I feel like I deserve a trophy for saying no to Zazubean’s new holiday flavours

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Week One (and a bit)

Week one (and a bit).

Day one was awful to be honest. I was so panicked about preparing foods for a long weekend of camping, that I totally blanked on day one and forgot to even pack a lunch. I spent so long at work trying to decide what I could buy that was compliant, that before I knew it, my stomach was growling and getting to that hangry stage that no person should ever get to. I ran out and got a wrap that was not sugar free. Normally I would get completely hung up on a stupid mistake like that,  but I need to take it one meal at a time, or else this will be a verrrry looong year! I’m being completely honest with you because nobody is perfect!  That night my husband and I made up some sugar free meatballs, pasta sauce and spaghetti squash and I moved on.

In order to prepare for camping, I wrote out a list of meals for the weekend and my husband (I should mention that although my husband is being super supportive, he is still eating sugar) and I got to work on pre-making meals so I had no reason to start reaching for hotdogs and marshmallows. After packing up all the food and labelling each container instead of feeling relieved and accomplished, I felt like a complete crazy person! What have I become? is this really weird? do I have that virus from cats that makes people do crazy things? By 10:30 the night before we left, I just had to laugh at myself as I packaged up my kale chips (why is there sugar in so many store-brand chips?!). I think I’ve gone full crunch.

The weekend went well! We definitely had enough food and aside from getting a little sugar sprinkled on me by some friends, they were really supportive and I think I did a pretty good job avoiding it. Full disclosure: I was still having some drinks, but I stuck to gin and water with lemons and limes.

Being prepared is really going a long way. It is a little tedious, but it’s worth it and knowing exactly what we need at the market and grocery store makes it a lot faster to just run in and out.

As far as any detox symptoms, I have been slightly moodier and by slightly I mean very moody. I have also been a little more tired during the day, especially at work. I think being outside in nature during the whole first weekend really helped to get my mind off of things and helped reduce the headache-style sugar withdrawal symptoms. There have been a few times this week where I thought I should delete everyone on my Instagram that was posting pictures of food, and a very close moment when I found some remnants of a Zazubean chocolate bar in with my snacks – but I stayed strong.

This Sunday was tough – normally on Sunday husband and I will eat a massive brunch and not really need to eat again till supper, but this week we ate a smaller breaky and I had no toast with mine. By the time we were out and about checking out the Halls Creek Art Festival, my stomach was growling and I was surrounded by booths selling and giving away candy. I found the Habitual Chocolate booth and tried some of their 100% sugar free chocolate, but it wasn’t enough to fill me up. It took all my will to not pick a fight with my husband who bought himself an amazing looking brownie. We raced home and I whipped myself up a delicious smoothie – crisis averted! I think I’ll have to keep a container of trail mix in my purse from now on.

I haven’t been bloated since starting…err finishing (?) with sugar and that to me is totally worth it. I’m down about 5 pounds already as well, which is great!

These first few weeks I am going easy on myself, but next week I’m going to commit to the 21 Day Sugar Detox which is a little more restrictive in terms of fruits and starchy vegetables. I think it will be helpful to do a complete reset and retrain my palate.

Yours in sugar-freeness,
Susan

Perfection – what I learned from wood

 

Walnut Display Board - Keane Woodworking

Walnut Display Board – Keane Woodworking

Perfection – something many of us strive for. But what does it really mean to be perfect? Think about it. Your idea of the perfect body can be wildly different from the person next to you. The perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect family – all of this is subjective. Your perfect life belongs to you.

Let’s take a moment to think about that. Your perfect life is unique to you and you alone.

So what is it that is holding you back from your perfection?

Perhaps it has to do with our perceptions and feeling gratitude. The past month or so I have set an alarm on my phone that just says “gratitude.” It goes off at 7:30 in the morning when I am getting ready for work or at the gym (and usually quite frustrated that I’m not still cozy in bed). It is a gentle reminder to take a deep breath and truly feel grateful. I try to focus on one thing and really bask in the feeling of gratefulness. Some days are harder than others, but it always calms me and puts me in a better mood.

It is so important for me to remember that right now, I am grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Honestly, it is making me realize that perfection is absolutely everywhere, I just need to choose to see it and appreciate it.

An amazing lesson my woodworker husband taught me was to see the beauty in nature’s “flaws”(shameless plug: www.facebook.com/keanewoodworking).

Manitoba Maple Wood Slab

Manitoba Maple Wood Slab – Keane Woodworking

When we were dating, he was showing me some of his projects from school and some of his favourite types of wood, one of which was a piece of curly maple. He was going on and on about how awesome the curl was and it made the wood so unique and beautiful. Then he looked at me and said, “Your stretch marks remind me of it.” It completely threw me off. Something I was absolutely ashamed of and hated about myself and here he was telling me that it reminds him of something so beautiful and unique. Does that mean I am beautiful and unique? Of course, we all are!

We can find beauty in imperfections in nature so quickly, but we ignore or hate those imperfections in ourselves.

Spalted Beech Coffee Table – Keane Woodworking

At one of my husband’s shows he had a cutting board made of spalted beech (similar to the coffee table above) that customers were nearly fighting over because of the different patterning. When wood is spalted, it is because the tree was diseased. How many of us end up with scars or battle wounds from life, but hide them and hate ourselves for it? We need to stop seeing all of these things as flaws and view them just as we would view nature. Flawed, but perfectly beautiful and unique.

 

Stay healthy my friends, 

Susan Keane