Low Carb While on Vacation? Beach Please.

Few things inspire me to take a nosedive into poor eating habits faster than going on vacation. Eating has always been an extremely social event in our home, and I adore going to familiar favorite restaurants at the places we enjoy visiting. The good news / bad news is that this was more of a mini-holiday, and I only spent three of the five days living up my carb-packed feeding frenzy.

In the past, my departure from the ketogenic menu has been swift and unforgiving. I would misstep once and would instantly find myself back at square one. My old eating patterns would resume, and I would be disappointed once more but unsurprised.

The interesting part about this keto hiatus was that it was more eye-opening than derailing. Within a few hours of my chowing on chips and some fried naughtiness, my digestive system decided to prove how unhappy it felt about that action. I won’t be elaborating any further on that. My head started to hurt, my muscles and joints ached, I felt exhausted, and I had nightmares when I slept.

Maybe my symptoms were due to the heat or perhaps they were a direct response to the way that family holidays have a tendency to be significantly NOT relaxing. But I honestly don’t believe that. I just didn’t feel good eating the old foods. The flavors tasted good to me but not so good that I was willing to keep feeling sluggish and achy.

So now I’m back to low carb. I’m not gonna lie. I wish that I could have all that other stuff and still feel good. But ultimately, I can’t because I don’t. It just isn’t worth the body drama and trauma anymore. At least I’m back on track again.

Metamorphosis of the Monarch Caterpillar

I love butterflies. Their spectacular transformation is such a beautiful analogy to our own human journey of growth and awakening.

butterfly1

Unfortunately all of nature doesn’t appear to be in agreement with my sentiments. To our collective horror, my daughter and I witnessed a wasp tearing a caterpillar to shreds a couple of weeks ago in our yard. Consequently we were instantly inspired to create an impromptu monarch village via the butterfly boxes that are temporarily parked on my dining room table. Admittedly it feels a little “Silence of the Lambs” in there, but we have yet to make any skin suits out of the neighbors.

butterfly3

The butterflies are lovely and they bring such joy to all of us whenever we release them. However we have yet to sit for hours to watch every stage of their development. In all fairness to us, we can’t sit for hours doing anything. Given this short attention span challenge we face, I thought that it would be interesting to record one of our monarch caterpillars changing to chrysalis form so we could speed it up. The video is only about a minute long, but the actual process shown here took several hours.

Feel free to share with your children. It’s fascinating to watch this wild caterpillar in action. 🙂

Hugs to you! 🙂 Jo

This is the youtube link. https://youtu.be/BEFIUzgN5qY

butterfly2

To the Young Ones – Being a Nerd Won’t Always Hurt Like It Does Today

While my son was away from his seat at the cafeteria today, another child thought that it would be hilarious to throw his lunch / lunch bag into the trash can. Apparently the kids had been hiding his backpack during lunch on other days, but this is the first time that one of the items actually made it into the garbage.

The obvious question seems to be, “Knowing this dynamic, why leave your stuff unattended around those creeps, and why sit there anyway?” Well the school is very funny about keeping tables to a specific number of children. The old “I put my stuff there first so it’s my seat” rule is law. Weird? I think so. The way it is? Yes. Also that happens to be where my son’s friends sit, and, understandably, he wants to sit by them.

Middle school lunch can be social quicksand. Despite being well aware of this dynamic, my heart felt raw as I listened to my son tell me about how he had to dig through the school trash can to fish his lunch out of it. My sadness turned to anger when he told me how it was soaking wet from the discarded food and drinks and how he had to carry the bag with him to all of his remaining classes. He handed me one of his final exam reviews that is due tomorrow. It reeked of garbage and was shredded from being soaked. Normally he would have had a backpack for his assignments, but backpacks aren’t allowed during finals week. Instead he kept it in his lunch bag because there was nothing in there that would have messed it up. Apparently the only crap that could cause damage was in fact sitting in seats adjacent to said bag.

I’m tired of the immature jackass behavior that is rife in schools today. I’m even more exasperated with a feckless school disciplinary system that does nothing to wake these jerks out of their collective cruel stupor. The bullies believe that their meanness is comical, and although I will bring up this nonsense with the school administration, there will be no real consequence. Hope you nerds enjoy your garbage-flavored lunches and shredded assignments compliments of the social lemmings!

Unfortunately, as the years go by, you will find that the jerks and bullies still manage to fly their creep flags in full color. The social drama and cliques that people should outgrow after middle and high school will continue to appear more often than you can fathom. Social media amongst adults is uglier than any kid you ever saw. Some people in your life will find ways to hurt you to a degree that you could never even imagine.

Nevertheless, it does get better. Once you get older, you get to choose. You choose your partners, your friends, your job. You decide where you will live, what you will wear, and how you spend your time. You realize thay sometimes you roll your eyes at the craziness of it all, walk away from the computer, and put your phone on silent. Athough you may not always like your range of choices, they are yours to make. You get to decide the kind of life you want to live and with whom you will spend that precious time.

You learn to own who you are, and you stop apologizing for being different. You realize that you don’t want to be the same as everyone else. In fact, you want to shine in your own unique way. You don’t need for every person who knows you to like you, and you realize that all the “perfect” and “popular” people around you have plenty of problems of their own.

You just have to get through this part now. And when something else comes along that delivers your spirit another kick, don’t give in then either. It always gets better if you can muster a shred of hope and give it a little more time.

Don’t allow anyone else to put out your spark, and don’t sacrifice your light to someone else who stumbles in a moment of darkness. Never ever forget that their unkind actions are a reflection of who they are, not who you are.

So often the outcasts of the world are the very people who change it for the better. The nerds shake up the status quo, shape our minds, and provide vision to us all. The ones who are different are the ones who make a difference.

As a parent, it scratches my core raw when my children hurt like this. It takes everything within me to maintain a cool emotional facade because all I want to do is cry. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone, least of all my own darling children, and I know what it’s like to feel like you are watching the world from the outside. I understand being consumed by deep loneliness and feeling like you are being excluded. I don’t want this pain for my amazing family.

But taking a <a href=”http://retrospective“>retrospective look at my life also allows me to see that those same painful experiences have shaped me into a better person. While I still feel a heavy sadness at the memory of the cruelties I endured, I wouldn’t go back in time and change them. I developed strength, sass, and spitfire, and I will never allow anyone to take that away from me. It took me a long time to know it, but I can tell you this now – I am a serious bad ass. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet on your side, you are, too. You just have to own it.

You have been dealt this hand because you are strong enough to survive it and wise enough to learn from it. Treat others with the kindness you would want to receive. Be braver than those who can’t survive outside of the herd. Allow the light of your uniqueness to shine without shame even if others try to shut you down. And just in case the jerks are out and about, maybe wear pants with pockets so you can carry hand sanitizer and a snack. 😉

You may feel like people don’t see you now, but they will. You can’t hide light like that forever. So keep shining. Always

Love, light, sass, uniqueness, spitfire, wonder, and nerdiness to you – Jo

Retrospective

Look Past the Broken Parts and See the Potential

***Originally posted on anotherjoproject.com.***

not broken.jpg

I see such potential in items that often go unnoticed. These roughed up make-over candidates are just like people to me. Their beauty is covered by the wear and tear from the years they have survived, and their youthful shine long gone. But if you are willing to look closer, to put in a little time, to see past the imperfections that mar the surface, you may find that they are not as broken as they initially seemed.

not broken2This is another window I recently added. I almost went right past it because some glass was missing, and there was a large crack traversing one of the panes. Thankfully I gave it another look and recognized the beauty beyond the cracks and the grime.

Once more I added shelf brackets to reinforce to strength of the old frame and to diminish the distraction of the missing glass in the corner. I also screwed a fun little bird wall hanger into the top of the frame so I could add a wreath. Simple wreaths are very easy to make, and they can add a nice finished feel if you have the sense that there is too much bare visual space in the layout.not broken3

.

Look for potential beneath the dust, the possibility beyond the years. It’s surprising how often the most unnoticeable of items are often anything but lackluster nor are they really broken. Celebrate the years and recognize the character and personality that they can bring to your walls and your life.  🙂

Best to you always.  Jo

 

Quick Update on Week One of Low Carb – Keto-ish Me

Well I’m still alive, so that’s a positive. Also I’ve stuck to the low carb menu with shocking ease. I keep waiting for the standard carb rage / sugar craving temper tantrums to kick in, but those have yet to occur.

A couple of days ago, I had a check-up with my hoo-hah-ologist and was inadvertently forced to weigh myself while there. The number showed that I was down six pounds (in less than a week)! I was so stunned that I threw caution to the wind and decided to weigh myself at home, too. Six pounds down confirmed! Unfortunately that number bounced back up by a couple of pounds once the week marker actually struck a day or so later, but hey – that’s still four pounds in a week. Overall I’d say that doesn’t suck. 🙂

More Rustic Decor Ideas – Adding Sass to Antlers

Here’s another quick décor post I wrote for on anotherjoproject.com.  🙂

Twisted Nature – Antlers with Fabric and Flash

antlers2

I Feel Guilty About the Food I’ve Been Giving My Family

Picture_20180523_053716869.jpg

A week ago, I would have done backflips to get my paws on the naughtylicious crepe in the pic above. My kids would have been right there with me, too. Now a few short days later, it actually does not look that appealing to me. Even though it has only been a few days, no  one in the world is more stunned about this change in approach than I.

But my kids aren’t riding the low carb / no sugar train with me. They continue to eat the prepackaged sugar-ridden everythings that have adorned the shelves of our fridge and pantry for years.

So over the last week, I have started to include a few better options along with their standard selections (a.k.a. the normal crapola). I’m doing this gradually to avoid being met with miniature yet effective torches and pitchforks.

The part that makes me feel extremely
guilty is that whenever I have offered healthy additions, they have gobbled those up, too. No complaints (other than the squash dry heaving incident). No significant gripes. They have just eaten them and asked for more. I didn’t even have to push.

I’m not telling you that my kids are raising their voices to the angels in praise for kale. No one in my house is going to have that religious experience. But baked chicken, almond flour pancakes, avocado chocolate mousse (sounds gross but it’s actually fantastic), and other grilled veggies are being polished off as they lift their plates and ask for more.

They have been getting chicken nuggets when they would have been just as happy with baked chicken. And they would have been exponentially healthier for it. For years.

It’s one of those heavy “feel like a terrible mom” kind of moments. I wasn’t intentionally cheating them of nutrition. I simply didn’t try many alternatives.

It’s spilt almond milk at this point, but it does make me feel sad. All I can do is do better tomorrow. And the day after that. But the day after that I plan to regress so additional better days will have to follow that one.

For me, true self-improvement initiatives are always coupled with epiphanies about the positive changes I can implement as I continue along my human journey. I can handle that it takes me years to stumble into some of these epiphanies. My only wish is that my children’s well-being is not left hanging in the balance in the meantime.

Oh well. A little better each day will turn into lots of wonderful in the long-run. I just have to keep trying. ❤️

 

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: