Monday, June 25, 2018

the Whole6

9:00am - leftover protein salad, leftover Melissa's Chicken Hash
1:30pm - leftover protein salad on romaine and spinach with red pepper sauce
9:45pm - ground turkey with sweet potato, slivered almonds, salsa, romaine, spinach, salt, pepper, coconut aminos
6 water

10:15am - leftover ground turkey w/sweet potato, slivered almonds, salsa on spinach
4:30pm - 5 hard-boiled eggs; green beans with homemade pesto
10:00pm - leftover ground turkey/sweet potato/almonds/salsa with romaine; grapes
2 water, 1+ seltzer

I guess I was so excited to get the eggs right, I ate them all instead of saving some!  oh well...I know I've cooked them properly before, which is why it was so frustrating to suddenly get them wrong twice in a row, but boiling the water first (and letting the eggs warm up on the counter while waiting) seemed to do the trick!

11:15am - spinach, red bell pepper, onion frittata
8:30pm - 2 hamburgers, one sweet potato 'bun', romaine leaf, roasted red pepper mayo; roasted potatoes
3 water

so I seem to be screwing up the '3 meals a day' thing, as well as eating within an hour of waking up.  my water consumption has dropped, too.  I'm a bit tired of all the food - I just want to Not eat for a day or two, but that must be one of the lessons.  in order to keep the machine functioning, it needs the proper fuel. 

10:00am - onion, red bell pepper, broccoli frittata
4:00pm -  2 bowls of salad
8:30pm - 5 hard boiled eggs
4 water

is it me?  or can I eat an extraordinary amount of hard-boiled eggs at a time...

8:45am - standard breakfast frittata
4:30pm - ground turkey on salad with rstd. red pepper mayo
8:30pm - same
4 water

I think I get it:  take one day, cook three different proteins, make a sauce, make a big salad, slice some veggies, done!

10:15am - onion, sweet potato, broccoli scrambled eggs (3); veggie broth
3pm-ish - banana; protein salad (beef, celery, onion, grapes, rstd. red pepper mayo, drop of pesto, squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper) with lettuce & spinach in bell pepper
10:30pm-ish - a few bites of protein salad...
3 water

reevaluating my commitment to getting this done.  spent some time meal planning, looked through my book some more - for recipes, to refresh my memory on how to do the re-introductions, and found there's a conclusion I'd like to read on the last day or so.  soon after I started the Whole30, I thought I might take the month of July to get in shape a bit, because I have reason to need to increase my endurance, given some upcoming plans.  so I think the newer way of eating, mixed with some moderate exercise might really give me a push in the direction towards better health, don't you?  a friend suggested a few places to ride my bike, because an old foot injury can make long-distance walking uncomfortable for me. 

1:30pm - turkey protein salad on romaine and spinach
6pm-ish - leftover turkey salad
8:00pm - spaghetti squash & meat sauce
4 water

oh, I'm so tired of the cooking and eating!  and cleaning! that's the treat I'm going to give myself at the end of this - a fast!  I over-indulged on food Sunday night, and my belly paid for it Monday morning.  not feeling my best, and almost screwed up a job, but managed to save it at renegotiated terms.  I had an unexpected guest late Saturday night, and it threw me off this dimensional reality for a day or more, maybe still ~  ~  ~

well, that's the weekly report, just a few days left, and a few more after that...hang in there, I've got poetry and summoned a god so far, let's see what else manifests before I'm through!

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Tiger Blood?

10:00am - leftover meat & tomato sauce;  leftover butternut squash soup
3:30pm - onion, tomato, broccoli frittata on spinach; grapes; almonds
8:45pm - ground beef sauteed with butternut squash and onions in tomato sauce; salad of romaine, spinach, carrot, cuke, garlic aioli
5 water

today's insight:  since I don't plan my meals in advance (unless I put more effort than you would think necessary into it), I don't tend to have anything ready when it's time to eat.  when I finally figure out what I can make with what I have, I'm ravenous, angry, and not thinking straight.  by the time the food is done, I scarf it down like a pack of hyenas that waited none too patiently for a lion to finish its meal.  I'm like a scavenger in my own kitchen because I don't feel like I belong there, and I still haven't figured out how to make it mine.  that's my challenge this week - create a workable menu plan for the next several days, and make it more enjoyable to be in the kitchen.

tonight (Monday), I made 'veggie scrap' soup for the first time, which is crazy, because I've been thinking about making it for...20 years?  a dear friend once teased me while watching me cut veggies that she was going to make soup out of my compost, and I took that to heart - I started cutting less off my veggies, and I wondered whether or not you could actually do that.  turns out, you can!  a while ago, I started saving my clean carrot and potato peels, bell pepper ribs and ends, squash skins and ends, outer layers of onions, celery tops, basil stems, etc. (no broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage though - I hear the taste is too strong), and keeping them in a bag in the freezer.  many times I ended up actually composting the scraps for lack of motivation and/or knowledge of what to do with them, but not this time.  this time I checked five different websites and consulted a professional chef before I finally took the plunge.  it was really, really simple to do, and now I have two large containers of 'veggie scrap' soup!  not sure how it tastes, yet, but it smells pretty good!

10:00am - leftover beef/butternut/sauce with spinach; carrot w/pesto dip
4:00pm - scrambled eggs; sauteed potatoes (hash browns)
10:00pm - turkey taco bowls with cauliflower Spanish rice (
5 water

I strained my back (again) on Tuesday morning while - get this - brushing my hair!  so I'm kind of down for the count for a minute, but I'll bounce back...I always do.  I've had some good fortune in the form of monetary kindness from both friends and strangers, too, so it makes the pain just a little less...painful, and helps keep me moving forward.

8:00am - leftover turkey/cauliflower rice on romaine
3:00pm - protein salad:  ground beef, celery, onion, slivered almonds, grapes, romaine, spinach
9:00pm - Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli:
5 water

8:00am - eggs scrambled with onion, tomato, spinach; leftover cauliflower Spanish rice
2:00pm-ish? - protein salad:  ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sliced apple, celery, onion, slivered almonds on romaine
5:30pm-ish? - leftover protein salad
9:00pm-ish? - a few hard boiled eggs (they fell apart, so, not sure how many...3?)
2 water

so that's the 'official' 2 week mark - 14 days - and I am SO tired...I fell asleep in the evening while watching a movie, and had an hour nap.  I've been breaking Whole30 'rules', like eating in front of the tv, and snacking while cooking (a small handful of almonds while making my protein salad).  I've been having cravings, and I messed up the '3 meals a day' pattern on Thursday because I met a friend for a picnic in the park for lunch and lost track of time, so I just ate when I was hungry, and called it a win for having prepared something in advance to bring along.  I've cooked hard-boiled eggs twice, now, and both times they came out a mess.  I like hard boiled eggs, so that was pretty disappointing, and also, I can't afford to waste food, but now I'm determined to try again, and get it right.

according to the Whole30 timeline, I've entered the 'I Dream Of Junk Food' phase - or rather, I'm supposed to be coming out of it - and last night, in my dream, I was at some sort of retreat where I absent-mindedly grabbed a few french fries, and then a few small pieces of crusty bread.  after the two or three fries, I had the shocking realization that I had just broken my promise to myself, and was struggling to determine whether or not to start over, and then did the same absent-minded bread-grab, (mmm, french bread crust) and got all mad at my lack of self-control.  it was a relief to wake up Friday morning and realize, once again, that I hadn't actually eaten off plan, but that I had, in fact, woken up at my regular time - around 6am - and fallen back asleep until around 10am.  wow.  good thing I didn't have anywhere to be...really looking forward to that 'Tiger Blood!' that's supposed to kick in for the next week or so, and help me ride this journey to its end...I sure could use it.

1:15pm - leftover protein salad and cauliflower rice in a bell pepper
4:30pm - sweet potato hash with scrambled eggs (
9:30pm - burger with sweet potato bun, roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce; 1/2 burger on romaine leaf w/mayo; salad w/mayo
5 water

8:30am - frittata w/onion, tomato, broccoli; leftover salad w/roasted red pepper mayo; banana
4:15pm - 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, roasted red pepper mayo
9:00pm-ish? - ground beef & ground turkey with steamed broccoli & carrots
4 water

what a mess Saturday was!  I got off to a good start, having a decent meal at the proper time, but I was quickly derailed by a picnic that I had neglected to meal plan, or prep for, in advance, as well as the arrival of my mother in the midst of said picnic.  I was pulled between the house, where mom was, and the river, where my friends and our kids were.  as a result, I didn't eat a proper lunch, and when dinner time (finally) rolled around, I had nothing ready for the two of us - the teen and I - to say nothing of the teen's bestie, or my mom.  so I whipped some crap together, and called it a meal.  and now, I still have no idea what to do about breakfast for the four of us, and I can't even begin to think about lunch!  why am I so bad at this?  definitely did not get enough sleep, either (gave Mom my bed, and I'm on the chaise for the next few days)...

9:30am - frittata with onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli
2:45pm - protein salad:  ground beef, onion, celery, apple, slivered almonds on mixed greens
9:00pm - Melissa's Chicken Hash:  chicken, slivered almonds, sweet potato, apple, spinach (; cherries
3 water

getting there!  more than halfway through this 'experiment', and doing fine, according to Mom's glucometer...I didn't have a 'control' number to compare against before I started the Whole30, but my readings since Saturday have all been fine, and Mom told me to tell my doctor to 'stuff it'.  😄

Monday, June 11, 2018

Moving Forward

so much prep!  I haven't even looked at the menu for the next few days...I got hung up yesterday, due to having to substitute food I do like (roasted sweet potato) for food I don't like (avocado), and work around kitchen appliances and ingredients I don't have (slow-cooker, brisket). this morning's breakfast was easy, but now it's past time for lunch, and I still haven't looked at the menu!

the menu calls for leftovers of what last night's dinner was supposed to be, which I don't have, because I worked around the appliance dilemma by having all the leftovers for yesterday's lunch, and there were no leftovers from what I did end up making for dinner!  but I figured I could just use whatever protein I had on hand - which was ground turkey - and pick a recipe out of the book (chicken meatballs), add a vegetable, and finish up with a fruit of my choice.  no problem, right?  right...the turkey proved to be rather squishy, and fell apart in the pan, so I scooped each ball onto a baking sheet, and just put them in the oven where they are now.  it's 3:42pm - long past time for my lunch, which I planned to have at 1pm, but when I was actually ready to start the cooking, it was 1:45pm, and the food pantry opens a 2pm, so...I put the meatballs on hold and ran out the door, because I needed the extra food the pantry would provide.

at the food pantry, I scored a bag of tortilla chips, a box of pasta, a can of beans, and two mini chocolate bundt cakes for the teen; a large container of blueberries, a pack of strawberries, a bag of grapes, a bag of cherries, another pound of ground turkey, and a dozen eggs.  there was more to be had, but it was either off-plan (rice, canned soup, crackers, soda, mac & cheese, cereal, peanut butter, pastry, bread), something we don't eat (most canned goods, cherry tomatoes, artificial yogurt products, veal, pork, gluten-free tortillas, non-fat or artificial cheese products), items I already have (lettuce), or too close to rotting for me to want (green beans, onions, potatoes, blackberries).  we're going to freeze the blueberries, because there's a lot of them, but the rest of the fruit will be eaten!  I'll probably also cook up some hard-boiled eggs to have on hand, in case I run into another food dilemma.

7:30am - scrambled eggs; steamed spinach w/ghee; cantaloupe
3:45pm - turkey meatballs w/mixed greens and roasted red pepper mayo; green cabbage slaw; cantaloupe
7:45pm - frittata with onion, tomato, spinach, touch of lemon (juice & zest); roasted potatoes
5 water

I really wanted a late night snack last night, and almost had one, justifying it by saying, "well, it's all healthy, on-plan food..." but I resisted, knowing that I wasn't really hungry, I was just bored, lonely, or wanting a treat.  yay me.

7:30am - leftover frittata and potatoes
1:30pm - protein salad:  ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, celery, onion, grapes, slivered almonds, nutritional yeast on a bed of mixed greens; 1/2 banana, strawberries
7:45pm - grilled steak; roasted butternut squash w/steamed broccoli, garlic, & slivered almonds
6 water

such a treat to have steak, and it came out great!  also my first butternut squash!

9:30am - leftover veggies scrambled into eggs; cantaloupe
2:30pm - leftover protein salad on mixed greens
7:15pm - pulled chicken carnitas on romaine; cabbage slaw with ranch dressing
5 water

the carnitas were off the hook!  if I had thought about it, I would have swapped out the spices in the recipe for something more chicken-y rather than ones that seemed pork-y, but this whole cooking several foods at once, in different pots, on multiple surfaces is enough for me to handle at time.

8:45am - leftover carnitas with scrambled eggs, cantaloupe
1:45pm/2:45pm - leftover protein salad on a 'kitchen sink salad' (some of the leftover slaw with shredded carrot, thin-sliced cucumber, almond slivers, and cilantro) with a drizzle of ranch dressing; 2 hard-boiled eggs and another bowl of 'kitchen sink salad' drizzled with ranch.
7:15pm - ground turkey with onions, bell pepper, and coconut aminos; cauliflower mash; banana
4 1/2 water

I had two mini lunches, because I wanted more than I prepared for the first lunch, and I needed to cook up the eggs for the second lunch.  I'm definitely 'PMSing', because I almost got mad at my teen while watching him finish that mini chocolate bundt cake, but I remembered this is a choice I'm making, and finished my second 'kitchen sink salad'.  I definitely need a nap...

wow, I made it through week 1!  21 meals down, 69 to go!  I have no idea whether or not I can keep this up, but I'm certainly going to do my best.  I had a horrible dream last night that I was given a bag of candy, and happily began to indulge until I remembered I was 'eating clean' - I was all, "OH NO, I blew it after only one week, now I have to start all over!"  thankfully, I woke up and realized all was not lost, I'm still on plan, and had a healthy breakfast.  it happens with smoking cigarettes, sometimes, too...I'll dream that I'm smoking, and this horrible feeling will come over me, like I've ruined everything I worked for, only to wake up and feel so thankful it was only a dream.  I wonder what my subconscious is saying with these images and feelings?

8:30am - 3 hard boiled eggs with leftover 'kitchen sink salad'; leftover cauliflower mash with nutritional yeast
3:45 - two scrambled eggs, slaw with ranch
7:30 - chicken carnitas with salsa and onion in romaine leaves; cabbage slaw with ranch dressing; grapes
2 water, 1.5 seltzer

so I notice I'm backsliding.  breakfast keeps happening later than it should, which throws off the lunch I don't seem to be having at the adjusted time, either...leaving me wondering when to have dinner.  I feel like it's such a major accomplishment to have gotten through this first week that I can take a break, but I can't, because it's not about 'this week', or 'these 30 days', or even 'just through the re-introductions', it's a matter of getting with it in a way that forms new habits and relationships with food that can carry me through the rest of my life in good health.  I haven't made a meal plan for this week, yet, and I'm getting tired of spending so much time focused on it.  one day I feel like my body is responding positively to the changes, the next day I'm not so sure it's making any difference.  but really, it's only been 1 week.  how much can your body change in a week?  it's a slow process, and I'm doing my best to play the long game...I managed to quit smoking, didn't I?  7 or 8 years, now, and going strong!  it's just PMS week, and that's what's making it hard.  I can push through.

9:00am - three eggs scrambled with onion, red pepper, & broccoli; salad of romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, scallions, sliced almonds, with ranch
2:30pm - ground turkey on leftover breakfast salad
7:30pm - meat sauce & spaghetti squash
1.5 seltzer, 2 water, 1 cup coconut water (treat!)

8:30am - 3 eggs scrambled with onion, tomato, broccoli; grapes
3:15pm - poached chicken with cucumber, basil, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and cinnamon-pear vinegar on a bed of romaine & spinach, with slivered almonds, nutritional yeast, and garlic aioli
9:00pm - butternut squash soup, leftover chicken
5 water

so that's ten days down, 20 to go.  at this point, I don't want to cook, do dishes, meal-plan, any of it.  it's exhausting, and takes up Way too much of my time.  some of the people in the online forum (there's a group of us who all started on the same day) do all their meal planning and prep on their days off, but I haven't really figured out how to do that, yet.  I know it's not all that hard, but I'm working with almost 30 years of habit to the contrary, here, and the energy it takes to do all that has not become habit, yet.  I'm trying.  that's all I can say.  it's not rocket science, but it's new, and I'm doing my best to figure it out on my own.  I've eaten a number of things I'd never eaten before, cooked several things I'd never cooked before, and some of them were actually good!  I need to take the whole experience as a win, so far, because all in all, it is (holy crap, the teen ate the butternut squash soup I made for dinner last night, and admitted that it 'wasn't bad'!), and will most likely continue to be, I'm just over it at the moment, though I'll find my way to push through. 

I'm also in a crappy mood due to factors other than my ongoing dietary experiment, but I don't feel like addressing them here, now.  thanks for following along, I'll be at it for a bit longer, so hang in there with me, and I promise I'll get back to sharing all the dirty secrets from my past that my readers seem to enjoy so much.  blech.  just trying to keep it real...really.  I don't know how to be anything else. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Food Journaling

so far today (I don't know what times, I didn't keep track) - 2 slices Italian bread, 2 munchkins, pasta/red sauce/mozz., lettuce/cukes/red pepper w/creamy Caesar, 2 choc. ch. cookies.
7pm-ish - burger on a bun, hot dog on a bun, a few more cookies.
 > 8 water

9am - banana
12:15pm - mixed greens/carrot/red onion/cuke/croutons w/balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 1 slice Italian bread to sop up excess dressing.
5:45pm - tortellini w/pesto
8:30pm - carrot & cuke w/hummus, 3 cookies
9 water

I had a hard time sleeping last night - between the full moon, and having to get up to pee every 5 minutes...maybe I should have left off that last glass of water before I went to bed!  I've been pretty sore and achy for the past few days, and I'm putting it down to the three days of excess in terms of alcohol - which I hardly ever drink, even though I didn't have that much - burgers, dogs, pasta salads, cookies, and potato chips.  I don't feel at all ready to take on this 'Whole 30 challenge', but I'm going to do my best anyway, and go to the grocery store today with what little money I have, because we need food.  I also need to make a menu plan for the coming week, in order to be at least somewhat prepared to start this challenge off right. I'm on page 140 of the book, and their 7-day meal plan is on page 196, so I've been skipping ahead to get where I need to go (I didn't really have to read the chapter on pregnancy and nursing, anyway, and I only skimmed the ones on medical conditions, and vegetarians and vegans).

2:15pm - 2 plain hot dogs (no bun)
3:30 - black beans/corn/red onion/seasonings, ch. ch. cookie
9:15pm - Caesar salad (romaine, bacon bits, parm, dressing, croutons), French bread pizza
12am - ch. ch. cookie
4 water

Today is my last day to prepare for the big 'lifestyle change' I'm planning - I went shopping yesterday, and I wasn't able to get everything on my list at Hannaford (my main grocery store), so I'm going to have to make a run to Sunflower (the 'health food' store) today to pick up some coconut milk, a jar of roasted red peppers, and some spaghetti squash...which is out of season, so I'll probably have to think up an alternative.  Unfortunately, there isn't enough money left in my checking account to cover another incredibly important expense, so I have to transfer some over from my savings, which is going to leave me in dire straits, considering the work opportunity I wasn't able to take advantage of this coming weekend due to single parenting - I simply can't bring myself to leave the teen home alone for a 10+ hour stretch, or make him come with me and have nothing to do for hours on end, then make him work 3 additional hours with me at another job.  I really hope my child support kicks back in, soon, so I can see this program all the way through - I hate relying on it for essentials, but work has been sparse, and other commitments have kept me from my 'full-on hustle' recently.  I feel like I have several full-time jobs, and in order to move through my day effectively, I can only do a few of them, which means they ALL suffer. the life I chose!

12:15 - the last two chocolate chip cookies, yaaay!  considering I've been up since 6am, it's obviously not the best choice to be the first thing I put in my body, but at this point, I'm so hungry, I just want to EAT NOW and to hell with the rest.  also, I want them gone.  but this is the heart of what I'm aiming at, here - learning what a healthy relationship with food looks like, and making it a priority in my life.  it was a bit hard to tell the kid that we wouldn't be buying any of the treats we were accustomed to at the grocery store yesterday, but I only had so much money, I've been telling him for weeks that I/we were doing this thing, and that for 14 years, now, the majority of my food decisions have been based around his tastes and preferences, so for the next 30 days, I am going to be selfish, and make it about me for once.  that's it.  he gets it, and he also not only knows how to cook, he is well aware of the fact that I will Not be holding him to the same restrictions I will be observing - he is free to make his own choices, and I hope he will choose to pay more attention to the relationship he is forming with food, as well.
3:15pm - grapes
7:15 - French bread pizza, French fries, 1/2 pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy ice cream.  how's that for a 'night before the cleanse' dinner?  I left it up to the kid, and that's what he wanted, so that's what we had.  I'm pretty full...but tomorrow, I get after it!
3 1/2 water

Tonight I made mayonnaise, which is a first, because I don't eat it, but I will this month!  I messed it up, though, because I used extra-virgin olive oil where I was supposed to use light, so...oh well, the taste is a bit strong.  live and learn.  with that, and some coconut cream - which I made by putting coconut milk in the fridge (So Good!) - I made ranch dressing.  I took a dive on clarifying the butter I had in the fridge and just bought ghee, and also made tomato sauce.  that'll help get me going over the next few days, and there's more to do, but all in good time.  just keeping my fingers crossed that I can sustain financially, because I'd hate to not succeed due to poverty!

today's the day!  I got up once in the night, but I went to bed a bit early for me, and woke up hungry this morning.  breakfast is supposed to happen within one hour of waking (I was up at 6am, and it's now 7:22am), and I've planned to make a spinach frittata with fruit and a 'healthy fat'.  here I go ~
8:15 - frittata w/red onion, tomato, & spinach; grapes; almonds
1:30pm -'protein salad' of ground turkey, homemade mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, sliced grapes, celery, red onion, slivered almonds, on a bed of baby lettuce, with homemade ranch dressing; banana
7:15 - beef with homemade tomato sauce; spaghetti squash
5 water (I decided to start counting the water to get a more accurate idea of how much I'm drinking, in 14 oz. increments, which turned out to be even more than I thought!)

I feel amazing - so proud of myself for doing this!  which is apparently a feeling I should hold on to, because according to the 'timeline', tomorrow and/or the next day I will feel 'hung over', and for the next few days after that, I will want to murder everyone and everything, so...yaay?

9:30am - leftover beef w/tomato sauce; scrambled egg
2:45pm - leftover protein salad in bell pepper; carrot, celery, & apple slices w/homemade ranch for dipping
7:45pm - chicken with roasted red pepper mayonnaise;  roasted potatoes; green cabbage slaw
7 water

tired, brain foggy, tummy in distress...yup, I just want to go back to bed and skip today.  I got up once in the night, and woke up an hour earlier than usual (5am).  I still haven't eaten (8:30am), and I don't want to.  bleh.
9:15am - small amount of leftover dinner (chicken, potatoes, pepper mayo).  I feel gross and pukey.
1:45pm - leftover meat/sauce; scrambled eggs; carrot & celery sticks w/ranch; grapes, slice of apple
7:15pm - spicy beef; roasted broccoli & cauliflower; bite or two of cabbage slaw 
5 water

so there it is - a full week of food journaling.  I guess I've done pretty well so far, these first few days...I feel good, I'm committed to the process, and I'm staying connected to other folks who are using the same guidelines via the Whole30 website forums.  I haven't been snacking between meals, I've been having meals - 3 per day, sitting at the table - and cooking up a storm.  I've discovered some new tastes, increased my menu options, burned the veggies once (ate them anyway), and discovered that steamed spinach is pretty gross (why would you do that to spinach?  I prefer it raw!).  my rough eczema patches are already clearing up, though my right toes are still kind of itchy most of the time.  I think my body is starting to adjust to the increased protein and fiber, and hopefully has begun the process of learning to use fat as energy rather than sugars.  I want to say I feel less bloated, but I'm not sure on that one.  hey, it's only been 3 full days and one meal, so far, which means there are still 80 meals, or 26 2/3 days, and several mood swings to go.  While I should be past the 'hangover' phase, I may be in the 'Kill all the things' mode, or having moved through that to the 'I just want a nap' chapter.  next, I'm expecting to transition into 'NOOO!  my pants are TIGHTER' mode before I get to 'The hardest days', so we'll see how it goes (if I can even manage to keep myself in food). if you've been following along, I'm curious as to your thoughts and feelings about my journey thus far, and look forward to your insights, criticisms, and congratulations.  see you next week!