Whole30

On Day 12 of the Whole30 nutrition program. We’re hanging in there.

Quick summary: Fill up on meat/seafood, veggies, and fruit — but you can’t have dairy, beans/corn/soy, peanuts, grains, booze, added sugar, or things like carrageenan/MSG/sulfites (none of which I can define). You have to read every label and scrutinize every ingredient. It will likely mean you make your own sausage, tomato sauce, Caesar salad dressing, and mayonnaise.

Breakfast has gone from a bowl of dry Cheerios with cheese on the side, to:

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Slider buns get replaced with potato wedges, accompanied by homemade mushroom/kale/squash chips:

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And, as an added bonus, you get intimately acquainted with your grocery store clerks!

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The Whole30 lasts about 45 days — 30 days of following the rules, then a two-week period of slowly reintroducing food categories and seeing how your body responds. Do you feel more bloated? sluggish? Does your skin break out? Is your sleep suddenly restless? From then on, you can know which foods keep your energy high and which foods make you gassy. Everybody wins.

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lunches that make you want to go to work

Ideally, you’ll not only manage your weight better, you’ll also rack up NSVs — non-scale victories. But I’ve been surprised which ones have bubbled up, for me:

  1. more gratitude for food
    1. praying before every meal and almost every snack
      1. and meaning it!
  2. more peace while eating
    1. I used to “need” to read a book or watch a show while eating. Now I can sit quietly, simply savoring and thinking.
  3. more confidence in the kitchen
    1. hated to stray from a recipe, but now I’m growing more comfortable estimating — and riffing!
  4. less screen time
    1. because when you can’t just zone out in front of the boob tube, mindlessly feeding yourself chips, there are fewer and fewer excuses to watch TV at all
  5. more sense of control at work
    1. Building on the positive momentum of planning ahead and meal-prepping at home, I feel more motivated to tackle work projects and chip away at each next action. One positive change in life can lead to another, and another.

All right, so far the Whole30 has not been all magic & fairies…but the good has outweighed the struggle, and we’re still early into it. The book promises that in a week or two we’ll be filled with Tiger Blood.

I look forward to that.

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Thai turkey lorb on Romaine wedges, with fresh lime juice, riced potatoes, and kombucha to drink
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Yes.

 

Of course, eating itself reminds us that none of us can stay alive on our own. If you are breathing, it’s because someone fed you.

Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary, p. 71

where everyone belongs

Now you know why, in lieu of wedding gifts, we asked people to donate to Reality,

and in lieu of album money, all proceeds go to Reality.

 

 

Living in North Street neighborhood for two years taught me that the kingdom of God isn’t about “inclusion,” as though some are “in” and some are “out” until those “in” deign to “include” them. No. It’s about plain belonging. We all belong to God, and to each other.

workspace

Inspired by this author-artist’s reflections on having a “bliss station,” a proper workspace, I determined to make my own.

His looks like this:

AK workspace 2

When he’s doing digital work, it’s here:

AK digital workspace

When it’s “analog,” here:

AK workspace 3

Even his kids have a workspace:

AK workspace 4

Then there’s my friend’s workspace. She’s an acupuncturist. Hers is magic:

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Finally we come to mine:

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But the problem is, I inevitably just bring my laptop to the sun porch and work right here:

Carolina Room workspace
That dot of red is a cardinal eating safflower seeds.

Now, like all writers — even ones with a perfect workspace — I must stop procrastinating and do the work.

my most recent marginalia

Thanks to this guy for introducing me to the term “marginalia.” Here are some recent markings:

Daniel Generation
from Daniel Generation, by Jolene Cassellius Erlacher

Thanks to this gal for being my friend and for publishing a book.

Cost of Discipleship
from The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[He uses the phrase “natural responsibilities,” “natural ordinances of life,” which got me thinking — what could be a more natural responsibility than raising kids? It is, indeed, a high priority — perhaps even an ideal. Yet if the Christian life is simply another priority, another ideal among several, then might the two compete? Another way to ask the question: If it were more faithful not to have kids, would I be willing not to?]

Present Over Perfect
from Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist

Then sometimes the books talk to each other:

talk to each other
from Liturgy of the Ordinary, by Tish Harrison Warren

And still other times I just correct grammar.

typo

after the flood

storm

Our house went five days without power. We put a towel under the freezer and went to bed early. The room’s stuffy air felt hotter than the air inside my mouth.

Every day, we went outside to escape the silent house. In the softened, rain-soaked lawn, my husband planted rose bushes we’d bought before the storm. I pruned other roses that had survived the hurricane. Cars drove down the street, saw a blockade from flooding, turned and drove back.

I had just come outside with glasses of tepid water when an SUV stopped in front of our house. “Would you like some water?” asked the driver, holding out a glistening bottle.

“Oh.” Maybe he thought our water had been shut off. “Thank you, that’s okay. We have water.”
“But this is cold.” He got a second bottle from his trunk.
“Are you just out being a Good Samaritan?” Then I saw his name tag. He was from the local grocery store, the one I stop by almost every day on my way home from work.
“We’ll have blocks of ice tonight, too, in case you need to keep your freezer cold.”

Thank you!” I held the two wet bottles and watched him drive away. We hadn’t had anything to drink but lukewarm tap water, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (It could have been worse — we could have had no water.) This guy came along at just the right time.

My husband’s T-shirt was dark with sweat. He accepted the bottle gladly, then got back to digging.