Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finished Object Roll Call: March 2015




The skirt I patterned and made from one
of my favorite skirts (cut, not color). I wanted
one that I felt like I could actually wear
outside of the house!

If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!
I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook.  You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day One (pre-written, I will do a how it went post later)

Bonus! I found out Franks Red Hot Sauce is compliant! (the original one, I think the others are non –compliant)

As I start this journey officially, I would like to review some of the things that Whole30 claims will be fixed just by diet. I’ll start with ones that don’t really apply to me, so I have no way of measuring them at this time in my life.

-          Diabetes
-          Asthma
-          Allergies (since moving to Tennessee I have not had allergies, so while I technically do have them, I currently have no way to measure if they are alleviated through diet)
-          Arthritis symptoms
-          Leaky gut (at least I don’t think it applies to me…)
-          Crohn’s disease
-          Celiac disease
-          High cholesterol
-          Infertility
-          Lupus
-          Etc.

Here’s where we’re gonna go into some personal territory. These are some of the symptoms that Whole30 claims will be cured, or at least diminished, by following their diet and that I am struggling with. In general, I just don’t feel ‘good’. It’s like I hit a point in my life span where my body decided that it’s done and it’s all downhill from here. Here are some details, some of which are ‘chronic’ for me, and a couple of recent developments. When I visit with the dr about some of these, the general consensus after tests is: Stress from grad school. Seriously.

-          Sleep problems: In recent years I have had a lot of sleep difficulties. I have not slept fully through the night for a few months which is a new symptom. I have always (since kindergarten) had major issues with waking up in the morning and getting myself going. I also really struggle to fall asleep at night, sometimes lying in bed for hours wondering when I’ll fall asleep and how horrible it will be in the morning to have so little sleep.

-          Energy slumps- I hit about 1:30pm each day and I feel so tired I want to die, until about 5 or 6 at night, sometimes until I go to bed. It doesn’t help that I work with a population that get a nap time each day either. If I had a schedule that allowed napping, I would be doing it. Every. Single. Day.

-          Energy slumps cont- it’s so bad I really struggle to exercise because I don’t have the energy to do it, and if I do, I usually end up horrifically grumpy for the remainder of the day. And, no, it doesn’t improve after exercising regularly for a sustained amount of time. It just gets worse.

-          Weight issues- I now weigh more than I ever have in my entire life. Could grad school stress really explain that big of a weight gain in only 6 months, especially since I’m coming up on two years in grad school? I haven’t changed my eating habits either. Where is this weight coming from and how do I get rid of it?

-          Emotional- I get PMS bad. Those ‘early mornings’ and afternoon slumps make me horrifically grumpy on a regular basis.  I also have a history of depression. Depression is something they say will be alleviated with this diet. Unfortunately, depression is something that never really goes away permanently. I still struggle with it, since taking medications didn’t work as well for me as we had hoped, and I have been able to mostly manage it in recent years without meds.  Anything that will help, even a little is very welcome.

-          Chronic pain- I have some old injuries that flare up quite regularly. You know how sometimes older people say they feel a storm coming ‘in their bones’? I’m only 30, and I feel things ‘in my bones’, specifically the foot and arm that I’ve broken. Right where the breaks occurred too, it’s freaky. Migraines, more frequently since grad school started. And in general, I have muscle soreness and pain that really doesn’t have much of an explanation outside of the dr’s general ‘stress’ diagnosis.

-          Gut issues- this one is a fairly new one, but I get nauseous on a regular basis. The dr says, you guessed it, stress. And I tend to agree in some of the cases. But in some others, the only thing I can think of is that maybe I’m eating things that my stomach doesn’t agree with.

      Skin issues- They claim to fix almost every skin issue you can imagine here. For me the biggest concern is eczema, which is very mild for me. Occasional breakouts. And my scalp, it's constantly itchy and flaky, I've tried a lot of different shampoos, conditioners, and so forth. I'm assuming that my scalp is actually the most out of control area of eczema on me. I don't have high hopes that Whole30 will do much, but just in case it does, I'm including it on my list. 

So here, as I embark on this diet plan, I’ve recorded what I would like to be assessing again, in 30 days, to see if there really was an improvement or not. While I may mention improvements as I notice them, I plan on doing a full post covering all of them again at the end of the diet. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Whole30 Day Zero

I start the actual diet tomorrow. I have to admit that I haven’t finished reading the book, as a graduate student I have a lot of other readings, and writings, that I need to do. And I’m super diligent about my self-care, and while this diet is part of self-care, I really wanted to read some novels this week too.

Here are two WTF thoughts I’ve had so far.

1.   Smoothies are discouraged, especially for ‘breakfast’. WTF?  I love smoothies, they fill me up and I know I’m getting some of the nutrients I need from the fact that I can pack 3 servings of vegetables/fruit into one smoothie. I don’t add sugar to them either, so yes sometimes they don’t taste great. While I understand that dairy and dairy replacements are not allowed, I can still make a smoothie without those. (I tried yesterday, it was gross, but it might have been the combination of fruits I had in it.) This might be a part that I go rogue on from time to time. Sometimes, I just need a smoothie.

 2.     Corn. I love corn. I always counted it as a serving of vegetables or a nice, low calorie, healthy snack in the form of popcorn. But CORN ISN’T ALLOWED! Apparently it’s considered a grain? This one will be a little difficult, but I will stick to it, and just be glad I finished by celebrating with some popcorn.

The Game Plan (for Now)

I explained earlier that we are poor college students and I can’t make myself throw away every non-compliant food in our house (Think of the food storage!), so I’ve come up with a plan of attack for this aspect of our lives.

First, I threw away all opened food that would go bad by the end of the 30 days. Mostly chips and cheeses and some other miscellaneous dairy products.

Second, I moved all non-compliant foods out of the ‘easy access ’ cupboards to less accessible ones. (In case you’re wondering, I’m super short so the only easy access cupboard for me in our kitchen are the below the counter ones. That’s why I used quotations.)

Third, I went through our freezer and fridge, and put stickers on all non-compliant foods in there so there is a visual reminder that those aren’t compliant. Foods that would keep for the 30 days like ketchup and frozen corn. This way I’m not going to have to constantly read labels or try to keep a list of what is and isn’t allowed.

Fourth,  I will be going to the grocery store to pick up some replacements (like olive oil instead of the cheaper vegetable oil we’ve been using) and to stock up a little on meats in addition to my weekly fresh vegetables and fruit stock up.

Finally, meal plan. I love meal planning, it makes the week much easier all around. I know exactly what to get at the grocery store, and don’t end up wasting money on unnecessary things. And at the end of a long day, it’s nice to know that the meat is defrosted and ready to go, you have everything you need, and sometimes, when I use the crock pot, the meal is ready and waiting for you! The book has recipes, the website has recipes, and I’m pretty sure if I searched Pinterest, they would have recipes too.

Stay Tuned... 

I did my measurements last night, since I started that detox treatment which claims I ‘might lose weight’ with it. Psh. I’m pretty skeptical about this since the last ‘detox’ treatment I tried was total bunk. The placebo effect was very strong in some people for it. But I was raised by scientists, and do approach things with an experiment mindset (let’s see if this really works, here’s a, there’s b, do I really get there following these instructions, etc.) so I think (hope) that the placebo effect doesn’t occur with this detox, and the diet afterward! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Whole 30 Preshow: Act 2

The closer it gets the more I'm ready, but also not so ready to do it. I'm especially worried that my husband will not follow the diet plan as closely as I am going to, and then get frustrated when I'm being so picky about things. It's a big deal to me, doing Whole30, and I have to do it right if I want it to work the way people says it does.

I kind of had the thought that I would do some "test" days leading up to it, where I would do Whole30 for a day, but if I wanted milk at night or a scoop of ice cream it would be okay because I hadn't officially started. After reading some more about it, and really thinking about how I work, I decided this is not a good idea. When I start I'm going full throttle, no test days, and no cheat days (as per the rules of Whole30). My husband doesn't know this yet, but I also plan on going through our cupboards to pack away the biggest temptation foods we have. 

Whole30 tells you to throw out your foods that are non-compliant. But we're college student poor, and the thought of just throwing away all of the food storage we have (what little we do have) made me sick to my stomach. It's good food, and it will still be good come May 1st. Financially, for us, throwing away all that food is so stupid, we might as well start eating out for every single meal we eat AND use our credit cards to pay every time.

I didn't plan it this way, but I also got a detox kit that I wanted to try. I got it in the mail today and will start it tonight. I'm not sure how Whole30 approved it will be, but I'm going to do it either way. I should be done with it by Wednesday which was my original start date, but with the way I'm feeling, I'm bumping the start date up to Saturday, Sunday at the latest. 

I noticed that a lot of people online talk about how much weight they lost, "I lost xx pounds!" But I haven't seen anyone really talk about losing dress sizes or inches in the waist or anything. So for me, I'm going to take my measurements as well as my weight at the start and end of Whole30. As much as it pains me to say this, I pulled out all of my shorts and not one of them fits anymore. Not in a "oh, it's a little snug" way. In a "I can't do up the button" way. Oy vey. So, while I won't post beginning and ending weight and inches, I do plan to let you all know with my own "I lost xx pounds AND xx inches" testimonial. 

 I'm also going to make a real effort to get some regular exercise in, hopefully that will help my muscle tone be better. I've been feeling rather flabby lately. With my record with exercise,(Remember when the bike broke my arm?) it probably won't be anything beyond some simple yoga, calisthenics, minor weightlifting (at home) and walking. 

Enjoy the Spring Weather (while it lasts, it's suppose to get back down to January temps this weekend for us.) 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Whole30 PreShow

Due to many factors, I recently decided to take on the Whole30 diet challenge. Since every year I decide to be better at blogging, (I usually fall of the wagon this time of year) I decided to go ahead and blog about how Whole30 goes for me.

I have not started it yet, but basically you cut out all sugar, dairy, and grains. I ordered the book and started reading as much as I could online. Finally, I drafted my husband to join with me. He always talks about dieting, but never really sticks with it, or is satisfied by results (at least it seems like this to me), and with the claims Whole30 is making, I think it might be what he’s looking for.

Out of curiosity, I started thinking about why certain foods weren’t on the list of acceptable items. And this morning I looked at the labels of two foods that we eat regularly: peanut butter for me (I love it on celery) and lunch meat from a name brand company for my husband.

Why are they not on the list? Sugar.

Yep, sugar is the second ingredient listed in the peanut butter we have. Apparently this isn’t uncommon since pb is explicitly banned while you are on Whole30.

And while ‘sugar’ isn’t an ingredient in lunch meat, this particular brand lists dextrose as an ingredient. Dextrose is a science-y namefor sugar.

While I knew this diet would be difficult, I was still a little surprised at the amount of  truthfulness behind the whole “added sugar is in EVERYTHING” mindset Whole30 has. They might be a bit over the top with it, I haven’t looked beyond these two foods that were convenient to me to look at. Only time will tell how much of the hype is just that, hype.

Stayed tuned, yall. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pinterest Quilt

I found this quilt on Pinterest, and thought, I could make that, I even have the materials on hand! 

Here's my take on it. I used my #sewmystash2015 Precuts Party motivation to move some more precuts out of my stash!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pinterest Adventures: Turban Headband

For today's Pinterest Adventure, we are going to recycle an old tee shirt into a headband/wrap. I have a ton of old t-shirts that I've been meaning to use for things like bags, rugs, and so forth. I've also recently, been growing out my hair and it is longer than it has been since I've been in kindergarten. I have plans to cut and sell it after graduation, but until then, it is driving me CRAZY.

Enter the headwrap style headband. I envision a super thick headband that will contain most of my hair in it. But not be thick in the front. (I once saw a picture that looked like someone hat cut the sleeve off a t-shirt and pulled it over their head.)  I went to good ol' Pinterest to see if I could find any DIY headwraps on there. The one that I found that actually was DIY and had instructions was on Cultured Blog.
Bonus point: It says it's no-sew.

Of course after I read the instructions I didn't understand how it could be no-sew and still work. But, I'm determined to do these as they are written/described so you all will know if they actually work or not. Also, there is a mantra among knitters that I sometimes follow (but not always) of "Trust the pattern". So I did, I trusted the pattern.

 I grabbed a neutral light gray one because it's a color I know I would actually wear around my head and wouldn't clash too badly with the majority of my wardrobe.

My first tip is to use a quilting ruler, cutting board and rotary cutter if you have them. This makes the width more accurate and consistent as well as helping make the overall time invested shorter. 

As instructed, I cut 2 strips from the bottom of my shirt, I did mine 3" wide even though I thought I might want them wider. I then followed the step by step instructions:

I folded in half both strips, looping them together at the centers, then looped the bottoms into the tops and folded them in half again, pulling the bottom into the top: 

This is where I got confused in the instructions while I was reading them, not actually doing the project. When I did it, the instructions made sense. It worked!


I am not a trendy person, so I wasn't sure how you're supposed to wear these.... 

Now, it's been about a week or so since I made it, and I've used it a couple times. The only change I would make is to make the bands wider, so they contain more hair at the back when my hair is up. I would also MAYBE sew a seam to keep all the layers together, they fall out of each other. No-sew would become sew one seam...  

If you are interested in being added to my Mythbusting for the Blog board, send me a message on Facebook