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About missmunchie

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  • Birthday November 1

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  1. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Hi everyone! Doing my monthly check-in over here. I finally settled on November being a "Tidy-up" month. Every day I picked one or two chores or organizational goals to follow through on. It was a good way to get everything cleaned up and settled before the holiday/end-of-year season is upon us. I also started picking up my daily meditation habit again, which had drifted off of the priorities list lately. It's amazing how more in control I feel like I am when I get my 15 minutes of Headspace in and have a clean kitchen! December is dubbed "SANTA! I KNOW HIM!" as I am focused on the holiday season. I love the holidays! I'm one of those obnoxious people that plays the Holiday Music Pandora channel nonstop and gets excited rather than irritated with Christmas decorations coming out right after Halloween. So every day in December I'm doing at least one holiday-related activity, whether it's decorating, shopping for gifts, wrapping said gifts, or just hanging out with the family with a fire going in the fireplace and some "nice toddies" (virgin hot toddies - basically lemon tea with honey ). How has everyone's Year of Whole9 wrapped up? I am totally down for doing another one in 2017!
  2. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Hello and happy November! I made it halfway through October's goals to work out consistently and keep up with daily blog posts, but after a couple weeks it all fell to the wayside. I guess it's just not a priority over maintaining some relationships with family members right now, so my focus shifted to putting in more quality time with my loved ones. All good things, all good things! I haven't set any goals in November yet. I just had my birthday, and intended on doing some real good goal setting and planning, but I haven't been able to settle down enough to focus and decide what my priorities are just yet. Instead of beating myself up ("Why can't you just stay focused?!? How do you expect to improve on anything if you don't commit?") like I have in the past, I'm just rolling with it for now. I still have some major Life Stuff I'm dealing with, so I'm really embracing the idea that now is not the time to do All of The Things, and I just need to focus on taking good care of myself and my family. Also, since it was just my birthday, I spent last week absolutely cracking out on cake, Halloween candy, and wine/beer. The stress probably didn't help my decision making when choosing to grab another piece of candy or glass of wine. My tendonitis has flared up like I haven't experienced before, so this week my hubby and I are doing a few days of Whole30 eating to mini-reset and calm things down. I am amazed at how fast my body responded (poorly) to all of the sugar; usually it would be a few weeks/months before I really started to feel terrible again. But now I know I can reset and start to feel better, and I will be much more discretionary the next time I have the option to enjoy sugar. I'm really grateful that I'm starting to see the correlation between my food choices and how I feel. Very rarely is sugar worth the soreness and energy crash! How is everyone else finishing out the year? Any thoughts or plans for 2017 yet?
  3. I just completed my fourth Whole30, and this time I'm finally doing the proper reintroduction ("Fast Track" method from the W30 book), as opposed to falling face-first in pizza, beer, and cupcakes. My question is on the days I am not reintroducing anything, how tightly should I stick to the rules that address the psychological aspect of food, such as added sugar in my salad dressing, a coffee shop latte with non-compliant almond milk, or (*gasp*, I know) paleo pancakes? I'm finding Life After a lot more relaxing if I don't have to have constant vigilance with sugar on the ingredients list (though I'm still reading labels and I'm fine tossing out soy, dairy, and gluten). For example, at dinner with my in-laws the other night my MIL made one of those pre-marinated turkey tenderloin roasts where the ingredients contained about three forms of sugar in the marinade (ugh, I know!), but everything else was normal spices and stuff. Should I have avoided it since it wasn't W30 compliant? I'd love to hear thoughts about what success/learning experiences y'all have had experimenting with varying degrees of how strict W30 to stick between reintro days. Tough love encouraged, I can take it P.S. a little context on the other stuff if it makes a difference - My Whole30 goal is to learn what foods trigger my mood swings and energy levels so I can continue feeling happy and properly fueled throughout the day, while still having a lot of flexibility with my diet. I'm very active, CrossFit 3-4x a week and lots of hikes, yoga, etc in between. I've batted the Sugar Dragon quite a bit, but with a combination of Whole30 and therapy I'm starting to address my emotional issues with food and feel a lot more in control now with my triggers. I also have a significant amount of Life Stress right now which sticking with a healthy program helps me manage. My primary concern with not sticking to the rules during reintro is striking the balance between being able to experiment with living life "normally" (i.e. how much added sugar is too much?) and starting down that tricky, slippery slope backwards face-first into a Safeway sheet cake.
  4. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    September's Temperance theme for me meant joining in on the September Whole30, and after restarting on Day 6, today is my Day 30! Yay! This has been one of the most interesting and transformative Whole30's I've done so far, not in terms of physical changes (though my pants finally fit again) but in my mood an relationship with food. A big shout-out to "Food Freedom Forever" for finally helping put some of the pieces of the puzzle together for me! I didn't realize I've been treating Whole30 like a diet, even though I know it's not a "diet." But I was one of those on-the-W30/face-first-in-Safeway-sheet-cake kind of folks. But now it's Day 30 and for the first time in four years, I'm not particularly eager to eat All the Things tomorrow. I might have glass of wine. Maybe. If I feel like it, and if my husband will split the bottle with me, and we can savor the experience and use it to enhance some time together and not try to drink a fancy wine while doing mundane house chores and dealing life stuff. My bar for "is it worth it?" has clearly risen. Only took 4 years of Whole30's to start to figure it out! I'm going to do the proper "fast track" reintro protocol, which I have never actually done before. I want to really feel how things react with me. I know appreciate the process, on how it's a constant learning experience to see what I can get away with and what should stay off my plate if I want to feel my best. And I can't believe how much not eating well affects my relationships. I feel like I'm different, a more patient and loving mother to my kids, to my spouse. I'm not as stressed and I'm able to identify when I need a break so much sooner than I could before. I'm kinder to myself. It's amazing. For the rest of October, I'll continue with the reinto protocol, I've set some gym goals (CrossFit 3x a week, go to one specialty class - yoga, olympic lifting, or strength training - one time a week, and hike once a week), and I'll be blogging about my fitness and continued Whole30 efforts daily. It's time to fire up ye olde bloggy again (link's in my signature below if you're curious)! Hope you're all having a great month! @LucieB hope you're enjoying your internet vacation! @cottagequeen Bless your heart for taking care of your aunt, that is such a gift. I admire your strength. @kirkor Thanks for checking in, I hope the crazy gives you a break soon! @jmcbn How is the distraction-free eating plan working out? Any new tricks or insights?
  5. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Ahh, September is almost over! I looked and October's theme is "Refine and Reflect," so now I'm trying to decide what my main focus will be for October. After some back-and-forth, I finally committed my September focus to be participating in the #SeptemberWhole30, and it's going great! I didn't know if I would be committed enough to stick with it, but I have found the intrinsic motivation I needed. I'm on Day 26/Day 20 since I did enjoy a few beers at our homebrewing party a few weeks ago, but the rest of my diet that day remained compliant. I'll extend my Whole30 an extra 10 days so it'll be like I started over the day after the party, but if I think of it like that I get sad and demotivated, so I'm just thinking about it like I'm extending a few days and then it seems totally do-able to me and keeps me on track. I'll stick it out and this will be the third "complete" Whole30 I've done! (there are a couple that weren't the full 30 days, so I've stopped counting them). I'm not sure what I want to commit to for October yet. One idea is to repeat February's "Personal Growth" with the reintro protocol, and a focus on having a positive, loving attitude. I also just fired up a new blog, so I'm also thinking about focusing on posting and developing content for the month. And then I took a week off of CrossFit since I'd been killing it lately and was starting to feel run down, so now I'm all "let's do this!" again and maybe I should focus on Healthy Movement again. So many options! The cool thing is that my objectives generally start to come into focus as I naturally start paying attention to something the first few days of the month. Like, my goals sort of write themselves once I allow my head to step back and let my life just do it's thing. So I'll spend the weekend playing with different things to focus on, and then I'm sure something will pop up as "Yes! This is the priority right now!" I'm sort of getting sad that the year is almost over. This challenge has been so much fun, and I've been so inspired with reading everyone else's journey! I feel so much more (for lack of a better word) organized about my priorities and goals now. And I have so much more grace with myself if I don't meet my initial intentions. If I don't follow through with something I committed to at the beginning of the month, it's probably because it's just not something I need to be focusing on right now, and that's okay. I know I am a strong and determined individual, and if I need to get something done, it'll get done. Thinking ahead, does anyone have any suggestions for November and December? What was your favorite monthly challenge?
  6. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Hi everyone! I’m still here, lurking in the shadows. In July I decided to take a Social Media Break, but ended up sticking with it through August! It was really amazing to find out how much free time I have when I’m not sitting on my phone or the computer, neurotically checking Facebook and Instagram every 15 minutes, smh. I wasn’t super motivated the past couple of months. It’s so weird, whatever the topic for improvement is that month, for whatever reason I’m always like, “mmm, that’s cool, but I’d rather focus on this other thing.” Must be the Rebel in me (if you’re familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies). For July’s Fun and Play, I knew if I created a whole list of fun-inspired action items I just wouldn’t do them. So I kept it simple: try to find the fun in everything. I went to several movies (I love movies!), played with my kids outside as much as possible, and had a fun family vacation weekend to a wedding thrown in there. I didn’t come out with too many big revelations, other than I have a very unique sense of “fun”. I don’t like board games or sports, I hate to craft or make art, but I do like cleaning and organizing. To me, cleaning out my closet is fun. So, to each their own, and my closets are so clean now! Socializing in August was going to be a challenge (total introvert here), so I tried to incorporate Melissa’s “Great Social Experiment” to interact more without feeling like I’m putting too much out there. People and social engagements burn me out really fast, so I tried to stay in the sweet spot of getting in touch with people in ways that make me feel connected but don’t wear me out. I made it a point to chat with the barista during my daily coffee run, I connected with an old college friend while she was in town, and I tried to call or text one family member or friend at least once a week. On one hand I wish I did more, but on the other hand I really want to crawl under a rock and not be around people for a week or so. Introverts unite! Separately! In your own preferred locations! September, for Temperance, I had a couple of ideas. One was to pick 1 or 2 goals I tracked from the past 8 months to incorporate. But then I decided to just do another Whole30 with the #SeptemberWhole30’ers. I sort of started today, September 1, thinking I wanted to get a few practice days in before the real deal starts on the 5th. We do have a big party planned at home on the 10th (it’s a home brew party, so, lots of beer) that I am going to just enjoy then start over again on the 11th. Which is probably silly, but it works for me. I’ll get a nice 10 day reset in, then when the party hits I’ll likely want to indulge a bit less than I would before since I’ll just start to be feeling good again at that point. I know we’re not done yet, but I have really enjoyed this challenge! It’s been really fun to add my monthly focus and goals to my planner, come up with some new areas of my life that I never considered before but now are part of my daily ritual (meditation - who knew?), and really consider health from the whole-person perspective, not just only focusing on food and exercise. All the while accepting the fact that life is still life at the end of the day, and there will always be something - a super-nuts-busy project at work, an illness, family and friends needing attention - that can distract. It will always be a little crazy, so embrace the craziness and just do what you can do!
  7. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Happy halfway through 2016! I love the idea of a six month recap. This has been a major year of self-growth for me, I feel so grateful to have found this community to help inspire me to set new goals other than the old hat of "eat better/lose weight." Seriously, it's been so fun to think about other aspects of my life to improve for a change! January goal was to complete a Whole30 with a proper reintro period. I only made it 24 days before throwing in the towel. Part of it was setting too high expectations, and part of it was lack of planning. It's really hard to not think of it in an on/off, black/white "diet" mindset. Either I'm on Whole30 and restrictive with my food choices, or I'm "off" and Eat All the Things. Something I'm still working on. February goal for Personal Growth was to communicate with love and practice positive thinking daily. It was a bit subjective of a goal, but my measuring sticks were 1) did I have a meltdown or blow-up today and 2) starting a daily gratitude journal. I adopted a mantra of "there is only love" to see through frustrating or difficult situations where I felt my temper start to get the best of me. This was by far my most transformative month, it's amazing how much your thoughts can shift if you just start focusing them in the direction where you want to be! March goal pretty much sums up my everlasting battle - sleep. I love sleep, I really do. And I would totally get more sleep if I could somehow figure out how to cram 30 hours into a 24 hour day. But I'll just have to do with cutting other things out to make room for rest. My goal was minimum 7 hours a night, even though I know my body prefers 9. If I could go for 9 hours, I would, of course! But I also wanted to establish a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, too. I grab what I can get most days, and I should really be consistent, especially on the weekends when I try to "catch-up". It was tough because I was still going to a 6am CrossFit class 2-3 times a week. I ended up hitting my goal 2 out of every 3 nights, so that was pretty good. And I learned while sleep is very important, it just isn't a priority in my busy life right now. Once the kids are a little older I'll be able to go to bed when I want, and get up when I want (are the parents of older kids laughing at me right now?) April goals for Stress Management were the simple things I knew could help: eliminate caffeine, start up my gratitude journaling again, and pick up a meditation practice with the Headspace app. And it was a good month to focus on stress, because I had a ton of work deadlines, travel, and late nights that I needed to work through. I couldn't give up coffee. It wasn't the right time. I ended up trying to reduce it to 1-2 cups a day (I was around 4-5 cups a day) and I was able to stick with that goal, though I don't know how much good it did to my stress, because I really missed my extra coffees! My journaling and meditation were consistent, and I definitely saw some benefits in my mood and coping abilities with those habits. In addition to my goals, I just tried to be mindful of what I needed to decompress. While on work travel, for example, I took a night and instead of going back to my hotel and working some more, I found a bookstore and picked up a good book, found some smelly bath salts at Whole Foods, and had a good book 'n' bath session at the hotel. Totally rejuvenating. Despite being in "survival mode" to get through the busy time, I came through reasonably unscathed thanks to my stress-relief focus. May goals for Healthy Movement were All the CrossFit! To the point I totally burned myself out, yayyy! Wait, no. But I just unleashed and was going 3-4 times a week the first half of the month, more than my body could recover from. I did a CrossFit competition that my gym hosted which was way fun, but totally beat me up. After the competition, my focus was recovery and keeping my body together. And a bit harder look at some of my CrossFit goals, which in hindsight were a bit aggressive for my level. I'm still sort of trying to figure out where I should aim fitness-wise. June goals were crushed for Natural Environment! I spent some time every day outside, even if it was just lunch on the patio. I gardened, I took my kids to the park, I walked my dog a ton (who knew she would be a better-behaved dog with some exercise? SMH! ), and we planned a couple of fun family outings to the beach and to a friend's cabin in the middle of the woods. My friend even treated me to some outdoor yoga, which was amazing! I tried to plan a fun "summer solstice" event for my family, which really ended up with me and the kids in the yard on beach towels while they played with their beach toys in the wood chips. I tried to make a flower crown for my daughter, but I have no idea how, so we just took turn putting flowers on each others' heads. Not exactly the Mother Natrue, druid-y festival I had in mind, but it was still pretty fun. I absolutely love being outside and I loved this challenge as an excuse to get me out there. It helps that Northern California has had some pretty awesome weather this month! For July's theme of Fun and Games, I'm still trying to decide what I can do that will be fun, but will fit my lifestyle and will be realistic. One idea is just a mindset shift - find the fun in everything. Even preparing those horrid weekly reports for work, at least it's fun to pick out the colors for the bar graphs, right? I also want to play with my kids more, they are always asking me, and I'm always "too busy!" I should reevaluate what I'm doing, and if it's worth a 15 minute break to sit on the floor and play with legos. They won't be asking me to play with them forever! For grown-up fun, I am planning a date night to a comedy club with the husband, which is an activity we both totally love to do but never make the time to do it. Finally, I like to play the piano, we have a piano, but I never touch it except to dust it once in a while. Maybe I should break out some sheet music and have a go? What a year it's been so far! How is everyone else doing?
  8. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    I love "Phone-Phree-Phriday!" I have been trying to monitor my phone usage, too. I just downloaded an app called Moment that monitors how much you use your phone, what time, and where. I'm finding it really useful to recognize patterns (makes sense that i'm listening to podcasts on my commute, but I do not need to be scrolling through Instagram for 20 minutes when I first wake up! Such a time waste!)
  9. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Checking in again! My June challenge is going awesome so far! The first Saturday I packed my four-year-old up and we went and had a Mommy-Son date to the beach for the morning. Isn't it ridiculous how I can drive to the beach on an early Saturday morning faster than to my office, which is halfway between my house and the beach? Seriously, we were on the sand in less than an hour from our house, where my commute is rarely less than an hour! Bay Area traffic, you're lame. Anyway, we had a blast even though it was a bit windy and chilly. But we got our sun and surf on for sure. My husband and I have also stepped up our gardening game and are trying to clean up all the weeds from the yard over the past year of neglect. We also planted some hops last weekend around the house. We're hoping the hop vines will both help shade the house and provide home-grown hops for our home brews. And I have a nice sunburn as a gardening souvenir Finally, we spent last weekend up in Mendocino National Forest. Our friends have an off-grid cabin there, no cell reception, no wifi. For three days we were completely cut off from technology and enjoyed the wilderness! The kids had a blast just playing outside on the tire swing, and our puppy found out she's a water dog! Loved splashing in the nearby pond. When it's not big trips out in nature, my husband and I have both stepped up our dog walking game (which the puppy loves!) and I take a walk during lunch if I'm at the office. So far I've been doing something outside nearly every day this month. Woot! Meanwhile my family started a June Whole30, and my husband was on board this time!! But when we were at the cabin, temptation grew too strong for us and we ended up imbibing in adult beverages with our friends we were camping with. Totally not worth it, and I totally feel guilty about it, though I'm trying not to beat myself up. I'm trying to just pick it up again, but it's not the same once the "chain" has been broken. Starting June 1 and finishing June 30 seemed so well-rounded and perfectly planned, but now starting mid-month seems like a chore rather than an exciting adventure like it was before. At least I gave up coffee with my Whole30 on June 1 and haven't gone back yet! Maybe it'll just be a Coffee30 for June. So sad because I was starting to feel so good.
  10. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    I was doing really good with my Healthy Movement goals - CrossFit at least 3 times a week, doing my PT and mobility work before bed, and using my standing desk a lot more. The only think I didn't anticipate was my body was so not ready for this zero to sixty turnaround in activity! I had my first CrossFit competition on the 15th, and continued my normal classes the rest of the week. I feel so sore and banged up, I ended up taking this last week off, save for a few hikes with my dog. I learned that healthy movement isn't just about MORE EXERCISE CRUSH IT ALL THE TIME, but also listening to your body and doing what it needs so you can keep doing what you want. So I booked a couple massages, doing all the Epsom salt baths, and am looking for a good chiropractor. It's time to treat my body with what it needs, rather than pummeling it all the time and not expecting any recourse like I could do in my 20's. Ah, to be young and foolish again (and I'm only 33, so I know I'm whining a bit here). Meanwhile, I'm super excited for June's "Go Outside" theme. I just found the most amazing trail in the East Bay that allows dogs off-leash. I've been there four times already, and my dog loves the adventure! I plan on going there a lot more. I also have my company's picnic scheduled at a nearby park, and I want to go to the beach with the kids as much as my stress levels can take it (beach days with two littles aren't exactly "relaxing" with all the packing and sand everywhere in all the diapers and everything, but they have such a good time in the sun and sand, and I love the beach). I also want to try and go stand-up paddleboarding once or twice. And if nothing else, I usually take a walk around the business park during lunches, and I'll continue to do that. Just enjoy the start of summer in Northern California! It'll be a busy but fun schedule!
  11. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Finally getting around to catching up with everyone! LOVE these suggestions for reducing the ball-and-chain of the notifications and alerts, LucieB! I turned off all of my notifications on my social apps a while ago, but I still have them on for texts, calendar alerts, and reminders. Like you said, I create the reminders for me to, you know, remember to do stuff. But I either don't have time, I'm not in the right place, so they just go off over and over for no real purpose. Let's get back to the post-it note on the fridge days, simple and effective! Yikes, hope you heal up soon, Christina Melimuse: ugh, this! Yes, I feel like every month I have to add MORE in, and I haven't even gotten a grip on the goals from last month! Sort of like the approach Gretchen Rubin used in "The Happiness Project," I've been a bit discerning on what stuff seems to work with a bit of effort, and what goals I probably just don't have it in me to carry out any longer (I'm looking at you, "Prep for everything tomorrow the night before." Great idea, tough for me to practice.) But it's hard for me to change gears, and to remember that my gears have changed. Sort of like daylight savings. And I want to keep up stuff that directly conflicts, like "get enough sleep" with "get up early for the 6am CrossFit class." In the end, I just sort of have to make a judgement call on what's more pressing - sleep or fitness - and make a decision. Some days it's the snooze button, others it's the gym. Glad I'm not alone in the "how do I cram 30 hours in a 24 hour day" club!
  12. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    Week 3 check-in! I have not done a great job with keeping up on my goals, which I am okay with. Clearly I wasn't as committed to the results as I wanted to be initially. I just sort of kept forgetting to do the things. So I pulled out my planner yesterday and made some notes to make sure I'm setting time aside to meditate and journal before bed. I did horribly giving up caffeine - coffee is my lifeline during stressful times! Like azcoolmom was saying before, coffee is a bit of a calming ritual. But I have done a better job at identifying if another cup is really something I want, or if it's compensating for a craving or stress instead of being a treat that I will enjoy. I've dumped out quite a few cups when I found they were just making me over-caffeinated and not serving me in a healthful way, something I rarely do (I hate wasting good coffee!). So I'm finding a sweet spot at 2 cups a day, one while I get ready in the morning/drive to work and one when I get to the office. For right now that seems appropriate. Anyway, ready to finish out the month strong with my less-stress goals!
  13. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    I finally finished it, and I really enjoyed it! Harris did a good job telling an entertaining story and making a case about the benefits of meditation. I listened to it via Audiobook on my commute, but since I enjoyed it and generally get different things out of listening vs reading a book, I'll probably getting a paper copy soon to read again.
  14. Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!

    This has been a perfect month to focus on stress: two project go-lives, tons of travel, and my sister's wedding at the end of the month! Right now I'm pretty much running on "survival mode," but I would be doing much worse if I didn't have the "reduce stress" focus to work with. When I find myself losing my mind because I'm double booked for two critical customer meetings and I just returned from a four-day trip to no food in the fridge and the house turned upside-down from my poor husband trying to parent through the chaos in my absence, I can remind myself to just pause, breathe, and take it one thing at a time. I'm in the middle of reading (on audiobook) "10% Happier" by Dan Harris, and it's been emphasizing to me the importance of daily meditation, especially when things are crazy-go-nuts.
  15. Every. Single. Time. But every time I come back, I learn something new, and at least one old bad habit disintegrates. It took me 30-some years to get to this point, so I imagine it'll take me more than 30 days to get to that healthy, sustainable place ... that place where I'm not quite sure what it looks like yet