A Funny Thing Happened On Day 29

Whole 30 Day 29 didn’t go as planned. I took a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory for a morning of art and flowers. The plan was to buy a salad and eat the fruit and nuts that I had packed.

That was the plan until I discovered the food truck served the Beyond Burger. If you’re vegetarian you know how exciting it is to find a quality vegetarian options on a menu. The Beyond Burger is amazing.

As I stood there studying the menu, a part of me demanded that I order the salad and be happy about it. Just a day and a half to go and I could say I’ve successfully completed four rounds. But there was another voice. It was the voice of a person who has done a few successful rounds and who feels she has nothing to prove.

The goal of the Whole 30 for me is to reset my bad eating habits and to acquire a taste for whole foods that are good for me.

Would a day make a difference?

If you’re a beginner, yes.

If you’re trying to identify foods that cause your ailments, yes.

If it’s important to you personally that you accomplish the thirty days – you bet.

But for me? No.

I have done a pretty good job ridding myself of bad habits and there was nothing wrong with eating the Beyond Burger topped with onions, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms and the best tomato jam I’ve ever tasted.

It was a delicious experience eating my burger and feeling the breeze in my hair and I do not regret this decision.

If I were trying to complete a round, tomorrow would be a restart. Day one again. With Whole 30, you restart every time you stray from the rules. Every single time.

But for me, it’s not about the round. It’s about good health. So tomorrow I will simply continue making the best possible decisions, eating clean and feeling good about it.

A year ago, I would have felt like a quitter.

Today, I feel accomplished for knowing that goals and priorities change and that I’m capable of adapting rather than blindly following a rule.

Isn’t this what the quest for personal growth is all about?

Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center

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One of the best kept secrets in the Hocking Hills is Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center. This 21-acre property has been in the owner’s family since just after the Civil War and is basically a series of woodland and flower gardens designed as habitat for native butterflies. It is fabulous.

For just five dollars, you can either go it alone or take one of the two guided hikes offered each day at one and three. If you’re like me and just want to wander around, fifty cents will buy you a booklet that helps you out along the way.

The one mile trail guides you through wetland, woods and on top of a ridge to a prairie area. It is designed as a loop so you can bail out after a mile and get back to your car quickly. Personally, I think you’ll shortchange yourself doing that. I saw some interesting things on the way back that I either missed or couldn’t see coming from the other direction.

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im_editedProfessionally done signs identify plants and trees, help you stay on trail and tell some relevant stories about the farm, the pollinators and their habitat.

It’s July so most of the flowers are spent for the year but those remaining are prolific and attract a number of butterflies and other pollinators. I saw tons of butterflies and bees as well as a few dragon flies, lots of birds, chipmunks, squirrels and a couple of deer.

The folks here are doing their part to help the environment in other ways besides looking after butterflies. The facility is solar powered and they harvest rain water. In all, it is well done and I would recommend you go visit.

Oh! And the best part? A tree house in a hundred year old Black Oak tree! Climb the steps and sit a spell, taking in the cool breeze and view. You’ll thank me later.

I plan to go back next year to see the spring wildflowers. They have a spur off the main trail that features a number of native spring wildflowers. I’ll probably aim for doing a guided tour next time but, for today, was happy going it alone with my camera and booklet. I had already been out hiking and was hoping to catch Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and didn’t want to wait for the tour.

Interested? Check out their website or follow them on Facebook!

 

The Riviera

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If you ever find yourself in Stockport, Ohio at meal time and have a hankering for pizza, stop by the Riviera. It’s sort of a hole-in-the-wall (my kind of place, you know) but the food is great. Sit by the window and you’ll have a nice view too since the restaurant is on the banks of the Muskingum River.

Everyone always wants to eat at the Stockport Mill, which is a very nice restaurant and inn, but this is a tasty experience too!

Adventures in Cat Parenting

I bought a playpen for my cat this weekend. It will enable Scout to be outside when I’m working or relaxing. With mesh sides and top, he can see out and safely get plenty of fresh air. It’s not huge- about 36″ in diameter and 23″ inches tall- but it’s a good size for a cat to just hang out and play with toys.

We went outside early this morning so I could work on a project. I set him up in the shade and provided several toys as well as fresh water to keep him happy for a while.

And he was happy… for a while.

He sat and looked around, watching the birds and chattering occasionally. And then he started chattering to me.

Loudly.

The next thing I knew, there was a scuffling noise and I turned around in time to see the aftermath of what appeared to be a riot. He had overturned the playpen, dumping his bowl and scattering toys everywhere.

And then he started to cry.

I ran to get him out and he purred happily, cozying up underneath my chin as we went back to the house.

Evidently, he just wanted a little attention.

This week has been an exercise in patience as I try to persuade him to drink more water. He refuses to drink from a bowl so I bought him one of those kitty water fountains to insure he always has fresh water. But he parades past that thing to beg for fresh water in the sink.

He’s not at all spoiled, right?

Somewhere I’ve Never Been

Maybe it’s the Whole 30 talking but I’m dying to have breakfast in a quiet diner I’ve never been to. I want to linger over my meal and plan the day ahead while eavesdropping on the early bird regulars. They’ll order their usual and chat with the waitress about their grandkids while I study a brochure over my veggie omelette or pancakes.

It’s Day 26 and, while I’m fine with most of my food, I’m sick of the limited protein choices. Being pescatarian, my proteins are seafood and eggs. No veggie burgers, no soy of any kind, no faux meats which literally are the only processed foods that make their way into my plate most days.

You can only fix fish so many ways before it starts to lose its luster.

But it’s Day 26 and I feel pretty good. I’m planning to keep going about another week or ten days before abandoning the strict rules and attempting to just focus on eating clean again.

Meanwhile, I badly want to find an old diner in a town I’ve never been and wait for the regulars to filter in. I’m thinking an omelette packed with mushrooms, onions, peppers, broccoli and goat cheese would be good. Add some hash browns and some toast – maybe a little fruit. That’s all. Nothing fancy.

Soon. Someday soon I’ll take off and find my way to a fabulous diner and come back with pictures to share. Meanwhile, my memories of pancakes and a delicious garden burger at the Oasis Diner will have to suffice.

Vintage Postage Machine

This is something you don’t see every day. Here’s a closer look. Check out those six cent stamps!

Midcentury machinery is always interesting to see and this is especially great because it contains stamps! I found this little beauty at a Dayton area antique store last month. I have no earthly reason to own it but it’s pretty fabulous.