In Like a Lion

I realize the image with this entry makes this look like a recipe post but that is very much not the case. Rather, this is the first time in weeks that I’ve really had time (kidding; I’m just making the time regardless of having it or not) and space in my brain to find words for all that’s been happening. And I promise, if you keep reading, the food picture will make sense.

It’s been a rough go since my last post about the medication backfire on my first attempt at anti-anxiety meds. It took over a week for me to feel better coming off it and even once I got my swab results back and started a test-approved medicine, my system has been dealing with a lot of panic. Part of that is the state of the world right now. Everything feels heavy and hard as we navigate yet another historic world-event well before we’ve even recovered or truly adapted from the last one.

Part of my panic has just been my own life, too. It’s the end of Winter Term for my university which means I’ve been helping students navigate getting their final assignments turned in and now I have this coming week to grade all that before Spring Term starts the week following. I’ve also been wrapping up my Writing Center hours which I will not continue in the next term because my teaching load and our family’s spring schedule doesn’t allow me to work those extra hours into each week. It was a beautiful opportunity and perhaps I’ll go back to it at some point but it was also A LOT of extra on my plate.

Also extra right now is the fact that the one (because it is a big one) PTO contribution that I give – the yearbook – is also due at the end of this week. This is a one-woman show that I volunteered for years ago but this is my first time actually making and marketing the thing and yeah, it’s unfortunate timing from the universe that all these deadlines and events have come crashing at the exact same time. I guess that’s March hitting me like a lion which hopefully means my upcoming birthday near the end of the month will be nothing but cute fluffy lambs, you know?

Circling back to the food image you may have noticed with this entry brings me to another development in this new year which is the result of yet another dietary change for me in the effort to clear my head of pain. Over the holidays I found some food sensitivity test kits on sale (not sponsored, just linked) and rather than just dive in with an elimination diet, I figured science could give me some direction on that front and did it ever. While a full-blown allergy did not show up in my results, I did come away with high reactivity (Tier 2, after Tier 1 = allergies, and 3/4 = low reactivity/normal reactivity). Of all the damn things, it showed me that my beloved EGGS are a no-no , along with cow’s milk (fine; but no cheese?! #$!#!) and peanuts. Well, f*ck. There go all the easy foods. So just when I thought I had adjusted back to the gluten free life, I had to also add in milk products and eggs which are in a ton of stuff, in case you’ve never looked.

So now I am eating a GF/quasi-vegan lifestyle because I have learned that if I look for that word, I’m going to avoid eggs and dairy. But quasi because I am still eating meat, and please don’t yell at me for disrespecting vegans by using that term but not following their rules. I am a tired, tired woman, doing her best to find what she can eat while still feeding her family their normal foods which just so happen to include a ton of things she, too, wishes she could eat.

To help with things, my sweet husband found me a meal kit service that caters to dietary needs called Green Chef (also not sponsored, just linked). We’re on a second week of meals, one of which was this amazing Curry Chickpea and Sweet Potato combo + Kale and Curry Humus toppings that I turned into nachos since I couldn’t do the tortillas that came with it and it was fricking awesome. Other meals I am able to get straight up GF +V, so that’s cool and really all of it has been good and a nice way for me to get fresh, wholesome, SAFE food for me as I continue to navigate this change.

And really, the word continue is the name of the game for me. I’ve seen some improvement to my head and system in the last two months since all this, but I’m still not quite there yet. I’ve felt some improvement in other ways since my new anxiety med, but am also experiencing some insomnia side effects (hence the tired, tired) as I play that waiting game of 2-4 weeks on that to know it fully in my system, so yeah – continue I must, continue I will.

The one thing I’m not continuing as much right now? Social media. Since last Thursday I’ve been away from it which has benefitted all my deadlines and probably my spinning brain, too. I’ll have to be back on it for things like posting this and some other tasks in the days to come, but bigger pauses between checking it feels like as healthy of a choice for me as all the other items spelled out here. But in case you’ve been wondering how things are, here’s that update for you. It’s a little roar-y but with possible signs of change and new growth, just like the glorious Spring that is hopefully just around the corner for us all.


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