Makin’ Waves: Big Changes

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog (i.e. my dad, my grandma), you’ve likely noticed it’s been a while since I last posted. To be exact, it’s been over a month since I wrote on this blog. I’m not sure if I can even consider this a blog when that much time passes between posts.

While I don’t want to apologize for my lack of writing or come up with a bunch of excuses for my absence, I do want to fill everyone in on some updates in our lives. Maybe I needed a full month to fully process everything I’m about to share or maybe I just didn’t prioritize the time to write these past 30 days. It’s tough to say.

What’s important is that I’m ready to share some things now. Are you ready?

Here are the big changes in our lives:

Continue reading “Makin’ Waves: Big Changes”

Whole30 – Week 1 Recap

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On New Year’s Day, Sam and I started the Whole30 challenge. If you’ve not heard of Whole30, there’s plenty of information available online but the rules sum it up best.

Essentially, Whole30 is a strict Paleo diet geared towards clean-eating. The idea is to cleanse your body of sugar cravings, fuel your body with real food, and eliminate common inflammatory foods so you can determine what types of processed food groups aggravate your system. By enforcing strict eating rules for a full 30 days, you detox your body from all the gunk in there and, supposedly, have “a life-changing” experience (according to 88% of people surveyed people post-W30).

We’re on Day 9, or just over a week in. The first week is commonly called The Detox Week, because your body is adjusting to using the fuel you provide—fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats, and a few other hippie-like foods—and coping with the loss of foods you can’t consume for 30 days. Here’s a brief list of what we’ve sacrificed eating for 30 days (text in the parentheses is pulled verbatim from the Whole30 website):

  • No grains. (This includes [but is not limited to] wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on.”
  • No legumes. (“This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).”)
  • No dairy. (This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream”
  • No alcohol of any kind.
  • No real or artificial added sugars of any kind. (No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.)

I’m going to come right out and say it: this is a commitment, and if it’s something you’re thinking about doing you’re going to need to plan ahead. But, it is something I’d recommend thinking about if you’re interested in trying it. Since we’re a week in, I thought I’d share some of my motivation to try Whole30 and what my initial reactions/thoughts are to the program.

Continue reading “Whole30 – Week 1 Recap”

2016: A Year in Music

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Am I a little late in getting this posted? Of course. I’m always late. But even so, I wanted to share a few of my favorite albums and songs from 2016.

The only criteria I had was that the album had to be released in 2016. Even though there were good songs “released” this year, the albums came out in 2015 and didn’t qualify. Sorry, T-Swift.

Here’s what I danced/cried/jammed to in 2016:

 

Favorite New Album: Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper

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I saw Coloring Book before I heard it. Overnight, the album cover was plastered all over our neighborhood in Chicago. I had no idea who Chance was, so I had no idea what pictures of this guy were doing all over the city. A few days later, Sam brought some intel home from his co-workers that Chance the Rapper dropped a new mixtape, and the artwork we’d seen everywhere was the cover art from the mixtape.

Sam was all about Coloring Book from the start. He tried to share this enthusiasm with me on a road trip back to our hometown in Michigan, but I just wasn’t feeling it. It was ok, but I didn’t know what to make of it because it was so different than my normal taste in music. Sam was doing his best not to look dejected, because he was totally into Chance, so he kept trying different songs to win me over.

Then he played “Same Drugs.” This song (see below) transformed my entire perspective on Chance. I felt his vulnerability, his passion, and his creativity. In a moment, I recognized his genius and fell madly in love.

Continue reading “2016: A Year in Music”