Glancing ahead on the calendar, my heart palpitates for a minute at the sight of that lonely number 1. What? Already?? You’ve been there before, too, no doubt. Time, you sneaky bastard.
June was a whirlwind of a month. Looking back, it seems like half the time I was driving between Maryland and New Jersey. Podcasts and Spotify literally saved me during those long trips. My brother’s wedding and attending Fancy Food were definitely the highlights; you can read more about them here. By the end I was completely drained and ready to give serious attention to the art of relaxation.
Thankfully July felt the way summer should- full of adventures, funny movies, good company, and (of course) good food.
One of my roommates lives in Baltimore, so I visited her over July 4th. We had a fantastic day going for a “hike” to Starbucks (no joke, there’s actually a trail through the woods) and hanging out at the pool, where we discovered that if you throw a vaseline-coated watermelon into the water, children will fight each other for it. The night ended on a high as we cooked dinner together and settled in for a movie.
Grilled Veggie Pesto Pizza entered the scene around the same time, as my second recipe feature this month, on Pure Taste Recipes. (You’ll find the first feature here.) Adults are just big kids at heart, who sometimes want to eat the way they used to. This pizza is a twist on a childhood favorite that takes so little time and makes dinner appear just a tiny bit more adult-ish.
Then, two weeks ago, we sent my younger brother off to volunteer for a month before starting his gap year program. He and I only really grew close a few years ago, and I’ve been away from home most of the time. Despite the miracles of modern technology we have at our fingertips, the time zone difference makes it feel like we’re drastically further apart now. It’s also strange to think of my parents as empty nesters. Frankly, I don’t think they’ve quite figured out how to do it yet, but they’ll get there. (And, because he’s an awesome brother and reads all my posts, I’ll just give him a little wave.)
In other, more personal news, I’ve made a few big shifts in my own life over the last month. It started with physical activity. Over the years various sports were part of my life, ranging from gymnastics and figure skating to soccer and tae kwon do (I earned my black belt shortly after my 15th birthday). Outside of those practices and classes, though, I struggled to get myself to the gym. Sure, I say that I enjoy working out but curling up with a good book is so wonderful. Mental workouts were my jam.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that my attitude changed. Maybe because I walk almost every day during my commute to work. Regardless, walking outside for even half an hour leaves me noticeably more clear-minded. It’s time for me to listen to podcasts, get a dose of vitamin D, and think in peace. But it’s more than that. Something about exercise finally clicked; I actually look forward to spin and yoga class. I’m even excited to pretend I know how to use the weights in the gym! (Truthfully strength training is on my list of things to learn this year.)
Part of this newfound pleasure in fitness is my voracious need to learn more about nutrition. Wait, isn’t that old news? Well…. yes, if you ask my friends, they’ll immediately attest to my severe lack of any other conversation topic. I have a longstanding love for the science, and now our relationship is moving to the next level, beyond Google searches for the the benefits of collagen (used here and here), when to use baking soda versus baking powder (Sally’s Baking Addiction does a great explanation), and what all the recent hype is about coconut oil (read more here).
So, I did what I always do, and sat down to read, which brings us to the end of this chapter and the start of the next one.
Nearing the End, Let’s Go Out With a Bang
The contenders: me versus my digestive system. The challenge: Whole 30. The rules: No grains, added sugars, legumes, dairy, or alcohol.
For the next month I’m taking on Whole 30 in the hopes of resetting my system and uncovering what I’m intolerant to. I was in the midst of reading It Starts With Food, by Dan and Melissa Hartwig, when I realized that there was nothing to lose. If it could help so many others suffering similar issues, then why not me? And, as they say, “it’s only 30 days.”
The more I read and learned, the more mixed feelings I had. One voice cheering me on, while another is calling me crazy. Despite it all (maybe even in spite), I’m not scared of a challenge, so I’m determined to do this.
Before you say anything, I know. There are chickpeas. But I haven’t started Whole 30 quite yet.
So… what does this mean for you?
You’ll get to live vicariously through me! As I share Whole 30 compliant recipes, aka what will be on my plate, I’ll also take you along for the ride. If you decide that you want to join me, then please let me know! For the first week it may be a case of ‘misery loves company,’ but as our bodies adjust and function better than ever, we can trade out that maxim for ‘the more the merrier.’
One last thing before signing off- Lenses and Lentils’ content schedule is getting an upgrade! Cue the hurrahs! From now on you can look forward to two posts per week instead of just one. I guess you’re just so fun to talk to.