Saturday, November 15, 2014

Back in Cola

I ended up back in Cola for my youngest's Ortho appointment on Thursday.  I just could not have her go to that appointment by herself with potential bad news looming, regarding her ankle injury.  Since I didn't have time to drive, I was not able to "drive Miss Daisy" as an extra treat for cheering her up.  However, after about 5 flight delays, I was wondering if A) I'd ever arrive in Columbia and B) it would have been faster to drive.  In any case, I literally arrived just in time for her to pick me up and get to the appointment.

The great news is that it looks like it's nothing more serious than a bad lateral sprain.  They were able to put her in a boot so she was thrilled to say goodbye to her crutches.  Her campus is not at all "crutch friendly".  

We were so hungry after my long day of traveling, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants in Columbia - Pearlz Oyster Bar.  It's a wonderful place but I haven't been there since I started eating super clean. it temporary insanity or relief over the Dr. appt that went well - but I caved! The new-Englander in me decided that I needed a lobster roll - as in, "with bread".  Thankfully, I had the good sense to substitute chips for grilled asparagus but I should have nixed the roll.  I soon realized that gluten is just not ever going to be allowed in my diet if I want to feel good.

(I would have a picture of the amazing lobster roll here.....but I was so hungry, there was no time for pictures)

Some of my lyme symptoms/auto immune were strange hives on my arms and my head would itch like crazy.  I'd get various parts of my hands that would swell up to the point where my hand looked disfigured (angioedema).  Thankfully, there was no angioedema but the itchiness started within an hour of eating.  It was good to have that reminder that I'm doing what I need to be doing for my health.  I am certain that most of the things I've eliminated, need to stay out of my diet but gluten is for sure one of those things.  Interestingly, I've been tested for celiac and it's always shown up as negative but I believe you can be sensitive to certain foods and it can make a huge difference in your overall health to remove them from your diet.  I'm anxious to get back on track when I return to Northern Virginia on Sunday.

In the meantime, I'm back to working on her laundry, errands and shopping - hoping to make her life a little easier so she can spend a little more time with her foot elevated and resting.  Okay, I realize that's probably not reality for my college student, but it will help me to imagine that she's slowing down a bit so she can start healing.  

Hope you are having a good weekend in your corner of the world!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Clouds...

I flew to South Carolina last week, to see my daughter's dance performances.  On the way there, I started a blog entry that I was actually pretty happy with.  Since I had no wifi, I figured I'd post it when I got to the hotel.  Imagine my surprise when it wasn't there!  Ahh still new to this blogging world.  

The pictures, however, stayed "in the cloud"...

Beautiful day to fly
My new "snack on the go" and reading Danielle Walker's
"Meals Made Simple"
As excited as I was to head to S.C., I was also slightly nervous - being away from my protein shakes and this new way of living.  Being in hotels and grabbing food on the go is not exactly part of my new plan.  I was so worried that I'd have a set back.

The first challenge was that the hotel, which previously had a restaurant had now turned it into a Starbuck's Bistro Cafe.  I told the waitress that I needed something really clean and she recommended the Healthy Start Sandwich, which was egg whites, roast turkey, spinach, havarti cheese on and english muffin.  She assured me that it was cooked in olive oil and no butter.  I did not hear her mention havarti, so I was a little concerned when I saw cheese on the eggs but I was fine and it didn't taste too bad.  One thing that might interest you should you ever find yourself in a Starbucks Bistro...if you make any changes to the normal menu, your food will be made to order - rather than what has been made earlier in the day.  Personally, I'd find something to change on the order for that reason alone.  Fresh is best!

Healthy Start Breakfast (no english muffin) with Tazo Zen Tea (no sweetener)

It's funny, the entire time I was in SC when I would order something with no bread - I was immediately met with, "I hate to charge you the full price if you aren't getting the bread".  So sweet but I'd be paying in other ways if I had the bread so I was perfectly fine paying full price and letting them keep their bread.  I'm happy to say that I didn't experience much of a set-back while I was away - just a few ounces gained and they were immediately lost!

Much of my days were spent driving my daughter to & fro, like old times.  She had classes, rehearsals, performances and sorority initiation and parking is not plentiful in Columbia, SC so I did my best to give her more time by driving her around.  I picked up some things for her apartment, including a slow cooker - and made a healthy turkey chili for she & her roomies.  

Thursday night was the first performance - it was amazing!  You can't imagine what this girl has gone through in the past few years with her health challenges.  To see her happy, dancing and being pleased with her performance was so emotional for me.  I loved the entire show...she was in a ballet piece by Balanchine called Walpurgisnacht which I was unfamiliar with but loved.  My favorite piece was Paul Taylor's "Company B".  She was in several of the dances and was the "Rum & Coca Cola Girl".  The dances were mostly flirty and fun and featured music from the Andrew's Sisters.  I could have watched it again and again.

Rum & Coca Cola

You're not supposed to take pictures during the show.  It's a cardinal rule of theatre/dance performances, however I had a very brave grandfather of one of the dancer's snapping away throughout the show, right next to me.  I ended up giving in to peer pressure and took a few fuzzy pics from my iPhone.  Still can't believe I did that!  I'm normally such a rule follower.

After the show, we had a late dinner at "Cola's" in Columbia.  I broke another one of my new rules for living by eating after 7pm, but it was worth it!  We had poached pear salads and fresh sesame ahi tuna.  I substituted risotto for spinach and stayed away from the dessert.  Sigh....

the comeback kid

Friday, we did it all over again but she squeezed in her sorority initiation between rehearsals and performances.   My husband flew into town and was able to see the performance as well.  It was so nice to have him there to see his little girl.  Such proud parents!

On Monday, I got a call that she lost her footing in her apartment and rolled her ankle and heard a loud "snap"!  She had an X-ray and it looks like she'll be on crutches for a least a week.  We're hoping  to get her in with an Ortho soon for an MRI.  Ahhh never a dull moment!  I may need to go back down there.  

This time, I think I will drive so I can surprise her with the best pick-me-up, ever...

Who's up for a road trip!?  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Goodness....6 months have passed! Really?!

I knew it had been awhile since I blogged, but....6 months?!  Seriously?!  Let me try to sum things up...

It was a crazy, busy summer with the my kids home from college.  My son went on a life changing study abroad trip to Tokyo, Japan for 6 weeks and met his girlfriend who I believe will be my daughter in law in another few years.  My daughter went to her ballet intensive in Washington, DC for 6 weeks.  Since we live just 45 min from the city, she came home on the weekends to visit our ailing "senior" dog, Newton - who we had to say goodbye to at the end of July.  It was heartbreaking but I know we made the right decision.  We were able to have him hang on 'til my son was back from Japan and my daughter finished her summer performances.  I'm so grateful for that.

Rest In Peace, Newton (17 years old)

Before I knew it, the kids were ready to go back to college - what a whirlwind!  My daughter is back in South Carolina, got into the sorority of her dreams and settled into her apartment.  Her schedule is insane.  I'm really not sure how she manages to do everything but she's hanging in there.  My son was going to transfer to the same college as my daughter, but after meeting his lovely girlfriend, who attends Penn State, he felt it would be much too far away.  He had to scramble to find a school nearby that he could still apply to but found a school in Shepherdstown, WV that has turned out to be a great fit for him.  He's happy there and only has a 2 hour commute to visit Penn State.  Best of all, he's only an hour from home, which makes me happy.  Perfect!

Through it all, I've been selling my Lilly Pulitzer clothes on Poshmark.  I have to say - after trying eBay, Tradesy and Poshmark, Posh has won me over.  With very few exceptions, I've had great experiences selling on Posh and have made a good amount of money.  I keep my prices extremely low but it's good to get things moving out the door.  Poshmark sends me the mailing label, which is a nice time saver!  If you want to check things out, the link is here The Preppy Closet  Let me know what you think!

Part of the reason I started thinking of my blog today, is that I've sort of been going through a life changing experience and have considered starting a blog about it.  Not sure if I should keep it under this name or switch to a different name that might be more appropriate.  I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.  

To give you an idea of what I've been going through, I'll give you a little background...I have suffered from thyroid disease, chronic lyme disease and other auto immune diseases for approximately 17 years.  In fact, I really don't know if there's much of my daughter's life that she remembers me being healthy.  For much of the time, I was functioning okay but it was often a struggle to get through the day.  Once I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease (after 15 years), I went to a specialist in Georgetown and was put on a major antibiotic protocol.  This left me pretty much couch-bound and I gained a lot of weight from the carbs that I took, to keep the antibiotics down.  I stayed on the protocol for several months, until I got "well enough".  The biggest reason for this is that I was a Mom - my daughter was still in HS and she needed me to function.  Once you've felt as horrible as I did, you will take what you get and a little progress seemed huge for me, though I continued to suffer flare ups and inflammation - especially, if stress entered my life (which I seem to welcome with open arms).  

Needless to say, after all of my medical issues and experience with health providers, I do not have a lot of confidence in traditional medicine or our healthcare system in the United States.  Frankly, it really sucks.  Several months ago, I was introduced to DoTerra Oils and though they are not allowed to say they have a protocol for Lyme Disease, you can do a search on the internet and find one.  It has really helped me keep my symptoms from flaring.  Once I started feeling about 80% better, I decided I had to do something to lose the weight.  I've been working privately with an amazing pilates instructor once/week for years but haven't noticed much weight coming off.  I knew that it was important to re-set my metabolism.  I didn't want to do the typical diet programs with the pre-made foods because I know that I already ate healthier foods than anything with those preservatives.  I also didn't want to take medication to lose it.  I ended up trying one detox program that seemed okay but also seemed that a lot of the products were extremely sweet.  I was mid way through and losing weight but looked up reviews on Amazon where the consensus was that people should stay away from that program.  Still, the basic premise of it was clean eating and I knew that clean eating was how I wanted to go.  I ended up starting a different 30 day detox program and removed dairy, gluten, sugar, etc from my diet.  It sounds extreme but there were many things to replace the things I was taking out.  I'm actually eating more than I was and haven't felt better!  The inflammation is gone - and lyme symptoms are too.  It's been years since I've felt this great.  I've dropped 2-3 SIZES and about 18 lbs.  I wish I would have measured myself when I started because I think the inches are significant.  

I now have more things than ever to add to my Poshmark closet!  It's all very exciting but very emotional as well.  The more I documentaries I watch on our food industry, the more I'm ready to move out of this country.  Oh gosh, I'm starting to sound like my son - help! 

Soooo, I need advice - do I start journaling this experience on this M & MM blog or do I start a new one.  I really want to help people who want to make a change in their lives but not sure I'm up for keeping track of two blogs (as noted by the date of my last post, I can barely keep up with one!).  

Your thoughts?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Calling all Lilly Lovers!

Between welcoming my college kids back to the nest for summer and selling a house, I've been busy selling my Lilly Pulitzer inventory!  This is no small undertaking - trust me, on this.  I feel like I'm finally on a roll though.  Most ALL of the items are New with Tags and ridiculously low savings!  My husband and I have decided to downsize a bit and move closer to the city.  To facilitate this happening, I can no longer ignore the Lilly inventory that takes up 2 rooms in our current house.  Help!

If you know any sorority girls or if you are a Lilly Lover, please check out my listings.  Most are on Poshmark at The Preppy Closet on Poshmark  (you need the app to view)

At the suggestion of a sweet blogger friend, I'm also trying "Tradesy" for some of the finer offerings.  The Preppy Closet on Tradesy

You can find updates on my Facebook page

Oh!  Speaking of Facebook, if you are a Tory Burch fan and ready for a great deal, go to Facebook!  Tory Burch has reached the 1m fans on Facebook mark and rewarding customers with an exclusive sale.  50% off the Continental Wallet - it's cute!  Check it out!  Tory Burch Exclusive Sale

Hope you all have a productive and happy Friday, friends!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring Cleaning....the pantry

With the kids wrapping up their spring semesters, I've decided I'd better get my act together and dive into spring cleaning.  This is especially important to me this year because I have spent the last several months recognizing some things that we as a family, really need to improve upon.  The thought being that we all need to start some better habits that will hopefully go with the kids back to college, as well.  Dare to dream!

Yesterday, I started with the pantry.  I have to preface this by saying, I do clean out my pantry at least once/year....I really do!  That being said, for the life of me...I cannot figure out how we would have had things that expired well over a year ago.  It was awful!  I can't even tell you how much food we threw out because frankly, it's embarrassing.  Needless to say, it was quite an emotional experience for me.  The amount of money I was throwing away made me sick.  Knowing that I couldn't donate the food to someone who really needed it, made it even worse.  Oh yes, the days of going to Whole Foods with my youngest - without a list, are behind us!  This family needs to make changes - real quick.

no...this is not my pantry!  ;)

Perhaps it would not have impacted me in such a way, had I not thrown away so many trash bags filled with food.  I decided to take a deep breath, forgive myself and vow to make changes.  I'm now looking into all the things we can do to stop being so wasteful.
I'm not saying I'm now a  different person but I do think I will look at things much differently.  Do you have any tips?

On a happier note, it's FRIDAY!!!  Happy Friday to you!  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meal Planning at it's finest

While I was so excited to get those 3 Paleo cookbooks in a previous post, I must admit that I hadn't gotten much farther than postmarking pages and highlighting some recipes.  I am ready to embrace this new way of life but feel like I've been floundering a bit (no pun intended) as I've been traveling and have had college kids home visiting.  I've come to the realization that I need to get some sort of meal planning system down.

Enter Plan to Eat!  This app is a fantastic meal planning tool.  You can upload recipes from your computer with PTE's bookmarklet.  You can drag the recipes to the PTE calendar and PTE creates a shopping list per the week or dates specified, according to your menu plan.  This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for!  There is a small fee, however they give you a free 30 day trial so if you don't like it as much as I do, you don't need to purchase.  There is no app (yet) for iPad or iPhone, however you can pull it up on Safari and then set the site on your home screen.  Give it a try!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Paleo or Bust!

My latest amazon order arrived today...a box filled with 3 Paleo Cookbooks.  I'm practically jumping up and down!  Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but they look fabulous!

Against All Grain, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook, Well Fed Paleo Recipes

After hearing a number of Paleo success stories, I feel that I'm ready to take the plunge.  To give you a little background, I have been dealing with various auto-immune diseases for the past 19 years.  Approximately 4 years ago, I was (finally) diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease - having had symptoms for approximately 15 years.  Since then, I have had treatment from a Lyme specialist but between my thyroid disease, Lyme disease & treatment and the fact that I'm over 40 yrs old, I have gained much more weight than I'm comfortable with.  For me, it's not just about how I look (though I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me) - I know that I'm not in good heath and continue to experience joint pain and fatigue.  Anyway, I've heard a lot of great things about the Paleo Lifestyle and am hoping I can add myself as a success, as well.

I'm a very visual person, and I must say, if these books aren't inspiration to go Paleo, I don't know what is!  The pictures are beautiful in all 3 books.  Here's a sampling from two of them:

rosemary fried eggs with garlic-lemon spinach
The Slim Palate
asparagus soup with crispy shallots
The Slim Palate
chocolate berry granola
Against All Grain
I think the 3 books I chose will provide a nice education on Paleo and a variety of good recipes to eat that will help me take "baby steps" into this new lifestyle.  (I really think I'm going to end up eliminating nightshade veggies as well but let's not get too crazy!)

Speaking of crazy - I'm heading down to South Carolina to see the ballerina this week, so I believe it would be a little crazy to begin my new "lifestyle" before Saturday, once I've returned home.  Still, I will try to order Paleo-friendly options when we are out & about.

Between that, and my DoTerra oils protocol, I think I should be in good shape by May!  Fingers crossed!