Sunday, April 28, 2013


Difficult decisions lie ahead of me. I will tell more about it as it comes up as nothing is set in stone.

Kurumi still tries to cover Charlie's scent which unfortunately involves urinating outside the litter box. My friend and I have combined our efforts in treatment and prevention. She has found a seemingly effective treatment for carpet stains and odor, and I have found some preventative methods that will hopefully be effective in stopping the behavior! So last night I decided I would clean the carpet today.

I also decided to clean the cabinet doors as they have (and have always had from what I remember) gunk build up from oil in the kitchen (hands, cooking, etc).

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I will make art my hobby again... once the house is clean and we're in maintenance, that is.

Doing Whole 30 was a wonderful decision that I am loving and do not wish to stop in the near future. I have no creativity in regards to food, but I love how it makes me feel.

Friday night we went bowling with my friend and her husband. You could also say my cousin and his wife. It's whatever floats your boat. Either way, I heart them and it was great fun and nice to do something different :)

Today is rainy and gross, but I'm loving it and refuse to let it put a damper on my mood for cleaning and productivity.

Let it be known that I am not ready for Monday, but I'm excited to have next Saturday off.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Things

I've been promoted to the Center Training Coordinator for the plasma center I work for. I look forward to teaching people things.

I was discussing with my friend things that have improved since starting Whole 30. I've noticed that the lymph nodes in my neck have gone down in size. They are typically rather noticeable as I experience allergies quite often, but I haven't even experienced seasonal allergies while eating this way. My ear stuffiness has cleared up, and my husband says I snore less (if at all now). I used to spend 5+ minutes in the morning clearing out my sinuses and ears, but haven't had to do a thing in days.

I didn't sleep well last night and was kind of dragging this morning, but I ate some almonds on my first break and felt much better after that :)

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home for some produce. I've been eating so much green and not enough rainbow so I had to stock up!

I had a lavender encounter and developed a horrible underarm rash, but I finally figured out how to help it and it is slowly but surely going away. I just have to obsessively pat under my arms with baby powder every chance I get to keep them dry. I probably look silly to my coworkers.

I hope everyone is doing well! We're in the home stretch to the weekend :D

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whole 30 Week 1

I feel like I have endless energy while doing Whole 30.  I mean, I still crash at a sensible hour, but I don't hit that mid day energy slump that used to plague me.  Even if I don't sleep much, the sleep I do get is more sound... unless the cat starts crying in the middle of the night.   I haven't really felt the need for a nap except for the first day when I got a migraine during the adjustment.

It's much easier to eat this way than I thought it would be.  The only trap I ran into was going to my Aunt's for dinner last night.  She made pizza.  Pizza is most definitely not W30 acceptable, but I was starving and verging on a headache so I had a piece.  Then I felt crappy, sluggish, and tired.  With reactions like that I will likely stick to this paleo things longer than the 30 days.

I know it said not to step on the scale or take measurements while eating this way, but I'm horribly paranoid about the success of this all too simple eating plan (now obsessive habit).  I was a bad follower and did count my calories one day... and I may or may not have weighed myself this morning. I know, I know.  Shame.  Well, I've been stuffed eating this way, thinking I've been eating too much because meat is high in calories for what it is, etc.  As it turns out I've only been eating about 1200-1400 calories a day.  I was eating 1750 and usually going over, struggling to stay under that limit while eating carbs.  I upped my protein and cut out the carbs and now I'm struggling to eat more than 1400.  It's wonderful!  I've dropped about 5 pounds so far.  I'm thinking it isn't just water weight because I drink tons of water, but it could still be a false loss so I'll let you know in three weeks when the "challenge" is up.  I have all the peace of mind I need now that this way of living works well for me, internally and externally... at least for where I am in my life at the moment.

I haven't felt this great in a long while.  Aside from the extra (almost too much) energy, my nails already feel stronger, and my restrooms visits are more regular (to put it nicely).  I don't get dizzy if I get up too quickly, and my blood sugar seems more stable.  My teeth and gums even feel better!  My sugar cravings are disappearing which I thought was impossible.  I highly recommend you look into it.

It's a more strict version of a paleo lifestyle as it's goal is to eliminate any foods that could have a negative affect on your health as even mild allergies you don't even notice can have a great impact on your sense of being.  I will "upgrade" to paleo after my month (including honey, full fat organic cheeses [in moderation], etc) after my month is up, but for now I am extremely happy and thrilled with my results.

If the weight loss is, in fact, a fluke, I am okay with that as I've realized that no one but yourself truly cares if your fat.  I would be thrilled if this was my "miracle" for weight loss, but I will be happy knowing that I've taken such good care and thought into what goes into my food and my body.  Unfortunately at the moment I cannot afford top quality meats, but I will take cheap meats over the carbs.

On another topic, a few weeks ago my manager asked if I was leaving.  I excitedly said "no" at the time.  I wish I could still say that, but sadly, as I mentioned before, my finances will not allow me to continue my employment at the company unless they give me a raise or something.  I just can't afford it.  I'm going to see what the next few weeks brings, but I fear I will making some changes... changes that I'm not quite prepared for, but as the saying goes, "you gotta do what you gotta do".

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was great as I got to spend time with my best friend and some family.  I managed to clean out and organize two closets.  I've got one more to go and a few odds and ends lying around the house to put away and I'm done :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Whole 30 Days 1 & 2

Day one was a pretty difficult adjustment.  Breakfast was easy.   I mean, what's so hard about a veggie omelet?  Lunch was simple, with chicken and sugar snap peas.  It was my body's reaction to it that was so hard to deal with.  I ended up with a migraine by Monday night.  I don't know if it was waiting too long between breakfast and lunch to eat something, if I didn't eat enough in general, or if it's my monthly coming up in a few days (because you guys totally love reading about that).  It could be a combination of these things.

I took a nap, fixed my headache, and made dinner.  We had salmon, broccoli, and rice...well, Ryan had rice.  I had the former two.  He left some rice for me so I explained that he could have all of it (I only made a small amount).  He looked at me for a second and said, "ooohhhhh..."  He's going to have more trouble adjusting to not offering me things that I'm going to have sticking to my food choices.

Yesterday went much better.  I was reading that if you're not eating enough fats and proteins that you'll have hunger issues and not respond well so I included shredded coconut at breakfast and lunch for some healthy fats.  Best. Idea. Ever.  I forgot how much I loved shredded coconut :D

I noticed something the other day.  I don't scratch like most people scratch.  I run my hand side to side over an itch, or I push my nails away from me.  Most people draw their fingers toward them when they scratch.  I get weirded out thinking about all the skin cells under my finger nails after scratching like that.  It's probably silly, and I know there's no real harm in it as we shed and lose 40 pounds of skin in our life time so a hygienic person wouldn't be a threat to society by scratching in a normal manner, but my mind over exaggerates and enlarges the visual (like on a cereal box!) and makes it look gross.  Then I feel the need to wash my hands whether I've scratched or not.

I would love to ramble on about more nonsense, but I have to get ready for work.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whole30 and Other Things

Tomorrow I am joining a friend on a journey.  Trying to fix things around me isn't going to happen if I don't try to fix the stuff I am eating.  This won't be a baby step, though.  This is going to be a 30 day journey of jumping straight into the cleanest possible eating.  I am excited to feel further empowered.  Here is a link if you'd like to join us!

I am not buying the book or anything.  The website is extremely helpful on its own, and there are plenty of internet resources for recipes.

The only thing that really been stressing me out lately (and killing that empowerment) is our financial situation.  Every pay period we risk overdraft.  It's a battle of hoping that nothing hard posts onto the account until Wednesday or Thursday depending on which pay period it is.  And then we can't catch up or start relatively fresh because we've already having to deduct previous transactions on our most recent income.  It is terrifying, not to mention unhealthy.  If things don't look up at work I may have to look for a job closer to home (my least preferred option), ask to transfer back to my previous location (please, no), and/or move out of our house that we love so much (I don't want a sucky landlord and neighbors again *cry*).

All of this would be solved by moving to Texas, but we're not quite ready for that yet.  We look very forward to it, yes, but all of our friends are still here and we want to spend as much time with them as possible before we all leave the area.  There is even less to do where we're going that there is to do here, and we're not entirely ready to settle down that much.  I can't wait for the longer growing seasons so I can (hopefully) be mostly self sufficient in growing my own produce, have chickens, and all.  I can't wait to be able to afford to go back to school.  But, we're young, and we've got time.  I don't know how long it'll be before we go, but I know it'll be soon enough so I plan to at least try and enjoy the time we have here, financial stress and all.

At the moment, finances aside, I have three major tasks ahead of me.  I may have mentioned them, but if I have they still aren't done because they're not imperative to my survival in life so they keep getting put off, usually to hang out with the friends, etc.

The Camry needs to be cleaned.  The trunk is full of random odds and ends, including cardboard boxes, expired, but still edible, tortillas from Taco Bell (though I won't be eating them on Whole30), and water guns from the past several summers (they've been in there for the past several years).

The garage needs to be cleaned out.  It isn't much of a garage (no door, no interior walls, dirt floor, falling apart), but at least it could look more clean.  There is trash in which I can't remember its origin, old boxes, and it's ill organized.

Last, but certainly not least as it should improve the exterior of our house, is the flower bed.  There are no flowers.  It's all crabgrass, clay and weeds.  It would very difficult to fix so I plan to gut it, lay weed cloth, refill with good dirt, and start fresh.  This will still be difficult, but a fresh start is more satisfying that looking at, and trying to sanely maintain, the problem foundation.  I am sure this will provide time to continue testing the coconut oil sunscreen :)

I'm going to go play in the dirt now <3

Friday, April 12, 2013

SO Happy the Day is Over

It wasn't a "bad" day necessarily.  I wasn't really in a bad mood.  I just couldn't function as a human being.  I made careless mistakes at work, bumped into too many people, dropped things, couldn't write correct words or dates, could speak properly, and just sucked at living.

I spent three days this week in the sun and received copious amounts of rays.  I didn't all.  I make dinner tonight and I burn my finger with boiling water that ran down a wooden spoon.  It blistered immediately.  I've got it covered in aloe vera gel and coconut oil.  It's the middle finger on my right hand...on my first digit knuckle...right where it bends.  Sticking fingers at work tomorrow is going to be awful.

On a positive note, my coworkers kept me mostly cheery, I didn't have to close, I took a nap when I got home, and dinner was amazing.  Oh, and my homemade deodorant is still working wonders.  I'm trying really hard to smell a fault and I just can't find one.

Ryan's mom is visiting soon.  I'm super excited.  I miss that woman <3

I forgot to mention that I made my own automatic dishwasher powder in yesterday's post.  I'm still trying to work out kinks in the recipe.  Our dishwasher never really did all that great with cleaning, even with really "good" commercial brands.  It does better with the homemade, but not wonderful.  I still end up washing my drinking glasses by hand.

It is time to cuddle and watch Futurama.  It's so much better now that I've seen the first episode.  It actually makes sense and doesn't just look plain stupid.

I wish I had a more informative post for you.  I bet you're surprised that you actually get three posts this week ;)

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crunchy and What Not

This whole ridding my house of chemicals thing is wonderful.  I feel better, have more energy, generally sleep better, and I've become aware of my body and its processes.  I has really allowed me to recognize and respond to situations I never would have given a second thought about.  I love it.  I would probably have more trouble adjusting if I jumped in to everything all at once, but taking baby steps has made this an easy, and quite pleasant, journey.  This has also saved me a great deal of money in addition to the physical and mental well-being aspects.

In mid January, I used a friend's recipe to make laundry detergent.  It cost me a whopping $3 to make, and I'm STILL using it three months later with plenty more to go.  My whites are whiter, my colors are brighter, and it has pretty awesome stain removal abilities (grass stains after mowing yesterday).  It even worked on dried up cat vomit (the gross, hairy, slimy, dried kind...because you SO wanted to read that).

I used beet and carrot juice to "dye" my hair.  It wasn't a noticeable dye job to anyone, but I noticed more depth to the color which satisfied my need to do something to my hair without actually doing anything drastic to it.  Note: if using a home juicer, strain the pulp before putting it in your hair.  Mmhmm...yep.

A couple of weeks ago I used up the last of my cleaning product so I began using equal parts water and vinegar.  I'm not overly fond of the smell of vinegar, but it's okay.  I kept reminding myself that it was essentially a salad dressing and that helped me mentally.  The smell also goes away when it dries.  Note for those who love hard core cleaners so you feel that your house is super duper clean: the acid in the vinegar is a natural disinfectant.  No need to poison yourself with commercial cleaner residue (because I know you don't rinse everything with water after cleaning...and because water isn't enough to get rid of all residue).  The body is made to fight off certain things.  You're fighting bacteria at home, not cooties at the hospital.  It'll be okay.  Just do it.

I also stopped using shampoo months ago.  I mix baking soda with my conditioner.  Two in one, baby.  Yes, I know the conditioner has chemicals, too, but my main concern was the stuff that makes shampoo lather.  It's icky and harmful.  How has my hair reacted?  After getting used to my hair not being silky smooth after rinsing, it's been great!  It's still super soft when it dries, it's manageable and pretty easy to style, even WITHOUT products to hold it in place, I have less dandruff and dry skin, my scalp no longer itches when I sweat, and it's super quick and easy....and cheap.  Everything I mention here will be if you hadn't figured that out.

I'm about to try a hand soap recipe...thing.  I've got to find a recipe that doesn't simply water down a commercial bought bar of soap because that's defeating the purpose.

I'm going to start making my own loaf bread instead of buying the processed garbage from the store.  I try to eat everything else minimally processed.  There's no reason not to try the bread to given how much of it we eat.

Yesterday I made deodorant... as discussed in yesterday's post.  It held strong ALL day, even through mowing the second half of the yard.  It's marvelous!  My commercial deodorant typically runs out of staying power less than half way through the work day.  I just can't rave enough about this one.  I still sweat, but that's tolerable.  I just don't want to smell.

I haven't jumped on the tooth paste thing.  My teeth are prone to cavities so I'm hesitant about replacing it, but it turns out that the glycerin in most commercial tooth pastes prevent your teeth from remineralizing so maybe it would be better to make my own.

I don't use a face wash anymore.  It's coconut oil, or coconut oil with baking soda if I need extra oil control of exfoliation.  It also, obviously, acts as my moisturizer.

Lastly, I went without sunscreen this evening when I finished mowing the yard.  I went 30 minutes without any issues.  I wore a hat and glasses to protect my eyes, but that was it.  It was also evening and not the worst time of day to be in it.  I obviously won't know if the coconut oil sun lotion will be successful until later, but I'll try to keep you updated and progress...or faults if it happens.

This isn't a chemical issues, but a lifestyle choice.  We began recycling when we moved into this house.  I never knew how much stuff we threw away until I started looking at the many things that can be recycled.  There are weeks when I put two bins by the road.  People who have recycling services offered to them, should take advantage of them.

Back to chemicals and mass market companies.  I am baffled and appalled that they use the ingredients they choose and happily market their products to the public.  They are truly dreadful and should be avoided at all cost.  We are led to believe that these products are safe and beneficial, but they are most certainly not.  We are slowly poisoning ourselves as a society, and most of us don't even know it because there isn't enough education about the issue at hand.

I realize that I have written about the improvements I've chosen to make, but haven't really discussed why.  Aside from being cheaper, and not really all that time consuming, I started because I care about my health and watched too many documentaries to not want to make a change.  I may pick topics to discuss, one at a time to help this purpose...things like aluminum in deodorant, fluoride in toothpaste and our drinking water, phthalates in fragrances, etc.

For now, though, I think I've rambled long enough.  I hope you've had a good wednesday!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring is Here!!

This means one thing.  Garden!!! I mowed the yard today...well, the back yard....most of it.  I thought I was going to die.  Our yard is really dippy (previous tenants had dogs...dogs that dig), it's on a slight incline (after several passes it feels like a large incline), and we have a very basic push mower.  This year we're hoping to sell this one and put the money toward a self propelled mower so the task will be less daunting.  It started off pretty nice, though, and thankfully it was breezy out :)

In regards to sun protection, I'm going to try something new.  Sunscreen would inevitably come up on my chemical no-no list, so I started looking at alternatives well before spring got here.  The body is amazing, and if treated properly, will generally take care of necessary processes, sun protection included.  I mean, how did the primal human make it before such protection?

The low down:

Sunscreen is made to prevent your body from absorbing rays that turn cells cancerous.  Unfortunately, our bodies rely on the sun to product Vitamin D.  No ray absorption = no Vitamin D.  I learned recently that Vitamin D helps your body protect against sun damage.  You may still color, etc, but Vitamin D aids in preventing our cells from turning cancerous.  No ray absorption = no Vitamin D = no natural sun protection.  All of this sunscreen business is another money making marketing scam....mostly.  I still believe in some protection.  I wore a hat and sunglasses while mowing to protect my eyes and what not.

At the moment, I am "seasoning" my skin to the sun.  You obviously can't go out for hours and expect your skin to react kindly.  Start out slow.  I worked in the yard this weekend in 10-20 minute increments.  Today I was out for about 40 minutes.  I used a low SPF moisturizer to help for now.  I also used it so I can use up the last of my store bought moisturizer and convert completely to coconut oil.  So far, I have not experienced any burning sensations, just that nice warm relaxed sense of being :)

The final ingredient to this fix is coconut oil.  It serves the same sort of protection that Vitamin D does as it prevents cells from turning cancerous.  It also helps, possibly more so, if ingested, so I've started cooking with it or adding it to my smoothies or coffee, etc.  This is, of course, not at all guaranteed, but there is extensive research supporting these claims, and being fair skinned, I am thrilled to see if it proves true as sunscreens are extremely greasy and uncomfortable to wear.

Why don't I just buy an all natural sunscreen?  Why would you even ask me that?  You know I can't afford all of that with the $350 (not including extra gas usage and time away from home due to the drive) less I get a month since my work transfer (bitter much?).  Part of making things from scratch is to save money.  We're lucky if we break even right now.

Making things from scratch has been great fun.  I've also noticed a definite improvement in my mood and energy since using less chemicals in the house.  I'll give an update later on the switches I've made.  It is a slow process as I don't want to overwhelm myself by making everything all at once.  I also have a small stock pile of various products that I intend to use up as I did pay money for them.  I've contemplated giving stuff away, but decided against it.  It's mostly my body sprays from Bath and Body Works, but the time it will take me to use them will give me a chance to stock up on essential oils that I can use as perfume later as I can't afford to buy all of the necessary or wanted essential oils at the moment.

I hope you guys are well and experiencing warm weather wherever you may be.