Why I’m Into Fasting

So in my “Weird” Things I do for health post, I mentioned that I’m into fasting.  Fasting as in not eating.  On purpose.

Are you running for the hills yet?

I get it.  I used to think that fasting was crazy too.  But my prediction is that very soon we’re going to start hearing more and more interesting things about fasting.  Both as a treatment and prevention measure against chronic diseases.

I do both intermittent fasting and extended fasting.  For example, on a lot of days I either don’t eat breakfast or I don’t eat lunch.  Although I do put significant calories into my coffee much of the time.

So this is all about WHY I fast, HOW I do it, and more.  And as always, I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  The opinions contained herein should not be construed as medical advice.  This is just what has been working for me.

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Thoughts on this Whole30

So another whole30 finished.  Kind of.  (Psst.  Goals for this oneWhat I ate in a week.)

This one actually ended up being a whole21.  We curtailed because I wanted to focus on reintroduction, and we only had so much time before Thanksgiving.

On Day 22, I had popcorn after dinner.  On Days 26-27, I had cheese.  Day 29 was gluten.  Day 32 (Thanksgiving), wine.  After that we head to Naples so I guess it will be pizza reintroduction, followed by probably a week (or more) of recovery.

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What I Ate for a Week of my Whole30

So not too long ago, one of my fave podcasts (which I’m listening to even MORE now) did a “what we ate” roundup.  (Episode 72 of The Mom Hour.)   We’re not talking the perfect meal plan.  We’re talking about how it actually went down.

Because I’ve been texting pics to my whole30 buddy, I’ve got PLENTY of evidence of how it actually went down.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  (And I was too lazy to edit these photos so all of them are pretty ugly.  Apologies.)

If you’re catching up, these are my goals for this whole30.  And this is what I actually ate for week 1:

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Goals for this Whole30

So I’m on Whole30 Day number three.  I’ve decided to consciously uncouple from caffeine (again), and I’ve FINALLY stopped with the splitting afternoon headaches.  Huzzah!

Other than that, things don’t feel so different than usual other than possibly spending even more time on food prep because James is whole30-ing as well, and I’m trying to send him out the door with lunch and breakfast.

This is my first whole30 where I really am more focused on nonscale victories (NSVs).

I am hoping to:

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Some thoughts on Food Freedom Forever

Melissa Hartwig’s new book Food Freedom Forever dropped this month.  So you know I was all over that like . . . hmm.  Like my kids licking the glass at the Lego store.  Like my kids licking the glass at a bakery.  Like my kids licking the glass at . . . you get the idea.  (Similes FTW!)  I guess I’m saying I approached the book release with a childlike enthusiasm.

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Do you run TO the crowd or FROM the crowd?

So there are lots of food-themed festivals around here, particularly in the summer and fall.   Fruit!  Porcini!  Carciofi for everyone!  I love food; sign me up!

I meant to do more.  And we will.  But we did make it to the Sagra delle Fragole (strawberry festival) in Nemi this June.

But the thing about festivals is crowds.  Shockingly, other people ALSO want to go to the cool-sounding festival with you.

I don’t really love crowds.

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30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge: the Results

6.8_30 day challenge

OK, enough of my son’s adorable ramblings.  Let’s get back to the business at hand.  (But this morning he asked to put on his sun scream.  I know!)  AHEM, back to the business.

The business, of course, being the 30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge.  I promised you guys results.  Let’s chat results.

But first, for those of you just joining, let’s relive the glory days with a quick recap.

What am I talking about?  Here is where I lay out the challenge.

How did it feel?  (FEEEeeelings)  Check out my real time diaries and report cards here and here.

What worked?  This is where I do my best to put on my responsible adult thinking hat and consider what I liked and what I didn’t.

OK, NOW down to business.  But first, I wanted to chat a little about why I did this challenge.

I could say that I did it for the kids.  I could tell you how I want more energy to keep up with them and to feel better so that I can be a more patient and awesome mom.  And I DO want those things, but that isn’t why I did it.  The kids certainly don’t care what size I am.  And I’m sure I can always improve in the patience/energy/awesome category, but that is just side gravy.

I could tell you I did it for James.  That guy did marry me for my hot bod, after all.  (Snort.)  And James does support me and want me to look and feel my best however I decide that is.  But nope.

I did it for me.

You see, since moving here or probably since Mac was born, I’ve felt a little less “me-like.”  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Love LOVE the time I’m getting to spend with the kids.  I’m having a blast exploring a new country and continent.

But sometimes I feel like my mom hat dwarfs any other hat I have.  I usually only leave the house completely by myself once a week, if that.  I don’t spend tons of time on myself or doing things for myself.

This challenge helped me take care of myself better.  It helped make me more of a priority.  The kids are very high on the list, but I matter too.  I should be taken care of as well.

I’m enjoying the morning time I’ve carved out for myself to exercise and to think and to do whatever I want.  I’m enjoying feeling good getting out of bed in the morning.  I’m also enjoying access to more of my pre-baby wardrobe.  So yay!  “Me” is pleased.

And now for realz, BIDNESS.

Are you guys ready to see the results?

I mean truly shocking before and afters??

Hold on to your butts.

Keep scrolling.

Scrolling.

BAM.

6.12_reveal

As you can see, the difference with clothes is subtle, if noticeable at all.  (My doofusness has not changed a bit.)  I admit that some sort of side-by-side photos would have been ideal and photos actually showing my body would have been better, but I’m only a mere mortal and not a Biggest Loser contestant.  I don’t need any bikini photos on the internets, thank you very much.

I can tell you that I dropped a clothing size.  For example, these pants definitely didn’t fit before.  Also, I’ve moved to the smaller size of my ONE SHIRT TO RULE THEM ALL.  Oh, and I got a hair cut.

Dirty mirror, check.  Rando toddler shoe, check.

Fuzzy shot, check.  Dirty mirror, check. Rando toddler shoe, check and check.

And the numbers don’t lie.  I followed whole30 protocol and didn’t weigh myself at all during the challenge.  But, boy, was I excited to whip out that scale on day 31.  (Since then I’ve weighed myself once, but I’m trying not to get back into the every day habit.  It’s about feeling good; not about a number.)

And again, I hope you guys will forgive me for not sharing raw numbers.  First, the internets just don’t need to know my weight.  Second, these are my numbers and I’m happy, but I don’t want anyone to get hung up on them.  Your numbers are probably different and they are your story and that’s what matters, ya know?

But I will share the delta.  James took before, mid-way, and after measurements.  I realized later that he left very helpful, scientific reminders like “top of crack” for my hip measurement so that he would hit the same place again.  (He also measured in centimeters because he has gone FULL Italian, but he claims it was for more accuracy.)

Interestingly, probably almost 75% of the changes occurred in the first two weeks.  Except for my waist which actually was lower at mid-point measure than final.  I guess I was feeling bloaty that day.  Or, you know, ALL THOSE ABS.

6.17_results

So yeah.  That happened.  In just 30 days.  It could have been any of the factors (whole30) or the whole combination (whole30), but results were had.  I know some people would think a whole30 is extreme, but I’ve never found a way to get such significant results in such a short period of time.  This approach works for me.  Seeing big changes makes me more motivated to keep it up.  If I tried to adopt a “be reasonable” approach for six months, I doubt I’d see any difference because I’d never be able to stick to it.

Those are the “sexy” changes.  Let’s talk about some other changes.

SKIN

OK, here I really should have taken some before pictures.  But in my haste to get the party started, I didn’t think through all the details.  So NO PICS FOR YOU, said in my no soup for you voice.

And because we do not have hard evidence, my response is wishy washy, but I think my skin is better.  Although this could be a halo effect from just feeling better generally and thinking I look better.  But when I touch my face, it feels, uh, plumper.  I don’t know, but it definitely feels a little different.  I can at least report that eating good fats, washing your face, and drinking water are not deleterious for your skin and probably definitely at least a little help.

SLEEP

As you guys saw, I failed BIG TIME on bedtime alarm.  Despite this, I’m feeling more rested.  First, even if I’m not going to sleep at 2200, I am going to sleep earlier than I had been so that’s a win.

Also, I’m getting higher quality sleep.  I fall asleep faster, and I usually never wake up in the middle of the night, barring child screaming, of course.  Even post challenge, I’ve been waking up on my own around 600, ready to start the day.

MOOD

You could ask James for confirmation, although he would probably insist that I am delightful all the time because he is a smart cookie, but I would say there has been definite mood improvement.  I still feel overwhelmed by the kids at various points every day and my mind spins with a million things I need to do but can’t because Mac will RAGE if I stop walking him around.  But I feel better.  I really do.

FOOD

My urge to snack has diminished.  Sometimes it is still there.  Sometimes I just want to put food in my mouth.  But I think it is more under control.  I’m better able to gauge when I really want something versus just eating it because it is there.

A lot of food tastes better.  Although I still just can’t seem to love red peppers, much to James’s chagrin.  He loves that shizz.

I plan to keep cooking whole30 at home and then not worry as much when we go places because convenience food on the whole30 is a fantastical pink unicorn.  I’m also hoping to keep my booze consumption for special, out-of-the-house occasions.  Last night I had one glass of wine at date night.  We’ll see how this goes.

But what about BAD changes, you ask

I can’t really think of any.  Possibly my current paranoia that eating gluten will derail my whole way of life.  Or my questionable fashion taste now that I am combining more clothes.  Or needing to pee more from all the water and not being able to.  See Mac raging when I ask him politely to let go of my hand.  But seriously, I can’t really think of anything.

30 days, all gain.  W00t!

Any other questions on results?  Aside from my weight, I’m happy to share!  And then I promise to shut up about the 30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge for a bit.  Probably. 

 

ICYMI: mid May edition

The elusive double vintage shot.

The elusive double vintage shot.

On the blog:

If I had to pick a root cause of the difficulties of law firm life, this would be it.

Henry, still hilarious.

Food photos!  (I just typed foot photos.  For a split second, I thought about leaving it, but that would be super weird and gross.)

On the internets:

I heart tiny houses.  Anyone want to build our own street like these guys?

Remember how I said that fava beans are definitely a thing right nowHere is a little more background.  My version did not turn out so hot because apparently you have to shell them and then peel them?  Oh, well, I tried.

Even if billables are bad, law firms do have very generous paid leave.

Happenings & Coming up:

I feel like this week went by fast.  Henry actually made it to school all three scheduled days.  I can’t even remember the last time that happened.  Henry has also been biting his brother.  Not cool, kid.

I’m not sure what the plan is for the weekend.  I was thinking about a day trip to Comune di Sermoneta, but the weather is looking a little dicey.  A friend also just alerted me to this sweet dino exhibit in Rome.  Whatever we do, it will probably involve avoiding downtown Rome.  Tourist season is ON.  (And utility vests are definitely back BTW.)

Hope you have a great one!

ICYMI: dentist LIKE A BOSS edition

Sorry for the absenteeism!  To take full advantage of our family visitors, we’ve been trying to do ALL the things, eat ALL the food, and stay up ALL (well, half) the night.  It’s been fun, but we are run down.  I see clean eating, early bedtimes, and no vino coming up this week.

Proof of guests!

Proof of guests!

On the blog:

Check out these sweet gardens.  All excellent day trip options from Rome.  Monster posts like these are also one of the reasons I’ve been posting less.  This post took three day trips, writing 1100+ words, editing 30+ pictures, looking up links, and doing a little more research.  I’m hoping this kind of evergreen content can be useful to some down the road, but I know this isn’t super helpful to the majority of my readers in the U.S.  Sigh.

I squeezed in one more letter to Mac before his birthday.  Cake pictures to come soon!  (He went for it.  BIG TIME.)

5.8_ICYMI cake

Not that you will look beyond the adorbs baby, but you can see my ombre hair experimentation here.

And how to host like a rock star.  I attempt humor in this one.  Consider yourself warned.

On the internets:

A friend of my friend wrote a book!  C is for Critter is a huge hit with my boys.  Letters such as “E” for echidna and “N” for narwhal make this a nice change for the parents as well.  (I challenge you to google quokka and not immediately go awwwww.)

5.1_critter

The Cult of Busy.  These articles are my clickbait.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters.  The faking it could help on perception, but this strategy ultimately won’t work if you have to bill your hours.  They always know.  I do completely agree on the better to ask for forgiveness than permission approach.  My biglaw strategy was to get my work done and make myself be as accessible as possible without actually being in my office all the time.

You remember when I said I was failing at all the current events?  A sweet friend (thanks AJ!) tipped me off to the Skimm.  This weekday newsletter curates world news into a humorous, easy-to-digest format.  I promise, this one is not just more inbox clutter.  Now when friends have said, “did you hear about . . . ?”  I’m all yeah, YEAH I did.

Have I mentioned that it is starting to get really hot here?  I don’t usually adulterate my sparkling wine, but I may have to work my way through this list of cocktails this summer.

Happenings & Coming up:

Speaking of hot, I’m very happy that Mac can wear his new-to-him summer wardrobe, which aligns surprisingly well with Henry sizing.  Chunky baby thighs on display make me happy.

I made a version of this.   Even without adding cheese, it turned out nicely.  Eggplant stuffing, who knew?

I also made pulled out the slow cooker to make this.  Excellent flavor, but this was more work than I like from my crockpot recipes.  You want me to cut the meat, sear the meat, cook on high for an hour, and then switch to low?  This one is not destined to be in regular rotation.

I’m very excited about summer produce.  Melon season has arrived, and these are some of the best cantaloupes I’ve had in my life.  Also, apparently fava beans are a big thing now.  I picked some up today; will have to figure out what to do with them.

Mac is pro peach

Mac is pro peach

Henry dentisted this week for the first time.  He killed it!  I was so impressed.  They did an actual cleaning, with an ultrasonic water pick thing and everything.  I sat there with my eyes welling up because how did my little boy get this big??  (Dentist here is just like back home BTW.)

5.8_ICYMI 2

For this weekend, I actually have no idea what we are up to.  We’ll try to squeeze in one more adventure with James’s parents.  We are also planning to attend a 70s-themed block party.  Pics if I’m brave!

What are you up to?  Any birthdays?  Dentist?  Questionable hair dyes?  Hope you have a good one!

Happy Mother’s Day!

ICYMI: Fresh Fish Edition

I had a delightful time with the fish guys this week.  We talked fresh catches and how to prepare them.  Here is my attempt at alici con patate al forno.  If I had just sliced the potatoes a little thinner, I think it would have been money.

I had a delightful time with the fish guys this week. We talked fresh catches and how to prepare them. Here is my attempt at alici con patate al forno. If I had just sliced the potatoes a little thinner, I think it would have been money.

On the blog:

Would you eat an orange off the sidewalk?  I haven’t yet, but I can’t get used to perfectly good wasted fruit . . .

Spring!  Pollen!  Easter!

I get a little emotional talking about too much of a good thing.  FeeeEEElings!

A sweet commenter stated this week, “[y]ou make me laugh so much my husband wonders what cat antics I’m watching.”  Being considered anywhere near the realm of cat videos makes me a little misty-eyed.

Since I don’t say this enough to all of you, THANK YOU!  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for chatting.  Thanks for checking out this weird little corner of the internets.

On the internets:

The True Cost of Leaning In.  Agree.  High quality child care is not cheap, not to mention frequently hard to find.

I’m not going to recognize anything when we go back to DC.

But would you switch to avoid sitting next to a solo two year old?  I’m a little nervous; we have a flight coming up where we couldn’t select seats.

Happenings & Coming up:

My sister and her fam left this week.  We have a week off before James’s parents arrive.  Yay family!

I had a bit of a meh morning.  First, it was that thing where the cappuccino counter is empty and then 10 people run up before I can place my order, then I couldn’t go into the zoo because of an errant ball under my stroller, and THEN Mac pooped his pants and I neglected to bring a spare outfit.  #WINNING  I know, all small stuff.  Thanks for listening.  I feel better.

I also saw a tram come to a complete stop in the middle of an intersection because a car was parked on its tracks.  It just sat there honking its horn, first politely, and then more insistently.  After about 90 seconds, a lady came running out of the cafe to move the car.  Italy, man.

I think we’re planning a day trip on Saturday (maybe Orte?) and then some relaxation and guest prep.  Do you have big plans?  Hope it is a good one!