Monday, April 25, 2016

Jaffa Whip

So as I said the other day, I'm going low carb again.  My biggest weakness is always sweets.  You'd think that I would be able to give them up after all the times they've made me sick, but I just keep going back.  I guess I like hurting myself.

I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners, but I understand that they have their place.  For me, when I'm cutting out sugar, I need something to replace it for a little while until I've gotten over the initial withdrawal. 

Thank goodness for Linda over at Linda's Low Carb!  I love her website.  I probably visit it at least once a week, even when I'm not eating low carb.  The recipes are just good and easy and usually pretty healthy.  I don't know what I'd do if her website went down; I actually asked Chad if he thought it was crazy to print all her recipes and make a kind of book (he said that yes it would be crazy). 

The latest recipe at Linda's is called Jaffa Whip.  It's a recipe she found from someone else's website that isn't there anymore (see, I'm not paranoid; it could happen!).  Thankfully, she saved it and posted it for all of us.  It's supposed to taste like a Jaffa cookie, which I've never had but that sounds delicious.  It's a little bit of work to make it, but I have to admit that it's the most delicious thing ever!  Here's a picture from Linda's website:

It's extremely hardy, though.  Linda says it makes four servings, but I'm going to say it'll probably be more like 6-8 for us.  I personally can't eat very much of this in one sitting since I don't have a gallbladder.  Usually fat doesn't bother me these days, but this is pretty much a fat bomb, so I have to be careful.  But that's ok, because a little really fills you up.  Plus, you get your chocolate fix!  

Thanks for saving and sharing the awesome recipe, Linda!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Prayer In Spring

(For some reason, this didn't post when I scheduled it a month ago.  What's up, blogger?  So here it is now!  It's still relevant!)

I'm a big Robert Frost fan.  But then again, who isn't?  I have a nice little book of his poems sitting on my art desk, and once in a while I pull it out and read one of my favorite poems.  It usually cheers me up, because a lot of his poetry is so down to earth and lighthearted.

One of my very favorites is a poem called A Prayer In Spring, and I like to read it when the flowers start blooming and the bees are out.  It helps me to remember to slow down and enjoy spring while it's here.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

 I got some nice pictures of a couple of the early flowers coming out in my yard.  They're so early this year! 


Snow crocuses
Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers sometime.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Positive Move

Sorry about the extreme angst in my last post.  I thought that once I hit 30, I would stop being quite so angsty, but it just never happened.  You should have seen me as a teenager though!  That was quite a sight. 

After writing that post, I spend the night thinking about diet and body image.  I wondered if it would actually be that bad to go low carb again to lose weight.  I mean, how many health writers have I read in the past year that have said it's not healthy to eat or exercise in order to change your body?  Quite a few, actually.  I've been trying to love my body the way it is now and the weight it wants to be, knowing that diets tend to make me feel more negative about myself.  I actually do feel pretty good about my body most days.

But it's still true that I'm a lot heavier now than I was just six months ago, and I'm finding it harder to do things that used to be easy for me and my knees are bothering me as well.  Not only that, but I grew out of most of my clothing, and I just hate that. 

Poor Chad has also gained weight.  Are most guys like that?  When you're off your diet, they eat badly with you?  Chad sure is.  Every time I indulge, he's right there with me.  It's nice to know I'm not the only one that wants to cram buckets of icecream in my face, but it makes me feel bad when he complains about the clothes he can't wear anymore.  He wasn't very big to begin with, but he's gotten more of a belly. 

So when he came down on Monday morning, saying he couldn't fit into another shirt, I took it as a sign and asked him if he wanted to go low carb again.  He was all for that.  I know guys aren't as sensitive about their weight as women, but I can tell it still bothers him that he's gained (I'm guessing 20 pounds). 

It's been three days now!  I forgot how easy low carb eating is.  Luckily, I didn't really have to change much since we don't eat bread or other carbage.  Basically, I cut down on the fruit, started using lower carb veggies (Brussels sprouts instead of carrots, say), stopped drinking as much milk, and cut out all sugar which includes my water kefir.  I also cut out the resistant starches for now.  I'm considering this as a kind of fast, kind of like the original Atkins diet that has a super low carb induction period that gets your body into the swing of things. 

I'm not following a plan, just playing things by feel.  I think what we'll do is eat this way for at least a couple of weeks and then see how things are going.  At that point, I might add back in resistant starches, since they're important to gut health.  Again, I really have no plan.  I just want to lose some of this weight. 

 I actually decided that focusing on losing some weight might be good for my body image right now.  It's not like I want to lose 100 pounds; at this point, I know that's not something I can do.  I have a limit of 185 pounds.  And who knows, that limit might be higher now that I'm older.  I just want to lose the weight I gained this fall and winter.  It was such a hard time for me emotionally, and getting rid of the weight might help me fully move on from everything that happened. 

I feel really good about this!  I'm definitely excited.  I've gotten out for long walks everyday, including a nice long hike on Sunday.  Plus, the garden calls!  I went out and planted my snap peas tonight, which means it won't be long before I'm out there everyday.  Oooh, and my raspberries shipped yesterday!  And my apples are just about to bloom.  Oh, I'm so excited. 

So yes, I'm in a much better mood than I was the other day.  I guess I have my moods.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ghosts From The Past

I randomly decided to read some of my old posts on Tumblr.  It was kind of funny to see how wide eyed and gung ho about low carb I was.  And also kind of sad.  It seems like I'm always struggling with my weight, and I'm always fighting with my body about the food I put into it. 

And here I am, 45 pounds heavier.  Yes, really.  I keep telling myself the weight is from the hormones of being pregnant and then being on Depo.  Maybe that's true, I don't know.  My cycle still isn't normal, seven months later.  But I also haven't been eating exactly that well, and I sure as heck haven't been exercising. 

I just feel so lost lately.  I have a wonderful life, a loving husband, a beautiful home, stimulating hobbies and family that mostly cares about me.  So why do I feel like I'm lost at sea, bobbing aimlessly? 

At least when I was low carb, I had something to be really passionate about.  It gave me purpose-- I was going to eat well and lose weight so I could be featured in one of those cool blogs.  It also gave me a tribe to connect to.  The low carb community is vast and usually pretty welcoming. 

But I feel like I know too much now.  The whole resistant starch thing and safe carbs and everything else has made it too hard for me to strictly follow that diet anymore. 

I wish I had something to be passionate about.  Or maybe I just don't have it in me to be passionate right now. 

I've been thinking a bit lately about kids, too.  I actually thought I was all over this stuff, so I don't know where this is all coming from.  It's sad to think I'll never had kids.  And surprising.  I feel like I haven't figured out what my life purpose is going to be yet.  When you have kids, it's like you have an automatic purpose; you raise them, send them off into the world, and if you die young, people will think, "Oh, well at least he left a legacy".  What do I have to show for myself?  I'm an introverted high-school dropout housewife who spends too much time watching Netflix and making art that no one will ever see. 

And I really hate being as big as I am.  I wish I could lose the weight, but it's not budging.  To be fair, I'm not trying very hard.  But I don't want to try really hard, either, because I usually go too far and end up doing some mental damage.  I'm so confused about life.  I wish I could just be happy with my body the way it is, but I'm just not.  I keep thinking that people are looking at me, thinking about how lazy and gluttonous I must be, and I know they're right.  I am lazy and I do overeat. 

What's the answer?  The part of my brain that likes happy endings is telling me, "Just get busy with your art/crafts/house repair work and you'll feel happier and you won't eat as much".  That's great advice, brain, but right now it just doesn't feel good enough.