A Winter Stroll…

Stormy winter days on Puget Sound are a perfect day for a little stroll to cure the soul. It has been a long time since I have been to Golden Gardens Park and little did I know I returned on the same day as the wedding I went to two years ago. A lot has changed since that day, and the couple who’s wedding it was is now clear across the country in Wisconsin with a daughter, and the guy I met them through long gone. But the place still looks the same as ever. Somethings never change in Seattle, and a park is one of them.

The morning started out with the sun out, but as soon as I parked the car in the lot the clouds started to roll in off the sound. Strolling along the beach I caught glimpse of the Olympic Mountain range across water with snow on it’s peaks. I have seen these mountains my whole life, and the sight never gets old. Even with the wind blowing across the beach, there were still people with their cameras out snapping what little was left of the sun gleaming off the snowy peaks of the Olympics. Just another beautiful day in Seattle and another day of Pacific Northwest beauty on full display.

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Commit To Fit: 2nd Month

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Boom! And just like that, I complete my second Whole30!

I have completed one round of Whole30 (2015) before with success and learned a whole lot about some of the things I cannot put into my body. Along with figuring out what I cannot tolerate in the food department, I also learned to have a better relationship with food this time around. Food freedom is a real thing, and with it come better understanding how food can negatively and positively affect your overall health. No matter what USA News & World Report says on their Best Diet Rankings, Whole30 is not a diet or unhealthy because there are many other things it does for people who have nothing to do with weight loss.
With that said, I have found to gain so much more than losing the weight, and able to stick with my commit to fit plan with ease.

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While on the Whole30, I started a strength training program to help keep my muscle while losing weight. I know this will be a slow process, and at times the soreness keeps me motivated to keep lifting. As for running, the cold snap that lasts two weeks here in Pacific Northwest made it nearly impossible to run outside in some locations. My running had to be on the dreaded treadmill. Why so dreaded? I get bored when I am on one.Maybe February will be a better month to run outdoors.

Results:

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Not much change from last month in the above pictures and you can almost say it looks the same. While on the Whole30 I noticed nonscale victories over the loss of weight. The most pronounced victory is getting restful sleep every night. I wake up rested now, and have cut down on the amount of caffeine needed to wake me up in the morning. Mostly I have noticed I am not as sluggish anymore in the afternoon and I don’t have a craving for salty things either. I still, however, have my sweet tooth still intact. That will probably never change no matter how many Whole30s I do.

How it went down?
At some point, the Darth Sugar (Sugar Dragon) decided to rear his ugly head a couple of times when I least expected it during week one.I really wanted to plant my pretty face into a bag of Oreo’s and snort them. Thank goodness sliced banana with shaved coconut on top will cure my raving Darth Sugar from light saber in the head. I had moments when I wanted to inhale a bag or Juanita’s Chilipeno chips and Cadbury Chocolate Fingers. But I didn’t! So proud!
The sluggishness started out at the beginning of week two, but by the end, the whole being tired started to turn to more energy throughout the day. Craving sweets are still there, but eating a whole bag of chips didn’t seem all great either. Finding out I am waking up from a dead sleep at three am in the morning has been tough because last time I was getting great sleep! The third week I go sick and wanting to eat garlic bread while drink copious amounts of bone broth to get over this nasty cold. I really wanted to go off Whole30 just to get over this quicker, but I stayed the course. By the end of the fourth week, I decided to extend the thirty days into another thirty days to kick those bad food habits still affecting me.

Meals that rocked this month:
Crispy Spicy Turkey w/ Lemon Herb (Whole30 Cookbook pg 135)
Braised Beef Short Ribs w/ Mushroom Sauce (Whole30 Cookbook pg 38)
Beef & Sweet Potato Chili (Whole30 Cookbook pg 33)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad & Shredded Sprout Slaw (Whole30 Cookbook pg 116, 235)
Grilled Pork Chop w/ veggies (Whole30 Cookbook pg 94)
Mexican Twice Baked Potatoes (Whole30 Cookbook pg)

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Mexican twice baked potatoes
Weight Lost: 2lbs
How Much More To Go: 25lbs
Diet: Whole30
Running: 20 miles
Strength Training:  30 minutes 2x a week

Commit To Fit: 1st Month

First Whole30 (2015):
When your human goes on Whole30, cat perspective Part 1
When your human goes on Whole30, cats perspective Part 2
First Whole30 Completed

 

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Art and Cheese-A Sunday In Seattle


To get me in an art museum is to bribe me. Really bribe me. So when it came to a Facebook event posting about a free three days at the Seattle Art Museum, I believed it was a bribe enough. This past Sunday I went on one of the free days with my Mom to see what the whole collection is about. While there I got to see the newest exhibit to got on displace Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Overall it was fascinating to see a series of paintings dispiriting the great migration of African-Americans moving from the South to the North and West parts of the country. Worth a look.


While touring the museum I realized I am not much of a fan for contemporary art. Some of those things look like a kindergartener painted them. The mouse versus man was interesting, but a bunch wooden stick wrapped in barbwire is something I just don’t get. The room full of china had a few pieces I am familiar with or seen in some of the great houses in England. A lot of art comes from old masters of European paintings. One such paintings are the Greek Orthodox Christian painting depicting Christ’s birth and crucifixion, along with statues of saints (some I have never heard about) on display.


After seeing all of Seattle Art Museum, we headed to Pikes Place Market for some lunch and to walk through the stalls. The weather as always was cloudy with a some sprinkles. We both decided to try out Beecher’s Mac n Cheese for the first time. An 8oz is the smallest they have, and boy is the mac n cheese very rich (yes it is not Whole30 compliant but it is worth the cheat!). There is reason this is world-famous, the cheese is real wholesome cheese.

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Beecher’s Mac n Cheese

After a filling lunch of mac n cheese, we both had to walk some of it off by ambling along in the Pike Market Stalls checking out all the flowers, produce, and even the fish stalls (no fish throwing at all). There was even tulips at one flower stall, and dried flowers for sale as well. Since the rain was holding off, we decided to go visit the park down the road to have a glimpse of Elliot Bay and the Seattle Wheel before the Viaduct come down for good.

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Seattle Wheel and Seattle Aquarium

 

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Whole30 Cookbook Tour @ Third Place Books-Seattle

Back when the Whole30 Cookbook and Guide To Food Freedom came out in 2015, I so badly wanted to attend the book signing when Dallas and Melissa Hartwig came to Seattle. Unfortunately I missed it. Fast forward to 2017 and I finally made it to Whole30 Cookbook book tour to meet Melissa Hartwig and have her sign both of my books!

As always the weather in Seattle was a complete tropical down pour. During Melissa’s talk the microphone kept cutting out and it really had to do with the rain. She made it a funny joke when ever it happened. She talked about her inspiration for the cookbook (all the Whole30 peeps), and took questions from the audience about the Whole30.

During the signing, I found myself towards the back of the line and had plenty of time to check out some of the books they had on the self. At one point I did come across the book called How To Smoke Pot Properly by David Bienenstockly.  I’m not making it up people! It exists. I had a chuckle out of it. When it was time for me to meet her, I became introverted all of a sudden. She had to ask me questions! Call it star struck! Overall I think I did fine because after being in that very long line I was needing to eat. She asked me if I was doing the Whole30 and how it was going. All question I could answer without having to think too much.

I am glad Melissa Hartwig came back to Seattle again and it was close to home. I wished the weather was better, but that is Seattle for you. I AM WHOLE 30!

Christmas Lights, Sweaters & Snow

Even on a wet cold night, Christmas lights are still as pretty as in snow. On the first night the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Garden d’ Lights, the family and I piled into the car and drove to see this neat, but best kept secret light display. It is a little more compact than the ones you see at the two zoos in the area, but it is worth a visit if you like to see a garden all dressed up in lights. I wish the Lake Washington Arboretum would do something like this with their grounds in the Japanese Garden. Favorite displays were the fish tank (picture below) in a display window and the veggie garden with a rabbit (see below).

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Garden aquarium
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Herring in the garden
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Peter Rabbit stealing carrots in the garden
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Butterfly visiting the garden

Every so many years Seattle will get snow fall ( 2-5 years). Usually it is around Thanksgiving week, but this year it decided to fall during December and a week before college finals. I will admit, I cannot drive well in snow, and the reason is hills. I did make it to class the morning after it snowed, and it was an adventure in itself to get out of the driveway to a plowed road. Once on campus after a two hour delay, the snow was a site to see with snow hanging on the trees.

Northwest University Chapel with snow

Christmas sweaters seem to be in abundance these past few years. Last year around Christmas I purchased my first “ugly” sweater (really it is cute sweater) from Fred Meyers for a party. This year the church decided to have a Christmas sweater contest one Sunday to see who had the ugliest, cutest, and fun sweater. I did not win, but that does not mean my cute cat in a stocking sweater is not worth showing off. The other young ladies at church had similar “cute” sweaters on. I believe the ugly sweater is starting to become a “cute ugly” sweater the more I start to see them around.

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The sweater of ugliness!
Sweater Selfie with the gang.

Decorating the church this year for Christmas was in part a little sad since Nana could not stay long after Thanksgiving this year. This year’s theme was Home For Christmas, and it did not disappoint either. Christmas time is the only time of year the church looks fancy. I will say there was a whole lot of red and green colors this year compare to other years before. There is for the first time in a long time, outdoor Christmas display and lights.I guess if you want to see the whole thing you will have to make a trip to Shoreline Community Church in Shoreline to see it.

Decorating the church for Christmas

Of course this year Christmas lands on a Sunday, so this means there will be service on Christmas morning! Can’t wait to see what is going to happen!

Here is to wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!