Thursday, March 11, 2010

Challenge Updates

When you don't know what to write, that first word is always the hardest. Once you get past that first one, sometimes you sit there waiting for something to happen. Sometimes it does, and the floodgates just open up.

Sometimes it's not that there is nothing to say, but that there is so much to say that you don't know where to start. Ever been there? Every writer goes there at least once.

That's partly why I haven't written in this blog nearly as much as I thought I might when I first started it. Partly that, and partly having whole stretches where I didn't feel like talking about any of it, whatever it has been. I promise, though, to do better.

So I was reading back through my previous posts last night, and I saw that I haven't really kept up my end of the bargain giving you guys regular updates on how I'm doing on the two challenges I've got going. So here's an update on both of them.

Regarding the starch/sugar challenge, I meet it when I can. Let me explain: Because of the financial challenges I've faced since late last summer, I've obtained a lot of my food from the kindness of friends and, most recently, food pantries. From this, I've made the disheartening discovery that starch is abundant! It's everywhere! Thus, it frequently ends up in my kitchen and on my plate. I try to limit my intake of this as much as possible, but sometimes there just is not anything much else to eat. So I try to make sure that I always have some protein with it. This does nothing, I find, to lessen the impact of the starch on my system, but every bit of protein or non-starch plant matter that replaces an equal amount of starch is, in my opinion, a very good thing.

So what else can I do about the starch, besides stoically eating it? (1) I've frozen some of it in the past, and it has actually been there to supplement meager stores in emergencies. That's not a bad thing, so long as I don't continue to eat it in large amounts once the emergency is over. Thing is, though, I was a bread-head when I started this blog, and I still love it, even when I go whole stretches of days without it.
(2) There are just some forms of starch—pasta, white rice, and shredded wheat chief among them, and after this past Tuesday, I'm adding oatmeal to this list—that I should just never eat, or should only eat in very small amounts with comparatively large amounts of protein and non-starchy plant matter. These go off like bombs in my system, causing bloat, gas, and all manner of other discomforts. In the case of oatmeal, this makes me a little sad, because I like oatmeal raisin cookies, and I like toasting the oats with shredded coconut from time to time and eating them with peanut butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon—but the side effects from too much of any of these starches makes me miserable, so I just need to forgo them. These typically come packaged in such a manner as to allow re-gifting, and I don't mind re-sharing the love.
(3) In the case of the food pantry I visited this week, I was instructed that if there were any dietary considerations I wanted to have addressed, I should make this known the next time I request a voucher to go. I will certainly act on this and ask that I not be given any of the more highly-processed starches, especially the ones mentioned above. Bread I can tolerate in small amounts, but there's no point in receiving stuff I truly cannot tolerate when they can go to someone else who not only needs them but will probably fare better with them than I do. If they are willing to give me more fruits and veggies, meat, or dairy in their place, that will work just fine with me.

Now, what about the sleep challenge?

Hahahahahaha :-)!!!

I have been consistent in only one thing: Remaining inconsistent. It's the time thing. Time-wise, I really need to get my nightly routine into a rut and leave it there. Instead of being prepped for bed by 11 p.m., I'm usually still sitting at my computer or in front of the TV, and still in my clothes, at midnight. Then I take my sweet time about getting prepped for bed, so lately it's been closer to 2 a.m. before my head hits a pillow. And because I'm still wound up, I then play Klondike solitaire on my phone until I finally get sleepy enough to take mini-naps between moves. No, that's not good. It's the same routine most nights, but the timing stinks. So I've gotta get on the stick about fixing that.

In the meantime, I'm also taking up some new and interesting challenges in addition to these. I promised to tell you about one of them eventually, and I'll mention it now: Last weekend was the one year anniversary of cutting off the last bits of my chemically altered hair. I've now worn my hair free of texture altering chemicals for a whole year. And I'm real happy 'bout that :-)!

In my next post, I promise to tell the story of my hair, and what's going on with it. Meanwhile, you can check out my blogroll on the left, if you're reading this from my blog site, or at Canticle of the Cygnet if you're reading this from my Facebook page. With a few notable exceptions, it is comprised almost entirely of blogs devoted to curly/coily/kinky hair. Right now, I'm hungry!

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