I’m officially That Crazy Whole30 Lady

I had to travel into London this week to go to the US embassy to apply for a new passport because, like the genius I am, I lost my last one. Going from Bath to London is kind of a pain in the ass. You either have to cough up an unreasonable amount of money for a train ticket, or get on a coach that takes 3+ hours each way. But I was determined to make a good trip out of it. 

The universe had slightly different ideas. Starting with the fact that the aircon on my bus from Bath to London on Monday night was broken AND the radiators were on full blast because of an engine fault. 

But turns out that was to be the least of this Whole30-er’s issues. 

I love living in Bath, but one thing I find myself seriously deprived of here is decent sushi. I’d never ask for ‘great’ or even ‘good’ sushi in this country outside Nobu because that’s just unrealistic. But I got used to having constant access to Itsu in Brighton, so I now go out of my way to find an Itsu whenever I’m in London or Brighton. Luckily, I knew that there are two Itsus close to the US embassy in London, so I planned to have lunch at one after I’d sorted my passport out. Only problem is I can’t eat soy sauce. 

But I have had a savior this month in the form of Coconut Aminos; a sauce made from the sap of coconut trees that is a surprisingly OK Whole30-friendly soy sauce substitute. I bought a bottle off Amazon for a whopping £9 when my Whole30 first started, but it’s been a worthwhile investment. 

So by now you probably know where this is heading. I brought my whole bottle of Coconut Aminos with me into London so I could bring it to Itsu and have it with my sashimi. I cannot tell you how how much I was looking forward to this meal after 3 long weeks of god damn salmon and sweet potato fish cakes and protein salads. 

But, as it turns out, the US embassy really didn’t care how excited I was to have sashimi with my precious Coconut Aminos because, as they informed me when I was going through security, it doesn’t matter how much money I spent on the stuff on Amazon. 

“Large bottles of liquid aren’t allowed in the building, madam.” Well, at least he called me “madam” as opposed to “ma’am” like they do in the States. I hate that. 

Now, I could break here to go on a rant about how the US embassy (and the US in general) takes itself so cripplingly seriously it’s almost comic. But I won’t, because I haven’t received my passport yet and I really need it to go on honeymoon next month soooo…

Honestly, when Mr. Security Man told me I’d have to dump my whole lovely bottle of aminos, I very nearly had a panic attack. He was fucking with all my sushi plans. DIDN’T THIS TOOL KNOW HE WAS FUCKING WITH ALL MY SUSHI PLANS? But, using my mindfulness, I attempted to find a solution instead of having a – what would have been entirely justified – meltdown over a bottle of imitation soy sauce. Mr. Security Man told me that I could either ask a pharmacy a few roads away to store it for me for something like £10 (LOL no) or I could leave it precariously next to a bin outside and just pray that it would still be there when I finished up my passport appointment. 

I weighed up my options (few) and how much I valued my dignity (not very) and tried as subtly as possible to leave my Coconut Aminos next to the aforementioned bin, all the while maintaining eye contact with Mr. Security Guard hoping that he might back me up in case anyone accused me of attempting to plant a bomb. Who knew my Whole30 journey would find me at one point getting dangerously close to being accused of attempted terrorism? Life certainly does take unexpected turns. 

So I spent my 1 1/2 hours in the embassy asking the universe, without a hint of irony, to please protect my Coconut Aminos. It was stressful. 

Leaving the imposing concrete building once my appointment was over, I attempted to remain calm. After all, a crazy lady running out of the embassy towards a bin was bound to look even dodgier than leaving the bottle by the bin in the first place. 

I saw a grounds worker collecting rubbish from off the pavement. My heart began to thud. I was too late. 

But then there it was. My Coconut Aminos still tucked next to the same bin, mercilessly untouched. 

I speed-walked up to it. I picked it up. I hugged it. I saw a bunch of people queuing outside the embassy looking at me funny. I did not care. I had officially become a Crazy Whole30 Lady, but what the fuck ever. 

I got my sushi. All was well. 

(And don’t worry, Whole30 police, I didn’t eat the edamame.)


It’s too damn hot to not be allowed to eat ice cream

Day 18 of my Whole30! Woohoo! We’re WELL into double digits, people!
I feel pretty good so far. I can’t say I feel fantastic, but I certainly don’t feel bad in the slightest. According to the timeline in the official Whole30 guide, days 10 and 11 are meant to be the toughest, so if that’s the case, then I guess I’m doing pretty well, as last weekend really wasn’t so bad at all. Not to say that spending that weekend mainly in our flat by myself (hubs was away supervising DofE) hasn’t been a little hard… There’s most of a pint of Phish Food in our freezer that I swear was whispering my name when I was trying to read last Saturday night.

But besides that, I’m doing OK. Although I have to admit I’m eating probably way more dried fruit than is officially sanctioned by the powers that be behind the Whole30, but I need the energy. Because otherwise I get home from a full day at work PLUS teaching and/or practicing/going to the gym/going on a training walk and I’m totally exhausted. Like, head on the pillow and I’m out kind of exhausted. So I need to work on getting my energy levels up somehow.

In non-Whole30-related life news, we’ve just been for another training walk today for out 100 km walk from Bath to Cheltenham and good god it was HOT and I now resemble a lobster. So I have absolutely all my fingers and toes crossed that the actual event day (which is now less than 2 weeks away *cue crazy freakout*). James managed to complete the South Downs Challenge last summer in just under 19 hours. We’re not going to beat that record, but I’d be happy with completing within 20 hours. 
P.S. If you haven’t sponsored us, PLEASE DO! You can do so here.
And here’s the miscellaneous crap that’s been on my mind recently:
– I wrote an article about fitness for work that entailed going to a bunch of different workout classes and having my ass kicked numerous times. Read it here.

– By far my favourite meal I made this week was turkey meatballs in marinara sauce. Recipe here.

– Was very sad to hear of Adam West passing away recently, so now is a good time to bring attention to what I think is his best work, Lookwell.

– I’ve just started my 52 week Happiness Planner and totally love it!

– As recommended to me by mindfulness teacher/overall babe, Jackie, I’ve started reading a beautiful book called When Things Fall Apart by Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron. Pema is an absolute badass and inspiration. You can listen to her talks on YouTube
That’s all from me for this week! I know this is a short post, but that article I wrote for work is fucking LONG and also my hayfever has turned me into a living breathing ball of mucus and sneezes the past few days. It’s desperately unattractive. 

I’m back. For realsies. Promise. 

I realised a few days ago that I have taken yet another massive hiatus from this blog. Oy vey. 
I’m not going to apologise, though, because the lack of writing was mainly due to the fact that I started a new job at a wedding website where I write A LOT about random shit about weddings… which I’m good at because I know way too much random shit about weddings anyway so it’s great to have a place to word-vom all of it.

But this new job has also been a catalyst for me making a couple of resolutions to myself (even though we’re half way through the year now but shhhh). The first is that, because I have to write so much for work now, I will write more for myself. Which isn’t something I’ve really done in a long time – especially fiction writing – so rebooting this blog is part of that initiative.
The second is that I need to get my shit together and finally do the Whole30, which I have been umming and aahing over for a couple of months. Now that my Uveitis is back and I’ve returned to pummelling my body with drugs (and not the fun kind), I have to start taking better care of myself. The Whole30 was first brought to my attention by my friend Bobbi as a way to help some awful stomach cramps I’d been having which I couldn’t understand the cause of. I went ahead and bought the book and did a load of research… and then didn’t start it. I realised this was stupid of me, so 7 days ago I cut the crap and went full speed ahead.

I’ll talk more about Whole30 in the coming days and weeks, keeping you updated on my progress, how much I’m craving Phish Food ice cream, and what my fave Whole30 compliant recipes are. And if you don’t give a shit, well, don’t read my blog until July I guess. (Only do because I love you!) I am going to need all the moral support and cheerleading I can get because tbh I just really love pasta and sugar and I’m dreading going to the cinema this weekend to see Wonder Woman and not being allowed my precious pick ‘n’ mix. Pray for me. 

Anyway, back to the topic of the new job. If you were wondering whether this means I’ve stopped teaching yoga, the answer is FUCK NO. I still teach at Bikram Yoga Bristol and I still love every moment of what I do. I just basically needed some more money. Because, y’know, food… and bills… 
Actually, though, I’ve discovered that teaching less has made me enjoy it more. Now that my opportunities to teach are rarer, I take more advantage of them, and I feel I can give more to my students. 

Not that I don’t miss teaching more; I totally do. But at least I know that, for the moment, whenever I walk into the hot room to lead a class, I am going in with complete presence of mind and excitement to see how my students have progressed, as opposed to slumping in thinking, “Oh not this shit again.” 
And believe me, if you’re a Bikram teacher, you have definitely thought that more often than not. If you haven’t, you’re lying to yourself. 
I must admit that this job has sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole, though, where I cannot figure out for the actual life of me what I actually want to do. Like, with my life. Do I want to have my own studio? Do I want to try to be a writer? Do I want to drop everything and go to law school so I can do my best to be an advocate and catalyst for change in this seriously messed up world? (Yes, this is something I am seriously considering.)
I’m at a serious crossroads here. And no, sadly I’m not referring to the Britney Spears film which was a masterpiece of our times. I mean I feel very confused and really quite lost. 

But hey, I got no time for feeling down about that right now because I have 23 days left of not being allowed pizza, which is definitely taking priority as a bigger problem in my head at this moment. 
God I just want some damn cheese.

  • Just before I started my new job, I ended up getting corralled onto a Mindfulness retreat in Essaouira, Morocco with Jackie of Sky Garden Retreat. Essaouira is now my fave place and Jackie and I are soulmates. I also made friends with a lovely man there who makes shoes (because of course I did). You need this retreat. Learn more here.
  • Thanks to the aforementioned Bobbi, I’m now part of a book club in Brizzle where we read cool books and then talk about them whilst eating lots of food. Our most recent book was My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal. Not my favourite, but still a striking read.
  • I am the MOST pumped to be taking part in Inferno Hot Pilates’ first ever UK teacher training in Warwick next month! I’ll be teaching IHP around Bath and Bristol post-training, so I’m very excited to share the class with you and to share my teaching experiences here.
  • I am still traumatised over Valentina getting kicked off RuPaul’s Drag Race 2 weeks ago, but this interview with Bob the Drag Queen made me feel slightly better about it. I am also SO glad Alexis and Nina have gone the fuck home. It was about damn time. Still can’t decide whether I’m on Team Sasha or Team Shea, though. Bear with.
  • Re: RPDR. This: