April 23, 2014
by Sam
58 Comments

WIAW: All The Carbs.

As per usual, thank you sooo much for your kind words and support yesterday! It’s not an easy topic to discuss, but getting your words of advice and encouragement always, always make it worth it.

And P.S. – the winner of the Kewaza Giveaway is Riss W. Riss, please check your email!

Hii! Happy (WIA) Wednesday!

WIAW

So I think we’ve all noticed that ‘low-carb’, ‘gluten free’ and ‘grain free’ are all the rage these days when it comes to diets and how we should eat to stay ‘healthy’. I try to stay away from labels on my diet in general, but I’ve come to realize that for my health, those are some of the worst things I can do. I’m a huge believer in bio-individuality, and my body seems to do well on a moderate-to-high carb diet. When I start cutting them, my digestion suffers, my energy suffers, my sugar cravings are insane…so, I know better than to go to the low-carb side of things. And grains and gluten don’t seem to bother my system, so I have no problem eating those on a regular basis…even the occasional (gasp!) refined carbs.

For today (Monday’s) day of eats, all of my main meals were completely carb-based. And I am perfectly fine with that!

Breakfast:

Avocado toast breakfast

Toast with half an avocado, hot sauce, fried eggs, and a side of cantaloupe. I’m eating hot sauce at breakfast…I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. At least the cantaloupe provided some element of sweet breakfast?

Lunch

We ended up going out for dinner Sunday night with Eric’s mom and her boyfriend, so I repurposed my leftovers for lunch the next day.

Stirfry

 

A a shrimp curry pasta dish tossed on top of some spinach and eaten cold. Arman, you may be onto something with the cold noodle dishes.

An outtake:

Pug Noodle Bowl

Silly pug. That’s my noodles.

Snack:

Car smoothie.

Smoothie

 

Almond milk, a frozen banana, protein powder, peanut butter, and spinach. I had to drive up to school to proctor an exam, so a smoothie made for tasty driving fuel.

Dinner:

sushi

Suuuuushi! I knew I was getting back into London (Ontario) around 7:00 ish, so I told Eric I’d just swing by the Asian grocery store on my way home. It’s not the absolute best sushi around (nor do they even label the boxes, so you kinda have to guess what you’re getting) but it’s cheap and perfect for a quick sushi fix.

Dessert:

Chocolate

Mmm…Easter chocolate.

Snack:

Snack

A somewhat horrid picture of a mix of chocolate casein and plain goat’s milk yogurt (a new purchase – it’s pretty good) and peanut butter.

So lots of grains, lots of gluten…and it was all fabulous. ;-)

Have a good one!

<— Low-carb: yay or nay?

<— How much Easter chocolate do you have laying around? I have a lot…which is fine with me!

<— Are you a big sushi fan? My brother wants to go out for AYCE sushi for his birthday next week and I cannot wait!

April 22, 2014
by Sam
75 Comments

HA Update: One Month Later.

Hi there! I hope your week is getting off to a good start. This week is crazy busy with school, but I wanted to make sure I got this post up.

It’s been a month since I first came out with my current health issues. A quick update if you don’t want to read the original post: I went off hormonal birth control in September, and haven’t had a period since. Considering my history with an eating disorder and tendency towards over-exercising, I probably have hypothalamic amenorrhea. So, I’ve been making a point to eat above maintenance and am only using walks, yoga, and the occasional Physique class as exercise.

An update of where I am these days:

Body

I’ve definitely gained weight. Oh goodness, have I gained weight. I have no idea how much because I know that stepping on a scale wouldn’t really be helpful mentally right now, but it’s a little frustrating when most of my clothes don’t fit. At first all the extra weight seemed to go straight to my stomach, but now it seems to be spreading out a little. I’ve got a little more ‘junk in the trunk’ and my thighs are a bit bigger. And at the rate I’m going, I’m going to be going up a cup size soon (no complaints on that one!). It’s weird to look in the mirror and feel like I don’t recognize my body, but I’m doing my best to roll with it.

I did a little ‘spring-cleaning’ of my closet over the weekend and got rid of a bunch of stuff. I was a little conflicted with what I should be getting rid of, to be honest. A lot of people have told me that, in order to get their period back, they had to go a bit above their body’s ‘happy weight’, and then once their metabolisms caught up, their weight settled again. Honestly? I have no idea what my body’s natural weight as an adult is. Disordered eating in some form or another was an issue for me for over a decade. During and after my ED recovery, I doubt I was hitting the calorie intake I need for my body to truly be healthy. 

So I was a little lost on what I should do with my clothes. Is it pointless to hold on to stuff that’s too small right now, or is it possible that they will fit again one day? In the end, I held onto a few favourites that were a little too small, but junked anything that I felt ‘meh’ about or could barely fit past my knees (which definitely happened with one of my pencil skirts…). I DESPERATELY need to go shopping now – they only bottoms that fit are workout pants, leggings, a few  pairs of work pants, and a pair of super-old jeans. I was hoping to go this last weekend but I ran into a SNAFU with my student loan, so hopefully I can get that sorted and go next week.

Clothes

As for ‘Aunt Flo’…nothing yet. Fingers crossed that makes an appearance soon (P.S. Never in my life had I thought that I’d be wishing for my period to return. But that’s life for you). I’ve noticed a bit of cramping over the last month, so maybe that’s a sign that things are starting to kick in? I’ve also noticed that my hair is less brittle than it was and my skin is smoother (I usually have issues with dry skin) so I think that’s a sign that the extra fat I’ve been eating has been doing it’s work.

Mind

It’s been an interesting month for me, to say the least. I think I’m doing ok, on the mental side of things. Whenever I find myself feeling down about my appearance or how my clothes fit, I try to remind myself that what I’m doing is a good thing. I’ve even found myself feeling appreciative of my newfound curves – I feel pretty womanly these days, which isn’t a bad thing.

Of course, there’s a lot of bad days and ‘why me’s’. The weather is getting warmer, and it’s usually this time of the year when I find myself craving a run outside. Reminding myself that that’s a bad idea right now sucks, especially when I know so many people who run 30+ mile weeks without a problem. I’m just trying to remind myself to be patient, and that I’ll be out running again in the future if that’s what I choose to do.

Growth is Painful (img source)

On the food front, right now I’m trying to decide what to do when it comes to making sure I’m hitting my 2500+ calorie target. I’m not the biggest fan of counting calories, but there are days when I know I don’t hit that number. I ended up eating pretty far below it on Saturday – not because I was trying to undereat, but simply because I got so busy that I kind of forgot to eat enough. What do you know, it can actually happen! Although, waking up absolutely starving at 6 am Sunday was an unpleasant reminder.

Right now, my strategy is to count once a week or so and try to make sure my intake on the other days are similar, but we’ll see – I may start tracking a little bit more (as long as I remain in the right headspace about it – as soon as it causes anxiety or I find myself trying to eat under 2500, it’s out).

So basically: my body has changed, but I’m getting used to it. Baby steps. Of course, I’ve had a ton of supportive comments and emails with people encouraging me and reminding me that this process does work (and once again, thank you soooo much to everyone who’s been supportive about this!), so I just have to keep my head up and keep trusting the process.

Heal (img source)

Have a good one!

April 21, 2014
by Sam
54 Comments

FLTW: Looking at Big Cities.

This post was inspired by the novel Dad is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan, who riffs on his adventures co-parenting 5 kids in a Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write as we discuss Dad is Fat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Dad is Fat

In Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan talks about raising a family with five kids in New York City. While he makes it clear that he absolutely considers himself a New Yorker and loves living in the big city, it presents some challenges as well. They have seven of them in a two-bedroom apartment (because everyone knows how crazy-expensive a good apartment in a big city like that is), and in order for the kids to get some fresh air, you have to pack everyone up and head down to a nearby park, as opposed to having a backyard to play in. I used to work in a daycare, so I understand just how much of an undertaking it is to get kids ready to go outside in the winter (coats, mittens, snowpants, etc) or if it’s sunny (sunscreen!). Despite these obstacles, he says that he loves New York’s “energy, diversity, and the convenience.” (p. 126).

I’ve never lived in what can be considered a ‘big’ city. I actually grew up out in the country – my elementary school had approximately 250 students, and the high school I went to in a nearby town had approximately 600. While this lead to frustrations as a kid (I needed a ride to play with friends on weekends, and I could never walk down to corner store for a treat), it did have it’s pluses as well. Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time running around in forests and cornfields, and it was never too loud to sleep at night. My current city is the largest I’ve lived in, with a population of around 370 000 as the 15th largest city in Canada. So it’s on the larger side of cities in Ontario, but I sometimes wonder if it’s enough.

Something about big cities is inspirational to me. I was in Toronto about two months ago for a blogger meetup, and while I was waiting for my bus home I just wandered downtown and the Eaton Centre. When I was in Chicago in November 2012, I did the same thing – I just found excuses to wander around and take in the hustle and bustle of the big city. I loved seeing so many different shopping centres, new restaurants, comedy clubs, tourist attractions…I was only there for about four days, which wasn’t nearly enough to see everything that I wanted to see. Even something as simple as craning my neck upwards to see the tops of skyscrapers excites me.

Chicago Chicago, you are gorgeous.

Of course, if you’re a cultural junkie or foodie, big cities are a good place to be. Bars, restaurants, shopping…there’s so much cultural diversity, and you wouldn’t be able to hit up every restaurant even if you tried. Of course, there’s the downsides as well – there’s pollution, noise, and safety concerns (although to be fair, being a criminology major has made me less afraid of attacks and threats. Probably not the point of the program, but that’s neither here nor there).  Then there’s the fact that everything tends to be a tad more expensive in big cities. But still…in my mind, the pros seem to outweigh the cons.

As I finish up my degree in the next few months, I’ll be starting to look for career opportunities. Eric and I have discussed it, and we’d be willing to relocate if I find a job that’s a really good fit. Honestly? I’m looking in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and surrounding areas quite a bit, because I want to be closer to a big city. I love the feeling I get in downtown Toronto surrounded by so much diversity and busy-ness, and I want to be able to recreate that feeling on a regular basis. While I don’t know if living in the downtown area of a big city would be ideal or if I would be jaded to the idea after a while, I would love to live somewhere where I could hop on a bus or GO Train and be downtown quickly.

Toronto (img source)

How could you not want to see that on a regular basis?

I have no idea where I’m going to end up in the next couple of months as I make the transition from ‘student’ to ‘working adult’, but I’m open to new possibilities, new cities, and new experiences. 

<— Do you live in a big city? Would you want to?

<— Ever lived out in the country? what did you think?

<— Would you rather be downtown or in the suburbs? I think I’d love to be somewhere in between.

<— Favourite comedian? I love Chelsea Handler!