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. ❤️

 

The Carbs are Gone but the Pounds Have Yet to Disappear

I have been living the low carb lifestyle for at least five days now. Despite this extensive commitment that I have displayed, I have yet to lose dozens of pounds. I am further confused because Oprah hasn’t contacted me to discuss my inspirational life shift. I’m an intelligent woman so clearly I recognize that she’s probably just waiting for Deepak’s schedule to open up so they can conference call me. Nevertheless that still doesn’t explain the nonresponse from my body. It seems scientifically logical to expect that my fluff would disappear and my physique would reflect an instant bikini bod. I have made this change for days and days so clearly it can forgive and forget the decades upon decades of crappy eating in return.

There is one other slight detail that I haven’t verified at this point. I have yet to check my weight. I’m too nervous to take that obvious step because I know that I will be bummed if my weight is the same. Even worse, if my weight has gone up, I will be extremely disheartened and will probably retaliate (against my own health???) and go back to nutritional garbage. When I get to the point where I can take that dramatic photo of me standing gleefully in one pants leg while holding my waistband out to Louisiana, I think that I will then be comfortable checking the scales.

Did I mention that I also removed caffeine from my daily everything as well? YES. I have removed carbs, sugar, AND my long-term beloved – caffeine. I recently noticed that I was experiencing consistent energy crashes after the short-term wake-up I was getting from the caffeine. It was that “trying desperately to keep from falling asleep on your desk at school” kind of exhaustion except that it was happening at work. And home. And while I was driving. And all within an hour of consuming caffeine.

So in an act of desperation and analytical curiosity, I removed caffeine, too. As a reward for these changes, I have been working through some lovely caffeine cold turkey headaches. I also went throuht a few days of my feeling like my allergies were in overdrive. The only time that I have ever experienced this was when I was going to have a medical procedure amd was forced to take a two-week hiatus from an over the counter antihistamine that I had been instructed to take daily (for years). I would have never believed that you could experience withdrawal from an antihistamine, but I absolutely did. My reaction was so severe that I will never allow anyone in my family to use an antihistamine on a daily basis ever again. Please note that I am not a doctor nor am I implying that you should ever ignore your physician’s recommendations. I am sayosa that it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at how your long-term medications might impact the natural processes within your body.

However my latest reactions haven’t been in response to pharmaceutical changes. I only made some food intake modifications and caffeine restrictions. Again this is unnerving to me.

What was I consuming previously that would send my body into histamine overload? I suspect that the answer is a simple one. I have been putting crap into my body for decades and the crap most of us are eating grows progressively crappier with every year that passes. And worst of all, my body didn’t know what to do without the crud.

Thankfully, it appears that I have finally moved past the histamine flare ups and the caffeine headaches, and my energy level has skyrocketed (relatively speaking). In addition I don’t seem to be having the blood sugar crashes that have consistently forced me out of bed in the middle of every single night for years to get a snack. Literally years. In less than a week of diet changes, that problem has suddenly stopped making its standard 2 or 3am appearance.

Joking aside, I do miss feeling like I can eat the same foods I see everyone around me eating including most notably my own family. Even then, I genuinely feel very positive about the changes I’ve made so far. I feel better overall. While I doubt that I’ve lost several pounds to date, I am hopeful that this will occur if I can continue making choices that my body seems thrilled to accept. Fingers and toes crossed.

I would love to tell you more, but I need to take care of a few things while I still have time. Oprah and Deepak will surely be calling at any moment, and you know how much they love to gab on and on. Oh well. In the meantime, take care and best wishes for your health, too.

Love and light always. Jo

Transforming an Awkward Combination into a Rustic Design Beauty – Another Jo Project

office intro

I don’t do exercise. I do projects. Although both require significant energy, I have found that my long-term results are significantly better with design. As I access my creative side, my stress dissipates and excitement takes its place. I feel reinvigorated when I can put together a unique or fun new addition that brighten up someone’s living space.

I enjoy finding items that appear to be awkward combinations and pairing them in interesting ways. My other goal is to create a high-end product via the use of low-end inputs. I firmly believe that you do not have to spend endless amounts of money to achieve beauty in your home or office. With that said, if you do happen to have endless amounts of money, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I would love to work with you and have specific helpful suggestions regarding where you can put those unused funds (make the check to “Jo Price”).

office windows

For the rest of us currently stuck in reality, there are countless ways to put together eye-catching design pieces at very reasonable prices. One item I frequently incorporate into rooms is one or more old windows. Most vintage and antique dealers have these, but there is no need to buy the most expensive window you can find. I look for windows that have interesting glass panes with minimal breakage and low levels of wood rot on the frames. If it’s truly an old window, it’s tough to avoid the wood rot, and you get better deals if you are willing to buy and clean these up a bit.

You will have to wipe off any dust, mold and general funk. As many of the old windows have lead paint, gloves and masks are a must. I sometimes redo the paint and frame, but I actually love to see the old rusty hardware and previous paint colors showing through. However even if the paint doesn’t need to be redone, I still take steps to reinforce the frame.

Stanley-National Hardware 8-in Zinc plated Corner Brace

You should be able to find metal corner braces at most hardware stores.

I typically reinforce the windows by using a screw driver to attach metal corner braces. Be careful when you do this as you don’t want to split the wood nor do you want to break the glass. As corner braces aren’t my favorite design accent, I either cover them with a few strokes of chalk paint, or I hide them altogether.

office window bracketMy primary window accent is typically a shelf bracket. Yes – shelf bracket. You screw them down into the window versus up into a shelf.

Attaching an intricate bracket to the corner(s) of an old beat-up window creates a surprising look of elegance while further reinforcing the stability of the window frame. I don’t mind a few cracks here and there as I feel like those give the windows more personality, but large brackets can sometimes be used to hide some defects or breaks in the panes.

If you want to attach further hardware to hang your window, be sure that the wood is strong enough to bear the weight. I spent more time than I care to admit attaching elaborate hardware to the large window pictured in this post. Ultimately, I decided that I prefered the way it looked when it was leaning against the wall. It was an annoying realization, but the end result was worth all the trouble regardless.

My style of decorating may be very different from yours, but it wouldn’t be any fun if we all danced to the same beat anyway. The point is to take a little time every now and then to make your space beautiful. We feel better on the inside when we surround ourselves on the outside with pieces that strike us as beautiful. They warm our living spaces, speak to our inner style, and give us a sense of pride. This has nothing to do with how much you spend. It’s truly about creating ways to transform simplicity to sophistication and mundane to magnificent.

Best of luck to you!  Jo Price

Originally posted on anotherjoproject.com.  🙂

I Mustache You What You Are Eating

eating3

I’m cutting out carbs. Aaaaagain. My track record on this surpassed “not good” long ago. To put it mildly, my healthy eatibg conviction and follow through has been at “stanky to the max” level for quite some time.

eating4

I prefer fruits, but even fruits are loaded with sugars. Some fruits are great, but the emphasis should be on the veggies. Bleh.

eating2

I’ve tried the liquid route – protein shakes, blends of veggies and fruits, etc. – but I just don’t feel satiated with those.

eating5

Clearly I need to up my protein intake, but even that can problematic for me. I can be extremely picky, and my getting burnt out and grossed out with the meat overload doesn’t help. Whenever someone throws out the word “tofu” as a possible protein solution, I find myself thinking about how it’s ironic that “tofu” is a four letter word that I associate with multiple other four letter words. I would provide examples, but this is a family show so you’ll have to use your imagination.

eating6

Maybe I’m nuts to go this route yet again, but I don’t feel good in my body. That makes me feel sad, so I have to try. And as I read that last sentence, I hear Yoda in my mind… “Do or do not. There is no try.” I’m guessing that Yoda never struggled with being a sugar addict.

If you have any websites or tips on low-carb, no sugar, paleo-esque, or other similar options, I would genuinely appreciate the advice. Please note that intelligent / common sense recommendations with regard to overall health are lovely, but they don’t sustain long-term commitment to low carb eating for this girl. I know what I should do, but somehow that’s not enough.

Thanks in advance.  😉  Jo

Liquid

A Place in the World Away From It All

place2

One mile over. It’s such a small distance, but it might as well be a million miles away. We moved here to get away from the standard suburban neighborhood. We had great neighbors, but we were in need of more space so we could scream at our kids in peace and quiet. We were so close that we could hear conversations happening on the other side of the fence while we were inside our home. From the back of our home, we looked across a pond at a dozen other homes. There was no sense of privacy if you weren’t hidden behind closed shades. I could never allow the girls to run free on the weekend mornings whenever I had a few precious minutes to sit quietly on the back patio while drinking my coffee (and when I say the girls, I’m not referring to my daughters). We needed more elbow room, and we were desperate for trees.

place3

So we moved a mere mile down the road. In case word has not gotten out, allow me to be the first to tell you that trees are immeasurably awesome. If you have them, keep them, and if you don’t, put some in if you can. Why in the world builders and developers continue to mow them down is truly beyond me. Perhaps our friends are all closet tree-huggers, but we have yet to have anyone comment about how terrible it must be to have our view mucked up by all that nature.

Although we have lived here for several months now, I still find myself in awe of it. I have never been surrounded by so much green. There is life everywhere I look, and I feel like I’m breathing it all in (but don’t worry – I take Zyrtec as needed).

place6

I lie in bed at night and watch fireflies flickering around our yard. Over the past month, I have seen more colorful birds behind my home than I have ever seen in my life. We see owls in the trees in the evenings and hear their calls at night. And when a storm rolls in and the wind blows through the leaves, the sound is magical.

owl house

Life continues to have its ups and downs, but the setting inherently leads us to moments of calm in the chaos. We can’t help but encourage nature to come even closer. We have set up so many birdhouses that we are contemplating implementing some kind of aviary taxation system to help us pay for them. I’m afraid to run the numbers, but I’m fairly confident that our funds going toward bird food purchases are about to lap those designated for our people food purchases. Not that my husband would complain, but I’m still thankful that I handle the bills.

birdhouse

place5

We have played with hummingbirds, spent time adding raised garden boxes, planted vines and flowers, and set up impromptu extra beds in our room so we can watch the lightning storms brighten the sky through the silhouette of the trees together. Even my hydrangeas do better here. This may seem trivial, but those who have also led countless hydrangeas to their death will appreciate that gardening miracle. Life thrives here despite my questionable botanical track record.

On the animal front, we spent several weeks trying to decipher the various tracks we would find each morning in our yard. This was especially surprising given that the tracks were inside our enclosed fence. Ultimately we turned in our Indian guide badges and bought a game cam (best $50 I spent EVER).

game cam2

game cam1

The pics above are from two separate evenings. The other one hundred plus evenings that the game cam has been in place has revealed even more animal species, and that did not include the wild hogs, deer, bobcats, or snakes (bleh) that have been seen here, too. We have since further enclosed our formerly thought to be enclosed but not as enclosed as we initially believed fence. While we still find tracks regularly in our yard, I now point the game cam outside of our fence line to the adjacent thicket of trees. I need to believe that the wild kingdom within our fence has slowed a bit and refuse to acknowledge the reality that we definitely still have a serious nocturnal zoo living in our yard.

As a side note, I would like to mention that I have discovered that raccoons and armadillos are the jerks of the nocturnal animal world. Thanks to Ranger Rick, all of my bird feeders have to be placed five hundred feet off the ground or very literally chained to their branches. If you are in need of large carabiners, don’t bother going to Amazon. I already bought their entire stock. In addition, we now have to put huge stones around all new plants to keep the leprosy kings from digging them up (Nine-banded armadillos are carriers of leprosy and are native to our area. These cootie factories with claws have been wreaking havoc in our yard every night as visions of sugar plums dance in our heads). Are these cute from a distance? Yes! Are they about to become a hat and a weird kitchy Texas-themed lamp? Even bigger yes! But once we move past the jerk animals of the night drama, it still fascinates me to know that they are so close at all times.

kids and hummingbirds.jpg

That’s just how it is here. We are minutes from our previous home, but we are light years from our previous life there. I feel infinitely blessed here, and it makes me want to talk to people about the wonders that they could see if they would leave or replant a few native trees and bushes. Maybe our little plot of magic will inspire someone around us to invite the wilderness back into their yard, too.

Image result for lorax unless

On that note, I will leave you with the final words of a book I have adored since my childhood. We read it to our own children now, and the words feel more important than ever before.

“Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It’s a Truffula Seed.
It’s the last one of all!
You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Place in the World

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: