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Yum cornichons! The garlic ferments are super intriguing, and I can so easily imagine how tasty and healing the honey garlic will be during cold season. Last night after work I was really tired, and used some zinc to nip anything in the bud that might be taking advantage of my sleep deprived, immune-compromised state. I think I'm okay, but being in that place made the honey garlic sound soooo good. I love pickled garlic - there used to be two giant jars of them at the bar of a favorite restaurant, but I've never had homemade. Do you give a lot of food gifts to friends and co-workers? I'll bet they love that! I imagine that your husband being sick means extra work for you to keep up with the garden. Hope he gets better soon! It must be hard to find time to cook with so much to occupy you in the way of harvesting, "putting up" etc. It's a whirlwind!!!

I got up extra early yesterday to make hash, and it was really good, one of the best ones yet. This will get me through with salads and steamed or roasted vegetables until I can get another mini-cook up going. I sympathize with you with your dad's casserole - trial and error, right? And also a tribute to it too late to add some browned ground meat?

The roasted cauli dish sounds so amazing, I am going to try that!! Drool.

Good question about the food flex and how I was a case of so many variables all at once, it's kind of hard to say. I know on paper it looks really bad. No exercise, only a few hours of sleep each night. No animal protein all week, some cheese, bread (though fermented as you said, yes!), tortillas for wraps...ironically no beans as I was expecting, based on previous experience. I felt hungry a lot, but didn't get headaches, skin outbreaks, or GI issues...the takeaway that is really up for me is the craving. Yesterday did not go very well. I actually ate a croissant, and, OMG. Chips. Yes, chips. But today is a new day. I stretched, and already had a decent breakfast, with a good plan of grilled chicken salad for lunch, and hash and veg for dinner. 

I can't wait to get this week behind me so I can chill and take a little more time for myself.

Loved reading about your visit with your mom! And glad you have more family time coming up! I'm looking at airfares for Christmas since it doesn't really mean that much to my husband, but does quite a lot to my brother and me...I have my hubs' blessing, and I'm looking forward to it. It will be a year anniv since the big December W30 we did...

The ghastly ticking clock is demanding that I move along, see you later!

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How are the cravings? Have you been able to quiet them down with some sleep and good food? I guess it's not surprising that you were hungry and it's great that you had no adverse physical issues. Some things are worth it and the great connections, conversations and healing are definitely some of those things. "Deliriously wonderful" -YES!

It's funny that it's only July and we're looking at our one year anniversary but it will be here in a flash! FLA in August, then October is our friend's music festival where we feed all of the musicians & volunteers and then it's December! I'm with your husband on Christmas but I miss the family connection part of it since we are separated geographically. Since my parents split up when I was 11, holidays were a power struggle between each side and the kids were the prize- not much to celebrate there. Since I'm in health care, there have been lots of holidays that I've had to work and tried to get my husband to spend it with his kids but he refuses to leave me alone. I appreciate the sentiment very much but it would have been fine and it would have made me happy that he was forging relationships with them.

Did you have a chance to read Melissa's email yesterday? I know you're crazy busy and recovering and it was long but it was a good one about not being a Food Freedom Failure. I'm still really struggling with committing to an exercise/workout plan and keep sabotaging myself with wine so I feel like I've totally failed on that level. I've gained and lost the same 2-3 lbs a dozen times since the end of my W60 in Feb and just feel gross. You'd think that would be motivation, wouldn't you? And then I went clothes shopping...

"Food freedom isn’t just about food—it’s about how you think about yourself, and go about your life."

Yes, it is.


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Greetings! Wow, I'm having a civilized Sunday. I have never been so happy to have the luxury of time to do ordinary, mundane things like laundry and sorting, and sitting at my desk. Oh boy! Last week was one of unreasonably long hours. But we got through it! The good news is that the new staffer is doing great, and neither the hubs nor I got hurt or sick as a result of fiendish hours...just real tired and worn out. This week will be back to all hands on deck.

Thank you for your presence here, and your last post, too! I would not have read M's email if you hadn't mentioned it. (Maybe I should take a peek more often!) Your summary nailed it. Reading it myself was also helpful. I realize that I am still in the process of re-wiring my brain after so many years of sub-optimal habits. Is it possible that even though we both feel like we're not making a lot of progress, that we actually are, and can't recognize it b/c of a matter of perception? B/c weight loss is not what we want it to be? As for me, I haven't dared to step on the scale since I think the new year, and I did well through April, but since the last 7 weeks I can tell I'm filling out my clothes. Definitely time to recover and not look back.

Thank you for sharing the email, and of yourself so honestly. M. mentioned morning routine, and part of my brain went, "oh yeah!! That's my foundation! I can do that again, get the morning routine going!" How could I have forgotten that? Well, I guess I didn't forget, it's just that everything about the last 7 weeks has been out of routine. A blip. I can do this. Like you, I need to have an exercise routine to keep my self respect, and sense of personal momentum going. What time of day works for you, say, if you were to return to exercise? What would it look like? How long, how many days per week? If you were to form a plan, or return to a former good plan, what would that be? Your wine is my occasional candy. Not even the good stuff. So not worth it. M's email made me realize I could benefit from going back to her books, and really look at what triggers me. That kind of action seems to take the judgment out. What is your trigger when you pour a glass of wine?

Last week was bi-polar...many of my meals were compliant, and I may have even had an entire day of compliance. The ratio coulda/shoulda been higher...and it's so plain for me to see that when I transgressed, the trend avalanched or otherwise veered off road into the ditch. So, there is this week! This week will be "normal hours". It occurs to me that it is more or less a part of my identity that I go from one extreme to the other...and this out of control vacation/indulgences/too busy at work to make good food phase (or that is my excuse) has me so fed up with myself that this week will be a swing back in a better direction. What does that look like? Well, here is my actual plan, more clear and certain than the one I wrote here a week ago ahead of the exhausting week (Whew! I survived! Yay!)

Early to bed, early to rise. 

Morning routine to include movement/exercise/yoga Mon-Fri. MWF to include strength training. 

Food: a solid week that allows only added sugar (such as my coveted orange muscat champagne vinegar for example) and occasional non-compliant condiments.

Main dishes on the menu: bison chili, shrimp patties, blackberry sage breakfast sausages...and plenty of fresh roasted and steamed veg and crisp salads.

That's as far as I've got for food...and I'll be cooking for most of the rest of the day after I send this missive. So keep my honest, Holly!

In order to have dinner at home, I have to be ready to have stuff for hubs to eat, too (otherwise I justify Mexican, and that is just dangerous). So I'll have to have that lined up.

In order to have today as a day of rest, I postponed the store/home (food) shopping until tomorrow, Monday. B/C we'll be properly staffed, I can afford to spend the afternoon I'll go in early, and then leave after lunch to shop, and come back to close....this is a test flight of a routine that might work better for me than killing myself doing home shopping after work on Sat., or on our only day off, which is Sunday.

Meanwhile, yes, finally the cravings have quieted down! For me Christmas is also all about the family connection...huge grief trigger. I'm not religious, although I can find meaning in the solstice, and even a kind of cosmic Christ, though I'm not strictly Christian. I can't really name myself in terms of religion or spirituality...paradox of language and all of that...anyway, being away from husband at Xmas, and with bro and kids and all of their sugar traditions will be a complete experiment. Following my heart, see what happens, right?

On 7/11/2018 at 8:07 AM, hollysmokes said:

"Food freedom isn’t just about food—it’s about how you think about yourself, and go about your life."

This is it. Crystalized.

It's a new week. We haven't gone in the ditch yet or missed any opportunities. What kind of week will you have? Feel like pinky swearing on an exercise routine?

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I have a feeling this is going to be a long one so, starting from the top...

I had a very similar Sunday. Funny how we do that! After a very hectic but very fun Saturday, it felt grand to be able to take my time doing laundry, reading and cleaning up the aftermath of Saturday. Our friends that have the music festival in the fall and the picking party in the spring were having a shrimp boil/beer tasting. We brought a couple of dips, some shrimp, corn and potatoes to contribute to the boil and helped out by bringing our boiling set-up and Cajun seasoning to compliment their low-country style boil. Everyone had some really good craft beers to share and a good time was had by all! Since I have a few gallons of pickles at the moment, I made a dill pickle dip that sounded a little weird but tasted really, really good. It had dairy so it's definitely a post-W30 thing but pork rinds made a great dipper and it was a big hit. I'll be making some of that to bring on our Fla trip, for sure. I ate one ear of corn because it was just-picked and all spiced up in the boil so that was my "worth it" choice along with the beer. Can't have a seafood boil without beer!

Wine is my "reward" for everything: tired, good day, bad day, celebration, mourning, whatever. It's a mindless part of my after-work routine that I thought I had broken after my W60. I was careful not to substitute a glass of kombucha or something similar so I could break the wine and too-big serving of nuts that I had every day when I got home. I've managed to stop the snacking but the wine-ing has crept back in. The 4th point M makes in that email about cultivating other behaviors was totally written for me. My entire adult social life has always revolved around a neighborhood watering hole. It's how we met most of our friends here. It's actually how I met my husband; we both sailed and the yacht club was essentially our neighborhood "Cheers". The routine mindlessness of it is almost the trigger, I think. Does that mean that mindfulness is the trigger antidote?  Meadowlily says "Freedom from autopilot takes change"  and what M says about not doing W30 after W30 and expecting it to fix everything in 30 days reinforces the fact that it's a long-term process. Being a little kinder to ourselves is probably in order while we keep working the plan.

Have you ever looked at Rudolph Steiner and anthroposophy? I, also, am not religious and the spiritual philosophy he describes tying the spiritual universe to the spirit of human beings resonates with me far more than any organized religion. So, although our family traditions have revolved around the typical religious holidays, it is more from custom than religion for me. So, yes, finding meaning in the solstice, biodynamic gardening and not hating June 21 have been part of that. I always thought of the longest day of the year as the beginning of the long slide into short, dark, cold days but now I think of winter as the time that the earth is inhaling and preparing for the rebirth and growth that is spring and summer. It's all a matter of perspective, no?

I'm having a hard time coming up with a work-out plan that fits my day but that's because I want it all. I hate sitting in traffic with a passion. I think of it as wasted pieces of my life that I can never get back so I've adjusted my work schedule to avoid it. I get up at 530, am at work for 630 and leave about the time school lets out so I miss the bulk of the afternoon traffic. Ideally, I would prefer to work out in the morning but I just can't make myself get up at 430 or earlier to make that happen. By the time I get home it's usually almost 4 (and that's only if I have to make one stop for something) and it's too easy to make excuses or find other things that "need" to be done. Maybe I need to re-organize my day? Probably re-prioritize? Time for a change, that's for sure. I had a good cook-up yesterday and made a double batch of holy mackerel cakes and a quick breakfast casserole using some sauteed greens I had saved in the freezer. I had plenty of time to get some movement in but it didn't even cross my mind. I think I had mentally written it off but your thoughts and questions have worked up that sense of personal momentum you mentioned. How long are your typical work-outs? I have a hard time committing to anything over an hour; it makes me feel overwhelmed.

You're right, it's a new week filled with opportunities to make some good decisions. I feel more empowered and more optimistic about having the wherewithal to make those decisions. My goal is to play with some different routines, I think. I am going to go home this afternoon and do some stretching and weights. Tomorrow I'm going to see how I do getting up at 5 instead of 530 and have a 20-30 minute yoga session queued up on my computer and ready to go. Maybe splitting things up a bit will make it a little more flexible but, if nothing else, it's a step in the right direction. I guess I'm a little vague on my plan but pinky swear it is! Being the list maker that I am, I always had a to-do list for the weekends but discovered that if I just kept moving and did things as I encountered them (think... "Squirrel!!!) I actually got more done and felt less of a feeling of failure if I didn't accomplish everything on the list. I am going to try to organically let the movement happen with the only rule is that I have to do something everyday and over the course of a week, I'll do three weight sessions and at least three yoga/stretching sessions. How does that sound for a no-plan plan?

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Your crowd sounds like loads of fun, and so well matched with you and your husband. That shrimp boil/beer tasting sounds amazing! Yes, funny the ongoing parallel path we have, and thank God, for the restful Sunday. Dill pickle dip + pork rinds? Yum. 

I like what you wrote about being kinder to ourselves as we keep working the plan. And again, Meadowlily nailing it with that quote. Thank you so much for these insights. It helps me. Having you here has helped me to begin again this week. Reading about your life post W60, I congratulate you for kicking the snacking habit. The equation you came up with of mindfulness being an antidote to mindlessness sounds pretty reasonable! I wonder about the social aspect. It takes such self-dedication in the context of socializing. Assuming that your husband didn't join you in abstaining from adult beverages when you were doing your W60 and after, was that part of it hard? Yet, you did manage it so well. And here you have not re-engaged the snacking habit after work. When I think of mindfulness, I think of a focus. Choosing a focus, and then returning to it without judgment or analysis when the mind wanders. Actually, that is exactly what we're doing, isn't it? How does that apply with wine? How will you apply mindfulness? Is it a promise to self? Awareness of the trigger, and coming back to the commitment to self? I imagine you have your mate's full support. Have you re-read ISWF about alcohol, would that help? I ask because the book I mentioned some time ago, The End of Alzheimer's was similarly motivating, I'd say a companion to ISWF. I've made some big changes since reading it. And for the same reason, I want/need to re-read ISWF and also FFF. To deepen my understanding of why I'm making these choices, to be more conscious.

As for Rudolf Steiner, yes, I know him mainly in the context of Waldorf Schools! I'm glad you lifted him up. I will have to re-visit him. I'm the religious studies minor who never put down her books...and never let go an interest in the religions, I just don't fit into any pigeon holes, or I do all of them, just not outwardly. I like the work of Karen Armstrong, and her point that the best of all of the religions boils down to the Golden Rule. Seems that really religious folks get all tangled up in their own dogma and lose that piece, preferring being right over compassionate towards others.

Well, you are so wise with your no-plan plan! As for me, I pinky swear that I will join you in adding movement! I have already gone bust on my own plan, but am in a groove with your plan! In other words, yesterday, Monday, I did something very reasonable and fun, totally outside of my usual routine-when-I'm-in-a-routine. First, my usual routine is a big sweaty, blissful hike up my local trail. Have I mentioned it's triple digits, yucky air is back now and in any case with the high temps come the stinging, biting insects up the trail? Yeah, horse flies, wasps, and worst of them all, tarantula hawks. Those guys love to kill the tarantula and lay their eggs in them. In the meanwhile, human hikers are up for grabs. Is this natural selection at play? In any case, they're really painful! In a buddy system with a friend I braved the trail last summer early mornings 5x/wk and I was bitten and stung so many times! Ouch! Benzocaine and antihistamines to the rescue. It's very unpleasant. I don't feel like doing that again! So during pleasant months I hike for 40-60 minutes, then come home to stretch. Yoga of course is somewhat strengthening, but probably not so much so with what I do, if I'm honest. Since our W30/W60 experience it's been dawning on me that I can/should be adding real strength work, and I can really lighten up the cardio, anyway. So except for when I'm training for a big hike (as I should be doing now - Aug 5 trip on the near horizon) I'm easing up on cardio. What I'm trying to say, is that I'm creating a new routine. I had a few good weeks of the new deal before all the chaos that started in June. And that is a 10 minute cardio warm up, and 3x/wk weights for upper body, and then floor work for lower body and core, and yoga 5 days per week. Done in an hour, easy, unless I have the luxury of a longer yoga/meditation, which is glorious, but seems unattainable lately. That's what I outlined 2 days ago here....what I actually ended up doing on Monday was to ease into movement again by putting on some music and dancing/stretching and a little calisthenics in the mix. This morning I did the same, with more focus. 20 minutes while the hubs was upstairs listening to the news while he got ready for work. I think I wanted to drown it out, and as a result, I was in a MUCH better mood than he was. As for food, it's been a good week so far, no disasters. This is an improvement. I'm observing how just a couple of days is enough of a self-esteem boost to keep it going. I've got chili in the fridge, and instead of shrimp patties, I had ckn thighs to do something with. So we're set until the weekend.

Somehow, I've managed to never have a long commute, but if I did, I think I would feel exactly the way you do! I can totally understand your motivation to get up extra early, and avoid that nonsense. Good for you. When you started a program with your daughter, were you exercising after work? I can really see your dilemma. There's just not enough hours in the day. When you stopped exercising did you feel your body ache/yearn for movement again? I always feel that when I stop. You're a really wise soul, I know you will figure out how to get what you need. There's no going back now. This is reminding me a little of that quote from Anais Nin, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to blossom" Does this speak to you? It's not a perfect metaphor. But for me, having the movement onboard absolutely helps me be more at blossom in the world. My husband has a really good spin cycle in his office, and he works out on it 3-4x/wk, after dinner. I don't know how he does it. He hates it, but he makes himself do it. I have to enjoy my exercise! He calls himself T-Rex, strong, giant lower body, and tiny arms. It's not that bad! Anyway, I've tried it, and I just hate it, which is a deal breaker. I have to feel some joy or pleasure, and outdoor hiking and yoga give me all of that. I am imagining that if you had a little exercise momentum, that wine habit would be much easier to can do it! We can do this!

Like you, I get up at 530. But I read in bed for quite a while first. It's my only read-the-news time. This is where I need to make a promise to myself to actually get up by 545. And get moving. I'll do my best for the rest of the week! bed, to sleep per chance to dream.


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Holy giant wasp, Batman! I had to look up tarantula hawks and that is the scariest thing I've ever seen! Some entomologist was quoted as saying that their sting is so incredibly painful that his recommendation was to just lie down and scream. We have a wasp problem but nothing like that and, thankfully, only rare horse flies. Triple digit heat, too; I guess I better quit whining about being in the mid 90's, huh? That's where we are today but the humidity has dropped to a glorious 50%. It's been so humid that I've driven to work in the fog most days lately. 

Thanks for the Anais Nin quote; it definitely speaks to me. I've been my issue a fear of failure or a fear of success? Maybe a mishmashed combination of the two but now I feel the need/urge to blossom. Working the plan? The plan working me? ;)

15 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

When I think of mindfulness, I think of a focus. Choosing a focus, and then returning to it without judgment or analysis when the mind wanders.

I think that might be the path out of my commitment dilemma: focus. I was just starting to really feel the benefits of regular movement and strength training when I pooped out on my regular workouts. Actually, I shouldn't call them "workouts" because it's very meditative for me and "workout" makes me think of crowded gyms that are anything but meditative. I like the solitude behind the closed door where I don't have to worry about sucking in my stomach because someone might see me. I can concentrate on my form and how it feels and my breath - ahhhh. So Monday I did a really good upper body routine and yesterday I did about 30 minutes of MovNat floor work. I really want to get into MovNat some more so that was my beginning. Today is lower body/abs and I have it all planned out so I can walk in the house and get to it. The no-plan plan gives me accountability (the plan part) but also some flexibility (the no-plan part). My attempt at getting up at 5 yesterday was a wash-out; I tried to use the 2nd alarm on my clock but I've never used it before and messed it up. That's OK; I'm going to work into it. The goal this week is to move every day. I have a three-day weekend this weekend so I'm going to use that extra day to get myself on the path towards an early morning, greet-the-day routine. I can feel it falling into place in my brain.

T-Rex; that's funny! I have to enjoy my exercise, too. As much as I like the feel of the rowing machine, I hate it! I need to use my mind as well and mindless spinning/rowing/walking doesn't do it for me. My husband puts on the news and he's good with that (he's a news junkie anyway!) but I need something more. He's rubbed off on me a bit and I actually do keep an eye on the news nowadays but I can't do it in the morning. Starting my day with doom & gloom & crises just stresses me out.

The Golden Rule: yes, yes, yes! We're taught is at such a young age but then it seems to get overridden by the dogma. We live in "the buckle of the bible belt" so I tend to keep my religious beliefs/non-beliefs to myself but it's a joy when we go to our friend's farm in the fall for the annual biodynamic conference. I need to read more Steiner. I tend to get overwhelmed by the effort it takes to understand what he's saying and I go in spurts. The last day of the conference always includes readings and discussion of a select lecture and it's always fun to listen to the different perspectives. One year they used two different translations and there were a couple of people there that spoke German so they threw their two cents worth in to lend even more complexity to an already complex subject. 

OK! Yes, we can do this! Thanks for the therapy session:D

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25 minutes ago, hollysmokes said:

Holy giant wasp, Batman! I had to look up tarantula hawks and that is the scariest thing I've ever seen! Some entomologist was quoted as saying that their sting is so incredibly painful that his recommendation was to just lie down and scream.


:mellow: :huh: :blink: :wacko: - I cannot bring myself to google that, but "lie down and scream" seems descriptive enough! 

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I feel I need to confess that I have seen numerous tarantula hawks on the nearby BLM land where I hike, and occasionally in my yard but I have not been stung. Just have seen the ghost like faces of friends and acquaintances while recounting the experience. Before I knew how painful their sting was, I really admired the pretty orange wings, and wanted a closer look :lol:Yet the numerous horse flies (ranchers graze their livestock up there which is otherwise enjoyable!) and yellow jackets, and ordinary wasps have caused enough pain for me to avoid just on their own. I didn't know how painful horse fly bites can be!

Have you had a break through over there? I'm feeling like I'm getting a grip. Like you, I'm easing into it. I'm feeling the buddy system benefit, and am so grateful.

22 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I like the solitude behind the closed door

Me too! With the exception of the hiking...I'm 3 for 4 days this week getting decent movement in, and today was very satisfying. I had another dance party warm up, and then dialed it down for the most focused yoga I've enjoyed since before all the recent chaos. What a relief. Then I received a message from self, "we're you just writing that the yoga you do is not strengthening? Pffft." So I'll keep doing the knee P/T, the core work, the upperbody weights a few times per week, and keep up the dance and yoga. Afterwards, I even made a little time for journal writing. I feel pretty good.

I am a little worried that I'm not hiking to prepare for the big 5-day trip in early August, but I'm just not going up that trail, I'm just not, and I'm sure it will be fine. I'm feeling like the low-fat brainwash happened right along with cardio hype. Humans had to have had a big variety of physical activity along the millenia, right? Nomads sometimes moving, sometimes standing still, relatively speaking? I'm going with that. I'm a decent hiker. I did a big one last year, and I trained my butt off, and did great, and we'll see how this goes. I'll do my best.

I looked up MovNat, that looks all kinds of wonderful! I'll have to spend some time and learn more, thank you for bringing it to my attention! Are you pleasantly sore from your upper body session? I'll do that tomorrow with my weights, or that is what I am loosely planning = )

Does your 3-day weekend start on Friday? 

22 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I'm going to use that extra day to get myself on the path towards an early morning, greet-the-day routine. I can feel it falling into place in my brain.

I love that!

The buckle of the bible belt gives me a real understanding. We're surrounded here, too, even in our village which is otherwise a blue donut hole (lots of city transplants) of a red district and overall red region of the state. Are the friends who host the biodynamic conference the same friends who host the shrimp boil and the music festival? I'm guessing different folks, but it sounds like an awesome community you have found, a real treasure.

I have to dash, which is probably good as I know I get long-keyboarded here...thank YOU for the therapy session! 



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