Tryon State Park, getting reeeallly sick of rice + a mind wipe machine

Wednesday morning I woke up not feeling like the walking dead! After some more delicious rice cereal (oh boy!) and some reading, I felt a strong urge to get out of the house. I put on my waterproof boots, put Santo’s collar on, and we were off to Tryon State Park!

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One of my absolute favorite things about the city of Portland are the densely wooded areas right in the middle of the city. At Tryon you really do feel like you’re lost in the woods..and it’s only a 20 minute drive from my house! I have a feeling Santo and I will be returning there quite often. He could not believe all the smells there were to smell.

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“Mom didn’t let me eat the mushrooms. She sux.” -Santo

Wednesday afternoon I took Stevie to gymnastics and Kai and I hung out and played legos. Their parents told them they’d take them to see the “My Little Ponies” movie that night if they behaved…so they were extra sweet and easygoing. I see how parenting works…bribery. 😛

Thursday morning was another volunteer shift at OHSU! I really need to download an audiobook again for my commute there. Even though it’s not super far, I have to leave at rush hour and especially with this rain…it’s been taking me over an hour to get there. I met one sassy little boy who was so hilarious. Right when I walked into the room to check on him he said, “I’ve been waiting for you for so long!” He was also very disgruntled that I couldn’t be with him Wednesday evening when he got “poked” (his shot). I didn’t think reasoning with him (I just met you five minutes ago, I am not here on Wednesdays!) would cut it, so I brought him a bunch of PlayDoh and we rolled snakes. Then he wasn’t so mad at me 😉

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(howtobeadad.com)

Nannying yesterday afternoon was really fun! I helped the boys get all their homework done, we did some reading, built some legos, and then we played outside. Well…until the downpour came along. We got soaked and pretty chilly, so we ran back inside and I made the boys some hot chocolate and we all snuggled up under blankets to watch a show.

Elimination Diet Update

David made the most delicious meal on Wednesday night! Ginger and garlic crusted tilapia, butternut spaghetti squash, green beans, and baked sweet potato fries. My taste buds were in heaaaaaven screaming “omg flavor!!! what is this!!!”

However…after that my game has declined rapidly. Last night when I got home from work I just fried up a tilapia filet in nothing and ate it by itself. Then I ate some dry, plain rice cereal. Currently munching on dates and rice cakes for breakfast. I desperately need to go shopping..I feel like I’m force-feeding myself at this point. But today is day 5! I feel like once I get through the first week, the rest will be easy. 🙂

My sister is here!! And my besties Phoebe and Steph arrive this evening. Looking forward to an amazing weekend with my girls!

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Even though I’m not drinking ;). TGIF!!! Have a great day!!!

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Barre3, a new book, + napping queen

Yesterday morning started out bright and early! I’m trying to wake up at the same time each day, instead of sleeping in 3 days a week and then needing to get ready for work at 5am the other four. I also wanted to get my exercise and blogging in before my body noticed that the coffee still hasn’t returned…

I did my first Barre3 workout and so far so good! I want to start very slowly so I am only going to do 2-3 videos a week, but wow I worked up a sweat even doing the modified version and it felt so good to move again.

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Once I’d gotten semi-ready for the day, I plopped down on the couch to read! The book I’m reading now is about the use of neuroscience in the courtroom and how that all began. It combines science and true crime while delving into deeper questions of responsibility, blame, and free will. I found it at the library on Monday and I haven’t been able to put it down.

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Santo doesn’t think it’s so great. I was only a few chapters in when suddenly I was bombarded with a SNUGGLE ATTACK!!!

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Between feeding myself and walking Santo I basically napped the morning away. My tiredness is ridiculous! How long until my body adjusts to this no-caffeine thing? Geeeeze. At 2 I headed over to the boys’ house! They were out of town for a long weekend so I was so excited to see them. We played legos, read books, did a little clean-up, and they told me all about their trip.

After nannying I made it back to tap class!! I hadn’t been for three weeks because of visitors, traveling, and illness so I felt a bit rusty. Things have definitely stepped it up a notch and I left with a good sweat! I didn’t mean to do two workouts yesterday and my body was a little angry with me..but a hot bath and some foam rolling made it possible for me to sleep and I am feeling good again this morning 🙂

Elimination diet day 2: 

Breakfast- rice milk, brown rice, strawberries, herbal tea

Snack- medjool dates

Lunch- sweet potato with ground turkey

Snack- bowl of unsweetened rice puffs with strawberries and rice milk

Dinner- tilapia filet, brown rice, vegetables. I cooked the filet in coconut oil and lightly salted it and it was delicious!

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I should start feeling magically amazing annnnyyyy day now right? haha maybe after my 14 naps today 😉

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Caffeine headache from hell

I think I was a little to ambitious with my to-do list yesterday, considering that I was going my first full day without coffee since being a sophomore in high school (barring illness, of course). I got up, ate my breakfast, did some work on the computer, and walked the beast. I was just about to head out on my errands when my brain revolted on me.

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It started with a nasty, sharp pain in my temples and eventually spread all the way down into my neck and shoulders. I think every caffeine receptor in my body grabbed a jackhammer and went to town. Geeeeze. I have had caffeine headaches before but right when I feel them come on I take Excedrin with a cup of coffee and they go away. Enjoying one to its finale was a new treat.

Between naps, I finished season 4 of “The Killing” on Netflix. Some of the best, most subtle acting I’ve ever seen. And the end is the perfect balance of tying up loose ends while still leaving you desperate for more. I watched the final episode while eating my lunch of sweet potato and ground turkey.

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Santo loved the lazy day and snuggled hard with me on the couch. Oh yes that reminds me! Yesterday morning on our walk we passed an open garage. The woman inside was glaring at Santo and saying “no no no no no”. He wasn’t peeing on anything or even sniffing her yard! I was so confused when I finally realized where the noise was coming from that I looked at her and said “what??”. She glared at me and shut the garage door. Might be avoiding that house from now on.

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After nap #17,000 I mustered the energy to cook dinner for David and me. Baked cod, brown rice, and veggies! Cod is my new favorite fish. It’s so rich and buttery…I loved every bite.

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For snacks and dessert I ate some Medjool dates, those things are sweet like candy!

Late last night I signed up for Barre3. Have any of you guys heard of this? I love pure barre workouts because they’re no impact and I feel a good burn, but studios are sooo expensive. This online training thing allows me to do workouts that are tailored for people with pain or injuries, beginners, or balls-to-the-wall. It even allows you to set up a workout schedule and sends you reminders! I cancelled my Audible account since my library has ebooks, so since this membership is $30/month I feel like I’m only paying 15! Does that make any sense? Sure. Of course.

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I can cancel any time so I’ll try it out this week and see if it works for me! I hope I don’t get a headache today…See y’all tomorrow! 😀

Day 1 and my “last meal”

Today is day one! I am so excited and I know I can do this. I have incredible support from my family so that makes all the difference. For breakfast I had unsweetened rice milk over brown rice and strawberries. Sort of like cereal! It was actually delicious!

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Let’s back up to yesterday. It was one of those amazing Sundays where I got an insane amount of “life” stuff accomplished. I worked in the morning and then did my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s on the way home. I am so in love with that place. When I opened the door, Santo’s energy hit me like a tidal wave and I knew he needed some real exercise. I leashed him up and we headed to the community park for around of fetch. Check out my Instagram for a cute video of him!

When we got home I started on my cook-up for the week. I made roasted broccoli, butternut squash, green beans, Brussel sprouts, ground turkey, brown rice, and chopped up strawberries. I also have apples and sweet potatoes on hand.

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While the veggies were roasting, I cleaned the apartment. It looks so shiny and wonderful. I love our apartment so much! It feels like home. I also did laundry, folded it, and organized our mail drawer. Phew! Good day!

My parents came over for my “last meal” last night. We had Trader Joe’s enchiladas, veggies, and Chai Spice cake for dessert. They also brought a growler of Black Widow Porter from John Barleycorns, a restaurant in our neighborhood. They only make this stuff two weeks out of the year and I’m so glad I was able to try it. It’s amazing.

I meant to go to Aqua Fit this morning but I didn’t get my butt out of bed in time. So instead I’ll run all the errands I need to and then go swim a few laps. Compromise 😉

Have a wonderful Monday!!!

 

Elimination Diet

On Monday, I’m beginning a two-month long journey to try to get to the root of some health problems I’ve been having. Let me explain

What: An elimination diet is used to discover if there are certain food groups causing problems in your body, in my case inflammation. You cut out soy, dairy, wheat products, red meat, legumes, citrus fruits, caffeine, processed sugar, alcohol, and more for 23 days. Then, you introduce one food group back for a few days, note symptoms, and repeat with other groups. Hopefully at the end, you have some idea of what’s been causing your symptoms.

Why: I noted in my post a few days ago that I’ve been dealing with some chronic pain. The inflammation markers in my blood are elevated and my white cell counts are low. I don’t have an infection, a virus, or cancer..so there’s something else going on. I’m trying to figure out if perhaps it’s my body’s reaction to something I’m eating without spending thousands of dollars getting allergy tested.

When: Oops, already answered this one. Monday. The timing sucks because I have two great friends coming into town next weekend and the holidays are coming up, but the timing is always going to suck. There’s always going to be some holiday, some party, some season, some amazing new restaurant, some visitor….I’ve just got to do it. I need to get control of my health and maybe this will help.

Some questions you might have:

Let’s be real here, you’re just doing this to lose weight aren’t you?

The short answer is no, I don’t need to lose any weight. The long answer is, noooooooo I doooooooooon’t neeeeeed toooooooo looooooose anyyyyyyy weeiiiiiiight.

How the heck are you going to stick with such a sucky diet for 23 days? 

Meal prepping, baby. Just like college. Every day will look like this:

Breakfast- herbal tea with fresh fruit

lunch- brown rice, turkey, sweet potato

Dinner- fish, brown rice, roasted vegetables.

David is super supportive and will eat with me during the week for dinner. When we go out on weekends I’ll just have to check the menu and see if there’s something I can make work, or eat beforehand! It’s not forever, just three weeks. Three weekends. I can deal.

What if you don’t feel any different at the end? 

If I don’t find that my symptoms change, then that will be one more thing to knock off the list! Mentally, this will help me feel like I’m being proactive about my health. Physically, it never hurts to not have sugar or alcohol for a while, and there’s a chance I could learn something! I’ll keep y’all posted so that I can stay accountable and also keep track of my symptoms!

Any other questions for me?? Any advice?? 

I found ten dollars + pizza and beer makes for a good day

I woke up yesterday morning feeling fantastic, all my cold-fighting seemed to have worked! I woke up early, blogged for the day, had time to do my hair, and headed off to my shift at OHSU. As I was walking to my car, I found a ten dollar bill on the ground!

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The universe’s way of apologizing for all the other Thursday mornings? Suuuuure! I’ll take it. My shift went very smoothly and I had plenty of time to get a lot of cleaning done as well as chat with some adorable kiddos. I just love it there.

After volunteering, I had another doctor’s appointment. I was prescribed a strong anti-inflammatory medication and after taking it this morning I am feeling the best I have today in a while!! Woohoo!! After my appointment David and I stopped by Whole Foods for a healthy lunch.

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I had some teriyaki chicken breast, a heap of roasted veggies, lentils, and tofu. It was delicious! We can always count on the hot bar to have delicious, fulfilling options. Once our bellies were full, we spent the rest of the afternoon touring places for David’s dad! We really want him to be up in Portland with us so we can see him all the time, and we think we found the perfect spot.

After hours upon hours of appointments, chatting, and tours, our bellies were rumbling once again! We stopped by the house to let the old man out and give him dinner, and then pizzicato was calling our names…

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We split the Chinese chop salad and a pizza. My half was veggie madness and his had sausage, mushrooms, and olives. We also tried Gigantic IPA and the crisp flavor was perfect. Half of the pizza is still in our fridge and I’m looking forward to having leftovers for dinner!

It’s a rainy and gray Friday the 13th over here. Perfect for drinking tea, catching up on my show, and polishing off the book I got yesterday “The Reason I Jump.” It was written by a 13-year-old with autism and it’s truly transformative. I love it.

Have a great day!! Watch out for black cats today….so that when you see them you can give them a lil’ snuggle 🙂

5 Steps to a Happy Marriage from the field’s leading expert..me.

Hello hello! As someone who, as of today, has been happily married for two whole months I am dubbing myself the utmost authority on married life. Here are five tips that I swear by to maintain peace and love thriving in your wedded bliss.

  1. Any time your husband asks you a question you don’t want to answer, break out into a daring rendition of a HAMILTON song. He’ll be so impressed by your rapping abilities and charisma that he’ll forget the silly inquiry he had like, “was Santo on my pillow today?” or “why is there a lion costume for dogs on the couch?”
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(thedailymail.com)

2. Get a dog who is so emotionally fragile that even if you’re fake-fighting (it’s a thing, I swear) he’ll act so heartbroken that it will make you both prostrate yourselves at his feet. It’s hard to remember to argue when you’re both comforting a shaking old man.

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“I’m a fragile butterfly. Everyone be nice.” -Santo

3. You’ve both gotta like beer and there’s always gotta be a supply in the fridge. If you don’t both like beer you’re doomed. Oh, you and your husband only drink wine and you’ve been happily married for 13 years? Fake news. Sad!

4. When your husband asks you very politely to do him a favor in a public place, start bowing repeatedly and whispering “yes master. right away master. yes master yes master.” He’ll think it’s so cute when all those strangers start looking at you like “wtf goes on in that house.”

5. Speak in accents when you need to ask your spouse to do something, or when you’re bringing up a touchy subject. “Ey mate, I think Santo did a right ol shim sham of dung on the carpet this avo.” Sounds a lot more lighthearted and fun than, “Santo pooped in the house this afternoon, stepped in it, and tracked it everywhere.”

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There you have it, folks! These are all true! Enjoy your wedded bliss.

 

Sick McSicken

Here’s a story for you. Once upon a time my husband, David, got lost on a mountain for 16 hours and I thought he was dead. This was last week. Lo, he was not dead, he was very much alive, it was just his immune system that perished on that edifice of stone.

Thus, a nasty little cold weaseled its way into my husband’s organs and he spent the next few days sneezing and coughing and laying in bed and being miserable. I, being the doting wife that I am, made much a mockery of his illness. Alas, my time was on its way. Hearing my jeers and taunts, the cold wove its way upon the breath of my laughter and into my lungs. So now here I sit, a meat-sack of phlegm, nursing a NyQuil hangover and cursing the mountain that doomed both our lives.

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(tenor.com)

hahaha. Okay okay I’m not really that bad. It’s just a head cold. The only bummer is that in order to volunteer at OHSU tomorrow morning I need to be 100% symptom free. I skipped tap class last night and physical therapy this morning to nip this thing in the bud with an 11 hour sleeping extravaganza. I’ve been chugging tea and praying for it to go away. I’ve already missed or been late to my shift because I 1) almost cut my finger off and 2) had dog-walker issues. So I just need the universe to LAY OFF my Thursday mornings, ok?!?! You wanna break my arm or ankle? Fine, do it on a Monday. That’s all I ask.

And now it’s time for…..things I ate Wednesday!!! Don’t be fooled, I’ve been on an indulgent run lately. Early this week I decided I really needed to check myself so my diet yesterday looks like that of a fitness guru or something. It’s not always like this. I will share a weekend eat sometime soon.

Breakfast:

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Rice cakes with peanut butter and a banana on top. A pot of coffee. Oops. These new cold mornings have my desire to drink coffee cranked up to one million.

Lunch:

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Sausage and mushroom strata, a bunch of pineapple eaten straight out of the container, sparkling water.

Snack:

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This was actually so delicious. It tasted exactly like a Mounds bar, which it probably was. Most “nutrition bars” are just candy bars with different wrappers, but somehow I still choose them every time over “actual” candy. Those marketing people. I’m looking at you DAD. 😉

Dinner:

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Stir-fried veggies, brown rice, salmon. My life changed this week when I discovered that you can broil salmon. When I cook it on the stove, I always burn it. When I bake it without a cup of butter, it is always dry. 7-10 minutes under the broiler and I have a perfectly cooked salmon filet in no time!

I also had a small bowl of Halo Top ice cream while David and I watched the news. I hope you have an amazing Wednesday!! I’m nannying this afternoon but until then it’s just me, a gallon of hot tea, and my bathtub.

Here’s a cute image to make your day, Santo fell fast asleep with his tongue sticking out just a teeeeeny bit yesterday. ❤

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Monday matters + lazy Sundays

Good morning and happy Monday to you! Wow, I cannot thank you enough for the response to my last post. It got the most views of any post I’ve done for a loooong time and I got some really sweet and encouraging feedback. Nobody wants to be seen as a whiner but apparently it goes over well when we can be honest with each other. You guys rock. I’m so glad I feel like I can blog again, I really missed it.

This weekend was fantastic! I was feeling pretty good pain-wise so it was easy to be cheerful and productive at work. Saturday morning I did the CNA thing and then came home to a cooking extravaganza!

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I made sausage and mushroom strata, dark chocolate chunk banana bread, grilled salmon, roasted vegetables, and brown rice. Hopefully that’s enough food to get us through the week! My parents also came over to hang with me and order some wedding photos. I accidentally sent the photos my mom ordered to the wrong address and had to cancel the order…so she had to start all over. I’m a treasure.

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Santo was in heaven having so many people at the house. That night David and I ate some of the salmon and vegetables and relaxed!

Sunday morning I was back doing my CNA gig. We have a new round of students doing their clinicals with us and they are wonderful. Everything is “how can I help?” “I noticed an unmade bed, is it ok if I go make that for you?” “what do you need next?” They make the job go by so smoothly and I know they’ll be amazing CNA’s and, eventually, nurses.

I once had two students who were the total opposite. I was in the middle of showering someone and I asked them to make the bed and one of them looked down at her sheet and said, “oh we already checked that one off the list. We don’t have to do that again.” And they continued to stand there…doing nothing. Just watching me.

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What?!? If someone asks you to help them with something, you do it! Even if you’re in the middle of something..you just say “oh let me finish up here and I’ll come help you.” So glad we have a fresh batch of students.

After work we had a blissful LAZY LAZY LAZY Sunday.

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My mom came over along with our friends Nicole and Skyler and we watched football, had some drinks, and brunched! I took a long nap in the afternoon and before bed David and I watched “The Voices” with Ryan Reynolds. Super freaking weird movie…but so good! I love Ryan Reynolds but I did not realize how talented of an actor he actually is.

Today I’m going to take a long walk, do some ultra light upper body strength training just to get some endorphins in mah brain, and then go nanny! I hope you have a lovely Monday!

Everybody has something

I’m not sure where to start this post. I haven’t blogged for weeks because there’s been some stuff going on with me that made sharing my day-to-day work life seem..fake somehow. Like I wasn’t being honest. I’ve been doing everything I said I’ve been doing, but the context was false.

I’ve just been feeling stuck lately. In a myriad of ways. I’m not where I wanted to be school-wise or health-wise. I thought that I would be in medical school right now, and I really did think that I was looking forward to the break. But some days I just feel so frustrated that my entire future depends on a group of people looking at a sheet of paper who have never me.

Health-wise, I am in pain 100% of the time. We aren’t totally sure why yet but the main point is that I can’t exercise beyond my job or walking the dog. This is my main outlet, and as silly as it sounds, sometimes I feel worthless when I can’t workout. Never mind that sometimes it’s challenging maintaining a cheerful demeanor when I’m in pain. I’ve been here before and it always goes away but then again…it always comes back. It’s quite frustrating.

You’re probably thinking…wow this must be the first-ever 24-year-old, recent college graduate who’s feeling a little stuck. Much wow. Big fanfare. And I know that this is God’s plan and I’ll be totally find and most of the time I truly do feel really good! But sometimes it’s hard looking on social media and reading about all the awesome awesome things going on in people’s lives and wondering…wow does anyone not have it all together?? So I’m just throwing this out here so that I can continue to share my life with y’all and not feel as though I’m hiding a huge part of myself from you.

I know that I am deeply happy. I will figure out my health. Someday. And my career will unfold if I keep working hard, doing my best, and advocating for myself. I hope anyone out there who might be dealing with anything similar reads this and realizes that behind all the shiny instagram photos and peppy Facebook posts, everybody has something.