Life is a journey…

Like many people, I have the best of intentions of eating right and exercising more. Like many people, I often do not meet my goals-in fact too often throw the diet and bathroom scale out the window! I want to be healthier, I follow blogs and Instagram that offer marvelously healthy recipes, visit websites that attempt to encourage and motivate and like many people have a gym membership that is currently being ignored and a bike that is gathering dust at the side of the house.


Oh, I have bad knees, a busy schedule, birthday parties to attend and…well…frankly I have many other excuses too!  I’ll do well for a few weeks at a time but before I know it I am pretty much back to where I started. Maybe not all the way back but far enough.

One day I was catching up on blog posts and came across a posting that caught my eye at Blue Jangmi. She was participating in a Whole Food Challenge. The idea of the challenge is to remove specific items from you diet for 30 days, restart your metabolism,  and change the way you think about food.  When you reintroduce items you can possibly determine if certain foods are causing you problems.  You can then eliminate these foods from your diet. Also, after 30 days, you will have (hopefully) broken your bad food habits and maybe then you can begin healthier eating habits-right? Sounded good. I chuckled and commented to her that although it sounded nice, I just didn’t have 30 days in my life where I could avoid eating certain things and so good luck to her.  She kindly replied letting me know that there was never a perfect time to do something that was important for yourself.

…And I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
…And I decided to do it!

I didn’t talk about my decision very much because, frankly, I didn’t know if I could really do it. What started out to just be a personal challenge with some hopes of success turned into a meaningful journey. I committed to the September 2016 Whole 30 Challenge.


I relied on Instagram for most of my information, motivation, and encouragement. I began to follow other people who were participating in the challenge and before long not only was I using some of their recipes but I was posting some of my own. I began to experiment and try new foods. Instead of just zucchini and yellow squash I tried acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. I learned to drink my coffee black, to forgo artificial sweeteners, to create a pumpkin chill that  was husband approved,  and make scrambled eggs with grated sweet potatoes (who knew you could do so many things with sweet potatoes???)

I read product labels for hidden sugars and started using something called coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to enhance the taste of some foods. I stared making my own ghee (a clarified butter) instead of actual butter. Full fat coconut milk and avocados became a part of my diet. No more wine with dinner (for 30 days anyway) or bread…but somehow I didn’t really miss it all much. (well, maybe the creamer in my coffee)

In a short while I noticed changes in the way my clothes were fitting. Since you’re giving up your relationship with food and your scale, I was not supposed to weigh or measure myself the entire 30 days.

Did I actually feel better you might ask? Well, yes and no. I was sleeping better but my joints still hurt. I didn’t have any specific food issues previously so I couldn’t judge changes in that way. I seemed to have more energy and I was not hungry between meals. My favorite meal of the day was dessert and I didn’t ( and don’t) even miss that!! Apples seemed to satisfy my sweet tooth most of the time.

I did feel a sense of accomplishment when I completed the entire 30 days.

I lost 11 pounds and a week later I was down 15 pounds. By November down 20 pounds. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a ways to go. The funny thing is I rather like maintaining this paleo-ish eating style. As we entered into the holiday season I knew there were many eating opportunities/challenges before me  and I took advantage of some (and maybe many?)  But… I needed to remember one of my favorite quotes:

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So I planned and tried to make choices that worked for me.

During this time, one of my daughters  was busy jumping out of airplanes and challenging herself. She bought a motorcycle. She was learning to make changes in different ways  Her thoughts were if she can do this she can do anything!!  She was an inspiration to me! Anything is possible….


I am happy to announce she eloped this past weekend!

(talk about moving out of your comfort zone!)

While I had no plans of jumping out of an airplane, don’t like motorcycles,  and happily married to Thommee for almost 29 years, I was excited to see where this journey might take me.

A January Whole 30 Challenge began this month and I jumped back on board.


I felt the tune-up would help keep me on track after the holidays. It is going great. I will complete this challenge on January 30. I plan to continue on a somewhat Paleo diet. I love zipping up my jeans and tying my shoelaces. While my path might be somewhat modified, I found many people and supporters making this a life mission. They inspire me too! I am in awe of their dedication to good health but I don’t think it will happen for me in quite the same way. We all need to find our own journey and what works for us, right?  It is amazing what a few changes and attitude can make…and we can always learn and grow.

If you would like to review my journey, check out my Instagram. If you are curious about this Whole 30 program, just click on the link.

Any obstacles you are facing these days?

Happy 2017


26 thoughts on “Life is a journey…

  1. Would love to have you along on the journey. Completed the 30 days and going strong with the Paleo type eating plan which for some crazy reason after all of these years seems to work best for me. I popped over to your blog and always love to keep in touch with a fellow retiree. Best wishes on your journey and thanks for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! Unfortunately, it took a stroke to get me to change my ways. I lost 30 pounds in about 3 months, and have kept all but 5 of them off for over a year now. I’m glad you didn’t have to resort to my own personal motivation. Now, it’s easy to stay on the straight and narrow. I want to watch my granddaughter grow up, and that’s all the motivation I need. 🙂

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  3. An inspiring post, Jan and congratulations! I’ve read the link you attached and love their ‘mission statement’ – tells it like it is and that it isn’t hard! Not compared to so many other events in our lives! I was about to go and get a muffin for a snack but will head to the fruit bowl after all! Also wow, warmest wishes to your daughter and her husband. How exciting to elope – did you have any inkling? Have a great weekend!


  4. Thanks, I appreciate you saying that. I actually don’t know what I’d do without the challenge. It makes it much more interesting (at least for me).

    And don’t worry about catching up. I fall behind, too, and I hope my blogging friends understand that. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never heard of this method. We have a few asthma sufferers in our family so I will look at it. I love the journey in particular as we mature in age, we often mature our attitudes and openness to new ideas. Just barely started your book, so far it’s been very interesting. Will keep you posted. My reading these days is very slow. Too many life distractions I guess!


  6. Thanks for stopping by. I am so thrilled that my daughter has finally found her niche in the world. She has not always taken the easy road. It’s great that we are never too old to learn, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your Instagram challenge of 365 days of gratefulness. Challenges can help keep us motivated and focused. I look forward every day to seeing what you have selected to show gratefulness and you are so creative with your ideas. Thanks for dropping in. I’m so behind in catching up on posts these days. We’ll have to see what you’ve been up to.


  8. Great! I saw that and requested to follow you too. I like Instagram better than Facebook these days. Less intrusive and not so much negativity! Apparently much easier than keeping up with my blog too haha!

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  9. I’m glad you explained the beginning of your Whole 30 journey. It helps put everything in perspective and I’m glad you lost so much weight. Wow. Congratulations. I love any challenge that is healthy and allows you to step out of comfort zones and create a better life for you. Keep up the good work! Our relationship to food is no small thing. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know what you mean! Months ago I turned my notifications off as I was beginning to feel like a slave to my phone. 😃 Now I just check when I check! I think there is a Facebook community as well. I don’t have the book. I do get the newsletter though via email. 👍

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  11. The Whole Food Challenge sounds like a good way to go, not only in the end result but in the way of getting there. I’m glad it worked so well for you. For the past few years I’ve been mostly avoiding dairy, eggs, and wheat. I try to eat mostly whole foods and a minimum of sugar. It helps a bit with my asthma, but I still have a ways to go. This week I started a program to develop better breathing habits using the Buteyko method.

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  12. Marlene, I am so excited to hear that!! That just gave a lift in my step!! I only a few weeks ago found a woman at church who is doing the program. There was a chili cook-off and she made a compliant all meat chili that won first place! No one knew and I only found out by mistake. We both chuckled about that. You really should check out Instagram, there is an incredible network there that is so supportive and encouraging. While I have not been blogging much I have been spending a great deal of time there in the last few months. (Don’t do Facebook much). Glad to hear you’re having some success with this. I couldn’t believe after completing the September challenge how easy it was for me to stay fairly close to the program. I did add back things like almond creamer (which I miss terribly) and beans in my chili. I will complete my 30 days Tuesday of next week. Have no intention of running out to buy a half gallon of ice cream though haha. That was awfully nice of you to make an old woman feel happy and then to be able to restart the program the next day was so awesome. Thank you for your sweet Christmas card and note. It was so great to hear from you. Let me know how your journey progresses. I can tell you it really is worth it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, my goodness!!! I’m on day 14 of the whole 30. I had started it on Jan 6 but by the 10th a friend who had cooked a lovely luncheon was distressed I might not eat it. As she is 80, I ate and started all over again the next morning. I get enough to eat, can cross my legs again and had the first 8 hour night of sleep in years. I’m doing it because my heart was struggling, the fatigue that comes from that and a certainty that diabetes was just a dessert away. The doctor suggested the plan and it’s working seriously well. The only thing I really miss is chewing gum. I use it when I walk to keep my mouth from drying out or from sticking food in it. 🙂 I had quilt group again today and brought my lunch. I’ve been experimenting with more spices and eating avocados. I never liked them before but you can season the heck out of them. I am so DELIGHTED to know it’s working for you. It gives me hope. I let them pass the cookies and chocolate right by me today. Don’t miss it a bit. Do miss a bit of stevia in my tea. Coffee, I already drank black but it’s more decaf than regular now as regular stimulates my appetite. Thank you so much for sharing this. Still in the no scale part of the journey but my clothes are telling the tale. 🙂 Hugs, M


  14. It is so easy to get off track-at least for me. It is no longer about thin thighs, it is about taking pressure off these aching knees and overall being more healthy. I keep thinking that I only have time now to do better. My years of over indulgence have to be behind me if want to have a active and productive life in front of me! We just continue to be a work-in-progress, don’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kudos! I’ve been following a ‘Paleo-ish’ diet for a couple of years now due to food sensitivities. I’ll slide back into old habits from time to time, but then when I start feeling not so good, I quickly get back on track. Ah, I have a daughter that keeps me on my toes too. They do know how to live, don’t they 😃

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  16. WAY TO GO JAN!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I don't use Instagram, but I wandered over and had a look at your lovely photographs – those meals look good. I also looked at the rules of the 30 days. I imagine a lot of folk would look at those and be completely put off. 🙂 I'm not surprised you were a little tentative.

    Coincidentally I got up today knowing I needed to haul myself back on track as I've slowly and gradually and steadily been sliding downhill for the past few months. I find the simpler I eat, the better I feel. Aches and pains are a result of putting the wrong foods into my body. As I like feeling healthy it is worth the small amount of consciousness required to ensure only the good stuff goes in 🙂 Your post is timely and an added incentive to me, thank you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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