WholeFamily Whole30 – Half Way

Day 15! Can you believe we made it?

I contemplated posting once-per-week, but I did that when I did a successful W30 back in 2016, and you can read all about it over here. Further, in order to achieve my 2019 goal of blogging more, I’m hoping to post twice a month on the 1st and 15th of each month going forward, instead of “all-the-sudden trying to climb a mountain that is too big” with posting weekly etc, so lets start with a realistic goal shall we? What do you think?

So, we’re I’m officially HALF WAY DONE with our “WholeFamily, Whole30”. (Spoiler Alert!)

Can I just tell you guys how lucky I am that my family is was doing this with me? When I did this on my own back in 2016, it was so hard! The fridge and cupboards were stocked with “non-compliant” food and I had to will power my way through it a few times.

The subsequential other times I tried doing a W30, back in January 2017, February 2018, and September 2018 I failed miserably despite wanting to succeed.  This time, since we only have Whole30 food in the house (upstairs anyway), there isn’t a real possibility to slip.

Jason: Ended up going off the program as of Friday the 11th, but agreed he’d stay W30 at home. I think this is a great compromise. He works construction, so his lunch choices were limited unless he wanted a salad for lunch, which he did not, and he wasn’t on Whole30 for himself, but rather in support for me. The amount of money we were spending in nuts, and compliant jerky/snacks was a pinch ridiculous for “sympathy eating”, and I could tell he was miserable, so I cut him off from feeling obligated anymore, and his mood lifted.

Kay: She is still on plan as of today. Her friends at school think she has some kind of medical condition. One kid at lunch thinks she must have diabetes if she can’t have any sugar anymore, and another kiddo commenting that “It’s just not natural to not have added sugar.”

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I think her lunches looked pretty darn good (and as you can tell by all the fruit, the girl is not lacking in the sugar department)!

Truth be told though, I think we’ll wean her off the program this Friday night, however. As a growing pre-teen, she needed more calories but just wanted fruit. The girl plowed through two pints of raspberries in one sitting. We decided her fruit addiction needed to stop, so as of the 18th – she’ll be in re-intro mode with some high-quality full fat, grass-fed dairy.  Hopefully, 18 days was long enough to get some stuff out of her system. I’m genuinely interested to know if she is dairy or gluten (or anything else) sensitive due to frequent complaints of tummy pain.

She did say, she still wanted home lunch however unless the school’s hot lunch was irresistible. Sounds 80/20 textbook Paleo to me! We shall see.

Me: I’m still going strong! (Don’t worry, I’m not bailing). This has been my best attempt yet. I feel in control, and not overly missing, “All the things”. The food choices I’ve prepared have been better, and I’m snacking a lot less which tells me my meals are balanced right. I’m also feeling – AMAZING. My painful heartburn, which plagued me nearly every day, along with bloating has completely gone away.

My ‘severe’ shoulder/back pain/inflammation that would nearly take my breath away, (that I blamed on our bed not being comfortable) all but disappeared. (Clearly, it’s not our bed, it was inflammatory foods.) Further, despite only getting an average of 6-hours of sleep I wake up in the morning completely refreshed. No more waking up in the middle of the night, tossing & turning while I process sugar from my nightcap(s) of wine and sugary snacks that went along with said wine. (Ahem pretzels/chips & salsa).

So – for the next 15 days I will continue to cook W30 dinners for my family, while also re-introducing foods for our daughter.

As for me – Cheers to the next 15 days!

Share:
– Do you have any resets that you’re doing in the month of January?
– Do you experience chronic inflammation such as upper back/shoulder pain, or acid reflux?

Have you ever tried paleo, or removing potentially inflammatory foods?

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Journey to the Homestead pt. 4

The building process has been trying, so much so that I cut off all my hair! (#ClassicGirls)

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Kay has been having sleepovers with her besties in the suburbs from our old neighbourhood (At least we didn’t move across state or country so we’re still within an hour to our old stomping grounds), and she started 4th grade!

The drive to her school has been interesting, but training me for what is to come when we move even futher out of town.

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We FINALLY got a permit for our house build on August 22!

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FINALLY broke ground today, and got our official address!!! It’s gettin’ real, and it’s gettin’ fun. Footings and poured walls are in! 🥂🍾🥂💝

Footings and poured basement walls are done! Next up is waterproofing and backfilling, and on deck is framing!

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Journey to the Homestead pt. 3

Had a few bonfires because our bed would not fit outside of the bedroom, so we had to tear it apart… along with the piano that nobody wanted, or the picnic table that was too large to move, and that the new buyers didn’t want either.

A few friends joined me for the final bonfire at our house in the suburbs. We enjoyed wine, memories, and a fine time.

“I know they say, you can’t go home again…” Just closed on our house of 10 years on July 10 and drove away for the last time after handing the keys over. Our first house. The house where Kay was first brought home after coming into this world, where I made dear friends enjoying having wine on the deck, and becoming a home chef… the longest place we’ve ever lived… So many memories. Such a bittersweet day. Onto the next chapter…

We’re officially living in the country with our in-laws, and settling into this dirt.road. country life.

Meanwhile, the excavators have arrived on the land!! 🤗 Forward progress is awesome!!! Look… I have a real driveway now!

Earlier this month while Kay was at Girl Scout camp, we were spared by the hand of God!!! 👐🙌🙏

An EF-1 Tornado dissipated right where we are staying at my in-laws homestead. Never heard alarms, no alarms on the phone – nothing. (Thanks a lot NOAA 😡) Makes living without power for over 24 hours fine compared to what could have been! Thank you sweet and merciful Jesus! 

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Kay had a wonderful time at camp learning about making new friends, kayaking by herself, and learning a bit of self-sufficiency!

Later this month we visited the county fair in the county we will be living at, and decided that out of all county fairs we’ve ever been to, that this was our favourite.  Kay is hopeful to join 4H next year, and show goats, and rabbits. I swooned over the goats and can’t wait to make that dream a reality!

Today the survey is finally getting done! Next up is the permit, and hopefully we are breaking land soon! I’m gonna pop a cork when that finally happens! #LetsGetDigging 🚜🍾🥂🏡

Journey to the Homestead pt. 2

Land agreement officially accepted!!!! (Meet the keeper of our land right now…

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Each time I head out to the land I see deer. I think Jason is thrilled! One even winked at me!) Home inspection on our current house – very minimal work to be done, we’re heading to closing on 7/10.

Mid-month we took a much needed trip out to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We went in to Crab Lake out of Ely, MN with a 420 rod portage after a tow across Burntside Lake! We were well treated with solitude, and amazing SMB fishing! We had an absolutely amazing time, and while I started writing a separate trip report, decided with packing and getting everything ready to launch on our closing date I’d make a video to capture everything instead. Enjoy!

Last week we met with our building team, and closed on our 20 acre dream land in the country! Let the clearing of land and house building commence! 🌳🌳🏡🌳🌳🚜🐖🐑🐄🐔🐓🌲🌳🌲🌲

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Journey to the Homestead pt. 1

Two weeks ago our dream property fell into our proverbial lap.

One week ago we drove 25 miles north to breathe in the land that we hoped would become our own.

A too cute farmhouse situated on twenty acres of woods for hunting, rivers for paddling, porch rocking, and plenty of space for gardens, chickens, goats and more.Cover letter made – we put an offer in on the house.

Haiku’s about moving

I don’t like to pack
Packing is a lot of work
But I want a farm

Nothing’s set in stone
Emotions are running high
Let this turn out right

Really want this home
Have to trust in Gods will now
Help me have peace

Goats sound really fun
Twenty acres of land too
Right on a river

A house became available that was romantically delightful. A too cute farmhouse situated on 20 acres of woods and river. Cover letter made – we put an offer in on the house.

After several negotiations – the sellers would not sell to us based on a contingency that our house would sell first, so it fell through. We were crushed, but hopeful that something else would come along.

I was devestated.

That next weekend was mothers day weekend. I went to EBC brokenhearted, and wondering why God said no since in my mind I had already moved into the house – when this song was sung by our worhsip team at the Anoka Eagle Brook Church.

“You’re never gonna let – never gonna let me down – you’re never gonna let me down.. You are good – good – ohhhhhh…”

I realized in that moment – that God wasn’t letting me down – people – these people may let me down, but God never will. I had a plan for my life – for my house – just as I had a plan for my dad living past the age of 64 – but – He is good. His plans are not our plans, but He is good. He knows the plans He has for us, and they are good.

He came to die for us – and that is good. I know without a doubt I will see my dad again and we will not be homeless.

So began the search for land, and house to help this farmhouse dream come to fruition.

Finally – a bit of sweet, undeveloped, heavily wooded land, on a dirt road.

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Winter Camping – Take 3

Ah – my last and final winter camping trip!

My co-worker Bre and I decided to head up north again for another addition of Winter camping. This time we were fully outfitted with CCS Pulks, a winter tent and hot stove. Along with additional friends NingA & Canoearoo, we made the most of our cushy winter camping experience.

We ended up choosing the Clearwater entry point for the amazing vistas, high recommendations, and general feasibility. Starting back at the end of September we poured out ideas for various locations which included Wood Lake, Sawbill, Missing Link Lake etc. But in the end we decided a base-camp on Clearwater would be the right choice for us.

A new staple in my wilderness packing is Melatonin. I am/was a horrific wilderness sleeper. I absolutely LOVE my days out in the wild, but at nightfall my imagination runs dangerously free. I imagine wolves, bears, and weirdos surrounding us waiting to kill… and I usually get zero sleep at night, which often causes me to feel sick the next several days after the trip to lack of sleep… so again this time I was armed… with good old fashioned pharmaceuticals.

My trip just two weeks ago proved to me that I could sleep peacefully in the woods.

Thursday March 2, 2017
Thursday afternoon we pulled out of the Twin Cities and embarked on that wonderful four hour car ride up Interstate 35 all the way up to Grand Marais. Once we neared Tettegouche State Park there was no end to the amount of deer we saw crossing, and along side of Hwy 61 all the way to our bunkhouse! This would be the highlight of our wilderness viewing.

Once we arrived in Grand Marais, we swung into Voyageur Brewery for a bite to eat, however with some various dietary concerns, and lack of options we relocated over to the Harbor House Grille. An adorable restaurant built out of an old house. We cozied up next to the fire place, and shared great conversation for the weekend ahead and had burgers 4 ways!

After dinner we shot a bit past Grand Marais to sleep at the The Hungry Hippie Farm & Hostel that is popular with Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) enthusiasts as it is shortly off the trail. In many ways I would have been happy to just set up shop right here for the remaining days.

The drive up CR-14 was long and dark. We passed the SHT and began wondering if there was going to be a sign directing us to the hostel. Eventually, through the trees,  all light up in the dark was the outline of the barn – obviously our turn.  We parked, knocked on the house door, and were greeted enthusiastically by the owners and their children. She showed us around, the downstairs common area, including the individual rooms that go for $50 (they were pretty nice), and brought us to the upstairs of the barn where the -cheaper-  bunks were. They were absolutely adorable, and in chalk had noted our bunks!

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We all snuggled up in our beds, donned our headlamps and read our books, or Skyped our husbands for the last time before our real wilderness adventure began! In the evening the barn got pretty hot. Our one trip-mate stealthily jumped down from the top bunk and turned down the heat. From here on out she earned her trail name ~ NingA.

We dozed off to sleep, thankful that we were sleeping in the bunkhouse tonight since the temperatures dropped down to -6 degrees.

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Friday March 3, 2017
With temperatures hovering barely to zero, we woke up semi-lazily, and headed back in towards Grand Marais for coffee & breakfast at Java Moose. The view back in towards Grand Marais was absolutely spectacular with clear skies you could see for miles and miles down the coast. I am absolutely kicking myself now for not pulling over for a photo opp.

At Java Moose we enjoyed tasty oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches, and then were soon on our way up the Gunflint Trail where we saw more deer on the side of the road. I immediately threw off my fears of wolves since there were so many deer for their picking.

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The drive down Clearwater Road was so pretty. Eventually we came to the Clearwater entry point at the end of the road to a non-parking lot, and ended up driving out onto the ice by accident.

Backed up the trailer, and parked on the side of the boat launch where others instructed us to park.

We unloaded fairly quickly, thought at times it looked like a yard sale in the middle of the parking lot, since two others were going on a winter adventure ahead of us, and then 3 more pulled up behind us.

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As we crossed the ice – the ice was absolutely BOOMING! It sounded like this for the entire day and into the night. At first it was a bit unnerving when a big boom thundered underfoot, but eventually I got used to it, and rather liked the sound.

Eventually we passed from the public areas into the wilderness towards our camp off the BRT (Border Route Trail).  The banks up to the campsite were very steep and ice laden. I wonder how tricky it is in the warmer months…

We found a nice spot for the tent that was protected from the wind by some trees. Unfortunately the snow was kind of crummy for snow anchors, so we had to anchor out to the surrounding trees.  Canoearoo and NinjA went off to gather wood while Bre and I got the tent and stove set up.

Later that night I took my Nils ice auger out and drilled through 2.5 feet of ice for some water. We all spent time cutting wood,and using the axe. After Bre went to town with the axe we gave her trail name to her – “LumberBre“.

Canoearoo and I got our holes drilled for tip-ups hoping for some legendary Lake Trout. We used huge frozen minnows on treble hooks and waited eagerly for the monsters to bite while NinjA and LumberBre gathered some more wood down the shore line far away from camp.

The day was cold, but with the position of the sun, and lack of wind it felt pretty warm. Everyone was in high spirits.

Later that night we pulled in our tip-ups, and set off to make dinner, but not before we took in the breathtaking views of the sunset on Clearwater Lake.

Since one of my trip partners is a vegetarian, and the others have a bit of specific needs of their own we all decided to pack our own meals.

After Basecamp Dad and I’s trip two weeks ago I discovered I HATE doing dishes in the winter, due to frozen hands so I packed in delights that required no dishes to be washed.

Tonight’s meal was a Good – to – Go – meal. I had the Classic Marinara with Penne. They are vegetarian and gluten free, and delicious! They took about 20-minutes to set after we spend a while boiling water.  Bre charged her iPhone off my Biolite stove.

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The Classic Marinara, mixed in with a bit of crushed red pepper, it was pretty darn good. I would definitely have this again. Serving size says 2, and for me, I would say that was right. I had a bunch left over.

After dinner we got our food hung, and Bre got the hot tent – well – getting hot. Once inside we saw the benefit of a hot tent. We all hunkered inside and had some good conversation while contemplating the days activity quietly to ourselves.

That night felt terribly cold. I had a zero degree sleeping bag, and with the forecast calling for a low of 16 degrees it barely felt adequate. During the middle of the night, my head (which was under two hats and a balaclava) became terribly cold, and I clung to my hot packs for dear life.

The hot tent was not hot, though we didn’t keep it prime stoked throughout the night. It was cold. So very cold that night.

Saturday March 4, 2017
To be honest. Last night – was rough. It was SO COLD!

We did wake up to a warm tent however. Bre had gotten the fire going first thing in the morning, and we all woke up pleasantly so after a cold – cold night. We hung out for quite a while in the tent before getting the courage to go out and get our breakfast going. NinjA had brought her food inside the tent, so she got her breakfast taco going/defrosting on the wood stove, and her coffee as well. (Good call).

Eventually we all meandered out of the tent, and re-drilled the hole so we could get some fresh water boiling for everyone’s water/coffee for the day.

Today’s high was supposed to be 36 with a low of 25, but it was absolutely frigid. I definitely packed for the forecast, and not the worst case scenario. I’m not very talented at this winter camping game!

I enjoyed a huge thermos of Starbucks Via – Italian Roast, and some Bailey’s non-alcoholic creamer which I had to warm by the outdoor fire to defrost since it was frozen solid. The Italian Roast is decidedly not my favorite. It is kind of bitter, so you really need the cream to cut it. I also had a Kind breakfast bar. This was about as low maintenance as you can get for breakfast.

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Bre & NinjA packed up a day-pack and hiked up the Border Route Trail towards Rove Lake so they could see Canada, and Canoearoo and myself tried our hand at some more ice fishing, and relaxing.

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We ended up moving down to the lake out of camp for the day since it was sunny on the ice, and warmed us up a bit.

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Later on for lunch I tried my bagel sandwich with turkey, basil and onion. It was the “Bruegers Bagel” of the north woods, but it too froze completely the night before, and it had to be warmed on the fire. After I got it to an edible state it was pretty good.  I have to remember to make these when we go car camping.

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Still cold, and not thoroughly enjoying this whole winter camping thing… I joked to Canoearoo that I bet I could hike out to my SUV, drive to the Trail Center, have a hot meal and be back before the others came back from their hike, but in the end I sucked it up, and enjoyed myself with good company and conversation.

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Eventually the other ladies came back from their hike. While crossing a lake they felt uneasy about it, and heard some uncomforting cracking sounds, so they quickly got off the ice and made their way back. They said the trail was exceptionally groomed as if someone went through with a snowblower making a nice clear path.

We began gathering our stuff up for the hike out tomorrow, and agreed we’d skip breakfast in camp and head straight for Trail Center in the morning for a big hearty meal that we didn’t have to prepare or thaw.

After our evening chores were complete, we got our various dinners going. This time was another addition of Good-To-Go Thai Curry. It was very delicious with peas, broccoli, and green beans, and none of them tasted dehydrated.  Again, there was far too much for me to eat.

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NinjA had the fire going in the hot tent, so when everything was battened down we retreated to the tent which was real warm, and felt good with the wind picking up speed. As the others started fading one by one, I got lost deeply in my William Kent Krueger Book, “Copper Ridge” the sixth in his installment on the Corcoran O’Conner series. To say I’m hooked is an understatement!

I donned six hot packs throughout my body after last night’s uncomfortable sleep, and changed up my clothes which felt much warmer. NinjA kept the fire going throughout the night.

Laying there it sounded like F14 Jets were taking off on the eastern side of Clearwater and roared their way down the runway of the lake. I was surely glad I wasn’t paddling in it as it whipped our tent. I prayed our knots would hold, and they did.

Tonight was much much warmer, and I slept mostly comfortable.

Sunday March 5, 2017
We all arose about 7:30 or so. We laid there not wanting to get out of our sleeping bags with the cool air on our noses, but one by one we sat up. The wood stove was cool to the touch, and looking around I said, “In the words of Basecamp Dad… lets pack this *hit up!”.

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So we did, and in no time we were back down on the ice ready to pull our pulks westbound down Clearwater Lake. We arrived to the car without dramatics, and took off towards Trail Center.

I drank about 6 cups of coffee with creamer, and thee most delicious blueberry french toast with sausage a girl could find on the Gunflint Trail. If you haven’t checked out Trail Center… drop everything you have, and drive straight here. You won’t regret it, or their adorable customer service.

Final Thoughts
Alas, my final thoughts… Firstly- I really really wanted to enjoy this. But… for me it was cold. Maybe my gear was not robust enough, but I found winter camping to me more work than the reward…

We found out once we were back in civilization that Friday > Saturday got down to 10 below zero!!!! No wonder I was so cold!

The silence of the north-woods in the winter is breathtaking, and awe inspiring. It drowns out the sounds in my head… and tunes into the sounds of my soul, making the emotion absolutely deafening.

For this reason, I’m drawn to these spaces, but these feelings I get, I do find during the warmer months as well..

While I probably will not venture out into these snowy months washout the promise of a  sound heated structure, I will venture to these parts again… I long for the defrosting of lakes frozen, into liquid poetry… to chase the silence… to chase the stillness of my soul… 

Jesse Tree ~ Day 17

Day 17: Isaiah; Remnant Preserved
Isaiah 11:1-10

Today my side of the family celebrates Christmas! Merry Christmas!

A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump,
from his roots a budding Branch.
The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him,
the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength,
the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.
Fear-of-God
will be all his joy and delight.
He won’t judge by appearances,
won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.
He’ll judge the needy by what is right,
render decisions on earth’s poor with justice.
His words will bring everyone to awed attention.
A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked.
Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots,
and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.
A Living Knowledge of God

The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.
Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
their calves and cubs grow up together,
and the lion eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,
the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent.
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,
a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

On that day, Jesse’s Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious.

God, our Lord and savior promises a kingdom of peace. Can you even imagine peace right now?