My New Office

After two years of working from home, I returned to the office life this week. Everyone keeps asking me how I’m adjusting. Truth is, I am thrilled. Working from home was awesome at first, and there are certainly things about it that I will miss, but it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be. I never had the opportunity to be a lady who lunched. On the contrary, I was lucky to grab a protein bar in between meetings. I didn’t actually have time to do the laundry and prepare fabulous dinners while simultaneously checking email and managing conference calls. On the contrary, I was usually too busy to pee, let alone cook and clean. Finally, due to being on video chats all day, I never had the luxury of working in my underpants with curlers in my hair.

I work from home because I live in Virginia and my company’s main office is located on the other side of the country. Working from home was great when I was in the last few months of pregnancy and after returning to work from maternity leave. But I found that I enjoyed it less as the months went on. Friends and family would ask me how my job was going, and I heard myself saying less often “It’s so awesome! I have the best job in the universe!” and more often “It’s so awesome, except I wish I was in an office.”

So, lucky me, I have a colleague who will be working here in Virginia for up to six months, and my company was kind enough to get us an office to share while she is here. It’s twenty-five minutes down the road (super close by Virginia/DC standards) and has large windows.

The desks are stupidly large, so we decided to put one in the middle of the room and share it. The other desk will be removed this week, making plenty of room for some exercise equipment — weights, a stability ball. Right? The building also has a fitness center, and both days this week I’ve gone down there for a 20-minute jog. And, to top it all off, it’s next to a huge mall with tons of restaurants. Commerce!!!
This office thing is gonna be great. I feel like I’m part of society again. Focusing is so much easier in an office than at home. And it’s so great to have a co-worker around to chat and brainstorm with during the day. The only question now is, what will happen when the six-month lease is up? Well, there’s a good chance that my company will be hiring another person in my area pretty soon, and if that happens, we’ll get our office indefinitely. All the crappy coffee I can drink, yesss!!!
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Meal Analysis + Detox Update

I’m not usually a calorie counter, but today I was kind of curious about how I did so decided to write it up.

Breakfast

For breakfast, I had oatmeal (made with almond milk) and pb.

The oatmeal:

The almond milk (Trader Joe’s unsweetened Vanilla) – this is for 1 cup and I had 3/4 cups.

and 1 TBSP peanut butter:

Lunch

For lunch, I went to Subway and got a 6″ veggie delight.

I guess 44g of Carbs is pretty high. But it was *so good*.

Dinner

And finally, for dinner, I went to Chipotle for a vegetarian salad. Did you know that Chipotle has brown rice now? I was so excited! So it was lettuce, brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and corn salsa. Delicious. I ate half so it was about 7g protein, 34g carbs, and 3g fat. And about a year’s worth of sodium.

So for my main meals today, I had 24g protein, 23g fat, and 82g carbs. The percentages there are 47% carbs, 30% fat and 14% protein. So it’s actually pretty typical for me, too much fat compared to protein.

Detox

I’ve gotten some questions about how my detox went. I tell you now, I was not perfect on the no-dairy and no-gluten but I cut way back. I still had cream in my coffee, but I didn’t eat any yogurt or drink any milk. I had bread with my sandwich today and nibbled on crackers here and there, but for the most part replaced bread and wheat with brown rice.

I’ve found that I’m not very good with avoiding things but I am pretty good with making sure that I *do* certain things. So rather than focus on what I can’t or shouldn’t be eating, I think about what I *should* be eating. As such, I’ve been eating huge portions of veggies with most meals (until yesterday when I ran out). Every day I steam up broccoli or spinach to have with lunch. By doing that, it automatically encourages me to eat better. Also, I’ve been trying to eat only lean meats. And I have hardly had any sugar at all, which is a MIRACLE. I still put sugar in my coffee, and I did sneak a few Oreos the other night. But for the most part, I have not had any sweets or treats in a week!!!

In addition to that, I have been taking a multivitamin, a calcium + D3, and probiotics every day. I also drank one water with Airborne every day until it ran out (probably about 10 days worth?). I am feeling so much better. I have two trips coming up, one of which requires air travel, so I need to make sure I keep up with this and keep my body strong. When my air travel trip comes up, I’m going to take Airborne a few days before, during, and a few days after, for an extra immune system boost.

So, any feedback on my meals or my detox? Anyone like me find it much easier to *do* certain things rather than think about *not doing* certain things?

 

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Fixing My Immune System

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, my immune system. It sucks. Seriously.

I used to be one of those people that never got sick. For years, I bragged about how I never needed to take sick days. If I felt a tickle in my throat or got a head cold, I’d drink some orange juice and go to bed early, and it would be gone the next day. At some point, that all changed. It might have had something to do with having two germ factories children. Not sure, all I know is that over time, I found myself stuck in a cycle of declining health… strep throat, fatigue, digestive issues. I thought that by having my tonsils removed, eliminating the chronic strep throat, that might set me back on a path of health. And things have been pretty good since March. I haven’t had any major illnesses, but I still have trouble breathing at night, severe skin rashes, and dreadfully low energy.

This latest sickness was just what I needed to kick my butt into gear.

After being sick for a week, I went to the doctor for a strep test. Turns out that it wasn’t strep (woo hoo!), but after being sick for two weeks, I went back to the doctor to ask “WTF, why do I still feel so sick?” and she told me, in a nutshell, that I have a suppressed immune system. Ya think? I passed out on an airplane. Clearly, my body is not in tip-top shape. I’m stuck in a cycle. Suppressed immune system -> virus -> suppressed immune system -> virus -> on and on.

I really liked this doctor. She’s at my regular physician’s office, so as far as I know, she isn’t a naturopath or anything, but she told me that to get better — and STAY better — I need to boost my immune system and reduce inflammation in my body. She talked about things like ginger and turmeric and echinacea instead of DayQuil. I liked that. She said to buy teas and herbs and get more rest and inhale steam once a day.

After leaving her office, I felt invigorated. Hopeful. I stopped at Healthway Natural Foods on the way home and bought Daily Detox tea and Yogi Cold Season Sampler. I’ve been drinking two cups of tea per day plus drinking a glass of water with Airborne. In addition, I decided I need to make dietary changes to support a stronger immune system. I’m a big fan of Dr. Mark Hyman, so i went to the library to pick up his book “The UltraSimple Diet“. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Hyman, I highly recommend that you check him out. I think he’s brilliant. I’ve read a couple of his books but never had the motivation to actually put any of them into action. Until now.

The UltraSimple Diet is a 7-day diet intended to detoxify and reduce inflammation in your body. Dr. Hyman says that following this diet will lead to reduced illness, increased energy, and better sleep. My friends, I need this.

The diet itself is pretty self-explanatory. No sugar, dairy, flour, corn, peanuts, red meat, caffeine, citrus (except lemons), packaged or processed food, alcohol. Lots of water, fish, chicken, berries, veggies, vegetable broth, legumes, brown rice, nuts and seeds, flaxseeds, and lemons. Every day you drink several shakes and several cups of vegetable broth.

I’m pretty excited about it. I’d love to see if following something like this, even if only for seven days, will help me get some energy and get out of this vicious cycle of sickness. I’m going to do the actual diet beginning after Thanksgiving. Between now and then, I’m going to start to prep for it by eliminating gluten, dairy, and sugar. After the diet, I’ll be traveling again for business. Man, it would be great to be healthy and energetic on my next trip!

Is anybody out there interested in trying this with me?

Posted in eat | Tagged | 17 Comments

Paris – Le Voyage Fou

Hi there, friends, how have you been? Oh good! I’m glad to hear it. 🙂  Who, me? Truth be told, I’ve not been well. Sorry to have to put it so bluntly, but it’s the truth. As I told you last time, I traveled to Paris at the end of October for a conference. And yes, I realize that I totally owe you the flight story. Come to think of it, now is probably a good time to tell that story, as a prelude to the fact that I have not been well. So here goes the short version.

My flight to Paris departed Washington Dulles International Airport on Saturday, October 22, at 9:50 PM.  About four hours into the eight hour flight, I was dozing (lightly… I do not sleep well on planes) and suddenly a wave of nausea came over me out of nowhere. Panicked, I looked in the seat pocket for a barf bag, but there was none. The plane was dark since it was the middle of the night and all the main lights were off. I figured I should get to the bathroom pronto rather than toss my cookies all over the person next to me. So… I stood up. (<– bad move, apparently) Suddenly, everything went black, and I couldn’t hear very well. I fell over, BOOM, onto the floor, out cold. I could hear people yelling at me (in French, merci Air France) asking if I was okay, what happened, could I sit up… I couldn’t answer them in English, let alone French. I heard someone say they were going to carry me to the back of the plane. Then I was out again. I woke up some time later (according to the flight attendants, it was only a couple of minutes), lying on my back on the floor of the back of the plane, with my feet propped up. One flight attendant was fanning me, another holding a wet cloth to my forehead. There I remained for about an hour, as they wouldn’t let me sit up until they were sure nothing else was going to happen to me. After that, they sat me up in one of the flight attendants’ seats and I sat there for perhaps another hour or so. They filled out an incident report, monitored me, and when the plane was approaching Paris, they returned me to my seat for breakfast.

What the…?

Yeah, you’re telling me. According to the flight attendants, internet research and the like, I passed out due to a combination of anxiety, altitude, dehydration, and exhaustion. Awesome.

So, after a day or so of napping and hydrating and relaxing and being on the ground, I was back to new. It didn’t ruin my trip to Paris, I was still able to attend my conference and survive the Parisian dinners that last until almost midnight.

A few days after returning home, however, I came down with something. Sore throat and swollen glands, the same symptoms I used to get with chronic strep throat. Except, in March I had my tonsils removed, so I really shouldn’t be getting strep again. Turns out that it wasn’t strep (woo hoo!), but whatever it is, it’s had me down and out for over two weeks. After finding out I didn’t have strep, I went back to the doctor to ask “WTF, why do I still feel so sick then?” and she told me, in a nutshell, that I have a compromised immune system.

This post is getting super long, so I’m going to start a new post to talk about exactly what I’m doing to strengthen my immune system and finally make years of sickness, sore throats, and fatigue a thing of the past.

 

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Paris – Les (non) Photos

*tap* *tap*

 

Is this thing on?

 

*blow dust off*

 

Oh look! It’s my blog!

What’s up guys? Not too much here. (<– lies)

So get this, I went to Paris for a week  and didn’t take a single picture.  Not only did I not take pictures, I hardly saw anything worth taking pictures of. You see, I was there for a work conference, so the entirety of my trip was spent inside my hotel, with the exception of a brief trip to the Monoprix (smaller than a Target but bigger than a drugstore) for gifts. And dinners. We did go out for dinners. Exceptionally delicious, exceptionally long dinners. But I didn’t do anything touristy and pretty much didn’t see anything in the daylight. You can blame that on my flight, but I’ll save that story for another day.

Did I see le Louvre?

Le Louvre

No.

The Arc de Triomphe?

The Arc de Triomphe

No. (Thank you to spell check for fixing Arc de Triumpfe, which is apparently not correct.)

Did I see le Tour Eiffel?

Le Tour Eiffel

Yes.  Well… sort of. It was behind a building so I could only see the top.

Walking back from dinner one night, I did see this one statue of colorful artichokes that I wanted to snap a photo of, but our taxi came and I was yelled at in French which just plain scares me, and I didn’t get to take it. But, thanks to the power of Google Images, I will simply show you someone else’s picture of what I saw.

Colorful Artichoke Statue in Paris

Isn’t that gorgeous???

Yes, folks, this was my trip to Paris. But don’t feel too bad for me. I had a great time. Well, except for the flight over. But like I said, that story has to wait for another day.

Posted in travel | Tagged | 18 Comments

Howdy!

Hey y’all. I’ve had a handful of people ask me where the what I’ve been lately. Truth is, I’ve fallen off the wagon. I haven’t been spending any time thinking about nutrition. Haven’t exercised in weeks months. I was seriously doing awesome, and I just forgot about it. Work has been taking over my life. I have meetings all day. I have meetings every day during lunch. I can’t get up early enough to go to the gym and get home before the family gets up. Wait. Can’t I? Hmm, maybe I should go to bed and get up for a morning gym visit. Nite!

Posted in fail | 6 Comments

Don’t Get So Emotional, Baby

Okay, is it just me? Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed with emotion when watching TV. I watched the Biggest Loser premier tonight (yes, I’m a couple of weeks behind) and honestly, when Anna K ran out to meet her team as they walked across the desert, I absolutely burst out crying like a baby. The Biggest Loser this season is divided up by age group — the 20s-30s, the 30s-50s, and the 50+s. The three teams were challenged to walk one mile across the desert, and at the finish line were the three judges. When your team got to the finish line you could select your judge. All three teams wanted Bob, and the Middles got there first. Next were the Youngies who selected Dolvett. No big surprise, Anna was chosen last. Two of the three teams had made it and selected the other judges. But Anna didn’t let that make her a grumpy-pants, like I would have been in that situation. Nope, she grabbed her flag and ran a quarter mile out to rally her team and help them cross the finish line. Then in a moment of solidarity the other teams ran out to meet the Oldies. It was very moving, no matter how much one might have the opinion that Anna shouldn’t be on this show. We’ll see. I’m generally a fan of hers, but I do realize she doesn’t have as much experience as other judges. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I miss Jillian though, srsly.

Um, so, the last challenge of TBL is going to be a marathon? Is that like 26 people running one mile each?

Gosh that’s so darned rude of me. But okay, so here I am. I’m 36 years old so solidly in the “Middles” group. I’m not fat but also not really in shape. I don’t harbor even the tiniest of fantasies of running a marathon. I’d love to run a 5k. I’d love to run recreationally and konw I was bad-ass. But running 26.2 miles? I’ll leave that to Ali. If you don’t follow Ali, you should. If you haven’t read her marathon recap, you should. She’s so friggin awesome.

But back to the topic at hand. Does anyone else just cry like a friggin baby watching TBL? Nothing rips my soul out like that show. I also just think it’s so brave for people to go on this show and admit their weakness, admit their frailty. Admit they need help. But when Anna told her Oldies, hey, I want you to be there for your grandkids. Man.

Anyway, just wondering I guess if it was just me. Does anyone else get really emotional when watching these shows?

Posted in life | 14 Comments