Monday, May 30, 2016

Whole30 Reset: Back to Day One

I took the Sunday off and spent the day doing things I loved the most - I walked to the library, read, borrowed the two Whole 30 books, and went supermarket shopping.

So it turns out my last week was a "half-baked" Whole30. I really should have read the book first to be certain whether I was following it correctly (So if you're planning to start the Whole 30, I'd encourage you to first read "It Starts with Food" to understand the science and what it's really about, then to go on to the other book). I think I've gathered enough from the first book to know I'm pretty much on the right track now, so I'm not going to cheat, today I'm back to Day One.

I'm back to Day One because I had legumes on the first day last week, I had saba covered with soy sauce twice, as well as ate out - which probably meant that I had consumed canola/vegetable oil as well as sugars somewhere in there. But it's okay, I'd rather know that I REALLY completed the Whole30 to a T than have a half-baked experience.

I shopped at Cold Storage thinking that they'd give me more options, but it was pretty tough. With the Whole30, the entire bread, cakes, pastries and cookies section is out. Dairy is out. Most frozen things are out. So are the alcohol and beverages as well as the cereals and snacks aisles... suddenly one realizes that your only options in a supermarket are in - 1) the fresh fruits and vegetables section, 2) the nuts and herbs section, 3) eggs, 4) SOME meats - actually the Cold Storage that I was at didn't have any grass-fed options, and 5) some canned vegetables, fruits, or fish. I don't know what else was available... but they didn't have my plantain chips. :( So yeah, life gets.... simpler.

It's been quite an interesting experience so far... though I'm pretty early in the journey so my creativity is likely to be limited.
This was my sad dinner last night:

I mainly a cat.

I ate about half a can of this. It basically was tuna chunks in spring water, with some cracked black pepper, paprika, and nori (roasted seaweed). I had some almonds with this... and I can only say that almonds don't seem to go very well with canned tuna. I think I shall fry up the tuna next time...perhaps with some onions. :)

I have to say that though that I slept really well last night at 1130 (which was a surprise because I have been having bouts of insomnia), and I surprisingly woke up at 4am. That has not happened for a VERY long time. I went back to some reading, and fell asleep again till 9am. I'm not sure if that was fortunate or not that I had a second round of sleep, but I shall be thankful anyway.

I think it was the time at the library that really helped me destress. It was amazing how much lighter (in terms of stress and anxiousness) I felt just being in a corner of the library and reading. I think I even had a 5 minute nap in between my reading. I love libraries. It's like being in the company of many brilliant minds and people with extraordinary lives... and picking up a book is like having the privilege of a one-on-one with them as they share their experiences and wisdom.

Breakfast this morning was a bit more eventful than last night's dinner. I had my househelper help me make it as I washed up (as I was in a rush!). :) I chose a base of olive oil to fry two eggs with the remainder of the tuna last night, some black pepper, and paprika. I think topped it all off with some lovely alfafa sprouts and nori. :)

It felt like happy food.

I didn't really get a chance to sit down at a table to have breakfast. I had it in the car on the way to work, but I did try to ensure to enjoy it as much as possible in that moment. A handful of cashews later, I was happy. :) I didn't finish all of it though and polished the rest of it off for lunch, along with some cherry tomatoes I keep in my office pantry and a handful of almonds... and a few dried mulberries just for a little sweetness. :)

I do need to plan for dinner though...
Maybe I'll just have a nice little pear and some cashews. :)

So far the day has been going well. I'm happy, I'm rested.
I do forsee that I might get sick of eggs somewhere in this journey, but I feel like I might have the discipline to pull through. :)
Not being able to eat out is going to be tricky, but hopefully, with enough planning, I'll make it through.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Whole 30 Day 5?

Okay, it might be Day 4 considering that I totally forgot Edamame was a legume on the first day, but hey... I was doing pretty well otherwise.

But today, I AM HUNGRY.
I want a potato chip.

After my alcohol poisoning scare last Saturday morning that left me with a fever and in bed for almost 24 hour stretches, something just snapped in me to want to just do something for my health. This actually started with me losing my appetite over the post-alcohol poisoning lung infection/flu where I literally lay in bed and didn't want to eat or drink anything...but I missed my vegetables, so I started with that. Somehow the rice and porridge just turned me off, and even the thought of it now still does... I had loads of time to think about how crappy my health has been, so I decided that I should perhaps do something about my health. So I decided that I should try the Whole 30.

So far things have been going alright... also considering that I haven't had much of an appetite due to this flu that has changed me into this green mucous-spewing being (of which I have to say the reason why your mucous sometimes comes out green when you are unwell is really pretty cool). I've mainly become somewhat of a Prescetarian/Fruitarian. I've mainly been eating fruits for the past few days... a small gala apple for dinner, berries for breakfast... it almost feels like I'm back to "food?meh~" jaw surgery days.

Tbh, even though it's only been 4 days, I miss having a croissant or potato chips option.
I think the no-grains part is the worst for me though. It's not really new news, but I LOVE BREAD.
And cheese.
But bread more than cheese.
And pastry more than bread.

Why does everything have flour in it?!
Like seriously, I had to give up this amazing looking tempura the other day (which was like, just in this past week)... :((

I am thankful for how disciplined I have been though. I do believe a lot of it is about the lack of appetite and the sickies.

Okay, I need to get out and go grocery shopping. I need to get a whole load of nuts and plantain chips or something.
On other notes, mulberries are an amazing snack if you're craving for some sugar.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What makes me come alive?

It seems like I revisit this question very often.

As I lie in bed contemplating the "how to run a company like that" comment my father made in passing this morning (thinking that I was asleep), I think today's the day I should quit my job... Or at least that time is coming soon.

I don't think this is an emotional nor reactive decision. Yes, even though it was pretty hurtful to hear after I've been sick so often but still working, but last night's insomnia coupled with the running nose, fever, and headache kept me in bed. There was no mercy. But I guess that's normal with my father unless you're diagnosed with some terminal illness or something.

As I look back, I cannot help but realize how sad I have been. I've been struggling with depression and lack of sleep for the longest time. I've barely been able to cope with the stress. My health has been bad, my hair has been falling out, my mind has been really weighted. I've also constantly been running away from things.

I suppose this is the failings of an idealist... Not really knowing where you're going. The is a saying that goes "don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

But what makes me come alive?

There are these endless questions about finding one's life purpose. For example, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" Or "what would you do if money were not an issue?"

And today, as I lay sick on my bed (not "on my sickbed" which sounds mildly morbid), I'm pondering these questions. 

What would I do?

Would I stay in Singapore? Maybe.
Would I travel. Most definitely.
Would I go back to school? Maybe.
Would I want to write research papers? Umm... Maybe. Though I'm really half and half.

Okay, I need to take another tack.
What in the world makes me come alive??

Animals. Most definitely. But for a career... I'm not so sure anymore.
Fashion. Maybe, but I think the superficiality of some facets of the scene might kill me.
Performing arts? I did love drama at once, but it has been a long time since I did any acting. Also, I'm really out of shape.

What makes me come alive????

This is hard!

Okay, what would I do if money were not an issue? Although this is a totally frivolous and seemingly irresponsible question (and perhaps impractical to the point of imaginative scales), I suppose it demands its merits. What would I do? What would I do if I I had a ton of money....

I would settle all my dad's future medical bills for one.
I'd make sure all my family members were properly covered by insurance and were all well trained financially.
I'd hire a HR consultant to come in and restructure my entire company, as well as call in branding consultants to rebrand all three of our brands and develop two others I've been toying with.
I'd put aside money to buy our own factory to be tip top and equip all my department heads with a nice fat budget they can work with.
I'd buy a new house for my family.
I'd get my own place.
Then I'd go backpacking.

I'd get a good pair of walking shoes and I'd take a train from Singapore into Malaysia. I'll travel all the way up to Russia and stay there for a while. I'd explore the city, then head into Germany and travel and stay there for a while. After Germany, maybe I'd head to Paris, Madrid, then up to London, Scotland and Ireland. I'd definitely want to complete my crazy Southern Ridges walk. 

Then over to Iceland just to see the Northern lights, over to Canada, down to Seattle, Cali, then across to Chicago. I'd prolly get a small place in Chicago, that'd be nice. I liked that city... Or at least parts of it. There were parts that were scary too. We'll avoid those parts.

Then I'd prolly head down to Brazil, meet some friends there, work in a cafe there for a while, and cook lots of delicious foods, then head backward across to New Zealand, stay and travel Australia for a while... Then, depending whether I preferred Australia or NZ, would get a nice little place there. Perhaps a farm or an orchard, or both. 

And perhaps if I find love any step of the journey, I'd screw all travel plans and settle down and enjoy the joy of "mundane" day-to-day life. Ah, the good ole thoughts of 30 (plus minus)-year olds

Yes, I'd travel. After all, money is not supposed to be a concern right? The question is, "to what end or for what reason would I be traveling for?" Surely not for some frivolous reason like "experience"?

And that would also unfortunately be just a spending spree. Not to mention that I'd actually want to include the Maldives, Madagascar and Sri Lanka on that list... And a spending spree just wouldn't be practical. 

What would I love doing for work?

According to some paper I read on my MBTI profile, these are the "career suggestions":

1. Writers
2. Counselors / Social Workers
3. Teachers / Professors
4. Psychologists
5. Psychiatrists
6. Musicians
7. Clergy / Religious Workers 

Hmm. Now I already know I can scrap the ideas of 2,4&5 because I really don't think I can deal with the crazies of humans. I've been warned by my psychology professor not to consider it as I apparently "take things too hard". And I've also found humans to be extremely complicated and stressful to deal with. 6 is out because instruments have never really been my thing... Other than playing the Jazz set when I was younger, but that was about it. And 7, I've tried and apparently I'm not specifically called to that... So that leaves us with writing and teaching.

Sigh. I think maybe I just need a sabbatical from work or something. Perhaps for a year or so and just figure out what I'm made to do.

Monday, May 23, 2016

My insomantic brain dump.

It's almost two in the morning and here I am. I'm doing this mainly because I can't sleep, but also because when I googled "I can't sleep" the main results showed that if one can't fall asleep within 20mins, one should get up and do something instead of lying in bed and tackling an increasing level of anxiety. I was there for a freaking 2 and a half hours! 

I should have googled earlier.

Writing is also probably a wiser choice than sneakily watching my security cams of my office or mindlessly flipping through my constantly updating newsfeed on Facebook and catching glimpses of random news like who was the most stunning dresser at the Cannes and reminiscing the gorgeous dress Kandall Jenner wore to the Met. Then again I also learn cool things like the emergence of AquaFaba. :D

But yes, writing it is.

What a past week it had been... Tbh, it wasn't an easy week. I spent most of it wondering what in the world I was doing, and the rest of it trying to piece together everything that I believe I needed to do. Then there was Friday night. A night of me heading out with my staff which ended us up in some shots bar to which I ended up downing SEVEN shots. Now this may not seem like a big deal, until you find out that I've only ever had one shot of tequila which I sipped at during a university event. Seven was my all time record.

I guess I was pushing myself a little - wondering how far my body could go. By the fourth shot I knew my body was getting a little woozy, but I knew I could process it, so I went for three more. Truth be told, at the end of it, I was pretty sure I could have downed three more. After all, I was still walking straight and talking serious. But by something like 5 or 6am my body started to burn up with a really high fever that lasted through the night. I'm pretty sure I charred some brain cells there. I googled it in the morning and it turns out I might have had alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol and I never went well together.
Part of me wishes I did throw up everything.

And now, early Monday morning, I'm still grappling with a dumb fever which honestly feels like the flu. Not fun.

On the topic of burning braincells though, I'm starting to wonder if I had enough bouts of super high fevers that I really might have burned a load up. I've been known to forget names of people, and today, when I went out with a bunch of close friends, I really forgot one of their names. I just stood up dumbfounded because I couldn't recollect the name. :( I wonder if this is because I have a lazy brain or whether there's some sort of brain ozone hole that I've burned and it's cause some leak... But it's honestly pretty scary to think of.

And here I am, on my couch with a glass of water, blogging from my mobile. Pathetic much? Isn't the anxiety supposed to be going down, Mr Google?

I've had a lot of questions this past week about being a woman, about self worth, and about whether being a demure and resolute woman is really all the dramatic lace and royal icing it's "supposed" to be (I really couldn't use the visuals of fireworks and confetti cause that felt more frivolous, but I hope you get what I mean). 

It's a pretty long debate to begin with... In short, I have a friend who's pretty frivolous in her dealings with men and she seems to be getting all sorts of attention, whilst I'm noticing that the women who have chosen to be more demure and virtuous have seemed to be facing more issues of loneliness and basically struggling with the possibility of being what the Chinese call 剩女 (translated "leftover women", implying the state of being left on a shelf).

I had many questions in this debate in my head, including but not limited to:
1. Are such girls really so attractive to men
2. Are men really that silly to want to chase after such girls
3. Assuming that these men had a hint of their reputations, why do they still try? Are they overly optimistic that they will be the "only one" chosen?
4. What are the values of society now?
5. Why am I born in this era?

Amongst other random questions.

I surprisingly was bothered enough today to pose this to my parents. Don't ask me why, but I was totally emotional. I shall blame it on PMS . But yes, I did. 

I shared it with my father and he tried to talk to me some standard "dad talk" stuff like "you're very beautiful", "don't think like that",  "they are just in it for the short fling", "you wouldn't want men like that anyway"... And random stuff like that.

But the data that I see just doesn't show me the evidence that virtue is something that men care for so much anymore. In fact, I'm starting to think that most men that think that way were all from a different era and have died, and the current crop believe all women who do believe in such values have as well. 


Because this argument becomes their excuse for misbehavior too (and perhaps of both males and females. You know, the typical playground "if XX person has done it, why can't I" argument). "Misbehavior",  of course, defined by what society deems my "prudish mind of centuries past". Am I stepping on too many toes here? Sorry. (Please stop reading if you are offended. We just think differently and that's okay. You can leave. I won't be offended.)

I'm sorry friends/sisters who have held your grace and manners well, until I solve this puzzle in my head it looks like a pretty bleak road.

And this is where we all turn to God because the road is dark and bleak. Now we know why so many women are in church. :D 

Okay, I'm kidding. I'm sure there are a few good men out there. Somewhere. Maybe distant. Hiding. 

Maybe we should put cookies on our front porches. Who can resist cookies? Right?

And if all else fails, pray.
Because "With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible". *snigger* okay, no more biblical jokes. I'm Christian too and I honestly love God so it's not meant to be offensive. Relax. This is just my insomantic brain dump. Relax.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A weird feeling

I think I've reached a stage in my personal and professional life that I just want to walk away from everything. It feels like an utterly lonely place I've reached. I had dinner with my OM today and I shared how I've reached a point where I feel like I have to become a cold and heartless person to survive... and that scares me because it's totally not who I am naturally.

Did I overshare?

I'm tired of fighting and feeling lonely at the same time. Leadership is lonely. I'd really rather just go out and be a nameless waitress or something like that. Or some...road sweeper, or random teacher or something. I don't want anyone to know who I am, what I do, what I've done in my life... Is that weird? I just want to wake up, go to some job under some pseudo name, and just serve people one at a time.

I think I'm just generally frustrated that I feel like I'm going nowhere. And that I'm alone.
It's a weird feeling.