Commit To Being Healthy|60 Days On Whole30

February is a short month, but judging by all the craziness happening in the short twenty-eight days, it seemed to drag on longer than expected. No, it was not getting bored with Whole30 meals, but the weather here in Seattle. What made February a crazy month was the two three winter snow storms that hounded the Seattle area. If you saw the post on the snowpocalypse you would understand why it was called an apocalypse. Sticking to Whole30 is hard when you really want to indulge in hot chocolate- real creamy hot chocolate- without falling off the wagon. Thank goodness someone figured out how to make hot chocolate Whole30 compliant. Other than shoveling snow constantly (hey exercise!), February was a month of dodging all that Valentines Days candy on sale or at work (and girl scout cookies too, ugh double whammy!). I somehow made it through without having the damn sugar dragon going on all-out war. Here is a recap of what commit to being healthy!

Progress Snapshot:

After all the snow shoveling I should have lost some weight. After stepping back on the scale after another thirty days, I had managed to loose 4.5lbs! Some of it had to do with starting to train for a 5k in July. Right now I have managed to average 10lb weight loss in two months.

How Was I Successful?

Have you ever struggled to drink enough water? I have! I came across an Instagram story by Brittney Aldean (Jason Aldean’s wife) talking about how she struggled with drinking enough water during her pregnancy. She recommended Liquid I.V. electrolyte drink mix as a way for the body to get more hydrated. Being the scientist I am, I did a little research and tried the stuff out for a whole week. I found it did help keep me hydrated during the day (science lab air can be very drying during the winter months) and did help in drinking an equivalent of three glasses with a single packet. The difference I found with Liquid I.V. does not taste like a sports drink, but more towards what Pedialyte taste like. After a month drinking the stuff I started to make a habit of drinking more water or tea to reach the eight glasses a day of water.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

All those Valentines Day candies on sale because of the snow storm. Yep, almost too a nose dives into a bowl of Hersey’s kisses and hugs because I need a hug after driving in the winter storms.

Also I noticed (TMI alert) I’m passing gas more frequently (not the stinky stuff) then before. This could be a side effect of my gut health being restored back to normal working order, and the rest of my body is still trying to catch up with the new changes. Who knows!

What Can I Do Differently?

One thing I could do differently is not stress about all the things I cannot eat! There has been times where the stress went through the roof when trying to find something to eat that was Whole30 compliant. I have to remember this is elimination diet of foods that are potential issues, and not eliminate natural flavor of the foods itself.

How Do I Feeling?

Feeling like I am slowly managing the sugar dragon, and making a dent into making a habit of eating healthy clean food.

What Motivates Me?

Image result for refuse to abuse 5k

I signed up for my first 5k run in a few years for July. Now $40 into this, I might as well get serious on being committed to being healthy if I want to run majority of this race.

I Give Myself  3/5  Stars

The Process of Cleaning Out My Life-Konmari Style

KonMari method has been making the rounds in the first months of 2019. Everywhere I turn another person is telling me how the Netflix show starring Marie Kondo has changed their life. I would like to call myself an organized person. Even my desk and lab bench at work are organized in an OCD way. Yet when watching the show I realized what I thought organized stuff was really just organizing chaos into bins. The Bowl Full of Lemons organization method was no longer working anymore! But my desire for the organization did not begin after watching Netflix, it began after a whirlwind summer and college graduation this past year.

With every new stage/level/etc in life, there is some degree of needing to purge, organize and update one’s life. The whole process took more than a weekend, but months as I did a deep cleaning of both my physical space and mental space.

Konmari The Shit Out Of The House:

Starting from the attic to the basement was the approach and one room at a time. Since I was unemployed for two of the months, I had time to take one room and deep cleaned the area out. One room I do not hear people talk about in the KonMari method is the attic or basement. Cleaning out the attic was a walk down memory lane.

I am a book nerd by default and the number of books I have acquired over the years is a testament to this. When in college a second time, I rented most of my textbooks instead of buying them. This helped in keeping the cost down and not being stuck with outdated textbooks. Still, there were a lot of books to purge I no longer found interesting, outgrew and no longer relevant to my life. Most of the book went to second-hand booksellers, Goodwill, and Amazon Market Place. I made rougly $30 selling the books!

Organizing filing cabinet is going down the proverbial black hole. Clearing out old paper work from years ago and shredding them takes time. One organizational tip I have employed in the past is using a manila envelope to hold all my tax documents and accompaned filing paperwork together. Each envelope roughly with the tax year (came in handy during college FASA submissions) and when you need to reference a year, you just pull out the envelope.

Moving to other areas of the home was cleaning out old tattered kitchen towels, bath towels, nasty Tupperware containers, broken electronics, chargers without a mate, all the Bath and Body free samples, and just throwing stuff out no longer being used. Even the contents of the car had to pass does it spark joy test or things just had to go.

Cleaning Out The Closet

After three half years of being a poor college student, I noticed my clothing looked old tired, ratty, and outright inappropriate for career clothing. Even the work clothes I use to wear before college looked dated and age-inappropriate. Purging my closet started with doing all the laundry, then putting all my clothes in a pile and sorted them out. First going through sorting out all clothes with holes, rips, and stains-trashed. Then started sorting clothing by type, and then started getting to nitty gritty of the Konmari method. By the time I had finished the process, it came apparent I needed to do a complete wardrobe overhaul for the next stages of life. Over the months I have slowly rebuilt my wardrobe both for work and non-work items.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

Little by little bags full of clothing made its way to the local Goodwill, and a few items in good condition went to friends or family. The whole purging and organizing my closet gave insight into how much clothing came from fast fashion brands where low quality clothing fell a part fast. Since the purging I have been spending a little more on clothing I buy for the quality of the item, and taking much better care of the clothing I have.

Saying Buh-Bye: Decluttering Relationships

At this point in my life, if I put all the effort in a friendship or relationship and it does not seem like the other person shares the same values, morels, or not putting in the effort, it wont work out. I no longer hold on to relationships just because. Toxic relationships do not spark joy, but take joy. I read another fellow blogger’s take on KonMari method to toxic relationships, their method is to throw everything onto a pile, every man, every financial burden, every negative person influencing your vibe or taking up unnecessary space or time. Just like physical objects, go piece by piece asking yourself “does this spark joy? Do I need this in my future?” This meant taking the physical things given in the relationship I had been holding on to and letting them go. Not only purging the physical things, but also the mental and spiritual things cluttering my life due to those relationships.

Purging & Balancing Social Media

How do you KonMari method the shit out of your social media? Being honest with yourself on what you want in social media expereince. I purged a few things on this blog. Archiving old posts, cleaning up old posts, updating popular post for the most updated information. Instagram feed needed to be purged of a few followers (I realized some “followers” are porn accounts! Does anyone have/had this problem? Even when your is is private?) and unfollowed a few accounts I no longer want to see anymore. Cleaning up Pinterest boards for better organization of pins. I love the feature of having subcatagories within a board to further organize pins into. Lately have been disenchanted with Facebook. Purging or unfollow people I no longer keep in contact with (very old co-workers) or have not met in real life (yep have a few of those).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Konmari process did not take a weekend to do, but a few months. The best advice for sparking joy is to trust the process. Trust your own process in decluttering your life, your space, and the people you no longer need that once upon a time brought you joy, but is now taking up space. Konmari method is about trusting the process in cleaning out to be healthy again.



Valentine’s Day Six Years Later|Forgiveness

I came across the first blog post I wrote for this blog (Life Must Moving On-2012) while cleaning up a few blog posts. Last year I celebrated six years with WordPress and little by little this blog post was pushed in a dark corner of my blog’s filing cabinet not seen daylight for five years. A dark place really for a post full of hurt and pain. Moving on from any relationship is hard, let alone a dark sinister one filled with violence. Dating violence, domestic violence, and any form of violence have a lasting impact on someone’s life for years. Sometimes it takes a long time to fully heal from the damage someone inflicts upon you.

In the past few years, I have started to tell bits and pieces of my story, a story when played out in spoken words has an impact I never expected. See some of us who have been through it really don’t talk about it, instead choose to move forward to what the future holds for us and one day when we have an unguarded moment, we talk. I find myself only talking when I am confronted with it from another person’s life story I either read, heard or saw first hand. All the while keeping from deflecting my experiences on to the other person. It takes a lot of strength to not fall apart when helping a fellow person who is going through abuse. This strength could only come from forgiveness of my own experience.

It does take a lot to forgive someone who has done an unspeakable thing to you. Especially when they have moved on with their lives knowing well what they had done. Yet, in order for anyone to move on, you do have to forgive the person, not say it never happened, but more for yourself to move on into the future you want for yourself. By allowing forgiveness to lead you to the person(s) who would never dream of hurting you like the other person did, you start the process of healing fully.

For me, it took a long road to fully heal and to finally say I forgive them fully. It took a trip to Tanzania with Northwest University/Convoy of Hope, two positions in biotech, going back to school to finish what I started before them, finding the real true friends and family who would walk every painful step towards healing. In six years I have rebuilt my life, what it took one person to destroy in two years. In those six years, Jesus and many people along the road came through many times to get me to where I am today. Most of all to the men I dated after who even when the relationship did not work out, taught me love does not destroy another person but strengthens them to a better person than before.

Never again will I justify the scars just because I loved the person holding the knife. - Steve Maraboli

Valentine’s day is about love, but for some, the day is about love through forgiveness of one’s self and forgiveness for another person’s false love. To me, Valentine’s day is about freeing myself from abuse disguising as love, and the ultimate act of love, forgiveness.

I have said this countless time to people before,

I was a victim, then a survivor, now I am thriving!

I no longer am a victim to the pain of someone’s actions long ago anymore!

The Seattle Snow Apocalypse

The storm had a name. Like a hurricane, the snow storm was called Maya. Maya had come to this part of United States, just as Lucian did in the Midwest and the East Coast. Our polar vortex, and one which involved ice sheets on hills.

The first round of the snow came Sunday evening during the Superbowl game. At this point, people were already at home either watching the most boring Superbowl game in history or like myself taking a nap with the cat after a busy morning at church. I did not miss much, only the fact the only entertainment came during the half time show when Adam Levine took his shirt off. As the game slowly progressed to the end with the enviable of the Patriots winning again (insert eye roll), the snow was starting to stick to the ground and piling up. Even Maddie the Maine Coon did not even want to go out in the snow (Maine Coons are built for snow!).

Starting to snow!

Come Monday morning there was snow still falling on the roads and low viability for many trying to commute to work early in the morning. I decided to stay safe and worked from home. There was no way I was going to get out of the driveway on a hill with an ice sheet under without crashing into a neighbors car. Come Tuesday morning I braved the cold icy roads to get to work. Yet this snow storm was not going to let all of us in western Washington off the hook easy. Nope! Another snow storm was coming our way again Friday afternoon.

Birds enjoying the snow

For the rest of the week leading up to Friday, there was a lot of checking the weather reports, consulting The Weather Channel app, and checking Cliff Mass’s weather blog for updates on what was deemed “the snow apocalypse” of 2019. Thursday afternoon I was getting updates from Instagram and Facebook showing the crazy long lines at area grocery stores of people stocking up on supplies to ride out the storm heading our way. By the time Friday morning rolled around there were empty shelves and one Safeway completely trashed from people going crazy.

Image result for seattle grocery store snow
Photo: The Seattle Times

Makes you think vintage/ homesteading skills need to be tough to children and adults after witnessing this chaos.

Image result for seattle grocery store snow
Photo: My Ballard

Friday morning I did not have the luxury to stay home, so I went in to work at 6 am to get stuff done before the snow was to hit. The lab I work in has these large windows that see out into the parking lot and at roughly 12:30pm the large flurries of snow started in Bothell. The food truck schedule that day was only there for 45 minutes before it left in a hurry. By 1pm our building and lab had a few scattered people around trying to finish the days work before leaving. One co-worker snagged the last show shovel on her way to work that morning and was ready to conquer the snow at this point as she carried it around with her the whole time. When I finally left at 1:30pm the snow was starting to stick in the parking lot. By this time the roads in and around Bothell Canyon Park area were packed solid from everyone trying to leave all at once. It took roughly 30-40 minutes to get out of the area as the snow kept coming down. It became an hour and a half commute home in the end.

Traffic Jam In Canyon Park Bothell

Saturday I woke up to a little bit of snow coming down. In the afternoon it was time to clear the driveway and the vehicles of snow. The neighbors around started to shovel the drive ways and even their patch of the street out front to help with traction.

The block during shoveling fest

All the snow shoveling called for a nice cup of homemade hot chocolate and some nice homemade shepard’s pie.

Sunday church was cancelled, but our pastor was creative in recording a condense version of the sermon for the day. After digging out the driveway on Saturday, we managed to drive to the grocery store for some necessities. Eggs and potatoes were still out of stock, and people were still freaking out and buying a months worth of food (which will go to waste in a few days!!) after a third storm was coming through. We managed to get some milk and English muffins knowing we still had food at home.

Woke up Monday morning to an email from work saying they were open, but please use extream caution when coming in. With another round of snow heading into the afternoon, I decided to work from home.

A foot of snow!

The snow has been piling up over the last couple to days to the point that some of the snow drifts have a total of eleven inches to one foot of snow in some parts of the yard!

Even the gnome is over this weather!

After this week is over I will probably not want to see snow again for some time! Having semi cabin fever is taking a toll. There is only so much I can do at home when it comes to work (I work in the science industry-lab work) on a laptop. Hopefully storm Maya decides to head out of Western Washington for good.

Good thing out of all this snow, having a lot of water for summer months!

Thank You, Next..

Thought I’d end up with Dennis, but he wasn’t a match. Wrote some songs about John, now I listen and laugh. Even almost got married and for Andrew, I’m so thankful. Wish I could say “thank you” to Michael cause he was an angel.

One Taught Me Love

One Taught Me Patience

One Taught Me Pain

Now I’m so amazing. I’ve loved and I’ve lost, but that is not what I see.

So Look What I Got

  • Finished a bachelors degree in biology
  • Traveled to amazing places around the world
  • Gained amazing and wonderful friends in the process
  • Made my way back to Jesus.
  • Grew from the drama
  • Accomplished dreams and goals

Look What You Taught Me

  • To be stronger with the healing
  • Love is a verb
  • I have dreams worth pursuing
  • Some people come into your life to teach you to let go.
  • There is nothing wrong with who I am
  • Still loveable even if broken by someone else
  • Let of the fear of striking out – the game of baseball
  • New hobbies I never knew I enjoy.
  • How to be single and love it.

And for that, I say thank you, next. I’m so grateful for my exes.

I spend more time with my friends, I ain’t worried about nothing. Plus I met someone, we have better discussions, but this is going to last. He taught me love, he taught me patience, and how he handles pain, that sh!t is amazing. But that is not what I see, cause look what I’ve found. No need to search for love the old ways.

I’m grateful for my exes, thank you next.

One day I’ll walk down the aisle holding hands with my Dad. I’ll be thankful my Dad for helping me grow from all the drama. Only want to do it once real bad. Going to make it last. God forbid something should happen. Going to last.

I have so much love, have so much patience. I’ve learned from the pain. I turned out amazing because of it. I’ve loved and I’ve lost, but that’s not what I see. Cause look what I have found.

For that, I say thank you, next. Thank you to my exes for letting me go to find something better.

When this song came out I felt the validation in what I have been telling myself over the years. Every heartbreak, every moment I accomplished something I have dreamt of finally coming to reality. But mostly the song shows how far I have come in finding the one who one day come along and stay my life. To those who are still searching for love or yet to find love, the journey is full of heartbreak, beauty and unexpected moments that will shape you into who you are meant to be. In the end the one person who is meant to stay in your life may it be a guy or a girl, will be thankful for all your exes because this person will have the best you. Love is a verb. Love happens when you love others as well as yourself.

Thank You, Next by Ariana Grande. Original song lyrics by Ariana Grande with altered lyrics by me.

Which Way Is Your Deck Chair Facing?

charlie-brown-cruise-ship

Which way is your deck chair facing?

I came across this little comic while cleaning out paper piled up over the past year. Little bits and pieces shoved in file folders, hence this comic, told the small story of what has transpired in 2018. Some of these pieces of paper showed where my “deck” chair was pointed. Every year I have blogged, I always look back on what happened in the year (What A Year It Has Been) and thought about the lesson or experiences I have encountered. Yet where was my deck chair facing? Was it facing backward instead of forwards?

I remember last year as I was riding the ferry all over the Puget Sound, I always found myself at the back of the boat as the ferry pulled away saying goodbye, but as the boat headed toward the new destination, it was in the front ready to greet whatever was to come once I stepped off the boat. Then there were times I was at the front of the boat looking at the horizon the whole time. The horizon the future, the port left the past.

The song Auld Lang Syne comes to mind around New Year’s Eve.

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.

The song is often used as symbolism to endings/new beginnings. New Year means new beginnings, hope for the future, hope for an answer long overdue, or a long waited for a goodbye to the past. Saying goodbye to the past year in the Scottish tradition reminds us to not have the past keep holding us back. Make a decision which way you want to greet the new year.

Yet the wax eloquent of Lucy’s statement to Charlie Brown hits into a deep recess of those of us who find ourselves standing one foot in the past and another foot in the future. You could say our deck chair is neither in one direction nor our cruise ship out of port.

telescope in front of body of water
Photo by allows the happiest face on Pexels.com

The deck chair facing which direction indicates where you want to go in life. Where you want to go this year. Facing the bow towards the future? Facing the stern towards the past? Or does the chair face in another direction? Is the new year a new beginning or is it an ending?  The deck chair is the decision we all must make about the new year ahead of us.

On the cruise ship of life, pull up a deck chair and decided in 2019 which way your deck chair is going to be facing. Where it is facing is where your year is going to go.