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Drive By Update on All the Things

First, an update on the hand-made wedding thing.


Here’s our save the date postcard, photographed by Brock’s sister, Lori Locke. She’s an amazing photographer and artist. (The font in the photo is original by her.) If you live in Northeast Kansas or the KC Metro area, give her site a look! The picture was taken in front of the old barn (at the farm where the wedding will take place) over Thanksgiving. (True story, Lori was just taking pictures for fun. She didn’t know we were getting married yet when the photo was taken. I am really grateful to her for letting us use it!)

Next, here’s a quick picture of what went out in the January Shipment of the RAWR sock club.


The inaugural yarn was, of course, hot pink, could it be anything else? Also, the special gift this time was a hand-printed greeting card featuring hipster Tiny Dino. This was my first shot at block printing, and I think it turned out pretty well. Brock drew the dinosaur and helped a bit cutting the linoleum. I really like how the cards came out. I am toying with using this technique for the wedding invitations.

Card in detial

I finished my abigail cardigan and have been wearing it for a couple of weeks. Not one person has asked me if I knit it myself, which tells me I did a good job with the construction, so I am pleased. The yarn is pilling a lot in the underarms, but nothing a sweater stone can’t handle.

I am now hard at work on the Call Him Ishmael sweater I am making for Brock out of Nikol Lohr’s Literary Knits book. I am knitting it out of plain ole wool yarn that I dyed a nice masculine red, somewhere between brick and wine. I am nearly done with the yoke and love the pattern. It’s the perfect ration of mindless stockinette to shaping and cabling. Of course, it’s been in time out for the last three days because I twisted half the cables backwards on the last cable round and didn’t notice until I was four rounds up. I have become rather adept at dropping down and re-twisting the cables (the trick is to use double pointed needles on just the part you need to work on), but couldn’t face actually doing it quite yet. I will tackle it this afternoon so I have something to do during the Superbowl, as I am neither a big fan of football or beer and junk food.

Speaking of beer and junk food, I have been hibernating in the losing weight arena, possibly eating too many gluten free bread-like products and not enough vegetables. I have, however, been working out more regularly, and am making a commitment to do something active every day this month. So far so good. I hope to give weekly check-in updates about my progress in this arena. I have been gluten-free for 10 months now. I feel like after almost a year, I should have made more progress. I do try to remind myself that it has been a stressful year full of new jobs and changing birth controls and stuff that generally makes it difficult to lose weight. But then again, what year isn’t, you know? All I know, is I want to be stronger and buy fewer yards of yarn to make myself a sweater. Two, very simple goals.

And last, but certainly not least, I have been very distracted the last couple of weeks. Our apartment complex changed it’s pet policy at the beginning of the year, which made my goal of eventually living in a place where I could have a pet and a garden in the ground slightly more attainable. We decided to adopt a kitten from the local shelter. Since then, I have been reading about taking care of cats, reviewing cat products and foods (and trying to find an affordable grain-free cat food.) Basically, I haven’t been thinking about much else other than making our home right for our new addition. It’s very similar to how I was when preparing for Athrun, though much less intense.

Meet Minerva Pigwidgeon Cheeseburger III, I am sure she will be a recurring character.

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So Not Paleo

I am going to talk about something I have wanted to talk about for months but have either put off because I was tired and it would take a lot of words, or because I wasn’t feeling like sharing that much personal information on the blog. Some people have no problem with bearing their souls for all to see, and it is something I am deeply ambivalent about. Because I am going to start talking about my food choices every now and then, and incorporated in that, is my journey to a much smaller, healthier me. Tons of people blog about their weight loss, and I can see why. Not only is it good accountability for the blogger and a great way to track progress, it is also a great resource for other people who are struggling with their health and weight. I have only ever hesitated because there is so much information out there, and so many different notions of what it means to be healthy. I have only just started to find my healthy place–and it is, to say the least–unconventional.

In the last six months, I have lost and kept off 30 pounds. To get to the weight I was before I had Athrun, I need to lose 40 more. To get to where I might be ideal, add another 20 onto that. So that means I am ? of my way to the goal of losing 90 pounds. The first 30 were easy peasy. I drastically changed my diet and they kind of just fell off. Losing more than that has proven to be a bit more difficult, but I am hopeful.

So what did I change:

First what I gave up: gluten, grains, legumes, sugar and sweeteners, processed foods including vegetable and seed oils. Basically, bread, sweets, anything that came from a package.

What I ate in moderation: Dairy (cream in the coffee, slice of cheese here and there), fruit, potatoes, honey, dark chocolate, red wine

What I ate: vegetables, Meat (poultry, red meat, bacon, fish, seafood) vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, eggs, fermented foods (plain full fat yogurt, saurkraut, kombucha), homemade bone broth soup, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon grease (all for cooking of course, not like, with a spoon. Though maybe the coconut oil, drizzled in dark chocolate? Yum.) and some more vegetables.

Yes. I am one of those. Paleo. There I said it. I claimed it. And for the last time.

Paleo has been gaining in popularity over the last couple of years, so I don’t doubt that you recognized it just by what foods I have up. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine who was suffering from major food allergies and thought that I might be suffering from a similar, if not less severe, affliction. It took me a couple of months to come around to the idea, but once I did I knew I never wanted to eat any other way ever. Not only did I finally start feeling like I could digest my food, that constantly itchy, yeasty feeling in my tummy went away. I lost 30 pounds in 3 months almost without trying. And I was eating eggs for breakfast, leftover
soup for lunch or a salad for lunch, marinara sauce served over steamed vegetables. I feel satiated after every meal. I don’t feel bloated or overfull. And I like the food I eat. A lot.

I feel great. It’s easier to do yoga (when I do it once every six weeks), walk, sprint, do push-ups. I can run further, when I decide I want to try. It’s fun to cook this way. It basically goes along with my through vegetables in pan and stir most of the time, instead now I don’t feel guilty about starting with a little bit of butter and adding sausage.

But I don’t like the Paleo label.

Why not? Because. For one, I don’t like to be labeled with anything other than my name, and sometimes that’s pushing it. For two, I am not an evangelist of anything. And Paleo people, well, they tend start treating their food like a religion. And I get why, because I feel great, but I still don’t have any urge to convert people. I am just a girl with a gluten sensitivity and yeast overgrowth problems who happens to really like to cook with vegetables and bacon. And is trying to lose weight–mostly so I can knit sweaters faster because they won’t need to be so big to fit me. And to, you know, survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Pure selfishness here.

So selfish, in fact, that I am going to smear my food and weight loss exploits all over my blog for you all to see how well I am doing.

Ok so maybe not. But I feel like it’s been this thing. This big change that I have made that I somehow left you readers out of. I am not very good at being mysterious, or keeping secrets, so here it is.

Where I Want to Go
I have not lost any weight for about eight weeks. I haven’t gained any, and I still feel good, and cutting my hair makes me feel like I have lost about 10 pounds, but alas, I think those 10 pounds transferred instantly to my hips. I know exactly why I haven’t lost any weight. I haven’t been sleeping, I have barely been exercising, I switched up my birth control and my hormones have been wackadoo (mostly screwing up my digestion, of course), and I have been eating too much. I figure, if I address these things, I might be able to get back into the games. I hung black out curtains in my room, and that has helped tremendously. I am attempting to exercise more often by taking walks on my lunch break and sprinting or yoga a couple times a week. Push-up and squats when I remember. My hormones have started settling down, though they still need a bit of time. And eating less is easy when I remind myself that I need to do it. And for me, incorporating this into what I can talk about on the blog, keeps me honest with myself, and with you, plus, you get cool allergy friendly recipes out of it. So, bonus.

If your interested in learning more, Mark’s Daily Apple is an invaluable resource. Just saying.