New Year’s Plan

Let me tell you about my so-called New Year’s “plan.” First off, I think we can all agree that 2016 was a shit year in a lot of ways. Its mindfuckery left a lot of people needing a change so I felt a lot of people were planning some lifestyle changes for 2017, more significant than those pesky, and often lofty, “resolutions” we seem to make.

My 2016 wasn’t my worst year on record by far (I think 2012-2013 and a little into 2014 take the cake), but it left me with an extra “package of warmth” around my waist that just WON’T GO AWAY and an overzealousness for my evening beverages of choice as well as culinary indulgences.

Thinking, PERHAPS that the package of warmth was SOMEHOW related to the food and beverage choices (because I can be a smartypants like that sometimes), I decided to make a plan for January and beyond. This plan has been brewing since November, when I attended the online Beauty, Skin, and Gut Summit by the folks from Food Matters. Eager to adjust my food choices to heal my gut and therefore lose the package of warmth and clear up my dry, flaky, yet breakout-riddled skin, I opted to hold off through the holidays because I did not want to be the asshole at the Christmas table claiming “I’m on a strict diet.” So, January it was.

The Plan:

  • Alcohol free – Yikes. This is the bulk of the plan, just for January.
  • Gluten free – Not so yikes, I am not a bread/wheat fanatic so this was just a slight change in food choices.
  • Reduced sugar – I am also not a sweets addict but do have sugar in my coffee. I have tried and tried other natural sweeteners like stevia but I just can’t. I need sanity if I’m going to get through this and that means palatable coffee and therefore reduced sugar not eliminated sugar.
  • Reduced dairy – This one is not so tough either, as I use nut milk in my coffee so just cutting out things like cheese for a month is doable.
  • Reduced soy – I already cut most of this out a while ago so not too bad.

That was the original plan. Not too bad, right? Was banking on cutting out alcohol for the greatest impact there. Then, after seeing a documentary by JJ Virgin on cutting out foods to lose weight, I decided to limit/drop, in addition to the above:

  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Corn

The plan was not just to take away, but to also add in more bone broths, fermented foods, smoothies for breakfast, lots of leafy greens and other vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts, and seeds. Not a terribly huge shift from what I tend to eat when I am focusing on my health so other than cutting out the beloved wine, this should be easy peasy, right?

Cut to…. 18 days in. I’ve been on the plan for two and a half weeks. No alcohol, no gluten, and limited or none of everything else. Lots of healthy, whole foods, and as much yoga as I can manage. How’s it going? Not a damn pound lost. NOT A DAMN ONE! Package of warmth is firmly intact. Oh sure, I’ll dip down a little bit one day but then I’m right back up the next day. What the hell, body? I cut out a significant amount of calories from alcohol (I won’t name the number because I’d like to keep up my façade of dignity)!! I may have replaced some of those calories with food but it’s HEALTHY food. Like organic apples and chia bars and seaweed snacks and shit like that. I mean come on… not one pound? This is bullshit.

I know, I know, it’s only 2 ½ weeks in but usually, with shift like this, my body would respond in kind. It always has. Even if it’s just a placebo effect/mind over matter. Until now. My dear friend is having a similar situation happen. She gently suggested that our lack of progress is an indication of us getting older. I quickly squashed that notion because SHHHHHH NO. I countered with the fact that our bodies are not meant to actually shed pounds in the winter and that a deficit of calories is sending our bodies into caveman mode of needing to pack on fat for insulation in case of famine. She likes that theory. After all, it’s science, people.

So here I am, day 18, eating all healthy and stuff, but nothing to show for it. Ok not nothing, my skin is actually no longer flaky and I’m experiencing fewer breakouts so I guess there has been SOMETHING to come out of this whole thing. I will continue to stick it out, only 2 weeks left, but damned if I’m ever going to cut out Mommy juice again for weight loss!

How’s YOUR New Year’s plan going???

“This is satisfying. Really, it is.”

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Surviving 2016’s final Mercury in Retrograde

OK everyone, the final retrograde of this very interesting year is upon us, starting tomorrow. I figured I would update my post from September.  The tips below are in general for every retrograde, but with this one being over the holidays, I wanted to add some extra warnings. As we gather with our loved ones to celebrate whatever we celebrate this time of year (happy holidays, by the way), it is very important that we take great care in our communication and travel.

Spirits may be imbibed and words may flow… and be completely misconstrued. Even more so during a retrograde. Try to keep yourself in check and remember to pass your words through the filters first: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If none of the above… ZIP IT. You won’t regret it, I promise. Even you feel it passes all of those filters it might be best to steer clear of hot button topics like religion and politics. Just sayin’!

As we travel to see loved ones for the various celebrations, make sure to leave ample time and have a back up plan if things are delayed. Or, just EXPECT things to not go as planned. This time of year, depending on where you live, inclement weather can make holiday travel treacherous. Mercury in retrograde likes to mess with this even further. Be extra careful, don’t take risks, and remember that your loved ones would rather you arrive safely than rush and be in an accident.

This round of Mercury in retrograde is happening from December 19 through January 8 and it will likely wreak havoc on communication, travel, and technology.

So how does one survive the 3 weeks of this hellatious retrograde, apart from hiding in a cave the whole time? I bring you (once more)…

LaurDoone’s tips for getting through Mercury in retrograde with your relationships, dignity, and job intact:

  1. Zip your lips. Seriously. If you must speak/write/communicate, do so sparingly, thoughtfully, and with kindness. I would suggest keeping controversial opinions and thoughts to yourself at this time or think very carefully how to present them. No matter how clear you think you’re coming across, the retrograde will definitely mix up your message. Things that you normally joke with people about might be misunderstood or seem offensive right now.
  2. Read and re-read any and all emails, notes, texts, or documents before sending. Same goes for anything you receive, before you respond. Firing off a quick email to a work colleague that you disagree with could end badly. Seriously, read everything at least twice so that you are sure you are not creating a misunderstanding or interpreting something incorrectly.
  3. Put off any major decisions or purchases. Because Mercury in retrograde likes to misconstrue communication during the retrograde and create unclear results, it’s best to hold off until after the retrograde is finished botching things up. It would be terrible to sign a contract right now and find out when the dust settles later in the month that what you are now contractually obligated to is not what you thought it was. If you must make a major decision or purchase or agreement, take extra care to make sure you are crystal clear on what you are getting.
  4. Back up and protect all of your devices. Perhaps power down and put away devices you don’t use frequently during this time. Power down frequently used devices after each use to minimize whatever electronic damage Mercury in retrograde wants to dish out. Pay extra attention to where you put your phones and tablets so they don’t find their way into water or with a cracked screen on the ground.
  5. Allow for extra travel time. Whether you are flying, driving, or other transport… there will be delays and mishaps, it’s almost guaranteed. Leave extra early for work. Mercury in retrograde likes to mess with travel. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts, traffic reports, flight delays and security lines.

There you have it. Good luck, and hopefully everything remains relatively sane until January 9th!

mercury-retrograde-2016

Image: horoscope.tips

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