20 Days and Back Again

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Yikes, did I really fall off the web for a full 20 days? My apologies. Not exactly the greatest way to stick to goals and resolutions. But when you fall down, you get back up again. So I am climbing back on my horse, gathering up my sword, and continuing on.

2014 has been interesting so far. Some friends and I started off the new year with a post-holiday, 21-day detox. No caffeine, no alcohol, no meats, no dairy, no added sugar. High fiber, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, rice, beans.

I won’t lie, I wasn’t the most legalistic in my approach to the rules of the detox. What’s the point of being healthy if you’re miserable while doing it? So I took a few days to wean myself off the caffeine and sugar. And when I got a minor concussion at work last week, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts to get coffee so I wouldn’t fall asleep as soon as I got home. When some friends met for dinner, I ordered a nice big salad… and I didn’t bother to request they leave off the chicken. Sue me.

But I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in three weeks. And I’ve gone from needing cream and sugar (and often flavoring) to stomach my coffee, to drinking it with skim milk and half the sugar I used to need. I sweeten my oatmeal with bananas instead of two spoonfuls sugar. And I have a giant bag of brown rice and another of flaxseed, both of which I intend to keep using every chance I get.

I haven’t weighed myself in a while, so I don’t know if I lost anything by eating this way. But that wasn’t really the point. My body feels refreshed and more balanced that it has in a while. I no longer feel as though I NEED coffee to wake up each morning. And, overall, I’m really proud of myself. Proud that I stuck with it for three weeks. And proud that I made decisions that fit MY life, rather than forcing myself to stick with a list of “good” and “bad” foods.

Yesterday was officially the last day of the detox. Today I begin the process of deciding what changes to keep in my diet and what foods to re-incorporate. I’m definitely going to start eating some meats again. And I’ll keep a small bottle of milk on hand for cereal, coffee, baking. I’ll drink caffeinated tea and coffee, but I don’t plan to rely so heavily on them. I want to keep my diet low in sugar and high in fiber┬áto keep my tummy as happy as it has been this month. ­čÖé Beyond that, we’ll see how it goes!

Right now, I’m off to the gym! I overslept and missed a yoga class I’d planned to attend this a.m., but I refuse to give up working out today. Hope you all are having a lovely Saturday afternoon and are staying warm. (We still have snow on the ground here and are expecting more flurries tonight.)

Yours truly… and please let me know what you think of the new blog layout!

Virginia Beach Sunrise

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 Happy New Year, friends & followers!!

I hope that your 2013 went out with a bang (in a good way) and that you are already being blessed and loved in 2014. My New Year’s Eve celebration ended up being smaller and quieter than I’d originally hoped, but in hindsight I’m totally okay with that. Last year this time I made some questionable choices that didn’t have any lasting repercussions but did mess with my head a bit… It feels good to wake up this morning with no regrets or commitments. It feels mature and settled. (Perhaps that is a sign of what’s to come in the next 12 months.)

Anyway, after a quick Dunkin Donuts run for a bagel and coffee, I decided to start the New Year off right this morning with Season 5 Episode 1 of “Supernatural.” What better way to kick off a new start than watching Sam and Dean battle the Apocalypse?

I also decided to re-read The List. See if anything new jumped out at me. Ponder which item to check off next. In doing so, I realized that I’d already completed one this week, completely by accident!

After visiting Beth earlier this week, I made the 11-hour drive from her home down south back to my beautiful (and frigid)┬áNew England┬áapartment. As it just so happened, Beth’s 18-year-old younger sister was also traveling north on the same day, and it made so much more sense for her to just ride with me than┬áto take a bus by herself. And thus, I gained a┬átravel buddy!

I suppose I could use this to check “Road trip with a friend” off my list. However, it doesn’t really count in my brain because (a) I make very┬ásimilar south-north/north-south drives several times a year and (b) I barely knew her before we got on the road. Just the same, though, it was a really great trip and I loved having company, particularly company who appreciates country music as much┬áas I do. ­čÖé

Anyway, we headed out bright and early in hopes of getting to my place at a half-way decent hour. I don’t mind driving at night… except when it’s the last few hours of a nearly 12-hour long drive. Then I mind a bit. So my goal is always to use as much sunlit time as possible.

We didn’t even think about the fact that we’d be on the road when the sun came up. Or that the “road” we’d be on would be┬áthe Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

If you’ve never driven through the Virginia Beach area, you may not know about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It’s a 23-mile long stretch of road that stretches not only over, but also UNDER, the Chesapeake Bay. It’s quite a marvel to travel over, especially if you’re like me and have only heard about it but never actually traveled it before. The experience was made even more impressive by the perfect timing as the sun slipped above the horizon and broke through the clouds.

Virginia Beach Sunrise

Another upside to have someone ride shotgun: She got to take pictures while I kept driving.

Even after we finished crossing the Bridge-Tunnel and were back on solid land (at least I think it was solid land… the lines are all a bit blurred around there), the sky was still stunning.

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So I may not feel ready to cross the roadtrip off The List, but I definitely count this amazing morning drive as “Watching the sun rise over the ocean.” I certainly don’t plan on this being my last time to experience it. But I’m very pleased to have this as my┬áfirst. ­čÖé

All photos borrowed from my fantastic copilot and photographer J.G.