Archive | January, 2017

Day 9 and I’m losing my mind

30 Jan

I’ve honestly argued to turn this into a Whole10 instead of a Whole30 because I’m on day 9 and have NO CLUE i’m going to last 21 more days.

Pardon my French, but fuck this shit.

Yes, yoga has been going well – I even did a double class on Saturday, putting me at 16 classes in 30 days on the roster (but I’m on day 16 of Yoga challenge, officially.)

But guys, I’m getting bored. I just want a slice of toast at this point. Or spaghetti – really, anything will do.

I just feel so frumpy and uninspired

And so I wrote a song:

(These are a few of) The Foods I can’t Eat

*in tune to Sound of Music’s “A Few of My Favourite Things”

Upbeat melody

Burgers and ice cream and pasta and cookies

cheese puffs and pizza and decadent brookies

sandwiches topped off with gruyere and meat

these are a few of the foods I can’t eat

Bridge

going to a restaurant makes me feel really baaaaad

’cause I look at the menu and see two things

I can actually eaaaat… that’s saaaaad

Reprise

Popcorn and pretzels and chips from a kettle

I could try those things but they wouldn’t settle

chicken’s an option but I don’t eat that

why did I have to be so god damn faaaaat

Bridge

when the fries fry, then the hunger strikes

and I wonder whyyyyy

then I look down at my bland salad and sigh and then I begiiiin

tooooo cryyyyyyyyyy

Reprise

Grilled salmon and steaks with no sauce whatsoever

potatoes are baked but with sour cream never

goodbye to bacon and acidic wine

but kale is allowed and I swear that I’m fine

Bridge

nuts are okay, but not everyday, a rule I always break

I feel like I’m strong till I open the fridge and come headfirst with

CHOOOOOOO-COLATE CAAAAAAKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I think that puts everything into perspective.

Fuck you, I’m hungry.

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Easy come, easy go.

26 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, things got a little funky. Maybe I’m due for a bit of karmic retribution, maybe I’m just too sensitive, or maybe, at the end of the day, I truly do reap what I sow – as Lou Reed once said.

 

So I went to Yoga yesterday and was able to release some tension in a very relaxing class- Day 11 complete! I’d also like to say that I have a huge friend crush on one of the Yoga instructors.

To clarify, a friend crush is when you really want to be someone’s friend.

She’s just so cool! I love that she hosts a women’s only class and knows the way to make our spines open up to their maximum potential. And for the record, she’s the one who inspired me to start the challenge two weeks ago. So shoutout to Yoga instructor, wherever you are. Stay bad, mama – stay bad.

I managed to stay compliant all day yesterday, despite the disappointing news I received after dinner last night.

After submitting an application to one of the schools I was hoping to attend to complete my Masters last Monday, just three days shy of their proposed deadline, I received an email last night saying I’d been rejected from admission.
They couldn’t even give it a week.

This definitely made me feel very, very unsure about myself and my first instinct was to race towards the kitchen to grab a couple of pieces of untoasted whole grain bread to snack on, with some nuts and cheese. But I resisted. I grabbed a banana and two dates instead, along with a cold bottle of water, quietly went back to my room, texted my sisters the news, locked the door and sobbed while I watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Then, I took solace in the fact that at least I’m a much more balanced and together person than Holly Golightly ever was.

But today is another day, life goes on, and I still haven’t cheated on Whole30, and haven’t strayed with the Yoga challenge – although in last night’s dream, I almost missed my class.

Today marks Day 5 of the Whole30 challenge, and Vegan Vednesday was completed successfully. But you all know that I’ll be turning up with the animal proteins today.

Breakfast was three yolkless boiled eggs seasoned with pepper and some dry zaatar.

Snacks of the day will be a banana, grapefruit, and three thinly sliced strips of sweet potato paired with half an avocado to imitate “avocado toast”.

Lunch: Since it’s Thursday, and I (presumably) just got paid, I’ll be treating myself by ordering in from this safe looking place that could definitely whip up a compliant meal. Suffice to say, I’ll be calling them beforehand to demand a list of ingredients used in every element used to create my protein bowl.

Dinner: Dining out with my new gal pal post Hot Vinyasa Flow at a cute little eatery known for its very Paleo (in turn, Whole30) friendly menu.

Challenge of the day: not having a drink tonight, if the opportunity presents itself – because Lord knows I could use it.

With that in mind, I should get back to work.

Good morning! (Or Goodnight, depending on where you’re reading this from)

25 Jan

Not much has happened since my last post, but I thought I’d update to warm up my fingers until the workload started coming in.

Wednesday morning welcomes in being day 4 Whole30 compliant and day 11 of the Yoga Challenge. The don’t think about men bit of the month isn’t going too well, as my dreams may suggest that it could be the hardest habit to kick.

Last night’s dream took place in a weird alternate universe resembling familiar places in my life: my family’s home, (specifically the balcony in my dad’s office, expanded to a rooftop terrace and posing as the venue for a collaborative show) a nondescript street combining qualities of the place where I used to live with where I currently live, struggling with old people to cross the road, and cheating with pizza while sitting on a greasy musician’s lap. Innocently, but I was still on his lap.

I mean, as long as none of that is happening in real life, I guess.

But truth be told, this morning while I was listening to Fiona Apple on my way to work, I made a strange connection between the men who have held my affection, interest and/or devotion over the past few years (well, the ones that mattered, at least): they each had one redeeming quality that was ideal in a strong partnership, a sole connection to offer me, yet completely lacked in everything else. I won’t get too into it because this blog shouldn’t be focused on my infatuations with the opposite sex, but about my progress during this month of wellness, but this morning’s epiphany accompanied with the gentle crooning of Fiona in “Paper Bag” resulted in me realising that I absolutely should remain emotionally abstained towards men for a while and give myself the love I deserve.

Because to quote Mama Ru: “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else! Can I get an amen up in here?”

Then I started wondering – if I had a stable relationship in my life, would I be doing this to begin with? Or would I be content having Spaghetti Aglio Olio with crushed red pepper flakes and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano for breakfast? (Not that I would ever do that, I’m strictly a “breakfast foods for breakfast” between 6am to 11:30 type of gal, but you get what I mean).

Anyway, if I were to ask myself that question maybe three years ago, sticking to such challenges would be dedicated to satisfying the male gaze, even if I didn’t admit it out loud. Nowadays? No way – this is strictly for ME. I want to be a healthy person, rid myself of bloat and bad skin, and feel the tone of my muscles in the back of my legs and arms. A man should appreciate me either way.

But enough about men! I swear if some conservative person were to google this, if they were REALLY looking, I’d probably go to jail just for talking about all that.

Today started out alright – I’ve been noticing a few things about my progress as I’ve been doing this whole clean eating thing. I’m not necessarily HUNGRY, but bread, cheese and chocolate have been creeping up in my mind, convincing me that I have some void in me that only those vices can fill.

I’ve also been eating WAY TOO MUCH fruit, I think. I’m starting to wonder if I’m doing this whole thing wrong! Didn’t cheat with nuts as much yesterday, but there was lots of fruit involved. I’d say a grand total of two bananas, five tangerines, and a half a grapefruit. Whole30 wants you to focus on veggies over fruit, but fruit is not NOT allowed. I should probably eat less fruit and google the rules a bit more.

DEFINITELY need to drink more water. I’m noticing that I’m barely drinking any water throughout the day, then chugging a few bottles at night. If any of you have any tips on how to remedy this, send me your WhatsApp messages!

So because today is Wednesday, and I seem to like adding more routine challenges within challenges within challenges, I hereby proclaim every Wednesday from now until February 22nd (incidentally, my last day of Whole30) Vegan Vednesday!

The rules: self explanatory. No meat, basically – and I can’t have dairy while I’m doing this anyway, so I cut out eggs on Wednesdays too to make the day completely vegan. So far, the only breakfast I could think of for this day was a banana chia pudding in a little mason jar. I think I did it wrong, though – not enough almond milk.

but that was only because said almond milk was questionable and I was a little afraid of it. I think this weekend’s project should be me taking a stab at making my OWN almond milk. I know it’s very possible, and in most cases easy, but like – how do I do it? How many almonds would it take? Oh, Google – what would I do without you.

Lunch will be seasoned zoodles with a homemade roasted cherry tomato and walnut pesto, pureed with two sneaky tspfuls of chopped up olives (that HOPEFULLY HAVE NO ADDED SUGAR TO THEM) and my homemade chilli infused olive oil- this experiment felt like I was running with scissors, honestly. I should just buy some plain old olives to have fun with. Anyway – we pan-seared three respectably sized mushrooms as a side dish to accompany this (inshallah) delicious concoction.

And if it sucks, well I don’t have a tiny bottle of Palestinian olive oil on my desk for nothing.

Snacks: Half an avocado, two tangerines, carrots and homemade almond butter (thanks, Auntie M.) and pumpkin seeds. But that’s IT! Those are the ONLY snacks I can have today.

Dinner: Cauliflower rice and Meatless mulukhiya (jute stew, or sometimes called “Jews Stew”, for some reason) Friends who are from a different culture need to try this – it’s sooooo good.

Today’s Yoga Class: 5:30pm, a women’s only Sun and Moon class where there will be lots of thrusting and heavy breathing with my tongue sticking out to open up my third chakra, which apparently needs a lot of work. Yesterday’s Backbend Flow was amazing, actually – it’s a class I’ll be going back to next week, and has inspired me to start experimenting with headstands! I think a low-key goal to set for myself within the next three months, if I stick to Yoga, will be to achieve a headstand of sorts. Too bad I’m so top-heavy I can’t even fathom the possibility – but hey, they ain’t called challenges for nothing!

Before I go, I need some advice. So, before December, I was great at going to the gym. I’d go about four times a week and was meeting with a trainer since March, which gave me a lot of great results. Since then, my gym activity had faltered to one or two times a week at best, and my membership only JUST expired. I haven’t been paying it any mind because since Yoga, I’ve been like “what gym!”

But while I love Yoga, it might not be enough on its own – I kind of miss cardio and kettlebells.

My original plan was to renew my membership for 6 months, since I might be leaving the country by the end of the summer, and kicking the trainer to the curb in favour of extending my yoga membership for an additional 6 months, dividing my exercise between the two outlets.

Perks of the gym: Gym resources, steam room, fun pool life in the spring and summer where most of my friends go and we reconvene over drinks, tanning (which I shouldn’t be doing because of laser) and general tomfoolery. The gym also offers a great Yoga class, but it’s only once a week – I WOULD like to practice more throughout the week – ideally, 3-4 times.

Cons of the gym: The cost, while affordable, is a tad on the heftier side, and I would feel a little too indulgent if I were to be a brat and invest in both outlets. I’d really have to make the most of my investment(s) in that scenario.

Perks of Yoga: I’ve really been getting into it! I’ve always loved Yoga and practicing every day has only enhanced my everyday life. I’m sleeping a little better, and focusing way more than I used to. I’m still irritable, but I’m sure that could go away with time.

Cons of Yoga: a 6 month membership costs as much as the gym, but it also costs as much as like, 36 classes. I’m worried if I do a “pay as you go” situation, I would’ve ended up spending as much (or even more) for less value than an unlimited option. Also, it costs as much as renewing my training sessions 5-6 times within the next few months. Plus, Yoga is way more patient and amicable than my trainer, but he DOES bring me faster results.

WHAT DO I DO?

We all know that decision making isn’t my strongest quality, so if anyone has any words of wisdom, please let me know. That is, if any of you are actually reading this, or have come this far.

Wow, this was a long post! Back to work! (upside-down smiley.)

 

 

One more thought.

24 Jan

Currently editing a Q&A about a renowned baker for an upcoming event, and I must say.

He’s pretty sexy.

Maybe it’s because of the way he describes baking sourdough bread and slathering homemade gingerbread with salted butter.

Come to mama, you sugary, carby hunk of man.

UPDATE: just saw more pics of him. NVM.

This was going to be called twice in one day…

24 Jan

But I never finished it because my dear friend living in the pits of the north called me for a gabfest.

Either way, the intention was there! That’s not a bad start, really. Maybe it’s because I’m doing this for the mere purpose of keeping myself sane? Could this mean I actually (gasp) like writing again?

Isn’t it funny how those of us who are lucky enough to make a living out of doing what we love can sometimes end up hating it? I always wanted to be a writer growing up – especially for a magazine. I just thought it was such a glamorous job and that I’d be like Kate Hudson in How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days, with zero baby fat, sleek hair, a bitchy boss who worships my word and of course, Matthew McConaughey – who I think we can all agree is weirdly sexy, even with his “the South will rise again” accent.

Too bad life isn’t a mid-2000s rom com set in the East Village.

Anyway, yesterday wasn’t too bad. I went to Yoga and had a mediocre class – well, it started out that way. I can feel my body changing slowly on day 9. I’m bloated because I’m a woman, but my stretches are deepening and I feel like I’m able to understand my limbs a little better these days. It’s safe to say that I’m becoming reacquainted with my muscles.

Actually, yesterday’s class was pretty good! Vinyasa Flow is definitely something I’ve been getting used to, and I know it’ll feel even better next Monday.

After class, I broke a cardinal rule and treated myself to a bottle of rose hip oil from the studio’s store. I know, I know – I should only be buying myself a yoga store treat at the end of each week and I’m only at the beginning, but my face has been pining for some extra love and that bottle was their last one! It wasn’t a huge investment though, so I figured this once won’t hurt. I may or may not have my eye on a lavender stuffed eye pillow made specifically for shavasana and afternoon naps, though. Let’s just see if I get to day 14 first – only 4 days to go!

In other news, I am officially 3 days into Whole30 and I am still compliant! I’ve broken the limited snacking rule (currently munching on carrots as we speak) and I’ve obviously been cheating with nuts since last night’s indulgent snack of a banana, two tangerines, and about a half cup of almonds. And some pumpkin seeds.

What? I’m a hungry person!

The important thing is, I’m still here. I did have a dream that I forgot I was on Whole30 and had a drink with this cute guy I’ve been low-key crushing on for a couple of months. All sorts of naughty metaphors in that one. Boy, do I need work!

Today’s Breakfast: Dedicated to lazy champions, I didn’t even have a real breakfast. I’ve just been grazing throughout the day. Two hard boiled yolkless eggs (the yolk just creeps me out.) a banana, a tang(erine, not the nuclear orange childhood drink), probably a handful of almonds, and three cigarettes.

Yes, I’m still smoking and no one is allowed to yell at me for doing it. This is MY blog.

Lunch Will Be: Some leftover taco salad revamped with fresh(ish) avocado and steak strips. Yesterday, I fooled myself into thinking I was too delicate to eat the big salad I had curated for myself, so I portioned it out into two small containers and kept them in the office fridge. Bless her heart, my housekeeper gave me a mini garden of lettuce to top it off with today.

Dinner: A homemade repeat of yesterday – Salmon! To veg or not to veg? I was going to accompany it with broccoli that I really should use. Questionable broccoli has been frozen for about a week and a half (I know, I know. But I just didn’t want to waste it!) Maybe I’ll sneak in a tiny baked potato on the side. I swear, Whole30 allowing potatoes is probably the best thing about this damn diet – I mean, “Lifestyle changing clean way of eating” (or whatever the eff you wanna call it.)

PS: In case you care about yesterday’s dinner? It was delicious but difficult. I think it’s safe to say I can’t go back to said amazing restaurant (Let’s just call it AVA for anonymity’s sake) till I’m done with this. And then, it will be chickpea fries, kale tabbouleh, Gruyere Burger and Date Knafa Tart galore. One thing I’ve learned? It’s time to encrust all salmon with herbs. Another thing? VEGAN PESTO ZOODLES. Something I will definitely be recreating for tomorrow’s menu: Vegan Vednesday.

Yoga: Day 10. Bring it on, baby. I’m doing a back-bending flow today, which should open up my heart and possibly lead me to tears. I cried last Saturday during shavasana, having just been dumped only the night before. It was a quiet cry, but it felt nice. There’s something about Yoga that just makes you feel so appreciative and unafraid of your emotions and your body’s needs. You can literally moan and grunt all you want, fart, cry, and sleep. It’s like being a baby.

I haven’t farted in Yoga yet, (and will try my hardest not to) but I’ll bet lots of people have. I’m sure there are some tent pitchers out there as well. Hell if I had a tent, I’d pitch it feeling that relaxed.

Men: Whatever. I haven’t texted him yet. Am I texting someone else? No, YOU ARE.

All with a grain of pink Himalayan salt, friends.

Namaste.

It’s been a while…

23 Jan

…and a lot has happened since my last post. Many things have changed. Since 2012, I’ve graduated from University, worked as a copywriter for a crappy e-commerce company for two years, destroyed my figure, had too many tumblers of whiskey and glasses of Pinot Grigio, left Montreal, stopped pretending I could speak French and moved back home to write for a local magazine and get my shit together.

Has my shit been collected thus far? I’m not in a terrible spot, but like every humbled human being would say, “I could be doing better”.

I’m an indulgent person. I indulge with food, with alcohol, with shopping, with laziness, exercise, and premature love. So after my continuing education applications had been submitted, my savings account being stagnant and my latest romantic conquest managing to crawl out of my web of affection, I decided to focus on wellness for one whole month in the vain hope that there will be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

Will I get my figure back? I’m working on it. Will my savings account prosper? I’m working on that too. Will I be able to reach full self contentedness without seeking validation from a man? That might take more than a month, but focusing on this in the meantime could help.

It goes without saying that the above is a little too personal, which is why I only re-shared this link with dear friends whom I love. Whatever happens, happens – but I highly doubt this will end up going viral: my life really isn’t that interesting. (Refer to my embarrassing past posts of yore if you don’t believe me.)

But let’s just write and see where this goes!

The stats of the month:

Yoga Challenge: I started this on January 15th, after being invited by the yoga instructor at my gym to join her studio and partake in a 30 day challenge where I’ll have to practice yoga once a day for the next month – or do 30 classes in one month. I’m allowed to do double classes and skip a day up to four times, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m on day 9 and I’m more than happy with the flow that’s been taking place.

Whole30: Ah, yes. The infamous Whole30 Challenge. I’m not allowed to turn to any of my vices for comfort in the next month. No sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains, wheat, legumes or fun for 30 days… and I can’t even weigh myself! I expect to lose some weight after this month (assuming I don’t end up getting drunk and binging on Shake Shack like I did with my pre-Christmas diet last month) but weight-loss isn’t the goal. Resetting my body and appreciating a non-complicated, wholesome way of eating is. But obviously, as the blog’s revamped title implies, I’ll be cheating with Whole30 compliant nuts, of the almond, cashew and wall variety. I’m on day 2, and having just inhaled a kosher taco salad, am feeling satiated. Cross your fingers that all hell doesn’t break loose after tonight’s dinner plans at one of my favorite healthy-but-definitely-not-Paleo eateries.

Men: You can’t help but love them, even though they’re really fucking stupid. I won’t divulge too much into this, but point blank: my name is Smee and I seek validation from men. No more! This month is about me, and I’m not allowed to obsess about or wonder when I’ll get married anymore. It’s unproductive. Bonus points and a big gift for myself if I go the whole month without even so much as checking out a cute butt at a gathering or party. (Where I better be sipping an unlaced, virgin drink of  Pelligrino or Perrier seasoned with citrus and maybe an olive.) If I need to obsess, I’ll write. If it’s PG, I’ll write here. Feel free to skip these posts. They can get pretty whiny. I’m technically on day of this, as I haven’t texted him all day since our recent amicable “breakup”. Gold star for me, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

So with all that in mind, I’ll continue embarking on my journey, but this time with some documentation. It’ll be fun! (I hope) and there might be some pics or some recipes, but hopefully NO weak moments or cheat days.

Later gators.

Smee