Detox Time: Days 6-10 and beyond

After day 5 of the detox, things started to repeat themselves. I woke up with a sharp headache, loaded up my lunchbox with dinner I'd made the night before (novel), got on the morning bus bleary eyed and yawning, greeted my coworkers with watering, tired eyes and slowly climbed into the day as it unfolded. Slowly, I might add. By 3:00 I was ready to take on the world. This is not how the office operates unfortunately and so I felt very disconnected from the pace of things.

I got much better sleep, however, because I was beyond exhausted by 9:00. I took much better care of myself (and my wallet!) in terms of food: everything home made, nothing but stuff from the produce section, and lots of prepared meals so no strange, whatever-I-see-first-in-the-fridge meals.

Now that it's finished I'm happily accepting coffee back into my life but no more than 1 cup a day. Ever. I feel a noticeable difference after the two slices of pizza I had today at work. Such an uncomfortable, heavy feeling in my stomach. Even if I was not (at all) energized by the detox, it did make me feel clean and light. Honestly, I felt like I weighed 10 pounds total. I was shriveling up by the day. Like kernal popping in reverse. How's that for an analogy.

How have I changed? I miss preparing my meals but I haven't gotten back into it. However, I did get lots of kale, apples and almonds for snacks this week and I drink more water now. I still have gluten-free oats and strawberries for breakfast and bought a blender last weekend for spinach and fruit smoothies in the morning. These small changes are nice to see. It's invigorating to see myself grow and change and become different, even in small ways. It means I am continuing to learn and adapt. And right about now in my life, I need that.


Detox time: Day 5

Today begins the most intense days! My "afternoon snack" used to be a rice cake with almond butter. Now it's "2 scoops of nutritional shake mixed with 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of unsweetened apple juice and 2 supplement capsules." Awesome. Basic diet for the next 3 days is raw/steamed cruciferous vegetables, spinach, apples, pears. Needless to say, today I was hungry.

I got home with a stronger headache than usual that put me in bed--not sleeping, just whimpering-- for a couple hours. When I hobbled out I steamed all the kale and brussel sprouts I could find and gobbled them up. Feel much better now.

Life centered around a healthy diet is all work, no play. At least for the first few days. Just spent the evening figuring out what tomorrow's meals will be and getting everything straight. That means washing the dishes so I had containers for tomorrow's lunch, rationing out the food in the fridge for each meal after that, cleaning up after making all my food (including picking up bits of chopped vegetable from all over the floor. how DOES it get everywhere?!) --regular food prep stuff I guess but it's after a long day of work and with work still needing to be done this evening. And feeling overall deflated from the whole thing.

How do people ever manage work, food AND children? Tell me that.

 Me and my huge, bulging (3rd) bag of leafy greens on my way home from Giant Eagle (Pittsburgh grocery store chain. What does 'Giant' or 'Eagle' have to do with food?) 
 (and the awkward smile on purpose. bear with me.)


Detox time: Day 2, 3, 4

The three things I've learned about detoxing:

1.) you will make 3 separate trips to grocery store because you still not have enough fruts and vegetables. (and ask the question: WHY is broccoli in THREE separate spots?! and there are absolutely no peaches OR plums?)

2.) you will learn how to season with herbs because without salt everything tastes like wet cardboard. dill weed is nice with talapia. stuff like that. and lemon juice will save the day.

3.) you can never be prepared enough. preparing beforehand is the key! know the recipes. get the ingredients. make all your meals the day before. plan them out. know what snacks you're having tomorrow the night before. Came home with a headache and burnt the cauliflower because I was in such a frenzied hungry hurry. Ugh!

Breakfast on day 2: So bland I almost cried. Bananas and gluten free quinoa somethin-or-other. And almond milk. Which did little in the way of flavor.


It's detox time: Day 1

Today I found out what a total wimp I am. I was pretty cocky last night when I joined the throng of girls just out of yoga and aging, glam hippies at the local WholeFoods to pick up my stuff from my detox food list.

For those of you who don't know, I'm doing a detox for work. We do a lot of "walk a mile" research where we try to understand a person's life by getting into their shoes as much as possible. For the current project I'm working on, a detox was a great way to understand the person we are designing for. Because, as I learned today, there is a universe of difference between hearing about how to do a detox and ACTUALLY doing one.

One word to sum up day one: miserable. absolutely miserable. The food part wasn't too bad. Besides a lot of tastelessness and non-excitement leading up to each meal, the food really wasn't too bad. It felt good to eat "cleanly": non-gluten oats with rice milk and blackberries, avocado and tomato spinach salad for lunch, my almonds and apple for lunch and tilapia with brown rice for dinner were really not too bad. Utterly boring but not too bad. Pretty sure I know what it feels like now to being a camel and eat the same thing for every meal. Nothing tasted too different than the next thing so I realized I was eating for the sake of getting food inside my body.

The zinger was the zero coffee. NO ONE TOLD ME! good freaking grief. I now have a huge place in my heart for people trying to kick bad habits because the withdraw from caffeine today made me feel like a back-alley junkie. Sore muscles, unbelievable sleepiness, incredibly strong nausea and a skull-wide migraine-y headache that has lasted a full 24 hours (I started no caffeine yesterday but a headache was the only side effect until today.)  At one point I felt like I had the flu: kinda of shivery, congested feeling and achey all over. Who even am I? and is there coffee rehab? And yes, I was grumpy and unsocial able.

(Dear person reading this, do not quit caffeine cold turkey EVER. Be sensible and lessen your intake over a span of two weeks. I found this out after a panicked browse through the ol' google archives.)

Going to bed early tonight after drinking a ton of water, both of which should help take the edge off.
I would ask that you pray for me/think of me but that I remember "oh right, this is self-inflicted."
And this is research. and I'm learning. But seriously: ouch.

Tomorrow I'll run to the grocery store to get a few of the items I glazed over yesterday thinking I was such a badass detoxifer that I wouldn't need them. Things like almond butter, allowable (unsweetened) juices, herbal tea, herbs and spices, mangos, prunes--things that will help spruce things up a little bit. (Which brings is another thing: detoxes ain't cheap yo. Spent $102 last night and still have some holes to fill in. don't do it unless you mean it.)

More tomorrow. 9 more days of this shiz!


east coast west coast

Last week, I spent Wednesday's early morning taking a solo walk through our nation's capitol with an iced starbucks coffee in one hand and my iPhone in the other, my thumb tirelessly skimming the surface of the map app. It is, by the way, moments like this that make me grateful for my iPhone. In the same way that I am grateful for a loving mother, a roof over my head and my daily meal, I'm am thankful for my iPhone. I don't know what I'd do without it. It gave me absolute, head-held-high bravery to walk out of my hotel door, onto the bustling streets of D.C. and miles down Pennsylvania Avenue. I knew I'd be back in time for breakfast. And that a cup of coffee was waiting for me on the opposite side of my second intersection.

That same week, on Saturday evening, I found myself on a similar walk. Only this time, it was evening and I was some 2,000 miles west of the Washington monument. I didn't need my phone because my return destination was perched on a high hill above the beach I traveled to. The only question would be how exactly to climb back up in the darkness that enveloped the landscape after the sun slipped behind the silky Pacific. And where exactly I'd left my shoes. And if it'd be alright to grace the marbled lobby of my hotel in my sea splashed jeans and freshly salted hair.


Would you like the grand tour?

Yes, that's Nutella on our breakfast table. Eric and I realized this morning that breakfast has no dessert. We decided to change things. (I didn't bother doing the dishes for you. We're good friends, right?)

I know Nate Berkus says NEVER to have an office in your bedroom. But you know, whatever.  I'm thrilled to pieces that we actually have room for "an office." Maybe I'll even use it. Side note: Pittsburgh has blessed us with zero closet space. Say hello to vacuum cleaners just hanging out like it's a house plant. What to do, what to do.

My Tobi, and my (little) Dad and my Amazing Grace perfume (til the end baby.) And that's my wedding bouquet. I honestly can't decide if it's too "Great Expectations" to keep my wedding bouquet but it's so stinkin meaningful! I can't throw it out, right ?

 There are some things I care about and some things I do not. I do not care about hanging things evenly. Obviously. I do care about a supporting local artists (Eric's friend from Denver did the top white piece. mmhmm.), frozen butterflies, red handkerchiefs on women's heads, sexy flower petals and the girl family pieces.

Eric spent one of our first weekends here putting together this headboard while I was out of town. (what!?!) It's absolutely gorgeous. Reclaimed wood and the whole bit.

 The lover bookshelf.
Top: My aunt and uncle on their wedding day. Middle: my parent's engagement photo. Bottom: Eric and I on our 1st anniversary trip.

This door knob may or may not be the ENTIRE reason that we chose this apartment. 

 You might have thought we had central air or something fancy like that until this picture came along: two fans within six feet of each other. Gotta say, I'm so proud of my Denver boy for being so graceful with this heat and humidy. He's really knockin it out of the park. Only occasionally has a melt down (now that i think about it, almost literally.) where his eyes get all wide and throws his hands over his head "THIS PLACE IS SO FREAKIN HOT!" but yeah otherwise, very graceful about it.

The man himself. (His handiwork on the wall behind the couch. I'm so pumped to finally have enough wall space to hang his  g o r g e o u s  prints. In our last place they were tucked out of sight behind a book shelf. Saddest story ever told. )


#89 I went for a walk today

It's too hot in our 3rd floor apartment around 6:00 pm. I like to think that this is when all the hot air that's been collecting onto the pavement all day long reverses direction--in a slow bounce--and finds it's way into all the unsuspecting open windows on it's way back up out of the city for the night. It gets trapped with all that ceiling everywhere and makes the place something that would be toasty warm and cozy. if this were January. and there was snow boots by the front door. but there's not.  so I get out of the stuffy apartment where all the confused heat is and go where everything is moving around a little more. the street. my new streets. i took a walk three blocks north towards one of the busier streets and then doubled back through a vacant park, up alongside an old cemetery and back towards my apartment once the sun had officially tucked behind the tips of the furthest hill tops.

and snapped pictures of my favorite spots for you. isn't city texture exquisite?