Same Old, Same New

Nothing going on here.  I rather like it that way.  I’m going to try my chaps on this weekend and see what progress is being made in my “dial in portions, use the gym” plan.  And, since it’s never just about weight loss, I also feel a bunch better than I did a month ago.  My skin is way cleared up, my clothes are fitting a bit nicer, I have more consistent energy, I’m sleeping great, my mood is more relaxed, I’m more productive at work.

The funny thing is that a lot of people see these changes when they go from a SAD diet to Whole30….but I went from basically a Whole30 + small amounts of added sugar in ketchup to a Whole30-style but with more appropriate portions and more specific exercise.  It is amazing the difference, really.  It’s not astronomic but it’s enough to put my finger on and say “Ya, I feel better!”.

For dinner last night we had Chocolate Chili that I’d made on the weekend and Ray made himself some rice.  As I am prone to do every 6-8 months, I “reintro’d” rice.


My result? Same result I always have; I’m really not sure what the point of the rice is.  It’s basically flavourless and has no nutritional value.  I’d rather have squash under my chili or a baked potato or spinach or just nothing.  The rice didn’t bother my stomach at all but I definitely noticed that I felt really full compared to the volume of food I ate.  So…rice…..not really worth it.

I also bought at the grocery store last night, a gluten free loaf of bread that was made with brown rice flour.  The bread loaf was like a brick but when you cut into it, it was pretty moist and quite delicious.  Lesson learned regarding the bread though, this is a Food Without Brakes for me and incites a snacky/carby riot in my head.  I should have taken a picture of my little bready snack but I didn’t think you all would approve of the inch of almond butter and conventional jam that I layered on top of it.  LOL

The reason I’m starting to test these non gluten grains is because I need to know with absolute certainty what bothers my stomach and how for when we go on our 10 day motorcycle camping trip.  I’ll try to stick to cooking proper meals each evening but for lunches the convenience of being able to use a gluten free wrap to make “sandwiches” on the road is too nice to ignore.

Anyway, the bread didn’t bother my stomach or my digestion.  I will eat two pieces per day for the next 5 days and see how I go, maybe it’ll be an option for the road.  I should probably stop layering on the AB & J though, ya?  ;)


Breakfast this morning looks enormous in this picture but it wasn’t really.  It’s a good size but I felt happily content when I was done, not stuffed to the gills.  I got tired of omelettes so I did pork & brocoli omelette filling and roasted veggies but then just threw an egg on top.

FOOD (Wednesday, March 25)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ pulled pork & steamed brocoli, roasted veggies
M2: enormous salad topped with palm size of steak
M3: as above, chili w/ avocado & rice
S1: 2 pc GF bread w/ AB & J

EXERCISE (Wednesday, March 25)
none, I chose to do half my weekly grocery shop instead

Making Progress

So remember my little rant about the hubby’s terrible sleep habits and his subsequently horrible sleep?  Seems that we are making progress in that regard.  He now wears a pair of orange wrap around glasses from 7:30pm onwards.  He adopted those with naught but a whimper.  I guess when you are severely sleep deprived your “cool factor” defences are down.  The first evening I had him wear them he was yawning up a storm in about an hour.  To be true, the guy never yawns.  Ever.

He also consented to covering up his alarm clock so he doesn’t have the little green light in his face all night long.  There is now a toque over top of the clock (and I covered up mine too). He also started taking Natural Calm last night.  I ordered us each a jar of it (in flavours, not on a Whole30 at the moment) and we started it last night at a quarter dose.  And finally, no rye & Coke for the last three nights!  I don’t think it’ll take long for him to start getting good sleep and then having a drink, getting shitty sleep and putting the two together.  :)

I don’t want to get too excited about it since it’s only been 3 nights, but he woke up chipper and cheery and chatty this morning and talked my ear off all through breakfast and coffee time.  That NEVER happens.  Never.  So….maybe some progress? I’m going to keep working on little changes to improve his sleeping conditions but we’re on the right track.

In other news, Gracie and I went on a lovely walk yesterday after work. In the dapply sunshine of the trails.  I wasn’t going to let her off the leash because of her little spill the other day but she was just SO excited and SO full of energy that I couldn’t keep her tethered to me.  Off she went and had a blast.  She was a little limpy last night but not too bad.

Ma baybee is going grey!  :(

Ma baybee is going grey! :(

We had a great dinner last night, rib grilling steaks, asparagus, a small bit of sweet potato and a nice big salad.  I served my salad in a serving bowl because…well….I like a lot of salad when we have it.  I don’t know what “side salad” means, LOL.

Dinner Salad

The steaks that I bought were quite big and I assumed that I would have half for dinner and half for lunch but when I really looked at the size of the finished product vs the size of my palm I ended up with more like a quarter for dinner, a quarter for lunch and there is still half of mine in the fridge….some for a pre workout snack tonight and the rest in a Friday omelette, maybe??  The salad was a mix of greens topped with fresh strawberries, quarter avocado, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a drizzle of home made whole-grain Dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

FOOD (Tuesday, March 24)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ pulled pork & mushrooms, roasted veggies on the side
M2: chicken, coleslaw, green beans, bit of avocado, couple pieces of butternut squash
M3: as above, steak, asparagus, sweet potato & huge salad

Something happened to this morning's omelette but I'm still not sure exactly what went wrong.  It seemed fine and then I went to get dressed and came back and it had committed Hari Kari!

Something happened to this morning’s omelette but I’m still not sure exactly what went wrong. It seemed fine and then I went to get dressed and came back and it had committed Hari Kari!

EXERCISE (Tuesday, March 24)
3.5km (2 mile) trail walk with Gracie

Phew, That Was Close!

I am nearly positive that I dodged the flu yesterday.  Yes, I know I was just sick with a high fever back in February but man alive, yesterday afternoon! I was freezing cold all day and around 1pm my body started to hurt. By the time I got home I was nearly ready to crack, every bone and muscle in my body was aching or on fire.  I hurt so bad all over that I almost wanted to turn myself inside out.

I love my tea pot.  It's an old Pyrex percolator coffee pot repurposed as a tea pot. Last night's tea was Forever Nuts, so fragrant and easy to drink.

I love my tea pot. It’s an old Pyrex percolator coffee pot repurposed as a tea pot. Last night’s tea was Forever Nuts, so fragrant and easy to drink.

I quickly popped an Advil and a Robax for the back pain, made a pot of tea, chugged a jar of bone broth and a glass of Kombucha, ate a roasted chicken dinner (lots of protein and veggies there!) and went to bed.  I had a mildly broken sleep but this morning I woke up feeling mostly fine.  Phew!  That was close!

This was served on a sandwich plate, I'm trying to consciously eat less.  Palm sized chicken, half fist of butternut squash, green beans and some leftover coleslaw.  Quarter avocado in the middle.

This was served on a sandwich plate, I’m trying to consciously eat less. Palm sized chicken, half fist of butternut squash, green beans and some leftover coleslaw. Quarter avocado in the middle.

Nothing else to report, really.

FOOD (Monday, March 23)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ mushrooms & pulled pork, roasted veggies on the side
M2: coleslaw topped with warmed pulled pork.  That was SO good!
M3: as above, roast chicken dinner

EXERCISE (Monday, March 23)
Obviously none as per my almost flu.  Also it was absolutely pouring with cold, hard rain.

Weekend Recap

So much to talk about this morning!  Like watching some idiot tear up the side of a lady’s mini van and then try to leave without making amends.  Like taking delivery of Ray’s new Harley and then watching it pour with rain all weekend.  Like taking Gracie for a walk yesterday and having her take a spill and hurt her foot and then milk the injury just enough that she got premium snuggle spots and the best treats in town.

Friday I was home alone so I made scrambled eggs with steamed broccoli again.  It was so delicious but was a big ol’ reminder that too much broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower isn’t ideal.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to go and spend time at the dealership getting Ray’s bike all worked out.  Quick breakfast before we left and then to celebrate the new bike we went out for lunch at the pub.

Quick Breakfast

To be honest, the pub lunch and the bike was the highlight of Saturday.  Around mid day I decided I was bored of staring at the new bike while it poured with rain outside so I went and took a nap.  Normally Ray wakes me up after an hour but he was all distracted with his new toy and I slept for TWO HOURS.  Woospie!  After naptime I threw a 7# pork shoulder into my slow cooker for Sunday dinner.  It cooked low and slow for 18 hours and holy mama, it’s SO GOOD!

Sunday morning as per normal we went out for breakfast. I always get the same thing and it’s delicious.  A mushroom omelette with no cheese and pan fries with no seasoning.  I actually ate this meal on Whole30 every Sunday as well, after asking many questions of the staff.  LOVE having something that I know is clean and that I love.  And the staff basically have my order memorized at this point, so…………..  :)

After breakfast I put on two pots of chili (chocolate chili from well fed), one for this week and one for the freezer and then went out to the Gourmet Warehouse where I met my sister for a short shop.  They have amazing quality spices for such a reasonable price, it’s a bit of a drive for me to get out there but it’s so worth it.

Dinner on Sunday evening was the pulled pork with a homemade coleslaw and some steamed green beans.  Easy peasy and delicious!

Pulled Pork Dinner

And like many Sunday evenings, it was bottling night.  I did 5 bottles of kombucha, flavoured with just some regular Welsch’s grape juice.  Cheap and comes out almost exactly like GT Dave’s Grape flavour.

5 bottles that will sit out for 2 more days and then go in the fridge.

5 bottles that will sit out for 2 more days and then go in the fridge.

Ray took some pictures of the “recharging” process after I’d finished bottling, thought I’d share them with you.

Filling Vessel

My fermenting vessel holds 26 cups of liquid.  Once I bottle 5 jars, I have 8 cups of liquid leftover that will be my “starter fluid” for the next batch. I brewed 10 cups of tea, sweetened with 1.5 cups of white sugar (10 black tea bags) and then when that was all nice and strong and cooled, I added 8 more cups of clear water.  And then in it goes!

Replacing Scoby

Then, once the new tea is in the vessel, it’s time to replace the scoby into the jar.  My scoby is about an inch thick and several layers, next time I’ll peel a few layers off so it doesn’t get too thick and take up too much room.  It’s also heavier than it looks and kind of slippery/rubbery, so having it a little thinner is nicer to manhandle.

Floating Scoby

You can sort of see from the picture that the scoby wants to try and sink down but with a little gentle help it can be convinced to float.  I’ve never had it sink after placement.

Scoby Closeup

And here’s a close up of the scoby floating happily on top of the liquid. (click to enlarge)  Each layer represents a different batch.  Depending on how long I leave the batch to ferment determines how thick the new layer will become.

And just for fun, I thought you could have a tiny tour around this part of my kitchen!


FOOD (Weekend)
FM1: omelette w/ roasted green beans
FM2: hamburger, cauli rice, a few olives
FM3: steamed broccoli & 3 eggs, scrambled

SaM1: 2 crispy eggs, japanese sweet potato, almond green beans
SaM2: egg hamburger w/ no bun, handful of french fries, GF beer (totally worth it!)
SaM3: halibut fillet, roasted bnut squash, asparagus

SuM1: 3 egg omelette w/ mushrooms, pan fries w/ no seasoning
SuS1: small scoop chocolate chili
SuM3: pulled pork, steamed green beans, coleslaw

EXERCISE (Weekend)
Fr: none
Sa: none
Su: walk, cut short because Gracie took a spill.  I wanted to do Mile-Row-Mile but I woke up on Sunday morning with my “bad” shoulder bothering me so figured I’d best just forget it.

FriYay, #3!

Thursday was a long day. Loooooooooong.  Gray and rainy.  And since Wednesday’s quasi food poisoning my stomach just hasn’t felt right.  Like I purged out all my good gut bacteria, maybe?

Speaking of good gut bacteria, I taste tested my carrotkraut last night, it’s coming along! I could see all sorts of carbon dioxide bubbles when I stirred it around and it’s got a bit of a tang to it now.  Still wickedly salty but slightly less so than the other day.  I’ll leave it for a few more days, I want it pretty “sauer”.  I bought some fermenting weights online last night and when they come in I’m going to delve into making a cabbage kraut.

After my workout last night I had the other half of the can of tuna and a couple bites of japanese sweet potato and then I took down the bone broth and cleaned that all up.  Such a pain in the arse but I would not choose to live without BB, so…………..

For dinner last night all I wanted was steamed brocoli and scrambled eggs.  Warm, creamy, comforting. So that’s exactly what I had.  I tried a tip I’d seen online and added a touch of coconut milk to the eggs and then went at them with my immersion blender.  Allegedly that is supposed to make them fluffier.  Errr……not so much.  But it did seem to make them super creamy which was nice.

Lots of brocoli, 4 eggs.  My "serving size" of eggs is actually 5...but even four seemed like too much.  It was a huge meal.  I felt really good after it though and not overfull, so I guess it was about right.

Lots of brocoli, 4 eggs. My “serving size” of eggs is actually 5…but even four seemed like too much. It was a huge meal. I felt really good after it though and not overfull, so I guess it was about right.

What’s on tap for today and this weekend? I have a zillionty of scheduling to do at work (since I’m actually a scheduler, it makes sense, LOL).  After work I’ll stop at the butcher and pick up a pork shoulder, home to make dinner and maybe a dog walk if it’s not too rainy and miserable.

Saturday morning we’re going to finalize Ray’s bike deal and then at 2 we are going to receive delivery of it at the house (it’s supposed to be pouring with rain so they will drop it off for us).  That’s about all that’s on the books for the weekend, maybe some tea, some reading, a bubble bath, breakfast out on Sunday morning.

FOOD (Thursday, March 19)
M1: omelette w/ cauli rice
M2: hamburger w/ brocoli & roast potato, ketchup & bit of mayo
Post WO: 3 bites sweet potato, half a can of tuna w/ Frank’s Red Hot
M3: as above, brocoli, 4 eggs, a bite of sweet potato, a bit of mayo (too big, this dinner)

Friday's omelette served with some freshly made sesame green beans.  So good!

Friday’s omelette served with some freshly made sesame green beans. So good!

EXERCISE (Thursday, March 19)
20 minute row, 196 meters/min
3:30 rapid box steps (I think this might actually kill me)
3 x 10 15# goblet squats
1 x 8 60# deadlit
2 x ?? planks (forgot to time these…probably about 30 seconds each…which is shameful, I used to be able to plank for 2 minutes at a time easily and eventually was planking on only opposing arm and leg…..ah, starting over………..)

That’s it for me, really looking forward to this weekend and some down time.  Thinking I might do a quick workout on Sunday, one I used to love.  Row 2,000 meters, run 1 mile, row 2,000 meters. I’ll leave that alone until I see how I feel and how hard it’s raining out.  ;)

Humpday, Complete

Over the middle of another week, good stuff!  As mentioned, I had Gracie at work with me yesterday.  She’s such a joy to have here, so nice to be able to give a nice furry kiss and hug and snuggle as needed and then go back to work! I took her for a 3km walk at lunchtime….kind of a shitty industrial area that I work in so nothing like the trails that we normally roam around on. But it was nice and got us both some fresh air and exercise. She’s at home sleeping off her work hangover today, the boss is back in town and the technical crew will be returning home sometime today so too risky to bring her in.  :(

When I got home yesterday after work my plan was to make dinner, eat and clean up and then do my Costco/Thrifty’s shop.  I wanted to get it done on Wednesday instead of my regular Thursday because Wednesday was an exercise rest day and because today is monsoon rainy and I hate doing groceries in the rain.  Turns out it was a perfect time to shop, 6:30 – 7:30….no one there!  :)

It almost didn’t happen though, about 5 minutes after I got home I was struck with some serious intestinal distress…for about an hour.  I was pretty sure I gave myself food poisoning but Ray told me that food poisoning would feel flu-like and include barfing.  Regardless, I threw out the rest of the salmon that I’d eaten at lunch, the only thing I could conceive would have affected me so aggressively.  (the salmon was bought last Thursday, cooked last Saturday and I ate the leftovers on Wednesday….so 7 days old was probably a bit too long for it)

The dinner menu wasn’t planned out so well last week, we’d had pork burgers on Monday and guess what was on the menu for Wednesday? Hamburgers!  Good thing we like a good burg!


Along with our burgers I roasted some Klondike Rose potatoes again and another tray of brocoli & green beans.  I find it slightly irritating that I can make two giant sheets of veggies and it only takes us through dinner and lunch the next day. I have a teeny bit left in the fridge for someone for tonight but MAN, the amount of vegetables we go through! (we eat potatoes on the regular but they do not push the non-starchy veggies off our plates)

Both pans roasted at 445F for about 20 minutes.

Both pans roasted at 445F for about 20 minutes.

If you can believe it, this is me eating less.  Still a huge dinner and before 2 weeks ago would have been even bigger.  Silly woman.

If you can believe it, this is me eating less. Still a huge dinner and before 2 weeks ago would have been even bigger. Silly woman.

FOOD (Wednesday, March 18)
M1: omelette w/ mushy cauli & onions
M2: salmon & bit of butternut over cauli rice
M3: as above, hamburger, roasted veggies, bit of ketchup (non W30) and bit of mayo

EXERCISE (Wednesday, March 18)
basically none….25 minute walk w/ Gracie at lunch

And here’s next week’s menu and prep, if you’re interested

Saturday: halibut fillets, butternut squash & asparagus
Sunday: pulled pork, coleslaw & roast broccoli & green beans
Monday: roasted chicken, mashed potato, roasted broccoli
Tuesday: rib steaks, sweet potato, salad w/ strawberries & almonds
Wednesday: mahi mahi tuna w/ coleslaw & almond green beans
Thursday: chocolate chilli
Breakfast: pulled pork omelette w/ roasted veggies alongside

PREP (total of about an hour…spread out over the whole wknd)
chop & roast breakfast veggies – 15 minutes + cooking time
chocolate chilli (making double to freeze one) – 20 minutes + cooking
pulling pork – 30 minutes including clean-up

That’s it for me, Workout B after work tonight and packaging meat and taking down the bone broth that I made for Ray.  Remember how he said he was getting sick and needed some? Ya, he’s not sick and hasn’t touched a drop of it.  Gr.

Good Day!

Tuesday was a pretty good day. I had to run home at lunch and let the Harley transport guy in to pick up Ray’s bike so I brought Gracie back to work with me.  Turns out she’s the perfect work dog, just hangs out on her bed and naps and chews her bones.

Gracie work


SO wish that she could be a permanent fixture around here but the boss is weird about dogs.  But…since he’s not here this week, she came to work again today!

Laid out and snoring within 5 minutes of arriving at the office.

Laid out and snoring within 5 minutes of arriving at the office.


After Gracie and I got home from work I fed her and then went directly down to the gym.  Had an awesome workout, reminiscent of the “old days” when I used to go to early morning gym.  My arms were spaghetti and my legs were rubbery.  I used to drink protein powder after weights workouts but now that I am All Whole Food All The Time, I subbed in a “real food” supplement.

Whole30 recommends protein and fat PRE workout and carbs and lean protein POST workout.

Whole30 recommends protein and fat PRE workout and carbs and lean protein POST workout.

My post workout was a bit of sweet potato and half a can of tuna with a bit of salt, lime juice and Frank’s Red Hot.  It was…….meh.  I realized that I used to really like chugging 16oz of sweetened chocolate or banana flavoured liquid after my workout.  This real food approach is…..utilitarian.  Food as fuel.

Dinner was much better about 45 minutes later and consisted of a curry cauli rice (I’m trying to be less of a lazy ass and rice the cauli on the weekends because I just really love cauli rice and all the variations!), leftover pork burger chunked up and topped with a crispy bottomed, drippy egg.  Delicious and completely Whole30 approved.



FOOD (Tuesday, March 18)
M1: omelette w/ cabbage slaw that was too salty to eat
M2: pork burger and a half w/ potato wedges & coleslaw
M3: as above, cauli rice w/ pork burger & egg

EXERCISE (Tuesday, March 18)
Row 4,080 meters, 20 minutes (204m/min)
Lunges: 3 x 10 each leg, body weight
Bench: 3 x 8, 50#
Running step ups: 3:15
Stretching: 5 minutes

So there’s that.  There’s also this.  I am super frustrated with and for my hubby.  He was a shift worker for almost 40 years and he struggles with sleep.  He has sleeping pills that he takes every night (not habit forming) but he’s struggling big time with getting enough sleep every night.  He goes to bed at or around 10pm and is awake 4 hours later and can’t get back to sleep until about 10 minutes before his alarm goes off.  So this morning he was extra grumpy about it and I said, “Is it perhaps time to start revising your bedtime routine to try and help your sleep quality?”. I did not exactly get a favourable response because he said “I’ve tried all the things you say and it didn’t help.”.

Well….yes, I suppose you have tried every single thing I’ve said.  For one night.  And it didn’t work, so forget it.  Gah!  There are a few things that he could change/do over the course of a few weeks and I don’t know if I should keep pushing it or just let it go until he’s ready.

Some of the easiest things he could change to improve his sleep quality:

  • complete blackout & quiet of room (cover alarm clocks, close door)
    • he won’t do this which is why I sleep with a sleep-mask & ear plugs
  • reduce/eliminate bluelight exposure 2 hours before bed
    • I know he won’t do this full out but I wish he would consider wearing orange glasses to block the bluelight
  • eliminate alcohol and sugar (rye & coke, anyone?) after dinner
    • I think I could get him to agree to go back to weekends only…which would be an improvement and something he used to do consistently.  His argument is that he didn’t have alcohol or coke last night and he still slept like crap…….but it’s not a one day fix!!  :(
  • eat a small couple bites of starchy veggie just before bed to counter the “dawn phenomenon”
    • his dad and his grampa were hypoglycemic so it stands to reason he is experiencing a liver dump at around 2am which is waking his body up.  If he would eat a small starchy veggie snack before bed he could potentially eliminate or delay this.

Anyway…………I need to get him to commit to trying a few of these for at least 30 days to see if he can change his sleep pattern.  Sleep is so, SO important and having disrupted sleep consistently is taking its toll on him.  The trouble is that by the time it’s a few hours before bedtime he’s forgotten how shitty he felt in the morning and so these changes seem less important.  Thoughts?