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.

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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.

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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. ­čÖé

Hugs to you! ­čÖé Jo

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

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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┬álook 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.┬áI 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.┬áTreat 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. ­čśë

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

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