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Victory! I didn’t go out for pizza today! Okay, it’s a small victory, but even small victories are worth celebrating.

I went to work late this morning. It was planned. I had a phone interview this morning for a job in Wisconsin. I think it went well, but it had some interesting moments. My dog, Buddy, was in the house. I closed him out of the spare room so that I might be able to do the interview without any dogs or cats involved. It didn’t quite work that way. As soon as he heard voices on the other side of the door, he started to try to clamor his way in to be with me. I had to let him in mid-interview so he wouldn’t destroy the door.

He had a hard time with me trying to ignore him and he started play-gnawing at my hand. Not getting what he wanted, he tried chewing a bit harder and finally bit down hard enough, in his play, on my thumb to draw blood. It was only a little, but ouch! I never thought I’d get to experience being bit by a dog in the middle of a job interview! I don’t think the interviewers knew. It will make a good story if I get the position.

So, I felt I had a reason to celebrate. Then we had our floor meeting at work. It seems each meeting gives me reason to not want to stay in my current position and dampens my view just a little bit more on universities. So, I also felt a reason to mourn or maybe just console myself. In any case I had my excuses. I could do it. But, I couldn’t quite face this blog today if I gave up on a week without eating out on Tuesday. We’ll see if I make it through tomorrow, but Tuesday is really a bit early to give up.

So, I stopped and picked up some bacon for today and chicken for later in the week. Tonight’s dinner was a nice scrambled eggs with bacon, cream cheese, zucchini, onion, tomato, and peppers. It was quite tasty and I think I got about 7 cups of fruits and vegetables in today. That, I think, can be counted as a victory!

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 2d ago

My stomach is still a little off, but getting better. I am happy to say that I stayed away from restaurants today. Not eating out, a temperature outdoors of 90+ all day, and still having a bit of intestinal issues led to another day of limited calories though I did go out and get a new bag of sugar-free chocolate chips.

The day began with strawberries and yogurt. Lunch was homemade tomato soup with cheese and a side of green beans and carrots with hummus. Tonight was a piece of cod and mixed vegetables with bananas, mixed berries, and yogurt with a bit of maple syrup and some of those sugar free chocolate chips.

So, again about 6 cups of fruits and vegetables. That seems to be the spot for me. It’s doable on a daily basis. More than that can be quite a challenge. I feel okay with that amount. I feel good about being intentional regarding my food. It’s really kind of amazing to see how easy it is not to eat fruits and vegetables. I found myself wondering today what exactly I have been eating since I got rid of my allergens three years ago now. Clearly, I’ve been getting enough calories. I haven’t been eating allergens. This means keeping away from a lot of processed foods because of sugar or potato starch. I’d cut down the amount of pasta I’d been eating too in recent months. I guess it’s been more pizza and burgers than I realized or maybe they just make up a larger part of my diet than I knew.

Now, we’ll see if I can go the week just on my own cooking!

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 3d ago

My stomach is still in recovery mode so breakfast and dinner were small and healthy.

I decided that Sunday is my day to go out to eat this week. It fit well with having been low on calories the past two days (down 3 lbs) and not interested much in many foods with my stomach still being out of sorts. So, lunch was pizza. It was okay and I was okay with just some raw veggies and hummus and a bit of cottage cheese for dinner too. I don’t think I’ll need any more today. I hope my stomach is back to normal tomorrow.

It is a help though that I happened to get sick right as I decided to stop eating out again. It gave me a reason to go enjoy myself and now I can enjoy the tasty and healthy things that I picked up at the grocery store on the way home and maybe try out some new recipes.

I suspect it’s simply part of the reality of being middle-aged, my sickness. It happens periodically, though not monthly, and lasts about a week. You’d think there was a better way of being female than having hormonal changes to deal with so much of your life. Ah well. It is life and many have these changes so much worse than me. I remain hopeful that continuing to improve my diet will improve this piece of my life too as will a bit more aging. There are benefits to aging after all.

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 4d ago

Feeling a bit better today, but still tired and not too hungry. Doing well today with my fruits and veggies intake. If I have some berries yet tonight, I will hit six cups and stay within my calorie goals.

Yesterday was rough. I barely ate at all and mostly just slept. It showed on the scale though this morning that I’d had a day of fasting. I was down two pounds! Now, if I can stay away from restaurants I think I’ll be able to keep that 2 lbs off and maybe keep going again.

Not much more to say tonight, I just need to relax and get some more rest.

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 5d ago

Well, no eating out today, actually hardly any eating today at all. Not feeling well. I’ve slept most of the day. Good news is that I don’t think I’ve had any seizures. In the past, this exhaustion and illness I think came with seizures. It doesn’t seem that way today and I’ve been able to start feeling better with ibuprofen and a little extra CBD oil. I hope this means a more rapid recovery. In the past, I’ve felt tired and foggy for days.

So, thus far today I’ve just had an apple and a few cups of cottage cheese. We’ll see if my stomach is ready for any more later today.

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 6d ago

Well, it’s clear that restaurants are my downfall and they are also my salvation. Well, maybe not salvation, but they are my place of comfort, a spot to soothe myself when I am feeling down.

I totally blew it today calorie wise. I took in over 2800 calories. According to My Fitness Pal I should be at 1340 to reach my goals. I don’t feel too badly about it though.

I was feeling down today and I treated myself. That’s okay, in fact that’s a good thing. I stepped away from my office where I was getting nothing done, went home and took a nap. Then I went out to lunch and came back home where I worked from home for the afternoon, just to have the change of space and to be able to focus on some mundane tasks that I’d been avoiding for a while in a place that’s comfortable and let’s me just veg out and do mundane tasks in an almost meditative way. That’s good. I will have to put in a couple hours of work tomorrow (normally, in summer I take Fridays off because my work schedule goes down to 80%) because I worked a short day today, but I can work with that. I couldn’t work with a full day today and be productive, two partial days will mean getting more done.

I’d hoped to find some fresh veggies at the farmers market today, but by the time I got there all that was left were prepared foods like jams and breads and such. I didn’t need any of that, but I also didn’t have any fresh ideas for dinner at home. So, second meal out for the day. Still, it felt good to sit there by myself with a good book and just enjoy some quiet time and a tasty Mexican meal.

Tonight, I am thinking that I need to add to my goals maybe just a week of not eating out, a chance to be intentional about what I might do instead to care for myself that is healthier and hopefully less costly as well. I think to start with a week would be good and I can go from there.

This process is all about caring for me, giving myself the best I can. That’s the key.

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 1w ago

Okay, so I will admit I haven’t entered the food I ate today into My Fitness Pal. It’s been an unusual day of eating, not a bad day, but an unusual one. I had two work events today that involved buffets. So, while I just had a smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner were both a bit more filling and varied.

I did well with fruits and vegetables intake. I started the day with a smoothie that had rhubarb, greens, apple, banana, and strawberries. It’s a tasty start to the day! With lunch there was a nice salad and a more veggies, though I don’t know if there was much more health quality with some super cheesy, cheesy broccoli with rice as well as some lasagna. Then tonight’s dinner had more salad and some green beans. I wasn’t able to measure things out at lunch or dinner, but I know that I had at least 4 cups at breakfast. So, I’m going to guess that I was between 7 and 8 cups today.

It is proving quite possible and not all that difficult to eat 6 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. 9 cups is a bit more challenging, but I think is more doable when I eat at home.

Now, I am hoping for nice weather tomorrow to get back to my garden to see what might be ready to harvest. With so much rain lately it’s been a challenge to get to the garden and there may be mostly weeds to harvest. Last I was out there though it looked like some greens would be ready soon along with maybe some peas and the first of the tomatoes. I am hopeful.

Plus, tomorrow is the local farmers market, so even if my garden is growing mostly weeds there will be other options. Fresh, tasty, local, and affordable, all the best!

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Well, today was a better day than yesterday. It was still interesting, but better. My breakfast was filled with fruits and veggies. I started with banana and strawberries with a little plain yogurt. Then I took a apple/rhubarb/ strawberry smoothie along to work to sip on throughout the morning.

Work was where things got interesting. I arrived to find that the carpets had just been shampooed. The offices had been spared, but the common areas were all still wet with powerful fans blowing cyclone winds. One of my workmates spoke of how as a young person he’d considered working on a Navy ship. Now, he felt like he knew what it was like with those incredibly loud fans. Instead of being wise and going back home to work, I just closed my office door. I didn’t realize the impact until I had to go to a meeting in a room that had been cleaned. After 2 hours in that meeting with those carpet cleaning toxins I felt simply stoned!

So, the morning went well diet wise. Lunch was small and tasty, homemade tomato soup with cheese and a side of broccoli and carrots with hummus. But, after this afternoon’s meeting in my carpet cleaner stoned state, I went out for a burger with some sweet potato fries. It was quite tasty. I made it to over 6 cups of veggies. I don’t think I made it up to 9 again yet though.

I’ve not quite hit my calorie lowering goals yet. But, looking back at my Fitness Pal reports over the past few months it seems that my average calorie consumption may be going down slightly. It’s difficult to tell for sure because before beginning this challenge there were quite a few days that I missed entering my meals. However, I know that I’d often skip entering if I knew I’d eaten a lot or things that I wished I hadn’t.

It seems that it is a good way for me to look at food, focusing on making sure I eat a lot of something good rather than getting caught up in making sure that I’m not eating something unhealthy. It works on the concept of gifting myself rather than denying myself, or at least I think it does. Only nine days in it’s difficult to tell. I’ve not lost weight yet, but I’m feeling healthy and positive and that’s a good start.

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Sustainable Life In Action by Amy Mondloch - 1w ago

Okay, day eight was not so great. It was the first day back to work in almost a week and it was rough. People not showing up for meetings, other meetings I didn’t want to be at, having to work on an annual report, and reading my organization’s history to find that yes, there are some issues that we’ve been discussing and have not found resolution to for over a decade now. There were good points to the day too, but I just wasn’t ready to go from vacation time to what lay in store for me today.

Oh, and it did start with realizing that I’d run out of a couple things that could have made me a quick, tasty, good for warm weather breakfast. I have since replaced them, but this morning wound up being scrambled eggs with greens and tomatoes. Normally, a good breakfast option, but today my stomach just wasn’t happy with that choice. I thought for a bit I might have to call in sick.

I wasn’t hungry at lunch time, but figured it would be best to have something or I’d be ravenous by mid afternoon so I dug into my broccoli and cauliflower with a little hummus and was surprised to find I could eat an apple too.

Still, by mid afternoon it was clear nothing was going my way. It was a bit early, but I gave up for the day and went home and mowed my lawn. So, I got a little extra exercise in and got the lawn cut before the rains come again. I suppose that’s an upside.

I felt a little better after an hour or so outside. I got to arguing with myself on whether to relax from a rough day with pizza out or to take care of myself with a tasty dinner in. Pizza won. I rationalized with the idea of having a salad with the pizza. I got to the buffet to find that there were only a few sickly looking scraps left in the spinach salad container. There was the other salad, but I find no reason to eat iceberg lettuce. There’s simply not sufficient taste or nutritional value. So, I’ve learned not to count on salad being part of the buffet.

That leaves me at the end of my day with probably about 4 cups of fruits and vegetables consumed. I suppose I could still have some berries with yogurt and banana or maybe make a rhubarb smoothie, but right now I’m not really hungry and my stomach isn’t feeling quite right. So, I don’t know whether to call it a fail or if it’s a win to sometimes just say “I’m not really hungry right now. I don’t need to eat.” So, I’ll just leave it there and let it be and start again tomorrow.

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Well, if I made six cups of fruits and veggies today, it was just by the skin of my teeth. I took a trip to South Dakota this afternoon. It was the 152nd annual Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Wacipi (powwow) and it felt time to go. I am glad that I went. Powwows, however, are not the place to find nice, healthy fruits and vegetables. They are though the place to find the best fry bread known to humanity and that’s reason enough to go.

So, my food at home was good and healthy; yogurt with strawberries, mango, and banana, fresh green beans to snack on, things like that. At the powwow though I enjoyed a delicious Indian taco and some nachos with cheese. The day wound up a bit under 1600 calories, so not too bad even with some high carb indulgences which were well worth it.

The food was just one piece of the powwow. I’ve gone to many before and they are always good for the heart. There’s a special power in the drum. It’s good to feel the music. I find myself watching the dancers, thinking it’s probably nearly time for me to step away, but I can’t just yet after all it’s men’s fancy, my favorite dance. Then a few minutes later I think it’s near time to go, but I can’t right now, it’s women’s traditional, my favorite dance. This goes on through all the different dances. Each has it’s own strength. Each holds a role in teaching the children to be proud of who they are. It’s a gift to get to sit there on the sidelines and witness what remains, how the strength of generations continues forward never to be squelched by the colonizers.

I sat today on the sidelines when the older man sitting in front of me turned to talk with me. He asked where I was from when I answered and asked where he was from he told me, just down the road and then proceeded to speak to me in Dakota. I looked at him confused. He translated what he’d said for me. He told me he’d learned English when he went to school and asked me if I was surprised that he was Native. I was a bit, but I’ve known a fair number of blond haired, blued eyed Native people in Minnesota, so it wasn’t too big a surprise. Then he went on and told me stories of his life. He must have talked for at least an hour talking of his family, ancestors, speaking in both English and Dakota. He shared so many bits of wisdom. It was one of those life moments that cannot be anticipated and reaches in to do amazing things.

It was a good day and has been a good first week. Let’s see where next week goes.

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