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In Pursuit of Happiness and a Flat Stomach (TheEscapeArtist's Journal)
Day 4 + a reflection on love, gluten-free beer & how I got so off track
Today – day 4 after climbing back on the wagon – was the magic day. I had more energy. Felt less depressed. Did not get hungry although I had only a few bites of leftover chicken and salami for breakfast + 4 oysters at the farmers' market, and then didn’t eat again till I got home at 4:30. I keep waiting for the low-carb flu to hit – been there before. I’m wondering if my love for bulletproof coffee* and tendency not to eat solid food before noon (and even then usually something primal) has kept me somewhat fat adapted…or maybe it was the fruit and yoghurt for dinner extending my glycogen stores.
It’s pretty incredible, the change – yesterday I barely had the energy to get out of bed, feed myself and walk the dog. Today I not only managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, shower and brush my teeth, but I also went to the farmers' market (bought something like 3kg of meat ☺), then, since the weather was uncharacteristically lovely and I felt uncharacteristically good, I walked part of the way home and even stopped in to see a friend – the same friend whose phone call I declined yesterday because I didn’t feel up to talking. I knew I’d feel better after a few days, but still I’m shocked at how much better.
I have to say yesterday was rough – it is not helpful that there’s a grocery store and a liquor store within a block of my house. The gluten-free chocolate madeleines were calling to me but not as loudly as the bottle of my favorite Rioja, which I couldn’t help noticing is on sale this week (the gods are cruel). But I did not heed its call, instead I read a bunch more success stories – this time from the weight loss category** having exhausted the ones in depression and mental health.
Something I noticed in all the “after” pictures – no matter what the category – is that the people look radiantly happy. Not just “I can fit into my skinny jeans again” happy, but deep down in the soul happy. I desperately want to experience that. I can’t remember the last time I felt anything approaching joy, although in many ways my life has gotten outwardly better in the last three years. I fell for a great guy who adores me and my dog, I bought an apartment and have been slowly turning it into my dream home (very slowly), and I started doing less of the work that I didn’t like and more of the work that I love. I should be dancing in the street but instead I’m lying in bed with the covers pulled over my head. I act like I’m fine when my boyfriend’s around, but I do not feel fine, and as soon as he leaves – we don’t live together and he travels a fair amount – I collapse like a kicked tent.
So what happened to me? I was doing so well. On the food front, it’s not like I went totally off the rails – I’m still 100% gluten free. We cook a lot at home – my boyfriend’s a wonderful cook and because I do the shopping and recipe selecting, it’s almost always primal. But we do drink – a lot. And we eat out one or two times a week – my favorite thing to do after a hard week is go to our local bar for beer and super nachos (it’s two blocks from my house, super cool vibe and they have gluten-free beer!!!).
It also doesn't help that one of the ways my boyfriend expresses his love for me is by sourcing the best gluten-free products available. I think in the early days of our courtship I didn’t want to explain the whole paleo/primal thing for fear he would think I was crazy or difficult and so I told him I was allergic to gluten. He quickly found me not one but two delicious gluten-free beers*** (one of which he had to special order from Belgium). When he travels he always raids the business class lounge for gluten-free brownies and flapjacks (which I have to say are unbelievably good), and he makes sure that I have plenty of premium gluten-free bread, crackers, and pasta on hand. He says he feels guilty eating glutenful stuff around me so he wants to make sure I’m not deprived. I’ve told him to stop more than once but perhaps without sufficient conviction (seriously, my mouth started to water just thinking about those gluten-free flapjacks). It’s a problem.
But what’s really been the nail in the primal coffin is that in the past year or so I’ve returned to an old behavior – I binge. I hide it from my boyfriend, but I intermittently hoard chocolate and gluten-free treats. Sometimes when I’d be feeling stressed, I’d walk to the store, ostensibly to stock up on healthy food for our dinner, and I’d take the long way home so that I could eat a snickers bar or half a box of gluten-free cookies (they come in small boxes but still). It’s like the binging is some sort of pressure release valve. I knew I would feel sick with shame afterwards and sometimes even physically sick, but in that moment of consuming the chocolate or cookies or whatever it was, I would feel intense relief. And looking back on it, it was this urge to binge that landed me ass over teakettle in the dirt watching the wagon head on down the road without me my first couple of fails after going primal. Primal helps but it does not cure. I’m going to have to deal with my disordered eating if I’m going to stay the course.
* Coffee + butter and/or MCT oil – as popularized by Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof Executive
**My primary goal is to feel good again – happy, healthy, energetic – but I also do really want to lose weight. I stubbornly refuse to buy new clothes at this weight (I reckon I’ve gained 40lbs in the last couple of years) and I’m down to only two dresses that fit me – thank god for forgiving knits. My boyfriend is threatening to burn them so that I’m forced to buy new clothes. I finally gave in and bought a new bra after the old one broke – yes, I had only one that fit and it literally broke, one of the underwires snapped in half from the repeated strain.
*** Not that I’m encouraging you to drink beer but if you’re going to indulge, you can minimize the damage without sacrificing the pleasure: Brewdog Vagabond is the best ever gluten-free IPA and Brunehaut makes fantastic gluten-free Belgian-style beers – the amber has won awards but I prefer the blond.
Daily feed (Friday)
Breakfast - Bulletproof coffee (~1 T. butter), 1 breakfast “muffin” (spinach, egg, ground beef and a little feta)
Lunch - big ass salad – chicken breast, 1 T. goat cheese, greens mix (including baby spinach, kale and Swiss chard), ½ red pepper, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes and 2 handfuls broccoli with homemade vinaigrette (mustard, herbs, olive oil and vinegar)
Snack – a few slices of Italian salami
Dinner – pork chop, red cabbage sautéed with onion and 1 T. raisins, blackberries and Greek yoghurt for desert, and decaf coffee with a pat of butter (I debated about the blackberries and the raisins but the blackberries were on sale and I do love them and I do not love cabbage).
Day 5 started out pretty well. Had enough energy to take my dog for an extended walk. Actually passed by a Crossfit box in my neighborhood and was tempted to stick my head in - I want to get back to lifting heavy - but didn't feel ready
Then I came home and pooped out. Apparently I haven't completely escaped the low carb flu. Felt leaden the rest of the day, like someone filled my skull with concrete. Tomorrow I'm going to try to eat breakfast earlier and have some carbs (the good kind of course) with every meal to see if that helps.
B Bulletproof coffee, 2 bites chicken, a couple of slices salami and 4 oysters
L chicken breast, handful of cherry tomatoes, handful of broccoli, 3 T. pesto (organic basil, pinenuts, olive oil, parmesan)
D Left overs from last night - pork chop and red cabbage and onion with a sprinkling of raisins
B Bulletproof coffee (with butter and MCT oil), 3 eggs scrambled, 4 pieces of bacon
L Greek salad - tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, feta, splash of olive oil
S a few slices of salami + decaf with butter and MCT oil
D Cuban picadillo http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cuban...lo/#more-45594 + 3 prunes for desert (I keep them for cooking - apparently even prunes aren't safe from me at the moment)
Yesterday was a bit of a bust but feeling better today even though I spent most of it working on my administration, which always puts me in a bad mood. It’s the thing I hate most about being self-employed. My approach to filing is to dump everything into a plastic shopping bag, so it’s always a slog to put things into a form my oh so picky accountant will accept. I’ve been avoiding it for weeks. Even looking at the shopping bag was enough to make me feel like life wasn’t worth living.
But today my primal-fueled self resolved to get more organized. I now at least have everything in folders except for a couple of official looking papers I need help translating – after all the years I’ve lived here I still haven’t learned the local language (when everyone speaks such excellent English it’s hard to feel motivated).
If mood and energy weren’t enough to convince me to stay the primal path, there’s also the reduction in my waistline. Was looking in the mirror this morning and I’m definitely looking less pregnant than I was a few days ago. And I notice my forgiving knits are hanging a bit looser and my bra doesn’t feel quite so much like a torture device. I’m sorry I didn’t take measurements before I started…but to be honest, I’m still not sure I’m ready to face the tape measure. And the scale – forget it, not going to happen.
Some things I learned the last time I was on the primal path that I’ve had to remind myself of this time around:
1. I cannot do chocolate – not even 90% pure chocolate. It’s a gateway drug for me. Ditto alcohol in any form. I’m OK with nuts to put in salads and things, but not for snacking, and I lose all control with nut butters. REALLY: ALL CONTROL.
2. Giving up dairy did make a difference to my sinus stuffiness. But I’m not ready to let it go yet. I’m limiting myself to butter, cheese (mostly goat), and yoghurt and then trying to use it more like a condiment. So a sprinkle of cheese on salad. Yoghurt in a sauce or marinade. And my bulletproof coffee – it’s my reason for getting up in the morning!
3. Mentally I do much better if I concentrate on feeling good rather than fatloss. I can get obsessed about the fatloss – am I losing, should I be losing faster, what size will I be able to fit into by such and such event? Ultimately I just end up getting frustrated and depressed, because it’s never fast enough. I want to be thin and gorgeous tomorrow, but that’s not going to happen. Also fatloss is not a good motivator when I’m trying to talk myself out of eating something, but knowing that what I eat affects how I feel day to day, hour to hour, that’s powerful.
4. Exercise does help – with mood, with motivation, with everything. I’ve been eyeing my kettlebells, which have only seen action as door stops for the last couple of years. My goal is to start with simple swings, maybe some thrusters, for 20 minutes a couple of times a week.
My current exercise consists of carrying my 15kg (33lb) dog up four flights of stairs several times a day. We call my dog The Lemon* because she’s had all kinds of problems since she was a puppy** – 1000s of Euros worth of vet bills. Now, although she’s not quite 7 years old, the ligaments in her knees are shot so we were told a few months ago that she should not climb stairs. I live on the 5th floor of a building without an elevator I’ve perfected a forklift sort of manoeuvre which keeps her often muddy paws from coming into contact with my clothes. My boyfriend prefers a sort of over the shoulder fireman’s carry, which I think she also prefers because if I don’t pick her up immediately at the bottom of the stairs she walks up a few and then launches herself at me like I’m Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.
*For non-American readers, a lemon is slang for something that once purchased immediately begins to need repairs. Mostly used in reference to cars. I actually looked up the origins of the expression because I was trying to explain to a friend here – there are some theories but no one really knows: http://english.stackexchange.com/que...defective-item.
**In case you’re wondering, she’s been eating a primal (i.e. raw meat) diet since she was four months old. I wonder if she’d be an even bigger mess if I’d been feeding her grocery store kibble all these years.
Monday’s feed - I did terribly on my resolutions from yesterday to eat breakfast sooner and good carbs (aka vegetables) at every meal
B coffee + 1T butter & 1T MCT
L primal breakfast muffin
S a few slices of sausage sort of thing – not sure exactly what it was but only pork and spices apparently. The organic butcher at the farmer’s market gave it to me because he said he’d missed me – it had been some time – and he gave the Lemon a whole handful of steak. She was jumping up and down in front of his wagon so excitedly she started to draw a crowd. No doubt we’re now on Youtube.
D 2 fresh beef sausages, brussel sprouts with bacon & shallots, salad of mixed greens (baby spinach, kale and swiss chard), broccoli, tomatoes, red pepper, carrot, homemade vinaigrette and 1.5 T. goat cheese. (Trying to make up for relatively vegetable-poor previous meals.)
I have a confession to make: the past couple of years I've been paying a dogwalker to take the Lemon out five days a week and when I had to take her out myself, I would often bribe her with a treat to do her business quickly so I could go back inside. If I did walk with her for a few blocks, I would be glued to my iPhone screen. I didn't have the energy for long walks and being outside made me feel exposed and anxious. I needed the distraction of e-mail or Facebook or BBC news or I couldn't stand it.
Today the Lemon and I took an hour and a half walk along the river, and I only looked at my phone once, to check the time. And I felt happy - that anxious I-need-to-run-for-cover feeling was just gone. How can week of simple dietary changes make such a profound difference in one's energy and state of mind? Are other people experiencing changes like this - almost overnight it seems like?
I do still get anxious when I think about my never-ending reno or taxes or Donald Trump or any number of other subjects I find stress-inducing, but everything definitely feels more manageable.
The Lemon had a fantastic time by the way. She would nose around in the water between the houseboats until she found a tennis ball. Then she'd take her slimy prize and invite any poor sucker she encountered to throw it - going so far as to drop it in the laps of unsuspecting people sitting on the benches along the path. She actually found two balls - the first one might have been dropped into a bin - oops.
B Coffee with 1/2T butter and 1T MCT oilL
L Primal breakfast muffin (didn't eat till 1:00)
D Mark's Cuban Picadillo (eaten at 5pm because I had to go teach)
S (or D2) a few slices of fennel salami, a couple of spoonfuls of brussel sprouts and a sausage leftover from last night (eaten at 10PM when I got home feeling hungry)
I was nervous yesterday (day 8) because my boyfriend was returning from a weeklong business trip. He is a terrible influence - especially when it comes to alcohol - so I chose a time when he would be away to climb back on the wagon. This is a man who loves his booze - when we first met I remember opening his fridge and finding only champagne, wine, beer and a jar of cocktail onions. When he said he was coming over, I texted him no booze and no sugar. He said he'd be a bit longer since he needed to take the wine and gluten-free brownies out of his backpack.
I tried to explain how much better I feel following this way of eating (and drinking), but he doesn't really see it as that different from what I was doing before. He's very much of the opinion that anything consumed in moderation can't be bad for you.* However, he seems, if not 100% supportive, at least willing to go along and not sabotage me - which I have to say he has in the past, sabotaged me, for example with the "magic" dresser.
The magic dresser
We are very used to having several glasses of wine with dinner - pretty much a bottle a day between us. Several months ago, when I decided to quit drinking and climb back on the primal wagon, I asked him to help me remove all temptation from my apartment. So we loaded up several cases of wine (he likes to buy in bulk) and took it over to his apartment.**
A few days later, when I'd had a really bad day, I casually remarked as we were making dinner that I was craving a glass of wine - secure in the knowledge that there was none to be had. He told me to go check the second drawer in the guest bedroom dresser. I did, and lo and behold, there was a bottle of wine.
"How did this get here?!" I said.
"Must have gotten left behind," he said with mock innocence.
Because in that moment I was in fact very happy to see that bottle of wine, I let it go. I figured OK one last bottle and then it will all be gone. But then the same thing happened again. And again. I did start to get upset - while still being unable to refuse to drink the stuff (I always caved).
I demanded to know where his stash was. "It's a magic dresser," he told me. I tried looking for it myself and failed repeatedly*** - of course on some level, I didn't want the dresser to lose its magic powers. But shortly before he left on his trip, I made a very thorough search and found the one remaining bottle (he swears it was the last), which we drank. I have not checked the magic dresser since he returned, but I probably should, instead of waiting for a moment of weakness. If I find a bottle, I'm going to either pour it out or hit him with it.
*Even this were true, I find moderation incredibly hard to achieve. I'm not sure I will ever be able to have just one brownie or just one glass of wine.
**He still has a full fridge of beer upstairs - because it contains gluten I'm not tempted - so it's not like I'm asking him to give up drinking altogether when he's here.
***In my defence, there were so many potential hiding places - I still have dozens of boxes to be unpacked from my move and my closets and sizeable attic are one big mess (where did all this sh*t come from)
B coffee + 1T. butter & 1T. MCT
L primal breakfast muffin (these are a pimped version of the ones in Wellfed)
S a few slices of fennel salami
D Slowcooker ribs from Wellfed II - the Lebanese variation (we usually make the barbecue variation - both are delicious - highly recommend both Wellfed cookbooks), salad with mixed greens (including baby spinach and swiss chard), broccoli, yellow pepper, tomato, carrot & homemade vinaigrette (eaten at 5:30 before class)
S 1 rib, handful of walnuts (the only nuts I don't go overboard with)
Haven't had any time for a long post so decided to go ahead and do a quick download.
• Still on the wagon - I survived my boyfriend’s return. The magic dresser is no longer producing bottles of wine and I don't feel sad about it.
• Also, as you can see below, still tracking what I’m eating – I think it helps keep me honest and it’s useful to have a record.
• Have been enjoying long walks with the Lemon (between 45 min – 1.5 hours). Boyfriend has been coming too – grumbled a bit about the distance, but he’s still coming.
• Survived my first dinner party – my one not 100% primal meal. My friend invited a bunch of people over to help her move and then fed us afterwards. For various reasons – my friend went to a lot of trouble to choose something glutenfree for me, I hadn’t had a proper lunch, and I really wanted a glass of wine – I ate a taco shell, some nacho chips and about a finger-sized piece of dark chocolate. From an enjoyment perspective, was not worth it… except for the chocolate ☺ The corn made my stomach unhappy, but the next day felt fine.
• I’ve realized that for the moment I still need to eat breakfast and lunch – I don’t get hungry until later in the day, but if I skip breakfast or lunch, I end up starving by around 5pm and ready to eat anything in sight.
• I don’t binge on walnuts but I shouldn’t have them around. If I’m hungry and there’s an easy snack like walnuts, I won’t make the effort to put together a proper meal.
• Sleep has been better – no longer waking up 4am. Still need to work on getting to bed earlier (need to be stricter with myself about turning off the electronics by 10).
• Energy was good until the last couple of days – I fear I’m coming down with a cold.
Thursday (day 9)
B bulletproof coffee (coffee w/ 1T butter & 1T MCT); breakfast muffin (spinach, egg, ground beef + feta)
L (actually just grazed all afternoon) 3 leftover ribs, brussel sprouts, dried sausage, walnuts, coffee w/butter & MCT, coconut yoghurt (unsweetened)
D smoked bratwurst sautéed broccoli, onions, green beans
Friday (Day 10)
B bulletproof coffee; breakfast muffin
S walnuts, a few slices organic sausage
L Big Ass Salad (BAS) - burrata with mixed greens tomatoes, carrot, avocado
D flank steak with with skirt steak marinade (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-t...#axzz29AIuyeRd) and roasted veggies (carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, tomatoes, brussel sprouts) and cauliflower rice from Wellfed
Saturday (Day 11)
B bulletproof coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes
D fresh pork sausages with sautéed broccoli, onions, green beens
Sunday (day 12)
B bulletproof coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, guacamole (lemon juice, onion, olive oil, chilli, feta cheese)
S dried sausage,
D carrots & cucumber slices with hummus and feta-mango dip, green smoothie with spinach and avocado, nachos with tomatoes and cheese, tacos with chilli (ground beef, corn, kidney beans, peppers, onions) and cabbage, 4 small squares dark chocolate
Monday (day 13)
B bulletproof coffee & breakfast muffin
L BAS - leftover flank steak with mixed greens (including baby spinach, swiss chard), tomatoes, broccoli,
D pork chops, sautéed onions and bell pepper, roasted carrots, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beens, yoghurt sauce
Tuesday (day 14)
B bulletproof coffee, breakfast muffin
L BAS - salmon, carrots, tomato, avocado, green onion, mixed greens (including baby spinach, swiss chard), homemade vinaigrette
Wednesday (day 15)
B bulletproof coffee, breakfast muffin
L BAS - burrata, carrots, tomato, avocado, green onion – balsamic dressing w/ a few slices of sausage
D – chicken with pesto and tomatoes
Thursday (day 16)
bulletproof coffee, breakfast muffin
L – a few slices of spinata romana sausage
D – fish curry http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/reci...nut-fish-curry with coconut oil instead of veg oil and substituted red peppers for pea eggplants – was very tasty!
Friday (day 17)
B bulletproof coffee, breakfast muffin
L BAS - chicken, greens (w/ spinach & kale), purple carrot, tomato, broccoli, yellow pepper, 2T goat cheese w/ balsamic dressing
D lamb tagine (incl. tomatoes, olives, carrots, onion) & cauliflower "rice" (recipe from Wellfed II)
Still on the primal wagon. Not that I’ve been perfect but have been more forgiving of slips ups – like last night I ate the remaining two tablespoons of peanut butter left from my family’s visit. Yes, I survived a family visit and did not drink or completely fall off the wagon.
The family visit was a challenge because there was:
• more non-primal food in the house (I don’t know how folks manage to go primal when there are still non-primal treats in the cupboard),
• more eating out,
• more alcohol in the house and exposure to drinking, and
• let’s face it, even if your family is lovely, the dynamics can make you long for a stiff drink.
I found that early in the visit, it was pretty easy to resist temptation, but as time went on (they were here for about 8 days), I could feel the pressure building up. I started allowing myself more and more non-primal (but still gluten-free and non-alcoholic) treats and after they left had a binge incident…or two. My energy-level and mood were once more in the toilet. But after a couple of days of Japanese bed-therapy, I was able to throw away the gluten-free ginger snaps and fully recommitted to primal eating.
Having been on and off the primal wagon, I think I’ve developed a pretty good idea of what the health impacts are of my dietary decisions. My personal list of ailments that were improved by diet:
• Going gluten-free – completely ended morning joint stiffness; swelling in fingers (sometimes could barely bend them in the mornings and couldn’t wear rings on hot days); and the beginnings of what my dermatologist says was rosacea
• Staying low-carb (held true even when I was doing Atkins ages ago) – helps greatly with depression, low-energy, and general sensitivity/lack of resilience
• Removing seed oils/keeping omega-6 low – means no more breakouts (if I eat something with a high sunflower oil content or go crazy with the nut butters, I end up with at least one or two large zits)
• Removing dairy (still a guess at this point – have cut down but still need to do a proper elimination) – nasal congestion (am actually worried it may be a histamine intolerance, which if you look at the list of foods with a high histamine content – this would be very bad news indeed)
B – bulletproof coffee, primal breakfast muffin (spinach, ground beef, egg, feta)
L – big ass salad – mixed greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard), yellow pepper, purple carrot, broccoli, tomatoes, roast beef, homemade vinaigrette
D – two fresh beef sausages, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon & 2 T. peanut butter (temptation now removed☺)
My boyfriend put a new app on my phone: http://stepzapp.com/. At first I was really pleased. It tells you how many steps you’ve walked, stairs you've climbed, calories you’ve burned. And it pulls data from your iPhone so although I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, it’s given me a record of my activity for months, possibly years. I’ve definitely been walking more since I got it – I’ve been “green” the past five days, i.e. over 10,000 steps per day. All great, right? And it’s free – fantastic!
The thing is I’ve become a little bit obsessive about it. Before I was just going for a walk because it made me feel good, now I feel like I have to please the app. If I’m orange (under the 10,000 step quota) or god forbid red (under 5,000 steps), I feel guilty and in my experience feeling guilty does not lead to good things. Also on my walks I now frequently check the app to see how I’m doing, whereas before I was happy to just take in the scenery.
I’m not deleting it from my phone just yet, but I want to concentrate on feeling good every day – physically and mentally - and I'm not sure the app actually helps me with that goal.
B – Bulletproof coffee, breakfast “muffin”
L – tomato soup (from fancy Whole Foods-like grocery – all primal ingredients) topped with a large spoonful of greek yoghurt, 3 pieces of prosciutto and half a chicken breast (did not have time to make a salad)
S – very generous handful of mixed nuts (BF brought them over even though I said I didn't want them around. He thought he could just put them on a high shelf and I wouldn’t notice – well, they’re gone now ☺)
D – Lamb rogan josh (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/rogan-josh-lamb-stew/) served over cauliflower rice* + green salad (w/ spinach, swiss chard) with sautéed yellow pepper, red onion, broccoli and tomatoes
B - Bulletproof coffee, breakfast “muffin”
L – scrambled eggs with mushrooms and leeks (brunch at friend’s house) + 3 oysters at farmer’s market afterwards
S – several slices of organic dried sausage
D – leftover lamb rogan josh & brussel sprouts + handful of mixed berries and unsweetened coconut yogurt for desert (don’t love it as much as regular yogurt but not a bad dairy free alternative)
*Cauliflower was on sale a few weeks back so we bought a bunch, riced it all at once and put it into freezer bags – super handy. Found that it works fine to defrost it in the pan and if it’s going under something like a curry or heavy stew don’t need to add anything other than ghee.
One of those times when I really wanted to drink but didn't
Saturday night I went to a meetup at a local bar to support my friend who was hoping to meet the man of her dreams. Alas not even one single, straight guy showed up. Felt bad for my friend but was relieved she didn't need my services as a wingwoman - I would have been terrible. Drinks with strangers can be uncomfortable; drinks with strangers when you aren’t drinking can be excruciating. I felt the pull of a drink but never really considered giving in to it, which was surprising to me.
Mostly I just felt stressed. I am a total introvert, and while I can pretend otherwise for limited periods of time, it’s draining. I could feel the tension building up in my shoulders over the course of the evening, especially when people started talking about the US election and looking at me as one of the few Americans there to explain WTF's going on. In the past, it’s exactly that sort of tension that I would have taken a drink to escape so I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with mint tea. Now let's see if I can survive the election returns without wanting to drown myself in a vat of scotch.
B – bulletproof coffee, primal “muffin”
L - mushroom soup – again from the fancy whole-foods-like grocery store with all primal ingredients (expensive, but so good especially now that the weather's turned cold and rainy…I should really learn to make my own) and dried organic sausage
D - slowcooker ribs (Wellfed II recipe), sautéed red cabbage (with ghee) + a couple T. of raisins, sautéed yellow and green pepper with red onion (with olive oil) + 3 or 4 squares of 85% dark chocolate (BF brought it with him when he returned from trip – ahhh!)
B – bulletproof coffee, primal “muffin”
L – BAS with mixed greens (spinach, swiss chard, red tatsoi), tomatoes, carrot, red pepper, avocado, smoked salmon (wild) with homemade vinaigrette
D – leg of lamb with half a sweet potato (http://enjoyingthisjourney.com/roast...weet-potatoes/) and roasted brussel sprouts + rest of dark chocolate (shared with BF of course, but would have served him right if I’d eaten it all!)