What’s life without sugar?

I don’t like fad diets. They bother me. I’ve heard of the Whole30 before, and brushed it off, because who wants to stop eating bread? No one. And that’s probably why you  need to think about doing it, but that’s besides the point.

Anyways. Since then I clearly changed my mind, and since I’m pretty much half-way done* (Day 4, baby!). My husband is not supportive. All the other blogging chicks are like “Omg! My husband made me compliant chicken for dinner!”, or “Aww..my husband made me this delicious breakfast.” *insert fancy-ass breakfast here*. Not this girl. Nope. In fact, last night during our phone call, and me trying to tell him about how I ate eggs four times yesterday, he said “We’ll go for pizza when you get home.”. NO WE WON’T, HELLO? Then, his exact words were: “This is ridiculous. Just eat some sugar.”  Ummm…you’re ridiculous? OF course (sugar-detox induced or not), this made me cry. Trust me, we do love each other.

Sometimes we are too hard on one another (aka mean). I blame it on us both being Taurus…and the fact that we have not learned how to communicate in a healthy manner yet..but we’re working on it. #blameyourchildhood (hehe)

Long story short, this prompted me into a spiral (as I usually do when upset) of talking too fast and spouting too much information and words that I often question the meaning of, mid-thought.. After a solid week of too-much-research (what did we do before Google?), I felt like a professional, and in that moment it ALL. CAME. OUT. Seriously. I should make an infomercial.

Well what do you know? Now he’s asking questions… “WHY can’t you eat bread?”, “You love cottage cheese. And think of the protein!”. I think he’ll at least pretend to be supportive now, but I wont be expecting any breakfasts.  Whatever, he can eat all the sugar he wants, because after all, WHAT’S LIFE WITHOUT SUGAR?

Overall, the way I see it: it’s one freaking month of the rest of your life. 30 days. What’s the WORST thing that could happen? You are sad and sugar-achey all day for 30 days (which wont happen), or you’re hungry? You wont be hungry. You might be bored of eggs, and miss donuts and cheese, but you wont be hungry. If you’re hungry, eat some nuts, or some steak, or some bacon! Big whoop. Pull yourself together and do something with your life. If nothing else, you’ll learn that you have an inability to follow through with anything (I’m mean, too).

So after we got that bomb outta the way, I felt even better about my plan.

I woke up this morning feeling READY to take on another day. Again, I have a slight headache, but it’s totally liveable. Where’s my detox?!

Instead of telling you about my eggs today, I figured I’d compile a few fun-facts from my short little journey, so far:

  1. I actually am looking forward to black coffee in the morning (weird)
  2. I’m starting to think less about food (amazingly enough). Day-dreaming about the mid-afternoon muffin you’re going to have is not nearly as enjoyable as dreaming about a vegetable stirfry with hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Reading ingredients is interesting and eye-opening. The apple-cinnamon or lemon tea I usually drink in the morning has nine ingredients (?!), one of which is SOYBEAN OIL.
  4. I feel bloated when I eat fruit
  5. I have been sleeping the entire night, which is miraculous considering I usually cant manage to sleep in camp (when’s the last time you slept in a twin sized bed?)

Loveee.

*They need to invent formatting for sarcasm: bold, italic, underlined, sarcastic. Clearly someone missed the memo.

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Whole 30: Day 3

I have been toying with the idea of doing daily entries/updates for my Whole30 plan I’ve recently embarked on. But does anyone really want to hear daily about how I eat salad for breakfast, can’t find grass-fed bacon without 75 ingredients, or am so. over. eggs. it hurts? Probably not. Then, when I woke up this morning feeling okay, and searched frantically on Google for other people’s Day 3 symptoms, finding very few matching mine, I had another idea. Maybe the vast majority of you don’t want to hear about my weird little adventure..but I can tell you right now that I’d LOVE to hear about as many people’s Day 3 as I can get my frantically-typing fingers (hands?) on.

I woke up feeling okay. I have a faint headache, but can’t be sure if it’s attributed to the ‘The Hangover’ the Whole30 timeline references, or if it’s a case of ridiculous pressure systems in this crazy province. Can one really be sure? I will tell you one thing though: this is no where near as bad as I expected. I’ve gone low-carb before, cut out bread (and fruits, that time), and the withdrawal symptoms hit me hard. Granted, I was eating a lot worse at that time in my life than I was before started this little endeavor. So I am questioning myself now…where am I going wrong? Is my body using the few pieces of fruit a day I have been consuming as a crutch? Stop it body! You know you have problems when you’re wanting a splitting headache and to feel like absolute garbage..that’s how you know it’s working, right?

Camp food has limited options (for breakfast and lunch especially), so I am really looking forward to the variety I will have when I get home. I plan to pack some snacks, and definitely some lean proteins for my return back. That will save me from eating hardboiled eggs for lunch every day (they also offer assorted lunch meats and bacon for protein sources..but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the camp offerings here are definitely not Whole30 compliant: sugar, nitrates, soy, anyone?).

So, right now, my typical day consists of:

Breakfast: Egg whites with tomato slices and “fruit-of-the-day” on the side (which is either strawberries, blueberries, mangos, or raspberries).

While technically, I’m sure Whole30 would prefer me to eat whole eggs here, and not just the whites, but they make the whites like an omelette (with no fillings), and I’ve grown to love it. It’s like a blank canvas and can be eaten like a crepe with fruit in every bite (I know ..I’m a freak).

Lunch:

Salads, with whatever lunchtime vegetables they offer me that day (with hard boiled eggs)…and usually a banana (because I am a fruit addict, which I am weaning down slowly).

I am lucky enough that I have a mini-kitchen at work. I brought a big bag of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots and celery) and I’m going to make a veggie stir-fry today (with hard boiled eggs on the side ;)). Can’t waittttt.

Dinner:

Usually they offer two entrée choices which so far I’ve been able to select a plain-looking meat (no sauces!) and lots of delicious vegetables. There is also a salad bar that is far better than anything I would do at home and gives lots of different vinegars and oils to make your own dressing. Go camp! Last night I had two turkey burger patties with mustard, tomato, and lettuce,  a small roasted sweet potato (score), and a salad creation, and an apple for “dessert” (I love apples..).

Snacks:

Whole30 does not encourage snacking, and suggests you consume 3 meals a day (plus pre and post-workout mini-meals). I’m so used to eating 6 or so mini-meals a day that it’s been super difficult for me to stick to this so far.. I’ve decided to give myself a week..and if I’m hungry between meals I will eat a compliant snack:  celery sticks with nut butter and a hard boiled egg, for example..

Anyways, that’s my “only interesting to a very small percentage of the population but I simply don’t care” blog post for the day.

Love!

Day 2

My life lately has been defined by the fact that I am either working or on days-off. It shouldn’t be like that, but for some reason it is. I spend both too much, and not enough time strictly deciding what needs to happen during my too-few hours at home with the fam. Working days consist of merely making it through, and not thinking of how many more I have left, what I’m missing out on, or how lonely the bed feels at night. It’s like my head is in the clouds. I should never wish away time. Not working consists of celebration, hugs, kisses, cuddles, waiting for J to come home from work, waiting for the weekend, way too much sleep, and making up for everything (I think) I missed out on during my previous week. Both feel too fast, too un-tasted and under-appreciated. My life is like a whirlwind and days are flying by like they don’t even count. . I want to take time, live like in a movie or the cover of a great novel, sit on the front porch and count the minutes with the people and things I love.

This year, instead of making a resolution, I thought back on 2014 and talked with J about our memories from the year. Not surprisingly, we had very few. I don’t know how many memories one should be able to recall from a year, but a mere handful seems too few. 2015 will be the year of remembering, a start to making memories and a stop to wishing time away. I hope this time next year we will sit down and think of many times: from hikes to adventures to camping trips, to cuddle sessions and breakfasts in bed (we had dinner in bed for our first time and it was magical).

Since I am resolution-less, and surrounded by the madness of January dieting and gym-goers, I have decided to do the Whole30 (just to fit in 😉 ). Today is my Day 2.

Near the end of the day yesterday I was sitting at my desk thinking “Ha! I don’t see what the big deal is. This is easy-peasy“. I then went to the website to check out how other people have felt on Day 1. Well, it appears I am not alone. Day 1 is easy for most people, and the euphoric high you get from following through for an entire day (go, you!) is a happiness booster for many. The information also informed me to be prepared for Day 2 and 3 to feel less than ideal. I got this.

Day 2:

I woke up with a slight headache (very minor) and it has gone away since then. I feel okay, but I would have liked to have toast for breakfast.. I will survive. I thought about why I wanted toast, and all I could come up with was that I liked it. I had raspberries instead, I like those too.

It’s 30 days of the rest of my life, so even if I learn one single, tiny thing about myself, it’s a challenge, and it was worth it. What else do I really have going on?

Whole30 is supposed to change your relationship with food, and how you think about what you put into your body. I tend to do best when my options are strictly limited, anyways. One bite of chocolate and I’m eating the entire cupboard. I don’t know why I am like that, but for me, I am easily de-railed and the flood gates open wide after a small slip-up. I have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to food… This will be good for me, I think. I need something  to focus my energy on (or maybe not focus my energy on). Something to succeed at and something to force me to check in with myself, my feelings, and what is happening my life —  daily.

Love,

A

Gypsy, not a Mermaid.

I feel like a gypsy lately. My life is filled with wonder, uncertainty, a little worry, and a little excitement. A lot of people write (or blog) when they’re under stress or crazy times. Not this girl. But, after a long hiatus, here I am! Back in black (and white).

I have been working up North for about two months now. Camp life is…different. I have adjusted well, and I am doing fine. It’s okay. That’s the only word I feel is adequate to describe it. If I was single (and had no doggies), I would be better than okay, but for now I will remain only okay.

There are certain pros, which help counteract the cons, that make the happy medium of ‘okay’ feel like the right word.

  • Working for 8 days and having 6 days off is nice (shh, I know lots of you work 14, 21, even more days at a time, but I’m just trying to live here, mmk?)
  • Having time every day for the gym is great.
  • Not having to cook, or make my own bed, great.
  • Money: great, gotta have money.

The cons are here, too. “Move to Alberta and get rich!”, they say, but they leave out a few important facts:

  • It’s easy to spend money when you’re home for 6 days at a time. You feel entitled. You feel like you’re on vacation. Dinner out? YES! Mini trip? YES! Hotel nights? Mmmhmm.
  • Being away from the man (and the pups) – boo…boo, boo, boo.. boohoo.
  • Missing out on life
  • Sleeping alone

Overall, as I said, it’s okay. I won’t complain about having a ‘good’ job, with a stead y income and a warm office, but with the dropping oil prices, uncertainty is rabid and who knows where I will be in a month’s time. There is talk of sending me to another site, back to the city, and I’m sure many closed-door whispers of layoffs. It’s funny how someone else can decide your future behind your back, secretly, hush-hush. But don’t worry, they’ll “figure it out”. Right now, being a mermaid is sounding pretty good.

Happy New Year, beautiful people.

Leaving on a Jet Plane..

Things have been crazy at work. We lost a few contracts, and as winter approaches everyone seems to be looking around, wondering why nothing is happening. The whispers of layoffs and office changes could be heard all around the office. Last season was great, but that’s just the ‘nature of the industry’.

Yeah, okay.

Needless to say when my boss came into my office last Thursday  morning and closed the door, the whispers began to feel all too real. At the start of the conversation, it was quickly made clear that I was not being laid off (phew!), but that the ‘department would need to undergo some changes’. After a solid 20 minute conversation, I had been tentatively offered a position in Northern Alberta in order to save someone else’s job in our company (who is unable to work in the said position due to lack of education). So bascially, I leave, or she leaves. A camp job. Hmm…

For a moment, the “25-year old girl who moved to Alberta to get rich directly out of university” in me flaired up. YESSS I want to go! Duhh. I was reminded to talk it over with my husband, and that a formal offer would be made later in the day.

The next few hours flew by, and after a phone call to the husband we both agreed that the “8 days on, 6 days off” rotation I was being offered would be okay, and would likely not be a need for imminent divorce. So it was settled. Where’s my offer?

It was soon apparent that they had spoken too soon, and HR was on holiday’s until Monday. Oh coool, let’s just put my life on hold for a second (or 4 days), shall we? Friday and the weekend passed, slowly..while I thought over every possible scenario in my head and asked my husband as many questions as possible about ‘camp life’ (which he is all too familiar with).

By the time Monday rolled around I was pretty much ready to put on some wool socks and roll out.  I was given a bit more information on Monday morning, although I still wasn’t enlightened on the most important things: such as my hours of work, size of camp, gym facilities and quality of food. I was enrolled in a vast array of training courses for the next few days and scheduled for my drug and alcohol test. I can now officially say I am able to use a ladder and dig a trench safely and effectively. 😉 Silly.

Side Bar: I have been googling like crazy, trying to find information about the secret little realm I’m about to enter into. Sounds scary, fun, stupid, neat, cold, and snowy…but really overall there isn’t that much info. UNTIL NOW, my lucky friends. I am going to keep you all posted on my journey… I bet you can hardly wait!

So, I fly out on Monday at 1:00pm to Wood Buffalo, Alberta. Google that shit.. No, but seriously…you will be afraid when you see how close to the top of the world I will be. Looks cold.

So now that the flight is booked, things are starting to look a little more real. “25-year old girl who moved to Alberta to get rich directly out of university” is hiding somewhere in a corner, and Ashley is here, trying to imagine what it will really be like up there. It’s only 8 days at a time..right?

So! As of now, my main thoughts are:

  1. I still don’t know what hours I will be working..only that I will be doing 10-hour days. Fingers crossed I’m not up by 5am..
  2. Camp food — I’ve heard everything from “OMG RED SEAL TRAINED CHEFS” to “bring trail mix and protein bars…”
  3. The gym — Will it be shitty, or will it be great? Perhaps this will be the motivation I need to stop eating like a chunker?
  4. No matter how bad it is, the first cheque will make it all worth it, no?
  5. Only 11 more sleeps and I get 6 days off (That’s the spirit!! :))
  6. I’ve never done 10 hour days…  I think 10 hour office days are probably very different than 10 (or 12!) hour “working-outside-in-the-minus-50” days.. which is typical for most of the people up there . I should probably not complain, ever, no matter what.
  7. Everyone I talk to keeps warning me about the male/female ratio, and how I needed to “watch myself” and “be careful”. Yesterday I was even warned by the lady who provided one of my training courses that I should “not speak to a man unless spoke to first, as it may give off the wrong impression”. Uhh sorry, what century are we living in?
  8. Will I miss J too much? I’m scared..but I know it will be fine…as long as he misses me just as much. ❤

Four more sleeps and a few shopping trips from now and I’ll be flying up to the Great White North (literally?)…weird.

Fingers crossed.

❤ Ash

 

The newest member of the clan.

Last time we went camping,  we were abruptly awakened to the sound of the tent wall tearing open..oh, and the sight of a crazy black dog jumping out the side. It was 7:15am and Ben saw a cow near our tent. He was just trying to protect us, I’m sure…*insert eye roll here*.

Needless to say, after chasing Ben through a large open field filled with 30 plus cows (that I was convinced were going to trample him), we headed home early. I think in that moment, Ben became a cow. He was one with the pack, but they didnt want anything to do with him…poor dude. By the time we got him to come back to us, him and a large bull were in a face-off. Ben was crunched down with his front legs bent, taunting the bull…” but I want to play!!!”, as the bull charged at Ben.. only a few feet at a time. He was issuing a warning, Ben didnt get it, and J and I were still half asleep and shoeless…running through a cow lease. It was neat. 

Rein stood beside us the entire time.  I think she was as confused as the cows…she would glance up at us, as if to say “what the hell is he doing?”.

After that trip, I wanted a camper. We started looking, and came across this little beauty. Ive always been a tent-camping girl, and always said I’d never have a camper… I guess I lied. Anyway, we decided we wanted something very basic.  A small camper..cheap, basic,  light (we only have a half tonne truck), with no bells and whistles, and bonus points if we can go winter camping…
Here she is:

image

The lady was asking a lot more than our agreed upon budget, but after looking at it and going home, we decided we’d go back and be honest: we can’t afford this…but we’d love it. We offered her a reasonable amount under asking, told her we understood if she couldn’t accept it, and explained we just thought we’d try. Guess what? She gave it to us for $500 less than we even offered! !! She said she was excited to see it go to a good home..where it would get a lot of use.

I am so, so excited. Thanksgiving weekend (next weekend for us Canadian folks), we are heading out. Thank you, B from down the street. We will take care of your beauty 🙂 🙂