WOW–Day 24!!

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So, it’s Day 24 of my Whole30, and now it’s just a slide into home plate!!!  I’m feeling pretty good, clothes are definitely looser, and I’m down 11 lbs.  I know that’s cheating, but this is MY Whole30, right?  And weight loss is a big motivator and reward for me, so there!! I’m really loving some of the new recipes I’ve tried, and thanks to my Paleo version of Comeback Sauce, I’m loving salads as well.  If you don’t know what Comeback Sauce is, I have a blog from a couple of years ago about it and the recipe is posted there.  And seriously, if you haven’t experienced it, you need to.  Like, now.

Being this near the end kinda scares me, you know?  I tend to do better with strict guidelines.  Give me an inch and I’ll damn sure take a mile!!  I really, really, really want to stick pretty closely to the Whole30.  Add in a few things, like the occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer.  Maybe a slice of cheese now and then.  I’m going to try very hard to stay away from Coke Zero, because for me it’s like a drug.  One sip, and within days I’m back to 4 or 5 a day.   I seriously LOVE them.  So it’s better for me to avoid them completely than try to enjoy them “in moderation”.  I’ve never been good at that in any situation, which explains why I’ve kept falling back into my old patterns over and over again.  If a little is good, a lot is better!!

Anyway, I’ll keep plugging along and hoping that this time I won’t just completely lose my shit  and blow it all.  Wish me luck!!

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Zoodles

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Let me start by saying that I love pasta.  LOVE IT!!!!!  I literally could eat it for every meal and never get tired of it.  In the past, if I was hungry but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to eat, cook up some noodles, throw on some butter and Parmesan, and I was happy as a clam.  Right now I can just imagine a big bowl of warm, buttery noodles…nothing is more of a comfort food for me. Why, oh why, can’t someone come up with a really delicious Paleo version?

Oh, I have a spiralizer, and I know all about zoodles.  I eat them, I even kinda like them. But let’s get this straight right now:  THEY ARE NOT A GREAT SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL NOODLES!!!!  And you all know I’m telling the truth. Macazoodle and cheese?  I don’t think so.  I have nothing against zucchini per se, I know it’s doing all it can, but c’mon, there’s only so much it can accomplish here.  I still need to try sweet potato noodles, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have the same response.

If anyone out there has found something that truly and sincerely tastes and feels like real, honest-to-God pasta, please come forth.  I’ll be eternally grateful!!!!

Just Over Half-way!

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Today is Day 17 of my Whole30, and I’m getting stronger every day in my resolve not to blow it after I’m done.  Eating decent food can’t help but be good for me.  I sleep so much better and actually feel rested when I wake up.  I’ve ramped up my exercise as well.  I’ve been walking my dog around the block every morning (~1/2 mile), then bring her in, feed her, and head out to walk a mile on my own before getting ready for work.  I feel so envigorated!!  Last weekend I finally managed to get the kayak out on the water, and it was wonderful.  So peaceful…but, boy, were my arms sore.  I’m hoping that the weather will cooperate this weekend so I can take it out again.  Fingers crossed for that.  My clothes are beginning to feel a little looser.  I’m wearing a skirt today that I couldn’t get into a couple of weeks ago.  That’s extremely encouraging for me!!!

All in all, this has not been terribly difficult, especially since I’ve done it before.  I have found so many great recipes on the net that are REALLY good.  Helps to keep me from getting in a rut, which I do even when I’m not doing the Whole30.  Hard to believe how many Paleo websites are out there these days!!

Anyway, 13 and counting!!!  Good luck to all my fellow Whole30 adventurers!!  Hang in there–we got this!!

Yet Another Whole30

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Here I go again.  I am currently on Day 16 of my third Whole30.  I’m hoping that the third time will be the charm.  Maybe I’m just a slow learner, but I figure that 50+ years of bad food habits are just that hard to break!  It’s so difficult for me to stay on the straight and narrow when I’m not under strict guidelines, but I swear before God above that This Time I’m not going to undo everything when the Whole30 is over.  I will try to make myself enjoy the good food I’ve discovered and pretty much stick with the Paleo lifestyle.  I’ve discovered a blog site that I adore, PaleOMG, that makes me think there’s hope for me yet.  If you are struggling along feeling like a failure because you had that glass of wine or that serving of pasta salad at the party, you need to check out this site.  Realistic, full of good humor, and TONS of great recipes.  And, no, I am not being paid to plug it.  If only…

My biggest gripe about the Whole30, and Paleo in general, is not the amount of cooking I have to do.  It’s the damn cleaning afterward.  In case I’ve never mentioned it before, I HATE TO CLEAN!!!!  It makes me whiny and bitchy.  And every time I cook a meal, I have to clean the kitchen so that I can cook the next one.  Sigh…it never ends.

A friend and co-worker just finished a Whole30, but the one with the auto-immune part thrown in.  Even more stringent than the regular one.  She did well and is trying to stick to Paleo.  We have little “rap” sessions every day to share recipes and bitch a bit.  Helps to have someone who understands what you’re going through.

Anyway, wish me luck.  I’m crossing my fingers that I can hang in there to the end and beyond…

 

Me, Sciatica??? WTF?!?!?!?!

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Me, Sciatica???  WTF?!?!?!?!

Shortly before Christmas, I was rolling over in my bed when I noticed a little “catch” in my back, just above my left hip.  Not awful, just a nag now and then when I’d turn a certain way.  Then, on Sunday, Jan. 2, pain started shooting down my left leg to my knee whenever I walked.  And when I say pain, I mean PAIN!!!!  It was awful, and I was leaving for vacation in a few days.  Yikes.  Monday I was in the clinic, begging for a magic cure.  Well, the MD said I have sciatica?  Excuse me, what?  Yep, sciatica.  Christ above!!  Last year I had bursitis in my right elbow, and now sciatica.  So, it’s official…I’m old!!  Doc gave me a steroid pack, muscle relaxers and pain meds.  Thank goodness it doesn’t hurt while I’m sitting, because vacation included a drive from Minnesota to Montana, with a side trip to Mt. Rushmore thrown in.

So, off I go, armed with my meds.  I flew to Minneapolis from Memphis, then the next day we headed out for South Dakota.  It was COLD!!!  And I’m okay with that, but there were spots where the road was icy and slick.  Thank goodness the driver knew just what to do.  We spent the night in a very cool “chalet” in Keystone, SD, and drove up the mountain far enough to see the 4 presidents lit up in the night.  Beyond cool!!!  There was a little bar right next door, so I managed to walk that far.  A couple of brews couldn’t help but make me feel better.  When we came out, there stood a deer, just chilling.  He took little notice of us, even when I snapped a couple of pictures.  The next morning, we went up to the monument.  This place is really impressive.  I loved it.  We watched the film, and I limped my way around enough to get some really good photos.  Soon it was time to hit the road.  We went down to Rapid City and found a sports bar so my Minnesota buddies could watch the Vikings game.  Few beers, some appys, nice way to spend an afternoon, even though the Vikes lost.  On the road again, headed to Billings.  Stopped at Wall Drugs on the way…look it up if you’ve never heard of it, it’s pretty cool.

We had reservations at an Econo Lodge, two queens and a rollaway.  My friend insisted that I have my own bed since I had the bum leg.  Well, somehow, the reservation got screwed up.  Side note–while the friends were in the office arguing about the room, I got mooned by some drunk goomba who was wagging his junk in front of the window of the room where his friends were.  Doofus must have frozen his balls off!!!  Anyway, turns out the owner of the Econo Lodge also owned the nearby HoJo, and assured us that he had a room with a rollaway available.  Off we went.  Didn’t see one drunk bare ass there.

Made it to Big Sky the next afternoon.  WOW!!!  Just beautiful.  Leg feeling a little better, enough so that I managed to cook dinner for about 14 people.  The snow-mobile tour of Yellowstone turned into a snow coach tour due to my infirmity, but it was great nonetheless.  Breathtaking views, cool animals, funny guide, what more could you want?

After a few more days in Big Sky, it was time to head back to Minnesota.  The trip back was through North Dakota.  No offense, North Dakota, but that was one more boring drive!!!  Spent the night in Bismarck, then made it to St. Paul the next afternoon.  Dropped my friend’s daughter off at her apartment so she could get her car, then headed to their house in Woodbury.  WOULD YOU BELIEVE…the car broke down!!!  And as luck would have it, right at an exit with a car dealership!!  We quick phoned the daughter and told her to pick us up there.  The dealership had been closed for about 15 minutes, so we just left the car there for the time being.  Thank goodness it waited til we were damn near home, and not out in the middle of nowhere with -12 degree weather!!!  I had to get re-packed and ready to fly out the next morning before the ass crack of dawn.

Got to the airport that morning thinking it would be pretty dead so early, but I was wrong!!  Leg killing me.  So I asked for assistance and was loaded into a wheelchair, then one of the carts, and got to my gate just in time to board.  Tight layover at O’Hare–40 minutes.  I knew my broke down ass would never make it, so I had another wheelchair ride.  Good thing, because we came in at gate K-15 and left from G-18.  That’s a long way for those of you not familiar with O’Hare, which is not my favorite airport, BTW.  Again, made it there just in time to board.  In Memphis, I had parked in the cheap, long term lot, which was farther from the terminal than I remembered.  Not fun limping and lugging my suitcase, which decided it really didn’t like rolling that day.  But I made it, then drove the 3 hours home.  Walked in, dropped my luggage at the door and crawled into bed.  Slept until time to go pick up sweet Stella.

Back to the clinic in a couple of days.  Doc recommended MRI and PT.  I’m all about the PT, I’m a BIG believer in it.  So now, I’ve had 3 sessions, 4th one is this afternoon, and I’m feeling 90% better!!!  Barely any pain, not taking the pain meds except before bed, and have a much improved outlook.  My therapist is great, she deserves a medal!!  I have decided to postpone (cancel?) the MRI.  If the PT works, what the hell do I need the MRI for?  If it doesn’t work, fine, I’ll do it, but I’m hoping I won’t have to.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

 

Shouldn’t you be working…

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So, I’m sitting here at my desk in my little cubicle, doing anything but work.  Just can’t seem to make myself do anything productive today.  I’d love to go home and get on the sofa with my snuggly little Stella and take a long, cozy nap.  But I have to try to at least look busy while my mind wanders all over the place.

For some reason, I keep thinking about a lost love.  He broke my heart into a million pieces…just walked away without a word. And even though it was years ago, sometimes it still hurts.  I hope he wasn’t the love of my life, but I strongly suspect that he was.  I haven’t even come close to that feeling with anyone since him.  I can’t help wondering now and then…if only…I suppose everyone does that once in awhile. Makes for a melancholy day, though.

On a cheerier note, I have a trip planned for January.  I’m going to Big Sky in Montana with my friends from Minnesota!! They’ve been going for several years now, and the other night I got a call inviting me to go along.  I don’t ski, but there will be lots of other things for me to do.  Like hang out in my PJs all day and read, sip wine, cook.  I can have dinner ready for the skiers when they come in from the slopes.  One day we are going to take a snow mobile tour of Yellowstone, something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time!!  But just spending time with friends will be the best part of all.  They love me in spite of my many quirks, and accept me without question.  Can’t really ask for more than that!

I’ve also got my annual sister trip coming up.  We try to go the first weekend in November to celebrate my late mother’s birthday.  It would make my mom so happy.  We shop, eat, drink, laugh, and just generally enjoy each other’s company, which we don’t get to do nearly enough.  I’m glad we have managed to keep our trip alive all these years, it’s good for my soul.

Hard for me to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  So much to do.  I have bought a few presents, though. Always nice to have a bit of a start.  I can’t wait to get my tree…makes the house smell so wonderful.  I love to turn off all the lights in the house except the ones on the tree and watch my favorite Christmas specials–A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original cartoon, NOT the Jim Carrey movie).  On Christmas Eve, I’ll watch A Christmas Story over and over…I’ll go to sleep with it on and wake up to it on Christmas morning.  A little tradition of mine…

Well, I’ve managed to kill a few minutes anyway.  Time to actually do something work related for the last thirty minutes of the day…

Well, how did I get here?

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If anyone had ever told me that I’d end up being a computer analyst (well, kinda) for a living, I would have laughed them out of town!!!  And yet, here I am.  I’m in my 4th year, and still don’t feel like I have a total grasp of what I’m doing most of the time.  I do not consider myself a computer person, and there’s a ton of the jargon I still don’t get.  But somehow I muddle through.  It helps that I have the best boss on the face of the earth.  His patience and sense of humor have made me able to get past all those times I wanted to take a sledge hammer to the damn laptop!!  He gets that I’m not a computer person and frequently reminds me of all I’ve learned over these past few years.

Twenty years ago next week, I started nursing school.  Wow, that is so hard to believe…in many ways it seems like yesterday.  I had been doing a job I hated for so long–10 years–that I found it hard to fathom that I had left it and was looking into a brand new future.  I know some people will find this hard to believe, but I really enjoyed nursing school.  Oh, there were parts of it I didn’t like (*cough* OB *cough*), but by and large, I liked being a student again.  Most of my instructors were great, and the two years flew by.  Post-nursing school, I started out working in adult ICU.  Not really a fun job, but I learned a ton.  Two years later, I transferred to the Pediatric Emergency Department, and I had found my niche.  I did that job for twelve years, with two travel nursing stints thrown in.  My last couple of years in the PED were spent away from bedside nursing…I was doing Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement. An okay job with better hours, and I wasn’t on my feet for 12 hours 7 days in a row. Just too damn old to do that anymore.  And then the computer job fell in my lap.  My hospital, like so many others, got a system for an electronic health record, better known as computer charting.  I was on the fringes at first, just reviewing workflows and recommending things that the PED needed.  Then, someone else’s misfortune became my blessing. My now boss called me and told me that one of the ED application analysts was “no longer working here”, and I was the first person he thought of to fill the position.  “Me?!?!?!?”, I almost yelled into the phone.  Me, indeed.  A few weeks later I was in my first training class up in the Midwest wondering just what the hell I had gotten myself into.  But there was some part of me that kept thinking, at my age, and at this point in my career, for something like this to just come along…I’d be a fool not to give it a try. For someone who used to fear change, I seem to have embraced it in my old age.  My motto has become “I’d rather fail than regret never trying”.

I think it’s serving me well…