30-day Challenge + Convict Conditioning: Update #2

I have to admit: I have had some difficulty sticking to my goals since my last update. I've got a lot on my plate and feel like 24 hours in the day aren't nearly enough to accomplish everything. Things are picking up at my day job and I've had to put in more hours than normal (and there are also some stressful changes); I'm in the process of setting up a small business and launching my natural & organic body and beauty product line Bubo's Bounty; and -- this is a bigger one than I anticipated -- it's the 1 year anniversary of my mother's sudden passing. I debated even bringing this point up, and don't want to say too much about it, but I felt like it was important to mention, because we all will experience the death of a loved one at some point. It has helped me to read what others have to say of their own experiences with loss and how it has affected them, so perhaps my words can do the same for someone else. 

I don't want to turn the anniversary into some kind of excuse for bad behavior and poor habits, but at the same time I don't want to ignore what I am feeling. As I have learned from my Sifu (Qigong teacer), in Chinese Medicine, the only bad emotion is a stuck emotion. It's not good to ignore sadness or try to suppress grief. I've found myself reliving moments from last year and have experienced some profound sadness that I wasn't expecting. I have allowed myself to fully experience these emotions so that they don't get stuck. After letting myself feel these "negative" emotions, I feel better afterwards, which lets me know that I am processing them in a healthy way. The circumstances surrounding her death were....actually fairly traumatic. She lived alone, and after my sister and I had not heard from her for several days, we eventually had to ask the local police to do a wellness check, and they discovered the body. We will never know for sure the exact date (but we believe it was the evening after our last communication with her, which was a week before the police entered the house) or cause of death (heart attack vs stroke). We didn't get to see her one last time, either. Having these unanswered questions has made coping with her death extra difficult, especially with my personality. My scientific, detail-oriented brain wants to know how, when, and why. 

At any rate, I've been eating out more than I wanted and I have had an incredibly difficult time motivating myself to do my exercises. Also, I haven't kept up my records 100%, so there are some missing data (mainly my Qigong exercises). D'oh!  

Here goes: 

Day 11 - Saturday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Fruit. Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, banana. 
  • Lunch: Fasted. 
  • Supper:  One pot meal: ground beef, sweet potatoes, ginger, onion, garlic, bok choy, kelp flakes.
  • Comments: Later in the evening, I went to a party at my friend's Italian restaurant that had snacks, and I had quite a few mini caprese bites - grape tomatoes sliced in half with a piece of freshly-made mozzarella cheese & bit of basil in the middle, held together with a toothpick. I also had several glasses of white wine.

Day 12 - Sunday

  • Exercise: None.
  • Breakfast: Fruit. More strawberries, cherries, & blueberries with homemade mimosas using fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Lunch: Tapioca crust pizza, with pepperoni, mushrooms, and bell pepper.
  • Supper: Snackies. Raw aged gouda and lentil flour crackers. Ultra dark chocolate (88% cacao).
  • Comments: This was the 1 year anniversary of the last time I spoke to my mom on the phone. It's also her mother's birthday (she passed away 10 years ago).  

Day 13 - Monday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 30 min walking.
  • Breakfast: Fasted. 
  • Lunch: Pabellon criollo from my favorite Venezulan restaurant. Slow-cooked beef, plantains, white rice, and caraotas negras (black beans). 
  • Supper: Raw gouda cheese with lentil flour crackers and some 88% cacao chocolate.
  • Comments: None. 

Day 14 - Tuesday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 30 min. walking.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled in coconut oil with turmeric and black pepper.
  • Lunch: Fasted.
  • Supper: Sushi! Yes, with sushi rice. Split 4 rolls...with tuna, conch, yellowtail. Dipped in organic gluten-free tamari soy sauce.
  • Comments: This was the 1 year anniversary for the last contact I ever had with my mom: text messages. 

Day 15 - Wednesday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Plucking Stars, Carrying the Moon, Embracing the Buddha; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Pushups: Step Two, Incline Pushups (3 sets of 30).
    2. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tucks (1 set of 8, 2 sets of 10).
  • Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled in butter with turmeric and black pepper.
  • Lunch: Fasted.
  • Supper: Just can't get enough pabellon criollo LOL. 
  • Comments: None. 

Day 16 - Thursday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast:  Fasted.
  • Lunch:  2 steak tacos with avocado and radish, 1 chicken taco with guacamole.
  • Supper:  Red curry beef with jasmine rice.
  • Comments: None.

Day 17 - Friday

  •  Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking. Convict Conditioning: Bridges: Step One, Short Bridge (3 sets of 30).
  • Breakfast:  2 eggs scrambled with butter, turmeic, black pepper, and salt. 
  • Lunch: Eaten very late, bunless burger with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a side of hand-cut fries. 
  • Supper: Wasn't hungry after my hearty late lunch, and wanted to just bug out with "junk" food and movies. Had potato chips cooked in avocado oil and some organic popcorn that we popped on the stove and topped with plenty of grass-fed butter. Drank some NorCal margaritas (anejo tequila + juice of 1 lime + San Pellegrino, but you can make it with plain 'ol club soda, too). 
  • Comments: None. 

Day 18 - Saturday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, banana. 
  • Lunch: Tapioca crust pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms. Yeah, I know: eating too many of these lately.
  • Supper: Gluten-free chicken tenders with honey mustard and Bubbie's fermented dill pickles. 
  • Comments: None. 

Day 19 - Sunday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled in coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, pan-seared (for crispy skin) in palm shortening with a side of broccoli topped with grass-fed butter.
  • Supper: Sweet potatoes mashed with plenty of coconut oil, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Tummy felt a little "off" after lunch, and told me all it wanted was some good starch and fat. Felt much much better afterwards. 
  • Comments: None.

Day 20 - Monday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Grapes!
  • Lunch: 3-egg omelet with baby portobello mushrooms. 
  • Supper:  Slow-cooked pulled pork with root veggies cooked in broth from the roast: turnips, carrots, onion, garlic, and Easter egg radishes. 
  • Comments: None.

Day 21 - Tuesday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Pushing Mountains, Carrying the Moon, Plucking Stars; And, just for fun, I decided to add in some jumping jacks. Did 3 sets of 25 right after doing Convict Conditioning:
    1. Pushups: Step Two, Incline Pushups (1 set of 35, 2 sets of 20)
    2. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tucks (1 set of 10, 2 sets of 12) 
  • Breakfast: 3-egg omelet with mushrooms sauteed in grass-fed butter.
  • Lunch: Fasted. 
  • Supper: Leftovers. Heated up the slow-cooked pulled pork in a skillet, added a bunch of bok choy to the veggie mix and let it wilt down.
  • Comments: None.

Day 22 - Wednesday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Separating Water, Pushing Mountains; 30 min walking plus some barefoot sprinting on the beach.
  • Breakfast: Lots of fruit: strawberries, nectarine, grapes, blueberries.
  • Lunch/Supper: Had a very late meal. More leftovers. This time, I reheated the meat in the veggies with some extra broth, to kind of make a stew. Had it with a lovely Beaujolais wine.
  • Comments:  This is the 1 year anniversary for receiving the news that my mother had passed away.

Day 23 - Thursday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Lifting the Sky, Plucking Stars, Turning Head. 30 min. walking.
  • Breakfast: Fasted.
  • Lunch: Hi, my name is Amanda, and I am a pabellon criollo addict :-P
  • Supper: Grilled some AMAZING steaks. I have a wonderful neighbor & friend from Argentina, and he cooks up a mean churrasco. Depending on which country you are talking about, churrasco can mean different things. In this case, it's skirt steak and is traditionally served with a fantastic olive oil & herb sauce called chimichurri. It typically has parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and some vinegar or lemon/lime juice plus additional seasonings to taste, which can include cilantro (sometimes in equal proportions with the parsley), red pepper (if you like it spicy) and various spices such as cumin, black pepper, coriander, etc. It really is the perfect accompaniment to grilled beef. Also had a side salad with avocado, tomato, onion, and olive oil.
  • Comments: July 4th. Had a party! Also had a little too much red wine. But, I also had a ton of fun with good friends and neighbors with a BBQ by the pool. Got plenty of sun (for vitamin D3 production!), swam and played, and was able to feel totally happy and relaxed, and not dwell at all about my mom. It was a fantastic day! 

Day 24 - Friday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Lifting the Sky, Plucking Stars, Carrying the Moon. 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Strawberries and blueberries with boldo tea (to help my liver out after wine the night before).
  • Lunch: Cuban! Ropa vieja (a type of slow-cooked beef with a tomato base...I'm going to post this as a recipe on the site one day), white rice, black beans, and platanos maduros. A really HUGE meal.
  • Supper: Homemade guacamole and organic white corn chips.
  • Comments: None.

Day 25 - Saturday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Carrying the Moon, Lifting the Sky, Drumming Kidneys with Touching Toes; 1 hr walking; 3 sets of 25 jumping jacks.
  • Breakfast:  Nectarine, grapes, strawberries, blueberries.
  • Lunch:  Homemade guacamole with organic white corn chips.
  • Supper:  Tapioca crust pizza with pepperoni, lacinato kale, portobello mushrooms, jalapenos.
  • Comments: None.

I will keep logging my food and activity until I leave for Costa Rica to learn Qigong from my Sifu (which will be more than 30 days). I'll be gone a week for that, and while I am there I will be able to stick pretty closely to primal (but I'll definitely eat some white rice, black beans, and probably some homemade corn tortillas), and the food is all local, fresh, and deeeeelicious!  I am going to stick to the Convict Conditioning plan indefinitely going forward, and will continue to add in additional activity wherever possible. I may even continue to log meals after I return from the trip -- we'll see. 

Looking back at this update, I definitely ate out more than I wanted and did not do nearly enough CC training, but considering the circumstances (and knowing myself and my tendencies) I could have done a LOT worse.  

Thanks for reading :-)

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