Entries from January 2017

Books of January

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I started the year with a goal for a low number of books in 2017. I wanted to limit, to par down, to get intentional and to, I guess, restrict. Then January came and as it went I read almost half of that number I was trying to limit myself to for the year. Clearly limiting is not my specialty. So I went back to the drawing board on this goal and decided there wasn’t a number, but there was a feeling that I was looking for. So now, instead of a number my goals for reading are as follows.

In 2017 I want to:

…choose each book intentionally and invested in it rather than speed read
…spend the time I previously spent to escaping in cheap/fast/shallow reads working on creating, working out, and cooking
…read outside of my norm, authors and stories I wouldn’t normally read

Before last year ended I felt like I was flying through books without really liking or remembering them. It was like the candy I was eating. Another sugar hit, another book checked off a list. I don’t know that I was getting much out of it and I have a feeling I was also avoiding a lot of my life in the practice. I’m excited to see what this year of reading brings me.

Books of January

*Finding God in the Waves* (started in Dec.) – Loooooved.

Anansi Boys (started in Dec.) – Liked American Gods and Good Omens better.

Milk & Honeyheartache and hope

Gluten is My Bitch – Funny, informative, haven’t gone gluten free yet but will use as a resource

Cabin Porn – Gorgeous pictures, makes me want to get the heck out of town

Balancing In Heels – Light read, I do like Kristin Cavallari better after reading this

Scrappy Little Nobody – I liked it, I laughed, but I’m not sure I needed to read it.

*Chasing Slow* – I kept this for the whole time the library allowed me to, I did not want to let it go, I want to buy myself a copy for my shelf. There was so much, soooo much in this that I wanted to read again and again.

Strong is the New Beautiful – some good exercise and eating info

Six of Crows – read this for a book club and was not disappointed, excited to read the sequel

I Quit Sugar Cookbook
The Low FODMAP Cookbook
The Complete Low FODMAP Diet


Low FODMAP – A beginning

Monday, January 16, 2017

How we got here: Four years ago now my stomach went nuts. I had a bad stomach bug after eating a burrito (how could you, surprisingly it didn’t stop me from eating burritos as a whole) and while I felt way better the next day things started going amiss shortly there after. I didn’t have insurance so I went to an Urgent Care close to home and they suggested antibiotics in case I had giardia. They suggested this as the cheapest option, no testing, knock it out if it’s in there, oh well if it isn’t. At the time I was not familiar with how much antibiotics can wreck a system, especially one that is already wrecked. I wonder what would have happened if I had testing done and went into debt that way instead of living with digestion issues for the next 4 years.
After that round of antibiotics I went to a chiropractor who told me to go to this doctor that was holistic in nature. I showed up practically crying (actually I was probably crying) because I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t eat, and life was stressful. Through the next few months the doctor would suggest things, my dad ended up paying for my health insurance and I thought I was on the way to getting some answers. Oh no naive Corey… that was not the case. After random tests that I assumed were covered by insurance, no definitive answers, a lot of bills to pay and my doctor asking why I wasn’t eating a couple months in I quit and managed the best I could. I figured anxiety wasn’t helping me, I avoided foods that really made me feel weird and I kept trucking on.
Between then and now I went and saw a couple other doctors, other symptoms popped up that might not seem related but I’m pretty sure are, and just dealt with it while feeling guilty.
Early November I decided I had enough, I decided it was time to see a doctor again, that it was time to stop half ass trying stuff to make my stomach better, that waiting it out and hoping it would fix itself wasn’t going to happen. I was tired of my excuses, I was tired of my relationship with sugar, I was tired with how little I liked food, I was tired.

I made an appointment with a new internal medicine doctor once my health insurance changed over at my job and hoped for the best. Honestly… not all that thrilled. She listened to a couple of things I said, decided IBS and then proceeded to tell me to look up the Low FODMAP diet and give it a shot. Basically, google this and have fun! At the time I was looking into the candida diet but not ready to take the plunge, because, well it’s quite tough. I went home and looked into the Low FODMAP diet and wasn’t impressed. No garlic, no onion, very little gluten, but an allowance of sugar that surprised me a bit. I stopped cooking with onion or garlic and I started taking a probiotic that day but didn’t do much else. I wasn’t ready to start this or another diet right at the holidays.
During the holidays I didn’t gorge as much on candy, and while home I didn’t even eat the things I had been looking forward to. My stomach had been going a little nuts so the idea of mexican food or In N Out surprisingly didn’t interest me.

After the holidays were over I hemmed and hawed and finally decided that I would try the Low FODMAP diet. I didn’t really have a plan though, and I wasn’t going to allow myself sugar. I really like to make myself miserable when I start a new goal. Not only was I going to embark on this goal, but I was determined to get my body in shape and stop resting on my shoulder excuses. (When I looked back at 2016 I had a hard time seeing goals accomplished or even worked towards… so for 2017 I decided to come in hot apparently.)

This is how the first two weeks went:

Week 1:
– Went to Trader Joe’s thinking maybe this would be the time I would end up liking it like others do. It was January 2nd, that was not to be the case. The place was packed with people and their Whole 30, gluten free, resolution high glory and I was feeling anxious, claustrophobic and, once again, couldn’t find most of what I wanted. I still hate Trader Joe’s.
– Walked by the basket of treats that is still at work and everything was pretty much fine. I know I can’t touch it, I even donated my delicious trail mix to it last week because if other people eat it, I can’t. I have a problem with low key binging chocolates. All was good until I opened my desk drawer and found a Reese’s I had forgotten to give up. All the basket treats, no problem, something in my desk that feels like “mine” – challenge. I immediately put it in the basket and tried to distract myself. A couple days later it was gone and not by me. Phew.
– Not all that hungry, feeling upset about other things (a dude). Making it easier to not think about sugar or the glutens. Silver lining?
– Finishing my sourdough bread loaf one piece at a time. While real sourdough is Low FODMap, most that are in stores now are not. Going to have to find one that is.
– Bloat is definitely disappearing… that paired with some core workouts is an interesting feeling.

Week one went okay solely because I didn’t feel like eating much and was slightly upset due to other things. I went to the gym, my abs felt awesome, my bloat definitely went down, but then…

Week 2:
-I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m Huuuuuuungryyyy! Give me everything and anything but really not anything.
-Not a fan of straight coconut aminos, they make me feel gross.
– Any time I want to practice my pregnancy look I can just eat a bunch of rice product like, well, rice, and rice cakes/rice chex etc.
– I consciously decided to eat things that weren’t Low FODMap, I need to start over and plan better to support myself. As a “you’ll be okay” I got myself sushi with wasabi that had sorbitol (not okay) in it and then I had an absolutely delicious cupcake with cookies and creme icing and sprinkles. Honesty it was the sprinkles that called my name the most. I was able to enjoy it slower than I would have a month ago, progress?
– What does it mean to eat enough food, is this hunger because I’m working out too? What is the cost of eating going to be? What was filling me up before? Salt?
– Not necessarily cranky but I am short on patience.
– Intolerance to carrot?

Week two was a cluster-eff. I was hungry, like deeply hungry, often. I was angry and I don’t know if I was that angry at a situation I had been a part of or if part of it was the hunger. I decided that I didn’t need to take delicious cereal away from myself because I needed something to fill me up but then the bloat came which makes me suspicious of too much rice as it was a rice based, gluten free cereal. I started to wonder if I was eating enough for the time I was putting in to the gym (probably not an actual worry considering I’m not lifting heavy, but still a thought because dang it, hunnngrrrry). Nothing I was allowed to have sounded good, I had told myself no baked good, I hadn’t supported myself with a good plan and life felt hard. I made one delicious dinner and enough for lunch the next day and it was so good but still I was incredibly hungry. Half way through the week I decided I needed to re-evaluate, I got some sushi, overlooked the sorbitol in the wasabi and then gave myself a gluten filled cupcake of wonder and sprinkles. No regrets. I stuck with the gym, I checked out some different Low FODMAP cookbooks from the library, looked up and then purchased a multivitamin recommended by the doc and started testing some recipes. I continued re-evaluating my goals and how militant I wanted to be.

After obsessing and stressing and going around in circles, after reading some intense GAPS diet cookbooks and after looking up so many recipes online I decided that militant still doesn’t work for me. I do know that concrete guidelines, timelines, and baby steps do work though. Here’s where I am at now… I’m starting over from the beginning. I will continue to omit garlic and onion in all high FODMAP forms (powdered and fresh, green onion and garlic infused olive oil is okay), I am allowed to bake Low FODMAP recipes, I am going to be finding myself a Low FODMAP friendly protein powder, I have made myself some chocolate peanut butter balls for when I need a sweet hit (I’m not omitting sweets at this point, though I am making them with low levels of fructose), and I am looking up simple but delicious ways to cook the veggies I can already tolerate. I’m also going to be working on getting really cook at cooking meat in simple and delicious ways. My kitchen is going to be a bit of a test kitchen for a while, I’m going to need to try a lot of things to figure out what my staples are going to be. All that and I’m sticking with the gym, the gym, unlike this food craziness, makes me feel good, it’s not going away.

I’m excited to see my relationship with sugar change, I don’t know that it will happen right away but I definitely want to be more intentional with it and start adding a bigger variety of veggies in.
I’m excited to see what my body does with this working out, I have a couple things that I would like to see but my main goals are restrengthening my body, rehabing my shoulders and showing up.
I hope to gather important information about certain food intolerances and triggers, I hope to shift my tastes to healthier options 80% of the time, and I hope to learn more about cooking.

When I first start making plans and goals I think of super militant impressive things I need to do. I think it needs to be all or nothing and then I find myself pretty miserable pretty fast. While I’m sure going on the GAPS diet wouldn’t hurt my stomach, it’s not the lifestyle I want to have right now. I’m the kind of person that needs to be boiled slowly with changes if I want them to stick. I was afraid that if I didn’t go full out that at the end of the year I would see no difference, but the more likely thing would be that if I stuck to militant and at this point impossible criteria I would end up quitting which would just feed my excuses. In all of this I am learning how to support myself while continuing with my goals. I no longer am interested in trying to mentally beat myself into submission.


Books of 2016

Friday, January 6, 2017

5e2a0350-10c3-4b30-ba40-18bf764859f5So many books in 2016! Holy smokes and what not. I plan on reading a lot less in 2017 which sounds like a funny goal for someone that reads so dang much, but there is a reason. While I liked a lot of the books I read I don’t think I invested in them very much, looking over this list I could mix up the story line of two or three at least. I want to read for enjoyment and not just to pass time in the coming year. I also want to spend more time doing active things so if I get real serious on my book limit (which will be very hard, I am shooting for only 22 books in 2017) then there will be more time for other things, like writing, or creating something, or finding a second job, or working out.

Enough about that though, here’s the list of the books I read (and mostly remembered) this year.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series
Red Queen Series (3)
This Raging Light
Brain Maker
Saint Anything
All the Bright Places
The Museum of Intangible Things
The Dirty Life
How To Be a Person In the World
Present Over Perfect
The Disenchantments
The Book of Speculation
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Wild in the Hollow
Scary Close
Holding Up the Universe
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Harry Potter 3-7

Liked a lot:
Signs Point to Yes
Let’s Get Lost
The Lake Season
Start with Why
Since You’ve Been Gone
Notes from a Blue Bike
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Love Warrior
The 12 Days of Dash & Lily
Talking As Fast As I Can

Somewhat enjoyed -> whatever:
Reasons to Stay Alive
The Crown
Art Before Breakfast
Maybe in Another Life
You Are Here
Knowing Your Value
Woman Code
You’re So Money
The Geography of You and Me
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck
Outrageous Openness
The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living
Dear Emma
Adulthood is a Myth
Sane New World
Sleep Smarter
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
Now What?!
Loving My Actual Life
The Rules of Love and Grammar
Mystic Summer
The Museum of Heartbreak
The Islanders 1-8
Level Up Your Life
The Island House
Everything, Everything
Sex God


2016 in review

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
The single best thing… goodness, such pressure on a question. I don’t know that there is one big huge thing that happened that stands out, this year has been a lot of things working under the surface. I loved my time with Chelsea in New York, and sharing my city with Sarah and Dasha this summer. I am so stoked on the roommate I ended up with after some craziness, my salary that I got this year is nothing to turn my nose up at either.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
A relationship that I’ve been working through mentally.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Hearing myself say “I’ll do my best, but I’m never going to be perfect.” And feeling totally calm and accepting of that. (The conversation was in relation to God and faith and life and how it’s not a merit based system and I have to keep reminding myself of that.)

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Dealing with the feeling of having a bit of a sabbatical but not knowing what to do and trying to stay somewhat positive. A month off that didn’t really feel like a month off, in fact I forgot it happened.

5. Pick three words to describe this past year.
Listen (my word of the year worked!), dig, choppy

6&7 – About spouses, so N/A this year.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
I read 70+ books this year, started so many others and decided I didn’t want to continue them. There were many I enjoyed but these stand out the most.
Present over Perfect
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Scary Close (2nd reading)
All the Bright Places
How to be a Person In the World
Harry Potter 6 & 7 (re-read)
Finding God In the Waves

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Sarah, the ladies of WD’s, the one with my counselor

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Allowing myself to be imperfect not just in theory and by logic but in feeling too.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I learned the beginnings of mindfulness, a practice that I see being very, very helpful moving forward.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I dug in and started questioning what my beliefs are, not just what I think and say they are but what is really going on underneath. I read books by several Christian authors, have another to either end this year with or start next year with. I questioned God, I got mad at God, I realized I was still operating under old beliefs of what God was and how he/she/it worked and I started questioning those. I allowed myself to feel and mentally speak to what I use to think were betraying thoughts. If God is all being and all knowing then He/She/Ze/It already knows what’s going on so I may as well make it an open conversation.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
It’s just coming now at the end of the year but I started getting really tired of my excuses about my physical health. I realize I’ve been saying the same things for three plus years of why I can’t do so many things I want to do and I’m tired of hearing myself talk. They are valid excuses, the road to getting better and being able to do some of those things if not all of them will be challenging to say the least but it’s far from impossible.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I backed off of some relationships but spent a lot of time working out different things I felt about them. My hope is that in the new year I will be able to come back to them with a better understanding of myself and my boundaries so we can rehabilitate and grow.
I learned to let people tell their own stories. It’s something I will continually work on, but I think it’s important. I want people to trust me, and I think they can, but I also realize that what I think is no big deal to share might be a huge deal to others.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
That I have the time and the freedom to work on my health with doctor’s appointments and health insurance. I also enjoy the steady income that has helped me work on budgeting.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook and crushes

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Going to counseling. Definitely.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
I learned that the previous assumptions I had about how life should be, ones I didn’t even realize I had, were not quite right and were causing more distress than anything else. There has been a lot of shifting and reconfiguring and deciding where I want to be working in the middle of that.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.
Neither of these are mine originally but they have been so very true: The only way out is through and the time will pass anyway.


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