Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing in the new

Soon I will be tucked away snug in my bed...but before I do that, I thought I'd try to recap 2010...

And I have lots stored up in my brain, so there might be regular posting in January...

Once again I tried to do this without looking at my previous answers (from 2007, 2008, and 2009)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
started tweeting

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make New Year's resolutions

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know a few people who had babies, some I know better than others!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness

5. What countries did you visit?
We stayed home

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Maybe a little more time to read, more organization at home so there's more time to play and knit and write...but we're pretty fortunate and we don't really lack much. Maybe time with Alex because of his silly hours.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 14 - 28 (28th in particular) - Olympics
March 23 - the day it went nuts (officially) at work

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not going crazy during the last ten days or so of March

9. What was your biggest failure?
good answer

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a tie between a new bed and ten visits to the acupuncturist

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Vancouverites and Canadians from coast to coast to coast during the Olympics.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
no one close to me

14. Where did most of your money go?
mortgage and daycare

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
winning the lottery...oh wait, no, that was just a dream

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
happier, thinner, richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
sleep, spent time with Alex and J

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
feeling stressed about work/situations out of my control

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Kelowna for ten days, celebrating with family and friends

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
nope...I was already in love!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I would like it if the TV went away - that said, I try not to miss Criminal's my new obsession

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
The Book of Negroes

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Yeah, I didn't make any...there just wasn't time

26. What did you want and get?
a new bed

27. What did you want and not get?
the whole apartment painted...but we got it started, so we're on our way!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I think I might have only gone to one movie this year and it was Thomas the Tank Engine...And I don't think we rented anything...Maybe the original Death at a Funeral that I finally saw when I was home this summer?

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to a wine tasting with friends and out for dinner with Alex. 33

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
ugh...I'm working on it

32. What kept you sane?
J and Alex and daycare

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
can't think of one

35. Who did you miss?
a bunch of people who don't live in Vancouver

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I didn't meet a lot of new people this year - the daycare ladies, my new boss (who I knew but didn't know...does that make sense?), Lisa, AndreaClaire

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010
If you can't do anything about it, it's not worth the worry. It will work out somehow in the end

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I don't know any songs...see #25 above

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my year. I feel very blessed and very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Wishing you a safe and memorable New Year's Even 2010 all the very best in 2011! I hope it's a year of love, laughter, adventure, great friends, super memories, delicious, good health, and many other great things for all of you (and us too!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reality Beckons

In a few minutes the last party of our vacation will start...J and I have been away for quite a few days and we head home tomorrow. J is loving the party mode she thinks we've settled into. Anytime anyone comes to the house or we get in the car to go somewhere, she asks if this is another party. And if we say no, she wants to know why.


A word she learned on the plane here and we hear all the time now. I think maybe we might even hear more whys than nos. I'm not sure how I feel about that!

It will be great to get home and have a few days to settle into a familiar routine before we head back to daycare and work. We have a few days to get some groceries into our house and for me to try to figure out a week's worth of meals that we can all eat or at least are easy to modify so that I can eat them.

I've got about six weeks left of the GAPS diet...maybe eight. It depends on how long it takes me to recover from Christmas. I was pretty good, but there were a few times when maybe, just maybe, I had something that is on the list of foods that are not recommended. You know. Maybe.

Everything I read about eating things off the not recommended list made me a little scared a few times - the consensus seems to be that often when those foods are eaten, bad things happen. Reactions like headaches, stomach aches, digestive problems, skin rashes etc. Sometimes not long after and sometimes a few days later. Sometimes it sounded like I'd end up going through another healing crisis. Thankfully, none of that happened. I ate as well as I could and occasionally didn't. So, the next six weeks I am going to try very, very, very hard to stick to the recommended foods list. We discovered some interesting foods that I can eat (by accident) like some yummy spiced nuts my mom made, so I'm a little excited to have more choice!

I'm off now to get little miss ready for her last party of the season.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

We've been busy for the last week since holidays from work and daycare started.

christmas eve j
J is having a blast...see you in a few days!

We're happy to have celebrated once already with Alex's family and will be celebrating for the next five days or so with my family...

And so, we'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

See you in a few days...

Friday, December 17, 2010

70. Knit a winter hat for J

So, this happened by accident.

It was freezing cold.


And J's hat looked more like a beret and she really needed something to cover her ears. So I set out to make her a new toque. That covers her ears.

So, I pulled out my knitting supplies (still not unpacked from our move three years ago...) and dug through my stash and found some leftovers. I love this stuff!

I made the Stitch 'n Bitch Valentine's Hat and Mittens of out it.

valentine's mittensSee the heart? It was much easier to do that I thought it would be. Good thing...

valentine's mittens
Flaps! I think I must have swatched this...if I hadn't it would have been all wonky.

alt=The hat. With the braid things. Its supposed to have a heart like the one on the glove in the middle of the forehead, but I decided against that.

These were great for a while. I attached an i-cord to the mittens so that I had lots of options for hot hands when I walked home from work.

Yes. This wool has been around since 2004, although these were a 2005 project.

I'm actually tempted to frog these and make something else. I haven't worn the hat much at all and I have barely worn the mittens since I stopped working somewhere easy to walk home from. Oooh, bad sentence ending with a preposition.

I also made this other hat that is probably something I adapted from a couple of patterns. I hate swatching, but this turned out all right and I wear it a lot. I think I made this in 2005, but this is 2006.

my hat #2
And this is the hat I made J. It's a good thing her head is so much smaller than mine or I would have been tempted to steal it and make her another one. I LOVE IT!

j's hat
She spent the evening after I made it wearing it around the house. I think she may have even worn it to bed.

she likes it
Of course, now it's too hot for this hat, but at least she has it for when the evil winter we're supposed to get strikes!

new hat
This was such a success and so much fun that I have three (non-baby blanket) projects on the go. Two Christmas gifts and one not Christmas gift. Yes Fiona, I'll post them on Ravelry...soon...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Innocent Coffee

38.2 Eat at ten new restaurants or coffee shops

innocent coffee
At the beginning of November, this coffee shop opened in the complex across the street from us. I can see the back of coffee shop from our living room. We'd been hoping a coffee shop might open up here because sometimes it's nice not to have to brew your own coffee. [edited to remove link - if you google the name, it's the first result. Their website was updated after the comments about the website were posted]

One afternoon when I was home with my lung infection, Alex decided we needed coffee and that he'd try the new coffee shop out.


The coffee was good. It was pretty too. There was even latte art under my take out lid.

But it was expensive. They only have one size - 12 oz - which is fine. But their 12 oz cost more than a 16 oz with a flavour shot would at the local-Seattle-based-soccer-mom-mega-coffee-shop. Expensive.

Oh, and they have no flavourings. Which is fine with me, I'll drink it without or with a bit of brown sugar, but Alex really likes flavoured drinks. And with another independent coffee shop less than two blocks away and a local-seattle-based-soccer-mom-mega-coffee-shop about three blocks away, you'd think they'd have flavourings. And more sizes. And better prices.

They make all their baked goods on site which is super. We didn't sample any as I was still wheat-free and they were actually in the process of baking everything when Alex got there.

We haven't been back. I'm not sure if we will go back. Maybe. Who knows, their prices might come down once they get a feel for the market in the area.

How much do you think is too much for a cup of joe? a latte? some other specialty coffee drink?

Vij's Rangoli

38.1 Eat at ten new restaurants or coffee shops

Back in October, Alex and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. He was working until 7, so a week night date wasn't a possibility. I had just started on the crazy diet and I wasn't able to eat much and going to a restaurant wasn't appealing.

But I remembered what the first naturopath told me (the one who initially prescribed the crazy diet) - I'm not going to die if I have to eat non-recommended foods at one meal. If I can prepare but being extremely careful, I should, otherwise, I just really needed to watch what I ate the next few days.

So we decided to get a sitter and go to Vij's. Alex has been trying to take me there for almost three years, but first heart burn from being pregnant and then breast feeding (and a baby who didn't appreciate spicy breast milk) got in the way of those plans.

We had trouble finding a sitter and then my sister recommended Vij's Rangoli. It's next door and they do take out.

It was perfect. J was teething and it took forever to get her to go to sleep. It was a miserable night and pouring rain and there's always a huge line up at Vij's, but Alex was able to go up, get dinner, and make it home in likely less time than we would have spent in line. We live close enough to it that it was all still hot. AND IT WAS GOOD. I'd go there again. Regularly.

I don't have any pictures because we were too busy inhaling our food.

pumpkin ale
But I have a picture of the yummy beer we shared. It went so well with the food!

To the other people who use the road

Dear cars, buses, bikes, and pedestrians,

I'm not a perfect driver or a perfect bus rider or a perfect pedestrian, but I try not to do things to scare other people and make their drives, pedals, rides, or walks to work, school, home, or wherever a constant source of heart palpitations. Maybe you could try to do the same? Most of you are great at sharing the road, but some of you, well, maybe you need a reminder.

Dear cars,

You have these neat new fangled things on your car called signal lights and head lights.

SIGNAL LIGHTS: It's really great if you flip the little lever up or down before you turn so that the cars behind you know what you're doing. Not while you're already turning or when you're done turning, *before* you start turning.

HEAD LIGHTS: It's winter. That means it starts to get dark sometime not long after 4:00. And if it's raining or snowing or just a miserable Vancouver day, it can be dark much earlier than that. It usually doesn't get light until sometime after 8:00. Again, it can stay dark longer if it's raining or snowing or just a miserable Vancouver day. Please turn your head lights on so that the rest of us (other cars, buses, bikes, and pedestrians) can see you. Also, your high beams, those are for when there is no oncoming traffic or traffic directly in front of you. I think it's 100 m. Your high beams shining in my eyes or my rear view mirror don't help things.

In Vancouver we have a few kinds of ways to get through intersections. We have through intersections in one direction with stop signs or lights in the other. We have four way stops. We have through intersections with lights controlled by pedestrians and stops signs going the other way. We have roundabouts. We have intersections with traffic lights in all directions. I'm sure there are other ones too.

Please follow the signals and signs. And watch for pedestrians. I don't like almost getting run over when I'm crossing with the lights. I don't like getting honked at because I'm in the CROSSWALK. I don't like getting honked at because I'm not turning because I'm waiting for a pedestrian to cross the road. WITH THE LIGHT.

And when you're in the roundabout...follow the signs and rules. That means you need to yield to the vehicles IN the roundabout (to your left). Don't honk at me when I'm in the roundabout and you have to wait your turn. Signal when you're going to leave the roundabout so that people waiting to get in can and people behind you don't almost rear end you. Oh and pedestrians? They still have the right of way. Don't try to run them down in the crosswalk or honk at them.

And four way stops? First vehicle to stop has the right of way. If there are multiple vehicles, you yield to the right.

If you happen to drive in the area around the UBC daycare centres and UHill Secondary, those 30km/hour signs are there for a reason. Don't pass all the cars going 30 and then slam on your brakes because you almost hit a child in a crosswalk. Don't go faster than 30. There are lots and lots and lots of little kids around. Little kids and teenagers can be unpredictable. Just be patient (or take another route...people who tend to do these two things seem to be using the road as a way to avoid the centre of campus)

Those are just a few things that are annoying me today about cars...I'm sure there's more.

Dear buses,

See notes to cars.

Also, I know I have to yield to you when you pull away from the curb. And really, I'm happy to do it. I don't want to argue with you...your bus will cause more damage to my car than my car will to your bus. BUT...if I'm right beside you and you signal that you want to pull away from the curb, signal and then pull away, don't just pull away and signal and assume we'll all be able to stop. Sometimes we can't because the car behind us isn't paying attention. Also, if I'm beside you, I might have to keep going because there isn't enough room in front of me for your big bus to fit.

And even though I HAVE to stop, it's nice of you to acknowledge that I DID stop with a little wave.

Dear bus riders,

It sucks to take the bus when it's wet out...mostly because it's crowded and steamy and wet. Please don't shake your umbrella off in the bus. Please don't open your umbrella into the crowd of people waiting to get on when you get off. Wait until you're a safe distance away. Your backpack doesn't need a seat. Your backpack makes a good weapon, so please take it off before you decapitate someone with it as you shove your way through the crowd. Those seats at the front? Give them to people with mobility issues (even if they're not in a wheelchair or using crutches or a cane or some other mobility device) Give them to people with a disability or injury. Give them to pregnant women, people with young children, and the elderly. The fact that you didn't get enough studying done before your exam today doesn't mean that you get to sit there to study. That's what the library is for. Be courteous. Please.

Dear bikes,

You are not glorified pedestrians. Stay off the sidewalk. If you're uncomfortable riding on the road, ride on a bike street or don't ride at all. I don't like almost getting knocked down by you or the near misses my little girl has had.

You are a vehicle. And like cars and trucks and motor bikes and buses, you are subject to all of the laws pertaining to a vehicle (ahem, stay off the sidewalk). You need to stop at stop signs. Don't give me a dirty look when you almost slam into my car that is legally in an intersection because you decided not to stop at the stop sign. Four way stops...those pertain to you too. Stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk? Oh yeah, that's for you too. Don't stop your bike in my blind spot and bang on my car to tell me you're there. I probably know you're there because some of you are kamikazes so I keep a close eye on you. You could pull up closer or stay a bit further back and avoid my blind spot too...and if I'm stopped, I'm not going anywhere, so don't bang on my car. It scares my daughter.

And you need to turn your lights on. Or get some lights. One light on the back of your bike doesn't help me see you at all when you're coming towards me and you're wearing dark clothes and it's dark out. Reflectors are great, but lights are essential.

Dear pedestrians,

Yes, you have the right of way. Do you also have a death wish? Because a lot of you seem to think you're invincible. You're not. A car is a lot bigger and heavier than you and if anyone "wins" in a car vs a pedestrian, it's not usually the pedestrian.

Please don't j-walk. Especially if you're going to hide between SUVs with tinted windows so I can't see you and then just jump into traffic. Come on. There are street lights and crosswalks for a reason. And most of the worst offenders are only a car length or two from the corner.

Be aware of your space, your umbrella, and the people with you. If you're taking up the whole sidewalk, it's practically impossible for people coming the other way to walk. Don't give them dirty looks when you need to move over so they can pass.

Dear cars, buses, bikes, and pedestrians,

Mostly, please just be courteous and aware of what's going on around you. And be patient. I'm talking to you, black car that zoomed around me when I slowed down because someone was parking. I ended up right beside you at the stop light a block and a half didn't save you a single second! I'll do my best to do the same...I just want to get where I'm going in one piece!

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Updated p365

My p365 was so far behind the was almost three months out of date...

It's not now. I'm starting to go cross-eyed.

And the layout has changed. It might change again in the next few days.

I'm not sure if I like it...we'll see...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Time for the full GAPS diet

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Life is going to get easier!

Today I got to start the full GAPS diet and there is so much more on that list that I can eat than there was on any stage of the intro diet.

Honestly, I wasn't convinced I wanted to continue with the diet until I actually saw the naturopath this afternoon. I was considering moving straight to the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and giving up on the GAPS diet.

I wasn't hungry. I wasn't craving anything. The biggest problem was that I often didn't feel satisfied after I ate. I wasn't hungry anymore, but my meals weren't making me happy.

And I feel that eating is for fueling our bodies but that it should also be a positive experience.

Before I announced I was done with the diet, we went through the complaints I had last time:

  • horrible cramps, evil periods, vicious PMS (the PMS part was new following the birth of J two years ago)
  • horribly chapped lips that wouldn't heal
  • fatigue. EXTREME fatigue
  • frequent migraines
  • difficulty losing weight

Then she asked me what the status of those things is now:

  • horrible cramps? nope, just a few little twinges. evil periods? not so horrible, still not perfect, but we’re getting there. PMS? none of that
  • horribly chapped lips that wouldn't heal? GONE
  • fatigue? improving. There are some environmental factors that need to be addressed and that will likely help too
  • frequent migraines? how about no migraines since I started the GAPS diet. I haven't gone this long without a migraine since I was pregnant.
  • difficulty losing weight? solved. For now. Now I just need to keep it up and then maintain…

So after that little chat, I decided I wasn't making any announcements this week. Sticking to the diet is a bit of a pain, but if it means that all those things will continue to improve, well, it’s worth it.

Oh, and the bonus? I hoped I'd be able to wear my wedding rings by Christmas. I've been wearing them for a week. It feels so great to have my rings back on my finger where they belong!

The naturopath also ran some tests and the most interesting result was that my cortisol is LOW. Very very very low. The last time I had extreme fatigue, my cortisol was off the charts high. There were some other interesting results, confirming what I thought – hormones a bit out of whack which in turn makes my thyroid unhappy – and telling me things I’d never thought of – my insulin production is out of whack so my pancreas is a bit unhappy (coupled with the weird hormones means no weight loss) and a few other things that I’ve since forgotten but were interesting at the time!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little update on 101 in 1001

So, as usual, I'm way behind in updating 101 in 1001.

I'm just way behind in most things. 'Tis the season. Or not.

I've decided it's time to review my expectations of myself and not expect quite so much. And first on the list of not expecting quite so much is not necessarily updating 101 in 1001 AS SOON AS IT HAPPENS.


I will be blogging about these later...maybe tomorrow because tonight I have other things to do. So that I remember what I was going to blog about, I've got a quick update here...italics means in progress. No italics means done. If it's not here, I either haven't started it or I'm done and it's been blogged about. Go here for the full list.

Update begins now


1. Fit back into pre-tumble down the stairs clothes
The GAPS diet has helped this a bit, but I'm a tad concerned than when I do get to reintroduce grains and beans I might have a bit of a gain...I'm working hard to be prepared so that doesn't happen.

2. Enroll J in swimming lessons before she turns 3
She's enrolled. Lessons start in January. I'm not considering this complete until we actually complete the lessons.

7. Pack away all of J's clothes and things that are too small or too young for her
I think this is going to be an ongoing day it will be complete!

10. Really reconnect with an old friend
Oh yeah, this is happening. Stay tuned for details (they make take months to materialize) about a potential (VERY FUN) reunion with said "old friend"

11. Mail Christmas cards before December 24th
One can hope, right? It could still happen.

12. Get up every workday morning for a week without hitting the snooze button
OOooooh...I did today...maybe I can keep it up all week? We'll see!

13. Weigh less on day 1001 than on day 1
A direct quote from above (these are two different goals): The GAPS diet has helped this a bit, but I'm a tad concerned than when I do get to reintroduce grains and beans I might have a bit of a gain...I'm working hard to be prepared so that doesn't happen.

16. Update address book

This is an ongoing process, but once the book is free of post its, I will consider it updated. Even if it's only for a day or two!

21. Do an insurance inventory of the contents of our home
This is going to take forever! All the more reason to get rid of more stuff!

22. Get our 72 hour emergency kit properly stocked
Almost done!

25. Stick to our budget for Christmas gifts

So far, so good!

26. Write 10 thank you cards with J
We're at 5/10. Christmas should look after the rest!


31. Make gingerbread with J at Christmas
Gingerbread is we just need to roll it and cut it and bake it and decorate it. The dough is in the freezer, waiting for the perfect time...hopefully before Christmas...

36. Try 50 new recipes

They're here and I've tried 16/50 - the five new ones are cake and icing à la Martha, hummus à la Martha, Mars Bar squares, and almond bread (it's not as good as it sounds, but more on that later)

38. Eat at ten new restaurants or coffee shops [2/10]
Back in, oh, October and November. We don't get out much...obviously!

40. Decide what we're going to put on the clutter collecting wall in the living room and buy it/have it made
I think we've decided. Now we need to clear the stuff out of the space, put the current pieces of furniture on craigslist, and then go get the new furniture. Maybe in the spring.

44. Clear J's closet of the boxes from the move
I've done two boxes...we're getting there

50. Declutter 101 items to toss, give away, sell on craigslist or give to charity - they're all here [12/101]

I keep forgetting to take pictures or make note of what we've gotten rid of lately. But not to worry, I should still have little problem reaching 101!

57. Get an iPod and load all of our CDs onto it
It's ordered...

59. Have a dinner party one weekend a month for three months [1/3]
Does it count if we had four in two weeks in November?

62. Host a Christmas party
Done! It was fun...

Creative and writing
70. Knit a winter hat for J
Done...totally by accident! Oh knitting, how I missed you!

73. Blog about each one of the 101 things
It's happening...I'm just a little bit behind...

76. Send a special thank you letter just because

I'm still writing it...

77. Get the postcard section of the blog up to date

This could take a while...

79. Make a list of 101 beautiful things in my life
So could this....

Professional and Volunteering

88. Take a risk and take on a BIG challenge that is outside my comfort zone on the next project at work
Project isn't over yet...but risk is sort of taken...

90. Sponsor a family at Christmas

91. Find a new position within Guiding
This might have solved itself...I took on a project that will last past my end date, so I might have a new job...

92. Clear my personal email inbox - home and work
Every time I get two clear, the third one goes out of control. Soon...that is my goal!

Fun and Random Stuff
100. Put $5 in a special savings account for every item I cross off this list - 9/101 saved
It's growing...slowly but surely!

So that's that...I've now completed 9 of the 101 and have 28 in progress...we'll get there I'm sure!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Does anyone know...

The title of a book, written by a woman, with a yellow cover, about our disposable society that overspends?

It's a one word title if that helps.

It might be something like Spend or Buy or Consume or Cheap. But it's none of those four.

I checked.

The writer lives in New York. There's at least one paragraph about paying for a parking spot.

I think it was published in 2009.

I saw it when we were on Salt Spring Island this summer and decided that I'd get it from the library instead of buying it. I took a picture of it with my phone. But when we got home, it appears I actually took a picture of the floor.

I saw it on a book blog a while ago and went, AHA! That's the name of the book.

But do you think I thought to write it down.


Because apparently I'm not smart like that.

Anyone have any idea?


PS this might show up twice in your RSS feed because I posted it here and there. Sorry if you got it twice.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Buffet Lunch and GAPS

So, today was our semi-annual portfolio lunch. I had thought I'd skip it (our little department is made up of two people and the other person, our Director, my boss, is away for a month) and go to yoga instead.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the food...

I knew it would be a buffet, but I had no idea what was going to be in the buffet or if I could eat any of it. Buffets are always a challenge - you never know what ingredients have been used to make the food and it's often hard to find someone to tell if you if a specific ingredient is in that dish right there.

But I changed my mind and decided to go. And I'm glad I did. It was a Moroccan buffet and it was tasty. There was of course a huge basket of rolls and some green salad. There was as beet and orange salad which I avoided - there was an unidentifiable sauce and I think beets taste like dirt. Literally. There was rice and couscous and chick peas. There was lamb curry (I also avoided body and lamb are not friends) There was roasted chicken and roasted vegetables.

In the end I did okay and I was glad I went. I had some yummy chicken and vegetables and a huge serving of salad. It was good.

I was a bit disappointed in dessert. Usually at these lunches there is a platter of sweets and a fruit platter for each table, but today there was no fruit. :( I was looking forward to something yummy.

Eating out wasn't as hard as I thought it would be (I actually ate out on the weekend too and it wasn't bad), but I kind of feel like I'll be eating a lot of salad with no dressing because that seems to be the best way to know what exactly it is that I'm eating!

Progress with the GAPS diet?

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

It's debatable. But I'm going to keep up with it for a least another week – that's when I have my follow up with the naturopath.

It's be a hard go this time...They don't recommend doing the intro diet with a toddler and Alex isn't too into the GAPS diet, so I'm just going to integrate them into the full GAPS diet when I get there. In the meantime, I'm making at least one and half meals every time I cook, sometime two. I'm not at the point yet where I can always just make dinner and opt out of the potatoes or grains and add a salad and they're not really into eating soup five times a day.

We'll get there and it's not forever and I need to just keep reminding myself of that! It's been surprisingly easy to resist the goodies that have been everywhere for Christmas...I did skip a dinner with my committee on Saturday night because I checked the menu and there was nothing I could eat...I don't think they would have appreciated it if I had wandered in with my Thermos of soup in hand!

Now that we're two weeks in, my patience is beginning to return...thank goodness. That's not really something you want to be without when you have a toddler!

On the fatigue front, I think we're improving. It is less of a struggle to get out of bed in the morning and I've been really productive before work – making up a few days worth of soup, hard boiling eggs, making muffins for J and Alex – and usually making it out the door at just about the right time! I have been going to bed earlier and I know that's helping too.

My boss and I have been talking about the fatigue issues, and interestingly, we've both been experiencing them since we moved into the building. I was talking to one of the women who works down the hall earlier and she moved into the building a month or two before us. She said she was fine in the summer, but she’s been having trouble since the weather turned cooler and she had to keep her windows closed…so, maybe the problem is the building...

So overall, while it's been frustrating, I think the diet is doing some good...I'll find out for sure on next Tuesday when I have my appointment.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bring on Christmas!

I was a little Grinch-y on Friday. But I'm over that now.

I had a weekend meeting that I thought was going to be long and tedious and it turned out it was very productive, we had a nice time visiting, and we were extremely efficient.

I wanted to make gingerbread for the meeting, but even though the dough is made and in the freezer, the prospect of rolling, cutting, and baking just didn't appeal, so instead I made the Mars Bar Squares that Melynda posted on Friday. Apparently they were delicious

We decided on Saturday that our goal was to be finished by noon on Sunday. Alex and I figured that gave us just enough time to get downtown for the Santa Claus Parade. I've never been to the parade before even though I've lived here every single year it's happened (mostly because this meeting is an annual event and we're never done until early afternoon). Imagine how happy we all were when we were done by 10:30. And even with clean up and some post-meeting visiting, I was home by 11:00 (okay, so we live four blocks away, but still!)

I was surprised to find our house empty when I got there. Alex had taken J to the park we I left for the meeting and it was a bit chilly so I thought they would be home by then. Turns out they went Christmas shopping and then J fell asleep. So Alex decided to take advantage and keep looking!

We walked downtown with a goal of getting a spot in the last block of the parade. We haven't ever done something like this with J before and we wanted an easy escape route if necessary and something closer to home.

We managed to snag a great spot right by a tree. Unfortunately Alex had to stand, but he was okay with that.

pre=parade candy cane
Before the parade even started, J had managed to acquire a candy cane from the Ballet BC people. Her first of MANY as the afternoon progressed.

waiting for the parade to start
J was quite happy to wait quietly for the parade to start - there were so many people to watch (it probably helped that she woke up on the walk over so she was still a bit drowsy when we first got there)

The motorcycle drill team opened the parade and after that, for most of the rest of the parade, J kept asking when the motorcyclepolicecars were coming back.

look at THAT!
There was a lot of this "Look at THAT!" happening...

firetruck and a puppy
...particularly for the firetruck that had a puppy in it and firemen giving out more candy canes.

parade grand marshals
This was one of our favourite floats...and J was apparently a favourite of the people handing out treats - two of them stopped to give her chocolate. And not just one or two. I have a little stash that is bigger than the supply Santa usually leaves! Too bad I can't have chocolate...Purdy's is one of my favourites.

brrrr, you look cold
These girls looked so cold in their evening gowns....Too bad they didn't think to wear winter shrugs/shawls and long gloves.

After the dancers and tumblers came by J wanted to join the parade and "DO IT TOO!" I guess we'll be looking into toddler dance or gym classes the next time the community centre puts out their guide.

rudolph bus
As we drove in this morning, J wanted to know where the other buses' Rudolphs were. I'm sure she was a bit confused because when we got home last night, we Skyped with my parents and my dad showed her his car...all dressed up in Rudolph gear too.

ponies and carriage
One of J's favourite things to do right now is watch the Sound of Music - songs only. And in Do-Re-Mi Maria and the kids go in a horse-drawn carriage. Guess who always asks when she gets to do that? And guess who wanted to go get in the one in the parade, because, obviously, it was time for her ride! She particularly loved the ponies. There were lots of horses, but the ponies were her favourites.

And then Santa came. Followed by the hoards of people who had been watching for blocks and figured they should follow the parade to the end.

I would definitely sit at the end of the parade route again. We missed out on lots of the handouts, but that meant less stuff to drag home and less sugar for J. And, considering we were, oh, ten metres from the end of the parade, J got lots and lots of candy.

That's when I realized I was freezing...we had a few things to do, so we bundled J up and headed to the mall. WHAT? Were we nuts? We exchanged the one thing we needed to exchange and decided to do everything else some other time and headed back across the bridge for dinner.

And now, now I'm totally ready for Christmas! I kind of wish it would snow too!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Three weeks?

Plus a day.


Seriously. I'm starting to worry a bit. I woke up this morning and realized that, hello, today is December 3. DECEMBER THIRD. That means Christmas is 22 days away. That means there's only three weeks left to get ready.

Then I started making lists in my head of all the things I need to do:
  • Baking
  • Shopping
  • Make the four gifts I've committed to making that aren't food. I've started one. I'm 1/1000 of the way done it. That's it.
  • Christmas Cards
  • Get some decorations out - not too many, but some...currently there are some tea towels and Christmas mugs that I forgot to put away last Christmas and that's it. Oh, and the advent calendar. I went down and got it a few weeks ago, but J is not so interested in it. Lights, she loves those, advent calendar, meh.
  • Wrap presents...oh wait, I haven't bought any of them yet. Right.
Somehow I only have one weekend to do most of this stuff. I'm in a meeting pretty much all of this weekend and next weekend is it. The following weekend we're doing all of our pre-Christmas visiting, so we need to have our gifts pretty much done by then.

But I'm dreaming, right? Cause when I look out my window it looks like maybe it's October 3. Could we go with that instead? PLEASE?

Anyone have any strategies for quickly plowing through my list? Or for gifts for gentlemen in the late-twenties/early thirties bracket or the mid-forties range??????

I'm going to make a list. That will make me feel better. Might not accomplish anything, but I'll feel better...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Maybe I'm not going crazy

I thought I was going crazy.

The healing crisis has passed, but I'm still grumpy and impatient. Even when I know I don't need to be. But I can't make it go away.

But, I've managed to connect with a few people who have all been very reassuring. Apparently this part lasts for a couple of weeks to an entire month. Eeep.

But at least I know I'm not going crazy.

And tomorrow I get to add cooked fruit and some raw veggies back into my life, so it's all good.

But an entire month? That brings me pretty darn close to Christmas. The grumpies better be gone long before that. (on a side note,I've been scouting out tasty-looking recipes on other people's blogs that we could have for Christmas pecan pie! We're doing a small Christmas dinner this year, only seven of us, so I have little bit of control over what there is to eat and I can easily find out what's in each dish.)

Anyway, the common suggestion is hot as soon as J goes to bed tonight, you know where to find me!

And thank goodness I'm not going crazy (or is that crazier?)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Awesome Yoga Practice

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I went to yoga yesterday for the first time in a week and a half. And the time before that was the first time in three weeks. And, ugh, I was really not looking forward to going yesterday. I was happy to sit cocooned in my little office and sip soup all day.

But I am so glad I went!

The last time I went to yoga, it had been three weeks because of work meetings and a lung infection...and my lung weren't quite ready to be doing anything. Anytime I squished my lungs, I ended up having to drop out of a pose so that I could breathe properly. When we did a reclining pigeon at the end, I couldn't even support myself – the instructor had to assist me. I felt so weak afterward too...oh lungs, you are important.

So, yesterday I was still a bit lungs should be fully healed. I'm not coughing anymore, but my body had just gone through a brutal healing crisis. I figured it would be another weak day.

Boy was I wrong. I couldn’t believe how strong I was. I was holding poses for ages without any shaking!

Oh GAPS diet, is this your handiwork? Because if it is, I might be able to forgive you the evil healing crisis. MIGHT.

And, to top it off, I'd been having a hard time with Tuesday classes. We have a new instructor for Tuesdays and I just wasn't enjoying it. The practice wasn't too hard or too easy, it just wasn't doing it for me. But I really enjoyed the whole class yesterday, so hopefully that means I'm over my dislike of Tuesday class! Yay!

Monday, November 29, 2010

For Sarah - London in Vancouver

Look what's sitting beside my desk... (yes, I know it might not be entirely geographically correct)

Thanks Sarah! I still love it and now I have a toddler-safe place to keep it.

Made it over the first obstacle...

...and I feel like maybe I can handle whatever else the GAPS diet throws my way.

I wrote (okay, whined) a bit about the healing crisis I was experiencing yesterday over at Get Fit Chicks...and man, was it brutal. I've never experienced anything like that before.

Four days of complete crazy. I had a migraine that lasted about 32 hours. I had chills and sweats. I was grumpy and grouchy and cranky and snappy and annoyed with Alex and J for no reason. My eyes hurt. My back hurt. I was exhausted. I slept but didn't sleep well and when I woke up I felt worse.

That was just day one when I wasn't really aware of what was going on. I'd been warned I might feel "discomfort in the form of fatigue, nausea and/or headache during the first day or two of the cleanse." All of that started on day two, which thankfully was a snow day, so when I felt miserable, I could lie down. J was very coorperative and snuggled beside me in bed with books and took a very long nap...I'm not sure what I would have done otherwise!

Then, on day three, I still felt horrible. In addition to the other stuff, I couldn't concentrate. It took me ten times as long to do anything. And I was ready to quit.

Then I got another email from my naturopath where she referred to the discomfort as a healing crisis.

Thank goodness for Google...I discovered that a healing crisis can be more than just discomfort. It can be downright horrible. And it can last from one day to ten days depending on how "toxic" your body is, but 2-3 days seems to be the norm. So, my one extra day means my body was a little more unhappy than most people's. But I'd kind of already decided that.

Yesterday was horrible. I was determined to keep at it because it's just for a short time and starting on Saturday I get to add additional foods to my diet every two days. In one of my few moments of clarity, I sat down and took a really good look through Nourishing Traditions. It's my understanding that is where the naturopath would like my diet to end up (I'm hoping in the next three weeks or so, not at the end of the three months) and it's totally manageable and while there will be changes to our usual way of eating, it's not drastic.

Then today happened.

I woke up and I actually feel pretty good. I got to add eggs on Saturday and nut butter pancakes and avocados today, so I'm feeling like there's some substance to my diet. The headache is gone. I can focus a bit longer. I'm not as grumpy - I'm still a bit grumpier than usual for sure, but nothing like this weekend.

Not liking the healing crisis

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So, the first part of the GAPS diet is basically a liver cleanse and a way to get you ready to see if your body is intolerant to certain foods and, with a cleanse, typically that means a healing crisis.

I hate the healing crisis. It's pure evil.

My naturopath told me I'd have some discomfort – headache, migraine, maybe nausea or vomiting or other stomach issue – for a couple of days around the second or third day of the diet. I'm on day five of the diet and day four of the healing crisis.

And I almost quit sixty-two times before lunch time today. But a desire to get better, encouragement from Alex, and the memory of exactly how much money I paid the naturopath have convinced me to keep going.

I feel like I have the worst hangover ever (minus the nausea). I'm hot, then cold. I have a searing headache (that oddly, has just let up now). I've had two hot showers. I've had two naps. I've had lots of soup. Hopefully today is the last day.

There have been good signs – yesterday when I first got up and after I had a rest late yesterday afternoon, I felt great! Initially my fingers were so swollen my ring was tight…now it's loose. I'm hoping that by Christmas I'll be wearing my *real* wedding rings again!

The naturopath told me to take it easy for a few days and I’m really hoping that my body will be ready for yoga on Tuesday...because my brain sure is.


Friday, November 26, 2010

What to do about the excess?

Alex and I have been having an intense discussion for a few years about Christmas and gifts. Not intense because we were in disagreement, but intense because we had identified what was bugging us but had no real solution...

But we keep coming back to it...

Christmas and the excess that goes along with it...and how do we make Christmas less about the excess and more about Christmas?

We see shows like Oprah and The Ellen Show and all the giveaways they have and it's crazy and excessive. People's reaction to stuff is unbelievable. It's just stuff...I also feel as more and more shows and companies and websites are able to give away more and more stuff that regular people have started to feel like their usual gifts to their friends and family have to be more. That unless they spend as much as Oprah did (or didn't since apparently most of her gifts were given to the show by the companies) the gift isn't worthy.

Eeep...and apparently it's a touchy subject. We weren't sure how to address it.

We finally decided that it was up to us to make the changes within our own little family and then maybe things would roll out from there. While exchanging gifts can be a lot of fun, we both feel like the most special part of Christmas is spending time with family and friends and participating in some family traditions. Oh, and eating.

So we started making little changes.

A few years ago we started giving Alex's parents and grandma frozen homemade meals for Christmas and what do you know, they love them! Soup and cornbread are two of the things his grandma most looks forward to receiving!

This year we're cutting back even further...I can't tell you everything right now because it's still a surprise for some people, but I think we'll likely cut our Christmas spending by 1/4-1/2 depending on how it all goes.

Some of the other things we've done in the past:
  • Having a smaller budget
  • Putting a lot of thought into gifts and getting something the recipient would really like
  • Making a donation to a charity (in the past we've given to the Food Bank, BC Cancer and other causes we support) instead of giving gifts to some of our friends (there are still a few we exchange with)
  • Giving gifts that are not things that take up space (things aren't bad if they are needed/wanted by the recipient). We don't have a lot of space and we know lots of our friends and family are in the same situation. We've received babysitting coupons, tickets to a hockey game with dinner and babysitting included, fun stuff like that...and we've given things like that too. Last year, TeamHardcore was a student, so we gave her coupons she could exchange for an evening of laundry or dinner at our house (she got two coupons a month - one of each)
  • When our niece was very small, we gave her a small gift (a book or something) and a cheque towards her RESP
  • Trying to make as many of our gifts as possible - food, knitted things, etc
  • Gift cards - I'm slowly being converted on this one...I used to be happy to receive them, but felt like I was copping out if I bought them for someone. (The odd thing was, I didn't feel at all like the person giving me the gift card had copped out!) The nice thing about a gift card is that you can get what you want/need, but this only works if the gift card is for somewhere you'd shop/like to try. I'm more appreciative of the restaurant gift cards now too...because it's rare for us to treat ourselves to dinner, so it's nice to receive them!
  • Secondhand/thrift store finds - there are some treasures out there for sure. And second hand books are awesome and usually way cheaper than new ones.
We've also decided not worry about what other people give us. If someone wants to give us a card, that's awesome. If someone else wants to spend a small fortune on us, well, it's up to them.

When I was growing up we got a few gifts from our parents - usually something to wear, something to read, and something to play with/do. And Santa came. And we had grandparents. And we each had two sisters (although we often paired up our tiny budgets and got one gift from two sisters) And we each drew one name of one cousin on each side of the family. And there were a few close family friends we exchanged gifts with. And that adds up to at least 11 gifts plus Santa. And that's lots. We've decided to do the same with J as my parents did. I think last year all she got from us was a wooden frog. And maybe a book. But she didn't need any clothing. She got enough from other we didn't get her any.

Anyway...apparently I don't have a problem with excessive words...

What kinds of gifts do you like to give and receive this time of year? Any ideas for fun and creative consumable gifts (as in you eat them, use them up, or spend them)? What about special gifts that don't cost three months' rent?

The most wonderful time of the year is coming

or it might already be here, depending on who you talk to...


I'm not really ready.

Part of that is this diet. I think once I make it to tomorrow and I get to add eggs in again, it will become much easier. I only have to spend two days on each of phase 2 - 6, so that's not too difficult. But I'm still in the middle of a "healing crisis" and I feel ugh today. I felt good this morning, but since I had lunch, it's been downhill...I had a migraine most of the day yesterday and I still have a headache today. Normally I'd reach for a Coke and some Tylenol, but for obvious reasons Coke is not allowed and I'm supposed to stay away from the Tylenol if I can. And I need a nap. Now.

But, tomorrow night should shock me straight into Christmas. I'm having some friends in for a little pre-Christmas-insanity get together. The idea was that we'd all work on unfinished Christmas projects - addressing cards, crafting, knitting, scrapbooking, whatever - in hopes of getting some of them done before December 1. HA! That maybe worked the first year. Now we all just get together and eat lots of yummy stuff and sample delicious festive beverages and chat. But there's Christmas music, so it's all good!

And I think once they all head home, I will be in Christmas mode. I'm starting to make a list of things we need to buy...we're cutting way back this year, so it's interesting getting everything done on a smaller budget. I might visit the storage room tonight and grab some festive stuff, like the table cloth...but I might not.

I am very excited about Christmas - I think it's going to be a fun and exciting holiday this year with a 2 year old. J has already picked up (parts of) Jingle Bells somewhere and she thinks that Santa's other name is Merry Christmas, so I think we're going to have a blast!

I just wish I could borrow Santa's elves to do all the work for me!

Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snoozing in a winter wonderland

We had a snow day at our house today. Alex wasn't comfortable with us going up to the university - more because of the crazy, not-so-smart drivers than anything. We have a great vantage point from our apartment to see all the stupid things people do.

Things like
  • Driving 20 km above the speed limit, something which is not safe on that road even in the most perfect weather
  • Changing lanes and cutting the person in the other lane off
  • Pulling U-turns at the intersections (where it's very slippery)
  • Honking impatiently at the person in front of you at the stop sign (who isn't going because IT'S NOT SAFE) and then zooming around them once they do go
  • Pedestrians j-walking (which I think is stupid to begin with) in front of cars that they'd never walk in front of when the weather is good
  • Tailgaters who honk at slow drivers and then fishtail because they're driving too fast
There was also a freezing rain warning tonight (goodbye plans to go to Stanley Park and get a preview of the Christmas train and light display...)

So J and I stayed home. I fully expected we'd go for a walk and play in the snow.

But no.

I'm into the second day of the first phase of the GAPS diet and I'm exhausted. Apparently this is normal, but I'm not enjoying it. I don't know how I would have survived today if I had gone to work. When J had her nap, I had a list of things to do for, yeah, I slept for two hours. And if J hadn't started calling me and telling me she wanted to get up, I probably would have slept longer...

But she also slept for almost 3.5 hours, so by the time she was up and moving, it was dark, cold, and slippery.

So no snow today, but it was nice working at home with a hot cup of tea and toddler telling me all kinds of awesome stories!

Broth soup anyone?

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I'm into the first phase of the new crazy diet GAPS diet and it's all about broth soups.

I was super excited at the beginning as I love soup and it's the perfect time of year for soup, but here I am on day two and I'm ready to move on...I was waiting to hear from the naturopath, who was going to give me some additional information (like when I get to move to the next phase) that isn't available online. I haven't heard from her so I emailed her to find out when I can eat other stuff...I'm not hungry but I'm not feeling satisfied either.

I'm totally in detox mode and I'm sooooo tired. We had a snow day at our house today and I worked from home, but I ended up napping the whole time J slept as well. And I could go back to bed already and it's not even 4:30. But at least this is just a temporary phase...

I'm going off to eat some soup now…

PS: Stacey, your post made my tummy grumble...a lot!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time to make a big change...

In my list of things I meant to blog about in the last week and didn't (but still plan to), I mentioned big changes coming...and to ward off any and all rumours, I figured I better start there!

If you have been following my posts over at Get Fit Chicks recently, you know more than you ever wanted to know about my crazy diet.

The quick history (imagine the long history!) is that about six years ago I was unwell for months, but for no obvious reason. I had the very best doctor in the world at the time and she was patient and listened when I told her what was wrong (or what wasn't right) and told me that regardless of what test results say, she thinks most patients know their bodies better than their doctors do and if they think something is wrong, well something is wrong. She eventually made me take a good month off work (in part to determine if this mystery illness was environmental - physical or mental. That experiment was a good one, but had no definitive conclusion) and sent me to see another doctor to get a second opinion just in case she had missed something. More tests, more blood work, same answer: everything falls into the "normal range."

Usually I'd be happy with that. But I wasn't. Something was still wrong.

I was too tired.

I couldn't get out of bed when my alarm went off - it was physically exhausting. Depression was ruled out.

I couldn't exercise. After 15 minutes of light walking, I needed four or five hours of rest to recover.

It was a vicious cycle - I'd hang out with my friends and have a great time visiting and feel better - usually something low key, a meal out or tea in someone's living room - but then I didn't see anyone for ages because that made me tired too and I needed time to recover.

I figured I was going crazy and was prepared to try pretty much anything. I had drained my savings by taking a month off work while working at a place that had no sick leave policy. I was worried. What would happen to me if I got sicker and needed to take more time off. I was picturing packing up the Hobbit Hole and returning to live with my parents. Not really something I wanted to do.

But my doctor figured there were a few things left to try. She told me that modern, Western medicine didn't have the tools to figure out what was going on and help me get better, but that complementary medicine might help. She sent me to a massage therapist and suggested I go see naturopath and if that didn't work, an acupuncturist. And thankfully, while I wasn't entitled to sick leave, we did have decent extended benefit coverage.

Through word of mouth I found a naturopath who specialized in fatigue and headaches (with the fatigue came extremely frequent headaches and migraines every 7 - 10 days). I'd never been to an naturopath before, and I thought this guy was quite interesting - he was also a pharmacist.

And I decided he was a miracle worker! He did some testing, put me on the crazy diet, gave me some of those drops that naturopaths like to give, and added a few supplements to my daily multivitamin (some Omega 3s and something else, maybe more Vitamin C?). He told me I'd see an improvement in the headaches within the first week and they should keep improving over the next 6-8 weeks until they stopped almost entirely. The fatigue would take longer, but I should see an improvement within 4-6 weeks.

He was right about the headaches - the change was almost immediate.

And on day one of the 5th week, the fatigue changed. It didn't go away completely, but I was able to take the short 15 minute walk I used to take every morning without feeling tired. But the end of the 5th week, I could do my morning walk and my longer (45 minute-ish) walk in the afternoon. By the end of the 6th week, I felt great, I was walking in the morning and all the way home in the afternoon (just over 4 kms), and I had energy again.

I stuck to that diet like my lift depended on it. On special occasions like Christmas day, I let myself indulge. Everyone was scared of my diet and wanted to try to accommodate it, but after the first six weeks of super-strictness, I could eat small amounts of the foods on the elimination list, as long as I paid attention to what I was eating and in what quantities.

It worked. And whenever the fatigue would set in again, I would completely eliminate the stuff on the list for a few weeks and slowly add it back in again.

Life was good. But the last two times I've tried to do it, there have been no great results.

So, to head off another spiral of unhappy health, last week I decided it was time to go back to the naturopath.

I've been seeing another naturopath since the birth of J - this one specializes in women's health, pre- and post-natal women, and pediatrics, so I felt like she was a good fit.

And the new plan might just be crazier than the old plan. She did a test to make sure my hormones are fairly stable, my thyroid isn't out of whack, and to check a couple of other things, but I'm basically going to be doing the GAPS diet and using a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions. I've been doing some research and there's all kinds of interesting information about both of those. GAPS is often used for people with autism, but seems to also have been effective in dealing with fatigue. I'm glad it's winter because there is a lot of soup on this diet for the first little while. I'm not looking forward to the sauerkraut and animal organs...I think I can get away with not using the organs, but probably am stuck with the sauerkraut.

And, because I do most of the cooking and I'm not prepared to make two different dinners every night, J and Alex are going to have to get used to eating strange stuff too! The naturopath thinks three months should be enough time to sort everything out and then, like the last crazy diet, I should be able to add things from the NO list in small quantities, some more occasionally than others.

There are going to be some big challenges - especially with the holidays around the corner - but I don't want to end up where I was six years ago, so if doing this now will prevent that, well, let's do it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here we go again...

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I've been sticking to the crazy diet as best I can, but I'm having no luck with the fatigue.

So, I sucked it up, got out my credit card, and went back to the naturopath.

And you know the crazy diet? Well, I think it's about to get crazier!

I'm doing some testing to make sure that I don't have anything going on with my thyroid or iron levels or my cortisol and then we’re starting a new crazy diet.

I don't have all the details yet (the naturopath is waiting for the results of the testing) but instead of no fermented stuff, this diet is all about the fermented stuff. She gave a me a few things to look at before we get into the plan, but it's based on two things – the GAPS diet and the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Both of these have some controversial points to them, but at this point, I'm prepared to try pretty much anything! The GAPS diet is one of the diets that claims to help those with autism and Nourishing Traditions promotes the regular use of saturated fats, including butter.

It's interesting to see what could be happening to my diet (and a bit scary as Christmas is just around the corner), but if it helps with the fatigue and the other boring stuff that goes along with it, well, I'm happy to try it and see…

Have you ever heard of the GAPS diet or the Nourishing Traditions cookbook? Have you ever followed either? I'm curious to see what other people think – I’m just starting to look into both, so I haven't really formed any opinions…and the naturopath thinks it will only take 2-3 months of these two to reverse things and then close attention to what I'm eating after that, so as long as neither of them look harmful, I'm willing to give it a try!

So behind...

I have a million things I wanted to write about this week, but I haven't written about any of them...and now it's past my bed time...

So...teaser for you (all three loyal readers) and reminder for me:

Things to come this week:
  • Birthday cake
  • What the professional organizer told me
  • Big changes afoot
  • An update on 101 in 1001...a few things to cross off (and Fifers, where's your list?!?)
  • Thanksgiving thankfulness, take two

Happy Sunday night.

Sweet dreams.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The people in the computer

I bet, if you have a blog, there are people in your computer. You know, people who you know because you read or comment on their blogs and maybe they read and comment on your blog too. Or maybe not. But because it's the internet and people publish things there for other people to read, it's not stalking if you only have a one-way relationship!

It's easy enough for me to forget that the people in the computer are real. Until something major happens in their lives that jolts me back to reality OR you get to meet them for real.

I've never met any of the people in the computer for real before.

Until yesterday.

Stacey and I met up at Granville Island (no, Stacey's not the person in the computer, I've known her for years) and found AndreaClaire waiting for us at the flower stand at the market!

We had a great visit and, hey, did you know, the awesome people in the computer are pretty awesome in real life too!

I'm so glad we managed to work our weekends out so that we could's kind of fun to meet the people in the computer!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I warned myself

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

But apparently I didn’t listen…

When the pedometer miraculously returned, I said I’d only try for 8,000 steps for the first little while to get my body used to walking again…and I did really well the first two days, logging over 8,000 steps. Wednesday was chock full of meetings, so I was happy with 6,000 steps.

But then Thursday was a holiday. And there are Danish visitors here. So we went out with them. With J in the stroller. And oh my, now I’m sore…I didn’t do anything I’d normally think was excessive, but when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and have my legs rubbed last night, I realized I’d over done it.

It was only a little over 4 km and for a while I wondered what was wrong with my legs…Maybe a combination of the lung infection I’m just getting over and the change in my work situation which, for a variety of reasons, has changed my commute? I used to walk J to daycare, hop on the bus, and walk across campus to my office. Now, I have a new job and a new office and J has a new daycare. All of those things combined to make it impossible for me to take the bus *and* put in a full day at work. So now I drive. And I’m really good at taking my lunch. So I don’t walk. So, the days that I don’t have yoga, I have actually scheduled a walk into my day…that way the next time I was 4 km, I hope I won’t be whining on the couch the next night!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


j's poppy
J has been quite intrigued by poppies this year. I don't think she's quite old enough to wear one - the pin is a bit of a dangerous weapon. But maybe next year. When we're out she points out all the people who have "pretty red flowies" on their jackets like Mommy. And after watching the ceremony in Ottawa this morning and seeing all the people wearing poppies, she's been busy drawing her own "red flowies."

I've spent the morning with J, grateful that I live in the country I live in and grateful that all those years ago, and today, men and women put their lives on the line, and in many cases gave their lives to keep our country safe and free. Now that I have a little girl, I am so much more appreciative of the sacrifice they made.

Lynn Johnson has done a series of Remembrance Day comic strips and there are three that really hit home (and have since before I had J): 1997, 2000, and 2001.

While we're not able to attend a service this year (J is terrified of the bagpipes and loud bangs right now and wouldn't stay still and quiet long enough), we will be observing our minute of silence together, at home. And, as she gets older and can understand, we're going to work very hard to make sure she understands and respects this very important day. She asked why all the people were there and why some were crying and I told her that we're saying thank you to some special people who did some special things so that she can go to daycare and live with Mommy and Daddy where we live and go to the park. And my dear little girl gave me a big hug and solemnly said "Thank You TV" and has been sitting beside me, trying to sing along with the choir and rubbing my back.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

15. Find missing address book

address bookHere it is! I looked everywhere for this silly thing. I figured it was long gone - either a helpful toddler had put it away for me or I'd lost it (I thought maybe I left it behind when we went to Salt Spring in August since I couldn't find it when we left the hotel to come home). But no. It was in a computer bag for work that I rarely use. I'm not sure how it got there, but I worked from home a bit in the summer, so I wonder if it just got swept up and put in there or fell in or maybe above mentioned toddler was helping.

This is the best little address book ever! When I was living in London in 1999, Doreen brought these back from a trip to GSUSA (maybe for a foundation meeting?) for all of the volunteers. I had a nice little address book, so this one got tucked away. I found it when I moved back to Canada (in 2002 I think) and I loved it. My old address book was disintegrating and this one actually had places for cell phones and email addresses and that was hard to find in an address book back then in the olden days! I also learned from my mom and only wrote names in pen...address went in friends are all more settled these days, not too many are moving every few months, but it's still handy to be able to erase and use the same spot!

In any case I'm glad I have it back. I would have hated to rebuild it from scratch...although, I have started to contact people for their addresses. Now it's on to #16 and actually entering all the random post-its with new addresses into the book....

Sad toddler + daddy away = pizza sandwiches for breakfast

or 36.11 Try 50 new recipes - Raspberry Drop Scone

Alex is working a crazy split shift right now and J hates it. He leaves before we wake up in the morning and he doesn't get home until after J goes to bed at night. Okay, so he's home for a few hours in the middle of the day, but we're not.

J is not happy.

Yesterday she got out of bed and immediately barked "Where's my daddy?" at me. No good morning. No "Hi Mommy." Just "Where's my daddy?"

Then, once we'd established that once again he was away at work, she told me "I no eat porridge. My daddy no here. I no have porridge today."

Apparently if Daddy is gone the usual isn't good enough for breakfast.

No worries kid, I was already one step ahead of you!

I made scones that I found (and had been eyeing for a while) on Everybody Likes Sandwiches and yes, they are raspberry scones. And no, those are not raspberries in the picture. And no, those are not drop scones in the picture. But they're yummy!

cranberry scones
Cranberry scones. YUMMMMMMMMMmmmmmm. I deviated from my usual don't-make-changes-until-you've-tried-it-once approach to a new recipe. I think I made four changes...I substituted 1% for skim, regular sugar for raw, cranberries for raspberries. And I rolled and cut my scones. Because J has an aversion to biscuit shaped things right now, so little pies were better.

She told me she was eating pizza sandwiches.

These are yummy. And they seriously only took about five minutes to mix up. And they were so good! Oh, and they're gone. That took less than 24 hours. But scones are best eaten fresh, so it's all good. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Well, that was easy

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I thought it was going to be hard to get back up to 10,000 steps a day now that I’m not walking and taking the bus as part of my commute.

I think I was wrong! I had one meeting outside of our office yesterday and it was fairly close and I managed to walk over 8,000 steps. We’ll see if I can replicate that today.

I think that means if I go for a short walk at lunch time I’ll be able to hit my goal most days – and by short I mean 30 minutes. That’s totally doable and I can’t wait to see if it helps!

Oh, and on my quest to see how what my food choices “cost” me…I was craving a scone from the coffee shop and I know it’s not a good idea for a whole lot of reasons…so I got up and made hot scones for breakfast this morning. YUM! And Because I used stuff from the pantry, I’m not counting it as an extra cost, but calorie-wise it was less than half the calories of a scone from the coffee shop! And it was only about 20 calories more than the oatmeal I usually have for breakfast…must remind myself to keep making smart choices! It will be interesting to see what my week looks like when I’m done!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Redefining busy...

If you asked me recently how we've been, I'll probably say good, busy, but good. And I think we're busy. Really busy. And I keep looking at the busy and thinking that after the summer is over, after Thanksgiving, after Hallowe'en, after Christmas, maybe it won't be so busy.

But I think I'm wrong.

I think that we're not actually busy. We're just living life. And I need to adjust my expectations.

It's just life. We don't do crazy extra curricular activities - J isn't doing any additional organized activities outside of daycare - they do lots of physical play and go for lots of walks and there's a early childhood music teacher who comes once a week. I'd like to put her in swimming lessons after Christmas, but that's it. After I pick her up from daycare, we come home, play, have dinner, a bath, and story time and then she goes to bed. On the weekends we try to limit activities to one per day (ideally one per weekend) and we keep to her nap schedule as much as possible.

Since I started looking at it as our life and not as our busy life, it's been a much easier life to live! We are pretty much happy. We live in a neighbourhood we like that is close (enough) to both of our jobs and to J's daycare. We see our family quite frequently. We visit with friends at least once a week. We live in a beautiful city in a great country.

We're pretty blessed and once I remove busy from the equation, it's a lot easier to savour those blessings and if the dishes don't get done tonight because we're playing with puzzles, well, that's okay. They'll be there tomorrow and while I'm elbows deep in soap suds, I'll have the memories of the puzzle playing giggles to entertain me.

Busy, you are banned from our house!

The cost of unhealthy living

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Every once in a while, I stop and take a bit of an inventory of what's happening in my life related to my health – how much am I exercising, what kind of exercise am I doing, what’s my diet like, what are my sleep patterns like, what's my stress level – and readjust it.

There’s all kinds of talk in the media about the cost of unhealthy living and the strain it is putting (and will put in the future) on our health care system…we’ve all seen it – more diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, rates of obesity – the list is endless.

Right now I know I need to eat better – I'm much better than I was this summer, but there's still room for improvement. We started creating a weekly meal plan, including snacks, and I'm pretty good at sticking to it if we remember to print it and post it in the kitchen – I know I need to do some other exercise besides yoga and I know I need more sleep. Stress is pretty good right now.

This summer I took a look at the cost of some of my unhealthy choices. The cost to me right now, not to me (or the health care system) in the future. And wow, was it motivation! I had slipped into some unhealthy habits that I'm blaming partly on the somewhat unstable daycare situation we were in, some mini-crises we were dealing with as a family, and job uncertainty. And that resulted in some stress eating and more lunches out at work than I would like. So I spent a week tracking what I was eating and this is what I discovered:

In seven days I ate an extra 4500 calories (YUCK!) and it cost me close to $30. An annual habit like that would have me packing on the pounds and would cost me over $1500. Granted, I don't normally eat that way, but this was a slip up that needed correcting and looking at it from a cost perspective really opened my eyes and helped me change the bad habits I was starting to form.

Even though I'm trying my best to eat from the crazy diet right now, there are still ways to make choices that might not be the best choices. Now that plain dairy (ie not cheese or sour cream), flour, and sugar have been added again, most baking is okay. Potato chips (as long as I read the ingredients) are okay...there are many ways to make poor choices even when following a somewhat restrictive diet.

I had planned to do a cost experiment again this week, but I've been under the weather and home all week, so the opportunity to make poor choices at work was completely taken away. I expect to be back at work on Monday, so starting Sunday I'm going to track a week's worth of food to what the extra cost is…

I’m thinking I'm down to more like $5 – $10 a week, and hopefully only a few hundred calories but we'll see...I'd like it to be no calories and less than $5 if at all possible!