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Apartment Living 101

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  • Apartment Living 101

    I've been around the forums here for awhile, basically just mooching info, trying to figure out how to eat/live healthier. But, I've hit a new stage in life, and adjusting has been...interesting? I grew up on a small farm, working at another farm down the road, spent lots of time outside. I'm almost definitely better at socializing with animals than with humans, working on that...
    I'm in nursing school now, living in a tiny little apartment. A box, in a city full of tall boxes, with tons of boxes with wheels, and lots of pavement. I'm just a wee bit claustrophobic still.
    But, the purpose of starting this journal is that I can't seem to get my eating and exercising right since moving. I've never been one to 'work out', it's just come with the territory. But now, I have to learn to be more deliberate about what I eat (and cook for myself now, hello adult world), and how to fit in some physical activity. I've been more or less primal for about three years, and it's helped me. Lost some weight, got some good advice on living, it's been good. But, I'm a shorty, 5'1.5" (just give me my half an inch!), and never really gotten below 157 lbs since I stopped growing upwards. When I was walking more than six miles per day, lifting hay, mucking stalls, and throwing sheep around, this was not good, but it was manageable. Now that I'm doing none of those things, I need to learn to eat again, and it's been a frustrating experience.

    Things that I need to work on, specifically: getting my acne under control, avoiding eggs so that maybe sometime in the future I can go back to eating them regularly (I never really believed one could eat oneself into a sensitivity, until I did it to myself. I sometimes dream about eating eggs, because they're my favourite!!), and losing about 30 lbs.

    This is just one more thing to try, to keep myself more on track, because a private journal just wasn't working.
    Today, I ate gross things, like pizza, because the meat I bought somehow spoiled in the 'frig. Roomie and I split cooking duties, which is nice, and makes things easier in someways, but I'm also a weak-willed, and when she suggested pizza instead, I gave in. Boo. Not blaming her at all, it's just one small part of a larger problem that is me and my non-goal oriented way of living. So, here's starting from square one.

    "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence,
    is the key to unlocking our potential." (Churchill, duh)

  • #2
    Welcome to the Journal section, VaGirl! City life is definitely different than country life, but with some practice, you can find ways to make movement a regular part of each and every day, as it was back home. Walking stairs instead of elevators, walking for errands when possible, perhaps finding a community garden plot to work in (depending on where you are, and whether gardening is an option through the winter)

    Life changes definitely make things hard, and nursing school is pretty demanding on its own, from what I have heard. So don't beat yourself up too badly when you "give in" and take the easy way sometimes. Just enjoy what you can, notice what makes you feel bad, and then get back on the primal wagon Remember, Mark set up an 80/20 plan. With less exercise you may need to watch cals and macros more, too

    Anyway, welcome and best of luck

    "Live in such a way that when others speak evil of you, none will believe it."


    • #3
      Thanks for the encouragement, Tigs! Yeah, nursing school (and grades! I hate grades) are my priority right now, so I'm trying to get that in balance with healthy lifestyle. The stairs suggestion is perfect, since I live on the sixth floor, maybe I can throw some big textbooks in a backpack for that too. I just have to be careful not to get locked in the stairwell, people have told me stories about that...I live right near some good hiking, so I just need to find the time and friends who'll go with me.

      Food for today:
      Breakfast: Leukocyte disorders, yummy! In all seriousness though, pathophysiology is awesome, and I did manage to study my way straight through the morning. Kept forgetting that I was hungry.
      Lunch: A giant bowl of greek yogurt (low, not full, fat, sadly. The Walmart here hasn't caught up with the trends), with a half a spoon of this awesome blueberry jam (just sugar, no high fructose nastiness).
      Supper: Drove home (to the farm) for a self-implemented fall break, because my school has none, and had some roast beef and carrots, and a peach.

      Not much food, but at least it's decent food. I'll make up for it tomorrow

      I'm thinking of trying to drop the coffee for a little while, to see if that helps my acne, because it has gotten worse since exams started picking up. And that could be because of the stress of exams, or it could be that I consume tons and tons of coffee now (with caffeine, yay caffeine!) and that's putting my body into stress mode. Dunno, but it's worth a shot. Although, I'm not sure I'll survive...


      • #4
        What a nice day! Played around with the horse and donkey, hung out with the sheep (they're pretty much pets right now), and spent plenty of time with the dog. I love autumn!

        Breakfast: Roast beef and coffee.
        Lunch: Salad (roast beef, feta, lettuce, carrots, olive oil.) I've had to defend salads a few times in the past because people don't seem to recognize how awesome they can be! No-one ever said they had to be just vegetables...
        Supper: Roast chicken, cucumbers, and tzaziki sauce.

        I did have some of those flat, dark-chocolate covered pretzels you get at Costco, but I regret nothing. They were so good...

        And I found a new favorite band, and then found out they haven't been a group in about three years. :/ Oh well, they're still amazing.


        • #5
          Good morning!
          This is for yesterday, because I didn't feel like writing anything last night. Instead, I read a corny, soap-opera-ish novel until 11:30...why?? Anyway, it was an incredible day. It began with smoked salmon, and any day that begins with smoked salmon can't be bad, right?

          Breakfast: Smoked salmon and coffee
          Lunch: Roast chicken and carrots, and then some ice-cream...
          Supper: Taco soup (it had beans and corn, but in my defense, I was visiting someone.)

          Exercise (yes, I did!):
          Rode my horse in the morning. First time in over a month and a half. She didn't try to kill me, so that's always a plus. (Just kidding, she loves me, but she's gained so much weight since I left, that the saddle ended up sliding to her shoulders, and she was more out of shape than me, which is saying a lot. And when she's out of shape and doesn't want to work, she tries to pretend she's scared of everything, so she has an excuse to spook and shy out of difficult things like bending...)
          Went for a tramp/run in the woods with the dog.
          Also did some plank/stretching/squats/etc stuff. (Cracking ones' spine is the best feeling ever. People look at me weirdly, but it's so addicting)

          The acne, which was getting a little better, is now worse again, but it's probably because I cracked the other day and ate two nice, runny fried eggs. They were amazing, but cystic acne is not. It usually takes two or three days before I see the effects of eating eggs. Another strange thing I've noticed is that now, whenever I eat carby things in the evening, or even just later in the afternoon, my pulse starts pounding like nobody's business, which makes it difficult to sleep. I googled it, just to see what could be causing it, and didn't really get an answer, other than that it's not weird. Me being a nursing student, I like to practice taking my own pulse, since for some reason I've always found it a little difficult. So I checked it after eating the pizza the other night, and then after the pretzels, and it would shoot up to the 90s-100s. It's normally in the low 60s. Probably the sugar, but does pizza really have that much sugar in it? Weird.


          • #6
            Last day before going back to the city is done! One of the things I miss most, living in the apartment, is the sound of crickets and owls, and all the nighttime noises. And the breeze through the open windows. Sat out to watch the supermoon/lunar eclipse, but it's cloudy out, so it wasn't visible most of the time; amazing when it was visible though!

            Breakfast: Coffee (with half and half)
            Lunch: Giant bowl of salad (lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, feta, orange, chicken, beef, olive oil)
            Snack: Ice cream, although I regretted that, because my stomach was hurting afterwards.
            Supper: None, didn't feel like eating. But had a little smoked salmon and a half a banana right before bed. (Gave the other half to the dog, which I always do. Am I the only one who shares food with the dog? What can I say, I love my dog...)

            Pretty much the same as yesterday. Rode the horse, hiked with the dog, sprinted part of the way back.


            • #7
              Hey VaGirl: Good to hear you were able to get out home and do some primal exercise! (and bananas are our dogs' favorite treat!). Looks like you had some great meals, even with the egg/milk issues. Since I have started noticing what different foods do to my system (good and bad), I find I am less likely to "binge" on things that really aren't good for me; I often just dont find that I will think its worth feeling so blech! But sometimes, it IS worth it....and then, as you have, I just enjoy it all to pieces! Then I really want to keep my eating clean after that to minimize the blech lol.

              Hope your exams went well!

              Grok on

              "Live in such a way that when others speak evil of you, none will believe it."


              • #8
                Hey Tigs! yes, my dog loves his banana too, he thinks that they're all his. It works out, 'cause I don't usually want a whole one anyway. I've read that, about listening to what one's body is saying about different foods, and sometimes it works out (like with the pizza), but one of the problems I've run into is that it'll take several days for some things to have effect. Avoiding grains seems to help keep me mentally clear, but it takes about three or four days to notice the difference. And then because of that, I can't definitely say that it was the grains, and not something else, like more exercise. Or both!
                Thanks for your kind words! I'm drowning in homework right now, but, hey, that means I'm in college, which is a good thing!

                This is for yesterday:
                I was on the road for awhile yesterday, in the rain...but I'm back in the tiny box aka apartment. But in trying to reconcile myself to living here, I made a mental list of pros, which include reduced distraction so more time for good work, and meeting up and spending time with friends has never been more convenient. Back home, I'd have to drive about 30 minutes either way to see friends. Roomie and I bought a pumpkin yesterday too! Not the cooking kind, the pretty kind.

                Breakfast: Coffee with half and half, slice of roast beef before hitting the road.
                Lunch: Didn't happen.
                Supper: Banana, salmon, rice, broccoli. (Roomie made the salmon, the good kind, not farmed, with mayonnaise and mustard on top, which made me feel like Smeagol when Samwise Gamgee cooked his rabbits.)

                I don't eat grassfed or organic meats or vegetables (haha grassfed vegetables...), unless they happen to be cheaper. College student here, so I'm just doing what I can. If real foods are the best I can do every once in a while, I'm not gonna worry about it.
                Besides, as a livestock producer, I'm not totally on board with the grassfed/organic meats thing. The omega 3/6 balance with as much grass/hay as possible, yes, but I use antibiotics on my sheep when necessary, and in my view, it's a question of simply taking care of your animals. Without the antibiotics, those sheep would have gone through a lot more pain and suffering, and death, than they had to. Modern medicine is a blessing. Besides, all of the medications have withdrawal dates. Anyways, rant over.

                It's raining, and I love rain! And, I went to bed at about 8pm yesterday, and got 11 hours of sleep, which felt awesome, since I haven't gotten that much sleep in weeks. I hate sleeping in, so I'm up by 7 o'clock on weekdays, and 7:30 on weekends, which does end up making me a little sleep deprived, constantly. Yay college life!


                • #9
                  Regarding your heartrate increase, when I gave up wheat the arrhythmia that I have lived with pretty much my whole life went away. I can no longer feel my heart beating all the time and it is no longer irregular. Start tracking it with what you have been eating.
                  Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the tip, honeybuns! I'm definitely gonna try that.

                    Yesterday is a bit of a blur, but it rained...a lot. (but I see blue sky out the window this morning!) And then when I studied 'til the words stopped making sense, which, depressingly, was at about 9 o'clock, and decided to go to bed, I couldn't sleep for awhile because I could feel my pulse pounding. So I chugged some water, which helped some. I'm beginning to think it may be just dehydration or something related to that, which is odd, because I actually drink a ton of water.

                    Breakfast: Coffee, cream, bacon.
                    Lunch: Bacon, mixed vegetables (from frozen; summer squash, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots) with a little butter, and some frozen blueberries (brought some bags of homegrown blueberries back with me, so good!)
                    Supper: Pork, black beans, bell pepper + onion + celery vegetable mix. (frozen vegetables are great!)

                    I also went to Starbucks with some friends, and I told them I wanted something decaf, so he gave me an Oprah chai tea latte (no sweetener). I drank something called Oprah...what is happening to me?? And how on earth did Oprah get her name on an herbal tea?

                    I'm in charge of supper tonight, so I think I'll make some Mexican sweet potato skins. Made 'em a few weeks ago and they were so good!


                    • #11
                      It's been a crazy week, and the past day or two I just haven't had the energy to update this journal, but it's Friday (yay!! although my weekend involves tons of work. There's just something psychologically cheery about a Friday afternoon.) It's raining (hurricane rains!) and cold out, so it's a good day to stay in and relax a little.

                      I was planning on recording food for the past two days, but I don't remember what I ate the day before yesterday, at all. So this'll just be for yesterday and today.

                      Breakfast: Bacon, mixed vegetables, with butter, coffee and cream. (I think. That may have been the day before is frying my memory.)
                      Lunch: Sushi leftovers (ooh, that reminds me what I had for supper the night before last, sushi!) I got crab and smoked salmon. It was my first time eating sushi.
                      Supper: Modified clam chowder. I made it in the crockpot, using mostly sweet potato with only a few leftover red potato pieces, no bacon, lots of celery, and since I hate chopping onions, I used the round ones you can buy frozen from the store. It turned out pretty good! Halfway through though, I looked at the ingredient list on the cream of mushroom soup (I'm not sure why I've never done that before, I look at the ingredients in everything.) and grossed out a little, but I didn't know what I could use to replace it, so I went ahead and put it in. But seriously, that stuff is kinda nasty...
                      Other food: Roomie made these pumpkin bars, and put cream cheese frosting on them, and I caved and ate a piece, which was amazing to the taste buds, but not to the stomach. Every time I go for a few days without grains, and then eat them, I get...discomfort...which I assume is common. Raising sheep, if you try to change their diet too quickly, they bloat up and have to be de-gassed before they croak. I imagine all mammals have similar problems. The digestive system is so cool!
                      Well, THEN I had some chocolate as part of my late-night I-have-too-much-work studying snack.

                      Today, I didn't eat breakfast, just coffee and cream on the way out the door.
                      Lunch was leftover clam chowder
                      Supper will probably be leftover chowder too, or maybe bacon and sweet potato and/or mixed vegetables. The possibilities are endless!

                      I did manage to fit in some planks/pushups/stretching/etc yesterday, too.

                      For the past couple of days, I've felt like one of my Alzheimer's patients. I think I've asked roomie what day of the week it was at least twice every day, but a little sleep, and some relaxation should fix that.

                      "Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch."
                      That's my theme quote for this afternoon!


                      • #12
                        Cold and rainy Saturdays are my favorite! Apartment cleaned, supper thawing, books and desk organized, weekly to-do list made (for school assignments), and working on cup of coffee #2. I feel like I'm a little more sane now! I have an exam in pathophysiology on Monday, which will be terrifying. He makes it sound so simple, "open notes, multiple choice, and you get an extra twenty-five minutes this time!" But it's never that easy...I think he would be a great professor for super smart grad students, but for a bunch of online nursing students, he has awfully high expectations. On the other hand, I love this stuff and I really want to LEARN it (and maybe teach it someday), not just memorize it, so I guess it's for the best.
                        I've got a bunch of bananas that are too ripe and mushy to eat plain, so I'll figure out something to do with them later.
                        Did I mention that I had two cups of coffee this morning? Well, the evidence is in that topic jump above...

                        Supper last night was delicious, but a defeat in the clean eating department. I ended up getting a hankering for pancakes, with chocolate chips and blueberries in them, and so I made 'em. I'm letting my stomach normalize a little before eating this morning...

                        Just thankful for a new morning to start over in!

                        On another note, I actually got enough sleep last night, and made myself sleep until 8 this morning, which was probably a good decision. I haven't gotten sick yet this semester, but I keep meeting people who either have a vomiting roommate, or they've had a super sore throat for three or four days, and I'm not planning on getting either of those due to lack of sleep. I'm prepared, with my vitamin d!
                        Roomie and I did a presentation yesterday, on the Medicare bill. History and all that. I think it went well, or at least I hope so, since it's most of the grade for that class. We had some technology malfunctioning, but managed to use it to make the presentation a tiny bit less boring by making a laugh out of it. The professor told us to dress professionally. I expect she meant khakis, skirt, etc, but I didn't feel like it, so I threw on some scrubs. That's professional, right? For a nursing class, at least. She didn't say anything, so I guess it was ok.
                        So long! I've gotta go learn more about disorders of hemostasis (coolest system ever. Just kidding, I think I like the immune system better. Infectious diseases are the best though. Bacteria are pretty incredible too, but viruses are no fun. Prions are like zombies, though. If there was a zombie apocalypse, it would be because we were taken over by prions. Whoo, sorry, coffee!)


                        • #13
                          Guess what I'm having for breakfast? Coffee and medical terminology....
                          I didn't get to bed until about one this morning (what am I doing with my life?? Oh yes, pathophysiology and watching While You Were Sleeping. You can do both if you believe in yourself!) so I slept 'til 8:30. Now I feel gross, and gassy, and my acne hurts like it hasn't hurt for awhile. Oddly enough though, it's all surfacing, which I guess is a good thing. I just gotta keep myself from popping it. Back to the drawing board for food, though.
                          Rules for me!
                          - no baking
                          - no snacking
                          - no sugar!! (not even chocolate!)
                          - make a studying schedule so I don't lose my mind like this past week
                          - stick to the meal plan. Roomie and I plan out all suppers for the week before we go grocery shopping, but without her here, I have zero motivation to keep to the original plan.
                          - bed by 10:30 or so

                          It's finally not raining, so hopefully I can get out and study in the park a bit later, too. Right. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go!

                          Fun fact: In Grave's Disease, they sometimes treat it by having the patient take radioactive iodine in high doses that actually kills the thyroid cells, without killing any other types of cells. Who on earth would be willing to be the first human guinea pig for that treatment??


                          • #14
                            Sounds like you are working on things Good luck w/ studies. Just a comment, you do have reason (if not motivation) to stick to the original plan even when your roommate is gone...see your first paragraph

                            Chin up, and grok on

                            "Live in such a way that when others speak evil of you, none will believe it."


                            • #15
                              Good point, thanks Tigs! Should be motivation enough, right? Direct consequences!

                              Breakfast: Coffee and cream.
                              Lunch: Bacon
                              Supper: Mexican sweet potato skins (they've got beans, corn, sour cream, cream cheese, etc in them, but as far as things go, they're pretty good)

                              Gonna go study my brains out for an hour or two, and then try to get to bed by 9 or 9:30. Whew, bed sounds really good right now!