Whole30 Day 24 : Three Quarter Review

8:10 a.m.

Woody won’t come out and say it but I know he’s pissed he didn’t get a pic up on the blog yesterday.

We were starving before bed last night. I started in on a snacking forage and Alexis followed. We were eating food like raccoons. I licked the remains of a squeezed lemon for sustenance. Housing cashew butter at $1.40 per bite. Alexis is trying to make a cacao smoothie and the banana is green as money. “Are the bananas ripe enough?” “They are ripe enough for me.” That’s where we’re at. Are you jealous?

And after some light snacking there was sixteen pounds of dishes in the sink.

8:23 a.m.

I stole a bicycle from the Nike store last night. At least that’s what my dreams told me. I couldn’t remember how to get home either. All I had to do was make it back to my apartment and the bike was mine.

Last night…

Alexis is in bed doing what I call her sleeping meditation. She lays down with her malas and takes 108 deep breaths. My impression is that she gets through about twenty of them before she is zonked.

Meanwhile, I’m on the living room floor lying on my side letting this grey despair work its way through me for the second straight night. It’s like, there’s so many things one has to do right to feel right. Did I eat well today? Lately, yes. Did I exercise? Is my work done? Are my bills going to get paid? Did I take my vitamins? Remember the essential oils? Take time to breathe? Write? Draw? Stretch? Am I saying nice things to my wife to ensure our relationship is healthy? Am I doing this right? Who are my teachers? Am I too rogue? How is my relationship with my family? It just doesn’t stop sometimes. Thankfully Woody snaps me out of it. There’s a kong on my neck. A decapitated moose on my forehead. And the remains of Lambie in my outstretched hand. He knows nothing of greyness. He just wants to play. And when he sees that maybe I’m not in the mood tonight, he does a few circles and curls up next to my stomach. He is the medicine.

10:02 a.m.

Back from my workout.

10 min treadmill walk

2 rounds jump rope (3 min rounds)

1 round alternating push-ups and squats

3 rounds on the heavy bag pretending I’m fighting for my life against the nastiest people in the world

10 jumping pull-ups followed by 5 box jumps for 5 rounds

And then some light core.

They are practicing tempo on the drums downstairs. I have to say, I’m impressed with the musical prowess of some of these newborns.

I passed Alexis and Woody at school on my way to the gym. He was ignoring all commands trying to play with the poodle puppy next to him.

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We are having a hard time cutting veggies because our knives are so dull. These are supposed to be good knives but no manufacturer banks on their domestic customers cooking 90 meals a month.

What do Days 31-40 look like? We’ve been talking about staying grain free for pretty much ever. Some of the comments on my brain fog post have inspired me to keep the grains away for sake of reclaiming some clarity. But what about dairy? Or Paris for that matter. A little piece of manchego at the Superbowl party perhaps? What harm will it really do? Guess we’ll find out.

How do you plan on exiting?

10:40 a.m.

Our mandoline slicer came in the mail. Ben and Laurin made the first suggestion, but it wasn’t until Ryan played a well-timed Bruce Hornsby song that it all came together for me.

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Alexis is having a hard time with Woody this morning. He was a handful at puppy class. He’s the oldest one there. Our son was officially held back because of ADHD. Now he’s eating the last remaining remnants of carpet we haven’t pulled up in the hallway. She takes it away from him and then he puts his head in the recycling bin and comes out with a receipt stuck to his face.

But breakfast was good.

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Eggs, bacon, butternut squash, mixed greens, and some turkey because, fuck it, why not?

10:49 a.m.

We are researching food delivery services. Just two or three meals a week to lighten the burden on Alexis. The deal is, I’ll cook those. I hate grocery stores. She likes them. But I know where this goes. She is always shopping and I am not participating and the fun of being in a relationship and helping each other out with things you don’t want to do on your own slowly slips away. Then we just function under standardized roles and neither of us feels really inspired. So how can I interject myself into this food process so that Alexis feels supported and loved and I feel engaged and stimulated? My best thought was these food delivery services. Which is basically me hiring an assistant to grocery shop for me so I can cook a few nights a week without the hassle of the 97 year old woman and her shopping cart in the middle of the tiny aisle at Trader Joe’s. I do think it’s endearing that she is still out and about so I would never be mean to her. But inside it does bother me that she isn’t more spatially aware given all her life experience.

10:56 a.m.

Oh god, they are singing downstairs. Or someone is. Someone that did a little bump of cocaine this morning when little baby Sandra wasn’t looking.

Do your ears hang low?

Do they wobble to a fro?

Can you tie them in a knot?

Can you tie them in a bow?

NO I FUCKING CAN’T LADY!!!

*is it absolutely the most terrible to say that for a second I was kind of hoping to hear a loud bang and then complete silence?

Yeah. Bad. Going to church.

11:03 a.m.

They aren’t working with me though. It is going off down there. This is worse than the time I accidentally walked by Clay Aiken’s dressing room while he was practicing his Whitney cover on the American Idol audition circuit.

I turn to Alexis and share with her my thoughts on how to stop the noise downstairs.

She looks at me, uncertain of how to respond – perhaps I’ve crossed over to a place that you can’t come back from – and then she laughs.

#truelove

“That would affect us though,” she says. Thoughtful little one.

“Not really. I have renter’s insurance.”

And you might be thinking, I signed up for a food blog about Whole30….what is happening?!

The Whole30 is what’s happening. Until I get chips, everyone is my enemy.

1:10 p.m.

Swung by Ryan and Michelle’s to watch some good old American football. Playoffs are my jam. Also, we needed to do laundry really badly and they have one of those fancy ones with the digital knob dial.

Alexis and Woody stayed home but there was no shortage of dogs.

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There was also no shortage of betrayal.

Ryan made his famous popovers. A warm, crispy, yet somehow gooey, biscuit that no doubt comforted our soldiers in Germany during WWII.

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Just soak them in butter why don’t you. Coat them in honey while you’re at it. I’ll just be over here, under the table, with my knees in my chest.

Chris asks a timely question – “How many more days do you have anyway?”

“Too many to still consider you a friend.”

When does the day come when I am no longer tempted? I think that’s when I’ll quit the Whole30 – when I don’t need it anymore.

***slow-motion mind explosion in 4K***

On the way over, Alexis and I stopped at WF for a quick lunch. I dropped a casual, “Who would I see about getting a refund for our last rotisserie?” at the checkout. Lady bought it hook, line, and sinker (whatever the fuck that really means) and gave us a chicken for free. Organic too. So the chicken wasn’t even mad.

It was at the table in the Whole Foods Bar – where we go for socializing – when I realized that people who chew with their mouths open should not be protected under the U.S. Constitution. This guy is tongue-jacking his food like it’s his gf who swears up and down she is incapable of having an orgasm.

I just waited for him to be done and tried not to picture it too much more than I already was.

But wait, shit biscuit has soup. At least he won’t chew with his….. wait….. never mind…. he’s slurping it.

Put him in the kid’s class, please.

4:12 p.m.

Laundry’s done.

Texted Alexis for pickup.

Woody was waiting shotgun. Sadly, there is no photo due to rain.

6:12 p.m.

Patriots are spanking the Steelers. Which is a conflicting experience for me because my family loves the Steelers and I love Tom Brady. People hate on him but the dude is a machine. And you gotta tip your hat to the old guy still getting the job done.

I helped scrape the “noodles” out of the squash. These aren’t fucking noodles. What do I look like to you?

Was fun though. Alexis almond-mealed the chicken and dropped the little nuggets in the pan. Whole30 pesto happening in the Vitamix.

And here we are, a mega dinner.

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6:55 p.m.

I will go on record and say that whenever I see the little almond meal nuggets going into the pan I feel like a kid on his first Christmas when he knows he’s getting Super Nintendo and like six games.

Dinner was a banger.

(It was really good).

7:26 p.m.

I am a bit concerned.

Woody has been running back and forth growling for the last eight minutes. No one is playing with him. He’s not chasing anything. We’re afraid to look him in the eye.

7:28 p.m.

Okay, thank god, he took a break for water.

7:29 p.m.

Actually no, he’s just standing in his water dish.

7:30 p.m.

And now he’s staring at himself in the mirror.

Touched.

7:34 p.m.

I’m already hungry again. I think the stomach shrinking has stopped and begun growing again. I can only eat so many oranges in a day.

75% Finished Analysis:

A Week In Finances:

1/13-14. Food in LA – $155 for 5 meals. None of them even remotely good. Thanks LA. Another solid you’ve done me.

1/15. Sprouts: $136

1/19. Whole Foods: $73

1/20. Baron’s: $30

$394 straight to the nuts. Woulda only been $239 without the price gouging of Venice.

A Week in Emotions:

I’ve been pretty low in the vibe department this week. Can’t blame anything on Whole30 other than it’s repetitive nature and the lack of nachos in my life. I am possibly placing too high an expectation on this diet for regulating my mood swings. So far it has not been effective. And again, this isn’t a perfect scientific study. There are too many factors to consider. Objectively speaking, I still have immense brain fog and bouts of depression.

A Week in Relationships:

Ask Alexis. I honestly can’t speak for her side of it. I am kind and appreciative but the above mentioned stuff makes it difficult to be a good partner while simultaneously feeling like a bag of used diapers. I guess I am harboring some guilt for not being more excitable. I feel on edge. Although I am not one to snap I can tell that I’m probably not as soft and affectionate as I could be right now.

A Week in Health:

Same old same old. Body is still lean. No noticeable changes over the last week. I have started to exercise more so this week could show some good results physically. I have slept pretty well the last two nights, which is a miracle for a kid who started having nightmares at two years old. Absolutely no consistency in the dump department. Sorry for those of you who somehow don’t like reading detailed accounts of someone else’s BMs. One minute it’s Campbell’s chunky soup and the next it’s hard to get anything out. My arm pits are back to smelling like an orangutan so I know those first five days were just due to not having enough energy to physically move and produce any odor. Energy levels are pretty consistent though. No crashes at all. Which I am hesitant to attribute to Whole30 because I don’t drink coffee or alcohol ever and usually run pretty high energy all day. Alexis is still on a poop streak that deserves its own hashtag. She still seems really clear to me. Peaceful. Confident.

A Week in Blogging:

Well, we got the big newsletter mention from Melissa and Whole30. That was really cool. Basically, this is like the best blog in the world for Whole30 comedic relief. Which is an honor, considering you can buy the Whole30 book at Costco.

We got a donkey kick from the newsletter and took over 16,000 hits that day. The next day was strong as well at around 7,500. Over the course of the week we have averaged roughly 5,000 unique visitors to the blog each day.

On a personal level, I feel as though the last few entries have been a little empty. When you write about something so much it becomes impossible to reinvent without completely changing the style, objective, topic areas, etc. And you don’t want to change too much because then you might lose some of the momentum in readership. So every day I remind myself that I’m just a humble writer and the practice of writing is what stimulates me, not the reception the writing receives from an audience (although let’s be honest that helps a lot). After this pep talk I am able to find honest and true words and feel like I have grown another day and become more experienced. I continue to produce content even when the well feels dry. That is as important as writing 21 days of hits because now I am writing in the presence of insecurity.

What are your plans for days 31-40?

Buenas.

 

Read Day 23 HERE.

Whole30 Day 22 : Listen To The Mandolin Rain

9:59 a.m.

Alexis is crying. America has just inaugurated its 45th president. I’m afraid to even open up the internet today. We are talking ourselves into being able to watch his speech. I’d rather be kicked in the balls by a mule.

It’s raining again though, which is fitting. I took a long walk this morning because it felt like the only thing I could do.

10:35 a.m.

Breakfast was delicious. Sweet potato toast, fried eggs, bacon, and avocado. I feel nourished and full.

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I haven’t noticed in dramatic changes in the last few days. I got terribly light-headed during my boxing lesson, but that is pretty common. I can tell I’m losing weight and my overall health seems to be improving but I haven’t gotten into any of the ‘deep tissue’ stuff I’d like to. For example, I have a constant cloudiness in my head that has been with me since I was about 19. That’s when I went to every kind of doctor and got every kind of test. They wanted to rule out everything from a brain tumor to a simple cold. In the end, everything came back regular. All my charts, all my blood work, all the scans. So it was ruled that I had chronic depression and that was the cause of the fogginess.

It’s twelve years later and I still have the fog. If you could imagine living life but also simultaneously being just a few feet outside of your body narrating everything in the third person in real time, that would be the best I could describe it. Even in the most intense moments, when people are supposed to be devastated with emotion, I’m just having a monotone conversation in my head about what I should probably do so people think I am engaged. Your grandpa just died. Be sad. Say something meaningful. As if life is being experienced through a filter. Sex with a condom on. Only the condom is my brain. And how would you go about treating this? It’s impossible. And endless cycle of specialists, false leads, and expensive tests.

I was holding on to this outside change that it was related to grains. Kind of a last ditch effort to resolve something I have learned to accept as a part of me. I have seen no improvement thus far. I’m guessing I would need to stay off grains and sugar for much longer than 30 days. I’ve come this far, I am strongly considering it.

Alexis, however, is starting to show some improvements in areas she has had chronic trouble.

“I took a big poop today!” she said this morning.

That’s three days in a row. Which is a miracle if you knew how much I had to hear about her, I mean, how much she has to deal with constipation and inconsistent poops. These are the big ticket items I was talking about missing a few articles ago. Something to add to the “win” column. This would be a huge one for her.

11:02 a.m.

I feel Woody has grown tired of the same old walking route. He hates the rain, I’ll tell you that much. This morning, he pooped under a bush so he wouldn’t get wet. I try to support him in different ways after he poops so he doesn’t become desensitized to approval. Today, I tried, “That’s how we do, son!” in a deep voice. I don’t think he liked it all that much.

11:32 a.m.

We are doing our training now. He’s working on the “stay” command. Not his strong suit to say the least. But he’s getting the hang of it. I walk him into the living room, make him sit, then lay down, then I walk to the other side of the apartment with my back to him. Then I turn around and hold eye contact while counting to ten. At which point I tell him to “come” and he goes ape shit and sprints right up to me.

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2:22 p.m.

It’s Rainmaggedon. Palm branches scattered all over the freeway. Poor ladies with blown out umbrellas crossing the street. And tons of stoked millennials wearing all of their expensive rain gear that they bought for this very day.

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This was also the day I paid $645 to have my scooter removed from the tow lot. Because they were charging a $50/day storage fee.

“It costs you $50/day to store something that takes up two feet?”

“Yes sir it does.”

First I went to Target and talked to Rob the manager. That was not pleasant. I congratulated him on his excellent detective work by not being able to correlate the stickers all over the scooter and the business logo seventeen feet away at our studio.

Then it was Eddie at Advantage Towing who said he could not possibly wave the storage fees.

“Once they are processed in the computer, that’s it.”

I’ve always loved this excuse by business owners. Oh, I don’t know. It’s the computers. Once it’s in the computer we can’t control it. You own the business. You bought the fucking computer. I’m pretty sure it can do whatever it is you want.

He told me it was just business, nothing personal.

“You’re in the business of ruining people’s months. So, yeah, it is personal.”

“There’s nothing I can do.”

“I’m just asking you to admit that you are a liar and that you take advantage of people who don’t have a choice.”

He had some choice words. I told him he was a piece of shit.

Naturally he was there at the shop. A dingy little crap box that was straight out of Breaking Bad.

“Hello. I’m the piece of shit,” he said about two feet from my face definitely trying to scare me.

I stopped. Turned to face him.

“Yes, you very much are a piece of shit. Great place you’ve got here too.”

We fought for a few minutes. Then he softened up for some reason.

And at the end of the day, what am I gonna do but pay? A defeat so hard to swallow I am having all the stereotypical reactions. Googling lawyers. Checking the forums for anyone who has gotten back at the towing companies. And there’s nothing. They ride the fine edges of the law so closely that there’s really nothing I can do. I have a hard time accepting when there’s nothing I can do.

The most upsetting thing – I was really excited to buy myself a new vacuum today. A Shark Rocket, to be specific.

3:10 p.m.

Alexis made me a turbo salad before I had to head to the studio and take a few photos.

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It was pretty simple – rotisserie chicken, mixed greens, cauli rice, olive oil, and a lemon squeeze. I inhaled it.

Now I am filing four years of “missing” taxes from my old business. My accountant never checked the “FINAL RETURN” box in 2012. As far as the IRS is concerned, I’ve been doing business as usual, just not giving them their cut.

Today has not been my favorite day.

4:17 p.m.

Little Woody is freezing his little neutered nuts off. I know he needs to go to the bathroom though. I pick him up and start talking to him in a high-pitched Mrs. Doubtfire voice as we walk to the door. I was in the middle of my talk to him, “Come on little baby. Say bye to mommy dearest…” when I opened the door and saw our neighbor, Wayne. I paused for a second, cleared my throat, and uttered the following word, “Football.”

7:46 p.m.

We are at family dinner now. We’ve been having these dinners since Jasper was born, four years ago. The single longest recurring social experience in my life. We are listening to classic rock and I’m playing Star Wars with Jasper.

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I’m always the punch line because I never bring anything and I eat five times more than anyone else. They call me Meat Toosh because of it. And Jasper might actually think my name is Uncle Meat Toosh. Since I’ve been with Alexis we’ve started bringing things to family dinner. Tonight was a feast.

Butter lettuce taco shells, ground beef, home made guac, shredded red cabbage with meyer lemons, sauteed radish and onion with a balsamic reduction, mango salsa, and the other half the table that I couldn’t look at – shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

I had nine tacos, conservatively.

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I let the family know about Alexis’ digestion progress.

“Alexis has been pooping up a storm lately,” I said.

She shot a look at me.

“Yeah she is chronically constipated and now thanks to the Whole30 she is blowing it out on the reg.”

Everyone is laughing. Alexis looks like a tomato.

8:35 p.m.

It’s a Bruce Hornsby kind of night.

 

Read Day 21 HERE.

Whole30 Day 21 : Alexis Goes To Work

9:20 a.m.

Our back room scored its second victory in as many weeks last night when we sold the IKEA daybed we had disassembled in there.

Woody has a stick in the house. You never really know what it is that he’s chewing on. I let him bring stuff in from outside because I like the wildness of it. He feels like a crusader. Alexis doesn’t like it when there’s tree bark all over our white comforter, and honestly neither do I, but I can’t bring myself to say no to him at the base of the stairs when he sits all by himself and tries to pretend there isn’t a twelve inch piece of wood hanging out the side of his mouth.

This is mostly an essay about Woody and me.

9:35 a.m.

The little drummer kids and the mom rock band are back at it. Although this morning they are keeping a nice little groove and it goes along with the rate at which I’m typing.

Breakfast is being prepared as we speak. In twenty minutes I leave for my boxing lesson where I will not have had enough time to digest said breakfast.

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This was more of a “sample” breakfast. I’m just waiting for the rest to be made at some point.

It’s raining, again. We live in gd Seattle. Makes me question all the times I say, “I wish it rained more here. All the seasons are the same. I’m tired of 75 degrees and sunny every day. Blah blah. I think I’d rather be sitting in a coffee shop somewhere listening to Elliot Smith writing my novel that is going to be blindly picked up by Random House. And the rain is the truest expression of my emotions. If only it rained a little more here.” Well, I take it all back. I can’t get shit done when it’s raining. I don’t want to write anything. I just want to watch Will & Grace reruns on the couch while pounding ice cream by the pint. Bring back the sun already. I’m sorry I questioned you, god. I acknowledge that you know me best and I appreciate the life lesson.

9:50 a.m.

I think it was seven years ago when I began meditating with any consistency. It didn’t take long to start feeling very bazaar sensations in my body. Particularly, the pulsation in my forehead. Repetitive thumps consistent with my heart rate that were a combination of electricity and awkward tickling. As a new yoga person I did a lot of reading and asked a lot of teachers because I was hoping they would point me to some story from an ancient text that said the return of the prodigal son was to take place in the year 2010 in a city with many palm trees. Unfortunately, that never happened. And I kind of gave up researching. It still happens today. It happened last night. And now I just hold onto it like my own private super power. The one that lets me see through all the world’s bullshit.

11:21 a.m.

It wasn’t until about halfway through the session when the bubbling acid started making its way up from my diaphragm. He tilted his head sideways to try to interpret the burping gag motion I kept repeating in between combos. And yet I keep going back.

11:30 a.m.

I’m fourteen hours taro free.

Woody’s head is so small and cute that sometimes I worry I’m just going to crush it. I have that disease which causes you to grind your teeth around things that are very cute for fear that you’ll accidentally squeeze them to death. I start calling him names like a little fair trade hampster long johns monk bear and then Alexis tip toes into the room to grab him and quietly back paddle out as she tries to force short bursts of an awkward laugh. That’s neither here nor there.

Alexis is at Whole Foods getting avocados and lemons. And a rotisserie – the new snack food. I’m going to take Woodson Jefferson for a walk around the old town and see who we see. I think we’ll go to Home Depot after that so I can extend the prep surface area in the kitchen.

11:36 a.m.

Sun’s out. It’s warm. I just wish it would rain here sometimes.

11:42 a.m.

Dear Whole Foods,

Kindly eat a dick.

Turkey, chicken, lemons, avocado, and bacon = $70.

That’s a haiku I wrote this afternoon.

11:46 a.m.

I’m sitting at my desk with an open container of taro chips next to me. They are not for eating. They are a reminder of just how quickly it can all be lost. I could just put them on the top shelf next to the other trigger foods, out of sight. I could do that. I could also lay in bed all day and wait around for a meaningful life.

12:48 p.m.

Just posted a political article I wrote last week. I really felt it necessary at the time because I had just fought with like fifteen people and made my mom cry. I haven’t posted it yet because I was deep in the Whole30 and didn’t want to dilute this gravy train. But tomorrow is a big day and people are going to be angry. Perhaps a little support is necessary. But reading it just now, a week later, makes it feel like a distant cousin that I haven’t seen in ten years. I don’t care about it as much now that the emotions connected to it have settled. I am like this with most of my writing. Anyway, it’s been twenty minutes and not a single person has liked it yet. I missed my window with that one. Time to retire from writing all together.

1:09 p.m.

Quick little lunch.

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This was a Thai-inspired chicken salad. Really, we had Thai people come over and make it. Cashews, diagonally cut chicken (that’s their whole gd secret), carrots, Brussel Wilsons, and a peanut sauce. It was small, but I asked for that. I’ve just regained an appetite hours after my workout. In the meantime, I’ll wait for my water to fill up in the sink.

It’ll be about twenty minutes before my Hydro Flask fills. Since we share a tank with the restaurant next to us we spend half the day watching the water dribble out like an old man’s urethra.

1:13 p.m.

The rotisserie and the turkey meat from Whole Foods are both dry. I will be requesting a full refund, after I feed them to my dog.

1:52 p.m.

Maybe it’s attention I’m after. Maybe it’s displaced musical genius. But my ability to replace lyrics is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever met. My personal favorite this afternoon, sung in a deep Johnny Cash voice, “I pooped myself today,” on repeat. Alexis is not feeling it so much.

“Kirk. Do we really need that?”

Does she really need her ukulele?

Could be her new found competitiveness now that she is taking music lessons and doesn’t want me to be the only runaway talent in the house.

2:30 p.m.

Wtf. Alexis is getting dressed for something.

“Hello?”

“Yes?”

“Where are you going?”

“I have my singing lesson then I’m going to work at Goldleaf.”

She’s basically telling me, to my face, that she wants to have her own life and make her own money.

“But what about?…. who’s gonna make?… how do I…?

“It’s all written down in the book.”

Sure enough, a Post It titled, “Dinner”.

So just me and old Woodruff then. Couple of men on the loose.

She seems to be rushing. Maybe this is a good opportunity to offer my assistance.

“Would you like a snack when you get home from singing before you go to work?” Please say no, please say no.

“Yes, that would be great.”

Oh.

“Wonderful then.”

2:38 p.m.

Okay, everyone likes the article. We can all stop collectively worrying about this. The road to success is long and uncertain.

I’m losing a lot of time looking in the mirror these days. I have it in my head that a lot can change in six minutes. Maybe that’s when the lower abdominal pouch disappears. Who knows? You have to be watching though.

And it got me thinking about torture. If someone wanted information out of me they’d go for the obvious plays, kidnap Alexis and Woody. While that would be awful I would just end up finding the person and covering his testicles in peanut butter and letting Woody and his Rottweiler pal from the dog park go to town. Actually, I wouldn’t want Woody doing that at all. He’s too pure to get caught up in that racket. We’re losing focus though. None of the obvious tactics would work. Instead, if they just placed a microscopic rock in the sole of my shoe and told me I could never get it out and never wear a different pair of shoes, well, I’d tell them everything they needed to know.

Alexis is off.

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4:46 p.m.

Me and Woodster just took a walk. I like to play a game while we’re walking called, “Count How Many Pieces of Poop He Eats”. Thankfully, it has been in the single digits today. Another thing we do, because he hates puddles, is when we are getting close I wait for him to jump and then pull hard on his leash so he thinks he’s flying over top of it. I don’t know if he likes it at much as I do but we have a good rhythm about it. Now he is back home raiding the recycle bin for anything that once touched a piece of turkey.

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I’m at the stage of the diet where cashew butter actually tastes good and peanut butter smells like a cavity. I suppose this is a good place. Which would lead one to believe that people never go back once they’ve seen the light. I asked around. Everyone breaks. It starts with a peanut butter cup at a friend’s because it’s so small practically no one would notice. And then it’s a cupcake at work. And pretty soon your spouse finds you at the bottom of a dumpster outside Baskin Robbins. I can hear the internal dialogue, Discipline, discipline, stay strong, you got this, think of your health, think of your kids, don’t look at that pie, it’s not even a good pie, the crust does look fresh, FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! And it’s over.

4:51 p.m.

Now he’s barking at a UPS box because it won’t play with him.

4:55 p.m.

Now a piece of lint roller paper is stuck to his foot.

5:49 p.m.

I have to start making dinner. Like actually making shit. Well, not really. She already cooked the chicken but I have to reheat it which is the same thing minus the gagging when touching the raw meat.

I’m really hesitant to have the Whole30 cookbook, authored only by Melissa I might point out, in the kitchen. It’s a collector’s item, being that it’s signed. Perhaps I can get the whole thing laminated.

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There are no less than fifteen steps in this recipe, each line containing it’s own unique math equation. I’ve never been one for following orders and it seems that recipe books are nothing but orders. Who likes these things? Like, what are you going to do if I put two carrots in when it calls for one? Whatever.

Oh, never mind. I can skip the whole thing.

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6:06 p.m.

It’s still a lot of work. I can’t even remember what she told me this afternoon. 1/2 cup of something and then the thing in the container. Put it all together. Save half for her.

7:20 p.m.

Heating up the soup listening to our wonderful sound system. I scored Technics wooden floor speakers from the 80s off Craigslist for $40. While everyone is rushing to buy the next bluetooth speaker I’m happy to hold onto these classics that fill our whole house with good tunes. The Martin Logan subwoofer doesn’t hurt. Although we are good neighbors so it’s only set at 10%.

I’m listening to the greatest love song of all time – Song for Zula by Phosphorescent. I wanted this to be our wedding song.

“Have you listened to the lyrics?” she asked.

Admittedly I’m more of a ‘feel of the song’ kind of guy. So I had a look.

Some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a fading thing
Just as fickle as a feather in a stream
See, honey, I saw love,
You see it came to me
It puts its face up to my face so I could see
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me
Into something I am not recognizing

See the cage, it called. I said, come on in
I will not open myself up this way again
Nor lay my face to the soil, nor my teeth to the sand
I will not lay like this for days now upon end
You will not see me fall, nor see me struggle to stand
To be acknowledged by some touch from his gnarled hands
You see the cage it called. I said, come on in
I will not open myself this way again.

I was only more convinced after reading the lyrics that it was a great wedding song. Unfortunately, I lost the battle.

Meanwhile, I have a full implementation of the “clean as you go” protocol happening here. So much so that I accidentally washed the spoon I was using to stir the soup because it sat idle for more than ten seconds.

Soup time, party time.

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7:39 p.m.

This soup is really good. I know it might look like I just pulled down my pants and shit into this bowl behind a tree on a family camping trip, but it is amazing!

Alexis is watching as I type.

“No,” she says.

“Why?”

“You’re ruining it for me.”

Fair enough, but you be the judge.

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From the Whole30 Cookbook – Ginger Chicken Noodle Bowl. Ginger marinated chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, zucchini noodles, coconut milk, chicken broth, and spinach at the end.

It’s the ticket, folks.

Also, you might get a little pop-up thingy when you try to navigate off this page. It’ll ask you to sign up for the newsletter and features quite a dapper photo of me. I don’t actually look like that. But it’s convincing. Anyway, don’t be all upset because it took you three more seconds to close the box. It only does it to you once. Or every fourteen days until you sign up. I can’t remember which box I clicked.

Buenas.

 

Read day 20 HERE.

Whole30 Day 20 : Taro Rock

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There is no reason for this photo other than to soften you before you begin reading.

9:28 a.m.

2/3.

66%

The big 2-0.

They have some healthcare in California that makes certain things free. For example, men can see a doctor for free for anything that has to do with their genitals. I consider genitals to be a grey area. For example, if I suspect I have strep throat I will call them and say I am concerned I contracted an STD after a bachelor party in Vegas. After they tinker with the nuggets for a while I mention something about it possibly having moved into my throat. This raises a lot of suspicion as it introduces some new elements into the equation. After a simple swab they rule out throatal warts, mouth syphilis, and impacted wisdom teeth. There’s nothing left but strep. And are they not going to treat it? I’m practically dying in their arms. What choice do they have?

I’m not going to get six-pack abs. I have a genetically short torso. They just took the top two squares off my abdomen when they were making me. But I could still technically get to the fitness level that would provide a six-pack to someone with equal proportions so I’m wondering if it’s technically correct that I just say I have a six-pack.

9:39 a.m.

Eating breakfast now. One that can only be called “Ten Minutes Until You Should Be Far Away From Me”. The only kind of men I know who eat beef for breakfast are the ones I wouldn’t want to walk behind for any length of time.

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We fucked up last night and watched two episodes. Things are getting weird between Walt, Hank, and Jesse. I was content with just watching one. I’m trying to be all in tune with my body and I knew it was time for bed. But no. Alexis insisted that we watch one more. So we did. Because I’m nice. And five minutes into the episode she was asleep. Trying to act like she wasn’t, of course.

10:01 a.m.

I’ve been friends with Michelle Branch’s sister on FB for a while and know that she is a model/actor. We were casting for a commercial a few months ago and I asked her if she would send her pricing and portfolio. Turns out she does commercials for Apple and shit and I was like, “Oh wow, impressive body of work. Looks like you are way out of our league. Thanks for sending over anyway.” And I just noticed today that I haven’t seen her post in a while. Which is the first warning that you’ve been unfriended. So I checked. She’s not there. Not even as a non-friend but just completely non-existent. So either she gave up the FB for personal reasons, which more than one actor has in their time, or she blocked me because she thought I was just a closeted pervert hiding behind a production studio. I need to have Alexis search her on her account and check this out. Then message her and be like what the hell lady you think I opened a gd business, built a website, and made up a fake commercial sheet just to chat with you?

We ended up casting our friend for the role and she did an amazing job. Hoping they get this commercial through the network in time to air during the playoffs.

11:05 a.m.

Just booked another new client. It’s raining now. Good people too. The kind you really want to work with.

11:17 a.m.

I’m also very relieved to know that our new Education Secretary is going to take a hard stance against grizzly violence in public schools. I don’t think this issue received enough attention during the presidential campaign.

11:30 a.m.

Alexis is just now eating her breakfast. Normally I would let her know how bad that is for her health and how she has to take care of herself but she was handling her own business and I know what a rush that can be so I said nothing.

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1:02 p.m.

I know it’s lunchtime. Because I looked at the clock. I’ve been working all morning and haven’t worried very much about food. Stable energy.

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Alexis is going to take Woodson to the dog park so I might just reheat some chicken from last night and call it a day.

1:26 p.m

That’s me, a regular Betty Crocker. Although I’ve just been told that I have a different view of rations.

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“You’re going to make all of those?”

“Yeah. It’s in a tupperware so I’m just dumping it all in.”

“Those have to last us til tomorrow.”

How does she know this stuff?

I am better off over here in my designated area.

Anyway, I’m excited about lunch. We have sweet potato toast, breaded chicken, chili, and some salad. I would say I contributed to 40% of this meal. And it felt good to get my hands in the game.

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2:48 p.m.

I feel quite full, still. I had just a little bloating after lunch. I wonder if there’s a diet that can make your skin thinner. Ben (different Ben) and Laurin are having us over for dinner tonight. Laurin swears up and down that she was going to invite us before the blog became a part of mainstream America. I hope they are ready for house guests that bring a laptop, professional camera, and spotlight over for a dinner party. Rumor has it there’s a recipe for taro chips on the docket tonight.

3:00 p.m.

This morning the kitchen was clean and it was a great time. I thought we just cleaned it but it’s dirty again. And I must’ve forgotten because the food has dried to the pans and plates. Which means I have to actually scrub each individual one. Which means I’ll be the first middle class American to lose his job on account of having to do dishes at home.

The portrait of Woody in the turtleneck has caused some talk in our neighborhood. A lot of people are calling for it to be printed life-size and hung in our studio window. Some are even saying we should open a dog portrait division in our company. While I resist being told what to do from anyone – even if it was Denzel Washington telling me how to act – I think that dog portraits could be a lucrative market where we live. My only fear is that Woody will have a complex when he is older and blame us for exposing him to the market before he could mature and make his own decisions. Like all those kid bodybuilders that you see walking around.

3:58 p.m.

Trying to make negotiations with Alexis right now. I wash, you dry. I haven’t even gotten around to the three hours of video editing I have to get done today.

I keep putting things on the calendar for February and thinking about how I won’t be on the Whole30 then. It feels a bit like graduating from an immersive training. Life on the outside seems to hard and scary.

4:11 p.m.

What I am best at – developing efficient work processes – is also what makes a good life seem sometimes not fun. Every time I do something I have to do it faster and neater than the time before. I have three blog tabs opened at all times – edit post, site stats, and media upload. I drag the images into the media upload tab so they will populate in the edit post tab without having to refresh the page and lose the placement of my cursor. While they are imported I refresh the site stats and check on relevant links. And after each successful import of images I delete the memory card entirely so the next import batch doesn’t carry excess images that I will not be using again. My camera sits with the lens cap off for easy access, although that gives me anxiety because of the potential for dust spots, so the lens faces the wall directly and doesn’t leave enough space to get dirty. At the end of the night I close every tab, eject all hard drives, and shut down my computer so that I can start new again in the morning.

Sometimes I may land a huge client and instead of smile, worry about how I am going to appropriately allocate the funds and deliver a great product. This Whole30 will be over soon. And it will become nostalgia. Which, in my opinion, is just the extra feeling we apply to something we wish we felt in the moment.

4:26 p.m.

She doesn’t have an account anymore. I had Alexis check.

Also, Woody got a bath.

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We are thinking about doing his DNA test. I suspect he is Italian. He’s just too slick not to be.

4:36 p.m.

I’m so conflicted. Alexis just came in and started doing the dishes by herself. If I say nothing, they will all go away without me having to do anything. I know you’re thinking you better get off your ass, boy! But have you considered how good this might be for her long-term work ethic? Am I not actually allowing her to learn important life lessons?

4:41 p.m.

I helped. Geezus, of course I helped. And now I know, thanks to this diary, that it was only five minutes of my life.

Another thing I’ve learned from this writing experience is that I always, without exception, spell technically wrong the first time. I type it as techincally.

I have also been blatantly forgetting to include critical words in emails. I’ll say, “It was great today when dog. Hope to talk soon.” When I was trying to say that it was great meeting you today when you stopped by with your dog. Last night I wrote in my personal journal that I wondered about the life cycle of words. How many someone has in a day or in a lifetime. And what are the consequences of using too many?

5:22 p.m.

I don’t feel funny today. As a result I find it difficult to write funny. Normally, I see something and have a funny conversation about it in my head and then walk to the computer to type it out. I recognize the comedy immediately and modify certain things so the story carries out better. But today I have not been given a single ounce of humor through the ether. It might lead one to fear that they have “lost it”. I just think I’ve been consumed with actual bill-paying work and haven’t been able to duplicate my mind and turn one to the comedy channel. All hands are needed on this deck.

I did just finish a video though. The first draft at least. One that was troubling me. Oddly enough, the thing that was holding me back was the text copy on the title slides. I couldn’t find the right words.

5:33 p.m.

For god knows what reason, I am not that hungry. Lunch really did me in. I couldn’t even finish 12 ounces of smoothie. Beef for breakfast and lunch. It feels like deepwater horizon is about to explode out of my ass. And now if I can’t finish my dinner Laurin is going to think I hate her cooking and probably never talk to me again. I’ll have to find my second stomach. Not eating a meal someone cooks for you is the worst possible offense.

7:15 p.m.

I ate dinner. And then I ate dinner again. And then I ate it just one more time to make sure that I remembered what it tasted like.

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Roasted chicken, sweet potato mash, roasted veggies (broccoli and carrots from the garden (suck on that)), and possibly a handful or two of taro chips but I don’t remember. What a delight to be cooked for for a change.

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I want to reiterate what a treat it is to have someone reach out and offer to cook for you while you are on this diet that makes you sit in corners late a night yelling at yourself for having thoughts about brie.

7:39 p.m.

A lot of times I try to live parallel lives to the characters in the books I read, or let’s be honest, the TV shows I watch. Right now I am relating to Jesse Pinkman as he is back on the meth. I’m contemplating the meth you ask? No. Taro chips. A delicious goodness that I didn’t know much about until forty minutes ago. Allow me to take you through a visual journey of their existence.

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I thought I was strong. I was just bragging about how I’m not even tempted by cravings anymore. And then the tray came out of the kitchen. And I took one bite. And it reminded me of a time when I used to enjoy the company of a chip. I gave myself a small handful. They were made of compliant ingredients. Then I had another small handful. And then everyone started looking at me more and more while not saying anything and I realized they all thought I had a problem. With the tray back in the kitchen I took an opportunity to help Ben take the dirty plates into the kitchen. I’ll just have a few more. It’s not going to hurt anyone.

I finally had to announce to the group that I was having a hard time being in the same room as the taro bites (coined it, already own the domain).

I’m in the other room now. All I can think about is going back. I thought I had come so far but I am powerless. Experiencing real guilt and shame and confusion. What is the point of this diet if not to show me that life is unfair and there is no way to walk away ahead?

There is talk in the kitchen right now of how many taro chips they should send us home with. They are talking to Alexis like she is my sponsor. I can hear the tension in Alexis’ voice. Maybe fear.

I don’t know guys.

I mean, yeah they’re compliant. But that’s not the point.

Have you seen Kirk with his snack bowl?

This is life in California, people – a “chip” made out of a root vegetable cooked in organic coconut oil is causing my friends to whisper about me in the other room.

7:45 p.m.

I just had two more. That was it. And I chewed them slowly. Did I tell you guys I used to gamble in middle school? I had a bookie and bet on at least ten basketball games a night. Not a big deal. I had a portable blackjack table I brought with me to friends’ houses when we wanted to roll into a quick game. And then it was the cigarette smoking that started when I was fourteen. Most people hate their first cigarette. I loved mine. Anyway, I’m learning how to make the taro chips now.

9:14 p.m.

We are home now. But are we safe? It depends if you consider the two pound tupperware full of taro crack to be safe or not.

 

Read Day 19 HERE.

Whole30 Day 18 : Apples vs Gourmet Cupcakes

7:16 a.m.

I found my way into alpha state pretty quickly during meditation last night. I was proud. Then I realized I was just losing consciousness from the caramelized onions.

I did self-hate pushups and shame-myself situps before drinking a gallon of water and reciting my mantra, don’t pee the bed, don’t pee the bed.

I didn’t pee the bed. Although I have as an adult. Pee dreams are real. You think you’re off on an extravagant journey into the warmth of a tropical waterfall in New Zealand but then you wake up and it’s actually wet and you hope your partner didn’t notice so you lay there for a while until they get up to shower and you quickly rip all the sheets off and act like you want to do laundry.

My best hope today is that I have explosive diarrhea and for the next 4-6 hours. I want nothing to remain from last night’s episode.

8:01 a.m.

I keep ripping this mole off my neck. I know you’re not supposed to because it could kill you or something like that but I’ve always been a sucker for scabs (gross). It’s bad actually, the deals I’ve made with myself over the years justifying their removals. Promises made and then broken. I also cut a plantar wart out of my own toe with an exacto knife before because I couldn’t live with it living inside there. I believe there is a medication and a weekly meeting out there for me somewhere.

I hope I am cultivating a great appetite in you this morning.

8:50 a.m.

Had big plans this a.m. to have a nice stretch and listen to my Spanish lesson. Then I realized I was having unusual site traffic so I checked the analytics and saw we had been featured in the Whole30 newsletter. 350k subscribers Melissa tells me. I panicked that we were wasting an incredible opportunity, like we should’ve had a bunch of expensive products linked to my Amazon Associates page so we could’ve made a little chedda while not being able to eat any cheese at all. It was too late. The best I could do was put a link to the next article at the end of the current one. Giving people easy access to this wormhole of self-doubt and hunger. It was a quick twenty minutes of opening links in new tabs and copy and pasting diligently until it was done. Now I’m realizing I went backwards from Day 17 to Day 1 but should also have an option for people moving forward. Or maybe not. People are clicking on Day 17 at a 5x multiple of Day 1. So I think I’ll just leave it.

9:14 a.m.

Ben just had his second Whole30 meal. He won’t admit it yet, but he loves this shit. Or, he just loves being cooked for. Me too, Ben. I do think I heard him say the cauliflower mash was unbelievable last night. He had a big grin on his face.

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9:19 a.m.

I have to say, I was a little relieved this morning when I woke up and read the comments on my last post. I’ve read some things about Whole30ers – that they can be like the Cobra Kai when it comes to compliance regulation. So far, no one has threatened to kill Woody if I don’t start over. I’m not going to start over. Rule #5 – I’m a gd adult. I’ve already had the ugly shits three times this morning so I consider the matter in the past. The biggest takeaway – the sensitivity of my body is startling. The line between eating clean and eating truly clean is too small for the naked eye but the effects on the body are striking. We’ll call this experience a gentle backhand across the mouth.

9:26 a.m.

Alexis is mad at me. She’s been diligently preparing breakfast and a to-go lunch for me for work today and I’ve been updating the blog. I could tell she was irritated so I made a comment to Woody, “Your mom doesn’t love us anymore does she?” To which Alexis replied, “That’s actually really annoying.” Confirmed. Irritated. I mentioned that she didn’t ask me for help. She said she didn’t want to interrupt my writing because I get very serious about it. True. We both have a hand in this matter. The curious part will be seeing how long it takes the ego to deflate and work towards a resolution. Maybe I’ll go thank her and give her a hug and apologize for not reaching out sooner. Then maybe she’ll apologize for harboring resentment without communicating to me.

9:28 a.m.

Too soon.

9:39 p.m.

Okay, we good.

I always think about the first few months of parenting. Every time the baby is crying – hungry, tired, messy diaper – they usually end up with the mother. She has the milk, she puts the baby to bed, and most likely she’s more inclined to change the diaper. When dad walks in, it’s to make faces, toss the baby up and down, and make her laugh. The dad is fun. The dad is laid back. He saves the baby from the mom who is always making her cry.

The reality is, in most (not all) situations, the woman is the engine that is behind a lot of the difficult work. And the man comes in for a quick toss and a laugh and has that effortless confidence that everyone comes to admire.

My point is, I’ve been able to sit back and write minute-by-minute updates on this journey and have good laughs and make tons of new friends and taste a minute of internet fame while Alexis has been the engine in the kitchen making the whole thing happen.

It’s hard for me to remember sometimes that my work isn’t more important than hers. That, more than likely, I wouldn’t really be able to do this without her. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have willpower. I could do a Whole30. But it would be George Foreman chicken and frozen vegetables for thirty days straight.

10:19 a.m.

My mouth is still uncontrollably dry. This is insane.

11:12 a.m.

I want to unlink the Whole Foods video from yesterday. Asshole is getting tons of clicks that he doesn’t deserve.

Back for the last day of the internal training for Seeds. I have a nicely packed lunch with some snacks. Just enjoyed a green smoothie. Soon, I get to finally taste the dinner I skipped out on last night. And that leaves me with an apple and some cashew butter for an afternoon delight.

Alexis is training with Sonya at Goldleaf trying to absorb some of her retail and merchandising wizardry.

12:50 p.m.

I ate a small breakfast earlier. More punishment for last night. It’s almost 1 p.m. and I’m not panicking about eating lunch. That could be a victory point for Whole30 in regulating my food-induced rage. Also, and more likely, it could be because I have to actually make my lunch myself and I’m putting it off as long as possible.

12:51 p.m.

By make myself lunch I mean reheat the food that Alexis packed for me.

There are bags of amazing chips scattered throughout the house.

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I keep visualizing myself putting my hand in the bag and just grabbing a handful. Like a muscle memory. The cravings really aren’t that bad though. I think I almost play them up with my friends just for the sake of drama.

Did I mention that they just busted out a brick of thousand day gouda?

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I’ll get going on my lunch then.

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Chew on those apples.

At least I have Boston’s Whole30 support. He’s smashing broccoli today.

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1:30 p.m.

The crew is going to a place called Pop Pie. If you’re on Whole30 don’t click that link. It’s nothing but gourmet pot pies.

Greg made sure to place the tray of three decadent cupcakes in front of me.

Little did he know I had an apple and a tin of homemade cashew butter in my backpack.

Who’s laughing now?

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I mean, who’s even looking at those cupcakes?

3:28 p.m.

We are at 12,000 views for the day. Day 17 clicks and Day 1 clicks are now in a dead heat. Something has changed dramatically since this morning. These are the moments when I wish we were fifty years in the future and I could ask a floating cloud robot these questions and it would tell me the answers.

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3:48 p.m.

A small and private victory for me was when two of the pie eaters crashed on the couch an hour after their lunch.

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Meanwhile I’m just plugging away like a camel in the desert.

5:51 p.m.

Home from work. It’s dinner time. We are making ground beef tacos with cauli rice and roasted veggies. And avocado because I love FAT. Woody is running back and forth making me question his general intelligence. I can’t decide. He’s either really smart because he’s defiant or he’s just a simple little guy that doesn’t know too much. The other thing to consider is that English is his second language and I think he gets caught up in translating in his head when we are trying to give commands. I think he’s also stressed out over possibly getting deported come January 21st.

Little guy knows how to wear a turtleneck though.

6:19 p.m.

I’m really anxious to get into a regular workout routine to accompany this diet. I’m getting lean just by food alone but pretty soon I’m going to start looking like Skeletor and I’ll need some deep squats to combat the emerging flatness in my ass.

I was shocked when I saw where all of you are reading from in the comments on FB. South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Canada, and right here in San Diego. I visualize all of your reading in different ways – phone in bed, laptop at the breakfast bar, desktop in the den, tablet on the couch, and so on. Do you picture what I’m doing while I’m writing this? I guess I provide some pictures so it’s easier but isn’t it interesting how an incredibly elaborate visual narrative has grown in your head to supplement these essays? Anyway, we can stop now before I start talking about how weird it is that we even have eyes in the first place.

Also, can one of you please recognize me in the street in front of my parents and all my high school friends and say that you “know me from my blog”? It would really help with a lot of things.

6:29 p.m.

Woody just hit his head on the fridge so hard I thought he cracked something. He took two recovering stutter steps after impact. He turns to chase the ball with such intensity that he doesn’t check his surroundings. He’s like a Chinese tourist at the airport. Okay okay, relax. I’ll go to confession. Normally when he whacks himself Alexis gets pretty concerned. “Are you okay!?” she’ll ask him immediately. And then pick him up. I like to think that will only lead to future weakness so I tend to distract him with something else and disregard the shard of glass sticking out of his kidney. “He’s fine,” I’ll say. But this whack was hard. And it startled me. And his poor little side wobble made me want to hit my head on the fridge too so I could be right there with him. He’s okay though. I shined a flashlight in both of his eyeballs. I don’t know what I was looking for specifically but I did it. He’s only responding to German which is a bit of an inconvenience because I don’t have that Rosetta Stone.

6:35 p.m.

I smell that ground beef.

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Ben thinks all of this might be a placebo. Don’t attack Ben, people. Ben is our friend. But he is a contrarian. The kind of person you want consulting you if you’re about to fuck someone up in an argument about deeply confusing stuff. He’s always looking for a hole in my reports on the diet. This is why I like Ben. It makes me think truthfully about all of this stuff and digest it in a way that someone not on the diet could relate to.

The question of sustainability comes up all the time with other friends. “What are you gonna do after the thirty days?” Well, for starters, schedule a nude photoshoot because I haven’t looked this good in about two years. I wore a tiny ass shirt today. Like a kid’s medium. Then I’ll probably start with gluten-free bread and see what the deal is there. Then bakery sourdough. Then brown rice. Then white rice. Then 49 tacos.

I’ve never tried to sell Ben on the Whole30 diet. Today on the walk home from work he acknowledged that he would consider it. If he had a partner or a roommate that would go in on it with him he would be down. It wasn’t any of the weight loss or energy fluctuations I talked about. It wasn’t the inflammation reduction or better sleep. Ben doesn’t have any of those “old man issues” as he referred to them. He was simply drawn by the fact that I am compelled to write so much while constantly digesting and reflecting on this new life experience. He said I must be inspired.

I think he nailed it. Sharing this blog with people every day has pushed my writing to a new level. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t pulled the trigger. Geez. How many times could I say that? So here I am, doing something different. Learning new things. Feeling alive. Writing my ass off. Oh, and flaunting some abs.

I’m shutting it down early tonight. We need to have a night with music and candles and a good, long stretch. 15,000 hits right now. Pretty cool.

 

Read Day 17 HERE.

Whole30 Day 17 : I’m a Violator

5:41 p.m.

We just got home from Venice. This is my first time contributing to the Whole30 blog today because I already wrote 2900 words on another topic – winning political arguments. I had a blow out with an old classmate followed by an accusation towards my own mother in the last two days and they got me thinking – I’m not actually accomplishing anything by proving that I’m right if someone else doesn’t walk away feeling like they were heard. Nobody wants to learn from an asshole.

I pulled over on the side of Pacific Ave to write some thoughts that were tearing me up while Alexis scored a new pea coat from Gotta Have It thrift shop.

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I don’t want you to feel neglected. I just need you to know that I took some time to work on me this afternoon. Hopefully, I will stop buying voodoo dolls in the shape of my internet foes as a result.

Breakfast.

Not much going on there folks. It was harder than we thought to get some Whole30 compliant breakfast this morning on the West side. I ended up having half of a shitty green smoothie that tasted like dry wall spackle topped off with spirulina. Alexis had a fruit bowl with a kale, spinach, and avocado puree. She liked hers. Convenient.

I know one thing for sure – my first meal of the day needs to be cooked. My stomach turns to Chinatown quickly if I don’t start with something warm. I don’t even know what that means but I mean it to mean something gruesome.

We walked a good four miles on the boardwalk. We saw a roller hockey game, a 200 person dodgeball match, synchronized homeless beat-boxing, a rugby match, ultimate volleyball, and a lot of fake cans. The Venice boardwalk is certainly unlike any other place.

I am debating whether or not to complain about our hotel room to Expedia. I have gotten accustomed to writing sharp letters when I’m dissatisfied with services I pay for. Our mattress felt a lot like the night I spent in jail and every time we moved it squeaked a very high-pitched squeak. Normally, you want to earn your bed noises but these came for nothing.

Alexis says it’s not grounds enough to ask for our money back. That ultimately there was nothing wrong with our room.

It’s a fine line, lady.

I bought her a surprise gift this morning. It will arrive on Tuesday and I told her that she was going to “completely freak out.” I often think I won’t say anything. Just act casual until it arrives at the front door. Like how a monk would likely give a gift. But this puts some pazaaz in our life and makes her uneasy for the next few days. Sometimes after we get into fights I write in my journal that we have given each other the gift of feeling alive, which is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing at all. I also hide behind doors for upwards of twenty minutes to scare her after her showers. All things I believe enhance our relationship and create a more exciting living experience.

The problem with sitting down to write “catch up” is that I lose all of the intricate, nuanced thoughts that I consider to be “my style.” I only have these thoughts for brief seconds and if I don’t write them down on the laptop or on my phone they will be gone forever. And it only comes out correctly the first time. If I try to reconstruct from a scribble then I will always lose the flow or the power of delivery. It’s a torture mechanism for writers. To be constantly fed bits of clever writing and completely lack the mental capacity to remember any of it.

I will tell you this – because I wrote it on my phone when it happened – we stopped at Whole Foods on our way out of town because we could assure ourselves a clean meal. The same Whole Foods where they filmed the Whole Foods Parking Lot video. Which got a lot of shares in the yoga community when it first came out. People said it was hilarious. It’s possible that when I just watched it again, years later, I felt embarrassed for the guy and regret ever linking to his video in the first place. Journalistic integrity though. Can’t be angry at all the media outlets if I’m going to filter it here.

Anyway, we’re there, sifting through the buffet, and I’m fixated on the mac n cheese. Only I’m just staring. Countless people are walking up and helping themselves to big cheesy spoonfuls enjoying their lives and their freedom and I’m trying to reign in the tongs so I can pinch a few pieces of broccoli and eat like a kid who has just been grounded for busting out his screen window and sneaking across the street to French his neighborhood girlfriend at 3am. It’s only the kids who are in trouble who have to eat broccoli.

I settled on three chicken drumsticks and the goddamn broccoli. A scooped of spring mix and about thirty grams of sea salt. I figure, salt dissolves. And when it dissolves it needs to be replaced. Alternatively, and they use this technique with ice cubes in highly scientific parts of the world, you can create a mass of salt so large that it decreases the rate of dissolution. Which is what I do.

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6:17 p.m.

We swung by Ashley and Chris’ to grab our dawg. He had just done a stint at a fashion school in Paris and picked up a new, chic style of his own.

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He has been surprisingly pretentious since being back in our house.

6:47 p.m.

The books from Melissa came! They are personally addressed and signed and I’ve already put them up for sale on eBay to offset some of the cost of this diet.

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Little does she know, my Whole30 experience is turning a corner. Because Chris asked if I had lost weight. He said he could see it in my face. Booyaa. #whole30 #changedmylife #myduckfaceisreal

7:38 p.m.

I think I ate something not Whole30. Ben and I were at the neighborhood sports bar watching the Steelers and talking about how I could run for city council. I ordered grilled chicken breast with avocado and grilled veggies. I told him no sauce or sugar or anything like that. But it tasted a little too good and now my lips look like raisins. There is a familiar flavor in my mouth that I experienced after first eating Panda Express. I am afraid to go back to the restaurant and ask them what exactly was in it. At this point, I could still pass a polygraph. Although I feel deeply conflicted. Is it possible that I’m over-exaggerating?

7:45 p.m.

I fucked up. I ate non-compliant food. I know it. I told him no sauce. I told him no sauce.

7:47 p.m.

I need the antidote. It has moved into my lungs.

“Have fun starting over by yourself,” Alexis says as she unloads the groceries.

7:54 p.m.

I think I’m dying.

7:58 p.m.

Woody is eating cauliflower on his bed to rub it in my fucking face. You don’t even like cauliflower you ungrateful bastard. I’m taking your turtleneck and sending you back to Tijuana.

7:59 p.m.

“I need to have some surgery done.”

“Because you ate fucking caramelized onions?” Ben replies inconsiderately.

“Yes, Ben.”

8:03 p.m.

We are talking about extending our Whole30 to 45 days to quiet all speculation. I can’t have a controversy like this follow me to the campaign trail.

8:22 p.m.

By now you’re tired of hearing about my flare-ups. I just want to add that I ate something that would be considered “healthy” by any casual observer and I feel like I ate a tub of ice cream and three bags of Cheetos. And I can isolate the impacts it’s having specifically in my body. The chapness of my lips, heart burn through my chest, nausea in my stomach. My teeth are aching. My mouth is so dry. And my forearms are cramping. From a fucking chicken breast. Because the onions were probably cooked in butter and the green beans probably dropped in some kind of soy sauce.

I’m a failure.

8:31 p.m.

Alexis is making cauliflower mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, and rotisserie chicken. I will not be eating any of it. I will be in the corner. I actually hate myself right now.

8:40 p.m.

I ate some rotisserie.

My thinking was this – if I ate the rotisserie last it would kind of lay over the top of all the MSG and make it irrelevant.

9:00 p.m.

I watch from the corner as Ben and Alexis enjoy the meal of their lives.

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“This cauliflower mash might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted” – Ben, my former friend.

 

Ready Day 16 HERE.

Whole30 Day 16 : Alexis Gets Pegged

8:16 a.m.

I weighted myself again. Because you know you weigh the least first thing in the morning. Only regret is that Jonah was in the tub and I couldn’t take a dump first.

8:56 a.m.

“Do you want to eat this?” Jonah asks as he holds out a baked marshmallow cookie.

“No Jonah, we can’t,” I replied.

“Why not?”

“Because we live in a world that isn’t fair.”

“Oh,” he said as he looked at his cookie.

9:08 a.m.

Before I fell asleep last night I got really light-headed. It was my sophomore year of college all over again when Southern Comfort was my best friend. Full spins and diminishing black hole. I was actually nervous for a second. Wasn’t sure why it was happening.

9:17 a.m.

Now Jonah is feeding me the the end of a coat hanger telling me it’s cake with frosting.

9:47 a.m.

Breakfast is coming out in segments. We had the panda bread with avocado and paleo bacon. Vanessa is making frittata in the oven right now.

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We are talking about millennials. Technically, I am one. Although I deny it adamantly. Not that it’s all bad. I just don’t like the entitlement implications that come along with it. Alexis is a thoroughbred millennial and I like to site the difference between her generation and mine.

“But we’re the same generation.”

Vanessa asks why I don’t identify with millennials.

“I take pride in finishing thing and learning actual skills.”

My argument is that anyone 25 or younger now uses their phone to verify, disprove, or provide context to conversations and situations that are happening around them. Meaning, their smart phones are now their brains and their bodies are just mechanisms.

Jonah, 3, is mixing the batter for the frittata.

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Yes, he has a boybun. Yes, he’s unbearably cute.

10:18 a.m.

This frittata is marvelous.

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“What’s in it?”

Eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, mushrooms, leeks, prosciutto, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic. (Please note, we forgot the spinach). (Please also note, I am not upset about this).

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10:36 a.m.

There is a Swedish man here fixing Vanessa’s iPhone. It’s LA, you don’t take things into the store. He is wearing Y3 sneakers.

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10:43 a.m.

I’m getting an education on socialism straight from the source. He only paid 25% income taxes. He had free healthcare, free university, a year of maternity leave, monthly allowance per child, and the freedom to entrepreneur if he wanted to make more money. Can someone tell me what the problem is with this?

Okay, so I asked him his biggest grievance with a socialist country. He said that when you are given everything you start to become very comfortable and take everything for granted. He prefers life here in LA. Wants to become rich in America. He said that when he had free healthcare he went to the doctor’s monthly and became a hypochondriac. Now that he’s in the U.S. and doesn’t have healthcare he hasn’t been to the doctor’s in a year and a half.  Some old-timers might say he’s finally put hair on his chest but this is a very fine line between empowering and subtly fatal.

My conclusion?

There is no perfect system.

The only solution – move to a new city or country every two years. Newness is the only thing that consistently makes us happy.

12:13 p.m.

This morning, the new role of toilet paper was put on the rack upside down. Just now, I noticed it had been turned right-side up. There is at least one person in this house who I can trust.

2:38 p.m.

Back from our walk to the farmer’s market. We stopped at place called Forage and had a chicken breast and market salad.

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I wasn’t overly enthused about the food. So far, I’ve yet to eat anything at a restaurant as good as the stuff Alexis and I are making at home.

2:41 p.m.

Jonah just pooped his pants outside. He’s pulling them off and it’s chunked up in his butt crack. It’s been a while since I’ve seen poop like that. I picked him up and carried him past Alexis to the toilet.

“I’m not even phased,” Alexis says.

Since she butchered that duck she hasn’t been the same woman.

2:44 p.m.

Jonah just said that his poop is gnarly.

“I pooped some more on my leg you guys.”

Vanessa is scrambling to put his clothes in a plastic bag while negotiating a trimming fee with the new landscaper.

I often look for reasons to justify my stance on not wanting kids at this point in my life.

2:49 p.m.

The good thing about taking our diet on the road to LA is that we are actually the least picky people in the entire city.

Passing the bagels at Yeastie Boys was tough. The brioche buns on the avocado sandwiches at Forage were another shot to the heart.

We are both having a very hard time feeling nourished on this road trip. We ate a shitload of chicken but it didn’t do the trick. What are the psychological factors that contribute to a sense of “fullness” and how do they compare with the physical feeling of fullness? We ate a large portion and we both felt unsatisfied. My stomach is getting crampy like it does when I haven’t eaten enough. Is there a cleanse for being neurotic?

3:03 p.m.

Now Jonah is telling us about the poop experience as he stands on the chair with a towel wrapped around his body. Only the towel keeps falling off and you’re trying to keep a straight face and listen to his story but his weiner is right in front of your face.

3:30 p.m.

Now I’m reading him a Star Wars book.

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I asked Alexis to take the picture. She accused me of always staging photos with cute kids and Woody so people think I am more sensitive than I am.

4:38 p.m.

After a pleasant drive across town in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 55 minutes, we have arrived to our studio hotel on the beach in Venice.

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We are both very hungry and Alexis has a non-Whole30 headache. Because she hit her head really, really hard on a peg-board inspired art installation in Vanessa’s living room.

4:48 p.m.

I could barely eat grapes on the drive over. They were too sweet. Tasted like wrapped candy. Grapes. Further tangible evidence of change. Also, my face is a little red and my stomach reacted poorly. Which would mark the second time I have reacted this way after eating grapes. Which leads me to conclude that I should no longer eat grapes. Science.

Could just be that fruit on an empty stomach is too gnarly for me.

Either way, we are going out to explore the boardwalk and check out all the interesting freaks on Venice Beach.

8:41 p.m.

The walk started with a poor choice to get a salad at a tourist trap on the boardwalk. I should know from traveling that you never eat in the dense tourist areas. We did see a beautiful sunset though. And a bunch of ungrateful bastards that turned their backs to the green flash so they could post their selfies. If an alien were to visit and see the beauty of a sunset over the Pacific and then witness humans looking down at a tiny, three inch screen I think they would be gravely confused.

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You’re looking at this saying, That’s fucking bread! They sure did bring the plate out with two pieces of toast with butter and we gently set them aside and carried on with our boring salad.

“That bread doesn’t even bother me,” I said.

“Serious? I can’t stop looking at it,” Alexis replied.

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Then we walked to Abbott Kinney to check out the store fronts filled with $8000 dreamcatches and sweaters made of fair trade Alpaca. Some amazing architecture on this street though. I didn’t bring my camera. It weighs about ten pounds all in. And I wanted to feel free, like we were on vacation.

8:51

Alexis has a lump on her hairline from the pegging.

New England beat the Texans. Atlanta smashed the Seahawks.

There’s cable TV in our room and when you are graced with such a rare treat you have to watch Devil Wears Prada.

Alexis bought a $3 cardigan from a garage sale.

We had another meal because we were starving.

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Grilled salmon with roasted yams and a house salad.

9:11 p.m.

Ahh, fuckin’ TV commercials. Worse than blue balls.

Since we are party animals we will probably take a shower and go to bed by 10. Maybe we’ll sneak in an episode of Breaking Bad. I admit, after three straight seasons I’m starting to lose my interest. Despite what an incredible show it is.

I am most excited to shave my beard in the sink and not panic about how to get all the hair out of the drain because this isn’t my apartment. My main reason for loving hotels. That and clean towels. But they are all trying to “go green” these days and act like they don’t wash towels anymore to protect the Earth. We all know it’s because it’s more cost effective for them.

No incredible bloating today. Although there is a commercial for corn oil on cable TV right now and it shows a happy family having dinner together but oddly it doesn’t know the kid’s small intestine keeling over and dying while the parents are prescribed medication because their brains are as cloudy as Seattle.

If you didn’t take a break from it all you’d never how what a rigged world we are living in.

Goodnight my friends. We’re over the hump and the mind has begun to know confidence.

 

Read Day 15 HERE.

Whole30 Day 15 : Halfway Home

9:08 a.m.

I forgot to do a Week In Review yesterday. So, after some thought, I realized I could just do a Halfway Point Analysis today and act like I planned it that way.

Horrible sleep again last night. Not feeling well at all. My nose is permanently shut.

I’m overwhelmed just watching Alexis try to prepare for our trip to LA. Our snack bag wouldn’t fit into the overhead luggage space on an airplane. I can’t imagine how she feels. We have to drop Woodson off with Ashley and Chris so mom and dad can have some nights out on the town.

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I made my own breakfast to help out. It was a sad and pathetic breakfast. Only halfway through making eggs did I learn we were out of panda bread.

“Is there any bread left?”

“No.”

“Oh.”

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That’s a 1/2 pineapple. I barely even tried.

9:34 a.m.

I’m getting into fights on Facebook. I’m losing it. One more day of no sleep and Alexis is going to have to put me in Woody’s cage.

Also, our scooter is gone this morning. Which means it was either stolen or towed by Target. If it was stolen, there are cameras and I can get the footage and then track down the culprit and either steal his car, light his house on fire, or just have him arrested. Would be my second arrest in the last six months. Last one being the guy that stole my cell phone and wedding ring from the basketball court. If it was Target, then I pray for the manager who ordered the tow truck.

12:14 p.m.

Road trip. Stopped and got air in our tires. To me, that’s like getting a new car. Cruising the highway like a hovercraft right now. Green smoothies in tow from People’s Organic Co-op.

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1:00 p.m.

We made a pit stop. Just a small one. A little place called In N Out.

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1:40 p.m.

Alexis is driving now. I had to get on my hotspot to retaliate to a Facebook comment. I cannot shred appropriately from a cell phone. I need the full keyboard.

My friend Seth messaged me and told me to eat some bread already. But that he was also enjoying all the comments.

I think the most frustrating thing is that I don’t actually know how to fix the world. I don’t know how to fix myself. I’m doing this diet because god knows why and half the time I think I’m better for it and the other half I think I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.

It isn’t good timing to not eat bread, given all the things happening in the world.

Can’t we just be Amsterdam already?

2:30 p.m.

We just pulled into Lassen’s – a small health foods store – in Echo Park. I’ve already seen twelve aspiring models, or more likely, waiters and waitresses with headshots ready on demand.

We had chicken and roasted vegetables. Also, a cashew milk green smoothie.

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3:05 p.m.

We have arrived. Vanessa isn’t home yet. I texted her.

“I’m on your wifi. Also, I farted.”

“Thanks for the update.”

She has to stop on the way home from work and grab the duck. We are having duck for dinner tonight. Have only had it once in my life. I imagine a bloodhound fetched it out of the tall grass after a man in flannel shirt shot it out of the air. He gave the bloodhound a good pat on the head and said, “Good boy,” when he dropped the duck at his feet. He didn’t say anything else though. Not like the guy in Babe when he said, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” That takes more emotional fortitude than this duck hunter had on this day. His wife had just informed him that she was leaving him for his brother, an investment banker in Manhattan. The whole thing was really outdoorsy but quite sad. The bloodhound knew too. He walked back to the truck extra close to his owner. Loyal til the end.

3:09 p.m.

I feel bloated today. A little bit yesterday too. I don’t look as trim in the mirror as I did two days ago. My neurotic obsession is amplifying. I want this diet to work twice as fast. I want to look like Brad Pitt in fight club when he puts his arms up on the doorway before we all knew that he was psycho and mean to his kids.

3:19 p.m.

Um. So.

I was in the bathroom and saw a sleek little gadget under the sink. I pulled it out. Thought about the Whole30 maven screaming at me not to step on. Realized of course I was going to step on. Stepped on. Was expecting much, much better results. And now I know, through personal experience, why she advised not to do what I just did.

I actually don’t care what my weight is. I feel proud to weigh the same as Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys. I just want every inch of my body to be useful. For me, I should have a rule of not looking in the mirror at all. It’s not productive.

4:12 p.m.

I think it’s important to note that when you and your significant other are friends with someone and then that person enters into a relationship and you tell them, “You can totally bring _______ with you to dinner,” it doesn’t actually mean that you want _______ there but that you are trying to show that you are open to it, should it happen. It’s polite. Not necessarily preferred. Sometimes people were just cooler when they were single. Or their new partner is kind of a flop. And what are you supposed to do then, lose a good friend completely?

4:49 p.m.

I asked Vanessa how we could help as I put my hand on Alexis’ shoulder.

5:10 p.m.

Alexis is helping Vanessa with the duck. They are trying to figure out if it’s quartered.

“Is it quartered?”

“Is that hair on it?”

I walked over to investigate.

“Oh god, that’s blood,” I said as I covered my mouth.

“Kirk, get out of here!”

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5:16 p.m.

Sachie is on FaceTime coaching Alexis through the quartering process. It looks like Dexter.

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A bone just cracked. I’m Northern European. I’m not cut out for this.

“Alexis, get aggressive. You can cut through skin and cartilage at the same time,” Sachie says.

“Do we rip out the spine?!” Vanessa asks.

“Cut out the spine.”

I’m in the corner with a pillow over my face. I think I’m feverish.

Is there a more disturbing word than cartilage?

Alexis drives the knife through.

“Yes!” Sachie yells. “That sounds right.”

I’m watching YouTube videos trying to be helpful but it’s only making it worse. A guy named Jacob Burton just twisted a leg clean off.

“Wow, she’s got the spine,” Vanessa says.

The lights are spotty.

Alexis is showing great signs of primal instinct. A deep connection with the animal.

5:39 p.m.

Vanessa: “Whoa, is that a uterus?”

Sachie: “No, it’s fat.”

6:53 p.m.

Vanessa just baked thin slices of pork and put them on the table. They are like pork chips. Salty and crunchy. She made them because I have been writing about missing crunch so much.

7:24 p.m.

Dinner is not here yet. I say nothing because I am in the gracious company of a good friend.

7:32 p.m.

Thankfully, Jonah is beating the crap out of me and locking me outside like a dog.

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Also, slow cookers got their name for a reason.

7:59 p.m.

Once upon a time there was a thing called dinner. Traditionally it came just hours after lunch. But on this special occasion, as the full moon rose above the city of Los Angeles, dinner came many, many hours later.

8:01 p.m.

We are back on the phone with our consultant, Sachie, trying to figure out what to do now that the duck is cooked.

We haven’t even addressed the issue of having to tell Jonah that we are eating beef because he would be too sad to know we are eating a duck because he thinks they are really cool.

8:53 p.m.

So, duck.

The consensus: not so much.

Vanessa spit the baked skin out into a napkin. Unfortunately, I saw it. And it’ll be with me for a while.

We decided not to link the recipe.

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That’s a wrap here from LA. Hoping for a good night’s sleep and then we hit the farmer’s market in the morning with our Ray Bans and recycled plastic water bottle totes.

Here is another summary.

Halfway Point Analysis:

A Week (8 days) In Finances:

1/6. Sprouts: $151

1/12. Sprouts: $28

1/12. Burger Lounge: $21

$200

On the nose. This actually fits nicely within our food budget. Multiplied out that’s under a grand for the entire month’s eating.

A Week in Emotions:

There are many external factors contributing to my emotions this week. I am disappointed, as I’ve stated, with the condition of our country’s morale. I noticed at times I felt calm when I’d normally be anxious (Costco) and also times when I felt completely overwhelmed with anger. At one point I walked out of the apartment to run an errand and felt strongly connected to Alexis as I said goodbye. I took a few steps down the hallway and realized I should go back and tell her. So I opened the door and told her I loved her. I don’t do this enough.

A Week in Relationships:

I think we are in a good groove. She seems really comfortable and happy learning how to cook all these meals. I am trying to keep up on the dishes and taking out the trash and walking Woody. I would say I haven’t had any major breakthroughs, other than a few emotional openings, but Alexis is really coming into her own this past week. She is more clear, more organized, and more confident. I can feel it.

A Week in Health:

I still feel like ass. People are saying it’s common. A lot of credible people. I don’t know the science behind it but I’m going to take a stab anyway. Since I am on the autoimmune spectrum it’s possible that I’m never sick because my immune system is hyperactive. Assuming this diet is regulating my hormones and possibly normalizing my thyroid, I think it could be that my immune system is taking a hit as it adapts. This could be the ultimate “bro science” and complete shit, but it makes sense to me. I’m open to something more concrete if you have any insights.

A Week in Blogging:

We peaked at around 12,000 hits on the day of “The Big Share.” It slowly dropped after that and has leveled out around 3,000 hits per day. I have thought many times that I’m running out of things to write and that this will become uninteresting to you. However, I still go back and read the blogs and laugh to myself, which is the ultimate goal.

Halfway through and we’re still alive to tell about it 🙂

 

Read Day 14 HERE.

Whole30 Day 14 : Cold Fries and Hot Ketchup

8:40 a.m.

United gave me 20,000 miles back from a three page complaint letter I sent regarding our flights home from Barcelona. It’s a bit of an art with them – the right amount of complaining, status mentioning, threats to use another airline, disbelief that they care so little about a customer, and then a long list of specifics. They have to go down the list and address each complaint so if nothing else it makes them have to actually work.

Alexis pooped three times yesterday. That’s 6x her normal average. She was very excited and so was I. Curious to see how it progresses today.

8:59 a.m.

She also thinks she is losing weight. Well, not weight specifically but inches.

“Here, feel around my ribs.”

So I felt her boobs.

“Still carrying in all the right places.”

9:02 a.m.

Slept like shit again last night. Despite stretching and breathing before entering bed. I have a distrust for the world we are living in right now. An unease that is manifesting in my sleep.

Our fridge is still looking strong. Alexis took the lump of the first week and adopted skillfully. Our ingredients are lasting and the cost is WAY down. This is what happens when we are faced with new challenges. We adapt and evolve and become better and more efficient. Oddly enough, it’s inevitable. The irony that it is so scary to start a change.

9:14 a.m.

Breakfast is on the pan. Ben is standing in the kitchen with us drinking tea. He is talking about his New Year’s resolutions and mentioning that he has twelve personal relationships that he wants to repair. That’s commendable. I started thinking about people that I have broken relationships with. There was this one guy that threatened to kill me when he was on meth. He lived in the apartment in front of us. I used to see his truck at random times over the next five years. I haven’t seen him in three. Really hoping he’s dead now. I thought he actually might kill me. All because I didn’t want to be his weed smoking buddy.

9:25 a.m.

I have to work today. Like formally work. A full day training with Seeds. Alexis is prepping a smoothie and a mango for me. I’m the guy that brings fruit to work now and gets made fun of everyone while they are eating donuts out of the daily box.

I’ve been writing a ton thanks to the Whole30 blogs. I’ve also been neglecting my journal. I’ve got stacks of them on the bookshelf, hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written over the last 3+ years about every dark thought and meaningful life experience. I haven’t been writing much in there lately. I guess you only have so many words. Once you’ve hit the number there’s no motivation to push through. The thing that’s great about keeping a journal is it turns into data amassed over the course of years that allows you to step back and take a relatively objective look into your own mind. See where you’re happy, where you’re cheating yourself, the repetition of mistakes. It gives you everything. And for me, it gives  context to constantly make improvements. There’s this thing we all do, and it’s more obvious than ever on the Whole30, where we pretend there is a reason why we can’t have the things we want and do the things we want to do. After a while, it becomes so normal to not get what we want that we deem it a silly endeavor to think in such ways. I guess, we become practical and normal becomes okay.

I hate this about our human experience. Sometimes, it’s not even an experience. It terrifies me more than nukes. Being okay with being normal. The journal helps me improve myself and understand what I want and what I need to do to get there. It lets me be honest with myself.

10:10 a.m.

Mijon is making “Lesbian French Toast”. Greg’s cousin’s lesbian lover invented it at a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The name stuck. I don’t know why. I’ve always heard that lesbians were mean.

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In one version of this story my friends were sympathetic to my dietary restrictions and acted like the toast wasn’t that good. In the real version of the story every bite sounded like softcore porn.

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12:12 p.m.

I used to snack a lot because I thought I was hungry. I would get this subtle itch behind my cheeks that made me think I was low in nutrients. So I’d stuff my face. I haven’t been getting that as much since the Whole30. Although I have it right now. I am uncomfortable not being home and fully in control.

2:39 p.m.

I’ve been hard at work so here I am just getting back to the blog. Alexis dropped lunch off for me at 12:37 on her way to singing lessons (she is polishing up her Cher numbers).

The Thai food from last night along with a simple salad with cucumbers and blueberries. Was a clever move to put a raw egg in there for me to add while reheating the Thai.

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I told Mijon I’m going to produce the rest of our food photographs in her kitchen. They have a commercial range and a separate spigot just for hot water. You can see it there (the silver thing above the kettle). Only inconvenience is that it’s a five minute walk from the range to the sink.

The rest of the team is eating Mama’s Bakery pita wraps. I’m not going to lie, it’s tempting. But not like it used to be. I ate my food. My stomach feels content. I’m more motivated to finish this experiment than I am to eat bread.

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Although that looks really good.

I smelled it.

Thank god Boston is standing with Whole30 Rock and eating compliant meals with us.

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It’s raining again. Which makes me a purchasing genius.

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I actually forgot to include this photo yesterday when it was taken so I waited patiently today for the rain to start again so I could use it and not technically be misleading.

Look at all that rain that is gently gliding down the polyester experience.

Last night, Alexis said, “Remember when Woody was my dog?” As I was wrestling his green ball away from him with my teeth. I have to bite him sometimes so he thinks I’m his dad. It’s how you form a pack.

2:52 p.m.

Only I’m really hungry.

This field trip is throwing off my perfectly structured Whole30 home experience. There’s a side of hummus larger than any dinner I’ve eaten in two weeks. The pita bread is just sitting next to me, swaddled in yellow parchment paper, perfectly crispy. Probably warm. Probably friendly.

Meanwhile, back home, Alexis is excited for Baby Caira to try the panda bread for the first time. We have been loving it so much that surely a small child would feel the same enthusiasm.

Perspective, to say the least. She tried to scrub it off her tongue. Erase all memory. But babies don’t really appreciate anything so we’re not taking it personally. I’m just upset that she wasted a piece of my bread.

4:42 p.m.

I’m nauseous again. Feel like I’m getting sick. I didn’t know it was possible to get sick twice in a row. I’ve pooped three times today which is 1.23 times lower than my national average. No great change in consistency. Many people today were questioning the health of this diet, not from an aggressive standpoint, but from a why the fuck would you do this to yourself? standpoint. Why are grains bad? Why is corn bad? Isn’t meat inflammatory? There were a lot of questions going around and, admittedly, I didn’t have very many answers. Here’s what I know so far – I’m eating clean. The food I’m eating is fresh. I can feel it and I notice it the more I look at restaurant food and processed food. It looks like an astronaut’s meal. Does that mean I’m not incredibly jealous of the taste? Of course not.

We are also spending more time in the kitchen thinking about and preparing food. We are spending less time out in the world consuming other forms of entertainment or products. Our “reality” has shifted. Another specific example of the hard-to-describe phrase, “It changed my life.” It has changed how we spend our time and our money and how we prioritize our thoughts.

The real question – what changes are happening objectively and what changes am I magnifying to defend my position as a person on this diet? I’m losing weight. Without question my abs are flattening and all the excess fat that hangs on to the bottom of the bones thanks to gravity is diminishing. My food-dependent mood is becoming easier to manage. It’s not a panic if I don’t eat every two hours. I can comfortably go three to three and a half hours without eating and feel steady. I have had no crashes in energy at any point in the day except for the one time we ate Chipotle for dinner. I wanted to go to sleep immediately after.

5:00 p.m.

I have anxiety about going to my boxing lesson. I got winded walking up the stairs. My nose is running. I don’t think I ate enough. I’m having a bitch fest with myself.

6:16 p.m.

The trainer, Mike, asked how I was feeling. I told him just so-so, expecting that would earn me the appropriate sympathies. He must have thought I said, “Let’s go-go,” or, “Please fucking kill me,” because we worked like his only goal was my lifeless corpse lying on the mat at the end of our session. I’ve mastered this kind of hacking cough that satisfies the desire to throw up without actually doing so. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

Most of the rounds I go through thinking about how I’m going to die. Today I at least pretended to push myself harder without making excuses. For a little while I pictured Trump’s face on the bag. Then it was a loaded baked potato. Both very equal enemies at this point. Then I got confused between the two and just started punching Trump covered in sour cream.

Anger works as a motivator.

Yes, I mentioned his name.

We are going out to Burger Lounge for dinner. Our weekly meal out. New policy instated last week under the new administration. Burger Lounge is a essentially a high-end McDonald’s located in Southern California. Everything is grass-fed and organic. But it’s all trendy and cool with a manifesto written on the wall in different sized fonts. Words like “Create”, “Life”, “Vibes”, peppered into the mission statement. Alexis is making our own baked sweet potatoes for the road. Also, homemade ketchup. We are officially the brown bag kids riding the bus.

6:39 p.m.

How could one empirically determine the best diet in the world? I have vegan friends say it’ll cure cancer and alkalize the body. Paleo people saying some bullshit about cavemen. Moderates that saying a little bit of everything is good for you. Italians that swear by bread and pasta and are sweet dancers. Who is right?

My theory – many of us (allergy people excluded) choose our diets based on what we want them to say about us socially. It’s a branding technique. I didn’t even know what Whole3o was. I just knew I wanted to cut out sugar and snack foods. A good friend of ours gave us this book. I really like this friend. I trust her taste in movies and therefore find her to be intelligent. That was all it took to convince me that I would like the Whole30. I chose it based off the other people I knew who were doing it and what I thought about them as people. Not once did I consider their motivations or their physiques.

How did you decide to pick your diet?

6:42 p.m.

Off to Burger Lounge we go. It’s quiet in our household. Woody has a UTI. Vet confirmed. Apparently that’s why he peed on my foot. Poor little guy…. just cost us $131. That’s already 10% of his lifetime health expenditure allowance.

8:51 p.m.

“Am I doing something with this chicken?” Alexis asks.

“Yeah. Can we have some?”

We just got home from Burger Lounge. Can I say –  going out to dinner and finding parking and talking to a bunch of people is a lot more work than staying home with Alexis and Woody and cooking dinner while watching Breaking Bad in our cozy apartment. As such, I have officially deemed the Whole30 as a step backwards for introverts socially. I have so many more excuses not to have to hang out with people. And I’m using them in full. Sure, we could get cabin fever. But we have some great friends that we can interact with whenever the mood strikes.

Anyways, we got some bullshit little patties wrapped in lettuce and it wasn’t that tasty or filling. Our dinners are better. Burgers are useless without bread and fries. Why bother?

As stated earlier, we brought our own baked sweet potatoes and ketchup. In an odd turn of events, the sweet potatoes were cold and the ketchup was hot. I felt no guilt bringing our own food to this establishment. I think people respect it. It’s interesting at least. Not just another wanker ordering off the menu. I’d rather be memorable than particularly favorable. Truly, I’d like to be both, which is possible. But as George Carlan said, “People love when you’re honest. Until you’re honest with them.” Or something like that.

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My plate looks like Joseph’s plate threw up.

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9:13 p.m.

Alexis says she feels a lot more clear mentally in the last two days. She used to be distracted by thirty or forty things and now she is having an easy time focusing on single things. And being content with that. Normally she has to go back and reread every page of a book because she forgets or gets tired. Last night, she read 26 consecutive pages. Quantifiable improvement.

I am jealous. Also, happy for her.

Now I’m having a little rotisserie and some grapes because restaurants suck and don’t feed their customers good food. I’ve picked up on some social cues that indicate people think this diet is restrictive and causes you to ‘miss out on life’s great pleasures’. Having no inflammation and seeing 4-6 abs in my 30s seems like quite a pleasure to me.

So, away we walk in the night feeling proud of ourselves for just this moment.

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Read Day 13 HERE.

 

Whole30 Day 13 : House Guest

7:20 a.m.

It feels like I’m up way too early. I know half of you have already taken three kids to school and done P90X while pumping for your newborn, and I envy and admire your drive, I’m just not there yet. Mornings are a delicate and overwhelming time.

I have to go to that meeting for small businesses in San Diego. You hear about these things and you become momentarily excited, like you can make a change. Or, that it’s going to help you get more respect in your own little micro-community.

Still, if making changes means I have to get up earlier then I’m probably just okay with how things are for now.

Especially considering I slept like shit. I had some turkey, cashews, and 1/2 an apple before stretching and meditating. I thought I did all the right things. But that didn’t stop my neighbor’s kid from trying to assault and molest me in vivid detail the entire night. I call it ‘thin sleep’. When I’m technically sleeping but it’s not deep enough to make me feel rested. This kind of crappy sleep is a heavy burden for me to carry on this diet.

I shall make myself a breakfast smoothie – homemade almond milk, 1/2 banana, cashews, and a tablespoon of cacao. Should hold me over until I get home from this meeting and have a proper breakfast.

Hunger levels are normal this morning. I feel the rumbling which is a good sign. Two days in row where it hasn’t been pure nausea. I should note, however, that I have two zits on my forehead at exactly this moment and I normally get about two zits a year.

I wanna say it’s been six years since I first got a Vitamix. I was skeptical when I heard people talking about them because I am skeptical of anything that more than three people like. I even tried to buy a Ninja from Bed, Bath, and Beyond because I thought it couldn’t be that big of a difference. What a mistake. That thing was a raging piece of shit. I finally broke down and got a Vitamix for my yoga studio because we were serving out free shots of green smoothies at the end of classes. I needed the big dog. And that thing has been delivering for me every day since. Sometimes you buy something that is really expensive and it makes you feel like an asshole for a while. But then every time you use it you are proud to own something so high quality.

Someone asked me the other day what I spend my money on being as I don’t drink and I don’t have kids. I told him I try to save a lot. Then I thought more about all my cameras and lighting setups and new gadgets that are coming in weekly via Amazon Prime and told him that equipment is probably my greatest expense.

7:34 a.m.

My smoothie is gone. There’s a little more in the blender. I will save it for Alexis when she wakes up. She is tucked in pretty good with Woodson. He was released from his cage around 5 this morning to join the festivities. We have a full-sized bed. It’s really not very big at all. I’ve always had it and always loved the mattress and when you think about upgrading you have to consider the box spring, the frame, the sheets, and the comforter. And when you could just buy a new lens for your camera instead you end up with the same bed for a number of years. Needless to say, it’s a tight fit with the three of us. Especially when I’m tossing and turning at the thought of being subconsciously groped.

You hear a lot about FOMO these days. And I’d say the single greatest form of FOMO is having to get out of bed and get ready for the day when your partner lies peacefully under a warm, fluffy white comforter. It has to be white though.

7:45 a.m.

Trying to figure out which jacket I should wear so I look smart as fuck but also like I don’t really care about the meeting at all.

7:49 a.m.

I’m angry with myself because I’m actually going to be late on account of reading all the comments this morning. It’s a wormhole.

7:54 a.m.

*In the car*

I didn’t have time for my morning second dump. It’s coming back to haunt me now. Which is why I don’t like to be rushed in the morning. I keep letting out these questionable farts hoping they don’t turn into something more. My car smells like a hearse.

7:56 a.m.

Everyone that owns a liquor store stands on the corner wearing a v-neck t-shirt smoking a cigarette all day. That’s their business model.

7:58 a.m.

Definitely going to be late. Panic setting in which translates to road rage. Just called someone a fuck ball.

8:00 a.m.

Okay, only gonna be two minutes late. I can slip in the back smelling like a tuna fish sandwich stuck under your seat for seven days and no one will notice.

8:01 a.m.

I almost just killed a runner. Who the fuck runs this early? He gave me one of those dirty, pretentious – you lazy car driver – runner looks. I told him he was fat and a turkey dick fucker. A lot of my insults include names of food I like.

8:08 a.m.

Early analysis. There aren’t enough people here to fart anonymously.

I don’t really know anyone, cept for Rachel and Natalie, and the thought of sitting next to a stranger is crippling me. I would like to move right past the small talk intro things. This guy was staring at me for a while and I was content with a head nod and walking right on by to sit in the corner next to Rachel but he insisted on introducing himself. I knew I was trapped when he started to put his hand out. I hesitated, unofficially giving him permission. I should have just kept moving.

I clung to Rachel and pulled up a chair next to her in the corner. High school.

They are serving breakfast empanadas with cheese and other fine ingredients enjoyed by those with no desire to improve their lives.

8:12 a.m.

Everyone is going around the room intro’ing themselves. It’s important. There are some influencers here. But I have to crap so bad I am in and out of cross-eyed facial expressions. I’m looking right at the bathroom. It’s directly behind the group leader. I can’t use it though. The table is downwind. Everyone is in a row, their noses exposed perfectly to the air tunnel I would create. As soon as I walked out, they’d all know. And that would be my legacy.

8:36 a.m.

It’s coming back through my stomach and out of my mouth in the form of aggressive burps. Aggressive burps that I have to keep silent so it looks like I might need CPR.

8:42 a.m.

A girl just went in the bathroom. No one paid too much attention.

8:47 a.m.

She’s still in there! This is something. She’s doing something. She’s laying the foundation.

8:49 a.m.

Damn it. She’s out. She had her purse. She’s just on her period.

9:01 a.m.

Knock knock. It’s me. Pressure in the rectum. Chills up the back. Fear in the mind.

I lean over to Rachel, “I’m going.”

9:04 a.m.

Quietly screaming, “Free Willie!”

9:57 a.m.

I get home, expecting a warm greeting from my dogson, but he is on the bed chewing a bully stick and could care less about me.

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Alexis is listening to a Van Morrison album reheating the ground beef from last night.

I’m politically charged at the moment. San Diego has almost 2 billion in free cash and there are 70,000 low-income families waiting to have access to affordable housing. Some waiting more than 10 year. Oh, and the five supervisors who oversee the budget just voted to give themselves a 10% raise. I asked how I could effectively troll them on Facebook.

10:01 a.m.

Woody is chewing on a box of tampons.

10:10 a.m.

Breakfast was delicious. I only had one piece of avocado panda bread. I enjoyed all the other food items – ground beef, cauli rice, and sauteed veggies. I’m a goddamn beast. I eat beef for breakfast. No wonder I’m shitting my pants during meetings.

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11:02 a.m.

I would be a lot more productive if I went to our studio to work. I will write two or three sentences then have to get up and throw the ball three or four times. I sit back down and within a few seconds he is sitting at my feet or biting my hand.

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He doesn’t know who puts food in his bowl.

11:05 a.m.

Whole30. Whole30. Whole30. Whole30. Whole30. (SEO).

11:47 a.m.

Trying to handle some business matters I have been putting off. We came over to the studio to avoid distraction.

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The wait time to talk to the Franchise Tax Board is over three hours. I am glad these high-paid government officials are working so hard for their tax-paying citizens. I am not going to eat for the next three hours to prepare for this phone call. I need maximum rage.

11:56 a.m.

I am starting to get hungry again. Only it looks like Alexis is deeply invested in measurements for her inventory.

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I’m not quite sure how she has gotten anything done since the Whole30 started. How are those of you who are working 9-5 jobs able to pull this off? We have literally removed ourselves from situations that would be tempting. Except for when Mijon plated the pesto pasta with parmesan cheese last night. That one hurt. At least Boston didn’t puke on me.

1:35 p.m.

Lunch is in process. I walked the Voodster and, thank god, it was pouring rain. Since we’ve gotten back from Europe and the infamous purchase of a $400 Nike Lab jacket in Paris it has rained a ton. And that brings me great joy. Because nothing is more satisfying than a good investment. Except maybe rotisserie. Which brings me back to lunch. As I check back to my notes I see that I at breakfast around 10 a.m., which was 3.5 hours ago. I’m not desperate. I’m not even that angry. I know an incredible meal is on the way and I’ll eat it and move on with my life. From 1 – 10 (10 being the most) I would say that I miss chips at a 5 today. We added our vitamins back into the mix. Not like intentionally on this day but just because we have completely forgotten about them. Such is vitamins. We take Omega 3 with the Mood formula because of my anger problems, b-12 with meth something, and vitamin d. Not the same kind I was hoping to give Alexis last night before she fell asleep reading a book.

1:42 p.m.

I’ve been accused once or twice, by people who are tragically no longer with us, of being dramatic or exaggerative (new word alert). It’s only in today’s fine era of immediate information that I can substantiate my claims with cold, hard evidence. For example, on Sunday, I mentioned that Woody’s training consists of giving him treats for every time he takes a step. And people were all like, Haha, okay buddy I’m sure it’s not that bad. So I just want to show you this – a bag, of treats, that was once full (on Saturday).

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That’s not a sandwich bag for your kid’s PB & J. That’s a bag that you would find a severed arm in during a forensics investigation. That’s a bag big enough to hold an entire bag of treats. $20/bag treats. Every time she walks out the door to training I quietly cry, wishing she would just take the GD Newman’s crap biscuits that he doesn’t even like but cost $4 for 400 biscuits.

Anyway, lunch is almost here.

1:52 p.m.

“Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes,” Alexis says to my mistress, the Amazon robot.

But please note that at 1:35 p.m. I was under the impression that lunch was right around the corner. And now I’m faced with this new piece of news.

2:10 p.m.

The timer went off eight minutes ago. Nothing happened.

Although I was granted access to see how the immersion blender worked.

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“Does it even do anything?”

“Yeah it does.”

“Like what?”

“It’s blending all this stuff.”

2:15 p.m.

“Okay, so explain to me this … how is it different than an actual blender?”

“You don’t have to remove it from the pot.”

There it is folks. It’s important.

PS – thanks Mom for getting this for her. She really likes it.

2:30 p.m.

There’s a famous quote by someone – “Good things come to those who wait.” And he/she was talking about lunch.

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Here we have a broccoli or babyshit soup depending on what stage of life you are in with a roasted veggies and chicken salad. Olive oil and a little lemon squeeze for dressing. She always insists that I taste it before adding salt. Claims she put a ton on. I grab the salt and add two pinches. She rolls her eyes. Today I listened. I took a bite first. Then I grabbed two pinches of salt.

“Are you making bigger portions?” I asked her half way through.

“Not really, why?”

“Because I’m full already.”

It was true. Half my plate and I was already starting to feel stretched out in my belly.

I’ve become obsessed with bloating. I watch my stomach constantly. When I wake up, right after I eat, before bed. Before Whole30 I would start the day decent and finish ready to destroy all the mirrors in my house. Now, it seems more consistent. But I want to know which things exactly effect bloating for me. I want to know everything.

6:01 p.m.

Woody greeted me by lifting his leg and peeing on my foot. Then he sat underneath me because he was scared.

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Alexis is making thai food tonight. Hold on, I’ll check what it’s called.

“What’s the recipe?”

It’s Paleo Pad See Ew from Against All Grain. We like her (thanks Mijon). And until we get our Whole30 Cookbook in the mail from Melissa we are forced to entertain other parties.

I will do my best to link to recipes now to prevent 900 of you from asking for it in the comments.

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I saw someone wipe the plate off like this on a TV show before they gave it to the judges so I have Alexis do it before she delivers the plate to me. Actually, she does it herself without me asking because she wants the pictures to look good because she wants us to become full-time food and lifestyle bloggers. Apparently you can make mad loot.

6:49 p.m.

Folks, breaking news. An unfinished plate. And not because I was nauseous. Just straight up full.

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I think our work here is done.

7:11 p.m.

THE DISHES NEVER STOP.

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I was one of those guys that always said, “I love doing dishes.” And Alexis would kind of nod along because that meant I was better than the boyfriend of the person we were talking to. But this has gone too far.

I keep making the argument with Alexis that doing the dishes is actually much harder than cooking.

7:41 p.m.

We moved our bedroom into the middle room a couple weeks ago and had big plans to make the old bedroom our new ‘yoga’ room. Now, it’s just a room that has a door to close so we throw all our shit in there and then close the door. I mean how many things can you improve at a time? Is there a limit? Seems logical to take the momentum of this Whole30 experience and try to carry it over into everything. But it also seems reasonable to take things slowly and work on just a few things at a time. I think I am inside a story from Peaceful Warrior. Only the dirty pans are my sensei.

8:27 p.m.

Trying to get this crappy little thing from IKEA put together so Alexis can clean off her desk. That seems nice of me but the reality is that I just can’t live with clutter and me providing this drawer unit is just a different way of asking her to clean her desk. I could spin it differently. But I know who I am.

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I’m signing off for the night. I hope you are all chugging along. Don’t worry, if it gets too tough and you feel like quitting Melissa will share your post and then send you books. It’s much easier after that point so just try to hold out until then.

I wind down for the night completely full and without thinking too heavily about popcorn. I actually just want tea.

Night.

 

Read Day 12 HERE.