NaBloPoMo Is Here! And I’m ready to make it AWESOME.

Okay. Here’s the deal. I woke up feeling GREAT this morning. It has NOTHING to do with my challenge because I did cheat a tiny bit yesterday on my “no processed/artificial sweetener” thing – but I’ll write about that more later. What matters is I woke up feeling GREAT and I haven’t felt GREAT in several weeks. Do you know why I felt GREAT? Because tomorrow is November 1st. You know what November is, don’t you?


(It has been National Novel Writing month for much longer, and the challenge was to write part of your novel every day. But then Eden formerly of, currently of Eden M Kennedy spearheaded the same challenge, but for BLOGGERS! At least I think it was her. I’m so blog-old.)

So! The challenge is to write something to your blog every day for the entire month. NaBloPoMo is what it’s called because the Novel Writing name was NaNoWriMo. Jeezus…I’ve been blogging for a long time, Is NaNoWriMo even a thing anymore?


I have a few things I want to accomplish this month:

  • Make my Feedly so awesome I want to check it every day. I got out of the habit of using a Feed Reader when Google Reader died (I will forever hate Google for that) but I really want to get BACK in the habit of it. And I want to make sure it’s filled with bloggers who blog regularly – but not necessarily for money. I don’t mind the periodic sponsored/paid post…but I want the majority of the content to be personal. Like my friend Chelsea who blogs a lot about running, but also about life. (She should totally hire me for PR for her blog. I’ve got that description PERFECTED.) I want to fill my feed reader up with blogs like hers and clear it out of all of the old ones where A) no one posts any more or B) it’s tons of sponsored/paid/PR type posts.
  • Related Sidenote: I got a PR email from Williams-Sonoma today that referenced a post from like 2 years ago like it was recent and basically asked that I write about some specific topic to promote this thing in their community and offered me NO compensation or even exposure. Just “Write about this – send it to us – and maybe we’ll post it in our tiny community” or something similar. It was SO WEIRD. Do people say “yes” to those times of requests? Why would you? What’s in it for you?

  • Write some unique content. I feel like my blog lately is all running/bullet journal/eating my feelings. Not that I don’t LOVE writing about those things, but I would like some inspiration for some better angles to take or inspiration for stories to tell. I have a lot of DESIRE to write but sometimes, it’s become such a catharsis process, I lack inspiration for creative writing. Not that I’m going to finally start my YA Fiction (which will be AWESOME if I ever do it) – on this blog, but I would like some creative avenues to take towards personal blogging content.
  • Actually post every day. I succeeded in NaBloPoMo last year, and I was REALLY proud of that. It’s hard because Thanksgiving is thrown in at the end and it’s easy to forget those days but I want to be motivated and inspired to do it again. I WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, dammit. Don’t we all?

SO! Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to. I’m going to build a list in my Feedly of anyone who’s participating AND I’m going to send out email prompts for ideas for blogging topics that day. NOW. I’m not going to assume everyone who is participating WANTS a blogging topic prompt. I’m not doing this with any sort of fancy email service – I’m just doing it manually by collecting information with a simple form on my blog. I’m a tiny blogger who is only expecting two people to do this so I don’t feel the need to bring in any weird services or tools.

BUT. Please put in subject box “Add me to the daily prompt list” if you do want the daily emails. If you’re just sharing your website, don’t put anything. Now – I’m not making the email box required in case you don’t want the prompt list, but make sure you give it to me if you DO. The only thing “required” on this form is the “website” box because – either way you should have a website to share!

Let’s do this thing. Let’s make it AWESOME. Let’s be inspired to write and inspired to be happy and inspired to sometimes cheat on our “No processed/refined sugars/sweeteners!” challenges!

(Maybe not that last one. Just had to do a call back to the beginning to keep you intrigued about this exciting drama as it unfolds. That’s what good bloggers do, you know.)

Tomorrow is SATURDAY. It’s the First Day of NaBloPoMo – it’s going to be the HARDEST day of the WHOLE MONTH to remember. DO NOT FORGET! YOU CAN DO IT!

Day 01 was the WORST DAY EVER.

Thank you for being honest and telling me that it probably will take about 2 weeks before I feel the benefits of trying to break the sugar habit. But day one was ROUGH ROUGH ROUGH. And now I find myself thinking 13 more days? I don’t think I can do it.

And y’all – this is not even the full detox! I’m allowing myself to have fruit! And I ate a crap load of fruit yesterday and I was still miserable.

I will say this – I was oddly not as hungry as I usually am. I have a weird diet since I’m eating all plant-based, but can’t stomach anything raw, so I tend to eat OFTEN and when I eat it’s because I’m STARVING TO DEATH.

But oddly, yesterday, I didn’t get the crazy hunger pangs I usually get, indicating it’s time to eat.

But other than that? I felt AWFUL. I was exhausted and sad and really sad and also super sad.

Now – part of this is because Wesley is in a new type of terror phase. And I think I would have rather had the spitting and the kicking from before, this one involves a whole lot of “I HATE YOU!”s and “YOU ARE SO MEAN!”s and “I WISH YOU WEREN’T MY MOM!”s and it’s just super lovely. So, you know, that tends to make me sad because I’m so terrible and knowing how to handle this.

Also? My husband is not the best person in the planet when it comes to “noticing his wife is working her ass off getting the house ready to sell” and instead opts to sometimes say really asinine things indicating that I don’t give a crap about things that need updating or repairing around the house. Even though I’ve been getting up before 4am for 3 weeks straight so I can get all of that stuff taken care of. So, yeah – when you work really hard around your house and the only other adult doesn’t even notice? It can make you super sad.

(In his defense, he doesn’t notice anything. Whereas I notice EVERYTHING. This has always been an issue for us. To extremes of one personality spectrum.)

So – the super sadness from yesterday? Could have been related to the other chaos in my life and have NOTHING to do with not having my go-to treats throughout the day.

But I really think it had a lot to do with those Go To treats. Because that is ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT when the Sads hit me.

I really am a textbook example of someone with a food addiction problem. I consider it an impressive skill.

But I did it. I kept my “bad” sugars under 8 grams and none of those were eve in anything “sweet” they were just sneaky grams in things like my vegan refried beans. I did have a lot of fruit, but I consider those indulgences the only think that kept me from crawling into a hole and crying all day.

I tried Agave Nectar in my coffee and DID NOT LIKE IT. However! I did try it in my tea and that was good! I’m putting unsweetened almond milk in everything (coffee and tea) as well which helps cut the bitterness a little of both. It’s not ideal in terms of flavor, but it’s something I could handle.

I don’t think I realized how much I was coming to depend on my once-a-day diet root beer. It was my “replacement” for my 10-a-day Diet Coke habit. I do still sometimes enjoy Diet Coke when I’m needing a caffeine boost, but mostly it’s a 16oz bottle of diet root beer that I use to break up my day and I was REALLY wanting one of those yesterday. Every time I opened the fridge and saw them my heart ached a little. It was tough.

Again: Textbook Example of someone with a Food Addiction.

I don’t plan on documenting EVERY SINGLE DAY of this journey but main – yesterday was SO ROUGH and I wasn’t even doing a full sugar detox – I just figured I’d at least let the world know how addicted I am to sugar that one day of cutting back dramatically made me consider institutionalizing myself. You know – so you can get some perspective on your own addictions. Well…at least I’m not as bad as Kim… is basically the reason I blog.

Here’s to a much better Day 02. I’ll be honest, barring any real catastrophes? It couldn’t get much worse.

Pour Some Sweetened-Only-With-Fruit-Juice Preserves On Me

I’m doing it.

I’m jumping on a bandwagon.

I hate stupid bandwagons. Especially as they relate to food/diet/nutrition.

But I’m letting go of sugar.

I’m not doing the whole “sugar detox” thing where I rid it from my diet completely for X amount of time. But I’m cutting it DRAMATICALLY. I’m only leaving it in where I haven’t found a good replacement yet. For example? I’m still using one packet of sweetener in my coffee. I always thought I was doing good with that because it was “stevia” but it turns out it’s not “green leaf stevia” which is what is the “okay” sweetener, it’s “white stevia” which is evidently almost as bad as aspartame.

YAY! for making good decisions and finding out later you did it wrong!

But my coffee is necessary on SO MANY LEVELS for me and until I find a decent replacement, I’m still using one packet.

As I go about my day, I may discover sugar in things (that’s the problem – it’s in EVERYTHING) that I’m not ready to do without yet. Things that are not inherently sweet, so I didn’t consider them. I haven’t looked at the label of my vegan refried beans, or my salsa, or my white corn tortillas, but that “snack” is a staple to my day and I often eat it 2 times so going without that would be hard until I could find a suitable/quick replacement.

So…this is a learning process. But I think I’m dropping it all together.

I have known for awhile that I still have an issue with “sugar” and I know it’s an addiction on many levels, but I haven’t really wanted to give it up. At all. But I was listening to a podcast yesterday about “habits” and they discussed “keystone habits” which are the habits you change that have a type of snowball effect and will change tons of things in your life as a result. The mentioned that exercising is one, if you can start exercising, tons of other habits will change without you meaning to change them. They also discussed that the keystone habits are the hardest and the most scary to change. And when I think about dropping my sugar habit? It scares the SHIT out of me.

But I need it. It’s an addiction and I know sugar messes with my emotions – both when I’m craving it, and when I’ve obliged myself with it. You hear that it triggers a similar response in rats as cocaine and this does NOT SURPRISE ME AT ALL. It know a lot of my emotional relationship with food is connected to sugar and since this is the ONE HABIT I just struggle with the most (the emotional eating) I think it’s time I battle it from the chemical standpoint and – instead of trying to just not stress eat – I think I need to work on the chemical addiction that probably plays a huge part in that stress eating behavior.

Because y’all? When I crave “sweet” it’s INSANE. I become a crazy person. Seriously. And I crave it often, especially when I’m stressed, which I am constantly now that I’m trying to get my house on the market and trying to get the kids used to living differently as we have to keep the house “show ready” at any moment in time. The stress? IS SO HIGH RIGHT NOW. I actually feel like I’ll be LESS stressed once the house is on the market because – hopefully – that means I’m done with everything I was supposed to do. But right now? STRESS SO MUCH + CRAVE SO MUCH + EAT SO MUCH = CRAZY PERSON.

So…I’m not doing the whole “detox” thing because it’s not practical right now. But I’m going to try to keep my sugar/sweetener grams as low as possible (one packet of my “white stevia” has 3 grams of Erythritol which is one of those sugar alcohols they say are SO bad for the whole “addiction to sugar” thing) until I can find replacements for things. One packet of this sweetener in my coffee is about as low as I can tolerate and still drink it. AND I MUST HAVE MY COFFEE. That is not an addiction I’m willing to deal with today.

But – I’m hoping most of the things I normally eat in a day are okay. It will be a learning process, I’m sure. I’m going to log my sugars but not stress over “raw” or “unrefined” sugars that come in things like fruit juice. (I sweeten my oatmeal with a brand of preserves that are “Only Sweetened With Fruit Juice” so that stuff is in the clear, thank goodness.) And when I find out something (like my not-green-leaf-stevia packets) has a sweetener or sugar alcohol or artificial sweetener in it – something that is a stable to my diet – I’ll reduce it as much as possible until I can find a replacement. And really – my goal is to avoid things TASTING sweet. So, if I can reduce it (like with my coffee) to tolerable, but it not taste really sweet, then that is a huge step with the emotional/mental triggers.

And if 10 days of this “concerted effort towards a major reduction” doesn’t show me the TINIEST bit of change in my emotional relationship with food or my psychosis-inducing sugar cravings, then I’ll consider the full “official” sugar detox.

So! Whatcha’ know about sugar detox?

Random Pontifications About Missed Opportunities

My heart has been burdened today. I’ll explain why in a moment, but first let me tell you a simple story from today.

I read a sentiment from a Christian acquaintance earlier that started by saying they feel the same way about heterosexual fornication as they do homosexual fornication (that it’s a sin) but I didn’t know them well enough to ask about if marriage allows for protection of a sexual relationship in the church like it does with a heterosexual couple. This acquaintance wrote A LOT about the subject but it was like reading a theoretical physics essay as it relates to string theory – it went WAY over my head. The general gist that I gathered was that it was anti-gay marriage, but it’s hard to tell the specifics of the debate/discussion because it dealt a lot with matters of the church WAY beyond my knowledge or level of understanding.

But it had me thinking…are there any fundamentalist Christians who believe strongly that ALL fornication is a sin, but that marriage protects homosexual couples as well as heterosexual couples? Because I think I would kinda love that. Love that a fundamentalist would take the anti premarital-sex of the bible very seriously, but allow it to apply to all couples, no matter their gender. Is there anyone who believes that way? I’d kinda of love it if there was.

But that was not what burdened me.

I was burdened because I realized I’ve come a long way in the way I handle the anti-marriage equality community around me, especially when it pops up on Facebook.

And I have a lot of hurt in my heart for the ways I’ve handled conflict in the past.

When I read this acquaintance’s post I considered messaging him, but I’m really not sure we know each other well enough for that. But, I considered it because recently I did message someone I’d call a friend, just to tell her my own personal story as it relates to the LGBTQ community and how that had me disagreeing with an anti-marriage equality sentiment she had posted. I opened my heart and just let her see inside and hoped for the best and she received it openly and while she doesn’t agree with me, I felt much better about the interaction than I did years ago when I simply unfriended someone for a similar (although a lot more hateful) sentiment.

I was proud of that moment. Proud of that interaction. Proud of the steps I took to maybe show someone the other side of the story with a more personal note.

And today I wondered about doing the same with the acquaintance, but never considered unfriending him.

Yet I carry the burden of the person (also an acquaintance at the time) that I unfriended in the past.

I’m not sure what I should do. The person is still an acquaintance, but our circles overlap often and I enjoy greeting them with a smile and enthusiasm when we see each other, almost in an effort to undo what I might have done with the unfriending.

My heart is burdened because – how am I supposed to change minds if I just close myself to them all together?

I guess I’m just disappointed in my past self. Disappointed that I didn’t take the chance to at least explain my hurt over the statement they posted.

My personal stories might not change anyone, but at least it opens the door to show people the other side of the story. If I just slam the door in their face, there’s no hope for any wisdom to be gained.

Miscellany Grumblecakes

Yesterday was SUCH a Monday.

First! Parent/Teacher conference with Wesley’s teacher where I learned – quiet shockingly – that he did AWFUL on his standardized tests recently. AWFUL. His reading score was in the “Urgent Intervention” category which is INSANE because he has entered that “reading” phase much earlier than E or even Nikki did. He’s reading EVERYTHING now. Of course she IMMEDIATELY calmed me pointing out that it only took him TWO MINUTES to take the test. So, you know, he just doesn’t give a shit. It’s much easier to teach someone to read than it is to teach them to give a shit.

Had a birthday lunch with Nikki which was actually quite wonderful, but then – of course – tripped in the parking lot going out to the car afterwards. BECAUSE…MONDAY.

Then I got the headache from HELL that afternoon – 3-4 hours of headache. I had to “cook dinner” (it wasn’t much “dinner” so I do use that loosely) around 4:45 because we had swim from 5:30 to 6:45 and then soccer from 7-8. (There was a reason we swore to not do two sports at once – THIS IS WHY.)

And it just felt like a general level of chaos which is the WORST because Monday’s are already insane emotionally, I need them to stabilize as much as possible. But nope! Not yesterday!

So – as you can tell by this featured image (If the image is blocked at work? The picture is ME EATING DONUTS) my new plant-based stance does not hold strong on my most stressful days. I’m still falling off the Krispy Kreme Donuts In The Publix Parking Lot wagon. That’s how you know I’m REALLY stressed. Herbivore OUT…Stress Eating Krispy Kreme Addict In.