Veritable Vitamin Variety

I am continuing my efforts to improve my diet, and thus my health. Honestly, listening to RuPaul:What’s the Tee? w/ Michelle Visage has been a source of inspiration. Both Ru and Michelle enjoy talking about eating healthier. Michelle has been openly sharing her battle with autoimmune problems. I have no idea if I have any autoimmune problems, but eating better isn’t bad for anyone.

So, I’m coming to that point in my “no sugar cycle” where I really try to step up my game with eating less processed food and less fast food. Granted, this past weekend wasn’t great for that. But I was away at a conference, stressed, and PMSing. Not a great combination mentally. As I’m driving home from campus today, the podcast reaches the episode where they were talking with Suzanne Somers (Episode 68 – yes, I am way behind). They talk quite a bit about healthy lifestyles, including diet, as I’m eating my Southwestern (Grilled) Chicken sandwich, fries, and drinking my large green tea from Wendy’s. While it wasn’t the most unhealthy thing on the menu – by a long shot – it’s not great. For my waistline or my wallet.

As I’m driving, I decide that I need to stop and get some fresh food before going home. I needed to stop and get one thing anyway, so why not pick up some veggies. When I walked in, I made a beeline for the lettuce. Then I picked up some green onions. They also had some good looking pears. Which reminded me I wanted strawberries. But on the way to the strawberries, I found the grape tomatoes and avocados. Before I knew it, my basket was full and heavy with fresh fruits and veggies. A veritable variety of vivacious vitamins in their original packaging. I think that was a sign that I wanted fresh.

Now I just need to keep inspired and eat it all up before it turns into a pile of mush in the fridge. I’ve got a good start. I’ve eaten about half of the strawberries already. Hopefully the momentum will keep going this time and I’ll be able to continue making permanent changes to my diet for the better!

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Now I remember!

I remember why all those times I cut out sugar it didn’t stick. Today reminded me.

I have been slightly foggy lately. I’ve been unmotivated and unfocused. I haven’t felt like constantly making myself a cup of caffeinated tea to stay focused. I’ve been avoiding sugar, but I allowed myself a break on Sunday. Even then it wasn’t completely sugar, just a delicious carrot cake torte. But I can’t shake this fog.

I got going this morning just fine. A travel mug of tea on my drive in and I was great to teach. But I got back to my office and I was very hungry. So I microwaved my lunch. I was still hungry. And quite unfocused and foggy. I accidentally bought a bag of gummies yesterday out of habit and left them in my bag. I tore into them in the hopes that they would at least take the edge off. They didn’t.

This is why I always end up slowly eating too much sugar again and again. My body adjusts to the lack of sugar, but my habits don’t. But this time I’m aware of it. I’m conscious of it.

I’m at the PCA Conference in Indianapolis for the week. I packed food to eat in the room for two reasons. First, to cut back on paying for fast food. Despite getting a pizza tonight. Second, to keep these good habits up. I even stopped by the nearby Wal-Mart for some yogurts for breakfast, raspberry tea for the evenings, and milk for my hot tea. I packed my utiliTEA, three tins of tea, sugar crystals, mug, teabags, and measuring spoons so I can make tea whenever. I even brought my Starbucks travel mug for a cup made here in the morning and refills throughout the day.

Granted, getting enough sleep would help, too.

Stepping back

For whatever reason, I was in a funk recently. During that funk, I was eating horribly. I was eating too much candy and fast food and not enough actual food. Thankfully I realized I was in a funk and decided to start making some changes.

First step, reducing my sugar intake. Right now, that means cutting out pop/soda, candy, and other mostly processed sugar items. I’m still allowing myself things like green tea from Wendy’s, my bottled raspberry tea, sugar crystals in my tea at home – which I’m trying to get back into the habit of drinking instead of the raspberry – and foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit. I don’t want to cut out all sugar, but I figure consuming stuff that is basically just sugar isn’t the greatest idea on many levels. I’ve been mostly successful, with only one intentional indulgence because I couldn’t get the thing off my mind.

The next step is going to be a reduction in fried foods. I’ve actually been kind of working on it, but it’s been more out of a desire to spend less money than intentionally not eating them. It also helps that Wendy’s grilled chicken has improved, or I’ve gotten used to it. Either way, I’m back to preferring that when I stop by. I had really developed a taste for Homestyle, which is not the best thing in the world to be eating more than once a week. I’m hoping that by easing myself into this, I’ll be able to build some lasting habits that will help me fight the funk.

Getting things taken care of around here will help too. But I have to remember to stay focused so I can get my school work and unpacking done. Hopefully eating better will help with that. It sure can’t hurt.

Trying to make changes

Lately I’ve been listening to RuPaul: What’s the Tee? w/Michelle Visage as I drive to and from campus (mostly because I would have to use my phone to over-listen to The Hamilton Polka). I am way behind. I’m not sure if I’ve even hit episode 10. But in one of those episodes, Michelle talks about how turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. It seemed like something worth looking up.

Turns out that turmeric has compounds called curcuminoids, and they… well I’ll just quote the article I’m getting this from:

“Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high… it’s around 3%, by weight.” (“10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin“)

They go on to say that there are supplements that are mostly, if not all, curcuminoids, and that is the most effective way to get it in high doses. Also, in order for the curcumin to be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream, you should take it with black pepper. The piperine in black pepper boosts absorption.

Thankfully the Lucky’s Market I love to go to in Columbus has a turmeric supplement that is 95% curcuminoids and 5% piperine. The article says that most studies have people taking 1 gram per day. These supplements have 450 mg per capsule, so I’d have to take 2 a day to get 1 gram. Considering I’m just starting out – and the bottle is $25 for 60 – I’ve only taken one per day.

In recent years I’ve noticed that I’ve been itching more in places where my skin is sensitive. I was diagnosed with having eczema on my hands back in 8th grade. I have been attributing the itching to that spreading to vulnerable areas. I know that things like stress and eating crappy cause flare-ups. But I noticed that when I’d take my allergy meds (OTC of course), the flare-ups would go down. So I started associating allergies with flare-ups. Probably not the smartest thing in retrospect, but oh well.

After hearing about the way it’s been helping Michelle with her autoimmune problems – she includes turmeric in her green juice – I decided to give it a shot. I really shouldn’t be taking the allergy meds if I’m trying to control something else. Sunday was the first day. I didn’t notice much either way. My palms were itchy all day before I took it and it went away soon after I took it. But I wasn’t sure that it was psychosomatic. Yesterday, my right eye was driving me nuts – something that would have had me running for the allergy meds before. So I took the turmeric, noted the time, and tried to ignore my eye. It didn’t stop itching quickly, but it did eventually. It might have done that anyway for all that I know.

Until about midnight, that is.

My eye started itching like it had before. It had been a little over 12 hours since I took turmeric. It seems that it’s worn off and it’s working! It makes me feel better that I can manage smaller things with the supplement and save the meds for when I’m actually dealing with allergies.

Now if I can just cut back on the sugar consumption and actually stick to it. That would really help with the whole inflammation problem. But that’s for another day.

Hella Healthy Habits

Since going from living on my own during the week and only being home with the hubby on weekends, I have had some struggles with my eating habits. When I was on my own, I was doing really well. Mostly because I only had enough food in the apartment to get me through the week. I didn’t keep much in the way of snacks around. I also was living on tea, with my utiliTEA right on my desk. It made making tea so much more convenient.

Moving back home changed things. There’s more food in the apartment because I’m not the only one buying food. I’m also making dinner for the two of us, not just me anymore. Which means I need to take his tastes into account. **I am not complaining at all. I love my hubby. It’s just going from living single to living together again.** There were plenty of times during the past school year when I would make chicken thighs for myself every night and not get tired of them. Not only does he prefer white meat, but he wants more variety in his main dishes, which is fine. I was also drinking less tea because it isn’t right in my face all the time anymore.

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Because my tea is all on it’s own table now! And as I type this I realize how much this has changed since I took the picture…

Basically, I had developed a set of habits while I was at school, but hadn’t brought them home with me. I was snacking out of boredom. I was drinking Pepsi (made with real sugar, delicious!) instead of tea or water. I was creating mounds of food on my plate for dinner and eating all of it, despite being full. I was eating a small meal when I got home from work so I wasn’t starving while waiting for hubby to get up for the day (he works third shift). I was eating candy and fast food at work.

But, over the semester I’ve noticed these problems and worked to change them. And I’m noticing the effects. I’ve been making a point of having at least one travel mug of tea for work each day. The caffeine wakes me up and helps me stay focused. Having something healthy to drink keeps me away from the pop in the break room. I’ve been working on snacking less at work. It’s better for my waistline and my wallet. I’ve also been making an effort to drink more tea at home as well. Both from my vast stores of tea and pre-made cold tea from the cooler at the grocery store. Yes, it’s not as healthy as drinking tea I’ve brewed, but it’s still better than drinking Pepsi.

I’ve also been changing up my eating habits. If I stop by a drive-thru for food, I am making healthier choices. I order only the amount of food I actually need – usually a sandwich and a drink, no fries – and it’s not a double cheeseburger with bacon every time. But, more importantly, I’ve been changing my eating habits at home. I’m keeping lots of healthy snack choices/meal components around to keep me from overdoing it. Like the bag of LÄRABAR Bites. That way when I want just a little chocolate – like last evening – I can have one or two, instead of going for the Snickers. I’ve got fruit cups and cheese crackers and cheese sticks. That way I can have one or two things to tide me over until dinner without being full once dinner’s ready.

I also noticed that I don’t necessarily need to go gluten free, but I need to be careful about how much bread I’m eating. I feel better overall when I’m not eating a ton of basic breads. Breads like pumpernickel and rye and sourdough are friendly breads. Multi-grain bread too. I’m also putting more thought into dinner. I’m trying to make things from scratch more often. I’m also allowing myself to be okay with leftovers. I put as much food as I want on my plate. I can always go back for a little more if I want, which is better than forcing myself to clean my plate.

Since being more mindful of what I am eating, how much I am eating, how I feel about what I am eating, I feel so much better! My clothing is fitting much better. My skin is clearer – both from acne and eczema. And, most importantly, I don’t feel like I’m starving myself or denying myself anything. I’m letting my body tell me what to eat and it is really appreciating it. Listen to your body. It knows what it needs. Eventually it’ll get through to your brain and you’ll feel so good!

Going Native: Week 0

Now that I finally have my Native deodorant, I can start using it! The little card that came with the deodorant says to wear it daily and that it can take up to 14 days to get the “maximum effectiveness”. So I’m going to start checking in with the progress of this amazing new product!

Since it is a 3-pack, it gives me options. The lavender & rose and unscented are going to be going back to school with me. The coconut & vanilla is staying at home. I figure it’s one less thing to pack for my remaining trips back and forth. I like both of the scent combinations, but I like the lavender & rose a little bit more, and hubby likes the coconut & vanilla better. This way everyone’s happy! And they both smell amazing. The scents are balanced wonderfully and compliment each other. Hopefully I’ll be posting again next Saturday with glowing news. I’m really looking forward to using this product! I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to using a deodorant so much.

Again, I am not in any way associated with Native. I just really like their product and want to share it with all of you!

“Reset” button

I first bought Tea-Tox last year. I bought the entire Body and Soul set, but this is the one I use constantly. Well, I did until I started to get low and decided to wait until my refill came. The refill that came in the package I almost didn’t get.

On Thursday, I remembered that I had the refill for weeks now. I had no excuse to not make myself a cup again. I’m hooked yet again. It is a wonderful blend of “milk thistle, burdock, green rooibos tea, cinnamon bark, peppermint leaves, dandelion root & lemon balm”. This combination tastes delicious and really does leave me feeling better. I don’t care if it’s all in my head. I feel better for drinking it. Also, milk thistle has been a remedy for detoxifying the liver for a while now. Everything in there has benefits to the body.

It’s delicious and refreshing. It kind of puts a “reset” on my eating habits. Lately I’ve been stressed with a lot of things piling up. On Thursday, a lot of those stresses were gone, finally. I’ve been making sure to have a cup at least once a day. I am worried that it is possible to over-do it.

I’m writing this to share my experience as well as to remind all of us that we need to take care of ourselves. Never forget that. Take care of yourself, both bodily and mentally. Don’t let things overwhelm you. Take care of yourself!

Possibly the most interesting shipment notice ever!

This morning I got an e-mail letting me know that my order has been shipped. It’s the most amusing notice I’ve ever had!

Courtney,

Your bar of Native Deodorant was gently pulled by our team of experts and placed on a gold-trimmed pillow stuffed with the finest fibers known to man. Then, a team of six inspectors examined your deodorant under a magnifying glass, ensuring it was in perfect condition.

Once the inspection was complete, our veteran polisher (he was previously employed at the Tower of London, where he was responsible for polishing the Queen’s jewels) polished it as a quiet hush fell over the warehouse. “This package is getting shipped to Courtney,” he whispered. “Take good care of it.”

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Native. In celebration, we have placed your name on our wall under the title “World’s Best Customer” and assigned you a dedicated parking spot right upfront. We’ve also hired a pilot to skywrite “Courtney Rocks!” above the Golden Gate Bridge. Thank you for supporting Native!

I’ve been wanting to try out Native Deodorant for a while now, but I just haven’t been ready to commit…and I needed to be able to buy it. The other day I put in and order for their Women’s Sampler Pack:

3 sticks of their paraben free, aluminum free deodorant in different scents (including unscented) for $30. Basically it was buy 2 get one free! I haven’t used stick deodorant for a while now. I haven’t found something that my skin agrees with anymore. These have a great chance at becoming my regular deodorant. Especially having multiple scents to work with. Those will come in handy when costuming.

I am really looking forward to trying them out! And if you’re interested, use this link and I’ll get a free travel-sized stick if you order, and you get one too! I have no ties to Native. I just want to share this amazing product with all of you!

It’s tea time!!!

It’s here! My replacement shipment is here! Finally!

teasplurge

I am so freaking happy! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I was going through and opening each box. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to taste most of these. The Mary Morstan and TARDIS are teas I’ve had and love, hence the large tins. The Tea-Tox is also a refill. Literally, I have the tin and the only other option is this 16oz refill bag. But that just means I have 4 tins worth of refill, so I won’t have to order more any time soon. This is going to be so much fun!

I won’t be going on over each individual tea here. That would get overwhelming. If you want to know what I think about each individual tea, check out Tea Notes, my tea Tumblr. It’s about to get quite busy again. Yay!

Stop. Listen.

Dinner tonight!

A post shared by Pirogoeth (@pirogoeth05) on

I’m one of those people who likes to use their Instagram to post food. I try to only post when it’s something I’m really proud of, either what I’ve made or how I’ve plated it. Tonight is kind of both.

My diet has not been the greatest lately. Friday I put in an order to the local, amazing, pizza place for a pizza and some breadsticks. I just finished off the breadsticks yesterday. It’s been a stressful weekend, one complicated by not listening to my body about my diet. It culminated yesterday with a complete “blerg” feeling.

I got home from campus and decided to have the last two breadsticks. They’re nice and chewy and big. But I continued another bad habit I’d been encouraging over the week, I had a can of root beer with the breadsticks. The combination of bread and sugar was something my stomach did not appreciate.

I hit a point in the night where my brain was going “It’s late. You should eat.” while my stomach was going “Don’t. You. Dare.” I munched on some cottage cheese. It didn’t help. I went to the store and bought some cantaloupe. It didn’t help. Finally I decided to make myself a glass of green tea. Just green tea, no honey, no sweeteners. Just green tea.

It helped.

It helped so much that I made another mug. I started to feel a whole lot better. That’s when I realized how bad my diet had been lately. I decided to have no bread and as little sugar as possible today.

I had some baked catfish and a salad for lunch. I got a slice of banana bread and Earl Grey from Starbucks during the break in class. I had the plate of mozzarella, salami, and red pear, shown above, with a bottle of kombucha for dinner. I feel so much better.

Just because you have it in the house, doesn’t mean that you have to eat it. Listen to what your body is telling you. It knows what it needs.