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February 2017

Food Lifestyle Whole 30

Whole 30 Week 2: What I learned

February 16, 2017

Whole 30 Week 2 was a doozy. Let me tell you; it was rough. This week was scary and stressful and not fun at all. Full disclosure: This post contains discussion of my lady hormones, including talking about of Aunt Flo, Shark Week, That Time of the Month or whatever you call it. Proceed with caution.

On Whole 30, the body has to adjust to a lot of different changes. I was aware of this. The book talks about it. It even has a timeline of when you are going to start having potty problems (Spoiler alert: The book lies. It lasts soo much longer than two days.). The book never mentioned this:

Whole 30 can seriously derail your lady hormones.

Even if you’re on birth control.

Let’s zoom out a little bit. I have been married for 2 months and would like to enjoy The Hubs a bit before a baby. Also, I have nowhere to put a baby and we have a year long lease on our apartment. I am on hormonal birth control, but got off track a little at the beginning of the month when we were travelling, and during Whole 30 Week 1 when I was puking my brains out. We always doubled up on our birth control so I was never super worried(I’m always a little worried.).  But when my body started doing pregnant-y things, I freaked out a little (a lot).

Week Two of Whole 30 seriously messed with my lady hormones. Hormonal birth control usually regulates a woman’s hormones to a predicable cycle, but it doesn’t eliminate your own natural hormones from running in the background. With a big enough shift in diet or exercise, those background hormones can come to the foreground.

Apparently, I made a big enough change.

First my boobs started acting all weird and feeling funny. I was getting weird cramps in my lower belly. Then I started spotting about a week before my period, which has never happened to me before. Obviously, my first fear was that it was implantation spotting, because my body was already acting so strangely. The night the spotting started was scary and full of “what ifs.” It was a weird position to be in; praying for a period, praying for a temporary lack of fertility. As time would have it, this week was the week that the beautiful (cooler than me) girl I went to high school with excitedly accounted her obviously planned pregnancy on Facebook. I may have cried in a bathroom stall at work.

To any woman that I have ever judged for having a poorly timed baby, I apologize. That is some scary stuff right there.

Whole 30 Week 2: If I learned anything from Whole 30 Week 2, it's that Whole 30 can seriously jack up your flow.

I continued to spot on and off for the next week, sometimes with cramping and sometimes without. The Hubs and I we worried that we actually bought a pregnancy test and counted down the days until I could effectively use it. I came back negative, thank goodness. I promised to never take my period for granted again. Aunt Flo has made her triumphal entry this week, ending my angst.  I ended up looking on the Whole 30 forums and was relieved to find lots of women like me, with periods either too early or too late during their Whole 30. If I learned anything from Whole 30 Week 2, it’s that Whole 30 can seriously jack up your flow.

Whole 30 Week 2 Win:

Sweet potato hash browns (swap the butter for Ghee)

Whole 30 Week 2  Fail:

Tragic Turkey Meatloaf (Not the recipe’s fault. It just looked like cat food and we added too much cumin)

Whole 30 Week 2 Tips and Tricks:

-The almond milk with the fewest ingredients is called MALK and can be found a Central Market and Whole Foods

-MALK can separate at high temperatures, like in your tea

-HG Supply Co. is the best place to eat in Dallas on Whole 30. Get one of the bowls!

-Whole 30 compliant chicken stock can be found at Costco

-Print the Whole 30 Additives Cheat Sheet and take it with you when you grocery shop

Knitting Mini Monday Seasonal Uncategorized

Mini Monday: Social Heart Project

February 13, 2017
Mini Monday: Social Heart Project

Hello all! I hope you had a splendid weekend. I certainly did. Today’s Mini Monday post is about The Social Heart Project. Formerly known as The Sheepish Heart Project, The Social Heart Project is the brainchild of Meredith Crawford over at One Social Girl.

The Background

I’ve followed Meredith for a while, but didn’t realize that she was Dallas based until recently. (I’m smart like that.) She has done The Social Heart Project for several years, but during the last few years I was in school and struggling to keep my head above water so I always missed it. I was looking out for it this year and I wasn’t going to miss it again!

Fortunately, I have a husband who knows that the proper response to, “Can we stop by Michael’s for yarn?” is always “Of course.” We got me all stocked up on some valentinesy yarn. He even helped me pick out the exact shade of red that went best with my pink yarn (Reds can be tricky like that.). I followed the instructions in the video that Meredith posted on The One Social Girl Facebook page. Let me tell you; I am so not good at crochet. I am pretty sure I paused that video about 50 times while I tried to figure out what I was doing. Once I got the hang of things, it wasn’t that bad, but knitting is definitely my forte.

The majority of the hearts were made while making fun of a James Bond movie (the Halle Berry one), which is a rather enjoyable way to spend the evening. Also, I have a theory that James Bond has a ton of STD’s, but that’s another story.

Mini Monday: The Social Heart Project

The Social Heart Project

The Social Heart Projects main goal is to spread a little happiness and encouragement on Valentine’s Day. I know that Valentine’s Day can be a rather dismal holiday for a lot of people. This is a fun opportunity to make the day a little happier for everyone. It also has the perk of being borderline yarn bombing and therefore raising the awareness of crafters everywhere.  I feel like we as a community really let the world know that we were paying attention with The Pussyhat Project, and I really wanted to continue that momentum.

Mini Monday: Social Heart Project

Now I will admit: I did not wait until Valentine’s Day to hang my hearts. I did it over the weekend. This is mainly because, well, Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday. I go to work and I go home on Tuesdays, so there aren’t a lot of place where I can put hearts. On the weekend, I have have more fun with them. The Hubs, acting as my photographer, walked with me as I left hearts at the Performing Arts Center, on some outdoor benches and chairs and at the train station. We also left a heart at my church’s new building; wedged into a wall that wasn’t finished yet. I don’t think anyone will find it, but I like the idea of my little heart living inside those walls.

Mini Monday: Social Heart Project

I will leave a few more hearts around the office and the neighborhood on Valentine’s Day. It’s hard to remember what Valentine’s Day was like before The Hubs, but I think that I would have appreciated a social heart. I hope that my little contribution to the Social Heart Project will make someone feel a little bit more loved on Valentine’s Day.

Holidays Marriage Relationships

Creative Valentine’s Day Gifts (That Aren’t Food!)

February 9, 2017
Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

This year The Hubs and I will be having our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. We’d always given pretty traditional Valentine’s Day gifts in the past, with flowers and chocolate and all that good stuff. (I’m talking about wine here.) This year, however, we are just coming out of our first round of Whole 30 (We officially finished yesterday! Woot, woot!) and so are trying to avoid falling back into bad food habits with our Valentine’s Day gifts.

Growing up, I remember my dad struggling find Valentine’s Day gifts for my mom. “I can’t get your mom chocolate. She’s on a diet,” He would say. Then the great expanse of gift picking stretched out before him and he came home with chocolate. Maybe you and your honey are in the same boat; fresh out of your New Year’s resolutions and not wanting to derail your progress with loads of sugar (or alcohol) on Valentine’s Day. Maybe your significant other is working on their health and you want to find a way to love on them without introducing any unnecessary temptation into their life.

Here are some tips creative gift ideas that go beyond the regular Valentine’s Day Gifts (no chocolate, roses, wine or jewelry here!).

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

Find Valentine’s Day Gifts that the two of you can enjoy together.

Tickets to a concert, show or museum they’ve been wanting to see – Concerts are sometimes tricky, since you can’t always predict when a band you like will be touring. However, things like plays and symphonies are frequently accessible. Think about art museums or science museums that might be fun for you to visit together. Heck, even the zoo, aquarium, or arboretum are fair game. A lot of places have good winter deals in February(Like the Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo!), so keep your eyes open.  Last year The Hubs took me to the Dallas World Aquarium and it was the greatest thing ever! Be sure to make it a destination that is unique to your partner and their interests and sit back and watch them enjoy it.

Music/ Vinyl Record – Is music something that you andyour significant other bond over? Is it somehow connected to your story as a couple? I think this is a great idea for a gift. We have a record player and enjoy vinyl records because it feels a little bit more intimate. I recommend something like Lovers [2 LP] by Nels Cline. It’s a mellow instrumental album that sounds great in the background while you and  your honey are mixing drinks(or your latest healthy recipe!).

Healthy Meal Subscription – Okay, I lied. This one is food. But it’s healthy food. The Hubs and I did Blue Apron for a (very) short time on gift cards from our wedding registry and we loved it! Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that was in the budget for every week, but it was a good way to bond and feel like we were having a special meal without binging on a ton of unhealthy food. On a lot of subscription services, you can start and stop based on need, so treat your honey to a week (or two) for the holiday.

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

 

Give a Valentine’s Day Gift that makes them feel special

Something you think they’d look great in – This is not, I repeat, not an invitation to be sleazy and buy your partner something that they would be uncomfortable in. You may go slightly outside of their comfort zone, and buy them something they’d never buythemselves, but don’t to it for your benefit. Maybe they’ve always wanted a certain look, but didn’t want to shell out the money to achieve it. This is your chance to help them out. Check your spouse’s Pinterest or Instagram and see what they like. Then go find it!

Time to relax- While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a comment made by a friend that read, “I have a six month old. All I want for Valentine’s Day is a bubble bath alone.” If your significant other sounds like this, give them some time to feel human again.  If you see that your love has been running ragged, take it upon yourself to schedule a little “me time” for them. It may seem counter intuitive, so spend time apart for Valentine’s Day. However, keep in mind that your significant other is not going to be able to enjoy your relationship if they’re running on empty. Book a massage, or a manicure, or just some time alone at their favorite coffee shop and send them on their merry way. Bonus points if you send them with a promise to have dinner ready when they return!

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

Make your Valentine’s Day Gift something frisky fun!

Spa stuff to share – I’ve mentioned it before that I love a good couples bath.  I think that bath bombs (melts, soaks, bubble baths, etc) make great Valentine’s Day gifts.  Lush makes great bath bombs and melts. My favorite is The Butterball, but the Sex Bomb might be a fun choice for this holiday as well. Just watch out for the super glittery ones if your man isn’t into sharing a glitter bath with you. The bath melts are also really nice. They make your skin feel sooo so soft and sleek; great when you are your love are being a bit romantic.

Matching underwear- I’m a huge fan of this. The Hubs and I even wore matching undies on our wedding day (It was my something blue!). We get ours from Me Undies and they’re super comfy. They make your butt look great too! (and who doesn’t love that?) They are a little pricier than a normal pair of undies, but that’s why they’re great for a special occasion like this.

I hope you look at Valentine’s Day as a fun opportunity to celebrate your relationship with your sweetheart. Expectations and stress tend to make it a difficult holiday for a lot of people. It doesn’t have to be this way! Use this time to shower a little appreciation on your significant other. And if you’re single? Appreciate yourself!

I’d love to hear what you and your honey are doing to celebrate the holiday. Let me know in the comments!