Monday, April 15, 2013

Surviving Lent (with bonus Quercetin review!)

I miss Whole30. I'm pretty sure that the husband would not agree, but I miss it and I'm seriously considering doing it again in May.

"But, Joanna! Why put it off? Why not start right now?"

Because I'm still knee deep in Lent, the season of vegetables and breads. The husband is actually really enjoying this time of year. Meat is not a necessary thing for him, but Pastonia and Breadland are the kingdoms in which he dwells most happily. He has no quarrels with vegetables so long as they are accompanied by gluten.

I love vegetables, but I get tired of them really quickly. Shortly put, I miss my meat. We are a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but our parish is Western Rite so my fasting guide is actually pretty loose. I am still allowed oil, eggs and cheese. The prohibition is just against meat for the forty days preceding Pascha, or the Easter celebration. The Eastern Church still follows the old calendar, which means that Easter hasn't happened for us yet and I'm still subsisting on a whole lot of Caprese salads.

While I've been working hard on disciplining my body, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that, however many vegetables I may force down my throat, if I am still consuming gluten by way of breads and  beers, I cannot lose weight. There is also the unfortunate fact that alcohol is converted to very high levels of glucose very quickly. I have gotten better about going to the gym, but in the last month of Lent I have managed to gain back four of my twelve pounds that I shed.

Coming off of Whole30 and going straight into Lent was probably not the best idea for me and it's definitely not something I will be doing again next year. I'm not going to be giving up my Lenten guidelines, but I am definitely going to need to patrol myself a little harder. The bread has got to go, regardless of whether I find my vegetables boring or not.

So, since I'm not really feeling that great about how I've been eating lately, I'm not going to offer any kind of recipe. I haven't been following my own recipes and I'm not hypocritical enough to post one of the ones that I have "waiting in the wings" when I haven't even been using them.

What I *can* offer is a review of a new supplement I've begun taking specifically for my allergies this spring. Virginia is a hotbed for pollen allergies and in years past I've been miserable every time the flowers come out. Since my job now requires so much interaction with people via my voice, I really didn't want to deal with my allergies by popping medication that made me drowsy after I'd already started suffering from the symptoms.

I have been taking quercetin for the past week and a half. The flowers are out in the full force and all the bushes and trees are blooming like they're serious about it. There are bees everywhere and last week was in the 70's-90's. It's spring time here, and I can hear my coworkers at my job sniffling and sneezing. They're slowly dropping one by one, and normally I'm one of the first ones since I'm so hypersensitive.

So far? So good. I have been a little sneezy this morning. I spent yesterday up on the Blue Ridge burying my face in flowers and trees, so I was probably asking for it. But my current condition of "a sneeze every couple of hours or so" has nothing on what I was experiencing last year. I started doubling up on it as of today since I sense that the allergens are going to get serious soon and I've read that it takes at least a week to really get into your system. I've added the quercetin to my yearly tradition of consuming raw honey every day for a few weeks before spring hits (you know... for health! It has nothing to do with tasty tasty sugars) to try to build up an immunity. The honey hasn't been terribly successful in years past, but I'm hoping that I started early enough this year to let it sink in.

So far? I'm cautiously optimistic about the quercetin. I'll keep updates with how it works for the rest of the spring, but for those of you who know your own allergies are coming, it may not be a bad thing to look into for yourselves!

So here's to a less-allergic spring and a renewed commitment to my own health in conjunction with my Lenten observation!

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