I lost ten pounds and have tons of energy. I am used to the rules and enjoy the food I can eat. I will be extending the Whole30 for a while.

There is a lot of fear of my reaction to sugar and carbs once I start eating them again. My husband got a ton of chocolates, flavored popcorn, and flavored peanuts from his parents today. It is hard to see that deliciousness and not dive in mouth first. But I have the Whole30 in my corner and I know that wanting a treat and craving a treat are two entirely different situations. Wanting is a minor annoyance. Craving is insidious and takes over your brain. Craving is addiction related to me. I get cravings when I am addicted to certain foods. My brain says "Just take a little bite, it won't hurt. The food wants you to eat it. It loves you and won't hurt you. Besides you can quit anytime." Cravings crawl in my head and don't stop until they are satisfied (usually by me falling face first into a bag of chocolate covered pretzels at 10pm). Due to this problem I would like to keep the cravings away by avoiding my trigger foods all together. So it's Whole30 all the time baby!!

I am not worried about staying on the Whole30 indefinitely. It's a lot easier to just stay on it than to reslay that f*****ing dragon with an ogre on its back.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 27: Unexpected Benefits

I am getting close to completing my first ever Whole30. A few days before I started it, I had never even heard of it. I was looking for a change of pace and had started investigating the Paleo Diet when I found the Whole30. In a flash of fate and good timing, I started it and haven't quit. I certainly can say that I have started a lot of diets and quit a lot of them in my life. Luckily this one clicked this time.

I have experienced a lot of expected benefits, like weight loss and more energy. I have also found a few unexpected benefits. One is that I consume a third less to two thirds less calories a day. I used to shove endless snacks and unnecessary food in my face all day long and eat three cheese and carb laden meals a day. Now I eat three meals a day and some fruit and nuts for snacks. Some of my meals are only fruit or veggies so they are way less calorific than others.

Another benefit is related to snacking. I was a closet snacker who would eat when I thought no one was watching. I would eat in the car or after my family went to bed. I would gorge on chips, cookies, crackers, and bread everyday. My preferred snacks were ones that were hard to keep count of. I would bake cookies instead of cake or brownies because it's harder for someone to tell how many you ate. I would eat whole packages of things so I could dispose of the evidence before anyone saw.

My dentist will love the fact that I floss every day now. I didn't plan on better dental hygiene as a benefit but since I am eating a lot of fibrous foods, I have to floss constantly. I even have floss at work now. I never used to floss because of my heavy diet of dairy and soft pasta and breads.

As I approach the end of the thirty days, I am looking forward to living this lifestyle for as long as I can.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ice fishing: Part Deux

My husband brought home more perch. Yay...... Luckily he also brought the neighbors home with him to help eat the darn suckers. After a marathon fish cleaning session by the guys, I took over and cooked them. I did my new favorite of lemon juice and fried in coconut oil. I also breaded some in a coconut flake and almond meal mixture. Those ones were reminiscent of coconut shrimp. Pretty good. Of course it helped that there were four extra people eating them so it didn't look obvious that I only ate a few.

I made a trek to the big city and got some shopping done. I stopped at Chipotle for the first time ever and had a very good salad of lettuce, grilled peppers and onions, salsa, guacamole, and corn salsa. I know corn is off limits but since this was fresh corn, I figured it fell under the white potato rule of being more a vegetable and less a starch. The salad was great! If I do it again, I would get double peppers and onions because those were really good.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ice fishing

I finally figured out how to prepare perch in a way so I can actually choke it down. My husband enjoys ice fishing but only ever catches perch, TONS of them. I am not a huge fan of lake fish and perch are way to small, bony, and tasteless to ever be worth bothering with them in my opinion. My husband brings them home and patiently cleans then cooks them. He gets mad when I make gagging sounds at them and then I feel obligated to try to eat them to make it up to him. My husband prefers to cook them by dunking them in flour and then pan frying them in lukewarm oil for about ten seconds. He insists that you shouldn't overcook perch. I insist that his method of cooking them is only good for encasing the scrawny little suckers in wallpaper paste. Bleck!!! My husband then dumps cocktail sauce on them and chows down. With that much cocktail sauce he might as well just save the time cleaning the fish and pour it over toast. It would taste the same.

So tonight I came home determined to cook the remaining perch in a way that I can actually eat them. I did succeed. All I did was rub some fresh lemon juice and garlic on the fish, and then fry it until crispy in coconut oil. I then put them on a bed of capers with some Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute blend. The perch tasted pretty good and even my four year old approved. Now gone are the days of paste and cocktail sauce. My only remaining wish would be that the days of my husband bringing home buckets of perch would go too.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The beginning of the end...

I can see the end in sight and of course my cravings for chocolate and chips have come roaring back. Most of that can probably be attributed to my riding the express train to PMS Land. This makes me want to stuff my face constantly for two days straight. I was good tonight and stuck with fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. Although, I almost beat up a coworker for his sandwich at lunch today. I'll have to stock up the pantry for the weekend to keep my mouth filled with good stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day...let's say...22

Still going well on the Whole30. I am having some post-30 anxiety about how I should handle being off of the diet. I would like to extend it for a while longer because now I am in the groove. I feel that it is a lot easier to navigate food choices when you have very strict and clear rules to follow. I didn't have a terrible diet before this and wasn't able to feel good and lose weight like this. (Okay, maybe I did tend to eat like a shame-filled seventeen year old, but even when I did concentrate on eating good stuff, it was a real struggle to make a difference). The cooking every night is getting easier. And lots of the recipes are really awesome. I am in love with Nom Nom Paleo!! I think you've really hit the Whole30 stride when you start craving fish sauce.

I do have a dilemma because on Friday my coworker is having Mardi Gras king cakes hand delivered from New Orleans. I don't know when my next opportunity to find the baby will be so I think I will totally have to break some rules for this (okay, not "some" rules, ALL of them!!!). The big fear is that one bite will send me on a downward spiral where I will wake up to find myself covered in chocolate ganache and Cheetoh dust in the backseat of my car two Wednesdays from now. Oh well, my commitment to myself will be tested but if I am going to stay healthy, I have to pull on my big-girl pants (not fat pants!!).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 20: Snow Day

I wome up this morning to -4F and blowing snow. Ugh.... After a short internal debate, I decided that driving thirty minutes through the snow in a no-wheel drive car on a day when I have nothing time sensitive at work to do wasn't worth it. I stayed home and binge read Fifty Shades of Grey, which was the dumbest book I have ever read. I don't know which part was more idiotic: the repeated, improbable sex scenes, Ana's ridiculous inner goddess BS, her idiot inability to realize that Christian actually likes her, or her conviction that she can change him. I can't stomach the idea of reading the sequels because if I have to read two more books that involve the flip-flop "he loves me, he loves me not" garbage, I will actually barf. If you took out the sex scenes it would be the most boring book on the planet.

Ok, enough of that. Other than eating too many pumpkin seeds, I ate some good stuff. I had a morning smoothie. Lunch was a scramble of bacon, roasted potatoes, veggies, and eggs. I recycled the fresh salsa from yesterday into a yummy ceviche for dinner. I just added some cucumber, more lime juice, some salt, and precooked shrimp. I put that over lettuce and spinach with an avocado. So good!!

I have been doing some doubling up on meal prep. When I made almond crusted zucchini fries the other day, I took all the leftover batter and breading and put it into meatballs. Yesterday I used the juices from making the chile lime marinade to add to the salsa. I am beginning to remember how much I like cooking. Good times.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day... : I've totally lost track!!!

Considering that I posted two Day 17s, it's safe to say I've totally lost track of where I am (or I can't count at all). I'll take it as a good sign that I can no longer tell what day I'm on because that means I am so used to the Whole30 options that I am not desperately counting down to the finish.

Today is Super Bowl day. We traditionally have a party where I dust off all most fatty and nutritionally terrible appetizer recipes. It's typically a smorgasbord of cheesy, sugary, or carb laden greatness. This year will still feature plenty of appetizers but many will be Whole30 approved. I am making chile lime wings from Nom Nom Paleo, bacon wrapped pineapple, bacon fried Brussels sprouts, fresh salsa, fresh veggies, and fresh fruit. Yummy!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 17

Not so much fun today. I think the "tiger blood" has worn off because I am tired and grumpy. I did a lot of snacking today because I was irritated with life. I wonder how many pumpkin seeds are not good for you??? At least I won't have any issues being regular for a few days... Pumpkin seeds are an anthelminthic so I also won't have any issues with tapeworms, either.....

Okay, enough of that talk. I am sure the last two people who were following this blog have just unfollowed it.

I did pull it together to make a great dinner of meatballs, sauce, and zucchini "fries" from the Against All Grain blog. Everything was super good. Even the meatballs were good considering the unlabeled package of ground meat I grabbed from the freezer was probably lamb and not beef. My kid approved of them so the must have been yum!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 17

I broke a rule today and weighed myself this morning. After feeling discouraged yesterday I needed to see what was going on. The weigh in showed I have lost 7 lbs. I was disappointed at first because that is less than a half a pound a day. Then I reasoned with myself and decided that was pretty good results for only 16 days. The take-home message is to remember how much work it takes to loose weight when I am thinking about putting it on. That dry brownie or stale donut sure doesn't taste good when you think of that.

Food today:
Leftover parfait (a mixture of various leftovers in a bowl)
Big ass salad with roasted Portobello mushroom
Pumpkin seeds

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 16

I am feeling discouraged today. The reason is that I don't feel like I am losing very much weight. It doesn't seem fair to work this hard and eat this little and not have amazing results every day. I haven't weighed myself since that is the rule but my clothes are not as loose as they could be. I do know from past experience that I tend to loose a lot of weight the first few days of a diet and then not as much after that. It's like my body catches on to the lowered calorie intake and goes into full famine survival mode and doesn't let me give up anymore fat reserves. Hopefully after thirty days my body will give it up. We'll see...

Food I shoved in my mouth:
Smoothie with applesauce, strawberries, blueberries, OJ, kale, and coconut milk.

Leftover soup layered on top of leftover roasted veggies, with avocado and cilantro.

Pumpkin seeds, banana chips, coffee

Pork chops pan-fried in olive oil, roasted white potatoes (yes, these are Whole30 okay as long as not fried or eaten everyday)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 15:Halfway There

Halfway through! Today was good. I went to a work meeting at a nearby city. Lunch was included and thankfully it did have some Whole30 options - plain salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, and a veggie sandwich with roasted veggies (they didn't look or taste marinated or covered in anything off plan), and dill pickles. After the meeting I stopped at Trader Joe's. My purchases were freeze dried banana chips, pumpkin seeds, and Larabars. Yum! Dinner was leftover soup from last night.

I am gearing up for a Super Bowl party. I would like to make chile lime wings from Nom Nom Paleo, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, and bacon wrapped pineapple, also from Nom Nom. A veggie plate and fruit plate are a given. It should be good!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 14

Still hanging on to the Whole30. It's going well. I am very used to the plan by now so I really don't feel like I have to cheat or break the rules or quit. I do still get frustrated with the restrictions and the level of thought involved in simply eating but I am enjoying the results so far and that makes up for the frustrations. Also I am terrified of going back to my old habits and weight so I am motivated to stick with it. I want to see what 30 full days has for results. I think I could continue with the plan even after thirty days.

Food I have had lately:

Smoothie with OJ, kale, blueberries, strawberries, banana, flaxseed, and coconut milk (coconut milk makes it soooooo yummy!!).

Raisins and almonds. An apple and an orange.

Leftovers for lunch.

Soap of Hubbard squash, tomatoes, kale, onion, garlic, and bacon. This recipe called for cinnamon and cloves. I was worried that it would be weird but it was great!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 12

It was the "Day of Me" today. I started with a one hour cross country ski with a neighbor. Then some yummy fajitas and a good smoothie. Then some shopping in the big city with a friend. Then I came home to a crockpot of curried goat ribs. It's super rare that I get time without my kid on weekends. My husband usually works on the weekends so I have all the kid duties. It was a treat to get two times in one day to hang out with someone other than a four year old.

The menu today:
A banana and black coffee while skiing.

Steak fajitas with peppers and onions, avocado, and homemade salsa.

Smoothie of OJ, coconut milk, blueberries, strawberries, kale, and banana.

Black coffee from Starbucks while shopping.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 11

Today was much better than yesterday. I was craving steak fajitas so I made some for lunch. It was a little weird to make a full meal from scratch on a Saturday for lunch. My usual Saturday lunch is either leftovers or granola bars, cookies and chips. The fajitas were pretty good and I didn't even mind spending a lot of time and energy making them. For dinner we bought roast pork meals that the local town was selling for a fundraiser. The meal came with pork, baked potato, stuffing, gravy, green beans, salad and pie. I ate the pork with no gravy, the plain potato, no stuffing, the beans, and plain salad. No pie, of course. It was good and lots of food.

So why am I doing the Whole30? For a couple of reasons:
1. To be forced to cook every day. I tend to get in a rut of boxed foods and quick fixes on most days. Or I resort to large cheese-based casseroles to provide several days worth of leftovers. With the rules of the Whole30, there is no way to stay on target with anything from a box or jar. I am forced to cook and use fresh ingredients.

2. To broaden my cooking horizons. I am making new recipes and using different ingredients. It's fun!

3. To lose weight. Duh. Nobody changes their diet in major ways without wanting to lose weight as a goal. I am a tall, big person who hasn't ever been their goal BMI. I am 5'9" and have been 200 - 220 lbs for at least six years (okay maybe more like since at least the eighth grade). Losing some weight would be great. I am shooting for losing twenty pounds.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 10

I really wanted to throw in the towel today. We went out to a new place in town for dinner. I was looking forward to it and had already previewed the menu on their website. When we got there we realized that they only had four tables for thirty people. The place was packed. So we wound up standing in the hallway waiting for an hour for takeout. We went to a friend's house to eat. I was super pissed the whole time because I was freaking starving and tired from working all day. So I spent the wait time growling at my kid and throwing some major shade at any fool who looked at me. Of course karma is a bitch because when we unpacked my dinner salad with grilled shrimp, it was a damn iceburg lettuce side salad with two dried up shrimp thrown on top. I really wanted to cry. Actually I wanted to binge eat my kid's pizza and chase it with a gallon of beer. It was hard to sit there and choke down that little pile of crap while everyone else ate fajitas and pizzas. Oh well. I fully plan on making fajitas for lunch tomorrow to make up for it. That's something to look forward to!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day ummm... I've lost count.

Today was way better than yesterday. It's amazing what a good dinner and some snacks can do. I made salmon, sweet potato cakes today. They were amazing! I also threw together some fresh green beans that I fried with onion and garlic. So good! I ate some raisins on the way home from the grocery so I was homicidal by the time dinner was ready. That means I will be carrying boxes of raisins with me at all times to keep me from going cuckoo if some hunger sneaks up on me. Good times.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 8 - blah

Oh man, I was so over the Whole30 today! I was frustrated with stuff going on so I really wanted quit today and just binge on chips and ice cream. I didn't. Ugh. Dinner was touchy because I was super hungry and not in the mood to spend an hour cooking to make something I didn't really want to eat anyways. I got it done and plowed on through the day. In a stroke of genius I did prep some salmon cakes for tomorrow night from extra baked salmon leftover from tonight. Hopefully tomorrow's dinner goes better. We'll see.

Food today:
Breakfast - Smoothie of OJ, applesauce, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, pumpkin puree, ginger, and flaxseed meal.

Lunch - Salad, sweet potato, two egg quiches with veggies.

Dinner - Salmon baked with mango, peach, avocado salsa, spaghetti squash with coconut milk and spinach.

Snacks - Coffee, roasted almonds, strawberries and blueberries, raisins.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 7 - Benefits so far

After a week, I am feeling great! The annoying cravings are gone and I actually look forward to a plain salad. I have noticed some benefits so far. I have lots of energy during the day. I feel caffeinated all the time, even though I only have my standard two cups of coffee per day. Lots of aches and pains are gone. I didn't have many big health issues before but I was starting to feel older and not move as well. I am pretty active compared to some people but can get a little sore now and then. Those aches are gone. I can stress my lower back without feeling it for two days. Of course my clothes already fit better, which is always a great benefit of any nutrition program. A final great benefit of getting to day 7 is that I feel like I could do this forever. Whoot!

Chow down: nothing exciting today...leftovers.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 6 - I cheated

I cheated today. I cheated bad. I had some store bought almond milk in my smoothie. It had carageenan in it. That's a no no on the Whole30. I was out of OJ and needed some liquid to add to the smoothie. I didn't want to do plain water and milk was totally out. So I used the almond milk. My reward for cheating was .... a bland smoothie. It didn't taste as good as the OJ and probably would have been just as bland with non-cheating water. So the moral of the story is: don't cheat, it's not worth it.

Food I chowed down on:
Breakfast - Smoothie with fruits and yucky almond milk.

Lunch - Leftover cubed steak, sweet potato, and salad.

Dinner - Crockpot pork roast chili on top of sauteed cabbage, some fresh strawberries.

Day 5

So all that stuff about not wanting snacks was BS because I totally was craving snacks yesterday. I was good and didn't break the rules but I did almost rip the cookie out of my husband's hand and gobble it up. I think the problem with snacking is more related to my Sunday afternoon ritual of relaxing by watching TV and pigging out, than actually needing to eat. I should change that ritual to something more productive but it feels so good to laze out after a full work week. Plus I am addicted to cheesy romance novels on my Kindle so most of my Sunday is dedicated to reading with the TV on and not just watching TV. And reading is good for you so that cancels out some of the slothfulness, right?

Stuff I ate:
Breakfast - Smoothie with applesauce, spinach, orange juice, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, fresh ginger, and ground flaxseed. Black coffee.

Lunch - Leftover "Damn Fine Chicken" and some egg and veggie mini-quiches.

Dinner - Fried cubed steak, roasted sweet potatoes, and sauteed cabbage.

Snacks - Almonds and golden raisins.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 4

Day 4 and still with it. It's a little exhausting to think about food all the time, though. I suppose this focus on eating will relax as I get in the grove of cooking and eating under the Whole30 rules. I have been carefully following the rules so far. If I am in doubt about the ingredients of something, I just don't eat it. I did have to break that rule because tonight because I went out to dinner and had to hope that the grilled chicken and veggies weren't secretly doused in sugar. It's hard to know if what you order will follow the Whole30 unless you grill the server about every part of the meal. I am not the sort of person to question the server or make annoying demands about my food. And I would never refuse something that was served, even if it isn't right. I have eaten moldy food at two different restaurants before and never said a thing, for crying out loud! So I am really not going to ask if my food has sugar, dextrose, or carageenan in it. It took all I had to ask to switch out the potato for a salad tonight.

One of the more interesting side effects of this diet has been a complete lack of desire for snacks. I really don't get the urge to eat outside of normal meals. Before the Whole30 I used to eat only snacks some days. It used to be a constant train of food down my throat. Today, I ate three normal meals and no snacks. I wasn't hungry. I just didn't feel like eating extra stuff. Interesting.....

Food in my face today:
Breakfast - smoothie and black coffee

Lunch - leftover coconut curry chicken and cauliflower

Dinner - grilled chicken with onions, peppers, and zucchini, and a plain garden salad

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 3 - 10% Done!

I am rocking out the Whole30 so far. Day 3 is usually my dieting downfall because I get tired of avoiding food I want to eat and frustrated with being hungry with cravings. This time I am focusing on what I can eat, and not what I can't. Also whenever I am craving something, I tell myself it is a mirage and not real. I am feeling better than the first two days because the sugar headaches are stopping. I stocked up on veggies and fruits for the weekend. The key to the Whole30 is not getting caught without a meal planned. I am going out to dinner tomorrow and I have already Googled the menu to make my choices (grilled chicken with peppers and onions, switch out the potato with an organic greens salad).

Food shoved down my gob today:
Breakfast: smoothie, hard boiled egg, black coffee (I actually enjoying black coffee now)

Lunch: chicken from last night, sweet potato chips made two days ago, salad with spinach, pea shoots, avocado, and romaine.

Dinner: coconut chicken curry from OMGPaleo blog, riced cauliflower with lime, cilantro, and scallions with avocado. So good!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 2

Well, I haven't quit or killed anyone yet. Today was hard because I woke up with a headache and a clogged ear. Luckily I had an appointment to get my ear flushed out. I felt much better once I could hear again and once I didn't feel lopsided anymore. The sugar withdrawal is tough and giving me cravings. I have a food trigger of 3pm because that is when I am hungry from lunch and also bored. That's typically when I give up a diet. I made it through today just by being swamped at work and by looking forward to the dinner I had planned. Tomorrow will be rough but it gets better after day three.

Food in my face today:
Breakfast- same as yesterday with some flaxseed added to the smoothie.

Lunch- leftover coconut chicken and broccoli with a salad of lettuce, spinach, peppers, pea shoots, and avocados.

Dinner- "Damn fine chicken" from the Nom Nom Paleo blog and roasted green beans. The chicken was really good. The green beans were frozen ones that I olive oil and fish sauce and then put in the oven with the chicken. (Tip: if you want to get the smell of fish sauce off your hands, wash them with toothpaste and then soap.,)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole30: DAY1

Today was the beginning of thirty days of thoughtful eating. I feel ready to follow this through and ready to take on the challenge of analyzing food choices. Of course, it is only Day 1 and I typically quit diets at Day 3, thus all this talk about being dedicated is cheap at the moment. Check back in two days to see how much I really want to fight cravings and stick with it.

Food in my face today:
Breakfast - smoothie of banana, peaches, strawberries, grapes, cranberries, blueberries, orange juice, and spinach ( I know the Whole30 says smoothies are not good because you shouldn't drink your calories but, DAMN, I really love a good breakfast smoothie). One hard boiled egg yolk (my kid ate the white part so all I got was the yolk).

Lunch - salad of spinach, avocado, peppers, hard boiled egg, hamburger patty from last night's dinner, and cucumber. Raisin and almond trail mix. Apple. Black coffee (yuck! If I didn't mind a caffeine headache on top of sugar withdrawal then I would not be drinking black coffee).

Dinner - chicken with coconut breading, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato chips. Apple. Banana. (Only problem with dinner is that it took a long time to make and that was after work, shopping, and doing chores, so by the time I ate I was so hungry that I was seeing double).

So far so good.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year, New Me!

This year I am ready to take the steps to finally button up some personal goals and get things finished to benefit myself.

First, I want to challenge my crappy way of eating and clean out my diet. I eat a somewhat good diet, usually, but I tend to rely on convenience foods when tired or hungry. I am going to do the Whole30 challenge for a month. It's thirty days of veggies, fruits, and protein. The goal is to change from processed foods that aren't closely related to their natural origins and go to foods that are whole and nutritious. It's not about weight, it's about eating good food and feeling healthy.

Second, I want to finish the house. We have trim and molding that been needing to be put up for ten years. Also there's some minor painting and finishing from the original renovations (10 years ago). It's that farty little stuff that always gets left for last. I would like to finish the house before it's time to start renovating again. I vow that the next house we move to will only require fresh paint to consider it finished. No renovating or rebuilding.

Third, I want to tighten my goat care program to make my goats stronger and healthier. I have had issues with kid growth and maintenance and I would like to do the work to get ahead of the issues this year. No more slacking.

That's the goals for 2015. Happy New Year!