My Whole30 Journey: Days 22 and 23

My Whole30 Journey / Angela Giles KlockeDay 22 -

So, to be honest, I’m kind of tired of keeping track of food, but I know it’s essential for me to learn what is and is not good for me. Still, after Whole30 ends, the only foods I will keep track of will be what I re-introduce and meals that I really like…so that I don’t forget I really like them. (I have a tendency to get into meal ruts. This has been an always thing, so it’s not related to Whole30.)

Everything is pretty even and smooth. There isn’t much new to report other than just that — great energy, getting up at 5 without much of an issue, pressing on, brain is working, all good things!

Day 23 -

Today, a few food adventures.

One: Bone soup. The very name makes me go “meh.” But I’m open to trying it. It has to cook for a long time, so it’ll be tomorrow before I try it.

Two: Chicken sausage that I found at the health store and decided to try. No sugars, no gluten, no all the other bad stuff we are supposed to avoid. Organic and all that jazz. I stared at the price for a while before I finally picked it up. It just stinks that eating healthy costs so much. But I reasoned I would make 4 meals from it (for just me, of course), so I did it. Pretty tasty! I’d like to find it for a better price, but for now, it was a nice change.

Three: Spaghetti for dinner! I looooooooove pasta. I love spaghetti. But nope, this wasn’t a cheat. I finally found spaghetti squash, and after some fun Internet searching to figure out how in the world to cut it open without chopping off my own fingers (they call me Grace — also, I don’t have a lot of strength in my arms and hands yet), I got that baby cooking, and then whipped up my own sauce. I didn’t go so far as to buy fresh tomatoes to make my own sauce, but I did make it from tomato sauce, ground turkey, sweet peppers, and different seasonings. It was soooooo good! Like a very fine angel hair pasta. Oh man, I can do this no pasta thing for sure!

All in all, a good day. I ended up walking/running twice for a total of 5.56 miles, did a lot of domestic chores, and was able to focus on my work in general. Day 23 and I’m going strong!

*I did have a dull headache for a lot of the day, but I attribute this to new contacts, not a relapse of the old.

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Choppy Thoughts

Waiting for responses from editors is hard. I bet you didn’t know that already, especially those of you who are writers.

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If one day in a book I write I kill off a character because he continues to blatantly disregard his child’s safety by dropping the kid off at a stop sign in a busy intersection instead of going through the school drop-off, which means the crossing guard has to halt all traffic for the kid to cross, and then said dropper-offer races out ahead of everyone, well…you can just assume why.

Note to Self: This scene belongs in a fiction novel, not the memoir. Don’t forget!

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Of importance to no one but me — I have decided to grow out my bangs. For real this time. No, really. Seriously. It’s already happening. It can’t be stopped! I. Will. Not. Cut. My. Bangs. OK, carry on with your lives…

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So, mental clarity. Such a good thing. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME HOW AWESOME IT IS TO THINK CLEARLY? I feel like I can make good decisions now, and my brain is full up of ideas. I love it. Seriously love it.

Hope this means I can pass English Comp II now…

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Just in case I was getting too full of myself, I have received three different types of rejection in 24 hours — no from a potential photo client, no on an essay, and no on a scholarship. Oy!

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Today I needed some information so I picked up the phone and called to ask. The first time, I had to leave a message, so instead of just hoping they’d call back eventually, I called back several hours later. Without sweating or writing myself a script. Without shaking. A couple weeks ago when a source called, I answered. Without waiting for a voicemail to see who it was.

Y’all, this is a win! I have had severe phone phobia and in general don’t always enjoy talking on the phone because I can’t see the person’s face. But I am using my phone for its intended purpose — talking to people! And it’s not freaking me out!

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Yesterday it rained. I was confused because rain in April pretty much always looks like this -

april_agk-1
april17snow-1
april282014

Pretty, I know, but…APRIL!

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Currently {and Still} Reading: The Pearl by John Steinbeck, The Dome by Stephen King, Not Marked by Mary DeMuth, and Finding Water by Julia Cameron.

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Mridu Khullar Relph - How many books do you read in one go? Do you not get confused or muddle up the characters? And I wonder, if you’re able to stop in the middle and pick up an entirely new book, is the book you’re reading perhaps not that interesting or simply not a page turner?

agk - Ha – if I can keep up with a Stephen King novel and his 573 characters, I can definitely juggle different novels. Actually, I rarely read more than one fiction book at a time, but always several nonfiction. It’s more about where I am, what my mood is. Like, at the eye doctor’s, I will read King because it doesn’t require as much concentration as The Pearl. Or before bed, I’m going to read The Pearl versus Not Marked, since the latter is heavy in subject and I’m trying to relax. If I get bored with a book – genuinely bored and not just “not in the mood” – I stop reading it and move on. :)

My Whole30 Journey: Days 20 and 21

My Whole30 Journey / Angela Giles KlockeDay 20 -

So…Easter. White chocolate bunnies are my favorite. Also? I quite love Peeps. Don’t judge me.

But none of that this year. Instead, I started off my day with three eggs and fruit – kiwi, banana, and a couple of prunes. Nice protein plus my own Easter candy.

I did feel slightly bad when I realized my effort not to bring candy into the house meant I overlooked the traditional Easter basket for my daughter (don’t worry, she’s 17, not a wee child), but then I decided it was OK, because A: I want to share healthier eating habits with her, and B: I don’t really care for the commercialism of the holiday anyway. (I don’t really care for the commercialism of any holiday, but that’s another subject for another day.) So, I gave myself grace and decided to feel good about not filling her up with sugar.

As I decided to take this weekend off for rest, other than last night’s work, I have enjoyed the time to read and hang out in my pajamas today. I really needed a day like this — no obligations (other than getting my daughter to work and cooking), no work expected, no walking or exercising. Just a day of chill.

For dinner, I made stuffed red peppers for me and my husband. Each was slightly different, since mine needed to be minus regular spaghetti sauce and rice, and because the husband isn’t eating beef these days, but it was good all the same. And I was able to make his as clean as I could for now. As I travel more and more into this new way of eating, I’ll be able to cross our meals over better. It’s all a learning process.

Day 21 -

After a weekend of sleeping in and mostly resting, I woke up at 5:00 to seize the day!

It is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So, here on Day 21, I am hopeful that it is now sticking in my brain to habitually eat well. Is that a stretch? Well, all the same…

I have discovered that I definitely feel better and more energetic when I don’t sleep in. The getting up part can be a little tough, but I’m good to go within about 10 minutes. I just have to remind myself of that each day.

Yesterday I finally finished It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways. In doing so, I reintroduced magnesium (pill form for now), and will be getting new vitamin D3 and fish oil soon (I don’t eat fish, so I’m open to the pills, only I would like to find the ones that don’t come in extra-large horse pill size). I actually have vitamin D3 already but I stopped taking it (and all supplements) until I could get through the book and see the authors’ thoughts on the subject. My neurologist previously prescribed but I also stopped taking it – and did not restart what I have – because one of the ingredients is corn oil. Yeah, no thank you. I can find better.

I was told about a local health store, so I checked it out today and found a few things I need/want, like ghee, finally. Of course, I stood there staring at the dairy items in the fridge before finally asking. Guess where ghee isn’t stored. In the fridge section.

You know what I love about this Whole30 plan? I never feel guilty about what I eat. Like, before even though I consoled myself with the fact that I don’t really gain weight so I can eat whatever, I still felt huge moments of guilt. Now, even if I have a second helping of something (which is rare, since I typically cook just for me, which means just enough for one, plus I do get full and then save the rest for the next meal), I don’t feel bad. If I grab a piece of fruit, no worries.

Although some of my days aren’t as UP as others, so many have been very good. Today was a very good day. As I said before, I’m really looking forward to continuing this journey beyond 30 days.

Mood – Great!
Energy – Great!
Pain – Doing good!
Mental clarity – The bomb!

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My Whole30 Journey: Days 18 and 19

My Whole30 Journey / Angela Giles KlockeDay 18 -

One of the most popular questions I am now receiving as I am past the midway point of this Whole30 food experiment is: “Are you feeling any better?”

And the answer to that is YES!

Here’s what has gotten better and what hasn’t changed yet:

Better

  • I am sleeping pretty solid and not waking up throughout the night
  • I am able to stay up later and still get up early without feeling exhausted
  • The everyday waves of nausea have disappeared
  • Other than the earliest adjustment days, I haven’t had a single headache
  • I have more energy
  • My mental clarity has vastly improved
  • I am able to focus more – and stay focused
  • My physical energy is such that I can walk my miles and work at night and still have the ability to do thinkerly work (aka writing and such)
  • My arm doesn’t ache when I take photos
  • Also, I’m not wiped out after a photo shoot or work
  • My mood has stayed pretty even
  • Ladies – my cycle was cramp-free, and my mood stayed pretty even, as did my energy
  • My runny nose and such have improved (but I also believe part of that issue is that I’m allergic to my pets, which is whatever because I’m not getting rid of them. This still might improve as I go, though.)
  • The only stomach pain I’ve had came from eating a bit too much sweet potato. I believe I read that too much can cause pain sometimes. (But they sure are danged tasty!)
  • My tremors seem to have gone away
  • I spent over an hour under bright lights (Walmart!) and did NOT start shaking badly or feeling dizzy at any point

No Change

Basically, the one thing I can say that hasn’t really changed yet is the tingling, numbness, and ice cold feelings I get on my right side. However, since pain isn’t accompanying said issues, I’m still counting this as an improvement. Plus, I still have miles to go (neurological issues can take longer to heal), as well as 12 days of elimination and clean eating, so who knows. I’m still hopeful, but I can honestly say that if it doesn’t go away, as long as the pain and the exhaustion does stay away, I can totally manage. I mean, I’ve gone over a year and half already, right?

Day 19 -

Last night I went to bed around 10 and intended to get up bright and early again. However, when the alarm went off at 5:00, I decided to cut myself some slack. It’s Saturday, right? And a holy weekend, so I slept in until 8 (oh my cow, my dogs let me sleep!) and decided not to walk at all this weekend. A weekend of rest (ish…since I still have to work).

My body has been reflective of the weather today – grey and sleepy. Mind-wise, I’m fine. Mood-wise, I feel a little cranky. Actually, that was last night. So far, I’m not too cranky today. But sometimes the J.O.B. gets to me. I’m probably just preaching to the choir here.

I’ve been extremely hungry all day. While I’ve been eating enough and well, some days are just hungrier than ever. I really think being at the restaurant doesn’t help, but also when my daughter made herself some toast today, my stomach responded with great desire. So much so that I stopped trying to breathe through my nose. I literally just said yesterday that when it’s time to try some reintroduction, I probably won’t even try grains at all.

Today I have wanted bread more than ever. GIVE.ME.BREAD. Now!

Instead, I made myself a little stir-fry of chicken (from the whole chicken I made the other day), green peppers, and onions, with an egg. DELICIOUS! But in all honestly, I still wanted bread. Bread and butter and an egg roll and a bowl of my daughter’s peanut butter Cheerios. Yeah, truth.

But I’m strong and I won’t break. My will is iron.

After today, there are only 10 more days before I officially reach the end of this food experiment. I am at the point now where it just feels like a way of life instead of deprivation. When I feel the cravings the strongest, I just remind myself that feeling awesome all day long and sleeping well all night is so much bigger and better than a piece of toast.

Nothing tastes as good as energy and being pain-free feels. Period.

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Jennifer Gynn Meier - Hey Angela, So glad to see so much improvement! It’s amazing what food does to/for the body. I am on day 24 of Gluten Free. (I have even gotten Dan to eat what i am eating!!!!) I was great in the beginning, and excited, and started seeing changes in my face etc, swelling went down, clothes fit looser. I have been doing a lot more veggies, less processed food, more fish/chicken, less red meat, less sugar (but still wanted CHOCOLATE….found a Vegan Choc Mousse on pinterest…… I do still want bread sometimes, but I started with GF bread, and although it isn’t fantastic, it still tastes good every so often with an egg or a hummus sandwich. I wish you luck as you continue your journey. It takes a lot of work/time/learning to know what to eat, when to eat, etc…..but, I think overall, it’s totally worth it, and I am excited you are sharing your story. Also, Pinterest is crazy awesome for paleo recipes and Gluten Free. Hugs to you and so glad you are feeling better!

That time I stopped hating myself in pictures – My Messy Beautiful

Carry On Warrior This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

With self-righteousness I’d proclaim, “I’ve never turned to drugs or alcohol or thought about killing myself.” It was how I gave myself permission for what I did do — the self-sabotage, the name-calling, the abusive words I flung at myself in front of others, the self-bullying.

Crooked nose. Long face. Small breasts. Wide thighs. Short. Mousy brown. Bad teeth. Boring eyes. Ugly.

The media already tells me I’m not considered pretty, but it was the words of another lifetime that continued to speak to me.

I’d stand in front of a mirror and hide behind a tent of my hair, my one acceptable feature. If someone said I looked pretty, I smiled (not too wide!) and called them a liar under my breath. Compliments were not to be believed. The truth floated on the wind of yesterday’s whispers: worthless. disgusting. stick-girl. freckle-face. stupid.

Beauty does not live among those carefully directed arrows of hurt.

After cutting my hair off yet again (it’s for charity, it’s for a good cause, it’s only hair, it’s not a big deal!), I hated my reflection even more. As I sat across from my counselor, I said “I don’t even like my hair short. Why do I do it?”

But I knew the answer. It was because I like my hair, and if there was one thing I wasn’t supposed to do, it’s to like myself. Because my past tells me so, and I don’t believe the lies of the present.

My counselor let me think on it, to talk it out. It was such an “ah ha!” revelation, I cried. I did a lot of crying in that small room, sitting across from a woman who spoke what she called truth into my heart. It took a while before I saw that she could really be speaking truth, because her words began as lies, as they all are.

Within months, we peeled back the layers of the abuse from the first 22 years of my life, and we revealed a swan hiding beneath the lying mask of an ugly duckling. And somewhere in the time that came after, I started showing up in pictures more often. Sometimes I would cringe – too much smile! too much profile! too much tummy poking out! – but eventually, I accepted that not only was the reflection from the mirror not so bad, but maybe I was even photogenic after all.

I am beautifulNothing changed, other than my hair growing out. My weight was the same, my freckles still coming and going with the seasons, and my nose certainly hadn’t shrunk. But my heart was mending. I recognized lies for truth, and truth for lies, and upon sorting out what was genuine and what was ghosts from a past of pain, I could see a different woman.

In the last year, I’ve shown up in more pictures than ever. At my son’s wedding, there are many where my tummy is poking out, which is considered unflattering in general. But I look at the photos and I see a beautiful woman, a survivor, a girl who blossomed into glory. Age is starting to creep in, but I’ve lived those lines, those few silver hairs.

I’m a woman with a body that is mine, that has seen almost 39 years of life, that has carried me through the best of times and the ugliest of times. My skinny arms are strong regardless and have held babies and children and family and friends, as well as the weight of more pain than many endure. And those wide hips? They were support for growing three little lives inside my body. Further, I have a profile that I used to always hate, and now I love it. I have stretch marks that are unseen to most, but they are my beautiful scars. And I could go on and on.

I have outlived pain and ugliness, and now when I see myself in pictures, I see a whole person who is loved and cared for and beautiful.

I am beautiful.

And that is truth.

You are beautiful. So am I. by Angela Giles Klocke

READ MORE MESSY BEAUTIFUL STORIES HERE!

*Original photo in screen shot by Kelsey Ann Photography

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Linda Sherwood - Wide hips, crooked nose, freckles? Protruding belly? Are you sure you aren’t describing me? I’ve loved seeing more of you in photos. You are very photogenic, and your love for life shines through.

Friday Five: 5 Bits of Inspiration

Five Bits of Inspiration That Move Me

1 – “You are a writer already. Today. Now. So start writing the book, the novel, the blog, your life’s work. Today is a good time to start. Now is even better.” -ProlificLiving.com

2 – “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” -Kurt Cobain

3 – “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.” -Unknown

4 – “She is clothed with strength and dignity;
           she can laugh at the days to come.” -Proverbs 31:25

5 – “You can’t edit a blank page.” -Nora Roberts

Friday 5 Words and Quotes

Do you have any favorite words to share?

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