It’s not cheating. We were on a break!

Will Power and I reunited again on Sunday morning when I dropped off my good friend at the airport. Will Power seemed a bit miffed at me knowing that my behavior over the last 36 hours had not been Whole30 compliant – and that I had put myself out there. And as a result, there was a break in our trust. Will Power was right. I had put myself out there intentionally and there were some trust issues. But I insisted I knew what I was doing and  learned some valuable lessons. Breaks are good but you need to trust yourself because that slippery slope is steep. It’s an easy slide down with a tough climb up.

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Let’s start at the beginning. I have a tendency to be a workaholic and my job likes to take advantage of that. It fits quite well with my driven, perfectionist, extreme attitude. Well, it used fit well with that attitude. A lot has changed since I had a little one. The perfectionism has tempered a bit in my personal, but not professional, life (errrrr, sorry about any errors you may see in my blog posts.) I don’t want to be a stay-at-home-mother (nothing wrong with it, I am just not built for that role) but I do want to teach my child how to live a sustainable healthy life and teach it by example. I feel like I am missing my daughter’s life and completely ignoring my just-as-busy husband who has a bit more flexibility with his schedule to be able to be a great father.

During my last work bender of 48 hours with no sleep and zero family time, I managed to stay 100% compliant to whole30 – which pretty much meant I did not eat, because I could either reach for bad for you carby, sugary, bad fat, no protein food around me or just wait until I could get food for myself. There was no time for that so by default I did not eat. What was even more amazing was that I stayed away from that tumbler of whiskey or that glass of wine I so craved to take the edge off. I felt so proud of myself for staying buddy buddy with Will Power during such a stressful time even though I thought of shaking Will off my arm like my daughter does when she does not want to hold my hand.

Will is a friend. But also my enemy (in my mind of desire). We’ve learned to keep our enemies close, and I did. It was good for me. I felt clear headed and surprisingly OK despite the lack of basic life needs. But I was tired. Burned out. Work was draining my passion for life and while restricting my diet and staying compliant was a powerful exercise of control in my life, I just needed a break to rest. Breaks are healthy.

Life should be about balance, so I shut down my computer, laughed and laughed and laughed and danced with my little one and husband.

And then I decided that it was time to take a break from Whole30 and let go of Will Power for a bit. Every relationship needs some space. Especially one with a frienemy. I wanted to take a controlled break and do it well. And I had the perfect excuse to do so. One of my closest friends was visiting me for 36 hours. I picked my friend up at LAX and said goodbye to my frienemy, Will – I would be back soon.

We went straight from the airport to cocktails at one of my favorite places close to home, The Wallace.

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I needed this time with my girlfriend, over cocktails, in which there is no such thing as a conversation with TMI. I was free of Will Power, free of Whole30 restrictions, free to do what I wanted. I found something funny happening to me…I found myself not giving into my desires. I wanted two cocktails (luckily my favorites are whiskey based without sugar) and I wanted a dessert…but when I thought of that sugary, creamy, carby perfect dessert, I found myself saying “no, you don’t need that” to myself. (!!)

I looked over my shoulder – was Will Power there? Not exactly – I was free, but the last four weeks keeping my frienemy close had certainly had an impact on me.

After a decent night of sleep, I worked out hard at my box and then brought my friend, a serious coffee and food connoisseur, to some of LA’s best and sometimes hidden gems :

Bar Nine for serious coffee (with macademia/cashew/date milk), root veggie and greens bowl with a perfectly poached egg on top and of course, because it was cheat day, a croissant

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Eggslut at the Grand Central Market where we waited in the line that wound around and around with a beer in hand. I had my favorites:  a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar and served with a demi baguette, soft scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun and an arugula salad.

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Well of course we needed something sweet.

We went for the perfect chocolate petite four at Valerie and a latte with a nut milk at G&B coffee both at the market.

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Well, ladies must finish the day with cocktails – so the rooftop at the Ace hotel was where we ended the evening.

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Throughout the day I found myself making conscious choices to eat certain foods – I’ll have the flaky rich croissant but leave off the croutons in the salad. I’ll have the cheese in the unbelievable egg sandwich but stick to nutmilks and avoid dairy in the coffee. I’d skip the extra cocktail and have a glass of sparkling water instead.

With life wound up so tight right now, it felt good to take a break… I needed it. I dropped my friend at the airport and picked up Will Power. I thought there was no reason for Will to be angry – it was a controlled break, I knew what I was doing. But the the end, Will was right, there was some mistrust. I did not fully trust myself anymore. When I returned back to my hectic life I found myself rationalizing a reason I should eat something I should not be eating. I had allowed a crack in my resolve and that made it easier for me to slip if I was not careful.

But space in any relationship is always healthy – it gives you perspective and allows you to reflect on what is working and not working. I learned that even when I wanted to let loose, Will Power was always with me helping me to make better choices than and that is a good thing.

I celebrated my reunion with will power with some homemade chunky veggieful guacamole and sweet potato chips (fried in ghee).

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Note to reader: This post is one whole month overdue. It was drafted on Feb 7. Today is March 6. I said that 2015 is the year I would make a radical change and this food challenge would be a source of inspiration for me to find myself again – that it would force me to think creatively and problem solve. It did! So much has happened over the last month. I soul searched, contemplated, took action, surrendered and had faith – the result, I found a new job that needs me as much I need them. I learned so much at the job I have just resigned from, but it is time to grow, challenge myself, feel respected (and not taken advantage of) and to be there for my family daily, not just when my job allows me to …and most important to have some LIFE in life. During all this working my current job and working after work to update my resume, interview and take of my family, I did manage to create some recipes. Since I have a month off between jobs to take care of my family, I will be posting away. And sleeping. Because it has been a while since I have done that. Thank you to you all for being part of my journey.

Here’s to 2015. Here’s to the new me.

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” -C. Joybell C.

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