Happy 8 Years and 1 Week Anniversary!

I read a quote the other day, and it really sums up what I’ve been thinking this past week since Mike & I had our wedding anniversary last Tuesday. (Yeah, I’m late in writing this. But it required some deep thought. Oh, and some time to sit down and write it.)

This is a relationship’s real purpose: to serve the mutual growth & soulful expression of each individual. – Marie Forleo

I look back over the past 10 years of our life since we met, and especially the 8 years since we were married in 2004, and I see so much change in both of us. A lot of growth.

If the 7 year itch was an itch anywhere, it wasn’t in our marriage, but it was in the rest of my life. We bought a new house. We waited 6 long months for the old house to sell. I’ve made huge changes in my photography business, and instead of weddings being my primary focus and boudoir photography being secondary, now it is all about working with the Hot Mamas and boudoir & contemporary beauty photography.

Over the past two years, I feel like I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve lost 24 lbs. – in part because I was ready to do it. It is hard to explain, but when you like yourself more, like what you are doing more, you’re just finally more motivated to change.

But the thing that amused me the most was realizing at Joseph & Dena’s wedding (my brother-in-law and his now wife) that Mike has learned a lot about photography over the years. He still isn’t a photographer, but he knows so much about it. He knew how I would have photographed the wedding if I had been working at it. He knew what shots I would have taken, how I felt about things, and the list goes on and on. (I would have gifted them with photography for a wedding present, but I had a wedding in Houston the day before and flew in to Boston on a 7:30am flight. As it was, I got to the area at 3:20pm and the ceremony was at 4:30 – any delays and I would have missed it, so I just couldn’t take the risk!)

While I was in Paris last month, I realized what a foodie I have become. I’m still a picky eater, but I eat things now I wouldn’t eat 8-10 years ago. I was super giddy when we went to the Cristal Room Baccarat for lunch because I knew that Mike would have been in heaven there, and I decided I will take him back there someday. The food was just so very, very French! Le Grand Colbert was even more amazing for me – and to be honest, a lot more food on the menu that I would eat – so I’ll have to take him there too someday!

(Witness the beauty of my 18 Euro Crème Brulée from the Cristal Room. A $23 dessert. Crazy? Yes. AMAZING?!? Yes. And I had already eaten lunch at the hotel in my room, so I got to splurge on dessert!)

Creme Brulee from the Cristal Room Baccarat

It is hard for me to travel without Mike, because I’ve actually caught myself asking other people that I’m with, “Will I like that?” He knows me that well, he knows what flavors I will like and what I won’t.

To me, that sums up what a marriage is about. Learning about one another. Supporting one another. Knowing each other’s interests, likes, passions. Learning from one another. Letting the other person explore their passions. I like knowing that through me, he is a little bit of a photographer and can see things in a different light, and through him I am a bit more adventurous and can savor all that life has to offer.

He makes me a better person, and I’m so grateful for that. More than words can express. Happy Anniversary, Mike!

Four Hour Body – What I’ve Been Eating…

I’m a picky eater. I have been for YEARS. So starting off on the Four Hour Body / Slow Carb adventure was a bit intimidating for me. Mainly because one of the things you are supposed to eat is beans. EW!! Beans! I hate beans!!!

Then I had to get real with myself. While I truly despise green beans, and I have given them a chance 2-3 times within the past 5 years, I haven’t tried most other beans since I was a kid. Many beans I had never tried at all. Saying you don’t like something seems to buy you time if you just have no desire to try it at all.

Ok, maybe I would like a lot more stuff if I was willing to try it.

But I have a really sensitive palate, textures sometimes gross me out, and if anything smells “weird” to me, I won’t taste it. It has to pass the smell test to even make it into my mouth.

Side note: don’t ever make fun of a picky eater, or try to convince them to try something they don’t like. They have their reasons. Being a picky eater sometimes really sucks. Being harassed about it sucks even more. Unless they are one of those whiny picky eaters – which I am not – then all bets are off. Whining earns you the right to be picked on in my book.

3 weeks now — no “fast” carbs. No sugar, flour, rice, or potatoes. No high fructose corn syrup. No “white” foods. (Cauliflower doesn’t count as a “white” food. FYI.)

I’ve lost 7 pounds. More importantly, I’ve survived. And I’ve tried new things. Things that for years I declared “I don’t like”. One perk of my dietary habits is that I don’t mind eating the same thing every day. Doesn’t phase me at all. So for now, that is what I’m doing. Breakfast & lunch, same thing. Daily. That means I don’t have to think about what I want to eat. Mike cooks dinner, and some days I stick to a pretty small list of things I like. Other days I branch out more.

Breakfast: Huge glass of ICE cold water. Wakes you up FAST! 2 eggs, scrambled, with a little ham added.
Lunch: BIG BIG BIG spinach salad. I make it in a mixing bowl. I sometimes add turkey and/or ham. A sprinkle of sunflower seeds for a bonus crunch. 2 Tbsps of Newman’s Own Garlic & Parmesan salad dressing. (My only food item that has a little sugar.) Chop it all up with two knives with the dressing already on so it is spread all the way through.

Those foods on my “no” list above? Honestly, the only find myself craving them is when I let myself get too hungry. If I don’t pay attention to the clock and I suddenly find myself craving bread, I know I’ve gone too far.

Tonight for dinner I had a little salami and a piece of string cheese. I’m not supposed to eat dairy (4 Hour Body), but even more so I try not to because it is one of my “domino” foods. Domino foods are those things that if I eat a little, I normally eat a lot. I love cheese. But tonight I had one piece. Then I had:

- 1/2 can of Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans): rinsed & drained, Mike taught me to put 1-1.5 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet, then add the chickpeas. Cover with a lid so they don’t pop out of the pan, roll them around every so often so they don’t stick. Cook until browned & toasty looking. Sprinkle kosher salt over them to taste. We added some chopped garlic to them tonight towards the end, and some kale chips that we crushed & sprinkled over the top.

- A small portion of the lentil “meatballs” from the recipe at Sprouted Kitchen, with Mike’s own pesto sauce. He didn’t have any basil on hand, so he made a pesto out of parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice & salt. YUM! Bonus? It got me past my texture issue fear of eating the lentils, because instead the texture was like meatballs!

- Sauteed Spinach with a balsamic reduction. Mike puts a little olive oil in a skillet and once heated sautes garlic for about 30 seconds in it. Then add a mound of rinsed fresh spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir once & cover. Check every couple of minutes for the spinach to be wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Add a splash of balsamic, uncover the skillet, and let that cook down. Serve.

If you had told me a month ago that my dinner was going to consist of chickpeas, lentil “meatballs”, pesto, and spinach, I would have told you that you were CRAZYPANTS!!! I did like spinach before, but not anything else on that list. Tonight? It was all amazing & scrumptious!

I’m not dieting. I’m planning out a future post about my rant about that word. But a diet these days is a temporary thing. No, this isn’t something that I can just stop. This has to be a complete change. But it is ok – I’ve hit that point. The point of no return. My friend Brett wrote about his “elephant moment” and I can relate. I’m so grateful for all of the friends & family I have cheering me on and supporting me right now. I want to say I couldn’t do it without you – but I am pretty damned determined. So while I could do it without all the support, it wouldn’t be quite as easy.

I guess a picky eater can learn to like new things…

PS – that whole gluten thing? I ate part of a piece of wedding cake on Saturday (it is a job requirement *grin*) and I ate homemade pizza Saturday night. Sunday morning? I woke up congested, and feeling like I was hit by a truck. Lesson learned! I need to really limit my gluten!