Semi Whole30 Update

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10 days in, 20 days to go. (see why I call this a “semi” whole30 and why we’re doing it here)

Here are some takeaways from my first 10 days of this semi-Whole30/paelo/whatever you want to call this thing we’re doing for another twenty days. Spoiler alert: they’re not all positive.

  • I love homemade mayo. Somehow raw egg and olive oil is the most delicious thing to ever be blended together and no matter what comes out of this whole experiment, I know that the homemade mayo is here to stay.
  • I don’t miss a lot of things I thought I would. I haven’t had a craving for bread, chips,or soda once. I haven’t missed cheese or ice cream that much, either. It’s like I don’t even know myself.
  • I miss pizza a lot. But not just any pizza. I just want a thin slice of the good stuff. It’s definitely going to be my first indulgence.
  • I don’t miss alcohol. Sure, I’ve craved a glass of wine after a really rough day, but I’ve started taking hot baths more, coloring, and doing other things instead of pouring a glass of wine and plopping in front of the tv to unwind.
  • I do miss pasta a little, but not as much as I thought. I made the kids homemade pasta one night and didn’t sneak a single bite. We’ve actually enjoyed scampi made with spaghetti squash, pesto zucchini noodles, and cauliflower rice with tomato and meat sauce.
    Whole30 Day 10 Update
  • I’m sick of cooking. Seriously. I wake up and cook. I cook again at lunch. I cook dinner. Cook. Dishes. Cook. Dishes. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I am not sure if I can do another 20 days of this based on the amount of cooking alone. And yes, we prep veggies as much as possible. Food still needs to be made and I’m over it.
  • It’s expensive. I haven’t sat down and crunched numbers, but it seems like we’re at the grocery store every other day to replace veggies we’ve eaten. SO MANY APPLES AND AVOCADOS you guys. And I’m pretty sure we need a backyard chicken coop to keep up with the amount of eggs we’re eating. But, we also haven’t eaten out (except once: see below) since we started so that savings could add up over 30 days.
  • You can still eat Chipotle. Which was my savior last week. Carnitas, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo. Extra carnitas, please.
  • I’m sick of reading labels. Sometimes I just want to eat and not have to worry if the food I’m eating has added sugar or is made with soy. Analyzing food sucks the joy out of eating sometimes. So much thinking. This is also why we haven’t gone out to eat. I hate being “that person” that has to grill the waitress about food. I just want to order and eat and not worry if my chicken was cooked with vegetable oil and not olive oil.
  • I’m still hungry a lot. Even with making sure I have lots of healthy fats, carbs, protein, and fiber, I’m still hungry a lot. Like now, I’m hungry and eating more veggies or avocado as a snack is losing its appeal.
  • My workouts have not felt as productive. I am trying to learn to carb load for long runs without pasta, rice, or other “no” foods and it’s hard to find the right balance after using the same formula for so long. I’m still drinking my chocolate milk after workouts, though. Because I’m not about to give up the one thing I know makes me feel great after a workout (and we’ve discussed my previous dairy eliminations which resulted in no adverse reactions when reintroduced, so I know it’s not a problem food for me.)
  • My stomach is flatter and my skin is a little brighter. I can live with those two things.
  • I don’t feel any different. Honestly. I feel exactly the same as I did on day 1. I’m probably even grumpier than before because  of all of the constant cooking and thinking about food. My fatigue and brain fog (my two worst Hashimoto’s symptoms) aren’t improving at all, which is discouraging. Again, I know a diet can’t cure a disease and that’s not what I want from this. What I was hoping for was a little relief from my symptoms, which  many Hash’s patients experience. Many experience it within a few days of going gluten-free or doing a similar program to paleo/whole30. I got nothing. And if we’re being truthful, this last point makes me question whether or not I want to keep going the full 30 days. My next round of labs have been ordered and I have an appointment with a new doc to see what she thinks of my numbers and this whole no-gluten thing.

So there they are the thoughts running through my head as we close out day 10. Someone told me day 10 is the hardest. We’ll see. For now, the plan is to stick with the plan, but I won’t say that I’m thrilled with the idea of 20 more days of this. I could very easily convince myself to eat a slice of pizza this weekend and not blink an eye. If it weren’t for the husband (who is feeling awesome with all of this, by the way) keeping with it, I’d probably seriously consider quitting.

 

The Walking Dead Season Five Finale Predictions: The W’s

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SO MANY SPOILER WARNINGS. If you have not watched last night’s episode (515: “Try“), then DO NOT READ THIS POST. Walk away my friend, walk away. If you’re reading the comics and haven’t reached the same time frame, walk away. I am not responsible if you ruin the show or comics for yourself, ok?

One of my favorite parts about Monday is talking The Walking Dead with my friends and soaking up every bit of episode analysis I can. I’m rewatching scenes, cross-referencing with the comics, and pretty much being an insane human being for a few hours every Monday morning.

Now that we’re clear about what’s about to go down in this post, I’m going to make a few predictions for next week’s Season Five Finale (90 minutes, no less.) Mainly, about those W’s. Because they seem to be a big part of the discussion surrounding the finale.

First, what I don’t think the W’s mean: I don’t buy into the internet theory that the W’s are really M’s made by Morgan. Morgan is crazy, yes. But I don’t think he’s THAT crazy. Truckloads of walkers marked with the W, all done by one person? Nope. Also, why on Earth would the M’s be upside down? We’ve seen them on roaming walkers, so Morgan would have to knock them down, put the M on (upside down, no less) and then the walker would have to get up and move. While, I guess, it’s possible, I just don’t think it’s plausible. I do think Morgan will show up in the finale, just to mess with us yet again. Because why not?

I also don’t think the W’s are the sign of The Whisperers, a group of survivors from the comic books. The Whisperers use walker skin to disguise themselves so they can travel among the walkers without being attacked. The Whisperers, however, aren’t known for killing walkers, let alone maiming them and bounding their naked bodies to trees. That’s just not their style. The part of The Whisperers theory that does make sense is the W’s would allow other Whisperers to tell the difference between a walker and a Whisperer wearing walker skin. But that’s not enough to convince me these W’s are Whisperer W’s.

No, I’m convinced the W’s were made by a brutal group. Remember this from “What Happened and What’s Going On” when the group reaches Noah’s neighborhood of Shirewilt?
wolves not far Walking Dead Season 5 Finale Predictions
W=Wolves. Yet, there are no Wolves in the comic series. And there aren’t any groups that are known for marking walkers. So, this means we’re essentially in the dark when it comes to the W’s. We know that the writers change things up from the comics, but tend to keep the essence of storylines, so we can assume there’s some parallel here.

My prediction is the W’s are made by a group named The Scavengers, lead by Derek. The Scavengers are a gypsy-like group of survivors who raid and loot camps and live out of a van. They have no safe-zone or homebase to speak of. They’re brutal and kill who and what they want. I can easily see them cutting up walkers for their own enjoyment. They could be marking the walkers with W’s to mark where they’ve looted, I’m not sure. But, if the W’s are, indeed, The Wolves/Scavengers, then the Alexandria Safe-Zone should be expecting a knock at their front gates in the finale. Luckily, Derek and The Survivor’s appearance is short (perfect for a season finale showdown), but it does cause a domino effect of issues that could put the paradise of the Alexandria Safe-Zone in jeopardy. This leaves us with an exciting season finale and a great set-up for Season Six, especially if Rick (and Sasha because we all know Sasha is the show version of comic book Andrea at this point) can redeem himself to the group and/or take Alexandria for himself.

There has also been talk that Negan and The Saviors may be tied to the W’s. If that’s true, I don’t expect to see Negan or his group until Season 6. His storyline is too involved to simply be a blurb in the finale. So it is very possible that we could still meet Derek and The Scavengers and then the Wolves end up being The Saviors next season, but that’s a whole lot of build-up of the W’s for no resolution this season. Then again, when are we ever left with resolution during The Walking Dead season finale’s? (see also Morgan)

Of course, every prediction and tie to the comic book I’ve mentioned above could be totally wrong and the W’s don’t mean anything related to The Scavengers or The Survivors or Morgan. It could be a completely new storyline and I’ll be looking like a fool after next week’s episode. It wouldn’t be the first time.

What do you think the W’s mean? Morgan? Negan? Derek? Something else?

Spring Styles for Kids #SpringIntoCarters

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“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.”

It’s the first day of Spring. Here in Western NY that still means sub-freezing temperatures and snow on the ground, but I’m determined to “think spring” anyway. It’s been a long, cold, dark winter and I am ready for green grass, leaves on the trees, and lots of pretty colors. I’ve also started to revolt against dark winter colors and add more bright colors and pastels into my wardrobe. My kids are the same way; they’re ready to ditch the sweaters and jeans and wear some new clothes.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we’re big fans of Carter’s in this house. I love that Carter’s has age-appropriate, high-quality kid’s clothing. So when the opportunity came up to do a post highlighting some of Carter’s spring fashions, I just couldn’t resist. I grabbed my gift card and our 25% off coupon and headed to the store.

Swimwear #SpringIntoCarters

Carter’s is full of color right now, and although the weather is still frightful outside, their swimsuit line makes me long for summer (they now carry swimsuits up to size 12, which is great news for girl moms especially.) I’m definitely going back and stocking up on a few suits for this year. I love that you can mix and match the tops and bottoms, too.  They also carry great hoodies and shirts that make perfect cover-ups or separates. The more I can get out of their wardrobe, the better.

Carters Athletic Wear #SpringIntoCartersI also love their new athletic lines! My kids are finally starting team sports this year and I know they’ll need some shorts and shirts once the season starts. And I with Carter’s prices, I won’t be upset when they come home covered in mud and grass stains.
#SpringIntoCarters Hat
One thing I love most about Carter’s is their age-appropriate clothing. My daughter is 6 (going on 16) and it’s hard to find clothing that fits her now that she’s in “big girl” sizes that aren’t splashed with the words “diva” or “drama queen”. Carter’s clothes are tasteful and come in school-appropriate lengths. I can feel good about her going into the store and picking out whatever she likes. She’s in a size 6/6x now, which means she can’t shop in-store for Carter’s clothes at the moment, BUT the salesperson told me they’re going to start carrying larger sizes in-store once back-t-school season starts. Hallelujah!
Carters Haul #SpringIntoCarters
In the end, I purchased all of what’s pictured in the photo plus two new sets of PJ’s, the hat pictured above, and this adorable outfit (hoodie, pants, shirt) for my son. He’s obsessed with the hoodie, you guys. And I can’t blame him. He looks stinkin’ adorable.
#SpringIntoCarters
All of this cost around $120. I spent $100 on our first visit (after the 25% coupon) and earned $20 in Carter’s bucks, which I went back and spent the very next day. When you combine coupons and their great deals like their doorbuster deals, you can really stock up for less.

#SpringIntoCarters and save 25% on your purchase using this coupon.
march Carters Coupon

What part of spring are you most excited for? Easter, warmer weather, bright colors? Leave a comment and let me know!