Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whole30 – Long-Overdue Update!

So much for updating along the way with our Whole30 challenge!  We finished several weeks ago, went back to eating forbidden foods (on a very limited basis) for a little over a week, and now are back on Whole30 with a few exceptions.

My goals, and reflections are listed below:

1.  Cut out the cravings for sugar and grease.
This was the biggest change that I noticed.  I still long for fat and sweets; however, when I did indulge afterward they tasted completely different.  Coca-Cola was disgustingly metallic, my oatmeal peanut butter snack bars were overly rich, and a brownie in a mug was grossly sweet.

2.  Cleanse!
Yeah.  Eat ground flax meal on a regular basis and you will be cleansed.  We added a tablespoon of flax to our smoothies, and I rolled chicken or tilapia in flax, then cooked the meat in coconut or olive oil.  Delicious and very high in fiber!

3. To identify any other dietary headache triggers that one or both of us may have. (I have already identified MSG, aspartame, and excessive food coloring such as in Skittles as my migraine triggers)
I didn’t find any other triggers, and still got headaches.  This revelation was frustrating, but at the same time, it’s good to know that I can’t do any more, diet-wise, to reduce my migraines.  I hypothesize that the remainder of my headaches are due to things like weather (barometric pressure/humidity) and hormone cycles.  Unfortunately, these cannot be controlled.

4.  Segway into a healthier way of eating.  We pretty much eat a standard American diet, save for avoiding the items I listed above in number three.  I think we each manage about one vegetable and one-two fruits per day, and I want to do better than that.

Done.  My cart at the grocery store is now loaded with fresh produce, meat, frozen fruit, and eggs.  I use almond milk instead of cow’s milk for cooking.  I will eat cheese once or twice per week, but it’s a small amount, and way less than pre-challenge.  We don’t buy soda, flour, or sugar anymore.

5. Get better sleep.  I've testimonials of other people that have conquered this challenge and said they slept much better on this diet.  Since I still struggle with insomnia now and then, that'd be nice.
I saw no change in my sleep.  Disappointing, but again, I guess it’s good to know that I can’t do anything else with my diet to fix my insomnia.

One unexpected quality that I gained from this challenge is confidence in the kitchen.  I’ve been less afraid to experiment in the kitchen, and have had to force myself to learn how to work with unfamiliar ingredients such as flax seed, coconut flour, etc.

Our workout challenge (Focus T25) is going great!  I feel so strong and am really seeing better muscle tone.  We are on week seven of ten.  I’m both looking forward to the end and worrying about how to continue this level of fitness.

Between the two challenges, I lost eight and a half pounds during the first week and about two more in following weeks.  I gained a few during our week off and am still working on getting back to that initial number I lost, plus lose more!

Adoption Update: Waiting to be Matched

I feel like I need to apologize for the lack of updating.  At the same time, apologizing seems silly because there really hasn’t been much to update anyone one. 

We did receive “supplemental questions for matching approval” from the Hong Kong government’s adoption unit on August 2nd.  They wanted more information, such as photos of the inside of our home; a picture of our dog, how big she is, and how she handles children; more information about our community, etc.  I think we received it on a Friday, I tackled it over the weekend and our Hong Kong worker had it by Monday morning.  The good news is, our paperwork is being processed, and hopefully we have an answer soon.

Obviously, it is hard to wait.  I don’t feel nervous 24/7, but my heart does a little jump every time the phone rings, and every time I check e-mail I’m hoping for a message from our agency’s Hong Kong worker.  Matching could happen any day now….

While we wait, I am praying.  I pray that ‘our’ little one will be matched with us SOON, that he is safe, and that his needs are being met. 

In other news…I’m back to work. Thankfully, my request to be part-time this year was honored!  I go in on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I love that I have plenty of time to prepare healthy food, clean, work out, bond with our little beagle, etc.  The time has even been found to play piano and read for fun. I need to turn off the TV more often and make time for those hobbies.  My husband is just keeping busy with two churches.  His busy season (school year) is about to start, so we are trying to lay low and conserve our energy.

In closing, I have been reflecting on Ecclesiastes 3:11 lately - "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."