Friday, January 31, 2014


I remember believing in a lot of different things when I was very young. I was spiritual and superstitious as many children are. Humans are constantly searching for meaning where none exists, attaching worth to unworthy events. As a person who adamantly denies the existence of god, I find it strange how I'm reverting back to foolish, childhood ways.

The thing with the oatmeal yesterday; it's a coincidence. Or is it? We hardly ever eat oatmeal.
While Grandma lays on her deathbed, the woman whose kids I look after is about to have her baby any day now. The circle of life.
A bunch of things with batteries in them have died or are starting to die in my house, including Tesla's mobile which is very creep to listen to now.
When I went to get Tesla out of bed this morning, she was talking in her demonic voice, saying "Die!" over and over again, like she randomly sometimes does. I asked her if GiGi was going to die and she didn't answer, or give me any hints. Then I felt like an idiot for thinking she might know something I didn't.

But that's what humans do. We keep vigilant watch, looking for signs where there are none.

Long goodbyes are not my thing. I feel like I've been saying goodbye to Grandma for half a year already. Nothing's been the same since she broke her leg in the summer and the lung cancer was discovered. She hasn't really been herself and she's been in a lot of pain. I just want her to be free from that. To ask her to stay any longer would be for selfish reasons.

I could see her struggling to stay awake last night. Her breathing wasn't always even. I've been finding it hard to breathe too. Daroll said, don't feel like you need to stay awake. You can go back to sleep if you want to. But she stayed awake, with a hint of a smile. I think she really wanted to see us and enjoy her family surrounding her. Maybe that will be the last time we're all together like that.

For selfish reasons, I hope we get one more time.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


My Grandma hasn't got much time left. I got the call today that she's got fluid in her lungs, her morphine has been upped and she won't make it through too many more days. I called Bob at work, asking him to come home so we could go visit Grandma, and he did.

Mom and Daroll were there. My sister and her boyfriend were there. My uncle was there too, but not my aunt or cousins. We just hung around the room, watching Grandma sleep and let Tesla be our ice breaker. At one point I left the room to go get some crayons for Tesla and she started crying so loud that Grandma actually woke up.

Daroll came to find me I ran down the hall back to the room. Grandma was smiling. She was so happy to see everyone, and a little surprised too. We all hugged and kissed her, told her we loved her and just enjoyed her company. Tesla was overtired, so we were the first to leave, but it was nice having an excuse. I could have stayed there all night. Grandma was awake to say goodbye.

I told her about how Tesla and I had oatmeal for supper, I was thinking of her, and it was shortly afterward that we got the call from Daroll. I said it was just funny how that worked out and Grandma just smiled and held my hand and said she knew why that would be funny to me. (Grandma misses having her oatmeal for breakfast every morning and she knows I've always associated oatmeal with her.)

Tesla made her smile the most, pointing at her and saying GiGi and just being her usual cute self.

I thought I would cry more, but I really didn't cry at all. I just used one tissue. I didn't even feel like crying. I was just glad I got to see Grandma awake and she knew who we all were and could hold up a conversation. If I were on my deathbed, I wouldn't want my family to stand around crying over me, so I guess that's why I put on a happy face and tried to smile as much as I could.

Everything I've ever wanted to say to her has been said. There's no guilt or remorse or grudges. The time we have left together is so pure and I am so fucking lucky! I have the best grandmother anyone could have asked for. There are nothing but happy memories of her etched into my brain. Memories like the oatmeal that I've shared with her so many times before.

When she goes, it will hurt to lose someone I love so much, but on the other hand, it won't hurt because I know she'll have died happy. She's lived a life so full of friendship, love, and adventure, I hope my golden years are even a fraction as exciting as hers have been.

I finally started sobbing once I was buckling Tesla up in her car seat. This strange depression washed over me. I felt ill. I felt like I needed a drink because I had the worst migraine, so we stopped at the liquor mart to buy some booze. Bob has to work extra hours tomorrow, but I plan to go visit Grandma again. I don't know if seeing her will be harder or easier the second time, but I've stocked up on liquor either way.

When Grandma's life ends, mine will go on and that makes me feel weird. Nobody close to me has ever died before. I want to make the world stop spinning, if only for a minute, so everyone can pause and admire my grandmother's wonderful life. A woman who is 89.25 years old deserves at least that.

If you are reading this and you have a grandparent still alive, you should go over for a visit.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Natural Hair Care Fail

Today was my first time washing my hair with store-bought shampoo and conditioner in a month!
It. Was. Glorious!

I've had an interest in natural health remedies ever since I found a book about it in the spare room of my parent's old house in Ste. Anne. It was a very informative book and after getting the internet in the late 90's, I continued to search for information and recipes.

After graduating from college, I sort of got out of it and stopped caring. But since becoming  interested in eating primal almost a year ago now, I've been very interested in using natural products to cure what ails me as well as for health and beauty.

I can't remember the last time I used soap or body wash in the shower. I wash my hands with soap but that's about it. I use an oil and sugar scrub which doesn't dry out my skin or make it itch like all the different commercial products I've tried. I clean my face with oil and honey. All the facial cleansers I've tried irritate my skin and dry it out. Every hand and body lotion I've ever used has dried out my skin. The easiest solution was to just stop using these commercial products.

After having great success for many, many months not using soaps and lotions, I thought, surely there's got to be a natural solution to maintaining my hair? My hair has always been fine, dry,and limp. When I was a little kid it wasn't, but as I got older, starting showering every day and using hair products, I definitely noticed my hair change. It never felt touchable, it was getting harder to style and it never looked healthy.

The commercial solution is add more product to your hair. More hair serum, more anti-frizz creme, more volumizing hair spray. When you wake up your hair is absolutely disgusting. It's a mess. You have to wash all that junk out, dry it, flat-iron it, add in more products and go about your day. How exhausting. I couldn't be bothered to do all that after high school, so I used less and less hair products and only washed my hair every other day.

This worked out okay for me for many years. Since becoming a stay at home mom though, I can honestly go a week without showering. It's too cold to leave the house and nobody ever comes over here except more kids who don't give a damn what I look like . It probably sounds disgusting, but it's not that bad. I brush my hair and teeth every day! I'm not a total slob.

Commercial shampoo cleans the hair too much. It strips everything away. So then you use a commercial conditioner which uses chemicals that bond to your hair in an effort to replace some of what the shampoo stripped away. Then the scalp goes nuts producing extra oil to try to protect the hair, but it's for nothing because you just wash your hair again the next day.

So, after much reading, I decided I would attempt to only use natural hair cleansers, like vinegar. I kept reading about the "transition phase" and how it can take several weeks for your hair to adapt to any natural and homemade hair cleansers. And if your hair never adapts, try another recipe because "hair care is personal" and not all cleansers will be right for all hair.

I was getting sick of all that and read on someone's blog they just use water to wash their hair and then they have a special brushing routine to distribute the oils down to the ends of the hair. So, I started doing that for a bit. At first I noticed my roots were lifted and my hair had more volume. When I styled it, it actually stayed in place. But then my hair kept feeling thicker and heavier and oilier and after a month I couldn't take it anymore!

Fuck the transition phase! Store-bought shampoo and conditioner make my hair feel awesome. It feels lighter, cleaner, it smells like flowers, and it's very soft. I'm not going to use it every day, but perhaps only washing it once a week combined with the new brushing technique I learned will be a better compromise.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back On The Primal Bandwagon

Sunday I committed myself to eating primal again. I like eating that way and I like the way it makes me feel. After going on a month long hiatus and having nothing but problems, I felt like I needed to go back to what works. Three days in, I'm so happy I started eating this way again!

I'm using again to help me stay on track for the first little bit. I have to reteach myself how to eat again haha. (But it's not taking me long to relearn! Just like riding a bicycle!)

50% of my calories come from fat (89 grams a day)
25% of my calories come from protein (100 grams a day)
25% of my calories come from carbs (100 grams a day)

Because I'm not eating grains, I only need about 15 g of fiber a day and even though my carbs are very low, I'm still getting more than enough vitamin A & C. I'm not taking any supplements either. (Though I might start taking my prenatal vitamin again.)

I'm aiming to eat 1600 calories a day, but I keep coming in slightly under calories. Part of it is I'm not eating back all my calories I burn working out and the other part is I'm just not hungry. Fat really does make you feel full! My calorie deficit has been averaging 700 calories too! I think that's a pretty decent number for steady, sustainable weight loss, especially since my meals are very satisfying.

So, everything seems to be going good so far, but I'm adding in one more element that I've always wanted to try, and that is intermittent fasting. In my research I've discovered that your body starts to burn fat as fuel only 12 hours or so after eating. If you shorten your window of eating to less than 12 hours and do a morning work out, you can burn off more fat. (And this effect should be compounded by the fact that I'm only eating 400 calories worth of carbohydrates daily.)

I start "feasting" at 9am and I try to eat all of my calories by 8pm. From 8pm to 9am I am fasting. It's only a 13 hour fast, and I do a 20-30 minutes workout before I eat breakfast at 9am. I'm hoping to work my way up to a 16 hour fast in the next few months.

My scale tracks weight and body fat, so I really hope I see some positive results in the next few weeks. I hope to reach my ideal weight before the end of the year. Once I do reach my ideal weight, I'll probably ease up on the fasting, allowing me to snack socially, and I'll also increase my carb intake slightly, allowing me eat more things like fruit and chocolate.

We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I have been trying very hard to find a paleo bread recipe to make a damn sandwich and I keep failing. I have thrown out half a dozen recipes already, straight from the oven directly to the garbage. They all taste so salty! And the coconut flour sometimes has an odd flavour. The almond flour often burns. Sometimes the dough isn't binding. Ugh, such a hassle! I just want a recipe to come out right for a change!

I have one recipe that always works for me, but it's a banana bread recipe, so it's on the sweeter, softer side and not conducive to sandwich making. I've always sucked at making normal bread and now I suck at making paleo bread too. The difference is that the ingredients are now more expensive and it's that much more infuriating when they get wasted. At least back in the day I was able to make biscuits or a simple quick bread with wheat flour.

I've even tried to adapt a normal recipe into a paleo recipe, but both times that was a disaster too. Very discouraging. I'm so close to going out and buying some gluten-free bread just to get over this odd obsession with making a sandwich. I don't even like sandwiches. I've never liked them. I don't know what's with me. I mean, certain sandwiches are okay, but I've never craved one before like I have been recently. It's so weird. It won't go away! It must be satisfied!!

There are SO many paleo "bread" recipes. Sifting through them is horrible. I've looked through at least 100 recipes. It's overwhelming. There are too many recipes in my bookmark menu and in multiple windows on multiple tabs. I'm trying to compare recipes and comments and I don't have all the ingredients I need or I lose the damn recipe by closing the tab by accident then I don't know where to find it because I've looked at too many recipes already. It's just a blur.

Maybe I'll go to Chapters and pick up a paleo recipe book or two. You know, recipes written by real chefs and bakers who actually know about paleo baking, and not some know-it-all internet person who only exists on the internet and keeps a food blog. You know, the kind of food blog where you just want to get to the damn recipe but you have to scroll through all this anecdotal crap and a slew of artistic pictures of them carefully and artfully mixing each ingredient and then of course several final products shots that all look the same. (I don't care about your journey! Get to the damn recipe)

And the 200 comments below all say the exact same thing: "Sounds yummy! Can't wait to try it!" No constructive feedback whatsoever. No opinions from people who actually made the bread and ate it.

Yes, I'm bitter and this is gone on too long, but I needed to rant.